VCU programs recognized among the best in updated U.S. News & World Report rankings

Several academic programs at Virginia Commonwealth University received top 50 rankings in the newest edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” released March 20. VCU now has graduate programs ranked in the top 50 in 19 fields, according to the publication.

Those with updated top 50 rankings in this year’s edition include Nuclear Engineering (No. 24), the School of Education (No. 26), the School of Social Work (No. 30), the School of Nursing (Master’s, No. 41; Doctor of Nursing Practice, No. 48), and the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs (No. 44).

To learn more about the newest rankings, visit Not all program areas receive updated rankings each year.

VCU researchers named Virginia’s Outstanding Scientists for 2018

M. Samy El-Shall, Ph.D.; and Arun Sanyal, M.D., at the 2018 Outstanding STEM Awards held at the Science Museum of Virginia.

Two Virginia Commonwealth University researchers were recognized Thursday as Virginia’s Outstanding Scientists for 2018 by Gov. Ralph Northam at the annual Outstanding STEM Awards held at the Science Museum of Virginia.

The awards, which have been presented by Virginia governors for more than 30 years, recognize individuals for their contributions in science, technology, engineering and math. Six were honored at Thursday’s event: three researchers for longtime contributions to their fields and three budding scientists.

“Celebrating the academic excellence and entrepreneurial spirit of these Virginians helps showcase how STEM innovations tie into our everyday lives,” Northam said. “It also highlights the profound contribution that STEM makes to Virginia families and our economy. I thank these extraordinary awardees and everyone who works hard to make Virginia a leader in these important fields.”

Arun Sanyal, M.D. (H.S.’90/M), a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the VCU School of Medicine; and M. Samy El-Shall, Ph.D., commonwealth professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry in the College of Humanities and Sciences, were two of three researchers named Virginia’s Outstanding Scientists for 2018.

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VCU Libraries receives Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

Staff from VCU Libraries pose for a photo in the lobby at James Branch Cabell Library.

VCU Libraries is one of three recipients of the 2018 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, an annual honor recognizing staff at college, university and community college libraries for providing exemplary programs, resources and services.

The award is sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries and GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO. VCU Libraries was recognized alongside the Max R. Traurig Library at Naugatuck Valley Community College and the Milne Library at the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Each library will receive $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each institution’s campus.

VCU Libraries was the winning library in the university category and was selected for its services, initiatives and role within the campus community, said Ann Campion Riley, chair of the 2018 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and vice provost and university librarian at the University of Missouri.

Among VCU’s initiatives is the Scholarly Communications and Publishing Division, which supports VCU faculty, staff and students in disseminating open scholarship. Its programs include the Open Access Author Publishing Fund to encourage publishing in open access journals; the “Mapping the KKK” digital humanities visualization project, in collaboration with VCU’s history department; and the “Social Welfare History Project,” a national online portal documenting the social welfare movement’s impact on the United States.

“We are deeply honored by this distinguished recognition from ACRL,” said John E. Ulmschneider, university librarian. “The faculty and staff of the VCU Libraries have worked with creativity, passion and immense dedication to create an exemplary research library for the 21st century and to fulfill our mission of transforming our communities through our teaching, collections and scholarship.”

Forbes ranks VCU as Virginia’s best employer for diversity

Virginia Commonwealth University has landed the No. 1 spot in Virginia on Forbes’ list of best employers for diversity. VCU ranks 40 out of 250 nationally. The ranking is the result of a survey of 30,000 U.S. employees that asked questions about ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age. Factors including the gender makeup of management teams and proactive communications about diversity also were considered in the rankings.

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VCU School of Education alumna Greenlee Naughton named Virginia’s Region I Teacher of the Year

Greenlee (Lee) Naughton, Ph.D. (right), and Colleen Thoma, Ph.D., associate dean for academic affairs and graduate studies at the VCU School of Education, at the 2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year Ceremony at VMFA.

A career journey can be anything but linear. Myriad experiences affect the paths we

take before becoming what we were meant to be. Greenlee (Lee) Naughton (Ph.D.’16/E), who received her doctorate in educational leadership last year from the VCU School of Education, is no exception.

Both of Naughton’s parents were career educators. As a child, she remembers her mother coming home from school one day barefoot because a first-grader in her class had thrown up on her beloved alligator-skin pumps.

As Naughton grew up and considered different professions, she couldn’t get that image out of her head. If someone mentioned teaching, she would remember that day with her mother and say, “No way. I’m not going to do that.”

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VCU Alumni’s 2017 Alumni Stars!

