Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Research project looks for Middle East peace

Sarah Terlizzi ’15 and Becca Leo ’15 have a lofty goal for their Summer Research project: peace in the Middle East.

While they do not expect a major international treaty soon to come from their summer work, they are researching and brainstorming ideas that could contribute towards a peaceful end to the conflict between Israel and Palestine that has waged for decades. “We’re not naive about this issue. We know it’s not going to change overnight,” Terlizzi said. “It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of time, but in the end, it will be worth it.”

Sarah Terlizzi ’15 and Becca Leo ’15 participated in Model U.N. this
spring, and now they are exploring Middle East peace opportunities.
Jennifer Dugan, a political science professor, and Terlizzi have been planning this project since Terlizzi first participated in the Model United Nations program in 2012. They invited Leo to join them because she studied the Middle East conflict extensively for the 2013 Model U.N. conference. The purpose of the project is to study the role that the U.N. can and should play in creating peace.

They have studied every peace plan or “roadmap” proposed for the region over the past 13 years so they can look for common concepts. They also are examining proposals that have passed in the U.N. to determine what types of proposals could conceivably be adopted. “Our ultimate hope is to come up with our own roadmap to peace,” Leo said.

Leo was fascinated to see ideas emerge as she examined the proposals. “There was no one who was more pessimistic than I after coming out of a whole semester of studying this problem,” she said. “But there are many more points of consensus among these peace plans than I ever imagined. That’s something really positive to me.”

Terlizzi, Leo, and Dugan are adapting the common themes they identified and adding their own thoughts, too. One idea they hope to incorporate into their road map is to have the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provide management for sacred sites in Jerusalem. This could protect and preserve holy monuments and locations in the city and alleviate some concerns of religious interests in the region, Leo said.

Next week, they will test their ideas by presenting them to two groups in Washington, D.C., one that represents Israeli Americans and one that represents Palestinian Americans. Those meetings will provide feedback to help them refine their ideas.

Terlizzi said her research has given her a more realistic understanding of what has caused the ongoing conflicts. Education is key to unwinding the animosity and establishing peace, she said. Leo added that economic advances and time will be necessary, too.

“As the younger generation gets to the age where they are running for office and being leaders, there will be less animosity,” Leo said. “Public opinion will change. It always does. We’re trying to see what we can do to help create public opinion flow in a way that would be positive.”

Students and biology professor aim to rid compost of deadly bacteria

A group of Randolph researchers hope to save lives by fighting bad cheese bacteria with good cheese bacteria.

The bad cheese microorganism is Listeria monocytogenes, which is dangerous and potentially deadly to the elderly, children, and pregnant women, and is sometimes found in soft cheeses. The good cheese bacterium is Lactococcus lactis, which is used to make cheddar cheese. They are studying whether putting Lactococcus lactis in compost will kill any Listeria and make the fertilizer safer to use.

Meron Demeki ’15 probes the temperature of compost.
“Municipalities and commercial entities are starting to get into mass composting,” said Adam Houlihan, a Randolph College biology professor. “If that compost becomes contaminated with some sort of food-born pathogens, those could possibly contaminate produce grown with the compost.” That contamination could result in more illness and death.

Houlihan asked Elizabeth Delery ’14 and Meron Demeke ’15 to work with him on this research project.

They turned four trash cans into composting bins and filled each with compost. One bin contains only the compost, while another contains the compost and Listeria (although a non-deadly form). The other two contain compost, Listeria, and different forms of Lactococcus lactis. Their theory is that the lactic acid and nicin produced by the Lactococcus lactis will help kill the Listeria.

Each day, the research team takes the temperature of each batch of compost. They also take samples to test for acidity and bacteria levels. Within a couple of weeks, the data should show hints about the validity of their theory, but Houlihan said the research will continue throughout the summer.

