Voyages 2020

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“Joy. Purpose. Compassion. Leadership. Honor. Service. That is who we are. It is what makes Christopher Newport diferent, distinctive and precious.”



As Captains and as members of the Christopher Newport community, we are called to serve.

We ask our students to lead, serve, engage and set the world on fire. We ask our alumni to serve as one of the essential elements of a life of significance. We ask our faculty and staff to serve because it sets an important example and because it strengthens the community we call home.

A key element of the Inspiring Leadership initiative is demonstrating the mighty impact we have on the world through our service. We will create a social impact statement to demonstrate just how much the Christopher Newport family contributes.

The process to record those hours is ready. It is simple and will only take a moment. Please go to

We hope you will do this periodically so that at the end of 2020 and at the end of 2021, we will have the data to astound the world. If you choose, you can also provide us information so that we can connect interested students and alumni to service opportunities.



Robert R. Hatten, Esq.


C. Bradford Hunter ’04


Terri M. McKnight, CPA ’86


William R. Ermatinger

Maria Herbert ‘86

W. Bruce Jennings

Steven S. Kast ’87

The Honorable Gabriel A. Morgan Sr.

Christy T. Morton ‘01

Lindsey Carney Smith, Esq. ’01

Kellye L. Walker, Esq.

Dr. Ella P. Ward

Judy Ford Wason

Junius H. Williams Jr.


PRESIDENT Cynthia Allen-Whyte ’97


Allen Brooks ’04


Muriel Millar ’88


James (J.T.) Hosack ’10

PAST PRESIDENT Christopher F. Inzirillo ’09

Brian Bacon ’90

Mark Bernecker ’96

Genna Mirenda ’13

Lexy Plarr ’11

Jason Campbell ’08 LTC Boris Robinson ’89

Timothy Eichenbrenner, M.D. ’74 Lindsey Carney Smith ’01

Sherri Lascola Gretka ’85 Jennifer Stevens ’90

Lacey Grey Hunter ’08 Alli Taylor ’13

Jonathan Judkins ’06 Dayton Wiese ’03

Steve Kast ’87 Lynanne Yndestad ’06

Kevin Lyles ’85



Jim Hanchett


Amie Dale


Jane Heeter, Brian McGuire


J. Courtney Michel


Patrick Dubois ’18, Ben Leistensnider ’17


Jesse Hutcheson ’10, Ashley Oaks-Clary

INSIDE 4 On the up and up — Rankings climb higher 6 Power up — New program helps high-tech frms grow 10 A pearl of a program — LifeLong Learning celebrates 30 years 20 Inspiring Leadership begins here 24 Inspiring Leadership in the fght against childhood cancer 28 Inspiring Leadership in sustainability 33 Dr. Laura Puaca — Historian and storyteller 35 Score! — A new stadium, a new name and a goal 42 Happy and heartwarming — Updates on the lives of Captains for Life Voyages is published by the Ofce of Communications and Public Relations for alumni and friends of Christopher Newport University. Visit us online:


Christopher Newport Climbs Again

in Rankings

CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT UNIVERSITY has risen to third among Southern regional public universities in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings, and now stands sixth among all 136 universities, public and private included in the analysis. “Two decades ago we set out to build a great university for America and the data proves just how far and how fast we have come,” said President Paul Trible. “The rankings reflect what our alumni know. We are one of America’s best colleges because we prepare students for lives of significance with a rigorous academic curriculum and great faculty.”

U.S. News & World Report rankings evaluate colleges and universities on 15 measures of academic quality, based on such widely accepted indicators of excellence as first-year student retention, graduation rates and the strength of the faculty. Regional public universities included in the rankings offer a full range of undergraduate and master’s level programs.

Christopher Newport has also been ranked by Princeton Review as one of its 2020 Best Value Colleges – 200 institutions, selected from more than 600 that give students the most for their money.

Rankings are available at and at


Public University in the South


2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 4 4 5 5 7 7 8 9 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 10 11 14 14 17 18 23 26 2020 RANKINGS
Regional University in the South

Christopher Newport Honors William R. Walker Jr.

FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR Dr. Howard K. Walker has fond memories of 72 Shoe Lane.

Chief among them are the many Saturdays spent mowing the sweeping lawn that is now named after his father, William R. Walker Jr.

Christopher Newport recognized the contributions of the local leader and former member of the Board of Visitors with a ceremony unveiling a historic marker in William Walker’s honor.

The plaque, located next to the Gregory P. Klich Alumni House, designates the lawn as “Walker’s Green” and honors Walker’s life and accomplishments. The marker is located at the same address and site where his house once stood at 72 Shoe Lane.

The sign acknowledges Walker’s opposition to locating Christopher Newport College in what was once an African American neighborhood.

“He was wronged by his neighbors, but instead of reacting with anger, he chose to serve and lead and love this community. He helped lay the foundation for this great university and he helped build Newport News into a more vibrant, diverse and multicultural city. William Walker helped make the world better,” said President Paul Trible.

Howard Walker, the last surviving member of his father’s immediate family, and his wife Terry took part in the designation ceremony. Members of the Board of Visitors, university community and elected officials attended the event.

Howard Walker captivated the crowd with stories of his father, who he said was a multifaceted man of many passions.

