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ppen for fitness 

. Virginia Commonwealth University' 
^ renovated Gary Street Gym pumps up 
^ options for on-campus fitness and fun 

^iipvi.'s: ; 

MP *^. 

I ^ 


Campus transportation: 2010 

Virginia Commonwealth University students park —^ ^^~>^1^ 
their bikes along Linden Court across from the 
James Branch Cabell Library. Last fall, the university installed $6o,000 
in additional bike racks, as well as custom-designed racks for scooters and 
mo-peds, offering students more than 200 spots to secure their rides. 





8 > Open for fitness 

Virginia Commonwealth University's newly renovated 
Gary Street Gym pumps up recreation options. 

12 > Year of the Environment 

Students promote sustainable living as VGU affirms 
Its commitment to becoming a greener university. 

16 > Building opportunity 

The alumni associations set out to raise $50 million 
for student scholarships and fellowships. 

22 > Focused on success 

Two years in, VGU's yearlong core curriculum course 
increases student engagement — and retention. 

24 ^ Finding love 

A handmade coupon redeemable for a kiss leads 
to lifelong love for VGU couple. 


2 > Circa 

Gampus transportation: 20I0. 

5 -* University news 

Noteworthy news and research at VGU. 

18 > Face to face 

Jacek Ghosh talks about promoting sustainability 
in all pockets of the university. 

19 ■* My college town 

Richmond GenterStage raises the curtain on a new 
performing arts venue for the city. 

20 > The big picture 

Students transform the Shafer Gourt compass into 
a dance floor. 

26 > Alumni connections 

The latest news from the alumni association. 

31 '■ Class notes 

Updates from alumni, faculty, staff and friends. 

37 ^ Then and now 

Technology changes how students and parents keep 
in touch. 

38 > Datebook 

Upcoming university and alumni events. 

39 > Circa 

Gampus transportation: 1967. 

Spring 2010 I 3 

Alumni, join the VCU sustainability movement! Bp 

This issue of Shafer Court Connections focuses on 
the many and varied faces of sustainability associated 
with Virginia Commonweahh University, including 
reporting on the special Year of the Environment activi- 
ties and programs. 

Sustainability has most simply been defined as "pro- 
viding the best for people and the environment, both 
now and in the indefinite future. Sustainability is a 
means of configuring civilization and human activity so 
that society and its members are able to meet their needs 
and express their greatest potential in the present while 
preserving biodiversity and natural ecosystems, and 
planning and acting for the ability to maintain these 
ideals indefinitely." 

As 1 read the articles in this issue, I reflect on the 
vital role alumni play in sustaining their alma mater. 
Our VCU Alumni Association President Donna Dalton 
(M.Ed. 'OO/E) has focused on celebrating VCU and has 
challenged alumni to "Connect, Engage and Serve." 
The strategic initiatives led by her and the VCUAA 
board of directors are designed to encourage and bol- 
ster alumni engagement in support of the sustainability 
of your university. 

VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., has invited alumni, in unprecedented numbers, to reconnect with 
VCU and has challenged alumni to be engaged "as partners in shaping the future of this great institution." 
When he says "everything we do must be done in the context of strengthening the living and learning envi- 
ronment for our students to ensure their success," 1 see opportunities for alumni to make value-added 
contributions to those efforts. I am excited about alumni committing to help the president and the rest 
of our community realize those aspirations. 

I urge you to become a part of the VCU sustainability movement ...join and volunteer with the alumni 
association ... make a gift to the Opportunity VCU scholarship campaign to support our most qualified 
and motivated students ... volunteer as a VCU-educated citizen-leader where you live, work and play. 

The time for full and unbridled alumni engagement at VCU has arrived, and we need each and every 
one of you to be a part of it! 

Yours for VCU, 

Gordon A. McDougall 

Assistant Vice President, University Alumni Relations 


P.S. Starting this year, April is VCU Alumni Month. Be sure to log in at to keep 
up with what s happening. Go, Rams, Go! 


On tlie cover 

VCU sophomore Alalie Senly and junior 
Donald l-lawl(ins make tracks at the new 
Cary Street Gym. whicK opened in January. 


Mixed Sources 

Product group from well-managed 
forests, controlled sources and 
recycled wood or fiber 
www.fscorg Cert no. SGS-COC003987 
© 1 996 Forest Stewardship Council 

Spring 2010 • Volume I5> Number 2 
www. vcu-mcvalumni .org 

Assistant Vice President, 
University Alumni Relations 
Gordon A. McDougall 

Executive Director, 

VCU Alumni Association 

Diane Stout-Brown (B.S.W. 'So/SW) 


Kristen CaldweU (B.S. ■94./MC) 

Trina Lambert 

Linda George 


Jessica Foster 


Editorial: Kelli Anderson, Jennifer Carmean 
(B.S. '98/H8.S), Teri Dunnivant, Erin Egan, 
Polly Roberts, Melanie Irvin Solaimani 
(B.S. 'ge/MC), Kim Witt 

Design: Pamela Arnold (B.F.A. '87/A), Nadian 
Hanger (B.S. 'Ol/MC), Haley HoUenbach 
(B.F.A. 'Ol/A), Katie McBride (B.F.A. '04/A), 
Matthew PhiDips (M.F.A. '87/A), Shannon 

Photography: VCU Libraries — Special Collections 
and Archives, Kevin Casey, Alien Jones 
(B.F.A. '82^; M.F.A. '92/A), TomKojcsich 

Shafer Court Connections is published 
semiannually by the VCU Office of Alumni 
Relations and VCU Creative Services for 
Virginia Commonwealth University's alumni, 
faculty, staff and friends. Opinions expressed 
in this magazine do not necessarily represent 
those of the university or magazine staff. 

Send address changes to the Office of Alumni 
Relations, Virginia Commonwealth University, 
924 W, Franklin St., P.O. Box 843044., 
Richmond, VA 23284-3044; telephone 
(804) 828-2586; 

Letters to the editor should be sent to Shafer 
Court Connections, Virginia Commonwealth 
University, 827 W. Franklin St., P.O. Box 
842041, Richmond, VA 23284-2041, or 
e-mail Please include 
your name, address and a daytime phone 
number; anonymous letters will not be 
published. Letters may be edited for clarity 
or space. 

Contributions of articles, photos and 
artwork are welcome, however, Shafer Court 
Connections accepts no responsibility for 
unsolicited items. 

© 2010. Virginia Commonwealth University. 

An equal opportunity, affirmative action university. 090825-03 

4 ! VCU Shafer Court Connections 

University news 

Virginia Commonwealth University 
news and research. For the 
latest updates, visit VCU online 

The operating table prototype conceived by the da Vinci team starts as a 24-inch, easy-to-ship cube 
and assembles into a full-size, hospital-grade table that moves in three dimensions. 

The VCU da Vinci Center's prototype of a $500 operating table for developing coun- 
tries stood out in a competition in Boston, winning a top honor among 60 entrants from 
colleges such as Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

The VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation in Product Design and Development's por- 
table operating table won in the category of "Greatest Potential for Patient Benefit" 
at the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology Congress poster 
contest in late October. 

For the innovation poster contest, Lauren O'Neill (B.F.A. '09/A) won for "Operation 
Simple: A Low-Cost, Collapsible Surgical Table for Developing Countries." O'Neill was part 
of a team that worked on a prototype for the table last year in the da Vinci Center, which 
brings together students from VCU's schools of Engineering, Business and the Arts. 

The last stage of the project is the production of five tables, which will be given 
to hospitals in Bangladesh and Honduras for field-testing this sprinL 

Fellowship selects VCU arts alumna 

Arts alumna Margaret "Maggie" O'Brien 

(B.A. '09/HS.S; B.F.A. '09/A) was named a 
finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, the oldest 
international fellowship for academic study. 
Each year, 32 U.S. students are among more 
than 80 Rhodes Scholars worldwide who take 
degree courses at Oxford University. 

ABlacksburg. Va.. native, O'Brien enrolled 
in the VCU Honors College and earned 
bachelor's degrees in sculpture and political 
science. She hopes to pursue a career working 

to evaluate and improve the use of foreign aid 
as an international development tool. 

"The entire university community is proud 
of Maggie O'Brien," says VCU President 
Michael Rao. Ph.D. 

As an undergraduate at VCU, O'Brien's 
sculptures were selected for several exhibits and 
awards. She was involved in student govern- 
ment and spent time working in the Virginia 
General Assembly. O'Brien also was selected 
for an English-Speaking Union Fellowship 
that allowed her to spend three weeks at Exeter 
College at Oxford in the summer of 2007- 

Center supports nursing research 

TTie VCU School of Nursing received a $2.6 
million grant from the National Institute of 
Nursing Research, part of the National Institutes 
of Health, to develop a P30 Center of Excellence 
in Biobehavioral Approaches to Symptom 

Under the five-year grant, the center will 
support the work of several beginning nursing 
researchers who will explore the symptoms and 
impact of fatigue in a variety of patients, includ- 
ing women with fibromyalgia, women with 
breast cancer, pregnant women, women with 
risk for cardiometabolic illness and individuals 
with sickle cell disease. 

Symposium focuses on Islamic art 

Scholars from around the world traveled to 
Cordoba, Spain, in November to explore the 
many uses of color in Islamic art and culture 
during the Third Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa 
Symposium on Islamic Art. 

Co-sponsored by the VCU School of the 
Arts, the VCU School of the Arts in Qatar and 
the Qatar Foundation, 'And Diverse Are Their 
Hues: Color in Islamic Art and Culture" 
featured 13 speakers from the Middle East, 
Europe, Australia and the U.S. 

Previous symposia were held in Richmond. 
Va., in 2004 and in Doha, Qatar, in 2007. 
The proceedings of the 2007 symposium, 
"Rivers of Paradise: Water in Islamic Art and 
Culture." were recently published by Yale 
University Press. 

[university news] 


VCU Libraries celebrates its 2 millionth volume with 
(from left) Stephen Gottfredson, Ph.D.. VCU provost 
and vice president of academic affairs; VCU President 
Michael Rao, Ph.D.; Jodi Koste, archivist, VCU Libraries; 
and John Ulmschneider, university librarian. 

VCU Libraries celebrates milestone 

In October. VCU Libraries celebrated the 
acquisition of the university's 2 millionth 
library volume. In just l6 years the VCU 
Libraries' collection, including books, journals, 
media and electronic resources, has doubled in size. 

The 2 millionth addition to the VCU collec- 
tions was Marvel Comics' "Amazing Spider-Man, 
#583," featuring President Barack Obama. The 
selection of the landmark comic highlights the 
diverse offerings of the VCU Libraries and rec- 
ognizes VCU's Comic Arts Collection, one of the 
largest of its kind in North America with more 
than 125,000 items. 

VCU receives 'best neighbor' nod 

VCU earned a Top 25 "best neighbor" title 
for a second time in a 2009 national sui-vey that 
recognizes revitalization, cultural renewal, eco- 
nomics, community service and development. 

Administrative notes 

The University of Pennsylvania and the 
University of Southern California tied for the 
No. I position. VCU was in the No. II spot. 

The survey pointed to VCLI's implementa- 
tion of a nationally recognized engagement 
program. "VCU Community Solutions," that 
included the 2008 40th Anniversary "4.0 Acts 
of Caring " awards to projects, activities or ini- 
tiatives that partnered VCU employees, students 
or alumni with local, regional or national/ 
international communities. 

Alliance works to combat poverty 

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund awarded 
a $190,580 grant to VCU on behalf of a coali- 
tion working to prevent and reduce poverty 
in the Richmond region. 

The three-year grant will be used to create 
a VCU-United Way Financial Stability Alliance. 

The alliance is working to expand the capacity 
of existing Volunteer Income Tax Assistance organi- 
zations to provide free tax-preparation services 
to low-income residents, while also linking them 
to asset-building organizations and services in the 
area and evaluating the impact of the effort. 

"This initiative involves multiple units 
within the university — the School of Social 
Work, the School of Business, the School of 
Mass Communications and the Division 
of Community Engagement as well as several 
service organizations located across the 
Richmond-Petersburg area," says Anthony 
J. Mallon, Ph.D., principal investigator and 
assistant professor in the School of Social Work. 

The grant also will support annual commu- 
nity forums to discuss project outcomes. 

Ed Grier, formerly president of Disneyland Resort, joined the VCU School of Business 

March 8 as dean. David Urban, Ph.D., professor of marketing who had served as interim 

dean since July 2009, v^as named executive associate dean of the school. 
Ronald J. Hunt, D.D.S., who served for 12 years as dean of the VCU School of Dentistry, 

left the university in March to become associate dean for academic affairs at the 

Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine in Glendale, Ariz. 
Kenneths. Kahn, Ph.D., joined the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation in Product Design 

and Development as director. He also holds a faculty position in the business school. 

Kahn previously was at Purdue University, where he was a professor and director 

of Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. 
Sue Ann Messmer, chief of staff in the Office of the President, retired Feb. 1. She also 

served as vice president for university relations. 
Richard Toscan, Ph.D., is retiring June 30 as dean of the VCU School of the Arts. He also 

served as vice provost for international education. 
Wayne Turnage, former chief of staff for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, joined VCU as chief 

of staff in the Office of the President Jan. 16. 
John Venuti, formerly a major with the Richmond Police Department, became chief of the 

VCU Police Department Feb. 1. 

New study examines schizophrenia 

The VCU School of Pharmacy's Center for 
Biomarker Research and Personalized Medicine 
received a $4.-5 million grant from the National 
Institute of Mental Health to detect schizophre- 
nia methylation markers that could lead 
to better drug therapies to fight the mental 

"DNA methylation studies are really an exciting 
new direction in genetics," says principal inves- 
tigator Edwin Van den Oord, Ph.D., pharmacy 
professor and director of the center. 

DNA methylation is a process that changes 
how genes work through chemically modifying 
DNA. Methylation markers are accessible at the 
stable DNA level, making them easy to use 
in clinical settings to improve diagnosis and 
individualize drug treatment. 

Grant funds global health research 

VCU received a $100,000 Crand Challenges 
Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda 
Gates Foundation to support an innovative 
global health research project conducted 
by Luiz Shozo Ozaki, Ph.D., associate professor 
in VCU Life Sciences' Center for the Study 
of Biological Complexity. 

Ozaki's project, "Bacterial viruses as tool 
for blocking transmission of the malaria para- 
site, " was one of 76 grants announced in the 
third funding round of Grand Challenges 
Explorations, an initiative to help scientists 
around the world explore bold and largely 
unproven ways to improve health in developing 
countries. The grants were provided to scientists 
in 16 countries on five continents. The initia- 
tive is highly competitive, receiving almost 
3,000 proposals in this round. 

