Feature Stories Campus Events

Sebghatullah Ebrahimi ‘10L: Compliance Officer with Relief International Six years after receiving an LL.M. degree from W&L Law, Sebghatullah Ebrahimi has returned to the U.S. to continue his legal career with an international humanitarian organization in Washington, D.C.

sebprofile Sebghatullah Ebrahimi ‘10L: Compliance Officer with Relief InternationalSebghatullah Ebrahimi ’10L

Sebghatullah Ebrahimi was one of two Afghan law students who came to W&L Law in 2009 to complete a Masters in U.S. Law degree, hoping that exposure to U.S. laws and legal systems would help stabilize his home country’s legal sector. Now, after six years, Ebrahimi is back in the U.S., and recently began work for Relief International, a humanitarian, non-profit agency providing emergency relief, rehabilitation, and development assistance to victims of natural disasters and civil conflicts.

Ebrahimi and fellow student Mohammad Asif Ehsan came to the U.S. in 2009 under the auspices of the Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, a joint effort between the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the American legal community. Ebrahimi  previously worked in Afghanistan with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality as a program officer and with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID’s) Land Titling and Economic Restructuring in Afghanistan program as a senior legal advisor.

“Getting the chance to further my legal knowledge at W&L School of Law was a great opportunity to expand my legal expertise and the first step to build my international career experience,” says Ebrahimi. “At W&L I interacted with students from different cultures and I was able to learn a lot.”

After completing his L.L.M. degree at W&L Law, Ebrahimi returned home where he resumed work with the United Nations and the USAID, managing multi-million dollar rule of law, law reform and human rights projects. However, because of security challenges, he was compelled to leave Afghanistan and move to the U.S.

Ebrahimi has eleven years of experience with the UN, USAID, NGOs and government. He has extensive expertise in coordinating and planning multi-million dollar grants and contracts from design to implementation, as well as monitoring and evaluating projects from a compliance perspective.  Most of his experience has been in the field, especially in Afghanistan, and focused on human rights, law reform, humanitarian efforts and development.

In late 2015, because of security challenges that he faced, he emigrated to the U.S. with his family. He recently started working for Relief International as a Grants and Contracts Officer dealing with compliance issues in Asian, including Afghanistan. Working for a worldwide, non-profit organization in the heart of Washington, D.C. has been a dream job for Ebrahimi.

“It was quite challenging to find a decent position that would match with my qualifications, expertise and legal knowledge,” says Ebrahimi. “The process of getting this job was very competitive, but it is a challenging and rewarding position.”

In the years to come, Ebrahimi plans to obtain a J.D. degree as he continues his quest to become a notable U.S.-trained lawyer.

The Voice of the Maritime Aquarium Marketing maven Tina Tison ’95 is inspired by tradition and innovation.

Tison-Tina-800x533 The Voice of the Maritime AquariumTina Tison ’95

The balance of tradition and innovation was appealing to Tina Tison when she first learned about Washington and Lee University. The strength of its heritage spoke to Tison, who grew up in a family with strong religious, cultural and ethnic traditions. The university was just a few years into coeducation when she visited the campus as a high school junior. “Before I made the trip, I was fascinated by the concept of a place so steeped in tradition embracing such a dramatic change,” she said.

The visit was a seminal moment for Tison. “It was love at first sight,” she said of first seeing the university – the only place she applied to.

As director of marketing for The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut, Tison has continued to employ the balance of traditional and progressive thinking as the foundational principle of her career and personal life.

At home, both she and husband, Joe ’95, keep family traditions alive, while creating their own unique traditions with their children.

In her professional life, she used her journalism degree as a springboard to a job in the advertising business after graduation. Beginning with agency icon Young & Rubicam, she moved during the next 10 years to two other powerhouse agencies — Ogilvy & Mather and Grey Worldwide in New York City — before moving to a small, entrepreneurial firm in Connecticut.

The three large, New York City-based agencies “were time-tested and attracted fantastic brands as clients,” she said, citing P&G, Kraft, Campbell’s Soup and ConAgra Foods. “It was so fulfilling to be learning and advancing my career with those projects and brands.” Her efforts were rewarded with multiple Effie Awards for advertising effectiveness.

As her family life became more Connecticut based, Tison “found an opportunity to take everything I learned and go to a small ad agency, where the clients were entertainment brands.” At Media Storm in Norwalk, Connecticut, she worked with such clients as FX, Food Network and ABC Family, leading integrated consumer marketing efforts that broke network and industry records for ratings.

The entrepreneurial culture of Media Storm was “fantastically rewarding,” said Tison. Entertainment brands are water cooler topics, and both the entertainment and ad industries were going through many changes. When she began, there was no Netflix, streaming-TV shows or On Demand. “There were some familiar challenges and some new challenges. It was a balancing act of using proven best practices and experimenting with new ideas to stay relevant.”

Media Storm had an advantageous location as well, sitting directly across the street from The Maritime Aquarium — rated the top aquarium in New England. Tison’s family became regular visitors to the aquarium and her children – Samantha, 10, and Trey, 7 – participated in camps and in-depth educational programs there.

When she happened to spot a job announcement for a marketing director on the aquarium’s website, she “ran at it with enthusiasm reminiscent of my first visit to W&L. I knew where I was meant to be,” she said.

At the nonprofit aquarium, Tison is part of the senior staff and leads everything from press releases to advertising. She and her team also execute monthly visitor events and all promotional messages to support those events. They also constitute the digital voice of the aquarium on social media and the website.

“The aquarium is a remarkable institution,” Tison said. “It has a strong heritage of education and animal husbandry.” The aquarium’s mission is to educate visitors about and to create stewards for Long Island Sound. Visitors can get close to more than 250 species native to the sound and its watershed, including sharks, seals, sea turtles, river otters, jellyfish and other animals. Tison said her goal is “doing great by doing good,” and her current role fulfills that every day. “I feel so honored to be the voice of the aquarium, its mission and all of the species in our care.”

At W&L, Tison was guided by the “entire team of professors at Reid Hall. They were incredibly influential to me.” She had always been a book enthusiast and loved the power of words in literature and poetry. However, it was her journalism professors, including her advisor, Bob de Maria, who “inspired me in class and conversations with the power of words in their most succinct format. I learned to be as effective as possible in the shortest form.”

That lesson served her well as an advertising executive. While watching 30-second TV or digital ads or driving 70 miles-an-hour past a billboard, consumers don’t have much time to absorb a message. “Ads have to be succinct yet dynamic,” said Tison. “In today’s world, there is less time and more noise.”

Outside of class, Tison was a charter member and officer of the university’s Pi Beta Phi sorority and held leadership roles with the yearbook, Super Dance and Fancy Dress Ball. She also held down a job in the dining hall.

Although she and Joe, a vice president at a financial technology company, graduated together, both came from Connecticut and had mutual friends, they didn’t connect as a couple until meeting again at an alumni gathering in New York City two years after graduation. Now together 20 years — 15 as a married couple — they enjoy taking their children to visit W&L and sharing the university’s traditions.

“Washington and Lee was such a special place and experience for both Joe and me. Love of W&L is one of our favorite traditions to celebrate and pass along to our kids.”

Matt Lubas: Engineering Community Development Meet Matt Lubas '18, an engineer who spends his spare time building communities.

“The projects in Fries represent not only my interests, but also the mission of the club: employing engineering solutions to create a positive impact on developing communities.”

Matt_Lubas-600x400 Matt Lubas: Engineering Community DevelopmentMeet Matt Lubas ’18, an engineer who spends his spare time building communities

From the moment I got to W&L, I knew I wanted to get involved with Engineering Community Development (ECD, formerly Engineers Without Borders). I love to travel, and I wanted to incorporate my passions for engineering and Spanish together. During my first year, I participated in as many ECD events as possible, building a bio-sand water filtration unit near campus garden, teaching kids how to make concrete at the Virginia Science Festival in town, and manning the sign-up table for the Chipotle Fundraiser.

From participating, I gained some hard skills, such as the ability to make concrete, woodworking, and skills with tools. However, more powerful has been the development of my soft skills: community engagement, empathy, communication, and an interest in creating sustainable projects. Outside of the club, I enjoyed thinking critically about poverty-related issues, which led to declaring a poverty studies minor, and learning about how companies, nonprofits, and startups are using engineering to improve people’s quality of life.

During my Sophomore Reading Days in 2015, I led a group of students to work in the Community Center in Fries, Virginia. Located two and half hours from Lexington, the small town of about 600 people wanted to promote its sense of community through the town Community Center. Through talking with the Community Center director and volunteers, we learned about the town’s needs and worked inside the theater, removing old siding and tarps on the walls. When we came back a year later, it was heartwarming to see that the theater had continued to develop and was being used for community bluegrass jam sessions.

This year, we returned to Fries for another Reading Days weekend to build up part of the dam for the water treatment center. We mixed and laid mortar and local rocks on the dam, which has helped improve the pressure and water flow to the water treatment center. We also helped out at the concession stand during the kids’ football game and painted the inside of the dining hall for a community center. These trips have allowed me to discover things about myself: my tendency to lead, my grounded enthusiasm, and my passion and joy for engaging with people to help them achieve their goals.

The projects in Fries represent not only my interests, but also the mission of the club: employing engineering solutions to create a positive impact on developing communities. As I came into my junior year as co-president of ECD, I wanted to expand the focus of our club. The club has always been very focused on water and sanitation issues, but I have been trying to expand the projects and impact to Biomedical Engineering through an Engineering World Health partnership and a Solar Sterilization Unit design project. I wanted all students to realize that they could have a tangible impact, no matter their field of interest.

I am looking into international development engineering as a vocation, and it is something I hope my engagement in ECD will prepare me for. I hope to impact W&L students through sharing my passion for community development and engagement, and I want to promote students — especially in engineering — towards futures that improve the lives of those in need locally and internationally.

If you know a W&L student who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.

A little more about Matt

Why did you choose your major?
I have always been interested in science and math and problem-solving, so the engineering major seemed like the best fit for combining my interests. As for my poverty studies minor, I loved the critical thinking aspect of finding appropriate ideas and solutions related to poverty.

What professor has inspired you?
Oh gosh, it’s too hard to narrow down just one. Jon Erickson keeps me hustling and looking down “rabbit holes” for new opportunities and knowledge. Howard Pickett keeps me pensive and mindful of my studies and service. Kim Hodge and Joel Kuehner have both been awesome at encouraging my “out-there” ideas and letting me run with it. There are so many great faculty members on campus.

What’s your personal motto?
Smile. Enjoy. Challenge. Reflect. Grow.

What’s your favorite song right now?
I have been really loving Chance the Rapper, so probably “Somewhere in Paradise.” I have always been a fan of rap since I thought I was a baller in middle school, but I love the positivity in Chance’s songs.

Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
Mano Taqueria, hands down. I get the burrito bowl with no dairy, ancho sauce, and whatever meat they have special that week (rabbit, goat, lamb, duck, etc).

What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
That it is never too early to start going for amazing opportunities and take on leadership. Professors and upperclassmen love to see students interested in the things they do, and can show you more ways to get involved right away.

Post-graduation plans:
Right now, I’m looking into Fellowships like Fulbright, Peace Corps, Princeton in Latin America/Africa/Asia, LUCE. I hope to have a career in International Development through biomedical engineering.

Favorite W&L memory:
Dancing my heart out at a Red Square Band Party with my girlfriend, Kate, after eating delicious food prepared by Jimmy. Or the moment while leading the Pre-O trip when everyone in the group comes together and becomes friends with each other.

Favorite class:
Rock climbing and paddling gym classes with James Dick.

Favorite W&L event:
Homecoming is always a great time!

Favorite campus landmark:
Aesthetically, Lee Chapel. But if I have to meet anyone, it’s got to be the IQ center.

What’s your passion?
Communicating, engaging, traveling, and working with people from around the world to help improve the lives of others with engineering.

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I write down my goals and the habits I want to develop every day .

Quick Hits: Moroccan Tea with Fulbright Scholar and Foreign Language TA Imad Baazizi

“Before coming to the United States, I thought I would learn more about the American culture. But I’ve actually started to understand things I didn’t know or took for granted about my heritage, because I didn’t have the chance to see my own background from the outside.” Imad Baazizi, Fulbright Scholar and Arabic Foreign Language Teaching Assistant

Ancient Tablet is ‘Exquisite in its Simplicity’ In the first installment of this new series, Tom Camden offers the story of a Sumerian clay tablet that is the oldest recorded document in W&L's Special Collections.

Editor’s Note:

Welcome to “Out of the Vault,” a brand new series in The Columns that will highlight the many fascinating objects in Special Collections at Leyburn Library. Through the ages, Washington and Lee University has been a trusted steward of important documents; today, it is home to many rare books, manuscripts and other intriguing finds.

Some of these items are on display for the campus community and visitors to see, while others are currently housed in the vault. In addition, the university frequently acquires new objects for Special Collections. In monthly installments written by Special Collections staff, “Out of the Vault” will tell the stories of some of these items, from the oldest objects to the most exciting new acquisitions. 

If this subject matter is of interest to you, you may enjoy our other new series, “From the Collections,” about items in the University Collections of Art and History. New installments in these series will appear monthly in The Columns.

sumerian_tablet-800x533 Ancient Tablet is 'Exquisite in its Simplicity'At more than 4,000 years old, this Sumerian tablet is the oldest object in W&L’s Special Collections.

Quite plain, yet exquisite in its simplicity, the tiny clay object lies nestled in its recently crafted, elegant custom-made protective enclosure.

This Sumerian clay tablet is one of Washington and Lee University’s most intriguing treasures, and the oldest recorded document in the collection. It dates from 2030 BCE and resides in the vault in Leyburn Library’s Special Collections, where it has been housed since it was given to W&L in 1983 by Jean Knight of Buena Vista. Her husband, Benjamin P. Knight Jr., was a 1929 graduate of the university.

The little clay tablet, which measures 1 ½ inch by 1 3/4 inch, is from the southern Mesopotamian (Iraq) city of Ur (Ur of the Chaldees). Written in Sumerian, it is just over 4,000 years old. The form of writing is known as cuneiform (wedge-shaped), and was, at the time, the only type of writing that was known. Cuneiform was invented in the same area because of the prevalence of clay and reeds, which were used to make the tablet and stylus and form the characters.

The tablet itself is a commercial document and relates to the distribution of wheat to certain individuals. Because it references specific rulers of Ur, we are able to determine its date of origin. From the Sumerian King Lists, it is known who ruled Ur during this last century of the Third Millennium BCE, and two of the five kings of this Ur dynasty are actually mentioned in Washington and Lee’s tablet. The kings who had their capital at Ur, which is well known to biblical scholars as the home of Abraham, had a uniform method of keeping the record, as is evidenced by the tablet. Abraham himself would have been familiar with the wedge-shaped cuneiform writing in which all business and official correspondence was then conducted.

While Washington and Lee’s tablet records the distribution of wheat, many similar tablets recorded the tax on grain and other products, or provided instructions to priests or temple servants. Others were contracts, lists of sacrifices, or records of the payment of salaries from temple stipends. Still others were inventories of sheep and goats, and some were records of payments made to messengers who traveled from city to city.

Sumerian tablets are molded from clay that contains a great deal of marl or chalk and was relatively free from grit. After the cuneiform characters were marked in the damp clay by a scribe, the tablet was then sun-baked or kiln-dried. These tablets would have to be periodically re-fired, or baked even harder, in order to be preserved.

This lends another intriguing and powerful aspect to W&L’s tablet, which was recovered from ancient ruins. About 24 years after the tablet was created, the Sumerian government experienced a rapid collapse, possibly brought on by famine. In 2006 BCE, southern Mesopotamia was invaded by the Elamites from southern Iran, who attacked Ur, took the last king captive and burned the city of Ur to the ground. One side of W&L’s tablet shows the very distinctive scorch marks of that burning.

The Sumerians disappeared forever. However, the tiny clay tablet that remains is a poignant reminder that the fires of destruction that destroyed Ur likely ensured the preservation of Washington and Lee’s oldest document.

Click here to watch a video about this tablet.

Marina Silva is Keynote Speaker of Brazilian Economy in the 21st Century, a Faculty Colloquium

Brazilian Economy in the 21st Century, a faculty colloquium on Brazil, will be held at Washington and Lee University on Feb. 3-5. The first talk of the colloquium is in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. The rest is in the Hillel House Multipurpose Room.

The keynote speaker is Marina Silva, Brazilian environmentalist and politician. Her talk is Feb. 4 at 4:15 p.m. in the Hillel House. The colloquium is free and open to the public with limited seating.

The conference will examine the obstacles and challenges facing Brazil as the country seeks to advance its economy and the quality of life of its citizens. It is sponsored by the Center for Global Learning with the support of the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation.

3 Marina Silva is Keynote Speaker of Brazilian Economy in the 21st Century, a Faculty ColloquiumMarina Silva

Silva was the minister of environment of Brazil from 2003 to 2008. She has been a member of Brazil’s National Assembly since 1994.

As a native Amazonian and a senator, she built support for environmental protection of the reserves, as well as for social justice and sustainable development in the Amazon region.

As Minister of Environment, Silva took drastic measures to protect the Amazon forest, clamping down on illegal activity, and reducing deforestation by almost 60 percent from 2004 to 2007.

She also helped establish the Amazon Fund, preventing greenhouse gas emissions through rainforest conservation. The fund is financed by national and international contributions.

In 2008, Silva resigned as minister of the environment, citing “the increasing resistance in central parts of government and the society.” She continues her struggle from her place in the National Assembly and still has great influence on environmental policy in Brazil.

In 1996, Silva won the Goldman Environmental Prize for South and Central America, which honors grassroots environmental activists. In 2007, the United Nations Environment Program named her one of the Champions of the Earth, which recognizes outstanding environmental leaders at a policy level. In 2014, she was named one of its Women of the Year by the British newspaper Financial Times.

For more information about the conference and a list of the speakers, see here or visit: https://www.wlu.edu/center-for-international-education/events/conference-on-the-brazilian-economy-in-the-21st-century.

Poverty, Mental Health and Public Policy — Canadian Style Professor Tim Diette testified before the Canadian House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

Diette-800x533 Poverty, Mental Health and Public Policy — Canadian StyleProfessor Tim Diette

Timothy Diette
Harry E. and Mary Jayne W. Redenbaugh Term Associate Professor of Economics, acting head of the Economics Department, faculty member of the Africana Studies Program and the Shepherd Poverty Program. He will become the associate dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics on July 1, 2017.

Principles of Microeconomics
Urban Education: Poverty, Ethnicity and Policy
Economics of Education
Health Economics

Q: You recently testified before the Canadian House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. How did you end up in the Great White North, and what did the committee want to know?

Yes, I landed in Ottawa in a snowstorm. My ancestors are from Quebec, which is right over the border from Ottawa, and I grew up in Vermont, so it was a bit of a homecoming for me.

My long-time collaborator and colleague, Art Goldsmith, and I had published, along with two other co-authors, a book chapter that focused on unemployment and mental health, and I think that work caught their eye. The Canadian standing committee was exploring poverty-reduction strategies and realized another issue they needed to consider as a contributing factor to poverty was adverse psychological consequences related to unemployment.

Before I flew up, I spent some time listening to audios of previous meetings and reading prior minutes and briefs. I could tell that the committee was examining unemployment from a number of perspectives and was interested in what factors lead to poverty.

Q: Who else joined you as expert witnesses?

I was the only American. I was joined by the president of McMaster Children’s Hospital and a doctor who worked in the hospital’s Child and Youth Mental Health Program. The third person was the executive director of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada. We were each allowed an opening statement, followed by 100 minutes of lively questioning by the committee members. The other experts’ testimony built upon what I said, and we ended up covering a wide range of issues contributing to poor mental health, different levels of educational attainment, employment, and general well-being including drawing on other research with Art Goldsmith that examines effects of stalking, sexual abuse and violence in the home and the community.

In my opening statement, I focused on describing recent work that examined the impact of short-term unemployment of 26 weeks or less on mental health compared to longer spells of unemployment. It appears as though shorter bouts of unemployment are not particularly harmful. It tends to become more of a problem if a person is out of a job six months or longer. I also pointed out that that the negative effects of long-term unemployment are larger for blacks and Latinos, as well as among the more highly educated.

As I discussed the findings for my research, I also reminded policy makers that my conclusions are based on U.S. data. The impact of unemployment on mental health might be different in Canada — and even among different communities in Canada — which has a more robust set of social services to cushion the impact of joblessness. I took all the lessons I tell my students about being cautious in interpreting results from papers and put it into practice before the committee.

I also gave credit to the Shepherd Poverty Program for informing some of the testimony I was about to give. The program has given me the chance to interact in an interdisciplinary environment, to think more broadly than my traditional training might have led me to think, particularly the importance of sociology, philosophy and psychology and how much those disciplines play a role in economics.

It was one of the more rewarding professional experiences of my career. Nothing beats my great interactions with my students, but outside the teaching component, it’s exciting to see the ivory-tower research potentially be used to improve the lives of citizens. As a scholar, it’s why I do what I do.

Q: You’re team-teaching a class with the W&L Teacher Education program this spring.

This is the class on Urban Education — which also satisfies requirements for the Shepherd Poverty Program minor — where students will spend time in the schools in Chesterfield County, near Richmond. It will combine both the economics of education and views from the Teacher Education program with a service-learning component. I think looking at education from these two perspectives will generate a much richer conversation about education policy.

Q: You’re also developing a new Spring Term class that travels to Denmark.

