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The Biology Department Seminar Series presents "Candidate Gene Function in the Evolution of Dry and Fleshy Fruit Development in the Tomato Family," featuring Amy Litt of the New York Botanical Gardens, in the Trani Center for Life Sciences, Room 253. For more information, contact James Vonesh at or visit

The Department of Educational Leadership and School of Education Distinguished Lecture Series on Education and Community sponsor a lecture by School of Business Dean and former Disneyland Resort President Ed Grier in the Commons Theater. Grier will address the importance of educating learners from preschool to graduate school through an integration of disciplinary considerations. For more information, contact Mike Frontiero at or (804) 827-2415.

This week

Work/Life Resources hosts a discount vendor fair in the University Student Commons, Richmond Salons III & IV. Vendors who offer discounts to VCU employees will be on campus to discuss their goods and services. Participating vendors include wholesale clubs, cell phone providers and others. For more information, contact Debbie Fitzgerald at

The American Red Cross @ VCU hosts an evening of holiday card making, s'mores and hot chocolate at the Commons Theater. This is the last general body meeting of the semester and the final opportunity to pay ARC membership dues for the 2012-13 academic year. For more information, contact American Red Cross @ VCU at

The VCU Choral Ensembles - Commonwealth Singers, Women’s Choir and Choral Arts Society - perform a program at the Singleton Center. The VCU Women's Choir will perform Suite de Lorca by Finnish composer Eunojuhani Rautavaara as well as a South African folk tune of the Xhosa people. The VCU Commonwealth Singers’ program will feature the Bach Motet #6 “Lobet den Herrn” BWV 230 with portative organ accompaniment. The Choral Arts Society will perform the Vivaldi Gloria. For more information, contact VCUMusic Box Office at or (804) 828-6776 or visit

Human Resources and the Social Security Administration present "Making the Most of Your Social Security" for faculty and staff in McGuire Hall Annex, Room B-20. To register, visit For more information, contact Daniel Jason at or (804) 828-4660 or visit

The Global Education Office invites students, faculty, staff and community visitors to the International Cafe in the University Student Commons, Richmond Salons I-II. This time of socializing offers the opportunity for members of the VCU community from all over the world to meet, develop friendships, relax and contribute ideas in a casual setting. Everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Pam Haney at or (804) 828-8309.

The Department of Physiology and Biophysics presents a weekly research seminar series in Sanger Hall, Room 3-016. Professor Iain Morgan, Ph.D., will present "Control of human papillomavirus 16 DNA replication by a cross talk between the viral replication factors E1 and E2 and the host TopBP1-Brd4 complex." For more information, contact Debbi Price at or (804) 828-9756 or visit

"Spit for Science" presents its research symposium at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Biotech One, Room 1-160. The undergraduate research team will present preliminary results from the study. Attendees will learn more about the project, meet the research team and receive a free T-shirt and pizza. For more information, contact Amy Adkins, Ph.D. at or (804) 828-4344 or visit

The VCU Wellness Resource Center hosts a meeting for students, faculty and anyone who is interested in food advocacy at West Grace South, Room 1004h. There will be discussion about sustainability, hunger and healthier options on VCU's campus. For more information, contact Katherine Vatalaro Hill at

Coming up

Human Resources presents "Retiring with the VCU Optional Retirement Plan" for faculty in McGuire Hall Annex, Room B-20. This session is open to VCU employees only, not VCU Health System employees. For more information, contact Daniel Jason at or (804) 828-4660 or visit

The Service-Learning Office hosts a Mini Institute for faculty and staff interested in service-learning. The Institute is held on Monday, Jan. 6 and Tuesday, Jan. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at West Grace South Residence Hall. Attendees will learn about how to incorporate meaningful service activities and reflection into their course to enhance student learning. Applications and information can be found at the website below, under the "Teach with Us" section. For more information, contact Erin Brown at or (804) 828-8838 or visit

Homecoming at VCU looks for students, faculty and staff to participate in VCU's Got Talent at the University Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballrooms. For more information, contact Jessica Watts at or visit


Call for Faculty Proposals

The Honors College seeks proposals for the 2014 Honors Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Proposals are submitted online, and may be from faculty in any discipline. Stipends are available for both faculty and students who are chosen to participate. Priority will be given to proposals submitted before Jan. 6. For more information, contact Jacqueline Smith-Mason, Ph.D. at or visit

Retirement Tax-Savings Limits Remain the Same for 2014

Employee contribution limits for the VCU 403(b) Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) and the VRS 457 Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) remain unchanged for calendar year 2014. Current employee contribution elections will remain in force automatically and no action is required to continue those contributions in 2014. Employees may change voluntary contributions at any time by completing a Salary Reduction Agreement for the TDA or a Payroll Authorization Form for the DCP. For more information, contact VCU Benefits at or (804) 827-1723 or visit

VCU Alcohol and Drug Policy: Updated Draft Open for Comment Until Dec. 19

Take a moment to read the updated draft of VCU's Alcohol and Drug Policy as well as the new Alcohol Authorization Agreement Form required for all university sponsored events associated with alcohol. Materials can be viewed at and comments can be left under the "make a comment" link or email the contact information below. The University Substance Abuse Committee values input from the university community. For more information, contact Linda Hancock, Ph.D., at or (804) 828-7815.

Request for Pilot Proposals

The VCU Institute for Women’s Health requests pilot proposals as it prepares an NIH Center Grant application focused on the etiology and course of mental health disorders and unhealthy behaviors in male and female college students. Two informational sessions will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5, from noon to 1 p.m., at the University Student Commons, Virginia Room A, and Thursday, Dec. 12, from noon to 1 p.m. at Sanger Hall, Room 1-050. Proposals are due Jan. 13. For more information, contact RaShel Charles at or (804) 827-2241 or visit

New Medical Literary Journal Available Online

The Medical Literary Messenger’s inaugural issue is available. This collection of essays, short stores and images explore the diverse meaning of illness through the creative lens of a medical perspective. Contributors include students, physicians and patients both from and beyond VCU. For more information, contact Medical Literary Messenger at or visit

Asthma Study Needs Participants

Volunteers (18 to 40 years old) are needed for a study about Asthma and the common cold. You must have Asthma and not smoke. Screening involves two visits ($40 per visit). Those who qualify can participate with payment of $1570 for completing the study. For more information, contact Deb Murphy at or (434) 982-3510.

Barnes & Noble @ VCU Faculty and Staff Holiday Shopping Days

Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park Campus and the MCV Campus hosts faculty and staff holiday shopping days beginning Monday, Dec. 2 through Friday, Dec. 6. VCU faculty and staff will receive a special 25 percent discount on general books, VCU gifts and apparel. NOOK devices and accessories are 10 percent off. For more information, contact Amy Randolph at or (804) 828-1678.

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