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Career Paths:Claire Leonard ’16L

Claire Leonard ’16L is from Washington, D.C. and received her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University. She serves as one of the Managing Editors for the Washington and Lee Law Review and as a student caseworker in the Black Lung Clinic. She is also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. Claire spent her 1L summer as a judicial intern for a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and she spent her 2L summer working as a summer associate for White & Case in Washington, D.C.

claireleonardprofile Career Paths:Claire Leonard '16LClaire Leonard ’16L

Where will you be working after graduation and in what practice area?  

After graduation, I will be working at White & Case in the Washington, D.C. office. I am not yet assigned to a particular practice area, but I hope to be in the litigation group.

Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work for a big law firm?  

Yes, I did. Prior to law school, I worked at White & Case for two years as a legal assistant. I had a great experience–I worked on a number of complex litigation matters and assisted with two federal trials in the Northern District of California. I was drawn to the fast-paced atmosphere, and I knew I wanted to work in big law after graduation.

Was there anything in your law school or summer job experience that confirmed this choice?  

I think it was a combination of my experience as a legal assistant and my time as a summer associate at White & Case that made me confident in my decision to accept their offer. I was attracted to the firm’s culture and how dedicated they are to their clients. I also really liked that W&C is a truly global firm. They have offices all over the world, and case teams often span different offices. For example, as a legal assistant, I worked on a case with attorneys from the D.C., New York, Palo Alto, and Tokyo offices.

What classes do you think are helpful to take to prepare for a BigLaw job?

It all depends on what type of work you want to do. Personally, I found that the classes focused on legal writing and advocacy skills have been most helpful. No matter what area you practice in, it is important to be an effective communicator. Law school is the time to hone those skills so you are ready to dive in once you start working. For those interested in litigation, Federal Courts and Jurisdiction, Evidence, and Civil Procedure are beneficial. On the other hand, the basic business law classes (CBA, Publicly Held, etc.) are useful for those interested in transactional work.

Can you describe your job search process?

I started my job search process in June of my 1L summer. I had my heart set on returning to the Washington, D.C. area so I focused my search there. I applied to firms through the OCI interview programs, but I wanted to cast the net wide, so I also sent my resume to a bunch of firms not participating in OCI.   I ultimately chose White & Case because of the people. At a big law firm, you are likely going to have many late nights and early mornings, so you need to genuinely like the people you are working with. I love W&C’s team atmosphere–the attorneys work extremely hard and collaborate with each other to produce the best result for their clients. I am very excited to join the White & Case team next fall!

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Career Paths: Caroline Colpoys ’16L

Caroline Colpoys ’16L is from Dallas, TX and attended Rhodes College for her undergraduate degree. At W&L, she is the executive editor of the Journal of Energy, Climate and the Environment and a member of the Powell Lecture Board.

colpoysprofile Career Paths: Caroline Colpoys '16LCaroline Colpoys ’16L

Where will you be working after graduation and in what practice area?

I will be working for Vinson & Elkins in Washington, D.C. after graduation. I have not been assigned a practice group yet.

Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work for a big law firm?  

Coming into law school I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work for a big firm. I gave the OCI (On Campus Interview) process a try, and I had a positive experience. I enjoyed my time at V&E immensely and I’m thrilled to be working in their D.C. office after graduation. The office has about 80 attorneys, and although it still has the BigLaw atmosphere, I have been able to get to know the other attorneys and staff.

Was there anything in your law school or summer job experience that confirmed this choice?  

I think a big part of finding the right job is finding people you like working with. As much as I enjoyed the projects I completed during my summer with V&E, I am especially grateful to have found a firm with coworkers who I respect, relate to, and can have fun with.

What classes do you think are helpful to take to prepare for a BigLaw job?  

I think the most helpful classes have been my legal writing classes. I also recommend participating in a journal and becoming a research assistant for a professor–the extra writing experience is invaluable. Most of my college classes had a significant writing component, but I also took a year off after graduating and had a job that didn’t involve much substantive writing. Since starting law school, I’ve found that I have to write and edit constantly in order to stay sharp. Communication skills are extremely important and are a major part of how firms evaluate summer associates.

Can you describe your job search process?  

I started looking into firms in June of my 1L Summer. I applied to some firms that were not coming to W&L for OCI or were not participating in the regional interview programs. I focused on firms in locations that I had a connection to and applied to those offices that had a practice group I had an interest in.  When W&L released the names of the firms that would be interviewing, I reached out to all the contacts I knew to express interest and get information. I can’t overstate the importance of using whatever contacts you have–there are so many applicants for these positions that it’s important to distinguish yourself however you can. I interviewed with Vinson & Elkins at the Washington, D.C. regional interview program and completed a callback for their D.C. office.

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Career Paths: Aria Allan ’16L

Aria Allan ’12, ’16L grew up in Montgomery, Alabama and attended Washington and Lee University for her undergraduate studies in Spanish and English Literature. At W&L Law, Aria served as the Executive Editor of the German Law Journal and as Vice Chair of the Moot Court Executive Board and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. After graduation, she will clerk for the Honorable Callie V. S. “Ginny” Granade of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, and for the 2017-2018 term, she will clerk for the Honorable Joel F. Dubina of the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

ariallanprofile Career Paths: Aria Allan '16LAria Allan ’12, ’16L

Who will you be clerking for, and what will your responsibilities be?

First, I will be clerking for Judge Callie “Ginny” Granade in the Southern District of Alabama in Mobile. I will be one of three term clerks in chambers, and along with the career clerk, I will review cases, draft bench memos, opinions, and orders, and will assist Judge Granade on the bench. Judge Granade rules on a wide variety of cases, from criminal law to civil law, including complex torts and contract claims, admiralty law, and everything in between.   For the 2017-2018 term, I will clerk for Judge Joel Dubina on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. On the appellate level, I will work with Judge Dubina’s other clerks to prepare for oral argument by submitting bench memoranda to the judge; after oral arguments, I will draft either published or per curiam opinions, depending on the panel’s decision. The Eleventh Circuit hears all appeals from the federal district courts in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

Why are you interested in clerking after graduation?  

I have always been drawn to the research and writing aspect of my academic career. I first clerked for Judge Dubina during my 1L summer, and the wide variety of cases that came into chambers was appealing to me because it allowed me to explore so many discrete areas of law. In addition, it’s the perfect experience to continue honing legal writing skills and to learn how to be an advocate, not because you are advocating but because you are watching and learning how those decisions are made by judges.

How did you secure this clerkship?  

I worked closely with the Clerkship Committee to target my applications to judges in a geographical region. Professor Seaman made sure that Judge Granade was on my short list, as she has hired W&L graduates in the past and because her husband, a practicing attorney in the Mobile area, is also a W&L Law alumnus. It also helped that I was born and raised in Alabama and had the geographic connection to the area. I submitted my materials once Judge Granade’s application window opened, and she asked me to interview in chambers.  Judge Dubina, whom I am lucky enough to call a mentor, had already taught me so much during my summer clerkship with him. After he found out about my clerkship with Judge Granade, he asked me to submit my application to his chambers for the following term. He called me about a week later with the offer, and I accepted on the spot.

Which W&L classes and/or experiences do you think were most helpful in preparing you for clerking?  

It’s hard to chose only one or two classes, as so many of W&L Law’s offerings directly helped me prepare for working in chambers. Constitutional Law is one of the most helpful courses, but I think W&L Law’s Third Year experience is the best preparation for my clerkships. In my third year, I clerked for Judge G. Steven Agee on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the type of work I did for Judge Agee will be the same type of work I will do for Judge Dubina. Even though it is not direct experience in the district court setting, it was an incredible opportunity to review opinions and orders issued by district courts and to see how those issuances were treated by a reviewing court.

How is clerking linked to your career objectives?  

Clerking is an unparalleled opportunity to observe effective advocacy, both in written and oral form. In my two years of clerking, I will get to see excellent advocates, unskilled advocates, and everything in between. This experience will be invaluable to me as a practicing attorney. Although I would love to work at a firm for a while, I am also considering looking for a position as a career clerk, and having term clerkship experience will be necessary if I select that career path.

What are you most looking forward to about this clerkship position?   There are so many incredible aspects of clerking, but one of the most important is the mentor relationship you build with your judge. I am truly looking forward to learning from Judge Granade and Judge Dubina, as they both have had awe-inspiring legal careers (Judge Granade has a criminal background, while Judge Dubina worked as a civil litigator before joining the bench).

What are your plans after your clerkship?

After my clerkship with Judge Dubina ends, I am planning to join Smith, Currie, & Hancock, a mid-sized law firm in Atlanta, Georgia focusing on construction law and government contracts.

Career Paths: Brooke Weedon ’16L

Brooke Weedon ’16L, from Richmond, Virginia, is a 2013 graduate of the University of Virginia. Brooke is an Executive Editor of the Washington and Lee Law Review and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. After graduation, she will clerk for the Honorable Frederick P. Stamp, Jr. on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. After clerking, she will join McGuireWoods LLP in Richmond, Virginia, as an associate.

brookeweedonprofile Career Paths: Brooke Weedon '16LBrooke Weedon ’16L

Who will you be clerking for, and what will your responsibilities be?   

In August I will begin as a term clerk for Judge Stamp on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. My primary responsibilities will include reviewing cases, drafting bench memos and opinions, and assisting Judge Stamp on the bench. The district has a diverse docket, and I will work on a wide variety of criminal and civil cases.   

Why are you interested in clerking after graduation?     

It was not until some point during my 1L summer that I figured out I was interested in litigation. I have never really enjoyed public speaking, and getting up in front of a jury had always been the center of my perception of litigation. I spent my 1L summer at a small tax law firm that did both transactional tax work and a small amount of tax litigation. I quickly discovered that I had no interest in the transactional side of the work and, fortunately, was able to spend the summer writing briefs for a U.S. Tax Court case. I had so much fun with the writing side of litigation and, since then, I have learned that actually going to trial is a very small part of most litigation lawyers’ day-to-day work, especially at big law firms. So, eventually, I sought out a clerkship for two reasons: First, I wanted an experience that would further develop my writing skills in the litigation context. I hope that reading other lawyers’ writing everyday and discussing it with a judge will help me become more effective in my own writing. Second, I wanted an experience that would teach me how to be a better oral advocate in a low-stress setting. I hope to learn from observing other attorneys advocate before the court and discussing what worked and what did not work with the judge. I think that, after this experience, I will be a lot more excited than I am now about advocating for a client at trial myself.   

How did you secure this clerkship?     

W&L’s Clerkship Committee helped me identify federal district judges who had previously hired W&L graduates. I sent out my applications to those judges in late January of my 2L year. Judge Stamp was one of the first judges to get back with me, and I had my interview in the beginning of March and accepted the offer within a week or so after the interview.   

Which W&L classes and/or experiences do you think were most helpful in preparing you for clerking?     

The most helpful experience by far has been my time on the Law Review as a staffwriter last year and as an Executive Editor this year. Working on the Law Review has immensely improved my writing and editing skills, both of which are essential to being a good clerk. I also feel much better prepared having spent this year externing for a judge on the Court of Appeals of Virginia. Understanding the appellate court process, even at the state level, has given me a better idea of the significance of what happens at the trial court. As for classes, I know that the material I am currently learning in Federal Jurisdiction & Procedure will be invaluable. I remember speaking to Judge Stamp’s clerks during my interview and learning that one had taken a Federal Courts class and the other had not. The clerk who had not taken Federal Courts said that was one class he regretted not taking in law school, and the clerk who had taken the class said it had made her transition to clerking a lot smoother. Additionally, I am sure that I will be glad to have taken Criminal Procedure when I begin my clerkship-I have already used what I learned in that class on many occasions during my externship this year.   

How is clerking linked to your career objectives?    

I mentioned before that I am interested in litigation. With that interest in mind, I spent this past summer working as a summer associate at McGuireWoods in Richmond, Virginia. By the time I began that experience, I was already pretty set in what I wanted to pursue and had already accepted my clerkship offer. So I spent the summer working with as many litigation lawyers in as many different litigation-based practice groups as I could. It did not take long to learn that hiring at big law firms is extremely competitive these days and, for hiring into litigation groups, a federal clerkship is almost a requirement. It also did not take long to figure out why so many lawyers and firms view clerking as such a critical experience. There is a significantly shorter learning curve for new litigation associates who come from clerkships, and the value of understanding what a judge might think about what you write or say cannot be overstated.   

What are you most looking forward to about this clerkship position?     

I am very fortunate to be clerking for a judge who I admire both professionally and personally, and am excited to spend each day of my clerkship working with and learning from such an extraordinary person. I am also grateful to have my clerkship as somewhat of a transition period between law school and jumping into life as an associate at a big law firm. Especially because I did not work at all between college and law school, I think that working primarily with just the Judge and the other clerk will be a good way for me to develop into a better lawyer in a less intimidating setting.   

What are your plans after your clerkship?   

I have accepted an offer from McGuireWoods to join their business and securities litigation practice group. I will be working in their Richmond, Virginia office.

Career Paths: Paul Judge ’16L

Paul Judge ’16L went to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant out of ROTC. He is now a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. He will enter the Army JAG Corps following his clerkship.

pauljudgeprofile Career Paths: Paul Judge '16LPaul Judge ’16L

Who will you be clerking for, and what will your responsibilities be?

I’m clerking for Judge Margaret Ryan at the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. I will work with two other clerks assisting her by writing draft opinions for all of the cases that come before CAAF, a five-judge federal appellate court that deals with a mostly criminal docket. CAAF is the highest military appellate court in the country and its decisions can only be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Why are you interested in clerking after graduation?    

