Feature Stories Campus Events

Going With the Flow Will Schirmer ’20 investigates the fluid dynamics of periodic water surges.

Will-Schirmer-800x533 Going With the FlowWill Schirmer ’20 uses a high-speed camera, laser and a light-detecting chip to measure the rate of water flow through a corrugated channel.

“We have spent a large portion of our lab time working to improve our methods of collecting data and improving our scientific procedure. Being able to explore this new aspect of scientific experimentation under Professor’s Kuehner’s guidance has greatly deepened my understanding and appreciation of the research process.”

—Will Schirmer ’20

Hometown: Southern Pines, North Carolina
Major: Undecided

Q: What is your summer research project?
This summer I am working with Professor Kuehner (physics and engineering) and Matt Dodson ’20 to explore a fluid dynamics phenomenon that Professor Kuehner first observed in the field. We are currently working to characterize the periodic surging that occurs when a steady flow of water enters a corrugated channel. To analyze this phenomenon, we are varying channel dimensions, such as wavelength between corrugations and depth of each corrugation, angle of inclination, and flow rate of water entering the channel. We are then collecting data for each variation using a high-speed camera, laser and a light-detecting chip.

Throughout the world spillways are used to release water from dammed waterways. Many of these spillways are separated into many large steps that slow the momentum of the water as it flows down the spillway. In theory, the steps should slow the momentum which in turn prevents the erosion of the spillway and terrain below it. However, in some cases the geometry of the stepped spillways can mimic a corrugated channel resulting in the development large surges of water in the spillway. The surges that arise from relatively low flows of water can then cause great damage to the spillway itself and increase erosion in the surrounding terrain.

Corrugated piping is also used in many natural environments, such as parks or national forests, to direct small streams under roadways or pathways. For many years it was assumed that the corrugated channels cause little impact on the stream ecosystem, but if surging develops in the pipes there could be major disruption. The surging that occurs would prevent many microorganisms and insects from traveling up the stream. In addition, the surging could cause large amounts of erosion as the relatively low flow entering the channel is concentrated into surges, which results in larger flows of water exiting the channel.

Q: What does an average day for you look like?
Matt and I meet with Professor Kuehner in the morning to discuss our progress from the previous day and to plan for further experimentation. After this meeting, our daily activities vary. Some days our time is dominated by collecting data, while on other days we work to improve our experimental method, analyze data or investigate areas for further study.

Q: What was the most interesting thing you have learned while working on this project?
In most introductory lab courses you are taught the basics of experimentation, in which you learn that one must create a hypothesis, conduct an experiment, analyze results, possibly revise one’s procedure and, finally, make conclusions. In most courses the importance of revising one’s procedure is greatly overlooked due to constraints on time. However, this summer I have come to attribute great value to this step in scientific experimentation, as it is of great importance when designing one’s own experiments. We have spent a large portion of our lab time working to improve our methods of collecting data and improving our scientific procedure. Being able to explore this new aspect of scientific experimentation under Professor’s Kuehner’s guidance has greatly deepened my understanding and appreciation of the research process.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced?
The greatest challenge was the level of independence that Professor Kuehner gave us in our research. While we would meet in the morning almost every day, many days these meetings consisted of a short check-in, where Matt and I were able to pitch our latest ideas to Professor Kuehner. Often, he would provide a small amount of feedback or suggest that we pursue one of our ideas and see where it took us. This left much of the details of our procedure and direction to our own discretion. The freedom he allowed us helped me enjoy my time in the lab as well as furthering my knowledge of the material.

Q: Have you had any mentors during this time?
Professor Kuehner has been an invaluable resource this summer. In the weeks that I have worked with him, he has adapted to my needs as a research assistant and as an individual. At the beginning of the summer he would frequently check in to answer any question that we had, as well as providing advice to direct our research. As we became more competent, he has encouraged us to develop our own ideas, which has furthered our confidence in the lab.

Q: Has this experience impacted your studies or future plans in any way?
As an undecided major at this point in my studies, being able to conduct research has helped me to imagine what conducting research in graduate school might resemble. This experience has helped me narrow my academic focus.

