Feature Stories Campus Events

Visiting Fellow at Brookings Institution to Speak at W&L

James Ziliak, currently a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, will discuss “Human Capital, Social Policy, and the Challenge of Persistent Poverty in America” on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. in Room A214 in the Science Center at Washington and Lee University.

The talk is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by W&L’s Shepherd Program and University Lecture Series.

Ziliak is a professor of economics at the University of Kentucky and director of the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research. While at W&L, he will meet with students in the Shepherd Poverty Program courses.

Ziliak has authored or co-authored more than 30 publications. He received his B.A. and B.S. from Purdue University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Richardson Discusses Newspaper’s Decision to Abandon Print

The announcement this week that the Christian Science Monitor was ceasing publication of a daily print edition and would appear online only did not surprise Brian Richardson, head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Washington and Lee University.

The question all along, Richardson said, was which newspaper would be the first to abandon print. In hindsight, he added, the Monitor was probably the likeliest candidate because the paper did not depend on local advertising.

“Changing the economic model is the big hurdle right now,” said Richardson, a former print and broadcast journalist. “Print publications are destined to become niche publications. For newspapers from the Wall Street Journal to the Roanoke Times, the primary product is going to be the Web one of these days, because the delivery system is much more efficient and cheaper and accessible.”

Richardson believes that the shift to Internet-only newspapers has the potential to make journalism better by improving the free flow of reliable information to the public. That is not to say, however, that there are no potential pitfalls.

“On one level, where we have conversations about what journalism is, this has the potential to improve our ability to make this critical information available. We are talking about the potential for more access, a much quicker feedback loop and more interactivity,” he said. “All of those things that, frankly, scare us to death but have wonderful potential for increasing citizen participation and re-engaging them in civic debate.”

But Richardson does worry that the speed with which the news is now gathered and disseminated can pose problems.

“It’s already a cliché, but we say that we are all working for wire services now, because everybody is on deadline all the time,” he said. “When these competitive concerns get factored in, you have to answer such questions as ‘Is it still “get it first but first get it right”? ’ Or ‘Is it “get it first, and we’ll clean it up later when we know more”?’ That’s a real concern.”

Washington and Lee’s journalism department began preparing for the shift to electronic-only publications more than a decade ago, adopting a curriculum that emphasized what Richardson calls a “convergence” model in which journalists collect information in multiple formats.

Getting students to be comfortable with the new tools was the easiest part of the process, said Richardson.

“When it comes to rolling up your sleeves and playing with the technology and exploring its possibilities, students don’t need prodding. Every once in a while you have to rein them in,” he said.

The more difficult part of the transition, he said, was changing the culture in which the print and electronic media operated in very different arenas.

“In the old days, the farmer and the cowboy couldn’t be friends,” said Richardson. “Print journalists didn’t take broadcast journalists seriously; broadcast journalists thought print journalists were elitists. That’s a broad characterization, but I think there is some truth in it.

“What we had to do as the first mission was tell people that this is about providing audiences with reliable information by using the strengths of whatever medium you’re working in and playing to the strengths of that medium and empowering audiences.”

Professor Larry Hurd Named First Herwick Professor of Biology

Lawrence E. Hurd, professor of biology at Washington and Lee University, has been named to the new Herwick Professorship of Biology. Announcement of Hurd’s appointment was made by W&L Provost June Aprille.

The John T. Herwick, M.D., Professorship in Biology was created 2008 by Dr. John T. Herwick, W&L Class of 1936, and his wife, Mary T. Herwick, as a memorial to Oscar E. and Edith D. Herwick, Dr. Herwick’s parents. The donors’ gift honors William Dana Hoyt, Ph.D., W&L professor of biology from 1920 to 1945, who was Dr. Herwick’s professor from 1932 to 1936.

Hurd joined the Washington and Lee faculty in 1993 as a full professor and served as head of the biology department for 15 years. Previous to this he was a professor of biology at the University of Delaware for 20 years. He is currently editor in chief of the Annals of the Entomological Society of America and fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London.

“Professor Larry Hurd, a valuable member of the biology department, teaches key courses in the department, including Fundamentals of Biology, Ecology, Zoology, Entomology and Ethics and Biodiversity,” said Hank Dobin, dean of the college at W&L. “Respected by his colleagues in the department, in the college and in his discipline, Professor Hurd rightly is the first John T. Herwick, M.D. Professor of Biology.”

Hurd has authored more than 90 publications in journals including Science, American Naturalist, Ecology, Environmental Entomology and Animal Behaviour. He is also co-editor of “The Praying Mantids” (Johns Hopkins Press, 1999).

Hurd’s current research interests include tropical biodiversity, indicator species and human coexistence with nature; plant community succession and arthropod consumer diversity; and what regulates predator populations.

A graduate of Hiram College, Hurd received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University.

Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program Presents a Talk by Thomas Freeman

Thomas Freeman, current research fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., will give a talk at Washington and Lee University on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 4:15 p.m., in Payne Hall, room 21. It is sponsored by the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program.

The event is free and open to the public. The title of Freeman’s lecture is “Women Martyrs During the Reign of (Bloody) Mary.”

Freeman is editor of the John Foxe Project at the University of Sheffield. An historian of martyrdom and monarchy in sixteenth-century England, Freeman is the editor of two recent books, Tudors and Stuarts on Film (Palgrave, 2008) and Martyrs and Martyrdom in England, 1400-1700 (Ashgate, 2007).

He has a forthcoming book, with Elizabeth Evanden, through Cambridge University Press: Religion and the Book: the Making of John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.

Michael Thompson ’09 Wins Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship

Michael Thompson ’09, from La Jolla, Calif., and a senior at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., has recently been awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship which will continue his education for an academic year in one of five cities.

He won’t be told until mid-December 2008 whether he’ll be studying in Rio de Janiero, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Lima, Peru; Toluca, Mexico; or Istanbul, Turkey. Thompson was asked as part of his scholarship application where he would like to study and why.

His scholarship application had to be in the language of the school he would be attending–Portuguese for Rio de Janiero, Spanish for Santiago, Lima and Toluca and English for Istanbul. If the Rotary program sends him to Turkey he would need to learn Turkish although the school he would be attending there is taught in English. And he already knows Portuguese and Spanish.

The Rotary Ambassadorial Program aims to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups. Upon returning home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to a greater understanding of their host country.

“I am very pleased Mike won the Rotary Scholarship,” said Christopher Connors, associate professor of geology. “During study abroad programs at Washington and Lee, Mike has developed a passion for travel and learning about new cultures, particularly Brazilian culture. The sciences are no less in need of cultural understanding than any other discipline, and in many ways more so. Most of the challenges we face in the geosciences cross borders and cultures and are global in nature.”

Thompson, a geology major with a concentration in environmental studies, said the places he would like to study next year are “geologically interesting. There is a fault line running from South America up through the Rockies in the U.S. Turkey is also a heavily faulted area.”

Connors also said, “The Rotary Scholarship will allow him to strengthen his understanding of another culture while preparing for graduate study and a career in the geosciences. He is the type of personable, motivated, and intelligent student the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship seeks to nurture with their program.”

Currently at W&L, Thompson serves on the Student Judicial Council and is a third-year member of the rugby club, a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and a member of the Cycling Team.

When asked what he planned on doing after his scholarship year is over Thompson said that “it’s still a question mark. I might want to be a geologist for a couple of years, or an environmental consultant. I might be interested in starting up an environmental energy company. I can’t say for sure right now.”

Hansen Babington ’09 Wins Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship

Washington and Lee University senior Hansen Babington ’09 of Mobile, Ala., has been awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to attend either La Universidad Complutense de Madrid, a large public university in Madrid, Spain, or La Universidad Torcuato di Tella, a private school in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Babington will be abroad for either 10 or 12 months, depending on the school to which he’s assigned. He’ll be told which school that will be in December or January.

The Rotary Ambassadorial Program aims to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups. Upon returning home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to a greater understanding of their host country.

“I am thrilled to have won the Rotary scholarship,” said Babington. “It will give me the resources to build off of my studies at W&L and begin studying international journalism. I hope to use my studies to start a career that will allow me to pursue my love of language and contribute to the intercultural exchange of ideas.”

Babington will attend a Rotary seminar to orient him as to his responsibilities to his host and sponsor Rotary clubs during his time as an Ambassadorial scholar, as well to prepare him for the writing and presentation of the 18 speeches he’ll be required to make to Rotary clubs in his host country. The wrap-up speech to his home sponsor Rotary Club, in Mobile, Ala., will be after his fellowship is over.

Babington never imagined he’d be studying journalism in Spanish but his language background at W&L will help him. “Professor Ellen Mayock urged me to look at pursuing a scholarship in the first place,” said Babington. “She gave me invaluable help and advice on the Spanish language portion of my application – in fact, she was the one who sparked an interest in me about studying the Spanish language.”

“I would say that Hansen has just the qualities that will make him a fine Rotary ambassador in either Spain or Argentina,” said Ellen Mayock, associate professor of Spanish at W&L. “As a Spanish and English major he has fine-tuned his reading and writing skills in both languages. He loves the Spanish language, has a keen ability to read and write in the language and to capture nuance of the written word, and is zealous about working with both English and Spanish in the community.”

Mayock continued, “I am delighted that Hansen will be able to use the many skills and the extensive knowledge he has gained at W&L when he travels abroad next year with Rotary,”

At W&L, Babington volunteers for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and is a member and treasurer of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He has played on the Rugby team for four years, serving as captain this year, is a member of the Cycling Club and participates in triathlons.

Law-Media Symposium to Explore Free Speech on the World “Wild” Web

No technology, besides television, has had a greater impact on our society than the Internet. Fifteen years have passed since it reached the mainstream, and we’re still struggling to keep up with the breakneck pace of evolution and innovation.

On Nov. 14-15, top First Amendment scholars and new media journalists will converge on Washington and Lee University to explore these issues at the 2nd annual Law and Media Symposium, “The Wild, Wild Web: Free Speech, Libel and the First Amendment in the Digital Age.”

The two-day symposium, which is free and open to the public, begins at 9 a.m. each day, and will be held in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall, W&L School of Law.

