Tidewater Collegiate Academy at Virginia Wesleyan University is offering a new program to provide meaningful, personal, and affordable educational options for students during COVID-19. Project Amplify is an online, pre-college program designed to equip college-bound students for success in the transition to college through authentic, thought-demanding, hands-on, community-based learning experiences tailored specifically for individual students to explore their passions and meet their goals. TCA at VWU is now accepting applications from rising 11th graders that will join a two-year cohort. Students will engage in a series of coursework based on the TCA innovative learning model and take dual enrollment classes from VWU concurrently. This will include one VWU class their first fall semester, and then two courses the next three semesters. Students will graduate with an Advanced High School Diploma and potentially 28 college credits. For more information, please contact Dr. Wendy Scott, Founder and Director of TCA.
Joanne Renn, who came out of retirement in the spring to serve as Virginia Wesleyan's interim executive director of Intercollegiate Athletics, will remain in that capacity for the 2020-21 academic year. The search for a permanent athletic director has been temporarily suspended due to uncertainty regarding the 2020-21 season. "With continuously changing messages from both the NCAA and the ODAC...it is important for us to maintain a level of consistency in our Office of Intercollegiate Athletics," said VWU President Scott D. Miller. "Acclimating a new athletics director under the current circumstances would not be ideal for anyone." After 11 years as athletics director and 25 years total with the Marlins, Renn retired in 2018. She provided active leadership in expansion and improvement of the institution's athletic facilities: Birdsong Field, the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center, development of the outdoor athletic complex, upgrades and naming of Kenneth R. Perry Field, a new East Gate campus entrance and the adjoining Marlin Way, and TowneBank Park. Renn was also instrumental in the initiation of men's and women's swimming, a relationship with Harlaxton College of England, and establishment of the Batten Honors College. She led the planning, secured the funding, and supervised the construction of the Everett Tennis Center in 2011. Renn Reserve and Pond, in the heart of Virginia Wesleyan's outdoor athletic complex, was named in her honor upon her retirement. VWU sponsors 22 intercollegiate sports programs and a staff of more than 55 coaches, administrators, and support personnel.
Two programs within Virginia Wesleyan's Campus Life division have an updated look, a refreshed focus, and a new administrative location. Formally known as RecX and the Wesleyan Activities Council (WAC), VWU's Recreation and Wellness (UREC) program and the Off The Hook student programming board have been redesigned to enhance the student experience through participation and leadership opportunities in programs, activities, and events. Willie Harrell '97, Director of Recreation and Wellness, will lead the UREC program with the primary mission of promoting personal growth, social fellowship, and healthy lifestyle choices through participation in challenging and fun activities regardless of skill or experience. The UREC office is located across from Scribner University Store in the Batten Student Center. Off The Hook will provide social, educational, and community-building activities on campus, with a focus on weekend events. It will continue to provide quality entertainment for the VWU community and promote campus traditions including the beloved Mud Games, Christmas Tree Lighting, and Late Night Breakfast. Off the Hook is part of the Office of Student Activities, which also has a new look and a new home in the Alumni Galleria (across the hall from the Office of Finance and Administration). Learn more about UREC, Off The Hook, and Campus Life at Virginia Wesleyan.
A recent feature in Virginia Business highlights the opening of the Sentara Brock Cancer Center in Norfolk, just a few miles from campus. The patient treatment and care facility broke ground in March 2018 and officially opened its doors on June 1. The Center is named for VWU Trustee Emerita Joan Brock and her late husband Macon. A three-time cancer survivor, Joan Brock was treated within the Sentara Cancer network. "We are grateful for Joan, her generosity, and continued support of our community," said VWU President Scott D. Miller.
Campus construction projects are steadily continuing this summer at Virginia Wesleyan University. The main dining room and service area in Boyd Dining Center have been gutted, and renovation has started. Completion of this phase is expected by August 5 (view recent photos here). Renovation recently began on Susan Beverly Hall (formerly the Fine Arts Building). The front area of the building—containing The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation Ensemble Rehearsal Room, the Alison J. and Ella W. Parsons Fund Fine Arts Entrance & Lobby, and the James A. Hixon Music Studios—has been gutted and the new central heating and cooling system is nearing completion. Installation of the new roof will be finalized this month. The building will be renovated in thirds to accommodate ongoing building use and work. The three-week installation process on the stands at TowneBank Arena continues (view recent photos here). Coastal 61 at Oxford Village is progressing (view recent photos here) and The Franklin Johnston Group has provided new information about apartment availability at coastal61.com. The complex is a Public Private Partnership (P3) of the University and is designed to provide housing for VWU graduate students and faculty/staff, as well as the Virginia Beach community. Completion of the new roof on Monumental Chapel and Beazley Recital Hall is expected to be done in the next two weeks. Earlier this spring, the inside of the facility received an extensive upgrade. Finally, modifications continue on the plans for the construction of DeFord Manor, with final plans expected to be completed and submitted through the City of Virginia Beach planning process in the next two months. Construction is expected to begin in late fall.
Congratulations to the 307 Marlins named to Virginia Wesleyan University's Spring 2020 Dean's List. The Dean's List recognizes undergraduate students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits.
Congratulations to the 123 Virginia Wesleyan University students named to the Spring 2020 President’s List, which recognizes full-time students who earned a 4.0 grade point average for the semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have taken nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses and have no grades of F or incomplete. A reception will be held during the Fall 2020 Semester to honor these outstanding students. Well done!
President Scott D. Miller has announced that the original Fine Arts Building will be renamed "Susan T. Beverly Hall" in honor of alumna Susan Beverly '72—longtime Trustee, benefactor and friend of Virginia Wesleyan. Additional charitable namings of facilities within the building include: The Robert G. Cabell III and Maude Morgan Cabell Foundation Visual Arts Studios; The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation Ensemble Rehearsal Room; Alison J. and Ella W. Parsons Fund Fine Arts Entrance & Lobby; and the James A. Hixon Music Studios. The building was originally constructed in 1966 and has long served as home to art, music, and theatre instruction and performances in the Edward D. Hofheimer Theatre (1981) and its various art studios, music studios and practice rooms, acting studios, and a multi-media room. The Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, which complements the original building, opened on campus in 2019.
A virtual Commissioning Ceremony for the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program will be held on Saturday, May 16, at 10 a.m. Two Virginia Wesleyan University cadets will be commissioned as a second lieutenants in the United States Army—Matthew R. Improta (Corps of Engineers) and Zachary A. Raymond (Infantry). The Marlin Company was formalized on campus in 1998 and operates as part of the Old Dominion University Monarch Battalion. Through elective classes and field training, students receive valuable tools, training, and leadership experiences that lead to military service and are assets in any career field. View the event invitation and Zoom meeting information.
At its spring meeting on April 29, the Virginia Wesleyan University Alumni Council elected new officers and several new members. The University extends its sincere gratitude to Troy DeLawrence '93 as his term ends as Council Chair. Troy has served on the Alumni Council for nine years and was a driving force in the reorganization and strengthening of the Council three years ago. Current Vice Chair Rob Kohler '93 will assume the role of Council Chair on July 1. Rob Gillikin '00 becomes Vice Chair, and Sydney Covey '15 has been appointed Secretary. The Alumni Council welcomes five new members: Jordan Bondurant '12, Kadija Corinaldi '15, Nicholas Hipple '18, Julie Kissel '82, and Andrew Petrey '15.
Dr. Steven Emmanuel, Professor of Philosophy at Virginia Wesleyan University, has been named as the next Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities. Dr. Emmanuel is a longtime and highly respected member of the Virginia Wesleyan faculty. He has received many awards for teaching, research and public service throughout his career, including the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)—the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at Virginia public and private colleges and universities. In a message to the campus community, VWU President Scott D. Miller thanked Dr. Travis Malone, the inaugural Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities, for his outstanding leadership, most notably his service as the academic liaison for the construction of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center and the fundraising campaign for the original Fine Arts Building. "Dr. Malone has done a truly remarkable job since its establishment in 2016," said Dr. Miller. "As his term will end with the academic year, I want to express my sincerest thanks for his dedication and service during this time of growth and change. The arts at Virginia Wesleyan have positively thrived under his leadership and he has been a valued adviser. I know the program will remain in good hands under Dr. Emmanuel's deanship."
Catch the latest in Marlin athletics in this week's edition of SportSplash.
Since the founding of the distinctive Batten Honors College in the fall of 2107, an intimate recognition ceremony has been held for the newest Batten Fellows and Shumadine Scholars. A ceremonial pinning of each student represents their completion of orientation and formal induction into the elite Batten Honors College of Virginia Wesleyan University. As the program has grown and the highly selective Batten Honors College has flourished, the ceremony has also grown to reflect this. This fall, all four classes of the Batten Honors College will attend the Batten Honors College Convocation and Dr. Ian Solomon, Dean of UVA's Frank Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy, will serve as keynote speaker. This special event will be held on Founders Day, September 10.
The spectacular Gardens of the Greer have been captured in photos taken by Marisa Cousin, horticulturist for Norfolk Botanical Garden and VWU. Cousin has photographed the beauty of the living landscapes and gardens surrounding the environmental sciences center and provided a detailed description for each photo that includes botanical and common names, locations and information about each native plant. “I try to capture what is happening in the landscape during the various seasons as well as give information regarding the native plants that are growing at the Greer,” said Cousin. “I also post the photos on the Brock School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Facebook page and on my personal social media site to educate others. I hope to create more environmental awareness for the public who are unable to have access to the Greer landscape.” Cousin says that it’s important to share this unique concept. “Picture a 2.5 acre landscape on a college campus that creates this beautiful wildlife sanctuary for various animals while also acting as a learning landscape for all of the natural science students. They're able to apply what they are learning in the classroom to a natural area right outside their lecture hall.” Read more about the gardens and Earth Week at VWU.
During Earth Week, Director of Campus Sustainability and Professor of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Elizabeth Malcolm reported VWU’s RecycleMania results. Virginia Wesleyan is one of several schools who had to end competition early due to the coronavirus, so the participation period was adjusted accordingly. Virginia Wesleyan ranked 77th in the nation, and placed second in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and second in Virginia. For pounds recycled per person, VWU ranked 31 in the nation, first out of Virginia schools, and second in the ODAC.
“Thanks to all the students and housekeeping staff who helped out and especially junior Skyler Latuca who organized and conducted the weekly estimates and organized a dorm competition,” said Dr. Malcolm. “Micaela Morris and Ashley Roehrman worked to improve recycling from the facilities side and Director of Civic Leadership and Service Learning Brian Kurisky collected and recycled electronic waste.”
During the six-week period, VWU’s recycling was estimated to have reduced the equivalent of 42 Metric Tons of CO2, or eight cars off the road, or the energy consumption of four households. During that time the University recycled a total of 17 lbs. per person and had a recycling rate of 35 percent. Way to go Marlins!
The VWU Sustainability Leaders program is a new initiative, announced during Earth Week, that will “green” bachelor degrees at Virginia Wesleyan. The program will recognize students who have completed volunteer service and coursework focused on real-world issues of sustainability and the environment. At VWU’s December Commencement Ceremonies, each student who has applied for this distinction and met the requirements will receive a green graduation cord. “To complete the Sustainability Leaders Program and receive a green graduation cord, students must earn at least 10 points of sustainability achievements and submit the required application,” explained Director of Campus Sustainability and Professor of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Elizabeth Malcolm. “Points can be earned throughout all undergraduate years of study at Virginia Wesleyan University and are awarded on a scale. We are excited to offer this important distinction to our graduates.”
Catch the latest news form Virginia Wesleyan Athletics in the April 21 edition of SportSplash.
Read the latest news from Virginia Wesleyan University in the April 17, 2020 edition of The Wesleyan Review.
Explore. Accelerate. Online or on campus.
Summer Session at VWU is for everyone, whether you’re behind in coursework or planning to graduate early. Summer at VWU gives you an opportunity to engage in specialty courses, complete General Education requirements, or advance in your major. Students can also engage in independent research with a faculty member, without distraction from other coursework. How will you spend your summer? Catch up or get ahead at VWU.
The April edition of "The Pharos" shares the latest faculty and staff accomplishments and best practices. Read more at https://conta.cc/3b7XLEe.
Read the April 14 edition of SportSplash to learn more about how Virginia Wesleyan honors senior class athletes and more at https://conta.cc/2K3v6Ek.
Read the latest edition of SportSplash. SportSplash provides Marlin fans and friends with the most up-to-date information on Marlin athletics. Go Marlins!
On April 6, President Miller will host a private Fireside Chat exclusively for faculty and staff on the University's Coronavirus Crisis Action Plan. After a short break, he will hold a public chat for VWU's wider community to announce a significant new initiative.
From President Miller's Town Hall Update on the impact of the Coronavirus to features on faculty, rescheduled events and campus happenings, the April 3, 2020 edition of the Wesleyan Review shares the latest news and events with the VWU community and friends.
Read the April edition of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom newsletter. This monthly newsletter shares the latest news, opportunities for dialogue, and events from the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan University.
Virginia Wesleyan University's 2020 campus democratic engagement action plan has been selected as one of the top plans submitted to the ALL IN Challenge. A link to our plan is featured on the sample action plan page of the ALL IN website as a strong example for others to emulate. VWU’s Director of Civic Leadership and Service Learning, Dr. Brian Kurisky, led the University’s efforts on this project. Well done!
Construction continues on the eight building, 244-unit Coastal 61 at Oxford Village mixed-use housing complex on the north side of campus along Wesleyan Drive. The public-private partnership with The Franklin Johnston Group of Virginia Beach is scheduled for completion this fall/winter.
Renovation of the former Bookstore into the Scribner University Store has been completed. In addition to apparel, the store is now the home to Duplication and Postal Services. Adjacent to the Scribner University Store is Coastal Market, a quick-stop store with a variety of food, beverages, and convenient items.
In the coming months, a new playing surface will be installed and demolition of existing seatingand installation of new seating will occur in the Convocation Hall of the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Demolition began this week and the project renderings provide visuals for the completed arena. Special thanks to TowneBank for the grant that is making this project possible.
Construction and landscaping have been completed at the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center. Improvements include a beautiful new entrance archway! Thanks to Trustee Emeritus Bill Shelhorse '70 for his support on this project named in memory of his sister.
Clearing and grading was completed recently on the newest trail in Wesleyan Woods. Located off of Norfolk Lane (the road that runs to Facilities Management), the trail loop goes back to the western border of the campus (at Interstate 64) and follows the Norfolk side of Lake Taylor before re-emerging near the Norfolk Avenue connection. The new signage for the scenic walking, running and biking trails on VWU’s beautiful, park-like 300-acre campus has been added.
Fundraising continues and our goal is in sight for a May challenge grant deadline for the upgrades to the original Fine Arts Building. We have initiated conversations with several contractors and should be ready to proceed this spring/summer.
Private funds have been raised and plans have been finalized for DeFord Manor. Construction is expected to begin this fall.
Congratulations to the Virginia Wesleyan Theatre Department for a successful spring production of "The Shield," by Greek playwright Menander! Adapted for stage and directed by Dr. Travis Malone, VWU Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Theatre, the production ran from March 5-8 in the Brock Theatre of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. Learn more about the cast and crew and read more.
Virginia Wesleyan University was recently invited by WHRO to participate in a video project profiling native plants of Virginia to be distributed in classrooms and other education venues. The research gardens surrounding VWU’s Greer Environmental Sciences Center will be featured in a film segment and discussion with Brian O'Neil, Director of Living Landscapes at Norfolk Botanical Garden/Virginia Wesleyan University. WHRO noted that the University’s gardens, native plantings, and wildlife habitats make a great environment for producing science-oriented education material.
Virginia Wesleyan Athletics welcomed two of its newest Marlins in collaboration with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, an organization aiming to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers. Three-year-old Mia Grace Moore, who lives with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma--a very rare and aggressive form of pediatric brain cancer--was "signed" to the VWU softball team on March 5 during a special ceremony in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Her older brother, Brendyn, was also welcomed to the VWU baseball team. Welcome to the Marlin family Mia, Brendyn, and their mother Michelle! VWU is honored to have you as members of our team. Watch the WTKR news segment of this special celebration.
Catch the latest news from Virginia Wesleyan Athletics in SportSplash. The March 24 edition leads with "ODAC Cancels 2020 Spring Seasons and Championships."
Virginia Wesleyan University recently received a letter of commendation from Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam for being one of just 119 colleges and universities nationwide to receive the prestigious Carnegie Community Engagement Classification for the 2020 cycle. The classification, announced by the Carnegie Foundation on January 31, has been the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in U.S. higher education for the past 14 years.
“On behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I want to congratulate Virginia Wesleyan University on receiving the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification for the 2020 cycle,” said Gov. Ralph S. Northam. “Of the 119 U.S. colleges and universities classified in 2020, five were from Virginia.”
The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification was awarded following a process of self-study, which was then assessed by a national review committee led by the Swearer Center for Public Engagement at Brown University, the administrative and research home for the classification.
“I, as well as the Virginia Secretary of Education, Atif Qarni, could not be prouder that VWU has been designated as an institution that is committed to community engagement,” continued Gov. Northam. “Virginia Wesleyan University demonstrates the value of learning more about the needs of our communities and the positive impact academic institutions can have in addressing local challenges and concerns. I hope that other Virginia universities and colleges will follow the example set forth by Virginia Wesleyan.”
VWU’s Director of Civic Leadership and Service Learning and Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Brian Kurisky (pictured here with the letter), leads Wesleyan Engaged: Center for Civic Leadership and Service Learning.
"We are honored to receive this commendation from Gov. Northam," said VWU President Scott D. Miller, "and we appreciate the work of Dr. Kurisky in helping us to achieve this prestigious distinction. We hold social responsibility at the core of our institutional values, and I take great pride in this accomplishment and in working among such engaged citizens and leaders.”
The spring issue of the Batten Bulletin, the newsletter of VWU's highly selective Batten Honors College, is now available.
The March 20 edition of the Wesleyan Review is now available. It focuses on information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on VWU operataions.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller and members of VWU's Emergency Response Team will hold a COVID-19 Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. This virtual meeting will be more informational in nature and is meant to offer clarity on this evolving situation and next steps for the Virginia Wesleyan community. Please watch for additional details coming soon and view the latest information and updates on the University's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information webpage at www.vwu.edu/coronavirus.
Catch the latest in Virginia Wesleyan Athletics in this week's edition of Marlins SportSplash.
Virginia Wesleyan joined more than 100 major businesses, investors, and higher education institutions in supporting the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI), a regional effort to decrease transportation-sector emissions from across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. TCI presents an opportunity to address climate change and ensure state economies continue to thrive while modernizing the region's transportation system. Read more in the latest press release, "Investors and companies urge states to adopt Transportation and Climate Initiative, a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’." A list of fellow signatories in each state, as well as more information about the policy and resources to learn about TCI can be found here.
The spring meeting of the Virginia Wesleyan University President's Council was held on March 9, 2020, in the Shafer Room of Boyd Dining Center. The Council is comprised of business leaders who embrace, embody, and similarly align with the University's vision and values in their management practices. Their personal and professional influence and support ensures students are strategically positioned to participate in opportunities such as internships and externships that will prepare them for a meaningful life and career. VWU Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Wesleyan Engaged Brian Kurisky along with student India Khanna gave an engaging presentation on our civic engagement and service learning initiatives and progress.
Read all about the latest accomplishments and best practices of Virginia Wesleyan University faculty and staff in the March edition of The Pharos. The Pharos (previously known as Faculty Focus) is a monthly email newsletter celebrating the professional development successes of Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff, among them: publication of books, articles, etc.; conference presentations and participation; performances and shows; grants received; positions and awards in professional organizations; campus and community engagement initiatives.
Keep up with the latest news from Marlin Athletics in the March 10 edition of SportsSplash! SportSplash is a weekly email newsletter that provides fans and followers recent scores, events, and accomplishments of Virginia Wesleyan athletes, coaches and programs.
VWU welcomed the third and final group of high school students competing for a spot in the Batten Honors College Class of 2024 on March 5 - 7, 2020. The highly selective program annually enrolls 20 full-tuition Batten Fellows and 20 two-thirds tuition Shumadine Scholars. The weekend followed the same format as the previous competitions, beginning with a welcome event at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, and continuing Friday and Saturday with interviews, campus tours, class visits, and panel discussions. Prospective students and their parents also attended a reception Friday evening at the Slover Library in downtown Norfolk. The third group of competitors represented 12 states with 55% outside of Virginia. This selective academic program is made possible by generous support from Virginia Wesleyan University Trustee Emerita Jane P. Batten H'06 and her late husband, Frank Batten, Sr. View the Photo Gallery
The recent glass blowing exhibition in Virginia Wesleyan's Neil Britton Art Gallery, "180," was reviewed in Veer Magazine. The feature, "Glass Studio Assistants Glow in 180 Days," highlights the academic collaboration between Virginia Wesleyan and the Chrysler Museum. Featured artists include Rachel Bartek, Sukayma El Hani, Suhyeon Kang, Malcolm Kriegel, Michael Mills, Jordan Tavan, Abegael Uffelman, and Nichole Vitchner.
Our newest edition of the Wesleyan Review is out! Read about the latest VWU news and events.
In recognition of Women's History Month and National Eating Disorder Awareness Month, the Virginia Wesleyan Women's Resource Center, the Department of Psychology, and the Women's and Gender Studies program has organized a special event in collaboration with The Lighthouse. The event will feature Nancy Redd--the New York Times bestselling author of "Body Drama and Diet Drama"--who will explore body positivity and the ways in which media shapes peoples' perceptions of body image. A former Miss Virginia and swimsuit winner at Miss America, Redd is an award-winning on-air host, Wirecutter beauty and health writer at the New York Times, and a NAACP Image Award nominee. The event begins at 11 a.m. in the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. Redd will be signing books following her talk and will hold an informal coffee chat with students at 4 p.m. in The Lighthouse.
Prospective Batten Honors College students visited Virginia Wesleyan University February 13-15 to compete for a space in the elite program's fourth cohort. The competition began with an evening welcome reception at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach and continued Friday and Saturday with presentations, interviews, campus tours, class visits, and panel discussions. Participating students and their parents also attended a reception Friday evening at Slover Library in downtown Norfolk. The Batten Honors College fully or partially funds 40 new academically talented students each year, and with the addition of the fourth cohort, will grow to its full capacity of 160 students. Through small class sizes, personalized instruction and especially vigorous faculty-student interaction, the program is designed to prepare leaders and environmental stewards. The curriculum explores diverse disciplines within the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and mathematics. A prior competition for this class took place in November and a third will occur March 5-7. View a photo gallery from the competition and learn more about the Batten Honors College.
For the Love of Learning! Virginia Wesleyan faculty share their academic take on “that crazy little thing called love” by offering special lectures, workshops, or presentations February 11 – 21. Students can explore various aspects of love, through different disciplinary lenses during the 10th Annual Love in the Liberal Arts Symposium, sponsored by the Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). From “puppy love” to the “love of mother nature,” this year’s campus-wide symposium offers love lectures that provide great opportunities for students to explore another subject or professor without being enrolled in that particular class. Presentations are open to all members of the VWU community. For lecture dates and times, visit the 2020 schedule for the 10th Annual Love in the Liberal Arts Symposium.
Virginia Wesleyan University has reaffirmed its support of key climate and clean energy policies through the "We Are Still In" commitment. The University is among 353 higher education institutions to sign a letter urging the Virginia General Assembly for Virginia legislature to include full participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI); passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA); and support for clean transportation and customer access to clean energy options, among other items. "We Are Still In" is a cross-sector coalition led by Second Nature. Read More
The Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL) office is now located in Clarke Hall adjacent to the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, the Beazley Foundation Technology Center, and The Lighthouse: Center for the Exploration and Discovery. While the mission and function of INTEL remain the same, the location better aligns the office with the technology and academic centers in Clarke Hall.
Virginia Wesleyan University has been recognized by the Elizabeth River Project for Sustained Distinguished Performance at the River Stars Model Level. VWU student and ERP employee Phoebe Murrell joined VWU's Dr. Elizabeth Malcolm, Director of Campus Sustainability, and Dr. Maynard Schaus, Vice President for Academic Affairs, for a photo as they accepted the honor on VWU's behalf.
There's a new mural on campus thanks to students in Professor of Art John Rudel's "Public Art" course. The class designed and painted the artwork during January Term in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Be sure to stop by Batten Plaza to check it out. Kudos to these students for their efforts and creativity!
Congratulations to the students who demonstrated outstanding academic achievements and are listed on the Fall 2019 President's List and Fall 2019 Dean's List! President’s List is awarded to students earning a 4.0 GPA and the Dean’s List is awarded to all students who earn at least a 3.5 GPA. Hat's off to these hard-working students. Well done!
January Term was a success on campus and around the globe. Students traveled to Israel and Hawaii, Washington, D.C. and Richmond for immersive learning experiences. VWU students are pictured at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and from 400-foot Waimoku Falls on Maui. After hiking in the only rainforest in America, students spent an afternoon helping with organic taro farming as part of their January Term course "Travel's Impact on Culture and Environment." View the full January Term photo gallery here.
Virginia Wesleyan University is again participating in the annual RecycleMania tournament, a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Beginning February 2, colleges across the United States and Canada will report the amount of recycling and trash collected over an eight-week period. They will in turn be ranked in various categories based on who recycles the most on a per capita basis, as well as which schools have the best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste, and which schools generate the least amount of combined trash and recycling. With each week’s updated ranking, participating schools follow their performance against other colleges and use the results to rally their campus to reduce and recycle more. To reduce Virginia Wesleyan's environmental footprint and help meet its RecylceMania goals, students, faculty and staff are asked to put clean bottles, cans, paper and cardboard in the blue recycling bins on campus. Metallic energy bar wrappers and personal hygiene packaging (toothpaste tubes, shampoo bottles, etc.) can be recycled in the Terraclycle bins in the library's 24-hour lounge. In addition, Wesleyan Engaged (Batten 25) is collecting used printer cartridges for recycling and used eyeglasses for donation to the Lions Club. Learn more about RecycleMania: Campus Race to Zero Waste.
At their annual January meeting, members of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church (NASCUMC)—a group for which VWU President Scott D. Miller serves as president—voted to change the membership policies governing their organization. “With this vote, we’ve begun an approximately six-month-long process to broaden our membership and open our organization to educators in the Pan-Methodist tradition both in and outside the United States,” said Dr. Miller. NASCUMC was initiated by the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and is a voluntary organization that serves more than 100 United Methodist-related schools, colleges, universities and seminaries in the U.S. Under their current guidelines, schools are only eligible for membership if they are located in the United States and directly affiliated with The United Methodist Church. The recent vote expands membership eligibility to primary and secondary institutions that were founded by or are related to the Methodist tradition in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. NASCUMC leaders noted that schools in Mexico could also request to join the revamped organization, but many are already served by the Latin American Association of Methodist Educational Institutions. The vote also approved plans to change the organization’s name from NASCUMC to the North American Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAAMSCU). All current NASCUMC members will automatically become a part of NAAMSCU. In order to join the association, new members must demonstrate either a formal affiliation with The United Methodist Church or a historic association with the Methodist tradition in North America. Any institutions interested in joining NAAMSCU later this year should contact the GBHEM Division of Higher Education at DHE@gbhem.org. Read More
VWU President Scott D. Miller and other presidents and top representatives from United Methodist schools, colleges and universities across the United States have announced support for the creation of a U.S. Regional Conference of The United Methodist Church. There are multiple proposals before the 2020 General Conference that call for the creation of a U.S. Regional Conference, most recently the “Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation” set forth by a mediated group of United Methodist leaders. At their Jan. 4 meeting, 85 members of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church (NASCUMC)—for which Dr. Miller serves as president—signed a joint statement urging the Church to create a U.S. Regional Conference. “Creating a U.S. Regional Conference is a crucial step toward building a United Methodist Church that is fully inclusive,” said Dr. Miller. “For United Methodist-related educational institutions, it’s also a vital step. It would foster the kind of inclusive community in our churches that we already respect and value on our campuses.” NASCUMC is a voluntary organization that was initiated by the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). It represents 115 schools, colleges, universities and seminaries in North America and educates more than 260,000 students every year. It is the second-largest group of denominationally affiliated educational institutions in the United States. A U.S. Regional Conference would function similarly to existing United Methodist Central Conferences in Europe, Africa and Asia. This conference structure would allow churches in the United States greater regional autonomy over how they interpret the United Methodist Book of Discipline. Plans that include a U.S. Regional Conference would set up the removal of existing restrictions on same-sex marriage and allow for the ordination of LGBTQ clergy in the United States. “Our global connection is so important as United Methodists, especially as a denomination that is closely tied to educational access around the world. Creation of a U.S. Regional Conference allows our Church-affiliated schools to preserve that global connection, while recognizing the need for the contextualization of our shared faith,” said Mark Hanshaw, GBHEM associate general secretary for the Division of Higher Education and secretary for NASCUMC. Read the full statement here. Originally published on the GBHEM website on January 6, 2020.
Work has begun on a new campus garden—"Marlin Meadows." The student project is among those funded in the inaugural year of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department Endowed Fund and was coordinated by students in the Marlins Go Green environmental club. The garden extends the Greer Center native gardens toward the chapel and is designed by Brian O'Neil, VWU/NBG Director of Living Landscapes. The finished garden will include a native pollinator garden, a rain garden with carnivorous plants, a small bridge across a drainage swale, and a sitting area for the students to enjoy nature, which will include a table with a solar umbrella charging station. The project will occur in stages with the final plantings planned for next fall when the weather is conducive to their success. In addition to the $1,300 Earth and Environmental Sciences Department Endowed Fund, students have raised additional funds through a bake sale and have received other generous gifts to support the garden: Native plants were donated by the Virginia Zoo (coordinated by VWU alumnus Mikel Conway, horticulturist at the zoo); wood chips from Nuckols Tree Care; $250 from the local Sierra Club chapter; up to $3,000 from the Elizabeth River Project for native trees and the rain garden; and a generous gift from VWU Trustee Jim Shumadine.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller will deliver the keynote address for Tidewater Community College’s 69th Commencement Exercises on Monday, December 16, at Norfolk’s Chartway Arena. The Commencement will begin at 6 p.m. and will be livestreamed at tcc.edu/commencement. Nearly 900 students will graduate from the college with either certificates or associate degrees. President of Virginia Wesleyan since 2015, Dr. Miller has been recognized as a transformative leader among his peers. Inside Business recently included him on its Power List, which celebrates the most influential leaders in shaping Hampton Roads. Dr. Miller oversaw Virginia Wesleyan’s transition to a University and continues to strengthen its identity among national liberal arts institutions. Last February, he joined TCC interim President Gregory DeCinque in signing the Fair Transfer Guarantee agreement, which ensures a seamless path for those graduating from TCC and moving to Virginia Wesleyan to complete a bachelor’s degree. Dr. Miller holds a doctorate in higher education administration from Union Institute & University in Cincinnati and an education specialist degree from Vanderbilt University. He earned a master’s from the University of Dayton and a bachelor’s from West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Too often the world tells LGBTQ+ people that they have to choose either their identity or their faith, but what if there were a third option? Join Austen Hartke, author and creator of the YouTube series “Transgender and Christian,” as he shares his experience of coming out as a transgender Christian, from his childhood in non-affirming churches to the Bible stories that gave him strength as an adult in seminary. The event will take place on campus Thursday, November 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. Hartke will sign copies of his book Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians, which will be available for purchase. Virginia Wesleyan students are invited to an informal coffee and conversation time with Hartke at 4:00 p.m. in The Lighthouse. This event is free and open to the public; sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and Women’s and Gender Studies at Virginia Wesleyan University.
At the 2019 ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony, held to recognize colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates, Virginia Wesleyan University received a silver seal for achieving a student rate between 30-39 percent. Student participation in elections has increased from the 2014 midterm election to the recent 2018 midterm election. According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, voter turnout at the more than 1,000 institutions participating in the study increased by 21 points from 19% to 40%. “We are excited to honor Virginia Wesleyan University with an ALL IN Challenge silver seal in recognition of their intentional efforts to increase democratic engagement and full voter participation,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “More institutions like VWU are changing culture on campus by institutionalizing nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts that are resulting in the incredible student voter turnout rates that we’ve seen across the country.” The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan demcoratic engagement and full student voter participation. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campus. More than 560 campuses, enrolling more than 6.2 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in 2016. View the full list of seal awardees.
The Virginia Philosophical Association (VPA) held its 80th Annual Meeting October 25-26 at Virginia Wesleyan University. Philosophers from throughout Virginia attended the sessions, held in the Greer Enviromental Sciences Center. A keynote address—"Evidence as Passing a Severe Test"—was delivered by Deborah G. Mayo, a professor emerita at Virginia Tech and an internationally recognized authority on the philosophy of statistical reasoning and the role of statistical reasoning in science. Virginia Wesleyan philosophy professors Steven Emmanuel, Patrick Goold and Cathal Woods are VPA members and all previously served as president of the association. The VPA's annual meeting was also held at Virginia Wesleyan in 2007 and 2005. Learn more about the annual meeting and the Virginia Philosophical Association.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Virginia Wesleyan celebrated with a special event on campus. The program included a presentation, "Underground Music in Former East Germany," with live connection to Berlin. The University welcomed 391 local high school students, 11 teachers, and the Virginia Beach City Public Schools K-12 World Languages Coordinator, Dr. Kelly Arble, to participate in related activities. The impressive event was coordinated by the Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning and Dr. Susan Wansink, VWU Professor of German Studies. Later this month, on November 20, German historian Peter Keup will give a talk, "Germany – United Fatherland? Germany 30 Years after the Berlin Wall," about his personal story as a political prisoner in East Germany in the 1980s and the importance of upholding democratic values in any society. Keup was imprisoned by the East German (GDR) secret police Stasi in 1981 after an unsuccessful attempt to flee to West Germany. After 10 months in prison, West Germany paid the GDR for the release of prisoners to the West and Keup settled in Essen (former West Germany). He will talk about the history of a divided Germany and its current political situation as a reflection of its turbulent past. (11:30-12:30pm, The Lighhouse, Clarke Hall)
The 2019 Faculty and Staff Campaign, The Future Is Here, ended on October 31. President Scott D. Miller reported that preliminary results show 72% of faculty and staff participated in this month-long campaign, which exceeds the participation goal. This year's campaign involved 164 donors who contributed more than $42,000 for various priorities across the University. There was 100% participation from VWU alumni working full-time on campus.
“We can be grateful to have such an engaged community of alumni, faculty and staff supporting the University through their gifts of time, talent, and treasure,” said Miller. Those who contributed to the campaign will be celebrated at an event scheduled for December 5.
The Virginia Wesleyan University community will gather to honor Marlin veterans and active duty service members in a Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday, November 11, at noon. The event will take place at the Veterans Memorial Monument on the Godwin Hall Lawn. The memorial was first dedicated in 2013 to pay tribute to Marlins who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The featured speaker for this year’s event will be VWU faculty member Captain (Ret.) Raymond A. Duffy. Captain Duffy received his commission from the Navy ROTC program at Villanova University in 1970 and served more than 28 years until his retirement in July 1998. He served in command of four ships/units while on active duty. During his career, he served in multiple combat environments including Vietnam, Beirut, Grenada, the Desert Storm Gulf War and Bosnia. In addition to his degree from Villanova University, he holds an MAT from Bridgewater State University (UMass), an MBA from Golden Gate University, and an MBA certificate from Tulane University.
During the week of November 4, the campus community is also invited to place a ribbon on the Military Honor Tree located in the Jane P. Batten Student Center to recognize those who have served our country.
Virginia Wesleyan University's December Graduates' Recognition Ceremony will take place Sunday, December 8, at 11 a.m. in the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center (Brock Theatre). The ceremony celebrates those scheduled to graduate at the end of the fall semester as well as those who reached the milestone in August. Travis Malone, Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Theatre, will serve as keynote speaker. Malone is the recipient of the 2019 Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Teaching Award. A reception for graduates, family and friends will take place immediately following the ceremony in the Watts Lobby. This event will be livestreamed on the VWU Digital Broadcasting Network and the Virginia Wesleyan University Facebook page. Read more at vwu.edu/commencement.
“Art changed my life.” Nez, as she’s called, spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy and endured three combat tours, followed by two bedridden years battling cancer and debilitating depression. Her therapist wrote a prescription for her: watch Bob Ross videos. In her words, “I thought he was full of it!” But she did it anyway and it wasn’t long before those "happy little trees" won her over. There was just one little problem; she wanted to paint, but just couldn’t make it happen. She had studied graphic design at NYU and was excellent at hand-lettering, but her illness had taken away the dexterity and motor skills necessary for painting. A constant burning sensation in her arms and hands was later diagnosed as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Nez loved the idea of painting and continued to watch the Ross videos but also checked out YouTube videos and came across a method of painting that involved mixing paint and a medium in a cup, pouring it over canvas and moving it around. “The minute I flipped that paint cup over, I found my ‘flow.’ For the first time in years, I let it all go and felt a sense of relief. I wasn’t thinking about my pain—or anything. It felt like magic.” Nez’s work will be on display in the Goode Center’s Henry and Eleanor Watts Gallery through the month of November.
As Virginia Wesleyan advances through the semester, the University is reminded of the importance of accessibility and affordability for its students. One of the most important avenues to these goals is the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) program. This vital program is a needed and beneficial way for students across the Commonwealth of Virginia—including those enrolled at Virginia Wesleyan—to afford their educations at private colleges and universities.
Although generous institutional aid through scholarships helps to offset cost of attendance, the VTAG program has, since 1972, provided additional, critical financial support. According to the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV), in 2019-20, approximately 22,000 Virginia residents will receive a non-need based tuition grant of $3,400 for undergraduate education. At Virginia Wesleyan, approximately 900 students have received $2.4 million in TAG support for the fall term. That's a significant percentage of VWU students, and an essential investment in their future. Clearly the TAG program is, and should remain, a valued component of students' financial-aid opportunities.
Currently, a “Thanks for TAG” campaign is underway at VWU as a way for students, parents, and alumni to communicate to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and members of the General Assembly how vital the VTAG program is to them, their institution, and their community. View a photo of President Scott D. Miller and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Seward visiting with students at the VTAG Advocacy Center in the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
To learn more about this essential program and how to take action, visit www.cicv.org. Virginia Wesleyan University is grateful on its students’ behalf for this important investment in their future success.
VWU Athletics, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Black Student Union, Learning Center, and Wesleyan Engaged have teamed up to host a non-perishable food drive October 22-November 20. The on-campus food drive is part of the ODAC Food Drive Competition, which was organized as a friendly competition among the ODAC’s 15 member institutions. Donated food items will be given to a local organization of each school’s choice. The VWU community can drop off non-perishable food items in the Athletics Suite on the second floor of the Jane P. Batten Student Center, the Learning Center in Clarke Hall, or the Wesleyan Engaged Office in the Batten Student Center. Athletic teams are hosting an internal competition to see which team can donate the most cans, so participants can place donations in the box outside each coach's door. Items dropped off at the Learning Center or the Wesleyan Engaged Office, can be designated for the athletic team of your choice. Monetary donations (to purchase food items) are also being accepted in the Wesleyan Engaged office. Help VWU Athletics dominate the ODAC competition and feed people in the local community during Thanksgiving! For more information, contact Jeff Bowers in Athletics or Brian Kurisky in Wesleyan Engaged.
In honor of Domestic Assault Awareness Month, the Women’s Resource Center at VWU and the Phenomenal Woman student organization will once again sponsor “The Clothesline Project” on campus during October. The event is designed to raise awareness about domestic assault by painting and displaying t-shirts in support of survivors. The national Clothesline Project originated in Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1990 when members of Cape Cod's Women's Defense Agenda learned that during the same time that 58,000 soldiers were killed in the Vietnam War, 51,000 U.S. women were killed by the men who claimed to love them.
Members of the campus community are invited to come to the Fishbowl in the Jane P. Batten Student Center on Tuesday, October 22 and Wednesday, October 23, from 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Thursday, October 24 from noon – 4:00 p.m. Supplies are provided and the t-shirts will be displayed on campus. All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to participate!
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/
Female leaders are re-affirming the call and standing for a "Culture of Courage" more powerful than ever before. U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Virginia is hosting its 2019 Women in Green Leadership Luncheon on campus on Thursday, October 3, to explore what it means to have a Culture of Courage and celebrate the crucially needed and deliberate voice that women bring to society and the green building movement. The esteemed panel includes Michelle Amt, Director of Sustainability, Associate, VMDO Architects; Kimberlee Dobbins, Sustainability Coordinator, Virginia Beach Convention Center; Micaela Morris, Assistant Director of Facilities Management, Virginia Weselyan University; and moderator Lindsey Lijana, Project Manager, W.M. Jordan Company. Virginia Wesleyan students Monika Metro and Sophie Gonzales will also speak about climate change from a student's perspective. Register Now
The recent passing of journalist Cokie Roberts prompted reflection of her visit to Virginia Wesleyan University many years ago. The National Public Radio correspondent spoke during Fall Convocation in Cunningham Gymnasium on September 20, 1984. Her topic was "On the Elections." Geraldine Ferraro was Walter Mondale's running mate on that year's Democratic party ticket. Roberts had received the 1983 Women at Work Broadcast Award from the National Commission on Working Women. She later wrote to the Special Events Committee that "the day at Virginia Wesleyan was delightful." Her recent passing reminds the University community of the loss of a powerful voice for career women and freedom of the press.
Virginia Wesleyan University will celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Friday, November 8. Community members are invited to attend a special presentation from 10:30-11:00 a.m. in the Convocation Hall of the Jane P. Batten Student Center featuring a live discussion from Berlin with writer and musician Kai Reininghaus. Reininghaus is the author of "The Sound Behind the Wall" and was part of the underground music scene in Communist East Germany. Supported by an INTEL grant, this event is hosted by German students at VWU and is part of a larger German cultural day with students from Virginia Beach City Public Schools.
Virginia Wesleyan University's annual Founders Day, which was postponed due to Hurricane Dorian, has been rescheduled to coincide with Homecoming and Family Weekend. Founders Day Convocation will now be held on Friday, October 4, at 2:00 p.m. in the Joan and Macon Brock Theatre of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. Convocation will feature keynote speaker Eric Nyman '94, President of Hasbro North America and a VWU Trustee, and will honor Virginia Beach Police Chief James "Jim" Cervera with The Wesley Award. The event will be livestreamed on the VWU Digital Broadcasting Network and the Virginia Wesleyan University Facebook page.
The 2019 Alumni Awards have been incorporated into "Good Morning at the Goode" on Saturday, October 5, in the Eleanor and Henry Watts Grand Lobby and Gallery of the Goode Center. Invited guests will enjoy a program that includes the 2019 Alumni Awards, Scholar-Athlete Recognition, and a special presentation and dedication in honor of Robert T. Williams '75.
All guests are invited to the Homecoming FinFest on Saturday, October 5, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Marlin Way. The campus community will celebrate with fun and food trucks while mingling with favorite faculty members. Children can enjoy the inflatable bounce house, and Astro DJ will keep the party going with great music. Visit vwu.edu/homecoming for the full schedule of events.
The Steinway Spirio event originally scheduled for the evening of Founders Day has not yet been rescheduled. However, the Spirio piano is currently on display in the Watts Grand Lobby and Gallery of the Goode Center. More information about the Steinway Spirio event and campaign can be found here.
September 17 is recognized in the United States as Constitution & Citizenship Day to commemorate the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. Visit Hofheimer Library between September 10 and October 1 to view an engaging book display that examines a variety of constitutional issues and history.
With the start of a new fiscal year brings a change in leadership for the Virginia Wesleyan University Alumni Council. Troy DeLawrence '93 (Quality Assurance Senior Specialist, CACI International) will continue his service and guidance to the Alumni Council as chair. Rob Kohler '93 (Vice President, CraneTech Solutions, LLC) will transition to vice chair from his previous role as secretary. Rob Gillikin '00 (Attorney, Rutter Mills, LLP), who most recently served as chair of the Alumni Resource Committee, has been elected to serve as secretary. The Alumni Council will welcome new members and elect new committee chairs at its first business meeting of the fall semester.
VWU President Scott D. Miller was recently invited to submit a narrative describing Virginia Wesleyan’s institutional transformation as well as key takeaway points designed to inspire other institutions facing the challenges confronting small and mid-sized colleges and universities today. “Position for Strength” originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of Business Officer, the flagship magazine published by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) in Washington, D.C. "For many struggling institutions, regaining financial sustainability will require a combination of deliberate planning and concerted follow-up action, including revising the business model and employing tactics that can transform a campus," Dr. Miller writes in the article. "Pursuing such change will benefit the physical look, fundraising leverage, and overall financial posture of the institution, as stakeholders recognize that it’s no longer 'business as usual.'” He recommends that college and university leadership plan strategically, secure the right talent, rebrand across the campus, revamp programming, and refine their business practices. More
Work was recently completed on modernization and upgrades to Virginia Wesleyan's Intercollegiate Athletics Suite on the second floor of the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Through private funding, the entire suite—which houses all coaches' offices and administrative support—has been upgraded. Unique features include full-size glassed highlight posters for each sport adjacent to the respective head coaches' offices, and a completely renovated foyer with a large collage from our individual and team national championships. Improvements to the Jacklyn and Raymond D. Pearce Suite were also finalized this summer. Vibrant images of campus life and the adjacent community adorn the walls, and new seating and complete multimedia allow for a conference-like setup. The updates were funded by Mrs. Pearce and conceptualized based on feedback from the campus community on utilizing the space for presentations, workshops, and interactive meetings. An adjacent room to the Pearce Suite has also been renovated as a kitchenette and conference room serving the Athletic Department and the Pearce Suite. This room is named the Karen Yount-Merrell Conference Room in honor of the Pearces' niece.
“Big Old Work” by Professor of Art John Rudel has opened in the Neil Britton Gallery on campus and will be exhibited from August 1 - October 1. It represents an exhibition of large-scale paintings and mixed media works by Rudel spanning nearly 20 years. The exhibition employs expressive color, recognizable imagery, and abstract elements, and aggregations as a nexus point to ponder the role of history, psychology, science, politics, spirituality, aesthetics and humanity as an exploration of our perceptions of and place in the world. Reception TBA.
Each August, prior to the start of the fall semester, Virginia Wesleyan President Scott D. Miller delivers a State of the University Address to the campus community. The address includes highlights, initiatives and significant accomplishments from the past year, recognition of faculty and staff, points of pride, recent news and information, current campus projects and direction for the future. The 2019 State of the University Address will take place on Friday, August 23, at 12:15 p.m. The University will welcome Trustees, faculty, staff, and many friends in person. For students, alumni, and other friends of the institution, the State of the University will be livestreamed on the VWU Digital Broadcasting Network. More
Virginia Wesleyan University has named Dr. Elizabeth Malcolm, Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, as its campus sustainability director. “Dr. Malcolm has been an integral part of the growth and success of our program,” President Scott D. Miller wrote in a message to campus on July 22. “She is the steward of our Climate Action Plan, and her passion shines through in her work.” Dr. Malcolm received her B.A. in environmental science from Earlham College and her Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. Before joining the faculty at Virginia Wesleyan, she was a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University in the Department of Geosciences. Her research focuses on the environmental transport and chemistry of trace metal pollution, particularly mercury. Several undergraduate students have conducted research in Dr. Malcolm’s laboratory on projects such as the role of sea spray in mercury cycling, the impact of vegetated green roofs on runoff pollution, and the level of mercury in dolphins in Virginia. She teaches courses in meteorology, atmospheric science, climatology, and environmental chemistry. Virginia Wesleyan University’s institutional mission embraces social responsibility and participatory citizenship as essential parts of an undergraduate curriculum in the classroom, on campus, and in the community. Committed to the vitality of this program, the University will continue to advance the cause of sustainability and environmental stewardship. More
A special project was completed on campus this month with the clearing and surfacing of the Smith Drive and Lake Taylor trails on the south side of campus. The now extensive trail system has been named “The Trails at Wesleyan Woods” and is ideal for walking, hiking, jogging, and biking. Both trails can be accessed via the Honors Village parking lot. Since its founding, Virginia Wesleyan has enjoyed a rich heritage of abundant biodiversity and natural resources. Located on a picturesque, park-like, 300-acre campus, the University has trails, ponds and mature forests. Natural features include the Old-Growth Beech Forest, Longleaf Pine Forest, the living landscape gardens at Greer Environmental Sciences Center, Wilson Arboretum, Renn Reserve and Pond, Beverly Pond, Marlin Park and Pond, Wesleyan Woods, Lake Taylor, the SmartFlower (solar energy system), the VWU/ODU Climate Research Station, and the apiary. The scenic campus provides unique opportunities for teaching, research, health/fitness and outreach through camps and conferences, all central goals of the University's mission.
Twenty-three students from China are enrolled in the American Culture and Tourism Management Program this summer. The program combines academic credit for the students through VWU’s Recreation and Leisure Studies Department with an internship at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. They’ll live in the International Housing Village in Williamsburg and also have opportunities to explore other parts of the United States. VWU first launched this cultural exchange program in 2015 as the result of a partnership with US –China Century Education Group Corporation.