Q: How did W&L prepare you for this experience?
The small academic setting, which encourages students to ask questions, has helped me immensely. Without the inquisitive spirit that has been cultivated in each of my classes over my first year at W&L, I would have had much more trouble adjusting to the research atmosphere and lost many opportunities to learn from my mentors.

Q: Why is this kind of experience important to W&L students?
W&L prides itself on providing a liberal arts experience that prepares students for life after university. While our small class sizes and close relationships with professors help to work toward this goal, I believe it is the activities, such as research, work experiences and individual creation, that enable us to smoothly transition to graduate school, the workforce or other pursuits.

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

Long Live the Glossies Jeff Hamill ’81 has built a global career in advertising with popular Hearst magazines.

FullSizeRender-800x533 Long Live the GlossiesJeff Hamill ’81

If you have ever read Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Elle, House Beautiful, O the Oprah Magazine or Esquire, you’ve seen the work of Jeff Hamill ’81.

Hamill has worked for Hearst Magazines since 1982 and now serves as executive vice president for advertising sales and marketing for the company’s 21 domestic and 300 global magazine titles. As the senior sales officer of the largest publisher of monthly magazines in the world, he oversees sales teams based in New York, London, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Hearst is a large, diversified corporation that also owns TV stations, cable networks, newspapers and other information and service companies.

“I have always enjoyed selling advertising to clients. I love the process. At its base it’s storytelling — a way to provide a rationale for them spending dollars with us,” he said. Even in today’s instant, all-access digital market, Hamill said it still comes down to creating compelling stories that consumers relate to.

While his division’s core business is still monthly print magazines, all of the titles have large websites and social media channels. Hamill’s group sells ads for all titles and platforms, offering integrated marketing solutions for clients. His work is more enjoyable because the magazines are “loved by consumers.” Working with such leading brands as L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, GM, Toyota, Kraft and others, Hamill and his teams create custom content and marketing for them.

On a daily basis, Hamill is involved in contract negotiations and helping sales teams craft proposals, and he often meets with senior-level clients and their agencies around the country. Attaining this level of responsibility was a process that took him from a management-training program in 1982 to such positions as managing the Redbook office in Chicago for two years, directing ad sales for Cosmopolitan during the last years of Helen Gurley Brown’s tenure as editor in chief, and helping invigorate the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval — the strongest symbol of product quality — as the magazine’s associate publisher.

Hamill said that Hearst has been a wonderful place for him to spend his career. “It is a large corporation but privately held, and that has been good for me.” A mentor he met while at W&L “introduced me to magazine publishing, and I found an industry that suited my skill set.”

Through the years, Hamill has seen many changes in the magazine industry, most notably the addition of digital content. “Everything changes constantly. With digital media, we really fight for the consumers’ time. The consumer still has only 24 hours in a day.”

The biggest challenge in recent years has been to evolve with consumers’ habits. “Magazines have to put brands in all places that consumers want content,” Hamill noted. That can be websites or social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and others.

Unlike the newspaper industry, which has seen significant declines in print circulation as digital content increased, Hearst magazines have not been totally disrupted. Print circulation is still strong, but the company has added new editorial teams to provide digital content for all of the titles. “In print, we still produce 300 pages or so of content a month, but the same title requires 40 to 50 pieces of content a day in the digital platforms.”

While advertisers are shifting their dollars to digital in the news arena, “We’ll never be without glossy, print images in magazines,” Hamill said.

A native of Durham, North Carolina, Hamill chose Washington and Lee over hometown university Duke. The decision was sealed when he visited campus. “I got a great impression, a strong vibe. I felt like I fit in, and I really liked it,” he said.

HamillFamily_0016_042617_ Long Live the GlossiesJeff Hamill (right) and his wife, Susan (left), visit campus often to support their lacrosse-playing children, Parker ’17 and Hudson ’20.

Now living in Darien, Connecticut, and working in New York City, he visits the campus often because his two youngest children are students — Parker is a senior and Hudson is a first-year. His daughter, Alexandra, graduated in 2013 and is living in San Francisco.

