Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Student helps teens aim for college, aids homeless in finding shelter

Zach Scott ’14 leads a discussion group at Jefferson Forest High School.
Zach Scott ’14 passed out calendars to a group of high school students. “Today we’re going to talk about study skills,” he said. He asked them to write down their schedules for each day, noting how much time was spent studying, reading, watching TV, and participating in activities.

Then they pursued a discussion about how to make time for studying. One student pointed out that his grades had been better when he was running cross country and had to spend a lot of time at practice each week.

Scott affirmed that observation. “Your day was so packed that you had to structure it,” he said.

Scott was leading sessions like this in two Lynchburg-area high schools for Project Discovery, a program that aims to help students prepare for college by teaching them about setting goals, study skills, and financial aid. It is run by Lynchburg Community Action Group (Lyn-CAG), where Scott had an internship this fall.

Scott, who began his higher education at Central Virginia Community College, transferred to Randolph because of its strong sociology program and the campus culture. He knew he would be able to meet many different kinds of people while working closely with his professors. “It was really the diversity and the intimate environment of the college that brought me here,” he said.

His fall 2012 internship with Lyn-CAG had two components. In addition to teaching college preparation lessons to high school students, Scott helped find permanent housing for homeless people. His work helped increase his awareness of problems that he hopes to help solve.

“As a youth advocate, I realized that not every youth has a mentor to guide them through daily life.  That is a privilege, not an entitlement.  As a housing advocate, I realized that a home is a luxury item; not everyone has one,” Scott said.

Scott plans to pursue a master’s degree and become a social worker after he graduates from Randolph. Looking back on his internship, he said it provided valuable experience that will help in his career. “I was able to take sociological theory and apply it to sociological practice while working with people from various social and cultural backgrounds,” he said.

Friday, December 14, 2012

2012 alumna enjoys life in Spain while working on master's degree

Many Randolph graduates travel and see the world after college. Others go straight into graduate school, and others go to work. Jennifer Bundy ’12 has the best of all three worlds.

Bundy is teaching American culture and the English language in Spain, taking weekend breaks to see sights in Europe and Africa. Meanwhile, she is working on her master’s degree through a program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

“I’ve always been intrigued by the culture in Spain, and I’ve always wanted to see it in person,” Bundy said. “It’s been incredible.”

Jennifer Bundy ’12 at the Seville Cathedral in Spain.
Tina Johnson, director of the Experiential Learning Center, helped Bundy find the Council on International Educational Exchange’s Teach Abroad program. Jim Peterson, an English professor, told her about UNO’s low-residency master of fine arts program, which allows her to attend a few in-person sessions while submitting work electronically in between. Both programs accepted her.

Shortly after she graduated, Bundy attended a 10-day retreat at a lodge in Nebraska City to take classes for the masters program. A few months later, she moved to southwestern Spain to teach English, geography, and other subjects at a middle school in Utrera. She also found a second job teaching English to adults.

Moving to Spain was Bundy’s first time outside of the United States. Fortunately, she said her experiences at Randolph prepared her for the experiences she is having. Working as a writing tutor at Randolph gave her practice in teaching English skills. The diversity of the student body helped her know how to adapt to living in another culture, and the personal responsibility of the academic curriculum and her senior honors project helped prepare her to be independent.

Jennifer Bundy ’12 enjoys teaching  English, history,  and
other subjects in a middle school in the town of Utrera.
In between teaching and writing, Bundy has traveled to numerous places in Spain, Portugal, France, and Morocco. She recently spent a weekend with Geneveive Christoff ’67 and her family in Madrid. Bundy chronicles her adventures online at http://jenniferamb.wordpress.com. While she enjoys the travel, she enjoys the cultural immersion more.

“Traveling and seeing the monuments is fantastic—these places are famous for good reason—but taking the time to connect here is my favorite part,” Bundy said. “When I’m 50, I’ll talk about the woman who works in the little panadería (bread store) across the street from my house. Or the guy who works at my school's café and makes me orange juice while joking with me in Spanish. All of the professors at the middle school where I work are so different and so funny.

“That’s the best part: The people.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Student Center Renovation Update: December 13, 2012

Check out the latest photos of the $6 million Student Center renovation project. Randolph is quickly nearing the completion of this amazing project.


To review all of our coverage of the renovation, please go to www.randolphcollege.edu/studentcenter.
Decking is being installed on the exterior of the building.

Construction is well underway on the new Michels Plaza.

A view of "The Street" from the new Skeller.

Flooring is being installed on the main level.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Maya Angelou, acclaimed poet and memoirist, to speak at Randolph

Randolph College will welcome Dr. Maya Angelou for a speaking engagement in January.

Angelou has inspired millions with her words and her wisdom. Her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings drew international acclaim. In 1993 she read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of U.S. President Bill Clinton. The list of her published verse, non-fiction, and fiction includes more than 30 bestselling titles.

At Randolph, she will speak about poetry, courage, her childhood memories, as well as provide insight on how to follow in the footsteps of ancestors in order to pave the way for future generations.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

She will speak in Smith Memorial Hall at 7 p.m. on January 29. For more information on Angelou’s accomplishments and the event read this news release and visit the event page.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Randolph students teach science at local elementary school

A group of fifth graders leaned over their tables and listened to Treasa Bryant ’13. She held up one of the petri dishes the students had started experimenting with the day before and pointed out how bacteria had grown on the dish overnight.

Maddy Carmain ’13 teaches fifth-grade students about micro-
organisms at Dearington Elementary School in Lynchburg.
“Are they eating now?” one student asked.

“Yes, they are eating now, like this,” Bryant said, drawing smiles from the students by mimicking chomping sounds.

In another classroom a few feet away, another elementary student asked Maddy Carmain ’13 numerous questions about microbiology. “What was the first bacteria on earth?” he asked.

“I don’t think scientists know,” Carmain answered.

