The Columns

Statement from the Admissions Office Regarding Admissions Tours

— by on April 11th, 2017

In response to questions that have arisen regarding the student-led campus admissions tours, we want to clarify the current situation and address any confusion that exists regarding the tour route.

First, Lee Chapel was never removed from the campus tour. Nor would it ever be.

Throughout the year, members of the admissions office staff have had discussions with student leaders of the University Ambassadors, our 80-member cadre of volunteer student guides, about the tour and how it can best complement the overall campus visit experience for prospective students and families.

Our discussions have focused on how to show the campus as fully as possible while reinforcing priorities that we know prospective students have: the academic rigor for which the university is well known; the highly personalized nature of the student experience; and the Honor System. The route itself is central to this mission. We weave the message about the centrality of the Honor System throughout the tour — not by simply talking about it, but by showing its impact throughout campus.

In February, our conversations with the University Ambassadors included a suggestion that guides walk through or stop in front of Lee Chapel, rather than seating tour groups inside for a 10-minute discussion, as is the custom of many of our Ambassadors. This suggestion was translated, inaccurately, into an instruction not to enter the space. We regret that this was the way some interpreted the message, since this was not our intent. Rather, our goal was to allow time for tours to visit more spaces on campus in an effort to meet the expressed interests of our prospective students while still highlighting our history and its connections to the Honor System.

Our thinking on the optimal tour route has continued to evolve since those discussions in February, thanks to input from ambassadors and feedback from visitors. Beginning in Spring Term, tours will enter Lee Chapel before proceeding into Washington Hall, where guides can tell the story of how a student’s career begins and ends on the Front Campus and emphasize the ways in which the University’s core values are represented in those spaces.

As we seek to enroll the most qualified and talented group of entering students, all of our interactions with prospective students and families are crucial. We especially value the role that the University Ambassadors play and are delighted to have a collaborative relationship with the students who comprise this group. We regret the confusion surrounding the evolution of our campus visit experience and will continue to work with our University Ambassadors to develop a tour that showcases the academic rigor, unique spaces and vibrant Honor System that make Washington and Lee so distinctive.

University Town Hall Meeting

— by on March 29th, 2017

There will be a town hall meeting to discuss the university’s strategic planning process and 2017-18 budget on Thursday, March 30, at 10 a.m. in the Hillel Multipurpose Room (note the change in location). Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend.

Tammi Hellwig Named Director of Community-Based Learning at Washington and Lee University

— by on March 28th, 2017

Tammi Hellwig

Tammi M. Hellwig has been named the director of Community-Based Learning at Washington and Lee University. W&L Provost Marc Conner announced the appointment, which is effective July 1.

Hellwig will be returning to W&L in her new role.  She was previously assistant dean for clinic and externship administration and professor of practice at the Washington and Lee School of Law, where she oversaw clinical program budgets, developed and maintained externship opportunities, oversaw externship adjunct professors, and taught in the experiential program.

Hellwig now serves as the chief deputy clerk for the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, where she manages operational and administrative functions of the Clerk’s Office. She holds a B.A. in English from Wake Forest University, and a J.D. from the Emory University School of Law.

In this new leadership role, Hellwig will chair the Community Engagement/Service Learning (CE/SL) Advisory Committee. She will work closely with the provost, as well as the academic deans, Student Affairs staff and others throughout the university to coordinate, support and lead W&L’s many programs and initiatives in community-based learning.

Her role will include:

“I am honored to be returning to W&L and to have been selected for this position,” said Hellwig,  “It is exciting that W&L is emphasizing this engaging aspect of its curriculum. I look forward to being an integral part of what is already a vibrant initiative, and to enhancing community-based learning for the students, faculty and the community.”

“This is an exciting position, one that is clearly articulated in the strategic thinking that has been going on throughout academic affairs for the past year and more,” said Conner. “We have a wide range of community engagement programs and initiatives at Washington and Lee, and through her work in this role, Tammi will enhance their efforts and harmonize their work, making these programs even more effective learning opportunities for our students, while strengthening our relationships with our community partners.”

Phi Beta Kappa Initiates New Members during 2017 Convocation

— by on March 20th, 2017

New Phi Beta Kappa initiates

The Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Washington and Lee University welcomed 49 members of the junior and senior classes and seven graduates from the Class of 2016 into the prestigious honor society at the Phi Beta Kappa/Society of the Cincinnati Convocation on Sunday, March 19. All of the inductees were accepted into Phi Beta Kappa based on their exceptional academic achievements.

William M. (Bill) Tsutsui, president and professor of history at Hendrix College, gave the convocation address, “The Liberal Arts in an Age of Extremes.”

The chapter inducted as an honorary member Roger Jeans, Elizabeth Lewis Otey Professor of History Emeritus at W&L, in recognition of his longstanding commitment to scholarship and publication.

The chapter gave Henry C. Patrick III and Kathryn K. Osowski the Phi Beta Kappa J. Brown Goehring Sophomore Award, which goes to the student(s) with the highest cumulative scholastic average through the end of the fall term of his or her sophomore year.

The award honors J. Brown Goehring, a retired W&L professor of chemistry who, during his 38-year career at W&L, spent 22 years as secretary/treasurer of the University’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

This year’s initiates are:

Class of 2016

Class of 2017

Class of 2018

Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. Its motto is “Love of learning is the guide of life.”


