Sam Crawford has been named a First Team All-American by United Soccer Coaches, adding to her already impressive senior accolades. She has also earned ODAC Player of the Year, First-Team All-ODAC, and USC First Team All-Region this year. VWU has also been proud to have Sam working in Godwin Hall this year as a graduate assistant to the Trinder Center for Advancement. Way to go, Sam!
The fourth chapter of the 2023-2024 President to President thought leadership series is now available online. In “Questions on the Path to a Sustainable Future,” Roanoke College President Frank Shushok, Jr., Ph.D., examines the value of adaptability and transformation in higher education. He describes how embracing a forward-facing, creative approach in the face of evolving expectations can help campuses balance the need for change with the challenges of operating a modern university.
In this year’s President to President series, titled "Sustainable Futures for Higher Education," it explore the complex and multifaceted subject of sustainability on campus. Over the course of the academic year, the series presents diverse views from 10 renowned college and university presidents, releasing a new chapter online each month. VWU President Scott D. Miller, executive editor of this series for the past two decades, is pleased to share these insightful perspectives and believe they offer valuable lessons applicable to any campus.
Each year, Virginia Wesleyan presents an award on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to a student who practices the ideals set forth by Dr. King—courage and conviction in valuing differences, commitment to seeing beyond borders by building inclusion, compassion for humanity, and/or commitment to social change. In 2021, the award was named The Mavis McKenley ’11 Award in honor of our esteemed graduate and Trustee.
The Office of Academic Affairs is currently seeking student nominations for the Mavis McKenley ’11 Award to be presented on Monday, January 15, 2024. Nominations are due on December 15 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The annual recognition social for the Lambuth M. and Alice A. Clarke Heritage Society was held on campus last week, honoring a special group of alumni and friends who have chosen to include Virginia Wesleyan in their estate plans, as well as those who are considering a bequest to the University as a future gift. Afterward, guests were invited to enjoy “A Wesleyan Christmas” from the VWU Choirs and Orchestra at the Goode Center. View the event's photo gallery.
LifeNet Health, a leading organization in regenerative medicine and life sciences, was recognized with the 2023 Darden Award for corporate civic leadership, emphasizing their dedication to organ transplantation, allograft tissue implants, and cell-based research. This accolade, awarded by the Civic Leadership Institute, celebrates LifeNet Health's significant contributions to medical innovation and community welfare.
Since its establishment in 1982 in Coastal Virginia, LifeNet Health has grown into a global force, impacting millions worldwide through organ transplantation and the distribution of over 10 million allograft biologic implants. The organization, holding over 180 patents, has revolutionized transplantation and regenerative medicine.
Virginia Wesleyan University's relationship with LifeNet Health includes offering internship opportunities to our students. This collaboration is further enhanced by Doug Wilson '86, a member of the VWU Board of Trustees and Executive Vice President of LifeNet Health, symbolizing our joint dedication to education, innovation, and community service in Coastal Virginia.
Robert W. Cross, honored alongside LifeNet Health, is the esteemed founder, executive director, and Perry Artistic Director of the Virginia Arts Festival. His visionary leadership has greatly enhanced the cultural fabric of Coastal Virginia. The Virginia Arts Festival collaborates with the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, offering a wide array of programs that enrich the Coastal Virginia region.
In a significant move towards bolstering workforce development in the region, Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller joined forces with leaders from other prominent Virginia institutions for a roundtable discussion with Governor Glenn Youngkin. Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater joined the governor for the meeting.
This high-profile meeting, held on Thursday and facilitated by Shawn Avery, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, saw the participation of leaders from Old Dominion University, Christopher Newport University, The College of William & Mary, and the Coastal Virginia community colleges.
The crux of the discussion revolved around enhancing engagement and expanding the impact of these institutions to yield greater outcomes for the citizens and communities of Virginia. A special emphasis was placed on aligning educational efforts with the needs of business and industry, identifying and bridging workforce gaps, and focusing on talent development.
In a testament to the cross-sector collaboration essential for effective workforce development, the roundtable included senior representatives from various sectors. Participants included leaders from Amazon, Sentara Healthcare, LifeNet Health, Jefferson Labs, Drone UP, the Virginia Maritime Association, Instant Systems, Fairlead Integration, Realta Life Sciences, and Booz Allen Hamilton, representing a wide array of industries including business, healthcare, technology, and science.
The meeting signifies a collaborative effort to address the evolving workforce needs in Virginia, particularly in response to the dynamic demands of the modern economy. The involvement of such a diverse group of leaders underscores the commitment to creating a robust, skilled workforce that can meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.
Throughout the month of October, the 2023 Marlin Family Campaign for Faculty and Staff served as a testament to the deep care and dedication that the Virginia Wesleyan community holds for the future of this University. Collectively, through the exceptional commitment and generosity of the Virginia Wesleyan family, the campaign raised $40,000 for various priorities of the institution, thanks to 78% of the faculty and staff.
This year's campaign ambassadors were Brandon Foster ‘19, Frank Futyma, Michele Hedspeth, Kelly Jackson ‘84, Dr. Elizabeth Malcolm, Dr. Bill McConnell, Crit Muniz, Ashley Roehrman ‘21, Bethany Tsiaras, and Ryley van der Velde. Their dedication and hard work are greatly appreciated in helping the University surpass its campaign goals.
For more information about the campaign, please reach out to Sarah Guzzo, Director of the Wesleyan Fund, at email@example.com.
The VWU Henry Clay Hofheimer II Library welcomes Sarah deRosa Shiplet as the Research and Electronic Resources Librarian and Kelsi Dunman as the Research Librarian for Online Learning and Circulation.
Shiplet brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her new role, having previously served at South University since 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Archaeology and History from Lycoming College in Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in Library & Information Science from St. John's University in New York. Her educational background reflects her dedication to both the preservation of history and the effective management of information resources.
Dunman recently completed the dual Master of Archival Studies & Library Information Studies (MAS/LIS) degree from the ALA-accredited University of British Columbia. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Appalachian State University. Kelsi’s most recent position was as a contractor for E-Library Resources at the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association where she developed web pages dedicated to K-12 educators on the topics of internet safety and child privacy protections.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller convened the President's Council for the Fall Meeting on Thursday, providing updates on several key initiatives including the planned construction of the new Virginia Museum of Contemporary Arts (V-MOCA) on campus and the expansion of the VWU Global Campus.
The President's Council, comprising regional business leaders who support and extend the University's mission, plays a vital role in connecting students with experiential learning opportunities like internships and externships. These experiences are designed to prepare students for impactful careers and lives.
During the meeting, President Miller highlighted the institution's strategic developments such as the increase in enrollment, burgeoning international partnerships, and the success of VWU's fall sports programs.
Bethany Tsiaras, VWU's Director of Civic Engagement and Service Learning and Deputy Diversity Officer, outlined a series of voter initiatives and volunteer programs, emphasizing the University's commitment to civic participation.
VWU, recognized as a National Liberal Arts College, also holds a distinctive classification as a Community Engagement institution, reflecting its dedication to service and leadership in the local and global community.
VWU will pay tribute to veterans on November 10 at 12 p.m. on Godwin Lawn near the VWU Veterans Memorial. Assistant Men’s Lacrosse Coach and Navy SEAL Sam Jones will serve as the speaker for the special ceremony. The VWU Military Honor Tree will also be on display November 6-11 in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Members of the campus community are invited tie a ribbon on the tree to demonstrate appreciation for our veterans.
Top business leaders from the Chesapeake Alliance, Greater Norfolk Corporation, Portsmouth Partnership, and Virginia Beach Vision recently convened at Virginia Wesleyan University’s DeFord Manor to deliberate on joint initiatives for regional progress.
The meeting was held at DeFord Manor, the official residence of the University's president, with the gathering hosted by Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller. In addition to his role at the University, Miller also serves as Vice President of Virginia Beach Vision and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Norfolk Corporation.
The discussion touched on various pivotal regional subjects:
Delceno Miles, President of Virginia Beach Vision, addressed the need for affordable housing and underscored the importance of regional resiliency.
David Ropp, Chesapeake Alliance's President, elaborated on the developments at Williams Farm and Greenbriar Mall.
Dr. Johnny Garcia, Portsmouth Partnership’s President, highlighted the significance of broadband, regional fiber, and the evolution of workforce development.
Tara Ramsey, Vice President of the Greater Norfolk Corporation, emphasized the potential of the offshore wind industry and the crucial role of higher education.
The group broached the idea of instating a more formalized system for regional cooperation, suggesting regular quarterly meetings and a framework to pinpoint regional concerns that should feature prominently on a legislative priority agenda.
Other attendees included Michelle Wren, Executive Director of the Portsmouth Partnership; Linda Peck, Executive Director of the Greater Norfolk Corporation and the Norfolk Innovation Corridor; and Martha McClees, Executive Director of Virginia Beach Vision.
Civic 50 Hampton Roads is an initiative of Points of Light in partnership with VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads, designed to recognize and celebrate the 50 most community-minded organizations in Hampton Roads. The assessment is open to small, medium, and large companies/organizations operating in the Hampton Roads region between May 1 and July 31, 2023.
The Points of Light mission is to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to take action that changes the world. It envisions a world in which everyone discovers the power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies.
For more information:
Each year, the university engages in a collaborative process wherein faculty members, deans, and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs collectively recommend departmental leaders from the full-time faculty for academic department director, chair, and coordinator capacities.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller expressed his enthusiasm for the new appointments, highlighting the university's commitment to excellence in education: "We are pleased to announce the academic leadership appointments for the upcoming 2023-24 academic year. These appointments represent a significant milestone in our ongoing pursuit of academic excellence at Virginia Wesleyan University. Our dedicated faculty and staff continue to demonstrate unwavering dedication to our students' success and the growth of our institution. I have every confidence that our newly appointed leaders will bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table, further enhancing our commitment to providing a world-class education. Together, we will continue to foster an environment of intellectual curiosity, personal growth, and community engagement that defines the Virginia Wesleyan experience."
Birdsong School of Social Science: Dr. Antje Schwennicke, Dean
History: Dr. Richard Bond, Chair
Sociology and Criminal Justice: Dr. Jeff Toussaint, Chair
Psychology: Dr. Taryn Myers, Chair
Political Science: Dr. Sally Shedd, Chair
International Studies: Dr. Modupe Oshikoya, Coordinator
Social Science: Dr. Antje Schwennicke, Coordinator
D. Henry Watts School of Professional Studies: Dr. Ben Dobrin, Dean
Business: Dr. Michelle Vachris, Director
Education: Dr. Bill McConnell, Director
Sport and Recreation Professions: Dr. Jill Sturts, Chair
Social Work: Dr. Annette Clayton, Chair
Nursing: Dr. Maury Howard, Director
Sustainability Management: Dr. Maynard Schaus, Coordinator
Joan P. Brock School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences: Dr. Vic Townsend, Kenneth R. Perry Dean
Allied Health: Dr. Maury Howard, Director
Biology: Dr. Soraya Bartol, Chair
Chemistry/Biochemistry: Dr. Kevin Kittredge, Chair
Earth & Environmental Sciences: Dr. Chris Haley, Director
Mathematics: Dr. Margaret Reese, Chair
Environmental Studies: Dr. Chris Haley, Director
Computer Science and Information Systems: Dr. John Wang, Chair
Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities: Dr. Steven Emmanuel, Dean
Fine and Performing Arts: Dr. Bryson Mortenson, Director
Communication: Dr. Stu Minnis, Chair
English: Dr. Kellie Holzer, Chair
Foreign Languages and Classics: Dr. Susan Wansink, Chair
Philosophy: Dr. Larry Hultgren, Chair
Religious Studies: Dr. Craig Wansink, Chair
Women's and Gender Studies: Dr. Jennifer Slivka, Coordinator
VWU Global Campus: Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, Dean; Dr. Nadia Nafar, Assistant Dean
LUJ/VWU Global (Japan): Dr. David Black, Chancellor and Executive-in-Residence
VWU Online: Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson
Lifelong Learning: Marion Hibbler
Master of Business Administration: Dr. Michelle Vachris, Director
Master of Education: Dr. Bill McConnell, Director
Master of Arts in Education: Dr. Bill McConnell, Director
Master of Environmental Studies: Dr. Chris Haley, Director
Master of Arts in Human Services: Dr. Ben Dobrin, Chair
Master of Arts in Arts Leadership and Nonprofit Management: Dr. Bryson Mortensen, Director
Batten Honors College: Dr. Travis Malone, Anne B. Shumadine Dean; Dr. Jill Sturts, Assistant Dean
Virginia Wesleyan University is pleased to announce the appointment of Bradley C. Botkin as the Director of Facilities Management. Brad brings a wealth of experience in facilities management, having served in various leadership roles at Aramark, the outsourced facilities management firm of VWU.
With a career spanning nearly 12 years, Brad's expertise in overseeing facilities at educational institutions is impressive. His previous roles include leadership positions at Columbus State University from 2018 to the present, Georgetown University from 2016 to 2018, and the University of Virginia from 2011 to 2016.
Brad is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, where he earned his bachelor's degree in economics.
The university's commitment to environmental stewardship is exemplified by its outstanding facilities, such as the Greer Environmental Sciences Center, which received the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's National Conservationist of the Year Award in 2018. Additionally, the campus boasts the Wilson Arboretum, the Beech Forest, and over 13 miles of biking and hiking paths and trails, providing students with a vibrant and sustainable learning environment.
Brad's appointment as Director of Facilities Management underscores Virginia Wesleyan University's dedication to enhancing its campus infrastructure and ensuring an exceptional experience for its students, faculty, and staff.
He will join the Marlin family in Virginia Beach on October 12.
Virginia Wesleyan University's Batten Honors College received a generous $50,000 grant from the Brown Advisory Charitable Foundation of Baltimore to establish The Brown Advisory Student Managed Investment Fund Program. The program will provide students with a unique real-world opportunity to develop and apply their investment skills. The grant will function as an endowment.
The program encompasses various components, including mentorship, networking opportunities with professionals, participation in conferences and competitions, and ongoing research projects. Distinguished investment executives will serve as advisors, guiding students as they conduct research and make investment recommendations. These experiences will prepare students to become leaders in a global marketplace. While the grant primarily benefits Batten Scholars, the program will also be open to other interested students.
Dr. Nadia Nafar, Associate Professor of Business and Assistant Dean of VWU Global Campus, will lead the program, which is open to all Batten Honors College students, regardless of their major. A dedicated room in Clarke Hall, equipped with state-of-the-art technology and research resources, will serve as a valuable resource for participants.
