News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities & Sciences
February 22, 2016

VCU Squashes Spiders 87-74 to sweep the series
(photo cred. Mark Gormus/Times-Dispatch )

Humphrey Fellowship Program Renewed

Congratulations to Dr. Randy Koch, (Psychology) and all those involved in the Humphrey Fellowship Program on the success of their competitive renewal application. The program has been funded for another 5 years through the US Department of State, and administered by the Institute for International Education. The Humphrey Fellowship Program at VCU focuses on a broad range of health problems with an emphasis on understanding the behavioral, psychological, social and cultural factors that affect people’s health, and the use of behavior change interventions to promote positive health outcomes. Learn more.

English Journal Recognized by Buzzfeed

On February 16th, the nationally recognized website, Buzzfeed put out a listicle of the 29 Amazing Literary Magazines You Need to Be Reading. Number six on that list is Blackbird, the online journal of our very own English department! Buzzfeed describes the writing in the journal as "extraordinary - honest, insightful, profound". Read more.

VCU Common Book Signing Tomorrow

Jill Lepore, the author of this year's Common Book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman, will be at the Cabell Library Lecture Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 24th at 4:00 pm. She will be giving a brief talk on her book and there will be a chance to meet her and ask questions. She will also be available to sign copies of her book. Light refreshments will be provided, and all are welcome. Registration is encouraged. More information.

Talented Faculty and Staff Needed

Do you sing? Juggle? Play the guitar? Our Student Leadership Council is hosting a Student, Faculty and Staff Talent Show on March 25th from 5:00 - 7:30 pm in the Grace Street Theater. To be in the show, contact them or send a video of your talent to

HIV/AIDS Series Continues Today!

Left Behind: Ending AIDS in Black Communities in America, featuring Phill Wilson the former Director of of the Black AIDS Institute, will be held today, February 23rd at 7:00 pm in the Cabell Library Lecture Hall. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Humanities Research Center. For more information contact Richard Godbeer.

PACME Nominations Due Tomorrow

VCU is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) to honor individuals who have made significant contributions toward enhancing VCU's commitment to diversity. Awards are given to recognize a student or student organization, a faculty member, a classified or hourly staff member, as well as an administrator, for their outstanding service. The award winners will be honored at a ceremony on Monday, April 14th at 3:00 pm in the Commonwealth Ballrooms of the Student Commons. Nominations can be submitted electronically here by February 24th. More information.

Psychology Speaker Series Thursday

Psychology will welcome Dr. Barbara Fiese as the second speaker in their new Distinguished Speaker Series. Dr. Fiese is The Pampered Chef Ltd. endowed chair in family resiliency, professor of human development and family studies, and director of the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The event will be held on Thursday, Feb. 25th at 12:00 pm in Commonwealth Ballroom A of the Student Commons. More information.

Talks on Humans and Technology

Science, Technology and Society presents Engineering Philosophy: Machine Culture and Social Elites in the Second Industrial Revolution (1900-1930) featuring Dr. Heidi Voskuhl (U Penn) on Thursday, Feb. 25th. The lecture begins at noon in the VA Rooms C-D, Student Commons. The lecture is part of the STS Spring Lecture Series, Seeing Machines: Humans and Technology. Admission is free and all are welcome. More information.

Dr. Heidi Voskuhl will also do an encore presentation as part of SciencePub RVA. Her lecture, They Had Robots Way Back When? Androids in History, will begin at 6:00 pm on Thursday, Feb. 25th at The Camel (1621 West Broad Street). More information and get tickets.

Currents of Change Award Nominations

The Council for Community Engagement is seeking nominations for the Currents of Change Awards to proudly highlight and celebrate partnerships that benefit students, staff, faculty, alumni, and our community partners. They are seeking nominations for 4 different focus areas; Community Engaged Teaching, Community Engaged Outreach, Community Engaged Research and Student Initiated Community Engagement. Nominations are due by April 1st. More information.

CHS Awards Ceremonies Scheduled

It's that time of year again, so mark you calendars for our annual Faculty and Staff Awards and Student Awards Night. The Student Awards will be held on April 21st from 6:00-8:00 pm and the Faculty and Staff Awards will be held on April 28th from 8:30-10:30 am. More information to follow.

More News . . .

Psychology: Professor gives advice on how news media can better handle the reporting of mass shootings

VCU’s security camera system captures evidence in more than 1,000 incidents

Robertson School: Virginia Communications Hall of Fame to induct seven media professionals

Robertson School: CNS Students cover news of the Dominion protests in RVA

Psychology: Winter/spring 2016 issue of our newsmagazine, Zeitgeist.

