Robert M. Couch ’78, ’82L to Deliver Powell Distinguished Lecture
Robert M. Couch ’78, ’82L, counsel at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP and former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, will deliver the fifteenth annual Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Distinguished Lecture.
The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 6, at 5:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University. The event is free and open to the public.
In addition to Powell, Couch also clerked for Judge John Minor Wisdom ’25 of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. His law practice has focused on mortgage lenders and investors; affordable housing; regulatory matters involving HUD, Ginnie Mae, FHA and other government-sponsored enterprise matters; and governmental affairs.
Couch served as a Commissioner on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission until September of 2014. He previously served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from June 2007 to November 2008. In that role, he acted as the chief legal advisor to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary and other principal staff, providing advice on federal laws, regulations and policies affecting HUD programs.
Prior to his position with HUD, Couch served as President of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae). He also served as a member of President George W. Bush’s Task Force on the Status of Puerto Rico in 2008.
The students at Washington and Lee University School of Law founded the Lewis Powell, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series in 2002 in honor of Justice Powell ’29A, ’31L, who was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972. Justice Powell’s judicial legacy was defined by a respect for both sides in a dispute and a desire to craft judicial opinions that struck a middle ground. The student-run lecture series features nationally prominent speakers who embody Powell’s spirit in their life and work.
Powell Archives at W&L Law Turns 25
Washington and Lee University School of Law is home to the papers of Supreme Court Justice and W&L alumnus Lewis F. Powell ’29, ’31L. Twenty-five years ago, on April 2-4, 1992, ceremonies, dinners and an academic symposium marked the dedication of the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Archives, and of the addition to the law building known as the Powell Wing.
In the intervening quarter century, the law school has hosted countless researchers visiting the archives. The Powell Papers have formed the basis of many books and articles, and contributed to hundreds more. Several documentary films have also used these materials. John Jacob has served as archivist since its establishment.
In 35 years of practice at the Richmond firm of Hunton & Williams, Powell became both its chief rainmaker and leader in pro bono work. One of seven W&L Law graduates to lead the American Bar Association, Powell’s legacy as ABA president is most evident in the creation of the Legal Services Program and the Constitutional amendment on presidential succession.
Appointed by President Nixon, Powell served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1972-1987. Most closely associated with the Bakke decision, Justice Powell’s ability as a consensus builder made him a powerful swing vote on the Court.
In December 1989, Justice Powell announced his intention to leave his personal and professional papers to the Washington and Lee University School of Law. Construction on a new wing of the law school began in 1990 and included areas to house his papers and facilitate their use by researchers. The new facilities were dedicated on April 4, 1992.
Justice Powell and dozens of his family members, personal friends and professional associates were in attendance. Distinguished speakers included Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Judges J. Harvie Wilkinson and Robert Merhige, Powell clerk and biographer John C. Jeffries, former Virginia Governor Linwood Holton and civil rights legend Oliver Hill. Academics presenting at the symposium included Scot Powe, Jean Love, Sanford Levinson and Catharine Wells.
Staniar Gallery Exhibition Opens with Curator’s Lecture
Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery presents “New Codex Oaxaca: Immigration and Cultural Memory,” a traveling exhibition which explores the impact of immigration to the U.S. through artworks made by those who are left behind and often separated from their loved ones.
The exhibition will be on view April 24 – May 26, with a curator’s lecture and reception on April 26 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall. Both events are free and open to the public.
In 2010, artist and curator Marietta Bernstoff began working with citizens of the San Francisco Tanivet, a small town in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, to make art as a way of exploring the effects of migration on their small rural community. The project continues to grow and over 40 artists have contributed textiles, photographs, engravings and other ephemera representing the immigration experience.
The traveling exhibition addresses important questions about the immigration experience: What are the implications for the state of Oaxaca, which has seen over one million inhabitants immigrate to the United States? What is happening to their land in Mexico and the family they left behind? How do we keep traditions alive within another culture? Has immigration changed the way we see ourselves as a culture?
Bernstoff is a curator at the Social and Public Art Resource Center in Venice, California, and founder of the MAMAZ (Mujeres Artistas y el Maiz) Collective, a group of women artists in Mexico and the U.S.
Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall, in Washington and Lee’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.
L.A. Theatre Works “Judgment at Nuremberg” presented by Lenfest Center for the Arts and W&L Class of ’64
The Lenfest Center for the Arts presents “Judgment at Nuremberg” by the L.A. Theatre Works (LATW), a one-night performance in the Lenfest’s Keller Theater on April 25 at 7:30 p.m.
