Friday, December 20, 2013

Randolph College announces new vice president for finance and administration

Randolph College President Bradley W. Bateman today announced the appointment of James Manaro as vice president for finance and administration. Manaro, who brings more than 25 years of higher education finance and budgeting experience, was chosen after a highly competitive and extensive national search. He will assume the position in February.

“We are pleased to welcome Jim to the Randolph College community,” Bateman said. “His breadth of knowledge and valuable experience in higher education make him the perfect addition to the College’s Senior Staff.”

Manaro comes to Randolph from Washington College in Maryland, where he has served as senior vice president for finance and administration since 2007. His responsibilities at Washington College include oversight of the planning and construction of capital projects as well as all fiscal matters.

“I am looking forward to working with faculty, staff, trustees and the friends of Randolph College,” Manaro said.

His extensive career includes experience in higher education and the business field. Before Washington College, Manaro served as senior vice president for finance and administration at Clarkson University in New York and vice president for finance and treasurer at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. He has also worked as vice president for institutional and public finance at the Student Loan Marketing Association ("Sallie Mae"), assistant to the vice president for finance at Yale University, financial manager for the City of San Francisco, associate deputy administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, and budget analyst in the Congressional Budget Office.

Manaro earned a baccalaureate of science degree at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a master's degree in public policy and administration from SUNY Stony Brook's Averell Harriman College.

He will replace Mitch Wesolowski, who has served in the position on an interim basis during the year-long national search. “We must express our gratitude to Mitch for his hard work and dedication while he has served as our interim chief financial officer,” Bateman said.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Randolph President Bradley Bateman addresses White House education initiative in op-ed for the New York Times.

The New York Times published an editorial today by Randolph College President Bradley W. Bateman. The op-ed addressed Bateman's concerns regarding President Obama's new initiative to increase access to post-secondary education, which includes a system of rating colleges and universities.

Bateman, along with other college and university presidents from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities as well as the Annapolis Group, recently met in Washington, D.C. to discuss the issue with representatives from the White House. The presidents in attendance were unanimously in support of efforts to improve access to post-secondary education for those from low-income households but also were unanimously against the President’s rating initiative.

Bateman believes the ratings system, which is anticipated to be rolled out in Spring 2014, may harm institutions that are doing the most good for the nation’s poorest students. It discourages colleges from taking risky students who might not continue to graduation or might not earn significant salaries upon graduation. 

Read the editorial here:  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Local high school student conducts superconductor research with Randolph physics professor

With the help of a Randolph College physics professor, a Local high school student is researching ways superconductors could help planes take off from aircraft carriers more quickly.

Sam Lee, a student at the Central Virginia Governor’s School for Science and Technology, became interested in the idea after seeing an online video that demonstrated how some materials, when dropped to extremely low temperatures, have no electrical resistance and repel magnetism. This can cause a superconductor to actually float over a source of magnetism.

Peter Sheldon, a Randolph physics professor who has worked with superconductors before, volunteered to help Lee design a research project related to those interests.

At first, Lee was interested in perpetual motion. Then he thought about using superconductors to actually propel an aircraft. He said Sheldon helped him zero in on a more plausible idea: levitating aircraft.

“If the airplane is levitating, there will not be any friction,” Lee said. “It would have a shorter take off distance, and will take off in shorter time.”

To know whether that idea could work, Sheldon and Lee are testing to see how the resistance caused by magnetic forces compares to the resistance caused by friction. Lee is using a puck made of YBCO (Yittrium Barium Copper Oxide). He uses liquid nitrogen to drop the puck to 77 Kelvin, or -196 degrees Celsius, at which point the puck demonstrates superconductor properties. Lee then allows the puck to levitate and travel across a magnetic track at various inclines and records the velocity at the end of the track.

Lee plans to finish taking data this week, after which he and Sheldon will compare the actual velocity to what velocity would be expected in an environment without any resistance.

After cooled in liquid nitrogen, this puck made of the superconductor YBCO will float over a magnetic track
“There is damping force, but it’s almost equal to zero,” Lee said, based on preliminary observations.

Lee said he has enjoyed working with Sheldon on his first real research project. Sheldon, who also directs Randolph’s Center for Student Research, is pleased to see a high school student getting hands-on experience with scientific research.

“The best way to learn science is to do science,” Sheldon said. “Getting involved with research early and often is really important in getting students engaged in science.

“By having the opportunity to do research at the college level while he’s in high school, Sam can see what kinds of resources we can have in a college and get a glimpse of the kind of things that he can do when he gets to college.”

Monday, December 16, 2013

New honor kitchen opened in Webb Hall

Randolph College recently opened its first honor kitchen to provide more amenities in residence halls while also giving students another privilege based on the Honor Code.

Glenna Gray ’14, chair of the judiciary committee, and Jim Kwon ’14, president of
student government, show some dishes and utensils in the new honor kitchen.
Located in the large lounge on the lower floor of Webb Hall, the honor kitchen is stocked with all of the general utensils that a student might need to cook a meal including pots, pans, baking sheets, and more. Students are trusted to take care of the kitchen items as well as clean them after use.

Jim Kwon ’14, student government president, was excited to see this concept come to life. “I thought the honor kitchen would be a great way to provide students with kitchen utensils, which are expensive to buy, as well as to provide an additional environment where the honor system is integrated with student's life,” he said.

If the honor kitchen in Webb is successful, the concept may be implemented in other student kitchens in Randolph’s residence halls.

Randolph College’s historic Honor Code supports the College’s mission to prepare students to “live and work honorably.” It provides students with privileges such as un-proctored, self-scheduled final exams, and creates an environment of responsibility, allowing students to administer the Honor Code. Learn more about the Honor Code in our most recent “Why Randolph?” video.

Randolph physics students organization wins national award

The Randolph College chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has been recognized again as one of the best SPS chapters in the nation.

This month, the national society honored the Randolph chapter with an Outstanding SPS Chapter Award. Fewer than 10 percent of SPS chapters, or about one per state, receive this designation. Randolph’s chapter has earned the title for eight out of the past nine years.

“I am proud of these students for yet again earning this Outstanding Chapter award,” said Peter Sheldon, a Randolph physics professor and advisor to the SPS. “This acknowledges their work in conducting research and in teaching the community about science.”

