Feature Stories Campus Events

Shenandoah Makes List for “Voracious Readers”

Do you like to read? Do you like lists? Would you like a thoughtfully curated list of things to read? Then check out 100 Essential Sites for Voracious Readers, which had the good sense to include Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee Literary Review on said list.

The list is a feature of the Masters in English website, an aggregator of programs that offer online graduate studies in English. It came up with the list in response to the growing popularity of e-readers and divides it into five categories, with Shenandoah falling under “Literary Magazines.”

The latest issue of Shenandoah, Spring 2013, features a special portfolio of New Zealand poetry edited by Lesley Wheeler, the Henry S. Fox Professor of English, and two students, seniors Drew Martin and Max Chapnick. Here’s an article about their collaboration.

W&L faculty and students (including novelist Tom Wolfe ’51) founded Shenandoah in 1950. It’s been going strong ever since. It transformed into an online-only format in the fall of 2011; Rod Smith, a writer-in-residence at W&L, has edited it since 1995.

Studio 11 Features Authors Leah Naomi Green and John Casteen

Writers at Studio 11 reading series will feature authors Leah Naomi Green and John Casteen on Monday, March 4, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Studio 11 Gallery in Lexington. Green will read from her chapbook, “The Ones We Have,” and Casteen will read from his latest, “For the Mountain Laurel.”

The readings are free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. Books will be available for sale.

Green’s poems have appeared in “The Squaw Valley Review” and “Dirtcakes Literary Journal,” among other places. She is the recipient of many honors, including the Flying Trout Press Award, the Dirtcakes Poetry Award, the Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize and the University of California Humanities Center International Travel Grant.

Green received her M.F.A. from the Poetry Workshop at The University of California, Irvine, and teaches writing and environmental studies at Washington and Lee University. She lives in Rockbridge County where she and her partner, Ben, grow food and homestead on 80 acres.

Casteen’s “Free Union” (2009) and “For the Mountain Laurel (2011) are part of the VQR Poetry Series from the University of Georgia Press. His poems have appeared in “The Paris Review,” “Prairie Schooner,” “Ploughshares,” “Shenandoah” and other magazines, and in “Best American Poetry” and “The Rumpus Poetry Anthology.”

Casteen is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and for 10 years was self-employed as a designer and builder of custom furniture. He has taught on Semester at Sea (Summer 2008, Fall 2011) at the University of Virginia and as visiting artist faculty in residence at New York University. He lives in Earlysville, Va., and teaches poetry at Sweet Briar College.

The Studio 11 event will include student writers from Washington and Lee University (Cameron Higgins, a senior English major), Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (Taylor Goodwin) and Virginia Military Institute (VMI senior Woody Sudkin).

Other readers will be Toni Shirey, a 2006 graduate of Rockbridge County High School, who attended Blue Ridge Community College and works at Blue Sky. Peggy McCaulley, a member of Sub Terra, who is actively involved in Rockbridge area volunteer work. She is currently writing her memoirs as well as fiction. Janice Bell, also a member of Sub Terra, is a Virginia native with an admitted addiction to knitting.  She is a volunteer at Project Horizon.

Ellen Mayock and Stacey Vargas will read from some collaborative work. Mayock has published a book-length study on Spanish women writers, a translation of a one-act play titled “Man Woman Hombre Mujer” written by W&L Professor Chris Gavaler, and 30 articles on Spanish, Latin American and U.S.-Latin literature. Mayock is also co-editor of “Feminist Activism in Academia.” She is the Ernest Williams II Professor of Spanish at W&L.

Vargas is a professor of physics at VMI and also runs a laser spectroscopy research laboratory. She researches and studies the optical
properties on ions doped into solid state crystals and glasses.  She has written a variety of publications and presentations on her research.

Studio 11 is located at 11 S. Jefferson St. in downtown Lexington. The artist exhibiting at Studio Eleven during March is local artist Janette Coleman. The reading series is coordinated by Mattie Quesenberry Smith of DSLCC and Lesley Wheeler of W&L with help from both schools, including the Glasgow Endowment at W&L.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

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A Son's Memoir of a Famous Father

As the son of one of America’s most famous preachers, John S. Peale, of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1958, saw a side of his father, the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, that few others ever glimpsed.

