From the Dean

Dean Catherine Ingrassia

Welcome to the College of Humanities and Sciences 2022-23 annual report.

I’m delighted to write this letter to you as the new dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences. When we met 13 months ago, I had just assumed the interim dean position with a full list of goals for the upcoming academic year that included expanding our enrollment and retention efforts, introducing new pedagogical approaches, and increasing the amount of externally sponsored research.

I’m happy to report that we have achieved all those goals: We welcomed a robust first-year class this fall, improved our student success, and received the highest amount of external funding CHS has ever received. One year later, I’m proud of everything we have accomplished, some of which you’ll see in the pages of this report. In my new role as dean, I look forward to continuing our momentum and guiding the College of Humanities and Sciences into the future.

Built for Community

Without a doubt, one of the highlights of the 2022–23 academic year was the opening of the new STEM Building located at 817 W. Franklin Street on the site of the old Franklin Street Gym. This new six-story, 169,000-square-foot building expands teaching, lab and office space for the College. Inside you’ll find VCU students studying anthropology, biology, chemistry, forensic science, kinesiology and health sciences, mathematics and applied mathematics, physics, psychology and interdisciplinary science. And while all the state-of-the-art equipment and architectural features make it a must see, one of my favorite spaces inside the building is the student lounge area on the second floor. There you’ll discover students of all majors hanging out, studying and building community with one another. 

Leading Research

We also celebrated a banner year in grant funding. Faculty received more than $26 million in grants for FY23, a 40% increase over FY22! Funding agencies included the NIH, NASA, NEH, DOJ, and private foundations. Our faculty bookshelf gained several new publications with work across a range of disciplines, and faculty won awards and accolades for their scholarship and teaching.

Student Focused

Every May I attend multiple graduation ceremonies, and I’m always struck by the many paths that our students take to earn their degrees. In this report, you’ll meet Christine Singleton, a recent graduate from the Department of English. Christine started her journey at another university until a deep personal loss brought her back to Richmond. VCU’s Mellon Pathways Program helps students like her complete their degree at a local community and successfully transfer to VCU. Christine is an inspiration. We stand at a pivotal time for higher education. I look forward to meeting this moment and championing the significance of a degree from the College of Humanities and Sciences in nurturing our next generation of leaders. 

Thank you for your support!

catherine ingrassia's signature

Catherine Ingrassia, Ph.D.
College of Humanities and Sciences

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