Virginia Wesleyan University's endowment, currently at $120 million, designates $80.3 million for the Batten Honors College. The entire endowment is invested following environmentally friendly standards.
Virginia Wesleyan University's monthly faculty development e-publication, The Pharos, is pleased to announce the release of its September edition.
“This issue highlights the remarkable achievements of our dedicated faculty and staff members who consistently excel in their respective fields through publications, presentations, and more,” said Dr. Susan Larkin, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "I am proud of our talented faculty and staff members who continue to make important contributions to their respective fields through publications, presentations, and more,"
To access the latest edition of The Pharos, please click https://www.vwu.edu/academics/
Dr. Scott D. Miller, the President of Virginia Wesleyan University, recently took part in Convergence 2023, a gathering of 100 prominent regional business and education leaders in Williamsburg, VA. This event was a collaborative effort between ChamberRVA, Hampton Roads Chamber, and RVA757 Connects, aimed at bridging regional divides and promoting the development of the I-64 Innovation Corridor.
The discussions at Convergence 2023 centered around several key topics. Firstly, leaders gained valuable insights into economic projections from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Collier's, shedding light on anticipated economic states and growth industries. Additionally, participants learned about the role of the I-64 Innovation Corridor in fostering innovation, especially in a landscape dominated by artificial intelligence and post-pandemic challenges. Moreover, attendees received updates on the strategic implementation of the Global Internet Hub and its potential benefits for the economies of Richmond and Coastal Virginia as well as updates on significant transportation projects in the region.
Virginia Wesleyan University is one of 24 higher education institutions within the I-64 Innovation Corridor, also known as RVA757 Connects. Dr. Miller's participation emphasized VWU's commitment to fostering collaboration and innovation in the region.
Four members of the administrative leadership team at Virginia Wesleyan University participated in prestigious national leadership programs during the 2022-23 academic year.
Dr. Susan Larkin, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, recently completed the Senior Leadership Academy (SLA). This year-long program, sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), equips higher education administrators with the skills necessary to assume cabinet-level positions at independent colleges or universities.
Having been a part of the Virginia Wesleyan community since 2008, Dr. Larkin, a Professor of English, previously served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs before her appointment as VPAA in January 2022.
Dr. Keith Moore, Senior Vice President, completed the Executive Leadership Academy (ELA), a year-long program co-sponsored by CIC, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), and AALI. ELA prepares experienced provosts and vice presidents for higher leadership roles within academic institutions.
With over two decades of service at VWU, Dr. Moore has been a vice president of the University since late 2015. In his current capacity, he oversees various critical areas within the university, including Residence Life, Student Activities, Health Services, and more.
Kelly Cordova, Chief of Staff to the President, and Dr. Antje Schwennicke, Dean of the Birdsong School of Social Science and Associate Professor of Political Science, participated in the New American Colleges and Universities (NACU) Emerging Leaders Institute. They joined leaders from NACU campuses for comprehensive training on leadership practices, financial management in higher education, and career paths in university leadership.
Dr. Loren Marquez, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, successfully completed the NACU Emerging Leaders Institute last year.
These four administrators' participation in these nationally recognized leadership programs underscores VWU's commitment to cultivating strong leadership within its academic community, positioning the university for continued success.
Dr. Thomas Taylor, recently announced Chair of the Alumni Council at Virginia Wesleyan University, has received a distinguished appointment to the Education Commission of the States (ECS) by Governor Glenn Youngkin.
Dr. Taylor, currently serving as the Superintendent of Stafford County Public Schools, presides over the eighth-largest school district in the Commonwealth of Virginia. His visionary leadership spans 33 schools, catering to the educational needs of over 31,000 students, and overseeing the dedicated efforts of more than 4,300 employees.
Dr. Taylor's educational journey includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Wesleyan University in 2000. He holds a Master's in Educational Leadership and a Doctorate in PK-12 Education Policy, both earned at the University of Virginia. He has a Master of Business Administration degree from the College of William & Mary.
Virginia Wesleyan University’s Marlin Athletic Fund proudly announces the start of its 2023-24 membership drive, extending a warm invitation to individuals and sports enthusiasts to support Virginia Wesleyan's intercollegiate athletics program.
Established in 2015, the VWU Marlin Athletic Fund remains a cornerstone of financial support for the university's diverse array of athletic endeavors, encompassing 25 sports alongside our thriving esports team. More than 400 student-athletes represent Virginia Wesleyan on various playing fields, demonstrating their prowess both in the arena and the classroom. The Marlin Athletic Fund continues to support the growth and success of these student-athletes and their preferred programs.
Community support makes a tangible difference in the lives of VWU student-athletes. Just as every member of a sports team contributes to its overall success, support for the Marlins Athletic Fund is pivotal to the triumph of VWU's sports teams. Become a member today!
Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of Virginia Wesleyan University, was in Washington, D.C. this week for a visit to the Washington Internship Institute (WII) campus.
VWU, as a member of the New American Colleges and Universities (NACU), is a strategic partner actively involved in operating WII. President Miller serves on the Executive Committee of the NACU Board of Directors which now serves as the Board of Directors of WII.
The visit underscores the ongoing collaboration between NACU / WII and VWU. It is his first visit since NACU and WII completed their merger on November 8, 2022. The boards of both organizations unanimously agreed to this strategic alignment, consolidating operations, management, and governance under NACU's leadership.
This unique collaboration between VWU, NACU, and WII is aimed at providing VWU students with the most impactful, affordable, and accessible DC internship experience. This partnership is expected to result in a new signature DC experience for civically engaged students from VWU and NACU campuses.
WII, with over 30 years of experience in personalized internships, will continue to emphasize purpose, access, specialized education, and internship placements that align with VWU students' passions and career aspirations. NACU serves as an innovation center for a selective group of 27 private institutions nationwide, fostering an environment in which institutions share research and strategy that strengthens their institutions.
Sean Creighton, President of NACU and WII, expressed that this union strengthens both organizations and contributes to expanding experiential learning opportunities for VWU undergraduate students while addressing the challenges of the labor market.
Virginia Wesleyan University unveiled the Torma Gardens, located outside Susan T. Beverly Hall. This serene garden and dedication plaque stand as a testament to Dr. Beverly's enduring impact.
Susan Torma Beverly, a distinguished alumna of the Class of 1972 and 2022 honorary doctorate recipient, passed away on March 14, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer. Her educational journey was marked by numerous accomplishments, including degrees from Virginia Wesleyan, Old Dominion University, and Virginia Tech. Susan's dedication extended to elementary education, where she served as the principal of White Oaks Elementary School in Virginia Beach.
Beyond her professional commitments, Susan was deeply involved in her community, volunteering at Virginia Beach Sentara General Hospital and Virginia Beach United Methodist Church. Her philanthropic spirit and wisdom benefited Virginia Wesleyan University as she served on its Board of Trustees for three terms. In recognition of her contributions, the university inducted her into Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) and awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.
Dr. Susan T. Beverly's legacy continues to thrive on campus, with the renovation and dedication of Susan T. Beverly Hall and the creation of the Susan Beverly Grand Terrace and Pond at the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center.
In a column by VWU President Scott D. Miller, recently published in The Virginian Pilot and Daily Press, he stressed the importance of the liberal arts in shaping the future of Coastal Virginia. The piece discusses Virginia Wesleyan University's celebration of Founders Day on September 7, marking a pivotal moment in its history. The university announced a groundbreaking partnership with the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (Virginia MOCA), establishing the museum's permanent home on campus. This collaboration underscores the fusion of education and the arts, emphasizing the role of liberal arts in fostering critical thinking and understanding in an era often dominated by STEM education.
Read the column here.
Several donor-funded renovations and upgrades to Virginia Wesleyan University’s athletics complex were completed recently, just in time for the return of students and the Fall Semester.
Among the improvements:
- Construction of the Eleanor and Henry Watts Field House at Tom and Betty Broyles Field. Named in honor of Trustee Emeritus D. Henry Watts and his wife Eleanor, this state-of-the-art facility will feature modern amenities for both athletes and spectators. The Watts Field House will provide spacious restrooms for spectators and also offer enhanced locker room space, laundry room, and team restrooms.
- Construction of a dedicated locker room facility for the Marlins baseball team at Kenneth R. Perry Field. The new facility will boast customized "MLB style lockers," providing the Marlin athletes with a professional and personalized environment.
- Design and resurfacing of TowneBank Arena in the Jane P. Batten Student Center, finishing off a three-year restoration project that included new seating, an entertainment area, locker room upgrades, and other amenities.
- Design and resurfacing of the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center. This initiative included repainting the lines in both venues, revitalizing their appearance and functionality. The competitive surfaces at the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center underwent their fifth-year servicing, ensuring optimal conditions for athletic events.
- The Esports Arena in the Jane P. Batten Student Center and the auxiliary arena in Susan T. Beverly Hall both received modernization and upgrades.
Dedicated endeavors and active participation from alumni have secured $750,000 for vital capital improvements and an additional $500,000 to address program-specific needs. This funding is critical for supporting student-athlete resources, including equitable fitness and training equipment. Furthermore, $50,000 has been raised for the Marlin Athletic Fund, a pivotal initiative that promotes excellence in both academics and athletics.
Virginia Wesleyan University sponsors 25 intercollegiate teams and an esports program. The University is a member of the NCAA Division III, ECAC, and ODAC.
As Virginia Beach’s university, the university utilizes the Virginia Beach Sports Center for indoor track and field. VBSC will host the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championship in 2024.
Virginia Wesleyan University is honored to announce its role as the host for the upcoming annual meeting of Virginia Private Colleges (VPC), the legislative and membership support consortium comprising 28 private, non-profit colleges and universities. According to Dr. Scott D. Miller, Chair of the VPC Board of Directors and President of Virginia Wesleyan University, this event will be a pivotal occasion for collaboration among the institutions. Scheduled for September 19-20, this event marks the final meeting under Dr. Miller’s leadership as VPC Chair.
Presidents from the 28 accredited nonprofit independent colleges across Virginia are expected to convene for this significant occasion, fostering collaborative discussions on vital educational topics. The gathering will also be graced by the presence of Governor Glenn Youngkin, who will join the meeting to engage in productive dialogue with the academic leaders.
Established in 1971, the Virginia Private Colleges (VPC), also known as the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV), serves as a nonprofit organization dedicated to representing accredited institutions within the state. VPC plays a crucial role in annual negotiations with the Commonwealth to secure funding for The Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG) program. This program extends $5,000 grants to over 20,000 Virginia students attending nonprofit private colleges, amounting to a total appropriation exceeding $90 million.
The annual meeting will commence on Tuesday, September 19, with a reception and dinner hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Miller in honor of Hampton Roads legislators. The following day, the session will be further enriched with the presence of Governor Glenn Youngkin. This will be succeeded by the annual VPC Business Meeting, a platform for strategic discussions and planning for the future.
The official staff 2023-24 and 2024-25 holiday calendars are available: https://www.vwu.
Carolyn McKenna, a distinguished VWU alumna, returns to her alma mater as the Director of Business and Corporate Development. Her extensive background includes serving as the Director of Development at Community Volunteers in Medicine in West Chester, PA, and holding the position of Associate Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Development at Operation Smile, Inc. in Virginia Beach.
Sarah Guzzo assumes the role of Director of the Wesleyan Fund, leveraging her past experience in the Office of Student Engagement within VWU's Campus Life Division. With academic accomplishments including a bachelor’s degree in psychology from State University of New York at Fredonia, and dual master’s degrees from Buffalo State University in higher education and a Master of Business Administration from VWU, Guzzo brings a well-rounded perspective to her new position.
McKenna and Guzzo join an accomplished advancement team that recently celebrated the successful conclusion of the "Transformation Now!" capital campaign during the 2022-23 academic year, securing an impressive $200 million in contributions.
A recent report from the National Association of College and University Business Officers highlights VWU's endowment, which now stands at $120 million, ranking among the top 10 percent of private educational institutions nationwide. This remarkable progress directly correlates with the accomplishments of the capital campaign.
Tangier Island native and VWU alumnus Cameron Evans ‘22 was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal article ”Climate Change Is Coming for a Chesapeake Bay Island. Is It Worth Saving?" The article focuses on how small, low-lying communities such as Tangier Island, a remote spot in the Chesapeake Bay that is facing rising sea levels and erosion, face uncertainty over whether lawmakers will act to protect their homes.
A compelling new book titled "Frankly Speaking: The Story of Frank Blocker, Jr." has been released by The Donning Company Publishers, offering an intimate portrayal of the life and remarkable philanthropy of the late Frank Blocker, Jr., a dedicated member of the Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and a cherished friend to many. Authored by Phyllis Speidell, the book masterfully weaves together the legacy and benevolence of Mr. Blocker whose impact resonated deeply within the Virginia Wesleyan community and beyond. The book is further enriched by the evocative photography of John H. Sheally II, providing visual insights into the various facets of Mr. Blocker's life and philanthropic endeavors. "Frankly Speaking: The Story of Frank Blocker, Jr." is now available for readers to delve into the life of an extraordinary individual whose contributions continue to inspire. His commitment to Virginia Wesleyan University and his unwavering dedication to education, compassion, and community upliftment are illuminated through heartfelt anecdotes and shared memories. Whether connected to Virginia Wesleyan University or simply seeking inspiration from a life well lived, this book offers a heartfelt and comprehensive account of Frank Blocker, Jr.'s journey.
Virginia Wesleyan University is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen G. Riegler as the new Director of Recreation and Wellness. In his capacity, Steve will oversee the operations of the Jane P. Batten Student Center, a modern 140,000-square-foot multi-use campus facility that serves as the central hub for campus wellness, recreation, intercollegiate sports, and recreational activities.
Steve brings a wealth of experience to his role, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with a major in Recreation and Leisure Services Management from Coastal Carolina University and a Master of Science in Sports Management. His educational background, coupled with his diverse professional experience, make him a valuable addition to the Virginia Wesleyan University community.
Prior to assuming his current position, Steve served as the Coordinator of Advancement Events at VWU. His career path also includes significant roles within the City of Virginia Beach, where he held positions such as Special Events Coordinator and Market Supervisor since 2019. Notably, Steve has previously served as the Associate Director of Operations for Recreation and Wellness at Old Dominion University and held various roles at the Virginia Beach Field House, including Recreation Specialist, Sports Director, and Assistant General Manager overseeing leagues and operations.
