Thursday, August 29, 2013

Monks return to make another mandala at Randolph in Sept. 2013

A group of Tibetan Buddhist monks will return to Randolph College in September to construct a sacred sand mandala.

The monks from Tashi Kyil Monastery in Derha Dun, India, are on a tour of the United States. They visited Randolph on their tour in 2011. Suzanne Bessenger, assistant professor of religious studies, invited them back.

An opening ceremony will take place on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 12:45 p.m. in Houston Memorial Chapel, during which the monks will dedicate the space for the sacred artwork. The public is invited to watch them work daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  On September 11, at 3:30 p.m., the monks will hold a closing ceremony in which they will destroy the mandala and disperse its colorful sand into a nearby creek.

“This is a great opportunity to witness an historic form of religious art,” said Bessenger. “I hope that Randolph students and Lynchburg area residents take advantage of the opportunity to come and watch Tibetan Buddhist art in action and to develop relationships with some wonderful people.”

A mandala is created by arranging grains of sand in an intricate pattern containing religious symbols. Bessenger said it has played a significant role in Buddhist thought and practice since at least the sixth century. Its significance in Hindu thought and practice dates earlier. “To be able to witness the evolution of the practice of the mandala art form, here in 21st century Lynchburg, Virginia, is a remarkable opportunity,” she said.

The monks will create an Avalokitesvara mandala representing the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Beginning in the 17th century, Tibetan Buddhists believed this deity incarnated as the Dalai Lama.

When they are not working on the mandala, the monks will offer several public events:

  • Sunday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m.—Film screening of “The Cup,” a movie about young monks who manage to find a way to watch the World Cup finals at their monastery.  The monks will answer questions after the movie. Nichols Theatre, Student Center.
  • Monday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m.— “Let’s Travel to Tibet,” a cultural program that will include a yak dance, a re-enactment of the story of Tibetan holy man Milarepa, and a debate demonstration. Attendees will receive a guidebook with Tibetan phrases. Houston Memorial Chapel

Also, Bessenger will present a lecture, “Do Nuns Make Mandalas?” on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. in Houston Memorial Chapel.

Since the monks will be staying in the residence halls, students will be able to meet and personally interact with them during their visit.

“Randolph students will get to live, eat, and work with Tibetan monks for five days, all without leaving their college campus.  It is a tremendous educational opportunity,” said Bessenger.

“Normally when I teach Buddhism to Randolph students, I use books and other forms of media, which is fine.  It is another thing entirely, however, to be able to live with practicing Tibetan monks, to talk with them about their work, to share meals with them,” she added.

Professors present honor code and academic integrity research at national conference

Two Randolph psychology professors recently presented their research on honor codes, cheating, and academic integrity to a standing-room-only audience at a national conference in Hawaii.

Beth Schwartz and Holly Tatum organized the symposium “Why Do Students Cheat: Investigations of Academic Integrity in the Classroom” for the American Psychological Association annual conference this month. The research brought together several scholars who investigate the motivations for cheating and methods for preventing cheating.

“It’s always really exciting when people are that interested,” Tatum said. “I was glad they were there trying to figure out which parts of our research they can use to prevent cheating.”

Schwartz, the Catherine Ehrman Thoresen '23 and William E. Thoresen Professor of Psychology and assistant dean of the College, and Tatum began a research project on academic integrity about two years ago. With the help of Megan Hageman ’13, they investigated the way students’ understanding of academic integrity is affected by an honor code.

“A lot of people look at cheating and what causes cheating,” Schwartz said. “We wanted to look at ways of preventing cheating.”

“Our focus has been more on integrity,” Tatum added.

Their research, which will be published in the journal Ethics and Behavior this fall, found that in small liberal arts colleges, a traditional honor code—under which students feel a responsibility toward the honor code and run the judicial system responding to violations—is more effective at promoting academic honesty than a modified honor code, such as one with a faculty-run judicial process.

Randolph’s Honor Code, overseen by a student judiciary committee and with perks like unproctored, self-scheduled exams, follows the traditional model.

Last year, Hageman expanded the research to look at the way an institution’s size might affect students’ understanding of integrity and cheating. Elizabeth van Noppen ’14 is continuing that research this year.

