In the Loop: Winter 2019

on January 28 | in Homepage, In the Loop | by

Photo of students in front of rock

Class of 2022

World Class

The class of 2022 boasts a range of accomplishments and unprecedented diversity

This year’s first-year class is special for many reasons. There are at least six Girl Scouts, two high school class presidents, and three captains of athletic teams. One member of the class was a principal dancer with Nashville’s Centennial Youth Ballet, another produced a film that was accepted at the SXSW Film Festival, and a third hiked the entire Virginia portion of the Appalachian Trail. A former Miss Virginia’s Outstanding Teen is also a first-year student, and one of her classmates completed a summer enrichment program with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Even more remarkable is the class of 2022’s racial and ethnic diversity. Approximately 40 percent of its members are students of color and/or are of Hispanic/Latinx descent. The class features 20 international students, the most in memory for an incoming class. They hail from Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mauritius, Rwanda, and Taiwan.

“Increasing the diversity in our student population enhances the campus culture in positive ways,” notes Jeri Suarez, associate dean of Cultural and Community Engagement (CCE), which works to cultivate a diverse and inclusive community at Hollins. “Our new students of color and international students are making their voices heard and they are providing leadership in student government, athletics, and the performing arts as well as in CCE programs and events. Their perspective has added depth to the discussions in our Face2Face diversity leadership series, and our cultural events have been enriched.”

Hollins furthered its commitment to international students and to campus-wide globalization this fall when it joined the #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship initiative. As part of the program, which includes nearly 60 colleges and universities from across the country, the university pledges to create scholarships for international students to study in the U.S.

“The #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship at Hollins recognizes promising international students with a vision for enhancing intercultural understanding,” says Ashley Browning M.A.L.S. ’13, Hollins’ vice president for enrollment management.

Two first-year students will receive an annual, renewable scholarship of $15,000 beginning in the fall 2019 semester. This scholarship is open to all academic majors and fields of study and is applied to tuition costs.

To qualify, students must be first-year international applicants to Hollins. They are required to hold citizenship in a country outside the U.S. and not also possess U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. And they should demonstrate interest and personal initiative in activities involving intercultural learning and exchange.

Photo credit: Sharon Meador


Photo of Jodi Kantor

Jodie Kantor on the power of journalism

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist helped spark the #metoo movement

Distinguished Speaker Kantor brought an important message to campus last fall: that journalism can be used for the public good. The investigative reporter and bestselling author helped expose Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual abuse allegations. Kantor and fellow reporter Megan Twohey broke the Weinstein story in October 2017 in The New York Times, and their work has played a significant role in shifting attitudes and spurring new laws, policies, and standards of accountability around the glove.

Photo credit: Sharon Meador


Go green. Stay gold.

Student interns drive sports social media

Photo of two students in the gym

Sophomores Brie Faircloth and Charlie Vollmers, social media interns in the athletics office

As interns with the athletics program, sophomores Brie Faircloth and Charlie Vollmers are charged with using social media to increase audience enthusiasm and participation. Faircloth is in charge of the app SuperFanU, used by the athletics office, which announces game times and scores and, through points accrual, earns rewards for fans. Faircloth’s efforts during the first two months of fall semester increased the number of SuperFanU users by more than 100.

Vollmers’ focus is on Instagram, Twitter, and a new Facebook page, launched last fall. “There’s a lot of back and forth,” she said about the work she and Faircloth are doing. “We push each other’s efforts.”

For example, when they found that their audience prefers videos over photos, they created a stop-motion video promoting upcoming volleyball and soccer games, which they pushed on various platforms. “Analytics on Twitter showed us that the number-one interest is dogs,” says Vollmers, so she and Faircloth planned a “bring your dog to the game” day for a late-October soccer game.

