Entrepreneur Tina Wells to Keynote Career Connection Conference

Buzz Marketing Group founder and CEO Tina Wells, who has spent nearly two decades connecting influencers and consumers to brand clients, will deliver the keynote address at Hollins University’s 2017 Career Connection Conference (C3) on October 23.

Since starting Buzz, which creates marketing strategies for clients within the beauty, entertainment, fashion, financial, and lifestyle sectors, Wells has built and managed a network of 30,000 “buzzSpotters” and 7,000 “momSpotters” to field monthly research for her clients. An earlier iteration of her company, BuzzTeen.com, was one of the earliest news sites dedicated to providing teens with content in fashion, beauty, entertainment, health, fitness, lifestyle, academics, and world news.

Building off her years of experience, Wells authored the youth marketing handbook Chasing Youth Culture and Getting It Right and the best-selling tween series Mackenzie Blue. She has also written for The Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, MediaPost, and Retail Merchandiser Magazine, among others.

Wells’ honors include Essence‘s 40 Under 40, Billboard‘s 30 Under 30, Fast Company‘s 100 Most Creative People in Business, and Inc‘s 30 Under 30.

Each fall, C3 brings Hollins students and alumnae together for an array of panels, workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities. Alumnae share how they translated their liberal arts education into satisfying careers and also provide tips, tools, and tricks of the trade to land that first job. Approximately 75 alumnae from a variety of backgrounds are returning to campus for this year’s event.

Stay up-to-date on university news. Sign up for the bi-monthly Hollins News email.


President Lawrence Declares Hollins’ 176th Academic Year in Session

Pareena Lawrence led her first Opening Convocation as Hollins University’s 12th president, telling a capacity duPont Chapel audience that she brings a “deep commitment and passion for learning, transformation, and access and equity to opportunities to Hollins. I know I have a lot more listening to do, a lot to learn…and I am ready.”

Lawrence spoke before students, faculty, and staff on August 29, the eve of the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year.

“As I stand here today,” Lawrence said, “I can reflect on my life’s journey to date and say that everything in my life – from my attending an all-girls school in India to my career teaching and working at residential liberal arts colleges to my research work, which included several undergraduate student researchers and focused on the intersection of women and the economy – all these experiences were preparing me for this extraordinary opportunity at Hollins.”

Lawrence called Hollins’ mission “compelling. While I was not a product of a liberal arts education, I spent 23 years teaching and working at two liberal arts institutions. I personally witnessed the power of a small residential liberal arts university and there is no other place I would rather be….I know first-hand the undivided time, attention, and mentoring that our faculty and staff devote to you, our students, to help you find and pursue your passion or your interests so that you can live a life of purpose and meaning.

“This is not a place that accepts passive education; we expect you to fully engage. At a place like Hollins, it is not just about what you can do with your degree. Universities should prepare you for a job, but that is only part of what we do. We play a central role in helping shape the next generation of citizens, leaders, thinkers, creators, and policy makers who understand their role in our larger society. That is ultimately what a Hollins education is all about, and why I wanted to be a part of this mission.”

Lawrence shared a translation of a Hindi poem by Achala Nagar “that has always inspired me, especially when times were really difficult and all I wanted to do was give up and give in.”

Just this once let me live my life on my own terms
According to my dreams and aspirations
Let me pen my own destiny no matter the consequences
Let the outcomes be determined by my own choices and mistakes
Just once let me live my life on my own terms
According to my own dreams and aspiration
Let me pen my own destiny

Other highlights of this year’s Opening Convocation included the presentation of class honors by Vice President of Academic Affairs Trish Hammer; remarks from Antonia Nagle ’18, president of the Student Government Association; and special music from members of the Hollins choirs. Following convocation, the class of 2018 observed First Step, where seniors take their first official steps onto Front Quad. Tradition maintains that seniors are the only students permitted to walk on the grass on Front Quad.

 

Stay up-to-date on university news. Sign up for the bi-monthly Hollins News email.

 


Hollins to Take Part in Va. Private College Week, July 24-29

Hollins University is one of 24 independent colleges and universities welcoming prospective students and their families during Virginia Private College Week, July 24 – 29.

The event is sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV).

Along with the other participating institutions, Hollins will offer campus tours and information sessions about admission, financial aid, and academic programs. University officials will also address some common myths about the cost of a private college education.