John has written about his experiences in a new memoir, “Just How Far From the Apple Tree?: A Son in Relation to his Famous Father.”

A professor of philosophy emeritus at Longwood College, John, who lives now in Charlottesville, majored in philosophy at W&L and thought he would please his father when he enrolled in Union Theological Seminary. As he told the Charlottesville Daily Progress in a story about the new book, his father’s reaction was surprising.

“Dad wrote me a one-sentence letter, which I’ll never forget,” Peale said. “He wrote, ‘Dear John. I do not know why you are going into the seat of my most implacable enemies. Love, Dad.’

“I guess he thought I was leaving him, but I thought he wasn’t letting me make my own decisions. I thought I could be loyal, loving and respectful to him and go to this really good school.

“That’s the whole tension in my background. Finding my own way for myself, and dealing with my love for my dad.”

Called “God’s salesman” by one biographer, Norman Vincent Peale is widely known for his 1952 book, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” which sold millions of copies. He was the minister at Marble Collegiate Church, in New York City, for 52 years. He broadcast sermons on radio and television, and the congregation grew from 600 to more than 5,000 during his tenure there. In 1945, he and his wife, Ruth, started Guideposts magazine, a nondenominational periodical that shares inspirational accounts from famous and ordinary people and is still being published.

As John explained in the Daily Progress interview, his memories of his father concern his detachment from the family.

“From the early 1940s, a pattern developed in our home, which was an apartment in New York City. My father would lead services and preach on Sunday as the pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan.

“Then he would leave and go on speaking engagements around the country…. Back he’d come on Thursday afternoon or Friday, closet himself in the study to prepare for services on Sunday, and leave again on Monday.

“Mother did a lot of what she did to support his work. She was on boards and committees connected with the church, so she was absent a lot, too. The only thing that meant anything in our home was what he was doing. Everything revolved around that.”

John called his father one of the best public speakers he’s ever heard and said that he was committed to what he wanted to do, including helping people.

In addition to his B.A. from W&L and his M.Div. from Union, John has an M.A. from Boston University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The memoir is his third book. He has also written “Biblical History as the Quest for Maturity” and “The Love of God in China: Can One Be Both Chinese and Christian?” He has made numerous trips to China and has conducted research on the resurgence of the Chinese Christian Church.

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Ray Suarez to Speak on “Media, Politics and Washington”

Ray Suarez, Washington-based senior correspondent for “The News Hour” on PBS, is the Fishback Visiting Writer at Washington and Lee University for 2013 and will present a public lecture on Monday, March 11, at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater of Elrod Commons.

The title of his talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Media, Politics and Washington: An Evening with Ray Suarez.”

Before joining “The News Hour” in 1999, Suarez had been host of NPR’s nationwide, call-in news program “Talk of the Nation” since 1993. Prior to that, he spent seven years covering local and national stories for the NBC-owned station, WMAQ-TV in Chicago. He is currently at work on the companion volume to an upcoming documentary series for PBS chronicling the history of Latinos in America.

Suarez is the author of “America, The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America” (Harper Perennial, 2007), a book examining the tightening relationship between religion and politics.  He also wrote “The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration 1966-1999” (Free Press, 1999) and has contributed to several other books, including “What We See” (New Village Press, 2010), “How I Learned English” (National Geographic, 2007) and “Brooklyn: A State of Mind” (Workman, 2001).

Suarez also hosts the monthly foreign affairs radio program “America Abroad” for Public Radio International, and the nationally broadcast weekly political program “Need to Know” for PBS. At “The NewsHour,” Suarez is the lead correspondent for the program’s global health coverage.

Over the years he has narrated, anchored or reported many documentaries for public radio and television including the nationally broadcast “Anatomy of a Pandemic” (2009, PBS) and “Jerusalem: The Center of the World” (2009, PBS); a weekly series, “Follow the Money” (1997, PBS); and programs including “Homeland” (2012, PBS) “Who Speaks for Islam?” (LinkTV, 2005, 2009) and “By The People” (PBS, 2004-07).

