Helping Kids Bounce Back Dr. Daniel “Trey” Lee ’98 leads groundbreaking research and clinical trials of immunotherapy treatments to fight pediatric cancers.
During medical school at the University of Texas at Houston, Dr. Daniel “Trey” Lee ’98 attended a camp for children with cancer. To his surprise, the children were happy and confident about their futures.
The experience led to two life-changing decisions for Lee: He married the young woman who had urged him to see the camp firsthand, and he decided to focus his career on pediatric oncology.
“Kids bounce back; it was an optimistic environment,” he said.
Now assistant professor of pediatrics and director of the Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Program at the University of Virginia, Lee is a leading researcher in the area of immunotherapy, a new way of treating childhood leukemia and other cancers. The Clinical Research Forum, an advocacy group for clinical research, has recognized his lab’s groundbreaking work as one of the top-10 clinical research achievements of 2017.
He helped pioneer the research during a clinical fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, under a program supported by NCI and Johns Hopkins University. The process, which takes T cells from the blood of children with relapsed or refractory leukemia, grows and genetically modifies them with a cancer-targeting receptor (CAR) in a lab, and infuses them back into the patient, has been extremely successful in clinical trials.
T cells are part of the body’s natural defense system against disease, but most cancers are able to evade them. Immunotherapy with CAR T cells allows the T cells to find and destroy the cancer cells.
At NCI, Lee spent the first year seeing patients at both Johns Hopkins and NCI. During the second year, he joined the lab of Dr. Crystal Mackall, former chief of the center’s Pediatric Oncology Branch, to start one of the first such immunotherapy clinical trials for children in the world. He treated the second patient in the world with the technique.
The trials treated children who had relapsed after standard — sometimes multiple —chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant and radiation treatments and who had no other options.
He noted that the two-year survival rate for the children with leukemia in his study using standard therapies is 10 percent. Under the immunotherapy trials, the two-year cancer-free survival rate is 60 to 70 percent. “We are shifting the treatment paradigm, and it is the impact on the patients that drives me.”
Before leaving NCI to join U.Va in 2016, Lee had treated 52 children and young adults. Since then, several drug companies have licensed the technology to get FDA approval, and his lab at U.Va is participating in that registration trial. Children with refractory leukemia are being treated with CAR T cell therapy for the first time in Virginia at U.Va.
The research has led to clinical trials for adult patients with lymphoma using a similar product. Lee said that cost will be an issue, since one infusion (all that is needed) costs between $375,000 and $450,000. Patients in clinical trials pay nothing, and U.Va researchers are working toward manufacturing their own product that would bring the cost of the treatment down to $20,000.
Lee also is leading a multi-center trial – GD2 BAT – which shows promise for treating neuroblastoma, another type of childhood cancer. In this trial, T cells collected from a patient are multiplied and coated with two linked antibodies. When returned to the patient, the cells create a “bridge” that allows the modified cells to kill the cancer cells.
As director of the pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant program, Lee is developing a staff and resources so the university can provide the transplants, starting in about six months. The cells for the transplants will come from bone marrow or other sources, including a patient’s sibling or parent, a public registry of potential donors or umbilical-cord stem cells.
At W&L, Lee majored in chemistry, with significant work in natural sciences and math. Erich Uffelman, Bentley Professor of Chemistry, “gave me my first shot at research as a freshman,” he said. “That opportunity is rarely available to first-year students at most colleges. He lit the fire in me,” Lee added. “He exudes enthusiasm. It was contagious and made me excited about chemistry.”
Also in the chemistry department, Professors Lisa Alty and Marcia France provided encouragement. Outside the lab, he credits the “well-rounded approach and development of critical thinking skills” at W&L that helped him in his career. Even in the sciences, he learned to approach problems from different aspects and more creatively. It was important to get that practice of putting thoughts into sentence and paragraph form, he said.
After receiving his medical degree, Lee spent two years in a post-doctoral position at M.D. Anderson Cancer Clinic in Houston, where he worked in a cell-signaling lab and cemented his decision to pursue research as his career.
Lee’s wife Karra – the person who encouraged him to attend the camp where his passion for pediatric oncology first developed – works at U.Va, as a physician assistant in the university’s cancer center for adults with gastroenterology cancers. They have a son, Andrew, who is 5.
Lee continues to be passionate about his research, which takes up about 65 percent of his time on the job, along with teaching, administrative work and the clinical trials. “There is potential for new research with the CAR T therapy. It is truly paradigm-changing. We’re just scratching the surface,” he said. “It is a new field that is blossoming with new discoveries.”
A Well-Rounded Adventure Interning from D.C. to Australia with the Sydney Internship and Study Abroad Program.
I am taking full advantage of what W&L’s Sydney Internship and Study Abroad Program has to offer. I began the journey working for Ernst & Young (EY) in Washington, D.C. Working in D.C. was an incredible experience. I learned such valuable auditing tools and was given a great perspective on what a career in audit would look like. I made amazing friendships and connections with members of the EY team, to the point where we still keep in touch. I spent my weeknights and weekends exploring both Arlington and D.C. with friends from EY and W&L alums. One of my favorite activities included simply walking around U Street or the Mall.
Leaving D.C. was hard, as I could not have imagined a better experience. However, it was on to Australia for the next adventure! Studying at University of Sydney has been a unique and interesting experience. The campus is gorgeous (besides one of my tutorials that is held in some sketchy basement). The weather has been beautiful, even the winter (if you count 60 degrees as winter–which I do, being from LA). It has been interesting to be in larger classes and has made me appreciate the education that W&L offers. My favorite class by far has been Australian Sports Culture. We take field trips to sports games and then write interesting and relatively short essays on the experience. Thanks to the class, I am now a big fan of the AFL and the Sydney Swans, and I plan on catching another game before my time here ends.
On top of taking three classes, I am also interning with Medtronic in their finance department. I was given some difficult tasks that challenged me like I had never been challenged before. I first had to compile an approved supplier list. For Medtronic vendors to be on the list, they had to provide price listings/rate sheets and then expiration dates for those prices. This task required a lot of phone calls and emails, which posed an interesting challenge as I attempted to figure out how to converse with suppliers from Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and Germany. My next task dealt with payment terms. I had to reach out to vendors and convince them to extend their payment terms. This was incredibly challenging and tested my ability to deal with people in sensitive situations. I was relatively successful though, which was quite the confidence boost. The internship was a great experience that taught me valuable skills that will apply to my future career. However, the internship supported my decision to accept a job with EY.
My time in Sydney has allowed me many opportunities to travel. Right off the bat, the W&L group went to Cairns and saw the Great Barrier Reef, which was such a surreal experience. I also was able to hold a koala on that trip–something that is only allowed in Queensland! Over spring break, me and another W&L student in a different program traveled to the South Island of New Zealand for another incredible experience. We rented a car and drove all over the South Island, seeing Mt. Cook, Lake Tekapo, Milford Sound, Lake Wanaka, Queenstown, the Franz Josef Glacier, and many other things. It was probably the most incredible and beautiful trip I have ever been on.
Sydney itself has offered a large array of activities to participate in. One of my favorite things to do is walk through the Botanical Gardens near sunset, and then watch the sunset from Mrs. Macquarie’s chair. You see the sun set behind the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Another activity that I love is grabbing dinner at Spice Alley and then gelato at Anita’s after! The surrounding area is a cute place to hang out with friends and enjoy delicious food. The nightlife in Sydney offers a great opportunity to meet other abroad students in a variety of fun ways. I’ve gone to Silent Disco, $1 Hot Dog Eating, to live music and Karaoke nights among other things.
All the beaches are gorgeous as well. My favorite beach was probably Camp Cove, which is up near Watson’s Bay. The waves are more calm and there is a lot of marine life there! I also really liked the Mahon Pools, a pool with waves that crash inside and create waterfalls throughout the surrounding rocks. However, Bondi and Manly are the two I’ve gone to the most and both are incredible and lively and remind me a lot of some of the SoCal Beaches that I grew up around. Now that the weather is cooler, I’ve turned to coastal walks instead. The Coogee to Bondi walk is gorgeous, as is the Spit to Manly. There are still a few more walks I’m trying to fit in before my time here ends.
Sydney has been an incredible experience and I wouldn’t change it for anything. During the last two weeks, I intend on jam-packing new activities, as well as visiting my favorite spots one last time. I highly recommend this program to everyone. Do the internship in January/February and then have another internship in Sydney! It will create a well-rounded experience and be an adventure you will never forget.
W&L Friends of the Library Honor the Higginbothams
Barbra and Hal Higginbotham ’68 recently visited campus this fall to attend the first endowed university librarian lecture at Washington and Lee. A few months earlier, as part of Hal’s 50th reunion class gift, the couple established an endowment to name the head librarian’s position and to support special opportunities and resources for Leyburn Library.
John Tombarge, the Hal F. and Barbra Buckner Higginbotham University Librarian, delivered his lecture on library leadership in the 21st century, exploring how libraries at liberal arts institutions are preparing for the future.
Following the lecture, the Friends of the Library recognized the Higginbothams with the John Rogers Award. Established in 2008, the award honors those who have given extraordinary service and multi-faceted support to the university library over a long period of time. John Rogers, the award’s namesake, gave Washington Academy its first major gift of books in 1800.
Friends of the Library Washington and Lee has received a $2.5 million gift from Hal F. and Barbra Buckner Higginbotham to endow the university librarian position.
