Feature Stories Campus Events

Money Matters Week Aims to Raise Class Awareness at W&L Money Matters Week, sponsored by the First-Generation Low-Income Partnership at W&L, runs Oct. 1-6.

AdobeStock_105975965-600x400 Money Matters Week Aims to Raise Class Awareness at W&L

A new organization at Washington and Lee University, the First-Generation Low-Income Partnership (FLIP), has planned a week-long series of events that aims to raise class consciousness on campus, start conversations about class, and arm students with tools they can use to navigate financial and logistical hurdles during their college careers — and beyond.

Money Matters Week, which kicks off with a dinner on Sunday, Oct. 1 and wraps up Friday, Oct. 6, will include panel discussions, workshops, brainstorming sessions and a documentary screening. All of the events are free and open to the entire campus community.

FLIP founder Kiki Spiezio ’18 said Money Matters Week was not planned just for first-generation students or those with low socioeconomic status. In fact, she said, the success of the program, and FLIP in general, depends on engagement from all areas of the campus community.

“We would like to see other first-generation, low-income students come out,” Spiezio said, “but we would also love for people who are not to come out so we can really have some good discussions about what it means to be aware of class and other issues like that on the W&L campus.”

Spiezio started FLIP this year, along with her friends Taylor Reese ‘19 and Edwin Castellanos ‘20. After writing an article for Odyssey.com, “5 Ways Washington and Lee Could Better Support Low-Income Students,” Spiezio realized how many people on the W&L campus were interested in talking about the issue and making the university a more welcoming place for everyone.

With support from Student Affairs, FLIP will host the following events:

Sunday, Oct. 1:
Kick-Off Dinner
6-8 p.m., CGL Atrium

Monday, Oct. 2:
Career Navigation 101
With Career Development
3:30-4:30 p.m., Commons 214

Panel Discussion: Why Money Matters
With various professors
5:30-7 p.m., CGL Atrium

Tuesday, Oct. 3:
Investing 101
With the Williams Investment Society
3-4 p.m., Huntley 221

“W&L Thrive Guide” Brainstorm Session
Help come up with tips for first-generation, low-income
students to make the most of their college years at W&L
4:30-5:30 p.m., Commons 214

Documentary Screening: “Inequality for All”
Discussion follows, led by Professor Aly Colón and Sheila Colón
7-9:30 p.m., Hillel Multipurpose Room

Wednesday, Oct. 4:
Budgeting Workshop
With Financial Aid staff
3:30-4 p.m., Commons 114

Faculty/Staff Experience Panel
Hear from faculty and staff who were first-generation
or low-income college students themselves.
5:30-7 p.m., Stackhouse Theater

Thursday, Oct. 5:
“W&L Thrive Guide” Brainstorming Session
3-4 p.m., Commons 214

Visual Journaling Workshop
With Professor Leigh Ann Beavers
(Supplies provided; please bring a photo of yourself)
5-5:45 p.m., Wilson 3040

Student Experience Panel
6-7:30 p.m., Sci A214

UNTOLD Storytelling
The theme of the evening will be related to money matters.
8 p.m., Commons Living Room

Friday, Oct. 6:
Visual Journaling Workshop
12:30-1:15 p.m., Wilson 3040

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W&L’s Woodzicka is Second Speaker in “Equality and Difference” Series

“Woodzicka has done pioneering research on the interpersonal and social consequences of subtle forms of prejudice and discrimination. Most recently, she has been exploring the negative social effects of racist and sexist humor, and that is what she will be discussing with us in her lunchtime talk.”

Julie_Woodzicka-400x600 W&L’s Woodzicka is Second Speaker in “Equality and Difference” SeriesJulie Woodzicka

Julie Woodzicka, Abigail Grigsby Urquhart Professor of Psychology at Washington and Lee University, is the second speaker in the 2017-18 “Equality and Difference” series, sponsored by the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics at W&L. This event will be held on Oct. 3 at 12:00 p.m. in the Hillel Multipurpose Room.

Woodzicka talk, titled “Are All Jokes Created Equal? Differential Effects of Group-Based Disparagement Humor,” is open to the W&L community.

Woodzicka joined the faculty at Washington and Lee in 2000, and co-taught W&L’s inaugural women’s and gender studies introductory course.

