Feature Stories Campus Events

Fred Ramsay '58: Priest and Professor Turned Author

If you are looking to read a “finely wrought” (says Kirkus Reviews) and “entertaining” (per Publishers’ Weekly) mystery, not to mention one set in Jerusalem in 29 C.E. and starring a crime-solving duo composed of a rabbi and a physician, look no further than “Holy Smoke,” the third volume of a trilogy by Frederick Ramsay. He’s a member of W&L’s Class of 1958.

Fred’s new book comes out Tuesday, Feb. 5, from Poisoned Pen Press, and follows the previous two installments in his Jerusalem mystery series, “Judas: The Gospel of Betrayal” and “The Eighth Veil.”

Fred has taken quite a path to authorship. In addition to his B.S. from W&L, he holds an M.A., M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He served in the Army and taught anatomy, embryology and histology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He also served as an associate dean there. According to his website, he’s also worked “as a Vice President for Public Affairs, . . . an insurance salesman, a tow man and line supervisor at Baltimore’s BWI airport, a community college instructor, and substitute.” Oh, and in 1971, he was ordained an Episcopal priest. He’s retired from those many careers now and spends his time writing. He lives in Surprise, Ariz.

The Jerusalem mysteries make up only one of Fred’s series. He also pens the Ike Schwartz mysteries, set in a fictional, Lexington-like town called Picketsville, Va., and the Botswana mysteries, which take place in Africa.

You can read more about Fred’s books and even order signed copies on his website.

Hullie's Photography

During Hullihen (Hullie) Moore’s student days at Washington and Lee in the 1960s, he took photographs for the Richmond Times-Dispatch as a freelance stringer. He received $5 for each picture the T-D published.

Hullie, a 1965 graduate of W&L and a law graduate of the University of Virginia, went on to become a prominent Richmond attorney and a member of the Virginia State Corporation Commission. He also served as an adjunct professor in the W&L School of Law. All along the way, though, he kept his camera close by. He studied with Ansel Adams at a 1978 seminar in Yosemite National Park and with landscape photographers John Sexton and Philip Hyde.

His work is part of the permanent collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, has been featured in numerous magazines, and is depicted in his 2003 book, “Shenandoah: Views of Our National Park” (University of Virginia Press).

Earlier this month, Hullie and his photography appeared in the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. That story focused on his current work at Menokin, the Richmond County, Va., home of Francis Lightfoot Lee, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

As the story notes, Hullie is making numerous visits to the Northern Neck: “He wants to be there in different kinds of light, at different times of year and as the images change—like when a growing branch of a bush transected the lines of boards and bricks on one section of the main house.”

For many years, he used a wooden 4 x 5 view camera and worked out of the darkroom in his home. When the Free-Lance Star joined him to tramp around the grounds at Menokin, Hullie wielded a digital camera.

His photographs have been widely praised. In a 2003 story on National Public Radio, former “Weekend Edition” Sunday host Liane Hansen compared Hullie’s work to that of Ansel Adams:

Hullie Moore’s book of photographs, “Shenandoah: Views of Our National Park,” may be doing for Shenandoah what Adams did for Yosemite. Moore captures the park’s waterfalls, vistas, ice-laden trees and budding flowers in black-and-white images that are both simple and profound.

You can read more about Hullie’s work, view many of his images and purchase posters and books on his website, Hullihen Williams Moore Photography.

W&L's Rebecca Benefiel on Roman Graffiti in National Geographic

Washington and Lee University classics professor Rebecca Benefiel comments on graffiti scrawled on the walls of the Colosseum in Rome in a National Geographic article.

In her research Benefiel has focussed on the social and cultural history of the Roman Empire.One of latest projects is an examination of the thousands of wall-inscriptions from the city of Pompeii.

Read the National Geographic piece with Benefiel’s comments: http://myw.lu/14rPoLB

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W&L Economist Surveys Changing Auto-Industry Landscape

Washington and Lee economist Michael Smitka, who studies the automobile industry, reacts to the announcement that Toyota is again the world’s largest automaker. Listen to his comments below:


Monday’s announcement that Toyota has regained the No. 1 spot for global sales among automobile companies did not surprise Washington and Lee University economist Michael Smitka.

But Smitka, who specializes in the economics of the auto industry, is unconvinced that the unit sales number is the best metric on which to judge the comparative strength in the industry.

Toyota sold a record number of 9.75 million vehicles worldwide, placing it ahead of General Motors at 9.29 million and Volkswagen at 9.1 million.

“Toyota had faced a number of severe disruptions in production, not only from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan but also from floods in Thailand,” said Smitka. “In addition, the U.S. recall of Toyota models because of unintended acceleration had a temporary hit on sales. All of these things combined to disrupt Toyota sales, so what we’re seeing is a significant recovery on Toyota’s part.”

On the other hand, Smitka points to General Motors’ strength in growing markets such as China, where the American automaker is No. 1, while Toyota is No. 3. He also notes that GM has shed several of its brands and is deliberately selling fewer cars now.

“As an economist, the metric I tend to look at is profitability,” Smitka said. “In examining the most recent data from Toyota and GM, two things stand out. One is that GM is significantly more profitable in terms of income relative to assets. And second, GM is doing that with a comparatively small share, about 7 percent, of its profits coming from its financial services arm, whereas 25 percent of Toyota’s profit comes from that part of its operation. When GM went into bankruptcy, it shut down the financial services arm and will be rebuilding it over time. That should help its profits in the future.”

The sales number, said Smitka, is a reminder that Toyota is “not done and finished because of these short-term issues that were big negatives, but neither is it totally dominant in the automotive sector.”

Even with Toyota and GM battling for the 1-2 spot in unit sales, Smitka said that Volkswagen out-earns GM and Toyota combined. “They may be weak in the U.S.,” he said, “but globally they are the gorilla.”

For more details on Smitka’s views on the Toyota story, see his blog at Autos and Economics.

New Analysis Calls W&L Law Best Legal Education Story of 2013

Bill Henderson, a law professor at Indiana University School of Law and one of the most influential legal bloggers writing today, has posted a thorough exploration of Washington and Lee University’s third-year curriculum on his site, The Legal Whiteboard.

The essay, titled “Washington & Lee is Biggest Legal Education Story of 2013,” includes an extensive analysis of W&L’s Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) data and concludes that “there is empirical evidence that is delivering a significantly better education to 3L students—significantly better than prior graduating classes at W&L, and significantly better than W&L’s primary competitors.”

The LSSSE survey includes 100 questions on a variety of topics related to student classroom experience, faculty interaction, type and quantity of assessments, time allocation, and perceived gains on dimensions related to personal and professional development. W&L’s results on the 2012 survey show major increases across all dimensions when compared with surveys from 2004 and 2008.

Henderson first saw the LSSSE data during a presentation by Jim Moliterno, Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at W&L and one of the third-year program’s chief architects, at a meeting of the 2012 Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers conference at the University of Denver.

“When I presented this data at Denver, people in the room literally gasped,” says Moliterno. “The fact that we now have empirical data that support what we have been saying about the third-year program is incredibly important, and I believe it will encourage other schools to emulate what we have done at W&L.”

Henderson, a tough critic of legal education and outspoken advocate of legal education reform across the curriculum, notes in his post that despite W&L’s gains, there remains room for improvement. Nevertheless, he writes that “W&L is tooling around in a Model-T while the rest of us rely on horse and buggy.”

W&L Law Dean Nora Demleitner views this report as verification that W&L graduates can be meaningful contributors once they graduate and begin to practice.

“Our LSSSE data demonstrate that the much-maligned 3L year can be not only a valuable bridge to the profession but also engage and inspire students and help them grow professionally,” says Demleitner.

View the entire post on The Legal Whiteboard.

Obama Second Term Energy Policy Focus of JECE Symposium at W&L Law

On Feb. 1, the Journal of Energy, Climate and the Environment at Washington and Lee University School of Law will explore energy policy developments during the second term of the Obama administration.

The symposium is titled “The ‘All of the Above’ Strategy: Evaluating the Obama Administration and the Future of Federal Law and Policy on Energy and Climate Change.” It will run from 10am to 4pm in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

The symposium will address the outlook for certain pivotal areas of federal energy and climate policy in the second term of the Obama Administration. Discussion panels will feature leading legal scholars and practitioners in energy and climate law and policy. Speakers include Davitt McAteer, former U.S. Assistant Sectary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, and Becky Norton Dunlop, Vice President of External Relations at the Heritage Foundation, among numerous others. Panel topics will cover wind energy, coal slurry impoundment and oil and gas.

The event is geared toward attorneys and those with an academic or professional interest in federal energy and climate policy. However, the JECE welcomes the attendance of anyone who would like to join.

The Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment is a student-edited periodical whose mission is to engage and educate the legal community, policy-makers, and the general public through publications and symposia on climate change, energy, and environmental issues affecting local, national, and global communities. Learn more about the Journal at http://law.wlu.edu/jece.

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W&L Law Prof Examines ACA Requirements on Employers

Washington and Lee Law Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson has published an op/ed in the Tulsa World examining Hobby Lobby Store, Inc. and the company’s decision to challenge the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that employers provide access to birth control.

In the commentary, Prof. Wilson examines the costs to employers, and to employees, if companies choose not abide by the ACA’s rules. Hobby Lobby faces a $1.3 millon a day fine for each day it fails to comply with certain provisions of the ACA. But Wilson argues that companies can get around this by simply dropping coverage all together for employees. From the op/ed:

“The mandates precipitate crushing penalties that no institution could sustain. Except for one thing: If these employers drop health-care coverage, incurring the fines, they no longer pay for the even greater per-employee cost of health-care coverage. Today, an individual plan costs $5,429 annually on average, a family plan $20,728 – with businesses footing from 70 percent to 80 percent of the cost.

True, employers might be forced to raise salaries to compete for higher-income employees. Economists generally agree employee benefits are a dollar-for-dollar substitute for wages. But, lower-income employees will not get salary boosts because they will be made better off financially by receiving premium tax credits.

All of this means that the cost of the nuclear option may not be nearly so grave as calculated penalties would lead one to believe.”

The entire commentary is available online. Prof. Wilson, co-editor of the book “Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts,” will speak Jan. 28 at the University of Tulsa College of Law about Hobby Lobby and the contraceptive coverage mandate, in a public debate with Tulsa Associate Dean Tamara Piety, a law professor and First Amendment expert.

Carson Chambers '00 Wins Regional Emmy

Congratulations to Carson Chambers, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2000, for winning an Emmy for her work with WFTS-TV, the ABC affiliate in her hometown of Tampa.

Carson won her Emmy in the category “On-Camera Talent – Reporter – General Assignment” in the 36th annual competition sponsored by the Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The Suncoast Chapter comprises television markets in the entire state of Florida; Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles and New Orleans, La.; Mobile, Ala.; Thomasville, Ga.; and Puerto Rico.

A journalism and mass communications major at W&L, Carson has covered the Gulf oil spill, Tampa’s 2012 Republican National Convention, the fatal shootings of six Tampa Bay law enforcement officers, the Casey Anthony trial, the 2000 Florida presidential election recount and the space shuttle Columbia tragedy.

In addition, she has covered more than a dozen hurricanes and reported on the severe flooding in Tampa prior to the Republican National Convention there. She was also part of a team that provided 24-hour coverage of Hurricane Charley, a category 4 storm that hit Tampa in 2004.

Follow Carson on her Twitter feed, @CarsonChambers.

Dancer Kay Poursine to Perform the Bharata Natyam Dance Form

Dancer Kay Poursine will perform South Indian’s Bharata Natyam dance form on Wed., Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. in the Concert Hall in Wilson Hall, Washington and Lee University. This event is presented by the W&L Department of Religion and open to the public at no charge.

Bharata Natyam is among the oldest of classical Indian dance forms. It developed from ritualistic dances performed in the past as offerings to the deities of Hindu temples, and in a more sophisticated form in the courts by solo female dancers.

Poursine, an educator as well as a dancer, has been called one of the greatest living performers of Bharata Natyam. She learned this dance form in the United States and India from the late, legendary Guru T. Balasaraswati. Poursine also studied music with Balasaraswati’s brothers. After receiving her master’s degree from Wesleyan University, she continued studying, performing and teaching in the U.S., India and around the world.

What differentiates Bharata Natyam from other dance forms is its use of drama, poetry and song. The dance movements all convey a meaning and are performed in precise harmony with carnatic music (classical music from South India).

Poursine, from New Orleans, has conducted numerous college and university lectures, master classes and workshops for dance and drama students. She said, “I’ve loved teaching. I think every student takes away something special in this great art. It is important to broaden the students’ understanding of how other people in the world express their emotions about life.”