“Needs, times and circumstances change, but the library remains central to W&L’s educational mission.”
~ Hal Higginbotham ’68
Barbra and Hal Higginbotham ’68 both remember where they sat in the library to study at their respective universities.
For Barbra, it was a specific carrel while working on her undergraduate degree at Centenary College of Louisiana. For Hal, it was in the reading room on the second floor of McCormick Library, now Huntley Hall. “It was a warm, inviting space when I was a student,” he said. While on campus in 2015 to co-teach a Spring Term class with Professor Bob Strong, he paid a visit to that spot. “It was eerie to walk into that space 50 years later. It’s still being used by students, but it’s now a classroom.”
The Higginbothams believe libraries are more than just the intellectual heart of a university. “They are the most democratic of departments,” said Barbra. “All students make their way there, whether a physics major or an English major. We invested in the library to benefit students of not only today, but also those to come. I hope they will remember where they sat and studied.”
In fact, while Hal co-taught College Conundrums (Politics 294), which focused on higher-education issues, Barbra audited an English class and often made her way to Leyburn to do her reading assignments. “We were extremely happy to see how well-used the spaces were, especially after the 2009 first-floor renovations,” she said.
“We knew it was a leap of faith for the university to make that investment,” added Hal. “We wondered if those changes were made, would students come? But it’s now a more inviting space, more welcoming, and obviously very popular with faculty and students.”
This spring, as part of his 50th reunion class gift, the couple established an endowment to name the head librarian’s position. The $2.5 million gift, a charitable deferred irrevocable pledge to the university through their estate, will support special opportunities and needs of Leyburn Library in enriching the university’s academic mission as determined by the university librarian in consultation with the provost. The Higginbothams intend to begin funding the endowment with occasional outright gifts. Their financial contribution also helped the Class of 1968 achieve a record-breaking gift of just over $11 million to W&L during Reunion Weekend.
“This gift is of great significance,” said Marc Conner, W&L provost. “It confirms the central role of the library in the university’s academic mission. The library is at the heart of the pursuit of knowledge and the critical gathering of information. This gift honors the work of our library faculty and staff and helps support and augment that crucial work during a period when libraries are transforming in very exciting ways.”
“Needs, times and circumstances change,” said Hal, “but the library remains central to W&L’s educational mission. Augmenting that space and providing resources for Leyburn Library will allow it to continue to serve the best interests of students and scholars for many years.”
“Barbra and Hal are interesting and thoughtful supporters who understand higher education and its importance to students and our society,” said Dennis Cross, vice president of University Advancement at W&L. “They have a special fondness for W&L and its commitment to the liberal arts and to its distinctiveness and high quality. They invest their resources with care in areas of personal interest and high priority for W&L. Their ongoing support of the library is a gift to every student and professor at Washington and Lee.”
As the former chief librarian and head of academic information technology at Brooklyn College, Barbra oversaw the renovation and expansion of that library into a state-of-the-art, 300,000-square-foot facility. She noted, “It’s vital to ask people on the ground what is needed. This endowment will add to W&L’s resources, and its use will be guided by the university librarian and library staff. That was important to me.”
The couple also believe that the endowed librarian’s position, one of only a handful of similar positions across the nation, makes an important statement to prospective job applicants. “This shows candidates that the university regards the library as central to its mission, and I think it will help bring in the best people,” said Barbra. “We think the more named chairs the university has, the more its reputation will flourish,” her husband added.
John Tombarge, university librarian, will hold the named position. His research interests include investigating the leadership and management styles of college library directors and determining the impact on planning and organization. “We have full confidence in John,” said Hal. “His goals, thoughts and philosophy seem well-matched to W&L’s needs and interests.”
“The endowment will provide much greater flexibility to enrich the educational opportunities found at Washington and Lee,” Tombarge said. “Now that the university library is home to an academic minor, Digital Culture and Information, the bond between the library and students and faculty will grow much tighter. No longer the single gateway to information, the library must be creative and flexible as it addresses its greatest challenges — teaching students and faculty to work effectively with digital information without lessening the importance of the printed record. Flexibility is key, and flexibility is what the endowment will provide.”
Hal Higginbotham graduated from W&L (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude and Honors with Exceptional Distinction) with a B.A. in German. He was named an Honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellow and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. Following graduation, he studied German language and literature at Brown University and at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität, in Kiel, Germany. After serving in the Army, Hal began his career in education, working first as a financial aid officer at Georgetown University and then as director of financial aid at New York University.
He then began a 30-plus-year career at the College Board in New York City, a nonprofit membership association that connects students to college success and opportunity. He retired from that position in 2013 as senior vice president in the Office of the President.
Barbra Higginbotham received an undergraduate degree in English literature from Centenary College of Louisiana and an M.A. and Ph.D. in library science from Columbia University. Prior to joining Brooklyn College, she was head of original cataloging services and then head of access services at Columbia University. She is the author of “Our Past Preserved: A History of American Library Preservation, 1876-1910” and “Access Versus Assets: A Comprehensive Resource Sharing Manual for Academic Librarians.”
The couple, who competed on the high school debate team together, have been generous supporters of W&L for many years. In addition to their support of the Annual Fund, the Higginbothams have manifested their passion for books and learning through the establishment in 1986 of the Barbra B. and Hal F. Higginbotham Library Endowment. Their love of ceramics has been expressed through gifts to the university’s Reeves Collection and the commissioning of a tea set for use in the Senshin’an Tea Room in the Watson Pavilion.
Office Hours: Seth Michelson The assistant professor of Spanish, who devotes time both inside and outside the classroom to writing and translating poetry, recently compiled a book of poems written by incarcerated undocumented teens.
What sparked your interest in Latin American studies?
I grew up on the U.S.-Mexico border and lived in San Diego, California, and my father worked in Tijuana, Mexico. I was always fascinated by the overlapping cultures, languages and identities composing the 500-year-old San Diego-Tijuana conurbation, not to mention the rhetoric and legislation used variously to separate and connect the communities. I loved each side, as well as their entanglements, and it seemed both amazing and commonplace to me that we lived these transnational lives in constant motion, with friends, neighbors, classmates, coworkers and family members continuously migrating back and forth across the construct of the international border, both with and without documentation, and for a diversity of reasons. And I couldn’t help but notice, even as a child, the seeming caprice, cruelty and injustice of many of the impediments to and permissions for crossing.
Why does poetry translation matter to you?
It’s important to me that I use my linguistic and literary skills and privileges in the service of helping others to share their voices and diversify the literary landscape. For this reason, I’m specifically committed to translating feminist poetry into English. Also, in the U.S., literature in translation composes a mere 3 percent of the literature being read, so I’m concerned that we’re unintentionally pre-selecting, endorsing and perpetuating an isolationist worldview via our national literary culture. As a translator, I can work actively against this.
I also find the process of translating to be a deep pleasure. As a poet myself, I enjoy working intimately with and learning from the original texts of other writers. Less selfishly, I take pleasure, too, in helping monolingual-Spanish poets, for example, to reach previously inaccessible readers, such as my non-Spanish-speaking friends, whom I often know would love the work of certain poets if only able to read it. So I’m motivated by a desire to connect writers and readers, which also happens to motivate my teaching and writing, meaning those three interests nourish one another.
What is the most important lesson you want to teach your W&L students?
One of my most important aims in the classroom is to encourage each student’s intellectual passions. To that end, I try to help them to learn to read more slowly, broadly and rigorously; to listen more attentively, critically and generously; and to cultivate the courage to raise their voices whenever necessary.
What have you learned in your work with undocumented teens that you wish you could share with everyone in America?
Among other things, I’d try to emphasize the power of a bureaucratic adjective like “undocumented” to influence individual and collective life. For example, the ascription of the adjective to a child can drive her to suicide, and the ascription of the adjective to communities can mobilize racism in all of our lives. So perhaps it’s a crucial misstep to begin conversations today about the 17,000-year-old story of human migration up and down the hemispheric Americas with adjectives like “illegal,” “alien” and “undocumented.” Perhaps they toxify the waters before we can even enter them to try to swim? Against such nullity, we need language helping us to conceive of alternative ways of living well together, and the beautiful poetry of the incarcerated teens with whom I’ve worked might exemplify this.
To read more about Michelson’s book, “Dreaming America: Voices of Undocumented Youth in Maximum-Security Detention,” click here.
If you know a W&L faculty member who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.
OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
When I’m not working: I enjoy cooking, traveling and camping with my sons.
If I hadn’t become a Spanish professor: I might have become an immigration lawyer, an astrophysicist or a chef.
My favorite place: Is impossible to choose. I’ve loved living in and visiting many different places. Recently, I’ve enjoyed my time in Mexico, Germany, Kenya and India.
Reunion 2018: A Record-Breaking Event
Nearly 700 alumni returned to campus in April to celebrate classes with graduation years ending in three and eight. Traveling from 40 of the United States as well as two foreign countries, alumni came from near and far to reconnect with one another and with their alma mater. The event was a resounding success, thanks in part to 170 volunteers who helped lead a record-shattering reunion fundraising effort. Overall, this year’s reunion classes collectively raised more than $1.5 million for the 2017-18 Annual Fund and committed a total of $5.2 million in current gifts and future pledges to the Annual Fund.