Throughout the worlds of art, business, education, service and health care, VCU alumni reflect the brilliance of the university. Their knowledge and experience shine in all areas of human endeavor, illuminating problems, creating solutions and strengthening the quality of our lives.

VCU Alumni invites you to join us Nov. 3 at the Science Museum of Virginia for an inspirational program, cocktails and a seated three-course dinner as we honor the 2017 Alumni Stars.

VCU Alumni members can purchase individual tickets for $75 or a 10-seat table sponsorship for $750. Nonmember tickets are $100 or $1,000 per table. Sponsors are recognized in the printed program. RSVP by Oct. 25.


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Jade Chang wins VCU Cabell First Novelist Award for ‘The Wangs vs. the World’

Jade Chang’s debut novel, “The Wangs vs. the World,” tells the story of an immigrant family whose sudden loss of a cosmetics empire and their home sends them on a road trip across America where they discover what endures as a family and within themselves. (Jade Chang photo credit: Teresa Flowers)

Jade Chang has won the 2017 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, which honors an outstanding debut novel published during a calendar year. Her winning book, “The Wangs vs. the World,” published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, tells the story of an immigrant family whose sudden loss of a cosmetics empire and their home sends them on a road trip across America where they discover what endures as a family and within themselves.

Chang will receive the award Nov. 16 at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she will give a reading and participate in a roundtable and discussion with VCU students and the public. The event will be held in the Cabell Library Lecture Hall (Room 303) at 7 p.m. For additional details, visit Chang was one of three finalists for the prize, now in its 16th year. The other finalists were Chad Dundas for “Champion of the World” and Margaret Wappler for “Neon Green.”

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VCU School of Nursing dean to receive one of nursing’s highest honors

VCU School of Nursing Dean Jean Giddens will receive the NLN Mary Adelaide Nutting Award for Outstanding Teaching or Leadership in Nursing Education.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing Dean Jean Giddens, Ph.D., will receive one of the National League for Nursing’s highest honors on Sept. 16.

Giddens, who was selected from a competitive field of nominees, will receive the NLN Mary Adelaide Nutting Award for Outstanding Teaching or Leadership in Nursing Education during the NLN Education Summit in San Diego. Named after a noted educator, administrator and author considered the world’s first professor of nursing, the award is presented to an NLN member who leads through scholarly activities, contributes as a leader in nursing education, encourages creative interactions with students from diverse backgrounds, mentors and serves as a role model for junior faculty, and publishes scholarly works that advance nursing education knowledge.

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VCU’s Center for Sport Leadership ranked top 10 in North America

The Center for Sport Leadership at VCU is ranked eighth in North America and 12th in the world in the 2017 Sports Business International Postgraduate Sport Course Rankings. This is the second year in a row the CSL has been included in the definitive list of top sports management programs. The CSL is also ranked fifth worldwide in graduate satisfaction and 12th in highest average salary.

“We are honored to be ranked among the best sports management programs in the world for the second year in a row,” said Carrie LeCrom, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Sport Leadership. “We are particularly excited to be ranked fifth worldwide in graduate satisfaction. Our alumni are our greatest asset and we appreciate their continued support of our program.”

his is the sixth year Sports Business International has conducted the rankings for sport business and sports management programs worldwide. The publication received a record number of entries for consideration. The methodology of the rankings is based on several factors: graduates employed within three months of graduation; work placement; male/female ratio; domestic/international student ratio; and average salary after three years of graduation. There is also a student satisfaction component, which is based on a survey filled out by a program’s alumni from a designated year.

The Center for Sport Leadership, part of the VCU School of Education, was established in 1999, developed with the idea of creating an innovative, practical learning environment that would prepare students interested in the sport industry for a successful career in the business.

Modeled after the highly successful VCU Brandcenter, the top-ranked graduate advertising program in the country, the Center for Sport Leadership launched as a nontraditional sport leadership graduate program that focuses on experiential learning through hands-on experiences.

The Center for Sport Leadership at VCU has more than 800 alumni working in all areas of the sport industry, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, USGA, and more than 50 Division I college athletic departments across the country.

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University named one of nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report has placed Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU in the new 2017-18 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.

CHoR tied at No. 45 in nephrology. This is the fourth time CHoR has been ranked for kidney care.

U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available. The rankings are the only comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric centers.

“It takes a team to care for kids with complex pediatric kidney disease,” said Timothy Bunchman, M.D., professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology. “Our team includes kidney doctors, nurses, dietitians, nurse educators, social workers and a full complement of pediatric specialists who rally around a child to take care of the entire family and community that supports them. We see improved outcomes and happier families with this comprehensive approach to care. That’s the true reflection of our commitment to our kids and their families.”

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