Andolyn Medina ’16, whose vocal talents have earned her National Anthem performances before President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, the Miss America Pageant, and a Washington Wizards NBA game, is about to add another special event to her impressive resume.
“Andolyn has a long and distinguished career of community service, leadership, and educational success,” said Bill Jones, president of the Virginia Black History Month Association. “It is my distinct honor to welcome her to the gala and we look forward to her performance.”
After graduating cum laude from Hollins with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a minor in music, Medina went on to complete her master’s degree in forensic psychology at The George Washington University, where she is currently a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program. She is also the reigning Miss Piedmont Region 2018.
Medina has displayed a passion for volunteer work since the age of four, logging more than 7,500 service hours. In 2013, she received Congressional recognition and the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding and invaluable community service. She has earned the Presidential Gold Award, the Miss America Community Service Award, and the Wells Fargo Community Service Award. She also received a Proclamation from the City of Roanoke, Virginia, declaring March 7, 2016, as “Andolyn Medina Day.”
Turning to the classified ads section of the nation’s top daily newspaper to find job openings under the headings “Help Wanted – Male” and “Help Wanted – Female” would be jarring to us today. But, The New York Times actually listed career opportunities in this manner until just 50 years ago this week, when the 1964 Civil Rights Act and growing public backlash convinced the paper to simply use the term “Help Wanted.”
Wyndham Robertson ’58 puts the spotlight on this little-remembered but nevertheless significant milestone in her op-ed piece, “The Long Shadow of ‘Help Wanted – Female,’” which on November 29 was fittingly published by the Times.
Robertson, who went on to enjoy a distinguished career as an editor and writer at Fortune magazine after graduating from Hollins, recalls believing that bringing a new sensibility to classified job ads would help women rise above the low-paying, so-called “Gal Friday” positions that dominated the “Help Wanted – Female” section.
“Before classified ads went unisex, women had no established path to high-level jobs,” she writes. “At the time I thought this would be a game changer for women, and of course, it was – to a point.”
She notes that “change came very slowly” over the years. While at Fortune in the late 1970s, she looked at more than a thousand of the nation’s largest corporations to find women who were among each company’s three highest-paid employees; she discovered just ten.
Yet, Robertson remained optimistic. “I took the upbeat and not uncommon position that once more women were ‘in the pipeline’…executive suites would be teeming with women.”
Thus, Robertson is mystified that in 2018, “life at the top of large American corporations still seems so overwhelmingly male,” with women representing only five percent of all CEOs on the Fortune 500. “There must be a reason for this weak showing,” she concludes, “but access to the pipeline, we can now safely say, isn’t it.”
“Wyndham’s thoughtful essay underscores that our commitment to developing women who build lives of consequence has never been more essential,” says Hollins President Pareena Lawrence. “As an institution with undergraduate programs for women, our work is cut out for us. We must continue to prepare women to lead in all sectors of society with renewed urgency. Our innovative emphasis on leadership, life skills, and professional development along with new investments in business and entrepreneurship will give our students the foundation to fulfill the promise inherent in those unisex classified ads five decades ago.”
Alexandra Trower ’86, chair of the Hollins Board of Trustees and vice president, global communications at The Estée Lauder Companies, adds that Robertson’s op-ed is “a timely and important reminder that there are a great many glass ceilings left to be shattered. Hollins is uniquely positioned to empower its students to confront and overcome those barriers in the years to come.”
Photo: Wyndham Robertson ’58 at Fortune magazine, 1974. Credit: Barbara J. Little
Rachael Walker ’18 has been named the recipient of the Fourth Annual Bill Hallberg Award in Creative Writing, presented by the Department of English at East Carolina University (ECU).
The competition is open to undergraduates at colleges and universities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, and this year’s award was given for excellence in creative nonfiction.
Walker, who graduated this spring from Hollins with a degree in English, was recognized for her essay, “A Small Seed of Fate Carried Inside Me.”
“As politics continue to make women’s reproductive rights a national conversation, Rachael Walker’s ‘A Small Seed of Fate Carried Inside Me’ reminds us of the personal, often fraught relationships women have to their bodies,” said Renee K. Nicholson, assistant professor of multi and interdisciplinary studies at West Virginia University and a judge in the contest. “As it explores the terrain that is women’s bodies, it complicates it by simultaneously addressing what it means to be of mixed ethnicity. Gently threading these ideas through sections, Walker takes us through familial relationships as well as the journey to better understand the self.”
