Friday, September 28, 2012

Nursery School continues 1/10th-Miler tradition

The Randolph College Nursery School (RCNS) held its annual 1/10th-Miler race this morning to celebrate Lynchburg’s 10 Miler race and cap off a week of fitness and health education.

The students entered the gymnasium in the Randolph Athletics and Dance (RAD) Center to the applause of their families, teachers, and other friends who came to cheer them on.

After singing some traditional RCNS songs, the “senior class” (the 4- and 5-year-old students) warmed up for the race with jumping jacks, pushups, and stretches.

Then they lined up at one end of the gym and sprinted to the other end. The “juniors” (the Nursery School’s 3- and 4-year-old class) helped cheer for them.

Each of the seniors received a medal for their participation. After the race, they enjoyed granola bars and cool water in the RAD Center lobby.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

French film showing Oct. 3

Grenhouille d’hiver is a film in French that can speak to all cultures.

“It’s not only about French culture, but it’s also about Japanese culture,” said Francoise Watts, a Randolph French professor. “It’s about how one culture can learn from another.”

Even its production team crossed cultural lines. “The film was done by an African director who lives in France,” Watts said.

Randolph College’s French department will host a screening of Grenhouille d’hiver with its director, Slony Sow, on Wednesday, Oct. 3. It is an opportunity to see a beautiful story with acclaimed filmmaking techniques and a cross-cultural message.

The short film tells the story of a French winemaker whose wife dies after a long illness. A young Japanese woman who is visiting the winery gives him gifts symbolic of her culture, helping him to mourn his wife’s death in such a way that he can overcome his grief. GĂ©rard Depardieu, an icon of French cinema, stars in the film as the winemaker.

Grenhouille d’hiver has been widely acclaimed at many film festivals, including the Richmond French Film Festival this spring. Each year, Watts and a group of professors from other Virginia colleges choose a film from the Richmond festival and invite directors or actors from the film to tour college campuses for screenings.

The Oct. 3 screening of Grenhouille d’hiver will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Harold G. Leggett building, room 537. The film is 17 minutes long and will be shown with English subtitles. A reception will follow so students and other community members can meet Sow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chemistry professor speaks at regional conference

Bill Mattson, a Randolph College chemistry professor, will present a speech about creative problem solving for a regional chemistry teachers’ conference this week, drawing on ideas he and his students have explored in chemistry classes and research at Randolph.

Bill Mattson talks with Emily Rist ’14 about a modified high-heeled
shoe she invented for one of his classes. Inventing solutions is one
form of creative problem solving he plans to speak about Friday.
The Middle Atlantic Association of Liberal Arts Chemistry Teachers (MAALACT) will begin its annual meeting on Friday, Sept. 28. Mattson will be the plenary speaker that night. His speech is titled “Creative Problem Solving in Chemical Research,” with its main focus being on the creativity he challenges his students to use when they approach problems.

Creative problem solving is featured prominently in Mattson’s courses at Randolph College. For example, his seminar course for first-year students challenges students to solve a problem that bothers them. They start with a “bug list” that names problems that irritate them. “From such a list they often get an idea for an invention—a requirement for the course,” Mattson said.

In his chemistry courses, he challenges students to think about applications that chemistry has outside of the laboratory. “One of the ways one gets ideas is to observe a property that can be applied to something useful,” he said. Mattson’s speech will include an example of this creative process from a class where he placed a marshmallow in a vacuum. In the airless environment, the marshmallow expanded for some time, only to reverse and collapse. Mattson and his students then brainstormed applications for that observation.

They concluded that using a vacuum chamber could help produce polystyrene—a plastic used in products such as egg cartons and disposable cutlery—while using less of a polluting chemical, or to shell peanuts more quickly.

Although his audience this weekend is a group of chemistry teachers who would have interest in the specific chemical applications, Mattson said his speech will mostly emphasize the importance of creative problem solving. “It can certainly apply to people and groups who aren’t chemists,” he said.

Monday, September 24, 2012

No limits: Math, chess, reading, and acting are among new professor's loves

Rob Fisette majored in math in college, but he also spent a great deal of time studying English literature and working on theatre productions. He doesn’t believe in limiting himself—or others—to one discipline.