Fifth graders at Dearington Elementary School in Lynchburg learned about the microscopic world last week with the help of Randolph College students like Bryant and Carmain.

“I saw some natural-born teachers emerge,” said Lisa Stewart, a teacher at Dearington. “My kids have understood everything they said, and every student is engaged.”

Adam Houlihan, a Randolph biology professor, brings his microbiology students to the school once each year. On the first day, the Randolph students taught the fifth graders about bacteria and showed them how to collect bacterial samples from their environment. On the second day of the project, the students analyzed the amount of bacteria that had grown.

Sergio Rodriguez ’14 points out bacteria for a Dearington Elementary student.
The hands-on lesson helped the elementary students picture themselves working in science later on. “We had one student yesterday saying, ‘This makes me want to be a doctor,’” said Tawanda Johnson ’90, an alumna who now teaches science at Dearington.

Johnson was happy to see Randolph students helping younger students gain an interest in science. “Randolph was where I first got motivated to go into science,” Johnson said. “It’s good to see them still sending scientists out into the field.”

The annual project was featured on a news segment by WSET, a Lynchburg-based ABC Affiliate, Monday morning. Watch the report here: http://www.wset.com/story/20302622/college-students-teach-fifth-graders-about-germs

For more pictures of the project, browse this Facebook photo album.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Vespers concert includes new Chamber Orchestra and poetry readings

Randolph College’s new Chamber Orchestra will join Chorale for a new twist on the annual Christmas Vespers concert this Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will feature a mixture of baroque instrumental and choral music, French Christmas carols, and a progression of readings that tell the Christmas story and set the tone for the holiday season. Randolph music faculty and members of the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra will participate with the student orchestra members and singers.

“Christmas Vespers will be larger than it has been in the past,” said Randall Speer, a Randolph music professor who directs Chorale. This is going to be a very neat opportunity to feature our students alongside professionals. It will have lots of opportunities for student soloists. The students are going to be very well represented musically.”

The College has held Christmas Vespers every December for decades. The tradition includes a candlelight procession in Houston Memorial Chapel, followed by about 90 minutes of music and readings that tell the Christian nativity story and address other topics related to the celebration of Christmas.

The main musical pieces chosen for the 2012 Christmas Vespers are Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 by Johann Sebastian Bach and Messe de Minuit Pour Noel (Midnight Mass for Christmas) by Marc Antoine Charpentier. While neither of these musical pieces is connected directly to the Christmas story, Speer organized the program so that both pieces contribute to the Christmas Vespers tradition.

The text of Midnight Mass for Christmas is actually a regular mass, but its music incorporates the melodies of French Christmas carols. Each movement will be preceded by a student soloist singing the carol whose melody is found in the music. The carols are ordered so that their text follows a logical progression telling the Christmas story. “That allows us to have a progression of readings to support that,” Speer said.

The readings consist of poems by secular poets about Christmas. “The poems match the progression of carols,” Speer said. “Not only do they address Christmas, but every single one of them mentions music in some way.” Selected by Megan Hageman ’13, the readings will be presented by Randolph faculty and staff members.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Randolph to host producers of documentary about WW-II journalist who helped Holocaust refugees escape to America

By Tory Brown ’13
College Relations Intern
Randolph College will screen the documentary, “Ahead of Time” Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.  in Room 300 in Smith Memorial Building. Directed by Bob Richman, the documentary follows the journey of Ruth Gruber, a foreign correspondent and photojournalist whose trailblazing career made history. The film’s producers, Patti Kenner and Ida Cole, will be on hand for the free event.

A lifelong writer, journalist, photojournalist, and humanitarian, Gruber has written 19 books and recently accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Overseas Press Club. Her book, Haven, which told the story of escorting Holocaust refugees to America, was made into a television mini-series starring Natasha Richardson in 2001.

“Ahead of Time” is a feature-length documentary film focusing on the life of Gruber. who was born in 1911 to Russian Jewish immigrants. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Gruber attended New York University at the age of 15. At 20, she became the world’s youngest Ph.D. A feminist before feminism, Gruber became the first journalist to enter the Soviet Artic in 1935.  She traveled to Alaska as a member of the Roosevelt administration in 1941, where she was the first civilian on the Alaska Highway.

Ruth’s unique perspective of the events surrounding WWII is a result of her involvement in many of those historical moments. She was chosen by the Roosevelt administration to escort 1,000 Holocaust refugees from Naples to New York in a secret wartime mission in 1944. As a journalist, she accompanied leaders to the Middle East where they studied the problems of displaced persons and Palestine. Gruber covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946 and her photos of the ship Exodus 1947 were published in Life Magazine and around the world.

With her love of adventure, fearlessness and powerful intellect, Gruber defied tradition and in the process, emerged as the eyes and conscience of the world. Today, she still has the moxie and sharp wit that propelled her career, and the film interweaves vérité footage with interviews and archival material.

“Ahead of Time” has won multiple Best Documentary awards from many different film festivals. Additional screenings of “Ahead of Time” will take place on Dec. 1 at Lynchburg College at 12:30 p.m. in the Hopwood Auditorium and The Agudath Sholom Synagogue at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pan World Coffeehouse to highlight international cultures Saturday

By Tory Brown ’13
College Relations Intern
Randolph College’s Pan World club will host its popular Coffeehouse Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. in Houston Memorial Chapel, featuring music, dance, and fashions from around the world.

Drawing participants from Randolph and the Lynchburg community, Pan World Coffeehosue is designed to promote cultural awareness and to provide Randolph’s international students with the opportunity to share a taste of their home countries. The event is held once each semester.

“Students have many things to look forward to when attending Pan World,” said Penny Trieu’15, the co-event chair. “Randolph has such a culturally diverse student body, and Pan World is where all these different cultures come to together to celebrate each other’s cultures.”

