Friday, Jan. 30, 2015
39 ° Cloudy
In the winter of 2005, Virginia Wesleyan junior Harley Swan ’06 laced up her sneakers for her usual morning run with the VWC Cross Country Team. She did the same thing the next day. And the next. And the next. Ten years—or exactly 3,652 days—later, she’s still running. Jan. 29 marks her decade-long running streak, an achievement she says began accidentally. Flipping through her running journal, Swan realized one day that she’d unintentionally run 23 days in a row. When she told VWC coach Mat Littleton, she learned that he’d once had a streak of his own, running 900 days before stopping due to an injury. In a recent Facebook post, Swan recalled her reaction, writing: “I was blown away! I didn't know streak running was a thing!” (An official streak consists of running at least one mile every day, according to the United States Running Streak Association.) Swan’s story is an inspiration to many and is legendary within the VWC Cross Country/Track and Field program. As a freshman, she struggled to finish races without walking. But as her athletic career progressed, she lowered her 5K personal record by more than 15 minutes, brought down her one mile personal record by nearly five minutes, and became a two-time team captain. “Her improvement, her commitment, and her dedication inspired everybody around her,” says Littleton. “You couldn’t have been on the team at that time and not be inspired by her. I don’t know if I’ll ever coach another person who maximizes their natural ability as much as she did.” Swan earned her bachelor’s in recreation and leisure studies and a master’s in education. She now specializes in special education at an elementary school level. View Photo
Virginia Wesleyan College President Billy Greer was honored for his contribution and support of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) on Saturday, January 24 during a pregame recognition event in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Prior to the VWC Men’s Basketball game against Lynchburg College, ODAC Commissioner Brad Bankston and current ODAC Board President and VWC Director of Athletics Joanne Renn presented Greer with a commemorative captain’s chair as a token of gratitude for his years of service. Greer served as ODAC president from 2007-2009. He will end his 23-year career as president of Virginia Wesleyan College when he retires on June 30, 2015.
In a work that explores the influence of literature on Walt Disney and his creativity, Virginia Wesleyan College Professor of Communication Kathy Merlock Jackson has co-edited the recently released Walt Disney, from Reader to Storyteller: Essays on the Literary Inspirations (McFarland & Company, Inc.). The book addresses Disney as a reader and how his “responses to literature fueled his success,” wrote Merlock Jackson and her co-editor, Mark West. “In his work, he tapped into the audience by selecting stories that they might have known but transformed these to suit other sensibilities.” The collection of essays consider Disney’s reading as a child and as an adult, the authors who influenced him and the literary connections to his live-action and animated films, his theme parks, documentaries and creative vision. Including this most recent publication, Merlock Jackson is the author or editor of six books. Her other works include Images of Children in American Film: A Socio-Cultural Analysis (1986), Walt Disney: A Bio-Bibliography (1993), Rituals and Patterns in Children's Lives (2005), and Walt Disney: Conversations (2006), Disneyland and Culture: Essays on the Parks and Their Influence (with Mark West) (2011), as well as numerous articles and reviews. She is a 1989 recipient of VWC’s Samuel Nelson Gray Award and was named to the first class of the College's Batten Professors (2004-2007). Her main areas of interest are children's culture and animation. More
On April 13, 1979, while riding in the passenger seat of a car next to her husband, former Virginia Wesleyan business student Carrie Leigh DeVenny became the victim of a fatal drunk driving accident. In an attempt to pass, an intoxicated driver struck the left rear of their vehicle, causing it to roll repeatedly. In Carrie’s memory, her mother, Lillian DeVenny, has established the Carrie Leigh DeVenny Annual Scholarship, which will provide financial assistance of $1,000 per year for 10 years. Determined not to let her daughter die in vain, in 1981 Lillian DeVenny became one of the founding members of Virginians Opposing Drunk Driving (VODD), formerly known as Many Against Drunk Driving. For nearly 35 years, the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization has been operated by victims, survivors and concerned citizens who have volunteered their time and efforts to deter intoxicated driving. In 2014, VODD’s founders made the decision to dissolve the organization’s non-profit status. To honor Carrie’s passion for education, VODD’s remaining assets have been transferred to Virginia Wesleyan. The $10,000 scholarship will serve as a memory and tribute to Carrie as it provides financial assistance for future VWC students. Additional donations may be made to the College in Carrie’s memory by contacting Sherran Denklar ’06 at 757.455.2136 or firstname.lastname@example.org. [View Photo]
The silver screen helped shine a light on a serious subject Jan. 10 as VWC President Billy Greer and his wife, Fann Greer, along with Virginia Wesleyan College, hosted a viewing of the film “Blues for Willadean” to benefit local women’s empowerment and domestic violence organizations Samaritan House and the YWCA South Hampton Roads. The evening event took place at the Kaufman Theatre in Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum and included special guests Del Shores, the film’s producer and director, and actors Dale Dickey, David Steen and Debby Holiday. “Blues for Willadean” is the film adaptation of Shores' 2003 play, “The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife.” It tells the story of a woman trying to find her place in life while living with a physically and mentally abusive husband. Both the Samaritan House and the YWCA offer domestic and sexual violence resources, including education and training, counseling, support groups, children’s programs and more. To learn more about these organizations visit www.samaritanhouseva.org and www.ywca-shr.org.
Congratulations to all Virginia Wesleyan College students who have been named to the Fall 2014 Dean's List. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits and should be proud of this accomplishment. The Dean's List recognizes all students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. View the complete Fall 2014 Dean’s List.
Virginia Wesleyan Professor of History Dan Margolies has produced an archival compilation CD titled “Traditional Music of Texas, Volume 1: Fiddle Recordings from the Texas Folklife Archives.” Released Dec. 5, the album represents the rich variety of the Lone Star State’s fiddle tradition with recordings from the Texas Folklife archives, digitized with the assistance of archivists from the University of Texas at Austin. Listeners will find live recordings dating back 25 years or more, with sounds from fiddle workshops, field recordings and live concert events. Artists and styles featured on the album include legendary Texan fiddler Johnny Gimble, Texas breakdowns and contest style fiddling by Ricky Turpin and Valerie Ryals, Polish-style fiddling by Brian Marshall, Texas-Mexican fiddle music of Rio Grande Valley by Jose Moreno, and down-home Texas-style fiddling by Bill Gilbert and Mike Henderson. The album’s release coincides with the very first Festival of Texas Fiddling (Dec. 6), also conceived and curated by Margolies, in collaboration with Texas Folklife and Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. The festival will feature various style workshops led by recognized masters of Texas fiddling, says Margolies: “Texas may well have the most diverse array of fiddle styles in the United States. People who are used to thinking of Texas fiddling chiefly in terms of flashy contest style fiddling or honky tonk fiddling are going to be happily surprised to discover just how good all the styles of Texas fiddling are for both listening and dancing.” For additional album information, visit texasfolklife.org. To learn more about the fiddling festival, visit texasdancehall.org.
Sigma Beta Delta, the international honor society for business, management and administration, has selected Virginia Wesleyan senior Shelby Beverly as a 2014 recipient of the Dr. William J. Kehoe Fellowship. Each year, the Sigma Beta Delta Fellowship Program awards more than 20 fellowships ranging from $1,000–$1,500 to qualifying honor society members for use in their academic studies. Beverly was nominated by VWC’s chapter based on her academic achievements and participation in various campus and community service activities. She maintains a 3.26 grade point average as a double major in business and recreation and leisure studies and volunteers her time with VWC’s Annual On-Campus Winter Homeless Shelter, the Special Olympics, and additional programs for underprivileged children in surrounding areas. “Shelby’s education is more important to her than, I think, anyone else,” says business professor Elaine Dessouki, who serves as the faculty advisor for the VWC chapter of Sigma Beta Delta. “She has really clear career goals; she wants to give back to her community and work with children.” A certificate of achievement was presented to Beverly during a Sigma Beta Delta ceremony on Nov. 18 (see photo). The event also featured special guest Eric Nyman ’94, senior vice president for global marketing at Hasbro, who spoke to business students as part of the VWC Fall Business Conference.
Go, Chron Team! It’s a truly newsworthy occasion for staff members of Virginia Wesleyan College’s student-run newspaper The Marlin Chronicle. During the 93rd Annual Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association (ACP/CMA) National College Media Convention, held Oct. 29-Nov. 2 in Philadelphia, the Chronicle won the ACP Best in Show Award for the category "Four Year Weekly Broadsheet Newspaper." The award recognizes the newspaper as one of the top 10 in the country for this category, a tremendous honor for the Chronicle staff, which is made up of approximately 30 student editors, writers, photographers and illustrators and guided by faculty mentor and communication professor Lisa Lyon Payne. Under the leadership of its new editor-in-chief Thomas Mills ’15, the bi-weekly paper received a makeover in fall 2014. Students created a brighter, more modern look for the publication—which was founded in 1983—by updating its masthead, fonts and layout and adding more color. The staff also made some content changes, increasing the page count from 10 to 12 and replacing the Arts & Entertainment section with the “The Weekender.” Small changes like these make all the difference, says Thomas Mills: “We’ve always been really good at reporting. We’ve always been really good at photos. But it’s the minute details that separate the good papers from the great papers.” Read the ACP announcement or view The Marlin Chronicle website.
In a five-hour battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance, three Virginia Wesleyan students spent their Saturday afternoon solving computer programming problems Nov. 1 at the Association for Computing Machinery-International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC) Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition. Tyler Chang ’16, Corey Gray ’15, and Thomas Simmons ’16 finished in first place at the local competition site—Christopher Newport University—as they contended against 16 other teams from William & Mary, Hampton University, University of Richmond, Virginia State University and CNU. The annual contest promotes creativity, teamwork, and innovation, while testing students’ ability to perform under pressure. With a single computer, teams are asked to solve eight or more complex problems in a five-hour timeframe. The team that solves the most problems in the fewest attempts in the least cumulative time is declared the winner. Despite the battle against the clock, junior Thomas Simmons did not feel stress or pressure during the competition: “It was thoroughly enjoyable to be able to sit down for five hours, free from distractions, and devote myself to solving, or rather, trying to solve, a handful of enigmatic puzzles...I think what I took away most from the experience is a desire to go back next year.” The ACM-ICPC is comprised of three competition levels: local, regional and world. This year set new records in participation, with more than 30,000 contestants from 2,286 universities in 94 countries on six continents competing at more than 300 sites for a chance to advance to the World Finals. Though VWC’s team won at the local site, they did not place regionally. More
The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) has recognized Virginia Wesleyan with an Honor Award in its 2014 Green Star Awards competition. The College was acknowledged for exceptional maintenance of its 300-acre campus in the University and College Grounds category. VWC’s Assistant Director of Housekeeping and Grounds Mike Rigby accepted the award on behalf of the College at the 42nd Annual Professional Grounds Management Awards dinner held Oct. 24 in conjunction with the GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Kentucky (see photo). The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence and recognizes individual professional efforts leading to high standards and high quality landscape appearance. “Our grounds staff works hard day in and day out to provide an aesthetically pleasing campus for students, faculty, staff and visitors,” says Rigby. “We have an extremely dedicated team that works with purpose and good spirit.” Overall, PGMS presented six Grand Awards, its highest honor, as well as seventeen Honor Awards and three Merit Awards in six categories of competition. Virginia Wesleyan received a Green Star Merit Award in 2013. Learn more about PGMS and view a complete list of winners at www.pgms.org.
Many members of the Virginia Wesleyan community have expressed their concern following the recent lawsuit brought against the College. On October 3, 2014, Jane Doe, a former student, filed a Complaint seeking judgment against the College in the amount of $10 million for negligence, gross negligence and fraud. While VWC sympathizes with Jane Doe, the College denies any improper conduct on the part of the institution and is defending this Complaint through the legal process.
Prior to this point, we have had to exercise restraint in responding to media attention. Therefore, only one side’s allegations have been heard, many of which contained inaccuracies and omitted certain facts.
On Thursday, October 30, Virginia Wesleyan’s attorneys filed an Answer, a Demurrer, and several other documents in response to Jane Doe’s Complaint. Due to these filings, there are several additional facts about the case that we can now share with our community. We’d like to take this opportunity to specifically address some unfounded media allegations. In doing so, we hope to provide some clarity and context.
Unfounded Media Allegation: “VWC failed to act appropriately when Jane Doe reported the incident to school staff.”
Facts: Jane Doe first reported the alleged incident on October 1, 2012, nearly six weeks after it occurred. She sought care from VWC Health Services and told campus nurses about the incident. Campus nurses appropriately referred her to Patient First for further evaluation and shared additional sexual assault reporting options with her. Jane Doe declined to file a report regarding the alleged incident.
In addition, Doe met with a VWC counselor on October 5, 2012, who explained to her all of the options for charges against the perpetrator and seeking additional help. At that time, Doe expressed that she wanted the information to remain confidential and did not wish to report it further. She continued to receive support through VWC’s Counseling Services. Documents related to this issue can be found as Exhibits to our Answer filed with the Court last week.
The alleged incident was reported to VWC Title IX coordinators in early 2013. A hearing took place promptly and resulted in the alleged perpetrator being dismissed from campus for violation of campus policy. On February 19, 2013, nearly six months after the alleged incident occurred, an incident report was filed with the Virginia Beach Police Department by Jane Doe. According to the report, the case was “exceptionally cleared” and prosecution was declined on March 8, 2013. The perpetrator was never formally charged by police. The notation of dismissal was later changed to a withdrawal on the alleged perpetrator's record; however, his permanent and involuntary separation from VWC remained in place.
VWC’s staff took all appropriate steps put in place by its sexual misconduct policy, which complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX).
Unfounded Media Allegation: “VWC claims it has no responsibility to protect students from rape.”
Facts: VWC takes student safety very seriously. The College believes that a safe, secure environment is essential to learning and to the peace of mind of our students, their parents and VWC faculty/staff. For more than two decades, VWC has clearly articulated and enforced community standards and student expectations and responsibilities. The consequences for student misconduct are articulated in the Student Handbook, on the website, and during orientation and other student sessions. The College follows state and federal regulations and goes above and beyond in educating students about the risks of misconduct, including sexual assault.
VWC takes this proactive approach despite the fact that colleges and universities have no legal obligation to do so under the legal causes of action cited by the Plaintiff, as is more fully stated in the Demurrer filed on behalf of the College.
Virginia Wesleyan College provides proper orientation and training for students, Residence Life staff and faculty/staff. In addition, VWC has an appropriate campus judicial system. Despite these efforts and programs, sometimes unwise decisions are made by individuals that the College cannot prevent.
Unfounded Media Allegation: “VWC uses a loophole in the federal law to withhold information about sexual assaults on campus from its daily crime logs.”
Facts: There is no loophole. Virginia Wesleyan College is in compliance with applicable federal reporting regulations and utilizes all reporting mechanisms properly. The College properly maintains campus crime and fire logs, files an annual safety and fire report that is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, and shares this information with our community and the public.
In summary, the College is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for every member of the VWC community. We strive to keep our students safe and do everything in our power to promote a secure learning environment.
Virginia Wesleyan College continues to be the caring and responsible place we have always been. The College realizes that campus resources and all of our efforts do not guarantee immunity from the very serious issue of sexual assault on college campuses as it reflects the greater problem in society in general. However, we hope that by addressing this issue together, as a community, we can make continual improvements to reduce this risk.
Finally, we understand and appreciate the concerns that have been expressed. Rest assured that as this process unfolds and is resolved, you will see that Virginia Wesleyan handles such serious matters with integrity and compassion.
"Developing Distinguished Leaders for a Growing Economy" is the theme of Virginia Wesleyan's 2014 Fall Business Conference—dubbed “The Marlin Prestige”—occurring November 17-21 on the VWC campus. The weeklong event, organized by students in business professor Paul Ewell’s “Principles of Management” course, will feature a variety of speakers, panels, and interactive forums focusing on Virginia’s expanding economy and the cultivation of its young leaders. Among the events are the popular "Shark Tank" presentations and the Bob Marlin Consulting Competition; Special guest speakers will include Eric Nyman '94, senior vice president for global marketing at Hasbro; Lorna Gerome, director of human resources for Albemarle County and Albemarle County Public Schools; and Thelma Drake, director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit. "Our focus is to develop the distinguished leaders our economy needs," says Tianna Garland '16, executive vice president for the conference. "Our team made it a point to create events that not only inform guests about economic issues in Hampton Roads, but also that provide students with interactive networking opportunities." In keeping with the College’s liberal arts tradition, the business conference allows students to apply lessons from courses outside of business to aid in the communication skills and professionalism required for efficient teamwork. By coordinating all aspects of the conference, students exercise key management skills like product development, networking, and project and financial planning. Daily activities are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Paul Ewell with the Department of Management/Business/Economics at 757.233.8810.
If there’s one thing you’re guaranteed to see often on a college campus, it’s writing: papers for class, undergraduate and faculty research, student newspaper articles, tweets, blogs… The hypothetical list—which of course would also be written—is a long one. In tribute to the written word, the Learning and Writing Center at Virginia Wesleyan celebrated 2014 National Day on Writing on Oct. 20, embracing this year’s theme, “Write My Community.” As part of the day’s activities, VWC students, faculty and staff were invited to share their thoughts on why they write and what it allows them to accomplish. The written accounts were displayed around campus, paying tribute to this very important form of communication. Keeping with the theme, the Learning and Writing Center also collected student stories about community service experiences and hosted a haiku-writing contest in which participants used the short form of Japanese poetry to describe how they feel about Virginia Wesleyan. Each of the submissions has been compiled at the VWC Celebrates National Day on Writing webpage. “A liberal arts education is about creating well-rounded and engaged citizens,” says Coordinator of Writing Services Kim Fahle. “Writing is such a key part of this. We write in our private lives, our professional lives, and our civic lives…Writing allows us to share our ideas and point of view with others and affect change in our own lives and within our communities.” VWC’s Learning and Writing Center offers academic and disability support services, providing VWC students with the resources they need to become successful independent learners.
The professional and personal successes of not one but two Virginia Wesleyan College graduates were celebrated Oct. 14 as Kevin Otey Jr. ’05 and Amy Mallett Rickard ’98 were honored at Inside Business’ “Top Forty Under 40” awards ceremony. During the evening event at Norfolk Waterside Marriott, the alumni were recognized for their career achievements and involvement in the community. Otey, 31, is chief operating officer at Children's Harbor, a nonprofit group that provides early childhood care and education services. His volunteer activities include United Way African American Leadership Society volunteer chair; United for Children’s weekly tutoring program with second and third graders; voter registration drives; and the Big Brother Big Sister program. Rickard, 38, is vice president of marketing for AAA Tidewater Virginia, responsible for the growth and retention of its membership base. She is active in the community as a member of United Way’s Women Leadership Council and Membership Committee; the Corporate Volunteer Council for Volunteer Hampton Roads; and the local Hampton Roads chapters for the American Marketing Association and American Advertising Federation. Both graduates serve on the Virginia Wesleyan College Alumni Association Board of Directors—Rickard was named president of the Alumni Board in July 2014. “I’ve known Kevin and Amy for a long time and they are each so deserving of this award,” says VWC Director of Alumni Relations Lina Green. “To me, this honor represents the strong work ethic and unique concern for community that can be found in each of our graduates.” Inside Business has recognized 640 young professionals since its Top Forty Under 40 event began in 1999. More
Higher education faculty and staff from across the state will convene at Virginia Wesleyan Oct. 24 to share ideas and resources on community and civic engagement programs as part of the VA Engage 2014 Fall Gathering. The meeting will take place in the Jane P. Batten Student Center as Virginia college and university representatives share the latest community engagement happenings at their institutions, discuss the civic health of their respective regions, and hear from a variety of speakers. A morning presentation titled "Feeling Higher Ed’s Presence in the Commonwealth: What’s the State of Your Region’s Civic Health? What Can We Do About It?" will be given by Drew Stellijes, assistant vice president for student engagement and leadership and director of the Office of Community Engagement at William & Mary. Afternoon topic explorations will feature: "Getting Service/Civic Engagement into the Strategic Plan"; "Defining Partnerships"; "What’s In It For Me and My Students? Publishing, Funding and Research Opportunities"; and "Facilitating Tough Conversations in the Classroom That Result from Community Engagement." VA Engage is a network of colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia that are dedicated to the well-being of their surrounding communities through the formation of mutually beneficial partnerships and committed to the development of the engaged citizens of tomorrow. It connects the faculty and staff responsible for community and civic engagement programs in order to disseminate new and beneficial ideas and resources that will enhance the efforts of engaged campuses. To attend this free event, please register no later than Friday, October 17. For more information, contact Diane Hotaling (email@example.com) or Kathy Stolley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Filmmaker and VWC Associate Professor of Communication Stu Minnis will make the theatrical premiere of his documentary short, The Old World: Mistaken Point and the Ediacaran Fossils of Newfoundland, on Oct. 1 at Naro Cinema (1507 Colley Ave., Norfolk). The nine-minute documentary tells the story of the Ediacaran fossils at Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland. The Ediacaran Period immediately predates the Cambrian explosion and constitutes the beginning of large-scale multicellular life on Earth. Minnis, who teaches video production and film and media studies, made the film as the result of a Batten Professorship, a three-year designation that includes an annual stipend for research or special projects. He traveled to Newfoundland in May 2012 and spent a little over a week interviewing experts and filming at several sites. “I’ve always been interested in geology and paleontology,” Minnis says. “When I got the Batten grant my first thought was that I wanted to travel and make a film. Then when I researched this topic, I found that there wasn’t really any significant film work on it.” The documentary will accompany a screening of the 90-minute film Expedition to the End of the World and the evening will conclude with a post-film discussion with Minnis and Victoria Hill, a research professor with Old Dominion University’s Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. For more information, visit narocinema.com.
