Hollins, Roanoke College Welcome Nominations for the 2017 Perry F. Kendig Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 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 Friday, July 28. Nomination forms and other information are available at https://kendig.press.hollins.edu/.

Hollins University and Roanoke College have cosponsored the awards since 2013. Roanoke College will host the 2017 Kendig Awards presentation on Thursday, September 28, 5:30 p.m. in Olin Hall Galleries.

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.

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.


Roanoke County Recognizes President Gray

The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors honored retiring Hollins University President Nancy Gray during its regular meeting on May 23.

The board paid tribute to Gray for her 12 years of service with a Resolution of Appreciation.

“President Gray has been a true partner to Roanoke County,” said Board Chairman Joe McNamara. “We wish her success in her future endeavors.”

Read the entire Resolution of Appreciation here.

Pictured (left to right): Board Chairman Joe McNamara, President Gray, County Administrator Thomas Gates


Growing Hollins’ Interfaith Community Leads Grad to Harvard Divinity School

Since her arrival at Hollins four years ago, Nora Williams ’17 has taken an array of life-changing journeys that have included internships at Elon University and the Rescue Mission of Roanoke and a semester studying abroad in Argentina.

But Williams’ spiritual quest as a Hollins student is perhaps her most enduring voyage, one that this fall will take her to Harvard Divinity School and its master of divinity program.

A double-major in religious studies and Spanish from Denver, Colorado, Williams helped teach an adult art class at the Rescue Mission, a Christian crisis intervention center for men, women, and children, during the January Short Term of her first year. She says the experience “led me to explore ways to be more inclusive when ministering to the needs of others.”

Her interest in interfaith issues was further piqued during the summer of her sophomore year. She spent a month working at Elon University’s Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life under the tutelage of the Rev. Dr. Jan Fuller, Elon’s university chaplain and former chaplain at Hollins. Williams says she “learned a lot about interfaith, connecting with different resources, working with different communities, and incorporating different religious voices.”

Williams produced two projects at Elon. First, “I created this document of religious monologues. I interviewed at lot of Elon students over the summer and had them talk about their religious experiences, how they have developed in their spirituality, their interactions with other people at the school, and how those interactions affect how they practice their faith.”

Williams brought the concept behind her second project back to Hollins that fall. “I researched and found 54 religious holidays from around the world and created short blurbs about each one, which I printed out and either placed them on tables or hung them up in various public spaces.” She noticed that many religious traditions occurred during the months of November and December, and that inspired her once she returned to Hollins to work with University Chaplain Jenny Call to present the first-ever Winter Light Gathering on campus.

The event was nondenominational and Williams invited people of different faiths “to share their favorite traditions during that time of year. From Hanukkah to Winter Solstice, they all center around this theme of light.”

Call believes Williams is herself “a brilliant light on our campus, although she never seeks the spotlight and instead shies away from attention.  She has a generous heart and spirit, and a deep passion for social justice that motivates her work and care for others.  She delights me with her thoughtfulness and sense of humor and inspires hope about what she and her generation will accomplish.”

Adds Professor of Spanish Alison Ridley, “She is a lovely and kind human being who deserves to be recognized for all the good she does in such a quiet and unassuming way.”

At Hollins’ 175th Commencement Exercises on May 21, Williams was presented with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Student Award. Given by the New York Southern Society in memory of the founder, this award recognizes the senior who has shown by daily living those qualities that display love and helpfulness to other men and women.

Williams will complete her master of divinity in three years. The program includes a semester or a year of field work in the ministry – real-world experience for which Williams feels she has already set the foundation at Hollins. She worked with new students from underrepresented groups as an Early Transition Program mentor, and served with the Diversity Monologue Troupe, a team of student leaders that promotes understanding of the university’s diversity while helping to broaden perspectives on the various stereotypes common in society.

“I feel like that’s also a form of ministry,” Williams explains. “I’m figuring out what the idea of ministry means to me.”


Three Hollins Authors Are People’s Choice Award Finalists

Books written by a Hollins University faculty member and two Hollins alumnae have been named finalists for the 2017 Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award.

As Close to Us as Breathing by Associate Professor of English Elizabeth Poliner was nominated for the People’s Choice Fiction Award, while Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South by Beth Macy M.A. ’93, and Dimestore: A Writer’s Life by Lee Smith ’67, are finalists in the People’s Choice Nonfiction category.