Pan World Coffeehouse includes fashion shows displaying the dress of other cultures.
This year, the event will feature 12 performances, including the traditional and urban fashion shows. There will also be a Moroccan wedding dance, a Bollywood dance, and students singing in different languages. Following the event, international foods will be served. Pan World Coffeehouse is free and open to the public.

A big surprise awaits the end of the performances, according to Mi Dan Nguyen ’14, the publicity chair. “It’s going to be awesome,” she said. “So everyone should come, and stay until the end!”

An after party is scheduled in Smith Banquet Hall from 10 p.m.– 1 a.m.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Multimedia journalists visit campus this weekend

Two well-known multimedia journalists will visit Randolph College this weekend to teach students about the craft of online storytelling and hold a public discussion of their work.

Brad Horn, a videographer at the Washington Post, and his wife, Coburn Dukehart, the picture and multimedia editor for NPR.org, will present “Changing the World One Story at a Time” at 2 p.m. Sunday in Martin 315.

Sponsored by the Driver Lecture Series, the event offers students a valuable opportunity for students interested in journalism, said Jennifer Gauthier, a communication studies professor.

“This is the main goal of the Driver program—to give students the opportunity to interact with professionals in the film and video field, see what careers are out there, and get practical advice on breaking into the business,” Gauthier said. “Other students will certainly learn from the passion of our guests to change the world using their talents, which is what we encourage all Randolph students to do.”

For the public lecture, the Horn and Dukehart will show and discuss some of their work. Horn has worked on projects such as a short documentary about the struggles small farmers face in getting their fruits and vegetables to consumers, and a recent production marking the 10 years since the arrest of two snipers who had terrorized the Washington, D.C., area. Dukehart has worked on multimedia projects such as a story about soldiers dealing with traumatic brain injury and a profile of a composer in a desert monastery.

Earlier in the day, students interested in journalism will attend a workshop and actually film and edit a story with the presenters. This type of experience strengthens the college’s multimedia journalism minor, which was added to the curriculum last year. “This initiative was designed to meet the interests of students in journalism and prepare them for the changing world of journalism, so they have the skills they need to compete when they graduate,” Gauthier said. “It is a unique program for a liberal arts college because it pairs the history and theory of media with practical skills.”

The Sara Driver ’77 Digital Filmmaking Course and Lecture Series was funded by Martha (Lou) Miller Driver ’50 in honor of her daughter, an alumna who is renowned in the independent film industry.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Randolph brings classic Chekov play to Lynchburg stage

Despite the fact that Anton Chekov ranks as one of the most important playwrights in history, it has been years since a Lynchburg stage showed his work. WildCat Theatre will change that this weekend as Randolph students and faculty perform Chekov’s Uncle Vanya.

The performance will unlock the comedic aspects and humanity of the play, making it accessible to a modern audience. “There are a lot of bad Chekov productions out there, but our actors are doing well,” said director Mace Archer. “The acting will be far more sophisticated than people have seen before.”

Uncle Vanya
by Anton Chekov
Presented by Randolph College
Thoresen Theatre, Randolph College
Nov. 15–19, 7:30 p.m.
Uncle Vanya tells the story of a Russian family and the staff that cares for the family’s rural estate as one family member proposes to sell the property. “It is more or less a familial squabble about what's going to happen to the family estate,” Archer said. “Some want to continue this way of life that they’ve known forever, and others are willing to sell it all off and start afresh.” It represents Russia’s change from a rural society to a more modern society during Chekov’s time.

Internationally-known theatre designer Marina Raytchinova designed the
set for Uncle Vanya and has been helping students build the set this week.
The story also includes interwoven and conflicting love stories. “Everybody in this house is in love with everybody else, but nobody can be with who they want to be with,” Archer said. “The thing that makes it fun is all the interpersonal dynamics in the house.”

The play features a set designed by Bulgarian designer Marina Raytchinova who, before this play, had designed every Chekov play other than Uncle Vanya. Although most Chekov productions have “hyper-realistic” sets depicting the details of Russian architecture, Raytchinova opted for a more simple setting that will allow the audience to focus more on the characters and the story. That will make the play more enjoyable for the audience, Archer said. “The way it will be staged will be different than anyone else would do it.”

The performance also will draw on the humorous subtexts and events in the play, which are often dropped. “Chekov always said that his plays were comedies. But when they’re produced, they don’t seem very funny,” Archer said. “I think ours will be highly entertaining. Some very funny things will happen.”

Archer decided to bring Uncle Vanya to the Thoresen Theatre stage because Chekov’s plays are classics— second only to Shakespeare in Archer’s opinion. The plays are not produced often because of a perception that they are thematically heavy: the characters are driven by a subtext, they don’t always say what they mean, and an audience can get lost unless the actors capture those nuances. But the Randolph cast is proving it can make Chekov interesting and enjoyable. “It’s been fun to watch the students really begin to understand how Chekov works and how deep they need to go to make the characters seem believable and real,” Archer said.

Monday, November 12, 2012

College was another chapter of worldwide adventures for Danielle Robinson ’12

The news and photos of flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Sandy bring back memories for Danielle Robinson ’12. About seven years ago, she was in New Orleans slogging through knee-deep mud and trash piles in New Orleans, where she helped gut damaged homes so the rebuilding process could begin after Hurricane Katrina.

Danielle Robinson ’12 helped in the cleanup following
Hurricane Katrina before she came to Randolph.
“It was really the hardest work I’d ever done, suiting up with a mask and hazmat suit and going into someone’s home to face that destruction,” Robinson said. “People’s spirits were so strong. They were fighters.”

At that time, Robinson was a high school graduate postponing college for the chance to see the world. “I was afraid that if I went to school and got a job, I would never get to travel and experience life,” Robinson said. “I decided that I would jump into what I thought was real life.”

A few years later, Robinson finally pursued college, where she learned that higher education would be another chapter of her worldwide adventures.

