Open Enrollment Under Way for Executive Leadership Certificate Program

Hollins University’s Batten Leadership Institute has announced its Executive Education Certificate in Leadership Program for 2018.

The program features both women’s and co-educational cohorts, each of which consists of 12 sessions beginning in early April and continuing through early October.

“The Batten Leadership Institute challenges and develops leaders through tactical and intense certificate programs and customized organizational training,” said Program Director Abrina Schnurman-Crook. “We offer concrete, practical, and experiential learning exercises that link theory to practice and provide knowledge and skills that can be put into action from day one.”

Continuing in the program this year, Schnurman-Crook added, is “research from neuroscience and the emerging field of neuroleadership to improve performance, manage diversity, and facilitate better learning and decision-making.”

In other highlights, the program will explore:

  • Diagnosing challenges and responses
  • Conflict, risk, and change
  • Team functioning
  • Feedback from multiple perspectives
  • Interpersonal situations from a strategic view of systems
  • Understanding systems and culture applied to each particpant’s specific organization
  • Assessment portfolios, including multiple 360-degree assessments

In order to maximize learning and engagement, each cohort is limited to ten participants. The cost of $3,800 includes course materials, books, refreshments, and online assessments and individual appointments for assessment review, which will take place in February and March. Scholarships are available, and a ten percent discount is offered to organizations that enroll two or more employees.

“Over the past 13 years, this program has invested 526 training hours with professionals in the Roanoke area, who have expanded their capacities in emotional intelligence, team functioning, and conflict and communication,” Schnurman-Crook explained. “They have learned strategic uses of authority across power structures and systems. They have gleaned significant value in networking with others across industries and agreed to be held accountable in their cohorts for creating real movement within themselves, while challenging others to do the same.”

For more information, contact Abrina Schnurman-Crook at 540-362-7488 or aschnurmancrook@hollins.edu. To register, visit the Executive Certificate in Leadership Registration page. While official enrollment ends February 14, the enrollment process will conclude as soon as the program is full. At that point, a wait list for priority registration in 2019 will begin.


Hollins, Carilion Clinic, Turn the Page Partner to Promote Early Literacy

 

For Carilion Children’s youngest patients, this Thanksgiving came with a special treat – a newly republished Margaret Wise Brown book, and a pair of accomplished leaders (and moms) to read it to them.

Hollins President Pareena Lawrence and Carilion Clinic President and CEO Nancy Howell Agee spent their Thanksgiving morning reading to patients at Carilion Children’s. In addition to reading Brown’s perennial favorites Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, the two leaders introduced the children to Four Fur Feet.

“We wanted to make this Thanksgiving just a little brighter for our patients and their families,” said Agee. “It’s difficult being in a hospital, and especially during a holiday. Brown’s books have been a comfort to children for many decades and our patients were pretty excited to hear Four Fur Feet.”

Thanks to a partnership between Carilion and the Roanoke-based non-profit Turn The Page, and another partnership between Turn The Page and Hollins, every child born at Carilion during the year will receive the book. Hollins, which is Brown’s alma mater, is the repository for hundreds of her manuscripts, and made the Four Fur Feet manuscript available to be published.

“We know that children who are read to early in life become better readers – better learners – as they grow,” said Lawrence. “I’m thrilled that our partners at Turn The Page have made it their mission to get books into the hands of the 3,000 babies born at Carilion every year.”

Turn The Page’s mission is to increase awareness of the benefits of reading with children from birth and to provide every child born in the Roanoke Valley with his or her own home library of books during the first three years of life.

“Reading aloud is a simple way for parents to help their children grow,” said Lauren Ellerman, founder and board member of Turn The Page. “The partnerships with Carilion and Hollins are helping us get great books like Brown’s into the hands of families in the region.”

Lawrence, Agee, and Turn The Page volunteers finished out the morning by visiting several units of the hospital, including labor and delivery, mother-baby, and southwest Virginia’s only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and handing out the book to interested families.


Hollins Senior Finds Her Calling During Peruvian Disaster

Florida, Puerto Rico, and Texas are not alone this year in coping with the overwhelming impact of a natural disaster. During the early months of 2017, Peru’s annual rainy season morphed into a climate event nightmare, particularly in the country’s northern region.

