VCU’s Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies 2012 Summer Art Exhibit

Dr. Janet Hutchinson

Dr. Janet Hutchinson talks about Virginia Commonwealth University’s Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies 2012 Summer Art Exhibit. The exhibit is open for viewing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Crenshaw House, located at 919 W. Franklin Street, Richmond, VA.

Dr. Hutchinson is a Professor of Public Policy and Chair of the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s studies at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She also holds a faculty affiliation with the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.


Dr. Bernard Means Scans Artifacts from the Betsy in 3D

Dr. Means

Dr. Bernard Means, Project Director for the Virtual Curation Unit for Recording Archaeological Materials Systematically (V.C.U.-R.A.M.S.), and his team of VCU Anthropology students, recently visited the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to perform 3D scans of artifacts from the 18th century collier brig Betsy. The Betsy was scuttled in 1781 in the York River at Yorktown,VA during the American Revolution.

Dr. Means is an instructor of Anthropology in School of World Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Read more from Dr. Means about 3D scanning at This Week in Pennsylvania.
Visit the Virtual Curation Unit @ VCU website here.


The Virtual Curation Unit @ VCU

Bernard Means, Ph.D. is an instructor of Anthropology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) as well as the Project Director for the Virtual Curation Unit for Recording Archaeological Materials Systematically (V.C.U.-R.A.M.S.), a research effort funded by the Department of Defense’s Legacy Program, and conducted jointly with John Haynes, a VCU alumnus who is now with Army Corps of Engineers. This video contains two short clips from a lecture Dr. Means gave to Virginia Commonwealth University students and faculty on April 3, 2011.



Dr. Carl Ameringer Researches Health Care Access and Delivery in the Greater Richmond Area

Dr. Ameringer discusses his current research project, titled: Hispanic/Latino Immigrants and Access to Healthcare in the Greater Richmond Area.

Dr. Carl F. Ameringer is professor of Health Policy and Politics at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. He is also chair of the Ph.D. program in Public Policy and Administration. Dr. Ameringer teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in law and public policy with an emphasis on U.S. health policy and politics. His research interests include the politics of health care access and delivery with an emphasis on professional regimes and market theory.

Related Links
PHI Kappa PHI Forum



Edward Abse, Ph.D., Presents “Surveying a Shamanic Landscape: Anthropological Fieldwork with the Mazatec Indians of Southern Mexico”

The School of World Studies hosts Edward Abse, Ph.D., as he presents research based on his two years of studying shamanism and religious life of the Mazatees, a Native American people of the Sierra Madre Oriental in Mexico. Dr. Abse is a cultural anthropologist, specializing in the anthropology of religion (shamanism; ritual and cosmology; social and religious change), with an area focus on the indigenous peoples of the Americas as well as mainstream Latin American societies and cultures. This video contains an excerpt from his presentation.

Edward Abse is a professor of anthropology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned his MSc in Social Anthropology at the University of London, and received his PhD from the University of Virginia.


“Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint” – Dr. R. Andrew Chesnut’s Book Gains International Recognition

Dr. R. Andrew Chesnut’s most recent book, Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint has quickly gained international appeal as recent attention has been paid to the Mexican Catholic “folk Saint” Santa Muerte and her large following of devotees – which range from women with unfaithful husbands or lovers to drug traffickers and gun runners.

Dr. Chesnut has appeared on Fox5 and has also published on Huffington Post in regards to Santa Muerte. And with Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to Mexico and Cuba next week starting March 23, Santa Muerte has garnered even more attention. Pope Benedict – known as a purist – will have to face the popularity and importance of this ‘folk Saint’ in the lives of many Mexicans.

R. Andrew Chesnut is an internationally recognized expert on Latin American religious history. In 2008, he became the first recipient of the Biship Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic studies and Professor of Religious Studies here at Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy. Dr. Chesnut is also the author of two additional books: Born Again in Brazil: The Pentecostal Boom and the Pathogens of Poverty (Rutgers University Press, 1997) and Competitive Spirits: Latin America’s New Religious Economy (Oxford University Press, 2003 and 2007).

Update: Dr. Chestnut was recently interviewed by the ABC affiliate in Brownsville, Texas.

Blog by Randy Davis



Nine VCU Faculty Researchers Present at the 15th Annual International Public Relations Research Conference

Dr. Yan Jin

The VCU School of Mass Communications has had a record-breaking research year – nine researchers will present seven papers at the 15th Annual International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC) to be held March 8 – 10 in Miami, Florida.

IPRRC is an academic research conference that is devoted entirely to public relations (PR) research. During its 15 year history, the conference has become a top venue for interaction between scholars, PR professionals and students in the presentation of cutting edge PR research.

“In the conference, the beauty is the interaction,” said Dr. Yan Jin, the School of Mass Communication’s interim director and a presenter at the conference.

Having been the past recipient of two Top Paper Awards, VCU faculty have pushed the bar even further this year by increasing both the number of research collaborations and the number of papers submitted to the conference. Mass Comm. faculty invited to present this year include: Yan Jin (Associate Professor and Interim Director), Will Sims (Associate Professor and Assistant Director), Judy VanSlyke Turk (Professor and Associate Director for Special Projects), Ernest Marin (Associate Professor, Public Relations), Marcus Messner (Assistant Professor, Journalism), William Farrar (Instructor and Undergraduate Public Relations Sequence Coordinator), Scott Sherman (Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Advertising Sequence Coordinator), Shana Meganck (MATX Doctoral Student) and Scott Quarforth (Research Assistant, Mass Comm.)

Dr. Yan Jin talks about VCU faculty participation in the conference (Podcast)


VCU Partners with the Jain Community


This past December, VCU faculty and members of the Jain Society met to ceremonially announce to the public their partnership to develop more curricular and co-curricular programs in Jain Studies. The Religious Studies Program in the School of World Studies offers an array of courses and programs in world religions, cultures, and spirituality.  Jainism originates in India and is one of the oldest spiritual traditions in the world. At the center of Jainism is the theory and practice of ‘ahimsa’ or nonviolence.

The December program was organized by Ms. Kusum Jain, a Jain and member of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond. The event featured Dr. Sulekh Jain, President of the Jain Association of Houston, TX and Program Director of the International Summer School for Jain Studies.

Through funding from the Jain Society, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, Dan Smith took three VCU students to India in the summer of 2011 to explore the history, ideas, and ritual practices of Jainism. For five weeks, students visited sacred sites and studied a range of topics which included: philosophy, history, ethics, spirituality and meditative practices. While still an exploratory program, Dr. Mark Wood, director of the Religious Studies Program and co-Executive Director of the School of World Studies, is working with the Global Education Office (GEO) to make the India trip a regular offering of the study abroad program.

Dr. Mark Wood discusses Jainism and VCU’s collaboration with the Jain Society.