News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
July 28, 2015

College's Go For It! Program Takes Off With Seven New Startups

Seven new startup companies are taking part in the College's Go For It! program that provides entrepreneurial students with intensive support to help them get their business ideas off the ground. The 12-week pre-accelerator program, launched this past March, is broken into three month-long labs. Of the seven companies, five already have started to generate revenue or have received investments. The program was funded by donations from College alumni, friends and Advisory Board members interested in entrepreneurship. Read more at VCU News. Dr. Rao highlighted the program in his Op-Ed in Sunday's Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Research universities must be leaders in reviving American innovation.”

New Bulletin Launched

The new VCU Bulletins website launched last week. All web links to the old Bulletins site will automatically redirect to the homepage of the new site. If your website has links to pages within the old bulletin, please have your website administrator update the links or send the correct links to Gregg Johnson at Be sure to include a link to the page where the old link is located along with the old and new Bulletin links. You can contact Teri Dunnivant, University Bulletin editor, at if you need help finding content on the new Bulletins site.

Budd Award Nominations Sought

Nominations are being accepted for the 2015 Dorris Douglas Budd Award, which recognizes outstanding administrative and office support staff who enhance the image and mission of VCU and the VCU Health System. The deadline is Friday, Aug. 21. Previous winners from the College include Wanda P. Clary, Science, Technology and Society (STS) Program, in 2012. The nomination form, including criteria, is available here.

Handbook of Mindfulness Published

A new book on mindfulness edited by Kirk Warren Brown, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, and colleagues was recently published by the Guilford Press. "Our hope is that this volume offers readers both a panoramic view of the current science of mindfulness and a compass to help guide its ongoing evolution," said Kirk. The book, Handbook of Mindfulness: Theory, Research, and Practice, can be found here.

HRC Research Groups Announced

The Humanities Research Center has announced the following research groups for the 2015-2016 academic year:
  • Digital Humanities and Digital Studies
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Premodern Society and Culture
  • Race, Place, and Power
  • Vernacular Languages in Media, Literature, and Culture
  • Writing the First Book
  • Writing the Second Book
These interdisciplinary research groups are designed to foster conversation and creativity across conventional disciplinary boundaries. Details can be found on the Humanities Research Center website.

More News . . .

Six VCU alumni selected for Fulbright grants

Biology: Troubled waters: VCU researchers are studying the impact of saltwater intrusion on tidal wetlands

World Studies: Class prepares Richmond-area immigrants for U.S. citizenship test

Robertson School: Why Are So Many Running for President? - Marcus Messner discusses social media impact on political campaign strategy

African American Studies: VCU hosts racial healing seminar

View photos from the Summer Study Abroad Trip: Excavating Tel Lachish, Israel.

Psychology: E-Cigarettes Not as Safe as Advertised, Researchers Say

History: Socialism, American-Style - New York Times Op-ed co-written by alumnus

World Studies: Is religion failing? The Dalai Lama has a surprising answer | Expert quote

Political Science: Student who is bound for VCU to study political science, attended an event at the White House as part of the first lady’s Beating the Odds Summit.

View photos from the Richmond Mural Project at the Center for Psychological Services.

World Studies: Review of Dr. Brooks' book,  "Roland Hayes The Legacy of an American Tenor"

Humanities Research Center: VCU’s speaker series addresses Southern identity and race issues

Psychology: Students from across the country are attracted to Coalition’s model of better patient care

Political Science & African American Studies: Miss Maryland, an H&S Alum, is featured on the US Embassy Ghana's Facebook Page [Photo]

Q&A with VCU Provost Gail Hackett

History Prof Raymond's Book Signing

Emilie Raymond, associate professor in the Department of History, will give a book signing at Chop Suey Books on Saturday, August 1 at 2:00 pm. Her book, Stars for Freedom: Hollywood, Black Celebrities, and the Civil Rights Movement, reveals how black actors and entertainers in Hollywood worked both behind the scenes and in front of the footlights to contribute their money, connections and fame to the civil rights movement. Emilie will also discuss her book on October 7 as part of the Meet VCU's Authors Series presented by the Humanities Research Center.

Faculty Member Elected NAES Leader

Dr. Ravi Perry, associate professor of Political Science, was recently elected to lead the National Association for Ethnic Studies (NAES). Ravi is an activist scholar with specializations in Black politics, minority representation, LGBT politics, civil rights, social movements, and urban politics. Ravi will teach at VCU while simultaneously working to expand NAES as it looks to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022. Read more about him in this article.

Online Discussion of Coates' Book

The Atlantic is currently hosting an online book club discussion of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. Tressie McMillan Cottom, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, will kick off each week’s discussion with a response of her own. Readers are invited to send their own responses to, to follow along on Twitter at #BTWAM, or to read other responses to the book from Atlantic readers and contributors. More here.

Chronicle Your Life Experiences

A 10-week memoir workshop series is being offered by the Office of Continuing and Professional Education. The workshop will meet on Wednesdays from Aug. 5 through Oct. 14 at The Career and Technical Center at Hull Street, 13900 Hull St., Midlothian. The workshop will offer class discussions, one-on-one coaching and in-class writing time. For more information, contact Lynn Myers at or (804) 828-1322 or visit the website.

Bass Named 2015 ACS Fellow

Dr. R. Gerald Bass, Chemistry Department Chairman from 1995-1998 and Emeritus faculty has been elected as a 2015 ACS Fellow. ACS Fellows are nominated by their peers and selected for their outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science/profession and for providing excellent volunteer service to the ACS community. The 2015 ACS Fellows will be honored at a special ceremony during the ACS National Meeting in Boston, MA on Monday, August 17, 2015. Read more 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:

Sociology Assistant Professor Victor Chen's book, Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy (University of California Press), was released this month. His book tells the story of how autoworkers have found themselves struggling in a changed economy that is marked by greater inequality and risk. Victor recently discussed his work with VCU News and future plans. " Free trade, automation, and policy choices did in the American factory worker. Well, now the rest of us are experiencing this reality...." Read the full interview here.

Alumni Spotlight:

Marian Gatley Mahon, (B.S. Mass Communication and Journalism ’54), enrolled at Richmond Professional Institute (RPI) in 1952. Marian came to RPI because in the 1950’s it was the only place in Virginia that a female could study journalism as a full-time student. She spent 1958 to 1984 working for the Red Cross chapter in Richmond, Roanoke, and Atlanta where she handled public relations for the needs of Vietnamese refugees and others coming to America. Through the years, Marian has served her community as a volunteer including 14 years on the Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Read more about Marian on our website.

Student Spotlight:

Daniel Berry, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology who works in the Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab directed by Dr. Kirk Warren Brown, received a $15,000 Francisco Varela Award from the Mind and Life Institute to fund his research on mindfulness, empathy, and helping behavior. The project, Bridging the Empathy Gap: Effects of Brief Mindfulness Training on Helping Outgroup Members in Need, is sponsored by Dr. Brown and co-sponsored by Drs. Michael Inzlicht (University of Toronto), Jeffrey Green, and Fadel Zeidan (Wake Forest University). Read more at the Department of Psychology's website.

Upcoming H&S Events

Mark Your Calendars:
• Aug 17: CHS Faculty Welcome Reception
• 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/RVA Events

• Aug 6-9: Richmond Jazz Fest
• Aug 15-23: VCU Welcome Week
• Aug 18: Faculty Convocation
• Aug 19: Fall Classes Begin

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The next newsletter is scheduled for August 11, 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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