Phase I of a three-part renovation and upgrade plan for Virginia Wesleyan's Boyd Dining Center is nearing completion. Through $200,000 in private funds, the private dining area—also known as the Board of Trustees Suite—has been fully renovated. The Shafer Room (Board of Trustees Room), President's Dining Room, and main foyer have been completely renovated. The foyer now features portraits of the University's most generous and supportive benefactors, while the Board of Trustees Room includes portraits of the 10 Board chairs in Virginia Wesleyan's history. Urban Design of Virginia Beach completed architectural design, contractor supervision, and interior decoration for the project. Expected to be completed in the 2019-20 academic year, Phase II includes a $1.3 million remake of the Marlin Grille and an extensive renovation of the East/West Dining Rooms. The Marlin Grille renovation will likely occur between fall and spring semesters, and the East/West renovation will occur in summer 2020. Phase III will include an addition to the front of the dining center to include a Commons. Fundraising continues on this $3 million component.
The latest book by Terry Lindvall, VWU’s C.S. Lewis Endowed Chair in Communication and Christian Thought and Professor of Communication, has been recently released by NYU Press. “God on The Big Screen” is “A History of Hollywood Prayer From the Silent Era to Today.” https://bit.ly/30sQJUI
Lindvall received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, his Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, and his BA in Literature/Biology from Vanguard University. He has taught at Azusa Pacific University, Wheaton College, and Regent University. He was also a Visiting Professor at Duke University School of Divinity and the Walter Mason Fellow in Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary, as well as, a former president of Regent University.
The work of John Rudel, Professor of Art and Coordinator of Art Exhibits at VWU, will be exhibited at the Linda Matney Fine Art Gallery in Williamsburg during an art fair this fall. According to the Gallery website, the Linda Matney Gallery is dedicated to hosting exhibitions of innovative emerging artists, as well as displaying the work of more established national and international artists, including works of painting, installation, video, photography, sculpture and performance. Named after Linda Matney, who lost her battle with cancer in 2001, John Lee Matney and the Matney Family have established a research based contemporary gallery that develops thematic group shows and collaborative art projects with international and American artists in Virginia and elsewhere. To learn more, visit https://bit.ly/2SaAh8U.
With work in Eggleston Hall scheduled to wrap up in late June, all four Bray Village residential buildings will be complete. Each floor will have new restroom and shower facilities, complete with rain-style shower heads and other attractive fixtures. Utilities, including ventilation and HVAC units, are also being upgraded. The buildings of Bray Village are some of the institution's oldest and have served the University well over the years. The four buildings house 240 residential students on eight floors. The Village is also the location of several classrooms, faculty offices, and the Office of Campus Security. Incoming first-year students, arriving in late August, will be among the first to enjoy the enhanced spaces. More
A highly-accomplished group of 22 Batten Fellows and 23 Shumadine Scholars has been selected for the third cohort of the Batten Honors College of Virginia Wesleyan University. These top students have an extremely strong academic profile, with an average SAT of 1352, ACT of 29, and GPA of 4.16. Students hail from all over the United States—Virginia, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New York, and Wisconsin—as well as internationally with both China and the United Kingdom represented. The cohort will be welcomed to campus with a Batten Honors College Matriculation Ceremony on Friday, August 23, in the Greer Environmental Sciences Center. More
The Greer Environmental Sciences Center has been added to the International Living Future Institute's Biophilic Design Map—one of only two Virginia projects to be featured. The map is part of the Biophilic Design Initiative, which stems from demonstrated need for resources that can take the Biophilic Design practice from theory to reality (Biophilic Design is the practice of connecting people and nature within built environments and communities). According to the International Living Future Institute website, while progress has been made to communicate what Biophilic Design is and to demonstrate why it is crucial to a Living Future, very little information is available on the process of how to achieve it. The Living Future Institute has brought together leading experts in the field to achieve the goal of broad adoption of Biophilic Design among the design community, building owners and cities. The Biophilic Map is a databank for case studies, and living laboratories such as the Greer Environmental Sciences Center, which have implemented Biophilic Design at the core of their design process. It recognizes exemplary projects in articulating and applying Biophilic Design principles to the built environment. Learn more at living-future.org.
Congratulations to the 226 Marlins named to Virginia Wesleyan University's Spring 2019 Dean's List. The Dean's List recognizes undergraduate students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits.
Congratulations to the 84 Virginia Wesleyan University students named to the Spring 2019 President’s List, which recognizes full-time students who earned a 4.0 grade point average for the semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have taken nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses and have no grades of F or incomplete. A reception will be held during the Fall 2019 Semester to honor these outstanding students. Well done!
Congratulations to the newly elected officers of the Student Government Association (SGA) for the 2019-2020 Academic Year!
“They should be very proud of this accomplishment and the confidence placed in them to serve as a voice for their fellow students,” said President Scott D. Miller. “We thank them for taking on this very important task and for playing such a valuable role in the leadership of our campus.”
SGA Executive Officers
- President: Taylor Major
- Vice President: Nick Peterson
- Special Events Coordinator: Maya Davis
- Secretary: Isaac Guzman
Senior Class Officers:
- President: Danielle Davis
- Vice President: Tiara Cuffee
- Fundraising: Azania Inman
Junior Class Officers:
- President: Eric Fisher
- Vice President: Dazjae Johnson
- Finance Officer: Jordan Wiggins
Sophomore Class Officers:
- President: Landry Moffo
- Vice President: Grant Morgan
- Fundraising: Adela Huezo
- Finance Officer: Elijah Brown
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller has been named to the 2019 Inside Business "Power List" along with VWU Trustee Howard Kern, alumnus Taylor Franklin '04, and other friends of the University. The listing recognizes those who, according to Inside Business, are important to the future of Hampton Roads. Dr. Miller is one of the most experienced and prominent liberal arts college presidents in America, having led four colleges and universities for more than 28 years. Virginia Wesleyan has seen significant growth and development during Dr. Miller's tenure. Accomplishments include: transitioning to university status; strengthening the University's identity and earning a place among national liberal arts institutions; completion of two highly successful Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reviews (10-year reaffirmation and substantive change to graduate level) and a 10-year reaffirmation of affiliation review by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church; establishment of the highly selective Batten Honors College, a graduate program, and an online program; formulation of a 10-year Campus Master Plan, Corrective Maintenance Plan, Capital Campaign Plan and Academic Plan; construction of the new state-of-the-art Greer Environmental Sciences Center; structuring of the academic program into named schools; construction of the Frank Blocker Youth Center to house partner affiliates, YMCA Camp Red Feather and Tidewater Collegiate Academy; construction of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center; capital improvements of over $60 million with another $51 million throughout 2018-19; and initiation of Virginia Wesleyan's largest fundraising campaign. Previously, he served as President at Bethany College in West Virginia (2007-15), Wesley College in Delaware (1997-2007) and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee (1991-97). At LMU, he was just 31 years old at the time of appointment, the youngest college president in the nation. More
The No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan University softball team has earned the right to host the Regional Round of the Division III NCAA Championship this weekend. The Marlins will take on Scranton University (32-13) in their opening game, while No. 15 Manhattanville College (40-2) and Lynchburg (32-12) will square off in the other contest. The schedule for the first round will be as follows:
Friday, May 10
Game 1: Manhattanville vs. Lynchburg – 2 p.m.
Game 2: VWU vs. Scranton – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 11
Game 3: Winner of G1 vs. Winner of G2 - 12 pm
Game 4: Loser of G1 vs. Loser of G2 - 2:30 pm
Game 5: Loser of G3 vs. Winner of G4 - 4:30 pm
Sunday, May 12
Game 6: Winner of G3 vs. Winner of G5 – 12 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): Winner of G6 vs. Loser of G6 - 2:30 pm
The Marlins claimed an automatic bid after winning the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship title last weekend against Randolph-Macon. The title marked the program's fourth-straight and their 12th in program history. As back-to-back National Champions, Virginia Wesleyan University will look to defend its crown by way of a double elimination tournament between the four schools. The winner of this pod will advance to the Super Regional which takes place the following weekend (May 17-18).
Tickets for the games will be available for the following prices:
Adults - $10
Senior Citizen / Veteran - $8
Student - $7
Child (<12yrs) - $5
Child (<2yrs) - Free
Check out the entire NCAA Division III Championship bracket HERE: NCAA BRACKET
The traditional honorary tree planting for retiring Virginia Wesleyan faculty will be held on Thursday, May 9, in Wilson Arboretum at approximately 1:15 p.m. (rain or shine). Faculty members retiring at the end of this academic year include Bob Albertson, Professor of Management, Business, and Economics (40 years), David Garraty, Professor of Management, Business, and Economics (40 years), and Mavel Velasco, Professor of Hispanic Studies (32 years). Wilson Arboretum was established in 1995 by the VWU classes of 1986 and 1995 to honor the memory of William M. Wilson, Dean of the University from 1971 to 1994. The tradition of planting trees to recognize retiring faculty began in May 1997.
Five Virginia Wesleyan University cadets were recognized on April 18 at the 44th Annual Awards Ceremony for the U.S. Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Monarch Battalion. Zachary Raymond received the Association of the U.S. Army Award and Outstanding VWU Cadet; Robert Mazingo was presented with the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Award and Outstanding VWU Cadet; Gavin Steel earned the American Veterans of World War II Award and Outstanding VWU Cadet; Landry Moffo received the Outstanding Varsity Athlete Award; and Dakota Felkins-Beach was presented with the Military Order of World Wars Award. The Marlin Company was formalized on campus in February 1998 and operates as part of Old Dominion University’s Monarch Battalion. Through elective classes and field training, students receive valuable tools, training, and leadership experiences that may not only lead to military service but also become assets in any career field. Interested cadets should contact the Army ROTC Marlin Company office at email@example.com or 757.233.8870, or VWU ROTC Advisor Amy Rush at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455.3401.
In honor of Social Work Month in March, several Virginia Wesleyan juniors attended training courses offered by the City of Virginia Beach Human Services Department. The following students conducted eight-hour certification training in “Adult Mental Health First Aid”: William Phillips, Miya M. Inge-Arrington, Katlin Marie Mozingo, Erykah Lashay Scesco, Sarah Brush, Gillian Warrington, Jocelin James, Debbie Winters, Sarah Mattison Brown, Michelle Clark, Jetia Pressey, Tristen Roberts, and Casey Hills. Additional students received training on “Safe Sanctuaries/Child Abuse,” thanks to funding from The Lighthouse: Casey Hills, Jetia Pressey, Michelle Clark, Debbie Winters, Sarah Brush, Erykah Lashay Scesco, Tristen Roberts, William Phillips, and Katlin Marie Mozingo. The Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) is conducting a site visit on campus this month for the re-accreditation of Virginia Wesleyan's Social Work program. The University began offering a Bachelor of Social Work in the 2013-14 academic year.
Wansink and Collins Awarded 2019-2020 INTEL Grants
Professor of German Studies Susan Wansink and Instructor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Takeyra Collins are the recipients of faculty grants awarded by Virginia Wesleyan University's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). The grant awards were recently announced by Denise Wilkinson, Associate Dean of INTEL and Professor of Mathematics. Each grant provides up to $1,000 for a project that encourages and advances a culture of innovation and engaged learning activities. Congratulations to the 2019/2020 INTEL Grant Recipients!
Susan Wansink, Professor of German Studies - “Celebrating the Thirty Years since the Fall of the Berlin Wall”
Project Description and Impact: On November 10, 2019, Virginia Beach Public Schools students of German will travel to Virginia Wesleyan University to partake in a German cultural day revolving around the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, hosted by the German students at VWU. Students, along with the VWU community and the community at large will discover the history surrounding the Berlin Wall and its impact on Germany and the World. This project is a way to engage several communities to learn about this important time in history and to celebrate this commemorable event for its thirty-year anniversary. This project brings experiential learning beyond the classroom, to engagement with several communities.
Takeyra Collins, Instructor of Recreation and Leisure Studies - “Cultivating a Civically Engaged Campus through a Student-led Service Program: Extending our Purpose & Vision”
Project Description and Impact: This student-led service project will provide a revamped opportunity to improve academic and civic learning outcomes through a structured service-learning experience. The students who participate in this student-led service project will plan, organize, and implement activities to accommodate the homeless population in collaboration with three community organizations through an intensive and engaged week of service. This opportunity will further the civic engagement of students at Virginia Wesleyan University and allow them to apply their knowledge in an actual real-world setting. This project will support and strengthen the campus’ ability to use their knowledge towards a structured experience within the community to attain direct exposure in a real-world setting.
The Center will host a “Talk About Teaching” event in Spring 2020 to share the results and/or progress of these two top-notch projects.
Perhaps you’ve sampled the delicious Thai salad in Virginia Wesleyan’s Boyd Dining Center recently. If so, then you’re well aware of this appealing culinary winner. Sodexo Chef Peter Stine’s Roasted Chicken Thai Salad made the “10-Must-Try Thai Salads” list in the April edition of Food Management, a top food service trade magazine. Chef Peter creates this noteworthy delight for Virginia Wesleyan diners with marinated chicken paired with crunchy seasonal veggies. The super-summery salad includes red peppers, carrots, Bermuda onions, peas, red cabbage, late-harvest butternut squash, shredded broccoli, crispy noodles in a sesame-ginger vinaigrette. Yum!
Dr. Loren Loving Marquez has been appointed as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director of the Learning Center, effective June 17. Dr. Loving Marquez is currently Director of the Rhetoric Studio at Hampden-Sydney College and was previously Director of First Year Writing and Associate Professor of English at Salisbury University. A native of West Point, Virginia, she earned a B.A. in English from Christopher Newport University, an M.A. in English from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Ph.D. in English from Texas Christian University. She is also the author of several articles and book chapters on composition and writing instruction.
Twenty Virginia Wesleyan students will travel to the National Model United Nations Conference in New York City (NMUN NY) April 14-18 to participate in a simulation of the procedures and practices of the United Nations. The University’s United Arab Emirates delegation, led by Assistant Professor of Political Science Antje Schwennicke, includes students Benjamin Astrum, Faith Auad, Kayla Bennett, Olivia Biggers, Katherine Brockenbrough, Selena Chambers, Storie Cook, Hunter Draut, Lora Fara, Sarah Farkas, Amanda Gerni, Brittany Hockey, Courtney Holimon, Faith Macwana, Amber Matalus, Trevaughn McNeil, Alex Powers, Dalton Powers, Brianna Sandy, and Mollie Sequeira. Participation in the conference is part of the University’s “Model United Nations” course, which explores operations of the United Nations, including the UN’s bureaucratic structure, resolution writing, multilateral diplomacy, and issues in contemporary international politics. NMUN NY brings together more than 5,000 college and university students, more than half from outside the United States, to discuss current global issues and solve pressing concerns relevant to the 23 simulated UN committees. Students also have the opportunity to interact with permanent representatives to the UN and attend sessions at UN Headquarters. Learn more about the political science program at VWU.
Dr. Maynard Schaus, Vice President for Academic Affairs-designate, announced on April 5 the appointments of college/school deans for the 2019-20 Academic Year: Dr. Leslie Caughell, Dean of the Birdsong School of Social Science; Dr. Ben Dobrin, Dean of the D. Henry Watts School of Professional Studies; Dr. Vic Townsend, Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the Joan P. Brock School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences; and Dr. Paul Ewell, Dean of University College. Dr. Travis Malone continues as Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities, and Dr. Joyce Easter continues as Dean of the Batten Honors College. Dr. Caughell has a scheduled sabbatical for the fall semester and Dr. Linda Ferguson will continue as Dean during her absence.
Dr. Susan Larkin has been appointed as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Virginia Wesleyan, effective with the 2019-20 Academic Year. Dr. Larkin currently serves as Professor of English at VWU and has served on the faculty since 2008. A Rhode Island native, she received her B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Wheaton College, an M.A. in English, and a Ph.D. in English Studies from Illinois State University. She also holds a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Illinois State University. Dr. Larkin brings a wealth of experience to her new position, including leadership roles in the English Department, on Educational Programs Commission (EPC), Faculty Standards and Welfare (FSW) Commission, and as part of the executive committee of the campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). “She will play a key role in setting academic priorities, program development, and the appointment of the academic leadership team for the new year,” says Associate Provost Maynard Schaus, who will assume the role of Vice President for Academic Affairs in July.
The annual Robert F. Boyd Institute will take place April 8-9, 2019, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Scott Kisker. Dr. Kisker is an elder in the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, and he has served as senior pastor of Colesburg United Methodist Church in Colesburg, IA. Prior to coming to United Theological Seminary, he was a professor of history of christianity at Wesley Theological Seminary as well as Wesley’s Director of the Course of Study Program. Dr. Kisker served as the director of the Charles Wesley Heritage Centre in Bristol, UK, and as associate pastor for the American Protestant Church in Bonn, Germany. He is one of the hosts of “Plain Truth: A Holy-Spirited Podcast." His books include The Band Meeting: Rediscovering Relational Discipleship in Transformational Community, co-authored with Kevin M. Watson; Longing for Spring: A New Vision for Wesleyan Community, co-authored with Elaine Heath; Mainline or Methodist? Recovering Our Evangelistic Mission; and Foundation for Revival: Anthony Horneck, the Religious Societies, and the Rise of an Anglican Pietism. For registration and more information, please visit vwu.edu/boyd.
The following recommendations for faculty promotion and tenure were approved during the winter meeting of the Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees on February 20, President Scott D. Miller has announced.
Advancement from Assistant to Associate Professor and Conferral of Tenure:
Dr. Eric Johnson (Biology)
Dr. William McConnell (Education)
Dr. William Pruitt (Criminal Justice)
Dr. Jason Squinobal (Music)
Advancement from Associate to Full Professor:
Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne (Communication)
Advancement from Librarian I (Instructor Librarian) to Librarian II (Assistant Librarian):
Ms. Sherry Matis
The following statement from President Scott D. Miller appeared on March 1 in The President's Letter: Affirming VWU as an Inclusive Community:
"As many of you have heard, the Called General Conference of the United Methodist Church this week resulted in the current prohibitions within the Church on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy being upheld. The St. Louis conference proved deeply disappointing to those of us advocating for a change in the policies.
You may recall that I am a member of the 20-member Board of Directors of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church who drafted a statement in Arizona that was presented to the 93 presidents of Methodist institutions for ratification. The joint statement affirmed the Church's "core religious and humanistic values that all persons are of sacred worth and equal standing." In 2006, 2011, and 2013, the United Methodist college and university presidents presented to the Council of Bishops similar statements affirming the necessity of the Church's inclusion of all people.
My position and that of my fellow presidents has not changed. At this critical juncture for the Church, and despite the outcome of the Called General Conference, I wish to state, as president, that our institution stands by this affirmation, seeking broad inclusion and diversity of our campus community, and in every way possible, striving to instill respect, tolerance, and commitment to social justice in our students.
The final conference vote in St. Louis will likely lead to fracturing of the United Methodist Church as we know it, with various individual congregations expected to break away. For some Methodist colleges and universities, issues of church funding, branding, and affiliation remain to be resolved.
Members of our faculty and staff joined me in monitoring these developments, and I had previously been interviewed by a number of media organizations for my comments as president of a Methodist-affiliated institution. Here are several links to coverage of the Called General Conference and to some of the interviews I granted:
- "United Methodist university leaders call for LGBTQ acceptance by church," The Washington Post
- "Methodist university presidents call on denomination to amend LGBTQ policies," Religion News Service
- "Presidents Urge Methodist Church to End Antigay Rule," Inside Higher Ed
- "What will happen at the special session? Here's what United Methodists predict," Religion News Service
- "Methodists strengthen stance against gay marriage and openly LGBT clergy," CNN
- "United Methodist Church Votes To Keep Bans On Same-Sex Weddings, LGBTQ Clergy," NPR
- "United Methodists take to social media as General Conference decides on LGBT clergy, same-sex marriage," The Tennessean
- "United Methodist Church Votes to Strengthen Bans on Same Sex Marriage and Gay Clergy," TIME
- "United Methodist Church Splinters Over Some Members' Refusal to Accept LGBTQ Christians," HuffPost
What does all of this mean for Virginia Wesleyan University?
As I wrote to Bishop Sharma Lewis recently, our United Methodist heritage continues to inform our mission and inspire our civic outreach in numerous ways, through Wesleyan Engaged, our campus office of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, Marlin Ministries, and the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, among others.
We will continue building on our campus tradition of inclusion, collegiality, and mindfulness of social justice and civic-responsibility issues. All of these activities, in my view, are a direct outgrowth of our Methodist educational tradition by which we teach the value of informed opinion, civil discussion, and the importance of all persons having "sacred worth and equal standing."
Virginia Wesleyan University will always value its roots, look onward and upward, and honor its mission of intellectual, social, and spiritual growth. We wish the Church well and remain grateful for our historic affiliation with Methodists of many backgrounds, interests, and educational priorities."
To strengthen its flourishing pre-collegiate offerings, Virginia Wesleyan University has joined the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). NACEP is a professional organization for educational partnerships offering college-credit courses in high schools. Formally established in 1999 in response to the dramatic increase in concurrent enrollment courses throughout the country, NACEP serves as a national accrediting body for concurrent enrollment programs and supports members by providing standards of excellence, opportunities to network and share best practices, and access to information about research and national trends in dual and concurrent enrollment. VWU currently has dual- and concurrent- enrollment programs with schools such as Tidewater Collegiate Academy, Chesapeake Bay Academy, Cape Henry Collegiate, and Broadwater Academy. In addition to these partnerships, the University has substantial programs that touch many students across the region including the Advanced Scholars Program and the Summer Scholars Environmental Institute.
Photo gallery: Batten Honors College Competition Spring 2019
The Virginia Wesleyan community welcomed scholars from throughout the country February 7-9 for the second weekend of competition for the Batten Honors College. This year's competitors have a high school GPA of 4.24 (on a 4.0 scale) and an average SAT of 1371. The competition started with a pool of over 30,000 potential students; one-tenth of that group were deemed eligible in meeting preliminary requirements for the program, and only 117 out of 30,000 were invited to campus. With 40 seats available in the upcoming class, only three percent of those who meet the Batten Honors College admissions requirements will be admitted (20 receive full-tuition Batten Fellowships and 20 receive two-thirds tuition Shumadine Scholarships). The competition began Thursday with a welcome reception at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and continued Friday and Saturday with various interviews, campus tours, class visits, and panel discussions. Participating students and their parents attended a reception at Slover Library in downtown Norfolk on Friday evening. Acceptance decisions will be made in the coming weeks, and the third cohort will arrive on campus this fall. Learn more at vwu.edu/battenhonorscollege.
It was a warm welcome on a chilly day in the Jane P. Batten Student Center during Marlin Nation Orientation, held today for incoming freshmen, transfer students and students enrolled in VWU’s Evening and Weekend Program. The new Marlins were first greeted by Vice President Keith Moore and other members of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. The newcomers had the opportunity to meet staff from all areas of campus and to learn about the services and resources available. ROTC, Aramark and Sentara were also on hand to greet the newest members of VWU. The remainder of the day was reserved for important tasks such as securing campus IDs and finalizing schedules in preparation for the start of spring semester classes on Monday, January 28. It’s a great day to be a Marlin!
Virginia Wesleyan’s Ethics Bowl Team is preparing to compete in The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) 20th annual statewide collegiate Wells Fargo Ethics Bowl. The 2019 VWU team includes: Brandon Foster, Anitra Howard, Alex Powers, and Brianna Sandy. Faculty coordinator is Professor of Communication Kathy Merlock- Jackson. The team will deliberate ethics and social justice in the form of case studies, as they compete against other highly qualified teams from Virginia's 15 leading independent colleges and universities. Notable individuals from career fields including business, law, finance, education, and journalism will serve as judges, listening to presentations and offering reactions. While the location rotates among the VFIC institutions, this year's event will be held at Roanoke College, February 10-11. President Miller and VWU Professor of Philosophy Steven Emmanuel serve on the Ethics Bowl Committee.
Virginia Wesleyan University has planned several events to honor and celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition to the "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service" organized by Wesleyan Engaged: Center for Civic Leadership and Service Learning in collaboration with VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads, there are three events sponsored by Academic Affairs and Marlin Ministries. At noon today, in the Monumental Chapel, members of the campus community are invited to gather to hear Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” And this evening, January 21, and tomorrow evening, January 22, there will be an opportunity to listen to Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech (two-part series) in the Grille in the Jane P. Batten Student Center at 4:30 p.m. and then a discussion in Boyd Dining Hall at 5 p.m.
As the ongoing government shutdown continues to impact Coastal Virginia and the nation, Virginia Wesleyan University is taking action. The enrollment office announced today that it will waive tuition deposits for furloughed families. “We know this is a difficult time for many families,” said David Waggoner, Vice President for Enrollment. “This is a way we can help financially, while also ensuring that a young person’s education is not interrupted.” For more information, contact the Center for Enrollment Services at 757.455.3208 or email@example.com. On the other side of campus, the Wesleyan Engaged office is working with foodbanks across the region to host a non-perishable food drive. Goods collected will aid federal workers across Hampton Roads who are not receiving paychecks. Non-perishable foods can be dropped off at the Wesleyan Engaged office in the Batten Student Center until February 15. Virginia Wesleyan has experienced its own setbacks due to the shutdown. The Winter Session chemistry course “Metrology: Measurement Science,” a travel course to Washington, D.C., was cancelled due to closure of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. A second Winter Session travel course to D.C. was also impacted. Funding has also been affected for Dr. Audrey Malagon, Batten Associate Professor of Mathematics, who is developing course materials and leading workshops for faculty across the country as part of a grant she received from the National Science Foundation. “We rely on this funding to continue to make broad impacts on the teaching of undergraduate differential equations,” Malagon said.
The Board of Directors of the National Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities of the United Methodist Church (NASCUMC)—a group for which Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller serves as a member—met in Scottsdale, Arizona, recently to discuss the upcoming Called General Conference. A joint statement regarding issues coming before the Called General Conference in February was drafted by the NASCUMC board presidents and unanimously approved by all of those gathered for the winter meeting. Following the release of the statement, Religion News Service published the article: “Methodist university presidents call on denomination to amend LGBTQ policies.” Serving as a spokesperson for the presidential group, Dr. Miller is quoted in the article: “It is my disappointment and the feeling of many of my colleagues that this has been one of the reasons contributing to a decline in membership and attendance. The church has not stayed current with the people it serves.” President Miller was also interviewed by The Washington Post, and quoted in an article titled, "United Methodist university leaders call for LGBTQ acceptance by church." “This is a pivotal moment in the Methodist Church and a pivotal moment in Methodist higher education,” he says. The topic has also been covered by Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education's Daily Briefing, and in the Laredo Morning Times.
Congratulations to the following Virginia Wesleyan University students for being named to the President's List by achieving a 4.0 grade point average for the Fall 2018 semester!
Ann Marie Moffett
Congratulations to all Virginia Wesleyan University students who have been named to the Fall 2018 Dean's List. The Dean's List recognizes all students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. Well done! View the complete Fall 2018 Dean’s List.
Renovation of the Virginia Wesleyan University men's and women's basketball locker rooms was completed in the Jane P. Batten Student Center in January 2018. Custom finishes include wooden lockers, wall graphics, white boards, updated seating and carpeting, and more. Funding for this Marlin makeover was made possible by VWU Trustee and men's basketball alumnus Tassos J. Paphites '79. Thanks to the Paphites family for their generous support! View the photo gallery of the new locker rooms here.
Under the leadership of Head Coach Brandon Elliott, Virginia Wesleyan University won back-to-back NCAA National Softball Championships in 2017 and 2018. However, the Marlins earned a national championship in another important category last year by finishing first in the nation among NCAA Division III institutions in the Strike Out Cancer program. The team has once again showed the power of giving, raising a record-breaking $28,620 for the American Cancer Society last spring, surpassing their $25,000 goal. In nine years coordinating the event, the squad has raised a total of $131,032, ranking as the top Division III giver over the past three years, each year generating more gifts than the last. “We are extremely proud of these meaningful and selfless accomplishments,” said VWU President Scott D. Miller. “Kudos to Brandon Elliott and Marlin Nation on another impressive accomplishment.” The winners received pink Louisville Slugger bats, donated by Louisville's parent company Wilson Sporting Goods, Inc.
Virginia Wesleyan University’s Educational Policies Commission voted recently to approve a policy which will allow students from the Virginia's Community Colleges system with an associates' degree seamlessly transfer to VWU. The students would need only to take a course, “Seminar Three,” under the new general studies program, which goes into effect in fall 2019. All other general studies requirements would be satisfied by their associate's degree. “We are pleased this will eliminate barriers for students and grow our relationship with our local and state community colleges,” said VWU President Scott D. Miller. This is a timely accomplishment, as Virginia Wesleyan now has an Enrollment and Advising Office on Tidewater Community College's (TCC) Virginia Beach campus. Each Wednesday, representatives from Virginia Wesleyan work onsite at TCC to assist students who are interested in transferring to VWU. Virginia Wesleyan has a long-standing relationship with Tidewater Community College. Last year, the Virginia Beach College Success Scholarship was created to celebrate academic achievement and shared values benefiting the community. Learn more at www.vwu.edu/vbcollegesuccess.
During Winter Session, on Thursdays (January 10, 17 and 24, 2019), The Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL) and the director for Winter Session will co-sponsor three events in the atrium of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center entitled, “Cheers in Greer.” The sessions, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., provide an opportunity to celebrate VWU course experiences—both in and out of the classroom. Participants are invited to enjoy hot chocolate, snacks and cookies while learning about the engaging activities that are taking place in winter session courses.
Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and outside the classroom. Faculty Focus, an electronic newsletter published at the start of each month, celebrates these professional development successes and keeps the VWU community abreast of one other’s scholarly work. View news from the December 2018 issue of Faculty Focus and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWU's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL).
Consistent with Virginia Wesleyan's mission of service to its native Virginia Beach/Norfolk and Coastal Virginia heritage, the University has joined the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU). In particular, CUMU membership will strengthen VWU's civic engagement and continuing education programs as approximately 60 percent of members have received a Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement. CUMU was formed in 1989 by leaders of metropolitan and urban institutions who realized their unique challenges and opportunities as they looked to the future of higher education. Member institutions are an affiliate organization of about 100 universities in metropolitan areas that share common understandings of their institutional missions and values. CUMU is dedicated to the creation and dissemination of knowledge on the issues that face urban and metropolitan campuses and the communities they serve. More
The "Year of the Arts" continues at Virginia Wesleyan University. It began last December with the groundbreaking for the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center and has continued with various milestone events surrounding the new facility: the announcement of the forthcoming Steinway Concert Grand Piano; the signing of the steel beam as the final structural piece was raised into place; the unveiling of the building's cornerstone; and the many theatrical and musical performances that have taken place in Hofheimer Theater this fall as the University says farewell to the historic space as a mainstage. On November 26, President Scott D. Miller shared yet another landmark moment for the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. In a message to the campus community, he revealed the creation of a new logo that “captures the modern design of this magnificent facility and symbolizes the unique performances and artistic imagination that will come to life within its walls.” The logo was created by Christine Hall, VWU Associate Director of Communications and Design Manager, who was also instrumental in the rebranding of Virginia Wesleyan to a University as well as the new Marlin logo in athletics. Read more about the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center.
In true holiday spirit, Wesleyan Engaged: Center for Civic Leadership and Service Learning, the Black Student Union, Naturalista, and PORTFolio are working together to collect needed supplies for several organizations in our community, including Toys for Tots, For Kids, VA, Heartland Hospice, Seniors Unlimited, VA Beach SPCA, and Norfolk Animal Care Center. The VWU community is invited to donate the following items:
- Baking goods (including Corn Bread Mix)
- Blankets, Throws, old pillows, old bed linens, old towels
- Can goods (fruit, vegetables, etc.)
- Cleaning Supplies (dish soap, sponges, etc.)
- Coats (gently used)
- Coloring Books
- Craft Beads
- Hoodies (gently used)
- Toiletries (unopened)
- Paper towels
- Socks (Men's, women's, and children's new socks)
- Toys (Unwrapped and New)
- Wool for knitting
- Word search puzzles
All donations can be dropped off in the Wesleyan Engaged Office, located in the Jane P. Batten Student Center during office hours or in the marked box outside the Office after hours. To have donations picked up, please contact Wesleyan Engaged (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and outside the classroom. Faculty Focus, an electronic newsletter published at the start of each month, celebrates these professional development successes and keeps the VWU community abreast of one other’s scholarly work. View news from the November 2018 issue of Faculty Focus and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWU's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL).
With completion of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center four months away and construction beginning this week on the tree-lined, lighted pedestrian/bike path from the DeFord Gatehouse to the Goode Center, President Scott D. Miller announced that the broad outdoor terrace and pond on the front side of the building will be named the Susan Beverly Grand Terrace and Pond. Susan Beverly is a graduate from the Class of 1972 and a longtime educator who has served on the University's Board of Trustees for many years. “We are pleased to designate the terrace and pond in Susan's honor in view of her longstanding commitment to, and support of, Virginia Wesleyan University,” said Dr. Miller. Read more about the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center.
Virginia Wesleyan's Corporate Leaders Council met on campus Nov. 7 for their Fall Business Roundtable. Members heard campus updates, discussed plans for the future, and enjoyed a presentation by Joshua Harrison '20, Chief Executive Officer of the Marlin Prestige Business Conference. The Corporate Leaders Council is comprised of business leaders who align the University's vision and values in their management practices. Their personal and professional influence and support ensure that VWU students can participate in opportunities, such as internships, that will prepare them for meaningful lives and careers. Read more about the Corporate Leaders Council and view the full list of members.
Virginia Wesleyan University is prominently featured in Dr. Madeleine Green's "In Search of Curricular Coherence,” a report from the Teagle Foundation on curricular reform endeavors across the country. The Teagle Foundation works to support and strengthen liberal higher education, acting as a catalyst for improvements in teaching and learning in the arts and sciences.
The report is the result of the culmination of a 30-month grant from the Teagle Foundation that engaged Virginia Wesleyan faculty with faculty from Davis & Elkins College, Shenandoah University and Eckerd College in creating “a more compelling and coherent liberal arts curriculum.” The institutions aimed to use high-impact practices to ensure progressive learning and find effective ways to bring faculty together to create curricular change. The focus of their campus projects varied; initiatives included curricular mapping, general education reform, and the preparation of students for participation in high impact practices.
“The Teagle Foundation grant enabled faculty at partner institutions to share information on what works and, in the process, influence the national dialogue on reform in higher education,” says Timothy O'Rourke, VWU Provost and Vice President. “The Consortium brought together institutions with a strong history of curricular innovation; each campus had an active initiative, supported by the grant, to make further progress toward a curriculum that offers a clear roadmap to degrees and careers across all majors.”
VWU’s revised general studies program simplified the structure to include three basic components: language proficiency (English composition and a foreign language); a series of three seminars that all first-, second-, and third-year students must take; and a breadth or distribution requirement. This structure replaces one that included basic language competency, advanced writing requirements, seven epistemological approaches, and a senior integrative seminar. The three seminars in the new program are designed to build on each other, demanding increasing sophistication in reading and writing.
Prior to the launch of its Teagle project, Virginia Wesleyan established The Lighthouse: Center for Exploration and Discovery, bringing together three high impact practices under one roof: study away, internships, and undergraduate research. The goal was to provide a one-stop office for advising, instruction, and financial support to students who engage in these three experiences. Virginia Wesleyan also developed a developmental framework of knowledge and skill development in which students progress through four stages of learning. Virginia Wesleyan’s grant-funded work focused on ensuring that students are fully prepared for the three high-impact practices by asking faculty to review how their courses prepare students for these experiences and by engaging departments in reviewing how the courses in the major accomplishes this goal. Virginia Wesleyan now holds an annual “Port Day” that provides students with an opportunity to present a capstone experience in their undergraduate research, study away, or internship in panel or poster sessions.
Virginia Wesleyan’s departments also engaged in curricular mapping designed to create developmental pathways in major academic programs that improve student learning outcomes and that guide students for successful capstone experiences in undergraduate research, study away, or internships. Faculty examined in which courses particular learning outcomes were being achieved. Another goal was to make majors more transparent to students. As a result of the exercise, several departments modified their curricula.
In addition, Virginia Wesleyan enhanced its First Year Experience with its “Pathway to See Change” program aimed to help students define goals and discover strengths and interests.
Marlins are making a difference in the lives of friends, family, and coworkers this fall by walking in the American Heart Association Heart Walk. The event will take place Saturday, November 3, at Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach, and the Virginia Wesleyan team is a collaborative effort by the Office of Student Activities and Wesleyan Engaged: Center for Civic Leadership and Service Learning. “Our participation promotes a fun way to stay healthy while supporting the American Heart Association,” says Kate Griffin, Director of Student Activities. “We encourage our Marlin community to get involved by joining our walking team, donating to this wonderful cause, or sharing our team page.” The American Heart Association supports and advances groundbreaking research on cardiovascular disease, provides critical programs and services, and helps improve the health of many through education and advocacy. The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's premier event for raising awareness about the United States’ No. 1 and No. 5 killers—heart disease and stroke. Sign up to walk with the VWU team at www2.heart.org/goto/VWU.
The 2018-2019 fiscal year has brought positive growth and transition for the Virginia Wesleyan University Alumni Council, which exists to strengthen the bond between alumni and their alma mater. President Scott D. Miller has announced that Rob Kohler '93, Vice President at Crane Tech Solutions LLC, has been selected to serve as secretary of the Alumni Council. He joins Troy DeLawrence '93 and Kevin Otey '05 who serve as chair and vice chair, respectively. Rob Gillikin '00, Attorney at Rutter Mills LLP, will chair the Alumni Resource Committee, and Jennifer Smith Boyd '94, Realtor at Rose & Womble Realty, will chair the Alumni Engagement Committee. The Alumni Council also welcomes several new members: Brandi Calica '14, Events Manager for the We Promise Foundation of Chartway Federal Credit Union; Sydney Covey '15, Sustainability Solutions Manager at STRUCTR Advisors, a subsidiary of the Hourigan Group; Alisa Crider '10, Public Relations Coordinator with Hampton Roads Transit; and Dominique Fowler '12, Director of Student Activities and Leadership at Virginia Union University. The Alumni Council represents all VWU graduates by serving as advocates for the University. Members volunteer their time each year, actively participating in networking events, regional socials, Homecoming and Family Weekend, and generating ideas to increase alumni engagement.
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers have announced that “Shapers of American Childhood,” a book of essays on visionaries from L. Frank Baum to Dr. Spock to J.K. Rowling, is new on bookshelves today! The book is co-edited by VWU Professor of Communication Kathy Merlock Jackson and Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Mark I. West and is available at: https://mcfarlandbooks.com/p…/Shapers-of-American-Childhood/
The newly released book focuses on the experience of growing up in the U.S. and being shaped by many forces. Relationships with parents and teachers are deeply personal and definitive. Social and economic contexts are broader and harder to quantify. Key individuals in public life have also had a marked impact on American childhood. These 18 new essays examine the influence of pivotal figures in the culture of 20th and 21st century childhood and child-rearing, from Benjamin Spock and Walt Disney to Ruth Handler, Barbie’s inventor, and Ernest Thompson Seton, founder of the Boy Scouts of America.
Dr. Merlock Jackson teaches media studies and children’s culture at VWU. She is the author of eight books and the former editor of The Journal of American Culture. She is an officer in the Popular Culture Association.
Mark I. West is the chair of the English department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has written or edited a dozen books on children’s literature and culture and is a former president of the Children’s Literature Association.
Dr. Merlock Jackson and several members of the Virginia Wesleyan faculty have written chapters in the book:
Ruth Handler (1916–2002): Toys, Barbie and Girls’ Choices (Kathy Merlock Jackson)
Jonas Salk (1914–1995) and Albert Sabin (1906–1993): Conquering Polio (Kathy Shepherd Stolley, VWU Professor of Sociology)
Judy Blume (1938–): Shaping Subjects (Susan Larkin, VWU Professor of English)
Steve Jobs (1955–2011): Technology for a Beginner’s Mind (Lisa Lyon Payne, VWU Associate Professor of Communication)
The 2018-19 Academic Year marked the start of several promotions for VWU faculty members, including advancement from assistant to associate professor and conferral of tenure for Dr. Kathleen Casey (History), Dr. Leslie Caughell (Political Science), and Dr. Jennifer Slivka (English), and advancement from associate to full professor for Dr. Paul Ewell (Management, Business, and Economics), Dr. Hilve Firek (Education), Dr. Gabriela Martorell (Psychology), and Dr. Stuart Minnis (Communication). George Jackson received conferral of tenure, and Sophie Rondeau advanced to Librarian III (Associate Librarian). Congratulations!
Dr. Soraya Bartol (Biology), Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne (Communication), Dr. Kevin Kittredge, (Chemistry), Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson (Biology), and Dr. Taryn Myers (Psychology) are also approved for faculty sabbaticals.
Wesleyan Engaged: Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning will host its second annual Civic Engagement Workshop, a meet and greet with several of the University’s community partners, on Thursday, September 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Pearce Hospitality Suite in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. The workshop gives Virginia Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to engage with various non-profits from the Coastal Virginia area to gain a better understanding of how the organizations work with VWU to aid the community. Agencies attending include: African American Cultural Center, Inc., Bridge Builders of Hampton Roads, Chesapeake Bay Academy, Envision Lead Grow, ForKids, Inc., Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, Hampton Roads Pride, Heartland Hospice, Heritage UMC, LIFT Fitness Foundation, New St. John Foundation, Norfolk Parks and Recreation, Norfolk Public Library, Samaritan House, Seniors Unlimited Lifestyles, Inc., Seton Youth Shelters - Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program, Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, Untamed Spirit Therapeutic Riding, VA811, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach GrowSmart, Virginia Beach Human Services Department - Behavioral Health Division, Virginia Beach Office of Volunteer Resources, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, Virginia Beach Public Libraries, VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads, and Young Audience Arts for Learning Virginia. Learn more about Virginia Wesleyan University community partners.
Each member of Virginia Wesleyan University's faculty and staff contributes to the campus community in unique and important ways, devoting time to students and working to create and sustain a thriving place to live and learn. Making a financial gift to VWU’s Excellence Fund is an additional way to support our mission, and employees will come together to do just that, starting October 1, through the 2018 faculty and staff campaign, “Your Gift is Your Voice.” When faculty and staff make a gift to the Excellence Fund, they are demonstrating their sincere belief in Virginia Wesleyan University and its students. Every gift, of any size, makes an impact, providing valuable support for students, opportunities for undergraduate research, internships, study-away experiences, and much more. Learn more about the Excellence Fund at www.vwu.edu/giving or make a gift at www.vwu.edu/giveonline.
Featured faculty and staff share their latest professional pursuits in print, presentations and panels, grants and other accomplishments. Read about the latest accomplishments and best practices of Virginia Wesleyan University faculty and staff in this month's VWU Faculty Focus.
Who can vote? At different times in American history, the right to vote has been restricted on account of race, age, gender, literacy, property, wealth (in the form of poll taxes), and length of residency. Even today with universal suffrage, questions remain regarding voter identification at polling places and the purging of registration rolls. The case of Virginia Minor, who argued to the Supreme Court in 1875 that the 14th Amendment gives women the right to vote, offers a window on the past, present, and future of the right to vote in America.
On Thursday, September 20, at 12 p.m. in the Pearce Hospitality Suite, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy O’Rourke discusses “the fundamental political right” that is “preservative of all rights.” Dr. O’Rourke has testified before both U.S. House and Senate committees on voting rights and redistricting issues, and his expert testimony has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court.
A new case study released this month highlights Virginia Wesleyan’s 20+-year relationship with Aramark in managing VWU’s facilities. The study credits President Scott D. Miller’s bold leadership and the University's long-time relationship with Aramark in driving recent campus improvements and expansions.
“Under the leadership of Dr. Scott D. Miller, VWU has become a model of campus transformation in a time of unprecedented competition in higher education. In just three years, Dr. Miller elevated the academic program, executed several new construction projects, and significantly boosted fundraising and new student enrollment.”
In addition to Virginia Wesleyan’s partnership with Aramark, the case study highlights successes such as creating a master plan with impressive outcomes and securing $600K in donor funding for corrective maintenance. Increased fundraising from many sources has allowed acceleration of initiatives first identified through the comprehensive master plan process, including completion of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center; the new Frank Blocker Youth Center, which serves the Tidewater Collegiate Academy during the academic year and YMCA Camp Red Feather during the summer months; landscaping and curb appeal improvements that improve traffic flow, define campus boundaries, and align with both a change to University status and a physical address change to Virginia Beach; construction of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center and the upcoming Oxford Village complex; improvements to the Kenneth R. Perry baseball field, the new Tom and Betty Broyles Field at TowneBank Park for VWU’s NCAA national champion softball team, the new Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center, and relocation of the University's Alpine Tower.
For more information and to read the entire case study, visit campusinsights.aramark.com.
A new and improved Bray Village is in the works! All seven buildings in Bray Village are scheduled for facility improvements this fall. Bray Village includes Birdsong Hall, Aubrey L. Eggleston Commons, Peter D. Pruden Hall (academic building), and four residence halls: Louise W. Eggleston Hall, Abel E. and Clara Eaton Kellam Hall, Margarette Hanes Old Hall, and the Paul Howard Rose Hall.
The improvements include full replacement of all showers and bathrooms, painting, and corrective maintenance care. Recently, external painting and blacktopping to the back of Bray Village from Smith Drive was completed.
Starting with Rose Hall, each residential building will be taken offline on a rotating basis for a period of two-three months while upgrades are made. After Rose Hall is completed, attention will turn to Kellam Hall. Students residing in Kellam will be reassigned to Rose to enjoy the enhanced facilities. Similarly, students in Old and Eggleston Halls will move to the most recently completed building as the project progresses.
From ceiling to floor, tiles to fixtures, these improved spaces will have a positive impact on the student experiences of our newest Marlins who reside in these residence halls.
Sentara Sports Medicine is now helping to care for Virginia Wesleyan student-athletes, VWU President Scott D. Miller has announced. Under a new partnership, Virginia Wesleyan provides oversight for the athletic training program through Head Athletic Trainer Nicole Curry, and Sentara Sports Medicine supplements those efforts with a team of certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, and exercise physiologists who work with primary care physicians and orthopedic surgeons. All athletic training and sports medicine services will be housed in the Bonnewell Athletic Training Room in the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
"This new relationship with Sentara Sports Medicine will enhance our athletic training services in an efficient manner to our 22 sports," said President Miller. "“Clearly, this is a win-win partnership for Virginia Wesleyan University and our student-athletes. We're happy to welcome Sentara Sports Medicine to our campus.”
Last year, Virginia Wesleyan partnered with Sentara Healthcare to operate the University’s Health Center, located in Allen Village. Sentara Healthcare is a not-for-profit health system serving Virginia and North Carolina, with 12 hospitals, outpatient care centers, imaging centers, and more.
VWU Associate Professor of Biology Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson was one of four women in STEM careers featured in a front page story in The Virginian-Pilot on August 19. The feature, written by Katharine Hafner, provides an insightful look at the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields in an article titled, “Meet some of today’s Hidden Figures in Hampton Roads.” Gonsalves-Jackson, who began teaching at Virginia Wesleyan 13 years ago, shares her journey as a scientist, from growing up in a Spanish-speaking community in Massachusetts to being one of the few women who continued on to pursue her doctorate in the sciences. Read the full story.
Virginia Wesleyan University will be honored with the 2018 National Philanthropy Day award as the Outstanding Non-Profit in Fundraising by the Hampton Roads chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), VWU President Scott D. Miller has announced. The award will be received at the November 28 luncheon at the Hilton Norfolk The Main, and according to AFP's nomination guidelines, "honors a nonprofit organization with a strong development/fundraising program...successful and creative campaigns... a strong infrastructure and commitment to best practices and ethics in philanthropy." In a message to campus, Dr. Miller acknowledged the University’s Center for Advancement (the fundraising and alumni- and parent-relations division of VWU) and expressed gratitude to those who make the institution’s success possible—the Board of Trustees, alumni and friends, corporations and foundations, faculty, staff, and students, parents and families, and other contributors. “Their financial support to The Excellence Fund, endowed scholarships, capital projects, academic innovation, and many other programs and purposes at VWU enriches our mission of teaching, scholarship and service,” he said. “We thank all of our donors for their consistent and heartfelt investment of trust and personal resources.” President Miller also recognized that the achievements of Virginia Wesleyan’s faculty and students inspire giving: “Their success in our classrooms and labs, the library, on the playing courts and fields, and in the communities we serve warrants our donors' engagement with our University and the financial support that follows.” Virginia Wesleyan joins the following honorees in other categories: Richard and Leah Waitzer, Outstanding Philanthropists; The Dragas Companies, Outstanding Corporation; Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Outstanding Foundation; Serena Amerson, Outstanding Fundraising Professional; Wendy Drucker, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser; and The Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Outstanding Community Organization. VWU's own Tiffany Williams, Director of Stewardship and Special Gifts in the Center for Advancement, serves as president of Junior League. More
With the start of a new fiscal year brings a change in leadership for the Virginia Wesleyan University Alumni Council. Troy DeLawrence '93 (Quality Assurance Senior Specialist, CACI International) will succeed Mavis McKenley '11 (Vice President and Trust Officer, AMG National Trust Bank) as chair of the Alumni Council (view photo). DeLawrence most recently served as the vice chair of the Council and as chair of the Alumni Resource Committee. Kevin Otey '05 (Director of Strategic Initiatives, Hampton Roads Community Action Program) will transition to vice chair from his previous roles as secretary of the Alumni Council and chair of the Alumni Engagement Committee. McKenley will continue to support the Council as immediate past chair. “We thank Mavis for her two years of service as chair,” said VWU President Scott D. Miller. “During her tenure, alumni participation and engagement continued to rise through new initiatives such as our Spring Alumni Weekend and regional alumni gatherings. We are grateful for her leadership and look forward to her continued guidance.” The Alumni Council will elect a new secretary and new committee chairs at their first meeting at the start of the fall semester. View a complete list of Alumni Council members.
