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Get to Know the Newest Members of the W&L Community – 4/11/23 The following individuals recently joined the Washington and Lee employee workforce.

Anna Billias, Lecturer in Music and Collaborative Pianist

Billias-scaled-600x400 Get to Know the Newest Members of the W&L Community - 4/11/23Anna Billias, Lecturer in Music and Collaborative Pianist

Q. Tell us a little about you and your background.
I was born in the former USSR and grew up in Donetsk, Ukraine. For my education, I obtained the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree and three different master’s degrees (music, intellectual property, and Roman and German philology) from the universities and the conservatory in Donetsk. Since immigrating to the United States 17 years ago, I have worked as a full-time professor at Sweet Briar College, developed a private piano studio, am a music director in a local church, received my doctorate from the Shenandoah Conservatory, and most important, have been blessed with my incredible family! My husband, Chris, is currently the General District Judge presiding in Lexington and Waynesboro courts. I have three incredible children Yelena, Dmitriy and Dariyana, one step-daughter, Alana, and four grandchildren. One of them, Sofiya, lives locally. My children are all musically gifted, play one or more instruments, and are engaged in various musical endeavors.

Q. Any favorite Lexington/regional spots/activities?
I never imagined a passion for the martial arts until I became part of the karate family at Malta Studio here in Lexington. Our children and I should receive our full black belts this year. Other favorite activities are hiking (McAfee Knob and Devil’s Marbleyard) and swimming (Lake Moomaw and Goshen Pass).

Q. How do you unwind/have fun? Any hobbies or hidden talents?
From an early age, I engaged in different styles of dancing ranging from ballroom dancing and flamenco, to belly dancing. Since my arrival in the U.S., I have further trained and refined my passion in vocal performance, which I frequently use in church, music salons and soon, in local public performance. My time in America has also inspired me to paint using oils and other mediums (you can witness some examples of my work if you visit me in my studio – Wilson 4025!), and in creating poetry (which I write only in my native language, Russian).

Bridgett Zitmore, Assistant Director of Alumni Chapter Programs – Alumni and Career Services

Bridgett-Zitmore-600x400 Get to Know the Newest Members of the W&L Community - 4/11/23Bridgett Zitmore, assistant director of alumni chapter programs

Q. Tell us a little about you and your background.
I am a Virginia native, born and raised. I received bachelor’s degree in business administration with a marketing emphasis from Ferrum College and later received a master’s degree in business administration from Liberty University. My husband is a Lexington native and we have a 2-year-old daughter.

Q. Any favorite Lexington/regional spots/activities?
Kayaking the Maury River, walking the Chessie Trail, visiting local breweries and wineries, listening to local live music at Brew Ridge Taps and Friday’s Alive during the summer season. I also enjoy grabbing iced coffee whenever possible from Pronto or Lexington Coffee Shop – I have a bit of an obsession with coffee.

Q. Best advice anyone has ever given you?
Change is the only constant – learn from both the highs and lows of life because there are valuable lessons in both.