“My opinion of a liberal arts education is that smart people are smart people everywhere,” said Fisette, who is teaching mathematics at Randolph College this semester.  “They should be able to understand all the numeric aspects of life as well as all the artistic ones.”

“One of the main problems that students have in approaching math is this impression that they have things that they’re good at and things that they’re not good at,” he said. “They classify math in the category of things they aren’t good at because they’ve never had a good experience there.” Fisette hopes to change that for his students.

Fisette, a native of Rhode Island, attended a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. While he had chosen to major in math, he also declared a major in English to help him keep up his love for reading. (His favorite author is Hubert Selby Jr.)

He began acting on stage when a college friend was producing “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” He enjoyed the experience, so he continued participating in theatre. During his senior year, he directed a performance of “Sweeny Todd.”

He said there are many connections between the fields in which he studied and participated. “A lot of the skills that you develop in math really help in studying literature and analyzing problems in any field,” he said.

For example, mathematics teaches the importance of breaking a problem into smaller component parts. “Rather than be overwhelmed by it, just break it down into small parts that are more manageable,” Fisette said. “This is applicable whether you’re analyzing a short story, or you have some role for a play that you're trying to figure out.”

After college, Fisette worked in a mailroom in Chicago. While there, he picked up chess as a hobby to keep his brain active and entertained. After a couple of years, he realized that he was missing school and mathematics, so he prepared for graduate school and attended the University of Oregon.  He wrote his dissertation about algebraic curves.

Fisette is teaching at Randolph this semester while mathematics professor Yesem Kurt is on sabbatical.

When he isn’t teaching, Fisette’s main hobby is chess, and he also enjoys cribbage, racquetball, reading, and biking.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Student Center Renovation Update: September 20, 2012

Progress continues on Randolph's $6 million Student Center renovation. Check out the latest photo slideshow here: For coverage and photos of the entire project, please see

Windows are being installed this week on the outside of the vestibule.

The view from the new cardio center.

The top floor of the new cardio center.

A view of the main floor of the Student Center.

Students get experience with natural history collection

Our students this semester are getting more opportunities to work hands-on with the Randolph College collection of natural history and zoological artifacts. It is an opportunity to study birds and other animals—including some rare species—up close for scientific or artistic purposes.

Last year, Emily Smith ’12 worked to catalogue the collection, uncovering the history of the artifacts in the collection and determining the correct scientific classification for each. (For more on her work with the collection, see this article in Randolph magazine.)

Several students are working to photograph
the collection to help create the online catalog.
This opened the door to several other opportunities for students to study the collection, and help it grow, too.

Smith helped start a group of students who met occasionally this spring to help prepare new specimens, which had been in freezer storage for years, so they could be added to the collection. The work will continue with several meetings this semester, said Doug Shedd, the Catherine Ehrman Thoresen ’23 and William E. Thoresen Professor of Biology.

This summer, Smith and Shedd won a $1,250 grant from the Virginia Academy of Science to purchase photography equipment and create an online catalog of the collection. Several students have started working to take pictures of each specimen in the collection. Once the catalog is online, Randolph students—as well as researchers at other institutions—could make better use of the information Smith documented.

Smith and Shedd also have started a group that gathers every other week to draw items from the collection. The first meeting was two weeks ago, and the drawing group will meet again on Friday, Sept. 21, to draw again. The group meets in Martin 309 at 2 p.m., and all are welcome to attend.

See More Photos
For more photos of the natural history collection projects, view this photo album on the Randolph College Facebook page.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How to succeed in graduate school: Psychology professor co-authors chapter

If you want to know how to succeed in graduate school for psychology, Holly Tatum has advice for you.

Tatum, a psychology professor at Randolph College, recently co-wrote a chapter for Your Graduate Training in Psychology: Effective Strategies for Success, published by SAGE Publications this year.

Her chapter, “Setting Your Path: Begin With Your Dissertation in Mind,” provides advice that could help students save time by maintaining focus. “Sometimes in graduate school you get distracted by all the little things,” Tatum said. “It may be several years before you write your dissertation, but your activities should be framed by that ultimate goal.”

She wrote the chapter with Daniel Corts of Augustana College. They drew on some of their own experiences and lessons learned in graduate school at the University of Tennessee. “It was a good chapter to write because I made a lot of the mistakes that we wrote about,” Tatum said.

