September 24, 2013

Freshmen & Sophomores: Folio 180 Workshops Now Available!

Attention Freshmen and Sophomores: would you like more information on what you should be entering into Folio 180, or are you interested on using it to build a resume? Attend a Folio 180 Workshop for a chance to have any questions you may have answered with hands-on demos and examples. Register for any of the following times via email to
        Tuesday, October 8, 4pm – 5pm
        Wednesday, October 9, 4pm – 5pm
        Tuesday, October 15, 11am – 12pm
        Wednesday, October 16, 4pm – 5pm
Workshops are held in the Honors College Computer Lab, so registration is required to attend, and space is limited!

Research Opportunity: Improving Alcohol Education at VCU

The following research opportunity is related to Spit for Science:

The VCU Student Survey, a university-wide research opportunity for all incoming VCU freshmen, focused on understanding risk and protective factors that contribute to substance use and emotional health among college students.  We will use data from the Spit for Science baseline fall freshman questionnaire to assign up to 400 students to different alcohol prevention programming based on their individual responses to one of the drinking variables included in the Spit for Science survey.  We will then follow their drinking patterns across time to test whether tailored prevention programming is more effective at encouraging responsible choices about alcohol use.  Our hypothesis is that individuals who are assigned to a matched prevention program will show lower levels of alcohol consumption than individuals assigned to prevention as usual, and that individuals who are assigned to a mismatched condition will do worse than individuals assigned to prevention as usual.

Online alcohol education is convenient for university administrators and students alike, but its efficacy in reducing high risk drinking is low (Carey, K. et al 2012), especially among high risk drinkers, the very people administrators most wish to impact.  Testing the hypothesis that matching a prevention education program to a person’s level of response to alcohol will bring the field closer to answering the question “How can we better reduce heavy drinking among the population who is doing most of the heavy drinking?”

The research assistant would have a great deal of involvement in the day to day details of running a research study. Responsibilities may include the following:

  • Project and study design in REDCap
  • Testing completed research protocols
  • Assisting with an IRB submission
  • Early data monitoring/quality control
  • Interaction with research participants

Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, or other social science majors, as well as prior research experience are preferred. A minimum 3.4 GPA is required. Students will also be required to work 10 hours per work.

Please submit a resume (including your current GPA), at least one academic reference, and a one page essay on your interest in participating in this project to Kristen Kidd Donovan at Candidates will need to demonstrate an ability to work quickly, work diligently, and interact in a professional and personable manner.

Undergraduate Fellowships for Community Engaged and Translational Research

For the summer of 2014, the Division of Community Engagement and the Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) will fund three undergraduate community-engaged research fellowship awards for research projects mentored by VCU faculty and carried out in collaboration with a community partner.  Proposals for this fellowship should include a community-engaged research project that creates and disseminates knowledge or creative expression with the goal of contributing to the discipline and strengthening the well-being of the community.  At least one of these fellowships will be awarded to a project that focuses on the advancement of human health.  Successful proposals must discuss how the project will increase the student researcher’s knowledge, skills and experience through a mutually-beneficial partnership in the community. Each fellowship award includes $1500 in funding for the student and $500 for the faculty mentor. Similar to the VCU UROP Summer Fellowship, student applicants should establish a partnership with their faculty mentor before applying – students are not matched to faculty members through the program. Only full-time, VCU undergraduates receiving a Bachelor’s degree May 2015 or later are eligible; students may be from any discipline may apply.

Application Requirements:

  1. A 5-page (maximum), double-spaced proposal written by the student and mentor together. The proposal should detail: the significance of the proposed work; a research question; the specific aims of the work; the methods to be employed; results expected; how the project will contribute to the research knowledge and skills of the student; how the project has the potential to contribute to the well-being of the community; evidence of collaboration between the student researcher and the community partner; a detailed work plan, showing a significant amount of time dedicated to your project (around 20 to 30 hours a week); a statement pledging to submit a mid-term project report by August 15, 2014, and to participate in the VCU Undergraduate Symposium or Poster Day in Spring 2015.
  2. A 2-page (maximum), double-spaced personal statement written by the student, which addresses the following questions: what experience or qualifications have prepared you for the work you propose? What will the Summer Fellowship do to help you advance your career goals?
  3. A letter of support for the Summer Fellowship application written by the mentor, which addresses the following questions: how long and in what capacity has the mentor known the applicant? Have you mentored this student before? What experience, knowledge, skills, or capacities do you believe the applicant possesses that qualify the student to conduct the proposed work? How do you believe the Summer Fellowships experience will help the student meet their career goals? An assessment of the extent to which the project will increase the student researcher’s knowledge and skill in community-engaged research/scholarship. A brief statement describing your support for the workplan.

