Academy of American Poets Honors Hollins Alumna

Natasha Trethewey M.A. ’91 has been awarded the 2016 Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement from the Academy of American Poets.

The Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University and former U.S. poet laureate will receive a $25,000 prize.

The fellowship has been presented annually since 1946 to a single poet, and was the first award of its kind in the United States. Previous winners include Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Frost, and Ezra Pound.

“Natasha Trethewey’s poems plumb personal and national history to meditate on the conundrum of American racial identities,” said Marilyn Nelson, chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. “Whether writing of her complex family torn by tragic loss, or in diverse imagined voices from the more distant past, Trethewey encourages us to reflect, learn, and experience delight. The wide scope of her interests and her adept handling of form have created an opus of classics both elegant and necessary.”

Trethewey’s works include Native Guard (2006), winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and three other poetry collections: Thrall (2012), Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002), and Domestic Work (2000). Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a book of creative nonfiction, was published in 2010.

Trethewey was inducted in 2013 into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2012 was named the state poet laureate of Mississippi. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.


New Book by Beth Macy M.A. ’93 Named to Kirkus Prize Shortlist

Truevine, the upcoming book by acclaimed author Beth Macy M.A. ’93, is one of six books that have been selected in the Nonfiction category for the Kirkus Prize shortlist.

With a prize of $50,000, the Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world. It is given each year to authors of fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature.

Truevine, which will be published by Little, Brown on October 18, is the story of two African American brothers named George and Willie Muse from a tobacco community in Franklin County, Virginia. At the turn of the 20th century, the Muse brothers were kidnapped and exhibited as circus freaks, while their mother sought valiantly for years to bring them home.

Macy’s previous book, Factory Man, was a national bestseller.

Joining Truevine on the Kirkus Prize nonfiction shortlist are works by Sarah Bakewell, Matthew Desmond, Michael Eric Dyson, Susan Faludi, and J.D. Vance.

Winners of the 2016 Kirkus Prize will be selected on November 3 by a panel of judges made up of writers, booksellers, librarians, and Kirkus critics.


Hollins Alumna Among the Most Influential Women in Tampa Bay Sports

Tampa Bay Downs President and Treasurer Stella Thayer ’62 has been named one of the most influential women in Tampa Bay sports by the Tampa Bay Times.

Thayer, who began riding horses when she was five years old, has been involved with Tampa Bay Downs for more than 50 years. In 1986 she outbid New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to purchase the horse racing facility. “Soon after,” the Times reports, “Thayer named controller Lorraine M. King as Tampa Bay Downs’ general manager. It marked the first time in turf history a thoroughbred track had separate female ownership and management.”

The Times adds, “Thayer has been a pioneer for bay area women in the business world, too. She was the first woman to preside over the Tampa Chamber of Commerce and has served on a number of boards.”

Read more about Thayer’s remarkable career here.

 


M.A.L.S. Graduate Appointed Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth

Traci DeShazor, who completed her M.A.L.S. degree in justice and legal studies at Hollins in 2010, has been named deputy secretary of the commonwealth by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

A native of Danville, DeShazor previously served as the deputy director of the Virginia Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this role, she worked as a federal liaison between the commonwealth, the Virginia congressional delegation, the White House, and other states and territories. Prior to joining the McAuliffe Administration, she served on the Governor-Elect’s transition team and as the African American outreach coordinator for the McAuliffe for Governor campaign.

DeShazor also holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from Virginia Tech and is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Minority Political Leadership Institute, and the Sorensen Institute’s Political Leaders Program.


Vanity Fair: “Hollins Can Offer a Worldly Experience that Many Larger Institutions Can’t”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the May 2016 issue of Vanity Fair magazine, author Lisa Birnbach profiles nine women’s colleges, including Hollins University. She strongly makes the case that women’s colleges remain relevant: “The richness and intimacy of these students’ experiences are enviable and inspiring. As a college-guidebook writer and a mother of college students, I have not heard so many students talk about appreciating their educations.”

Birnbach notes that Hollins’ “secret sauce is the intensely involved alumnae, who return to campus whenever they’re invited as mentors, and who provide internship opportunities to the students. It’s an irresistible combination….Students have interned at major law firms in Washington and New York, Estée Lauder, the Republican National Committee, the Stonewall Community Foundation, the Library of Congress, PBS, and the National Dance Institute.”


Hollins Alumna and Renowned Neuroscientist to Speak on Campus and at VTCRI

Mary Beth Hatten ’71, the Frederick P. Rose Professor in the Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology at The Rockefeller University, is returning to Hollins and the Roanoke area to take part in three special events on April 13 and 14.

Hatten is a past recipient of the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience Investigator Award, the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, and a Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers from the National Science Foundation. In 2015 she received the prestigious Max Cowan Award, which honors a neuroscientist for outstanding work in developmental neuroscience.

On Wednesday, April 13, Hatten will host a casual conversation with Hollins students from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in the Chemistry Reading Room (Dana 225). At 4:30 p.m., she will present “Mechanisms of Brain Development: Implications for Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders.” The lecture is free and open to the campus community and general public.