Sports fans and players themselves (both are on the volleyball team), they enjoy promoting Hollins athletics. Although neither has declared a major yet, they lean toward business. “I was intrigued by the opportunity to learn more about marketing and sports marketing,” says Vollmers of her internship. “I don’t know if I want to go into sports marketing, but it is something I would definitely consider.”

  • The Hollins version of SuperFanU is free in the app store.
  • More about Hollins athletics:
  • Twitter: @HollinsSports
  • Instagram: hollinssports

Photo credit: Sharon Meador


Students spend weeks researching book of hours

Class creates digital exhibit on one of the library’s most valuable documents

Photo of rare manuscriptFrom 1926 until her death in 1941, Lucy Winton McVitty served as a member of the Hollins Board of Trustees. Two years after her death, her husband, industrialist Samuel Herbert McVitty, honored her memory by donating to the library an extensive collection of manuscripts and rare books.

One of the treasures contained in the collection dates back to the late 15th century: a handmade French volume of prayer called a “book of hours.” Intended for use by laypeople of the day, books of hours were produced throughout the medieval period. In addition to devotional text, the books featured not just illustrations but “some of the greatest paintings and drawings of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance,” according to Wendy A. Stein of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The paintings were intended to foster reflection and devotion.”

Seventy-five years after its presentation to Hollins, the gift of what has been dubbed the “McVitty Hours” continues to resonate. Last fall, students in the Gothic Art seminar taught by Professor of Art Kathleen Nolan conducted original research on the book’s images, or “miniatures,” and created detailed catalogue entries for Wyndham Robertson Library’s Digital Exhibits website.

“It’s unusual for an institution of our size to own a manuscript of this caliber, and while students here have worked with this book before, I wanted the students in this particular seminar to develop a visible record of their research and enhance the online presence of this gorgeous manuscript,” Nolan explains.

“We want students to engage with the material and think about how new approaches to research can create new meaning for them and for the wider scholarly community with whom they are sharing their work,” says Taylor Kenkel, technical services and metadata librarian at Hollins. “This effort is usually teamwork-driven, with each person contributing a bit of their own expertise to create something that wouldn’t be possible if we were each going at it alone.”

Clara Souvignier ’20, an art history major, says, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to come into such a close encounter with a manuscript like this that isn’t behind glass in a museum. It’s a prize that we have something this old and this worthwhile. The trust that Professor Nolan and the library placed in us means a lot.”


IMPACT grants promote faculty research

Funds for new or ongoing projects

Made possible by generous alumnae support, IMPACT grants provide funds for professors’ research and creative work. In their application for the grant, faculty members must explain the impact of their projects in the following ways: contribution to the discipline, expected outcome, effect on the institution, and recent record of scholarly or creative achievement.

Selected by the university’s Faculty Development and Student Research Committee, the 2018 IMPACT grant recipients represent the breadth and scope of the liberal arts. Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Morgan Wilson spent a week during the summer of 2018 investigating the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria on two invertebrate organisms that affect coral reef ecosystems in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, he partnered this summer with Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Elizabeth Gleim ’06 and Ciera Morris ’19 on research into tick populations in Southwest Virginia.

Gleim and Madison Simms ’20 also worked together last summer to study the infestation dynamics of the emerald ash borer, which has killed millions of ash trees in the U.S.

Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Renee Godard was also in St. John to study how a critically endangered species, Acropora palmate, responded to the same storms. This summer, she worked with Elaine Metz ’19 to examine if proximity to seagrass meadows can improve coral viability and health on the island.

Through his IMPACT grant, Professor of Political Science Ed Lynch analyzed the United States’ response to the Arab Spring, while another grant supported Associate Professor of International Studies Jon Bohland with an extended book project linking research on collective memory along the historical Great Wagon Road (Philadelphia to Augusta, Ga.) and in Israel and Palestine. Bohland and his collaborator are examining issues of counter-memory and how marginalized communities challenge dominant versions of history through a number of strategies and techniques.

Associate Professor of Art Jennifer Printz used her grant for a project called De Rerum Natura.









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