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Sampling Black History with Hank Shocklee, Mad Skillz, Chris Cotropia & Erik Nielson

Continuing Connections

SPCS Dean’s Update, Spring 2018

Sampling Black History with Hank Shocklee, Mad Skillz, Chris Cotropia & Erik Nielson

Letter from the Dean

Photo: Dean WilsonDear Friends:

The spring semester always seems to go by fast, but this spring has been busier than normal. Our Partners in the Arts program launched the Arts Integrated Learning Certificate Project with Richmond Public Schools. We graduated the first class of UR Coding Boot Camp, and we just launched the Richmond region's first Political Campaign Management Professional Certificate program, which starts in August. We had the honor of hosting hip hop artist, rapper and producer Donnie Mad Skillz Lewis as the very first SPCS Artist-in-Residence. Skillz has been co-teaching “Voice of Hip Hop in America” with Dr. Erik Nielson. Skillz was also a part of Sampling Black History, a public lecture and panel discussion that examined hip hop as a social, political, and artistic movement.

As Commencement approaches, I invite you to honor this year's graduating class by making a contribution to the 2018 Class Gift Campaign. Your gift, at any level, honors the hard-working members of this year’s SPCS graduating class like Kendyl Crawley Crawford, the 2018 Student Commencement Speaker. Kendyl is graduating with her Master of Nonprofit Studies degree. She's Director of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, an organization that works with faith communities and people of all faiths to ensure healthy communities and environmental justice through education and advocacy. Like many of you, Kendyl earned her degree while working full time and balancing a variety of other personal and professional commitments. Kendyl has maintained a 4.0 GPA, and we are honored that she has been selected to be this year's student speaker.

In honor of Kendyl or any of this year's graduates, please consider a monthly recurring gift or a one-time donation of $20.18. To make your gift today, visit us online.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Continuing Connections. It's a simple way for us to continue to connect and stay in touch. If you have news you'd like to share with us, take a few minutes to complete the simple Keep SPCS Updated form below.

Before I close, I would like to invite SPCS alumni to the SPCS Reception at Reunion Weekend. All SPCS graduating classes are invited to participate in Reunion Weekend each year. This year’s reception will be held on Friday, June 1, at 6 p.m. Visit us online for additional details and to register.

Take good care,

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

Previous Edition

Fall 2017

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 Alumni Directory Now Available!

UR Alumni Services has collaborated 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, making it easier to find SPCS classmates.

To be included, you must have an active account in UR Online. Visit uronline.net 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 uronline.net to make your listing private OR contact uronline@richmond.edu to make your request.

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Special Event Photos

Bring on the Brew Social - Spring 2018

SPCS Alumni Association-sponsored Spring 2018 social event for the SPCS community at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Sampling Black History: Evolution of Hip-Hop

Sampling demo and discussion featured hip-hop pioneer Hank Shocklee, SPCS artist-in-residence Donnie “Mad Skillz” Lewis and Richmond Law professor Chris Cotropia.

Dean's Basketball Reception

The Dean’s Basketball Reception features an evening of networking and celebration with the dean and special invited guests, including members of the Dean’s Ambassadors Circle (DAC) and the Alumni Association.

Spring Faculty Meeting & Awards Ceremony

The annual spring faculty meeting includes the School’s annual awards ceremony, where service awards and the SPCS Innovations in Teach Award are given out.

Permaculture Class Presentations

Students in the spring 2018 Permaculture Design Certificate class presented their ideas for redesigning space on campus between the Wilton Interfaith Center and the power plant.

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