In addition to her teaching experience, Poursine has contributed to scholarly performing arts journals, including “T. Balasaraswati’s style of Abhinaya,” in The Madras Music Academy Journal (India); “Hasta as Discourse on Dance,” in The Dance Research Journal, Sanskriti; and “The Lotus in Classical Indian Dance,” in Golden Lotus Magazine (Taiwan).

This event is sponsored by the Stanford L. Schewel Fund.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Too Hot? Too Cold? Just Right

One of the most common issues that energy specialists Jane Stewart and Morris Trimmer encounter during their rounds of campus are complaints that a particular office space is either too hot or too cold.

“Oftentimes, the person experiencing this issue will assume this is due to energy saving initiatives when, in fact, something is broken,” said Stewart. “We often discover an issue like this purely by change.”

The goal of the energy program, Stewart said, is not to cause discomfort but to have spaces be comfortable when they are in use. “In fact,” said Stewart, ” the temperature set point range with which we are working is more flexible than it was before we started the program.”

The bottom line? If you believe the temperature in your space is unreasonable, submit a work order.

W&L's Edward Adams Awarded Perkins Prize

Edward Adams, professor of English at Washington and Lee University, has been awarded the 2013 Barbara Perkins and George Perkins Award by the International Society for the Study of Narrative (ISSN). The Perkins Prize, given for the best book published in the previous year, was awarded to Adams for “Liberal Epic: The Victorian Practice of History from Gibbon to Churchill” (University of Virginia Press, 2011).

Adams was named the winner at the Modern Language Association (MLA) conference in Boston in January, and the prize will be presented at the annual Narrative Conference in June in the United Kingdom.

Suzanne Keen, interim dean of the college at W&L, is a past president of ISSN and has served on a Perkins Prize committee. “I can attest to the extraordinary achievement this honor represents,” she said. “The committee considers books on narrative from a wide array of fields, searching for that one publication that makes the most significant contribution to the study of narrative from all such books published in the prior year. The fruit of many years’ labor, Edward Adams’ ‘Liberal Epic’ was recognized by the committee as not just impressive, but magisterial.”

A reviewer called Adams’ book an extraordinary scholarly achievement and “a very substantial and original piece of work, which makes a striking contribution to the history of epic in the modern world and extends the significance of its topic in ambitious ways.”

In addition to drawing attention to a great tradition of epic histories, which were once widely-acclaimed and very popular but have been largely ignored by scholars, Adams’ book uses the evidence of these texts to advance several interrelated theses. Among the most important is one that argues against a very influential thesis that was first proposed in the 1970s.

The English military historian John Keegan wrote the war history “The Face of Battle,” which transformed the way warfare was depicted by military historians. “Keegan’s thesis, although it does fit some of the texts he wrote about, is a wonderful example, in my opinion, of an argument that is very plausible but then turns out to be exactly wrong,” said Adams.

Keegan’s claim is that writing and depictions of warfare in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries avoided describing the graphic reality of what happens on the battlefield because military historians and writers about war history were ignorant of the reality of battle. They hadn’t experienced it for themselves. Also, they had a natural human squeamishness and didn’t want to show what actually happens to a human body in battle.

In “Liberal Epic,” Adams demonstrates that the great historians such as Edward Gibbon, Thomas Babington Macaulay and Winston Churchill do not fit Keegan’s thesis. Adams contends that these writers didn’t depict the full horror of what was happening in battle because they had a deep-seated conviction that direct graphic accounts of battle would cultivate human sadism. They were deliberately trying to break the connection between the reader and the killer on the battlefield. So instead of being a consequence of human squeamishness, they softened accounts of warfare because they didn’t want readers to identify sadistically with killers but to feel sympathy for the victims of battle.

Readers of Homer, on the other hand, were expected to identify with the heroic killer on the battlefield and take pleasure in doing so, according to Adams.

Adams had originally planned to include film and video games but decided that would make the book too long. He does refer to these other media in the book’s introduction, describing first-person shooter video games as putting a premium on having the player identify as a killer and taking pleasure in the graphic details.

“One of the dangers of the depiction of warfare in a lot of contemporary writing is that people think they are being more honest by showing what is actually happening. But the problem isn’t that people will be turned off by warfare if you show them the truth, but that they will be turned on by it,” he said.

Receiving the Perkins Award will bring “Liberal Epic” to the attention of a wider audience. “So far the audience has been mostly students and scholars of English literature, but if military historians start paying attention to this book it really has a powerful argument that is grounded in evidence,” he said.

“It was a real surprise and pleasure to win the Perkins Award,” he added. “I was happy enough just to be nominated because it’s an honor to know that leading scholars will be reading my book as part of the nomination and award process.”

Adams acknowledged that Washington and Lee “was very supportive of me over the years in giving me the time to write the book. This included two sabbaticals and several Lenfest Grants.”

Adams received his B.A. in classics from Amherst College, his M.A. in classics from the University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. in English from Yale University.

“Liberal Epic: The Victorian Practice of History from Gibbon to Churchill” is available at the University Store or find it on their website at http://bookstore.wlu.edu

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director


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Map It! Google Updates Its Lexington Views

If you haven’t scrutinized Lexington on Google Maps in a while, you might want to take a new look.

Sometime in the past couple of months, Google has updated the Lexington and Washington and Lee maps. For a very long time, the Google map was so out of date that it showed a construction site where Wilson Hall sits (um, it opened in 2006) and the crumbling facade of Wilson Stadium (the remodeled facility opened in 2008).

Not only has Google updated the overhead image of W&L, but it also has now made available the street views for much of Lexington and a good portion of the county, too. The Google map car was roaming the streets this past summer, so the images are new.

Now, from the comfort of your computer, you can cruise the wrong way down Lexington’s Main Street or check out where you lived (or live) on or off campus. If you work it just right, you can even pick out Leaf, the golden retriever who is a fixture outside Henry Simpson’s antique store on Washington Street.

Here are a few of the images we pulled directly from the new Google map.

David Touve on MOOCs in Huffington Post

An opinion piece by Washington and Lee business administration professor David Touve on MOOCs (massive open online courses) currently appears on the Huffington Post.

Touve draws comparisons between the availability of free online courses with the changes in the music industry as the result of file-sharing networks.

Read Touve’s piece on the Huffington Post website: http://myw.lu/XFD8l6

W&L Transnational Law Institute Presents Lecture on Collaboration in International Law and Relations

The Washington and Lee Transnational Law Institute will present a public lecture by Prof. William Burke-White of the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 11:00 am in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall.

Prof. Burke-White’s talk is titled “International Law and International Relations: Two Decades of Collaboration and a Second Term Agenda.” This event is free and open to the public.

Prof. Burke-White, who serves as Deputy Dean and Professor at UPenn’s law school, is an expert on international law and global governance. He served in the Obama Administration from 2009-2011 on Secretary Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff, providing the Secretary direct policy advice on multilateral diplomacy and international institutions. He was principal drafter of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), Secretary Clinton’s hallmark foreign policy and institutional reform effort.

Prof. Burke-White has written extensively in the fields of international law and institutions, focusing on international criminal and international economic law. His work has addressed issues of post-conflict justice; the International Criminal Court; international human rights, and international arbitration. His current research explores gaps in the global governance system and the challenges of international legal regulation in a world of rising powers and divergent interests.

The Transnational Law Institute, directed by Professor Mark Drumbl, was established in 2006 to support and coordinate teaching innovations, externships, internships, a speaker series and visiting faculty to help prepare students for the increasing globalization of legal practice.

Other upcoming events sponsored by the Transnational Law Institute include a lecture by Yale anthropology professor Kamari Maxine Clarke on the International Criminal Court in Africa. The Institute will also host two visiting scholars this semester, Ralph Henham of Nottingham Law School and Kevin Jon Heller of the University of Melbourne School of Law. Additional speakers are expected during the spring semester.

Learn more about the W&L Law Transnational Law Institute at http://law.wlu.edu/transnational.

Kevin Crotty to Give Childress Professorship Inaugural Lecture

Kevin Crotty, professor of Classics at Washington and Lee University, will give the J. Donald Childress Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. in Northen Auditorium.

The title of Crotty’s lecture is “Corruption and Self Constitution in Plato’s ‘Republic.’ ” It is free and open to the public.

“I will discuss recent work on the quality of governance, and some practical proposals to address the issue,” said Crotty. “I suggest that Plato’s ‘Republic,’ often seen as a utopian and dangerous work, was in fact an early, and still useful, look at the problems posed by governance. Plato thought that high-quality governance required people ultimately to change their intuitive, uncritical sense of themselves and, by expanding their conception of what it means to be human, begin actually to constitute themselves as persons capable of government.”

Crotty is the author of four books, including “The Philosopher’s Song: The Poets’ Influence on Plato” (2009) and “Law’s Interior: Legal and Literary Constructions of the Self” (2001). He also wrote articles, reviews and two books for children, including a review of “The Artistry of the Homeric Simile” in Classical Review (2011) and “Dinosongs: Songs to Celebrate a T-Rex Named Sue” (2000).

He is currently at work on a book-length study of Plato’s “Republic” entitled “The City-State of the Soul: Self-Constitution in Plato’s Republic.”

Crotty chaired the Classics Department from 1999 to 2010. During this time, he oversaw the doubling of the department’s tenure-track faculty members and the jump in the number of majors from approximately eight to 25.

He is a manuscript reader for the Oxford University Press, Transactions of the American Philological Association, Classical Review and Classical Quarterly.

Crotty received his B.A. from Columbia University, his Ph.D. from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

The J. Donald Childress Professorship in Foreign Languages, established in 2008, supports a professor who is both an accomplished scholar and exceptional teacher in one of the foreign languages offered in the College. The endowment is the gift of J. Donald Childress, of Atlanta, W&L Class of 1970.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Harry Potter, Superhero

Is Harry Potter a superhero?

That is the question that the folks at Mugglenet, which bills itself as the world’s No. 1 Harry Potter website, posed to Washington and Lee English professor–and superhero chronicler–Chris Gavaler.

Chris is the second member of the W&L English faculty to appear on the Mugglenet Academia podcast, following in the pathbreaking footsteps of Suzanne Keen, the Thomas Broadus Professor of English and interim dean of the College at W&L. Suzanne was the first guest on the podcast when it began last April.

A visiting assistant professor of English, Chris was a natural choice to explore the superhero question. He has been studying the genre for years and teaches a Spring Term course on the early development of the superhero character and narrative form.

And the answer to the question? In Chris’ view, Harry Potter qualifies as a superhero on several counts. Among the questions to consider: Does Harry Potter have traditional qualifications of a comic book superhero? Is he a vigilante? Is he more like Bruce Wayne than Oliver Twist?

You can listen to the podcast here. And then you can read Chris’s views on the subject at his blog, “The Patron Saint of Superheroes.” Chris also has written the novels “School for Tricksters” (Southern Methodist University Press) and “Pretend I’m Not Here” (HarperCollins).

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W&L’s Darznik Wins SCHEV Award for Outstanding Teaching

Jasmin Darznik, assistant professor of English at Washington and Lee University, has received a 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Darznik won a Rising Star Award, which goes to assistant professors who have been teaching six years or less.

As Virginia’s highest honor for faculty at its public and private colleges and universities, the award recognizes superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service.

Darznik becomes the eighth Washington and Lee professor to win a SCHEV award in the last five years and the 19th faculty member honored since the awards were established in 1986.

“Jasmin’s award is a tribute to her many accomplishments as a teacher, writer and scholar.  The long list of Washington and Lee winners is a tribute to the high quality of our faculty,” said Robert Strong, acting provost at Washington and Lee. “SCHEV nominations are reviewed by a panel of academics, then by a broader panel that includes individuals from different backgrounds and a number of community leaders. A nominee must have accomplishments that impress both academic peers and leading citizens.”

Strong concluded, “Jasmin is an impressive nominee and a deserving winner, and we’re delighted that she has been recognized.”

A member of the Washington and Lee faculty since 2009, Darznik received her bachelor’s degree from UCLA in English and German and then earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College. She received her Ph.D. in English literature from Princeton University.

The courses she teaches at Washington and Lee range from first-year composition to creative writing workshops to seminars on the literature of human rights and the immigrant experience.

In support of Darznik’s nomination, one of her former students, Brad Harder, a 2012 Washington and Lee graduate, wrote: “As my mentor and my teacher for the past four years, Professor Darznik opened my eyes to the craft of creative writing and the richness of contemporary literature. She maintains a dynamic atmosphere of spirited give-and-take throughout her literature courses that encourages students to challenge their own preconceptions and freely share their opinions.”

Darznik is the author of the 2011 New York Times bestseller, “The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life.” The book has been translated into eight languages and is forthcoming in 13 countries. It was a finalist for the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice Award and was short-listed for the Saroyan International Prize for Writing.

