Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Inauguration Videos

The Inauguration of Bradley W. Bateman included three video presentations to celebrate his life and career, the history of Randolph College, and the value of a liberal arts education.

“Bradley W. Bateman: A Passionate Leader & A Champion For The Liberal Arts” was played during the installation ceremony to introduce the audience to Bateman.

“Here Let Wisdom Rise: Thoughts on Liberal Studies - Excerpted From Seneca's ‘Letters From A Stoic’” also was played during the installation ceremony. Bateman chose this text because it is one of the earliest essays on liberal education and emphasized the ability of liberal education to help people achieve freedom.

“Randolph College: A Member Of The Lynchburg Community” celebrated Randolph’s role in the Lynchburg community and was played to welcome the audience to the Mavis Staples concert.

The Inauguration has received widespread media attention. We are collecting articles and other content related to Inauguration here.

Seniors present art and research at the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College

The Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College will hold an opening reception for Young Ambitions: 2014 Senior Exhibition on Tuesday., April 29 at 4 p.m.

The exhibition includes works in a variety of media including paintings, photography, video, sculpture, and installation art by seven Randolph College seniors majoring in art with a concentration in studio art: Ashesh Maharjan ’14, Kelsea Hammoura ’14, Kelsey Abell ’14, K. Becker Bickley ’14, Jerelle Morse ’14, Kelly Wood ’14, and Mariah Reed ’14.

On Thursday, May 1, at 4 p.m., Randolph College’s graduating art history students will present their senior papers. Presentation topics include:

  • “Physiognomy in the Works of Gianlorenzo Bernini and the Influence on Le Brun’s Treatise A Method to Learn to Design the Passions,” by Katherine Vance ’14;
  • "Balancing Gender Roles: The Daphne and Apollo Myth in Victorian Paintings by Henrietta Rae and John William Waterhouse," by Monica Varner ’14;
  • "Looking Through the Lens: Optical Means in the Painting of Fabritius and Manet," by Hannah Neifert ’14;
  • "Mistress of Misogyny: A Gendered Reading of Feminine and Masculine Representations in Peggy Guggenheim's Collection," by Lian Aurora Perez ’14;
  • "Nost-algia: Redirecting the Case for Repatriation of the Parthenon Sculptures," by Glenna Gray ’14;
  • “Saving Grace: The Influence of Papal Acquisitions on the Conservation of Roman Monuments and its place in Modern Conservation Scholarship,” by Tierney Dickson ’14;
  • and "Harmony with Strangers: Daily Tous les Jours 21 Balançoires (21 Swings)," by Melissa Halka ’14.

These events are free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided at both the opening reception and the presentation. For more information on exhibitions and events, visit www.maiermuseum.org or contact them at (434) 947-8136 / museum@randolphcollege.edu.

Randolph hosts Alliance Francaise lecture

Randolph College will host a lecture for the Alliance Francaise of Lynchburg at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Nichols Theatre.

Marie-Therese Killiam, a professor of French at Sweet Briar College, will present the talk, “From Charlemagne to Napoleon: writing history through art and war.” A reception will follow.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Randolph College celebrates the Inauguration of President Bradley W. Bateman

Randolph College celebrated the Inauguration of Bradley W. Bateman, the College's 10th president, this weekend.

The Inauguration began on Friday with a symposium titled “Why the Liberal Arts?” A group of scholars, including Jerry W. Ward, Martha Hemwall, Kwang-Wu Kim, and David P. White, addressed topics on advising, teaching, creating, and serving. For a full schedule of the symposium, please visit http://web.randolphcollege.edu/inauguration/symposium.asp

The symposium was followed by the dedication of a tree in honor of William F. Quillian, Jr., the fifth president of the College, who passed away earlier this year. He was remembered for his strong dedication to the College and his service to the community.

The Inauguration celebration continued today with an interfaith chapel service, the official installation ceremony, and a concert with Grammy-award winner Mavis Staples.

For a full schedule, visit the Inauguration website. Video of the installation ceremony will be available soon on the website.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Randolph Model UN students win awards in 2014 conference

Randolph College students won several honors at the National Model United Nations Conference last week.

