Feature Stories Campus Events

Helping Kids Bounce Back Dr. Daniel “Trey” Lee ’98 leads groundbreaking research and clinical trials of immunotherapy treatments to fight pediatric cancers.

Daniel_Trey_Lee-800x533 Helping Kids Bounce BackDr. Trey Lee ’98. Photo courtesy of Dan Addison, U.Va. Communications

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 Year in Pictures Highlights from the 2017-18 academic year.


A Well-Rounded Adventure Interning from D.C. to Australia with the Sydney Internship and Study Abroad Program.

Spickard2-350x208 A Well-Rounded AdventureSydney Harbour Bridge

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.

Spickard1-350x263 A Well-Rounded AdventureSouth Island of New Zealand

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.

Spickard3-350x350 A Well-Rounded AdventureDanielle Spickard ’19 at the Great Barrier Reef

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

The-Higginbothams_October-2018-600x400 Friends of the LibraryBarbra and Hal Higginbotham ’68 on campus, October 2018

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.

Higginbotham Friends of the LibraryBarbra and Hal Higginbotham ’68

“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.

Michelson_CMYK-1 Office Hours: Seth MichelsonIllustration by Federico Gastaldi

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 Awards

  • 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.

Related //

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.

Related //

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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.

Greenberg-Ali-576x533 Making Space for WomenAli Greenberg ’13

“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.