I’m excited to be team-teaching this class with Haley Sigler, director of teacher education at W&L, which will explore childhood in Denmark. We’ll be doing a mini-practicum in the schools, where our students will teach a small lesson and visit with public and private schools in Copenhagen and also rural communities on the Jutland. They’ll also meet with a welfare board that deals with issues of school, child care and other family policies.

I want the students to be thinking about economic policy that supports childhood education. How does Denmark pay for and manage early childhood education and child care? What are the requirements for teacher licensure? How much testing should there be? These questions are very similar to what we ask ourselves in the U.S.

We may also visit an Islamic school so we can better understand the ethnic, racial, religious and cultural differences there. Denmark has excellent social services, but as a homogenous society that is dealing with an influx of immigrants, they are asking themselves if they want their taxes to be going to people who are different from them. In many ways, it’s not all that different from the questions we’re asking ourselves here in the U.S.

W&L BLSA Goes National A Q&A with Maureen Edobor, Attorney General for NBLSA

Maureen Edobor ‘17L, from Dallas, is a graduate of the University of Texas.  Before attending law school, she worked as a national field fellow for the Alliance for Citizenship, an organization that promotes fair immigration reform. This year, she is serving as the attorney general for the National Black Law Students Association. In this Q&A, Edobor talks about how she got involved with BLSA and pursued a leadership position at the national level.

maureenedobor W&L BLSA Goes NationalMaureen Edobor ’17L

When did you first learn about BLSA?

I actually had not heard about BLSA until I was admitted and the admissions office put me touch with a current student, Hernandez Stroud ‘15L. I knew W&L was a great law school with successful alumni all over the country, but knowing there was this affinity group I could be a part of was really important in my decision to attend W&L. I didn’t get that kind of connection from any other school.

What role does BLSA serve at W&L?

BLSA is an organization that strives to create culturally responsible and academically adept law students who can go out and do great things in the community. On the campus level, we provide mentoring to new students about academics and career opportunities, and we also plan social events. In addition, we encourage students to get involved with the regional and national organization through community service projects as well as moot court and mock trial competitions.

Teams from W&L have made the national finals every year since we began competing, and we were the 2015 national champions in mock trial. Next month we will send two mock trial and two moot court teams to the regional competition in Pittsburg and then hopefully on to the national finals in Houston.

How did you get involved with NBLSA?

When I was a 1L, my mentor Jasmine Brooks ‘15L encouraged me to apply for a position with the national organization. I was named the Virginia sub-regional director and basically served as a liaison between all the BLSA chapters in Virginia, planning community service projects and an academic retreat for 1Ls.

I decided to run for the national office of attorney general the next year because I felt it would a great professional development opportunity. Many of the law students to hold this position go on to advocacy careers on Capitol Hill, which is my ultimate career objective. I ran against three other people for the position, and in addition to filling out a lengthy application, I had to give a speech and participate in a debate at the national convention.

What projects have you worked on as NBLSA’s attorney general?

The attorney general is basically the advocacy voice of organization. I have worked on policy statements about issues that are important to black community, and I coauthored an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Buck v Davis, a case involving racial bias. I planned panel discussions for the Congressional Black Caucus convention and press conferences in conjunction with national executive board meetings in different cities. I have also worked on several public comments to regulatory bodies on such issues as the new ABA rule on bar passage, wireless availability in public housing and raising the age of majority. The position covers a wide swath of areas and requires a tremendous amount of work.

What are your plans following law school?

I am currently in the running for two fellowships, one with a criminal justice reform organization in St. Louis and another with the Poverty and Race Research Action Council. I have also accepted a judicial clerkship with Judge Pam White ‘77L in Baltimore City Circuit Court. I am happy to have options.

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Students Travel to Women’s March on Washington W&L students reflect on their experiences at the Women's March.

On Sat. Jan 21, two busloads of students traveled to D.C. to participate in the Women’s March on Washington. We asked them to reflect on what the experience meant to them. Here’s what a few of them had to say.

The day before, another group of students attended the inauguration of Donald Trump, and you can read about their experiences (and watch an interview with them) here.

Hailey Glick ’18
I marched because our country’s history is filled with the strong, powerful voices of women, and I refuse to let their legacy turn to silence. I am very privileged in that I was raised by a patriotic military father and a hard-working mother who have instilled in me the values of kindness, courage and good citizenship, who have helped me grow into my voice, and who have always supported me in my every endeavor.

Democracy is a beautiful mess. The March didn’t exactly end up happening as originally planned because the organizers wrote the permit not knowing how many people were actually going to show up. They were overwhelmed when their expected 200,000 turned into half a million. There was no denying the flood of hope which filled the streets that day.

I’ve signed up to participate in the 100 days/10 actions campaign sponsored by the organizers of the March. And I’ve vowed not to remain silent when it comes to any issue I feel strongly about over the next four years. The March may be over, but the fight is ongoing.

Stephanie Williams ’18
I marched on Washington to make explicitly clear right off the bat my expectations for Donald Trump’s conduct moving forward as our president. If he follows through on his apparent intentions to infringe upon my civil rights and the rights of any of my fellow Americans, especially those most marginalized in our society, it will not be tolerated.

It is so easy in this country to feel powerless. The best part about our democracy is also the worst part about our democracy: it’s a process. We pass laws and then repeal them and debate and veto and argue in circles all in the hopes that if we shove back and forth consistently and ardently, we will all push each other to be the best we can be, and ultimately making this country the best it can be.

And to those who did not march, I challenge you to rise to the occasion. Don’t dismiss us as soft-hearted liberals or radicals or assume that we similarly disparage you. Don’t fall back on prejudicial denunciations. And if you disagree, either with us or with your fellow conservatives, don’t hesitate to speak up. Challenge us. Challenge each other. Democracy needs active participation to survive, to be successful. We don’t have to agree, that’s not the point. We just have to try.

Virginia Kettles ’19
I was in Washington, D.C., crushed among the hundreds of thousands of protesters of all different backgrounds and ethnicities, people coming from literally all over the world to march. Everyone packed together, a solid mass of colors and noise, making a tide toward the White House.

I met a bearded man with a jean jacket who flew in all the way from Australia to march with us in protest of a president that was not even his own.

I met a teenage girl with long dreadlocks that fell down her back, who told me about the racial slurs she had been called at her university.

I met a young man with an American flag he had painted himself, a splash of rainbow colors bright against the overcast sky.

There was the feminist Gloria Steinem, who spoke of the power of the people, filmmaker Michael Moore pushing for citizens to exercise their rights by writing to their representatives, actress Scarlett Johansson speaking out to Trump, asking for his support for her and all men and women like her.

Hours later, my friends and I made our way back towards the buses to head back towards our university. We were exhausted, but incredibly satisfied.

We had witnessed history that day.

Julie Malone ’18
My favorite sign I saw during the March was inspired by the Broadway show, “Hamilton,” and featured Alexander Hamilton wearing a pussy hat. I believe the show really captures the spirit of the American Revolution and is an incredibly applicable symbol to the contemporary fight for equality, especially given the intersectional nature of the musical’s writing and casting.

Nora Devlin ’19
I marched because I am determined to fight back against Donald Trump’s presidency. His hatred, bigotry and potential legislation are incredibly hurtful, and I refuse to stand for it. I want to stand up for what I believe, and the March on Washington was a peaceful and effective way to do so. I am afraid for our country, for my rights and for the rights and lives of those less privileged than me — I plan to continue to make my voice heard and spread a message of equality.

I plan on reaching out to representatives to demand protection for my reproductive rights. We will also be organizing events on campus to raise money for Planned Parenthood, raise awareness about political policy decisions and send postcards to our representatives about issues that are important to us.

Foifon Teawdatwan ’19
After the election, when I realized the person in the White House and his cabinet nominations did not reflect my views of equality and social justice, I decided to act. I marched for my family, friends and fellow human beings who are under attack under the new administration, showing people that together we are never alone.

Democracy lies not in the White House, but in the people. My favorite sign was “You Can’t Comb Over Ignorance.”

I plan on joining ASA, the new student organization dedicated to student activism.

Rossella Gabriele ’19
(Read her full op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
I marched because with every tweet and comment about how minorities (comprising roughly 40 percent of the nation) are ruining our country, you are attacking my family, friends, neighbors and classmates.

Mr. Trump, I didn’t vote for you, but you are now my president, as well as the president for the hundreds of thousands of women (and men) who marched for the causes that you have threatened through your rhetoric, promises and Twitter account.

Two months ago, I knocked door to door and made call after call on behalf of Hillary, because I knew she would fight for my rights and my future. Yesterday, I marched to knock on your door, the White House, and now I call on you because you must defend my rights and my future. I am America’s women, scientists, students, children and minorities—and all that I ask is that you be our president, too.

Elena R. Diller ’17
I marched out of anger and helplessness, though neither of those feelings are productive nor sustainable over the next four years. I was looking for an outlet to express my support of others who feel similarly, particularly marginalized groups such as LGTBQ, Muslims, blacks and immigrants.

I had no idea that I would feel so positive during the March. I was overwhelmed with feeling supported and loved by the strangers around me and around the world. Much of my negativity subsided and became positive feelings of resistance. My favorite sign was held by a young toddler which said, “I love naps but I stay woke.”

I am calling my senators and representatives in the House every day with a list of bills that I want them to either vote for or vote against. Additionally, I hope to continue volunteering at Project Horizon, showing my support for marginalized groups by wearing BLM T-shirts or LGTBQ positive T-shirts and speaking out in classes about my beliefs.

On Capitol Hill: Marc Short ’92 to Join Trump’s Staff President Donald Trump has picked Marc Short '92 to lead his legislative efforts in Congress.

Marc-Short-crop-350x350 On Capitol Hill: Marc Short '92 to Join Trump's StaffMarc Short ’92, right, with Vice President Mike Pence. John Shinkle/POLITICO

A story in Politico notes that President Donald Trump has picked Marc Short, a 1992 graduate of Washington and Lee University, to lead his legislative efforts in Congress. He served as Vice President Mike Pence’s advisor during the 2016 presidential campaign.


The article describes Marc as having a “sharp eye for strategy” and “street cred in all factions of the GOP conference.”


Marc has worked as chief of staff for Kay Bailey Hutchison, when she was governor of Texas and then senator; as chief of staff 2009–2011 for the House Republican Conference under Pence, who was its chairman; for Oliver North’s 1994 senate campaign; and for Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign.


Josh Hock, the chief of staff at the Department of Commerce (and a Democrat) noted of Marc, “He’s a good listener, he’s not a bombastic guy at all. He listens, and when I think of Marc, he listens intently and he hears you. We may not always agree, but I know that he’s heard me.”

W&L Department of Theater Presents “Dracula”

dracula-1-1024x683 W&L Department of Theater Presents "Dracula"The W&L Theater Department presents “Dracula”

The Washington and Lee Department of Theater, Dance, and Film Studies presents  “Dracula” on Feb. 9 and 11 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 10 at 10 p.m.; and Feb. 12 at 2 p.m. in the Keller Theater, Lenfest Center. Tickets are required.

Traveling to Transylvania to finalize the purchase of some real estate for a nobleman, London solicitor Jonathan Harker (Jim Grant ’19) unwittingly releases an ancient supernatural power upon the world. After Dracula (Hunter Ward ’18), follows Harker to his home it seeks to bleed every last drop of life and sanity from his world.

Harker and his faithful allies, his fiancée Mina Murray (Hannah Palmatary ’18), the practical Dr. Seward (Mac Evarts ’17) and Professor Van Helsing (Charlotte Cook ’19) uncover the vampire’s secrets in time to stop his plans.

Don’t miss out on the ultimate battle between the forces of good and the master of evil and the struggle to reconcile pure logic with superstition.

“Dracula” includes violence, sexual content and coarse language, and is therefore recommended for mature audiences only.

Order your tickets online today at lenfest.wlu.edu or call the Lenfest box office at 458-8000 for ticket information. Box Office hours are Monday-Friday, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and will be open 2 hours prior to performance time.

Watch a sneak preview:

Michelle Brock to Discuss Her Book About the Devil in Post-Reformation Scotland

“‘Satan and the Scots’ is the first history of the devil in Scotland. It explores what Scots from across the social spectrum believed about Satan and asks how such beliefs informed daily life from the Reformation through the early eighteenth century.”

The Anne and Edgar Basse Jr. Author Talk Series, presented by the Leyburn Library at Washington and Lee University, presents Michelle D. Brock, assistant professor of history at W&L on Feb. 15 at 4:30 p.m. in the Book Nook on the main floor of the library.

brockm.jpg Michelle Brock to Discuss Her Book About the Devil in Post-Reformation ScotlandMichelle D. Brock

She will be discussing her first book, “Satan and the Scots: The Devil in Post-Reformation Scotland, c. 1560-1700.” The talk is free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided.

“‘Satan and the Scots’ is the first history of the devil in Scotland. It explores what Scots from across the social spectrum believed about Satan and asks how such beliefs informed daily life from the Reformation through the early eighteenth century,” said Brock.

“By recreating the role of the devil in the mental worlds of the Scottish people, this study suggests that post-Reformation beliefs about Satan profoundly influenced lived experiences and identities in Scotland through the creation of a shared cultural conversation about evil and human nature,” she continued.

Brock’s work includes “Internalizing the Demonic: Satan and the Self in Early Modern Scottish Piety” (2015), in The Journal of British Studies; “Experiencing Satan in Early Modern Scotland” (2011), in Critical Survey; and “Why we Blame the Victim, and Why We Have to Stop: A Historian’s Perspective” (2014), in The University of Edinburgh’s Global Justice Academy Blog, published online.

She is a participant in the American Historical Association Tuning Project; editor of Britain and the World Book Series with Palgrave MacMillan; and assistant general editor of the British Scholar Society.

Related //,

W&L’s Reiter to Give Markets & Morals Talk on Corporate Responsibility

“Are for-profit corporations the type of entity that can be morally responsible or does it make sense to hold them morally responsible?”

Sandra Reiter, associate professor of business administration at Washington and Lee University, will give a talk on Feb. 15 as part of W&L’s Roger Mudd Center for Ethics Markets and Morals series.

The talk is at 12 p.m. in the Hillel House Multipurpose Room. Lunch is provided — please RSVP to mudd-center@wlu.edu by Feb. 8.

Reiter will speak on “Can Corporations Be Morally Responsible?” The lecture is open to the W&L community only.

reiter.jpg W&L's Reiter to Give Markets & Morals Talk on Corporate ResponsibilitySandra Reiter

Reiter said about her talk, “Are for-profit corporations the type of entity that can be morally responsible or does it make sense to hold them morally responsible? We often use language that implies that we think that is the case. Many of us, for instance, blame BP for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico or hold Volkswagen morally responsible for cheating on its automobile emission tests. It may be that we actually do think that BP and Volkswagen, the corporations, are to blame for the actions, or it may be that we are simply using ‘BP’ and ‘Volkswagen’ metaphorically, and what we really mean is that the company executives and employees are morally responsible and blameworthy.

“Some may think the executives are the ones who are really morally responsible because we associate persons with moral responsibility, and we hold only persons morally responsible,” she continued. “Yet, how should we think about the moral responsibility of corporations? Can a collective, independent of its members, be morally responsible? What characteristics must an entity possess in order to be morally responsible? Does a collective like a corporation possess those characteristics necessary to qualify it for moral responsibility?”

Prior to joining academia, Reiter worked in the aerospace industry, as an engineer and as a manager most recently at Honeywell International Corp.

She is the author of “Corporate Profit, Social Welfare and the Logic of Capitalism” (2016), in Business and Society Review; “Moral Loopholes in the Global Economic Environment: Why Well-intentioned Organizations Act in Harmful Ways” (2011), in Ethique et Economique; and “Institutional Restructuring versus Corporate Social Responsibility” (2010), in the Journal of Business, Society and Government.

Reiter’s main area of research is business justice, with a focus on international business. She is interested in the institutional structure of the economic order and questions of fairness, particularly as they relate to business.

For more information about this series, see: https://www.wlu.edu/mudd-center/programs-and-events/2016-2017-markets-and-morals.

JMU Professor to Speak on the Illustrations of John Foxe’s ‘Book of Martyrs’

rankin JMU Professor to Speak on the Illustrations of John Foxe's 'Book of Martyrs'Mark Rankin

Dr. Mark Rankin, associate professor of English at James Madison University, will give a public lecture on Jan. 25 from 12:20-1:15 p.m. at the Hillel House Multipurpose Room.

Rankin will be speaking on “The Illustrations of Foxe’s ‘Book of Martyrs’ and their Publishing History.” The talk is free and open to the public.

Rankin has published widely on English Reformation literature and culture, including “John Foxe and the Earliest Readers of William Tyndale’s ‘The Practice of Prelates (1530)’” (2016) in English Literary Renaissance and “Reading the Wycliffite Bible in Reformation England,” in “The Wycliffite Bible: Origin, History and Interpretation” (2016). He is co-editor of “Henry VIII and his Afterlives: Literature, Politics and Art” (2009).

Rankin is editor of the journal Reformation and is principal investigator for a three-year National Endowment for the Humanities Scholarly Editions Grant on “The Independent Works of William Tyndale.”

He is completing a census of surviving copies of 16th-century editions of Foxe’s “Acts and Monuments” (the “Book of Martyrs”).

Related //,

W&L Goes to the Inauguration Students were motivated to travel to the presidential inauguration in D.C. to observe democracy in action.

Inauguration-pic-350x263 W&L Goes to the InaugurationFrom left to right: Drew Nirenberg ’17, Edward Stroud ’17, Cameron Lee ’17, Allie McNamara ’17 and Camille LeJune ’17.

When Donald Trump was sworn in on Jan. 20 as the 45th president of the U.S., several Washington and Lee University students were there to witness history.

As Allie McNamara ’17 explained in an interview with WDBJ (Channel 7), the Roanoke-based TV station, “Getting involved in Mock Convention at W&L really got me interested in this election.”

She added, “Everyone around me, at least at the inauguration, we were so happy to be there and see the process take place.”

“No, [I’m] not a Trump supporter,” said Cameron Lee ’17, “but it was just very interesting to see everything take place. We probably won’t be living near the D.C. area for our whole lives, so this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a peaceful transfer of power in our nation.”

See more about this trip by clicking here.

To read about students who traveled to D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington, click here

Campus Kitchen at W&L Hosts 5th Annual Souper Bowl

2016_Souper_Bowl-600x400 Campus Kitchen at W&L Hosts 5th Annual Souper BowlThe fourth annual Souper Bowl to benefit Campus Kitchen in Evans Dining Hall.

Washington and Lee University and Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee invite community members and local college students to join forces against Rockbridge area childhood hunger at the Fifth Annual Souper Bowl on Jan. 29 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in Evans Dining Hall on the W&L campus.

Participating restaurants, caterers and bakeries will serve soup creations, many using local ingredients, and desserts, while entertainment is provided by W&L’s acapella groups General Admission, JubiLee and Southern Comfort.

This year’s participants include Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, Blue Phoenix Café, Blue Sky, Bistro on Main, CHEFS Catering, Full Circle Catering, Haywood’s, Kind Roots Café, Mano Taqueria, Mountain Mama Catering, Napa Thai, The Palms, Pronto, Pure Eats, Red Hen, Rocca, Sheridan Livery, Southern Inn, Sweet Treats, Taps and W&L Dining.

All proceeds benefit Campus Kitchen’s Backpack Program, a hunger-fighting project that began in 2009. The program serves 700 pre-K and elementary school children in the Rockbridge area, including Lexington and Buena Vista, and gives each child a bag of non-perishable food items to take home with them for the weekend. Read more about the Backpack Program here.

The goal for the 2017 Souper Bowl is to raise $8,000, enough to fund roughly three months of the program.

Davidson & Garrard, fiduciary advisors with offices throughout the Mid-Atlantic including Lynchburg and Lexington, sponsors the event so that all ticket fees and additional donations can go directly to the cause. Tickets are available at the door; prices are students $10 and adults $15.

Justice Ginsburg to Speak at VMI, W&L Feb. 1 The public event will be at VMI's Cameron Hall. It is free, with seating available on a first come, first served basis. The events at W&L are closed to the public and to the media.

Ruth_Bader_Ginsburg_official_SCOTUS_portrait-264x350 Justice Ginsburg to Speak at VMI, W&L Feb. 1Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will participate in a public on-stage interview as part of a visit to Washington and Lee University School of Law and Virginia Military Institute on Feb. 1.

The public event will be at VMI’s Cameron Hall.   It is free, with seating available on a first come, first served basis.  No tickets are required.  The event begins at 11:15 a.m., and doors to the building are expected to open at about 10 a.m. Overflow viewing of the event will be available in Gillis Theatre in Marshall Hall.

Large groups are asked to call 540-464-7361 to provide information about the number of people and vehicles they will bring. Attendees are asked to minimize the items they bring to facilitate security screening. Backpacks and other large bags are prohibited. Cameras and cellphones are allowed.

Additional information about the public event, the only event Ginsburg will hold at VMI, will be provided on the VMI website (www.vmi.edu) as it becomes available.

The events at W&L are closed to the public and to the media.

When she was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, Ginsburg became only the second female justice, after Sandra Day O’Connor, in the history of the Supreme Court. Along with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, she is now one of three women serving on the nation’s highest court.

Throughout the course of her professional life, the now 83-year-old Ginsburg has been an advocate for women’s rights and gender equality. In the 1970s, she co-founded the women’s rights project at the American Civil Liberties Union and later became the organization’s general counsel. Also during that decade, she became the first woman to earn tenure as a professor at her alma mater, Columbia Law School. At the time she entered academia, at Rutgers University in 1963, there were fewer than 20 female law professors in the United States.

