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New 'Think on This' video series provides a peek into the minds of VCU faculty

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Virginia Commonwealth University professors are passionate about many things, including passing on valuable knowledge and skills to their students. A new video series called “Think on This” allows viewers to get to know professors and their passions as they talk about some of the big-picture ideas they hope their students will learn from them while at VCU.


Paula Ferrada, M.D.

Ferrada is a professor of surgery in VCU’s School of Medicine. She is also director of the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship program and medical director of the Surgical and Trauma Intensive Care Unit for VCU Health System. Her take on failure is that if you know how to learn from your mistakes, there’s no such thing as losing — just winning or learning.

Think on This: Paula Ferrada


Daniel McGarvey, Ph.D.

As an associate professor in VCU’s Center for Environmental Studies and a researcher who studies freshwater ecology, McGarvey knows firsthand how important it is for scientists to be able to clearly and effectively communicate their findings to the public.

Think on This: Daniel McGarvey


Tressie McMillan Cottom, Ph.D. 

The author of two critically acclaimed books — “Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy” and “Thick: And Other Essays” — Cottom is an assistant professor of sociology in the College of Humanities and Sciences. She teaches courses on race and digital sociology and wants to make sure students know how to develop a healthy media diet.

Think on This: Tressie McMillan Cottom


TyRuben Ellingson

Ellingson is chair of the Department of Communication Arts  in the School of the Arts, and his designs have appeared in some famous films — “Jurassic Park,” “Avatar” and “Pacific Rim” to name a few. He tries to instill confidence in his students to set, and go after, lofty goals no matter how grand they might seem.

Think on This: TyRuben Ellingson