“Like its appointments of local citizens like my father to its Board of Visitors, Walker’s Green symbolizes to me Christopher Newport’s recognition and public declaration that the Virginia Peninsula community it serves is plural in its makeup, a rainbow of individuals who belong to a variety of groups, sometimes with separate identities and interests, and sometimes with shared and overlapping ones. May that, President Trible, forever be part of this university’s vision and its mission, and I know it is under your leadership,” said Howard Walker.

Dr. Phillip Hamilton, professor in the Department of History, first came across the origins of Christopher Newport’s

campus when researching its history for his book, Serving the Old Dominion: A History of Christopher Newport University. Then-Faculty Senate President Dr. Brian Puaca also became interested in the story and garnered support for honoring the site of Walker’s former home.

“Most of us here are from somewhere else, so our knowledge of what happened here is limited,” Puaca said. “Now we have a chance to recognize somebody who was such a remarkable person and, at the same time, to spark curiosity about the history of this place.”

A Newport News native, William Walker served the community and the Virginia Peninsula in many ways. After graduating magna cum laude from Howard University, he returned to his alma mater of Huntington High School and taught mathematics and chemistry.

He later served as the community manager of Aberdeen Gardens, one of the first federal housing community projects in America. After World War II, he established real estate and insurance businesses in the area. He also served several terms as president of the Newport News Chapter of the NAACP.

In the early 1960s, the city of Newport News considered two possible sites for Christopher Newport College’s location, ultimately settling on 32 parcels along Shoe Lane. Much of that land was also home to African Americans whose families had lived there for decades.

Walker organized and led the African American landowners along Shoe Lane to protest the city’s plans to purchase their property, fearing it would displace their community.

The city ultimately was able to secure the property and deeded it to the College of William & Mary, which at the time governed Christopher Newport. The first building opened in 1964.

Walker came to see the value of Christopher Newport’s contributions to the community, serving three terms on the Board of Visitors. He died in 2004 at the age of 94.

“There is an importance to institutional memory that I think can get lost given all the rapid transformations that have happened here,” Hamilton said. “I think it’s an important story for the entire community to reconcile with.” d

Howard K. Walker, center, and his wife Terry help President Paul Trible unveil the historic marker honoring William R. Walker Jr. and “Walker’s Green.”

CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT has been selected as one of the first universities to participate in Virginia’s ambitious Tech-Talent Investment Program.

The result will be a multi-million dollar investment by the commonwealth in Christopher Newport’s students, facilities, faculty and staff for the next two decades. In return, the university will enroll, prepare and graduate hundreds of students with degrees in computer science and related programs.

“This is a validation of the rigor of our academics, the ability of our faculty and the sophistication of our laboratories and classrooms,” said President Paul Trible. “This award underscores Christopher Newport’s growing reputation as a leader in STEM education and as a university known and respected for doing what it says it will do.”

The tech-talent pipeline is part of Virginia’s commitment to make a performance-based, statewide investment in technology

Christopher Newport Selected to Boost Tech Talent for Commonwealth

education, producing as many as 35,000 additional students with degrees in the computer sciences. The guarantee was key to the successful effort to convince Amazon to locate a headquarters in Virginia and continuing efforts to attract other employers heavily dependent on technology.

“We’re ready to teach tomorrow’s tech talent for Virginia and the world,” said Provost David Doughty. “Our goal is to produce the skilled, versatile innovators that Virginia needs to power its high-tech economy.”

Christopher Newport is the only non-doctoral granting institution selected by a seven-member panel that included the secretaries of finance and education, the director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the director of the Department of Planning and Budget, the staff directors of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees, and the president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Electrical Engineering Students Beneft as Program Gets ABET Accreditation

Christopher Newport’s bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering has been accredited by ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.

Sought by universities worldwide, ABET’s voluntary peer-review process is highly respected as it adds critical value to academic programs in disciplines, where quality, precision and safety are of the utmost importance. In order to become accredited, a program has to meet specific criteria, developed by engineers and scientists from ABET’s member societies, and successfully pass a review, including a site visit conducted by a team of professionals from industry, academia

and government, with knowledge of the ABET process and expertise in the relevant disciplines.

“ABET’s review process focuses on the essential components of an engineering education, including students, faculty, curriculum, facilities and institutional support,” said Dr. Anton Riedl, chair of the Department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering. “Furthermore, ABET puts a significant emphasis on a program’s outcomes and requires a rigorous quality assessment process. Thus, ABET accreditation basically serves as a trusted proof of quality, assuring students and employers alike that our program meets the standards necessary to produce successful graduates.”


Class of 2023 Kicks Of Community Outreach With Day One of Service

Hundreds of Captains served thousands of hours across the Virginia Peninsula.

A RECORD 660 freshman and 75 faculty and staff members participated in Day One of Service at 49 sites across Hampton Roads.

“Day One of Service is an important first step in the development of civic-minded students,” said Vanessa Buehlman, director of the Center for Community Engagement. “We want it to be a positive introduction to the Virginia Peninsula, for our students to embrace the whole community both on- and off-campus and for our students to become excited about the many ways community engagement can amplify their education.

“We encourage our students to fully engage in their new community – to know, love and serve wherever they live over the course of their lives.”

That is the spirit that attracted Lance Coleman to the university. The freshman from Manassas helped paint benches and clean out closets at McIntosh Elementary School in Newport News, readying the building for the upcoming school year.

The event had just the sort of atmosphere Coleman anticipated finding at Christopher Newport.