In 1980 President Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a position she held until her appointment to the Supreme Court 13 years later.

In 1999, she won the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award for her contributions to gender equality and civil rights.

NOTE TO EDITORS: News media organizations interested in covering the VMI event are asked to contact Maj. John Robertson, (robertsonjr@vmi.edu, 540-464-7366). Media inquiries for the W&L School of Law should be directed to Peter Jetton, senior director of law communications (pjetton@wlu.edu, 540-461-1326).

Related //

Packing a Nutritious Punch Sejal Mistry ’17, a biology major and poverty studies minor, has completed a service project that aims to improve the nutritional value of foods in the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee’s Backpack Program.

“I think as a student I have taken food for granted. I’m realizing how much it was a privilege to sit down with my family for a freshly cooked meal.”

— Sejal Mistry ’17

sejal-800x533 Packing a Nutritious PunchSejal Mistry ’17

When Sejal Mistry ’17 was still living at home, she didn’t have to think very long or hard about dinnertime. Food was placed on the table, she was called to supper, and she tore herself away from her phone and her schoolwork to join her family for a meal.

“I think as a student I have taken food for granted,” Mistry said. “I’m realizing how much it was a privilege to sit down with my family for a freshly cooked meal.”

Mistry’s involvement on the leadership team for the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee is partially responsible for her changing perspective on food. But a biology class and a community-based research (CBR) project also have opened her eyes to the importance of variety and quality in a person’s daily diet.

The class is Professor Sarah Blythe’s Food for Thought, which examines nutrition and metabolism as they relate to neuroscience. To fulfill the service-learning requirement for the class, Mistry took on a project that analyzes the nutritional value of the foods used in the Campus Kitchen’s Backpack Program. Her findings may lead Campus Kitchen coordinator Jenny Davidson to reassess the makeup of the snack packs, which are sent home every weekend with more than 700 local elementary- and middle school-aged children.

The kids who receive the backpacks are eligible for free or reduced lunch. The program, established in 2009, is meant to ensure that they have enough snacks to get them through the weekend.

The backpacks, which are packed by volunteers and delivered to schools every Thursday, typically contain at least seven food items, such as cereal, oatmeal, applesauce, snack crackers, fruit gummies and — in the case of older children — cans of soup. The program is primarily funded through grants and fundraisers, and most of the food is purchased from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and US Foods. The current budget is $1.50 per backpack.

For some time, Davidson has wanted to take a closer look at the foods used in the program in order to determine whether they are providing the maximum possible nutrition for the price. Mistry’s project dovetailed nicely with that goal.

“I think the hope is that we can be giving the best bang for the buck for our clients,” Davidson said. “We want to make sure that what we provide them is as nutritious as possible.”

Mistry is a biology major and a Bonner Scholar who is minoring in poverty and human capability studies. The class also counts as a poverty credit and fulfills a requirement of the Bonner Program.

For the project, she created a spreadsheet with nutritional information and a cost analysis. Davidson will use the information to determine whether new products should be substituted for those commonly used in the backpacks.

One of Mistry’s preliminary findings was that fortified foods, such as cereal and oatmeal, will continue to provide the most vitamins and minerals at the lowest price. While it would be nice to include fresh fruits and vegetables in the backpacks, it is not feasible from a financial or logistical standpoint.

Mistry also noted that some products should be reconsidered based on their sugar or fat content. Fruit gummies are popular with kids and contain less total sugar than applesauce, but the sweetener in applesauce is natural sugar. “So it’s taking those little things into account,” she said.

Of course, just because a food is nutritious doesn’t mean elementary-aged children, the primary focus of Mistry’s project, will want to eat it. There’s no sense in spending money on food and sending it home with children if it will only go to waste. Now that Mistry has completed her data, Campus Kitchen Outreach Coordinator Chris Caplinger is surveying program clients to determine which products are popular with children and which are not.

All of this research and thought will go into improving a program that so many students in Lexington and Rockbridge County schools depend on. Mollie Robinson, a counselor at Central Elementary School in Lexington, said she discreetly distributes backpacks to 80 or 90 students each week.

“The children definitely get a lot out of it,” she said. “It is a huge blessing for the families.”

Want to support the Backpack Program while enjoying delicious soup prepared by area chefs? Don’t miss the 5th Annual Souper Bowl on Jan. 29. For more information, click here.

W&L’s Generalprobe presents “Die Gänsemagd” (“The Goose Girl”)

“At least one German play has been performed every academic year for 25 years. The quarter-century mark of German drama at W&L is being celebrated under the name of Generalprobe.”

On Jan. 26 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Johnson Theater at the Lenfest Center, Generalprobe will celebrate 25 years of German language theater at Washington and Lee University with the production of an original Singspiel.

Singspiel is a form of German light opera, typically with spoken dialogue, popular especially in the late 18th century. This Singspiel is based on the Grimm Brothers’ tale “Die Gänsemagd” (“The Goose Girl”).

“Die Gänsemagd” will be sung in German with English supertitles projected. The synopsis is included in the program. The production is free and open to the public. No tickets are required, but seating may be limited.

Generalprobe-600x400 W&L’s Generalprobe presents “Die Gänsemagd” (“The Goose Girl”)Generalprobe’s 2013 performance

Director Roger Crockett, professor of German at W&L, wrote the libretto and composed the music for the production, which features four guest artists from Opera Roanoke’s Young Apprentice Artist Program performing together with W&L students and faculty members.

“Generalprobe is a German word for dress rehearsal. When I began directing German plays at W&L, I wanted a catchy name that we could keep from year to year for continuity as students graduated and new ones came into the program,” said Crockett.

“At least one German play has been performed every academic year for 25 years. The quarter-century mark of German drama at W&L is being celebrated under the name of Generalprobe,” he said. “Almost all German majors and minors perform at least once during their four years here.  Many perform multiple times.”

Anna Piperato, tour guide for Rick Steves’ Europe, to speak on 14th-Century Mystic Catherine of Siena

Pip_Cropped22 Anna Piperato, tour guide for Rick Steves' Europe, to speak on 14th-Century Mystic Catherine of SienaAnna Piperato

Anna Piperato, tour guide for Rick Steves’ Europe and a freelance translator (formerly IES Abroad-Siena), will give a talk at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. Rick Steves is America’s leading authority on European travel.

Piperato will speak on “The Many Faces of Catherine of Siena: 14th-Century Mystic, Political Activist…Trouble.” The talk is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Italian Studies Cohort and the Department of History.

Prior to her current position, Piperato taught at IES Siena, was assistant professor of art history at High Point University and visiting professor of Sienese history at Villanova University at Fondazione IES Abroad Italy in Siena, Italy.

She is the author of “Diaro di un’americana” in “Romolo & Remo: Periodico della Contrada della Lupa” (2011) and “The Palio of Siena: A Journey through Time” (2017), a book chapter for inclusion in a volume edited by Sarah Lippert.

Piperato received her B.A. in art history from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, and her Ph.D. in art history and visual studies from The University of Manchester, Manchester, U.K. She  resides in Siena, Italy.

McCarthy Gallery Exhibit to Feature Stephanie Sandberg’s “Stories in Blue”

sandberg_med-400x400 McCarthy Gallery Exhibit to Feature Stephanie Sandberg's "Stories in Blue"W&L theater professor Stephanie Sandberg

A new exhibit-installation, directed by Stephanie Sandberg, will be on display in McCarthy Gallery of Holekamp Hall at the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics at Washington and Lee University beginning Jan. 26.

The show opens with an artist’s talk and reception on Jan. 26 from 5:30-7 p.m. and runs through May 31. The talk, reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

“Stories in Blue” is based on the real-life stories of six human trafficking survivors from Michigan. Sandberg spent a year interviewing survivors and learning about their experiences, crafting these into a series of films, a photographic installation and a live performance.

This project is a response to the high rate of human trafficking in Michigan, which Sandberg noticed while she lived there. Michigan, as well as Virginia, both rank in the top 10 states where sex trafficking is a major societal problem. “There is much work to do to raise awareness about this problem and the stories need to be addressed as a significant source of knowledge and inspiration for how the change might occur,” said Sandburg.

“Stories in Blue” features original music by Theo Ndwallie II, original photography by Ryan Spencer-Reed, with text and direction by Sandberg, who is an assistant professor of theater at W&L.

The McCarthy Gallery in Holekamp Hall is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Anthropology Professor at Notre Dame Will Discuss International Migration across the Mediterranean Sea

maurizio_albahari_1 Anthropology Professor at Notre Dame Will Discuss International Migration across the Mediterranean SeaMaurizio Albahari (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

Maurizio Albahari, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, will give a public talk at Washington and Lee University on Feb. 1 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.

He will speak on “Crimes of Peace: Methods and Ethics of European Responses to Mediterranean Migrations.” The talk is free and open to the public.

This event is part of the Center for Global Learning’s Borders and Their Human Impact series, sponsored jointly by the Italian Studies Faculty Cohort.

Borders and Their Human Impact is a two-year faculty colloquium sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The colloquium addresses the concept of borders and border crossings from a variety of perspectives that tie humanity to political, geophysical, physiological, epistemological and spiritual borders.

“In my talk, I will discuss international migration across the Mediterranean Sea, and tackle the latest developments in this crisis of humanity,” said Albahari. “An analysis of the practices put forward by institutional and coastal European actors sheds light on how this crisis is being perpetuated or mitigated,” he continued.

Albarari is the author of “Crimes of Peace: Mediterranean Migrations at the World’s Deadliest Border” (2015). He says, “‘Crimes of Peace’ scrutinizes global fault lines critically reemerging in the Mediterranean: between Europe, Africa and the Middle East; military and humanitarian intervention; Catholic charity, hospitality and police detention; transnational smuggling and resilient sovereignty; the universal law of the sea and the proliferating thresholds of a globally parochial world.”

Albahari is also a concurrent associate professor with the Keough School of Global Affairs at Notre Dame and a faculty fellow with Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

Jennifer Golbeck to Discuss the Digital Traces People Leave Behind

“Whether it’s using social media, shopping online or just existing in today’s digital world, we leave behind extensive digital traces. New artificial intelligence allows scientists use that data to discover your hidden secrets and predict your future actions with startling accuracy.”

Jennifer Golbeck, associate professor in the College of Information Studies and affiliate associate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland where she is also the director of the Social Intelligence, will lecture at Washington and Lee University on Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater.

jennifer-golbeck Jennifer Golbeck to Discuss the Digital Traces People Leave BehindJennifer Golbeck

She will speak on “Footprints in the Digital Dust: How Your Online Behavior Says More Than You Think.” Her talk is free and open to the public.

Her lecture is part of the year-long series on Markets and Morals and is sponsored by W&L’s Roger Mudd Center for Ethics. For more information about this series, see: https://www.wlu.edu/mudd-center/programs-and-events/2016-2017-markets-and-morals.

“Whether it’s using social media, shopping online or just existing in today’s digital world, we leave behind extensive digital traces. New artificial intelligence allows scientists use that data to discover your hidden secrets and predict your future actions with startling accuracy,” said Golbeck. “These insights are powerful, and have the potential to help us in new, exciting ways, but also have the potential to do great harm.

“In my talk, I’ll discuss what’s going on, what comes next and what you can do to control your privacy as technology marches forward,” she continued.

Golbeck is the author of “Introduction to Social Media Investigation” (2015); “Analyzing the Social Web” (2013); “Computing with Social Trust” (2008); and “Art Theory for Web Design” (2005).

Her main research interests are in understanding how people use social media to improve the way they interact with information. She approaches this from a computer science perspective and her general research hits social networks, trust, web science, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction.

Shaping Traditions: Alex Meilech ’18

“Just as I bring my traditions into Hillel, I will bring the traditions I learn at Hillel to my next chapter in life and beyond.”

Alex_Meilech-600x400 Shaping Traditions: Alex Meilech '18Alex Meilech ’18 has experienced tradition – from Lexington, Virginia to Buenos Aires, Argentina

I walk across campus as the sun is setting, hurrying from physics lab prep to make it to Hillel in time to help set up for dinner. It’s 5:30 p.m. on a Friday, and I’m always tired after a long week of school – who isn’t? As I open the front door, I can hear people in the kitchen, students working together to prepare our weekly Friday night Shabbat meal. I relax, shrug off my backpack, and head in. After the table is laden with food (Make Your Own Pizza, Burrito Night, Breakfast for Dinner), we all gather round to light candles, drink wine, and eat challah.

My earliest memories are of running around under the table with my cousins during my family’s own weekly Shabbat dinners, and now I am one of the “adults” putting together these celebrations for fellow students and community members, my Hillel family. As we pray together in Hebrew, I am reminded, with a mix of appreciation and awe, that fellow Jews around the world are all doing the same thing.

When I went on Spring Term Abroad to Argentina, I had the privilege of visiting a synagogue in Buenos Aires, the oldest synagogue in the country, for a Friday night service. Just like at Hillel, we spoke Hebrew prayers that I’ve known since childhood. (And thanks to learning Spanish, I also understood the discussion there – mostly!)

What I’ve learned through Hillel is that college is not a bubble, as we sometimes make it out to be. These activities are the same worldwide, whether you are in college or not. Just as I bring my traditions into Hillel, I will bring the traditions I learn at Hillel to my next chapter in life and beyond. And this is a great lesson for me: the same holds true for everything I learn here at W&L.

One of my majors is chemistry-engineering, and as I start to prepare for my post-grad future, I know that I’m not planning on being a chemical engineer. So why am I learning about thermodynamics and physical chemistry? This is a question I often ask myself in the middle of an arduous night of practice problems… But I remember that while I may not be doing this specifically in the future, it makes me a better thinker, a lifelong learner, and a problem solver, shaping who I am.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” I like to think he was talking about Shabbat meals at Hillel.

If you know a W&L student who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.

A little more about Alex

Phoenix, Arizona

Chemistry Engineering and Anthropology with a pre-med focus

Extracurricular involvement:
Hillel Engagement Chair and Work Study; Physics Lab TA; Peer Tutoring in Organic Chemistry, Physics, and Sociology; Mock Con New Mexico State Chair; Hospital Emergency Room Volunteer Greeter

Why did you choose your major?
Chemistry-Engineering is a great mix between chemistry, which feels like learning a foreign language, and engineering, which appeals to my problem-solving side. Anthropology teaches me so much about other cultures, giving me a critical lens with which to view my own culture. The two majors, one very right brain and the other very left brain, work in tandem for a unique perspective.

What professor has inspired you?
Professor Bell – she is so generous and brilliant, and she introduced me to anthropology my freshman year!

What’s your personal motto?
Go boldly in the direction of your assumptions.

Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
Pronto – toasted Caprese sandwich.

What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
Five minutes early = on time.

Post-graduation plans:
I plan to go to medical school.

Favorite W&L memory:
During a snow day last year, my friends and I went sledding at Woods Creek using inflatable turtles.

Favorite class:
Richmond Term with Dr. Wubah, a Spring Term Afield class where we shadowed doctors in Richmond. It gave me a great feel for a day in the life and confirmed my goal to become a doctor.

Favorite W&L event:
Mock Convention, especially the first time I walked into the full convention – I got chills with how realistic it was. My own political beliefs aside, it still blows my mind that the future president spoke to our school.

Favorite campus landmark:
The Colonnade. There’s no better place to sit down with a book when it’s 70 degrees and sunny.

What’s your passion?
Reading – everything.

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I’m a U.S. and South African citizen.

Why did you choose W&L?
I wanted adventure. I’ll always remember walking onto the Colonnade, all red brick and white columns, hushed in a blanket of snow – I’d never seen anything like it before. And I knew this was the place for me.

Careers in Motion: Tara Loughery ’18 STEM in Richmond

“I was thinking about switching from medical practice to medical research instead. The career trip really helped me justify switching my focus to pursue research.”

Loughery2c-Tara-600x400 Careers in Motion: Tara Loughery '18Meet Tara Loughery, a junior who was considering going pre-med, but decided to pursue a different path.

So you’re obviously in a STEM path already. What made you want to go on this trip?

I saw an ad for the trip in the Science Center. I had already been thinking about changing my plans for the future and wanted to see what options were out there.

Has STEM been “part of the plan” for a while?

When I was little, I wanted to be a doctor. That was a dream that followed me all the way to when I first entered college.

You don’t sound super convinced. Do you still want to be a doctor?

I had started thinking about changing my plans. I was thinking about switching from medical practice to medical research instead. The career trip really helped me justify switching my focus to pursue research.

wluCareerTrips-is-scrubbed-up-Were-learning-all-about-robotic-surgery-instruments-at-the-Retreat-Hospital-600x400 Careers in Motion: Tara Loughery '18#wluCareer Trips all scrubbed up and learning about robotic surgical instruments at Richmond’s Retreat Hospital

There were a lot of opportunities on this trip. Did you learn anything you didn’t expect?

I really enjoyed hearing about all of the different types of STEM jobs. It’s not just medicine. I really liked going to the psychology center. We were walked through what running a clinical psychology trial was like — what things to look out for, what tools to use, how to combine results. We even learned how clinics apply for funding — the real nitty gritty.

I felt like I learned a lot from everywhere we went. I appreciated how everyone told me the most important piece of advice to them in getting their careers started.

Who has been the most influential person in your studies, especially in your thoughts about the future?

My mom inspires me. She is incredibly kind and hardworking.

wluCareerTrips-is-in-Richmond-with-Gary-Bokinsky-M.D.-’67-learning-about-urology-medical-practice-pursing-a-career-in-medical-research-600x400 Careers in Motion: Tara Loughery '18#wluCareerTrips in Richmond with Gary Bokinsky MD ’67 learning about urology medical practicing and pursuing a career in medical research

Okay, flashback time. If you could go back to First Year Tara and tell her one thing, what would it be?

Being a doctor is not the be-all, end-all peak of success in science. There are lots of things you can do to help people with your knowledge.

Would you tell her to go on the career trip?

Absolutely! It can never hurt to see what kind of opportunities are out there, especially in STEM, where there are more things than you might think.

wluCareerTrips-is-enjoying-an-early-morning-on-the-farm-learning-about-STEM-jobs-in-agriculture-ecology-and-enviro-Bring-your-overalls-copy-600x400 Careers in Motion: Tara Loughery '18#wluCareerTrips enjoying an early morning on the farm learning about STEM jobs in agriculture, ecology and enviro.

You sound like you’ve got your plate full. Medical research? A Ph.D in clinical neuroscience? Are you excited — or scared?

I’m excited about the future in general. I don’t know exactly what I will end up doing but I feel like there are a million possibilities!

Does this sound interesting? We live-tweeted this entire trip, and you can check out all of the good stuff we learned on the trip here.
Are you interested in finding a career or internship? Are you wondering how to start working towards your dream job? The Career Development Office wants to help! Check out their website and make an appointment today!

A little more about Tara

Roanoke, Virginia

Neuroscience and Sociology

Extracurricular involvement:
Relay for Life, College Access, Alpha Phi Omega

Why did you choose your major?
I picked neuroscience because I think the brain is fascinating. It is so powerful and we understand so little about it. I picked sociology because I think it is important to understand how society influences people and the way they live their lives.

What professor has inspired you?
Dr. Novack was one of the first professors and he inspired my love of sociology and has helped shape my W&L experience.

What’s your personal motto?
Anything worth having is worth working for.

What’s your favorite song right now?
“Closer.” I know how basic that is but it is very catchy.

Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
Napa Thai. You have to get the chicken pad Thai!

What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
The words to Wagon Wheel

Post-graduation plans:
Hopefully a Ph.D program in clinical neuroscience

Favorite W&L memory:
All of them. I love W&L.

Favorite class:
Richmond Term

Favorite W&L event:
Mock Con

Favorite campus landmark: Lee Chapel

What’s your passion?
I love doing research.

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I’m half Indian (like the Indians from India)

Why did you choose W&L?
I love the campus, the small class sizes, the close relationships with professors, and my parents went here so it feels like home.

Careers in Motion: Olivia Sisson ’17 Humanities in New York

“The trip showed me that there are so many talented and interesting alumni who are working in fantastic companies and industries that might have nothing to do with what they studied at W&L.”

Olivia_Sisson_Headshot-600x400 Careers in Motion: Olivia Sisson '17Meet Olivia Sisson, a senior who has wanted to be an artist since she was little – but didn’t know how – as she talks about her experience on the Humanities Career Trip to New York.

When you heard the words “humanities career trip,” what did you think?

I heard about the career trip through a Career Services email that had information about the trip. I ultimately decided to go because I knew it would be a great chance to meet some cool alumni and learn about different career paths that I hadn’t considered before. Career Services is incredibly helpful and a fantastic resource so I was very confident that the trip would be well worth my time.

Have you always been interested in art?

When I was little, I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I still want to be an artist, but also to work in the design world or just find a way to use my creativity in a business setting.

So you knew you wanted to pursue an artist’s life when you entered college?

When I started college, I wasn’t totally sure what I wanted to do for a career, but I was fairly certain that things like math and business didn’t fit my skill set very well. I knew I loved art and started taking classes, but wasn’t really sure what careers I could make out of an undergraduate studio art degree.

I would say my goal to keep developing my creative skill set is one I’m still achieving and is something I hope that I will be working on for a very long time.

Now I have a much better idea of how many different industries and jobs utilize the kind of creative thinking and analytical problem solving that I really enjoy using in my academic studies.

Is that because of your professors?

My advisors, Leigh Ann Beavers in the art department and Lisa Greer in the geology department, have both really encouraged me to work hard and challenge myself in both departments. Both professors have encouraged me to be more curious and ask more questions.

wluCareerTrips-in-NewYork-600x400 Careers in Motion: Olivia Sisson '17#wluCareerTrips’ great view in New York

Did the career trip help with that also? Have you learned new things about careers in arts?

