U.S. News Places Hollins Among the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges

Hollins University is one of the top liberal arts colleges and universities in the country, according to the publication, 2016 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges.

U.S. News released this year’s rankings online on September 9.

Hollins is ranked number 108 in the category, Best National Liberal Arts Colleges. It is tied with Hampden-Sydney College as the fourth highest-ranked liberal arts college in Virginia, behind Washington and Lee University, the University of Richmond, and Virginia Military Institute.

Hollins is also among the nation’s ten highest-ranked women’s colleges.

U.S. News states that it calculates its rankings using “quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality.

“The indicators we use to capture academic quality fall into a number of categories: assessment by administrators at peer institutions, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, graduation rate performance and, for National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges only, high school counselor ratings of colleges.”

For more information, visit http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges.

 


Senior Receives Distinguished Student Researcher Award

In recognition of the exceptional environmental research she performed while studying abroad during the spring of 2015, The School for Field Studies (SFS) has presented its Distinguished Student Researcher Award to Kayla Deur ’16. She was recognized for the research project she conducted at the SFS Center for Mekong Studies in Cambodia.

Each year, the SFS honors a student from the Center who has demonstrated extraordinary skill in contributing to the Center’s research agenda, as evidenced by their Directed Research (DR) paper, oral presentations, and approach to the research project. The award not only cites excellence and diligence in research, but also teamwork and leadership shown during the semester. Outcomes of the projects provide information and recommendations to community members and other stakeholders on critical, local environmental issues.

Deur explored the usage of traditional medicine on a household level, as well as how traditional knowledge is being transmitted cross-generationally and spatially across village domains. According to Lisa Granese, SFS vice president for enrollment and institutional relations, “Her work provides a sound foundation for future research at the Center, and Professor Lisa Arensen, Deur’s DR advisor, comments that her project ‘is an impressive example of undergraduate research.'” Through her work, Deur contributed to a growing list of plants that were indicated as medicinally important by locals.

SFS creates transformative study abroad experiences through field-based learning and research. Its educational programs explore the human and ecological dimensions of the complex environmental problems faced by its local partners, contributing to sustainable solutions in the places where people live and work. The SFS community is part of a growing network of individuals and institutions committed to environmental stewardship.


Hollins Lacrosse Among IWLCA Division III Academic Honor Squads

The Hollins University lacrosse team is one of 129 colleges and universities from across the nation, and one of six Old Dominion Athletic Conference member schools, that have been cited as Division III Academic Honor Squads for the 2015 season.

Schools with a team GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible for Academic Squad recognition. Division I, II, III, and NAIA schools that earn this designation are announced annually by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA).

Hollins Lacrosse’s 2016 schedule kicks off  February 27 with a match at the University of the District of Columbia.


Hollins Featured in “The Best 380 Colleges”; Theatre Program Is Ranked Among the Nation’s 20 Best

The Princeton Review has named Hollins University one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education.

Hollins is included in the new 2016 edition of the education services company’s flagship college guide, The Best 380 Colleges. In addition, the publication ranks the university 19th in the country in the category, “Best College Theater.”

According to The Princeton Review, only about 15% of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and only four colleges outside the U.S. are profiled in the book. Published annually since 1992, it includes detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores for all schools in eight categories, plus ranking lists of top 20 schools in the book in 62 categories based on The Princeton Review’s surveys of students attending the colleges.

“Hollins’ outstanding academics are the chief reason we chose it for this book and we strongly recommend it to applicants,” says Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s Senior VP-Publisher and author of The Best 380 Colleges.  “We make our selections primarily based on data we collect through our annual surveys of administrators at several hundred four-year colleges. Additionally, we give considerable weight to observations from our school visits, opinions of our staff and our 23-member National College Counselor Advisory Board, and an unparalleled amount of feedback we get from our surveys of students attending these schools. We also keep a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character.”

