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Spider Insider

Inside the Book Arts Studio

For faculty & staff at the UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND Spring 2019


Spiders everywhere showed their Spider spirit during the 10 Days of Spider Pride, kicked off by the annual Employee Service Awards and culminating with National Spider Day. On NSD, alumni around the globe gathered in 19 locations including Shanghai, London, and Los Angeles to catch up with friends and reflect on what it means to be part of the extensive Spider web. Spiders were even treated to a suite of new digital swag at As the only University with a spider mascot, it was only fitting that Tiny (above), one of UR’s many spider friends — who also happens to be rather large, wanted in on the action.

Spring 2019

Vice president for University Communications John M. Barry

Spider Insider

Assistant vice president for communications and digital engagement Phillip Gravely Assistant vice president for marketing and brand integration P. David Johnson Editor Cheryl Spain Director of creative services Samantha Tannich Graphic designer, publications Gordon Schmidt Photographer Jamie Betts Staff contributors: Ashley Bentley, Ashleigh Brock, Sunni Brown, Sarah Busching, Lindsey Campbell, Sam Campbell, Kevin Creamer, Catherine Amos Cribbs, Stacey Dec, Chad Devers, Matthew Dewald, Joedy Felts, Pryor Green, Debbie Hardy, Kevin Heraldo, Brian Ivasauskas, Pamela Lee, Katie McBride, Joe Minick, Cynthia Price, Aggrey Sam, and Andrew Tillman

Spider Insider is printed on paper that is FSCÂŽ Certified, with 10% post-consumer recycled content and certified fiber.

Photography by Jamie Betts

ON THE COVER Jen Thomas, book arts program director, places finished books in a book press to dry. The process allows the books to dry under weight, preventing the covers from warping.

Dance Like Everyone’s Watching University Dancers celebrated 34 years of dance in March with the annual concert In/Motion.



16 Passion!



Elements Matter

Behind the Screens Website accessibility an ongoing commitment

18 Accomplishments


19 Outstanding Business Affairs Performance Award Winners

Media Mentions

3 Enduring Generosity Alumni gifts bolster academic enterprise Early Action, Immediate Returns

4 Hands-On Approach Book Arts Studio enriches classroom experience

6 Social Buzz Building Community A&S themed programming drives interdisciplinary collaboration

7 A Growing Vision Landscape team designs with bigger picture in mind

8 Past, Present, and Future A multidimensional vision for a more inclusive Richmond


Community Commitment on Display University Museums provides learning experiences for local students


Empowering Opportunity Emphasis on student fellowships paying big dividends


22 Getting Inclusivity Down to a Science A conversation with Carthene Bazemore-Walker

University Increases Minimum Wage for Full- and Part-Time Staff Paying Off Faculty and staff suggestions lead to launch of automated travel and expense process


20 Outstanding Service Award Winners

Equipping Scholars Information Services expands support for faculty and student research

24 New Hires, Moves, and Retirements

We welcome your input.

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MEDIA MENTIONS “College Admission and Gratitude” GIL VILLANUEVA, associate vice president and dean of admission, said he was grateful that college admission is still about access. “At the core, we’re all about helping students and families realize the American Dream,” he said.

ELEMENTS MATTER The United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table, marking 150 years since Dmitri Mendeleev, known as “the father of the periodic table,” published his periodic table in 1869. Chemical elements play a vital role in our daily lives, and a number of faculty and staff are researching, interacting with, or knowledgeable about specific elements. A new website, news., launched in February by University Communications, showcases the variety of University experts and disciplines connected to the periodic table. Some of the connections may surprise you. Matt Barany, head coach of the women’s swimming and diving team, speaks to the importance of oxygen (atomic number: 8) in sleep. Elisabeth Gruner, associate professor of English, discusses how elements like lead (atomic number: 82) play a role in literature. Classical studies professor Julie Laskaris researches how copper (atomic number: 29) was used in ancient Greek medicine. The STEM majors are also highlighted. Biology professor Isaac Skromne studies calcium (atomic number: 20) in the context of bone development. Ryan Coppage, director of introductory laboratories in chemistry, can speak to the role of rutile, a major mineral source of titanium (atomic number: 22) in ceramics. The national media have taken notice of UR’s experts. Three faculty were asked to write articles connected to their areas of research for The Conversation, an independent source of news commentary and analysis written by university scholars and leaders. That includes chemistry professor Kelling Donald, who wrote “The politics of the periodic table — who gets the credit and why,” which then appeared in Yahoo! News and the San Francisco Chronicle. Gruner and chemistry professor Julie Pollock also have been commissioned to write articles for The Conversation. To view these and other faculty-authored pieces, visit news. Faculty and staff can visit the UR periodic table website to find others who might be researching similar topics or could speak to their students about a specific element or aspect of the periodic table. It’s also filled with fun facts while highlighting the academic excellence, scholarship, and research projects happening on campus every day. 2

“Google Employees Are Leading the Way on Sexual Harassment Reform. The Rest of the Country Should Follow.” “Lawsuits in courts are part of how the public comes to understand and account for pervasive wrongdoing,” law professor LUKE NORRIS wrote of sexual harassment settlements being awarded in arbitration rather than in court. “What’s next for NASA’s Mars InSight lander?” Physics professor JACK SINGAL, a former NASA astrophysics researcher, said the Mars InSight mission has important implications. “We are currently discovering thousands of exoplanets around other stars, some of which may be quite similar to Earth or Mars in terms of size, location, and composition,” he said. “The Importance of Mentorships in Higher Education” “Good mentoring also calls for rigor and a degree of reflection on the part of the mentor and the mentee,” wrote PRESIDENT RONALD A. CRUTCHER, who coauthored this piece with Christopher B. Howard, president of Robert Morris University. “Remove or keep a statue? South Africa debates painful legacy” “The removal of a statue isn’t the end of the conversation,” said NICOLE MAURANTONIO, associate professor and chair of the Department of Rhetoric and Communication Studies. This article was picked up by more than 200 news outlets across the globe. “From underground to mainstream: Emo rap explodes into streaming music scene” “In some ways, this is timeless, the feelings of angst, frustration, powerlessness,” said ERIK NIELSON, associate professor of liberal arts and rap music scholar in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, about the feelings expressed in emo rock. “Fact check: How many people are enslaved in the world today?” “If the public doesn’t know who today’s enslaved are and where they are, their presence will remain invisible,” wrote MONTI DATTA, a political science professor and expert on human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Datta’s piece appeared in nearly 30 publications, including Business Insider, Salon, and the Laredo Morning Times. “For Mentorships to Work, Colleges Have to Commit” Chemistry professor CAROL PARISH was highlighted for her commitment to mentoring students and providing opportunities for undergraduate research. “It isn’t until they go into the lab and see those fundamentals come to life that it becomes much more interesting and compelling,” she said. Additional media mentions are available at placements. For more information, contact University Communications’ Media and Public Relations team: Cynthia Price, Sunni Brown, and Lindsey Campbell.