Randolph’s SPS organizes and runs the annual Randolph College Science Festival, which attracts more than 1,000 people to various events that celebrate science and teach about its connection to all aspects of life. The students also host events for other Randolph students and work on “build projects,” such as a giant Newton’s cradle—with bowling balls suspended from a wooden frame—that the group has been building this semester.

The award letter from Toni Sauncy, director of SPS, specifically mentioned the Science Festival and a science Jeopardy activity as reasons for the Outstanding Chapter designation.

“You and your officers have earned a moment in the spotlight to recognize the efforts that you make to build community and propel students into their careers as prepared professionals,” Sauncy said in the letter.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Study abroad programs offer life-changing experiences

Studying abroad is a life-changing experience for many Randolph students. Their time beyond the red brick wall in places such as England, Denmark, or Spain are times of academic growth and personal enrichment.

Study Abroad

Deadlines are approaching for Randolph College Abroad: The World in Britain and three international study seminars scheduled for summer 2014. Contact leading professors or the Dean of the College office for more information.

Randolph College Abroad: The World in Britain
Application due: December 21, 2013
One of the top-ranked study abroad programs in Britain, this program offers students either one semester or a full academic year in Reading, England.
Contact Paul Irwin, the Charles A. Dana Professor of Mathematics, or William Coulter, the Eichelbaum Professor of English, for an application

Media Industries and Cultural Production
June 18 – July 2, 2014
Application due: January 24, 2014
Experience the media and cultural heritage of Peru while visiting a film studio, a television network, an advertising company, and a national newspaper.
Led by professor Chad Beck

Museums, Memorials, and Memory: Britain and the Two World Wars
May 19–June 1
Application due: January 24, 2014
How does a nation remember war? What gets forgotten and why? What stories do museums and monuments tell about war, death, loss, heroism, and national pride?
Led by professors Jennifer Gauthier and Gerry Sherayko

Archaeological Conservation Institute
May 20-June 17
Application due: February 1, 2014
The Archaeological Conservation Institute provides instruction and hands-on experience in conservation methods of Roman frescoes and mosaics and stone-carving.
Led by: Susan Stevens, the Catherine E. and William E. Thoresen Chair in Humanities
Lauren Wilbur ’14 saw that firsthand when she spent an entire year in Reading, England with the Randolph College Abroad: The World in Britain program. “It’s extremely important to experience other cultures around the world,” said Wilbur.

While abroad, Wilbur took full advantage of many opportunities. She took classes at Reading University and Oxford University, including a one-on-one tutorial with a professor. She joined clubs such as the Reading University Circus Arts Society, and a Harry Potter society. She visited places such as Bath, Bristol, Stonehenge, York, Paris and Berlin.

“A lot of people think that they don’t need to go outside of America, because our country is so diverse in climate and landscape, but traveling abroad is more about the culture and experiencing how people in other places interact with each other,” Wilbur said.

Dean Paula Wallace recognizes the personal and academic benefits of studying abroad, but also notes that it makes a student more marketable to employers as well. “Learning how to embrace ambiguity, how to communicate, and how to be flexible and adaptable are all things they are looking for in a potential employee,” she said.

Randolph’s study abroad opportunities are vast and vary in length, location, and focus. Randolph has affiliations with programs in England, France, Greece, Denmark, and Spain. Students are able to study abroad for a year, semester, or even a summer. Those looking for a particular focus can participate in Randolph’s own international study seminars, which are two-week abroad experiences with faculty from the college. This summer seminars to Peru and England are being offered.

Wilbur said that Randolph students who study abroad have the opportunity not only to learn about other cultures, but also to help people in other countries learn about their own. “You’re a volunteer ambassador for your country and people are making decisions about the United States because of your actions,” she said. “Try to be the open minded American, and you will be rewarded many times over.”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Randolph ranks #13 for best professors—Find out why in new video

Randolph College continues to be recognized for having some of the best professors in the country—the College was ranked 13th in the nation by this year. Students explain why their professors deserve these accolades in a new video published today in the College’s new “Why Randolph?” video series.

“Why Randolph?” is a weekly look at factors that prompt students to choose Randolph College. Each video features students and faculty members discussing what makes Randolph unique.

The new “Why Randolph?” showcases several students and professors explaining the close ties that exist in our community. More than 90 percent of Randolph’s professors hold the highest degrees in their field, and they take time to offer students personal attention, individualized instruction, and research opportunities that help students maximize their potential.

The ranking this year was based on data collected by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in 2012, which analyzes student responses on to rank colleges and universities.

To see more “Why Randolph?” videos, visit and subscribe to the College’s content on Facebook and Vimeo.

Students study Tunisian bones for archaeological excavation

Olivia Reed ’16 carefully removed a handful of 1,300 year-old human bones from a dusty plastic bag. Sifting through them one by one, she analyzed and identified them. Reed knew the names of some bones almost immediately, but she consulted a nearby skeleton to identify others.

One bone fragment puzzled her, so she asked Igor Bayder ’14 to give his thoughts. “I wonder if it goes with my skull,” said Bayder, who had started assembling a cranium nearby.

Reed and Bayder are among a group of students helping to piece together life from an a Roman-era church in Carthage, Tunisia. Susan Stevens, a Randolph classics professor and the Catherine E. and William E. Thoresen Chair in Humanities, has led the excavation and study of that site since the early 1990s.

Stevens began working on the church because of her interest in burial practices during the time when Christianity grew in the Roman Empire. “It’s one way of looking at a transformation from the ancient period to the medieval period,” she said.

Many of Stevens’ students have gained hands-on experience with archaeology and anthropology while helping study artifacts from the site. Earlier this year, she solicited the assistance of a group of students who help with Randolph’s Natural History Collection.


Analyzing Tunisian bones is one of several opportunities for students on the Randolph College Natural History Collections team.

Read a Randolph magazine story about a behind-the-scenes tour they got at the Smithsonian earlier this year.
Reed, Bayder, and others are classifying and measuring the bones excavated from the crypt. Their data will help determine the minimum number of people who were buried there, which will help Stevens gauge the size of the community that worshipped there.

“It’s kind of a detective story,” said Stevens.

The students also are looking at the bones for signs of disease and injuries that will reveal what the community’s health was like, Stevens said. For example, Bayder pointed out a bone that had deformed areas that could signal cancer.

