Year in review 2019: A look back at VCU’s top stories, Instagram pics, videos and more

The Elegba Folklore Society leading a processional.
The Elegba Folklore Society led a processional, pouring of libations and prayer upon the return of ancestral remains that were originally discarded in a well roughly 175 years ago at the Medical College of Virginia. (Photo by Kevin Morley, University Marketing)

The last year of the decade ended on a high note for Virginia Commonwealth University when pharmacy student Camille Schrier was crowned Miss America on Dec. 19 after donning a lab coat and performing a science experiment as her talent. It was a fitting end to a very full year for the university, one that included advancements in research, visits from celebrities, remarkable achievements by students and faculty, and acknowledgment and memorialization related to one of the most difficult parts of VCU’s history. 

Below are the top stories, social media posts and videos that made 2019 a year to remember as we usher in a new decade at a university where our students, faculty and staff are driven to take bold ideas and make them real every day.

Working-age mortality rates have increased in 48 states since 2010. The Rust Belt and Appalachia have seen some of the most dramatic increases in death rates for Americans, ages 25 to 64. (University Marketing)
Working-age mortality rates have increased in 48 states since 2010. The Rust Belt and Appalachia have seen some of the most dramatic increases in death rates for Americans, ages 25 to 64. (University Marketing)

Top 10 VCU News stories from 2019 

1)      Working-age Americans dying at higher rates, especially in economically hard-hit states

2)      VCU pharmacy student Camille Schrier crowned Miss America 2020

3)      VCU to host renowned author and autism self-advocate Temple Grandin

4)      VCU is opening a ‘free store’ that will provide access to used goods

5)      What will VCU look like in the future?

6)      Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU to complete Children’s Pavilion with inpatient hospital

7)      State approves funding to build new $121M STEM education facility at VCU

8)      A portal has opened in Monroe Park

9)      A journey home: The remains of more than 50 African Americans discovered in 1994 on VCU’s campus have been returned to Richmond

10)  VCU programs rise in updated U.S. News & World Report rankings 

Larry Keen, Ph.D., and Antonio Abbate, M.D., Ph.D., received a grant that will allow them to study the complex interplay among marijuana use, brain activity and the immune system. (Photo by Tom Kojcsich, University Marketing)
Larry Keen, Ph.D., and Antonio Abbate, M.D., Ph.D., received a grant that will allow them to study the complex interplay among marijuana use, brain activity and the immune system. (Photo by Tom Kojcsich, University Marketing)

Top 5 research stories from 2019

1)      Working-age Americans dying at higher rates, especially in economically hard-hit states

2)      VCU and VSU researchers are studying marijuana use and the immune system

3)      VCU will lead $50M study of traumatic brain injuries in military personnel

4)      What predicts college students’ drinking habits? How much they think others are drinking.

5)      New VCU study links vitamin C therapy to better survival rates after sepsis

 

Top 5 videos from 2019

1)      Think on This series

Think on This: Tressie McMillan Cottom

2)      May commencement highlights

VCU May 2019 Commencement - Highlights

3)      RVA my way – Nikki

When Nikki Wilkins came to Richmond as a VCU freshman, she had never been in a raft or done any sort of recreational water activity. Growing up, her experience with nature was pretty much confined to her backyard. Fast forward two years, and now she's a whitewater rafting guide with VCU's Outdoor Adventure Program, making the most of the urban campus's surprisingly close proximity to the James River and its class III and IV rapids.

4)      VCU Valentine’s Day 2019

VCU Student Commons staff member Tre Straughter spends the day out and about on VCU's campuses ramping up some Valentine's Day spirit and spreading the love.

5)       A day in the life of an ACE-IT in College student

Ashley High is a student in VCU's ACE-IT in College Program, which allows transition-age adults with intellectual disabilities to have a true college experience. We tagged along with her on a busy Wednesday as she worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond for her internship, headed to campus for class and studied in Cabell Library with her academic coach.

 

Top 5 Instagram posts from 2019

1)      The VCU letters at dusk

View this post on Instagram

??: Photo reposted from @kelsey_cowan ??

A post shared by VA Commonwealth University (@vcu) on

2)      A doggone cute graduation cap

3)      Pies and snow

4)      Miss Virginia, VCU’s own Camille Schrier

5)      A December graduation cap

View this post on Instagram

We are so proud of each and every one of you. ??+?? #VCU2019 #VCURamily

A post shared by VA Commonwealth University (@vcu) on

 

Top 5 Facebook posts from 2019

1)      President Rao’s blog post on Westboro Baptist Church protest

2)      Graduate programs rise in U.S. News and World Report rankings

3)      Photos of VCU’s campus after dark

4)      Groundbreaking of new facility for Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU

5)      VCU awarded $50 million grant to lead study of traumatic brain injuries in veterans


Top 5 Twitter posts from 2019

1)      Poland or Richmond?

2)      Fall Open House dates

3)      VCU’s annual Candid Campus photo shoot

4)      Professor Tressie Cottom’s book named a National Book Award finalist

5)      Announcement of VCU’s smoke- and tobacco-free policy