Hollins Swimming Earns Scholar All-America Honors

The Hollins University swim team has been awarded Scholar All-America status for the Spring 2018 semester by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).

This is the sixth semester in a row in which the CSCAA has honored Hollins Swimming. To receive Scholar All-America status, teams must have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher during the semester. The swim team boasted a 3.52 GPA this spring.

Hollins Swimming can also claim the distinction of being the top academic team within the Old Dominion Athletic Conference overall for the second consecutive semester.

“We can’t wait to continue this trend next year,” said Head Swim Coach Patrick Richardson.


Emili McPhail ’18 Crowned Miss Virginia

For the second year in a row, a Hollins University alumna has been named Miss Virginia.

Emili McPhail ’18, who graduated from Hollins this spring, won this year’s scholarship competition, which was held June 21-23 at Liberty University in Lynchburg. “Ending Hunger in the U.S.” was the communication studies major’s platform, and in the talent competition she performed a number on piano from the Broadway musical, The Phantom of the Opera.

The former Miss Arlington will receive over $20,000 in scholarship funds and compete in the Miss America Pageant in September.

“I congratulate Emili on this tremendous accomplishment and wish her the very best as she heads to Atlantic City this fall,” said Hollins President Pareena Lawrence.

McPhail succeeds Cecili Weber ’17, who reigned as Miss Virginia 2017. “We are extremely proud of Cecili’s representation of the commonwealth and Hollins over the past year,” said Lawrence.

In addition to McPhail, one other Hollins alumna and two current students took part in the Miss Virginia Pageant this year:

  •  Andolyn Medina ’16, Miss Piedmont Region, was among the 12 contestants who made the final round of competition. She also received the 2018 Miss America State Community Service Award and the Volunteerism Award sponsored by Wells Fargo and the Margaret R. Baker Charitable Foundation.
  • Dominga Murray ’20, Miss Crooked Road, was also a top 12 finalist and a recipient of the Volunteerism Award.
  • Monica Osborne ’20, Miss Dominion, was presented the Caitlin Uze Legacy of Kindness Award.

 

 

 

 


Four Hollins Contestants to Vie for Miss Virginia

The 2018 Miss Virginia Pageant, which takes place June 21 – 23 on the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, will boast a significant presence from Hollins University.

The reigning Miss Virginia, Cecili Weber, is a Hollins alumna (she’s a member of the class of 2017), and this year’s competition features four contestants who are recent graduates or current students:

 

  • Andolyn Medina ’16, Miss Piedmont Region, whose platform is “Demand an End: Stop Childhood Exploitation and Human Trafficking.” She will sing an opera vocal in the talent portion of the competition.
  • Emili McPhail ’18, Miss Arlington, is an advocate for “Ending Hunger in the U.S.” She will play piano in the talent competition.
  • Dominga Murray ’20, Miss Crooked Road, is promoting “Hunger Has a Cure” and will display her vocal talent at the pageant.
  • Monica Osborne ’20, Miss Dominion, is competing with the platform, “Buy Local, Eat Local, Be Local,” and will perform jazz en pointe.
Cecili Weber Miss VA
Cecili Weber ’17 Miss Virginia 2017

The winner of this year’s Miss Virginia Pageant will go on to vie for the title of Miss America in Atlantic City on September 9.

Through state and local organizations, the Miss Virginia Pageant supports education, advocates for community service, and provides young women with a forum in which to express their talents, intelligence and opinions in culture, politics, platforms, and the community. The competition is a scholarship pageant that each year gives scholarship dollars to deserving young women from all over the state who participate in local pageants and the state pageant. At the local and state Miss America competitions, millions of dollars in scholarship assistance have been made available to young women. For years, the Miss America Pageant has been the largest scholastic benefactor to women in the world.

Top photo (from left): Andolyn Medina ’17, Miss Piedmont Region; Emili McPhail ’18, Miss Arlington; Dominga Murray ’20, Miss Crooked Road; and Monica Osborne ’20, Miss Dominion.


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.


Vet School Next Stop for Bio Major Who Conducted Amazon Rainforest Research

Katlin Gott ’18 came to Hollins four years ago with a goal of becoming a veterinarian, and now the biology major and chemistry minor has earned the opportunity to take the next major step in making her dream a reality.

The senior from Fairfax, Virginia, has been accepted at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, a leading biomedical teaching and research center. The college admits just 50 Virginia residents to its Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) program each year.

Gott complemented her classroom and lab work at Hollins by working as a veterinary assistant and completing internships in Roanoke and elsewhere, including a Signature internship in West Virginia with veterinary physician and Hollins alumna Jacqueline Chevalier ’01.

Another highlight of Gott’s academic career was spending Spring Term of her junior year in the rainforests of Peru with the School for Field Studies Center for Amazon Studies. While there, she was able to combine her interests in ecology and animal disease by studying gut parasite loads in primates. Her research project, “The Effect of Environmental Factors on Endoparasite Load and Diversity in Black-Capped Night Monkeys (Aotus Nigriceps),” was featured at Hollins’ 61st Annual Science Seminar last month.