Enduring Generosity

Alumni gifts bolster academic enterprise Two recent gifts to the University of Richmond Chaplaincy and Boatwright Memorial Library from the Weinstein family and Fletcher Stiers, R’48, respectively, are the latest examples of the power of private philanthropy. The gifts, totaling $4.4 million, hit at the core of our academic mission and help support the type of heightened educational experiences that set Richmond apart from other institutions. One doesn’t have to look far to see the Weinsteins’ impact around campus. The Weinstein Center for Recreation, Weinstein Hall, and the Carole Weinstein International Center are shining examples of their love for the University. The latest $2 million gift from Marcus, R’49 and H’02, and Carole, W’75, G’77, and H’04, Weinstein and Allison Weinstein and Ivan Jecklin establishes the Weinstein-Jecklin Family Endowment: Journeys of Faith and Ethics in a Global Society. The “Giving at all levels is what allows us endowment amplifies the work of the Chaplaincy to do new things, provide access to by funding intensive domestic and international more students, and continue to travel, internships, and sustain educational excellence for other forms of academic future generations.” inquiry and expression. “The Weinstein family are among the most dedicated and loyal supporters of our faculty and students, having provided generous financial support over many years to the University,” said President Ronald A. Crutcher. “They have a legacy of generosity at Richmond that has helped support our community in many ways and make our University what it is today.” Stiers also showed his support of the University in many ways throughout his lifetime. He was a member of the Boatwright Society and Friends of Boatwright Memorial Libraries, a founding member of the UR Spider Club, and a recipient of the UR Volunteer of the Year Award in 1989 and 1998. Upon his death, Stiers left a $2.2 million gift to the library. “Fletcher was a dedicated and dear friend to the Boatwright Memorial Library,” said University Librarian Kevin Butterfield. “His unrestricted gift ensures that the University of Richmond Libraries may continue to acquire, preserve, and make accessible research collections for generations to come.” “Gifts like these have a major impact on the University,” said Martha Callaghan, assistant vice president for development. “They can provide permanent support for programs, undergird our ability to provide financial aid to students, or allow us to attract and retain the very best faculty,” she added. But Callaghan also underscored the importance of loyal giving at every level. “Giving at all levels is what allows us to do new things, provide access to more students, and continue to sustain educational excellence for future generations.”


EARLY ACTION, IMMEDIATE RETURNS Two application cycles since the addition of Early Action (EA) — an option that enables applicants to receive a nonbinding admission decision earlier in their senior year — the Office of Admission is reporting clear results. In the words of Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission Gil Villanueva, “The entire applicant pool has risen.” During the first year of offering the EA option, the number of total applicants rose by more than 18 percent, and this year, of the 12,342 applicants who had applied as of February 12, about 6,500 did so through EA. “It’s been an incredible complement to the good work that the admission team has done over the past years,” Villanueva said. Before offering EA, the Office of Admission conducted research to determine the benefits of offering the additional option. They ultimately found that 42 to 43 percent of students began applications but didn’t finish because they got into their “early schools.” And even though UR offers Early Decision, EA comes across as a more desirable application plan for some students because it is not binding and allows them to compare various financial aid offers from other schools. This year, EA applicants alone have an average unweighted GPA of 3.83, median SAT score of 1,400–1,500, and median ACT score of 32–34. “What’s more exciting is the quality in terms of academic talent and demographic composition,” Villanueva said. “We have more students from various backgrounds than ever.” Although the Office of Admission certainly plays a lead role in the uptick of applicants, Villanueva is quick to offer credit to other University initiatives for the growing number of applicants. “It takes an entire campus community to recruit and enroll some of the most academically gifted and diverse students in the United States and abroad,” Villanueva said. “The minute the University stops its good work, the Office of Admission has nothing to talk about.”


Jen Thomas, book  arts program director, works with students in Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian Lynda Kachurek’s first-year seminar, The Secret Life of Books, to create handmade, case-bound (hardcover) books. After their covers are attached (as shown here), the books are placed in a book press to dry.

Hands-On Approach

Book Arts Studio enriches classroom experience Students in professor Nicole Sackley’s American Studies seminar spent last spring learning about the history of protests, but their lessons were not in the classroom only. Sackley and her students designed and produced linoleum block-printed postcards and posters that ultimately resulted in “PROTEST! A Richmond History,” an exhibition in UR Downtown’s gallery space. “Posters and broadsides have been integral to the American protest tradition since the colonial era,” Sackley said. “American studies is a major that connects theory and practice, so I wanted my students to not only research the history of this period, but also to experience how these objects were physically made and used.” That component of the academic experience was made possible by the Book Arts Studio. Located on the fourth floor of Boatwright Memorial Library, the studio, which is equipped with the tools and resources needed for bookmaking, allows faculty to provide students with unique

hands-on experiences by making posters, comic books, or other works relevant to their coursework. “Our main goal is to create a hands-on learning space,” said Jen Thomas, book arts program director. “When people think books, their minds might go straight to the words ‘old’ or ‘traditional,’ but the possibilities are endless. We can assist with a variety of innovative projects related to classes, events, and exhibits.” Thomas has also assisted Laura Browder, Tyler and Alice Haynes Professor of American Studies, and Patricia Herrera, associate professor of theatre, with several projects for classes they have co-taught. Browder, Herrera, and their students have produced documentary dramas and museum exhibitions about Richmond civil rights history for the past eight years, and they have used resources in the Book Arts Studio for the past few years to enhance their projects. For their first-year seminar Representing Civil Rights in Richmond, the class selected key indi-

“When people think books, their minds might go straight to the words ‘old’ or traditional,’” but the possibilities are endless.



viduals, organizations, and moments to represent in cut-paper portraits, which were displayed at exhibitions at UR Downtown and in the Harnett Museum on campus. “Working with Jen Thomas allowed us to think creatively about how we can use the arts to make history accessible,” Herrera said. “Getting students into the Book Arts Studio to create cut-paper portraits allowed them to more energetically remember, absorb, and apply the history and knowledge gained about the civil rights movement and connect with their subject matter in an intimate way.” For their class Documenting a Historic Black High School: A Richmond Community Project, Thomas also assisted Herrera and Browder with the creation of a book on the history of Armstrong High School in the city’s East End. “We used the studio’s letterpress and binding equipment to create one-of-a-kind, handmade documentations of the interviews, poetry, and

excerpts of the play and honored all the participants with these books,” Herrera said. The book can be viewed upon request in Boatwright Memorial Library. Staff can also benefit. Thomas said she hosted Admissions for a team-building event during which employees designed an admissions-themed board game. She said she would love to work with even more campus partners. “The Book Arts Studio has so many resources that can support projects in a wide range of classes. I would love for people to give me a call or reach out so we can chat about opportunities to partner. They do not have to have a fully formed idea. We can talk through the options.” To schedule a tour of the studio or to discuss an idea for a project, visit book-arts-request or contact Jen Thomas at ext. 8450.

BEYOND BOOKMAKING Touring or making something in the Book Arts Studio is not the only way to interact with its resources. Three display cases house a variety of unique books from Boatwright Memorial Library’s collections. “These items are a great teaching tool to showcase that a book is not always traditional. We have books that include a music box and a board game, for example,” said Jen Thomas, book arts program director. Thomas also travels around campus to speak with classes, and she teaches in the School of Professional & Continuing Studies’ Think Again program.


SOCIAL BUZZ A roundup of reactions to posts on @urichmond: Professor Joe Ben Hoyle broke me when I was in his class. But because of him I found my passion in marketing and business management. So thanks to Joe Ben! WC98 —Mary Klaar via Facebook

Dr. [Julian] Hayter is a credit to the University and the Richmond community. Thank you for being an ambassador for a better understanding of Richmond’s history. Find his book The Dream is Lost … eye opening. —Brian Noel via Facebook I had some really great mentors while I was a student at the University of Richmond. My Chemistry Prof Dr. [William] Myers taught me how to be a researcher as well as a critical thinker. Thx Dr. Crutcher for being a thought leader in this area but also a wonderful mentor to our students. —@Astro_Flow via Twitter

Thank you Facilities team for maintaining and putting these beautiful wreaths up every year! —Karla Connelly via Facebook Congrats to Professor [David] Salisbury on your important research grant. The team @washbrnmcgold1 is proud to work with colleges and universities such as @urichmond that are doing valuable research around the world. —@washbrnmcgold1 via Twitter referencing David Salisbury’s Pan-American Institute of Geography and History grant Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @urichmond


