Team Projects

2018 VCU Leadership Development Program
Team Projects Presentations

Thursday, October 11, 2018
Richmond Salons 
University Student Commons

 

  9:00 AM - Mental Health First Aid for Faculty and Staff in the VCU Community
10:00 AM - RAM (Research Assistance through Mentoring) Opportunity
11:00 AM - RAMSTART
  1:00 PM - Project C.O.R.E. - Coaching Opportunities with Real Experiences
  2:00 PM - Food Forward @ VCU

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Team Project Overview

Each year, VCU Leadership Development Program participants develop a project where they work in assigned teams to address issues of current importance to the University community that align with the University Strategic Plan. Together with a team sponsor from upper administration, these teams develop a project to be carried out at various levels of the University. The interdisciplinary nature of the teams provides excellent opportunities for learning new perspectives and networking across campuses. Project teams also provide a venue for applying new skills, developing creative strategies for solving problems, as well as a laboratory for working on diverse teams. Many of these projects have gone on to be implemented into successful University programs. 

VCU Leadership Development Program Team Projects focus on capitalizing on:

  • the outstanding assets of the VCU experience that truly distinguishes us as a major research university committed to academic quality and student success (Quest for Distinction, 2011);
  • our will to innovate better, faster and with greater focus than our peers around the nation; and
  • our will to stay true to our roots of discovery in science, scholarship and creative expression to unfailingly serve the public good

...as we rise as a preeminent urban, public research university, committed to advancing equitable access to social, economic and health success."  (Quest 2025, 2018).  

Quest for Distinction (2011-2018)Quest 2025: Together We Transform (2018-2025)

VCU Quest for Distinction focuses on three major themes:

  • Theme I: Become a leader among national research universities in providing all students with high-quality learning/living experiences focused on inquiry, discovery and innovation in a global environment 
  • Theme II: Attain distinction as a fully integrated urban, public research university through contributions in human health, research, scholarship and creative expression that advance knowledge and enhance the quality of life 
  • Theme III: Become a national model for community engagement and regional impact 


 VCU Quest 2025 focuses on 5 major themes: 

  • Theme I: Transform the lives of our distinctive and diverse student population through a university culture that supports every student’s success through inquiry, discovery, innovation, civic engagement, and creative expression.
  • Theme II: Distinguish VCU as a preeminent urban public research university by growing areas of strength as researchers, educators and innovators.
  • Theme III: Mobilize VCU's human capital and economic resources, collaborating with the community to address social and health inequities
  • Theme IV: Translate our value philosophy of diversity and inclusion into practices related to excellence and success.

 This year's team projects cut across two strategic plans as the university phases out its existing plan and moves forward into its new plan.   

2018 Team Projects

RamStart

Ramstart provides pre-semester orientation workshops for new students granted accommodations through the office of Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity (SAEO). These orientation workshops provide students and their families with tools for transitioning into the VCU community and self-advocacy. These tools include knowledge on SAEO services and responsibilities, FERPA, campus resources, and the University’s policies and procedures to improve their chances of success. Ramstart will also facilitate student ambassadors and peer mentors from the Emerging Leaders Program working with students with SAEO accommodations through monthly social gatherings to encourage and support integration into campus life and the larger VCU community.

Members
Marc Aiello, Financial Analyst, Office of Budget and Resource Analysis
Justin Alexander, Interim Chair and Assistant Professor, School of Arts
Marie Greenwood, Director of Human Resources, VCU Health System
Jeannetta Hollins, Director of Student Services, School of Nursing
Melissa Johnson, Chair and Associate Professor, University College
Lukasz Kurgan, Vice Chair and Professor, School of Engineering
Chris Mowery, Undergraduate Program Director and Assistant Professor, College of Humanities and Sciences
Grace Palmer, Senior Performance Improvement Coordinator, VCU Health System

Team Sponsor
Ian Kunkes,
Director, Office of Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity

 

Mental Health First Aid for VCU Faculty and Staff 

The Mental Health First Aid program offers professional development opportunities for VCU faculty and staff to receive training to better assist those who may be living with mental health, and provide self-care. This program will provides VCU an opportunity to become a leader in establishing health work environment that address the needs and concerns of all faculty, staff and students. VCU faculty and staff will be better equipped to recognize and find help for their colleagues. This program is consistent with other programs such as Safe Zone, Green Zone which have helped open doors to address issues within the LGBTQ population and military veterans in the VCU community.