Virginia Wesleyan University has again been recognized for its committed implementation of high-impact educational practices, earning its title as one of the nation’s Colleges of Distinction. The University has proven itself to be at the forefront of American higher education with a modern, student-centered approach to teaching. With a unique learning environment, its programming engages students with character-building "First-Year Experience" seminars, community-based learning programs and service-learning opportunities, alternative Spring Breaks, diversity and global learning programs, intensive language and writing courses, interdisciplinary programs, undergraduate research, living-learning communities, senior capstone projects, study away programs and internships, and more. Colleges of Distinction’s selection process consists of a review of each institution’s freshman experience and retention efforts alongside its general education programs, alumni success, strategic plan, student satisfaction, and more. Schools are accepted on the basis that they adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes. “Colleges of Distinction is far more than a ranking list of colleges and universities,” said Tyson Schritter, Chief Operating Officer for Colleges of Distinction. “We seek out the schools that are wholly focused on the student experience, constantly working to produce graduates who are prepared for a rapidly changing global society. Virginia Wesleyan University stands out in the way it strives to help its students to learn, grow, and succeed.” For nearly 20 years, Colleges of Distinction has honored schools throughout the U.S. for their excellence in undergraduate-focused higher education. For more information, visit CollegesofDistinction.com.
VWU Professor of History Clay Drees has been chosen from among professors nationwide to teach a course on "Tudor England" as part of a six-week summer 2019 institute at Harlaxton College in Lincolnshire, England. Virginia Wesleyan students will be encouraged to accompany Drees to Harlaxton as part of VWU's Study Away Program.
Drees, a two-time recipient of the Samuel Nelson Gray distinguished teaching award (1998 and 2015), teaches courses in medieval and early modern European, African and Islamic history at Virginia Wesleyan. Drees served as VWU’s director of the general studies program (1999-2005) and as chair of the social science division (2005-11). His published books include Authority and Dissent in the English Church (Edwin Mellen, 1997), The Late Medieval Age of Crisis and Renewal (Greenwood, 2001) and Bishop Richard Fox of Winchester: Architect of the Tudor Age (McFarland, 2014). In January 2018, Drees began a two-year term as national president of the Phi Alpha Theta honor society in history. He earned his doctorate from the Claremont Graduate School in California in 1991, after teaching high school for seven years, two years with the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
In 2016, Virginia Wesleyan became a part of the Harlaxton College (England) partnership. Best College Reviews has ranked the University of Evansville's British campus - Harlaxton College - the best study-abroad program for American students, noting they offer a program of study that “directly addresses the challenges of living in an international community and the necessity of adopting a global view.”
The Center for Sacred Music presents its first of three “4th Thursday Summer Sings” tonight, with community partner Christ & St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Norfolk. VWU’s Applied Music Instructor for Voice and Music Director at Great Bridge Presbyterian Church, Billye Brown Youmans, will serve as guest conductor for “Handel’s Messiah,” and Kevin Kwan, music director and organist at Christ & St. Luke’s, will accompany. The massed choir, which includes 81singers from throughout the region, will gather at 7 p.m. for a run-through, then sing through the choruses at 8 p.m. Listeners are welcome! The church is located at 560 W. Olney Road, Norfolk.
July 26 – “Mozart’s Requiem in D minor,” Kevin Kwan, conductor; Brad Norris, organist
August 23 – “Mendelssohn’s Elijah,” Chuck Woodward, conductor; Stephen Cook, organist
For more information visit www.vwu.edu/csmSING
Spring 2018 President’s List Announced
Congratulations to the following Virginia Wesleyan University students for achieving a 4.0 grade point average for the Spring 2018 semester!
Albert, Amanda C.
Allen, Sydnie E.
Archer, Amanda C.
Bateman, Kelly J.
Bowman, Sandra C.
Brisson, Elizabeth C.
Brockenbrough, Mary K.
Burton, Katherine E.
Caldbeck, Emilee K.
CallawayIII, LeMar III
Cariker, Tiffany M.
Cheely, Jacklyn A.
Chevalier, Madalyn A.
Chism, Allison T.
Conrad, Riley M.
Dennis, Kayla M.
Espejo, Samantha N.
Fegan, Christopher D.
Fetter, Lynne G.
Foster, Brandon L.
Gerrish, Kathryn L.
Gower, Mary A.
Grainer, Kathryn A. S.
HanburyII, Vernon K. II
Harrison, Shana L.
Herring, Elise R.
Horgan, Abigail L.
Jakubowski, Michael E.
Johnson, Andrew B.
Jones, Catalina A.
Kline, Ashley A.
Klobosits, Miranda A.
Latvis, Jordan N.
McCourty, Mayanni A.
Nimmo, Travon D.
Novkovic, Brooke L.
O'Connor, Lydia M.
O'Rork, David R.
Peloquin, Kathleen M.
Peterson, Ashley N.
Phillips, R. K.
Pittman, Jessica C.
Powers, Alex M.
Puchalla, Sarah M.
Rast, Mickella J.
Reed, Morgan M.
Roberts, Kathleen E.
Robins, Kelsi P.
Ronquillo, Aimelie E.
Santos, Charlene V.
Seutter, Skye M.
Shuman, Joshua G.
Smart, Samuel J.
Smith, Serena V.
Suter, Jessica R.
Taylor, Alyssa M.
Tyler, Yasmine N.
Vandiver, Kelci L.
WallaceJr., Keith Jr.
Wentling, Luke E.
Wertz, Kaci N.
Wilson, Tayler L.
President Miller announced that Virginia Wesleyan University has received a $250,000 challenge grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation for updates and the purchase of new Steinway pianos for VWU’s existing Fine Arts Building. The University will have one year to raise the matching funds for the grant, which will allow for updated and modernized finishes, new windows, upgraded HVAC systems, and improved lighting. Updating the existing Fine Arts Building is a top priority identified in the University's 10-year Campus Master Plan. The Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center (scheduled for completion in March 2019) will provide a state-of-the-art performance space for theater, choral and music programs, and the existing Fine Arts Building will continue to serve as home to painting, ceramics, photography, and sculpture studios, as well as practice and rehearsal space for choral and instrumental programs.
“We aspire to eventually achieve “All-Steinway Status” as an institution,” said President Miller. “With the upgrades made possible by this grant, the Fine Arts Building will have the appropriate climate controls required for Steinway pianos. It is our goal to then replace the building’s existing pianos with new Steinway and Boston (Steinway-designed) pianos.”
An American company founded in 1863, Steinway is considered the world’s finest piano manufacturer. “All-Steinway Status” represents commitment to high-quality music making by ensuring that 90 percent of the pianos are Steinway or Steinway-designed pianos, and that pianos in all performance and studio spaces are Steinway concert pianos. Presently, only six higher education institutions in Virginia, and 175 nationally, have achieved this designation.
To help the University match this challenge from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, please contact Virginia Wesleyan’s Center for Advancement at 757.455.3217.
The results of the Student Government Association election for the 2018-2019 Academic Year are in!
Congratulations to the following students on their new or continued appointment:
Student Government Association Executives
President: Anthony Bowden ’19, Business (Suffolk, Virginia)
Vice President: Taylor Major ’20, Recreation and Leisure Studies (Parksley, Virginia)
Secretary: Molly Delmont '21, Undeclared (Glen Allen, Virginia)
Treasurer: Celvin Pelaez-Gonzalez '21, Business (Ocean City, New Jersey)
Special Events: Jennifer Vega '21, Political Science and Theatre (Chesapeake, Virginia)
Senior Class Officers
President: Alisha Milliosa '19, Psychology (Newport News, Virginia)
Vice President: Amanda Gerni '19, Environmental Studies and Political Science (Moyock, North Carolina)
Finance Officer: Cassandra Caldwell '19, Biology (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Fundraising Officer: Jakob Steward '19, Theatre (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Junior Class Officers
President: Elizabeth Hipple '20, Chemistry (Blacksburg, Virginia)
Vice President: Taylor Anderson '20, Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies (Norfolk, Virginia)
Finance Officer: Jazmine Rogers '20, Psychology and Criminal Justice (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Fundraising Officer: Alexis Butler '20, Biology (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Sophomore Class Officers
President: Aleigha Johnson '21, International Studies and Political Science (Limerick, Pennsylvania)
Vice President: Ezekiel Herrera-Bevan, '21, Undeclared (Ypsilanti, Michigan)
Finance Officer: Vacant
Fundraising Officer: Dazjae Johnson '21, Biology (Chesapeake, Virginia)
Virginia Wesleyan’s Spring 2018 Port Day is scheduled for Thursday, May 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Port Day is a signature program of the University, designed to demonstrate and promote the academic achievements of students who are completing capstone undergraduate research, internship, and semester study-away experiences. On Port Day, no classes, meetings, or athletic events are held during the day, allowing the entire campus community to celebrate the accomplishments of our students, learn about the good work completed, and hear about the transformative power of participation in capstone academic experiences. View the complete Port Day schedule at: http://www.vwu.edu/academics/p
Congratulations to the 2018 recipients of Virginia Wesleyan University's Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL) faculty grants! Each grant provides up to $1,000 for a project that encourages and advances a culture of innovation and engaged learning-related activities. Recipients are:
Dan Margolies, Department of History, and Eric Johnson, Department of Biology
Proposal Title: Pollinator Behavior and Hive Maintenance in a Sustainable Greenhouse Observation Hive at Virginia Wesleyan University
This project creates a new experience for both the general public and students across disciplines to learn about and observe honeybee hive management both locally and afar. It involves the development and deployment of core apicultural knowledge with an unparalleled resource focused on both outreach efforts and enhancing the experimental capabilities of the VWU beeyard and greenhouse. This project will include the installation of a sustainable observation (glass-sided) hive in the new VWU greenhouse to accomplish two goals. 1) To increase the outreach capacity and utility of the greenhouse by implementing a user-driven high-resolution webcam on a managed bee colony; 2) To develop observation driven apicultural knowledge focused on experimental use of the VWU beeyard and the electronically monitored observation hive in INST 161.
Jason Squinobal, Department of Music, and Katrina Henry, Department of Physics and Earth and Environmental Science
Proposal Title: Lecture Demonstrations of Waves for STEM and Music classes
Waves and sound are topics that crosscut the curriculum at Virginia Wesleyan. From physics to music, physical science (teacher education) to oceanography, waves and sound are a significant portion of the coursework in a over a dozen courses in the Goode and Brock schools. Concepts of wave frequency, wavelength, wave speed, wave addition and interference are applicable in physics, oceanography, mathematics, and music. This proposal seeks to purchase demonstration equipment that will illustrate waves and sound (the latter is itself is a wave). The authors will construct an online database, accessible to VWU faculty, containing Equipment Information Sheets for each piece of equipment (example is shown on the last page of this document). The sheets will categorize the equipment, describing the demonstrations that could be performed from each piece, and list its location and the contact person for that equipment. The Equipment Information sheets, written by both coauthors, will seek to provide lecture demonstration activities that suture the interface between sound and waves so that students from either side (arts/humanities or STEM) and step into the others world and see greater clarity in their own. Music majors will have the opportunity to experience and explore the physics of musical sound and make connections between the scientific aspects of music that compliment the student's artistic training. Music Technology will benefit by a greater understanding of elusive sound ways and how they can be manipulated, by conducting demonstrations of physical and visual representations of sound waves using the equipment purchased with the this grant.
Virginia Wesleyan Singers, led by Assistant Professor of Music Bryson Mortensen, have returned from their travels to New York City after performing at one of the world's most famous concert venues—Carnegie Hall. They performed alongside choirs from across the country, including some very close to home—Great Bridge United Methodist Church Choirs from Chesapeake and the Tallwood High School Choir from Virginia Beach. An encore performance of their Carnegie Hall concert is scheduled for Saturday April 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Great Bridge United Methodist Church (201 Stadium Dr., Chesapeake). Admission is free and open to all.
Congratulations to Dr. Mortensen, as this was his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall, and bravo to the following student choir members:
Deidra Benn Tamia Ponder
Shelby Emch Tara Truax
Marissa Gross Emily Vial
Aleigha Johnson Amanda Waller
Yaminah Lewis Ryan Fissinger
Marissa Phillips Andrew Harrelson
Shannon Ponack Nicholas Hipple
Serena Smith Adam Kurek
Jennifer Vega Michael McOsker
Cora Wilson Jackson Simmons
Nailah Alston-Izard Taylor Simpson
Jeannie Barnes Myles Baynard
Morgan Boyd Dante Copeland
Kimberly DeHart Robert Jones
Daria Ellis Jonathan Joyner
Patrice Glover William Lanagan
Miah Kurtz Scott Lassiter
Katherine Pangborn Thomas Reinhold
International Studies major Selena Chambers ‘19 has been awarded a $4,500 scholarship to study abroad in Amman, Jordan in fall 2018 with the School for International Training (SIT). The award, from the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA), will enable Chambers to study Arabic, international relations, peace studies, and engage in research methods. She will also undertake an internship with a local organization or business. Chambers was selected from 2,300 applicants, representing 517 U.S. colleges and universities. Chambers’ FEA award will be supplemented by Virginia Wesleyan University’s Global Scholars Program, a competitive program that supports semester study abroad. Launched in 2012, the VWU Global Scholars Program provides supports study abroad by funding a semester of foreign study immersion for students to broaden their intellectual and cultural horizons. The program is open to Virginia Wesleyan students in all majors.
Gamma Sigma Epsilon (Epsilon Epsilon Chapter) inducted its new members on April 18. The national chemistry honor society, founded in 1919 at Davidson College, has 83 active chapters throughout the United States. Active members of the chapter are students who have completed a minimum of 16 credit-hours in chemistry with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in all chemistry courses and at least a 3.0 overall grade point average. Joyce Easter, dean of the Batten Honors College and professor of chemistry is the sponsor for VWU’s society.
Congratulations to the following new members:
Amanda Albert, '19
Cassandra Caldwell, '19
Austin Davis, '19
Kaylah Duplain, '20
Christopher Fegan, '20
Rachel Fuller, '19
Elizabeth Hipple, '20
Monika Metro, '20
Poonam Patel, '19
Ricky Perrault, '19
The new members join 10 previously initiated members, five of whom are the officers who presided over the initiation ceremony.
Kellen Phillips, ’18 Grand Alchemist (president)
Corentin Villot, ’18 Alchemist Apprentice (Vice President)
Kyle Richardson, ’19 Keeper of the Formulae (Recorder)
Leslie Hackney, '18 Keeper of the Solvents (Treasurer)
Nicole Holmes, '19 Sargent at Arms
Alexandra Ghazaleh, ’18
Amy Large, ’18
Shane McPherson, ’18
Duncan Miller (Dec 2017)
Stephanie Norwood, ’18
Six Virginia Wesleyan cadets—members of the Marlin Detachment—were recognized with awards at the 43rd Annual President’s Review and Awards Ceremony for the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Monarch Battalion at Old Dominion University.
Congratulations to the following VWU students for these garnering these exemplary awards:
Society of the War 1812 Award
Jake Morgan '18
Daughters of the American Revolution Award
Joseph Fairbanks '18
AUSA Military History Award
Joseph Fairbanks '18
Outstanding VWU Cadet
Zachary Raymond '20
Gavin Fry '19
Joseph Fairbanks '18
Outstanding Varsity Athlete
Rolanda Taylor '18
Distinguished Military Students
Joseph Fairbanks '18
Alexander Gallant '18
Jake Morgan '18
The Army ROTC Marlin Detachment operates as part of ODU’s Monarch Battalion. Through an elective curriculum, participating students receive valuable tools, training, and leadership experiences that not only may lead to military service but also become assets in any career. Students also have access to an ROTC grant of $1,000 that can be applied to tuition during their freshman and sophomore years. Amy Rush, deputy director of The Lighthouse: Center for Exploration and Discovery, has served as the advisor to VWU’s ROTC students since 2012.
The annual Justine L. Nusbaum Lecture, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, is scheduled for Monday, April 23, from 7-8 p.m. in the East Dining Room of Boyd Dining Center. In this year’s presentation, “How to Be Less Stupid About Race: Racism and Anti-racism in Our Classrooms and Communities,” esteemed author and professor Dr. Crystal Fleming will illustrate why Americans of all ethnicities are ignorant about race. The event is free and open to the public.
The lecture will preview Dr. Fleming’s forthcoming book, How to Be Less Stupid About Race: The Essential Guide to Confronting White Supremacy, highlighting how institutions and patterns of thinking systemically reinforce racial ignorance on all sides of issues. It will show how, if we are to be “less stupid about race,” we need to take concrete steps toward deeper understanding. Dr. Fleming is an associate professor of sociology and Africana studies at SUNY Stony Brook. She is an award-winning writer, speaker and educator committed to empowering individuals and communities with the conceptual tools needed to understand, confront and challenge white supremacy.
Earlier in the day on April 23, Dr. Fleming will lead a workshop for VWU students, co-sponsored by the CSRF, the President's Council on Inclusive Community, and the Office of Student Activities. “How to Be Less Stupid About Race: A Workshop for Students of All Backgrounds” will examine how U.S. citizens of all racial and ethnic backgrounds are socialized to be ignorant about race. It will offer practical steps for removing barriers created by assumptions and misconceptions and provide a roadmap for building a more civil and inclusive community. This event will take place in GESC 155 from 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Robert C. Nusbaum, Founding Fellow of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, and his brother, V.H. Nusbaum, established the Justine L. Nusbaum Endowed Lectureship in honor of their mother and her lifelong volunteer service and dedication to humanitarian causes.
On April 11, a tapping ceremony was held in the Monumental Chapel for those selected for membership in Omicron Delta Kappa (ΟDΚ) (view photo). This national leadership honor society recognizes not only academic achievement but also leadership across five phases of campus life: scholarship; athletics; community service, social or religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; creative and performing arts. Virginia Wesleyan's Circle of ODK was installed on April 5, 1981. Membership in this society is regarded as one of the highest collegiate honors that can be awarded to an individual. In order to be selected, one must be in the top 35 percent of students on their respective campuses and hold a leadership role in one of the five phases of campus life mentioned above. The spring 2018 inductees join an impressive list of current ΟDΚ members made up of VWU Board of Trustees members, faculty, staff, and students.
Congratulations to the Omicron Delta Kappa inductees for spring 2018:
Peyton Auxt William Harrell
Frances Barnes Hayley Heath
Isabella Blackney Nicole Holmes
Lafayette-Chase Campbell Francesca Lanuza
Tiffany Cariker Stephanie McDermott
Dale Cawthorne Amber McDonald
Luke Chiasson Christopher McTague
Rachel Connolly Austin Obenour
Riley Conrad Emilee Pierson
Iyana Downie Kirsten Powell
Dr. Steven Emmanuel Colleen Smith
Darlene Flucker Tayler Wilson
Shae Geary Ashley Winslow
Virginia Wesleyan University has been selected by the PepsiCo Recycling Zero Impact Fund program to receive funding for two solar-powered umbrellas and two human-powered desk bicycles that will function on campus as sustainable cell-phone charging stations for students. The umbrellas and bicycles are expected to arrive this summer and will be situated in and around the Greer Environmental Sciences Center. The GESC already contains a number of specific elements designed to engage students in the natural environment and sustainable forms of technology. These include solar panels, a green roof, constructed wetlands, geothermal wells, LED lighting, a building dashboard, and more. The charging stations will provide an engaging way for students to apply sustainable technologies to something that is of interest to them—their cell phones and other mobile devices. Associate Provost and Professor of Biology Maynard Schaus pursued this engaging and cost-effective sustainability effort for the VWU campus. Schaus is featured along with Katrina Henry, assistant professor of physics and earth and environmental sciences, in a recent Inside Business article about the award.
President Scott D. Miller has shared his monthly column in The Virginian-Pilot, published April 1, in which he says he reflects on his recent role as chair of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities 54th Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner. "I hope it inspires productive thought on how we might continue to help our community grow and flourish,” said President Miller.
Virginia Wesleyan University is featured in a just-released report on independent colleges that have implemented meaningful change. In “Innovation and the Independent College: Examples from the Sector,” the Washington, D.C.-based Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) highlighted selected universities’ responses to challenges facing them. The report is designed to be a guidebook for leaders who want to push for change on their campuses.
“I am pleased to share some of the ideas that are transforming independent higher education,” said CIC President Richard Ekman.
The following Virginia Wesleyan innovations were highlighted in the report:
- Curricular Reform: The University undertook a curriculum-mapping project to streamline academic programs, closing the gap between 100- and 200-level courses and 300- and 400-level courses; the project highlights the importance of advising and using this scaffolding approach to enable more students to benefit from experiential learning, including study away.
- Experiential Learning: The University is using a curriculum-planning grant from the Teagle Foundation to identify new ways for students to benefit from experiential leading, including study away, research, internships, and service learning.
The report is based on the results of eight CIC focus-group workshops held across the country to discuss how colleges can remain relevant and continue to grow. A team from Virginia Wesleyan University took part in the gathering hosted by McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, in April 2017. Special thanks to the Arthur Vining David Foundations, Carnegie Corporation, Endeavor Foundation, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Jessie Ball DuPont Fund, Lumina Foundation for Education, National Endowment for Humanities, Teagle Foundation, and TIAA Institute for funding the focus groups and preceding initiatives.
Virginia Wesleyan’s new online learning programs are up and running. After signing a seven-year agreement in January 2017 with The Learning House, a Kentucky-based company, the university’s venture into the online arena quickly took shape. The flexibility of the online programs provides unprecedented levels of convenience for students and the potential for significant enrollment growth at Virginia Wesleyan.
“Though online learning will never replace our residential campus life experience, online options are increasingly valuable as we reach out to new audiences and seek distinctive, affordable and convenient ways for students to take courses.,” said VWU President Scott D. Miller.
Virginia Wesleyan first began offering an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) as well as online bachelor’s degree-completion programs in business, criminal justice, and social science for adult students in the fall 2017.
In addition, a traditionally delivered Master of Arts in Education is now available. This 4+1 program enables Virginia Wesleyan students to complete an undergraduate degree in four years in a content major related to secondary education, and then complete a year of graduate study devoted to preparation for teaching.
Associate Provost and Professor of Biology Maynard Schaus coordinates the University’s online programs.
“The addition of online learning opportunities to our offerings is going very well,” said Schaus. “We will have developed 40 courses for online learning by end of this year, and enrollment in the MBA program has exceeded our expectation, with an enrollment of 67 students. By the end of next year, we will have eight undergraduate degree completion programs ready.”
Schaus added that "environmental studies, comprehensive liberal studies, and Social Science tracks in Psychology and Social Welfare will be ready for the online learning platform beginning in the fall."
For more information about Virginia Wesleyan University’s online programs visit https://online.vwu.edu/.
President Miller signed a resolution declaring April 2-8 as NCAA Division III Week at Virginia Wesleyan University, recognizing our student-athletes’ hard work on the field, in the classroom, and within the community at large. Joining him for the ceremony were Gavin Fry, Athletics Management Council student representative, Sue Larkin, Faculty Athletics Representative, Joanne Renn, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, and Amanda Gerni, Vice President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (view photo).
National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division III Week takes place annually across the country. Participating schools and conference offices conduct outreach activities in the areas of academic accomplishment, athletic experience, leadership, community service, and campus involvement. Plans for Virginia Wesleyan are coordinated by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and this year included an Easter Egg Hunt, Faculty Appreciation Day, Game Day, Fire Pits, Social Media Day, Walk for Water, and Kickball. The Marlin softball program's annual Strike Out Cancer fundraiser was also scheduled as part of the week, but due to inclement weather, it has been rescheduled for April 22.
The week is part of Division III’s Identity Initiative, which was introduced in 2010 to sharpen its identity and enable schools and conferences to more effectively explain why they prefer to compete in Division III. The initiative has been guided by a strategic-positioning platform, describing Division III as a place where student-athletes can “follow your passions and develop your potential,” within an approach that combines rigorous academics, competitive sports and an opportunity to pursue other interests.
Thanks to all student-athletes, coaches, athletic department staff, faculty-team advisors, and others on campus who work daily to make VWU’s program so successful.
Visit www.vwuathletics.com for more information about NCAA Division III Week.
The Rev. Dr. Karla M. Kincannon, a 1976 graduate of Virginia Wesleyan, will serve as the speaker for VWU’s Baccalaureate service on Friday, May 18, at Haygood United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach (4713 Haygood Rd). A preludial concert by the Virginia Wesleyan Chorale will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a 6:00 p.m. service.
Rev. Kincannon is the director of spiritual formation at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. As an artist, author, spiritual director, and United Methodist minister (Elder), she believes "God’s gift of creativity is an essential tool for navigating the spiritual journey and a necessary element for the corporate life of the Church." She is the author of Creativity and Divine Surprise: Finding the Place of Your Resurrection, as well as numerous articles about the spiritual journey and curriculum for the United Methodist Church. She speaks in a variety of ecumenical settings nationwide as a lecturer, workshop leader, and retreat facilitator.
Dr. Kincannon earned a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Wesleyan and a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She also completed her Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where she served on the faculty for five years. Her other experience includes serving as a church pastor, a college chaplain and campus minister, conflict mediator, as well as more than two decades of work in the healing arts as a spiritual director. She founded SpiritArt Ministries to help individuals and congregations encounter the living God through the use of their creativity.
Baccalaureate is a religious service held at most private, church-related educational institutions before the commencement exercises. It is an important tradition at United Methodist Church-affiliated colleges and universities. Highlights of the service include a farewell sermon to the graduating class and selected remarks, often from one or more representatives of the senior class.
Virginia Wesleyan University Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong H'16, CEO and General Counsel of Birdsong Peanuts, was honored on March 22 at the Junior Achievement Hampton Roads Business Hall of Fame event. The awards gala recognized his lifetime achievements and celebrated him as one of Hampton Roads’ most visionary business leaders. Other honorees included Deborah DiCroce, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, W. Taylor Reveley, III, President of William & Mary, and Bob Sasser, Executive Chairman of Dollar Tree.
Junior Achievement is the nation's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. Its programs—which focus on work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy—ignite young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st Century.
George Birdsong has been affiliated with the Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees since 1989. He served as Board Chair from 2007-2010 and was later designated as Trustee Emeritus. In 2016, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University and served as keynote speaker during the institution’s inaugural Founders Day. He and his wife Sue, the Birdsong family, and the Birdsong Corporation played a major role in the University’s founding. Birdsong Hall, an original building in Bray Village, was dedicated to the Birdsong family in 1968, and a plaque in the building distinguishes the Birdsongs as dedicated Methodists whose generosity helped establish Virginia Wesleyan.
Birdsong Peanuts and the Birdsongs have made a number of significant gifts to the University throughout its history. The Birdsong Community Services Endowment Fund was formed in 1995 to provide support for Virginia Wesleyan’s acclaimed community services program. The Birdsong Corporation/George and Sue Birdsong Endowed Scholarship was also established to provide assistance for deserving students. In 2015, the University dedicated VWU’s Birdsong Field in honor of the Birdsong family to celebrate their generous commitment to the facility. The following year, the Birdsong School of Social Science was established with recognition and deep appreciation for contributions by Harvard Birdsong, a charter member of the Board of Trustees, George and Sue Birdsong, Thomas Birdsong, III, and his wife Jane, the Birdsong family, and the Birdsong Corporation.
Spring Alumni Weekend is scheduled for April 13-14. The VWU campus community is invited to relax and reunite at our very first Spring Pig-Pickin’ Picnic, cheer on old friends in Pie Eating and Hot Dog Eating Contests, and root for former classmates in athletic contests and alumni games. A special scroll-signing ceremony will commemorate the 25th graduation anniversary of the Class of 1993, and the weekend will also include the 36th Annual Seafood Party in the Dell. Special early-bird pricing will be available through March 31. View the full schedule and register online today: https://www.vwu.edu/alumni-a-
On March 23, Virginia Wesleyan University will once again host the Empty Bowls Charity Dinner. In its 20th year, the Ceramic Designers Association event will get underway in Boyd Dining Center at 5:30 p.m. Guests will receive a handmade bowl and enjoy freshly prepared soups, bread and dessert—but more importantly, they’ll help alleviate hunger in our community.
The Empty Bowls project is an international grassroots movement held annually in many communities to help raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. The first local Empty Bowls Charity Dinner took place in 1998 at Holy Family Catholic Church. It moved to Virginia Wesleyan the following year, thanks to the efforts of Virginia Wesleyan alumna Susan Alexander Mizell '80.
In addition to providing the venue, Virginia Wesleyan also arranges for event volunteers and participation from the University community. Professor of Art Phil Guilfoyle and his ceramics students have donated their handmade bowls to the event, and Guilfoyle has provided potter wheel demonstrations. Sodexo, Virginia Wesleyan’s food service provider, generously provides the soups served at the event.
All funds raised benefit local charities such as the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Judeo-Christian Outreach Center, Help and Emergency Response Shelter, Oasis Social Ministries, and Union Mission. In the last five years alone, the event has raised over $110,000 for hunger-relief efforts in our community.
“In keeping with the University’s Methodist heritage and our commitment to service learning, Virginia Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to become active and engaged citizens,” said VWU President Scott D. Miller. “This event speaks to the University’s goal of educating through meaningful service and brings our campus and community together in partnership to share resources and meet real community needs.”
Tickets for the Empty Bowls Charity Dinner are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Learn more by visiting the Ceramic Designers Association website at: www.cdava.com
In partnership with the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, Virginia Wesleyan University hosts a workshop for UMC pastors each spring that yields continuing education units. Today we welcome more than 100 special guests to campus for The Robert F. Boyd Institute (March 19-20), featuring Dr. Tod Bolsinger, Vice President and Chief of Leadership Formation and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.
In his seminar, Dr. Bolsinger will share insight and lessons on leadership in a changing world. The presentation will be based on his award-winning book, Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory, which offers both realism and hope, as well as tangible ways to lead differently when you go “off the map.” Dr. Bolsinger earned a Ph.D. in theology and Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. In addition to Canoeing the Mountains, he authored It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian: How the Community of God Transforms Lives, and The New Media Frontier: Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for Christ. He speaks, consults and is an executive coach for corporate, non-profit, educational and church organizations in transformational leadership.
The Boyd Institute, coordinated by Kelly Cordova, Assistant Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, complements a variety of programs offered by our Center for Sacred Music, the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, and Marlin Ministries. VWU strives to integrate participants of the Boyd Institute into these and other programs of the University.
Read more about this year’s program at www.vwu.edu/boyd.
Virginia Wesleyan has initiated membership with Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities dedicated to civic education and community development. As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact enables campuses to develop students’ citizenship skills and forge effective community partnerships. Its resources support faculty and staff as they pursue community-based teaching and scholarship in the service of positive change. Our participation in Campus Compact builds upon the University’s connections and improves our civic engagement efforts.
“My goal is to emphasize the four academic pillars of Virginia Wesleyan University: undergraduate research, international experience, internships, and civic engagement,” said President Miller. “We strengthened our commitment to civic engagement last semester with the formation of Wesleyan Engaged: Center for Civic Leadership and Service Learning and the appointment of Brian Kurisky as director. It pleases me that we can now proactively affirm the following statements, which characterize Virginia Wesleyan’s current commitments and name the ideals toward which we continue to work with renewed dedication, focus, and vigor:
- We empower our students, faculty, staff, and community partners to co-create mutually respectful partnerships in pursuit of a just, equitable, and sustainable future for communities beyond the campus—nearby and around the world.
- We prepare our students for lives of engaged citizenship, with the motivation and capacity to deliberate, act, and lead in pursuit of the public good.
- We embrace our responsibilities as place-based institutions, contributing to the health and strength of our communities—economically, socially, environmentally, educationally, and politically.
- We harness the capacity of our institutions—through research, teaching, partnerships, and institutional practice—to challenge the prevailing social and economic inequalities that threaten our democratic future.
- We foster an environment that consistently affirms the centrality of the public purposes of higher education by setting high expectations for members of the campus community to contribute to their achievement.”
President Miller will serve as the dinner chair for the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities 54th Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner. The event will take place on Thursday, March 22, at The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center. Humanitarian Awards are presented to individuals and organizations demonstrating a commitment to the promotion of respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. This year’s honorees: Kim W. & Valerie K. Brown; Cathy M. Lewis H’09; Lemuel E. Lewis (a Trustee Emeritus of Virginia Wesleyan University); William L. Nusbaum; Angela D. Reddix; and Eggleston (Distinguished Merit Citation).
Corporate Level Sponsors for the event include Birdsong Corporation, Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC, and Sentara Healthcare. Table Level Sponsors include Charles Barker Automotive, Dominion Energy, The Dragas Companies, KPMG, MacArthur Center, Markel Corporation, Norfolk Airport Authority, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Owens & Minor, Inc., Port of Virginia, S L Nusbaum Insurance Agency Inc., Beth N Curtiss & Charles S Nusbaum, S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co., Smithfield Foods, Inc., SunTrust Bank, Towne Benefits, Virginia Beach Economic Development, Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, Williams Mullen, and WHRO Public Media. Full tables and individual seats are still available, and reservations can be made online at: http://www.inclusiveva.org/awa
Past honorees include former VWU Trustee G. Robert Aston Jr. (2002), Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong (1997), Virginia Wesleyan’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom (2001, Distinguished Merit Citation), former Virginia Wesleyan President Lambuth Clarke (1991), former Trustee B. Minette Cooper (2000), Trustee Mary H. Haddad (2004), Trustee Vincent J. Mastracco (2000), Robert C. Nusbaum (2013), Voices of Faith with Jim Bergdoll (2016, Jeffrey B. Spence Award for Interfaith Understanding), and Craig S. Wansink (2017). President Miller is also preceded in his role as dinner chair by Lambuth Clarke (1979) and Henry Clay Hofheimer (1965).
Virginia Wesleyan’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom sponsors several presentations and workshops in conjunction with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities each year—including the Nexus Interfaith Dialogue series. The center’s associate director, Kelly Jackson, has served on the VCIC Tidewater Chapter since 2004 and was chapter chair from 2014–2017.
The Virginia Wesleyan University Theatre Department will present Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters this week. Performances are scheduled for March 14-17 at 7:30 p.m. and March 18 at 2:00 p.m. in Hofheimer Theater on campus.
She Kills Monsters is the award-winning story of Agnes Evans, who leaves her childhood home following the death of her parents and teen sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the refuge of Tilly’s imaginary world. The production is described as a “high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and ’90s pop culture; a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.”
Directing this theatrical event is Travis Malone, Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Theatre. Malone shares the following in his Director’s Note: “As an avid gamer and former Dungeons & Dragons player, this script instantly grabbed my attention…My friends and I reveled in the idea of assuming the role of hero and holding our breaths as each character took their turn, giving themselves over to fate at the roll of the dice… As we sit in the theatre and become members of Agnes’ party, the production gives you a glimpse into a world where even Noobs can become heroes and inspires us to move out of our comfort zones, embrace difference, face our fears, work together, and kill the monsters in our own lives.”
Student cast members include Sarah Puchalla, Abby Horgan, Jakob Steward, Parris Willis, Emily Vial, Aleigha Johnson, Jennifer Vega, Zach Imbriaco, Nich Hipple, Amber Matalus, Emilee Caldbeck, Erykah Scesco, and Angelica Walker. Production team and student designers include Destiny Williams, Micheal McOsker, Kerstin Holman, Jakob Steward, Nich Hipple, Bella Blackney, and Rebecca Kues. Fight choreography by Ryan Quinn McIntire, SAFD, and costume design by Tammy Thornes. Special thanks to community partners, The Generic Theater, Roll4Initiative, and CanvasCosplay.com.
Complimentary admission is available for members of the Virginia Wesleyan community. Public ticket prices are $15 for general admission and $10 for students, seniors, and military. To reserve tickets, call 757.455.3381, email email@example.com or visit www.showtix4u.com.
Read more about about VWU’s outstanding fine and performing arts programs on The Arts at Virginia Wesleyan University webpage.
Virginia Wesleyan University is now part of a bold new coalition that aims to add billions of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay by 2025. Through its efforts, the Chesapeake 10 Billion Oysters Partnership will improve water quality, engage new constituencies, and drive economic benefits across the region.
This collaborative, multi-year initiative was launched last week—fittingly, on the same day Virginia Wesleyan was recognized by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation with its 2018 Conservationist of the Year award. The partnership has established its top three priorities as ensuring robust funding for oyster restoration, establishing sound science-based management that ensures sustainable harvest of the Bay's oyster population, and expanding the oyster aquaculture industries in Virginia and Maryland.
The coalition is made up of a diverse group of non-profits, community organizations, oyster growers, and others dedicated to helping recover the Bay’s oyster population. Among the partners are our friends from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Lynnhaven River NOW, the Elizabeth River Project, Pleasure House Oysters, Washington College, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Other national partners include the Building Conservation Trust, the National Aquarium, and Restore America’s Estuaries.
“We are honored to be a partner in this initiative,” said President Miller. “Not only does it align with Virginia Wesleyan’s existing efforts to restore the Bay, but it creates tremendous learning opportunities for our community."
Learn more about this exciting new partnership at www.TenBillionOysters.org.
Virginia Wesleyan graduate Tim Bailey ‘83, a past recipient of VWU’s Distinguished Alumni Award, has joined the VWU Board of Trustees. As a student at Virginia Wesleyan, Bailey was a member of the Marlin baseball team, a resident advisor, assistant softball coach, and security guard. His studies in business led him to work in sales for Aramark Corporation shortly after graduation. In his current role as Division President for Compass Group/Canteen—a position he has held since 2006—he is responsible for $275 million in annual revenues in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and North and South Carolina, including 24 vending districts, eleven office coffee operations and eight food regions. Bailey returned to campus in April 2015 to speak as part of the Business Speaker Series during the University’s student-led Business Conference. He is a Portsmouth, Virginia, native, but now calls Charlotte, North Carolina, home.
Virginia Wesleyan's partnership with Norfolk NATO Festival and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Allied Command Transformation (NATO-ACT) brings the 2018 Model NATO Challenge back to campus on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Local high school juniors and seniors from Coastal Virginia will once again gather in VWU’s Boyd Dining Center to compete as student diplomats in the Challenge, a simulation that asks the students to respond to a real-life global crisis. Each student will represent one of the 29 NATO Member Nations in the Challenge, where real world issues faced by today’s NATO Alliance are simulated. The top candidates will receive a scholarship award to be applied toward the college or university of their choice. In addition, select high school students will also participate in the Model NATO Press Corps, a student press corps that provides opportunities for burgeoning journalists to cover the event action in a live media role. Virginia Wesleyan’s involvement in the Challenge stems from the University’s formal agreement with NATO-ACT, officially signed in 2013, which offers up to 25 International Student Grants of $9,000 per semester ($18,000 per year) to dependents of NATO-ACT employees stationed in Norfolk. In return, NATO-ACT offers their staff's expertise to the VWU community in the form of guest lectures, internship opportunities, experiences with NATO’s Innovation Hub, and NATO simulation opportunities like the Model NATO Challenge. NATO-ACT, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is NATO’s leading agent for change, driving, facilitating, and advocating continuous improvement of Alliance capabilities to maintain and enhance the military relevance and effectiveness of the Alliance. The organization’s strategic objectives include providing appropriate support to NATO missions and operations; leading NATO military transformation; and improving relationships, interaction and practical cooperation with partners, nations and international organizations.
"The University is honored to host this extraordinary event,” said Virginia Wesleyan Provost Timothy O'Rourke, “and to partner with Norfolk NATO Festival and NATO-ACT on other mutually beneficial initiatives that provide powerful educational opportunities for both high school and college students and greatly enrich both our organizations."
Virginia Wesleyan, Norfolk NATO Festival, and NATO-ACT invite friends, families, students and educators to attend the 2018 Model NATO Challenge simulation Wednesday, March 28 at 4 p.m. in the Boyd Dining Center on the VWU campus. For more information, visit www.NorfolkNATOFestival.org.
March is National Women's History Month. In 1987 the US Congress designated March as National Women's History Month. This creates a special opportunity in our schools, our workplaces, and our communities to recognize and celebrate the often-overlooked achievements of American women. Each year there is a special national theme. This year’s theme is NEVERTHELESS SHE PERSISTED: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. As part of Women's History Month, the VWU Women's Resource Center will be screening films that feature strong female characters and storylines as part of their "Heroes & Badasses" Series. Each Tuesday, a different film will be shown in the Social Science Lab (111). Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the films start at 7:30 p.m. Snack and refreshments will be provided. For more information contact Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Women's Resource Center Jennifer Slivka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 Women's History Month Films:
March 6, 2018 – Hidden Figures
March 13, 2018 – Wonder Woman
March 20, 2018 – The Danish Girl
On February 27, select Virginia Wesleyan University first-year students were inducted into Phi Eta Sigma, the nation's oldest and largest honor society for college and university students in their first year, in all disciplines (view photo). Phi Eta Sigma was founded in 1923 at the University of Illinois with a mission to encourage and reward academic excellence among freshmen at institutions of higher learning. Since its founding, more than 1.1 million scholars have been inducted into Phi Eta Sigma chapters on 378 campuses across the United States. Our own Virginia Wesleyan chapter was founded 35 years ago, in 1983, and today consists of approximately 180 active student members. Congratulations to the 29 newest members of Phi Eta Sigma:
Spring 2018 Phi Eta Sigma Inductees
Hannah Allen Elise Herring
Nailah Alston-Iszard Alexander Leonard
Alyssa Balanta Quinton Nace
Alexi Baumgardner Michelle Olvera
Allaina Boggs Catherine Ponack
Shannon Bradley Alex Powers
Aleah Brinn Sarah Ramsey
Katherine Brockenbrough Asha Richards
McKayla Calapp Catherine Sedgewick
Molly Delmont Andrew Taylor
Hunter Draut Jennifer Vega
Kitana Finley Cydni Young
Miranda Hardwicke Victoria Zuppa
President Miller has announced a $500,000 gift from the TowneBank Foundation for complete renovation and upgrades to VWU’s softball complex.
“Soon,” Miller said, “our 2017 NCAA Division III National Championship Softball Team and their award-winning head coach, Brandon Elliott will be playing their games at Broyles Field in Virginia Wesleyan’s “TowneBank Park.”
Just last week, Coach Elliott was recognized as the Metropolitan Person of the Year in Sports by the Norfolk Sports Club.
President Miller thanked the TowneBank Foundation, and former Trustee Bob Aston and Trustee Emeritus Tom Broyles, for making this “field of dreams” a reality.
Renovations are expected to begin this summer.
The winter meeting of the Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees was held on campus on February 21.2018. The Board welcomed new Trustee Alan Shaw, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Norfolk Southern Corporation. Provost and Vice President Timothy O’Rourke began the morning with a special topic presentation outlining the new Strategic Plan. The academic-based plan, which covers the period of 2018-2027, builds upon the existing facilities Master Plan. The Board unanimously adopted the new Mission Statement and Strategic Plan, which will now be finalized and put into motion.
A recognition ceremony was held to celebrate the LEED Gold certification of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center. This distinctive designation, granted by the U.S. Green Building Council, underscores Virginia Wesleyan’s commitment to the study and preservation of our natural world and increases visibility, engagement, and opportunities on a national level. Soon, a special plaque will be mounted on the sinker cypress wall in the atrium of the building, prominently signifying this achievement.
The Board heard reports and approved actions from the Committee on Trusteeship as well as the Audit, Academic Affairs, Enrollment, Student Affairs, Administration and Finance, and Advancement Committees. Approval was given for advancement from assistant to associate professor and conferral of tenure for Dr. Kathleen Casey (History), Dr. Leslie Caughell (Political Science), and Dr. Jennifer Slivka (English), and for advancement from associate to full professor for Dr. Paul Ewell (Management, Business, and Economics), Dr. Hilve Firek (Education), Dr. Gabriela Martorell (Psychology), and Dr. Stuart Minnis (Communication). George Jackson received conferral of tenure, and Sophie Rondeau advanced to Librarian III (Associate Librarian). These changes are effective with the start of the 2018-19 academic year. Five faculty sabbaticals were also authorized for Dr. Soraya Bartol (Biology), Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne (Communication), Dr. Kevin Kittredge, (Chemistry), Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson (Biology), and Dr. Taryn Myers (Psychology).
The meeting concluded with a special presentation on priorities of the Master Plan. Ongoing progress on the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center (scheduled for completion in early 2019), the new Baker Road Entrance and Marlins Way (on track for completion in late March), and Coastal 61 at Oxford Village (set to begin this summer) was shared. Recently completed projects were reviewed, including the Greer Environmental Sciences Center, the Frank Blocker Youth Center, the Avenue of the Sciences and Greenhouse, the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center, renovations to Kenneth R. Perry Field, and relocation of the Marlin statue and Alpine Tower. Future facilities projects and defined prime areas for opportunity were also shared with the Board.
The spring meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for May.
Virginia Wesleyan University Senior Vice President Mort Gamble will be honored as the 2018 Outstanding Alumnus of the West Virginia University Department of English. He will be recognized by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences on April 7 at a ceremony in Morgantown, West Virginia. Gamble majored in English for his undergraduate and graduate degrees at West Virginia University and received his doctorate from WVU’s College of Education and Human Services in 2003. He later served as a member of the English Department’s advisory Visiting Committee. In his current role at Virginia Wesleyan, Gamble serves as primary advisor to the president and oversees all external affairs of the University, including advancement and communications. He also co-chaired the transition team that transformed Virginia Wesleyan College to Virginia Wesleyan University in 2017. His previous professional roles include executive assistant to the president at Bethany College; director of donor relations for The George Washington University; vice president for institutional advancement at Hood College; vice president for institutional advancement and director of the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc. at Fairmont State College (now University); vice president for institutional advancement at Waynesburg College (now University); and director of college relations for West Virginia Wesleyan College, where he also served as a member of the English and humanities faculty.
Dr. Bryson Mortensen, assistant professor of music and director of choral music, has received a $71,000 grant from the E.K. Sloane Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to underwrite the purchase of a $154,000 Steinway Concert Grand Piano. The grant will be matched by funds from other donors to underwrite the full cost of this exciting addition to the forthcoming Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center.
A front-page story in the “Sunday Break” section of The Virginian-Pilot on February 18 featured Virginia Wesleyan and Mortensen in “Grand Plans: What's so special about a $154,000 piano? Opportunities, say Virginia Wesleyan University officials.
“Steinway Concert Grand Pianos are considered the gold standard of musical instruments. Ours will be housed in the 300-seat Joan and Macon Brock Theater and will enhance student performances and attract high quality outside artists,” noted VWU President Scott D. Miller. “The 23,000-square-foot Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center will also boast a grand lobby, supporting spaces for the performance venue, and a plaza for outdoor programming. Congratulations to Dr. Mortensen and our entire campus community on this very exciting news.”
Virginia Wesleyan participates in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). This comprehensive survey collects information from hundreds of four-year colleges and universities about first-year and senior students’ participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. Virginia Wesleyan University freshmen who started in the fall and graduating seniors are invited to participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). These two classes of students have received an invitation via email with a link to the survey. In appreciation for participation, all students who complete the survey by April 1, 2018, will receive a $5 Wawa gift card. For every 50 students who take the survey, an additional drawing will be held for a $25 Starbucks gift card. NSSE reports that approximately six million students from more than 1,600 colleges and universities have participated in the survey since it was first administered in 2000. Institutions use the NSSE data to identify elements of the undergraduate experience inside and out of the classroom that can be improved through changes in policies and practices more consistent with good practices in undergraduate education. This information is also used by prospective college students, their parents, college counselors, academic advisors, institutional research officers, and researchers to learn more about how students spend their time at different colleges and universities, and what they gain from their experiences.
Virginia Wesleyan University has signed an affiliation agreement with the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. This exciting new partnership facilitates enrollment of graduating VWU Batten Honors College students in the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at the Charlottesville-based institution. Provided they remain in good academic standing, selected students will receive an annual fellowship of at least $7,500 for Virginia residents and at least $12,500 for non-Virginia residents in each of the MPP program's two years. The Batten School will also offer opportunities for students to earn additional assistantships, fellowships or other awards in the second year. Pioneering a new model of leadership and policy education, the Batten School provides a powerful interdisciplinary learning environment to foster the next generation of policy leaders and analysts. Batten MPP students train to execute tangible solutions to real-world problems through rigorous cost benefit analysis, innovation and teamwork. These programs are made possible through the generosity of Virginia Wesleyan Trustee Emerita Jane P. Batten and her late husband, Frank Batten Sr. The Batten family has played a major role in enriching the cultural and educational landscape not only of Virginia Wesleyan and UVA, but of the Commonwealth of Virginia. “This distinctive partnership is a powerful illustration of the importance and influence of philanthropy,” said VWU President Scott Miller. "We are fortunate to benefit in many ways from the Battens’ passion for the education of tomorrow’s leaders." Virginia Wesleyan University offers numerous accelerated degree options in cooperation with other colleges and universities.