“Ten times the usual amount of rain has fallen on Peru’s coast, swelling rivers which caused widespread flooding, and triggering huge landslides which tore through shanty towns,” The Guardian reported last April. “More than 100 people have died, nearly 158,000 are displaced, and 210,000 homes are damaged, according to Peru’s emergency operations centre. The country’s infrastructure took a big hit: 260 bridges collapsed and nearly 3,000km of roads are unusable, cutting off hundreds of villages and towns.”

This was the scene awaiting Meagan Rioux ’18, a business and economics double major from Ohio, and three other Hollins students when they arrived in Peru for Spring Break last March. The four friends traveled to the South American nation to embark on a 12-day hike covering the Cordillera Huayhuash in the Andean Mountains. Considered one of the top ten trekking circuits in the world, the Huayhuash encompasses breathtaking mountain passes, renowned peaks, and a spectacular array of flora and fauna.

With all roads to the Huayhuash blocked due to the flooding, Rioux and her friends were forced to make the disappointing choice to abandon their hike. But the surrounding catastrophe convinced them to take their trip in a new and completely unexpected direction.

“We were really upset about cancelling the hike. But then we saw what was going on and decided, ‘We’re here, how can we help out?’” Rioux recalls. “We visited a local travel agency and asked the woman in charge if she knew of any organizations we could contact that were helping in the relief effort. It turned out she was planning to volunteer the following day in the areas that were affected, so we went with her to offer aid.”

The four Hollins students reached out not only to local residents in need but also gave crucial care to the domesticated animals they encountered, dogs in particular. “You see images of natural disasters, but there is nothing like going through first-hand what a natural disaster does to a community of people, both economically and emotionally,” Rioux explains. One of her most enduring memories occurred after returning on the bus from working in a severely damaged locale. “We were tired and really shaken up, but then the Peruvian volunteers we went with came up and thanked us profusely. ‘There are Peruvians who are not even responding,’ they said, ‘You’re not from our country, you don’t speak our language, but you’re helping.’ They got teary-eyed.”

For Rioux, delivering disaster relief was “the best experience. It completely turned my life around because it changed my path of what I want to do as a career. Before that, I wanted to take a corporate finance route, but Peru made me realize that humanitarian aid is something I want to do, one hundred percent. I’ve always enjoyed helping people and doing nonprofit work, and those moments of helping people in that context sparked something inside of me. It made me realize I want to make a difference. If there are problems within the policies of disaster relief, I want to be part of the solution.”

Rioux recently applied to join the Peace Corps after she graduates from Hollins next spring. In the meantime she’s devoting part of her busy senior year to continuing the work she began in South America.

“When Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria occurred,” she explains, “I had to do something. Not just a fundraiser but an act of support.” A runner, Rioux came up with the idea to promote a 5K run-walk (“a perfect way to get people together”) and created a partnership between Hollins and Roanoke College students to sponsor it. In just a month’s time, Rioux and others organized the event, which took place October 28 on the Roanoke College campus. With participants from Hollins, Roanoke College, and the community at large, the event raised money for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and also facilitated in-kind donations for a Roanoke College student whose family lives in Puerto Rico.

Whether it’s responding to a major natural calamity a continent away or spearheading a disaster relief initiative closer to home, Rioux encourages all students to get involved in some way. “In the future, I hope they see something like this happening and will want to take action.”

Photo caption: Natalie Badawy ’17 (front) and Meagan Rioux ’18 (second from front) assist in disaster relief efforts in Peru following widespread flooding and landslides. 

 

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Student Brings Advocacy to Va. Board for People with Disabilities

For some time, Alexus Smith ’19 has sought to foster greater awareness of the issues that people with disabilities face. Now, she will be taking her interest in activism to a statewide level, thanks to her appointment by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD).

 

Smith will serve a four-year term and will be eligible for reappointment.

“The board works for the benefit of individuals with DD (developmental disabilities) and their families to identify needs and help develop policies, programs, and services that will meet these needs in a manner that respects dignity and independence,” says VBPD Executive Director Heidi Lawyer. “A key aspect of our work is to advise the Governor, legislators, and government agencies on public policy issues as well as on how to develop programs and services for people with DD that will eliminate barriers to full inclusion in all facets of community life.”

Alexus Smith '19
“Advocacy is vital to disability culture and my life as a disabled woman.” – Alexus Smith ’19

“Advocacy is vital to disability culture and my life as a disabled woman,” says Smith, an English major from South Boston, Virginia. “The rights of my people will always be one of my many passions along with my love for English and literature. I hope I can use my degree and skills as part of my advocacy work.”