The many changes in the Internet have hit the news media hard. While the demand for online news grows, newsroom staffs contract and even the largest papers are scrambling to find viable replacements for fading revenue. At the same time, new technologies built on the speed of the Internet have put unprecedented power in the hands of everyday citizens, who can now take part in an unregulated marketplace of ideas and commerce that extends to millions. Defining and policing free speech in this chaotic space has confounded the courts and legal scholars alike.

Made possible through the generous support of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the symposium will include speakers, panels and a moot court exercise involving students and the audience as judge and jury.

“The Reynolds Foundation has provided us a unique opportunity to explore together the intersection of law, public policy and journalism in the age of new media,” says Brian Richardson, head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. “This is enormously important and very exciting.”

The symposium’s speakers include:

  • Jim Brady, vice president and executive editor of washingtonpost.com; board member of the Online News Association; former vice president and editorial director for AOL.
  • Erwin Chemerinsky, expert in constitutional law and federal civil procedure; law professor at USC, DePaul and Duke; founding dean of the law school of the University of California, Irvine.
  • John Harris, co-founder and editor in chief of The Politico newspaper and politico.com; author of “The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House” and co-author of “The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008.”
  • The Hon. Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; a judicial conservative and well-known free-speech advocate, mentioned as a possible U.S. Supreme Court candidate.
  • Rodney A. Smolla, dean and Steinheimer Professor of Law at W&L’s School of Law; First Amendment expert and frequent commentator on legal disputes involving online media.
  • Mike Allen, chief political writer for politico.com and a W&L graduate, will join the panel on Saturday.

“This promises to be one of the most exciting programs of the year,” said Smolla. “Erwin Chemerinsky and Judge Alex Kozinski are two of the nation’s most provocative and engaging commentators on the Constitution and American culture. Combined with the insights of Jim Brady and John Harris, this will be a blockbuster show on one of the most interesting issues of media law and policy of our times.”

Day one, beginning at 9 a.m., will feature lectures and Q&A sessions by the panelists. In addition, Smolla will lead a moot court exercise where he will present oral arguments on both sides of a dispute before a fictional Supreme Court. The audience and panelists will serve as the Court’s justices.

Day two, beginning at 9 a.m., will feature a panel and free-form discussion on Internet protections of political speech in light of the just-concluded presidential race. The panel will be moderated by Journalism Department head Brian Richardson.

The symposium is being conducted with special funding from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., it is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. The Foundation has awarded more than $4 million in grants to the University’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications to establish a faculty chair in business journalism, to fund summer internships for business journalism majors, and to enhance interdisciplinary teaching programs in business, law and journalism.

Rough Beauty by Dave Anderson Open Nov. 10 in Staniar Gallery

Rough Beauty, an exhibition of photographs by Dave Anderson, will be on view in Staniar Gallery on the campus of Washington and Lee University November 10 through December 12, 2008. The exhibit chronicles Anderson’s photographic documentation of the town of Vidor, Texas.

Between fall 2003 and early 2006, Anderson made 50 trips to Vidor, a hard-scrabble community in southeast Texas reviled for its history of Klan activities. Rough Beauty reveals the lingering effects of this history in a town struggling to create a new identity from a difficult past. Anderson’s photographs also bring to light the resiliency and hidden beauty within this community.

Anderson and Rough Beauty have received international acclaim and have been profiled on NPR and on Canadian television. Rough Beauty was the winner of the Santa Fe center for Photography 2005 Project Competition.

Primarily self-taught, Anderson has worked for the past three years as a full-time fine art and commercial photographer. In this short time he has been recognized as “one of the shooting stars of the American photo scene” by Germany’s fotoMAGAZIN and named to the “PDN 30” list by Photo District News, the much anticipated annual list of 30 emerging photographers.

His work has been featured in numerous magazines including Esquire, Stern, ESPN, Photo District News and British Journal of Photography. Various pieces are also in the collection of museums including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the George Eastman House, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.

Anderson will give an artist’s talk at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 12 in the Wilson Hall Concert Gallery. The talk will be followed by a reception in the Wilson Hall Lykes Atrium. The public is invited to attend both events.

During the exhibition, Anderson will spend a week in Washington and Lee University’s Art Department as a Visiting Artist.

Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall, in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information call 540.458.8861.

New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt to Speak at Journalism Ethics Institute

Clark F. Hoyt, The New York Times public editor, will deliver the keynote speech at Washington and Lee University’s 46th Institute on Journalism Ethics on Friday, Nov. 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.

The title of Hoyt’s speech is “You Must Be Dumber Than You Look – My Life Second-Guessing The New York Times.” The event is free and open to the public.

The public editor, the paper’s in-house critic and scold, works outside of the reporting and editing structure of the newspaper and receives and answers questions or comments from readers and the public, principally about articles published in the paper. Hoyt additionally publishes periodic commentaries about The Times’ journalistic practices and current journalistic issues in general, when he believes they are warranted.

After starting his newspaper career in 1966 at The Ledger in Lakeland, Fla., Hoyt began working for Knight Ridder at the Detroit Free Press in 1968 as a general assignment reporter and then political reporter. He became Washington correspondent for The Miami Herald in 1970, was later a national correspondent for Knight Ridder and then news editor of its Washington bureau.

He was named business editor of the Free Press and then managing editor of the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle-Beacon from 1981-85, before returning to Washington where he became bureau chief of Knight Ridder in 1987. He was Knight Ridder’s vice president/news from 1993-99. From 1999 until the sale of Knight Ridder, he was Washington editor, with responsibility for the Washington bureau and the editorial operations of Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

After the sale of Knight Ridder to The McClatchy Co. in 2006, Hoyt became a newsroom consultant to McClatchy to help with transition issues. In 2007, he joined The New York Times.

Hoyt shared the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting with Robert S. Boyd in 1973 for their coverage of Democratic vice presidential nominee Thomas Eagleton’s history of treatment for severe depression. In 2004 he received the John S. Knight Gold Medal, Knight Ridder’s highest employee award.

Hoyt is a director of the foundation of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and a former chairman of the National Press Foundation.

He is a graduate of Columbia College, the undergraduate liberal arts school at Columbia University.

Environmental Ethicist Andrew Light to Speak at W&L

On Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 4:45 p.m., the Society and the Professions Program in Ethics at Washington and Lee University will sponsor a lecture by Andrew Light, associate professor of philosophy and environmental policy at George Mason University (GMU).

The event, which is at the Stackhouse Theater in Elrod Commons, is free and open to the public. The title of Light’s talk is “Climate Ethics After Bali.”

Light is also director at the Center for Global Ethics at GMU and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. He is an internationally recognized environmental ethicist specializing in the ethical dimensions of environmental policy, restoration ecology and climate change.

Light described his talk, “With the effective end of the debate over the basic science of climate change, and the dramatic shift in the U.S. political response to this issue, the world should now move quickly toward a successor agreement to the Kyoto protocol. This was the overwhelming consensus coming out of the last UN Framework on Climate Change conference held in Bali last December.

“What will be the role of ethicists in forming this new agreement? Will there be a role for ethicists in this process? “

After reviewing the current state of work on the ethics of climate change in the English speaking world, I will argue that philosophers need to move quickly to develop a more “clinical” model of climate ethics, comparable to clinical models of bioethics, if they want to be part of the resolution of this critical problem,” Light concluded.

He has authored, co-authored and edited 17 books on environmental ethics, philosophy of technology and aesthetics, including Environmental Values (2008), The Aesthetics of Everyday Life (2005), Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice (2003) and Technology and the Good Life? (2000). He is currently finishing a book on the ethics of restoration ecology in a changing climate.

Light received his B.A. from Mercer University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside.

Professor William Connelly Discusses the End of Political Partisanship in Richmond Times-Dispatch Op/Ed

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Professor Mark Rush on WVTF Public Radio on Election Night

Mark Rush, professor of politics at W&L, will join a team of political analysts on election night.

WVTF Public Radio will begin broadcasting election coverage after the polls close in Virginia at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4 and continue overnight until Morning Edition, which begins at 5 a.m. the following day.

“This is the most comprehensive rolling coverage combination presented by National Public Radio and the WVTF news department featuring election results, in-studio analysis, and live reports from around the country throughout the night,” said WVTF News Director Rick Mattioni.

National Public Radio hosts Robert Siegel and Michele Norris will provide national election coverage, while WVTF hosts Fred Echols and Libby Fitzgerald provide state and regional coverage. They will be joined in the studios by political analysts Craig Brians and Karen Hult of Virginia Tech and Mark Rush of Washington and Lee University. WVTF’s Connie Stevens will provide updates in key Virginia races throughout the evening. WVTF will have reporters stationed with the candidates at their election night events as well.


Timothy Jost Discusses Health Reform on NPR affiliate WMRA

Monday, October 27, at 3 p.m., W&L Law Professor Timothy Jost will appear on NPR affiliate WMRA’s Virginia Insight show to discuss health reform.

You are invited to join the conversation by calling 888-967-2825, or 888-WMRA-TALK. WMRA can be found at 89.9 in Lexington, 90.7 in Harrisonburg, and 103.5 in Charlottesville. The program will also be streamed live and archived on the Web site http://www.wmra.org/.

Strict Enforcement of State Electioneering Laws Problematic

Election officials who interpret their state’s prohibitions against electioneering as prohibiting voters from wearing campaign buttons or T-shirts into the polling places on Election Day may be strictly within the law, but a Washington and Lee University expert on the First Amendment believes the interpretation would be unconstitutional.

Stories and e-mail chains have raised the issue that officials in some states will be strict in their interpretation of such laws.

“It’s not just urban legend,” said Rodney A. Smolla, dean of Washington and Lee’s School of Law. “Most states have laws against electioneering, and some of those laws — those in Texas and New York, for instance — do have prohibitions against voters having what is usually called ‘campaign material,’ which could include T-shirts.”

The electioneering laws, according to Smolla, were designed to target pressure tactics by professionals and were not aimed at the average voters.

“I support our attempts to make individuals’ voting experience hassle-free,” Smolla said. “In that sense, the laws are sound and it’s good for the political process.

“But I don’t think that the state legislatures that passed these laws had in mind average voters who feel passionately about a candidate or an issue and choose to express that passion by wearing a button or a T-shirt.”

Smolla said that he believes strict enforcement is not only unnecessary but also unconstitutional.