The students have enjoyed getting to work with real archeological material that also relates to their other academic interests. “I can basically identify the entire skeleton now,” said Reed, who plans to practice medicine someday.

Next spring, the team will work on extracting DNA from the bones for analysis that would provide further insight into the number of people there.

Emily Patton Smith ’12, Randolph’s Natural History Collections manager, said Stevens’ project is helping students set themselves apart from those they will compete against for jobs or graduate school admissions. “There’s a lot of crossover between the archeological disciplines and the sciences that I think is underutilized,” she said. “It’s something that not every biology major is going to have on their resumes.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Vespers 2013 includes Vivaldi's "Gloria" and favorite carols Dec. 8

A long-held holiday tradition continues this weekend as the Randolph College Chorale and Chamber Orchestra present Christmas Vespers.

The annual musical celebrates the Christmas season with performances of carols and other music interspersed with readings of scripture and poetry about Christmas.

This year, the program includes Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” a beloved Baroque Christmas composition. Other songs include “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen,” part of which the audience will be invited to sing with the performers.

Christmas Vespers will begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 8, in Houston Memorial Chapel.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Randolph College Chamber Orchestra holds first solo concert Dec. 6

The Randolph College Chamber Orchestra will present its first solo concert this week, featuring six works from five composers, including Haydn and Brahms.

The orchestra was formed in the spring of 2012, and currently includes eight students who perform in concerts with professional musicians. In past years, the orchestra has performed along with Chorale, but it has developed enough to have its own concert.

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 6, in Smith Hall Theatre. The repertoire will include “hidden gems to well-known treasures,” said Randall Speer, director of the chamber orchestra and a Randolph College music professor. The works include Notturno in C by Franz Joseph Haydn and Fantasia on “Greensleeves” by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

In addition to the Randolph students, the chamber orchestra includes two students from E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg.

“It is truly an honor to lead this fine group of students,” Speer said. “My deepest gratitude is extended to Randolph College for its truly remarkable support in bravely establishing a chamber orchestra as part of our curriculum.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

Edward Hopper and Walker Evans discussed in documentary viewing and lecture at the Maier

Two upcoming events at the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College will focus on two American artists who realistically documented the lives of everyday in the 20th century, even as many of their peers modern European styles of art.

Mrs. Scott's House by Edward Hopper is part of the collection
at the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College.
At 1 p.m. on December 2, the Maier will screen the documentary Edward Hopper: A National Gallery of Art Film which discusses the painter and printmaker’s works and influences, The documentary combines archival photographs and film with current footage of locations that he painted. Actor and art collector Steve Martin narrates the film.

One week later, on December 9 at 1 p.m., audiences can return to the Maier to learn more about Edward Hopper as well as Walker Evans, a photographer who documented life during the Great Depression, when Jeffrey Allison presents “An American Silence: Walker Evans & Edward Hopper.” Allison, the Paul Mellon Collection educator and statewide programs coordinator for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, will discuss the works of both artists, who distinguished themselves from many of their peers at the beginning of the 20th century by not following the fads towards a European influence, but rather staying true to their own style.

The Maier collection includes works by both Hopper and Evans. In fact, Hopper’s Mrs. Scott’s House was it was the first purchase made possible by the Louise Jordan Smith Fund in 1936.

Allison’s lecture is made possible because the Maier’s is an educational partner with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Earlier this semester, this educational partnership brought Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda to discuss ekphrastic poetry at the Maier.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Randolph couple hosts students for Thanksgiving

Every November, some Randolph students find a home for Thanksgiving without having to look far.

Randall Speer, a music professor, and Karen Speer ’04, who works in the registrar’s office, invite College students to join them for Thanksgiving dinner. While some students go visit their own families or go home with friends, the Speers set a place for students who stay on campus over the break.

“We both had experiences when we were in college and we were stranded on campus during the holidays,” said Randy Speer, noting that one year his wife’s Thanksgiving dinner consisted of Cheez Whiz and crackers. “We promised ourselves that when I got a full-time teaching position, we would offer this to students.”

They hosted a couple of students their first Thanksgiving at Randolph, but the tradition has grown. Sometimes they host more than a dozen students, including international students who need a place to go. “We always have room, even if we have to set up a TV tray and let someone eat on the couch,” Karen Speer said.

There was only one year that the Thanksgiving meal almost did not happen: an oven fire threatened the feast. They extinguished the flames and went to the store to purchase another oven.

Students, faculty, staff, and other friends gather at the Speers’ house at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. Shortly thereafter, they take turns telling the group what they are thankful for, and then the meal begins.

Igor Bayder ’14, a senior from Moscow, Russia, is looking forward to his fourth Thanksgiving with the Speer family. “I am friends with the whole family, so it is a time for me to hang out with them, and the food itself is very enjoyable,” he said.

Students do not need to bring food to contribute to the meal, but the Speers do ask students to let them know in advance if they plan to come.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2013 International Photo Contest winners

The Randolph College International Photo Contest winners have been announced.

First Place
Children Selling Floating Lanterns in Hoi An, Vietnam, by Ngoc “Kelly” Pham ’16
Hoi An is known for its beautiful lanterns that line streets and are floated down the river. Originally, the lanterns were released to guide spirits to a happy resting place. Today, one night each month is designated as a “lantern festival” when all electric lights are turned off and lanterns are used instead.

Second Place
Little Boy Riding a Water Buffalo, Sapa, Vietnam, by Phuong Tran ’15

Third Place
London at Night, by Mi Dan Nguyen ’14
This photo was taken during a solo backpacking trip in Great Britain.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tutoring services help students make the grade

As final exams approach, Randolph’s tutoring department is a busy place.

Although many students utilize the College’s tutoring services all semester long, many are seeking a little extra assistance hoping to improve that final grade just a bit. Randolph tutors encourage this practice, even if students are doing well in a class and just hope to do better.

Student tutors gather for a training meeting
“Some of the brightest people that I know still use tutors for help in subjects that they want to improve in,” said Alyssa Everett ’15, a tutor who assists students with chemistry and physics classes.

Randolph serves students with three different types of tutors: learning strategies tutors, subject tutors, and writing lab tutors. The College has about 65 student tutors, and each tutor has been recognized for their academic strengths and are recommended by faculty or staff members.