“Judgment at Nuremberg” is sponsored in part by the W&L Class of ’64 Performing Arts Fund. Tickets are required.
LATW is touring the stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning film in honor of the 75th anniversary of World War II. A live radio theater-style production, “Judgment at Nuremberg” is a gripping and complex drama that questions the fundamentals of social justice, morality, politics and the pressures of society.
A radio theater company, LATW brings theater to audiences nationwide and beyond through live performance series in Los Angeles and national tours, national weekly Public Radio series, Audio Theatre Collection available in libraries and to the public and national educational outreach programs.
“Judgment at Nuremberg” tells the story of the Nuremberg trials, the 1945-1949 military tribunals carried out by Allied forces to prosecute those responsible for war crimes against Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the handicapped and those considered inferior to the Aryan race.
Set in the backdrop of a building Cold War, “Judgment at Nuremberg’s” characters finds itself locked in a high-stakes game of shifting alliances and political conflict as they explore their memories of the Holocaust.
Order your tickets online today at wlu.edu/lenfest-center or call the Lenfest box office at (540) 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.
Harrison Westgarth Awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to Brazil
“Over the past two years, I have spent my summers in neuroscience research labs and learned a number of techniques pertinent to the field of genetic analysis—all necessary and translatable skills for conducting research on the Zika virus.”
Washington and Lee University senior Harrison Westgarth, of McKinney, Texas, has been awarded a Fulbright study/research grant to Brazil. His project is “Development of an Animal Model of Direct and Congenital Zika Virus Transmission.”
As a Fulbright scholar, Westgarth hopes to “develop and characterize a wildtype animal model of Zika virus infection and the mechanism that allows for vertical, cross-placental transmission to fetuses of pregnant infected mothers.”
He will work in the lab of Drs. Amilcar Tanuri and Loraine Campanati, at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, who are working on establishing an animal model of Zika virus infection that exhibits both adult and congenital infections that can be used for pathogenesis studies and antiviral testing.
As a rising sophomore, Westgarth shadowed an orthopedic surgeon, which confirmed his desire to enter the medical field. The next summer, he discovered his interest in medical research by working in a lab at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.
“My studies and my recent research underscore my ability to conduct this project to fruition,” Westgarth said. “Over the past two years, I have spent my summers in neuroscience research labs and learned a number of techniques pertinent to the field of genetic analysis—all necessary and translatable skills for conducting research on the Zika virus.”
“Harrison is an excellent scholar who has availed himself of all the opportunities of W&L’s liberal arts education where he focused on his biology major in preparation for medical school and also got involved in music and athletics. He is truly a well-rounded individual,” said Maryanne Simurda, professor of biology, W&L.
“He is very much aware of the world, especially South America,” Simurda continued. “His language studies started in Spanish, and he spent a brief time in Argentina volunteering in medical outreach. And then because of his desire to work in Brazil, he came back and learned Portuguese. For his Fulbright proposal he will be doing biomedical research on the Zika virus, so it is especially appropriate that he will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the center of the Zika outbreak.”
Westgarth plans to become involved in the local community by working with a local swim team or a swim lesson program. He also will offer violin lessons to community members or try to establish a music education program in the area.
“Knowledge gleaned from the research itself is important not only to the Brazilian government but also to the larger international community,” Westgarth said. “This project will bridge Brazilian and American research endeavors to begin solving an existing problem and provide tools needed to combat Zika.”
A biology and Spanish double major at W&L, he works as a tutor and liaison for a Rockbridge County family and serves as the in/out of school tutoring coordinator on ESOL’s executive board. He is the captain of the varsity swim team; is editor in chief of Pluma, the W&L Spanish literature magazine; and is president of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Westgarth is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Med Honor Society and the W&L Honor Roll and Dean’s List. He also is an Atlantis Project fellow (La Plata, Argentina) and a W&L scholar-athlete.
“Harrison is one of the rare students who very clearly connects his talent and passion for his majors to his activities outside of class,” said Ellen Mayock, Ernest Williams II Professor of Romance Languages. “One key example is his work with ESOL, for which Harrison has served as a tutor to a Honduran family for almost three years now. In my near-15 years of advising ESOL, I have never seen one of our volunteers develop such a close relationship with both the student and family. Harrison is now part of the ESOL Leadership team as in-school coordinator, but he continues to work with this family.”
