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.”

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Trustee sees support of Randolph as a way to honor his late business partner and friend

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

Keith Evans’ connection to Randolph College began decades ago when he heard about the institution from his late business partner, mentor, and friend, Bob Brammer. Brammer, who served as a trustee for the College, and his wife, Dot, endowed a memorial scholarship in the name of their daughter, Lee Brammer May ’80, who passed away just years after graduating from R-MWC.

Evans, who lives in Shreveport, LA, is one of five new members of Randolph College’s Board of Trustees. He serves as the chairman of the board and president of Brammer Engineering, Inc., an oil and gas operating, consulting, and service company. Evans began his career with Shell Oil Company before joining Brammer in 1982.

In 1995, Evans purchased the company from Brammer and has continued to support the Lee Brammer May ’80 Memorial Scholarship. He sees his service on Randolph’s Board as another way to honor his late friend and mentor. “I thought the opportunity to serve on the Randolph Board was a great way for me to pay tribute to Bob and his family and to meet new people and be a small part of a great institution,” Evans said.

Evans earned a B.S. in petroleum engineering from Louisiana State University in 1980 and is a registered professional engineer in Louisiana and Texas. He is married to fellow LSU alumna Karen Oden Evans. The Evans are the proud parents of their son, John, and his wife, Meredith, and daughters Emily and Rebecca. A history buff, Evans has a special interest in the American Civil War and enjoys traveling to Virginia to visit the state's many historic sites.

He sees great potential in Randolph’s future. “The best thing about the College is its potential to grow and prosper in the future,” he said. “The energy I felt while I attended my first Board meeting was wonderful. It’s obvious to me that good things are happening at Randolph.

“The College has been through some challenging times in the last several years where many tough decisions had to be made,” he added. “The culture has certainly changed with the transition to a coed institution, but now the school is on a great path towards stability and growth. There undoubtedly will be more challenges ahead, but the opportunities for continued growth and success are real. I look forward to helping move the College to the next level.”

During his visits to campus, Evans has been impressed with Randolph’s community. “The people associated with the College are phenomenal. From John Klein and his wife, Susan, to the Board of Trustees, senior staff, faculty, staff, and students, all the folks that I have met are wonderful. The campus is very special too. We have a great combination of resources to build a future on, and that’s exciting. “

Open house participants invited to homecoming

This weekend’s Open House at Randolph College includes a unique opportunity for prospective students to participate in the College’s homecoming festivities.

The open house begins at 1 p.m. with registration, refreshments, and campus tours starting in Main Hall. Starting at 2:30 p.m., the event will include a variety of opportunities to learn about Randolph, including a student panel about life at the College and an information session about admissions, scholarships, and financial aid.

When the open house concludes at 5 p.m., all participants are invited to attend Homecoming at WildCat Stadium. The women’s soccer Homecoming game vs. Hollins University will be in its second half at 5 p.m. At 5:45, visitors can witness the spectacle of the College’s annual Chariot Race, in which student teams from each class race around the track in homemade “chariots.”

Homecoming also includes a men’s soccer game vs. Shenandoah University, music by Randolph’s student-run radio station the WWRM, a tailgate party with food vendors, and a beer garden serving beer and wine (to guests 21 and older, of course). At 9 p.m., festivities wrap up with the Homecoming Bonfire in the recreation area next to Houston Memorial Chapel.

Prospective Randolph students from schools across the United States have signed up for Saturday's Open House. You can still register online.

If you can’t make it this weekend, there are two more opportunities this fall. You can register for an Open Campus Day on November 6 (Election Day) and meet professors and students as you attend a class, or another Open House at on November 10. Also, you can set up a personal time to visit when it is best for your schedule the best.

Student Center Renovation Update: October 18, 2012

New decking, electrical wiring, and gorgeous fall views are featured on the latest photo slideshow of the Student Center renovation. The $6 million renovation project is expected to be completed by the time students return for the spring semester.

Check out the slideshow here: http://web.randolphcollege.edu/studentcenter/slideshow/oct18/index.html or look at full coverage of the renovation process at www.randolphcollege.edu/studentcenter.