The trip showed me that there are so many talented and interesting alumni who are working in fantastic companies and industries that might have nothing to do with what they studied at W&L.

This really encouraged me to start reaching out to as many alumni as possible in order to just learn more about these different industries. It showed me that I can use my majors in so many more ways than I thought possible.

Now my goal is to learn as much as I can about some of these areas and figure out how I can apply my skill set to them.

Where did you go on this trip? Was it mostly museums and galleries?

We visited nine different companies while on the trip. We visited the Michael J. Fox Foundation, One Kings Lane, American Red Cross, Blackrock, Hearst Publishing, Fusion Media, Marcus and Millichap, Grey Advertising, and AT Kearney. We really got a great sampling of different industries, from publishing to home decor, wealth management to corporate real estate, non-profits to media companies, and advertising as well.

wluCareerTrips-in-NewYork-Parkinson-600x400 Careers in Motion: Olivia Sisson '17#wluCareerTrips visiting The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson Research

Wow! I didn’t realize there were so many businesses on the trip. Which one was your favorite?

I really enjoyed visiting One Kings Lane. They have a huge creative team that creates 90 percent of their website content — like photography work — in-house. It was really interesting to see their studio space, where all of this content production takes place.

When meeting with these companies, did you receive any advice that you think was particularly helpful for someone pursuing art as a career?

Jeff Hamill, a W&L alumni at Hearst Corporations, highly recommended starting to create our own content now if we are considering getting into the media/publishing world. I think this is a really great piece of advice for anyone in college who is considering getting into any type of media-related industry.

So many companies need social media marketing campaigns and young people with experience to write them. I started my own website this summer and, after getting this advice, I started putting more work into my site and realized continuing to create my own content is really great practice for a lot of entry-level positions.

What about other advice that keeps you going? Do you have any kind of mantra?

I love Napoleon Dynamite. I think he has a great outlook: “Out to prove he’s got nothing to prove.”

You’re a senior now. If you could go back in time and give some advice to little freshman Olivia, what would you tell her?

I was nervous when I declared my art and geology major as most of my friends were declaring business or economics. I appreciate these majors, but just didn’t find that I was very interested in them. I had no idea what kind of jobs (or if I’d be able to get a job) with geology and art but in retrospect I’m very happy that I followed what I was truly interested in. This made all of my coursework engaging and rewarding, and I know now that I can use these skills in a myriad of ways that I didn’t think possible before.

It sounds like you got a lot out of this trip. Would you recommend it to other art students, or students in general?

I would definitely recommend the career trip to other students, especially if they are not sure what they want to do after graduation or even if they are just interested in checking out New York City and getting a better feel for what it’s like to work and live there.

I didn’t realize how valuable it would be to actually visit companies and be able to see what their working environments are like. I feel like I learned so much about industries that I wasn’t very familiar with before and got to meet some incredible alumni. It was an overall fantastic experience.

So here’s the big question: What’s next for you?

I just accepted a fellowship with Venture for America (VFA). I’m really excited to be joining the VFA community. Venture For America is all about helping recent graduates become entrepreneurs and get involved with venture capitalism in emerging American cities. The VFA fellowship allows participants to become immersed in the start-up world and figure out firsthand how to make a difference in their communities through entrepreneurship. I was able to learn a lot about the VFA experience from recent W&L alumni who are a part of VFA. All of them were so helpful in the application process. Training camp starts in June, and I’m excited to start exploring the different VFA partner companies and cities.

Are you interested in finding a career or internship? Are you wondering how to start working towards your dream job? The Career Development Office wants to help! Check out their website and make an appointment today!

A little more about Olivia

Great Falls, Virginia

Studio Art, Geology

Extracurricular involvement: Women’s varsity lacrosse, 24, Kappa Delta, Students Arts League

Why did you choose your major?
I decided to be an art major because I really enjoy working with visual imagery. Both my parents are very creative, so art is something that’s always been a part of my life. I didn’t know much about geology until I took the intro course my sophomore year with the intention of fulfilling my lab FDR. The course seemed like a natural fit for me since I love hiking and spent all my childhood summers in one of my favorite places, the Blue Ridge. I quickly became super interested in the course content and knew that I wanted to keep exploring geology further.

What professor has inspired you?
All of my art professors have inspired me to be bold and take chances. I’m really grateful for that, especially because I wasn’t sure if I could handle being a double major and didn’t know if I was good enough to be an art major. It’s been a very rewarding path so far, and I’m excited to see where it takes me.

What’s your personal motto?
Make stuff if you are stressed.

What’s your favorite song right now?
“Ocean,” John Butler Trio Live at Red Rocks

Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
I love the baked brie from Southern Inn

What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
Make time to enjoy and explore Lexington and Rockbridge as soon as you get to school. There are so many hikes and sights to see and you don’t want to miss any of them.

Post-graduation plans:
I’m working on it! Hopefully, I will find something in the art world. I’m looking into museum and gallery jobs right now. I’m also considering going back to school to get my master of fine arts.

Favorite W&L memory:
Any time spent tubing the Maury, walking the Chessie, or sitting on the Colonnade.

Favorite class:
Junior seminar for studio art

Favorite W&L event:
I love Fancy Dress!

Favorite campus landmark:
The gazebo on back campus, especially when all the cows are out.

What’s your passion?:
I love art and backpacking. The lacrosse team is also something I’m very passionate about.

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I went abroad to New Zealand and had blue hair.

Why did you choose W&L?
I chose W&L because I visited campus when I was a freshman in high school for a lacrosse tournament and was instantly drawn to the historic and picturesque campus and town. I felt totally at home in the Blue Ridge Valley and felt like the university offered so many unique opportunities academically and extracurricularly.

A Passion for Fashion: Carley Sambrook ’17 Fashion in New York City

“Everything to which I’ve been exposed at W&L is relevant to the fashion industry, so I will graduate confident that my knowledge and skills will help me throughout my career.”

Carley-Sambrook-600x400 A Passion for Fashion: Carley Sambrook '17Meet Carley Sambrook, a senior who has recently discovered her passion for fashion – and now has the know-how to explore it thanks to the Fashion Career Trip to New York.

Okay, so W&L offers a Fashion Trip? How did you hear about this? Have you been involved with fashion in the past?

I am lucky to be a Career Fellow in Career Development, so I was one of the first to hear about this amazing trip! I have spent the last two summers working in fashion in New York City, so I went on this trip to continue to develop my network within the industry and specifically within W&L.

Did you want to be in fashion when you were young or did you have other plans?

I wanted to be an astrophysicist. I am a secret nerd for quantum mechanics.

As a First Year, what took priority — fashion or quantum mechanics?

I knew I wanted to pursue a degree in business administration with a focus on romance languages, which hasn’t changed. I come from the French part of Canada, so speaking multiple languages has always been important to me. Then, I began exploring the fashion industry, which is the perfect area to combine my love of business, creativity and international exposure!

Visiting-Neely-13-and-Chloe-14-Burch-at-their-pop-up-accessories-store-Neely-Chloe-copy-600x400 A Passion for Fashion: Carley Sambrook '17Visiting Neely ’13 and Chloe ’14 Burch at their pop-up accessories store

Has W&L been supportive of your goals for fashion?

The liberal arts education provided by W&L has been extremely important. It has allowed me to hone a variety of skills that I can apply to my chosen field. I have had exposure to all aspects of the business world: entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, technology, law, writing and more. On top of that, I have taken courses in science, politics and art. Everything to which I’ve been exposed at W&L is relevant to the fashion industry, so I will graduate confident that my knowledge and skills will help me throughout my career.

So the career trip must have been special — all about fashion. Did you learn anything special?

Speaking with W&L alums who have been successful in the fashion industry was motivating. This trip furthered my excitement about the year to come. I have a lot of decisions to make with respect to my journey upon graduation, and I am looking forward to the process. I hope to be able to talk about my career one day with the same excitement and passion as the alumni with whom we spoke.

Laura-Holman-08-at-Valentino-copy-600x400 A Passion for Fashion: Carley Sambrook '17Laura Holman ’08 speaks to students at Valentino

Where did you go on the trip?

We visited with alumni and other contacts from nine different companies: Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Michael Kors, Chanel, Joor, Macy’s, Neely & Chloe, Gap and J.Crew. We were lucky enough to visit many of the actual corporate offices, which was a great opportunity to see the inner workings of the business behind a major fashion house. The men and women with whom we met talked about their career paths, their current jobs, and their aspirations, and also took questions from our group. It was amazing to see how passionate these individuals are about their jobs and the industry as a whole, and how excited they were to share their experiences with us.

Wow! That’s a lot of fashion in a short amount of time. Was there any one place in particular that stuck out to you?

My favorite visit was with our alumna at Valentino. I’d met her previously, so it was really interesting to learn about the changes in her career since I’d seen her. It was great to hear her speak about her journey throughout the industry. I was so inspired! I hope to one day have a career as developed as hers. One thing she said to us that I think applies to any job application is to know your strengths and how they apply to the job at hand. You need to know why you want a job, as well as why the employer should want to hire you in particular.

Trip-students-with-Elizabeth-Bell-12-at-Ralph-Lauren.--600x400 A Passion for Fashion: Carley Sambrook '17Students at Ralph Lauren

Do you have a fashion mentor that you turn to for inspiration?

I am inspired by Tory Burch. I worked for her company this past summer, and I am in awe of her. Not only has she created an influential American fashion brand, she also has a wonderful foundation that empowers female entrepreneurs. I admire her tenacity, generosity and eye for beautiful product. Working for her company was a dream; the culture is welcoming, motivating and focused, and I developed valuable skills throughout my time there.

Okay, reflection time. What would you tell your First Year self if you could tell her anything?

It’s never too early to start planning. Whether you think you know for sure what you want to do or not, there is something you can do to prepare for internships and job opportunities in the future. You can perfect your resume and identify holes in your experience, network with alumni and other contacts, and develop cross-functional skills that will help you in whatever direction you follow. In that vein, visit Career Development early to start building that relationship!

Would you tell her to take the Career Trip?

One hundred percent yes! The fashion industry really has something for everyone. It can be analytical and numbers-based or drawing and technical-focused, while simultaneously revolving around creativity and human interaction. This allows for the exploration of so many fields within one industry! I think that W&L students would greatly benefit from learning about another area of business to which they can apply their skills.

‡UPDATE: We just received word that Carley has just accepted a job at Saks Fifth Avenue next year in their Merchant Development Program. Congratulations, Carley!

Are you interested in finding a career or internship? Are you wondering how to start working towards your dream job? The Career Development Office wants to help! Check out their website and make an appointment today!

A little more about Carley

Montreal, QC, Canada

Business Administration

Extracurricular involvement:
Co-Executive Director of Washington & Lee Student Consulting, Lead Class Agent, Alpha Delta Pi, Career Development Fellow

Off-campus activities/involvement:
Carley & Carlisle Jewelry (www.carleyandcarlisle.com), internships with Michael Kors & Tory Burch in New York City

Why did you choose your major?
(You’ll just have to read the interview to find out!)

What professor has inspired you?
My advisor, Professor Elizabeth Oliver

What’s your personal motto?
Carpe Diem

What’s your favorite song right now?
“Carry On” by Norah Jones

Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
The best place to eat in Lexington is Blue Sky. My favorite thing to order is the brie & bacon focaccia and the Blue Sky bar (the best dessert ever!).

What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
How close-knit the W&L community is on campus and after graduation.

Post-graduation plans:
I hope to move to New York City (or another fashion city!) and work for a major fashion house. It’s a work in progress…

Favorite W&L memory:
Fancy Dress sophomore year

Favorite class:
My favorite class I am currently taking is the 2016 Political Election with Professor Strong.

Favorite W&L event:
Fancy Dress!

Favorite campus landmark:
Not very original, but I’d have to say the Colonnade in spring … It’s just so beautiful.

What’s your passion?

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I trained as a competitive badminton player for 10 years! I was even nationally ranked in Canada for a moment.

Why did you choose W&L?
I grew up wanting to go to school in the States, particularly at a liberal arts school with a beautiful campus. My grandparents actually retired to Lexington 25 years ago, so I’ve been coming here for my whole life! When I reached the age to start looking at schools, W&L was a natural fit.

Careers In Motion #wluCareerTrips hit the road over Reading Days

“It is amazing to see when students have that ah-ha moment hearing about a job path they hadn’t thought of before.”

Over Reading Days, three groups of students traveled out of Lexington and into the “real world.” Their goal was to find alumni and recent graduates who had found success in their fields of interest and learn from them. These trips, organized by the Career Development Office, aimed to give students a glance into what people had done with their education, how they had found their jobs, and what students could do now to follow their passions and prepare themselves.

There were three trips humanities, fashion and STEMand students were able to travel with whichever group they preferred.

Humanities in New York

The humanities trip took students to the Big Apple to discover different avenues of business that can be explored with a humanities degree. The trip highlighted how humanities fields had led students to careers in anything and everything from marketing and design to wealth management and real estate.

wluCareerTrips-in-NewYork-600x400 Careers In Motion#wluCareerTrips’ great view in New York

“The goal of the humanities trip is two-fold: one, to give students a broad understanding of their career options; and two, to have students understand that their major could lead to unbelievable opportunities,” trip organizer and Director of Career Development John Jensen said. “It is amazing to see when students have that ah-ha moment hearing about a job path they hadn’t thought of before.”

During the trip, students were able to visit the Michael J. Fox Foundation, One Kings Lane, American Red Cross, Blackrock, Hearst Publishing, Fusion Media, Marcus and Millichap, Grey Advertising, and AT Kearney.

We interviewed Olivia Sisson, a senior who has wanted to be an artist since she was little — but didn’t know how — about her experience on the trip.

Fashion in New York

Like something straight out of a movie, students boarded a bus bound for New York to discover careers in fashion. “This trip was developed after realizing there was a growing student interest in this field,” said Caroline Schmidt, who organized the trip. “Students would often comment that there isn’t a clear path of how to break into this industry, so we pulled this trip together to learn the stories of fashion alumni in New York City to educate students.”

Laura-Holman-08-at-Valentino-copy-600x400 Careers In MotionLaura Holman ’08 speaks to students at Valentino

The fashion trip brought together a group of alumni in the New York City area to help students explore not only fashion as a career, but to realize the different areas of industry that exist within fashion. The trip also focused on how to break into the industry through various internships, programs and job opportunities. During the trip, students were able to visit Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Michael Kors, the Gap Headquarters, and the Macy flagship store.

We interviewed Carley Sambrook, a senior who has recently discovered her passion for fashion — and now has the know-how to explore it.

STEM in Richmond

STEM has been a buzzword for years. Students every year enter college seeking degrees in the “Big Four” — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. But what do you do with a degree in STEM? This career trip, the first of its kind, sought to answer this question.

The STEM trip traveled to Richmond, and explored both the city and countryside, from operating rooms to high-tech agricultural farms.

“Our trip was meant to be exploratory,” trip coordinator Molly Steele said. “Students were able to see there are so many options to utilize their degrees, including private practice, research and industry.”

While STEM often means “pre-med” for many students, this trip had a little something for everyone. Students spoke to environmental consultants, pharmaceutical sales reps, medical engineering, clinical psychologists and more! Of course, there was also a stop for all the aspiring doctors in the room.

Down-by-the-river-wluCareerTrips-is-learning-about-enviro-disasters-how-to-restore-the-river-and-how-to-prevent-damage-in-the-future-600x400 Careers In Motion#wluCareer trips down by the river, learning about environmental disasters and what scientists can do to restore damage and prevent accidents in the future

“There are opportunities in many fields for all types of science disciplines,” Steele said. “So many jobs today require both scientific knowledge and the skills at the core of liberal arts such as verbal and written communication and problem solving and critical thinking.”

Each stop was multi-faceted so that students who were interested in various aspects of STEM would be able to explore paths, not only in their own disciplines, but in other areas of science they didn’t know where connected.  They received advice on how to break into a specific area of STEM, how to gather experience for a job or grad school, and how to set yourself on a path to “your STEM dream job.”

During the trip, students were able to visit Angler Environmental, the Commonwealth Institute for Child and Family Studies, Virginia Urology, a precision agriculture and drone research farm, the VCU Rice Center for River Habitat Conservation, and the Retreat Hospital.

Does this sound interesting? We live-tweeted this entire trip! You can check out all of the good stuff we learned on the trip here.

We interviewed Tara Loughery, a junior who was considering going pre-med, but decided to pursue a different path.

Are you interested in finding a career or internship? Are you wondering how to start working towards your dream job? The Career Development Office wants to help! Check out their website and make an appointment today!
Related //

Michael Hill to Lecture on “‘American Dreamin’: Adolescence in the Black Imagination”

“Hill’s work is expansive and insightful. He is equally at home analyzing literature, hip hop music, crime and pulp fiction, and cultural history.”

hill_m Michael Hill to Lecture on “‘American Dreamin’: Adolescence in the Black Imagination”Michael Hill

Michael Hill, associate professor of English at the University of Iowa, will deliver a public lecture on “‘American Dreamin’: Adolescence in the Black Imagination” at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in Hillel House Multipurpose Room.

His lecture is part of this year’s celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. (Event Schedule). His talk is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Planning Committee and the Division of Student Affairs.

Hill is a scholar of African-American and American literature and culture.  His research interests include post-World War II African-American culture, with a particular focus on post-Harlem Renaissance literature. Hill says of his work “it explores how black creative styles reveal the challenges of creating a multiracial democracy.”

His first book, “The Ethics of Swagger: Prizewinning African-American Novels, 1977-1993,” examined novels that received literary prizes in the late 20th century and thereby conferred an aesthetic and political independence on their authors.  His current project, in his words, “considers the ways that adolescence recurs as a generative metaphor in black creative expression.”

“Hill’s work is expansive and insightful,” said Marc Conner, W&L professor of English and interim provost. “He is equally at home analyzing literature, hip hop music, crime and pulp fiction, and cultural history. I’m delighted we can bring him to W&L to lecture and teach our students.”

Related //,

ODK Initiates Four Honorary and 39 Student Members during 2017 Founders Day/ODK Convocation

ODK_image ODK Initiates Four Honorary and 39 Student Members during 2017 Founders Day/ODK ConvocationOmicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, was founded at Washington and Lee in 1914.

Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, will welcome four honorary and 39 student initiates at Washington and Lee University’s annual Founders Day/ODK Convocation on Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The convocation is free and open to the public. The program and ceremony will be broadcast live online.

Jonathan Holloway will speak on “The Price of Recognition: Race and the Making of the Modern University.” He will be signing his latest book, “Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940” (2013) on the museum level of Lee Chapel from 4—4:30 p.m.

ODK honorary initiates are: Judy L. Casteele, executive director of Project Horizon; Eugene Michael (Gene) McCabe, associate professor of physical education and head men’s varsity coach at W&L; Joan Marie (Shaun) Shaughnessy, Roger D. Groot Professor of Law at W&L; and Kevin A. Struthers, director of jazz programs at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.

Casteele is the executive director of Project Horizon, a nonprofit human service organization dedicated to reducing domestic, dating and sexual violence in Lexington, Virginia. Casteele is a summa cum laude graduate of Bluefield College and has worked in the field of violence against women for nearly 30 years. She has been recognized for her outstanding work in the field of victim services by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, in 2000; by the International Association of Forensic Nurses Advocacy Award, in 2000; and by Virginia Tech, who named her Community Woman of the Year, in 2001. She is a lifetime member and past chair of the governing body of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (VSDVAA). Casteele also was honored by VSDVAA with a Nexus Catalyst Award in 2010, for her collaborative work with law enforcement. In 2011, she was named one of the Top 30 Voices of people whose work made an indelible impact in the field of violence against women in Virginia. In 2014, she was named to Governor McAuliffe’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Assault. Casteele has served as president of the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board. She belongs to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lexington, where she serves on the church council and chairs the Social Ministry Committee.

McCabe is an associate professor of physical education and head men’s lacrosse coach at Washington and Lee University. In his 11th season as the head men’s lacrosse coach, he has posted a 119-61 (.661) overall record and won a pair of ODAC titles and three trips to the NCAA tournament. He was named the USILA National Coach of the Year in 2003 while head coach at Hamilton College. His overall coaching record over 15 seasons is 173-79 (.687). McCabe was an assistant football and lacrosse coach at W&L from 1998 to 2002. He graduated from Bates College in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in European history, and he also earned certification to teach secondary social studies education. At Bates, he lettered in lacrosse and football. McCabe was elected to the University Board of Appeals in 2016 and recently completed a four-year term on the Student Affairs Committee. He is a board member of Lacrosse the Nations (LtN), a foundation that provides physical education and life-skills mentoring to disadvantaged children in the U.S. and abroad. In 2016, he led nine W&L students on a service trip with LtN to Managua, Nicaragua. McCabe is also on the board of Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington. He is the vice president of the USILA (United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association) and serves as a USILA All American Committee member. He and his wife, Kristen, have four children.

Shaughnessy is the Roger D. Groot Professor of Law and a core faculty member of the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Program on Poverty and Human Capability. She joined the faculty of the School of Law in 1983. She received her B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and her J.D. from the University of Chicago, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif. She teaches and writes in the areas of federal procedure and child maltreatment. She has been a visiting professor at Washington University School of Law, Washington College of Law at American University and Brooklyn Law School. Beginning with her service on the Co-Education Task Force Committee on Security, Shaughnessy has served the law school and the university in a wide range of capacities. She was associate dean in the law school and has participated in numerous search committees. She chairs the University Faculty Review Committee and the School of Law’s Admissions Committee and is a member of the President’s Advisory Committee and the University Board of Appeals. She has been a member and chair of the Lexington Planning Commission and of the board of Rockbridge Area Hospice. She provides volunteer legal assistance to victims of domestic violence through Sanctuary for Families, based in New York, where she is a member of the bar.