It’s been 100 years since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria; an event that triggered a diplomatic crisis and set the First World War in motion in June 1914. In observation of the centennial occasion, the Virginia Wesleyan College History Department will host a fall symposium titled “100th Anniversary of the Outbreak of World War I.” The interdisciplinary event will include several presentations from September to December with participation from the College’s departments of history, religious studies, English and art history. In addition to various VWC faculty presentations, the symposium will feature two special guest speakers: Christopher Capozzola, an associate professor of history at MIT, will share insight into his 2008 book, Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen (Oct. 28, 4:30 p.m., Blocker Auditorium). Lt. Colonel Olaf Wiedenfeld of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Allied Command Transformation (NATO-ACT) will lead a discussion on “World War One as the ‘Great Seminal Catastrophe’” (Nov. 18, 11 a.m., Blocker Auditorium). Batten Associate Professor of History Sara Sewell, who played a key role in organizing the symposium, commented on the lasting impact of the pivotal event: “The First World War was truly a watershed historical moment like few others. On the battlefront, it saw the mobilization of mass citizen armies as well as the deployment of a host of new weapons with mass destructive power. It also created a new concept—the home front—which witnessed a host of momentous changes, including women's emancipation.” Sewell will kick off the symposium on Sept. 25 with her presentation, “The War They Didn’t Expect” (11 a.m., Blocker Auditorium). More
Virginia Wesleyan’s first athletic director, Donald M. Forsyth, will be inducted into the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday, October 21. Hired in 1969 as the first full-time employee in Virginia Wesleyan College Athletics, Forsyth served as both men’s basketball and golf coaches in addition to his role as director. He was instrumental in the formation of the successful 14 varsity sports program and guided the development of the athletic fields and the construction of the Cunningham Gymnasium. Today, the Marlins compete on the Donald M. Forsyth Court in the Convocation Center inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center. In his 29 years at the College, Forsyth served as mentor and friend to athletes on and off the court. In men’s basketball, he led the College to two conference championships in 1978 and 1979, three NCAA berths, nine consecutive winning seasons, and two 20 plus-win seasons. His awards include being named three times as Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, National Association of Basketball Coaches South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, and the Virginia Beach Sport Club Director’s Award. In recognition of his contributions to VWC athletics, Forsyth was inducted into the Charter Class of Virginia Wesleyan’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. The Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame honors outstanding athletes, coaches, administrators and media members who came from Hampton Roads or who made noteworthy contributions to sports in the area. Inductees are chosen by a committee comprised of local media, coaches and sports enthusiasts, along with input from fans. The 2014 Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony/banquet will take place at Norfolk Scope. For information or to make reservations, call 757.622.2222 ext. 101 or visit www.hrsportshalloffame.com.
David Dirlam is taking his assessment expertise on the road. Virginia Wesleyan’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation is headed to Worcester, Massachusetts Nov. 7 to serve as the keynote speaker at the New England Educational Assessment Network’s (NEEAN) Fall Forum. Dirlam’s address, titled "Tools for Turning Course Design and Learning Data into Educational Action," will share insight into his use of three multidimensional tools. First, the Course Design Survey—developed with VWC faculty guidance—helps programs identify potential instructional innovations. In the 2014-2015 academic year it will be adapted to track progress on the College's innovative Quality Enhancement Plan, which uses different levels of experiential learning across the entire curriculum to prepare students to engage deeply and independently in the intellectual, professional, and civic challenges within their lives and careers. The second tool, also developed alongside VWC faculty, is the Student Learning Assessment Report Template, which helps academic programs track their progress toward continuous improvement. Lastly, Dirlam will discuss the Learning Outcomes Network Rating Forms, developed uniquely for each academic program. Dirlam has written 75 posts about using, analyzing and interpreting these tools as the facilitator for the Methodology Community of Practice of the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education. He arrived at Virginia Wesleyan in January 2013 and has since implemented the use of developmental interviews to create reliable and valid program assessment tools. He then analyzes and interprets the resulting data for program improvement. He also designs and supports all aspects of the College’s accreditation activities. In addition to assessment, Dirlam’s special areas of interest include cognitive science and applications of mathematical models to research on expertise development. NEEAN’s mission is to promote quality assessment of student learning and development, and thus to enhance the effectiveness of institutions of higher education. The organization’s Fall Forum will address the challenges of effecting change based on assessment results. More
Virginia Wesleyan has been awarded a National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Grant of more than $120,000 that will enable the College to purchase a gas chromatography system with mass spectrometric detection (GCMS), VWC President Billy Greer announced Aug. 26. Funding was awarded to the project’s principle investigators Maury Howard and Kevin Kittredge, both associate professors of chemistry at Virginia Wesleyan. “The GCMS will further expand the College’s undergraduate research opportunities and faculty scholarship in the natural sciences,” says Howard. “It will directly enhance the quality of research training in chemistry, biology and earth and environmental sciences.” Plans are underway to transform a room in Blocker Hall—the College’s natural sciences building—into a dedicated research lab for the GCMS. The instrument will be used to investigate the potential of natural products (specifically sea sponge toxins) for possible use in pharmaceuticals; evaluate green chemistry practices for the development of pharmaceutical feedstocks; evaluate and characterize metal ion coordination materials for use as sensors; evaluate the effectiveness of environmental pollution reduction measures; and investigate plant evolution through the examination of the plant sterol pathway. This will be the first mass spectrometer to be housed on the VWC campus and is expected to be used regularly by three to five faculty members and to support nine to 16 undergraduate research projects each year. Blocker Hall renovations are anticipated to begin during the College’s winter break. For more information, contact Associate Professor of Chemistry Maury Howard at email@example.com. More
Virginia Wesleyan College has been honored as a College of Distinction for the 2014-2015 academic year, chosen for its excellence in student-focused higher education and its exemplary commitment to the Four Distinctions set forth by CollegesofDistinction.com: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes. Colleges of Distinction is a web-based guide for high school juniors and seniors seeking a school that is nationally recognized and highly recommended by professionals in the field of education. To become a College of Distinction, colleges and universities must be nominated by college counselors, college administrative members and the Colleges of Distinction selection team. Qualitative and quantitative research is then conducted and evaluated, including interviews and feedback from senior administration, faculty, alumni and current students, as well as graduation rates, classroom size and other key stats that speak to the Four Distinctions. “We focus on colleges that are the best places to learn, grow and succeed,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor of Colleges of Distinction. “Schools designated as ‘Colleges of Distinction’ create well-rounded graduates and are among the very best in the country.” To view Virginia Wesleyan’s profile or for more information about the online guide, visit CollegesofDistinction.com.
It’s music to Virginia Wesleyan’s proverbial ears. The College’s Center for Sacred Music (CSM) will be recognized for its excellence and innovation this fall in Virginia Living State of Education, a special supplement to the magazine’s September/October issue (on newsstands Sept. 5). VWC is one of 148 public and private high schools and colleges in Virginia that will be featured in the supplement’s 2014 list of Top High Schools & Colleges. The Center for Sacred Music will appear in the Arts & Humanities category. Selections were made by Virginia Living’s editors and include schools that have established programs aimed at strengthening students’ experience in the classroom, on the field and in their communities. Other categories include Science, Math & Technology; Performing Arts; Health & Medicine; and Capital Improvements. Established in 1995, the mission of CSM is to inspire, enlighten, and prepare. It does so by educating students for service in church music ministry and through continuing education and specialized training for those already active in the profession—part of which includes the Church Music Certificate program, developed in the early 1980s by VWC’s first full-time music professor David Clayton. Each year, CSM brings special event programming to VWC and the greater community, including the Fall Hymn Festival and other massed-choir events; “Monumental Moments,” a series of uniquely crafted services of worship; and the “Sound & Symbol Lecture Series,” which explores the ritual and music of various world religions through seminars and guest speakers. CSM also hosts the nationally recognized Sacred Music Summer Conference, featuring workshops, evening worship and concerts at area churches. In July 2014, the Conference welcomed approximately 200 guests to campus, representing every state along the eastern seaboard and from as far west as Arizona. For additional information about the Center and its events, visit www.vwc.edu/csm or contact Director of the Center for Sacred Music Sandi Billy at 757.455.3376 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More
Sixteen Chinese students from the Dongfang College, Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics will visit Virginia Wesleyan Aug. 2-6, residing at the College and taking in cultural experiences both on and off campus. During their stay, the group will attend special presentations by Professor of Management/Business/Economics Ehsan Salek, who will discuss trade between the United States and China; and Assistant Professor of Political Science Aubrey Westfall, who will cover American Exceptionalism. The students will also experience VWC's low ropes course, a series of initiatives and physical structures focused on problem-solving; and the Alpine Tower, a 50-foot structure designed for climbing and team building. They will round out their Hampton Roads visit with trips to Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens and the Virginia Beach oceanfront and will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. After leaving VWC, they will continue on to Maryland, Washington DC, New York City and California. For more information, contact Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Douglas Kennedy at 757.455.3305 or email@example.com.
Virginia Wesleyan College will launch “Readings With Wesleyan” this month, a neighborhood-based pilot program designed to bring free college-level teaching to residents of the Lake Edward area in Virginia Beach. The program will begin July 9 and run Wednesdays throughout the month at Heritage United Methodist Church (7-8 p.m.; 815 Baker Rd.). With a theme of “Engaging the Dream,” participants will study Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—including his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”—as well as readings from author James Baldwin, poet Langston Hughes and singer/songwriter Tupac Shakur. VWC faculty members will lead participants in a critical analysis of the material and discuss its relevance today. Presenting faculty members are: Ben Haller, Associate Professor of Classics (July 9); Rebecca Hooker, Associate Professor of English and Murrell Brooks, Assistant Professor of Political Science (July 16); Tim O’Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College (July 23); and Kathy Stolley, Associate Dean of Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning and Professor of Sociology (July 30). The class is made up of participants, 18 and older, drawn from the congregations at Enoch Baptist Church and Heritage United Methodist Church. Readings With Wesleyan is modeled after the Clemente Course in the Humanities, a unique educational institution founded in 1995 by author and educator Earl Shoriss to teach the humanities at the college level to people living in underserved communities. Participants study literature, art history, moral philosophy, American history, and more. For more information, contact LaShay Wyatt at 757.455.3107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Wesleyan College is taking a proactive step to help increase campus safety and communication with the implementation of a new mobile application for VWC students, faculty and staff. Made possible by a grant from the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC), “LiveSafe” will be introduced to incoming students at Scene I Freshmen Orientation (June 27 & 30) and to returning students at the start of the fall 2014 semester. The smartphone application allows two-way communication and tip reporting that will be monitored 24/7 by VWC campus security. Using the LiveSafe app, students can ask safety-related questions and report information with text, picture and video, as well as engage in a live chat, while also choosing to remain anonymous. The app—which will replace the College's current e2Campus emergency notification system—will provide the VWC community with faster ways to access emergency help, telephone numbers, and important educational resources. It also includes a peer-to-peer location tracking and group chat feature so VWC community members can allow friends and family to help keep them safe. Free for download on the iTunes and Google Play stores, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to download the app and should select “Virginia Wesleyan College” as their school/agency. More
In recognition of her commitment to making a difference in the lives of children and families in the Hampton Roads area, Virginia Wesleyan’s Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling was among eight recipients honored with a 2014 Safe Harbor Award on May 15 at the Chesapeake Conference Center. Hotaling was nominated by 2005 VWC alumnus Kevin Otey, who serves as chief operating officer of Children's Harbor Early Care and Education Centers, the sponsor of the award. Children’s Harbor has been presenting the annual award since 1999, recognizing more than 100 individuals and 30 organizations since its inception. Hotaling has served children, youth and families in South Hampton Roads for 28 years, both personally and professionally, as a long-time resident of the Bayside-area community in Virginia Beach and as a VWC staff member. Her extensive resume ranges from administration of former programs such as the award-winning VNG Pipeline to the Community, for preschoolers and their parents, and Rising Stars, which recognized potential in fifth graders. Current Virginia Wesleyan initiatives include Marlins Read, Marlins Count, Global Marlins and Future Marlins, as well as other on-going programs like Neighborhood Tutoring and Cooking FOR Kids. Her partners include Virginia Beach City Public Schools, the parents of children in the Bayside communities, and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, among many others. Though her accomplishments are aplenty, Hotaling considers her most significant contribution to be providing a “Safe Harbor” for countless College students through the years, facilitating their journey toward active citizenship. More
Virginia Wesleyan College's chapter of Gamma Sigma Epsilon, the national chemistry honor society, inducted nine new members this spring. Founded in 1919, Gamma Sigma Epsilon was created to promote academic excellence and undergraduate research scholarship in chemistry. Today, there are over seventy active Gamma Sigma Epsilon chapters nationwide. VWC’s chapter—Epsilon Epsilon—was founded in May 2008 with the purpose of recognizing outstanding students demonstrating exceptional ability and interest in the field of chemistry. To become a member, students must have completed a minimum of 16 credit hours in chemistry with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all chemistry courses and at least a 3.0 GPA overall. This year’s April 24 inductees include: Keane Dye ’16, Riana Garcia ’16, William Lawson ’16, Brianne Leonard ’15, R. Alex McComb ’17, Hunter Melius ’15, Lilly Moon ’16, Whitney Symons ’15, and Alison Washington ’15. For more information on Virginia Wesleyan's Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Gamma Sigma Epsilon, contact Joyce Easter at 757.455.2126 or email@example.com.
A camping they will go! Up to seven underprivileged kids will have the chance to attend YMCA Camp Silver Beach this summer, thanks to the fundraising efforts of VWC students in professor Doug Kennedy’s course, “Management of Recreation and Leisure Studies.” The class of 11 students raised $3,502 this semester as part of the “Send a Kid to Camp” fund, an effort that has raised more than $58,000 and helped send nearly 100 kids to camp since its inception in 2003. This year’s class organized various fundraising activities, including an event at Young Veterans Brewery and a crowdfunding campaign through gofundme.com. A check was presented to YMCA representative Rhonda Marsh on May 5. ?“This semester's class embraced the fund from the first day and set out to reach their goal,” says Kennedy. “It's proven to be a fantastic way to combine students’ learning of financial project management with helping others.” More
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College Timothy O’Rourke recently announced the selection of the 2014-2017 Batten Professors. Chosen by the division chairs, the new Batten Professors are Hilve Firek (Education), Lydia Kennedy (Mathematics), Gabriela Martorell (Psychology), John Rudel (Art), and Mavel Velasco (Spanish). Batten Professorship is an award for faculty excellence in teaching and scholarship, community contributions, and passion for inspiring excellence in others. Faculty awarded the Batten Professorship carry the title for three years, during which time they have access to a special development fund. The 2014-2017 Batten Professors join the following holdover designees: 2012-2015: Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, Susan Larkin, and Sara Sewell; and 2013-2016: Richard Bond, Benjamin Haller, William Gibson, Diana Risk, and Philip Rock. More
Digital pedagogy and public history will be a faculty focus at Virginia Wesleyan in the coming year, as two projects involving these areas have been selected for 2014 Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL) grants. This is the second year the grants have been awarded, providing up to $1,000 for projects that encourage and advance a culture of innovation and engaged learning. The first grant will provide support for the project, “Advancing Digital Pedagogy at Virginia Wesleyan College,” awarded to a multidisciplinary faculty team made up of Associate Professor of History and Director of the General Studies Program Richard Bond, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology Thomas Brown, Associate Professor of Management/Business/Economics Paul Ewell, and Assistant Professor of English Kellie Holzer. The group has designed a symposium on the research and pedagogy of the digital classroom and seeks to foster a campus-wide dialogue about digital learning. A second grant has been awarded to Assistant Professor of History Kathleen Casey for her project, “Making History Matter: Bringing Public History to Virginia Wesleyan College.” Casey’s proposal sets forth a plan for developing a public history program, affording students new opportunities for active learning by linking the theories and skills taught in the classroom to concrete, transformative experiences beyond campus. In addition to better preparing students for a wider range of careers, the program will foster meaningful relationships between VWC and neighboring institutions. For more information, contact Associate Dean of Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Kathy Stolley at 757.233.8768 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More
For the first time in program history, the Virginia Wesleyan Softball team will march into the 2014 NCAA Division III Championship tournament at home. The College has been selected as a host site for a four-team, double-elimination regional tournament, to be held May 9-11 at the Marlins Softball Field. Virginia Wesleyan (37-5)—a two-time defending champion of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference—will take on the College of Staten Island Dolphins (23-15) at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 9. A 1 p.m. game will feature Catholic University (23-13) and Christopher Newport University (35-6). Saturday's schedule will include games at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. Sunday games begin at noon and 2:30 p.m. (if necessary). Tickets will be sold at the gate and prices for adults are $10/day or $20/tournament. Prices for students, children and seniors are $5/day or $10/tournament. For more information, visit vwcathletics.com or call 757.455.3303. More
Accomplishments were in abundance in Hofheimer Library April 25 as the work of 40 faculty members was displayed as part of the second annual showcase event "A Feather in Your Cap: Virginia Wesleyan College Celebration of Faculty Work," sponsored by the College’s new Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning through the Office of Academic Affairs. On display through May 2, the exhibition includes faculty accomplishments from the 2013-2014 academic year. Featured are grants received, recognition of faculty who received tenure and/or promotion, and publications, including a selection of books, peer-reviewed journal articles, encyclopedia articles, translations, music compositions and performances, and more. Assistant Professor of Political Science Leslie Caughell played a key role in organizing the event: “These feathers indicate the wide array of topics studied by faculty members, and taking a moment to show appreciation for these accomplishments represents a great way to close out the spring semester." Among the accomplishments are a $30,000 education grant awarded to VWC—and primary investigators Professor of Biology Maynard Schaus and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Maury Howard—through Dominion Virginia Power and the Dominion Foundation's Higher Education Partnership. The grant will support the summer 2014 work of the professors and three VWC students as they investigate characteristics of urban stormwater ponds, including four located on the College’s campus; An article titled "Celebrity Treatment: The Intersection of Star Culture and Medical Tourism in American Society," written by communication professors Lisa Lyon Payne and Kathy Merlock-Jackson, and sociology professor Kathy Stolley, which was published in The Journal of American Culture in June 2013; and compositions published by Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Music Michael John Trotta, including “Behold, How Good,” “Love Song,” “Song of Myself,” among others.