All tutors complete regular training so they can assist Randolph students in the most effective way possible. Sandeep Poudyal ’16 found the training helped him realize the importance of empathy and understanding an individual’s learning style.

Three Kinds of Tutors

Learning strategies tutors help students with study skills, note taking, and time management. See Tina Barnes, coordinator of Disability Services and the Learning Strategies Program, to request a learning strategies tutor.

Subject tutors have excelled in a particular class and provide further explanations or answer questions about their areas of expertise. Find a subject tutor by searching for "Tutoring Services" in the My Links section of the Portal.

Writing lab tutors excel in English and help students through any part of the writing process. Request a writing tutor by searching for "Writing Lab Appointments" in the My Links section of the Portal.
“Before I was a tutor, I would help my friends with economics or math and would talk to them as if it were so simple. I didn’t realize it wasn’t so simple for them,” said Poudyal. In the training, “we were encouraged to empathize with them. It sounds simple, but you should look at it from their point of view.”

While still occasionally helping students in math or economics, Poudyal officially serves as a learning strategies tutor. He sees quite a bit of value in the tutoring program at Randolph—not only does he serve as a tutor, but he has also utilized the assistance of a subject tutor. “Sometimes the professor is intimidating or what they say is not installed in your head, but when a peer says, it can be more effective,” said Poudyal.

Many Randolph students seem to agree with Poudyal and seek tutors for assistance throughout the semester. Everett said she has about five or six appointments to tutor each week, but sometimes she has as many as eight or 10. “Some people keep consistent appointments and others just come to me as needed,” she said.

Poudyal formerly attended a school where there was a stigma against tutoring. “People didn’t understand that you could get a tutor even if you are good at something, just to stay good at it,” he said, noting that the environment is different at Randolph. “Here people do not criticize you if you have a tutor. It’s free help; Why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? There is always room for improvement.”

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pearl S. Buck centennial graduation anniversary celebration begins with Anchee Min lecture

Speaking at Randolph College allowed Anchee Min to answer some long-held questions about Pearl S. Buck, one of her literary inspirations who graduated in the Class of 1914.

“I said yes to this invitation because I was very curious about this College,” said Min. “I wanted to know what kind of school had prepared and shaped Pearl Buck’s mind at the critical thinking level and also at the global level.”

Anchee Min signs books after her lecture at Randolph College.

Min, a novelist and memoirist, visited Randolph this week to begin a celebration of Buck’s centennial graduation anniversary. Tuesday afternoon, she attended a combined session of two writing classes and talked about the process of writing, her life in China, and her respect for Buck. She shared her story during a public lecture.

As a child, Min spent her summers not far from the region of China where Buck grew up. She first heard of Buck, though, when she was in middle school, and students were assigned to write essays denouncing Buck and her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Good Earth, which teachers and communist leaders claimed was insulting to Chinese peasants.

Decades later, Min was given a copy of The Good Earth while on a book tour in the United States. Reading the novel she had once denounced was an awakening experience. “I have never read any authors who portrayed our peasants with such love, affection, and compassion,” she said. She decided right then she would someday write a book about Buck.

Min told the audience at Randolph how she set out to learn more about Buck, visiting Buck’s home and interviewing many people who knew her. She wrote Pearl of China, a novel that portrays Buck as the friend of a young Chinese girl. Central to the book is her depiction of Buck as a loving and compassionate person. “Pearl Buck never lost her love and her faith in China,” Min said.

Visiting writer positions named for Pearl S. Buck and Anne Spencer

Randolph College has renamed two of aspects of its Visiting Writers program in honor two authors with ties to the College and Lynchburg: Anne Spencer and Pearl S. Buck, a member of the Class of 1914.

Laura-Gray Street, an English professor and coordinator of Randolph’s creative writing program, announced the new names yesterday during an event celebrating the centennial anniversary of Buck’s graduation from the College. “Both women were from small towns and small colleges, and they produced very powerful writing and changed the world in significant ways,” Street said. “This acknowledges our debt to these writers, and it honors their connections with the College.”

Buck graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 1914 and later won the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. She authored more than 100 books, stories, and essays, including many that helped bridge cultural gaps between China and the west.

Anne Spencer, a well-known Harlem Renaissance poet and civil rights activist, lived in Lynchburg with her husband, who delivered mail to the College. She also occasionally met with students from R-MWC at her home. Through a formal partnership, the College and the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum work together to provide educational opportunities to students.

Street said it is fitting to honor these women. “These are authors who we hold up as examples for our own writers here,” Street said. “Anne Spencer was an important civil rights activist and did a lot in the community. Pearl Buck’s writing takes you into the experience of another culture and immerses you in it in a way that helps you understand things that are very different than your own lives and experiences.”

The College hosts several writers each year for four-week sessions during which they focus on writing, teach a class, and give public readings. Clifford Garstang, a fiction writer who is at Randolph this fall and will give a public reading tonight, is the first official Pearl S. Buck Writer-in-Residence. Last month, Garstang won the Library of Virginia 2013 Literary Award for Fiction for his novel What the Zhang Boys Know, which tells the story of a Chinese family living in America.

Shara Lessley, a widely published poet and author of Two-Headed Nightingale, will be the first Anne Spencer Poet-in-Residence and will give a public reading on March 26, 2014.

The College’s emerging writer position, which brings a writer who has not yet published a full-length book, has been renamed the Randolph Writer-in-Residence.

The Randolph College Visiting Writer Series is supported by The Carolyn Wilkerson Bell ’65 Visiting Scholar Fund, which was created and endowed through the generosity of the Maier Foundation, Inc. in 1976. The Foundation inaugurated the Visiting Scholar Program in order to encourage excellence in the composition of English prose and poetry at the College.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Faculty member tracks sightings of rare white deer

Randolph faculty and staff members have been fascinated lately with sightings of rare white deer.

Doug Shedd, the Catherine Ehrman Thoresen `23 and William E. Thoresen Professor of Biology, said white deer of any kind are fairly rare, and true albino deer are nearly unheard of. But last year, some members of the College community noticed a ghostly white deer near the campus and began asking Shedd about it.

Since then, Shedd has collected information on white deer sightings, including descriptions and photos. He has seen white deer a couple of times near the College campus, and some have reported seeing a deer on campus.