“These awards, which are part of the Library’s annual Literary Awards celebration, recognize the finest among Virginia authors and works about our great Commonwealth,” said Amy Bridge, executive director of the Library of Virginia Foundation.

Truevine

Anyone can participate in the voting for the People’s Choice Award by visiting this link. Voting is open until July 15. There is also a ballot on the site that can be printed and mailed to the Library (it must be received by July 15 to be counted).

Dimestore

The People’s Choice Award winners will be announced at the 20th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration in Richmond on  October 14. Winners of the People’s Choice Fiction and Nonfiction prizes will each win a cash prize of $2,500.

In November, As Close to Us as Breathing, Truevine, and Dimestore were selected among Amazon.com’s Top 100 Editors’ Picks for 2016.


Hollins Alumna and Celebrated Neuroscientist Elected to National Academy of Sciences

In acknowledgment of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, Mary Elizabeth “Mary Beth” Hatten ’71 has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

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 work has 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.

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 are among Hatten’s many accolades. In 2015 she was presented the prestigious Max Cowan Award, which honors a neuroscientist for outstanding work in developmental neuroscience. She is a recipient of the Hollins Distinguished Alumnae Award.

Hatten will be the featured speaker at Hollins’ 175th commencement exercises on Sunday, May 21.

The NAS is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership and – with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine – provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

 

 

 

 

 


First-Year Student Is Crowned Miss Teen Virginia United States

Monica Osborne ’20 will be advocating for locally sourced food and the importance of good childhood nutrition as the new Miss Teen Virginia United States.

Osborne, who hails from Independence, Virginia, won the crown at Roanoke’s Dumas Center on April 8.

As part of her reign, Osborne will be promoting her platform, “Buy Local, Eat Local, Be Local.” She created the initiative in 2013 by partnering with area farmers and farmers markets in southwest Virginia.

“My parents are farmers so every day I see the value of supporting local agriculture and the local economy,” Osborne explains.

Among her duties as Miss Teen Virginia United States, Osborne says she is most looking forward to traveling across the commonwealth to visit elementary schools. “It’s very important to teach children early on in their lives how vital it is to make healthy eating choices.”

This July, Osborne will compete for the title of Miss Teen United States in Orlando, Florida.

 

Photo credit: Goodwin Photography

 

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Hollins Captures Old Dominion Athletic Conference Equestrian Title

For the 21st time, the Hollins University riding team has won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship.

Hollins topped five other schools during competition at the university’s Kirby Riding Ring on April 5 to earn its first conference title since 2013.

The quartet of riders representing Hollins at this year’s ODAC championship show included Randi Byrd ’18, Madi Hurley ’17, Madeleine Lohr ’19, and Allison Sherwood ’20. In addition to Hollins taking top team honors, Lohr earned her second consecutive All-ODAC designation and head coach Claudia Roland was named ODAC Coach of the Year for 2017.

 

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS

Champion — Hollins University                       17 points
Reserve Champion — Sweet Briar College       16 points
Third Place — Lynchburg College                     12 points
Fourth Place — Randolph College                       9 points
Fourth Place — Washington & Lee Univ.            9 points
Sixth Place — Bridgewater College                     3 points

 

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Arbor Day Foundation Honors Hollins with 2016 Tree Campus USA® Recognition

Hollins University has received the Arbor Day Foundation’s 2016 Tree Campus USA® recognition for the institution’s commitment to efficient urban forest management.

“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest supervision and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Hollins achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee; developing a campus tree-care plan; dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program; holding an Arbor Day observance; and conducting a student service-learning project. Currently there are 296 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

Anna Copplestone, a coordinator in the information technology department at Hollins, helped spearhead the Tree Campus USA designation. “Our campus has always appreciated the natural beauty of its trees, but through this project, many people came together to demonstrate measurable and significant ways in which they physically benefit our environment. Understanding how we interact with our natural surroundings, even passively, is how we come to value and protect them. Hollins has shown its commitment to long-term sustainability efforts, and I hope Hollins continues to earn Tree Campus USA recognition in the years to come.”

Professor of French Annette Sampon-Nicolas, who chairs Hollins’ Environmental Advisory Board, added, “I am thrilled that Hollins is part of the Tree Campus USA program, and so grateful to Anna Copplestone for her dedication and passion for trees. She made it happen. Hollins’ beautiful trees will continue to be well managed, and the Hollins community is committed to fostering urban forests beyond our campus borders.”