In 2010, Suarez was inducted in the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He is a co-recipient of NPR’s 1993-94 and 1994-95 DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton Awards for on-site coverage of the first all-race elections in South Africa and the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, respectively. He was honored with the 2005 Distinguished Policy Leadership Award from UCLA’s School of Public Policy and the 1996 Ruben Salazar Award from the National Council of La Raza.

He is a winner of a Benton Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Chicago. He has also been honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from NYU and a Professional Achievement Award from the University of Chicago.

A native of Brooklyn, Suarez holds a B.A. in African history from New York University and an M.A. in the social sciences from the University of Chicago. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by many colleges and universities, most recently by the State University of New York.

The Fishback Fund for Visiting Writers is the result of a generous gift by Sara and William H. Fishback Jr., Class of 1956, in memory of his parents. The fund brings an outstanding writer to the W&L campus annually who delivers a public lecture to the Lexington-Rockbridge community.

Previous Fishback Visiting Writers have included New Yorker writer Jane Mayer, author and journalist Steve Coll, author and legal scholar Stephen Carter, political scientist Larry Sabato and columnist and Brookings Institution Fellow E.J. Dionne.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

Yale Professor Shelly Kagan to Lecture at W&L

Shelly Kagan, the Clark Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, will give a talk at Washington and Lee University on Monday, March 11, at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. The lecture is part of the Living Philosophy Series sponsored by W&L’s Philosophy Department.

The title of Kagan’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Why is Death Bad for You?” His latest book, published in 2012, is titled “Death” (as is a popular class he teaches at Yale.) A book sale will be held after the talk.

Kagan is the author of four books including “The Geometry of Desert” (Oxford, 2012); “Death” (Yale, 2012); and “Normative Ethics” (Westview, 1998). He is also the author and editor of many articles including “Do I Make a Difference?” (Philosophy & Public Affairs, Spring 2011); “Well-Being as Enjoying the Good” (Philosophical Perspectives, 2009); and “The Grasshopper, Aristotle, Bob Adams and Me,” in “Metaphysics and the Good,” (Oxford, 2009).

According to Kagan, “My main research interests lie in moral philosophy, in particular normative ethics. Much of my work centers on the debate between consequentialism and deontological moral theories, with publications on the nature of well-being, moral desert, utopia and the connections between Kantianism and consequentialism.”

Kagan holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. from Princeton.  He previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Kagan’s talk is sponsored by the Morton Endowment for Philosophy and Religion.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

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W&L's Locy Writes Legal Reporting Textbook

The first time Toni Locy covered a trial as a young journalist, she didn’t know the difference between a plaintiff and a defendant.

Now, after 25 years reporting on the American justice system at all levels for some of the nation’s biggest and best news outlets, she has written one of the few textbooks on covering courts.  It is aimed at journalism students as well as reporters who are new to legal reporting, providing them with the foundation they need to write accurate, fair, clear and compelling stories for mass audiences.

Locy is the Donald W. Reynolds Professor of Legal Reporting at Washington and Lee University’s department of journalism and mass communications, and her new textbook is “Covering America’s Courts: A Clash of Rights” (Peter Lang, Feb. 2013).

“I wish someone had introduced me to the principles of legal reporting before I ever stepped foot inside a courtroom,” said Locy. “It would have made things a lot easier. There are basics that journalists should know when covering any legal proceeding, and what they need to know about the law is different from what lawyers need to know.”

Some books have been published on legal reporting but were written for professional journalists assigned to the beat rather than for journalism students. Few professors teach a course on legal reporting and that may be due to the lack of a textbook to date. “It’s hard to build a course from scratch with no textbook. I know, because I’ve done it at Washington and Lee,” said Locy. “So I hope this book will provide a framework to help professors create a course.”

Locy’s book is based on her approach to the subject in her W&L classes in which she uses examples from her experiences as a reporter. She wrote the book with her Washington and Lee journalism students in mind and acknowledged that they helped form the book through the questions they asked in class.

Locy has reported for the Washington Post, Boston Globe, USA Today and the Associated Press. She covered the 9/11 attacks and was one of three reporters to break the first published story in the Washington Post about the independent counsel’s investigation into President Bill Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky. She was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for a series she wrote for the Boston Globe about the Boston Police Department’s inability to solve serious crimes.

