Feature Stories Campus Events

W&L’s Colón Talks Media Ethics with Washington Post

“The story isn’t really about Sam Nunberg; it’s about what he said and how it’s connected to an important grand jury investigation.”

Aly Colón, Knight Professor of Ethics in Journalism at Washington and Lee University, was recently interviewed for a Washington Post story titled, “Sam Nunberg’s live interviews were strange and uncomfortable. Should he have been on TV at all?”

Colón explained the importance of all the factors when deciding whether or not to air an interview. “Because he was an aide, there were all these factors that made him kind of important to give consideration to, but then once you’ve done that, how does he advance your story so that you understand more about what’s going on? And I’m not sure I understood that clearly,” Colόn said.

Read the full Washington Post piece online.

W&L’s Nora Demleitner on Family Migration

“Family migration rules tell the world what we value and who we are as a country and a society.”

The following opinion piece by Nora Demleitner, Roy L. Steinheimer Jr. Professor of Law at Washington and Lee, appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on March 2, 2018, and is reprinted here by permission.

Nora V. Demleitner column: Let’s celebrate family migration – and quit calling it ‘chain’ migration

I applaud Melania Trump for having sponsored her parents. Yet I wish she would speak up about it rather than hide behind their privacy while her president husband vilifies “chain” migrants. As a beneficiary of the current system, I know how much of the burden falls on the U.S. citizen sponsor even though family immigration benefits not just the individual but the United States.

Family migration is a very limited benefit available primarily to U.S. citizens. Permanent residents, the so-called green card holders, have very restricted sponsorship privileges: They are permitted to bring a spouse and unmarried children into the United States. Citizens may also sponsor a married child and, if they are over 21, siblings and parents. Most of these categories though are subject to annual numerical limitations, restricting the number of immigrants who can come into the country under them. Only spouses, minor children, and parents of U.S. citizens are not subjected to these quotas. Some of the other categories have decade-long waiting periods. The funnels are narrow and clogged.

Family members usually have to wait many years to join the sponsor unless they have other avenues of immigration available to them. An internationally acclaimed nuclear physicist who marries a green card holder would be better advised to come in under the employment category. If she marries a U.S. citizen, however, it would likely be cheaper and quicker to immigrate through him. We do not know how many family immigrants are also desirable employment-based immigrants. But employment is not the only way in which sponsors and their family members contribute to the United States.

Family brings countless benefits to individuals. When close family members join the sponsor, life in the United States becomes permanent for everyone, allowing them all to contribute fully and in all ways, as economic, political, and social actors. Family members may bring their talents and their financial resources here where they spend or invest them in ways they wouldn’t if they lived abroad. Many sponsored parents help raise their U.S. citizen grandchildren, providing tangible and intangible support. As other countries have learned, excluding the spouses and children of migrants creates social instability, detracts from integration efforts, and leads migrants to suffer from depression and other mental health problems. That does not bode well for successful integration.

Immigrating to the United States requires financial resources and patience. Leaving behind one’s home country also takes an emotional toll. The process can take months, if not years, and the administrative costs associated with it are substantial. Sponsors have to show that they have sufficient financial resources available to provide for their entire family, including the sponsored family member. They remain financially responsible for the immigrant family member until that person has worked about 10 years, becomes a citizen, or leaves the United States. In some cases the sponsorship period terminates only with death. This means that during the entire time, the sponsor is legally obligated to maintain the family member’s income at about $15,000 a year and to repay any means-tested assistance the sponsored individual may receive. A draft executive order leaked last year would have defined these means-tested programs yet more broadly and increased enforcement of the support obligation. Even without it, the sponsor’s financial exposure is substantial.

Immigrants made an intentional, and in some cases less than intentional, choice to come to this country — for love, for work, to study, as refugees — and then they stayed. Joining the United States should not mean that they have to cut off their children, parents, and siblings. That is certainly not how we understood the bargain. As my Australian-born physical therapist said to me, “Did they want me to leave my 89-year-old father to die alone?”

Family migration rules tell the world what we value and who we are as a country and a society. Let’s not limit them further but instead celebrate Melania and her parents.

Nora V. Demleitner is the Roy L. Steinheimer Jr. Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University, and 2017-2018 Senior Fellow, Baldy Center, University of Buffalo. She may be contacted at demleitnern@wlu.edu.

W&L’s Strong on Trump’s Twitter Habit

“So how can we get the president to understand that he tweets too much? It might help if Trump took a few minutes to learn some presidential history.”

Bob Strong, William Lyne Wilson Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee, recently weighed in on President Trump’s Twitter habit. His piece, titled, “Trump’s Twitter habit isn’t very presidential. George Washington would agree” appeared on NBC News THINK on Feb. 19, 2018.

You can read the full piece on NBC News THINK online.

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.

W&L’s Beck Receives an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Beck is the 22nd General to receive the distinction over the last 15 years.

“My incredible professors, coaches, classmates, teammates and friends have all become a part of who I am today, and I’m just happy that this award will help me further pursue the passions and inspiration I found here at W&L.”

Gillen Beck ’18

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released its fall 2017 postgraduate scholarship winners and senior men’s soccer player Gillen Beck (Blacksburg, Va. / Blacksburg) was among the 58 Division I, II and III student-athletes that were recognized.