Alex played lacrosse at W&L and brought her sister, Parker, with her to a summer lacrosse camp when she was a ninth grader. She immediately caught the attention of the lacrosse coach, who began recruiting her then. Parker is now captain of the women’s lacrosse team, which is No. 2 in the nation.

Following in his sisters’ footsteps, Hudson was an accomplished high school athlete and All-American lacrosse player who had a choice of colleges. “He had been to W&L so many times, he loved the campus, the academic rigor and the lacrosse program and made his own choice on W&L,” said Hamill.

As a student, Hamill felt some pressure to follow a path into the c-school. However, a talk with his father, who advised him to study what he was really interested in, “freed me to study American history.” He remembers professors Holt Merchant and Barry Machado as faculty who most influenced him. He still sees Merchant, now an emeritus professor of history, when he visits Lexington for lacrosse games.

Friends made through membership in KA fraternity have remained close. “They were critically important to life at W&L, and we are still very connected,” he said.

Hamill has come back to campus to participate in the AdLib Conference, a celebration of advertising and the liberal arts. He also gave a presentation in Professor Alicia Swasy’s mass communications class about how mass consumer media has changed in the digital age. “I gave a similar presentation to what I do for senior clients,” he said. Students’ questions were “perceptive and smart.” He plans to return to the class in the fall.

Hamill also serves as an alumni interviewer for prospective students. He remembers how valuable it was to meet and talk to a W&L graduate himself when he was deciding whether to enroll.

W&L, Hamill says, gave him an advantage in his career because of the honor system and the speaking tradition that are a part of the university’s culture. As he advanced in his profession, “I wanted to build a reputation of dealing with customers honestly.”

Being able to speak with people face to face in an era of texting “is as important as ever,” he said. “I find W&L grads to be poised, sure on their feet and good communicators.”

A Special Summer in Special Collections Chandler Wickers '18 has spent her summer as a researcher in Special Collections, where she has been exposed to fascinating materials and learned how professors and students can take greater advantage of the collection.

“Washington and Lee has taught me how to research properly and how to invest myself in a long-term project and enjoy that process.”

— Chandler Wickers ’18

ChandlerWickers01-800x533 A Special Summer in Special CollectionsChandler Wickers poses in Special Collections at Leyburn Library, where she spent much of her summer conducting research.

Hometown: Portola Valley, California
Major: English
Minor: Film Studies

Q. What are you doing for the summer?

I’m working in the Special Collections department for nine weeks as a summer research scholar. I want to develop a way for faculty to understand and utilize Special Collections resources in classrooms and research on a broader scale. I also want to give more students the opportunity to engage with Special Collections during their careers as undergraduates.

Through this project, I am reviewing and analyzing data from a needs assessment survey that evaluates faculty curricular and research needs and desired format of implemented collection materials. I am surveying collections to determine useful materials, which include topical artifacts and thematic pieces, and preparing research on these materials.

Through this process, I am learning about metadata, survey analysis and website development, and I am browsing existing archival instructional toolkits with the goal of developing and presenting my own product of collection resources and suggested learning outcomes on the web platform Omeka. This product will be a showcase of archival material translated onto a digital platform, as well as conclusions from my survey. This will be an accessible resource for Washington and Lee faculty and students, as well as the Special Collections department, all of whom will directly benefit from an exhibit of otherwise untapped materials.

Q. What does an average day for you look like?

There is no typical day for me, but the project involves researching and scanning collection materials, meeting with professors to assess their interest in utilizing materials, analyzing data from the survey, and developing exhibits for my Omeka site.

Q. What was the most interesting thing you learned while working on this project?

Just how rich and fascinating our collections are. I’m currently looking at a collection of a former W&L Journalism professor O.W Riegel, who was a propaganda expert and film buff. Along with an incredibly valuable WWII propaganda collection, he collected foreign film articles, posters and film festival ephemera from the mid-20th century. I get to look at these materials every day!

Sometimes it is small pockets of materials rather than an entire collection that are captivating. My dad’s side of the family is from Portugal, so it really sparked my interest when I got to look through the scrapbook collection of Charles Page Bryan, the U.S. Ambassador to Portugal from 1903-1909, who was capturing day-to-day life in Lisbon and Madeira right before the fall of the monarchy.