First, clerking is a mark of prestige on a resume. Pick any lawyer in a position of prestige or power in the federal government and most of the time you’ll find that they have one or two federal clerkships in their background. Second, I’m clerking for a judge in Christiansburg right now, and I have loved it. Getting a behind-the-scenes look about how a judge thinks and operates is invaluable experience, and a clerkship is really the only way to get it.

How did you secure this clerkship?    

Andrea Hilton in Career Services told me that some judges on CAAF were accepting applications for clerks. I mailed in my application and interviewed in November. The interview was pretty relaxed, and I was offered the job on the spot.

Which W&L classes and/or experiences do you think were most helpful in preparing you for clerking?  

CAAF deals almost exclusively with criminal appeals, so all of my criminal procedure classes will be helpful. I would not want to clerk for any appellate court, however, without having taken Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure and Conflicts of Laws. Those classes gave me the tools to understand some of the more complicated procedural issues that appellate courts often wrestle with.

What are you most looking forward to about this clerkship position?    

I love discussing legal issues and hate working in a solitary environment. My favorite part about the law is chewing over tough legal issues with other smart, passionate lawyers. I look forward to doing that with Judge Ryan and my fellow clerks.

What are your plans after your clerkship?  

I have been accepted to serve in the US Army Judge Advocate General Corps.

Study in Contrasts W&L students partnered with Augusta Correctional Center inmates for a new class that opened eyes and challenged stereotypes

“Meeting this guy who has this horribly sad story, who I share so much in common with ideologically — all that challenged every image I previously had.”

— Thomas Joyner

Augusta-Correctional-Story-large Study in ContrastsProfessor Kelly Brotzman’s class at Augusta Correctional Center

MarQui Clardy was a father of four, a Navy veteran and a college student when he committed a series of armed robberies that resulted in a prison sentence of five life terms. That was 2009, and he was only 25 years old.

Clardy, a Portsmouth, Virginia, native who has endeavored to better himself while incarcerated, figured he’d never see the inside of a college classroom again. But that didn’t prevent him — along with 10 fellow inmates at Augusta Correctional Center — from recently earning college credits from Washington and Lee University.

The unusual opportunity came about through Professor Kelly Brotzman’s spring 2015 class, “Incarceration and Inequality,” which allowed nine W&L students to team with prisoners at Augusta and study issues such as juvenile justice, sentencing and quality of life in prison. Brotzman, a 1995 graduate of W&L, is a visiting assistant professor in the university’s Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability.

“There is essentially nothing in terms of college education in prison now unless a college has a special outreach, and that is not very common,” Brotzman said.

It seemed even less likely that the inmates would be able to earn W&L credits for the class. They received certificates at a small prison ceremony in June 2015, but in terms of actual credits, Brotzman said, “I thought there was about a 50/50 chance … I also worried that some faculty would feel like it was watering down the brand.”

Instead, University Registrar Scott Dittman strongly supported the idea, and faculty members agreed. Now, each inmate has a transcript with four credits. Six are signed up for this spring’s incarnation of the course, “Freedom and Unfreedom.”

Some of the students and inmates admit they headed into “Incarceration and Inequality” with preconceived ideas about the other group.

“I automatically (incorrectly) assumed the students were going to be a bunch of snobbish, entitled, rich kids with their noses turned up at the inmates. I was definitely concerned about there being too much of a cultural gap between them and us,” Clardy wrote in an email from Augusta. “I’m aware of the public’s perception of inmates, so just as I had my preconceptions, I expected the W&L students to be coming in with their own assumptions of us being knavish, violent, conniving and all-around criminally inclined. However, after meeting them I almost instantly realized how wrong my assumptions were.”

The students, including Clardy’s study partner, Thomas Joyner ’18, were just as honest about their concerns. They wondered if the prisoners were going to be able to keep up with the class.

“Now that seems so stupid to me,” Joyner said. “I just didn’t give them the credit that they’d be able to maintain the pace that we have in the classroom here. He is just so smart and makes the best points, and he really pushed me to think critically about the issues we were discussing.”

Brotzman said the inmate students were chosen through a process created by Augusta’s then principal, Teresa Bryant. They had to have a GED or high school diploma and 12 straight months of good behavior. They also had to pass a timed writing exercise.

Two of the Augusta students who took the class last year are in for drug crimes, five are serving time for murder, and the rest are in for armed robbery. Four are serving life terms (Clardy’s original sentence was reduced to 33 years). Only three are eligible for parole, and one has been up for parole 28 times.

The class met three days per week from 2 to 5 p.m., a time period between prison counts when inmates had to stay in the same location. A correctional officer was stationed in the hallway outside the classroom, but there was no officer in the classroom.

After signing up for the course, the W&L students went through an orientation at the prison. It included a background check and a day of training that covered topics like the Prison Rape Elimination Act and gang behavior. They also got a full tour of the facility. “It was a level of access that I didn’t expect,” said Emma Swabb ‘18.

Well before the class started, Brotzman prepared some 800 pages of required reading for students, consisting of articles, studies and reports, and delivered them to the correctional center. Like the traditional students, the inmates had to read the materials assigned for each day’s class so they could take part in the discussion. But most had read all of the materials even before the first class — and some had read it all twice.

“There’s not much to do in the housing unit, so being able to gain new knowledge and do actual school work gave me the feeling that I was doing something important and constructive with my time,” Clardy wrote.

Joyner remembers vividly the first day of class, including the moment he met his study partner.

“He walks in and he is this tall, really dark-skinned, huge guy. We are total opposites in every way. I’m this little shrimpy white kid. But he was so lighthearted and kind, he immediately put all my nerves at ease.”

Each study team had a journal that the student and inmate traded back and forth. When it was their turn to write in the journal, each student wrote an entry responding to the readings and what their partner had written.

Clardy and Joyner said they got to know each other so well that as they wrote their journal entries, they could anticipate how the other person was going to react to that particular lesson. They also learned that they didn’t have to hold back with each other when expressing opinions.

Swabb had two in-class study partners because one W&L student had to drop the class. Both men are serving time on drug charges. Swabb said her brother has had drug problems, and although he has never served significant time, his struggles caused her to view her study partners a bit differently.

“I was able to connect with Zach and Jon because my older brother is an opioid abuser,” she said. “I was able to put that in perspective with my brother’s experience versus these guys’, just to see how different it could have gone.”

Learning about topics like justice reinvestment through the eyes of someone living in prison was enlightening for the students, just as discussing and debating the topics with young people on the outside was transformative for the inmates, Brotzman said.

“They got to be teachers,” she said of the Augusta students. “They taught the class. I was there and I made the books, but they taught the class. They had a kind of authority that was cool for them to experience because they have zero authority in the prison.”

Joyner found all of his stereotypes, which had been perpetuated by TV shows and movies that portray prisoners as violent and mean, were turned on end. Some would deem Clardy’s original sentence of five life terms to be unusually harsh for a crime in which nobody was physically injured. Severe financial problems and a fear that he would not be able to afford to finish college were factors in his criminal behavior. That part of Clardy’s personal story affected Joyner.

“Meeting this guy who has this horribly sad story, who I share so much in common with ideologically — all that challenged every image I previously had. I did wonder, what is the ratio? Who does fit that stereotype, and who just made a mistake and just wants desperately to get on with his life?”

Going into the course, Swabb said, the W&L students knew that inmates weren’t getting any credit, “which we all thought was unfair, but we had a lot of faith in Dr. Brotzman.”

An inmate who is scheduled for release in 2019 told Brotzman that he wants to enroll in community college when he gets out, so four credits will save him both time and money. For other inmates, taking the class was rewarding enough.

“I was elated when I learned that Washington and Lee had decided to issue college credits to the other inmates and I, but honestly I would’ve been content without them,” Clardy wrote. “Out of the entire ACC population, only 10 of us were chosen to participate in the class, so we already felt honored to have been accepted.”

Lessons from “Incarceration and Inequality” have already had an impact outside the W&L campus and the prison walls. Swabb was inspired to start a branch of the Nabors Service League called Strong Returns, which collected hundreds of books for the Rockbridge Regional Jail library. She got the idea during a tour of the jail.

“When we saw the library that they had, we were like, ‘Oh my God, it’s not a library — it’s a shelf full of old Westerns that are falling apart’,” she said.

Joyner and Clardy are still pen pals. Clardy has emailed his college friend asking about his summer or how the other W&L students are doing. Joyner fills him in, but he said it makes him a little sad to share details about fun experiences on the outside.

Meanwhile, Clardy says he has “fallen back into the stagnation of prison life,” so he eagerly awaits receipt of the piles of homework he’ll get to do for the next class.

“I was told this class will be more philosophical than the last one, so I’ve already started dissecting the concept of freedom and how it’s affected by various factors,” he wrote. “This is a topic that can be analyzed from an infinite number of facets, so I’m very eager to hear some of the other students’ theories and to share my own. I can’t wait!”

— Lindsey Nair | lnair@wlu.edu

Career Paths: Julianne Freeman ’16L

Julianne Freeman ’16L is from Goshen, NY and attended Cornell for her undergraduate degree. She spent this past summer as a Law Clerk at Norfolk Southern Corporation in Norfolk, Virginia. She is a Lead Articles Editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review.

freemanprofile Career Paths: Julianne Freeman '16LJulianne Freeman ’16L

Where will you be working after graduation?

I will be working at Norfolk Southern Corporation in Norfolk, Virginia.

Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work in house for a corporation?

Before entering law school, I was interested in working as in-house counsel, but I assumed I would need to work in a law firm first. During the summer after my first year, I worked in-house as a legal intern with Major League Baseball. This was a wonderful experience, and it confirmed my ultimate preference for being in-house.

How did you find this job?

I found this job through OCI. I was thrilled to see that Norfolk Southern was recruiting 2Ls for summer positions. I accepted a summer position as a Law Clerk and had a great experience. This past fall, I accepted an offer to return to Norfolk Southern following graduation.

Which W&L classes and/or experiences do you think were most helpful in preparing you for this job?  

My experience at Washington and Lee School of Law has prepared me for this job by giving me both traditional legal education and hands on experience. Having a strong foundation in some of the core areas–including contracts, property, and constitutional law– allowed me to handle assignments and further develop my research and writing skills throughout the summer. This will no doubt continue throughout my employment. Further, my experience with the 3L program, particularly my work with the Immigrant Rights Clinic, has helped me to develop my persuasive writing, legal research, and critical thinking skills. I feel confident that my experience with the clinic will serve me well in my post-graduation employment.

What are you most looking forward to about this position?  

Although I will be sad to leave W&L Law, I am absolutely delighted about my job following graduation. I will be doing challenging, engaging legal work, and I’m lucky to be joining an incredibly talented group of attorneys. Additionally, I am hopeful that I can give back to the law school as an alumna in the future because I have had such a great experience.

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Nicole Eldred ’18 Crowned 2016 Alaska Cherry Blossom Princess

Nicole Eldred, a member of Washington and Lee University’s Class of 2018, currently graces the front page of Alaska Rep. Don Young’s website. She represented her home state of Alaska in Washington, D.C., as the Cherry Blossom Princess during a weeklong cultural festival, in April, celebrating the friendship between the U.S. and Japan.

Nicole, who was nominated by Young, said, “It’s been an absolutely wonderful week and unforgettable experience that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do, if it weren’t for Congressman Young.”

“It’s been an honor to nominate Nicole as our 2016 Alaska Cherry Blossom Princess and join her throughout this annual celebration honoring our nation’s close relationship with the Japanese people,” said Young. “Nicole, an accomplished young woman in her own right, joins the ranks of so many others, including Sen. Murkowski, who have so honorably represented our state in this celebration of nations. As a valued member of my staff last summer, Nicole proved to be a remarkable ambassador for Alaska — something she has continued throughout this year’s festival and will do long into the future.”

Nicole is studying philosophy at W&L, where she is a resident advisor.


W&L Enters Partnership for Oxford Study Abroad Program

Washington and Lee University has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mansfield College, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, that will allow W&L students to take classes in England for a period of one year, in a select field of study, with an assigned tutor.

Mark Rush, director of international education at W&L, said the first round of nominations for the Mansfield Visiting Student Programme will take place in the 2016–2017 school year, with the hopes that the first group of W&L students will study at Oxford in 2017–2018.

“It’s just an outstanding opportunity to get the U.K./Oxford tutorial-based experience, which is quite different from ours,” Rush said.

The agreement puts Washington and Lee on the list of Mansfield’s partner universities, which also includes Barnard College, Boston College, Georgetown University, Wheaton College, George Mason University and the College of the Holy Cross.

Rush said W&L will nominate up to five students per year, and the nomination process will be highly competitive. The application process will be open to all students, but they must have at least a 3.7 GPA.

A faculty committee will be established at W&L to fine tune the details of the program. Rush said more information about the application process and the program will be announced in fall 2016.

Washington and Lee had a faculty exchange program with Oxford that was discontinued several years ago. Rush said this new opportunity is “a nice first step toward rebuilding a bridge with Oxford.”


Sam Calhoun Named Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics

Sam Calhoun, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been named the Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics. As the holder of a term professorship, Calhoun will have the position for a three-year period.

The Class of 1960 Professorship seeks to honor and recognize a W&L faculty member whose teaching and scholarship include ethics, honor, integrity, honesty, and applications of ethical reasoning in addressing contemporary issues. In addition to teaching contracts, sales, and legal writing, Calhoun teaches and researches on the legal and religious issues implicated by the controversy over abortion. His recent articles in this area have addressed the case of Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell, as well as partial-birth abortion. He has also critiqued Justice Lewis F. Powell’s vote with the majority in Roe v. Wade.