Beck is the 22nd General to receive the distinction over the last 15 years, and 41 W&L athletes have been honored since 1970.  Other recent recipients include golfer Conley Hurst ’17, tennis player Patricia Kirkland ’15 and swimmer Rick Sykes ’13.

“It really is an incredible honor to be selected for such a meaningful award,” said Beck. “Hazy practices after nights without leaving the library were a constant reminder of the struggle to balance academics and athletics. I suppose the award says that I managed to do so sufficiently, but nothing I’ve accomplished here can even compare to all that this campus has done for me.”

Beck continued “My incredible professors, coaches, classmates, teammates, and friends have all become a part of who I am today, and I’m just happy that this award will help me further pursue the passions and inspiration I found here at W&L.”

Beck was a four-year letterwinner as a goalkeeper and served as a team captain for his senior season.  He started each of his final three seasons, earning All-ODAC honors as a sophomore, junior and senior, and claiming the ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award each of his final two seasons.  Additionally, Beck was a two-time all-region honoree and he received CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-America laurels in 2017.

Over the course of his career, Beck played in 58 games, posting a 0.88 goals-against average and a .793 save percentage, while leading the Generals to one ODAC title and three NCAA Tournament berths.

A mathematics and physics double-major, Beck is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Society, Sigma Pi Sigma US Honor Society for Physics and Phi Eta Sigma First-Year National Honor Society.

The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women. Scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel both academically and athletically in intercollegiate athletics competition.

The one-time grants of $7,500 each are awarded for fall sports, winter sports and spring sports. Each sports season (fall, winter, spring), there are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 scholarships for women. The scholarships are one-time, non-renewable grants.


Brodie Riordan ’03 and Clifford Holekamp ’96 Join W&L Board of Trustees

Brodie Riordan ’03 and Clifford Holekamp ’96

Washington and Lee University welcomed two new members to its Board of Trustees during the board’s winter meeting on Feb. 9.

Brodie G. Riordan ’03 graduated from W&L with a B.A. in psychology and holds a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Akron. She is the manager of partner learning and development at McKinsey & Co.

As a student, Riordan was a founding member of the varsity field hockey team and was president of Kappa Delta Sorority. As an alumna, she has served as president of the W&L Alumni Board and the Cleveland Alumni Chapter, chaired the Science Advisory Board and served as a class agent.

Before joining McKinsey, Riordan was a senior consultant with PDRI, was manager of global leadership development at Procter & Gamble, and was a visiting assistant professor of social and organizational psychology at W&L.

Riordan has published over two dozen articles and book chapters on leadership, feedback and coaching, including “Using Feedback in Organizational Consulting,” the first book in an American Psychological Association series. She is on the board of the D.C. chapter of Back on My Feet, a nonprofit that helps homeless individuals get their lives back together through the power of running.

Riordan and her husband, Tim, live in Washington, D.C.

Clifford Holekamp ’96 graduated from W&L with a B.A. in journalism and holds an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. Holekamp is co-founder and general partner of Cultivation Capital and is the academic director and senior lecturer for entrepreneurship at Olin Business School at Washington University.

He formerly worked for IBM and was the founder and president of Foot Healers, a chain of podiatric medical centers. He serves on several early-stage corporate boards, as well as several philanthropic boards, including at the St. Louis Zoo, the T-REX technology entrepreneur center, and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

As an alumnus, Holekamp has served as president of the St. Louis Alumni Chapter and on the Board of Advisors for the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. He received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award in 2011. Currently, he serves on both the Development and Finance Committees.

Holekamp resides in St. Louis with his wife, Megan, and daughters Millie and Ginny.

Related //,

W&L Community Grants Committee to Evaluate Proposals In March The deadline for submitting a proposal for the Spring 2018 evaluation is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 2, 2018.

Washington and Lee University’s Community Grants Committee would like to remind the community of its Spring 2018 proposal evaluation schedule. Proposals may be submitted at any time but are reviewed semiannually: at the end of the calendar year and at the end of the fiscal year. The deadline for submitting a proposal for the Spring 2018 evaluation is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 2, 2018.

Established in the spring of 2008, the purpose of the program is to support non-profit organizations in the Lexington/Rockbridge community. The program began its first full year on July 1, 2008, coinciding with the start of the University’s fiscal year. The University will award a total of $50,000 during the program’s 2017-18 cycle.

During the first round of the 2017-18 evaluations held in November, 2017, twenty-nine organizations submitted proposals for a total of over $150,000 in requests. The University made $30,760 in grants to 19 of those organizations. Those organizations were:

  • American Red Cross of the Roanoke and New River Valleys Virginia
  • The Community Closet at Christ Episcopal Church
  • Community Foundation for Rockbridge, Bath, and Alleghany
  • The Community Table of Buena Vista, Inc.
  • Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity
  • Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center
  • Lexington Police Foundation
  • Natural Bridge/Glasgow Food Pantry, Inc.
  • PMHS Girls Basketball Program
  • PMHS Lady Blues Soccer
  • Rockbridge Area Health Center
  • Rockbridge Area Relief Association
  • The Rockbridge Ballet
  • Rockbridge SPCA
  • RCHS Girls Soccer Booster Club
  • RCHS Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Program
  • Rockbridge Regional Library Youth Literacy
  • John’s United Methodist Church
  • Rockbridge Area YMCA

Interested parties may access the Community Grants Committee website and download a copy of the proposal guidelines at the following address: http://go.wlu.edu/communitygrants.

Proposals should be submitted as electronic attachments (Word or PDF) via e-mail to kbrinkley@wlu.edu. Please call (540) 458-8417 with questions. If an electronic submission is not possible, materials may be faxed to (540) 458-8745 or mailed to Washington and Lee University Community Grants Committee, Attn: James D. Farrar, Jr., Office of the Secretary, 204 W. Washington St., Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450-2116.

President Dudley on Taxing George Washington’s Legacy W&L President William C. Dudley writes about the endowment tax in an opinion piece in The Washington Post.

President William C. Dudley

In an opinion piece published on Jan. 17 in The Washington Post, Washington and Lee University President William C. Dudley writes about the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law on Dec. 22, which imposes a 1.4 percent tax on the endowment earnings of about 30 private colleges and universities, including Washington and Lee.

The essay begins: “In 1796, George Washington made a gift valued at $20,000 to a struggling classical school called Liberty Hall Academy. The donation, which formed the largest component of Liberty Hall’s meager endowment, not only permitted the school to keep its doors open but also promised a permanent revenue stream that would benefit generations of students.”

Adds President Dudley: “The alumni and friends of Washington and Lee have been extraordinarily generous in their support of the university because they, like George Washington, want to benefit society by making enduring contributions to educational excellence. Taxing our endowment erodes the power of those contributions, which hurts students and families.”

The entire piece can be read on The Washington Post’s website.

ODK Initiates Four Honorary and 35 Student Members During 2018 Founders Day/ODK Convocation


Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, will welcome four honorary and 35 student initiates at Washington and Lee University’s annual Founders Day/ODK Convocation on Jan. 18 at 5 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The convocation is free and open to the public. The program and ceremony will be broadcast live online.

Charles Dew will speak on “The Making, and Unmaking, of a Racist.” Dew is the Ephraim Williams Professor of American History at Williams College, where he has taught since 1977. He is a nationally recognized scholar of the American South, the Civil War, American slavery and the Reconstruction period. In 2016, Dew published “The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade.”

ODK honorary initiates are the Rev. Dr. John M. Cleghorn, pastor of the Caldwell Presbyterian Church, in Charlotte, North Carolina; Marcia France, the John T. Herwick, M.D. Professor of Chemistry and associate provost at W&L; Joan Manley, advocate for the safety, opportunity and access of the Lexington and Rockbridge County community; and Colonel James T. (Ty) Seidule, professor of history and chair of the history department at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Cleghorn is a member of W&L’s Class of 1984. Since 2008 he has served as pastor of the Caldwell Presbyterian Church in Charlotte — a church that has embraced its call to be a diverse, progressive and mission-oriented congregation centered on justice and advocacy. Before entering the ministry, Cleghorn retired early from the Bank of America as a senior vice president after 18 years in various public relations and public policy roles. Prior to that, he was a reporter for the Charlotte Observer for six years.

Cleghorn has served Washington and Lee in several key roles, including as chair of the 2003–2004 Board of Trustees Ad Hoc Committee on External Relations, vice chair of Young Alumni for the Annual Fund, class agent, member of the Alumni Board of Directors, and a member of the Charlotte Area Campaign Committee during the On the Shoulders of Giants and For the Rising Generation capital campaigns. He was also W&L’s baccalaureate speaker in 2014 with an address entitled “Community and the Common Good.” Cleghorn received the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award in 1994. He and his wife, Kelly, have two daughters, Ellison and Sophie.

France is the John T. Herwick, M.D. Professor of Chemistry and associate provost at Washington and Lee. She previously served five years as associate dean of the College. She earned her S.B. in chemistry at MIT, where she did undergraduate research under K. Barry Sharpless, the 2001 Nobel Laureate in chemistry, and her M.S. in chemistry from Yale. She was a National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow at California Institute of Technology, where she earned her Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Her work on the development of ruthenium catalysts for olefin metathesis was cited in the 2005 Nobel Prize address by her research mentor, Robert H. Grubbs.

France has served as a visiting research scientist at Dupont, Stanford University, the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique/AgroParisTech in Paris. She is co-author of 20 research publications, holds 13 patents, and has mentored over 50 research students. At W&L, France has taught introductory and advanced organic chemistry as well as a Spring Term abroad course, the Science of Cooking, in Italy. An advocate for international education, France helped co-found the W&L-St. Andrews study abroad program. She oversees the academic advising program, runs the Student Research Scholars program, and serves as co-chair of the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate. She has previously served as chair of the Graduate Fellowships Committee, the Committee on Automatic Rule and Reinstatement, the STEM Pedagogy Working Group, and the Hillel Advisory Board, and she served on the Phi Beta Kappa executive board for 13 years. She plays flute and piccolo with the Rockbridge Symphony Orchestra, the W&L University Wind Ensemble, and the Lexington Flute Ensemble.

Manley is an active and effective advocate for the safety, opportunity and access of our entire community. Even before the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, Manley was responsible for Lexington’s efforts to fund and create curb cuts to assist in making the downtown more accessible to those with mobility limitations. In the mid-1990s, she envisioned and founded the Rockbridge Area Transportation System, which enables hundreds of residents in the community to get to medical services and many other destinations safely, conveniently and as affordably as possible. She serves as a member of the Rockbridge Disabilities Board, on the steering committee of the Rockbridge Area Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships, as chair of the Rockbridge Area Conservation Council Transportation Committee, and on the Rockbridge Advocates for Community Involvement.

In 2004, Manley was appointed chair of the Olmstead Oversight Advisory Commission that gave the disabled population the opportunity to live at home rather than confined to institutions. In 2003, she was honored by the local Chamber of Commerce as the People’s Choice Citizen of the Year. In 2009, she was named Ms. Wheelchair Virginia, with her motto “Making Choices and Having Choices to Make.” Both the Virginia Senate (in 2008) and the Virginia House of Delegates (in 2010) have recognized Manley’s contributions and accomplishments with resolutions.

Seidule, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1984, holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. Seidule has commanded cavalry and armored units in the United States, Germany, Italy, the Balkans, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He is professor of history and chair of the history department at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Among his many accomplishments as a scholar are “The West Point History of Warfare” (a 70-chapter digital text), “The West Point History of the Civil War,” “The West Point History of World War II,” “The West Point Guide to the Civil Rights Movement,” and “The West Point Guide to Gender and Warfare.”

Seidule has written on institutional history, including Civil War memory and African-American history. He is a youth basketball coach and serves on the vestry of Holy Innocents Episcopal Church and the board of trustees of the Putnam County Historical Society.

Undergraduate Class of 2018:

Brett Thomas Becker (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania) is majoring in biochemistry. Becker, a Johnson Scholar, is the founder and president of the W&L Pre-Dental Club and the co-president of the W&L University Ambassadors. He is active in peer counseling, has held numerous fraternity leadership positions, serves as a lector at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church, and is a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus. He is actively involved in community service in Lexington and Rockbridge County. Becker’s involvement extends to four honor societies at W&L, including Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Pre-professional Honor Society, of which he is president. He will attend dental school beginning in fall 2018.

Ryan Jefferson Brink (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is majoring in engineering and studio art. Ryan, a Bonner Scholar at W&L, has been a member of the Campus Kitchen Leadership Team since Winter Term of his first year, an organization of which he is now the president. Ryan is a four-year member of the W&L Screaming Minks Rugby Club, and served as captain during the 2017 season. The team has been ranked in the top 10 of the National Small College Rugby Organization each of those years. Ryan has been a Volunteer Venture trip leader since his sophomore year, a peer tutor, and a teaching assistant in the Physics-Engineering Department.

Thomas Sullivan Caldwell (Greenville, South Carolina) is a pre-med student majoring in neuroscience. During his time at W&L, Thomas has been named a first team All-ODAC selection twice as a member of the men’s swim team, while also winning two individual conference titles and receiving the ODAC Sportsmanship Award. In addition, Thomas was selected for the Generals Leadership Academy and is a three-time 4.0 scholar-athlete. As part of Professor Sarah Blythe’s research lab, he headed up an analysis of changes in rat behavior as a result of consuming a diet high in fat and sugar. Starting his sophomore year, Thomas served as a small group leader for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and now acts as the small group co-coordinator on the chapter’s executive team.

Michael Ian Colavita (Roseland, New Jersey) is pursuing a dual degree in neuroscience and music. Michael is the assistant head resident adviser in charge of Graham-Lees Hall, and is involved on campus as a university ambassador, a Bible study leader, and a peer tutor in calculus, music, physics and chemistry. Michael is the assistant conductor and tenor section leader of the University Singers and has conducted multiple campus ensembles in performance, such as the University Wind Ensemble’s premiere of his own composition, “Sands of Fire.” He has served as the music director for the student musical production “Joan!”, and is the drummer for the student band Hella Fitzgerald. Michael is also active in the greater Rockbridge community as a marching band instructor, a choral scholar at Trinity United Methodist Church, and a private drum instructor.

Audrey Taft Dangler (Easley, South Carolina) is majoring in studio art and psychology. As one of the small-group coordinators for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, she guides the small-group leaders and serves on the executive team. Along with assisting with the children’s program at Rockbridge Church, Dangler has been on the Residential Life staff for three years, continuing her second year as the community assistant in the Arts, Recreation and Culture House. Her installations “HERstory in Motion” and “Eliminating Static” have been displayed in the Lykes Atrium in the Lenfest Center for the Arts for the “Drawing Italy” show and the “Junior Thesis” show, respectively. A Johnson Scholar and member of Psi Chi Honor Society, she has conducted research in the Psychology Department and will present research findings at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference this year.

Sara Riley Dotterer (Richmond, Virginia) is an anthropology and studio art major. As a sophomore, she began her leadership in the arts by teaching dance and mentoring students at Maury River Middle School. Sophomore year also marked her first piece of student-led choreography in the W&L Repertory Dance Company, which she began performing with her first year. As a junior and senior, Sara served as the co-president of the W&L Repertory Dance Company, and developed her roles as choreographer, dancer and leader of the organization. During Sara’s junior year, she revitalized the W&L Student Arts League and coined the term “art for all,” making it her goal to unify and promote the many artists of all disciplines on our campus. As Arts League president, Sara has brought student art to The Village, developed a mural on the Colonnade’s construction wall, created a graffiti tunnel in Wilson Hall, and championed other initiatives that have helped spotlight W&L’s many creative students.

Hannah Lynne Falchuk (Hockessin, Delaware) is a politics major and poverty and human capability studies minor. During her sophomore year, she created an annual student-run event to thank all employees of Dining Services with personalized cards and baked goods. She regularly visits the residents of The Manor at Natural Bridge with the Campus Kitchen program and has led French instruction for nearly all grade levels at Central Elementary School. Falchuk is a community assistant, a member of the Compost Crew, and a Writing Center tutor. She has written for inGeneral and the Ring-tum Phi and has been published in the Washington and Lee Political Review. She is the 2017 recipient of the Richard Miller Physical Education Award.

Andrew Caleb Gavlin (Ellicott City, Maryland) is majoring in accounting and business administration and political philosophy. He sits on various student government committees including the Student Financial Aid Committee, the University Board of Appeals, and the Student Advisory Group to the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board. Additionally, Andrew is an Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation trip leader, coaches a local youth basketball team, and served as a group head in the Williams Investment Society.

Benjamin Christopher Gee (Suffield, Connecticut) is majoring in English, history and medieval and Renaissance studies. As a founder of the Shakespeare Society and co-founder of the Ultimate Frisbee Club, Ben has worked to provide new avenues for student engagement at W&L. He works at the University Writing Center, and has served on the boards of the Parliamentary Debate Team, Ethics Club, and Catholic Campus Ministry. Gee has produced and hosted the WLUR political talk show “Common Sense Voices” for three years, and for two years was editor in chief of the Spectator. In his free moments, Ben enjoys singing as a tenor in the University Singers, and running ultra-marathon races around southwest Virginia. He has served W&L’s Intervarsity Christian Fellowship as a small-group leader each of his four years, and regularly serves as a lector at St. Patrick’s Church in Lexington.

Mary-Frances Elizabeth Hall (State Road, North Carolina) is majoring in neuroscience. As a member of the women’s golf team, she was honored in 2015 as the ODAC Rookie of the Year, ODAC Player of the Year, VaSID Rookie of the Year, and Washington and Lee’s First-Year Outstanding Female Athlete. She is an NCAA Second Team All-American and has had four individual wins to date, including an ODAC championship title in 2016 and a win in 2017 at the Golfweek Women’s Division III Fall Invitational. She is co-captain of the team and ranked fourth nationally among NCAA Women’s Division III players. On campus, Hall is a tour guide who sits on the Leadership Advisory Committee for the W&L Student Ambassadors. She works in the Cognition in Context lab under Professor Wythe Whiting and Professor Karla Murdock and enjoys the opportunity to serve others through volunteering with YMCA Happy Hearts Afterschool program and serving as Chi Omega’s philanthropy chair for 2017.

Tessa Marie Horan (Bluffton, Indiana) is an environmental studies major and pre-med student. She founded and leads the Lexington chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and she serves as the president of the W&L Student Environmental Action League. This is her second year as a small-group co-leader with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and her third year as a volunteer at the Rockbridge Area Health Center. She also plays French horn and serves as section leader in the University Wind Ensemble.

Truth Osaivbie Iyiewuare (Houston, Texas) is a computer science major. He has been a leader in the Student Association for Black Unity, as vice president and now as president. He has also displayed leadership in his major, having worked as a lab assistant for students in the introductory computer science class, and as a peer tutor for other students in need of any computer science help. Truth is also a member of Kathekon, which serves alumni visiting campus and increases student-alumni relations. Lastly, he is a student representative of the Diversity and First-Gen Working Group at W&L, an administrative committee that strives to create a better experience for diverse groups on campus.

Matthew Joseph Lubas (Basking Ridge, New Jersey) is majoring in engineering and minoring in poverty and human capability studies. As president of the Engineering Community Development club, Lubas has led student medical-device design contests, international water filtration and STEM education projects in Belize and Mexico, and community-based projects with local non-profits. Lubas has taught English as a second language for four years with ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages), and designed and led a sustainability leadership pre-orientation trip to Fries, Virginia. As the IQ Center supervisor, Lubas helps incorporate technology and education. He is the treasurer for the Ultimate Frisbee Club and climbs with the Crux Climbing Club.

Alicia Martinez (Seaford, Delaware) is majoring in computer science. As the head community assistant and the president of the Campus Unity Initiative, she strives to create a fun and inclusive atmosphere on campus. Martinez is an active peer tutor, has served as president of the German Club, and was selected to attend the 2018 Women’s Leadership Summit. She is a recipient of the QuestBridge Match Scholarship as well as several departmental awards, including the Jim Stump Prize in German and the John Preston Moore III Award.

Faith Elizabeth Pinho (Everett, Massachusetts) studies journalism and politics. A recipient of the Joseph Franklin Ellis Newspaper Scholarship and the program chair of the Society of Professional Journalists W&L chapter, Pinho has reported for the Rockbridge Report and the Ring-tum Phi. She serves as the head intern of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, plays saxophone and sings with the University Jazz Ensemble, and leads a women’s small group with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Pinho is also active at Lexington Presbyterian Church, where she has taught Sunday school, helped with youth group, and runs a girls’ group.

Alden Cooke Schade (East Hampton, New York) is majoring in business administration and geology. The current co-chair of Kathekon, he served on the Interfraternity Council for the past two years as treasurer and vice president. He was also an active member of the Williams Investment Society for the past two years. He is a W&L tour guide and a peer tutor.

Bowen Hamel Mary Spottswood (Point Clear, Alabama) is majoring in religion with a minor in poverty and human capability studies. Spottswood is key staff for the Outing Club and a peer counselor. She serves as a fellow for the Cullum Owings Memorial Fellowship. Spottswood has led Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation trips for three years and is an active member of Reformed University Fellowship. She previously served as a Young Life leader and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) tutor.

Mary Page Welch (Charlotte, North Carolina) is majoring in business administration and minoring in art history. She is serving her second term on the Executive Committee as a senior representative. She participates in the LEAD program, previously acting as team manager. Welch tutors at the local high school as part of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and at W&L in math. She also volunteers on the Reformed University Fellowship leadership team and as an Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation trip leader. She belongs to the Williams Investment Society, serves as a tour guide, and is a member of Kathekon.

Undergraduate Class of 2019:

Haley Corinne Tucker (Manakin Sabot, Virginia) is a biology major and a Latin American and Caribbean studies minor. She is a member of both the field hockey and lacrosse teams and was voted junior captain of both teams. She earned IWLCA First Team All-America laurels for lacrosse in 2017, along with ODAC Rookie of the Year in 2016. In field hockey, she earned a spot on the NFHCA All-America third team and also garnered ODAC Player of the Year honors during the 2017 season. Tucker was named the W&L Outstanding First-Year Female Athlete in 2016. She participated in Generals Leadership Academy, is a member of the University Athletic Committee, 24, and belongs to the Tri-Beta Society.

Heeth Varnedoe V (Thomasville, Georgia) is an economics major and poverty studies minor. Varnedoe is serving in his third term as the Class of 2019’s representative to the Executive Committee. On the EC, he has taken part in various student government initiatives, including the adjudication of W&L’s Honor System. Varnedoe is involved in the Shepherd Poverty Program and serves as a leader for the Volunteer Venture Program. He has also served on the selection task force for the Quality Enhancement Plan and is one of three students serving on the Commission for Institutional History and Community.

Elizabeth Nyawira Mugo (Irmo, South Carolina) is majoring in sociology and anthropology with a double minor in Africana studies and poverty and human capability studies. In her time at W&L, Mugo has served as a member of the University Committee for Inclusiveness and Campus Climate and as co-president of the Student Association for Black Unity (SABU). Community engagement also has played a large role in her involvement as a trip leader in the Volunteer Venture Program and a senior intern in the Bonner Program. Over the past two years, Mugo has served over 1,500 hours through work with such organizations as College Access and the Community Anti-Racism Effort (CARE). Mugo serves as an Owings Fellow, a student representative on the Commission on Institutional History and Community, and the vice president of the Executive Committee.

Alexander Paul Dolwick (Apex, North Carolina) is majoring in psychology. A two-year letter winner both in cross country and in track and field, he has received four scholar-athlete awards and achieved Second-Team All-ODAC honors in cross country as a first-year. He has served as a leader in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since his first year, leading a small group for a year and a half before becoming the large group coordinator this year. He also served as secretary of Washington and Lee’s chapter of Amnesty International his sophomore year.

Faith Abigayle Isbell (Dallas, Texas) is majoring in business journalism. She is the news co-editor of the Ring-tum Phi and a broadcast and web producer for the Rockbridge Report, and served on the executive committee of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. Isbell is vice president of the university’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and recently received the Joseph Franklin Ellis Newspaper Scholarship. She is active in Reformed University Fellowship and is a trip leader for the Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation program. Last spring, Isbell participated in the Washington Term Program, during which she interned at the Congressional Research Service.

Ethiopia Demmelash Getachew (Westwood, Massachusetts, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) is majoring in biology. She is the vice president of University Ambassadors and the QuestBridge chapter on campus. Getachew is also involved in Kathekon, the Peer Counselor organization and Active Minds, and volunteers at the local hospital and the fire department. This year, she served as the at-large representative on the Student Advisory Committee and is the social chair of Chi Omega sorority. She is completing a two-year research fellowship with Professor Fred LaRiviere with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Law Class of 2018:

John Sterling Houser (Chaptico, Maryland) graduated from Washington and Lee in 2015 with a major in history and a minor in Russian area studies. As an undergraduate, he competed with W&L’s mock trial program, captaining the A team in 2014-2015. Since spring 2016, Houser has served as the Law Class of 2018 Representative on the Executive Committee. For three years, he has also been the senior work-study at the university’s Copy Services, where he has worked since his freshman year.

Thomas Edward Arthur Bishop (Richmond, Virginia) is a Burks Scholar who works as a research and writing teaching assistant to first-year law students. As a Kirgis Fellow, he provides guidance to students as they navigate the ins and outs — both academic and social — of their new lives as law students. As a Federal Young Center child advocate, he visits with and provides assistance to child detainees in the Shenandoah Valley. He is a key staff member with W&L’s Outing Club, where he leads outdoor trips. Bishop teaches Spanish at Woods Creek Montessori School. He is an accomplished classical guitarist who accompanies the St. Christopher’s School Boys’ Choir and teaches guitar to local children at Rockbridge Music. He is an ultra-distance SUP enthusiast, racing distances beyond 26.2 miles on a stand-up paddleboard, and has completed six marathons and four ultra-marathon foot races.

Craig Alan Carrillo (Bedford, Texas) is The John G. Fox Scholarship recipient and is devoted to the Washington and Lee community. As president of the Federalist Society, he leads one of the School of Law’s largest organizations and was a guest editor for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Alan helps his classmates develop oral advocacy and writing skills as co-chair of the Moot Court Executive Board’s John W. Davis Moot Court Competition and senior articles editor of the Journal of Civil Rights & Social Justice. He has also served as a board member of the Christian Legal Society and a law student representative on the University Strategic Steering Committee. Deeply committed to the Honor System, Alan represents his class on the University Board of Appeals and is a former 1L representative on the Executive Committee of the Student Body.

Erica Lise Sieg (Derwood, Maryland), a recipient of the Edwin D. Rinehart merit scholarship, is editor in chief of the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice and serves as lead articles editor for the German Law Journal. She also is a student attorney with the Criminal Justice Clinic. She organized the Lara D. Gass WLSO Symposium as symposium chair in 2016. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in political science and religious studies from Gettysburg College in 2013.

Jacob Evan Thayer (Houston, Texas) has continued to bring together and build the campus and local communities, an interest first acquired while an undergraduate as a member, and later president, of the George Washington University Residence Hall Association. Here, he is serving on a special subcommittee of the Executive Committee concerning community relations. He also serves on the College Republicans Board as a liaison with the Law School and as an alternate justice on the Student Judicial Council. Thayer serves his adopted local community on the Buena Vista Economic Development Authority and actively participates in the congregation at Manly Memorial Baptist Church as a youth Sunday school teacher, choir member and praise band member.

Law Class of 2019:

Zachary Tate Crawford-Pechukas (New Orleans, Louisiana) is a law ambassador, on the Executive Board of the American Constitution Society, and a class service co-chair of the Public Interest Law Student Association. Zac is also a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review and a student attorney in the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, the Law School’s death penalty clinic. He participates in the Law School’s moot court competitions and won the Robert J. Grey Jr. Negotiations Competition.

Carroll Bennett Neale (Baltimore, Maryland) serves as the vice president of education for the Women Law Students Organization (WLSO) and on the executive board for the American Constitution Society (ACS). Previously, she held the student development chair position for WLSO and the 1L representative position for ACS. She is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review and a research assistant for Professor Margaret Hu. She belongs to the Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity.

Maya Harkness Ginga (Boston, Massachusetts) graduated from Elon University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2014. There, she received the Rudolf T. Zarzar Award for Political Theory. At W&L Law, Ginga is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review. As a Kirgis Fellow, she mentors a small group of first-year students both academically and socially. Ginga is a mentor with the Women Law Students Organization and serves as its faculty outreach chair.

Daniele Marina San Román (Long Island, New York) is studying intellectual property law. She serves as a Kirgis Fellow and as treasurer of the Sports, Entertainment, and Intellectual Property Law Society. She is a member of the Law School Task Force, as well as the Commission on Institutional History and Community. As a co-chair for the Women Law Students Organization, she helped organize the Lara D. Gass Women in the Law Symposium 2017. She is a junior editor of the German Law Journal and was a semifinalist in the Robert J. Grey Jr. Negotiations Competition. She serves as a hearing adviser and is actively involved in the Latin American Law Students Association.

Caitlin Ventry-Marie Peterson (Irvine, California) is the vice president and moot court coordinator of W&L’s Black Law Student Association, where her moot court team advanced in the MABLSA’s and NBLSA’s 2016-2017 Frederick Douglass Moot Court competition. She also serves as the project manager of W&L Law’s Pro Bono Board. This year, Caitlin serves as the delegate of diversity and inclusion for the American Bar Association Law Student Division, promoting diversity and inclusion among law students, law schools, and the legal field nationwide. As well, Caitlin is active in community service by serving as the youngest area coordinator of Binky Patrol, a national non-profit organization dedicated to serving children in need through homemade crafts to bring comfort in difficult times.

Angelique Yuriko Rogers (Smithfield, Virginia) graduated from the College of William and Mary with a double major in government and economics. She is the alumni chair for the W&L Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA). She also participates in open houses for the Law School’s admissions office. Last year, she advanced to the final round of the Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students’ Association’s Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. This year, she will participate in external competitions with BLSA’s moot court team and W&L School of Law’s mock trial team.



Art Goldsmith on Race, Interdisciplinarity and Jerry Garcia Economics professor Art Goldmsith was recently interviewed by the American Economic Association.

“Our family motto is, you are not here to critique how other people live, but instead to learn from them and see where it takes you.”

Art Goldmsith, Jackson T. Stephens Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee, was recently interviewed by the American Economic Association.

An Economist Who Has Learned to Challenge Convention
By Sarah Jackson

Art Goldsmith

Art Goldsmith is a closet sociologist. At least that’s what his daughter tells him. The Washington & Lee labor economist has for many years used psychology, sociology, and history in his research and teaching in addition to economics. He finds the boundaries between most of the social sciences to be artificial and problematic.

“When I teach economics and conduct research, I draw on insights that can help me get a richer understanding of the questions we are exploring, I don’t worry about the discipline credited with advancing those ideas,” Goldsmith says.

Often those questions involve issues of race and the labor market. Goldsmith, who grew up as the son of working-class Jewish immigrants outside Washington, DC, was drawn to studying questions of race because of his father, who imbued in Goldsmith a structural understanding of the extreme poverty in the low-income black neighborhoods near where the family lived in the 1950s.

“My dad’s explanation, at the time, was that black Americans faced even more discrimination than Jews and immigrants,” he said.

Along with his older brother, Goldsmith was the first in his family to go to college. As immigrants, his parents saw the world as not always just and fair. “They believed education was the best hope for a better life.”

Goldsmith says his parents taught him and his two brothers that “in a world in which Jews were stereotyped, in many ways the best thing we could do was acquire enough formal schooling that would overcome any negative stereotypes we would face.”

But when he got to graduate school and began studying economics, Goldsmith said his father’s view of race and poverty contradicted the conventional view being taught at prestigious graduate programs at the time—namely, that the poor are poor because they “failed to have the foresight or talent to acquire sufficient human capital—education—to succeed,” he said. And that “African American communities were somehow dysfunctional or flawed because youth did not acquire enough schooling.”

“I learned this, but I was skeptical about it. I kept thinking why would parents or kids not want to obtain the attributes that would increase chances for success?”

After joining the economics faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he met his colleague William “Sandy” Darity, whom Goldsmith admired for his commitment to reading widely beyond economics and his willingness to critique conventional beliefs in economics. Shortly thereafter Goldsmith followed suit and began challenging standard explanations for racial gaps in life outcomes.

He and Darity began to collaborate on papers with a focus on issues of race and socioeconomic mobility. The pair used insights from other disciplines, examining, for example, the social and psychological consequences of unemployment, arguing that joblessness had both economic and emotional costs.

Goldsmith’s work went on to challenge some of the prevailing stereotypes about African Americans and the labor market. For instance, the relatively high rate of unemployment blacks experience could be due to prior discrimination that led to joblessness, which subsequently caused emotional strains, making them less attractive workers to potential employers. Moreover, employers might adhere to this perspective even though jobless African Americans may be more resilient to the emotional consequences than whites. His current work focuses on the role of the family in explaining life course outcomes.

While he likes economics for its analytical structure and the associated hypotheses, these are also the same things that can get the profession into trouble. “It can be very stuck in a set of conventions or standard stories,” he said. “These things have generally been helpful, but young scholars should be encouraged to think of these as stories and always be willing to think very carefully, and challenge them when necessary.” Especially around race, these stories can be very stigmatizing and at times racist, he says.

If you want to tell a story where you are racializing things, you need to begin with a hypothesis that is grounded in a reasonable explanation for why there might be a difference in racial outcomes. This is very important since race is a social construct. I’m opposed to the notion of simply saying “in this study we controlled for race.’”

Goldsmith tries to teach in ways that honor the important insights from other disciplines, not as a way of undermining economics, but as a way of enriching it.

Economics students, he says, will always get plenty of formal modeling experience, but they don’t always get enough practice engaging in critical thinking. He uses his class time and mentoring with students to help them tackle tough topics and engage in deep thinking and listening.

Goldsmith tries to pass on those principles to his own children. “Our family motto is, you are not here to critique how other people live, but instead to learn from them and see where it takes you.”

Proust Questionnaire

A salon and parlor game of the 19th century, made most famous by Marcel Proust’s answers, the Proust Questionnaire (adapted here) gets to the heart of things….

What’s on your nightstand? The NewYorker.

What is an ideal day? Swimming in the ocean, playing a little golf, listening to some music, doing some social science.

What historical figure do you most identify with? Martin Luther King, Jr. Just because of his focus on social justice and because my kids hold my feet to the fire on that on a daily basis.

What trait do you most deplore in other people? False confidence.

What trait do you most admire in the people? Curiosity and self-reflection, and a willingness to recognize the error in your ways.

What is your greatest extravagance? I raised my kids about a third of their lives on the Gold Coast of Australia.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Raising two young adults who are now doing meaningful work. They are respectful, loving people who are out there enriching the world, as opposed to only drawing things from it. My wife was a huge partner in that.

Who’s your favorite hero of fiction, movies, or music? Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. What I like most about his music was that it changed all the time. It wasn’t set in its way. That flexibility is a good thing to carry into your work.

Mountain or beach vacation? Beach

Maynard Keynes or Milton Friedman? Keynes

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Get through graduate school.

W&L’s Michelmore Discusses the Evolution of Tax Policy on PRI’s The Takeaway History professor Molly Michelmore discusses the evolution of tax policy in America, and how Republicans became the party of tax cuts.

Molly Michelmore

Molly Michelmore, associate professor of history at Washington & Lee University and the author of “Tax and Spend: The Welfare State, Tax Politics and the Limits of American Liberalism,” discusses the evolution of tax policy in America, and how Republicans became the party of tax cuts on The Takeaway from Public Radio International.

Listen to Michelmore’s interview online at WNYC.org.

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