“Together, we’re like a family and we want to give back to our family here in the Newport News community,” he said. “I think it’s wonderful that we all get out and are able to bond together by this while giving back to the community that’s done so much for us.”

The projects were varied and plentiful. Groups of students helped teachers set up classrooms and decorate buildings to welcome kindergarteners to their new buildings. Captains stuffed bags of food at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and compiled brochures of information for the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula.

About a dozen Captains – each with their own history of volunteering while in high school – labeled items for purchase at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, assisting shoppers in finding items to benefit the nonprofit. Hailey Rae Smith, of Chesapeake, was happy to begin the hours of service she’ll complete as a member of the President’s Leadership Program.

“For me, it’s a way to get to know the community,” Smith said. “Because in a new place, it’s hard to do that. You always get a warm feeling when you help somebody else.”

The day, in which over 2,000 hours were contributed to the community, is just the start of the next four years of the Class of 2023 engaging with the Virginia Peninsula.

You always get a warm feeling when you help somebody else.”

Christopher Newport Takes Lead in Leadership Education and Research

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS point to Christopher Newport’s growing reputation in the field of leadership studies education and research.

One of the university’s signature academic programs has earned a national honor. The minor in leadership studies received the Outstanding Academic Leadership Program Award from the Association of Leadership Educators in 2019.

It is a significant distinction. Past recipients have included the University of Florida, University of Minnesota and Virginia Tech. Even more striking is that the Christopher Newport minor in leadership studies is only in its second decade.

“This is a substantial recognition from one of the top organizations in leadership studies,” said Vice Provost Robert Colvin, one of the founders of the program. “We are pleased and humbled to see Christopher Newport held up by experts in the field as a beacon of light at a time when the next generation of leaders must solve increasingly urgent and complex challenges.”

Lynn Shollen, chair of the Department of Leadership and American Studies, said that alumni of the program report that the minor sets them apart in the job market and helps them flourish in their jobs and communities. It also connects students to Christopher Newport’s focus on civic engagement and prepares them to lead lives of significance. Based on survey results, graduates are highly satisfied with the minor and believe it helped them progress in their careers.

In terms of contributions to leadership research, Shollen and colleague Elizabeth Gagnon are the directors of a new and groundbreaking annual national survey of attitudes about leadership in the United States.

The survey of more than 1,800 people uncovered widespread and increasing dissatisfaction with U.S. leaders, along with skepticism about the preparedness of younger generations to lead into the future:

• Only 28 percent of those surveyed believe leaders in the U.S. are effective

• Leaders are seen as less effective now than compared to 20 years ago (60 percent)

• Leaders are regarded as too removed from the experiences of ordinary people (74 percent)

• Many believe it is too risky in today’s social climate to be a leader (46 percent)

• Many believe that unless they are at the top of an organization, they may not be able to be influential even if they try to lead, because leaders at the top are so powerful (49 percent)

• Younger generations are not widely seen as being equipped to lead (57 percent)

“These results are In general, leaders in the United States are currently effective. discouraging because we know that effective 30 leadership is crucial if we’re to thrive socially, 20 politically and economically,” said Shollen. “We do detect a few reasons 10

for optimism, but overall, our findings have to be 0 ----•worrisome for our coun-

try’s leaders, for leader-

ship educators and for all who care about the

years ago, leaders in quality of leadership the United States are less effective. now and into the future.” 40

The 1,849 respondents comprise a na - 30 tionally representative sample based on gender, 20 ethnicity, age, income 10 and other factors. They were asked to think 0 broadly of leaders and

leadership rather than

focusing on specific

Compared to

leaders or situations. Shollen explained, “We are not seeking opinions about Donald Trump or Bill Gates. The survey isn’t intended to examine perceptions of how specific leaders are performing, rather how people view the effectiveness of leaders and leadership generally within the U.S.”

Shollen and Gagnon said the survey defined leadership as the process of influencing people toward achieving a common oal, and leaders were defined as people who achieve that goal. egardless of whether you have a formal title, you can be a eader,” Gagnon said. “Leadership happens everywhere, not just n the most obvious places, such as government or business.”

Shollen and Gagnon revealed the results of the survey at he annual conference of the International Leadership Associaion in Ottawa, Canada, an influential gathering of leadership cholars, educators, practitioners and development profesionals. Additional survey results are available at

Christopher Newport students also attended the conference. everal were invited to present their research to the conference articipants, an opportunity rarely afforded to students. In addiion, three teams of students participated in the undergraduate ase study competition, where one Christopher Newport team arned second place. A CNU team won the competition in 2018.

•Strongly Agree • Agree Neutral Disagree Str • ongly Disagr • ee •
•Strongly Agree •Agree •Neutral •Disagree
•Strongly Disagree
g R l i t t s s S p t c e “ SPRING 2020 CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT 8

Programs to Fight Cybercrime and Train Cybersecurity Experts Expanded

CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT is a key contributor to a new effort to deepen understanding of cyber threats and train more experts in cybersecurity.

“Our faculty and students will help develop technology and train the next wave of talent to tackle and prevent cybercrimes and vulnerabilities,” said President Paul Trible. “Christopher Newport is proud to be part of this critical initiative that will touch the lives of all Virginians.”

As part of the Commonwealth Cybersecurity Initiative, the

university will join other institutions in a focus on maritime transportation, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. The university also has a new cybersecurity major.

