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How VCU’s Rodney Robinson became the nation’s finest teacher

Rodney Robinson (M.Ed.'11/E) teaches history of all types at the Virgie Binford Education Center, which serves students housed at the Richmond (Virginia) Juvenile Detention Center. Many of the students haven’t been to class regularly in years, and Robinson sees one of his main duties as helping them to deal with trauma and confusion enough to reset and get on track.

Assigned reading from award-winning teacher and alumnus Rodney Robinson

Award-winning teacher Rodney Robinson suggests books to read to understand the situation of the kids he teaches at the Richmond (Virginia) Juvenile Detention Center.

‘You’re coming here to feel better’

The founding partner of Tang and Biscuit, a large indoor shuffleboard social club, says his business isn’t actually about shuffleboard.

Included in business

Oscar Holmes IV, Ph.D. (B.S.’02/H&S), assistant professor of management at the Rutgers University School of Business-Camden in New Jersey, works to understand what happens when they foster inclusion and how they can maximize productivity in the process.

Finding a home in government

Forbes magazine recently named Adele McClure (B.S.'11/B) to its Top 30 Under 30 in the category of law and politics, citing her leading role in developing state-level policies, the statewide roundtables she led to encourage stakeholders to discuss the issue of high eviction rates in Virginia and her participation in Arlington, Virginia’s plan to end homelessness.

The art of the unraveled

Heidi Hooper (B.F.A.’81/A) was a metalsmith working and teaching classes in the late ’90s in Boston before a cancerous tumor destroyed the strength of her right arm. She searched for a way she could still create but even working with material such as soft clay was painful. “In order to keep from getting too depressed, each day I gave myself something new to try, whether it was artistic or just cooking an egg,” Hooper says. This experimentation led her to the artistic medium that has made her famous: dryer lint.

‘This is my heart’

Harold Barnwell, D.N.A.P., CRNA (M.S.N.A.’14/HP; D.N.A.P.’15/HP), who considers himself a part of the millennial generation, thinks it is important to bring educational content to tablets and mobile devices. One of the teaching techniques he's experimenting with is breaking his lecture content into short videos that students can access at any time. “I’m looking out there saying, ‘What’s working? What are people engaging with?’ There are millions of people watching videos online. Can we tap into that?” he says.

VCU alumna to appear on ‘The Bachelor’

An alumna of Virginia Commonwealth University will go primetime next month as one of the contestants on the next season of “The Bachelor,” vying for the heart of 26-year-old former NFL star Colton Underwood.

Get to the doctor

A three-time Virginia Commonwealth University alumnus who’s devoted his career to building software systems and improving inefficiencies, Ankit Mathur, 37, is co-founder and chief technology officer of RoundTrip, a startup that connects people to reliable medical transportation while reducing wait times, insurance headaches and extra expenses.

Connective tissue

Morgan Yacoe (B.F.A.’11/A) a conceptual artist and educator who is trained in sculpture and medical science, is dedicated to investigating the relationship between art and medicine.

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