In 1979, Darznik fled the revolution in Iran with her parents. She could neither read nor write English when she started school in this country. She has observed that it was “through books that I began to feel at home in a new country.… Eventually, I found a home in a language to which I was not born but that I learned to make my own.”

She also published personal essays in such publications the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times Magazine. Her short stories, scholarly articles and book reviews have appeared in numerous venues.

William Gleason, professor and chair of the department of English at Princeton, called Darznik “one of the most gifted young teachers, writers and scholars I have had the privilege to know…. In the classroom — where all her many talents come together — she is a calm yet energizing presence, able to inspire her students while simultaneously providing them the guidance and structure they need in order to produce exemplary work of their own.”

Lesley Wheeler, the Henry S. Fox Professor of English and a 2011 recipient of the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award, said of her colleague: “Jasmin is a highly dedicated, compassionate teacher. She is responsive to student needs, spends a lot of time conferencing, and earns praise from students for her expertise, helpfulness and enthusiasm. She particularly shines in her thoughtfully designed creative writing workshops, demonstrating respect for her pupils as fellow writers and helping them to revise intelligently.”

SCHEV established the Outstanding Faculty Awards in 1986 to recognize excellence in teaching, research and service among the faculties of Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities. A special committee of education, business and civic leaders and SCHEV choose the recipients based upon nominees’ contributions to their students, academic disciplines, institutions and communities.

Previous Washington and Lee winners:

James Kahn (Economics) 2012
Lesley Wheeler (English) 2012
Rebecca Benefiel (Classics) 2011
Domnica Radulescu (Romance Languages) 2011
Ellen Mayock (Spanish) 2010
Mark Carey (History) 2009
Erich Uffelman (Chemistry) 2009
Suzanne Keen (English) 2008
William F. Connelly Jr. (Politics) 2007
Harlan Beckley (Religion) 2002
Pamela Simpson (Art History) 1995
Margaret Brouwer (Music) 1994
Andrew McThenia (Law) 1994
Edgar Spencer (Geology) 1990
Sidney Coulling (English) 1989
Brian Murchison (Law) 1988
Philip Cline (Economics) 1987
Leonard Jarrard (Psychology) 1987

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W&L's Merchant Featured in New Lee Video

A new video about Robert E. Lee, which began airing in the Richmond area on the cable station of Henrico County, Channel 17, features J. Holt Merchant, professor of history at Washington and Lee.

“An Evolving Legend: The Story of Robert E. Lee” examines Lee’s life, including his five years as president of Washington College.

Holt, a 1961 graduate of W&L, provides expert commentary throughout the 38-minute video. It’s his telling of the story of Lee and Washington College that is especially interesting, even to those who’ve heard it before.

Joining Holt on the video are historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor, author of “Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee through his Private Letters,” and Paul Reber, executive director of Stratford Hall, Lee’s birthplace.

In Henrico County, the video is playing this week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday on all the “even hours.” See the schedule here.

You can also watch the video online here. The Washington College section begins at about the 29:30 mark.

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W&L Seniors Shannon McGovern, Keaton Fletcher Are January Generals of the Month

Washington and Lee University seniors Shannon McGovern and Keaton Fletcher will be recognized as the Generals of the Month for January. The presentation will be on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 11:45 a.m. in the Marketplace in Elrod Commons.

McGovern, of Silver Spring, Md., is a journalism and mass communications and computer science double major. She is a member of the W&L Outing Club, a trip leader for The Leading Edge Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation trip and a member of Chi Omega sorority.

A graduate of Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, McGovern is a computer science lab assistant and works on W&L Campus Recreation Social Media placing announcements and ads. Last summer, she interned at U.S. News and World Report interviewing political authors and policymakers and covering current political news, legal controversies and policy changes.

Fletcher, of Littleton, Colo., is a psychology and neuroscience double major. He is a Johnson Scholar, president of Lifestyle Information for Everyone (LIFE), development chair of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society and vice president of recruitment for Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

A graduate of Columbine High School, he is a member of Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society and  a member of General Admission, a coed a cappela group. He has been on the Dean’s List during the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 academic years.

Generals of the Month is coordinated by the Celebrating Student Success (CSS) initiative and sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs to inspire engaged citizenship at Washington and Lee University.  CSS seeks to recognize students who are not typically or sufficiently touted for the depth and breadth they add to our campus community.

McGovern and Fletcher were selected by the CSS Committee, which is composed of students, faculty and staff. Any member of the campus community can nominate a W&L student at any time with the online form at go.wlu.edu/css.

Future CSS presentations during the 2012-2013 academic year will be held during lunch in the Marketplace in the Elrod Commons on Feb. 14, and dates in March, April and May, yet to be determined.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Civil Rights Pioneer Terrence Roberts Keynotes King Week at W&L

Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine, described his experiences as one of nine black teenagers who integrated Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957. He spoke on Sunday, Jan. 20, in Lee Chapel, during the keynote event of Washington and Lee University’s observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

In a wide-ranging, conversational presentation, Roberts, the CEO of T. Roberts & Associates, a management consulting firm in Pasadena, Calif., discussed his decision to volunteer to be among the first African-American students to attend Central High School following the Brown v. Board of Education decision. He also talked about the fear he experienced and the constant physical and mental intimidation he and the other black students faced each day.

At Central High School, Roberts said, he explored the understanding of non-violence that he and the other students had gained from a face-to-face meeting with King during that year.

“Every day for the length of that school year, we were beaten up,” he said. “The certainty of your being eaten by a Bengal tiger if you happen to walk into a cage where a Bengal tiger is housed is 100 percent. The same odds applied to us during that school year. Each time we walked onto that campus, there was a 100 percent certainty that we were going to get smacked.”

Roberts said that choosing to spend that year at Central High School was an idea “much bigger than us.” In fact, he added, he can hardly believe how the episode has grown to such proportions that now, life-size statues of him and the other eight students sit on the grounds of the state capitol in Little Rock. The school itself is a National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service.

In response to a question, Roberts said that in his wildest dreams, he would wish that  civil rights would be accomplished not through legislation, “because we’re the kind of people who are committed to growth and development.”

That, he said, is a wild dream and legislation is needed. But “we have to do it in ways that involve more people, to get more voices. One of the things that I imagine for us, as a nation, is a giant, nationwide conversation about the issues that matter. We’ve not had that, ever.”

Roberts holds a B.A. in sociology, a master of social work and a Ph.D. in psychology. His long career has encompassed academic administration, student services, mental health services, university teaching and social work. He serves on the boards of the Western Justice Center Foundation and the Little Rock Nine Foundation, among other organizations.

Listen to excerpts from the talk below.

Salem Scholarship Honors Jill Bailey Chenet '03

The family of Jill Bailey Chenet, the 2003 Washington and Lee alumna who drowned off the Outer Banks of North Carolina in July, has established a scholarship with the Salem Education Foundation in her memory.

Jill graduated from Salem (Va.) High School and taught hearing-impaired students at The River School in Washington, D.C.

According to the criteria, which Jill’s brother, Jason, outlined, the scholarship will be awarded to a student who “demonstrates a leadership role in school, exhibits a compassionate heart, has a passion for teaching, is active in athletics and is an A/B honor roll student.”

Announcement of the scholarship was made in December and cited in a story about Jill and the Bailey family in a Roanoke Times blog.

Contributions to the Salem scholarship can be sent to the Salem Education Foundation, P.O. Box 1461, Salem, VA 24153. A second scholarship in Jill’s memory was established at The River School.

New Exhibit to Open at W&L’s McCarthy Gallery in Holekamp Hall on Jan. 28

“Emblematic Objects,” a solo exhibition of paintings by Anita Dawson, opens on Jan. 28 in McCarthy Gallery in Holekamp Hall at Washington and Lee University. It will remain on view until May 30.

Anita Dawson is an artist with obsessions:  “I love still life and I love objects. My studio shelves are crowded with taxidermied birds and fishes, early 20th-century toys, plastic frogs, Chinese bowls, interesting rocks which I found while traveling yearly on research trips to Italy, at estate sales or in the street.”

Momentary pleasures and eternal truths are represented in Dawson’s paintings; strangeness and delight are the motivating force in her selection of subject matter and the reflection of life as she sees it. In her body of work, Dawson hopes the viewer will see the physicality of paint, the drama of chiaroscuro, intense color and spatial relationships, all placed in a formal, even emblematic arrangement. These elements interweave various levels of illusion and reality to create a charged emotional atmosphere.

“There is both comedy and serious intent in the odd juxtapositions that reflect our contemporary environment, one that is both transcendent and mundane,” Dawson said. “At the heart of my work is a belief that life-affirming universal truths can be found in these juxtapositions.”

Dawson teaches drawing and painting at the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus Ohio.

The hours of McCarthy Gallery in Holekamp Hall are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

W&L Energy Conservation Paying Dividends

Washington and Lee University’s emphasis on energy conservation continued to pay major dividends during the past calendar year, including a consistent reduction in energy usage by at least 20 percent each month.

That decrease was even greater during the summer, averaging almost 30 percent. “For the month of July, as an example, we avoided $57,455 in utility costs  just by changing how we do things on campus, and even more was saved with equipment upgrades,” said Jane Stewart, one of W&L’s two full-time energy specialists. “These savings came despite the fact that campus was much busier this past summer than in the base year against which the savings are compared, because we had hundreds of high school students here for the Virginia Governor’s Language Academies, and nearly every residence hall was full.”

The amount of energy saved since the inception of the Energy Education Program means the University avoided $766,309 in utility costs, according to Stewart. Those savings can also be expressed in the following terms:

  • A reduction of 64,664 MMBtu
  • A reduction of 5,365 metric tons of CO2
  • Energy savings equivalent to taking 963 passenger cars off the road for a year
  • Energy savings equivalent to 137,223 tree seedlings grown for 10 years

Washington and Lee had identified the need to lower its energy consumption prior to implementing the Energy Education Program in 2011.

“Since we first launched our ‘Five for Five’ energy project, designed to save $5 million in five years, our electric usage has been reduced by 23 percent and gas consumption by 27 percent, even while the campus space has increased by approximately 2.5 percent through new construction and remodeled facilities,” said Steve McAllister, Washington and Lee’s vice president for finance and treasurer.

While “Five for Five” projects focus on creating mechanical efficiencies and include such initiatives as the University’s solar-energy project, the work of Stewart and of Morris Trimmer, the other energy specialists, is a major factor in planning and behavior modification.

For instance, one major initiative in the last two years has been planning for campus shutdowns during vacation periods, when offices and residence halls are not fully in use.

“We just went through our second winter-break shutdown, and I think we saw significant improvements from the first year even as we changed our approach,” said Trimmer. “In the first year, Jane and I actually went into every space — residence hall rooms, fraternity and sorority house rooms, campus offices — to check that windows were closed and electric devices, including computers and refrigerators, were unplugged.

“When it came to the student rooms this time, we distributed printed checklists and asked students to indicate those things that they had done and to tape the completed checklist to the door. If we saw a checklist, we didn’t enter a room,” continued Trimmer. “Having to sit down and fill out the check list, then sign your name at the bottom makes you stop and focus on what you’re being asked to do. You can also see, when you walk down a hallway, that your peers are making that effort. Not only did this save us a lot of time, but we found that our students really did a good job of complying. Even in those cases where there was not a completed checklist on the door, they had usually done everything we asked.”

As Stewart and Trimmer have discovered, saving energy is a matter of careful planning and constant conversation with the people who live and work in the various spaces around campus.

During the winter break, for instance, the two energy specialists spent many hours carefully planning which rooms and buildings the students on athletic teams would be occupying when they returned for practices and games in the middle of the break. They also worked with custodial staff in buildings where there might be changes in the scheduled opening and closing times.

“One of the things that I was doing during the winter break was checking on new systems that have been installed in the Science Center for both air handling and lighting,” said Trimmer. “Not only do we want to be sure that the new controls are making the air-handling unit operate as expected, but we also need to work with custodians in the buildings to be sure that changes in the times that lights come on or go off do not have a negative impact on their work. There are a lot of small details to consider.”

The energy specialists monitor a sophisticated, online control system that allows them to look throughout the campus and determine, in real time, what the temperatures are in various spaces, what fans are running and generally how efficiently the systems are performing. By accessing that system from an iPad, they can compare what they see on the controls to what they experience in the spaces.

Among the many partners that Stewart and Trimmer have in their efforts are the Facilities Management personnel.

“We work regularly with the Systems Control Specialist, Andy Hamilton, to work through issues related to the digital controls,” said Stewart. “In addition to scheduling heat, lighting and ‘shutdowns’ of personal spaces like offices and dorm rooms, the winter break shutdown involved working with Facilities Management staff in managing the chiller plant and heating loop, shutting off domestic hot water heaters, cutting the gas off to the stoves in all the kitchens, including in every Greek House, turning down every single stand-alone boiler on campus and on and on.