“Being so close to the nation’s capital, Virginia has a particular need for cybersecurity experts,” said Dr. Anton Riedl, chair of the Department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering. “This alliance will benefit our students and faculty through valuable connections and collaborations with institutions and businesses across the state.”

New Financial Analysis Graduate Program Meets Growing Demand

TO MEET THE DEMANDS of an increasingly data-driven digital economy, Christopher Newport has introduced Virginia’s first pub lic university master’s degree program in financial analysis.

The Board of Visitors and the State Coun cil of Higher Education for Virginia recently approved the new program with the first class of students scheduled to begin their studies in fall of 2020.

The master of financial analysis (MFinA) degree will position graduates for higher sala ries and quicker advancement in investment, CPA and wealth management firms as well as other financial institutions and accounting and finance departments.

“The MBA is no longer the only or primary graduate degree sought by employers,” said Dean George Ebbs of the Joseph W. Luter III School of Business. “The financial industry is changing rapidly and sophisticated software and artificial intelligence are replacing many entry-level positions. This degree combines the accounting and finance know-how that graduates now need.”

Students in the one-year program will master a range of technical and soft skills that will prepare them to:

• Advise companies on corporate financial decisions

• Counsel individuals on investments, insurance, retirement funds, estate and tax planning

• Perform more efficient and effective audits

“The traditional finance and accounting jobs are disappearing while the demand for employees with strong skills in data analysis and digital technologies is increasing,” said Dr. Reza Espahbodi, the newly appointed di rector of the program. “Graduates of Chris topher Newport’s MFinA will be in high demand and the pipeline we’re building should help the Virginia economy continue to thrive.” Espahbodi comes to Christopher Newport from Washburn University in To peka, Kansas, and has an extensive back ground in pioneering academic programs and serving as a consultant to small and medium-sized businesses.

Students will take a core curriculum where they learn to integrate data analytics into financial decision-making and auditing while incorporating the latest advances in portfolio management and financial statement analysis. The program ends with a capstone course that will allow students to do research in an area of professional interest.

The MFinA has already won the backing of top re gional business executives. “This master’s program is well designed,” said Alan Witt, a CPA, CGMA and CEO at PBMares. “It combines both accounting and finance topics to provide graduates with the skills needed to succeed in a data-driven economy.”

The Luter School has already earned honors for its un dergraduate offerings. It ranks among the top 45 in the nation and is climbing quickly in new rankings from Poets & Quants.

Students interested in the MFinA program can contact the director at

Dr. Reza Espahbodi

LifeLong Learning Society Celebrates 30 Years

of Classes, Friendships

Peninsula residents have expanded their knowledge over the years.

LEARNING IS A CONSTANT PURSUIT for all at Christopher Newport.

The LifeLong Learning Society (LLS) is celebrating 30 years of living up to its name. The organization provides hundreds of retirement-age Hampton Roads residents with the opportunity to expand their knowledge, make friends and take classes, trips, tours and more.

The only requirement for admission over the past three decades: intellectual curiosity.

The possibilities are endless. Always wanted to learn Spanish? Take a 10-week course in the fall or spring semesters. Want to express your creative side? A watercolor

class in a sun-drenched classroom is the perfect outlet. Need to fuel your word-crafting hobby? Make friends with the folks in the newly minted (m-i-n-t-e-d: 9 points) Scrabble Club.

LLS was formally founded in 1989 as the Elderlearning Society at Christopher Newport, an opportunity for retired locals to enjoy interesting study and group discussions. One computer course that fall blossomed into the LifeLong Learning Society, now offering over 175 classes during fall, spring and summer semesters.

While LLS is directed by a small and enthusiastic staff, volunteers help keep its Yoder Barn home just off Jefferson Avenue buzzing with activity. Volunteers help steer curriculum


choices, stuff envelopes with each season’s course catalog, direct traffic on busy days and, most importantly, act as the biggest word-of-mouth advertisers.

A friend of a friend of a member may hear about a new poetry class, and spread it around her group. Membership has increased every year this way; the original class of 54 learners has now grown to over 700.

Instructors are current and former Christopher Newport professors, retirees imparting the wisdom they once practiced at the shipyard or in high school classrooms, self-taught experts who want to share their know-how and even some LifeLong Learners themselves.

Theodora Bostick, professor emeritus from Christopher Newport’s Department of History, has taught LLS courses since 1996. After her retirement in 2006, she decided to join the LLS fun that she’d always seen as she looked out into the classrooms.

Bostick said she has been able to pursue a long-held interest in learning Arabic, give history lectures during an LLS trip to France and become friends with people she would not have otherwise known.

“I think one of the wonderful things is in developing new friendships. You meet some really interesting people,” Bostick said. “Everyone comes from such a different background and from so many life experiences that every group you’re in, whether it’s a discussion group or a class or book club, … it becomes an extraordinarily rich experience.

“I think along with the friendships comes being able to share with others and to get the benefit of other people’s experience and background. It makes it an extremely stimulating experience.”

Some classes and trips take place at longtime partners, including Jefferson Lab, the Mariners’ Museum and NASA Langley Research Center. Experts from those partners will often bring lectures to Yoder Barn, too, with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s Monday talks drawing large crowds each fall.

Short field trips to nearby sites – previews of student shows at the Ferguson Center for the Arts are especially popular – add cultural experiences to the offerings. LLS also hosts an annual gardening symposium and writing conference.

Some classes start as a brief introduction to a topic during the short summer session and blossom into more.