Elizabeth Delery ’14 prepares to streak a petri dish.
Delery has already started another research project with Houlihan to investigate a cancer treatment idea that she had. She said the compost research has helped her to develop laboratory skills that would be useful in her desired career as a medical doctor or in other careers she may choose. “I enjoy the research and the hands-on experience with lab techniques,” she said.

Demeke, who is weighing the options of attending medical school or pursuing a Ph.D., looks forward to finding out whether their method of killing Listeria works. “If we succeed in what we’re doing, we’ll be saving lives, which is the ultimate goal,” she said.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Lynchburg athletic and theatre summer camps available at Randolph College


Looking for enriching activities for your children this summer? Do you want your children to have lots of fun and learn a lot in these programs? Randolph College has several options, including athletic camps and a theatre program over the next few months.


Athletic Camps

Randolph’s coaches are running several camps to help children and youth to develop their skills. Camps are available for tennis, basketball (including one co-ed camp and one for girls only), horseback riding, and volleyball. Find the details, including registration information, here.

“Our goal for the week is to give each camper plenty of individual instruction in all areas of the game,” said Allison Nichols, head women’s basketball coach who leads the girls basketball summer camp. “Each day will be filled with fundamental work, competitions, games, prizes, and plenty of fun.”

Theatre Camp

WildCat Theatre Conservatory is returning to Randolph for the second year. This all-day theatre camp for K-12 students teaches a variety of acting skills ranging from musical theatre to improvisation, but it also helps build creativity and life lessons.

“I saw some kids who came into the program really shy. They opened up and were more confident by the end of the program,” said Ashley Peisher ’15, a Randolph student who helped run WildCat Theatre Conservatory and will work there again this summer. “It really gave the students an opportunity to grow and to help others grow. It was really cool to seem them work together.”

“It provided an arena for them to expand on their creativity,” said Sonja Cirilo ’15, another Randolph student helping with the conservatory for the second year.

Professional actors and theatre educators teach WildCat Theatre Conservatory classes on improvisation, musical theatre, acting, movement, and other skills. One of Peisher’s fondest memories was seeing high school students who improved their talent for improvisation. “They were doing some really genuine scenes that you would have thought were scripted,” she said.

The theatre camp is expanding to offer two different two-week sessions. One runs from July 15 to July 27 and the second will be July 29 to August 11. Get more information here, connect with the Theatre Conservatory on Facebook, or download the registration form here.

Grant will support Lynchburg edible landscaping nursery at Randolph's organic garden


The Randolph College Organic Garden will become a local source for plants that beautify yards and produce food, too, with the help of a grant from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

Ludovic Lemaitre ’11, Randolph’ s sustainability coordinator, has received an Emerging Leader Fellowship from NWF, which will provide training and $2,000 to help Lemaitre develop an edible landscaping nursery in the Organic Garden.

Edible landscaping is the practice of landscaping an outdoor area using fruit trees, bushes, herbs, and other food-producing plants instead of plants that do not produce food. For example, you could plant an actual pear tree instead of a Bradford pear tree, which grows flowers but not fruit.

“The propagation and distribution on edible perennials (fruit trees, nut trees, shrubs, herbs, etc.) will allow the re-planting of species that are beneficial to both humans and wildlife,” Lemaitre said. “The species will help reforest our region with useful species as opposed to the pretty, but ecologically sterile species that are planted in our landscapes today.”

Ludovic Lemaitre ’11 helps plant a fig tree on back campus
at  Randolph College, one example of edible landscaping.
Lemaitre studied edible landscaping during the Summer Research program two years ago, just after he graduated from Randolph College. He created an instructional guide for edible landscaping, expanded the Organic Garden, and began developing a plan for the garden to help local residents adopt edible landscaping by getting the plants started in a nursery. The NWF grant, along with funds from the College’s Organic Garden budget, will make that a reality.

Lemaitre will plan the details of the nursery this summer. Later in the year, he will work with Randolph students to start planting the nursery. They will host workshops about edible landscaping in late winter, and some plants might be available for transplanting to homes and businesses in the spring of 2014.