She studied at Tyler Junior College in Texas for two years, then her family moved to Virginia. She applied to three Virginia colleges and was accepted. Because Randolph was the closest to her family’s new home, she decided to tour here first.

“As soon as I was here and had the tour, I knew this was where I wanted to go,” she said. “I never even visited the other schools.”

Robinson majored in English with an emphasis in creative writing. She remembers her first poetry class, with three other students and professor Jim Peterson. The creative writing faculty helped her fine tune her writing in ways that could not have happened in more crowded classrooms. “They’re published authors who know what they’re doing,” Robinson said.

Robinson presented some of her fiction writing
during the 2012 Symposium of Artists and Scholars
Robinson also worked on research outside her major. Last December, she traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands with a group from Randolph to test for links between human-caused bacteria and the degradation of coral reefs around the island. Her task was to document the research with photos and writing, but she worked on the research, too.

“I always think it’s great to work with people in other disciplines,” she said. “They had so much to teach me, and my questions made them think of something they hadn’t thought about. Even though I wasn’t a science major, I felt like I was still valuable.”

When Robinson graduated, she was hired as an assistant for the College’s new Center for Student Research. The Center administers three programs—Summer Research, which lets students and professors work on projects together during the break; Randolph’s Innovative Student Experience (RISE), which gives students money to pursue research and creative projects; and the Symposium of Artists and Scholars, an annual event celebrating the best work among Randolph students.

Robinson also plays a role in running the American Culture Program and Passport, a new first-year experience program.

She felt like working in the new center would be a good way to contribute to the atmosphere that had helped her thrive as a student. She hopes her efforts help students become more involved in research.

“Research doesn’t have to be just in the sciences; it also can be in the arts and humanities,” Robinson said. “I want to generate that awareness that it doesn't matter what your major is, you can conduct very successful research in your field.”

Student Center Renovation Update: November 12, 2012

Primer and lighting are just a few of the changes that are taking place in the Student Center this week. Check out the latest slideshow of the $6 million renovation project here: http://web.randolphcollege.edu/studentcenter/slideshow/nov12/index.html.

For more information or to see the comprehensive coverage of the renovation project, please go to www.randolphcollege.edu/studentcenter.
This photo shows the new dining area for the Skeller (on the bottom floor to the left) and the new Student Government wing (top floor, left)

The Student Government wing features offices for student organizations as well as this new conference room, which overlooks the first floor.

The view from the new cardio center features back campus and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The new Skeller will be located on the main floor.

Friday, November 9, 2012

2012 International Photo Contest Winners

The 2012 International Photo Contest results are in, and six Randolph students have been honored for taking some fantastic shots at home and abroad.

Here are the winners in each category:


First Place: Justin DeSmith '13, Photo taken at Rolling Thunder protest rally in Washington, D.C.

Second Place: Tra Cao, A woman doing farm work at Bai Giua in the Red River in Hannoi, Vietnam

Third Place: Dorji Dema '13, Grandmother at an ancestral home in Bhutan


First Place Megan Hageman ’13, taken in Nyhavn Copenhagen Denmark

Second Place: Luisa Poveda ’13, Sunset in Tagana Colombia

Third Place: Hailey Nguyen ’15, Sapa Vietnam

Be sure to congratulate the winners, and take a look at the 2011 winners, too.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Longtime College supporter Mary Michels Scovanner '77 makes major gift to fund new plaza

Thanks to a significant donation from Mary Michels Scovanner ’77, what was once an asphalt parking lot behind Main Hall and adjacent to the Student Center, will soon be transformed into an attractive brick-lined plaza, complete with a fountain, ampitheatre seating, and bricks honoring faculty emeriti.

Construction on the plaza, which will be named Michels Plaza, will begin soon and is expected to be completed at the same time as the Student Center renovation. The two projects have been designed to work together to enhance and beautify one of the most traveled areas on campus, while providing a unique space for the community.

“Once the Student Center renovation is complete, the outdoor spaces associated with that facility and this new plaza will transform the look and feel of back campus,” said John E. Klein, president of Randolph. “In addition to providing a unique gathering space for students, classes, and other events, the new plaza will highlight Randolph’s views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.”

For Scovanner, a Randolph College trustee, the opportunity to support campus life was important. “This is an exciting project that I believe will create a vibrant and welcoming place for our campus community to gather,” she said. “It’s great to have this opportunity to support the College in a way that I hope will enrich campus living for our current and future students.”

The new plaza will feature ampitheatre seating around a fountain. The seating is designed to mimic the seating in Randolph’s Greek Theatre, and the fountain, which will feature three bursts of water, will add energy to the space. In addition to landscaping, the design of the plaza will incorporate the same diamond pattern found on the front campus brick walkway. An area of the plaza will also be designated to honor faculty emeriti with special bricks.

Klein expressed gratitude for Scovanner’s commitment to improving student life. Several years ago, another initiative funded by Scovanner provided amenities and campus improvements designed to enrich the campus community and improve the student experience.

“Mary Michels Scovanner has been a long-time supporter of the College, giving of both her time and financial resources,” he said. “We are grateful for her unwavering commitment to Randolph College.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Katelin Shugart-Schmidt ’10 shares research on fishing regulations

An alumna asked her audience at Randolph College to think of a few questions about the seafood they enjoy.

“Could you tell me where, specifically, that piece of seafood came from?” Katelin Shugart-Schmidt ’10 asked a group of students, faculty, staff, and visitors Monday night. “Can you tell me how it was caught?”

Then she addressed the question that has dominated her research as a graduate student: How can regulations effectively make the seafood and fishing industries more sustainable?

“We’re not managing fisheries because we feel like it, but we regulate fisheries because they are important to people and people depend on them,” she said.

