News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
March 18, 2014

Distinguished Faculty Awards

Dr. Rao has issued a call for nominations for VCU's Distinguished Faculty Awards Program. Since 1982, VCU has paid formal tribute at Convocation to members of the faculty who support VCU's mission with distinction. Each year, four professors receive awards in the areas of teaching, scholarship, service and overall excellence. Last year, Dr. Al Farrell from the Dep't. of Psychology received the University's Award of Excellence. Nominations should be sent to department chairs by Friday, March 28. Criteria and instructions for preparing your nominations can be obtained by clicking here.

MFA Program Celebrates 30 Years

The MFA in Creative Writing  program will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a reunion on Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5. Each day will consist of panel discussions, readings, and a reception. For a full schedule of events and a message from Greg Donovan, visit our blog. All alumni of the College are invited to a reception at the Scott House at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 4th. Selected alumni will read from their works. RSVPs to the reception can be sent to Bethanie Constant at

French Film Festival Returns!

Richmond’s French Film Festival celebrates its 20th Anniversary March 29 - April 1 with 12 new full-length films and 12 new shorts, including one world premiere. New to the festival this year is a three-day symposium March 26-28 titled French Film: Arts, Science and Technology at Work for Humanity sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Richard Lounsbery Foundation. For a lineup of this year's films and more details on the event visit VCU News.

Science, Technology, & Society Lecture

The Science, Technology, & Society Program presents a lecture on Meritocracy, Democracy, Technocracy: Understandings of Race and Gender in STEM Education with Amy Slaton on Wednesday, March 19 as part of the STS@VCU lecture series on Science Education, Past and Present. For more information and to add this event to your calendar, click here.

Dr. Worthington Honored

Everett Worthington, professor of counseling pychology , has been awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters degree by the Board of Regents of Pepperdine University recognizing his outstanding work as a Psychologist. He will also be Pepperdine's commencement speaker to the entire University on May 17. Congratulations Dr. Worthington!

Presidential Research Quest Funds

The College of Humanities and Sciences encourages faculty to apply for PeRQ (formerly known as PRIP and PRQF) grants. The goal of the PeRQ program is to afford all faculty internal funding opportunities to support new, emerging, or continuing research. To apply visit the PeRQ website for instructions, then submit the completed proposal by April 1st, 2014 5PM to Cecial Patrick in the Dean’s Office via email (

Africana Film Series: Caribbean

The next screening in the Africana Film Series, focusing on the Caribbean, is Grenada: Nobody's Backyard, hosted by Dr. James Pope on March 20 at 5:00 p.m. in the Commons Commonwealth Ballroom A. This film documents Grenada's First Anniversary and the "plan for destabilization," including a series of interviews with Maurice Bishop, Cheddi Jagan, Isabel Letelier, Trevor Munroe and Philip Agee. Add this event to your calendar.

Additional Quest Grant Winner

We have additional recipients to include in our Quest Grant Winners announcement. Alexander Sutton, Sociology student and department assistant in the Wilder School, and Paula McMahon, ADA coordinator in the Division for Inclusive Excellence, were awarded a $40,000 grant for their VCU Accessibility Mapp project; a mobile app for students, faculty and staff to use for campus navigation and to report real time accessibility issues present throughout the campus. The project was a College sponsored venture. Congratulations Alexander and Paula!

Catholic Studies Lecture Series

The Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Catholic Studies Lecture is Wednesday, March 19 at 4 p.m. in the Commons Theater. Paul Raushenbush, senior religion editor at HuffingtonPost, will present Religion and the Internet. An ordained American Baptist minister, Rev. Raushenbush speaks and preaches at colleges, churches and institutes around the country. Add this event to your calendar.

More news . . . 

English: Two local authors win awards for young-adult books

Psychology: Are e-cigarettes a game changer?

History: Professor’s memoir details his civil rights activism and VCU’s roots

World Studies: Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality, and 21st Century Archaeology

The Robertson School: The real costs of the Netflix-Comcast deal

View photos from the 2014 Student Awards Night

Psychology:  Medication: The smart-pill oversell

World Studies: El Chapo Guzman's Patron Saints

Why Richmond is among world's top 14 places to visit

RVA Spring Science Events

'Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey'

Scientific Pride and Prejudice

UROP Poster Deadline Extended

Undergraduate Poster Symposium is a wonderful opportunity for students to present their research endeavors. Undergrads from every discipline are encouraged to present and attend. Projects involving creative work will be considered for acceptance if they are part of a scholarly project undertaken by the student. The submission deadline has been extended to March 21st, 2014. Learn more at the UROP blog.

CreateAthon Celebrates Seventh Year

CreateAthon at VCU marks its seventh year of providing marketing help to nonprofits in the Richmond area. A year ago, CreateAthon itself incorporated as a nonprofit, led by Peyton Rowe, associate professor of advertising in the Robertson School, and focused on spreading the creative marathon model to other organizations. This year's CreateAthon was held on March 13, you can view photos from the event on their Facebook page. Read more about CreataAthon in VCU News.