"The award is important in that it will enable 
us to contribute one more gun for the arsenal 
to combat malaria, which at this moment is 
tiny, " says Ozaki, who will be working on the 
project with Gail Christie, Ph.D., professor in 
the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. 

Student receives Boren scholarship 

Caitlin Canney, a senior in the VCU Honors 
College, is studying in Morocco after earning a 
National Security Education Program David L. 
Boren Scholarship, which focuses on geographic 
areas, languages and fields of study deemed 
critical to U.S. national security. 

Canney, who is from Medford, Mass., is 
spending the 2009-IO academic year studying 
Arabic language and political science at Al 
Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. 
Canney is pursuing dual degrees in French and 
political science with a concentration in interna- 
tional relations as well as a minor in psychology 
at VCU. Upon graduation, she plans to continue 

6 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

her studies of linguistics and the Middle East in 
graduate school. Ultimately, she hopes to work 
for the U.S. Department of State, possibly as a 
foreign service officer. 

The NSEP David L. Boren Scholarships 
provide up to $20.000 of support for U.S. 
undergraduates who will pursue the study 
of languages and cultures currently under- 
represented in study abroad. In return, recipients 
commit to working for the federal government 
for at least one year after the completion 
of their education. 

Dining hall earns 'distinction' award 

VCU's Market 8lO at Shafer Court Dining 
Center was named a Dining Hall of Distinction 
by University Business Magazine, which praised 
the dining center's abundant food options, 
warm atmosphere and responsive customer 
service, among other qualities. 

Market 8lO, operated by Aramark, was the 
winner in the Public Institution category. 

Dining klalls of Distinction represent excel- 
lence in all aspects of dining operations, including 
atmosphere, service, variety of offerings, guest 
satisfaction, environmental sustainability and 
financial stability. A total of 65 higher educa- 
tion institutions from around the country 
submitted applications for the award. 

Research repor': 

Market Sio's 
offer performance- 
cooking stations 
with made-to- 
order service. 


Nano-material exhibits magnetic properties 

An international team of researchers designed a new graphite-' 
based, magnetic nano-material that acts as a semiconductor — ^ ^ 
and could help material scientists create the next generation 
of electronic devices like microchips. 

The team of researchers from the VCU Department of Physics, " 
Peking University in Beijing, the Chinese Academy of Science in ShangK 
and Tohoku University in Sedai, Japan, used theoretical computer modeling 
to design the nev^ material they called graphone, v\/hich is derived from an existing 
material known as graphene. 

The study, supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, 
the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, appeared online in the 
journal Nano Letters, a publication of the American Chemical Society. 

Advanced treatment plan doubles cardiac arrest survival rates 

VCU Medical Center and the Richmond Ambulance Authority have dramatically 
improved resuscitation and survival rates for cardiac arrest patients by training and 
equipping paramedics to begin lowering a patient's body temperature in the field during 
resuscitation and following up at the hospital with high-tech strategies to, improve the 
odds of survival. 

The initiative, known as the Advanced Resuscitation Cooling Therapeutics and Intensive 
Care Center, or ARCTIC, is the most comprehensive program of its kind in the U.S. and has 
resulted in an almost twofold improvement in the return of spontaneous circulation, from 
25 percent in 2001 using conventional treatments to 46 percent in 2008. In turn, the survival 
rate to hospital discharge improved from 9-7 percent in 2003 to 179 percent at the end 
of 2008. The national average is less than 7 percent. 

"What we now know is that we have to protect the brain and vital organs during resus- 
citation and after the heart is restarted, and this has led to a totally new strategy for how 
we treat cardiac arrest patients," says Joseph P. Ornato, M.D., chair in the Department of 
Emergency Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine and operational medical director of 
the Richmond Ambulance Authority. 

Between 2001 and 2008, the team evaluated 1,598 cases of adult, out-of-hospital cardiac 
arrest events in Richmond, Va., and concluded that a building-block strategy composed 
of a unique combination of mechanical chest compressions, airway management, druf, 
that restart the heart and cold saline given during resuscitation before the return of sponta- 
neous circulation, sequentially improved patient outcomes. 


new D 

in auto in 

s mar 

nare loss 

A failure to introduce new products at the same rate as foreign manufacturers explains 
the dwindling market share of U.S. auto companies, according to a new VCU study published 
in the Journal of Business Research. 

"Non-Price Determinants of Automotive Demand: Restyling Matters Most," a study by 
three economists in the VCU School of Business — Oleg Korenok, Ph.D., assistant professor 
of economics, George Hoffer, Ph.D., professor of economics, and Edward Millner, Ph.D., pro- 
fessor and chair of the Department of Economics — analyzed secular market share changes 
in the automobile and light-truck submarkets. Their research revealed that new product, as 
measured by restyling, represents the dominant determinant of demand in the auto industry, 
other factors, such as price, advertising, rebranding, warranty curtailments, new safety appli- 
ances and even changes in vehicle reliability, had minimal impact on demand. 

Domestic automotive producers saw their market share fall from 72.9 percent in 1996 
to 47.4 percent in 2008. Over the 1995-2006 model years, Japanese manufacturers restyled 
on average every third year, while U.S. manufacturers restyled every four years. 

Spring 2010 

Cory Street Gym 

The gym's 1 8,000-square-foot main 
room and mezzanine house more 
than 185 cardiovascular machines 
— including 41 treadmills — and 
several lines of selectorized equip- 
ment, as v/ell as a large free-weight 
area. Flat-screen TVs (70 of them!) 
line the v/alls. The light-filled space 
offers access to a 38-foot climbing 
wall and 1 2-foot boulder The facility 
also accommodates group fitness 
classrooms, two racquetball courts, 
a 24-bike cycling room and a multi- 
activity room for indoor soccer and 
cricket, dodgeball, box lacrosse, 
floor hockey or 3-on-3 football. The 
all-in-one gym, says Director of VCU 
Recreational Sports Tom Diehl, has 
capacity for 4,000 users per day. By 
comparison, the Stuart C. Siegel Center, 
now an athletics-only training facility, 
averaged 1 ,000 users per day. 

Want to see more photos? Go online 
to To watch a 
video, visit 

Spring 2O10 I 9 


Members enter the gym using RecPass, 
a finger recognition reader aimed at 
speeding up the check-in process. At 
least 1 to 15 VCU Recreational Sports 
staff members work throughout the gym, 
including at the resource bar on the main 
floor in the cardiovascular fitness center. 
Enrolled students enjoy full access to the 
facility. Annual membership rates range 
from $169 to $281.67 depending on 
member status as an alumni or faculty 
or staff member. The facility offers 1,325 
lockers for day use or rent. Hours are 
6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through 
Friday; 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturday; 
and 9 a.m. to midnight on Sunday. 

Four-court gym 

The four-court hardwood gymnasium 
allows members to play basketball, 
volleyball, table tennis and badminton, 
and includes bleachers for spectators. 
Specially designed shades covering the 
windows automatically raise and lower 
depending on the temperature and keep 
the gym lights from shining into nearby 
neighborhoods. The three-lane track 
above measures slightly less than 200 
meters, with one mile equaling 9.5 laps 
for the inside lane, 8.6 laps for the middle 
lane and 8.4 laps for the outside lane. 

Green Alley 

when constructing the gym, designers 
retained the red brick exterior of the old 
Gary Street Gym, formerly the Richmond 
City Auditorium, built in 1 890. "Green 
Alley" in the silver-level, LEED-certified 
facility runs along one wall of the original 
structure. The alley, as well as the entire 
building, offers members free Wi-Fi 
access and a quiet spot to sit and relax. 

Alumni can try out the Cory Street Gym 
or the MCV Campus Recreation and 
Aquatic Center for free for any two weeks 
during April as part of Alumni Month. 
Call (804) 828-7020 for details. 


The gym's aquatic center includes two 
heated indoor swimming pools: an 
83-degree, four-lane activity pool com- 
plete with water slide and an 86-degree 
leisure pool that includes a multi-person 
whirlpool spa set at 1 04 degrees, a zero- 
entry area for beginner swimmers and a 
vortex chamber in which a gentle current 
swirls around swimmers, similar to float- 
ing down a lazy river. Outside the pool 
area, a heated wet classroom provides 
a warm space for those taking swim- 
ming lessons. Both pools feature a new 
type of sanitation system gentler on the 
environment, skin and eyes. Electrolytic 
generation produces chlorine from a 
small amount of salt added to the pool 
water and then converts the generated 
chlorine bock to salt for reuse. 

MCV Campus recreation 
center gets a makeover 

Last fall, the MCV Campus Recreation and Aquatic 
Center revealed its new look. The 7,000-square- 
foot facility boasts a fully renovated fitness center 
and locker rooms. More than 90 pieces of car- 
diovascular equipment fill the sizeable main room 
lined with 1 6 flat-screen TVs. A large area against 
a wall of windows houses selectorized and free- 
weight equipment. Additional space near the 
locker rooms offers a stretching zone. 

The center's racquetball courts and two-court gym- 
nasium for basketball, volleyball and badminton 
remain, as well as the 25-meter heated indoor 
pool and group exercise classroom. The entrance, 
in the Jonah L. Larrick Student Center, offers 
RecPass access at turnstiles, for swift check-in. 

Named for Jonah Lupton Larrick, YMCA director 
at MCV from the early 1 920s to 1 959, Larrick 
opened in November and features a ballroom, 
conference room and two meeting rooms, as well 
as a fully functioning Starbucks and Jonah's, a food 
court-style dining facility. In addition, the facility 
includes ample indoor and outdoor seating. 





Virginia Commonwealth University's 
yearlong initiative highlights student 
commitment to sustainable living 

by Erin Egan 

Last fall, the Virginia Commonwealth University 
campus hummed with environmentally friendly 
activity. Students participated in a "paint a recycling 
Dumpster" art project to spruce up the unsightly receptacles. 
They "dove" into 2.5 tons of trash unloaded from a Dumpster 
to evaluate what could have been recycled. They held a festival 
to educate the university and the surrounding community on 
how to live more sustainably. The events were part of the Year 
of the Environment initiative launched in October, continuing 
VCU's commitment to becoming a greener university. 

In April 2008, VCU became one of more than 600 
universities to sign the American College and University 
Presidents' Climate Commitment, pledging to neutralize 
greenhouse gases emitted on their campuses. VCU put forth 
the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Eight months later, then-Gov. Tim Kaine launched Renew 
Virginia, a yearlong series of legislative and administrative 
actions promoting renewable energy, creating green jobs 
and encouraging preservation of the environment. 

12 i VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Modeled after the governor's proposal, VCU's Year of the 
Environment project emphasizes the contributions 
and leadership that universities can bring to further 
improve Virginia's sustainable practices and the impact on 
natural resources. 

These actions proved welcome to VCU undergraduates 
with a passion for environmental causes including those in 
the Monroe Park Campus Student Government Association, 
Green Unity for VCU and numerous other student organizations 
who have quietly worked to educate students, faculty, 
staff and the VCU community about the need to live more 
sustainably. In fact, the SGA urged the VCU administration 
to sign the climate commitment, acknowledging that while 
the university was making great strides toward becoming 
greener, more change was needed. 

"The research and the facts are out," says Roberto Celis, 
a senior double majoring in psychology and craft and 
material studies, and vice president of the SGA. "We can't 
live like this for much longer" 

VCU earns high marks for green building when it 
comes to new construction (See "Green report card" 
Page 15). The university's two recreational centers, the 
Molecular Medicine Research Building, the School of 
Dentistry's W. Baxter Perkinson, Jr. Building, and the 
School of Engineering's new Health and Life Sciences 
Laboratory earned silver certification as outlined by 
the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in 
Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. 
In October, the council awarded the Walter L. Rice 
Education Building at the VCU Rice Center platinum 
certification, the highest sustainability rating 
possible, and it became the first building in Virginia 
honored with the distinction. 

Across VCU's Monroe Park Campus and MCV 
Campus, additional efforts to conserve energy 
and reduce emissions thrive, including the use of 
electric trucks by VCU Facilities Management; 
housekeeping's use of green, citrus-based cleaning 
products and recycled towels; the retrofitting of 
electronic equipment throughout the university to 
energy-savings standards; annual participation in 
the national RecycleMania program; the wholesale 
recycling of electronic equipment, wood, paper and 
aluminum products; plumbing upgrades for saving 
water; and installation of a solar water heater in 
Ginter House and solar trash compactors in Shafer 
Court Dining Center and Stuart C. Siegel Center The 
MCV Campus Steam Plant boasts solar panels and 
new stack "scrubbers" that remove particulate from 
the stack effluent, as well as meters to measure steam 
flow and usage in the facility's three boilers, resulting 
in a recovery of $1 .25 million in yearly steam billings. 

ireen unity meml 

"can begin to see 

that their actions 

do have an impact 

on innproving 

the world." 

J.Clifford Fox, Ph.D., J. D. 

"VCU is doing a lot already," Celis says. "The 
university is really looking at everything it can 
to reduce, reuse and recycle. It's amazing what's 
happening here." 

A future project on the SGA's radar involves 

the installation of a green roof on top of the Pollak 

Building by the end of this year. A section of the 

roof would hold containers filled with different types 

of plants and vegetation sponsored by student 

organizations or schools. The proceeds from the 

plant yield could be donated to the community or 

funneled back to its benefactor. 

"We're trying to find ways to promote VCU as an 
urban university," Celis says. "What can we do that 
most universities can't? A green roof is one answer." 

United for a cause 

Amanda Schutt, a senior environmental studies 
major and executive officer for Green Unity, a student 
organization devoted to promoting environmental 
awareness and education, firmly believes in VCU's 
Year of the Environment initiative. But she and her 
fellow Green Unity members like to say that every 
year is the year of the environment. 

For more than two years. Green Unity and its 30 
dedicated members have collaborated with various 
departments and student organizations across the 
university to relay the message of how to be more 
environmentally aware and to make a positive impact. 

The group keeps its focus on activities 
and projects rooted around VCU and the 
Richmond area. 
"We're trying to make changes that are visible 
to students on campus," Schutt says. "That way 
i- they learn more about the environmental movement. 

Hopefully, if they see the change while they're here, 
they'll carry it on after they leave." 
Every few weeks during the year, the group organizes 
street cleanups, removing garbage from neighborhoods 
surrounding VCU. After the streets are free of trash and 
debris, the Student Gardening Club follows behind 
and plants "seed bombs," compressed soil filled 
with live vegetation, in the newly cleaned dirt. 
Green Unity getssupportfromthe VCU Center 
for Environmental Studies and specifically from 
J. Clifford Fox, Ph.D., J.D., the center's assistant 
director In 15 years of teaching at VCU, he has 
seen student environmental groups come and 
go. Fox says he's impressed with Green Unity 
because "they have every intention of being 
here after the Year of the Environment. This is a 
group that started before any of this came about," 
he says. "They are able to take the Year of the Environment 
and run with it because they were already organized and 
ready to go." 