Schwartz and Tatum organized the symposium at the APA conference to share their findings and collaborate with more professors. They invited Eric Anderman of The Ohio State University, who spoke at Randolph College earlier this year, and David Rettinger of the University of Mary Washington, to present research that complemented their own.

The professors are still receiving feedback from people who attended the symposium. Many have questions about promoting academic integrity.

Tatum said that Hageman’s contributions were crucial to the success of this research and the symposium. “She was involved at every stage in the research,” she said. “She managed the data collection, which was good experience for her and allowed us to do the research.”

In addition to sponsoring the symposium, Schwartz was voted as the vice president for recognitions and awards in the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, a division of the APA.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Largest first-year class in decades moves in at Randolph College

New first-year Randolph College students arrived on campus today and began moving into the residence halls. They had plenty of assistance from returning students, faculty and staff, and even Randolph College's president, Bradley W. Bateman.

The Class of 2017 includes 220 students, making it the largest first-year class the College has had in 28 years. Learn more about the incoming class in this news release.

You can see pictures from the move-in here on our Facebook page, and be sure to check out our video about moving in the new class as well as this story by local television station WSET.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Local mentors meet Randolph science students

Participants in Randolph College’s summer program for first-year science, math, and engineering students recently met mentors who will provide advice and direction as the students advance through science programs and pursue careers.

Genevieve Neale '93, right, talks with Anthony Quinn '17, a student she will mentor
as part of the SUPER program for students interested in science careers.
The students and mentors held their first meeting at lunch on Monday. They will continue to meet throughout the academic year so the mentors can help the guide the students toward their goals.

Mentorship is an important part of Step Up to Physical Science and Engineering at Randolph (SUPER), a program funded by the National Science Foundation. The program aims to help students excel in science and engineering curricula and pursue crucial careers.

Kelly Hazlegrove, an environmental scientist at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, said she enjoyed the opportunity to meet the SUPER student she will mentor. She added that she sees this as an opportunity to help students turn an interest in science into a life direction. “At that age, they might not be aware of the career paths available to them. This will open doors for them,” Hazlegrove said. “The mentoring can help guide them in their studies.”

Sienna Brown '17 talks with her mentor in the SUPER program.
Three alumnae of the College are serving as mentors for the students: Rebecca VanWitzenburg Skeen ’05, a research and development chemist at C.B. Fleet; Ruth Herbert Maragni ’80, a registered nurse and human resources official for Centra Health; and Genevieve Neale ’93, owner and veterinarian for Paw Prints Mobile Medicine for Pets.

“We have matched each SUPER student with an industry professional who works in a career in which the student is interested,” said Peter Sheldon, a Randolph physics professor who directs the SUPER program. “We expect that the mentors will become a friend, a guide, and a resource that will help our students find their way to their passion. We expect that these mentoring relationships will aid our students in finding their career path, will help to provide them with meaningful internships, and will ultimately lead to a career in science.”

Friday, August 23, 2013

Student paint crew gives fresh look to many parts of campus

Many classrooms, offices, and residence halls received a new look this summer with the help of more than a dozen students and a recent graduate.

The student paint crew completed 34 projects this summer, according to John Leary, Randolph’s maintenance supervisor. The projects included classrooms, all of Webb Hall’s living spaces, the Office of the President, the registrar’s office, the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College, and the Health Center.

Four student team leaders—Ben See ’13, Olivia Johnson ’14, Ashlie Hughes ’15, and Babatunde Ajao ’15—helped Deck Davidson, the College’s painter, complete the projects successfully by guiding the newer painters on the team.

Their work has caught the attention of many faculty and staff members. “I, along with others throughout campus, are proud of their work, their enthusiasm, the teamwork exhibited, and the great leadership shown by the team leaders on the crew,” said Mitch Wesolowski, interim vice president for finance and administration. “They were excellent!”

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New activities coordinator brings experience in helping students succeed

Nick Spicer admits that his transition to college was bumpier than it should have been, and as a freshman at Hood College in Maryland, his grades dipped so low he had to sit out a season of lacrosse. Once he mastered time management skills and secured a solid GPA, he set out to help other new students do the same.