Building Community A&S themed programming drives interdisciplinary collaboration Over the course of this academic year, the term “Contested Spaces” has frequently popped up in SpiderBytes, on the University events calendar, and on digital flyers across campus. That’s the result of a concentrated effort to thematically connect a variety of related programming in the School of Arts & Sciences (A&S). While A&S programming has always been abundant, Dean Patrice Rankine saw an opportunity to make it more cohesive. For the 2018–19 academic year, the school crafted its signature programming around a common theme, “Contested Spaces: Race, Nation, and Conflict.” Although the events varied in format, each sought to invite conversations about conflict from ethnic, racial, and cultural differences in Virginia, across the United States, and around the globe. “When we completed our strategic plan, Concept 30, we identified building community as a priority,” Rankine said. “Programming provides the opportunity to build interdisciplinary collaboration and bring our entire community of learners together to discuss a shared topic.” Four signature events made up this year’s series: • The Wyatt Tee Walker Symposium, held in October, celebrated the life and contributions of the Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker, noted civil rights leader and chief of staff to Martin Luther King Jr. • Race, Media, and Journalism, hosted in November, welcomed two panels of journalists who reflected on how journalism and the news media play a role in instigating or mitigating civil conflict. • A conference held in February titled 1919 & Its Legacies: Race, Nation, and Conflict brought faculty, students, and members of the community together to discuss the legacies of racial violence and anti-colonialism in 1919. • Migration: The Contested Spaces of the Mediterranean gathered writers and artists in March to reflect upon their experiences as citizens and immigrants and examine the impact of their work. The “Contested Spaces” theme is scheduled to continue into the 2019–20 academic year, with programming being planned around place-based ideas that make race, nation, and conflict a local concern. Rankine has a vision that future themed years will be chosen collectively and will become a hallmark of the A&S community. “One of our main goals as a school is to demonstrate how our disciplines address societal challenges together,” Rankine said. “As a community, we have the tools to impact and heal ourselves and the world around us.”  


A Growing Vision Landscape team designs with bigger picture in mind It’s no surprise that the University of Richmond is often cited by the Princeton Review and other college guidebooks as one of the country’s most beautiful campuses. After all, the Collegiate Gothic architecture and the meticulously landscaped grounds are a major source of pride among faculty, staff, and students alike — and a major attraction for potential students and their families. But making campus picture perfect doesn’t happen overnight. University Facilities’ landscape services team works year-round to keep campus at its best. The department is responsible for the maintenance of the University’s 378 acres, including 170 acres of turf, 21 acres of parking lots, 2.5 acres of walkways, the 16 main flowerbeds, and Westhampton Lake. The crews also fill baskets and flowerpots around campus and plant around flagpoles and walls. “Spreadsheets are our friend,” said Allison Moyer, associate director of landscape services and horticulturist, as she showed off her color-coded spreadsheet. “I make a list of everything.” In December, the team orders flowers for spring and summer. In June, they order the bulbs that will be planted in the fall. “We are constantly testing out plants to see what works and what doesn’t,” Moyer said. “We are looking for plants that are drought- and heat-tolerant.” While the crew likes to switch up what it plants

each year, much of the decision is based on choosing colors that will show up against red brick and accent the architecture. Each year about 25,000 bulbs are ordered directly from Holland to be planted across campus. People often ask why the bulbs are dug up each year. “After a plant blooms, you are supposed to let the foliage catch the nutrients,” said Karen Williams, landscape supervisor. “You need to let the leaves die, but you don’t want to see dead foliage.” And unfortunately, that dead foliage happens around graduation. “If they could move graduation to April that would be great,” Williams said jokingly. “That’s when the bulbs are at their peak.” Instead, bulbs are replaced with annuals in the spring, keeping the campus looking gorgeous for graduation and over the summer — and for campus tours that take place throughout the year. The department is proud of the role it plays in a student’s decision to attend the University of Richmond. “If you look at the big picture, the landscape is a piece to the whole,” Moyer said. “Students look at the landscape and the architecture as part of their decision-making process. We don’t want to give the wrong impression.”

THE NUMBERS 25,000: Bulbs planted each year 9: Miles of campus sidewalks cleared of snow, leaves, and debris 800: Yards of wood mulch used in 2018 18: Pallets of pine straw ordered to supplement pine straw harvested from campus pine trees for mulch and ground cover

“We are constantly testing out plants to see what works and what doesn’t.”


Past, Present, and Future A multidimensional vision for a more inclusive Richmond CAMPUSWIDE COMMITMENT Nearly 70 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees are contributing to the efforts of the President’s Advisory Committee for Making Excellence Inclusive; the Interim Coordinating Council for Thriving, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity; and the Presidential Commission on University History and Identity.


The University’s strategic plan, Forging our Future, Building from Strength, highlights a “Thriving and Inclusive University Community” as a key priority for Richmond. And three strategically connected campus committees — all established by President Ronald A. Crutcher — are advancing this goal by actively assessing the ways in which Richmond fosters such an environment for students, faculty, and staff by looking at the University’s past, present, and future. In February 2018, the President’s Advisory Committee for Making Excellence Inclusive (PAC) — an administrative, ad hoc committee comprising 22 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees — was formed to “thoroughly and candidly” assess Richmond’s campus climate and propose recommendations that will remove barriers and ensure Richmond is a place where all faculty, staff, and students thrive, regardless of their backgrounds. The committee’s formation was timely. Over the past decade, Richmond’s student body has changed rapidly. Nearly 30 percent of

the incoming class of undergraduate students in 2018 were students of color, up from 12.6 percent 10 years earlier. Pell-eligible student enrollment grew from 9.1 percent to 15.1 percent over the same time period. “The numbers themselves are quite compelling,” Crutcher said. “But so, too, were the stories I was hearing from students, including some of my own undergraduate mentees. What propelled this work most for me was hearing students say with some regularity that at Richmond, they sometimes feel like guests in someone else’s home, rather than truly belonging here. I fully believe this is something we can improve.” The PAC began its work with a careful review of campus climate data, as well as a review of the Westhampton and Richmond College Student Government Associations’ Listening Tour Report, completed in spring 2018. The PAC also engaged a higher education consulting firm, Keeling & Associates, to conduct additional qualitative and quantitative data gathering. Through that research, the PAC identified


three thematic areas — student support services, faculty and staff development, and thriving and inclusion metrics and evaluation — that have become the focus of its efforts and the basis for the recommendations currently being drafted. As the PAC’s work got underway, a small group of senior administrators and faculty attended the Council for Independent Colleges’ (CIC) Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute to investigate further how to support the University’s thriving and inclusion aspirations. “One outcome of Richmond’s participation in the CIC Institute was confirmation that in addition to focusing on the future, we also needed to better coordinate present efforts that support thriving, inclusion, diversity, and equity (TIDE) across campus,” said Ashleigh Brock, assistant to the president. “As such, Dr. Crutcher invited a group of administrators and faculty from around campus with considerable responsibilities focused on TIDE to form the Interim Coordinating Council for Thriving, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (ICC) in September 2018.” The ICC’s role is to inventory existing TIDE programs and initiatives and offer recommendations for how best to coordinate and connect these present efforts across campus. In order to accurately assess the present and build toward the strongest possible future,

the University also must honestly examine its past. In the fall, as Richmond celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first African-American undergraduate students to enroll in the University, Crutcher announced the launch of the Presidential Commission for University History and Identity, whose charge is to consider how Richmond records, preserves, and shares its history. Edward Ayers, Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and president emeritus, and Lauranett Lee, adjunct assistant professor of liberal arts, both renowned public historians and community leaders, agreed to serve as co-chairs. “If we want to give the efforts of the PAC and the ICC the best chance to stick, to have impact, we have to acknowledge and reckon with the fact that Richmond has not always been a place that has welcomed students, staff, and faculty from all backgrounds,” Crutcher said. “And we must consider the implications of our history as it relates to the institution we are becoming and aspire to be.”

“I am optimistic that this engaged and highly participatory approach to tackling issues of diversity and inclusion in higher education will yield significant, positive gains for our campus community and serve as a model for others.”

