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Student Highlights

There are more than 14,000 students in the College of Humanities and Sciences, and they make VCU proud on a daily basis. Here are two stories of our students achieving great things on campus.

Chem Student Awarded Prestigious NSF Grant

Caitlin Cane in a chemistry lab
Caitlin Cain (B.S. ‘19/H&S)

In April, Caitlin Cain (B.S. ‘19/H&S), a senior majoring in chemistry and forensic science, was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees. This fall, Caitlin began graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle where she is pursuing a doctorate in chemistry. “My proposed graduate work will focus on advances in multidimensional gas chromatography, which utilizes consecutive separations to enhance the resolution of complex samples, and chemometrics, which uses mathematical models to extract chemical information from the complex data generated,” Caitlin said.

At VCU, Caitlin was also a recipient of several College of Humanities and Sciences awards, including one from the Baldacci Student Experiential Learning Fund in 2018. The award funded her research on the selectivity of separation changes in chemically bonded ligands and a presentation of that research at the Pittsburgh Conference & Exposition, the leading annual conference on fundamental analytical chemistry.

First Ever Newman Civic Fellow at VCU

Nauje Jones
Naujé Jones (B.S. ‘19/H&S)

Naujé Jones (B.S. ‘19/H&S), a senior majoring in psychology, became the first VCU student to receive a Newman Civic Fellowship, awarded by Campus Compact, a coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities committed to campus-based civic engagement. Fellows are nominated by their president or chancellor on the basis of their potential for public leadership.

As part of the fellowship, Naujé developed several programs for VCU students about cardiovascular health, which included information on stress, eating habits and exercise, all factors in developing cardiac issues. Naujé first became interested in this topic after attending a panel discussion hosted by the Association of Black Cardiologists at VCU. The discussion focused on health disparities in the black community, particularly for women.

“It felt like such a relief to find this topic,” Naujé said. “I love being in the community and volunteering my time, and I’ve been working on a lot of small things that have made an impact, but I wanted to find one thing and really focus on it and help my community in a bigger way.”

Naujé graduated in the spring, and has since started the accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing program at the VCU School of Nursing.