“We identified those opportunities and did the planning and coordinating with the people who live and work in those spaces, but Facilities Managment staff physically executed a tremendous number of these things. Their cooperation in our efforts is critical to what we are able to accomplish.”

• Too Hot? Too Cold?

One of the most powerful methods the energy specialists use is conversation. “Simply stopping in an office and talking with the person who works there about what they’re experiencing and what we’re trying to do is our best tool,” said Trimmer.

As part of their ongoing audits of the campus, however, they communicate in a different manner — leaving a note to suggest what could have been shut down, or leaving a piece of chocolate in appreciation for turning off such equipment as computers and printers at night.

“That inspires conversations,” Trimmer said. “Those are small, simple things, but I think they inspire people’s actions and awareness. When people see Jane and me passing through the buildings and working on things, that also increases people’s interest and awareness.”

Stewart is quick to credit members of the W&L community for the improving numbers. “I have been amazed and gratified by how incredibly willing most people are to put forth an extra effort to try to conserve,” Stewart said. “During the breaks, in particular, people have been incredibly cooperative in their preparations. When you consider that it’s the end of a semester, when everyone is under a lot of stress, asking them to do one more thing is probably irritating. But they have been wonderfully receptive.”

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

Ashford '82 Climbs a Hot Tin Roof

You may have heard director Rob Ashford and cast members of Broadway’s new production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” during an NPR “Morning Edition” story yesterday, Jan. 17. That was opening night for the play.

The last time we blogged about Rob, one of Broadway’s best directors and choreographers, this member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1982 was up for two Tony Awards for his work on “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Now he is steering another classic, which first appeared on Broadway in 1955.

This isn’t Rob’s first time working with a Tennessee Williams play; in 2009, he directed an acclaimed version of “A Streetcar Named Desire” at London’s Donmar Warehouse. His New York cast for “Cat” includes Scarlett Johansson, Ciarán Hinds and Benjamin Walker.

As Rob told NPR: “When we started rehearsal, one of the first things I said to them was, ‘If I could take these characters off these pedestals where they’ve been placed and just kind of put them back in the play, let’s make that our goal’.”

Benjamin Walker, who became a Broadway star with his role in “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” appreciates Rob’s take. “I think what Rob has done is to embrace those complexities that are already in the play — I think that’ll surprise people,” he told NPR.

You can read more about Rob, his career and the production at the “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” website. If you are in New York, you can see the play through March 30. And you can see more of Rob’s talent on television, on Feb. 24; he’ll be choreographing the Academy Awards.

Andrew Delbanco Inspires W&L Audience about Education on Founders' Day

Citing the current national conversation about whether or not college is worth it, Andrew Delbanco told a Washington and Lee University audience Friday that we should not lose sight of the mystery of higher education.

That mystery, Delbanco said, involves those catalysts in a classroom that cause the sparks to fly and the students to catch fire.

Delbanco is the Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, and the author of the 2012 book “College: What It Was, Is and Should Be.”

He addressed W&L’s annual Founders’ Day/ODK Convocation, during which the University’s Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, held its initiation. By charge of the W&L Board of Trustees, Founders’ Day is held each year on the birthday of Robert E. Lee, the institution’s president from 1865 to 1870.

Watch the archived event


Delbanco told the Lee Chapel audience that today’s discourse about higher education tends to look for a purely monetary or numerically measureable answer to the question of whether or not college is worth the investment.

The economic arugment for the importance of college is real and legitimate, he said. But college offers other values that do not receive as much prominence in the national conversation.

Among those is the belief that college is a place for young people between adolescence and adulthood “to take time for reflection, self-discovery, contemplation. For thinking about the questions, ‘Who am I? Who do I want to be?’ This is a bedrock American principle. We want to be a society where you aren’t told who you are, and are not constrained by the circumstances of your birth, that you have something to say about who you will be in the world.”

A second important value of college that Delbanco believes is not getting enough attention is the conviction that students learn not only from their professors but also from each other. He referred to this as “lateral learning” and noted that a true college is a place of all kinds of diversity, which makes the classroom experience especially rich.

“The third thing about college that I think doesn’t get sufficient air time is that the college classroom is the best rehearsal place for democracy that we have yet invented,” he said, calling the classroom a place where students learn to speak with civility, listen with respect and learn the difference between opinion and argument.

“Most of all,” he added, “the classroom is a place where you can walk into the room with one point of view and walk out with another, or at least with some productive doubt of what you were sure of when you walked in.”

Delbanco spoke of what teachers experience in every classroom. “It doesn’t matter what the subject is. Sometimes the sparks will fly and the students will catch fire,” he said. “Other times it’s like you’re pouring water down the proverbial well or talking into the void. It’s as if there is a third force in the room that makes the decision about whether the student will catch fire or not. It’s a mystery.”

He concluded by saying he had seen that the mystery is understood, respected, alive and well at W&L. “This is a true college, based on the faith that there is an incendiary capacity in every teacher and a flammability in every student.”

In opening the Convocation, Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio said that no one should take the University’s rich history for granted.

“I have long thought of Washington and Lee as a repository of strong values, shaped by many individuals, most notably George Washington, who, with his gift to Liberty Hall Academy, sought to promote literature and the arts in what he called the rising empire; and of course Robert E. Lee, who saw the value of what he called practical education, but who also thought colleges had a role to play in healing the moral and intellectual culture of a deeply scarred country in the aftermath of the Civil War,” Ruscio said. “How we enact those values in a very different time with very different challenges is up to us. We honor the past by building for the future.”

Ruscio went on to mention the ongoing conversation about higher education in America that Delbanco addressed. He referred to predictions of a “disruption of higher education,” arising largely from advancements in information technology.

But, he added, such predictions come from those who assume a college education is a transfer of information and nothing more. “If a college education were only that,” said Ruscio, “our lives as teachers and educators would be so much easier. And so much less interesting. And so much less meaningful.”

ODK inducted, or “tapped,” 24 Washington and Lee juniors and seniors along with seven Law School students. In addition, the four honorary initiates were Loranne Ausley, a 1990 graduate of the School of Law, of Tallahassee, Fla., and James J. Livesay, a member of the Class of 1969, of Houston, along with two current members of the W&L faculty — Mark H. Grunewald, the James P. Morefield Professor of Law, and Pamela K. Luecke, Donald W. Reynolds Professor of Business Journalism.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

Domnica Radulescu to Give Edwin A. Morris Professorship Inaugural Lecture

Domnica Radulescu, professor of Romance languages at Washington and Lee University, will give the Edwin A. Morris Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 5 p.m. in Northen Auditorium of Leyburn Library.

The title of Radulescu’s lecture is “’Dangerous Liaisons: The Creative and the Critical, the Personal and the Political, the Fictional and the Autobiographical.” It is free and open to the public.

Radulescu will discuss the fluid interconnections and consistent dialogues between the theoretical and the creative aspects of her writings. She will explore and reveal the ways in which she has built bridges and crossed frontiers between the personal and the political aspects of both her critical and her fictional works. Her talk will address issues such as liminal spaces and the fragmentation that the artist/critic/exile writer has to face before reinventing oneself in a holistic and harmonious entity.

Radulescu is the author, editor or co-editor of 11 books, with a 12th under contract, including “Women’s Comedic Art as Social Revolution” (2011), “Black Sea Twilight” (2011), “Realms of Exile. Nomadism, Diasporas and Eastern European Voices” (2002) and “Train to Trieste” (2008 and 2009) which was published in 12 international editions. She is the author of book chapters, articles and plays and also directs plays.

A full production of Radulescu’s play “Naturalized Woman: A Quilting, Surrealist Project about Immigrant Women” was staged for the first time at the Thespis Theater Festival, off off Broadway, in New York City in October 2012. A staged reading of “No Hay Luz and the Search for Red Bougainvilleas” was held in Minneapolis on Aug. 20, 2012. Radulescu directed both “4:48. Psychosis” by Sarah Kane and “Nine Parts of Desire” by Heather Raffo in Cluj National Theater, Romania, in February 2008.

Radulescu received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in 2011. Her book “Train to Trieste” won the Library of Virginia Fiction Award in 2009. She received a Fulbright Lecturing-Research Fellowship to the Babes-Bolyai University Theater Department in Romania in 2007. The Treakle Foundation awarded her grants for organizing the International Colloquium on André Malraux and Cultural Diversity in 2002 and for organizing the National Symposium of Theater in Academe in 2001.

Radulescu co-founded the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Washington and Lee in 2001 and chaired it for nine years. She is the chair of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at W&L beginning in 2012.

She attended the University of Bucharest, Romania, before coming to the United States, where she received her B.A. in English from Loyola University of Chicago, her M.A. in comparative literature from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. in Romance languages and literatures from the University of Chicago.

The Edwin A. Morris Professorship was established in 1993 by a grant from Edwin A. Morris, class of ’26, of Greensboro, N.C. Morris was the chairman and chief executive officer of Blue Bell, Inc. of Greensboro.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer


W&L Basketball Star Jay Handlan '52 Dies

John Bernard “Jay” Handlan ’52, one of the most prolific scorers in the history of Washington and Lee basketball, died on Jan. 10 in Ormond Beach, Fla. He was 84.

A 1990 inductee to the W&L Athletic Hall of Fame, Jay finished in the Top 16 in the nation in scoring all four of his seasons and completed his career with 2,002 career points, just the third player in NCAA history to eclipse 2,000 career points. His point total ranks second of all time at W&L.

Jay has been in the NCAA Record Book since a February night in 1951, when he took 71 field-goal attempts in Doremus Gymnasium during the Generals’ 97-82 win over Furman. He scored 66 points in that game, which is still a single-game record at W&L.

Jay’s 71 attempts remain as the Division I record (and the oldest NCAA basketball record, too), since there were not three NCAA divisions at the time. Bevo Francis, of Rio Grande College, holds the Division II record with the same number of attempts as Handlan — 71. That was in 1954. And earlier this season, Jack Taylor, of Grinnell, set the Division III record (and the all-divisions record) when he had 108 attempts (71 three-pointers) on his way to 138 points.

In a 1985 article, Sports Illustrated wrote about Jay’s 71 attempts. He told SI back then: “We weren’t super formidable. I was the only scholarship player on the team. That night was sort of a planned situation. It was ‘Let’s see what I can get.’ To be honest, I was tired at the half.”

Jay set another NCAA record during his career in 1950, when he made 18 free throws without a miss against Virginia.

Following graduation, Jay was drafted by the NBA (Indianapolis) and the NFL (Cleveland), but he opted to play basketball in the National AAU League for the Goodyear Wingfoots, which he did for four years.

A private family viewing was held in Ormond Beach. A memorial service and burial will be held in Haddonfield, N.J., at a later date.

N.C. Judge Will Honor King at W&L Law School

As part of its Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance on Jan. 21, the Washington and Lee School of Law will feature a guest lecture by North Carolina District Court Judge Louis A. Trosch Jr., who has received considerable attention for his methods of avoiding implicit bias in his courtroom.

It will be a homecoming for Lou, a 1988 graduate of W&L and a 6′ 6″ forward on the Generals basketball team. An English major here, Lou received his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was appointed to the 26th Judicial District Court bench in Mecklenburg County, N.C., in 1999, and won re-election this past November.

In his MLK Day presentation, Lou will undoubtedly discuss some of the same topics that were part of his testimony in North Carolina’s first Racial Justice Act hearing, in February 2012. As the Fayetteville Observer reported, Lou was the last witness called by the lawyers for a death row inmate, who was attempting to prove that racism had influenced jury selection in his 1994 trial.

In that testimony, Lou said that he didn’t think he had racial bias until he attended a training session on power, privilege and racism early in his career. “After those two days, I realized that my way of thinking, and the privileges I had had growing up, shaped a lot of how I viewed the world and how I viewed other people.”

Lou has been credited with several innovative initiatives, such as the permanency mediation program in dependency court that has become a state and national model, and a truancy court program held in selected elementary and middle schools for at-risk youth. He has become a nationally recognized expert regarding collaboration between court systems and community groups.

W&L Professor of Psychology Julie Woodzicka will join Lou in the program to discuss implicit bias from a psychological perspective.

The Law School’s MLK Day program will be at 3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, in the Millhiser Moot Court Room in Lewis Hall. It is free and open to the public.

“Souper Bowl” to Benefit Campus Kitchen Backpack Program

Twelve local Lexington restaurants will contribute soup for sampling in the first “Souper Bowl” to benefit the Weekend Backpack Program of the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee on Sunday, Jan. 27, at Evans Hall on the W&L Campus.

