VCU Faculty Participate in Spring and Summer 2020 Faculty Success Program Cohorts

Eight VCU faculty members were selected to participate in the spring and summer 2020 cohorts of the Faculty Success Program, presented by the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity.

The Faculty Success Program, presented by the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversityhelps faculty members learn the secrets to increasing research productivity, getting control of their time, and living a full and healthy life beyond their campus. Eight VCU faculty members were selected to participate in the spring and summer 2020 cohorts of the Faculty Success Program.

In addition to the Faculty Success Program, the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity offers webinars, writing challenges, discussion forums, and additional resources for faculty members to access online. VCU faculty members can sign up for a free Institutional Membership to participate in the online trainings and resources by visiting

Meet the participants

Risha R. Berry, Ph.D.

Assistant professor, Educational Leadership, School of Education and iCubed: Urban Education and Family core 

"Establishing a daily writing routine was a personal priority for me moving from a career outside of academia into a new career - an assistant professor on the tenure track. The Faculty Success program provided strategies to prioritize my daily writing routines. The program introduced me to developing a habit of daily writing through the creation of a strategic plan. Each week, we learned daily writing strategies. We debriefed with a small group, led by a coach to ascertain whether the strategy of the week was successful or not, and discussed approaches to refining your personalized routine. If you’ve ever wrestled with how to make daily writing a practice, this program provides a supportive environment for doing so. I'm grateful for the opportunity."

Ryan Garten, Ph.D.

Assistant professor, Kinesiology and Health Sciences, College of Humanities and Sciences

"I was interested in the Faculty Success Program to learn new and lasting strategies to improve my time management, increase my productivity, and maintain an adequate work-life balance. In addition, I wanted to better understand how to deal with barriers to success and how to overcome the various forms of resistance that arise in academic life. The FSP gave me all that and more. I appreciated their research-backed methods of accountability and productivity and truly valued my FSP group that helped me challenge the common misperceptions related to academic and research success, assess and reassess my short and long term career goals, and provided support and encouragement throughout the entire process."

Kelli Williams Gary, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Counseling, College of Health Professions

"It was extremely important for me to learn strategies that would help me organize my daily routine in order to prioritize my research and writing tasks. The Faculty Success Program taught me several strategies to help me starting with the development of a strategic plan, tracking my time, having a great coach and being part of a small group, and most importantly, having a weekly planning meeting. The weekly planning meeting provided steps to set up a skeleton of your weekly schedule, perform a brainstorming session to fill the schedule with the most important tasks and meetings, visualize what time slots could be available for other tasks, and organize all these in my calendar. This gave me a solid blueprint to carry out my week and progress towards my goals in my strategic plan. I am very grateful that I was granted the opportunity to participate in this program."

Michael Hall, Ph.D.

Assistant professor, English, College of Humanities and Sciences

"I welcome the opportunity to connect with scholars at other institutions and to develop strategies to achieve a healthy work-life balance."

Jenica L. Harrison, Ph.D.

Assistant professor, Medical Laboratory Sciences, College of Health Professions

"Participation in the Faculty Success Program has provided me with sustainable techniques that I can employ in order to maintain a consistent writing routine. The FSP weekly small group sessions provide an inclusive and constructive safe space in which each participant has the opportunity to share their professional victories and challenges. In addition, the weekly homework modules and FSP coaches offer invaluable advice and guidance on how to successfully achieve tenure and still maintain a healthy work-life balance."

Brie Haupt, Ph.D.

Assistant professor, Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

"Many have stated I am successful, due to my publications, numerous conference presentations, being a reviewer for a number of journals, and acceptance into an early career editorial board program. Yes, these are significant accomplishments, but many were completed or initiated prior to my start at VCU and the transition to a tenure-track faculty member highlighted a critical need for new accountability measures and strategies focused on enhancing research and writing productivity. During the Spring 2020 semester, the call for applications for the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity's Faculty Success Program was announced and I was ecstatic as it was focused on all the areas I was concerned with. Since starting the Summer 2020 Faculty Success Program, I have learned innovative research and writing habits that have led to quite a productive time despite the crises and challenges facing our world today. I am honored to have had this experience and already signed up for the Fall alumni program!"

Youssef Roman, Ph.D., Pharm.D.

Assistant professor, Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science, School of Pharmacy

"As a new faculty, I was very excited to join the FSP to learn more about the tools that may drive my success as an academician. Additionally, learning how to balance work and life while navigating my new position was something that I needed to establish early in my academic career."

Xuewei Wang, Ph.D.

Assistant professor, Chemistry, College of Humanities and Sciences

"I'm excited to participate in the Faculty Success Program to learn time management skills and develop a daily writing practice. I enjoyed the weekly training modules and small group calls offered in this program."

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