News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
January 13, 2015

Professors Honored by SCHEV and the Board of Visitors

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has named Albert Farrell, professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development, as a recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Faculty Award. The awards, which are the highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities, recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. Dean Coleman wrote as part of Farrell's nomination that he "exemplifies what it means to be an outstanding faculty member." Read more at VCU News.
The Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors has named psychology professor Everett Worthington Jr. a Commonwealth Professor – one of the highest distinctions that the board can bestow upon a VCU faculty member. "I think no other recognition has touched me as deeply," Everett said. "The honor is a reflection of the many great colleagues at VCU (and throughout the world) that I have had over the years, who have supported me, and often carried me, in research, teaching, service, and administration." VCU News has more.

HRC Research Grants Awarded

The Humanities Research Center has announced the award of sixteen $1000 Humanities Research Grants for 2015. The recipients are as follows: Adam Ewing (African American Studies), Carolyn Eastman (History), Catherine Ingrassia (English), Claire Bourne (English), Dannelle Gutarra (African American Studies), Emilie Raymond (History), Gregory Smithers (History), Matthew Pawlowicz (School of World Studies), Melis Hafez (History), Peter Stone (History), Richard Fine (English), Rivka Swenson (English), Ryan Smith (History), Terry Oggel (English), Vivian Dzokoto (African American Studies), Winnie Chan (English). View the research topics here.

Fulbright Scholar Faculty Workshop

The Fulbright Scholar Program at the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) will offer two workshops on the Fulbright Program for Faculty and Professionals on Wednesday, January 14 at 9:00 am and 11:00 am, featuring Sophia Yang, Program Officer (East Asia and the Pacific, South and Central Asia). Learn about teaching and research opportunities in more than 125 countries, get advice on selecting countries for application & making contacts abroad and tips on how to prepare the Fulbright application. To reserve a seat please email Space is limited; please RSVP by Tuesday, January 13th. Find out more information here.

New H&S Scholarship Website

The College of Humanities and Sciences has introduced a new scholarship website with information about scholarships in Humanities and Sciences and an online application. The new system offers a more student-centric experience with a searchable database of all opportunities within the College, electronic submission of applications and supplemental materials, and more efficient communications to recipients regarding awards. Visit the new website here.

Welcome New Forensic Science Chair

The NEW Chair of the Department of Forensic Science is Dr. Tal Simmons. Prior to arriving at VCU in January 2015, she worked in the U.K. for 11 years, where she was the course Leader for the MSc Forensic Anthropology in the School of Forensic and Investigative Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire (2004-2014) and held the post of Reader in Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology. Before moving to England, Tal taught in the Anthropology Department of Western Michigan University for 12 years. Recently, she also served as a consultant for the International Committee of the Red Cross, helping to develop post-mortem database mortuary forms. Read more about Tal here. We join the Department of Forensic Science in welcoming her to VCU as their new Chair and a professor!

Globe Faculty Fellows Application

VCU Globe is accepting applications for the Faculty Fellows Program. The deadline is Friday, Jan. 23. Eligible applicants hold full-time appointments in their disciplines, work as adjunct faculty at VCU or represent a Richmond-area community partner. Fellows teach an upper-level three-credit seminar/elective course to VCU Globe students. Click here for the application form. For more information, contact Jill Blondin at or visit the VCU Globe website.                             

Great Place Initiative Contest Winner

The winner of the Great Place Initiative Holiday Contest, "Name that Team," is Catherine Ingrassia, a professor in the Department of English. Dr. Ingrassia’s submission CH&S RAMbulators received the most votes from faculty and staff within the College. Thanks to Catherine, we now have an official name for the College’s Walking Team! Our winner received a black and gold VCU Rams Sweatshirt donated by The Virginia Book Company and a box of chocolates. Additional information will be posted regarding our first CH&S RAMbulators walk by mid-March. 