Fox offers advice to Green Unity members and introduces 
them to administrators who can help them realize their 
ideas. "It's been incredibly positive to see how people 
in the leadership positions at the university have supported 
all of this," Fox says. "We call and they're there." 

Last November, Green Unity teamed with the SGA, which 
provided $8,000 worth of funding, to host a student kickoff for 
the Year of the Environment. More than 400 students buzzed 
around the University Student Commons plaza, divided into 
four quadrants each representing one season of the year. The 
winter quarter highlighted energy conservation, spring focused 
on gardening, fall presented the theme of eating in season and 
summer demonstrated recreational activities and transportation. 
Several university departments as well as outside vendors 
and student organizations set up demonstrations to inform 
university and community participants about recycling, eating 
locally grown foods and being energy efficient. Attendees 
participated in environmentally themed games such as "guess 
the number of cigarette butts" collected from a recent street 
cleanup (more than 5,000!) and "recyclables" bowling with 
tin cans. Apples provided by VCU Dining Services helped 50 
students from neighboring Carver Elementary School learn 
how to compost. 

Fox called the event a huge success and says he found the 
interaction between members of Green Unity and the Carver 
schoolchildren very powerful. "Green Unity is bringing a love 

14 1 VCU Shafer Court Connections 

of environment home personally," he says. "They can begin 
to see that their actions do have an impact on improving 
the world." 

Elle Chang, a senior international studies and political 
science majorand executive officer for Green Unity, expressed 
delight in the event's turnout and expected students to leave 
with a new perspective. "I hope they learned that all the 
little things they can change in their daily lives can help the 
environment in the future," she says. 

Planned for the future 

Next on the agenda for Green Unity is a two-pronged and more 
complex project called Gardens for Life. Working with VCU 
Facilities Management, members plan to install bayscaping 
along the Eugene P. and Lois E. Trani Center for Life Sciences 
building on Gary Street. Bayscaping involves using native plants 
that require less water, fertilizer and pesticides, thus reducing 
maintenance. Green Unity, again with help from Facilities 
Management, will dig up the existing plants and a local landscape 
artist will assist in making the design aesthetically pleasing. The 
second part of the project involves creating a rain garden in 
the grassy courtyard between the Life Sciences building and 
the School of Education wing of Oliver Hall. The rain garden 
will collect and treat storm water runoff from the building rather 
than it flowing into the city's sewers. Members of Green Unity 
met with Draper Aden Associates, a local consulting and civil 
engineering firm that will act as an adviser for the plan. 

Green Unity hopes these garden projects will not only 
beautify VCU's Monroe Park Campus but also will offer 
future learning opportunities for its students. Fox says that 
understanding allows the group to accomplish so much. 
"They recognize that all this has to be educational," he says. 

The group's next big university-wide event comes April 
22, when it will host Earth Day for the second year in a row. 
Members want to expand the previously daylong festival to 
a weeklong celebration filled with activities. After the success 
of the Year of the Environment kickoff, expectations will be 
high, but Green Unity looks forward to the challenge. 

"We want to tell students, this is what your university is 
doing," Schutt says. "These are priorities. It's the right thing 
to do, really." 

Bayscapes on campus >> To make a gift to the 
bayscaping project, visit, 
select the "General donation form" and then the 
"Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences" as the 
donor designation. Or send a check made payable 
to the VCU Foundation c/o Catherine Dahl, director 
of development, VCU Life Sciences, 1000 W. Cary St., 
Suite 111, Richmond, VA 23284. 

Erin Egan is a contributing writer for Shafer Court Connections. 


report card 

.s;irere;s4 v-^'°'-=- 
Green report card for VCU 

Overall grade 


Climate change and energy 

Endow/ment transparency 

Food and recycling 

Green building 

Investment priorities 
Shareholder engagement 
Student involvement 
*Not applicable 

2008 I 2009 I 2010 








I A 

Green^report card for Virginia un.vers.-,es 

Virginia Commonwealth University ' ' "^ "'"" '"'^ 

College of William and Mary 
University of Richmond 

Virginia Tech 

University of Mary Washington 

University of Virginia 

Washington and Lee University 

Old Dominion University 

Radford University 

Regent University 
Hampton University 
Virginia Military Institute 



■ ' By Melanie Irvin Solaimani 

Alumni associations launch campaign to raise 
$50 million for student scholarships 

Catherine K. Flint (B.S. '78/B) always thought about joining the 
Virginia Commonwealth University Alumni Association. Living in 
Ashland, Va., and coming downtown often, she says she maintains 
some connection with VCU. 

"Joining has been something I've meant to do for years — but 
there always seemed to be something else that I needed to write 
a check for instead," she says. 

As her twin daughters, Angela and Alison, started to consider 
colleges, Catherine decided the time was right to write that check. 
Now she's glad she did. 

Angela, a freshman in the School of Education, won the VCU 
Alumni Association's Legacy Scholarship, which is awarded to 
a child or grandchild of a dues-paying member. 

"I didn't believe it. I'm pretty sure I cried because it meant a lot 
to me to have won this scholarship," Angela says. 

With two daughters in college, a son in high school and a recently 
retired husband, Catherine welcomed the financial assistance. 

"It was a huge help. It was overwhelming in August when we were 
ordering books — I thought it would never end. Now Angela is talk- 
ing about taking a class over winter break. Instead of saying, 'No, we 
can't get the tuition together,' I was able to say, 'No problem.' That's 
a really nice feeling," she says. 

The Flints are like a lot of VCU families, who struggle to finance 
higher education. 

About 70 percent of VCU's entering full-time freshmen apply 
for need-based financial aid. Only n percent, or l87, of those stu- 
dents with financial need have that need fully met. On average, 
VCU undergraduates receive $10,685 in financial aid. All forms 
of financial aid for VCU students exceed $270 million. Additionally, 
70 percent work full or part time. 

16 I VCU Sharer Court Connections 


K- v1 

tXV^'-^ ' 

The university is struggling to make ends meet, too, as the 
cost of higher education continues to rise and the amount of 
support VCU receives from the state continues to decline. 
This year, VCU will receive $25.4 million less state support 
than it did in fiscal year 2000, despite enrolling nearly 9,000 
more students. 

Leaders of the VCU Alumni Association and the MCV 
Alumni Association of VCU looked at those staggering 
statistics and decided to take action. In November, the 
associations announced Opportunity VCU, a campaign to 
raise $50 million for undergraduate and graduate scholar- 
ships and graduate fellowships. 

"Alumni frequently tell us that without the opportuni- 
ties VCU provided, they might never have earned a college 
degree. Now, alumni can provide assistance to the students 
of today and tomorrow by supporting the Opportunity VCU 
scholarship campaign," says Donna Dalton (M.Ed. Oo/E) 
president of the VCU Alumni Association. "I encourage all 
alumni to help students achieve these dreams by making a 
scholarship gift. Remember, even small gifts make a big differ- 
ence. You can make a five-year commitment and pay your gift 
off over time. 

"I also encourage you to personally call on five other VCU 
alumni and ask them to follow in your generous footsteps." 

The associations are collaborating with the schools and 
departments across both campuses to reach this goal. All 
of the university's schools are participating in Opportunity 
VCU in addition to their ongoing annual and capital fundrais- 
ing priorities. Gifts can be designated for a specific school or 
department; to the Opportunity VCU fund, a university-wide 
scholarship fund; or to the alumni associations' scholarship 

"Scholarships not only help deserving students fund their 
college education, but they also help the university attract 
and retain the most motivated students," says Michael Rao, 
Ph.D., VCU president. "As VCU continues to strengthen 
its reputation as a leading research university, the caliber 
of our students will excel as well. Our alumni of today and 
tomorrow will benefit as the value of their degrees ascends." 

Angela, who's adjusting to her classes, working part time 
and planning to join the new Students Today Alumni Tomorrow 
student group, hopes she can do her part to help others like 
her in years to come. 

"I absolutely iove VCU. I don't think I could have picked 
a better college to go to school. College is expensive, and I 
think it would be a really good feeling to help someone else 
be able to go to VCU," she says. "I hope that after I have grad- 
uated, I will be able to contribute to scholarship funds even 
just a little bit." 

And as the youngest Flint child eases closer to college 
(he's considering VCU, of course), Catherine is doubly grate- 
ful for the support — financial and otherwise — her family has 
received from the alumni association. She encourages alumni 
to consider giving back, too. 

"If you can give anything, you would not believe how much 
you are helping. What might seem like an 'insignificant' amount 
to you can add up with other 'insignificant' amounts and 
be the answer to someone else's prayers," she says. "When 
we are done with all the college expenses — sometimes I feel 
it will never be done — I am going to give back." 

To make a gift to the Opportunity VCU campaign, visit 

Melanie hvin Solaimam (B.S. '96/MC) is a contributing 
writer for Shafer Court Connections. 

With college expenses 
adding up for the 
Flint family, a Legacy 
Scholarship helps 
ease the financial 
worries for mom 
Catherine (center) 
and her twins, Angela 
(left) and Alison. 

[face to face] 






Jacek Ghosh, Virginia Commonwealth University's first director of sustainabiUty, helps guide the university's green 
efforts. But he has a bigger goal in mind — to make his position obsolete. 

"You know you're successful when you don't have to talk about sustainability, " Ghosh says. "In some ways, if you 
work yourself out of a job, then you've made it in the DNA. I shouldn't have to be here; it should just be part of what 
we're doing. " 

In the meantime, he oversees VCU's sustainability initiatives. After signing the American College and University 
Presidents' Climate Commitment in April 2008 and hiring Ghosh later that year, VCU set its sights on achieving carbon 
neutrality — zero net greenhouse gas emissions — by 2050. 

Ghosh recently sat down to talk about what it takes to make a college campus green. 

What is the university's philosophy toward 
sustainability? We're currently working on 
the climate action plan, so we're looking 
at energy, transportation and on-campus 
dining as well as the curriculum, research 
and community engagement. All things 
on campus connect and are sustainable. 
Also, we're an educational institution. We 
are obviously educating people. We model 
behavior for our local community. If we 
can't figure out how to lead the way, then 
I'm not sure anybody will. 

How is VCU setting the standard? In 

Virginia, we have the iconic Walter L. Rice 
Education Building at VCU's Rice Center, 
which is the first LEED platinum -level building 
in the state. We can also affect policy because 
Capitol Square is down the street. If nothing 
else, we get to see policy live and in action. 
I think climate change is also going to force 
curriculum and create different hybrid 
disciplines, and hopefully, the university 
will be on the leading edge of that. With our 
planning process and the small, logical things 
we've done, we're actually in the forefront. 
We're right there in the front of the pack. 

What are VCU's biggest accomplishments? 
I think signing the Presidents' Climate 
Commitment and having a climate action 
plan by May 20I0 will be our big accomplish- 
ments, because that sets our path for the next 
40 years. We're looking at how to decide what 
our footprint is, what growth we can expect 
and at what rate we need to reduce our output. 
Then we have to break that down into something 
that folks can understand and get everyone to 
change their behaviors, including myself. 

A big piece is all of our buildings will be 
LEED silver or better. As we build new build- 
ings, they won't produce energy, and we have 
200 old buildings that will need to be more 
energy efficient. We've also had a recycling 
program that's been around for years, and we 
recently added exterior recycling containers 
that have been a big hit. Campus dining, which 
is a small piece of our greenhouse gas emis- 
sions, is becoming more sustainable. As a large 
commuting institution, we have to look at 
parking and traffic. We have lots of bicyclists 
and some people who ride mo-peds and scoot- 
ers, but we still build parking garages and 
people want to park right where they work. 
We don't know all of the answers yet, but if we 

start talking about them and put them in our 
plan, then we have the next 40 years to figure 
them out. 

How can people get involved? Everybody 
likes to talk about green because this is the 
year — or maybe the decade — of being green. 
The VCU Sustainability Committee, with 45 
people from a variety of departments, is active 
and coming up with suggestions and ideas to 
be implemented. There are always the logical 
things — use less paper, use less water, turn 
your lights off, turn your computer off — that 
we've heard about for the past ID years but are 
harder to do in practice. You have to think 
that the issue is large enough to think about 
saving. At a place that you work, it's not your 
home and it's someone else's money. But in 
the end it isn't anybody else's environment 
— it's all ours. If we don't take care of it, it 
doesn't matter who you are, you're going to 
feel the repercussions of it. 

Interview conducted by Kjm Witt, a contributing 
writer for Shafer Court Connections. 

To learn more about VCU's sustainability efforts, 

l8 I VCU SInafer Court Connections 


.J - U J 


New performing arts comply _^^ 
opens its doors, attracting acts from 
'arovind the world and around the corner' 



^m nticipation and excitement filled 
/^H the air in downtown Richmond 
X .^B. on the evening of Sept. 12, 2OO9, 
as a sold-out crowd packed the I,800-seat 
Carpenter Theatre to celebrate the grand 
opening of Richmond CenterStage, the city's 
new I79.000-square-foot performing arts 
complex on Broad Street. 

"There was just this aura of expectation — 
a whole renewal of the spirit of downtown, " says 
Dorotliy Pauley (B. A. '74/HS:S), CenterStage 
Foundation board of directors member and 
namesake for part of the complex. 

The opening of CenterStage signaled the 
completion of the Carpenter Theatre's long- 
anticipated renovation, as well as three new 
venues housed in Dorothy Pauley Square: the 
Gottwald Playhouse, Rhythm HaU and the 
Showcase Callery. 

Jay Smith, CenterStage spokesman, says the 
complex's vision began in September 200I 
when local business leaders realized the 
potential for the downtown corridor between 
Sixth and Seventh streets, and Broad and 
Grace streets. They formed the foundation 
to start fundraising, planning and develop- 
ment — successfully collaborating with the city 

Richmond CenterStage welcomes local and 
national acts to the Carpenter Theatre and 
the three venues in Dorothy Pauley Square. 
The performing arts complex's September 
2009 grand opening featured African 
American Repertory Theatre and City 
Dance Theatre performers, among others. 
For more information about CenterStage, 

of Richmond on the project (Richmond owns 
the Carpenter Theatre; CenterStage Foundation 
owns the venues in Dorothy Pauley Square). 

When determining what to include in the 
complex. Smith says, the foundation asked 
two questions: What does the local community 
want and what do the different arts groups in 
Richmond need? 