Walker will receive a $150 cash prize. A reading of her winning essay will take place at ECU on Wednesday, November 14 at 3:30 p.m.
Ann Branigar Hopkins ’65, whose landmark 1980s legal case paved the way for expanding protections to prevent workplace discrimination, passed away June 23.
Despite a stellar record of job performance, Hopkins’s employer, Price Waterhouse, denied partnership to her in 1982 because, as Forbes magazine reports, she refused “to behave in a more stereotypically-feminine manner.” She sued for discrimination, and the subsequent seven-year litigation battle went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins was decided in her favor by a 6 – 3 vote.
“With its ruling in her case,” The New York Times notes, “the Supreme Court established that discrimination based on gender stereotyping was indeed barred by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In his lead opinion, Justice William Brennan wrote, ‘An employer who objects to aggressiveness in women but whose positions require this trait places women in an intolerable and impermissible Catch-22: out of a job if they behave aggressively and out of a job if they don’t’.” The Washington Post adds, “It was the first time the court ruled that gender stereotyping was a form of discrimination.”
Forbes concludes that “glass ceiling discrimination remains a stubborn obstacle across corporate America. But progress continues to be made in diversifying executive positions and Ann Hopkins deserves our profound appreciation for her role in making this happen.”
The Hollins Digital Commons contains a gallery for finding guides to a collection of papers related to the Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins Supreme Court case. It includes numerous newspaper and periodical articles that document Hopkins’ journey from beginning to end; court transcripts; personal and professional correspondence; materials related to her 1996 memoir, So Ordered: Making Partner the Hard Way; a scrapbook album; and other papers. For more information, contact Beth Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Triathlete Suzy Mink ’74 has added another triumph to her distinguished competitive career.
Mink, who serves as Hollins University’s vice president for external relations, captured her age group’s gold medal in the Long Distance Triathlon at the International Triathlon Union (ITU)/ Fynske Bank Multisport World Championships, held July 5 – 14 in Denmark. The festival features five world championships in four disciplines (Duathlon, Aqua Bike, Cross Triathlon, and Long Distance Triathlon), and this year welcomed approximately 5,000 national and international athletes. The race consisted of a 1.8-mile swim, 74 miles on bicycle, and an 18-mile run.
Mink’s gold medal victory caps an impressive 12-month record of athletic accomplishment for her. In August 2017, she won third place in her age group at Canada’s Penticton ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships. The following month, she placed 20th at 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final (Olympic distance) in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
In January of this year, Mink helped launch the inaugural Torch Relay at the kickoff to New York’s 38th Empire State Winter Games. She was the Games’ honored guest as a tribute to her membership on the relay team that carried the Olympic torch 900 miles to Lake Placid for the 1980 Winter Olympics.
For the second year in a row, a Hollins University alumna has been named Miss Virginia.
Emili McPhail ’18, who graduated from Hollins this spring, won this year’s scholarship competition, which was held June 21-23 at Liberty University in Lynchburg. “Ending Hunger in the U.S.” was the communication studies major’s platform, and in the talent competition she performed a number on piano from the Broadway musical, The Phantom of the Opera.
The former Miss Arlington will receive over $20,000 in scholarship funds and compete in the Miss America Pageant in September.
“I congratulate Emili on this tremendous accomplishment and wish her the very best as she heads to Atlantic City this fall,” said Hollins President Pareena Lawrence.
McPhail succeeds Cecili Weber ’17, who reigned as Miss Virginia 2017. “We are extremely proud of Cecili’s representation of the commonwealth and Hollins over the past year,” said Lawrence.
In addition to McPhail, one other Hollins alumna and two current students took part in the Miss Virginia Pageant this year:
Andolyn Medina ’16, Miss Piedmont Region, was among the 12 contestants who made the final round of competition. She also received the 2018 Miss America State Community Service Award and the Volunteerism Award sponsored by Wells Fargo and the Margaret R. Baker Charitable Foundation.
Dominga Murray ’20, Miss Crooked Road, was also a top 12 finalist and a recipient of the Volunteerism Award.