“Sam Calhoun is an obvious and excellent choice for this prestigious term professorship,” said Provost Marc Conner. “As a scholar, a teacher, and an academic citizen, his career at Washington and Lee has been defined by a commitment to and study of ethics and the interplay of religious belief and moral values in law and society.  I cannot think of a better person to inhabit the Class of 1960 Professorship in Ethics.”

The professorship, which the Class of 1960 established at its 50th reunion, stems from the Institute for Honor, which the class inaugurated for its 40th reunion. The chair includes serving on the Institute for Honor Advisory Board, taking a leading role in conceiving and organizing Institute for Honor symposia, and planning and executing a number of additional programs and projects in honor and ethics during the duration of the professorship.

“I am honored and very pleased by my selection as the Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics,” said Calhoun. “I look forward to helping promote programming that emphasizes the crucial significance of honor and integrity, values of particular importance to W&L.”

Calhoun joined the W&L Law faculty in 1978. He taught previously at the University of Wyoming and the University of Puget Sound. A highly-regarded teacher, Calhoun has twice been awarded with fellowships recognizing excellence in the classroom. In 2013, he spearheaded the W&L Law Review Symposium commemorating the fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Calhoun has also written about the role religion played in the beliefs and actions of Abraham Lincoln.

“Sam is uniquely well-suited to receive this honor,” said Brant Hellwig, Dean of the Law School. “Throughout his remarkable tenure of service to the Law School and the University, Sam has exemplified the traits the chaired professorship seeks to promote – ethics, honor, integrity, and honesty.”

Calhoun is currently wrapping up a three-year stint as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, where he spearheaded curricular initiatives, oversaw the staffing and scheduling of all law classes, served as the primary liaison between the faculty and dean of the law school, and coordinated preparation for the ABA’s fall 2015 reaccreditation inspection of the law school.

Prior to entering the legal academy, Calhoun was an associate with King & Spalding in Atlanta. He received his J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law and his B.A. from Harvard.

Historian James C. Cobb to Speak on the American South

James C. (Jim) Cobb, historian of the American South and award-winning author, will speak at Washington and Lee University on May 4 at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

Cobb will speak on “The Making, Un-Making and Re-Making of the ‘Solid South.’” His talk is free, and the public is invited.

He will give the 2016 Mellon/Griffith ’52 Visiting Professor in History Lecture, which is sponsored by the Mellon Project on History in the Public Sphere, the Robert Griffith ’52 Visiting Scholar Fund and the Class of 1960 Professorship in Ethics.

In 2015, Cobb gave the Founders Day speech and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Commencement. He is a visiting professor of history at W&L for the Spring Term.

He is the B. Phinizy Spalding Professor Emeritus in the History of the American South at the University of Georgia and has written widely on the interaction between economy, society and culture in the American South. He also is the former president of the Southern Historical Society.

Cobb is the author of several books, including “The South and America Since World War II” (2010); “Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity” (2005); and “The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity” (1992) and other publications.

Among his many honors are Senior Visiting Mellon Scholar at Cambridge University; the McClemore Prize, awarded by the Mississippi Historical Society for his book on Mississippi history; two Green-Ramsdell Awards by the Journal of South History; the Georgia Historical Quarterly’s E. Merton Coulter Award; and an Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellowship.

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W&L Professor Domnica Radulescu Debuts New Play in New York

Domnica Radulescu, the Edwin A. Morris Professor of Romance Languages and director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at Washington and Lee University, will debut her new play, “Exile is My Home,” at the Theater for the New City, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, for a four-week run beginning April 28.

Billed as a “sci-fi immigrant tale,” “Exile is My Home” is the story of Mina and Lina, a refugee couple from the Balkans traveling through the galaxy in search of a planet to call home.

“The play combines absurdist comedy, irony and suspense to raise consciousness about the current international refugee crisis and the complexity of issues related to it,” said Radulescu. “It’s a very different style of writing than in my novels and was fun to explore creatively. I would describe it as a tragic-comic play with a lot of dark humor. It’s an intergalactic story, with fairy tale motifs and constant references to wars and genocides, but the main theme is about the wrenching search for home. Where does one belong? Where is home? It can be many places and also nowhere, and that great confusion is the constant tension that moves the action of the play.”

Radulescu, who has written, edited or co-authored 13 books, including her newest novel “Country of Red Azaleas” (Twelve of Hachette Publishing, 2016), has also written and directed numerous plays. A full production of “Naturalized Woman: A Quilting, Surrealist Project about Immigrant Women” was staged for the first time at the Thespis Theater Festival, off off Broadway, in New York City, in 2012. Two other of Radulescu’s plays had staged readings that year — “The Romanian Reunion: A Country That Devours Its Own” at the Comparative Drama Conference in Baltimore and “No Hay Luz and the Search for Red Bougainvilleas” at The Playwright Center in Minneapolis. Radulescu directed both “4:48. Psychosis” by Sarah Kane and “Nine Parts of Desire” by Heather Raffo at Cluj National Theater, Romania, in 2008.

Her play “The Town with Very Nice People: A Strident Operetta” won second place in the 2013 Jane Chambers Playwriting Contest of the Association for Theater in Higher Education. The following year,  “Exile is My Home” received an honorable mention in the same contest and received high praise from the jury: “Moving, epic, feminist and comedic, this highly theatrical play evokes the human, social and political complexities of exile with depth, humor and adaptive re-invention.”

In developing “Exile is My Home,” Radulescu was inspired, among other things, by a quote by the late Edward Said, a professor at Columbia University and the author of the seminal work “Orientalism” who said, “Exile is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home: its essential sadness can never be surmounted.”

Radulescu said, “That quote hit me right in the gut. It resonated so profoundly with me. However, there is also a bright side to exile and as the poet Joseph Brodsky once said: the exile or refugee is someone who “is running away from the worse toward the better.”  While not having a home is devastating, it is also a state of being that offers great freedom and opportunities. It opens you up for adventures and new beginnings for reinventing and recreating yourself. My characters in the play take advantage of that.”

“Exile is My Home” will be directed by Andreas Robertz and cast with equity actors Mario Golden, Vivienne Jurado, Nikaury Rodriguez, Noemi de La Puente, David van Leesten, AB Lugo and Mirandy Rodriguez. Tickets can be purchased online at:

http://theaterforthenewcity.net/exileismyhome.html. You can watch an interview with Radulescu and two of the cast members on Bronx Media.

Radulescu joined the W&L faculty in 1992. In addition to teaching courses in French language and literature and in Italian Renaissance literature, she is the co-founding chair of W&L’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program and is the founding organizer and director of the National Symposium of Theater in Academe. She is the 2011 recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Michelmore Chairs Historians on the Hill Advisory Council

Molly Michelmore, associate professor of history at Washington and Lee University, wants historians and policy makers to have a productive working relationship. To that end, she chairs the Historians on the Hill Advisory Council, part of the National History Center, and she recently explained her role to “AHA Today,” a blog of the American Historical Association.

Molly kicked off her involvement with legislative matters during an internship on Capitol Hill while she was attending Amherst College. In between graduating with a B.A. in history and going on to graduate school, she moved to Washington, D.C., and worked for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jerry Kleczka (D-Wisc.).

“One of the greatest aspects about working on the Hill right out of college was that most of the work was done, and is done, by people under the age of 25,” she told “AHA Today.” “Being a young person on the Hill provided a lot of opportunities to learn about how Congress works and legislative processes. And knowing how Congress works and knowing how to do legislative research is important to my work as a historian because I focus on the legislative history of American welfare policies.”

The main goal of Historians on the Hill, she told the blog, “is to cultivate relationships between historians, policy makers, and their staff. Members of Congress can benefit from historians’ expertise on important policy issues and historians can get their work into the public sphere, especially if there is a legislative component. This can be a mutually beneficial relationship, connecting the world of policy to the world of academia. Members of Congress and their staff gain a better understanding of the history of legislative issues and historians learn how to tailor their research towards new nonacademic audiences.”

Molly obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2006, and began her post at W&L the same year. In 2012, she published her first book, “Tax and Spend: The Welfare State, Tax Politics and the Limits of American Liberalism.” Forthcoming is a volume she’s co-edited with Mark A. Stoler, “Major Problems in the History of World War II.”

Read Molly’s complete interview >

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Gail Deady ’11L Represents Transgender Student in Virginia Restroom Case

Gail Deady, a member of the law class of 2011, played a role in the landmark Title IX ruling issued recently by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In a decision that made national headlines, the Court ruled in favor of a transgender student who wishes to use the boy’s restroom at his Virginia high school.

Deady represents the transgender plaintiff, Gavin Grimm, in the case. This is the first time a federal appellate court has ruled that Title IX protects the rights of transgender students with regards to bathroom use. In their decision, the Fourth Circuit instructed a lower court that had ruled against Grimm to re-evaluate the Title IX claim.

Deady is the Secular Society Women’s Rights Legal Fellow at the Virginia ACLU, which took up Grimm’s case. Prior to joining the ACLU, Deady was in private practice as a civil litigation attorney in Richmond. You can read more about Deady in a profile on the ACLU of Virginia website.

More information about the case and how it might impact this issue in North Carolina is available in this article from the New York Times.

Economics Professor Silwal Profiles Nepali Immigrant to Virginia

Shikha B. Silwal, assistant professor of economics at Washington and Lee University, has linked Virginia with Nepal through her April 15 article, “Life of a Priest,” in República, a Nepalese online publication.

In the piece, Silwal profiles Dilli Ram Koirala, a 2012 immigrant to Roanoke, Virginia. Koirala, who is originally from Bhutan, is a Nepali-speaking Hindu priest, and as such is in great demand among the U.S. community of Nepali immigrants to perform weddings, inaugurations of new homes and other ceremonies. He maintains and values traditions while also wondering if younger generations will keep them alive.

Read Silwal’s article (and see her photo of Koirala) here.

Encouraging Smiles Sophomore Brett Becker has started the Pre-dental Club for Washington and Lee students who want to study dentistry and to volunteer in the community.

“We were able to directly help over 500 people within our local community as well as gain hands-on experience in the dental field. It was amazing and so rewarding to see how our actions were able to help those who needed it.”

— Brett Becker

pre-dental-club-l-800x533 Encouraging SmilesPre-Dental Club members, including founder Brett Becker (far right).

One does not typically ponder future career choices while lying in a dental chair with a shattered molar, but those are the exact circumstances under which Brett Becker ’18 decided what he wanted to do with his life.

“It kind of hit me that a dentist can help someone physically and psychologically, through something as simple as a smile,” he said. “It’s just so simple.”

At that time, Becker was a sophomore in high school in Pennsylvania. (He had landed in the dental chair after he was head-butted in the jaw during a basketball game.) He shadowed dentists over the next couple of years and, when he arrived at Washington and Lee University as a Johnson Scholar in 2014, set out to find other pre-dental students.

He found that W&L did not have a Pre-dental Club, but he was not deterred — he started one himself. The club, which will be officially recognized by the Executive Committee this spring, now has about a dozen members.

The club’s goal is threefold: to raise awareness of good oral hygiene; to give pre-dental students an outlet for networking with dentists, schools, professors and each other; and to do community service in the area of dentistry. On the weekend of March 5-6, five members of the Pre-dental Club volunteered at a remote area medical clinic in Buena Vista, where they observed and assisted dentists providing free services.

“I think I can speak for all of us when I say that it was an unforgettable experience,” Becker said. “We were able to directly help over 500 people within our local community as well as gain hands-on experience in the dental field. It was amazing and so rewarding to see how our actions were able to help those who needed it.”

Remote Area Medical (RAM), founded in 1985, provides medical, dental and vision care to underserved communities by taking the services straight to those patients. In the past year, RAM clinics have visited locations across the United States from Florida to Nevada. A local affiliate, RAM of Virginia, serves economically distressed locations such as Wise, Grundy and the counties of Smyth and Lee.

Lisa Alty, professor of chemistry and coordinator of the Health Professions Advisory Committee at W&L, heard about the upcoming RAM clinic in Buena Vista and suggested it to Becker as a volunteer activity for the club.

“This is a terrific event for pre-dental students because you are actually participating, you are not just standing there watching,” she said.

Five students volunteered at the clinic: Chloe Doto ’16, Scott Philips ’17, Bailey Russell ’16, Olivia Kubli ’18 and Becker. They assisted with tooth extractions, fillings and cleanings.

Besides doing suction and fetching instruments for the dentists, the students found themselves interacting with patients, particularly those who were nervous or uncomfortable. Becker said his training as a peer counselor at W&L came in handy with a patient who was extremely anxious about her procedure. He held her hand, got her water, joked around with her and reassured her.

Kubli noticed that one patient walked into the dental clinic while covering her mouth with a napkin, because she didn’t want anyone to see her ill-fitting, previously worn dentures. Kubli, who said she has wanted to be a dentist since about the seventh grade, was reminded that the profession can have a significant impact on a person’s physical and mental well being.

In addition to dental problems’ causing pain and discomfort, she said, “if you don’t have a nice smile, it really does something to your confidence.”

Over the next two years, Becker hopes the club will grow larger and stronger, and find additional ways to engage with the community. The club’s faculty advisor, Fred LaRiviere, associate professor of chemistry, said the club members may do more outreach with other schools, invite speakers, research dental school requirements, and help each other study for the Dental Admissions Test.

“Brett has been the impetus behind this,” Alty said. “He came in freshman year gung-ho for dental, and he has been the one who has really pushed for it.”

