University College News & Events

May 16, 2022

IDS Program Confers 81 Degrees at Spring Commencement Ceremony

University College’s Interdisciplinary Studies program conferred 81 Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) degrees at the Spring 2022 IDS commencement ceremony, which took place Friday, May 13 in the Harris Hall Auditorium.

Students sit at a VCU commencement ceremony

April 27, 2022

Interdisciplinary Studies Program Helps Student Create Her Own Path

It has always made the most sense to Haya Hamid to find a way to merge her interests and passions — despite their differences — to achieve her goals and help those around her.

Haya Hamid standing in front of a dogwood tree wearing a yellow and gray patterned dress

March 30, 2022

Two Focused Inquiry Faculty Help Lead Research Group That Examines Memory, Historical Narratives

Two Focused Inquiry faculty members are helping lead an interdisciplinary humanities research group that uses memory studies to examine historical and social events around issues of race, power, physical structures both in Richmond and across the world.

A graphic with two headshots imposed on a gold background

February 28, 2022

Focused Inquiry Professor Creates Writing Collective, Book Club for High School Students in Richmond Area

Lindsay Chudzik wants to be, for all of her students, what she needed when she was younger. Chudzik, an associate professor in University College’s Department of Focused Inquiry, wants to help show her students—like she wishes her past teachers would have—that literature does not have to just be a smattering of dead white men.

A woman wearing dark rimmed glasses, necklace and a dress

January 27, 2022

‘The Organ Thieves’ selected as VCU’s 2022 Common Book

The award-winning book by Pulitzer-nominated journalist Chip Jones examines a long legacy of mistreating African Americans, culminating in efforts to win the heart transplant race in the late 1960s.

Author headshot of Chip Jones on the left; Organ Thieves cover on the right

December 13, 2021

IDS Program Confers 67 Degrees at Fall Commencement Ceremony

University College’s Interdisciplinary Studies program conferred 67 Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) degrees at the Fall 2021 IDS commencement ceremony, which took place Saturday, December 11 in the Harris Hall Auditorium.

Graduates of the IDS program sit in Harris Hall during the fall 2021 commencement ceremony

December 7, 2021

New FILL Peer Mentors Offer Unique, One-on-One Support to Students

Katelyn Harlow knew that after she completed the core Focused Inquiry courses UNIV 111, UNIV 112 and UNIV 200 that she was starting to find herself and that Focused Inquiry was largely responsible for helping her develop as a writer and communicator.

The VCU FILL Logo in a centered blue circle with yellow text

October 28, 2021

Focused Inquiry Professor Writes Educational Video With TED-Ed on Acclaimed Novel

Tanya Boucicaut, an assistant professor in the University College Department of Focused Inquiry, has collaborated with TED-Ed— a youth and education initiative from the TED media organization—to write the script and corresponding lesson for an educational animated video around the acclaimed 1937 novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”

Screen shot of a video that animates the classic novel Their Eyes Were Watching God

October 26, 2021

IDS Helps Student Find a Path To Graduation: 'It's Shown Me a Whole New Way of Thinking'

Imanee Martin was exhausted. Every major she tried did not feel like the right fit. She had changed majors six times—going from pre-med her first year to fashion merchandising to creative advertising with others in between. Nothing seemed to gel and she was close to dropping out. 

A woman sits in a hammock

October 11, 2021

Five Students Named Winners in Common Book's Creative Contest

The Common Book Program has named five students as winners in the Cli-Fi Creativity Contest, which asked students to create a piece of art inspired by this year’s Common Book “Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore” by Elizabeth Rush.

Visual art depicting a skeelton with various plant life coming out of it.

October 7, 2021

Common Book Keynote Lecture to be held Virtually

Elizabeth Rush, author of "Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore," will deliver a virtual keynote address on Wednesday, October 13. The address was origianlly scheduled to happen at the Siegel Center, but to better align with COVID-19 protocols it was moved to be offered only in a virtual setting.

AN author stands in a grass field. a cover of her book Rising is superimposed beside her

September 29, 2021

New IDS Faculty Member Q&A: Vineeta Singh, Ph.D.

Vineeta Singh, Ph.D. talks about why she is excited to join the IDS program and the VCU community. 

A woman smiling wearing a green blouse with glasses.

September 17, 2021

Longtime Focused Inquiry Faculty Member, Department Chair Reflects on 14 Years of Service

After more than 14 years with the Department of Focused Inquiry, Melissa Johnson, Ph.D. is leaving University College for an exciting new opportunity.

A woman wearing a purple rain jacket with a lush, natural green background

September 10, 2021

Two UC Faculty Members Chosen as Collaboratory Fellows to work with Historic African-American Cemeteries in Richmond's East End

Two University College faculty members, Ywone Edwards-Ingram, Ph.D. and Micahel Rackett, Ph.D., have been selected as Collaboratory Fellows for the East End Cemetery Collaboratory for 2021-2022 to help produce scholarship that “contributes to community dialogue about our collective past.”

Sun shines on a headstone in a Richmond East End Cemetery

Septmber 1, 2021

Common Book Program to Host Speaker Series on Climate Change

The Common Book Program will host a three-part speaker series on the subject of climate change. Discussions will be led by VCU faculty from a variety of disciplines.

AN author stands in a grass field. a cover of her book Rising is superimposed beside her

August 23, 2021

Welcome Back

Read Dean Relihan's Welcome Back message to students.

Aerial photo of students walking through V C U's campus

August 20, 2021

University College Launches New Minor

University College has launched a new minor to help students develop the eight skills employers look for when hiring.

Student raise their hands as a professor asks question.