Feature Stories Campus Events

W&L Politics Professor on the Supreme Court's Recent Affirmative Action Ruling (video)

Professor Mark Rush comments the recent Supreme Court ruling which upheld Michigan’s ban on the use of race as a factor in admissions to state universities. Rush is the Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law at Washington and Lee University’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics.

W&L Tax Clinic Receives IRS Grant for Seventh Straight Year

The Tax Clinic at the Washington and Lee University School of Law has been awarded a matching grant from the Internal Revenue Service’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic program (LITC). This is the seventh straight year that the Tax Clinic has received federal dollars to support its efforts.

The grant of $75,000, the largest in the Clinic’s history, will help fund the Clinic for the 2014 calendar year.

“It is an honor to continue in the LITC program along with a nationwide network of clinics that provide low-income taxpayers access to pro bono legal representation before the Internal Revenue Service,” said Michelle Drumbl, associate clinical professor of law and director of the Tax Clinic. “The Tax Clinic provides an excellent opportunity for our students to advocate for members of our community and make a meaningful difference.”

Law students working in the Tax Clinic provide free legal representation to low-income taxpayers in resolving their controversies with the Internal Revenue Service. The Clinic is not involved in routine tax preparation, but the students do help with audits and a wide array of collections issues. Students are responsible for their clients in every aspect of representation, an experience that helps prepare them for whichever field of practice they choose.

The Tax Clinic serves the entire state of Virginia. At least 90% of the clients represented by the clinic are “low-income”, meaning their incomes do not exceed 250% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines published annually by the Department of Health and Human Services. For example, a family of four making less than $57,625 per year is eligible to use the Tax Clinic’s services.

The IRS Low Income Taxpayer (LITC) grant program is administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, which operates independently of any other IRS office and reports directly to Congress through the National Taxpayer Advocate. Likewise, clinics funded by the grant program remain completely independent of and are not associated with the federal government. The LITC grant program was created as part of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.

W&L Students Learn the Real Value of Money

We live in a society where using money is like breathing. It makes our lives easier, but we don’t really understand why, according to Colin Elliott, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in classics and ancient history at Washington and Lee University.

Elliott teaches the spring term course “Money is Power: Control, Destruction and Revolution in the First 100 Years of Coinage,” which explores how coinage and the historical events it caused acted upon individuals, rulers, states and societies. “I want students to have an appreciation for how the revolutionary concept of money left nothing unchanged,” he said.

Elliott described how coinage began in the 7th or 6th century B.C., although the principle of a medium of exchange started well before that with cattle, precious metals, sea shells, even rocks, depending on where people lived.

In western Turkey people traded balls of metal made from electrum, a naturally-occurring mix of gold and silver, but the problem was that electrum varied as to how much gold and silver was in it. So a man called Phanes decided to put his seal of approval on the metal balls in the form of a deer stamp so that people would know that he was guaranteeing its value. Once money could be simply counted instead of weighed, the possibilities for exchange grew exponentially.

The concept spread like wildfire. The rest of the Greek world adopted it, the Persians adopted it and eventually the Romans adopted it. It spread throughout the Mediterranean world and almost every culture that encountered coinage incorporated it into their own practices of exchange.

Prior to money, people had to engage with people they knew and trusted, but suddenly money that was a set standard and had a set mark that was guaranteed by someone allowed strangers to interact, opening up cultural interaction and long-distance trade.

Elliott is bringing Exeter University’s Richard Seaford to speak to his class; a scholar who has shown that the introduction of money also changed thinking and brought about philosophy and tragedy.

“The ancient world tells us that every time money evolves and changes the way it is used it is a revolutionary process,” said Elliott. “I study the third century of Rome when the first real attempt was made to divorce money from a tangible thing—gold and silver. When the Roman government attempted to pass off coins with virtually no precious metal content it was an unmitigated disaster and is arguably an important reason why the Roman Empire collapsed. Now, of course, we have fiat—money without a tangible thing—and it works reasonably fine.”

Elliott said that the emergence of bitcoins is just such a revolutionary moment and that the ancient perspective tells us that the concept of virtual money will probably endure.

“Bitcoins are really interesting because in our progression of money we’ve gone from money based on something tangible to money based on trust and the state—we trade our U.S. dollars because we believe the government will accept them and guarantee their value. Bitcoins have removed even that aspect because there’s no state associated with it and no central bank controls it. There isn’t even a person associated with it because the inventor is anonymous.

“It basically keeps all of the properties of money but sheds itself of all the steps that money has taken up until the inception of bitcoins. I suspect we will all be using virtual money at some point, maybe in the not too distant future – but there may be quite a few obstacles to overcome before we arrive at that point.”

Elliott received his B.A. in history from the University of Oregon and his Ph.D., in ancient history from the University of Bristol.

Beauty is Only the Beginning for Ad Class

Washington and Lee’s Ad Class, taught by business administration professor Amanda Bower, earned a third-place finish at the District 3 American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). The event was held in Raleigh on April 4.

The 23-student team, led by senior Colleen Paxton, presented an ad campaign for Mary Kay, this year’s corporate sponsor. The cosmetics giant provided all NSAC participants with a case study, giving a history of the 50-year-old company and identifying its desire to make the brand and some of its products more relevant to young women. NSAC then charged the teams with devising an integrated communications campaign that would increase awareness, improve perceptions and heighten consideration among the target market.

The W&L team’s proposed slogan: “Beauty is Only the Beginning.”

“I am obviously extraordinarily proud of these students. They represent majors from across the University, many of whom had never even taken a class in the Williams School before this,” said Bower. “What they’ve produced is impressive. However, what’s more impressive is the time, thoughtfulness, teamwork and ownership they’ve put into this. They are just fantastic.”

More than 150 colleges and universities participate in NSAC each year. Washington and Lee competed against other colleges and universities in District 3, which includes Appalachian State University, Clemson University, James Madison University, the Art Institute of Washington, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of South Carolina and University of Virginia.

Poet Tim Seibles to Give a Poetry Reading at Washington and Lee

Author and poet Tim Seibles will be reading from his latest book, “Fast Animal” (2012), on Monday, May 5, at 7 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. “Fast Animal” was one of five poetry finalists for the 2012 National Book Award.

The event is free and open to the public and there will be a book signing after the reading. It is funded by the Office of the Provost and the Glasgow Endowment at Washington and Lee University.

Seibles is the author of several poetry collections including “Hurdy-Gurdy” (1992), “Hammerlock” (1999) and “Buffalo Head Solos” (2004). His first book, “Body Moves” (1988), has just been re-released by Carnegie Mellon U. Press as part of their “Contemporary Classics” series. In 2013, he received the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award for poetry and received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Misericordia University for his literary accomplishments.

His poetry is featured in several anthologies, including “Rainbow Darkness,” “The Manthology,” “Autumn House Contemporary American Poetry,” “Black Nature” and “Evensong.” His poem “Allison Wolff” was included in “Best American Poetry 2010” and, most recently, his poem “Sotto Voce: Othello, Unplugged” was featured in “Best American Poetry 2013.”

Seibles was poet-in-residence at Bucknell University during the spring semester of 2010. A National Endowment for the Arts fellow, he also enjoyed a seven-month writing fellowship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center in Massachusetts.

Seibles has been a workshop leader for Cave Canem, a writer’s retreat for African American poets, and for the Hurston/Wright Foundation, another organization dedicated to developing black writers. He is visiting faculty at the Stonecoast M.F.A. in Writing Program sponsored by the University of Southern Maine. He lives in Norfolk, Va., where he is a member of the English and M.F.A. in writing faculty at Old Dominion University.

Seibles earned his B.A. at Southern Methodist University and an M.F.A. at Vermont College of Norwich University.

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Founding Director of Mount Vernon Library to Speak at W&L

Douglas Bradburn, the founding director of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, will be the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of Washington and Lee University’s Friends of the Library on Saturday, May 3. His talk, “A Presidential Library Like No Other: George Washington’s National Library at Mount Vernon,” will take place at 1:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium at Leyburn Library on the W&L campus. It is free and open to the public.

Bradburn, who joined Mount Vernon last September, oversees efforts to safeguard original Washington books and manuscripts and to foster new scholarly research about George Washington and the founding era. He also oversees the development of leadership training and educational outreach.

A well-known scholar of early American history, Bradburn is the author of two books and numerous articles and book chapters, specializing in the history of America’s founding era and the early history of the Chesapeake. Before coming to Mount Vernon, he served as a professor of history and director of graduate studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York. He received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010.

A native of Virginia, Bradburn holds a B.A. in history and economics from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago.

Immediately preceding Bradburn’s talk, at 1 p.m., the Friends of the Library will hold their annual meeting and award presentation. After his talk, Leyburn Library’s Special Collections will open its doors for a showcase of George Washington material.

W&L Law Alumnus Christopher Wolf, Pioneer in Internet Law, to Deliver Commencement Address

Christopher Wolf, of the Law Class of 1980 and recipient of the law school’s 2010 Outstanding Alumnus Award, will deliver this year’s commencement address during the 2014 graduation exercises at Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 10 beginning at 11 a.m. The event is open to the public. A complete schedule of events is available at the commencement website. The topic of Wolf’s address is “Preserving Personal Connections.”

A partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Hogan Lovells, Wolf is director of the firm’s Global Privacy and Information Management practice group. He is founder and co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum, a think tank advancing responsible data practices that already has become a leading platform for discussion and development of best practices. He is also a founder of the Coalition for Privacy and Free Trade, which is seeking durable mechanisms for cross-border data flows that protect privacy.

“We could not have found a more thoughtful Commencement speaker than Chris Wolf,” says Dean Nora Demleitner. “His professional accomplishments and personal qualities, his commitment to making a difference, and his involvement in some of the most challenging issues of our day make him an outstanding role model and the perfect choice for a graduation speaker.”