Randolph College’s Organic Garden was created 10 years ago by students. It is home to chickens, honeybees, an orchard, and a vegetable and herb garden. Students, faculty, and staff often work in the community garden to enjoy time outdoors and learn about raising natural food.

The Emerging Leader Fellowship is a new program that NWF created in 2013 to provide training and seed money for young professionals pursuing ecological projects. It is an extension of the federation’s Campus Ecology program, which has provided fellowships to college students since 2000.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Top psychology professors list includes Beth Schwartz

A Randolph College faculty member has been named one of the best 21 psychology professors in Virginia.

Beth Schwartz, the Catherine E. & William E. Thoresen Chair in Social Sciences and assistant dean of the College, was named to the list by StateStats.org and Online Schools Virginia, websites that provide information on educational resources, including online and traditional colleges.

Schwartz was selected because she “helps students prepare for graduate studies by facilitating hands-on lab experiences rarely available to undergraduates at other schools,” according to the online list. “She encourages students to learn through teaching, emphasizing collaboration across classes and disciplines.”

Schwartz said scientific literacy is a significant emphasis in her classroom. “When I'm teaching, I try to help the students understand the science of the discipline,” she said. “It’s not just content focused. It’s more about how psychologists understand the material.”

Schwartz begins this emphasis with her introductory psychology courses, so even students majoring in other subjects can understand how the science of psychology works. She invites students to help her prepare presentations for psychology conferences, write chapters for books, and design and conduct research projects during the year as well as during the Summer Research Program.

This prepares students to continue studying psychology, enter related fields, and answer questions that can benefit from a scientific understanding of psychology. “They know not just what the answers to the questions are, but how we can go about answering those questions,” Schwartz said.

The websites produced the list of top psychology professors after publishing information on the top schools in each state. “Our readers requested information on the instructors, so we had a group of researchers look for professors who had recently been awarded or recognized by their peers, students, and/or institutions for exemplary work inside or outside of the classroom,” said Roman Schomberg, a communications and partnerships official with StateStats.org. “Individuals whose work addressed issues to deemed to be of great importance were honored as well.”

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Newly discovered Pearl S. Buck novel to be published this fall


Shortly before Pulitzer Prize winner, Nobel laureate, and R-MWC alumna Pearl S. Buck ’1914 died 40 years ago, she finished writing a novel titled The Eternal Wonder. That book will be published for the first time this fall.

Pearl S. Buck ’1914
Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher and multimedia content company, and InkWell Management, a literary agency, announced the publication this week. They will publish the novel in digital and paperback formats on October 22, 2013. The book was featured in an article in the New York Times.

The daughter of Presbyterian missionaries, Buck was born in West Virginia but spent many of her early years in China. She graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 1914. She became a prolific writer, winning the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Good Earth in 1932. She later won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938.

According to the New York Times story, two copies of the manuscript for The Eternal Wonder—one typed and one handwritten—were discovered in a Texas storage unit earlier this year.

The publisher describes the novel as “a personal and passionate fictional exploration of the themes that meant so much to Buck in her life. It tells the coming-of-age story of Randolph Colfax, an extraordinarily gifted young man whose search for meaning and purpose leads him to New York, England, Paris, a mission patrolling the demilitarized zone in Korea that will change his life forever—and, ultimately, to love.”

In a joint statement, Jane Friedman of Open Road, Michael Carlisle of InkWell, and Edgar S. Walsh, Buck's son, said, “We are thrilled to discover and publish a novel by one of only two American women to ever win both the Nobel and Pulitzer prizes. The Eternal Wonder is as brilliant and inspiring as Pearl Buck’s most famous works, and we look forward to readers across the world getting to enjoy this long-lost masterpiece this fall along with Buck’s other wonderful books.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Karen Patterson '73 speaks to Summer Research students

Students conducting research at Randolph College recently gained insight by listening to Karen Patterson ’73 talk about her life and her career.

