News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
March 24, 2015

Nominations Sought for Faculty & Staff Awards

President Rao has issued an annual call for nominations for the Distinguished Faculty Awards Program and the President's Awards for Staff and Administrative & Professional faculty.

Each year, four professors receive Distinguished Faculty Awards in the areas of teaching, scholarship, service and overall excellence. Nominations should be sent to faculty member's department chair by Wednesday, April 8.

In addition, staff and A&P faculty are eligible for The President’s Award of Excellence, which recognizes one exceptional person for his or her contributions to VCU throughout his or her career, the President’s Outstanding Achievement Award, and the President's Service Excellence Award.

Criteria and instructions for these awards can be found here.

World Studies Faculty Granted Quest Global Impact Awards

School of World Studies faculty Bernard Means, Tony Brinckwirth and Anita Nadal recently received Quest Global Impact awards. Bernard's proposal, Building a Virtual and Real Exhibit of India’s Past, will formalize a partnership with HNB Garwhal University located in northeast India involving 3D scanning of artifacts. Tony and Anita's proposal, Language and Cultural Competency Training for VCU Healthcare Students, will make virtual connections with healthcare students and workers here at VCU and in Spanish-speaking Latin American countries.

Town Hall on Accessibility

A town hall meeting on accessibility will be held on Thursday, April 2 from 1:00-4:00 pm in Virginia Rooms C and D of the Student Commons. Refreshments will be served. Session details are available upon request. This event is open to anyone who wishes to attend but an An RSVP is requested. View the flyer for details.

Bridging the Diaspora Panel & Civil War Lecture

A panel on Bridging the African Diaspora will be held Thursday, March 26 at the Academic Learning Commons, Room 1102. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, professor of history at Norfolk State University, will give a lecture on the Civil War titled, Commemorating the Fall of Richmond and Beginning of Emancipation on Wednesday, April 1 at 5:30 pm in Room 101 of Harris Hall. Both events are presented by the African American Studies Department and Community Engagement Office.

"Sanctuary" to Open for the Formerly Incarcerated

Sanctuary, a place for formerly incarcerated people to continue to learn and create, will open its doors on Friday March 27, from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at 101 W. Broad Street. Liz Canfield, assistant professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and a founder of the new program, says Sanctuary will "provide GED tutoring and Career Readiness Certification along with art therapy, writing classes, web design, screen printing, yoga and so much more!" The program, an expansion of Open Minds, was recently featured on the show, Community Conversations on Recovery. Read more at the Commonwealth Times.

Leadership Council Fundraiser

The Student Leadership Council for the College are holding a fundraiser from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, March 26, at the Panera Bread bakery-cafe on 810 W. Grace Street. Please bring this flyer when you dine and Panera will donate a portion of the proceeds from your purchase to the Leadership Council.

Faculty Council Research Grants

The Faculty Council of the College of Humanities & Sciences is offering a limited number of competitive grants ($500-$1000) for full-time Faculty in the College. Preference will be given to applicants who have no other financial sources and for whom funds will make a positive difference in their scholarship and/or lead to future external funding proposals. Applications must be completed on this one-page form and electronically submitted as an attachment to Dr. Joseph Turner, President of the H&S Faculty Council, at, by April 1.

American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism

Juliane Hammer (UNC) will speak about her recent book, American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism: More Than a Prayer, on Thursday, March 26 at 3:30 pm at Grace E. Harris Hall, Room 101. Presented by the Humanities Research Center Speaker Series.

Rescheduled: Environmental History & Sustainability Lecture

Tarynn Witten, associate professor in the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, will give a lecture titled Is It Complicated or Is It Complex? A Complexity Theorist Takes On Sustainability on Friday, March 27 at the Academic Learning Commons, Room 1105, 4:00-5:30 pm. Presented by the Science, Technology, and Society program. More information here.

More News . . .

Physics: Dr. Puru Jena discusses research on Superhalogens and Li-ion Batteries. [VIDEO]

Psychology: Mark Morris: Forgiveness is harder in practice than in theory

Fixed in a Snap; Rams Fulfill Promise to Fallen Star

View photos from the 2015 A-10 Championship Game. Congrats to our RAMS!!

World Studies: Violence in Mexico likely to continue despite arrest of drug kingpins. Expert quote from VCU Professor.

Robertson School: Students learn what it takes to work at a news station at career day

Political Science: Has Obama delivered the ‘most transparent’ administration in history?

View photos from the School of World Studies' Anthropology Day.

Robertson School: Capital News Service has students' backs covered (in a T-shirt)

Psychology: VCU experts, colleagues explain dangers of hookah smoking

VCU Town Hall Recap: Capacity crowd attends diversity and inclusion town hall session

VCU hosts College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational

Women in the Early Christian World

The 22nd annual William E. and Miriam S. Blake Lecture in the History of Christianity will be held Wednesday, April 1 at 7:30 pm at the Grace Street Theater. This year's speaker is Kate Cooper, a professor of Ancient History at the University of Manchester. Professor Cooper will discuss women in the early Christian world. View the flyer here.