MSNBC has called Wolf “a pioneer in Internet law” based on his early involvement in legal cases involving technology agreements, copyright, domain names, jurisdiction and, perhaps most of all, privacy. In 1998, a high-profile victory in a pro bono case against the government for its violation of the Electronic Communication Privacy Act brought Wolf to national attention as a privacy lawyer after his almost-two decades as a litigator in complex commercial and technology cases. Today, he is known to clients as a practical problem solver on issues arising from the collection, use, retention, sharing, and security of personal data.

Wolf was the editor and lead author of the first PLI treatise on privacy law and is a frequent author and speaker on privacy and data security issues. In 2012 and 2013, Wolf was a featured speaker at the Annual Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Uruguay and in Poland. He was the first privacy lawyer to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Privacy Subcommittee. He recently presented at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Workshop on “Big Data” in Berkeley, CA and at the Yale Law School “Big Data and the Law” conference, as well as at the Stanford/Future of Privacy Forum Big Data Conference. He was a presenter at the 2013 Federal Trade Commission Internet of Things Workshop. He is an upcoming speaker at the International Association of Privacy Professionals London Data Protection Intensive.

Wolf is a member of the American Law Institute and currently is participating in the ALI project on the Restatement of Privacy law. Washingtonian magazine dubbed Wolf a 2013 “Tech Titan.”

Wolf is National Civil Rights Chair of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and is co-author of the 2013 book on internet hate speech “Viral Hate: Containing its Spread on the Internet.” He co-chairs, with the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition Combatting Anti-Semitism Task Force on Internet Hate. Wolf is on the Board of Directors of WETA Public Broadcasting, Food & Friends, Young Concert Artists, and the George Washington University Hospital.

Wolf is a cum laude graduate of Bowdoin College and graduated magna cum laude, Order of the Coif from W&L Law. He also participated in the General Course at the London School of Economics. Following law school, he clerked for U.S. District Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr. in Washington, D.C.

Wolf lives in Washington, DC and is married to James L. Beller, Jr, a playwright.

Staniar Gallery to Present Alternative Photographic Processes Exhibit at W&L

Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery is pleased to present Tell Me Again the World Will Be Beautiful, an exhibit of works by photographer Alyssa Salomon. The show will be on view until May 23.

Since receiving a camera for her eighth birthday, Salomon has been testing how photography records and interprets the visible world. She uses 19th century photographic processes on handmade surfaces to exploit the medium’s potential for romantic nostalgia, abstraction and quiet beauty. In this exhibition, inspired in part by the writings of British Romantic poets, Salomon investigates her place in the natural world by likening her approach to that of the birdwatcher: “disciplined by skill, attuned to sight and gifted by chance.”

Salomon’s work is held in public and private collections including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Capital One and The Valentine Richmond History Center. She has been awarded two professional fellowships from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Theresa Pollak Award for Excellence in the Arts.

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.

W&L Sets New Records for Scholar-Athletes

Many in the University community are well informed as to the athletic exploits of W&L’s 472 varsity student-athletes.  The accomplishments are many.  Thus far in 2013-14, the Generals have already won three conference titles while claiming just better than 60 percent (169-111-6, .601) of their athletic contests.

As impressive as those feats may be, W&L’s student-athletes have been even more impressive in the classroom this school year.

In both the fall and winter terms, W&L student-athletes have set new records for the number of students achieving the scholar-athlete award.  The award is presented to student-athletes who have received a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.5 or better for a term.

In the fall, a total of 190 students received the award, eclipsing the former record of 185 that was set during the 2012 winter term.  That number increased during the recently completed winter term to 210 scholar-athlete award recipients, meaning that 44.5 percent of W&L’s total student-athletes received a GPA of 3.5 or better for the winter term.

Additionally, 22 of the students honored achieved a 4.0 grade-point average, marking the third-straight term in which more than 20 student-athletes achieved a 4.0 GPA.

Among those registering a perfect GPA were:

  •  Junior All-ODAC soccer player Lauren Abraham (Richmond, Va. / Mills E. Godwin)
  • Junior All-ODAC soccer player Holley Beasley (Virginia Beach, Va. / Norfolk Academy)
  • First-year tennis player Brooke Donnelly (Kennesaw, Ga. / Marietta)
  • Sophomore soccer player Becca Dunn (Houston, Texas / Memorial)
  • Senior cross country and track & field athlete Katie Driest (Davidson, N.C. / North Mecklenburg)
  • Senior All-ODAC track & field athlete David Fishman (Westfield, N.J. / Westfield)
  • Sophomore soccer player Liam Gaziano (Dedham, Mass. / Roxbury Latin)
  • Senior All-ODAC field hockey player Riley Hampsch (Hopedale, Mass. / Hopedale)
  • Senior tennis player Trey Hatcher (Knoxville, Tenn. / Webb School)
  • Junior All-ODAC tennis player Christopher Hu (Ridgewood, N.J. / Ridgewood)
  • Sophomore All-America tennis player Michael Holt (Henrico, Va. / Mills Godwin)
  • Sophomore volleyball player Maddie Kosar (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Gilmour Academy)
  • First-year basketball player Darby Lundquist (Chattanooga, Tenn. / Notre Dame)
  • Senior All-ODAC cross country and track & field athlete Annelise Madison (Roca, Neb. / Norris)
  • Junior field hockey player Lindsey Purpura (Yarmouth, Maine / Yarmouth)
  • Senior volleyball player Allison Rouse (Troy, Mich. / Troy)
  • First-year soccer player Kate Sarfert (Winston Salem, N.C. / RJ Reynolds)
  • First-year swimmer Cole Schott (Nashville, Tenn. / Hume-Fogg Academic)
  • Senior soccer and lacrosse player Kingsley Schroeder (Dayton, Ohio / Westminster School/Miami Valley)
  • Senior soccer player Jasmine Soo (Charleston, W.Va. / Culver Academies)
  • Senior golfer Jake Struebing (Amherst, N.Y. / Amherst Central)
  • Sophomore basketball player Franklin Wolfe (Raleigh, N.C. / Sanderson)

Other notable athletes to receive the scholar-athlete award were:

  • Senior All-America football player Connor Hollenbeck (Alpharetta, Ga. / Alpharetta)
  • Senior All-America lacrosse player Leanne Stone (Darien, Conn. / Darien)
  • Junior All-America tennis player Meghan Buell (New Albany, Ohio / New Albany)
  • Junior All-America tennis player Patricia Kirkland (Charleston, S.C. / Ashley Hall)
  • Senior All-America volleyball player Mary Ashleigh Boles (Houston, Texas / St. John’s)

The football team claimed the highest number of scholar-athlete honorees for the winter term, claiming 31 on the list.  The soccer team claimed the highest number of female athletes on the list with 18 of the 23 members achieving a GPA of 3.5 or better.

All but one of W&L’s 24 varsity athletic programs achieved a team GPA of at least 3.000, led by the women’s soccer team, which posted a 3.709 that marked the highest team GPA recorded in either the fall or winter term since 2000.  The highest men’s team GPA was the men’s soccer team with a 3.518 and no team recorded a GPA lower than 2.984.

The Generals will have plenty of opportunities to add to their athletic accomplishments for the spring in the coming weeks beginning this weekend as the ODAC baseball, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s tennis and women’s tennis championships will be decided.

Team GPA Listing

  • Women’s Soccer                                    3.709
  • Riding                                                      3.545
  • Women’s Tennis                                   3.539
  • Men’s Soccer                                          3.518
  • Men’s Golf                                              3.483
  • Women’s Basketball                            3.465
  • Field Hockey                                          3.442
  • Volleyball                                               3.427
  • Women’s Indoor Track                        3.406
  • Women’s Outdoor Track                     3.406
  • Men’s Tennis                                         3.383
  • Women’s Cross Country                      3.372
  • Men’s Cross Country                            3.369
  • Wrestling                                                3.358
  • Men’s Swimming                                  3.337
  • Men’s Basketball                                   3.312
  • Men’s Outdoor Track                           3.312
  • Football                                                   3.308
  • Women’s Swimming                            3.301
  • Men’s Indoor Track                              3.298
  • Women’s Lacrosse                               3.279
  • Men’s Lacrosse                                      3.167
  • Baseball                                                  3.162
  • Women’s Golf                                        2.984

Poetry Reading at Washington and Lee on May 1

Poet Anna Lena Phillips will give a reading at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, May 1, at 7 p.m. in the Outing Club Room (room 114), in Elrod Commons.

The reading is free and open to the public. She will be reading from her latest work.

Phillips is the author of “A Pocket Book of Forms,” a letterpress-printed, travel-sized guide to poetic forms. She is also the editor of Lookout Books and “Ecotone,” the University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s (UNCW) literary magazine that seeks to reimagine place.

Before joining UNCW, she co-founded the online literary journal “Fringe,” and served as senior editor at “American Scientist” magazine. She is a two-time recipient of the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prize, the winner of the 2012 Southern Women Writers Conference Emerging Writers Award in poetry, and a winner of the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Competition.

Her work appears or is forthcoming in “International Poetry Review,” the “Anthology of Appalachian Writers,” “111O,” “Redux” and “Open Letters Monthly,” among other journals.

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Salman Hameed to Talk on How Muslims View Science and Biological Evolution

Salman Hameed, the director of the Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies (SSiMS), will give a talk at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, April 29, at 5:30 p.m. in Leyburn Library’s Northen Auditorium.

The title for Hameed’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “The Crescent and the Natural World: How do Muslims view science and biological evolution?”

Hameed is also an associate professor of integrated science and humanities at Hampshire College in Massachusetts. His primary research interest focuses on understanding the reception of science in the Islamic world and how Muslims view the relationship between science and religion. He recently led a four-year National Science Foundation-funded study on the reception of biological evolution in diverse Muslim societies.