Q. What was the biggest challenge you faced?

I am beginning the process of creating my website on Omeka, which includes some technical work that I’m not used to. Metadata and copyright information is new to me but important in creating my final product.

Q. Have you had any mentors during this time?

Yes, and they’ve all been super helpful! I work with all the Special Collections staff, including Tom Camden, Seth McCormick-Goodhart, Byron Faidley and Lisa McCown. I am also teamed up with library specialists Emily Cook and Mackenzie Brooks.

Q. Has this experience impacted your studies or future plans in any way?

It’s definitely inspired me to continue researching. I’ve always enjoyed reading, and this project has expanded my awareness of W&L’s history and all the historical materials that are important to academia, specifically to an English major interested in 20th-century literature. I’ve also learned valuable lessons about digital humanities, and I hope to continue projects that relate to that field.

Q. How did W&L prepare you for this experience?

W&L has helped me become an efficient and creative critical thinker. I think a liberal arts education is beneficial in teaching me how to think in different ways and look at a problem from different angles. W&L also taught me how to research properly and how to invest myself in a long-term project and enjoy that process.

Q. Why is this kind of experience important to W&L students?

You have the opportunity to shape your own summer research, which is both valuable to the school and your own personal scholarly interests. I think any way of enhancing communication and collaboration between students and faculty is constructive, and ultimately something innovative will most always come out of that.

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

Related //,

W&L Law Prof. Christopher Seaman Named Director of the Lewis Law Center

seamanchris-400x600 W&L Law Prof. Christopher Seaman Named Director of the Lewis Law CenterChris Seaman

Christopher Seaman, Associate Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been appointed Director of the Frances Lewis Law Center by Dean Brant Hellwig.

The Frances Lewis Law Center is the independently funded faculty research and support arm of W&L Law. As Director, Seaman will oversee the Center’s agenda, which includes funding summer research projects and research assistants for faculty, sponsoring and supporting conferences and symposia organized at the Law School, and hosting visiting scholars for workshop presentations or more extended visits.

“Chris has really made a mark on W&L Law in his first few years on the faculty,” said Hellwig.  He has been highly productive in his research, he is favorite of students in the classroom, and as chair of our clerkship committee, he has helped numerous students obtain competitive judicial clerkships.  In short, Chris does it all.  We are fortunate to have him leading the Frances Lewis Law Center in the years ahead.”

Seaman joined the Washington and Lee law faculty in 2012.  His research and teaching interests include intellectual property, property, and civil procedure, with a particular focus on intellectual property litigation and remedies for the violation of intellectual property rights.

Seaman’s intellectual property-related scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in a variety of law reviews and journals, including the Virginia Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, the Washington Law Review, the BYU Law Review, the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, the Yale Journal of Law and Technology, and the Berkeley Technology Law Review. His empirical study of willful patent infringement and enhanced damages was selected as a winner of the Samsung-Stanford Patent Prize competition for outstanding new scholarship related to patent remedies, and his co-authored article on patent injunctions at the Federal Circuit was chosen as a winner of the Federalist Society’s Young Legal Scholars Paper Competition.

In addition, Seaman has an interest in voting rights and election law, having written several works on the history, constitutionality, and potential future of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

“The Frances Lewis Law Center plays an integral role in supporting the innovative, rigorous scholarship of our outstanding faculty,” said Seaman. “I’m deeply honored to serve as the Law Center’s new Director, and I look forward to working with my colleagues, the administration, and our students to help continue our tradition of excellence and to further enrich the intellectual life of the Law School community.”

Seaman was selected by the Student Bar Association as Faculty Member of the Year for 2013-2014.  He received the John W. Elrod Law Alumni Faculty Fellowship for Teaching in 2014 and was named an Ethan Allen Faculty Fellow for scholarship in 2015.

Seaman received his B.A. in 2000 from Swarthmore College and his J.D. in 2004 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was an Executive Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and a recipient of the Edwin R. Keedy Award.  After a judicial clerkship with the Honorable R. Barclay Surrick of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, he practiced intellectual property law at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago from 2005-2009, where he represented clients in patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret litigation in federal and state courts.  Prior to joining Washington and Lee’s faculty, Seaman was a Visiting Assistant Professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Established in 1978 with a generous gift from Frances and Sydney Lewis, the Law Center’s mandate is to support faculty research and scholarship that advances legal reform.