“Visiting campuses in person is one of the most important steps in the college search process,” said CICV President Robert Lambeth. “I encourage parents to explore which college will be the best fit for their son or daughter, and I want to reassure them that a quality education at a Virginia private college is affordable and within reach.”

Students who visit at least three institutions during the week will receive three application fee waivers. Students may use these waivers to apply to any three participating CICV colleges for free. In addition, students visiting at least three institutions will also be eligible for a drawing for a $500 Amazon gift card.

Sessions at Hollins will begin at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, July 24 – 28, and at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 29. Students and families may register by calling Hollins’ Office of Admission at 800-456-9595.

For more information about Virginia Private College Week, click here.

 


“Dallas Buyers Club” Screenwriter Craig Borten Visits Hollins

Craig Borten, the Academy Award-nominated co-writer of Dallas Buyers Club, is coming to Hollins University for an intimate screening of the film, a question-and-answer session, and a reception on Friday, June 23, beginning at 7 p.m. in Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visual Arts Center.

Admission to this exclusive event is free and open to the public.

Dallas Buyers Club is based on the true story of Ron Woodruff, who worked around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they needed after he was diagnosed with the disease. The 2013 movie stars Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, and Jared Leto.

“I’m eager to share a firsthand account of the process of screenwriting and my passion for the film industry,” said Borten, who joins the program at the invitation of Tim Albaugh, director of the Hollins graduate screenwriting and film studies program.

After the screening, Borten and Albaugh will discuss the difficult path to production for the film, Borten’s career, and the movie making business.

“Our students’ favorite part of the screenwriting and film studies program is our guest artist visits,” said Albaugh. “We are lucky to hear from Craig about the lessons learned from his experiences in the film industry, and we will pair this real-world advice with our faculty’s academic expertise to help students succeed.”

Each summer, Hollins’ program welcomes guest artists to campus to share their work and experience. Program faculty include professional film and television writers as well as professors from world-renowned film schools such as UCLA and NYU.

Dallas Buyers Club was the first produced screenplay by Borten. The film received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Original Screenplay. He also cowrote The 33, which is based on the true story of 33 Chilean miners trapped in a mine for 69 days. Currently, he is in production on an hour-long drama series for A+E Studios on the opioid epidemic. Borten has been writing scripts for more than 20 years.


175th Commencement Exercises to be Held May 21

Hollins will celebrate its 175th commencement on Sunday, May 21, at 10 a.m. on the university’s historic Front Quadrangle.

Undergraduate and graduate degrees will be conferred before an audience of families, friends, and members of the campus community. Other highlights will include the presentation of the following honors:

  • The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. Given by the New York Southern Society in memory of the founder, this award recognizes a senior who has shown by daily living those qualities that evidence a spirit of love and helpfulness to other men and women.
  • The Annie Terrill Bushnell Prize. Presented to the senior who has evidenced the finest spirit of leadership during her days at Hollins, this award was established by the late Mrs. William A. Anderson in memory of her mother.
  • The Jane Cocke Funkhouser Award. Honoring an alumna of the class of 1911, this award recognizes the junior or senior who, in addition to being a good student, is preeminent in character.

Renowned neuroscientist Mary Elizabeth “Mary Beth” Hatten, a member of Hollins’ class of 1971, is this year’s guest speaker.

Hatten is the Frederick P. Rose Professor in the Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology at The Rockefeller University in New York City. After completing her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at Hollins, she earned a Ph.D. in biochemical sciences from Princeton University and did her postdoctoral research in neuroscience at Harvard Medical School. She subsequently served with the New York University School of Medicine and the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.

In 1992, Hatten joined Rockefeller and was appointed the university’s first female full professor and the first female to lead a research laboratory there. Her initiatives have implications for conditions that are partially due to developmental abnormalities in the brain, such as learning disabilities, childhood epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism. Her work on cerebellar development may one day inform research on treatments for childhood cancers.

In acknowledgment of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, Hatten was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

More information about Hollins’ 175th commencement can be found here.


Wilson Museum Presents Senior Majors Exhibition

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University is highlighting the work of seven studio art majors from the class of 2017 during the Senior Majors Exhibition, May 9 – May 21.

The exhibition is the final requirement for art students earning their bachelor’s degree and is the capstone experience of a yearlong senior project.