Patterson, president of the Alumnae and Alumni Association and a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, spoke with Summer Research students while she was on campus for Reunion last week. She explained how her college education prepared her to pursue her multifaceted career.

Karen Patterson ’73 visits with Hart Gillespie ’15 after her
presentation to Randolph’s Summer Research students.
“As a science major at a liberal arts college, you aren’t limited to just science for the rest of your life,” she told them.

Patterson majored in biology at R-MWC. She was a student when the City of Lynchburg purchased land around Blackwater Creek and asked the College to help assess water quality and stayed to work on a summer project that involved taking and testing water samples. “That was my first experience with true research,” she said.

After she graduated, Patterson was hired at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. She got the job thanks to her ability to swim—the job required snorkeling—and because she had attended R-MWC, which happened to be the alma mater of the mother of the man who hired Patterson.

She went on to earn masters degrees at Wake Forest University and the University of South Carolina. Today, she is the environmental sciences group manager and a project manager at the environmental consulting and engineering firm Tetra Tech. Among other tasks, she writes reports for nuclear power plant license renewal applications.

Patterson also chairs the South Carolina Governor’s Nuclear Advisory Council and is on the executive boards of Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (a non-profit dedicated to educating the public about the safety and value of nuclear energy) and the SRS Heritage Foundation. She recently was elected as the president of the R-MWC Alumnae and Randolph College Alumni Association.

Patterson said she was excited to learn about the variety of Summer Research projects students are pursuing this summer, including one project that continues to study water quality in Blackwater Creek.

“You are well ahead of where I was when I was your age, in terms of connecting science with your other studies,” she said. She added that students who are conducting research at Randolph now can play a role in helping communicate science to politicians, policymakers, and the public.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Students tackle real-world research questions in 2013 Summer Research Program


Elizabeth Delery ’14 and Meron Demeke ’15 hope to use compost to keep soft cheeses and fruits free from bacteria that can prove deadly for pregnant women and the elderly.

Meanwhile, Hart Gillespie ’15 will spend much of his summer tracking asteroids through the Winfree Observatory telescope and sending data to NASA.

And Kavya Pradhan ’14 will find out whether the efforts to clean up Lynchburg’s Blackwater Creek are having the intended effect.

It’s all in a day’s work for Randolph College’s Summer Research students.

The 2013 Summer Research Program kicked off this week with a luncheon during which students and professors introduced their research plans. This summer, 24 students are working with 14 faculty members to conduct research in topics ranging from theatre to geology and from biophysics to political science.

Throughout this summer, come back to the Randolph College blog for details and stories about each project. You will find out how the students are doing research, what they discover, and how they are having fun along the way.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Randolph College adds new equine studies minor


When Chris Mitchell left Cornell University to become Randolph College’s director of riding, he called a talented rider he knew and encouraged her to attend Randolph. Meaghan Hynes ’16 listened to his invitation, toured campus and the Riding Center, and decided Randolph was the perfect fit. During the process, she told Mitchell about her desire to prepare for a career in the equine industry.

“I have found a home with horses. They are how I want to spend the rest of my life,” said Hynes, who has been riding for 15 years. “I plan on working with horses as a career.”

Meaghan Hynes '16 in competition
Hynes was excited to learn that a new program at Randolph College will help her meet that goal. The College will add a minor in equine studies in the fall of 2013. As soon as she learned, Hynes called Mitchell to find out how to add the minor, one of few equine studies programs in Virginia.

“It’s going to give me a step up,” said Hynes, who plans to double major in biology and sport and exercise studies. “This is going to give me a solid educational foundation.”

The new minor was created in response to an increase in requests by prospective students and current Randolph students and riders like Hynes. In 2011, several staff and faculty members began to design the program. Mitchell added his perspective when he joined the college in the fall of 2012. Randolph faculty members officially approved the program last week.