Congratulations to sophomore Evelyn Weaver for receiving a NOAA Hollings scholarship. The Hollings Scholarship Program provides awards that include academic assistance for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid internship at a NOAA facility during the summer. Evelyn’s internship will be during the summer of 2024. Evelyn is the third VWU student to receive the competitive scholarship. Previous VWU recipients include Erin Foreman, who received one in 2021 and did ornithology research at Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve on Prudence Island, Rhode Island, for her internship; and Seth Antozzi, a 2015 recipient, who studied climate change impacts on downslope winds at the Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. Seth is currently working on his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Colorado State University. Well done!
VWU has been awarded a composite bench from NexTrex for collecting 500 pounds of plastic over six months. The bench is located on the Wesleyan Woods trail between Brock Village and Honors Village. Wesleyan Engaged will continue collecting plastic in the NexTrex boxes located in Clarke Hall, Batten Student Center, Hofheimer Library and Greer Environmental Sciences Center.
Congratulations to George “Chip” Tsantes, Class of 1983 and member of the VWU Board of Trustees, on his upcoming book release. “Cybertax: Managing the Risks and Results,” co-authored by James Ransome, is targeted toward business executives, business owners and board members to guide them in managing cybersecurity. Tsantes has nearly 40 years of experience in building technical infrastructure and cybersecurity. This is his first book.
The inaugural Louis and Prudence Ryan Environmental Research Symposium for the Ryan Environmental Prize for Excellence in Research will take place Thursday, April 27. During the symposium, students from the fall and spring Batten Honors College senior seminars will present research on innovative approaches to addressing issues of the environment and sustainability. The event will feature a poster session and public presentations from the three student finalists.
The initiatives are gratefully named for longtime Virginia Wesleyan friends and benefactors. Louis Ryan, a member of the VWU Board of Trustees since 2007, said in a March 2021 Virginian-Pilot article, “We had decided a number of years ago to support our primary areas of interest—the environment and education.” Along with serving on the VWU Board of Trustees, Ryan has served since 2006 on the board of directors of the Elizabeth River Project, an important partner of VWU and the Batten Honors College.
Congratulations to Virginia Wesleyan University Camerata and Vox Vera for being named as National Semi-Finalist Choruses for 2023 in the collegiate choral ensembles division of the American Prize competition. The American Prize is a national non-profit competition in the performing arts, designed to evaluate, recognize, and reward the best performers, ensembles, composers, directors, and administrators in the United States. Finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from the 2023 semi-finalists. VWU's Camerata and Vox Vera perform under the direction of Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Dr. Bryson Mortensen. Well done!
Virginia Wesleyan has been awarded a Silver rating from the Association for the Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS is intended to engage and recognize the full spectrum of higher education institutions, from community colleges to research universities. The framework encompasses long-term sustainability goals for already high-achieving institutions, as well as entry points of recognition for institutions that are taking first steps toward sustainability.
Dr. Elizabeth Malcolm, Professor of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and Director of Sustainability, led this important initiative with support from Shane Boyd, Amber Gruszeczka, Skyler Lattuca, Tim Lockett, Kayleigh Poggioli, Dr. Maynard Schaus, and Bethany Tsiaris. VWU’s STARS report will be used to advance sustainability efforts at the university.
Virginia Wesleyan University was honored with 2022 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management. The Arbor Day Foundation is the world’s largest membership nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. Its Tree Campus Higher Education program began in 2008 to encourage colleges and universities to plant trees on their campuses. Trees on campus and in urban spaces can lower energy costs by providing shade cover, cleaner air and water, and green spaces for students and faculty. In addition, trees improve students' mental and cognitive health, provide an appealing aesthetic for campuses, and create shaded areas for studying and gathering.
"Trees not only play a vital role in the environment but also in our daily lives,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Having trees on college and university campuses is a great way to show a commitment to students and faculty’s overall wellbeing.”
The Tree Campus Higher Education program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals. VWU achieved the distinction by meeting Tree Campus Higher Education’s five standards, including maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning project. Currently, there are 411 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
More information about the program is available at treecampushighered.org.
Join panels of VWU faculty members for a slice of the liberal arts and a slice of pizza. Learn more about declaring a major; possible careers in a major; securing an internship; and pathways available for graduate school in a major. Members of the faculty will discuss these topics and more during the following "Spotlight on Marlin Majors:"
A Slice of Criminal Justice/Sociology Panel Discussion: March 22 at 6 p.m. in Brock Commons
A Slice of the Humanities: March 23 at noon in The Lighthouse, Clarke Hall
A Slice of Psychology: March 30 at noon in The Lighthouse, Clarke Hall
For more information contact Nancy Rechkemer in the Learning Center in Clarke Hall: 757.455.2127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's March President's Letter, "New Programs, New Champions, New Season."
Virginia Wesleyan alumna Meghan (Betz) Ashburn '07 has released a new book designed to ease the divide between autistic advocates and parents of autistic children. Published in January 2023, “I Will Die On This Hill—Autistic Adults, Autism Parents, and the Children Who Deserve a Better World” is co-authored by Ashburn and Jules Edwards, who describe themselves as "co-conspirators in the pursuit of disability justice." Ashburn earned her degree at VWU in elementary education, and her son has committed to study and play soccer at the University this fall. She recently visited campus for the winter Marlins Day Open House, where she met and shared her recent accomplishments with VWU President Scott D. Miller (view photo). Her book is available at Amazon.com.
Virginia Wesleyan University will hold its 13th annual “Love Liberally” symposium during the last two weeks of February. The yearly event, held around Valentine’s Day, celebrates love as it relates to the liberal arts. The event is coordinated by Dr. Takeyra Coats, assistant professor of sport and recreation professions and chair of Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL).
“This year's symposium highlights VWU faculty who represent different disciplines within VWU's liberal arts curriculum, as they showcase love through different perspectives," said Coats. "The symposium provides students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to engage in learning by attending a class or viewing a film or by engaging in an in-person or virtual lecture."
The 2023 symposium will feature several faculty presentations including: "The Archaeology of Love in Archaic Greece," a virtual lecture by Associate Professor of Classics Ben Haller; "Love for the Dismal Science: Understanding Humanity through Economics" with Assistant Professor of Management, Business, and Economics Dr. Garrett Wood; "Love for Pets" with Professor of Sociology Kathy Stolley; and a screening of "Hollywood Teach Us to Pray," an engaging, fun, and meaningful film produced and directed by C.S. Lewis Endowed Chair in Communication and Christian Thought and Professor of Communication Terry Lindvall and Professor of Communication Stu Minnis. View the schedule.
Kelly Cordova, chief of staff, and Dr. Antje Schwennicke, dean of the Birdsong School of Social Science and associate professor of political science, have been selected to participate in the New American Colleges and Universities (NACU) Emerging Leaders Institute, a series of workshops designed to help individuals understand and hone their leadership skills. Read more about the NACU Emerging Leaders Institute.
Dr. Jeffrey Toussaint has been promoted to associate professor of sociology and criminal justice with tenure, an action approved during the winter meeting of the Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees, according to Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the University. Toussaint arrived at VWU in 2017 as an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice. He holds a Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a B.S. and M.A. from Old Dominion University.
Virginia Wesleyan University is freezing tuition for the sixth consecutive year. During its winter meeting on February 2, the VWU Board of Trustees approved the decision for all full-time students to pay the same rate of tuition in the 2023-2024 Academic Year, according to Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the University. Virginia Wesleyan has adopted a wide variety of measures to remain affordable and financially support students. In addition to capping tuition and fees at their current level for six years in a row, the University has established an on-campus student work program; launched the Batten Honors College, which fully or partially funds 40 new academically talented students each year; created three-year degree pathways for 27 of its bachelor’s degree programs, allowing interested students to complete their degree in a more accelerated and affordable format; widened access to early- and dual-enrollment programs; made January Term affordable; added online summer courses and expanded institutional grants and scholarships. VWU offers competitive financial aid packages and assists students in identifying other sources of aid as well, with 98 percent of students receiving financial assistance. Special discounted tuition is also offered for students in the Evening and Weekend Program and VWU Online, where rates are almost 75 percent less than tuition for traditional day students. “At Virginia Wesleyan, our longtime commitment to providing an affordable education has been a crucial differentiator that helps us appeal to financially responsible students who are looking to start their careers without the heavy burden of unreasonable student loans,” Dr. Miller said. Read More
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's February President's Letter, "Love for the Liberal Arts."
The spring 2023 schedule for the Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute includes 12 courses. This unique partnership between Virginia Wesleyan University and Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay offers non-credit courses in art, history, political science, psychology, religion, popular culture, and other subjects each semester. Taught by Virginia Wesleyan faculty, programming for the initiative—a component of Virginia Wesleyan University Global Campus—is coordinated by Dr. Ben Fraser, the Westminster-Canterbury Fellow for Religious Studies and Lifelong Learning, in collaboration with Virginia Wesleyan’s Robert Nusbaum Center.
The VWU/Sentara joint Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program hosted a reception to celebrate the second cohort of pre-BSN students on Monday, January 23 in Brock Commons. Congratulations to Joana Robles, Rayven Amaya, Olivia Winslow and Sophia Bourassa who will transition to the Sentara College of Health Sciences for the specialized nursing and clinical coursework needed to complete their degrees. The joint BSN program was initiated in February 2020, when VWU first signed an agreement with Sentara College of Health Sciences.
“Give light and the people will find their own way.” The corporate motto for Scripps, the parent company of WTKR News 3, was the inspiration behind a mural created by Professor of Art John Rudel during winter break. His magnificent, four-story work of art is now on display on Boush Street in Norfolk. He says that the project was a fun, but taxing challenge, one that helped him to overcome his fear of heights!
President Scott D. Miller, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Andrea Hoover-Erbig and Faculty Athletics Representative Jill Sturts (view photo) served as the Virginia Wesleyan University delegation to the NCAA Convention in San Antonio, Texas, January 11-14. Dr. Miller attended a Presidents’ Agenda Day, allowing for more direct conversation on athletics issues with NCAA leadership. Coach Hoover-Erbig attended the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) meeting during the convention, and Dr. Sturts took advantage of special programming for Faculty Athletics Representatives. Each year, NCAA members travel from campuses and conferences nationwide to attend the NCAA Convention. College sports leaders gather to vote on rule changes, which are developed by members and committees throughout the year in an effort to best support student-athletes. The Convention also provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of current and former athletes, coaches and administrators. This year’s convention also acted as the introduction of incoming President Charlie Baker to member institutions, who attended a productive discussion with NCAA Division III presidents. Division III members also voted on 12 proposals during governance meetings.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller has shared the Fall 2022 President's List and Dean’s List. Congratulations to the 103 students on the President’s List who achieved a 4.0 grade point average and to the 250 students on the Dean’s List who achieved a 3.5-3.99 grade point average for the fall semester. To qualify for these honors, 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, and we’re so proud of them," said Dr. Miller. "Congratulations to all!"
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's January President's Letter, "It's a Great Year to be a Marlin."
Virginia Wesleyan University’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemoration event will be held on Monday, January 16, at 12 p.m. in the Joan P. Brock Room of Brock Commons. The special luncheon, sponsored by VWU Athletics, will feature Virginia Beach City Councilman and former NFL player Aaron Rouse as keynote speaker.
Councilman Rouse was born and raised in Virginia Beach and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 2007 NFL Draft and also played for the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals. After retiring from the National Football League, he returned home to Virginia Beach to begin his career in public service. He served as a coach and a mentor before founding Rouse’s House, a nonprofit organization that serves to establish education as the foundation for today’s youth, with a primary goal of exposing youth and families in the community to a broader world of learning. In 2018, he was elected to the Virginia Beach City Council as an at-large member. He has also served as vice chair, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.
Among Rouse’s many accolades are the Changemaker of the Year Award from Volunteer Hampton Roads, the 2020 African-American Creative Community Series Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award, and the History Maker Award from the Virginia Beach chapter of the NAACP in 2019. He resides in Virginia Beach with his wife Jennifer, a VWU alumna from the Class of 2008, and son and daughter.
The annual program also includes the presentation of the Mavis McKenley ’11 Award to a student who embodies the ideals of Dr. King.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller has been elected as chair of the Board of Directors of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (Virginia Private Colleges) for 2023. The Board consists of the presidents of the 27 independent colleges in Virginia. Two years ago, Dr. Miller was chair of the Council of Presidents of the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges, and he has also served as chair of the Board of Directors of Washington, DC-based Academic Search, Inc. He was also recently elected vice president of Virginia Beach Vision (VBV), an organization of Virginia Beach corporate leaders with a mission to create a vision and advance initiatives necessary to the City of Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads region’s future development, prosperity and quality of life. Read More
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, the newly appointed bishop to the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, will serve as Virginia Wesleyan University’s 2023 Baccalaureate speaker. Originally from Florida, Bishop Haupert-Johnson has a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida, a law degree from the University of Florida College of Law, and a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Baccalaureate will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 12 in the Joan and Macon Brock Theatre of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center as a part of the Spring 2023 Commencement Exercises. This prelude to Commencement is a service of worship in celebration of and thanksgiving for lives dedicated to learning and wisdom.
Two distinguished Virginia Wesleyan University faculty members received awards during the VWU Global Campus Commencement Ceremony held on December 17 in the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. The 2022 Faculty Award for Distinguished Scholarship was presented to Dr. William McConnell, Associate Professor of Education, and the 2022 Faculty Award for Campus Service was presented to Dr. Elizabeth Malcolm, Professor of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. Read more about the day and view the photo gallery.
This semester’s last edition of The Pharos is available now. Enjoy learning more about VWU's talented faculty and staff members, who continue to make important contributions to their respective fields through publications, presentations, and more.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller has been elected as vice president of Virginia Beach Vision (VBV). In this role, he will work alongside VBV President Delceno Miles and VBV Executive Director Martha McClees (view photo). Composed of 120 corporate directors, VBV’s mission is to create a vision and advance initiatives necessary to the City of Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads region’s future development, prosperity and quality of life. More
Renovations and updates to Clarke Hall as part of Virginia Wesleyan University’s workforce and talent development initiatives continue to move along. President Scott D. Miller highlighted several projects in the December 12 edition of Nota Bene. He shared that the Beasley Foundation Technology Center will have a completely different look. The redesign will provide ample space for collaboration and productivity, featuring eight workspaces, each equipped with new modern computers. Two full-length counters looking out onto campus will frame in the space and comfortable furniture will create wonderful spaces to read or work from laptops. New auto adjusting window shades will adjust throughout the day to provide proper lighting. The IT Help Desk housed within will feature a tech bench to accommodate computer repair and work study apprenticeships. In addition, a new garage door style deposit window will give users a place to drop off their equipment. Dr. Miller also shared that the Learning and Advising Center will have a new look. In addition to new furniture, paint, and carpeting throughout, the center will include a new reception desk, eight testing stations with new computers and a closed-circuit monitoring system, an interactive projector system, and three huddle rooms that accommodate four people for group collaboration or private tutoring. The project is scheduled to be completed in late January 2023.