W&L to Host Reception Honoring Rhodes Scholar Paqui Toscano

— by on March 17th, 2017

Paqui Toscano is W&L’s 16th Rhodes Scholar

Washington and Lee will host a reception in honor of Paqui Toscano, the university’s 16th Rhodes Scholar, on Friday, March 17, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Elrod Commons Living Room. All members of the university community are invited to attend.

Toscano, a classics and English double major from Kettering, Ohio, was one of 32 Rhodes Scholars chosen this year. The scholarships, valued at between $50,000 to $200,000, fully fund two to four years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

The Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, a British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. They are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, personal energy, ambition for impact, ability to work with others, a commitment to making a strong difference for good in the world, concern for the welfare of others, consciousness of inequities and potential for leadership.

Toscano, a Johnson Scholar at Washington and Lee, is proficient in Latin and Ancient Greek and plans to pursue a master’s in English and a master’s in Greek and/or Latin languages and literature at Oxford. After completing his studies in the U.K., he plans to return to the U.S. to complete a doctorate in English with a specialty in early-modern poetry, and pursue a career as a professor, scholar and disability-rights advocate.

The Ruscio Center for Global Learning

— by on March 14th, 2017

In 2014, the University broke ground on the Ruscio Center for Global Learning, a 26,000-square-foot facility that would house several language departments, classrooms, instructional labs and public spaces to encourage student and faculty interaction. Newly opened in 2016, the CGL is a statement about 21st century education. It is our commitment to moving in new academic and technological directions as we work with our faculty and our students to blaze trails we cannot even imagine yet.

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Marc Conner Named Provost of Washington and Lee University

— by on February 13th, 2017

Marc Conner

Washington and Lee University has named Marc C. Conner as provost. Conner, the Jo M. and James M. Ballengee Professor of English, has been serving as W&L’s interim provost since January 2016.

W&L President William C. Dudley announced Conner’s appointment, which is effective on July 1, 2017.

“I am thrilled that Marc Conner has accepted this critical position,” said Dudley. “Marc brings a powerful combination of institutional knowledge, administrative experience, academic credentials and good judgment to his role as provost. He is profoundly devoted to Washington and Lee and will work tirelessly with his faculty colleagues to advance our educational mission. I am grateful for Marc’s leadership and look forward to working closely with him on behalf of the university.”

As provost, Conner serves as the chief academic officer of the university and is a key member of the president’s senior leadership team. The provost is responsible for articulating and directing the academic mission of Washington and Lee. The three academic deans — of the College, the Williams School, and the Law School — report to the provost. The provost also oversees International Education, Information Technology, Athletics, the University Library, Institutional Effectiveness, the Mudd Center for Ethics and the Registrar’s Office. He works closely with the Office of Student Affairs to support the residential learning community of the university.

“It’s a tremendous honor to serve as provost at Washington and Lee,” Conner said. “This institution has supported me in everything I’ve wanted to do as a teacher-scholar. To have an opportunity to give back to the school, and especially to help other faculty thrive as the great teacher-scholars that define W&L, is so fulfilling. We’re at a very exciting place right now, with many major initiatives and challenges right on the horizon. I’m delighted to be able to serve the students, the faculty and the staff of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Williams School of Commerce and the School of Law, in our mission of teaching and learning.”

Conner came to W&L in 1996 as an assistant professor in English, with specializations in American and African-American literature. He created a Spring Term Abroad program to Ireland in 2000, which he has now taught eight times and which led to the creation of several courses in Modern Irish literature. He has published extensively in modern American, African-American and Irish literature, including dozens of essays and five books: “The Aesthetic Dimensions of Toni Morrison” (2000), “Charles Johnson: The Novelist as Philosopher” (2007), “The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered” (2012), “The New Territory: Ralph Ellison and the 21st Century” (2016) and “Screening Modern Irish Fiction and Drama” (2017).

He is currently completing “The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison.” In addition, Conner has created two lecture series for The Great Courses: “How to Read and Understand Shakespeare” (2012) and “The Irish Identity: Independence, History and Literature” (2016).

In 2007 Conner co-founded Washington and Lee’s program in African-American Studies, which has since grown into the program in Africana Studies. He served as the program’s director from 2007-2012. In 2010, as part of Washington and Lee’s reaccreditation process, he led the Spring Term Revitalization effort, and served as director of the Spring Term for five years, guiding the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan to a successful conclusion. He has served as a faculty representative to the Board of Trustees and on many university committees, including the President’s Advisory Committee, the International Education Committee, the Spring Term Coordinating Committee and the search committees that hired President Kenneth P. Ruscio and Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, Robert D. Straughan.

In the past year, Conner has led the university’s steps towards reaffirmation of accreditation and completed the revision of tenure and promotion guidelines for the faculty. Prior to being named interim provost, he was the university’s associate provost from 2013-2015. He served as chair of the English department in 2012-13.

In addition to his work in African-American studies, Conner has been a long-time advocate of diversity initiatives at Washington and Lee, serving as a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Planning Committee, as co-chair of the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate and as co-director of the Advanced Research Cohort Program, an immersive summer program for incoming first-year students that seeks to increase retention of underrepresented students in STEM fields through an early research experience. This past year he directed the Mellon History in the Public Sphere grant.