“Our results suggest that human disturbance significantly increases parasite species diversity based on the changes in forest density,” Gott reports. “Future research will focus on determining if the degree of forest disturbance plays a role in these relationships, and if zoonotic transmission of parasites between humans and the black-capped night monkeys is occurring.”

Along with her academic work, Gott has been actively involved in a range of campus activities. Along with serving as vice president of the Pre-Med Club, she has represented the group Voices for Unity in the SGA Senate, and, she adds, “I also play guitar, and I’ve been a part of ensembles and played as an accompanying guitarist for a few choral events.”

Gott will begin pursuit of her D.V.M. degree this fall.

 


Dance Major Taking Commitment to Artistry, Social Justice to L.A. and London after Graduation

Epitomizing Hollins University’s enduring slogan artistically, geographically, and academically, Paris Williams ’18 is definitely going places after she graduates this spring.

The dance major, who hails from New Orleans, will be pursuing her Master of Fine Arts degree in choreography beginning in the fall of 2019 at London’s University of Roehampton, whose international status draws students and dance artists from around the world.

But before that, Williams is anticipating a very exciting and productive gap year more than 5,400 miles away. First, she’s been awarded a full scholarship to attend the Dance/USA 2018 Annual Conference, which takes place June 6 – 9 in Los Angeles. According to the conference website, the event enables participants to “network and learn from nearly 500 dance professionals including executive directors, artistic directors, emerging arts leaders, artists, agents, company managers, presenters, development and marketing staff, and more. Conference programming is shaped around issues of equity and justice, community and collaboration, audience development, and preservation and legacy.”

Then, Williams will remain in L.A. to complete a residency with No)one. Art House, an arts/dance collective that The Huffington Post reports “is one of the only black run contemporary dance organizations in the country. No)one’s aim is to shift the paradigm on how people view dance, art and people of color’s bodies….” Artsmeme.com called No)one, “another harbinger that incredible things are happening in dance in Los Angeles.”

Williams’ upcoming opportunities in Los Angeles and London are the culmination of a distinguished college career.

“During my time at Hollins,” she says, “I have interned twice with our M.F.A. program in dance, including going to the program’s residency in Frankfurt, Germany. I also took part in the Hollins London abroad program, and have been able to attend a variety of conferences on topics surrounding LGBTQ+, dance and performance, and other social justice initiatives.”

This year, Williams served as chair of the university’s Black Student Alliance and has also been the external chair for the Hollins Repertory Dance Company. During her four years she was also actively involved with Cultural and Community Engagement, the Batten Leadership Institute, the Office of Admissions, Housing and Residence Life, the Office of Student Affairs, and many other campus activities.

“Paris is a tireless leader and social justice advocate,” says Meredith Cope-Levy ’12, M.F.A. ’18, Hollins’ coordinator of alumnae events. “She has made incredible work during her time here.”

Williams in turn praises the Hollins dance program for providing her with the foundation for her accomplishments as an undergraduate.

“I give loads of love and gratitude to HollinsDance, especially [Associate Professor of Dance] Jeffery Bullock, for my dedication, growth, and success at this university.”


Senior Student-Athlete Receives Major NCAA Scholarship

Hollins University senior and swimming standout Dani Raymond has been awarded the NCAA Women’s Enhancement Graduate Scholarship, which supports students enrolled in a sports-related program as a full-time graduate student.

Raymond, who plans to pursue a graduate degree in sports management beginning this fall at Virginia Commonwealth University, will receive a $7,500 nonrenewable scholarship for the 2018-19 academic year.

Raymond competed as a member of the Hollins swim team during each of her four years as an undergraduate and was the team’s primary distance swimmer. Highlights of her career include serving as team captain for two years and receiving the Bonnie Kestner Sportsmanship Award at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Swim Championships. Outside the pool, she served as both a team representative and an officer with the Hollins Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and completed internships with the ODAC and the Hollins Sports Information office.

Raymond will graduate this May with a double major in English and communication studies, and participated in the university’s Batten Leadership Institute. Her academic accomplishments include earning Academic All-ODAC and VaSID Academic All-State citations. She is a Batten Scholar at Hollins and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Chi Sigma Alpha, and Lambda Pi Eta.

As a scholarship recipient, Raymond is invited to attend the 2018 NCAA Career in Sports Forum (CSF), which will take place at the NCAA National Office in Indianapolis, May 31 – June 3. The CSF brings together 200 selected student-athletes to learn about careers in sports with a primary focus on intercollegiate athletics. The educational event is designed to assist student-athletes in charting their careers in the business, giving them the opportunity to network and learn from current athletics professionals.

 


Playwright’s Lab Earns National Recognition with Multiple Kennedy Center Awards

Students and faculty of the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University have been honored with 12 awards in direction, production, acting, and playwriting by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF).