Randolph’s Model UN team was named an Honorable Mention Delegation. Also, six Randolph students—including five who were participating in Model UN for their first time—won awards for position papers that they authored.

“All the awards reflect the hard work and diplomatic skills of the delegates and the utter dedication to excellence of our two head delegates,” said Jennifer Dugan, a Randolph global studies professor and the advisor for the Model UN team. “I am proud of our achievements this year.”

Randolph’s delegation to the Model UN this year represented the country of Malta. The delegation included 16 students, including head delegates Jacob Lusczek ’15 and Samantha Terry ’16.

Randolph’s position paper award winners include: Sarah Terlizzi ’15 and John Vecchiettie ’14, who served on the UN General Assembly Third Committee; Tsubasa Wantanabe ’14 and Erica Quinby ’17, who served on the UN Industrial Development Organization; and Rickie Scott ’17 and Sebastian Ranasinghe ’16, who served on the UN General Assembly Second Committee.

These awards add to an already impressive list of Model UN awards. The Randolph team regularly brings home awards for outstanding delegations and excellent position papers.

Student travel and participation in the Model U.N. program is made possible by the Sheldon and Chrystine Hicks Endowed Global Studies Fund through a generous gift from Marilyn Hicks Fitzgerald ’68 and Michael P. Fitzgerald.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Randolph students will package meals for the hungry on Earth Day

Randolph College students will package 10,000 meals for people in need on Tuesday, April 22.

The College’s student government has partnered with Stop Hunger Now, a nonprofit group with a branch in Lynchburg, to package the food. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Gravely-Hampson Commons.

Amanda Denny, the College’s director of leadership and engagement, has volunteered with Stop Hunger Now several times, including one event on campus several years ago. She recently suggested that the Randolph College student government partner again with Stop Hunger Now. “Student government had been looking for a project to support that would bring our students, faculty, and staff together in a meaningful way,” she said.

Denny’s idea excited the student government members. “We thought it was a great idea and decided to go forward to it,” said Coulton Watson, a student senator who is organizing the event. “It’s a great way to be involved in the community, as well as show our appreciation and give back.”

Watson has recruited many volunteers from the student body, and faculty and staff members are welcome to assist, too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Symposium of Artists and Scholars celebrates student excellence

The sixth annual Symposium of Artists and Scholars will include more than 60 presentations highlighting Randolph College students’ scholarly work and creative ventures.

The symposium will take place Thursday and Friday. Students will present research on a wide range of topics, such as the effects of dance exercise on coordination improvement, the role fungi play in allergic reactions, and philosophical questions of artificial intelligence. They also will present creative works, such as a poem about a Lynchburg pawn shop, a student-authored play about relationships, and musical compositions.

“Randolph College students are engaging in an amazing variety of high-quality research projects and creative pursuits,” said Peter Sheldon, director of the Center for Student Research. “We are proud of the work our students are doing, and we look forward to celebrating and sharing their work in the Symposium.”

Doug Shedd, the Catherine Ehrman Thoresen ’23 and William E. Thoresen Professor of Biology, will present the keynote address, “Why Biodiversity Matters,” at 7 p.m. Thursday.

For a full schedule of the Symposium of Artists and Scholars, read the symposium program here.

The annual symposium, modeled after traditional academic conferences, was started in 2008 to celebrate the height of Randolph College student achievement.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Alumna Anne Wilkes Tucker ’67 featured in Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal recently published a column about the career of Anne Wilkes Tucker ’67. On the occasion of Tucker’s upcoming retirement after nearly 40 years of curating photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), the Journal interviewed her about her career.

The column highlights her groundbreaking exhibitions on Czech Modernism, Japanese photography, and war photography. It also touches on changes she has seen during her career.

Tucker, who first worked with photography when she took photos for the Randolph-Macon Woman’s College newspaper and yearbook, has grown MFAH’s photography collection from just 141 prints when she arrived there in 1976 to more than 29,000 prints by more than 4,000 artists today.

She also is a member of the Randolph College Board of Trustees.

Read the full story here: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304914904579439602433136322

Friday, April 11, 2014

Model UN team represents Malta at national conference

Students on Randolph College’s Model United Nations team will spend this week in New York, where they will represent Malta in the National Model United Nations Conference.