“As any W&L professor will tell you, the greatest joy of this school is working with our incredible students,” he stated. “As provost I’m eager to do everything I can to support our students and our teachers in seeking and providing a great liberal arts education for the 21st century.”

France, Knapp Appointed to New Posts at W&L

— by on February 2nd, 2017

Washington and Lee University has announced new appointments in the administration.

Washington and Lee Interim Provost Marc Conner announced the appointments, which are effective July 1.

Marcia France

France began her career at W&L in 1994. She holds an S.B. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in chemistry from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. She helped develop and serves as co-director of W&L’s partnership with the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, which provides a study-abroad opportunity for W&L students studying science and preparing to enter a health profession. She also created and teaches the Science of Cooking course in Italy. As associate dean of the College, France oversees W&L’s first-year seminar program, chairs the Futures of STEM Pedagogy Committee, and serves on the International Education Committee. She also coordinates undergraduate and graduate fellowship applications for students.

As associate provost, France will lead a number of university-wide initiatives, including student summer opportunities and the Summer Research Scholars program. She will co-chair, along with the director of Human Resources, the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC), the university’s central committee on diversity and inclusiveness. She will continue to support and grow STEM projects, and take a leading role in curricular reform, student projects and faculty initiatives.

“I am honored to be invited to serve W&L as associate provost,” said France. “I have truly enjoyed my time as associate dean of the College, and I am looking forward to expanding my role to support all three divisions of the university. I am excited to work with Marc and other colleagues across the university to ensure that we continue to provide the best possible programs and opportunities for our students and faculty as we look to the future.”

“Marcia has been so effective as associate dean of the College. Now she has an opportunity to broaden that administrative work in a university-wide context in the provost’s office,” said Conner. “I’m very excited to be able to work with her in many important areas of academic affairs. There is a lot of important work ahead, and I’m confident Marcia will be a great addition to the office.”

Elizabeth Knapp

A 1990 graduate of Washington and Lee, Knapp returned to her alma mater as assistant professor of geology in 1997 after receiving her Ph.D. in environmental science from the University of Virginia. She teaches courses in geochemistry, hydrology and biogeochemistry. She has also taught courses on the geology of Hawaii and the geology of the Pyrenees. Her research has focused on low-temperature aqueous geochemistry, geochemical evolution and paleoclimate, aquifer redox chemistry, and iron geochemistry.

In addition to her teaching and research in the Geology Department, she served as associate dean of the College from 2006 to 2010, as associate provost from 2011 to 2013 and 2016 to the present, and as senior assistant to former President Kenneth P. Ruscio from 2013 to 2016. She has been director of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity since 2013.

Knapp now serves as chair of the Community Engagement and Service Learning Advisory Committee, the University Sustainability Committee, the History of African-Americans Working Group, and co-chair of UCICC. She is a member of the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement Committee, the Environmental Studies Program Advisory Committee, the Healthy Campus Culture Committee, and the STEM Pedagogy Working Group.

In her new role, Knapp will focus on the Johnson Program and the 160 or so students who have won the university’s major scholarship competition. She will continue to administer the Johnson endowment, which helps each Johnson Scholar conduct special summer projects and research, and will enhance the program so that it can realize even greater potential. She will continue to chair the University Sustainability Committee and will lead the task force for the selection of the Quality Enhancement Plan, an important element in Washington and Lee’s reaffirmation of accreditation. She will also teach one to two geology courses per year.

“I am grateful to have served the university in many capacities over the years,” said Knapp. “I look forward to the opportunity to enhance the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity, to lead additional campus-wide initiatives, and to continue in my role as a faculty member.”

“Elizabeth has played a significant role in W&L’s administration for a decade now. Her experience and skills are widely recognized,” said Conner. “She’s been a key figure in the dean’s office, the provost’s office, and the president’s office. This new role recognizes her unique talents and will enable her to continue to strengthen the Johnson Program. The QEP selection is of immense importance to the university, and her abilities to reach the entire university community will be a great asset in that project.”

ODK Initiates Four Honorary and 39 Student Members during 2017 Founders Day/ODK Convocation

— by on January 12th, 2017

Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, was founded at Washington and Lee in 1914.

Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, will welcome four honorary and 39 student initiates at Washington and Lee University’s annual Founders Day/ODK Convocation on Jan. 19 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.

Jonathan Holloway will speak on “The Price of Recognition: Race and the Making of the Modern University.” He will be signing his latest book, “Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940” (2013) on the museum level of Lee Chapel from 4—4:30 p.m.

ODK honorary initiates are: Judy L. Casteele, executive director of Project Horizon; Eugene Michael (Gene) McCabe, associate professor of physical education and head men’s varsity coach at W&L; Joan Marie (Shaun) Shaughnessy, Roger D. Groot Professor of Law at W&L; and Kevin A. Struthers, director of jazz programs at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.