Becker said he’s just excited to get the club off the ground and “rocking and rolling.”

“I hope by my senior year to leave the legacy of it as a part of Washington and Lee’s campus,” he said. “As long as there are pre-dental students, I hope it sticks around.”


W&L Magazine, Winter/Spring 2016: Vol. 92 | No. 1

Read Online »

In This Issue:

  • President Robert Edward Royall Huntley ’50, ’57L: 1929-2015
  • From Williams to Washington and Lee: Will Dudley, President-Elect

2- Speak

  • Remembering W&L Friends
  • Letters to the Editor

4 – Along the Colonnade

  • Mock Con 2016
  • MLK and PBK roundups
  • Venture for America
  • a new trustee
  • noteworthy

8 – Lewis Hall Notes

  • Helping area families during the blizzard
  • Moot Court victory

16 – Generals’ Report

  • Chasing Olympic Dreams

30 – Alumni Profiles

  • Dr. Erika Proko Hamilton ’03

  • Matt Simpson ’12

32 – Milestones

  • Alumni President’s Message
  • Beau Knows
  • alumni news and photos
  • President Ruscio’s column
  • Annual Financial Report, 2014-2015

Richmond Dance Festival Features Work Choreography by Davies, Inspired by Keen

A dance choreographed by Jenefer Davies, associate professor of dance/theater, will be performed at the Richmond Dance Festival (RDF) this weekend and will include two W&L student dancers. The RDF will be at the Dogtown Dance Theater in the historic district of Manchester in Richmond.

Replying to a national call for new dance choreography, Davies sent a video to RDF of “August and September,” a work she created last summer and fall, workshopped as part of a dance concert at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn, New York, in January, and performed as part of a W&L concert.

The dance was set to poetry by Suzanne Keen, Dean of the College and the Thomas Broadus Professor of English.

“Dean Keen’s poetry was influential in creating and molding the movement choices in the dance work,” said Davies. “When I began creating this new dance work, I knew that her poem ‘August. The Trust About Play’ fit beautifully with my intended thematic material and expressed a relationship that I was eager to explore.

“As rehearsals progressed, the power of the words began to shape not only the formation of the architecture and negative space of the dancers, but the overall configuration of the piece,” added Davies. “Dean Keen’s generosity in discussing and describing her work and her suggestion of using ‘September. The Animals That Are Lost’ as a companion piece, became forces in my creative process.”

For more information about the Richmond Dance Festival, see http://www.dogtowndancetheatre.com/#!richmond-dance-festival-2016/cyun

W&L Law Presents Alumni Awards during 2016 Reunion Celebration

A record number of Washington and Lee law school alumni returned for this year’s reunion celebration, held April 15-17 in Lexington.

During the awards ceremony on Saturday, the reunion classes presented a collective gift of $1.5 million to law dean Brant Hellwig.  The School also announced the recipients of the Outstanding Alumnus/a Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Related: Event Photo Gallery

Walt Kelley ’77, ‘81L received the Outstanding Law Alumnus award for exceptional achievements in his career and unselfish service to his community and his alma mater.

Kelley is a litigator with the global litigation firm Hausfeld in Washington, DC. Prior to his work as a high stakes litigator, Kelley served as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia and as a partner at Jones Day in DC, and with Willcox & Savage and Troutman Sanders in Norfolk, VA.

Kelley has extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in disputes between businesses, particularly in the areas of antitrust, intellectual property and securities. As a lawyer, Kelley has tried more than 25 jury cases, obtaining verdicts for his clients in cases ranging from monopolization and resale price fixing, to the Robinson-Patman Act, to patent infringement. He has negotiated settlements for companies that were targeted by international cartels, and has served as counsel in numerous shareholder and partnership disputes. He has argued appeals in the Third, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits, as well as state appellate courts.

As a judge, Kelley presided over thousands of cases encompassing all areas of the law and authored 50 published opinions. He also sat by designation on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and authored six appellate opinions.

In addition to maintaining an active trial docket, Kelley serves as a mediator and arbitrator for business related disputes. He has mediated cases involving patent infringement, defective tax shelters, mergers and acquisitions, minority shareholder oppression and international distribution contracts. He has served as an arbitrator for cases involving copyright infringement, trademark infringement, insurance coverage, breach of M&A post-closing covenants, and dissolution of closely held corporations.

Kelley has been repeatedly listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers for antitrust and business litigation, and in Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite” as a mediator and arbitrator.

Kelley’s dedication to W&L is evident in his service as president of the Law Council, Law Firm Liaison, Chapter Law Liaison, Law School campaign committee, and on several reunion committees, including the one for his class’ 35th reunion. His commitment to public service and to his community is apparent from the many volunteer leadership positions he has held, including serving on the Board of Visitors for Old Dominion University, the Board of Directors of the Norfolk Botanical Garden Foundation, and the Hampton Roads Board of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center.

Kelley graduated cum laude from the College in 1977 where he was inducted into ODK. In 1981 he graduated magna cum laude from the Law School where he served as Lead Articles Editor of the Law Review and was inducted into Order of the Coif.

Neil Millhiser ‘11L received the 2016 Volunteer of the Year award, which recognizes those individuals who go above and beyond assisting the Law School. Millhiser has served W&L as Law Class Agent since he graduated, as service chair for the W&L Richmond Alumni Chapter, as a member of the Law Young Alumni Council, and as chair as of the reunion committee for the Class of 2011L’s fifth reunion this weekend.

A native of Richmond, Millhiser has served since 2013 as general manager at Patient Services, Inc., a nationwide, healthcare non-profit providing financial support and guidance for patients with chronic illnesses who were struggling to keep up with expensive premiums and copayments. PSI is dedicated to solving the challenges that confront uninsured/underinsured Americans.

Millhiser received his bachelor’s degree in English from Elon University. Prior to attending W&L Law, he worked in medical sales at Lincare.

Michael Missal Confirmed as Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs

On Tues., April 19, the Senate unanimously confirmed Michael Missal, a 1978 graduate of Washington and Lee University, as the next inspector general of the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs. President Barack Obama nominated Missal for the position in October 2015. He is scheduled to be sworn in on May 2.

Missal, a Washington attorney who specializes in government enforcement and internal investigations, was selected “because he has a distinguished legal background and a proven record of expertly leading prominent, sensitive and extensive investigations,” according to a White House official.

The post has been vacant since December 2013, occupied by interim inspectors general, while the agency suffered crisis after crisis. As USA Today reported on April 16, both Republicans and Democrats had put Missal’s confirmation on hold, citing problems at the VA they wanted addressed first, including employee accountability, construction overruns and benefits delivery.

During his Nov. 17, 2015, testimony before the Committee of Veterans’ Affairs, Missal noted, “This is a particularly critical time for the VA as it attempts to rebuild the trust and confidence it has lost from our Veterans, Congress, Veterans Service Organizations and the American public. The VA Inspector General plays a crucial and independent role in assisting the VA meet its mission and identifying the instances where it falls short. The need to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and to promote efficiency and integrity at the VA may never have been greater. Recent public reports from the Office of Inspector General and elsewhere underscore the need for significant and prompt improvements in the way the VA is servicing our Veterans. If confirmed, I look forward to playing a role in strengthening the programs, policies and culture of the VA.”

In his testimony, Missal cited the important role that both military service and public service had played in the life of his late father, Harold Missal, a World War II veteran who fought in Europe and was later a state judge in Connecticut.

“ believed that there was no higher calling than being in public service and working hard to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Missal. “I started my legal career in public service and have always desired to return to it. I cannot imagine a more meaningful or important role than the Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

After Tuesday’s voice-vote confirmation by the Senate, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said, “Michael Missal is the tip of the spear to restore much-needed transparency and accountability at the VA Office of Inspector General. His presence will go far toward accomplishing our shared goal of providing the highest quality care to our nation’s veterans.” Watch the video of Sen. Johnson’s remarks here.

Missal, a partner at K&L Gates, began his career as a staff assistant to President Jimmy Carter. He then clerked for chief judge H. Carl Moultrie, District of Columbia Superior Court, before serving as senior counsel for the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

His extensive résumé includes an appointment by the Justice Department to examine negligence in the bankruptcy of subprime lender New Century Financial Corp. He served as lead counsel investigating the demise of WorldCom, the long-distance phone company. Missal also assisted the Senate Select Committee on Ethics during its investigation of former Sen. John Ensign of Nevada.

Missal has been an active volunteer for Washington and Lee. He served on his class reunion committee, as a career mentor, and for the Parents Leadership Council. He was elected to the Board of Trustees in February 2011 and was reelected to a second term in February 2016. Since the White House does not allow presidential appointees to serve on any public company or not-for-profit boards, Missal has resigned from the W&L board.

“We are proud of Mike for accepting such a challenging and critically important position,” said Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “At the same time, we are confident that he will fulfill his duties with expertise and integrity. Our country’s gain is the W&L board’s loss.”

Missal and his wife, Deborah, are the parents of son Jordan, a senior at W&L.


W&L Alumni Win National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowships

Four Washington and Lee University alumni have received pre-doctoral graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation. In addition, four alumni and one student received honorable mentions.

Lucy Simko ’11 did research with Sara Sprenkle, associate professor of computer science, generating test cases from statistical models of user sessions and fine-tuning parameters to generate the most effective test cases to accurately represent usage.

“Lucy’s work uncovered several open questions that we needed to address before answering the question she was originally working on and laid a foundation so that we could answer those questions,” said Sprenkle. “What impressed me most was how Lucy can paraphrase complex material in a way that demonstrates that she understands its complexities and provides additional insights. Several times, her insight made me think about the work in a different way.”

Simko is a co-author of “A Study of Usage-Based Navigation Models and Generated Abstract Test Cases for Web Applications,” which won the award for best research paper at the International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation in March 2011.

A Classics and computer science double major, Simko has been working at the Department of Defense since graduation and will attend the University of Washington in the fall.

Patrick Wellborn ’15 graduated from W&L with a B.S. in chemical engineering and is a Ph.D. student in the Mechanical Engineering department at Vanderbilt University.

“Patrick is one of the most natural inventors I have ever worked with, “said Joel Kuehner, associate professor of physics and engineering. “By combining this ability with his genuine interest in benefiting society through his engineering design work, he has already embarked on an amazing career with his graduate work in enhancing surgical robots. The recognition by NSF is further confirmation that Patrick will impact the way medicine is practiced and applied.”

In Kuehner’s Machine Dynamics course, Wellborn, who is left-handed, designed a desk that could quickly convert from a right-handed to left-handed writing surface. “It could be installed as a stand-alone desk or as part of stadium seating in a lecture hall,” said Kuehner. “He invested substantial time in it, looking into possible hinge designs, specific bolts and whether wood seating could be used. He did not want to develop another second-rate, left-handed chair.”

Katie Driest ’14 graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in biochemistry and a minor in mathematics and received honors in biochemistry with her thesis “Microarray Analysis of Nonfunctional rRNA Decay in S. cerevisiae.”

After graduation, she received a Cancer Research Training Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health, allowing her to do research for the past two years at the NCI where she studied alternative lengthening of telomeres in osteosarcomas. She will begin her graduate studies at Stanford University this fall.

“Katie was a remarkable student at W&L,” said Fred LaRiviere, associate professor of chemistry who supervised Driest’s research project and thesis. “Not only is she exceptionally bright and intellectually curious, but she is also one of the most genuine and good-natured students that I have known.”

Joseph Taylor ’15 graduated from W&L with a B.S. in biology from W&L. He spent two years in the research lab of Larry Hurd, the Herwick Professor of Biology. His research led to one publication where he is a co-author, and he is first author on another manuscript now under review. He is a Ph.D. graduate student at Washington State University, working in the laboratory of Dr. William Snyder, one of Hurd’s former undergraduate research students.

Taylor’s research uses stable isotope and molecular gut-content analyses to track the feeding habits of predatory insects to understand how and why predator diets differ in organic versus conventional farming systems. He said, “In conventional farming (heavily disrupted systems), the ecosystem is simplified, and the niche space generalist predators occupy adjust accordingly. In organic farming, the idea is to be less disruptive and allow for more natural relationships. Part of what I’m looking at is whether under these conditions generalists’ niche space expands or remains collapsed.”

The NSF awarded honorable mentions to James Biemiller ’15, geosciences, University of Texas at Austin; Randl Dent ’15, psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University; Derek Kosciolek ’07, electrical engineering, CUNY; Joy Putney ’16, quantitative bioscience, Georgia Tech; and Eric Schwen ’15, physics, Cornell University.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. NSF received close to 17,000 applications for the 2016 competition and made 2,000 award offers.

Parents and Family Weekend Recap 2016

parents-weekend-2016-large-400x533 Parents and Family Weekend Recap 2016Parents Weekend 2016.

The mood of Parents and Family Weekend 2016 was definitely one of excitement and delight.

Parents of the first year class got their first up close and personal glimpse of the vibrant campus environment their students now call home. And for families in the Parents Leadership Council, the special PLC events during the weekend once again provided a deeper level of connection with the administration and fellow families.

Select first year families were invited to attend the Friday evening PLC reception in Evans Hall. The PLC extended a warm W&L welcome to these new families with an opportunity at the beginning of the reception for them to meet and spend time with the PLC steering committee in a more intimate group.

On Saturday morning the breakfast hosted by the PLC was well-attended and the content was impressive. President Ruscio introduced the key speakers–provost Marc Conner and dean of student affairs Sidney Evans, who gave updates on academic offerings and student life, including a report on the rollout of W&L’s new third year housing at the start of this year.

