News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities & Sciences
August 11, 2015

A Few Words From Interim Dean Alison Baski:

Welcome to another exciting academic year! As part of the restructuring of the dean’s office after Dr. Coleman’s departure to become Provost at NAU, I’m pleased to announce the following appointments:

Dr. Robert Tombes, previously Associate Dean for Research, will assume the role of Interim Executive Associate Dean. Read more.

Dr. Katherine Bassard, previously Chair of English, has joined our team as the new Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. Read more.

Ms. Anne Stratton, previously Director of Administration, has become Director of Faculty, Staff and Student Affairs. Read more.

Additionally, several key H&S staff members have new titles and have moved into the first floor of Founders Hall.
  • Morgan Balch — Space and Renovations Manager
  • Vicki Byrd — Adjunct Faculty and Finance Operations Manager
  • Patsy Connors — Graduate Support and Finance Operations Manager
  • India Urbach — Staff and Leave Personnel Manager
  • Michelle Wilde — Faculty Personnel Manager
Over the summer, we also relocated the following functions of the dean’s office: H&S Development moved to 817 W Franklin St, Suite 104 (Franklin St. Gym); and the Office of Student Services and H&S Finance and Administrative personnel moved to Founders Hall.

Finally, in addition to the previous announcement of Dr. Samy El-Shall as the new Chair of Chemistry, we have another new chair in the College: Dr. Kimberly Brown, currently Chair of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, will also serve as Interim Chair for African American Studies. Read more.

Best wishes for the start of your semester!

Faculty Convocation August 18th

The University’s 33rd Annual Faculty Convocation will be held on Tuesday, August 18th at 10:00 am at the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts to welcome faculty members and honor this year’s distinguished faculty award recipients. Sally Hunnicutt, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, will receive the Distinguished Teaching Award. Thomas Eissenberg, professor in the Department of Psychology, will receive the Distinguished Scholarship Award. A reception will follow the ceremony. RSVP at this link.

Foreign Language Classes Offered

The Office of Continuing and Professional Education will host conversational Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Chinese classes beginning the week of August 31 through the week of December 14 for one academic credit. Tuition waiver or education assistance may be used by those who qualify. Please contact your human resources department to determine eligibility. More information on the courses can be found here.

Welcome Week Events in the College

A reception to welcome CHS faculty back for the semester will be held on Monday, August 17th from 4 - 6:00 p.m. in the center lobby of the Academic Learning Commons. Our Welcome Week Major Mixer for new students will be held on Tuesday, August 18th from 12:30 - 2:00 pm in the Commonwealth Ballrooms. Departmental representatives should arrive by 12:15 pm.

John B. Fenn Chemistry Lecture

The 2015 John B. Fenn Chemistry Lecture features Richard N. Zare of Stanford University on Tuesday, September 8 at 5:30 pm in the Academic Learning Commons room 1201. Richard will present a talk titled, Acceleration of Reactions in Charged Microdroplets. A reception will be held prior to the lecture from 4:00-5:00 pm in Shafer Court. RSVP here.

More News . . .

You asked, they answered: Faculty experts tackle questions from the VCU community [ARTICLE]

English, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, and World Studies: At Richmond jail, Open Minds program unlocking potential

Psychology: Novel model developed to predict nicotine emitted from e-cigarettes

Robertson School: Combining U.S. and Iraqi cultures through social media

H&S faculty experts tackle questions from the community [VIDEO]

Political Science: Unless he gets schooled quickly, Trump will alienate key segments of GOP, says VCU's Deirdre Condit

History: Workshop explores Virginia’s role in school desegregation

Psychology: The Ripple Effects of Police Violence: psychological consequences of being black in America

Robertson School: Faculty teach courses center on UCI Bike Race

View photos from Dr. Reckendorf's New Hampshire adventure.

Psychology: The Science of Why You Crave Comfort Food

History: ‘Stars For Freedom’ explores the intersection of Hollywood and politics during the Civil Rights Movement

Robertson School: Retired VCU professor wins SPJ's George Mason Award.