A view of the second floor from the old Skeller.

Decking is being installed on the exterior of the building.

Gaming team provides new venue for intercollegiate competition

By Tory Brown ’13
College Relations Intern
Randolph College now has a team that competes in video game tournaments against other colleges, and a club for anyone who enjoys playing video games.

Tim Fowler ’13, a psychology major, is the captain of the gaming team as well as president of the gaming club. “I wanted to bring all types of gamers together,” Fowler said. “There is a lot of fun in people coming together to play games.”

Before starting the gaming club and gaming team, Fowler played professionally in tournaments of StarCraft II, one of the main games played by the current team. When he found a group of willing gamers who were interested in creating a team on campus, Fowler researched a collegiate league for them to compete in. The team chose to join the Collegiate Starleague, which allows them to balance schoolwork, practice time, and other activities.

During the fall semester of 2011, Fowler decided to create an official club out of the informal team that had started. The club membership includes students who enjoy playing video games but do not play in intercollegiate competitions. The team also started competing in League of Legends, allowing more members to join the gaming team.

Last year, the team played both StarCraft II and League of Legends in tournaments against other colleges. Their success was mixed, although they did pull off a victory against the U.S. Naval Academy and West Point University.  Other than those matches, “We didn’t do that well, mostly because the team didn’t have a lot of practice time so that we could mesh and know each other’s tendencies” said Michael Harris ’13.

This year, the team is becoming more organized, which students believe will help them improve. The team has already started to play League of Legends and will begin competing in the StarCraft II season soon.

The gaming club has held tournaments in Super Smash Brothers that combined members of the team and the club. Both groups welcome new members. If you want to know more, email Fowler at tjfowler@randolphcollege.edu.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Candy Crowley ’70 takes strong role in presidential debate

Alumna Candy Crowley ’70 shined before a national audience Tuesday night as she moderated the second presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle. For more than 90 minutes, she guided a conversation between President Barack Obama, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and an audience of undecided voters at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Crowley, CNN’s chief political correspondent and anchor of State of the Union with Candy Crowley, was tasked with moderating a town hall presidential debate—a challenging format that requires the moderator to manage questions from the audience, answers from the candidates, and any verbal sparring that results as the candidates clash.

Crowley made a strong showing in the debate after some feared that her role, as the first woman to moderate a presidential debate in 20 years, would be limited to inviting audience members to ask their questions. Although both presidential campaigns had agreed not to allow her to pose her own questions, she inserted herself into the debate, forcing each candidate to address issues in the questions and reigning in the discussion when it strayed far from the intended topics.

That power came in part because of her decision to stand during the debate, although initial plans would have given her a chair. “It is so hard to take command of a stage when you’re sitting down and they’re towering over you,” she said in a post-debate interview on CNN. “When I came in and saw this stage, I said, I want to stand. I want to stand up so we’re on the same level.”

When a question about gas prices turned into a debate about overall energy policy, Crowley directed the President back to the central question. “I can tell you that tomorrow morning, a lot of people in Hempstead will wake up and fill up, and they will find that the price of gas is over $4 a gallon,” Crowley said. “Is it within the purview of the government to bring those prices down, or are we looking at the new normal?”

Later, when Romney charged that Obama had blamed the Sept. 11 attacks against the American consulate in Libya on an Internet video instead of calling it a terrorist attack, Crowley helped to move the conversation forward by adding clarification. “(Obama) did call it an act of terror,” she told Romney. “It did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.”

One of the teenagers who led an effort to ask the Commission on Presidential Debates to select a woman as a moderator this year praised Crowley for a strong performance in the debate. Emma Axelrod wrote for the Poynter Institute:

In my life, I never saw a woman on that stage acting as an authority over the two most potentially powerful men in America. That is, until Tuesday night. … Crowley was a great choice. I loved her follow-ups and thought she did a sound job of keeping the candidates under control.

After the debate, Crowley appeared in late night and early morning shows to talk about the experience and analyze the outcomes of the event. Although her schedule is currently dominated with election coverage, Crowley and the College are working to schedule a visit to campus so she can share insights with current Randolph students.