Members
Roy Brown
, Research and Education Librarian, VCU Libraries
Kendra Gerlach, Director of Communications and Marketing, School of Engineering
Cristen Jandreau, Assistant Director, Office of Research and Innovation
Jennifer Lee, Assistant Director, Student Success
Anne Massey, Director of Projects and Program Planning, Office of Health Innovation
Jennifer Tennison, Enrolled Graduate Study Services Coordinator, Graduate School
Peter Uetz, Associate Professor, Life Sciences

Team Sponsor
Michelle Schmitt
, Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for School-Community Collaboration, School of Education

 

RAM Opportunity

RAM (Research Assistance through Mentoring) is a self-sustaining mentoring and experiential learning program designed to serve high school students in the local community. Partnerships will be established with local high schools and to develop a pipeline for potential students who will be paired up with graduate students, who will provide mentorship and guidance throughout the program. RAM’s focus on high school students opens new pathways to develop student skills, interest in postsecondary education, and creates networks and connections that bolster their chances of success. The program creates outreach and engagement within the community by creating a relationship with schools that encourage interest in postsecondary education and provides access to VCU resources to both graduate and high school students to develop skills in research and career development.

Members
Jaycee Dempsey,
Senior Integrity and Compliance Specialist, Audit and Compliance Services
Kathy Gabriel, Assistant Director, Office of Research and Innovation
Sara Kohout, Director of University Academic Advision, Division of Strategic Enrollment
Joshua Mathews-Ailsworth, Information Services Manager, VCU Health System
Ben Plache, Academic Advisor and Student Affairs Coordinator, Honors College
Sally Santen, Senior Associate Dean and Professor, School of Medicine
Devanand Sarkar, Professor of Human and Molecular Genetics and Associate Director of Education and Training, Massey Cancer Center

Team Sponsor
F. Douglas Boudinot
, Dean, Graduate School

 

Project C.O.R.E.

Project CORE (Coaching Opportunities with Real Experiences) is a university-wide coaching program focused on increasing student engagement and retention and improving the academic learning environment of sophomores at VCU. Coaches are individuals committed to serving and giving back to students and will comprise of leaders from corporate, art, non-profit and philanthropic sectors. In partnership with VCU Lead, the Division of Student Affairs and VCU Community Engagement and 5 academic units (Physics; African American Studies; Gender Sexuality & Women’s Studies; Chemistry; Kinesiology), a pilot program will began in the 2018-2019 academic year. Project CORE will strengthen community relationships, alumni and development prospects, and focus on improving retention rates of second year returning students.

Members
Elizabeth Bambacus,
Student Engagement and Summer Studies Administrator, College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute
Lee Franco, Associate Chair and Assistant Professor, College of Humanities and Sciences
Melissa Hopkins, Finance and Business Manager, School of Medicine
Marcus Messner, Associate Director of the Robertson School and Associate Professor, College of Humanities and Sciences
Cheryl Slokker, Marketing and Communications Manager, School of Business
Alison Ullman, Fellow and Physician, School of Medicine
Jon Waybright, Instructor, College of Humanities and Sciences

Team Sponsor
Erin-Marie Brown,
Director of ASPiRE, Division of Community Engagement

 

Ram Essentials

The underlying causes of food insecurity are complex and often intertwined with related issues that affect a student’s ability to meet even basic needs, forcing them to choose between their well-being and their education. Ram Essentials is a holistic approach to addressing basic needs insecurity among VCU students by asking the question, "What is essential for our students to be successful?" The project focuses on raising the awareness of all existing VCU resources and disseminating them widely through a single user-friendly portal to enhance students’ experience, academic achievement and physical and mental well-being.  

Members
Sompop Bencharit,
Director of Digital Dentistry and Associate Professor, School of Dentistry
Cait Burns, Assistant Director of Student and Corporate Engagement, School of Business
Kristen Caldwell, Associate Director of Development and Alumni Marketing and Communications, Office of Development and Alumni Relations
Muthoni Imungi, Director of Field Education and Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Matt Lovisa, Director of Communications and Marketing, Division of Student Affairs
Magda Morgan, Licensing Associate, Office of Research and Innovation
Bert Waters, Assistant Director of Virginia Center on Aging and Assistant Professor, School of Allied Health Professions

Team Sponsor
Erin Stanforth
, Director of Sustainability, Office of Sustainability

2017 Projects