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College of Humanities & Sciences

School of World Studies

Student Spotlight

Each month we feature a School of World Studies major who exemplifies what it means to be an engaged global citizen. 

Chandler Wilson [View Image]

Chandler Wilson

December 10, 2019

If Chandler Wilson looks familiar, that’s because you might have seen their 2018 appearance on Lisa Ling’s “This is Life” or their viral 2015 YouTube video in which they came out as agender to their mom live on camera. Now pursuing two degrees through SWS, Wilson aspires to educate others about LGBTQIA issues through film and travel.

Claudia Bale [View Image]

Claudia Bale

November 4, 2019

Chesapeake native Claudia Bale came to VCU knowing she wanted to combine a pre-med track with a humanities degree. Now a senior majoring in International Studies, her ultimate goal is to work as a physician in underserved communities locally and abroad. 

Jelani Crosby [View Image]

Jelani Crosby

October 1, 2019

Certified Reiki master and VCU junior Jelani Crosby switched majors from physical therapy to Religious Studies in order to bring a more “spiritual, [holistic] approach to [his] health” practice. Crosby’s ultimate goal is to operate a metaphysical franchise focused on energy healing where he can integrate the physical and spiritual sides of health.


Hannah Furchak [View Image]

Hannah Furchak

September 9, 2019

Senior Hannah Furchak has always found primates “very intriguing [because of] what they can tell us about ourselves.” She’s explored her interest in primatology as an Anthropology major concentrating in biological anthropology. 

Nicole Normile [View Image]

Nicole Normile

August 12, 2019

Normile’s ultimate goal is to “know as many languages as possible.” She is making it real by not only minoring in Spansh but studying abroad again in Costa Rica this Fall. After graduating, she hopes to obtain a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification and teach abroad, particularly in Francophone Africa.

Will Cummins [View Image]

Will Cummins

July 3, 2019

Originally from Alexandria, Will Cummins just graduated this year with an Anthropology degree concentrating in anthropological linguistics. Always fascinated by the “diversity of languages world wide,” he has focused his academic career on the preservation of indigenous languages, a timely specialization considering that the United Nations declared 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

Marina Pugh [View Image]

Marina Pugh

June 3, 2019

Marina Pugh just graduated last month with a double major in International Studies and Philosophy of Law as well as a double minor in Russian and Political Science. Her documentary “An Exploration of Russia’s Middle Class” aims to dispel common misconceptions about Russia such as “not realizing how ethnically diverse [it] is.”

Theresa Dinh [View Image]

Theresa Dinh

May 1, 2019

Theresa Dinh graduates this month with a degree in International Studies concentrating in World Cinema and a minor in Asian and Chinese Studies. She is the recipient of multiple scholarships such as the Freeman-Asia and Boren. Most recently, she was awarded a Fulbright which will take her to Taiwan this August!

Hanan DuVerney [View Image]

Hanan DuVerney

April 2, 2019

Northern California native Hanan DuVerney graduates this summer and hopes to work for a political think tank before obtaining a J.D. in International Law and ultimately forming his own consulting firm. He entered college as an Anthropology major, but quickly realized a degree in International Studies concentrating in European Affairs combined with a double minor in French and History more closely aligned with his academic goals.

Sidra Sharieff [View Image]

Sidra Sharieff

March 1, 2019

Rising senior Sidra Sharieff’s ultimate ambition is to end human trafficking in the Middle East. She is working towards that goal by pursuing a major in International Studies with a Social Justice concentration as well as a double minor in Psychology and Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies.

Student Spotlight: Holly Love [View Image]

Student Spotlight: Holly Love

February 4, 2019

Holly Love’s interest in global change drew her to the School of World Studies where she’s pursuing a degree in International Studies with a concentration in Social Justice. The program’s cultural themes and focus on experiential learning have helped Love make a world of change both on campus and abroad as a UNICEF volunteer.


Neha Pondicherry [View Image]

Neha Pondicherry

January 3, 2019

Rising senior and GMED student, Neha Pondicherry crafted her own concentration, International Health: Policies, Health Systems in Developing Countries. She also helped form the School of World Studies Society and served as its first president. 

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