Casteele is the executive director of Project Horizon, a nonprofit human service organization dedicated to reducing domestic, dating and sexual violence in Lexington, Virginia. Casteele is a summa cum laude graduate of Bluefield College and has worked in the field of violence against women for nearly 30 years. She has been recognized for her outstanding work in the field of victim services by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, in 2000; by the International Association of Forensic Nurses Advocacy Award, in 2000; and by Virginia Tech, who named her Community Woman of the Year, in 2001. She is a lifetime member and past chair of the governing body of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (VSDVAA). Casteele also was honored by VSDVAA with a Nexus Catalyst Award in 2010, for her collaborative work with law enforcement. In 2011, she was named one of the Top 30 Voices of people whose work made an indelible impact in the field of violence against women in Virginia. In 2014, she was named to Governor McAuliffe’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Assault. Casteele has served as president of the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board. She belongs to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lexington, where she serves on the church council and chairs the Social Ministry Committee.

McCabe is an associate professor of physical education and head men’s lacrosse coach at Washington and Lee University. In his 11th season as the head men’s lacrosse coach, he has posted a 119-61 (.661) overall record and won a pair of ODAC titles and three trips to the NCAA tournament. He was named the USILA National Coach of the Year in 2003 while head coach at Hamilton College. His overall coaching record over 15 seasons is 173-79 (.687). McCabe was an assistant football and lacrosse coach at W&L from 1998 to 2002. He graduated from Bates College in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in European history, and he also earned certification to teach secondary social studies education. At Bates, he lettered in lacrosse and football. McCabe was elected to the University Board of Appeals in 2016 and recently completed a four-year term on the Student Affairs Committee. He is a board member of Lacrosse the Nations (LtN), a foundation that provides physical education and life-skills mentoring to disadvantaged children in the U.S. and abroad. In 2016, he led nine W&L students on a service trip with LtN to Managua, Nicaragua. McCabe is also on the board of Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington. He is the vice president of the USILA (United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association) and serves as a USILA All American Committee member. He and his wife, Kristen, have four children.

Shaughnessy is the Roger D. Groot Professor of Law and a core faculty member of the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Program on Poverty and Human Capability. She joined the faculty of the School of Law in 1983. She received her B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and her J.D. from the University of Chicago, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif. She teaches and writes in the areas of federal procedure and child maltreatment. She has been a visiting professor at Washington University School of Law, Washington College of Law at American University and Brooklyn Law School. Beginning with her service on the Co-Education Task Force Committee on Security, Shaughnessy has served the law school and the university in a wide range of capacities. She was associate dean in the law school and has participated in numerous search committees. She chairs the University Faculty Review Committee and the School of Law’s Admissions Committee and is a member of the President’s Advisory Committee and the University Board of Appeals. She has been a member and chair of the Lexington Planning Commission and of the board of Rockbridge Area Hospice. She provides volunteer legal assistance to victims of domestic violence through Sanctuary for Families, based in New York, where she is a member of the bar.

Struthers, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1989, is director of jazz programs at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He is responsible for the artistic programming and day-to-day direction of jazz programs (collaborating with Jason Moran, artistic director for jazz, 2011 to present, and with Dr. Billy Taylor, artistic director for jazz, 1994–2010), including over 50 annual subscription series concert presentations and Kennedy Center-produced performances; the Kennedy Center Jazz Club; the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival; and the two-week Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead international career development residency. Highlights of his Kennedy Center tenure include the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters Tribute Concert 2016; the creation of the interdisciplinary Jason + series, showcasing jazz pianist Jason Moran with artists and companies of varied genres; the Blue Note at 75 celebration of the iconic record label’s diamond anniversary; the Jazz in Our Time: Living Jazz Legends award ceremony and concert, honoring over 30 international jazz icons; concerts marking the careers and birthdays of James Moody, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Taylor, Jimmy Heath and Benny Golson; the production of several CDs of Kennedy Center performances; the recording, broadcasts andstreaming of programming on NPR with “JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater,” “Billy Taylor’s Jazz at the Kennedy Center,” “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz,” “Toast of the Nation,” “A Jazz Piano Christmas” and “Jazz Night in America”; and the implementation of international public diplomacy Jazz Ambassador tours with the U.S. Department of State. Struthers holds an M.A. in arts management from the American University and a B.A. in music (independent major in music, emphasis on musicology) from Washington and Lee University. He resides with his wife, Courtney Harpold Struthers ’89, M.D., and their children, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Undergraduate Class of 2017:

Md Azmain Amin (Dhaka, Bangladesh) is majoring in computer science. Debating from a young age, he did not let the lack of debating opportunities at W&L hinder his dreams. He founded W&L’s first-ever Parliamentary Debating Club and led it for two years before passing on the responsibilities to the upcoming W&L debaters. He has acted as the teaching assistant for the Computer Science Department for two years, helping new students understand the fundamentals of programming. He won three business-pitching competitions in W&L with his ideas for a jute bag and a social app.

Andrew Jacob George Blocker (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida) is a public accounting major. Blocker has served as the Executive Committee representative for the Class of 2017 for three years. An avid violinist, he has played in the first violin section of the University Orchestra for four years. He serves as a co-chair of the CONTACT Committee and as a lector at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. He is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honor society.

Jeffrey Jake Burnett (Anaheim Hills, California) is majoring in psychology and music. Now in his fourth year in the ensemble, he is the student manager and bass section leader for the Washington and Lee University Singers. He also serves the a cappella group General Admission as co-music director and has been active in university theater since his first year. This is his third year working in the Prejudice and Intergroup Relations Lab under Professor Julie A. Woodzicka, including one summer with a Summer Research Scholar grant. Burnett continuously pursues more opportunities to lead on campus, including his work on the First-Year Orientation Committee and as a University Big for the past two years.