Take for instance one of the latest sensations at Yoder Barn, the “Ukulearners.” Instructor Mark Morgan introduced ukuleles, small, four-stringed guitars native to Hawaii, to a group of novices over a weeklong summer course.

Morgan was himself a beginner when a friend gave him the instrument about a year and a half ago, and he thought it would be a welcome addition to the lineup of classes offered by the LLS. Enrollment quickly filled to over 50, and the group continued to practice for weeks after class ended in June, Morgan said.

Ninety-eight-year-old Catherine Dycus, a resident of The Arbors at Port Warwick, is one of the LLS members who learned the instrument. She asked her classmates to consider playing a concert for her neighbors, and they eagerly obliged.

“Oh, I’ve so enjoyed learning,” said Dycus, the sole baritone Ukulearner.

The Ukulearners performed another set at the 30th Anniversary Carnival, delighting the crowd with their rousing renditions of “Amazing Grace,” “You Are My Sunshine” and other classics.

The experience – taking a short class to learn a new skill, gaining new friends, sharing it with others – is a quintessential example of what LLS provides its members and the community.

“This is the epitome of LifeLong Learning,” Morgan said. “You’re learning something – and you’re having fun.” d

Left: Te Ukulearners delighted the crowd at the 30th Anniversary Carnival. Right: Young and old enjoyed the day’s festivities.
The original class of 54 learners has now grown to over 700.

Captains Go Global: Study Abroad Options

Continue Expanding

More than 400 Captains learned internationally last year.

MORE CAPTAINS THAN EVER BEFORE are expanding their horizons and choosing to study abroad through Christopher Newport’s many options.

More than 400 students took courses in 40 countries across six continents, learning with Christopher Newport faculty or through exchanges with other institutions.

Immersing themselves in another culture is a life-changing experience for hundreds of students each year, said Mandi Pierce, director of study abroad.

“It’s not just that they’re learning in a classroom. It’s a 24-hour experience where they’re always learning something,” Pierce said. “It’s a way for them to truly step out of their comfort zone. If you go abroad, even if it’s two weeks, you’re having to buy food in an unfamiliar language, use a different currency, read a metro map, and meet new and different people.”

The top destination was the CNU in Scotland program where students spend the fall or spring semester at the University of Glasgow. England, the Netherlands and France are also quite popular.

“We’re kind of spreading our wings a bit more and seeing students take a little more risk in where they’re going,” Pierce said.

This academic year will see the addition of a semester program at the University of the West Indies in Barbados, a strategic management program in Italy, English and writing in Vietnam, religion and archeology in Lithuania, and coursework on King Arthur in England and Wales, among others.

Wason Center Studied Virginia Capital Trail Usage

Student researchers help assess fscal impact of 52-mile trail.


The Wason Center for Public Policy re ceived a grant from the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization to conduct research on the economic impact of the Virginia Capital Trail.

The paved multi-use trail stretches 52 miles from Jamestown to Richmond, connecting historic sites, scenery, parks, restaurants and more.

Student researchers in the Wason Center collected 400 survey responses from bikers, runners, walkers, skate boarders, dog walkers and other visitors using the Jamestown section of the trail.


“The Williamsburg area is famous for colonial tourism and Busch Gardens as the primary draws for vacationers, but the Virginia Capital Trail is also quite a draw,” said Dr. Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center.

“This project is meant to determine how much additional tourism the trail is pulling in for the area.”

Students gathered data about users from outside the Hampton Roads region, asking about time and money spent while using the trail. Their work began in September.

The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Or ganization is an intergovernmental organization with an interest in all forms of local transportation from trains to ferries to bikes. Data collected by the survey will help facilitate its work.


Students display fags of their destinations.
Christopher Newport un iver it TAKE OUR SURVEY UP AHEAD

Team Uncovers Treasures in Lithuanian Excavation Student Miya Washington joins Prof. Richard Freund on dig.

A 500-YEAR-OLD Jewish synagogue long buried under an elementary school in Vilnius, Lithuania, has seen new light thanks to a team that included a Christopher Newport student and professor.

The Great Synagogue of Vilna has been studied for years by Dr. Richard Freund, the Bertram and Gladys Aaron Professor of Jewish Studies and a prominent archaeologist, historian and explorer. Last summer marked the first involvement of a Christopher Newport student in the excavations.

By using geoscience to unravel these ancient mysteries about how those in the past lived, researchers can help solve future problems before they happen, Freund said.

“We are constantly building on top of historical layers and losing our legacy below,” he said. “This way we can know what is below our buildings and document our history.”

Before World War II, the capital city of Vilnius was one of the largest Jewish centers in Europe. Napoleon Bonaparte named it “the Jerusalem of the North” as he passed through in 1812.

Construction on the Great Synagogue was completed in 1633. It was partly destroyed by the Germans during World War II and then replaced by an elementary school during Soviet rule in the 1950s.

Freund returned to the excavation site last summer with a group of students from Christopher Newport and Towson State University, the University of Hartford, Yale University and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Students, including Christopher Newport junior Miya Washington, were taught how to use non-invasive techniques to map the layers of the synagogue. It once stood five stories high, with an accompanying three-story bathhouse.

Its main floor was built two stories below the street level. When it was destroyed, the debris from the synagogue was preserved beneath the elementary school that was built atop the remains.

Ground-penetrating radar helped identify what lies beneath, while traditional excavation methods also revealed a litany of information about how Lithuanian Jews lived over the centuries.

