VCU alumni make Style Weekly Top 40 list

Style Weekly’s Annual Top 40 Under 40 list recognizes extraordinary young people who are changing the Richmond community through the hard work they exhibit within their respective professions. VCU Alumni is happy to announce several familiar faces making the list this year. Among the other 40 game changers in the 2014 ranking, included were a total of 12 alumni from Virginia Commonwealth University! Way to go rams!

Here are the VCU alumni who were recognized in the ranking:

  • Sarah Scarbrough (Cert.’07/H&S; Ph.D.’12/GPA) Internal Program Director, Richmond Sheriff’s Office
  • Charles Samuels (B.S.’77/B) Lawyer and City Council President
  • Sterling Hundley (B.F.A.’98/A) Illustrator, Associate Professor, VCU
  • Josh Epperson (B.S.’05/H&S) Co-Founder, Feast RVA
  • Anne Darby (B.F.A.’05/A; M.U.R.P.’08/GPA) Senior Planner, Richmond Regional Planning District Commission
  • Misty Johnson (B.A.’97/A) Care Coordinator, Virginia Department of Health
  • Travis Croxton (M.S.’01/B) Restaurant Co-Owner, Merroir, Rappahannock, Graffiato Richmond and more
  • Amy Menefee (B.S.’99/B) Senior Manager, Keiter. Co-Founder, Charitable Souls Foundation
  • Dr. Brent Rusnak (D.D.S.’04/D) Owner, Rusnak Family Dentistry
  • Bryan Laughlin (B.S.’02/E) Lead Pastor, Remnant Church
  • Dr. Mark Ryan (M.D.’00/M; H.S.’03/M) Physician at VCU Health System; Assistant Professor, VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
  • Erin Thomas-Foley (B.I.S.’05/H&S) Director of Education, SPARC

See the complete list at StyleWeekly.com.

Arts: ICA gallery named for arts leader Bev Reynolds

Arts Bev Reynolds

Bev Reynolds

Virginia Commonwealth University announced the naming of the first-floor gallery in the Markel Center of the Institute for Contemporary Arts in honor of Beverly W. Reynolds, a longtime VCU School of the Arts advocate and a passionate leader in the arts.

“It is appropriate and wonderful that one of the most prominent spaces in the ICA be named for Bev Reynolds, one of the most prominent supporters of the arts in our city’s history,” VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., said. “Bev has been a catalyst in bringing innovative and inspiring works of art to Richmond for many years, and her impact on the campaign for the ICA has been just as profound. Her generosity, vision and spirit have inspired so many others, and I am proud that her transformative and indelible legacy will be permanently honored at the ICA.”

This lasting tribute to Reynolds was made possible by generous gifts to the ICA fundraising campaign in her honor from more than 80 donors and a recent significant contribution by her close friends, Harmon and George Logan of Charlottesville. Campaign co-chairs Pam and Bill Royall and ICA donors Carolyn and John Snow directed a portion of their gifts also be made in her honor, bringing the total gifts and pledges in Reynolds’ name to $3 million.

“There is no more fitting tribute to Bev Reynolds than the naming of the first-floor gallery of the ICA in her honor. It is just perfect. Bev, who has worked longer and harder than any other single person to make the VCU Institute for Contemporary Art a reality, has been the greatest source of inspiration to everyone involved in this important project,” said Pam Royall. “Her efforts on behalf of the ICA have reached VCUarts students and faculty, her clients and colleagues, friends, neighbors and family. In recognition of her tremendous personal commitment and ability to engage others, Bev will forever be linked to this very special and inspiring space.”

Nearly $33 million has been raised to date toward the ICA’s capital campaign goal of $35 million. An endowment campaign is ongoing.

“Bev’s extraordinary vision and leadership sparked this project nearly 15 years ago, and her tireless, quiet efforts behind the scenes have ensured the ICA would move from a dream to reality,” said ICA Director Lisa Freiman, Ph.D. “Our first-floor gallery has been named in Bev’s honor through the generosity of countless people who wanted to recognize the importance of Bev’s leadership in fostering a community that supports and enjoys contemporary art in Richmond. We are grateful to all of the donors who generously gave to this campaign.”