“I think we have a First Amendment right to wear T-shirts promoting our political preference, even to the polling place,” Smolla said. “In addition, wearing such a T-shirt does not damage to the integrity of the political process.”

Goldsmith’s Research Warns of Psychological Effects of Unemployment

As the current economic crisis and pending recession lead to rising unemployment, research by Arthur H. Goldsmith, the Jackson T. Stephens Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee University, warns of the devastating, and possibly permanent, psychological effects of joblessness.

Goldsmith’s innovative research into the psychological effects of joblessness contributed at an early stage to the now popular field of Behavioral Economics. He says that he and his colleagues Jonathan Veum, a Research Economics with FreddicMac, and William Darity Jr., Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Duke University, wanted a richer understanding of what it fully means to be unemployed. “At the time of our research, economists were asserting that the consequence of exposure to unemployment was simply lost wages and output,” says Goldsmith, “yet anyone could see that there was a non-monetary effect that was much more personalized.”

“In the first phase of unemployment, people have a benign ignorance and think it will turn out fine, that they are not going to be emotionally damaged by this, because they’ll just go out and get a job,” says Goldsmith.

Approximately half of unemployed people do find a job in about five weeks, but he stresses that, “even by five weeks you can see the changes. They begin to question themselves: ‘Why was I selected to be unemployed?’ ‘Were my skills lacking?’ ‘Is there something about me that’s problematic?’ And so begins the erosion of self esteem, which is such a very important part of our psychological well being.”

In addition to a diminished sense of self, those exposed to a few months of unemployment begin to exhibit higher levels of anxiety, depression, and lack of sleep. If people face prolonged unemployed, six to nine months or longer, the psychological effects often become chronic and have a long lasting effect.

Goldsmith’s research identified two different types of individuals: Those with an internal locus, who feel that they influence the things that happen to them, and those with an external locus, who believe that they don’t have much control over their lives and that events just happen to them. An important distinction between people with these differencing mind-sets is that person’s with a more internal locus tend to be more motivated, since they see a tight connection between actions they take and life outcomes.

Goldsmith says that as time marches on for the unemployed, all people, no matter what their original outlook, will become more externally focused. “Looking at longer periods of unemployment, say four to six months, we see statistically significant evidence of people becoming more externally focused and feeling helpless,” he says.

“What’s really interesting is that this compromised sense of self becomes hardens and is better described as a permanent scar rather than a blemish. Even when people become employed again, the adverse impact of unemployment on psychological well-being lingers.”

Goldsmith contends that whether a person is internally or externally focused prior to exposure to unemployment governs the extent to which joblessness leaves them feeling helpless and compromises their self-esteem. “Having an external locus can act as a coping mechanism or a way of avoiding self-blame which protects one’s sense of emotional well-being,” he says.

Consequently, according to Goldsmith, more highly educated people are the most vulnerable to the psychological ravages of unemployment because they tend to be more internally focused. “So when these people become unemployed they tend to attribute this to personal shortcomings which fosters helplessness and a compromised view of self.”

Another group that experiences the psychological impact of unemployment are those who are personally connected to an individual who becomes unemployed. First, there’s empathy with the individual who lost a job, but then there’s a lot of concern that maybe they are next. This, Goldsmith says, can create considerable anxiety. The interesting question is how do these people respond?

Those with an internal outlook will try to protect themselves by demonstrating to their employer that they are a model employee–psychologists call such behavior reactance. “They will say ‘I’m going to be such a fantastic worker they’ll never lay me off. I’ll be indispensable.’ When these people eventually lose their jobs,” says Goldsmith, “you can only imagine the deep psychological impact if they’ve really given their all and were very committed, yet were still let go.”

With the current economic crisis, Goldsmith points out that while there is fear on many different levels – about the status of 401(K’s) and preparation for retirement, about being able to provide for children especially those nearing or enrolled in college – fear of unemployment can be one of the most damaging,” concludes Goldsmith. “The situation right now is fraught with the potential to have a great impact on the overall emotional well being of American society.”

W&L’s Glasgow Series Presents Lois Beardslee, Native American Writer and Artist

Lois Beardslee, an Ojibwe writer and artist, will give a reading and slide show of her artwork on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. in Payne Hall, Room 21, at Washington and Lee University. This event is open to the public.

A book signing and a sale of Beardslee’s books and some of her artwork will be held after the reading in Payne Hall, Room 26.

A lifetime spent in more than one Native American culture and tradition at the same time-(her mother was Ojibwe and her father was Lacandon) has led Beardslee to write about the ways in which traditional and modern lifestyles conflict and merge for contemporary Native people. She grew up in northern Michigan and northern Ontario, dividing her time between her extended family’s farms and remote bush camps.

Beardslee writes both fiction and nonfiction and contributes scholarly writings in the field of multicultural education and literature. She is the author of “Rachel’s Children: Stories from a Contemporary Native American Woman” (Alta Mira Press, 2004); “Not Far Away: The Real-life Adventures of Ima Pipiig” (Alta Mira Press, 2007); and “The Women Warrior’s Society” (University of Arizona Press, 2008), among others.

She also is a contributor to “A Broken Flute: the Native Experience in Books for Children,” winner of a 2006 American Book Award.

Beardslee has been an artist for much of her life. She has done painting, illustrating and creating rare traditional Ojibwe art forms, including porcupine quillwork, sweetgrass baskets and birch bark cut-outs and bitings. Her work is in public and private collections worldwide. She continues to divide her time between the family farm and remote bush camps.

Currently an adjunct instructor in communications at Northwestern Michigan College, Beardslee has a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico.

The Beardslee reading is part of W&L’s Glasgow Reading Series.

Athletic Complex Named in Honor of Duchossois

Washington and Lee University has named its outdoor athletic complex in honor of Richard L. Duchossois of the Class of 1944 in recognition of his support for the University.

Announcement of the naming was made Saturday during ceremonies for the rededication of Wilson Field, the University’s football, lacrosse and track facility that underwent a $15.5 million reconstruction and was opened this fall.

In addition to Wilson Field, the Duchossois Athletic Complex comprises the fields for soccer, field hockey, and baseball, the cross country course as well as the outdoor tennis courts and the indoor tennis center that bears Duchossois’ name.

W&L President Ken Ruscio, who made the announcement, said that Duchossois’ insistence in the late 1990s that the indoor tennis facility be done “the right way” has been the guiding principle behind the development of all of the recent upgraded or newly constructed athletic facilities.

“The Duchossois Tennis Center set the standard for the rest of our facilities,” Ruscio said during a brunch honoring more than 650 donors to the Wilson Field project. “Following that standard, we now have, with the rededication of Wilson Field, the finest outdoor athletic complex of any NCAA Division III institution in the country.”

Ruscio noted that Duchossois had provided $10 million in support to the various projects, including a $4 million leadership gift that led early funding for Wilson Field’s reconstruction and a $1.5 million challenge grant near the end of the Wilson Field campaign that enabled the University to complete the funding for the facility.

Duchossois, founder and chairman of Duchossois Industries, Inc., and chairman emeritus of Arlington Park Race Course, said that Washington and Lee provides the important link between academic excellence and the development of leadership qualities in its students and graduates.

“When you look at W&L, you get the finest academic education,” he said. “When you go west of the footbridge [to the outdoor athletic complex], you put that education into action by learning how to work with each other through teamwork. These two components — academic and the athletic — are tied together by the finest honor system in the world so that everything is done in an ethical way.”

A granite plaque identifying the Duchossois Athletic Complex was unveiled in the walkway on the west end of the footbridge.

W&L’s Campus Kitchen Wins Two National Awards

W&L’s Campus Kitchen Project (CKP) won two major awards at the National Campus Kitchen Conference in Milwaukee, Wis., on Saturday, Oct. 18. “These are extraordinary accomplishments and speak to the success of the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee,” said Campus Kitchens Project Coordinator Jennifer Sproul ‘08.

W&L senior Mackenzie Brown won the Leah Prudhomme Volunteer of the Year Award, which singles out one recipient each year from all the Campus Kitchen projects nationwide. Brown not only ran W&L’s Campus Kitchen on her own during the summer of 2008, she also worked in the on-campus garden to grow fresh produce for CKP meals, moved the kitchen from the Beta house to the Kappa Sig house, and expanded meal sites to include the Robert E. Lee Hotel low-income apartments in Lexington, Va.

The second award went to Robert W. Turner, the 2007 CKP coordinator, who won the Nopalitos Staff Innovation Award for creating a work release program with the Natural Bridge Juvenile Correction Center. Turner‘s work will come to fruition at the end of October when CKP expects to hear of a resident ready for placement.

The Campus Kitchen Project is a W&L service organization that uses surplus food collected from campus dining services, catering operations and donations, and then provides nutritious and tasty meals to those in need in Lexington and the surrounding areas.

W&L’s Office of Human Resources Announces Two Appointments

Washington and Lee University announces two appointments to the Office of Human Resources, one of whom fills a new position in the office. Jodi Owsley is the new manager of compensation programs and Mary Katherine Snead will fill the new position of assistant director of Human Resources for Work/Life Initiatives.

“I am very excited to have Jodi and Mary Katherine join our growing HR team!” said Amy Barnes, executive director of Human Resources.

Owsley was assistant treasurer and also staff associate in the treasurer’s office at W&L before joining Human Resources in early October. Previous positions are executive assistant to W&L’s President between her time in the treasurer’s office, executive assistant for Lexington Downtown Development Association and voter information data manager for Mimi Elrod’s campaign for delegate to the Virginia General Assembly.

“In her new role, Jodi will be working on the new staff classification system and will assist with benchmarking faculty and staff salaries,” said Barnes. “Jodi will also assist in the annual salary review process.”

Jodi has been very involved in faculty and staff compensation issues in her role as assistant treasurer,” Barnes continued. “Those responsibilities will now be centralized in Human Resources.”

Owsley received her B.A. at Washington and Lee University and an M.B.A. from Virginia Tech.

Snead came to W&L from VMI where she was employee development manager responsible for their employee training program among other things. She also worked for The Home Depot as a human resource manager and in the human resource office at the University of Mississippi.

Snead also was coordinator of student organizations and Greek life at Belmont University and was national consultant and regional director of Chapter Services for Chi Omega Executive Headquarters.