The event, which will run from 11 a.m to 2 p.m., will feature live entertainment and a festive atmosphere and will highlight each partner restaurant.

Participating restaurants are Red Hen, Southern Inn, Blue Sky Bakery, Healthy Foods Co-op, Salernos, Sweet Treats, Sheridan Livery, Brixx, eCafe, Nikos, Bistro and Lexington Country Club. The suggested donation is $10 for students, $15 for adults and a maximum of $40 per family.

Lori Frascati, director of Client Service at Davidson & Garrard and one of the organizers of the event, said: “Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee’s Weekend Backpack Program started in 2009 as a partnership between Campus Kitchen and Natural Bridge Elementary School, and has expanded to cover all seven elementary schools in the Rockbridge area. This vital program delivers backpacks filled with non-perishable food to the schools and targets children who are eligible for free or reduced lunches.”

Jenny Davidson, another event organizer and coordinator of Student Service Learning at W&L, added that the children eligible for the backpacks are guaranteed lunch Monday through Friday and “now, by sending food home with them in backpacks on Friday night, CKWL ensures they have food over the weekend . The program provides snacks for over 400 local elementary school students who deal with hunger on a regular basis.”

The Souper Bowl, Davidson said, is one more effort to tackle childhood hunger in the Lexington and Rockbridge area.

Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee involves numerous W&L student volunteers who have been active in the backpack program by packing and delivering the packs each week.

“My involvement with the Campus Kitchens has helped shape my career at Washington and Lee,” said Kathryn Marsh-Soloway, the student organizer for the Souper Bowl and a senior from Woodbridge, Conn. “It has helped me connect to the community in which I live. The program has increased awareness of hunger issues amongst students, community members, and works to combat a much larger scale problem.”

As a percentage of the student body, the number of students who receive the backpacks ranges from 20.12% at Harrington Waddell Elementary to 64.21 % at Natural Bridge Elementary.  The average of all elementary schools in the program is 45%.

The organizers hope the event will raise thousands of dollars to benefit the program, an essential part of tackling childhood hunger locally.

For additional information or to volunteer, contact Lori Frascati at 540-464-9100 or lfrascati@dg-g.com.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

No. 1 Contrarians

When the Wall Street Journal named Legg Mason Capital Management Opportunity the No. 1 fund in its 2012 Winners’ Circle performance ranking of U.S. diversified stock portfolios, it featured the fund managers in the story: two Washington and Lee alumni. Bill Miller, of the Class of 1972, is the fund manager, and Samantha McLemore, of the Class of 2002, is the assistant manager.

According to the Journal, Legg Mason Capital Management Opportunity “more than doubled the return of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index in 2012, gaining 40.7%.” That performance came after a year when the fund lost more than 30 percent.

Noting at the outset that being “contrarian” had paid off for the fund managers, the Journal wrote: “Mr. Miller and Ms. McLemore prefer to ignore the market’s mood, or to run counter to it.”

Bill had previously been named “fund manager of the decade” by Morningstar, a fund-industry research service, for his performance in the 1990s. Under his management, Legg Mason Value Trust outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index for 15 consecutive years, from 1991 to 2005, one of the longest winning streaks in mutual fund history.

Samantha joined Legg Mason Capital Management in 2002 as an analyst and was named assistant portfolio manager of the Legg Mason Capital Management Opportunity Trust in 2008. She serves as portfolio manager on the LMCM Opportunity Fund, which allows investors access to the investment process and portfolio implemented by the LMCM Opportunity Trust.

Bill was the director of research for Legg Mason from October 1981 through June 1985, and assumed overall responsibility for its equity funds management division in 1990. Prior to joining Legg Mason in 1981, he served as treasurer of the J.E. Baker Co., a major manufacturer of products for the steel and cement industries.

Implicit Bias Lecture Highlights W&L Law MLK Day Activities

Update: Video from these events is now available on the W&L Law YouTube Channel.

Washington and Lee University School of Law will hold a number of activities on Monday, January 21 in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Law classes have been cancelled so that students may attend these events.

At 3:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, the School will present a guest lecture delivered by North Carolina District Court Judge Louis A. Trosch ’88 on implicit bias in the courtroom. Implicit bias research focuses on uncovering pervasive unconscious preferences, including racial preferences, operating below the level of our awareness. Judge Trosch has pioneered efforts to apply the insights of social science research on implicit bias in his own courtroom and more broadly within the judicial system.

W&L Professor of Psychology Julie Woodzicka will also participate in the program with Judge Trosch. She will discuss how people automatically process information, how that leads to stereotyping and prejudice, and how implicit bias impacts behavior. She will also explain how implicit bias is measured.

Additional MLK Day programming includes a talk by Howard Pickett, adjunct instructor with the Shepherd Poverty Program, on Dr. King’s theological-ethical rationale for non-violent resistance. Millhiser Moot Court Room, 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Following Mr. Pickett’s talk, a W&L Law faculty panel will explore the intersection of race with the professors’ areas of scholarly interest. Assoc. Dean for Academic Affairs Johanna Bond will moderate the discussion. Panelists will include Prof. Joan Shaughnessy, Assoc. Dean Benjamin Spencer, and Visiting Professor Jon Shapiro. Topics will include racism and the death penalty and how civil procedure limits access to justice for plaintiffs asserting certain kinds of “disfavored” claims, such as those in the area of civil rights and employment discrimination. Millhiser Moot Court Room, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The law school will also screen the Presidential Inauguration at 1:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room. A pizza lunch will be provided beginning at noon.

That evening, the Law School will screen the Oscar-winning documentary “Murder on a Sunday Morning.” The film tells the story of 15-year-old Brenton Butler, a black resident of Jacksonville, Florida, who becomes the prime suspect in the shooting death of an elderly white woman.  Professors J.D. King and David Bruck will offer commentary on this exploration of modern police investigation. Millhiser Moot Court Room, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

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Dyson Foundation Makes $2.5 Million Grant to W&L for Center for Global Learning

The Dyson Foundation of Millbrook, N.Y., has made a $2.5 million grant to Washington and Lee University to develop the University’s new Center for Global Learning.

Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio said that the grant provides a critical boost to the establishment of the center, which is an outgrowth of the 2007 strategic plan and a goal of the current capital campaign, Honor Our Past, Build Our Future: The Campaign for Washington and Lee.

“This is a wonderful gift.  We thank for their generosity the Dyson Foundation; its president, Rob Dyson; and its treasurer, Chris Dyson, who is a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2000,” said Ruscio. “The grant is a vote of confidence in our plans to expand the University’s horizons through a new facility that will help us meet the goal in our mission statement of preparing students for ‘engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society’.”

The Dyson Foundation is a private, family-directed, grant-making foundation. Established in 1957, it is led by Robert R. Dyson, who has served as its president since 2000. The foundation awards grants throughout New York’s Dutchess County and Mid-Hudson Valley, as well outside the Hudson Valley.

Chris Dyson is vice president and sporting director of Dyson Racing, a professional racing team based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and he has won two series Drivers’ championships in the IMSA American Le Mans Series.

The Dyson Foundation has previously supported the University’s Spring Term curriculum and other initiatives.

As a facility, the Center for Global Learning will consist of 8,600 square feet in the renovated duPont Hall and an estimated 17,700 square feet in a new wing. Renovating and expanding duPont Hall and its surrounding space will position the center at a prominent campus location, at the northern end of Stemmons Plaza.

The combined space will contain 12 teaching spaces, including classrooms, a seminar room and instructional laboratories. The entry to the new wing will include a two-story atrium that will convey to visitors the purpose and importance of the center.

The Center for Global Learning will include state-of-the-art technology, and its design will respect and complement the character of duPont Hall and the entire historic campus.

The facility will serve as the cornerstone of a comprehensive program and as an important physical focal point for W&L’s globalization initiative. The center will draw together students and faculty from across departments, elevating broader viewpoints and driving and informing an integrated vision of global learning for the whole campus.

“The Center for Global Learning will combine architecture, technology, design and programming in a global marketplace of ideas that will distinguish Washington and Lee among its peers,” said Laurent Boetsch, director of international education. “More than a destination, the center will be a campus hub and will, as W&L’s window on the world, showcase interdisciplinary approaches to global learning as cross-cultural knowledge, encompassing both domestic and foreign issues. The transformation of duPont Hall into the Center for Global Learning is inspired primarily by the University’s intention to integrate global learning into the education of all W&L students.”

The construction of the center will commence when fund-raising is complete. It is projected to cost $13.5 million; the fund-raising goal is a minimum of $11.5 million.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

Michelmore on Tax and Spend History on New Hampshire Public Radio

Washington and Lee University history professor Molly Michelmore discussed her book, “Tax and Spend: The Welfare State, Tax Politics and the Limits of American Liberalism’, on New Hampshire Public Radio’s The Exchange on Monday, Jan. 14.

Michelmore also wrote an oped piece that appeared recently in the Huffington Post.

Listen to Michelmore on The Exchange, a live call-in show:

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W&L's Ruscio on WMRA's “Virginia Insight”

Washington and Lee University President Kenneth P. Ruscio was a guest on “Virginia Insight,” the call-in program on WMRA, the National Public Radio affiliate in Harrisonburg, Va.

The focus of the show was the value of a liberal arts degree, especially as it relates to the job market.

In addition to President Ruscio, panelists on the program were Eugene Stolzfus, co-founder and former president of the language-learning company Rosetta Stone and founder of Eugene Stoltzfus Architect, and Joyce Robbins, president of Robbins Staffing Solutions of Charlottesville.


President Ruscio, a 1976 graduate of W&L, became president of his alma mater in 2006. He serves on the boards of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the George C. Marshall Foundation.

He discussed liberal arts and the job market in an opinion piece that appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, “Why a liberal arts education is the best job preparation,” on Sept. 19, 2012.

W&L Professor, Students Co-edit New Zealand Poetry for “Shenandoah”

The February 2013 issue of Washington and Lee’s literary journal, “Shenandoah,” will feature a special portfolio of New Zealand poetry edited by W&L English professor Lesley Wheeler and two seniors, Drew Martin and Max Chapnick.

Wheeler, an award-winning poet, wrote in one of her blog posts that she took on the Shenandoah assignment because she wanted a new experience — creative, professional and pedagogical. And, she added, she got what she wanted “with a vengeance.”

The challenge for Wheeler and her co-editors was choosing 25 poems from among about 500, approximately five poems each from 103 poets. As it turned out, the co-editors agreed on almost nothing. They did settle unanimously on three poets, but all the others required considerable deliberation.

Wheeler initially chose Martin as her sole co-editor. He is a business administration major and a creative writing minor who described English as “where my heart belongs but not where my mind is headed generally.” As Wheeler related, she chose to bring him onto the Shenandoah project following one class session when he had argued that moving a line in a poem by a prominent poet would make the poem stronger. “It was incredibly impudent,” said Wheeler, “but he was also right. So I thought he would be a good person to have sustained arguments with about poetry.”

Recognizing that their disagreements would only end in tie votes, Wheeler and Martin decided to add a third co-editor and Chapnick, a physics and English double major, was invited.

Wheeler described her co-editors as talented, opinionated and forthright. Over several weeks they wrangled over the submissions, each bringing his or her own personal biases, and eventually agreeing on17 poems.

As a song writer and a performer, Martin had a penchant for poetry with oral energy that would sound good as a performance piece.  He also enjoyed poems he could immediately relate to and know what the poet was feeling.

“I consider myself an English nerd so I like allusion and references and more intellectual poetry,” said Chapnick.

Wheeler had three criteria for a poem: power, complexity and control. She also looked for poetry that provokes strong feelings and reactions. “When we’re fighting about a poem, that’s a good sign in a lot of ways,” she said.

The co-editors ultimately ended up with seven slots left to fill but total disagreement on which poems to select. So it came down to bargaining and “you can have this one, if I can have that one.”

In a blog entry, Wheeler admitted she is wary of graduate students at other magazines filtering out unfashionable poems, poems that allude to sources beyond their own reading and poems about getting older. “In fact, I did like the poems about parenthood and middle-aged chagrin more than Drew or Max did, and they liked poems of youthful urgency more than I tended to,” she wrote. “But I wanted to work with them partly because of these differences.

“I have some regrets over rejected poems,” she added. “I liked a number of pieces whose virtues I never managed to articulate convincingly enough to my co-editors. But every poem that will appear had a fervent champion.”

Wheeler, who spent the first half of 2011 in New Zealand on a Fulbright grant, pointed out that most Americans know very little about New Zealand writing, and she and her co-editors tried to get a balance of geographic and ethnic or racial diversity as well as writers who are academically oriented and those who are not.