Members of the Class of 1968 celebrated their 50th reunion by breaking a number of records established since the reunion giving program began in 1986, including the number of Reunion Calyx biography submissions, reunion attendance, total reunion gift, class project gift total, five-year Annual Fund total, and class project participation.
Each year, the 25th and 50th reunion classes select a class project. The Class of 1968 chose to build upon the Class of 1968 Scholarship Endowment established during its 25th reunion. Members raised more than $2.8 million to increase the scholarship endowment to a level that will cover full tuition, room and board for recipients. Overall, the Class of 1968 gave more than $11 million in honor of reunion, with an 80 percent giving participation rate.
“To put it simply, the Class if 1968 is a record-breaking class,” noted Director of 50th Reunion Giving Ronni Gardner. “Inspired by a generous challenge put forth by an anonymous classmate, the class not only rose to that challenge, but they blew by it. It was so gratifying to see the class meet its goals both financially, and perhaps more importantly, in participation and reunion attendance.”
The Class of 1993 also enjoyed a successful 25th reunion, presenting President Will Dudley with the third largest 25th reunion check in W&L’s history. They surpassed their $750,000 class project goal by raising just under $1 million for the new Richard L. Duchossois Athletic Center, now under construction. The class’s generosity will be recognized with the naming of the Doremus Patio, overlooking Cannan Green. Class of 1993 co-chairs Chris Boggs and Susan Moseley George thanked the reunion class committee members for their hard work and generous support leading up to reunion. “We couldn’t have done this without them, and it has been so fun to reconnect with everyone,” Boggs said.
Another achievement for the Class of 1993 is the notable increase in women leadership donors. This year’s 25th reunion class had more donors contributing gifts of $12,500 or more and more donors contributing $50,000 or more than any other coeducational 25th reunion class at Washington and Lee. The previous record for women giving $50,000 or more was three. This year, eight women from the Class of 1993 made gifts at this level in honor of the milestone event. One of this year’s 25th reunion leadership donors, Lee Rorrer Holifield ’93 also took home a Distinguished Alumni Award. She and her husband, Mike Holifield ’89, became the first alumni couple to have received the award. All three sororities represented in the class had a giving participation rate of at least 75 percent.
“I am excited to see more alumnae sharing their passion for W&L through their philanthropy,” said 25th Reunion Gift Officer Jessica Cohen. “They are leaders in our community and are making a significant difference at the university.”
The Class of 1998 also set a gift record for the 20th reunion, raising $802,000 for the Annual Fund, and the Class of 1988 raised more than $900,000, setting a new bar for the next 30th reunion class. In addition, a new award recognizing the class with the highest percentage of reunion registrants who also participated in the Annual Fund was presented during the gift ceremony. The Reunion Chairs’ Bowl was presented to the Class of 1973, as 100 percent of the reunion registrants made gifts to the Annual Fund.
- Reunion Bowl: Class of 1968
- Reunion Trophy: Class of 1993
- Reunion Traveller Award: James Read ’98, United Kingdom
- John Newton Thomas Trophy: Class of 2003
- Trident Trophy: Class of 1968
- Reunion Chairs’ Bowl: Class of 1973
- Colonnade Cup: Class of 1988
Class of 1968 Reunion Records
- Reunion Calyx: 153 Calyx bios submitted (former record: 142 held by the Class of 1964)
- Reunion Attendance: 102 class members (former record: 91 set by the Class of 1964)
- Total Reunion Gift: $11,093,365.84 (former record: $9.8 million set by the Class of 1967)
- Class Project: $2,809,628.18 (former record: $2.6 million held by the Class of 1962)
- Five-Year Annual Fund: $643,493.30 (former record: $507,000 set by the Class of 1967)
- Class Project Participation: 99 donors, or 59.2 percent (former record 55 percent set by the Class of 1962)
Summertime Stints Washington and Lee students utilize their summers through research, volunteer work and internship opportunities, both on campus and across the globe.
Every summer, Washington and Lee University students spend time gaining experiences in their professional fields through research, volunteer or internship opportunities. From global impact passion projects to part-time office work, students get to explore career options and immerse themselves in new environments, all while applying their theoretical knowledge and learning new skills.
Both academic and non-academic departments and programs at W&L promote summer opportunities and deem them a necessary part of the liberal arts education. They also provide access to resources, alumni networks and funding options to support student activities financially and otherwise.
“We’ve increased the number of programs over the years to make sure students can participate and afford summer experiences,” said Elizabeth Knapp, director of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity, “and one of our number one priorities going forward with the strategic plan is to give equal opportunities to all W&L students.”
Every strategic communication, journalism or business journalism major must complete at least 300 hours interning in a relevant news or communications field before graduating. This requirement is unique to these major disciplines and is considered an essential component of their undergraduate education.
Students in these majors are given access to a database that records notable alumni and past internships they have held in organizations around the world. Professor Pam Luecke serves as internship coordinator, guiding students through the job search.
This summer, approximately 50 students are working at local, national and international companies such as Bloomberg, ESPN, Zillow, Bush Radio and Nike Communications, Luecke said.
“Internships also give students a chance to see if they really do like the field they are majoring in, and to make valuable connections for life after graduation,” she said. “We hope internship experiences underscore all the other courses, values and lessons students learn at a liberal arts college.”
The Shepherd Poverty Studies Program also has an internship requirement as part of their poverty and human capabilities studies minor. During the summer, students pursuing this minor work full-time in supervised agencies that engage impoverished persons and communities in industries like economic development, education, environmental advocacy, health care and social service. The interns work with organizations or individuals to better understand the multidimensional issues surrounding poverty in the U.S. and abroad.
Funding for these eight-week summer internships is provided by the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty and Johnson Opportunity Grants, in addition to scholarships from the International Education and Provost’s offices.
Another credit-worthy summer program that combines in-class learning with field work is the Cape Town Summer Internship Program, which is offered by the Business Administration and Politics departments.
Through this program, students from different major disciplines travel to Cape Town, South Africa, to learn more about its culture, business climate and history. Participating students work 30 hours a week in various fields that match their professional interests, such as advertising, education, finance, human rights and web development.
These internships, along with other site-based and classroom learning opportunities, foster a deeper understanding of South Africa’s post‐apartheid political system and societal landscape. Through class meetings, a paper, journaling, blogging and a final poster, the students engage their readings and field work to navigate their role in the larger global work force.
Where in the world are our students this summer?
Outside of academic department initiatives, the Office of Career and Professional Development is committed to helping students through any part of the hiring process in order to find the perfect summer opportunity. From editing a resume to advising on salary negotiations, the staff ensures that students secure their ideal summer opportunities, irrespective of major disciplines and past experiences.
“If you are a student who knows exactly what kind of path you want,” said Director of Student Advising Molly Steele, “a summer internship is a great way to gain some experience and foundational skills that make you a competitive candidate when you are looking for a full-time opportunity.”
For those students who are still undecided, summer internships are a great way to explore specific interests — and, more importantly, figure out what they don’t like early on, said Steele. Her hope for students is to have summer experiences that not only look great on a resume but also fulfill other professional or personal goals.
Associate Provost Marcia France encourages students to explore many career possibilities during summers. One of the most accessible opportunities offered is the Summer Research Scholar program, which allows interested students to do collaborative research with faculty members and dig deeper into their fields of interest.
From analyzing spider silk glue to studying the effects of obesity in rat reproduction and from discovering oral histories of W&L to discovering genetic variations in crawfish, summer scholars go beyond the classroom learning and research into niche fields of the sciences and humanities.
Said France, “Any worthwhile endeavor will either push you out of your comfort zone or get you to think about the world or the field differently, or will pique your creativity.”
Find out more about students’ #wlusummer18 experiences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — @wlunews.
JCRSJ Invites Articles for Direct Review
The Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice at Washington and Lee School of Law has issued the following announcement regarding a call for submissions:
The Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice (JCRSJ) is conducting a direct article review for submissions to our Fall 2018 Book, Volume 24, Issue 1. Any article submitted to the journal by Sunday, August 26 at 10:00 p.m. will be reviewed and evaluated before September 3. If you have submitted an article to JCRSJ previously, please resubmit your article for consideration in this direct review.
If you wish to submit an article, please e-mail an attached copy of the article, along with your CV, to JCRSJ@law.wlu.edu. Please include “2018 Direct Article Review” in the subject line. Thank you so much and we look forward to reviewing a number of articles.
The mission of the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice is to explore the intersection of majority and minority culture through discrete legal issues. To that end, the Journal seeks to provide a space for scholars of all persuasions to expand and develop a theoretical, critical, and socially relevant dialogue with the legal community.
An Outing in Italy W&L Outing Club's latest international trip took 15 cyclists on a bike tour through Italy.
The Outing Club at Washington and Lee University is one of the busiest and most popular clubs on campus, but the fun and adventure don’t stop when classes end. During school breaks, the club has offered trips to such places as Costa Rica, Belize, Kilimanjaro, Ecuador, Peru and Slovenia.
This year, from May 26-June 4, W&L Director of Outdoor Education and Recreation James Dick led a group of students, alumni and parents on a bike trip across Italy, from the Dolomites to Venice. The group of 15 cyclists took in some of Italy’s most breathtaking scenery as they pushed themselves from village to village on the 10-day trek.
