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This week

The Center for Clinical & Translational Research and Tompkins-McCaw Library host the next "Whetting Your Appetite for Research" seminar, “Tips and Tools for Study Participant Recruitment” in the Tompkins-McCaw Library, Room 109. Jon DeShazo, Ph.D., M.P.H., director, CCTR Biomedical Informatics Core, will discuss tools available for VCU researchers to help with clinical trials recruitment. Bring lunch; drinks will be provided. R.S.V.P. to the email address below. For more information, contact Pam Dillon at or (804) 827-1519.

The Department of Psychiatry, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Virginia, Mental Health America of Virginia and Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance co-sponsor a presentation in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month at the United Way Building, 2001 Maywill St., second floor conference room. VCU researcher, Danielle Dick, Ph.D., will present her research on the “Spit for Science” project at a “Brown Bag Lunch and Learn.” The scientific focus is to understand why some are more likely than others to develop problems associated with the use of alcohol and other substances, as well as difficulties with emotional health. For more information, contact Rupa Murthy at or visit

The VCU Greater Richmond High School Jazz Band presents its final concert in the Sonia Vlahcevic Concert Hall. The performance will include music by Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, Oliver Nelson, Sammy Nestico and Sonny Rollins. The band is directed by professors Antonio Garcia and Bryan Hooten. Admission is free. For more information, contact Antonio Garcia at or visit

Coming up

Work/Life resources invites employees to join its new discount provider, American Family Fitness, to learn how to stretch and exercise at a desk and explore myths about fitness in the University Student Commons, Forum Room. Employees will be able to sign up for American Family Fitness membership for $1. To register, visit For more information, contact Debbie Fitzgerald at

VCU Medical Center presents a free seminar about incontinence as part of the Lewis Ginter Seminar Series. Physical therapists Ann Dunbar and Kelley Ryan will discuss the signs and symptoms of urinary and fecal incontinence and will share tips to promote pelvic floor muscle strength and improve quality of life. The seminar is free and all are welcome. Light refreshments are provided. Registration is recommended. To register, call 828-0123 or email For more information, contact Katherine Poarch at or (804) 828-0123 or visit

The Life Sciences and Religion Initiative and the Palliative Care program present two talks by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D. The first talk, "Beyond the Cancer Genome: New Advances in Cancer Treatment," will be at 2 p.m. in the Egyptian Building auditorium and the second, "Illness as Biography: Writing a History of Cancer," will be at 7 p.m. in the W.E. Singleton Center for Performing Arts. For more information, contact Brian Cassel at or (804) 628-0617.

The School of Pharmacy presents its Biennial Lowenthal Symposium at the Larrick Student Center. Sponsored by the Werner Lowenthal Endowment Fund and the Center for Biomarker Research and Personalized Medicine, the symposium theme is "Epigenetics of Psychiatric Disorders and its Potential to Improve Treatment." Admission is free and a free lunch is included for attendees who register by Wednesday, May 21. To learn more or to register, visit For more information, contact Gioia Casso at or (804) 828-6098 or visit


Blackboard System Upgrade Scheduled For This Thursday, May 15

Blackboard and the VCU Learning Systems team upgrade the VCU instance of Blackboard on Thursday, May 15, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Blackboard is expected to be unavailable for up to 36 hours during this upgrade. For more information, contact VCU helpIT Center at or (804) 828-2227 or visit

Health Plan Premium Rewards for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff in COVA Care and COVA HealthAware who currently receive premium rewards will automatically continue to receive them for the July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 plan year. For more information, see Faculty and staff in COVA Care and COVA HealthAware who do not currently receive premium rewards can qualify to receive them for the July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 plan year by completing a health assessment and biometric screening on or before May 31, 2014. For more information, see or contact Active Health Management at 1-866-938-0349. For more information, contact VCU Benefits at or (804) 827-1723 or visit .

Open Enrollment for Faculty and Staff Health Benefits and Flexible Spending: May 1-23

Open enrollment for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s health benefits and flexible spending programs will take place from Thursday, May 1, through Friday, May 23. Eligible faculty and staff may enroll or make coverage changes during this period. For details, review the Spotlight newsletter at and the VCU Open Enrollment Checklist at Open enrollment elections are accepted only between May 1 and May 23. For more information, contact VCU Benefits at or (804) 827-1723 or visit

Grades Due by Noon on May 13, 2014

Grading for spring 2014 has begun. Grade sheets are available on faculty eServices. Grades are due by noon on Tuesday, May 13, at which time grading will be turned off. Faculty may only access grade sheets for courses to which they have been assigned in the class schedule. Faculty who do not see one of their grade sheets should contact their department's course scheduling representative. For more information, contact Elise Scott at or (804) 828-1349 or visit

VCU’s 2014 Holiday and Winter Closing Schedule Reminder

VCU’s 2014 holiday and winter closing schedule is available at Eligible faculty and staff are encouraged to save 20 hours of leave (two and one-half days) required to cover part of the winter closing, as indicated at For more information, contact Gwen Parker, VCU Human Resources at or (804) 828-1534 or visit

New Parking and Transportation Customer Service Office Hours

Beginning on Monday, May 19, the parking and transportation customer service offices will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the MCV Campus and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the Monroe Park Campus, Monday-Friday. For more information, contact VCU Parking at or visit

Bike Parking Changes by Cabell Library

Facilities Management advises that the bike racks along the north and northeast sides of Cabell Library will be closed, beginning the week of Monday, May 12, until the Cabell Library project has been completed. These areas, including the decorative fencing, will be inside of the construction fence and will not be available for use. As many racks as possible will be relocated in the same general area. For more information, contact Margaret Kelland at

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure: Report Fundraising Total

Employees who participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday, May 10, are asked to email Debbie Fitzgerald, Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign co-chair, with their fundraising total for this event so it can be counted as part of VCU's CVC Campaign. For more information, contact Debbie Fitzgerald at

VCU Learning Studio Teaching Fellows Program

The VCU Learning Studio Teaching Fellows Program, a state-of-the-art classroom in the Academic Learning Commons, Room 4110, has been designed to support faculty members and students in the exploration and study of new learning spaces. The studio contains a wide-array of technologies and furniture that combine to provide unique opportunities to enhance teaching and learning. For more information, contact Jeff Nugent at or (804) 827-0563 or visit

See a schedule of workshops and classes that teach how to use collections and databases.
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