President Scott D. Miller has had a long-time association with Second Nature and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, now the Climate Leadership Network (CLN). He has most recently been selected to serve as chair of the CLN Steering Committee, the oversight body of the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments. He attended the most recent meeting at which a coalition of 13 leading North American research institutions launched the University Climate Change Coalition. This initiative is an extension of the Climate Leadership Network, which consists of 600 public, private and community colleges nationwide. These groundbreaking and necessary discussions are devoted to developing successful strategies for addressing climate change. (See recent news release: Top Research Universities Announce Coalition to Accelerate Local Climate Action at 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit)
"The University Climate Change Coalition is a comprehensive approach uniting leaders from many sectors of society to inspire solutions and make informed policy recommendations," said President Miller. " Virginia Wesleyan University is proud to support and promote this initiative as a recognized national leader and advocate for environmental stewardship. This is a natural progression to new prominence for Virginia Wesleyan University. These efforts build on already strong programs in the scientific disciplines through the Joan P. Brock School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the opening of the award-winning, state-of-the-art Greer Environmental Sciences Center, and the establishment of the Batten Honors College."
Barclay Sheaks (1928-2010), renowned painter and founder of the Art Department at Virginia Wesleyan, is featured in a new book about the history of Hilton Village neighborhood in Newport News, Virginia. The book by John Quarstein is titled Hilton Village: America’s First Public Planned Community (American History Press, 2017) and chronicles the neighborhood from its establishment as a home for shipyard workers after World War I to the present. “A newcomer to Hilton Village in 1949 was the critically acclaimed landscape artist Barclay Sheaks,” Quarstein writes. “Sheaks began his career as a teacher at Warwick High School in 1949, and moved into his home at the intersection of Hopkins Street and River Road in Hilton. He continued teaching at Warwick until 1967 when he was asked to start the art department at Virginia Wesleyan College (now University) where he remained, lecturing and teaching until he retired in 2005.” Quarstein goes on to quote several of Sheaks’ students including Sydney Jenkins, who studied art with Sheaks at Virginia Wesleyan and is now director of New Jersey’s Ramapo College Art Gallery: “He was a very important father figure for me—and I learned a lot by watching his miraculous demonstrations. He had a real gift for introducing people to art…He could lead people who wouldn’t otherwise be interested in ways not many others can. I still hear his voice when I think about the teachers I’ve had.” The Barclay Sheaks Gallery at Virginia Wesleyan, located in Godwin Hall, was established in Sheaks’ name in 1999 and features a rotating exhibit of his works. Sheaks is best known for his acrylic paintings of waterfront scenes, wetlands, farmlands and people of the Chesapeake Bay.
Congratulations to all Virginia Wesleyan University students who have been named to the Fall 2017 Dean's List. The Dean's List recognizes all students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits. Well done! View the complete Fall 2017 Dean’s List.
VWU Celebrates Black History Month throughout February 2018 with a diverse series of events. The month kicks of with "Ethical Issues in a Multicultural Society" presented by the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and the VWU Ethics Bowl team and includes a variety of events for students and the community such as a "African American Jeopardy," a "Soul Food Buffet," and a presentation on traditional African music and dance. View the full Calendar of Events for Black History Month at VWU to learn more.
Virginia Wesleyan welcomes 32 prospective freshmen who arrive in Coastal Virginia today to participate in the first of a two-part Batten Honors College competition (February 8-10). Virginia Wesleyan’s Batten Honors College competition begins with a welcome reception at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center this evening and continues on Friday and Saturday with various interviews, campus tours, class visits, and panel discussions. Participating students and their parents will also attend a reception at Slover Library in downtown Norfolk on Friday evening. The second part of the competition, which will follow the same format, will occur February 15-17.
Twenty students will be selected to receive the Batten Fellowship, a prestigious scholarship renewable for four years and covering the full amount of tuition plus funding for an international study-away experience during their junior or senior year. The Batten Honors College will also recognize the academic merit and leadership potential of an additional 20 Shumadine Scholars, who will receive scholarships equal to two-thirds tuition. This selective academic program is made possible by generous support from Virginia Wesleyan University Trustee Emerita Jane P. Batten H’06 and her late husband, Frank Batten Sr. Through small class sizes, personalized instruction and especially vigorous faculty-student interaction, the Batten Honors College is designed to prepare impactful leaders and environmental stewards. The curriculum explores diverse disciplines within the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences and mathematics. The goal is to educate and graduate lifelong learners interested in shaping the future and taking action to improve the world.
“It is sure to be an exciting few days here on our campus,” said President Scott D. Miller. “Many thanks to all who have worked hard to make this competition a truly special occasion for our participants. If you see Batten Honors College competitors on campus, be sure to give them a warm Wesleyan welcome and wish them well in their pursuits.”
VWU welcomed our first cohort of Batten Honors College students last fall in conjunction with the opening of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center.
Progress on the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center continues. Visitors to the construction site see that earth is moving and the adjacent lake is taking shape—and despite some recent weather setbacks-- it is still on schedule for completion in early 2019. A live webcam has been installed to watch the progress on the site. It may be viewed at: https://app.oxblue.com/open/ho
Congratulations to the students named to the Fall 2017 President’s List, which recognizes full-time students who earned a 4.0 grade point average last semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have taken nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses and have no grades of F or incomplete. According to President Miller, “This achievement signifies a tremendous amount of hard work and focus, and it is truly an academic accomplishment to be celebrated.” A reception will be held on March 6 to honor these outstanding students. Well done!
Virginia Wesleyan University Fall 2017 President’s List
Sydnie E. Allen Jordan N. Latvis
Kelly J. Bateman Alexander J. Leonard
Alexi E. Baumgardner Tabitha L. Lowell
Jordan A. Brenner Kayleen M. Meinen
Heidi L. Brinker Ana Dominique S. Nakagomi
Elizabeth M. Brisson Travon D. Nimmo
Mary K. Brockenbrough Brooke L. Novkovic
Katherine E. Burton Britney N. Owens
Amanda L. Butler Kathleen M. Peloquin
Emilee K. Caldbeck Max A. Peters
Deanna R. Chandler Ashley N. Peterson
Jacklyn A. Cheely R. Kellen Phillips
Michelle A. Clark Alex M. Powers
Andreas J. Combos Sarah M. Puchalla
Christine J. Commons Sarah K. Ramsey
Noah J. Craft
Tara J. Donahue Kristara B. Richards
Christopher D. Fegan Kelsi P. Robins
Brandon L. Foster Brianna N. Sandy
Isabella S. Glaze Charlene V. Santos
Brenna V. Gonzales Katelyn N. Shirley
Mary A. Gower Justin R. Smith
Kathryn A. Grainer Victoria D. Steele
Mihaela S. Gridley Bungete Jessica R. Suter
Vernon K. Hanbury II Millie C. Taylor
Mathew C. Hasty Rachel C. Tolley
Allison R. Heitsman Paige E. Trageser
Elise R. Herring Maribel Veras
Nicholas G. Hipple Michael L. Ward
Nicole L. Holmes Bennett J. Wiley
Abigail L. Horgan Shanice E. Williams
Ashley A. Kline Tayler L. Wilson
Mallory J. Langford Grace L. Yalung
Emma L. Larkin Ja'Lisa N. Yates
Clay Drees, Professor of History at Virginia Wesleyan University, was installed as the president of Phi Alpha Theta (PAT), the national honor society in history, at the organization’s biennial convention in New Orleans on January 6. He will serve a two-year term and will become chair of the PAT advisory board until 2022 as the immediate past president. Drees earned his doctorate from the Claremont Graduate School in California in 1991 after having taught high school for seven years, including a two-year stint with the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa. At Virginia Wesleyan University, he teaches courses in medieval and early modern European, African and Islamic history. A two-time recipient of the Samuel Nelson Gray distinguished teaching award in 1998 and 2015, Drees has also served VWU as director of the general studies program (1999-2005) and as chair of the social science division (2005-11). His published books include Authority and Dissent in the English Church (Edwin Mellen, 1997), The Late Medieval Age of Crisis and Renewal (Greenwood, 2001) and Bishop Richard Fox of Winchester: Architect of the Tudor Age (McFarland, 2014).
Since January 7, a group of VWU Batten Fellows have been participating in the "Batten Fellows Leadership Institute." Audrey Bally, Marie Bazile, Allaina Boggs, Shannon Bradley, Hunter Draut, Mallory Langford, Alexander Leonard, Skylar Mao, Max Peters, Alex Powers, Asha Richards, Brianna Sandy, Jennifer Vega, and Jenna Whitener recently traveled to Washington, D.C. along with Dr. Joyce Easter, Dean of the Batten Honors College and Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson, Professor of Communication. They attended the Continuity and Change in American Leadership program offered by the Osgood Center for International Studies. This special program was tailored to the interests of VWU’s Batten Fellows and provided them a unique opportunity to learn from informed speakers about the American political process, attend significant Washington events and ceremonies, and visit diverse agencies and locations. The Osgood Center worked with Batten Honors College faculty to cover a wide variety of areas and diversity in the programming, with experts in fields of politics, media and communications, science and health, national security, international affairs and development, education, business, law, women's issues, and more. In partnership with the prestigious White House Fellows Association and Foundation, students heard from a panel of former White House Fellows whose experiences were particularly relevant to their studies. In addition, The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, in cooperation with Women in Government Affairs, organized a panel of lobbyists who discussed a variety of public-policy topics. During their trip, Batten Fellows visited the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court Building, Environmental Defense Fund, American Chemical Society, and the Kennedy Center, and they had opportunities to visit monuments and memorials on the National Mall, and national museums including the Newseum and the National Holocaust Memorial Museum. The group spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day participating in the MLK Day of Service and Leadership activities at The George Washington University.
President Miller announced that Virginia Wesleyan University has signed a Guaranteed Admission Agreement with Candler School of Theology at Emory University. The agreement guarantees admission with scholarship opportunities in Master of Divinity or Master of Religious Leadership degree programs at Candler. To be eligible, VWU graduates must have a 3.0 GPA or higher for all undergraduate course work, and must have successfully completed at least three four-credit courses in the Department of Religious Studies (or religiously-themed courses in the Departments of History and Philosophy) with at least a 3.0 GPA average in those courses. Candler School of Theology is one of seven graduate schools at Emory University, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Candler educates ministers, scholars of religion and other leaders. It is also one of 13 seminaries affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
“In keeping with our strong United Methodist heritage and traditions, this agreement will lead to further opportunities for VWU alumni to make career contributions as pastors, biblical scholars and servant leaders,” said President Miller. “We are honored to be associated with such a distinguished theological center at a prominent and influential institution. I look forward to following the extended academic careers of our alumni who choose Candler School of Theology for post-graduate study.”
President Miller recently announced David Stuebing as Virginia Wesleyan’s new Director of Residence Life, effective January 15. He said that under Stuebing’s leadership, the Office of Residence Life will continue to build upon a residential curriculum and programming model with the goals of increasing students' engagement with the campus and enhancing their overall development. Stuebing previously worked as assistant director for residence life at Washington College and has experience with a variety of housing models, including suites, theme housing, and locally leased properties. Born and raised in Zambia, Central Africa, he has served as co-chair of the Diversity Committee for the Mid-Atlantic Association of College and University Housing Officers and he has presented both regionally and nationally on Third Culture Individuals/Global Nomads and their unique cultural transition to college.
Five students from Virginia Wesleyan University will participate in The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges’ (VFIC) 19th annual statewide collegiate Wells Fargo Ethics Bowl on February 11-12, 2018, on the campus of Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden Sydney, VA. The Virginia Wesleyan University team will compete head-to-head against other highly qualified student teams from Virginia’s 15 leading independent colleges and universities, deliberating a variety of case studies highlighting ethical dilemmas. The members of the Virginia Wesleyan University student team are: Ruta Habtemariam, Senior; Alex Powers, Freshman; Kelsi Robins, Senior; Brianna Sandy, Freshman, and Sheril Steinberg, Senior. The faculty coordinator for the team is Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson, PhD, Professor of Communication. Many notable individuals from a variety of career fields including; business, law, education, finance, journalism and others will listen to team presentations and offer reactions to the students’ presentations. The Ethics Bowl program will commence with an opening session on Sunday, February 11 at 2:30 p.m. at Hampden-Sydney College’s Johns Auditorium, with the first matches scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in various classrooms throughout Bortz Library, Brown Student Center, and Johns Auditorium. On Monday, February 12, rounds 3 and 4 will begin at 8:45 a.m. The final round of competition will take place at 11:15 a.m. in the Johns Auditorium. The public is invited to attend the match sessions free of charge. The winning team will be announced at 12:30 p.m. on Monday. The team from Hampden-Sydney College took home the Batten Trophy at the 2017 Ethics Bowl. Founded in 1952, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges is a nonprofit fund-raising partnership supporting the programs and students of 15 leading independent colleges in the Commonwealth: Bridgewater College, Emory & Henry College, Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Lynchburg College, Mary Baldwin University, Marymount University, Randolph College, Randolph-Macon College, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Sweet Briar College, University of Richmond, Virginia Wesleyan University and Washington & Lee University. For additional information on the VFIC, visit www.vfic.org.
Pamela Northam, educator, environmentalist, and First Lady of Virginia, will deliver the Virginia Wesleyan University Commencement Address on May 19, 2018—the first formal graduation ceremony as a university. Pam Northam has taken a leading role in Hampton Roads and Virginia to protect water quality, improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and ensure the Commonwealth’s natural beauty is preserved for generations to come.
She was most recently the Community Outreach Coordinator for Lynnhaven River NOW (LRN), a non-profit environmental group working to improve the water quality of the Lynnhaven River. Along with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, LRN is housed in the Brock Environmental Center—“Virginia’s greenest building”—located in Virginia Beach. Northam oversaw advocacy and outreach programs to homeowners, congregations, and businesses to help them to become more sustainable.
Prior to joining LRN, Northam taught high school biology. Then, recognizing a need for STEM in elementary education, she became a national award-winning science specialist. She worked to develop an inquiry-based, hands-on curriculum for students in grades K through 5. After spending more than 20 years volunteering with school PTAs, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum of Virginia, and is also on the board of the innovative E3 School in Norfolk.
After studying at Baylor University and the University of Texas, she initially specialized in pediatric occupational therapy, where her work included rehabilitation hospitals, teaching hospitals, and special education. She and her husband traveled extensively during his service in the U.S. Army.
“Northam will join the Virginia Wesleyan community to share a special moment with the Class of 2018, their family and friends,” said Virginia Wesleyan President Scott Miller. “It is an honor to conclude the first year of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center with an address by such a distinguished advocate for the natural world.”
Students in Professor of Management, Business and Economics Michelle Vachris's MBE 201 Principles of Macroeconomics class have created a music video entitled “Dat Gas” to explain the effects of Hurricane Harvey on gas prices. They have entered their video the National Rockonomix Contest for Colleges and Universities, a national contest that includes music videos which are all parodies about economics topics. Go to https://www.rockonomix.com/ to view the videos and cast your vote by January 7! The winner will be chosen based on voting, which is live and runs through January 7 at 5pm EST. Other institutions competing include University of Kentucky, Tennessee Tech University, University of West Georgia, Belmont University, Northern Illinois University, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Georgia State University, Point Loma Nazarene University, North Central Texas College, Central Arizona College, Abiline Christine University, Charminade University, and University of Hawaii Kapi'olani Community College.
Virginia Wesleyan University has advanced to the top tier Model Level status in the Elizabeth River Project’s River Star Business program. After an annual review of documentation, the River Restoration Advisory Committee unanimously agreed that the University should progress to this top designation. The Elizabeth River Project is an independent non-profit that works with partner organizations to restore the Elizabeth River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. River Star Businesses is one of their signature programs, recognizing organizations that voluntarily reduce pollution and create or conserve wildlife habitat enhancement. To reach Model Level, an organization must move beyond wildlife habitat restoration and pollution reduction and demonstrate that it has become an environmental mentor to others in the community. Thanks to the President’s Environmental Issues Council, and in particular, Professor of Political Science William Gibson. Dr. Gibson has dedicated much of his life to cleaning up the Elizabeth River and has taken the lead on earning this and other notable designations President Miller and Dr. Gibson will represent the University and its environmental accomplishments at the River Star Recognition Luncheon on January 25, 2018.
Victor Dorsey has been promoted to director of Security. He has served as acting director since the recent retirement of Jerry Mance. Dorsey has been an important part of the VWU security staff for more than 12 years, first serving as a sergeant, then as a lieutenant before moving to his current role as director. A safe, secure environment is essential to learning and to the peace of mind of students, their parents, and faculty and staff. Virginia Wesleyan’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, included as part of the Safe and Secure brochure, contains information about campus security, statements about security-related campus policies, and statistical data for campus crime reports. Information on emergency response, evacuation procedures, and fire safety are also included. Safe and Secure brochures are available at various offices and locations throughout campus, including Campus Security, the Athletics Suite, the Batten Student Center Hub, the Blocker Hall vending area, the Office of Finance and Administration, The Lighthouse, Hofheimer Library, Residence Life, and the Office of Student Affairs. Please familiarize yourself with this information. Although the University takes every precaution to ensure the safety of its students, faculty and staff, we still ask our campus community to do your part in exercising caution on campus and off. Virginia Wesleyan is fortunate to have a strong security presence, thanks to the efforts of Victor Dorsey and all campus safety officers.
Each spring, in partnership with the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, Virginia Wesleyan University hosts a workshop for UMC pastors that yields continuing education units. The Robert F. Boyd Institute will take place on campus March 19-20, 2018. In this seminar, Dr. Tod Bolsinger, Vice President and Chief of Leadership Formation and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, will share insight and lessons on leadership in a changing world. The presentation will be based on Dr. Bolsinger’s award-winning book, Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory, which offers both realism and hope, as well as tangible ways to lead differently when you go “off the map.” Dr. Bolsinger earned a Ph.D. in theology and Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. In addition to Canoeing the Mountains, he authored It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian: How the Community of God Transforms Lives, and The New Media Frontier: Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for Christ. He speaks, consults and is an executive coach for corporate, non-profit, educational and church organizations in transformational leadership. The Robert F. Boyd Institute is named for Trustee Emeritus Bob Boyd, a co-founding member of the VWU Board of Trustees. Read more about the program and register to attend at www.vwu.edu/boyd.
Wayne Pollock, Associate Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies at Virginia Wesleyan University, serves as co-editor along with Nancy Montgomery, Instructor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Emerita, on the recently published book American Therapeutic Recreation Association - Guidelines for the Ethical Practice of Recreational Therapy, A Training Manual (Sagamore Publishing, 2018). The publication takes the sometimes abstract concepts of ethics and makes them practical and useful for recreational therapists and students in everyday practice. “With all of the changes occurring in health care, recreational therapists need to be vigilant concerning the need to practice with ethical integrity,” notes the publisher’s description. “As professionals, we must keep pace with the changing health care environment while self-monitoring for ethical conduct.” Pollock serves on the Southeast Recreational Therapy Symposium and National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification board of directors and was honored to be inducted as a Fellow into the National Academy of Recreational Therapists in 2014.
Virginia Wesleyan University hosted its annual luncheon to recognize members of The Lambuth M. and Alice A. Clarke Heritage Society, a special group of Virginia Wesleyan supporters who have chosen to include the University in their estate plans, on November 28, 2017 in the Pearce Hospitality Suite on the VWU campus. Alice Clarke, who along with her late husband, Lambuth, president of Virginia Wesleyan from 1966 to 1992, planted many of the "seeds" of Virginia Wesleyan's success, was in attendance at the event. One of the University’s signature establishments, the Heritage Society was formed many years ago by Wesleyan friends and family with the Clarkes among the inaugural founders. In 2016, VWU named the recognition society for the Clarkes, whose name has long stood for admirable values and extraordinary service. Other guests included Board of Trustees members Susan Goode, Deborah Paxson ’75 and Linda Thomas-Glover, as well as many other special friends of the institution. Guests had a special preview of this weekend’s forthcoming choral program, “A Wesleyan Christmas.” Bryson Mortensen, Director of Choral Music, led the Wesleyan Chorale in a series of holiday musical selections. Joanne Renn, who serves as Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and recently joined the Clarke Heritage Society, was recognized during the luncheon. Renn was selected in 2007 as Virginia Wesleyan University's first female athletic director and as the first female athletic director at a co-educational institution in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. This season marks her 25th year at VWU, where she oversees 22 intercollegiate sports programs and a staff of more than 55 coaches, administrators and support personnel. View photos from the Clarke Heritage Society Luncheon.
World AIDS Day is recognized each year on December 1. The 2017 international campaign, My Health, My Right, highlights the right to health and the importance of erasing health inequalities globally. As part of this annual recognition, VWU Professor of Sociology Kathy Stolley and the SOC 251/Epidemics and Society class invite the VWU community to participate in several World AIDS Day interactive activities:
The NAMES Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt
Location: Batten Center Hub
Days/Times: November 29-December 3, 2018, during Batten Center hours
Blocks from the NAMES Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display. The Quilt is the world’s largest public art project. Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, it commemorates the lives of more than 96,000 people who have died of AIDS. Learn more at: http://www.aidsquilt.org/.
A Reflection on HIV/AIDS and The NAMES Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt
Location: Batten Center Hub (Note the updated location.)
Day/Time: Thursday, November 30, 11 a.m.- Noon
Speaker: Lorraine Reichert, Sr. Community Health Navigator, LGBT Life Center
Lorraine, a US Navy veteran, has been working in and around the HIV/AIDS community for more than two decades. She contracted HIV in 1989 while pregnant with her second daughter, and has lived through the fear-mongering, discrimination, and prejudice that surrounded the HIV culture then. She was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1994. Lorraine has seen a lot of people pass away from the disease and helped create dozens of panels for the AIDS Quilt. Time is allotted for audience questions; a reception follows.
HIV/AIDS Information Table
Location: Batten Center Hub
Day/Time: Thursday, November 30, 11 a.m.- Noon
Information table provided by LGBT Life Center Prevention Department staff
Paint a Block on VWU’s AIDS Memorial Wall
Location: Allen Village (Village II) hallway
Wednesday, November 29, 1 -3 p.m.
Wednesday, November 29, 4 -6 p.m.
Thursday, November 30, 1 -2:15 p.m.
Friday, December 1, 10 a.m. - Noon
Contribute a painted block to this powerful and personal project that started in 1999 with blocks patterned after The NAMES Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt.
World AIDS Day Presentation
Location: Blocker Auditorium
Date/Time: Thursday, Nov 30, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Dr. Brian Kurisky will join the VWU community as Director of Wesleyan Engaged: Center for Civic Leadership and Service Learning on December 1. Dr. Kurisky has served in various leadership capacities at Old Dominion University, including his most recent position as Director for Academic Initiatives in the Center for High Impact Practices, and other roles in academic support and institutional research and assessment. He has also held several student affairs/residence life positions at institutions such as Ferris State University, Western Michigan University, and Lake Superior State University. He holds a Ph.D. in higher education leadership from Old Dominion University, an M.S.Ed. in higher education from Grand Valley State University, and B.S. degrees in political science and speech communication from Old Dominion University. Dr. Kurisky will lead VWU's new center and build on Virginia Wesleyan University’s strong foundation of student volunteerism and shape, expand, and direct service learning opportunities, neighborhood partnerships, and interfaith dialogue. He will expand existing community relationships, further identifying and coordinating mutually-beneficial service learning and volunteer opportunities for VWU faculty, staff, and students. He will also pursue grant support for Wesleyan Engaged and will seek national recognition through initiatives such as the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll, the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, and the Campus Compact Civic Action Plan.
Winter Session at Virginia Wesleyan University is set to begin on January 3 and continue through January 25, 2018. During this three-week credit-bearing term students have opportunities to: focus on a single academic subject without distraction from other courses or commitments; get ahead or catch up in their coursework; earn additional credits toward graduation; and enjoy a series of special events and performances; and study away. Last January, 609 students enrolled in Virginia Wesleyan’s annual Winter Session. Registration is still open for Winter Session 2018 and will remain open through the first day of classes on January 3 (with the exception of travel courses carrying earlier deadlines). Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, Director of Summer and Winter Session and Associate Professor of Biology, coordinates Winter Session, ensuring that it complements and strengthens Virginia Wesleyan's academic program. View VWU’s unique Winter Session course offerings.
Virginia Wesleyan University Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong was honored at the CIVIC Leadership Institute’s 2017 Darden Awards on November 15 with the Individual Leadership Award. Dollar Tree, co-founded by long-time Virginia Wesleyan supporter Macon Brock, received the Corporate Award. Birdsong and Dollar Tree have had significant impact on the VWU community through various philanthropic contributions and service endeavors.
Birdsong joined the Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees in 1989. He served as Board Chair from 2007-2010 before assuming his Trustee Emeritus status. In 2016, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University and served as keynote speaker during the institution’s first Founders Day. George and Sue Birdsong, the Birdsong family, and the Birdsong Corporation were instrumental in the University’s founding. Birdsong Hall, an original building in Bray Village, was dedicated to the Birdsong family in 1968. A plaque in the building recognizes the Birdsongs as dedicated Methodists whose generosity helped establish Virginia Wesleyan.
Birdsong Peanuts and the Birdsongs made a number of significant gifts throughout the University’s history. The Birdsong Community Services Endowment Fund was established in 1995 to provide support for Virginia Wesleyan’s acclaimed community services program. They also established the Birdsong Corporation/George and Sue Birdsong Endowed Scholarship that provides assistance to deserving students. In 2015, the University dedicated VWU’s Birdsong Field in honor of the Birdsong family to celebrate their generous commitment to the facility, and the following year, established the Birdsong School of Social Science. The University did so with recognition and deep appreciation for the contributions by Harvard Birdsong, a charter member of the Board of Trustees, George and Sue Birdsong, Thomas Birdsong, III, and his wife Jane, the Birdsong family, and the Birdsong Corporation.
Dollar Tree Co-Founder Macon Brock and his wife, VWU Trustee Emerita Joan Brock, are well known for their community leadership, their generosity and vision, and they are among the closest friends of Virginia Wesleyan University. The strength of VWU today can be traced in significant ways to their guidance and support, as many programs of the University have benefited from their genuine interest in student success.
In 2006, the University named a residence hall complex after the couple—Joan and Macon Brock Village—in recognition of their generous support of student scholarships, residence hall improvements, athletics, and other programs. The Brocks have also long supported Virginia Wesleyan’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom. Most recently, we announced the formation of the Joan P. Brock School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and we were pleased to recognize Joan’s father and former Board member by naming Kenneth R. Perry Field in his memory. Joan Brock also served for many years in an administrative role at Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., and K & K Toys.
Virginia Wesleyan University will be honored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) with the organization’s top award at “DC on the Half Shell” which will take place on Monday, February 26, in Washington, D.C. The event will jointly recognize VWU and Washington College for their leadership and commitment to educating the next generation of Chesapeake Bay leaders.Virginia Wesleyan University Board Chair David Kaufman, his wife Kay, and Washington College Board Chair Larry Culp, and his wife Wendy, have been designated honorary co-chairs for the event, which raises vital funds for CBF’s education and restoration efforts. The last Half Shell event raised enough funds to allow for the planting of 20 million juvenile oysters on sanctuary reefs in Maryland and Virginia and more than 17,000 trees across the watershed. In addition, 9,600 oyster shells from the event were brought back to CBF's Maryland Oyster Restoration Center to be used on sanctuary reefs in the Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will recognize Virginia Wesleyan for the new Greer Environmental Sciences Center. VWU’s 44,000-square-foot facility provides unprecedented opportunities to study the marine sciences, ecology, and preservation and sustainability of the natural world. It marks the University’s commitment to the field of environmental science, and it invites collaboration with organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, and the Virginia Institute for Marine Science. Washington College will be honored for its Center for Environment and Society, which envisions a healthy and thriving Chesapeake Bay and watershed in which natural systems and human communities are in balance. The Center promotes environmental issues and social values through various interdisciplinary academic programs including the Chester River Observatory and Field Research Station, energy programs, archaeology, and the unique Chesapeake Semester, in which select students journey in, on and around the 64,000-square-mile watershed.
The fall 2017 student-led business conference, “The Marlin Prestige,” begins on November 13 and will continue through the week (November 13-17). During the conference, the campus community and guests from the local area are invited to participate in workshops, presentations, and interactive panels that focus on this semester’s theme, “Lighting the Future: Finding Success through Ethical Business Practices.” The Marlin Prestige business conference represents months of planning by students in the Virginia Wesleyan business course, “Principles of Management” with Batten Associate Professor of Management, Business, and Economics Paul Ewell. Students coordinate all elements of the event, exercising key management skills such as product development, networking, project and financial planning, marketing and more. Student leaders for this fall’s conference are Kathryn Grainer, Chief Executive Officer, Peyton Auxt, Chief of Staff, Caitlin Eversole, Chief Finance Officer, and Arianna Diggs, Chief Business Intelligence Analyst. Together with their classmates and Virginia Wesleyan business faculty, the students worked hard to create a conference that focuses on the importance of business ethics as an essential component of career development. Among this semester’s guest speakers and panelists are Virginia Wesleyan Trustee Ken Trinder, President/CEO of EOS Systems, and alumna Sydney Covey, Sustainability Program Analyst at Hourigan Construction and recipient of VWU’s 2017 Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award. They join panel discussion speakers and presenters Ann Brogan of Crowley, Liberatore, Ryan & Brogan, P.C.; David Byrd of the Virginia Stage Company; Lanitha Hudson of the City of Virginia Beach Department of Housing & Neighborhood Preservation; Bruce Alperin of Aramark; Erin Gaines of Geico; and Michael Ewing of the Elizabeth River Project River Star Committee. Virginia Wesleyan business professors Dave Garraty and Linda Ferguson (Dean of the Birdsong School of Social Science) also join this year’s program. Daily activities will once again include the popular “Shark Tank” presentations, which closely mirror the ABC television series, and presentations by “Information Systems Programs” (ISP) students. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit The Marlin Prestige webpage.
The Alpine Tower—a 52-foot wooden structure designed for climbing and teambuilding exercises—has a new home on campus adjacent to the Trinder Center and the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center. The tower was recently relocated from its original spot just to the west of the University’s main entrance. The move comes just weeks before a planned December 1 groundbreaking for the new Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, which will be constructed on the neighboring field. The structure was carefully transported on Saturday, November 4 by Alpine Tower International, the company that originally produced and installed the tower which arrived on the Virginia Wesleyan campus in 2011 as a result of VWU’s partnership with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads. The YMCA funded the structure in exchange for use of the land and utilizes it primarily in the summer for camps and youth activities. The tower is also used for VWU classes, recreation activities and teambuilding programs during the academic year and is available for use by outside groups as well.
The Virginia Wesleyan University Theatre’s production of Into the Woods—music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; book by James Lapine—packed the house for each of its six performances. The Thursday night performance was attended by about 100 Virginia Theatre Association conference attendees — mostly middle school and high school students. In fact, the show sold out for all performances before it even opened!
View the photo gallery to see the cast in action. The production was directed by VWU Professor of Theatre Sally Shedd and the cast included: Grant Bennett, Abigail Horgan, Michael McOsker, Azania Inman, Nicholas G. Hipple, Sarah Puchalla, Jennifer Vega, Aleigha Johnson, Angelica Walker, Myles Baynard, Emilee Caldbeck, Patrice Glover, Shelby Emch, Travis Malone, Shannon Lynn, Taryn Nunley, Justin Robins, Drew Harrelson, Jakob Steward, Rebecca Kues, and Ayanna King.
During National Hunger & Homelessness Week (Nov. 11-19), VWU will host a Shack-A-Thon organized by the 2018 VWU Off-Campus Shelter Managers. The VWU Shack-A-Thon will take place on Batten Lawn from Tuesday, November 14 at 9 a.m. until Thursday, November 16 at 5 p.m. The purpose of the event is to unite the VWU campus and raise awareness about the current state of hunger and homelessness, especially within this community; to stimulate ideas of what it means to be hungry and homeless in Hampton Roads; and to build shacks, spend time in the shacks and learn from this unique experience. The event will include organized VWU groups of unlimited members who will build a shack out of collected materials and camp out in the shack for three days and two nights on Batten Lawn. During the VWU Shack-A-Thon, a variety of events, such as food and clothing drives, movie and open mic nights, and games and guest speakers, will be held to bring additional awareness to this cause. Donation bins for books (pre-school age through 5th grade), sneakers, canned foods, clothing, and hygiene products are located in the Community Service Office and around campus.
2017 VWU Shack-A-Thon
Schedule of Events (open to campus community)
Tuesday, November 14
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Build Day (Batten Lawn)
5 p.m. - Opening Guest Speaker: Mariah Smith “Blankets for the Homeless”
9 p.m. - Open Mic Night/Talen Show on Batten Lawn
Wednesday, November 15
Events will be held on Batten Lawn
8 p.m. - Movie Night: “The Blind Side,” hosted by Wesleyan Activities Council on Rose Lawn
Thursday, November 16
2 p.m. - Judging of Shacks by Community Partners (Winners will be revealed at 5 p.m.)
Krishna Loya, Judeo-Christian Outreach Center
Jenny Goff, Executive Director, REACH (Reading Enriches All Children)
Leslie Clarridge, Volunteer & Program Coordinator, REACH (Reading Enriches All Children)
Diane Hotaling, 2006-17 Winter Shelter Manager, City of Virginia Beach Department of Housing & Neighborhood Preservation
Dani Williams ‘15, 2013-15 On-Campus Winter Shelter Manager, ForKids
Tianna Garland ‘16, 2013-16 On-Campus Winter Shelter Manager, Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP
Tone Boykins ’17, 2016-17 Winter Shelter Manager
Judges will determine the winners for the following:
TOP SHACK (the shack that raised the most money)
Most Creative Shack
Most Sustainable Shack
3-4:30 p.m. - Breakdown & Cleanup
5 p.m. - Shack-A-Thon Grand Finale: Judges will reveal winners (2018 Winter Shelter Opens)
6 p.m. - Closing Speaker: Laura, Executive Director of “LIFT” (Lifting spirits, Improving bodies, Feeding souls and Transforming lives), Founded by Jim & Krista White
*Donation bins for books (pre-school age through 5th grade), sneakers, canned foods, clothing, and hygiene products are located in the Community Service Office and around campus
Virginia Wesleyan University’s second graduate program, a Master of Arts in Education, has been approved by the Virginia Board of Education. Beginning in summer 2018, the M.A.Ed. will prepare future educators to teach and will give VWU students a more competitive edge on teaching positions in their chosen specializations. The program will offer graduate-level endorsement in biology, chemistry, earth science, English, French PreK-12, German PreK-12, Spanish PreK-12, Latin PreK-12, history and social sciences, mathematics, vocal/choral PreK-12, theatre arts PreK-12, and visual arts PreK-12. Programs in secondary and PreK-12 education will require a two-semester internship that culminates with a 10-12-week student-teaching experience. Program candidates will learn through predominantly face-to-face classroom experiences, but will also benefit from hybrid and online learning experiences. Other program highlights include coursework in cognition and human development, exceptional student populations to include special needs as well as gifted and talented, and collaboration with families and communities. The course of study will be staffed by full-time faculty and in collaboration with highly qualified public-school personnel who bring valuable expertise and experience in vital areas.The University was approved in December 2016 as a Level III institution by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), enabling VWU to offer the master’s degree as the highest degree. The M.A.Ed. joins the University’s online Master of Business Administration, which was launched this fall. To request additional information about graduate studies at Virginia Wesleyan University, visit: http://www.vwu.edu/admissions/
Virginia Wesleyan University now has nearly 10,000 alumni in Coastal Virginia and throughout the United States and abroad. The 2017-18 Alumni Council came to campus for their fall Business Meeting on October 25. During the meeting President Miller provided a comprehensive update on the fall semester and new initiatives for the near future, and shared success in sponsored alumni activities around the country. He also discussed ongoing efforts to increase engagement among fellow alumni, as well as ideas to encourage support of The Excellence Fund. He also shared a number of our newly branded marketing materials from Scribner Bookstore, including VWU Christmas ornaments, coffee mugs, mouse pads, and clocks. The principal purpose of the Alumni Council is to strengthen the bond between our graduates and Virginia Wesleyan University—its students, faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees. The Alumni Council’s plays a valuable role in advocating for VWU and offering the support for the enrollment and advancement programs. President Miller offered a special thank you to Chair of the Alumni Council, Mavis McKenley '11, and her fellow members, listed below, and to Lori Simpers Harris ’94, Executive Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations, and Kelly Cordova, Assistant Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, for the management and support role they play in facilitating the important work of this group.
2017-18 Alumni Council
Jennifer Smith Boyd '94
Troy DeLawrence '93, Vice Chair
Robert Gillikin '00
Glynn Goodrich '82
Lori Simpers Harris ’94 (Ex-officio)
Catherine Holava '93
Robert Kohler '93
John Nash Maravich '11
Mavis McKenley '11, Chair
Kevin Otey '05, Secretary
Rachel Rigoglioso '10
Katherine Shea-Sword '99
Edmund Stanton '02
Thomas Taylor '00
Giorgio Valentini '98
Megan Watts '15
William Williard '82
October is National Domestic/Relationship Violence Awareness Month. The Counseling Center at VWU provides information and services to raise awareness about warning signs for domestic/relationship violence and how to step up and be a part of the solution. In addition, during October, the Women's Resource Center and Phenomenal Woman are sponsoring "The Clothesline Project.” The Clothesline Project is a visual display of t-shirts with designs that are created by survivors of violence, or created in honor of someone who has experienced violence. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness about the reality of violence in our society. Each t-shirt reflects the personal experience of its creator. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to paint a shirt to express their own experience or in support of others on Wednesday, October. 25, from 12- 4 p.m. in the Fishbowl (Batten Center); and on Thursday, October 26 from 10:30 – 4:00 p.m. in the Fishbowl (Batten Center). On Friday, October 27, the shirts will be displayed on a clothesline on campus on the walkway from Boyd Center to the Library. The event is free and is open to the VWU campus community. For more information, please contact Jennifer Slivka, Director of the Women's Resource Center, at email@example.com
The members of the Wesleyan Chorale share their voices throughout Virginia as they begin a short in-state tour today, October 17. The Chorale has been invited to perform at several venues in Virginia, which include stops in Williamsburg, Fairfax, and Richmond, as part of a two-day mini tour. The Wesleyan Chorale is directed by Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Music Dr. Bryson Mortensen. Representing VWU as student members of the Chorale are: Deidra Benn, Shelby Emch, Marissa Phillips, Serena Smith, Andrew Harrelson, Nicholas Hipple, Adam Kurek, Taylor Simpson, Jeannie Barnes, Morgan Boyd, Patrice Glover, Tara Truax, Amanda Waller, Myles Baynard, Dante Copeland, Robert Jones, William Lanagan, and Thomas Rheinhold.
Virginia Wesleyan’s Sociology/Criminal Justice student team won the "Client's Choice Award" in the Client Problem Solving Competition (CPSC) at the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology (AACS) annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio, October 4-8. The student team included Claude Clarke III '18, Grace Crawford '18, Brenna Gonzales '18 and Allison Heitsman '18. Kathy Stolley, Professor of Sociology, and Takeyra Collins, Instructor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Collins, co-advised the team. Teams compete for only two awards: The Judge's Award (based on a static rubric) and the Client's Choice Award. The Client's Choice Award is selected by the client as having developed and presented the best solution, customized to the organization's problem and needs. The client for this year’s competition was Circle Health Services, and their problem was how to provide health care on a limited budget that would attract young patients. The VWU team’s solution applied a Youth Ambassador Program model with the goals of: fostering and developing community outreach activities, educating the public, bridging interpersonal relationships between professionals and patients, and developing and advancing community health partnerships. This is the third consecutive year that VWU has brought home this client-selected award.
VWU Faculty Focus, formerly Day One, is a monthly email newsletter celebrating the professional development successes of Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff. From the publication of books, articles, encyclopedia or dictionary entries, conference participation and performances and shows to grants received, positions and awards in professional organizations, and campus and community presentations, Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and outside the classroom. VWU Faculty Focus keeps the VWU community abreast of one another’s scholarly work. View the October 2017 issue and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWU's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). For more information or to make a submission, contact Associate Dean of INTEL Denise Wilkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455.3249.
The VWU Digital Broadcasting Network is now live on the Virginia Wesleyan website. This media production unit serves the University community by recording and web streaming a wide range of institutional, educational, cultural, and athletics programs. From Founders Day and Commencement to distinguished lecturers and cultural programming, VWU now streams live video and then archives it for later on-demand viewing. Marlins athletics fans can watch live action and archived sporting events and the network introduces VWU to a truly worldwide audience. Made possible by the generosity of a private gift, the network’s state-of- the-art video equipment is managed collaboratively by the University's departments of Information Technology Services, Communication, and Intercollegiate Athletics.
The 2017 Mud Games, an annual VWU tradition, took place on Friday, September 29, on Rose Lawn. Open to teams of students, faculty, and staff, Mud Games is sponsored by the Wesleyan Activities Council (WAC). This year’s event brought out 18 teams and nearly 100 participants, who competed in activities such as the three-legged race, crab walk, chimp race, and dizzy bat relay. The 2017 winning team was Alpha Phi Fraternity, Inc., our newest Greek organization. They walked away muddy and with $250, bragging rights and the Mud Games trophy! The very first Mud Games were held in the fall of 1995 when rain during the “Outrageous Olympics” turned to mud.
A reception was held on campus on September 26, 2017, to recognize Virginia Wesleyan students named to the spring 2017 President’s List. President Scott Miller and Provost and Vice President Timothy O'Rourke congratulated those in attendance and presented recipients with certificates of achievement. The President’s List recognizes full-time students who earn a grade point average of 4.0 during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have taken nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses and have no grades of incomplete or grades of F. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits, and we are proud of their accomplishments. Photos taken during the reception are available on the Virginia Wesleyan Flickr page.
Spring 2017 President’s List
Erin C. Abbott
Sydnie E. Allen Abigail L. Horgan
Sarah C. Antozzi Sierra C. Howard
Seth S. Antozzi Katy J. Kopaskey
Kollin R. Baer Jordan N. Latvis
Kelly J. Bateman Jordan T. Louk
Alexander V. Benevento Tabitha L. Lowell
Elizabeth M. Brisson Morgan E. Lucas
Katie C. Brooks Trevor J. Maloney
Brianna J. Brunk Taylor L. Marshall
Lauren E. Bryant Getzani Moguel
James L. Butler Ashley A. Neudecker
Emilee K. Caldbeck Travon D. Nimmo
LeMar Callaway Brooke L. Novkovic
Jordan A. Chambers Tyler S. Ostrovecky
Jacklyn A. Cheely Connor T. Pederson
Andreas J. Combos Kathleen M. Peloquin
Rachel A. Connolly Jessica C. Pittman
Austin G. Davis Emily E. Powers
Allyce L. DeSimone Mickella J. Rast
Stacie A. Doughtie Stephanie M. Reidell
Taylor R. Erby Kelsi P. Robins
Christopher D. Fegan Sierra M. Rothenberger
Lynne G. Fetter Dillon E. Rudiger
Melissa P. Fisher Joshua G. Shuman
Amber R. Gaines Samuel J. Smart
Shae E. Geary Joi L. Snowden
Tiffani N. Gregory Carissa J. Stevens
Erin V. Harris Jake Q. Stokke
Shana L. Harrison Lauren C. Topper
Mathew C. Hasty Joy S. Vernon
Spencer A. Hawver Timothy A. Webster
Allison R. Heitsman Tayler L. Wilson
Nicholas G. Hipple Sara A. Wiltshire
Establishment of University College of VWU
President Miller has announced the establishment of University College of Virginia Wesleyan University. University College operates all for-credit programs outside of the traditional undergraduate program and also supports non-credit, continuing-education offerings. Programs include VWU Online, Evening and Weekend, Advanced Scholars, Early Enrollment, Dual Credit, the Robert F. Boyd Institute, the American Culture and Tourism Management Internship Program at Busch Gardens, the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, the Center for Sacred Music, the Lifelong Learning Institute with Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, and opportunities through the VFIC Language Exchange and the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education. University College will be an important source of enrollment, will expand VWU’s presence in the higher-education market, and will coordinate planning and promotion of future educational opportunities in the increasingly popular non-traditional market. It will not be an auxiliary enterprise; rather, it will be a fully integrated unit of VWU’s curriculum. For more information, visit www.vwu.edu/universitycollege.
Winter Session at VWU is a special three-week academic term in January during which students concentrate their studies on one intensive course. The 2018 schedule is now available on the VWC website. During Winter Session, students have the opportunity to take unique courses not offered during the regular semester, fulfill needed course requirements or participate in exciting study away courses to Costa Rica, Berlin, Israel, Mexico, or Hawaii. The 2018 Winter Session at VWU begins on January 3 and continues through January 25. How will you spend your winter break?! Explore and accelerate at VWU.
VWU Faculty Focus, formerly Day One, is a monthly email newsletter celebrating the professional development successes of Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff. From the publication of books, articles, encyclopedia or dictionary entries, conference participation and performances and shows to grants received, positions and awards in professional organizations, and campus and community presentations, Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and outside the classroom. VWU Faculty Focus keeps the VWU community abreast of one another’s scholarly work. View the September 2017 issue and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWU's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). For more information or to make a submission, contact Associate Dean of INTEL Denise Wilkinson at email@example.com or 757.455.3249.
A number of environmentally themed activities took place as part of Virginia Wesleyan's second Founders Day, including an oyster cage build service project, unveiling of new signage for the University's old-growth beech forest and a Chesapeake-Bay themed sustainable seafood dinner for students. A "Wesleyan EcoFestival" was also held on the lawn in front of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center, featuring interactive displays from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Eastern Shore Watermen, Lynnhaven River Now, Norfolk Botanical Garden, Sierra Club, Sodexo, Tidewater Fiber, and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. "The Moth Project," a visually dynamic, interdisciplinary outdoor public art experience, took place during the evening, promoting an understanding of and appreciation for pollinators, native plants, ecology, responsible sources of power and citizen science.
Leslie Caughell, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Political Science Department, received a $12,000 grant from the American Press Institute to support a research project related to fact-checking. Caughell was invited to present preliminary results from her research project, “It’s a Matter of Trust: Increasing the Efficacy of Fact-Checking Stories” to journalists, leaders of businesses and non-profit organizations and scholars at a summit in Washington, D.C. in January 2017. The summit, sponsored by the Poynter Institute, the American Press Institute and Duke Reporters Lab, was entitled “Fact-Checking: What Happened in 2016; Finding Our Way in 2017.” Over the summer, the American Press Institute published an article by Caughell on the topic and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University published an article about Caughell’s research. She will also be presenting her findings at the Journalism Interactive Conference in Maryland, October 20-21.
With the start of the 2017-2018 academic year, Virginia Wesleyan introduced a new “Choose to Reuse” container exchange program in the Boyd Dining Center. The goal of the program, the latest in a number of sustainability initiatives to coincide with the opening of the new Greer Environmental Sciences Center, is to eliminate polystyrene foam containers from the campus environment. These containers have typically been used for to-go items in the dining hall. Students, faculty and staff can now purchase a green “Choose to Reuse” container from the Dining Hall for a one-time fee of $5. Containers can be used and returned to the Dining Hall in exchange for a clean container with each visit. Diners can either carry out or dine in, but not both on a single visit. There is also a carabiner option so that customers can return their used container for a carabiner (small keychain-like clip) that can be redeemed for a clean container with their next meal. This way customers do not have to carry a dirty container around with them. VWU Dining Services, under the direction of Tim Lockett, developed the program after working closely with faculty, staff and students on the President's Environmental Issues Council (PEIC). The PEIC estimates that the program could eliminate as many as 40,000 polystyrene foam containers annually. “The environmental benefit is not only from reducing the amount of waste we send to the landfill, but also reducing the negative impacts from the manufacture and transport of the new polystyrene containers,” says Elizabeth Malcolm, Professor of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and Chair of the PEIC. “We hope that the opening of the Greer Center will inspire further sustainability initiatives across campus and we welcome students, staff and faculty to send us ideas and partner on additional projects."
Virginia Wesleyan President Scott Miller will deliver the annual State of the University Address on Tuesday, August 22 at 12:15 p.m. To view live go to: https://boxcast.tv/view/state-of-the-university-address-llh1l9n8utvzqisl7m8b
Taryn Myers, Batten Associate Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Psychology Department at Virginia Wesleyan University, was honored with an Early Career Achievement Award by the American Psychological Association at their 2017 National Convention, which took place August 3-6 in Washington, D.C. Myers was one of 10 psychologists to receive the annual award presented to “individuals who have shown themselves to be rising stars, with great leadership under their belts and tremendous promise to change psychology for the better.” The award includes a plaque and partial reimbursement for convention attendance. Myers earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Kent State University, where she served as a Teaching Fellow and Assistant Director of the Psychological Clinic. She received her B.A. in psychology with an interdisciplinary minor in Women's and Gender Studies from Kenyon College. Some of her areas of expertise include eating disorders, body image, women's issues, gender issues and clinical psychology.
Virginia Wesleyan University has signed a 3-2 cooperative education agreement with Washington University in St. Louis, one of the nation’s top-ranked programs in occupational therapy. Students who pursue this competitive and selective program must complete all of their undergraduate institution’s required major and general educational courses in three years at Virginia Wesleyan University, have started or completed at least four of the six Occupational Therapy Program pre-requisite courses (Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Life Science, Physiology, Social Science, and Statistics) with a “B” or better, and must submit an application to the program by the deadline in their junior year. Admitted students complete two additional years at Washington University and graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Wesleyan University their fourth year and a master’s degree from Washington University in their fifth year. Admission requirements for the Washington University program may be found at www.ot.wustl.edu/admissions. For further information about the VWU plan of study for the OT Program, contact Wayne Pollock, VWU Associate Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies (firstname.lastname@example.org). Learn more about all of VWU's Accelerated Degree Options.