The group included nine women from the Class of 2018 who wanted to treat themselves to a post-Commencement vacation. “Two girls talked to James about the bike trip and it seemed like a great option,” said Hayley Price ’18. “Quickly more and more people signed up because it combined sightseeing, constant activity and time to explore a new country.”
The tour began in Niederdorf/Toblack, then took cyclists through the Hohlenstein Valley to Cortina d’Ampezzo, where they took a day off to do a via ferrata (Italian for “iron way”), which is a protected climbing trail through the mountains that requires wearing a harness and helmet and tying into cables or ropes for the most tricky stretches. For the remainder of the trip, they traveled quiet side roads through the villages of Pieve di Cadore, Belluno, Feltre, Bassano del Grappa, Asolo and Treviso, ending the tour in Venice.
Throughout the trip, the group enjoyed stunning views of Italian villages and countryside, including glacier-fed lakes and wine country. They stopped for luncheon picnics of meats, cheeses and other delectable local fare, and treated themselves to gelato and cappuccinos, as well as restaurant meals, after long, exhausting days of riding.
“We had a couple long days where people were gassed at the end. You are out on a bike for six to seven hours, stopping and taking pics and eating snacks,” Dick said.
On the final night, in Venice, the group dined together one last time and raised a glass to new and old friends, and new adventures.
“I saw a new country in a way I never had before,” Price said. “Biking through Italy allowed me to meet more local people, see smaller towns and go to more authentic places. I would recommend anyone to travel this way because you can experience the country outside of the tourist destinations.”
Click here for more information about the W&L Outing Club.
Thanks to James Dick and trip members for sharing a few of their photos:
Making Space for Women Ali Greenberg ’13 has opened a flexible workspace and social club in Richmond that emphasizes community for women and gender minorities.
“I believe in representation. You can’t be what you can’t see.”
~ Ali Greenberg
Ali Greenberg ’13 believes in community. Growing up, she moved a lot, living in such places as Oregon, Philadelphia and Tampa. When she needed a break from ad agency work in New York City, she moved to Italy for three months and worked on a farm.
Through her travels and work experiences, Greenberg has honed a sense for the importance of connectedness that she brought to her newest venture in Richmond, Virginia — a flexible workspace and social club for women and gender minorities that emphasizes community. It opened in February 2018.
From the rotating exhibits featuring the work of local women artists, to the light fixtures, woodworking, background music and even the coffee served in the kitchen, the space features the work of women and is representative of what Greenberg found in her new city.
“I believe in representation,” she said. “You can’t be what you can’t see.”
Greenberg named the space The Broad — it’s close to Richmond’s Broad Street, but more important, it helps “broads” connect, collaborate, learn and socialize.
When Greenberg graduated from Washington and Lee, she moved to New York City and found her niche at small- and medium-sized ad agencies. She developed into a brand strategist, conducting research to connect clients with the creative side of the agencies. Her job, she said, was to “take an interdisciplinary view – take input, expand and synthesize it, and give it to the creative team.”
By working at smaller agencies, she often worked side by side with chief marketing officers and on several accounts at once. “I learned about new businesses every week. I was able to explore and expand what I knew about the world.”
When she returned to the U.S. from Italy, Greenberg used her research skills to find a new home. She took road trips to Nashville, Birmingham and Washington, D.C. “I fell in love with Richmond,” she said. “It is entrepreneurial and on the rise.” She sees an opportunity to help shape Richmond’s future.
Greenberg continues to work on a freelance basis for agencies in New York and has developed a consulting business in Richmond, advising both start-ups that need brand strategy and major corporations headquartered in the city.
While her goal is to develop a more robust consultancy, her focus since early 2018 has been on getting The Broad up and running. She had seen similar spaces in other cities and saw a need in Richmond for a flexible work space that could also serve as a space for women and gender minorities to meet, connect and learn.
What the city offered in flexible work arrangements, “was not representative of my interests,” she said. “I wanted to create a space to connect more authentically.” She self-financed the venture, located in the heart of the city, and conducted a membership campaign before opening.
The Broad opened with 140 members, and although Greenberg doesn’t have a definite goal in mind, she currently has 175 members and will re-evaluate when membership hits 300. Rather than attaining a specific number, Greenberg wants to create a community that has impact and strength and differs from other spaces.
In addition to the design of the space — by and for women of Richmond — she points to the numerous programming opportunities as a point of difference. The Broad sponsors panel discussions, lectures and workshops, including a recent program that featured the first-year women in the state’s General Assembly. Regular yoga classes are a part of the membership, and a lawyer holds weekly office hours at The Broad as a resource for members. A recent workshop on how hair has been politicized in the workplace brought 80 women to The Broad, including high school students, retirees and others representative of the city. A blood drive and more panel discussions are in the works.
There has been some online criticism of her business focus on a female audience, but most responses “have been overwhelmingly positive,” Greenberg said. The Broad “is making space for those who haven’t had it before. Criticism is proof that a space like this is needed.”
At W&L, Greenberg double majored in global politics and Spanish and double minored in poverty studies and Latin American and Caribbean studies. She found the university’s liberal arts education to be the “foundation for everything” by providing her with critical thinking skills.
Greenberg went to high school in Blacksburg, Virginia, but didn’t know too much about W&L. Since it was close, she visited and was struck by the beauty of the campus and the opportunity to explore her academic interests. She chose W&L over NYU because, “I wanted to go to college, not just to class.”
Opportunities at W&L included a spring term in Ghana and summer research with her advisor, Tyler Dickovick, professor of politics, “an unparalleled teacher who taught me how to learn and think.” Andrea Lepage, associate professor of art history, and Ellen Mayock, professor of Spanish, helped her meld her interests and provided role models of strong women.
Greenberg honed her leadership skills at W&L, serving on the steering committee for Mock Convention and as a member of the Panhellenic Council. She also was an admissions tour guide and worked in the admissions office for four years.
Greenberg sees her future as continuing to expand the impact of The Broad. That could manifest in many ways – “socially and financially” – she said. The Broad could possibly serve as a seed fund or business incubator and a place for economic and social change.
“Personally, I want to keep learning and to be a part of Richmond – to keep the city moving forward,” she said.
A Leap of Faith Ollie Cook '60 and wife, Sharon, discover the rewards of adopting a senior dog.
Maybe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can certainly give it a wonderful new life. Even better, an old dog can contribute much to your happiness. Just ask Ollie Cook ’60.
Cook is an attorney in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. He grew up in Ohio in an animal-loving household, and he and his wife, Sharon, an author of mystery novels, have adopted many pets over the years. However, after their black Labs, Chester and Tubbs, died, six years elapsed before they realized how much they missed canine companionship and began to look for another dog.
“We started looking around for a replacement, experiencing a few false starts, such as the Border collie who dug under our fence and ran away twice in one afternoon,” Cook said. “However, things turned when I attended a memorial service in Ipswich for Elaine, a longtime friend and client. At one point the minister asked if anyone was willing to give her 10-year-old dog a home. I raised my hand.”
Two days later, Cook brought home Samson, a Lab/chow mix, as a surprise for Sharon. “She was speechless,” he laughed. “Eventually she and Samson became BFFs. And though he likes our two cats, Mr. Black and Chiquita, they, in turn, ignore him.”
Samson is indeed one lucky dog. He lived with his first family for eight years until they moved into a rental property that did not allow pets. He was surrendered to a local shelter, where Elaine adopted him when she was 91 and loved him for two years. He is now the light of the Cooks’ lives, getting “three walks and two squares a day,” celebrating his birthday with his favorite snack of baby carrots, and sleeping with his eyes open, which Cook admits is a little disconcerting, especially when he snores.
Cook recalls that a former rector at his church claimed that adopting a dog was a leap of faith. “He said that most likely we’d outlive our pets, yet we don’t let that fact stop us. Adopting an older dog is a huge leap of faith. For those who are on the fence, I encourage you to make that leap.”
Cook was among a dozen or so graduates of Choate who were encouraged to enter W&L by then Associate Dean James Farrar Sr. ’49. After graduating in 1960, Cook attended Boston University School of Law. He has been practicing law on the North Shore for more than 50 years, specializing in estate planning.
At W&L he was on the golf team and was social chair of Beta Theta Pi. He says he will always be indebted to golf coach Cy Twombly for introducing him to the sport of handball, which Twombly said would help keep his reflexes up and his weight down. It has done both, and Cook has competed at the regional, national and international levels and continues to play several times a week.
His ties to W&L remain strong. He stays in touch with many of his Beta brothers and attended both his 25th and 50th reunions. “I had four wonderful years and was blessed that I was at such a nice, friendly school where everyone wanted only the best for themselves and their fellow classmates.”
Horowitz Addresses Conspiracies, Scandals in Washington Post Piece Horowitz is an associate professor of history at Washington and Lee.
Sarah Horowitz, associate professor of history at Washington and Lee, talks 2018 conspiracies and scandals in The Washington Post. In the article, Horowitz discusses the connection between economic inequality and eras of great scandal.
Read the full article on The Washington Post website.
Strong Talks Presidential Scandals in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Strong is the William Lyne Wilson Professor in Political Economy at Washington and Lee.
Robert Strong, William Lyne Wilson Professor in Political Economy at Washington and Lee, discusses presidential scandals in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. In the article, Strong compares scandals of past administrations to those in the Trump presidency.
Read the full article on the Richmond Times-Dispatch website.
Strong Talks Presidential Scandals in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Strong is the William Lyne Wilson Professor in Political Economy at Washington and Lee.