“I helped start a peer mentoring program for student-athletes to bridge the transition between high school and college,” said Spicer. “That program was wildly successful. It drastically cut down on the number of ineligible athletes and students who were on academic probation.”

Seeing the success of that program helped Spicer decide to pursue a career that focuses on helping college students be successful. This summer, he became Randolph’s new coordinator of student activities. He will advise the Macon Activities Council, manage the Student Center, coordinate some aspects of the intramural sports program, and help organize and promote activities that keep campus life fun and exciting.

Spicer majored in law and society at Hood. At first he considered going to law school, but his experience working with other students helped him realize he would find a student affairs career more fulfilling. In addition to starting the peer mentoring program, he served as an orientation leader and a member of the campus activities board at Hood.

He went on to earn a master of education degree in student affairs at the University of Virginia, where he also served in the office of orientation and new student programs. Working in a transfer student advisory program, a peer theatre program in which continuing students used skits to welcome new students, and with other aspects of orientation confirmed Spicer’s career direction.

Shortly after completing his degree, Spicer learned about an opening at Randolph created when Amanda Denny was promoted to director of leadership and engagement. “It didn’t take long for me to like the surroundings on campus and the students,” Spicer said.

Since joining Randolph this summer, Spicer has been preparing for events on the fall schedule, which include tubing on Sept. 14, a Great Gatsby-themed dance party on Oct. 12, the comedian Adam Grabowski on Oct. 16, and “Randolph Idol” on Nov. 18.

“I hope to provide a forum for students to get involved somehow,” he said. “Even if they just show up to a dance or a party, that’s one way they can become involved. The more involved you are, the more likely you are to feel a connection to other students and to Randolph.”

Monday, August 19, 2013

Randolph will participate in College Colors Day

Get ready to don your black and yellow to show everyone your pride in graduating from Randolph College or Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.

August 30 is College Colors Day, “an annual celebration dedicated to promoting the traditions and spirit that make the college experience great by encouraging people across America to wear apparel of their favorite college or university throughout the day.” College Colors Day has been organized since 2005, and many organizations and colleges encourage participation.

The College not only wants you to participate, but we also want you to show off that school pride. On August 30, snap a picture of yourself wearing black and yellow at work, at your current school, at the pool or the park, or wherever you happen to be. Then share your photo on the Randolph College Facebook page.

We would also love for you to join Wanda WildCat and the whole College community at City Stadium that evening for Randolph College Night with the Lynchburg Hillcats. Your Randolph gear will get you into the baseball game for a discounted $3. Don’t miss the first pitch thrown by Randolph President Bradley W. Bateman, the National Anthem performed by Touch of Harmony, and lots of other fun activities with the Randolph community.

Meet Ben Foster, the new assistant dean of students

Many Randolph students remember the moment they realized Randolph would be perfect for them. Ben Foster, the new assistant dean of students, knows exactly what it is like to have that realization.

In fact, when he received a job offer at another institution, Foster turned it down so he could continue interview process at Randolph.

“The more I learned about Randolph, the more I liked and the more fascinated I became,” he said.

Foster grew up in Massachusetts and attended Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., where he majored in history and studied Japanese imperialism in Northern China. He assumed he would go on to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in the subject until he had an epiphany. “I woke up one morning and realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life studying Northern China,” Foster recalled. “So I joined the Peace Corps.”

After serving in Jamaica, where he dug latrines and taught people about water sanitation, he returned to the United States, married his college sweetheart, Claire, and started working in an academic living/learning program at his alma mater. He also earned a master’s in business administration while at Union.

Foster admits he has too many hobbies: painting, fencing, rock climbing, and video gaming are just a few. He also has been learning to play the violin. His office decorations include a character from the cartoon Adventure Time, stuffed animals, his alma mater’s mascot, and a chessboard. He bikes to work almost every day, and his furniture includes a standing desk to keep him active.

In his new position at Randolph, Foster will oversee residential life, student leadership and engagement, activities, orientation, and the administration of social conduct aspects of the Honor Code. He looks forward to working closely with students, who impressed him during his first campus visit.