The resiolt: a combination of large and 
small venues that can draw national acts (think 
magician David Copperfield and Broadway's 
"Avenue Q^") and provide nine resident pro- 
duction groups (including the Richmond 
Ballet and Virginia Opera) vnth space to per- 
form and practice. 

"We wanted to attract acts from around the 
world and around the corner, " Smith says. 

The refurbished Carpenter Theatre boasts 
comfortable seats, state-of-the-art acous- 
tics and brilliant lighting, including newly 
installed fiber-optic stars twinkling overhead 
in the repainted midnight sky ceiling — one 
of many preserved and enhanced elements 
of the theater's original 1929 design. 

In Dorothy Pauley Square (the former 
Thalhimers building), the 200-seat Gottwald 
Playhouse features performance hall-quality 

acoustics and a flexible seating pattern that 
provides patrons a full view of the stage area, 
while Rhythm Hall serves as a multipurpose 
space that can be used for rehearsals or can be 
set up in the spirit of a local jazz club to create 
a more intimate setting for a stand-up come- 
dian or a blues band. The 1,500-square-foot 
Showcase Gallery displays visual arts that can 
be coordinated with First Fridays and other 
local art events. 

"I really think CenterStage will be the flame 
that catches fire and all of Broad Street will 
become active again, " Pauley says. 

As a season-ticket holder, Patiley plans 
to do her part to support the arts. Now she 
hopes the surrounding community wall do 
the same. 

"The core of your area is so important, and 
we really want people to come downtown, " 
Pauley says. "We're lucky to have something 
of this quality here in Richmond. The tour- 
ing productions, the ballet, the symphony, 
the opera — all are first-rate. We've just got 
everything going for us here." 

Polly Roberts is a contributing writer 
For Shaier Court Connections. 




DANirP OFF > Virginia Commonwealth University students spend 
a spring day break dancing at the Shafer Court compass. Located 
between the James Branch Cabell Library, Hibbs Hall and the Shafer 
Court Dining Center, the compass marks the center of VCU's bustling 
Monroe Park Campus. 

^^■^ ^A^ 

V** ^ ■ 



. mm n 






20 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

_ t_. iriixt^ 



VCU's yearlong core curriculum course enhances 
the student experience — one undergraduate at a time 

Thomas McMullen never thought of himself as a particularly 
great student. He did OK in high school but says no teacher or class 
ever really challenged him. That changed in 2008-09 when he 
participated in Virginia Commonwealth University's yearlong 
Focused Inquiry course. 

In his class of 22 students, McMullen blossomed. His FI instructor, 
Peter Henry, took him under his wing and encouraged McMullen 
to enter a personal essay he wrote for class in an annual FI writ- 
ing contest. McMuUen's piece, "Laughing with God," about being 
a stand-up comedian and a Muslim, won the contest and was 
published in "A Companion to Focused Inquiry," a compilation 
of FI student writing. 

"I had never succeeded at anything like that," McMullen says. 
"It was a nice shift to go from the underachiever to really embracing 
the academic world." 

Since his essay won the award and garnered such high praise, 
McMullen. now a junior, changed his major from art to English 
and serves as an undergraduate teaching assistant to Henry. "It's 
something I never thought I would be in a position to do, " McMullen 
says. "It's one of my favorite aspects of going to school now. " 

McMullen credits Henry for sparking his interest in writing and 
mentoring him. 

"In Focused Inquiry, it was the first time a professor really spoke 
to me as opposed to at me, " he says. "The kind of rapport that devel- 
oped is probably what kept me most engaged in class. " 

McMuIlen's experience illustrates exactly why the university 
introduced FI as part of its core curriculum in lOO'J: to enhance 
the student experience. 

22 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

By Erin Egan 

The process of instituting FI began in 2004, after VCU received 
its reaccreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and 
Schools. At that time, the university's Quality Enhancement Plan 
revolved around increasing student engagement. Simultaneously, 
the development of the VCU 2020 Strategic Plan laid out the vision 
for improving the university over the next 15 years. 

Stephen D. Gottfredson, Ph.D., then dean of the College of 
Humanities and Sciences, enlisted the help of Joe Marolla, Ph.D., 
then director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, to exam- 
ine how the university could better serve its students. Specifically, 
Gottfredson, now provost and vice president for academic affairs, 
asked Marolla what he would do to improve undergraduate educa- 
tion over the next 20 years. 

"The provost was allowing me to think about the biggest picture, ' 
says Marolla, who now serves as vice provost for instruction, director 
of the CTE and acting dean of the University College. 

Marolla dove into the existing literature. He investigated programs 
at large universities as well as small, elite liberal arts institutions. His 
research uncovered a common theme: All students should master cer- 
tain abilities or skills before leaving college. Those skills include oral 
and written communication, critical thinking, information fluency, 
ethical and social responsibility, and quantitative literacy. 

Marolla worked on a proposal for FI, a six-credit, two-semester 
sequence required of all first-year students that would provide the 
foundation of the core curriculum. Students would begin core 
shared experiences through a summer reading program followed 
by the FI sequence. Throughout the year, students would undertake 
similar assignments and projects inside and outside the classroom. 

One stipulation of Marolla's FI proposal included faculty mem- 
bers hired specifically to teach the course. "1 needed my own faculty 
who are not encumbered with research and other obligations, " he 
says. "I needed people who love to teach and want to deal with the 
problems of freshmen." 

The proposal was approved by Gottfredson and then-VCU 
President Eugene P. Trani, Ph.D., and remarkably Marolla received 
everything he requested. "1 cannot even tell you how big that was," 
Marolla says. He brought in 41 faculty members in 2007- Since 
then, two more have joined the team. 

One of the many people assisting Marolla on the project included 
Daphne Rankin, Ph.D., director of student engagement in the 
Office of the Vice Provost for Instruction. A veteran of more than 
20 years of teaching at VCU, Rankin can barely contain her enthu- 
siasm when she talks about FI, its faculty and its impact on students. 

"The professors are very hands-on and the classroom is a learning- 
centered environment," she says. "We tell students that we are going 
to provide them with the facilities, the resources and the people 
to enhance their success, but the responsibility lies with them. 
We're here to facilitate their learning and to make their learning 
an adventure." 

Kristin Reed, Ph.D., arrived at VCU from Indiana University 
in August 2009 to teach 85 students in four sections of FI. While 
at Indiana, she says she was often the only faculty member teaching 
a particular course. At VCU, Reed says she can draw support and 
get instant feedback from her fellow FI professors. 

"1 have almost 50 people teaching the same course who are taking 
different approaches," Reed says. "It gives me tons of stimulation 
as a teacher. I'm very fortunate to have such a big and interesting 
community of people to work with. " 

Reed says her students benefit from the small class size and get 
to know one another well because they interact with the same group 
for an entire year. She notices that students become extremely aware 

that they are surrounded by people with whom they might not nor- 
mally come in contact and that affects how they speak. This offers 
excellent training for real life, she says. 

"The world is full of people who are radically different from us," 
Reed says. "Having that open discourse in the classroom makes them 
aware that those types of unexpected diversity are closer than they 
think, and that over time they can establish discourse with people 
who they previously thought they had nothing in common with." 

Reports on the FI program's first two years indicate a substantial 
increase in university retention rates. In 2005, first-year student 

retention rates stood at 80 

university of opportunity 
that provides students 
'with tools to be quality 
people in the long run." 

• Joe Marolla, Ph.D. 

percent. After the imple- 
mentation of FI, retention 
rates rose to 85.5 percent, 
the highest in VCU history. 
By comparison, first-year 
retention rates at VCU's 
peer institution's averaged 
82 percent during the same 

time period. 

"Last year was the highest academic performance after the first 
semester of any class ever at VCU, so it shouldn't surprise people that 
retention was the highest it had ever been," Marolla says. 

With more students returning to the university, the program paid 
for itself in two years. The success comes as no shock to Marolla, who 
knew failure was not an option. Now, the ongoing challenge will be 
to ensure that FI engages future classes of undergraduate students 
and prepares them for life after VCU. 

"Our job is to be the university of opportunity that provides stu- 
dents with tools to be quality people in the long run, " Marolla says. 
"That's what this is about.' 

Erin Egan is a contributing- writer for Shafer Court Connections. 

Finding Love 

%^ By Kclli Anderson 

Pair fall in love as VCU students more than 30 years ago 


in X7 f O^ art major Robin Croft (B.F.A. '80/A) found 
inspiration in the Department of Painting and Printmaking 
administrative office. Her name was CatKy Senkow (B.S. '80/H&.S). 

"It was a really smaU office, and we had the 
doors open all the time so he just came in and 
out, " says Cathy, a math major who worked in 
the office as a student typist. "My first impres- 
sion of Robin was he seemed friendly." 

While pretending he needed to talk with 
department secretary Nancy Robinson, 
Robin admits his frequent visits to the 
office were to see Cathy. 

"1 went into the office to flirt with her 

because she had pretty legs," Robin says. 

"I noticed her eyes first but back then 

in the late 'JOs she was always wearing 


Finally, during the last week of spring 

semester classes, Robin mustered the 

courage to ask Cathy for a date when they returned to 

campus in the fall. The pair agreed to catch up in August when classes 

resumed. That summer, Robin headed back to his home in South Hill, 

Va., while Cathy traveled north to Falls Church, Va. 

When the two returned to Richmond, Cathy changed jobs and 
started working as a waitress but remained connected with Robinson 
in the painting and printmaking department. She hadn't forgotten 
about Robin or their future date and decided to leave a card with 
Robinson, hoping he'd look for her. 

"I saw this card in the store and thought it would be really cute to 
make, " Cathy says. "It had little coupons on the edge of the card that 
you could tear off, and each coupon was redeemable for a kiss." 

Her creativity paid off. Robin arrived at her off-campus apart- 
ment one day unannounced, card in hand. 

Share your story 

Did you meet your significant otiier at VCU? Share your story and 
connect witli other graduates on the VCU Alumni Association 
Facebook page at 

24 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

"When I got out of my car, I saw Cathy taking her bike into her 
apartment and I went over to hold the door for her, " Robin says. "She 
just went on in without recognizing me so I had to go in after her." 

It didn't take long for Cathy to make the connection between the man 
who flirted with her last semester and the man holding her door. 

"He had a Panama hat on and I thought he was really cute, but 
I didn't realize I knew him." 

Cathy giggles as she remembers Robin redeeming his coupon right 
there on the steps of her Hanover Avenue apartment. Without wasting 
any more time, they held their first date that night, watching the televi- 
sion show, "Star Trek." 

"The card worked," Cathy says. 

The couple spent the next two years studying at VCU and hanging 
out off campus at N.Y. Deli — one of their favorite places in Carytown 
— and on campus in the Hibbs Building on Friday nights. 

"We went to the free movie nights and watched a lot of classic movies, " 
Robin says. 

After graduation the couple moved to Northern Virginia and married 
Nov. 15, 1980, in Alexandria. Cathy (now Cathy Croft) owns a family law 
practice while Robin works at the Lorton Arts Foundation and creates 
art such as wall hangings, sculptures and drawings in his home studio. 
Now, 29 years later, Robin and Cathy make regular trips to VCU, 
visiting their eldest daughter, Carly, a second-year honors student 
studying criminal justice. 

"We always loved VCU because it's in the city, and students are still 
in the real world even though they are in college," Cathy says. 
"Carly is a very decisive person and only 
wanted to go to our alma mater." 

Cathy hopes that Carly's time 
as a VCU student provides some 
of the same excitement and love that 
hers did. 

"Some of our best memories are 
from our time at VCU and living in 
Richmond, " she says. 

Kelli Anderson is a contributing writer 
for Shafer Court Connections. 

A handmade card (left) sparks a relationship 
between Cathy and Robin Croft, who married 
Nov. 15, 1980. 

™'5 I? Voun , u^y 

K>R A 



,brou9^li^|a:^ou by the 
MCil /^liinvni^ssociatio ^ 


D^sti nations 



^^ 2010 Trips 

Aug. 6-14 Paris and London (via Eurostar train) 

Aug. 25-Sept. 3 Canadian IViarltimes 

Aug. 29-Sept. 22 Grand Journey Around the World 

Sept. 8-16 Tuscany-Cortona 

Sept. 12-20 Ancient Greece and Turkey Island Life Cruise 

Oct. 17-30 Mediterranean Inspiration Cruise 

Nov. 26-Dec. 4 Holiday Markets on the Danube 

Alumni Association 

a Commonwealth Univers 

t y 


2011 Trips 



(final dates pending) 


Insider's Perspective: Rome 

Cruise the Panama Canal: 
Leeward Islands to Caldera 

Mysteries of the Mekong River: 
Angkor Wat to Saigon 

Mayan Mystique Cruise 

Asian Explorations Cruise 

Caribbean Pearls Cruise 


/ March 
' March 

/ April Historic Reflections Cruise: Athens to Barcelona 

April Passage to Panama: Key West to San Francisco 

May China, Tibet and Yangtze River Cruise 

For more information, call (804) 828-2586 or visit 

C Alumni I . 

News, highlights and event photos from the 

Virginia Commonwealth University Alumni Association. 

VCU alumni volunteers take part in HandsOn community projects 

On Oct. 17, nearly 100 VCU alumni volunteered their time with one 
of more than 40 community projects organized by HandsOn Greater 
Richmond. The effort vi'as part of the VCU Alumni Association's new 
service initiative, Service to Community and VCU. which is designed 
to mobilize the strength and talent of 140,000 VCU alumni in a broad 
and concerted dedication to community service. 

The VCU Alumni Association announced the new effort Sept. II 
in recognition of the National Day of Service and Remembrance. The 
alumni association hopes to inspire and motivate the VCU alumni com- 
munity, including more than 50,000 people in the Richmond area, 
to make a collective push to participate in community-service projects. 

Rams Alumni Volunteer Network 

The Rams Alumni Volunteer Network, or RAVN, provides an out- 
let for Richmond-area alumni to volunteer on behalf of the VCU 
Alumni Association. RAVN supports the alumni association's service 
initiatives in addition to exploring other community volunteer oppor- 
tunities. All alumni are welcome to participate. To learn how you can 
get involved, contact Larry Powell, assistant director of the VCU 
Alumni Association, at 

Athena Parker, volunteer engagement coordinator with AmeriCorps 
VISTA for fdandsOn, says that one day of volunteering made a huge 
impact. In total, about LOGO volunteers gave 4.000 hours of service 
— a value of $83,000 to the community. 

The majority of VCUAA members assisted with a cleanup project 
at Richmond Community High School. 