An official signing ceremony was held July 31 marking Virginia Wesleyan’s new partnership with the Norfolk Botanical Garden (NBG). President Scott D. Miller and Norfolk Botanical Garden President and CEO Michael Desplaines were joined at the ceremony by Jillian Little, a 1994 Virginia Wesleyan graduate and member of the NBG Board of Directors, Brian O'Neil, NBG Director of Living Landscapes, Maynard Schaus, Associate Provost, and Eric Johnson, Assistant Professor of Biology and Greenhouse Supervisor (view photos). As part of the new agreement, the Norfolk Botanical Garden will appoint and employ a director of living landscapes to provide guidance and proper care of all campus landscaping and horticultural initiatives, particularly the 145,000-square-foot site area surrounding the Greer Environmental Sciences Center. The partnership will also provide opportunities for collaborative botanical science research, education and outreach programs among VWU faculty and students and Norfolk Botanical Garden staff. A dedication ceremony for the Greer Environmental Sciences Center will be held on Founders Day, September 7.
Ten new members were named to the Virginia Wesleyan University Alumni Council on July 12. The Council was welcomed to campus for tours of the new Greer Environmental Sciences Center, a business meeting and overview of campus progress by President Scott D. Miller. “It’s an exciting time at your alma mater,” Dr. Miller said. “We value the Alumni Council’s role in advocating for VWU and offering the support for the enrollment and advancement programs of a growing, dynamic institution.” The newly appointed members are: Jennifer Smith Boyd ’94, Chesapeake, VA; Robert Gillikin ’00, Norfolk, VA; Glynn F. Goodrich ’82, Mechanicsville, VA; Robert T. Kohler ’93, Virginia Beach, VA; Katherine Shea-Sword ’99, Virginia Beach, VA; Edmund B. Stanton ’02, Beverly, MA; Thomas W. Taylor ’00, Richmond, VA; Giorgio C. Valentini ’98, Virginia Beach, VA; Megan Watts ’15, Virginia Beach, VA; and William H. Williard ’82, Virginia Beach, VA. Continuing service as members of the Alumni Council are Mavis McKenley ’11, Chair; Troy DeLawrence ’93, Vice-Chair; Kevin D. Otey ’05, Secretary; Catherine Holava ’93, John Nash Maravich ’11; and Rachel H. Rigoglioso ’10. Lori Simpers Harris ’94, Executive Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, serves in an ex-officio capacity. The principal purpose of the Alumni Council is to strengthen the bond between alumni and Virginia Wesleyan University, its students, faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees. During recent meetings, members have been given an overview of the campus master plan and the transition of Virginia Wesleyan College to university status.
The Phi Alpha chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has received its charter. Alpha Phi Alpha is the first black Greek fraternity to be chartered at Virginia Wesleyan University. The charter became official during the 94th General Convention for Alpha Phi Alpha, which was held July 12-16, 2017. Charter members include Chapter President Anthony Bowden '19, Claude Clarke 19, Dante' Davis '18, RayQuan Smithers '19, Myles Stevens '20 though, DeLante' Victory '17 and Trey White '17. VWU currently has eight active Greek organizations. Alpha Phi Alpha joins fraternities Chi Beta Psi and Sigma Nu and sororities Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Phi Sigma Sigma, Sigma Sigma Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta. Since 1963, fraternities and sororities have been a part of tradition and campus life at Virginia Wesleyan. Greeks are active on campus, serving in leadership roles and on athletic teams and giving back to the community through service and philanthropy.
The national champion Virginia Wesleyan University softball team will be recognized in pregame ceremonies prior to Monday's Norfolk Tides game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The Marlin players and coaches will be introduced on the field at 6:45 p.m. followed by first pitches from head coach Brandon Elliott and star freshman pitcher Hanna Hull. First pitch for the contest will follow at 7:05 p.m. Virginia Wesleyan fans are requested to meet behind the Harbor Park home plate entrance no later than 6:25 p.m. so those in attendance can enter as a group. The softball team will get to enjoy the contest in one of the Harbor Park suites after the conclusion of pregame ceremonies. Fans interested in purchasing tickets for Monday's game may do so at norfolktides.com.
The newest Marlins are welcomed to campus June 23 and 26 for New Student Orientation (NSO). President Scott D. Miller reports that for 2017-18, 500 new students—400 freshmen, 100 transfers and non-traditional students—are anticipated. During NSO, new students and their families create their own orientation journeys, choosing from a wide variety of information sessions and special “destinations.” The orientation program is carefully designed to facilitate a smooth transition to the campus experience and to provide new students and families with everything they need to know to be successful during their first year.Information sessions are designed to inform and inspire, with topics like “Get Involved!” “VWU From a Student Perspective,” “Navigating the Academic Program,” “Money, Money Financial Aid,” “Campus Safety: What You Should Know,” and “Exploring Coastal VA.” Students will also meet with academic advisors to build their fall class schedules. Visits to featured destinations will run continuously throughout orientation, giving students the chance to explore VWU’s beautiful 300-acre campus. Destinations include the Learning Center, the Lighthouse, Hofheimer Library, the Fitness Center, Campus Security, the Chaplain’s Office, and a new addition this year—the Office of the President. Many members of the faculty, staff and student body have contributed to the success of this year’s New Student Orientation, led by Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Moore and the Student Affairs staff, and Vice President for Enrollment David Waggoner, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Beth Clarke, and the staff in the Center for Enrollment Services. A warm Wesleyan welcome to the newest members of the VWU campus community! View photos from June 2017 New Student Orientation.
President Scott D. Miller announced that VWU will begin offering medical care to students in the new academic year through an on-campus Student Health Center managed by Sentara Medical Group. The Student Health Center will continue to be housed in Allen Village (Village II) and will provide first aid and general healthcare. The Center will be staffed by an advanced medical practitioner and a medical assistant from Sentara Medical Group. A physician will also be appointed by Sentara to serve as medical director of the Center and to be available to advise the advanced practitioner as needed during business hours. All Virginia Wesleyan students will be entitled to the benefits of the Student Health Center, including appointments and walk-in care for minor illnesses and common ailments. The Center will also offer routine testing and lab work as well as educational resources for the student population. Students requiring a higher level of care (or care outside of normal hours of operation) will have full access to Sentara Family Medicine Physicians located on Wesleyan Drive.
Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and outside the classroom. Day One, an electronic newsletter published at the start of each month, celebrates these professional development successes and keeps the VWU community abreast of one other’s scholarly work. In the June issue, learn about recent panels, meetings and presentations by professors Terry Lindvall and Bill McConnell as well as librarians Sue Erickson, Stephen Leist and Sophie Rondeau. View the June 2017 issue and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWU's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). For more information or to make a submission, contact Associate Dean of INTEL Denise Wilkinson at email@example.com or 757.455.3249.
During the spring 2017 semester, the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom (CSRF) collaborated with Virginia Wesleyan Professor of Art Sharon Swift to create a student contest that would engage art students in creative expressions of religious freedom. Students in Professor Swift’s digital art course were asked to select a quotation from an American president on the topic of religious freedom, and then use photo manipulations, color, typestyles, page design, and composition to create original, digital artworks. The winners were announced on Friday, April 28, 2017, when the CSRF welcomed the campus community to a display featuring the digital art creations. The winning images show the breadth of design styles, as well as the breadth of presidential perspectives on America’s First Freedom. Winners and participants include:
Aaron Aranda ’18 (First Place, John F. Kennedy)
Criminal Justice Major from Ivor, VA
Justin Watson ’17 (First Place, James Madison)
Communication Major from Suffolk, VA
Austin Davis ’19 (Herbert Hoover)
Biology Major from Chesapeake, VA
Stephanie Fury ’18 (Theodore Roosevelt)
Psychology Major from Virginia Beach, VA
Allison Heitsman ’17 (John Tyler)
Criminal Justice Major from Littleton, CO
Alexander Jahn ’17 (Dwight Eisenhower)
Psychology Major from Fairfax County, VA
Kylea McCarel ’20 (Ronald Reagan)
Communication Major from Virginia Beach, VA
Courtney Primero ’18 (Bill Clinton)
Psychology Major from Virginia Beach, VA
Rodney Queen ’17 (George W. Bush)
Communication & Religious Studies Double Major from Norfolk, VA
Myles Stevens ’19 (George Washington)
Recreation & Leisure Studies Major from Caroline County, VA
Jakivia Swanston ’19 (Barack Obama)
Art Major from Jacksonville, NC
Virginia Wesleyan Students Create Artistic Expressions of Religious Freedom
This spring semester, the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom collaborated with Virginia Wesleyan Art Professor Sharon Swift to create a student contest that would engage art students in creative expressions of religious freedom.
Students in Professor Swift’s digital art course were asked to select a quotation from an American president on the topic of religious freedom, and then use photo manipulations, color, typestyles, page design, and composition to create original, digital artworks.
The winners were announced on Friday, April 28, 2017, when the CSRF welcomed the campus community to a display featuring the digital art creations. The winning images show the breadth of design styles, as well as the breadth of presidential perspectives on America’s First Freedom.
Congratulations to our creative and talented student winners:
Aaron Aranda ’18 (First Place, John F. Kennedy)
Criminal Justice Major from Ivor, VA
Justin Watson ’17 (First Place, James Madison)
Communication Major from Suffolk, VA
Austin Davis ’19 (Herbert Hoover)
Biology Major from Chesapeake, VA
Stephanie Fury ’18 (Theodore Roosevelt)
Psychology Major from Virginia Beach, VA
Allison Heitsman ’17 (John Tyler)
Criminal Justice Major from Littleton, CO
Alexander Jahn ’17 (Dwight Eisenhower)
Psychology Major from Fairfax County, VA
Kylea McCarel ’20 (Ronald Reagan)
Communication Major from Virginia Beach, VA
Courtney Primero ’18 (Bill Clinton)
Psychology Major from Virginia Beach, VA
Rodney Queen ’17 (George W. Bush)
Communication & Religious Studies Double Major from Norfolk, VA
Myles Stevens ’19 (George Washington)
Recreation & Leisure Studies Major from Caroline County, VA
Jakivia Swanston ’19 (Barak Obama)
Art Major from Jacksonville, NC
Congratulations to the following students for achieving a 4.0 grade point average for the fall semester. Their accomplishments will be recognized at a reception in the fall. Way to go, Marlins!
Erin C. Abbott Lynne G. Fetter Travon D. Nimmo
Sydnie E. Allen Melissa P. Fisher Brooke L. Novkovic
Sarah C. Antozzi Amber R. Gaines Tyler S. Ostrovecky
Seth S. Antozzi Shae E. Geary Connor T. Pederson
Kollin R. Baer Tiffani N. Gregory Kathleen M. Peloquin
Kelly J. Bateman Erin V. Harris
Alexander V. Benevento Shana L. Harrison Emily E. Powers
Elizabeth M. Brisson Mathew C. Hasty Mickella J. Rast
Katie C. Brooks Spencer A. Hawver Stephanie M. Reidell
Brianna J. Brunk Allison R. Heitsman Kelsi P. Robins
Lauren E. Bryant Nicholas G. Hipple Sierra M. Rothenberger
James L. Butler Carmen W. Hitt Dillon E. Rudiger
Emilee K. Caldbeck Abigail L. Horgan Joshua G. Shuman
LeMar Callaway Sierra C. Howard Samuel J. Smart
Jordan A. Chambers Katy J. Kopaskey Joi L. Snowden
Jacklyn A. Cheely Jordan N. Latvis Carissa J. Stevens
Andreas J. Combos Jordan T. Louk Jake Q. Stokke
Rachel A. Connolly Tabitha L. Lowell Lauren C. Topper
Austin G. Davis Morgan E. Lucas Joy S. Vernon
Allyce L. DeSimone Trevor J. Maloney Timothy A. Webster
Stacie A. Doughtie Taylor L. Marshall Tayler L. Wilson
Taylor R. Erby Getzani Moguel Sara A. Wiltshire
Christopher D. Fegan Ashley A. Neudecker
On May 17, 2017, a residential facility in Honors Village was dedicated as Mastracco Hall in honor of Virginia Wesleyan Trustee Vince Mastracco and his wife, Suzanne. Vince has been a member of the Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees for more than 20 years, and is now serving as chair of the Advancement Committee. He has been extraordinarily helpful in providing counsel for Virginia Wesleyan, most recently on the Campus Master Plan. His community service also includes active participation on the Greater Norfolk Corporation and the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. According to President Miller, “Vince has been working, quietly but diligently, to make it possible for us to move forward on the residential development planned for the area across Wesleyan Drive—to be known as Oxford Village—and he has been enormously helpful to our senior administrative team, and me personally, in matters of fundraising, community engagement, marketing and rebranding, and other areas that have enhanced our visibility, leadership, and effectiveness as Coastal Virginia’s premier institution of the liberal arts and sciences.” Suzanne Mastracco is an active supporter of the arts throughout the region. She serves on the board of trustees of the Chrysler Museum of Art, and she is actively engaged in the Virginia Arts Festival, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The Mastraccos have been recognized for their many contributions--not only to the College-- but also to the region. In 2007, Volunteer Hampton Roads honored them with its Lenora Mathews Lifetime Achievement Award as exemplary volunteers and caring citizens, and in 2012, they received the Darden Award for Regional Leadership.
Athletics Inducts Sixth Class into Chi Alpha Sigma
The Virginia Wesleyan College athletic department inducted 35 members into its sixth class of the Chi Alpha Sigma National Honor Society on Tuesday evening. Chi Alpha Sigma is a nonprofit organization established to recognize college student-athletes who earn a varsity letter in at least one sport while maintaining a 3.4 or higher cumulative GPA throughout their junior and senior years. The governing board represents all levels of competition in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Chi Alpha Sigma's purposes are as follows: To encourage and reward high academic scholarship of college athletes at four-year accredited colleges and universities; To recognize outstanding academic achievement by intercollegiate varsity letter winners; To encourage good citizenship, moral character, and friendship among the high academic achievers in college athletics; To recognize and honor the individual athlete, his/her team, sport, athletic department, and college or university; To mentor and to provide leadership to other athletes.
Congratulations to the student-athletes who were inducted on Tuesday, May 9, 2017:
Men's Cross Country/Track & Field
Men's Cross Country/Track & Field
Men's Track & Field
Men's Cross Country/Track & Field
Men's Cross Country/Track & Field
Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
The library is going to the dogs once again, just in time for final exams. The four-legged therapists and their people, all certified by pet therapy organizations, will be visiting Hofheimer Library during exam week to help students stay calm and feel less stressed. VWC Senior Emily Crawford will be participating with her dog Meeko, for the first time since becoming certified. It will also be the first time Heather Campbell and Hans come to campus.
Be sure to stop by Hofheimer Library and enjoy some down time with these furry friends and their people:
Thursday, May 11 (Reading Day):
11:00 a.m. - Emily Crawford and Meeko
2:00 - 4:00 p.m - Martha Nesselrode & Addie
5:30 - 7:30 p.m. - Julie Morgan & Bart
Friday, May 12:
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Kathy Stolley and Ernest T.
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Margery Howell and Phoebe
Saturday, May 13:
1:30 - 3:30 p.m. - Heather Campbell and Hans
Monday, May 15
10:00 a.m. - Noon - Mary Garraty and Cookie
Each year, the Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning, in conjunction with Hofheimer Library, hosts a celebration to recognize academic excellence in teaching and scholarship at Virginia Wesleyan. This year’s annual “Feathers in Your Cap” event brought together faculty and staff who in the last year have published books or professional publications, given presentations or served on panels, obtained grants, received tenure and/or promotions, engaged in service learning initiatives, and more. Congratulations to:
Kevin Adams Kellie Holzer
Kathy Bartkus Diane Hotaling Deb Otis
Richard Bond Joyce Howell
Thomas Brown Deirdre Gonsalves Jackson Wayne Pollock
Kristin Burney Kathy Merlock Jackson William Pruitt
Leslie Caughell Carol Johnson
Patty Clark Doug Kennedy Diana Risk
Takeyra Collins Lydia Kennedy
Ben Dobrin Kevin Kittredge
Joyce Easter Susan Larkin Maynard Schaus
Steven Emmanuel Stephen Leist Antje Schwennicke
Sue Erickson Terry Lindvall
Paul Ewell Scott Liverman
Kim Fahle Lisa Lyon Payne Jennifer Slivka
Linda Ferguson Audrey Malagon Kathy Stolley
Hilve Firek Travis Malone
Alain Gabon Dan Margolies
Kate Griffin Eric Mazur
Phil Guilfoyle William McConnell Vic Townsend
Ben Haller Stu Minnis
Stephen Hock Taryn Myers Cathal Woods
StarRez, Residence Life’s new comprehensive housing solution, launched this week thanks to the combined efforts of staff from Student Affairs, the Business Office and IT Services. Director of Residence Life RJ Chittams says, “We are extremely excited to launch this new process. While daunting to implement, it has allowed us to create a more efficient application process”. The first StarRez service launched on Tuesday, May 2, is the Housing Management module as it will have the greatest impact for both students and staff. Other modules will be phased in over the summer. With the new system, students are able to apply for housing from anywhere- 24/7. In the first 42 hours, there were nearly 400 housing applications initiated through the new service. A popular function is the ability for students to see and select other students they would potentially match as roommates- all through the roommate finder function. This self-help system gives students a percentage match with other students based upon their answers to profile questions. The new process will allow for more efficient functioning for housing operations.
Associate Dean for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Denise Wilkinson has announced the 2017-18 recipients of Virginia Wesleyan College's Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL) faculty grants. Congratulations to:
Takeyra Collins, Visiting Instructor for Recreation and Leisure Studies
Grant: Service-Learning: Increasing the Engagement & Knowledge of Learners beyond the Classroom
This project combines experiential learning through a structured service-learning experience that makes a broad impact on our community to enhance and increase engagement and knowledge of the learners beyond the classroom. The undergraduate students involved in the service learning aspect of the project will use the knowledge they’ve obtained within the curriculum of the classroom setting to further develop knowledge and skills, obtain experience working with young adults, and obtain various transferable skills. This project focuses on accommodating young adults with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) by engaging undergraduate students in an interactive service learning opportunity; where they are able to put their knowledge into practice while working with young adults with a chronic illness.
Kathy Stolley, Professor of Sociology
Grant: Faculty Field Trip: Mapping a Faculty Integrative Experience
This project will include faculty “field trips” and integrative collaboration in which a group of faculty from across the curriculum will collaboratively produce an interdisciplinary field trip “map” for downtown Norfolk, accompanied by an integrated resource guide, to enrich the experience of visiting each destination and nurture integrative thinking. The project goals are: to pilot a design that explores how we might more intentionally build, enhance, and encourage integrative thinking into our formal faculty development structure; to build and “test drive” an integrated local resource guide that can be used to support course enhancements for integrated learning; and to encourage community, collaboration, and purposeful integration among faculty.
Each grant provides up to $1,000 for a project that encourages and advances a culture of innovation and engaged learning-related activities.
Provost and Vice President Timothy O’Rourke has announced the selection of a new group of Batten Professors, who will enjoy the designation and the corresponding financial support for their professional vitality for a three-year period, 2017-18 through 2019-20. Initiated in 2004, the Batten Professorship is an award for faculty excellence in teaching and scholarship, community contributions, and passion for inspiring excellence in others. For three academic years, recipients carry the title and are entitled to special development funding.
The new 2017 – 2020 recipients, chosen by the school deans, are:
Dr. Thomas Brown, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology
Dr. Audrey Malagon, Associate Professor of Mathematics
Mr. Gavin Pate, Associate Professor English
Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne, Associate Professor of Communication
Dr. Sally Shedd, Professor of Theatre
The new Batten Professors join the following active designees:
Dr. Benjamin Dobrin, Batten Professor of Social Work
Dr. Rebecca Hooker, Batten Professor of English
Dr. Maury Howard, Batten Associate Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Paul Ewell, Batten Associate Professor of Management, Business and Economics
Dr. Kevin Kittredge, Batten Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Taryn Myers, Batten Associate Professor of Psychology
Ms. Sharon Swift, Batten Professor of Art
For more information, visit https://www.vwc.edu/academics/academic-affairs/batten-professors.php.
Spring Port Day is Thursday, May 4, a full day of events, beginning at 8 a.m. with coffee and refreshments throughout campus in the Convocation Center, Blocker Auditorium, and Pearce Hospitality Suite. Port Day is designed to demonstrate and promote the academic achievements of Virginia Wesleyan students completing capstone undergraduate research, internship, and semester study-away experiences. A conference-style schedule will include concurrent, campus-wide sessions at which students will share their work through oral and poster presentations, reflect on the experiences, and answer audience questions. The day will conclude with the Senior Art Exhibition in the Neil Britton Art Gallery. There will be no classes, meetings, or athletic events held during this day, enabling the entire campus community to celebrate the accomplishments of students, learn about the good work completed, and hear about the transformative power of participation in capstone academic experiences. The day will be particularly important for students who would like to learn how they, too, may undertake a capstone experience at Virginia Wesleyan. View the complete Port Day schedule on The Lighthouse webpage at: http://www.vwc.edu/academics/
Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and outside the classroom. Day One, an electronic newsletter published at the start of each month, celebrates these professional development successes and keeps the VWC community abreast of one other’s scholarly work. In the current issue, learn about many recent panels, meetings and presentations such as Professor Leslie Caughell's “Tailoring Fact Checks to Voter (Dis)Trust” on a panel entitled “Facts, Science, and Misperceptions” at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, as well as new book contributions by Professors Diana Risk and Bill McConnell. View the May 2017 issue and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWC's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). For more information or to make a submission, contact Associate Dean of INTEL Denise Wilkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455.3249.
The 2017 Virginia Wesleyan College softball program set a program record for Strike Out Cancer, raising $20,004 for the American Cancer Society. The Marlins have now raised a total of $102,417 over the nine-year period that the squad has hosted this fundraiser. The event, held on April 8 this year, is held annually in memory of Elaine F. Sears, the mother of head women’s softball coach Brandon Elliott. "This community continues to amaze me," Elliott said. "There are hundreds of people who have their finger prints all over this day and I am forever grateful to each and everyone of them." Money was raised through a silent auction, T-shirt sales, ticket sales at the gate, food, and generous donations from friends, family, and Virginia Wesleyan fans. Genesis Church of Chesapeake handled the food at the event with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. "To raise this much money with something so simple shows you the enormous potential we have as individuals when we come together for a common purpose," Elliott added. "Cancer took a big loss today and I hope we can continue to chip away at a disease that has stolen so much joy." Donations may still be made: Strike Out Cancer Online Donation
President Scott Miller recently announced the establishment of Opus, a summer work program for Virginia Wesleyan students. The Opus work program will serve approximately 20 students with financial need who would like to continue their studies at Virginia Wesleyan. Participating students will have the opportunity to live on campus in Brock Village and will be provided with a modest meal plan. They will begin their duties following May Commencement and will work 25 hours per week for a period of 13 weeks. Projects will focus on corrective maintenance, grounds and landscaping and general campus beautification. The major goals and expected outcomes from the Opus program are to ensure the completion of a liberal arts education for students with limited financial resources; to develop strong work ethic, communication and problem-solving skills; to give graduates the professional/technical knowledge essential for their work and the executive skills required to plan, organize and prioritize tasks; to build a reliable source of workers who are knowledgeable, skilled and likely to remain in the region; and to increase campus pride among students.
Four Virginia Wesleyan student cadets were recognized at the 42nd Annual President’s Review and Awards Ceremony for the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Monarch Battalion at Old Dominion University on April 13. Congratulations to Virginia Wesleyan junior Jake Morgan, who received the ROTC Recognition Award; sophomore Gavin Fry, who received the Sons of the American Revolution Award, the award for Outstanding Virginia Wesleyan Cadet, and the Iron Man Award; junior Joseph Fairbanks, who received the American Legion Award and the Outstanding Basic Course Cadet Award; and junior Rolanda Taylor, who received the award for Outstanding Varsity Athlete. Virginia Wesleyan President Scott Miller was in attendance as was Lighthouse Deputy Director Amy Rush, who serves as advisor to ROTC students. The Army ROTC Marlin Detachment operates as part of ODU’s Monarch Battalion. Through an elective curriculum, participating students receive valuable tools, training, and leadership experiences that not only may lead to military service but also become assets in any career.
Virginia Wesleyan President Scott D. Miller has been elected to the Regional Board of Directors for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. The Hampton Roads Chamber is a pro-business organization promoting growth and progress for the Hampton Roads region. It has created economic opportunity in the region for more than 25 years through public policy, economic development and service to business. Members of the Regional Board of Directors are elected from Chamber membership to set policies and priorities for the organization. In addition to the Regional Board, each of the five southside cities—Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach—has a board comprised of local business leaders who focus on the needs of that city. Dr. Miller is in his second year as president of Virginia Wesleyan. He is a former President of Bethany College (2007-15), Wesley College (1997-2007), and Lincoln Memorial University (1991-97).
Miller is one of the most experienced and prominent liberal arts college presidents in America, having led four colleges and universities for over a quarter of a century. Recognized by numerous books and publications nationally for his transformative leadership style, he was identified in a book, "The Entrepreneurial College President," as one of 17 most entrepreneurial presidents in American higher education. Locally, Dr. Miller currently serves on the Boards of the Greater Norfolk Corporation and Virginia Beach Vision. He is also Chair of the Association of Educational Institutions of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Nationally, he is Chair of the Board of Directors of Academic Search, Inc., Vice Chair of the Board of the American Academic Leadership Institute, and he is on the Board of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church.
"Since my arrival in Coastal Virginia, it has been a priority of mine to learn as much as I can about our region and to support not only the growth of our institution, but also our local businesses and economy," says Dr. Miller. "Although I serve on many boards, the Hampton Roads Chamber, Virginia Beach Vision and Greater Norfolk Corporation boards are particularly important as we connect Virginia Wesleyan with the broader Coastal Virginia community."
Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and outside the classroom. Day One, an electronic newsletter published at the start of each month, celebrates these professional development successes and keeps the VWC community abreast of one other’s scholarly work. In the current issue, learn about a recent trip to the LEED certified Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center organized by Professor of Sociology Kathy Stolley and Grounds Supervisor Kathy Bartkus, a variety of presentations and publications and much more. View the April 2017 issue and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWC's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). For more information or to make a submission, contact Associate Dean of INTEL Denise Wilkinson at email@example.com or 757.455.3249.
Congratulations to VWC Seniors Zoe Traficante and Rebecca Davis and Junior Kelsi Robins for receiving regional student achievement awards from the Society for Advancement of Management (SAM). Rebecca also won a SAM National Student Achievement Award. They presented a research paper entitled "Charmer, Keeper, Manager, Partner: Personality Traits of Successful Managers and Desired Romantic Partners" at the International Conference of the Society for Advancement of Management in Orlando this past weekend.
The most recent news from Virginia Wesleyan’s Office of Community service includes, as always, many upcoming volunteer opportunities for students—from Marlins Community Youth Garden Club to Soup Line with Catholic Work to regular blood drives. April's news also includes information aboout "Love Week," organized by Campus Crusade for Christ International to take action showing love toward a global community in need, and "Terracycle Tuesdays," going on throughout the month. The newsletter also recognizes many of the students who donated their time through the Office of Community Service for local events and organizations such as the Marlins Read, Marlins Count, Neighborhood Tutoring, Fin with Paws, Virginia Beach Grow Smart Read Across America Day and more. The tradition of service continues at VWC! Read the complete newsletter here.
Based on research for a forthcoming book, “Little Caesar: The Secret Life and High-Flying Times of Art Concello” appears in the current issue of Bandwagon magazine, the journal of the Circus Historical Society. The article was co-authored by Mort Gamble, senior vice president at Virginia Wesleyan, and Maureen Brunsdale, special collections librarian of the Milner Library, Illinois State University. For the past two years, Gamble and Brunsdale have researched the life of Arthur M. Concello (1911-2001) for their forthcoming biography. Concello was a legendary trapeze artist and later manager of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The Milner Library, in Concello’s home area of Bloomington/Normal, IL, contains extensive archives pertaining to his life and career, and the development of the trapeze arts.“Concello was one of the most remarkable and controversial figures in American circus history,” the authors write. “He was a brilliant aerialist, creative designer, shrewd businessman, and an expert manager of The Greatest Show on Earth during some of the most critical years in its history.” For more information on the Circus Historical Society, visit www.circushistory.org.
The recycling race is on this spring as the Virginia Wesleyan community once again participates in RecycleMania, an eight-week collegiate tournament, running February 5 to April 1, in which hundreds of college and university communities across the United States and Canada compete to collect the largest amount of recyclables and the least amount of trash. In week three of the competition, Virginia Wesleyan was ranked No. 1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference for pounds recycled per capita. To date, the College has a cumulative greenhouse gas reduction of 38 metric tons of CO2 equivalent—which equals seven cars off the road or the energy consumption of three households. The effort is being led by members of Marlins Go Green including VWC senior Zack Drake, as well as Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling. Virginia Wesleyan students, faculty and staff continue to demonstrate their dedication to a greener campus and a greener world. Learn more about Virginia Wesleyan's recycling efforts.
Virginia Wesleyan held its first meeting of the new Corporate Leaders Council (CLC) on March 16, 2017. The CLC is comprised of business leaders from Coastal Virginia who embrace, embody and similarly align with the College’s vision and values in their management practices. Joe Ruddy '83, Chief Innovation Officer at The Port of Virginia, served as guest speaker for the meeting. In a presentation called "The Power of Interns," Ruddy gave an overview of the Port and its future and how interns from Virginia Wesleyan are helping to shape that future. VWC seniors Amanda Baxter and Amber Gaines also spoke about their internships at the Port of Virginia and the Pentagon, respectively. Virginia Wesleyan looks to its Corporate Leaders to connect with students through experiential learning opportunities like internships, mentoring and career fairs; to engage with students in the classroom by serving as guest speakers or panelists for special events; and to positively project the quality and versatility of a liberal arts education at Virginia Wesleyan, which increases the value and name recognition of a VWC degree as new graduates enter the workforce. Learn more about the Corporate Leaders Council.
Virginia Wesleyan senior Kaci Wertz took the lead in bringing the Delta Sigma chapter of Iota Iota Iota to the Virginia Wesleyan campus, joining a nationwide coalition of student clubs recognizing academic excellence in women’s and gender studies. Wertz will serve as the chapter’s first president of Iota Iota Iota, which aims to promote interest in women's and gender studies, research in social issues affecting women and other social and intellectual activities that lead to improvement in the condition of all people. The society also encourages volunteerism, advocacy and activism within the community as important methods for supporting and maintaining the values central to the women's studies discipline.
“It is most appropriate to establish an Iota Iota Iota chapter here at the College during Women’s History Month,” said VWC President Scott D. Miller. “I encourage the campus community to join me in welcoming Delta Sigma—may its members be nourished by our community’s continued dedication to equality and education.”
The Virginia Wesleyan Chorale, under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music Bryson Mortensen, departs on Sunday, March 19, for their spring tour which includes performances in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. They will stop to share their talents in the cities of Annandale, Virginia; Keene, New Hampshire; Boston, Massachusetts; Concord, Massachusetts; Hershey, Pennsylvania; and Haymarket, Virginia. The Chorale will also hold clinics with high school choirs and collaborate with Keene State College, Concord-Carlisle High School, and Lower-Dauphin High School to perform concerts.
“This is an exceptional opportunity for our fine Chorale to showcase their talent and represent Virginia Wesleyan to new audiences,” said VWC President Scott D. Miller. “ As our funding campaign continues for the new Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center and we build on the tradition of the arts and humanities here on campus and in our community, we express our gratitude to Dr. Mortensen and his students for taking their spring break to enrich the musical experiences of others.”
President Miller has announced that Rev. Susan Pendleton Jones, a 1980 graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College, will serve as VWC’s 2017 Baccalaureate speaker. Baccalaureate is a religious service held at most private, church-related educational institutions prior to commencement. This year’s Baccalaureate service is scheduled for Friday, May 19, at 6 p.m. at Haygood United Methodist Church. Rev. Jones is currently senior fellow of the Institute for Faith and Learning at Baylor University. She holds a B.A. from Virginia Wesleyan College and a M.Div. from Duke University. An ordained Methodist minister, she is a frequent retreat leader for lay and clergy groups. At Duke she had oversight of the contextual education programs, including Mentoring for Ministry and Student Life, field education, the Hispanic House of Studies, and the Thriving Rural Communities Program. Her teaching responsibilities have included courses on leadership, forgiveness and reconciliation, and the pastor's vocation, team-taught with her husband, L. Gregory Jones, now Baylor’s executive vice president and provost. She and Greg have co-authored several Bible studies and other curricular components for The United Methodist Publishing House. She has also written articles and reflections for a variety of publications, including Faith & Leadership, Christian Century, and The Upper Room.
The new VWC/YMCA joint-use facility currently under construction on campus near Village IV will be named the Frank Blocker Youth Center in honor of S. Frank Blocker, Jr., longtime Board of Trustees member and now Trustee Emeritus of Virginia Wesleyan College. The Blocker name is well known on the Virginia Wesleyan campus. Blocker Hall, the College’s original natural sciences and humanities building, was named for Mr. Blocker’s parents, S. Frank and Wilma Williamson Blocker, in recognition of an estate gift made by S. Frank Blocker, Jr., in 1992. In recent years, Blocker Hall has received close to $4 million in renovations, among them the creation of several research labs, updates to Blocker Auditorium, and the addition of a state-of-the-art scanning electron microscope. Blocker Hall will be complemented by the forthcoming Greer Environmental Sciences Center, and together, the buildings will enhance the College’s growing programs in the natural sciences.
The Frank Blocker Youth Center, once completed, will be a 6,000-square-foot space containing three classrooms, a large multi-purpose room, four offices, a reception area, kitchen, and an adjacent outdoor amphitheater with stage. Scheduled for completion in May, the facility will be used during the academic year by Tidewater Collegiate Academy—our laboratory school and early enrollment partner—and in the summer months by YMCA Camp Red Feather.
President Miller has announced the appointment of two faculty members to fill vacant directorships for First Year Experience (FYE) and Winter and Summer sessions.
Dr. Rebecca Hooker is the new Director of First Year Experience. Dr. Hooker is a Batten Associate Professor of English at Virginia Wesleyan College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Carleton College, a Master of Science in Education for College Student Personnel Administration from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in English Literature with a concentration in Cultural Studies from George Mason University, and a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature/Letters from the University of New Mexico. She has been at the College since 2008. Dr. Hooker will lead the The First Year Experience (FYE) which is designed to help students prepare for the transition from high school to college. FYE programs often foster the participation of students in co-curricular events such as common reads, concerts, art exhibits, and guest lectures. “As we know from research, engaged students are likely to remain enrolled,” says President Miller. Additional advantages of the FYE include sharpening students' study skills and exposing them to unfamiliar topics that may spark interest in pursuing a particular academic field.
Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson is the new Director of the Winter and Summer Sessions. Dr. Gonsalves-Jackson is an Associate Professor of Biology at Virginia Wesleyan. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Randolph College, a Master of Science in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography from Florida Atlantic University, and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the Florida Institute of Technology. She has been at the College since 2006. She will lead VWC's Winter and Summer Sessions which are usually concentrated/unusual course offerings focusing on close interaction, field experiences and study away. Although fall and spring semesters are the core of the Virginia Wesleyan educational experience, Winter and Summer Sessions can enable students to experience the College from another perspective.
According to President Miller, “Expanding Winter Session will improve cohort graduation rates and build supplemental revenue. Increasing Summer Session offerings, including recruiting students from other colleges living in this community over the summer, will enhance revenues, utilize campus facilities on a more year-round basis, and give students academic options they need for on-time graduation.”
Congratulations to all Virginia Wesleyan College students who have been named to the Fall 2016 Dean's List. The Dean's List recognizes all students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits. Well done! View the complete Fall 2016 Dean’s List.
President Miller announced that he received official notification of Virginia Wesleyan College's 10-year reaffirmation of affiliation with The United Methodist Church. The College was "approved for continued listing without qualification" in a February 21 letter from Dr. John W. Wells, Associate General Secretary of the Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Executive Secretary of the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. The action follows a November review and extremely positive visit by a committee from the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. The committee was comprised of: Dr. John Russell, Immediate Past President of McMurray University; Dr. Mark Hanshaw, Associate Dean, School of Arts and Letters, at Texas Wesleyan University; and the Rev. Laura McMasters, College Chaplain at Martin Methodist College. The United Methodist Church has more colleges, universities, theological schools, and preparatory schools related to it than any other Protestant church. With so many affiliated institutions, the UMC established the University Senate in 1892 to be certain that these institutions are worthy of bearing the name of the Church. As such, the University Senate reviewed the ways Virginia Wesleyan College meets the four criteria for UMC affiliation as specified in The Book of Discipline: institutional integrity, well-structured programs, sound management, and clearly defined Church relationships.
“Virginia Wesleyan College is a community of faith, learning and service, and we are very grateful for this notification of reaffirmation of affiliation,” says Dr. Miller. “Underlying all that we do is our deep commitment to the United Methodist tradition of education. Our mission takes inspiration from that heritage, preparing students for global citizenry, service to their communities, personal and professional leadership, and lives of continual learning and meaning.”
Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and out of the classroom. Day One, an electronic newsletter published at the start of each month, celebrates these professional development successes and keeps the VWC community abreast of one other’s scholarly work. In the current issue, learn about 16 VWC colleagues who traveled to the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy at Virginia Tech and more. View the March 2017 issue and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWC's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). For more information or to make a submission, contact Associate Dean of INTEL Denise Wilkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455.3249.
At noon, those on campus will now hear Virginia Wesleyan’s fight song, “On Virginia Wesleyan,” and at 5 p.m., the College’s alma mater will ring across campus.
“Celebrating school pride and honoring our College’s legacy is incredibly important to me,” says President Miller. “It is for this reason that I recently requested that our campanile, known to many as simply “The Bell Tower,” begin sharing these songs of spirit and tradition. “
Virginia Wesleyan's Monumental Chapel and its adjacent Frank E. Brown Campanile are landmarks on campus that not only symbolize our United Methodist heritage but also represent the passion of the College’s founders and the progress of those who have earned their degrees from VWC. According to Dr. Stephen Mansfield's book Wisdom Lights the Way: Virginia Wesleyan College's First Half-Century, these historic structures came about in an “unusual fashion”:
“The minister and leaders of Portsmouth's Monumental United Methodist Church indicated during 1972 that they would like to provide funds for a Virginia Wesleyan project as part of the church's 200th anniversary celebration. Monumental's decision to raise $50,000 for a chapel was matched by a gift from the Beasley Foundation. During the planning stage, Richmond philanthropist Frank Brown offered to donate the cost of the bell tower, or campanile, which would stand near the chapel, and the Norfolk Federal Savings and Loan Company contributed the carillon, which had been a fixture of its home office since 1957. [Then] President [Lambuth M.] Clarke observed that it was unique within Virginia United Methodism, and perhaps the entire denomination, for a congregation to fund a college building. He saw significance for United Methodism's commitment to higher education in Virginia's oldest continuous congregation making such a contribution to the denomination's newest college. The completed chapel, campanile, and carillon were consecrated in February 1975.”
Our Alma Mater and fight song carry significant histories of their own. The College’s Alma Mater was written in 2002 by Dr. Sandra Billy, Director of the Center for Sacred Music, and Professor Emeritus Dr. David Clayton, VWC’s first full-time music professor. From the Alma Mater came the College’s Latin motto, sapientia illuminat viam, or "Wisdom Lights the Way.” Our fight song, “On, Virginia Wesleyan!” was written in 2011 by Joanne Renn, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, and Bill Bishop, a veteran area sports announcer.
Ethics & Presidential Politics Deliberated at 2017 Ethics Bowl at VWC
Student teams from 15 private, independent colleges across the commonwealth gathered at Virginia Wesleyan on February 12 and 13 to compete in the 18th annual Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) Ethics Bowl. The teams, divided into two divisions, deliberated on the topic “Ethics & U.S. Presidential Politics” in four moderated, judged rounds. Thirty-six business people/community leaders volunteered their time and talents to serve as moderators and judges during the event. Wells Fargo has been the primary sponsor for the Ethics Bowl for 16 years.
VWC lead faculty coordinator for Virginia Wesleyan’s Ethics Bowl teams, Professor of Communication Kathy Merlock Jackson said, “Our students represented us well, winning five out of eight rounds, collectively. VWC Team 1 (Riley Conrad, Kelsi Robins, Melissa Fisher, and Nicholas Hipple) won rounds over Washington and Lee, Sweet Briar, and Lynchburg and lost by only three points to University of Richmond. VWC Team 2 (Kyle Grabulis, Jared White, Dante Davis, and Tanail Canty), all newcomers to the Ethics Bowl this year, lost their first two rounds on Sunday to Mary Baldwin and Hampden-Sydney but came on strong during Monday’s competition winning over both Bridgewater and Hollins.”
Division winners advancing to the final round were from Hampden-Sydney College and the University of Richmond. Hampden-Sydney College won the final round of the 2017 VFIC Ethics Bowl, securing the coveted Batten trophy for the second year in a row.
Congratulations to the 25 newest inductees to Phi Eta Sigma, the nation's oldest and largest honor society for first-year college and university students in all disciplines. The spring induction ceremony of select Virginia Wesleyan College freshmen into Phi Eta Sigma was held on February 21, 2017. The mission of Phi Eta Sigma, founded in 1923 at the University of Illinois, is to encourage and reward academic excellence among freshmen at institutions of higher learning. Since its founding, more than 1.1 million scholars have been inducted into chapters on 378 campuses across the United States. Virginia Wesleyan’s chapter was founded in 1983 and today consists of 150 active student members.
Spring 2017 Phi Eta Sigma Inductees
Taylor Anderson Connor Graham
Jordyn Aysanoa Nel Hart
Alexandra Berg Monika Metro
Alexander Benevento Austin Obenour
Andreas Combos Jacob Pilarski
Taylor Coutts Kelli Porter
Noah Craft Kristina Sabelston
Lydia Dale Tara Truax
Austin Edmonds Emma Walsh
Christopher Fegan Andre' Wiggins
Melissa Fisher Taylor Wilhelm
Shae Geary Cora Wilson
The VWC Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL) provided support for sixteen members of the Virginia Wesleyan faculty to attend the 9th Annual Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy at Virginia Tech, February 14 – 17. The conference, focused on higher education teaching excellence and the scholarship of teaching and learning, showcases the best pedagogical practice and research in higher education today. Six members of the VWC faculty presented a session or poster at the conference: Professor of Management, Business, and Economics Linda Ferguson, Professor of Art History Joyce Howell and Professor of English Sue Larkin presented "Blending Digital Pedagogies into Face-to-Face Classes;” Professor of Chemistry Joyce Easter presented "Invigorating the Lab Curriculum with Process Skill Development;" and Professor of Mathematics Denise Wilkinson and Professor of Sociology Kathy Stolley presented "Talk About Teaching: A Case Study of a Faculty Forum Created to Encourage and Foster Effective Teaching." Conference attendees also included: Assistant Professor of English Kellie Holzer, Associate Professor of English Rebecca Hooker, Associate Professor of Management, Business, and Economics Paul Ewell, Coordinator of Accreditation, Data Collection, and Reporting Sandra Ewell, Associate Professor of Psychology Taryn Myers, Assistant Professor of English Jen Slivka, Professor of Communication Kathy Merlock Jackson, Associate Professor of Psychology Gabi Martorell, Director of the Learning Center Julia Capewell and Director of Instructional Technology Robin Takacs. VWC faculty will share lessons learned at this conference at a Talk about Teaching session on March 14 in the Foley Classroom in Hofheimer Library.
The Learning Center, housed on the second floor of Virginia Wesleyan’s Clarke Hall, is a key resource for students, offering academic tutoring, individualized writing assistance, disability support and other services. On February 13, the Learning Center debuted a new and exciting opportunity with the unveiling of its first-ever Speech Lab, which provides support for public speaking and presentations. In the Speech Lab, students are able to work with a professional tutor on upcoming speeches and presentations. The tutor can help with everything from creating an outline for a speech or working on articulation, diction and body language to creating effective PowerPoint presentations or even strategies for public speaking anxiety. The Speech Lab has technology that allows users to record and playback a practice presentation, helping identify potential areas for improvement. Additionally, the space can be reserved by individuals or groups to practice presentations on their own. Visit the Learning Center website to find out more or to make a reservation.
Thirty-eight prospective freshmen—one all the way from France—will arrive in Coastal Virginia today to take part in the inaugural Batten Honors College competition (Feb. 9-11). The event will get underway with a welcome reception at the Virginia Aquarium and will continue Friday and Saturday with various interviews, campus tours, and panel discussions. Participating students and their parents will also attend a second reception at Slover Library in downtown Norfolk. Twenty students will be selected to receive the Batten Fellowship, a prestigious scholarship renewable for four years and covering the full amount of tuition—$36,010 for the 2017-2018 academic year—plus funding for an international study-away experience during their junior or senior year. The Batten Honors College will recognize the academic merit and leadership potential of another 20 students by admitting them to the Honors College as Shumadine Scholars. Shumadine Scholarships will have a value in an amount equal to two-thirds tuition—$24,000 during the 2017-2018 academic year. Through small class sizes, personalized instruction and especially vigorous faculty-student interaction, the Batten Honors College will inspire, engage, and prepare academically-talented students to become impactful leaders and environmental stewards in our global community. The Batten Honors College was originally introduced by Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller during his August 2016 State of the College Address. It is named for dedicated friends of the institution Trustee Emerita Jane P. Batten H’06 and her late husband, Frank Batten, Sr. A second competition is scheduled for Feb. 23-25. Learn more at www.vwc.edu/battenhonorscolleg
Update 2/15/17: View Flickr Photo Gallery of Inaugural Battens Honors Competition
In a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly Friday, Virginia Wesleyan College joined with nearly 600 universities and colleges from across the nation to voice concerns about President Donald Trump's recent executive actions banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The letter, sent by the American Council on Education, was signed by 598 university and college presidents and also represented the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
"We take seriously the need to safeguard our nation and also the need for the United States to remain the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest students, faculty and scholars," the letter read. "...We are confident that our nation can craft policies that secure us from those who wish to harm us, while welcoming those who seek to study, conduct research and scholarship, and contribute their knowledge and talents to our country."
The letter also called the U.S. the "greatest magnet for talented people from around the world" and said international collaboration is a "core value and strength of American higher education."
From “Shakespeare’s Love Sonnets” to “Sea Sex: Bizarre Reproductive Strategies in Marine Invertebrates,” Virginia Wesleyan will be feeling the love this Valentine’s Day Week for the College’s “Love Liberally” 7th Annual Celebration of Love in the Liberal Arts, February 13â€17. In this campus-wide event faculty are once again opening their doors for special lectures, workshops and presentations that explore the concept of love through their own disciplinary lens. These occasions present a great opportunity for students to get to know professors they have not had or subjects of interest to them without being enrolled in that particular course. The presentations are open to the entire campus community. New this year, students faculty and staff can stop by the Hofheimer Library during Love Liberally Week to participate in "Watch Kindness Bloom.” Participants select a leaf from the Kindness Tree and perform the act of kindness written on it, then return to write their reflections on giving or receiving an act of kindness on a flower. The tree “blooms” throughout the week. See the complete "Love Liberally" schedule.
Each spring, in partnership with the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, Virginia Wesleyan College hosts a workshop for UMC pastors that yields continuing education units. Last year, this program was renamed the Robert F. Boyd Institute after co-founding member of the College’s Board of Trustees, Bob Boyd. This year's Boyd Institute will take place April 3-4 and will feature Dr. Ben Witherington III, Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. He will discuss "A Singular Jesus in a Pluralistic Culture." Read more about this year's program and register to attend on the Robert F. Boyd Institute website.
Lessons Learned: Faculty Share New Experiences and Best Practices with Innovative Teaching
1) "Lessons Learned: Take-Aways from training in Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning as a Method for teaching Music Courses" Bryson Mortensen will share a few best practices he learned while attending the three-day 2016 POGIL workshop. Bryson has worked to integrate process-oriented guided inquiry learning into his music courses. DATE/TIME: Tuesday, February 7, 11:00-11:50 am, Foley classroom, Library.
2) "Lessons Learned: Incorporating the Use of the Electron Microscope in Courses and Undergraduate Research Projects” Vic Townsend, Maury Howard and Chris Haley will share their experiences with the electron microscope in their classes. Participants will also have the opportunity for a hands-on experience with the microscope. DATE/TIME: Tuesday, Feb 28, 11-11:50 am, Blocker auditorium.
3) "Lessons Learned: Take-Aways from Va. Tech Pedagogy conference” The conversation of this session will be led by VWC faculty who attended the 2017 Virginia Tech Pedagogy conference and share information they learned at the conference. DATE/TIME: Tuesday, March 14, 11:00-11:50 am, Foley classroom, Library.
4) "Lessons Learned: Revealing INTEL Grant projects ideas and topics on Good Teaching" INTEL grant recipients, Larry Hultgren and Jill Sturts share the magic behind their proposals - what went well with their projects, any bumps they encountered along the way, and what they learned. DATE/TIME: Tuesday, March 28, 11:00-11:50 am, Foley classroom, Library.