Mayock added, “Harrison has also translated (English-Spanish) many official documents for the Rockbridge Area Health Center, which helped the center to get state certification. He is truly dedicated, caring and intuitive, and he brings these qualities to all he does.
John Dannehl Awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Spain
“My desire to pursue an ETA owes itself to the amazing opportunities I have had to both learn and teach through a multicultural lens, both in Spain and the United States.”
Washington and Lee University senior John Dannehl, of Atlanta, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Spain. He will be working in the La Rioja region of Spain.
“My desire to pursue an ETA owes itself to the amazing opportunities I have had to both learn and teach through a multicultural lens, both in Spain and the United States,” Dannehl said.
“The ETA in Spain will allow me to continue my lifelong passion of engaging in the rich diversity of Spanish life,” he continued, “becoming part of a community that will foster my personal growth through linguistic and cultural exchanges while teaching abroad.”
He has lived in Spain twice, as an exchange student in the small Mediterranean town of Segorbe and then as a mentor and English tutor in the Atlantic port city of Cádiz.
Dannehl has worked with professors and high school students at the University of Cádiz. His favorite experience was sharing opinions and engaging in cross-cultural interaction with not only Spaniards but also students from other European countries who were learning Spanish.
“By living in the diverse framework of Spanish culture, I learned that one of the best methods of teaching and transferring ideas is through active listening,” Dannehl said. “Through learning and working with passionate high school students in Segorbe and Cádiz, I realized that teaching should be centered on a conversation, one that appeals to the strengths and concerns of the individual.”
“John’s deep knowledge of the Spanish culture and his work experience with different universities in Spain and the U.S. makes him not only worthy of a Fulbright but demonstrates that he is an extraordinary model of a well-rounded global citizen,” said Antonio Reyes, associate professor of Spanish at W&L.
A geology and Spanish double major, Dannehl is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Outing Club, W&L’s chapter of American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Alexander Hamilton Society. He is a tutor for W&L’s ESOL program, is certified as a wilderness first responder, a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and was on the Honor Roll and Dean’s List.
Dannehl conducted geologic research at the University of Minnesota for the Keck Geology Consortium and LacCore in 2016. He also was a student researcher during this academic year in the geology department, completing his geology thesis and then presenting it at the 2017 Geological Society of America Regional Conference. Also during this academic year, Dannehl has been a technology and learning specialist for Global Discovery Laboratories. He was also a translator, teacher and technical coordinator at Centro Superior de Lenguas Modernas de la Universidad de Cádiz in summer 2016.
“My time outside the classroom will be spent working on engaging the public in the form of a video blog about recent Spanish history, specifically the repercussions of the Franco dictatorship, on Spanish culture and politics in the 21st century,” Dannehl said. “I also would like to travel throughout different regions of Spain and gain a deepened insight into the nuances of the Franco dictatorship and the peoples’ thoughts on Spain’s young democracy.”
“I can’t envision anyone more capable and deserving of receiving a Fulbright. John exudes what a W&L Fulbright should be,” said Dick Kuettner, director of Global Discovery Laboratories at W&L. “If asked to describe him with descriptive adjectives, I would have to say serious, studious, motivated, disciplined and productive. I taught him language for two semesters and language acquisition theory and methodologies for one. His level of expectation for himself was as it should be for someone with vision – superior. John will be an excellent representative of W&L and the USA.”
From Army Ranger to Chick-fil-A Owner Quincy Springs ’02 didn't think college was in his future — until he spent a summer at W&L.
“When you’re in a position of leadership, it’s incumbent upon you to make that experience be the best it possibly can be.”
— Quincy Springs ’02
In March, Quincy Springs ’02, standing on the stage of Washington and Lee University’s Stackhouse Theater as the keynote speaker for Black Reunion Weekend, said, “I’m not really supposed to be here.”
The 2002 graduate explained that his introduction to W&L came through W&L’s Futures Program, which recruited minority students, usually from northern Virginia.
“For some reason, W&L decided to open the program up to my area,” said Springs, who grew up in Buchanan, Virginia. “So Suzy Thompson [now associate director of Special Programs] came down to James River High School, about 25 miles south of Lexington, and invited me to try the program out. My school had about 100 students, and most of them don’t go on to college, at least not to a place like W&L. Even my mom didn’t think I would be going to college. But from that summer program, I got a taste of what W&L was like and the possibilities that might be available to me.”
