Wilder: class notes



  • Monique Johnson (Ph.D.’14/GPA), vice president and senior loan officer at Virginia Community Capital, has been selected for a prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship by the German Marshall Memorial Fund. The program educates emerging American and European leaders on the importance of transatlantic relations and encourages them to collaborate on a wide range of international and domestic policy challenges. Fellows engage in six months of preparation designed to enhance their understanding of transatlantic relations before embarking on 24 days of policy immersion across the Atlantic. Johnson, who completed her dissertation on the impact of low-income tax credits on concentrations of poverty last spring, will examine the role of social finance in supporting housing and community and economic development in Western Europe.
  • Seven alumni — Alex Beatty (M.U.R.P.’14/GPA; Cert.’14/GPA), Kaila McClead (M.U.R.P.’14/GPA), Ken Shannon (M.U.R.P.’14/GPA; Cert.’14/GPA), Naomi Siodmok (M.U.R.P.’14/GPA; Cert.’14/GPA), Josh Son (M.U.R.P.’14/GPA), Geoff Urda (B.S.’12/GPA; M.U.R.P.’14/GPA) and Shawn Winter (M.U.R.P.’14/GPA; Cert.’14/GPA) — each 2014 graduates of the Wilder School’s master in urban and regional planning program presented at the 2014 Governor’s Transportation Conference held in Roanoke, Virginia, on Nov. 14. The recent grads each presented a condensed version of a professional plan designed to solve a real-world planning, public policy or management problem. The plans were developed as part of a capstone project course led by planning instructor Jim Smither, PLA, ASLA. The presentations covered a range of solutions for communities located primarily within Central Virginia — from rapid transit to mixed-use design and historic redevelopment — and were viewed by more than 800 transportation leaders from around the commonwealth and the U.S.

Charting a healthy course for bikers, spectators


The wheels are racing in Robin Manke’s mind, making sleep difficult. With 1,000 cyclists headed to Richmond next week for the UCI Road World Championships, Manke, director of emergency management and telecommunications at VCU Health, is charged with coordinating everything from first-aid tents to patient transport to medical provisions.

“I wake up drawing incident command structures in my mind,” she says. “But I feel very comfortable. I think we have it.”

Those complicated logistics are designed to ensure that racers and an estimated 450,000 spectators have immediate access to medical treatment. The matrix includes a mass casualty plan and traffic flow diagrams that designate the quickest routes to the medical center. It addresses parking issues and the feeding of health care workers. No area of operations is untouched.

Robin Manke speaks at the May 2015 Rao R. Ivatury Trauma Symposium.

The medical team was lucky to have had a dress rehearsal in May 2014: the CapTech USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championship. The dry run featured 400 athletes, about 50 of whom were treated for various bumps and bruises. The event convinced the staff to downgrade their catastrophic thinking for the Worlds and focus more on road rash and shoulder separations. It also pinpointed where services might be needed most along the route — high-crash areas such as the Libby Hill cobblestone climb.

“It showed us how important little things are, things you don’t really think about,” Manke says.

About 167 staff members from VCU Health, the exclusive medical sponsor for the event, will be working in tents, fan zones, congested spectator areas, anti-doping sites and vehicles that ride alongside the bikers at a brisk 50-mph clip. There also will be medical staff at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and at the starting lines at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Kings Dominion and the University of Richmond.

The exposure will be invaluable for VCU Health. The experience should be enjoyable for the staff.

“I’m encouraging people to go out on their lunch break and watch,” Manke says. “People will get to see it who don’t even know what a peloton is.”

Want to learn more about VCU’s involvement in the bike race? Watch to see how the university geared up to welcome the world.


Red Eye Cookie Co. delivers late-night sugar rush


Brayden Pleasants (B.S.’13/B) craved sweets during his late-night study sessions as an undergraduate at Virginia Commonwealth University. But unless he had a candy bar or stash of cookies tucked away, he couldn’t get his sugar fix. Pleasants, a business major, recognized a potential market and, in March 2014, opened the late-night cookie delivery service Red Eye Cookie Co. to satisfy the sweet-tooth cravings of other night owls in Richmond.