President & Mrs. Scott D. Miller and the students of "Sport & Recreation Program and Event Principles" hosted the annual Children's Brunch With Santa on December 10 for children and grandchildren of Virginia Wesleyan University community members. The event was held on campus in Brock Commons. View the photo gallery, with images by Joey Mueller '22.
The annual Christmas Tree Lighting took place on December 1, 2022, celebrating the official start of the holiday season at Virginia Wesleyan University. View the photo gallery
January Term is a special three-week academic term during which students concentrate their studies on one intensive course. 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 destinations such as Costa Rica, Berlin, Israel, Mexico, and Hawaii. View January Term Courses
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's December President's Letter, "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
The latest edition of Ms. Magazine features an article written by VWU Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Program Kathleen Casey. In “Teaching the Deep Roots of Abortion in America,” Dr. Casey addresses “the special obligation historians have to challenge the Supreme Court’s narrow view of the history of abortion in the U.S.” Read all about it: https://bit.ly/3gYy6G2
The Marlin community showed up in a BIG WAY on #GivingTuesday, with 491 gifts totaling more than $31,000! Thank you to those who participated; we are grateful for your generosity. Your support will have such an impact on our students, faculty and the University as a whole. GivingTuesday, a national day of giving and radical generosity, was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Since then, it has grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
Read the latest news from VWU athletics in the November 29 edition of SportSplash.
Faculty in the Department of Management, Business, and Economics hosted the Sigma Beta Delta induction ceremony on November 15 during the Marlin Business Conference. Congratulations to this year's inductees: Alexandra Brewster, Sarah Guzzo, Ashleigh Lockard, Emily Moody, Aaron Oman, Emily Purdin, and Jennifer Walsh. They join returning members Marlese Boyer, Melina Cabral, Connor Merk, Gavin Prouty, Evie Trinh, Barbara Washer, and Doris White.
Sigma Beta Delta is the International Honor Society for Business, Management, and Administration that promotes personal and professional improvement and a life distinguished by honorable service to humankind. Students are invited to membership as juniors, seniors, and graduate students based on grade point averages.
“It is the highest academic honor that we faculty can offer a student,” said Assistant Professor of MBE and faculty advisor for Sigma Beta Delta Elaine Dessouki.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's November President's Letter, "A Season of Beauty and Gratitude."
Bruce Thompson, CEO of Gold Key - PHR, a Virginia Beach-based hospitality company that owns hotels, restaurants, and condominiums, will serve as keynote speaker at the opening session of the Marlin Business Conference on November 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the Joan P. Brock Room of Brock Commons. The fall conference theme is “Creating Careers for Change” and will take place November 15-19. Thompson has been a leader in the travel industry for more than 30 years. His first venture grew to become the largest ski operator on the East Coast. That company evolved into Professional Hospitality Resources (PHR) as Bruce expanded into hotels and restaurants. In 1986, he entered the vacation ownership industry, co-founding the highly successful Gold Key Resorts. Today, his companies generate annual revenues exceeding $140 million and employ over 2,400 associates. The Marlin Business Conference is the culmination of months of hard work by students in the VWU 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. Conference activities are free and open to the public.
Virginia Wesleyan University will hold its annual Veterans Day Ceremony in honor of Marlin veterans and active duty service members at noon on Friday, November 11. Cory Franklin '20, VWU adjunct faculty member and Marine Corps veteran, will serve as special guest speaker. Franklin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from VWU and his Master of Music Education from Old Dominion University. As a Marine Corps veteran, his Military Occupational Skill was 2823 Technical Control Chief with 20 years of tactical telecommunications experience in management, integration, network system repair, and operations. He engineered, analyzed, and optimized long-haul telecommunication networks, converging secure and non-secure voice, data, and video networks, leading co-workers to accomplish tasks with deadlines and limited resources. The Veterans Day Ceremony will take place on campus at the Veterans Memorial Monument behind Godwin Hall.
Senior art major Alison Coutu’s ceramic sculpture has been selected for display in the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art's exhibition "Made in Virginia." Out of 532 entries, only 31 artists were selected for this exhibition. Alison's piece is one of three sculptures in the exhibition, and the only work made of ceramics. The exhibition was juried by Bana Kattan, Associate Curator of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. Congratulations, Alison!
Wesleyan Engaged will host Kate Slayton from Virginia21, on Vote Early Day on Friday, October 28. Slayton will address the topic, “The Importance of Your Vote,” at an event on campus in The Grille in the Jane P. Batten Student Center from 1-2 p.m. Students will be encouraged to make the most of their vote by making a voting plan, getting to the polls, and holding elected officials accountable. Virginia21 is a statewide, non-partisan organization that brings young Virginians together to tackle the challenges of today — and tomorrow. Their mission is to empower college students and young Virginians to be engaged citizens and advocates for issues important to them and Virginia’s future.
The Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees held its Fall Meeting October 5 in the Board of Trustees Suite in the Boyd Dining Center. Following two weeks of staggered Board committee meetings and the full Business Session, members met to hear reports and take action on a variety of issues. The opening session was an extensive presentation about the University's new partnership with the Virginia Beach Police Department from Dr. Susan Larkin, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. David R. Black, Chancellor of VWU Global (Japan); and Heather Campbell, Vice President for Enrollment. "The Board was excited and appreciative for the program," VWU President Scott D. Miller said, "as it fills a need in our community and sets Virginia Wesleyan at the forefront of innovative programming to attract students of all ages and backgrounds." Among the Board actions during the Fall Business Session: Heard detailed reports from the following committees: Trusteeship, Audit, Finance and Endowment, Campus Affairs, and University Relations; Affirmed the selection of Dr. Susan E. Larkin as provost and vice president for academic affairs; Affirmed the promotion of Dr. Keith Moore as senior vice president (previously vice president for campus life and operational management) and Kelly Cordova as chief of staff and assistant secretary to the Board of Trustees (previously executive assistant to the president); Heard progress reports on institutional planning: Financial Sustainability Plan, “Great Goals!”, and “Forging the Future: Building on Strength;” Accepted the final report of the “Transformation Now!” capital campaign and discussed a new $40 million fundraising plan campaign to grow the endowment; Approved the updated Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget; Recognized Geni Roberts ‘23 (pictured) as the National Runner Up in the men’s triple jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships; Received an update on the work of the new Graduate Council and the addition of new programs; Heard a report from Brown Advisory on the endowment; and received updates on recently completed construction projects and upcoming projects like the Watts Fieldhouse, the Blocker Youth Center, and the Kenneth R. Perry Field locker room. Read more about the Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees.
President Miller is featured in the first episode of the third season of NACU’s podcast, Connect, Collaborate, Champion. A veteran college president with 32 years of experience at four different institutions, President Miller started his career as a sports writer. During the podcast, he talks about differentiating one’s campus in a congested marketplace, expanding into new markets, and how today’s presidents can be successful master generalists. The NACU podcast features a unique perspective from higher ed insiders, private industry experts, and other voices to capture new ways of thinking about higher education.
The adventure of learning continues this fall through the Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute. The unique partnership between Virginia Wesleyan University and Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay offers non-credit courses in a variety of topics. Taught by Virginia Wesleyan faculty, the courses are offered at no cost to Westminster-Canterbury members on site, as well as on the Virginia Wesleyan campus. Programming for the initiative—a component of Virginia Wesleyan University Global Campus—is coordinated by Dr. Ben Fraser, the Westminster-Canterbury Fellow for Religious Studies and Lifelong Learning, in collaboration with Virginia Wesleyan’s Robert Nusbaum Center.
The Virginia Wesleyan University team of Kyle Forker (captain), Devin Calpo, Anna (Ash) Dobrenen and Casey Lang analyzed and presented data on ant biodiversity at the four-hour Datathon, hosted by the Slover Library on September 16. The team, advised by Professor of Computer Science John Wang, presented the dataset collected by Devin Calpo as part of his undergraduate research project last year. Though Datathon has existed at the state level for many years, this was the first competition to be held locally. The VWU team represented the University with distinction during their inaugural year while gaining valuable experience throughout the process. Well done!
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's September President's Letter, "A New Academic Year Begins."
VWU's Math Lounge is featured in the August/September edition of the Mathematical Association of America's magazine, MAA Focus. This thriving community space in Eggleston Commons provides students with academic and social support and builds relationships among faculty and students. Professors Lydia Kennedy, Audrey Malagon, and Margaret Reese make sure the space is equipped with materials and resources. Drop by Eggleston Commons to work a calculus problem or sketch of Putnam-problem solutions. Read More
Virginia Wesleyan University and the Virginia Beach Police Department’s 3rd Precinct hosted National Night Out on campus at the Trinder Center on August 2. The nationwide event serves as an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Members of the campus and surrounding community enjoyed an evening of games, fun (including a bomb squad with robots), and food from Nothing Bundt Cakes, Mission BBQ, and Starbucks. VWU President Scott D. Miller was pictured with Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate and friends, and also pictured with City Manager Patrick Duhaney and Captain Jeffery Wilkerson, Commanding Officer of the 3rd Precinct.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's August President's Letter, "A Productive Summer Underway."
The Batten Honors College of Virginia Wesleyan University is a program of national distinction, one of only 147 honors colleges in the United States. Enrolling a highly selective group of 160 scholars, the Batten Honors College’s mission focuses on Environmental Stewardship, Global Engagement, and Leadership. It boasts of an $80.2 million endowment that funds scholarships, environmental, global and leadership opportunities for scholars and supports teaching faculty. VWU President Scott D. Miller has announced faculty with Batten distinction for the 2022-2023 Academic Year:
- Travis Malone, Dean of the Batten Honors College and Batten Professor of Theatre
- Jill Sturts, Assistant Dean of the Batten Honors College, Chair of Sport and Recreation Professions, and Batten Associate Professor of Sport and Recreation Professions
- Joyce Howell, Batten Professor of Art History
- Larry Hultgren, Batten Professor of Philosophy
- William McConnell, Director of Teacher Education and Batten Associate Professor of Education
- John Rudel, Director of Undergraduate Research, Curator of Exhibitions for the Neil Britton Art Gallery, and Batten Professor of Art
- Maynard Schaus, Director of Graduate Programs, Coordinator of Sustainability Management, and Batten Professor of Biology and Environmental Science
- Sally Shedd, Chair of Political Science and Batten Professor of Theatre
- Antje Schwennicke, Dean of the Birdsong School of Social Science, Coordinator of NATO Partnership, and Batten Associate Professor of Political Science
The Batten distinction is a renewable term appointment (July 1-June 30) afforded to full-time faculty teaching in the Batten Honors College for the corresponding academic year. Those teaching short-term study away courses are not eligible.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller has announced the recipients of the 2022 Alumni Awards, an honor the VWU Alumni Council bestows upon graduates in recognition of outstanding professional and personal accomplishments. This year's recipients are Michael J. White ’81 (Distinguished Alumnus Award), Brandon L. Adair ’12 (Alumni Service Award), and Jessie K. Dawe ’08 (The Beacon Award). The 2022 Alumni Awards will be celebrated as part of the University’s annual Founders Day celebration on Thursday, September 8, which will be livestreamed on the VWU Digital Broadcasting Network. The Founders Day keynote speaker will be the Honorable Deborah Paxson, Virginia Wesleyan Class of 1975 and member of the VWU Board of Trustees. Congratulations to these alumni on this well-deserved distinction that recognizes their many accomplishments since graduation!
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's July 2022 President's Letter, "Action Continues on Campus This Summer."
Virginia Wesleyan University's Opus summer program, a Work and Learn initiative, is back. Now in its fifth year, the Opus program is designed to assist students with outstanding financial obligations to the University and has helped more than 150 Marlins continue their educational pursuits. Participating students work alongside the University's Facilities Management team on corrective and preventative maintenance, as well as beautification projects throughout campus. Projects include residence hall preparation and maintenance for summer camps and conferences, parking lot painting, and work with the grounds team. Thanks to the generosity of Trustee David Kaufman H’19 and The Landmark Foundation, Opus continues to assist eligible students in making their education affordable.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller has announced the Spring 2022 President's List and Dean’s List. Congratulations to the 93 students on the President’s List who achieved a 4.0 grade point average and to the 213 students on the Dean’s List who achieved a 3.5-3.99 grade point average for the spring semester. To qualify for these honors, 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," said Dr. Miller, "and we are so proud to have so many students recognized on these lists. Well done!"
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's June 2022 President's Letter, "Pomp, Circumstance and Purpose as VWU's Year Comes to a Close."
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller has been selected to Inside Business' Power List 2022. Dr. Miller is recognized by the publication for transitioning Virginia Wesleyan to university status and elevating its reputation nationally, establishing the Batten Honors College, adding a campus in Tokyo, more than doubling the endowment, and $110 million in capital improvements since he became president in 2015. Read more in Inside Business.
The No. 9 Virginia Wesleyan University softball team claimed the Regional Champion Title after defeating the Amherst College Mammoths 9-2 in the final game of the 2022 NCAA Amherst Regional Bracket. Junior catcher Caitlin Myers was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, while Emily Seale, Ariana Rolle, and Julia Sinnett all earned All-tournament accolades as well. The Marlins return to the field next weekend when they face No. 1 Christopher Newport University in the NCAA Division III Super Regional. The Friday, May 20, game time is set for 2 p.m. at Christopher Newport University. The Saturday, May 21, game time is set for 1 p.m. If needed, game three will follow. Tickets will be sold cash only at the door for $10 each (children 2 and under are free). Read more and follow the action at vwuathletics.com.
The Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees held their Spring Meeting May 11 in the Shafer Room (Board of Trustees Suite) in the Boyd Dining Center of Brock Commons. Among the actions, the Board: Approved actions of Board Committees, February to May, 2022; Approved the 2022 List of Graduates; Approved tuition and fees for the 2022-23 Fiscal Year; Approved the FY 2022-23 Budget; Accepted the Endowment Report of Brown Advisory and approved modifications to the Endowment Policy Statement; Affirmed Officers of the Board, Officers of the University, ex-officio representatives, financial authorizations (for the period beginning July 1, 2022); Affirmed signature policies (Virginia Wesleyan University Mission Statement, Virginia Wesleyan University Environmental Guiding Principles, The Wesleyan Creed, Virginia Wesleyan University Quality Service Pledge, and the Virginia Wesleyan University Athletics Mission Statement); Approved Policy Documents for the period beginning July 1, 2022 (Virginia Wesleyan University Faculty Handbook, 2022-23, Virginia Wesleyan University Policy and Procedure Manual, 2022-23, Virginia Wesleyan University Academic Catalog, 2022-23, Virginia Wesleyan University Online Degree and Graduate Catalog, 2022-23, Virginia Wesleyan University Student Handbook, 2022-23, VWU Student-Athlete Handbook, 2022-23, VWU Athletic Department Policy and Procedure Handbook, 2022-23); Approved Faculty Emeritus/a Status for June 30, 2022 retirements: William “Bill” Gibson, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Wayne Pollock, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sport and Recreation Professions, and Vivian Teter, M.F.A, Lambuth M. Clarke Professor of English; Accepted detailed written reports from Colleges, Schools and Departments of the University; Approved resolutions recognizing: Virginia Wesleyan University women’s soccer for winning the 2021 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament (March 2022), Virginia Wesleyan University student-athlete Geni Roberts for his NCAA national runner-up finish in the men’s long jump at the 2022 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships (May 2022), and the Virginia Wesleyan University Batten Honors College student team of Edward McDonald, Connor Merk, Rowan Stuart, Kai Trehan, and Jessica Wilson for winning the 2022 Intentional Endowments Network “Student Corporate Engagement Competition” (May 2022).
Congratulations to the newly elected Student Government Association officers for the 2022-2023 academic year: President - Edward McDonald (Chesapeake, VA), Vice President - Joseph Mueller (Woodbridge, VA), Treasurer - Hollyn Pleasants (Scottsville, VA), Secretary - Jennaphur Nixon (Williamsburg, VA), and Events Coordinator - Elseanne Richardson-Garris (Hampton, VA). Class of 2023: Senator - Breanna Wimbush (Virginia Beach, VA), Senator - Jordan Gilliam (Newport News, VA). Class of 2024: Senator - Ashleigh Lockard (Vienna, VA), Senator - James Johnson (Centreville, VA). Class of 2025: Senator - Comfort Tambaya (Bowie, MD).
Virginia Wesleyan University is one of just 40 institutions selected by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to receive an IIE American Passport Project grant, which will enable up to 25 VWU students to obtain a U.S. passport to support their study abroad journeys. According to VWU Director of Global Engagement Mandy Reing, “This program will remove one of the top barriers to studying abroad and encourage more students to see study abroad as a possibility, when it may not have even been a consideration previously.” Eligible students will be invited to participate in the program. Reinig will hold workshops and advising sessions for selected students to assist them with the application process and with their future study abroad plans.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's May 2022 President's Letter, "Celebrating a Spring of Success."
Scholars from the Batten Honors College of Virginia Wesleyan University have been selected to join an elite group nationwide to present at the Intentional Endowments Network’s Student Corporate Engagement Competition. The competition invites student teams to develop a pitch for an investment in a publicly traded company including a shareholder engagement strategy focused on addressing inequality and the climate crisis. The 10 student teams from colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada represent: Arizona State University, Bard College, Central Washington University, New York University – Stern School of Business, Presidio Graduate School, Ryerson University, University of California Berkeley – Haas School of Business, University of Minnesota, and Virginia Wesleyan University – Batten Honors College. Congratulations to Travis Malone, Dean of the Batten Honors College, and the student team of Stephanie Hoke, Connor Merk, Benjamin Olson, Rowan Stuart, Kainant Trehan, Brooke Underwood, and Jessica Wilson. Marlins everywhere are invited to watch the competition on April 29 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. VWU’s endowment has grown to $126 million this year with $83 million designated for the Batten Honors College. Utilizing IEN standards, the VWU endowment is entirely invested in an environmentally friendly way with Brown Advisory of Baltimore, Maryland.
Virginia Wesleyan University is one of nine colleges and universities nationwide named as an awardee of the Acceleration Fund by Second Nature. The awarded schools are: Cal Poly Humboldt (Arcata, California), California State University, Monterey Bay (Seaside, California), California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento, California), Chatham University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), The University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona), The University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California), University of Illinois, Chicago (Chicago, Illinois), University of Mississippi (Oxford, Mississippi), and Virginia Wesleyan University. The Acceleration Fund is dedicated to supporting climate action activities driven by colleges and universities. It supports projects that advance decarbonization and/or campus-community partnerships and resilience goals. Second Nature is especially excited to support projects that clearly articulate how the work relates to advancing principles of climate justice and equity. The Acceleration Fund was first introduced at the 2020 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. Funding for this Third Round was made possible by an anonymous foundation.
The Academic Symposium (formerly known as Port Day) will be held on Thursday, April 28 starting at 9:00 a.m. Hosted by The Lighthouse: Center for Exploration and Discovery, this signature Virginia Wesleyan event celebrates the academic achievement of students completing a variety of academic experiences, including research, internships, performance, and global engagement. The Academic Symposium is a conference-style event held on campus. Students share their work with a professional oral, poster, or panel presentation. As part of the discussions following these presentations, students are encouraged to reflect upon their experiences and offer advice to other students who are preparing to undertake their own experiences. View the schedule and make plans to attend to support student scholars.
Virginia Wesleyan University will celebrate the retirements of faculty, staff, and friends in contract services in a campus-wide celebration on May 5. The celebration will follow the traditional tree planting ceremony for retiring faculty members. The University community is proud to celebrate: Elaine Aird ’96, former Accounts Payable Bookkeeper; Bernice Bledsoe, Housekeeper; Bill Brown, Director of Counseling Services; Bill Gibson, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science; Brian O’Neil, VWU/Norfolk Botanical Garden Director of Living Landscapes; Wayne Pollock, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sport and Recreation Professions; Shelia Rouson, Housekeeper; Vivian Teter, Lambuth M. Clarke Professor of English; and Deborah Ware, Housekeeper.
Faculty gathered to celebrate their professional accomplishments at the annual Feathers in Your Cap Recognition event on April 14. The celebration, sponsored by Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL) and Hofheimer Library, recognized faculty for their publications, art works, conference presentations and participation, performances and shows, grants, positions and awards from professional organizations and community engagement. Read editions of The Pharos, a monthly email newsletter, for a complete listing of professional accomplishments and view a photo gallery from the event.
The student-led Marlin Business Conference is scheduled for April 11-14. The theme for this semester is “Commerce Reimagined.” Conference presenters will include VWU Trustee and Co-Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Taste Jon Pruden; Senior Vice President of Programs and Communications for the Hampton Roads Chamber Priscilla Monti, Executive Director of the Greater Norfolk Corporation Linda Peck; and others. Stay tuned for the complete conference schedule.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's March 2022 Letter, "Exploration, Reflection and Distinction."
Virginia Wesleyan University has been awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, according to Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the University. This program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science (including engineering and computer science) teachers. The grant will provide $1.16 million in funds dedicated to this initiative over a five-year period. Dr. Miller thanked Clair Berube, VWU Assistant Professor of Education and member of the Class of 1983, for leading the proposed project, “Transforming Effective Educators of Mathematics and Science in Southeast Virginia,” as well as Bill McConnell, VWU Associate Professor Education and Director of Teacher Education; Lydia Kennedy, VWU Associate Professor of Mathematics and Chair of Mathematics; Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, VWU Associate Professor of Biology and Dean of VWU Global Campus; and Maury Howard, VWU Professor of Chemistry and Director of Nursing and Allied Health, for their dedication and collaborative efforts in preparing highly qualified and experienced STEM secondary educators.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller has announced that the Board of Trustees, at its Winter Business Meeting, elected new officers for terms beginning July 1, 2022—Jonathan E. Pruden (Chair), Nancy T. DeFord (Vice Chair), J. Timothy Bailey ’83 (Treasurer), and Mavis E. McKenley ’11 (Secretary). In 1996, the board established the policy that no chair or vice chair serve more than a three-year term in that position. "We sincerely thank John F. Malbon and Susan S. Goode for their outstanding service these last three years as chair and vice chair, respectively, during extremely difficult and unusual times," said Dr. Miller. Malbon and Goode will be honored with special recognitions during the May 2022 Commencement exercises and will remain on the board following the conclusion of their leadership terms. The board also re-elected the following Trustees whose terms were to expire on June 30, 2022: Gary D. Bonnewell ’79, H’16, David L. Kaufman H’19, Howard P. Kern, Kenneth G. Trinder II, George K. Tsantes III ’83, Anthony O. Walters, and Michael J. White ’81.
Jill Sturts has been named assistant dean of the Batten Honors College, according to Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller. Sturts replaces Antje Schwennicke who was recently named dean of the Birdsong School of Social Science. She will continue to serve as associate professor and chair of the Department of Sport and Recreation Professions. She holds a B.A. from Baldwin-Wallace College, an M.Ed. from Bowling Green State University, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. She has served on the Virginia Wesleyan University faculty since 2015.
Virginia Wesleyan University will recognize the retirements of faculty, staff and contract service employees in a campus-wide celebration on May 5 (Reading Day) at Brock Commons. The celebration will follow the traditional tree planting ceremony for retiring faculty members. VWU is proud to celebrate:
Elaine Aird, Accounts Payable Bookkeeper, 34 years
Bernice Bledsoe, Housekeeper, 35 years
Bill Gibson, Professor of Political Science, 35 years
George Jackson, Professor of Management, Business, and Economics, 8 years
Wayne Pollock, Associate Professor of Sport and Recreation Professions, 22 years
Shelia Rouson, Housekeeper, 35 years
Vivian Teter, Lambuth M. Clarke Professor of English, 35 years
Deborah Ware, Housekeeper, 31 years
The Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees wrapped up two weeks of committee meetings with the Winter Business Meeting on February 9. Actions from the meeting included: Accepted the independent audit report provided by Brown Edwards of Roanoke, VA; Affirmed Dr. Susan Larkin as Vice President for Academic Affairs; Approved promotion and tenure actions: Nadia Nafar to Associate Professor with Tenure, Amber Gruszeczka to Librarian II, Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson to full Professor, and Taryn Myers to full Professor; Accepted the mid-year budget review; Approved all final actions regarding the recent major gift to the University’s endowment, the transition of all endowment funds to Brown Advisory of Baltimore, MD, the adoption of the Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (oCIO) model, and a new endowment spend policy; Accepted the draft semi-final accountability report for the “Transformation Now!” Capital Campaign that concludes June 30, 2022; Accepted a report on construction projects including: DeFord Manor, Clarke Hall, Tassos Paphites Soccer Complex, Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center, TowneBank Park, and Brock Commons; and Approved special recognitions for the May 2022 Commencement. The next meetings of the VWU Board of Trustees will take place in May.
Congratulations to Associate Professor of Biology and Dean of VWU Global Campus Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson for being selected as the 2022 Alumna Legacy Awardee for the Florida Institute of Technology Alumni Association’s Women Inspiring Success and Excellence (WISE) Award. She will be honored at a luncheon on Florida Tech’s campus on March 3.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's February 2022 Letter, "The Spring Semester Starts with Snow."
The adventure of learning continues in the spring semester through the Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute. Seven courses are offered in spring 2022 as a result of the unique partnership between Virginia Wesleyan University and Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay. These non-credit courses, taught by Virginia Wesleyan faculty, include a variety of topics that are open to members of the Westminster-Canterbury community. Programming for the initiative—a component of Virginia Wesleyan University Global Campus—is coordinated by Dr. Ben Fraser, the Westminster-Canterbury Fellow for Religious Studies and Lifelong Learning, in collaboration with Virginia Wesleyan’s Robert Nusbaum Center.
View the spring 2022 schedule for the Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute.
Colby DelBene has been named head cross country coach and assistant director of track and field at Virginia Wesleyan University, according to Cameia Alexander, director of men's and women's cross country and track and field. DelBene spent the last six seasons as the head coach of Jefferson Forest High School in Forest, Virginia. He led the transformation of the Cavaliers to annual statewide contenders, winning the state championship title in 2020. In addition to his experience as a high school coach, DelBene served as an assistant at the University of Lynchburg during the 2015-2016 season. He holds a Bachelor of Science in communication from Central Connecticut State University and received his master's in teaching from Liberty University. His wife, Renee, and two sons, Miles and Landon are excited to join the extended Marlin family. Constructed in 2018, the Marlins compete at the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Center, an eight-lane outdoor track and field facility. Read more at vwuathletics.com.
Virginia Wesleyan University and Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability and Environment (Pittsburgh, PA) have agreed to priority admission for their Master of Sustainability (MSUS) program and Master of Arts in Food Studies (MAFS). Eligible students must maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.3 for the MSUS program or 3.0 for the MAFS program and have completed at least 110 total credit hours at VWU. This agreement gives Marlins the opportunity to continue their studies and interest in sustainability and the environment at one of the earliest schools of its kind. The relationship with Chatham University originated from both universities’ active involvement in the Climate Leadership Network. For more information on this new agreement, as well as VWU’s agreement with the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, visit Accelerated Degrees/Preferred Admission.
Congratulations to the 77 students on the President's List who achieved a 4.0 grade point average and to the 262 students on the Dean’s List who achieved a 3.5-3.99 grade point average for the fall semester! To qualify for these honors, students must have full-time status and must have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally-graded courses. These students demonstrate a remarkable level of dedication to their academic pursuits. Well done!
Check out recent news from Virginia Wesleyan University Athletics in the January 4 edition of Marlins SportSplash.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's January President's Letter, "Great News for the New Year."
Due to concerns associated with the spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant, the Virginia Wesleyan University athletics spectator policy has been updated as of December 29, 2021. Read more at vwuathletics.com.
Ryley van der Velde has been named head field hockey coach at Virginia Wesleyan University, according to Andrea Hoover-Erbig, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Prior to joining Virginia Wesleyan, van der Velde coached field hockey at Rocky Hill Country Day School in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. She is also a former assistant coach at NCAA Division III Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. With the Seahawks, van der Velde was responsible for individual skills, player development and academic success. She was involved in program operations, formulating practice plans and planning film breakdown and evaluation sessions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in human development from Connecticut College and is pursuing her master's degree in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling from Salve Regina University. Read more at vwuathletics.com.