New AFAM Course Explores Ferguson Events From Historical Perspective

A new course offered by the Department of African American Studies will explore the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri from a historical perspective. Assistant Professor Adam Ewing will teach the course, Ferguson, USA: Race and Criminal Justice in Historical Perspective, in the spring semester. Adam says the course was inspired by discussions in the department after the announcement of the grand jury's decision in the case of Darren Wilson. The university is hoping to make parts of the course – public lectures, and possibly class discussions – available to the general public through online participation as a massive open online course (MOOC). Read more here. 

Winter Break Recap . . .

Season’s readings: Faculty members recommend books for the winter break

Year in review: A look back at 2014’s most popular VCU news stories, videos, Instagram pics and more

Political Science: Chris Saladino talks about the competition between the U.S and the Soviet Union (USSR) on C-Span 3

Great Place Initiative: Great Place Initiative turns ideas into action

Robertson School: Students Complete 58 Service Projects in Mass Comm Course

World Studies: 3-D Printing Technology Creates Hands-On Experience for Historic Jamestowne Visitors

A Year in Review for the the Virtual Curation Laboratory: 2014 Edition

English: As part of new course, students help out at Richmond after-school programs, food pantries and more

World Studies: Pentecostal Faith Captures Latinos in the Bronx

Robertson School: Virginia Communications Hall of Fame to induct seven

Political Science: Ukraine's Real Crisis: A Demographics & Health Time Bomb

View photos from the December Graduation 2014 album

More news . . .

Psychology: Collaborating across cultures

Richmond News: Two new buildings along Grace Street are opening

Why Math Might Be The Secret To School Success

Biology: When Professional Becomes Personal

Language Courses Offered for Spring 

Conversational Spanish, French, Italian, German, Arabic, and American Sign Language as well as Intercultural Communication courses will be offered for VCU employees beginning the week of January 19, 2015 through the week of May 4, 2015 for 1 academic credit. You can find the schedule, course descriptions, faculty information, and registration instructions here. For more information, contact Eleanor Sharp in the Office of Continuing and Professional Education at esharp@vcu.eduor 828-8831.

Study Highlighted in PNAS Article

Christopher Stevenson, assistant professor in the School of World Studies, recently had his research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study was also highlighted in a recent article that describes his research and the development of new techniques that significantly changes the debate about human history and the demographic dynamics on Easter Island. You can find the article here. Read the abstract here. 

MLK Day Events and Service

VCU will host a full week of events that honor the life and legacy of Dr. King beginning Jan. 12. A week long, campus-wide drive will be held to collect items for those in need, including winter accessories and travel sized toiletries. All items will be donated to CARITAS and distributed to various community organizations. In addition, a panel discussion on Virginia and the Civil Rights Movement will take place on Friday, January 16 at noon in the Common Grounds of the Student Commons, featuring Henry L. Marsh, III, the First African-American Mayor of Richmond, Carmen F. Foster, Ed.D. and Jody L. Allen, Ph.D. Details are here.

Berglund Seminar Invitation

Each semester the Honors College invites faculty to participate in our Berglund Seminar Series. The purpose of the series is to present honors students with a variety of topics and interests at the University. It is also a great opportunity for faculty to highlight their research, practice for an upcoming conference, or spread the word about a course they'll be teaching. All seminars are held at the Honors College and are generally scheduled for 50 minutes. If you are interested in presenting please contact Kendall Hicks at You can view the Spring 2015 Berglund Schedule here

A Queer History of the Modern American Workplace

The Humanities Research Center Speaker series features Margot Canaday, Associate Professor of History at Princeton University and author of The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America. Margo will discuss her current research project, Perverse Ambitions, Deviant Careers: A Queer History of the Modern American Workplace on January 23rd at 3:30 pm, VCU Student Commons, Richmond Salons I-II.

