News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
November 25, 2014

Faculty Council Update

Faculty Council has a busy agenda this year. Faculty Council are reviewing and updating the College's bylaws this year, and will continue to review Departmental bylaw changes. They will also be considering topics to include: SACS reaccreditation and the revised QEP, the concept of shared governance, the proposed revisions to VCU's budget model, and the potential of using ePortfolios as an assessment tool in the College. If you have suggestions or concerns regarding the College's Bylaws, please email Sarah Seashols-Williams at before December 9. Visit their webpage for meeting dates, minutes, and more.

HAS Website Redesigned

The College's website has a new look! Our updated website will feature recent news and upcoming events, as well as departmental information in a new, accessible format. View the faculty and staff homepage here. If you find information that needs to be updated or broken links, please email Gregg Johnson at

Quest Global Impact Awards

The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Global Education Office have recently announced the 2015-16 cycle of the Quest Global Impact Awards. Anticipated award amounts may be up to $20,000 for a 1-year project. The online submission form will be available on December 15. Award selections will be announced no later than March 3, 2015. More information can be found here. 

Home Again Family Donations

The Staff Council recently delivered a gift-wrapped Holiday Box for each department for the purpose of collecting items for our chosen homeless family this year through the organization Home Again. Their mission is to assist homeless families and individuals in metro Richmond by providing emergency and transitional shelter. You can view the family's requested gift items here. View Home Again's Holiday Hope flyer here. 

Donations for VCU Family in Need

In addition to the College's sponsored Home Again family, an employee in the College has a son living in Texas whose family has survived a hurricane but they unfortunately lost all of their possessions. During this holiday season, the College will be collecting monetary donations and gift cards to help this family through a difficult period. Read more about their story here. For questions contact Michelle Wilde at

Jason Merrick Wins National Award

Jason Merrick, professor in the Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research, was awarded the Prize for the Teaching of Operations Research/ Management Sciences Practice by The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) at their annual meeting last week. INFORMS is the largest society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research, management science, and analytics. A description of the award can be found here.

RamTech Faculty & Staff Appreciation Week

RamTech at VCU will be holding a faculty & staff appreciation week December 1 - 5. The week-long event will include deals on Apple and Dell accessories plus a complimentary gift with each purchase. View the flyer here for additional items and details.

Diploma Ceremonies & Receptions

Commencement will be held on Saturday, December 13. The schedule of our Departmental Diploma Ceremonies can be found here. Visit the College's Google calendar to add individual ceremonies to your calendar. More graduation information can be found at VCU's Commencement website.

New Book By Psychology Professor

A new book co-authored by Faye Belgrave, professor and doctoral student in the Department of Psychology, explores how to best help African-American boys succeed. The book, African American Boys: Identity, Culture, and Development, comes five years after Faye authored a similar book focused on African-American girls titled African American Girls: Reframing Perceptions and Changing Experiences. Read more about Faye's work at VCU News.

More news . . .

Researchers and students share ideas at TEDxVCU

Kinesiology & Health Sciences: Can You Actually Train Your Waist To Shed Inches?

Physics: Research team uses gold nanoparticles to improve molecular sensing

English: The Perils Of Political Poetry

Psychology: Scholarly Reflections on VAPE - Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year for 2014

World Studies: World Studies Media Center to offer international pen-pals

View photos from the John B. Fenn Memorial Lecture

Psychology: Learn about a new hope-focused technique to maintaining a healthy relationship

African American Studies & Political Science: VCU grad crowned Miss Maryland USA

World Studies: Pentecostal churches becoming a draw for Hispanic Catholics seeking a ‘spiritual awakening’

Psychology: Community-engaged research, community-engaged university


In Case You Missed It . . .