Immediately following the breakfast the PLC Steering Committee held a meeting with Conner and vice president for university advancement Dennis Cross to dig deeper on academic and fundraising topics. Missy Witherow, senior director of development for parent giving, commented on the meeting “Parents asked great questions about the fundraising that goes into academic programs like Spring Term and summer learning opportunities, and also campus enhancements like the planned Indoor Athletic and Recreation Facility.”

The next on-campus event for PLC members will be the PLC Spring Weekend on March 31 – April 1, 2017.

For more information about the PLC or parent giving please contact Missy Witherow, senior director of development for parent giving.


2016 PLC Spring Weekend Recap Over 150 PLC Families in Attendance

plc-weekend-tour-large 2016 PLC Spring Weekend RecapPLC members tour the new upper division housing.

This year’s PLC Spring Weekend was held on March 11-12, 2016.

Friday provided members of the Parents Leadership Council with tours of new campus spaces including Upper Division Housing and classrooms in the Center for Global Learning as well as a tour of Doremus Gymnasium, which is soon to be renovated. Parents also had an opportunity to tour and meet with staff in Career Services. The afternoon continued with a glimpse into the classroom with lectures by Professor Paul Youngman`87 (German, digital humanities) and Assistant Professor Seth Cantey (politics). Friday ended with a reception at the Lee House followed by a seated dinner with families, faculty and administration.

Saturday morning featured breakfast and updates from senior administrators VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life Sidney Evans, VP for Admissions and Financial Aid Sally Richmond, Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School and Professor Robert Straughan and an in-depth W&L update by President Ruscio.

Over fifty PLC families attended this year’s spring meeting.


NEH Funds W&L Digital Humanities Project

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a Washington and Lee University team with a major digital humanities grant of $74,500. The Digital Humanities Start-Up grant will support 18 months of continued work on the Ancient Graffiti Project. Led by Rebecca Benefiel, associate professor of Classics, and Sara Sprenkle, associate professor of computer science, The Ancient Graffiti Project will create an online search and mapping platform for locating and studying graffiti preserved in the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

The project involves collaborators from around the globe. “We began the project three years ago with our Classics and computer science students,” Benefiel said. “Over the past two years, nearly 50 people have now contributed to that, either through our field work in Herculaneum, Italy, or in a workshop I led last summer at the Center for Hellenic Studies, an institute of Harvard University in Washington, D.C., or as sustaining members during the academic year in teams at W&L and Millsaps College.”

The NEH grant will specifically fund the development of critical software tools for studying and analyzing graffiti located in these cities. Unlike modern graffiti, Roman graffiti served as an interactive form of public communication and expression. Prayers, word games, poems, drawings and many other missives were scratched by every class of Roman citizen onto buildings’ plaster walls, making these artifacts a tremendous cultural resource for historians and classicists.

While the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD and the subsequent preservation of Pompeii and Herculaneum are well known, documentation of the thousands of inscriptions found in these cities is often difficult to access. The Ancient Graffiti Project will address this issue by making the more than 7,000 individual graffiti from these two cities available to anyone with an Internet connection. The sophisticated search system and digital mapping platform developed by the W&L team will allow users to find graffiti based on a wide range of factors and to study them building by building or with city-wide searches across the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

“The Ancient Graffiti Project is the epitome of the liberal arts: applying computational techniques to solve humanistic problems,” Sprenkle said. “It’s a lot of fun to work on the project, and it’s accessible to students. They get experience in planning, designing and implementing a real application that they can point to as a project they worked on. Students must find solutions to the client’s problems, which often involves researching what tools and approaches are available and figuring out how to apply them to the problem. They also learn how to communicate with a client (in this case, Professor Benefiel) in her domain’s language.”

Benefiel noted that the unique nature of graffiti required that the Ancient Graffiti Project create its platform largely from scratch, including the maps of Herculaneum. At the same time, the team sought to make their work as open and accessible as possible. “Our aim from the beginning has been to integrate our project with other major initiatives, so we contributed our plans of Herculaneum to OpenStreetMap; we have been working from the outset contributing content to the Epigraphic Database Roma; we are now part of EAGLE (Europeana network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy), so that a user will search inscriptions and can be directed from EAGLE back to our site; and we are developing links with other projects as well,” she said.

This grant is the latest of several for the Ancient Graffiti Project, which has also received funding through W&L’s Digital Humanities grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and from a grant awarded by the Associated Colleges of the South. These grants have supported fieldwork in Italy, cataloging efforts, and prototype development of the website and search engine. In addition to its success with funding, the Ancient Graffiti Project has also received national attention, including being featured in a recent article in The Atlantic.

While many W&L faculty have received individual NEH fellowships, especially in recent years, this grant is W&L’s first organizational award since 1980. The National Endowment for the Humanities was established in 1965 as an independent federal agency. It supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the agency and its grant programs is available at http://www.neh.gov.

Author Daniel James Brown to Give the Keynote Address at the Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar at Washington and Lee University

Daniel James Brown, author of the New York Times bestseller “The Boys in the Boat,” will present the keynote address at Washington and Lee University’s Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar “Finding Gold in the Oar: Crafting History in ‘The Boys in the Boat,’” on April 22, at 4:15 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The title of Brown’s talk is “The Art of Nonfiction in ‘The Boys in the Boat.’” It is free and open to the public.

Watch the video >

Since reaching No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List in 2014, The Boys in the Boat,” sustained its popularity by remaining there for 83 weeks. The book remains No. 1 in paperback nonfiction.

“The Boys in the Boat” celebrated the 1936 U.S. men’s Olympic eight-oar rowing team—nine working class boys from the University of Washington who raced their way to competition in the Berlin Olympics.

The team managed to work together and sacrifice toward their goal of defeating Hitler’s feared racers, but that’s only half the story. The other half is as fascinating, as Brown tells about the team itself, the hardships they endured in training and home life, and Hitler’s Germany on the eve of World War II.

“For this nautical version of ‘Chariots of Fire,’ Brown crafts an evocative, cinematic prose…Brown makes his heroes’ struggles as fascinating as the best Olympic sagas,” according to Publishers Weekly.

Brown is also the author of “The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride” (2009) and “Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894” (2006). Before writing narrative non-fiction books about historical events (such as “The Boys in the Boat”), Brown was a technical writer and editor. He also taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford University.

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.


Joseph S. Keelty '44, Emeritus Trustee and W&L Benefactor, Dies at 93

Joseph S. Keelty, an emeritus trustee and member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1944 who established a scholarship at W&L and donated generously to myriad other priorities at the university, died April 10, 2016, at the age of 93.

Keelty, a lifelong supporter of schools and charities, in 1981 endowed the Keelty Honor Scholarship at W&L. The full-tuition award is available to students from Maryland who have demonstrated exemplary achievement in academics, extracurricular activities and service to others. The Keelty Honor Scholarship has thus far supported the education of 25 W&L students.

Keelty also served as a Washington and Lee trustee from 1983 to 1988, and he demonstrated great generosity as a donor to the Washington and Lee Annual Fund, the Lenfest Center, Wilson Hall, the university’s 250th anniversary celebration and more.

During his time at W&L, Keelty belonged to Delta Tau Delta and Pi Alpha Nu. From 1990 to 1993, he was a member of the board of chapter volunteers for the Baltimore Alumni Chapter. He served as Baltimore chapter co-chair for the On the Shoulders of Giants capital campaign from 1991 to 1995 and as Baltimore chapter honorary chair for the Campaign for the Rising Generation capital campaign from 2002 to 2003.

In 1991, Keelty’s name was added to the Honored Benefactors Wall, joining the names of others who have contributed at least $1 million to Washington and Lee. He was also a member of the Doremus Society, a philanthropic society that recognizes donors who have named Washington and Lee in their estate plans.

Keelty, who was born and raised in Baltimore, graduated from the McDonogh School in 1940. He entered Washington and Lee in the fall of 1940 and attended until the spring of 1942, when he transferred to a wartime accelerated program at Loyola University Maryland.

Keelty enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June 1942, and upon graduation from Loyola in 1943 he attended Midshipmen’s School at Notre Dame University. He was stationed in the Pacific Theatre during World War II and, as an officer on a troop transport vessel, took part in a number of military actions in the Philippines, including the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

After the service, Keelty returned to Baltimore and joined the Keelty Co., a homebuilding firm founded by his late father, James Keelty Sr. According to The Baltimore Sun, Keelty and his brother, James Keelty Jr., developed new neighborhoods and constructed high-quality homes in developments surrounding Baltimore. The brothers continued the development of Rodgers Forge, a national historic district just north of Baltimore that their father had started in 1932. They also developed Mays Chapel Village, a large apartment complex in Baltimore County.

Through the years, Keelty directed his philanthropy largely to helping low-income families afford quality education for their children. In addition to his gifts to Washington and Lee, he gave to Stevenson University and the McDonogh School. He founded a scholarship in memory of his parents at Loyola, where he served on the board from 1981 to 1995. Loyola awarded Keelty an honorary doctorate in 1992 and the Carroll Medal in 2002. He also served on the board of the McDonogh School.

Keelty is survived by 20 nieces and nephews and by the children of his late companion, Ann Watts Grieves, who died in 1998. A Mass of Christian burial for Keelty will be offered at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 15, at Shrine of the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Mount Washington, Maryland.


Pasquale Toscano Awarded Beinecke Scholarship for Graduate Study

Pasquale S. Toscano, of Kettering, Ohio, an English and classics double major at Washington and Lee University, has been awarded a Beinecke Scholarship for graduate study.

Toscano was among 20 students chosen to be a 2016 Beinecke Scholar. Since 1975, more than 570 college juniors from more than 100 undergraduate institutions have been chosen for graduate study support.

Each scholar receives $4,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school. Toscano plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in English with a specialty in contemporary American literature.

“Paqui will take his future graduate program by storm,” said Genelle Gertz, associate professor of English at W&L. “He writes beautifully and prolifically; his thesis makes an important contribution to the field of contemporary American literature, drawing from archival and theoretical methods to show the importance of neo-regionalism in Marilynne Robinson’s renowned trilogy. His many writing awards, in addition to a recent journal article submission, indicate a rich publication future.”

“Paqui is part of what makes W&L so special,” said Rebecca Benefiel, associate professor of Classics at W&L. “He serves the student body and the university in myriad capacities, and he is a remarkable presence in the classroom, elevating discussion with thought-provoking points and drawing in other students to participate. I’m delighted Paqui received the Beinecke because he is primed for graduate study.”

Toscano is chairman of the Student Judicial Council; a member of the Student Affairs Committee; a Latin and English peer tutor; was a Steering Committee member and Platform chair for the 2016 Mock Convention; and gave campus tours as a member of the Student Recruitment Committee. He also was a member of the University Wind Ensemble.

A Johnson Scholar, Toscano also is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma and Eta Sigma Phi classics honor society; was awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, the Edward L. Pinney Prize, the G. Holbrook Barber Scholarship Award and the Matthew J. Mason Latin Prize. He also won the Elizabeth B. Garrett Scholarship in English, the Dabney Stuart Prize in English and the Sidney Coulling Prize in English.

“My professors at W&L have impressed upon me the inspiring and energizing potential of literature, which has brought me peace in moments of turbulence and joy in moments of success,” said Toscano. “I am very thankful for the village that went into making this scholarship application and award possible, and I look forward to representing W&L in the future, wherever I end up attending graduate school.”

Established in 1971, the Beinecke Scholarship Program created an endowment to provide scholarships for the graduate education of students of unusual promise. The program encourages their pursuit of opportunities available in the study of the arts, humanities and social sciences.

W&L Law Releases 2015 Graduate Employment Report

Washington and Lee University School of Law has released a report on employment rates for its class of 2015.

Data from the Office of Career Strategy show another year of strong growth in employment over previous years. The report measures employment 10 months after graduation.

According to the report, 85 percent of the class of 2015 has secured a full-time job that either requires a J.D. degree or for which a J.D. degree is preferred. The overall employment rate for the class including all employment types and graduate school is over 90 percent.

“This is really great news for our students,” said Cliff Jarrett ‘91L, assistant dean for career strategy. “I credit our students for working with our office and putting the time and energy into their job searches that lead to great employment opportunities.  Our alumni and other employers continue to assist in all phases of our students’ career development and are a tremendous asset to our students’ and recent graduates.”

The employment report, available online, was prepared in accordance with requirements of the American Bar Association and includes summary data about the employment status of the 174 graduates in the class of 2015, the largest graduating class in the school’s history.

The report does not count as employed those graduates with deferred start dates, such as Brendan McHugh, a member of the class of 2015 who postponed his start date with the Philadelphia law firm Drinker Biddle so he could train for the 2016 Summer Olympics. McHugh, a standout collegiate swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, is the U.S. Open record holder in the 50 meter breaststroke.  All of the other students with deferred start dates already have started or will be in full-time, long-term bar required positions.

If students with start dates after the ten-month ABA window are included, Jarrett notes that the overall employment rate for the class of 2015 is 94 percent.

“Brendan’s story is just one of several from this class of an employed student who is not reflected in our report,” says Jarrett. “In most cases, these ‘uncounted’ students are doing exactly what they want to meet their career objectives.”

The report shows graduates working in a diverse range of jobs. 50 percent are heading to law firms, and nearly a quarter of those will be working for “Big Law,” typically firms with over 500 lawyers. 30 percent are working in government, 11 percent in business or industry, and 9 percent in public interest jobs such as legal aid offices.

One particular area of strength for W&L Law has always been placement in federal and state clerkships, and this remains the case for the class of 2015. 19 percent of those employed are clerking, including placements in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the Delaware Supreme Court, and several federal district courts.