Katelin Shugart-Schmidt ’10 shares a graph illustrating North Atlantic cod
population during a talk at Randolph College on Monday, Nov. 5. 
Shugart-Schmidt was invited to speak at Randolph to explain the research she has conducted in graduate school at Virginia Tech. She has studied the effects and uncertainty associated with fishing regulations, and her work has been well received among her peers. Earlier this year, she was named Virginia Tech’s Graduate Woman of the Year, and she will be this fall’s graduate commencement speaker there.

Effective fishing regulation is important because it ensures that the fishing industry—and the economic and cultural benefits associated with it—are sustainable and not ruined by overfishing. “It is OK for us to be fishing,” Shugart-Schmidt said. “We just have to be able to do it at the right levels.”

For a regulation to work, it needs to be based on an accurate count of fish populations, and it needs to correctly affect the number of fish that are caught. Shugart-Schmidt’s research as a graduate student has focused on the second requirement. She explained that changes in regulations set a target for how many of a species of fish should be caught. If fewer fish are caught, then regulations are too strict and are limiting the benefits of fishing. If more fish are caught, regulations are not protecting the population.

She and other researchers working on the same project pored over thousands of pages of fishing regulations to determine the number of fish that regulators expected would be caught. They compared those numbers to actual catches and created a measure for what they called “management uncertainty.”

They found that commercial fisheries usually catch significantly fewer fish than the regulations targeted, but recreational fisheries tended to see more fish caught. Shugart-Schmidt said this data needs to be considered as regulations are drafted for the different kinds of fisheries. “In the future, we're also going to have to assess the management uncertainty,” she said. “Seafood is too popular a thing right now to just let them go with no regulation altogether.”

Monday, November 5, 2012

Student wins awards at fast-paced international affairs conference

Over fall break, Youssef Elkei ’13 exiled a government leader, convinced a nation’s cabinet not to start a war, and was assassinated—all as a part of a government simulation at a foreign affairs conference.

Elkei represented Randolph College in the Cornell International Affairs Conference (CIAC). He served as minister of justice in a mock Egyptian cabinet during a time of emergency. The cabinet members debated issues, gave speeches, and made decisions. Then they learned about the results of those decisions and acted again.

Youssef Alkei pauses for a picture with Aishani Bansal, director-general
of the organizers of the Cornell International Affairs Conference. (Photo
courtesy of CIAC photographer Lindsay Levine.)
The event had a much faster pace than other foreign affairs conferences Elkei has attended. “You use every ounce of negotiation skills that you have. You debate, you introduce amendments. It’s fast paced, more intense, and the speeches are impromptu,” he said. “If you’re not ready and you’re not engaged, you’ll miss out.”

Elkei, a global studies major, previously attended college in Cairo, Egypt, and Washington, D.C. Because he plans to graduate after the fall 2012 semester, he recognized that he would not be able to participate in Model United Nations a third time next spring. He decided to attend the CIAC to give him another chance to practice diplomatic skills.

Randolph’s Innovative Student Experience, a program that allows juniors and seniors to apply for financial support of research, creative works, and other projects related to their studies, provided the funds for Elkei’s participation.

In the crisis simulation assigned to Elkei’s committee, a group had stolen weapons from a military chemical factory. The committee debated and voted on how to respond to each development in the situation.

The panel had to make difficult decisions, such as whether to authorize enhanced interrogation tactics. Elkei voted in favor. “I thought it would help us find the perpetrators,” he said. “But as a result, one of the people being questioned died.”

Another difficult decision was whether to start a war with Israel, which, according to the simulation, had been building up its forces in what seemed like an effort to attack Egypt. The committee members debated whether to make a preemptive strike. Elkei was the last to speak, at which point only one had voted against attack.

Elkei gave a passionate speech opposing the strike. “I knew that if we went to war, we would lose,” he said. “Internationally, we would be seen as the aggressors, and we would lose militarily.” He drew upon the principles of Just War Theory, which he recalled from a class taught by Randolph professor Jennifer Dugan, to make his case. When the committee took a final vote, several people had changed their positions and voted against the strike.

Later in the simulation, Elkei was shot with a Nerf gun after a government leader he had voted to exile earlier escaped and sought revenge. He left the room and was given another role in the simulation.

Elkei’s speech against a preemptive strike was voted as the best speech in that committee. He also received an award for being one of the best delegates.

The conference allowed Elkei the chance to prove and strengthen the skills he learned at Randolph. He hopes to apply those skills and work in diplomacy or international intelligence. He believes his liberal arts education and the commitment to the honor code will serve him well. “In a liberal arts education like this, you’re more well-rounded,” he said. “I’m not coming to higher education expecting to learn how to write reports for a specific job. I’m learning how to research something, how to give a speech. These skills are the foundation which you base the rest of your professional career on.”

Friday, November 2, 2012

Calithumping tradition returns

A group of Randolph students decided to revive an old tradition at the College:


In Calithumping, students visit their professors’ homes on Halloween night to sing songs they wrote for them. On Wednesday, they sang to several professors and staff members, and finished off the evening by singing to President John E. Klein.

Here is a photo taken as the students sang at the home of Laura-Gray Street, an English professor:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Society for Business Ethics picks Randolph philosophy professor's book as topic of upcoming event

A Randolph philosophy professor’s book that probes the ethics of consumer choices will be featured in a conference in February.

David Schwartz
The Society for Business Ethics chose to discuss Consuming Choices by David Schwartz in its “Author Meets Critic” forum at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Philosophical Association (Central Division). Schwartz will give a talk about the book, followed by a discussion by two distinguished ethics scholars, Alastair Norcross (University of Colorado – Boulder) and Richard F. Galvin (Texas Christian University).

Schwartz was invited to participate by a professor who had read the book and used it as a textbook. This attention to Consuming Choices is an honor to Schwartz.

“One of my goals in writing this book was to write something that would be reputable to the scholars but accessible to the non-scholars,” Schwartz said. “This is an indication that it’s reputable to the scholars and that people seem to be reading it and finding it useful.”