Applicants must upload their materials to; the deadline for applications is March 1, 2014. Faculty mentors should email their letter of support to with the title “CE/CCTR Fellowship Letter/(name of student)” by the March 1, 2014Awards will be announced in mid-April, 2014.

Contact Herb Hill at for more information or with any questions.

U.S. Department of State 2014 Summer Student Internship Program

Applications are now being accepted for the U.S. Department of State 2014 Summer Student Internship Program. This program offers U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to participate in 10-week, unpaid internships that provide intensive educational and professional experience within the environment of America’s principle foreign affairs agency.

As an unpaid intern, you will have the opportunity to: participate in meetings with senior level U.S. government or foreign government officials; draft, edit, or contribute to cables, reports, communications, talking points, or other materials used by policy makers in furthering U.S. foreign policy objectives; help organize and support events, including international and/or multilateral meetings and conferences on critical global issues; contribute to the management and administration of the Department of State and America’s foreign policy; and engage directly with U.S. or foreign audiences to promote U.S. foreign policy and improve understanding of U.S. culture and society.

Please visit for more information about the Summer 2014 Student Internship Program (unpaid), and to start the online application process via USAJobs. Please note that the deadline to submit completed applications is November 1, 2013.

September 19, 2013

Volunteer Opportunities!


Honors students interested in getting involved in the community should consider the following opportunities:
  • The Mary and Francis Youth Center will have its Family Open on September 21. Children from across the city come to campus for a Quick Start Tennis Tournament. It is lots of fun and lots of volunteers are needed. The link to the volunteer page is here:
  • The Carver Promise is seeking mentors for students at Carver Elementary School. Lots of Honors students have been involved with this program in the past. Information on trainings and how to apply can be found here:
  • Hands On Greater Richmond will have its day of service on October 19. There are many projects with various agencies around the city. This is a great way to get to know Richmond.  Groups of students can select a project. The link to their webpage is

September 18, 2013

Invitation to Honors Students: Professor Neil Murphy Speaks on The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund

Dr. Carol Rasnic, who recently joined the Honors College to discuss “American Flag Burning and Nazi Symbols,” has invited honors students her class to hear guest speaker, Dr. Neil Murphy.  Dr. Rasnic teaches International and Comparative Law.


                          The International and Comparative Law class,

                                     Department of Political Science


Speaker:  Professor Neil B. Murphy

Topic:  The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund

Time and place: 4-5:15 pm, Wednesday, September 18,

                          Room 2221, Temple Building, 901 West Main Street

Dr. Neil B. Murphy, Professor Emeritus of Finance, V.C.U., has a wealth of experience in the international finance and banking sectors.  He was Fulbright Professor of Finance under the Fulbright Commission’s European Union Affairs Research Program and was awarded the Hewett Policy Fellowship by the National Council on East European and Eurasian Research.

In addition to V.C.U, he has served on the faculties of the University of Maine, University of Oklahoma, and University of Connecticut.  His extensive non-academic work experience has been as financial economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Chief of the Economic Research Unit at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; economist on the President’s Commission on Financial Structure and Regulation; and Senior Vice President of Payments Systems, Inc., (a research subsidiary of American express).


Professor Murphy’s publications are legion, and his consulting and teaching assignments Bosnia are worldwide, including Herzegovina, Colombia, Croatia, France, Ghana, Ireland, Israel, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Serbia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Yemen.   His name is a household word in the international area of structuring and refinancing of banks and other financial institutions and markets.

Our speaker holds a B.S. degree from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois   He is a Certified Treasury Professional and a designated Accredited ACH Professional and currently s advisor to the Banking and Financial Services Program of the Office of technical Assistant, U.S. Department of the Treasury.