Martin noted that there is a deep-seated conflict in New Zealand culture between the traditions of European settlers and Māori ways of understanding the world, so they included poems with different perspectives on the colonization process. They also included poems about the beautiful New Zealand landscape as well as environmental disasters such as the Christchurch earthquake in 2011, which caused serious damage and killed 185 people.

Once they survived the experience of arguing their way through the poems, Wheeler, Martin and Chapnick tackled writing the introduction and deciding the layout of the issue. It was a complicated process that included sorting through photographs and notes on the poems, deciding where to follow New Zealand spellings or American usage, and working closely with site designer Jim Groom (University of Mary Washington). They intended to write one section of the introduction each and then blend the parts into one voice but in that process, too, their styles and attitudes just turned out to be too dissimilar. “We’re revising the introduction now,” remarked Wheeler, ‘and it just seems more honest, and perhaps makes for more lively reading, to acknowledge our differences there, too.”

“We’re grateful to Rod Smith, the editor of “Shenandoah” for giving us the chance to do this,” said Wheeler. “As a teacher, I’ve never run an internship like this before and it’s been really fun.”

“This is a great thing about coming to a liberal arts college,” said Martin. “I’m highly focused on my business major, but at the same time W&L affords me the opportunity to work on a great project like this that would be considered tangential to my major. Of course, you can find a lot of overlaps in skills that are necessary for business too, in terms of communication with authors and compromise.”

“It’s been an interesting experience that makes me consider editing or something in publishing as a profession,” said Chapnick, “because you’re taking someone whose work may not be well-known and elevating them to a wider audience and allowing other people to appreciate their work. I think that’s really cool.”

Founded in 1950 by a group of Washington and Lee University faculty and students, “Shenandoah” has achieved a wide reputation as one of the country’s premier literary magazines. Its website can be found at

http://shenandoahliterary.org/ and Volume 62, Number 2, containing the poetry portfolio from New Zealand, will launch by the end of February

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

W&L's ODK Circle Honors Four Honorary Initiates, Inducts Undergraduate and Law Students

Washington and Lee University’s Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa will recognize four honorary initiates plus eight undergraduate and seven law student initiates at the Founders Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation on Friday, Jan. 18, at 11:45 a.m. in Lee Chapel.

Andrew Delbanco, the Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, will speak at the convocation. The title of Delbanco’s talk is “What is College For?”

Watch a video of the event.

Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, was founded at W&L on Dec. 3, 1914, by 15 student and faculty leaders. ODK encourages superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character. The organization recognizes achievement in five areas: scholarship; athletics; campus/community service, social/religious activities and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; and creative and performing arts.

The ODK honorary inductees are Loranne Ausley of Tallahassee, Fla., James J. Livesay of Houston, and Mark H. Grunewald and Pamela K. Luecke of Lexington.

Loranne Ausley is “of counsel” to the law firm Hollimon, P.A., in Tallahassee, as well as the southern director for Project New America, a national research and strategy firm. She serves on several boards in Florida. A member of the W&L Law Class of 1990, Ausley worked as an attorney in Miami after law school, served in the U.S. Travel and Tourism administration in the Department of Commerce and in the Department of Housing and Urban Development before returning to her native Florida. She served as chief-of-staff to Lieutenant Governor Buddy MacKay and then served in the Florida House of Representatives.

As a leader in the Florida house, she developed expertise in health care and education and became the leading advocate for children’s issues. She sponsored the bill that created the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, which coordinates state agencies and programs that deliver children’s services. She received, among others, awards from the Florida Development Disabilities Council, the Florida School Board Association, the Florida Association of School Psychologists and the Florida Children’s Forum. Ausley is a marathon runner and triathlete.

James J. Livesay, a member of the W&L Class of 1969, is an accomplished surgeon, with extensive experience in cardiovascular surgery at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. He is a professor of surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Medical School in Houston.

Livesay has authored or co-authored 104 scholarly publications, including six book chapters. He received many awards, including being honored by the American Heart Association and Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Surgeons. In 1996, Washington and Lee awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Mark H. Grunewald is the James P. Morefield Professor of Law at the Washington and Lee School of Law. He joined the Washington and Lee law faculty in 1976, serving as associate dean and twice as interim dean. Prior to joining the W&L faculty he was an associate in a Washington law firm and served as an attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice.

For the American Bar Association, he has chaired the Academic Standards Committee, the Educational Planning and Curriculum Committee, the Faculty Appointments Committee and the self-study. He has written widely and serves as a labor arbitrator on the roster of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Pamela K. Luecke is the Donald W. Reynolds Professor of Business Journalism and head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. She joined the W&L faculty in 2001, and in 2002 she launched a concentration in business journalism, bridging the curricula of the Journalism Department and the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. Before joining Washington and Lee, Luecke had a 26-year career in daily newspapers, most recently as editor and senior vice president of the Lexington Herald Leader. She also held editing and reporting positions at the Hartford Courant, the (Louisvillle) Courier Journal and the Louisville Times.

During her career, she served as supervising editor of two projects recognized with Pulitzer prizes. She is a past member of the board of trustees of Carleton College and was a committee chair for the American Society of Newspapers Editors. She serves on the boards of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and Kendal at Lexington.

Class of 2013

Kendré Simone Barnes (Omaha, Neb.); Alicia Owen Bishop (Jacksonville, Fla.); Megan Elizabeth Bock (Holmdel, N.J.); Samuel Lee Brett (Raleigh, N.C.); Elizabeth Rebecca Engel (Lexington, Ky.); Kerriann Elise Laubach (McMurray, Pa.); Andrew Channing Martin (Midlothian, Va.); Brett L. Murray (Lookout Mountain, Tenn.); Nathaniel Wilson Reisinger (Urbana, Ohio); Bethany Anne Reynolds (Timonium, Md.); Eric Robert Rosato (Cortland, N.Y.); Kelly Mae Ross (Endicott, N.Y.); Emily Shu (San Jose, Calif.); Kathryn DeArmon Stewart (Charlotte, N.C.); Robert Griffin Vestal (Memphis, Tenn.); and Isaac Daniel Webb (Portland, Maine).

Class of 2014

Emilia Rose DiGiovanni (Franklin, Tenn.); Nicole Samara Gunawansa (Portsmouth, Va.); Morgan Elizabeth Luttig (Lake Forest, Ill.); Annelise A. Madison (Roca, Neb.); Eric M. Shuman (Black Mountain, N.C.); Jake Elijah Struebing (Amherst, N.Y.); Alvin George Thomas (Skokie, Ill.); and  Victoria Hart Van Natten (Towson, Md.).

Law Class of 2013

Luther R. Ashworth II (Mechanicsville, Va.); Douglas L. Dua (Morris Plains, N.J.); Kyle R. Hosmer (Brighton, Colo.); Alexander M. Sugzda (Old Greenwich, Conn.); and Alan James Wenger (Buena Vista, Va.).

Law Class 2014

Joseph Tyler Black (Orinda, Calif.) and Thomas L. Short (Lexington, Va.).

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Richmond Curator to Give Talk on New Staniar Gallery Exhibit

Emily Smith, the director of 1708 Gallery in Richmond, will give a public talk on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 5:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall at Washington and Lee’s Wilson Hall. The topic of the lecture will be the current exhibition at Staniar Gallery, Future Perfect, which was curated by Smith.

The exhibition, on view through February 7, features works by recent graduates of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Graduate School of the Arts, one of the top-ranking graduate art programs in the country.

Working in a range of media, the artists selected for this exhibit each express an interest in the sublime and attention to the performative aspects of art making. This exhibition offers the exciting opportunity to see the work of talented young artists on the brink of their careers in the art world. Each of the artists is working at the leading edge of contemporary art, demonstrating an acute awareness of current art practices and ideas even as they push against these boundaries.  The exhibit includes works by Katie Baines, Genesis Chapman, Will Machin, Valerie Molnar, Matt Shelton, Sayaka Suzuki, Alina Tenser, Naoko Wowsugi.

Prior to assuming her position as director of 1708 Gallery, Smith was the curatorial fellow in modern and contemporary art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where she worked from 2007 until 2010, the director of exhibitions at Piedmont Arts in Martinsville, Va., (2004-2007) and the assistant director at Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, Va., (2003-2004).

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, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.

Verizon Grant to W&L Will Help Local Teachers Introduce Technology in Classrooms

Rockbridge area K-12 teachers will be among those who benefit from a $20,000 grant to Washington and Lee University from the Verizon Foundation through a program of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC).

The primary purpose of the Verizon Foundation Teaching with Technology grant is to prepare W&L teacher education students to integrate technology into the classroom. However, part of the grant enables Washington and Lee to help local teachers in Rockbridge County, Lexington and Buena Vista who want to use current mobile technology as a way to engage their students.

The application for the grant took two years to complete and the program will be implemented in the fall of 2013. It will offer mini-grants to local teachers who have a particular activity involving technology they would like to introduce to introduce to their students. For example, a teacher may want to have a class set of portable computer storage devices to create electronic portfolios.

Washington and Lee will also provide training and professional development for local K-12 teachers through a series of six meetings, two each in Rockbridge County, Lexington and Buena Vista schools. Teachers will get ideas on how to integrate technology into their classrooms and will be introduced to Verizon’s Thinkfinity.org website http://www.thinkfinity.org/community/thinkfinity-resources, which provides a database of online resources for teachers who wish to use technology, including lesson plans and other activities such as online games and manipulative activities for mathematics.

In return, Washington and Lee will ask that participating teachers allow W&L teacher education students to observe and potentially aid the teachers in their integration of technology into the classroom.

“Our hope is that our students will get their practical experience in the schools by observing how the local teachers integrate technology in their classrooms,” said Haley Sigler, assistant director of teacher education, who developed the program with Lenna Ojure, director of the teacher education program and associate professor of education.

The grant also enables Washington and Lee to purchase 10 iPads for teacher education students to practice using mobile technology, and then use them to teach some of the content for elementary schools during their student teaching practicum. Another part of the grant will allow W&L teacher education faculty to attend the annual conference of the International Society for Technology in Education.

“We know that this grant will provide wonderful opportunities for our local K-12 education community as well as Washington and Lee students who hope to enter education, and we’re very grateful for the support of the Verizon Foundation and VFIC,” said Sigler.

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

Wiman Steps Down from Poetry Magazine

Christian Wiman, a 1988 graduate of Washington and Lee, will step down as editor of Poetry magazine on June 30.

Christian has guided the prestigious magazine for a decade, during which Poetry won two National Magazine Awards, including the one for general excellence. In addition, circulation more than doubled during Christian’s editorship.

Christian is making the move to join the faculty of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School.

In an announcement released by Poetry, Christian said: “My years at Poetry have been the most exciting and rewarding of my life. As thrilled as I am to be joining the faculty of the ISM and Yale Divinity School, I will certainly miss this magazine, and the people that work so hard on it, and the sense of mission that we have all shared. I will take with me many friends, fond memories, and of course a subscription to Poetry — which I’m very much looking forward to reading simply as a reader.”

The author of three books of poetry, Christian will soon publish a new nonfiction book, “My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux is releasing it in April.

The winner of a Guggenheim, Christian has written and talked extensively in recent years about his Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, an incurable cancer of the blood. Most recently, his essay “Mortify Our Wolves” appeared in the Autumn 2012 issue of The American Scholar.

W&L Professor's “Snake Goddess” Research Cited

Since the first time he saw her some 15 years ago, Washington and Lee classics professor Michael Laughy was hooked.

The object of his fascination is an unusual image found in 1932 in an excavation in Athens. The polychrome, multicolor painting on a piece of terracotta shows a woman, her arms raised, snakes on either side. Scholars dubbed her “the snake goddess” and nicknamed her the “touchdown goddess” because her posture resembles that of a referee awarding a touchdown in football. They assumed that “the snake goddess,” and the rest of the deposit from which she came, indicated a “cult of the dead.”

Michael, who joined the W&L faculty this past fall, has a different theory, and his presentation earlier this month at the 114th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, in Seattle, was the subject of a feature story on LiveScience that also appeared on the MSNBC website.

Michael began working at the Athenian Agora Excavations as a field archaeologist in the summer of 1997. He’s been spending his summers there ever since and is now a field supervisor.

“During the summers, I would just go and look at it,” Michael said of the artwork. “What I found was that many people tended to skip over the period of history from which this piece comes. I was struck that something so striking and important was ignored. It was hiding in plain sight.”

The more Michael studied it, the more convinced he became that the image is not one of death but actually of Demeter, the goddess of corn, grain and the harvest.

Furthermore, rather than being an artifact that belonged in the agora, or Athens public square, the terracotta plaque, which is the size of a piece of notebook paper, was part of fill material used to build a new road.

Michael told LiveScience: “Not only is our snake goddess unidentified, but she’s homeless. She got mixed up in that road gravel, presumably obtained near the site of her original shrine.”

