News and Events for VCUH&S Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
January 27, 2015

Dr. Rao's State of VCU Address

Join President Rao for his second annual State of the University Address today, Jan. 27, in the University Student Commons, Richmond Salons. Doors will open at 1:30 pm. President Rao will discuss the ways in which VCU is distinctive among its national research university peers. As an example of the great things happening at VCU, he will highlight the work of Marquita Aguilar, Humanities and Sciences Director of the Great Place Initiative. Below is an excerpt from his speech:

"People like Marquita Aguilar, a beloved staff member in the College of Humanities and Sciences, whose personal investments and commitments to philanthropy have helped dozens of students who need help continue their education."

A Q&A will follow. A live webcast of the State of the University Address will be streamed on VCU’s homepage.

NASA Faculty Fellowship Program 

NASA John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is accepting applications from full-time, qualified STEM faculty for the summer 2015 NASA Glenn Faculty Fellowship Program (NGFFP). The application closes at 5:00 pm on Monday, February 23. Under-represented and under-served faculty members are encouraged to apply. For additional NGFFP information click here. You can find the application here.

Human Resources Diversity Seminar

VCU Human Resources will hold a Diversity Seminar, VCU Mosaic: Understanding and Appreciating Diversity at VCU, for VCU employees on Friday, January 30 in the HR Training Facility at 922 West Grace Street, Room 115, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. For more information, contact Karen Fields at or (804) 828-1687 or visit this link.

HRC Speaker Series: Jesús Escobar

The Humanities Research Center and the Department of Art History present Jesús 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.

New Book by Marcel Cornis-Pope

Marcel Cornis-Pope, director of the PhD program in the Department of English, has a new book, New Literary Hybrids in the Age of Multimedia Expression: Crossing Borders, Crossing Genres, that was just released. The essays in this volume emphasize the extent to which reading and writing technologies have enhanced sociality but also warn that as long as these technologies are used to reinforce old habits of reading/writing, they will deliver modest results. The book is currently in the office of Kathy Bassard, chair of the Department of English, for viewing - Hibbs Hall 306. You can also find it on

PACME Nominations Sought

Nominations are due by March 2 for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME). The awards honor individuals who have made significant contributions toward enhancing VCU's commitment to diversity. Each award winner will receive $500. In addition, one of the four recipients will be selected to receive the capstone award, the Riese-Melton award, for contributions made in advancing cross-cultural relations. More information here.

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.

More News . . .

Welcome Back Message from Dean Coleman

Sociology: Sociology Welcomes New Faculty Member–Tressie McMillan Cottom

Robertson School: Faces of 2014: Iraqi students in summer VCU program

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Biology: Undergraduate researchers present research findings on a national stage

Robertson School: #GreatGood: Ph.D. student’s research explores social media

Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies: Scholars and Activists Speak Out About Why ‘Black Life Matters’

Psychology: ADHD Drug Might Help Treat Binge-Eating Disorder, Study Suggests

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Political Science: Convicted Del. Joe Morrissey may get some work done for constituents

Biology: How Fish Talk

World Studies:  Saving the Past With 3D Printing: An Interview with the Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory

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16th Annual Darwin Day 

The 16th Annual Darwin Day will be held on Tuesday, February 3 at 11:00 am in the Commonwealth Ballrooms of the Student Commons. This year’s speaker is Robert E. Ricklefs, Ph.D., Evolutionary Ecologist. Ricklefs will discuss Darwin's Wedge Metaphor and The Development of Community Ecology. Organized by the Graduate Organization of Biology Students, the Graduate Student Association, and the Department of Biology.

Mathematics Colloquium: Patterns of Phase-Shift Synchrony

The Mathematics Colloquium Patterns of Phase-Shift Synchrony: From Animal Gaits to Binocular Rivalry, will be held on Friday, February 6 with speaker Martin Golubitsky, Ph.D., Director of the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at Ohio State University. Golubitsky's talk will discuss previous work on quadrupedal gaits and recent work on a model for binocular rivalry proposed by Hugh Wilson. View the flyer here.