Related //

Thank You! Annual Fund Sets New Record in 2016-17

“The fact that W&L supporters continue to grow the Annual Fund year after year is remarkable and flies in the face of trends we are seeing in higher education.”

—Dennis W. Cross
Vice President for University Advancement

During the 2016-17 year, W&L alumni, parents and friends once again gave more to the Annual Fund than ever before. Toward a goal of $10.55 million, their combined support at the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year on June 30 totaled $10,560,113. This represents an increase of $248,000 or 2.41 percent over last year’s total and is the eighth-consecutive year of record-setting results. The Annual Fund exceeded $10 million for the first time in 2014-15. In addition, for the eighth-consecutive year, more than 50 percent of undergraduate alumni made a gift to the university, placing W&L in a highly select group of colleges across the country with a participation rate at this level.

“The fact that W&L supporters continue to grow the Annual Fund year after year is remarkable and flies in the face of trends we are seeing in higher education,” said Dennis W. Cross, vice president for University Advancement. “The thousands of individuals who support the Annual Fund each year are affirming their belief in W&L’s mission and indicating to the world that they are proud of and grateful for the distinctive education our students experience here.

“We are indebted to the outstanding volunteer leaders of the Annual Fund, Law Annual Fund and Parents Fund, as well as the hundreds of class agents who work tirelessly on behalf of their alma mater to achieve these results,” Cross added.

Giving by undergraduate alumni continues to comprise the largest portion of the Annual Fund — this year totaling $7,086,118, an increase of more than $50,000 over last year’s result. Undergraduate non-alumni parents once again set a new record of giving to the Annual Fund, with contributions to the Parents Fund totaling $1,810,344. Giving by law alumni to the Law Annual Fund also set another record at $1,582,146. Both the Law Annual Fund and Parents Fund results represent increases of more than 6 percent over last year’s totals. Gifts from friends of the university who are not alumni or parents rounded out the Annual Fund total.

A complete summary of the 2016-17 fundraising results will be included in the August 2017 edition of Generally Speaking.

New Book by W&L Law Prof. Joshua Fairfield Examines Frontier of Digital Ownership

triumph-of-death New Book by W&L Law Prof. Joshua Fairfield Examines Frontier of Digital OwnershipFairfield’s book cover art features The Triumph of Death by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

What is property, and why do we need it?

“Think of a wedding ring, a home, a bank account, or a car,” says Washington and Lee law professor Joshua Fairfield. “Property is an individual demand on resources that society is prepared to recognize. Property allows us to build an identity, secure our independence, build wealth, and above all, go where we need to go and do what we need to do.”

But in the digital age, Fairfield argues that traditional notions of property and ownership are vanishing. We nominally own smartphones, but all the content and services on them are controlled by someone else. Treasured photos, stored in the “cloud”, can disappear forever without consent. Digital downloads of songs and e-books can be rescinded on a whim. And with internet connectivity expanding into televisions, cars and entire homes, this is just the beginning.

josh_fairfield-400x600 New Book by W&L Law Prof. Joshua Fairfield Examines Frontier of Digital OwnershipJoshua Fairfield

Fairfield examines this crisis in ownership in his new book, now available from Cambridge University Press. Titled “Owned: Property, Privacy and the New Digital Serfdom,” the book delves into how and why traditional property ownership is fading online: we no longer control our smartphones or software-enable devices, which are effectively owned by software and content companies.

“Ownership across the board is dying,” says Fairfield. “Smart properties such as watches, phones, cars houses, are not programmed to do what we tell them to do, they are programmed to do what manufacturing tells them to do. And if there is some dispute or the manufacturer doesn’t like something we have done, they can turn those devices off.”

Fairfield likens this relationship, as the book title suggests, to the property model of feudal Europe, when ownership of land was centralized under lords and serfs lacked rights in the land they worked.

“We are building the internet not on the free model of property but on the feudal model,” says Fairfield. “And that is not acceptable in a democracy. Without digital property rights, we aren’t owners, we’re owned.”