"TTie VCU HandsOn Day project at Richmond Community High 
School was a phenomenal success. The landscaping that was done on the 
front of the building enhances the beauty of this neoclassic building. Most 
importantly, the cleaning out of the greenhouse enables the school to make 
it a full-production facility," says Principal Thomas H. Beatty, Ed.D. 
(B.A. 'g3/HS:S), also secretary of the VCU Alumni Association board 
of directors and a member of the board's Service to Community and VCU 
Committee. "The greenhouse will be used to provide real-life experiences 
for our science classes, and it will serve as a production facility to provide 
plants for the Cannon Creek Greenway that runs near the school. " 

The VCU Alumni Association is working with the VCU Division 
of Community Engagement in support of the Caring to Act initiative 
to encourage VCU alumni, staff, faculty and students to participate 
in structured volunteer activities that address critical community needs. 

A number of projects are in development. For more informa- 
tion, visit the Support and Get Involved section of the VCU Alumni 
Association Web site at 

Benefit spotlight: Online Journals Access 

If you're conducting research or looking for interesting 
articles on a specific topic, check out Online Journals 
Access by EBSCO Host. Available as an exclusive mem- 
ber benefit via the alumni association Web site, Online 
Journals Access connects you to more than 8,200 aca- 
demic journals and reports (more than 3,350 are full-text) 
and 1,450 business magazines. 

All site-registered, dues-paying alumni asso- 
ciation members can get direct access to the 
databases. You can even view the complete list 
of publications included in the database before 
registering to use the site or becoming a member. 
Go to at, select "Benefits 
& Services" and click on "Online Journals Access." 

26 ! VCU Shafer Court Connections 

[alumni connections] 

Richmond-area receptions welcome the Raos to VCU 

More than 6oo alumni and guests attended five Richmond-area recep- 
tions last fall to welcome new VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., and his 
wife, Monica, to campus. The Raos talked with alumni one-on-one, and 
Dr. Rao shared his vision for the future. He urged alumni to re-engage 
with their alma mater and called on them to participate in the Opportunity 
VCU campaign to raise $50 million for student scholarships and fellow- 
ships. (To read more about this university-wide campaign, see Page 16.) 

In October, the Raos met alumni association board members at the 
Scott House. The crowd of 125 ^Iso included former board members 
of the VCU Alumni Association and the MCV Alumni Association of 
VCU. This annual event keeps former board members in touch with 
the university and provides updates on alumni association initiatives. 

VCU President Michael Rao. Ph.D., (left) and his wife. Monica, enjoy meeting commu- 
nity members during a reception at Willow Oaks Country Club. All alumni in the greater 
Richmond area were invited to meet VCU's new president at a series of events last fall. 

Mark your calendars for Reunion Weekend 

The 2010 Richmond Professional Institute and African-American 
Alumni Council reunions are scheduled for April 23-25. Check the VCU 
Alumni Association Web site regularly for Reunion Weekend updates: 

VCU Alumni Month is for you! 

Mark your calendars now to come back to campus to attend one 
or more of the many events and activities scheduled for April at VCU. 

Join in the fun and learning at lectures, forums, bike rides, commu- 
nity-service projects, presentations, receptions, dinners, dedications 
and other social activities — all spread throughout the month. 

If you haven't been back to campus recently, this is the perfect 

To learn more about the Alumni Month events listed below, or for 
a complete calendar, visit 

April 1 

Virginia Communications Hall of Fame - School of Mass Communications 

April 10 

Rams Night Out - VCU Young Alumni Council 
VCU Intercultural Festival 

April 15 

William E. and Miriam S. Blake Lecture in History of Christianity - 
College of Humanities and Sciences 

April 23 

Reunion Weekend 

Richard T Robertson Alumni House lO-year anniversary 

April 24 

Bike Ride to Osborne Landing - VCU Cycling Club 

Henry H. Hibbs and Margaret I lohnson Plaza Dedication 

Resume Writing and Interviewing Presentation 
CareerBeam and Online Journals Demonstration 
Using Social Media for Marketing 

April 30 

Alumni Night at The Diamond: Richmond Flying Squirrels 
vs. Bowie Baysox 

Association recognizes freshman scholarship winners 

The VCU Alumni Association sponsored the Freshman Scholars' 
Barbecue Oct. 24. during Fall Fest. The event was attended by more 
than 220 freshmen, parents and guests. All of the invited students had 
received a Presidential, Provost or Deans' scholarship. VCUAA board 
member James Williams (B.S. '84/H&S; M.S. '86/H&S) spoke about 
his years at VCU. 

Williams received one of the first Presidential scholarships ever 
awarded. Emcee and VCUAA board member Aaron Gilchrist (B.S. 
'03/MC) and VCUAA President Donna Dalton (M.Ed. 'OO/E) led 
a VCU trivia contest with questions for both parents and students. 
Everyone enjoyed music, photos, fun and, of course, the barbecue. 

Freshman scholars and their families attend a dinner in their honor. The VCU Alumni 
Association sponsors the annual event held during the university's Fall Fest. 

Spring 2010 I 27 

If you can read this, 



f •■",>■. 

Lif^ at Virginia Commonwealth University instills in studerits a diverse range of views and results 
in aTdmhi who apply street-smart solutions to local and global chaJlenges. Joining the alumrri 
associatipn help's to enrich the VCU experience and provides for a lifetime connection with ; 
the university and fellow alunini. We create change. We move the needle. We make a dent. 

Join today • '• (804) 828-2586 

n . I . a 


n w e a I t h 

U n i V e r s i t y 

[alumni connections] 

Affiliate news 

Hampton Roads alumni help at the holidays 

Hampton Roads Alumni Chapter members 
participated in several service initiatives dur- 
ing the 2009 holiday season. The chapter 
adopted an elderly foster parent of five pre- 
teen and teenage children by sponsoring their 
family's Thanksgiving Day meal. The chapter 
also provided Christmas gifts for lO Angel 
Tree children in the Hampton Roads area. 

VCU Graduates that live in Hampton 
Roads who would like to join the chapter 
may contact Allye Ingram (B.S. '89/H&S) 
or Pamela McKinney (B.A. OO/A) at 
vcuhamptonroadsalumni@gmail . comi . 

RPI Council establishes heritage campaign 

The Richmond Professional Institute 
Alumni Council launched the RPI Heritage 
Campaign to raise $200,000 for a schol- 
arship. Through this campaign, donors 
can name historic spaces in Ginter House. 
Known as the "Ad Building " by many RPI 
alumni, the house was the administration 
and student life center for the institute. 

"Alumni who attended RPI in the '30s, 
'40s or 'S*-** ^*^1 especially remember The 
Slop Shop,' the little snack shop in the base- 
ment," says RPI alumnus Bob Lindholm (B.S. 
'50/H&S). "There was a counter on the left as 
you entered, a jukebox and a few booths against 
the wall, almost always filled vrith students. The 
official name was RPI Book Store and Coffee 
Shop, but to many it was The Slop Shop. " 

Donors will be recognized with plaques 
mounted in Ginter House. In addition, their 
names will be added to the Book of Honor 
in the RPI archives. 

To make a tax- deductible contribution, 
contact Gordon A. McDougall, assistant vice 
president. University Alumni Relations, at . 

S.C., Va. and D.C. chapters need your voice 

Do you live in Charleston, S.C., Northern 
Virginia or D.C? 

The VCU Alumni Association wants to 
hear from alumni in the Charleston, S.C., 

area who are interested in forming an alumni 
chapter. We're also exploring restructur- 
ing the Northern VirginiaAVashington-area 
alumni chapter by developing several smaller, 
regional groups. 

If you're interested in these chapters, contact 
Larry Powell, assistant director of the VCU 
Alumni Association, at 

AAAC seeks nominees for officer positions 

The African -American Alumni Council 
will hold elections this spring to fill the 
expiring terms of its president and secretary. 
Officers vnW serve a two-year term from July 
2010 to June 20I2 and must be active mem- 
bers of the VCU Alumni Association. 

If you're interested in serving as part of 
the council's leadership, contact Larry Powell 

STAT connects students, alumni 

A new student organization sponsored by 
the VCU Alumni Association gives current 
VCU students opportunities to get involved. 
Students Today Alumni Tomorrow, or 
STAT, facilitates interaction between stu- 
dents and alumni and enhances the student 
experience by providing opportunities that 
strengthen lifelong loyalty to VCU. 

STAT lets students connect with the 
alumni association before graduation 
while providing leadership opportunities 
through the board and offers students free 
members-only goodies and rewards. 

In its first few months, STAT signed up 
69 members who have helped at various 
alumni association events, including the 
SunTrust Richmond Marathon, the 
Richmond-area receptions with VCU 
President Michael Rao, Ph.D., and his 
wife. Monica, and the HandsOn Day com- 
munity-service effort. 

April is 

vet Alumni Month 

Mark your calendars now to attend one or 
more events and activities scheduled during 
VCU Alumni Month. Join faculty, staff, students 
and alumni in the fun and learning at reunions, 
receptions, dinners, dedications, forums, 
lectures, community & university 
service projects and other social 
& spirit activities - all spread out 
throughout the month. 

VCU Alumni Month is for you! You are sure 
to find activities that will be of interest or just 
meet up with old friends. Come join all the fun 

To learn more, visit our Web site at 


Alumni Association 

o n w • a I t h 

Spring 2010 I 29 

Update yoijy-ecord 

e news 

Visit the VCUAA Web site at to update your contact, employment and personal information. 

Name Class year 

Maiden name (if applicable) 

Street address 

City State ZIP 

Home phone Cell phone 

Home e-mail address 







Company Job title 


2 start date Retirement date (if applicable) 

s" Street address 

"» City , 



Work phone 

Work e-mail address 

UJ Spouse's name 


Ot If VCU alumnus/alumna, class year 


2 Wedding date Spouses employer . 

>J 3 Boy QGirl 

-< Name Date of birth/arrival 

Spouse/partner's name 

If VCU alumnus/alumna, class year 

To report a death, please a/so provide a news clipping of the death notice. 

Name of deceased Class year 

Date of death Relationship to deceased . 

Please note: News for publication mast be no more than a year old because of space 
constraints. If you do not wish to publish this information, please check the box at right. 

Mail your update to: Office of Alumni Relations, Virginia Commonwealth University, 
924 W. Franklin St., P.O. Box 843044, Richmond, VA 25284-3044; fax (804) 828-8197; 
e-mail; or visit 


Get access to additional alumni- 
only features by registering 
online. It's fast. It's easy. It's free. 

Visit and 
click on "Register." Once your 
registration is verified, you can: 

• Access the alumni directory 

• Start a CareerBeam account 
(complimentary until June 

• Update your profile 

Plus, we'll keep you informed via 
our monthly alumni e-newsletter. 


(Use additional sheets if needed.) 

□ Please publish this information 
in Shafer Court Connections. 

Q Do not publish this information. 
I am submitting for record 
purposes only. 

Class notes 

Send information about your professional and personal 
accomplishments to Or, mail your news 
to Shafer Court Connections, Virginia Commonwealth University, 
924 W. Franklin St., P.O. Box 843044. Richmond, VA 23284-3044, 



Patricia C. Massard (MS '79/MC) was awarded the Silver 
Certificate at the 62nd Virginia Public Relations Awards 
Ceremony, hosted by the Richmond Chapter of the 
Public Relations Society of America. She received the 
award for the 2008-09 marketing campaign she devel- 
oped and implemented for MercerTrigiani, a regional 
real estate law firm located in Alexandria. Va. 

Paul D. McWhinney* (B.S. 74/SW; M.S.W, ■79/SW) was 
selected for alumni membership in Phi Kappa Phi. In 
addition to his role as director of family services for the 
commonwealth of Virginia, he is a field instructor for 
the VCU School of Social Work, supei-vising under- 
graduate and graduate students in their internships. 

Laura Candler White (B M 78/A) performed at the 
VCU alumni board's first alumni recital. 

Robert P. Wiedemer* (B.S. Vo/B; M.S '73/3) retired 
after 35 ycai's of service with the Virginia state govern- 
ment as a state corporation tax auditor, systems analyst 
and information systems audit manager. 

Dave Williamson (M F A 76/A) and Roberta Williamson 
(M.F.A. ■76/A) were in the Peabody Award-winning PBS 
documentary "Craft in America. " Hillary Rodham 
Clinton. Robin Williams. Bill Murray. Warren Buffett 
and Carol Burnett are collectors of their jewelry. 


Lisa Edwards Burrs (B.M aVA; M.M '94/A) performed 
at the VCU alumni board's first alumni recital. 

Kristina "Tina" Kendall (B S '84/B) is assistant director 
of internal audit for the Virginia Department of 

John Lawson (M A. 87/l-ISi5) received the Ethel Fortner 
Award for his work in poetry and community service. 
Lawson published his first collection of poetry. 
"Generations," in 2007- 

Gary Shaver (B M.E WA) contributed his talents on 
piano, flute and vocals, and several original songs, 
to an evening of music at tJie VOCAL Songwriters 
Showcase in Richmond, Va. 

Jesse Vaughan Jr. (BS .30/MC). who has worked at major 
companies such as HBO. Warner Brothers, Atlantic 
Records, Sony Records, NBC, FOX and ABC News, is 
now executive producer for Northern Arizona University 
Television Services. Vaughan worked with NAU students 
and staff to produce the documentary "Spoken Word, " 
which combines poetry, music and film clips on con- 
temporary issues and was nominated for four Emmy 
awards from the National Academy of Television Arts 
and Sciences' Rocky Mountain/Southwest chapter. 


Victor Goines (M.M. Vo/A) performed clarinet before 

a crowd of 10.000 at the Benny Goodman centennial 

concert in Chicago. 


Melanie Payne Bolas (B.M, Oi/A), a music teacher 
at Chancellor Elementary School in Fredericksburg, 
Va., was awarded a $2. COO grant for her third-grade 
students to attend the National Symphony's Sounds 
Historic Young Peoples Concert, which fosters 
connections between music and history. 

Tina Boy (B.PA 07^) exhibited her work at the 
"Core Show" at Penland in North Carolina and 

Teacher promotes college — and VCU pride — to his students 

To join the KIPP — Knowledge Is Power Program — national network of charter schools, 
middle school science teacher Josh Elder (M.Ed. '08/E) relocated to Philadelphia in June 
2009 and quickly adjusted to a new city and a new job. 

Elder arrives at the KIPP Philadelphia Charter School by 7 a.m. to begin his often 12-hour 
day. Because many students come to the school two or three grade levels behind, the 
hours and the academic year stretch longer than at a typical school. "Our hope is that by 
the time students leave us in eighth grade, we've brought them up to grade level or above 
grade level," Elder says. 