The ICA, expected to open in 2016, will be a noncollecting institution. It will initiate programming and collaborate with institutions around the world on traveling exhibits and events. Offerings will include art and design exhibits, lectures, film screenings, performances, educational experiences, children’s programs, artists’ residencies, symposia and community events and outreach efforts. ICA programming will be designed to engage the wider community and its events and programs will serve area audiences.

For more information about the ICA, please visit ica.vcu.edu.

VCU Alumni celebrates outstanding volunteers

service awardsVirginia Commonwealth University will honor a collection of its most dedicated and accomplished alumni at VCU Alumni’s Alumni Volunteer Service Awards celebration.

The awards celebrate alumni who have worked with particular devotion to serve the VCU community. VCU Alumni, an umbrella organization providing coordination and support for an alliance of alumni constituent organizations, presents the awards.

Recipients will be honored Oct. 24 at the Richmond Marriott. Each of the top award recipients will receive a handmade glass medallion featuring the VCU seal. Alumnus Sean Donlon (B.F.A.’12/A) crafted the medallion. Get more information and register to attend the event. 

Read more.

Pharmacy: Alumni to be honored at service awards event

In case you didn’t know … three of the 10 university alumni to be recognized at VCU Alumni’s 2014 Alumni Volunteer Service Awards are pharmacy graduates!

Many congratulations to …

  • B. Ellen Byrne (B.S.’77/P; D.D.S.’83/D; Ph.D.’91/M; H.S.’91/M),VCU Alumni Service Award. In addition to her School of Pharmacy degree, Byrne earned her D.D.S. degree in 1983 and a Ph.D. in pharmacology in 1991. The VCU Alumni Service Award is given a graduate who has made significant contributions to VCU Alumni.
  • Marianne R. Rollings (B.S.’63/P), MCV Alumni Association Outstanding Alumnus Award. The award is presented to an MCV Campus graduate who is nationally recognized and acknowledged by leaders in his or her profession as having made distinguished contributions to health care.
  • Alvin J. Schalow Jr. (B.S.’61/P), MCV Alumni Association Hodges-Kay Service Award. This award goes to MCV Campus graduates in recognition of their service to the MCV Alumni Association and participation in the activities of the association, their school and/or the university. The award was created in 1991 in recognition of longtime volunteers Frances Kay (B.S.’59/N) and the late Edward Hodges Jr. (D.D.S.’56/D).

Byrne, Rollings, Schalow and their fellow award recipients will be feted Oct. 24, beginning with a cocktail and dinner buffet at 5:30 p.m., at Richmond Marriott Hotel, 500 E. Broad St.

Purchase tickets to the awards event by Oct. 17. 

Find out the names of other 2014 winners. 

Athletics: All 31 VCU men’s basketball games to be broadcast on TV

Between local, regional and national networks, all 31 of VCU’s men’s basketball games this season will be broadcast on television.

The final seven regular-season games were picked up by Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, MASN and WTVR-CBS 6, the school announced Friday, completing the Rams’ slate.

Road games at Old Dominion and Illinois State will be carried on Comcast SportsNet Plus (CSN Plus) and SNY, while the home game against East Tennesse State will be carried on CSN Plus.

Read more and see the complete VCU 2014-2015 Men’s Basketball schedule at the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Arts: Professor prepares students and costumes for Broadway

costume_design1 artsIf you know Broadway, then you likely know the work of Toni-Leslie James.

Since her first Broadway musical in 1992, James — associate professor and director of costume design in the VCU Department of Theatre in the School of the Arts — has been a regular on the Great White Way, working as a costume designer on such standout shows as “Lucky Guy,” “The Scottsboro Boys,” “Footloose,” “Angels in America: Millenium Approaches & Perestroika” and “Jelly’s Last Jam,” among others. During that time, she has accumulated an astonishing list of honors, both on Broadway and elsewhere, most recently including a nomination for a Lucille Lortel Award in Outstanding Costume Design for her work on the off-Broadway production “Milk Like Sugar.”

