In the Loop: Winter 2017

on February 9 | in Homepage, In the Loop | by

Pareena Lawrence named new president

Takes office in July 2017

Pareena Lawrence and others

Judy Lambeth ’73, chair of the Board of Trustees; President Gray; President-elect Pareena Lawrence; and Linda Koch Lorimer ’74, chair of the presidential search committee

Pareena Lawrence, provost and chief academic officer of Augustana College, has been named Hollins’ 12th president. She will take office in July 2017. Lawrence succeeds Nancy Oliver Gray, who will be retiring in June after serving as president of Hollins since 2005.

“We were intent on recruiting a president who is devoted to women’s education and the liberal arts, and is a proven leader and strategic thinker,” said Judy Lambeth ’73, chair of the Board of Trustees. “We wanted to find an individual who embodies the values we hold dear at Hollins and can also inspire us to advance the institution even further. Pareena has all these characteristics, together with boundless energy and optimism.”

Lawrence has been at Augustana, a 156-year-old, nationally ranked liberal arts college in Illinois, since 2011, and her responsibilities have gone beyond the traditional role of provost. In addition to serving as a primary architect of Augustana’s strategic plan, she has overseen an innovative set of student services, pioneered new career development initiatives, and has been a successful fundraiser and external ambassador for the college.

Lambeth described Lawrence as “a passionate believer in the power of a woman’s college. She movingly conveyed to our presidential search committee how attending a girls’ school in India changed her life. It is precisely our mission as a women’s college that has drawn Pareena to Hollins.”

Lawrence, 49, graduated from the University of Delhi in 1987 with honors in economics, and two years later moved to the United States to pursue her Ph.D. in economics at Purdue University. In 1994, she joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota at Morris, where she became a full professor of economics and management in 2008.

“It is a plus that Pareena is an award-winning instructor and an accomplished scholar, with research focusing on international development and women’s issues,” Lambeth explained. She added that Lawrence’s training as an economist gives her an extensive understanding of the finances of higher education, and her various administrative roles have equipped her to deal with the array of challenges and opportunities that arise on a college campus.

“Pareena embodies all that is a Hollins woman: smart, articulate, warm, caring, and engaged, and aligned with our mission,” said Hollins alumna Alexandra Trower ’86, a member of the Board of Trustees and the presidential search committee. “She has the ability to execute with excellence while always looking ahead toward a great vision and strategy.”

Photo by Sharon Meador


Top 100

Books by three Hollins authors on Amazon’s “best books” list

Books by Associate Professor of English Elizabeth Poliner, Beth Macy M.A. ’93, and Lee Smith ’67 are among’s Top 100 Editors’ Picks for 2016.

As Close To Us As Breathing novel As Close to Us as Breathing was an Amazon Best Book for March 2016. The story of a close-knit Jewish family striving to cope following a tragedy is “vivid, complex, and beautifully written,” said Edward P. Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Known World. “[It] brims with characters who leave an indelible impression on the mind and heart. Elizabeth Poliner is a wonderful talent and she should be read widely, and again and again.”



TruevinePublished in October, Macy’s Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South is one of six books that have been selected in the nonfiction category for the Kirkus Prize shortlist. Truevine has also been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence and is a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. The Amazon Book Review called it “a multilayered story that will captivate, haunt, and challenge you.”


DimestoreIn Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, Smith recalls how she became a storyteller while growing up in the Appalachian South, and discusses what later convinced her to embrace her heritage. “Smith delivers a memoir that shines with a bright spirit, a generous heart and an entertaining knack for celebrating absurdity,” noted The New York Times Book Review. “Although Dimestore is constructed as a series of personal essays, it presents as full a sense of a life as any traditional narrative.”





By the Numbers


The sobering realities of climate change

“Printing carbon like we’re printing money”

Berrien Moore


What do we know for sure about climate change? What do we think we know? What don’t we know? Berrien Moore, chair in climate studies at the University of Oklahoma, tackled those questions before a Hollins audience on October 10.

Moore, the husband of Gail Thurman Moore ’63, stated this certainty: “We know warming in the climate system is happening.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s [IPCC’s] assertion that humans are responsible for global warming may not be as unequivocal, he said, but “the IPCC’s categorization has evolved to ‘extremely likely’—a 95 percent chance. It’s due to CO2. We’re printing carbon like we’re printing money.”

Unfortunately, a realistic solution is also the biggest unknown. “We’ve got to cut CO2 emissions by 80 percent. But how do you change energy systems and not create economic havoc?” Moore insists that “we shouldn’t burn more coal” and calls natural gas the “fossil fuel of choice,” if the industry can control methane emissions. He is also bullish on alternative energy sources. However, he warned, the world is far behind in building the wind farms and solar and nuclear power plants needed to offset eliminating fossil fuels while meeting the ever-increasing demand for electricity.

Moore acknowledged that atmospheric stabilization will be tough, but “we’ve got to get out ahead of this thing.”

Photo by Sharon Meador

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