“We felt Mary Katherine would bring energy, enthusiasm and creativity to the position and to Human Resources,” said Barnes. “Her HR background, both in higher education and in industry will enable her to lend expertise to other HR projects in addition to the work/life initiative.

Snead received her B.A. from Millsaps College and her M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University.

Greer Examines Climate Change and Coral Reefs

When Lisa Greer, assistant professor of geology, traveled to Houston, Texas, in early October, the impact of Hurricane Ike was still being felt in the region where the storm caused an estimated $31.5 billion in damage.

Greer was in Houston to present her research on coral reefs and climate at the 2008 Joint Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America and four other professional societies. The conference theme was celebrating the International Year of Planet Earth, but the location begged the question about possible relationships global warming and stronger hurricane systems.

Greer’s research also touches on issues of global warming. In this case, she is examining the impact that climate change might have on coral reefs.

Like a canary in a coal mine, Greer says coral reefs are an important barometer of our oceans’ health.

“The coral species that I presented on is one of two listed on the endangered species list,” she said. “Staghorn coral (Acroporoa cericonis) has been a major reef builder for more than 500,000 years, but starting in the 1980s it has been dying off. We’ve seen a very serious, dramatic population decline in the Caribbean and Atlantic oceans. The condition of this particular species is perhaps an indicator of things to come.”

Greer’s research compares fossilized specimens of Staghorn coral that grew somewhere between 9,000 to 5,000 years ago to small samples harvested off the Barbados shore last summer. Examining the chemical composition of each provides a snapshot of environmental conditions from the two geological eras.

“Staghorn is a very hardy species and has lived for thousands of years without interruption during a time that was very hot, with temperatures very similar to 1980s,” she noted. “In this environment the reefs were exposed to potentially harsh conditions, such as huge storms and dramatic changes in salinity. But now it is dying off. Our question is why? What is it that is impacting this coral? Our research data suggest that it’s not as simple as global warming. It’s not just a change in ocean temperature that’s causing this die-off.”

Greer believes a much more complex scenario is to blame, including disease, pollution and overfishing, in addition to climate change. “Studies have shown that when coral reefs are overfished, the dynamics of the ecosystem are significantly altered. For example, when there are no fish to graze on the algae, then the algae outcompetes the corals for space that the corals need to colonize.”

On a recent trip to Barbados, Greer was disheartened by the state of the coral reefs. “There are many reasons to be concerned about losing this species to extinction—from a biodiversity standpoint, from an economic standpoint and from a biomedical standpoint.” She notes that the Caribbean region depends upon reefs for ecotourism and that the local fisheries may also suffer if coral reefs die. Moreover, coral reefs act as a wave break, so in the event of a hurricane those reefs can actually break the force of the incoming tidal surge. And, like the Amazon rainforest, coral reefs may offer biomedical solutions that have yet to be discovered.

This summer, Greer hopes to be back in the Caribbean waters with several Washington and Lee undergraduates in the R. E. Lee Research Program to gather more coral specimens from a longer-lived species.

“My research in Barbados will be more focused on obtaining longer records of tropical Atlantic climate variability to extend our understanding of climate in this region beyond the instrumental record. We’ll be taking core samples from the coral reefs so we can look at the chemical composition of coral over time, sort of a climate archive,” she explained. “Perhaps this can lead to a better understanding of how the Caribbean marine environment since the 1980s has been different compared to a period 9,000-5,000 years ago.”

Prof. Krzysztof Jasiewicz is Second Holder of Ames Professorship

Krzysztof Jasiewicz, a leading expert on voting behavior and political change in Poland, has been appointed to the William P. Ames Jr. Professorship in Sociology and Anthropology at Washington and Lee University.

Announcement of Jasiewicz’s appointment was made by W&L Provost June Aprille.

Jasiewicz succeeds O. Kendall White Jr. as the Ames Professor. White, who retired at the end of the 2007-08 academic year, was the first holder of the chair, which was established in 2000 under the will of Mrs. Mary Farley Lee in honor and memory of her brother, a 1941 Washington and Lee graduate.

“Professor Krzysztof Jasiewicz’s long record of accomplishment both as a teacher and scholar richly qualifies him to be appointed the next William P. Ames Jr. Endowed Professor in Sociology and Anthropology,” said Hank Dobin, dean of the college at W&L. “Professor Jasiewicz has been a member of the college faculty since 1991, has taught a variety of courses on central and eastern Europe, has been widely recognized for his scholarship with a variety of fellowships and grants, and has served the profession and discipline in significant leadership capacities.”

Jasiewicz joined the Washington and Lee faculty as a full professor in 1994 after having previously served as a visiting professor on two separate occasions.

Jasiewicz received his M.A. at Warsaw University (1972) and his Ph.D. at the Polish Academy of Sciences (1976). He was the founder and first director of Electoral Studies at the Institute for Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He has taught courses in sociology and comparative politics with a focus on research methods and social theory, as well as communism, post-communism and European politics and societies.

He is the author, coauthor, or editor of more than 10 books in Polish and English, including The 1991 and 1993 Elections of the Polish Sejm (2006) and Sustainable Democracy in Post-Communist Europe (1999) and has published articles on Polish politics and culture in a wide range of academic journals, including the European Journal of Political Research, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, and the Journal of Democracy.

Jasiewicz has been the recipient of research grants from the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research Grants on three occasions, and has also received grants from the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Earhart Foundation, among others. In 2006-2007, during a sabbatical leave from W&L, he was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C. He also held fellowships at Oxford and Harvard universities. He is past president of the Polish Studies Association (USA).

Council on Foreign Relations Fellow to Discuss Politics of Nuclear Energy at W&L

Dr. Charles D. Ferguson, the Philip D. Reed Senior Fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), will discuss “The Politics of Nuclear Energy: Its Role in the Energy Policy of Each Presidential Candidate” on Monday, Nov. 3, at Washington and Lee University.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is at 7:30 p.m. in Huntley Hall, Room 327.

Ferguson’s work at CFR focuses on nuclear energy, nonproliferation and prevention of nuclear terrorism. He and Dr. Frank Settle, visiting professor of chemistry at Washington and Lee University, are the principal investigators of the Nuclear Energy Education in the 21st Century Project, which receives support from W&L alumnus Gerry Lenfest.

As part of that project, Ferguson wrote the Council Special Report Nuclear Energy: Balancing Benefits and Risks, which was published in April 2007. He is currently writing a book on nuclear energy and government decision making.

Ferguson also is an adjunct assistant professor in the Security Studies Program at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where he teaches the graduate-level course “Nuclear Technologies and Security,” and an adjunct lecturer in the National Security Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins University teaching the graduate-level course “Weapons of Mass Destruction Technologies.”

Ferguson co-wrote the book The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism (Routledge, 2005) and was the lead author of the report, Commercial Radioactive Sources: Surveying the Security Risks, which was the first in-depth, post-9/11 study of the “dirty bomb” threat.

He holds a Ph.D. in physics from Boston University.

W&L Editor Wins Virginia Poetry Book of the Year Award

Washington and Lee University’s R.T. Smith, editor of Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review, has won the 2008 Library of Virginia Poetry Book of the Year prize. The award was presented Oct. 18 at a gala ceremony at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

An independent panel of judges selected the winners in the categories of poetry, fiction and non-fiction from among 138 nominated books.

Smith won for his book Outlaw Style: Poems, (University of Arkansas Press), which he calls “my riskiest and most eccentric book yet.”

By risky, Smith is referring to the centerpiece of the book, a sequence of poems dealing with John Wilkes Booth, where he blends a historian’s interest in discovery with a poet’s interest in expression. “If you’re a white southern male writing about John Wilkes Booth,” says Smith, “some people will be quick to imagine some sympathy with the character, and that you miss the confederacy. That is not the case with me.”

Smith remembers the image of Booth he was presented with in high school history as superficial and almost cartoonish. He was dismissed as a failed actor, a racist and probably a maniac. It was the failed actor image that triggered Smith to revisit Booth after discovering that he was, in fact, a very successful actor who may have been the prime celebrity in America in the late 1850s.

“As I researched further,” says Smith, “and visited historical sites from Ford’s Theater where Lincoln was assassinated, to northern Virginia where Booth was killed, I began to ask myself ‘What did Booth’s behavior do to the lives of people who knew him and liked him?’ The answer is that it destroyed them. So in Outlaw Style, although Booth is an important figure, each of the poems is centered around someone who knew him and whose life his actions damaged.”

One of those is Booth’s brother Edwin, a primary Shakespearean actor of his day in America, who would never say his brother’s name again after the assassination.

Another is his sister Asia and her family, whom authorities assumed were in on the plot, and who put them under such close surveillance that she had secret service agents in the room with her when she gave birth.

The subject of John Wilkes Booth takes up nearly half the poems in Outlaw Style, but there are also two other elements to the book, which Smith describes as being about characters who are outside the mainstream – the “outlaws” of the title.

One element is the traditional American musicians – jazz, bluegrass, folk – and the destruction they sometimes found in pursuit of their art. The other is the people who are marginalized in our culture, such as the convict who protects his sanity by building churches out of matchsticks and the fundamentalist worshipper who handles serpents to demonstrate his faith.

Smith, who has edited Shenandoah since 1995, has published 13 collections of poetry, including The Hollow Log Lounge and Trespasser. In 2002, he received the Library of Virginia’s poetry award for “Messenger.” He has published two collections of stories, Uke Rivers Delivers and Faith. His work is frequently anthologized in such books as The Best American Poetry 2008 and appears in many periodicals, including Atlantic Monthly and Gettysburg Review. He also teaches literature and writing at Washington and Lee University.

Outlaw Style: Poems is available at The Bookery in Lexington and on amazon.com.

For over half a century “Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review” has been publishing poems, stories and essays which display passionate understanding, formal accomplishment and serious mischief. It is published three times a year and its Web site is http://shenandoah.wlu.edu/

Rod Smith reads two poems from Outlaw Style: Poems

R.T. Smith, Janet Peery, Rita Dove, Helon Habila, and Wesley Hogan

Almost 600 W&L and VMI Volunteers Descend on Rockbridge County

The Rockbridge County community may be small, but when it came to looking for service projects for almost 600 student volunteers to undertake in just one weekend, the community was up to the task.

The weekend of Oct. 18 and 19, a variety of area projects benefitted from the hard work and enthusiasm of 300 students from Washington and Lee University and 274 cadets from Virginia Military Institute.