But it was her time at USA Today that thrust Locy into the national spotlight.

In 2008, she refused to comply with a federal judge’s order to reveal the identities of confidential sources who had provided information she used in reporting on the FBI’s investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people.

A U.S. Army scientist, Dr. Steven Hatfill, was called a “person of interest” by then-attorney general John Ashcroft but Hatfill was never charged.

“I didn’t like the term ‘person of interest’ because it’s so vague and highly negative,” recalled Locy. “I looked it up in the U.S. Attorney’s Manual and couldn’t find it because it’s not a legal term. If you name someone as a target of a grand jury investigation, there are certain things that kick into gear that prosecutors are supposed to do. So ‘person of interest’ is a squishy term designed to circumvent those rules.”

Hatfill sued the government and claimed he needed the identities of reporters’ sources to prove that government officials had leaked information about him in violation of the Federal Privacy Act. When Locy refused, the judge held her in civil contempt of court.

The judge, Reggie B. Walton, imposed fines on Locy that escalated to $5,000 a day over a three-week period. He also banned anyone—family, friends and her former employer—from helping her pay the fines. A federal appellate court granted Locy’s request to stay the fines pending her appeal. The U.S. Justice Department eventually settled Hatfill’s lawsuit, and Walton vacated the contempt order against Locy. The National Press Club awarded her the John Aubuchon Freedom of the Press Award because she protected her sources.

Locy devotes a chapter in her book to the importance of protecting sources, with a sidebar about her experiences in the Hatfill case. “I have no regrets about the Hatfill case whatsoever,” said Locy. “I know I did the right thing, and I would do it again. If you’re going to develop sources, then you need to be prepared to protect those sources if a federal judge is yelling at you to reveal their names. If you make a promise to a source and don’t keep that promise, you hurt everyone else who comes after you. I know, because that happened to me. Reporters who had gotten into that kind of trouble before me made concessions that I was then forced to make, and that hurts the profession.”

The first section of the book introduces students to the courts and identifies the key players and their roles in the courtroom — police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and reporters. Locy then takes the reader through the entire process from the 911 call, the investigation, the indictment and the pretrial stage to a trial which could end in a plea agreement. If a case goes to trial, Locy walks the reader through testimony, deliberations and sentencing for both criminal and civil litigation.

Another section explains how to find and interpret key documents.

Locy also discusses the challenges of covering high profile trials and how they can become sensationalized if reporters don’t know enough about how things are supposed to work.

According to Locy, American history is full of such high profile cases, going back to the Boston massacre, when British Army soldiers killed five civilian men in 1770, and Samuel Adams, a columnist at the time, attacked the jury’s verdict. Then there was the 1954 case of Dr. Sam Sheppard in Cleveland. Sheppard was found guilty of murdering his pregnant wife but was later acquitted in a retrial. More recently, the O.J Simpson trial was, in Locy’s words, “a year and a half of national drama played out on cable television.

“These sensational trials are covered like sporting events, and although you can’t get away from that completely, if you know about legal procedures and how things are supposed to work, then you’ll be able to recognize when they aren’t working and be able to explain why,” she said. “Right now, I don’t think we have enough reporters in that category.”

Another concern Locy addresses in the book is secrecy in the courts, pointing out that it has increased considerably since she began her career in 1981. At that time, the war on drugs was raging, and prosecutors would regularly ask federal judges to seal entire cases to protect drug snitches, arguing that they would be killed if their partners in crime found out that they were cooperating.

Locy recalled one case she covered in Philadelphia where a federal judge claimed in an interview with her that the FBI had lied to him. The FBI wanted a snitch to cooperate so badly that agents agreed to let him keep a million dollars of his drug profits, only they didn’t inform the judge of that part of the plea agreement. “This guy played the FBI for years,” said Locy, “and never gave them any real information about the mobsters he had dealt with.”

She said another example of when secrecy can be abused is in product liability cases when people don’t know about previous incidents. Also, according to Locy, some people have been arrested, indicted, tried and sentenced in secret.