Robert Strong, William Lyne Wilson Professor in Political Economy at Washington and Lee, discusses presidential scandals in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. In the article, Strong compares scandals of past administrations to those in the Trump presidency.
Read the full article on the Richmond Times-Dispatch website.
The Bigger Picture Washington and Lee students partnered with Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse members to create a 32-foot community mural around the theme of recovery.
“Great conversations can happen when you’re standing next to one another working on a mural.”
~ Andrea Lepage, associate professor of art
On the first day of Spring Term, there were only blank panels. One month later, W&L students and members of Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse in nearby Buena Vista proudly unveiled a brightly colored, 32-foot public mural they had painted on marine-grade plywood panels and hung on the side of an Eagle’s Nest outbuilding on 29th Street.
“This project began as a pie-in-the-sky idea,” said Phil Floyd, Eagle’s Nest director and manager of psychiatric rehabilitation services at Rockbridge Area Community Services. “I thought, wouldn’t it be great to have something that represents recovery in the truest sense, to have a project that pulled the community together and gave our members the chance to participate in a project that was a positive part of their recovery?”
The collaboration for this project began three years ago, when Floyd reached out to W&L, who has been placing interns from the psychology and sociology departments at Eagle’s Nest since 1983, the year the facility opened its doors.
“Eagle’s Nest has been investing in W&L students for decades,” said Karla Murdock, David G. Elmes Professor of Psychology. “For the last 13 years, Phil Floyd and Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse members have visited my Introduction to Clinical Psychology class to talk about experiences in coping with and recovering from mental illness. Their input crystalizes and enhances all of the information we cover, and they have educated my students in a way that a traditional classroom process cannot.”
When Floyd broached the idea of a collaborative community mural project, Murdock said the wheels in her mind started churning. She pulled in Andrea Lepage, associate professor of art history. Kathleen Olson-Janjic, Pamela H. Simpson Professor of Art, and Peter Simpson, W&L studio art lab technician, joined the project to provide essential expertise.
Lepage studies muralism, particularly produced by Chicana and Chicano artists, and she noted that many cities across America maintain vibrant community mural programs. Lepage said, “Community murals are a powerful form of art because they can bring together disparate groups to accomplish a communal goal. In the process of designing and painting, murals have the capacity to amplify the voices of marginalized members of the community.”
Olson-Janjic teaches painting and drawing in the studio art program. When the Colonnade was undergoing renovations she supervised the work of students who painted murals on the fences surrounding the construction site. Lepage and Olson have talked for years about the possibility of teaching a course together on Community Muralism, so when the opportunity came up to work with Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse, Olson-Janjic immediately signed on. “The most rewarding part of the course was the interaction between ENC members and W&L students,” she said. “The shared moments and the friendships that were formed made this a transformative experience for everyone involved.”
This spring, with the Eagle’s Nest project in mind, Lepage and Olson-Janjic developed and co-taught a new class open to all students, Community Muralism, which traced the historical development of community murals and gave students experience in planning, designing and producing a large-scale mural. Floyd, who has served the Eagle’s Nest as manager for 30 years, procured the necessary permits and permission from Buena Vista’s city council.
Intersecting with the art class was Murdock’s Spring Term class, The Pursuit of Happiness, which focused on the field of positive psychology. “My course emphasizes empirical research, from multiple subdisciplines of psychology, that illuminates what helps people to thrive,” said Murdock. “But the service-learning component — working side by side with Eagle’s Nest members — allowed us to actually experience processes that promote well-being and recovery. The project has served all of us, because we have shared the excitement of producing something beautiful together, and have benefited in all kinds of ways from the merging of W&L and Eagle’s Nest communities.”
Deconstructing the stigma associated with mental illness is also an important aspect of the project. “Part of the impulse behind the creation of the mural is to acknowledge the important work Floyd and the Eagle’s Nest have done for our community while also celebrating the Eagle’s Nest members,” said Lepage. “The mural represents their visions of recovery.”
The process began with Eagle’s Nest members and W&L students talking about positive images and memories that represented recovery. They then chose the prominent elements of the mural — the sun, the soaring eagle, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Maury River. Smaller panels surround the central images and represent personal memories and feelings of safety, including gardening, friendship, music and freshly baked bread.
After sketching ideas on paper, the groups transferred those images to the panels. “Great conversations can happen when you’re standing next to one another working on a mural,” said Lepage. “Stories come out naturally. Some Eagle’s Nest members talked a lot while others spoke less, but any level of engagement in the process can be therapeutic.”
For several days, the Eagle’s Nest members traveled to W&L’s painting studio to work on their creations. Then the panels, mostly complete, were transferred to Buena Vista for the finishing touches and a couple of coats of varnish. “We wanted to make this as durable as possible, so we used professional-grade materials for the project,” said Olson-Janjic. To prime the panels, students applied three coats of professional gesso, sanding in between coats. The panels were then ready to receive Nova Color acrylics, a high-quality paint used by professional muralists. “As the mural is mounted on a north-facing wall and painted with color-fast materials, I expect this to last for about 30 years. We hope this mural will bring deserved recognition to Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse and help to form a bond with the community,” she continued.
By the end of the term, Eagle’s Nest members not only had a new piece of public art to celebrate, but new friendships, as well. Skylar Prichard ’19 and her project partner, Justin Snyder, who has been with Eagles Nest for four years, commented on what the process meant to them. “I was impressed by his ability to mix colors,” said Prichard, “Justin has been a light to be around. They are all great people,” she said of the Eagle’s Nest members. “So talented and beautiful.”
Snyder, who created beautiful handmade jewelry that was sold at the mural unveiling ceremony, said the experience gave him the courage to think about returning to school for his fashion degree. “I don’t want mental illness to define who I am,” he said.
Jayson Wilberger, an Eagle’s Nest member for 28 years who writes songs and poetry, succinctly summed up his takeaway: “Heaven can be anywhere as long as you focus on the good things in life, instead of dwelling on the bad. Think about all the good things in life that cheer you up. A smile will always set a person free from sadness.”
At the end of the project, particularly at the unveiling ceremony, there were certainly smiles on everyone’s faces. “The mural will be a lasting and compelling testament to the possibility of recovery,” said Floyd. “It gives voice to people whose stories have too often been ignored.”
Watch the Timelapse:
Thanks to Professor Emeritus Larry Stene for his extraordinary help with the mural design. Funding for the project came from the Class of ’63 scholars in residence and the Mudd Center for Ethics, and support was provided by W&L’s Office of Community-Based Learning.
Ross McDermott, co-founder of the Charlottesville Mural Project and owner of Surface Below Media, served as a consultant and documentarian for the mural project. His short-form documentary brings to life the faces and energy of the W&L/ENC collaboration.
Mural photo by Larry Stene, professor emeritus of art. For more about the mural, visit the interactive website at recoverymural.academic.wlu.edu/interactive-mural.
Chip Mahan ’73 Recognized for Business Acumen Mahan, CEO and chairman of Live Oak Bank, was recently profiled in the Wilmington, North Carolina-area media.
James “Chip” Mahan ’73, CEO and chairman of Live Oak Bank, has been celebrated in his home city of Wilmington, North Carolina, as the region’s most accomplished entrepreneur from the past 10 years.
Mahan, who graduated from Washington and Lee University with a degree in economics, was featured in a May 2018 story on WECT-TV (Channel 6) and on the “1 on 1 with Jon Evans” podcast. In addition, on May 23, Mahan delivered the keynote address at the 2018 Coastal Entrepreneur Awards, an annual event held by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
Mahan launched his career at Wachovia, later becoming chairman and CEO of Citizens United National Bank and Trust Company. In 1992, as CEO and chairman of Cardinal Bancshares, he took that company public. A few years later, he and his brother-in-law launched Security First Network Bank, the world’s first internet-only bank. That company sold four years later, by which point Mahan was CEO and chairman of S1 Corporation. Live Oak Bank was founded in 2005.
In the WECT interview, Mahan credits smart hires and quality customer service with his success: “If you hire like-minded folks, the last thing in the world they will do is let a teammate down,” he said. “Then if you continue to treat every customer like the only customer in the bank, the shareholder is going to be just fine. Then success begets success.”
Into the Great Wide Open The A. Paul Knight Internship Program in Conservation, named in memory of a late Washington and Lee student, turns 30 this year. It has provided internships to 132 students and is still going strong.
“It’s better than I hoped it would be, and it’s had a bigger impact on students than I anticipated. Paul would be very enthusiastic about it — there is no question in my mind about that.”
— Al Knight ’51L
Less than two weeks after Liz Todd ’19 returned to Washington and Lee from her 2016 summer internship with The Nature Conservancy in Idaho, she unequivocally declared her majors in geology and environmental studies. If it hadn’t been for that opportunity through the A. Paul Knight Internship Program, she might still be searching for her calling.
“As a freshman applying for the program, I never imagined it would have an impact of this scale on my academic path and my future aspirations,” said Todd, who has since worked in the Brazilian Amazon, and plans to return to Idaho this summer. “I have found myself in places I never thought I would be and going in directions I never would have anticipated.”
Al Knight ’51L delights in such stories, because he helped establish the Knight program as a tribute to his late son, Paul Knight ’85. In the past 30 years, 132 W&L undergraduate and law students have landed internships in environmental protection and conservation through the program, and many have gone on to work in those fields.
