News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
May 27, 2014
Footprints on the James

UROP Faculty Mentor Award Winners

Two of the three UROP 2014 Outstanding Faculty Mentors are from the Department of Psychology. Jeff Green, associate professor, and Scott Vrana, professor and former UROP Summer Fellowship Mentor, have both received UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) mentorship awards. Each year undergraduate researchers are asked to identify a professor or faculty mentor who regularly goes above and beyond to create and engage students in research opportunities. Read more about the awardees here.

New Development Officers Join H&S

The College is pleased to welcome two new development officers. Chnoic Adams Clarke (pictured right) has accepted the position of Development and Alumni Relations Manager and Caitlin Hanbury (pictured left) has accepted the position of Stewardship Manager. Caitlin most recently served as a development associate for Maymont Foundation since 2009. Chnoic comes from the VCU School of Pharmacy Development and Alumni Relations office where she has served as the Assistant Director of Development since 2005. Read more about our new staff members on our blog.

Save the Date: Faculty Convocation

The 32nd Opening Faculty Address and Convocation will be held on August 20 at 10 a.m. in the Siegel Center to welcome faculty members and honor this year’s Presidential Medallion, Distinguished Faculty Award and President’s Award of Excellence recipients. A formal invitation will be sent closer to the date.

Yan Jin Receives AEJMC Award

Yan Jin, associate professor and associate director for research and outreach in The Robertson School is the recipient of the 2014 Hillier Krieghbaum Under-40 Award, presented by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). The award was created to recognize a mass communication faculty member who has made outstanding contributions in AEJMC's three key areas: teaching, research and public service. It is one of the highest honors that AEJMC can bestow on a member. The award will be presented during the AEJMC business meeting in Montreal, Canada on Friday, August 8.

Darcy Mays named VAS Fellow

Darcy Mays, associate professor and chair in the Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research, was named a Fellow at the Virginia Academy of Science banquet on May 15. He is the only current faculty member in the College with this recognition. The Virginia Academy of Science held its annual meeting at VCU May 13-14. Leslie Bullock (Biology) and Jason Merrick (STAT) were both invited to give talks. VCU will host again in 2017.

Marquita to Lead Great Place Initiative

The College is pleased to announce that Marquita Aguilar is taking on a new role as the Director of the Great Place Initiative for Humanities and Sciences. Her primary responsibilities will be to lead and facilitate the implementation of activities and initiatives to promote faculty and staff development, to promote work-life balance, and to build camaraderie. Marquita is known for her inspiring ability to rally people around beneficial causes such as the Annual Marquita Aguilar Scholarship Walk-A-Thon. Read more on our blog.

Meier Wins Book Award

Kathryn Meier, assistant professor in the Department of History, learned recently that her book, Nature’s Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia, has been awarded the 2014 Wiley-Silver prize for best first book in Civil War History, by The Center for Civil War Research at the University of Mississippi. The prize will be awarded at the Center’s Annual Conference on the Civil War, held October 9-11, at the University of Mississippi.

More news . . .

President's Post - On the rise: A vibrant culture needs a robust infrastructure

Remembering VCU President Emeritus Edmund F. Ackell

Rhone retires after 33-year career with VCU

History: Bill Blake profiled in the Times-Dispatch

English: Cabell First Novelist Semifinalists Announced

World Studies: Alumni couple donate Torah that survived the Holocaust

View photos from Spring Graduation on our Facebook Page!

Psychology: Researcher examines potential health effects of ‘vaping’

English: Free Verse: VCU's Open Minds Program

Political Science: VCU 2014 POLI Graduation Photos

Forensic Science: May 2014 Graduation Photos

Sociology: Spring 2014 Comencement Ceremony Photos

World Studies: SWS Graduation Spring 2014 Photos

A Caring Professor May Be Key in How a Graduate Thrives

Collaborative Course Takes Off

Footprints on the James, a 5-week course on the history and biology of the James River and a collaboration between the Departments of History and Biology and the VCU Outdoor Adventure Program, launched on May 20 at Ancarrow's Landing in Richmond. The team is led by faculty members Daniel Carr (Biology), Brian Daugherity (History), James Vonesh (Biology) and Joey Parent (Outdoor Adventure). View photos from their experiences on Instagram. You can also follow their journey on the course's Wordpress blog and Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #fotj2014. The Times-Dispatch also has a story.

Former Faculty Member Honored

Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and former associate professor and associate director of The Robertson School, was honored as the recipient of the 2014 Thomas Jefferson Award for Excellence in Public Relations by the Richmond chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on May 14. The award, which recognizes achievement by a public relations professional in the Richmond area, is the group’s highest honor. The Times-Dispatch has the details.

Tell us (and your colleagues) about it

More than half of the faculty and staff of the College consistently read this newsletter. 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!

Faculty Spotlight:

Michael Mautner, a research professor in the Department of Chemistry, studies how life might expand beyond Earth. He recently discussed his experiments and work with other professors in a VCU News article. "My work at VCU addresses two space topics. One, with Professor M. Samy El-Shall and Professor Scott Gronert, concerns basic chemistry and astrochemistry of complex molecules which may contribute to the origins of life. My research on astroecology, space resources and the future of life, including VCU publications, is continuing in a new program in collaboration with Dr. Rima Franklin of the biology department." Read more at VCU News.

Alumni Spotlight:

Krina Patel, a political science and international studies summer 2012 graduate, has been named one of five people from across the country to receive a prestigious 2014 Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship. The Payne Fellowship is an initiative that supports outstanding young people interested in pursuing careers in the foreign service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The award allows recipients to attend a graduate program and to join the foreign service upon its completion. Read more at VCU News.

Student Spotlight:

Saidu Tejan-Thomas, a public relations student in The Robertson School and creative writing minor, recently completed the inaugural ASPiRE program; the university’s first living-learning community that focuses on community engagement through academic course work and co-curricular activity. Saidu, who is president and team captain of Slam Nahuatl - VCU's award-winning slam poetry organization, performed a slam poem at the graduation ceremony. “So how do we qualify change? When do we know we have altered the state of a person, a situation and, most importantly, ourselves? In 100 hours, I answered this question. Change is the smile of 10-year-old Luis when I met him each week and he taught me about taking chances." Read more about Saidu and the ASPiRE program at VCU News. 

Upcoming CHS Events

No events currently scheduled.

Selected VCU Events

• May 28: Clinical Research Coordinator Day
• May 31: 'Speak Up 5K Launch Party'
• June 2: Google Slides: creating better presentations!
• June 4: Google Drive: bringing your workflow into this century!

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The next newsletter is scheduled for June 10, 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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