Hollins will officially celebrate the designation during its Arbor Day observance on April 28. Highlights will include the placing of the Tree Campus USA plaque on campus, a tree planting, and a screening of the documentary, City of Trees.

The Garden Club of Virginia extended its congratulations to Hollins in this letter to President Nancy Gray.

The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $46.7 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available here.

 

 

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Student Lands Fellowship at World-Renowned Marine Research Organization

A Hollins junior will be spending her summer with a global leader in ocean research, exploration, and education.

Lan Nguyen ’18 is one of approximately 20 to 30 college and university students from around the world who have been awarded a 12-week summer research fellowship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts.

“I applied to about 10 different summer fellowships and internships and this is the one that best matches my interests,” said Nguyen, who hails from Vietnam and is double majoring in environmental science and economics.

Nguyen will be assigned to WHOI’s Marine Policy Center, which performs social scientific research that combines economics, policy analysis, and law with the institution’s basic exploration of ocean sciences.

“I’ll be working with a researcher to identify the benefits of marine resources and address marine issues in Massachusetts and other coastal areas,” she explained. “I’ll learn about methodology in environmental economics research, which is what I want to do in the future. It will be really helpful to me to get that experience and connect to researchers in the field.” After graduating from Hollins, Nguyen plans to pursue a doctorate in environmental economics and added that the fellowship provides “an amazing opportunity” to build up her Ph.D. program applications.

When she enrolled at Hollins, Nguyen was already thinking about combining environmental science and economics. She was referred to Associate Professor of Economics Pablo Hernandez, who specializes in environmental economics and has served as her academic advisor since her first year. “He helped me to find projects that would allow me to identify my research interests. He also offered suggestions on Short Term and summer opportunities and how to best prepare my applications to internships and fellowships. I wouldn’t have had access to that level of advice at a big university where professors have a lot of advisees and don’t have the extra time to spend with students the way Professor Hernandez and others at Hollins do.”

Nguyen also credits Professor of Biology Renee Godard and Associate Professor of Mathematics Julie Clark for bolstering her research skills in environmental science and statistics, respectively. “Incredible” is the word she uses to describe the three faculty members who have actively supported her.

This will be the second consecutive year in which Nguyen has participated in a prestigious summer program. In 2016, she completed an eight-week residence internship at the American Institute for Economic Research. In addition, during the fall of 2015, she worked with the School for Field Studies’ Center for Mekong Studies in Cambodia and subsequently received the organization’s Distinguished Student Researcher Award.

“Hollins students are able to get research experience even during their first and sophomore years,” Nguyen said. “That really helps us to secure other opportunities such as Woods Hole.”

 

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Hollins Announces Winners of the 2017 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature

  • The annual award showcases the most distinguished picture book manuscript as selected by a panel of judges.
  • This year’s recipients are Adam Rex for School’s First Day of School and Debbie Levy for I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark.
  • The Margaret Wise Brown Prize is among the few children’s book honors with a cash award.

Arizona-based author and illustrator Adam Rex is the winner of the second annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature.

Rex will receive an engraved medal and a $1,000 cash prize for his book School’s First Day of School, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by Roaring Brook Press. “This charming reversal of first-day-of-school nerves will delight little ones and help put their own anxieties at bay,” said Booklist in its starred review, while School Library Journal called it, “An essential purchase that is simultaneously funny, frank, and soothing. A perfect first day read-aloud.”

Rex’s previous works include the New York Times bestseller Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, a collection of stories about monsters and their problems. His novel The True Meaning of Smekday was adapted into the DreamWorks film Home in 2014.

This year’s Margaret Wise Brown Honor Book award of $300 goes to Debbie Levy for I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark, published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.

The 2017 competition was judged by three acclaimed children’s book authors:

  • Phil Bildner, who won the inaugural Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature for his book Marvelous Cornelius, which was also a Junior Library Guild Selection and winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award.
  • Jane Yolen, co-author of the 2016 Margaret Wise Brown Honor Book You Nest Here With Me as well as more than 350 other books that have garnered two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, a National Book Award nomination, and the Golden Kite Award.
  • Heidi E.Y. Stemple, co-author of the 2016 Margaret Wise Brown Honor Book You Nest Here With Me and many others.

Hollins University 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 program 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 and this year celebrates its 25th anniversary. 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 2018 Margaret Wise Brown Prize.

 

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