Struthers, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1989, is director of jazz programs at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He is responsible for the artistic programming and day-to-day direction of jazz programs (collaborating with Jason Moran, artistic director for jazz, 2011 to present, and with Dr. Billy Taylor, artistic director for jazz, 1994–2010), including over 50 annual subscription series concert presentations and Kennedy Center-produced performances; the Kennedy Center Jazz Club; the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival; and the two-week Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead international career development residency. Highlights of his Kennedy Center tenure include the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters Tribute Concert 2016; the creation of the interdisciplinary Jason + series, showcasing jazz pianist Jason Moran with artists and companies of varied genres; the Blue Note at 75 celebration of the iconic record label’s diamond anniversary; the Jazz in Our Time: Living Jazz Legends award ceremony and concert, honoring over 30 international jazz icons; concerts marking the careers and birthdays of James Moody, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Taylor, Jimmy Heath and Benny Golson; the production of several CDs of Kennedy Center performances; the recording, broadcasts andstreaming of programming on NPR with “JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater,” “Billy Taylor’s Jazz at the Kennedy Center,” “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz,” “Toast of the Nation,” “A Jazz Piano Christmas” and “Jazz Night in America”; and the implementation of international public diplomacy Jazz Ambassador tours with the U.S. Department of State. Struthers holds an M.A. in arts management from the American University and a B.A. in music (independent major in music, emphasis on musicology) from Washington and Lee University. He resides with his wife, Courtney Harpold Struthers ’89, M.D., and their children, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Undergraduate Class of 2017:

Md Azmain Amin (Dhaka, Bangladesh) is majoring in computer science. Debating from a young age, he did not let the lack of debating opportunities at W&L hinder his dreams. He founded W&L’s first-ever Parliamentary Debating Club and led it for two years before passing on the responsibilities to the upcoming W&L debaters. He has acted as the teaching assistant for the Computer Science Department for two years, helping new students understand the fundamentals of programming. He won three business-pitching competitions in W&L with his ideas for a jute bag and a social app.

Andrew Jacob George Blocker (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida) is a public accounting major. Blocker has served as the Executive Committee representative for the Class of 2017 for three years. An avid violinist, he has played in the first violin section of the University Orchestra for four years. He serves as a co-chair of the CONTACT Committee and as a lector at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. He is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honor society.

Jeffrey Jake Burnett (Anaheim Hills, California) is majoring in psychology and music. Now in his fourth year in the ensemble, he is the student manager and bass section leader for the Washington and Lee University Singers. He also serves the a cappella group General Admission as co-music director and has been active in university theater since his first year. This is his third year working in the Prejudice and Intergroup Relations Lab under Professor Julie A. Woodzicka, including one summer with a Summer Research Scholar grant. Burnett continuously pursues more opportunities to lead on campus, including his work on the First-Year Orientation Committee and as a University Big for the past two years.

Thomas Bryant Cain (Greenville, South Carolina) is majoring in accounting and business administration. He is captain of the three-time state champions, the W&L Screaming Minks rugby team, and is a former president of the Kappa Alpha Order. He was selected as an Outstanding Male Peer Counselor and is involved in Washington and Lee Student Consulting.

John Mayer Crum (Charlotte, N.C.) is majoring in history and minoring in creative writing. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Washington and Lee Mock Convention, he served as co-director of communications. He has served on the Voting Regulations Board and is a member of the Student Body Constitutional Review Committee. He is also a tenor II in the Washington and Lee University Singers.

Kinsey Regan Grant (Tallahassee, Florida) is a Johnson Scholar majoring in business journalism. A devoted financial news reporter, she serves as the managing editor of the Ring-Tum Phi. Grant also works as a producer of the “Rockbridge Report,” the area’s only live television news broadcast and website. Prior to producing the show, she was an anchor and weather analyst. Grant has the privilege of serving as treasurer, and was formerly programs chair, of the W&L chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She is active in Greek life and has served two years on Kappa Delta’s chapter council. She enjoys the opportunity to serve others through volunteering with Feel Good and giving campus tours as a university ambassador.

Batsheva Honig (West Bloomfield, Michigan) is a psychology major and poverty and human capability studies minor with a concentration in health studies. The Bonner Scholar is an active volunteer in the Rockbridge community, serving as the Burish Intern for Natural Bridge Elementary School, a patient care volunteer for Rockbridge Area Hospice and as president for College Access. Honig has held the role of chair of the University Big/Little Program for three consecutive years, connecting all incoming first-years with upper-division mentors. In addition to being a member of Hillel and serving as its social action chair, she is a peer health educator on W&L’s campus.

Conley Karlovic Hurst (Little Rock, Arkansas) is majoring in history with minors in music and creative writing. A two-time ODAC Men’s Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year, he is co-captain of the W&L Men’s Golf Team. Hurst served as Arkansas state chair for the 2016 W&L Mock Convention, and he serves as co-editor of opinions for the Ring-Tum Phi. An accomplished classical pianist, he recently won the Music Department’s 2016 concerto competition and will perform as a soloist with the University Symphony Orchestra this spring.

Daniel Coleman Johnson (Flintstone, Georgia) is majoring in economics and politics. He serves as the vice president of the Executive Committee, a lead class agent, board member of Kathekon, and trip leader on the Volunteer Venture Leading Edge program. Johnson was formerly an active member of the Faculty Executive Committee, the University Board of Appeals, and the Mock Convention, serving as the Georgia state chair. He belongs to Phi Delta Theta.

Laura Elizabeth Lavette (Birmingham, Alabama) is majoring in biochemistry with a minor in poverty and human capabilities studies. With a passion for medicine, Lavette plays an active role in the Student Health Committee, has volunteered in the emergency department of Stonewall Jackson Hospital, and spent a year shadowing a public health nurse in Buena Vista. She devoted her summer to obesity research and has spent the past two years as a general co-chair for the First-Year Orientation Committee. Lavette is a co-founder of the Little Generals Club, which seeks to stimulate disadvantaged children beyond the walls of the classroom.

Courtney Jennifer McCauley (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an accounting and business administration and politics major. She served on the Executive Committee of the 2016 Mock Convention as director of operations and is a trustee of the organization, interviewing first-years for 2020 leadership positions. McCauley is involved in W&L Student Consulting, Kathekon and Beta Alpha Psi. After graduation she will be working for JP Morgan as an analyst in the investment grade finance group of the investment bank.

Kristin Angelle Sharman (Williamsville, New York) is a classics major and education minor. A Johnson Scholar and Bonner Scholar, she is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Eta Sigma Phi Classics Honor Society, and Phi Eta Sigma. She has served as a Burish Intern at Rockbridge County High School and as president of the Multicultural Student Association. She is co-president of Nabors Service League, and chair of the aging, health and disability impact area. She is a board member for Campus Catholic Ministry and volunteers at Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center.

Aalekhya Tenali (Melbourne, Florida) is majoring in biochemistry and mathematics. A three-time residential advisor (RA) to first-year students, she also serves as the assistant head RA. Tenali leads the W&L Red Cross Club in hosting campus blood drives, peer tutors students, and volunteers at the Community Table. She is serving as an organic chemistry teaching assistant and provides professional assistance to students in her role as a Career Fellow in W&L’s Career Development Center. Tenali is also an active University Ambassador.

Zachary Joseph Taylor (Syracuse, New York) is pursuing majors in philosophy and classics and a minor in poverty and human capability studies. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Taylor serves as a hearing advisor, chief editor of the Mudd Journal of Ethics, president of the Philosophy Club, and a community assistant as part of the Residential Life staff. He is also involved in peer tutoring and DJs a weekly show for WLUR. Taylor is an active member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, where he often reads as a lector and serves as a eucharistic minister.

Anna Caroline Todd (LaGrange, Georgia) is majoring in English. As president of SPEAK, she leads first-year orientation week programming and represents the organization on the university’s Healthy Sexual Culture Committee. She has also served on the Panhellenic Council for three years as secretary and programming chair. She has tutored at Waddell Elementary School and been the student representative on the Faculty Executive Committee and the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Committee. A member of University Singers, she also works as a tutor in the Writing Center, as a two-time intern with the Shenandoah literary review, and as a community assistant in upper-division housing.

Caleigh Wells (Calabasas, California) is a journalism, politics and sociology triple major. Acting as team captain of the equestrian team her junior and senior years, she also earned the title of Most Valuable Rider in 2016 and the ODAC Rookie of the Year in 2014. Wells is active in community service, serving as secretary of Alpha Phi Omega, W&L’s service fraternity, since its re-chartering effort began in 2014. She has directed, reported, produced and anchored on “Rockbridge Report,” and interned at NPR in Cleveland the past two summers. She also is a member of General Admission, W&L’s competitive a cappella group.

Undergraduate Class of 2018:

Raymond Emory Cox (Pell City, Alabama) is majoring in American history. Elected his first and sophomore years to represent the Class of 2018 on the Student Judicial Council, he serves as SJC secretary. In addition to his work in student government, he co-chairs the University Development Office’s Development Ambassadors Program to engage students about the importance of philanthropy. A passionate politico, Cox chaired the College Republicans Club his sophomore year and served as the Alabama state chair during Mock Convention 2016. He is a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity and has served on the Student Financial Aid Committee since his first year at Washington and Lee. Cox attends R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church and is an active member of the Rockbridge Area Republican Party.

Dana Purser Gary (Franklin, Tennessee) is majoring in English. She is an artistic director for Friday Underground and Friday Underground Records, W&L’s only student-run music venue and associated record label. Gary is the co-musical director for General Admission, an active peer counselor, and a cast member of six university theatrical productions so far. In 2016, she received funding from the Cynthia D. Klinedinst Fund for Theater for a summer internship with Telsey + Co. Casting, in New York City. She is a tenor I in the University Singers and frontman for the student jazz group Hella Fitzgerald.

Thomas Mason Grist (Lexington, Virginia) is majoring in economics and religion, with minors in classics and poverty and human capabilities studies. The former president of the Executive Committee, Grist sat on numerous committees last year, including the Presidential Search Committee, which brought President Dudley to campus. He serves on the Faculty Executive Committee, is an App Adventure Pre-Orientation Trip leader and a peer counselor for first-year students. He is also an Owings Fellow, a W&L tour guide, and a co-speaker’s chair for Kathekon.

Ralston Carder Hartness (Chattanooga, Tennessee) is majoring in religion and minoring in education. As the assistant head community assistant for Woods Creek/Theme Houses, Hartness is an active leader in creating community for upper-division students in a residential setting. He also coordinates Washington and Lee student involvement in an after-school program at Maury River Middle School through his Burish Internship. Ralston is an avid member of the Outing Club, a Young Life leader at Rockbridge County High School, and an active participant in Leadership Education and Development (LEAD). He enjoys writing and performing his own music at Friday Underground and other venues in Lexington.

Kassie Ann Scott (Pennsville, New Jersey) is an English and sociology double major with a minor in poverty and human capability studies. She co-founded and co-directs Friday Underground, a weekly coffeehouse event, in addition to leading the Gender Action Group. Scott assists her peers in the job and internship application process as Head Career Fellow for Washington and Lee’s Career Development. Now a writing center tutor and assistant editor for the Mudd Journal of Ethics, Scott has published in inGeneral, the Ring-tum Phi, the Stone Academic Journal and USA TODAY College. She serves as a peer counselor and University Ambassador. Off campus, Scott has worked as a human rights intern in Romania through the Shepherd Internship Program and Erik T. Woolley Fellowship and as a cultural ambassador through the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission.

Thomas Hart Thetford (Birmingham, Alabama) is majoring in mathematics. As a member of the swim team, he has twice earned the Memorial Swimming Award, and was honored as the ODAC Rookie of the Year and ODAC Swimmer of the Year in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Thetford is the reigning NCAA national champion in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles. In 2016, he set three individual school and conference records on his way to becoming a five-time NCAA All-American. He dedicated the past two summers to preparing for and competing in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2016 United States Olympic Team Trials, where he placed 66th in the nation at a young age of 20. He is captain of the men’s swim team.

Angel Francisco Vela De La Garza Evia (Monterrey, Mexico) is majoring in chemistry-engineering and mathematics. As a Bonner Scholar, he has devoted his time to the student groups English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Campus Kitchen. In ESOL, he teaches English to adults and coordinates family placements. In Campus Kitchen, he leads cooking shifts and delivers food in an effort to combat hunger and promote nutrition in Rockbridge County. He is also a first-year resident adviser and manages the Peer Tutoring program.

Law Class of 2017:

Anne Marie Anderson (Grand Junction, Colorado) is a managing editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review, where she oversees and manages the publication process of articles. In the summer of 2016, the Washington and Lee Law Review Online published her Note, “How Much Are You Worth? A Statutory Alternative to the Unconstitutionality of Experts’ Use of Minority-Based Statistics.” Anderson was selected for the Washington and Lee Black Lung Legal Clinic, and she was selected to be a peer mentor to fellow law students as a Kirgis Fellow. She is also a member of Phi Delta Phi.

Christopher Clayton Brewer (Morgantown, West Virginia) serves as a Kirgis Fellow, where he advises first-year students as they transition into law school. In addition to peer advising, he is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review, and is a member of the Moot Court external competition team. Before law school, Brewer graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in history from James Madison University. At James Madison, he presented scholarship at multiple undergraduate research conferences and was active in Greek life, serving as president of his chapter for two years. Outside of academics, he is an Eagle Scout and remains active with the Boy Scouts of America, volunteering as an adult leader with his local troop in the summer.

Matthew Christopher Donahue (Benicia, California) is a former elementary school teacher, who has continued to work in the public interest as a law student. He is a board member for the Public Interest Law Student Association and works with the Shepherd Poverty Program to strategize ways to build stronger relationships between Shepherd and the law school. Donahue is also a staff writer on the Washington and Lee Law Review and actively engaged in research focusing on the environment, private industry, and cultural heritage spaces

Peter Martin Szeremeta (Reston, Virginia) graduated in 2012 from the University of Virginia with a degree in foreign affairs. After UVa, he taught sixth-grade earth science in Atlanta as a Teach for America Corps member. At W&L, he is the senior articles editor of the Law Review and recently published his Student Note discussing constitutional challenges to teacher tenure. As a second-year law student, he served as a Kirgis Fellow by mentoring a group of first-year law students.

Annie Cox Tripp (Poquoson, Virginia) graduated from the United States Naval Academy, served as a nuclear warfare officer, and then worked with homeless veterans in Colorado before coming to W&L. She serves as a Hearing Advocate within the school’s Honor System, a Kirgis Fellow for first-year law students, and the Burks Writing Fellow within the Law School Legal Research program. She also writes and edits for the W&L Law Review as an online articles editor.  In the Rockbridge community, Tripp is actively involved with Earthsong Community School, which her daughter attends.

Arthur Ross Vorbrodt (Allendale, New Jersey) is studying corporate, securities and tax law. He holds upper board positions on two W&L Law journals — the Washington & Lee Law Review (managing editor) and German Law Journal (senior articles editor). Additionally, his article “Clapper Dethroned” has been published in the W&L Law Review Online. At Rutgers University, he was the social chairman of Theta Chi fraternity, assisting in the organization of, and participating in, philanthropic events to raise money for wounded soldiers and children with terminal illnesses. He is an avid skier and tennis player, having substantially competed in both sports for much of his teenage life.

Elizabeth Randle Williams (Austin, Texas) is in the Criminal Justice Clinic. The co-president of the Women Law Student’s Organization, with a membership list of men and women including nearly half of the law school community, she is also a Burks Scholar working with first-year students on research and writing. She is a member of the Student Advisory Group to the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct board, as well as a lead articles editor for the German Law Journal. She is a member of the External Mock Trial Team and a hearing advisor, and has held leadership positions with the American Constitution Society. In her spare time, she is an avid distance runner and hopes to run her first marathon in 2017.

Law Class of 2018:

Peter Scott Askin (Richmond, Virginia) majored in political science at Davidson College. He is the marketing editor for the Law News, a junior editor for the German Law Journal, the treasurer of the Latin American Law Students Association, and the Class of 2018 chapter representative for the Virginia Young Lawyers Division. Along with his teammate Thomas Griffin, he was the 2016 winner of the Robert J. Grey Negotiation competition. He volunteers for the James River Association doing environmental law research, and loves to hike and whitewater kayak. Askin is also an avid saxophonist and has performed for the Washington and Lee jazz band and at events and restaurants in the Lexington area. Before law school, he developed a strong command of the Spanish language while living in Argentina, and served as a Virginia senate page for then Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine.

Christopher Clayton Brewer (Morgantown, West Virginia) is a Kirgis Fellow. He is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review and belongs to the Phi Delta Phi legal honor society.

Matthew C. Donahue (Lexington, Virginia) is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee School of Law. He was a finalist, Appellate Brief Writing, in the John W. Davis Moot Court Competition, and is a board member for the Public Interest Law Student Association.

Kendall Pierce Manning (Norfolk, Massachusetts) graduated from the University of Delaware in 2015 with a major in English/professional writing and a minor in legal studies. As an undergraduate student, she served as the treasurer for Students for Haiti and the volunteer coordinator for the Student Association for the Education of Young Children. While at the University of Delaware, she traveled to Haiti and South Africa to work with orphaned and at-risk children. Manning works as a staff writer on the Journal of Civil Rights & Social Justice and is a member of the Women Law Students Organization, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society. She is also a Kirgis Fellow and, as such, mentors incoming law students.

Jonathan Andrew Murphy (Salem, Virginia) is the former 1L and current 2L class president and a leader in the W&L Student Bar Association. He represents the law school student body on the W&L Student Advisory Committee and is a member of the Christian Legal Society. He is a staff writer for the W&L Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice and has worked as a research assistant for Visiting Professor Christopher Whelan and Visiting Academic Fellow Henok Gabisa. He traveled to the London School of Economics in 2016 to present a paper he co-wrote with fellow student Luisa Hernandez Juarez. He serves on the board of directors for a Ugandan non-profit, Serving His Children, which combats malnutrition in rural villages throughout East Africa. He attends Grace Presbyterian Church.

Benjamin Stuart Nye (Little Rock, Arkansas) is president of W&L’s chapter of the Christian Legal Society. Nye serves as a peer mentor in the Kirgis Fellow program and is a member of the Washington and Lee Law Review. Prior to law school, he volunteered regularly with Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity, where he was given the Helping Hands Award in 2014. Nye has also taught Sunday school and led worship at Grace Presbyterian Church, in Lexington.

Nicholas Alexander Ramos (Woodbridge, Virginia) is the founding president of W&L Veterans’ Advocates. In November 2016, he spearheaded a charity movie night at Hull’s Drive-In and brought together the Lexington community for a screening of “Black Hawk Down.” The event raised several hundred dollars for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. In addition to continuing the charity movie night in the future, Ramos plans to invite guest speakers to W&L Law to discuss pro bono legal services for veterans. He also actively speaks about his eight-plus years of active-duty military service throughout the community. Most recently, he spoke to VMI’s ROTC Cadets and to eighth-graders at Lylburn Downing Middle School. He is also a Law Ambassador and supports the Law School Admissions Office by assisting potential applicants and admitted students make decisions about whether to apply to or attend W&L Law.

Alix Myer Sirota (Kingston, Pennsylvania) graduated from the College of Charleston in 2011 with a B.A. in political science. He is a Kirgis Fellow, a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review, and a research assistant to Professor Jill Fraley. Before law school, Sirota worked in the produce business for three years, during which he spent time in Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia and Texas. During his 1L summer, he was a judicial intern to the Honorable Richard M. Hughes, III, president judge of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Peter Treutlen Thomas (Birmingham, Alabama) is a hearing advisor under W&L’s Honor System. He is a staff writer on the Washington and Lee Law Review and will be representing the school in external moot court competitions beginning this semester.  He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa before graduating magna cum laude with honors in psychology from Sewanee: The University of the South.

Katheryn (Kit) Paige Thomas (Charleston, West Virginia) is focusing her studies on capital defense work. She serves as the vice justice for the law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta, and as the treasurer for the law school’s chapter of the American Constitution Society. Through Phi Alpha Delta and with the help of other organization’s leaders, Thomas was able to help organize the law school’s first annual chili cook-off, which raised money for public interest law students. She is an active member of the law ambassador program at the law school, welcoming new and prospective students to campus. In addition to her extracurricular involvement, Thomas is a member of the Washington and Lee Law Review, where her Note deals with a criminal defendant’s rights to counsel of choice and court-appointed counsel. As a second-year student, she is a student attorney in the law school’s death penalty clinic, the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse.

Catherine Elizabeth Woodcock (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida) graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in political science. She taught high school English for two years in Jacksonville, Florida, as a Teach for America corps member.  At Washington and Lee, she is a staff writer for the Law Review Journal.  She is the vice president of the Student Bar Association and the Women Law Students Organization. Woodcock also serves as a Kirgis Fellow Mentor for the first-year class.

Meet W&L’s Oldest Ceramic In the first installment of our new series, Ron Fuchs tells the story behind a 4,000-year-old jar in Watson Pavilion.

Editor’s Note:

Welcome to “From the Collections,” a brand new series in The Columns that will highlight the many fascinating objects in University Collections of Art and History. Through the ages, Washington and Lee University has been a trusted steward of art and history; today, it is home to thousands of important works and historic objects that are housed under the umbrellas of The Reeves Collection, Lee Chapel and Museum, and the Art Collection. 