There are already eyebrow-raising examples of these digital hooks being used by companies and the government to exert control over individuals through personal property. In one case, a woman who was late with her car payments had her internet-enabled vehicle digitally repossessed—shut down while she was driving 60 miles per hour down the highway. In another case, the data from a man’s pace maker, which was monitored via the internet to insure his health, was used by prosecutors to indict him on arson charges because the data revealed his heart rate remained normal during a fire in his home.

Whether the property owners in these cases are right or wrong is beside the point, says Fairfield. The problem is that we have no digital property rights, no record of ownership and often no mechanism to prevent a company from gathering and using data about us.

Ultimately, Fairfield seeks to advance a new model for digital property that aligns this evolution of ownership with the free property model upon which the nation was built and has thrived. It involves establishing a set of rights that apply to internet devices:

  • the right to hack: to repair our devices, or modify them to answer to us, not manufacturers.
  • the right to sell: to get the property value back from our devices.
  • the right to run: to eliminate locked devices so we can run the software of our choosing.
  • the right to ban: to kick invasive spyware off the devices that you don’t want to be there.

Fairfield has spent his entire academic career researching the cutting edge of technology from a legal perspective, examining property ownership and contracts in virtual worlds, big data privacy, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and the use of digital information to establish guilt or innocence in a criminal context. If there is one thing he is certain about, it is that the law is ideally suited to deal with advances in technology, no matter how rapid the change or how fundamental the impact on our lives.

“Throughout our history, the law has helped us deal with new questions, many times sprung from new technology, be it railroad transportations systems or skin grafting,” says Fairfield. “Law is the system for adapting human culture and response to technological change. Updating property law for digital ownership is a key step in that process of adaptation.”

Related //

W&L Magazine, Summer 2017: Vol. 94 | No. 2

Read Online »

Summer-Mag-2017-Cover-400x600 W&L Magazine, Summer 2017: Vol. 94 | No. 2Summer 2017

In This Issue:

  • Step Away from the Books
  • What a Trip

2 – By the Numbers

  • Commencement Stats

3 – Speak

  • Letters to the Editor

4 – Along the Colonnade

  • Celebrating Commencement
  • Recognizing Retirees
  • Welcoming a New Trustee
  • Selling Oak Trees

11 – Lewis Hall Notes

  • The 2016 Graduate Employment Report

12 – Generals’ Report

  • The Year in Review

22 – Alumni Profiles

  • At Home in La La Land: Marquita Robinson ’10
  • Overcoming Tourette Syndrome: Larry Barber ’71

26 – Milestones

  • A Real Positive: Intramural and Club Sports, by Don Eavenson ’73
  • Alumni News
  • Reflecting Forward, by Beau Dudley ’74, ’74L
  • Alumni Weekend
  • Congratulations, Graduates!
  • Creating Our Future — Together, by President Will Dudley

W&L and VMI Host 2017 Shepherd Consortium Closing Conference and Symposium

“These speakers are among the most knowledgeable on the topic and will help us understand how much we must learn to effectively address the detrimental impact of some aspects of our criminal justice system on individuals, families, and communities.”

Washington and Lee and Virginia Military Institute will host the 2017 Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) Frueauff Closing Conference and Symposium July 30 and 31.

A symposium on “Criminal Justice, Race, and Poverty” will be held Monday, July 31 at VMI’s Center for Leadership and Ethics and will feature speakers Paul Butler, Georgetown University; James Forman, Jr., Yale University; and Robin Steinberg, Bronx Defenders.

James-Forman-Yale-Faculty-Library-400x600 W&L and VMI Host 2017 Shepherd Consortium Closing Conference and SymposiumJames Forman

Forman is the author of a new book, “Locking up Our Own,” and Butler’s forthcoming book is “Chokehold: Policing Black Men.” Steinberg will address “Re-entry for Dignity and a ‘Productive Life.’” Sarah Farmer of Yale University Divinity School and a former Berea College Shepherd Intern, will moderate a panel discussion.