“That’s why having reporters in the courtroom  is essential to keep tabs on what’s going on and look into the real reasons for secrecy,” she said. “If you don’t shine some light on what the government is doing, then you create the opportunity for people to try and hide their mistakes.”

Another issue Locy covers in her textbook is anonymous juries. While she acknowledges the importance of protecting jurors from tampering and intimidation (in 1988 she covered the Mafia trial of Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo in Philadelphia), she is concerned that anonymous juries have increased and are now occurring in white-collar crime cases.

“Of all the players in the criminal justice system, jurors probably have the most carte blanche,” she explained. “Where people are that powerful, someone needs to evaluate who these people are and whether they have an axe to grind or any ties that they didn’t disclose during the jury selection process. If you don’t know their names, then it’s impossible to evaluate if they lied to get on the jury for whatever reason. There have been cases where that happened, and sometimes nobody realizes it until after the fact. Anonymous juries hamper reporters from doing their job as a check on the system. I think that’s problematic.”

While Locy has been described as “one of the most gifted, tenacious court reporters,” she has no regrets about leaving the profession. “I promised myself early on that I wouldn’t become an old lady reporter because I believe that journalism is a young person’s game,” she said. “At some point, I transitioned from being a reporter who was being mentored to becoming a mentor myself, and I liked that role. I haven’t looked back because I enjoy teaching, and this book is a way for me to contribute to journalism by training future reporters.”

Locy received two of W&L’s Summer Lenfest Grants that enabled her to travel to Colorado and Washington, D.C., to talk with judges and other officials about cases and gather information. “It was a comfort to know that I had the financial and moral support that the Lenfest Grants provide, and I’m very grateful,” she said.

Locy received her B.S. in journalism from West Virginia University and her M.S. in the Studies of Law from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named.

“Covering America’s Courts: A Clash of Rights” is available at the University Store and through its website at http://bookstore.wlu.edu

News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director

Neuroscience Expert Headlines W&L’s Institute for Honor Symposium

Michael Gazzaniga, professor of psychology and director of The SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will deliver the keynote address at the 13th annual Institute for Honor Symposium at Washington and Lee University on Friday, March 1.

Gazzaniga will present his address, “Who’s in Charge: Free Will and the Science of the Brain,” at 3:45 p.m. in Room 214 of the Science Center. It is free and open to the public.

The theme of this year’s institute is “Neuroscience and the Law: ‘My Brain Made Me Do It!’ ” In addition to the keynote, participants will hear presentations and panel discussions during the two-day event, which runs on March 1 and 2.

Over several decades, Gazzaniga has studied patients who have undergone split-brain surgery that reveals the division of labor between the two hemispheres of the brain. In his recent lectures and in a new book, which has the same title as his W&L lecture, he examines the uses of neuroscience in society and particularly in the courtroom.

Gazzaniga received a Ph.D in psychobiology from the California Institute of Technology, where he worked under the guidance of Nobel Laureate Roger Sperry on groundbreaking studies of persons with surgically divided brains. He has published many books accessible to a lay audience, such as “The Ethical Brain,” “Mind Matters” and “Nature’s Mind,” which, along with his participation in the 1988 PBS show “The Brain and the Mind,” have made information about brain function generally accessible—essential in obtaining public support for clinical and basic science research.

His many scholarly publications include the landmark 1995 book “The Cognitive Neurosciences,” now in its third edition, the sourcebook for the field.

Gazzaniga’s long and distinguished teaching and mentoring career has included beginning and developing centers for cognitive neuroscience at the University of California-Davis and at Dartmouth, and most recently the SAGE Center at UC-Santa Barbara. He has advised various institutes involved in brain research, belonged to the President’s Council on Bioethics and was the founding director of the MacArthur Law and Neuroscience project. He was recently elected to the nation’s most influential and prestigious scientific organization, the National Academy of Sciences.

He was the subject of an October 2011 “Profiles in Science” feature in the New York Times, which has an accompanying video interview.

Other speakers at this year’s Institute for Honor include Tyler Lorig, the Parmly Professor of Psychology and chair of neuroscience Washington and Lee; David Caudill, the Goldberg Family Professor of Law at Villanova University Law School; and Judge Jed S. Rakoff, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Aside from Gazzaniga’s keynote speech, the presentations at the institute are open only to members of the University community. Others may register for the event by contacting the Office of Special Programs at (540) 458-8916. Additional details are available at http://www.wlu.edu/x59368.xml.