LEND YOUR VOICE To submit a suggestion to the President’s Advisory Committee for Making Excellence Inclusive; the Interim Coordinating Council for Thriving, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity; or the Presidential Commission for University History and Identity, visit president.richmond. edu/initiatives/ thriving/suggestions. html.

The work of the PAC, ICC, and Presidential Commission for University History and Identity will contribute to a report and a series of recommendations issued by President Crutcher to the campus community on June 30. 9

ACCOLADES The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs named UR among the U.S. colleges and universities that PRODUCED THE MOST FULBRIGHT U.S. STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS IN 2018– 19. UR is one of only 11 institutions in the country to be honored for both categories.

Behind the Screens

Website accessibility an ongoing commitment During an average month, more than 168,000 people visit the University of Richmond’s website. For most, it’s as easy as typing in a URL and mousing around on what pops up. But for those who rely on assistive tools that convert digital text into synthesized speech, who navigate sites using a keyboard rather than a mouse, or who have difficulty distinguishing color contrasts, among many other considerations, some websites are more challenging than others. Every organization has the responsibility to ensure all users — including those with auditory, visual, or physical impairments — can fully access and interact with its websites. For Richmond, the commitment to web accessibility means ensuring compliance for the more than 125 sites and 10,000 active pages, a task managed by the University’s web team, comprising staff from University Communications and Information Services. “A focus on web accessibility is an important piece of fulfilling our commitment to being an inclusive learning environment,” said Joedy Felts, director of user experience in University Communications (above). While web accessibility is not a new area of focus for the University, it requires more attention and effort than in past years because recent changes to federal guidelines have strengthened compliance criteria. Colleges and universities that are not taking clear action to mitigate accessibility issues face legal action with consequences ranging from enormous settlement fees to impacts on federal financial aid. “Ensuring web accessibility is, first and foremost, the right thing to do for our site users,” said Phillip Gravely, assistant vice president for communications and digital engagement. “But it also helps protect the University.” In 2018, the University implemented new processes and partnered with an industry-leading vendor to better identify and address accessibility issues. Accessibility-related issues decreased by more than half in the first two months, and the web team continues work to further improve or replace current webpages and templates. That work currently is focused on the highest levels of the University’s site, starting with the homepage and overall template system, but it will expand to include specific items on sites across campus. The web team will soon offer training on best practices for content creators and site administrators who play a role maintaining UR’s web ecosystem. “Web accessibility is an ongoing commitment as guidelines change and evolve,” Felts added. “This is not an area where we will ever check a box and consider it done.” 10

The Princeton Review ranked UR No. 4 on its 2019 list of “AMERICA’S 25 BEST COLLEGES FOR INTERNSHIP PLACEMENT.” Rankings were determined by student ratings of internship placement services at their college or university. The education services company also recognized UR’s sustainability efforts in its “Guide to 399 Green Colleges” for the ninth year in a row. The 2018 edition profiles nearly 400 colleges with exceptional commitments to sustainability. U.S. News & World Report ranked the Reynolds Graduate School of Business No. 35 on its list of “2020 BEST PART-TIME MBA PROGRAMS” — up seven positions from last year’s ranking. Poets&Quants for Undergrads, an online publication for undergraduate business education news, ranked the Robins School of Business No. 25 on its 2018 list of the “BEST UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOLS.” The ranking is based on a representative survey of more than 13,000 recent graduates and school-reported data. Students across 88 schools were surveyed on aspects of admissions standards, academic experience, and employment placement. The American Library Association selected the Digital Scholarship Lab’s “Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America” for its annual list of “BEST HISTORICAL MATERIALS” selected by history experts.


Community Commitment on Display University Museums provides learning experiences for local students In February, the University of Richmond Museums hosted more than 380 fifth-grade students from six Richmond Public Schools. A partnership between the Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature and Blue Sky Fund — now in its fourth year — brings elementary school students to campus for interactive learning experiences. Blue Sky Fund provides more than 1,800 children in underserved areas of the Richmond community with outdoor adventures and curriculum-based experiential learning. The nonprofit works with local organizations such as Maymont, Pocahontas State Park, Tredegar Ironworks, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, the Science Museum of Virginia, and others. According to Blue Sky Fund, 70 percent of students who participate in its Explorers program — students in grades two through five — improve their grades in science, maintaining a B or above. Martha Wright, assistant curator of academic and public engagement; Matthew Houle, curator of museum collections; and David Hershey, assistant collections manager, all participated in planning programming for the students. University Museums staff and Blue Sky Fund teachers focused the visits on content from Virginia’s geology standards of learning (SOL), the minimum expectations for student learning in grades K–12. This year, the students learned about minerals, fossils, and Virginia rocks — all

part of the Lora Robins Gallery collection. The students were encouraged to handle the items by participating in an activity on matching mineral specimens, providing them with a sensory, interactive experience. Some also visited an exhibition of African wax prints, which displayed textiles and dyed clothing. Tanesha Powell, academic program manager at Blue Sky Fund and a former elementary school teacher, worked with Wright to coordinate the visits. “The Explorers program utilizes hands-on learning experiences and the opportunity to be in new, natural spaces that [the students] may not otherwise have access to,” Powell said, noting she loves “seeing the wonder and amazement in the kids” while watching them experience new things. Wright echoed the sentiment, saying that it’s important for UR to partner with public education institutions — especially those that are under-supported and underfunded — and share resources with them. “When [the students] are happy, I’m happy,” Wright said. “It makes all the chaos totally worth it because you can see in their faces how much fun they’re having while learning.”

“ … you can see in their faces how much fun they’re having while learning.”

WE DELIVER UR’s support of local schools goes beyond Blue Sky Fund. University Museums provides numerous educational resources for local K–12 educators — sometimes taking the exhibit directly to the students. Karina Vazquez, director of the Spanish Community-Based Learning Program, brings a traveling museum exhibition to local Richmond schools, where UR students deliver a tour of the exhibition and activities in Spanish. Martha Wright commented that the traveling tour is a way for the museum and UR students “to connect with the community and break down [physical and emotional] barriers.” For information on education resources available, visit museums.richmond. edu/education.


Dana Kuchem, director of scholars and fellowships, assists students who are interested in pursuing externally funded undergraduate or post-graduate fellowship opportunities.

Empowering Opportunity Emphasis on student fellowships paying big dividends Undergraduate and post-graduate fellowships can provide students with access to national and international study, research, and service. These opportunities are not only great for the recipients; they serve as recruiting tools for prospective students and help raise the University’s national profile. And faculty and staff play a key role in the process. The Office of Scholars and Fellowships, which opened in fall 2017, is the hub for helping students explore and pursue externally funded fellowship opportunities. The office is led by Dana Kuchem, UR’s first director of scholars and fellowships. Previously, these types of opportunities were managed by various offices across campus. Aligning them in one office provides the best synergy. “Our main goal is to match UR students and recent alums with opportunities that make sense for their academic and professional pursuits,” Kuchem said. “We have students come in to talk

about opportunity X, but while they are with us they learn about opportunities A, B, and C as well.” During the 2017–18 academic year, nearly 200 potential applicants visited the Office of Scholars and Fellowships. More than 100 applied for opportunities, and 34 of those applicants were recognized in some way, meaning they were finalists or received honorable mentions — strong evidence of the academic caliber of our students. Ultimately, the Office of Scholars and Fellowships assisted 22 students and recent alumni with securing prestigious scholarship and fellowship opportunities during the last academic year (including a record six students who received study-abroad funding as Gilman scholars). In 2016–17, 14 students and recent alumni were awarded similar opportunities. Familiar funding opportunities on college campuses may include Goldwater, Rhodes, and

During the 2017–18 academic year, nearly 200 potential applicants visited the Office of Scholars and Fellowships.