Shedd has determined that there are multiple white deer in the neighborhood, although most probably are not true albino deer.

Anyone seeing a white deer in the area can contact Shedd with details about the sighting so he can learn more about the campus wildlife.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Visiting writer Clifford Garstang teaching at Randolph, will give public reading Nov. 13

Just a few weeks after winning a statewide literary award for fiction writing, Clifford Garstang is teaching Randolph College students about the craft of writing.

Garstang is Randolph’s writer-in-residence this fall. In addition to teaching a class, he will give a public reading from his novel What the Zhang Boys Know at 8:15 p.m.Wednesday, November 13, in the Alice Ashley Jack Room in Smith Memorial Hall.

What the Zhang Boys Know tells the stories of people who live in the same condominium complex in Washington, D.C., but focuses on a Chinese father and his sons. The book recently won the Library of Virginia 2013 Literary Award For Fiction.

Garstang practiced law for 20 years before he decided it was time for a change. Having always had a love for fiction writing, he turned to his master of fine arts training and started on his first collection of short stories. “It was a new millennium; it seemed like an auspicious time to make a switch,” said Garstang.

His first book, In an Uncharted Country, was a collection of linked short stories that shared some characters as well as the setting. This book caught the attention of Bunny Goodjohn, director of the Writing Program, and Sarah Taylor ’12 when Taylor was working on a collection of linked stories for a senior honors project. “We both fell in love with the work,” said Goodjohn.

While at Randolph for the visiting writer program, Garstang is teaching a special topics class in creative writing. By the end of the class, students will have each finished a short story. Garstang also has encouraged other types of writing. He took students to the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College and each wrote a short piece of ekphrastic flash fiction.

Goodjohn is glad to have Garstang here for the class and for Wednesday’s reading. “He’s a great storyteller and a generous teacher. The combination makes for a wonderful visiting writer,” she said.

Summer Research project plays in film festival this weekend

This weekend, independent film lovers in Oregon will watch a film made at Randolph College.

Beholder, which was created as part of the Randolph College Summer Research Program this year, was accepted in the Mt. Hood Independent Film Festival in Hood River, Oregon. Beholder will be screened at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 9.

“Being accepted to the Mt. Hood Film Festival was both incredibly exciting and validating,” said Ashley Peisher ’15, one of the students who worked on the film. “It’s easy to fall in love with something you pour your time and abilities into, so it was fantastic to hear that it was valued by others on such a level. It felt like we had done the message justice.”

Beholder tells the story of a man who carries his ailing father into the mountains in hopes that his father will learn to see the beauty in the world. Jim Peterson, a Randolph English professor who retired this year, wrote it as a play. Peisher worked with Sonja Cirilo ’15, former Randolph theatre professor Mace Archer, Randolph videographer Skip Wallace, and others to turn the play into a short film. They recorded it on a nearby mountainside in June.

As part of the Summer Research Program, they explored the techniques used in adapting a play for the screen. The experience helped the students learn about everything from storyboarding to post-production editing. “I’ve tried to branch out as much as I can within our theatre department, so it was a truly beautiful experience to dip my toes into film,” Peisher said. “It has given me a new perspective on the difference between the two crafts.”

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Corban Addison to speak at Randolph Nov. 13

Only a few years ago, Corban Addison had no idea how widespread human trafficking and forced prostitution had become, infesting cities and towns across the United States as developing countries. His wife suggested a novel on the topic, and after months of heart-wrenching research, he wrote A Walk Across the Sun.

Addison will speak at 7 p.m. November 13 in Nichols Theatre in the Randolph College Student Center.

The book details the adventures of a lawyer who sets out to rescue two Indian girls who were kidnapped and forced into prostitution after a tsunami ravaged their village. Jennifer Dugan, a political science professor at Randolph, invited Addison so students could learn from him about human trafficking, which remains a pervasive global problem.

“It’s one vivid and disturbing form of human insecurity that paradoxically gets worse when the global economy does better,” Dugan said. “It’s one of the more complex issues of our time.”

Dugan hopes students with an interest in global politics and issues will come away with ideas about long-term solutions to human trafficking, but she also hopes students interested in creative writing will learn about the process of translating real-life research into a fictional story.

In addition to his speech Wednesday evening, Addison will visit two classes and eat lunch at Randolph on November 14 to hold further discussions with students.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Retired faculty member donates fossils to Randolph College Natural History Collection

The Randolph College Department of Biology held a reception Nov. 1 to celebrate the donation of about 300 fossils to the Randolph College Natural History Collection.
Chris Goldman, right, donated fossils which
Will Guzman '15 cleaned for Randolph's
natural history collection.

Chris Goldman, a retired Randolph political science professor, and his wife, Carol, donated the fossils and attended the reception.

Goldman has a personal interest in fossils and has collected many found in Virginia and West Virginia. Earlier this year, he decided to donate his personal fossil collection to the College. Students who work with the Natural History Collection moved the fossils to the campus, and Will Guzman ’15 helped clean the fossils and restored a storage cabinet for them this summer.

The fossils are now part of the College’s multi-faceted collection of preserved artifacts that allow students to examine natural history up close. The collection includes bones, rocks, minerals, birds, insects, and other animals that have been preserved for study.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Independent film festival selects film produced in Summer Research

A film created by students, faculty, and staff in the Randolph College Summer Research Program has been accepted into the Mt. Hood Independent Film Festival.

The Hood River, Oregon, festival will screen Beholder on Saturday, November 9.

Beholder was written by Jim Peterson, a Randolph English professor who retired this year. Ashley Peisher ’15 and Sonja Cirilo ’15 worked with Mace Archer, who was a Randolph theatre professor, and Skip Wallace, a videographer for the College, this summer to turn it into a film.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fall dance concert highlights student choreography

Student talents will take center stage this weekend as the Randolph Dance program presents its annual Fall Showcase.

The seven-piece performance is choreographed and organized completely by students. Seniors Lauren Boergert and Chloe Tong led the organization for this concert, but each student in the dance program has contributed in various ways.

2013 Fall Dance Showcase

8 p.m. Nov. 1 & Nov. 2
Smith Hall Theatre
Tickets: $5 general admission, $2 for students
Amanda Fischer ’15 is quite excited about the diversity of the pieces in the showcase. “Some years it is all one style, but this year it is all different; ballet, modern, hip hop, and pedestrian style,” she said. “Even though they are all different styles, it melds into one show quite nicely.”