Clash of the Classes 2012 begins: fun, fundraising, and competition

It’s time to pull out your loose change, practice your bean bag toss, build your chariot, and listen carefully to lyrics on the radio to help your class win this year’s Clash of the Classes.

This annual competition leading up to Homecoming begins today as students return from Fall Break, and this year there is a new contest that will raise money for Special Olympics.

Penny Drive
Wednesday–Friday, Cheatham Dining Hall
Each class at Randolph—the classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016—has a Penny Drive bucket in Cheatham Dining Hall. Money dropped into the buckets will be donated to the Special Olympics of Central Virginia, but the class that wins will have to use some strategy: Your class gets points for each penny dropped in its bucket, but it loses points for every higher-value coin dropped in.

So in order to win, drop pennies into your class’s bucket, and nickels, quarters, and dimes into the buckets of your opponents.

There are other great contests throughout this week. Each competition, other than the chariot race on Saturday, earns 400 points towards the victory.

Sign Up
Help your class win the victory in the 2012 Clash of the Classes.
Sign up for any of the competitions by contacting Jamie Chagnon, sports information director. Last minute sign ups will be accepted, but if no one from your class steps forward, you lose that chance to win the points!
Dance Contest
Wednesday, intermission of the WildCat Volleyball vs. Hollins University
One member of each class will dance, and the crowd will select the best dancer. Come cheer and vote for your dancing classmate, or volunteer to dance yourself.

Finish the Lyric
Thursday at noon, Cheatham Dining Hall
Do you know popular songs? Are you always singing along, quoting lyrics, or listening to music? You could help your class win this contest of wits and memory. This contest will challenge participants to hear a few words from a popular song and recite the rest of the lyric.

Bean bag Toss Contest
Friday, intermission of WildCat Volleyball vs. Bridgewater College
Each class can have a team of two people toss beanbags towards a target to score points.

Fourth Annual Chariot Race
Saturday during Homecoming, WildCat Stadium
This is the main event, with thousands of points at stake. Each class can enter one team with a homemade “chariot”—in the past the chariots have been anything from trash cans to toilets mounted on wheels. One team member will ride the chariot as the others pull it for a race around the track. The winning class gets 2,500 points, with lower scores given to the other teams.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Carol Haley '70 sees opportunity to serve on Randolph's Board of Trustees as another way to give back to her alma mater

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

Carol Haley ’70 knows she would not be where she is today without the influence of others in her life. When the opportunity to serve on Randolph College’s Board of Trustees presented itself to her, she knew it was another chance to give back to an institution that made a significant difference for her.

“I’ve been fortunate in my adult life, and I attribute much of my success to the College,” she said recently. “In the ‘60s, when I was a student, women were not encouraged to enter the sciences or to obtain advanced degrees,” Haley added. “R-MWC, on the other hand, offered us the opportunity to follow our interests--in my case, science--in a close-knit community of faculty and other students where our abilities were never questioned, but instead nurtured and honed. We were pushed to always do our best. That learning environment provided me with skills and confidence that have served me well in my personal and professional life.”

Haley, who is from New York, N.Y., graduated from R-MWC with a biology degree. She currently serves as a director of regulatory affairs with Pfizer, Inc. She completed her graduate work in biology and earned her M.S. from Old Dominion University and her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. Her career background has included positions with a global corporation, federal and state government agencies (including a stint at the Smithsonian), and in teaching, and she hopes to apply that experience to her work on the Board.

Haley has long been involved in the College. She currently volunteers as a class agent and recently served as the secretary for the College’s Alumnae/Alumni Association Board. She is excited to be a part of the College’s future.

“The College is definitely on the upswing,” she said. “This is an exciting time to be a part of developing the future direction of the school.”

One of her favorite experiences has been meeting current students. At her first Board meeting in October, Haley had a wonderful conversation with a student about life at Randolph. “Things are different,” she said. “But we had so many shared experiences. That is one of the things that I have always loved about being an alumna from this school. Whenever you run into someone, it doesn’t matter how old the person is, you are always able to relate to them. That is still the same, and it tells me the legacy of the school is being carried forward. That is so important to us as alumnae.”