“This year, W&L’s Nabors Service Weekend and VMI’s Field Training Exercises fell on the same weekend,” said Robbie Turner, coordinator of the Bonner Leaders Program and community-based research at W&L, adding that “it was a great opportunity for both schools to work alongside each other in serving the community.”

Students and cadets painted, spread mulch, pulled weeds, groomed horses, cleaned paddocks, cleared brush, bagged leaves, re-painted lines in a parking lot, worked on a playground, helped construct a house, washed windows, rebuilt a willow trail, and renewed an orchard, among other activities.

The 25 local beneficiaries included Habitat for Humanity, New Market Battlefield, the Chamber of Commerce, Maury River Senior Center, two elementary schools, Rockbridge Area Occupational Center, Magnolia Center, Valley Mission, Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center, Boxerwood Nature Center and Yellow Brick Road, to name a few.

The W&L Nabors Service League (NSL) is devoted to fostering a campus-wide spirit of service and community. Named in memory of Jonathan Nabors, NSL was created in 1999 as a network for volunteerism, connecting members of the W&L community with service opportunities and the Lexington/Rockbridge County community at large.

W&L Transnational Law Institute Produces Guidelines on Treatment of Detainees

The Lexington Principles on the Rights of Detainees proposes a body of international guidelines intended to help guide legislators in the United States and abroad in developing due process standards to govern the treatment of detainees.

A product of W&L’s Transnational Law Institute, the Lexington Principles is authored by a non-partisan and apolitical group of W&L law professors, alumni, lawyers, military officers and friends in various disciplines outside the University.

As evidenced by numerous court cases and years of litigation involving detainees at Guantanamo Bay, considerable uncertainty exists about what minimum standards of protection should be afforded detainees apprehended in the global effort against terrorism.

Central to the Lexington Principles is the proposition that there is a fundamental human right to physical liberty afforded under both the U.S. Constitution and international law, and that this right is protected by the guarantee that no deprivations will occur without due process of law. Although based on international law, the principles have been specially designed to facilitate adoption into the domestic legal systems of the United States and other common law countries.

“Civilized nations now agree that you can’t simply throw somebody into the dungeon with no chance to challenge the detention,” says Lexington Principles Project chair and W&L alumnus Brooke Lewis, “and you can’t mistreat the prisoner, no matter what the alleged offense.”

Both presidential candidates have stated their opposition to the mistreatment of detainees, so it is expected that in January, 2009, no matter which party wins the White House, the new administration will be looking to address detainee issues. The Lexington Principles Project hopes to assist in that effort by helping shape a re-commitment to human rights at home and abroad with respect to the treatment of detainees.

As Colonel Tom Greenwood (USMC-Ret.), a member of the Lexington Principles Project Steering Committee, observes, “We have an important window of opportunity to help the United States restore its proper role in the international community when it comes to the treatment of detainees. Human rights is not a partisan issue.”

The idea for The Lexington Principles Project was born during W&L’s 2007 Institute for Honor Symposium titled “Moral Responsibility and the Modern American Presidency.” Speeches by Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, architect of the Dayton Peace Accords that helped end the genocide in the former Yugoslavia, and Mark Drumbl, Class of 1975 Alumni Professor at W&L’s School of Law, and director of the Transnational Law Institute, inspired a discussion that led several W&L alumni and faculty to take steps to address the issue of detainee detention and treatment.

Drumbl comments that the Transnational Law Institute was pleased to be involved in the Lexington Principles Project, and that “the extraordinary drafting work of David Jordan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, led to a well-reasoned, concise, helpful, and creative document.”

For additional information about the origins of the Lexington Principles Project and a copy of the Lexington Principles, please see the group’s Web site: www.lexingtonprinciples.org.

For details of the Transnational Law Institute see the Web site: www.law.wlu.edu/transnational

W&L Professor Earns Rave Reviews for Debut Novel

Saturday, Oct. 25, Domnica Radulescu, a professor of Romance languages at Washington and Lee University, will read passages from her debut novel Train to Trieste (Knopf, 2008), which is receiving great reviews nationwide.

“Suspend all cynicism and believe in the possibility of this love story,” writes the Los Angeles Times. “Radulescu’s novel, sprung from an autobiographical impulse, powerfully combines the intensity of first love, the confusion of politics, and the melancholy of exile,” writes the Boston Sunday Globe. “Richly poetic,” is the verdict from Time Out Chicago.

Famous authors are also praising the novel. “I was swept away by Domnica Radulescu’s debut novel,” says Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha. “It’s at once a haunting journey to a faraway country, beautiful and terrifying, and an odyssey straight to the heart of a young girl and the remarkable woman she becomes. Deeply moving and deeply felt, Train to Trieste is an unforgettable story that introduces a new and astonishingly fresh voice.”

The reading from Train to Trieste will be from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Outing Club Room (room 114) of the Elrod Commons at Washington and Lee University, followed by a book signing in the living room of the Elrod Commons until 1:00 pm. Even before the novel was published, translation rights were purchased in France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Israel, Serbia, Hungary and Greece, an indication of its expected success.

Train to Trieste tells the story of 17-year-old Mona Manoliu, who falls in love in the summer of 1977 with Mihai, a mysterious, green-eyed boy who lives in Brasov, the romantic mountain city where Mona spends her summers. But life under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu is difficult. Hunger and paranoia infect everyone; fear, too. And one day, Mona sees Mihai wearing the black leather jacket that the secret police favor. Could he be one of them?

As food shortages worsen, as more and more of her loved ones disappear in “accidents,” Mona comes to understand that she must leave Romania. She escapes in secret—narrowly avoiding the police—through Yugoslavia to Italy, and then to Chicago, a city she calls “fit for my hunger.” But she leaves without saying a final good-bye to Mihai and, though she struggles to bury her longing for the past—she becomes a doctoral student, marries, has children—she finds herself compelled to return to her country, determined to learn the truth about her one great love.

Radulescu herself escaped from Romania as a young student in 1983. “I was at a point where I felt things were not going to work out for me,” she says. “Censorship, oppression and lack of freedom, all the aspects of living under a dictatorship were getting too much for me, and I felt that I didn’t have much of a future there. So I devised a plan and applied for a tourist visa to Italy.

“People always ask me how much of my novel is autobiographical, but almost everybody writes autobiographically, it’s just a matter of degree. To me, ultimately, that doesn’t matter,” says Radulescu. “Yes, it emerged from some lived experiences, but a lot of it didn’t. In the end it is all fiction and, once invented, my characters take on a life of their own and devise their own experiences and choices. For instance, it’s called Train to Trieste, and I had never been to Trieste until after I wrote the novel.”

W&L School of Law Opens Legal Clinic in Childhood Home of Civil Rights Activist

Original story at:

Visiting Philosopher to Speak on the Concept of Tolerance

Angela Smith, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Washington, will discuss the concept of tolerance in a talk at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 4:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons. She is currently visiting associate professor of philosophy and fellow in the Society and Professions Program in Ethics at W&L.

Smith’s talk is free and open to the public. A reception will be held outside the Stackhouse Theater after her talk. The title of her talk is “The Trouble with Tolerance.”

Smith will be addressing the concept of tolerance, and in particular whether it is morally admirable for us to adopt attitudes of tolerance toward citizens in society with whom we reasonably disagree. In analyzing this question, she will discuss the view of tolerance defended by the philosopher T. M. Scanlon, and explain how and where they disagree.

Smith’s research focuses on the connections between moral agency, responsibility and conceptions of the self. She has published a number of papers on the topic of responsibility for attitudes. She regularly teaches undergraduate courses in normative ethics and metaethics, and she has taught a number of graduate courses on issues in moral psychology.

She has published articles in journals such as Philosophical Studies, Journal of Ethics, Philosophical Topics and Ethics.

Smith received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Willamette University and her doctorate in philosophy from Harvard University.

Smith’s talk is sponsored by Society and the Professions Program in Ethics at Washington and Lee University.

W&L Rector Childress Makes $5 Million Gift to the University

J. Donald Childress of Atlanta, Ga., rector of Washington and Lee University’s Board of Trustees, has made a $5 million gift to the University.

Childress is making this gift at the earliest planning stages of the University’s forthcoming campaign, which will help fund the priorities of the decade-long strategic plan approved by the Board of Trustees in 2007. Former rector Phil Norwood, of Charlotte, N.C., and current W&L trustee Warren Stephens, of Little Rock, Ark., are co-chairs of the campaign. The University will announce the campaign’s ultimate goal in 2010.

Half of Childress’ gift will establish two new professorships at W&L — the J. Donald Childress Professorship in Foreign Languages and the Sidney Gause Childress Professorship in the Arts.

Childress, a 1970 graduate of W&L, has also designated $500,000 of his gift for a challenge fund for the new W&L Hillel House, a $4 million project that will result in a new facility for Washington and Lee’s Hillel. With $1.5 million left to raise, the Childress challenge represents a third of the remaining funding.

Childress has not yet designated $2 million of his gift.

“This is a magnificent gesture on Don Childress’ part,” said Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “We are extraordinarily grateful for both his leadership and his vision in identifying initiatives that are so critically important to the University’s future.”

In establishing the new professorships, Childress also boosts the Lenfest Challenge for Faculty Compensation. In 2007, Washington and Lee benefactor and alumnus Gerry Lenfest ’53, ’55L committed $33 million as a challenge gift to match dollar-for-dollar any new gifts to support faculty compensation. Consequently, the Childress gift will mean an additional $5 million in endowment for faculty salaries.

“I was pleased to be able to make an investment in what will prove to be an important campaign for Washington and Lee,” said Childress. “There are many needs and many opportunities in our educational priorities, which stem from the strategic plan. There are many aspects of this plan, and they all cost money. I thought it was my obligation as an alumnus and as a trustee to step up with this gift.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee, Childress earned an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is senior managing partner for Childress Klein Properties, one of the larger real estate development, investment and management companies in the southeastern United States. Childress has long been active in alumni activities at W&L and previously served as chairman of W&L’s Williams School Board of Advisors. He was elected to W&L’s Board of Trustees in October 2001 and named rector of the board in May 2008.