Passion and preparation led to a first for Virginia Wesleyan students April 13-17, as a team of 20 delegates received Honorable Mention at the 2014 National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference in New York City. Under the guidance of VWC Assistant Professor of Political Science Aubrey Westfall, the College’s Sierra Leone delegation was represented in 10 committees with eight sessions each throughout the five-day simulation of the procedures and practices of the United Nations. Following the conclusion of sessions, highly-trained NMUN volunteer staff evaluated the extent to which the students remained in character, participated in committees, and properly used the rules and procedures. They then recommended 10 percent of the delegations in their respective committees for awards; VWC students needed approximately 20 votes over the course of the week to receive honorable mention. “This is the first time a team from VWC has received one of the team awards in New York, the largest and most rigorous international conference,” says Westfall. “It is a wonderful testament to the team's preparation, made possible by the new 4-credit ‘Model United Nations’ course.” Student participants included: Brittany Anning; Josh Beatty; Mindy Bertram; Aoife Branco; Joseph DelPo; Sheryl Ferrell; Nicholas Hampe; Owen James; Jessica Mackey (head delegate); Mariarosa Marinelli; Robert McComb; Andrew Petrey; Sarah Pullen; Sarah Pybus-Elmore; Emily Randazzo; Daniella St. George; Katie Stefano; Alexis Turner-Lafving; Kyle Wimbrough; and Kevin Wolfe. For more information, contact Aubrey Westfall at 757.233.8806 or email@example.com. More
Recent visitors to Virginia Wesleyan’s Blocker Auditorium know that the nearly 45-year-old lecture hall has seen better days—but that’s about to change. Blocker Hall, VWC’s natural sciences building, is scheduled to receive more than a half million dollars in renovations this summer due to the generosity of three private donors. Construction will begin following Commencement and is slated for completion before the start of the fall 2014 semester. Auditorium renovations will include updated seating, new flooring and ceiling, and improved lighting and HVAC systems, among other improvements. In addition, a newly landscaped entryway overlooking Smith Drive will be implemented at the building’s North Entrance along with the creation of a foyer and reception area. Both the auditorium and North Entrance will be made more handicap accessible. Blocker 103, a room previously used for storage, will be reconstructed as a molecular cell biology lab that will support up to three undergraduate research projects per semester. Blocker 230 will be transformed from a faculty office into a microtome project lab, allowing resources for up to two more undergraduate research projects per semester. “I teach in the auditorium and it will be wonderful to improve the facilities for that lecture and presentation space,” says Maynard Schaus, professor of biology and chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “The upgraded facilities help enhance the quality of our teaching and our ability to mentor undergraduate research.” Construction will be done by R.D. Lambert & Son, who also completed Blocker’s $2.8 million modernization of laboratory spaces in 2010 and 2011. For more information or to further support these initiatives, contact Suzanne Savage at 757.233.8736 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Wesleyan College President William Greer and the Office of Financial Aid recently announced a new program designed to provide increased assistance to current students with financial need. Called the “Wesleyan Promise,” this program allows students facing difficult financial circumstances to apply for additional grant support from the College. Renewable awards will be made to students on the basis of academic performance, financial need, extracurricular involvement and conduct consistent with the College's mission and core values. A committee of faculty and staff, chaired by Financial Aid Director Teresa Rhyne, will review applications and make final award decisions. To apply for support through the Wesleyan Promise, students are being asked to submit applications no later than April 22, 2014. Students may also complete a paper application available at the Batten Center Hub, the Residence Life Office or the Financial Aid Office. Applications received by 4:30 p.m. on April 22 will receive full consideration and notifications will be sent to students no later than May 8.
Virginia Wesleyan College Professor of Philosophy Steven Emmanuel has been awarded the 2014 Maurice L. Mednick Memorial Fellowship by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC). The $2,000 grant will support Emmanuel’s summer 2014 travel to Kyoto, Japan to conduct field research for a paper entitled “Zen Buddhism and Japanese Martial Tradition.” He has been given special permission to attend a rare meeting of Japan’s most esteemed practitioner-teachers of the samurai art of the sword. While in Japan, Emmanuel will also collect digital images of the great Zen temples, gardens, monuments and other historical sites of the Edo, or Tokugawa, period to create a teaching module that will support several of his courses with content related to Zen Buddhism. The research will lead to a presentation at the April 2015 ASIANetwork conference in St. Louis, Missouri. In an official nomination letter, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College Timothy O’Rourke writes: “Dedicated to principles of reflection and reconciliation, Dr. Emmanuel is investigating the intersections of Zen Buddhism and warfare. The 2014 Mednick Memorial Fellowship will enable him to pursue this research at the same time that it contributes to the College’s larger mission, which is to ‘be a supportive community that is committed to social responsibility, ethical conduct, higher learning, and religious freedom.’” Emmanuel has been a professor at VWC for more than two decades. His research interests lie mainly in moral and religious philosophy (East and West) and comparative ethics. He is the author of Kierkegaard and the Concept of Revelation (State University of New York Press, 1995) and editor of several volumes for Wiley-Blackwell, including A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (2013).
Getting their hands dirty for a good cause is how some Marlins chose to spend their spring break this month, as they volunteered to help restore riparian buffers on the Eastern Shore as part of “Imagine: Alternative Spring Break.” VWC students, faculty, and staff joined the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Painter, Virginia March 21 to assist in planting around 450 shrubs that will act as a new “buffer strip.” Planting native trees and shrubs along the banks of waterways is one of the most effective ways to keep polluted runoff out of streams. The alternative spring break program was established by the College’s Office of Community Service in 1999 and provides opportunities for short-term experiential projects that touch on issues such as literacy, poverty, racism, hunger, homelessness, and the environment. In a separate spring break initiative, 10 VWC students, one alumna, and one staff member traveled to Central America along with the College’s chaplain, Greg West, as part of the annual “Spring Break With a Purpose.” The group spent the week of March 15-22 in Managua, Nicaragua working with local church leaders and learning about the country’s culture. Participants will showcase their experiences as part of a presentation on April 2 during SOAR worship in Monumental Chapel.
Community trailblazers and Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees members Deborah Butler and Susan Goode were honored March 13 at the YWCA South Hampton Roads’ 26th Annual Women of Distinction Awards. Each year, the YWCA recognizes outstanding women that have made a difference in the community through their professional leadership, volunteer efforts, and civic involvement. Butler, the executive vice president of planning and chief information officer at Norfolk Southern, was honored in the Science & Technology category. And Goode, who devotes her time as a volunteer both locally and nationally, was honored in the Arts category. VWC has a history of distinctive women, as alumnae Elena Montello '83 (Hope House Foundation) and Bonnie Sutton ’99 (ACCESS College Foundation) were honored as award recipients in 2013. President's Advisory Council member Tracy Keller ’04 (Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast) received the award in 2012. For additional information or to learn more about the YWCA, visit www.ywca-shr.org.
Virginia Wesleyan’s chapter of the National History Honor Society made history of its own March 1 by taking home four awards from Phi Alpha Theta’s (PAT) 2014 Regional Conference. The annual gathering, this year held at James Madison University, provides a forum for students to present papers, exchange ideas, and advance the historical profession in general. Eight members of Wesleyan’s PAT chapter, Omega-Pi, attended the conference along with chapter advisor and history professor Clay Drees. Four VWC alumni presented papers completed while students, and, in competition with 13 other Virginia schools, came away with the following awards: Cory Reeves ’13 won first place in the Undergrad U.S. category for his paper, “Charles and Ray Eames Create Stylish Plywood: Plyformed Chairs and Their Relation to Suburban Consumers, 1941-1959;” Rebecca Driscoll '11 won first place in the Undergrad European category for her paper, "Constructing Suffragists as Victims or Unfit Wives: Gender in British Suffragist and Anit-Suffragist Cartoons, 1908-1914;” Christine Dawe '12 was awarded the "Tongue-Twister" prize for her paper, "Amazonian Gender in Art & Society: A Mythical Bodily Dichotomy Explored Through Ancient Art, Myth and the Role of Hetairai.” VWC was also awarded “Most Spirited Chapter" for its large crowd and volunteer efforts by Adrienne Ribbey ’16, Natasha Bugey ’14, and Morgan Piero ’15, who served as student chairs. The College has won at least one award, and often two, at six out of the last seven PAT conferences. “I'm thrilled with the success of the history program we have here,” says Drees. “We really train our students very well, and it shows in the results of these conferences. We've become the chapter to beat in Virginia. I'm busting with pride.” Virginia Wesleyan is scheduled to host the annual PAT conference in 2017. The College last hosted the event in 2011. For more information, contact Clay Drees at email@example.com.
The recycling race is on as the Virginia Wesleyan community once again participates in RecycleMania, an eight-week (Feb. 2 - March 29) collegiate competition promoting waste reduction in campus communities across the United States and Canada. Each spring, hundreds of colleges and universities compete in different contests to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate. A weekly report is used to rank VWC and other schools. The College is currently in fourth place in its competition division. The campus community is urged to use recycle bins to discard aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles, and paper waste. For more information and a current list of rankings, visit recyclemaniacs.org.
A student-led communication campaign designed to promote honor, trust and personal responsibility among Virginia Wesleyan students saw campus-wide success last semester, according to survey results. Throughout the spring and fall 2013 semesters, students in the course “Public Relations”—taught by Assistant Professor of Communication Lisa Lyon Payne—created and launched “Integrity Starts Here.” The campaign sought to increase personal involvement with the VWC Honor Code, measuring success based on students’ pre- and post-campaign understanding of the code’s five violations: cheating, plagiarism, lying, academic theft, and falsifying data. Results from an online survey sent to currently enrolled students showed a significant increase in students' ability to define the offenses, including an 11 percent jump in the ability to define lying and a 6 percent increase for falsifying data. To spread awareness, students distributed pocket Honor Codes, stress-relieving “squeeze brains” and a variety of meme-like posters throughout campus. They also participated in the homecoming parade and created Facebook and Twitter pages. The campaign is a result of Payne’s Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning faculty grant, which provided up to $1,000 toward a project that encourages and advances a culture of innovation and engaged learning-related activities. Ultimately, Payne hopes ongoing Honor Code awareness efforts will be implemented and overseen by an eventual student-run honor council. For more information, contact Lisa Lyon Payne at 757.455.3109 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Utilizing their debate skills to argue the hot-button issue of “Ethics & Healthcare,” four Virginia Wesleyan students represented the College Feb. 9-10 at the 2014 Wells Fargo Ethics Bowl. Held on the campus of Randolph-Macon College, VWC students made a stand against 14 other highly qualified teams from independent colleges and universities across Virginia. This year’s Wesleyan team members included April Christman ’14, Michael Corder ’14, Brendan O'Donoghue ’16, and Philip Smith ’14. “Competing in the Ethics Bowl has influenced the way I make personal choices and leadership decisions,” says O'Donoghue, who has participated in the event for the past two years. The students lost their first round by one point to Roanoke College, but won their next three rounds against Marymount University, Emory & Henry College, and Shenandoah University. Ultimately, the College won its division and earned runner-up status in the competition. The Ethics Bowl was established by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) as a means of engaging students with complex ethical dilemmas based on studies of individual ethics cases involving real-world dilemmas. Students, faculty members, and distinguished professionals serving as judges and moderators support the event, placing priority on personal ethics in the workplace, classroom, and all aspects of their lives. Virginia Wesleyan won the first-ever Ethics Bowl, held in 2000 at the University of Richmond. The College hosted the event in 2005 and 2011. For additional information about the VFIC Ethics Program, visit www.vfic.org.
Down South, the latest exhibition hosted by VWC’s Neil Britton Gallery, is part of artist Travis Donovan’s investigation into the relationships we share with the objects around us and how they help define our place in the world. On display through April 11, the body of work explores down feathers and their manifestation through products, practices, and folklore of the south. “The examination of the poetic and emotional implications of our material attachments allows us to confront new ideas of intimacy, loss, and authenticity,” the artist says in a statement about the show. Hailing from North Carolina, Donovan apprenticed as a potter with J&S Beaumont Pottery, where he refined his research into ceramics and the relationships between materials, man, and the south. He received the prestigious North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in 2012 and has since been exhibited nationally. For more information or Neil Britton Gallery hours, visit vwc.edu or contact Curator of Exhibitions John Rudel at email@example.com. More
Virginia Wesleyan College would like to congratulate all students who have been named to the Fall 2013 Dean's List. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits and should be proud of this accomplishment. The Dean's List recognizes all students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. View the complete Fall 2013 Dean's List.
Virginia Wesleyan College's 8th Annual On-Campus Winter Homeless Shelter, January 12-18, 2014, was once again a transformative experience, not only for the shelter guests but for the VWC students, faculty and staff who volunteered for this unique event. Established in partnership with the Portsmouth Volunteers for the Homeless and the only homeless shelter hosted on a college campus in the U.S., the VWC shelter program was featured in the Hampton Roads section of the January 19 issue of the Virginian-Pilot. Many students who volunteer for the shelter are enrolled in a Winter Session course that addresses the sociological underpinnings of homelessness and encourages students to look beyond stereotypes about the homeless. The number of guests at this year’s shelter ranged from 35 to 50 per night. “This shelter is so much more than just helping people,” noted one volunteer. “It teaches you so much more. It is truly an honor to be able to volunteer for something so special. I will never forget the impact it has had on me."
On Dec. 8, the Virginia Wesleyan College community honored approximately 60 seniors at the 2013 December Potential Graduate Reception. Family, friends and faculty gathered in the Jane P. Batten Convocation Center to celebrate the students scheduled to complete their graduation requirements at the end of the fall 2013 semester. VWC Professor of Biology, Dr. Victor Townsend served as the ceremony’s speaker, humorously sharing his personal story of life after graduation and his many research adventures. VWC psychology major Shanita “TJ” Jackson reflected on her accomplishment and the four years she has attended VWC: “It was such a great experience. My whole family came to celebrate with me. It felt like the ending of a huge chapter in my life.” Before taking his seat, Townsend ended his address by giving the graduates one final assignment: “Please send us cards, emails, or drop by for a campus visit—six months from now or 10 years, it does not matter. We always enjoy hearing from you.” Fall semester graduates are able attend the December event and still remain eligible to participate in the May 2014 Commencement. Read the full text of Dr. Vic Townsend address.
The Gloucester Institute has accepted VWC senior social work major Jasmine Motley and sophomore criminal justice major Lauren Amos into its 2014 Emerging Leaders Program. The Emerging Leaders Program equips minorities with core writing, speaking and critical thinking skills while providing unique learning and mentoring opportunities that correspond to their interests and foster personal development. “It’s amazing that so many people believe in me who I’ve never met,” said Motley. “I am honored to be one of the first representatives from VWC.” The Gloucester Institute was founded Kay Coles James, member of the NASA Advisory Council and former director for the United States Office of Personnel Management and former dean of Regent University’s School of Government, to provide minority students with the tools, opportunities, and resources to cultivate a “solutionist” outlook on how to create change within the African American and Latino communities. “These could not be two more deserving young women,” said Lena Johnson, Director of the Office of International and Intercultural Programs at VWC. “Having an opportunity to become part of a social and professional network this early in their chosen professions will surely set them apart from their peers.” The program provides insight into corporate, public, political, and nonprofit worlds through trainings, lectures, professional branding workshops, meetings with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, networking and mentoring. For more information on the Gloucester Institute or how to become a part of the Emerging Leaders Program visit their website.
Erin Smith, a VWC junior earth and environmental science major and marine science minor, has been accepted into The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship program. The GRO Fellowship, created in 1982, has funded more than 395 undergraduates’ education over the past 30 years as they pursue degrees related to the environmental science and public health fields. Smith is the fifth VWC student to receive this fellowship which includes tuition support for two years along with a paid summer research internship. "Erin is very passionate about the marine environment," said Dr. Elizabeth Malcolm, Associate Professor of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and Smith's advisor. "She is always attending seminars off campus and beach cleanups on the Chesapeake Bay." Smith is currently assisting Dr. Malcolm in researching the mercury concentration in tissues from East Coast dolphins. “I hope to have a career in marine mammal conservation and rehabilitation after I graduate,” said Smith. “I believe the individual attention and support I receive from all of the [VWC] EES staff has led to my recent success.” The EPA announced that it has recently awarded more than $1.65 million in research fellowships to 33 students pursuing degrees in environmental science and related fields through its Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship program. This year marks the 30th anniversary of EPA’s undergraduate grant program. Find out more about EPA research grants and scholarships.
Dr. Paul Ewell, a VWC alumnus and faculty member, is bringing the history, heritage, and traditions of watermen to life on the Wesleyan campus and beyond. Ewell is the executive director of the Watermen's Heritage Foundation of Virginia's Eastern Shore and the Eastern Shore Watermen’s Museum, which will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, December 14 at the Historic Onancock School in Onancock, Virginia. The museum will feature artifacts, photographs, educational programs and presentations, a searchable database and scholarships for watermen and their families to promote the preservation and growth of the industry. “I was born and raised in a fishing family and have been researching the topic my whole life,” says Ewell, Associate Professor of Management/Business/Economics (MBE). He will also present a lecture on the topic on Tuesday, December 10 from 7-8:30 p.m. in Blocker Auditorium. The lecture will explore watermen’s culture using vivid imagery, stories and legend. Ewell has incorporated his knowledge of this culture into his classes at VWC. “Watermen maritime trade on the Chesapeake Bay ties into the supply chain and logistics track of the MBE major,” he explains. There is also a connection, he notes, between watermen’s heritage and the College’s Wesleyan tradition in that many Eastern Shore creeks used by watermen were home to Methodist churches and congregations. For more information about the grand opening of the museum or lecture, contact Dr. Ewell at 757.233.8810 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Watermen’s Heritage Foundation of Virginia’s Eastern Shore organization's website.
Prepare to take your business abroad with the 2013 VWC Fall Business Conference "Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges: Linking the World Through Trade," the week of November 18-22 on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan. The weeklong event, organized by students in Professor Paul Ewell’s Management/Business/Economics 301 course “Principles of Management,” will feature a variety of events and speakers including Olivier Mussat ’00, Principal Investment Officer for Oil & Gas at the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, VWC students who have interned abroad, and local industry leaders and experts. This year’s theme ties directly into the Supply Chain and Logistics tracks within the business major. “Every topic being discussed next week is significant to every student whether they are a political science, philosophy, business, or any other major,” says VWC senior and conference COO, Scott Westfall. This year’s conference will also include the annual “Shark Tank” competition in which students will work with industry leaders to encourage global trade and cooperation. “We don't want the students to feel like this conference is for ‘business majors,’” says VWC junior and CIO of the conference Shelby Beverly. “This is for all of us to come together as a unit and learn new things. We can all begin Embracing New Opportunities one day at a time." Daily activities are free and open to the VWC community and the public. For more information, contact Dr. Paul Ewell with the Department of Management/Business/Economics at 757.233.8810 or visit the conference website.
