November 27, 2013

Tax Volunteering in the Community

Prof Roxanne Spindle will be presenting a Berglund Seminar on how to help underserved populations during tax season.  Prof Spindle teaches a service learning class in which students can provide this assistance to the community and earn course credit.  Below is the syllabus for her class.

ACCT -291 Tax Volunteering in the Community

A service learning course

Spring 2014


Instructor:      Roxanne M. Spindle

Office:             Snead Hall B2210

Box 4000 Zip Code 23284-4000

Telephone:      Office:  828-7113; Home: 739-7415              

E-mail:               Fax: 828-8884

Office Hours:  M-W 2:15 to 5:15. Or call and we’ll work something out. Note that

                        I usually stay after class for a while




WHO:             ANY VCU student with desire to interact in a professional way with local community. 


WHAT:          Two or three credit service learning course focusing on tax return preparation for low income filers and international students.

                        VCU Statement of Service-Learning: Service-learning at Virginia Commonwealth University is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets community-identified needs. Students reflect on the service activity to increase understanding and application of course content and to enhance a sense of civic responsibility.


WHY:             Get practical experience, build your resume, and give back to the community.


HOW:             Participants will receive technical training on applicable tax law, take mandatory IRS certification exam, and compete 25 (two credit)  or 40 (three credit)  hours  (50 minute, like class) of volunteer work.  The grade is assigned on a pass/fail basis.  A passing grade will be awarded for satisfactory completion of the IRS certification, reflection activities and completion of the volunteer hours.


WHEN:          Spring 2013 semester. 

                        Mandatory meeting dates:                  Sat, January 17, 2014   9 AM – 3 PM

                                                                                    Sat, January 24, 2014    9 AM – 3 PM

                                                                                    Sat, March 1, 2014        9 AM -1  PM

                           Sat, April 19, 2014        9 AM -11 AM

Additional optional meeting dates     Sat, February 1, 2014    9 AM – 3 PM

(For anyone who has not completed the test and needs individual help)     


Class time will be spent interacting with community leaders, learning tax law, completing required tests, and reflecting on the volunteer experience.



The March 1 date will cover the special rules relating to internation student’s taxes. 

Service component consists of 19 (30 for three credit version) hours working at domestic VITA site and six (10 for three credit version) hours working at VCU helping international students with required filings.


Domestic VITA options: (This will be determined as soon as the VITA sites set dates and times). There are always Saturday time and some sites have day hours during the week and others have week night hours.  There is one site on the bus line that runs close to VCU. Others will require you to have transportation.


International VITA options:  One session (1 and 1/2 for the three credit version). most likely on Saturday starting after spring break  Held at Snead Hall in B2165.


Text Book:     None required. All materials are provided and testing is at IRS web site.                      


Reflection Activity:  Students will post three blogs of their experience with clients that address challenges and successes in their personal and professional growth, their perceived value of the service provided to the client, and their perceived degree of success in meeting the goals of the VITA program. (These must be general observations that protect the privacy of the clients.) On the mandatory meeting on April 19, students will compare and discuss their experiences.  

November 25, 2013

New Course in Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation this Spring!




Nothing in the history of innovation has moved faster than the proliferation and conversion of computing and telecommunications technology. More importantly, the impact of technology has had far deeper and further reaching effects than most anyone would expect. The dynamics of business have changed worldwide. Entire countries have improved overnight through the availability of technologies not even conceived of twenty years ago. All of this change has also made great strides for entrepreneurs, opening up greater opportunities and faster avenues to growth. This course explores the evolutionary history of technology entrepreneurship, fundamentals of innovation as it applies to this evolution, and the foundations of building technology-based entrepreneurial ventures. The course culminates with a substantial historical, analytical, or business planning piece of written work as a semester project, along with two tests and collaborative efforts during the semester.

Contact Matt Rutherford with questions:


November 22, 2013

Resources for STEM Students

The STEM Advisers Network at VCU presents “Resources for STEM Students” at Oliver Hall, Physical Science Wing, Room 1024.  The event will feature representatives from VCU’s Career Center, National Scholarship Office, Office of Undergraduate Research, Graduate School of Education and the Global Education Office. All current and prospective STEM majors are invited.  For more information, contact Catherine B. Viverette at

November 18, 2013

Fall 2013 Spoken Ink

This semester’s Art of the Narrative course, under Prof. David L. Robbins, will host an evening of short fiction written and read aloud by Honors College students. On Thursday, November 21 from 7:30-9:00 PM, student writers will share the best of their stories from the class, selected from over fifty submissions. Honors students who attend will receive a Berglund Seminar credit in addition to an entertaining evening of creativity and performance. The event will be held in the Honors College Multipurpose Room 1303 and is open to any VCU student who would like to attend. For more information, email Professor David Robbins at

Art Submission Deadline Extended

The deadline to submit artwork for the Honors College Arts on Display program has been extended through the end of the 2013 calendar year. Artwork may be submitted via JPEG to at any point before that deadline. Please be sure to include your name and email address, as well as the dimensions, medium, and title of your piece(s). Chosen works will be framed and displayed through the 2014 calendar year. Art will be returned after the calendar year and you may keep the frame. We look forward to seeing some amazing artwork!