In its profile of Hollins, The Princeton Review notes, “Students at Hollins ‘adore the school.’ The women of Hollins describe themselves as ‘empowered, enthusiastic,’ ‘worldly, aware,’ ‘strong, and confident.’” Underscoring Hollins Theatre’s high national ranking in The Best 380 Colleges, the profile quotes students as stating that the program “is excellent, and the shows are always worth going to.”

The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges from 1 to 380 in any category.  Instead it uses students’ ratings of their schools to compile 62 ranking lists of top 20 colleges in the book in various categories. The lists in this edition are entirely based on The Princeton Review’s survey of 136,000 students (about 358 per campus on average) attending the colleges. The 80-question survey asks students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences. Topics range from their assessments of their professors as teachers to opinions about their school’s library, career services, and student body’s political leanings. The Princeton Review explains the basis for each ranking list at http://www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings/ranking-methodology.

The Best 380 Colleges is the 24th edition of The Princeton Review’s annual Best Colleges book.

 


Senior One of Only Ten Students Nationwide to Receive Saudi Arabia Exchange Fellowship

Hollins University senior Pavithra Suresh has been awarded a Saudi Arabia Exchange Fellowship/Malone Fellowship by the National Council on U.S. – Arab Relations (NCUSAR), a non-profit, non-governmental, educational organization dedicated to improving American understanding of the Arab world.

The fellowship provides an all-expenses-paid study trip to Saudi Arabia between December 26, 2015 and January 6, 2016. During the subsequent 2016 fellowship year, Suresh and other fellows will engage in a variety of activities in order to share their new-found knowledge of Saudi Arabia with the American public.

Hollins Professor of Political Science Ed Lynch, who recommended Suresh for the fellowship, noted that “only ten students nationwide are selected for this exceptional learning opportunity each year. Pavithra will be a great representative of Hollins University.”

Applicants must have previously participated in Model Arab League, NCUSAR’s flagship student leadership development program that is similar to Model United Nations. Suresh was a member of the Hollins delegation that took part in the Southeast Regional Model Arab League at Converse College in March. She and teammate Emily Garcia ’18 were named Best Delegation for their work on the Palestinian Affairs Council

Hollins is hosting the Appalachia Regional Model Arab League, November 6 – 8. The conference is open to high school as well as college and university students.


Director of Hollins Outdoors Joins Coastal Canoeists Board of Directors

Jon Guy Owens, director of the Hollins Outdoor Program, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Coastal Canoeists, Virginia’s largest canoeing and kayaking club.

“I am excited to work with Coastal Canoeists to help grow their presence in southwest Virginia and increase involvement with college and university groups,” Owens said. “Most of all, I hope to take advantage of the club’s great emphasis on camaraderie and sense of unity to open up paddling options to Hollins students.”

Based in Richmond and family oriented, Coastal Canoeists has members of all skill and age levels from across Virginia and the United States who share a passion for water sports and a love for the outdoors. The club encourages environmental responsibility to keep Virginia’s and America’s rivers clean.

 


Political Science Professor Selected as Oman Alwaleed Fellow

Hollins University Professor of Political Science Ed Lynch has been named an Oman Alwaleed Fellow for 2015-16 by the National Council on U.S. – Arab Relations (NCUSAR).

The fellowship includes a study visit to the Middle Eastern nation of Oman in August.

The fellowship is highly competitive; only eight college professors are selected each year nationwide. After visiting Oman, fellows will spend the year implementing a variety of programs, events, and outreach efforts in their home communities. These programs will permit Alwaleed Fellows to share their knowledge of Oman and familiarize Americans with this strategically important country.

“The nation of Oman lies directly across the Strait of Hormuz from Iran, and most oil tankers that enter and exit that waterway do so through Omani territory,” Lynch said. “Given Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the volatility of the world oil market, knowing more about the role of the Gulf States, and Oman in particular, is vitally important.

“Most Omanis are fairly knowledgeable about the United States, but most Americans know almost nothing about Oman. I hope my efforts will address that imbalance.”