Smith’s journey to VBPD membership began in 2013. “I was a student in the Youth Leadership Forum (YLF), a board-sponsored training program that focuses on post-high school transition, self-advocacy, goal setting, self-acceptance, and job-related skills such as resume writing,” she explains. As a YLF alumna, she was invited to apply this year for one of the openings on the board. Her application and others were reviewed by the director of the VBPD. Recommendations were then made to the Governor, who has the final say on appointments.

Smith wants to achieve a number of goals during her board membership. “I hope to gain a better understanding of disability policy so that I can advocate more effectively for the needs of people like myself. There are many factors that make up the lifestyles, access to resources, and emotional well-being of people with disabilities, and I want to address this issue.”

Smith adds that she plans to draw upon her experiences as a student, mentor, awareness event planner, and writer to introduce new ideas to the board. “Compassion, openness, a strong voice, and attention to detail are at the core of my leadership style and I am excited to bring those attributes forward to benefit the board’s mission.”


Alumna Successfully Fights for Bill to Combat Opioid Addiction

New Hampshire is one of many states across the nation that is desperately seeking ways to battle a burgeoning epidemic of drug addiction. Thanks in large measure to the advocacy of a licensed acupuncturist and Hollins alumna, treatment providers now have a powerful new tool in their arsenal.

Elizabeth Ropp ’99, who lives in Manchester and has been a practicing acupuncturist for 10 years, fought for passage of House Bill 575, which permits recovery and mental health professionals in New Hampshire to use ear acupuncture to treat addicts.

“That might sound strange, but it works,” Ropp wrote last March in an opinion piece for the Concord Monitor. “Acupuncture can be a safe, cheap and effective tool to help people in all stages of addiction recovery. It can help soothe the symptoms of withdrawal, reduce cravings, and ease anxiety or trauma that can lead people to use drugs in the first place.”

She concluded, “New Hampshire is first-in-the-nation for death by fentanyl overdose. This is a problem that touches all of us. We need to open up as many pathways to recovery as possible. We are all in this together, and together we can get through this.”

According to Ropp, HB 575 allows for both licensed and non-licensed addiction recovery and mental health workers to be trained and certified in ear acupuncture, “a simple procedure that involves placing five tiny needles in specific points around the outer ear. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association has trained more than 10,000 health professionals across the country in this practice.”

Ropp and others effectively lobbied state senators and representatives from both political parties on the benefits of ear acupuncture and the steps necessary to make it affordable and eliminate unnecessary administrative costs. The bill became law on July 1.

“We could be trendsetters for the nation,” Ropp told the New Hampshire Union Leader in June. “With this bill, we have more flexibility, we have seen the mistakes other states have made in setting this up and learned from them.”

 

Photo Caption: Elizabeth Ropp ’99 (right) with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on the day House Bill 575 was passed into law.

 

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Hollins, Roanoke College Name Kendig Award Winners for 2017

The late John Sailer, the Grandin Theatre Foundation, and Judy and Joel Tenzer have been honored with this year’s Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards.

Co-sponsored by Hollins University and Roanoke College, the Kendig Awards program has recognized distinction in arts and culture in the Roanoke Valley for more than 30 years. Awards are presented in each of the following categories: Individual Artist, Arts and Cultural Organization, and Individual or Business Arts Supporter.

Sailer, who died in 2015, is this year’s Individual Artist award recipient. With an M.F.A. in scene and lighting design from the University of Oklahoma, he first came to Roanoke in 1981 to work at what was then called Mill Mountain Playhouse. Sailer soon became the “go to” set and lighting designer in the Roanoke Valley, mounting sets for Mill Mountain Theatre, Opera Roanoke, Hollins University, Roanoke Ballet Theatre, Patrick Henry High School, Opera on the James, and others. Ernie Zulia, director of the Hollins Theatre Institute, said of Sailer, “He had an imagination that could create a world for a play that was not only beautiful but dynamic. He had a real gift.” Sailer’s wife Rachel accepted the award on his behalf.