Haley is excited about the chance to give back to her alma mater. “It is an honor to be chosen to serve on the Board,” she said. “I wholeheartedly embrace this responsibility and will do my best to do a good job for the school.”

Monday, October 15, 2012

American Culture Program will offer travel and firsthand look at social activism

The American Culture Program is taking applications from sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Randolph College who want to travel, study, develop critical thinking skills, build friendships, and discover the heart of social change in America.

This unique program provides an in-depth examination of the history, people, and issues that shape the culture of the United States. In the spring of 2013, the classes and travel opportunities will focus on the history of social activism.

The American Culture Program gives students the opportunity to
travel and learn about the nation's culture from firsthand experience.
“Students will develop an understanding of the deep social activist roots in the United States, the pains individuals undertake to create change, and an appreciation for their power to affect change,” said Julio Rodriguez, the American Culture Program director and a sociology professor at Randolph.

“It's really an invaluable learning tool,” Lori Lee, the Ainsworth Visiting Professor, who will teach in the American Culture Program in the spring. “Students are going to have the experience that they would get by studying abroad, but while looking at American culture.”

Caitlin Sheehan ’13 participated in the American Culture Program in 2011 after a friend who had previously participated recommended it to her. She said the experience changed her life and made her a better student.

“Academically, it helped me be able to push myself further. I never thought I would be able to study in this way,” Sheehan said. “It's not just spitting facts out on a page. It's creating new ideas, and presenting new ideas, to create a general understanding of what you think we're discussing shapes American culture.”

In the spring of 2013, the program will include four seminar classes on campus and several trips on which students will meet people involved with social activism and conduct firsthand research to discover more about the topic. The biggest trip will take students either to New Orleans to witness the social and economic shifts in the city since Hurricane Katrina, or to Chicago to learn about organized labor. Washington D.C. is the destination for one of the program’s shorter trips.

Want to join the American Culture Program next semester? Find the application in the Randolph College Portal in the "My Links" section. Submit your application by Oct. 29.
“We put students in touch with the people who are actually involved in what we are studying,” Rodriguez said. “When we talk about the coal industry and mountaintop removal, we talk to people who have actually been displaced by mountaintop removal.  Rather than simply reading about sex and sexuality, we’ve talked to sex workers. Rather than simply reading about leisure and the rise and fall of Atlantic City, we visited there and experienced that first-hand.”

The program always benefits from serendipity, too. Rodriguez said that the traveling group usually comes across something unexpected that adds to the experience. “We have been allowed back stage, literally and figuratively, in situations that we could not have foreseen,” he said. “We have bumped into Randolph graduates who have seen the van and have joined us for stretches of the travel. We have stumbled across experts that we didn’t know to turn to when we’re on the road.”

He recalled an unexpected meeting with a carnival worker when the program was exploring “The History of Leisure.” The worker took an interest in the program and offered the students a behind-the-scenes tour of a carnival. “Things like that happen like clockwork, but you never know when they’re going to happen.”

Friday, October 12, 2012

Randolph College to launch interactive, multimedia map and online tour

Randolph College is about to launch a new web app that will make it easier to explore campus—whether you are a prospective student who wants to see the campus from afar, a community member deciding where to park for the next theatre production, or a current student learning more about the campus.

To use the map, just click on the markers to view videos,
photos, 360-degree views, and other multimedia content.
The Interactive Map and Virtual Tour combines a clear, easy-to-read map with multimedia content that will allow people to experience the College in a unique way. Map users can view photos and videos about academic buildings and campus traditions, as well as see several parts of campus with a first-person, 360-degree view as though they are on campus themselves. The map makes it easy to find any building on campus after your GPS or online map service gets you here.

“The map will give students an immersive experience that will make them feel like they are here,” said Michael Quinn, vice president for enrollment management. “We provide a very personalized guided tour for prospective students who visit campus. I believe the map will provide that same experience, and that will lead prospective students to decide to apply.”

“I think that it will encourage some to make an in-person visit—especially when they see the enthusiasm and spirit of the on-camera student guides.”