Thinking about the long-term goal of a dissertation can help beginning graduate students select an advisor, choose courses, and develop research skills that will be necessary for the dissertation, according to the chapter.

Tatum said the opportunity to reflect on her experiences helps her prepare her students for graduate school, and the final book is a good resource, too.

Psychology is one of the most popular majors at Randolph, where professors are well known for helping students prepare for graduate school through a rigorous curriculum and intense research programs. Among all undergraduate institutions, Randolph ranks among the top 14 percent for the number of graduates who go on to receive a Ph.D.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Student Center Renovation Update: September 14, 2012

Big changes are taking place inside Randolph's $6 million Student Center renovation project. Check out the latest photos of the progress here:

Go to for comprehensive coverage of the renovation.

A view of the main floor of the Student Center.

A portion of the chalkboard wall used by the Sundial staff can be seen in this photo of the second floor.

A view from the mezzanine level of the cardio center.

Pie Auction to raise money for MDA

Several Randolph community members are ready to take a pie in the face to help raise money to help people with muscular dystrophy.

On Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 6 p.m., the College will hold a pie auction. People can bid money on the opportunity to throw a pie. A group of faculty, staff, and students have volunteered to be targets.

Dave Piercy, resident director for Main Hall, organized the event as part of a larger fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). “It was a no-brainer for me to get involved. They are an organization near to my heart, as one of my best friends has muscular dystrophy,” he said. “Anything I could do to help MDA seemed like a good use of my time and energy.”

Help Raise Bail

Even if you can’t make it to the pie auction, you can help raise money for those with muscular dystrophy by contributing online to fundraising efforts by Dave Piercy, resident director for Main Hall, and Chris Mitchell, equestrian coach.
Piercy recently received a phone call from a representative of the MDA who wanted to invite a former residence life staff member to participate in the MDA Lock-Up, in which people volunteer to be “arrested” and locked up for an hour to raise awareness and money. Piercy decided to take the place of the former staff member, and he will be locked up from 3 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 4.

Piercy set a goal to raise $2,400, enough to send three children with muscular dystrophy to a summer camp. He hopes to raise $300 of that with bids and donations in the pie auction on Tuesday.

Here is a list of those who have volunteered to be targets, in addition to Piercy:

  • Terry Bodine—assistant dean of students and director of residence life
  • Matha Thornton—dean of students
  • Carl Girelli—dean of the College
  • Paula Wallace—associate dean of the College
  • Mace Archer—theatre professor
  • Jackie Beard—lead switchboard operator
  • Amanda Denny—director of student activities
  • Christine Gnieski ’13
  • Gage Stuntz ’13
  • Sara Kasey ’14
  • Cam Hall ’13

Those who bid for the chance to toss a pie at these volunteers get to throw a pie at them. However, any of the targets can earn the right to throw a pie at their high bidder by doubling the bid themselves.

Chris Mitchell, the College’s new equestrian coach, also is participating in the MDA Lock-Up on Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. His goal is to raise $2,700. He said the fundraiser seemed like a great opportunity to help the community and the MDA.

Online contributions are also available for Piercy’s and Michell’s fundraisers.

Finding a voice

Admittedly shy, Christina Budd ’13 has never been used to speaking in front of large crowds. But as a new student at Randolph College last year, she found herself compelled to step up to a microphone in front of a large audience at a student government town hall meeting.

Christina Budd, right, has found that participating in campus life
has helped her fit in at Randolph and increase her self confidence
Budd spoke about the beautiful campus that had helped attract her to Randolph as a transfer student, and she shared suggestions she thought would make life easier for the staff that cleans and maintains the campus. The rest of that week, people approached her and thanked her for speaking up—a reaction she hadn’t expected.

“I’ve learned that I do have a voice,” Budd said, reflecting on that experience and other lessons at Randolph. “I’m a naturally introverted person, but I have found that people are willing to listen to what I have to say, and they seem to respond well to it. That has given me so much confidence in myself that I never had before.”