Why social sciences are just as important as STEM disciplines

Training: Proposal Review 101

The Office of Sponsored Programs is offering a training entitled, Proposal Review 101: What You Need to Know to Be a Pre-Award Research Administrator, on September 11th from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. It is a step-by-step guide for research administrators, both in central offices and at the department level, illustrating an efficient and effective way to handle comprehensive pre-award proposal reviews, communicate with faculty, and make sure the proposal is ready for submission. Learn more and register here.

Cabell First Novelist Award Winner

Boris Fishman has won the 2015 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, which honors an outstanding debut novel published during a calendar year. His winning book, A Replacement Life, tells the story of a young Jewish writer whose life spirals out of control when he begins helping his community forge Holocaust reparation claims. Boris will receive the award on Nov. 10 at 7:00 pm at the W.E. Singleton Center where he will give a reading and participate in a roundtable and discussion with students and the public. Read more at VCU News.

Women's Leadership Program Accepting Applications

The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute is accepting applications for its HIGHER Ground Women’s Leadership Development Program. The deadline is Nov. 1. The program is a five-month leadership development experience for current and emerging women leaders who are committed to investing in themselves and their organizations. Learn more about the program here.

Budd Nominations Due August 21st

Nominations for the 2015 Dorris Douglas Budd Award are being accepted through Friday, August 21, 2015. The winner receives a $2,000 monetary award and a framed certificate. The award recognizes outstanding administrative and office support staff who enhance the image and mission of VCU and the VCU Health System. For requirements and to submit a nomination, click here.

Do You Have News to Share?

If you have news to share this is a great place to do it! Please submit news and events to Denise Johnson at 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!

Faculty Spotlight:

Political Science Instructor Alexandra Reckendorf hit the campaign trail this summer traveling to New Hampshire to visit with presidential campaign teams including Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Martin O'Malley and Chris Christie. Her trip is preparation for a new intersession course on presidential campaigns titled, Political Campaigns and Communication, to be offered this December/January. The course will take students to New Hampshire for some real-world experience, observation, and analysis while the campaigns are in full swing. The Political Science Facebook page has several photos albums and summaries from her trip.

Alumni Spotlight:

Chip Suttles, B.S. Recreation, Parks & Tourism ’94, learned a valuable skill at VCU that changed his career path and earned him a Super Bowl Ring with the 2014 Seattle Seahawks. A resourceful professor who used his network to connect students with impactful internship experiences gave Chip his start in the sports and entertainment industry where he now currently serves as the Vice President of Technology for the Seattle NFL franchise. Read more about Chip on our website.

Student Spotlight:

Martin Charles Townes, an anthropology major in the School of World Studies, traveled this summer to South Africa for a study abroad trip led by Assistant Professor Amy Rector Verrelli. Martin’s group visited the Natural History Museum in Pretoria and received unprecedented access to its hominid fossil collection. They were able to see and touch the famous Mrs. Ples skull. They also took part in a dig at a secret site in an area designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Read more at our website.

Upcoming H&S Events

Mark Your Calendars:
• Sep 02: Catholic Studies Lecture: Pope Francis’s Teaching on the Environment
• Sep 03: HRC Speaker Series: Cornel West
• Sep 10: HRC Speaker Series: Kathy Merlock Jackson discusses Disney’s Song of the South
• Sep 10-12: Southern Film Festival
• Sep 16: Meet VCU’s Authors: David Wojahn
• Sep 29: HRC Speaker Series: James Loewen talks Civil War memory in Richmond

*Add our calendar to stay up to date on events in the College!

Selected VCU Events

• Aug 15-23: VCU Welcome Week
• Aug 18: Faculty Convocation
• Aug 19: Fall Classes Begin
• Aug 21-23: Theatre VCU: The Pumpkin Pie Show

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The next newsletter is scheduled for August 25, 2015. Please submit content as soon as details are finalized.

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

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