What hooked him was a talk by the Hon. Bill Hill ’74. “He was on the Board of Trustees at the time and came to campus to speak to the students in the Futures Program,” said Springs. “I’d never seen a black man like that in my entire life. I didn’t think they existed. I hung on his every word. I immediately identified with him, and said to myself, ‘I want to be like him.’ ”
At W&L, Springs thought he would focus on business administration. “Up to that point in my life, I had no examples of successful black men that I could look to. Period. I thought it was very attractive to consider myself as a businessman who would carry a briefcase, wear a suit and talk on the phone. I had every intention of coming here and spending most of my time in the C-school. But I sat down in Professor Lad Sessions’ class, and there was a discussion on whether animals could think or feel. I wanted more of that, so I ended up taking philosophy class after philosophy class.”
Springs credits a host of W&L faculty and staff for the support system they provided. “My philosophy professors were phenomenal — Professor Sessions and I talked regularly. Other important people were professor Ted DeLaney ’85, Harry Pemberton, Larry Stewart and Barry Machado. I also had strong connections with the staff — Brenda Hartless, Vera Merchant, Nadine Staton, Iska King and Melvin Davis. They all looked out for me.”
As well as serving as a peer counselor and president of the Interfraternity Council and playing varsity basketball, Springs served in the ROTC at Virginia Military Institute.
Hours after graduating with a degree in philosophy, cum laude, he was commissioned into the Army and went on to graduate from the Army Ranger School. His postings — “the duffle bag shuffle,” he calls it — took him to Korea and Afghanistan, where he trained 800 Afghan solders in techniques to eradicate poppy. He was involved in several firefights with the Taliban, which he compared to the “Twilight Zone.” “When it’s over you can’t just sit back and say, ‘Whew, I’m glad that’s over,’ because you know you’re going to be facing it again and again. I admit, I was scared.”
After eight years of service, Springs left the military at the rank of captain. Some of his awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Combat Action Badge.
Three months later, he joined Walmart, which was recruiting junior officers from the military for its manager-training program. He started out as a general manager of a store in Howell Mill, in Atlanta, then was hand-picked to take over the management of a store in Vine City, on the west side of Atlanta.
“This was an area rich in the civil rights movement,” said Springs. “However, it is now a dilapidated neighborhood, with a considerable amount of poverty. It used to be a food desert before the Walmart was built.”
Springs worked hard to repair past wounds. “Walmart invests in its communities, and I wanted to take it to another level, “ he explained. “I wanted to go into the community and establish a relationship right away. Some of the things I was able to do through partnerships with other organizations was feed 1,500 homeless people and provide 2,500 book bags and other school supplies to kids who needed them. We also fed over 700 families over the holidays, and we’ve gone into the communities and done neighborhood improvement projects. We made over 1,000 sandwiches for homeless women and have given out $30,000 in community grants to local organizations. We’ve made our presence felt. In addition to that, we hired people from the community.”
He points to two moments that explain his commitment to others. The first is from his Ranger training program, when he was rowing a Zodiac through the swamps of Florida. “It’s the coxswain that calls out the orders for rowing,” recalled Springs. “There I was, strapped into this boat, and the left side of my body was in pain because I had worked so hard rowing all day. I was determined to learn how to be the coxswain because I wanted the next time I was on one of those Zodiacs to be better than what I had gone through. When you’re in a position of leadership, it’s incumbent upon you to make that experience be the best it possibly can be.”
He also remembers reading a book in which a little boy playing the piano is upset because he is struggling to play the music. “The boy tells his teacher, I can feel the music in me, I just can’t make my hands go right,” said Springs. “That describes what I want to do — to help people make their hands go right. Whatever talents are in them, to help channel that to a good outcome. That’s part of my disposition, and that’s what I’ve tried to do whenever I’m in a leadership role.”
In January 2016, Springs stepped down from his Walmart job to begin his next venture, as an franchise owner and operator of a Chick-fil-A, located right next to the Vine City Walmart he used to manage. He attributes his career trajectory to his philosophy major. “Pemberton said, ‘It’s not what you can do with philosophy that counts, it’s what philosophy does with you. And the thing is, I majored in philosophy, but I was an Army Ranger. I majored in philosophy, but I worked for Kinder Morgan, an energy company. I majored in philosophy, but I ran a Walmart. I majored in philosophy, but now I have the opportunity to run a Chick-fil-A, a billion-dollar company. What Pemberton said rings true — look how philosophy has shaped my life.”
Almost 15 years after he graduated, Springs was thrilled to be on the Stackhouse Theater stage, just like the man he admired as a high school student, who was now in the audience listening to him. “The place that showed me what was possible is where I’m now giving a speech. It’s come full circle for me.”