5) “Lessons Learned: Shedding Light on Community Engagement in the Classroom” Faculty who have incorporated Service Learning components share their experiences and best practices learned with integrating a volunteer, service learning, or community engagement component into their courses. DATE/TIME: Tuesday, April 25, 11:00-11:50 am, Foley classroom, Library.
Virginia Wesleyan's ninth class was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at a special ceremony on February 4 in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Congratulations to the 2017 Inductees: Rebecca Leedom Bradford '10 – Volleyball (2007-2010), Cara N. Byrd '06 – Field Hockey (2003-06), Christine M. Clancy Davis '07 – Field Hockey and Women’s Lacrosse (2003-07), Gary DePalma – Men’s Soccer (1994-1997) and Megan Parris '06 – Women’s Lacrosse and Women’s Soccer (2002-05). View photo gallery from the event. and read more about each inductee and the Virginia Wesleyan College Athletic Hall of Fame at https://goo.gl/a3tvhu.
Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and out of the classroom. Day One, an electronic newsletter published at the start of each month, celebrates these professional development successes and keeps the VWC community abreast of one other’s scholarly work. In the current issue, learn about presentations by VWC math professors at the national Mathematical Association of America conference and more. View the February 2017 issue and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWC's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). For more information or to make a submission, contact Associate Dean of INTEL Denise Wilkinson at email@example.com or 757.455.3249.
Students gathered with faculty and staff in Boyd Dining Hall on January 23 to share their travel experiences during Winter Session at a reception hosted by President Scott Miller. Seventy-six students have safely returned to VWC after broadening their horizons through travel to places around the world this month as part of their coursework in the following classes/travel destinations: CHEM 455: Measurement Science -Washington D.C.; COMM 333: Walt Disney's America -Orlando, FL; ENG 248/348: Topics in Travel Writing - New York, NY; HIST 262: History of Prague - Prague, Czech Republic; PSY 305: History of Psychopathology of Europe - London, Paris, and Amsterdam; REC 348: Maui to Mogul - Oahu, Hawaii; SPAN 219/319: Seminar in Hispanic Studies - Yucatan, Mexico; TH 270/370: New York Theatre - New York, NY. View on Instagram.
On behalf of Virginia Wesleyan College and in appreciation of their longtime support, President Scott D. Miller recently presented VWC Board of Trustees member Dr. Henry Watts and his wife, Eleanor, with the original artwork from the College's 2016 Christmas card (view photo). President Miller visited the Watts at their Virginia Beach home on January 18—Dr. Watts’ birthday. The artwork, created by Virginia artist and VWC parent Robbie Garrity, features a snow-covered Godwin Hall. Dr. Watts served as Chair of the College's Board of Trustees in 1999 when Godwin Hall opened. He joined the VWC Board in 1989 and continues to serve today as Parliamentarian. Mrs. Watts was an active member of the Women of Wesleyan. The couple returns to Virginia Wesleyan often to cheer for Marlins basketball.
Students achieving a 4.0 grade point average for the fall semester are listed on the Fall 2016 President's List. Congratulations to these students for their exemplary academic performance! They will be formally recognized at a reception hosted by President Miller this spring. Well done!
Virginia Wesleyan graduate Kristie (Sigmon) Middleton ’98, senior food policy director of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) , has written a book called MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live—One Meal at a Time. The book, which will be released by Da Capo Press in March 2017, includes recipes and tips for a concise, practical, and realistic approach to enjoying healthier meatless meals. The book also addresses animal welfare issues. In her role with the HSUS, Middleton oversees efforts to drive plant-based eating and has worked with some of the nation’s largest school districts, as well as dozens of hospitals and colleges to implement healthier eating programs. She holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Middleton lives with her husband, four cats, and a dog in Oakland, California. Middleton majored in communications at Virginia Wesleyan, an experience she says “opened my eyes to the possibilities of driving positive changes in our society through effective communication.”
The VWC community is saddened by the loss of Sara Miller Boyd, former President of the Women of Wesleyan and wife of founding Virginia Wesleyan Trustee Robert F. Boyd. Mrs. Boyd, who passed away on New Year’s Day, had a long affiliation with Virginia Wesleyan from the College’s beginnings in the 1960s. She was active in the Women of Wesleyan and served as the group’s President from 1970 to 1972. The John Wesley statue, the Boyd Dining Center, the fountain to the east of the Center and a series of paintings on Wesley’s life are examples of the Boyds’ support for the College over the decades. The Boyds’ son, Jim, graduated from Virginia Wesleyan in 1984 with a B.A. in political science. Jim’s son, James, is currently a freshman at the College. A funeral service for Sara Miller Boyd, wife of founding Trustee Robert F. Boyd, will be held on Saturday, January 7, at 1 p.m. at Park Place United Methodist Church (500 W. 34th St., Norfolk). Read more about Mrs. Boyd's life and legacy.
Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander and Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms will be on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan College on Wedensday, January 11, for a special free screening of GerryRIGGED: Turning Democracy on Its Head, a documentary examining the impacts of gerrymandering, the practice of manipulating electoral boundaries to favor one political party or class. The event is being hosted by OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting, a leader in advocating for fair redistricting in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The organization is structured to reflect a commitment to education and advocacy, with a multi-partisan approach that includes Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Leslie Caughell, VWC Assistant Professor of Political Science, has also been involved in planning the event. Students in Caughell’s Winter Session “American Politics” course are exploring non-partisan reform efforts underway to address partisan gerrymandering and will be attending the event. This free screening will take place in Pearce Hospitality SUite in the Jane P. Batten Student Center at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. A discussion will follow the screening.
Craig Wansink, VWC Professor of Religious Studies and the Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, has been selected by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) to receive a 2017 Tidewater Humanitarian Award. The Humanitarian Awards honor individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to the promotion of respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. The 53rd presentation of VCIC’s Humanitarian Awards will be held on Thursday, March 30, at the Westin Virginia Beach Town Center. For more information, visit www.inclusiveva.org.
Virginia Wesleyan College, along with Presidents and Chancellors from 170 Colleges and Universities, including 35 states in the U.S., have joined together to urge president-elect Trump and the incoming congressional representatives to accelerate progress towards a clean energy future. Through their open letter, organized by a diverse group of higher education institutions and the Boston-based nonprofit Second Nature, they call on elected officials to support participation in the Paris Agreement, climate research, and investment in the low carbon economy. “The upcoming transition of federal leadership presents a unique opportunity to address head-on the challenges of climate change by accelerating the new energy economy and creating strong, resilient communities,” wrote the group. “We are committed to developing and deploying innovative climate solutions that provide a prosperous future for all Americans.” The group of schools expressed their alignment with the business and investment communities in supporting the science-based targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement. Virginia Wesleyan College has been taking climate action for years, including voluntarily setting carbon neutrality goals and publicly reporting progress through a program called the Climate Leadership Commitments. A full list of the schools supporting the open letter can be found at secondnature.org/higher-education-climate-action-letter.
Virginia Wesleyan College has been designated a River Star Business, Achievement Level, by the Elizabeth River Project, an independent non-profit working along with its partner organizations to restore the Elizabeth River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. River Star Businesses is one of the Elizabeth River Project’s signature programs, recognizing organizations that voluntarily reduce pollution and create or conserve wildlife habitat enhancement. The River Restoration Advisory Committee, comprised of River Star peers and technical experts, reviews River Star documentation every fall for entry and advancement in the program. The two-star Achievement Level recognition is attained when a River Star documents significant achievements in both pollution prevention and wildlife habitat enhancement. Achievements must be clearly quantified and achieved with meaningful employee involvement and be significant relative to the size and nature of the organization. In their review, the committee noted Virginia Wesleyan’s energy efficiency, green roof, storm water management, solar panels, wildlife habitat enhancement, old growth beech forest, bird sanctuary, beekeeping, composting, arboretum and native plant pallet among other initiatives. River Star accomplishments will be celebrated at the Elizabeth River Project’s annual River Star Recognition Luncheon on January 26, 2017, at The Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel. Learn more about the Elizabeth River Project.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has approved Virginia Wesleyan College as a Level III institution. The classification to this level will enable VWC to offer master’s degrees. Virginia Wesleyan will soon expand its academic program to include a Master of Arts in Education, an online Master of Business Administration and online degree-completion programs at the undergraduate level. A traditionally delivered Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017. It will be a 4+1 program, meaning that students complete an undergraduate degree in four years focused on a content major related to secondary education and then complete a year of graduate study devoted to preparation for teaching. An online Master of Business Administration (MBA) is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2017. The advanced education that these programs provide will empower our students with the ability to compete for more rewarding jobs in their chosen specializations. The College will also begin offering two online degree-completion programs in the fall of 2017. These flexible online programs will introduce an unprecedented level of convenience for students in our Adult Studies Program and have the potential for significant growth. The addition of these programs marks a pivotal moment in the history of Virginia Wesleyan College and underscores our reputation and competitiveness as a leader in American higher education—indeed, as Coastal Virginia's premier private, national liberal arts college.
Nine Virginia Wesleyan students were inducted into the Society for Collegiate Journalists on December 9. Congratulations to Jasmine Driggs, Corey King, Ashlei Gates, Katherine Bishop, Valerie Miller, Hayley Heath, Justin Smith, Victoria Laughlin and Cynthia Griffin! The Society for Collegiate Journalists is the nation’s oldest organization designed solely to serve college media leaders. The students being inducted pledged to uphold the ethical standards of the Society, subscribe willingly to the practice of freedom of expression and be held accountable for the content of the printed page and broadcast. The speaker at the induction ceremony was Lori Crouch, an Emmy-nominated, award winning broadcast journalist and public relations professional, who is currently the Director of Corporate Communications for the City of Norfolk. Ms. Crouch was introduced by VWC Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne, who is the advisor to Virginia Wesleyan's chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists which was established in 1995. President of the College, Dr. Scott D. Miller was also on hand to congratulate the new inductees. View photo.
Martha Nesselrode and Addie, 10 a.m.-noon
Wednesday, December 14
Margery Howell and Phoebe, 10 a.m.-noon
Julie Morgan and Bart, 2-4 p.m.
Thursday, December 15
Kathy Stolley and Ernest T., 10 a.m.-noon
Friday, December 16
Maloy Van Faussien and Penny, noon-2 p.m.
Margery Howell and Phoebe, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Stop by and enjoy some canine comfort and companionship.
Virginia Wesleyan College will hold its inaugural Port Day on Tuesday, December 6 from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. This new tradition is a signature Virginia Wesleyan event, designed to demonstrate and promote the academic achievement of students completing capstone undergraduate research, internship and semester study away experiences. Port Day will feature student presentations in a conference-style format with concurrent sessions and multiple locations across campus. Students will share their work in a professional manner with either an oral or poster presentation and answer audience questions. On Port Day, no classes, meetings, or athletic events will be held during the day, allowing the entire campus community to celebrate the accomplishments of Virginia Wesleyan students, learn about work completed, and hear about the transformative power of participation in capstone academic experiences. The day will also be an important opportunity for students who would like to learn how they, too, can undertake a capstone experience at Virginia Wesleyan. Learn more about Port Day.
Virginia Wesleyan College (VWC) has entered into a new educational partnership that will enrich the learning experiences of Virginia Wesleyan’s teacher-education students while generating revenue and providing additional opportunities for enrollment at the College. An agreement signed with Tidewater Community Academy (TCA), an organization that serves students from the sixth through the 12th grades, will provide rented space on the VWC campus to expand TCA’s programming in ways that will be mutually beneficial for the educational missions of both organizations. Utilizing some classroom and administrative areas of VWC’s Pruden Hall and the soon-to-be-constructed YMCA Partnership Building, the Academy will function as an on-campus laboratory school for our teacher-education students who currently travel to the school’s Chesapeake location. Additionally, the partnership agreement calls for establishing an early college-entrance program, permitting senior students at the Academy to take courses here and earn college credits. The expectation is that many of these students will be strong contenders for continued enrollment at Virginia Wesleyan. Learn more about Virginia Wesleyan’s Education Department.
Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller served as a keynote panelist Dec. 1 at the 87th Annual Conference of the Virginia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (VACRAO) in Newport News. Joining him on the distinguished panel were Dr. Nancy Gray, President of Hollins University, and Dr. Taylor Reveley III, President of The College of William & Mary. Dr. Miller helped lead the discussion, which highlighted some of the biggest challenges in higher education today. Topics included questions about keeping college costs low while meeting the growing demands of students; helping families understand the value of investment in postsecondary education; strategies for keeping pace with online degree programs, hybrid course offerings, and enhanced student expectations for technology in the classroom; and FERPA regulations and concerns about student privacy, safety and wellness. VACRAO is dedicated to the promotion of the professional preparation, effectiveness, and association of registrars, admission officers, and records administrators in colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education. The group's 2016 annual conference is taking place Dec. 1-2 at the Newport News Marriott at City Center. For additional information, visit www.vacrao.org. View Photo
The annual luncheon to recognize members of The Lambuth M. and Alice A. Clarke Heritage Society was held on November 29 in the Pearce Hospitality Suite on campus. The Society is a special group of Virginia Wesleyan supporters who have chosen to include the College in their estate plans. This was the first convening of the Heritage Society since it was renamed in honor of Alice Clarke and her late husband, Lambuth, who had a distinguished record of service as President of Virginia Wesleyan from 1966 to 1992. The Heritage Society was formed many years ago by Wesleyan friends and family with the Clarkes among the inaugural founders. During this year’s event, Society members Charles and Viola Kessler were recognized for their support. Charles, now retired, was a beloved religious studies professor at VWC. Since the Kessler’s were unable to attend the event, College Archivist and their longtime friend Dr. Stephen Mansfield, accepted a keepsake clock on their behalf. VWC Director of Choral Music Bryson Mortensen led the Wesleyan Chorale in a series of holiday musical selections that provided a preview of “A Wesleyan Christmas” for luncheon attendees. Performances for “A Wesleyan Christmas” are scheduled for December 2 at 7:30 p.m. and December 3 at 4:00 p.m. in Hofheimer Theatre.
On November 21 Virginia Wesleyan College formalized a Guaranteed Admission Agreement with Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC). The agreement joins VWC and TNCC in a collaborative effort to facilitate the transfer of students from associate degree programs to VWC programs for degree completion. Admission to Virginia Wesleyan will be guaranteed for any TNCC student who meets the articulated criteria. Merit scholarships will be awarded to each Thomas Nelson student accepted to Virginia Wesleyan based on cumulative GPA of all college work attempted. In attendance at the signing ceremony were: VWC President Scott D. Miller, VWC Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy O’Rourke, VWC Assistant Provost Deborah Hicks, VWC Associate Dean for Enrollment Beth Clarke, TNCC President John T. Dever, TNCC Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Charles B. Swaim, TNCC Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Kris Rarig and TNCC Dean of Communications, Humanities, and Social Sciences Patrick Tompkins.
On November 15, two of Virginia Wesleyan’s most devoted supporter, Susan and David Goode, were honored as Outstanding Philanthropists during a luncheon sponsored by the Hampton Roads chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. VWC President Scott Miller and his wife, Annie; Senior Vice President Mort Gamble; Associate Vice President for Advancement Suzanne Savage; Board of Trustees Chair David Kaufman; Trustee Henry Watts H’07 and his wife Eleanor; and Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities Travis Malone attended the celebration, representing VWC. A number of other current and former trustees and special friends of the College were also in attendance. As part of the presentation, a special video was prepared as a tribute to the Goodes’ wonderful record of philanthropy for numerous organizations and causes in our region. Highlighted was their strong commitment to Virginia Wesleyan; Susan remains an active member of our College’s Board of Trustees.
Virginia Wesleyan College Dean Emeritus David Buckingham was presented the Legacy Award at the annual meeting of the Virginia Student Services Conference (VSSC) in Wintergreen, Virginia on November 17. VWC Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling presented him with the award. The Student Affairs Legacy Awards were established by the VSSC to recognize lifetime achievements in the field of student affairs. Buckingham, who was affectionately known to students as “Dean B” during his 33-year tenure at VWC, is currently serving as the interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs for the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the as the chief student affairs officer for the University of Maine at Fort Kent, following his retirement from VWC in 2015.
The faculty of the Management, Business, and Economics Department at Virginia Wesleyan College will welcome the newest members of Sigma Beta Delta, the international honorary society for business, management, and administration at an induction ceremony on November 17. The announcement was made by Elaine Dessouki, VWC Assistant Professor of Management, Business, and Economics. The students being inducted include: Ryan Blanton ’17, Eveline Bruce ’17, Rebecca Davis ’18, Barbi Gonzalez ’17, Nicholas Hipple ’17, Dawn Holmes-Schalow ’17, Tabitha Lowell ’17, Bryon Miller ’17 and Kelsi Robins ’18. These students join returning members Amanda Baxter ’17, Nicholas Kovach ’17, Tanner Martin ’17, Kateley Dare May ’17, Evan Merrill ’17 and Brandon Wheat ’17. Sigma Beta Delta is an organization that encourages personal and professional improvement and a life distinguished by honorable service to humankind.
You’ve heard of TED Talks. Now get ready for VWTalks. Students in Virginia Wesleyan’s Honors & Scholars Association have started this new program in which scholars will present on a topic of interest and then facilitate a discussion with the audience. The first event, a presentation by Darlene Flucker '18 on Modern Feminism and the Media, was held on October 26. The second event, titled It’s a Bee-autiful World! and discussion facilitated by Collette Vauthier ’17, takes place in Pearce Hospitality Suite on November 9 at 6 p.m. Vauthier is an Honors & Scholars student and has been involved with VWC’s beekeeping program. (Read more about endangered bees and beekeeping at VWC). The idea for VWTalks was student-generated and is being organized by Honors & Scholars Association President Zoe Traficante. “I came up with the idea after I watched the TED Talk about the Lollipop Moment,” says Traficante. “It really impacted everyone in the room and I wanted to try to bring something like that to VWC.” The Honors and Scholars Program at Virginia Wesleyan College encourages campus-wide scholarship and academic excellence.
Virginia Wesleyan’s Terry Lindvall, C.S. Lewis Endowed Chair in Communication and Christian Thought, is being honored by the Religious Communication Association (RCA) at the annual National Communication Association Conference in Philadelphia on November 9. Lindvall’s book God Mocks: A History of Religious Satire from the Hebrew Prophets to Stephen Colbert (NYU Press, 2015) has been selected as the book of the year by the RCA. God Mocks ventures into the muddy and dangerous realm of religious satire, chronicling its evolution from the biblical wit and humor of the Hebrew prophets through the Roman Era and the Middle Ages up to the present. Lindvall takes readers on a journey through the work of Chaucer, Cervantes, Jonathan Swift, and Mark Twain, and ends with the mediated entertainment of modern wags like Stephen Colbert. The RCA is an academic society founded in 1973 for scholars, teachers, students, clergy, journalists, and others who share an interest in religious speech, rhetoric, media, and performance. Read more about Dr. Lindvall's recent publishing projects.
Steve Pinto has been named the Director for Enrollment of the newly established Batten Honors College at Virginia Wesleyan College, according to President Scott D. Miller. Before joining the staff at Virginia Wesleyan this fall, Pinto served several years as a college counselor at independent schools along the East Coast, including Sandy Spring Friends School in Sandy Spring, Maryland, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Suffolk, Virginia, the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., and the Westtown School outside of Philadelphia. Prior to being a college counselor, Pinto worked in college admissions for seven years at his alma mater, Dickinson College. While at Dickinson, he served as an Assistant Director of Admissions, the Coordinator of Multicultural Student Recruitment and the Coordinator of the Admissions Student Intern and Student Volunteer programs. He received his B.A. in Anthropology and Political Science from Dickinson College. Named for Trustee Emerita and dedicated friends of the institution Jane P. and Frank Batten, Sr., the Batten Honors College celebrates the unique and vibrant intellectual journeys of selected students. Benefiting from small-class, personalized instruction and vigorous faculty-student interaction, The Batten Honors College will serve the special academic aspirations of students. Twenty full-tuition academic scholarships will be provided each year to attract top scholars. Students will be selected through an extremely competitive process that will include a day-long competition at the College. When fully implemented, a total of 80 learners will be known as Batten Fellows. They will add to the existing number of academically talented students in Wesleyan’s Honors and Scholars program to ensure a critical mass of top national scholars on the campus. “The Batten Honors College provides a transformative experience for high-achieving students,” says President Miller. “The program equips them with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of an ethical, thoughtful, and influential global citizen who understands the complexity of contemporary society, our interdependence with the natural world, and the interrelatedness of society, culture, economics, and the environment.”
“Virginia Wesleyan College is very fortunate to have a person with Steve's unique background on board to lead the recruitment effort for The Batten Honors College,” says VWC Vice President for Enrollment Services David Waggoner. “His role in the admission office at Dickinson College provides him with an understanding of college recruitment, and his years of success in college counseling at some of the most prestigious private academies in the area demonstrate he appreciates the needs of young people who are searching for the right college at which to earn their degree.” â€‹Originally from Connecticut, Pinto resides in Norfolk.
Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and out of the classroom. Day One, an electronic newsletter published at the start of each month, celebrates these professional development successes and keeps the VWC community abreast of one other’s scholarly work. The November issue of Day One features grants, presentations, meetings and panels by faculty and staff members as well as new publications by professors Leslie Caughell, Kathy Merlock Jackson, Dan MargoliesKellie Holzer, amd Terry Lindvall. View the November Day One issue and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWC's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). For more information or to make a submission, contact Associate Dean for INTEL Denise Wilkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455.3249.
The most recent news from Virginia Wesleyan’s Office of Community service includes, as always, many upcoming volunteer opportunities for students—from Marlins Go Green Trail Clean Up on Nov. 5 to a Habitat for Humanity Work Day on Nov. 19—and, of course, Election Day Shuttles and Walking Teams to the polls at nearby Ebenezer Baptist Church. The November Community Service newsletter features a number of green-themed announcements such as helpful information about the benefits of terracycling and composting on campus. The newsletter also recognizes many of the students who donated their time through the Office of Community Service for local events and organizations such as the Marlin-to-Marlin Lacrosse Clinic, Neighborhood Tutoring, Fin with Paws, Chesapeake Bay Academy Fall Festival and Stop Hunger Now. The tradition of service continues at VWC! Read the complete newsletter here.
As part of Virginia Wesleyan College's Readings with Wesleyan series, a panel discussion on the presidential election and the economy will take place Tuesday, November 1 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Good Samaritan Church (848 Baker Road, Virginia Beach). The discussion will be moderated by VWC Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy O'Rourke and panelists will include VWC business professors Paul Ewell, Dave Garraty and George Jackson. Readings with Wesleyan is a unique educational program that brings free college-level teaching to the College's surrounding Bayside community. The event is sponsored by the VWC Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning. For more information, contact Denise Wilkinson, Associate Dean of Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning, at email@example.com or 757.455.3249.
Launched in 2012, Virginia Wesleyan’s Global Scholars Program aims to increase the number of semester abroad experiences for students. Made possible by a gift from an anonymous donor, the award program covers costs associated with travel, room, board, tuition and other fees for approximately 15 study abroad experiences each year. Students from all majors are chosen through a competitive application and interview process. The Lighthouse Center for Exploration and Discovery recently announced the Spring 2017 Global Scholars. These are an exceptional group of students who are preparing to broaden their horizons and enhance their understanding of the global world. The students and their destinations are as follows: Ashley Bologna (Universidad de Congreso, Argentina), Kenneth Downing (Goethe Institut, Germany), Alexandra Ghazaleh (James Cook University, Australia), Edwin Kinsey (University of Otago, New Zealand), Manijha Mack (Universidad de la Habana, Cuba), Ashley Peterson (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain), Emilee Pierson (Universidad de Belgrano, Argentina), Kathleen Roberts (Charles University, Czech Republic), Sheril Steinberg (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Chile), and Alexis Vassiliadis (Florence University of the Arts, Italy).
At the College’s fall Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 19, Steve Sproles from Derck & Edson presented the Board with an overview of the Campus Master Plan, which is expected to be completed by February 2017. The final product will include a space-utilization study, parking study, facilities condition assessment plan, and a Campus Master Plan for the next 10 years. Progress reports given at the Board meeting included strategies and outlook for enrollment growth, the addition of swimming and women’s golf to the College’s NCAA Division III lineup, construction of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center and the YMCA Partnership Building, plans for the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center and more. President Scott Miller and Provost and Vice President Timothy O’Rourke also announced the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges’ 2016 H. Hiter Harris, Jr. Excellence in Instructional Technology Award recipient, Dr. Thomas Brown, VWC Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Brown will be recognized at a luncheon in Richmond in November. Finally, Dr. Steven Emmanuel, Professor of Philosophy, and Dr. John Wang, Professor of Computer Science, and a group of studentds gave a special presentation about their trip to China this summer to help preserve religious heritage sites as part of the ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Program. The winter meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for February.
A team of four VWC sociology/criminal justice majors—Josh Cherry '17, Sierra Rothenberger (Garnett) '17, Allison Heitsman '18, and William “Jake” Virgili '17—traveled to Denver, Colorado Oct. 5-9), where they won "Executive Honorable Mention" in the Client Problem Solving Competition (CPSC) held at the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology (AACS) annual conference. Professors Scott Liverman and Kathy Stolley co-advised the team. Their client for this year’s competition was the ECDC African Community Center (ACC). The client’s mission is to “help refugees rebuild safe, sustainable lives in Denver through supportive networks of people, services and community activities.” Teams from around the country compete for only two awards at the conference: First Place (based on a static rubric) and Executive Honorable Mention. The Executive Honorable Mention award is selected by the client as having developed and presented the best solution, customized to the organization's problem and needs.
The Virginia Wesleyan Theatre Department will open its production of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit tonight, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. Performances are scheduled for October 5-8 at 7:30 p.m. and October 8-9 at 2 p.m. in Virginia Wesleyan’s Hofheimer Theatre. Dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Theatre Travis Malone is directing the play and shares a synopsis: “In Noel Coward’s sharp-witted farce of love, manners, marriage, and ghosts, novelist Charles Condomine and wife plan a séance to expose a famous medium as a fraud, but Charles gets more than he bargained for when his first wife—whom only he can see—comes back to haunt him and to insure that the two of them will spend eternity together.” Complimentary admission is available for VWC students, faculty, and staff. For all others admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students. Reservations are recommended but not required. To make a reservation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757.455.3381. For more information, visit the webpage for The Arts at Virginia Wesleyan.
Virginia Wesleyan employees began their day with an apple and a smile Oct. 4 as part of CORE Apple Day, a wellness initiative organized by the Campus CORE Wellness Committee. While the scientific merit of the old saying about an apple a day might be up for debate, its symbolism with regards to the importance of a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be. The health and overall well-being of Virginia Wesleyan employees is a top priority of the institution and a critical component in the success of its mission. In addition to Virginia Wesleyan’s comprehensive employee benefits program, the College offers a variety of opportunities and tools for faculty and staff to explore healthy lifestyle options and maintain or improve their general health and wellness. The CORE Wellness Committee organizes Towne Hall information sessions, “beBetter” Challenges, Lunch & Learn events, Weight and Stress Management groups, voluntary Biometric Screenings, and fun annual events like Recess, Pumpkin Carving, Bike to Work Day and more. For more information about employment at VWC or to view available positions, visit the Human Resources webpage.
With sadness, Virginia Wesleyan College has learned of the passing of Dennie Allen, VWC Class of 1970, on September 1, at the age of 70. College Archivist Steve Mansfield comments that Allen’s death “evokes notice of a sad VWC milestone. By virtue of his place in the alphabet, Dennie received Virginia Wesleyan's first diploma at our first commencement. His death on September 1 came just a week before our first Founders Day.” Allen was born on May 23, 1946, in Lexington, Virginia. His obituary states that “the day he graduated was the happiest of his life,” and that he “loved to tell people that he was the very first person to receive a diploma from the college.” After retiring from the State of Virginia as a parole officer, Allen spent the rest of his life as a full-time volunteer at Chippenham Hospital. His obituary notes that he was to be laid to rest with his parents in Richmond’s Forest Lawn Cemetery and that memorial contributions may be made to Virginia Wesleyan.
Friday, September 30 is Marlin Spirit Day! As Virginia Wesleyan gears up for Homecoming and Family Weekend October 7-9, the VWC community is encouraged to get in the Marlin spirit by sporting their Marlin gear and decorating their workspaces, rooms, cars, even their pets and babies, in all things VWC. Wesleyan alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends are invited to don VWC hats, shirts, mugs, scarves, blankets, diplomas, and other Marlin paraphernalia all day Friday, September 30. When flaunting your favorite VWC gear, be sure to snap a photo and share it on social media with the hashtag #marlinspiritday. You can also send your photos directly to the Office of Marketing and Communications at email@example.com. Need some Marlin gear? Be sure to visit Scribner Bookstore located in the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
Every day, Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and out of the classroom. Day One, an electronic newsletter published at the start of each month, celebrates these professional development successes and keeps the VWC community abreast of one other’s scholarly work. View the October 2016 issue and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWC's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). For more information or to make a submission, contact Associate Dean of INTEL Denise Wilkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455.3249.
Head Virginia Wesleyan Women’s Basketball Coach Stephany Dunmyer and the VWC Women’s Basketball Team, along with the members of the Chi Beta Psi fraternity, will partner with LifeNet Health to promote the organization’s mission and honor the memory of Nancy Kelly ‘15. Last spring, Nancy, a well-respected member of our Virginia Wesleyan community, lost her life in a tragic car accident. At the time, she was continuing her education at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Prior to the accident, Nancy had told her family that she wanted to donate her organs and tissues, and with that decision she has saved the lives of others by choosing to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor. While at Virginia Wesleyan, Nancy was an outstanding student, a talented athlete, and most importantly, an incredible person who positively impacted so many areas of the VWC campus and surrounding community with her leadership and kindness. LifeNet Health is a nonprofit, global leader in regenerative medicine and the world’s largest provider of allograft bio-implants and organs for transplantation. Their mission is “Saving lives. Restoring health. Giving hope.” LifeNet Health will sponsor a display on the VWC campus during Homecoming and Family weekend on October 8 and at the VWC Women’s Basketball Game in the Jane P. Batten Student Center on January 14 at 2 p.m., during which Nancy’s #14 jersey will be retired.
On Sept. 21, President Scott D. Miller and Provost Timothy O’Rourke celebrated the “incredible achievements” of 77 Virginia Wesleyan students who earned a 4.0 grade point average for the spring 2016 semester. A special President’s List reception was held in the Shafer Room inside Boyd Dining Center, where students received a certificate in honor of their achievement. “Your stellar academic performance demonstrates just how seriously you approach your studies and the effort you have applied to your college experience,” said Dr. Miller. “These positive habits will serve you well in your future studies and in your future careers.” Established by President Miller, the President’s List recognizes students who earn a grade point average of 4.0 during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses with no failing grades or incompletes. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits and should be proud of this accomplishment. View the most recent President’s List and a photo gallery from the event.
Tyrell Thomas, a junior point guard for the Virginia Wesleyan College Men’s Basketball Team, toured Spain and played ball August 8-16 through Global Sports Academy, an organization that arranges domestic and international playing opportunities for athletes. Thomas was a member of a select team of college basketball players spanning Division I, II, and III that traveled Spain playing four basketball games in total. The team spent time in Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid during their Spanish tour. "It was a great experience and a good opportunity to get a feel for a different culture," Thomas said. "Seeing where basketball can take you was a big take-away for me. I was able to travel to another country because of basketball, and that in itself is pretty amazing to me.” Since 1991, Global Sports Academy has arranged tours for college and youth teams from the United States and beyond promoting international competition and goodwill. Athletes learn valuable lessons as they are exposed to different cultures, languages, and environments, and perform community service while abroad. Thomas and the Marlins return to action Nov. 4 with an exhibition at Old Dominion University (7 p.m.). View photos from Thomas’s travels and the men's full 2016-17 schedule. Article originally posted at vwcathletics.com.
The fall semester took flight Sept. 9 for 11 Virginia Wesleyan education students who participated in an “Outdoor STEM Laboratory” as part of the 2016 Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show. The unprecedented experience, coordinated through a partnership with NAS Oceana and Virginia Beach City Public Schools, gave more than 6,500 Virginia Beach fifth graders full immersion in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) displays and presented Virginia Wesleyan students and other community groups with the perfect opportunity for hands-on instruction. Led by Assistant Professor of Education Bill McConnell, VWC students in the courses "Curriculum and Instruction PreK-6" and "Classroom Management and Teaching Strategies" developed and implemented an inquiry-based curriculum that allowed the elementary-level students to investigate chemical reactions, circuitry, and robotics, and to participate in engineering design challenges. The valuable exercise comes at a time when contemporary education reform efforts are providing a steady increase in focus on STEM education at the elementary level, says McConnell: “It is extremely important that preservice elementary teachers understand research-based STEM education practices and become more confident in employing them. The Outdoor STEM Laboratory allowed our students to engage in authentic teaching practices to develop, implement, reflect on, and modify their curriculum and instruction several times throughout the day.” A former Chesapeake Public Schools elementary teacher, McConnell focuses his research on integrative STEM education in elementary contexts as well as the teaching and learning of environmental science. View photos from the event on the Virginia Wesleyan Flickr page: flic.kr/s/aHskGPrrk3
With great sadness, Virginia Wesleyan College shares the passing of former Virginia Wesleyan College Trustee James “Jimmy” W. Griffiths on September 7, 2016, at the age of 88. He resided in Ponce Inlet, Florida, at the time of his passing, having moved with his wife, Jackie Troutman Griffiths, from Norfolk to Florida. Born in Merion, Pennsylvania, Griffiths attended Radnor High School in Wayne and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Delaware. He worked for 46 years for the family industrial hardware business of Watters and Martin, Inc., of Norfolk, and retired as President in 2001. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Virginia Wesleyan College, where he had studied art, and served as Chairman of the Norfolk Electoral Board for eight years. He holds a family charter membership in the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club, and formerly served as a Board Member of the Virginia Symphony. He was a member of the Daytona Beach Drive-In Christian Church. His greatest interests included trains and lighthouses, as well as boating, golf, and his special talent for creating watercolors with a style reminiscent of the work of friends Jamie and Andrew Wyeth. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Griffiths' name to the Daytona Beach Drive-In Christian Church, P.O. Box 7175, Daytona Beach, FL 32116-7175. Condolences may be shared at lohmanfuneralhomes.com
An opening reception was held Sept. 8 for the Neil Britton Art Gallery's first exhibit of the fall semester. “A Feast of Languages” features works by local artists active in Norfolk’s NEON Arts District and the ViBe Creative District in Virginia Beach. According to John Rudel, Virginia Wesleyan’s Batten Associate Professor of Art and Coordinator of Art Exhibitions, these talented artists have “prepared a great ‘feast’ of artistic riches, created on site, reminding us of the richness which surrounds the campus in its prime location on the border of these creative communities.” The exhibition borrows its title from Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, which explores the power and limitation of language. “A Feast of Languages” will be on display through December 9. To learn more about this exhibit and the Neil Britton Art Gallery, visit the webpage for The Arts at Virginia Wesleyan College.
Virginia Wesleyan College will celebrate its first-ever Founders Day on Thursday, September 8, commemorating the founding of the College and recognizing important individuals in VWC history. In conjunction with this special day, Hofheimer Library will launch a VWC Digital Collections site that provides online access to materials from the College Archives and other special library collections. The current content focuses on Founders Day, with both a Founders Day collection and a Founders Day exhibit. The site will grow to include a yearbook collection, a College newspaper collection and more as additional materials are digitized and cataloged. The site was implemented by Technical Services Librarian Sophie Rondeau, who learned new technologies and metadata schema to produce high-quality digital materials in a user-friendly interface. College Archivist Dr. Stephen Mansfield curated the content, provided guidance on which items would help tell the story of Founders Day and wrote much of the site’s narrative. “The Founders Day collection and exhibit stand as a proof of concept for what will be a growing digital archive of materials about the College and community,” VWC President Scott D. Miller wrote in a Nota Bene on Wednesday. The Virginia Wesleyan College community will celebrate Founders Day on Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. The event will be webcast at https://boxcast.tv/view/founders-day-convocation-434109.
Virginia Wesleyan College will celebrate its first-ever Founders Day on Thursday, September 8. A Founders Day Convocation will take place at 11 a.m. in the Convocation Center inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center. The community is invited to watch live as the event is webcast at: https://boxcast.tv/view/founders-day-convocation-434109. Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong will serve as keynote speaker. Birdsong is CEO and General Counsel for the Birdsong Corporation, the largest peanut sheller in the U.S., based in Suffolk, Virginia. He joined the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees in 1989 and served as Board Chair from 2007-2010. He and his wife, Sue, trace their connections with the College back to the groundbreaking for Bray Village (Village I) on July 18, 1965. During the event, the College will present honorary doctoral degrees to Dr. Stephen S. Mansfield, College Archivist and former Dean of the College, and Gary D. Bonnewell ’79, the first VWC graduate to serve as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Bonnewell will also be recognized with the dedication of a classroom in the Floyd E. Kellam, Jr. Social Science Lab in the Village II complex. The 2016 Alumni Awards recipients will also be celebrated as part of the festivities. Honorees include Lindsey E. Reynolds ’98 (Distinguished Alumna Award), Amy Mallett Rickard ’98 (Alumni Service Award) and Rodney D. Young Jr. ’07 (Graduate of the Last Decade Award). Virginia Wesleyan College was chartered in 1961 and first opened its doors to students on September 14, 1966. According to Lori McCarel, Executive Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, the idea for a Founders Day originated last year when Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of Virginia Wesleyan, appointed a committee of faculty, staff and alumni to “celebrate our past and formulate plans that would create an annual tradition.” More
With school cafeterias closed for the summer, Sodexo's Feeding Our Future program is preparing and serving approximately 400,000 lunches for children across America. Many of those lunches are being served right here in Virginia, including at the Virginia Beach/Rosemont location of the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Virginia. Meals for the location's summer program are the result of a $20,000 donation to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia on behalf of Virginia Wesleyan's Sodexo team. The amount covers lunch and a snack for approximately 260 local children, five days per week, all summer long. On Aug. 18, the local Boys & Girls Club location will welcome a special guest as First Lady of the Commonwealth Dorothy McAuliffe, an advocate for the elimination of childhood hunger, speaks to the importance of food security and nutrition. Joining the First Lady will be Lorna C. Donatone, Sodexo Region Chair for North America and CEO of Schools Worldwide, and Ruth Jones Nichols, CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. On hand from VWC will be the College's General Manager for Sodexo Tim Lockett and Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling. Virginia Wesleyan's Sodexo team also generously donates most of the ingredients for the Empty Bowls Dinner, a charity event held at the College each year that aims to alleviate hunger in the Hampton Roads community. Learn about Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation at HelpStopHunger.org.
President Scott D. Miller will deliver the annual State of the College Address at Virginia Wesleyan on Tuesday, August 23 at 12:15 p.m. in the Convocation Center of the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Each year, faculty, staff and invited guests join the president as he provides an update on institutional progress and goals, new initiatives and plans for continual improvement for the College. This will be President Miller’s second State of the College Address since he took over the presidency in July 2015. This year, the address will be available online via a live webcast. View the webcast here beginning at approximately 12:15 p.m. on August 23: https://goo.gl/wosQUc
Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller has been named to the Board of Directors of Virginia Beach Vision, an organization led by area business and civic leaders who are dedicated to helping to shape the future of Virginia Beach and the Coastal Virginia/Hampton Roads community. Virginia Beach Vision was founded in 1993 by area leaders who saw the need for a non-partisan, issue-oriented group committed to advancing the region’s future development, prosperity and quality of life. Since then, board membership has grown to approximately 120 CEO- and senior-level business, civic and education leaders with a significant business presence in Virginia Beach. The organization is modeled after similar groups across the country in cities such as Baltimore, Cleveland and Nashville, who are similarly dedicated to enhancing the economic vitality and quality of life of their localities. Locally, the Greater Norfolk Corporation, the Chesapeake Alliance, and the Portsmouth Partnership are all of similar structure and purpose. Working together with regional partners, these organizations have built an informal alliance to pursue regional initiatives of mutual benefit to their respective communities. Key issue areas where Virginia Beach Vision is currently engaged include the five-year update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan; regional transportation planning and project prioritization; facilitation of infrastructure necessary to support economic diversification; financing opportunities to support development of key projects such as an entertainment arena; extension of the light rail system; public art and cultural development; supportive new business development services; and passenger rail connections to Richmond, D.C. and beyond. Once the board has researched and analyzed an initiative or issue, principally through the use of issue specific task forces, it adopts a position and engages decision makers at the local, state or federal level to facilitate implementation. Dr. Miller will serve on the Business Development and Resort Development task forces. Dr. Miller is in his second year as President of Virginia Wesleyan College. He is a former President of Bethany College (2007-15), Wesley College (1997-2007), and Lincoln Memorial University (1991-97). PHOTO: President Miller (right) met July 21 with Martha McClees (left), Executive Director of Virginia Beach Vision, and Donald Crigger (middle), Executive Vice President of CBRE, to discuss Virginia Beach Vision and the Virginia Beach Light Rail initiative.
One of the great assets of Virginia Wesleyan College is its beautiful, 300-acre campus. The College’s commitment to a quality living and learning environment is finding direction in the campus master plan process, now underway, which coincides with Virginia Wesleyan’s Pathway to Prominence strategic plan and capital campaign, extending into the year 2020. In the meantime, some of VWC’s pedestrian pathways and other sites are in need of immediate care. Through a gift from a generous donor, the College is preparing to undertake approximately $600,000 in improvements to its concrete sidewalks and steps across campus. The work, being done by Hourigan Construction, will begin the week of July 25 and continue for several weeks. The project will include power washing of Blocker Hall, Hofheimer Library, Boyd Dining Center, Monumental Chapel and Frank E. Brown Bell Tower, removing accumulated dirt and debris that has dulled the appearance of these facilities over time. “This is a good reminder of the significant difference private giving can make in the life of our institution,” said VWC President Scott D. Miller. “We thank the donor for this important contribution as we continue to enhance the campus environment for the coming academic year and beyond.”
The community leadership initiative Reinvent Hampton Roads held a briefing and discussion session at Virginia Wesleyan College June 23 focused on an Industry Cluster Analysis currently underway for the region. The study—sponsored by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and conducted by The Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University in conjunction with Old Dominion University’s Regional Institute—provides critical analysis designed to pinpoint specific growth targets and needs for Hampton Roads’ existing industry clusters within a five-year period. The briefing reviewed accomplishments to date, highlighted requirements for regional economic growth and presented a draft action plan. The June 23 meeting follows two previous sessions held in March and May. Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller welcomed attendees to campus: "Much of the focus of our marketing, messaging, and branding here at Virginia Wesleyan College is inspired by the amazing array of quality-of-life amenities, attractions, and value-added features available throughout the Hampton Roads/Coastal Virginia area,” said President Miller. “As our enrollment strategy here becomes increasingly national in focus, we have much to share with prospective students and their families, from around the country, about this attractive, vibrant region that offers much to enjoy, and much to engage with. I can think of no other region in the country that offers such a wealth and diversity of opportunities for employment and enjoyment." Learn more at reinventhr.org.
Virginia Wesleyan College Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) Larry Hultgren has been selected as a 2016 NCAA Division III FAR Fellow. The professor of philosophy and director of the College's PORTfolio Program is one of only 30 fellows selected to participate in the FAR Fellows Institute Oct. 14-16 at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis. The three-day professional development program will provide a thorough examination of best practices and issues surrounding the role and responsibility of the FAR, help develop the leadership skills necessary to carry out their responsibilities on campus and in their conference, and strengthen the network of FARs needed to serve on conference, divisional and association-wide committees. A FAR's primary role is to ensure that an institution maintains appropriate balance between academics and intercollegiate athletics. Hultgren, along with Associate Professor English Susan Larkin, has been designated as a FAR by Virginia Wesleyan to serve as a liaison between the institution and the Athletics Department, and also as a representative of the College in ODAC and NCAA affairs. Hultgren is Virginia Wesleyan’s longest-standing faculty member; the upcoming academic year will mark his 47th year of teaching at the College.
At its spring meeting on May 11, the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees recognized two outgoing and one former trustee as Trustees Emeriti. They are outgoing trustees Elizabeth Middleton ’91 and John Trinder and former trustee Joan Brock. Middleton, who graduated from VWC with a bachelor’s degree in art, joined the Board of Trustees in 2010. She served as past chair of the College’s President’s Advisory Council and also as past president of Women of Wesleyan. Her husband, George, served on the Board for many years prior to his death in 2009. Trinder has had a significant impact on the College's athletics programs. Through his leadership and support, the Trinder Center and Foster Field opened in 1998 to provide a home for the men's and women's lacrosse and men's and women's soccer teams. Brock served on the President’s Advisory Council from 1996-1999, the Board of Trustees from 1999-2006, and was Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2001-2004. Support of Virginia Wesleyan runs deep for her family. Her uncle, Douglas McIntyre, served as the College’s first registrar and was a member of the faculty for 25 years, and her father, Kenneth R. Perry, served on the Board of Trustees from 1991 until his death in 2004. The spring meeting was the last with Gary Bonnewell '79 as the Chair of the Board. He is the first VWC alumnus to serve as Board Chair. When the Board reconvenes in the fall, the College will welcome trustee David Kaufman as Chair.
The Chesapeake Bay Trust has awarded a $5,000 grant to Virginia Wesleyan College to help cover costs associated with an inquiry-based biology course that will be offered this summer to rising seniors from the Science and Medicine Academy at Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake. Titled "Diversity of Life,” the course will take place on campus July 25-August 5 and will feature a comprehensive survey of the life of Earth—from bacteria and unicellular algae through fungi, plants and animals. It is also scheduled to include hands-on sessions with the College’s scanning electron microscope, a trip to the Virginia Zoological Park, and excursions aboard the Ocean Explorer, Virginia Wesleyan’s research vessel owned in partnership with the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. The course will be co-taught by VWC Professor of Biology Vic Townsend, Associate Professor of Biology Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, and Batten Associate Professor of Education Hilve Firek. “This generous funding enables us to attract bright students, regardless of their financial situations,” says Firek, adding that the lessons will extend beyond the course period. “We will continue working with students after they return to school to create awareness of issues pertaining to the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed areas.” The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit grant-making organization dedicated to improving the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers through environmental education, community outreach, and local watershed restoration. Since its inception in 1985, the Trust has awarded $70 million in grants and engaged hundreds of thousands of citizen stewards in projects that have a measurable impact on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. More
The following statement was released on behalf of Virginia Wesleyan College on May 26, 2016: After a six-day trial and 3½ hours of deliberation, a seven woman Norfolk jury today unanimously returned a verdict for Virginia Wesleyan College in the case of Jane Doe v. Virginia Wesleyan College (case number CL14-6942). In so doing, the jury dismissed the plaintiff’s claims and the plaintiff’s request for $10 million. The jury correctly rejected Ms. Doe’s claim that Virginia Wesleyan College failed to take reasonable and adequate steps for the safety of its students. The College is pleased with the jury’s affirmation of its efforts to provide a safe and secure learning environment for all of its students.
Discussions about philanthropic legacy, diversity and inclusion, and entrepreneurship were on the altruistic agenda May 20 at United Way’s first-ever Young Philanthropists (YP) Summit, held at Virginia Wesleyan College. The full-day conference took place in Boyd Dining Center and featured keynote speakers, professional development workshops, and networking opportunities with other young adults, community leaders, and members of the United Way Tocqueville Society. Guest speakers included Alex Sheen, founder of because I said I would, a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the simple premise of improving the world by keeping promises; and Matt Thornhill, founder and president of Generations Matter and expert on generational dynamics at work and in the marketplace. Additional sessions were led by speakers from SunTrust Bank, Reinvent Hampton Roads, Cox Communications, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and more. Young Philanthropists (formerly the Young Leaders Society) is a group formed through United Way of South Hampton Roads that connects like-minded professionals in their 20s, 30s and 40s through volunteer work and professional development opportunities. More
Virginia Wesleyan College hosted 18 medical microbiology students from the Bayside High School Health Sciences Academy (HSA) May 19, an activity planned as part of the schools’ Professional Development School partnership. The students participated in lab activities alongside VWC Professor of Biology Vic Townsend and Associate Professor of Chemistry Kevin Kittredge, who demonstrated the College’s scanning electron microscope (view photo), nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, and gas chromatograph mass spectrometer. They also studied skeletal elements alongside recent VWC biology graduates Emily Brooks, Maggie Tuthill, and Tatyana Zvonareva (view photo). The students were joined on campus by HSA medical microbiology teacher Luisa Zirkle, HSA director Terry Mejia, and Virginia Beach Public Schools Science Supervisor Ana Cingel. The initiative is part of an ongoing effort by the College to expand mutually beneficial academic partnerships in the community. For more information, contact Hilve Firek, Batten Associate Professor of Education, at 757.233.8749 or email@example.com.