“Professor Woodzicka has done pioneering research on the interpersonal and social consequences of subtle forms of prejudice and discrimination,” said Angela Smith, Director of the Mudd Center. “Most recently, she has been exploring the negative social effects of racist and sexist humor, and that is what she will be discussing with us in her lunchtime talk.”

Also a writer, Woodzika is the co-author of numerous articles, including “It’s Just a (Sexist) Joke: Comparing Reactions to Sexist Versus Racist Communications” (2015) and “A Successful Model of Collaborative Undergraduate Research: A Multi-faculty, Multi-project, Multi-institution Team Approach” (2015).

In addition to being a member of several W&L committees, she has served as chairperson for W&L’s Science, Society and the Arts undergraduate research conference and the Institutional Review Board for Research with Human Subjects.

Woodzicka earned her B.A. at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, her M.A. at the University of Dayton and her Ph.D. from Boston College, spending the last two years of her program in residence at Yale University.

The Mudd Center was established in 2010 through a gift to the university from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of W&L. When he made his gift, Mudd said that “given the state of ethics in our current culture, this seems a fitting time to endow a center for the study of ethics, and my university is the fitting home.”

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W&L’s Billias and Goudimova to Perform Selections from Russian Composers

BilliasGoudimova_003164050417_-600x400 W&L’s Billias and Goudimova to Perform Selections from Russian ComposersAnna Billias and Julia Goudimova

Anna Billias and Julia Goudimova, faculty members from the music department at Washington and Lee University, will present “An Exploration of the Russian Soul: Selections from the ‘Mighty Five’ Russian Composers.” The recital is Sunday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. in Wilson Concert Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

A duet, “Anima e Grazia,” will share its Russian heritage through the repertoire featuring the music of Modest Musorgsky, Cesar Cui, Alexander Borodin, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Mily Balakirev and will incorporate two instruments, with Billias on the piano, and Goudimova on the cello.

“Through these musical selections, we are hoping to expose our audience to the unique beauty of Russian folk music,” said Billias.

Doors to the concert hall open at 2:30 p.m. for seating.

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W&L’s Staniar Gallery Presents “Hard-wired”

2017.Coney_.Island.Crawler-849x768 W&L’s Staniar Gallery Presents “Hard-wired”Coney Island Crawler

Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery is pleased to present “Hard-wired,” an exhibit by Maine-based sculptor Anna Hepler.

The show will be on view Oct. 5-Nov. 1, with a public artist’s talk and reception Oct. 18 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall. Both the exhibit and the talk are free and open to the public.

“Hard-wired” presents works in ceramic, wood, metal, and paper that reflect the artist’s exploration into the language of visual perception. In Hepler’s process-based approach to creative practice, she allows each new piece to be informed by the last, pushing the possibilities and examining the depths of her materials.

In her artist’s statement she describes the works in this series as portraying “folded, slumped, stacked or intertwined forms in which one material looks or behaves like another. Wood slats mimic hanging rope; woodblocks resemble animal hides; ceramics appear to be made of steel; and wire sculptures drape and flow like fabric.”

Hepler’s work is in many public collections, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Tate Gallery in London. Her many distinctions include a residency at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and fellowships from the Maine Arts Commission and Roswell Artist in Residence.

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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Making Sense of the Jungle Liz Todd '19 was able to extend her Spring Term Abroad and spend the summer in Brazil, where she worked for an environmental agency.

Todd-2-800x533 Making Sense of the JungleLiz Todd ’19

“I realized that my professors had helped instill an academic drive in me that motivated me to read paper after paper about the region and country on a variety of subjects and drove me to fully immerse myself in the culture here.”

Liz Todd ’19
Hometown: Oldwick, New Jersey
Major: Geology and Environmental Studies
Minor: Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Q: Where did you go this summer?
I had the opportunity to extend my Spring Term Abroad and stay in Brazil to work in Manaus, Amazonas. I worked for the Instituto de Proteção Ambiental do Amazonas (IPAAM), an agency within the government of the Brazilian state of Amazonas that is responsible for the environmental regulation of the Amazon jungle and the interior of the state. I had the opportunity to work in the geoprocessing department, completing projects with ArcGIS, map making, deforestation and environmental analysis/licensing.