KIPP schools promote higher education to their students from the beginning. Teachers 
decorate their classrooms with memorabilia from their alma mater as a constant reminder 
to students that college is an attainable goal. To gather items to deck out his classroom. 
Elder wrote a letter to Beverly Warren, Ed.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Education at 
Virginia Commonwealth University, and his former professors and asked if they could donate 
VCU gear. Elder received several care packages, including from the education school 
and the VCU Alumni Association. 
"I was just amazed at how much 
people sent me," he says. "The 
kids love having something with 
their homeroom name on it." 

The association with VCU gives 
his students — referred to as VCU 
Rams — pride and ownership in 
their homeroom, Elder says. They 
want their homeroom to have the 
highest grades or highest total of 
merits for the week, he adds. 

Acclimating to his new, gruel- 
ing schedule took some time, 
but Elder enjoys the constant 
challenge of working in a charter 
school environment. 

"It has really rejuvenated my 
interest in teaching because every 
day is different," he says. "There's josh Elder and liis students sport their VCU pride at KIPP 
always something new going on." Philadelphia Charter School. 

come to 

« ^Pi ' 


was featured at the "Women in Wood" exhibit at 

Arrowmont in Tennessee. 
Jackie Brown (M FA. OS/A) had work featured at the 

Shore Institute of Contemporary Art's Sixth Annual 

International Juried Exhibition in Long Branch, N.J. 

She teaches sculpture at Ursinus College in Collegeville 

Pa., and was offered a solo exhibit at the Clay Studio 

in Philadelphia. 
John Bullard (B.M OS/A) released "Scales and Arpeggios 

for Classical Banjo" with Mel Bay Publications. 

Elaine Butcher (B.F A. oq/A) had work at a Studio 
Gallei-)' Jason McLeod exhibit in Charlottesville, Va. 

Gabriel Craig (M.F.A. "op/A) spoke at VCU's 17th 
Annual Symposium on Architectural History and the 
Decorative Arts at the Virginia Historical Society and 
presented his research on early American arts and 
crafts and wrought ironwork. Craig was also a visiting 
artist at the Savannah College of Art and Design and 
participated concurrently in the "Making Meaning in 
the Marketplace" symposia sponsored by the American 

Spring 2010 I 31 

VCU experience benefits alumna in her new government post 

Carmen Nazario (M.S.W. '73/SW) enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at 
Virginia Commonwealth University in 1972 when her husband, a pilot with the U.S. Air Force, 
was stationed at Langley Air Force Base. She recalls her arrival at VCU as a serendipitous 
event that ultimately became transformational. 

"The dynamic circumstances of the times gave me the opportunity to find my voice and 
express myself as a leader, as an advocate and as a commenter on the social conditions 
of both the student body and the larger community," Nazario says. 

One memorable experience included fieldwork at Beth Sholom Home for elderly 
Jewish residents in Richmond, Va. Until then, Nazario, a Roman Catholic from Bayamon, 
Puerto Rico, had never experienced Jewish traditions. 

"My time there was an eye-opening culture shock because it was my first real exposure 
to different religious beliefs and practices," she says. "Through genuine expressions of 
care and concern, we were able to bridge that cultural divide." 

After graduating from VCU, Nazario worked in human services in private and non- 
profit sectors as well as at every level of government, including two appointments 
in President Bill Clinton's administration. Her VCU experience, she says, helped her 
develop the skill to embrace people from all walks of life and provided a solid founda- 
tion in the principles that continue to guide her. 

From 2003 to 2008, Nazario served as administrator 
of the Administration for Children and Families for the 
commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where she led an agency 
of 4,000 staff with a budget of more than $220 million. 
Next, she worked as an assistant professor at the Inter 
American University of Puerto Rico, where she taught 
social policy and coordinated the social work practicum 
at the School of Social Work. 

In September 2009, the U.S. Senate unanimously 
confirmed Nazario as assistant secretary for children 
and families. As assistant secretary, she oversees the 
Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services. In her more 
than 40-year career, Nazario calls this position a social 
worker's dream. 

"I can influence the lives of children, youth and families 
' who are at risk of the social ill that I was trained to ame- 
liorate," she says. "Whether my leadership is exercised 
in child welfare, early childhood education, services 
to communities or support of low-income families, the 
Carmen Nazario calls her time al opportunity to make lasting improvements in the quality 

VCU "transformational;' of life for millions of people is truly a privilege." 

Craft Council. He was recently hired as an adjunct 
faculty member in the Metals Department at Houston 
Community College, the largest public school in Texas. 

John Crandall (B A, bo/H&S) completed his M.B.A. and 
is the head coach for Syracuse University's Wresding Club. 

Dana Dabney (B P A. OS/A) teaches the crafts class at Varina 
High School m Henrico County, Va. 

Alissa Davis (M F A OS/A) published a review in Whitehot 
on Roxy Paine. 

Mike DiBella 'BIS. oe/l-l&S) founded an independent 
company, Music Intermix, that brings new music to 
the masses through high-quality video production. 
The company works to promote popular local musi- 
cians while raising money for the worldwide causes 
and charities it supports. 

Cari Freno (M,F A OP/A) was in the "Feed" show at 1708 
Gallery in Richmond, Va.. and her work was reviewed 
in the September/October issue of Art Papers. Freno 
was also featured in "I Don't Watch the Internet" 
at the Fleischer/Oilman Gallery in Philadelphia. 

Keith Hanlon (MM OS/A) performed at the VCU 
alumni board's first recital. 

Arthur Hash (B F A Oi/A) was in the "Stimulus Project" 
show at Sienna Gallery in Lenox, Mass. 

Brooke Mine's (M F A oa/A) installation, "Allogamy," 
appeared in Philly HOME Magazine last fall. 

Katie Hudnall (M FA os/A) was featured in the 
"Woman in Wood" exhibit at Arrowmont in Tennessee. 
Hudnall also received an honorable mention for the 
Raphael Prize from the Society for Contemporary 

Craft in Pittsburgh, and had her first solo show. 
'An Indirect Path." at the Art Loft Gallery in 
Madison, Wis. 
Matt Isaacson (M F A 09/A) and Susana Almuina 
[M F A 'OP/A) were accepted into the $250,00 Art- 
Prize competition in Grand Rapids, Mich. Isaacson 
was also a teaching assistant at Pilchuck for Rob Stern 
in August and was mentioned in Ceramics Monthly 
for an exhibition he curated at Columbus State 
Akiko Jackson (M,F A 09/A) was in the Australian 
Ceramics Triennale at the Sydney College of the Arts 
for the month of July and in the Australian invitational 
exhibit "\oung Guns," curated by Jan Guy. Jackson's work 
was also featured in "The Object: Found, Multiplied, 
Manipulated" at the Ridderhof Martin Gallery 
at the University of Mary Washington. 
Keith Mendak (M F A op/A) is teaching music theatrical 
performance and English in Seoul. South Korea, with 
Hello Kid Actor. 
Cynthia Myron (M FA 04/A), Debbie Quick ill F u 
06/A). Adam Welch (M F A 03/A) and Lizzie Perkins 
[M F A 04/A) are included in "Generously Odd: Craft 
Now." an exhibit that chronicles the unique territory 
currently being examined by today's avant-garde craft 
artists. Travis Townsend (M.F.A. bo/A) curated the 
Kent Perdue (BF, A b9/A) has been busy with his Windgate 

Fellowship and at his residency at Arrowmont. 
Lizzie Perkins (M.F.A,'o4/A) wasin the "Art of Fine 
Craft; National Juried Exhibition" in the Elder Gallery 
at Nebraska Wesleyan University. The exhibit was held 
in conjunction with the Art of Fine Craft Conierence. 
Meg Roberts (B FA, op/A) had two pieces included 
m Garth Johnson's "lOOO Ideas for Creative Reuse," 
which was released Nov. I. 2OO9. She also had her first 
solo show at the Appalachian Center for Craft. 
Fiona Ross (M FA Oi/A) had a solo show at Hollins 
University in Roanoke, Va.. which opened January 
Caitie Sellers (BF A. '07/A) had work in "Sparkle Plenty" 

ai Qunk Gallery in Richmond. Va. 
Kazue Taguchi (M FA '07/A) worked as an artist assistant 
for Czech artist Jan Ambruz at Pilchuck and was an 
artist-in-residence at the Newark Museum in New 
jersey from Jan. 4.-Feb.IO. 20I0. Taguchi was also 
in a two-person show at PSl22 gallery in New York 
City, [an. 30-Feb. 21, 20I0. 
Travis Townsend (M F A OO/A) received the Merit 
Award from the Society for Contemporary Craft 
in Pittsburgh. 
Adam Welch (M F A b3/A) gave the keynote lecture, as well 
as an artist lecture, at the Figuration to Fragmentation 
conference at the University of Kentucky in October 
2009. He also featured work at the Highstown. N.J., 
Harvest Fair and wrote "The Ceramic Sphere: Newer 
Ceramics Criticism and the Expanding Field," a nine- 
page article on a theory of ceramics and criticism in 
Ceramics Art and Perception, 
Erin Williams ir-1 F A bl/A) had work featured in 
"The Little Deaths" exhibit at Shadow Space Gallery 
in Philadelphia, which opened Dec. 4. 2009. 

Faculty and staff 

Shay Church, ceramics professor, was included in the 
$250,000 ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids, Mich. 

Sonya Clark, chair of the Department of Craft and 
Material Studies, was one of eight women from 
throughout Virginia recognized as an Outstanding 
Woman in the Arts by the Virginia Commission on the 
Arts. Clark was also in "The Mansion Project" exhibit 
at Rutgers University, Newark, and "A Complex Weave" 
at the Stedman Gallery at Rutgers University, Camden. 
She was invited to exhibit at the Cheongju International 
Craft Biennale 2009 in Cheongju, South Korea, 
and at the Birmingham Museum in England. 

Susie Ganch and Natalya Pinchuck, both profes- 
sors in the School of the Arts, were in the "Enamel 

32 ! VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Recently published alumni and faculty members 







Anthony DelDonna {B.M 'ee/A) published "The Cambridge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Opera" with 
Cambridge University Press. His other book. "Genre in Eighteenth-Century Music." was published by Steglein 
Pubhshing in 2008. 

Judith Fox published "I Still Do: Loving and Living with Alzheimer's," detailing her experience caring for 
her husband. Edmund Ackell, M.D.. D.M.D.. VCU president from 1978 to 1990. Fox wrote the book for 
other caregivers in an effort to reduce their sense of isolation and in hopes that it will help to destigmatize 
the disease. 

Saltanat "Salta" Liebert. assistant professor of public administration in the Wilder School, published a new 
book, "Irregular Migration from the Former Soviet Union to the United States." The book is the first in the 
English language to examine irregular migration from post-Soviet states, focusing in particular on migration 
to the U.S. Liebert explores the reality of post-Soviet migration where the mostly well-educated former 
professionals end up in low-wage, unskilled jobs as domestic workers, child care givers and construction 
workers, sometimes in exploitative labor situations. 

Joshua Poteat (M FA 'PT/M&S) released his second book of poetry, "Illustrating the Machine That Makes the 
World." a collection of engaging and mysterious poems that inhabit many worlds at once, bridging the real 
and the imagined, the traditional and the experimental, the surreal and the ordinary. Poteat has received 
awards from American Literary Review. Columbia-. AJournal of Literature and the Arts. Nebraska Review 
and River City. 

Melvin Urofsky. professor in the Department of History, published "Louis D. Brandeis: A Life." a biographical 
account of every aspect of the Supreme Court justice's incredibly varied career. Urofsky is the author of several 
earlier books on Brandeis and an editor of a five-volume collection of his letters. 

Show" at Velvet DaVinci in San Francisco. The exhibit 
celebrates the publication of '5OO Enameled Objects" 
by Lark Books and is held in conjunction with The 
Enamelist Society Conference. Ganch and Pinchuk 
were also featured in the "Stimulus Project' at Sienna 
Gallery in Lenox. Mass. 
Antonio Garcia, professor in the jazz studies program, 
published a trombone quartet arrangement of "Go 
Tell It on the Mountain" vnth Kagarice Brass Editions. 
David Greennagel, professor in the Department of 
Music, presented at the third biennial National Society 
for Music Teacher Education Symposium at the 
University of North Carolina-Greensboro. 
Jason Hackett (M F A OS/A), professor in the School 
of the Arts, was selected to exhibit in the DC Bienal 
Internacional de Ceramica Artistica de Aveiro 2009 
at the Museum of Aveiro in Portugal. 
Darryl Harper, professor in the Department of Music. 
released a new album. "Stories in Real Time." on the 
Hipnotic Records label. 
Susan Iverson. professor in the School of the Arts, 
had work included in the "Conversations" exhibit at 
the SAS Gallery in Sewanee. Tenn. She also received 
an award from the Handweavers Guild of America 
for her work exhibited in "Woven Visions" at the 
Anderson Arts Center in Anderson. S.C. 
Alice Lindsay, professor in the Department of 
Music, worked with viola students at the Regional 
High School Orchestra prep day at Old Dominion 
University. The program, sponsored by the Virginia 
chapter of the American String Teachers Association, 
provides experts to coach and prepare high school 
string players for regional and all-state orchestra 
Daniel Myssyk. professor in the Department of 
Music, conducted the Senior Regional Orchestra 
in Chesapeake. Va., on Nov. 14., 2009. He also 

launched the season in Montreal with his professional 
orchestra. Appassionata. 

John Patykula iM M 32/A), professor in the Department 
of Music, published an article on the VCU Flamenco 
Festival in Soundboard Magazine, the journal of the 
Guitar Foundation of America. He also published his 
arrangement of Alessandro Marcello's "Concerto 
in D minor" with Les Productions d'Oz. 

Debbie Quick (M FA, Oa/A) joined, a juried 
Web site for ceramics artists. 

Rex Richardson, professor of trumpet and jazz trumpet, 
received the 2009 VCU School of the Arts Faculty 
Award of Excellence. 

Sonia Vlahcevic, professor in the Department of 
Music, gave a lecture recital — "Andrzej Dutiwicz: Solo 
Piano Compositions" — at the College Music Society 
International Conference in Zagreb. Croatia. 

Jack Wax, professor in the School of the Arts, received 
a 45.000 DKr (approximately $9,000) Ole Haslunds 
Kunstnerfond Grant, an unsolicited grant from a 
private foundation in Kobenhavn, Denmark. Wax 
was honored for his work as a visiting artist at the 
Bornholm Skolan. 

Charles West, professor in the Department of Music, 
received a glowing review in Letter V: The Virginia 
Classical Music Blog of his performance of the Brahms 
"Trio Op. 114, No. l" at the Paley Music Festival. 



