Richmond Home
SPCS Homecoming 2017 Tailgate Party

Continuing Connections

SPCS Dean’s Update, Fall 2017

SPCS Homecoming 2017 Tailgate Party

Letter from the Dean

Photo: Dean Wilson

Dear Friends:

We’ve had a very busy fall semester and are happy to share some of our happenings in this inaugural edition of Continuing Connections, our e-newsletter with news and information from the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. The academic year kicked off with the implementation of the SPCS Strategic Plan. We launched UR Coding Boot Camp with Trilogy Education Services, a new professional certificate in full stack web coding. Our first cohort of the Beer Brewer Professional Certificate program graduated. We’ve proudly captured these stories here, compiled photos from a variety of exciting SPCS events and shared the successes of several SPCS students, alumni, faculty and staff.

We plan to publish Continuing Connections once per semester in hopes of connecting you to information and resources from across the School and campus. Since coming to SPCS in 2015, I’ve heard numerous stories about the way people connect at SPCS. Faculty sharing new ideas to broaden a student's perspective. Students connecting each other to new job prospects. Alumni members serving as mentors. Osher members meeting new friends. Staff providing support during difficult times. Students expanding their professional networks. And countless people in every part of the School making lifelong friends.

This e-newsletter is a simple way for us to continue to connect. I think it’s an important part of what we do, but we need your help. Take a few minutes to let us know what and how you’re doing. Complete the simple Keep SPCS Updated form below.

As we head into a busy holiday season, remember to take a few minutes to connect with those who have made an impression on you — here at SPCS, in your career and your personal life.

Take good care,

Signature: Jamelle
Jamelle S. Wilson, Ed.D.

Faculty & Staff Notes

  • Madron to offer conference keynote

    Justin Madron, GIS Project Manager & Analyst in the University of Richmond Digital Scholarship Lab, will join the lab’s director, Robert K. Nelson, in delivering the keynote address at the Virginia Association for Mapping & Land Information Systems (VAMLIS) GIS Conference in April. Madron is a lead instructor for the GIS Professional Certificate.

  • Wilson moderates MLK Day event

    Dr. Jamelle Wilson, dean of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies, moderated Virginia Commonwealth University’s MLK Day 2020 keynote event, Reflections on the Fierce Urgency of Now, on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The event featured remarks, discussion and screening of the film Woke Vote.

  • Spires co-authors journal article

    Dr. Bob Spires, Assistant Professor of Education, co-authored Cambodian Youth Perspectives on Social and Educational Barriers, a case study published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education. Spires’ co-authors are Jeremy Tost of Colorado Mesa University and Sokleng In of Love Without Boundaries in Poipet, Cambodia.

  • Wilson addresses leadership summit

    Dr. Jamelle Wilson, dean of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies, recently addressed attendees of the Virginia Foundation of Independent College’s inaugural Women’s Leadership Development Summit in Richmond. She spoke on “Leading Authentically,” positing that we lead most effectively from a place of knowing who we are and where we are at a particular time.

  • Greenan featured in SpiderTalks with Pres. Crutcher

    Dr. April Greenan, adjunct assistant professor of liberal arts, is featured in a recent episode of SpiderTalks with President Crutcher. Greenan’s research as a musicologist focuses on 18th century Western art music, the art music tradition in the U.S., and the intersection of music and medicine.

  • Spires to participate in anti-slavery research

    Dr. Bob Spires, assistant professor of education, will participate this summer with Dr. Monti Datta, associate professor of political science, in grant-funded research in Assam, India, to assess the effectiveness of NGOs in liberating enslaved people.

  • Education faculty present at leadership conference

    Four members of the Graduate Education faculty — Dr. Tom Shields, Dr. Kate Cassada, Dr. Dionne Ward and Dr. Dave Myers — co-presented Undergraduate Leadership Studies Curriculum and K-12 School Leader Development at the global meeting of the International Leadership Association in Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Sandra Peart, Dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, chaired the panel.

  • Nelson earns 2019 Literati Award

    Dr. Jan Nelson, adjunct assistant professor of HR management, recently was awarded the 2019 Literati Award for Outstanding Author Contribution for her chapter “Here Be Paradox: How Global Business Leaders Navigate Change” released by Emerald Publishing in Advances in Global Leadership.

  • Spires collaborates on article

    Dr. Bob Spires, assistant professor of education, published an article co-written with graduate students & colleagues from Valdosta State University. The article, Effects of the Post-It Note Strategy on Reading Achievement among Eighth-Grade Students with Learning Disabilities, appears in Becoming: Journal of the Georgia Middle School Association.

  • Nielson co-authors book

    Dr. Erik Nielson, assistant chair and associate professor of liberal arts, has released Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics, and Guilt in America, a book on the use of rap lyrics in legal proceedings, written with Dr. Andrea L. Dennis from the University of Georgia School of Law.

Alumni Notes

  • SPCS grads active on pro teams highlighted in UR Magazine

    SPCS graduates are included among Spiders active on pro sports teams in the University of Richmond Magazine. Jonathan de Marte, ’15 and GC’17, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Richmond and his Master of HR Management in SPCS, plays baseball for the York Revolution in the professional Atlantic League. Tyler Plantier, GC’19, who earned a Master of HR Management in SPCS, plays baseball for the Boise Hawks, minor league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.