James joined Theatre VCU in 2007, and she has eagerly shared her vast experience, as well as the attendant prestige and opportunity, with her students and colleagues during her tenure, including hiring them to work with her on productions.

“I have such a tremendous support system at VCU, which includes my students and my colleagues,” James said. “And I have a tremendous support system outside. That’s why the relationships that you build and the training that you give your students are so important. When they [graduate] and I hire them as assistants … they’re basically me. When I’m not in the theater, they’re me. And that’s an important responsibility.”

Read more.

Pharmacy: Yanchick golf tourney a success

The winning team! From left to right: Wayne Fentress (B.S.'68/P), Lenny Campbell, Tommy Thompson (B.S.'80/P) and Pete Taylor (B.S.'79/P).

The winning team! From left to right: Wayne Fentress (B.S.’68/P), Lenny Campbell, Tommy Thompson (B.S.’80/P) and Pete Taylor (B.S.’79/P).

The second Yanchick Invitational Golf Tournament took place Oct. 9 at the Golf Club at Brickshire in Providence Forge. The outing included breakfast, welcome bags, 18 holes of golf, drinks, an awards luncheon and great raffle prizes. All proceeds will benefit the VCU School of Pharmacy Scholarship Fund.

A big thank-you goes to all sponsors, golfers and student volunteers who supported the event. We look forward to seeing you out on the course next year!

Engineering: Introducing Third Thursdays

engineering kooziesThe VCU School of Engineering Alumni Board is excited to introduce Third Thursdays! Join fellow VCU School of Engineering alumni in Richmond on Thursday, Oct. 16, starting at 5 p.m. at Postbellum, 1323 W. Main St. Appetizers will be provided and guests are welcome to attend. We look forward to seeing you at this great networking opportunity!
 
Can’t make it this time? Look out for November’s Third Thursday in upcoming newsletters!
 
Questions? Contact Eleanor Shea, development coordinator, at eashea@vcu.edu or visit our Facebook page (you must log in to Facebook to access the page).

Arts: Creative platform

Creative_platform_news_90 ArtsMore than 100 years after its construction, a building that once served as a hub connecting Richmonders to the nearby town of Ashland is connecting not just people, but disciplines and ideas reaching all corners of academia.

The Depot at 814-816 W. Broad St. is the newest masterpiece of the VCU School of the Arts. It houses the school’s burgeoning interdisciplinary programs, which are a passion of its dean, Joe Seipel. The facility is a study in dualities, representing the past and the future, science and art, and technology and history.

Built in 1907 as a trolley station for the Richmond-Ashland Electric Line, the building originally had separate sides for “coloreds” and “whites.” The segregated waiting rooms upstairs now serve as classrooms for the school’s Creative Disruption Lab and the Creative Entrepreneurship Initiative, which provide exposure to resources, tools and techniques for budding student entrepreneurs interested in creating their own jobs.

Seipel always envisioned the entire second floor as a multidisciplinary, collaborative space, requiring teams to come together. Matt Woolman, executive director of entrepreneurship in the School of the Arts, sees it as a creative coworking space for a university.

Read more.

Pharmacy: Research and Career Day benefits students, alumni

Pharmacy alumni Angela Men (center) and Dwight Flammia (left, facing student) will serve as mentors to students again this year.

Pharmacy alumni Angela Men (Ph.D.’04/P; center) and Dwight Flammia (B.S.’93/H&S; Ph.D.’99/P; left, facing student) will serve as mentors to students again this year.

VCU School of Pharmacy’s 16th Annual Pharmaceutical Sciences Research and Career Day  brings together graduate students, postdocs, Pharm.D. students, faculty and alumni with the goals of networking, mentoring and developing student professionalism.

A number of alumni have volunteered their time to discuss their own career paths with students and to offer tips on job hunting and resume building. This year’s R&C Day takes place Oct. 17 at the Larrick Student Center; guest speaker will be Vijay Anne, medical affairs review officer and manager for Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.