Virginia Wesleyan University's annual Marlin Family Campaign for faculty and staff was held during the month of October. "Be the Ripple That Starts the Wave" inspired over $45,000 of giving from 141 faculty and staff members across campus. A noteworthy accolade from the campaign is that it had 100 percent participation from Athletics, Enrollment, Finance, and Advancement. The University is grateful to have such an engaged community of faculty and staff supporting VWU through their gifts of time, talent, and treasure. Special thanks to campaign ambassadors Elaine Aird, Chris Francis, Linda Ferguson, Randy Lott, Michelle Vachris, Jason Seward '05, and Trey Delpo '17.
Cameia Alexander has been named director of Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field at Virginia Wesleyan University. Alexander has been the assistant director since 2020. In her first season with the Marlins, she guided two athletes to the NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championship meet. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health & Human Services from Troy University and a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health from Troy University. She previously spent four seasons as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Troy University, where she worked primarily with the sprints and hurdles for the Trojans. Read more at vwuathletics.com.
Read about faculty and staff accomplishments and best practices in the November 2021 edition of The Pharos.
Check out recent news from Virginia Wesleyan University Athletics in the November 9, 2021 edition of SportSplash.
Read the more about The Robert Nusbaum Center's November Events: "Controversial Women and Religious Conflict."
Read more about the latest news in VWU Athletics in this week's edition of SportSplash.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's November President's Letter, "A Time of Gratitude."
Catch up on all the latest news and events at VWU in the October 29, 2021 edition of The Wesleyan Review.
Mark your calendars for these upcoming performances in November and December 2021 featured in The Arts at VWU.
- Approved updates to procedural documents relative to the recent significant growth of the endowment.
- Approved the new Bachelor of Arts in Allied Health Studies
- Approved updates to the Policy and Procedure Handbook
- Approved the FY 21-22 Budget (The final budget approval had been delayed as a result of a variety of revenue sources impacted by the pandemic)
- Approved the University’s Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) policy in regards to the NCAA affiliation
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's October President's Letter, "The Return of Tradition."
Signage has been added to the new Norfolk pathway to the Trails at Wesleyan Woods. Nearly a mile in length, the new trail starts on Norfolk Lane (leading to Facilities Management) on the west side of campus and has been cleared and is open for pedestrian access. The path leads to the fence adjacent to I-64 and loops past Lake Taylor. 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 bordered on the west by Lake Taylor, the University has ponds and mature forests which can be enjoyed by walking, hiking, jogging, or biking through our extensive trail system.
Read more about the latest news from Virginia Wesleyan Athletics in SportSplash: September 21, 2021 edition.
Many of our nation’s founders considered slavery ethically immoral, but other factors—particularly economic ones—influenced them to embrace it. To that end, the Constitution they created—our DNA—has shaped economic and social structures, laws, and public policy in ways that have disadvantaged certain groups. It has shaped us in meaningful ways, but also in ways that have fallen short of our highest ideals relating to race and gender. Learn how the Constitution frames our understanding of American democracy and how we as a country continue to be shaped through changes like the 15th and 19th Amendments during a a Constitution Day event hosted by the Robert Nusbaum Center of Virginia Wesleyan University on Thursday, September 23. Eric W. Claville, J.D., M.L.I.S. will present "The DNA of the United States: The U.S. Constitution" at 11 a.m. in the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. Claville serves at Norfolk State University as the Interim Executive Advisor to the President for Government Relations and as the Director of the Center for African American Public Policy (CAAmPP). The Center focuses on how public policy affects African Americans and communities of color. More
The Batten Honors College of Virginia Wesleyan University is a program of national distinction, one of only 147 honors colleges in the United States. Enrolling a highly selective group of 160 scholars, the Batten Honors College’s mission focuses on Environmental Stewardship, Global Engagement, and Leadership. It boasts of an $80.2 million endowment that funds scholarships, environmental, global and leadership opportunities for scholars and supports teaching faculty. VWU President Scott D. Miller has announced faculty with Batten distinction for the 2021-22 Academic Year:
- Travis Malone, Dean of the Batten Honors College and Batten Professor of Theatre
- Antje Schwennicke, Assistant Dean of the Batten Honors College, Batten Associate Professor of Political Science, and Coordinator of NATO Partnership
- Joyce Easter, Batten Professor of Chemistry
- William Gibson, Batten Professor of Political Science and Chair of Political Science
- Joyce Howell, Batten Professor of Art History
- Larry Hultgren, Batten Professor of Philosophy
- Elizabeth Malcolm, Batten Professor of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Director of Sustainability, and Chair of Earth and Environmental Sciences
- Margaret Reese, Batten Associate Professor of Mathematics and Thomas R. Fanney Distinguished Associate Professor of Mathematics
- John Rudel, Batten Professor of Art, Curator of Exhibitions for the Neil Britton Art Gallery, and Director of Undergraduate Research
- Sally Shedd, Batten Professor of Theatre
- Sara Sewell, Batten Professor of History
- Craig Wansink, Batten Professor of Religious Studies, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Robert Nusbaum Center, and Chair of Religious Studies
Read more about the latest news and events at VWU in the September 17 edition of The Wesleyan Review.
Read about Virginia Wesleyan faculty and staff accomplishments and best practices in the September 2021 edition of The Pharos.
The adventure of learning continues this fall through the Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute. The unique partnership between Virginia Wesleyan University and Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay offers non-credit courses in a variety of topics. Taught by Virginia Wesleyan faculty, the courses are offered at no cost to Westminster-Canterbury members on site, as well as on the Virginia Wesleyan campus. Programming for the initiative—a component of Virginia Wesleyan University Global Campus—is coordinated by Dr. Ben Fraser, the Westminster-Canterbury Fellow for Religious Studies and Lifelong Learning, in collaboration with Virginia Wesleyan’s Robert Nusbaum Center.
The Marlin Esports team is kicking off a new season of competition! Having just completed tryouts for the 2021-2022 season, the Marlins will begin competition on Tuesday, September 7, in both Rocket League and Overwatch. The Marlins will also compete in League of Legends later this year. Still the fastest growing worldwide sport, over 20 new student gamers entered Virginia Wesleyan in this year’s incoming class. Equipped with high-performance gaming PCs and MSI Optix gaming monitors, the Marlin Esports Arena is a premier venue for all the fast-paced digital action. Catch all the action on the Marlins Twitch Channel.
Read the latest news from Virginia Wesleyan University in the September 3, 2021 edition of The Wesleyan Review.
Read the Robert Nusbaum Center's latest news and events for September 2021: Issues of Race in Coastal Virginia/Constitution Day.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's September President's Letter: "Growing a Stronger Tomorrow."
Read the latest news from Virginia Wesleyan University Athletics in the August 31, 2021 edition of SportSplash.
For the second year, Tidewater Collegiate Academy at Virginia Wesleyan University is offering a program to provide meaningful, personal, and affordable educational options for students. 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. TCA at VWU is now accepting applications from rising 11th graders who 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 at 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.
VWU's new Virginia Beach Business Collaboration Studio will be ready for students this fall. The studio, located off of the O’Rourke Foyer in Clarke Hall, is a part of a larger renovation project on the first and second floors of the building. The renovations are funded through a grant collaboratively developed with Virginia Wesleyan's partners at the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development. The upgrades to Clarke Hall include new classroom space to accommodate VWU’s growing business department and workforce development courses. The studio also provides office and meeting space for four members of the faculty and a group collaboration area.
The Virginia Wesleyan University Emergency Response Team continues to monitor COVID-19 conditions and guidance, and the University is planning for as normal of an academic year as possible. To assist with student, faculty and staff acclimation to campus for the fall semester, a series of Frequently Asked Questions has been compiled to address what life will look like at VWU during the 2021-22 Academic Year. The VWU community is asked to read these FAQs carefully, and keep in mind that this information is subject to change. The University may at any time revise expectations related to masking, social distancing, social gatherings, COVID-19 testing, quarantine, and isolation. Thank you for your attention and adherence to these guidelines. Your efforts to keep the campus community safe and healthy are appreciated.
The Neil Britton Gallery is proud to present “Journeys in Art, Music, and Folklore” by Margo Newmark Rosenbaum and Art Rosenbaum from August 23-December 7. The exhibition will feature large scale paintings, photographs and drawings that reflect on decades of travel to play and document American Roots Music. The Neil Britton Gallery and the new adjacent Barclay Sheaks Gallery are located on the first floor of Hofheimer Library. Both are open to the public during regular library hours.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's August President's Letter, "Ready for the Return of Normal": conta.cc/3BREAwh
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's July President's Letter, "Marlin Pride": conta.cc/2U0ELnA
Read the latest news from Virginia Wesleyan University in the June 25, 2021 edition of The Wesleyan Review.
The complete series is now available in the 2020-2021 installment of President to President, a thought leadership publication written by and for university presidents and edited by VWU President Scott D. Miller and Dr. Marylouise Fennell. This year’s book, titled “Fostering a Culture of Innovation,” features unique ideas and creative approaches to the myriad challenges higher education institutions now face, many of which were once considered unimaginable. It re-examines what it means to be truly innovative, especially in times of crisis and recovery. Look for the next President to President installment this fall.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller announced on June 7 the newest members of the VWU Alumni Council:
- Samantha L. Bull ’11, Attorney, Shannon & Associates, PC
- Chiereme D. Fortune ’13, Executive Assistant to the President, K. Neal Truck and Bus Center
- Katie Giwa-Osagie ’14, Director of Student Engagement, Virginia Union University
- William “Bill” R. Gobble ’03, Analyst, American Funds Service Company
The Greer Environmental Sciences Center was one of six projects recognized in the 2021 Education Facility Design Awards by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The Education Facility Design Awards program—presented by AIA and its Committee on Architecture for Education—represents the state-of-the-art education environments being developed in today's learning spaces. Read more about the awards.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's June President's Letter, "A Month of Milestones": conta.cc/3yTWXyS
Congratulations to students on the Spring 2021 President's List and the Fall 2020 Dean’s List! This is a commendable accomplishment, especially given the challenges presented by the pandemic, for the 112 students on the President’s List who achieved a 4.0 grade point average and the 283 students on the Dean’s List who achieved a 3.5-3.99 grade point average for the spring semester. To qualify for these honors, students must have full-time status and have taken at least nine semester hours of traditionally-graded courses.
The Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees wrapped up a busy and unusual year of virtual meetings with its Spring Meeting in early May. During the meeting, the Board recognized Jean Jenkins, Class of 1989, and Rev. M. Wayne Snead, retiring Elizabeth River District Superintendent from the United Methodist Church, for their many years of service on the Board. The Board also recognized Hanna Hull, Class of 2020 and current MBA candidate, for her outstanding career as a student-athlete on the award-winning VWU softball team. Hull was especially recognized for her recent accolade as the NCAA Division III all-time winningest softball pitcher with 127 wins and counting. She is currently two wins higher than the previous record-holder. Among the Board’s action items for the Spring Meeting was the adoption of the budget for the next fiscal year. "As always, I thank all of our Board members for their special attention and continued support of Virginia Wesleyan University," said Dr. Scott D. Miller, VWU President.
Dr. Arthur S. Pantelides will join the Virginia Wesleyan University faculty as Associate Professor of Marketing, Business, and Economics in the new academic year, President Scott D. Miller has announced. Dr. Pantelides comes to VWU from the American University in Bulgaria, a small liberal arts university which boasts a top-rated business program in Southeast Europe. Prior to his post abroad, Dr. Pantelides taught at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and worked in international business for over 30 years. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Management and Master of Science in Engineering Management from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's May President's Letter, "A Remarkable Year": conta.cc/3gVNhh6
Orientation for new Virginia Wesleyan University students will once again take place in person this summer. Given the University's commitment to health and safety, and in compliance with state regulation, four sessions will be offered with 100 incoming students each. The dates for the sessions will be June 21, June 25, June 28, and July 2. The Office of Campus Life will share more detailed information as the dates approach. Read more information for Admitted Students.
Virginia Wesleyan University cadets were honored April 22 at the virtual U.S. Army ROTC Monarch Battalion Spring Awards Ceremony. Congratulations to VWU students Gabriel Jessup, recipient of the National Sojourners Award; Toby Somers, recipient of the Sons of the American Revolution Award; Emily Imhopf, recipient of the Daughters of the American Colonists Award; and Robert Mazingo, recipient of the Special Forces Award and the Outstanding VWU Cadet Award. Mazingo is a senior cadet who will be commissioned into the U.S. Army during a special ceremony on Friday, May 7.
Rev. Kotosha Griffin has been named pastor of Heritage United Methodist Church (located on the east side of campus) and chaplain at Virginia Wesleyan University, President Scott D. Miller has announced. Rev. Griffin comes from McGaheysville United Methodist Church in the Shenandoah Valley. Her husband, Bertrand, is also a minister and will serve as the pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Norfolk. He previously served on Bishop Sharma D. Lewis’s staff at Wesley Chapel UMC in the North Georgia Conference. Through the leadership of Bishop Lewis, Rev. Griffin is enhancing her leadership capacity by participating in a cohort offered by Mosaix. This cohort helps leaders to "establish healthy multi-ethnic and economically diverse, culturally intelligent, socially just, and financially sustainable churches to express God’s love to all people." Rev. Griffin is an ordained elder in the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science/pre-law at Barber-Scotia College. She received a Master of Divinity at Wesley Theological Seminary. "Bishop Lewis commented that VWU 'will be blessed by Kotosha and Bertrand,' and we are thrilled to welcome the Griffins to the Marlin family," said Dr. Miller. "We look forward to a fruitful partnership of fellowship and service between VWU and Heritage UMC." He also thanked Bishop Lewis, District Superintendent Wayne Snead and Don Ziegler, Chair of the Board of Directors at Heritage UMC, for their assistance in making this “win-win” collaboration possible.
John Rudel, Professor of Art and Curator of Exhibitions for the Neil Britton Art Gallery, has been appointed as Director of Undergraduate Research, President Scott D. Miller has announced. Rudel received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia in 2002. In 2003 he served as a Visiting Lecturer of Art at Clemson University, and in 2004-2005, he was an Assistant Professor of Art at William Carey College in Gulfport, Mississippi. "We hope that John’s appointment to this role shows students that undergraduate research is for all majors and disciplines of study," said Dr. Miller. He also thanked Dr. Soraya Bartol, Professor of Marine Biology, for her hard work and commitment to the University's undergraduate research program for the last several years.