Meet Lisa Davies

As a community college graduate who went on to receive a master’s degree, Lisa knows much about navigating college as a transfer. She now advises students thinking about transferring to Randolph.
Budd, from Roanoke, Virginia, first heard about Randolph at a college fair in high school. She took note of it because of school’s creative writing program. After one year at Virginia Western  Community College, she learned about Virginia Private College Week, an event in July when people who tour at least three participating schools receive application fee waivers. She decided that would be a good opportunity to visit Randolph.

“I think it was love at first sight,” she said. “The buildings were so incredibly beautiful. I knew I would be able to learn best at a small college where I could know my professors and have a relationship with them.” Soon, she was meeting with an admissions counselor and getting advice on which courses to take during her second year at the community college to best prepare for Randolph. Budd is now majoring in history and minoring in sociology.

By the end of her second semester, Budd was involved in numerous clubs on campus and had served as an officer for some of them. This year, she is the vice president of Randolph’s Circle K International, a service club. She is helping the group organize participation in Relay for Life, March of Dimes, and a dance for teenagers and adults with disabilities. The group also hosts campus cleanup activities about once a month, Budd said.

Her involvement with many activities helped Budd make many friends despite being new to Randolph. “I got involved on campus through clubs, volunteering, and special events,” she said. “That’s what I did, and that’s what helped me become better known on campus.”

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tattered bumper sticker leads to new friendship between Emily Fields '16 and Daisy Jenkins Fletcher '50

Emily Fields '16
Just before the academic year began this summer, Emily Fields ’16 was visiting Nags Head, North Carolina, with her grandfather. She imagined the vacation would be a great get-away before she headed off to Randolph. What she didn’t realize was that a walk through the parking lot of her hotel would set off a chain of events that would result in her meeting a kindred spirit—an Even one at that.

“I saw an R-MWC bumper sticker on one of the cars at the hotel,” Fields said. “It was old and tattered, and I got so excited. I thought I’m just going into school, and she’s out of school, and she must have lots of stories.”

During her stay, she asked around the hotel to see who owned the car. On the last day, she made a spur-of-the-moment decision to put a letter with her e-mail on the car’s windshield. “I told her I was a first-year student at Randolph, and I had heard so much about the College. I told her that I wanted to learn more, and if she had any stories, I would love to hear them.”

Daisy Jenkins Fletcher '50

That car belonged to Daisy Jenkins Fletcher ’50. Her daughter, who had borrowed the car for a trip to the beach, delivered the note. “I wasn’t surprised,” Fletcher remembered. “Whenever I’ve been driving and seen a sticker, I usually honk or something.”

While she also proudly displays her new Randolph College sticker, Fletcher has never been able to bring herself to scrape the beloved R-MWC bumper sticker off her older vehicle.

Fields’ note reminded Fletcher of her first days at the College, and she quickly sent her an e-mail sharing a few stories. “She e-mailed me, and then I e-mailed her,” Fletcher said. “It’s been fun. She is so enthusiastic and bubbly, and I’m so sure she is going to have a wonderful time at Randolph.”

Those first e-mails were the beginning of what both women hope will be a lasting friendship, and Fields said they helped her feel more comfortable during the first weeks of school. “I was curious about the College, and I really wanted to get a feel for what our alumnae are like,” Fields said. “It was great that we were both Evens, and she let me know about some of the songs I would be learning. She told me all about her professors and a lot about what it was like when she went to school.”

Fields began to see similarities between her own experiences and Fletcher’s memories. “I’m really excited to know someone who went through some of the same stuff I am going through,” she said. “I want to tell her my stories and I want to hear hers. It is neat to see how much about the College is the same.”

An American citizen, Fletcher grew up in England, where she lived during WWII. She came to R-MWC at the request of her father. “It was a whole new world for me,” she remembered. “The warmth and caring of everyone just overwhelmed me. I hadn’t expected that, and it made it so much easier.”

Fields can’t wait to experience everything Randolph has to offer her. “You always see these happy people standing around laughing with their professors,” she said. “I always thought there was no way anyone could be that happy in real life. But when I got to Randolph, it really was like that. Everyone seemed involved and excited to learn and be a part of a community. I like that, and I’m glad I’m a part of that now.”