Salman also runs Irtiqa, a science and religion blog with an emphasis on scientific debates taking place in the Muslim world. His research work has been highlighted in The Economist, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Guardian, National Public Radio and Public Radio International.

He teaches “Evolution, Islam and Modernity,” “Science in the Muslim World,” “Astrobiology” and “History and Philosophy of Science and Religion” at Hampshire College.

Hameed’s current research interests include star formation in spiral galaxies, nature of small dusty galaxies in the early universe, reasons for the spread of paranormal beliefs among college students, modern Creation movements in the Islamic world and reconciliation efforts over sacred objects and places of astronomical importance (e.g. Tomanowos/Willamette meteorite and observatories at Mauna Kea).

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W&L Launches New Spring Term Virtual Learning Series

Washington and Lee’s Office of University Advancement is expanding its lifelong-learning offerings to include a four-part Virtual Learning Series on Contemporary Issues in Society. Airing in April and May to coincide with W&L’s four-week Spring Term, the series will be hosted by Associate Provost Marc Conner and will focus on four topics in the headlines, each of which is being explored in depth by W&L faculty and students in a Spring Term course.

The Virtual Learning Series is the latest in an ongoing lifelong-learning initiative at the University, which includes W&L’s popular Alumni College and travel programs and live streaming of lectures and events on campus.

“We are delighted to be able to bring our alumni, parents and friends a taste of the innovative learning experience that is the W&L Spring Term,” said Dennis Cross, vice president of University advancement. “Our professors are true experts in their subject areas, and we think that viewers will enjoy hearing their take on these important issues, as well as more about their approach to the study of these topics in the classroom.”

The series begins on Thursday, April 24. Segments will be posted online at noon Eastern time on Thursdays, and remain available to watch throughout the term.

The lineup:

More information about the Virtual Learning Series and other lifelong learning initiatives is available online at http://www.wlu.edu/lifelong-learning.


Pulitzer Prize-winning Novelist Elizabeth Strout to Present Keynote Address at Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar

Elizabeth Strout, the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist for her short story collection “Olive Kitteridge,” will present the keynote address at Washington and Lee University’s Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar on Friday, April 25, at 4 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The title of Strout’s talk is “Olive Kitteridge: What Purpose Does She Serve.”

The theme for this year’s Wolfe Seminar is “The Forthrightness of Fiction: Knowing What Olive Knows.” Strout’s keynote address is free and open to the public without registration for the seminar.

“Olive Kitteridge” was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Strout is the author of “The Burgess Boys,” which debuted to critical acclaim, “Abide with Me” and “Amy and Isabelle.”

Strout serves on the faculty of the M.F.A. program at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. She is a graduate of Bates College in Maine.

“Elizabeth Strout animates the ordinary with astonishing force,” wrote The New Yorker in describing Strout’s “Olive Kitteridge.” A collection of 13 short narratives bound together by the presence of a vividly drawn central character, “Olive Kitteridge” focuses on a single small town in Maine, its residents and the circumstances that bind them.

A reviewer in The Boston Globe wrote ” ‘Olive Kitteridge’ is an often painful book to read because of its insistence on life’s sharper realities, but that is precisely what makes it such a gratifying stunner.”

Strout’s first novel, “Amy and Isabelle,” won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and for the Orange Prize in England. Her second novel, “Abide with Me,” was a national bestseller and a Book Sense pick. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker and O: The Oprah Magazine.

The annual Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar is sponsored by Washington and Lee’s Class of 1951 in honor of its classmate Tom Wolfe, who will be in attendance and will offer remarks during the weekend.

In addition to the keynote address on April 25, the seminar includes several panels led by Washington and Lee faculty members Marc Conner, the Jo M. and James M. Ballengee Professor of English, and Karla Murdock, professor of psychology, on Saturday, April 26. Those presentations are open to members of the University community, while others may register for the event by contacting the Office of Special Programs at (540) 458-8723. Additional details are available online.


Copy of “Old George” Joins Museum of the Shenandoah Valley Exhibit

A copy of “Old George,” the 1842 folk sculpture of George Washington that has topped the cupola of Washington and Lee University’s main building since 1844, traveled to Winchester recently for display in a 10-month exhibition at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

W&L has loaned the fiberglass copy of the wooden original by Lexington cabinetmaker Matthew Kahle for showing in “Safes of the Valley,” a collection of pie safes, or food safes, opening May 10. Kahle is noted for making distinctive, flat-walled food safes embellished with political themes and images of his time, including that of the first president of the United States.

The original 700-pound work, carved from a poplar log that Kahle is said to have found floating in the Maury River, has been called the best-known example of folk carving in the Valley and is displayed in Leyburn Library on campus. Requested by the museum, it was found too delicate to travel. W&L offered the fiberglass copy in its stead. A bronze copy replaced the original atop Washington Hall in 1992.

“Old George” has been an ambassador for W&L for years, riding in parades, displayed at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, and traveling around the country in the society’s exhibit, “George Washington: the Man behind the Myths.” The fiberglass copy is displayed in the atrium of Elrod Commons when not on loan.

Placed on the cupola in 1844, the eight-foot-tall statue depicts Washington in a toga, holding a sword and scroll, painted white to simulate marble. It was repainted hundreds of times in a variety of colors by mischievous students, their crew clubs and even VMI cadets from next door, each time repainted white by the University. It avoided destruction during the Civil War when a professor pointed out “Old George” to the Union captain ordered to burn Washington Hall. The captain decided he could not destroy a building that supported a statue of Washington.

Sun, rain, ice and snow took their toll, and “Old George” was removed in 1936 during renovations to Washington Hall. Put back in place during the 1960s after restoration, it was again removed in 1970 to repair damage to the left shoulder caused by insects and woodpeckers. The statue was permanently removed for restoration in 1990 and replaced on the building with the bronze copy in 1992. An exhibition case near the original in the library displays 100 layers of paint and a petrified bird’s next with four eggs removed during the restoration.


Inaugural Dance Festival Provides Opportunity for W&L Students

The Route 11 Dance Festival occurring May 5–10 in Lexington, Va., will provide a special opportunity for students at Washington and Lee University to manage the event and work directly with a nonprofit arts organization.

In a Spring Term class, the W&L students will study all aspects of arts administration, including the innovative challenges and solutions facing arts administrators, financial practices, organizational structures, production coordination, house and backstage management, strategic planning, marketing, public relations and volunteerism. Leading the class is Jenefer Davies, assistant professor of dance at W&L and artistic director of the W&L Repertory Dance Company.

The festival will take place in W&L’s Warner Athletic Center and the Lenfest Center for the Arts and is produced by Fine Arts in Rockbridge (FAIR). It is the brainchild of Erik Jones, a member of W&L’s Class of 1991, the executive director of FAIR and a former marketing director at Oregon Ballet Theatre in Portland. Jones wants to move the nonprofit into becoming more of a presenting organization that raises money to grant to local artists.

The festival will showcase local, regional and world-class dance. Participating guest artists include the much-celebrated Dance Theatre of Harlem, which will perform with the Rockbridge Symphony, and the Trey McIntyre Project, a contemporary ballet company named for its founder, one of the most sought-after choreographers working today. A gala concert will feature dancers from companies across the United States, including Pacific Northwest Ballet (Seattle), Shen Wei Dance Arts (New York City), Miami City Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance (Chicago), The Washington Ballet, Keigwin + Company (New York City) and Oregon Ballet Theatre, among others.

“The festival gives local residents the opportunity to experience in Lexington artists they’d otherwise need to travel to New York City or the Kennedy Center to see,” said Jones.

“I wanted to take advantage of all these amazing artists being in town,” said Davies. “My class will work administratively on all the performances because I want them to meet the artists, see them perform and get in-depth experience working backstage and administratively on the professional concerts.”

The W&L dance students will also produce two performances as part of the festival. The first, “Celebrating Main Street,” will consist of works presented by studios from Charlottesville, Roanoke, Staunton, Lynchburg, Buena Vista and Lexington. “Writing the Body” will be performed by collegiate dancers representing schools from around the state. A member of the artistic staff from Trey McIntyre Project will be in the audience for the college performances to give her critical response as part of a choreographic feedback session following the shows.

“We have three dance studios in Lexington and Buena Vista, which is a lot for two small towns, as well as impressive music ensembles such as the Rockbridge Symphony,” said Jones. “The festival will celebrate the abundant art that we have in our own community and produce it side by side with the outside work.”

Jones expects to attract audiences from across the Mid-Atlantic area. He chose the name “Route 11” because, aside from being a local landmark, it is the only non-interstate highway in the country that touches both north and south borders, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. “I think the name evokes a sense of travel that comes both from within the community and from the outside,” he said.

For further information, go to http://www.route11dance.org/.

W&L Law’s Johanna Bond Receives Fulbright to Study Legal Aid Access in Africa

Washington and Lee law professor Johanna Bond has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant to study access to legal aid in criminal proceedings in Africa. Her research will be focused on mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Bond will conduct her research January through June 2015. She will work in partnership with scholars at the University of Dar es Salaam and will also teach a course in human rights at the University while in residence there.

Bond says that within the last three years, there have been significant advances in the United Nations’ articulation of standards for the provision of legal aid around the globe, which in turn has led to an increased focus on implementation at national and regional levels.

“My project will assess the important work that is already occurring in Tanzania concerning access to legal aid in criminal proceedings,” says Bond. “I will also seek to highlight remaining challenges to the implementation of the international standards, offer insights and strategies from other successful regional efforts to improve the provision of legal aid, and explore the role that academic institutions in the U.S. and Tanzania might continue to play in improving access to legal aid.”

Bond is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2014-2015. The Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education. Also receiving Fulbright awards for next academic year are law professors Jill Fraley and J.D. King.

