Up Close and a Little Personal

on May 29 | in Featured | by

Q & A with three newly tenured profs

Jennifer Anderson

Jennifer Anderson, studio art

Artistic style:
I gravitate toward labor-intensive art, making thousands of small, delicate cuts on paper with an X-Acto knife and creating intricate graphite drawings on vellum. The artist’s touch is extremely important to me. It creates an intrinsic presence within my artwork that reflects my interests in the fragility of memory and the phenomena of meaning.

Proudest professional moments:
Having my work exhibited in Russia, my first solo exhibition in a commercial gallery in Los Angeles, and the publication of my writing by the Norton Simon Museum in a catalog on the history of printmaking.

Teaching style:
To serve as a facilitator and collaborator, as I teach technique and help students find their own creative solutions and visual vocabulary.

What I like best about Hollins:
I love the pride my students have in Hollins, and I am always surprised by how many amazing events fill the university calendar on a day-to-day basis. Even more, I am impressed with the quality of work among faculty and students.

What we might not know:
I love to bake, thanks to a summer work-study position as an undergraduate. Also, having grown up with a mother who played the piano for our family church, I know how to belt out a tune.

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Racehl Nunez

Rachel Nuñez, history

Primary research interests:
The history of women, imperialism, and nationalism, and I am currently working on a project that explores the way French feminists in the 19th century used both imperialist and nationalist arguments in their struggle for political rights.

What I teach and how I teach it:
A broad range of courses in European history from the ancient world to the present. My classes are mostly discussion based. I view teaching as an extended conversation, one in which I have expertise but not all the answers. I use primary sources—the “raw material” of history—as much as possible. I am consistently impressed with my students’ ability to come up with their own interpretations of texts and to ask thoughtful and probing questions—it’s probably my favorite thing about Hollins. I also put a lot of emphasis on the writing process since I believe that clear writing and clear thinking are connected.

What we might not know:
In my spare time (with a toddler, there’s not much of it!) I enjoy reading, good TV (True Detective is a recent favorite), and I have recently taken up running (so far, I’ve decided it’s not as hard as it looks). My favorite movie is The Big Lebowski, and occasionally I quote from it in class (so far, no student has caught on).

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Jill Weber

Jill Weber, communication studies

Areas of academic interest:
I study rhetoric, or the art of persuasion. I embrace the civic nature of rhetoric and focus most of my teaching and scholarship on topics related to political communication, policymaking, public speaking, and gender. I have written about how images of family shape U.S. policymaking and public discussions.

What I like best about Hollins:
The community. I grew up in a small town and had a large extended family. Hollins’ community reminds me of the best elements of both of those experiences.

Biggest surprise about Hollins:
People often ask me, “What’s the typical Hollins student like?” I reply, “There is no typical student.” This is very different from the colleges I have attended and visited.

Teaching style:
A mixture of enthusiasm, energy, rigor, and support. I have a dynamic delivery style in class, but not at the expense of emphasizing strong content.

Proudest professional moments:
I draw great pride from my students’ successes. I can’t quite describe the feeling I get observing a student who formerly struggled with a skill or concept suddenly “get it.” I often let out a cheer when reading a paper or watching a speech in which a student overcomes a barrier.

What we might not know:
I enjoy long-distance running and can be spotted around campus in the early morning. I also enjoy quilting. My best ideas come when I am running and quilting, although I have never tried to do both hobbies at the same time.

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