The program offers new classes on equine studies and veterinary care and also includes existing classes in biology, zoology, business, and economics. Students minoring in equine studies will be required to complete internships related to their particular interests. The equine studies minor will serve students interested in becoming veterinarians, horse trainers, barn managers, or other equine professionals—or even those who want to develop skills helpful in horse ownership and care.

This addition of the program will give new opportunities to students in the College’s strong pre-veterinary program, said Doug Shedd, the Catherine Ehrman Thoresen `23 and William E. Thoresen Professor of Biology. “Randolph College trains students for vet schools around the world, and many of those students also are riders,” he said. “The new equine studies minor will give these students the opportunity to greatly enhance their pre-vet experience and to develop skills that will be of use should they choose to go into equine-related areas of veterinary medicine, research, or business.”
It’s going to give me a step up. This is going to give me a solid educational foundation.
— Meaghan Hynes ’16

Amanda Rumore, biology professor will lead the new minor. In addition to recently earning a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Virginia Tech, Rumore is a lifelong equestrian who has competed in the hunter/jumper class.

“Horses are a passion not only for me, but also for many of my students,” Rumore said. “I am just delighted to be able to help them integrate this passion into their academic and career pursuits.”

The equine studies minor is one of several recent additions to the College’s academic program, which offers students more opportunities than ever before. “We see this as one of the profoundly positive outcomes of a strong strategic planning process that seeks to assure the continued success of the College,” said Carl Girelli, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. “This new minor honors a long tradition of equestrian programming at Randolph College and provides students an interdisciplinary academic program that will enrich their lives.”

Randolph already has seen interest in the new program from prospective students. “There are lots of students who have a lifelong interest in horses, and who will welcome being able to add it to their studies,” said Michael Quinn, vice president of enrollment management. “The new equine studies minor will enable students to deepen their interest in the equine field.”

Hynes looks forward not only to minoring in equine studies, but meeting new students who will join the program. “The riders coming in are interested in furthering their education in any way about horses. This is going to help them with whatever they want to do,” Hynes said.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Randolph College congratulates the Class of 2013!


With the sun showing a welcome appearance after a week of heavy rain, 119 members of the Class of 2013 spent their Mother’s Day under a beautiful sky in the Dell celebrating Commencement with their families and friends. 

The class, which includes 9 students earning master’s degrees, represents 19 states and 13 countries. Eleven were named to Phi Beta Kappa.

Lieutenant Governor of Virginia William “Bill” Bolling, the 2013 Commencement speaker, told the graduates their lives were unpainted pictures and there was only one person who could determine what that picture would be. “You are the artist,” he said. “Paint the picture well.”

He challenged students to set lofty goals, dream big, and work hard. “Living a successful life is about much more than what you might achieve academically or professionally,” he said. 

Faith, family, and giving back are all important to living a full life, Bolling added. “Some of the greatest blessings I’ve had in life haven’t come from who I am or what I do or what I earn or what I have,” he said. “They come from taking the time to reach out and to try and make a difference in someone else’s life.”

He urged the graduates to pursue their passions. “I hope you will never forget the need to dream big dreams and set lofty goals for your life,” Bolling said. “And I hope you will never be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. If you’ll do that, you will look back on the picture that will become the rest of your life…and you will like what you see.”

Randolph President John E. Klein also encouraged students to remember the College’s motto and to live the life more abundant. Klein is retiring in June after a six-year tenure. “When you look back on your time at Randolph, I hope that you will see how your life has been transformed,” Klein said. “I know that being a part of this journey with you has transformed mine.”

Klein congratulated the class on their significant contributions to Randolph. “You have carved your own path, while also preserving the College’s traditions and the commitment to learning that has long been a hallmark of this institution,” he said. “You have become leaders, developed your talents, and excelled in the classroom, on the stage, and in the athletic arena. In the process, you have made your mark on Randolph College.”

Colton Hunt ’13 was awarded the prestigious Maude Huff Fife Award at Commencement. The award, which is named for a graduate of the Class of 1918, is given to the senior with the highest quality point ratio. 