Health and Physical Activity Lecture

Scott Powers from the University of Florida will give a talk at the Annual Health and Physical Activity Lecture on March 19 at 6 p.m. in the Harris Hall Auditorium. His presentation is titled Exercise is Good Medicine. This event is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Performance. Add this event to your calendar. 

Staff Senate Walk-a-Thon April 10th

The Staff Senate is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Marquita Aguilar Scholarship Walk-A-thon! The Walk-A-thon will take place Thursday, April 10, 2014. You can register here. On April 9, the WVCW Radio Station will setup their equipment and have a table in Shafer Court (Compass Area) to promote the Walkathon.

Short Fiction Award Program

The Department of English presents the annual Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto Short Fiction Award Program featuring a joint reading by short story writer, Richard Bausch and the 2014 winner, author Adrian Dorris, on Thursday, March 20 at 7 p.m. in the Scott House. Dorris' award winning story, Of Rivers and Caves, was selected by the editors from fiction published in Blackbird in 2013. You can read the story here.
Add this event to your calendar.

Humanities Research Center Talk

The Humanities Research Center presents a talk featuring Nicole Horejsi, assistant professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, on March 18 at 2 p.m in Hibbs Room 308. The topic of her talk will be Tell us now thy last words: Rewriting Literary History in Clara Reeve’s Progress of Romance (1785). Add this event to your calendar.

Rob Tombes' Elske vP Smith Lecture

Both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on February 12, 1809 on opposite sides of the Atlantic under very different circumstances. Yet, both exhibited an innate curiosity that helped them become two of the most influential 19th century figures. To what extent did they appreciate each others’ work? Rob Tombes, professor of Biology, will discuss this at the annual Elske vP Smith lecture on March 25 at 4:00 p.m. in the Commons Theater. Add this event to your calendar.

APA Presentation

The Department of Psychology features a presentation by American Psychological Association leadership on March 28 from 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. in the Richmond Salons. The topic of the presentation will be The Changing Healthcare System: Implications for Professional Psychology Education and Practice. View the flier here. Please RSVP to Shaina Gulin ( by March 26. Add this event to your calendar here.

Annual Brown-Lyons Lecture

If God is all-good, all-powerful and all-knowing, why do the innocent suffer? Jack Spiro, Harry Lyons Professor of Judaic Culture in the School of World Studies, will consult the wisdom of Abraham, Job and philosopher Baruch Spinoza to reflect upon the timeless problem of evil at the annual Brown-Lyons lecture on March 27. Doors open at 7 p.m. A reception will follow the presentation. Registration requested. Learn more.

Faculty Spotlight:

Katherine Nash, assistant professor in the Department of English, has a new book titled, Feminist Narrative Ethics: Tacit Persuasion in Modernist Form. Her book examines rhetorical techniques that encourage readers to rethink their beliefs regarding women’s rights and ethics. She provides close readings of novels by Virginia Woolf, Dorothy L. Sayers, E.M. Forster and John Cowper Powys. Read more at VCU news.

Faculty Spotlight:

Amanda Dickinson, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, was awarded a $700,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her research on Pulling the Mouth Open: Coordinating orofacial tissue growth and epithelial integrity to form the embryonic mouth. CAREER awards are the most prestigious awards a young investigator can win at the NSF. This award will provide Amanda the resources to move ahead with her research on integrated organismal systems, in addition to enabling her to engage students with her passion for developmental biology.

Student Spotlight:

George Pottanat, an Applied Mathematics major, Chemistry minor, and da Vinci center participant, recently took part in a software and hardware hackathon called HackNC in North Carolina. Along with three other team members from VCU, he created a product called Lecture Buddy, which won the following awards: Best Use of Google Tech (awarded by Google), Best Education Tool, and 2nd Place overall out of 50 teams and 200+ students from the East Coast. The team's success is further evidence that VCU students from across the university have that entrepreneurial spirit. A nice photo of the VCU team can be found here. Congratulations!

Upcoming CHS Events

• Mar. 18: Forensic Science Seminar Series
• Mar. 18: Chemistry Seminar Series
• Mar. 18: Humanities Research Center Talk
• Mar. 19: Annual Health and Physical Activity Lecture
• Mar. 19: Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Catholic Studies Lecture Series
• Mar. 19: Science, Technology, and Society Lecture
• Mar. 20: Short Fiction Award Program
• Mar. 21: Social Psychology Under Discussion Research Talks
• Mar. 24: Biology Seminar Series
• Mar. 27: 29th Annual Brown-Lyons Lecture
• Mar. 28: Philosophy Lecture:Arguing for Vegetarianism
• Mar. 28: APA Presentation

Selected VCU Events

• Mar. 18: Scalawag: A White Southerner's Journey Through Segregation to Human Rights Activism
• Mar. 21: VCU Men's Basketball vs. Stephen F. Austin State
• Mar. 22: Guest Artist: Prestige Clarinet Quartet
• Mar. 27: 29th Annual Brown-Lyons Lecture: Shall Not the Judge of All the Earth Do Justly? (Genesis 18.23)

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The next newsletter is scheduled for April 01, 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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