Some of these items are on display for the campus community and visitors to see, while others are currently housed in storage. In addition, the university frequently acquires new objects for the collections.  In monthly installments written by UCAH staff, “From the Collections” will tell the stories of some of these items, from the oldest objects in the collections to the most exciting new acquisitions. 

Stay tuned for another new series, “Out of the Vault,” that will focus on the Special Collections Department of Leyburn Library and will debut within the next few weeks.

R199422-688x768 Meet W&L's Oldest CeramicThis jar, made in China more than 4,000 years ago, is the oldest ceramic in W&L’s collection.

This large jar, which is on display just inside the front door of the Watson Pavilion, is the oldest ceramic in the Reeves Collection, and is one of the oldest human-made objects at Washington and Lee University.

It was made in northwestern China more than 4,000 years ago by people of the Majiayao Culture. These people did not have potter’s wheels (which were developed in southern China about 3000 BCE), so this piece was made by stacking long coils of clay one on top of another, and then joining them together with a paddle to make a smooth, thin-walled vessel.

The jar was probably made to store food for the afterlife, and would have been buried with its owner. Since the people who made this jar left behind no written record, we have no real idea about whether the jar’s decoration had religious or cultural significance, or if it was done to satisfy what seems to be an innate human desire for decoration and pattern. Some scholars have seen in its swirling lines evidence of an interest in brushwork that would later manifest itself in calligraphy, one of China’s highest art forms.

The jar was bought by a group of donors to honor Elizabeth Watson, who gave the funds that built the Watson Pavilion. However, the acquisition of jars like this is not without controversy; they are found below ground, usually in graves. Disturbed during construction or outright looted, they are robbed of their context and often smuggled out of China. When the Reeves bought this jar in the 1990s, museums were not aware of — or were not concerned about — such issues. Today we are, and we would not acquire something without a known provenance (museum-speak for an object’s place of discovery and history).

Ancient jars like these are also players in the contemporary art world. The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has painted similar jars with the Coca-Cola logo and dipped others in brightly colored paint to symbolize the destruction of traditional Chinese culture by government oppression and globalization.

Neolithic Jar

Made by: Majiayao Culture

Where: Northwestern China

When: 2300-2000 BCE

Material: Earthenware

Acquisition: Museum purchase with funds provided by Mrs. Lea Booth, Mr. and Mrs. Arlen Cotter, Mrs. Floyd Gottwald, Mrs. Shirley Hui, and Mr. and Mrs. James W. Whitehead

Meet the Johnsons: Ryder Babik ’19

“This is the kind of place where differing views, each with their own valuable contribution, create a climate of real, meaningful change”

Ryder_Babik-600x400 Meet the Johnsons: Ryder Babik '19Meet Ryder Babik ’19, a student who enjoys college as much as he enjoys helping others apply to college

Q: How did you first hear about the Johnson Scholarship?

During my initial search for competitive, small liberal arts schools, I came across Washington and Lee and began to research the school online. While reading about everything from the Speaking Tradition to all of the various clubs on campus, I came across a page about the Johnson Scholarship and was amazed by the opportunities it offered. Especially weighing the abilities of one to “contribute to the intellectual and civic life of W&L and the world at large in years to come,” the scholarship’s ideals greatly aligned with my values and motivated me to apply.

Q: Were you considering any other colleges when you applied for the Scholarship?

At the time, I was considering Tufts, Yale, Bowdoin, Johns Hopkins, and Hamilton.

Q: Why did you ultimately choose W&L?

Between the Speaking Tradition, Honor System, and overall genuinely friendly nature I saw of students at W&L during my visit to campus, the quality of the students here definitely influenced my decision. Additionally, the professors I met and staff I talked to all welcomed me as if I were already a W&L student. So for me, the ultimate decision to attend W&L came when I visited the campus and almost instantaneously learned of the uniquely special environment here.

Q: How has Johnson affected your views on leadership and integrity — or on academics?

The Johnson has made me feel as though I have a special responsibility to represent the W&L ideals both in and out of the classroom to the best of my ability. The most interesting part, however, is that at W&L everyone lives by this responsibility such that it is nearly impossible to differentiate between who has the Johnson Scholarship and who doesn’t. So although I am honored to be a Johnson and it inspires me in all my pursuits while I’m here, every student, regardless of their situation, embodies this same enthusiasm to represent W&L and better the community.

Q: What is your favorite story about your W&L experience, if you had to pick one?

My favorite memory at W&L so far has been my experiences during spring term to conclude my first year. I was enrolled in a British literature class and would often spend afternoons relaxing outside with classmates while furthering the discussions we had in class. With the added free time during spring term, I also explored Lexington a lot, from tubing down the Maury to hiking and fishing with friends. Overall, spring term was a truly awesome experience because I was fully invested in the course I took while still having time to pursue other passions that are sometimes put on hold during the busy fall and winter semesters.

Q: Do you have a mentor on campus? Faculty, staff, or another student?

Although all of the professors in the mathematics and engineering departments have mentored me tremendously, my most valuable mentors have been my close friends at W&L. They regularly offer me advice on everything, from what to eat in the dining hall and what TV shows to watch to what classes and extracurriculars I should pursue to accomplish my goals. My friends, through serving also as mentors, have undoubtedly played a crucial role in shaping me to be the motivated W&L student I am today.

Q: What extracurricular are you involved in right now that you are extra passionate about?

One organization I am currently involved in and very passionate about is College Access, through which I’ve been tutoring a local Lexington High School student for the past year and a half. Beginning with help in his classes, then preparing him for the SAT/ACT, and now aiding him in the college application process, it has been extremely rewarding to work alongside him and watch his progression. When we aren’t debunking a weirdly phrased SAT math problem or revising his “who are you?” college essay, we’ll talk about other interests of ours, and just life in general. Through tutoring and getting to know him, I’ve become connected to the Lexington community and feel as though Lexington is more of a second home than I ever would have thought possible.

Q: What is your favorite campus tradition or piece of history?

My favorite campus tradition is the superstition that when walking along the path through Graham-Lees, it is bad luck to walk between the center columns as it will supposedly cause you to fail a class. It just goes to show how motivated W&L students are about academics when the narrow cement paths on both outsides of the center columns have been worn down several inches from being walked on so excessively. On the other hand, the huge walkway between the two columns always looks freshly laid and untouched. I’ve never personally tested out the truth of this superstition, but it’s funny to see that no one else is willing to test it out either.

Q: If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to “first day on campus” you?

Looking back, I would advise myself to take advantage more of open office hours and the outgoing nature of professors at W&L. For the first semester of my first year at W&L, I was hesitant to reach out to professors outside of the allotted class time each week. At a small school like W&L, the professors are here because they genuinely want to get to know their students and help them succeed. So whether you need further explanation on the topic of a lecture or are just curious about something you read online the other day, utilizing the openness of professors is definitely something I wish I started sooner. W&L provides an infinite number of opportunities to learn outside the classroom, but it is up to you to take advantage of these opportunities and make the most of your time on campus.

Q: If someone asked you “why choose W&L,” what is the one reason you would tell them?

Because this is the kind of place where differing views, each with their own valuable contribution, create a climate of real, meaningful change. When an engineering major like myself, a classics major, and an economics major are all sitting and conversing together in the dining hall, the varying perspectives intellectually stimulate you far beyond what is capable solely from the typical classroom experience.

Thinking about W&L for college? Why not apply for the Johnson Scholarship

If you know a W&L student who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.

A little more about Ryder

Natick, MA

Engineering, Mathematics

Extracurricular involvement:
Design Build Fly, Club Tennis, College Access, Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Spikeball Club, Leadership Education and Development, Outing Club, Engineering Community Development

Off-campus activities/involvement:
Tutoring local Lexington High School students

Why did you choose your major?
Math has always been my favorite subject and since I first started playing with Legos, I’ve always had a passion for building things.

What professor has inspired you?
Professor Irina Mazilu, my Intro Physics professor

What’s your personal motto?
It’s not how good you are, but how good you want to be

What’s your favorite song right now?
“Another Day in Paradise” by Quinn XCII

Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
Napa Thai — definitely the drunken noodles with chicken

What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
That I didn’t need to pack all of my life’s possessions into where I’d only be living for one year.

Post-graduation plans:
Attending an engineering graduate program

Favorite W&L memory:
Hiking House Mountain with a bunch of friends to catch the sunrise one weekend during the middle of winter term

Favorite Class:
Engineering – Circuits

Favorite W&L Event:
Mock Convention 2016

Favorite Campus Landmark:
The Liberty Ruins

What’s your passion?
Leveraging what I learn in the classroom to empower others and make a positive social change

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I once ate dinner with Chuck Norris.

Why did you choose W&L?
I was confident that W&L would academically challenge and sufficiently prepare me for the real world as well as develop me into a well-rounded individual.

Meet the Johnsons: Graham Novak ’19

“Don’t fret about making an exact four-year plan when you arrive on campus; your interests will change, you’ll find new passions, you’ll want to explore various fields, and you want to be open-minded.”

Graham_Novak-600x400 Meet the Johnsons: Graham Novak '19Meet Graham Novak ’19, an aspiring – and already accomplished – entrepreneur

Q: How did you first hear about the Johnson Scholarship?

Graduating debt-free from a highly respected university was a top priority in my college search. With that said, I targeted top universities that had full-ride scholarship programs, and Washington and Lee quickly became a top contender.

Q: Were you considering any other colleges when you applied to W&L?

Vanderbilt, University of Pennsylvania, Emory, Furman, and Washington University, St. Louis

Q: Why did you ultimately choose W&L?

Of all the colleges I visited, W&L’s professors were the most down-to-earth and well-connected to the students. Going to class didn’t seem like a chore, instead it was a time to look forward to. Additionally, I came to the realization that the quality of education between the schools was extremely close; I’d have the opportunities to be successful at any of the institutions, but W&L expressed their genuine interest in me by offering a tremendous scholarship.

Q: How has Johnson affected your views on leadership and integrity — or on academics?

The Johnson Program represents a convergence of W&L’s traditions and the embodiment of student-driven passion for excellence and innovation. Academically, it reminds me that I have a high standard to uphold. The biggest impact, however, is an internalized sense of commitment to the university’s culture and community. I strive to be an ambassador of our values, role model for others, and contributor to the greater good as a small way of saying thanks to the school for providing me this unparalleled opportunity.

Q: What is your favorite story about your W&L experience, if you had to pick one?

Each fall, the university hosts its annual Entrepreneurship Summit; hundreds of students and alumni gather to hear from founders and CEOs, participate in a school-wide pitch competition, and network with the individuals who are creating the businesses and technologies of the future. My freshman year, I managed my way into the final round of the pitch competition, standing on a stage in front of peers, professors, and potential investors. When they announced the winner, I felt the sting of loss but it only lasted a moment; as soon as the session ended, alumni swarmed me with their congratulations, offering their mentorship, asking me to tell them more. They didn’t talk to me like a student. They talked to me like a future partner.

Q: Do you have a mentor on campus? Faculty, staff, or another student?

Dr. Goldsmith is not only one of my favorite professors, but also my economics major advisor. Whether I want to discuss the repercussions of Brexit, pursue research opportunities, or get advice on the best vacation places in Australia, the man has advice on everything.

Q: What extracurricular are you involved in right now that you are extra-passionate about?

Without a doubt, my favorite organization is the Venture Club. We consult for start-ups, provide resources to student entrepreneurs, have case competitions, sponsor student pitches, and meet with alumni and business owners.  While it can be time-consuming and intensive, it is amazingly rewarding. Right now, we’re consulting for five different businesses, including a food producer and distributor in Shanghai, a digital publishing/marketing company, and a non-profit that wants to reimagine the way people donate money. Every semester is full of new projects that continue to challenge me in different ways.

Q: What is your favorite campus tradition or piece of history?

The Honor System creates an amazing sense of trust, mutual respect, and understanding between students and professors. I can leave my door wide open without the fear of someone taking my things. I can schedule my final exams to the times when they’re most convenient because the professors know that I will not cheat. I can trust that the students around me are honest and act with genuine integrity. It’s comforting, supportive, and held with the highest respect.

Q: If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to “first day on campus” you?

Don’t fret about making an exact four-year plan of all your classes when you arrive on campus; your interests will change, you’ll find new passions, you’ll want to explore various fields, and you want to be open-minded. There are many amazing classes that you just don’t know about yet.

Q: If someone asked you “why choose W&L,” what is the one reason you would tell them?

Students are happy, amazingly accomplished, and have a track record of unprecedented success after graduation. I feel genuine connections to my peers and professors, I’m given the tools and skills to accomplish my loftiest goals, and every day I’m thankful for making the best choice of my life; I don’t think there’s anything else I could ask for.

Thinking about W&L for college? Why not apply for the Johnson Scholarship?

If you know a W&L student who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.

A little more about Graham

Naperville, Illinois

Economics and Computer Science

Extracurricular involvement:
Venture Club, Contact Committee, Appalachian Adventure Trip Leader, Outing Club, University Ambassadors

Off-campus activities/involvement:
Remote Software Engineer for the U.S. Department of State, Illinois Boys State Mentor, beach volleyball enthusiast

Why did you choose your major?
After high school, I started a digital marketing company that focused on building websites, so it seemed natural to explore computer science further. I’ve also grown interested in finance and investing, so I decided to study economics as well. I’m fascinated by the convergence of the two—the possibility of writing predictive economic algorithms or software for new investing strategies.

What professor has inspired you?
Dr. Shay is the entrepreneur I aspire to be. His accomplishments as a consultant, partner, and founder seem unending, and the man has wisdom for seemingly everything. I admire his ambition, drive for innovation, and willingness to help every student.

What’s your personal motto?
There’s time to sleep when I’m dead.

Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
Napa Thai’s crispy shrimp gives me tears of joy

What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
It isn’t the Freshman 15 you have to worry about. It’s the Sophomore 15.

Post-graduation plans:
Start my own business. Simple enough, right?

Favorite W&L memory:
My first year at the university, my hall decided to have a “family dinner” and cook for ourselves one night. On a whim, we invited President Ruscio to join us—needless to say, the next week, he and his wife joined 15 first-years around a long study room table for a home-cooked meal served up on paper plates.

Favorite class:
Last Spring Term, I took “The Science of Cooking,” which focused on organic chemistry applications in food science. The class took place in Siena, Italy, which allowed us to visit a multitude of food producers and manufacturers.

Favorite W&L event:
Early in the fall, I had the thrill of a lifetime white water rafting with the Outing Club on some of the world’s best rapids on the Gully River.

Favorite campus landmark:
The view of House Mountain from the Center for Global Learning

What’s your passion?
I want to leave everything I touch better off than how I found it. That includes student organizations, my friends and family, the companies I work for and the world as a whole.

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I have some mad badminton skills.

Why did you choose W&L?
Academically rigorous, small class sizes, hyper-qualified professors, tight-knit community, and an unbelievable career services team.

Meet the Johnsons: Harrison Westgarth

“Choose W&L for the people; for the professors who challenge the perception of your own ability and intelligence, for the peers who disagree with and question your beliefs, and the friends you will make within a community that will change your life.”

Harrison_Westgarth-600x400 Meet the Johnsons: Harrison WestgarthMeet Harrison Westgarth ’17, a pre-med varsity athlete with a passion for teaching ESOL

Q: How did you first hear about the Johnson Scholarship?

I first heard about the Johnson Scholarship from the head swim coach, Coach Gardner. She told me all about the scholarship program when I came for my recruiting visit and suggested I look into applying. Without her suggestion, I don’t think I would have ever been aware of the scholarship to begin with.

Q: Were you considering any other colleges when you found W&L?

I was seriously struggling between the University of Rochester and Washington and Lee when it came down to my final choice. I also considered Carnegie Mellon, Wesleyan, and NYU as I narrowed down my options.

Q: Why did you ultimately choose W&L?

Many reasons. I visited three times and got a feel for the incredible sense of community that makes W&L what it is. The Johnson Scholarship was the unprecedented opportunity that provided the additional impetus leading to my ultimate decision to matriculate. There were opportunities here that weren’t available anywhere else, but there were also people here unlike any others.

Q: How has Johnson affected your views on leadership and integrity — or on academics?

The Johnson Scholarship constantly forces me to reflect on my purpose and place here at W&L. I periodically ask myself what I am doing to validate my status as a recipient of the award. Am I helping the campus change in a positive way? Am I making an impact on my peers? Am I truly performing in the classroom in a manner that would befit such an investment? I always try to conduct myself in a way that allows me to honestly answer “yes,” although it’s surely a constant process of self-evaluation.

Q:  What is your favorite story about your W&L experience, if you had to pick one?

This is a hard one, mostly because it’s difficult to pick a singular instance over all the great experiences I’ve had at W&L.

Of the many, one sticks out in my mind as fully representative of the W&L experience, though it didn’t take place on campus at all. It was Thanksgiving break of freshman year, my first time traveling home. I was in the Philly airport eating lunch alone near my gate when I needed to use the bathroom. I promptly stood up, leaving all my stuff abandoned at the table, and found my way to the restroom. Upon my return everything was as I’d left it, however, it dawned on me that leaving personal items unattended in public places was something I could only enjoy under the Honor System. Until that day, I didn’t realize the extent to which W&L was so intensely impacting my daily life. From then on, I’ve been consciously thankful for the life I live in my Lexington bubble.

Q: Do you have a mentor on campus? Faculty, staff, or another student?

Yes, my advisors Dr. Simurda and Professor Mayock. Dr. Simurda has been a wonderful guide to me since the very first week of my freshman year, providing me with unending advice in the academic world, helping me pursue my dreams in the professional world, and truly ensuring that I enjoy the greatest success possible.

Professor Mayock has had a similar impact on my academic path, but has affected me most in my journey learning Spanish. She was an integral factor in the development of my current passion for the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. Her phenomenal classroom presence during my sophomore year was contagious and led me into many of the organizations that make up so much of my campus identity today. My life has been changed irrevocably for the better thanks to the guiding hands of Dr. Simurda and Professor Mayock

Q: What extracurricular are you involved in right now that you are extra-passionate about?

Of my current extracurriculars, I am most intensely passionate about ESOL. I began working with the group my sophomore year and was matched with an immigrant family from Honduras. Over the past two years, I have grown and changed with this family. My skills as a Spanish speaker have increased, as has the English of their son (much to my pride). We have been through difficult and uncertain times, and most importantly, we have shared meals and laughed together. This family has impacted me in intangible and great ways and brought immigrant issues much closer to my heart. I now also work as the In/Out of School Tutoring Coordinator with the group and continue to take great pride in the difference we try to make in the lives of immigrants and non-native English speakers in Rockbridge County.

Q: If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to “first day on campus” you?

If I were to give advice to “first day me,” I would likely tell him the following: Don’t be a bum and wait to do your laundry and wash your sheets at the last possible moment, strive to give back and serve on campus sooner rather than later, and don’t be anyone other than yourself.

Q: If someone asked you “why choose W&L,” what is the one reason you would tell them?

I would tell them to choose W&L for the people; for the professors who challenge the perception of your own ability and intelligence, for the peers who disagree with and question your beliefs, and the friends you will make within a community that will change your life.


Thinking about W&L for college? Why not apply for the Johnson Scholarship?

If you know a W&L student who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.

A little more about Harrison

McKinney, TX

Biology and Spanish

Extracurricular involvement:
Captain of the Men’s Swim Team, President of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Editor in Chief of Pluma (W&L Spanish magazine), Tutor and In/Out of School Tutoring Chair with ESOL, University Orchestra member, University Tour Guide, Peer Tutor.

Why did you choose your major?
I arrived at Washington and Lee already with the intention to be a biology major as it aligned with my desire to pursue the pre-med track. The Spanish major came along later down the line. After taking Elementary Spanish and studying abroad in Argentina I began toying with the idea of declaring the major. After counting my credits out of curiosity the summer before my Junior year I realized the major was fully within my reach and just ran with it.

What professor has inspired you?
Professor Mayock has inspired me immensely.

What’s your personal motto?
Don’t take anything too seriously.

What’s your favorite song right now?
Joanne by Lady Gaga

Best place to eat in Lexington?
Bistro’s cajun omelet never disappoints for brunch. For dinner, I’m a sucker for Southern Inn’s fried chicken.

What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
It’s going to be more difficult than you can imagine, but an even more worthwhile experience.

Post-graduation plans:
The current plan is to take a gap year after graduation and then go to medical school. In an ideal world, I win the Fulbright I applied for and go to Brazil to do research on the Zika Virus. If this doesn’t work out, hopefully I’ll still be abroad somewhere in Latin America working at a public health internship. If nothing international works out, I’m also applying to post-bac positions at NYU and Columbia and was offered a job at the NIH for the work I did there last summer. In any case, I’ve got some ideas in motion haha.

Favorite W&L memory:
Driving up the hill above Windfall during Spring Term and watching the sun set behind House Mountain

Favorite class:
Latin America Through Film (Abroad in Argentina)

Favorite W&L event:
Fancy Dress

Favorite campus landmark:
The Cyrus McCormick Statue

What’s your passion?
The intersection of healthcare and Hispanic immigrants

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I might do a pretty good Shakira impression

Why did you choose W&L?
I chose W&L for the unparalleled opportunity and the unrivaled community.

Fuchs Earns Leadership Role with American Ceramic Circle Washington and Lee's ceramics expert, Ron Fuchs, has been named chairman of the board of the American Ceramic Circle.

“Ceramics are a great vehicle for learning about people.”

