Va. House of Delegates Resolution Honors Hollins’ 175th Anniversary

Betsy B. Carr, who represents parts of the City of Richmond and Chesterfield County (69th District) in the Virginia House of Delegates, has introduced House Joint Resolution No. 660, commending Hollins University on its 175th anniversary.

Delegate Carr is a member of Hollins’ class of 1968 and was elected to the House of Delegates in 2009.

 

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Hollins Professor Cited for Exemplary Teaching in Mathematics

Hollins University Professor of Mathematics Caren Diefenderfer is one of three U.S. educators named winners of the 2017 Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).

Diefenderfer and fellow mathematics professors Janet Heine Barnett (Colorado State University – Pueblo) and Tevian Dray (Oregon State University) were cited for their teaching effectiveness, contributions to mathematics education, and influence outside their institutions.

“These educators exemplify the outstanding work of all our members, who demonstrate the MAA’s commitment to foster the next generation of mathematicians and elevate their potential,” said Francis Su, president of the MAA. “Their dedication to helping students see the history and interdisciplinary nature of mathematics, and to shaping the teaching of mathematics, is to be admired.”

Diefenderfer was recognized not only for inspiring her students in her classrooms and beyond, but also for developing and teaching interdisciplinary courses that help students develop communication skills. In the wider mathematical community, she has been a pioneer in Quantitative Literacy, a field of education whose goal is improving college students’ reasoning proficiency when using quantitative content.  A member of the Hollins faculty since 1977, she holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Diefenderfer, Barnett, and Dray were honored on January 5 in Atlanta at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, the world’s largest gathering of mathematicians.

The MAA is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level. Its members include university, college, and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists; statisticians; and many others in academia, government, business, and industry. The mission of the MAA is “to advance the mathematical sciences, especially at the collegiate level.”

 

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Hollins Named a 2017 “Best College Value” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Hollins University has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance‘s list of the Top 300 Best College Values of 2017. Introduced in 1998, the rankings now combine public schools, private universities, and private liberal arts colleges into a single, comprehensive list. Kiplinger also ranked the top 100 best values in each category.

The school earned the #97 spot on the magazine’s list of 100 best values in private liberal arts colleges. Hollins is one of only four Virginia colleges and universities to make the category’s top 100, joining Washington and Lee University, the University of Richmond, and Christendom College.

“There’s no way around it: College is expensive, and it’s going to stay that way for a long time. So, with our rankings – which weigh affordability alongside academic quality – our goal is to help students and their parents understand what’s really worth the price,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “While some may have ranked higher than others, all 300 schools on the list are of extraordinary value, being chosen out of a universe of 1,200.”

Kiplinger’s quality measures, which are weighted more heavily than cost, include the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio, and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker price, financial aid, and average debt at graduation. Kiplinger restricts its analysis to measurable standards of academic quality and affordability.

The complete rankings will appear in print in the February 2017 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands January 3.


Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame Inducts Hollins Alumna

Julia Voorhees Emmons ’63, former executive director of the 10,000-member Atlanta Track Club and former director of the Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10K, is among the five newest members of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame.

Emmons; former Atlanta Falcons linebacker and five-time Pro Bowler Keith Brooking; Atlanta Hawks radio broadcaster Steve Holman; high school, college, and professional basketball coach Bob Reinhart; and cable network sports reporter Craig Sager will be officially inducted at a ceremony at Atlanta’s Buckhead Theater on February 17, 2017.

The Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame’s mission is to honor Atlanta sports heroes, remember great moments in Atlanta sports history, and preserve the past from which future generations can learn and take pride.

In her 22 years as head of the Atlanta Track Club, Emmons was very active on the national running scene. She served as chair of women’s long distance running for USA Track & Field from 1990-1996. She directed the men’s and women’s marathons and race walks for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and was on the U.S. women’s track and field team for the 2004 Athens Olympics as assistant coach for endurance events. In 2005, Emmons served as an assistant manager for the U.S. track and field team at the World Championships in Helsinki.

Emmons is one of the Distinguished Graduates that Hollins is showcasing during the university’s 175th anniversary celebration in 2016-17.