“The most important part of our work involved teaching about geoscience from many different aspects, from data collection to mapping to geographic information systems,” Freund said. “This work allows us to input all of our data into a record that is digitally accessible long after the excavations are over.”

Washington learned how to use geographic information system mapping

technology in order to map the site. She helped compile data from bird’s-eye view drone footage, drawings that lay out the dig sites and GPS coordinates.

Significant, Freund said, was the discovery of a massive 4-by-4-foot inscription that was thought to be near the altar, or Bimah, where the holy scriptures were read in the synagogue. It dates to 1796 and would have been seen by worshippers daily.

Other findings include coins, glass, ceramics, other inscriptions and written materials, metal, ritual baths, uncovered architecture, beautifully decorated floors, and parts of the ceiling frescoes.

Those items, fragments of what they used to be, help paint an otherwise inaccessible picture of what life was once like in Vilnius.

“It’s really cool to find coins and artifacts from the 1800s and early 1900s. Knowing the fact that it was a part of everyday life so long ago made me appreciate more of the world around us,” ashington said. “We don’t value pennies or buttons but 100 years from now, it’ll be an amazing find.”

The work is not done. Freund will return to Lithuania this summer with a team of students and Dr. Chris Tweedt, lecturer of philosophy and religion at Christopher Newport. The two-week study abroad program will see students performing all the tasks, from geoscience surveys, mapping, excavating, cleaning of finds and cataloging, photographing, and daily study of the 500-year history of the Jews of Vilnius.

Site visits to labor camps built by the Nazis and visits to museums to learn about the Holocaust are among the activities participants will experience. Student projects will include photo essays and video interviews with local Lithuanian students, scholars and visitors to the excavation site.


Miya Washington


Alum Juggled Hundreds of Volunteer Hours, Football Practices

Parker Bowden ’19 joined the Peace Corps after graduation to continue giving back.


PARKER BOWDEN ’19 seemingly did it all during his time at Christopher Newport. While double majoring in account ing and finance, the Suffolk native also participated in the President’s Leadership Program, was an offensive lineman on the football team and was voted a captain his senior year. He stayed involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Cru, and served as a representative on Christopher Newport’s NCAA Student Athlete Advisory Committee. In his spare time he enjoyed intramurals.

On top of all of that, Bowden was a Bonner Service Scholar. The program requires participants to spend a minimum of 10 hours each week working with a

community partner, providing support as a long-term volunteer. In return, Bonner Scholars graduate with a greater understanding of their communities and how to help solve the problems within them.

Bowden volunteered more than 1,200 hours during his years as a student and spent much of that time mentoring youth through the Boys & Girls Club of Newport News.

After graduation, Bowden put his aspirations for a corporate accounting job on hold and joined the Peace Corps. Stationed now as a volunteer in Sumy, a small city in northeastern Ukraine, Bowden chatted with Voyages about his time as a scholar and student-athlete.


What was most rewarding about your involvement with the Boys & Girls Club?

I believe that the idea of loving your neighbor as you love yourself begins with you first knowing who your neighbor is. Service is most efficient when it’s given from one friend to another. So looking back on my involvement with the Boys & Girls Club, I find it most rewarding that this experience allowed me to build relationships in my community outside of the Christopher Newport campus. Through these relationships, the Boys & Girls Club gave me an opportunity to empower and motivate the youth in my community.

How did you juggle being both a student-athlete and a Bonner Scholar?

It was certainly difficult. Unfortunately, there was no way everything would there are only 24 hours in a day. The work out. But I always managed to days were long, but the weeks were make things work. Time management very short. I’m so thankful for the ex- is something I pride myself in now. perience though. Being so strapped The most vital information I disfor time pushed me to mature, even covered was how critical it is for us to though it often felt like the process try our best and to be meaningful with involved fire and brimstone. There our time, engagement and, most imwould always be growing pains the portantly, relationships. The moment first couple weeks of each semester, we “check out” is the moment we miss where I would ask myself, “What have I out on this world and its wonderful, gotten myself into?” and I would think beautiful people.

Why did you choose to join the Peace Corps after graduation?

I never really had an “ah-ha” moment, but it was more of a slow burn that grew brighter over my last two years in school. I had my fair share of peeks into the business world with my time in the classroom and through my internship opportunities. I very much enjoy the fast-paced, challenging environment of the working world, but as I got closer to graduation the invaluable opportunity of serving as a Peace Corps volunteer really captivated me. The chance to not only experience a vastly different culture, but also to live in, listen to, learn from, integrate and inspire from within just took hold of my heart over time. I decided to apply to serve right after graduation because I know my personality. I knew that as my responsibilities and commitments increased in the working world and my personal life, it would become increasingly difficult to drop what I’m doing to be a Peace Corps volunteer.

What do you hope to do afterward?

Just like every other young person, I have mountain-sized grow in many different ways. I have been enlightened about aspirations on how I’m going to change the world, but what what it means to serve others and how diverse that service keeps me grounded is a quote from Mother Teresa. She said, can be. The program evolved my mindset of service from being “We can’t all do great things, but we can do small things with just surface-level volunteering. Now I understand that service great love.” I try to implement “great love” in everything I do, is dedicating my time and human capital to help better equip and I hope to continue to do this after my time as a Peace and develop my community, directly or indirectly. My Bonner Corps volunteer. experience has shaped my future and I’m so thankful to have

My experience in the Bonner Service Scholar Program has had the opportunity to be a Bonner at Christopher Newport been an exploration of service and I have been challenged to University.