“It’s better than I hoped it would be, and it’s had a bigger impact on students than I anticipated,” Al Knight said. “Paul would be very enthusiastic about it — there is no question in my mind about that.”
Changing the Course of a Life
John McDaniel, professor emeritus of anthropology at W&L, first met Paul Knight during a lunch break on an archaeological dig. The men bonded over a mutual interest in fly-fishing, and during the summers of 1983, 1984 and 1985, Paul visited the McDaniel family at their summer home on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, in Idaho, one of the premier fly-fishing spots in the world.
Then, in June 1985, Paul went missing during a backpacking trip at Yellowstone National Park. Two days later, rangers discovered that he had suffered a fatal fall. He was 22 years old.
In the months after his death, Paul’s parents could think only of what they had lost: a gregarious, free-spirited and passionate young man who loved the outdoors and family traditions. It was, as Al Knight wrote in a 1988 article in this magazine, “a struggle . . . to put more meaning into a life suddenly sapped of most of its significance.”
Together, the Knights and the McDaniels created the A. Paul Knight Internship Program at W&L. With generous contributions from Al Knight’s own funds, along with matches from his then employer, Merck and Co., and modest donations from others, the program placed its first intern in 1988. The number of internships has varied over the years, but the program now accommodates two law students and five undergraduates each summer.
Law students secure their own positions, then apply for a Knight stipend. They have worked for a diverse array of organizations, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Some still work in environmental law, such as Mary Cromer ’06L, who represents coal miners and their families through the nonprofit Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, in Kentucky.
“Without exception, they come back having learned a lot and having obtained a lot of practical experience,” said Brian Murchison, the Charles S. Rowe Professor of Law at W&L. “They also see firsthand that these are complex issues that need really dedicated and smart people working on them.”
Undergraduates work for one of three organizations located within close proximity in eastern Idaho: the Henry’s Fork Foundation (HFF), The Nature Conservancy’s Flat Ranch, or the Friends of Harriman State Park. Tasks include everything from mending fences and planting water lilies to conducting extensive projects. In 2017, for example, Sam Cochran ’18 created a comprehensive catalog of access points to the Henry’s Fork for the HFF.
Outside the day-to-day work, most interns develop an appreciation for the outdoors, especially in that rugged and beautiful territory. “Part of Al’s original intent was to give students the experience of being out West,” said Rob Van Kirk, senior scientist at HFF. “That has really been a successful component of the program. I think all of the interns I have met are quite moved and influenced by that experience.”
Jon Stiehl and Rich Paini, both Class of ’93, were so enamored with the Henry’s Fork that they built a business there, TroutHunter Lodge. It started as a small fly shop and guide service; today it is one of the world’s foremost outfitters. Stiehl credits their internship at the HFF with setting them on that path.
“It was such a cool, eye-opening experience,” he said. “It changed the course of my life in a really valuable way.”
An Intangible Dimension
The success of the Knight program over three decades can be measured by the number of young lives changed, and by the impact their work has had on the environment through those nonprofit organizations. None of that would have been possible, however, without the network of people who have lovingly shepherded it through the years.
McDaniel and Murchison have helped to administer the program from Lexington since its inception, as has W&L wrestling coach Gary Franke, who also owns a home on the Henry’s Fork. In a twist, McDaniel now works every summer as a fly-fishing guide for TroutHunter Lodge. Kirk Follo, instructor emeritus of German and Italian, who served as Outing Club adviser during his time at W&L, was also involved.
Al Knight’s involvement in and enthusiasm for the program has never flagged. He and his wife, Gail (Paul’s mother, Betsey, passed away a few years after his death), travel to their own summer place in Idaho every year to meet the interns and see what they are learning. When it became difficult to find summer housing in the area for the interns, the Knights bought a four-bedroom condo to accommodate them.
In 2009, when Al Knight decided to contact all of the alumni who had interned in the program thus far, he was showered with responses of deep gratitude.
“To me, one of the phenomenal things about the program was how important it was to the Knights, and the extent to which the W&L students seemed to instinctively know that,” McDaniel said. “They would extend their relationship with the Knights beyond their three months in Idaho, and I was always stunned by the long, thoughtful letters they would write about how important the program was to them.”
Liz Todd, who calls Al and Gail Knight “the most fantastic humans,” feels forever indebted to them. “To offer that scholarship at no cost, in addition to a quite generous stipend, means it is a financially plausible experience for almost any student,” she said.
For Knight, the benefit is clear: “I think it sort of gives me a tie back to Paul, meeting people who are young and vibrant,” he said.
On the 25th anniversary of the program, Chris Brand ’89, a former Knight intern who serves on the HFF board of directors, organized a reunion of interns and their families. The crowd of more than 550 treated the Knights, McDaniels and Frankes to a standing ovation. In 2017, the Friends of Harriman State Park awarded the Turkey Feather Award to Al and Gail Knight for their impact on the organization.
“This is the most human and involved fellowship that I have seen at W&L,” said Murchison. “I’m sure there are others that are comparable, but Al Knight’s level of personal engagement really adds this intangible dimension to the whole thing. So I think we should all be grateful to him for what he has done.”
For more information about the A. Paul Knight Internship Program in Conservation, please click here.
W&L Recognizes 29 Retiring Faculty and Staff
Washington and Lee University recognized 29 retiring members of the faculty and staff during Commencement exercises on May 24 and during the Employee Recognition Banquet on April 17. Together the group represents a total of more than 793 years of service.
The 29 faculty and staff retirees are:
- Jennifer Ashworth, administrative assistant, History Department
- Julie Campbell, associate director of communications and public affairs and university editor, Communications and Public Affairs
- Dan Coffey, textbook purchaser/graduation coordinator, University Store
- Macy Coffey, administrative assistant, Law Library
- Elizabeth Cumming, laboratory supervisor and physics instructor
- Marquita Dunn, general services worker, Café 77
- Ruth Floyd, senior support analyst, ITS
- Bonnie Gates, library assistant, Law School
- Mark Grunewald, Morefield Professor of Law
- Barbara Higgins, administrative assistant, Chemistry Department
- Patrick Hinely ’73, university photographer, Communications and Public Affairs
- Joan Kasper, administrative assistant, Law Library
- Edward Mays, dining systems coordinator, Dining Services
- Betty Sue Moore, custodian, Facilities Management
- Robert (Bobby) Moore, lead carpenter, Facilities Management
- Denise Neuhs, dispatcher, Public Safety
- Linda Newell, senior library assistant, Law Library
- David Novack, professor of sociology
- Arthur Perry, media specialist, law technology, ITS
- Rolf Piranian, associate professor of physical education
- Daniel Rexrode, public safety officer, Public Safety
- Jackie Sandidge, lead custodian, Facilities Management
- Leanne Shank, general counsel
- Rod Smith, editor, Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee Review
- William Stroud, custodian, Facilities Management
- Susie Thompson, associate director of special programs, Office of Lifelong Learning
- Vernon Walker, custodian, Facilities Management
- James Warren, professor of English
- Scott Wines, senior plumber, Facilities Management
David G. Elmes, Professor of Psychology Emeritus at W&L, Dies at 76 Elmes taught at Washington and Lee University for 40 years until his retirement in 2007.
David Gordon Elmes, professor of psychology emeritus, who taught at Washington and Lee University for 40 years until his retirement in 2007, died on June 4, 2018, in Staunton, Virginia. He was 76.
“Dave Elmes, a true teacher-scholar and a cherished colleague, nurtured generations of students, wrote enduring textbooks, and continued his research even after retirement,” said W&L President Will Dudley. “In all this and more, he epitomized the best of W&L.”
Elmes was born on Feb. 15, 1942, in Newton, Massachusetts. He grew up in Pennsylvania and in Richmond, Virginia.
He earned his B.A. in psychology with high honors (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude) from the University of Virginia (1964), where he also completed his M.A. (1966) and Ph.D. (1967), both in experimental psychology. During his student years at UVA, he belonged to the Jefferson Society and ROTC and played intermural rugby.
Elmes joined the W&L faculty in 1967. Among the courses he taught were the History and Systems of Psychology and Applications of Psychological Sciences. He was also co-director of the Cognitive Science Program and served as the head of the Psychology Department. He sat on the Admissions Committee and on the Athletic Committee and had been the faculty advisor for Phi Psi fraternity. After his retirement, he taught at W&L for three more years as an adjunct.
“Dave was not just a great leader and scientist but a tireless mentor devoted to growing new scientists,” wrote Tyler Lorig and Bob Stewart, his longtime colleagues in the W&L Psychology Department. “He was always ready to listen to interesting ideas and was able to offer keen insights even when the research area was outside of his original area of doctoral expertise.”
In addition to his time at W&L, Elmes worked at the University of Michigan as a research associate at the Human Performance Center (1973-1974), at Hampden-Sydney College as an adjunct professor (1978) and as a Visiting Fellow of University College of the University of Oxford (1987).
Elmes co-authored two widely adopted textbooks that went into several editions: “Experimental Psychology: Understanding Psychological Research” (2005) and “Research Methods in Psychology” (2006). One of his co-authors on both books was his former student H.L. Roediger III, a member of W&L’s Class of 1969. Elmes edited other academic texts as well.
In addition, Elmes and his undergraduate students published numerous articles concerning learning and memory in both human and sub-human animals. He was the consulting editor for the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition for several years. Elmes focused his most recent research on olfactory images and attributions of memory failure.