Fischer is one of six student choreographers who have crafted pieces for the showcase. Titled “Perspectives,” it is a modern style dance about how people can see the same thing and still have different views of what it is, means, or represents. In addition to her own piece, she will dance in three others, including a ballet solo choreographed by Lindsay Brents ’16.

Having been trained in ballet for most of her pre-college career, Fischer found Brents’ choreography about a dancer who hates ballet and wants to do hip-hop quite enjoyable. “It should be entertaining,” she said.

In addition to organizing the show, Tong and Boergert also choreographed for it. They created one piece together, and Tong created another one of her own that conveys the ability to be feminine and strong simultaneously.

Tong and Fischer both think that this showcase in particular will be especially enjoyable for audiences. “The music is also very upbeat and pop-like, so students will be able to relate to it,” said Tong.

Angie Carilli ’14 and Samantha Suzuki ’14 round out the list of six student choreographers whose works can be seen this Friday and Saturday nights in Smith Hall Theatre. The showcase will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adult general admission and $2 for students.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Randolph students participate in service-oriented fall break trip

A group of Randolph students recently spent their fall break volunteering at a nearby camp in Central Virginia.

The College created this year’s new alternative fall and spring break program to give students more opportunities to conduct community service while also developing their leadership skills. Amanda Denny, director of leadership and engagement, spearheaded the new program with the help of students.

Evan Smith ’15 and Sandeep Poudyal ’16 led the trip. Other students who attended include Teague Nelson ’14, Robert Villanueva ’14, Proity Akbar ’15, Steve Dinh ’16, Dan Phung ’15, Ju’Nelle Brown ’17, David Lopez ’16, Alex Arana ’16, Zhe Zhang ’15, Yeachan Lee ’16, and Endrina Gonzalez ’14.

Denny is working with students to organize a similar trip for spring break 2014.

Newly published Pearl S. Buck novel now in Randolph College Campus Store

A long-lost novel written by Pearl S. Buck, class of 1914, is now available in the Randolph College Campus Store.
The Campus Store is selling copies of The Eternal Wonder, the recently discovered
novel by Pearl S. Buck, and Pearl of China, a novel that dramatizes parts of Buck's life.

Buck penned The Eternal Wonder shortly before she died 40 years ago. The manuscript was recently discovered in a storage unit in Texas and given to her family. Open Road Integrated Media published the book last week.

The novel tells the story of Randolph “Rann” Colfax, a gifted young man who searches for meaning, purpose, and love. “A moving and mesmerizing fictional exploration of the themes that meant so much to Pearl S. Buck in her life, this final work is perhaps her most personal and passionate, and will no doubt appeal to the millions of readers who have treasured her novels for generations,” says the publisher’s website.

Pearl of China, a novel by Anchee Min that includes Buck as a main character, is also for sale in the store. On November 12, Min will speak at Randolph College to begin a series of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of Buck’s graduation from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. Copies of The Eternal Wonder and Pearl of China will be available at the event.

Author Anchee Min to begin Pearl S. Buck graduation centennial celebration on Nov. 12

Anchee Min loves telling people about Pearl S. Buck. Although she was raised in China at a time that the country promoted disdain for the American-born author, she eventually discovered Buck’s loving, literary portrayals of China. This inspired Min to not only write Pearl of China, a novel about Buck, but to share the author’s vision whenever she can.

“Pearl S. Buck is my hero,” said Min. “Her views on China are still valid today. I can’t speak enough about her importance and contributions to the world.”

Min’s lecture at Randolph College on November 12 kicks off the College’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of Buck’s graduation from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 1914.

Anchee Min will speak at Randolph College at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 in Wimberly Recital Hall.
Buck spent the first half of her life in China, with the exception of brief visits to the United States and the four years she spent attending college at R-MWC. She spent the second half of her life building bridges between the east and the west through her literature and humanitarian work.

She won the Pulitzer Prize for The Good Earth, a novel depicting the lives of Chinese peasants, and she later won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Buck also started organizations that not only helped Americans understand Asian cultures, but also helped in the adoption and education of mixed-race children and children with disabilities.

Randolph College is celebrating the centennial anniversary of her graduation with several events to help the community learn about and ponder her legacy. View details about the celebration at

When Min was a teenager, Buck was trying to obtain a visa to visit her beloved China. However, she was a political and professional enemy of Jiang Qing, also known as “Madame Mao,” the wife of the China’s communist leader. Quing worked to prevent Buck from obtaining a visa with a national campaign that denounced Buck as a cultural imperialist whose books had portrayed Chinese people in a negative light.

In 1996, Min was signing books when someone approached her and said that Buck had taught her to love the Chinese people. She offered Min a copy of The Good Earth, which opened Min’s eyes to the truth about Buck. “I broke down crying on the airplane from Chicago to Los Angeles after I finished reading The Good Earth,” Min said. “I had never known any writer, East or West, who wrote about our peasants with such love and affection.”

Min’s novel, Pearl of China, tells the story of a young girl in China who becomes friends with Buck and remains in contact with her for years, even after Buck leaves China. The book is now available for sale in the Randolph College Campus store.

Journal of Higher Education publishes research by Randolph faculty

A prestigious publication on higher education has published an article written by Randolph College faculty members and an alumna.

“Classroom Participation and Student-Faculty Interactions: Does Gender Matter?” appears in the latest edition of the Journal of Higher Education. The article was written by psychology professors Holly Tatum and Beth Schwartz, also the Catherine E. & William E. Thoresen Chair in Social Sciences and assistant dean of the College; Peggy Schimmoeller, director of teacher education; and Nicole Perry ’06.

The article documents research the group conducted to investigate classroom dynamics in the first years that Randolph was coeducational. This was only the second study ever conducted exploring how coeducation influenced teaching styles and classroom interaction as a single-sex college transitioned to coeducation.
“We wanted to take this rare opportunity to empirically study this question,” Tatum said.

Beginning with the College’s last semester of single-sex education in 2006, the researchers spent five years attending classes and examining the way professors and students interacted. The study published in the Journal of Higher Education focuses on three years of data collected in courses for first-year students, starting with the first semester of coeducation.