Model UN challenges students to learn about the history, public policy, and culture of another country and then represent that country in diplomatic simulations much like actual UN meetings. During the conference, students present speeches, negotiate with students representing diplomats from other countries, and vote on important international issues.

Members of the Randolph College Model UN team speak with Carl Girelli, vice president
for academic affairs and dean of the College, during a practice caucus session. More photos.
Months of researching, writing resolutions, and practicing speeches has prepared the students for a successful experience, said Jennifer Dugan,a Randolph College global studies professor who advises the Model UN team. “I expect great things from them and believe they will learn much about themselves and the world of diplomacy," she said.

For more than a decade, the College’s Model UN team has proven its ability to train students in the art of international diplomacy. The team has won numerous awards for having an outstanding delegation and position papers. The team has represented countries such as Portugal, Senegal, Yemen, and now Malta.

Randolph College President Bradley W. Bateman participates in a practice caucus
session with members of the College's Model United Nations team. More photos.
Malta is a small, democratic island country off the coast of Sicily. It has significant social programs, such as universal health care, and it serves as a gatekeeper for immigration from northern Africa into the European Union, said Dugan.

The Model UN team will meet with the UN’s deputy permanent representative from Malta during the conference, Dugan said.

This year’s Model UN team consists of 16 students, including Jacob Lusczek ’15 and Samantha Terry ’16, the head delegates. To meet the delegates and learn about how they have been preparing to represent Malta, read the Model UN Blog. The students also will update the blog during the conference.

“We are all so excited to get to the conference this year. After months of painstaking work, we are ready to put our knowledge to the test,” said Terry. “We have a diverse collection of knowledge and experience in our delegation this year, and I know they will be highly successful.”

Watch Randolph College’s Happy music video

We had a lot of people participate in our recent music video set to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

Randolph College community members all over campus—including our campus abroad by the University of Reading, England—showed that they have something to sing, dance, and smile about.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Randolph Mathletes Finish Strong in National Competition

(left to right) Pujan Shrestha ’15, Hart Gillespie ’15, Zhe Zhang ’15,
Si Thu Aung ’16, Marc Ordower, Duc Dang Dinh '16,
Nam Hoang '15, and Tung Tran '15

A team of Randolph College students recently scored in the top fifth of all participating colleges and universities in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, a prestigious and famously difficult contest of mathematical skills and creative reasoning.

Randolph ranked 106th out of the 557 participating institutions. Individually, Nam Hoang ’15 earned special distinction by placing 266th out of the more than 4,000 competing students.

All eight Randolph students who competed scored in the top half of all participants. Five were in the top third. Two were in the top quarter.

The team consisted of Tung Tran ’15, Hart Gillespie ’15, Tu Nguyen ’15, Pujan Shrestha ’15, Zhe Zhang ’15, Nam Hoang ’15, Si Thu Aung ’16, and Duc Dang Dinh ’16.

Marc Ordower, a Randolph College mathematics professor, offers a course in Mathematical Problem Solving aimed at students who wish to participate in competitions such as the Putnam.

The Putnam is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious undergraduate mathematics competition in North America. Students from institutions in Canada and the United States participate by taking a 12-problem test. Questions on this proof-based exam are meant to test originality as well as technical competence, covering topics from linear algebra to graph theory. The questions can typically be solved with only basic knowledge of college mathematics but require extensive creative thinking.

The competition takes place in early December, with the results being announced in the spring.

Randolph hosts kickoff for Virginia Urban Agriculture Summit

Randolph will help launch the first Virginia Urban Agriculture Summit with a screening of the documentary Growing Cities on Monday, April 14.

The summit will bring more than 100 people from around Virginia to Lynchburg to learn about ways to foster sustainable urban farms. Michael Van Ness, the executive director of the local, nonprofit farm Lynchburg Grows, asked Randolph College to host a viewing of Growing Cities to provide a national perspective on the issues the summit will address.

The College’s ongoing work in the field of sustainable food—including the growth of the Randolph College Organic Garden and student/faculty research on the topic—made him want to hold the film viewing here, Van Ness said. “Randolph has been going in this direction for a number of years, and we just thought it was a natural fit,” he said.