The Art of Philanthropy Eileen Small ’15 Supports Printmaking at W&L with an Endowed Fund
Every once in a while someone comes along who reminds us that philanthropy is both profoundly creative and simpler than we think. For Eileen Small ’15, being a philanthropist is as simple as taking the ideas you have for how things could be better and doing something about them. But even before that was her philanthropic strategy, it was a life approach.
At W&L, Eileen was one of those students who embodied the growth of arts that has occurred on campus over the last few decades. She double majored in theater and studio art and minored in dance. Her undergraduate career included both acting and production roles in the prestigious Bentley musicals, as well as off-campus experiences at the Moscow Art Theater School and Rhode Island School of Design. During her junior year she founded (540) Productions and began producing musical theater in Rockbridge County.
Despite her impressive resume, Eileen’s own narrative of her W&L experience is notably down to earth. For her, college progressed by getting an idea, trying it and then pushing it further — or if it failed, taking it in a different direction. The humble printmaking enclave within the art department was where that took place.
“After the first woodcut I ever made, I said ‘I’m never doing that again!’” Eileen laughs. “It’s so hard!” But, the medium grew on her. Creating woodcuts was tedious, but the immediacy of the resulting print was gratifying. Woodcuts became a way for Eileen to conjure a fanciful vision of the industrial structures of her youth in west Texas, where both her parents worked in the petroleum industry and where wind energy farms, power plants and the mechanical structures of the oil and gas industry were ubiquitous in the landscape.
“At first, my vision dictated the medium of woodcut, but then I started getting into it,” says Eileen. Art instructor Leigh Ann Beavers was key to Eileen’s maturation as a printmaker. “The way Leigh Ann coaches is great. Once you work on a block she says it’s great, but then she pushes you to think outside the box. You would think it was finished, but it was just the jumping off place.” In her senior year, Eileen made a gigantic woodcut that she worked on for four months.
Although fine arts have come a long way at W&L in recent years, studio art is still a fairly small department. Eileen worked in the art studio with the same small group of art majors for four years. In their senior year, five of them learned about the Southern Graphics Council International Conference — a week-long gathering of printmakers being held that year in Knoxville, Tennessee. While some other departments at W&L have dedicated funds for sending students to conferences, the art department did not.
With the guidance of Professor Beavers, Eileen and her classmates held art sales and sold Christmas and greeting cards to raise funds. When they got there, it was an “earth shattering experience” to spend an entire week with working artists, said Eileen. “Before that conference, I hadn’t met people doing that kind of work outside of W&L.” The conference provided an overview of the world of modern printmaking, with presentations and demonstrations by artists from all over the world. “It was amazing to see the work that people are doing right now, and see the ways in which it was all moving in the same direction, and then to think about how our work could be moving in that direction too.”
Today, Eileen’s professional focus has gravitated to the performing arts. During a summer internship with the Broadway-based Telsey + Company casting firm, she fell in love with the art of casting for theatrical productions. “It’s like painting a picture, but with people,” Eileen says. Now she is focused on casting for television and film with Arvold Casting, based in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Although she is not professionally immersed in printmaking, the learning experience Eileen had with printmaking at W&L stayed with her. “I had those pre-professional experiences in theater at W&L — but there wasn’t anything set up like that in art, especially printmaking. I didn’t want other art students to have to work as hard for things necessary for their careers — the types of things other departments have the means to do.”
“I had those pre-professional experiences in theater at W&L — but there wasn’t anything set up like that in art, especially printmaking. I didn’t want other art students to have to work as hard for things necessary for their careers — the types of things other departments have the means to do.”
Eileen Small ’15
Eileen sat down with her dad about a year ago and they began talking about what could be done. The Small family has a strong philanthropic streak and Eileen’s parents, Jamie ’81 and Alison Small, have supported causes at W&L as diverse as creating a first-year seminar class to providing bikes for students to have a sustainable form of transportation around Lexington.
Eileen’s conversation with her dad resulted in a creative, philanthropic solution to a problem. The Eileen A. Small Endowment for Printmaking was created at W&L in October of 2016. Eileen’s gift represents W&L’s first dedicated endowment for printmaking. The endowment will support printmaking students in pre-professional experiences that will bring them into contact with practicing artists. For example, the endowment could send art students to professional conferences and to visit special exhibits or artists’ studios.
