Monday, April 30, 2012

Buie Harwood ’65 wins interior design education award

An alumna recently won a national award honoring her career teaching interior design.

Buie Harwood ’65 received the Arnold Friedmann Educator of Distinction Award from the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC). The award recognized her commitment to interior design education and her accomplishments as a professor, author, and consultant.

The organization also honored Harwood with a Merit Award for her service as chair of the committee that organized IDEC’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Harwood is a professor emeritus of Virginia Commonwealth University, where she taught interior design to hundreds of students and chaired the interior design department, supervising programs in Richmond and Qatar. She is a co-author of several textbooks about interior design, including Architecture and Interior Design: An Integrated History to the Present, which was published this year. Two years ago, she and her co-authors were inducted into the Historic Preservation Honor Society, recognizing their contributions to design history.

Harwood is the daughter and granddaughter of two other Randolph Macon Woman’s College alumnae, Zenobia Frith Harwood ’43 and Mary Frith Turner ’19.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Titanic tragedy centennial anniversary forms framework for Randolph history class

When John d’Entremont realized 2012 would mark the centennial of the Titanic’s sinking, he decided to turn it into a teachable moment.

“I knew it had to be a course,” said d’Entremont, the Theodore H. Jack professor of history at Randolph College. “The issues the Titanic raise are so wide-ranging and universal that the disaster could elicit class discussion about a host of questions that all sensitive people, especially in a democracy, must ponder.”

This semester, d’Entremont taught a course that dug into the historical setting and the social issues surrounding the Titanic tragedy. He used a scale model of the ship to illustrate the stories and help students visualize the vessel.

The Lynchburg News & Advance recently featured the class in an article published shortly after the anniversary of the tragedy.

The class explored what the history of the Titanic, the actions taken during the sinking, and the public’s response revealed about race, class, and gender relations, tackling questions such as:

  • Does technological prowess make a nation or people great? At what point does pride in that prowess become arrogance?
  • How does, and should, social class determine our behavior, and our treatment of others?
  • What responsibility do we have for one another? Are we obligated to take risks for others, even strangers?
  • To what are we entitled, and what is the just source, if any, of these entitlements?

“In the end, the Titanic—which some have called the “world’s biggest metaphor” — turns out to be about everything. Or, at least, almost everything that matters,” d’Entremont said.

Artists and scholars show their work in 2012 Symposium

From the minutiae of bacteria to the science of global climate change, there was no topic too large or too small for students selected to present at Randolph College’s 2012 Symposium of Artists and Scholars.

The event, held April 20, showcased the best research and creative works by Randolph College students in the past year. Nineteen students presented research representing a broad range of disciplines and topics.

The Symposium opened with keynote speaker Bob Deans, journalist and environmental author, describing the necessity of having a powerful question to guide research.

“If we ask the right question, we not only know where we’re going, but how to know when we get there,” he said. “The human mind is the most effective machine ever invented for the purpose of answering questions.”

Deans told the students the world needs their generation to find the answers to questions such as how to bring peace and spread democracy. “The questions that you will ask will be more profound than any we have ever faced,” he said.

Students then took the stage for their own presentations.

Zahra Ada Adahman ’14 talked about her analysis of ultrasonic mouse vocalizations. Her research, conducted with Katrin Schenk, a physics professor, seeks to understand and classify the high-frequency calls that mouse pups make when separated from their mothers. Alex Kwakye ’15 and Christopher Hollingsworth ’15 presented a poster explaining how their research with Schenk this summer will explore how mother mice respond to those calls.

Kira Chhatwal ’12 presented her research titled “Will You Marry Me for Money?” She dissected data on family relationships and demonstrated that women who are married tend to earn more money than those who are not, especially when they are in a lower income group. Later, Ravi Shukla ’12 included a discussion of marriage in his talk about the concepts of neutrality or perfectionism in a free society. He discussed the philosophical arguments for and against government promoting particular virtues, such as marriage.