Cindy (Shaub) Murray* (B.S- WM&S) and Pete Murray 
(B.A. ^s/W&S) welcomed a son. Thomas James, on 
March 9. 2009, after celebrating VCU's CAA basket- 
ball tournament win, which they watched from their 
hospital room. 

Alumna builds green' home 

By day, Leah L.E. Bush (M.S. '/g/H&S; 
M.D. '84/M), chief medical examiner for the 
commonwealth of Virginia, manages four 
districts in four different parts of the state 
with more than lOO staff members in her 
department office. After hours, Bush super- 
vises an equally demanding bunch - the 
construction crew building her new home. 
Two years ago, Bush, a member of the 
VCU Alumni Association board, set out to 
build the first EarthCraft-certified "green" 
home in New Kent County, Va. She 
wanted to construct a house from scratch 
and "with the cost of energy always going 
up, it made sense to build a green home 
that's energy efficient," she says. 

Building an environmentally friendly 
home has proved quite the education 
for Bush. "It's not just solar panels on the 
roof" she says. 

The six-bedroom, five-bathroom house 
sits on 5 acres (Bush cleared only a limited 
number of trees). The back of the house 
faces south, soaks up the sun and uses 
less heat. Bush ordered bricks from a local 
company to avoid the cost of shipping 
them from across the country Her floors 
and kitchen cabinets are made of eucalyp- 
tus, a renewable resource. Even the excess 
drywall, made of limestone, gets crumbled 
up and sprinkled in her yard. 

The project really turned into a 
"friends and family" affair. Bush says. In 
addition to the builder, who was recom- 
mended by a friend, the real estate agent 
who sold Bush the land is the sister of 
another friend. The daughter of a third 
friend, who works for a green architec- 
tural firm in Charlottesville, Va., drew up 
the house plans. They, and especially 
Bush, look forward to her move-in date. 

"It will be a fun housewarming party," she 
says. "We're going to have a good time." 

Leah Busli's energy-efficient home sits on 
5 wooded acres in New Kent County, Va. 

V v. 

Alumni association 


Donna M. Dalton (M.Ed. 'Oo/E), president 
Kenneth A. Thomas (B.S. 'pl/B), president-elect 
Mary E. Perkinson (B.F.A. Vl/A; B.S. '03/En), 

Thomas H. Beatty (B.A. '93/H&S), secretary 
Paul D. McWhinney (B.S. WSW; M.S.W. 'yp/SW), 

officer at large 
C. Dandridge Massey (B.S.'92/B), immediate 

past president 


Mary H. Allen (B.S. 'So/E) 

Robert A. Almond (B.S. WE: M.S. 'Ss/E) 

(presidential appointment) 
Peter A. Blake (B.A. 'So/H&S; M.S. 'SS/MC) 
Elizabeth W. Bryant (B.S. ■84/MC; M.S. toVMC) 
Leah L.E. Bush, M.D. (M.S. 'yg/H&S; M.D. WM) 
Julia M. Cain (B.S. bl/En) 

(presidential appointment) 
Rejena G. Carreras (B.F.A. 'yo/A; M.A.E. 'So/A) 
William L. Davis (B.S. ■74/I-I&S; M.S. '79/H&S) 
David R. Dennier (B.S. '75/B) 
Gregory B. Fairchild (B.S. 'SS/MC) 
Aaron R. Gilchrist Jr. (B.S. bs/MC) 
Stephanie L. Holt (B.S. WE) 
Raymond E. Honeycutt (B.S. '76/E) 

(presidential appointment) 
Christopher R. Jones (B.S. bl/En) 
Stephen H. Jones (B.S. Vs/B) 
Shirley R. McDaniel (B.G.S. ■99/H&S) 
Elizabeth J, Moran (M.PA. WH&S) 
JohnS. Philips (M.S. '78/6) 
Edv^ard Robinson Jr (B.G.S. WH&S; M.S.W. b3/SW) 

(presidential appointment) 
John Jay Schv^artz (B.S. '69/B) 
Vickie M. Snead (B.S. '76/B) 
Jacqueline Tunstall-Bynum (B.S. 'Sz/H&S) 
Natalee A. Wasiluk (B.F.A. '86/A) 
James E. Williams (B.S. ■84/H&S; M.S. ■96/I-I&S) 

School and affiliated group 

Franklin R. Wallace (B.F.A. '87^; M.PA. b8/H&S), 

African-American Alumni Council 
Eugene H. Hunt (B.S. '59/B; M.S. 'dl/B), 

RPI Alumni Council 
Gaurav "G" Shrestha (B.S. b3/B), Young Alumni 

Joseph E. Becht Jr. (B.S. •80/B). School 

of Business 
Dale C. Kalkofen (M.A.E. '76/A), School 

of Education 
Christopher R. Jones (B.S. bl/En), School 

of Engineering 
Elizabeth M. McAdam (B.S. tos/H&S: M.S.W. b7/SW), 

School of Social Work 
Norma Ortiz-Robinson, Faculty Senate 
Malorie G. Janis (B.S. ■99/MC), Staff Senate 
Gabriel A. Walker, Student Government Association 

In memoriam 

Raymond W. Darnell* (A), of MechanicsviUe, Va., Nov. 

9. 2009, at age 92. 
Elizabeth W. Hirschler, of Richmond, Va., Oct. 4, 

2009. at age 93. 
Othmane Jawhari (B), of Henrico. Va., Feb. 20, 2009, 

at age 22. 
Thomas W. Rivenbark Jr.* (B.S./B), of Richmond, Va., 

July 3, 2009, at age 79. 


Shirley T. Downs* (BS. 49/H&S), of Columbus, N.C., 

Sept. 24. 2009, at age 81. 
Anne B. Flick* (Cerl, 49/A; BF A '50^), of Richmond, 

Va., Nov. I, 2009. 
John B. King (M.S. ■49/SW), of Richmond, Va., Oct. TO. 

2009. at age 89. 
Jane S. Lyon (B.F.A, 40/A), of Savannah. Ga., Oct. u. 

2009, at age 8g. 
Sarah M. O'Hara (BS 40), ofYorktown, Va., Oct. 11, 

2009, at age 91. 
Katherine L. Rowe (B.F A 46/A), of Arlington, Va., 

June 18, 2009, at age 85. 


Robert N. Adams (B,FA.'52/A), of Kansas City, Mo., 

Oct. 16, 2009. 
June S. Atw/ood (BFA. ■54/A;M.F.A.68/A), of Richmond, 

Va., Aug. 24., 2009, at age 79. 
Muriel D. Barbour* (B.S.'5i/E), of Richmond, Va., Nov. 

13, 2009, at age 79. 
Earl W. Childress Jr. (B.S.'53/H&S;M.S. 57/AHP), of Ocala, 

Fla.. June 17, 2OO9, at age 78. 
Sara P. Gallant (B FA, ss/A: B.S. ta/E), of Richmond, 

Va., Aug. 26, 2009, at age 78. 
Francis A. Glover (BS. si/E), of Wilmington, Del,, 

Aug. 22. 2009, at age 82. 
Mattie S. Jones (M S,W. sv/SW), of Richmond, Va,, 

Oct. 15. 2009, at age 85. 
William R. O'Connell Jr.* (B.M.E.'ss/A), of Williamsburg, 

Va.. Oct. 19. 2009, at age 76. 
Charlie B. Robblns Jr (BS,'52/B), of Bowling Green, 

Va.. Nov. 19. 2009, at age 84. 
Robert V. Turner (B S, ■57/H&S; M.S. 60/I-I&S), of Richmond, 

Va,, Sept. 8, 2009, at age 87. 


Ozeil E. Ard Jr. (B S 6I/B), of Charles City, Va., Nov. 

17. 2009. at age 75. 
Robert Vance Claude (BF A 66/A), of Richmond, Va,, 

July 15, 2009, at age 75. 
Madalyn B. Creasy (B S 67/E), of Aylett, Va., Aug. 25, 

2009, at age 63. 
James W. DeBoer (B.A, iS/H&S), of Colonial Heights. 

Va., July II, 2009, at age 62. 
Bertram L. Dunnavant* (B.S. ^i/B), of Richmond, Va., 

June 18, 2009, at age 71. 
W. Lester Duty* (BS.'60/B), of Richmond, Va.. Nov. 6, 

2009, at age 83. 

Frederic D. Fraley (M.S.W. 'bs/SW), of Lynchburg, Va,, 

Oct. 27. 2009, at age 71- 
Donna L. Francisco (BS WE), of Richmond, Va,, 

Aug. 21, 2009, at age 80. 
Elizabeth H. Grinnan (B S bo/H&S, M.Ed. '/o/E), 

of Richmond, Va., Oct. I9, 2009, at age 88. 
Ben D. Gunter (B FA WA), of Richmond, Va., Aug. 

14. 2009, al age 74. 
Raymond L. Jenkins Jr. (BS '57/B; MS ■72/B), 

of Greenwood, lnd.,June 12, 2OO9, at age 67. 
Charles F. Kain (BS '68/B), of Richmond, Va., Aug. 8, 

2009, at age 66. 

Mary W. Lawson (BS. bd/E), of Columbia, Mo., June 

20, 2009, at age 92. 
Vance H. Long (BS 6I/E). of Richmond, Va,, July 31, 

Odessa C. MacNell (B.S.'63/H&S), of Richmond, Va,, 

Oct. 3, 2009. 
Jerry L. Semones* (BS, 69/H&S}, of Christiansburg, 

Va.. Oct. 10, 2009, at age 63. 
Robert B. Spencer Jr. (BS.65/H&S), of Clovis, N.M., 

Oct. 17, 2009, at age 68. 
Martha P. Woodfin (B.S. to/SW), of Chester, Va., Nov. 

13, 2009, at age 66. 


Kenneth L. Barnes (AS 71/En), of Richmond, Va., 

Oct. 22, 2009. 
Carl R. Bradsher (B S 77/B), ofVirginia Beach, Va., 

Nov. 8, 2008, at age 54. 
Dahlia Y. Brlggs(BS 73/E), of Richmond, Va., June 

30, 2009, at age 80. 
Drewry I. Cheatham IIKB.S 70/E), of Chester. Va., 

July 2, 2009. at age 68. 
Robert A. Cline (BS 73/H&S), of Richmond. Va,, Aug. 

4, 2009, at age 86. 
Audrey H. Conyers (B S. 73/E: M.Ed. 78/E), of Midlothian, 

Va., Sept. 13, 2009, at age 83. 
Linda Brooks Cornette (B.F.A. ^i/A), of Surry, Va., 

Aug. 12. 2009. 
James E. Daniero Jr. (B,S.'78/B), of Fresno, Cahf., 

July 6, 2009, at age 57. 

Lex T. Eckenrode (BS ^o/H&S), of Midlothian, Va., 

Aug. 2, 2009, at age 61. 
Mary D. Garber (BF A.'74/A;M.F.A. 83/A), of Richmond, 

Va., June 25, 2OO9, at age 57. 
Mildred F.Gardy(BS 76/E), of Callao, Va,, Aug, 23, 

Elmer R. Hill Jr. (M B.A 78/B), of Canton, Miss., Sept. 

28. 2009, at age 85. 
Debra S. Kelley (B S, 79/H&S), of Farmville, Va., Sept. 

18, 2009, at age 53, 

Peggy A. Lancaster (BS ■79/H&S), of Richmond, Va., 

Oct. 17, 2009, at age 60. 
Sue Ellen Massie (B FA, '76/A), of Newport News, Va., 

Aug. I, 2009, at age 59. 
Allen J. McBride (BS.'74/H&S; M.D,'78/M), of Rougemont, 

N.C.. Aug. 3, 2009, at age 56. 
Harriett G. Meadowcroft (B.S,72/E). of Highland 

Springs, Va., Aug. 14, 2009, at age 78. 

Mildred C. Megginson (M Ed 78/E), of Richmond, 

Va., Oct. 28, 2009, at age 67. 
John L. Parrish Jr. (BF A ■76/A). of Roanoke, Va., Oct. 

15, 2009, at age 56, 
Marcia H. Powell ( 79/W&S), of liichmond, Va., Sept. 

30. 2009, at age 92- 
Patrlcla M. Rich* (BS.'73/N;M.Ed,'6l/E), of MechanicsviUe. 

Va., Oct. II, 2009, at age 76. 

Thomas H. Robinson (B S. 70/B) , of Richmond, Va. , 

Sept. 15, 2009. at age 61, 
Louis A. Sprouse Jr. (BS-'75/H&S), of MechanicsviUe, 

Va., Oct. 18. 2009, at age 65. 
Deborah W. Sullivan (M.S.W. ■74/SW), of Decatur, Ga., 

May 10, 2009. 

Jean Wisely Taylor (BS. ■76/H&S), of Goochland, Va., 

Oct. 29, 2009, at age 56. 
Charles U. Terry (M Ed, ■78/E), of New York, N,Y.,July 

7, 2009, at age 58. 
Michael K. Trzcinski (B.S ■78/H&S), of Moseley, Va,, 

Sept. 25, 2009, at age 59, 
Melvin D. Twitty (M SW, 75/SW), of Portsmouth, Va., 

Sept. 9, 2009, at age 65. 
Elane C. Twyman (BS 73/SW), of Richmond, Va,, Oct. 

15, 2009, at age 58. 

34 j VCU Shafer Court Connections 

[class notes] 

Did you know? 

Virginia Commonwealth University recycles one-third of its waste. The Department of 
Environmental Conservation oversees the waste-management contract for the university, 
including all trash Dumpsters, compactors, roll-off containers and cardboard-recycling 
containers. The department also manages the international paper contract for the 
collection of all types of paper from VCU buildings. VCU housekeeping collects the 
routine recycling inside most buildings. Five full-time and three part-time environmental 
conservation staff members — equipped with four box trucks and two vans — collect 
cardboard, mixed paper, bottles and cans from central drop-off locations outside more 
than 150 buildings. 

2009 facts and stats . 

Total v^aste: 6,299.000 pounds 
Recycled waste: 2,183,680 pounds 

1,238,900 pounds of mixed paper 

308,200 pounds of shredded documents 

264,820 pounds of scrap metal, such as desks, chairs and filing cabinets 

74,120 pounds of electronics, such as monitors, hard drives, keyboards and accessories 

61,980 pounds of plastic bottles 

9,800 pounds of fluorescent light bulbs, batteries and ballasts 
Recycling rate: 29.51 percent 

James M. Tyler III* (BS 'iilB). of Richmond. Va., July 

18. 200g, at age 81. 
Mary B. Valentino (B.S. ys/H&S), ofBrodnax, Va., Aug. 