Christopher Newport’s Bonner Service Scholars move away from the traditional one-off, event based volunteering and get to deeply know the communities they serve. They commit to serving with one community partner for their four years in the program, which allows for the formation of strong, reciprocal relationships.

Bonners, as they’re known on campus, build trust and gain the experience and skills to essentially become extended staff that add to the capacity-building needs of their partners.

In the 2018-19 academic year, 35 Bonner Service Scholars completed 45 community capacity-building

projects, the most of any of the 66 institutions within the Bonner network.

“This is an incredible and well-deserved honor for our Bonner Scholars,” said Vanessa Buehlman, director of the Center for Community Engagement and Bonner

Service Scholars Program. “It is also a testament to the relationship we have with our community partners, and to the trust and investment they place in our students. There is no better example of the power of committed service than our Bonner Service Scholars.”

Projects in 2018-19 included: developing communications and marketing plans for health issue awareness and fundraising campaigns; financial reporting and research on youth volunteerism to assist with grant writing efforts; capturing oral histories of resettled refugees in Newport News; and developing volunteer handbooks, service learning projects and training programs.


Students Develop Research Skills

in Unique Summer Program

Fifty-nine Captains get hands-on research experience.

FOR WEEKS, Owen Napolitano studied tiny insects under a microscope. One by one, the senior cataloged the genus and species of hundreds of beetles that have been collected over the past 13 years across Hampton Roads. He peered at their antennae, took close stock of their body shape and determined their names.

He switched things up on Fridays. Clad in Virginia’s version of safari gear, he stalked bugs across Newport News, adding close to 200 specimens to the collection.

That is not what most college students would do over summer break, but it’s not unusual for Christopher Newport students.

Napolitano, an organismal biology major from Reston, was one of 59 Captains who participated in Christopher Newport’s Summer Scholars program. The initiative by the Office for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA) funds research for dozens of undergraduates each summer.

Students investigated software to control drones, dissected works written by the Founding Fathers and navigated mapping software to plot the settings of literature written about the Irish border. Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors conducted experiments in the field, gathered and analyzed data, and presented their works as formal papers and projects.

In some cases, students continued work they’d already begun with professors. Others crafted their original ideas and sought collaborators. Each participant received a stipend to help support their work, and met with their faculty adviser as necessary.

In Napolitano’s case, he worked with Dr. Michael Meyer, chair of the Department of Organismal and Environmental Biology, to develop a project based on an interest in entomology, the study of insects, that developed in a class.

Meyer gave him the task: catalog the thousands of beetles that students have collected across the region since 2006.

Napolitano devised his own schedule and plan to assess the data.

Early returns indicated that the beetle population in Hampton Roads has declined in the past several years, a discovery Napolitano made through his painstaking identification process. The research helped answer questions about changes within the local ecosystem, while also giving Napolitano realworld experience in the field.

“Dr. Meyer really gave me the freedom to make my own schedule and figure out my own process of how to most effectively record the data,” he said. “This was an entirely different experience. It’s not in a classroom with a bunch of other students. … It’s been really cool to just figure out as I go how to do everything.”

Marketing major Nicole Pope worked closely with Dr. Angela Spranger in the Luter School of Business as she researched human resources policies and changes made in the #MeToo era. The project continued work Spranger had done with other students and hoped to cap off with an academic paper.

The two collaborated extensively throughout the summer, even traveling to a conference to present a paper together. Spranger gave Pope feedback on a reflection Pope wrote, proudly declaring that the senior transformed from a young scholar to a “real researcher” over the summer. Pope agreed.

“If you have the right mentor, the right project and the right interests, I think you can change your life,” Pope said.

Sophomore Danielle Freeman began her undergraduate research experience as a research apprentice, another OURCA program.

That experience, combined with an eye-opening intersectional feminism course, led her to want to develop her own study of what students think about gender bias and racism. She spent the bulk of her time as a Summer Scholar drawing up the parameters of the project, which became rigorous when human subjects were involved. She planned to conduct the study throughout the school year.

“I’ve learned so many things about how research is conducted, how to be able to do it in an ethical manner, the processes that are needed especially when working with human subjects in order to ensure that you’re not only benefitting the academic community and yourself but also benefiting them as well,” Freeman said.

“I’ve been able to learn how to make presentations, how to organize my research, how a research project is conducted, which is crazy because we are undergraduate students. Most people don’t even start their first research project until they get to graduate school.” d




PRESIDENT TRIBLE ANNOUNCED the Inspiring Leadership initiative

at his annual address to the university in October. Here are his words, describing the initiative, its goals and the benefits that will result.



CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT is offering inspiring leadership. Inspiring leadership. Those are the good words of our friend Judy Wason who serves as a member of our Board of Visitors, and Judy and Harry Wason also established the Wason Center for Public Policy.

Today, I am announcing a major new two-year initiative that we will call Inspiring Leadership. Thank you, Judy Wason.

Our purpose is to expand Christopher Newport’s reach and reputation and more powerfully and persuasively share who we are, our vision and values – what it means to lead a life of significance –and we need your support and help to succeed.

The time is right, because on September 18, 2021, Christopher Newport will be 60 years old.