2015 graduates are employed in 29 states and one foreign country, South Korea. The top geographic areas for employment are Virginia, the District of Columbia, and New York, followed by California, Delaware and West Virginia.

Clare Wilkinson Awarded 2016 Goldwater Scholarship

Washington and Lee University junior Clare Wilkinson of Warren, Vermont, has won a highly competitive 2016 Goldwater Scholarship, which promotes research careers in science, mathematics and engineering.

Wilkinson, a geology major and music minor, was among 252 scholars selected from a field of 1,150 sophomores and juniors nominated by their professors at colleges and universities around the country. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Wilkinson plans to obtain a Ph.D. in geomorphology and hydrodynamics, specifically researching water dynamics to better understand how rivers control erosion of topography and alter the integrity of human-made structures. She is currently studying abroad in New Zealand.

“Clare is really an ideal student: attentive, astute, engaged, and is curious about all geology topics,” said Christopher E. Connors, William E. Pritchard III ’80 Professor of Geology at W&L.  “I am delighted she has been selected as a Goldwater recipient. She has a very bright future as a professional geologist.”

“Clare is simultaneously serious and joyful about her work,” said David Harbor, professor of geology at W&L and Wilkinson’s primary research advisor. “She is a great experimenter, taking wonderful notes and making great observations. She is already a scientist who loves being part of discovery, which is truly thrilling, but which is only possible with careful observations or calculations. I expect to learn much more from her in the coming year.”

“To me, the Goldwater Foundation represents an investment in the future of STEM subjects and it is a recognition of true passion and dedication to a subject, a question, a dream,” said Wilkinson. “I am honored to have been selected for the award this year. Earning the Goldwater Scholarship is a distinction that has reminded me that when we work hard at what we love, we can achieve wonders.”

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Congress in 1986 to honor the former Arizona senator. The program is the premier undergraduate award of its type. Numerous recipients have gone on to win other prestigious scholarships, including the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Churchill, as well as National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships.

Including Wilkinson, 17 Washington and Lee students have won Goldwater Scholarships since the program’s inception.

Cvent Founder and CEO Reggie Aggarwal to Deliver W&L Law Commencement Speech

Washington and Lee University School of Law is pleased to announce Reggie Aggarwal as its 2016 commencement keynote speaker.

Aggarwal graduated in 1994 and is currently the founder and CEO of Cvent, a publicly traded technology company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with more than 2,000 employees worldwide.  Cvent provides event management technology to more than 16,000 customers around the world.

Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 beginning at 10 a.m. The event is open to the public. A complete schedule of events is available at the commencement website.

“Reggie Aggarwal is a very successful entrepreneur running a global company, and his story is highly inspirational,” said Brant Hellwig, dean of W&L Law. “His ingenuity, creativity and persistence provides a remarkable example for our graduates.  We look forward to hearing the lessons that he has learned from taking a two-person startup to a 2,000 person publicly traded company on the NYSE.”

In recent years, Aggarwal was named the most admired CEO of the Year by the Washington Business Journal. He has also been named Entrepreneur of the Year for the Washington, D.C. metro area by Ernst & Young and a rising star by Forbes Magazine.  In December 2015, Aggarwal was named one of the most influential business travel executives alongside other CEO’s from organizations including Marriott, Expedia, Uber, JPMorgan.

“I am honored to share my personal journey and lessons learned as an entrepreneur to the students that are about to embark in their future endeavors,” said Aggarwal.  “As a Washington and Lee graduate, I was provided with the right discipline to make the decision to become an entrepreneur and start my own company.”

Aggarwal has been featured in more than 100 articles including Forbes, Fortune and the Washington Post.  In addition, he has appeared on CNBC, NBC and FOX Business.

Aggarwal graduated with a BS degree from the University of Virginia, a Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee University Law School, and an LLM from Georgetown University Law School. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate from Southeastern University for his contribution to the community. In 2014, he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from W&L Law.

Annual Lip Sync Contest Raises Thousands for Local Food Pantries

The Washington and Lee group Students Against Rockbridge Area Hunger (SARAH) is donating more than $8,600 raised at this year’s Lip Sync Contest to local charities that work to alleviate hunger in the community.

This year marked the 29th year of the annual Lip Sync Contest, which took place in the Student Activities Pavilion in late January. Jonathan Jetmundsen ’16, co-chair of SARAH, said 20 teams participated in the fundraiser and hundreds of spectators turned out to watch the musical performances.

Jetmundsen said SARAH is donating 70 percent of this year’s profits to the Rockbridge Area Relief Association (RARA), 20 percent to the Natural Bridge/Glasgow Food Pantry (NBGFP) and 10 percent to Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee. All three non-profits count on money raised by the event and include the donations in their annual budgets.

“We’re pleased by the results,” Jetmundsen said. “This is pretty much in line with what we raised last year.”

The Lip Sync Contest was founded in 1987 by Jerry Darrell, retired head of Dining Services at Washington and Lee and an advocate for hunger relief in Rockbridge County.

“I’m so proud of the SARAH students carrying on this great tradition in supporting the less fortunate of our Lexington/Rockbridge community,” Darrell wrote in an email. “Hopefully, since the music is always contemporary, the event will continue forever.”


Chuck Lane ’63 Reminisces About Working for Lombardi

Fifty years ago, Chuck Lane, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1963, became the public relations director for the Green Bay Packers under Vince Lombardi.

In an interview with the Green Bay Packers website (part of the USA oday Network), he recalled, “I really thought it was the greatest job in the world. A pro football team, No. 1. No. 2, my favorite football team, the Packers. And No. 3, working for Lombardi, at age 23 with relatively little experience, no experience. To have this opportunity, I couldn’t believe it.”

During his three-year stint with the team, he remembers having to inform the legendary coach on the day of the 1967 NFL championship (later known as the Ice Bowl) that the newly installed heating system under Lambeau Field was broken.

“I’d rather go in and tell him Marie (Lombardi’s wife) was cheating on him than that his field wasn’t working,” Chuck said. “He was fit to be tied. He didn’t blow at me, but he was not a happy man. I told him and got the hell out of there.”

Chuck added, “You’ve never been hollered at until you’ve been hollered at by Coach Lombardi. But by and large he’d forget it quickly. He’d blow, and then he’d come back and the waters had stilled. But he didn’t seem to hold anything against people. He was great to work for.”

After leaving the Green Bay Packers, Lane worked in public relations for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s athletic department and for two teams in the USFL. He then returned to Green Bay, where before retiring last year he worked for Humana health insurance and its previous incarnations, first in media relations and later overseeing its agents’ incentives travel programs, which allowed him to travel the world.

“The Packer thing was absolutely wonderful,” he said. “I had an opportunity to meet some wonderful people. It gave me national exposure, and it still opens doors.”


Staniar Gallery Presents “Shakespeare's England”

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery, in conjunction with the Departments of English, History, and Art and Art History, will present an exhibition of original prints and reproductions from the collection of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington.

The exhibition will be on view in Staniar Gallery from April 25 through May 27. There will be an opening reception on April 27 at 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

These works, produced in Great Britain during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and the career of William Shakespeare, will help describe and define various aspects of life in England during the period generally considered its Golden Age. Through portraits and theatrical scenes, this exhibition will offer a glimpse into the world of Shakespeare’s England.

The exhibition is accompanied by a detailed gallery guide, researched and written by W&L English and history students.

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.

Accounting, Finance and Information Systems Honor Society Installed at W&L

Beta Alpha Psi, an international honor organization for financial information students and professionals, was formally installed at Washington and Lee University and received its charter as the Mu Nu chapter of Beta Alpha Psi at its banquet on March 29.

Founded in 1919, there are over currently over 300 chapters of Beta Alpha Psi on campuses around the world, with more than 300,000 members initiated since the club’s formation.

Beta Alpha Psi recognizes outstanding academic achievements in the field of accounting, finance and information systems; promotes the study and practice of professional fields related to these disciplines; provides opportunities for self-development and association among members and practicing financial professionals; and encourages a sense of ethical, social and public responsibilities.

Membership into Beta Alpha Psi at W&L is open to junior and seniors majors in public accounting or accounting and business administration who meet certain academic requirements. Once admitted as a candidate, potential members must fulfill candidacy requirements such as participating in a certain number of professional events and service opportunities before officially becoming a members.

The chapter is advised by Afshad Irani, associate professor of accounting at W&L with support from Megan Hess, assistant professor of accounting, and Elizabeth Oliver, accounting department chair.

“Afshad worked with the students to bring Beta Alpha Psi to campus two years ago, and Megan joined him in the fall 2014. They, along with the students, have been instrumental in making the organization successful,” said Oliver. “Representatives of the accounting firms believe that the organization facilitates the members’ growth, and we have seen that through the service and professional programing the group has put together since 2014.”

W&L’s founding members, from the Classes of 2015, 2016, and 2017, petitioned two years ago to be affiliated with the international organization Beta Alpha Psi. All chapters have two provisional years after petitioning Beta Alpha Psi to form their group through their programming, according to Oliver.

Some of the professional events Beta Alpha Psi held this year are Recruiting Tips with Ernst & Young; Mock Interviews with Alex Castelli, partner at CohnReznick; and an accounting and finance talk by Jim Lawson ’77, chairman and CEO of Lincoln International. Service projects in the Lexington area include a fundraising event for Junior Achievement.

The new executive team is Ashley Hogan ’17, president; Wirt Dunbar ’17, vice president of campus and community outreach; Lee Ellen Bryan ’17, vice president of special affairs and activities; Tim Lindsay ’17, national reporting officer; and Jackie Clifford ’17, treasurer.

Meera Kumar Awarded Fulbright Research Grant to India

Meera Kumar, from Portland, Oregon, and a senior at Washington and Lee University, has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to India. Her project is “Artistic Depiction and Womanhood in Village Bengal.”

Her project will focus on the stereotyped image of village womanhood that she has found in studying the artists of the Bengal School who began to romanticize rural India in their paintings over a century ago.

“Outside the colonial sphere of influence, artists praised rustic communities for their innocence and healthy lifestyles while village women became symbols of fertility and vitality,” said Kumar. “The Bengal School coopted the feminine form for the sake of nationalist identity and in doing so began an artistic tradition of depicting the village woman and her body.”

Kumar will be affiliated with Kala Bhavana, the art faculty at Visva-Bharati University and will spend the duration of her Fulbright in the town of Santiniketan. Guided by Dr. Raman Siva Kumar, one of the preeminent scholars of early modern Indian art, she will be able to trace the development of artistic dialogue surrounding the village woman’s body over the past century.

“It was in Santiniketan that key members of the Bengal School such as Nandalal Bose received their training in the 1930s,” Kumar said. “Moreover, the rustic location allows for connections to local artisan communities while the close proximity to Kolkata offers the access to art galleries and relevant museum collections.”

“Meera will be an excellent cultural and academic representative of the United States in India,” said George Kunnath, lecturer in Modern Indian Studies at the University of Oxford, England. “She attended my lectures and tutorials on Culture and Society in India. She is a brilliant student, and a wonderful person with qualities of deep cultural sensitivity, respect and openness to differences. Meera is deeply concerned about the unequal gender relations in India and elsewhere. Her proposed research project is an innovative attempt at critically engaging with the stereotyped portrayal of rural women in artistic representations in India.”

“Meera reflects the best a liberal arts education can offer,” said Art Goldsmith, the Jackson T. Stephens Professor of Economics at W&L.  “She has taken insights gained from her studies of economics and art both at Washington and Lee and Oxford Universities to seamlessly integrate them into a compelling story of how art and economics can inform each other about womanhood in the village setting of India.

“Her creative energies, curiosity and work ethic will surely guide her as she seeks a deeper understanding of the lives of women in rural India as depicted through the eyes of artists associated with the Bengal School,” Goldsmith added. “I am certain that as a Fulbright Fellow Meera will be enriched by the culture she immerses herself in and will be a superb ambassador for the U.S.”

A major in economics with a minor in mathematics and art history, Kumar is an upper division resident advisor; was a visiting student’s rep at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford; member of English for Speakers of Other Languages tutoring immigrant women; received a Johnson Opportunity Grant to create databases of past auctions at Christie’s in London; and conducted gallery talks on modern Bengali art at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.

She was awarded a Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Grant to engage in non-profit development work in Mongolia; was a finance intern in mergers and acquisitions with Laboratoires Protec in France; and built bio-sand water filters for primary schools through W&L Engineers Without Borders.

“As I’ve had the wonderful privilege of getting to know Meera over the last two years, I’ve come to admire her endless reservoir of intellectual curiosity that guides her as a researcher, but also as a congenial, engaged person,” said Melissa Kerin, assistant professor of art history at W&L. “Moreover, Meera is resourceful, very intelligent, industrious and capable. Indeed, Meera Kumar has all the wonderful qualities of both a budding academic and a world citizen.

“Not only does Meera have the skill set to carry out her finely crafted Fulbright project, but also to become a contributing and caring member of her scholarly community in Bengal. This is a student who is self-directed, has a remarkable ability to cultivate connection, and who feels a great responsibility as a global citizen; all indispensable qualities for a Fulbright scholar.”

“Little did I know that I was unintentionally preparing for the Fulbright during my four years at W&L–the classes I’ve taken, international experiences I have sought, and internships I have completed have all culminated in this opportunity,” said Kumar.