“This year’s recipient has consistently demonstrated the breadth of interest, dedication, and achievement that makes him the quintessential liberally educated person,” said Carl Girelli, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. “He has earned a QPR that leaves virtually no room for improvement, and makes one wonder which question on which exam he might have missed.”

Hunt completed a major in economics, an independently-designed minor in finance, and an additional minor in physics. In addition to being named to Phi Beta Kappa, Hunt earned membership in Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international economics honors society and the Sigma Pi Sigma physics honor society. Colton has also earned his share of awards on the basketball court, including being named the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American of the Year, the ODAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and the national 2013 Josten’s Trophy award. 

Cameron Hall ’13, the senior class president, encouraged his classmates to make their diploma the base of their mountain and “the beginning of a life of ascension and accomplishment” and to never see “no” as anything other than an opportunity to grow and reassess how to use their talents.

“Just as we have transformed our campus, though, I hope that we have all let the campus transform us,” he said. “We were privileged with being residents of a school with a unique deeply rooted identity complimented by programs that were built to provide us with relationships and venues that are unparalleled.

“…We have the means,” he added, “to transform the world as we leave today, and it is up to us to figure out how we might leave our mark.”

Before closing the ceremony, Klein reminded the graduates that Randolph would always be there to welcome them home. “Go out and do more than make a life,” he said. “Make a difference. Vita abundantior.”















Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Randolph's Wes Fugate named the winner of the 2013 CASE Alice L. Beeman Award


Randolph College’s own Wes Fugate has earned national honors from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

CASE recently named Fugate the winner of the 2013 Alice L. Beeman Award for Outstanding Research in Communications and Marketing for Educational Advancement for his dissertation entitled, “Alike but Different: How Three Private Liberal Arts Colleges Communicate Prestige, Legitimacy, and Differentiation during the Student Recruitment Process.” 

Fugate serves as executive assistant to the president and secretary to the Board of Trustees.

The selection process for the CASE dissertation award is highly competitive. In fact, the organization only gives only one dissertation award per year. 

The Beeman Award recognizes the work of scholars exploring advancement trends in communications and marketing in the areas of public relations, government relations, marketing, issues management, and institutional image enhancement. The dissertation must be helpful to educational advancement practitioners in devising strategies and tactics for accomplishing their work in communications and marketing.

Winners are announced each year in May. Each program carries cash awards and brings the award recipients international recognition.

Fugate earned his undergraduate degree from Centre College, his M.Ed. from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, and his Ph.D. from the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Klein Years: A Celebration of Renewal

The Randolph College community joined together this afternoon to celebrate the renewal the College has experienced during the service of President John E. Klein and his wife, Susan, who will leave Randolph this summer when President Klein retires.

Randolph College President John E. Klein and his family see the newly-
unveiled presidential portrait during a reception at Lipscomb Library.
While there were many points to celebrate—such as growing enrollment, improved facilities, and a stronger financial position—the personal touch that the Kleins have had upon the College became a dominant theme.

“John, your impact will live on in our students’ lives, and your good works will continue to influence generations of students,” said Lucy Williams Hooper ’73, former chair of the Board of Trustees. “We would never be where we are without you, your boundless energy, and your leadership.”

The College community, including alumnae, alumni, and friends of the College, gathered in Smith Hall Theatre for a series of videos about the Kleins’ influence, musical presentations by a cappella groups Songshine and Voices, and speeches from community members who have worked closely with President Klein.

Each portion of the presentation expounded on the ways the College has changed since Klein became president with the assignment to lead the College through a transition to coeducation.

“Today we are celebrating the fact that John Klein said yes when we asked him to become our president,” said Becky Morrison Dunn ’70, chair of the board of trustees.

As a surprise honor for Klein, Dunn also announced that the Board of Trustees is naming its beautiful conference room in the Student Center the John E. Klein Conference Room.