The artists were recognized at the 2018 KCACTF National Festival, held April 9 – 14 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

This year’s winners include:

  • Outstanding Director of a New Work: Todd Ristau for Cold by Ben Jolivet
  • Outstanding Production of a New Work: Cold by Ben Jolivet
  • Distinguished Production of a New Work: Absence Makes the Heart by Sean Abley
  • Distinguished Performance and Production Ensemble: Cold by Ben Jolivet
  • Distinguished Performance by an Actress in a Play: Bonny Branch in Cold by Ben Jolivet
  • Distinguished Performance by an Actress in a Play: Emma Sperka in Cold by Ben Jolivet
  • Commendation for Distinguished Achievement in Playwriting: Ben Jolivet for Cold
  • Commendation for Distinguished Achievement in Performance: Susie Young in Absence Makes the Heart by Sean Abley
  • Commendation for Distinguished Achievement in Playwriting: Meredith Dayna Levy for She Made Space
  • Commendation for Distinguished Achievement in Directing: Lauren Brooke Ellis for She Made Space by Meredith Dayna Levy
  • Commendation for Distinguished Achievement in Dramaturgy: Katie Stueckle for She Made Space by Meredith Dayna Levy
  • Commendation for Distinguished Achievement in Performance: Meredith Dayna Levy for She Made Space by Meredith Dayna Levy

The KCACTF has served as a catalyst for improving the quality of college theater in the United States for nearly 50 years. Featuring a network of more than 700 academic institutions throughout the country, the organization celebrates the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs and encourages institutions of higher learning to give distinguished productions of new plays, especially those written by students. The KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, dramatic criticism, directing, and design.

 

Photo caption: Todd Ristau (right), director of the M.F.A. program in playwriting at Hollins, is congratulated on receiving the KCACTF’s 2018 Outstanding Director of a New Work award.

 


Hollins Announces Winners of the 2018 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature

Hollins University has honored a retired teacher who writes poetry for children as the winner of the third annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature.

Elaine Magliaro will receive an engraved medal and a $1,000 cash prize for her debut children’s book Things to Do, illustrated by Catia Chen and published by Chronicle Books in February 2017. Magliaro previously received a 2018 New Writer Honor from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, which calls Things to Do “a poetic take on the world and the important things in it, from the sun and moon to a pink eraser, as experienced through a child’s eyes and imagination.”

Magliaro was an elementary school teacher for more than three decades and worked as a school librarian for three years. She also taught a children’s literature course at Boston University; served on the advisory board of the Keene State College Children’s Literature Festival; and was a member of the National Council of Teachers of English Poetry Committee. She lives in Massachusetts.

This year’s Margaret Wise Brown Honor Book award of $300 goes to Laura McGee Kvasnosky for Little Wolf’s First Howling, published by Candlewick.

Each year, Hollins invites nominations for the Margaret Wise Brown Prize from children’s book publishers located across the country and around the world. A three-judge panel, consisting of established picture book authors, reviews the nominations and chooses a winner.

Hollins established the Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature as a way to pay tribute to one of its best-known alumnae and one of America’s most beloved children’s authors. The cash prizes are made possible by an endowed fund created by James Rockefeller, Brown’s fiancé at the time of her death.

“The Margaret Wise Brown Prize is one of the few children’s book awards that has a cash prize attached,” said Amanda Cockrell, director of the children’s literature program at Hollins.

The engraved medal presented to the winners was conceived by award-winning sculptor, painter, and Hollins alumna Betty Branch of Roanoke. Winners and Honor Book recipients are presented an original linocut certificate designed and donated by Ashley Wolff, author and/or illustrator of over 50 children’s books. Winners are invited to accept the award and present a reading on campus during the summer session of Hollins’ graduate programs in children’s literature.

Margaret Wise Brown graduated from Hollins in 1932 and went on to write Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and other children’s classics before she died in 1952. Hollins celebrated her life and work with a year-long Margaret Wise Brown Festival in 2011 and 2012, which featured stage and musical adaptations of her work along with readings, workshops, guest lectures, and other activities for all ages.

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.

This summer, Hollins’ children’s literature program will release information on how to submit books for consideration for the 2019 Margaret Wise Brown Prize.


For the First Time, Hollins Students Take Top Spots at Research Forum

Megan David ’18 and Emili McPhail ’18 have earned an unprecedented achievement for Hollins.

The communication studies majors won first and second place, respectively, at the 16th annual Student Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF), held at Lynchburg College on March 17.

The Lynchburg College website says SURF “brings together undergraduate students from colleges in the region to present original undergraduate research. The students’ original research and oral presentations are evaluated by a panel of judges and awards are given. The students gain valuable experience in doing research and get insight into the possibility of pursuing their research interests in graduate school.”

In addition to Hollins and Lynchburg, participating institutions include Liberty University, Longwood University, Radford University, Randolph College, and Sweet Briar College.

David captured the top prize with her paper presentation, “Oh the Places We Have Gone: The Interplay between Study Abroad and Social Media.” McPhail’s second-place paper, “Parasocial Relationships with Celebrities: Finding Meaning with the Famous,” also focused on social media. Both papers were based on the students’ individual senior theses, which were completed under the guidance of Associate Professor of Communication Studies Chris Richter.

Sponsored by Associate Professor of Communication Studies Lori Joseph, Hollins communication studies students have participated in SURF since 2013 and have consistently earned honors.