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Family history and problem drinking will be examined at a VCU Discovery Dialogues presentation. The C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research invites faculty, staff, students, patients and families to "Family history: Discovering how this well-known tool can help clinicians understand problem drinking." Karen Chartier, Ph.D., will lead the presentation at the Learning Center, Main Hospital, 1250 E. Marshall St. For more information, contact Pam Dillon at or (804) 827-1519 or visit

This week

Employee training for the proper handling of dangerous goods has been scheduled. VCU Environmental Health and Safety will host the training at George Ben Johnston Auditorium, 305 N. 12th St., for VCU and VCU Health employees who mark, label, pack or prepare/sign shipping documents containing dangerous goods. Handling dangerous goods without training or lapsed training is illegal and may subject the handler and university to fines. For more information, contact Danny Munoz at or (804) 828-1279 or visit

Lunchtime Mindfulness Meditation will be presented at the ICA, 601 W. Broad St. The weekly offering is hosted by the College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute and the Institute for Contemporary Art at the Markel Center. The free sessions are guided by experienced meditation teachers. Register at the following URL. For more information, contact Marcie Walsh at or (804) 827-0546 or visit

OMSA offers a break from finals with a calming woosah Wednesday. Coloring, board games and DIY crafts will be available in Room 215, University Student Commons, 907 Floyd Ave. For more information, contact Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at or (804) 828-6672.

"Rafiki," a Kenyan love story, will have its Virginia premiere at the Institute for Contemporary Art at the Markel Center, 601 W. Broad St. When love blossoms between two Kenyan girls, they must choose between happiness and safety. For more information, contact Institute for Contemporary Art at or visit

Coming up

Human Resources presents "Retiring With the VCU Optional Retirement Plan." The class for VCU faculty and university employees will be in Room 115 of the HR training facility, 922 W. Grace St. This session is open to VCU faculty and university employees only, not VCU Health System employees. For more information, contact Jennie Kim at or (804) 827-1723 or visit


Igniter Crowdfunding Application Open for Submissions

VCU's office of Annual Giving has opened the application process for Spring 2019 crowdfunding projects. The submission window is open through Jan. 2 and applicants will be notified by Jan. 15 of projects that have been chosen. Selected crowdfunding projects will surface in May 2019. Apply at the following URL. For more information, contact Jessie Pavlidis at or visit

OCPE Personal and Professional Development Programs

The VCU Office of Continuing and Professional Education offers a variety of on-campus and online learning opportunities for VCU faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. Continuing education is available in addiction studies, craft beer, cultural competency and languages, disability support services, event planning, paralegal studies, play therapy training and test preparation for the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, SAT and ACT. Noncredit online courses and certificates in customer service, sales, self-publishing, computer skills, workplace topics, Google tools and podcasting are also offered. For more information, contact VCU OCPE at or (804) 828-1322 or visit

VCU Rec Sports Climbing Trip in Mexico

A climbing trip near Monterrey, Mexico, will be hosted by VCU's Recreational Sports Outdoor Adventure Program. The El Portrero Chico Climbing Trip is scheduled for Jan. 5-12. Activities include hiking, hot springs, exploring Hidalgo/Nuevo Leon and intermediate to advanced climbing. Register by 5 p.m. Dec. 11. For more information, contact Sam Albert at or (804) 828-8473 or visit

Sea Kayaking in the Everglades

A sea kayak trip in Florida's Everglades is being offered by VCU Recreational Sports Outdoor Adventure Program. An exploration of marshes, swamps and open water will be featured in the Jan. 5-12 trip. Registration closes at 6 p.m. Dec. 11. For more information, contact Karl Schmidt at or (804) 828-1274 or visit

VCUDine: Final Exam Location Hours

VCUDine locations will operate under special hours during final exams. Starbucks in James Branch Cabell Library, 901 Park Ave., will be open 24 hours starting 7 a.m. Dec. 10 through 6 p.m. Dec. 14. Visit the following URL for a complete list of location hours. Fall dining plans end at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 19. Registration for Spring 2019 dining plans is now available, also at the following URL. For more information, contact Lauren Hay at or (804) 828-1148 or visit

Are You 18-25 Years Old and Do You Smoke Cigarettes?

Men and women between the ages of 18-25 who smoke cigarettes are invited to participate in a research study. The project requires five, three-hour laboratory visits. Compensation (up to $360) is provided. Call the following phone number, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. or visit the following URL for more information. This study will be conducted at Thurston House, 808 W. Franklin St. Principal investigator is Andrew Barnes, Ph.D., Department of Health Behavior and Policy. For more information, contact Jessica Presley at or (804) 828-1867 or visit

Faculty and Staff Retirement Savings Limits Increase for 2019

Annual deferral limits for the VCU 403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity Plan and the VRS 457 Deferred Compensation Plan will increase to $19,000 in 2019. Participants aged 50-plus may contribute up to an additional $6,000 to either or both plans in 2019. No employee action is required due to these changes, however employees wishing to change deferral amounts may do so using instructions under "Retirement tax-savings limits" at the following URL. For more information, contact VCU Human Resources, Benefits Administration at or (804) 827-1723 or visit

Virginia Commonwealth University Is a JED Campus

VCU has joined the JED Campus program in support of student well-being and mental health. The program, an initiative of The Jed Foundation, is designed to identify opportunities to enhance emotional health and substance abuse and suicide prevention efforts on campus in order to ensure that schools have the strongest possible mental health safety nets. For more information, contact Lisa Joyner at or (804) 828-2086 or visit

Rec Sports Trims Group Exercise Program Schedule

VCU Recreational Sports' Group Exercise Program will operate on an abbreviated schedule through Dec. 18. A full list of available classes and times is available at the following URL. For more information, contact Hannah Kotarski at or (804) 827-7259 or visit

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