A distinguished scholar in the area of international human rights law and gender and the law, Bond was selected previously as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in 2001 and traveled to Uganda and Tanzania to conduct research that later resulted in her edited book, “Voices of African Women: Women’s Rights in Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania.” Her recent publications include “Honor as Property” in the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, “Victimization & the Complexity of Gender in Armed Conflict” in the Santa Clara Journal of International Law, and “A Decade After Abu Ghraib: Lessons in ‘Softening Up The Enemy’ and Sex-based Humiliation” in the Journal of Law and Inequality.

In addition to teaching Torts and Family Law, Bond leads an international human rights practicum in W&L’s innovative third-year curriculum. During the class, students learn to apply the primary international and regional human rights treaties to real-world human rights problems. The class, which includes international travel to investigate possible human rights abuses, results in an official human rights report that foreign governments and organizations can use to address the problems.

Prior to joining the faculty of W&L in 2008, Bond was an associate professor of law at the University of Wyoming and before that a visiting associate professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center for several years. She also served as the executive director of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program, a non-profit organization housed at Georgetown.

Before beginning her teaching career, Bond was a law clerk for the Honorable Ann D. Montgomery, United States District Court, District of Minnesota from 1997 to 1998. She holds a B.A. from Colorado College, a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School and an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.

April 28th Writers at Studio Eleven to be Last Event

The next Writers at Studio Eleven event will be Monday, April 28, at 7 p.m. at the Studio Eleven Gallery in Lexington, and after three years of robust and enriching readings, it will be the last event. The final reading will feature writers Gordon Ball, Julie Phillips Brown and Deborah Miranda, all reading from their new work.

In addition, an open mic will be held: any community member is welcome to sign up at the beginning to read a brief piece.

This event is free and open to the public, and books will be available for sale. Refreshments also will be served. Writers at Studio Eleven is co-sponsored by Washington and Lee’s Glasgow Endowment and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

The Writers at Studio Eleven reading series has been coordinated by Mattie Quesenberry Smith of VMI and Lesley Wheeler of W&L.

“This area is full of great writers and, because of the colleges, stellar authors from other regions often pass through town,” said Wheeler. “We wanted to foster more interaction between local students, teachers, audiences and writers interested in good poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and I think we’ve provided that kind of fellowship. I hope that the series will come back one day in another form.”

Smith added, “I would like to enhance what Lesley said with a side note: our steady attendance at these events translated into 720 people served by Writers at Studio Eleven in a little over three years: 720 attendees gained firsthand experience listening to varied writers’ voices—voices in a localized setting. You can’t beat that in this mediated age.”

Ball is the author of ” ’66 Frames: A Memoir,” “Dark Music” and “East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg.” He also edited three books with poet Allen Ginsberg and wrote over 20 articles and numerous works of short fiction and poetry. Ball’s photographs (“Ginsberg & Beat Fellows”) have been exhibited in a dozen venues and as many books and periodicals; his films have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute and numerous other institutions.

Brown is a poet, painter and graphic designer, as well as a critic specializing in contemporary poetry and poetics. Her essays and poems have appeared in “Columbia Poetry Review,” “Contemporary Women’s Writing” and “Denver Quarterly,” to name a few. Brown is currently an assistant professor of English, Rhetoric and Humanistic Studies at VMI.

Miranda is the author of the mixed-genre “Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir” as well as two poetry collections, “Indian Cartography” and “The Zen of La Llorona.” She is co-editor of “Sovereign Erotics: An Anthology of Two Spirit Literature.” Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of the Greater Monterey Bay Area. In previous lives, she has worked as a house cleaner and Special Education teacher. She is currently professor of English at Washington and Lee University.

Smith coordinates Sub Terra, a Rockbridge area writers’ workshop, and teaches at DSLCC and VMI. She has new poems forthcoming in “Dark Matter Journal,” “Floyd County Moonshine,” “Red Earth Review,” and a spring anthology published by Tupelo Press.

Wheeler is the author of “The Receptionist and Other Tales,” a Tiptree Award Honor Book, and Heterotopia,” winner of the 2010 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and a finalist for a 2013 Library of Virginia Book Award. Her other books include the poetry collection “Heathen” and “Voicing American Poetry: Sound and Performance from the 1920s to the Present.” Wheeler is the Henry S. Fox Jr. Professor of English at W&L.

All of the college partners have contributed to the series in some way to ensure the enjoyment of the participants at each reading and to provide an atmosphere conducive to interactive learning and opportunities for growth as writers.

W&L Senior Lorraine Simonis Awarded U.S. Teaching Assistantship to Austria

Washington and Lee University senior Lorraine Simonis, from Philadelphia, Pa., has been awarded a U.S. Teaching Assistantship (USTA) fellowship to Austria for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Simonis’ interest in languages, specifically in German, developed from her interest in European history and her family history. A memory of speaking French with her father, knowing that her family came from the Lorraine region of France (which is now the French border with Germany), German seemed the obvious choice of a language to study both in high school and college.

“I am so excited about this opportunity not only to share my language and culture with my students, but also to improve my German and discover Austria,” Simonis said. “I’m sure there will be some challenges, but overall I’m really looking forward to the experience.

“My decision to pursue to the U.S. Teaching Assistantship in Austria developed out of my long-standing interest in language, cultural exchange and working in classrooms,” continued Simonis. She has been temporarily placed in two schools in Austria: one in Semmering and one in Neuenkirchen which are both are in the region of Lower Austria.

“While I have travelled extensively in Germany, living and working in Austria will be particularly exciting. It will allow me to explore a part of the German-speaking world with which I am less familiar. As a Medieval & Renaissance Studies major, as well as a German language major, I look forward to the possibility of living and working in a country which has been such an important of both European and World history,” added Simonis.

During her freshman year of college, Simonis volunteered at Waddell Elementary School in Lexington, Va., teaching a French language and culture class to 8, 9 and 10 year-olds. She found that writing the curriculum was the easy part but keeping their interest from straying was, at times, much harder.

“Lorraine Simonis epitomizes the W&L student ideal,” said Paul Youngman, associate professor of German. “She is bright, engaged and a complete go-getter. Most endearing, however, is her approach to setbacks. She simply doesn’t believe in them. We are so proud to have her representing the university and the German department in Austria next year and in her legal studies at the University of Virginia in the following year.”

Simonis is a graduate of Mercersburg Academy, in Mercersburg, Pa. At W&L, she belongs to Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies, Pi Beta Phi fraternity, the W&L Outing Club and the Reformed University Fellowship. She is a Johnson Scholar and received the Mises University Scholarship where she received funding to attend Ludwig von Mises Institute to study economic and political theory.

Simonis is the manager of the W&L men’s varsity lacrosse team and as part of the first-year pre-orientation program, has been an Appalachian Adventure Trip Leader. She is a Sunday School teacher at R.E. Lee Episcopal Church. She has studied abroad in Bonn, Germany, at the Goethe Institut and at the University of Edinburg.

Simonis has been accepted to the University of Virginia Law School and has deferred that until the year after her teaching assistantship.

W&L Senior Thomas Bowen Receives Fulbright Research Grant to Germany

Washington and Lee University senior Thomas Bowen of Fredericksburg, Va., has received a Fulbright research grant to Germany. His project is “Black Walnuts as Bio-inspired Packaging.”

“What is stronger than ceramics, softer than Styrofoam, biodegrades on a schedule and will reduce the 30 million tons of plastic we bury in America every year? It is the packaging of the future and may well be modeled after the seldom studied black walnut (Juglans nigra),” said Bowen. “Black walnuts have the perfect shell.

“My Fulbright project will focus on analyzing and replicating the specific microstructures of the Juglans nigra, in order to create a more sustainable and reliable packaging through biomimetics.”

Bowen will be working at The Plant Biomechanics Group (PBG) in Freiberg, Germany where researchers are investigating the potential of biomimetic materials and have made significant headway in understanding how plants manipulate simple fibers to form complex materials. He will work with Dr. Thomas Speck who stated that Bowen’s research “fit well with his intended projects.”

Bowen added that “PBG is a perfect fit for my research because it is located in Freiburg’s Botanical Garden which will give me access to walnut samples, the necessary facilities and plant physiologists who can help me navigate the plethora of plant structures.”

Speck is an expert on plant biomechanics and understands the connection between research and industry. ” could help me to advance my research to the final stages: cleaner, stronger packaging. Germany, a world leader in biomechanics, allows access to research and field experts not available in the U.S.,” said Bowen.

“Nearly four years ago, Thomas sat across the table during his Edward R. Mitchell Scholarship interview, describing in vivid detail an article he had read in National Geographic magazine about the burgeoning field of biomimetics…where humans look to nature for engineering design principles,” said Jonathan Erickson, assistant professor of engineering. “In Germany next year he’ll get to do exactly that investigating the structure-function of nut shells as inspiration for environmentally friendly man-made packaging materials.

“He is one of the most broadly intellectually curious people I’ve met. In between doing experiments, our conversations would range from swapping yarns of hiking and outdoors experiences, to his synthesizing science, history, philosophy, politics and international policy, foreign language, and current events,” said Erickson.

“Thomas has a great work ethic and excellent language skills, so by the time he took our spring term course in Bonn, Germany, his sophomore year, he was able to make an enormous leap forward in his ability to communicate and in his understanding of German culture,” said Debra Prager, associate professor of German. “He took full advantage of every opportunity to talk and listen, whether conversing with the students from the University of Bonn who joined in on classes, or discussing politics over dinner with his host family.”

Bowen is a graduate of James Monroe High School in Fredericksburg. At W&L, he is a physics and engineering major and German minor. He belongs to Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma and Sigma Pi Sigma Physics honor societies. He also is a member of W&L’s Outing Club.

Bowen has studied abroad in Bonn, Germany, and Auckland, New Zealand. He has been an Eagle Scout since 2009 and has volunteered as a landscaper at Boxerwood Garden in Lexington. He is the recipient of the Edward R. Mitchell Memorial Honor Scholarship and has been on the Honor Roll and Dean’s List.