Libraries Diversity Poster Series

In honor of February’s Black History Month, Women’s History Month in March and VCU’s year-round commitment to diversity, VCU Libraries again is expanding its Diversity Poster Series. Faculty and staff are invited to request a poster to hang in their offices or other public spaces on our campus using this form. Deadline for requesting posters is 10:00 p.m. Feb. 10, 2015. New to the series this year are posters on arts, music, STEM, entrepreneurship and other topics. View all the posters on their Flickr stream.

HRC Speaker Series: Jesus Escobar

The Humanities Research Center and the Department of Art History present Jesus Escobar, professor of Art History at Northwestern University, and 2014-15 Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Center on Wednesday, January 28 at 3:30 pm at the Valentine House. Jesus will give a talk titled Lost Madrid: The Royal Palace of the Spanish Habsburgs.

MFA's Visiting Writers Series

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Visiting Writers Series features Stephen Dunn (Lines of Defense) and Barbara Hurd (Putting an Ear to the Ground) on Thursday, January 29 at 7:00 pm in the Scott House, 909 W. Franklin Street. Free and open to the public. View the complete schedule.

Higher Education Advocacy Day

Higher Education Advocacy Day will be held Thursday, January 15. This is a joint initiative with the Faculty Senate of Virginia and the statewide American Association of University Professors. Activities will begin at the Theater Row Building, 730 E. Broad Street, 4th floor conference room. Contact the VCU organizers, Pat Cummins at or 804-536-0429 or Bob Andrews at or 804-512-9681 for the schedule and position paper. 

Communications Hall of Fame

Seven Virginia media professionals will be honored this spring at the 2015 Virginia Communications Hall of Fame event on Thursday, April 9, at the John Marshall Ballrooms in Richmond. The reception begins at 5:30 pm followed by the induction ceremony at 7 pm. The ceremony, hosted by the Roberston School, honors significant achievements in the fields of Virginia media. VCU News has the list of recipients.

Share Your News With The College

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:

James McCullough, professor in the Department of Psychology, recently co-authored a new book that provides the latest description and update of the Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy – a psychotherapy model that James developed during the 1970's for the treatment of chronic depression. The book, CBASP as a Distinctive Treatment for Persistent Depressive Disorder, was written with co-authors Elisabeth Schramm and J. Kim Penberthy and is the fifth text published by James on the psychotherapy model. Read more about James and his new book in VCU's December faculty and staff features 2014.

Alumni Spotlight:

Alumnus Kevin Ferris, BS Mass Communications ’83, has built a successful journalistic career, with 28 years as a writer and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and his freelance work appearing in the Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal. Kevin’s ability to expertly craft and share stories is owed in part to his start in the School of Mass Communications at VCU (now called the Robertson School of Media and Culture). Thinking back on his time as an undergraduate, he praises the practical nature of his courses and assignments, as well as the encouragement of professors who had experience in the industry. Read more about Kevin in an alumni profile on our website.

Student Spotlight:

Hossein Moradi Rekabdarkolaee, a Ph.D. student in Systems Modeling and Analysis, received recognition for the winning poster at the 2015 Psychiatric Society of Virginia Fall Conference. The poster, which he collaborated on with three others, was entitled "QTC Prolongation in Veterans with Heroin Dependence on Methadone Maintenance Treatment.

Upcoming CHS Events

• Jan 23: HRC Speaker Series: Perverse Ambitions, Deviant Careers: A Queer History of the Modern American Workplace
• Jan 28: HRC Speaker Series: Lost Madrid: The Royal Palace of the Spanish Habsburgs
Jan 29: Visiting Writers Series: Stephen Dunn & Barbara Hurd

Selected VCU Events

• Jan 11-13: INFORMS Computing Society Conference
• Jan 12: Spring Classes Begin
• Jan 16: Virginia and the Civil Rights Movement Panel Discussion
• Jan 19: Martin Luther King Day- University Closed
• Jan 27: VCU Men's Basketball vs George Washington

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The next newsletter is scheduled for Jan. 27, 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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