Virginia Wesleyan Univeristy President Dr. Scott D. Miller and Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Joanne Renn have announced Karissa Cumberbatch as the new head volleyball coach the end of this current season, following the pending promotion of Andrea Hoover-Erbig to executive director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Cumberbatch has been an assistant with the program since 2019. The Greeley, Colorado, native came to Virginia Wesleyan with a plethora of volleyball knowledge having played at both the NCAA Division I and II levels and having coached at the club and high school levels for 11 years. Since 2010, she has been the 18 National Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for Coastal Hampton Roads VBC. She has helped over 100 high school student athletes achieve their dream of playing at the next level while helping them prepare mentally and physically for the challenge of playing collegiate volleyball. She is also the Assistant Director/Volleyball Coordinator of the Coastal Hampton Roads Sportsplex helping grow the game of volleyball on the peninsula. Prior to joining the Marlins volleyball coaching staff, Cumberbatch was the Grafton High School Head Girls Volleyball Coach from 2013-2019. Her guidance helped lead the squad to the Final Four in five straight years and the state finals in 2017 and 2018. Over that span, she was also crowned Regional Champions twice, Regional Coach of the Year three times, and District Coach of the Year three times. She was a member of the VHSL Coaches Advisory Committee and holds a personal/group training certification from the Athletic and Fitness Association of America. Cumberbatch attended Northridge High School where she was a four-year starter, captain, and current record holder. Her club team, Five Star Volleyball Club (of Brighton, Colorado), qualified for the Junior Olympics twice and finished in the top 15 in the open division. She continued her playing career at the University of South Florida before transferring to Western State College of Colorado where she earned her degree in sports and fitness management. She currently lives in Ocean View with her husband Christian and daughter Khloey. vwuathletics.com
Starting in the new academic year, the University will partner with Akademos for its textbook needs. As a best-in-class online college bookstore and course materials solution provider, Akademos makes multiple formats, delivery options, and subscription-based materials available through a personalized, efficient and cost-effective service with 24x7x365 accessibility. Akademos integrates all course materials and delivery options into one seamless platform. The vast selection of low-cost options includes a Marketplace, rental program, and OER titles, plus the option to choose between new, used or digital textbooks. Students also receive free economy shipping on retail orders of new and used books over $49 and will have the freedom to ship books directly to their homes or our campus store for convenient pick up. Akademos will provide a full online experience for students and faculty, much like Amazon. But what makes Akademos the best solution for VWU is the student experience. The program will be fully integrated with VWU’s internal systems, including Blackboard, ensuring that students who purchase through Akademos have exactly the right textbooks and materials they need for each course. Furthermore, students can select "guaranteed buyback" from Akademos so that those who want to sell back books at the end of each semester will know their net price upfront. Akademos is supported by Virginia Private Colleges (a.k.a. Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia). More will be shared about this program as it is implemented for the Fall 2021 Semester.
The Virginia Wesleyan men's and women's track and field teams hosted the inaugural Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Meet on April 3. The women's athletes claimed 13 top-5 finishes while the men's athletes claimed 14. The meet was the first meet ever hosted at the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field Complex. All times and marks on the day became facility records for future athletes to chase. Read more about the inaugural meet.
In an effort to continue prioritizing the health and safety of student-athletes and game day personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic, limited attendance for home fans will be allowed at Birdsong Field, Trinder Center/Foster Field, TowneBank Park's Broyles Field and Perry Field, Rogers Track and Field Center, and Everett Tennis Center. Updates to the home spectator and attendance policy for all outdoor intercollegiate athletic competitions became effective Friday, March 19, 2021.
Corin “Cori” Jackson, VWU Enrollment Counselor, has been appointed as VWU’s Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Designee (ADID). According to the NCAA, “The ADID is a staff member designated by the chancellor/president, who serves as the conduit for information related to national-, local- and campus-level issues of diversity and inclusion and supports diverse and inclusive practices related to athletics.” Cori is a member of the VWU Class of 2020 and majored in English. As a Marlin, Cori played on the field hockey team and was named ODAC All-Conference in 2017, 2018, and 2019. She was also named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) National Academic Squad all four years and to the ODAC All-Academic team.
Virginia Wesleyan University and the Boston University School of Theology (STH) have entered into an agreement offering priority admission to interested and eligible graduating seniors or VWU alumni for the STH Master of Divinity (M.Div.) or Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree programs. STH is a seminary of the United Methodist Church and shares VWU’s commitment to the education of future ordained and lay leaders of the Church and its ecumenical partners. This pathway enables students to progress from a baccalaureate program to a theology degree program through a guaranteed admissions program with scholarship opportunities. For more information on this new agreement, as well as VWU’s agreements with the Duke Divinity School at Duke University and the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, visit the Accelerated Degrees/Preferred Admission webpage.
Read about the latest faculty and staff accomplishments and best practices in the March 2021 edition of The Pharos.
Read the latest news from Marlin Athletics in the March 9, 2021 edition of SportSplash.
Read the latest news from Marlin Athletics in the March 2, 2021 edition of SportSplash.
Read the latest news from Marlin Athletics in the February 23, 2021 edition of SportSplash.
Virginia Wesleyan University’s new WesBridge program will serve as a bridge for select students between high school and the start of their college careers. It will give students the opportunity to jump-start their college education and further develop needed academic skills to make their transition to college is as smooth as possible. Participation will also help students prepare for the non-academic part of college. "We want our students to have the support they need to be a successful member of Marlin Nation," said VWU President Scott D. Miller, "and we believe WesBridge is the right start." The program will offer two classes for credit over the summer to ease students into their college education and help them build the skills needed to succeed at VWU. Courses will be taught by VWU faculty, who will support students every step of the way. Upon successful completion of the program, students will start the fall semester with five credit hours already completed toward graduation requirements. Read More
Kim Hammer, Virginia Wesleyan University Vice President for Advancement and Special Assistant to the President, has been selected as a Pittsburgh Professional Women 2021 Influential Leader and will be honored during a virtual program on March 8. Prior to joining VWU in November, Hammer had been living in Pittsburgh since 1991, serving in various positions in and around the city, including Carlow University, Robert Morris University, The Pittsburgh Promise, the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the Pittsburgh Foundation. "Much of her development career has been dedicated to serving a city she loves, so it’s wonderful that she has been distinguished in this way," said VWU President Scott D. Miller. "We’re delighted that she has brought her many talents to Virginia Beach and the Virginia Wesleyan University family!"
As a part of VWU's virtual Wesleyan Wednesdays series, the Office of Alumni Relations will present “A Decision to Be Impactful” by Chavon Thomas ‘11 on Wednesday, February 24, at noon. Thomas ended 2020 as a #1 Amazon bestselling author of "Undeterred: Success Stories of Female Leaders Who Pursued a Seat at the Table," a book she co-authored with other women in leadership. Her chapter was titled, “Becoming an Educator for the Next Generation.” As a first-generation college student, she is passionate about helping others overcome obstacles by providing the foundational knowledge found in her original book "Turning High School into a Launching Pad" and sharing other women's stories of triumph in her talk show. Register to attend this free event.
The privately funded renovation of the “front porch” of the Center for Enrollment in Godwin Hall has begun. As previously announced, the Barclay Sheaks Art Gallery will move to a more accessible, larger and functional space adjacent to the Neil Britton Art Gallery in Hofheimer Library. That will enable the current Sheaks Gallery space to become the enrollment waiting area. The former waiting area will become the enrollment group visitation room, and the current conference/group visitation room will be converted to be the outreach center. The Welcome Desk area has been relocated to the new waiting area and the former space is being converted to a Work and Learn Program work area. This transformation of campus space also includes a new name, VWU President Scott D. Miller has announced. The David L. Kaufman Center for Enrollment will honor longtime friend and former chair of the Board of Trustees. "David has been an unsung hero at VWU for far too long," said Dr. Miller, "having privately funded many important projects in campus life including the Opus student-work initiative which has now become the Work & Learn Program. He has been a tremendous ally and supporter of Virginia Wesleyan, and we are delighted to recognize his many contributions in this way."
Out of an abundance of caution and for the continued health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, Virginia Wesleyan University will extend the current policy of not allowing any fan and spectator attendance for all on-campus intercollegiate athletic related activity to include practices, competitions and meetings/events until further notice. Only game essential personnel will be allowed in or around practice and competition sites, both indoors and outdoors. This policy applies to all Virginia Wesleyan community members as well as visiting fans of the opposing teams. We appreciate your understanding of our decision and hope you will continue to enjoy our webcast and streaming of our sports when possible. Please refer to www.vwuathletics.com for the most recent updates.
Read about the latest faculty and staff accomplishments and best practices in the February 2021 edition of The Pharos.
Read the latest news from Marlin Athletics in the February 9, 2021 edition of SportSplash.
A new, larger Barclay Sheaks Gallery will be constructed, through private funds, adjacent to the Neil Britton Art Gallery in the Henry Clay Hofheimer II Library, President Scott D. Miller has announced. The new gallery will provide increased space to display a larger number of paintings, and will provide greater access to students and friends as the library is open longer hours and more days per year than the gallery’s current location. Construction will occur this spring. Barclay Sheaks (1928-2010) founded the art program at Virginia Wesleyan University in 1967. He taught on the Virginia Wesleyan faculty for 36 years, retiring as Associate Professor and Distinguished Artist in Residence in 2006. He donated approximately 50 of his paintings to Virginia Wesleyan University to establish a permanent gallery, which opened in the summer of 2000. Read more about Barclay Sheaks (pictured) and view the collection.
Trey DelPo '17 has been named the new director of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. Following graduation, Delpo earned his Master of Arts (Theatre) from Bowling Green State University. He was a crew member for Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), CBS Sports, and Fox Sports and served as a stage manager for Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. He was also a production assistant for Netflix. He brought his wealth of knowledge and talent back to VWU in the Center for Enrollment before being named Operations Manager and Technical Director for the Goode Center and Susan T. Beverly Hall. Dedicated in 2019, the Goode Center is a 23,200-square-foot facility that features the impressive glass-enclosed Eleanor and Henry Watts Grand Lobby and Gallery and the Joan and Macon Brock Theatre. Support spaces ring the stage, including a scene shop, dressing rooms, green room, costume, prop, and equipment storage. The Susan Beverly Grand Terrace and Pond serves as a serene space for outdoor programming. The Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center was the first phase of a new arts complex at Virginia Wesleyan. The University is finishing renovation of studio spaces and classrooms in the original Fine Arts Building (recently renamed Susan T. Beverly Hall). These updates enhance the University’s fine and performing arts facilities and showcase the prominence of our arts program to the community. In addition to the new name, several other newly-named areas of the facility recognize donors to the project: 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. Finally, the historic Hofheimer Theatre is receiving some much-needed attention as the finishing touch. Students interested in the arts are afforded the opportunity to live in Louise W. Eggleston Hall, adjacent to the arts complex.
On Feburary 10, as part of the University's virtual Wesleyan Wednesday series and VWU's Black History Month celebration, Dr. Craig Wansink, Professor of Religious Studies and Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Robert Nusbaum Center, will present “Nevertheless, They Persisted: How Three Defiant Women Confronted Race in America.” In his presentation, Wansink will discuss three 19th-century examples of heroism—Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Emma Lazarus—and how their spiritualism, atheism, and Judaism brought them to defy racism in the United States. This event is free and open to VWU alumni and friends on Wednesday, February 10 at 12:00 p.m. Hosted by VWU Alumni Council Chair Alisa Crider ‘10. Register Here
Virginia Wesleyan University has finalized a priority admission agreement with the Appalachian School of Law, President Scott D. Miller has announced. The agreement gives students from the western part of the state the opportunity to return home to pursue their law degree in a cost-efficient manner. Located in Grundy, Virginia, Appalachian School of Law also has a concentration in Natural Resources and Energy Law, an area of increasing interest to students enrolled in VWU environmental programs.
Read Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller's February 2021 President's Letter, "United in Purpose and Hope."
The adventure of learning continues at Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, a Virginia Beach life-care community for active retirees. This spring, members can once again engage in Virginia Wesleyan University course offerings in religion, history, communication, political science, and more through the Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute. The classes offered each semester bring non-credit courses to the members at no cost to them. The courses are taught by Virginia Wesleyan faculty through a unique partnership between Virginia Wesleyan and Westminster-Canterbury that formally began in 2017. The Institute is coordinated by Ben Fraser, Westminster-Canterbury Fellow for Religious Studies and Lifelong Learning.
Read the latest news from Virginia Wesleyan University in the January 22, 2021 edition of The Wesleyan Review.
The 102 students on the President’s List who achieved a 4.0 grade point average and the 292 students on the Dean’s List who achieved a 3.5-3.99 grade point average for the fall semester earned a commendable accomplishment, especially given the challenges presented by the pandemic. To qualify for these honors, 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!
Virginia Wesleyan University will commemorate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 18, at 11 a.m. during a virtual ceremony on the VWU Digital Broadcasting Network. In addition to the presentation of this year’s Mavis McKenley '11 Award, the ceremony will feature two speakers—Dr. La Francis Rodgers-Rose will present "Then and Now: The Redemptive Morality and Radical Practices of Martin Luther King, Jr.," and Rev. Dr. Melvin T. Blackwell will discuss how Coastal Virginians can live and promote the ideals of Dr. King in the region.
The following reflection by VWU President Scott D. Miller was originally shared in the January 11 edition of Nota Bene:
Pipe bombs, broken windows, Nazi flags, Confederate flags, a hangman’s noose, and so much more in Washington, D.C. For people of faith, Epiphany (January 6) wasn’t characterized by frankincense as much as by tear gas. Not characterized by Herod killing innocent children, but by paramilitary domestic terrorists climbing walls, breaking windows, and storming the Capitol. The day after, on Thursday, I took part in a discussion with 53 private college presidents on the horrible events that occurred. As we discussed the shocking display of violence and vandalism, it was and still is hard to believe that this is where the road has led us—a siege on our Capitol and on the very democracy being conducted inside the complex.
It was a surreal day, made all the more surreal by the recognition that if these insurrectionists or rioters had been people of color, our history has shown that they likely would have faced a much harsher response.
Discord is inevitable; Jefferson and Madison expected it and accounted for it. However, disorder and violence is not.
Like many of you, I feel grief, pain, and anger at this assault. I also feel resolve about who we—as a university—are called to be in the middle of all of this.