The Childress Professorship in Foreign Languages will support a distinguished professor who is both an accomplished scholar and an exceptional teacher in one of the foreign languages, preferably Spanish. The professorship is the university’s first dedicated to languages, a core part of Washington and Lee’s increased emphasis on international education as part of the strategic plan.

The Childress Professorship in the Arts is named in honor of Childress’ wife, Sidney Gause Childress, and will support a faculty member in one of the departments in the visual or performing arts, with preference for art or art history. The professorship is also the University’s first dedicated solely to the arts.

Once completed, the W&L Hillel House will be the catalyst for increasing Jewish enrollment and building Jewish community life at Washington and Lee. The $4 million fund-raising goal will cover construction costs, design fees, equipment, furnishings and an endowment for long-term maintenance. The University hopes to use the Childress challenge match to complete fund-raising in early 2009 so that construction can begin next summer. For more information on the Hillel House or the Childress challenge, contact Joan Robins, director of W&L Hillel, at (540) 458-8443 or robinsj@wlu.edu.

W&L Commemorates 138th Anniversary of Lee’s Death

Washington and Lee University observed the 138th anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s death on Monday, Oct. 13, with a recognition ceremony for donors to the Campaign for Lee Chapel and Museum and a speech by Civil War scholar and author Ken Masterson Brown.

The campaign for the Chapel and Museum, which began in 2005, has a goal of $6 million with $1 million for the capital effort to renovate and revitalize the museum exhibition and $5 for an endowment for the perpetual care of Lee Chapel and its collection.

The ceremony featured the unveiling of a donor board that recognizes gifts of $5,000 and above to the campaign, which has almost reached the halfway point with a total of $2.8 million.

Brown’s talk, “Retreat from Gettysburg,” described the challenges that Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia faced after losing at Gettysburg and retreating back to Virginia. The importance of a successful treat, Brown argued, cannot be underestimated since even after the tactical defeat at Gettysburg, Lee’s army stayed intact and fought for two more years.

Brown, of Lexington, Ky., a practicing attorney who serves as counsel to Webster, Chamberlain & Bean in Washington, D.C., is a 1974 graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law.

As president and content developer for Witnessing History L.L.C., Brown has written, hosted and produced three DVD documentaries, two of which are nominated for 2008 Telly and Emmy Awards. He authored “Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander”; “The Civil War in Kentucky: Battle for the Bluegrass State”; and most recently, “Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign.”

Retreat from Gettysburg received the Bachelder-Coddington Award for the best book on the Gettysburg Campaign and the Battle of Gettysburg, the U.S. Army Historical Foundation Award for Distinguished Writing and the Dr. James I. Robertson Jr. Literary Prize.

Brown is also the creator and first editor of “The Civil War” magazine.

Professor’s Play Wins Awards at Pittsburgh Festival

The one-act play “Man Woman Hombre Mujer” was the big winner Oct. 5 as the Pittsburgh New Works Festival announced the winners of its “Donna” awards for its 18th season.

The play, written by Chris Gavaler, W&L visiting assistant professor of English, was awarded best playwright, best production, best actor, best actress and best director. The 2008 award is the third year in a row that Gavaler has won the playwright award.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called the actors “delightfully funny and sharp” and hailed the play as the best by far, with “a clever exploration of language and how much – or how little – we need it.”

The festival’s literature described the play succinctly as “Two people, two languages, one waiting room.” A man and a woman are alone in a waiting room. He speaks Spanish, she speaks English. Despite some comic miscommunications, they learn to transcend language. “The structure is odd,” says Gavaler, “as the action stops halfway through and begins over, only now the man speaks English and the woman speaks Spanish, so a non-bilingual audience understands everything they missed the first time.”

Gavaler drafted the play entirely in English, and then took it to Ellen Mayock (W&L associate professor of Romance languages) who translated it, bringing out the nuanced differences between Spanish and English. Mayock may use the play in her classes and possibly stage an informal reading.

Each year the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, which is dedicated to fostering the development of original one-act plays, debuts a dozen works each produced by a different theater company. The “Donna” awards are named for the festival’s founder, Donna Rae.

The College Store Magazine Recognizes W&L Employee as Rising Star

K.C. Schaefer, general merchandise manager in the Washington and Lee University Store at W&L, was named one of 21 brightest and most effective young managers in the collegiate industry by The College Store Magazine, published by the national association of college stores.

After graduation from W&L in 2004, Schaefer was hired as the store’s trade book manager. Since then he’s added both supplies and sundries buyer and then general merchandise manager (2007) to his duties. He is currently charged with coordinating business plans for both textbooks and non-book merchandise.

Schaefer’s knowledge of W&L has helped him in different ways. “As a recent graduate of the University, I am able to connect with the students and understand their points of view-to see what could become a big problem for them,” he said. For instance, he saw how the high prices of various books can affect the students and “.in the past four years, the store has nearly tripled the amount of used books it offers.”

He added, “I wanted to help make the University story a place to go and browse, to meet friends and spend time, or to celebrate your love of and pride for your university. I didn’t want it to be just a place to go buy textbooks. It is so rewarding to be able to contribute to this great place on a daily basis.”

Schaefer is also staff advisor for the University’s CONTACT Committee which brings speakers to campus and is the alumni advisor for Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

Duke University Law Professor to Speak at W&L

Thomas B. Metzloff, professor of law at Duke Law School since 1985, will lecture at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 5:30 p.m. in Huntley Hall, Room 327. The title of his talk is “VMI and Co-education: The Civil War Revisited or Defenders of Educational Creativity?” and is open to the public.

Metzloff also is director of the Voices of American Law project whose goal is interviewing the parties, attorneys, experts and judges involved in the development of important Supreme Court cases dealing with key constitutional values (such as the First Amendment, privacy rights, property rights). The interviews are used to create detailed documentaries used in law schools and other educational settings to study Constitutional rights and values.

Metzloff also has conducted extensive research on the litigation system as it relates to medical malpractice disputes. For example, he conducted a major empirical study of court-ordered mediation in medical malpractice cases funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

He is active in a number of professional activities, and has served as an advisory member to the North Carolina State Bar Ethics Committee and on the North Carolina Supreme Court’s Dispute Resolution Committee.

A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Metzloff earned his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Linda Hooks to Give Cannan Term Professorship Inaugural Lecture

Linda Hooks, professor of economics at Washington and Lee University, has been named to the new Cannan Professorship of Economics for 2008-2011. She will give her Inaugural Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in Huntley Hall, room 327.

The title of Hook’s talk is “Wall Street, Main Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue.” It is free and open to the public.

The Cannan Term Professorship was created through a gift by Darrold A. Cannan Jr, class of ’53 and his wife, Kay., in support of faculty in the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. The award recognizes a different professor every three years. The Cannan Term Professorship continues a long tradition of support for W&L by the Cannans.

“I am delighted by Professor Linda Hooks’ appointment to the Cannan Term Professorship,” said Larry Peppers, dean of the Williams School. “Linda provides a very positive example of the teacher/scholar model at W&L, and her service work with students outside the classroom has been equally outstanding.”

Hooks has been a member of the W&L faculty since 1993. She was an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 1991-1993. At W&L, she teaches courses on money and banking, international finance and European economic integration, among others.

Hooks is the author of “Bank Failures and Deregulation in the 80s” (Garland Press, 1993), and is the author and co-author of over 10 journal articles. Her service to W&L includes the President’s Advisory Committee, Presidential Search Committee, chair of the Williams School ad hoc Committee on Faculty Evaluation, the Board of Trustees Alcohol Task Force and Panhellenic Advisor.

She earned her B.A. at Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge and her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles.

W&L’s Community Grants Committee Calls for Proposals

Washington and Lee University’s Community Grants Committee would like to remind the community of its 2008-09 proposal evaluation schedule. Community Grants Proposals may be submitted at any time but will be reviewed semiannually, at the end of the calendar year and at the end of the fiscal year. Submission deadlines for the 2008-09 fiscal year are November 14, 2008 and June 12, 2009.

The program began its first full year on July 1, 2008, coinciding with the start of the University’s fiscal year. The University will award $50,000 during the program’s 2008-09 cycle.

Established in the spring of 2008, the purpose of the program is to support non-profit organizations in the Lexington/Rockbridge community. A total of 22 proposals for a combined $204,945.00 in requests were submitted from 21 organizations for the June 2008 evaluation. The committee made $25,000 worth of grants in the initial round. Ten organizations received grants averaging $2,500, including:

  • Boxerwood Education Association, for its general operational support and education
  • Central School PTA, for playground equipment
  • Rockbridge Area Hospice, to help create a fund to assist those who cannot pay for services
  • Project Horizon, for public education, volunteer training and hot line support
  • Rockbridge Area Conservation Council, to upgrade their computer and communications
  • Rockbridge Area Occupational Center, to help establish their new product venture College Care Packages
  • Rockbridge Area Relief Association – Valley Program for Aging Services partnership, to help create a fund to assist those who cannot pay utility bills
  • Rockbridge County Fair, to help bring the Va. Science Museum’s Space Travel exhibit to the fair
  • YMCA, to help fund a fund-raising feasibility study
  • Youth Literacy Program, to help Rockbridge County library train volunteer reading tutors and purchase books for children

“I am pleased by the response the community has had to the Community Grants Program,” said W&L President Ken Ruscio. “W&L is proud to continue to play an important role as a partner in supporting various community needs and programs.”

When asked about the annual budget and the coming year, committee chair Jim Farrar said, “The committee took satisfaction in its start-up role last spring. We have a full budget of $50,000 for the year and we look forward to working with community organizations in the months ahead.”

Interested parties may access the Community Grants Committee Web site and download a copy of the proposal guidelines.

Please call 540-458-8417 with questions. Proposals should be submitted as electronic attachments (word or pdf) via email at kbrinkley@wlu.edu. If an electronic submission is not possible, materials may be faxed to 540-458-8745 or mailed to:

Washington and Lee University Community Grants Committee
Attn: James D. Farrar, Jr.
Office of the Secretary
204 W. Washington Street
Washington and Lee University
Lexington, VA 24450

Author and Harvard Professor Samantha Power to Speak at W&L

Author Samantha Power, the Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, of which she was the founding executive director, in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, will give the first talk this year in the William Lyne Wilson Lecture Series at Washington and Lee University.