He was a fellow of the American Psychological Society and a past president of the Council on Undergraduate Research. Elmes had belonged to the Virginia Psychological Association and the Virginia Academy of Science, which he served as secretary and president of the psychology section. He also belonged to various honor societies, including Sigma Xi and Phi Sigma.
Elmes is remembered at W&L with a professorship and a prize. The Elmes, John and Winfrey Term Professorship, created by an anonymous trustee and his wife, honors Elmes (along with the late Lew John ’58, professor of politics at W&L, and John C. Winfrey, professor of economics emeritus at the university). The David G. Elmes Pathfinder Prize in Psychology goes to a student who has shown extraordinary promise in psychological science through outstanding scholarship. It is supported by the Elmes Fund, which was created in his honor by alumni, colleagues and friends. He also had a bleacher named for him in the stadium.
“You inspire a process of being humbled, rising to the occasion, and mastering the challenge, and your students internalize that practice and take it with them,” wrote his departmental colleagues when he retired. “It is this impact that makes you legendary in the minds and hearts of so many.”
Dave Elmes is survived by his wife of almost 55 years, Anne L. Elmes; his son, Matt Elmes (Lani Hartshorn); his daughter, Jenny Elmes, a member of the W&L Class of 1991; his grandsons, Marley Elmes and Ethan Spencer; his sister, Chris Schlatzer (Bob); his nephews, Karl, Kurt and Brant; his sister-in-law, Beth Lawrence (Peter Buck); and his niece, Pam Moore.
On June 7 and June 8, from 3 to 5 p.m., the Elmes family will receive friends at home, 3 Westside Court, Lexington, to share memories and have a few beverages.
On June 30, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the W&L Hotchkiss Alumni House, the family is holding a casual, drop-in, service-free Life Celebration and Toast to Dave.
W&L to Host 7th Annual Entrepreneurship Summit
Washington and Lee University’s 7th Annual Entrepreneurship Summit will take place Friday and Saturday, September 21-22, 2018. Alumni registration is now open online via Colonnade Connections.
Chip Mahan ’73, CEO of Live Oak Bank, and Amy Bohutinsky ’97, COO of Zillow Group, will keynote the event.
Mahan is the founder, CEO, and chairman of the board of directors of Live Oak Bank. He is a founding member of nCino and serves on nCino’s board of directors. Prior to Live Oak Bank, he was the CEO and chairman of the board for S1 Corporation and founder of Security First Network Bank, the world’s first Internet bank. Chip was ranked as one of the “10 Most Influential Personalities” in Financial Services by FutureBanker magazine.
Bohutinsky is COO of Zillow Group, a portfolio of the world’s largest real estate and home-related brands, including Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, StreetEasy, OutEast and Realestate.com. She was part of the founding team at Zillow in 2005, and as the company’s marketing leader, built the Zillow brand from a startup into a household name. Bohutinsky served as Chief Marketing Officer through the company’s 2011 IPO and 13 acquisitions, and in 2015 she became COO with the formation of the Zillow Group and its portfolio of brands.
The Entrepreneurship Summit will also feature networking events, a student pitch competition, an alumni pitch session, ideation sessions, and opportunities to interview current students for internships or full-time positions.
A tentative schedule is now available online. Check back throughout the summer for an updated schedule and full list of speakers.
Questions regarding the entrepreneurship program? Contact Dr. Jeff Shay, Johnson Professor of Entrepreneurship and Leadership, at email@example.com.
Colleagues Remember David Gordon Elmes The professor of psychology emeritus died June 4.
“He was always ready to listen to interesting ideas and was able to offer keen insights, even when the research area was outside of his original area of doctoral expertise.”
David Gordon Elmes was born to Leslie and Ruth (Adams) Elmes on Feb. 15, 1942 in Newton, Massachusetts. The family relocated to Richmond, Virginia, where Dave was a stand-out athletic talent in boxing and football. A shoulder injury brought his football career to an end prior to his graduation from Douglas S. Freeman High School in 1960.
Dave attended the University of Virginia, where he received a B.A. in psychology with high honors in 1964. He remained at UVA for graduate study and earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology just three years later in 1967. Dave joined the W&L Psychology faculty as a freshly-minted Ph.D. in fall 1967, and relocated to Lexington with his wife, Anne, and their son, Matthew. A daughter, Jennifer, arrived not long after. Dave rose through the faculty ranks quickly — he was promoted to professor in 1975.
Dave was a well-respected scientist in the field of cognitive science and served on the editorial board of the influential Journal of Experimental Psychology. He often published research reports with other faculty members on projects as diverse as understanding how rats with brain damage remember where their food is to a monograph on whether people can actually imagine an odor. This is really where Dave’s brilliance shone its brightest. He was always ready to listen to interesting ideas and was able to offer keen insights, even when the research area was outside of his original area of doctoral expertise. His record of achievement as a scientist and mentor includes over 50 conference presentations and more than 30 original research publications, many with undergraduate co-authors. In addition to this substantial body of work with generations of accomplished scientists and undergraduate student collaborators, Dave earned accolades from the broader community of scientists. He held memberships in Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi, and he was named a fellow of the Virginia Academy of Sciences, as well as the prestigious Association for Psychological Science. This latter honor recognized his “sustained outstanding contribution” to psychological science.
Elmes was a research associate at the Human Performance Center of the University of Michigan (1974-75) and was a visiting fellow of University College, Oxford (1987). Dave served as head of Psychology from 1990 to 2000 and as director or co-director of the Cognitive Science Program from 1984 to 2000. During his time as head of Psychology, Dave led departmental planning for new facilities in the Science Center and expertly guided the expansion of the Psychology faculty. Dave was not just a great leader and scientist, but a tireless mentor devoted to growing new scientists. Dave preached what he practiced: he served as a councilor and as president of the Council on Undergraduate Research, an organization whose mission focuses on supporting undergraduate research, so that students might reap the rewards of collaborative research experiences with faculty members. Elmes retired from W&L in 2007 and continued to teach in an adjunct capacity until 2010.
In a reference letter supporting Dave’s application to W&L in 1967, one of Dave’s mentors, UVA psychology Professor Frank Finger, wrote of Dave, “Personally, he is A-1. Pleasant, unaggressive, civilized, cooperative, quietly outgoing, sense of humor, knowledgeable in athletics and a nice wife and son. He’ll be a good citizen.” Through the very end of his career and life, a fuller assessment would need only add that Dave was scrupulously honest, forthright, fair-minded, generous and loyal. He was dedicated to his family, his students and his colleagues.
The field of psychology will probably remember Dave best for his many books on experimental psychology methodology coauthored with Barry Kantowitz, Roddy Roediger and his colleague at W&L, Joe Thompson. One of these books has the remarkable distinction of enduring through 10 widely adopted editions as one of the most popular texts in this area. Those of us on campus will remember his humor and his clear thinking. We’ll miss the fishing trips and the applied probability seminars. We’ll miss those things and Dave very much.
Law Alumni Honored by Anti-Defamation League
Washington and Lee law graduates Chris Wolf ‘80L and Joe Brown ‘68L have been honored for their work by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
On Sunday, May 6th at its National Leadership Summit, the ADL presented Wolf, Senior Counsel at Hogan Lovells, with its Barbara Balser Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of Wolf’s thirty years of volunteer service to ADL.
Wolf’s contributions to the ADL include service as Washington, DC Regional Board Chair; National Chair of Civil Rights, Strategic Planning and Technology; Founder and Chair of the ADL Task Force on Internet Hate; Originator of ADL: In Concert Against Hate, an annual event in its 24th year at the Kennedy Center featuring the National Symphony Orchestra and honoring people who have stood up against hate; and co-author with then-National Director Abraham Foxman of the book “Viral Hate: Containing its Spread on the Internet” (Macmillan 2013). Wolf also has served on the National boards of the ADL and the ADL Foundation.
Brown, who is Of Counsel at the Las Vegas law firm Kolesar & Leatham, was the recipient of the Anti-Defamation League Jurisprudence award. The award was established to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the legal profession and community at large while exemplifying the principles upon which the Anti-Defamation League was founded.
Brown practices in the areas of government affairs, administrative law and business law. He is a former appointee of President Ronald Reagan to the State Justice Institute and the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States (1981-88) and has served as an officer or director of many businesses, civic and charitable organizations including the Nature Conservancy, the Department of Wildlife, the Nevada Development Authority, the Nevada Athletic Commission, Wells Fargo Bank, and as a commissioner for the Nevada Gaming Commission. He is the Founder and former Vice Chair of the Nevada Military Support Alliance.
IRS Matching Grant Helps W&L Tax Clinic Serve Low-income Taxpayers
The Tax Clinic at the Washington and Lee University School of Law has been awarded a matching grant from the Internal Revenue Service’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic program (LITC). This is the eleventh straight year that the Tax Clinic has received federal dollars to support its efforts.
The grant of $85,000 will help fund the clinic for the 2018 calendar year. This brings the total federal funds awarded to the clinic since its inception to $740,510.
“I am pleased that the LITC grant program continues to recognize our clinic’s work representing low-income taxpayers throughout Virginia,” said Michelle Drumbl, clinical professor of law and director of the Tax Clinic. “Thanks to the support of the LITC program and W&L, our students will be able to continue their important work serving this community of taxpayers who might otherwise go unrepresented.”