Student Awards Night April 6

Faculty are encouraged to attend our 2015 Student Awards Night to honor the academic achievements of students from your school, department or program. The ceremony is on Monday, April 6 at 7 pm in the Commonwealth Ballrooms of the Student Commons.

38th Annual Mary Kapp Lecture

The annual Mary E. Kapp Lecture in Chemistry brings a chemist of international reputation to the department for a two-day visit. This year's lecture, to be held on Tuesday, April 7 at 6:15 pm in Room 2201 of the Academic Learning Commons, features Dr. James M. Mayer of Yale University. This lecture honors Mary Kapp, the first chairperson of the department, who guided the department through its formative years. View the flyer.

Evolution in Museums Talk

Karen Rader, associate professor in the Department of History, will give a talk titled, Evolution in Museums: A History of a Science Controversy, this Thursday, March 26 at The Camel; 1621 W. Broad Street. Karen will discuss her recent research on museum displays in science and natural history museums. This event is one of three programs to be held in partnership with Science Pub RVA and Chesterfield County Public Library, host of the Smithsonian's Human Origins Program's traveling exhibit from March 31 to April 27. View the event page here.

Festival of Religion and the Arts

The Marcia Powell Festival of Religion and The Arts will be held Thursday, April 9 through Saturday, April 12. The festival celebrates and explores the generative nexus of religious life and artistic expression. Events begin at 5:00 pm on April 9 and continue on Friday and Saturday with panels and speakers throughout the day. Sunday will conclude with brunch and a bus tour.
Visit the website here.

11th Annual Walk-A-Thon

The 11th Annual Marquita Aguilar Walk-A-Thon will be held on Thursday, April 16 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm. The WRIC 8News team will be present along with community partners. The Walk-A-Thon raises funds for the Virginia’s Caring University Scholarship, an undergraduate award for juniors and seniors in financial need. Register and donate here.

Summer Course on the River

Footprints on the James is now accepting applications for the 2015 class. Students of all disciplines are encouraged to apply. The course is designed to expose students to the importance of the James River watershed to the residents of Virginia in the present, past and future. Faculty who would like to share this course with students can find more information here.

Share Your News With The College

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:

Scott Gronert, chair of the Department of Chemistry, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholar award to work with researchers in France on a new process that could help surgeons more accurately remove cancerous cells. The award, which is for 18,200 euros and will last from January 1 to July 15 of next year, is from the Fulbright Scholar program of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

"Dr. Gronert's award is a spectacular example of the program," said Dean Jim Coleman. "Not only will this award facilitate collaboration between Dr. Gronert with Drs. Fournier and Salzet, deepening their respective research programs and leveraging different scientific approaches, it will also facilitate institutional connections between VCU and the Lille University that potentially will increase opportunities for faculty and students across the university." Read more at VCU News.

Staff Spotlight:

Kathleen Murphy, administrative coordinator in the Department of History, has been with the College for over 10 years. She believes the best part of her department is the great people she gets to work with every day. Kathleen came to VCU in the Fall of 2004 from Stanford University in California. When not at VCU, you can often find her at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts relaxing or whipping up something tasty in her kitchen. On weekends, she dances with the Rhythm and Motion class at the Richmond Ballet. She travels whenever possible, taking trips that combine her love of photography and hiking as well as enjoying museums and restaurants. Read more about Kathleen at our website.

Alumni Spotlight:

Derick Rivers, M.S. Mathematical Sciences ’09 and Ph.D. Statistical Sciences and Operations Research ’14, enjoyed a number of teaching positions during the time he pursued his graduate education, but his next position with the Food and Drug Administration will give him the opportunity to educate an entire nation. After enjoying much success in mathematics education, Derick knew that he wanted to hone his skills in his core subject and enrolled at VCU to pursue a doctorate in the Department of Statistical Sciences and Research Operations. “I did not want to look back and regret that I did not try.” Read more about Derick at our website.

Upcoming H&S Events

• Mar 26: Chemistry Seminar
• Mar 26: American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism: More Than a Prayer
• Mar 26: Bridging the Diaspora Panel
• Mar 27Is It Complicated or Is It Complex? A Complexity Theorist Takes On Sustainability
• Mar 30: Positive Psychology Research Group Speaker Series
• Mar 30: Biology Seminar Series
• Mar 31: Chemistry Seminar
• Apr 1Commemorating the Fall of Richmond and Beginning of Emancipation
• Apr 1Annual Blake Lecture in History of Christianity
• Apr 2: Chemistry Seminar
• Apr 6: Positive Psychology Research Group
• Apr 6: CHS Annual Student Awards Nigh
• Apr 7: Chemistry Seminar
• Apr 7: 38th Annual Mary Kapp Lecture

*See the complete calendar*

Selected VCU Events

• Mar 24: 'Fear 2 Freedom'
• Mar 26: 30th Annual Brown-Lyons Lecture
• Mar 26-29: 23rd French Film Festival

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The next newsletter is scheduled for April 7, 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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