Tra My Dinh Doan ’14 discussed a study she conducted last summer with Caroline Mann, who was a visiting psychology professor. The study sought to devise a way to test whether someone holds a stigma against mental illness without asking the person to admit it.

French artist Yves Klein was the focus of research by Catherine DeSilvey ’13. While the artist is best known for his paintings that used nude women as living paintbrushes, she argued that his planetary reliefs and air architecture—which used fire and air as walls for buildings—should be counted among his artistic canon.

Adam Eller ’13 explained how edible landscaping can improve the availability and sustainability of local food supply. Last summer, he tested soil samples around the Randolph College campus and laid the groundwork for increasing edible landscaping in Lynchburg. Two other students, Louise Searle ’12 and Lily Noguchi ’13, focused on sustainability by presenting a video they made about climate change. The video dissects and debunks an unscientific argument against climate change science.

A few students showcased their creative works to the audience. Sarah Fogle ’12 displayed portions of a graphic novel she is creating as an adaptation of a short story she wrote about LGBTQ college students. Karl Speer ’12 presented "Not Rain Enough in Heaven", a short story loosely based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, told from the point of Claudius. Danielle Robinson ’12 read a short story from her collection of short stories linked together by family relationships and characters who ride buses. Derrick Woods-Morrow ’12 exhibited photography that documented the cultural shock and immersion during his 2011 study abroad trip to Italy.

Two communication studies students focused on the way certain minority groups are presented in film. Julianna Joyce ’13 discussed her award-winning research that demonstrates ambivalence in the portrayal of racial minorities in Disney productions. Xavier Castanedas ’12 explained the way films about the skinhead subculture ignore the diversity in the group, portraying it as an entirely racist movement.

Meredith Humphreys ’12 presented the ongoing research she has conducted with Woyni Teklay ’13 and Qi Zhang ’13 about using hands-on experiments to increase the effectiveness of science classes. Randolph professors Peggy Schimmoeller, Peter Sheldon, and Tatiana Gilstrap lead the project, which includes a summer seminar for local teachers and a summer science camp for children.

Emily Smith ’12 and Angelina Haines ’12 both discussed their research regarding birds. Smith recently catalogued the biology department’s collection of bird specimens and studied their historical connections to famous natural history collectors. Haines has been studying the populations of crows in urban and suburban areas. Her research sheds light on the way species of crows adapt to environmental changes created by humans.

Debra Coats ’12 studied the prevalence of the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria among college students. Prior studies have shown that the bacterium is more common among groups that live in close quarters, such as a college residence hall. Her research reinforced the importance of hygiene to prevent the spread of germs on a small campus.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Honor societies induct new students for academic achievements

The academic honor societies at Randolph College welcomed about 50 new student members last week. Their induction into these honor societies recognizes their excellence in their fields of study and throughout a rigorous liberal arts curriculum. Please join us in congratulating these students.
Learn more about the ceremony and traditions of our honor society induction ceremonies in this video.

Phi Beta Kappa (Liberal arts achievement and scholarship)
Joanna Bourque ’12, Stephanie Defillo ’12, Jennifer Fowler ’12, Angelina Haines ’12, Susannah Lukens ’12, Louise Searle ’12, Sara Taylor ’12, Marian van Noppen’12

Chi Alpha Sigma (Scholar athletes)
Ryan Blackwell ’13, Cameron Colquitt ’13, David Conrow ’13, Jennifer Fowler ’12, Alina Herron ’12, Colton Hunt ’13, Samuel McGarrity ’13, Morgan Thompson ’13, Megan Wheatley ’13, Brittany Willingham ’13

Sigma Tau Delta (English)
Ryan Blackwell ’13, Madeline Carmain ’13, Marisa Mendez ’13, Lee Nutter ’13, Sara Taylor ’12, Sylvia Tropp ’12

Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) (Biology)
Zahra Adahman ’14, Igor Bayder ’14, Holly Bevagna ’14, Lauren Dowdle ’13, Jennifer Fowler ’12, Sara Graul ’13, Alina Herron ’12, Kristina Marinak ’14, Lorna McFarlane ’12, Sergio Rodriguez ’14