Fifteen Virginia Wesleyan students traveled to the National Model United Nations Conference in Washington, DC (NMUN DC) Oct. 25-27 to participate in a three-day simulation of the procedures and practices of the United Nations. Under the guidance of VWC Assistant Professor of Political Science Aubrey Westfall, the College’s Rwandan delegation received a Distinguished Delegation Award and their German counterparts took home Honorable Mention. Throughout the weekend, the award-winning delegations had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Better World Campaign, the United Nations Association of the United States of America and various congressional representatives, including Virginia Congressman J. Randy Forbes, New Jersey State Senator Robert Menendez and staff of Virginia State Senator Mark Warner. Students in attendance included Brittany Anning ’15, Joshua Beatty ’15, Mindy Bertram ’15, Kimberly Branham-Blowe ’15, Rory Finnegan ’15, Nicholas Hampe ’15, Chad Kooser ’15, Douglas Lowry ’14, Jessica Mackey ’15 (head Rwandan delegate), Franchesica Middleton ’14 (head German delegate), Amanda Mikajlo ’15, Andrew Petrey ’15, Daniella St. George ’16, Katie Stefano ’16, and Diallo Wilson ’15. While in Northern Virginia, Westfall appeared on the Fairfax-based worldwide television program Inside Scoop: The EmeraldPlanet TV to discuss VWC’s involvement with the Model UN as it pertains to leadership, understanding, and actionable solutions addressing global environmental issues. She also noted the College’s study abroad and undergraduate research programs as well as her personal research on immigration policy and how it translates to the classroom. The College’s Model UN Delegation plans to attend the annual NMUN Conference in New York City in spring 2014. For more information, contact Aubrey Westfall at 757.233.8806 or email@example.com. More
Male students from all over the community gathered on campus Oct. 18 for the inaugural Young Men's Festival of Song, held as part of the Virginia Wesleyan College Concert Series. Ninety students, ranging from grades eight to 12, came together from nine area schools to participate in the intensive workshop, which took place under the direction of VWC Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Music Michael Trotta. Additional VWC faculty and staff mentors lent their talents for the day, including George Stone (piano), Billye Brown Youmans (soprano), Dustin Scott (tenor) and Travis Malone (baritone). “I am astounded by the passion and dedication of these young men and their teachers,” says Trotta. “It was a day of singing, learning, and music making that featured real-world solutions for challenges that young men face.” Trotta hopes the festival will become an annual event for the College. More
Virginia Wesleyan’s Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter President Jonathan Snow ’15 signed the campus chapter covenant with Habitat for Humanity South Hampton Roads (Habitat SHR) during Fall Break (Oct. 10-11), marking the 24th year since chartering the College’s chapter. At the signing, Snow was accompanied by Habitat for Humanity volunteers Armand Dellamura ’17 and Sierra Brown ’16, VWC Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling (who stood in for Chapter Advisor Melissa Snyder '13), Chaplain Greg West, Habitat Red Hat Russ Hechinger and Habitat SHR Executive Director Wayne Lavender. Habitat SHR is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International and sponsor of the VWC Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Local affiliates throughout the world carry out the Habitat mission to eliminate poverty housing and make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat SHR invites people from all walks of life to work together in partnership to help build houses for low-income families throughout the seven geographical entities that make up South Hampton Roads; Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Smithfield and Isle of Wight County. More
A new traffic signal installed at the intersection of Wesleyan Drive and the College’s entrance means increased safety for drivers and pedestrians, says VWC’s Vice President of Operations Bruce Vaughan. The result of ongoing construction, the project included installation of the signal as well as the widening of Wesleyan Drive to four lanes. The traffic pattern was switched over on Oct. 5. Please be aware of the new pattern and use caution when entering and exiting campus.
Norfolk’s streets are looking more colorful these days thanks to public art created with the help of VWC Associate Professor of Art John Rudel and students from the Emerging Leaders Program, an initiative providing educational employment opportunities to the city’s youth. It all began in 2008 when the Norfolk City Council established a Public Art Commission, adopting a funding ordinance maintaining that one percent of city capital improvement funds be dedicated to the production and installation of public art. From here, the Cultural Affairs Public Art Program was born, an entity that has partnered with Emerging Leaders for the past five years, allowing student artists to leave their creative mark throughout the city. Guided by local artists and mentors, participants hit the streets this summer to bring new life to Norfolk’s new Arts and Design District, the area between the Harrison Opera House and the Scope. Rudel has helped the young students transform four Granby Street NET bus stops into futuristic aluminum sculptures. The pieces were inspired by themes of water and light, guiding aesthetic focuses for the Arts District established by Urban Design Associates and its co-founder Ray Gindroz. The sculptures contain solar lights that illuminate at night when triggered by photocell switches. “Many thanks to all of the leaders in Norfolk who envisioned and promoted the Arts District initiative, ultimately giving rise to this project,” says Rudel. Fellow artists Elliott Addesso and Tim Bearse have also contributed to the city’s mission with a new mural at the entryway to Brambleton Avenue and skateboard-inspired sculptures on Wilson Street. With the completion of these projects, the Cultural Affairs Public Art Program, in cooperation with the Emerging Leaders Program, has installed 18 pieces of art in Norfolk, another one of which is Rudel’s, a series of images of eyes installed on the third floor of MacArthur Center parking garage. More
Virginia Wesleyan students walked in an effort to save lives and increase national awareness about depression and suicide Sept. 7 at the Eighth Annual American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Community Walk, sponsored by the Hampton Roads Survivors of Suicide Support Group. The VWC Women’s Lacrosse Team and the Office of Community Service joined forces for the event, held at Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia Beach. “It was touching to meet and listen to different individuals who have also been affected by suicide,” said Kelly Jacobson ’15, a member of the VWC Women’s Lacrosse Team. “The power of the community joining together was inspirational.” Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America, the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. Out of the Darkness Community Walks are three to five mile walks that take place in hundreds of communities across the country each year. Proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. More
Three Virginia Wesleyan professors will present Sept. 26-27 at Norfolk State University’s second annual “1619: Making of America” conference, hosted in partnership with the Hampton History Museum. The conference will offer scholars and participants a unique platform to engage in dialogue on important issues defining new interpretations of the crucial events that occurred in Virginia history during the year 1619, such as the arrival of the first Africans and the formation of the House of Burgesses. During a Sept. 26 panel titled “The 1619 Nexus: The Growing Influence of Natives and Africans on American Literature,” Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Hooker will present "David Cusick's Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations (1827): An Iroquois Origin Story and A Challenge to the Western Historical Timeline." Associate Professor of History Richard Bond will present "The Politics of Commemoration" during a Sept. 27 panel titled “Commemorating 1619.” Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice/Sociology Thomas Brown will also present on Sept. 27 during a panel titled “Race, Law, and Slavery in Early America.” He will present his paper "'Taken from a Negro': Extralegal Policing of Slaves and Property in the Eighteenth Century Low Country." Other presenters will include American Indians, local physicians, area historians, National Park Service officials, and nationally known scholars. The conference will take place at the Hampton Convention Center on Sept. 26 and at Norfolk State's student center on Sept. 27. For more information, visit www.1619makingofamerica.com.
College basketball supporters from all over Hampton Roads will come together this week to take on one of their biggest rivals: cancer. As part of a nationwide collaboration between the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society, basketball coaches from the area will present the Fourth Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Tip-Off Reception on Sept. 19 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. The event will feature a keynote speaker, National Basketball Association referee and Old Dominion University alumnus Tony Brothers, along with heavy hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction and raffle items. Musical entertainment will be provided by Forte Jazz Band, an eight-piece ensemble from Smithfield. VWC Head Men's Basketball Coach Dave Macedo and Head Women's Basketball Coach Stephany Dunmyer will be in attendance alongside coaches from Christopher Newport University, Old Dominion, Norfolk State, and Hampton University. "We are honored to join forces with the American Cancer Society and the Hampton Roads basketball community for the Coaches vs. Cancer Tip-Off Reception,” says Dunmyer. “This event is a great opportunity to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer." Tickets are $50 for adults, $40 for students. Those that are unable to attend are asked to consider a donation to the American Cancer Society or to participate in “Mascot Wars” by making a $1 donation to vote for their favorite local team character. For more information, visit CoachesVsCancerHamptonRoads.
A Virginia Wesleyan Town Hall meeting was held on Sept. 6 in the Convocation Center inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center to inform the campus community of the recent changes under Title IX as it pertains to sexual misconduct. For more information, view the College’s sexual misconduct resource pages or contact Deputy Title IX Coordinators McCarren Caputa (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jason Seward (email@example.com). More
This year’s Homecoming and Parent Weekend will hit the ground running with an important fundraising event. The VWC Cross Country/Track & Field teams have once again partnered with the American Legion Post 35 for a 5K Trail Run/Walk that will be held on Saturday, October 5 at 8:30 a.m. The event will take place on the trails of the Virginia Wesleyan campus and is open to Hampton Roads runners and walkers of all abilities. A special 1K (.62 miles) “Walk With a Vet” will be held prior to the race at 8 a.m., in which participants will have the opportunity to walk with older and/or wounded veterans. Half of the proceeds will go to VWC’s Cross Country/Track & Field teams and the other half will support the community work that Post 35 does with military veterans and their families. Traditional age group awards will be held in addition to awards for the top three male and female VWC alumni and top three male and female VWC staff members. Visit the race registration site for cost information and further details. More
Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. has announced that Anderson Brown ’13 of North Chesterfield, Virginia has been awarded membership in the Alpha Chapter Affiliate Program for the 2012-2013 academic year. As a VWC student, Brown majored in psychology and maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.7 while serving as Sigma Nu Iota Beta Chapter Commander, Lt. Commander, Marshal, Sentinel, and House Manager. In addition to his involvement in the chapter, Brown was the InterFraternity Council Vice President for Standards, Student Government Treasurer and Senator, and Psi Chi Vice President and Treasurer. He was named Greek Man of the Year in 2012 and was able to accept a Rock Chapter Award on behalf of the Iota Beta Chapter. Each academic year, up to 10 outstanding graduating seniors are awarded membership into Sigma Nu’s prestigious Alpha Chapter Affiliate Program, one of the highest honors the Fraternity can bestow upon a member. Selection is based on evidence of each applicant’s living an honorable life by upholding the ideals of Sigma Nu, as well as demonstrated leadership in contributing to the progress and development of the applicant’s chapter, fraternity, school, state and nation. Sigma Nu commended Brown for his achievements: “The Fraternity wishes to salute Andy as a rare and uncommon Knight who exemplified excellence in his daily life as shown by his commitment to the ideals of the Legion of Honor. His performance on behalf of his chapter at Virginia Wesleyan, and the General Fraternity, is a worthy example or model for others to follow.” Brown intends to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology and work in a therapeutic setting.
Virginia Wesleyan’s Director of the Office of International and Intercultural Programs Lena Johnson has graduated as an Institute Scholar from Institute for Study Abroad-Butler University’s (IFSA-Butler) Institute at the Institute (I@I) held in Indianapolis July 23-26. Johnson was one of only fourteen participants selected nationwide for the I@I, an annual conference that gathers study abroad professionals to discuss topics of critical importance to the field of global education. Selection for the I@I is highly competitive, requiring a letter of application, a project proposal and strong nominations from colleagues in the field. This year’s conference focused on student outcomes assessments in study abroad and featured discussions and real-world exercises facilitated by experts in these fields. The Institute Scholars brainstormed with the I@I Mentors on outcomes-assessment projects that they will implement on their home campuses. The I@I is organized by IFSA-Butler, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit study abroad programs. IFSA-Butler works with more than 400 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada and sends more than 2,500 students abroad each year. More
Virginia Wesleyan College has been honored as a 2013-2014 College of Distinction, chosen for its excellence in student-focused higher education and its exemplary commitment to the Four Distinctions set forth by CollegesofDistinction.com: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes. Developed by a group of high school guidance and college counselors in 2002, Colleges of Distinction provides students and parents with unbiased information about schools that excel in these key areas. To become a College of Distinction, colleges and universities must be nominated by college counselors, college administrative members and the Colleges of Distinction selection team. After nomination, qualitative and quantitative research is conducted and evaluated, including interviews and feedback from senior administration, faculty, alumni and current students, as well as graduation rates, classroom size and other key stats that speak to the Four Distinctions. “We focus on colleges that are the best places to learn, grow and succeed,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor of Colleges of Distinction. “Schools designated as ‘Colleges of Distinction’ create well-rounded graduates and are among the very best in the country.” To view Virginia Wesleyan’s profile or for more information about the online guide, visit CollegesofDistinction.com.
Virginia Wesleyan College hosted an interactive service-learning workshop for its faculty and various outside community members on Aug. 19 led by Dr. Richard Conville, an award-winning leader in service-learning and community engagement and professor of communication at the University of Southern Mississippi. The workshop, titled “Service-Learning and Building Community Partnerships,” began at Williams Farm Recreation Center in Virginia Beach and ended on campus in Hofheimer Library. Discussion topics included “Preparing for Service-Learning and Community Partnerships;” “Partnering Together;” and “More Nuts and Bolts of Service-Learning: Fitting Service-Learning into the Life of the Teacher-Scholar.” Attendees discussed the needs of the community, community partnerships and learned more about tying service-learning into courses and research. Dr. Conville has been the Southern Miss Faculty Liaison for Service-Learning since 1999. He authored his university’s successful application for the Community Engagement Classification in 2010, awarded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He has led faculty training on service-learning and community engagement at a variety of schools including Grambling State University, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Louisiana State University-Shreveport and Delta State University. For more information, contact Associate Dean for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Kathy Stolley at 757.233.8768 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More
Bestselling author Charles Duhigg, whose book The Power of Habit was required reading for this year’s incoming freshmen, has created a personalized video for VWC students. Duhigg addresses the College’s Class of 2017 in a seven-minute video now posted on YouTube, on the College’s website and social media pages. Students were asked to read the book (along with faculty and staff) in preparation for their “First Year Experience” course, which is designed to engage students in activities and exercises that explore the nature of the liberal arts while connecting them to the campus community. In The Power of Habit, Duhigg synthesizes scores of research on the topic of habit formation and channels it through the lens of our collective cultural experiences to make the case that mastering the “habit loop” of cues, routines, and rewards can not only help us break negative habits but replace them with more positive ones. In doing so, we can lead healthier, more productive and rewarding lives. The transition from high school to college, Duhigg points out, is a perfect time to rethink one’s patterns. “When everything in our life changes,” he notes, “our habits suddenly become flexible in a way that they weren’t before.” Duhigg shares some sage advice and personal anecdotes and even a funny clip from a famous psychological trial known as the “Marshmallow Experiment.” He congratulates the Class of 2017 and notes they are “about to start what will literally be one of the greatest experiences of your life.” Students will begin discussing the book at Scene II, the second installment of new student orientation kicking off August 21, and the book’s theme is being incorporated into a variety of areas of VWC’s curriculum and events on campus during the 2013-14 academic year.
Students now have an opportunity to explore Judaism in depth at VWC. The College’s newly created Jewish Studies minor is the only such program at a solely-undergraduate liberal arts college in Virginia. VWC’s Gloria & David Furman Professor of Judaic Studies Eric Mazur will assist students who may be interested in adding the minor to their program of study: “A Jewish studies minor at Virginia Wesleyan is a natural fit,” he says. “It is part of the long tradition—in the Methodist movement, and at VWC—of a spirit for religious exploration partnered with an appreciation for religious pluralism.” Requirements to complete the minor include three traditional courses, an internship with a local Jewish organization and one semester of directed readings in Jewish studies. Internships can be completed at local synagogues or one of any number of Jewish organizations in the area. For more information, contact Eric Mazur at 757.455.3250 or email@example.com.
Recreation and leisure studies student Jasmine Rivera ’14 will embark on the trip of a lifetime July 17-24, as she travels to West Africa to break ground on a new school in Senegal. The VWC Panhellenic Council received word in April that Virginia Wesleyan was one of 14 schools selected to send one student representative on “The Trek,” a service trip organized through the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation (CofS) in partnership with the nonprofit organization buildOn. In conjunction with CofS, VWC sororities Alpha Sigma Alpha, Phi Sigma Sigma, and Sigma Sigma Sigma raised $4,250 during the 2012-2013 academic year in support of the Half the Sky Movement, a cause dedicated to stopping oppression of women and girls worldwide. CofS-affiliated campuses that raised at least $1,000 during that time period were eligible to be selected for the Trek. Along with sororities from around the world, VWC helped Circle of Sisterhood raise the $40,000 needed to build a school in rural Senegal. As VWC’s chosen representative, Rivera was individually responsible for the costs associated with her travel. Through an online fundraiser, she asked friends and family members to each donate $12, representing the 12 countries CofS has touched since its inception in 2010. Rivera plans to chronicle her experience along the way through blog posts, photos and videos, sharing her unique opportunity to help remove educational barriers for girls and women worldwide. More
The Virginia Wesleyan Alumni Association’s 2013-2014 Board of Directors was recently announced by the College’s Director of Alumni Relations Lina Green. Board members represent a range of class years, professions and geographic locations and volunteer their time each year serving as advocates for the College. The upcoming academic year’s officers include Christopher Dotolo ’91 (President); Amy Rickard ’98 (Vice President); John Haynes ’98 (Secretary); and Ron Swan ’77 (Treasurer). Additional board members include Aaron Bull ’95; Richard Carmichael ’86; Angela Costello ’87; Noelle Davis ’91; Desiree Ellison ’08; Jesse Fanshaw III ’72; Bladen Finch ’03; Laura Gadsby ’90; Catherine Holava ’93; Ryan Metz ’10; Molly Phillips ’02; Amber Randolph ’05; Rachel Rigoglioso ’10; Kim Sypniewski ’09; Beth Widamier ’99; and Carter Youmans ’06. Board members have been hard at work this past year on the development of a new strategic plan, adopting four words that support their mission: connect, participate, champion, support. “Whether through recruitment, student interaction, event participation, or support of the College with a gift to your favorite VWC program, the new plan encourages all alumni to get involved with the life of the College,” says Green. As their terms of service come to an end, the College also wishes to thank board members Wonder Burgung ’09, Paul Mumford '91, Barrett Richardson '81, and Chris Stefi '91 for their leadership. For more information, contact Lina Green at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455.2115. More
Virginia Wesleyan College would like to congratulate all students who have been named to the Spring 2013 Dean's List. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits and should be proud of this accomplishment. The Dean's List recognizes all students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. View the complete Spring 2013 Dean's List.
Virginia Wesleyan College has been selected as one of best local higher education institutions, receiving a 2013 Hampton Roads Magazine “Readers' Choice Best of 757 Award.” With more than 137,000 votes cast from January to April, the awards serve as an opportunity to recognize individuals and businesses in the region that continually give their best. In addition to Education, award categories include Food and Dining, Shopping, Health and Beauty, Home and Garden, Professional Services, Arts and Entertainment, Media, Travel and Leisure and Attractions. Hampton Roads Magazine is a city and lifestyle magazine showcasing the quality of life in Hampton Roads and surrounding areas. Readers' Choice Best of 757 Award winners are featured in the July issue of Hampton Roads Magazine, on stands now. More
Rutgers Associate Professor of Classics and world-renowned expert on the late Roman Republic T. Corey Brennan (Ph.D., Harvard), will visit Virginia Wesleyan June 21 to discuss the recently modified AP Latin Exam and ways in which students can better prepare for the Caesar component of the test. The exam, which assesses students’ ability to read, understand, translate, and analyze Latin poetry and prose, was updated for the 2012–2013 academic year to include prose author Gaius Julius Caesar in addition to ancient Roman poet Vergil (Publius Vergilius Maro). Local Latin teachers are invited to attend the event, hosted by Batten Associate Professor of Classics Dr. Benjamin Haller’s Summer Session Latin class. “The Caesar portion is relatively new,” says Haller. “From what I hear, high school teachers are really craving pointers on how to help their students succeed on this section of the exam.” Students are also expected to describe and analyze Latin grammar, syntax, and style, and to connect the texts that they read with the people and practices that shaped the ancient Roman world. Brennan will speak Friday at 6 p.m. in Clarke 218. As a scholar of Roman and Greek history, he has written various publications and has appeared on several documentaries and television programs. He was also a guitarist and songwriter for the alternative rock band The Lemonheads. For more information, contact Benjamin Haller at email@example.com or 757.233.8811.