Michael admits that he based his theory on circumstantial evidence: The piece was found near a 7th-century shrine to Demeter, and the goddess is frequently associated with snake iconography.

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A Forbes Thought Leader: David Petersen '92

Can you guess which city went to bed the latest on New Year’s Eve? How about the earliest? Or students at which of these two colleges, Auburn or Alabama, eat more food? Drink more coffee?

Those are some of the insights that can be tracked by the mobile technologies used by Sense Networks, which bills itself as “the original Big Data mobile location company” and whose CEO is a Washington and Lee alum, David Petersen, of the Class of 1992.

Forbes Magazine recently profiled David and Sense Networks in a Thought Leaders column titled “Will Sense Networks Rev Up the Local Retail Mobile Ad Market?”

Although Sense Networks can offer interesting data on late-night revelers and college coffee drinkers, the company uses its technology primarily to help companies reach mobile audiences for carefully targeted advertising.

As David explained in the Forbes column, “We are insanely focused on one aspect of a problem — sifting through data from over one hundred million phone users to help local marketers better predict and influence buying behavior.”

With its Retail Retargeting program, the company can use data from mobile users to let retailers know who has been shopping in their stores and then “retarget” those shoppers with personalized ads.

According to Forbes, Sense Networks processes “4 billion location points per day and have processed over 1 trillion location points.” David compares the company to “the neighborhood flyer of the 21st century.”

An economics major at W&L who received an M.A. in finance from Georgia State and then worked on a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, David conducted research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta before becoming a senior manager in consumer finance and marketing organizations at BellSouth Telecommunications. He then went to a startup called Telephia, which deals with mobile performance issues. Telephia was sold to The Nielsen Company in 2007.

David joined Sense Networks in July 2010. Under his leadership, the company has experienced 100 percent year-over-year growth.

Oh, and which city stayed up latest on New Year’s Eve? That would be Miami, followed by Jersey City, N.J., and Garland, Tex. Earliest to bed? Anchorage, Alaska, followed by Riverside and Chula Vista, Calif. (Incidentally, LexVegas is demanding a recount.) And the fast food leaders between Auburn and Alabama? That would be Auburn by 27 percent. The schools are tied when it comes to coffee drinking.

Washington Post Features W&L Honor System

Nick Anderson, higher education writer for the Washington Post, visited the Washington and Lee campus in December to observe the University’s unproctored and self-scheduled exams and to write more generally about the University’s Honor System.

The result of his visit was a piece in the Post on Dec. 12, “Relying on trust lowers stress at Washington and Lee.” The Associated Press distributed the story to newspapers and websites around the country during December.

In addition, Anderson wrote a post about the visit on his blog, “College Inc.” That entry, “Washington and Lee’s honor system the real deal,” included comments from senior Steele Burrow, who’s the president of the Executive Committee, as well as President Kenneth P. Ruscio, Interim Provost Robert Strong and sophomore Margaret McLintock.

The Post article and blog was accompanied by photographs by freelancer Stephanie Gross, which composed an online slide show on the Post’s website.

W&L Politics Professor's Letter in Wall Street Journal

A letter by Lucas Morel, Lewis G. John Term Professor of Politics and head of the politics department, authored a letter to the editor in the Jan. 8, 2013, edition of the Wall Street Journal.

Morel, a Lincoln scholar, wrote in response to an opinion piece about the Emancipation Proclamation.

See Morel’s letter at http://myw.lu/11cvANe.

W&L Professors Combine on Comparative Politics Textbook

Collaboration between a professor of politics and a professor of sociology at Washington and Lee University has produced an innovative new textbook: “Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases” (Oxford University Press, Dec. 2012).

The book focuses on teaching theory and methods at the college level, rather than just imparting basic factual information, which the authors said students can access very efficiently from their mobile phones, tablets and laptops. “We wanted to work on a textbook that helps students learn how to ask the ‘big questions’ and how to answer those questions by using the information they have already accumulated,” said J. Tyler Dickovick, associate professor of politics at W&L.

Dickovick and co-author Jonathan Eastwood, associate professor of sociology at W&L, introduce students to methods early in the book and then integrate them throughout to develop a systematic way of thinking about comparative politics.

Comparative politics, explained Dickovick, is defined not by the object of its study but by its method of making comparisons. For example, the questions that comparative politics address are why some states are strong and others are weak or why some areas have national conflict while others do not.

But comparative politics is not solely housed within political science, according to Eastwood. “I’m a sociologist and the disciplinary boundaries between sociology and comparative politics are pretty permeable because the fields share many of the same methodological and theoretical approaches to questions,” he said

The authors worked together on the introduction to methodology, as well as on questions about how states operate and how democracy, economic and political development work. In other parts of the book, Eastwood took the lead on areas that were more sociological while Dickovick concentrated on the institutions of government. “One of the really satisfying aspects of this project is that we both worked on all aspects of the book, critiquing each other’s work,” said Dickovick.

“I think Washington and Lee is conducive to these kinds of collaborations,” said Eastwood. “First of all, it’s a place that encourages exchange across departmental boundaries. You meet a lot of colleagues you can share ideas with, so we’re all talking to each other about questions of mutual concern to begin with. In many ways, this textbook grew organically out of my conversations with Tyler, and it’s an example of a pattern you see with great frequency here.”

The collaboration on the book extended across campus with 12 colleagues who were specialists in a region or country reviewing case studies that appear in the back section of the book. “They were extraordinarily generous in giving their time, and we were really thankful to be able to draw on the camaraderie and sense of community of our fellow scholars in Romance languages, history, religion, German, politics and sociology,” said Eastwood.

Washington and Lee students also got involved. Several students worked on the book as R.E. Lee Scholars over the summers, updating aspects of the text, seeking out information and critiquing the work from the perspective of an informed reader. Dickovick and Eastwood singled out two students who worked extensively on the book: Miranda Galvin ’12, a sociology and politics double major who is now in graduate school at the University of Maryland, and senior Ali Greenberg, a double major in global politics and Spanish, with minors in Latin American and Caribbean studies and poverty studies.

“Besides gathering new information on selected readings for an accompanying reader that Oxford University Press (OUP) will publish alongside the book, Ali took a major role in helping write our instructor’s manual,” said Dickovick. “She went through the text and actually constructed many of the multiple choice tests that other instructors will be using. I think she did a better job than we could have done.”

As a result of her efforts, Greenberg is listed as a co-author of the instructor’s manual. “I learned a lot about comparative politics and the sociology and politics behind it,” said Greenberg, “and it was a great opportunity to learn more about the publishing industry and what goes into making a textbook. It’s a lot more layered than I thought it was initially.”

In addition to the textbook, OUP is publishing a support package that includes an instructor’s resource manual, an instructor’s resource CD, a test item file that includes more than 800 test questions, a computerized test bank and Power Point-based slides on each chapter. A companion website offers all of the instructor’s resources available for download along with student resources including learning objectives, flash cards, self quizzes and related links.

Dickovick and Eastwood estimated that about 36 people reviewed and commented on chapters and about 150 potential adopters of the book were surveyed for comments. “The publisher wanted a textbook that works for large numbers of people and that is useful in classes in a range of different universities with different class sizes,” explained Dickovick. “So they had to approach their market very differently than the publisher of a strictly academic monograph would approach their market.”

Dickovick taught the manuscript version of the book and described it as “building from the course up to a book, as opposed to just writing the book and then using it in a course. Working on this book was the kind of scholarship that is about teaching and education targeted at undergraduates and was an opportunity to realize the teacher-scholar model that W&L strives for.”

Dickovick received his B.Sc. in economics and B.A. in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in public affairs from Princeton University. He is the author of “Decentralization and Recentralization in Developing Countries: Comparative Studies from Africa and Latin America” (2011) and has published articles in many journals.

Eastwood earned his B.A. in philosophy and sociology of science and his Ph.D. in history and sociology from Boston University and is the author of several articles and book chapters and “The Rise of Nationalism in Venezuela” (2006).  He is also the co-editor of “The Revolution in Venezuela: Social and Political Change under Chávez” (2011).

“Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases” is available at bookstores and online, as well as at W&L’s University Store (http://bookstore.wlu.edu).

Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

Ron Paul Begins 2013 College Tour at Washington and Lee

Former 12-term U.S. Congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul will deliver the first speech of his 2013 College Tour on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. in Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University.

UPDATED TICKET INFORMATION: According to the organizing Contact Committee, all advance tickets for the event have been distributed, but there will be about 100 tickets available on a first come, first served basis at the door. Those tickets will be distributed beginning at 6 p.m.  From 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., those with tickets will be admitted to Lee Chapel. At 6:45 p.m., the Chapel will be opened until anyone (with or without tickets) until the venue is full. Those will tickets must arrive before 6:45 PM to guarantee a seat.

Meantime, the speech will be streamed live to Stackhouse Theatre in Elrod Commons.

In addition to the Contact Committee, the Washington and Lee politics department and the Washington and Lee College Republicans are sponsoring the event.

Paul, who retired this year after serving as the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 14th congressional district from 1997 to 2013, enjoys a national reputation as a premier advocate for liberty in politics today. Paul is the leading spokesman for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets and a return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency.

He is known among both his former colleagues in Congress and his constituents for his consistent voting record in the House of Representatives. Paul never voted for legislation unless the proposed measure was expressly authorized by the Constitution. In the words of former Treasury Secretary William Simon, Paul was the “one exception to the Gang of 535” on Capitol Hill.

At the podium, Paul delivers a candid look at America’s dysfunctional political system. Using anecdotes from his years in Congress, he highlights the need for a limited government and more personal liberties. He captures audiences’ attention by relating the occurrence of current national issues such as debt, privacy and freedom to the government’s neglect to follow the constitution. Despite the less than ideal condition of the country, Paul is an optimist. His unwavering passion leaves audiences motivated to speak out, wake up and let politicians know what they want.

The Contact Committee will have a table in Elrod Commons on Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with information about the event, free Contact Committee gear and for a chance to win free VIP seating.

Media contact:
Mark Sowkinsi
Contact Committee

W&L Law to Host Capital Defense Seminar

The Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse (VC3) at Washington and Lee University School of Law will host a capital defense seminar Jan. 10 -12 at the law school.

Organized in partnership with the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center   in Charlottesville and funded in part through a grant from the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance to UVA’s Institute for Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, the seminar will include a faculty of well-known capital defense practitioners from around the country. Out-of-state faculty includes Wilbert Rideau, Judy Clarke, Deborah Grey, Henderson Hill, Marc Bookman, Mark Olive, Dana Cook, and Russ Stetler.  From Virginia, Jerry Zerkin, Rob Lee and Tammy Krause are also participating.

Prof. David Bruck, who directs the VC3, W&L’s capital defense legal clinic, notes that this is the first such program in Virginia since 2008.

“This seminar will provide an opportunity for Virginia capital defense counsel to spend time working on their own pending capital cases with an outstanding national faculty consisting of top practitioners—investigators and mitigation specialists as well as attorneys—in the capital defense field,” said Bruck. “We hope the seminar will make a lasting contribution to the quality of death penalty defense representation in Virginia.”

The program will offer a mix of short, focused plenary sessions and facilitated small group workshops in which defense teams will analyze and brainstorm the important facets of their own case investigation, pretrial preparation and strategy. A number of defense teams currently representing capital clients at the pretrial stages throughout Virginia, and also from Pennsylvania, Delaware, and South Carolina, have been invited to participate. Organizers expect over forty lawyers in all to attend the seminar.

The seminar is not open to the public as the “bring-your-own-case” format requires a setting in which sensitive case-related information can be shared and discussed. However, some of the large group lectures are open to anyone not affiliated with prosecution agencies. Please contact Prof. Bruck (bruckd@wlu.edu) to inquire about attending.

Since 1988, the VC3 has served as Virginia’s litigation resource center for lawyers representing defendants facing the death penalty at trial in both state and federal courts. W&L third-year law students work in two-member teams to assist court-appointed defense counsel with legal research, discovery analysis, drafting of motions and legal memoranda, client counseling, and many other tasks involved in defending death penalty cases at trial. Students also assist with appeals at the state, federal and U.S. Supreme Court stages, and in state and federal legislative research.

Prof. Bruck has directed the VC3 since 2004. Prior to coming to W&L, he practiced criminal law in South Carolina for 28 years, and specialized in the defense of capital cases at the trial, appellate and post-conviction stages. Over the course of his career, he has served as Richland County (Columbia, S.C.) Public Defender, as Chief Attorney of the South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense, and since 1992 as Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel to the federal defender system nationwide.

Success Down Under for a “Good Bloke,” Zac White '10

Zac White, a 2010 graduate of Washington and Lee, has been making his mark on the basketball courts of Australia.