Thomas Bryant Cain (Greenville, South Carolina) is majoring in accounting and business administration. He is captain of the three-time state champions, the W&L Screaming Minks rugby team, and is a former president of the Kappa Alpha Order. He was selected as an Outstanding Male Peer Counselor and is involved in Washington and Lee Student Consulting.

John Mayer Crum (Charlotte, N.C.) is majoring in history and minoring in creative writing. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Washington and Lee Mock Convention, he served as co-director of communications. He has served on the Voting Regulations Board and is a member of the Student Body Constitutional Review Committee. He is also a tenor II in the Washington and Lee University Singers.

Kinsey Regan Grant (Tallahassee, Florida) is a Johnson Scholar majoring in business journalism. A devoted financial news reporter, she serves as the managing editor of the Ring-Tum Phi. Grant also works as a producer of the “Rockbridge Report,” the area’s only live television news broadcast and website. Prior to producing the show, she was an anchor and weather analyst. Grant has the privilege of serving as treasurer, and was formerly programs chair, of the W&L chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She is active in Greek life and has served two years on Kappa Delta’s chapter council. She enjoys the opportunity to serve others through volunteering with Feel Good and giving campus tours as a university ambassador.

Batsheva Honig (West Bloomfield, Michigan) is a psychology major and poverty and human capability studies minor with a concentration in health studies. The Bonner Scholar is an active volunteer in the Rockbridge community, serving as the Burish Intern for Natural Bridge Elementary School, a patient care volunteer for Rockbridge Area Hospice and as president for College Access. Honig has held the role of chair of the University Big/Little Program for three consecutive years, connecting all incoming first-years with upper-division mentors. In addition to being a member of Hillel and serving as its social action chair, she is a peer health educator on W&L’s campus.

Conley Karlovic Hurst (Little Rock, Arkansas) is majoring in history with minors in music and creative writing. A two-time ODAC Men’s Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year, he is co-captain of the W&L Men’s Golf Team. Hurst served as Arkansas state chair for the 2016 W&L Mock Convention, and he serves as co-editor of opinions for the Ring-Tum Phi. An accomplished classical pianist, he recently won the Music Department’s 2016 concerto competition and will perform as a soloist with the University Symphony Orchestra this spring.

Daniel Coleman Johnson (Flintstone, Georgia) is majoring in economics and politics. He serves as the vice president of the Executive Committee, a lead class agent, board member of Kathekon, and trip leader on the Volunteer Venture Leading Edge program. Johnson was formerly an active member of the Faculty Executive Committee, the University Board of Appeals, and the Mock Convention, serving as the Georgia state chair. He belongs to Phi Delta Theta.

Laura Elizabeth Lavette (Birmingham, Alabama) is majoring in biochemistry with a minor in poverty and human capabilities studies. With a passion for medicine, Lavette plays an active role in the Student Health Committee, has volunteered in the emergency department of Stonewall Jackson Hospital, and spent a year shadowing a public health nurse in Buena Vista. She devoted her summer to obesity research and has spent the past two years as a general co-chair for the First-Year Orientation Committee. Lavette is a co-founder of the Little Generals Club, which seeks to stimulate disadvantaged children beyond the walls of the classroom.

Courtney Jennifer McCauley (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an accounting and business administration and politics major. She served on the Executive Committee of the 2016 Mock Convention as director of operations and is a trustee of the organization, interviewing first-years for 2020 leadership positions. McCauley is involved in W&L Student Consulting, Kathekon and Beta Alpha Psi. After graduation she will be working for JP Morgan as an analyst in the investment grade finance group of the investment bank.

Kristin Angelle Sharman (Williamsville, New York) is a classics major and education minor. A Johnson Scholar and Bonner Scholar, she is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Eta Sigma Phi Classics Honor Society, and Phi Eta Sigma. She has served as a Burish Intern at Rockbridge County High School and as president of the Multicultural Student Association. She is co-president of Nabors Service League, and chair of the aging, health and disability impact area. She is a board member for Campus Catholic Ministry and volunteers at Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center.

Aalekhya Tenali (Melbourne, Florida) is majoring in biochemistry and mathematics. A three-time residential advisor (RA) to first-year students, she also serves as the assistant head RA. Tenali leads the W&L Red Cross Club in hosting campus blood drives, peer tutors students, and volunteers at the Community Table. She is serving as an organic chemistry teaching assistant and provides professional assistance to students in her role as a Career Fellow in W&L’s Career Development Center. Tenali is also an active University Ambassador.

Zachary Joseph Taylor (Syracuse, New York) is pursuing majors in philosophy and classics and a minor in poverty and human capability studies. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Taylor serves as a hearing advisor, chief editor of the Mudd Journal of Ethics, president of the Philosophy Club, and a community assistant as part of the Residential Life staff. He is also involved in peer tutoring and DJs a weekly show for WLUR. Taylor is an active member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, where he often reads as a lector and serves as a eucharistic minister.

Anna Caroline Todd (LaGrange, Georgia) is majoring in English. As president of SPEAK, she leads first-year orientation week programming and represents the organization on the university’s Healthy Sexual Culture Committee. She has also served on the Panhellenic Council for three years as secretary and programming chair. She has tutored at Waddell Elementary School and been the student representative on the Faculty Executive Committee and the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Committee. A member of University Singers, she also works as a tutor in the Writing Center, as a two-time intern with the Shenandoah literary review, and as a community assistant in upper-division housing.

Caleigh Wells (Calabasas, California) is a journalism, politics and sociology triple major. Acting as team captain of the equestrian team her junior and senior years, she also earned the title of Most Valuable Rider in 2016 and the ODAC Rookie of the Year in 2014. Wells is active in community service, serving as secretary of Alpha Phi Omega, W&L’s service fraternity, since its re-chartering effort began in 2014. She has directed, reported, produced and anchored on “Rockbridge Report,” and interned at NPR in Cleveland the past two summers. She also is a member of General Admission, W&L’s competitive a cappella group.

Undergraduate Class of 2018:

Raymond Emory Cox (Pell City, Alabama) is majoring in American history. Elected his first and sophomore years to represent the Class of 2018 on the Student Judicial Council, he serves as SJC secretary. In addition to his work in student government, he co-chairs the University Development Office’s Development Ambassadors Program to engage students about the importance of philanthropy. A passionate politico, Cox chaired the College Republicans Club his sophomore year and served as the Alabama state chair during Mock Convention 2016. He is a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity and has served on the Student Financial Aid Committee since his first year at Washington and Lee. Cox attends R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church and is an active member of the Rockbridge Area Republican Party.

Dana Purser Gary (Franklin, Tennessee) is majoring in English. She is an artistic director for Friday Underground and Friday Underground Records, W&L’s only student-run music venue and associated record label. Gary is the co-musical director for General Admission, an active peer counselor, and a cast member of six university theatrical productions so far. In 2016, she received funding from the Cynthia D. Klinedinst Fund for Theater for a summer internship with Telsey + Co. Casting, in New York City. She is a tenor I in the University Singers and frontman for the student jazz group Hella Fitzgerald.

Thomas Mason Grist (Lexington, Virginia) is majoring in economics and religion, with minors in classics and poverty and human capabilities studies. The former president of the Executive Committee, Grist sat on numerous committees last year, including the Presidential Search Committee, which brought President Dudley to campus. He serves on the Faculty Executive Committee, is an App Adventure Pre-Orientation Trip leader and a peer counselor for first-year students. He is also an Owings Fellow, a W&L tour guide, and a co-speaker’s chair for Kathekon.

Ralston Carder Hartness (Chattanooga, Tennessee) is majoring in religion and minoring in education. As the assistant head community assistant for Woods Creek/Theme Houses, Hartness is an active leader in creating community for upper-division students in a residential setting. He also coordinates Washington and Lee student involvement in an after-school program at Maury River Middle School through his Burish Internship. Ralston is an avid member of the Outing Club, a Young Life leader at Rockbridge County High School, and an active participant in Leadership Education and Development (LEAD). He enjoys writing and performing his own music at Friday Underground and other venues in Lexington.

Kassie Ann Scott (Pennsville, New Jersey) is an English and sociology double major with a minor in poverty and human capability studies. She co-founded and co-directs Friday Underground, a weekly coffeehouse event, in addition to leading the Gender Action Group. Scott assists her peers in the job and internship application process as Head Career Fellow for Washington and Lee’s Career Development. Now a writing center tutor and assistant editor for the Mudd Journal of Ethics, Scott has published in inGeneral, the Ring-tum Phi, the Stone Academic Journal and USA TODAY College. She serves as a peer counselor and University Ambassador. Off campus, Scott has worked as a human rights intern in Romania through the Shepherd Internship Program and Erik T. Woolley Fellowship and as a cultural ambassador through the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission.

Thomas Hart Thetford (Birmingham, Alabama) is majoring in mathematics. As a member of the swim team, he has twice earned the Memorial Swimming Award, and was honored as the ODAC Rookie of the Year and ODAC Swimmer of the Year in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Thetford is the reigning NCAA national champion in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles. In 2016, he set three individual school and conference records on his way to becoming a five-time NCAA All-American. He dedicated the past two summers to preparing for and competing in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2016 United States Olympic Team Trials, where he placed 66th in the nation at a young age of 20. He is captain of the men’s swim team.

Angel Francisco Vela De La Garza Evia (Monterrey, Mexico) is majoring in chemistry-engineering and mathematics. As a Bonner Scholar, he has devoted his time to the student groups English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Campus Kitchen. In ESOL, he teaches English to adults and coordinates family placements. In Campus Kitchen, he leads cooking shifts and delivers food in an effort to combat hunger and promote nutrition in Rockbridge County. He is also a first-year resident adviser and manages the Peer Tutoring program.

Law Class of 2017:

Anne Marie Anderson (Grand Junction, Colorado) is a managing editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review, where she oversees and manages the publication process of articles. In the summer of 2016, the Washington and Lee Law Review Online published her Note, “How Much Are You Worth? A Statutory Alternative to the Unconstitutionality of Experts’ Use of Minority-Based Statistics.” Anderson was selected for the Washington and Lee Black Lung Legal Clinic, and she was selected to be a peer mentor to fellow law students as a Kirgis Fellow. She is also a member of Phi Delta Phi.

Christopher Clayton Brewer (Morgantown, West Virginia) serves as a Kirgis Fellow, where he advises first-year students as they transition into law school. In addition to peer advising, he is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review, and is a member of the Moot Court external competition team. Before law school, Brewer graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in history from James Madison University. At James Madison, he presented scholarship at multiple undergraduate research conferences and was active in Greek life, serving as president of his chapter for two years. Outside of academics, he is an Eagle Scout and remains active with the Boy Scouts of America, volunteering as an adult leader with his local troop in the summer.

Matthew Christopher Donahue (Benicia, California) is a former elementary school teacher, who has continued to work in the public interest as a law student. He is a board member for the Public Interest Law Student Association and works with the Shepherd Poverty Program to strategize ways to build stronger relationships between Shepherd and the law school. Donahue is also a staff writer on the Washington and Lee Law Review and actively engaged in research focusing on the environment, private industry, and cultural heritage spaces

Peter Martin Szeremeta (Reston, Virginia) graduated in 2012 from the University of Virginia with a degree in foreign affairs. After UVa, he taught sixth-grade earth science in Atlanta as a Teach for America Corps member. At W&L, he is the senior articles editor of the Law Review and recently published his Student Note discussing constitutional challenges to teacher tenure. As a second-year law student, he served as a Kirgis Fellow by mentoring a group of first-year law students.

Annie Cox Tripp (Poquoson, Virginia) graduated from the United States Naval Academy, served as a nuclear warfare officer, and then worked with homeless veterans in Colorado before coming to W&L. She serves as a Hearing Advocate within the school’s Honor System, a Kirgis Fellow for first-year law students, and the Burks Writing Fellow within the Law School Legal Research program. She also writes and edits for the W&L Law Review as an online articles editor.  In the Rockbridge community, Tripp is actively involved with Earthsong Community School, which her daughter attends.

Arthur Ross Vorbrodt (Allendale, New Jersey) is studying corporate, securities and tax law. He holds upper board positions on two W&L Law journals — the Washington & Lee Law Review (managing editor) and German Law Journal (senior articles editor). Additionally, his article “Clapper Dethroned” has been published in the W&L Law Review Online. At Rutgers University, he was the social chairman of Theta Chi fraternity, assisting in the organization of, and participating in, philanthropic events to raise money for wounded soldiers and children with terminal illnesses. He is an avid skier and tennis player, having substantially competed in both sports for much of his teenage life.

Elizabeth Randle Williams (Austin, Texas) is in the Criminal Justice Clinic. The co-president of the Women Law Student’s Organization, with a membership list of men and women including nearly half of the law school community, she is also a Burks Scholar working with first-year students on research and writing. She is a member of the Student Advisory Group to the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct board, as well as a lead articles editor for the German Law Journal. She is a member of the External Mock Trial Team and a hearing advisor, and has held leadership positions with the American Constitution Society. In her spare time, she is an avid distance runner and hopes to run her first marathon in 2017.

Law Class of 2018:

Peter Scott Askin (Richmond, Virginia) majored in political science at Davidson College. He is the marketing editor for the Law News, a junior editor for the German Law Journal, the treasurer of the Latin American Law Students Association, and the Class of 2018 chapter representative for the Virginia Young Lawyers Division. Along with his teammate Thomas Griffin, he was the 2016 winner of the Robert J. Grey Negotiation competition. He volunteers for the James River Association doing environmental law research, and loves to hike and whitewater kayak. Askin is also an avid saxophonist and has performed for the Washington and Lee jazz band and at events and restaurants in the Lexington area. Before law school, he developed a strong command of the Spanish language while living in Argentina, and served as a Virginia senate page for then Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine.

Christopher Clayton Brewer (Morgantown, West Virginia) is a Kirgis Fellow. He is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review and belongs to the Phi Delta Phi legal honor society.

Matthew C. Donahue (Lexington, Virginia) is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee School of Law. He was a finalist, Appellate Brief Writing, in the John W. Davis Moot Court Competition, and is a board member for the Public Interest Law Student Association.

Kendall Pierce Manning (Norfolk, Massachusetts) graduated from the University of Delaware in 2015 with a major in English/professional writing and a minor in legal studies. As an undergraduate student, she served as the treasurer for Students for Haiti and the volunteer coordinator for the Student Association for the Education of Young Children. While at the University of Delaware, she traveled to Haiti and South Africa to work with orphaned and at-risk children. Manning works as a staff writer on the Journal of Civil Rights & Social Justice and is a member of the Women Law Students Organization, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society. She is also a Kirgis Fellow and, as such, mentors incoming law students.

Jonathan Andrew Murphy (Salem, Virginia) is the former 1L and current 2L class president and a leader in the W&L Student Bar Association. He represents the law school student body on the W&L Student Advisory Committee and is a member of the Christian Legal Society. He is a staff writer for the W&L Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice and has worked as a research assistant for Visiting Professor Christopher Whelan and Visiting Academic Fellow Henok Gabisa. He traveled to the London School of Economics in 2016 to present a paper he co-wrote with fellow student Luisa Hernandez Juarez. He serves on the board of directors for a Ugandan non-profit, Serving His Children, which combats malnutrition in rural villages throughout East Africa. He attends Grace Presbyterian Church.