Fletcher is looking forward to watching Fields embrace the life more abundant. “R-MWC gave me a great sense of values,” she said. “The things that were so wonderful to me initially and for the rest of my life were the friendships, the close contact with faculty members, and the Honor System. The College gave me a great feeling of belief in myself, and it made me realize that knowledge is important in living a full life. But it also taught me that friendships are right up there in importance.”

Fletcher is grateful that her alma mater is still enriching her life with those friendships, even 65 years since she experienced her own first weeks at the College.

She has no doubt that Fields will find the same sense of place at Randolph, and she hopes that one day she will be able to meet her in person. “I am thoroughly enjoying hearing about and sharing Emily’s experiences and have been telling people about it,” Fletcher said. “My girls even want to know how Emily is doing. It’s been a very bright spot in the past month.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New professor's research explores power of words in politics

If you want to parse the language of the latest political advertisements, Vincent Vecera will be happy to join the conversation. If you would rather talk about 1960s jazz music or more recent hip hop, he still would love to talk.

Vecera, a new political science professor at Randolph College, believes words become weapons in politics. He especially enjoys digesting political messages to see the power behind the words. “I don't really follow sports because politics is my sport,” he said. “Politics is the only sport where the trophy matters. The trophy is the order of human civilization.”

In graduate school at the University of Minnesota, Vecera studied the way language sways public discourse. He spent 3,000 hours reading newspapers from across the 20th century and recording the arguments made on a variety of legal issues ranging from abortion and gun regulation to rent control and marriage. He focused on how using the language of civil and political rights changed the discussion of those issues.

“What I showed in my dissertation is that the words we use matter,” Vecera said. He is now writing a book based on that dissertation.

His assessment of the current presidential election? It is more boring than usual, he said. “In one sense, the power of words has been decreased because there has been more material lying,” Vecera said. He predicts a much more interesting 2016 election with a comeback from the party that loses this year.

Vecera chose to teach at Randolph because of the spirit of community that he felt when he visited the campus. People around campus seemed to know and respect each other, he said. The dedication to the school’s honor code strengthened that feeling of community.

“Every college has an honor code, but I was struck by how, throughout my meetings here, people kept coming back to that,” he said. “It was a really wonderful testament to a culture here.”

“I always wanted to work at a small liberal arts college—Not only a teaching college, but a place that had a sense of community and values,” Vecera said. “That made my decision to choose Randolph, instead of a couple of other places, very easy.”

When he is not teaching or writing, Vecera has a passion for music. He listens to five or six new albums each week. He owns about 2,000 records, and he deejayed many parties in college. Some of his favorite genres include 20th century classical music, jazz from the late 1950s and 1960s, and underground hip hop, he said.

Since arriving on campus, Vecera has been impressed by how welcoming and warm everyone has been—and how warm the temperature has been to him since he is acclimated to Minnesota weather. He feels that he is in the right place. “A tenure track position at a place like this is, to me, like winning the lottery,” he said.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Transfer student prepares for teaching career through Randolph classes, research project

After attending a community college for one year, Dominique Rose ’14 was looking for a small college that could help him in his quest to become a teacher. After he learned about the education program at Randolph—which would allow him to finish his bachelor’s degree and quickly earn a master’s degree in teaching—the decision was easy.

Studying at Randolph also gave Rose a unique opportunity to study teaching. This year, he participated in a Summer Research project that explored the attributes and characteristics teachers need and measured the success of Randolph’s education program.

“Subject matter knowledge doesn’t make you a good teacher,” Rose said. “You have to be able to communicate and understand your students. You need to be well versed in teaching, able to reach students with different learning styles.”

Dominique Rose ’14 explains his Summer Research project to Randolph professors
Tatiana Gilstrap and Holly Tatum during a Summer Research Symposium on Sept. 1.
Rose grew up in Amherst County, just across the James River from Randolph College. After graduating from high school, he attended Central Virginia Community College. He transferred to Randolph after attending an open house and deciding the education program was the right fit.

In his first semester at Randolph, Rose’s largest class had only 20 students—which is large compared to many classes at Randolph, but small compared to classes at other colleges Rose had considered. He enjoys being able to work closely with faculty. “The professors here are so friendly, they’re able to build relationships with students,” Rose said. “I can email my professors and they usually email me back within a few hours. That is so convenient.”