Fulbright awards, but the Office of Scholars and Fellowships can point students to more than 30 prestigious opportunities, including less commonly known options like Beinecke or Boren. “Common misconceptions include that there are not a lot of fellowship opportunities and those that are available are just for 4.0 students. That’s not true,” Kuchem said. “Fellowships are really about fit, so a wide range of students can be competitive.” Kuchem said faculty and staff across campus can be helpful to students pursuing fellowship opportunities in a variety of ways. The first step is to point students in the right direction, which is to Kuchem and her team. They work with students from application to decision and are at the ready to assist when an opportunity doesn’t work out. “When one door shuts or the fit just isn’t there, my goal is always to steer them to something else,” Kuchem said. Kuchem said they are always looking for faculty and staff who have been recipients of these prestigious opportunities because they can be

great mentors for students. She said there are also opportunities to serve on selection committees, both on campus and nationally, that she would be happy to discuss with faculty and staff. “We really want to help our campus community recognize when they may have or know about a student that could be a competitive applicant,” Kuchem said. “My biggest ask is that if you see a student who is outstanding, who has that something extra special, please email me and tell me. I want to bring them in and learn more.” Kuchem also encourages faculty or staff who are asked to write letters of recommendation for scholarship or fellowship applications to reach out to her. “We can go over the expectations and criteria of the specific opportunity so they can best tailor their message,” Kuchem said.


8 BREAKING RECORDS Eight University of Richmond students or recent graduates were awarded Fulbright grants during the 2018–19 academic year, the most in the institution’s history. Previously, the top number of Fulbright award recipients was six in 2009. That record was also impressive nationally. The University of Richmond was included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most Fulbright U.S. Students and Fulbright U.S. Scholars. UR was among only 11 institutions in the country to be honored in both categories.

Learn more about the Office of Scholars and Fellowships at or reach out to Kuchem at 13

UNIVERSITY INCREASES MINIMUM WAGE FOR FULL- AND PART-TIME STAFF In February, the University announced it will increase its minimum wage for regular full- and part-time staff to $12 per hour, keeping the University’s minimum pay level well above federal and state guidelines. The wage increase demonstrates the University’s ongoing commitment to attracting and retaining top employees through competitive total compensation packages. Approximately 90 employees will see an increase in their hourly wage as a result of the change, which goes into effect July 1. The strong commitment to its employees has made the University a leader and model employer in Richmond and throughout Virginia. In 2018, the University was recognized by the Richmond Living Wage Certification Program, a joint initiative of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and the Richmond Office of Community Wealth Building, for going beyond the current $7.25 minimum wage requirement and providing a living wage to employees. Living wage is defined as the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. While it includes base salary, it also takes into consideration fringe benefits like employer-provided health care. “Raising the minimum wage for the University reflects our strategic commitment to creating a thriving and inclusive community,” said Carl Sorensen, senior associate vice president and chief human resources officer. “We’re committed to attracting the best employees with a competitive total compensation package — which includes pay and benefits — and then retaining those employees through our ongoing commitment to ensure they’re competitively paid and rewarded for their work.”


Paying Of f Faculty and staff suggestions lead to launch of automated travel and expense process The process for completing and submitting travel and expense (T&E) reimbursement reports will soon become a lot less time consuming thanks to a universitywide initiative aimed at reimagining and redesigning administrative processes to be simpler, smarter, and more efficient. UR Better, launched in spring 2018, solicits process improvement suggestions from faculty and staff via an online intake form. Recommendations are then measured against five criteria: institutional time savings, institutional cost savings, quality improvement, reduction of compliance risk, and breadth of positive impact or improvement in user satisfaction. The suggestion to examine the T&E process was submitted by numerous members of the campus community, making its review an easy choice for the steering committee that evaluates the submissions. “People are eager to improve their processes,” said Sybil Fellin, director of the UR Better initiative. “They don’t want to waste time doing extra steps and more paperwork than necessary.” The current T&E process has become outdated. Faculty and staff must currently print and complete paper forms, attach paper receipts for expenses, acquire the appropriate signatures — often more than one — and mail the approved report and documentation to the Accounts Payable office, where it undergoes additional manual processing. The new T&E process, which will go live prior to the start of the 2019–20 academic year, automates the system, allowing users to submit all documentation electronically, eliminating unnecessary steps and making the process more sustainable. The University has contracted with Chrome River, a software company specializing in expense and invoice solutions, to help update the procedure. Since UR Better’s launch last year, faculty and staff have submitted more than 180 process improvement ideas, and Lori Schuyler, vice president for planning and policy, encourages faculty and staff to keep the suggestions coming. “People are subject matter experts in their own offices; they have great ideas about what can be improved and what can be handled differently,” Schuyler said. “I think the opportunity to get a little help from UR Better and make sure that the new process that they envision works for everybody across campus is really encouraging to people, and being able to implement their great ideas is helpful to the University in the long run.” To view a list of current projects or to submit a process improvement suggestion, visit

Information Services expands support for faculty and student research Facilitating faculty and student research has long been a core focus area for Information Services. But lately, they are making it even more of a priority. “We have this vision that faculty, students, and staff will harness modern technologies and robust information resources to enable teaching excellence, facilitate scholarship and innovation, and promote student success,” said Keith W. “Mac” McIntosh, vice president and chief information officer. “Building upon our current services and partnering with our outstanding faculty, we can provide more opportunities for student scholarship and undergraduate research.” One of the four goals in the comprehensive University Technology and Information Plan (IT Plan), which launched in fall 2018, is to “support effective and innovative teaching, learning, and research with technology.” The goal also seeks to explore expanding research and scholarly support services for faculty and students. While the IT Plan may be new, Information Services is already walking the walk in terms of its expanded commitment to research support. One recent project sought ways to make faculty research more efficient, sponsoring a proof-ofconcept initiative to see how faculty from different disciplines could leverage a shared, high-performance computing cluster. In consultation with Executive Vice President and Provost Jeffrey

Legro and School of Arts & Sciences Dean Patrice Rankine, faculty from physics, chemistry, computer science, and economics tested their calculations on the shared cluster. Information Services staff reconfigured an existing cluster to support the research and worked with faculty to install the necessary software. For Mariama Rebello de Sousa Dias, assistant professor of physics, the cluster ran an opensource program called Quantum Espresso, which she uses to perform the calculation of the band structures of alloyed metals. She is interested in how disorder can affect the optical properties of the materials. While the program can run on a high-performance computer workstation, the calculations can run much more quickly in a clustered computer environment. “The proof of concept showed that we can work together in such [a] shared environment,” Dias said. In another recent successful collaboration, Dias worked with the Technology Learning Center to print 3D models of the 14 solid-state structures atoms can assume. Fred Hagemeister, research analyst in Information Services, provides consultation to faculty seeking to use technology in their research. He encourages faculty to contact him directly so he can help connect them with the research technology support they need from across the full range of Information Services’ expertise.

“Building upon our current services and partnering with our outstanding faculty, we can provide more opportunities for student scholarship and undergraduate research.”


Equipping Scholars

Mariama Rebello de Sousa Dias, assistant professor of physics, partnered with Information Services’ Technology Learning Center to create 3D models of atoms.

SETTING PRIORITIES In the fall, Information Services will launch an IT governance process to evaluate and prioritize technology projects and investments in the context of institutional priorities and values. Improved IT governance will enable the University to make technology decisions more efficiently and achieve greater benefits from technology investments. “The goal of IT governance is to put more strategic focus on the purchases we’re making,” said Keith W. “Mac” McIntosh, vice president and chief information officer. “We want to make sure our limited resources are applied to what’s most important so we don’t have competing objectives.”


Photograph by Jamie Betts



Alexander Kordzaia knew at an early age he wanted to become a conductor. Having started his training as a classical pianist at the age of 6, Kordzaia found that conducting combined his love of music with his desire to be in theater. “I fell in love with it,” Kordzaia said. “I fell in love with harmonies and harmony changes and instruments.” As artistic — and founding — director of the UR Symphony Orchestra, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018, Kordzaia leads an ensemble of students (most of whom are not music majors), faculty, staff, community members, and alumni. It’s a role he’s obviously passionate about. “If you get a chance to hear the music, you’ll see why anybody standing there with the sound coming toward them cannot not be emotional, not be involved,” Kordzaia said. “It just moves you.”


OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS We celebrate the accomplishments of UR’s talented faculty and staff. See more accomplishments and submit your own grant, publication, or honor at faculty-staff.

PAUL ACHTER, associate professor of rhetoric, published “‘Military Chic’ and the Rhetorical Production of the Uniformed Body” in the Western Journal of Communication.

RETT ALEXANDER, senior programmer analyst, was elected vice president of the board of directors for Hyland Higher Education’s Vertical OnBase Group of User Experts. TAYLOR ARNOLD, assistant professor of statistics, has been awarded a fellowship of more than $36,000 to participate in the Collegium program at the Lyon Institute for Advanced Study in France during the 2019–20 academic year. His project will examine how an individual’s use of language changes over time. Arnold co-authored A Computational Approach to Statistical Learning (Chapman and Hall/CRC). NANCY BAGRANOFF, dean of the Robins School of Business, was named to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates.

KRISTIN BEZIO, associate professor of leadership studies, presented “Crooked Politics: Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’ and Leadership in 21st-Century America” at The Arts of Leading: Perspectives from the Humanities and Liberal Arts conference at Wake Forest University. STEVE BISESE, vice president for student development, was elected trustee emeritus of the Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation board of trustees in recognition of his long-standing service and commitment to the society. LESLIE BOHON, interim director of ESL, was one of two U.S. professors asked to train Ukrainian English teachers and administrators in language teaching methods and school leadership at a national forum sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Peace Corps. KEVIN BUTTERFIELD, University Librarian, was elected to a four-year term as chair of the Richmond Public Library board of trustees.

SARAH B. CALVERIC, adjunct associate professor of education, was named superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools.


MICKIE CAMPOS, administrative coordinator in career services, and Carrie Hawes, associate director of employer relations, received a $12,000 grant from Altria to support professional development of students through diversity and student programming and student participation in the National Team Selling Competition. TARA CASEY, associate clinical professor of law and director of the Carrico Center for Pro Bono and Public Service, was inducted into the 2019 class of Virginia Law Foundation Fellows. This foundation brings together the best and brightest legal practitioners in Virginia to distribute grants, expand access to justice, and promote service in the legal profession. RYAN COPPAGE, director of introductory laboratories, and Michael Leopold, Floyd D. and Elisabeth S. Gottwald Professor of Chemistry, with undergraduate co-authors published “A Multi-Size Study of Gold Nanoparticle Degradation and Reformation in Ceramic Glazes” in Gold Bulletin and “Sintering-Induced Nucleation and Growth of Noble Metal Nanoparticles for Plasmonic Resonance Ceramic Color” in the Journal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers and Materials. JONATHAN CORBIN, MacEldin Dunn Trawick Postdoctoral Fellow, and Beth Crawford, professor of psychology, were awarded a $1,000 prize from Open Science Framework’s Preregistration Challenge for their paper “Biased by the Group: Memory for an Emotional Expression Biases Towards the Ensemble.” TOM COSSE, associate dean for international business programs and professor of marketing and international business studies, was appointed to a three-year term on the IES Abroad curriculum committee, which reviews all of the syllabi that are taught by IES Abroad faculty around the world.  BETH CRAWFORD, professor of psychology, and Jonathan Corbin, MacEldin Dunn Trawick Postdoctoral Fellow, were awarded a $1,000 prize from Open Science Framework’s Preregistration Challenge for their paper “Biased by the Group: Memory for an Emotional Expression Biases Towards the Ensemble.” ERIKA ZIMMERMANN DAMER, associate professor of classical studies and women, gender, and sexuality studies, published In The Flesh: Embodied Identities in Roman Elegy (University of Wisconsin Press). Damer was named an IES Abroad research associate in Rome for spring 2019.


RAFAEL DE SÁ, professor of biology, with collaborators published, “A molecular insight on the relationships of the poorly known genus Niceforonia Goin and Cochran, 1963 (Craugastoridae, Holoadeninae)” in Zootaxa; “Multiple connections between Amazonia and Atlantic Forest shaped phylogenetic and morphological diversity in the genus Chiasmocleis Mehely, 1904 (Anura: Microhylidae: Gastrophryne)” in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution; and “A review of the Rivulidae (Cyprinodontiformes, Aplocheilodei) and molecular and morphological phylogeny of the annual fish genus Austrolebias” in Neotropical Ichthyology. KELLING DONALD, associate professor of chemistry, with undergraduate co-authors published “Bending Ternary Dihalides” in The Journal of Physical Chemistry A and “Ouroboros: Heterocycles closed by dative σ bonds and stabilized by π delocalization” in Tetrahedron. WADE DOWNEY, professor of chemistry, with undergraduate co-authors published “One-Pot Enol Silane Formation-Alkylation of Ketones with Propargyl Carboxylates Promoted by Trimethylsilyl Trifluoromethanesulfonate” in the Journal of Organic Chemistry and “Chalcone and cinnamate synthesis via one-pot enol silane formation-Mukaiyama aldol reactions of ketones and acetate esters” in Tetrahedron Letters. JOANNA DRELL, professor of history, spoke on medieval immigration of northern Italians to Sicily at a meeting coordinated by the Office of Medieval Studies and the Cultural Circle of the Marquises of Monferrato in Palermo, Sicily.

Outstanding Business Affairs Performance Award Winners The annual Business Affairs awards recognize individuals or teams who excel in the performance of their duties, promote teamwork, inspire excellence in others, and consistently reflect the values of the Business Affairs division — inclusivity, cooperation, and collaboration; working together for the good of the whole; working in an open and accountable manner; and being innovative.

JOEL EISEN, Austin Owen Research Fellow, was named a summer 2019 Distinguished Energy Law Scholar by Vermont Law School, one of the topranked energy law programs in the country. William Judson Gaines Chair in Modern Foreign Languages SHARON FELDMAN’s English translation of Liberto, an award-winning Catalan play by Gemma Brió, was given a professional staged reading at the Instituto Cervantes in New York City. 

MAZIE ELLERBE Custodial Supervisor University Facilities

AMY HANNA Custodial Supervisor University Facilities

DREW PARKER Groundskeeper University Facilities

CHARMENE RICKS Café Associate Campus Services, Lou’s Café

MARSHALL GEIGER, CSX Chair in Management and Accounting, received a grant from the Foundation for Audit Research in the Netherlands to review the global academic literature on auditor reporting on financially distressed companies in order to identify best practices and areas in need of further research.

MAURA MCLAIN Front of the House Manager Campus Services, Heilman Dining Center



Outstanding Service Award Winners These awards, given annually, honor staff members for exemplary commitment and service to the University in one of the following categories: clerical support, dining services, administrative, service and maintenance, or sustainability. Outstanding Service Award winners are nominated by their colleagues and supervisors and selected from a pool of candidates to receive $1,000 and a personalized plaque. This year’s winners were honored at the Outstanding Service Awards ceremony on March 4.

Sustainability KIRSTIN BERBEN Laboratories Manager Biology

Dining Services MATT BROCK Café/Stores Associate Passport Café

PHILLIP GRAVELY, assistant vice president for communications and digital engagement, and Cheryl Spain, internal communications editor, presented “Our Best Ambassadors: Reinventing Faculty/Staff Communications” at the College Communicators Association’s winter 2019 conference at Georgetown University. KRISTINE GRAYSON, assistant professor of biology, with undergraduate co-authors published “Can gypsy moth stand the heat? A reciprocal transplant experiment with an invasive forest pest across its southern range margin” in Biological Invasions. JOHN GUPTON, Floyd D. and Elisabeth S. Gottwald Professor of Chemistry, and collaborators published “Application of Vinylogous Carbamates and Vinylogous Aminonitriles to the Regiospecific Synthesis of Uniquely Functionalized Pyrroles and Quinolones” in Tetrahedron. CARRIE HAWES, associate director of employer relations, and Mickie Campos, administrative coordinator in career services, received a $12,000 grant from Altria to support professional development of students through diversity and student programming and student participation in the National Team Selling Competition. JAVIER HIDALGO, associate professor of leadership studies, published Unjust Borders: Individuals and the Ethics of Immigration (Routledge). CRYSTAL HOYT, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of leadership studies and psychology, was named a 2018 Association for Psychological Science Fellow for her outstanding contributions to the science of psychology.