Civic engagement is a pillar of our University mission. How we help students become engaged citizens is important. We need to be a community that continues to promote productive political participation, meaningful dialogue, and conscientious dissent.
There are different visions of what it means for America to be great. To love this nation is to respect the people and laws that have been voted for by the people. We know this at VWU, and we will continue to promote and affirm our commitment to justice, hope, and peace for all.
From Inauguration Day (January 20) through mid-March, the Neil Britton Gallery in the Hofheimer Library along with the Robert Nusbaum Center will be hosting the Unity Flag Project, artwork from around the nation that focuses on what Americans have in common, and on what the word “united” means in our nation’s name. Across campus—in classes and co-curricular events—students will be coming together to discuss what it means to be American.
During a time when the fragility of democracy has been clearly exposed, we need to re-commit ourselves to helping students become engaged citizens and responsible leaders.
President Scott D. Miller has added his signature to the National Climate Statement, joining Virginia Wesleyan with other U.S. communities, businesses, and institutions who are “still in” even after the United States officially exited the Paris Climate Agreement on November 4. The statement, which affirms commitment to global climate action on the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, was released during this critical moment for U.S. climate action. It speaks to high-level climate actions that the Biden/Harris Administration or Congress can take and makes calls for enhanced partnership and leadership across federal and non-federal public/private sector entities. The “America Is All In” declaration is organized by We Are Still In, a coalition in support for climate action and a pledge to uphold the United States commitments to reduce emissions under the Paris Agreement.
TCA Research Symposium Proceeds Virtually
Students in the VWU Master of Arts in Education program participated in the second annual TCA Research Symposium with VWU's partners at Tidewater Collegiate Academy last week via Zoom Virtual Meeting. Students presented two papers that were submitted for publication: Transformative Learning: How Graduate Students of Tidewater Collegiate Academy Reflect on the Influence of Transformative Learning on their Educational Experiences and Lives Post-Graduation and Adolescents' Perceptions of Media Consumption Resulting from a Service-Learning Project. Congratulations to participating VWU students and to Dr. Wendy Scott, Founder and Director of TCA!
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller shared an update November 23 following the recent change in leadership for VWU Global Campus. For the interim period, Dr. Maynard Schaus, Vice President for Academic Affairs, will assume direct oversight responsibility for this area.
Dr. David R. Black, a university president for nearly 30 years and Executive-in-Residence at VWU the last five years, will assume responsibility for the Lakeland University Japan and VWU Global (Japan) program. Recently retired from a three-year term as interim President of Lakeland University’s parent campus in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, he will provide leadership for the curriculum, marketing and enrollment teams at both institutions. During his time at VWU, Dr. Black has played a key role in a variety of initiatives, including the establishment of the Batten Honors College, the Work and Learn Program, and the formation of the LUJ/VWU Global collaborative. In 2013 he retired after 15 years as President at Eastern University in Pennsylvania and was President of Lakeland from 1989 until 1998. He was the founder of the campus in Japan.
Dr. Michelle Vachris, a Professor of Management, Business, and Economics at Virginia Wesleyan University, will serve as Director of the Master of Business Administration program. Dr. Vachris earned a B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University. Before arriving at VWU, she taught economics at Christopher Newport University where she holds the rank of Professor Emerita. Dr. Vachris began her career as an economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the International Price Program where she worked on export and import price indexes and purchasing power parities. She has since served as a consultant on international statistics for the BLS and the International Monetary Fund. Dr. Vachris is a past-president and Distinguished Fellow of the Virginia Association of Economists and co-editor of the Virginia Economic Journal. Her publications include articles and book chapters on public choice economics, teaching pedagogy and economics in literature.
"As we transition to new leadership in this program," said Dr. Miller, "we remember that our campus community is one that is fostered on meaningful relationships that are built through respect, listening, and understanding. We must be led by individuals who cherish and nurture this. As we move forward, we will continue to strive to be an inclusive and caring community."
Last week, Dr. Paul Ewell resigned as Dean of Virginia Wesleyan University Global Campus. Today, the University accepted his resignation as Professor of Management, Business and Economics.
The University is aware of a recent comment made on social media by a member of the campus community. These views and opinions are expressly the individual’s own. Civic engagement and religious freedom are at the core of the University’s values, and we remain an inclusive and caring community that empowers meaningful relationships through listening, understanding, and communication.
Virginia Wesleyan University's on-going partnership with North Atlantic Treaty Organization- Allied Command Transformation (NATO-ACT), which formally originated in 2013, continues to expand. From October 26 – 29, Virginia Wesleyan was the host site for the International Concept Development and Experimentation Conference, NATO’s annual forum to discuss current issues of concept development and experimentation in the capability development process. The virtual event, originally planned as a 20th anniversary experience in Paris, was altered due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was sponsored by Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and is normally co-hosted by the Ministry of Defense of a host nation.
The Virginia Wesleyan University Board of Trustees held its Fall Business Session October 28. Actions from the meeting, according to a campus message from VWU President Scott D. Miller, included the approval of a tuition freeze for the fourth year in a row (for the 2021-22 Academic Year), acceptance of the final revised 2019-20 fiscal year budget that will be submitted to the University’s auditors, and the approval of the proposed revised 2020-21 budget. The Board offered a special welcome to Alisa Crider '10, an ex-officio member as the new Alumni Council Chair, and also recognized long-time Trustee and benefactor D. Henry Watts H'07 with the distinction of Emeritus. During a workshop held earlier this month, the Board also discussed various academic initiatives, including the Lakeland University Japan and VWU Global collaboration in Tokyo and new online and noncredit programs of VWU Global Campus. They heard reports from the University’s outsourced Chief Investment Officer at Commonfund and an update on the recent construction projects on and around campus: Susan T. Beverly Hall, Coastal 61 at Oxford Village, Brock Commons, and DeFord Manor. Finally, trustees held discussion surrounding the social justice movement, Black Lives Matter, racial and political tensions on college campuses nationwide and the current national situation regarding the United Methodist Church. “As always, I thank our Trustees for their time, guidance, and caring stewardship of Virginia Wesleyan University and its students,” said President Miller.
President Scott D. Miller has announced a condensed academic schedule for Virginia Wesleyan's in-person Spring 2021 Semester, sharing that members of the Emergency Response Team and President’s Cabinet reviewed a wide variety of options with respective working groups before coming to consensus on the topic.
The schedule for in-person instruction for the Spring 2021 Semester is as follows:
January 25: Spring 2021 Semester Begins
April 27: Last Day of Classes
April 28: Reading Day
April 29-May 4: Final Exams
May 8: Commencement 2021 (format may depend on COVID)
May 16: VWU Global Campus Commencement 2021 (format may depend on COVID)
“I thank our students, faculty, and staff for their resilience and understanding,” said Dr. Miller, “and trust that they will continue their commitment to the safety and health of this campus during the spring semester.”
In this format, PORT Day will be held virtually over the course of a week, and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus, there will be no spring break. This schedule is for courses traditionally held in-person, and the course schedule for VWU Global Campus will continue as originally planned.
On behalf of Virginia Wesleyan University, President Scott D. Miller has added his signature and support, along with 100+ businesses, investors, and higher education institutions, urging U.S. states to join the Memorandum of Understanding for the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI). The Initiative, a regional collaboration of 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia, seeks to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Read the publicly shared letter and learn more at ceres.org/tci.
Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. miller announced on October 19 several new additions to the VWU Alumni Council: Brandon Adair, Class of 2012, Virginia Beach, VA; Myles Baynard, Class of 2018, Chesapeake, VA; Ksera Dyette, PsyD, Class of 2011, Boston, MA; Taylor “Tip” Major, Class of 2020, Parksley, VA; George Rogers, Class of 2003, Lake Mary, FL; and Jaclyn Ruelle, Class of 2004, Richmond, VA. The principal purpose of the Alumni Council is to strengthen the bond between our graduates and the University. "With these new members, the University is excited for the opportunity to expand alumni outreach, engagement, and participation," said Dr. Miller. "I thank the Alumni Council for their tireless efforts on behalf of the University, and Lori Simpers Harris '94, Associate Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of Alumni Relations, for her outstanding leadership of this area." More
The adventure of learning continues at Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, a Virginia Beach life-care community for active retirees. This fall, members can once again engage in Virginia Wesleyan University course offerings in religion, history, political science, and more through the Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute. The classes offered each semester bring non-credit courses to the members at no cost to them. The courses are taught by Virginia Wesleyan faculty through a unique partnership between Virginia Wesleyan and Westminster-Canterbury that formally began in 2017. The Institute is coordinated by Ben Fraser, Westminster-Canterbury Fellow for Religious Studies and Lifelong Learning.
VWU President Scott D. Miller, along with presidents of Tidewater Community College, Norfolk State University, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Old Dominion University, have played an active role in the founding of Campus 757, an initiative modeled after Philadelphia's highly successful Campus Philly. These leaders of the five local campuses have been working since 2015 to develop a similar concept for Coastal Virginia.
Campus 757 is a talent development initiative that markets to current and prospective students the diverse range of opportunities and offerings available to those that live, study, and work in the Coastal Virginia area. While the area’s universities seek to attract and retain the best and brightest students from around the country, Campus 757 works with these universities to keep recruited students in the Coastal Virginia area long after graduation.
Kurt Krause, President and CEO of VisitNorfolk, was instrumental in getting this worthwhile initiative off the ground, and the City of Norfolk and the Hampton Roads Workforce Council have provided seed money for the initiative.
Jason Seward ’05, Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Operational Management, will serve as VWU’s institutional representative to the organization. Read more here.
VWU professors Kathy Merlock Jackson, Kathy Shepherd Stolley and Lisa Lyon Payne have published a new book! "Animals and Ourselves" features essays on the various ways that human and animal lives are intertwined and constantly evolving. The book also includes chapters by Wesleyan professors Terry Lindvall and George Jackson, as well as late Senior Vice President Mort Gamble. Read more: https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/animals-and-ourselves/
President Scott D. Miller has announced that Alisa Crider ’10 has accepted the role of Chair of the VWU Alumni Council. Crider is the Director of Investor Relations at the Hampton Roads Alliance. She joined the Alumni Council in 2018 after receiving the VWU Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award that same year. She gave the Alumni Welcome at the 2019 December Graduate Recognition Ceremony, where she encouraged our newest alumni to stay connected to their alma mater and to pursue lives and careers in a spirit of service, leadership, achievements, and contributions of many kinds.
Build That Wall: A Deist President, Connecticut Baptists, and Religious Freedom (Virtual Event)
In commemoration of Constitution Day 2020 on Thursday, September 17 from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Dr. Craig Wansink will speak on Thomas Jefferson, the Constitution, and the term "wall of separation," which frequently is used to describe the relationship between church and state. In better understanding religious liberty and American politics today, we need to return to October 7, 1801 and January 1, 1802, to a letter correspondence between the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, and the new American President, Thomas Jefferson. Together, these odd bedfellows led America to see a “wall of separation” between religion and government as a critical starting place for reflection on the unique religious identity of the American experiment.
To register for the virtual event, please contact the Robert Nusbaum Center at 455-3129.
Dr. Craig Wansink is the Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Robert Nusbaum Center, and a Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Wesleyan University
In recognition of Constitution Day on Thursday, September 17, the Robert Nusbaum Center is releasing a series of video vignettes to draw attention to major anniversaries of milestone decisions in our country’s ongoing struggles for civil rights, and to remind us to remain ever vigilant in efforts to protect and preserve our rights and freedoms. The series of four vignettes may be viewed on the Robert Nusbaum Center website beginning on Constitution Day 2020. The videos feature VWU students and highlight the: 1) 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment, granting black men the right to vote; 2) 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote; 3) 65th anniversary of the Immigrtion and Naturalization Act of 1965, abolishing a quota system based on natural origin; and 4) 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibiting discrimination of Americans with disabilities in all areas of public life.
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.
The Series Foreword is now available in the 2020-2021 installment of President to President, a thought leadership publication written by and for university presidents, and edited by President Miller and Dr. Marylouise Fennell. This year's series, "Fostering a Culture of Innovation," will examine how leading colleges and universities are finding creative solutions to new challenges, including the myriad issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. In the foreword, Dr. Barbara K. Mistick, President of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, elaborates on this year's series and the significance it will have in providing perspective during these challenging times.
Mr. Rogers has long been a comforting voice during times of crisis. After 9/11, and at other times of national tragedy, many turn to Fred Rogers’ quote, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world.”
On Friday, September 11th at 9:03 a.m., the campus community is invited to gather in the Peace Garden outside of Clarke Hall for a brief 9/11 Remembrance.
Representatives from Marlin Ministries, ROTC, Robert Nusbaum Center, and Wesleyan Engaged will reflect on the healing power of ‘helpers.’ Join us as we gather to pay tribute to the helpers, and remember the 2,996 lives lost during four separate plane crashes on the morning of September 11, 2001 (8:46 a.m. Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, 9:03 a.m. Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower of the WTC, 9:37 a.m. Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, and at 10:03 a.m. Flight 93 is crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania).
The professional accomplishments of VWU faculty and staff were celebrated on August 21 in Hofheimer Library during VWU’s annual "Feathers in Your Cap" event. The celebration recognized faculty, adjunct professors, librarians, and staff members who in the last year have published a book or professional publication, completed artwork, obtained a grant, received tenure and/or a promotion, and contributed to teaching and scholarship.
The “Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works” display is located in the Reading Room, on the first floor of Hofheimer Library, through the end of the academic year. The campus community is invited to visit the display which showcases faculty and staff accomplishments included in The Pharos from May 2019 to June 2020.
The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) recently hosted its 56th Annual Humanitarian Awards Ceremony. Each year, awards are presented to individuals and organizations who demonstrate a commitment to the promotion of respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Held virtually this year, the honorees recognized included VWU Trustee Sharon S. Goodwyn, Jay M. Klebanoff, Amy K. Milligan, Toiya A. Sosa, James M. Wood, Jr., and the Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin Hampton Roads. Congratulations!
Since 2017, VWU has hosted the Hampton Roads office for VCIC on campus. And in that same year, VWU's Dr. Craig Wansink, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Robert Nusbaum Center, was honored during the VCIC Humanitarian Awards. In 2018, VWU President Scott D. Miller served as chair of the VCIC's 54th Annual Humanitarian Awards.
Learn more and watch the 56th Annual Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities Humanitarian Awards here.
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.
Read the latest faculty and staff accomplishments and best practices in the February 2021 edition of The Pharos.
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.”