“During my interview process, I was able to talk with students and engage with them. They were very different from what I was used to,” he said. “Students get a lot of bad rap these days for being ‘checked out’ and not engaged, but that was not the case here at all.”

Foster’s main goal this year is to meet students and faculty and learn more about the College. “I have a lot to learn. There’s an incredible history here,” he said. “My meta-goal is to become a part of the daily life at Randolph.”

Friday, August 16, 2013

School starts for Randolph first years heading for science careers

The first group of the class of 2017 has already started classes at Randolph.

Twenty-four students are participating in a first-year summer program for talented students with an interest in science, mathematics, and engineering. Designed to help students excel in difficult science and math fields, Step Up to Physical Science and Engineering at Randolph (SUPER) is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

On Thursday, the SUPER students had their first class and enjoyed lunch with Bradley W. Bateman, president of Randolph College.

For the next two weeks, the SUPER students will take classes and work on laboratory assignments. Throughout their years at Randolph, they will receive academic services and mentoring to help them excel in demanding courses and prepare for graduate studies and careers as scientists and engineers.

“We are pleased to welcome the largest class of SUPER students we have ever had, and the first group who was recruited to the program with the help of the National Science Foundation grant,” said Peter Sheldon, a physics professor and director of the Center for Student Research. “These students have proven their potential to excel in science, and I look forward to seeing them meet that potential and to train as the nation’s future scientists with the help of this program and Randolph faculty.”

Randolph College launched SUPER in 2010, and in 2012 the National Science Foundation awarded a $600,000 grant to help Randolph build and expand the program. Some participants in the SUPER program receive additional scholarships to help pay for tuition. Learn more about the SUPER program at

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rachel Storey ’14 enjoys World in Britain and Preservation Institute programs

Rachel Storey ’14 fulfilled a long-held dream last year. She spent the entire academic year in England as a participant of Randolph’s World in Britain program in Reading, getting an up close view of a culture she had always admired from afar.

Rachel Storey ’14 draws a sketch on Main Street in Nantucket.
After such an exciting experience, she needed something to look forward to upon returning to the United States. She found that in Preservation Institute: Nantucket.

Each summer, one Randolph student gets to participate in this summer program on a historic Massachusetts island thanks to A.J. and Lynn Land ’60, who sponsor the Randolph student’s involvement. Storey applied for the program while she was still in England.

“It combined my two interests in history and sociology,” said Storey, a South Carolina native who is double majoring in those subjects. “It was interesting to see how the island has grown and developed and how societies are able to keep strong what they want to keep strong.”

Nantucket Island is a tourist destination rich in history. The summer Preservation Institute gives students the opportunity to learn about historic preservation while also working on projects that help restore and conserve the island’s important landmarks.

Throughout the eight-week program, Storey listened to lectures by international conservationists. After the lectures, she worked on two projects with other participants. First, they researched and wrote about the history of tourism on Nantucket. “It was a study of how the island went from a humble tourist destination to a wealthy summer resort,” Storey said. “We were looking to see how that came about, how the property values changed over time, and how personal and social values changed over time.”

Racehel Storey ’14 spent the 2012-2013 academic year in England before
returning to the U.S. to participate in Preservation Institute: Nantucket.
They also worked on ideas to promote the Boston-Higginbotham House, a home built by a freed slave on land he purchased before the Revolutionary War and was owned by African American families for two centuries. The Museum of African American History now operates the historic home. “They’ve been interested in finding more ways to attract interest to their site,” Storey said. She helped develop strategies intended to bring more visitors to learn about the history of the home and the accomplished families who lived there.

Academic and research experience were only part of what Storey gained from the summer program. “More than anything, I grew personally from being there,” she said. Storey gained new insights from working with people she did not know, including graduate students and people much older than her who were looking into preservation careers.

“No one is too old, and no one is too young to go out and learn and try something new,” Storey said. “I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to explore a field that I had never really thought of before.”

Monday, August 12, 2013

Alumna wins major grant for kinesins research

One of our alumnae recently won a major grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue her research on the inner workings of crucial proteins inside every human cell.

Susan Pond Gilbert ’72 received a Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) grant from NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The $2 million grant will support her research for an additional five years, with the potential for another 3-5 years of funding. Her research has continued with NIH grant funding for 19 years.