Q: What was your favorite aspect of your summer abroad?
Manaus is located in the middle of the Amazon jungle on the bank of the Rio Negro, northwest of the Econtro das Águas, or the meeting of the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões. I loved living in Manaus. Although it is still a developing city, it is teeming with vibrant Amazonian/Brazilian culture and life. However, my favorite aspect of living in Manaus was my proximity to the jungle, the river and the northern waterfall region of Brazil. I was lucky to enough to live and travel by boat upriver during my STA, and, between that and living and exploring the regions around Manaus, I was able to fully experience the wonders of the jungle and the natural spaces here.

Q: What did an average day for you look like?
I usually started my day with a trip to the gym to do my workouts for the track and field team around 5:30 a.m. After a quick breakfast of traditional Brazilian food, I headed to work at IPAAM, which started at 8 a.m. My work ended at 2 p.m., so I had the opportunity to explore the city and culture with my friends. Manaus has a great nightlife and some of my favorite things to do were to head down to the Teatro Amazonas and listen to live music in the beautiful plaza outside or to go play futsal at night once it cooled off. Most nights I ate a late dinner with my wonderful homestay family, then either went out or read papers and books on the region.

Q: What was the most rewarding and fulfilling part of your experience?
I would say it was the exposure I gained. I generally think that people at Washington and Lee are unaware of how privileged they are and the struggles that many other countries and regions experience. Manaus is a rapidly developing city in a third-world country that is experiencing a economic crisis, and it is constantly being rocked by government corruption scandals that jeopardize the already unstable Brazilian government. Living there opened my eyes to many of the challenges that developing regions are facing. Things that I take for granted on a daily basis in the U.S. are considered a luxury here, and common utilities, such as electricity, are extremely expensive and unaffordable to many. As a result, I devoted a lot of my personal time this summer to learning exactly how stability, economic growth, infrastructure, illegal activities, overall quality of life and environmental policies intersect in the Amazon, and how these are developed in a country like Brazil.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced?
The biggest challenge was the language barrier. I came to Brazil speaking very little Portuguese. Though I had worked with the university-endorsed program, Mango Languages, the amount of Portuguese I had actually learned before my arrival was inadequate. However, Brazilians tend to be extremely friendly, and though I met very few people in Manaus who actually spoke English, I was able to pick up Portuguese as I went. I don’t have much of a problem understanding, writing and speaking Portuguese after living here for three-and-a-half months. It was definitely a steep learning curve, because my work and a lot of the papers I read were all in Portuguese. Despite the fact that it was tough at first, I’m really glad I was so immersed; Portuguese is a beautiful language, and I love that I can understand the beauty of it now.

Q: Who served as a mentor to you this summer, and what did they teach you?
My biggest mentor was Alex Rivas. Alex is a professor at the Universidade Federal do Amazonas (UFAM), and I lived with him and his family. Alex is one of the leading environmental economists in Brazil. He has written multiple books, and most of his work explores the ties between the economy and the environment as it pertains to Manaus and Amazônia. Living with him and being able to ask him questions regarding my work here, and the region, was extremely helpful and enriched my time here immensely. His research and work are areas I am extremely interested in, and I look forward to learning more about it in the future.

Q:What have you learned at W&L that helped you in this endeavor, and what will you bring back to your life on campus?
During my time at W&L the professors in the Geology and Environmental Studies Department have done an amazing job of fostering my curiosity and passion for learning. After my arrival in Brazil, a completely new environment for me, I realized that my professors had helped instill an academic drive in me that motivated me to read paper after paper about the region and country on a variety of subjects, and drove me to fully immerse myself in the culture here.

I think Professor Jeff Rahl, from the Geology Department, has been critical in the development of my ability to ask, and then answer, critical questions, which has definitely served me well here. I also look forward to bringing back aspects of my life here to campus this fall. Learning Portuguese has unlocked a treasure trove of information, and as a trilingual student I look forward to bringing foreign research back to my studies at W&L. In addition to language, I look forward to bringing a new perspective back to campus. It is easy to become ingrained in the Washington and Lee “bubble,” and the ways in which my views have changed will have a positive impact on my life on campus, as well as my academic and athletic pursuits.

Q: Has this experience impacted your studies or future plans in any way?
This experience has reinforced my desire to go into the environmental field. The environmental field is multi-faceted, and I have been lucky enough to be immersed in the heart of that complexity in the middle of the Amazon jungle. I don’t think I could have worked and lived in a better place in terms of gaining real-life experience toward both my majors.