Mavis (Escoffery) McKenley, a 2011 graduate of Virginia Wesleyan’s Adult Studies Program, has been chosen as chair of the College's Alumni Council, effective July 1. The former VWC business major, who became a member of the Alumni Council in 2015, serves as vice president and trust officer at AMG National Trust Bank, vice president for her local estate planning council, and board president for Samaritan House. She lives in Virginia Beach with her husband, Wayne, and their son, Nigel. McKenley will succeed Amy Mallet Rickard '98, who has served for six years on the Alumni Council (formerly the Alumni Board of Directors), the last two as chair. Rickard will remain on the Alumni Council for a transition period of one year. The Alumni Council represents all VWC alumni by serving as advocates for the College. Members volunteer their time each year, actively participating in the planning of networking events, regional socials and Homecoming & Family Weekend. The Council’s goal is to provide leadership as alumni and to connect, participate, champion and support Virginia Wesleyan College. More
Virginia Wesleyan College’s 2016 Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL) faculty grants have been awarded to Assistant Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Jill Sturts and Professor of Philosophy and Director of the PORTfolio Program Larry Hultgren. Each grant provides up to $1,000 for a project that encourages and advances a culture of innovation and engaged learning. Sturts’ project, “Development and Implementation of Community Partnerships to Enhance Student Learning in Recreation and Leisure Studies,” combines service-learning and experiential learning in Recreation and Leisure Studies with long-term and short-term goals of: developing and nurturing community agency relationships; creating meaningful learning experiences for students; providing service to community agencies; and increasing the visibility of, and contributing a campus-wide impact on, Virginia Wesleyan College. The second grant will support Hultgren’s project, titled “Thumbs Up (Or Down): Engaging Students with New Clicker Technology.” The project utilizes the latest portable "clicker" technology to develop active learning enhancements for classes that traditionally do not utilize technology. It seeks to assess their impact on activities ranging from "class-keeping" tasks to assessing student preparation and learning, as well as utilizing anonymous polling to display the views of the class in a non-threatening manner when there is no "right answer." For more information, contact Associate Dean of Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Kathy Stolley at 757.233.8768 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller announced this week the selection of the 2016-2019 Batten Professors. The newly named Batten Professors are Paul Ewell, Associate Professor of Management, Business, and Economics; Kevin Kittredge, Associate Professor of Chemistry; Taryn Myers, Assistant Professor of Psychology; and Sharon Swift, Professor of Art. Begun in 2004, Batten Professorship is an award for faculty excellence in teaching and scholarship, community contributions, and passion for inspiring excellence in others. Faculty recipients of this prestigious honor carry the title for three academic years and are rewarded with special development funding that enhances the quality of teaching throughout the College. The 2016-2019 Batten Professors join the following holdover designees: 2015-2018—Benjamin Dobrin, Rebecca Hooker, and Maury Howard; 2014-2017—Hilve Firek, Lydia Kennedy, Gabriela Martorell, John Rudel, and Mavel Velasco. More
The Marlin Chronicle is making headlines of its own this spring. Virginia Wesleyan’s student-led newspaper received nine awards in the Society for Collegiate Journalists 2016 National Contest, including second place in its category for Overall Newspaper Excellence. Individual awards went to Chronicle staff members past and present, including Sarah Antozzi '17 (honorable mention/sports feature); Anthony Dellamura '16 (first place/feature photo and second place/sports photo); Michael Willson '16 (second place/sports column); Richard Cremin '15 (honorable mention/editorial cartoon); Thomas Mills '15 (honorable mention/graphic illustration); and Aoife Branco '15 (honorable mention/column or commentary). Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller applauded these accomplishments in a recent email to campus: “As a former collegiate student newspaper editor, professional journalist and longtime advisor to the Society of Collegiate Journalists, I congratulate our student journalists for their tremendous achievements in this year's competition. I sincerely hope that this recognition, which joins many other awards for the Chronicle, will encourage other students to take to their keyboards and keep the tradition of an independent, student-edited newspaper strong and vibrant.” Associate Professor of Communication Lisa Lyon Payne serves as faculty advisor to the student-operated campus publication. Keep up with the Chronicle at marlinchronicle.vwc.edu.
Nine graduating art students are exhibiting their work in Virginia Wesleyan’s Neil Britton Gallery this spring during the two-part “Face Yourself Senior Art Show.” The show’s second part will run May 3-16, showcasing the work of VWC seniors Jonathan Gonzalez, Rebecca Hackworth, Samantha Jackson, Alyssa Kozma, and Kayla Skeete. An opening reception will take place Tuesday, May 3 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the Neil Britton Gallery (inside Hofheimer Library). The show's first installment ran April 14-29, featuring the work of Nuvia De La O, Taylor Galvin, Alison Gonzalez, and Matt Springer. The annual senior showcase is sponsored by the VWC Art Department.
Accomplishments were in abundance April 22 as the work of many Virginia Wesleyan faculty, adjunct professors, librarians, and staff was displayed in Hofheimer Library as part of the annual "Feathers in Your Cap” showcase event. The exhibition included achievements from the past year, including books and professional publications, grants, and recognition of faculty who received tenure and/or promotions. “During the chaotic end of the year, Feathers in Your Cap offers a much needed pause to look back on previous accomplishments and get inspired,” says Research Librarian Jenny Erdmann, who helped coordinate the event. “Scholarship comes in many forms, and seeing the work of our faculty and staff assembled into spectacular ‘plumage’ is really special.” The showcase included works from: Kevin Adams, the late Tina Aldrich, Soraya Bartol, Thomas Brown, Kathleen Casey, Leslie Caughell, Patty Clark, Annette Clayton, Steven Emmanuel, Jenny Erdmann, Sue Erickson, Paul Ewell, Hilve Firek, Alain Gabon, Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, Phil Guilfoyle, Ben Haller, Stephen Hock, Kellie Holzer, Eric Johnson, Doug Kennedy, Kevin Kittredge, Susan Larkin, Stephen Leist, Terry Lindvall, Lisa Lyon Payne, Audrey Malagon, Elizabeth Malcolm, Travis Malone, Alison Marganski, Kathy Merlock Jackson, Taryn Myers, Garry Noe, Wayne Pollock, Randi Sachs, Maynard Schaus, Sara Sewell, Kathy Stolley, Jill Sturts, Sharon Swift, Vivian Teter, Victor Townsend, Susan Wansink, and Tripp York. The event was sponsored by the College’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning.
Photo Gallery: Eighth Annual Strike Out Cancer Day
The No. 4-ranked Virginia Wesleyan College Softball Team set a goal of $15,000 for their Eighth Annual Strike Out Cancer Day held on April 16—and they easily surpassed it, announcing a total of $17,206 raised for research efforts through the American Cancer Society. "We aren't sure what to say when 'Thank You' isn't enough," said Head Softball Coach Brandon Elliott. "Once again our VWC community rallied around our Strike Out Cancer event...to make it the best one yet." Hundreds attended the Strike Out Cancer festivities, with many of those participating in the successful silent auction. The food, provided by GENESIS Ministries, also sold well with those proceeds adding to the final total. Last year, the Marlins raised $11,878. Through this year's total, the softball program and its supporters have brought in $82,213 for cancer research since 2009. Originally posted on www.vwcathletics.com.
Virginia Wesleyan College's chapter of Gamma Sigma Epsilon, the national chemistry honor society, inducted 14 new members on April 12. Founded in 1919, Gamma Sigma Epsilon was created to promote academic excellence and undergraduate research scholarship in chemistry. Today, there are over 70 active Gamma Sigma Epsilon chapters nationwide. VWC’s chapter—Epsilon Epsilon—was founded in May 2008 with the purpose of recognizing outstanding students demonstrating exceptional ability and interest in the field of chemistry. To become a member, students must have completed a minimum of 16 credit hours in chemistry with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all chemistry courses and at least a 3.0 GPA overall. This year’s inductees include: Justin Bloom ’17, Toné Boykins ’17, Sierra Brown ’16, Antionette Edler ’17, Tamera Edler ’17, Alexandra Ghazaleh ’18, Heba Habib ’16, Shane McPherson ’18, Duncan Miller ’18, Stephanie Norwood ’18, Kellen Phillips ’18, Corentin Villot ’18, Travis Walke ’16, and Tatyana Zvonareva ’16 (view photo). For more information on VWC's Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Gamma Sigma Epsilon, contact Joyce Easter at 757.455.2126 or email@example.com.
The Virginia Wesleyan College chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa—a national leadership honor society also known as The Circle and ΟΔΚ—was recently recognized on the 35th anniversary of its charter. In acknowledgement of the College’s April 5, 1981 installation, VWC President Scott D. Miller presented a congratulatory certificate on behalf of ΟΔΚ to Keith Moore, the College’s Omicron Delta Kappa Faculty Advisor and Vice President for Student Affairs (view photo). ΟΔΚ has more than 285 active circles at colleges and universities across the United States and recognizes not only academic achievement but also leadership across five phases of campus life: scholarship; athletics; community service, social or religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; creative and performing arts. Virginia Wesleyan’s spring ΟΔΚ induction ceremony took place April 3 in Monumental Chapel, as 32 inductees joined an impressive list of current members made up of VWC Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and students (view photo). ΟΔΚ membership is regarded as one of the highest collegiate honors that can be awarded to an individual. In order to be selected, one must be in the top 35 percent of students on their respective campuses and hold a leadership role in one of the five areas of scholarship.
Sixty two Virginia Wesleyan students were recognized by President Scott D. Miller April 14 for earning a 4.0 grade point average for the fall 2015 semester. A special President’s List reception was held in the Shafer Room inside Boyd Dining Center, where students received a certificate in honor of their achievement. Established by President Miller, the President’s List recognizes students who earn a grade point average of 4.0 during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken 12 semester hours of traditionally graded courses. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits and should be proud of this accomplishment. View the most recent President’s List and a photo gallery from the event.
Virginia Wesleyan College’s student-led Business Conference—branded the Marlin Prestige—will take place April 18-22, inviting community members to participate in free workshops, presentations and interactive panels that embrace the spring 2016 theme, "Life Prep: What You Weren’t Taught in Class." The biannual conference is the culmination of months of hard work by students in the Virginia Wesleyan business course, "Principles of Management." Students coordinate all aspects of the event, exercising key management skills like product development, networking, and project and financial planning. "You can expect this semester's business conference to be fun, interactive, and informative," says Virginia Wesleyan junior Mario Thourogood, chief executive officer of the Marlin Prestige. “Practical skills are taking precedence—our aim is to equip our attendants with the necessary tools needed in everyday scenarios.” The conference will feature a variety of guest speakers, among them Dr. Carolyn Williams, retired teacher and library media specialist for Virginia Beach City Public Schools (by invite only); Quentin Williams and Jan Marshall, agents with New York Life Insurance Company; and Raymond Sanders, executive vice president and chief operating officer/chief risk officer at Village Bank. Daily activities will once again include the popular "Shark Tank" presentations, which closely mirror the popular ABC television series, as well as interactive alumni and faculty career panels. Conference activities are free and open to the public. For more information and a complete schedule of events visit the Marlin Prestige webpage.
Passion and preparation led to success for Virginia Wesleyan students March 27-31, as a team of 21 diplomats received a “Distinguished Delegation Award” at the 2016 National Model United Nations conference in New York City. The honor marks a first for Virginia Wesleyan—to date this is the highest ranked award the College has received at the conference. In addition, VWC students Nathan VanRensselaer and Lindsey Walker each received a "Best Delegate Award,” and Alexis Turner-Lafving was chosen to serve as chairperson on her committee. Under the guidance of Assistant Professor of Political Science Antje Schwennicke, the College represented the Republic of Zimbabwe in nine committees and Chile in a Security Council exercise throughout the five-day simulation of the procedures and practices of the United Nations. “Most importantly, the students had a lot of fun and learned a lot,” says Schwennicke. “All of them were always engaged in long discussions with delegates from all over the world, and many took on leadership roles in their committees. They were outstanding diplomats and really came together as a team.” Student participants included Ashley Bologna, Sabine Dramou, Darlene Flucker, Jaquelyn Gabaldon, Kyle Grabulis, Rachel Lambert, William Lawson, Robert “Alex” McComb, Alexis Moncus, Abby Moncus, Megan Morgan, Nyoh Njoka, Tori Pugh, Sarah Pybus-Elmore, Emily Randazzo, Glenn Rose, Christian Spivey, Alexis Turner-Lafving, Nathan VanRensselaer, Austin VonVille, and Lindsey Walker. Participation in the conference was part of the College’s “Model United Nations” course. Throughout the semester, the class studied the inner workings of the UN as well as the politics and culture of Zimbabwe in preparation for their trip. The National Model United Nations conference brings together more than 5,000 college and university students, more than half from outside the United States, to discuss current global issues and solve pressing concerns relevant to the 21 simulated UN committees. View photo
As part of the Virginia Wesleyan College Concert Series and a 50-state consortium of choirs, the Wesleyan Chorale and Wesleyan Singers premiered a new work in February by internationally renowned composer Timothy C. Takach. The choirs, along with VWC Director of Choral Music Bryson Mortensen and soprano Billy Brown Youmans, garnered a rave review for their performance—titled “The Longest Nights”—from content author John Campbell of Artsong Update. Campbell used words like “thrilling” and “entertaining” to describe the performance and remarked that Takach “offers challenging, listenable music with never a dull moment and the performers did his works proud.” The full review can be seen at www.artsongupdate.org. Takach visited campus earlier in February to share his artistic insight and expertise with VWC vocal music students and the broader College community. His residency with VWC’s student choirs included a lecture on “Entrepreneurship and Risk Taking in the Arts” and "The Compositional Process” as well as open rehearsals and master classes (view photo).
Photo Gallery: Robert F. Boyd Institute 2016
On March 28 and 29, Virginia Wesleyan College hosted the Robert F. Boyd Institute (formerly known as the Continuing Education Series). Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker served as key presenter at the event, titled “The Future Identity and Mission of the Church.” Bishop Whitaker addressed the historic changes in the relation of the church to today’s culture. He proposed an understanding of the identity and mission of the church that is rooted in Primitive Christianity and the Wesleyan heritage and its relevance to the emerging new role of the church in westernized societies. Recently renamed to honor one of the founding members of the College’s Board of Trustees, the Institute pays tribute to Bob Boyd, now a Trustee Emeritus who remains very involved and committed to the College. The annual seminar awards one continuing education unit for clergy, who travel from all parts of the state to participate. For more information, contact VWC Chaplain Rev. Greg West at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kelly Roenker, Coordinator of the Boyd Institute, at email@example.com.
Virginia Wesleyan social work students had the opportunity this month to study alongside medical and graduate students during an Inter-Professional Collaborative Training held at the Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning in Norfolk. VWC seniors Rachel Bays, Teddi Coleman, Gracie Gustin, Summer Moore, Latrisa Norris, and Amber Welch attended the March 14 simulation (view photo), sponsored by the Old Dominion University School of Nursing in collaboration with Eastern Virginia Medical School. The joint-training also included EVMS fourth-year medical students, graduate students from ODU programs in clinical nursing, speech and language therapy, and physical therapy, and undergraduates from ODU’s School of Dental Hygiene. The training was organized by VWC Assistant Professor of Social Work Annette Clayton, who attended the event along with Batten Professor of Social Work Ben Dobrin. “This was very exciting for the students and for the department,” says Dobrin. “’Inter-professional collaboration’ and ‘tele-health’ are 21st-century hot topics in the training of health and allied health professionals, and our students are getting great experiences now in these topics.” In addition to the one-day learning opportunity, the program also includes an online module component that VWC students are completing individually and in collaboration with interdisciplinary team members.
With 300 acres of trees, trails and the beautiful Lake Taylor, Virginia Wesleyan College provides the perfect setting for partnership with the YMCA. This week, VWC President Scott D. Miller shared the approval of plans for a new joint-use YMCA facility on campus. Scheduled for completion by May 2017, the 6,000-square-foot facility will be located in front of the arboretum near the trail leading to Lake Taylor. It will contain three classrooms that open into a large multi-purpose room, four offices, a reception area, kitchen, and an adjacent 240-seat outdoor amphitheater with stage. The facility, funded by private donors, will be used during the academic year by the College and during the summer months for YMCA Camp Red Feather. Virginia Wesleyan has been home to Camp Red Feather for about a decade, the result of a long-time partnership between VWC and the YMCA of South Hampton Roads. The relationship has led to various recreational additions on campus, including a treehouse and dock near Lake Taylor and the 2011 installation of the Alpine Tower—the 50-foot structure located off Smith Drive designed for climbing and team-building exercises. The new facility will complement the College’s forthcoming Greer Environmental Sciences Center, with construction by Hourigan Construction. A groundbreaking will take place in fall 2016.
An Emmy-award winning marionette named Simon and a few of his friends visited campus March 10 to help announce that the 12th Annual Kids Fundango Festival will be held at Virginia Wesleyan College on October 22. The Fundango Festival is one of the key fundraisers for Stop Abuse, a renowned child sexual abuse prevention organization founded by Spectrum Puppets’ Executive Director, Regina Marscheider. Through its research-based Emmy award-winning marionette program, “Simon Says, ‘Just Tell,’” Stop Abuse helps children learn to recognize, prevent and disclose abuse in a safe environment. The Fundango Festival has been called the “#1 Family Festival in Virginia Beach,” drawing crowds of up to 5,000 each year for activities and entertainment including Spectrum Puppets, sports clinics, music, dance, cultural performances, arts, craft workshops, aerialists, face-painting, balloon artists, bounce houses, and more. More details and ticket information coming soon.
Teaching is a commitment Virginia Wesleyan faculty take seriously, but they are more than professors. They are inquisitive researchers, published authors, and highly sought experts in their fields. In effort to showcase their scholarship, a new series titled “Fridays with Faculty” has been developed by Hofheimer Library and the Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning. The inaugural talk will take place Friday, March 11 from 6-7:30 p.m. in Hofheimer Library. Associate Professor of English Gavin Pate will read from his fictional work-in-progress, Notes From The Coming War. The second talk in the series will take place April 8 at 6 p.m. in the library, as Assistant Professor of History Kathleen Casey discusses her recent book, The Prettiest Girl on Stage is a Man: Race and Gender Benders in American Vaudeville. Events are free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served.
The recycling race is on as the Virginia Wesleyan community once again participates in RecycleMania, an eight-week (Feb. 7-April 2) collegiate competition promoting waste reduction in campus communities across the United States and Canada. Each spring, hundreds of colleges and universities compete to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, and achieve the highest recycling rate. Members of Marlins Go Green, led by VWC junior Zack Drake, do a weekly count of recyclables on campus. The Virginia Wesleyan community is urged to use recycle bins to discard aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles, and paper waste. Visit recyclemaniacs.org for a current list of rankings.
Alice Clarke, along with her family, has formally approved the changing of the name of the Virginia Wesleyan College planned giving society—The Heritage Society—to The Lambuth M. and Alice A. Clarke Heritage Society, President Scott D. Miller announced Feb. 26. The decision honors the contributions of one of Virginia Wesleyan’s most consequential first families, Dr. Miller said, while reinforcing the College community’s awareness of the tradition of philanthropy. The Heritage Society, one of Virginia Wesleyan’s foundational establishments, was formed many years ago by Wesleyan friends and family with the Clarkes among the inaugural founders. It recognizes individuals who have arranged for a deferred gift to the College through their estate plans. “The Clarke name has long stood for admirable values and extraordinary service,” President Miller wrote in an email to the campus community. “We thank the family for the commitment and pride they continue to demonstrate in Virginia Wesleyan’s progress.” Lambuth Clarke served as president of Virginia Wesleyan College from 1966-1992. More
The 2016 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Basketball Tournament will be held Thursday, February 25 through Sunday, February 28 in Salem, Virginia. The Marlin men are placed as #2 seed and the Marlin women as #9 seed. Following their first round win versus #8 seed Roanoke, the women's team will play #1 seed Lynchburg College in a quarterfinals game on Thursday, February 25 at 1 p.m. at the Salem Civic Center. The men's team received a bye in the first round and will play in the quarterfinals on Friday, February 26 at 6 p.m. They will face the winner of the men’s first round game—#10 seed Eastern Mennonite or #7 seed Randolph-Macon. Virginia Wesleyan will host receptions at the Salem Civic Center during half-time of each women's and men's game during the tournament. Look for Marlin signs directing guests to the appropriate banquet room. Follow vwcathletics.com for updates and visit odaconline.com for tournament brackets, ticket information, free video broadcasts, and travel/accommodation details.
Several faculty members received tenure and promotions during the winter meeting of the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees on Feb. 17, President Scott D. Miller announced this week. Faculty who received tenure and who were promoted from assistant to associate professor are: Thomas Brown (criminal justice and sociology); Audrey Malagon (mathematics); Alison Marganski (criminal justice); Taryn Myers (psychology); and Wayne Pollock (recreation and leisure studies). Kevin Kittredge (chemistry) received tenure and was promoted from associate to full professor. Faculty who already hold tenure and who were promoted from associate to full professor are: Susan Larkin (English); Travis Malone (theatre); and Sara Sewell (history). Stephen Leist was promoted from assistant to associate librarian. During the meeting, the Board also elected new officers (effective July 1): David Kaufman, Chair; Jon Pruden, Vice Chair; William Thumel Jr., Secretary; Ann Shumadine, Treasurer; and Henry Watts, Parliamentarian. Board member John Trinder was elected Trustee Emeritus. The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for May.
On Jan. 13, 2016, Virginia Wesleyan College held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the nearly 40,000-square-foot Greer Environmental Sciences Center that will change the landscape of the College. Between now and the scheduled opened of center in fall 2017, VWC students, faculty and staff as well as alumni, supporters and friends can watch progress on the building in real time thanks to a live webcam, complete with time-lapse sequences, which has been installed near the building site located at the south end of the College’s academic lawn. Hourigan Construction, the construction firm that is building the Greer Center, will also be collecting drone footage of the building as it is erected. The College will share periodic updates on building progress leading up to and including special events related to the dedication and opening. View the webcam any time here.
Internationally renowned composer Timothy Takach spent the week of Feb. 15-19 on the Virginia Wesleyan campus sharing his artistic insight and expertise with VWC vocal music students and the broader College community. His residency with VWC’s student choirs included a lecture on “Entrepreneurship and Risk Taking in the Arts” and "The Compositional Process” as well as open rehearsals and master classes (view photo). On Feb. 28, as part of a 50-state consortium of choirs, the Wesleyan Chorale and Wesleyan Singers will premiere a new work by Takach titled "Winter Cycle." Part of the College’s Presidential Masterworks Series, the concert will take place at 4 p.m. at Bayside Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach and will also feature soprano Billye Brown Youmans, a member of VWC's performing artist faculty. More
Twenty four Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff members traveled to Virginia Tech Feb. 10-12 for the Eighth Annual Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, hosted by the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER). The yearly conference showcases the best teaching practices and research in higher education today with sessions addressing disciplinary and interdisciplinary instructional strategies, outcomes and research. It ultimately serves as an opportunity to demonstrate effective instructional practice and disseminate the latest research aimed at improving the quality of higher education. Virginia Wesleyan representatives were among roughly 1,000 participants from more than 200 institutions worldwide. Presentations by VWC faculty and staff included a practice session by Coordinator of Writing Services Kim Fahle, titled “Engaging the Senses: Revitalizing Standard Classroom Practices by Focusing on Sensory Stimulation”; A practice session by Professor of Management, Business, and Economics George Jackson, titled “Ethical Behavior is Not a Research Skill: Employing Music and Metaphor When Talking the Talk is Not Enough”; A poster by Professor of Sociology Kathy Stolley and Director of Instructional Technology Robin Takacs, titled “Ten Steps to Involving an Entire Campus Community in Service, Scholarship, and Partnership: A Case Study of Sheltering the Homeless”; and a poster by Professor of Mathematics Denise Wilkinson, titled “’Sidewalk Labs’: Using the Campus as a Classroom to Engage Students and Teach Transferable Skills.” Participation was sponsored by VWC’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL), which emphasizes support for faculty development that promotes strategic institutional commitments to students' intellectual inquiry, active learning and civic engagement. Faculty participants will share their takeaways from the conference with the VWC community in a "Talk About Teaching" discussion on Thursday, February 25 (12-12:50 p.m., Floyd E. Kellam Jr. Social Science Lab, Room 111). For more information, contact Kathy Stolley, Associate Dean of INTEL, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.233.8768. View Photo
Virginia Wesleyan College has established an articulation agreement that will offer pre-admittance and joint degree options for VWC students at Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy (BJD). BJD will give Priority Status to a maximum of five Virginia Wesleyan students per year who have completed at least 64 semester credit hours, provided they meet the following criteria: A PCAT composite score in the 50th percentile or greater with no individual score less than the 30th percentile in combination with a cumulative GPA at VWC of 3.25 on a 4.0 grading scale; Completion of all current pre-requisite courses and credits required by BJD with a grade of “C” or better; A cumulative pre-requisite GPA of no less than 3.2 on a 4.0 scale; Interview with and a letter of recommendation from the Dean of BJD or his designee; Two favorable letters of recommendation from VWC faculty members; And one letter of recommendation from a healthcare provider. A Dual Enrollment Bachelor’s Degree Option will also be offered through the agreement. Students who have completed designated coursework at Virginia Wesleyan will be awarded a bachelor’s degree from VWC upon their successful completion of the first year PharmD curriculum at BJD. Virginia Wesleyan has a long history of providing strong preparation for students heading down focused career paths. The College’s other pre-professional options include the Pre-Engineering Program with Old Dominion University, the Joint Program in Medicine with Eastern Virginia Medical School, the Peace Corps Prep Program, the Duke Cooperative Degree Program in Forestry and Environmental Management; Army ROTC, and a partnership with the U.S. Marshals Office. Learn more about VWC’s pre-professional and other academic programs at www.vwc.edu/academics.
"For most campuses, the arrival of a new president—especially one hired to be a change agent—ushers in a period of significant adjustment…For the new president and his or her spouse, the changes are no less dramatic, although they are often unseen by the wider campus community." These are the opening sentiments of Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller in his new Inside Higher Ed column, "Surviving a Presidential Transition." The essay, published Feb. 10, offers career advice to incoming presidents on how to make their move a bit smoother. It touches on arrival timelines, contractual details, the value of transitional staff, meeting spousal needs, getting to know your new institution, expecting the unexpected, and more. Dr. Miller became the fourth president of Virginia Wesleyan College in July 2015. Previously, he served as president at Bethany College (2007-2015), Wesley College (1997-2007), and, for a time, he was one of the nation’s youngest college presidents at Lincoln Memorial University (1991-1997). He brings to Virginia Wesleyan a lifetime of commitment to the values of a residential, liberal arts campus, with an emphasis on teaching, service, student-faculty engagement, and lifelong learning.
A group of international high school students and their families will cheer on the Virginia Wesleyan College Men’s Basketball Team Feb. 10 as part of the Norfolk NATO Festival Youth Ambassadors Night. The VWC Athletic Department will host the event as the Marlins take on Hampden-Sydney College (7 p.m., Forsyth Court, Jane P. Batten Student Center). The Youth Ambassador Program offers NATO-ACT dependents ages 14-18 opportunities to volunteer in the community throughout the academic year. Ambassadors volunteer at public libraries, the Boys and Girls Club, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, the Norfolk NATO Festival, and more. Virginia Wesleyan will also host Norfolk NATO Festival's 2016 Model NATO Challenge on Wednesday, March 23 (4:30-9:30 p.m., Boyd Dining Center).
A recognition reception sponsored by the Southeastern Virginia National Board Certified Teachers (SEVA NBCT) Regional Network and Virginia Wesleyan College was held on campus Feb. 5 to honor an elite group of educators who have earned or renewed National Board Certification during the 2015-2016 academic year. Forty Virginia educators from Chesapeake, Hampton, Gloucester, Isle of Wight County, Newport News, Norfolk, Northampton County, Southampton County, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg-James City County, and York County as well as media specialists and guidance counselors were recognized for completing the rigorous process. Remarks were made by Dr. Scott D. Miller, Virginia Wesleyan College President, Eleanor Joyce, Coordinator of National Board Certification at the Virginia Department of Education, and Elizabeth Edwards, Director of Outreach and Engagement at the National Board.
Virginia Wesleyan College Head Men's Basketball Coach Dave Macedo was honored as the Metropolitan Person of the Year Jan. 26, receiving the prestigious Tom Ferguson Memorial Award from the Norfolk Sports Club. The award recognizes an individual who made an impact on the Hampton Roads sports scene in in the past year. Coach Macedo led the 2014-2015 Men's Basketball Team to the national semifinals, his third appearance in the Final Four as the head mentor of the Marlins. "I am extremely grateful and honored," Macedo said. "We've had so many great student-athletes and assistant coaches that have come through this program, and we have always stressed the importance of winning the right way." In his 16 years at Virginia Wesleyan, Macedo has garnered a record of 354-112. More
Virginia Wesleyan President Scott D. Miller spoke at a meeting of the Cape Henry Rotary Club Jan. 27, sharing statistics about the College's economic and cultural impact in the Hampton Roads community and outlining growth opportunities for VWC. He noted that it was Wesleyan's location and reputation that attracted him to the position last year. "Virginia Wesleyan has a growing reputation nationally as a student-centered liberal arts college of the highest quality," said Dr. Miller, now in his fourth college presidency over a 25-year period. "It is an honor to lead Virginia Wesleyan College—Coastal Virginia's premier private liberal arts college." Other initiatives discussed were an Institutional Review commissioned by the Board of Trustees to assist in the presidential transition and to set priorities for the coming years; development of a new business model for VWC; exploration of development possibilities for properties owned by the College but not on the campus proper; and expanding student opportunities for globalization, internships and service learning/community engagement. He provided updates on campus projects including Birdsong Field, the College’s new synthetic turf multi-purpose athletic complex; the Greer Environmental Sciences Center, for which groundbreaking occurred Jan. 13; and discussions with the YMCA for a shared-use facility on campus. He also expressed appreciation for many of the Cape Henry Rotary members’ active involvement with VWC: “Local leaders recognize the value of Virginia Wesleyan to this region and devote significant time, energy and personal resources to the well-being of the College, and we are forever thankful.”
"You mean there are jobs where I can do this all the time?" a seventh grader from Virginia Beach’s Bayside area asked Jan. 23 as he tinkered with the MakerBot 3D Printer in Hofheimer Library. VWC Assistant Professor of Education William McConnell and his “Perspectives on Mathematics & Science Initiatives” class hosted approximately 20 students from the neighboring community last week as part of a free STEM Academy through the New St. John Foundation. During their visit, the students used the College’s 3D printer to complete a scientific investigation and engineering design challenge and toured the campus by way of scavenger hunt using GPS technology. “Their visit to VWC was their first to a college campus—and what an exciting day they had,” said McConnell. “Their experience was infused with hands-on learning experiences, cutting-edge technology, engineering design, and scientific modeling.” The visit also gave VWC education students the opportunity to develop, implement and assess a powerful, evidence-based, integrative STEM lesson involving 3D printing technologies.
Virginia Wesleyan President Scott D. Miller announced today that the College has become a charter signatory of the Climate Commitment, a carbon neutrality and climate resilience initiative created by Boston-based organization Second Nature that sets new standards for climate leadership in higher education. As a signatory of the commitment, and with the support of Second Nature and the President's Environmental Issues Council, the College will now begin to develop a comprehensive Climate Action Plan. “We are enthusiastic about exploring and implementing sustainability initiatives as part of this effort, and as always, we welcome your ideas and feedback as we progress with this very important work,” President Miller told the VWC community in an email. The Climate Commitment ties together the Carbon Commitment and Resilience Commitment, together constituting the Climate Leadership Commitments. These newly integrated commitments are partially a result of the rebranding of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a group that Dr. Miller helped initiate in 2006 and to which Virginia Wesleyan College has been a member since 2007. As a Climate Commitment signatory, Virginia Wesleyan joins more than 650 institutions nationwide in what is now called the Climate Leadership Network. Learn more at secondnature.org.
"Each journey begins with a single step," Rev. Wayne Lavender, a United Methodist pastor and Virginia Wesleyan adjunct faculty member, posted on his Twitter page Jan. 1 with an image of his own blue tennis shoe on the sands of the Virginia Beach oceanfront. The footstep marked the beginning of the “TREK Across America for Orphans” for the executive director of Foundation4Orphans—a five-month journey in which Lavender is running, walking and driving across the United States to draw attention to the educational, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of orphans and vulnerable children. Lavender, who teaches in the College’s Political Science Department, was recently on campus to talk about his TREK at a lunch sponsored by VWC’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom. He shared details of the trip that will take him across Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Colorado and Oregon. His goal is to arrive in Portland in time for the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in May. In addition to raising awareness, Lavender hopes to raise funds for new orphan projects in Mozambique, Iraq, Haiti and the Democratic Republic of the Congo while generating support and signers on a petition to General Conference that encourages the United Methodist Church to embrace orphans and vulnerable children as the missional priority of the denomination. â€‹â€‹â€‹Lavender lived in Northern Iraq from 2011 to 2013 before returning to the U.S. to work with several non-profit organizations in the area. He taught at the University of Human Development and was a consultant to the Kurdistan regional government. He has authored several books, including his most recent, Who Will Care for the Orphan: If You Are A United Methodist, It Could Be You. Follow Lavender’s commendable journey on his website and Twitter page.
Virginia Wesleyan College will become practice ground Jan. 21 for Bayside Middle School students who are competing for a spot in the Maker Challenge leg of the Virginia Beach STEM Trifecta Challenge. Created by Virginia Beach City Public Schools' Office of Technical & Career Education, the initiative brings students, teachers, mentors, and community partners together through project-based learning activities to create and promote awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and entrepreneurship. Maker teams will create products using a 3D printer and pitch their ideas at a Shark Tank-style competition at a Maker Expo in February. Winning teams will advance to the Maker Challenge portion of the STEM Trifecta in June. On Thursday (Jan. 21), the visiting Bayside Middle School team will practice its Maker Expo presentation in front of a panel of Virginia Wesleyan business faculty and students (4-5 p.m., Pearce Hospitality Suite). The team will be judged on product creation, product pitch, and product packaging, and will receive constructive entrepreneurial feedback from members of the VWC business community. The Maker Expo & Challenge joins STEM Robotics and Cyber Security to make up the Trifecta Challenge, taking place at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on June 3. More
Four Virginia Wesleyan students will debate a timely topic Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 as they argue issues relating to “Ethics and Civic Responsibility” at this year’s statewide collegiate Ethics Bowl, sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) and Wells Fargo. VWC students will travel to Hollins University, where they will take a stand against 13 other highly qualified teams from independent colleges and universities across Virginia, debating a variety of case studies highlighting potential ethical dilemmas of a civic nature. Led by faculty advisor Kathy Merlock Jackson, this year’s Wesleyan team members are junior Riley Conrad, and seniors William Edmundson, Marlan Hare and Amberlea Villafane. To help prepare for the event, the students will participate in an Ethics Bowl Demonstration Jan. 28 organized by VWC’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom. The program, titled "Ethics & Civic Responsibility: When Religious Rights Feel Wrong," will highlight some of the issues that the students may debate—specifically those relating to religious freedom in America—and the audience will have a chance to interact, critique, and discuss. The Ethics Bowl was established by the VFIC as a means of engaging students with complex ethical dilemmas based on studies of real-world cases. Students, faculty members, and distinguished professionals judge and moderate the event, placing priority on personal ethics in the workplace and the classroom. Virginia Wesleyan won the first-ever Ethics Bowl, held in 2000 at the University of Richmond. The College hosted the event in 2005 and 2011, and VWC’s Ethics Bowl Team placed as runner up in 2014. For additional information about the VFIC Ethics Program, visit www.vfic.org.
Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller announced Jan. 12 that he has signed the 30th Anniversary Action Statement for Campus Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,100 colleges and universities dedicated to campus-based civic engagement. The Action Statement asks member presidents to get specific about the steps they will take to build on existing engagement efforts and to develop a Campus Civic Action Plan that crystallizes their commitments. By becoming a signatory, Dr. Miller has committed to developing an action plan for Virginia Wesleyan within one year. “I welcome your feedback on how we may best create a Civic Action Plan consistent with Virginia Wesleyan College's history, traditions, values, and strategic priorities,” he told the VWC community in a campus-wide email. Miller said the plan will be shared publicly, as will the assessments of the progress in achieving the College’s goals. Prior to his arrival at Virginia Wesleyan in July 2015, President Miller served as the state-wide chair of West Virginia’s Campus Compact.
Virginia Wesleyan students interested in environmental management or forestry have a unique opportunity to further their education as part of a cooperative degree offering between Virginia Wesleyan College and Duke University. The Cooperative College (3-2) Program allows students to proceed directly from three years of undergraduate study at Virginia Wesleyan College to two years of study at Duke University's Nicholas School’s Master of Forestry (MF) or Master of Environmental Management (MEM) program. Students in the program typically earn their bachelor’s degree after their first year at the Nicholas School and their master’s degree after their second year at the Nicholas School—earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in a total of five years of study. Details of the program are available here.
Marlins Athletics fans can now have their favorite Virginia Wesleyan sports moments delivered right to their door. The College’s Sports Information Department recently announced the creation of an online photo store that provides high quality prints of action shots, head shots and team pictures. Photo size options vary from wallet-sized up to canvas and posters measuring 24" x 36". Images can also be ordered on t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, puzzles, basketballs, soccer balls, baseballs, and softballs. Photo packages and various framing options are also available. All images are produced by Digipixart print lab and will be shipped directly to customers. The photo store will be updated regularly with the latest in Marlins Athletics action. Visit the store today at www.vwcathletics.com/galleries.html and receive 20% off your purchase of $15 or more with coupon code VT224118530116 (good through January 31, 2016). For more information, contact Director of Sports Information Cody Clifton at 757.455.3393 or email@example.com.
Congratulations to all Virginia Wesleyan College students who have been named to the Fall 2015 Dean's List. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits and should be proud of this accomplishment. The Dean's List recognizes all students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. View the complete Fall 2015 Dean’s List.
Once a Marlin, always a Marlin. Old stories were shared and new memories were made Dec. 9 at the inaugural Virginia Wesleyan College Emeritus Faculty Dinner, hosted by President and Mrs. Scott D. Miller. The occasion marked the start of a new College tradition as 19 emeritus faculty gathered for food and fellowship in the Princess Anne Room inside Boyd Dining Center. In Virginia Wesleyan’s 54-year history, 32 faculty have earned the emeritus status, which recognizes distinguished service at the time of retirement or after. They include: Connie Bellamy, Evelyn K. Blachman, Karen A. Bosch, John R. Braley III, R. David Clayton, Victor I. Culver, Dora H. Dobrin, Ginger L. Ferris, Rita E. Frank, Daniel W. Graf, Joseph H. Harkey, James F. Harris, H. Rick Hite, Lee Jordan-Anders, Verne M. Keefer, Charles K. Kessler, J. Patrick Lang, D. Barry Lipscomb, Thomas S. Lopez, Gordon A. Magnuson, Nancy D. Montgomery, L. Anderson Orr, Sharon L. Payne, Stanford C. Pearson, Paul M. Resslar, William J. Ruehlmann, Isabelle L. Shannon, William R. Shealy, Patricia R. Sullivan, Frederick B. Weiss, Donald G. Wolfgang, and Margaret C. Zimmerman. “It was a wonderful evening—an opportunity to share the status of the College and for Annie and me to learn a bit more about the College’s history and traditions,” President Miller remarked in an email to campus. “I thank our Emeritus Faculty for their loyalty to Virginia Wesleyan College and their service to our students.” View Photo
Monumental Moments, a longstanding Virginia Wesleyan College event series created by the Center for Sacred Music, earned the No. 9 spot this month on Best College Review’s ranking of “The 45 Best College Holiday Events.” According to the college and university ranking service, the list was compiled based on criteria such as event uniqueness and level of community involvement. The 2015-2016 installment of Monumental Moments began December 3 with "The Christmas Story in Lessons & Carols," which featured Advent and Christmas scriptures with poetry, singing, and special music by the Wesleyan Chorale under the direction of Dr. Bryson Mortensen. The Center for Sacred Music will continue its series in spring 2016 with “Women's Christmas" (Jan. 16, 12 p.m.), an Epiphany service co-sponsored with Women's and Gender Studies and the Women's Resource Center; and “From Dust You Have Come” (Feb. 10, 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.), an Ash Wednesday service co-sponsored with the Office of the Chaplain. Though the official ranking was based on the Monumental Moments series, Best College Review also recognized the College’s annual holiday concert, “A Wesleyan Christmas,” which took place December 4-5 and featured seasonal favorites by the Wesleyan Singers, the Wesleyan Chorale and faculty soloists and instrumentalists. More
Virginia Wesleyan College has received a grant of $350,000 to facilitate a comprehensive campus facilities condition assessment beginning in late January 2016, President Scott D. Miller announced Dec. 9. The anonymous grant includes a space utilization study, corrective maintenance plan, and campus master plan. It specifies that an outside facilitator will work with a Master Planning Committee to identify future anticipated facility needs, new or expanded programs that might require space, the arrival experience, strategic land use, future residential needs and improvements and upgrades to existing facilities. There will be a series of open forums and meetings with Virginia Wesleyan students, staff, faculty, and the Board of Trustees to gain input on the perceived needs of the institution. In addition to the open forums, a series of interviews will be conducted with various groups to gain insight on needs in their particular areas. Once the scope of future needs and improvements are defined, a series of options and alternatives will be created and prioritized. The process is expected to take between nine and 12 months.
Praising their “splendid academic example,” Vice President for Academic Affairs & Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College Timothy O’Rourke recently celebrated the success of approximately 130 Virginia Wesleyan students who achieved a 4.0 grade point average during the fall 2014 or spring 2015 semesters. Seventeen students attended a special “President’s List” reception held on Dec. 1 in the Pearce Hospitality Suite inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Students were awarded a certificate in recognition of their academic dedication and achievement. Established by Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller, the President’s List recognizes students who earn a grade point average of 4.0 during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken 12 semester hours of traditionally graded courses. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits and should be proud of this accomplishment.
Virginia Wesleyan College’s student-led Business Conference—branded the Marlin Prestige—will take place Nov. 16-20, inviting students and community members to participate in workshops, presentations and interactive panels that embrace the fall 2015 theme, "Learning and Earning Your Career." The bi-annual conference is the culmination of months of hard work by students in the Virginia Wesleyan business course, "Principles of Management." Students coordinate all aspects of the event, exercising key management skills like product development, networking, and project and financial planning. The conference will feature a variety of guest speakers, among them Lynn Clements, executive director of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center (by invite only); Jason Barnes, owner of Chick-fil-A at Haygood Shopping Center; and Jesse Morton, chief operating officer for McPhillips, Roberts & Deans in Norfolk. Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller, who is widely regarded as one of the most active social media presidents in the country, will present a workshop titled “The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media” on Friday, November 20 at 10:30 a.m. in the Pearce Hospitality Suite inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Daily activities will also include the popular "Shark Tank" presentations as well as interactive alumni and faculty career panels. "Our goal is to offer workshops to students and working professionals that are geared toward the skills they need to achieve success in their chosen career fields," says Virginia Wesleyan junior Adam Byrd, chief executive officer of the Marlin Prestige. Conference activities are free and open to the public. For more information contact Kayla Brown, Virginia Wesleyan senior and chief marketing officer of the Marlin Prestige, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.291.4280. For a complete schedule of events visit the Marlin Prestige website.
Six Virginia Wesleyan students spent a recent Saturday competing in battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance at the Association for Computing Machinery-International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC) Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition (Nov. 7). A VWC team made up of seniors Tyler Chang, Brian Hanna-Sauro, and Thomas Simmons finished in first place at the local competition site—Christopher Newport University—as they contended against 14 other teams from William and Mary, University of Richmond, University of Mary Washington and CNU. Their win placed them at 21st among 186 teams who also competed throughout the region that day. Wesleyan students Brandon Gilchrist ’17, Victoria Laughlin ’17, and Paulmichael Youngmills ’16 also participated in the ACM-ICPC competition on a second Virginia Wesleyan team. The annual contest promotes creativity, teamwork, and innovation, while testing students’ ability to perform under pressure. Using a single computer, teams are asked to solve eight or more complex problems in a five hour timeframe. The team that solves the most problems using the least cumulative time is declared the winner. The ACM-ICPC is comprised of three competition levels: local, regional and world. Participation in the competition has grown to nearly 40,000 students and faculty from more than 2,500 universities located in 101 countries on six continents. View Photo
Virginia Wesleyan College has once again been recognized by the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) with an Honor Award in its 2015 Green Star Awards competition. The College has been acknowledged for exceptional maintenance of its 300-acre campus in the University and College Grounds category. VWC’s Assistant Director of Housekeeping and Grounds Mike Rigby accepted the award on behalf of the College at the at the 43rd Annual Professional Grounds Management Awards Ceremony in Louisville, Kentucky on Oct. 23 (view photo). The award was presented by PGMS Past President John Burns, CGM. The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence and recognizes individual professional efforts leading to high standards and high quality landscape appearance. In a recent communication to campus, VWC President Scott D. Miller applauded the efforts of Vice President for Operations Bruce Vaughan, Assistant Director for Housekeeping and Grounds Mike Rigby, and the entire Grounds staff: “Their hard work and diligence in maintaining our beautiful campus helps us present Virginia Wesleyan College in the best light possible. We are all proud of their efforts.” Virginia Wesleyan also received a Green Star Award in 2014 and a Green Star Merit Award in 2013. More
Virginia Wesleyan English students immersed themselves in the bright and colorful world of children’s literature Oct. 16-17 at the Virginia Children’s Book Festival. Held at Longwood University, the annual festival celebrates and encourages reading by youth of all ages and features some of the best children’s authors and illustrators in the country. With support from The Lighthouse: Center for Exploration and Discovery, VWC students in professor Susan Larkin’s “Children’s Literature” course had the opportunity to meet and hear presentations by award-winning authors like Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson, and Cece Bell. All three authors are 2015 Newbery Award winners, celebrated for their work by the Association for Library Service to Children. Cece Bell won the Newbery Honor Award for El Deafo, a book Larkin’s students are reading this semester. Throughout the festival, students also met Brenda Chapman, co-director of the Disney-Pixar film Brave and the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature; Sophie Blackall, illustrator for the popular Ivy and Bean books and the recently released Finding Winnie (view photo); Teri Kanefield, winner of the Jane Adam Peace Association Award and author of The Girl From the Tar Paper School; John Bemelmans Marciano, author of the Madeline books and the upcoming Witches of Benevento series; and many other writers and illustrators. “Children’s Literature” is an upper-level English course focusing on literary and cultural theories. Students study texts varying from contemporary and canonical novels to picture books. More
The Center for the Study of Religious Freedom (CSRF) at Virginia Wesleyan College has been selected to join a research exchange with the Kettering Foundation's Centers for Public Life. The Kettering Foundation is dedicated to cooperative research conducted from the perspective of citizens and focusing on what people can do collectively to address problems affecting their lives, their communities and their nation. The CSRF will be among 10 institutions participating in a one and a half year exchange concentrating on public deliberation as a means of addressing pressing local or national issues. The first of five meetings will take place in February 2016 at the Foundation's campus in Dayton, Ohio. Created in fall 1996, the CSRF is a resource for education, respectful dialogue, and mutual understanding relating to issues of religion and faith perspectives. More
Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller attended the 27th annual Conversation between Foundation Officers and College and University Presidents held at the Convene Conference Center in the financial district of New York City on October 13, 2015. The meeting was facilitated by Washington, D.C.-based Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). CIC is the major national service organization for 600 independent liberal arts colleges and universities in the U.S. Twenty foundation officers joined approximately 90 presidents and State Fund executives to discuss “The Present and Future of Foundation Support for Liberal Arts.” The foundation officers also provided a deeper understanding of how foundations’ priorities are chosen and how their foundations decide on strategies for fulfilling the priorities.
Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller attended the 12th annual Council of Independent Colleges/New York Times Partnership’s Presidents Council meeting on Monday, October 12 at The New York Times offices in New York City. It is the only meeting of college and university presidents hosted by the Times. Presidents from 30 CIC member colleges and universities met with Kathleen O’Connell, National Education Director for The New York Times, and Education Life Editor Jane Karr and National Correspondent Motoko Rich. They provided candid assessments of current trends and also issues they plan to cover in the months ahead. Dr. Marcia Hawkins, president of Union College, chairs the Council. In addition, Council members were provided with information about new The New York Times projects and resources available to campuses nationwide.