“These speakers are among the most knowledgeable on the topic,” said Harlan Beckley, SHECP executive director. “They will help us understand how much we must learn to effectively address the detrimental impact of some aspects of our criminal justice system on individuals, families, and communities.” He reports that the Consortium is overdue for an in-depth examination of the connection between incarceration and poverty, a relationship fraught by racial issues.

On Sunday, July 30, W&L will host the Frueauff Closing Conference in the Ruscio Center for Global Learning. Nearly 120 Shepherd Interns will report on their eight-week summer internships and the future direction of their studies. The 2017 Cohort of Shepherd Interns represents the 20th cohort, with a total of over 1,300 Shepherd Interns in the field since 1998. This milestone will be celebrated at a banquet on Sunday evening.

SHECP-Interns-2017-600x400 W&L and VMI Host 2017 Shepherd Consortium Closing Conference and SymposiumSHECP Interns 2017

The W&L community is welcome to attend both the Symposium and the Closing Conference and Banquet. Registration is required; the Symposium cost is $30 and the closing conference and banquet cost is $55.

To learn more and register, please visit the Shepherd Consortium registration page.

These events are made possible by the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation and both institutions of higher education.

The Railway in German Literature Ben Schaeffer '18 is working with German professor Paul Youngman on a project involving references to the railway in German literature.

“The German, Russian and Arabic Department at W&L has fantastic instructors who motivate the students and encourage us to dig deeper and learn more.”

— Ben Schaeffer ’18

Ben_Schaeffer-800x533 The Railway in German LiteratureBen Schaeffer

Hometown: Shelby, North Carolina
Majors: Global Politics and German

Q: What are you doing for the summer?

I’m working with German Professor Paul Youngman on a digital humanities project. We’re looking at German realist literature, specifically texts that frequently mention or utilize the railway. For me, it is a 10-week summer research project, but Professor Youngman has been working on this for several years now.

I’m working on campus in Leyburn Library and the Center for Global Learning, but we will go to a conference in Montreal in early August.

Q: What does an average day for you look like?

It depends on whether I’m meeting with Professor Youngman. On reading days, I go over the text, annotate appropriately and begin preliminary research on a specific location or train route. On meeting days, Professor Youngman and I discuss the text and themes. We then take this new information and try to make sense of it as it relates to the rest of the project: Is it useful, or does it disprove our hypothesis? What additional information do we need? Then we will go from there.

Q: What is the most interesting thing you have learned while working on this project?

Professor Youngman and I were submitting a paper for publication in a journal, and they did not want two spaces after every period, the way the paper had been written. I did a quick Google search and realized you could simply “Find and Replace” every instance of the double space with a single space. That saved us hours of going through every single sentence and deleting the extra space.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced?

So far, the biggest problem is finding information. Our first author of the summer, Arthur Achleitner, is unknown outside of southern Germany and there has been very little scholarship about him. We need to know more about his background, writing styles and inspirations, and unfortunately, we have not found too much on him.

Q: Have you had any mentors during this time?

I consider Paul a mentor. He was one of the first people I met at W&L. As a first-year student, I took a Spring Term course in Berlin with him, and since then he’s served as an integral mentor and instructor.

Q: Has this experience impacted your studies or future plans in any way?

I’ve talked with Professor Youngman about possibly doing an independent research project that would utilize digital humanities skills and technologies.

Q: How did W&L prepare you for this experience?

The German, Russian and Arabic Department at W&L has fantastic instructors who motivate the students and encourage us to dig deeper and learn more. Our classes rely heavily on participation, and the relationships between professors and students is invaluable.

Q: Why is this kind of experience important to W&L students?

Summer research through W&L is another example of the university’s commitment to its students. This is an excellent opportunity for any student to learn more about an academic field and be an active participant in the research process without having to worry about coursework or co-curricular activities.

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

Alumni College Livestream: The Presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Barry Machado, professor of history emeritus, presents “The Presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: An Overview.” This lecture is part of the Alumni College’s summer program, “Camelot Reconsidered: The Presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.”

Watch live Thursday, July 20 at 9:00am EDT.

jfk-machado-1024x576 Alumni College Livestream: The Presidency of John Fitzgerald KennedyThe Presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy – An Overview