Q: Why is this kind of experience important to W&L students?
When you’re on campus, it’s extremely easy to get lost in the rigors of the academics that the school is known for. In terms of personal and academic development, it’s essential to pull yourself out of academia and see the real-life applications of the degrees you’re working toward. In addition to that, experiences like mine can push students outside their comfort zone and allow them to learn in ways that aren’t often available in a traditional academic setting.

Q: Describe your summer adventure in one word.
Quente!

Q: What kind of funding helped make this experience possible?
My work was facilitated by Professor Jim Kahn and made possible by the Johnson Opportunity Grant and a grant from the Washington and Lee Environmental Studies Department. I am extremely thankful to the involved entities because without their generosity and time, my work with IPAAM and my time in Brazil would not have been possible. The funding and help I received is one of the many ways that W&L invests in its students and constantly helps push us to grow as individuals, professionals and academics. The quality of opportunities and resources that the professors and the university make available to students continues to astound me, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to benefit from them in such a profound manner.

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Crystal Doyle ‘09L Promotes Access to Justice with Global Firm DLA Piper

“All of our lawyers in the U.S. are expected to do pro bono work, and I get to help them find matters that connect with their values while helping to bridge the access to justice gap in our country and around the world.”

IMG_0004-400x600 Crystal Doyle ‘09L Promotes Access to Justice with Global Firm DLA PiperCrystal Doyle ’09L

Crystal Doyle‘09L isn’t shy to say she loves her job. That’s because, in her role as pro bono counsel at DLA Piper, she gets to work with the lawyers and resources of one of the largest, most recognized corporate law firms in the world to promote access to justice through pro bono work.

As pro bono counsel, Doyle develops national and international pro bono projects focused on assisting immigrants, promoting women’s rights and combating domestic violence and human trafficking. Based in Chicago, she also maintains her own small caseload of humanitarian immigration matters and oversees all aspects of the firm’s pro bono work in Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston and Minneapolis.

It’s a big job, which Doyle admits is “a bit all over the place,” but she couldn’t be happier. Her work inspires her because she is able to spend her days in ways that matter. “I get paid to help people – amazing.”

She said her colleagues are a really good team. “I deeply respect them. They are friendly, smart and mission-focused.” The team is one of the largest full-time pro bono teams at any law firm in the world, with support for the program coming from “the highest levels of the firm,” said Doyle. “All of our lawyers in the U.S. are expected to do pro bono work, and I get to help them find matters that connect with their values while helping to bridge the access to justice gap in our country and around the world.”

The issues that resonate most with Doyle have always revolved around serving marginalized communities, especially immigrants. She began this work in her role as pro bono specialist at Shearman & Sterling LLP’s New York office before law school, where she was able to assist lawyers working with immigrant clients on family and immigration matters. “I loved the work,” she said. “It’s what convinced me to take the plunge and go to law school.”

W&L Law turned out to be the perfect place for Doyle to study law and prepare for her future. Although she was accepted to several top 14 law schools, Doyle chose W&L because of a generous scholarship and, more importantly, the “quality of the classroom instruction and the feel of the place.” When she visited with other accepted students, she realized “it seemed to be the school I wanted to be at. Everyone was so warm and welcoming, and current students took a lot of time to talk to me and share their experiences.” Many of those students became her friends and mentors when she arrived on campus. “It wasn’t all just a show to get us to sign on.”

She was also impressed with the honor system, the beauty of the campus and surrounding landscape, and most of all, the professors. “We were able to attend a standard first-year class, and the quality of the classroom teaching just blew me away. I had visited a lot of schools and had not seen professors bring the material to life in quite the same way.”

Doyle reminisced about favorite W&L experiences that prepared her for a public interest legal career, including participation in the Shepherd Poverty Program; a summer fellowship that exposed her to the work of public defenders in London, Kentucky; and a year-long externship with an immigrant rights organization in Charlottesville that Prof. Mary Natkin arranged for her.

Doyle was involved in Moot Court as a 2L – both in the mock trial and appellate competitions. As a 3L, she was on the Moot Court board and coached a team that competed on the national level. She credits the mock trial program with preparing her for her first trial as a junior associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, a corporate firm in New York City, where she started her career as part of the firm’s pro bono fellowship program. During the trial, Doyle represented a survivor of horrific domestic violence in her action for divorce from her abuser. “It was a complex matter, and my notes and textbooks from W&L were my bible for preparing to present that case.”