“These MERIT awards are really terrific,” Gilbert said. “They provide long-term sustained support for one’s research program and the freedom to explore cutting-edge scientific ideas that may involve more risk.”

Gilbert majored in chemistry at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and later earned advanced degrees in microbiology and cell biology. Today, she is professor and head of the Department of Biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.

Her research focuses on kinesins, microscopic proteins that transport cargoes by moving around on microtubules, known as the highways of the cell. She specifically has focused on the way kinesins interact with the microtubules. Among other interactions, kinesins can actually remodel the microtubules to create a spindle apparatus, which helps ensure that chromosomes are copied accurately when a new cell is formed. Understanding kinesins is important for pharmaceutical companies that need to test new drugs, Gilbert said.

Gilbert chose to major in chemistry because of a quantitative analysis course that required independent experimentation. She enjoyed working independently on research projects to answer basic questions using chemistry. “The chemistry major had really infused the curriculum with independent inquiry that nobody really talked about at that time, but now it is considered the way to teach,” she said. “Having the faculty directly in the lab and having the low student-faculty ratio was incredibly important.”

Randolph continues to offer the same student-centered environment that Gilbert experienced, offering the Summer Research Program and Randolph Innovative Student Experience grants to encourage students to work on research independently or with professors.

Gilbert added that the broad-based curriculum emphasizing strong writing and analytical skills was also beneficial to her career. “I represent what one gains by going to a smaller liberal arts college where one can do hands-on research, and it was at R-MWC where I learned the thrill and passion for discovery through scientific research” she said.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Randolph College Announces New Sports Information Director

Randolph College is pleased to welcome Jeremy Field as the new sports information director. Field will play an important role in the growing athletics program by promoting the accomplishments of student-athletes.

“We’re thrilled to have someone with Jeremy’s breadth of experience join our team,” said Tina Hill, director of athletics. “He has hit the ground running and will do an excellent job promoting Randolph College and WildCat Athletics.”

Field comes to Randolph after three years of serving as the assistant sports information director for Goucher College. At Goucher, Field was instrumental in initiating the use of Facebook, Twitter, live video and live stat feeds to share news from the athletics program during and between games. His work helped Goucher increase alumni participation and athletic department fundraising by more than 40 percent during his tenure there.

Field also gained experience in public relations and marketing through internships with the Philadelphia 76ers and ESPN Radio. He earned his bachelor of science in sport management, with a minor in economics, from the University of Delaware. This spring, he completed his master’s degree in education with a concentration in athletic administration.

“I am very excited to join this staff as we continue Randolph’s development into one of the prominent athletic departments in our conference and in the country,” Field said. “I look forward to working with our student-athletes as they become successful on and off of the playing field.”

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lyric Opera Internship gives student experience in nonprofit management and fundraising

This summer, Melissa Halka ’14 seized an opportunity to work in an internationally renowned opera house and also explore the arts and cultural events in Chicago. It has been a fun journey that allowed her to explore her interest in public art and nonprofit management.

“I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want to do,” Halka said.

Melissa Halka ’14 poses in front of a collection of shoes used in costumes at the Lyric Opera of
Chicago. Her internship has allowed her to learn many aspects of managing and raising money for
nonprofits and art organizations.
Halka was chosen for the Donald P. Baiocchi Lyric Opera Internship, which alumna Amanda Fox ’67 and her husband, Matthew Fox, sponsor each summer. The 10-week internship allows Randolph students to gain hands-on experience in arts management and nonprofit fundraising.

Halka has been working to support projects organized by the Lyric Opera’s chapters, organizations in the community that help raise money for the opera house. Those projects include Operathon, a radio broadcast that includes opera music and interviews with performers, and Fantasy of the Opera, a winter ball. Her daily tasks have ranged from marketing to public relations to special events and database management.

“The most valuable thing I’ve learned is time management and the importance of a lot of forethought when planning events,” said Halka. “I’ve done events with clubs at the college, but my boss is really good at keeping a calendar in her head. The events I’m working on now aren’t happening until March of next year. That forethought is something I want to apply in my own life as I plan events.”