After completing his Fulbright project, Bowen plans to apply to a graduate program in bioengineering to continue studying bioinspired materials in order to design cleaner, more reliable packaging materials.

“Some people take an opportunity and make the most of it,” said Joel Kuehner, associate professor of physics and engineering. “With Thomas, you can expect he will wring 10 times that much out of every opportunity. Few have worked this hard, this diligently, and with such pure purpose, and his efforts have been rewarded time and again. The Fulbright is the culmination of four years of personal and academic inquiry, and rarely have I seen the award so well deserved. Thomas is dedicated to the ideals of the Fulbright program to promote mutual understanding between our countries, and I am certain that he and his hosts will grow richly during their time together. “

W&L Music Lecture Supported by Class of ’63 Scholars-in-Residence Program

Albert Blackwell, Reuben B. Pitts Professor Emeritus of Religion at Furman University, will present a lecture-demonstration on the theme, “Sounding Music: Relations of Melody and Harmony to Religious Sensibility and Expression” on Wednesday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. at R.E. Lee Memorial Church.

The free public lecture is part of a three day visit sponsored by the Religion Department at Washington and Lee and supported by the Class of ’63 Scholars-in-Residence Program and the Philip F. Howerton Fund. A reception will follow the lecture.

A philosopher of religion who has written extensively on the Enlightenment theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, Blackwell is also a lifetime church musician and adult choir director. He is the author of “The Sacred in Music,” a study of acoustical and theological dimensions of music.

Among Blackwell’s interests are gardening and peace-and-justice education as Instructor of International Humanitarian Law for the American Red Cross.

Blackwell has a B.S. degree from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. in theology from Harvard.

During his stay, Blackwell will be teaching in a Washington and Lee spring course offering, “The Sacred in Music: The Liberal Arts as Portal to the Sacred.”

Seniors Nominated for Japanese National Honor Society

Seniors Sophia Maxstadt and Zoey Ryu (Mi Hung) have joined the Japanese National Honor Society (JNHS). They were nominated by Washington and Lee University based on their outstanding GPA and inducted into the JNHS-College Chapter.

Rhu is a psychology and East Asian Language and Literature (Japanese concentration) double major. Maxstadt is a business administration and East Asian Language and Literature (Japanese concentration) double major.

According to the American Association of Teachers of Japanese, “students can only be nominated to JNHS their senior year in college. They must have maintained a GPA of 3.5 in 5 semester courses in Japanese language and must have an overall GPA of 3.0 at the time of nomination.

“In this increasingly global society, it is important for students to move beyond a monolingual perspective and immerse themselves in understanding the language and culture of another country.”

Geology Students Present at National Conference

College students just don’t present in national academic conferences every day. Nonetheless, a few months ago, 12 geology students and one computer-science student presented posters and talks at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.

They had to produce some solid work to earn consideration, let alone attend and participate. Congratulations to all of them:

Elizabeth Elium ’15 and Arthur Stier ’15: Poster presentation, “Spatial variation and the survivability of an Acropora cervicornis patch reef in Belize” based on research they, along with Candice Stefanic, conducted the past two summers in Belize with Prof. Lisa Greer.

Emilyn Gjertsen ’16: Poster presentation, “Extracting a paleoenvironmental record of mid-Holocene climate from a Dominican Republic carbonate serpulid tube geochemistry,” based on the results of her R.E. Lee Summer Scholars research with Prof. Greer.

Chelsi Hewitt ’15: Poster presentation, “Understanding the effects of high flow events on short-term longitudinal variability in water quality, based on research last summer as an R.E. Lee Research Scholar with Prof. Paul Low.

Hal Hundley ’14: Poster presentation, “Experimental rock deformation of Cambrian-Ordovician carbonates from the valley and ridge of the Appalachians,” based on summer research he conducted with Prof. Chris Connors.

Karen Roth ’14: Poster presentation, “Geochemical variability of obsidian in western New Mexico with laboratory-based pXRF,” based on the project she worked on last summer with the Keck Geology Consortium, of which the Geology Department is a member.

Rachel Samuels ’15: Poster presentation, “Trends in the management of produced water from the hydraulically fractured natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale Play,” based on work she did last summer, as an R.E. Lee Scholar, with Prof. Low.

Candice Stefanic ’15: Talk, “Is Coral Gardens, Belize, a refugium for the coral Acropora cervicornis?” Research data she helped collect in Belize the past two summers with Prof. Greer while an R.E. Lee Summer Scholar.

James Tyrrell ’14: Poster presentation, “Management of produced water from oil and gas wells in California: past trends and future suggestions,” based on work he did last summer with Prof. Low.

Virginia Wala ’16: Poster presentation, “Quartz lattice preferred orientation patterns from porphyroclasts in mylonites of the Rockfish Valley Shear Zone, central Virginia,” based on research she conducted with Prof. Jeff Rahl as an R.E. Lee Summer Scholar.

Cory Walker ’15, of Computer Science: “Coral vision: software for improving efficiency in coral monitoring,” based on work she did last summer with Elizabeth Elium and Arthur Stier and Prof. Joshua Stough (Computer Science) and Prof. Greer.

Kendall Wnuk ’14 and James Biemiller ’15: Poster presentation, “Episodic erosion dynamics affecting dispositional basins of Northwest Argentina,” based on research they conducted with Prof. Dave Harbor and Prof. Jeff Rahl. James was an R.E. Lee Summer Scholar.

Local School Children Learn Archaeology at W&L

Two water hoses and lots of dirt played a major role in teaching local school children about archaeology last week at Washington and Lee University.

Fourteen second- and third-graders from Waddell Elementary School in Lexington, Va., gathered at W&L’s anthropology laboratory to sift through topsoil recovered last summer by W&L’s archaeology department from the site of the renovation of Robinson Hall. The building is part of the University’s historic Colonnade and the soil revealed a trove of early 19th-century artifacts, including nails, pieces of glassware and shards of pottery.

“This wasn’t staged,” explained Alison Bell, associate professor of archaeology. “It really was the sediment we shoveled out of Robinson Hall before the backhoes moved in. We had no idea what the students might find, but we knew they’d find some artifacts because the soil comes from the richest part of the Robinson Hall site. In fact, the students found pottery, a button, a piece of lead shot, ceramics and nails.

“Against wise counsel, I insisted that the students have the option to use two wet screening stations, as well as two dry screening stations. What could be more fun than a throng of eight year olds with dirt and hoses?”

The goal was for the students to learn in a hands-on way what is and is not an artifact and what they should save from the soil samples. For example, they learned not to bag rocks of various types or roots, which can look surprisingly like nails.

Bell and her colleagues also set up a station where the students could read a short story about archaeology which they could also color. A final station had small modern flower pots that had been broken so that the students could glue them back together to imitate the way archaeologists try to mend broken vessels they dig up.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Don Gaylord, W&L staff archaeologist and instructor. “It’s an opportunity for us to provide a service to the community and use our expertise to bring archaeology to younger kids. Too often history can be dry names and dates in a textbook, whereas this gives them the chance to learn about history first hand.”

The event was the first of its kind to take place at the lab and was part of Waddell Elementary School’s after-school science enrichment program for different age groups, some of which have been organized at Washington and Lee by various faculty members.

Kevin Kendall, the gifted education and after-school enrichment coordinator at Waddell, said that the students have shown a great deal of interest in signing up for different classes but only have a general idea of the categories, which makes it more of a surprise. “It’s great that so many professors at W&L are willing to donate these sessions. And it’s a good exchange for them as well as the students because I think the professors enjoy seeing the youthful excitement.”

“It’s a lot of fun and I hope to organize another event like this,” agreed Bell.

W&L Law’s J.D. King Receives Fulbright to Study Criminal Defense Role in Chile

Washington and Lee law professor J.D. King has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant to study the evolution of criminal defense in Chile. He will work on his project during fall 2014 at the Universidad Viña del Mar in Chile.

At W&L, King is the director of the Criminal Justice Clinic, where law students represent indigent people facing criminal charges in local trial courts. His research focuses on criminal defense, prosecution ethics and the right to counsel. In Chile, he will study the evolving role of the public defender as the country’s criminal justice system continues its transition from an inquisitorial system to a more adversarial system like the U.S.

“Nowhere have the structural changes to the criminal defense system been more pronounced than in Chile over the past quarter-century,” says King. “The 1988 plebiscite ending the Pinochet dictatorship and allowing for the restoration of democracy ushered in a new movement to modernize and reform many aspects of the functioning of the judicial system.”

King notes that in a relatively short period of time, Chile undertook a radical overhaul of its criminal justice system, reforms that were just one part of the broader transition toward a restoration of democracy in Chile.

King’s research will also explore the culture of criminal defense within this rapidly evolving system and compare this with public defender organizations in the U.S.

“In studying our own public defender system, leading scholars have examined the motivations, challenges and goals of lawyers occupying these positions in order to improve indigent criminal defense,” says King. “In Chile, I will explore the extent to which the structural changes have led to corresponding cultural changes in the nature of criminal defense and in the attitudes and practices of Chilean public defenders.”

In addition to directing the Criminal Justice Clinic, King teaches Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Professional Responsibility. He has a B.A. in History and Religious Studies from Brown University, a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and a LL.M. in Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center.

Prior to teaching, J.D. was a supervising attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, a Prettyman Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center, and a law clerk to United States District Judge Richard H. Kyle.

The Fulbright Program is America’s flagship international educational exchange program, and is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grants are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Renewed Interest in W&L’s Polo Club

There has been a renewed interest in the W&L Polo Association (Polo Club) this year and the organization received U.S. Polo Association (USPA) recognition for the first time since 2008.

W&L played its first matches at the end of March in the Virginia Polo Center against two teams from the University of Virginia. Although W&L lost these games–the first the team had ever played–plans are underway for rematches with U.Va. and Virginia Tech in the fall.