Travel the World via Instagram with VCU Study Abroad Students

VCU has selected five students to follow on Instagram as they study abroad this semester in Jerusalem, England, Seoul, Morocco and rural South Korea. Four of the five students featured are from the College, including Jennifer Membreno, (@Jenxx94) and Lama Elsharif, (@Lama2.0) from the Political Science program, Garrick Danko, (@garrickdanko) from the Department of Biology, and Kyle Clyde, (@kyleclyde) from the Department of Psychology. Read the VCU News story here.

Meet VCU Author Antonio Espinoza

The Humanities Research Center Speaker series features G. Antonio Espinoza, Associate Professor of History and author of Education and the State in Modern Peru: Primary Schooling in Lima, 1821-1921 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) on February 4, 2015 at 7:30 pm in the Humanities Research Center, Seminar Room 201, Valentine House, 920 W. Franklin Street. This event is presented by the Humanities Research Center and VCU Libraries.

Title IX Training and Discussion 

As space allows, all H&S administrative/professional faculty, staff, and faculty will be invited to attend a Title IX training by Peter Lake on March 16 and March 17 in the Student Commons. Three sessions will be offered for three-hours each. Details to follow. Contact Anne Stratton at for more information.

Homecoming Parade February 28

VCU's Homecoming with be held on February 28 with events beginning on February 22. The 2014-2015 theme is Empire: A Golden State of Mind. The Homecoming Parade will take place on Saturday, February 28th at 1:00 pm. Please let us know if your department has any Homecoming activities planned. 

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 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:

Jennifer Johnson, chair and professor in the Department of Sociology, has co-authored a new article about the effects of pornography. The article, Pornography and the Male Sexual Script: An Analysis of Consumption and Sexual Relations, was published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Jennifer was featured in a recent interview with VCU News discussing her team's findings and what led her to research this topic. "Pornography is more than a personal choice related to speech, expression or sexuality. It is a global industry that trades on the bodies of men, women and children for profit." Read the full interview at VCU News

Staff Spotlight:

Michael Morris has worked in the Department of Chemistry as a stockroom assistant for two years. While Michael enjoys his duties, he feels the best part about his job is interacting with people. "I've enjoyed getting to know the TA’s through lab prep and the graduate students and faculty that come into the stockroom on a daily basis." He just finished his New Year’s Resolution of reading 52 books during 2014. He also enjoys homebrewing his own beer which he has been doing for about a year and a half. Read more about Michael in a profile on our website.

Alumni Spotlight:

Micah Risk, (Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science '07), is changing the way people eat with her business venture, a meal plan and curated grocery delivery service called Lighter. Micah was a student of nutrition at VCU in what is now known as the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences. She took a particular interest in the relationship between nutrition and chronic disease as well as accessibility to food programs and nutrition. “Working with Dr. Richardson and Dr. Bond at VCU changed the course of my life.” Micah was recently profiled on, and was also on the cover of Runner's World magazine.

Upcoming H&S Events

• Jan 27: Chemistry Seminar with Dr. Dayanjan Wijesinghe
• Jan 28: HRC Speaker Series: Lost Madrid: The Royal Palace of the Spanish Habsburgs
Jan 29: Visiting Writers Series: Stephen Dunn & Barbara Hurd
• Jan 29: Chemistry Seminar with Dr. Pablo G. Debenedetti
• Feb 02Biology Seminar Series
• Feb 02: Department of Psychology Leadership Forum with Dr. Rao
• Feb 0316th Annual Darwin Day
• Feb 04: Meet VCU's Authors: G. Antonio Espinoza
• Feb 06: Mathematics Colloquium: Patterns of Phase-Shift Synchrony - From Animal Gaits to Binocular Rivalry
• Feb 09Biology Seminar Series
• Feb 09Positive Psychology Research Group

Selected VCU Events

• Jan 27: VCU Men's Basketball vs George Washington
• Jan 27: State of the University Address
• Jan 30: 9th Annual HIGHER Ground Women's Leadership Conference
• Jan 31: VCU Men's Basketball vs Richmond
• Feb 03: 20th Annual Women & Wellness Forum Series to benefit VCU Massey Cancer Center
• Feb 10: 13th Annual Black History Month Lecture: Still Separate, Still Unequal

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The next newsletter is scheduled for Feb. 10, 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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