She added that she has learned many ways to use software such as Microsoft Excel to track information that an arts organization needs to keep up with.

The internship was an incredible opportunity that Halka recommends to other students. “In this internship, you hit the ground running. You really get to know what it’s like to work in an opera company. You figure out how all the pieces fit together into an arts organization.”

“A huge plus is living in Chicago,” she added. “It’s an amazing place to live.”

During the internship, which continues until mid-August, Halka has lived close to Chicago’s Millennium Park, which hosts numerous arts-related events throughout the summer, including music concerts each Monday and movie screenings on Tuesdays. She enjoyed having the opportunity to experience that atmosphere, something she hopes to create in her future career. “I’m really interested in working with public art projects,” she said. “It’s good to have art accessible everywhere.”

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Colton Hunt ’13 named top Division III scholar-athlete

Randolph’s Colton Hunt ’13 was named the nation’s top Division III scholar-athlete Tuesday. Hunt was chosen for the honor out of more than 175,000 Division III student-athletes. The Capital One Division III Academic All-American of the Year winner is selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

While the group announced Hunt’s selection as All-American in the spring for men’s basketball, the newest award places him as the All-American representative for all 11 Division III sports.

Graduating at the top of his class with a 3.95 grade point average, the economics major was successful both on and off of the court, earning numerous honors along the way.

His playing ability garnered national attention, leading the guard to be tabbed as a first team All-American by both the National Association of Basketball Coaches and In addition, the NABC dubbed him the South Region Player of the Year. Already a three-time first team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference selection, Hunt added an ODAC Player of the Year selection to his resume this year.

While leading Randolph to its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, Hunt ranked third in the nation in scoring average with 24.2 points per contest, adding 7.3 rebounds per game. He graduated as the all-time leader in points, scoring average, field goals made, assists and steals while sitting second on the all-time rebounding list for Randolph’s men’s basketball program.

This winter, a committee of athletic administrators, former athletes, coaches and media members deemed the Whittier, N.C., native worthy of the Josten’s Trophy, which honors the top men’s player in the country in terms of basketball ability, academic prowess, and community service.

Randolph College President Bradley W. Bateman commended Hunt, saying, "Colton is a shining example of how our student-athletes are well-rounded individuals in our community. It’s amazing to see how a motivated individual can balance a rigorous course load while excelling in his sport. I congratulate Colton on his great successes and look forward to seeing him as a Randolph College ambassador in the future."

Hunt’s head coach, Clay Nunley, added, “Colton being named Academic All-American of the Year is the culmination of a tremendous career for Colton both on and off the court. He has always taken pride in giving his best effort in whatever he does, and he has worked incredibly hard to become the student and athlete whom we knew he could be. In a field with so many impressive candidates, Colton is certainly deserving of this outstanding recognition. I couldn’t be happier for him, his family, our program and our college community.”

Randolph starts new leadership programs this fall

New programs at Randolph College will allow students to learn about leadership and service in a variety of settings, ranging from workshops on campus to inner-city food banks hundreds of miles away.

Amanda Denny, Randolph’s director of student involvement, is designing the new leadership development programs and service opportunities to help students at each stage of their experience at Randolph. Most of the programs will start in September.

For the past five years, Denny worked as the director of student activities, but the Dean of Students office created her new position to consolidate service and leadership programs under one supervisor. Denny, who has a master’s degree in student development focusing on leadership and service, is excited about the opportunity. “I want to help students realize their leadership styles,” she said. “Also, there are many service learning opportunities related to their academic course study, so they can learn while reaching out to populations they might enjoy.”

Donald Saltmarsh-Lubin '16, a participant in the Davenport Leadership Institute,
plays pool with a local high school student during a summer program this year.
Denny’s plans include programs that will help first-years, sophomores, and seniors get involved or stay involved in the Randolph community and develop their leadership abilities. Each of these programs will require students to apply.

The first-year program is designed to help students start exploring their leadership styles. The sophomore experience will aim to help students tackle the challenges that come with the second year of college. The senior program, titled “Keystone,” will use the analogy of building an arch to help students realize how to apply what they have learned at Randolph to build a successful future.