The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) is featuring Hatten as part of its Distinguished Public Lecture Series on Thursday, April 14. She will discuss “Mechanisms of Cerebellar Development: Migration, Circuit Formation, and Synaptic Plasticity” beginning at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

“VTCRI is bringing some of the world’s leading medical researchers and scientific thought leaders to Roanoke as part of our mission to engage the community in the excitement and promise of scientific research,” VTCRI Executive Director Michael Friedlander explained on the institute’s website. “We’re absolutely delighted to be able to share the insights of such highly sought-after experts in such a range of fascinating topics.”

Photo: Mary Beth Hatten ’71 received the Max Cowan Award last fall for her work in developmental neuroscience. 


Hollins Alumna Honored for Achievement in Neuroscience

Mary Beth Hatten, a member of Hollins’ class of 1971, is the recipient of the prestigious Max Cowan Award for 2015.

Presented by the Journal of Comparative Neurology and Wiley Publishers in conjunction with The Cajal Club, the Cowan Award is given in odd-numbered years to a neuroscientist for outstanding work in developmental neuroscience.

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 in 1975 and went on to do her postdoctoral research in neuroscience at Harvard Medical School. She was on the New York University School of Medicine faculty from 1978 to 1987 and then at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. She came to Rockefeller in 1992 and was named the Frederick P. Rose Professor in 2000. In 2005, Hatten was Wiersma Visiting Professor of Neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology.

In 1991, Hatten received the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience Investigator Award, the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, and a Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers from the National Science Foundation. Her other honors include the Irma T. Hirschl Fund Career Scientist Award (1980); the Pew Neuroscience Award (1988); and the Weil Award from the American Association of Neuropathologists (1996). She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Hatten was officially presented the Cowan Award during the Cajal Club Social on October 18 in Chicago. The club was founded in 1947 to provide an opportunity for neuroscientists with special interests in the structure and function of the nervous system to associate; contribute to the welfare of neuroanatomy and neuroatomists; and revere the founder of modern neuroscience, Santiago Ramón y Cajal.

 

 


“Goodnight Moon: The Magical Musical” Returns to the Hollins Theatre Stage

Hollins Theatre is opening its 2015-16 season with a revival of Goodnight Moon: The Magical Musical. The show, which is intended for children of all ages, runs October 10 – 18.

Goodnight Moon is based on the beloved children’s book by Margaret Wise Brown, a member of Hollins’ class of 1932. The classic story of a bunny who won’t go to sleep was first published in 1945 and went on to sell millions of copies around the world.  The musical adaptation by Chad Henry first appeared on the Hollins Theatre stage in 2011 as the inaugural production of the Hollins Legacy Series, which was created to bring the work of Hollins writers to the stage.

“When this tale was received with such tremendous enthusiasm, we decided to turn it into a Hollins tradition, with multiple productions over years to come,” said Ernie Zulia, director of the Hollins Theatre Institute. “It is our hope that each new crop of youngsters in the Roanoke Valley will bring their favorite grownups to Hollins Theatre for an experience they will long remember.”

Zulia estimated that about 4,000 school children, families, “and people of all conceivable demographics” saw Goodnight Moon during its 2011 run. “Add that number to what we hope will be thousands in the years to come, and it makes us mighty proud to play our part in this phenomenal math equation that illustrates how one author can affect the lives of so many.”

Zulia noted that there are currently over 14 million copies of Goodnight Moon in print in multiple languages around the globe. “Consider the number of times a single owner of a copy has urged a parent or loving adult to read and re-read the bedtime story aloud, and then multiply that by 14 million. Add to that the number of times the book has been opened by a child who can recite it from memory while gazing at Clement Hurd’s iconic illustrations, not to mention the number of children who reach for their favorite book as a reading primer over and over and over, and you can easily imagine a number that reaches far into the billions. That’s how often this simple little story has come alive in the world.”

Goodnight Moon: The Magical Musical will be presented on Hollins Theatre’s main stage on Saturday, October 10, at 11 a.m.; Thursday and Friday, October 15 and 16, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, October 17, at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, October 18, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for adults. Current Hollins students, faculty, and staff will receive one free ticket. For online ticket sales and more information, visit www.hollins.edu/theatre. Or, call the Hollins Theatre box office at (540) 362-6517 for more information.

 


Hollins Authors to Contend for 2015 National Book Awards

A Hollins alumna and a current member of the university faculty are among the acclaimed authors who have been named to Longlists for this year’s National Book Awards.

Sally Mann ’74, M.A. ’75 is one of ten contenders for the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. She has been nominated for her work, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs. One of America’s most renowned photographers, Mann has previously received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Her photographs are held by major institutions internationally. Her many books include Second Sight (1983), At Twelve (1988), Immediate Family (1992), Still Time (1994), What Remains (2003), Deep South (2005), Proud Flesh (2009), and The Flesh and the Spirit (2010).

Cited for her short-story collection Refund,  Distinguished Visiting Professor of Creative Writing Karen E. Bender is on the Longlist for the National Book Award for Fiction. She is the author of the novels Like Normal People and A Town of Empty Rooms, and her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, Story, Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, and other magazines. She has won two Pushcart Prizes and grants from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has taught creative writing at Antioch University Los Angeles, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and Tunghai University in Taiwan.

The National Book Award is one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes. Previous winners include Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, James McBride, Joyce Carol Oates, and Adrienne Rich.

Finalists will be announced on October 14.