Service/Maintenance CHRIS HARRISON HVAC Mechanic II University Facilities/ HVAC

Administrative SUSAN TAYLOR Director of Budgets and Operations Jepson School of Leadership Studies 20

Clerical Support KATHY ROTHERT Administrative Coordinator Math and Computer Sciences

COURTNEY HUGHES, associate director of academics in the athletics department, with a UR student-athlete presented at the Black Student-Athlete Summit at the University of Texas at Austin. Their presentation centered on the history of the black student-athlete at the University of Richmond. DANA KUCHEM, director of the Office of Scholars and Fellowships, presented “U.S. Campus Based Fulbright and Fellowship Advising” at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City for Mexican university professionals to learn best practices for advising Fulbright applicants. The seminar was a joint venture between Comexus, the Institute of International Education, and the Fulbright Association. LAURA KUTI, assistant professor of education, presented “Mind the Gap! Elementary Action Research for Achievement Equitability” at the 2018 Worldclass Instructional Design and Assessment annual conference in Detroit.


LAURANETT LEE, adjunct assistant professor of liberal arts, was profiled in Richmond Magazine’s recent Arthur Ashe commemorative issue for her contributions to Richmond’s African-American community. MICHAEL LEOPOLD, Floyd D. and Elisabeth S. Gottwald Professor of Chemistry, and Ryan Coppage, director of introductory laboratories, with undergraduate co-authors published “A Multi-Size Study of Gold Nanoparticle Degradation and Reformation in Ceramic Glazes” in Gold Bulletin and “Sintering-Induced Nucleation and Growth of Noble Metal Nanoparticles for Plasmonic Resonance Ceramic Color” in the Journal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers and Materials. Leopold; Julie Pollock, assistant professor of chemistry; Mulugeta Wayu, visiting lecturer of chemistry; UR undergraduate students; and collaborators at Converse College published “Functionalized carbon nanotube adsorption interfaces for electron transfer studies of galactose oxidase” in Bioelectrochemistry and “First Generation Amperometric Biosensing of Galactose with Xerogel-Carbon Nanotube Layer-By-Layer Assemblies” in Nanomaterials. MICHELE MAUNEY, LALIS administrative coordinator, received the Certified Administrative Professional designation from the International Association of Administrative Professionals. NICOLE MAURANTONIO, associate professor of rhetoric and communications studies; Irina Rogova, Race and Racism at UR project archivist; and colleagues presented “Confronting Pasts: Community Engagement and Empowerment” at the annual meeting of the National Humanities Alliance in New Orleans. JULIE MCCONNELL, clinical professor of law and director of the Children’s Defense Clinic, was named the 2018 Woman of Achievement by the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association. MARIELA MÉNDEZ, associate professor of Latin American, Latino, and Iberian studies and women, gender, and sexuality studies, received a collaborative grant from the Chilean Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica to further her research on the Brazilian press and on female contributions in Latin American and American magazines. MARI LEE MIFSUD, professor of rhetoric, published “The Gift, the Market, and the Question of Living Well Together: Exploring Rhetorics of Allo-Liberalism as Antidote to NeoLiberalism” in Society and Economy.


University Chaplain Craig Kocher helped kick off “10 Days of Spider Pride” with a bang during the Employee Service Awards, held this year on the University’s Founder’s Day. Lucky attendees received their very own limited-edition “Spider Proud” T-shirt in celebration of National Spider Day. 21

Getting Inclusivity Down to a Science BEYOND A&S “I want to build bridges because there’s a lot of good work going on in different areas of the institution,” Bazemore-Walker said. “I think we can gain strength with the synergy of the efforts that are underway across the University.”

A conversation with Carthene Bazemore-Walker, assistant dean for diversity, inclusivity, and thriving Carthene Bazemore-Walker joined UR in September 2018 as assistant dean for diversity, inclusivity, and thriving in the School of Arts & Sciences. Through her position, which is new to A&S, she is helping to lead efforts on campus to make Richmond a model institution where everyone can reach their full potential and thrive in an inclusive community. What was your path to this position? I am a bio-analytical chemist. My research focuses on developing new techniques that will allow for the large-scale study of proteins found in cells, tissues, and bodily fluids. Throughout my academic career, I have always paid attention to pedagogy and the broader implications of my research. While I truly enjoy teaching and research, I wanted to know if I could have a broader positive impact if I did something slightly different. I decided that I could be of greater service by moving into an academic administrative position and impacting faculty as well as students. Describe your position here. This position came out of the work that UR has been doing in diversity and inclusivity to help all of our constituencies — students, faculty, and staff — thrive. With Concept 30, the A&S strategic plan, there are two pillars this position supports: conscience and community. We want to have an intellectual community that challenges itself to grow and be welcoming and affirming of our diversity. One way to support that is having someone whose eye is directly on these goals for A&S.


What do you see when you look at Richmond? As an academic administrator, my focus is on faculty and staff, teaching, and our academic culture. For instance, we need to cultivate innovative practices to deal with implicit bias in our hiring and promotion. Implicit bias is an issue for everyone, so it is a useful goal for all of us to work to mitigate its effects. We should also work to ensure that our academic culture is inclusive. Inclusive pedagogical practices assist in improving campus climate, so I’m involved with identifying approaches to our teaching that are welcoming to all of our students and support academic excellence. What are your current priorities? In the first year, I am reviewing our institutional data and engaging the academic community in order to establish some benchmarks for us. My academic background comes in handy here. In the next year, we will develop an action plan and then begin enacting that plan. Part of my job is to help prepare the community for the work that we must do because it is challenging. Moving from having diversity that we can measure to fully engaging and affirming the uniqueness of the community that we have is a major task. Thriving and inclusivity has risen in importance to the level of the strategic plan. What’s at stake here? There is an economic case for thriving and inclusivity given the changes in our society and world. It benefits both the historically underrepresented groups and the majority group. More importantly, it’s just the right thing to do. We’re all unique. We can learn to embrace that, not be afraid of it. In so doing, we build a greater UR.

LIDIA RADI, associate professor of French and Italian, published “Scrittori senza frontiere: Il caso di Elvira Dones” in Critical Multilingualism Studies.

IRINA ROGOVA, Race and Racism at UR project archivist; Nicole Maurantonio, associate professor of rhetoric and communications studies; and colleagues presented “Confronting Pasts: Community Engagement and Empowerment” at the annual meeting of the National Humanities Alliance in New Orleans. DAVID SALISBURY, associate professor geography and the environment, received a $5,866 grant from the Pan-American Institute of Geography and History for his project “Workshop of the Transboundary Geographic Group of the Southwestern Amazon (GTASO) to migrate the environmental challenges in the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon.” JULIETTA SINGH, associate professor of English and women, gender, and sexuality studies, presented “No Archive Will Restore You” at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Chicago. ROGER SKALBECK, professor of law and dean for library and information services, was named chair-elect of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Law Libraries and Legal Information.

SABLE ELYSE SMITH, assistant professor of sculpture and extended media, in partnership with 1708 Gallery, created a billboard in Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood as part of the For Freedoms 50 State Initiative. CHERYL SPAIN, internal communications editor, and Phillip Gravely, assistant vice president for communications and digital engagement, presented “Our Best Ambassadors: Reinventing Faculty/Staff Communications” at the College Communicators Association’s winter 2019 conference at Georgetown University.