Ashley Crippen Scott ’08 also helped gather data, and Carl Coffey ’11 and Alexis Mandarakas ’11 converted the observation data into spreadsheets for data analysis during Randolph’s Summer Research Program in 2009.

Like other studies, their data showed a difference between the teaching styles of male and female professors. Students were more engaged in classes taught by women. They did not discover a significant influence of student gender on the overall level of student-faculty interaction. However, the results showed that the most common form of classroom participation—students speaking up without being called on—decreased as the percentage of men in the classroom rose.

Although there were almost twice as many female students, the researchers found that males and females participated at equal rates, Tatum said.

Because this study focuses only on the data taken in the first three years of Randolph’s coeducation, it does not compare classroom participation data recorded in the semester before the coed transition to data recorded later.

”This research highlights the importance of examining classroom dynamics at the college level, and helping faculty understand how student participation changes when student and teacher gender is considered,” Shimmoeller said. “Our hope is that this study will encourage more research into factors that influence college classroom learning.”

“Being published in the Journal of Higher Education is a significant accomplishment, and I congratulate these authors from the Randolph community for this well-earned recognition,” said Carl Girelli, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. “Their work is one example of our faculty’s strong commitment to conducting research with students and making contributions to national discussions on important topics.”

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Randolph hosts French professor for discussion of antisemitism in France

A lecture today at Randolph will shed light on the problem of persistent antisemitism in France.

Gayle Zachmann, a professor from the University of Florida, will present “The Silent Enemy of the Republic: Jews…or Antisemitism? Reflections of Jews, Jewishness, and Antisemitism in France (1789-2013)” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 23, in Nichols Theatre in the Randolph College Student Center.

France has a complicated history with antisemitism. In 1791, France became the first European country to offer expanded rights and protections to Jews through emancipation. But in the centuries since then, “the Jewish question” reemerged and challenged the French republic and its institutions. Zachmann will draw upon her personal experiences for the presentation, having seen growing antisemitism  while living in France from 2003-2012.

Randolph professors are looking forward to giving their students an opportunity to learn how antisemitism has affected people throughout history. History professor Gerry Sherayko, who is teaching a seminar on the Holocaust for first-year students, said this will show students how countries other than Germany handled issues that eventually led to the Holocaust.

Jamie Rohrer, a professor of French at Randolph, said Zachmann’s lectures are interesting and informative. “She is a riveting speaker, who is clearly fascinated by French cultural production and its complexities,” she said. “Randolph students will enjoy how she integrates different kinds of cultural production, including cinema, painting, caricature, literature, and the media, to explore French culture.

“Focusing on republican values, and addressing both past and contemporary debates, her talk will provide a historical sweep of the Jewish question in post-revolutionary France,” Rohrer said.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Counseling Center staff member wins statewide poetry award

A Randolph staff member has won the 2013 Library of Virginia Literary Award for Poetry.

The Library of Virginia presented the award to LuAnn Keener-Mikenas, a therapist in Randolph College’s Counseling Center, on Saturday. The award designates Keener-Mikenas’s latest collection of poems, Homeland, as the best book of poetry published by a Virginia author in 2012.

Keener-Mikenas was excited to learn of this honor. “I feel I’ve been working toward this since I was 10,” she said.

She started writing at about that age, but didn’t think of it as a career until much later, in college. “I remember pulling out this drawer full of poems, typing out eight of them, and giving them to the literary magazine,” she said. “They published all of them.”

Keener-Mikenas earned an MFA in creative writing at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville in 1986 and began teaching English at Virginia Tech that year. After about 10 years, she became a student again herself and earned a master’s degree in social work. Today, she provides counseling services part-time at Randolph, has her own private practice and also works with Centra hospice.

After publishing poems in many journals and magazines, and winning awards including a 1990 Virginia Prize, Keener-Mikenas’ first book, Color Documentary, was published in 1994. Many of these poems focus on family and growing up in a rural farming community in Texas. Others are about wildlife and her concern with environmental devastation.

In addition to more personal poems, Homeland contains cycles of poems inspired by wildlife photographs and by paintings documenting pioneers and pilgrims expanding west across the American landscape. “It’s about the landscape, the virgin territory of the Americas. It’s about what happened to that landscape and to the American dream,” Keener-Mikenas said. “Ultimately, it’s about how we are all one family. Earth is our homeland.”

Keener-Mikenas picked the title for Homeland long before the United States Department of Homeland Security was created. Although the meaning of the word “homeland” has shifted because of that association, she decided to keep the title. “In a way, that is what I’m talking about. Homeland security is about saving the planet, but saving it in an ecological and spiritual sense, not in a military sense,” she said.

The Library of Virginia Literary contacted Keener-Mikenas in August to notify her that she was a finalist for the statewide poetry award. She was excited, but also nervous—the other two finalists included a 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner Claudia Emerson and David Huddle, a well-established author who won the Library of Virginia prize for fiction in 2012. Winning the award gives her confidence for her next book of poems, which she is editing now.

This past weekend, Keener-Mikenas gave a poetry reading and panel presentation and participated in the awards gala in Richmond.

The Library of Virginia presents the annual awards to showcase and honor authors who write in Virginia, or write about Virginia topics. “Virginia is home to many authors whose works have enriched our lives and filled our libraries,” the state library’s website says. “The Library is proud to present the Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards as a way of thanking these authors and celebrating the power of the written word.”

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Clash of the Classes 2013 begins October 23

The annual Clash of the Classes competition is just a week away. Whether your talent is raising money for the March of Dimes, stacking golf balls, or pulling one of your classmates in a homemade chariot around the track, this is an opportunity to help your class win bragging rights and timeless glory.

Register for Homecoming 2013
The Class of 2016 is the reigning champion. Five events will determine whether they will retain their crown or pass it along to another class.

Each year, Clash of the Classes provides contests that are fun to watch or compete in as the College prepares to celebrate Homecoming. Students who would like to represent their classes should contact Andy Sinclair, the head men’s lacrosse coach, to sign up for the chariot race and Nick Spicer, coordinator of student activities, for the other events.

Here is the official schedule:

Wednesday, October 23 – Friday, October 25
Penny Drive for the March of Dimes
Each class will have a jar at the cashier table in Cheatham Dining Hall to raise money for the March of Dimes. Here’s how the competition works: Drop a penny in your class’s jar to get points for your team, but drop any other kind of cash in the jars for other classes to subtract points from those classes. Winning class gets 400 points.

