News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities & Sciences
February 07, 2017

Three 'Big Ideas' Selected

Our Big Ideas strategic initiative has resulted in three proposals being selected by our Research Advisory Council for new faculty lines. The three proposals are: Migration Studies: Focus Latin America, Big Data Science, and LGBTQ Studies at VCU: Research, Teaching, Community. Ten Phase II proposals were reviewed by the Research Advisory Council, and three were selected for their potential to create experiential learning experiences for students, promote interdisciplinary collaboration and research, and promote community engagement. Learn more.

CHS Update on Diversity and Equity

The CHS Diversity and Equity Committee has been discussing strategies to address growing concerns about the impact of the current social and political climate on vulnerable student groups. Of particular concern are undocumented students, Middle Eastern and Muslim students, members of the LGBTQ community, and African-American students. The Committee’s focus has been to learn more about DACA and to explore how its expiration or revocation might affect the university community, as well as potential mitigating measures. Learn more

Faculty Forum with Dr. Rao Today

Dr. Michael Rao will be holding an open meeting with faculty today, February 7th at 4:00pm in the Commonwealth Ballrooms of the Student Commons. This meeting is being sponsored by VCU Faculty Senate, and faculty members in attendance will be given an opportunity to ask Dr. Rao questions.

TODAY: The COBE Lunch Connect

COBE will hold their first COBE Connect Lunch today, February 7th with Danielle Dick and a discussion about the Spit for Science study. The study is an effort to understand how genetic and environmental factors come together to contribute to the development of problems associated with the use of alcohol, the use of other substances, and emotional health. The event starts at 12:00pm in the Alumni Board Room of the Student Commons and lunch is provided. Contact Thomas Bannard for more information or to attend.

The Black Artist in Perspective

The Department of African American Studies and The Department of Painting and Printmaking present The Black Artist in Perspective: Aniekan Udofia. Aniekan Udofia has built up a formidable reputation as a powerful painter and illustrator. Join him for a conversation about painting and the constraints of the black artist. 4:00pm on Wednesday, February 8th at the Depot, 814 W Broad Street. View the flyer here.

Retelling of The Underground Railroad

VCU Libraries, along with the Friends of VCU Libraries and the Francis M. Foster African-American History Endowment Fund, presents writer Colson Whitehead as this year's Black History Month Speaker on Thursday, February 9th. The acclaimed multi-genre fiction writer presents his latest book, The Underground Railroad, winner of a National Book Award. Doors open at 6:30pm with the event starting at 7:00pm. There will be a book sale and signing and a public reception after. Admission is free and open to the public. Learn more.

Follow Up to Social Justice Forum

The Division of Inclusive Excellence will hold presentations and discussions on feedback from the fall Presidential Forum on Social Justice, as well as the findings from the 2016 survey on campus climate. This will take place on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. in the Commons Theater, University Student Commons. Learn more.

Seminar on Navigating Difficult Dialogue

The University College, the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs and the Office of Faculty Affairs is hosting an informal conversation focused on Navigating Difficult Dialogues Inside and Outside the Classroom at The Depot on Friday, February 10th. H'ors d'oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available. RSVP here or contact Shelli Fowler for more information.

'Turning Democracy on Its Head'

The Robertson School, along with VCU Libraries and OneVirginia2021, presents GerryRigged: Turning Democracy on Its Head. The documentary, created by assistant professor of journalism, Bill Ogelsby, will be shown on Monday, February 13th followed by a paneled discussion and light refreshments. This documentary examines the historical context and consequences of gerrymandering through a multi-partisan lens that includes Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and the Tea Party. The event starts at 6:45pm in room 303 of the VCU Cabell Library.
Learn more.

Dean's Office Adds Director of Finance

Sterling Daniel has joined the Dean's office as our Director of Finance. Sterling is responsible for the day-to-day fiscal operations of the College and ensures that transactions are executed in accordance with the strategic plan and established policies and procedures. He also advises and supports the senior leadership team in the planning and use of resources to support faculty, staff, and students. Before coming to the College, Sterling lived in the Middle East for more than three years while serving as the Director of Financial Planning and Operations at the VCUQatar campus. Sterling's office is in Blanton House, Rm. 115, and his email is Welcome Sterling!

More News . . .

VCU announces month of thought-provoking events to celebrate Black History Month

Math/AFAM/GSWS: Scientist featured in ‘Hidden Figures,’ to speak at VCU

Biology: NATURAL WONDERS: The James River’s humble rock pools take center stage for a new project

AFAM: Professor featured in the Richmond Times-Dispatch as he debuts on NPR

VCU terrorism expert: Trump's travel ban hands ISIL a powerful recruiting tool

To ease students' financial burden, VCU offers faculty incentives to use free or low-cost textbook alternatives

Robertson: Making headlines: VCU journalism students are covering the General Assembly for 90 news outlets and feeding stories to the Associated Press

Psychology: Professor Worthington's study on 'forgiveness' featured in Reader's Digest

SWS: Philadelphia Archaeological Forum features VCU Curation Lab for 'Artifact of the Month'

VCU da Vinci Center announces spring residencies

Spring 2018 Residential Fellows Announced

The Humanities Research Center has announced the recipients of the Residential Fellowships for Spring 2018. Please help us congratulate Andrew Alwood, Andrew Crislip, Vivian Dzokoto, and Sarah Meacham for their work on What We Ought To Feel: Instructions For Emotional Well-Being Across Cultures And Time. Each year this program gives four faculty who are working on related issues or topics release from teaching responsibilities for one semester so that they can focus on their individual research projects and at the same time engage regularly with each other. Read more.