In addition to practical experiences, Doyle also developed her knowledge of international law while at W&L. She worked under the supervision of Prof. Mark Drumbl to draft a comparative analysis of gender-based asylum for her student note for the Civil Rights and Social Justice Journal, where she served on the board as a 3L. She also fondly remembers attending international human rights law classes with Prof. Drumbl and Prof. Joanna Bond. “It’s such a big part of my current practice, and I’m so grateful to have gotten such a solid foundation from them.”

Besides the academics, Doyle also valued the sense of community at W&L. “Everyone says that law school is cut-throat, but W&L was actually one of the most collaborative, community-oriented experiences I have ever had. It surprised me.”

For example, when she was sick early in the first semester and missed some classes, her classmates “spontaneously sent me their notes so I would not fall behind.” Another time, during orientation, a classmate broke his leg and couldn’t drive or walk. “My small section organized a volunteer schedule to make sure he could get to school and run errands, even though we all barely knew each other. Those experiences really stayed with me.”

Outside of practicing law, Doyle enjoys playing piano and guitar, and actually met her husband, a software engineer, when both played in country cover bands in New York City. The two now make their home in Chicago when she is not traveling the globe for work. “I never thought I would spend so much time at airports, but it’s absolutely worth it.”

Summer Experience: Mark Zhuang ’18L Picks Up the Pace in the U.S. Attorney’s Office

“The attorneys I worked with threw me into the deep end, giving me the chance to figure things out on my own, but were always available to answer questions and point me in the right direction.”

Mark Zhuang, a 3L from Staten Island, New York, graduated from SUNY Binghamton with a B.A. in Biology and Political Science. Mark is a Lead Articles Editor for the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice. After his 1L year, Mark served as a Judicial Intern to the Honorable Eileen Bransten in the New York Supreme Court-Commercial Division. 

Mark-Zhuang-1-400x600 Summer Experience: Mark Zhuang '18L Picks Up the Pace in the U.S. Attorney's OfficeMark Zhuang ’18L

What did you do for work this summer?

I worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke. I also worked remotely for an alumni based in Denver, assisting on business formation and litigation matters.

How did you find/get this position?

The U.S. Attorney’s Office came on campus to conduct interviews. I signed up for an interview and was fortunate to receive an offer. For my second job, I applied in May when I saw the position posted on SCORE. The attorney reached out to me, and a member of the faculty gave me a great recommendation, which was instrumental in me landing the job.

Describe your work experience.

At the U.S. Attorney’s Office, I worked on criminal and civil matters that our office litigated in federal court. My work involved researching legal issues, drafting motions, appearing in Magistrate’s Court to prosecute petty offenses, and accompanying the assistant U.S. Attorneys to court for criminal and civil hearings.

In my part-time job, I assisted in drafting LLC operating agreements, researching legal issues we faced in litigation, interviewing witnesses, and assisting in trial preparation.

What were some skills you developed this summer?

First, my researching greatly improved this summer, partly because I was doing it almost every single day. Second, I got the chance to tackle writing assignments on my own and to take the lead on substantive motions. The attorneys I worked with threw me into the deep end, giving me the chance to figure things out on my own, but were always available to answer questions and point me in the right direction. Third, my attention to detail great improved. I realized that the little things can make or break a case, and they are vital to being a great attorney.

What classes or experiences were useful in preparing you for the summer work?

Evidence, bankruptcy, CBA (Close Business Arrangements). We ran into evidentiary issues both at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and also at my second job, and having taken evidence, I was able to better understand the issue and know where to start my research. Professor Beth Belmont was also incredibly helpful when our team ran into an evidentiary question that we did not know how to resolve. I ended up texting her with my question, and she got us onto the right track. Judge Connelly’s Bankruptcy class gave me a great understanding of the bankruptcy system, and I was able to hit the ground running on a bankruptcy adversary proceeding in a bankruptcy matter that came up over the summer.

What surprised you about the work you did this summer?

I was surprised at how quickly things moved in criminal cases. Last summer, when I worked for a judge, we only had civil cases, and things got drawn out over years and years. The work at the U.S. Attorney’s Office had shorter deadlines and faster turnaround times, so the attorneys could wrap up a prosecution in a matter of months and not years.

