News and Events for VCUCHS Faculty and Staff
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
June 10, 2014
Footprints on the James

HHP Now Kinesiology and Health Sciences

The Department of Health and Human Performance has a new name: the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences! Chair Ed Acevedo explains, "For more than 20 years academic units that study physical activity and health have used the term Kinesiology. Furthermore, our department has added a concentration in Health Science to meet the needs of students interested in broader opportunities in the healthcare arena. Our new name will be more consistent with what we teach and study in our academic unit." Their website is now

Everhart Selected as Faculty Fellow

Robin Everhart, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, has been selected as one of the 2014-2015 VCU Service-Learning Faculty Fellows. She was selected from a competitive pool of faculty member applicants based on past involvement in service-learning and community-engagement as well as her proposed plan for enhancing her community-engaged teaching, scholarship and service during the fellowship year. Congratulations Robin!

VCU News Seeks Faculty Experts

University Public Affairs is updating VCU's faculty expert guide, which reporters can use to find experts to provide context, insight, comments, etc., for their stories. Are you listed? If you aren't listed, would you like to be? If so, please send your job title, a short bio, a headshot photo and area of expertise (including names of any relevant books or scholarly articles) to Brian McNeill, Public Relations Specialist, at

Reading Group: Religion and the Arts

A new reading group will be offered this fall with a focus on Religion and the Arts, beginning with Wassily Kandinsky's classic Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1912) and then going on to discuss more recent studies of this subject that build on and depart from Kandinsky's approach. This reading group will function in part as a preparation for the festival on Religion and the Arts that will take place in April 2015. Clifford Edwards will serve as group leader. Please contact him at if you are interested in joining this group.

Vonesh Awarded Fulbright Grant

James Vonesh, associate professor in the Department of Biology, has been selected to receive a 2014 – 2015 Fulbright grant to conduct work in Sub-Saharan Africa. The grant is presented by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), sponsor of the Fulbright Program

Revealing Crime Scene Clues

Baneshwar Singh, a forensic entomologist and assistant professor in the Department of Forensic Science, was recently featured in a VCU News article titled How insects and microbes reveal crime scene clues. Singh discussed his work using insect samples to develop tools that estimate the time since death of a corpse, also known as post mortem interval (PMI). “Ultimately, our goal is to develop a real-time PCR[SO1] [SO2] -based kit so that within two hours any crime lab or medical examiner’s office can estimate how old the body has been in the state of decomposition,” said Singh. Read more at VCU News.

More news . . .

President's Post: The halfway point of Quest – and beyond

English: Virginians remember Angelou’s talent, generosity

World Studies: Making History

Biology: Presenting Rice Rivers Center research

Robertson School: VCU Students’ Documentary Shines Light on RVA Drag Scene

View the latest photos from the Footprints on the James course!

Psychology: Few women at high risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer are receiving recommended genetic counseling

World Studies: Pope Francis Joins the 'Samba School' of Charismatic Catholicism

English: Announcing the 2014 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Finalists

Why Science and Philosophy Need Each Other

Who Gets to Graduate?

Reconciling Science and the Humanities

Richmond Symphony and VCU School of the Arts announce new partnership

Political Science Congratulates Two

From the Political Science Facebook page: "Congratulations to Professor Faedah Totah on the publication of her new book, Preserving the Old City of Damascus, from Syracuse University Press! And congratulations to Professor Herb Hirsch on the publication of Issue # 1 of his new journal, Genocide Studies International!"

Verelli Leads Group in South Africa

Students and faculty are currently studying human evolution and social history in South Africa. The group is led by Amy Rector Verrelli, assistant professor in the School of World Studies. The summer program, Human Evolution & Legacy in South Africa, is a partnership of The Global Education Office and the School of World Studies along with the Department of Biology. The trip runs from May 12  - June 18, 2014. You can follow their adventure on Twitter - #VCUinSA14.

Help Us Spread the Word!

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!

In Memorium:

Dr. Lawrence Winters, former Chair of the Department of Chemistry at VCU, passed away June 1, 2014. Dr. Winters’ specialization was organic chemistry, and he had a passion for teaching. He was instrumental in the growth of chemistry into one of VCU’s largest undergraduate majors and a highly respected research department. He joined VCU in 1972, and served as chair from 1972-83 and 1988-95, retiring in 1996. He is survived by his wife, Honora Ann Murphy, three children and nine grandchildren. Read more about Dr. Winters at VCU News.

Alumni Spotlight:

Daniel Brisker, who graduated in 2009 with an undergraduate degree in biology from VCU, was featured in a New York Times article on graduate degrees that combine science knowledge with business skills. “I wanted to expand my career horizon,” said Mr. Brisker “but I needed skills like project management to be able to expand into bioinformatics, where computers are used to process biological information, or environmental areas like plant growth.” Read the article here.

Student Spotlight:

Jamal Aldajaei began his pursuit of a graduate degree nearly three decades ago in Iraq. He was forced to flee when he refused to pledge allegiance to a political party that used torture and imprisonment as submission tactics. Now, approximately three decades later than expected, Aldajaei finally has his Ph.D. in chemistry, earned this past semester. Though the process has been painful and filled with frustration and doubt, he succeeded anyway with his family's strength and support. Read more about his inspiring story at VCU News.

Upcoming CHS Events

No events currently scheduled.

Selected VCU Events

• June 11: War of the Worlds: A Live Broadcast from Lotus Land
• June 14: 12th Annual Moonlight Magic
• June 18: Shadow Play: Theater + Music by Gamelan Raga Kusuma
• June 19: Fatty Liver Disease: More Prevalent in Children
• June 21: Multiples Family Day at Kings Dominion

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The next newsletter is scheduled for June 24, 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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