Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 14, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“That’s the best part: The people.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Student Center Renovation Update: December 13, 2012

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

http://web.randolphcollege.edu/studentcenter/slideshow/dec13/index.html

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

Construction is well underway on the new Michels Plaza.

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

Flooring is being installed on the main level.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 10, 2012

Randolph students teach science at local elementary school

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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