News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
September 2, 2014

CHS Silent Auction September 10th

The College will hold a Silent Auction to benefit the American Heart Association on Wednesday, September 10 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Student Commons, Virginia Rooms C&D. The auction will include items signed by Shaka Smart, four Diamond Club tickets to a Richmond Squirrels game and a certificate to throw out the first pitch, segway and trolley tours, and four tickets to "Fridays on the Patio" at James River Cellars.
Add the auction to your Google calendar.

Natasha Trethewey to Speak at VCU

Natasha Trethewey, United States Poet Laureate (2012-2014), winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University will speak at VCU on Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Ballroom of the Student Commons. She will read from her poetry and engage in conversation with Claudia Emerson, professor in the Department of English. This event will be followed by a book-signing.  This is the inaugural event of our new Humanities Research Center. Admission is free and all are welcome! Add this event to your Google calendar.

Outside Professional Activity Policy

VCU's Outside Professional Activity Policy has been updated and now has an electronic system you can access here. OPA is defined as “any service rendered by a faculty member to persons or organizations external to the university, without university sponsorship, for the purpose of advancing, applying, or transferring knowledge in a field of endeavor related to the faculty member's employment at the university.” Read the policies here. For more information, please contact Anne Stratton at

AFAM Professor Publishes Book

Adam Ewing, assistant professor in the Department of African-American Studies, recently published a book titled, The Age of Garvey: How a Jamaican Activist Created a Mass Movement and Changed Global Black Politics. The book explores the political work of Jamaican activist Marcus Garvey and how he inspired millions of black men and women. View the book here.

Cabell Award Winner Announced

Helene Wecker has been named the winner of the 2014 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award for The Golem and the Jinni, a novel that blends elements of fantasy and historical fiction to tell the story of two magical creatures who arrive separately on the streets of 19th-century New York City. She will receive the award on Nov. 4 in the W.E. Singleton Center at 7 p.m., where she will give a reading and participate in a roundtable discussion with VCU students and the public. The award honors an outstanding debut novel published in the preceding calendar year. Read more at VCU News and watch an animated trailer for the book here.

Dorris Budd Douglas Finalists

The College has two staff members who are finalists for the Dorris Douglas Budd Award. Wanda Hewlett Capers from the School of World Studies and Frances Lynch from the Robertson School of Media and Culture have both been nominated. The 2014 recipient of the award will be named at a ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 9. The Dorris Budd Douglas award honors a support staff member who demonstrates exemplary performance. Read the full list of nominees here.

Maya Smart Welcomes New Students

Writer and lifestyle blogger Maya Smart gave a wonderful speech at our Welcome Week Mixer last week. She imparted three pieces of advice to incoming students; Ask Questions, Build a Support System, & Control What You Can Control. You can read the full speech, "The Freshmen ABCs," on her blog.

FRSC and CHEM Accept ALS Challenge

The Department of Forensic Science took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge this past week. Watch the video here. They nominated the folks in the Chemistry Department. Their video is here. President Rao also completed the challenge. Read why he decided to here and watch the video. Learn more about ALS at the ALS Assocation's website.

More news . . .

VCU honors outstanding faculty, student scholars

Biology: James Vonesh discusses habitat loss & fragmentation of chameleon population in Tanzania

Psychology: 2014’s Best and Worst States for Women’s Equality

History: History professor reveals story behind the ‘folly’ of an important, yet overlooked American founder

View photos from our Welcome Week Mixer here!

World Studies: Cult of Santa Muerte Grows in Queens

History: Stories from the Cemeteries

Illustrated journalism exhibit shows life in Richmond during, after Civil War

A Philosophy of Faculty Development

Back to the Future: President Rao, Shaka Smart and other VCU notables answer the question, “What do you wish you knew when you were a college freshman?”

MATX Alum Captures Sounds of Rt. 5

Media, Art & Text alumnus Vaughn Garland’s new project, Right Here Once: The Soundways of Route 5, features a collection of thought-provoking sound bites from historic Route 5. He sees sound as an important way to interpret the world and he hopes the listener will build a location in his imagination when listening to the recorded archive of a place and time. Read more about Vaughn and his project at VCU News and visit the collection here.

Foreign Language Courses Available

Spanish, French, Italian, German, Arabic, and American Sign Language as well as Intercultural Communication will be offered for VCU employees beginning the week of Sept. 8 for 1 academic credit. The schedule, course descriptions, faculty information, and pre-registration are here. Tuition Waiver or Education Assistance may be used by those who qualify. For more information, contact Eleanor Sharp in the Office of Continuing and Professional Education at or 828-8831.

What's Your News?

If you have news to share this is a great place to do it! Our news and event forms automatically forward to Gregg Johnson, Shirley McDaniel and to VCU News. We will submit your news and events to the VCU Calendar, Telegram, this newsletter and our social media outlets. Keep your colleagues informed by keeping us informed!

Welcome Back From Dean Coleman:

"The Fall 2014 semester’s tidal wave of students and faculty has now crashed on the VCU shore, washed over Monroe Park, and created metaphorical vernal pool ecosystems in our residence halls, classrooms, sidewalks, gathering places, libraries, and everywhere else in our piece of the U.S. linoleum that is Richmond, VA. And, these vernal pools have suddenly come to life teaming with academic energy..." The Dean's complete welcome back message is on our website.

Alumni Spotlight:

History M.A. graduate Dan Tulli has been named a C-SPAN Senior Fellow for the upcoming semester. Tulli, an L.C. Bird High teacher, is one of only two teachers in the country awarded the fellowship. He will continue to teach A.P. U.S. Government and A.P. Psychology while helping create new resources for other teachers to use on C-SPAN’s free education website, C-SPAN Classroom. Read more here.

Student Spotlight:

Alexandra "Zan" Hailey, an English major and creative writing minor, has been named one of the first two poets laureate of Prince William County, sharing the honor with poet, author and high school English teacher Robert Scott. "I was in awe," said Hailey. "I didn't expect to win. I expected that someone who had been writing for much longer would win." Hailey and Scott will serve as the county's poets laureate for two years. VCU News has more.

Upcoming CHS Events

• Sept 2: Faculty/Staff Luncheon
• Sept 17: Humanities Research Center Speaker Series: Natasha Trethewey
• Sept 18: CHS Fall Faculty Meeting
• Sep 24: Meet the Author: Ryan Smith

Selected VCU Events

• Sept 13: Rennolds Chamber Concerts: Pacifica Quartet
• Sept 14: VCU Guitar Series: Denver Walker and Nathan Mills
• Sept 20: Broad Street Mile

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The next newsletter is scheduled for September 16, 2014. Please submit content as soon as details are finalized.

If you have questions please contact Gregg Johnson at Thank you!

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