— Ron Fuchs

Ron Fuchs, curator of ceramics and manager of the Reeves Center at Washington and Lee University, has been named chairman of the board for the American Ceramic Circle, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the study and appreciation of ceramics.

FuchsRon-400x600 Fuchs Earns Leadership Role with American Ceramic CircleRon Fuchs

The American Ceramic Circle is one of the foremost groups in the country for collectors, dealers and professionals in the area of ceramics. Fuchs has previously served as president of the organization, and as a board member.

“I am very honored and touched and still kind of surprised,” he said of his new post. “It is an organization that was very helpful to me in providing a community, peers, and the chance to see other objects and collections.”

From a young age, Fuchs was interested in the study of archaeology. He majored in history and anthropology at William & Mary, where he began to see how important ceramics are to our understanding of the past. Because of their durability, ceramics can survive underground for long periods of time; as a result, they are often some of the most fascinating and informative objects discovered during archaeological digs. In graduate school at the University of Delaware, Fuchs found himself drawn to the study of whole, intact pieces in a museum setting.

“Ceramics are a great vehicle for learning about people,” he said. “I think a lot are beautiful and I’m interested in how they were made, but I’m more interested in how they were used and what they say about the people who used and collected them.”

Fuchs came to W&L in 2008, after 10 years at Winterthur Museum in Delaware. His work as chairman of the board for the American Ceramic Circle will last for a two-year period. In addition to supporting scholarships and promoting the study of ceramics, he will help to plan and execute annual conferences and a biennial journal.

For more information about The Reeves Collection at Washington and Lee, click here.

Law School MLK Day Panel to Examine Voting Rights

voting-rights-image-600x400 Law School MLK Day Panel to Examine Voting Rights

Washington and Lee University School of Law will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a panel discussion examining voting rights. The panel, titled “Voting Rights in a ‘Post-Racial’/’Post-Civil Rights’ Era” is scheduled for Monday, January 16 at noon in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee.

Panelists for the event are Atiba Ellis, Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law; Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, Professor of Law and Harry T. Ice Faculty Fellow, Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Margaret Hu, Associate Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law; and Mark Rush, Director of International Education and Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law, Washington and Lee University. W&L Law professor Chris Seaman will moderate and Dean Brant Hellwig will provide opening remarks.

This event is free and open to the public. A complete schedule of events and ticket/RSVP information for the University’s celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. can be found at https://www.wlu.edu/student-life/culture-and-diversity/annual-programs/martin-luther-king-jr-birthday-celebration.

Related //

A Good Neighbor: Hatton Smith ’73 “If you are blessed with influence or gifts, you need to have a positive impact on the environment around you.”

Hatton-Smith-blog-400x440 A Good Neighbor: Hatton Smith '73Hatton Smith ’73
photo by Lexi Coon

Hatton Smith, the CEO emeritus of Royal Cup, likes to be a good neighbor in his community of Mountain Brook, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama.

The 1973 graduate and former trustee of Washington and Lee University, said in a profile about him on the Village Living website, “I think in business and in life, if you practice the second commandment as best you can, it makes for a better world.”

In December, Hatton received the 2016 Chamber of Commerce Jemison Visionary Award for his significant contributions to his community. For Hatton, that list is impressively long, including a $35 million fundraiser to restore the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s football team and build a new facility. He also worked on the initial campaign for the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation and in fundraising to build the Rotary Trail, which runs through downtown Birmingham. Hatton also sits on the Birmingham-Southern College board, advises nonprofits throughout the city and helps individuals search for jobs that fit their skill sets and requirements.

He noted, “If you are blessed with influence or gifts, you need to have a positive impact on the environment around you.”

Wise words to live by for 2017.

Award-Winning British writer Nikesh Shukla to lecture on “The Good Immigrant: Writing, Activism and the Importance of Representation”

“In a global environment in which the world is preoccupied with immigrants, national sovereignty, identity politics and the economic and political forces that give rise to refugees seeking new homelands, Shukla’s work could not be more timely.”

Award-winning British writer Nikesh Shukla will lecture on “The Good Immigrant: Writing, Activism and the Importance of Representation” at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. in the Hillel House Multipurpose Room. The talk is free and open to the public.

This event will kick off the winter 2017 schedule of speakers of the 2016-18 Center for International Education Colloquium on Borders and Their Human Impact, with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For more information on upcoming events in the Colloquium, please visit: https://www.wlu.edu/center-for-international-education/events/colloquium-on-borders-and-their-human-impact.

fKJw3oJr-600x400 Award-Winning British writer Nikesh Shukla to lecture on “The Good Immigrant: Writing, Activism and the Importance of Representation”Nikesh Shukla

Shukla, who has long championed diversity in publishing and literary life, is the editor of “The Good Immigrant, a 21-essay collection by emerging British black, Asian and minority ethnic, writers and artists.

“In a global environment in which the world is preoccupied with immigrants, national sovereignty, identity politics and the economic and political forces that give rise to refugees seeking new homelands, Shukla’s work could not be more timely,” said Mark Rush, Waxburg Professor of Politics and director of International Education. “Shukla discusses these topics from the perspective of the UK. His work strikes at the heart of matters concerning identity, ethnicity and citizenship.

“What makes someone British or American? Is it where you were born? To whom? When? When do bad immigrants become good and vice versa, in the public eye? Shukla’s work and public will appeal to anyone interested in these issues or global politics more generally,” Rush continued.

Shukla’s novels, “Coconut Unlimited” and “Meatspace;” his novella, “The Time Machine;” as well as his short stories and essays have been featured in Best British Short Stories, Esquire, The Sunday Times, BBC Radio, Daily Mail and The New Statesman. He has been writer in residence for BBC Asian Network and Royal Festival Hall.

He authored the comedy, “Kabadasses,” for the U.K. Channel 4 Comedy Lab and co-wrote the award-winning short film, “Two Dosas.” He hosts The Subaltern podcast, featuring conversations with writers such as Zadie Smith, Junot Diaz, Teju Cole, James Salter, George Saunders, Jennifer Egan, Evie Wyld, Sam Bain, Alex Preston, Colson Whitehead and James Smythe.

Award-Winning Actress and Playwright Sylvia Milo to Perform “The Other Mozart” at W&L’s Lenfest Center

Sylvia_Milo_fan-51-400x600 Award-Winning Actress and Playwright Sylvia Milo to Perform “The Other Mozart” at W&L's Lenfest CenterSylvia Milo

Through the generosity of the Ruth E. Flournoy Theater Endowment, the Washington and Lee Department of Theater, Dance, and Film Studies will present Little Matchstick Factory’s “The Other Mozart,” written and performed by Sylvia Milo.

“The Other Mozart” comes to the Lenfest Center for a one-night engagement on Jan. 21, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in the Keller Theatre.

The story of 11-year old Nannerl Mozart, musical genius, keyboard virtuoso and older sister of Amadeus, is brought to life by the talents of Milo in a performance that highlights the musical aspirations of Maria Anna, nicknamed Nannerl by her parents.

In this one-woman presentation, inspired by the letters exchanged within the Mozart family, Nannerl shares the story of her life with her childhood performances alongside her younger brother.

Her abilities were noted by the Augsburger Intelligenz in 1763: “Imagine an eleven-year-old girl, performing the most difficult sonatas and concertos of the greatest composers, on the harpsichord or fortepiano, with precision, with incredible lightness, with impeccable taste. It was a source of wonder to many.”

Order your tickets online today at wlu.edu/lenfest-center or call the Lenfest box office at 458- 8000 for ticket information. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and will be open 2 hours prior to performance time.

Pianist Ting-Ting Yen and Cellist Isaac Melamed to Perform at The Lenfest Center

TingTing1_copy-400x600 Pianist Ting-Ting Yen and Cellist Isaac Melamed to Perform at The Lenfest CenterTing-Ting Yen

The Lenfest Center for the Arts at Washington and Lee University presents pianist Ting-Ting Yen and her husband, cellist Isaac Melamed. They will perform two works in the cello/piano repertoire, the Brahms “Cello Sonata in E Minor, Op. 38” and the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19.”

The one-night performance is at the Lenfest Center on Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. in the Wilson Concert Hall. No tickets are required and admission is free.

Yen performs and teaches as both a violinist and a pianist. She joined the faculty of Washington and Lee University as an accompanist in 2015.

As a violinist, she has performed with the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, the Garth Newel Piano Quartet and has toured with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. She has been a member of the violin section of the New Mexico Philharmonic. She was also a violin faculty member at Cazadero Performing Arts Camp.

As a pianist, Yen was the resident accompanist at Bravo! Music Festival and a teacher at Yinghua Academy in Minneapolis. She is currently the music director at Warm Springs Presbyterian Church in Bath County.

Melamed has toured nationally as a member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra. Since joining the Garth Newel Piano Quartet in 2014, they have performed throughout Croatia, at the Chautauqua Institution and around much of Virginia and West Virginia.

He studied with Grammy Award-winning cellist Antonio Lysy in Los Angeles, where he played with the UCLA Philharmonia, Symphony Orchestras and the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra. He participated in Manhattan School of Music’s prestigious Orchestral Performance program including multiple performances in Carnegie Hall and in Amsterdam.

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Washington and Lee Names New Associate Dean of the Williams School

DietteTim-400x600 Washington and Lee Names New Associate Dean of the Williams SchoolTim Diette

Timothy Diette, the Harry E. and Mary Jayne W. Redenbaugh Term Associate Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee University, is the new associate dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, beginning July 1. He succeeds Raquel Alexander, who has held that post since 2015. Alexander is leaving W&L in June to become dean of the College of Management at Bucknell University.

Diette joined the Williams School faculty in 2004. He holds an honors B.A. in economics and history, summa cum laude, from the University of Vermont, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to W&L, he worked in the finance departments at Bank of America and Wachovia, followed by a stint as an economist for the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

He has served since 2016 as acting head of the Economics Department, teaching courses in Economics of Education and Health Economics, and is affiliate faculty in both the Africana Studies Program and the Shepherd Poverty Program. He also helped create and advises students for the Education Policy minor.

Diette serves on the university’s SACS Reaffirmation Team and as a faculty representative to the Board of Trustees, as well as on a number of university committees, including the Faculty Administrators Evaluation Committee and the President’s Advisory Committee. He previously served on the Student Affairs Committee, the Faculty Executive Committee and the Student Faculty Hearing Board. He is also a member of the Shepherd Program’s Strategic Planning Steering, Faculty Review and Advisory committees, and served on the organizing committees for Questioning the Good Life and Questioning Passion, two year-long seminar series devoted to the interdisciplinary study of contemporary topics.

“I am excited to serve W&L in this capacity,” said Diette. “I look forward to strengthening the Williams School’s connections to the College, the Law School and our interdisciplinary programs, and to supporting student and faculty initiatives that further the mission of the university.”

In addition to advising the dean on a variety of matters, the associate dean of the Williams School focuses on operations and accreditation. The associate dean also represents the Williams School on a number of university committees and works closely with the dean and faculty of the Williams School on curriculum and program development.

“Tim has been a great example of the W&L teacher-scholar throughout his time at W&L,” said Robert Straughan, Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School. “He has a passion for understanding the human-capital impact of a variety of institutional variables, particularly related to education. The classes that he teaches, the research that he conducts, and his involvement in the broader Lexington community reflect that passion.

“I’m quite excited to welcome Tim to this new role,” Straughan continued. “I think he will find even more ways to contribute to the advancement of the Williams School and Washington and Lee.”

Roanoke Park Named for Linwood Holton ’44

On a blustery day in mid-December, former Virginia governor and Washington and Lee University alumnus Linwood Holton drove the first spade into the ground for a downtown Roanoke park that will bear his name.

wikimedia-commons Roanoke Park Named for Linwood Holton '44Linwood Holton. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

According to The Roanoke Times, a space formerly known as SunTrust Plaza will this spring be spiffed up and renamed Holton Plaza in honor of the Republican governor, who is remembered for dealing a blow to a segregationist Democratic machine led by U.S. Sen. Harry Byrd.

Holton, now 93, retired and living in the Northern Neck of Virginia with his wife, Virginia “Jinks” Rogers Holton, graduated from W&L in 1944, then went on to earn a law degree from Harvard. By then, he had also served in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.

He and his wife, a W&L trustee emerita, have four children, including former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton, who is married to Virginia Senator and 2016 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine. Washington and Lee gave Anne Holton an honorary degree in 2015.

Holton, a Wise County native who settled in Roanoke after graduating from Harvard, was elected governor of Virginia in 1969 and served in that office until 1974. He spent much of that time fighting for racial integration and equality. In the midst of desegregation, Holton drew national attention by enrolling his daughter, Tayloe, in a formerly all-black school in Richmond.

After it has been reconstructed, Holton Plaza will feature wall seating, trees, a pedestal and plaques dedicated to Holton’s career. The Roanoke Times reported that Holton showed up for the groundbreaking ceremony wearing a suit and tie and work boots, and carrying a pair of work gloves. He donned the gloves in order to dig the first hole for one of his favorite trees, a dogwood.

Author and Poet Susan Briante To Read from “The Market Wonders”

Susan-Briante-400x600 Author and Poet Susan Briante To Read from “The Market Wonders”Susan Briante

Susan Briante, author, poet and associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Arizona, will lecture on “The Market Wonders: On the Impossibility of (Personal) Accounting” at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 24, 2017, at 5 p.m. in the Hillel House Multipurpose Room. The talk is free and open to the public.

Her lecture is part of the year-long series on Markets and Morals and is sponsored by W&L’s Roger Mudd Center for Ethics. For more information about this series, see: https://www.wlu.edu/mudd-center/programs-and-events/2016-2017-markets-and-morals.

Briante will read from “The Market Wonders,” a lyric investigation into the stock market, and talk about its writing as a response to the 2008 financial crisis. She will also discuss the ways in which poetry offers models for understanding lived experience under neoliberalism as well as for tracking possibilities of individual complicity and resistance.

“The Market Wonders” was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, and the Kenyon Review calls it “masterful at every turn.” Briante is also the author of the poetry collections “Utopia Minus” (2011) and “Pioneers in the Study of Motion” (2007).

Briante has received grants and awards from the Atlantic Monthly, the MacDowell Colony, the Academy of American Poets, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund and the U.S.-Mexico Fund for Culture. New work has been published in Gulf CoastBlack Warrior ReviewGuernica and The Progressive.

Her research and teaching interests include poetry and poetics, cross-genre writing, experimental autobiography, documentary studies, affect theory and translation.

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Civil Rights Activist Diane Nash Keynotes W&L’s Multi-Day King Celebration

nash_diane300_1-400x600 Civil Rights Activist Diane Nash Keynotes W&L's Multi-Day King CelebrationDiane Nash

Diane Nash, peace activist and pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement, will be the featured keynote speaker during Washington and Lee University’s annual multi-day observance of King’s birthday, “Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

Nash will present the keynote address on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m. in Keller Theatre, Lenfest Hall on the W&L campus.

A Chicago native who had never experienced segregation in public accommodations before moving to the South, Diane Nash went on to become one of the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement. Nash’s involvement in the nonviolent movement began in 1959, while she was a student at Fisk University. In 1960 she became the chairperson of the student sit-in movement in Nashville, Tennessee — the first Southern city to desegregate its lunch counters — as well as one of the founding students of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee. In 1961, she coordinated the Freedom Ride from Birmingham, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi, a story which was documented in the recent PBS American Experience film “Freedom Riders.”

Her many arrests for her civil rights activities culminated in Nash being imprisoned for 30 days in 1961, while she was pregnant with her first child. Undeterred, she joined a national committee — to which she was appointed by President John F. Kennedy — that promoted passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Nash later became active in the peace movement that worked to end the Vietnam War, and became an instructor in the philosophy and strategy of non-violence as developed by Mohandas Gandhi.

Nash is the recipient of numerous awards, including the War Resisters’ League Peace Award; the Distinguished American Award presented by the John F. Kennedy Library; the LBJ Award for Leadership in Civil Rights from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum; and an honorary doctorate of human letters from Fisk University, her alma mater. Most recently, Nash delivered the 2009 Slavery Remembrance Day Memorial Lecture in Liverpool, England.

Her work has been cited in numerous books, documentaries, magazines, and newspaper articles, and she has appeared on such TV shows and films as “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Spike Lee’s “Four Little Girls,” and PBS’s “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965.”

In addition to Nash’s keynote, this year’s events will include a symposium at the School of Law; the annual children’s MLK Birthday Party; a dream-themed Chanoyu Tea Society event; viewings of the movie “Eyes on the Prize”; and the Reflections Dinner.

The keynote and all other events in the multi-day program are free and open to the public. Some events require tickets or RSVP. The complete schedule of events and ticket/RSVP information can be found online.

Undergraduate and law classes are suspended on Monday. Law classes will resume on their normal weekly schedule on Tuesday. The undergraduate schedule for the week of Jan. 16 is as follows:

  • Monday, January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day: No course meetings
  • Tuesday, January 17: no change – regular Tuesday course schedule
  • Wednesday, January 18: no change – regular Wednesday course schedule
  • Thursday, January 19: no change – regular Thursday course schedule
  • Friday, January 20: follow the Monday course meeting schedule

Meet the Johnsons: Stephanie Chung ’18

Before I even came to college, I knew that there were people here who had my back and would help me succeed in what I wanted to do.”

Stephanie_Chung-600x400 Meet the Johnsons: Stephanie Chung '18Meet Stephanie Chung ’18, an anthropology major with a passion for women’s health advocacy

Q: How did you first hear about the Johnson Scholarship?

It’s a very funny story – you know how you get all those emails from colleges after taking the SAT? I was trying to delete them from my Gmail and accidentally clicked outside of the little box and opened the email. In big letters, “Last day to apply to full-ride merit based scholarship!” I had a few hours to kill, so I wrote the essay and submitted the application.

Q: Were you considering other colleges when you applied to W&L?

I applied to way too many! I had full rides from UT Austin and Case Western Reserve that I was considering, and I was admitted to UPenn, Wellesley, Johns Hopkins, and about six others.

Q: Why did you ultimately choose W&L?

I chose W&L because I thought I could succeed here. Professor Novack convinced me that he and the sociology and anthropology department would have my back during my four years here and the rest of my anthropology career. The Johnson Scholarship gave me both financial stability and financial resources to pursue opportunities. The campus was beautiful, the people were friendly, and the professors were fantastic.

Q: How has Johnson affected your views on leadership and integrity — or on academics?

Through its financial support, the Johnson Scholarship has given me academic opportunities I never thought I would be able to take advantage of. The summer after my first year at W&L, I spent nine weeks in Europe, including three weeks doing my own ethnographic research in Malta. Now the results of that research are close to being published, and I have found myself with real-life experience that informs my experience in the classroom and in my academic field.

Q: What is your favorite story about your W&L experience, if you had to pick one?

I think my favorite story about W&L is actually how I found my girlfriend. I had heard stories about how there is a man on campus who hand-matches all of the first-year random roommates, and so I put myself in his hands! My roommate instantly became my best friend, and then a year and a half later, my girlfriend. It was a complete coincidence that we were put together, and we would never have been close enough to fall in love if we hadn’t been roommates!

Q: Do you have a mentor on campus? Faculty, staff, or another student?

I know I’ve already done a lot of raving about Professor Novack, so now I’m going to have to rave about Professor Bell! She has been nothing but supportive of my goals. Every opportunity she has to help me, she does it without hesitation. Every time I’m stressed out about applying to grad school or becoming an anthropologist, she’s there to both reassure me and get me on the right track.

Q: What extra-curricular are you involved in right now that you are extra-passionate about?

Project Horizon is the domestic violence shelter in Lexington, and they have a sexual abuse and domestic violence hotline that is partially run by volunteers. Through the Shepherd Poverty and Human Capabilities department, I did a service learning course through volunteering at Project Horizon, and I haven’t left since! Playing with the kids in the shelter, talking with women staying in the shelter, and being a resource for those who call the hotline has become an important part of my life in Lexington. It is work that is extremely difficult and extremely important. I say that I want to stand up for women’s rights and against injustice, and this is the perfect volunteer site to get experience doing so.

Q: What is your favorite campus tradition or piece of history?

There is a statue on campus that is quite close to Lee Chapel. Every year I see so many tourists posing for pictures with the statue, and it cracks me up every time. Why? Because it’s not the famous Robert E. Lee… It’s Cyrus McCormick, inventor of the reaper.

Q: If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to “first day on campus” you?

Don’t be afraid of not knowing what to do – you are 18 and you have time to figure it out! Spend some time enjoying college and spend some time taking fun classes. You can worry about the hard stuff later!

Q: If someone asked you “why choose W&L,” what is the one reason you would tell them?

The honor system. You can get small class sizes, incredible professors, and an elite student body at other schools. The honor system as it applies to academics especially pushes each student to their academic best. You know that you can trust your classmates to be honest, the trust the professors have in you means that you are taken at your word, and overall, it encourages us all to be more hardworking and more honest human beings.  You are given respect and responsibility, and you have to do the right thing with it, which is excellent practice for the “real world” after college.

Thinking about W&L for college? Why not apply for the Johnson Scholarship

If you know a W&L student who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.

A little more about Stephanie

It’s a bit complicated! My family moved a lot, and I didn’t spend much time in any one place – but my parents are in Arizona right now, so that’s home.


Extracurricular involvement:
SHAG, Muse, The Stone, General’s Unity

Off-campus activities/involvement:
Literacy Tutoring, Project Horizon

Why did you choose your major?
I wanted to find a way to combine my many interests. I felt like I had too many to choose from! But anthropology is awesome because it’s the study of humans and therefore anything that humans can do!