Studio art majors featured in the show include Natalie Marie Badawy, Suprima Bhele, Laura Carden, Samantha Dozal, Madi Hurley, Erin M. Leslie, and Maggie Perrin-Key. The exhibition will be on display in the Ballator-Thompson and Wilson Galleries.

The Wilson Museum will host an opening reception for the 2017 Senior Majors Exhibition on Tuesday, May 9, from 6 – 8 p.m. in the first floor lobby of the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center.

The Wilson Museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and Thursdays, noon to 8 p.m.. Admission is always free.


Hollins Honors the University’s Founder and Sustainers

Hollins commemorated Founder’s Day and the university’s 175th anniversary by paying tribute to all who played a crucial role in its history during Hollins Day: Celebrating 175 Years, a special event held February 23 in the Hollins Theatre.

“We honor our founder, Charles Lewis Cocke, who devoted his life to ‘the higher education of women in the South’ during an era when many women were denied the opportunity to earn a college degree,” President Nancy Gray stated in her opening remarks. “We also honor all others who were important in our institutional history. Hollins was founded during a time in American history when slavery existed, especially in the South. Men and women worked at Hollins before and during the Civil War as enslaved people. None of us are proud of that aspect of our history, which runs contrary to our fundamental belief in freedom for all.

“We remain grateful to members of what was known at the time as the Oldfields Community, who, along with our founder, helped us become the institution we are today.”

The event culminated months of planning by the Hollins Heritage Committee, a group of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to promoting campus-wide dialogue on issues of collective memory, diversity, and reconciliation.

“This may never have happened without the activism and energy of our amazing student body here at Hollins,” Associate Professor and Director of International Studies and Heritage Committee Chair Jon Bohland told the convocation audience. “Like many institutions, Hollins University now engages with the ghosts of its past as we endeavor to tell our collective 175-year story in its entirety, celebrating our many triumphs while openly acknowledging our faults and our misdeeds.

“It is because of student activism that our campus is now beginning a very public and transparent engagement with our past, even when it is painful. I want to personally thank the students for your work in jump-starting this process here at Hollins and congratulate you for joining the students from universities across the country engaged in similar campaigns.”

Bohland announced that Hollins has recently become part of the Universities Studying Slavery consortium, a group of 25 North American colleges and universities that meets twice a year “to share best practices and to draw strength from our collective efforts.”

The Hollins Heritage Committee’s work is ongoing, and alumnae who have research or other information about Hollins during the Civil War era are invited to contact Associate Professor of International Studies and Committee Chair Jon Bohland (jbohland@hollins.edu) or Special Collections and Government Information Librarian Beth Harris (bharris@hollins.edu).

Other highlights of the 175th anniversary celebration included:

  • Voices from Our Past, featuring current students, faculty, and staff reading first-person accounts of members of the campus community from throughout the school’s history, including an African-American who was enslaved at Hollins.
  • The 175, a video produced by the Hollins dance department featuring 175 members of the campus community performing their own singular movements.
  • Songs of Hollins: Past and Present, performed by the Hollins University Choirs.

In addition, Gray and Vice President for Academic Affairs Trish Hammer announced the following awards:

  • The Roberta A. Stewart Service Award was presented to Professor of Art Robert Sulkin. The award is granted annually to a member of the community, employed by the university, whose service most closely reflects the extraordinary standards set by Stewart during 40 years at Hollins. Recipients demonstrate long-term service; loyalty to the university and commitment to its principles; effectiveness; friendly, cooperative acceptance of responsibilities; genuine wisdom; and deep caring for students and colleagues.
  • Associate Professor of English Elizabeth Poliner received this year’s Herta T. Freitag Faculty Legacy Award. First presented in 2000, the award is given to a member of the faculty whose recent scholarly and creative accomplishments reflect the academic standards set by Freitag, who served as professor of mathematics at Hollins from 1948 to 1971. Poliner’s novel, As Close to Us as Breathing, was among Amazon.com’s Top 100 Editors’ Picks for 2016. The story of a close-knit Jewish family that strives 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.”
  • The annual Hollins University Teaching Award was given to Cleo Mack, a teacher at Middlesex County School in New Jersey. The award celebrates a member of the teaching profession who has dedicated his or her time and talent to preparing the nominating student for an outstanding liberal arts education. Mack was nominated by Lianna King ’17. The award is endowed by Mary Bernhardt Wolfe Decker ’58.