What was your favorite aspect of this summer work experience?

I loved sitting with the AUSAs and listening to them talking about their experiences over the years—from the crazy things defendants would do to the things they learned over the years.

Has this experience helped you figure out post graduate plans, and if so, how?

I think this summer and last summer really gave the chance to see how legal issues play out in court. I can’t imagine spending years and years of my life on a single case that gets appealed up and down the courts, which is why I would want to go into a faster-paced area of law where all parties have an interest in coming together and finding common ground for a solution. I am still interested in exploring transactional work, but this summer also showed me that white collar crime/internal investigations is a great area of law to explore, so I will also be exploring opportunities in white collar criminal defense.

How do you think this experience will shape the rest of your time at W&L Law?

I will be continuing my internship at the U.S. Attorney’s Office throughout the school year, and I look forward to continuing my work with the attorneys there.

Related //

Making the Leap to an R1 Institution A summer at UC San Diego gave Katie Volk '18 experience working in a big research environment

“The most fulfilling part of this entire experience has been the clarity I received regarding my future endeavors.”

Katie-Volk-19-800x533 Making the Leap to an R1 InstitutionKatie Volk ’18 spent the summer at UC San Diego.

Katie Volk ’18
Hometown: Lancaster, California
Major: Neuroscience
Minor: Art History

Q: Tell us a little bit about your summer opportunity:
As a second-summer HHMI fellow, I had an opportunity to conduct research at UC San Diego under Dr. Sasha Kauffman in the Department of Reproductive Medicine, studying the effects of stress on reproductive health; namely effects on neurons in the brain as well as levels of reproductive hormones throughout the body.

I am a two-year HHMI fellow, and my grant through that fellowship helped fund most of the summer in San Diego. In addition to that, I also applied for and received a Johnson Opportunity Grant this summer to further fund my travels to UCSD.

Q: What was your favorite aspect of that location?
My parents both grew up in San Diego, and I actually lived with my grandparents over the summer. I’ve always wanted to live there — it’s my absolute favorite city in the nation — so it was an incredible blessing to be in La Jolla for the summer. I would definitely say the ocean is my favorite part of San Diego. Spending afternoons at the beach after work was a regular venture, and the Pacific Ocean is so beautiful.

Q: What did an average day for you look like?
 I woke up at 7 a.m. to spend some quiet time before heading off to work in the lab around 9 (after finding parking over a mile away). Typically, tasks included running PCR gels, cutting mouse brains or handling/checking on mice in the vivarium. When there weren’t any new mouse pups to be checked, surgeries to be performed or brains to be cut, I spent the day shadowing a post-doc lab member or ran PCRs to determine the genotypes of our animals. After work, I typically went to the UCSD campus gym to do my W&L volleyball summer workout, then headed to the beach to relax before heading home for dinner and sleep.

Q: What part of your experience was the most rewarding and fulfilling?
The most fulfilling part of this entire experience has been the clarity I received regarding my future endeavors. While I knew summer in San Diego would be rewarding in itself simply because of my proximity to home and my love for this city, I wasn’t expecting to gain such assurance in knowing what direction I want to head post-graduation. In that way, this summer was unexpectedly rewarding in giving me the insight I needed as to which path to take next.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced?
The biggest challenge I faced in the lab was growing accustomed to handling the mice. There are some surgeries and techniques that initially made me uncomfortable to perform, so I definitely had to learn to move past the discomfort. Repeated practice and an embracing attitude toward this challenge were essential in overcoming my initial fear.

Q: Who served as a mentor to you this summer, and what did they teach you?
The lab manager, Ruby Parra, was an incredible mentor for me this summer. Although I got to shadow all of the post-doc members in the lab, Ruby was my primary mentor, walking me through every technique and protocol, teaching me surgeries and handling, etc. She is incredibly organized and her bubbly personality was such a joy to encounter every day. I learned so much from her in just 10 weeks.