Wednesday, October 23, 12:30 p.m.
Minute to Win It
Contestants from each class will compete in challenges from the game show Minute to Win It. The contests include balancing soda cans on their beveled corner, stacking golf balls, and emptying a box of tissues using only one hand at a time. Winning class gets 400 points.

Thursday, October 24
Finish the Lyric Competition, 12:30 p.m.
One member from each class will compete to see who can complete the lyrics to popular songs. The game will continue until only one contestant remains. Winning class gets 400 points.

Clash of the Classes culminates in the Chariot Race during Homecoming.
Friday, October 25
Beanbag Toss Contest, volleyball game intermission
The WildCat volleyball team will take on Southern Virginia University at 7 p.m. During the intermission, teams of two from each Randolph College class year will toss bean bags at a target to garner points for their class. Winning class gets 400 points.

Saturday, October 26
Chariot Race, WildCat Stadium track
In the crowning event of Clash of the Classes, teams from each class will race chariots they have constructed around the track, with one member of the class riding in the chariots. Halfway around the track, the teams will pass their chariots off to other members of the class to finish the race. Winning class gets 2,500 points. Second, third, and fourth place get 1,500, 1,000, and 500 points, respectively.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New fall break service trip available to students

Students at Randolph College can take advantage of a new kind of fall break experience beginning this weekend.

The College is creating a new option for alternative fall and spring break trips, during which students will develop their leadership skills through service activities. This weekend, a group of students will travel to Camp Friendship, in Palmyra, Va., to participate in a weekend focused around service and leadership.

Evan Smith ’15 and Sandeep Poudyal ’16 planned the trip under the direction of Amanda Denny, Randolph’s director of leadership and engagement.

At Camp Friendship, students assist with several projects around the site as the camp management prepares for upcoming camps and a fall festival. They will remove graffiti, clean up trails, prepare meals, and clean camp buildings.

Denny expects to see the this trip’s impact go far beyond fall break. She has seen service trips like this help students develop leadership abilities and friendships. “There is nothing like being able to go into a different culture, community, or environment, and to be selfless in providing a service to those in need; but also to develop a friendship and relationship with the people with which they worked,” she said.

The alternative Fall Break trip is part of a new grouping of service and leadership opportunities being offered to students. First year students from the Emerging Leaders program recently attended a weekend retreat where they engaged in team building and leadership activities. There are also program offerings for sophomores and seniors. The benefits of these programs are numerous, but the ultimate goal is to help students learn about and practice leadership skills.

Any student is welcome to attend the fall break trip to Camp Friendship, and it is free to attend. Spaces will be offered on a first come, first serve basis and anyone interested should contact Amanda Denny (

Lynchburg Business Magazine features Randolph President as Leader of the Month

Randolph College President Bradley W. Bateman is on the cover of Lynchburg Business as the featured Leader of the Month.

In addition to Bateman’s photo on the front, the magazine includes a three-page interview with Bateman and a page of facts and figures about Randolph College.

You can read Lynchburg Business Magazine here.

A more mobile-friendly version of the story, for devices that do not support Flash, is here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Randolph president begins tour meeting alumnae and alumni

This week, Randolph College President Bradley W. Bateman embarks on a tour to meet alumnae and alumni across five states.

Over the next two weeks, Bateman will attend events in eight different cities in Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Texas. Additional events are being scheduled for the winter and the spring.

Earlier this year, he met some of the College’s graduates in Lynchburg and Roanoke. Meeting alumnae and alumni of the College is one of Bateman’s top priorities, and he has enjoyed hearing their stories about the College, its traditions, and the education they received.

For a full list of upcoming alumnae and alumni events with Bateman, see the Alumnae and Alumni Association Events Calendar.

Students present research at regional conference

Eighteen Randolph College students presented research at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of Undergraduate Scholarship (MARCUS) this weekend.

They presented talks and posters on a variety of topics including the impact that Supreme Court language has on political discourse, the ability to kill deadly bacteria in compost using another form of bacteria, and the effectiveness of using cell phones to conduct inertial navigation.

“Research is an important part of a student’s education at Randolph College, and an essential part of research is making a contribution to an academic discipline,” said Peter Sheldon, director of the Randolph College Center for Student Research. “We enable our students to do that by giving them opportunities to present the results of their research at regional and national conferences. MARCUS is an excellent opportunity for students to hone their presentation skills and share the research that they are doing.”

Presenting students included Si Thu Aung ’16, Elizabeth Delery ’14, Meron Demeke ’15, Steve Dinh ’16, Connor Dye ’15, Sydney Henson ’14, Nam Hoang ’15, Jim Kwon ’14, Rebekah Leo ’15, Katherine Lesnak ’15, Kristina Marinak ’14, Kavya Pradhan ’14, Sergio Rodriguez ’14, Timothy Slesinger ’14, Sarah Terlizzi ’15, Alex Tran ’15, Penny Trieu ’15, and Tsubasa Watanabe ’14.

Most of the student research was conducted as part of the Summer Research Program, and one project was funded by the Randolph Innovative Student Experience, a program that makes grants available for students’ independent research and creative works.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Vote Kakenya Ntaiya for the top CNN Hero

Kakenya Ntaiya ’04 is one of the top ten CNN Heroes of 2013. Beginning today, the Randolph College community and others who admire her work can vote daily to make her the top CNN Hero for the year.

Ntaiya is a member of a Massai tribe from Kenya. She convinced her village leaders to allow her to be the first girl to leave and attend college in the United States. After graduating from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and receiving a doctoral degree, she returned to Kenya to open a boarding school where girls are receiving an education that empowers their lives.

To vote, visit the CNN Heroes voting page and select Ntaiya’s picture. Complete the voting by entering an e-mail address or logging in with a Facebook account. Each person may vote once per day. Voting will continue until November 17.

Winning the top CNN Hero award would provide $250,000 to grow the school and transform the lives of more girls, Ntaiya said in an e-mail to supporters. “I want to thank CNN for believing in my dream and that of the many girls around the world,” she wrote. “And I want to thank you, our supporters, for your continued support. Together we are changing the lives of girls in Kenya in a positive way.”

Learn more about Ntaiya here on CNN’s feature page about her.