“The earliest I have heard of a Polo Club existing at W&L is during the 1970s. Then I heard from a W&L alum who played during the 1980s,” said JP Beall ’14. “At that time, a friend of his had brought polo ponies from his home to Lexington to play polo.” But Beall had no idea where they practiced or kept the horses. If anyone has any information about the history of the Polo Club, get in touch with W&L students JP Beall, Mary Bacon ’14 or Parrish Preston ’17.

“We don’t know how long that the 70s and 80s club lasted but there seemed to be a revival in 2001,” Beall noted. “In the constitution for the club that we found dated 2001, there was a focus on competitive polo playing and a tradition of competing with the University of Virginia.” He believes a relationship had been built with the USPA and since the closest polo school was in Charlottesville (Virginia Polo), many of its competitions would have been held there, as they are now.

Other polo clubs in the Virginia and Washington areas have only just started in the last few years (Virginia Tech, George Washington University and Georgetown), so the matches would probably have been against different teams within the University of Virginia Polo Club.

There are 10 members in the W&L Polo Club. It is coed, and members come from all experience levels. Its home is the Stone Bridge Equestrian Center (SBEC) in Natural Bridge, Va., but the competitions will be held away from SBEC or W&L until the club is able to collect enough equipment and polo ponies, as well as a set up a field for regulation play.

“We figured the club had to focus on both competition and awareness of the sport to be sustainable, so we began to focus on training,” Beall said. “Besides equestrian coaching that we now receive at SBEC and Virginia Polo clinics, the club is entirely student trained. This way, we hope to make polo accessible to W&L students at varying levels of experience and not necessarily needing a horse. That can be costly, but we are fortunate to be in horse country and have a great relationship with our barn.”

The club is looking to expand its membership and be able to have more specific polo training at SBEC. It has been looking at ways to bring on donated polo ponies to increase its capacity and ability to train. “We are discussing with our advisor, Ray Ellington (W&L’s assistant director of Campus Recreation), the possibility of looking for a polo coach and some on-campus off-horse practice space for training,” said Beall.

“We hope to continue to strengthen the club’s base to ensure that it lasts for the long run, taking W&L’s name to the top in Virginian competitive polo,” he added.


AdClass Gives Mary Kay Cosmetics a Makeover

by Alexandra Butler ’15

AdClass students at Washington and Lee University are giving the makeup industry a taste of its own medicine at the district level of the National Student Advertising Competition on April 4 in Raleigh, N.C.  The 22 W&L students in this year’s AdClass will be pitching a new advertising campaign for Mary Kay to four judges, including the director of corporate integrated brand marketing for Mary Kay.

Every year, over 150 universities compete in the NSAC challenge to create an advertising campaign for the selected client.  The American Advertising Federation Education Services department created and oversees the undergraduate competition.  This year there will be 15 districts competing, as well as one virtual district.

Mary Kay presented the students with three objectives to fulfill: increase brand awareness, increase positive perception of the company and increase consideration for product purchase among women ages 18 to 25.  The case study focuses on expanding Mary Kay’s Botanical Effects, Clear Proof and At Play product lines.  The students created a campaign aimed at millennial women that would run from February 2015 to February 2016.

The brand, founded by Mary Kay Ash in 1963, is based on the principle of the Golden Rule.  Unlike most of its competitors, Mary Kay products are sold through a direct selling model.  Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants, or IBCs, personally sell the products to their clients.

Students from the class say that the toughest obstacle was overcoming the matronly stigma associated with Mary Kay.

“At first, we all associated Mary Kay with grandmothers and pink Cadillacs,” says junior AdClass student Julia Lancaster.

However, after analyzing Mary Kay’s competitors and interviewing women in the target market, the members of AdClass began to see the advantages of using Mary Kay.

“The unique business model Mary Kay offered allowed us to create executions that highlighted the intimacy and personalization of the company,” says senior Katherine D’Innocenzo, a copywriter in AdClass.

After months of hard work, the students are both excited and nervous to present the finished product.  They will be working around the clock to perfect the presentation until the day of competition.  While details of the campaign will remain secret until the day of competition, the students feel as though they have found a way to make Mary Kay stand out in the beauty industry.

“I’m really excited about the quality of the work we’ve produced, and I hope that our hard work pays off at the district competition,” says senior Colleen Paxton.  This is Paxton’s second year in the course.  She served as project manager last year and now holds the title of chief executive officer.

According the students, W&L’s toughest competition will be the University of Virginia, who placed first over W&L at last year’s district competition.  Even though the students hope to win, they are still excited to see what the competitors have to offer.

“I am really excited, not only for our own presentation to come together, but also to see what other schools have come up with for Mary Kay,” says D’Innocenzo.

Professor Amanda Bower teaches AdClass, which is open to juniors and seniors of all majors.  Each student in the class is assigned to a different team, whether that is copywriting, new business or data and analytics.  The course is great for students interested in advertising and those who are unsure.

Follow AdClasss on Twitter @wluadclass for updates on the day of competition.  If you are interested in joining AdClass next year, speak to Professor Bower and look for applications in the fall.

Webb '13 Wins Carnegie Endowment

Just last month, we blogged about Isaac Webb, the 2013 graduate of Washington and Lee University who, as a Fulbright scholar in Kyiv, Ukraine, has been reporting regularly on the extensive anti-government demonstrations there for the online magazine, Russia!

Now comes the good news that Isaac has been named a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellow for next year, in the Russia/Eurasia program. According to the Carnegie website, “Each year the endowment offers approximately 10-12 one-year fellowships to uniquely qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. They are selected from a pool of nominees from close to 400 participating colleges. Carnegie junior fellows work as research assistants to the endowment’s senior associates.”

Congrats to Isaac.

W&L Law's Chris Seaman on the Supreme Court Decision in Campaign Finance Case (Audio)

The U.S. Supreme Court released its decision yesterday (March 2) in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The issue in the case was the aggregate contributions limits that restrict how much money an individual can donate to a candidate and committees during a two-year election cycle. In a contentious 5-4 decision, the Court struck down the aggregate limits on First Amendment grounds.

In this audio, Christopher Seaman, assistant professor of law at Washington and Lee University, provides background on the decision and assesses its impact.

“The impact is limited but significant,” says Seaman. “It’s limited because it affects the top 1 percent, people who are able to donate in excess of $123,000.”

Another important ramification, Seaman says, is that this decision might actually result in more disclosure of campaign related expenditures by wealthy individuals.

“Because individuals can donate more money directly to candidates rather than to Super PACs, which are not required to disclose their donors, it might result in more transparency about money being spent in elections.”

Seaman joined the Washington and Lee law faculty in 2012. His research and teaching interests include intellectual property (IP) law and civil procedure, with a particular focus on IP litigation and remedies for the violation of IP rights. He received his B.A. in 2000 from Swarthmore College and his J.D. in 2004 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was an Executive Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and received the Edwin R. Keedy Law Review Award.


W&L Assistant Professor of Accounting Named Emerging Scholar

Ge Bai, assistant professor of accounting at Washington and Lee University’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, has been awarded the 2014 IMA Research Foundation’s Emerging Scholar Manuscript Award by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

The award recognizes the accomplishments of the newest members of the management accounting academic community and acknowledges the exceptional manuscript contribution of a scholar or lead author.

Bai was recognized as lead author on the manuscript “The Role of Performance Measure Noise in Mediating the Relation between Task Complexity and Outsourcing.” The team of researchers used data from 305 inpatient and 1,255 ancillary and outpatient departments of for-profit hospitals to examine the effect of task complexity on a firm’s decision to outsource and the mediating role of performance measure noise. Using insights from agency and transaction cost economic theories, the paper found that performance measure noise mediates the relation between task complexity and outsourcing.

Bai came to W&L in 2012 after earning her Ph.D. in accounting from Michigan State University. Her research is focused on understanding how accounting information assists managerial decisions and whether governance mechanisms make a difference in various organizational outcomes.

W&L Seniors Win Davis Projects for Peace Grant

Darby Shuler and Johan (Manuel) Garcia Padilla, seniors at Washington and Lee University, have won a $10,000 grant from the Davis Foundation Projects for Peace 2014. The grant will fund their work in El Salvador this summer to provide amputees with prosthetic hands created by a 3D printer.

Shuler, a biochemistry major, is from Columbia, S.C. Padilla, a native of Mexico from Mount Vermont, Wash., is a Spanish major with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Both are fluent in Spanish and have a combined work experience in health and clinical work in countries across South and South America, including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, where Shuler has volunteered for the past four years. They will be accompanied by junior psychology majors  Alessandra Catizone from Randolph, N.J. and Eleanor (Ellie) Jones from Richmond, Va., who also has a minor in music.

“I thought El Salvador would be a good place to start this project,” explained Shuler, who worked with the Salvadoran Mission Projects (SMP), an organization that coordinates development initiatives throughout the country to improve the lives of the economically disadvantaged.

According to their application to the Davis Projects for Peace, which is titled “Lending a Helping Hand,” there is a growing demand for prosthetics around the world, but especially in El Salvador and Central America.  The loss of a limb from chronic disease, natural disaster or an accident, often results in the inability to work and support oneself. Many amputees therefore live in poverty and while prosthetic limbs can make a difference they are expensive and difficult to replace after normal wear.

Shuler and Padilla will use a Makerbot Replicator 2X printer to produce the Robohand (http://www.robohand.net/)  model of a prosthetic hand, an open source model that can be printed by any owner of a 3D printer at a quarter of the cost of a regular prosthetic hand.

Shuler has practiced creating the hand in Washington and Lee’s new Integrative Quantitative (IQ) Center in consultation with Robohand. “In January the IQ Center just got the printer I will be using, so that was really exciting,” said Shuler. “And David Pfaff, the IQ Center coordinator, was very supportive of us learning there.”