Growing Cities is a documentary about urban farming across the United States. It follows two filmmakers around the country as they interview people and show the ways urban agriculture promotes economic development and improves nutrition.

“It’s an inspiring film,” said John Abell, a Randolph College economics professor whose research focuses on the economics of sustainable food supplies. “It lets you know what the possibilities are. It shows lots of youthful enthusiasm for the whole farm-to-table movement.”

The screening will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Smith Hall Theatre. Hor d’oeuvres, including some local produce, will be served in the Alice Ashley Jack Room on the second floor of Smith Memorial Building beginning at 5:30 p.m. Abell will lead a discussion about the documentary.

For more information about the Virginia Urban Agriculture Summit, visit http://www.vaco.org/event/virginia-urban-agriculture-summit/

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kelley Swain ’07 publishes three books in 2014

Behind Randolph’s Red Brick Wall, Kelley Swain ’07 pushed pens and critiqued poetry with the writing group “the Quill Drivers.” Now across the Atlantic Ocean, she continues her prolific writing.

In fact, the London author is publishing three books this year.

photo credit: Marcos Avlonitis
In March, Valley Press published Opera di Cera, a poetry collection written as a series of monologues about the creation of the anatomical Venus, a life-sized waxwork figure she saw at a museum in France.

This spring, Cinnamon Press will publish Atlantic, a collection of poems that she has worked on since 2009. Although much of Swain’s writing addresses the history of science, Atlantic is more introspective. “It is a very personal collection which engages with family, grief, exile, and love,” she said.

Swain’s first novel, Double the Stars, will debut in September. Also from Cinnamon Press, the historical novel is about Caroline Herschel, an astronomer best known for discovering comets.

These books follow Darwin’s Microscope, her 2009 poetry collection about science history, and two volumes of poetry she has edited.

She said there are a couple of factors that led to her prolific success. “Half of the answer is hard work and discipline. If you want to be a writer, you have to write,” she said. “The other half is having an astonishing system of support. Since writing my first poem at the age of seven, my family, teachers, friends, and relationships have been supportive and constructive in my aim to become a writer, and this support has made all the difference in the world.”

Swain said a lot of that support came from friends and professors at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. She said the faculty encouraged her interests in writing as well as science and helped her develop her talent and understanding. “I would not be the writer I am today without them,” she said.

Swain added that the liberal arts curriculum prepared her for life after graduation and her position at the Imperial College of London, where she teaches medical students about the confluence of science and the arts. “Though we used to joke that graduating from a liberal arts college with a degree in English would lead to dubious job prospects, it is exactly that unique educational background which has led to my being a guest lecturer at one of the top science universities in the world,” she said.

You can learn more about Swain’s work, and read excerpts from Opera di Cera and Atlantic, in an interview in the Inpress Catalogue.

Randolph professor and student research the reality of hunger and poverty

A Randolph professor is exploring the nexus between poverty, hunger, and food in Lynchburg in hopes that his research will generate discussion and solutions.

“My sense is that most people don’t know about the extent of hunger and poverty in this city,” said John Abell, an economics professor. “I’m hoping to draw some awareness to this issue and to start a conversation.”

Abell has a strong personal interest in local food produced with sustainable practices; he grows much of his own food while purchasing more from farmers at a local market. But his interest in social issues related to food grew when he and a group of Randolph students studied the economics of a Lynchburg food desert in 2011. Their data demonstrated the difficulty some city residents had with obtaining nutritious food at affordable prices. Abell wanted to conduct further research about how poverty and limited food access relate to each other.

He is analyzing a variety of data—such as income levels, educational attainment, and participation in government assistance programs—for different neighborhoods in Lynchburg. Abell is publishing videos and insights about the research on a new website. Eventually, his blog will shift focus toward the economics of the solutions he is discovering.

The website includes video interviews with people who have firsthand knowledge about local hunger and poverty, including people who have lived for years in impoverished neighborhoods as well as people who work at nonprofits that seek to provide food to those in need.

Teague Nelson ’14, a history major, is producing the videos for Abell. While it has given him an opportunity to practice skills he picked up in a digital filmmaking class, the project also helped Nelson learn about social and economic issues. “I think it’s a really important issue,” he said. “There are a lot of people working on it, but it needs a lot more attention and a lot more needs to be done.”