The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) has awarded two Virginia Wesleyan students with a Summer Undergraduate Science Research Fellowship grant. Junior chemistry major Alison Washington was awarded $2,500 to support her project “Kinetics of Release of Dyes and Pigments in Thermally Cured Poly(allylamine)/Poly(acrylic acid hydrochloride) Thin Films.” Under the supervision of Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Kevin Kittredge, Washington will prepare films and study the rates of release of a drug mimic, methylene blue, at physiological temperatures. She and Kittredge plan to present the work next spring at the Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS). Senior biology major Andrea Slurff received $2,000 to support her research “Diversity of Ascoglossa (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia: Ascoglossa) from the Florida Keys,” focusing on the biology, ecology, and biogeography of opisthobranch mollusks (sea slugs). Under the guidance of Batten Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, Slurff will spend 10 days at the Keys Marine Lab in Long Key, Florida collecting specimens, identifying species and documenting their developmental patterns. She will also be dissecting and preparing specimens for observation using VWC’s scanning electron microscope. Slurff plans to present her results at the April 2014 Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB) meeting in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as well as at the Virginia Academy of Sciences (VAS) meeting at James Madison University next spring. These grants were awarded in conjunction with Virginia Wesleyan's Undergraduate Research Program, which supports student research in all disciplines, including funding for research presentations at regional, national, and international conferences. The program also sponsors an annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in April that showcases VWC students' research. For more information, contact Director of Undergraduate Research Sara Sewell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Wesleyan College’s first-ever Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL) faculty grants have been awarded to Professor of Philosophy Dr. Larry Hultgren and Assistant Professor of Communication Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne. Each grant provides the recipient with up to $1,000 for a project that encourages and advances a culture of innovation and engaged learning. Hultgren’s project, “Toward the Liberally Educated Physician,” addresses how students who aspire to a career in medicine can be well-positioned for upcoming changes to the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The test is being redesigned in 2015 to include sections on social sciences, behavioral sciences, and the humanities in addition to the natural sciences. The project also demonstrate how VWC’s new 4x4 curriculum, with its emphasis on inquiry, can help develop more well-rounded medical school applicants. Payne’s project, “Cultivating Honest Hearts and Knowing Heads: An Experiential Learning Plan to Increase Campus Wide Levels of Trust and Responsibility Through a Student-Led Campaign,” sets forth a plan for a student-led communication campaign designed to promote honor, trust and personal responsibility among students. Payne's fall semester “Public Relations” class will implement a campaign directed at educating the campus community about academic integrity and increasing awareness of, and adherence to, the College’s Honor Code. For more information, contact Associate Dean of Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Dr. Kathy Stolley at 757.233.8768 or email@example.com.
Sophomore Nancy Kelly, a biology major from Phoenix, Maryland, was recently accepted into Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) following graduation from Virginia Wesleyan. Through the College’s Joint Program in Medicine with EVMS, pre-med students like Kelly have the opportunity to apply for early admission to EVMS during the fall semester of their sophomore year. The joint program, overseen by Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, is highly competitive and selective. In order to apply, students must meet certain academic criteria, including an SAT score of at least 1250, an overall GPA from Virginia Wesleyan of 3.25 at the time of application, and the completion of at least 24 credit hours during their freshmen year. Not only does Kelly not have to worry about applying for medical schools, but she is also exempt from taking the Medical Colleges Admissions Test (MCAT), a standardized test that most medical schools require students to submit. Kelly, who plays forward and center for VWC’s Women’s Basketball team, says she is excited to watch her future unfold before her: “It's a big relief to know that my hard work is paying off. This is a big honor and I am very proud to accept it.” She is the College’s second pre-med student to be accepted into the program. Travis DeGraphenried ’12 was the first to be accepted 2010.
The wooded trails of Virginia Wesleyan’s campus will be filled with runners Saturday, June 8 for Eggleston Services’ 2013 OK5K. Proceeds from the race, being held on campus for the third consecutive year, will benefit Eggleston and its mission of creating education, training and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. “We are proud to be able to host our event on the Virginia Wesleyan campus,” said Eggleston Vice President of Marketing and Development Thomas Redmond. “Both Eggleston and Virginia Wesleyan recognize the value of every individual and seek to empower them the best they can.” The race will be followed by refreshments, raffle prizes and an awards ceremony. In 2012, the VWC Cross Country and Track & Field team was presented with the Eggleston Champion Award, recognizing the team’s continued support and partnership. This year's one mile run begins at 8 a.m., followed by the 5K start time of 8:45 a.m. Register online or call 757.486.2184 for more information. More
Virginia Wesleyan faculty, staff and friends are invited to attend a luncheon reception May 9 to honor Associate Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Mr. John Braley and Professor of Biology and Greenhouse Supervisor Dr. Paul Resslar, who will retire at the end of this academic year. The reception will be immediately followed by a walk to the Wilson Arboretum for the traditional honorary tree planting, a custom that began in May 1997. “Please join us in celebrating the long and distinguished service of these beloved friends and colleagues, whom we shall miss greatly,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College Timothy O'Rourke. The luncheon reception will be held in the Pearce Hospitality Suite at 11:30 a.m. followed by the walk to the Wilson Arboretum at 12:45 p.m. The tree planting will begin at 1 p.m., rain or shine.
Mini Marlins, a VWC community program providing recreational mentoring services for children, has extended its reach to include Enoch Baptist Church’s Christian Academy in Virginia Beach. Led by Recreation and Leisure Studies student Katie Giwa-Osagie ’14, the program began as a weekly playgroup at family shelters providing fun, safe and engaging activities for children. Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling and Giwa-Osagie presented the Mini Marlins program to Enoch staff, and the group now meets weekly with 8-15 children. “Volunteering is an experience everyone should have. You learn about yourself and get to meet great people,” says Giwa-Osagie. Mini Marlins hopes to continue this new partnership with Enoch Baptist Church in addition to other organizations promoting healthy choices through service to the community. For more information, contact Diane Hotaling at 757.455.3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Wesleyan alumnus and President and CEO of Virginia International Terminals, Inc. (VIT) Joe Ruddy ’83 served as a keynote speaker April 22 at a dinner reception held as part of the College’s Spring 2013 Business Conference. Addressing business students, faculty and staff in the Pearce Hospitality Suite in the Jane P. Batten Student Center, Ruddy spoke about his time at VWC and how it shaped his life and career. A graduate of the College’s Recreation & Leisure Services and Physical Education program, Ruddy was named president and CEO of VIT on April 1. The company is responsible for the management, operation, and conduct of the business of the public terminals of Virginia. Ethics was the theme of this semester’s business conference, a bi-annual event organized by students in the MBE 301 course “Principles of Management.” The weeklong event, held April 22-26, featured daily activities shining a spotlight on ethics in small business, supply chain and operations management, media, medicine, politics, law, environment, recreation and sports. The conference implores students to apply lessons from courses outside of business, providing a hands-on learning experience typical of the VWC liberal arts education. Last year’s Spring Business Conference featured another alumni speaker from the shipping industry, President and CEO of Maersk Line, North America, Mike White ’81.
Virginia Wesleyan College’s annual Spring Honors Convocation, an event that recognizes students’ academic and leadership achievements, will be held in the Convocation Center in the Jane P. Batten Student Center on Friday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. Students on the Academic Dean's List, members of Honor Societies, Student Executive Council and Senators, and the Class of 2013 will be recognized by Dr. Timothy O'Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College. The program will also feature individual student awards for academic achievement given by a variety of academic departments. Immediately following the approximate hour-long program, honorees and guests are invited to attend a reception in the C-MAC which will coincide with the College's eighth Academic Fair, where students' creative works and research projects will be displayed.
As a result of continued construction, Wesleyan Drive will be closed from the College’s entrance to Baker Road from 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 through 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 5. The entrance itself will remain open. Signage will be placed along Wesleyan, Baker and Northampton directing through-traffic to detour around this block of Wesleyan Drive during this 24-hour period. When this section of road is reopened, traffic will be moved to the other side of Wesleyan Drive. Once completed later this year, this project—which includes the widening of Wesleyan Drive to four lanes and a new signal at the College’s entrance—will greatly improve traffic flow and increase safety for drivers and pedestrians.
The Virginia Wesleyan Softball Program hit a home run April 13 with its Fifth Annual Strike Out Cancer Day, raising $15,102 for cancer research and bringing the event’s five-year total to $40,098. Approximately 1,000 guests visited campus for the fundraiser, which included food provided by GENESiS Ministries, music, a silent auction, recreational activities and VWC softball and baseball games against Eastern Mennonite University. “Not only were we blessed with great weather, but we were blessed with hundreds of spectators who came with a giving heart…Words cannot express how surprised and elated we are to announce the final amount we have raised for the American Cancer Society,” said Head Softball Coach Brandon Elliott. The yearly event is hosted in memory of Elliott’s mother, Elaine F. Sears, who lost her battle with colon cancer in 2008. The Sixth Annual Strike Out Cancer Day is scheduled for April 5, 2014. More
The Chi Omicron Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority presented Director of the Office of International and Intercultural Programs Lena Johnson with a community service award April 13 at the second annual Virginia Beach Finer Womanhood Breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn of Virginia Beach. “Lena was chosen because of the many acts of kindness that she does for college students and the surrounding community. She is a perfect example of our sorority's principle of sisterly love because she helps others, regardless of race, religion, or gender,” says President of the Chi Omicron Zeta Virginia Beach Chapter Chanel Alford-Campbell. The Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was founded in 1920 on the simple belief that sorority elitism and socializing should not overshadow the real mission for progressive organizations – to address societal mores, ills, prejudices, poverty, and health concerns of the day. Today, the organization values the principles of “Scholarship, Service, Sisterly Love and Finer Womanhood.” Virginia Wesleyan's chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta, Beta Upsilon, received three awards in March at the sorority’s 68th Eastern Regional Leadership Conference. The awards included 2013 Outstanding Undergraduate Chapter, First Place ZHOPE Community Service Award, and First Place Scrapbook Presentation. More
Virginia Wesleyan’s annual Internship Appreciation Dinner was held April 24 to honor local businesses that have sponsored spring internships for students enrolled in “Management Internship” and “Internship Seminar.” The dinner took place in Boyd Dining Center’s Shafer Room and recognized representatives from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, DesRoches & Company, Norfolk Southern, J&A Racing, and more. As a result of the internship program J&A Racing Owner Jerry Frostick offered Dolores Roberts ’13 a full-time position with his company: “Her biggest attribute is her positive attitude. She’s very smart, but what drives her is her happiness.” Throughout the evening, students provided insight into their internship experiences and presented a slide show on behalf of Tempe Martens ’14, who is completing an internship in Prague, Czech Republic. For more information, contact Business Internship Director Dr. Robert Albertson at email@example.com or 757.455.3226. More
Illustrating the College’s commitment to social responsibility, Virginia Wesleyan College President Dr. William T. "Billy" Greer again volunteered for the annual Green Reader Program, a Great American Cleanup initiative derived from a partnership between Keep Norfolk Beautiful and Norfolk Public Libraries. The program, in its 12th year, serves to further build a culture of environmental stewardship in Norfolk by coordinating volunteers to read to grades Pre-K through third during the month of April. Volunteers read stories that deal with environmental issues and engage students in a discussion about the book’s theme and their role in caring for the environment. The Green Reader 2013 Book List includes age-appropriate selections, including Kate McMullan’s I Stink (Pre-K); Alison Inches’ I can Save the Earth (Kindergarten); Jan and Mike Berenstain’s The Berenstain Bears Go Green (First Grade); Ellie Bethel’s Michael Recycle Meets Litterbug Doug (Second Grade); and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (Third Grade). President Greer is a longstanding supporter of the Green Reader Program. On April 17, he read to students at Coleman Place Elementary School. To learn more or to get involved, visit the Keep Norfolk Beautiful website.
In recognition of 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, on April 22 Virginia Wesleyan will present “Beyond the Classroom: Marking National Crime Victims’ Rights Week on Campus,” an open forum for key personnel in the field of criminal justice, public safety, and victim services to discuss victimization and the role of “community” in assisting victims of crime. The event is sponsored by Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Alison Marganski’s “Victimology” class and the Norfolk Commonwealth Attorney’s Office/Victim Witness Assistance Program. Special guests will include Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood, Norfolk Chief of Police Michael Goldsmith, Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe, Norfolk Public Defender Sherri Carr, and Norfolk Probation & Parole’s Chief Probation Officer Kathy Hall. The event is meant to inspire thought and conversation, says Marganski: “We hope this event will recognize victims and survivors as well as those who serve them and foster meaningful dialogue among members of our community.” The free event is open to the public and will take place Monday, April 22 from 1-2:15 p.m. in the Jane P. Batten Student Center’s Shafer Room. For more information, contact Alison Marganski at 757.233.8842 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More
Ethics is the theme of this semester’s VWC Business Conference, a bi-annual event organized by students in the MBE 301 course “Principles of Management.” The weeklong event, occurring April 22-26, will feature daily activities that shine a spotlight on ethics in small business, supply chain and operations management, media, medicine, politics, law, environment, recreation and sports. Local guest speakers will share their ethical insight, including retired general and thoracic surgeon and founder of the Chesapeake Care Free Clinic Dr. Juan Montero (Medical Panel, April 23), and Virginia Beach City Council Member Bill R. DeSteph (Ethics in Political Campaigns, April 24). Throughout the week, the conference will host a diverse array of area businesses, including TFC Recycling (April 25) and Final Kick Sports (April 26). Several alumni will return to campus as judges in the conference’s popular adaptation of the hit TV series Shark Tank (April 22, 25), in which teams of “Introduction to Business” students will present their entrepreneurial concepts to the panel of loan “sharks.” Associate Professor of MBE Paul Ewell stresses the takeaway of the event: “We want students to realize that there’s a social responsibility component to being in business. We want you to be smart and we want you to know business, but you also need to be good people, good corporate citizens and responsible business leaders.” For additional information, view the schedule of events, visit the conference Facebook page, or contact VWC Business Conference CEO Shelby St. Gelais ’13 at email@example.com. More
Following a presentation of his research, biology and chemistry major Matthew Boyce ’13 received the Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB) Research Award in Microbiology April 12 for his paper “A Metagenomic Comparison of the Microflora from Vermicompost with the Intestinal Microflora from the Composting Worm Eisenia foetida.” Boyce contended against graduate students and faculty to win the $500 award, which was presented at ASB’s 74th annual meeting in Charleston, West Virginia. Under the guidance of Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Philip Rock, Boyce studied Eisenia foetida, commonly known as “red wigglers,” the most widely used worm species in the organic recycling process known as vermicomposting. His research was conducted using worms and compost from Virginia Wesleyan's very own “worm farm,” established by Rock in 2010 as a result of the President's Environmental Challenge Grant. Rock assisted Boyce with his project, helping the senior sort through months of collected data: “We turned up some interesting results that raise a bunch of new questions – typical in science!” Boyce will present his award-winning research again at VWC’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, taking place April 29-May 3. He has also been selected to participate in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's 2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He will be awarded a $5,500 fellowship to attend the 11-week program, where he will study “Measurement of Samples by Spinning Cell LA-ICP-MS.”
This April the Orchestra of the Eastern Shore will premiere “Spiral Spectrum,” a piece written by David E. Weirich ’09, the first Virginia Wesleyan music student to graduate with a concentration in composition. The quick-moving piece, full of syncopation and changing meters, will be performed at the orchestra’s two spring concerts and will include a piano part played by Weirich’s fellow alumnus Geoffrey Bell ’09. Weirich graduated from Virginia Wesleyan in 2009 with a double major in music and mathematics. He became the first music major to graduate with a concentration in composition, an academic track created especially for him. He is now pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of New Mexico. Bell also graduated in 2009 with a degree in music and is currently working toward a master’s degree at Shenandoah Conservatory. The Orchestra of the Eastern Shore, conducted by Virginia Wesleyan Professor of Music and Artist in Residence Lee Jordan-Anders, will also perform Vivaldi’s Concerto for two flutes, Heinichen’s Concerto for flute and oboe, and Mendelssohn’s String Symphony #2 in D. Jordan-Anders worked closely with Weirich to bring “Spiral Spectrum” to life: “It’s a privilege for me to be able to conduct the orchestra for this premiere. I have enjoyed working on the piece from start to finish. It was a big challenge for our modest orchestra to tackle this piece, but the players have embraced that challenge and are doing a terrific job.” The Orchestra of the Eastern Shore will perform Friday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Hungars Episcopal Church in Bridgetown, VA and Sunday, April 21 at 4 p.m. at the Historic Cokesbury United Methodist Church, Onancock, VA. Weirich will return to his alma mater as a guest speaker this week, visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Lydia Kennedy’s “Mathematics Senior Seminar” class on Thursday, April 18 at 11:30 a.m. in Birdsong 202; and Lee Jordan-Anders’ “Intermediate Musicianship” class on Friday, April 19 at 9:30 a.m. in Fine Arts 9. More
As of April 15, Virginia Wesleyan College now offers Priority Registration to military veterans and active duty service members. Priority Registration provides eligible students first choice of courses, ensuring enrollment in classes that are needed for graduation and allowing more flexibility in scheduling. The early registration benefit will also help School Certifying Officials (SCO) to more quickly process a student’s U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Enrollment Certification, leading to a more timely payment of monthly housing allowance and book stipend from the VA. Virginia Wesleyan SCO and Financial Aid Counselor Melanie Monk hopes Priority Registration will send a message of gratitude to military students: “We want to make sure our veterans are taken care of and that we continue to say thank you for what they’ve done for us.” For more information about Priority Registration, please visit the Registrar's Office or call 757.455.3200. To learn more about the support offered through Virginia Wesleyan’s Veterans Benefits Office, please contact Melanie Monk at 757-455-3207 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accomplishments of more than 30 faculty members were presented in the Hofheimer Library April 5 for the special showcase event "A Feather in Your Cap: Virginia Wesleyan College Celebration of Faculty Work," sponsored by the College’s new Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning through the Office of Academic Affairs. The exhibition, on display through April 15, touts faculty accomplishments from calendar year 2012 through the first quarter of 2013. Featured are grants received, recognition of faculty who received tenure and/or promotion, and publications, including a selection of books, peer-reviewed journal articles, encyclopedia articles, translations, music compositions and performances, and more. Among the works included are Thomas R. Fanney Distinguished Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Margaret Reece’s article "A Multi-Class, Interdisciplinary Project Using Elementary Statistics," published in PRIMUS; Associate Professor of French Dr. Alain Gabon’s grant for the 2012 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers, “France’s Haunting Pasts: Debating 20th-Century History and French National Identity;” and Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Aubrey Westfall’s 2012 Fulbright Grant to participate in the German Studies Seminar on the topic "Nation State and European Identity.” Associate Dean for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Dr. Kathy Stolley organized the occasion: “This event is a pleasant segue into the final push of the semester. It’s a great opportunity for faculty, staff and students to mingle with colleagues and acknowledge these significant feathers in their academic caps, as well as to forge new collaborations, congratulate good work, and get inspired."
A new Bob Marlin mascot may be reeling in the VWC crowd next fall if all goes as planned for students in the Management II class taught by Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Dr. Douglas Kennedy. A student-led project is underway to design and fund a replacement for the College’s current mascot, designed in 2003 by students in a former Recreation & Leisure Studies course. The new class has been working closely with mascot-design company BAM! to develop an improved model boasting larger muscles, a brighter complexion, and interchangeable clothing. Wearing the costume will become more comfortable with the help of a shorter beak, better fin placement, and an improved ventilation system. The group is hoping to fund a majority of the $5,400 project through the popular crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, offering donation incentives such as an autographed photo from Bob Marlin, VWC apparel, and personal recognition at a College basketball game. Additional fundraising events will be held throughout April and May. Student team members describe the need for a new Bob Marlin on their Indiegogo campaign page: “As much as we love our current mascot…it's time for us to move on to the next generation. School spirit is really big here and having a mascot that we all know and love helps build support at all of our school events.” If you’d like to become a part of Bob Marlin history, visit Indiegogo to make a donation. For additional information or a schedule of additional fundraising events, contact Doug Kennedy at 757.455.3305 or email@example.com. More
Approximately 120 guests gathered in the Henry Clay Hofheimer II Library April 4 for the dedication of Virginia Wesleyan College's Archives in honor of Dr. Stephen S. Mansfield. Trustees, faculty, staff, family and friends were welcomed by Virginia Wesleyan College President Dr. William T. "Billy" Greer, who then commended Mansfield for his 45-year history with the College. Mansfield joined the history faculty in 1968, serving along the way as Chair of the Social Science Division and director of the College's first four SACS accreditation reaffirmation undertakings. In 1996, he became Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College. He retired a decade later to organize the College Archives. In 2010, Mansfield authored Wisdom Lights the Way, a history celebrating the first five decades of Virginia Wesleyan. President Greer applauded Mansfield’s extensive influence on the College: “This is just a small representation of the significant impact that Dr. Mansfield has had on the development of this College, the formation of an excellent group of faculty, the collection of the College’s Archives, and the documentation of the College’s first half century.”