The students will purchase a 3D printer and take it to El Salvador, where they will print out the prosthetic hands and work with local doctors, nurses and prosthetic experts to adjust the prosthetic limbs to patients.

The hand has the ability to grasp items when the amputee closes his or her elbow. It is made with Orthoplastic (thermoplastic), which is moldable, breathable, washable and medically approved for this type of use. It is custom molded to the wearer to limit the possibility of skin lesions, infection and injury, which adds to the amputee’s comfort.

Shuler and Padilla hope to fit up to 30 Robohands during the summer. They will work with their collaborators to determine the capability of payment per patient and those who have been unemployed will have an incremental payment plan.

Once the summer project is completed, they plan to present the results to the Salvadoran department of health to advocate for further funding to local and international charities. A long term goal is to expand the program within Central America.

“These two students have been true student leaders in our efforts to bring global learning onto our campus and into our classrooms,” said Laurent Boetsch, director of international education at W&L. “They have accomplished what we aspire for all our students. As our Mission Statement declares, they are now fully prepared for ‘engagement in a diverse and global society,’ and this award allows them to put that preparation into practice.”

This is the seventh consecutive year W&L students have won one of the grants. W&L is one of more than 90 colleges and universities eligible to receive funds from the Davis Projects for Peace because they participate in the Davis program, which provides scholarships to students who attend the United World Colleges, a series of international high schools around the world.

Projects for Peace is part of the Davis United World College Scholars Program, based in Middlebury, Vt. Kathryn Wasserman Davis, a philanthropist and the widow of Shelby Cullom Davis, a businessman and former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, has put up $1 million in each of the past five years to fund 100 Projects for Peace.

Kathryn Wasserman Davis launched the initiative on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2007 to challenge college students to undertake meaningful and innovative projects. Designed to encourage and support motivated youth to create and implement their ideas for building peace through the world in the 21st century, each of the projects receives $10,000 in funding each year.

Previous W&L Davis Peace Prize winners:

W&L Law Students Release Legal Aid Report for Tanzania NGO

While many of their peers across the country scoured textbooks this October, six Washington and Lee Law students traveled to Tanzania to tackle the issue of access to legal aid.

The students’ effort culminated with a just released, fact-finding report to aid the advocacy efforts of the Women’s Legal Aid Center, a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Tanzania.

The law students were participating in one of W&L Law’s third-year practicum courses, which blend real-life practice experience and simulations to help students prepare for law practice. Each year, the International Human Rights Practicum works hand-in-hand with the Women’s Legal Aid Center to target a relevant legal issue.

Prof. Johanna Bond, who has been teaching an iteration of the course since 2001, chooses a topic that fits into the organization’s agenda while providing her with pedagogically sound material. This year, Prof. Bond and her students had especially providential timing, as a legal aid bill is currently working its way through Tanzania’s government.

After six weeks of intensive classroom training during the fall, students set off for Africa. “I really just wanted the opportunity to go and use my legal background to make some sort of difference there,” said Jill Nyhof, a third-year student from Ontario.

Tanzania has deep-rooted problems surrounding legal aid, specifically in access for indigent criminal defendants. Although domestic and international human rights laws require that legal aid be provided, the government has failed to implement them due to a severe lack of resources. The state only provides a lawyer to an indigent criminal defendant in capital cases, like murder or high treason. In many of these cases, the appointed lawyers are given so little preparation time and compensation that they simply push the case through the system.

“The problems run very deep in terms of lack of access,” Bond said. “There’s incredible power of the state in a prosecutorial role and very little to weigh against that on the side of the criminal defendant.”

Students began the semester studying Tanzanian law and practicing their interviewing skills before journeying to Tanzania mid-October for a whirlwind ten-day trip. With the help of the Women’s Legal Aid Center, they set off in teams of two for interviews with everyone from lawyers and judges to police officers.

“There was a lot of pressure to try to get all the information you needed out of that one interview,” Nyhof explained. “A lot of times we only had one shot.”

Students learned to think quickly and adapt to change while adjusting to a completely different environment. “For a lot of students, it’s incredibly eye-opening to be in a place where the level of poverty is so great,” said Bond.

The class recently completed the 90-page report and submitted their recommendations. They encouraged expansion of the state brief system to appoint counsel to all those facing imprisonment, beyond just those accused of capital offenses. Another section said that the appointed counsel should be provided sufficient time to prepare their case and civil society organizations should begin to represent the criminally accused.

In addition, they lobbied for an increased role of paralegals and advocates in Primary Courts. To enable long-term improvements, the class recommended that Tanzania begin the process of eliminating the societal bias against criminal defense work. A copy of the full report is available online.

Bond believes that their commentary can make a difference. “In this case, I actually think we might have the potential to influence the debate around the bill,” she said.
This course exemplifies the ideals of W&L Law’s innovative third-year curriculum, which is designed to bring together practical and intellectual education, preparing students for the transition into the real world of legal practice.

Bond, an expert in international human rights and gender law, extolled the practicum experience. “I really believe in this form of legal education,” she said, citing the multitude of transferrable skills that her students acquire, like legal analysis and problem solving, interviewing techniques, and working collaboratively.

The students valued the opportunity to implement their legal skills to make a tangible impact. Reflecting on her experience, Nyhof said, “It worked out better than I could have imagined.”

This article was written by Michael Agrippina ’15.

W&L Senior Eric Shuman Receives Fulbright Research Grant

Washington and Lee University senior Eric Shuman of Black Mountain, N.C., has received a Fulbright research grant to Israel. His project is “Can Anger Lead to Conflict Resolution? Redirecting Anger Responses to Promote Peace.”

“After speaking with both Israelis and Palestinians about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while I was living in Bethlehem and traveling in the area, I realized that there was a facet of this conflict that is often overlooked,” Shuman said. “Most people I spoke with focused their descriptions of the conflict on their personal and emotional reactions,” rather than geopolitical or religious aspects as did politicians or the media.

Shuman will be working with Dr. Eran Halperin, one of the leading psychologists studying emotions and the role they play in conflicts, particularly in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Halperin’s lab is at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel.

Some of Halperin’s most compelling research has shown that under certain conditions anger can be constructive. He and his colleagues conducted a study that revealed that anger toward Palestinians felt by Jewish Israeli adults actually increased support for compromises during peace negotiations, but only in participants who had low levels of hatred.

“Eric has dedicated his incredible ambition and passion for psychology to making a real difference in the Israel-Palestine conflict and beyond,” said Dan Johnson, assistant professor of psychology. “While winning the prestigious Fulbright does not come as a surprise to anyone who has worked closely with him, we know it will help him realize his admirable goals. Eric has demonstrated his leadership potential in the department for a number of years, and we look forward to seeing what he decides to do.”

“Research about anger indicates that it can be expressed two different ways: destructively, through aggression and violence, or constructively, through compromise and dialogue leading to reconciliation,” said Shuman. “Through my Fulbright research, I aim to expand upon the findings of Dr. Halperin in the studies carried out over my nine months in Israel. At his lab, I will benefit from his advice and direction as I build upon his current work.”

While Shuman lived with a Palestinian family in Bethlehem, West Bank, during the summer of 2012, he studied Palestinian Arabic, regional issues and traveled around the West Bank, Israel, Jordan and Egypt.

“The place that stuck with me the most is Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam (The Oasis of Peace), a cooperative village of Jewish and Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel,” said Shuman. “Visiting and talking with the residents of this village gave me hope that reconciliation and peace are possible.”

Shuman will graduate with a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in global politics. For his psychology honors thesis, he developed an independent research project investigating the role of national identification and anger about social injustice in promoting collective action to correct injustice.

While at W&L, Shuman has been a peer tutor for English, politics, psychology and religion and through English as a Second Language, has tutored an Egyptian couple in English, focusing on conversational fluency, writing and grammar. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa national academic honor society, Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society, Psi Chi psychology honor society and is on the dean’s list and honor roll and is a scholar-athlete.

Shuman is captain of varsity swimming and has been a member of the varsity swim team since his freshman year. He belongs to Preparing for Tomorrow Leadership committee, Student Association for International Learning and Active Minds, which seeks to raise awareness about mental health issues. He was political chair of the New Hampshire delegation to the 2012 Mock Convention.

After his Fulbright year in Israel, he will most likely be pursuing a Ph.D. in social psychology, but is not entirely sure yet.

“I am delighted, though not surprised, that Eric won a Fulbright to travel and do research in Israel,” said Julie Woodzicka, professor of psychology. “He possesses a mix of intelligence, maturity, perseverance and resourcefulness that guarantees his success. He is one of our brightest. I am also confident that Eric will be a wonderful ambassador. He is extremely knowledgeable of the culture, has lived in the Middle East and speaks Arabic. Eric was fortunate to receive a Fulbright, but Fulbright should also feel fortunate to have Eric in their program.”

Sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program.

W&L Announces Winners of 2014 Johnson Opportunity Grants

Washington and Lee University has announced the first round of students selected to receive 2014 Johnson Opportunity Grants, and the second round of selections is underway.

The grants are part of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity, which awards approximately 30 Johnson grants each spring/summer to support students’ research activities around the world. They are designed to help the students in their chosen fields of study as well as in their future careers. Students will receive between $1,000 and $4,500 to cover their living, travel and other costs associated with their activities.

This year’s students will participate in a variety of activities, including conducting research into corporate responsibility in Denmark; researching endangered coral reefs in Belize; interning at the Bureau of European and Asian Affairs in Washington, D.C.; volunteering at a health clinic in Argentina; researching gastrointestinal electrical activity at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; and researching Tibetan Buddhist shrines in Nepal and Tibet.