“This is a great venue for prospective students to get to know campus before they get here,” said Sara Reed ’15, one of several students who starred in the videos featured on the map. “They will be able to feel that they are a part of campus.”

Reed, from California, knows what it is like to learn about Randolph College from a distance. When she drove across the country to attend Randolph, she had never seen more than just a few photos of the campus. Having a tool like the new interactive map would have helped her feel more familiar with the College and more prepared to be a student here, she said.

Efforts to create the new app began earlier this year as the Randolph College Admissions Office sought additional ways to help prospective students see campus. An anonymous foundation provided funding for the project, and the Office of College Relations began the work necessary to create the project. Skip Wallace, a videographer for Randolph College, produced videos that explain and describe the campus academic buildings, residential halls, fine arts venues, athletic facilities, and a  few of the most popular traditions. Gold Key Guides, a group of students who provide tours for people visiting campus, added a personal touch by narrating the videos. Dave Blount, Randolph’s web manager, combined the photos, videos, and 360-degree views into a rich map experience.

The map will become publicly available on Tuesday, Oct. 16, with a link placed on randolphcollege.edu. When it launches, the virtual tour will include more than 20 points on campus, but more multimedia content will be added with time.

Student Center Renovation Update: October 12, 2012

Work on the $6 million Student Center renovation is rapidly moving forward. Flooring is being installed in the new Skeller, the elevator installation is nearly complete, and electrical wiring has begun. See photos of the progress here: http://web.randolphcollege.edu/studentcenter/slideshow/oct12/index.html. Check out comprehensive coverage of the renovation project at www.randolphcollege.edu/studentcenter.

Work has begun on the new outside deck that will wrap around the Student Center.

A view from the WWRM deejay booth on the second floor.

The new theatre on the third floor will provide a unique space for events, lectures, and other performances.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Randolph students listen to Dalai Lama

When he heard the Dalai Lama speak on Wednesday, Paul Rush ’16 had a pleasant surprise. During the first few minutes that the Tibetan Buddhist monk was on stage, he laughed and smiled, and he said several things that made the audience laugh as well.

“Seeing him in person, getting to actually hear his voice, and experiencing his sense of humor struck me a little,” said Rush, one of several Randolph College students who traveled to hear the religious leader speak. “I had guessed he would be very serious. Instead, I saw this humble monk from Tibet.”

Rush, a Buddhist, said seeing the Dalai Lama was an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience for him. “I learned through his anecdotes that all peoples are basically the same, and it is a great tragedy we live as if our world is separated when we are all one people,” he said.

Suzanne Bessenger, a professor of religious studies, took her first-year seminar class on
Buddhism to hear the Dalai Lama speak at the College of William and Mary Wednesday.
The Dalai Lama came to The College of William and Mary, just a few hours from Randolph, as part of his current lecture tour through the United States. In his speech Wednesday, he emphasized the importance of human compassion and religious tolerance. Haylee Reynolds ’16 was impressed that he did not single out Buddhism as something better than other religions, and he said that good people are found in all faiths. “Although the philosophies of the major world religions differ, he said, they all revolve around the basis of compassion,” Reynolds said.

Suzanne Bessenger, a religious studies professor at Randolph, organized the trip for her class, Sons and Daughters of the Buddha, a seminar course for first-year students. The experience added a unique element for students.

“The course explores the world views and introductory philosophies of Buddhism by examining the life stories of some of its more iconic adherents,” Bessenger said. “Having the chance to see the Dalai Lama, arguably one of the most famous Buddhists alive today, was a great opportunity for my students to see the course material in action.

“Not only did they get to hear a world-renowned scholar-practitioner of Buddhism discuss the very same Buddhist concepts we studied in class, but they also had the opportunity to witness first hand a 20th-21st century life and life story intimately shaped by that tradition,” Bessenger added. “It was a tremendous opportunity.”

Here is a video of the Dalai Lama’s speech on Wednesday.