Special guests included members of the Cocke family, descendants of those who worked as enslaved people on the campus during Hollins’ early years, and members of the Hollins University Board of Trustees.

Following the convocation, Hollins’ senior class continued its tradition of processing to the Cocke family cemetery to place wreaths on the family’s graves. This year, for the first time, the seniors also placed a wreath outside Wyndham Robertson Library to honor the contributions of enslaved men and women.

Photo: Members of Hollins’ class of 2017 place wreaths at the Cocke family cemetery and Wyndham Robertson Library.

 

Stay up-to-date on Hollins news and events…sign up here for the Hollins News email newsletter.

 


Wilson Museum Shares Works from the Largest Gift in its History

Last May, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University received the largest gift in its history, a collection of 385 preliminary paintings, drawings, and prints by one of France’s noted modernists, Jean Hélion.

Beginning February 2, the Wilson Museum will display 40 of these works, most of which have never been previously shown to the public, in an exhibition called Hélion Highlights: Selections from the Blair Family Gift.

Hélion is best known in France for experimenting with the various looks of early modernism, and his early work has long been sought after and collected by museums and private collectors around the world. Now, his figurative work from the middle to the late 20th century, unorthodox at the time it was created, is being reexamined. Several recent international exhibits in Paris and New York have created new interest in the artist.

Hélion mostly worked in series, visually exploring and observing every detail that went into a finished painting. Everyday scenes featuring food items, the female figure, shop windows, flea markets, people under umbrellas, and people reading newspapers were common subjects.

“The drawings in our exhibition range from simple but expressive lines to detailed drawings in graphite, charcoal, colored pencil, or pastel, and heightened with watercolors,” said Jenine Culligan, director of the Wilson Museum. “They render almost every detail found in the finished work. The viewer can almost see in these works the inner functions of Hélion’s mind searching for the ideal composition, color, and expression.”

Culligan added, “This collection makes Hollins University a major repository for Hélion studies.”

Hélion was born in France in 1904. He married an American from Virginia and lived off and on in the commonwealth from 1936 to 1940. He returned in 1942 during World War II to work in New York City after escaping from a German prison ship. He left the United States in 1946 and spent the rest of his life in France. He died in 1987.

Hélion Highlights: Selections from the Blair Family Gift will be on view in the Wilson gallery of the museum through Sunday, March 26.

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University is open Tuesday – Sunday from noon – 5 p.m., and Thursdays from noon – 8 p.m. Admission is always free.


Financial Literacy Workshop Preps Students for Life Beyond College

Hollins University students received a crash course in personal finance during Financial IQ, an interactive program led by Director of Financial Aid Mary Jean Sullivan, on January 17.

The importance of creating and sticking to a personal budget was the crux of the program, which also emphasized taking stock of one’s own financial situation, learning the difference between “need” and “want,” the significance of an individual’s credit score, avoiding identity theft, and where to find resources from experts in personal finance.

“Knowing and understanding money while you’re young and still in college is empowering, and excellent preparation for life after you graduate,” Sullivan explained. “The workshop’s goal is to help students gain a better understanding of money management practices and to take the time to look at their finances.”

Financial IQ welcomed students from across the spectrum. “I attended not only because I’m a business major, but also because I like to save money,” said Sheyann, a first-year student. “I’m excited to apply what I learned to my business skills and my personal life.”

Josalyn, a graduate student, added, “Learning about personal finance is absolutely necessary, and I think this workshop was very practical.”


Expert Panel to Discuss America’s Political Party System

Political scientists from Hollins University, Roanoke College, and Virginia Tech will explore what the next few years may hold for the Democratic and Republican parties during the panel presentation “After 2016 – The State of the American Political Party System” on Thursday, February 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visual Arts Center. Admission is free and open to the public.

The panel will look at what has been happening both within and between America’s two major political parties, their future paths, and whether this is the beginning of the end of the two-party system.

Participants will include: Karen Hult, chair of Virginia Tech’s department of political science; Jason Kelly, assistant professor of political science at Virginia Tech; Ed Lynch, professor of political science at Hollins; and Harold Wilson, director of Roanoke College’s Institute for Policy and Opinion Research.

The event will be moderated by Jong Ra, professor of political science and chair of the department of global politics and societies at Hollins.