The Grandin Theatre Foundation received the Kendig Award in the Arts and Cultural Organization category.  In addition to its role as a neighborhood economic and cultural anchor offering a movie theatre, art gallery, and gathering place, the Grandin has been successful in supporting educational outreach within the community at large. Over 20 schools attended programs at the Grandin last year, and the facility has collaborated with local organizations and non-profits to present films that stimulate conversation on important issues. The newest educational outreach program is the Grandin Theatre Film Lab, an after school program for high school students interested in the cinematic arts who want to learn the process of filmmaking from screenwriting to production to editing.

The Kendig Award in the Individual or Business Arts Supporter category was presented to Judy and Joel Tenzer. For more than four decades, the Tenzers have distinguished themselves with their devotion to and patronage of the arts in the Roanoke Valley. They have served on the boards of such organizations as the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Taubman Museum of Art, the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge, and Mill Mountain Theatre. “They have built relationships and networks of people to join them in collecting art, attending performances, and supporting cultural organizations,” said Roanoke College President Mike Maxey. “The Tenzers are leading by example and their long-standing commitment has truly enhanced the quality of life in our region.”

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 program was established in 1985 and presented annually by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge through 2012. Hollins and Roanoke College first partnered the following year to bestow the honors, and congratulate the 2017 winners.

 


Hollins, Roanoke College Welcome Nominations for the 2017 Perry F. Kendig Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards, which recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations in the Roanoke Valley that provide exemplary leadership in or support for the arts.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, July 28. Nomination forms and other information are available at https://kendig.press.hollins.edu/.

Hollins University and Roanoke College have cosponsored the awards since 2013. Roanoke College will host the 2017 Kendig Awards presentation on Thursday, September 28, 5:30 p.m. in Olin Hall Galleries.

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

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

Individuals, businesses, and organizations from the 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.

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.


First-Year Student Is Crowned Miss Teen Virginia United States

Monica Osborne ’20 will be advocating for locally sourced food and the importance of good childhood nutrition as the new Miss Teen Virginia United States.

Osborne, who hails from Independence, Virginia, won the crown at Roanoke’s Dumas Center on April 8.

As part of her reign, Osborne will be promoting her platform, “Buy Local, Eat Local, Be Local.” She created the initiative in 2013 by partnering with area farmers and farmers markets in southwest Virginia.

“My parents are farmers so every day I see the value of supporting local agriculture and the local economy,” Osborne explains.

Among her duties as Miss Teen Virginia United States, Osborne says she is most looking forward to traveling across the commonwealth to visit elementary schools. “It’s very important to teach children early on in their lives how vital it is to make healthy eating choices.”

This July, Osborne will compete for the title of Miss Teen United States in Orlando, Florida.

 

Photo credit: Goodwin Photography

 

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Students, Faculty Give Flight to “Roanoke Wings” Art Installation

Hollins University students led by Associate Professor of Art Jennifer Anderson have constructed a new public art installation in downtown Roanoke.

“Roanoke Wings” is located in Market Square and features three sets of wings, each with their own unique design that ties into the history, charm, and people of Roanoke. The installation is free and accessible to anyone walking through downtown. Visitors will be invited to take pictures standing behind each Roanoke Wing and share them on social media with the hashtag #roanokewings. They are also encouraged to look closely and experience all that can be seen within these unique pieces of art.

“This project has been a crucial part of a public art class that I am teaching this semester,” Anderson said. “It’s given students the unique opportunity to create something that can be shared with the greater Roanoke community. Our goal was for the project to be colorful, engaging, and educational. And of course, we can’t wait to see the images that appear online.”

“Roanoke Wings” will remain on display through January 6, 2017, and is the result of a collaboration between Hollins, Downtown Roanoke, Inc., and the Roanoke Arts Commission. The installation is the first in a series of planned public art projects in downtown Roanoke.


Hollins Soccer Shares a Holiday Treat with RAMS Students

In what has become an annual tradition, the Hollins University soccer team recently led an afternoon of learning and fun with students at the Roanoke Academy for Math and Science (RAMS).

Head Coach Robin Ramirez and team members taught the fundamentals of soccer and played the game with the youngsters. After sharing a snack, players read to the students as part of their “Fun Friday.”

A statement on the RAMS webpage noted, “The willingness of [the] Hollins University soccer team, head coach, and RAMS staff to make this a reality is rewarding and inspiring for all those involved. We at Roanoke Academy for Math and Science truly appreciate the women’s team [taking] time to spend with our children. To connect with them in a variety of settings is a testament to [their] ability to become a source of inspiration and serve as role models.”

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