Works by Hollins Authors Highlight Amazon’s Best Books of the Year

Books by Associate Professor of English Elizabeth Poliner, Beth Macy M.A. ’93, and Lee Smith ’67 are among Amazon.com’s Top 100 Editors’ Picks for 2016.

As Close to Us as BreathingPoliner’s novel As Close to Us as Breathing was an Amazon Best Book for March 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.”

Published in October, Macy’s Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South is one of six books that have been selected in the Nonfiction category for the Kirkus Prize shortlist. Truevine has also been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence and is a New York Times Book Review  Editors’ Choice. The Amazon Book Review called ita multi-layered story that will captivate, haunt, and challenge you.”Truevine

In Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, Smith recalls how she became a storyteller while growing up in the Appalachian South, and discusses what later convinced her to embrace her heritage. “Smith delivers a memoir that shines with a bright spirit, a generous heart and an entertaining knack for celebrating absurdity,” noted The New York Times Book Review. “Although Dimestore is constructed as a series of personal essays, it presents as full a sense of a life as any traditional narrative.”


Hollins Students Earn Accolades at Model Arab League

A team of Hollins University students was named Distinguished Delegation at the Appalachia Regional Model Arab League (ARMAL), held November 4 – 6 on the Hollins campus.

Hollins represented Saudi Arabia at the conference.

Model Arab League (MAL) is the flagship student leadership development program of the National Council on U.S. – Arab Relations (NCUSAR). Similar in organization and format to Model United Nations, MAL focuses on the 22 member states that make up the League of Arab States.

According to NCUSAR, “MAL provides primarily American but also Arab and other international students opportunities to develop invaluable leadership skills. There is no comparable opportunity that allows emerging leaders to learn firsthand what it is like to put themselves in the shoes of real-life Arab diplomats and other foreign affairs practitioners.”

Seventeen delegations from 11 schools, including seven colleges and universities, three high schools, and one middle school, participated in ARMAL. The turnout represented an increase of five delegations from last year’s conference.

“This is the second year Hollins has hosted this conference, and it was so successful that we have been invited to the National University Model Arab League conference, which takes place in Washington, D.C., this March,” said Professor of Political Science Ed Lynch, ARMAL coordinator. “Only 26 colleges and universities nationwide are included.”

Dade Hundertmark ’19 received the Outstanding Delegate Award for her service on the Council of Arab Social Affairs Ministers. Aubrey Hobby ’18 was named Distinguished Chair for her leadership of that council.

Recognized as Distinguished Delegates were Samantha Makseyn ’19 and Reilly Swennes ’20, who participated in the Council on Palestinian Affairs, and Shannon Gallagher ’20, who served on the Council of Arab Environmental Affairs Ministers.

Hanna Strauss ’19 was the ARMAL secretary-general and Hayley Harrington ’19 served as assistant secretary-general.

Samuel Tadros, senior fellow at Washington’s Hudson Institute, was the keynote speaker. His address focused on the status of Christians in the Arabic-speaking world.

Among the colleges and universities joining Hollins this year were Converse College, Georgia Southern University, Radford University, Roanoke College, and Virginia Tech. The participating high schools were Chatham Hall, Franklin County High School, and Roanoke Catholic High School. Roanoke’s Community School Middle School sent an observer delegation, the first time a middle school has taken part in a Model Arab League conference.


Hollins Riders Shine at SWVHJA Horse Show

Maddy Lohr ’19 captured multiple honors at the 28th Annual Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association (SWVHJA) Horse Show, which took place November 4 – 6 at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington.

Lohr earned gold in the SWVHJA Adult Medal Finals and was also named Younger Adult Amateur Hunter Champion; Best Amateur Rider; Grand Champion Children’s/Adult Amateur Hunter; and Grand Champion Adult Amateur Hunter.

