Hollins Soccer Shares a Holiday Treat with RAMS Students

In what has become an annual tradition, the Hollins University soccer team recently led an afternoon of learning and fun with students at the Roanoke Academy for Math and Science (RAMS).

Head Coach Robin Ramirez and team members taught the fundamentals of soccer and played the game with the youngsters. After sharing a snack, players read to the students as part of their “Fun Friday.”

A statement on the RAMS webpage noted, “The willingness of [the] Hollins University soccer team, head coach, and RAMS staff to make this a reality is rewarding and inspiring for all those involved. We at Roanoke Academy for Math and Science truly appreciate the women’s team [taking] time to spend with our children. To connect with them in a variety of settings is a testament to [their] ability to become a source of inspiration and serve as role models.”

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Hollins Faculty Foster Empowerment at MEPI Student Leaders Institute

Their roles were very different. But, as part of the U.S. – Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Student Leaders Institute this summer, communication studies professors Jill Weber and Vladimir Bratic shared a common goal: promoting peace through collaboration and an exchange of ideas.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, MEPI offers support to groups and individuals seeking to bring positive change to the Middle East and North Africa. It’s designed to help the people of that region increase opportunity and enhance fundamental human rights. The Student Leaders program is one of MEPI’s signature projects, bringing roughly 120 undergraduate students each year from Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and West Bank/Gaza to the United States for an intensive six-week program.

Up to six U.S. academic institutions annually host the Student Leaders program. One of them, the University of Delaware, asked Weber to serve as both the opening and closing speaker, and Bratic to draw from his expertise in media and peace for a lecture presentation.

“My discussions were about time management, project management, and practical skills I’m focusing on in the class I teach on communication and well-being,” Weber said. She noted that she is launching a new business whose foundation is empowerment and social activism, “and I was asked to talk about that because many of these students are involved in organizations with that edge of changing their society.”

Weber urged students to embrace “the growth mindset instead of the fixed mindset. The idea of a fixed mindset is, don’t take risks. ‘I am smart, I was born smart, and anything that potentially challenges that notion of myself is scary. Any attempt to change that is something I’m going to stand away from.’

“Someone with a growth mindset focuses more on progress and development. They believe that attitudes, skills, talents, abilities, etc., can change over time. Research tells us that people with a growth mindset get higher grades and have higher levels of achievement.”

Weber believes embodying the growth mindset dramatically enhanced her own experience. “I owned my ignorance in terms of understanding Islam and Muslim traditions. I became the student and they became the teachers and that was wonderful. I made that conscious effort to come in and say, ‘There’s a lot I don’t know, and I know I don’t know, so if I’m saying something wrong or if I have a misperception, let me know.’ This was not to put the responsibility on them to educate me, but rather to let them know that I was going to ask them questions that were going to seem totally stupid, and I was okay with that. I learned a lot. In fact, I don’t know who learned more from being there.”

While Weber’s approach was to enthuse, motivate, and “power them up,” Bratic challenged the students’ ideas “about their own societies and the role of peace there. There’s this conventional way of thinking that is usually taken for granted. Whenever I sense that, my teaching focuses on pulling the chair out from underneath that. You say something controversial to get a reaction.”

When Bratic suggested to the students that the United States Army could be an agent for peace, the students responded negatively. “They could not wrap their minds around that. They see the U.S. role in Iraq as a huge failure,” he recalled.

The stage was set for a thought-provoking debate. He went on to explain to the students that “once the U.S. Army occupied Iraq, it was in their best interest to have a very specific kind of peace, not one that is interested in justice, but one that stops violent outbreaks. In the literature this is known as ‘negative peace.’ It literally means ‘cease fire.’ It doesn’t take care of the underlying causes of conflict or right the wrongs, but it is a precondition.”

By the end of Bratic’s lecture, he said some of the students remained unmoved by his argument, but others understood that “you need to be able to open yourself to the possibility that there is another option, another answer. So my teaching is to probe, to keep your eyes open and say your learning is not finished.”

Weber said it has been gratifying to bring examples from the Student Leaders Institute back to the classroom at Hollins. “I’m able to say, ‘While we have the rhetoric that divides us and suggests that we are so different, when you start to chip away at that, you can really see our similarities. They’re passionate just like we’re passionate, and they’re students just like you’re students.’”


Hollins, Roanoke College Announce Perry F. Kendig Award Winners for 2016

Local arts advocate Ginger Poole, the Taubman Museum of Art, and the Roanoke Women’s Foundation have been honored with this year’s Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards.

