Pamela El will be the featured speaker at VCU’s spring commencement ceremony on May 14. As executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the National Basketball Association, El, a VCU alumna, is responsible for global marketing for the NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League.
Samuel D. Sessou, VCU School of Medicine class of 2017, is the first recipient of the Joseph R. and Rose N. Gazala Scholarship, which the Gazalas established in 2012 with a gift of $100,000. Joseph Gazala came to the U.S. from Baghdad in 1953, while Sessou arrived from Togo in 1996.
As part of the fellowship, Nicolas Miguel Andrade and Patrick Link will receive three-year, $34,000 annual stipends and $12,000 education allowances, along with international research and professional development opportunities.
Two faculty members in the VCU School of Education, Donna Gibson, Ph.D., and LaRon Scott, Ed.D., have received a $1.2 million federal grant to boost the number and quality of school counselors who serve as related service providers for students with disabilities.
Steven Ebert, who will receive his M.S. in May from the VCU Brandcenter in the School of Business, has been offered the 2016-2019 WPP Fellowship, a coveted three-year, postgraduate rotational program with the world’s largest communications services group.
Nabeel Janjua discovered his passion for helping developing countries in 2007 when he returned to his birthplace in Pakistan. Growing up in Northern Virginia, Janjua had never seen extreme poverty in that way and it changed his outlook on everything.
Alex Ip knew he wanted to study stem cells when he was a sophomore in high school in Northern Virginia. Now Ip is studying how the silk from silk moth cocoons can be used to make a structure for growing stem cells.
After Heather Monger’s 18-year old brother died unexpectedly in 2012, he was honored as a deceased organ donor at the United Network for Organ Sharing Tree of Life Ceremony. The ceremony commemorates and recognizes families who have made the decision to donate a loved one’s organ, tissues or eyes to a recipient in need. The event moved Monger to action.
VCU School of Business senior Gabrielle Tenney has found a way to merge her love of cooking and marketing in a way that serves others as well as herself, launching a food awareness campaign in Church Hill.
Christina Mancini, Ph.D., an assistant professor of criminal justice in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, says Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to restore the voting and civil rights of 206,000 convicted felons who have served their prison sentences and completed parole or probation is good public policy, backed by research and supported by the public.
Events and announcements
The VCU School of Engineering presents its annual Capstone Design Expo, which showcases engineering students’ innovative research and design prototypes. The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Siegel Center, 1200 W. Broad St. The “Excellence in Design” awards will be presented at 2:30 p.m. The expo is free and open to the public.
Volunteers will assemble kits for sexual assault survivors on April 28 at an event organized by VCU and Fear 2 Freedom. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. in the Jonah L. Larrick Student Center on the VCU Health MCV Campus. A light dinner will be provided for volunteers. Media are welcome to attend.
The Wilder School’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning students will face off in the fifth annual Plan-Off on Friday, April 29. This year’s event — Plan-Off 2016! Real Challenges. Real Solutions. — will take place at the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s Virginia Housing Center, 4224 Cox Road in Glen Allen, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
The VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center will host its third annual 5K walk/run fundraiser. The start and finish line of the Movin’ and Shakin’ 5K (3.1 miles of flat course) is at the Innsbrook Office Park, Snag-A-Job Pavilion, 4901 Lake Brook Drive, Glen Allen. The event area opens at 7:30 a.m. with the race starting at 9 a.m. Registration, which is now open, is $35 or $40 on-site.
The VCU Opera presents two one-act operas: Gian-Carlo Menotti’s tragedy “The Medium” and Gioacchino Rossini’s comedy “La Cambiale di Matrimonio” (“The Marriage Contract”). Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on Showclix. Shows on April 30 and May 1 will be at 7 p.m. in the Sonia Vlahcevic Concert Hall in the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts.
The Notochords A Cappella Ensemble presents its 2016 Spring Concert at 6 p.m. in the Commons Theater. Admission is free.
The VCU Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising presents the Annual Juried Fashion Show featuring approximately 125 original garments designed by fashion design juniors and seniors. Actress Daphne Maxwell Reid, host of “Virginia Currents” on Richmond’s WCVE, will serve as event commentator. “RUNWAY 2016: Emerge” will be held at 8 p.m. at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Boulevard.