Video streaming by Ustream

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to build ‘soft’ employment skills? Randolph professor and career development director weigh in

Launching a career requires more than the skills and knowledge necessary for getting a job done. Employers increasingly are looking for people with “soft skills” that might not, at first thought, relate directly to a person’s on-the-job duties.

Two online articles recently raised this point. One explained that employers are struggling to find workers who can answer the phone professionally or who have good interpersonal skills. Another explained why one CEO refuses to hire people who cannot use correct spelling and grammar.

Krista Leighton, director of career development, meets with students
to help them assess and improve their preparation for careers.
Krista Leighton, director of career development at Randolph College, explained that those skills and attributes are crucial because of the message they send about employees and the employers they represent. “One person who does not adhere to being professional in every way can affect many people in the organization,” she said.

For example, a bad experience with a phone call—an unprofessional greeting or an incorrect call transfer—could sour a customer’s experience with a company, Leighton said.

Bunny Goodjohn, a Randolph English professor and director of tutoring services, added that grammar and spelling help ensure clear and effective communication.

Bunny Goodjohn, an English professor, recommends
reading well-written material to improve writing skills.
“We live in a world of mindless writing—hasty e-mails, two-thumb texts, a scribbled post-it note here and there,” Goodjohn said. However, “I am seeing a groundswell of support for good writing among employers in a host of different professions from sales to marketing, from human resources to engineering.”

Here are some tips Goodjohn and Leighton pointed out for developing the kinds of skills and attributes that will, in combination with an excellent education, help people get jobs after college.

Goodjohn recommends that the best way to develop more professional writing skills requires reading good material. “My advice to students would be that they read something decent with a group of friends and then talk about it. It doesn’t have to be something heavy—they just have to engage with the words,” she said.

Well-written magazines such as Sports Illustrated are a good start, she added.

Randolph’s Writing Across the Curriculum program helps students develop these skills by incorporating expectations for good writing in every course, not just English classes, she said.

Leighton said students should find a mentor who can honestly assess their career development. In addition to professors and former employers, students can find this type of mentoring in Randolph’s Experiential Learning Center. There, Leighton and other staff members can help students assess their career interests, explore internship opportunities, and engage in other career preparation activities.

Leighton pointed out that students can, and should, take advantage of those services as early as their first year in college. “The earlier a college student works on this process, the more satisfied and successful they will be in their career preparation.”

Friday, October 5, 2012

News broadcast features Randolph rhetoric class about presidential debate

This week's debate between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney provided plenteous material for analysis by Randolph College students in Jennifer Gauthier's rhetoric class.

Every presidential election year, Gauthier, a communication studies professor, focuses her rhetoric class on the presidential race and the debates. Students watch the debates and then discuss the communication methods in class.

This class was featured in a recent news broadcast on WSET, a local ABC television affiliate. Two students, Tyler Gilchrist '14 and Alyssa DeNisco '14, were interviewed for the segment.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sushi Friday

Fridays mean something new and great in our dining hall this year:


This summer, Randolph’s dining services staff took a course in sushi preparation and designated every Friday as Sushi Friday. Each week, chefs serve up one or two variations of sushi, along with noodles and soy sauce.

Gage Stuntz ’13 was one of the students happy to hear about the new option in Cheatham Dining Hall. “When I first heard of Sushi Fridays I was very excited,” he said. “I love sushi and I thought it would be nice to have it on campus.”

Stuntz said Randolph's sushi tatests better every week as the chefs perfect the recipe. “It definitely makes the selection in the dining hall more diverse, which is great,” he said.

Sushi Fridays will continue weekly through the end of the Fall 2012 semester. In the spring, sushi will be served every other Friday.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mom of three fulfills educational dream at Randolph

Cindy Ferguson ’13 has lived two blocks from Randolph College for nearly 20 years. When her children were small, she used to bring her family to have dinner on campus. “It was a great way to find babysitters,” she said.

She never thought a degree from Randolph would be in her future.

“I grew up in a really dysfunctional family, with parents that weren’t involved in school. Education seemed like it wasn’t really important to them,” Ferguson said. Although she dreamed of being a middle school guidance counselor, she felt she had to put those hopes on hold. She worked in several jobs, taught herself computer skills, became a paralegal, and volunteered in a recovery mission at her church, all while raising her family.