The awards were presented during a ceremony at Hollins University on September 14.

Co-sponsored by Hollins University and Roanoke College, the Kendig Awards program has recognized distinction in arts and culture in the Roanoke Valley for more than 30 years. Awards are presented in each of the following categories: Individual Artist, Arts and Cultural Organization, and Individual or Business Arts Supporter.

Poole is this year’s Individual Artist award recipient. Her dedicated work as an actor, choreographer, director, educator, and collaborator has helped reinvent Mill Mountain Theatre and ensure its continued vibrancy as a professional regional theatre. She is also an active volunteer in her community through her service on the boards of the Burton Center of Performing Arts and the Virginia Commission of the Arts Review Panel.

The Taubman Museum of Art received the Kendig Award in the Arts and Cultural Organization category.  With a vision to “inspire new perspectives” and a mission to “bring people and art together for discovery, learning, and enjoyment,” the Taubman is “committed to exhibitions, programs, and experiences that inspire, enrich, and promote creativity in all walks of life and in business.” The Taubman has helped expand the rich culture of the Roanoke region through innovative use of exhibition spaces, collaborations with other nonprofits in the area, and an array of events and programming.

The Kendig Award in the Individual or Business Arts Supporter category was presented to the Roanoke Women’s Foundation. Over its first 11 years of philanthropy, the Foundation has granted nearly $2.5 million to arts and cultural organizations such as Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke Children’s Theatre, the Jefferson Center Music Lab, the Grandin Theatre Foundation, and WVTF Radio, among others. This funding has enabled these organizations to update equipment, expand programming, and improve outreach and availability of arts and cultural opportunities in the community.

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 Kendig Awards program was established in 1985 and presented annually by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge through 2012. Hollins and Roanoke College first partnered the following year to bestow the honors, and congratulate the 2016 winners.


Hollins, Roanoke College Announce Perry F. Kendig Award Nominees

Fourteen artists and arts advocates are among the nominees for the 2016 Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards.

Co-sponsored by Hollins University and Roanoke College, the Kendig Awards program recognizes exemplary individuals, businesses, and organizations in the Roanoke Valley that support excellence in the arts.

This year’s winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony to be held at Hollins University on Wednesday, September 14, at 5:30 p.m.

Here are the nominees for the 2016 Kendig Awards (one award will be presented in each category):

Arts and Cultural Organization

  • Science Museum of Western Virginia
    The museum has dedicated itself to making science and technology more accessible, igniting life-long learning, and engaging in community outreach.
  • Taubman Museum of Art
    The Taubman is a vibrant fine arts museum that attracts diverse audiences and provides exceptional visitor experiences.
  • Attic Theatre
    The theatre is recognized for its family-friendly programming and pricing, community value-oriented mission, and an annual showcase of five productions each year.
  • Fleda A. Ring Artworks
    Ring strives to bring people of various backgrounds together and features innovative, curated exhibitions of new local work.

 Individual Artist

  • Ed Bordett
    Bordett has been a staple of the arts in the Roanoke Valley through his work establishing the Roanoke City Open Studio tour and a studio tour in Botetourt County.
  • Ginger Poole
    Poole’s work as an actor, choreographer, director, educator, and collaborator have helped reinvent Mill Mountain Theatre, and ensured its continued vibrancy as a professional regional theatre.
  • Eric Fitzpatrick
    Fitzpatrick is renowned for his work as a painter, sculptor, lecturer, supporter, and leader of the arts in the Roanoke Valley.
  • Beth Macy and Tom Landon
    Through written and visual works of storytelling, Macy and Landon have brought cultural awareness to the community, both individually and together.
  • Richard Cummins
    Cummins served with distinction for 37 years as the organist, music director, and fine arts director at Greene Memorial United Methodist Church in downtown Roanoke.

Individual or Business Arts Supporter

  • The Roanoke Women’s Foundation
    The foundation is recognized for its support of the arts, particularly with grants to Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke Children’s Theatre, and the Jefferson Center Music Lab.
  • Barbara Dickinson
    Among her many contributions to the art world in the Roanoke Valley, Dickinson founded the Sidewalk Arts Show and supported many aspects of the Fine Arts Center.
  • Jack Avis
    Avis helped Mill Mountain Theatre bounce back after financial struggles and helped restructure MMT’s debt with a sound business plan.
  • Friendship Foundation
    The foundation consistently funds organizations and events that enhance arts and culture in the Roanoke Valley.
  • Bev Fitzpatrick
    Through his work as executive director of the Virginia Transportation Museum, attendance from local, national, and international visitors has more than tripled.