Consuming Choices guides readers through a discussion of the ethical implications of purchasing decisions. For several decades, business ethicists have discussed whether companies have moral obligations. Schwartz’s book argues that the real moral obligation belongs not to companies, but to their customers.

Consuming Choices was chosen as the topic
for the Society for Business Ethics' "Author
Meets Critic" forum in February.
“It’s up to the consumer to decide what they were comfortable buying,” Schwartz said. “The businesses are going to feel market pressure to change one way or another.”

He started writing Consuming Choices about food and farming, but his topics expanded to include the moral implications of environmental harm, poor working conditions, and animal cruelty in the supply chain for products we purchase.

He said people should be wary of extremely inexpensive items. “If it’s too good to be true,” then someone is being taken advantage of somewhere, Schwartz said.

While it may be impossible to know everything that happens in the creation of a product, consumers have an obligation not to be “willfully ignorant” of the moral implications of their products. Websites such as CorpWatch and The Good Guide can help people learn about how their products are made.

“I’m hoping that this gets on people’s radar and gets them thinking about this idea,” Schwartz said. “I’m fairly confident that if people just have some awareness of this issue, they’ll do fine with making these decisions.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

Preparing for Hurricane Sandy


The Randolph College Incident Management Team continues to monitor weather conditions and forecasts for the Lynchburg and surrounding areas. While Hurricane Sandy has the potential to significantly impact other areas of Virginia and states along the East Coast, the storm is not expected to cause major concern for our area. However, the National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory until midnight Tuesday and there potential for strong wind gusts which could cause downed trees and power outages.

At this point, there are no plans to cancel or delay classes.

  OCTOBER 29 11:44 A.M.   Governor Bob McDonnell has declared a state of emergency in Virginia in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, which is anticipated to affect the state and much of the East Coast over the next few days. As of this time, the hurricane is not expected to cause great concern for the Lynchburg area. However, the National Weather Service is forecasting the potential for high winds and rain, which could lead to power outages and other damage.
Randolph College’s community has multiple communication vehicles in place in the event of an emergency situation. Should any weather related situation escalate, information, including closings or delays, will be sent via text messaging*, mass campus emails, and/or in case of power loss, hand-written notices will be prepared and posted on all residence hall entrances, and in other conspicuous locations across campus. In addition, should the College lose power, there will be places on campus powered by generators that will provide access for phone charging and other needs. The location of these spaces will be communicated by the above methods should the need arise.  

As always, we encourage you to stay aware and alert of the weather conditions outside and to keep up-to-date with the latest College communications through one of the available communication methods.

*If you have not already done so, you may sign up to receive free Randolph Alerts on a cell or iPhone here: http://web.randolphcollege.edu/security/emergency_alerts.asp.  

More information about the storm is located: http://www.weather.gov/ http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ http://www.governor.virginia.gov/News/viewRelease.cfm?id=1473

Friday, October 26, 2012

Global community center will enhance intercultural experience

Thanks to a generous gift from an alumna and her husband, Randolph College students have a new place to gather and share experiences and perspectives across cultural lines.

On Wednesday the College dedicated the Fitzgerald Global Community Center, a lounge in Bell Hall that is set aside for multicultural activities and discussions. It is situated near the newly designated intercultural floor of Bell Hall, where several students have chosen to live in an environment focused on intercultural connections.
Zara Sibtain ’13, Mike Fitzgerald, Susan Klein, President John E. Klein, Marilyn Fitzgerald ’68,
Carl Girelli, and Jennifer Dugan cut a ribbon to open the Fitzgerald Global Community Center.

The center was made possible by a donation from Marilyn Hicks Fitzgerald ’68 and her husband, Mike, who have been avid supporters of the College’s global studies program for years.

“It’s exciting to join together today to celebrate their latest gift to the college,” President John E. Klein said in the dedication ceremony Thursday. “This center is both a social and an academic resource, and it blends well into Randolph’s Quality Enhancement Plan, ‘Bridges Not Walls.’”

Terry Bodine, assistant dean of students and director of residence life, said that the center contributes to the College’s goal of helping students immerse themselves in a global experience. “Students at Randolph College are strongly encouraged to study abroad,” she said. “However, not every student can study overseas. For those who cannot, Randolph College works intentionally to create opportunities for intercultural exchange right here on campus.”

Marilyn Fitzgerald ’68 visits with Jim Kwon ’14, a student from Korea, in Cheatham
Dining Hall before the dedication of the Fitzgerald Global Community Center.
Jennifer Dugan, a political science professor and head of the College’s Model United Nations program, said the center will provide a place to hold meetings to discuss international issues that come up throughout the year, including lunch hour meetings when international events and questions provoke discussions. “In the international arena, we can’t anticipate what issues, or challenges, crises, or even peace may break out. It’s very nice to know that we can have this environment open to us and be flexible in the ways we come together,” she said.

Marilyn Fitzgerald talked about how living overseas, including a study abroad experiences in college, helped her and her husband develop an appreciation for the world’s many cultures. “When we met each other later in our 20s, our common bond was the fact that we had both studied abroad,” she said.

They developed a passion for helping students to increase their global awareness. Ten years ago, the Fitzgeralds created the Sheldon and Chrystine Hicks Endowed Global Studies Fund. Named in honor of Marilyn’s late parents, the fund makes it possible for Randolph students to travel to the National Model United Nations conference each year.

“We love the new center,” said Marilyn Fitzgerald. “It just makes me want to be a student again.”

Students present research at conference for women in science

A recent nationwide conference honoring college women for their accomplishments in science included two Randolph College students.

Zahra Adahman ’14 and Chiamaka Asinugo ’14 were selected to present their research in the Conference of Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Chiamaka Asinugo ’14 presents earthquake research at the Conference of
Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“It was such a great environment to have all these women and be able to sit down and talk about physics, and about science in general,” Adahman said.