Power’s talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Lee Chapel on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. The title is “Human Rights and Globalization in the Age of Genocide.” A book signing will be held after the talk in the Elrod Commons Living Room.

A native of Ireland, Powers is the recent author of “Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World” (2008), a biography of the UN envoy killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq. In 2003, her book “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Prize.

Her New Yorker article on the horrors in Darfur, Sudan, won the 2005 National Magazine Award for best reporting. In 2007, Power became a foreign policy columnist for Time Magazine. From 1993-96, she covered the wars in the former Yugoslavia as a reporter for U.S. News and World Report, Boston Globe and The New Republic.

She remains a working journalist, contributing to the Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker and New York Review of Books. She spent 2005-2006 working in the office of Senator Barack Obama, resigning after calling Hillary Clinton a “monster.”

10/9: Panel Brought Together by W&L and UVa to Discuss a Post-Partisan Presidency

Can’t we all just get along?

That may be the most important question facing President McCain or President Obama. Both candidates have promised to be “post-partisan” presidents. But, given the issues Americans face on the economy, health care and foreign policy, can either one deliver on this promise? And, as political parties have played a critical role in the development of American democracy, is it even sensible to pine for a post-partisan age?

A special panel, brought together by Washington and Lee University and the University of Virginia, will try to get to the heart of these issues on Friday, Oct. 24 at 1:30 p.m., at UVa.’s Miller Center of Public Affairs on the UVa. campus in Charlottesville.

It is free and open to the public. Seating is limited so please RSVP to Anne Mulligan, coordinator for academic programs, 434-243-8726 or www.millercenter.org, to insure a spot.

The event – titled “Now What?: Can the President Rise Above Partisan Polarization to Govern Effectively?” – is being presented by the Miller Center’s Governing America in a Global Era (GAGE) Program and co-funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. Sid Milkis, assistant director for Academic Programs at the Center and White Burkett Miller Professor of Politics at UVa, will moderate the panel, which features an all-star line-up of political observers:

  • William Galston – Former political advisor to President Bill Clinton and Senior Fellow and the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution.
  • Edward Wasserman – Nationally distributed Miami Herald columnist and Knight Professor of Journalism Ethics at Washington and Lee University.
  • Juliet Eilperin – National reporter for the Washington Post – currently on the campaign trail – and author of “Fight Club Politics: How Partisanship is Poisoning the House of Representatives.”
  • Barbara Sinclair – Professor Emeritus of American Politics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of, among other books, “Party Wars: Polarization and the Politics of National Policy Making.”

This event is a follow-up to W&L’s inaugural Politics-Media symposium which was held last spring at the National Press Club in Washington. Then, the subject was “Uncivil Wars: What’s So Bad About Political Partisanship?” Milkis was among the panelists at the Press Club and decided to return the favor by hosting the Miller Center event.

The event will be webcast live and archived online at www.millercenter.org.

W&L Will Host the 25th Annual World Food Day Teleconference

Washington and Lee University will host the 25th annual World Food Day Teleconference on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 12-3 p.m. in Elrod Commons, Room 345. The teleconference is sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The theme for 2008 focuses on the deadly mix of high world food prices and mounting climate change upheaval that affects millions of poor people in developing countries.

“Choices for a Warm and Hungry Planet,” the three-hour program featuring three distinguished guest panelists, will be broadcast live from Washington, D.C. The teleconference is open to the public.

The presidential election, oil crisis and the recent collapse of Wall Street have dominated U.S. news this year, deflecting public attention from the 862 million undernourished poor. World Food Day provides an occasion to once again highlight the problem of the particular impact of global warming and climate change on the poor and what Americans might do about it. Ray Suarez, a senior correspondent for PBS’ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, will lead the panel discussion. The panelists are:

Dr. Nancy Birdsall, founding president of the Center for Global Development and a former official of the World Bank, Carnegie Endowment, Smithsonian and other noted public institutions. Her work is focused on global warming and poverty issues.

Dr. Siwa Msangi, a native of Tanzania, is an award-winning research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., where he leads global modeling work on water issues. His current research focuses on global food supply and demand trends.

Mark Ritchie, a community organizer, is the Secretary of State for Minnesota. He served for 20 years as president of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, a Minnesota-based public research center working with businesses, churches, farm organizations and other civic groups to foster long-term economic and environmental sustainability.

The first hour of the three-hour live broadcast will be devoted to the panel discussion and a short uplink discussion with the World Food Prize laureates from Iowa-former Senators Bob Dole and George McGovern-for their collaborative efforts to fight hunger. The second hour will feature a documentary film, Global Warming, the Signs and the Science. The third hour will afford viewers the opportunity to send in questions for the panelists.

In addition to the live broadcast, the DISH Network will carry the program on a tape-delay basis. There is no fee for registration and there are no restrictions on videotaping by sites or re-broadcasting by ETV and cable stations.

For more information, please call Burr Datz, 458-4045.

First and Fourth Amendment Cases Highlight Annual Supreme Court Preview

Original story at:

W&L’s Kahn Participates in Landmark Study on Deforestation in Amazonas

James R. Kahn, the John F. Hendon professor of economics and director of the environmental studies program at Washington and Lee University, was a participant in a landmark study that concluded that economic incentives for manufacturing have been responsible for the low rate of deforestation in the State of Amazonas in Brazil.

Working alongside Brazilian colleagues at Instituto-PIATAM (a non-profit research center) and faculty members at the Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Kahn was part of a team that conducted intensive economic and statistical analysis as part of the project funded by Nokia and the Brazilian federal government.

The State of Amazonas, where Washington and Lee University has an exchange program with the Federal University of Amazonas, is a huge state of 1.5 million square kilometers that still retains 94 percent of its original forest cover. The research team was examining why deforestation been so slight in Amazonas at the same time that it has been much more rapid in the other states in the Amazonian region.

The hypothesis that was investigated was whether or not the economic incentives that the government provided for manufacturing in the capital city of Manaus created a comparative advantage for urban manufacturing as opposed to extractive activities in the forest.

The team’s analysis found that the economic incentives reduced deforestation 70 to 80% below what it would be in the absence of these incentives. In addition, the study concluded that an end to incentives would dramatically increase the level of deforestation and suggested that extending similar economic incentives to other regions of Amazonia could reduce future deforestation in those regions.

According to Kahn, the research is especially important in light of current political debate over whether these economic incentives are inefficient and should be ended.

The research team was led by Alexandre Rivas of Universidade Federal do Amazonas who is a collaborating professor at W&L and included José Arounda Mota of the Institute of Applied Economic Research of the Brazilian federal government and José Machado of the Universidade Federal do Amazonas. The project results were published in a book that contains all the analysis, conclusions, and policy implications. The volume, “Impacto virtuoso do Pólo Industrial de Manasu sobre a preteção da floresta amazonica: Discurso ou fato?” (The Beneficial impact of the Industrial Pole of Manaus with respect to the protection of the Amazonian forest: Talk or Fact?), was published in Portuguese. An English language version will be available in the winter of 2009.

A book-signing ceremony was held on Sept. 12 at the Fourth International Fair of Amazonia, which is a combination of exhibitions and scientific conferences. Kahn presented two papers in a session on the role of economic valuation and economic incentives in the sustainable development of Amazonia. Kahn author or co-authored three chapters of the book that was published from the papers given at the session.

W&L First-Year Seminar Focuses on the Presidential Campaign

When Washington and Lee University politics professor Robert Strong decided to create a first-year seminar based on the presidential election of 2008, he figured that the topic would be a draw.

He was right.

More than 60 members of W&L’s entering class applied for the class, which is limited to only 15 students and is one of five first-year seminars being offered this fall. They are part of a program that began three years ago. The first-year seminars introduce students to a field of study through in-depth examination of a special topic, issue or problem.

“Clearly there is a lot of interest among the students in this presidential election,” Strong said. “That gives you real leverage in the classroom. You can achieve sustained engagement with the subject. And when you assign the students to come in the evenings to watch a movie or to watch the presidential debates, you are assured not only good attendance but also good discussion.”

There is, however, a catch.

Strong and his students could spend every minute of every class period solely on the morning’s headlines — the previous day’s polling, the endless commentary of television’s talking heads.

And yet that’s not the focus of Strong’s class. Instead of looking at yesterday or even today, Strong wants his students to explore previous campaigns in order to get a better understanding of the process in which Americans engage every four years.

So it was that one early Thursday morning, Strong tried his best to steer the students away from stories of the moment — in this case, both the unfolding economic crisis and a new poll that showed Florida becoming blue.

For 25 minutes, the discussion touched on what might happen in the event of an electoral tie, to what a community organizer actually does, to what the next night’s first debate might hold.

“We haven’t even gotten close to the topic yet,” Strong said, finally moving the students from the freewheeling conversation back to the day’s text — Howard Fineman’s “The Thirteen American Arguments.”

The class spent the rest of the period comparing historic issues that Fineman raises from campaigns past — everything from the role of religious faith to the importance of Supreme Court justices in a campaign.

One by one, the class explored some of the 13 arguments that Fineman argues are central to every political debate and tried to determine whether these arguments are really in play during the current election cycle.

“I would be less inclined to teach a course on the election as it’s unfolding if it were not a first-year seminar,” Strong says. “Our goal is not so much to figure out what’s going to happen in November as it is to show that there is context to the election, that what is happening now is based on what happened before.

“For instance, most of these students have heard of Karl Rove, the political consultant. But they are not familiar with earlier consultants who paved the way for Rove — Pat Caddell, for instance, or Lee Atwater. This will be the first election in which most of the students in this class will be eligible to vote, so understanding the context can be very useful.”

That’s just what Tyler Grant of Suwanee, Ga., says the course has done. He was initially surprised that the class was not a daily debate but finds that the readings have made the current campaign easier for him to understand. “We are building context on which to interpret the election,” he says.

Grant intends to major in politics. He confesses to being disappointed by some of the things that he has seen in the campaign, but adds that “I feel as though I’m being compelled and challenged by this seminar and Professor Strong to do something about it and make it better.”

Austin Hix, another member of the class and self-professed political junkie, found unexpected benefits. “The insight from the past presidential elections that we study has been incredibly valuable when we look at the current election,” says Hix, who came to W&L from Lafayette, La. “ And when we do talk about the current events, the diverse opinions of our class always challenge my view.”