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 Kendig Awards were established in 1985 and presented annually by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge through 2012. Hollins and Roanoke College first partnered the following year to bestow the honors, and congratulate the 2016 slate of distinguished nominees.

For more information about the Kendig Awards, visit http://kendig.press.hollins.edu/.


Veteran TV and Stage Actress Dawn Wells to Headline Starcropolis: Theatre Under the Star

Dawn Wells, best known as “Mary Ann” on the classic ‘60s sitcom Gilligan’s Island, will be one of the featured performers at the first-ever Starcropolis, an evening of live theatre on Mill Mountain beneath the Roanoke Star, on Sunday evening, September 4.

The event is sponsored by Hollins University, the City of Roanoke, Mill Mountain Theatre, and Roanoke Public Libraries.

Wells joins more than 50 of the region’s best professional, amateur, and high school actors, including performers from Big Lick Conspiracy, Showtimers, Off the Rails Theatre, Attic Productions, Salem High School, Patrick Henry Players, and Mill Mountain Theatre Conservatory, who will bring to life a series of short plays created specifically for the event. Playwrights from the Playwrights Lab at Hollins University, some of the area’s best-known writers, and New York Times bestselling authors will draw inspiration from “Star Stories.” These narratives, funny moments, and deeply human events, planned or unplanned, that have occurred at the Star have been gathered by Roanoke Public Libraries in conjunction with Starcropolis.

“Dawn will be taking on quite a departure from her familiar persona as a wholesome girl-next-door,” said Ernie Zulia, artistic director and chair of the Hollins University theatre department. “She will be sharing her broad range as a stage actress to play the role of a homeless woman who climbed the mountain every summer to eavesdrop on opening night performances at Mill Mountain Playhouse.”

Zulia noted that Wells’ participation in Starcropolis is an outgrowth of the deep affection she has developed for Roanoke over the years. “Dawn’s manager, Leonard Carter, is a native Roanoker and a well-known filmmaker and photographer. He connected her with local writer and cartoonist Steve Stinson, who would go on to co-author Dawn’s 2014 book, What Would Mary Ann Do? A Guide to Life. Leonard also introduced Dawn to the unique charms of our region, which prompted her to share her enthusiasm for the Star City and lend her enormous talents to Starcropolis.”

Wells was already a seasoned television actress before she joined the cast of Gilligan’s Island in 1964, having appeared on such series as 77 Sunset Strip, Cheyenne, Maverick, and Bonanza. After Gilligan’s Island ended, she embarked on a theatre career, appearing in nearly 100 productions and starring in a one-woman show at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Today, she lives in Los Angeles and runs Wishing Wells Productions in Idaho, which makes clothing for people with limited mobility. She is also the founder of the Idaho Film and Television Institute.

In addition to Wells, Starcropolis will showcase New York actor Jasper McGruder, who is familiar to regional audiences in leading roles at the Barter Theatre and Triad Stage. He will portray Andrew Moore, who swept the old road that at one time provided the only access to the top of Mill Mountain. The story is written by acclaimed author and Hollins alumna Beth Macy and her husband, Tom Landon.

“When you add in the directors, designers, and technicians, over 100 people will be working to make this unique and exciting theatre event take place,” Zulia said. “Starcropolis isn’t just a one-night show, it’s a celebration of the rich world of live theatre in the Roanoke Valley.”

 


Hollins, Roanoke College Welcome Nominations for the 2016 Perry F. Kendig Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards, which recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations in the Roanoke Valley that provide exemplary leadership in or support for the arts.

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, July 13. Nomination forms and other information are available at http://kendig.hollins.edu.

Hollins University and Roanoke College have co-sponsored the awards since 2013. Hollins will host the 2016 Kendig Awards presentation on Wednesday, September 14.

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 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.


Hollins to Co-Host Virginia Women’s Conference on Nov. 21

Hollins University is joining U.S. Senator Mark Warner, Virginia Tech, the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the City of Roanoke in hosting the 2015 Virginia Women’s Conference on Saturday, November 21, from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.