NCAA names Richmond as one of nine great college basketball towns thanks to Ramnation

VCU to host Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

VCU student is changing children’s lives half a world away

VCU becomes first Virginia university to offer Ph.D. in Oral health Research

NCAA names Richmond as one of nine great college basketball towns thanks to Ramnation

Staff Senate Leadership Conference

The VCU Staff Senate is sponsoring the 2016 Staff Professional Development Conference, Make A Difference, on March 9-10th. The keynote speaker will be Lenora Billings-Harris, who is an Internationally recognized speaker and performance improvement consultant and author. This conference is free for faculty and staff. Learn more.

Faculty Awards Call For Nominations

Nominate a colleague for our Distinguished Faculty Awards. Each academic unit is invited to nominate members of the faculty who merit recognition in a variety of categories. Nominations are due to Winnie Chan no later than Friday, March 18th. A list of awards and the criteria can be found on our website.

Commercialization of Research Funding

The Quest for Distinction Commercialization Fund is now accepting applications for the second round of Commercialization Research Funding. Funds will be awarded in May 2016. Applications will be accepted through 12:00 pm on March 22nd. More information or contact Sue Patow.

#BlackExcellence Video Goes Viral

Three freshmen turned a 30-second freestyle video into a viral and national sensation. Jonathan Brooks (HPEX) and Terrence and Terry Everett (Biology) posted a video they made in their dorm room to social media with the hashtag #BlackExcellence which has been viewed more than 35 million times. “Be greater than yesterday. Keep pushing for something that’s positive for the community and for everyone to have self-happiness. That’s the main goal,” Terrence Everett said. Watch the video, part 2, an interview, and read more at the Commonwealth Times.

Autism Workshop for Faculty & Staff

Disability Support Services is sponsoring the Autism Awareness Workshop on Monday, Feb. 29th for all faculty and staff. This is a workshop to explore characteristics and teaching strategies for college students with autism. The event starts at noon in Commonwealth Ballroom A, Student Commons. Lunch will be provided before the discussion. Please RSVP by Wednesday, Feb. 24th to DSS.

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 Janelle Scutt 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:

Dr. Marcel Cornis-Pope (English) was the winner of 2015's Elske v.P. Smith Distinguished Lecturer Award. The topic for his lecture is Conceptual and Methodological Challenges in Writing Cross-Cultural Literary History: Reflections on Two Recent International Projects, and will be held on March 25th at 1:00 pm at VCU Globe Room 1030J. Dr. Cornis-Pope was nominated for the award by his colleagues in the Department of English. Learn more about the event and read the entire nomination on our website.

Student Spotlight:

Elias Mekonen (History) has been selected to receive the 2016 W.E.B. DuBois Award for Excellence in History.  This award is presented each year to a promising undergraduate African American student; it serves as a vote of confidence in their ability to pursue a Graduate program, preferably a PhD in history. He was also honored at the Black History in the Making celebration, sponsored by African American Studies on Feb. 17th. Congratulations Elias! Read more.

Alumni Spotlight:

Diana Woodcock (Psychology '74) just released her latest collection of poems in her new book, Under the Spell of a Persian Nightingale in December. Since graduating from the College in 1974 she has published several other books. Diana teaches writing and literature courses for undergraduate students at VCU Qatar. She has been awarded eight Faculty Research Grants and five Faculty Development Grants to do research and to present papers or conduct workshops at conferences in South Africa, Greece, Switzerland, Canada, and the U.S. Congratulations Diana!

Upcoming H&S Events

• Feb 23: HRC Speaker Series: Left Behind: Ending AIDS in Black Communities in America
• Feb 24: Refugee Resettlement in VA: A Teach-In
• Feb 25: STS Lecture: Engineering Philosophy: Machine culture and social elites in the Second Industrial Revolution (1900 to 1930)
• Feb 25: STS/SciencePub RVA Lecture: They Had Robots Way Back Then? Androids in History
• Feb 29: Positive Psych Research Group: Dr. Ev Worthington
• Feb 29: HRC Speaker Series: HIV+ Women’s Oral Histories, Or, What Can a Humanist Tell Us About Treatment and Prevention in an Era of Biomedical Supremacy?
• Mar 02: VCU's Meet the Authors Series: David St. John & Anna Journey

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

Selected VCU Events

• Feb 23: Race and Education, K-16 and Beyond: Past, Present, and Future Possibilities
• Feb 24: Secret of Wonder Woman Talk & Book Signing
• Feb 26: African-American Read-In
• Mar 02: Global Cafe
• Mar 02: Last Men's Home Basketball Game

Submit Newsletter Content

The next newsletter is scheduled for March 8th, 2016. Please submit content to Janelle Scutt at as soon as details are finalized.

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