PACME Request for Nominations

The Office of the President is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment, which will be presented on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at 3:00pm, in the University Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballrooms. Four separate 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. Nominations are due by February 28th. Learn more.

Preparing Evaluations and Reviews

The Humanities Research Center is holding a workshop on Preparing for Annual Evaluations and Promotion Reviews on Monday, February 13th at 2:00pm. A panel of faculty with extensive experience in the faculty evaluation process here at VCU and elsewhere will be on hand to answer questions and address concerns. The panel will discuss how best to prepare for each stage of the process and there will also be an update on recent changes in evaluation procedure at VCU. The workshop will be held in Seminar Room 201 of the Humanities Research Center (920 W. Franklin St). Learn more.

Honors College Accepting Proposals

The Honors College is accepting proposals for their Honors Summer Undergraduate Research Program from faculty interested in working with Honors College students during Summer 2017. Proposals submitted by Monday, February 13th, will be given priority. Learn more.

Call for Papers: Virginia Humanities Conference

The 2017 Virginia Humanities Conference at Shenandoah University will be held April 7th - 8th, 2017. They are now accepting proposals for papers, panel sessions, and performances that investigate any aspect of unbearableness within the humanities. The due date for submissions is February 15th. For more information on attending the conference or to submit an abstract please visit here.

Building Inclusive Communities Seminars

Building Inclusive Communities (BIC) is the new VCU initiative to support the university community in creating an engaged, diverse and inclusive campus environment. They are offering a number of workshops for faculty, staff and administrators in the 2017 spring semester. Learn more.

TheatreVCU presents: A Time to Kill

TheatreVCU is unveiling the stage adaptation of John Grisham's classic novel, A Time to Kill from February 16th - February 26th. It is a story of race and violence set in the state of Mississippi during the 1980s. TheatreVCU is offering any faculty or staff from the College FREE tickets to their show. For more information and tickets contact Matthew Nicholson, and be sure to say you are from CHS and saw the offer in our newsletter.

Distinguished Faculty Awards 2017

The College is now accepting nominations for our Distinguished Faculty Awards. A new award has been added this year: the Humanities and Sciences Distinguished Mentoring Award. The purpose of the award is to honor an outstanding contribution to mentoring by a faculty member in the College. The award is for mentoring activity by an individual faculty member who has helped to build a supportive academic environment through faculty-to-student mentoring and/or faculty-to-faculty mentoring. Nominations should be emailed to by March 13, 2017. View the procedure to nominate. The process for staff awards nominations will be announced at a later date.

Practice Your Lip-Sync Skills

Our Student Leadership Council is looking for talented (or talentless) members of our faculty and staff to participate in a lip-sync battle against our students. Group performances are welcome! The Battle will be on March 24th at 6:00pm in the Grace Street Theater. Interested in participating? Contact

Helping Students Begin Their Careers

On Wednesday, February 22nd, Career Services will be sponsoring a seminar for faculty and staff interested in learning how to best advise students on the Federal Job Search Process. The featured speaker will be Nancy Fink who has been actively involved with Middle Atlantic Career Counseling Association (MACCA) and a sought after presenter on the topic. The event will be from 1:30pm - 3:30pm. For the location and to sign up please email

Help Us Publicize Your News and Events

If you have news to share this is a great place to do it! Please submit news and events to Janelle Moretti 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:

Luis Diaz-Diaz, an adjunct professor in Spanish (SWS), was recently featured on NBC12's Acts of Kindness. He was nominated as by a former student after she needed help moving and he answered the call even though they hadn't seen each other in over a decade. Also in his spare time he walks through Henrico parks to pick up litter. The long-time educator says his students will always be his kids, and he’ll be there to celebrate their successes as well as in times of sorrow. Watch the feature. Congratulations Luiz!

Student Spotlight:

The Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology has awarded Tennisha Riley a 2017 Underrepresented Student Workshop Travel Award. Tennisha, a doctoral student in the developmental psychology program, will use the award to attend the Curran-Bauer workshop on multilevel modeling in June 2017 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read more.
Congratulations Tennisha!

Student Spotlight:

Morgan Jacobs, a Strategic Advertising major, was recently featured on 8 Questions with Juan Conde, a weekly webisode on WRIC. She currently serves as an Outreach Coordinator at Camp Kesem, a camp for kids whose parents are affected by cancer. Watch the interview here.

Upcoming H&S Events

• Feb 08: The Black Artist in Perspective: Aniekan Udofia
• Feb 10: The 18th Annual Darwin Day
• Feb 10: BioMath Seminar: Mette Olufsen
• Feb 10: Analysis, Logic and Physics Seminar: Alex Stokolos
• Feb 10: VMFA's Munch-Johns Exhibit: A Discussion with Professor Cliff Edwards
• Feb 13: HRC Workshop on Preparing for Annual Evaluations and Promotion Reviews
• Feb 13: GerryRigged: Turning Democracy on Its Head
• Feb 17: SPUD: Athena Cairo
• Feb 17: Analysis, Logic and Physics Seminar: Riccardo Cristoferi

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

Selected VCU Events

• Feb 07: VCU Education Study Abroad Fair
• Feb 08: Follow Up to the President's Forum on Social Justice and Spring Climate Survey
• Feb 09: VCU Libraries 15th Annual Black History Month Lecture
• Feb 14: Open Online Workshop: PubMed
• Feb 16: Questioning Cinema: Loving

Submit Newsletter Content

The next newsletter is scheduled for February 21st, 2017. Please submit content to Janelle Moretti at as soon as details are finalized.

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