Admission is free but registration is required.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Leadership and Lifelong Learning.” The agenda features a variety of breakout sessions, including:

  • From Conflict to Curiosity: Leadership Lessons Applied to Real Life
  • Women & Digital Domination
  • The Myth and the Math: Capital in the Community for Women-Owned Businesses
  • Prepare to Care – Physically, Mentally and Financially
  • Your Health: Ages & Stages
  • Leadership: From Fear to Fun
  • Four Keys to More Effective Leadership Behaviors
  • The Power of Friendship
  • The Modern Home Front
  • What’s Your EQ (Emotional Intelligence)?
  • The Woman in Charge: Financial Empowerment
  • Managing Stress with Success
  • Women as Agents of Change

Also highlighting the conference will be remarks from Senator Warner; a keynote address by Rynthia Rost, vice president of public affairs at GEICO; and a speed networking lounge. Joy Sutton, host of The Joy Sutton Show, is the emcee.

To register or learn more about this year’s Virginia Women’s Conference, visit www.warner.senate.gov/womensconference.

 

 


Hollins, Roanoke College Announce Perry F. Kendig Award Winners for 2015

 

Local author Nancy Ruth Patterson, the Foundation for Roanoke Valley, and the Southwest Virginia Ballet have been honored with this year’s Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards.

The awards were presented during a ceremony in Roanoke College’s Wortmann Ballroom on September 2.

Co-sponsored by Hollins University and Roanoke College, the Kendig Awards program is celebrating 30 years of recognizing distinction in arts and culture in the Roanoke Valley. Awards are presented in each of the following categories: Individual Artist, Individual or Business Supporter, and Arts and Culture Organization.

Patterson, this year’s Individual Artist award recipient, is the author of five novels for children.  All have been honored on Master Reading Lists in 10 states, and three have been adapted and performed for the professional stage. Upon retiring after 33 years as a teacher and administrator with Roanoke City Schools, she joined the adjunct faculty of the University of Virginia, teaching graduate courses in literature for children and young adults as well as memoir writing. She has spoken at more than 500 national conferences and workshops and has written numerous articles on the craft of writing. At her 2002 induction into the Virginia High School League’s Hall of Fame, Patterson was cited as “one of the most sought-after writing teachers in the country.”

The Foundation for Roanoke Valley, the community foundation serving the cities of Roanoke, Salem, Lexington and Martinsville, the counties of Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Henry, and Alleghany, and other surrounding areas, received the Kendig Award for Individual or Business Supporter.  Since its establishment in 1988, the foundation has had an extraordinary economic and cultural impact on the region by supporting a wide range of projects. It fulfills its mission by:

  • Enabling donors to carry out their charitable intent through endowment funds
  • Providing responsible stewardship for entrusted funds
  • Making creative grants for current and future community needs and opportunities
  • Offering comprehensive services to encourage and advance effective philanthropy
  • Promoting and participating in collaborative efforts to shape a healthy, caring community
  • Providing opportunities to strengthen local nonprofits

The Kendig Award in the Arts and Cultural Organization category was presented to the Southwest Virginia Ballet (SVB). Founded in 1990, SVB serves over 10,000 children and adults annually and provides pre-professional quality performances of varied repertoire including classical ballet, contemporary, and modern works.  The company is a training ground for regional dancers possibly seeking a career in dance or dance related fields. In addition to full-length productions, SVB performs throughout the year at area festivals and events and has collaborated with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and Opera Roanoke. SVB’s annual production of The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition and routinely brings together as many as 180 SVB company and community members.

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 Kendig Awards program was established in 1985 and presented annually by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge through 2012. Hollins and Roanoke College first partnered the following year to bestow the honors, and congratulate the 2015 winners.


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.

 


Hollins Partners with Other Local Colleges and Universities for “Selma” Screening

Hollins University is joining an effort led by Jefferson College of Health Sciences to bring together the communities from six Roanoke Valley higher education institutions and programs for a screening of the Academy Award® nominated film, Selma, on Tuesday, January 27.

Students, faculty, and staff from Jefferson College and Hollins as well as Ferrum College, Radford University’s DPT Program, Roanoke College, and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine are participating in the screening, which will take place at Roanoke’s Grandin Theatre.

The purpose of the event is to promote discussions in and among local college communities about equal rights and the need to continue to build “the beloved community” espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The screening of the film serves to bridge the schools’ observances and celebrations of King’s birthday and Black History Month in February.

To give the audience context for the film and the time period in which it took place, a prescreening discussion will kick off the event at 5 p.m. The film will begin at 5:25 p.m. Following the screening, the audience will be invited to the Grandin Colab for conversation and reflection.

Nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song Oscars, Selma tells the true story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1965 campaign to gain equal voting rights despite violent opposition. A march led by King from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, culminated in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the civil rights movement’s most important and enduring accomplishments.