STEVE TAYLOR, head men’s cross country coach and Collegiate Running Association co-founder, was honored by USA Track and Field with the H. Browning Ross Long Distance Running Merit Award for his contributions and service to the sport of long-distance running. LAUREN TILTON, assistant professor of digital humanities, received an NEH-Mellon Fellowship for a project mapping oral histories of people living in the American South during the Great Depression.


JULIE POLLOCK, assistant professor of chemistry; Mike Leopold, Floyd D. and Elisabeth S. Gottwald Professor of Chemistry; Mulugeta Wayu, visiting lecturer of chemistry; UR undergraduate students; and collaborators at Converse College published “Functionalized carbon nanotube adsorption interfaces for electron transfer studies of galactose oxidase” in Bioelectrochemistry and “First Generation Amperometric Biosensing of Galactose with Xerogel-Carbon Nanotube Layer-By-Layer Assemblies” in Nanomaterials.

ARMOND TOWNS, assistant professor of rhetoric and communication studies, published “Black ‘Matter’ Lives” in Women’s Studies in Communication.

ANDREA VICKERY, visiting lecturer of rhetoric and communication studies, published “Everyday (imagined) talk: An exploration of everyday conversational topics and imagined interaction features” in Imagination, Cognition, and Personality. MAYA VINCELLI, assistant director of retail operations, was named a 2019 Young Lion in the Noncommercial Operator category by Foodservice Equipment Reports. The award recognizes those whose early career accomplishments signal major industry contributions for years to come. MULUGETA WAYU, visiting lecturer of chemistry; Mike Leopold, Floyd D. and Elisabeth S. Gottwald Professor of Chemistry; Julie Pollock, assistant professor of chemistry; UR undergraduate students; and collaborators at Converse College published “Functionalized carbon nanotube adsorption interfaces for electron transfer studies of galactose oxidase” in Bioelectrochemistry and “First Generation Amperometric Biosensing of Galactose with Xerogel-Carbon Nanotube Layer-By-Layer Assemblies” in Nanomaterials. STEVE WILBORN, seasonal admission committee member, was appointed by Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney to the Census 2020 Complete Count Strategic Planning Committee for the city of Richmond. He also was appointed to serve a two-year term as chair of the education committee of the Richmond branch of the NAACP. THAD WILLIAMSON, associate professor of leadership studies and philosophy, politics, economics, and law, gave the keynote address at the Political Philosophy Conference “Equality and Democracy in Local and City Government: Theory and Practice” in York, England.


We offer a warm welcome to our new colleagues and congratulations to colleagues taking their next steps. The following includes employment status changes for full- and part-time faculty and staff from Nov. 1, 2018, to Jan. 31, 2019.

NEW HIRES FACULTY SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES ART AND ART HISTORY Debra Bergoffen Tucker-Boatwright Visiting Lecturer GEOGRAPHY Stephanie Spera Assistant Professor of Climate Change JEPSON SCHOOL OF LEADERSHIP STUDIES Kenneth Ruscio Senior Distinguished Lecturer in Leadership Studies PROVOST Corey Walker Visiting Professor STAFF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES Fernando Otalora-Luna Postdoctoral Research Associate, Biology SCHOOL OF LAW Alex Brown Digital Media Manager, Dean’s Office Aaron Campbell Director of Public Sector Careers, Career Services Michelle Heck Associate Dean, Law Admissions

Susee Diaz Café Associate, Tyler’s Grill

Gabriella Valsecchi Visiting Instructor of Italian Studies

Kolby Ferguson Utility Associate, Heilman Dining Center


Sharitka Giles Cook II, Heilman Dining Center Gena Gruber SpiderShop Associate Ricardo Hinojosa Cook II, Heilman Dining Center Malika Musawwir Café Associate, Passport Café Jon Mykich Cook I, Heilman Dining Center Christopher Quinones Utility Associate, Heilman Dining Center Linda Shepard SpiderShop Associate Johnell Starkes Sous Chef, The Cellar

PROVOST Jonathan Miranda Software Support Administrator, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement

FACILITIES Blake Carter Groundskeeper

ATHLETICS Johnson Richardson Assistant Football Coach Wesley Satterfield Assistant Football Coach

Peter Torneo Sous Chef, Heilman Dining Center

INFORMATION SERVICES Deb Warrick Senior Programmer Analyst, Administrative Systems STUDENT DEVELOPMENT Joel Hudalla Fitness Assistant, Operations UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS Andrew Tillman Senior Writer and Strategic Communication Advisor, Office of the President



Tiffany Defreitas Line Service Associate, Heilman Dining Center

Harmony Sullivan Cashier, ETC

Brittany Woo Administrative Coordinator, Development, Office of Major Gifts


Amari Brown Line Service Associate, Heilman Dining Center

SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL AND CONTINUING STUDIES Joel Hanel Accreditation and Assessment Specialist

ADVANCEMENT Sara Cone Associate Director of Professional Development A&S, Career Services


BUSINESS AFFAIRS CAMPUS SERVICES Roshad Black Utility Associate, Heilman Dining Center

ACADEMIC AFFAIRS SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES Martha Wright Assistant Curator, University Museums



Arts & Sciences faculty (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)

PROVOST LaToya Gray User Support Specialist, Boatwright Memorial Library Sara Rock Assistant to the Dean, International Education BUSINESS AFFAIRS CAMPUS SERVICES Lily Evenstar Café Associate, Passport Café



Law Admission

Karen McKinley Lead Concierge, Events, Conferences and Support Services Rachel Snyder Baker II, Heilman Dining Center FACILITIES David Leonard Custodial Support Technician Terry Shearin Custodian



Robins School faculty (Marketing)

Trayana Stankova Custodian ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT Kathryn Owens Senior Associate Director, Financial Aid Sue Young Associate Director, Financial Aid Systems/ Operations



SPCS Administration

There are Spiders everywhere. AND THAT’S A GOOD THING. Bright minds arrive at the University of Richmond with the expectation to exceed expectations. Their ambition combines with Richmond’s innovative programs, weaving together in ways that invite Spiders to grow, evolve, and succeed. This web of excellence propels Spiders from Richmond to all corners of the globe — and it all starts within us.


MAY May 10–12 Commencement May 13, 9–10:30 a.m. University Faculty Meeting Robins School of Business, Ukrop Auditorium May 23, 8:30–10:30 a.m. Spiders in the Know Modlin Center for the Arts, Alice Jepson Theatre May 27 Memorial Day May 29, noon–2 p.m. SpringFest Heilman Dining Center

May 31–June 2 Reunion JULY July 4 Independence Day AUGUST Aug. 2 Busch Gardens Employee Appreciation Day University closes at noon Aug. 21, 3–4:30 p.m. Colloquy Modlin Center for the Arts, Alice Jepson Theatre

Aug. 26 First Day of Undergraduate Fall Classes Aug. 29 Employee Appreciation Day at Robins Stadium Limited free tickets for faculty/staff Aug. 30 Preview Richmond Open house for prospective students and their families SEPTEMBER Sept. 2 Labor Day


The University Staff Advisory Council represents the needs of staff to senior administration and works proactively to make the University of Richmond an employer of choice. Meetings* May 14 June 11 July 9 Aug. 13 Sept. 10 1–3 p.m. Visit usac.richmond. edu for meeting locations. *Unless otherwise noted, meetings are open to all faculty and staff.


The University of Richmond Faculty Senate is the body authorized by both the University faculty and the Board of Trustees to represent the faculty in the University’s governance process on matters that impact the University or affect more than one school. Visit facultysenate. for meeting times and locations.

Profile for UR Scholarship Repository

Spider Insider: Spring 2019  

For faculty and staff at the University of Richmond

Spider Insider: Spring 2019  

For faculty and staff at the University of Richmond