2. 2009. at age 53. 
Michael H. Williams III* (MBA 77/B). of Hampton. 

Va.. July 29. 2009. at age 61. 


Jonathan W. Bradt (MS a7/B), of Richmond, Va.. 

Sept. 22. 2009. at age 53. 
Charles H. Brown Jr. (M Ed ba/E), of West Point, Va., 

.^ug. 25. 2009. at age 72. 
Jeffrey M. Burton (M B A ta/B), of Midlothian, Va., 

July 15. 2009, at age 51. 
Horace E. Clay (BS bs/B), of Richmond. Va.. Oct. 8. 

2009. at age 47. 

Willie W. Cooper (M Ed 80/A), of Fairfax:. S.C. Oct. 

26. 2008, at age 76. 

Andrew J. Costello (MSWso/SVi'), of Richmond. Va., 

Oct. 16, 2009, at age 56. 

Janice L. Danlelson (BS '83/8). of Richmond, Va.. 

Aug. 24. 2009. at age 48. 
Henry S. Fine (BS 'B2/B). of Richmond. Va.. Aug. 25. 

2009. at age 50. 

John W. Finnell Jr.* (MM '85/A), of Chester, Va.,July 

16, 20og, at age 55. 
Susan L. Griffin (M.S,'87/AI-IP:PhD WE), of Chapel 

Hill. N.C.. July 16, 2009, at age 46. 
Katherine T. Hannigan (M.S.W WSW), of Arlington, 

\'a., Nov. 1, 2009, at age 50. 
Carole A. Hubbard (MAE. BO/A), of Norfolk. Va., July 

28. 2009, at age 73. 

Dennis L. Malcolm (B.A si/H&S). of Richmond. Va., 
,\ug. 23, 2009, at age 55. 

VCl Alumni Association *'"> 

[class notes] 

New lifetime members 

Betty S. Adams 

Randy Adams, D.D.S. 

Robert W. Adams 

Michael A. Alao 

Mary H. Allen 

Rachel E. Anderson 

Juanita T. Arcaro 

Susan H. Bass 

Dennis G. Baugh 

Tammy L. Berwanger 

Melissa W. Bradshaw 

Jefferson Buruss 

Charles R. Crow 

Robert S. Crowder 

Kelley F. Daspit, APR 

Larry D. Dawson 

Caroline Espree 

Pamela F. Faggert 

Gregory B. Fairchild, Ph.D. 

Edward L. Flippen 

Andrea T. Frazer 

Randy Frazer 

Mark L. Glass 

Michael L. Greenberg 

John J. Hagadorn 

Paul W. Hash Jr. 

Col. Raymond S. Hawthorne (Ret.' 

James E. Helms 

Donald W. Hill 

Forrest Anne Hill 

Christopher Hilliar 

Tracey G. Jackson 

John W. Jennings III 

Adrienne O. Johnson 

Jacquetta B. Johnson 

June Y. Johnson 

Rachel A. Kauffman 

Floyd L. Lane Jr. 

Jack D. Layne Jr. 

Claudia L. Levy 

John A. Lewis 

Russell E. Lomax 

William C.Moehl 

Susan M. Mountcastle 

James A Newell 

Lanelle E. Newell 

Mark J. Newfield 

Nicolle Y. Parsons-Pollard, Ph.D. 

Michele Ann Petrone 

Ronald W.Phillips 

Mark I. Paper 

Allison P. Revenson 

Sam S. Revenson 

Robert G. Ricks 

Katherine L. Robinson 

Carol A. Rudolph 

Mary B. Schwartz 

George C. Simpson 

Boyd Y Smith 

Charles R. Smith Jr. 

Karen K. Smith 

Earl R. Southee 

Marsha Krippendorf Southee 

Anthony Stuart, CPA 

Nelson Lafayette Sutton III 

Gail B. Tanner 

Sara N. Teague 

Timothy S. Turner 

Sheila M. Vanada 

Wesley F. Vassar Jr., Ph.D. 

Charles W. Weatherby 

Patricia A. Welling 

Vicki Godsey White 

List includes individuals who joined the VCU Alumni Association as lifetime members 
between July 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2009. 

Tenita P. Pickeral (, of Vinton, Va., July 27, 

2009, at age 55. 
Kathy O. Pressing (M.S.W. ss/SW), ofWytheville, Va., 

Aug. 18, 2009, at age 50. 


Kevin S.BIickfB,S,90/B), of Chester, Va., Oct. 7, 

2009, at age 43. 
Michael L. Comer {B.S.'9i/B), of Montebello, Va., Oct. 

5, 2009, at age 45. 
Justin S. Rybacki (BG.S po/M&S), of Richmond, Va., 

Sept. 28. 2009, at age 62. 


Janet M. Worst --! F A oj/A), of Richmond, Va., July 

25. 2009, at age 57. 
Moriba S. Hylton (B.F.A 05/Ai, of Washington, D.C., 

Aug. 29, 2009, at age 27. 
Justin S. Thompson 'I-IBA os/E/, of Richmond, Va., 

Aug. 23, 2009, at age 34. 

Faculty and staff 

James Dudley Pendleton III. emeritus professor of 
English, died Dec. 29, 2009, at age 79- He joined the 
Richmond Professional Institute Department of English 
in 1958 and served as dean of students and chairman 
of freshman English. He founded VCU's M.F.A. 
in Creative Writing and served as the program's ftrst 
playwright. He had lO stage plays to his credit, along with 
TV, radio and film scripts. In 1979. he won the Governor's 
Screenwriting Award and the Eugene O'Neill New 
Drama for Television Award for his play about Thomas 
Jefferson and slave Sally Hemings called "Rite of Passage." 

Friends of VCU 

Norman Rolfe. of Richmond, Va., Sept. 28, 2009, 

at age 85- 
Dorothy M. Scura, of Chicago, 111., Oct. 8, 2009. 
Robert H. Spilman, of Greensboro. N.C., Nov. 15, 

2009. at age 81. 
Roy L. Tatum. of Mechanicsville, Va., Sept. 22, 2009. 
Edward E. West Jr.. of Richmond. Va.. Oct. 6. 2009. 

Abbreviation key 

Alumni are identified by degree, year and 
college or school. An asterisk (*) identifies 
members of the VCU Alumni Association. 

College and schools 


College of Humanities and Sciences 


School of the Arts 


School of AlliecJ Health Professions 


School of Business 


School of Dentistry 


School of Education 


School of Engineering 


L. Douglas Wilder School 

of Government and Public Affairs 


Graduate School 


VCU Life Sciences 


School of Medicine 


School of Mass Communications 


School of Nursing 


School of Pharmacy 


School of Social V^ork 


School of World Studies 


A. A., A.S. Associate Degree 




Bachelor of Fine Arts 


Bachelor of General Studies 


Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies 


Bachelor of Music 


Bachelor of Music Education 


Bachelor of Science 


Bachelor of Social Work 


Doctor of Dental Surgery 


Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice 


Doctor of Public Administration 


Doctor of Physical Therapy 


Master of Arts 


Master of Accountancy 


Master of Art Education 


Master of Business Administration 


Master of Bioinformatics 


Doctor of Medicine 


Master of Education 


Master of Environmental Studies 


Master of Fine Arts 


Master of Health Administration 


Master of Interdisciplinary Studies 


Master of Music 


Master of Music Education 


Master of Public Administration 


Master of Public Health 


Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences 


Master of Science 


Master of Science in Athletic Training 


Master of Science in Dentistry 


Master of Science in Health 



Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia 


Master of Science in Occupational Therapy 


Master of Social Work 


Master of Teaching 


Master of Taxation 


Master of Urban and Regional Planning 


Post-professional Occupational 

Therapy Doctorate 


Doctor of Pharmacy 


Doctor of Philosophy 

36 i VCU Shafer Court Connections 

[then and now] 

I lUl 1 IC 

By Polly Roberts 

When Gene Monahan attended Richmond Professional Institute 
in the 1950s, she knew that every Wednesday meant the arrival 
of a letter from home — along with her weekly $IO allowance and 
clippings from her hometown newspaper. 

"My mother would write me a letter on Sunday night, mail it 
on Monday and I would receive it on Wednesday," says Monahan, 
a native of Chatham, Va. 

In turn, she wrote her parents once a week with updates about her 
classes and extracurricular activities, as well as photo clippings from 
the RPI paper or the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She doesn't recall 
many phone conversations. 

"The pay phone in my Lee House dorm [formerly on Park 
Avenue] was in the first and main section of the building, and I lived 
upstairs in the other section of the house," Monahan says. "So when 
the phone rang and was answered, someone had to come all the way 
upstairs to fetch me. And long-distance calls were expensive. Back 
then, you only called when it was extremely urgent and important." 

Most of today's Virginia Commonwealth University students don't 
have to worry about phone access: cell phones are the No. I form 
of communication for teens, according to 
Instead, they must choose whether to use their phone for calling 
or texting. 

"If I have a story or something long to ask or tell, I will call and 
talk on the phone because it's easier," says Grace Hazelgrove, 18, 
a VCU freshman art foundation major from Mechanicsville, Va. 
"But if it's something short, I will just text. " 

Her mother, Gina Hazelgrove, says she prefers the more personal 
connection of talking to her daughter but understands the busy life 
of a college student sometimes requires texting. 

"Texting is often quicker and easier, especially for my daughter 
who answers texts faster when she is involved in something," Gina 

Hazelgrove says. "I can also text and not disturb others around me 
by talking. I learned to text because that is the way my children prefer 
to communicate. That is all they do with their friends. " 

Indeed, reports that 60 percent of teens send 
text messages daily — with an average of 440 sent texts a week. The 
Hazelgroves communicate by phone or text every couple of days. Both 
also are members of the online social networking Web site Facebook. 

"I do keep up with what Grace is doing and get to see all of her 
pictures, " Gina Hazelgrove says. "We do talk at times on Facebook. 
I'm usually the one who initiates it." 

Monahan's two sons attended college in the igSOs and kept in touch 
mostly by a landline phone — but she had to rely on them to call. 

"I think it is wonderful for parents to have almost constant 
communication with their kids today whereas we would sometimes 
go weeks without hearing from ours,"" she says. 

She does regret, however, that recent college students won't have 
a record of their communication the way she and her peers do. 

"There won't be many letters that can be read years and years 
later," Monahan says. 

But perhaps the memories live on — regardless of whether they arrive 
as a letter or text. As she tells the story of her weekly letters and allow- 
ance, Monahan vividly remembers how she and her then-boyfriend 
Tom Monahan (B.S. '56/MC) celebrated the envelope's arrival. 

"My boyfriend — Tom Monahan whom 1 later married in 1956 
— would cash the check, and we would go out the night it arrived. " 
she says. 

Today"s students still experience the thrill of a little extra cash 
from mom and dad — only instead of receiving a check in the mail, 
they get a text about a transfer to their online banking account. 

Pollv Roberts is a contributing^ writer for Sbafer Court Connections. 

Spring 2010 ' 37 




Mark your calendars for these Virginia Commonwealth University 
and VCU Alumni Association events. For more alumni activities, 
go to or, or visit for campus happenings. 


Come back to campus for a monthlong alumni 
celebration. For a complete calendar and more 
details on these and all Alumni Month events, 

April 1 

Alumzli Month Kick-off 

Richard T. Robertson Alumni House 

MCV Alumni House and Paul A. Gross 

Conference Center 

(804) 828-2586 

April 9. 16, 23 and 30 
Rams at Work 

Promote VCU in the workplace — we'll even send 
you pennants, stickers, buttons and decals to 
display and distribute. 
(804) 828-8191 


Rams Night Out 
Various locations 
(804) 828-8191 


Alumni Family Day at Swaders Sports Park 

Prince George, Va. 
(804) 828-8191 

April 18-23 

Affordable Housing Week 

Various service projects 
(804) 827-1904 

April 23 

Richard T. Robertson Alumni House lO-year 

Anniversary Celebration 

Robertson Alumni House 
(804) 828-7020 

April 23-25 
Reunion Weekend 

Various events/locations 
(804) 828-7020 

April 24 

VCU Cycling Club event 

A 22-mile ride to Osborne Boat Landing 
(804) 828-2586 

20II Alumni Travel Presentation 

MCV Alumni House and Paul A. Gross 
Conference Center 
(804) 828-1672 

Resume Writing and Behavioral Interviewing 

University Student Commons 
(804) 828-7017 

CareerBeam Demonstration 

University Student Commons 
(804) 828-7017 

Using Social Media for Marketing 

University Student Commons 
(804) 828-7017 

Book Drive 

James Branch Cabell Library 
(804) 828-1105 

VCU Libraries Workshop: Alumni Database 


James Branch Cabell Library 
(804) 828-1105 

Henry H. Hibbs and Margaret L.Johnson 
Plaza Dedication 

VCU Scott House/Ginter House lawn 
(804) 828-2586 

April 30 

Alumni Night at The Diamond 

(804) 828-2586 

School of Business Golf Tournament 



May 7-16 

M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, Round 2 

Anderson Gallery 
(804) 828-1522 

May 19 

New Graduates Reception: Your Passport 

to the World* 

Science Museum of Virginia 

May 20 

Presidential, Provost and Deans' Scholars 


VCU Scott House 

May 22 

Spring Commencement 

Richmond Coliseum 

May 30June 7 

Outdoor Adventure Program: Sea Kayaking 

in Baja, Mexico 



July 9 

Tony Trischka, banjo 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-1166 

July 16 

Al Petteway and Amy White 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-1166 

July 23 

Quatro na Bossa 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 

July 25 

VCU Community Guitar Ensemble 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 



Ram Spirit Walk* 

Monroe Park 
(804) 828-2586 

Ram Spirit Walk 


Oct. 25-29 

Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale 

James Branch Cabell Library 





IM^i ii I il 

38 ' VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Campus transportation: 1967 

Students playfully skateboard through city 
streets just off the Richmond Professional 
Institute campus, now the Virginia Commonwealth University 
Monroe Park Campus. Even in its early days, the urban landscape 
of the university encouraged students to look for alternative modes 
of transportation to, from and around campus. 


Virginia Commonwealth University 

Office of Alumni Relations 

924 West Franklin Street 

RO Box 843044 

Richmond, Virginia 23284-3044 

Non-profit Organization 

U.S. Postage Paid 

Permit No. 869 


Thanks to all alumni who volunteered 
for the HandsOn Greater Richmond 
service day! 

Check out more photos inside on Page 26 and learn how 
you can get involved in the VCU Alumni Association's 
Service to Community and VCU initiative. 


V c u - m c V a