What professor has inspired you?
Professor Novack. He is a constant example of the need for introspection and self-evaluation. He is never afraid to use his personal life as an example of needing to think critically about one’s preconceptions, prejudices, and privileges. He’s been at this school for such a long time that he’s very good at reminding me that life goes on and the little problems can be solved. Also, he’s believed in me from day one – actually before day one – when I wandered into his office during Johnson Weekend and he told me he would be my advisor.

What’s your personal motto?
Always go above and beyond.

What’s your favorite song right now?
“Hey Mami” by Sylvan Esso

Best place to eat in Lexington?
Napa Thai – definitely order the Pad Seew.

What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
You don’t need to be perfect in order to succeed.

Post-graduation plans:
A Ph.D. in medical anthropology followed by working to improve the material health of women somewhere in the world.

Favorite W&L memory:
Walking into Professor Novack’s office during Johnson Weekend before I ever came here and talking with him for an hour and a half. When I left, I knew I wanted to make this school my home for the next four years.

Favorite class:
Victorian Britain and the World with Professor Tallie (This is not your average history class – this is a savage critique of British imperialism that has extraordinary implications for the modern day.)

Favorite W&L event:
The Equality Gala!

Favorite campus landmark:
The little courtyard to the side of Newcomb.

What’s your passion?
Fighting for what’s right – be that better standards of health care, treating our fellow human beings better, or making difficult decisions to stay honorable.

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I have a black belt in Tung So Doo.

Why did you choose W&L?
Before I even came to college, I knew that there were people here who had my back and would help me succeed in what I wanted to do. I saw the Johnson Scholarship as a sign that W&L was willing to invest in me, and I knew that would push me to do better and prove them right.

Meet the Johnsons

“Students with the intellect to Excel and the selflessness to care should have the opportunity to lead.”

johnsonheader-600x400 Meet the JohnsonsEvery year, 10 percent of the incoming class is selected as Johnson Scholars – we’re here to give you a closer look at those students.

These are the guiding words behind Washington and Lee’s Johnson Scholarship, which recognizes leadership, service and outstanding academic achievement. Each year, about 40 students are chosen from the incoming class of admitted students to be Johnson Scholars.

Many in the W&L community — faculty, staff, fellow students — can name a Johnson or two, but we wanted to get a front row seat at what our Johnson Scholars are doing today, tomorrow and every day here in Lexington. Some of them are pre-med scholars who are volunteering in Lexington. Others are anthropology majors about to publish ethnographic research. Others are varsity athletes who also play in the school orchestra.

Below are some profiles of Johnson Scholars who are active in the W&L campus, community — and beyond!

The Intersection of Art and Science: Lauren Sturdy ’11 Finding answers in the space where science and art intersect.

lauren-sturdy-1-400x600 The Intersection of Art and Science: Lauren Sturdy '11Lauren Sturdy ’11

“I found W&L to be a close-knit community where professors care about students”

Fans of the PBS program “Antiques Roadshow” know that the art experts often recommend to a guest that their painting be restored.

What they might not realize is that there is a body of science behind the conservation of a painting. It is this intersection of art and science that attracted Lauren Sturdy ’11 to a Ph.D. program in materials science and engineering at Northwestern University.

A chemistry and art history major, Sturdy conducts research on the relationship between the structures of matter on a molecular- and macro-scale level. Her research looks at the aging of artists’ paints — how they change over time and how different environmental conditions make them dry differently. Changes in chemical properties affect the mechanical properties of paint.

“My research is a couple of steps removed from the actual conservation of art,” she explained. Changes in temperature and oxygen levels affect paint, but she said it is hard for a conservator to actually experiment with these effects without fear of damaging the painting. That’s where her research is valuable to predict outcomes under various scenarios.

Now completing her fifth and final year of the program, Sturdy hopes to teach engineering on the collegiate level, after first obtaining a post-doctoral academic position. She received a National Science Foundation fellowship to underwrite some of her doctoral studies.

Sturdy also is conducting research for another project examining the mechanical properties of rubber that could benefit the tire industry. Although tires and art seem far removed from one another, Sturdy says there are some links. For instance, she uses the same instrument — a quartz crystal microbalance — to conduct research for both projects. She also gets similar types of information that helps her in both areas.

Attracted to art conservation since she was in high school in Williamsburg, Virginia, Sturdy was able to explore the topic in more depth at W&L, where she also began looking at textile conservation. She received a Johnson Opportunity Grant to do a summer internship at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Conservation Institute.

While there she helped re-house the Black Fashion museum collection — photographing, vacuuming, cataloguing and packing objects for long-term storage. She also co-designed an experiment to deposit goethite onto wool, polyester and linen fabrics, using her chemistry background to adapt an established process to a much smaller scale.

The internship also accomplished something else important to Sturdy. She realized that she was still more interested in art conservation science than in textiles.

The summer after her freshman year at W&L, Sturdy had an internship at the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage in Amsterdam. “I learned there that research is hard and tedious,” she said.

Sturdy came to W&L because of its “great academic reputation,” and because she met Erich Uffelman, the Bentley Professor of Chemistry, during a weekend program for prospective students. “I found W&L to be a close-knit community where professors care about students,” she said.

She enrolled in Uffelman’s course on Art and Science, which “opened my eyes to how many different ways art could be studied from a scientific point of view,” she said.

As a student, Sturdy worked at the Reeves Center, which houses the university’s collection of Asian, European and American porcelain, and University Collections, where she helped catalogue and inventory the collection. There, she was influenced by Patricia Hobbs, associate director, and Peter Grover ’73, who confirmed her interest in the broad field of art conservation, she said.

While at the Reeves Center, Sturdy and another student conducted an experiment to analyze a plate from the George Washington dinner service, decorated with the insignia of the Society of the Cincinnati, against a fake. The two provided scientific proof of the forgery, using W&L’s portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometer to match minerals from the two plates. They presented their findings at a conference of the American Institute for Conservation.

When not in the lab at W&L, Sturdy served as president of the Craft Guild for two years. The group of students and some staff met to work on handicrafts, such as knitting, crocheting or origami.

She also sang for four years in the a cappella group The Washingtones. The group performed on campus for Parents Weekend and for open mics on the campus radio station.

Like most scientists, Sturdy is motivated by finding answers. She wants to know why paintings age the way they do and find better ways to preserve them. “I enjoy doing experiments and understanding the outcomes,” she said. “I am intrigued by the why questions.”

W&L Faculty Get New York Times Shout-Out

Award-winning writer and scholar Charles R. Johnson, who delivered the keynote address at Washington and Lee University’s 2016 fall convocation, apparently still has W&L on his mind.

johnson-2-400x600 W&L Faculty Get New York Times Shout-OutCharles R. Johnson

In a Dec. 22 Q&A for The New York Times’ feature, “By the Book,” Johnson mentioned two members of the Washington and Lee community — Deborah Miranda and Marc Conner — while discussing books he is reading and literary scholars he admires. “By the Book” is a weekly feature in which writers take on the topic of literature.

When asked what books currently reside on his night stand, Johnson provided a list that included “Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir” by Miranda, who is the John Lucian Smith Term Professor of English at W&L. The non-fiction work was released in 2013, and in 2014, Miranda won an Independent Publisher Book Award gold medal in the category of autobiography/memoir.

Later in the New York Times piece, Johnson is asked to name the living, working novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists and poets he most admires. “If by ‘critics’ you mean literary scholars, then I have to mention some I feel are superb and important,” Johnson said, following up with a list that includes Conner, the interim provost and Jo M. and James Ballengee Professor of English at W&L.

Johnson is the author of multiple novels and non-fiction works. He is also an artist, philosopher and scholar of African-American literature. To read the entire New York Times piece, click here.

Salvador Dalí Lithographs and David Blumenthal Lecture Coming to W&L

“Visually and conceptually, this is a surprising, thoughtful exhibition.”

7e8517753dc5c3697a3aa21d470a1cb9.jpg-595x768 Salvador Dalí Lithographs and David Blumenthal Lecture Coming to W&L“Aliyah, The Rebirth of Israel”

“Aliyah, The Rebirth of Israel,” by Salvador Dalí, a suite of 25 lithographs commemorating the 25th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, will be on view from Jan. 9-Feb. 3, 2017, in Lykes Atrium, Wilson Hall. No tickets are required.

David R. Blumenthal, the Jay and Leslie Cohen Professor of Judaic Studies at Emory University, will present a lecture on Dalí’s “Aliyah” on Jan. 23, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. in Concert Hall, Wilson Hall. This talk is free and open to the public.

official_portrait_12.2016_copy_2.jpg Salvador Dalí Lithographs and David Blumenthal Lecture Coming to W&LDavid R. Blumenthal

The Dalí lithographs and Blumenthal’s lecture are sponsored by W&L’s Department of Art and Art History, W&L Hillel and the Max and Sylvia Weinstein Memorial Fund.

Dalí created the “Aliyah” series of 25 mixed-media paintings in 1968 using gouache, watercolors and Indian ink on paper. They were reproduced as photolithographs and published in a limited edition box with a letter of introduction by David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel. The set that will be displayed is one of the few complete numbered editions still in existence, as most others have been broken up and sold over the years.

In order to illustrate the various meanings of the Hebrew word “Aliyah,” which means “to go to live in the Land of Israel,” Dalí took inspiration from the Old Testament as well as contemporary history. Dalí depicted the vessel Eliyahu Golomb, full of refugees from the concentration camps, setting sail to Israel in 1946, despite the prohibition imposed by Palestine under the British Mandate. He also portrays David Ben-Gurion reading the Declaration of Independence in 1948.

As usual in Dalí’s work, the pieces also contain elements from his own iconography. This is the case with two lithographs that contain references to a major painting of that period, “Tuna Fishing,” an oil painting inspired by the Mediterranean coastal fishing practice which dates back to antiquity.

“David Blumenthal brings a fascinating perspective to understanding these works,” said Elliott King, assistant professor of art history at W&L and a noted Dalí scholar. “Although Dalí wasn’t Jewish himself, this was a commission he took very seriously. One of the images even includes a passage written in ancient Hebrew. Visually and conceptually, this is a surprising, thoughtful exhibition.”

Blumenthal teaches and writes on constructive Jewish theology, medieval Judaism, Jewish mysticism and Holocaust studies. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and reviews, as well as 11 books, including the two volume “Understand Jewish Mysticism” (1978, 1982); “God at the Center” (1988) which was translated in 2002; and “Moral Lessons from the Shoah and Jewish Tradition” (1999). His most recent book is “Philosophic Mysticism: Essays in Rational Religion” (2007).

Blumenthal is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Religion. He has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

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Staniar Gallery Presents elin o’Hara slavick’s “Illuminated Artifacts”

ghostBottle100.jpg-400x600 Staniar Gallery Presents elin o’Hara slavick’s “Illuminated Artifacts”Exhibit: “Illuminated Artifacts”

Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery is pleased to present elin o’Hara slavick’s exhibit “Illuminated Artifacts.” The show will be on display from Jan. 9 to Feb. 3, 2017.

There will be a public artist’s talk on Jan. 31, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall. The lecture will be followed by a reception for the artist. Both events are free and open to the public.

Using alternative photographic processes such as 19th-century techniques and contemporary digital technology, slavick’s conceptual practice revolves around the idea of making visible what is often not seen.

This exhibition features photographic works from “After Hiroshima,” images of A-Bombed artifacts made in Japan, and from “Found Walking,” an ongoing series based on objects collected on meditative walks. Both bodies of work are records of loss and hope, decay and survival, and revealing the effects of time and the spectacular beauty of mundane things.

An activist, educator, mother, poet, critic, curator and artist, slavick never separates form from function, theory from practice or utopian concept from material reality. She is a distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she built the photography program.

Her work has been exhibited internationally and she is the author/artist of two monographs – “Bomb After Bomb: A Violent Cartography” (2007) with a foreword by Howard Zinn and essay by Carol Mavor, and “After Hiroshima” (2014) with an essay by James Elkins.

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.

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Washington and Lee Names New Associate Dean of the College

GEC-RLangs-photo Washington and Lee Names New Associate Dean of the CollegeGwyn E. Campbell

Gwyn E. Campbell, professor of Spanish at Washington and Lee University, is the new associate dean of the college, beginning July 1. She succeeds Marcia France, who has held that post since 2012. After a sabbatical, France will be returning to the classroom, where she teaches organic chemistry.

Campbell, who teaches Spanish language, literature and culture, as well as courses in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies program, came to W&L in 1985. She holds an honors B.A. in French and Spanish, summa cum laude, from McMaster University, an M.A. in Spanish from the University of Western Ontario, and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish from Princeton University. She served for a number of years as head of the Spanish division of the Department of Romance Languages, and is currently also affiliate faculty in both the Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies programs. A member of the Graduate Student Fellowship Committee, Campbell previously served on many university committees, including the Committee on Courses and Degrees, the Student Affairs Committee and the Faculty Executive Committee. She has been the university’s Fulbright program advisor since 2015. The appointment as associate dean of the college is a capstone to Campbell’s career at Washington and Lee.

“I am honored to accept this appointment and delighted to be able to serve the university in this capacity, as well as to have the chance to collaborate closely with Dean Suzanne Keen and Associate Dean Wendy Price,” said Campbell. “While I will miss the exhilaration of teaching, I welcome this exciting opportunity to work with our students, in all disciplines across the college and beyond, in a different role.”

The associate dean of the college focuses on academic performance and support, collaborating when appropriate with the Office of Student Affairs. The associate dean also coordinates undergraduate and graduate fellowship applications for students.

“Expanding and promoting fellowships opportunities for students is a top priority, and Gwyn Campbell has already shown remarkable skill and dedication in her work as the Fulbright adviser,” said Keen. “Gwyn will help us capitalize on the momentum that Marcia has built up in that area.”

Marcia France, the John T. Herwick, M.D. Professor of Chemistry at Washington and Lee, arrived at W&L in 1994. She holds an S.B. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in chemistry from Yale University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. She helped develop and serves as co-director of W&L’s partnership with the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, which provides a study-abroad opportunity for W&L students studying science and preparing to enter a health profession. She created and teaches the Science of Cooking course in Italy. France is active in the university’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, having served in several posts, including president.

“We are grateful to Professor France for her outstanding service,” said Keen. “She has been a tireless advocate for students in need of support and made an impact through committee leadership, behind-the-scenes work on behalf of students and collaborations across campus.

“In academics, she ran the first-year seminar program at W&L, expanding the offerings of these small discussion- and project-based courses,” Keen continued. “She contributed substantially to global learning through membership on the International Education Committee and her continuing work as a liaison to St. Andrews. She has also enjoyed great success as a fellowships adviser, including the university’s first Rhodes Scholar in many years, its first Schwarzman Scholar, a Gates winner, a Beinecke winner, many Fulbrights, and more. In strategic planning, she chaired the ad hoc Futures of STEM Pedagogy committee, serving as first author of a superb report that was subsequently incorporated into the college’s Strategic Plan in 2016. Her work as associate dean will have a lasting impact on the university.”

Welcoming Will Dudley, W&L’s 27th President

WillDudley-Oath2-1024x768 Welcoming Will Dudley, W&L's 27th PresidentWill Dudley takes the oath of office on Dec. 28, 2016.

William C. Dudley took his oath as the 27th president of Washington and Lee on Wednesday, Dec. 28, and officially assumed the role on Jan. 1. He comes to W&L from Williams College, his undergraduate alma mater, where he served as provost and professor of philosophy. In addition to a B.A. in mathematics and philosophy, he holds an M.A. and a Ph.D., both in philosophy, from Northwestern University. He is a native of Virginia, born in Charlottesville and raised in Arlington.

President Dudley will give a keynote address to W&L staff during employee Enrichment Week on Tuesday, Jan. 3, and host a faculty open house on Jan. 6. To view the address, click here.

Read more about President Dudley in the interview published in W&L: The Washington and Lee University Alumni Magazine, this fall.

From Craft to Career As a student at Washington and Lee, Noelani Love ’05 made jewelry for fun and extra income. Today, she has turned that hobby into a thriving business.

On the island of Oahu, some people refer to Noelani Love as “the jewelry girl.”

For Love, a 2005 graduate of Washington and Lee University, this casual nickname indicates that she had achieved two of her greatest goals in life: She has reconnected with her Hawaiian roots, and she turned her love of jewelry-making into a successful career.

“I’m always amazed that it’s still happening,” she said of her island-based business, Noelani Hawaii. “It was a passion project, and it just turned into my lifestyle.”

During her sophomore year of college, before holiday break and a winter semester in Costa Rica, Love decided to make some earrings as Christmas gifts for her friends. Like many young women her age, she had made friendship bracelets and beaded necklaces in elementary school, but these earrings were more sophisticated and stylish, made with metal wire and crystals in various colors.

Love, who double-majored in studio art and Spanish, found herself drawn to the artisan scene in Costa Rica. She learned more about making jewelry there, and returned to campus even more addicted to what was then a hobby — not to mention a good excuse to procrastinate.

“I started making tons of jewelry instead of doing my Spanish homework,” she said with a laugh. “I just really found comfort and enjoyment in sitting in my room and making jewelry. At that point, I had also deactivated from my sorority so I was less social, and I was drawing inward and finding my own creativity.”

As word spread about Love’s jewelry, she began to get custom orders from friends who wanted special pieces for cocktail parties and formal events. Before long, she was selling her creations in Elrod Commons and donating a percentage of the proceeds to raise money for a W&L community service trip to Nicaragua during February break.

“During my last two years at W&L, it became obvious that I was really enjoying [jewelry making] and really passionate about it,” she said, “and that my customers were very interested in it, and it was a lucrative business.”

Love’s father, John Garth ’75, advised her to take some classes in economics and get a business internship before making the leap and starting her own company. But she decided to take a chance, starting her jewelry business one month after graduation. “I was like, ‘Nope, I’m going to figure this out.’ So now it’s been 11½ years since I started my company, and it’s still going strong.”

Love was born and raised in North Carolina, but Hawaii always beckoned. She describes her father as a “Southern gentleman” who grew up in Georgia; her mother is Chinese, Hawaiian and English, so Love has dark hair, dark eyes, a golden complexion … and freckles. “Growing up in Charlotte was not always easy,” she said. “It wasn’t bad, but people asked a lot of questions. I wasn’t black and I wasn’t white. “

Every summer, Love’s mother took her and her two siblings to Hawaii to visit relatives on that side of the family. “It was heartbreaking when we’d have to come home to North Carolina,” she said. “I wanted to go to college in Hawaii, but my parents said no way. Which is a good thing, because I probably would not have graduated. I probably would have been totally distracted by the surf or boys.”

Instead, she says, the opportunities she found at Washington and Lee gave her jewelry business a kick start. Not long after she started the company, she had saved enough money to move to Hawaii and make a life there.

Today, Noelani Hawaii has seven employees. Love designs and makes a prototype of each new piece; the employees then make the jewelry in their studio. She sells the products on her website, noelanihawaii.com, and in boutiques in Hawaii, the mainland U.S., Japan, Indonesia and Ireland.

Love said her newer designs, like the jewelry she made at W&L, are “simple and classic and elegant,” but the quality of the materials she uses — and the intentions she puts into each piece — have evolved. All of the jewelry is made with crystals and gemstones that have healing properties, she said, and she believes strongly in those properties.

For example, a blue stone called kyanite is believed to encourage self-expression and communication, boost self-confidence and cut through ignorance and fear. Rose quartz is said to open the heart and enhance positive feelings. The company website features a guide to the gems’ qualities.

“A lot of the jewelry out there is pretty, but these are gifts from the earth,” she said. “They are grown in the earth, and they have their own healing powers, sort of like plants.”

Love said she certainly encounters skeptics, but that doesn’t bother her. “More people are curious about it and interested in it, and children are most curious. They are not as conditioned to believe things we have been told our whole lives. There’s an aspect of magic that children can more easily relate to.”

Love spends much of her free time with her own curious little person, her 8-year-old son, Aukai. She also teaches yoga and is beginning to lead women’s retreats in Bali and Hawaii. She learned to play the ukulele and has just released her first album, a collection of yoga mantras called “Lakshmi Lullabies.”

To current students who wonder if it is possible to turn a hobby into a career, Love suggested considering a quote by author Scott Stratten: “If you are your authentic self, there is no competition.”

“I would say if you have an idea, and you are passionate about it, and you love it, just go for it,” she said. “You are the only one who can be you. If you are putting that much love into something, the universe is going to respond.”

Hometown Hero: Neil November ’48 Over the past seven decades, the 92-year-old has established a legacy that encompasses politics, religion, airports, education, museums, theaters and gardens.

Neil-November-blog Hometown Hero: Neil November '48Neil November ’48

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has a lovely profile of Neil November, a 1948 graduate of Washington and Lee University, in its Dec. 12 issue, covering his lifetime of community involvement and philanthropy in Richmond.

Neil, who grew up on the famous Monument Avenue, has led a busy life after serving in the Navy during World War II. Over the past seven decades, the 92-year-old has established a legacy that encompasses politics, religion, airports, education, museums, theaters and gardens.

The article is jam-packed with his astonishing array of accomplishments and touches on his love of aviation — as a child he built and flew model airplanes “as long as the gasoline would last” — to his courtship of his wife of 66 years, Sara Belle, who noted it could have been 70 if he had proposed earlier.

Former Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, who worked with Neil on the Virginia-Israel Commission in the 1980, said, “There’s no one else like him. Somehow, he has managed to elevate public vision to focus on investments for the future, and he has done it with verve as well as vision, always with energy and a ‘mixed cocktail’ of humor and command. He really has been a master choreographer of so many things that have occurred in Richmond for the good.”