Asinugo said she applied to present at the conference at the suggestion of Tatiana Gilstrap, a physics and environmental studies professor with whom she conducted research this summer. She was honored and humbled to be chosen to attend.

“There are so many research programs being conducted, and I have come to find that every contribution—no matter how little—is vital on the broad scale,” Asinugo said.

Asinugo presented research from her summer project with Gilstrap. They analyzed seismic data from several earthquakes, including the aftershocks following the August 2011 earthquake in Virginia.
Zahra Adahman ’14 presents her research about the ultrasonic  mouse vocalizations

Adahman gave a 15-minute talk about research she has conducted with physics professor Katrin Schenk for the past two years. They are studying the ultrasonic vocalizations of mouse pups and the ways that mouse mothers respond. They hope to learn things from studying the mice that could shed light on autism and other communication disorders that affect humans.

“My long term goal is what really keeps me into science. I want to be a doctor,” Adahman said. “Research is very important in medicine, and I want to be involved in it.”

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Student Center Renovation Update: October 25, 2012

Amazing progress is being made on Randolph's $6 million Student Center renovation. Check out this week's photo slideshow here: http://web.randolphcollege.edu/studentcenter/slideshow/oct25/index.html.

Take a look back at all of the coverage of the renovation project at www.randolphcollege.edu/studentcenter.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Belief in Randolph's future prompts Allison Gulick Muller '71 to accept nomination to Board of Trustees

Editor's Note: This is the fifth in a series of articles on the five new members of Randolph College's Board of Trustees.

During her first-year at R-MWC, Allison Gulick Muller ’71 took an art history course at the urging of a friend. That class helped Muller rediscover a love of art that ended up shaping her college career. “It set me on a path to the total joy and passion of learning,” she said. “I continue to be energized by my field of study. I find that all of the things I enjoyed academically in college are things that have stood me in good stead as an adult learner.”

Muller, who is originally from Manhasset, New York, but now lives in Greenville, South Carolina, is one of five new members of Randolph College’s Board of Trustees. After graduating from R-MWC with a major in art history and a minor in studio art, Muller worked with the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., before serving as assistant registrar for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

While working in Boston, she met her husband, Carl, who was in business and law school at Harvard University. Muller went on to serve as assistant curator for the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, South Carolina. Later, she made the decision to stay home with her three children. She has been an active volunteer, both with Randolph and with her community. She has focused much of her time with advocacy in public education. She served as a chapter president, a class agent, and most recently as a class secretary for the College’s Alumnae and Alumni Association.

Muller is also a legacy. Her sister, Priscilla Gulick Tomlinson ’63, her late mother, Katherine Schaefer Gulick ’32, and an aunt, Elizabeth Schaefer Branch ’30, all share her connection with the College.

Muller is excited about the opportunity to join the Board during such an important time in Randolph’s history. “We are in such a good place after the stewardship of John Klein,” she said. “We are at a place where we can really thrive.”

Randolph, she said, still maintains the qualities she loved when she was a student at R-MWC. “There is an intensity to the educational experience, an intensity to the relationships you develop, and an understanding that a liberal arts education is about educating people to be lifelong learners and good citizens. That is taken seriously here, and it is an important way to look at your education.”

She has also enjoyed the students during her visits to campus. “The energy of the place is very positive and vibrant, and the students understand the value of the faculty we have here and of the experience they are receiving. They understand how much there is to offer, and it is almost like a palette they can choose from.”

Between the Student Center renovation, the variety of courses, and the expanded athletic offerings, Muller has been impressed with what Randolph offers its students. “There is more available than when I was at the College,” she said. “It makes me wish I could be a student again.”

Visiting writer Heather Sharfeddin

By Tory Brown ’13
College Relations Intern
Heather Sharfeddin will share excerpts and insight from her most recent work as part of Randolph College’s Visiting Writers Series Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. in the Alice Ashley Jack Lounge in Smith Hall.

The Visiting Writers Series allows Randolph students and other community members to hear published and up-and-coming writers read their works aloud and talk about the writing process. Each year, the program invites six writers to visit campus, present a public writing, and visit writing classes.

Sharfeddin, who is from McMinnvile, Oregon, has recently published four novels, including Blackbelly, Mineral Spirits, Windless Summer, and Damaged Goods. All of her books are based in the northwestern United States

Heather Sharfeddin
Sharfeddin began her career with the hope of entering the field of visual art. “I found that the storytelling process is much more difficult through visual arts and not as holistic,” said Sharfeddin.

After trying her hand at writing, Sharfeddin soon found her calling. She gets inspiration from the idea of “underdogs” or ordinary people who get to shine through in the end. “I think people step out and do something extraordinary all the time, so telling that quiet story is important to me,” Sharfeddin said.

She enjoys sharing her craft with college students. “I encourage them to understand what drives them to write,” she said. ”Do you want to write because you want living out of it? Or do you want to write for the art?”

For her, the joy is being able to do both, and she works hard to refine her craft. A fan of the unconventional, Sharfeddin said she often gets her better ideas while visiting cemeteries. “I really love catching those quiet stories,” she said. “You can laugh, talk, or cry, and no one will bother you.”

Sharfeddin wants her readers to connect with her stories. “I want the characters to resonate with them,” she said. “Maybe later, they will be charitable to people they meet who are like my characters.”

For more information, see www.sharfeddin.com.

Alumna, immigration lawyer teaches international students about post-graduation options

Olya Chervatyuk Antle ’08 is an immigration attorney who knows well how to relate to her clients. She grew up in the Ukraine before coming to the United States for high school, college, and now her career. “I really enjoy helping people establish their lives here,” she said.

Olya Chervatyuk Antle ’08 speaks to international students at Randolph
College about visa options to help them plan for work after they graduate.
Antle visited Randolph on Monday to talk with international students at her alma mater about their options for working and studying in the United States after they graduate from Randolph. The College invites an immigration lawyer to speak on that topic every year, but Antle volunteered to give the presentation this year in hopes that she could help students who are in a position she once occupied.