Established in 2000 at Washington and Lee by a generous endowment from the Class of 1960, the Institute for Honor promotes the understanding and practice of honor as an indispensable element of society. Its mandate is to provide an educational and resource management facility dedicated to the advocacy of honor as the core value in personal, professional, business and community relations.

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

Auburn University Professor Matthew Bagger to Speak at Washington and Lee

Matthew C. Bagger, the Goodwin-Philpott Eminent Scholar in Religion at Auburn University, will give a lecture at Washington and Lee University on Monday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

The title of Bagger’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “William James on the ‘Science of Religions’ and the Province of Faith.”

As the author of “The Will to Believe” and The “Varieties of Religious Experience,” William James is often interpreted as an apologist for supernaturalism and religious faith. This view of James is no doubt accurate, but it overshadows James’s interest in establishing and contributing to a science of religions that explains religion in naturalistic terms.

The key to an undistorted reading of James on religion lies in properly relating his apologetic interests to his naturalism. One way to achieve this reading is to read The Varieties in light of the response to “The Will to Believe.”

Bagger teaches and writes in the areas of philosophy and theory of religion. He is the author of “The Uses of Paradox: Religion, Self-Transformation, and the Absurd” (2007, Columbia University Press) and “Religious Experience, Justification, and History” (1999, Cambridge University Press).

His articles on topics such as the epistemology of religious experience, mysticism, Hume, the ethics of belief, pragmatism and the place of religion in American public life have appeared in a variety of journals. He is currently working on the topic of pragmatism and religion.

He previously taught at Dartmouth College, Columbia University and Brown University.

Bagger holds an A.B. from Dartmouth and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer

W&L Law BLSA Moot Court Teams Advance to National Finals

Members of the Washington and Lee University School of Law Black Law Students Association (BLSA) recently participated in the moot court and mock trial competitions at the organization’s regional convention, placing second and third in their respective competitions. Those teams will now move on to the national competition in Atlanta in March.

The team of Brian Buckmire ’14L and Teressa Campbell ’14L took second in the Frederick Douglass Moot Court competition, which focuses on appellate advocacy. The W&L team competed in the final round against a team from Georgetown. In all, there were nine teams in the Moot Court competition in the mid-Atlantic regional.

W&L entered two teams in the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial competition. After several rounds of competition, the W&L team of Tunde Cadmus ’15L, Doris Okafor ’13L, Maisie Osteen ’14L, and O’Dane Williamson ’14L placed third out of 18 mock trial teams. The W&L team of Halima Adenegan ’15L, Samantha Brewster-Owens ’14L, Josh Laguerre ’14L, and Dominik Taylor ’14L also competed in the mid-Atlantic regional.

This is only the second year that W&L has fielded teams for the BLSA national moot court and mock trial competitions. W&L teams advanced to the national finals in both competitions last year as well.

More information about the upcoming National BLSA convention is available online.

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

Athena Kirk, Mellon Junior Faculty Fellow in the Classics Department at Washington and Lee University, appeared on NPR affiliate WMRA’s “Virginia Insight” show on Monday, Feb. 25, to discuss humans, philosophy and animals.

When it comes to animals, humans can be a bit schizophrenic. Americans lavish billions on the beasts we consider pets, but few of us give much thought to the life of the creature providing us with our next cheeseburger. But it was not always that way. The show takes a look at how attitudes toward animals have changed both in recent decades and over thousands of years.

Kirk was joined by Cynthia Hurst, acting director of the Charlottesville, Albemarle SPCA and by call-in guest Dr. Lauren Keating, a member and past president of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association.

Kirk received the 2012 Distinguished New Course Award from the Humane Society of the United States for her course “The Ancient Animal World,” a comparative study of animals in ancient literature and philosophy and our relationships with animals in contemporary fiction and theory.

“Virginia Insight,” hosted by Tom Graham, is a live call-in show, and can be found at 89.9 in Lexington, 90.7 in Harrisonburg and 103.5 in Charlottesville. Listen to the program below:

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