Benjamin Stuart Nye (Little Rock, Arkansas) is president of W&L’s chapter of the Christian Legal Society. Nye serves as a peer mentor in the Kirgis Fellow program and is a member of the Washington and Lee Law Review. Prior to law school, he volunteered regularly with Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity, where he was given the Helping Hands Award in 2014. Nye has also taught Sunday school and led worship at Grace Presbyterian Church, in Lexington.

Nicholas Alexander Ramos (Woodbridge, Virginia) is the founding president of W&L Veterans’ Advocates. In November 2016, he spearheaded a charity movie night at Hull’s Drive-In and brought together the Lexington community for a screening of “Black Hawk Down.” The event raised several hundred dollars for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. In addition to continuing the charity movie night in the future, Ramos plans to invite guest speakers to W&L Law to discuss pro bono legal services for veterans. He also actively speaks about his eight-plus years of active-duty military service throughout the community. Most recently, he spoke to VMI’s ROTC Cadets and to eighth-graders at Lylburn Downing Middle School. He is also a Law Ambassador and supports the Law School Admissions Office by assisting potential applicants and admitted students make decisions about whether to apply to or attend W&L Law.

Alix Myer Sirota (Kingston, Pennsylvania) graduated from the College of Charleston in 2011 with a B.A. in political science. He is a Kirgis Fellow, a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review, and a research assistant to Professor Jill Fraley. Before law school, Sirota worked in the produce business for three years, during which he spent time in Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia and Texas. During his 1L summer, he was a judicial intern to the Honorable Richard M. Hughes, III, president judge of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Peter Treutlen Thomas (Birmingham, Alabama) is a hearing advisor under W&L’s Honor System. He is a staff writer on the Washington and Lee Law Review and will be representing the school in external moot court competitions beginning this semester.  He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa before graduating magna cum laude with honors in psychology from Sewanee: The University of the South.

Katheryn (Kit) Paige Thomas (Charleston, West Virginia) is focusing her studies on capital defense work. She serves as the vice justice for the law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta, and as the treasurer for the law school’s chapter of the American Constitution Society. Through Phi Alpha Delta and with the help of other organization’s leaders, Thomas was able to help organize the law school’s first annual chili cook-off, which raised money for public interest law students. She is an active member of the law ambassador program at the law school, welcoming new and prospective students to campus. In addition to her extracurricular involvement, Thomas is a member of the Washington and Lee Law Review, where her Note deals with a criminal defendant’s rights to counsel of choice and court-appointed counsel. As a second-year student, she is a student attorney in the law school’s death penalty clinic, the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse.

Catherine Elizabeth Woodcock (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida) graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in political science. She taught high school English for two years in Jacksonville, Florida, as a Teach for America corps member.  At Washington and Lee, she is a staff writer for the Law Review Journal.  She is the vice president of the Student Bar Association and the Women Law Students Organization. Woodcock also serves as a Kirgis Fellow Mentor for the first-year class.

Washington and Lee Names New Associate Dean of the Williams School

— by on January 9th, 2017

Tim Diette

Timothy Diette, the Harry E. and Mary Jayne W. Redenbaugh Term Associate Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee University, is the new associate dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, beginning July 1. He succeeds Raquel Alexander, who has held that post since 2015. Alexander is leaving W&L in June to become dean of the College of Management at Bucknell University.

Diette joined the Williams School faculty in 2004. He holds an honors B.A. in economics and history, summa cum laude, from the University of Vermont, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to W&L, he worked in the finance departments at Bank of America and Wachovia, followed by a stint as an economist for the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

He has served since 2016 as acting head of the Economics Department, teaching courses in Economics of Education and Health Economics, and is affiliate faculty in both the Africana Studies Program and the Shepherd Poverty Program. He also helped create and advises students for the Education Policy minor.

Diette serves on the university’s SACS Reaffirmation Team and as a faculty representative to the Board of Trustees, as well as on a number of university committees, including the Faculty Administrators Evaluation Committee and the President’s Advisory Committee. He previously served on the Student Affairs Committee, the Faculty Executive Committee and the Student Faculty Hearing Board. He is also a member of the Shepherd Program’s Strategic Planning Steering, Faculty Review and Advisory committees, and served on the organizing committees for Questioning the Good Life and Questioning Passion, two year-long seminar series devoted to the interdisciplinary study of contemporary topics.

“I am excited to serve W&L in this capacity,” said Diette. “I look forward to strengthening the Williams School’s connections to the College, the Law School and our interdisciplinary programs, and to supporting student and faculty initiatives that further the mission of the university.”

In addition to advising the dean on a variety of matters, the associate dean of the Williams School focuses on operations and accreditation. The associate dean also represents the Williams School on a number of university committees and works closely with the dean and faculty of the Williams School on curriculum and program development.

“Tim has been a great example of the W&L teacher-scholar throughout his time at W&L,” said Robert Straughan, Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School. “He has a passion for understanding the human-capital impact of a variety of institutional variables, particularly related to education. The classes that he teaches, the research that he conducts, and his involvement in the broader Lexington community reflect that passion.

“I’m quite excited to welcome Tim to this new role,” Straughan continued. “I think he will find even more ways to contribute to the advancement of the Williams School and Washington and Lee.”