Monica Osborne ’20, Miss Dominion, was presented the Caitlin Uze Legacy of Kindness Award.
Two remarkable qualities of a Hollins education are the opportunities for real-world experience that alumnae champion for current undergraduates, and the wide range of study abroad options that the university fosters around the globe.
Throughout this academic year, Liza Davis ’19 is enjoying the best of both worlds. The double-major in communication studies and French is living in Paris and interning with Imerys Carbonates, an international company that mines, transforms, and creates functional minerals for a variety of applications from plastics, paints, and film to pharmaceuticals and even calcium fortifications for orange juice and toothpaste. Davis’s internship doesn’t consist of menial tasks: She serves as the manager and content creator for an important social media campaign called “History Rocks in Paris.”
“Our main goal is to show some of the many places where you can find carbonates in Paris,” Davis explains. “Carbonates are minerals found in the earth and three of the most common forms that Imerys works with are marble, chalk, and limestone.
“Paris has tons of carbonates. For example, there are thousands of marble statues and buildings and there are also limestone tunnels that crisscross the whole city. Minerals are a difficult product to make relatable to regular people, so what better way to make carbonates interesting than to talk about them in relation to Paris.”
The catalyst behind Davis’s internship is Lauren Dale ’09, who serves as a global communications strategist for Imerys. She transferred to the company’s Paris headquarters nearly two years ago after working in Imerys’s Atlanta office for two and a half years.
“As the beneficiary of two competitive J-term internships hosted by alumnae, I have always been open to having a Hollins student as an intern,” she says. “I know the educational culture from which a Hollins woman is grown. My liberal arts degrees (she double-majored in communication studies and theatre) really rounded out my thinking process and Hollins gave me the courage to take risks – something that has paid off in my career. I would take a Hollins intern or employee in a heartbeat.”
Davis is specifically creating, delivering, and managing Instagram content around the “History Rocks” concept. “She is actively contributing to the development of this new (to our business) communications platform and campaign by developing the campaign overview, target subjects and content, hashtags and audience connection mechanisms, and of course, helping track the analytics,” Dale says. “In addition, she is working on a couple of other projects during her internship, adding ideas and providing support for some of our new engagements with her fresh young eyes. She is also, of course, bringing some American female diversity to a very French, masculine company!”
“I have done research on everything from who’s buried in the Pantheon to what kind of sealants hold the windows together in the Louis Vuitton Foundation,” Davis adds. “I’ve also looked at how social media campaigns can benefit companies like Imerys Carbonates. I am so excited about this campaign.”
Davis’s enthusiasm extends to the way of living she’s discovered in Paris. “This city constantly surprises me. Some of the stereotypes are true: French people do walk down the street carrying four or more baguettes at once! But others are false, such as the notion that Parisians aren’t friendly. One of the most striking things about these people, and something that really reminds me of Hollins, is the profound depth of their relationships. The French believe in truly meaningful bonds that last lifetimes, and it has touched me deeply to see the same kind of strong connections that I have found at Hollins in a city as big as Paris.”
Davis is quick to express her gratitude to Dale. “Being in this position for a longer time has allowed me to settle into a work routine and handle more long-term projects. I’ve been able to see what goes into the life of someone working internationally in the communications field, and that alone has been incredibly valuable for me. I’ve also been able to see the real-world applications of what I am studying, and that gives me guidance in my work at Hollins. I am so lucky to know that I will be walking away from this internship with projects done that I am proud of and that I can use in the future, and that’s all thanks to Lauren. On my first day, she sat down with me to make sure that I was going to get what I wanted out of this internship. Working with someone like her has definitely shown me the importance of taking initiative and helping others see the value in my work.”
In an interesting postscript, Dale shares that Hollins’s ties with the work of Imerys Carbonates go beyond her employment and Davis’s internship with the company. “I’m not sure what mineral comprises the Hollins Rock, but all those layers of paint on it probably have carbonates in them. Tinker Mountain, which we of course hike up on Tinker Day, is made of limestone. And Hollins sits on the Athens Shale, a blue-black limestone deposit that dates back 250 million years.
“Hollins women have been learning and creating history alongside our very own calcium carbonates for years!”
To see Davis’s work on the History Rocks in Paris campaign, visit @imeryscarbonates on Instagram.