Iota Sigma Pi (Women in chemistry)
Angelina Haines ’12, Madeline Carmain ’13

Eta Sigma Phi (Classics)
Corbin Nall ’12, Grace Gardiner ’15, James Potter ’15, Katie Taylor ’15, Meredith Dougherty ’15

Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics)
Jim Kwon ’14, Chiamaka Asinugo ’14, Tim Slesinger ’14

Omnicron Delta Epsilon (Economics)
Kim Do ’13, Tung Ha ’14, My Hoang ’13, Colton Hunt ’13, Reid Winkler ’12

Lambda Pi Eta (Communication studies)
Ekaterina Bevinova ’12, Ryan Blackwell ’13, Julianna Joyce ’13

Psi Chi (Psychology)
Elizabeth Delery ’14, Mahareen Khalid ’14, Morgan Thompson ’13, Robert Villanueva ’14

Phi Alpha Theta (History)
Tara Burns ’12, Brianne Roth ’13

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to teach effectively: Professor and students collaborate on edited book

A Randolph College professor and her students have helped produce a new book about successful teaching and learning in higher education.

Evidence-Based Teaching for Higher Education was co-edited by Beth Schwartz, the Catherine E. and William E. Thoresen professor of psychology and assistant dean of the College. Carl Coffey ’11, Alexis Mandarakas ’11, and Jerry Wells ’12 helped in the early stages of planning and editing the volume while participating in the College’s Summer Research Program.

Published by the American Psychological Association, the book explains research-backed techniques for effective teaching. It also guides readers in ways of incorporating those solutions into classrooms. It covers topics such as student-teacher rapport, technology use in college classrooms, and how students should study.

“A great deal of scholarship of teaching and learning is out there, dispersed among a variety of journals in different fields. However, no concise summary existed about that research that would allow those in the classroom to incorporate those findings,” Schwartz explained. “This edited volume includes chapters from experts in the field who have provided this type of summary.”

Schwartz edited the volume with Regan A.R. Gurung, a professor at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. The Randolph students who worked on the project identified authors to invite to write chapters for the book and also helped review the first drafts the authors submitted.

Schwartz regularly collaborates with students on publication projects. In February, the book Teaching Ethically: Challenges and Opportunities included a chapter that she and Wells co-wrote with Holly Tatum, another Randolph psychology professor, recently published a book. During the Summer Research Program this year, Megan Hageman ’13 will continue planning a book focused on evidence-based advice for succeeding as a college student.

Student Center Renovation Update: April 18, 2012

Another week means continued transformations in the Student Center facility. Work is being conducted on every aspect of the building now. Crews broke through a wall last week, opening the main area of the facility with the back part of the building to form “The Street,”an area that will run from the Main Hall entrance of the Student Center to the rear of the building.

Walls are being framed, rough-in electrical and plumbing work continues, and duct work associated with the heating and cooling of the space is nearing completion on the lower level.

The masonry elevator shaft has been constructed from the basement level to just above the third floor level. Window openings are being cut into the brick, and work to create the openings in the annex north wall has begun. Crews are continuing work on some of the conference room space on the third floor, and the expansion of the main building is rapidly progressing. This multi-level section will house cooking areas and office space for the Skeller, storage areas, as well as other rooms.

Keep checking back for regular updates of our progress. See
for all of the previous updates and more information.

A view of the "The Street" from what will be the Main Hall entrance into the Student Center. The opening in the far wall was created last week.

A view of the large windows in what used to be the Skeller. This area will house seating for the Skeller once the facility is completed.

A view of back campus from one of the new window openings.

A view of the former Skeller.

A view of the main area of the Student Center from what used to be the rear of the Skeller.

Walls continue to be framed on all floors, including the second floor featured here.

A view of work on the third floor.

The addition on the back side of the building continues progressing. This multi-level expansion will house storage, cooking and office areas for the Skeller, and other rooms.

What used to be a residence hall room on the third floor will soon be transformed into a conference room.

The view from the third floor facing the Chapel.