  • Kendyl Crawley Crawford, GC'18, featured in UR Magazine

    Kendyl Crawley Crawford, GC’18, is profiled in a brief titled In Pursuit of Justice for All in the Winter 2020 edition of University of Richmond Magazine. Crawley Crawford earned a Master of Nonprofit Studies degree and serves as director of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, a faith-based group dedicated to organizing statewide efforts surrounding climate change and environmental justice.

  • Late John Miers, C'13, honored by NMSU with memorial scholarship

    The late John Miers, C’13, an SPCS Weekend College graduate inspired by his learning experience to become a research librarian, has been honored by New Mexico State University with a new scholarship in his name. The John & Teresa Miers Current Use Scholarship honors Miers’ dedication to continual learning, supporting students who have returned to university studies after a gap in their education.

  • LeKiesha White, GC'19, describes teaching experience in published book

    LeKiesha White, GC’19, shared her experience using project-based learning to teach biology to English learners (EL) in a book published by ASCD. The book, Team Up, Speak Up, Fire Up! brings together research, best practices, and voices from educators to help teachers support ELs and their families. White earned an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in 2019 and teaches in Chesterfield County.

  • Jason Martin, C'13, earns master of science in cybersecurity

    Jason Martin, C’13, currently serving as secretary of the SPCS Alumni Association Board of Directors, successfully completed a Master of Science degree in Cyber Security at Liberty University in December 2019. Martin earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in 2013 at SPCS.

  • Dustin Engels, GC'14, publishes book related to MLA research topic

    Dustin Engels, GC’14, recently released his first book, Around the Worlds in 80 Days: One Fan’s Journey to Conquer Disney’s Magic Kingdoms. Engels earned a Master of Liberal Arts degree in 2014 with a focus on American popular culture. The book documents his travels from April-June 2018 to visit every Disney park in the world.

  • Slade Gormus, C'18, to lead UR's collegiate recovery program

    Slade Gormus, C’18, will lead UR’s collegiate recovery program using grant funds received from the state’s Department of Behavioral Health to establish programs to tackle substance abuse issues on campus. Gormus is a Registered Nurse who earned a BA in liberal arts through Weekend College. She is currently working to earn a Master of HR Management degree through SPCS.

  • Brian Peyton, C'09, addresses presidential candidate at Teamsters forum

    Brian Peyton, C’09, Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 322 in Richmond, recently questioned U.S. presidential candidate Cory Booker about collective bargaining at the Teamsters Presidential Forum on Worker Issues on December 7, 2019. Peyton’s question and Booker’s response are captured in the recording of the event (start at 1:01:45). Peyton earned a BA in Liberal Arts through Weekend College.

  • Natasha Thomas, GC'19, receives 2019 R.E.B. Award

    Natasha Thomas, GC’19, was among recipients of a 2019 R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence. The awards, given by the Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation, recognize excellence in local public educators. Thomas teaches at Southampton Elementary School in Richmond Public Schools and earned a graduate certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies through SPCS.

  • Mark Gan, C'17, hired as cyber security engineer at Accenture

    Mark Gan, C’17, has been hired as Cyber Security Lead Specialist Engineer at Accenture in Washington, D.C. Gan graduated in 2017 with a BSPS in IT Management, earning the Jean H. Proffitt Student Service Award at SPCS Night.

Student Notes

SPCS-Specific Alumni Directory Coming to UROnline

UR Alumni Services is working with the SPCS Alumni Association to provide an SPCS-specific alumni directory in UROnline. If you have an SPCS undergraduate or graduate degree, you can be included in this listing to making it easier to find SPCS classmates.

To be included, you must have an active account in UR Online. Visit to activate your alumni account. This will also help us stay in touch with you more effectively.

If you prefer not to be included in the SPCS Alumni Directory, please log into to make your listing private OR contact to make your request.


View more related articles

SPCS Events

View more events

Special Event Photos

Integrative Medicine: Treating the Whole Person

Osher institute’s Series on Aging Well event with Dr. Linda Manning of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt

Beer Brewer Professional Certificate Award Ceremony

Certificate award ceremony for the inaugural cohort of the SPCS Beer Brewer Professional Certificate program

Bring on the Brew Social

SPCS Alumni Association-sponsored social event for the SPCS community at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

SPCS Homecoming Tailgate Party

SPCS Alumni Association and Student Government Association sponsored Homecoming tailgate party for the SPCS community

Is Our Education System Prepared to Assist Immigrant Children?

Graduate Education Speaker Series Panel, November 2, 2017

Keep SPCS Updated

Bold fields are required.

First Name

Last Name

Email Address

TypeStudent Alumni Faculty Staff

Graduation Year(s)


Give to SPCS

Make a gift to the University of Richmond School of Professional & Continuing Studies. Your gift will help ensure SPCS Spiders receive a world-class education.

Make a one-time or recurring gift as you are able.


Options include designating your gift as an honor or tribute to someone and giving your gift anonymously.

You may also contribute to a specific SPCS entity, including:

  • Institute on Philanthropy
  • Joan Oates Institute for Partners in the Arts
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Visit to give securely online. And thanks for your support!