Law students working in the Tax Clinic provide free legal representation to low-income taxpayers in resolving their controversies with the Internal Revenue Service. The Clinic students assist taxpayers with audits and a wide array of collections issues.
The clinic also represents taxpayers in cases before the U.S. Tax Court. Last fall, law student Roland Hartung ‘18L appeared before the U.S. Tax Court to represent a couple from Virginia disputing the IRS’s determination that a settlement award they received constituted gross income. Through the work of the students, most cases are resolved without the need for a trial.
In addition, students in the Tax Clinic undertake outreach efforts to educate taxpayers on tax law issues of relevance to low-income and working families. For example, students created a presentation and explanatory materials on the changes resulting from the tax reform bill passed in December 2017.
The Tax Clinic serves the entire state of Virginia. At least 90% of the clients represented by the clinic are “low-income”, meaning their incomes do not exceed 250% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines published annually by the Department of Health and Human Services. For example, a family of four making less than $62,750 per year is eligible to use the Tax Clinic’s services.
The IRS Low Income Taxpayer (LITC) grant program is administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, which operates independently of any other IRS office and reports directly to Congress through the National Taxpayer Advocate. Likewise, clinics funded by the grant program remain completely independent of and are not associated with the federal government. The LITC grant program was created as part of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.
Sand Trackers Professor David Harbor and his Spring Term class chased particles of sand from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Barrier Islands and the high plains of Utah.
Over Spring Term, David Harbor, professor of geology at W&L, introduced his class to Sand, a course that covered the origin of the igneous and metamorphic rocks and minerals of the Blue Ridge Mountains and then traced the journey of those eroded particles into the James River and down toward the barrier island beaches. The students also followed ancient pathways of wind-blown sand from the Appalachians to the western sand dunes and spectacular cliffs of Zion National Park on the Colorado Plateau of Utah.
“Sand is everywhere,” said Harbor. “It is between our toes at the beach, sweeping beneath us in rivers and blown against us in stinging desert storms. And yet, this ubiquitous, ordinary substance tells incredible stories of plate-tectonic upheavals, vast seas covering now-dry continents, and journeys through rivers, into inland deserts, and along ocean shores. This field-based seminar, which is open to all first-year students, demonstrates how geologists use observations in modern environments, along with detailed microscopic and field descriptions, to define the conditions of landscapes long past.”
Here are a few pictures documenting some of their adventures.
Paul Youngman Named Associate Provost at Washington and Lee Youngman succeeds Marcia France, who becomes dean of undergraduate studies at Duke Kunshan University in China.
Paul Youngman, the Harry E. and Mary Jayne W. Redenbaugh Professor of German at Washington and Lee University, has been named associate provost of the university, beginning July 1. He succeeds Marcia France, who has held that post since 2017 and has been named the inaugural dean of undergraduate studies at Duke Kunshan University, in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, China.
As associate provost, Youngman will lead a number of university-wide initiatives, including student summer opportunities and the Summer Research Scholars program. He will co-chair, along with Human Resources Director Mary Main, the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC), which is the university’s principal committee on diversity and inclusiveness. He will support faculty development and take a leading role in curricular reform, student projects and faculty initiatives.
The appointment was announced June 1 by W&L Provost Marc Conner.
“I’m honored and humbled that Marc Conner asked me to succeed Marcia France,” said Youngman. “My colleagues and I will miss her wisdom and energy, which she shares so generously. I’m not sure I can fill her shoes, but I’ll try.”
“I am particularly looking forward to working with UCICC,” Youngman continued. “Given our institutional history and our recent success in attracting a more diverse student body, it is one of the most important committees at W&L. I’m also excited about supporting faculty through programs like the Fall and Winter Academies, because I’ve developed a strong interest in faculty development and mentoring during my time here.”
Youngman serves as the head of W&L’s Department of German, Arabic and Russian, is the founding chair of the Digital Humanities Working Group, and former chair of the International Education Committee. He came to W&L in 2012, having taught previously at the University of North Carolina- Charlotte. He holds a B.A. in business administration from W&L, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in German literature from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
His research focuses on the German cultural reception of various technologies. He is the author of two books, “Black Devil and Iron Angel” (Catholic University Press, 2005) and “We are the Machine” (Camden House, 2009), and has spoken and published widely on nanoscience and technology. His most recent book publication, “Complexity and the Human Experience” (Pan Stanford, 2014), is an edited volume featuring computer modeling applications in the humanities and social sciences.
He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a recipient of the Bronze Star with “V” device.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work closely with Paul,” said Conner. “He brings impressive experience to this position. He’s been a highly effective department chair, he’s been the driving force behind the successful Digital Humanities initiative, and he has chaired major university-wide committees. The role of associate provost demands the ability to lead projects, to work across all the academic units, and to collaborate with many areas of the university. Paul excels in these areas, and he will be a great addition to the provost’s office.”
France began her career at W&L in 1994. She holds an S.B. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in chemistry from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. She served as associate dean of the College from 2012 to 2017. She helped develop and has served as co-director of W&L’s partnership with the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, which provides a study-abroad opportunity for W&L students studying science and preparing to enter a health profession. She also created and teaches the Science of Cooking course, in Italy.
In her new role at Duke Kunshan University, France will oversee both the degree and non-degree undergraduate programs. She will be responsible for the strategic development of undergraduate academic programs, developing and implementing all undergraduate academic policies and procedures, undergraduate academic advising, undergraduate program assessment and study abroad.
Duke Kunshan University is a Sino-American partnership of Duke University and Wuhan University, offering a range of academic programs for students from China and throughout the world. A non-profit, joint-venture institution, it opened in August 2014 and initially offered master degree programs and an undergraduate global learning semester. It will welcome its inaugural class for its undergraduate degree program in August 2018.
“I am honored to be invited to serve as the inaugural dean of undergraduate studies at Duke Kunshan University,” said France. “It is amazing to have the opportunity to build a new undergraduate liberal arts program in China. The dedication and energy of the students, faculty and staff I met during my visit was truly inspiring. I very much look forward to joining this global community and playing a key role in implementing the innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum DKU is about to launch.
“At the same time, I am sad to be leaving my Washington and Lee family,” France continued. “I have learned so much from working with such a talented community of students and colleagues. It is an exciting time for W&L. I am proud to have played a role in supporting many of the initiatives that are part of the new strategic plan, including a commitment to diversity initiatives, the future of STEM education, and the creation of the Center for Academic Resources and Pedagogical Excellence (CARPE). I look forward to seeing how these develop in the years to come.”
“I can’t say enough about the superb work Marcia has done in the role of associate provost this past year,” said Conner. “She has taken on every project we’ve asked of her, and she does everything with intelligence, dedication and pride. Her work as co-chair of UCICC has been especially successful. She has been an effective leader and a wonderful collaborator. Personally, I’m going to miss working with her very much. But her new position offers an array of fresh challenges, and I know she’s more than equal to the task. I wish her nothing but good fortune, and DKU is getting a terrific new dean in Marcia France.”
Washington and Lee Names New Associate Dean of the Williams School Elizabeth Oliver will assume the role of associate dean beginning July 1.
Elizabeth Oliver, the Lewis Whitaker Adams Professor of Accounting and department chair at Washington and Lee University, is the new associate dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, beginning July 1. She succeeds Timothy Diette, who has held that post since 2017. Diette has been named senior advisor to the president for strategic analysis, also effective July 1.
Oliver joined the Williams School faculty in 1991. She holds an A.B. from Mary Baldwin College, an M.A. in English from the University of Kansas, an M.S. in accounting from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.
She previously served as associate dean of the Williams School from 1998-2003. She has served since 2003 as head of the Accounting Department, teaching courses in accounting research and corporate social responsibility, and launching and coordinating the W&L London Internship Program. She serves as a faculty advisor to Washington and Lee Student Consulting, and helps oversee the group’s pro bono work with businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
Oliver has served in a number of key university roles during her time at W&L, including terms on the President’s Advisory Committee, the Student Affairs Committee, the Faculty Executive Committee as interim chair, and various search committees and strategic planning groups. She currently serves as chair of W&L’s Benefits Committee.
Outside of her work at W&L, Oliver is a member of the editorial board of Business Horizons and serves as the president-elect of the American Accounting Association’s Accounting Program Leadership Group (APLG). In the community, she has served as treasurer of the Friends of Rockbridge Choral Society and chair of the Finance Committee of Grace Episcopal Church.
Oliver assumes her new role on the heels of the Board of Trustees’ recent approval of a new strategic plan for the university. “This is a particularly exciting time to come into the associate dean’s position,” she said. “I am delighted to continue working with my wonderful colleagues in the Williams School and look forward to collaborating more broadly across the university.”
In addition to advising the dean on a variety of matters, the associate dean of the Williams School focuses on operations and accreditation. The associate dean also represents the Williams School on a number of university committees and works closely with the dean and faculty of the Williams School on curriculum and program development.
“Elizabeth brings significant experience from her previous tenure as associate dean, her 15 years as the department head of accounting, and from her experience with accreditation and the broader activities of the Williams School,” said Rob Straughan, Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School. “She is an accomplished scholar, working most recently on topics related to workplace culture and performance appraisal, and a strong advocate for liberal arts and experiential learning. I’m excited to welcome Elizabeth back to the associate dean’s position.”