Klein said he was honored by the presentations, but most of all he was honored by the opportunity to have led the College and worked with trustees, alumnae, faculty, staff, and students at Randolph. “While there are many aspects of Randolph that we will miss, it is really the people that will make leaving Main Hall the final time so difficult,” he said.

After retiring on June 30, the Kleins will live in Washington, D.C., and they plan to return to Randolph for future events, including the inauguration of the new president, Bradley Bateman. He also looks forward to seeing the College’s progress continue.

“I am hoping that history will record that Susan and I left Randolph much better than we found it,” Klein said. “Our intent has always been to transform Randolph for the better and transform the lives of students who attend the College.”

Alumna and her husband with inspiring story in national contest


Megan McLeod Cutter ’98 and her husband, Barton, spend their days teaching people how to overcome the challenges of disabilities or how to make their organizations more accessible for those with disabilities. Now Barton is among the “Local Heroes” in a contest to win a wheelchair-accessible van, and some of Megan’s classmates and other alumnae hope to help him win.

The contest, sponsored by National Mobility Awareness Month and the National Mobility Equipment Dealers of America, asks people to nominate and vote for inspiring people with mobility impairments. The winner will be chosen from among entrants with vote totals in the top 5 percent.

Megan and Barton, who was born with cerebral palsy, met at a martial arts seminar several years after she graduated from R-MWC; they fell in love during nine months of exchanging poetry across the country from each other. Today, they own Cutter’s Edge Consulting. They recently published Ink in the Wheels: Stories to Make Love Roll, a memoir about their relationship and the challenges faced by inter-ability couples.

Unfortunately, the week after the book’s release, they experienced vehicle trouble and learned that Megan’s car was beyond repair. Barton entered the National Mobility Awareness Month contest this spring, and he has garnered more than 11,000 votes.

Kate Leaming Goldberg ’98 learned about Barton’s involvement in the contest after she read Ink in the Wheels, which she said transformed her views regarding people with disabilities. “It was inspiring to see how they faced adversity and made it through,” she said. She started reaching out to other alumnae and friends to encourage votes for Barton.

Megan said they were surprised by the reaction they have seen. “We were unaware of the support we would find, particularly in my college community,” she said. “At first, I saw just a few classmates re-posting our funny pictures, but then several people got their hands on our memoir and a wave of support began to spread. I am so grateful to have reconnected with classmates, honored to be part of our college community and so thankful to feel the support from friends.”

Learn more about Barton, and cast a vote for him, on his National Mobility Awareness Month profile. Each person can vote once per device each day, and voting closes at the end of the day on May 10.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

L.A. Times highlights photography exhibition curated by alumna

The Los Angeles Times recently gave its readers an inside look into a war photography exhibition curated by Anne Wilkes Tucker ’67. The exhibition and a Q&A with Tucker are featured in reFramed, part of the Times’ art and photography blog.

Tucker and two colleagues at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston spent years working on the exhibition War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath, which includes 480 objects and photos documenting heroism and horror in armed conflicts decades old and more recent. They also created a 620-page catalog featuring essays and interviews. After opening in the Houston museum, a scaled down version of the exhibition is on view at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles.

The Q&A with Tucker reveals a lot about the story behind the exhibition and what she and the other curators learned from it. You can read the L.A. Times feature here. Randolph magazine published a story about Tucker and the exhibition in September 2012.

Tucker, named America’s Best Curator by Time magazine in 2001, recently donated two photographs to the College to honor two other alumnae. In honor of Lucy Williams Hooper ’73, Tucker donated an untitled photograph picturing a male and female samurai in Japan, stating that the confident pose of the female warrior was reminiscent of Hooper’s service and leadership on the College’s Board of Trustees. She also gave the College a print of Joseph Rosenthal’s famous photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima in honor of Lynn Hume Stuart ’60, who used to share patriotic images with Tucker and exhibited significant dedication and service to the College.