“The very fact that I am able to pursue an art history research grant as an economics major speaks to the strength of the interdisciplinary approach and liberal arts education that I have received at W&L,” Kumar said. “After completing my Fulbright, I hope to attend graduate school for public policy and eventually work on women’s health and reproductive rights. I am very grateful for this opportunity and immensely thankful to my family, faculty and friends for all of their support. “

McCarthy Gallery Hosts Collaboration by Jessie Mann and Liz Liguori

“Electromagnetograms,” a collaboration by Jessie Mann and Liz Liguori, will open on April 7 in the McCarthy Gallery of Holekamp Hall at Washington and Lee University. It will remain on view until September 2016.

The McCarthy Gallery will host an opening reception and artists’ talk on April 7 from 5:30–7 p.m. The exhibit and artists’ talk are free and open to the public.

The electromagnetogram, a laser exposed and chemically painted piece of photo paper, pushes the boundary between painting and photography. These images remind the viewer of photography’s latent painterly tendencies, and conversely, painting’s light capturing action.

It is an effort at isolating surface, saturation and rhythm, in the manner of abstract expressionists, but, using the modal qualities/ontological structures of photography. The artists are using photo chemicals and the purified light of lasers to paint with light and exposure.

“Just as painting, once freed from its responsibility to accurately reflect the world, expanded into impressionism and then abstraction, traditional photography has likewise expanded its repertoire of image making into impressionism and abstraction,” said Mann and Liguori.

“As with painting,” they continued, “we are seeing photographers redeploy traditional techniques to create new and unique images that are no longer tied to reflecting the world. Instead, photographers are now free to explore the lines, texture and color of the medium isolated from content—just as the abstract painters did with painting.”

Mann is a painter, writer and conceptual artist, whose paintings have been featured in various national publications and galleries. As a conceptual artist, Mann has collaborated with many artists, such as Katy Grannan and Justine Kurland.

An ongoing collaboration with photographer Len Prince deals expressly with the phenomenology of the collaborative subject in art. Selections from this series, titled “Self-Possessed,” are in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, the Getty and The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. The series has traveled to New York’s Danziger Projects, the Cathy Edelman Gallery in Chicago, the Fay Gold Gallery in Atlanta and the Adams Gallery in Washington.

Mann, a member of W&L’s Class of 2004, is a doctoral student at Virginia Tech doing research on the cognitive neuroscience of virtual neurorehabilitation.

Liguori is a photographer and lighting artist originally from New York. She worked as a photographer at Next magazine producing over a dozen cover images, and has shown her work in New York and Virginia. As a lighting artist, she has had residencies at various nightlife places in New York such as Limelight and Webster Hall. She also has been a guest artist with the Joshua Light Show. Liguori designed a unique lighting interface using lasers and prisms, and her lighting systems were used to create the collaborative works shown in the McCarthy Gallery.

The McCarthy Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Bill McKelway '70 to be Inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Bill McKelway, a 1970 graduate of Washington and Lee University. On April 7, at a festive ceremony in Richmond, the veteran newspaper reporter is being inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame.

Bill started working at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in 1971, the year after he departed W&L. Upon his retirement last fall after 44 years at the paper, he told his colleagues, “I’ve loved every day. Even the worst days, because they make the best days better. Don’t forget the opportunity this work offers to bring hope and joy and a listening ear to people left behind.”

Bill is the perfect candidate for the Hall of Fame. As Paige Mudd, the paper’s editor, said in an article about his retirement, “He is a masterful storyteller and a kind soul. His compassion comes through in his relationships with colleagues and sources and in the richly detailed tales he weaves. There’s just no one like Bill.”

Bill joins a pantheon of Hall of Fame inductees with W&L connections, including former professors Ronald MacDonald, Ham Smith and Louis Hodges, to name a few, plus alumni Mike Allen ’86, Charley McDowell ’48 and Lloyd Dobyns ’57, to name a few more. Here’s the complete list of Hall of Fame members dating back to 1986, when Roger Mudd ’50 and Tom Wolfe ’51 were inducted and got the W&L connection off to a great start.


Prof. J.D. King Appointed Director of Experiential Education at W&L Law

Washington and Lee law school dean Brant Hellwig has announced the appointment of J.D. King as director of experiential education.

According to Dean Hellwig, this new position was created to foster and further cultivate W&L Law’s experiential course offerings by promoting the integration of experiential components into doctrinal areas of the curriculum and ensuring a robust selection of high-quality experiential offerings.

“J.D.’s extensive experience both as a practitioner and educator make him the perfect person to take up this new post for W&L Law,” said Dean Hellwig. “As we continue the expansion of our experiential offerings across the curriculum, we need a thoughtful, experienced and dedicated member of our faculty member to steward our institutional commitment to practice-based legal education.”

King has been a member of the W&L Law faculty since 2008 and currently directs the school’s Criminal Justice Clinic, in which law students represent indigent people facing criminal charges in local trial courts. He regularly teaches Evidence and Criminal Procedure, and he has participated as a small-section instructor in the school’s two-week litigation skills immersion course.

The Criminal Justice Clinic is just one offering in W&L Law’s extensive experiential curriculum, which includes six in-house clinics, a wide variety of practicum simulation courses and externship opportunities, two innovative practice skills courses, and an experiential semester-in-residence in Washington, DC.

“W&L is well known as a leader in experiential legal education, having been in the vanguard of law schools to increase substantially the practice-based offerings available to upper-level law students,” said King. “With experiential opportunities now available to second-year law students and the upcoming development of experiential supplements for core courses, our curriculum continues to evolve to best meet the needs of our students in order to prepare them for the legal profession.”

In addition to overseeing the ongoing assessment and evaluation of the experiential curriculum, King will also arrange faculty enrichment opportunities, such as workshops or presentations, on the topic of experiential education.

King holds 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, King 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.

King’s scholarly research focuses on criminal defense ethics and the right to counsel. In 2014, he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study the evolving role of the public defender in Chile as the country’s criminal justice system underwent a transition from an inquisitorial system to an adversarial system.

New Historical Marker Recognizes Washington College Slaves

Washington and Lee University this week introduced a permanent historical marker on campus that recognizes the African Americans who were owned by the school for about three decades prior to the Civil War.

The marker, titled “A Difficult, Yet Undeniable, History,” was dedicated at a ceremony on Tuesday. At the event, W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio said that Washington and Lee is an institution built on almost three centuries of history, and the story of these slaves, while uncomfortable to contemplate, is one that must be told “as carefully and as completely as we tell all those stories about this institution.”

“Somehow we have to try to come to terms with those parts of our past that we wish had never happened, those events that we have come to regret,” Ruscio told the crowd that gathered on the Colonnade in the late afternoon sun. “We tell them so that we may learn from them. Today we are taking an important step, but only a step, in meeting that obligation as we introduce this historical marker.”

The 84 individuals whose names are listed on the marker were bequeathed to the university — at that time called Washington College — in 1826 by a prominent Rockbridge County landowner and businessman named “Jockey” John Robinson. The slaves ranged in age from three months to older than 80.

The historical marker, located in a new memorial garden between Robinson and Tucker halls, consists of a narrative that is flanked by reproductions of two lists from university archives. The lists include the names of the 84 women, men, boys and girls bequeathed to the school, as well as their ages and appraised value. There is an additional column that includes information such as whether they had been hired out by Washington College to members of the community.

According to the narrative, the majority of the 67 enslaved persons still owned by the college in the mid-1830s were sold to a Lynchburg man in 1836; others were sold over the following two decades, and records show that the school still owned three elderly, incapacitated individuals as late as 1857.

Seeing the names of these slaves, on what are essentially inventories that include their monetary value, is heartbreaking, Ruscio said.

“We must ask ourselves how this could ever have happened. We wonder how reasonable people could have ever believed that it was acceptable to claim ownership of another human person,” he said. “We wonder how the men who led this institution not only tolerated slavery but used these enslaved men and women to help maintain and fund a college. We must confront the knowledge that our institution has a history connected with the injustice of slavery.”

As part of the ceremony, Anthonia Adams ’16 stood at the podium and read a poem that had been selected by faculty and students in the W&L English department. The chosen poem was “at the cemetery, walnut grove plantation south Carolina, 1989” by African American poet Lucille Clifton.

Following the reading, seven people came to the microphone, one at a time, to speak aloud the names listed on the historical marker. The readers were Elizabeth Mugo ’19; Teddy Corcoran ’16; Marquita Dunn of Dining Services; Associate Professor of History Ted DeLaney; Associate Dean of Students Tammi Simpson; John Juneau ’18; and Makayla Lorick ’19.

Mugo said she found the event, and the process of hearing the names read aloud instead of simply seeing them on the marker, “really moving and necessary.”

“While I was reading the names, it was so hard to accept the fact that these people were treated like property at one point in time, but they’re people,” she said. “Also, I think it’s great that they’re getting recognition. Far too often, people forget that this school didn’t pop out of the ground. There were people who built this place and now we’re making steps to acknowledge these facts.”

While most people associated with Washington and Lee will understand and appreciate how the university is handling this chapter in its history, Ruscio said, “a few will undoubtedly accuse us of being politically correct.

“They are wrong. This is not politically correct; it is historically correct.”

However, he said, establishing the historical marker is but one necessary step on a continuing journey to discover and tell an honest, unflinching version of the university’s past.

“We know that there are many other stories still to be told. So this is not a time to congratulate ourselves for recognizing this moment in our history,” Ruscio said. “Instead, we must see this as part of an ongoing — and long overdue — effort to tell the history of Washington and Lee courageously and completely, and to learn from it, and to always strive to make it a better institution, more just and truly respectful of all individuals.”

Read President Ruscio’s Remarks 

Watch the video of the dedication:


Experience,W&L Law: Bethany Belisle ’16L

Bethany Belisle is a third year law student from Austin, Texas. She graduated from Amherst College with a degree in political science. After graduation, she plans to become a prosecutor in Houston.

belisleprofile Experience,W&L Law: Bethany Belisle '16LBethany Belisle ’16L

W&L’s focus on experiential education was a huge draw for me when deciding where to attend law school. After undergrad, I worked for three years, two as a paralegal, and I was anxious to be able to start practicing as soon as possible. The practical curriculum was an awesome way to get to practice experience while getting intensive feedback from a mentor in an academic environment.

I want to be a litigator–specifically a prosecutor–upon graduation so I knew that I wanted to do one of the litigation-focused clinics. In making the decision, the most important thing that I did was speak to other students who participated in various clinics. Ultimately, I decided on the Black Lung Clinic because of the intense writing component as well as the mentorship of clinic director Professor Tim MacDonnell. Most importantly, this clinic presents a unique opportunity to advocate for a group of people with very little access to justice because of prohibitive costs. The clinic represents physically disabled coal miners and their surviving family members in the pursuit federal benefits for black lung disease.

My daily routine in the Black Lung Clinic involves a lot of document review and collaboration with other students in the clinic, Professor MacDonnell, and Sheryl Salm, the clinic’s support staff. The technical knowledge required to be an effective Black Lung advocate is extensive, and so it really is a team effort in the clinic to understand everything that we are dealing with in our cases. Some days it feels like we not only need to be attorneys, but also need to have medical expertise. There is always something going on in the clinic, and so there is always work to help with if you don’t have anything going on specifically in your cases.

The Black Lung Clinic is far and away the best experience that I have had in law school. It is an intersection of many areas of law that I studied throughout law school and an intensive study in both written and oral advocacy. I had the incredible opportunity to write a brief for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, an experience that I would normally not be able to have until much later in my career. It was an intimidating and intense experience, but it was so rewarding to know that I could do it. I am currently waiting to learn whether an oral argument will be granted in that case

The most memorable part of being in the Black Lung Clinic was the trip that we took to West Virginia at the beginning of the year to meet our clients and their families. By going to West Virginia, we got a perspective into coal mining communities and the pride that these men take in their years of work in the underground coal mines. Getting to speak with our clients and their families and meet them is an essential part to being the best advocates that we can be.

My experiences with the Black Lung Clinic will help me start my career with a better understanding of every aspect of the litigation process. Trial skills, writing ability, and really understanding how to translate knowledge of the law into advocacy are the three most important things that I am taking away from the Black Lung Clinic and into my legal practice.

Experience, W&L Law: Emelia Hall ’16L

Emelia Hall ’16L, a graduate of Mout Holyoke College, is a student attorney in the W&L Law Criminal Justice Clinic and the symposium editor for the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice. After graduation, she will be working for a law firm in Baltimore.

emiliahallprofile Experience, W&L Law: Emelia Hall '16LEmelia Hall ’16L

At some point during my first year of law school, I figured out what I wanted to do. I knew for a fact that I wanted to be in a courtroom. This knowledge, coupled with my desire to achieve social justice and equality in the legal field further drew me to the Criminal Justice Clinic (CJC).

The CJC represents indigent clients facing criminal charges in both district and circuit court in Rockbridge County and surrounding jurisdictions. Since being a student attorney with the Clinic, I have represented clients facing assault and battery, destruction of property, failure to appear, and trespassing charges. I have had the opportunity to advocate for my clients at bond hearings, trials, motion hearings, as well as plea negotiations with the Commonwealth Attorney.

At the CJC, I see the case from the beginning right through until the end. This means that as soon as I am assigned to a client, I conduct the client interview, investigate the facts and legal issues, interview witnesses, and represent the client at trial. This allows me to take full responsibility of the process and gives me a realistic outlook on what is expected from criminal defense attorneys.