Cindy Ferguson ’13 transferred to Randolph to
continue pursuing her dream of finishing college
A few years ago, Ferguson’s oldest daughter came home from middle school with a poignant question: “Do you have any regrets?”

The resulting conversation led to Ferguson to enroll in college a few months later, with the support and encouragement of her husband Robert and their three children.

Today, Ferguson is preparing to graduate with a degree in psychology from Randolph. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in counseling. She is determined to have the career she always wanted. She hopes she can help middle and high school students make wise decisions and attend college. “I want to encourage other students to think not just about where they are right now, but to think about what choices they can make right now that would help their future be better.”

Before enrolling at Randolph, Ferguson attended Central Virginia Community College and received an associate’s degree. When she learned about Randolph’s highly ranked psychology department, she decided to continue her undergraduate education here.

Transferring to Randolph
Community college students in Virginia are guaranteed admission to Randolph College if they meet the requirements of an agreement between Randolph and the community college system. Visit our website to learn more about transferring to Randolph.
Randolph has been exactly what Fergusan hoped it would be. “I don’t think I’ve had any class that I’ve disliked,” she said. “I love that the class sizes are small so you get to have more conversations than lectures. The professors are just incredible.”

Despite the fact that some of her classmates are only a few years older than Ferguson’s children, she doesn’t feel out of place. “I think I fit in here because it is so diverse,” she said. “Everyone is learning from each other. I feel like everyone is my peer here.”

Attending Randolph means taking part in traditions that seemed silly for an adult at first, such as decorating academic robes with buttons and wearing a funny hat and singing College songs. But Ferguson has come to enjoy those traditions and the way they bind her to other students and to the school’s history. “Sometimes you just need to step out and see how much fun it really can be,” she said. “That’s not just about school, that's about life.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Greek Play presents war drama in the way theatre was invented

Randolph College students are prepared to transport audiences 2,500 years into the past to experience a war drama as an original Greek audience may have seen it.

Seven Against Thebes, the 2012 Greek Play, will be performed Friday–Sunday, Oct. 5–7, at 4 p.m. In this play by Aeschylus, the sons of the Greek tragic hero Oedipus go to war against each other. The citizens of the besieged city Thebes fear the fate that might meet their city and its leader as, one by one, generals are sent to stop the invading army at each of the city’s seven gates. The Randolph actors will perform the play using original practices—including theatrical masks that amplify their voices; song and dance; and an outdoor theatre much like those used in ancient Greece.

The cast of Seven Against Thebes rehearses in the campus chapel. The performances,
beginning Oct. 5, are in the Mabel Whiteside Greek Theatre (The Dell.)
“You should come see our play for the reasons you should go see any play—to be involved and be entertained,” said Amy Cohen, the play’s director and a Randolph classics professor. “You should see a play in the way that the people who invented western drama did it. You get to be a Greek audience for a day in our beautiful theatre.”

The biannual Greek Play is a treasured tradition at Randolph College. Mabel Whiteside, who taught Latin and Greek at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College for 50 years, started producing Greek plays with her students. The College revived the tradition 12 years ago. Now a part of the College’s new Center for Ancient Drama, the play is held during the Ancient Drama in Performance conference at the College.

Karen Rose ’13 shows off the mask she wears in Seven Against
 in the outdoor theatre that hosts the Greek Play.
Seven Against Thebes tells the story of a war between Eteocles and Polynices, the sons of Oedipus who disagree on how to share power over the city of Thebes. Polynices brings an army against the city to seize control. Eteocles, played by Claudia Troyer ‘14, sends generals to defend each of the city’s gates. When Polynices himself leads a group of warriors at the seventh gate, Eteocles goes to lead the defense.

“It’s a short, sharp play,” Cohen said. “It is about patriotism, how you engage patriotism, and what it means to fight for your country—but also what the consequences of that are.”

“From the perspective of this play, and the way the audience is involved in this play, we want Thebes to win,” Cohen said. “Thebes does win, but there’s a price.”