Political Science Professor Selected as Oman Alwaleed Fellow

Hollins University Professor of Political Science Ed Lynch has been named an Oman Alwaleed Fellow for 2015-16 by the National Council on U.S. – Arab Relations (NCUSAR).

The fellowship includes a study visit to the Middle Eastern nation of Oman in August.

The fellowship is highly competitive; only eight college professors are selected each year nationwide. After visiting Oman, fellows will spend the year implementing a variety of programs, events, and outreach efforts in their home communities. These programs will permit Alwaleed Fellows to share their knowledge of Oman and familiarize Americans with this strategically important country.

“The nation of Oman lies directly across the Strait of Hormuz from Iran, and most oil tankers that enter and exit that waterway do so through Omani territory,” Lynch said. “Given Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the volatility of the world oil market, knowing more about the role of the Gulf States, and Oman in particular, is vitally important.

“Most Omanis are fairly knowledgeable about the United States, but most Americans know almost nothing about Oman. I hope my efforts will address that imbalance.”

Lynch expressed his optimism that his fellowship is the start of an ongoing relationship with NCUSAR’s student programs, which include dozens of Model Arab League conferences around the country. Hollins will host the 2015 Appalachia Regional Model Arab League Conference in November.

“We are proud of Ed’s fellowship, and happy that Model Arab League will be coming to Hollins,” said Hollins President Nancy Gray, noting that Hollins students have been active participants in Model United Nations for years.

Lynch chairs the political science department at Hollins, and is a former Academic Fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He has previously traveled to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Chile, Denmark, Israel, and the People’s Republic of China as part of official delegations.


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.

 


Lange Appointed to Virginia Board of Education

Lorraine S. Lange, who will become director of Hollins University’s Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (M.A.L.S.) programs on July 1, has been appointed to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration as a member of the commonwealth’s Board of Education.

Lange is retiring this month as superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools. She began her career as a teacher in Roanoke in 1969 and went on to serve as assistant principal, principal, supervisor of language arts K-12, associate director of instruction, assistant superintendent of instruction, and deputy superintendent of instruction before she was named superintendent in 2006. Her distinguished contributions to K-12 were recognized when she was named Virginia Superintendent of the Year in 2012. That same year, she was one of four finalists for National Superintendent of the Year.


Hollins Student Conference Showcases Undergraduate Work

A variety of podium presentations, poster presentations, and performances from across all disciplines highlighted the 2015 Hollins Student Conference on April 11 in Moody Student Center.

The conference provides an opportunity for the university to come together to celebrate the scholarly and creative work of undergraduate students.

Awards were presented to presentations or performances in the following categories:

Exploring Ideas: Hollins Honors Program Projects

First Place
“Into the Blue: The Universal Essence of Color Between Lapis Lazuli and Mayan Blue”
Madi Hurley ’17, art/business
Rory Keeley ’17, mathematics

Third Place
“Historical Hysteria”
Emili McPhail ’18, communication studies/international studies
Amanda McVey ’18, English
Elizabeth Trout ’17, political science/communication studies
Amelia Verkerk ’18, classical studies

Third Place
“#FirstTimeFeminists: An Engagement of Young Females in the Feminist Activist Movement”
Cierra Earl ’18, undeclared
Taylor Humin ’17, English with creative writing
Danielle Raymond ’18, English with creative writing

Exploring Contemporary Issues in Science and Society

First Place
“Brenda’s Baby’s Got a Gun: Open Carry Activism as a Tool for White Privilege”
Lachelle Roddy ’15, political science

Second Place
“The Effects of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on Human and Environmental Health”
Alexis Banaszak ’18, biology

Second Place
“Racism in France: The Intersection Between Immigration, Economy, and the Far Right”
Marissa Richerson ’17, environmental science

Exploring Culture through Art and Religion

First Place
“Oil Painting: Associations Between Color and Mood”
Georgina Bellhouse ’16, studio art

Second Place
“Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art: The People’s Museum”
Allison Schmitt ’15, art history/history

Exploring Questions in Math and Science – Poster Presentation

Third Place
“Applications of Abstract Algebra: Symmetry in Spanish Arab Tile Patterns”
Caitlin Orzechowski ’15, mathemactics


Faculty Members Honored at Founder’s Day Convocation

Hollins University recognized Professor of Spanish Alison Ridley and Associate Professor of Communication Studies Vladimir Bratic with two of the institution’s highest awards during the annual Founder’s Day Convocation on February 19.