After a successful stint with the Maryland-based Bay Area Shuckers, where he averaged 7.2 points and 4.8 rebounds a game in 13 games during the 2011-12 season, Zac signed with the Lightning, of the Darwin Basketball Assocation. He was named MVP and led the Lightning to its first ever “minor premiership.” Zac’s coach for the Lightning, Jason Ivinson, said that “he has been terrific for us —he adds to the team’s defensive effort, gives us a bit of height and is so enthusiastic.”

With that successful start, Zac signed in December to play for the Penguin Blues of the North West Basketball Union. Zac, who is listed at 201 centimetres (that was 6′ 6″ on the Generals roster), is considered a key acquisition for the Penguin team.

In an interview with the Advocate newspaper, Penguin coach Shane Hayward said of Zach: “He looks like he can shoot the ball. He’s big, rebounds and is a good shot-blocker. Hopefully he’s good for the side and good for the club. He seemed like a good bloke to talk to.”

Zac, whose brother Alex ’07 also played for the Generals, shares the record for most blocks in a game, with seven.

W&L Sees Continued Increase in Early Decision Applicants

For the second year in a row, Early Decision I applications to Washington and Lee University reached a new high, increasing by 5 percent over 2011.

W&L had 464 Early Decision I (EDI) applications and accepted 192 students for the Class of 2017. That compares with 443 EDI applications a year ago, when the University accepted 193 students.

“The overall numbers, as impressive as they are, tell only part of the story this year,” said William Hartog, dean of admissions and financial aid at Washington and Lee. “This group of EDI admits is easily the most diverse, on every level, and among the most academically talented that we’ve ever had.”

W&L has two Early Decision deadlines. Both programs are binding, which means that applicants who choose to apply under Early Decision agree to withdraw all other applications to other colleges and universities if accepted.

The first Early Decision deadline, EDI, required prospective students to file applications by Nov. 15. W&L informed students of the decisions on Dec. 20.

The second Early Decision deadline is Jan. 2, 2013 — the same as the regular decision deadline. The University notifies students who apply for EDII on Feb. 1.

Washington and Lee hopes to enroll about 475 students in the Class of 2017, and the EDI admits represent about 40 percent of the class.

“Early Decision is not for everyone, but those students who are absolutely sure about their choice can get the application process behind them,” said Hartog.

Almost 20 percent of the admitted students are American minorities, Pell Grant recipients or first-generation college students. Four percent are international students who come from six different countries, and 66 students, or 34 percent, are receiving $2.4 million in need-based financial aid. The students come from 36 states, led by Virginia with 29, followed by North Carolina (18), New Jersey (14), Maryland (11) and California (10).

The academic profile of the admitted students is as high as any EDI group, said Hartog. The SAT scores average 685 in critical reading, 683 in math and 684 in writing. The average ACT composite score is 31. Students who come from secondary schools that report a class rank were among the 92nd percentile of their respective classes.

The 464 Early Decision I applicants included 136 students who applied through Questbridge, a private foundation in Palo Alto, Calif., that works with 33 partner colleges and universities around the country in its College Match program for low-income, high-achieving students. Fourteen of those Questbridge applicants have been admitted as part of W&L’s Class of 2017.

“This is our fourth year with the Questbridge program, and we are most pleased with the results,” said Hartog. “Once again this year, we have received extremely strong applications from students around the country.”

All of the Early Decision students represent an important nucleus of any entering class, said Hartog, “because these students bring a special spirit to the campus. Some of them have been pointing toward Washington and Lee for many years, and we are excited to welcome them.”

W&L Senior's Research Gets National Exposure

Joe Landry, a Washington and Lee senior from New Ipswich, N.H., spent this past summer in Lexington, where he used an E.A. Morris Research grant to study the impact of tax expenditures on low-income individuals with Harlan Beckley, the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion and director of the Shepherd Poverty Program.

Earlier this month, Joe parlayed that work into a piece on the Roosevelt Institute’s Next New Deal blog. The Roosevelt Institute is a non-profit organization devoted to “carrying forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by developing progressive ideas and bold leadership in the service of restoring America’s promise of opportunity for all.”

Titled “To Reduce the Deficit, End Redistribution to the Rich,” Joe’s piece argues for the reform of tax expenditures, which, he says, “are the functional equivalent of direct spending.”

His piece concludes:

Now it is time for the president and Congress to fulfill their promise to simplify the tax code, beginning with those at the top of the income scale. While tax expenditure reform for high-income households will not solve our fiscal problems single handedly, it represents an essential path forward for reducing the deficit without exacerbating the economic hardship of low-income Americans.

Read Joe’s complete piece here. And see Joe’s research project here.

Joe is an American history major with a minor in poverty studies. He is a Johnson Scholar and Bonner Leader.

Terrence Roberts, One of the Little Rock Nine, Anchors MLK Birthday Celebration at W&L

Terrence J. Roberts, one of the nine African-American students who integrated Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas in 1957, will deliver the keynote speech of Washington and Lee University’s celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.

Roberts gives his talk, “Lessons from Little Rock,” on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. in Lee Chapel on the W&L campus.

Other King birthday events from Jan. 19 to Jan. 27 include presentations by Washington and Lee professors and a North Carolina district judge, an “I Have a Dream” concert, a King birthday party for local children, community service and a Sunday supper of reflections. All events are free and open to the public, and all will take place on the W&L campus, except for the Jan. 19 “I Have a Dream” concert. See below for details on all events.

In 1957, then 15-year-old Terrence Roberts volunteered to integrate the Little Rock school along with eight other students. It had been three years since the Supreme Court’s historic decision, Brown v. Board of Education, abolished legal segregation in public schools. When the students’ initial efforts to enroll failed, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent troops to enforce the law and protect the students.

Roberts is the CEO of T. Roberts & Associates, a management consulting firm in Pasadena, Calif. He holds a B.A. in sociology, a master of social work and a Ph.D. in psychology. His long career has encompassed academic administration, student services, mental health services, university teaching and social work. Roberts serves on the boards of the Western Justice Center Foundation and the Little Rock Nine Foundation, among other organizations.

He has written the books “Lessons from Little Rock” and “Simple, Not Easy: Reflections on Community, Social Responsibility and Tolerance,” as well as articles and chapters for books and journals.

For his contributions to civil rights, Roberts has received the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP, the Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on Women and the Congressional Gold Medal, among other awards.

On Jan. 21, the W&L Law School presents a talk on bias in the courtroom by North Carolina District Court Judge Louis A. Trosch, a member of W&L’s Class of 1988. He has pioneered the application of social-science research on implicit bias in his own courtroom, and more broadly within the judicial system. Julie Woodzicka, W&L professor of psychology, will discuss how research on implicit bias is transforming the understanding of King’s vision for the U.S. The presentation takes place at 3 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Lewis Hall.

On Jan. 22, Ted DeLaney, professor of history at W&L, will discuss his 2012 Spring Term class on the Freedom Ride, which spent two weeks visiting sites associated with the civil rights movement. His presentation takes place from 12:20 to 1:15 p.m. in Elrod Commons Room 345.

On Jan. 24,  W&L’s African-American Studies Program presents a discussion of the re-election of President Barack Obama. Participants include Timothy Diette, professor of economics, and Mohamed Kamara, professor of French, with others to be announced. The time and place also will be announced.

The King celebration is sponsored by Washington and Lee’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion: Division of Student Affairs, along with the Martin Luther King Planning Committee, the W&L School of Law, the W&L Department of Music, the W&L African-American Studies Program, the Tau Zeta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the Office of the Provost.

Washington and Lee University
Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration
Jan. 19-27, 2013

All events are free and open to the public. All events are on the W&L campus except the Jan. 19 concert.

Saturday, Jan. 19

7:30 p.m.— Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” Concert
First Baptist Church, 103 N. Main St., Lexington
Featuring choirs from W&L and the Rockbridge Youth Chorale
Reception to follow

Sunday, Jan. 20

7 p.m.— Martin Luther King Jr. Keynote Speaker: Terrence J. Roberts
Lee Chapel
Reception to follow in Elrod Commons Living Room

Monday, Jan. 21

Noon-3 p.m.— Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Party
Elrod Commons Living Room
Games, fun and food for the children of Rockbridge County
All children must be accompanied by an adult

3 p.m. — Bias in the Courtroom and the Judicial System
Louis A. Trosch, Judge, North Carolina District Court
Julie Woodzicka, W&L Professor of Psychology
Millhiser Moot Court Room, Lewis Hall

Wednesday, Jan. 23

12:20-1:15 p.m. — The Civil Rights Movement: The Freedom Riders
Ted DeLaney, W&L Professor of History
Elrod Commons Room 345

Thursday, Jan. 24

12:20–1:15 p.m — The Re-Election of President Barack Obama
W&L’s African-American Studies Program
Elrod Commons Room 345

Saturday, Jan. 26

9 a.m. — Community Service Projects
Evans Dining Hall

Sunday, Jan. 27

7 p.m. — Sunday Supper and Reflections
Members of the Washington and Lee and Lexington communities will reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King and his impact on contemporary society.
Evans Dining Hall
This event is free, but please RSVP to officeofdiversityandinclusion@wlu.edu by Sunday, Jan. 20, so there will be enough food.

News Contact:
Julie Campbell
Associate Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Admissions' Hutchinson Quilts Her Way to Helping Hurricane Victims

As senior associate director of admissions at Washington and Lee, Erin Hutchinson is not blessed with loads of free time. Between traveling around the country (and world) to meet with prospective W&L students and reading thousands upon thousands of applications for admission, she’s got plenty to do.

But when Erin saw the now-familiar images of the devastation that Hurricane Sandy visited upon New York and New Jersey, where she used to live and work, she felt moved to action.

An accomplished quilter who not only practices the art but also blogs about it at “My Patchwork Life,” Erin began began creating quilts for Sandy victims. At the same time, she wrote on her blog about Hurricane Sandy and the need for quilts.

On Tuesday, the Roanoke Times featured a front-page story about Erin’s successful campaign to provide assistance to the region. The Associated Press picked up the Times piece and has run it in newspapers and on websites around the country.

As the Times reports, Erin had hoped that her blog might cause quilters who read it to send some squares her way. She expected she might get 80 or so squares, which would be enough for two quilts. The Internet being what it is, her appeal reached a much, much wider audience than she had expected. Thus far, she has received more than 1,400 squares from all over the world and across the U.S. That’s enough for more than 33 quilts. Before she’s through, Erin expects to provide as many as 50 quilts to Sandy victims. A local quilting group is helping with the work as well.

In November, when the W&L men’s basketball team competed in the Rutgers-Newark tournament, Erin traveled with the team (which is coached by her husband, Adam Hutchinson) and delivered a couple of the quilts in person.

Asked about her commitment to the project when she has lots of other obligations (did we mention that she also takes and teaches karate and is den mother for a Cub Scout pack?), Erin told the Times: “I have two kids. I want to think the world will be supportive of them…. I want to think people will do the right thing.”

Emory University Sociologist to Speak in Happiness Series

Corey Keyes, professor of sociology at Emory University, is the fourth speaker in Washington and Lee University’s year-long “Questioning the Good Life” interdisciplinary seminar. His talk will be Thursday, Jan. 17, at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.

The title of Keyes’ talk, which is free and open to the public, is “To Happiness and Beyond: Flourishing in Life and Real Healthcare Reform.”

Keyes is a leader in the field of positive psychology. His influential empirical work has focused on the measurement of positive mental health as a complement to the well-elaborated measures of mental illness that exist in the field of psychology. Optimal mental health is conceptualized as flourishing, characterized by fulfillment, purpose, meaning and happiness.

Keyes’ work has far-reaching policy implications. In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services invited him to participate in the first “health-related quality of life and well-being” working group to create health objectives for the U.S. Healthy People 2020 program.

Keyes is the editor or co-editor of eight books and journals. He also wrote, edited or co-edited 48 journal articles, with one in press, including “Chronological and Subjective Age Differences in Flourishing Mental Health and Major Depressive Episode,” 2012, Aging and Mental Health; and “The Relationship of Level of Positive Mental Health with Current Mental Disorders in Predicting Suicidal Behavior and Academic Impairment in College Students,” 2012, Journal of American College Health.

Keyes has been interviewed on multiple radio and television programs and for magazine articles such as the BBC Radio Foyle (Northern Ireland); BBC Radio “Talkback” show, Belfast, Ireland (2008); CNN Headline News story on the baby boomers turning 60 (2006); WTOP “All News Radio” in Washington, D.C.; and in the Atlanta Magazine “How To” section on “How to be Happier” (2008).

Since 2007 Keyes has been a member of the advisory board for the World Happiness Forum.

Keyes received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer