VTCSOM’s “The Influence of Women” Exhibition Showcases Hollins Artists

Works by Hollins University students highlight a new exhibition that explores and celebrates the many ways women affect their worlds.

Students in Associate Professor of Art Jennifer Printz’s Intaglio Printmaking class have contributed their creativity to “The Influence of Women,” which is on display at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM) through March 1, 2019.

“Each student produced two amazing prints about women who have influenced them from friends, to family, to fictional heroines,” Printz explains.

The focus of the show was developed in appreciation for VTCSOM’s founding dean, Cynda Johnson, who is retiring at the end of this year.

Located at 2 Riverside Circle in Roanoke, VTCSOM will host an opening reception for the exhibition on Tuesday, December 4, from 4 – 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Contact Courtney Powell at cbrakes@vt.edu for more information.

Sponsored by VTCSOM’s Creativity in Healthcare Education program, “The Influence of Women” is one of three exhibitions held annually for local artists to showcase their works to the community and to reinforce to medical students the importance of having a community connection.

 

Image: Rachel Jackson Hikaru, dry-point print with watercolor, 2018.


Submission Deadline for 2019 Margaret Wise Brown Prize Is Jan. 15

Publishers of picture books released in 2018 are invited to have their works considered for the 2019 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2019.

Presented annually, the Margaret Wise Brown Prize recognizes the author of the best text for a picture book published during the previous year. The award is a tribute to one of Hollins University’s best-known alumnae and one of America’s most beloved children’s authors. Winners are given a $1,000 cash prize, which comes from an endowed fund created by James Rockefeller, Brown’s fiancé at the time of her death. Each recipient will also receive an engraved bronze medal as well as an invitation to accept the award and present a reading on campus during the summer session of Hollins’ graduate programs in children’s literature.

Judges for the 2019 prize include:

  • Elaine Magliaro, author of the 2018 Margaret Wise Brown Prize-winning book Things to Do.
  • Laura Kvasnosky, author of Little Wolf’s First Howling, the 2018 Margaret Wise Brown Prize Honor Book.
  • B. Lewis, a five-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator of over 70 books for children.

The publisher should submit four copies of each book they wish to nominate for the Margaret Wise Brown Prize: one copy to Hollins University and one copy to each of the three judges. Books must have been first published in 2018; reprints are not eligible. The winner will be announced in May 2019.

Please contact Lisa Rowe Fraustino at fraustinolr@hollins.edu for the judges’ addresses and further submission instructions.

The study of children’s literature as a scholarly experience was initiated at Hollins in 1973; in 1992, the graduate program in children’s literature was founded. Today, Hollins offers summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs exclusively in the study and writing of children’s literature, an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustrating, and a graduate-level certificate in children’s book illustration.

 


Hollins Connections Highlight Special Stage Event at Mill Mt. Theatre

Roanoke’s Mill Mountain Theatre (MMT) is paying tribute to a member of the Hollins University graduate program faculty by staging one of her acclaimed works for a special fundraising event.

On Saturday, November 10, MMT is presenting the play A Simple Gift by Nancy Ruth Patterson, who teaches in Hollins’ M.F.A. program in children’s book writing and illustrating and is celebrated for her creativity and devotion to her community. The goal of the fundraiser is to supplement generous grants from the Fishburn Foundation and the Helen S. and Charles G. Patterson, Jr. Charitable Foundation Trust to renovate MMT’s Waldron Stage into a “green space” venue. Tickets are $100 per person and can only be purchased in advance by contacting events@millmountain.org. A portion of the ticket price will be a tax-exempt charitable gift to MMT.

A Simple Gift earned recognition as “A love song to the theatre…a love song to life” when it was first produced at MMT nearly a decade ago. The play is the story of two former residents of fictional Brownsville, North Carolina – one who found fame on Broadway and the other who became a children’s writer – who accept an invitation from an old teacher to return to their hometown to put on a performance as a gift to the place that raised them both.

Hollins President Emerita Nancy Gray is among the prominent Roanoke citizens who will be appearing in the play alongside some of MMT’s top veteran actors and several young local actors who are starting their careers.

The one-night-only performance of A Simple Gift will be preceded by a supper of favorites from Chanticleer Catering and an open bar beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Atrium of Center in the Square.

 


Hollins, Roanoke College Announce Perry F. Kendig Award Nominees

Artists, arts advocates, and arts and cultural organizations are among the nominees for the 2018 Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards.

Co-sponsored by Hollins University and Roanoke College, the Kendig Awards program recognizes exemplary individuals, businesses, and organizations in the Roanoke Valley that support excellence in the arts.

This year’s winners will be announced at Hollins University’s Wyndham Robertson Library on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 5:30 p.m.

Here are the nominees for the 2018 Kendig Awards:

  • Nancy Agee
    Agee is the president and CEO of Carilion Clinic and president of the American Hospital Association. She has supported artists, performers and educators in the Roanoke Valley for more than 30 years.
  • Artemis, Artists & Writers, Inc.
    A publisher of literary and art journals, and host of local exhibitions and events for 40 years, Artemis has showcased literary and visual artists from Southwest Virginia and beyond. Recent publications have introduced the culture of the Roanoke Valley to Europe, Australia and Asia, and their free workshops, internships and festivals have inspired creativity and fellowship for all ages and all levels of experience.
  • Rita Bishop
    As the superintendent for Roanoke City Public Schools (RCPS), Bishop has fostered partnerships with Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Opera Roanoke, the Jefferson Center, Southwest Virginia Ballet and others. Through her leadership, advocacy and service, leaders from the VH1 Save the Music Foundation have supported RCPS programs with hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  •  Dotsy Clifton
    For more than four decades, Clifton has supported many of the region’s arts organizations. As a volunteer, she has served on the board of directors of The Roanoke Women’s Foundation, The Grandin Theatre, Center in the Square and Mill Mountain Theatre, where she was board chair. Clifton has been praised as a true conduit, realizing that the arts and history of this region humanize and connect its citizens in many ways.
  • Doug Jackson
    Jackson first became involved in Roanoke’s arts and cultural scene with the Roanoke Arts Commission. He played a key role in developing the city’s first Arts and Cultural Plan as well as Book City Roanoke, and has volunteered for Roanoke Valley Reads and CityWorks (X)po. He is also a published author who has won the James Andrew Purdy Prize for Fiction and the Artisan Center of Virginia’s Award for Excellence.
  • Jefferson Center
    A premier performance venue, educational hub, and center for community life, the Jefferson Center’s mission is to provide broad access to inspirational performing arts, transformative arts education, and vibrant community space. Its Music Lab program, which offers music education to students of all ages, is a nationally recognized model for arts education beyond the classroom. The Jefferson Center also is home to more than 15 regional nonprofits and small businesses.
  • Cynthia and Mark Lawrence
    The Lawrences have connected arts organizations with business and have helped both succeed on projects that yield community-wide benefits. Their participation in organizations such as Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, and the Taubman Museum of Art have positively impacted the culture of the Roanoke Valley and brought together countless artists and other influential Roanokers.
  • Amanda Mansfield
    Mansfield has made a major impact on the Roanoke theater scene for more than 12 years. She has performed for numerous production companies in the area, and has led successful program development and fundraising efforts for Roanoke Children’s Theatre, Center in the Square and Mill Mountain Theatre. She was responsible for significant increases in the annual operating budgets for all three organizations.
  • Maury Strauss
    Strauss’s support of and dedication to arts and culture in Roanoke spans a broad spectrum, including the Taubman Museum of Art, The Jefferson Center, Roanoke Children’s Theatre (which he helped establish), Opera Roanoke, Temple Emanuel, Mill Mountain Theatre, Virginia Western Community College and many other organizations. Through Strauss’s generosity, the Taubman has created the Sheila and Maury L. Strauss Art Venture Endowment.
  • Margaret Sue Turner Wright
    Having curated a dozen art shows and establishing organizations such as Plein Air Roanoke and 202 Figurative Group, Wright has welcomed hundreds of artists, patrons, and enthusiasts to Roanoke. Locally, she has donated many of her paintings to auctions that have raised several thousand dollars for hospitals and arts institutions. She has also donated paintings for charity fundraising events around the country, including Back to the Roots, hosted by Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Named for the late Perry F. Kendig, who served as president of Roanoke College and was an avid supporter and patron of the arts, the Kendig Awards were established in 1985 and presented annually by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge through 2012. Hollins University and Roanoke College first partnered the following year to bestow the honors, and congratulate the 2018 slate of distinguished nominees.

For more information about the Kendig Awards, visit https://kendig.press.hollins.edu/.


Hollins, Roanoke College Seek Nominations for the 2018 Kendig Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards, which recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations in the greater Roanoke region that provide exemplary leadership in or support for the arts.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, July 16. The nomination form and other information can be found at https://kendig.press.hollins.edu/.

Hollins University and Roanoke College have co-sponsored the awards since 2013. The 2018 Kendig Awards will be presented on Wednesday, September 12, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at Lorimer House on the Hollins campus.

Three Kendig Awards will be presented this year, one in each of the following categories:

  • Individual Artist (selected from all disciplines, including dance, literature, music, media arts, visual arts, and theatre)
  • Arts and/or Cultural Organization
  • Individual or Business Supporter

Individuals, businesses, and organizations from the greater Roanoke region (which includes the counties of Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke, the cities of Roanoke and Salem, and the town of Vinton) are eligible, as are past Kendig Award recipients from 1985 – 2012.

“The Kendig Awards program provides a focal point for celebrating the greater Roanoke region’s cultural identity,” said Hollins President Pareena Lawrence. “This initiative enables all of us to realize and appreciate the vital role arts and culture play in economic development as well as education in our schools.”

“Presenting this annual program builds an even stronger arts and culture bridge between our campuses and the community,” added Roanoke College President Mike Maxey. “We are proud to join with Hollins to champion this celebration of the arts.”

Named for the late Perry F. Kendig, who served as president of Roanoke College and was an avid supporter and patron of the arts, the awards were presented by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge for 27 years.


GWS Major to Help Further Awareness, Deliver Resources to Stop Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a worldwide health problem whose prevalence is staggering. The American Psychological Association notes that in the United States alone:

  • More than one in three women and more than one in four men have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • Seventy-four percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner (spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend). Of these, 96 percent were women killed by their intimate partners.
  • One in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
  • IPV is the leading cause of female homicides and injury-related deaths during pregnancy.
  • The percentage of women who consider their mental health to be poor is almost three times higher among women with a history of violence than among those without.
  • Women with disabilities have a 40 percent greater risk of IPV, especially severe violence, than women without disabilities.

Compounding the crisis, IPV is “underreported, underrecognized, and underaddressed” by healthcare professionals, according to a 2016 article in American Family Physician.

However, one organization has been a catalyst for growing awareness of IPV and providing resources to those who experience it, particularly young people who have suffered from dating abuse and domestic violence. For the past 15 years, Day One has delivered crucial education and services to the youth of New York City. To date, the non-profit has educated more than 75,000 young people on ways to “identify and maintain healthy relationships, obtain legal protection when necessary, and assist others experiencing abuse.”

During January Short Term this year, Whitney McWilliams ’18, a gender and women’s studies (GWS) major and social justice minor who graduated in May, interned with Day One. “More than anything I think the internship showed me the bridge between theory and practice.”

McWilliams was responsible for planning and facilitating the You(th) Already Know! Conference for New York City Youth and Adult Allies. “We gathered to explore themes of healthy relationships, self-defense, self-care, and race/class/gender issues that intersect with the violence of intimate relationships,” she explains. Day One was so impressed with her work that they have invited her to return to the organization this summer.

For McWilliams, working with Day One gave her the chance to draw upon what she had learned as a GWS major.

“GWS changed my outlook on life. It made me critical and challenging. It made me aware of my suffering that in turn made me angry. With that awareness there was fire, but that fire energized me in a way that healed me from the burn-out that was essential to my journey. That energy showed me the healing potential for love and compassion. It showed me the potential for our worlds and for our sociopolitical transcendence – a movement for peace and against suffering. It also showed me my personal potential for growth and that I am the embodiment of all that I have learned.”

Another pivotal moment during McWilliams’ career at Hollins was her pioneering work in helping launch the Hollins Heritage Committee, a group of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to promoting campus-wide dialogue on issues of collective memory, diversity, and reconciliation. “The committee is tasked with bringing the popular history of Hollins to the forefront. It is to decolonize knowledge and bring to the people the truths of Hollins’ history, most specifically Hollins’ relationship to slavery and race relations on campus. Theirs is a voice that is needed for those who have been silenced by the institution.

“I will be checking in to make sure the committee moves to incorporate the voices of staff and employees as they point to class exploitation, as well as trans and non-binary voices as they speak to Hollins’ investment in gender hierarchy, and the voices of natives as Hollins occupies sacred land.”


Rising Senior’s Summer Destination is Costa Rica for Animal Rescue

The parents of Lilly Potter ’19 know their daughter has serious case of wanderlust, so their gift to her last Christmas was a no-brainer: they were kind enough to present her with a free airline flight they had recently won in a contest. Combining her love of travel with another passion, community service, Potter set out to find a destination where she says she “could get my hands dirty and make a difference. I wasn’t interested in a typical voluntourist experience.”

This summer, Potter will be spending nearly two weeks volunteering with the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center (CRARC), and her excitement about this opportunity has been so contagious, her younger sister is joining her on the trip.

“Costa Rica is globally recognized for its biodiversity: one in every 20 plant or animal species can be found there,” the double-major in English and international studies explains. “Unfortunately, due to human actions, Costa Rica also has over 100 species on the endangered list. Luckily, there are organizations seeking to combat this threat. I researched thoroughly to find one that was ethical and genuinely service-oriented.”

Potter discovered the nonprofit CRARC in the town of Cebadilla, which is located close to San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital and largest city.  “Their mission is to rescue animals who are victims of pollution, logging, electrical lines, illegal pet trade, and human cruelty.”

The story of Ghandi, a male spider monkey that CRARC saved, particularly touched Potter. “Ghandi was held captive in a bar and force-fed alcohol, coffee, and cigarette butts by tourists. By the time CRARC rescued him, he was in poor shape and addicted to nicotine. But thanks to the dedicated care of staff and volunteers, he’s getting the assistance and rehabilitation he needs. When he is fully recovered he will be released back into the wild.”

CRARC relies heavily on volunteers to augment the work of its small number of permanent staff. Potter will be involved with food preparation, cleaning and maintaining enclosures, building toys, and providing enrichment for the animals, among other responsibilities. This spring, she got a head-start on her duties by conducting a bake sale on campus to raise funds for purchasing milk substitutes. In addition, she collected donations of comfort and enrichment items to share with CRARC’s youngest and therefore most vulnerable animals.

Potter also applied for and received a grant from Hollins University’s Hobbie Trust Fund, which provides financial assistance for experiential learning opportunities to students involved in a research or service project that is clearly connected to ethics or values.

“I believe this program offers a valuable experience that touches on all the aspects at the heart of a Hollins education: environmental sustainability, intercultural understanding, leadership, and service,” Potter says. “My goals are to provide much-needed support to a reputable organization, and gain firsthand experience of the inner workings of an international nonprofit.

“Ultimately, I want to share these experiences with the Hollins community to inspire a greater awareness of our ethical imperative to conserve and protect the wildlife of Costa Rica and the world.”


Peace Corps Mission Advances Senior’s Devotion to Making a Difference

At a very young age, Cierra Earl ’18 developed a love for service work through her deep connection with her church, Pilgrim United Church of Christ, in her hometown of Durham, North Carolina. That passion continued to grow during her college career at Hollins, and now the double-major in Spanish and communication studies is heading to South Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Earl will spend two years living and working in rural areas near Johannesburg, where she will be helping children learn English and improve their reading literacy.

“The internships I completed at Hollins, both of which involved working with children at Rosemount Center and at Community School, gave me the tools to prepare for this opportunity,” Earl explains. Rosemount Center is an early childhood education center based in Washington, D.C., that serves nearly 250 children and families each year. Located in Roanoke, Community School has been honored by the American Psychological Association for its innovative educational practices that help children learn through exploration and experimentation.

She adds, “I want to extend special thanks to [Associate Professor of Communication Studies] Christopher Richter and [Assistant Director of the Hollins Fund] Kerry Kinnison for helping me with the Peace Corps application process.”

Earl says she also cherishes her service as vice president for the class of 2018 and as house president for the Carvin Global Village at Hollins, which is home to more than 20 international and American students.

“Being a part of the class cabinet gave me the experience of working with a team and learning how to communicate with others on different important projects,” she states. “Serving as house president allowed me to take on a leadership role firsthand and lead in an environment filled with diverse cultural practices and customs. It taught me how to appreciate things outside of my own cultural norms.”

Ultimately, Earl plans to use her majors as a springboard to pursue a graduate degree in either marketing or international business.

 


Hollins Hosts Universities Studying Slavery Spring Meeting

To further explore the historical role of slavery at their institutions, Hollins welcomed representatives from colleges and universities around the country for the spring meeting of Universities Studying Slavery (USS), April 12 – 14.

Hollins, one of nearly 40 USS member schools, hosted the semi-annual meeting to discuss strategies, collaborate on research, and learn from one another.

“I think all of us involved in making this conference possible know it was the right decision for our campus to host this event as it has been our goal from the beginning to be at the forefront of the Universities Studying Slavery movement,” said Jon Bohland, associate professor of international studies and chair of the Hollins Heritage Committee, which promotes campus-wide dialogue on issues of collective memory, diversity, and reconciliation. He paid tribute to the student activists who served as the catalyst for the committee’s creation and have subsequently undertaken a number of projects to further its mission. “It was students that demanded that our university openly acknowledge our past connections to enslavement and begin to find ways to reconcile that history. It is as a result of [their] direct action that hard questions are being asked, long-lost names are being found, classes are being taught, conferences are being held, and we can begin to honor these previously unacknowledged founders and supporters of the university.”

“Reckoning with these issues is no easy task,” Hollins President Pareena Lawrence added at the spring meeting’s opening event on Thursday, April 12. “But if we are to grow and evolve as institutions of higher learning, we cannot ignore or hide from our past. Indeed, at the very least we owe the enslaved who built and labored for our colleges and universities the fundamental decency of recognition and gratefulness. And in their memories, we must use that knowledge and understanding to promote diversity and inclusivity.

“We cannot even come close to repaying our debt or making amends,” she continued, “but through our discussions and research, we can take vital steps to ensure we undertake what social scientists call ‘historical justice.’ Current and future generations will closely examine how we respond to our responsibilities to bring historical justice to the enslaved and honor their unrecorded and unrecognized contributions to our colleges and universities.”

USS organizes multi-institutional cooperation as part of an effort to facilitate mutual support in the pursuit of common goals. It also allows participating institutions to work together as they address both historical and contemporary issues dealing with race and inequality in higher education and in campus communities as well as the complicated legacies of slavery in modern American society.

“While it is impossible to completely repair the damage and impact of enslavement, we have a responsibility in society, especially in higher education, to fully examine our history and put energies toward addressing the impact of the ‘peculiar institution’ of slavery,”  Idella Glenn, Hollins’ special advisor on inclusivity and diversity, told the opening session audience. “What does this mean to our universities? How does this remembering and repair manifest?”

Glenn said that Hollins had “literally and figuratively dug into our past…to uncover the untold history of Hollins University. Indeed, some of the things dug up are not easy to look at, and may even cause pain and discomfort, but we must deal with the pain and discomfort if we are to heal and move forward. I especially applaud the courage of our students, faculty, and staff who have earnestly taken on this difficult work.”

Glenn noted that the investigations and conversations at Hollins are helping to inform the breadth and scope of memorialization, which includes but is not limited to interactive education on campus (information kiosks, walking tours guided by downloadable apps, and student creation of a mass mural) and community outreach in the Roanoke Valley (lecture series, scholarships, and grant-funded programs that impact the lives of young people).

“I have come to the knowledge that this work of digging into our past and reconciling our history is foundational to authentic diversity, equity, and inclusion work,” Glenn said.

Among the highlights of the USS spring meeting at Hollins were sessions devoted to strengthening historically black colleges and universities; collective wisdom workshops for small colleges and liberal arts universities as well as research universities; and discussions among traditionally Baptist colleges and universities focused on developing common research agendas and collaborative practices.


Hollins Establishes Research Initiative with Roanoke Valley Community Partners

Hollins University is launching a regional partnership with the Roanoke Valley that will focus on community-based research and learning.  Faculty and students from a diverse array of disciplines will be matched with area businesses and organizations to undertake a variety of cooperative projects.

“Hollins is deeply dedicated to civic engagement, social responsibility, and strengthening our roots in the local and regional community,” says Hollins President Pareena Lawrence. “This partnership reinforces and enhances this commitment, and celebrates the ideals of public citizenship. I can think of no better way to prepare our students to solve complex real-world problems than to immerse them in understanding these issues and applying the knowledge they are learning in their coursework together with the guidance of their faculty and our community partners to find solutions.

“I’m confident this initiative will provide exceptional experiential educational opportunities for our students while simultaneously helping to meet critical but unmet community needs,” she continues. “This partnership has the potential to infuse the Roanoke Valley with fresh ideas that will have an impact.”

Patricia Hammer, Hollins’ vice president for academic affairs, believes that collaborative, community-based research should be “an integral and vibrant part of our student learning experience. Matching community needs with specific courses strengthens our curriculum and our community in a way that is relevant and necessary in the 21st century.” She envisions the number of community partners growing each year in tandem with the increasing participation of students and faculty and the addition of new, related courses. “Our students and faculty are excited to begin this work.”

Hollins’ first partner in this endeavor is the Roanoke Valley – Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC), which for more than 45 years has spearheaded collaboration and strategy on issues that are critical to the economic growth, quality of life, and sustainability of the area. This summer, Hollins will be supporting an initiative created in 2011 by the RVARC and the Council of Community Services called the Partnership for a Livable Roanoke Valley.

“This undertaking focuses on economic and workforce development as well as fostering a healthy Roanoke Valley and preserving our natural assets,” explains RVARC Executive Director Wayne Strickland. “Beginning in May and continuing through August, students from Hollins will be helping us address some crucial questions: How do we track improvements? What measurements do we need? And, how do we sustain this work? The students will become engaged in our community, learn more about the area, and play a key role in determining where the Roanoke Valley wants to go in the future.”

Hollins’ regional partnership program is supported by the university’s Presidential Initiative Fund and is directed by Associate Professor of International Studies Jon Bohland. Three years ago, Bohland co-founded the Small Cities Institute, a research and teaching collaboration between Hollins, Roanoke College, and Virginia Tech where faculty and students tackle issues facing small urban areas around the globe.

Roanoke Valley businesses and organizations that are interested in exploring potential partnerships with Hollins are invited to contact Bohland at jbohland@hollins.edu.

“Hollins has enjoyed significant involvement in the community and region through the individual work of our faculty, staff, and students in research, public service, and internships,” says Lawrence. “This new partnership will provide more structure, public visibility, opportunity, and an overarching intentionality to this existing involvement, and will allow us to develop new ways to build upon our current efforts.”