Like her parents, Eileen’s philanthropy is passionate and hands-on. “This is what I know and what I am excited about,” she says. “I know the department head really well who manages the fund, and I’m still in touch with some of the students there.” But at some point, she realizes those individuals will move on, and others will take their place. Her goal is to stay in touch with the department over time and continue working with the next head on how her endowment can continue to benefit printmaking students. As she speaks about the future, her voice holds both confidence and curiosity. “I hope to grow the endowment. I’m excited to see what it will turn into. I would love for students to be able to do even more with it — whole summer experiences or going abroad.”
After all, this is just the jumping off place.
Sydney Internship and Study Abroad Program: Charlotte Braverman ’18
The past month has been an exciting one as we’ve settled into Sydney and started to explore our new home for the next few months. The city is vibrant and dynamic, with something for everyone and with so much to see and learn about I wonder how we’ll fit it all into the next three months. Perhaps the neatest thing about Sydney is its seamless blending of a highly developed urban center and vast expanses of protected coastal land to hike and explore.
For the outdoorsy and adventurous, you don’t have to travel far before finding yourself in the middle of the Blue Mountains. On our first weekend in Sydney, we traveled out to the small town of Katoomba to see the Three Sisters, an ancient rock formation where we were met by an indigenous ranger who educated us about Aboriginal culture. He showed us a variety of authentic artifacts including a boomerang and a didgeridoo, a type of Aboriginal instrument. Our adventure to the Blue Mountains also included a trip to the Featherdale Wildlife Park to get a close-up view of some of Australia’s most iconic critters including kangaroos, koalas, and crocodiles.
This past Saturday, the group headed to Macquarie Beach to learn to surf. After being briefed on safety measures and taught the proper way to stand up on the board, we headed for the water where
everyone was able to successfully catch a wave. The next day, a few of us enjoyed an afternoon kayaking around Rose Bay. After a week of torrential rain, the clouds parted and made way for one of the prettiest days we’ve seen in Sydney since we arrived. The bay afforded an awesome view of the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House but the highlight was seeing little penguins swimming around our kayaks.
Rich with culture and history, Sydney is home to a large number of interesting museums and cultural attractions and a rainy Saturday afternoon seemed as good a day as any to get a quick lesson on the history of Australia. Our first stop was the Hyde Park Barracks Museum to learn a bit more about Australia’s first settlers followed by the Museum of Contemporary Art. Later that week, after meandering around the picturesque Circular Quay, we made our way to the Sydney Opera House to enjoy a performance of La Bohème. The unique architecture of the Opera House is unmistakably Sydney and the view across the harbor at sunset was stunning.
In addition to all of the fun we’ve been having outside of the classroom, we’ve also gotten acclimated to Sydney student life which contrasts quite starkly with that at W&L. The big urban campus really couldn’t be more different from the pastoral rolling hills and classic red brick buildings in Lex and the bigger class sizes have definitely been a change. Fortunately, the University places a high emphasis on learning to work effectively in teams which offers a great way to get to know other USyd students. Claiming over 53,000 students, the University of Sydney is big and diverse with students from all over the world. Through peer groups in my Marketing and Organizational Behavior classes, I have had the opportunity to work with students from China, Japan, England and Australia and it has been especially neat to hear the international viewpoints many fellow students bring to class discussion in our smaller tutorials. I’ve found the presence of such a broad range of perspectives greatly enriches the learning process especially in my courses that explore business within the context of an increasingly global economy.
With midterms approaching, we’re buckling down and studying for exams but still remembering to take advantage of all of the cool things to do in Sydney. Tonight we’re off to a Socceroos match, Australia’s national soccer team and this weekend Amanda and Caroline depart for a camping trip in the Outback so stay tuned for more adventures!
-Charlotte Braverman ’18
Aly Colón to Lead Online Discussion Sponsored by LACOL
News consumers today face a flood of fake news and alternative information. Washington and Lee University students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to participate in this timely online meet-up with Aly Colón, Knight Professor of Ethics in Journalism at W&L, to explore forces of change in the new media landscape as we become responsible for deciding how we filter what’s news and what’s not.
In this 1.5 hour session on April 4 at 3 p.m., Professor Colón will frame the conversation with historical examples and point to emerging trends in the digital age of news where Velocity + Volume = Volatility. As an ethical agent of journalism, how can you cultivate a mindset of open inquiry and deepen your capacities to handle challenging or uncomfortable views, especially in online settings?
The session will be interactive with ample opportunity for questions and discussion with participants in the web forum.
This discussion is sponsored by the Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning (LACOL). The event is a fully online, interactive web conference via Zoom. Register online at LACOL.net.