Other standout riders for Hollins included Allison Sherwood ’20 won silver in the SWVHJA Hunter Seat Medal Finals and was Low Hunter Champion and Under Saddle Children’s Hunter Champion; Heavon Allen ’18 (fifth, SWVHJA Adult Medal Finals); Randi Byrd ’18 (second, Adult Amateur Hunter Under Saddle; sixth, Low Hunter); Madi Hurley ’17 (tenth, SWVJA Adult Medal Finals; second, Adult Amateur Hunter); Lucy Smith ’17 (first, fourth, Special Adult Hunter); Mimi Washburn ’19 (third, first, third, Special Adult Hunter; Under Saddle Special Adult Hunter Champion); and Kate McNamee ’17 (sixth, fourth, Special Adult Hunter).

This year’s SWVHJA Horse Show was dedicated to the memory of L.M. “Sandy” Gerald, who served for 16 years as head riding coach at Hollins and died unexpectedly last April. He was a seven-time Old Dominion Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. A 2006 inductee into SWVHJA Hall of Fame, Gerald was also a member of  the Virginia Horse Show Association Hall of Fame and the Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame.

Photo caption: Sarah Brown ’13 (left), Hollins’ equestrian recruiting and marketing coordinator, with Maddy Lohr ’19.


Hollins Magazine Receives Gold Summit Award

The Summer 2016 issue of Hollins magazine has been honored with a Gold Summit Award by the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Now in their 20th year, the Summit Awards recognize the best in public relations work in western Virginia.

The award was presented to Anstey Hodge Advertising Group of Roanoke, which designed the issue.

Hollins magazine is published quarterly by the university.


HOP Director to Lead Virginia’s Largest Paddling Club

Jon Guy Owens, director of the Hollins Outdoor Program (HOP), has been elected president of Coastal Canoeists, Virginia’s largest canoeing and kayaking club, for 2017.

Coastals is a family-oriented club dedicated to the enjoyment and advancement of paddle sports. It consists of canoeists, kayakers, and others from Virginia and the southeastern United States.

Owens has directed HOP since 2001. He was born and raised in the Great Smoky Mountains near Cherokee, North Carolina, and got his start in adventure recreation as a river guide on the Nantahala River in North Carolina, while earning his undergraduate degree in therapeutic recreation. He is certified as an instructor/trainer by the Wilderness Education Association; wilderness first responder; and single pitch instructor by the American Mountain Guiding Association.


Downriver Racing Team Captures Second at ACA National Championships

The Hollins University downriver racing team bested teams from Penn State, Brevard College, and Bellarmine University to take second place overall in the American Canoe Association Collegiate Downriver National Championships, held October 15 on the Roanoke River.

The competition was part of Roanoke’s Go Outside Festival, October 14-16.

Hosted by Hollins and Roanoke County Parks and Recreation and sponsored by Backcountry Ski and Sports, the race course started at the Little Niagara Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway and ended at the Explore Park recreation facility. “It was a beautiful day and the recent rain made the race course perfect,” said Jon Guy Owens, director of the Hollins Outdoor Program.

In addition to finishing second only to Warren Wilson College in the women’s category, several individual team members delivered standout performances:

  • Olivia Foskey ’17 finished first in K1 Short (Short Kayak) and third in OC1 (Open Canoe Solo). “K1 was the most competitive category at the entire event and Olivia’s first-place finish was an extremely impressive showing,” said Owens.
  • Jessica Michael ’17 took second in OC2 (Open Canoe Tandem) and ninth in K1 Short.
  • Emily Blankenship ’18 was fourth in K1 Long and seventh in K1 Short.
  • Kaitlyn Taylor ’17 and Jessica Michael ’17 captured second in OC2.
  • In their first competition, Cate Kirkpatrick ’19 and Abby Parks ’19 finished sixth in OC2.

“The races are a great way to introduce students to paddle sports and give them the opportunity to meet paddlers from other schools,” noted Owens, a member of the Collegiate Paddling Competition Committee for the past two years. He added that Hollins has been competing in downriver racing events for seven years.

 

Photo Caption: Members of the Hollins downriver racing team (left to right): Olivia Foskey ’17, Jessica Michael ’17, Abby Parks ’19, Cate Kirkpatrick ’19, Kaitlyn Taylor ’17, and Emily Blankenship ’18.