A podcast co-created by a faculty member in the Department of African American Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences is one of only three in the country to win funding from the NPR Story Lab, NPR’s idea hub that creates pilots for radio shows, launches new podcasts, and introduces new voices to the public radio network.
In the podcast, “Do Over,” Virginia Commonwealth University faculty member Chioke I’Anson, co-host Kelly Jones and producer Claire Tacon will tell stories of pivotal moments in people’s lives and explore what might have happened had they made a different decision.
The idea, I’Anson said, is for “Do Over” to examine the “real fake story of what your life would be like if you had made a different choice that one time.”
Photos by Allen Jones, University Marketing.
On Oct. 24, Virginia Commonwealth University will celebrate the grand opening of the Weil Institute of Emergency and Critical Care Research at VCU. The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the Hermes A. Kontos Medical Sciences Building first floor lobby, 1217 E. Marshall St.
Max Harry Weil, M.D., Ph.D., the founder of the specialty of critical care medicine, founded the institute. It is widely regarded as the premier basic science cardiopulmonary resuscitation research laboratory in the world, with staff performing research on a broad area of emergency medicine and critical care topics. Current research focuses on improving outcomes of CPR, circulatory shock, life-threatening heart failure, acute lung failure and overwhelming infections that produce septic shock. The institute is also making significant advances in life-sustaining medical technology.
“After a yearlong search for an academic medical partner at which to relocate, the institute’s board of advisors unanimously chose VCU as their new home based on the academic medical center’s excellent clinical and resuscitation program,” said institute director Wanchun Tang, M.D.
VCU School of Dentistry students, faculty and staff volunteer at the Wise County Fairgrounds as part of the Virginia Dental Health Foundation’s Missions of Mercy Project, an initiative to provide dental care for uninsured and underserved populations of rural Virginia.
The Corporation for National and Community Service named Virginia Commonwealth University a finalist for the 2015 General Community Service Presidential Award, recognizing the university as one of the top higher education institutions in the country for its commitment to community engagement.
VCU was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the ninth consecutive time, but this marked the first time that VCU earned finalist recognition. VCU was one of four finalists in the General Community Service category. The honor, which was announced in September, covers service during the 2013–14 academic year and represents one of the highest acknowledgements a college or university can receive for its community engagement endeavors.
Jayanta Jenkins speaks during the Brandcenter Friday Forum at the University Student Commons Theater.
Photos by Pat Kane/University Public Affairs
When Jayanta Jenkins (B.F.A.’94/A) joined Twitter six weeks ago as its global group creative director — the company’s highest creative role — one thing became immediately clear.
“We need to take the hashtag back,” said Jenkins, a VCU School of the Arts alumnus who delivered the VCU Brandcenter’s Friday Forum lecture last week. “Twitter has some things that it gave to the world that I think brands have taken for granted and other platforms have basically misused. Twitter was the brand that put [the hashtag] into the world.”
Before joining Twitter, Jenkins served as global creative director of advertising at Apple/Beats by Dre. He began his career as an art director at the Martin Agency before going on to senior roles at Wieden & Kennedy and TBWA/Chiat/Day.
Photos by Julia Rendleman/University Marketing
More than 100 chairs were pulled close to tables and the volume of conversation pitched upward as the Virginia Commonwealth University community delved into the first of several challenging conversations at the President’s Forum on Social Justice.
Three sessions attracting approximately 500 students, faculty and staff were held in the Commonwealth Ballrooms in the University Student Commons on Thursday.
“We need to continue to hold ourselves accountable and be responsible for ensuring that VCU is everything we say that we want it to be,” Rao told the group. “Climate is really about all of us, how we all take a step forward and lead. All of you have significant input.”
Research Unlimited co-founder Michell Pope (center) works with interns Mattiecemaria Greene (left) and Victoria Williams (right), both undergraduates at VCU.
Photo by Allen Jones, University Marketing.
As doctoral students in the Department of Psychology in Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Humanities and Sciences, Michell Pope (B.S.’09/H&S; M.S.’12/H&S; Ph.D.’15/H&S), Ph.D., and Jasmine Abrams (M.S.’12/H&S; Ph.D.’15/H&S), Ph.D., launched Research Unlimited, a fast-growing Richmond-area startup that designs and conducts research studies for nonprofit organizations and also recruits research study and clinical trial participants, particularly those in minority communities.
A key component of the company’s early success, Pope said, has been its ability to hire VCU students and recent graduates as employees and interns.
“We have hired recent VCU graduates as consultants and we have a couple of VCU student interns who are working for us. The training these students received at VCU has been really valuable to us,” she said. “Because VCU has such a great training program, the students who come out of there are not only familiar with research, they have great writing skills, they are very tech savvy, they have a good grasp of social media and they’re familiar with Richmond, its culture and its community. That’s all really important to us as a company.”
Research Unlimited is one of a growing number of startups launched by VCU students over the past two years that have gone on to hire other VCU students and recent graduates.
Siddharth Hariharan with “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek.
A week before moving to Richmond to start medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University, Siddharth Hariharan was in Los Angeles to test his knowledge in another high-stakes environment. The first-year VCU School of Medicine student competed on three episodes of “Jeopardy!” in July. The episodes aired in mid-September.
“For the first few days after it aired I felt like a celebrity on campus,” Hariharan said. “Now that everyone has seen the episodes they all greet me much more friendlily.”
Students from VCU and other universities tackled challenging medical needs at the first HealthHacks.
Students from Virginia Commonwealth University and other universities spent 24 hours finding solutions to unmet medical needs at VCU’s first medical hackathon, HealthHacks, Oct. 1-2. A hackathon is a brief, intense period of innovation during which teams work collaboratively to solve computer science-related problems. A medical hackathon is similar in structure to a traditional hackathon, but the focus is on solving unmet medical needs in addition to computer programming-related problems.
“HealthHacks began with ‘problem – opportunity’ statements presented on addressing unmet clinical needs,” said L. Franklin Bost, director of the VCU Institute for Engineering and Medicine and executive associate dean of the VCU School of Engineering, which hosted the event. “The event demonstrated that many viable solutions could be conceived and prototyped in a very short time by a focused team of dedicated individuals.”
Faye Belgrave, Ph.D., left, and Albert Farrell, Ph.D.
Two faculty members in the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences have been promoted to the prestigious ranks of University and Commonwealth professors.
VCU has promoted Faye Belgrave, Ph.D., professor of health psychology and social psychology and director of the Center for Cultural Experiences in Prevention, to University Professor, and Albert Farrell, Ph.D., professor of clinical psychology and director of the VCU Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development, to Commonwealth Professor.
Faculty members nominated for University Professor must either teach or conduct research that crosses discipline boundaries. These individuals must have an established prominence in multiple fields of study, with national or international recognition in at least one field of study.
Education coach Camille Spencer, a senior environmental studies major, helps ACE-IT participant Sarah Lancaster study and work on astronomy homework.
Photos by Brian McNeill, University Public Affairs
Ever since he was in middle school in Chesterfield County, Teddy Robbins dreamed of one day getting the opportunity to attend college. But Robbins was enrolled in special education classes in middle and high school, so he figured his chances of getting into college weren’t great.
“I’d always wanted to go to college,” he said, “but I didn’t think it was going to ever happen.”
During his senior year of high school, however, Robbins heard about a program at Virginia Commonwealth University, called ACE-IT in College, that provides students with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to attend classes at VCU, work in a job and participate in all aspects of the college experience.
“I feel great about being at VCU. I’m really enjoying my time here,” said Robbins, who is taking courses this fall on forensic science, choral arts and LGBTQIA studies.