“I wanted to come because I think students will have an easier time relating to me,” said Antle. “They might find me more approachable because I am an alumna, and I was an international student.”

Antle came to the United States as an exchange student during her last three years of high school. She chose Randolph because of its strong community with many students from foreign countries and because of the small class sizes. Also, it allowed her to combine two of her passions by majoring in economics and music.

After her junior year of college, Antle interned in the office of Gardner & Mendoza, an immigration law firm in Virginia Beach. She found that she really enjoyed that work, so she later studied law at the New England School of Law. She now works for Gardner & Mendoza. She said that immigration law allows her to use her strengths, including her personal experience as an immigrant and her ability to speak Ukrainian, Russian, English, and Spanish.

Antle said the education she received on this campus laid the foundation for her success in graduate school and her career because it strengthened her independence and critical thinking skills. She also made friends from many foreign countries, helping her learn about more cultures. “This school really helps you become an individual thinker,” she said. “You meet the world here.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

Passport program helps new students connect with college, traditions, and cultures

By Tory Brown ’13
College Relations Intern
A new first-year experience program at Randolph College is helping new students adapt more easily to college life.

The Passport Program, which was designed to enhance and expand the College’s previous program for first-year students, was introduced to members of the Class of 2016 this year.

“The seminars introduce the students to academic life here at Randolph,” said Kim Sheldon, director of student success. “The passport program is the experiential part of the first year experience.”

The Alumnae Achievement Awards dinner was one activity included
in Randolph College's new first-year experience Passport program.
The new two-credit program was developed at the recommendation of a task force created last year to examine ways Randolph could better help new students adjust and connect to the College. Over a period of two semesters, first-year students must choose 12 “destinations,” from among eight different types of events. With more than 70 available options in just the fall semester alone, organizers believe there is ample opportunity for students to learn about other cultures while also preparing to be successful in college.

Students receive a passport with the Randolph seal on the front. Inside the passport is a grid with the different types of required events, as well as blank pages students must get stamped after attending an event. Students’ Paw Passes are also scanned in order to create an electronic record of attendance.

To learn more about the program, please visit www.randolphcollege.edu/passport.

Trustee Emeriti Betty Nichols Street '66 encourages husband, David, to accept appointment to Randolph College's Board of Trustees

Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of articles featuring the five new members of Randolph College's Board of Trustees.

Despite the honor of being asked to serve on Randolph College’s Board of Trustees, it was the encouragement of his wife, Betty Nichols Street ’66, that finally prompted David Street to accept the invitation.

A trustee emeriti herself, Betty Nichols Street felt her husband’s financial background would be an asset to the Board.

Street, who lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, believes Randolph has a bright future. “After a difficult transition to coeducation, the College has seen three years of increased enrollment and is positioned to continue this and the other positive trends seen in the last years,” he said.

He believes the recent improvements to the campus infrastructure, including the Student Center renovation project, have added much to what Randolph offers its students.

Street graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army after graduation, serving two years as an intelligence officer. In 1970, he earned his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

After receiving his MBA, Street worked in the investment banking industry, then the commercial banking industry, before moving to the corporate side. He held senior financial positions with two Fortune 500 companies and then became the chief operating officer of another Fortune 500 company prior to his retirement. Both before and after his retirement, he has served on numerous non-profit boards, including three secondary private schools. Currently, he is a trustee of the Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs (his high school alma mater).

His family’s connection to Randolph is deep. Betty Nichols Street served on the board for ten years starting in 1992. Her mother was an alumna, Mary Davis Nichols ’37, and her late father, John W. Nichols, was a trustee emeritus.

Street and his wife have three married children and eight grandchildren.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Karen Patterson '73 brings a variety of experiences and a deep love of the College to Randolph's Board of Trustees

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of stories featuring the five new members of Randolph College's Board of Trustees.

One of Karen Patterson’s ’73 favorite things about her alma mater is the instant affinity she feels when she meets anyone associated with the College, including random alumnae and alumni she meets at airports.

But after a recent meeting of the Randolph College Board of Trustees, she learned she has a new favorite part of the school. “Right now, I am most enamored with the panoramic view of the Peaks of Otter from the back of the new Student Center,” she said.

As president of the R-MWC Alumnae and Randolph College Alumni Association, Patterson also serves on the Randolph College Board of Trustees. She is one of five new members named to the Board this year.

“The College is in much better shape, by every measure, than it was even before the transition to coeducation, but the economy is not,” she said. “I am totally committed to ensuring the College thrives in a difficult environment.”

A long-time volunteer for the College, Patterson has also served as a chapter officer, alumnae admissions representative, and a career network member, among other roles.

A biology major at R-MWC, Patterson went on to earn her M.A. in biology from Wake Forest University and a Master’s of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. She now lives in Aiken, South Carolina, where she works as the environmental sciences group manager and a project manager at the environmental consulting and engineering firm, Tetra Tech. She chairs the South Carolina Governor’s Nuclear Advisory Council, and is on the executive boards of Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (a non-profit dedicated to educating the public about the safety and value of nuclear energy), and the SRS Heritage Foundation.

She is excited about her new role on the Board of Trustees for Randolph. “The past members of the Board of Trustees, President Klein and other College leaders, faculty, and staff have built a strong foundation,” she said. “The current trustees, and particularly the College’s leadership, including faculty and students, are enthusiastic and energized and understand what we have to do to continue the momentum. I can actually feel the difference when I am on campus.”

Giving back to her alma mater is important to Patterson. “This is where I learned to love challenges,” she said. “That learning is life-long.”

She believes the skills she developed at R-MWC will serve her well in her new role. “I thrive on challenges and hope I can contribute to strengthening Randolph’s future.”