Ridley received the Roberta A. Stewart Service Award, which honors Hollins employees who demonstrate long-term service, loyalty to the university and its principles, and deep caring for students and colleagues. Stewart was a professor and administrator at Hollins for 40 years and the award was established in 1993.

Ridley joined the Hollins faculty in 1991 as an assistant professor of Spanish and went on to earn promotion to associate professor in 1997 and the rank of full professor in 2013. She has also served as both chair and clerk of the faculty, chair of her academic department, and director of general education at Hollins. In the latter role, she led the implementation and assessment in 2001 of a new general education program, “Education through Skills and Perspectives,” the first significant reform of general education at Hollins in more than 20 years.

In 2006, as dean of academic services, Ridley was instrumental in creating Hollins’ first-year seminar program. For her work on this initiative, she was selected two years later as one of the 10 Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates in the United States.

The Herta T. Freitag Faculty Legacy Award was presented to Bratic in recognition of his recent scholarly and creative accomplishments. These reflect the extraordinary academic standards set by Freitag, who served as professor of mathematics at Hollins from 1948 to 1971.

Since joining the Hollins faculty in 2006, Bratic has developed as distinguished body of scholarship on the impact of media in peace building. He has written five peer-reviewed journal articles, seven book chapters, and five other publications on this topic. He has also been working on a book that integrates all of his previous work into a unified study on the history of this field over the last three decades.

Bratic has been recognized both nationally and internationally for his expertise. He has worked for several years with the United States Institute for Peace in Washington, D.C., in an advisory capacity. Two years ago, he spent eight days in Israel and Palestine, visiting Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Jaffa, where he interacted with activists and legal experts. He gave a series of lectures on the Peace Boat, an anti-nuclear proliferation NGO. He has been invited to lecture at colleges and universities ranging from Virginia Tech, James Madison University, and Central Connecticut State University to Al Quds University in Palestine, Netanya Academic College in Israel, and Sarajevo University in Bosnia.


Whitewater Racers Capture Second at Collegiate Race Series National Championships

American Canoe Association Collegiate Race SeriesHollins University canoers and kayakers earned second place in the Women’s Championship competition at the annual American Canoe Association Collegiate Race Series National Championships, held November 1 on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Hollins topped teams from Warren Wilson College, the University of Alabama, and Sweet Briar College to finish second. Albion College claimed this year’s women’s national championship.

The event took place on the whitewater portion of the Rappahannock, which features several major rapids.

Photo by David Reep


Hollins Featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges

2011greenHollins University is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to the second annual edition of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Colleges: 2011 Edition.

Created by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the guidebook profiles institutions of higher learning that demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation. The Princeton Review chose the schools for this guide based on a survey of administrators at hundreds of colleges that the company polled in 2010 about their school’s sustainability initiatives.

Released today in conjunction with the 41st anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, the book includes facts, statistics, and write-ups reporting on each school’s environmentally related policies, practices, and academic offerings. The free guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx.

“College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues,” said The Princeton Review’s Robert Franek. “Together with the USGBC, we are pleased to make this free resource available to all students seeking to attend colleges that practice, teach, and support environmentally responsible choices. We highly recommend the colleges in this book.”

Hollins’ recognition in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges comes as the university installs the first solar panels on campus. The panels will directly convert the sun’s energy into electricity, reducing the amount of non-green energy Hollins must purchase. The project is made possible by a $30,000 grant from a new initiative established by The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Richmond-based Dominion Resources, one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy.


Hollins’ Green Initiatives Move Forward with First LEED Silver-Certified Building

LEEDA historic structure on the Hollins University campus has earned the institution its first-ever Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

The Green Building Certification Institute has awarded the newly renovated Robbie Hunt Burton Alumnae Cottage its LEED Silver classification in recognition of the sustainable building components used during the remodeling effort.

Alumnae Cottage, a guest residence originally constructed in 1905, features the first geothermal heating and cooling system on campus; low-maintenance building materials containing recycled content, including ceramic tile, particle board, and fiberglass insulation; renewable materials such as bamboo flooring and cabinet doors; high energy-efficient appliances; and low-flow toilets, faucets, and showers to enhance water conservation. In addition, one hundred percent of the construction waste from the project was recycled.

