Matt Reamer (B.S.’12/MC; M.S.’14/B) created the Dustin’s Words device, which allows individuals who can’t speak to communicate via long distance. Most augmentative and alternative communication devices on the market only allow communication between the caregiver and individual when they are within a few feet of each other. Reamer was inspired to create the device by his older brother, Dustin, who has autism and is nonverbal. The device is about the size of a box of sandwich bags and displays six buttons on its top, each one communicating a different want or need. When the user pushes a button, the device sends a text message to the caregiver’s phone, allowing the caregiver to be in another part of the house or even across town. Reamer has started a nonprofit to create and give free devices to those in need, further his research and continue testing new functionality and interaction patterns. He and his team of designers and technologists recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to build 100 devices.
Adeeb Barqawi (B.S.’10/H&S; B.S.’10/LS), a Teach for America corps member teaching high school in Houston, founded the nonprofit ProUnitas. The local nonprofit, which identifies resource gaps among his underprivileged students, was featured in the May 21, 2015, edition of Politico Magazine. Barqawi was recognized in May 2015 by VCU Alumni as one of its 10 Under 10 award winners, which honored graduates of the last decade for their professional accomplishments.
David L. Davis** (M.Envs.’04/LS) received the 2015 National Wetlands Award for State, Local, and Tribal Program Development. He was honored in May 2015 at a ceremony at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. Davis, a Virginia native who grew up fishing and clamming on Chincoteague Island, has played an essential leadership role in the evolution of Virginia’s wetland program. In 2000, he was appointed to serve on the Technical Advisory Committee for Virginia’s De¬partment of Environmental Quality, where he was tasked with drafting the commonwealth’s new wetland regulations. A year later, he joined DEQ staff as a wetland ecologist, and ultimately became, in 2007, the director of DEQ’s Office of Wetlands and Stream Protection. In June, after a more than a 10-year effort, Virginia will be launching its Wetland Condition Assessment Tool. Under Davis’ leadership, Virginia has become a flagship state when it comes to wetlands monitoring and assessment, being one of only three states in the Mid-Atlantic region to have completed this effort. Davis is also active in other areas of wetlands protection. In 2012, he was appointed to the Certification Review Committee for the Society of Wetland Scientists-Professional Certification Program and he recently completed a second term as chair of the Association of State Wetland Managers Board of Directors. He is also a frequent guest lecturer at VCU and helps mentor wetlands interns at DEQ by helping them see the connections between hard science and public policy.
Daniel Clarke (B.M.’01/A) keyboardist with singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, appeared on the May 13, 2015, “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Check out the performance.
Robert Louis Caldwell (B.F.A.’00/A) will be showing work in two upcoming museum exhibits. “On Tap (White-crowned Sparrow),” an oil painting, will hang in the 2015 “Birds in Art” exhibit from Sept. 11-Nov. 29, 2015, at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisc. His graphite drawing “Kutokua Na Hatia (Columbus Monkey)” has been selected for the “Art of the Animal Kingdom XX” exhibit, which runs June 13-Aug. 2, 2015, at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Bennington, Vt.
Sterling Hundley (B.F.A.’98/A), associate professor in the Department of Communication Arts in the VCU School of the Arts, was named the 2015 Victoria & Albert Museum Illustrator of the Year by the London-based Folio Society, and is the first artist to receive more than one nomination in any category. His work on Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” received both Best Illustrated Book and Best Overall awards. It also was used as a cover story for London’s Artists and Illustrators publication. Hundley created the 12-color illustrations in a combination of pencil, painting and digital techniques, working closely with Folio Society Art Director Sheri Gee. The V&A Illustration Awards are given annually to the best book or magazine illustration published in the United Kingdom during the previous year.
Martin Green, Ph.D. (Ph.D.’95/H&S), joined Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., as an associate professor and chair of the Business Administration Department. Green brings nearly three decades of teaching and administrative experience in higher education to Colby-Sawyer. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in business administration at Keene State College and the University of Virginia as well as at Franklin Pierce University, where he served as interim director of the M.B.A. program. His leadership skills were honed in a number of positions that include director of the Adult and Continuing Education Program at Averett College and program manager for the National Association of College University Business Officers in Washington, D.C.
Teresita Fernandez (M.F.A.’92/A) was featured on the June 7, 2015, edition of CBS’ “Sunday Morning.” The show highlighted the Cuban-American artist and her more than three dozen solo shows in nine countries. In 2005, Fernandez received a Macarthur “genius grant,” and was later appointed by President Obama to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. You can see her work on CBS’ website.
H. Joel Schmidt, M.D.** (M.D.’84/M), was elected to the board of directors of the MCV Physicians Practice Group in June 2014, promoted to professor of pediatrics at the VCU School of Medicine in May 2015 and named to the national Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Center Committee, the governing body for the national network of accredited CF care centers, in June 2015.
Gerald L. “Jerry” Feldman, M.D., Ph.D. (Ph.D.’82/M; M.D.’84/M), was named in March 2015 as president of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. During his two-year term, Feldman plans to embrace new technologies and treatments and improve organizational structure as the field of medical genetics continues to expand. Read about Feldman’s career and goals for the organization.