The Virginia Wesleyan College Business Department will present the first-ever “Marlin Business Experience” April 9, a forum for students enrolled in "Field Experience in Management" to showcase management internship opportunities they've held throughout the spring semester. Students will share information about the experiential opportunities they received from local sponsors, including Operation Smile, Bauer Compressor, Edward Jones, YMCA and more. Representatives from Bauer Compressor and APICS Supply Chain Management Organization, as well as students and faculty members from the Marlin Business Association (MBA), will be on hand to discuss leadership and internship opportunities. Through his experience, Operation Smile intern and MBA Executive Board Member Philip Biever ’13 learned the value of networking: “It’s crazy how much you can accomplish just by speaking with someone new.” Marlin Business Experience will take place Tuesday, April 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m in the Batten Center across from The Grille. Guests are invited to stop by at any time throughout the presentations. For more information, contact Business Internship Director Dr. Bob Albertson at 757.455.3226 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the VWC business department and to keep up to date on news and events, visit the Marlin Business Association’s Facebook Page. More
Alumnus Steve Roberson (1992) visited VWC’s Fine Arts building April 3 to provide students, faculty and staff with a behind-the-scenes look into methods of acoustic guitar building and tonewood selection. Roberson, who earned a history degree and social studies teaching certificate at Virginia Wesleyan, gave a guitar making demonstration during Professor of Music Lee Jordan-Anders’ class "A World of Music.” The course explores the diversity of world music, focusing on American folk, religious, jazz, popular, and ethnic music, and concludes with an overview of Western classical styles. Roberson’s demonstration provided an appropriate segue from discussion about lyrical music into future lessons on instrumental compositions, including renaissance and baroque styles. Roberson grew up in a family of banjo, mandolin, and guitar players, but did not discover his passion for guitar making until the late 1990s when he began restoring old instruments at Isle of Wight Instrument Company. He stressed to students the importance of passion and hard work: “In a liberal arts education, you never stop learning unless you want to. It’s up to you what you want to do with it. Do what you love and the money will follow.” Roberson now owns Colonial Tonewoods, a specialty company in Barhamsville, Virginia that deals high-grade traditional and alternative tonewoods. For more information, visit the Colonial Tonewoods website.
Virginia Wesleyan's chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Beta Upsilon, received three awards in March at the 68th Eastern Regional Leadership Conference, including 2013 Outstanding Undergraduate Chapter, First Place ZHOPE Community Service Award, and First Place Scrapbook Presentation. The annual conference, which hosted more than 500 Zeta Phi Beta members from Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and the District of Columbia, is designed to educate, empower, and offer fellowship to sorority members. The event was held March 21-24 at the Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach and carried a theme of “Embracing and Empowering Our Eastern Regional Communities with Health, Wealth, and Confidence.” President of the Chi Omicron Zeta Virginia Beach Chapter and advisor to the College’s Beta Upsilon Chapter, Chanel Alford-Campbell, recognized VWC’s members, commenting: “Jasmine Patterson ’14, Tiah Davis ’15, Marneice Branch ’15, and Dejha Crudup ’15 are truly an exceptional group of young ladies. I'm honored that they have the help and influence of such wonderful administrators, faculty and staff.”
Staff of Virginia Wesleyan’s student-run newspaper the Marlin Chronicle launched a new website for the publication this month, adding online conveniences that readers won’t find in the print version, including a photo/video gallery, a submission form for story ideas and letters to the editor, the ability to comment on and share stories, and links to the publication’s social media sites. The Marlin Chronicle has had an online presence for years, but it wasn’t being utilized, says Editor-in-Chief Rachel Balsley ’13. Updating the site was one of her main goals as the paper’s leader, not only for current students, faculty and staff, but also for alumni and other members of the VWC community without access to the publication’s print version. Former professor of journalism and communication and adviser for the Marlin Chronicle Dr. William “Bill” Ruehlmann, who retired in 2011 after 18 years at the College, reviewed the new website, commenting: “Indeed journalism is not dead – it's just more electric.” The bi-weekly publication has a staff of approximately 40 students, made up of editors, writers, photographers and illustrators. For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Rachel Balsley at email@example.com. More
Hope House Foundation Development Director Elena Montello '83 and President and CEO of the ACCESS College Foundation Bonnie Sutton ’99 have been chosen as honorees for the annual YWCA South Hampton Roads Women of Distinction Awards. Each year, the YWCA recognizes twelve outstanding women who have made significant contributions to the community through their professional activities and volunteer efforts. Now in its 25th year, the Women of Distinction Awards honor women in twelve categories ranging from the arts to science and technology. Montello, whose organization provides support for adults with developmental disabilities and hosts the bi-annual Stockley Gardens Arts Festival in Norfolk, is being honored in the arts category. Sutton, whose foundation is committed to providing students with the tools necessary to be successful in their educational endeavors, is being honored in the education category. The awards ceremony will take place on March 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. For additional information or to learn more about the YWCA, visit www.ywca-shr.org.
In conjunction with the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, Virginia Wesleyan sororities Alpha Sigma Alpha, Phi Sigma Sigma, and Sigma Sigma Sigma have raised $4,250 this academic year in support of the Half the Sky Movement, a cause dedicated to stopping oppression of women and girls worldwide. With the help of additional Greek-life students and athletic teams, the sororities have raised money through fundraising events, including a “Penny Wars” competition that brought in $1,727.87 and a partnership with the Skinny Dip Frozen Yogurt Bar. They have also increased awareness through guest speakers, including sex-trafficking survivor Carissa Phelps and Circle of Sisterhood Founder Ginny Carroll. The College’s efforts were recognized by the Half the Sky Movement with inclusion of VWC-submitted photographs in the organization’s 2012 year-end video. Included in the video are photographs of Associate Athletic Director Jeffrey Bowers, Vice President of Operations Bruce Vaughan, sophomore Samiah Griffin, and the 9-month-old daughter of Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach Fran Pochily. In a blog post about VWC’s involvement with the cause, senior Sigma Sigma Sigma member Rio Ziegler writes: “Sisters all over the nation are doing what we do best: collaborating ideas, recruiting advocates, and taking action in order to bring this issue to light. This is our chance for sisters to help sisters.” This philanthropic partnership was chosen by the Southeastern Panhellenic Association for the third consecutive year. Learn more about the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation and the Half the Sky Movement. For more information, contact Jenn Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.233.8785 or Devin Cowhey at email@example.com or 757.455.3383.
That adage about bending, but not breaking held true for the Virginia Wesleyan College men's basketball team on Saturday, March 9. Christopher Newport University's Captains kept the pressure on VWC by cutting into leads throughout the NCAA Division III second round tournament before an overflow crowd at the Jane P. Batten Student Center, but the host Marlins never broke en route to a thrilling 80-69 victory. Virginia Wesleyan (23-7) advances to the round of 16 to face Williams College (25-4) on Saturday, March 16 in Williamston, Massachusetts. More
In a new recording titled “Treasures of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,” Virginia Wesleyan College’s Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Music Lee Jordan-Anders explores the relationship between music and the visual arts, pairing various piano compositions with works of art from the museum's collection. She has performed the concert live at numerous venues, including VWC and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, exploring the work of Degas and Debussy, Pomodoro and Prokofiev, Henri and Gottschalk and more. Additional performances will take place throughout the year, including an opening event for the Virginia Music Teachers Association annual convention in July. The recording is available for educational use and can be seen on Jordan-Anders’ website. In addition to her roles at Virginia Wesleyan, Jordan-Anders also serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Orchestra of the Eastern Shore. She performs frequently as a soloist as well as a collaborating pianist. For more information, please contact Jordan-Anders at 757.455.3297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue Marlin Scholarships are now available for current Virginia Wesleyan students in amounts ranging from $500–$2,000. The purpose of the Blue Marlin Scholarship is to assist returning students in offsetting the cost of tuition and fees. The College is pleased to be able to offer these scholarships to returning students between the fall and spring semesters of the 2013-14 academic year. “The Blue Marlin Scholarship Fund is an excellent resource for students as they plan for their future at VWC,” says David Buckingham, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Enrollment Services. Scholarship awards are based on academic performance, financial need and extracurricular involvement. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is April 2, 2013. Download an application.
Virginia Wesleyan teamed up with Special Olympics Virginia Feb. 23 for the annual Special Olympics Tidewater Regional Basketball Tournament, an event hosted by the College for more than a decade. The tournament was organized by ten students, who managed the staffing of 125 volunteers at various stations throughout the Batten Center. Greek-life members and other campus organizations escorted the participants through the convocation center for the traditional parade of athletes, signaling the opening of the games. Many volunteers acted as referees, scorekeepers and cheerleaders while others hosted recreational activities for athletes between competitions. Spearheading the event was VWC Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling: “Virginia Wesleyan has the most incredible volunteers. Everyone who stepped up to take a management position and everyone who came out to cheer on the athletes brought their best and gave their all to ensure that the athletes had a fabulous experience.” For more information, contact Diane Hotaling at 757.455.3216 or e-mail email@example.com. To volunteer or get involved with Special Olympics Virginia, visit specialolympicsva.com.
In recognition of its efforts for the Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP), Virginia Wesleyan was presented with the Democracy Cup Award Feb. 16 at the Active Citizens Conference in Williamsburg. The College received a $1,000 grant from CEEP last year, supporting campus-wide efforts to promote student awareness, voter registration, and volunteer opportunities throughout the 2012 election season. These efforts were sponsored by the VWC Offices of Community Service and International/Intercultural Programs, the American Politics Freshman Year Experience class, and Zeta Phi Beta sorority. Accepting the award on behalf of the College was senior Shelby St. Gelais: “We wanted to create a place where we come together in a non-partisan to way to stimulate discussion on what’s going locally, nationally, and globally. I am really big about getting students engaged. Now more than ever it’s about investing in our future, and this was a great way to do that.” For more information, contact Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455.3216. More
Virginia Wesleyan’s Office of Academic Affairs has begun compiling a list of “100 Signature Experiences,” an organized collection of assignments and experiential projects developed by faculty and staff as part of the 4x4 curriculum. The new curriculum, implemented in the fall of 2011, lengthened the standard course from three semester hours to four. Some courses meet four hours per week and cover additional material; others meet only three hours but are enhanced with out-of-class experiences and projects that justify a fourth credit. Experiences include field trips, service-learning and community engagement, independent and collaborative research projects or opportunities to work with advanced technological tools. To date, recorded Signature Experiences include the “Embrace Your Space” initiative pioneered by Director of First Year Experience Denise Wilkinson; the week-long VWC Business Conference organized by students in “Principles of Management,” led by Associate Professor of MBE Paul Ewell; and participation in the national “Clothesline Project” movement by students in “Family Violence: Causes, Consequences & Responses,” led by Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Alison Marganski; Spearheading the project is Associate Dean for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Dr. Kathy Stolley: “The new curriculum is core to our commitment of providing a rigorous and transformative education here at VWC. Students are not only having engaging, diverse experiences, they are having experiences that directly tie and translate their classrooms into the world. These Signature Experiences highlight the very best of what a liberal arts education is meant to be. The “100 Signature Experiences” project is still underway as the College continues to add creative new ways to implement the 4x4 curriculum. For more information, contact Kathy Stolley at 757.233.8768 or email@example.com.
Twenty collegiate teams will compete March 1-2 in Virginia Wesleyan College’s 16th Annual Beach Blast Softball Tournament, being held at the Princess Anne Athletic Complex (PAAC) in Virginia Beach. The fast-pitch tournament, which will have 40 games this year, began in 1998 under the leadership of former VWC Head Softball Coach Conrad Parker. In 2008 the organizational reigns were passed on to the College’s current Head Softball Coach Brandon Elliott, who continues to build the tournament's momentum and attract teams from across the country. Sponsored by the City of Virginia Beach, the VWC Beach Blast continues to be one of the most successful Division III softball tournaments in the nation. The competition is held at PAAC, a state-of-the-art facility with eight lighted fields, covered dug outs and bleachers, concessions, restrooms and a full-time field maintenance crew. Tickets are $7 for one day, $10 for the entire tournament. In the event of inclement weather, a rain date is scheduled for March 3. For more information about participating teams, game schedules or directions visit vwcbeachblast.com or contact Brandon Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455.3307. More
From Feb. 3 through March 30, Virginia Wesleyan students, faculty and staff are participating in RecycleMania National Challenge, a friendly competition promoting waste reduction in campus communities across the United States and Canada. Each spring, more than 630 colleges and universities track recycling rates for an eight-week period in an attempt to reduce waste. A weekly report on how much recycling and trash Marlins collect will be used to rank VWC and other schools according to how much they gather per capita. In the first official week of this year’s challenge, VWC recycled 2,224 pounds of material. Last year, a total of 26,966 pounds of material were recycled by the College as part of the initiative. Marlins Go Green President Randy Rice will keep the campus updated on the College’s progress throughout the competition. For more information, contact Randy Rice at email@example.com. More
Virginia Wesleyan College would like to congratulate all students who have been named to the Fall 2012 Dean's List. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits and should be proud of this accomplishment. The Dean's List recognizes all students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. View the complete Fall 2012 Dean’s List.
Local Jewish leaders will argue for a good cause this month at the Fifth Annual Latke-Hamantashn Invitational Debate benefiting Jewish Family Service of Tidewater and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. The Purim shpiel event, being held at Virginia Wesleyan College, will comically struggle to answer the age-old question of which is superior: the Hanukkah latke or the Purim hamantashn. Organizing the event is VWC’s Gloria & David Furman Professor of Judaic Studies Dr. Eric Mazur: “This is a nice way to bring members of different congregations together for Purim and for area Jewish leaders to engage with their congregants and friends. But most importantly, it’s a fun way to raise food, funds and awareness for two local organizations that do so much work for area residents who don’t have enough to eat, particularly during the late winter days as colder weather lingers.” The event will take place Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the College’s Women’s Resource Center. It is free and open to the public, but guests are encouraged to contribute canned or dry goods or a make a small monetary donation to support the featured charities. Kosher snacks and refreshments will be provided by Yorgo’s Bageldashery and Belkov Brothers Kosher Food and Wine Distributors (formerly VA-BEL). For more information, contact Dr. Eric Mazur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455.3250.
Leaders of the Veterans Memorial Project announced this week that they have met the initial fundraising goal to create a campus memorial to honor members of the Virginia Wesleyan College family who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Envisioned as a space where people can gather in fellowship or for quiet reflection, the memorial will be placed just in front of the magnolia trees at the corner of the field behind Godwin Hall. The monument stone is scheduled to be in place by the start of the 2013-14 academic year and an official dedication ceremony will be held on Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11). Leading the fundraising efforts is Vice President for College Advancement Mita Vail: “On behalf of everyone associated with the Veterans Memorial Project, thank you for your support and participation in this tribute to the members of our College family who have served in the United States Armed Forces and to those who have lost their lives in service to our country.” Additional fundraising is underway for permanent benches to be placed in close proximity to the memorial. For more information or to make a contribution, contact Mita Vail at 757.455.3205 or email@example.com.
Two Virginia Wesleyan students will present their science-related research this semester, conducted with funding from the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC). Junior math and computer science major Michael Corder and senior biology major Jeffrey Illinik both received a VFIC Undergraduate Science Research Fellowship grant last summer, allowing them each a $2,000 stipend to conduct hands-on research under the supervision of a faculty member. Corder’s research, "Mathematica Computations of Gram Matrices in Lie Superalgebras," minimizes the time spent calculating and checking work on Gram Matrix construction and creates an environment within Mathematica where consistently reliable results are available and easy to use. His research was conducted under the supervision of Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Audrey Malagon and will be presented this month at Mercer University's Undergraduate Research Conference in Macon, Georgia. Illinik spent part of the summer in Belize conducting his research, "Food Choice of the Neotropical Harvestman Erginulus clavotibialis (Opilones: Laniatores: Cosmetidae)," which examines the country's harvestmen species, including potentially new species that are being examined under the College's scanning electron microscope. His research was conducted under the guidance of biology professors Dr. Maynard Schaus and Dr. Victor Townsend and will be presented in April at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists hosted by Marshall University in Charleston, West Virginia. VFIC is a nonprofit fundraising partnership supporting the programs and students of 15 leading private colleges in the Commonwealth, including Virginia Wesleyan. The organization has provided more than $300,000 to support summer undergraduate research programs at its member colleges.