This hands-on experience does not mean that I am left completely unsupervised. In fact, the Clinic is fortunate enough to be supervised by two extremely experienced and knowledgeable professors. Professor J.D. King and Professor Jon Shapiro both direct the Clinic and have both practiced criminal defense work in a number of states.  The CJC is run as if it were a real law firm. Although we operate on a pro bono basis, we log our hours, submit legal memoranda to the supervising professors, and then meet weekly with each professor to discuss the ongoing cases. Other than these weekly meetings, we also meet as a class every week. In class, each student attorney is given the opportunity to brainstorm legal issues, strategies, and the best methods to achieve the best result for each of our clients.

The first and second year of law school is usually based entirely on theory. During those years, you learn how to read and interpret case law, as well as research legal issues. In my experience, the practical element of law only came during my summer employment. The Clinic allows me to put all I have learned during my first two years of law school into actual practice. 1L and 2L year gave me the necessary foundation to properly research issues, but the Clinic gave me the ability to argue and apply that research well. Even in terms of classes, without actual practice it can be difficult to conceptualize a lot of what really takes place in criminal defense work. The Clinic has opened my eyes to what happens behind the scenes. So many cases end in plea deals, and the ability to effectively weigh your client’s options, as well as negotiate with prosecutors, is not something that can be taught in theory alone.

The CJC has provided me the opportunity to actually practice law. At the Clinic, I am dealing with real people, real judges, and real consequences. The Clinic has shaped me as a professional, as an advocate, and as an effective trial attorney. The CJC has been one of the best experiences in my law school career thus far. I cannot imagine ending my time as a law student without this extraordinary transition into real life work. I am especially grateful to Professor King and Professor Shapiro as well as my clinic mates who have contributed to this invaluable experience.

Based on my experiences at the CJC, I would recommend this Clinic to any student who wants real courtroom experience regardless of whether that student intends to pursue criminal law.

Anna Paden Carson Awarded Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to Colombia

Washington and Lee University senior Anna Paden Carson of Roanoke, Virginia, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Colombia.

The ETA will give Carson the opportunity to teach English at a public college or university in Colombia and “then when I’m not teaching, I’ll be expected to find an internship or steady volunteer position in a field that interests me and can hopefully help to further my future in human rights/immigration,” Carson said.

“Whether that takes the form of an organization that helps impoverished families, abused or mistreated women, underprivileged children or immigrants fleeing persecution. I’ll have to wait to see.”

She also said that “culturally, I am drawn to all things Colombian, and I plan to integrate myself there by becoming a regular at a local café and playing in whatever fútbol game will have me.”

Carson worked with nonprofit organizations that provided legal assistance to undocumented immigrant women who were victims of domestic violence as a legal advocate for Tapestri in Atlanta and with the detained immigrant population as a legal intern for Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) in Washington. She noticed that nearly all of her clients were Latinos. This was one of the reasons she chose Colombia for her ETA.

“I’m thrilled to hear that Anna Paden Carson will be teaching English as a Fulbright Scholar this coming year in Colombia,” said Claudia Cubas, Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition. “Anna Paden has the maturity and tenacity to get things done. She was a great intern during this past summer at CAIR Coalition that we went ahead and re-hired her for our Virginia Justice Program to conduct research to support an impact litigation project in connection with the Immigrant Defense Project.”

“Anna Paden will be an excellent representative for the United States, bringing a superb intellect fueled both by her passion for learning and her enthusiasm, and a desire to work with others,” said David Novack, W&L professor of sociology. “The combination of her Spanish major, Poverty minor and courses in the social sciences has clearly provided her with important language skills and an appreciation of the culture of Colombia.

“Anna Paden’s work to ensure legal representation and basic human rights to minorities and marginalized communities such as detained immigrants, and refugee victims of domestic violence in places like Georgia, the U.S. or the Dominican Republic demonstrates a young person conscientiously committed to education as a transformative experience,” said Antonio Reyes, assistant professor of Spanish.”

She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, First-Year Orientation Committee and Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She received the Barritt and Williams Jr. Prize in Spanish and a Johnson Opportunity Grant for advocacy efforts in Washington.

Carson was on the Speakers Committee of W&L’s 2016 Mock Convention and was named W&L’s Emerging Leader of the Year. She also received the Kendrick Memorial Outdoor Grant for educational travel to the Dominican Republic.

She is a Spanish translator with the W&L School of Law’s Immigration Clinic, and was a teacher’s assistant and tutor for English for Speakers of Other Languages and is the lead researcher with CAIR coalition.

“I could not be more excited to go to Colombia next year on the Fulbright Grant,” Carson said. “I have no doubt my year spent abroad will help to both further my Spanish abilities and give me a greater understanding and appreciation of the very population I hope to devote my life to in immigration and human rights law. This grant would never have been possible without the continued support of my family, my friends and the W&L faculty.”

Ijezie Ikwuezunma Awarded Fulbright Research Grant to United Kingdom

Ijezie Ikwuezunma of Richmond, Texas, and a senior at Washington and Lee University, has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to the United Kingdom. His project is “Cardiovascular Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacokinetics of Warfarin (an oral anti-coagulant).”

He will conduct research while pursuing an MRes (masters of research) in biomedical sciences and transnational medicine at the University of Liverpool. His research will be based around cardiovascular agents and their pharmacology, with a particular focus on the drug warfarin.

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed at the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine at the University of Liverpool will serve as Ikwuezunma’s research sponsor. Pirmohamed is an international authority in pharmacogenetics and drug safety.

Ikwuezunma’s project expands on the work he completed in 2015 with Dr. Minoli Perera at the University of Chicago. The work in stage one “has the potential to yield novel genetic factors that could be incorporated into existing warfarin dosage algorithms, which could improve its safety and efficacy,” said Ikwuezunma.

The project is of particular interest to Ikwuezunma in that “African-Americans are genetically predisposed to a disproportionately high number of cardiovascular conditions.” His grandfather passed away due to a pulmonary embolism. “Conducting research in Dr. Perera’s lab, which focused particularly on African-Americans like my grandfather, I came to realize that there is still much that it is not understood about how these cardiovascular treatments interact within the body. The opportunity to enhance our ability to harness the efficacy of these drugs is of both intellectual and personal significance to me.”

“I can honestly say I consider Ijezie an ideal ambassador for the U.S,” said Nadia Ayoub, W&L associate professor of biology. “He is a mature, highly motivated person with excellent academic preparation and the interpersonal skills needed for a post-graduate program abroad. Additionally, Ijezie is a natural leader and a joy to be with. His natural curiosity and good cheer are infectious.”

“Ijezie genuinely wants to better understand people, their culture and any aspect of their lives that will someday help him better treat them as an acting physician,” said Steve Desjardins, W&L professor of chemistry. “He is precisely the sort of young man and student that I would be proud to say represents his country and his university.”

A biology and sociology double major, Ikwuezunma is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta Premed Honor Society, Beta Beta Beta Honor Society in biology, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and the University Committee on Inclusion and Campus Climate.

He was awarded a Johnson Scholarship, a Paul A. Brower M.D. Scholarship, a Johnson Opportunity Grant and the Anece F. McCloud Excellence in Diversity Award. He also is a peer mentor with Students to Students.

“After completing the Fulbright in Liverpool, I intend to pursue an M.D/Ph.D. in hopes of becoming a physician-scientist, with the goal of bringing my expertise back to my community. Through a broad and all-encompassing background, I later intend to help affect policy change based on science,” said Ikwuezunma.

He added, “Receiving the Fulbright has been a tremendous honor, but I certainly could not have done it alone. I had assistance from so many different folks from so many different departments—I am indebted to them all.”

Alisha Laventure ’09 Joins Channel 8 in Dallas

Alisha Laventure, a 2009 graduate of Washington and Lee University, will join Dallas’s WFAA/Channel 8 in July as a weekend anchor for the “News 8 Daybreak” morning newscast. Currently, she works at the News 12 Long Island cable news network, where she is the weekend morning anchor of “Diverse Long Island” and a general assignment reporter. 

Before joining News 12 Long Island, Alisha was a member of News 12’sBronx/Brooklyn operation, serving as an anchor, reporter and call-in-show host. In addition, she has worked at Myrtle Beach’s WMBF, as a production assistant and editor in affiliate relations at CBS in New York, and as a reporter based in Bogotá, Colombia, for Reuters in 2008. She helped produce the Emmy Award-winning documentary “The Lost Children of Haiti,” which examined the devastation of the 2010 Haitian earthquake.

At W&L, Alisha received degrees in journalism and mass communications and in Romance languages. She has traveled extensively, including to Senegal, China, Peru and Ghana, and is fluent in French, Spanish and Haitian-Creole.

—Wesley Sigmon ’16

Professor Domnica Radulescu Publishes Third Novel, Launches National Book Tour From Lexington

Domnica Radulescu, the Edwin A. Morris Professor of Romance Languages and director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at Washington and Lee University, has published her third novel, “Country of Red Azaleas” (Twelve of Hachette Publishing).

The launch of both her book and her national book tour takes place at Lexington’s Books & Co. on April 5, at 5:30, with a reading and book signing. From there, she will promote the book in Charlottesville, New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Asheville, North Carolina.

Radulescu is the author, editor or co-editor of 13 books, and she is working on her fourth novel, “My Father’s Orchards.” Her work includes “Theater of War and Exile: Twelve Playwrights, Directors and Performers from Eastern Europe and Israel” (2015), “Women’s Comedic Art as Social Revolution” (2011), “Black Sea Twilight” (2011), “Realms of Exile: Nomadism, Diasporas and Eastern European Voices” (2002) and “Train to Trieste” (2008), which was published in 12 international editions and won the 2009 Library of Virginia Fiction Award. She also is the author of book chapters, articles and plays, and directs plays.

“April is a huge month for me,” said Radulescu. “As well as going on a national book tour, I’m also debuting my newest play, ‘Exile is My Home,’ at the Theater for the New City in lower Manhattan for a four-week run beginning April 28. This will be a very rich, exhausting and exciting two months for me.”

As in her previous novels, Radulescu’s “Country of Red Azaleas” encompasses themes that resonate strongly with her. “I’ve generally been haunted as a creative writer and scholar by the ways people, particularly women, survive great traumas such as war, displacement, genocide, immigration and political upheaval,” she said. “I have my own immigrant story, having grown up under the worst communist dictatorship in Eastern Europe, so I respond to and am drawn to these realities and to depicting them in my art and scholarly work.”

“Country of Red Azaleas” draws on the Balkan War to tell the story of two women, one from Serbia, the other from Bosnia, whose deep friendship continues over decades and across continents, through war and peace and love and estrangement.

New York Times bestselling author Jasmin Darznk noted, “This exquisite novel celebrates the bonds of female friendship and the spirit of women’s resilience and self-invention.” Marjorie Agosin, an award-winning author, said, “ With a poetic intelligence and extraordinary sense of language and history, Radulescu has given us a mesmerizing work, a tribute to the human spirit and its resilience.”

For this novel, Radulescu gathered information from many sources, including scores of first-person testimonials, and she visited the sites where the atrocities occurred.

“I allowed myself to be imbued by the horror of the events and the stories of survival,” Radulescu said. “It was very hard emotionally to see the cemeteries, the camps. There are truly sinister places in Srebrenica. I was very affected by it. Because I’m an engaged political writer, I process these realities in unpredictable ways. I develop very strong female characters who are survivors and who overcome the victim status and who move on to find meaning after suffering horrific trauma. While my subject is dark, ‘Country of Red Azaleas’ is life-affirming. It is not a war book or a history book. It’s a book of friendship and love between two women whose lives are profoundly affected by the War of the Balkans. This is about women’s perspective of war and the way women’s lives are affected. I think the book will cause some controversy, quite frankly, because I unapologetically take the side of the war victims and of the Bosnian people.”

She added, “But again, it’s a novel, a work of art, and my own way of artistically interpreting the political events. My belief is that art works both as a testimonial and also as a reframing of trauma and a healing of trauma by not just telling the story, but rechanneling it through the imagination. My writing doesn’t dwell on the blow-by-blow horrors, but suggests the suffering and offers hope.”

Radulescu began working on the book in 2011, almost 20 years after the start of the Balkan War. “I immersed myself completely into these characters. They haunted me, they lived with me for several years. I wasn’t always much fun to live with, because I was talking to them all day long in my head. This has been my most intense and most traumatic writing at times, but also had a cathartic effect.”

Radulescu joined the W&L faculty in 1992. In addition to teaching courses in French language and literature and in Italian Renaissance literature, she is the co-founding chair of W&L’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program and is the founding organizer and director of the National Symposium of Theater in Academe. She is the 2011 recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

W&L Dance Company Wins Award

For the sixth time in nine years, the Washington and Lee University Dance Repertory Company, under the artistic direction of Jenefer Davies, W&L associate professor of dance/theater, won the honor of performing in a gala concert during the 2016 American College Dance Association’s Mid Atlantic Conference in Morgantown, West Virginia, on March 21.

W&L had one of 10 works chosen out of 45 submitted by other schools. W&L’s winning piece was Elliot Emadian’s excerpt from “Bravados” was performed by Emily Danzig ’16, Liza Chartampila ’18 and Emadian.

Judges mentioned Emadian’s wholly original movement style, the interesting design of the movement, the unusual use of stage space and the dedicated, powerful performances of the dancers.

“We are very excited to have been selected as a college of artistic excellence,” said Davies. Emadian’s cast of dancers spent countless hours in rehearsals and were very beautiful. This recognition is well deserved.”

This conference is the national association for dance for undergraduates and graduate students in dance. It combined four days of classes and workshops with four adjudicated concerts and two informal concerts.

A full-length version of the piece will be part of the annual winter dance concert on April 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. and April 3 at 2 p.m. at Keller Theater at W&L’s Lenfest Center.