  • Thomas Bednar, a junior from Chapmansboro, Tenn., will intern at the Bureau of European and Asian Affairs in the Office of Political and Regional Affairs in Washington, D.C. He is an economics and politics double major, with an emphasis in global affairs. The internship will give Bednar firsthand experience of the pressing matters that the United States faces in international affairs and expose him to the workings of the State Department, where he intends to pursue a career in international affairs as a Foreign Service officer. He is a Johnson Scholar, a member of the W&L chapter of College Democrats and a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.
  • Betsy Cribb, a junior from Charleston, S.C., will accompany Melissa Kerin, assistant professor of art history at W&L, to Nepal and Tibet as her research assistant on the materiality of Tibetan Buddhist shrines. Cribb will collect information about devotees’ engagement with the shrines through observations and interviews, analyze the materials used on the shrines and document activities at the shrines. Cribb is an art history and journalism and mass communications double major and a Johnson Scholar. She is a member of Kappa Delta sorority, a peer counselor and member of the Student Recruitment Committee. She also works in W&L’s Communications Office as part of a student team that promotes W&L through social media platforms.
  • Bailey Ewing, a junior from Dallas, Texas, will spend the summer in Denmark working for Deloitte’s Denmark Corporate Social Responsibility team. She is a business administration and accounting major and will research how not-for-profit organizations that receive time and products from corporations can translate those donations into accurate market values on their financial statements. This will enable them to elicit larger sums of state support which is allocated to non-profit organizations that can demonstrate public support.  Ewing is standards president and academic excellence chair of Kappa Delta sorority. She is also president of L.I.F.E, promoting a healthy lifestyle among the student body, and a member of the Ministry Leadership Team on campus.
  • Adele Irwin, a junior from Essex Fells, N.J., is a biology major with a creative writing minor. She will join Lisa Greer, associate professor of geology at W&L, who will lead a consortium of faculty and geology students to collect live samples of endangered corals in Belize for analysis and carbon dating to determine the exact age of the reef. The aim is to determine why endangered corals are thriving at the research site while they are declining at most other reefs in the Caribbean.  Irwin is a member of W&L’s women’s varsity lacrosse team, the Washington and Lee Outing Club and a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
  • Daphine Mugayo, a junior from Kampala, Uganda, is a pre-med student majoring in biochemistry and economics with a minor in poverty and human capability studies. She will spend the summer conducting research in molecular genetics under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph Goldstein ’62, Nobel Prize-winner in medicine and chairman of the department of molecular genetics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Mugayo is a member of the Student Recruitment Committee.
  • Joy Putney, a sophomore from Fairfax, Va., will conduct research at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute in New Zealand into effective signal processing and modeling of gastrointestinal (GI) electrical activity. Putney is a double major in physics/engineering and biology. Her specific project will involve understanding the physiological basis behind the propagation of spike waves—a type of GI activity that occurs in the small intestine. She is a member of the General’s Christian Fellowship, Engineers Without Borders, Model United Nations and Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society.
  • Tierney Wolgemuth, a sophomore from Mount Joy, Pa., will volunteer at a health clinic in Cordoba, Argentina. She is a biochemistry major with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and will assist doctors in giving personal care and vaccines. She will also organize and lead educational workshops that promote personal hygiene, nutrition, disease prevention and healthy lifestyles. She is a Johnson Scholar, a member of Chi Omega fraternity, Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society and the W&L Outdoors Club. Her other activities include tutoring other students in chemistry, volunteering at Rockbridge Regional Health Center and tutoring Hispanic girls as a member of English Speakers of Other Languages.

Six Student Journalists and “Rockbridge Report” Win SPJ Regional Awards

Six Washington and Lee students and the staff of “The Rockbridge Report” have won awards in the Society of Professional Journalists’ regional Mark of Excellence college journalism competition.

The awards are for work published by college students during 2013 and were presented March 29 at SPJ’s Region 2 conference at Georgetown University. The competition draws entries from colleges and universities across Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and North Carolina.

Logan Nardo, a senior journalism (mass communications) major from Midlothian, Va., won the radio in-depth reporting category for his story, “Going Local: Naturally Grown Food in Rockbridge,” which advances to SPJ’s national competition. Nardo also won a regional finalist award in the radio feature category for “Bull Riding in Raphine.”

Other W&L students winning finalist awards were:

  • Hamlet Fort, a junior English and journalism (mass communications) double major from Hartsville, S.C., in general news reporting (small college division);
  • Andy Soergel, a senior business journalism major from Pittsburgh, Pa., in feature writing;
  • Katy Stewart, Alex Cummings and Kelly Mae Ross, May 2013 graduates, for online in-depth reporting;
  • the staff of “Rockbridge Report” in the independent online student publication category.

W&L Professor Puts Ukrainian Crisis in Historical Context

Richard Bidlack, professor of history at Washington and Lee University, places the Ukrainian crisis in its historical context, explains why Crimea resonates so greatly with the Russian people and examines why Russian president Vladimir Putin appears to be angling for a decentralized Ukraine.

Coke Exec Tells Students Liberal Arts Is Best Preparation for Business Careers

Undergraduate degrees in German and economics plus a master’s of divinity from Yale isn’t an obvious route to the corporate leadership of the world’s largest soft drink company. But Clyde Tuggle, Coca-Cola senior vice president and chief public affairs officer, told a recent gathering of Washington and Lee students that it is “the perfect education for the business world.”

“I never had finance or accounting, yet I help run a huge business,” the visiting Woodrow Wilson Fellow said. “I learned communications, research and critical thinking” in liberal arts and religious studies at Hamilton College and Yale, respectively. At Coke, “I blew right by the .”

Tuggle’s words offer encouragement to a generation of liberal arts college students who might not know in which industry they want to work, after being advised since high school to adopt a laser focus on a career interest.

Washington and Lee participates annually in The Woodrow Wilson Fellowships Program, which enables the university to select from a list of world-renowned leaders, political figures and intellectuals to come to campus for 3-5 days. On their visits, fellows meet with students and faculty, participate in classes and discussions, give a public lecture and enjoy significant interaction with the campus community.

Last year, the Provost’s Office selected Tuggle, partly because his unique combination of a liberal arts education and noteworthy success in international business matches W&L’s mission and programs.

“Succeeding in business is all about bringing good judgment to bear. When I need data, I bring in a team to crunch the numbers, but then I go negotiate the deal,” he said during his public lecture. “And a liberal arts university like Washington and Lee offers all the learning needed to succeed in any business today.”

To serve an organization like Coca-Cola, “you need to speak a minimum of two foreign languages,” he said, “and have international experience. You need to see yourself as a citizen of the world — think like a Moroccan and see the world from that point of view — or you are behind the curve. You need the cultural skill to walk into any space and be comfortable, to blend into the environment.”

Tuggle said that being tapped for Coke’s team to plan how the company will double its business in 10 years required every member to apply his or her ability to envision the future.

“You can’t have a successful business, life or institution without that vision,” at the same time observing how the world is changing, he said. For Coke, the big challenges will be delivering what society wants and needs: “We will crack the code on a natural, non-nutrative sweetener that will replace artificial sweeteners. In packaging, we will create plastic made from plants, not fossil fuel.” Leading such huge change calls on abilities learned in a liberal arts environment.

“If you are going to lead something, you must imagine not only what it is, but what it can be in the future. Doing so requires process, rigor and discipline … it requires creativity, courage and breaking rules, but especially creativity” — thinking skills, Tuggle said, that are taught by the liberal arts. “You are so privileged to be here.”

During his visit, Tuggle met with a group of students, staff and faculty to discuss religious life at the university.  Sophomore Anna Russell Thornton, who participated in that discussion, said Tuggle showed how majoring in German to attending divinity school to taking a speechwriting job at Coca-Cola prepared him for his current success.

“He told us that the most valuable commodity we possess is our time and that if we dedicate our time to those things we love, we will be infinitely better prepared for our lives.” Thornton said.

Tuggle met with journalism, business and law classes, as well as students in the Advertising in the Liberal Arts program and Williams Investment Society.

“He really is the ideal leader to come speak to our campus,” said Associate Provost Marc Conner, who along with John Jensen, director of career development, coordinated Tuggle’s visit. “Mr. Tuggle embraces and advocates for the liberal arts education, along with a powerful commitment to internationalism and a belief in the entrepreneurial and daring spirit of our Williams School.”

W&L Unveils Gift of Portrait of George Washington

Washington and Lee University has unveiled an anonymous gift to the University of a 19th century contemporary copy of “George Washington Crossing the Delaware.”

The painting by Edward Everard Arnold hangs in a prominent position on the Benefactor’s Wall in the foyer of Washington Hall on W&L’s Colonnade.

“This painting is a contemporary copy of an important icon of American history that depicts a pivotal moment in the career of one of the namesakes of Washington and Lee University,” said Patricia Hobbs, curator and associate director of University Collections.

The Washington portrait is an anonymous gift in memory of W&L alumnus Charles Walter Hay ’38 and is a copy of the 1851 oil painting by the German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It commemorates General George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River in 1776 during the American Revolutionary War and is the most recognizable symbol of the American Revolution.


Gunawansa ’14 Wins Luce Scholarship

Nicole Gunawansa, a senior at Washington and Lee University, has won a Luce Scholarship that will enable her to spend 10 months living and working in Asia.

Gunawansa, of Portsmouth, Va., is a neuroscience major. She has previously received a Johnson Opportunity Grant from W&L that allowed her to serve in Ghana as a summer intern, teaching English to schoolchildren and working in a medical clinic. She also has spent terms abroad in Japan and Denmark.

At W&L, Gunawansa is involved in the Bonner Scholar Program, the Campus Kitchen and the Student Association for International Learning (SAIL). She performs with the University Chamber Singers and belongs to Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society and Phi Beta Kappa, the academic honor society.

The Henry Luce Foundation started the Luce Scholars Program in 1974. The nationally competitive program aims to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. It stands out from other such exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had limited experience in Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the course of their careers to spend time there.