Friday, April 13, 2012

President Emeritus William F. Quillian celebrates 99th birthday

This Friday the 13th is not a day of bad luck for William F. Quillian

The former president of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, Quillian turned 99 years old today. Local alumnae and alumni are celebrating with him this evening. For all of you who could not join Dr. Quillian in person, we are celebrating on the blog by posting these photos that chronicle Quillian’s 26 years with the College.
These pictures are from Quillian’s personal photo album. If you recognize any of the alumnae, faculty or staff in these pictures, please leave a comment on the post and let us know.

Also leave a comment to wish a happy birthday to Dr. Quillian.

Quillian came to the College in 1952 and retired in 1978. He oversaw a period of significant growth for the College. He returned in 2010 to give the commencement address.

At his 90th birthday celebration, a fundraiser for the Virginia Legal Aid Society, Quillian quipped that it is easy to reach the age of 90. “You get to 89, and then you are very, very careful,” he said.

We look forward to celebrating a century with Dr. Quillian next year!

At a celebration of the College's 75th anniversary.

Visting with Theodore H. Jack, his predecessor .

Alumnae donated this bronze bust of Quillian in 1978 .

Commencement in 1965

An alumnae dinner in Paris, France, in 1966.
An alumnae dinner in London in 1966.
Seeing off students who were heading to study in Reading, England in 1968.

Spending time with his family

A reception with first-year students in 1970

Departure of Reading-bound students in 1971
Commencement in 1974
Dedication of the Harold G. Leggett Building in 1975

Commencement in 1976

A faculty reception in 1976

Another faculty reception in 1977.
Elizabeth Taylor came to campus for a drama workshop in 1977 with her husband, John Warner.

Another new student reception in 1977

Dr. Quillian and his wife Margaret Weigle Quillian

Commencement in 2010

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

WVTF public radio features story about Randolph

Public radio station WVTF recently aired a story about the journey that took two Randolph College athletics teams to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship games in their sports.

The men’s soccer team won the championship in a game against Lynchburg College last fall. In February, the men’s basketball team went to the ODAC final for the second year in a row, holding on in a competitive battle and losing by only four points.

The WVTF story includes interviews with Bryan Waggoner, head men’s soccer coach, Clay Nunley, head men’s basketball coach, and Randolph College President John E. Klein. Soccer captain Jacob Hood ’14 and basketball player Colton Hunt ’13 also talked about their experiences competing in a competitive athletic conference while keeping up with demanding academic work.

The story can be read on the WVTF Web site. Be sure to listen to the audio available at the bottom of the page, too.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Student Center Renovation Update: April 6, 2012

Progress continues on the main areas of the Student Center facility, but more visible work is now occurring on the back section of the building. Scaffolding covers one side of the building as workers tediously remove bricks to enlarge window spaces. The stunning views from these oversized windows will help make Randolph’s new Student Center a campus showpiece.

Inside, framing has begun in this section of the renovation, and work is continuing in all other areas, including the third floor of the facility. This area will house the new theatre and conference areas.

The Student Center addition, which is located on the side of the current building, is also quickly taking shape.

See all of our updates at

The second floor of the Student Center will house the new WWRM office, which will overlook the first floor through the opening in the floor seen here.

This is the view facing the WWRM deejay booth. The floor below will feature seating and social areas, but the furniture will be removable for events and College parties.

This area used to house three floors of student organization offices, attic storage space, and other rooms. It will soon be transformed into a multi-level cardio center with floor-to-ceiling windows.

The views from the newly renovated Student Center are breathtaking.

The third floor of the main area of the Student Center used to be a very segmented level, with much wasted space. Once the renovation is completed, this floor will house a theatre and conference room area.

The arched beams in the Student Center will add warmth, beauty, and history to the new facility.

Progress is continuing on the addition to the building, which is housed to the side and back of the current facility.

Existing elements of the architecture on the third floor are being incorporated into the new design.

Workers are removing bricks and enlarging windows on the back wall of the facility.

The opening in the floor at the bottom right provides a glimpse of what used to be the Skeller.