(There is not a separate program for juniors because they will be encouraged to investigate career options by visiting the Experiential Learning Center and pursuing internships, Denny said.)

Denny plans to continue the Leadership Challenge Program, a series of workshops she has organized in recent years. This is open to all students. She also will continue involvement with the Davenport Leadership Institute, a summer program that builds leadership skills and prepares participants to lead orientation for new students in the fall semester.

Students will be encouraged to participate in service projects throughout the year, beginning with the Day of Caring during orientation. But Denny will organize alternative fall and spring break trips to give students the opportunity to participate in larger projects. “Students can opt to be connected to the college throughout fall break and spring break by doing something really cool, whether that’s helping inner city youth in Harlem or going to Washington D.C. to serve at the central D.C. soup kitchen,” she said.

Denny looks forward to seeing Randolph students build and strengthen their leadership skills, as well as accomplish more academically as a result of these skills. “It’s important for students to have communication skills and to be well-rounded outside the classroom, and also take the knowledge that they’re learning in a co-curricular environment and apply it in the classroom,” she said.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Forbes ranks Randolph as one of America's Top Colleges in 2013

Forbes magazine has again named Randolph College as one of America’s Top Colleges.

The magazine released its annual college rankings in late July, ranking Randolph as one of the best private colleges in Virginia. Forbes’ profile of Randolph College includes details about the College’s students, faculty, and academic program, as well as a reference to a recent study that declared that Randolph’s professors are among the best in the country.

Randolph College President Bradley W. Bateman was pleased that the College continues to be recognized by Forbes, one of several national publications that notes Randolph’s excellence. “While one should never put too much weight on a singular college ranking, Randolph College is proud to continually be mentioned as one of the nation’s top colleges,” he said.

Forbes partners with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity to gather data on student satisfaction, graduate success, student loan debt, graduation rates, and other measures. “What sets our calculation of 650 colleges and universities apart from other rankings is our firm belief in ‘output’ over ‘input,’” Forbes explains in its rankings article. “We’re not all that interested in what gets a student into college, like our peers who focus heavily on selectivity metrics such as high school class rank and SAT scores. Our sights are set directly on ROI: What are students getting out of college.”

Friday, August 2, 2013

Randolph honored as a College of Distinction

Randolph College has been named a 2013-2014 College of Distinction, one of only 10 colleges and universities in Virginia to be granted that honor.

“Randolph was chosen for its continued commitment to the Four Distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community, and successful outcomes,” Colleges of Distinction founder Wes Creel said in a letter to the College.

Randolph’s profile on highlights the College’s reputation, including accessible professors, successful students, a strong academic program, and a vibrant campus life.

Read more of Randolph’s profile here.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Alumnae and alumni fundraising participation rises again, helps Randolph surpass goal

Randolph College continues to receive important financial support thanks to friends of the College who are giving in increasing numbers.

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013, the College surpassed its annual fund goal of $2.15 million. Most significantly, the College saw a 2.5% increase in the percentage of alumnae and alumni who are financially contributing to the College. Since 2009, the alumnae and alumni participation rate has climbed 8.5%.

“We are thankful for the generous contributions we receive from alumnae, alumni, and other friends of the College,” said Jan Meriwether, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “Their increased giving reflects their generosity and their confidence in the College’s faculty and staff who use these contributions to provide an excellent education to a growing student body.”

“It is exciting to see our percentage of giving increase again this year,” said Heather Ayers Garnett ’86, director of alumnae and alumni. She said this increase has come thanks to the commitment of dedicated trustees, alumnae, faculty, staff, and students who have worked together with the R-MWC Alumnae and Randolph College Alumni Association. “Our alumnae and alumni are making a difference in the life of the College and we are very grateful.”

“Financial contributions to Randolph College help us to further our mission of preparing students to experience life abundantly,” said Bradley W. Bateman, president of Randolph College. “They allow us to reach more students, provide more educational opportunities, improve our facilities, and support initiatives to make the college experience more meaningful and educational. I extend thanks to the friends of Randolph College who continue to make this possible.”

We recently asked students to thank the financial supporters of the College and talk about how those donations have benefited them. This video presents their responses.