The National Collegiate Conference Association (NCCA), sponsor of National Model United Nations (NMUN), awarded a $2,000 scholarship to the Virginia Wesleyan College delegation in January to help fund the group’s participation in the annual NMUN conference in New York City. The 2013 NCCA Educational Scholarship is awarded based on the demonstration of financial need and diversity in the delegation and helps cover delegate fees, hotel costs and travel expenses. The VWC delegation travels annually to the conference, which draws more than 5,000 participants from all over the world to discuss current global issues. The group is transformed into diplomats for a single country, this year representing the Kingdom of Morocco. Leading the group is Dr. Aubrey Westfall, Assistant Professor of Political Science: “I am so thrilled that we were able to successfully portray how diverse our delegation is, and I believe we impressed the committee with the exceptional growth of the team in recent years, leading to our need for additional resources. I want to especially congratulate senior Franchesica Middleton, who drafted the scholarship application and worked with me to polish it for submission. It is due to her effort and determination that the whole team has been awarded.” Model United Nations serves as a campus organization for students interested in international politics, public policy and diplomacy. For more information, contact Aubrey Westfall at 757.233.8806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Channeling the USA,” an exhibition featuring the work of artist Randy Shull, will be on display Jan. 29 - April 5 in the Hofheimer Library’s Neil Britton Art Gallery. The traveling show, curated by former editor of Art in America magazine Janet Koplos, addresses the role the United States plays on a global level. Fluidly working between a variety of mediums, Shull is highly acclaimed for his rich, sensual use of color and space, whether as painter, colorist, sculptor or designer of furniture, landscapes, buildings and homes. In a statement about his exhibit, Shull says, “There is a continuous public dialogue taking place about the role the USA plays throughout the world. This new body of work that I am making is part of that conversation. The work is not intended to be political yet the very outline of the shape we know as the USA takes on a stance that resonates beyond the visual…in the arena of power, history, geography, economics and politics to name but a few.” Shull has received many accolades, including a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, an NEA Southern Arts Federation grant, and a Master Residency at Oregon School of Arts & Crafts. His works are displayed in numerous collections including prestigious museums such as the High, the Renwick and the Mint. For more information, contact John Rudel, Curator of Exhibitions and Associate Professor of Art, at 757-455-3257 or email@example.com. More
Adults interested in returning to college will have the opportunity to attend free information sessions this year as a result of a grant awarded to the College’s Adult Studies Program (ASP) last fall by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). SCHEV’s Increasing Adult Degree Completion grant has funded ASP’s “Coming Back to College” campaign, designed to increase educational awareness in working-age adults with some college credits, but without a degree. Beginning this month, free information sessions and workshops will be held throughout Norfolk and Portsmouth at community recreation centers, churches, libraries, civic groups, corporations, and on the Virginia Wesleyan College campus. According to Virginia Wesleyan’s Adult Studies Program Director Tom Farley: “Every aspect of the adult college experience and any concerns returning students may have will be addressed during the information sessions in an interactive and meaningful way.” The grant has also helped provide marketing efforts for the initiative, including branded printed materials, development of a direct mail campaign, and production of testimonial videos. Fifty presentations are scheduled from January through late May. For a complete schedule of the “Coming Back to College” information sessions, visit: http://www.vwc.edu/admissions/adult-studies/coming-back-to-college.php. For more information, contact Tom Farley at 757.455.3263 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More
The Office of International and Intercultural Programs (OIP) will welcome guest speakers Robert and Fletcher Stephens to campus Jan. 21 as part of “The Gifts of Service,” the College’s annual Martin Luther King Day program. The father-son duo, speaking in the Monumental Chapel at 11 a.m., serves as a true example of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Robert Emerson Stephens is the co-founder and facilitator of the Community Action Coalition (CAC), a nonprofit organization in Suffolk, Virginia dedicated to the prevention of violence and juvenile delinquency. In conjunction with the CAC, Robert Stephens and his son Fletcher launched the student-led, anti-violence campaign Be Fight Free (BFF) in 2010. The campaign, which creates awareness about ending violence in schools, has seen great success with more than 700 King’s Fork High School students signing a pledge to remain violence free and a 70 percent drop in the number of violent acts at Lakeland High School. In recognition of the campaign’s success, Robert Stephens was awarded with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award in 2011. Fletcher Stephens, a high school senior, is the BFF spokesperson for King’s Fork High School, where he also serves as president of the Student Council Association. He has volunteered as a member of the Suffolk Youth Advisory Council and worked as a Senate Page for the Senate of Virginia during the 2010 Legislative Session. For more information, contact Lena Johnson with OIP at 757.455.3116 or e-mail email@example.com. This event is free and open to the public. More
Twenty-one choral students will travel to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Jan. 17-20 to perform in honor of the 50th anniversary of the city’s U.S. Civil Rights Movement and the first signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Participating students are enrolled in “Virginia Wesleyan Choral Tour,” an intensive three-week winter session course taught by Dr. Michael Trotta, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Music. Students will perform nightly, premiering "The Emancipation Project," a series of original music by Trotta and composer Glenn McClure. The compositions convey emotion that may have been felt during the historic time, according to freshman Elizabeth Sims: “The songs reflect the hope that people needed during that time. It’s really upbeat, inspirational music and gives the feeling that things will get better in time.” VWC’s student ensemble will perform alongside the UAB Honor Choir, Concert Choir and Steel Drum Band. UAB will in turn visit Virginia Wesleyan for the Emancipation Day concert at Virginia Beach United Methodist Church on April 8. For more information, contact Michael Trotta at firstname.lastname@example.org. More
A $3,000 grant has been awarded to Virginia Wesleyan College on behalf of The Beach Fund, a philanthropy group organized in conjunction with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. The funds have been allocated towards the Marlins Read and Marlins Count mentoring programs for children attending two elementary schools in the Lake Edward neighborhood of Virginia Beach. Marlins Read, named a 2011-12 Model Partnership by Virginia Beach City Public Schools, is a student-run program that pairs VWC students with first graders from Virginia Beach elementary schools to help improve their reading skills. Student coordinator Allison Reeves ’13 received a 2012 ADVANCE Outstanding Service Award from the North Carolina Campus Compact, recognizing her dedication, service and support of the program. Marlins Count, a pilot program based on the Marlins Read model, focuses on math education. The Beach Fund is a group of young Hampton Roads professionals who’ve joined together to help charitable causes, improve life in the region and pool their resources to award grants. In 2012, they recommended $13,000 in grants to three nonprofit organizations that work to improve educational outcomes for children in the economically disadvantaged neighborhood of Lake Edward. For more information, contact Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling at 757.455.3216 or email email@example.com.
More than 60,000 computer training videos will be available to students, faculty and staff this January through the College-wide implementation of Atomic Learning, a software platform that provides web-based technology training and support. The software will be integrated into Blackboard, the College’s learning management system, and will include tutorials on thousands of applications, including Microsoft Office, IBM SPSS Statistics, Adobe Creative Suite, and more. Atomic Learning will also contain a suite of assistive technology for users with disabilities, including Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a recognition software that translates speech into text, and Read & Write Gold, a program that recites electronic text to those with reading and writing disabilities. Supported by the Office of Academic Affairs, the implementation of this training software was initiated by Director of Instructional Technology Robin Takacs. It will be available at the start of the spring 2013 semester following a faculty workshop on Jan. 24. In addition to Blackboard, users will be able to access the software through the College’s Computer Services web page. While faculty and staff will have access to Atomic Learning for development and training purposes, the software is primarily for students. “Because it integrates so well with Blackboard, Atomic Learning affords faculty the opportunity to assign videos as part of course work,” said Takacs. “This will make a huge difference since students of today are so visual.”
Performers will appear at VWC this January as part of a special series focusing primarily on Appalachian music and culture. The concerts are happening in conjunction with a unique Winter Session course, “Music and Folk Culture of the Southern Appalachians,” taught by Professor of History Dr. Daniel Margolies. The course focuses on the region that includes Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. Students are learning about rural dance music, social and religious music, and early commercially recorded music, including the old time string band, jug bands, and more. Performers in the Folk Music Series include ethnomusicologist and old time musician James Ruchala; champion old time fiddler Mark Cambell; prize-winning fiddler and author Erynn Marshall accompanied by guitarist Carl Jones; and multidisciplinary traditional performers Elizabeth LaPrelle and Anna Roberts-Gevalt. “This series is a phenomenal opportunity to hear some of the best old time musicians of today performing in an informal, intimate setting,” says Margolies, “We are really glad to be able to present these evenings to the campus and to the Hampton Roads community.” All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dan Margolies at firstname.lastname@example.org. More
Based on a recommendation from the Academy for Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL), the Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF) has awarded a $5,000 grant to Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Audrey Malagon and Virginia Wesleyan College. The funding, awarded on Nov. 27, will be used to redesign the course “Discrete Mathematics” into an IBL format, a method of instruction that places the student, the subject, and their interaction at the center of the learning experience. The redesigned course, “Foundations of Logic and Proof,” will make its debut in the spring 2013 semester and will integrate the learning method into topics such as logic, argument, abstract functions and relations, proofs, induction, sets, and an overall emphasis on mathematical writing. Dr. Malagon submitted the initial proposal for the funding last fall and is thrilled to bring the learning approach to the classroom: “We know that students can watch us do examples and copy them down and maybe even reproduce them on the tests, but they don’t always hold on to that. The Inquiry-Based Learning approach has been much more effective in helping students really own that knowledge and own those skills because they’re discovering it themselves. They’re figuring out how these things work on their own, with carefully designed lessons and guidance from us.”
Virginia Wesleyan College’s 2012 December Potential Graduate Reception was held Dec. 9 to honor 49 seniors who were scheduled to complete their graduation requirements at the end of the fall 2012 semester. Attendees gathered in the Jane P. Batten Convocation Center, where Batten Associate Professor of History Sara Sewell served as the ceremony’s speaker. Potential graduates were congratulated by VWC faculty representatives and advisers including Associate Dean of the College Dr. Sally Shedd, who commended the students for their accomplishments. Senior Communication major Bryant Liberta relished the moment and his achievements: “The ceremony was a big rush of excitement. When you see everyone you've been with for the past four years all graduating and being right next to you, it's a real sense of accomplishment. Graduating is a big milestone in my life. I'm ready for the real world now.” Criminal Justice major Jeremy Hagwood feels a sense of relief: “It was a long, stressful road to get to this accomplishment, but now I can relax.” Fall semester graduates are able attend the December event and still remain eligible to participate in the May 2012 Commencement.
Professor of Biology Dr. Victor Townsend was honored with a Certificate of Achievement this month by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the Dominion Foundation. Townsend was nominated earlier this year for a 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award (OFA) and was one of only 33 nominees that made it to the final selection round. The OFAs are the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities, recognizing superior accomplishments in teaching, research, and public service. In a selection process based on peer review scores, Townsend placed among the top 25 percent in his category. In a letter praising Townsend’s accomplishments, SCHEV Policy Analyst for Academic Affairs and Planning Beverly R. Covington wrote: “I hope that you will take pride in the fact that your institution chose to highlight your obvious talents as a faculty member and that your application stood out among this year’s 109 nominations.”
VWC Cheerleaders helped raise $100,000 on Nov. 30 for the Virginian-Pilot Joy Fund, a non-profit organization that has partnered with The Salvation Army to help provide new holiday toys for underprivileged children. The cheerleaders provided the evening’s entertainment at the 45th annual Toyota Charity Bowl football game at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach. They were joined by cheerleaders from Suffolk’s Nansemond River High and marching bands from Norfolk’s Booker T. Washington and Chesapeake’s Oscar Smith high schools. The evening featured a Pop Warner football game between the Norfolk Saints and the Virginia Beach Mustangs, a Chesapeake-Norfolk Sheriff’s Office Flag Football game and, for the main event, a football game featuring former high school, college and professional players. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell performed the Charity Bowl coin toss and applauded the efforts of evening’s participants. According to Virginian-Pilot Joy Fund Administrator Debbie Bellucci, the organization’s various fundraising activities are expected to raise approximately $305,000 this year. For more information about College community service initiatives, visit www.vwc.edu/student-life/community-service.
As many as 15 underprivileged kids could now be able to attend YMCA Camp Silver Beach this summer, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Professor Doug Kennedy’s “Management of Recreation and Leisure Studies” class. Fourteen students, broken into groups, raised $6,755 this semester as part of the “Send a Kid to Camp” fund. The groups organized various fundraising activities, including a benefit dinner at Lynnhaven Fish House and the “Tis the Season 5K Dash” at First Landing State Park. Students also raised money by raking leaves, performing roof work and pitching their cause to local organizations. The class presented an oversized check to representatives from the YMCA of South Hampton Roads on Wednesday, who responded with gratitude and appreciation for VWC’s involvement in the community. “The reality is that people are extremely generous,” said Executive Director Danny Vestal. “If you share a story that can make a difference for a child or a family, it’s really amazing how generous people are with their time, their talents, and their money.” Since its inception in 2003, the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department’s “Send a Kid to Camp” fund has raised over $46,000 and helped send more than 75 children to YMCA Camp Silver Beach. For more information about College community service initiatives, visit www.vwc.edu/student-life/community-service.
This holiday season, in the spirit of giving, the VWC community is participating in service activities that benefit people here in Hampton Roads and around the world. Marlins Ministries in the Chaplain’s Office took part once again in Operation Christmas Child (Nov. 12-19), an initiative orchestrated by Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. Professor Robin Takacs’ class, along with student coordinators Devon Killian ’13 and Kendall Bunting ’14, delivered 44 shoe boxes filled with small toys, hygiene items and school supplies for needy children around the world. "It's a way to bless children in places where they’re probably not going to get a gift because the poverty is just too extreme," said Chaplain Greg West. Community Services intern, Kefentse Budd and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority participated in National Family Service Day on Nov. 17. Sponsored by Volunteer Hampton Roads, the food boxing event helps to feed the hungry in our community. More than 1,000 community members participated in the event, held in the CMAC. On Dec. 2, Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity held a pancake breakfast in conjunction with the Five Points Community Farm Market in Norfolk to help raise money for the Serious Fun Children’s Network, a network of camps for kids with mental and physical illnesses and disabilities. From Jan. 6-13, the College will once again host its On-Campus Winter Homeless Shelter, in partnership with Portsmouth Volunteers for the Homeless. Campus volunteers will help prepare and serve meals, socialize, provide overnight security, and learn firsthand about the root causes of homelessness. For more information about College community service initiatives, contact Diane Hotaling at 757.455.3216 or email email@example.com. More
Artist and VWC associate professor John Rudel kicked off his new show "The Metagrid Project” this month, on display Nov. 17-Jan. 18 at the Lorrie Saunders ArtGallery (Lorrie Saunders ’79) in Norfolk. The exhibit is inspired by the ubiquitous grid and features old and new paintings and mixed-media creations. This body of work extends back more than 10 years and has garnered numerous awards and honors, such as selection by Lisa Dennison (former director of the Guggenheim in New York) for inclusion in New American Paintings Magazine, and selection by Rod Slemmonds (director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago) for inclusion in Out of the Darkroom: Photographic Input/Digital Output at the University of Miami Art Museum. A special Q&A segment with Rudel was also featured on AltDaily.com in November. Join Rudel this winter as he examines how we navigate our contemporary environment, where interconnectivity and easy dissemination prevail. For more information, visit the Lorrie Saunders ArtGallery website at artgalleryls.net or call 757.627.9808.
Winners of the International Photo Contest, sponsored by the Office of International and Intercultural Programs (OIP), were honored Monday at a reception in Boyd Dining Center’s Shafer Room. Students who have studied abroad were invited to participate in the contest, which was held in conjunction with International Education Week (Nov. 12–16). With the opportunity to win cash prizes, entrants submitted up to three photos and a short essay that encompassed the theme, “Education as my PASSPORT to the WORLD!” First prize ($100) was awarded to sophomore Anjali Upadhyaya, who studied abroad in India last semester. “Education is just like that dark blue passport, and it’s my mind that gets to take the journey,” Upadhyaya wrote in her essay. “The classes I take – history, science, English – all allow me access to places that have the potential to open my mind and expand my horizons. When I studied abroad in India for a semester…I learned about different cultures and languages as well as different plants and animals. The opportunities like these that education provides are truly invaluable.” Second prize ($50) was awarded to senior Chiereme Fortune; Third prize ($25) went to junior Meaghan Groah; Honorable Mention was given to senior Allison Reeves. To learn more about study abroad programs or international internships, contact Lena Johnson at 757-455-3116, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the OIP webpage.
On November 13, 2012, the Business Department at Virginia Wesleyan College hosted an induction ceremony for 11 new members. Dr. Linda Ferguson, Professor of Management/Business/Economics, hosted the event, which also included the induction of a VWC alumna. Sigma Beta Delta is the international honor society in business, management and administration, established to encourage and recognize scholarship and accomplishment among students of business, management and administration. Congratulations to new members Susan Burlock, Kelly Keys, Rebecca Kois, Tempe Martens, Kirsten Olson, Dolores Roberts, Rachel Schramm, Casey Tyree, Luke Wade, Tiffin Zimmerman and honorary member Nancy Shipley Whitman '87.
Leaving everything on the field has taken on a new meaning for two former Virginia Wesleyan College men's lacrosse players. In a most improbable meeting, two lacrosse alumni are reuniting for a different cause, defending our country. Former Marlins Will Wheeler '08 and Matt Hovsepian '10 ran into each other on a military base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where they are both stationed. Having not seen each other in four years, the two caught up, compared stories and shared a little Marlin history in the process. Hovsepian immediately reached VWC head men's lacrosse coach J.P. Stewart to let him know of the chance encounter: "Coach, I'm back from Afghanistan," wrote Hovsepian. "Ran into Wheeler in Kandahar as my unit was on our way out. Hope all is well with you. Wheeler is doing awesome. I'll be up in a couple weeks to visit." Virginia Wesleyan's men's lacrosse team recently completed their annual homecoming alumni game where Wheeler and Hovsepian were unable to participate due to their commitment to defend our country.
Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Music Michael Trotta has been honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for his work as a performer and composer. Trotta received an ASCAP Plus Award based on more than two dozen performances at colleges and universities last year as well as demand for his original compositions. The award is distributed as an honorarium at the beginning of 2013. “These awards are granted by an independent panel and are based upon the unique prestige value of each writer’s catalog of original compositions as well as recent performances in areas not surveyed by the Society,” says ASCAP President Paul Williams. “In making these grants, we join with your educational institution in supporting the growth and development of our nation’s musical future.” Dr. Trotta joined the VWC faculty at the beginning of the fall 2012 semester. He holds a D.M.A. in choral conducting from Louisiana State University, an M.M. in choral conducting from Rowan University, and a B.M. in music education from Rowan University. Trotta looks forward to continuing the tradition of excellence in the arts while building the music program at VWC and further developing relationships with area arts organizations.
Winter Session, a special three-week academic term each January at VWC, gives students a chance to explore unusual subjects, immerse themselves in unique experiences, or even learn through travel while earning credits toward graduation. The theme of Winter Session 2013 is “crosscurrents.” A variety of classes and events will explore this topic as it relates to culture, politics, music, literature and more. Among those events is a performance by Kishi Bashi, whose music is an interdisciplinary blend of East and West, on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Marlin Grille. On Jan. 17, a panel of Virginia Wesleyan professors will expand on the crosscurrents concept with presentation titles such as "Transcending Language Barriers through Visual Art" and "Words Across Cultures." Courses being offering during Winter Session 2013 range from “Food Fights & Christian Identity” to “Supply Chain Management and Logistics” to “Latin American Music and Dance.” Faculty-led travel destinations include Costa Rica, Hawaii, the Mayan region of Mexico, and the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. Also during Winter Session, VWC hosts its annual Winter Homeless Shelter, the only homeless shelter held on a college campus in the U.S. Find out more about Winter Session.
The President's Office, the Political Science Department, and the International Studies Forum are pleased to announce that Ambassador Trudy Stevenson, Zimbabwe's ambassador to Senegal, will visit Virginia Wesleyan College on Oct. 24, 2012. Ambassador Stevenson will discuss international relations and politics in the context of African history, and will answer questions at a public forum. A native of Valdosta, Georgia, Ambassador Stevenson has had a remarkable career in Zimbabwean politics. The event will include a reception in the Ambassador’s honor. In addition to the Forum presentation on October 24, Ambassador Stevenson will speak to five different VWC classes on Oct. 24, 25, and 31. Details to follow. For more information, contact Kate Loring with the President's Office at 757.455.3215 or email email@example.com. This event is open to the public.
A number of needed repairs and improvements were completed during the 2012 summer break that will enhance the living and learning experience for all VWC students. Many were structural and/or cosmetic including the replacement of several sidewalks and paved areas, new windows in student housing, fresh paint and carpet, improved drainage systems, heating and air conditioning upgrades and more. A special project requested by our students, which added or improved wireless connectivity in all residence areas on campus, also expanded internet access. New and replacement computers in a number of locations include a new 22-station computer lab on the first floor of the Hofheimer Library. Finally, a workroom on the second floor of the Batten Center has been transformed into a state-of-the-art classroom with swiveling, mobile “Node Chairs,” an upgraded whiteboard, and a fully electronic podium that displays monitor, television, Blu-Ray/DVD and a document camera to an 80-inch flat screen.
A fun new fundraising event will be part of the Homecoming festivities this year at VWC. The VWC Cross Country Team/American Legion Post 35 Homecoming 5k trail race will take place on Sat., Oct. 6 at 8 a.m. and is open to runners and walkers of all abilities throughout the Hampton Roads community. Half of the proceeds will go to VWC’s Cross Country/Track & Field teams and the other half will go to support the community work that Post 35 does with our military veterans and their families. Following the race at 9 a.m, there will be a 1K (.62 miles) "Walk With A Vet," in which participants can have the opportunity to walk with older and/or wounded veterans. Before and after the race, local legend Johnny Brown,(age 93 will be selling and signing his new book, The 16th Cavalry Spearhead to the Rhine with General Patton. Visit the race registration site for prices and further details.
During his annual State of the College Address, President Billy Greer announced that Virginia Wesleyan will launch an initiative this fall that will expand opportunities for students to enroll in semester abroad immersion programs. This new three-year pilot program is focused on increasing study abroad experiences for students and strengthening the on-campus infrastructure required to support them. The project will continue through the 2014-15 academic year, providing resources for at least thirty-eight students to study abroad for a semester. Study abroad experiences provide students and the Virginia Wesleyan community with increased cultural insight and understanding, expand students’ academic and intellectual pursuits and enrich their lives by connecting them to a global community.