Lynch expressed his optimism that his fellowship is the start of an ongoing relationship with NCUSAR’s student programs, which include dozens of Model Arab League conferences around the country. Hollins will host the 2015 Appalachia Regional Model Arab League Conference in November.

“We are proud of Ed’s fellowship, and happy that Model Arab League will be coming to Hollins,” said Hollins President Nancy Gray, noting that Hollins students have been active participants in Model United Nations for years.

Lynch chairs the political science department at Hollins, and is a former Academic Fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He has previously traveled to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Chile, Denmark, Israel, and the People’s Republic of China as part of official delegations.


Hollins, Roanoke College Accepting Nominations for the 2015 Perry F. Kendig Awards

The Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards, which this year celebrates 30 years of recognizing exemplary individuals, businesses, and organizations in the Roanoke Valley that support excellence in the arts, is now welcoming nominations for its 2015 honors.

The deadline for nominations is July 15.

Hollins University and Roanoke College have co-sponsored the awards since 2013, and Roanoke College will host the 2015 Kendig Awards presentation on September 2.

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.

“The Kendig Awards program provides a focal point for celebrating the Roanoke Valley’s cultural identity,” said Hollins President Nancy Gray. “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 respective campus environments and the community at large,” added Roanoke College President Mike Maxey. “We are proud to join once again with Hollins to champion this event.”

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.

 


Lange Appointed to Virginia Board of Education

Lorraine S. Lange, who will become director of Hollins University’s Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (M.A.L.S.) programs on July 1, has been appointed to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration as a member of the commonwealth’s Board of Education.

Lange is retiring this month as superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools. She began her career as a teacher in Roanoke in 1969 and went on to serve as assistant principal, principal, supervisor of language arts K-12, associate director of instruction, assistant superintendent of instruction, and deputy superintendent of instruction before she was named superintendent in 2006. Her distinguished contributions to K-12 were recognized when she was named Virginia Superintendent of the Year in 2012. That same year, she was one of four finalists for National Superintendent of the Year.


Hollins Student Conference Showcases Undergraduate Work

A variety of podium presentations, poster presentations, and performances from across all disciplines highlighted the 2015 Hollins Student Conference on April 11 in Moody Student Center.

The conference provides an opportunity for the university to come together to celebrate the scholarly and creative work of undergraduate students.

Awards were presented to presentations or performances in the following categories:

Exploring Ideas: Hollins Honors Program Projects

First Place
“Into the Blue: The Universal Essence of Color Between Lapis Lazuli and Mayan Blue”
Madi Hurley ’17, art/business
Rory Keeley ’17, mathematics

Third Place
“Historical Hysteria”
Emili McPhail ’18, communication studies/international studies
Amanda McVey ’18, English
Elizabeth Trout ’17, political science/communication studies
Amelia Verkerk ’18, classical studies

Third Place
“#FirstTimeFeminists: An Engagement of Young Females in the Feminist Activist Movement”
Cierra Earl ’18, undeclared
Taylor Humin ’17, English with creative writing
Danielle Raymond ’18, English with creative writing

Exploring Contemporary Issues in Science and Society

First Place
“Brenda’s Baby’s Got a Gun: Open Carry Activism as a Tool for White Privilege”
Lachelle Roddy ’15, political science

Second Place
“The Effects of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on Human and Environmental Health”
Alexis Banaszak ’18, biology

Second Place
“Racism in France: The Intersection Between Immigration, Economy, and the Far Right”
Marissa Richerson ’17, environmental science

Exploring Culture through Art and Religion

First Place
“Oil Painting: Associations Between Color and Mood”
Georgina Bellhouse ’16, studio art

Second Place
“Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art: The People’s Museum”
Allison Schmitt ’15, art history/history

Exploring Questions in Math and Science – Poster Presentation

Third Place
“Applications of Abstract Algebra: Symmetry in Spanish Arab Tile Patterns”
Caitlin Orzechowski ’15, mathemactics