Science, Technology & Society: Environmental History and Sustainability Lecture [VIDEO]

'What's In a Name? IS, ISIS, ISIL, or Daish in the New Middle East' Roundtable Discussion [VIDEO]

Anthropology Speaker Series: Dying Language, EndangeredFamily: How Ancestral VoicesKeep Kinship Alive inthe Garifuna Nation [VIDEO]

Anthropology Speaker Series

The last Anthropology lecture for fall semester will be held on Wednesday, December 5 at 3:00 pm in the Student Commons Theater. Terri Simmons-Ehrhardt, instructor in the School of World Studies, will present a talk titled CT Scans and Unidentified Human Remains. View the Anthropology Speaker Series schedule here.

NIH Grant to Host Symposium

Dr. Mignonne Guy, Assistant Professor in African American Studies, in collaboration with VCU's Division for Health Sciences Diversity, was awarded a National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) training grant subcontract to host the Symposium on Health Equity and Interprofessional Practice: Increasing the Pipeline of Underrepresented Students to Level the Playing Field for the Medically Underserved. This subcontract is supported by the Baylor College of Medicine. The symposium will be held at VCU during the last week of February 2015.

Using Magnets to Reduce Concussions

An associate professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology in the School of Medicine, Ray Colello, is investigating using magnets in helmets to reduce impact force on athletes' skulls. After receiving a grant from the VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund award, Dr. Colello approached Bernard Means, instructor of anthropology in the School of World Studies, on a specialized computer program to determine the exact measurements of a mold. VCU News has describes the interdisciplinary nature of this project and the roles played by the schools of Medicine, Engineering, Arts, the School of World Studies and VCU's Innovation Gateway. 

One Final Newsletter Before Break

If you news or an event coming up in January you have one last newsletter to announce it to the faculty and staff. 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!

Staff Spotlight:

Maria Rivera, associate professor in the Department of Biology, recently co-edited a new book titled, Metagenomics for Microbiology. The book aims to provide guidance on the best practices for metagenomics, which looks at genetic material recovered directly from environmental samples. "These findings have the potential to change how we understand health and disease and how we practice medicine," she said. Read more about Maria and her new book at VCU News. 

Faculty Spotlight:

Wendy Kliewer, chair of the Department of Psychology, has surveyed more than 300 low-income female caregivers in the Richmond area over the course of two years in an effort to learn how high levels of violence, noise, crowding and other stressful factors were affecting their ability to raise the children. She was recently interviewed by VCU News regarding the study. "Parenting is a very important job and stressful even when resources are plentiful. When you add economic strain and family stressors on top of the normal things that parents of adolescents have to deal with, it can be tough." Read more of the interview here.

Alumni Spotlight:

Doug Burford, Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture alumnus (M.C. ’65) and CEO/founder of Buford Advertising, has written an autobiography that traces his roots from VCU all the way to creating his own advertising company. The book was laid out in Word Press by Robertson School professor, Scott Sherman. It can be read in its entirety here.

Upcoming CHS Events

• Nov 25: Chemistry Graduate Student Seminar:  Wyatt Johnson
• Dec 01: Biology Seminar Series - Dr. Tony Stallins
• Dec 02: Chemistry Graduate Student Seminar: James Beaton
• Dec 04: STAT Seminar Series: Sparse Matrix Factorization
• Dec 04: Chemistry Honor Thesis Seminar
• Dec 05: STAT Seminar Series: Functional Data Analysis
• Dec 05: Anthropology Speakers Series: CT Scans and Unidentified Human Remains
• Dec 12: Graduation Reception Hosted by the College
• Dec 12: Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 12  LSEE (Liberal Studies in Early Elementary Education)
• Dec 12: Chemistry Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 12: Psychology Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 12: Kinesiology & Health Sciences Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13: Graduation Reception Hosted by the College
• Dec 13: History Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13  Mathematics and Applied Mathematics Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13  Physics Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13: School of World Studies Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13: Statistical Sciences and Operations Research Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13: Biology Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13: English Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13  Forensic Science Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13: African American Studies Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13: Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13: Philosophy Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13: Sociology Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13: Political Science Departmental Ceremony
• Dec 13: Science Departmental Ceremony

Selected VCU Events

• Nov 27-30: Thanksgiving Break
• Dec 4: Wilder Educational Symposium
• Dec 06:  VCU Men's Basketball vs UVA

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The next newsletter is scheduled for Dec. 9, 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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