The Virginia Wesleyan College Adult Studies Program(ASP) has been awarded a grant from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to advance awareness, opportunities, and support for adults who want to return to college and complete their bachelors' degree. The grant will enable ASP staff to increase outreach in the community by offering a series of free information sessions and follow-up workshops in area recreation centers, churches, libraries, civic groups, corporations, and on the Virginia Wesleyan College campus. Focus will be on the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, but all interested adults can attend the sessions. ASP presentations will include face-to-face conversations with prospective adult students that provide information and answer questions about getting started, personal and academic support provided, financial aid opportunities, and VWC majors and degrees offered. Information sessions will begin in September 2012 and continue through May 2013. According to VWC Director of Adult Studies Tom Farley, "There are 1.4 million adults in Virginia who have completed some college, but have not earned their bachelor's degree. Although the reasons for stopping school may be many, taking the first step to returning to college is all about being well-informed and supported. Knowing that staff in the VWC Adult Studies Program understands and provides the personal, professional, and academic support needed for working adultes to succeed in college will make all the difference."
Seven tenure-track faculty members as well as several new members of the Academic Affairs staff have joined Virginia Wesleyan College for the start of fall semester classes for 2012. New faculty and staff include: Dr. Kathleen B. Casey, Assistant Professor of History, who was recently a visiting assistant professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Ms. Leslie Caughell, Assistant Professor of Political Science, who is completing her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Dr. Kellie Holzer, Assistant Professor of English, who last taught at the University of Washington; Dr. Kevin Kittredge, Associate Professor of Chemistry, who has held teaching positions at Western Connecticut State University, Siena College, and Miami University of Ohio; Dr. Audrey Malagon, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, who is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at VWC; Dr. Jennifer Silvka, Assistant Professor of English, previously a lecturer in English at the University of Miami; Dr. Michael J. Trotta, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Music, formerly Associate Director of Choral Studies and Interim Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at Oklahoma State University; Mr. Adam Ruh, Lecturer in English, who was previously Adjunct Instructor of English at VWC and Director of the Student Success Program; and Ms. Regina Bynum, Registrar, who was formerly the registrar at Norfolk State University. Joining the College in mid-September will be Ms. Sue Erickson, Director of Hofheimer Library, who is currently Interim Director of the Peabody Library at Vanderbilt University, and Mr. Stephen G. Leist, Research Librarian, who is presently Circulation Services Supervisor at Transylvania University.
Virginia Wesleyan College has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Science and Mathematics Scholars Program: Science and Math Students in a Liberal Arts College. The grant, which could total as much as $564,750 over a five-year period, provides funding for 30 need-based scholarships for academically talented undergraduates majoring in biology, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, or mathematics. The award enables Virginia Wesleyan to aggressively recruit three cohorts of students and is designed to increase the numbers of students majoring in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) disciplines at VWC. Selection of the applicants will be based on their aptitude for success and interest in STEM. In addition to the scholarship, student participants in the program are provided academic support and networking opportunities such as STEM tutors, lecture presentations by professionals in STEM disciplines, one-on-one advising, and a special STEM FYE section to help them successfully complete their degree in a timely fashion. Students in each cohort will live in the same residence hall, take classes together, and engage in collaborative, multidisciplinary research. Virginia Wesleyan faculty and career services specialists will create workshops and a network of STEM professionals to assist students with career placement. VWC primary investigators for the grant are professors Margaret Reese, Deirdre Gonsalves Jackson, and Gabriela Martorell. "I am most excited about recruiting our STEM cohorts," says Gonsalves-Jackson, "We are planning some exciting opportunities and programs for the participants and I look forward to seeing them develop as scientists and mathematicians. I am also excited about the scholarships that we can provide them. A college education is expensive and to receive an NSF scholarship will serve them well financially and add prestige to their academic dossier."
The Virginia Wesleyan Iota Beta Chapter of Sigma Nu accepted its first “Rock Chapter” award this month at the fraternity’s Grand Chapter National Convention in Dallas, Texas. Andy Brown’13, commander of the VWC Iota Beta Chapter of Sigma Nu, accepted the award on behalf of the Chapter. Also attending the convention were Chapter members Randy Rice’13, Jon Snow’15, and Ricky Ford’15. The Rock Chapter award honors collegiate chapters that have achieved excellence in operations across a broad range of fraternity operations, including risk management and behavioral issues. Sigma Nu was the first "social" fraternity chartered at Virginia Wesleyan and promotes the ideals of love, truth, and honor through the Brotherhood. Congratulations to the Virginia Wesleyan Iota Beta Chapter of Sigma Nu!
Dr. Doug Kennedy, Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies, was invited by the Department of Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) to direct aquatics training for defense personnel serving youth in Europe. Kennedy, who has served for 25 years with the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) National Camping School focusing on aquatics management, was recommended by the BSA to serve as the "Subject Matter Expert" for the defense Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) organization in Germany. Kennedy traveled to Karlsruhe, Germany for the annual Youth Leadership Forum which brings together youth from across Europe to discuss quality of life on U.S. Defense Bases. Kennedy provided instruction to certify staff as BSA Lifeguards and consulted with directors from installations in Germany and Italy regarding the best practices for aquatics programs and staffing. "The trip was extremely successful," said Kennedy, who was invited to return next year.
Professor of Religious Studies Dr. Terry Lindvall, also the C.S. Lewis Endowed Chair in Communication and Christian Thought at Virginia Wesleyan, has been awarded a grant funded by The Louisville Institute, a Lilly Endowment-funded program based at Louisville Seminary. The grant entitled Cinematic Worship: Representations of Prayers and Hymns in Hollywood Cinema aims at integrating pastoral ministry with representational media studies. It assumes that congregations are as much movie audiences as they are worshipping communities, and as such, find that a blurring of representations reflects their perspectives on how they pray and how they sing in worship. The importance of this project rests in the idea that images have consequences, that the way a behavior or person is portrayed alters its identity in incremental ways.
Bishop H. Hasbrouck Hughes Jr. has graciously served as the Bishop-in-Residence at Virginia Wesleyan College since 1997. He retires that role this month. Bishop Hughes and his wife, Mera, have been instrumental in helping Virginia Wesleyan maintain close ties to the United Methodist Church and in initiating the continuing education seminar for Methodist ministers held on the VWC campus each spring. "Bishop Hughes and his wife, Mera, are people who are loved by many throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, in United Methodist circles, in particular," says Virginia Wesleyan President Billy Greer. "We are very grateful for their support of the
Dr. Timothy O'Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College, is one of 20 senior-level administrators in higher education nationwide selected by the Council of Independent Colleges and the American Academic Leadership Institute to participate in a year-long Executive Leadership Academy. Individuals chosen for the program are vice presidents or cabinet officers in higher education who aspire to the presidency of an independent college or university. As a participant, O'Rourke will attend two seminars and ongoing webinars, participate in a mentoring program, develop experiential learning projects focused on specific areas of presidential responsibility, and complete a series of readings and case studies. "The Academy will help prepare CAOs to serve as effective college presidents," says Richard Ekman, President of the Council of Independent Colleges. "Competition for available places in the Academy was intense, and the review committee found the nomination materials to be most impressive. They (and I) believe that Dean O'Rourke has the potential for highly effective leadership as a college or university president." O'Rourke, also a professor of political science at Virginia Wesleyan, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Duke University. Prior to coming to Virginia Wesleyan in 2007, he was Dean of the Fulton School of Liberal Arts at Salisbury University in Maryland. For more information about the Executive Leadership Academy, visit www.cic.edu/executiveleadershipacademy
VWC's Director of Purchasing Midge Zimmerman was recently named co-chair of the executive board for the United States Postal Service Postal Customer Council for Hampton Roads. Zimmerman, who works in the business office and was formerly materials manager for the Virginia Wesleyan Mail Room, has been a member of the Council for five years. "Midge is a shining star at Virginia Wesleyan," says Bruce Vaughn, vice president of operations at the College. "Her expertise extends to the greater community. She has been so instrumental in moving the Postal Customer Council forward that she has been asked to assume this more active leadership role."
VWC junior Allison Reeves '13 has been selected to receive the 2012 ADVANCE Outstanding Service Award from the North Carolina Campus Compact. This award recognizes an AmeriCorps mentor whose service and support goes the extra mile to positively impact their mentee and service site. Allison is the coordinator of Marlins Read, a mentoring program that pairs Virginia Wesleyan students with first graders from three Virginia Beach elementary schools to help improve reading skills. With Allison's leadership, Marlins Read has grown from 11 to 27 mentors and the program was recently recognized as a Model Partnership by the Virginia Beach Citly Public Schools. Allison's service has included helping a first grade class with a Valentine's for Veterans project, driving the VWC van that transports college mentors to the elementary schools each week,and facilitating a "Chalk the Walk" project that encouraged students to express their love of reading on the school's sidewalk for all to see. This is Allison's first year as an AmeriCorps volunteer and her efforts are certainly making a mark. Congratulations to Allison Reeves!
Vice President for Academic Affairs & Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College Timothy G. O'Rourke has announced the selection of a new group of Batten Professors at Virginia Wesleyan College. The following faculty members, chosen by their peers, will enjoy the designation and the corresponding financial support for their professional vitality for a three-year period—from 2012-2015: Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson (Biology), Dr. Susan Larkin (English), and Dr. Sara Sewell (History). The new Batten Professors join the following holdover designees: Dr. Soraya Bartol, Mr. Philip Guilfoyle, Dr. Craig Jackson, Dr. Malcolm Lively, Dr. Elizabeth Malcolm, Ms. Sharon Payne, Dr. Susan Wansink, Ms. Denise Wilkinson, and Dr. Cathal Woods.
Virginia Wesleyan's Department of Recreation & Leisure Studies inducted eight students majoring in Recreation and Leisure Studies into Rho Phi Lambda, the honor society for Recreation, Park, and Leisure Professionals during their annual ceremony May 7, 2012. 2012 inductees include Christian Almy, Kate Atkinson, Kaylee Cossaboon, Morgan Eller, Angel Horowitz, Brooke Ladyman, Taylor Ladyman, and Ryan MacArthur. Elections were also held for Rho Phi Lambda officers with the following results: President, Stella Davie, Vice-President, Kala Guy, Treasurer, Ethan Wright.
Carissa Chantiles '13 received an award at the Model United Nations (MUN) Conference in New York City in April for her paper on the position of the Republic of Liberia in the UNICEF committee. Chantiles was one of 14 VWC students who traveled to the conference along with faculty adviser Dr. Aubrey Westfall. Award recipients are selected by the MUN staff and given to those students who submit the best prepared and well written position papers. It is only the second time the College has received an award at the conference and the first time for a paper. "It's a huge honor considering the conference involved well over 5,000 students from all over the world," says Dr. Westfall. "I'm thrilled!"
Maurice Jones, the new deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will deliver the keynote address during Virginia Wesleyan College's 43rd Commencement Ceremony on May 19. Jones will also be the recipient of an honorary degree from VWC. Jones was the president of Pilot Media and publisher of the Virginian-Pilot prior to joining the Obama administration in his new role this month. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and a graduate of the University of Virginia law school.
VWC Professor of Communication Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson received the President's Award at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) Conference, which took place in Boston, April 11-14. The award is given to individuals who have contributed to the PCA/ACA in a variety of ways. Past recipients include leaders of the regional and international PCA/ACA organizations as well as individuals from business and industry. The Journal of American Culture, for which Merlock Jackson serves as editor, was described at the awards presentation as one two "solid, highly sophisticated, completely professional journals that have led the way in disseminating sophisticated, peer-reviewed scholarship." Merlock Jackson is a past president of the American Culture Association. Her latest book, Disneyland and Culture, explores the success and cultural impact of the Disney theme parks.
The Society for Collegiate Journalists has announced the winners of its major awards for 2012. Virginia Wesleyan's student newspaper, the Marlin Chronicle, was the second place winner in the Newspaper Overall Excellence category. "Our Marlin Chronicle editors put together submissions for the contest last fall," says newspaper staff adviser and Assistant Professor of Communication Lisa Lyon Payne, "I'm particularly proud of their hard work and dedication to the publication." Congratulations to the staff of the award-winning Marlin Chronicle!
Virginia Wesleyan College will host a Blue Marlin Spring Break Basketball Camp for Southside Hampton Roads youth during the week of April 9-12, spring break for many area students. The camp is open to all area youth ages 5-17. As part of the camp experience, VWC Head Basketball Coach Dave Macedo, his coaching staff and players are partnering with Norfolk Police Officers assigned as Community Resource Officers in the Norfolk Redevelopment Housing Authority's (NRHA) public housing communities. The officers are encouraging more than 70 boys and girls, residents of NRHA public housing communities, to attend the camp. For Norfolk Police Officer and VWC Alum Rodney Young '07, volunteering at the camp will be a return to home court. Young was a member of the 2006 Virginia Wesleyan College National Championship Team. For more information, visit Blue Marlin Spring Break Basketball Camp or contact Dave Macedo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455
A contingent of nine student members of Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society in history, represented VWC at the Phi Alpha Theta Virginia Regional History Conference on March 31 at Lynchburg College. Three of the students presented research papers they had written for classes at VWC, and one of them, senior Jennifer Brown, earned runner-up best paper honors in the undergraduate U.S. category for her work entitled "An Examination of the Gendered Relationships between Matron Hannah Ropes and the Men of the Union Hotel Hospital in Georgetown, DC, June 26, 1862 – January 11, 1863." The conference was attended by groups from 11 Virginia colleges and universities and featured 64 student history presentations covering a wide array topics. Brown's award this year marks the fifth time in as many conference years that VWC students have brought home awards for their work in history, an achievement
VWC Associate Professor of French Dr. Alain Gabon has been selected to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities summer research seminar in Paris, France, June 4-6. This five-week seminar for college and university teachers and scholars is entitled "France's Haunting Pasts: Debating 20th Century History and French Identity Since 1990" and will explore four critical periods of crisis in French History and how they have shaped French identity and current debates: WWI; WWII, the Vichy Regime and the German occupation; Communist crimes; and the decolonization period and the Algerian War. The seminar is hosted and organized by the Institut d'Histoire du Temps Present, part of the National Center for Scientific Research, France's top multidisciplinary state scientific research institute. The application for the seminar was open to faculty, scholars, and researchers in a variety of disciplines including languages, English, history, post-Colonial studies, and
The 4th Annual Strike Out Cancer Day was a winner on March 31 as more than 250 spectators came out to cheer on the VWC softball team while raising money for the American Cancer Society. Members of the softball team sold tickets to the event at $5 each. The day included food, fun and festivities as well as a large silent auction, which also helped raise money for the cause. The event raised $9,000, adding to the more than $25,000 raised over the last three years. "On behalf of the Virginia Wesleyan softball team, the American Cancer Society and my family, I want to thank our campus community for coming together for another great Strike Out Cancer Day," said Head Softball Coach Brandon Elliott.
Virginia Wesleyan College's Marlins Read program has been named as a 2011-12 Model Partnership by Virginia Beach City Public Schools and will be honored during a partners-in-education recognition event in April. Marlins Read is a community service opportunity for Virginia Wesleyan students who volunteer to tutor/mentor a Bayside Elementary School child for a semester to help develop reading skills. Way to go, Marlins!
VWC alumna Hope Bradshaw '96 was named the 2012 Middle School Teacher of the Year for Suffolk Public Schools. Hope teaches sixth-grade history at King's Fork Middle School and is in her 15th year of teaching.Principal Jennifer Presson said Bradshaw makes the lessons relevant to her pupils. "Instead of merely delivering content to students, she has taken her students on a journey through time," Presson said. Bradshaw often dresses as historical characters and leads re-enactments of events.
The NCAA has recently announced that Virginia Wesleyan College and the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau have been selected to host the 2013 NCAA DIII Field Hockey Championships. This championship will also include DI and DII competition and will be jointly hosted with Old Dominion University. "We are honored to have been awarded this distinctive event and look forward to working with NCAA staff to plan an outstanding championship experience," said VWC athletic director Joanne Renn. "We successfully hosted the 2004 and 2005 Women's Basketball Championships and welcome the challenge once more to expose the nation to our wonderful institution and historical region." Planning for the 2013 championships is already underway; the anticipated dates for the event are Nov. 20-24, 2013.
On March 8, Dr. Stanley Lombardo, a professor of Classics at the University of Kansas, offered the VWC community reflections on his experiences translating the Iliad and Odyssey. In his presentations, Lombardo likened the difficulties and rewards besetting the translator to the Zen practice of solving insoluble riddles or "koans." Approaching Homer with this aim, Lombardo noted he became aware of a characteristic light suffusing the world of Homer's poetry—"a sense of seeing things as if for the first time." Lombardo illustrated this with readings from his translation, recapturing an echo of how Homer's original audiences must have once experienced the tale of Troy—as a living song accompanied by music recited by a skilled craftsman with drama and feeling.
From the drawings of Pablo Picasso to the photographs Harry Callhan, a few dozen Virginia Wesleyan students, faculty and staff had a chance to immerse themselves in the greats during the Art Department's annual bus trip to Washington D.C on Feb. 24. "Everyone had a good trip and came back very tired," said Professor of Art Phil Guilfoyle, who organized the trip. Among the highlights was the National Gallery of Art and a special exhibit at the Hirshorn Museum called Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space. Students also had time to explore some of the other free museums and attractions in the vicinity of the National Mall before gathering back on the bus for the return trip to VWC.
For eight weeks, Virginia Wesleyan College will be participating in the Recyclemania National Challenge. From Jan. 30 through March 25, students, faculty and staff will take part in a friendly competition that promotes waste reduction in campus communities across the country. VWC will be competing with over 630 colleges and universities. A weekly report on how much recycling and trash Marlins collect will be used to rank VWC and other schools according to how much they gather per capita. In its first official week of competition, VWC recycled 3,614 pounds of material. Marlins Go Green President Randy Rice will be keeping the campus updated on the College’s progress in the competition.
The fastest college team down the chute at the 22nd Annual National Toboggan Championships at the Camden Snow Bowl in Maine was the Virginia Wesleyan team, Southern Comfort, at 9.29 seconds. For the second time in four years, VWC's team captured the college division title. This year's team included Professor Doug Kennedy, the father of a VWC alum, and a firefighter who has assisted the College with safety procedures on our ropes course and during Winter Session.
Erica Clarke ’05, a doctoral student and graduate teaching fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, was back on the Wesleyan campus on Feb. 1 to give a presentation titled “Crafting Our Own Noose: The Role of African Americans in a ‘Post-Racist’ Society.” Clarke, a keynote speaker for the College’s African American Heritage Month celebration, was welcomed by VWC faculty, staff and current students as she discussed her dissertation research on the history of blackface minstrelsy. Clarke talked about how her communications degree from VWC and liberal arts education prepared her for post graduate study. “It priceless,” “said Clarke. “There was never any limit placed on what I could do with my degree.”
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Alison Marganski has been awarded a grant from the Walmart Foundation through their Local Community Contribution/Hunger Outreach Grant Program. The $1,000 Grant will be used to promote community engagement and cultural understanding among VWC students, particularly through student projects related to raising awareness about relationship violence. Local organizations within the Hampton Roads area relevant to the topic will also be highlighted and supported. Additionally, the grant will be used to engage in research examining relationships and finding means of promoting healthy, positive relationships.
Since April 2011, more than 130 Virginia Wesleyan students, faculty and staff participated in the construction of the latest VWC chapter Habitat for Humanity home. On Saturday, January 21, all their hard worked paid off as the Morris family, for whom the home was being built, was handed the keys to their brand new townhouse at 352 Nelms Lane in Virginia Beach. Maura Bradley 11’, Immediate Past Habitat for Humanity Chapter President, Melissa Snyder, current Habitat for Humanity President and Diane Hotaling, Director of Community Service, were on hand. VWC President Billy Greer was among the speakers. Check out photos of the dedication on our campus snapshots page.
As part of the College's new enhanced curriculum, VWC recreation and leisure studies students raised a whopping $4,425 last semester for the "Send a Kid to Camp Fund," which provides financial assistance for children to attend YMCA Camp Silver Beach. They did it through a variety of fundraising events including a "Car Smash" in which participants paid for a chance to take a whack at an old vehicle. These students were building on a program that dates back to 2003 and has raised over $37,000 total. “I can't tell you how proud I am of our students,” said Dr. Doug Kennedy, Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies. “On a campus where a lot of fundraising occurs, their performance really shines.”