“The Alumnae Cottage renovation represents a significant step forward in our efforts toward reducing and ultimately eliminating the university’s carbon footprint,” said Kerry Edmonds, Hollins’ vice president for finance and administration. “Without the partnership and guidance of Blacksburg-based architect Peter Ozolins, the engineering firm Moser Mayer Phoenix Associates of Greensboro, project managers Raymond Hunt and Mike Brown with Richmond-based contractor EDC, and contractor R.L. Price Construction of Salem, we could not have achieved our LEED certification objective.”

LEED is an internationally-recognized green building certification system that promotes sustainable building and development practices. It acknowledges commercial and residential initiatives that put into action plans that seek superior performance in five significant areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

The Green Building Certification Institute is an independent, non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. It was established in 2008 with the support of the U.S. Green Building Council.


Two Prestigious “Best of” Lists for 2011 Feature Novel by Children’s Literature Program Director

whatwekeepThe director of Hollins University’s graduate program in children’s literature has received some impressive year-end recognition for her latest book.

Amanda Cockrell’s debut young-adult novel, What We Keep Is Not Always What Will Stay, has been acclaimed as one of the best books of the year for children by The Boston Globe, and has also been named to the Bulletin Blue Ribbons 2011 list from The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.

In selecting What We Keep for the Globe’s review of the year’s most notable writing for young people, author Liz Rosenberg writes, “Cockrell balances on the knife’s edge between comedy and tragedy. The depth and darkness of her themes makes an absorbing read for older young adults.”

Geared toward readers ages 12 and up, What We Keep is the story of 15-year-old Angie, who falls for a 19-year-old Afghanistan veteran suffering from both physical and emotional trauma. The novel was published by Flux in July 2011.

Along with directing the graduate program in children’s literature at Hollins, Cockrell is managing editor of The Hollins Critic, the university’s literary journal. A native of Ojai, California, she also earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Hollins. Cockrell has published numerous essays, poems, and articles in addition to her novels The Legions of the Mist, The Moonshine Blade, The Deer Dancers trilogy, The Horse Catchers trilogy, and Pomegranate Seed. She has received fiction fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.


Jane Batten ’58 Selected to Receive Old Dominion’s MLK Award

janebattenNorfolk philanthropist Jane Parke Batten, a member of Hollins’ class of 1958, will receive Old Dominion University’s Hugo Owens Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award.

The first non-African American to win the award, Batten is being recognized for her long record of community involvement and service on behalf of the disadvantaged. She is a member of the board of the Alison J. and Ella W. Parsons Foundation, whose grants have gone to area colleges and universities as well as arts groups and organizations of all sizes that work with the homeless and hungry and other people in need. She is also vice chair of the board of Smart Beginnings South Hampton Roads, an entrepreneurial nonprofit organization created by business, civic and philanthropic leaders to address the issue of school readiness in the region.

ODU President John Broderick lauded the selection of Batten for the MLK award, noting that “her family has been influential on many levels. She and her family have played a key role in championing the rights of minorities in this community and beyond.”

Batten is the widow of Frank Batten, former chairman of Landmark Communications. That company is now known as Landmark Media Enterprises and publishes The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot.

Batten and her late husband have been longtime local philanthropists. Among her recent gifts is a pledge of up to $1.5 million to aid a financially troubled, historically black private college in Southside Virginia. The gift to Brunswick County’s Saint Paul’s College includes a challenge grant through the Batten Educational Achievement Fund, and a $1 million endowment to support a program geared toward assisting single parents pursuing college degrees. Both funds are part of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.

Cecelia Tucker, ODU’s assistant to the president for community relations and one of the organizers of the MLK Day observance on campus, said Batten couldn’t be a better choice for the award.

“I’ve known Jane for almost 40 years, and everything she does, every generous gift and action, has a goal of enhancing lives, changing the lives of people,” Tucker said.

The Hugo Owens Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award recognizes individuals in the community whose lives mirror the principles of equality and humanity. The award’s other namesake, Hugo Owens, was a former rector of the ODU Board of Visitors and a longtime champion of civil rights in Hampton Roads.

Batten will be honored at Old Dominion’s 28th MLK Day observance on Tuesday, January 17.