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Class notes for April 2019

Check out the latest and greatest accomplishments from alumni, faculty and staff.
a crowd of students during Welcome Week


Liz Walker Bryant (B.S. ‘83/MC; M.S. ‘04/MC) launched Liz Bryant Business Etiquette in Richmond, Virginia. Trained and licensed by The Protocol School of Washington in Columbia, S.C., she offers interactive group trainings in networking, professional presence, dining etiquette and other aspects of professional etiquette to help individuals gain confidence to be successful and represent their companies or organizations well.

Nancy Campbell (B.I.S.’02/H&S) retired from VCU, having worked in the Department of Painting and Printmaking in the School of the Arts as well as in the Dean’s Office, Department of History and the Center for Biological Complexity in the College of Humanities and Sciences.

Crystal Douglas (B.A.’95/H&S) is a graphic designer for COLAB, a website design and development company based in Richmond, Va.

Justin Greene, Ph.D. (B.A.’04/H&S; M.A.’09/H&S; Ph.D.’18/H&S), is visiting assistant professor of rhetoric at Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden Sydney, Va.

Iris Holliday (M.S.’00/MC) joined the board of UMFS, a nonprofit agency in Richmond, Va., that provides programs to meet the needs of high-risk children and parents.

Stephanie Joyner (B.S.’13/WS) is executive director of the Pinal County Historical Society in Florence, Ariz.

Paul Liberti (B.A.’10/H&S; M.T.’14/E) joined Exit First Realty as a Realtor.

Ashley McCuistion (B.S.’14/WS) was featured in Archaeology Magazine for her work leading a project to create a 3-D-printed model of the Fairfield Plantation in southeastern Virginia.

Robert D. Michaux (B.S.‘96/H&S) has joined the law firm of Christian & Barton, L.L.P., in Richmond, Va., as counsel. His legal practice focuses on intellectual property matters and commercial litigation disputes.

Sarah Gannett Millard (B.S.’13/MC) joined circle S studio in Richmond, Va., as a digital project manager.

Deborah Padgett-Carley (B.S.’73/H&S) enjoys sailing, painting and cycling.

Meg Price (B.G.S.’98/H&S) joined Shaheen, Ruth, Martin & Fonville Real Estate in Richmond, Va.

Michele Ravera (B.S.’91/MC) celebrated five years with KUNR Public Radio in Reno, Nev., and nine with Reno Media Group as a program host and radio producer. She has been promoted to part-time faculty at the University of Nevada at Reno for her work at KUNR.

Alexandria Ritchie (B.S.’18/En) formed DuraSafe LLC with Hilton Bennet (B.S.’16/En; Cert.’16/da Vinci Center; M.P.I.’18/da Vinci Center), Haejung “Katelyn” Shin (B.S.’18/H&S) and several current VCU students. The company is developing the EpiNavigator, a medical device designed to improve the accuracy of epidural placements. The startup was featured in an article in the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch.

A. Troy Thomas (B.S.’86/MC) won two National Capital Chesapeake Bay Regional Emmy Awards for his company’s PBS documentary “Liberty & Slavery: The Paradox of America’s Founding Fathers.” Troy’s Atlanta-based production company, Inertia Films, was founded in 1993.

Faculty and staff notes

Tressie McMillan Cottom, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Sociology in the College of Humanities and Sciences, ranked No. 113 on the 2019 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, which recognize education scholars who move ideas from academic journals into the national conversation.

Alumni and faculty books

Highly anticipated essays

Tressie McMillan Cottom

“Thick: And Other Essays” has shown up in must-read in 2019 lists in Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Buzzfeed and more. An excerpt of the book was published in Time Magazine and Cottom, assistant professor of sociology at VCU, made an appearance on “The Daily Show.” Cottom’s debut essay collection explores the political, social and personal from the perspective of a modern black American feminist, and in the process ranges through topics including beauty, media and money.

Relief for modern moms

Katherine Wintsch

As founder and CEO of The Mom Complex, a firm that helps companies develop products and services for mothers, Wintsch (M.S.’01/MC) thinks a lot about where moms most need relief. “Slay Like a Mother: How to Destroy What’s Holding You Back So You Can Live the Life You Want” takes aim at self-doubt, the exhausting cycle of trying to be “enough” and unhealthy expectations. In the process, Wintsch hopes to help moms enjoy the present and live more confidently.

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