Red Eye shares space with Sally Bell’s kitchen, just north of VCU’s campus. To create a buzz and future fan base before opening, Pleasants and his team handed out cookie samples at VCU’s James Cabell Branch Library, passed out business cards on campus and in bars, and cultivated a strong social media presence. Red Eye quickly garnered 4,000 likes on Facebook before it even sold its first cookie. That online following doubled within a few months.

“From the beginning, the concept had a lot of excitement about it. We said ‘late-night cookie delivery’ and people’s ears kind of perked up,” Pleasants says.

Red Eye continues to find innovative ways to market its made-from-scratch cookies, including cross-promotions with local restaurants through giveaways on Facebook. The tactics are working as the company has catered all kinds of events from weddings to corporate outings (including a donation of several hundred cookies baked for VCU’s resident assistants as they moved back onto campus this month), and their goodies can be found in local grocers such as Union Market, Urban Farmhouse and Harvest Grocery & Supply.

Continue reading

Pharmacy alumni, friends invited to play golf for scholarships


Pharm GolfThe Third Annual Yanchick Invitational Golf Tournament will begin with a 9:30 a.m. tee time Oct. 22 at The Club at Viniterra, 8400 Old Church Road in New Kent. Sponsored by VCU School of Pharmacy’s Inter-Fraternity Council, the tournament is a special fundraiser to provide scholarship support for pharmacy students.

The fee – which includes 18 holes of golf, carts, snacks, beverages, an awards lunch and door prizes — is $95 for alumni and friends and $55 for students. The opportunity to win bragging rights in competition with old friends and classmates? Priceless!

Register now or direct questions to Jasmine Davis (M.S.’10/H&S), development specialist, at (804) 828-4247.

Pharmacy’s Marcia Buck named president-elect of ACCP


Pharm BuckVCU School of Pharmacy affiliate clinical professor Marcia L. Buck has been named president-elect of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. She will assume the office during the 2015 ACCP Global Conference on Clinical Pharmacy in October. Buck is clinical coordinator for the Pediatric Pharmacy Service at University of Virginia as well as program director for the PGY2 Pediatric Pharmacy Residency Program. She has been named an outstanding preceptor by VCU School of Pharmacy and the U.Va. Pharmacy Residency Program.

Pharmacy professor/alumna is co-investigator for $2.5M HRSA grant


Pharm SlattumVCU School of Pharmacy professor and alumna Patty Slattum (B.S.’85/P; Ph.D.’92/P; Cert.’92/AHP) is co-investigator for a $2.5 million, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration. The funds will support interprofessional geriatrics training from pre-clinical to practice levels, particularly in underserved areas, across Virginia.

Pharmacy representatives shine at AACP Annual Meeting

Dean Joseph T. DiPiro (right) and assistant professor K.C. Ogbonna accept the Weaver Award on behalf of VCU School of Pharmacy.

Dean Joseph T. DiPiro (right) and assistant professor K.C. Ogbonna accept the Weaver Award on behalf of VCU School of Pharmacy.

In addition to picking up two national awards, VCU School of Pharmacy representatives helmed workshops, served as panelists, presented posters and took office during the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy 2015 Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland. Learn more.

Pharmacy preceptors honored by school

School of Pharmacy alumna Rebeccah Collins was named 2014-15 Preceptor of the Year.

School of Pharmacy alumna Rebeccah Collins was named 2014-15 Preceptor of the Year.

Six VCU School of Pharmacy alumni have been recognized by the school for their exemplary work as preceptors in 2014-15. Rebeccah Collins (Pharm.D.’00/P) was named Preceptor of the Year during the school’s annual Senior Banquet. Since then, five more alumni have been recognized individually with Outstanding Preceptor Awards: David Flammia (B.S.’94/P), Tana Kaefer (Pharm.D.’04/P), Margaret Rowe (B.S.’76/P; Pharm.D.’06/P), Joan Sok (Pharm.D.’99/P), David Wyatt (Pharm.D.’05/P). Learn more about all of this year’s winning preceptors.

Pharmacy faculty/staff news