Q: What have you learned at W&L that helped you in this endeavor, and what will you bring back to your life on campus?
At W&L, I learned basic research skills that were necessary for my time here at UCSD. Along with this, because of the more personal and intimate style of research at W&L and my ability to learn directly from my advisor, I came into UCSD with a full understanding of WHAT research is. For example, W&L research taught me to question and consider why we do certain techniques, to think about the questions research attempts to answer, and to ponder the meaning of the results research gives us. Without that background, I would be mindlessly performing research tasks at UCSD without grasping the purpose behind the research. I’m also extremely excited to bring back a new technique I learned over summer to my lab this year at school. I hope to apply this new technique to questions that I have regarding the research we’ve been conducting in Lexington.

Q: Did this experience impact your studies or future plans in any way?
This experience has more than solidified my desire to pursue a Ph.D. graduate program in neuroscience or neurobiology. While I entered summer with an open mind, unsure if I would enjoy research at a larger institution, this experience opened my eyes to a bigger research world, which I am excited to participate in. I plan to apply to Ph.D. programs this fall as a result of this incredible experience.

Q: Why is this kind of experience important to W&L students?
While research at W&L was indispensable to my initial interest in the area, this experience at UCSD allowed me an opportunity to engage in research on a larger scale. My work at W&L opened up the door for me to pursue research at another institution, and expanding into another lab is something I recommend that all students do, if possible.

Q: Describe your summer adventure in one word:
Refreshing.

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Related //

Author and Journalist John Farrell To Speak at W&L Oct. 2

“Jack Farrell’…has been a witness to history, and he has gone back in history to investigate and explain how key figures of our past made their marks, particularly on U.S. politics.”

Book_Cover_Jack_Photo1-400x600 Author and Journalist John Farrell To Speak at W&L Oct. 2John Farrell

Author and journalist John Aloysius Farrell will give a talk, “Richard Nixon and Donald Trump: Two American Presidents and the Politics of Grievance,” at 5 p.m. on Oct. 2 in Northen Auditorium on Washington and Lee University’s campus. The talk is free and open to the public.

Farrell is the author of the critically acclaimed “Richard Nixon: The Life,” a biography of the 37th president of the United States who resigned in 1974 during the Watergate scandal.

“Jack Farrell’s body of work is exceptional,” said Toni Locy, professor of journalism and mass communication. “He has been a witness to history, and he has gone back in history to investigate and explain how key figures of our past made their marks, particularly on U.S. politics.”

Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, described Farrell as “an exceptional writer,” who “examines minor anecdotes and Nixon’s world-altering choices to illuminate his fundamental and contradictory qualities: a mixture of intelligence, ambition, insecurity, paranoia, and deviousness, all put in service to great success and catastrophic failure.”

In a January 2017 op-ed piece in The New York TimesFarrell previewed one of the book’s sensational findings that historians say provided a missing piece to the history of the Vietnam War—Nixon personally directed a secret campaign to scuttle Lyndon Johnson’s October 1968 peace initiative.

Farrell is a contributing editor to Politico Magazine and a contributor to The Atlantic. He had a prize-winning career as a journalist at The Denver Post, National Journal and The Boston Globe, where he worked as White House correspondent and served on the vaunted Spotlight team.

He also wrote “Clarence Darrow: Attorney for The Damned, a biography of one of America’s greatest defense attorneys, and “Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century, the definitive account of House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr.

Farrell’s talk is co-sponsored by W&L’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications and the Department of History.

Historian and Author Kenneth Noe to Deliver “Remembering Robert E. Lee” Address

Noephoto-400x600 Historian and Author Kenneth Noe to Deliver “Remembering Robert E. Lee” AddressDr. Kenneth Noe

Lee Chapel and Museum presents “Remembering Robert E. Lee” with a speech by noted historian, professor and author Dr. Kenneth Noe on Monday, Oct. 9, at 12:15 p.m. in Lee Chapel. The talk is free and open to the public.

The title of Noe’s talk is “A Storm to Destroy My Hopes: Weather and Robert E. Lee’s Cheat Mountain Campaign.”

Noe will be signing copies of his book, “The Civil War in Appalachia,” in the Lee Chapel Museum Shop on the morning of his talk. The book will be available for purchase at that time.

A native Virginian, Noe is the author of seven books, along with many scholarly articles focusing on the Civil War and Appalachian history.  He is a frequent speaker on the Civil War Round Table circuit and participates in the Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lectureship Program. He was the 2008-09 president of the Alabama Historical Association and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Society of Civil War Historians. Noe was a Pulitzer Prize entrant and the winner of the 2003 Kentucky Governors Award.

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