When the first presidential debate was held, the class members also served as a quasi focus group for WVTF, the Roanoke-based public radio station. Reporter Fred Echols watched the debate with the students and then gathered their opinions after the event.

Interestingly, when asked by Echols whether any of the students had changed his or her mind based on the debate, none had — and that turned out to be the consensus of experts in the days following the debate.

On the eve of the election next month, the class will gather to watch “Recount,” the HBO movie about the 2000 election, and will then view the returns together the following night. The students will continue their education as they watch the electoral map on the screen in Huntley Hall turn blue or red.

Washington and Lee University Joins Mid-Atlantic Employment Network

Washington and Lee University has taken a leading role in the development of a collaborative employment network for faculty, staff, and administrators at 19 leading higher education and research institutions in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Mid-Atlantic Higher Education Consortium (Mid-Atlantic HERC) is headquartered at Loyola College in Maryland. W&L is sharing leadership of the project with Loyola, the University of Richmond and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The partnership’s first product is a comprehensive, easily accessible job bank featuring faculty, staff and administrative postings at institutions in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.. The new Web site is available at www.midatlanticherc.org. This Mid-Atlantic HERC joins partnerships in 10 other regions throughout the country, all of which are part of the national Higher Education Recruitment Consortium network.

“We are delighted to be part of this new network,” said Amy Barnes, executive director of human resources at W&L. “This will provide us with a valuable new tool for recruiting and retaining faculty and staff and also provides excellent resources for all W&L employees.

In addition to promoting a collaborative employment network, the participant institutions will best practices for addressing recruitment and retention issues.

The centrality of job postings and regional resources, as well as the site’s ability to accommodate dual-career searches, distinguishes the Mid-Atlantic HERC from other employment Web sites. Dual-career searches are particularly relevant in higher education and research centers, as research indicates that more than 35 percent of male faculty and 40 percent of female faculty have spouses and partners who are also faculty members.

In addition to Loyola, Richmond, Washington and Lee and NIH, Mid-Atlantic HERC member institutions include:

  • University of Baltimore
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • University of Maryland at Baltimore
  • Hood College
  • Towson University
  • Goucher College
  • College of Notre Dame
  • Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Morgan State University
  • University of Virginia
  • George Mason University
  • Stevenson University
  • St. Mary’s College of Maryland
  • Community College of Baltimore County
  • Center for Biologics and Research, Food and Drug Administration

For more information about the consortium contact the Mid-Atlantic HERC director at midatlanticherc@loyola.edu or 410.617.1650

New Staniar Gallery Exhibit: Alberto Rey: Life, Death and Beauty

Alberto Rey: Life, Death and Beauty will be on view in Staniar Gallery, on the campus of Washington and Lee University, October 13 through November 5. Alberto Rey, a Cuban-American artist who has been exhibiting nationally and internationally for 25 years, uses paintings and video to explore environmental issues and their connection to a sense of identity.

In the work exhibited, Rey draws on references to the art historical traditions of piscatorial art and nature painting, which includes such painters as Winslow Homer, Thomas Cole and Gustave Courbet, to allude to the fragility and complexity of biological life, both human and animals.

Several of the works in Life, Death and Beauty are based on visual information collected in the Shenandoah Valley when Rey was a visiting artist at Washington and Lee University in May 2008. During the exhibition, Rey will again be a visiting artist and student work from his previous residency will be on view in Lykes Atrium in Wilson Hall.

The State University of New York (SUNY) Distinguished Professor of Research and Creative Activity is also an Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing guide and the founder and director of the S.A.R.E.P Youth Fly Fishing Program. Rey’s paintings can be found in over twenty museum collections and have been in over 130 exhibitions. His films and videos have been screened nationally and his illustrated articles and artwork have graced the covers and pages of Gray’s Sporting Journal, Art of Angling Journal, Fish and Fly Magazine, American Angler, Saltwater Fisherman and Buffalo Spree.

Alberto Rey will conduct an Artist’s Lecture at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008, in the Wilson Hall Concert Hall which will be followed by a reception for the artist. The public is invited to attend both the opening talk and reception.

Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall, in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For further information call 540.458.8861.

W&L’s Annual Shannon-Clark Lecture Features University of Michigan Professor

The Washington and Lee University Department of English will present the 2008 Shannon-Clark Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 8 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater in the Elrod Commons. A reception will immediately follow in the Elrod Commons Outing Club Room, Room 114.

Valerie Traub, professor of English and Women’s Studies and director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Michigan, will give a lecture titled “Mapping Embodiment in the Early Modern West.”

The lecture is free and open to the public.

An expert in the literature of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Traub is a leading scholar of the history of sexuality, especially female homoeroticism in the early modern period. Her books include Desire & Anxiety: Circulations of Sexuality in Shakespearean Drama (Routledge 1992) and The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England (Cambridge 2002); and two co-edited volumes: Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture: Emerging Subjects (Cambridge 1996) and Gay Shame (Chicago, forthcoming).

She has published articles as well as edited collections in GLQ, English Literary Renaissance, and Shakespeare Quarterly, among others. Her essays have been widely reprinted.

Traub has held fellowships at the Newberry Library and Folger Library and has twice won the Modern Language Association Lesbian and Gay Caucus Crompton-Noll Award for best essay. In 2006, she received the John H. D’Arms Faculty Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities from the University of Michigan.

Traub earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of California-Santa Cruz, and her master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She has taught at Swarthmore College, Vanderbilt University, and, since 1996, the University of Michigan.

The Shannon-Clark Lectures, established by a gift from a Washington and Lee alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous, honor the memories of Edgar Finley Shannon, chairman of Washington and Lee’s Department of English from 1914 until his death in 1938, and Harriet Mabel Fishburn Clark, a grandmother of the donor and a woman vitally interested in liberal education.

Pennsylvania Campaign.”

Retreat from Gettysburg received the Bachelder-Coddington Award for the best book on the Gettysburg Campaign and the Battle of Gettysburg, the U.S. Army Historical Foundation Award for Distinguished Writing and the Dr. James I. Robertson Jr. Literary Prize.

Brown is also the creator and first editor of “The Civil War” magazine.

Brown received his B.A. from Centre College in Danville, Ky., and his J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Brown will be in the Lee Chapel Museum Shop before his talk from 10-11:30 a.m. for a book signing and preview of his Emmy- and Telly-nominated DVD, “Retreat from Gettysburg.”

W&L’s Lee Chapel and Museum Presents Remembering Robert E. Lee

The Lee Chapel and Museum at Washington and Lee University presents Remembering Robert E. Lee, a program commemorating the 138th anniversary of his death, on Monday, Oct. 13. The program, a speech by Kent Masterson Brown, a Civil War scholar and author, will be at 12:15 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The title of Brown’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Retreat from Gettysburg.”

Brown, of Lexington, Ky., a practicing attorney who serves as counsel to Webster, Chamberlain & Bean in Washington, D.C., is a 1974 graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law.

As president and content developer for Witnessing History L.L.C., Brown has written, hosted and produced three DVD documentaries, two of which are nominated for 2008 Telly and Emmy Awards. He authored “Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander”; “The Civil War in Kentucky: Battle for the Bluegrass State”; and most recently, “Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign.”

Retreat from Gettysburg received the Bachelder-Coddington Award for the best book on the Gettysburg Campaign and the Battle of Gettysburg, the U.S. Army Historical Foundation Award for Distinguished Writing and the Dr. James I. Robertson Jr. Literary Prize.

Brown is also the creator and first editor of “The Civil War” magazine.

Brown received his B.A. from Centre College in Danville, Ky., and his J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Brown will be in the Lee Chapel Museum Shop before his talk from 10-11:30 a.m. for a book signing and preview of his Emmy- and Telly-nominated DVD, “Retreat from Gettysburg.”

Law Professor Offers Advice to Parents on Connecting with Their Children in Virtual Worlds

The old model and perception is that children play video games by themselves.

But there is a new generation of virtual worlds where both children and parents are playing together on sites ranging from World of Warcraft to Club Penguin and Webkinz. “It’s becoming the modern version of scrabble night for families,” says law professor Josh Fairfield.

Fairfield, a well-known scholar on virtual worlds, is organizer of a symposium at Washington and Lee University on October 3, 2008 when, for the first time, leading experts in child psychology, e-commerce and law will discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by virtual worlds for children. One of those opportunities is for more parents to become educated about virtual worlds and to play them with their children, something Fairfield wants to encourage.

“The parents already playing with their children in virtual worlds tend to be younger, in their thirties,” says Fairfield. “Many of them have been playing online games for years, then they have children and those children want to play as well. Only most of them don’t want to play alone.”

Besides the ability to connect with your children, Fairfield says another advantage is that it allows you to protect them. For example, while Fairfield’s seven-year-old daughter Mary Kathryn is on World of Warcraft, he follows her around in the shape of a bear from a different computer. “She liked the idea of having a pet bear, and she can see me as I follow her, which makes her feel protected and allows her to explore more broadly.

“So this is a great opportunity for parents unfamiliar with virtual worlds to join their children. I think it’s a mistake for parents to see their kids playing video games and not join in. It’s like a kid being seriously into soccer and he’s kicking a ball in the backyard while you’re on the couch watching TV.”

As for safety issues, Fairfield’s list of Do’s and Don’ts for parents willing to try this new world provides a good guideline. “Although there are the traditional trust issues in virtual worlds,” says Fairfield, “people do know each other in virtual worlds just as they do in the real world and it’s more like going to a church picnic than walking down a dark alley.”

  • DO play with your child in the virtual world.
  • DO put all computers in public places in the home, not in private rooms.
  • DO know in real life the people your child is interacting with online, getting to know them over time.
  • DO learn to use the tools presented by the game manufacturers. Some games have the ability to set an amount of time spent, or limit what your child can say. For example, Club Penguin has an “ultimate safe chat” feature that limits your child to a pre-defined menu of greetings and statements.
  • DO talk with your kids about never meeting in real life with someone you as a parent don’t know.
  • DON’T share personal information with someone online.
  • DON’T reveal your password to anyone else.

Professor Joshua A.T. Fairfield, assistant professor of law at Washington and Lee University, is one of the nation’s most creative and insightful scholars in computing technologies and the law. He has published numerous papers on e-commerce, videogame regulation and virtual worlds.