Jennifer Barton Boysko ’89, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing parts of western Fairfax County and eastern Loudoun County, will be the guest speaker for Hollins University’s 176th Commencement Exercises.
The ceremony takes place on Sunday, May 20, at 10 a.m. on the school’s historic Front Quadrangle.
Boysko, who double-majored in psychology and French at Hollins, embarked on a career in politics immediately after graduation. Her first job was in the U.S. Senate office of Richard Shelby from her home state of Alabama, and from there she went on to work for a Washington, D.C., government relations firm as a legislative assistant. In the early 2000s, she began volunteering with numerous Democratic campaigns in the Herndon, Virginia, area, where she has been a longtime resident, and elsewhere in the commonwealth. In 2004, she served as State Director for Governor Howard Dean’s presidential campaign.
In November 2015, Boysko was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates for the 86th District, which encompasses the localities of Herndon, Oak Hill, and Chantilly. She credits EMILY’s List, founded by Ellen Malcolm ’69, for providing financial and logistical help in her race. She is currently a member of the Cities, Counties, and Towns Committee; the Privileges and Election Committee; and the Broadband Advisory Committee. Education funding, access to health care, and reforming the political process are among her legislative priorities.
More details about this year’s commencement can be found here.
Sally Mann ’74, M.A. ’75 is one of America’s most celebrated photographers, and the National Gallery of Art is presenting the first major international exhibition of her photographs of the South.
Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings brings together 115 photographs that offer insight into Mann’s connection with the literature, art, and history of her native region. Many of the photographs in the exhibition, which will be on view in the National Gallery of Art’s West Building in Washington, D.C., from March 4 through May 28, are being shown for the first time.
“In her compelling photographs, Mann uses the personal to allude to the universal, considering intimate questions of family, memory, and death while also evoking larger concerns about the influence of the South’s past on its present,” said National Gallery of Art Director Earl A. Powell, III.
A Thousand Crossings is a five-part exhibition. Family features photographs that Mann took of her three children during the 1980s at their summer cabin on Virginia’s Maury River. Swamplands, fields, and decaying estates that Mann discovered during her travels across Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the 1990s highlight The Land. Civil War battlefields are the focus of LastMeasure, and Abide with Me investigates the role of race and history in shaping Virginia’s landscape and Mann’s own childhood and adolescence. The exhibition’s final section, What Remains, touches on themes of time, transformation, and death through photographs of Mann and her family.
“With the acquisition of works from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2014, the National Gallery is now one of the largest repositories of Mann’s photographs,” Powell noted. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with the artist in presenting a wide selection of the work she has created over four decades.”
Mann has won numerous awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts. In 2001 she was named America’s Best Photographer by Time magazine. Her books of photographs include Immediate Family, At Twelve, and Mother Land. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2015, her memoir, Hold Still, was shortlisted for the National Book Award. She is a recipient of the Hollins Distinguished Alumnae Award.
A Hollins alumna who has earned a place in Winter Olympics history was the honored guest at the kick-off to New York’s 38th Empire State Winter Games (ESWG).
Suzy Mink ’74, who was a member of the relay team that carried the Olympic torch 900 miles to Lake Placid for the 1980 Winter Olympics, helped launch the inaugural ESWG Torch Relay on January 29 in Manhattan. The relay’s 330-mile path goes from New York City to Lake Placid, where the ESWG Opening Ceremony takes place on February 1.
According to a news release from ESWG, “The Torch Relay will call attention to the commitment New York State has to the Empire State Winter Games’ participating towns and villages, and the more than 2,500 athletes and winter sport enthusiasts across the Northeast and Canada who take part in the Games.”
Resplendent in the same uniform she wore while carrying the torch 38 years ago, Mink was designated “the number one lead torch lighter” at New York’s Battery Park by relay organizers. She then led a contingent along the Hudson River Walkway as part of an hour-long special event to start the relay.
“In addition to calling attention to the Empire State Winter Games, we want to encourage people from across the region to get outside and play,” said Tait Wardlaw, ESWG director. “What better way to inspire others than to run from Manhattan to Lake Placid.”
Mink serves as Hollins’ senior philanthropic advisor and competes in triathlons throughout North America and Europe.