Abell’s research also includes potential solutions that go beyond distributing donated food to those who need it, but focus on helping to decrease hunger by decreasing poverty. “I wanted to think about creative ways that food could be used in creative solutions,” he said. “I’m looking at solutions from around the country, including urban farming and community gardening, where food is out there to create legitimate economic development.”

To learn more about Abell’s research, please see http://lynchburgfood.go.randolphcollege.edu/

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Students create podcasts expounding Greek myths

Randolph students are taking the study of ancient mythology to another level with a series of podcasts that tell the varied stories of Greek gods, goddesses, heroes, monsters, and epic adventures.

Amy Cohen, a classics professor and the director of the Center for Ancient Drama, assigned students in her Classical Mythology class to research lesser-known myths and record broadcasts. Dubbed the Mythcasters, the series includes a show every Wednesday evening on Randolph College’s student-run radio station, the WWRM, followed by a rebroadcast on Saturday morning.

The show’s archive can be heard at http://wwrm.org/

Samantha Strickler ’17 said she was nervous about the idea of recording a radio show,  but it turned out to be a fun way to learn about the myths.

She and Elizabeth Dean ’16 worked together to produce an episode about the myth of Admetus and Alcestis. (You can listen to their episode here.) By researching the myth and reading different versions of the story, Strickler learned about alternate endings, the way that myths handle time and story progression, and other details that she would have not learned otherwise. “We wanted to get more in depth about it,” she said. “We found out all these different things that we would not have learned if we had just read it once and then retold the story.”

Other stories explained by the Mythcasters this semester include the stories of Daedalus, Chimaera, Orion, and more.

This week, the one group of Mythcasters will explain the story of Hermione, followed by another group with the myth of the Harpies.

Spring Dance Concert features works by students and professional choreographers

Four Randolph College seniors spent much of their time this semester perfecting the spins, leaps and music selections for dances they have choreographed for the 2014 Spring Dance Concert.

Unlike the fall showcase, which features solely student work, the Spring Dance Concert is an opportunity for graduating seniors to show their choreography next to dances created by professionals.

“We have been preparing for this concert since the beginning of the fall semester,” said Lauren Boegert ’14. “It is both terrifying and exciting because our choreography goes up against professional work.”

This concert features pieces choreographed by professional choreographers such as Takehiro Ueyama, the director of Take Dance; Lori Belilove, director of the Isadora Dance Company; Walter Kennedy; and Randolph dance faculty in addition to the works choreographed by seniors majoring in dance.

Boergert created her piece, titled “Uninhibited,” to convey a sense of openness, vulnerability, and taking chances. “I struggle with openness and wanted to choreograph a piece about something difficult,” she said. “I thought it would be a good challenge.”

Beginning dancing when she was three, Boergert always favored ballet and did not have experience with modern dance. Her focus changed as she gained experience with modern dance at Randolph. “I like to think of myself as a modern dancer after my four years here. I don’t hide behind my technique as much,” said Boergert.

Senior dance major Chloe Tong said that she is most proud of being able to look at her choreography for the Spring Dance Concert and say, “I made that.” Her dance for the Spring Concert, “Everything Happens for a Reason”, focuses on how families act as one working unit.

Samantha Suzuki ’14, another senior earning her BFA in dance, choreographed the dance “M.A.D” for the Spring Dance Concert.

Suzuki’s piece is inspired by the poem “Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost. “I am most proud of the fact I was able to overcome my fears of choreography for male dancers,” she said. “In years past I have shied away from choreographing for male dancers because it felt very different and unnatural for me. The fact my first section movement looks strong and masculine and still has my aesthetic vibe to it makes me very proud.”

Angelina Carilli ’14 choreographed the dance “An Affected Mind” for the concert. The dance depicts the way drugs affect people’s minds.

The Spring Dance Concert will feature a total of 12 dances, individually crafted by 11 different choreographers.

The Spring Dance Concert will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday–Friday in Smith Hall Theater. General admission is $8, student admission is $4 and children 12 and under can attend for free.