Four Virginia Wesleyan students earned “Executive Honorable Mention” in the Judith Little Problem Solving Competition (JLPSC) held Oct. 8-10 at the annual conference of the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology (AACS). Lauren Amos ’16, Sierra Garnett ’17, Hali Goad ’16, and Haley Stromberg ’17 comprised the College’s first-ever student team to enter the national competition, which includes undergraduate and graduate students in sociology and other social sciences from around the country. With the assistance of their team advisors—VWC Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Alison Marganski and Professor of Sociology Kathy Stolley—the team prepared and presented a solution to an adjudicating team of AACS judges and representatives from Meals On Wheels (MOW) and the Montgomery Area Council On Aging (MACOA). In 48 hours, they tackled the problem: “How can MACOA recruit and retain MOW volunteers age 50 and younger?” The team met with the client, delivered a Meals on Wheels run, conducted interviews, devised a practical strategy to help their client get more volunteers, and produced a Prezi, mock website, and a video montage. MACOA/MOW representative Pam Goodwin presented the Executive Honorable Mention award, recognizing VWC's passion and ideas, saying, "Virginia Wesleyan spoke to my heart." For more information, contact Dr. Alison Marganski at 757.455.8842 or email@example.com. View Photo
“Topics in Early Childhood Education” is the fall 2015 theme of Virginia Wesleyan College's Readings With Wesleyan series—a neighborhood program that brings free college-level teaching to residents of Virginia Beach’s Lake Edward area. The discussions will take place Thursdays throughout October and November, and topics will include: “Easy Answers to Tough Questions that Will Inspire Your Child to Think Scientifically” with Assistant Professor of Education Bill McConnell (Oct. 22); “Beyond Finger Paints: Art Projects for Kids” with Professor of Art Phil Guilfoyle (Oct. 29); and “Educational Toys and Games: Which Should I Choose and Why?” with Associate Professor of Education/Special Education Jayne Sullivan (Nov. 5). Readings With Wesleyan was launched in July 2014 and is sponsored by the College’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning. Participants study literature, art history, moral philosophy, American history, and more. All discussions are free and open to the public and take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Enoch Baptist Church (5641 Herbert Moore Rd., Virginia Beach). Previous Readings With Wesleyan topics have included: “Engaging the American Dream” through the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Richard Wright and Langston Hughes; "Community Transformations" examining the music and philosophy of Tupac Shakur as it relates to contemporary movements such as Ferguson, the Arab Spring and the civil rights movement, and; "World Religions 101," providing a quick look at religions around the world and in Hampton Roads. For more information, contact Associate Dean of Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Kathy Stolley at 757.233.8768 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More
From getting a first glimpse of the Arco de Trunfo in Barcelona to filling a water bottle at one of Rome's 2,500 public water fountains, the day-to-day moments of students studying abroad add up to transformational experiences and memories that last a life time. As a part of Virginia Wesleyan's Study Away Program, students share these moments by keeping blogs about their trips. They post pictures and write about their experiences, concerns, and goals throughout their time abroad. Students keeping blogs during the current semester include Clarity Cotman '16, Joshua Ford '16, Daniel Mulford '16, Hannah Blanco '16, Austin VonVille '16, Joshua Simmons '16, Nicole Johnson '17, Katie Stefano '16, Stephanie Williams '16, Ryan Breen '16, and Alexis Turner-Lafving '16. The Study Away Program at Virginia Wesleyan College offers a wide variety of semester and year-long study away opportunities as well as short-term travel programs during Winter Session or summer. Those involved in the Study Away Program are eligible for the College's Global Scholars Program. For more information, contact Lena Johnson, Director of the Study Away Program, at email@example.com or 757.455.3116.
SunTrust Bank South Hampton Roads held its board meeting on campus Sept. 16, during which Charity A. Volman, President/South Hampton Roads for SunTrust Bank, presented Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller with a gift on behalf of the SunTrust Foundation (view photo). The foundation generously supported the renovation of the College's Floyd E. Kellam, Jr. Social Science Lab by establishing the SunTrust Foundation Computer Classroom. The redesigned lab also features a versatile Multipurpose Classroom that can be used for group work, discussion and speakers; an interview room; an observation room; the Women’s Resource Center; a research lab; three faculty offices; and a faculty workroom. The lab’s modernization coincided with the introduction of the College’s new Bachelor of Social Work degree, which saw its first graduates in May 2014. The new degree and the renovated lab provide the direction and facilities needed to fully engage students and set a foundation for excellence in course work and future careers.
On Sept. 17, President Scott D. Miller announced the establishment of the Council for Big Ideas at Virginia Wesleyan College. The Council will be comprised of retired college and university leaders with a record of visionary thought and action. Its purpose is to propose innovative strategies for responding to major challenges currently confronting residential colleges and universities. The Council will be tasked with thinking beyond traditional means of teaching, developing social capital, and fostering civic engagement for today’s students. They will generate scenarios that expand thinking and create solutions that avoid “business as usual.” In his announcement, President Miller noted that living and learning communities such as Virginia Wesleyan College and the “mentored formation of those who will influence substantially the future of society” need not be at odds with changing business models. “I look forward to sharing our ‘big ideas’ with the campus community in the future,” Miller said. Members of the council will include: Dr. David R. Black, former President of Eastern University, Palmer Theological Seminary, Lakeland College; Dr. Marylouise "Weezie" Fennell, former president of Carlow University; Dr. James L. Fisher, former President of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and Towson University; Dr. James V. Koch, former President of Old Dominion University and the University of Montana; Dr. Terry Lindvall, former President of Regent University; Dr. James Noseworthy, former President of Hiwassee College and former Assistant General Secretary for Schools, Colleges and Universities of the United Methodist Church; and Dr. Alvin Schexnider, former Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University.
Virginia Wesleyan College will celebrate Constitution Day Sept. 17 with a special presentation by the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom: “Burning Books, Banning Books, and Religion: Free Speech and Free Libraries." The program will take place in the Pearce Hospitality Suite inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center from 11-11:50 a.m. It will feature sentiments from Dr. Craig Wansink, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom; and a special presentation by Dr. Susan Larkin, Batten Associate Professor of English, and students in her course, “Banned Books.” Also beginning Sept. 17, in honor of 2015 Banned Books Week, a book display titled "Banned Religious Books and Books Banned for Religious Reasons" will be exhibited in Hofheimer Library (through Oct. 3). The Center for the Study of Religious Freedom will continue the College’s observance of Constitution Day on Sept. 24 with a brown-bag lunch discussion featuring Dr. Timothy O'Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College, titled: “It's Not Your (Founding) Fathers' U.S. Constitution: Do ‘We the People’ Steer It?” The discussion will take place from 12-12:50 p.m. in the Shafer Room inside Boyd Dining Center, and guests are encouraged to bring lunch. Constitution Day recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, the day in which the final version of the document was signed by 39 delegates in Philadelphia. For more information, contact Kelly Jackson at 757.455.3129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Scott D. Miller announced a new program Sept. 8 designed to foster leadership and responsibility in Virginia Wesleyan students. The Presidential Assistant/Associate Program provides an opportunity for students to work directly with Dr. Miller and the Office of the President on projects that support the mission and purpose of Virginia Wesleyan College. Among the students’ projects and responsibilities are assistance with presidential communication, legislative research, social media, student leadership programs, Society for Collegiate Journalists, athletics and recreation, walkabouts, Greek life, diversity, presidential archives, and more. Dr. Miller instated a similar program at Wesley College in 1998 during his tenure as president. He’d recently served on the Joint Civilian Orientation Council at the Pentagon by invitation of then Secretary of Defense William Cohen. As part of that program, he traveled the country with Pentagon officials visiting various military installations. “I observed talented 18 to 22 year olds exhibiting tremendous leadership in critical areas and operating multi-billion dollar pieces of equipment,” Dr. Miller said. “Surely, if the military could train and trust college-aged individuals with this tremendous level of responsibility, higher education could and should do the same.” He established the Presidential Assistant/Associate Program at Wesley that fall and later continued the program at Bethany College during his eight-year presidency. President’s Assistants work eight hours per week through the College’s work-study program. They typically do not receive academic credit, unless arrangements are made to complete a departmental internship. Most President’s Assistants are appointed for the academic year and can be re-appointed for additional years. The first Virginia Wesleyan College President's Assistants are Connor Pederson, a junior psychology major from Corapeake, North Carolina; and Mario Thourogood, a junior business major from Virginia Beach. After service for one full academic year, Pederson and Thourogood will be eligible for promotion to President's Associates. “I look forward to growing this program at Virginia Wesleyan the way I have utilized it in the past,” says Dr. Miller. “It truly is a win-win: meaningful employment for students and assistance with important work for the Office of the President.”
Virginia Wesleyan College has been honored as a 2015-2016 College of Distinction, chosen for its excellence in student-focused higher education and its exemplary commitment to the Four Distinctions set forth by CollegesofDistinction.com: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes. Colleges of Distinction is a web-based guide for high school juniors and seniors seeking a school that is nationally recognized and highly recommended by professionals in the field of education. To become a College of Distinction, colleges and universities must be nominated by college counselors, college administrative members and the Colleges of Distinction selection team. Qualitative and quantitative research is then conducted and evaluated, including interviews and feedback from senior administration, faculty, alumni and current students, as well as graduation rates, classroom size and other key stats that speak to the Four Distinctions. “This acknowledgement confirms to the college bound community that VWC excels at what matters: providing a teaching-centered undergraduate education that combines innovative learning programs with experiential educational opportunities,” says Colleges of Distinction Founder Wes Creel. To view Virginia Wesleyan’s profile or for more information about the online guide, visit CollegesofDistinction.com.
Kevin Kittredge (chemistry) recently published a paper in the American Journal of Organic Chemistry; Lisa Lyon Payne’s (communication) work incorporating Twitter into communication courses was recognized by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication; Clay Drees (history) has been elected as vice president of Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society in history. Every day, Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff do incredible work inside and out of the classroom. Day One, a monthly electronic newsletter, celebrates these professional development successes and keeps the Virginia Wesleyan community abreast of one other’s work. Though today it is shared via email, Day One is named after an old mimeographed newsletter launched at the College nearly 40 years ago. The inaugural edition, published February 1, 1977, stated: “This is DAY ONE, the first day of the month and a good time to reflect a bit on who you are and what you are trying to accomplish." The first edition brought news that Larry Hultgren—now VWC’s longest standing faculty member—had successfully completed his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. Day One is still published on the first day of each month—view the September 2015 issue and check out archived editions at the webpage for VWC's Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). For more information or to make a submission, contact Associate Dean of INTEL Kathy Stolley at email@example.com or 757.233.8768.
Journalist and broadcaster Barbara Hamm Lee will serve as the keynote speaker at Virginia Wesleyan College's Fall Convocation on Thursday, September 3. She will address the Wesleyan community at 11 a.m. in the Convocation Center inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Lee is the executive producer and host of Another View, a weekly call-in talk show on WHRV-FM that discusses today’s issues from an African-American perspective. In addition to her duties for Another View, Lee has served in many capacities, including project director for the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ African American Public Radio Stations Initiative, consulting with 26 African American public radio stations on compliance, governance, development, programming and community engagement. She has served as creative services officer, chief communications officer, chief public affairs officer and chief community engagement officer, all with WHRO Public Media. Prior to her work with WHRO, Lee held management positions with Communications Technologies, Inc.; Prince Georges County, Maryland Police Department and Hamm and Fox Communications. Most of her career has been spent in television management, including news director for WTKR-TV in Norfolk, VA; KYW-TV, Philadelphia; WJLA-TV, Washington, D.C.; Black Entertainment Television; WJZ-TV and WBAL-TV, Baltimore, Maryland. Lee is currently vice chair and commissioner for Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority; immediate past president, YWCA, South Hampton Roads; chair of the Administrative Committee with Norfolk Education Foundation; and board member of the Hermitage Museum and Gardens, The Planning Council and Bennett College Alumnae Association. She has been recognized for her work in the community, including being named by the YWCA-SHR as a 2010 Woman of Distinction; a Woman of Courage, Confidence and Character Award from the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast; the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities Humanitarian Award; and the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Urban League of Hampton Roads. At Wesleyan’s Fall Convocation, Lee will focus on the College’s 2015 summer read, “Bad Feminist,” a collection of essays by cultural critic, novelist and professor Roxane Gay that explores race, politics, gender, privilege, and popular media as they relate to feminist ideology. A special presentation of the College’s 2015 Alumni Awards will also take place during the event, honoring VWC graduates J. Tim Bailey ’83 (Distinguished Alumnus Award); Christine A. Williams ’97 (Alumni Service Award); and Matthew H.C. Ryan ’09 (Graduate of the Last Decade Award). Virginia Wesleyan’s first Fall Convocation was held in 1976 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the College’s opening. It has since become an annual tradition, marking the beginning of a new academic year and welcoming the entire College community back to campus. For additional information, contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 757.455.3210.
As VWC students were beginning their first day of fall classes on August 24, new President Scott Miller was discussing plans and challenges ahead for Virginia Wesleyan College with well-known area radio personality Cathy Lewis. During his first visit to the studios of WHRO Public Media in Norfolk, Miller was a live interview guest on HearSay with Cathy Lewis. The interview covered a broad range of topics including Dr. Miller’s leadership background and commitment to the liberal arts, his plans for growth and his enthusiasm for a bright future for Virginia Wesleyan. The show has been archived and can be heard here: Cathy Lewis delivered the College's Commencement address and received an honorary degree in 2009. Her show airs weekdays at noon on 89.5 FM public radio.
Please click to read the full text of the document, Virginia Wesleyan College Litigation Update, provided by the College's legal counsel regarding the latest developments in the Jane Doe case.
Recognized as a national leader in church-related higher education, Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of Virginia Wesleyan College, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church (NASCUMC). He was elected to a three-year term on the 18-member Board at the NASCUMC Annual Meeting this week at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg. The 119 schools, colleges and universities in the United States recognized by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church are members of NASCUMC, based in Nashville. "It is an honor to once again be selected to the NASCUMC Board of Directors," said Dr. Miller, who served two earlier terms on the NASCUMC Board as President of Wesley College. "I look forward to celebrating the rich heritage of the United Methodist Church in higher education by partnering with those who share our mission.” Dr. Miller is not new to leadership positions in church-related higher education. A graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College, he served for more than 10 years as president of Wesley College in Delaware, a United Methodist Church-affiliated institution. In that capacity he managed a wide variety of responsibilities including the founding of Hope United Methodist Church and the initiator of an affiliated agreement for Wesley's operation of UMC historic landmark Barratt's Chapel and Museum just south of Dover. Built in 1780, Barratt's is the oldest surviving church building in the United States built by and for Methodists. Before arriving at Wesleyan, Dr. Miller served eight years as President of Bethany College in West Virginia. The oldest Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) college, Bethany houses an extensive archive of the denomination's founder Alexander Campbell. The Campbell Mansion, Campbell’s home and a registered National Historic Landmark, is a prominent site in the Town of Bethany and serves as the focal point of a wide variety of national tour group visits throughout the year. Bethany’s Buffalo Seminary prepares future church leaders and provides continuing education opportunities to strengthen lay, licensed and ordained ministry efforts alike. This is accomplished through a variety of outreach activities, including short-term workshops and events such as the annual Oreon E. Scott Lectures. Prior to departing Bethany, he negotiated the relocation of the Christian Church Historical Society collection from Nashville, Tennesee to Bethany. Dr. Miller served four years as Chair of The Council of Colleges and Universities of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He is credited with creating a new cohesive organizational model, a new branding and enrollment model for TCUCC, and furthering the connection between colleges and universities and seminaries and theological schools. More
Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of Virginia Wesleyan College, will be a speaker and panelist July 26 at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church (NASCUMC). Dr. Miller will speak on the topic "Working With Your Boards" at the meeting, held this year at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg. He will also serve on a panel to discuss board of trustee relations along with Dr. Elizabeth A. Dinndorf, President of Columbia College, and Dr. Steven E. Titus, President of Iowa Wesleyan College. The 119 schools, colleges and universities in the United States recognized by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church are members of NASCUMC. Dr. Miller is in his 24th year as a college president and first at Virginia Wesleyan College. Previously, he served as President of Bethany College, Wesley College, and Lincoln Memorial University. He served on the NASCUMC Board of Directors during his tenure as President of Wesley. A highly-sought presenter, mentor and author on higher educational topics like board governance, financial sustainability and presidential performance, Dr. Miller is a regular columnist for “College Planning and Management,” “Enrollment Manager,” and The Huffington Post. For the last 10 years, he and Dr. Marylouise Fennell, senior counsel for the Council of Independent Colleges, have served as co-executive editors of “Presidential Perspectives,” an online presidential thought series that has resulted in 11 books.
The Center for Sacred Music at Virginia Wesleyan College will host the 2015 Worship & Music Conference from July 27-August 1. Nearly 200 guests from 18 states will attend the conference, an annual non-denominational showcase for instruction in the sacred arts. The conference will feature 45 workshop sessions for musicians, clergy, and worship leaders, led by 17 guest clinicians and VWC faculty. The week’s events will include 18 anthem reading sessions and open-to-the public evening events such as a prayer service using the music of Taizé; a hymn festival co-sponsored by the Tidewater Chapter of the American Guild of Organists; and festival worship featuring the theater troupe Friends of the Groom; and the 110-voice Wesleyan Worship Choir led by Joseph Martin. A closing choral concert will feature Mack Wilberg, director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, conducting the 95-voice Wesleyan Festival Chorus. For more information, visit the Worship & Music Conference webpage or contact Director of the Center for Sacred Music Sandi Billy at 757.455.3376 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More
Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller will share some of his expertise with aspiring college presidents at the Executive Leadership Academy (ELA) in Washington, D.C. this week. Dr. Miller will speak July 16 on the topic of "Presidential Transitions: Preparing, Implementing, and Living." The ELA is a selective year-long program co-sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI) to prepare experienced provosts and vice presidents to become successful presidents. It consists of two national seminars, readings, a year-long Experiential Plan, group work, executive coaching, and a mentorship experience. A highly-sought presenter, mentor and author on higher educational topics like financial sustainability and presidential performance, Dr. Miller was one of 22 presidents interviewed and profiled in a book on presidential leadership and transitions. His comments at ELA will be an expansion of his thoughts included in Jerold Panas’ book, "The First 120 Days: What a New College President Must Do to Succeed." Dr. Miller has been featured in several books in recent years, including ”The Entrepreneurial College President”; “The Small College Guide to Financial Health”; “Born, Not Made: The Entrepreneurial Personality” and "#Follow the Leader: Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEd CEOs." For 15 years Dr. Miller chaired the Council of Independent Colleges New Presidents Program. He is a regular columnist for “College Planning and Management,” “Enrollment Manager,” and “The Huffington Post." For the last 10 years, he and Dr. Marylouise Fennell, senior counsel for the Council of Independent Colleges, have served as co-executive editors of “Presidential Perspectives”, an online presidential thought series that has resulted in 11 books. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AALI and its predecessor organizations have participated in the advancement of higher education for over 30 years. Dr. Miller is vice chair of the AALI Board of Directors and Chair of the Board of Academic Search, Inc., a subsidiary of AALI.
High school educators from the Commonwealth and beyond will convene at Virginia Wesleyan College July 12-17 for the National Association of Biology Teachers/Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (NABT/BSCS) Biology Teacher Academy, presented in partnership with HHMI BioInteractive. The workshop is a collaborative endeavor of VWC faculty and NABT Academy Biology Teacher-Leaders. It will focus on promoting rigor in high school biology and AP classes through meaningful classroom experiences and strategies that engage students in scientific inquiry. Approximately 40 attendees will build common experiences through lab work (e.g., protein electrophoresis); metacognition activities (“through the teacher lens”); curriculum development; and work on the College’s Scanning Electron Microscope. The event is being coordinated by Batten Associate Professor of Education Hilve Firek; VWC Professor of Biology Vic Townsend is serving as content specialist; and Batten Associate Professor of Biology Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson will share her research during a field trip to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. “We are pleased to provide outstanding professional development to biology teachers from around the state and the region,” says Firek. “Working in partnership with national organizations such as the NABT, the BSCS, and HHMI is exciting, and the project underscores the outstanding work being done in the sciences at VWC.” This professional development program is funded by the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) Title II, Part A: Improving Teacher Quality program. VDOE will assume the cost of registration, tuition, and lodging for all Virginia school participants. Licensed Virginia teachers will earn 60 recertification points (two undergraduate credits) through the Adult Studies Program at VWC. The cost for non-Virginia teachers is $725 and includes room and board at Virginia Wesleyan. For more information, please contact Hilve Firek at email@example.com. More
Forbes has featured Virginia Wesleyan College on its annual list of “50 College Gems With Bargain Tuitions, SAT Optional Policies And Openings.” These 50 gems are paired down from 350 institutions that have reported to the National Association for College Admission Counseling that they are still accepting freshman and transfer applications. Forbes cross referenced these schools with The Princeton Review’s guide to The Best 379 Colleges 2015 Edition—a list that bears VWC’s name—resulting in a table of 50 “excellent colleges” ranked by SAT scores. Forbes managing editor Matt Schifrin describes the featured schools as “educational gems” and notes that “the vast majority of these colleges are extremely generous with institutional grants, otherwise known as tuition discounts.” He also highlights schools like VWC that offer test optional admission, giving students the chance to apply without submitting standardized SAT or ACT scores. This option is offered to prospective freshmen who present at least a 3.25 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and have taken a strong college preparatory curriculum in high school. For additional information, view VWC’s College Profile or visit admissions.vwc.edu.
“World Religions 101: A Quick Look at Religions around the World and in Hampton Roads” will be the summer 2015 theme of Readings With Wesleyan—a neighborhood program offered by Virginia Wesleyan College that brings free college-level teaching to residents of Virginia Beach’s Lake Edward area. The discussions will take place Thursdays throughout June and will be led by Dr. Craig Wansink, Joan P. and Macon F. Block Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom. Topics include: “Torah, Torah, Torah: Judaism through Exodus and the Ten Commandments” (June 4); Christianity through the Lens of the Sermon on the Mount (June 11); Five Pillars and Submission: Islam through Suras 1, 3, and 112 (June 18); and Children of India: Hinduism, Buddhism, The Bhagavad Gita, and Koans (June 25). Readings With Wesleyan was launched in July 2014 and is sponsored by VWC’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). It is modeled after the Clemente Course in the Humanities, an educational institution founded in 1995 by author and educator Earl Shoriss to teach the humanities at the college level to people living in underserved communities. Participants study literature, art history, moral philosophy, American history, and more. All discussions are open to the public and take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd., Virginia Beach). For more information, please contact VWC Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling at 757.455.3216.
Congratulations to all Virginia Wesleyan College students who have been named to the Spring 2015 Dean's List. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits and should be proud of this accomplishment. The Dean's List recognizes all students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. View the complete Spring 2015 Dean’s List.
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) has issued a new report, Expanding Access and Opportunity: How Small and Mid-Sized Independent Colleges Serve First-Generation and Low-Income Students, which demonstrates that students from first-generation and low-income backgrounds routinely experience better outcomes if they attend a smaller private college. Contrary to the prevalent stereotype that smaller private colleges are elite institutions accessible only to high-achieving students of means, the report finds that independent institutions enroll students from a wide range of family educational and economic backgrounds. It also indicates that these students are more likely to graduate in four years, a result of smaller college’s tendencies to focus on personalized academic experiences, rigorous educational programs, and high levels of extracurricular engagement. The report was prepared as a component of CIC’s public information campaign, Securing America’s Future: The Power of Liberal Arts Education. The initiative supports the effectiveness and contributions of private liberal arts colleges and universities and the importance of the liberal arts as fields of study. The principal author of the report is P. Jesse Rine, CIC’s director of research projects. Learn more and view the full report at www.cic.edu.
Virginia Wesleyan College recently awarded 132 Wesleyan Promise scholarships to returning students in amounts ranging from $500 to $4,000, providing vital support for those who may face financial challenges in continuing their education at VWC. A committee of faculty and staff, chaired by Financial Aid Director Teresa Rhyne, reviewed more than 250 applications and made the final award decisions in early May. Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, financial need, extracurricular involvement, and conduct consistent with the College’s mission and core values. Launched in the 2014-2015 academic year, the Wesleyan Promise reflects a mutual commitment to success on the part the student and Virginia Wesleyan College. For more information, please contact the VWC Office of Financial Aid at 757.455.3345 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lieutenant General Phil Jones CBE, chief of staff at North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Allied Command Transformation (NATO-ACT) and 34-year officer in the British Army, will deliver the keynote address during Virginia Wesleyan College's 46th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 16. Jones has worked closely with Virginia Wesleyan in recent years to establish a formal agreement that offers student grants to dependents of NATO-ACT employees stationed in Norfolk. In return, NATO-ACT offers their staff's expertise to the VWC community in the form of guest lectures, internship opportunities, and NATO simulation opportunities like the Model NATO Challenge. “We are honored to have Lieutenant General Jones as our 2015 Commencement speaker,” says VWC President William T. “Billy” Greer. “The College is committed not only to expanding international opportunities for our students and embracing diversity within our campus community, but to building truly global partnerships that promote positive change in the world.” Commencement will take place at 11 a.m. in the Convocation Center inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan. Doors open at 10 a.m. No tickets required; General seating is first-come, first-served. You can find more information, including details about the Friday evening Baccalaureate Service and the ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, at www.vwc.edu/academics/
Virginia Wesleyan College’s 2015 Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL) faculty grants have been awarded to VWC Associate Professor of Philosophy Cathal Woods and a multi-disciplinary team made up of Associate Professor of History Rich Bond; Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology Thomas Brown; Associate Professor of Management/Business/Economics Paul Ewell; and Assistant Professor of English Kellie Holzer. Each grant provides up to $1,000 for a project that encourages and advances a culture of innovation and engaged learning. Woods’ two-part project, “Self-Paced Critical Reasoning: CBE Within Credit-Hour Constraints,” explores Competency-Based Education (CBE), an approach that awards credit to students as competence is demonstrated in a sequence of learning objectives rather than on the basis of time spent. Woods will assess how CBE can be married with credit-hour education and will also focus on the development of materials for sequential assessment. The second grant will fund a project titled, “Advancing Digital Pedagogy at Virginia Wesleyan College, 2015-2016.” Bond, Brown, Ewell and Holzer will advance work initiated in 2014 under a previous INTEL grant using a combination of student and faculty workshops, project competitions, funding incentives, and presentations to foster a campus-wide dialogue about digital learning. The project aims to help faculty develop pedagogical and technical skills, increase the College’s capacity to support such work, provide training, and build a community of digital pedagogues at VWC. For more information, contact Associate Dean of Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Kathy Stolley at 757.233.8768 or email@example.com. More
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College Timothy O’Rourke has announced the selection of the 2015-2018 Batten Professors. Chosen by the division chairs, the new Batten Professors are Benjamin Dobrin (Social Work); Rebecca Hooker (English); and Maury Howard (Chemistry). Begun in 2004, Batten Professorship is an award for faculty excellence in teaching and scholarship, community contributions, and passion for inspiring excellence in others. Faculty awarded the Batten Professorship carry the title for three years and are entitled to special development funding. The 2015-2018 Batten Professors join the following holdover designees: 2013-2016: Richard Bond, Benjamin Haller, William Gibson, Diana Risk, and Philip Rock; and 2014-2017: Hilve Firek, Lydia Kennedy, Gabriela Martorell, John Rudel, and Mavel Velasco. More
Virginia Wesleyan’s Office of Residence Life will host its annual housing lottery to assign on-campus spaces to returning students on Tuesday, May 5 at 6 p.m. in the Cunningham Multi-Activity Center (CMAC) inside the Batten Student Center. Students MUST have a ticket to participate in the lottery, which can be obtained by: 1) Paying the Continuing Enrollment Deposit in the Business Office; 2.) Meeting with their advisors and registering for at least 12 credits; 3.) Bringing a printed copy of their fall 2015 class schedule to the Office of Residence Life. Learn more about the lottery process with Housing Lottery Basics and FAQs or view a breakdown of 2015-2016 Room and Board. For more information, contact the Office of Residence Life at 757.455.3295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Wesleyan faculty, staff and friends are invited to attend a luncheon reception Thursday, May 7 to honor VWC professors who will retire at the end of this academic year. Retiring faculty members include Professor of Education and Director of Teacher Education Karen Bosch; Assistant Professor of Education Ginger Ferris; Professor of Music and Artist-in-Residence Lee Jordan-Anders; Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice Tom Lopez; and Professor of Social Work and Director of the Women's Resource Center Sharon Payne. The reception will be immediately followed by a walk to the Wilson Arboretum for the traditional honorary tree planting, a custom that began in May 1997. “Please join us in celebrating the long and distinguished service of these beloved friends and colleagues, whom we shall miss greatly,” says Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College Timothy O'Rourke. The luncheon reception will be held in the Pearce Hospitality Suite at 11:30 a.m. followed by the walk to the Wilson Arboretum at 12:45 p.m. The tree planting will begin at 1 p.m., rain or shine.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) has recognized Virginia Wesleyan College as a 2015 Model Partner for its Marlins Read Program at Shelton Park Elementary School. The College will be honored at a VBCPS Community Celebration on April 30 at Kellam High School. Marlins Read was established in 2008 at Diamond Springs Elementary School as a one-on-one mentoring program aimed at helping young students reach their literacy proficiency. The program expanded in 2009 to Newtown Elementary, and again in 2011 to Bayside Elementary and Shelton Park Elementary. VWC students Kylah Jackson ’15 and Heather Edwards ’18 have served as the most recent student liaisons at Shelton Park. Model Partnerships are selected as examples of best practices of meaningful community involvement in the Virginia Beach school district. Award winners are chosen through a nomination and panel review process. The VBCPS Partnership Advisory Link, an advisory body made up of school and community representatives, began annually recognizing Model Partnerships in 2001. This is VWC’s second VBCPS Model Partnership Award—the College received the honor in 2012 for the Marlins Read program at Bayside Elementary. More
Nominated by President Billy Greer, Virginia Wesleyan senior Mindy Bertram has been named a 2015 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellows Award recipient, recognized for her public involvement and motivation to create lasting change. Her nomination indicates that she is "a leader who inspires not only other students, but also the entire campus and community." She joins a group of 201 student leaders from colleges nationwide. Going forward, Bertram will take advantage of online and in-person networking opportunities, including state and regional conferences. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is named for Dr. Frank Newman, one of the founders of Campus Compact, who dedicated his life to creating opportunities for student civic learning and engagement. Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents—representing some 6 million students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is sponsored by the KPMG Foundation. Read more about Bertram's award at www.compact.org.
When graduate students from Old Dominion University’s environmental engineering program needed outdoor space to house their weather station, classmate and VWC alumna Amanda (Ford) Kennedy ’09 knew just where to put it. Having spent her undergraduate years on 300 acres of open green landscape and a population of budding earth and environmental scientists, she knew Virginia Wesleyan was the perfect fit. On April 16, VWC students helped install the weather station on campus with instruction from Xixi Wang, ODU associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and Elizabeth Malcolm, VWC associate professor of ocean and atmospheric sciences. The station is situated on the east side of campus in between the Trinder Center and the baseball and softball fields. It will remain at VWC for three years, collecting data for meteorology and climate research. VWC students will help collect and review the data, which ODU graduate students will use to assess local effects of climate change. This is the second weather station to be housed at VWC—the first is located on the roof of Blocker Hall and is used by Elizabeth Malcolm’s students for air pollution studies and meteorology research projects. Both stations provide lasting benefits for VWC students, says Malcolm: “It’s part of the research training that we provide for our students, and it will help them if they go on to graduate school and in their careers. It’s another opportunity for them to learn about scientific research and actually get hands-on experience.” The weather station represents VWC's ongoing collaborative relationship with Old Dominion University. In 2012, the College launched its Engineering Dual-Degree Program, giving students the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Science from Wesleyan and a master's degree from ODU in civil, environmental, mechanical, electrical, computer, or aerospace engineering in just five years. For more information, contact Elizabeth Malcolm at 757.233.8751 or email@example.com. View Photo
The softball and baseball programs at Virginia Wesleyan College have teamed up to host the Seventh Annual Strike Out Cancer event on Saturday, April 18 at 1 p.m. at the VWC Softball Complex. In partnership with the American Cancer Society, Strike Out Cancer has raised more than $60,000 to date, and a goal of $15,000 has been set for 2015. The event will feature a silent auction of nearly 50 items, food provided by GENESiS Ministries, music, inflatables, and, of course—softball and baseball. Earlier in the day, prior to the Strike Out Cancer event, the VWC Baseball Team will hold a free baseball clinic for Newtown Elementary School students. The clinic will feature instruction with the players followed by an autograph meet and greet (9:30-11 a.m., VWC Marlin Field). The team mentors weekly at the school as part of an ongoing educational initiative called “Work Hard, Play Hard.” Strike Out Cancer tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the gate. All proceeds will go straight to the American Cancer Society. Those unable to attend the event are asked to consider support in the form of an online donation. For more information, contact VWC Head Women's Softball Coach Brandon Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.455.3307. Strike Out Cancer is hosted in memory of Elliott’s mother, Elaine F. Sears, who lost her battle with colon cancer in 2008.
Before frigid temperatures and snow hit Hampton Roads this winter, Virginia Wesleyan social sciences major Brittany Berry ’15 was already helping to prepare homeless families for the cold. A transfer student who completed her general studies degree at Tidewater Community College, Berry also works for the City of Norfolk as an account technician. In December, she and her colleagues worked with local businesses in downtown Norfolk to collect winter coats, non-perishable food items, over-the-counter medicines and cleaning supplies for homeless families and those living near the poverty level. They also collected more than $900 and donated everything to ForKids, a nonprofit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty for families and kids. Berry’s mom, 1983 VWC graduate Elena Montello, is the development director for Hope House Foundation, an organization that provides support for adults with developmental disabilities. In 2012, Montello received VWC’s Alumni Service Award, and the following year she was chosen as an honoree for the annual YWCA South Hampton Roads Women of Distinction Awards. Berry is following close behind in her mother’s philanthropic footsteps. “I have a strong sense of social responsibility, something I learned from my mom,” she says. “She taught me the value of being part of something greater than myself. Getting involved and being part of the community—that’s what life is all about.” Berry plans to continue serving the homeless and families in need by conducting clothing and food drives several times a year. Her long-term goal is to work for a nonprofit serving the homeless. Adapted from original article written by TCC Campus Communications Officer Laura Sanford. See photo
The 2015 VWC Spring Business Conference—branded the Marlin Prestige—will take place April 13-17 at Virginia Wesleyan, inviting students and working professionals from all academic disciplines to embrace the theme, "Preparing for a Diverse Professional World." In its eighth semester, the bi-annual event is the culmination of months of hard work by business students in the course "Principles of Management." Students coordinate all aspects of the event, exercising key management skills like product development, networking, and project and financial planning. "We are learning to manage in a hands-on environment, rather than just learning from a textbook," says Marisa Harris ’15, chief operating officer of the Marlin Prestige. The conference will feature a variety of speakers, among them Lindsey Reynolds ’98, chief operating officer of the Democratic National Committee (by invite only); Jason Barnes, owner of Chick-fil-A at Haygood Shopping Center; Dr. Anna Gibson Holloway, maritime historian for the National Park Service in Washington, DC; David White, vice president of the Virginia Maritime Association; and Maurice Bynum, owner and environmental manager of P. D. & J. Envirocon. Daily activities will also include the popular "Shark Tank" presentations and interactive alumni and faculty panels. The annual Business Speaker Series will serve as an informal kick-off to the conference on Friday, April 10, featuring special guest speaker Tim Bailey ’83 (1:30 p.m., Pearce Hospitality Suite). Bailey is division president for Canteen, the largest vending services company in the United States. Conference activities are open to all VWC students, faculty and staff, as well as the public. More
On Saturday, March 28, Virginia Wesleyan College will host Works in Progress, an interdisciplinary conference of feminist scholarship bringing together students and faculty from colleges and universities across the region. Works in Progress provides a place where work in all stages of development, focused on women's and gender issues, can be presented in exchange for feedback and consultation from other interested scholars. The conference is divided into three sessions, made up of 11 panels, with 40 presenters. Panels include: Feminist Perspectives; International Human Rights; Rape Culture; Piracy, Tourism, and Other Travels; Queering Comics; Women, the Military, and Foreign Policy; Body Image and Embodiment; Please Take Pictures; Population Control; Lived Experiences; and Women in History. The event will also include a poster session. In addition to VWC, participating schools include Christopher Newport University, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, and William & Mary. For 15 years, the conference has been hosted by the Department of Women’s Studies and Friends of Women’s Studies at Old Dominion University. Virginia Wesleyan is the first campus to share the responsibility. “We are tremendously honored to host Works in Progress,” says Sharon Payne, director of the Women’s Resource Center and professor of social work. “ODU faculty have been our mentors since 2003, through the creation of our women’s and gender studies major, our Women's Forum and the establishment of our Women's Resource Center. With 11 credentialed faculty and nine majors in women's and gender studies, VWC is now a leader in women's scholarship in the region.” This event is free and open to the public. Panel discussions will take place throughout the day in VWC’s Women's Resource Center and Clarke Academic Center. For a list of presenters, topics and a complete schedule, view the conference program. For more information, contact Sharon Payne, director of the Women's Resource Center, at email@example.com or 757.455.3413.
Spring Break is generally thought of as a time for rest and relaxation, but this March many Virginia Wesleyan students used their time off as a chance to give back, gain knowledge and get active. As part of its Alternative Spring Break program, VWC’s Office of Community Service gave students the chance to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads from March 18-21. Seven students worked on a build project in Norfolk as part of the ongoing year-long celebration honoring the College’s 25-year partnership with the organization. Six students accompanied VWC Chaplain Greg West on the annual Nicaragua Spring Break Mission Trip from March 13-20. The group traveled to Managua, where they worked in service with local church leaders and learned about the country’s culture (see photos). Participants will showcase their experience as part of a presentation during an upcoming SOAR worship in Monumental Chapel (date TBD). Nearly 20 students, faculty and staff members traveled to Europe March 15-22 alongside Craig Wansink, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, and Terry Lindvall, C.S. Lewis Endowed Chair in Communication and Christian Thought. The group studied abroad as part of a trip called “Religious Freedom and the Reformation: Germany and Switzerland, Luther Zwingli, and Calvin.” And lastly, for the seventh year, students traveled to the Florida Keys for an adventure-filled week as part of VWC's RecX Outdoor Adventure program. From March 15-20, ten students traveled throughout Islamorada, Key West, and Key Largo, where they hiked, kayaked, snorkeled, jet skied, and more. The trip was led by Jason Seward, director of the Jane P. Batten Student Center, and Doug Kennedy, professor of recreation and leisure studies.
Carine McCandless, author of the New York Times and National Best Seller "The Wild Truth," and Dr. Doug Kennedy, professor of recreation and leisure studies at Virginia Wesleyan, presented at VWC on March 5 as part of the faculty-led lecture series Talk About Teaching. In their presentation, titled "Teaching Students the Truth and 'The Wild Truth': Challenging Students to Look Farther and Dig Deeper," they spoke about the challenges of helping students understand what makes certain information the “truth.” The sister of literary icon Chris McCandless, Carine McCandless was instrumental in the development of Jon Krakauer's international bestselling book "Into the Wild," which has been chosen twice as VWC’s summer read. As a result of the book's success, McCandless began receiving invitations to speak out on the topic of domestic violence at high schools and colleges across the country. As part of the VWC presentation, she shared how her work with students became part of the motivation for writing her memoir, as well as how her experience has exposed students to the untold truth behind "Into the Wild." McCandless and Kennedy have collaborated on teaching materials to accompany both her memoir and Krakauer's book, and in February 2015, they presented at the 34th Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience (FYE) in Dallas, Texas. Following the presentation, McCandless signed copies of her memoir. Additional autographed books are available in VWC’s Scribner Bookstore. For more information, contact Denise Wilkinson with The Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning at 757.455.3249 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See photo
Applications are now being accepted for the Wesleyan Promise, a Virginia Wesleyan program awarding returning VWC students renewable scholarships starting at $1,000. Launched in the 2014-2015 academic year, the program provides financial awards based on academic performance, financial need, extracurricular involvement, and conduct consistent with the mission of the College. Applications received by 4:30 p.m. on April 10, 2015 will receive full consideration. A committee of faculty and staff, chaired by Financial Aid Director Teresa Rhyne, will review the information and make final award decisions by early May. Eligibility details and application are available at www.vwc.edu/wesleyanpromise. VWC students may also visit the Office of Financial Aid in Godwin Hall for more information.
Selected based on her innovative style and passion for teaching difficult subjects, Virginia Wesleyan Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Alison Marganski recently received the American Society of Criminology’s (ASC) Division of Victimology (DOV) 2014 Faculty Teacher of the Year Award. Presented at the ASC’s 2014 Annual Meeting Nov. 19-22, the award recognizes her course development, structure, content, assignments, and her heavy focus on experiential learning. Marganski teaches a variety of criminal justice and sociology courses, among them "Victimology;" “Criminology;” “Gender, Crime and Justice;” “Family Violence: Causes, Consequences and Responses;” “Extreme Murder: Serial Killers, Spree Killers and Mass Murderers;” and “Media, Crime and Criminal Justice Policy.” Says DOV Executive Counselor Nicole Rader, who presented Marganski with her award: “[Marganski] challenges students to think outside the box, taking them outside their comfort zone, thus, teaching them to become strong critical thinkers. She also empowers students to shape part of their learning as evidenced in student selection of relevant research topics, applied activities, and activism-related endeavors.” Marganski is no stranger to accolades. In 2012, she received the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges’ Maurice L. Mednick Memorial Fellowship in support of her project, "Socially Interactive Technology and Interpersonal Violence Among Young Adults in Poland and the United States: Drawing Cross-Cultural Comparisons and Examining Victim-Oriented Services." In addition to victimology, Marganski’s areas of expertise include family violence, criminology and social research.
“World Religions 101: A Quick Look at Religions around the World and in Hampton Roads” is the theme of the spring 2015 installment of Readings With Wesleyan—a neighborhood program offered by Virginia Wesleyan College that brings free college-level teaching to residents of Virginia Beach’s Lake Edward area. VWC’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom will lead the February/March discussions, beginning with “A Story of Displacement: The Iraqi Christian” (Feb. 26), presented by VWC senior Mindy Bertram. The series will continue with “Five Pillars and Submission: Islam Through Suras 1, 3 and 112” (March 5), presented by Craig Wansink, professor of religious studies and Joan P. and Macon F. Brock Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom; and will conclude with “Children of India: Hinduism, Buddhism, the Bhagavad Gita, and Koans” (March 12), also presented by Wansink. Readings With Wesleyan was launched in July 2014 and is sponsored by VWC’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL). It is modeled after the Clemente Course in the Humanities, an educational institution founded in 1995 by author and educator Earl Shoriss to teach the humanities at the college level to people living in underserved communities. Participants study literature, art history, moral philosophy, American history, and more. All discussions are open to the public and take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd., Virginia Beach). For more information, please contact VWC Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling at 757.455.3216.
Sixteen Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff members traveled to Virginia Tech Feb. 4-6 for the Seventh Annual Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, hosted by the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER). The conference showcased the best pedagogical practice and research in higher education today. Sessions addressed disciplinary and interdisciplinary instructional strategies, outcomes, and research, and ultimately served as an opportunity to demonstrate effective instructional practice and disseminate the latest research aimed at improving the quality of higher education. VWC representatives were among 1,000 participants from 335 institutions worldwide. Attendees included: Murrell Brooks (political science); Kathleen Casey (history); Leslie Caughell (political science); Patty Clark (research librarian); Paul Ewell (business); Kim Fahle (writing center); David Garraty (business); Bill Gibson (political science); Sue Larkin (English); Taryn Myers (psychology); Iordanka Panatoyova (mathematics); Lisa Lyon Payne (communication); Maynard Schaus (biology); Kathy Stolley (sociology); Aubrey Westfall (political science); and Denise Wilkinson (mathematics). Participation was sponsored by VWC’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL), which emphasizes support for faculty development that promotes strategic institutional commitments to students' intellectual inquiry, active learning and civic engagement. For more information, contact Kathy Stolley, associate dean of INTEL, at email@example.com or 757.233.8768.
Five Virginia Wesleyan students will debate a topic close to home Feb. 8-9 as they argue issues relating to “Ethics and the Family” at the statewide collegiate Ethics Bowl, sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) and Wells Fargo. Held on the campus of Marymount University, VWC students will take a stand against 13 other highly qualified teams from independent colleges and universities across Virginia, debating a variety of case studies highlighting potential ethical dilemmas in family relationships. This year’s Wesleyan team members are juniors Jodi Chang, Will Edmundson, Gracie Gustin, Marlan Hare and Kaitlynn Perez. To help prepare for the event, the students participated in a Feb. 5 debate organized by VWC’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom. The program, titled “Ethics and the Family: Same-sex Marriage & Adoption, Blood Transfusions, and Abortion: What is the Family’s Role?”, presented the team with a specific religious freedom case to argue and also gave audience members an opportunity to interact, critique and discuss. The Ethics Bowl was established by the VFIC as a means of engaging students with complex ethical dilemmas based on studies of real-world cases. Students, faculty members, and distinguished professionals judge and moderate the event, placing priority on personal ethics in the workplace and the classroom. Virginia Wesleyan won the first-ever Ethics Bowl, held in 2000 at the University of Richmond. The College hosted the event in 2005 and 2011, and VWC’s Ethics Bowl Team placed as runner up in 2014. For additional information about the VFIC Ethics Program, visit www.vfic.org.
In the winter of 2005, Virginia Wesleyan junior Harley Swan ’06 laced up her sneakers for her usual morning run with the VWC Cross Country Team. She did the same thing the next day. And the next. And the next. Ten years—or exactly 3,652 days—later, she’s still running. Jan. 29 marks her decade-long running streak, an achievement she says began accidentally. Flipping through her running journal, Swan realized one day that she’d unintentionally run 23 days in a row. When she told VWC coach Mat Littleton, she learned that he’d once had a streak of his own, running 900 days before stopping due to an injury. In a recent Facebook post, Swan recalled her reaction, writing: “I was blown away! I didn't know streak running was a thing!” (An official streak consists of running at least one mile every day, according to the United States Running Streak Association.) Swan’s story is an inspiration to many and is legendary within the VWC Cross Country/Track and Field program. As a freshman, she struggled to finish races without walking. But as her athletic career progressed, she lowered her 5K personal record by more than 15 minutes, brought down her one mile personal record by nearly five minutes, and became a two-time team captain. “Her improvement, her commitment, and her dedication inspired everybody around her,” says Littleton. “You couldn’t have been on the team at that time and not be inspired by her. I don’t know if I’ll ever coach another person who maximizes their natural ability as much as she did.” Swan earned her bachelor’s in recreation and leisure studies and a master’s in education. She now specializes in special education at an elementary school level. View Photo
Virginia Wesleyan College President Billy Greer was honored for his contribution and support of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) on Saturday, January 24 during a pregame recognition event in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Prior to the VWC Men’s Basketball game against Lynchburg College, ODAC Commissioner Brad Bankston and current ODAC Board President and VWC Director of Athletics Joanne Renn presented Greer with a commemorative captain’s chair as a token of gratitude for his years of service. Greer served as ODAC president from 2007-2009. He will end his 23-year career as president of Virginia Wesleyan College when he retires on June 30, 2015.
In a work that explores the influence of literature on Walt Disney and his creativity, Virginia Wesleyan College Professor of Communication Kathy Merlock Jackson has co-edited the recently released Walt Disney, from Reader to Storyteller: Essays on the Literary Inspirations (McFarland & Company, Inc.). The book addresses Disney as a reader and how his “responses to literature fueled his success,” wrote Merlock Jackson and her co-editor, Mark West. “In his work, he tapped into the audience by selecting stories that they might have known but transformed these to suit other sensibilities.” The collection of essays consider Disney’s reading as a child and as an adult, the authors who influenced him and the literary connections to his live-action and animated films, his theme parks, documentaries and creative vision. Including this most recent publication, Merlock Jackson is the author or editor of six books. Her other works include Images of Children in American Film: A Socio-Cultural Analysis (1986), Walt Disney: A Bio-Bibliography (1993), Rituals and Patterns in Children's Lives (2005), and Walt Disney: Conversations (2006), Disneyland and Culture: Essays on the Parks and Their Influence (with Mark West) (2011), as well as numerous articles and reviews. She is a 1989 recipient of VWC’s Samuel Nelson Gray Award and was named to the first class of the College's Batten Professors (2004-2007). Her main areas of interest are children's culture and animation. More
On April 13, 1979, while riding in the passenger seat of a car next to her husband, former Virginia Wesleyan business student Carrie Leigh DeVenny became the victim of a fatal drunk driving accident. In an attempt to pass, an intoxicated driver struck the left rear of their vehicle, causing it to roll repeatedly. In Carrie’s memory, her mother, Lillian DeVenny, has established the Carrie Leigh DeVenny Annual Scholarship, which will provide financial assistance of $1,000 per year for 10 years. Determined not to let her daughter die in vain, in 1981 Lillian DeVenny became one of the founding members of Virginians Opposing Drunk Driving (VODD), formerly known as Many Against Drunk Driving. For nearly 35 years, the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization has been operated by victims, survivors and concerned citizens who have volunteered their time and efforts to deter intoxicated driving. In 2014, VODD’s founders made the decision to dissolve the organization’s non-profit status. To honor Carrie’s passion for education, VODD’s remaining assets have been transferred to Virginia Wesleyan. The $10,000 scholarship will serve as a memory and tribute to Carrie as it provides financial assistance for future VWC students. Additional donations may be made to the College in Carrie’s memory by contacting Sherran Denklar ’06 at 757.455.2136 or firstname.lastname@example.org. [View Photo]
The silver screen helped shine a light on a serious subject Jan. 10 as VWC President Billy Greer and his wife, Fann Greer, along with Virginia Wesleyan College, hosted a viewing of the film “Blues for Willadean” to benefit local women’s empowerment and domestic violence organizations Samaritan House and the YWCA South Hampton Roads. The evening event took place at the Kaufman Theatre in Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum and included special guests Del Shores, the film’s producer and director, and actors Dale Dickey, David Steen and Debby Holiday. “Blues for Willadean” is the film adaptation of Shores' 2003 play, “The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife.” It tells the story of a woman trying to find her place in life while living with a physically and mentally abusive husband. Both the Samaritan House and the YWCA offer domestic and sexual violence resources, including education and training, counseling, support groups, children’s programs and more. To learn more about these organizations visit www.samaritanhouseva.org and www.ywca-shr.org.
Congratulations to all Virginia Wesleyan College students who have been named to the Fall 2014 Dean's List. These individuals demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits and should be proud of this accomplishment. The Dean's List recognizes all students who achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or above during a given semester. To qualify for this honor, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally graded courses. View the complete Fall 2014 Dean’s List.