During one of Rose’s classes, his work caught the attention of education professor Roberta Parker. “I was very impressed by his tenacity and work ethic,” Parker said. “He is a conscientious student—always willing to go above and beyond to accomplish any task set before him.”

Parker invited Rose to join her and another education professor, Peggy Schimmoeller, for a project in Randolph’s Summer Research Program. They were assessing how well Randolph’s curriculum helps students gain the knowledge and attributes of good teachers.

Rose spent the summer reading current research about effective teaching practices and interviewing Randolph graduates who are now teachers. He asked them about the professional attributes and teaching skills that they developed at Randolph and how they are applying those skills in the classroom. He recently presented his findings in a symposium for the Summer Research Program.

Rose is pursuing certifications for special education, elementary education, and physical education. After finishing his undergraduate studies, he plans to enroll in Randolph’s one-year Master of Arts in Teaching program.

Outside of his studies, Rose is engaged in extracurricular activities. He is a student government senator for his residence hall, and he is a leader in Campus Outreach, a Christian fellowship ministry for students.

He said transfer students who look for opportunities can find many ways to integrate with campus life. “People here are so friendly, and they enjoy making new friends and carrying on good conversations,” Rose said.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Randolph College Research Team Featured on Local News Broadcast

A Randolph College professor and two students shared their thoughts on organic farming during a story on WDBJ 7's evening broadcast September 4.

Adam Houlihan, a biology professor, Laura Word ’13, and Michael Taylor ’13 conducted research this summer ( exploring the best practices for raising healthy chickens that produce high-quality eggs. Using the chickens in Randolph’s Organic Garden, Word and Taylor placed one group of chickens in an area without grass and another in an area with grass. They then tracked the health and egg quality of the hens from each group.

Their research, which compared the benefits of two types of organic methods, is similar to research conducted by Stanford University published September 4 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The Stanford scientists studied the health benefits of organic and conventional foods. That study found that organic food is not necessarily healthier than non-organic food. The Randolph team, however, found there was a difference in the egg quality in free range chickens.

Houlihan, Word, and Taylor talked with Tim Saunders, a reporter from WDBJ 7. Randolph’s chickens and Einstein the rooster even got in on the action. The story aired Tuesday evening. Check it out at,0,1947395.story.

Laura Word '13 explains the differences in eggs.

Tim Saunders of WDBJ 7 gets up close and personal with one of Randolph's hens.

Adam Houlihan, a Randolph biology professor, talks about organic gardening and farming with Tim Saunders.

(Left) Michael Taylor '13 works in the Organic Garden while Tim Saunders (center) shoots video with Laura Word '13 (right).

A Good Deed: Randolph students translate Chinese for local medical facility

Thanks to two Randolph College juniors studying Chinese, a local medical facility was able to help a patient be more comfortable as she recovered from surgery.

Recently, May Soe ’14 and Julie Doan ’14 were called on to translate for a Chinese-speaking patient at the Lynchburg Health and Rehabilitation Center. Within a few hours, they were at the patient’s side.

“They were worried that they might not be providing enough services because they couldn’t talk with her,” said Soe.

Julie Doan ’14 and May Soe ’14
The 86-year-old patient had been in an accident that required surgery, said Doan. “She was very lonely because there was no one she could talk to,” she said. “Her children live far away.”

Soe, from Myanmar, is majoring in business and minoring in Chinese Studies. Doan, who is from Vietnam, is majoring in political science and global studies and minoring in philosophy and Chinese Studies.

Each of them spent this summer in China. Soe was working in an internship with Energizer Corp. while Doan was studying in an intense Chinese program offered by Princeton University. Randolph’s Chinese program aims to help students learn to speak and read Chinese with the help of weekly tutoring sessions.

The students were happy to be able to use their language skills to assist someone locally. “It felt really good. It was our present to her,” said Doan, who also has translated Vietnamese for public schools near Randolph.

Nancy Goulde, coordinator of international student services, helped the rehabilitation center connect with Doan and Soe. “I am thankful and proud we have such caring students on campus,” she said.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Student Center Renovation Update: September 3, 2012

Randolph's $6 million Student Center renovation has made dramatic progress in recent weeks. Check out the latest slideshow at For a comprehensive look at the Student Center renovation, please visit