You know, in our 30s and 40s and 50s, we aspired to make our mark and to influence others. Now, as we approach 60, we have living proof of our success and significance through the lives and good works of over 25,000 alumni.

Inspiring Leadership is a proof point. We are what we say we are. Our alumni are actually living lives of significance.

So here is what I am asking you to do.

First – Help us tell the story:

We will find and share stories of our alumni who are leading meaningful and consequential lives. Those stories will be told by us and also by well-known and respected people and organizations. Those stories will be shared broadly to reach as wide an audience as possible, including those who are unfamiliar with the impact and excellence of this university and our graduates.

Let me give you an example. Mari Booker, class of 2010, was just name by Northern Virginia Magazine as on of six Northern Virginians of the Year Maria was an English major, leadershi student and active in Greek life.

Today, Maria is the executive directo of Chance for Life, a nonprofit raisin millions for pediatric cancer research Through targeted research and treat ment, children are leaving hospice car and enjoying brighter futures becaus of Maria’s good work. That’s a life tha matters and a story the world shoul hear – and there are so many others (See next page.)

That’s the kind of story we want you t help us tell. We have a section of ou website dedicated to telling stories abou our amazing Captains and their lives o leadership and service.

Next, we will celebrate importan milestones. (President Trible showed slide listing important anniversaries fo an array of campus organizations).

We would be crazy not to seize thes moments and celebrate each wit joy … to generate energy across ou community and for those for who each milestone will have special mean ing. These celebrations will inspire deeper appreciation for the mosai of experiences that inspire us to lea and serve.

Third, our university community – ou students, faculty, staff and alumni mus continue to make a difference – and w must do more.

As the stories of our graduates are tol and our milestones celebrated, I believ our community’s passion for service wil be reaffirmed and enhanced.

We know so many already serve …

coaching a little league team, working t a food pantry, teaching a Sunday chool class. We are engaged and serving n so many ways in our community nd our commonwealth, and country nd world.

ith your help we will record those ours so others will see our mighty mpact. We will create what’s called social impact statement that shows ust how much the Christopher Newport amily contributes. Our students in the ast year contributed over 100,000 hours f service.

inally, we will ask for treasure. Just as e do on CNU Day, we will lift up speific projects and programs for particular upport, with very specific goals and imelines, while always continuing to inite everyone to support those programs losest to their hearts. Together we will nd the financial support to empower ur students and faculty.

f we all do those three things … ell our stories, celebrate our miletones and make a difference by servng and giving … here is what we ill accomplish.

veryone will better know the remarkble ways this university and our alumni re inspiring leadership.

ew audiences of prospective students nd their families, donors, employers nd thought leaders will know what aptains can do.

lumni pride and commitment will soar s we tell these remarkable stories of eadership and service.

f we tell those stories, celebrate our ilestones and make a difference … e will be able to honor our 60th aniversary two years from today with joy nd purpose.

Joy. Purpose. Compassion. Leadership. Honor. Service.

That is who we are. It is what makes Christopher Newport different, distinctive and precious. INSPIRING LEADERSHIP. FOR 60 YEARS AND FOR THE FUTURE.

a d e . p r g .e e t d . o r t f t a r e h r ma c d r t e d e l
a S i a a W h i a j f l o F w c s t v c fi o I t s i w E a a N a a C A a l I m w n a VOYAG ES SPRING 2020 23

Alumna Helps Raise Millions for Pediatric Cancer Research

Maria Booker ’10 runs unique nonproft aimed at funding clinical trials.

EVERY TWO MINUTES a child is diagnosed with cancer. One parent hears that her toddler is sick and a short 120 seconds later, another parent receives the same gut punch. Then another shocking blow. Fewer than 4 cents of every federal dollar spent on cancer research is spent on childhood cancer.

Maria Booker ’10 is leading an organization to help reduce the pain of those outcomes by bringing new options to families who face difficult battles ahead of them.

Booker is executive director of Chance for Life, a unique nonprofit that raises millions of dollars to fund pediatric cancer trials at Children’s National Health System and to support work funded by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, an organization which also raises money for the cause.

The work Booker is doing through Alexandria-based Chance for Life gives vital hope to families searching for a cure.

Rich and Nancy Engler are parents who have been punched by cancer. Their son, Luke, underwent treatment for a rare brain tumor that forms in the middle of the brain stem. The Englers connected with Booker and Chance for Life during his battle.

“Leadership is a lot of different things. It’s being a friend, being a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes, it’s someone who helps light the way for you when you need a path,” Rich Engler said.

“We were shoved into a very dark world but we were surrounded by a lot of light. Some of that light certainly came from Maria.”

The Alexandria native graduated from Christopher Newport in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in literature and a minor in leadership studies. She was a member of the President’s Leadership Program, a member of the inaugural class of AmeriCorps volunteers and heavily involved in Greek life and the Student Honor Council.

After graduation, Booker felt driven to pursue a job that didn’t traditionally come after studying literature. Her path to giving back to the communities around her began with a year spent in the Peace Corps in Eastern Europe. It was a natural fit after her time volunteering with local nonprofit Alternatives, Inc. through AmeriCorps.

As a Peace Corps volunteer, she helped build the first restroom in a rural school, acclimated to a new language, culture and customs, and became an ambassador in her time with the organization.

“I do feel that Christopher Newport really prepared me for that with all the leadership classes and the programs I participated in,” Booker said. “You learn how to evaluate scenarios and take things step by step and project that authority or take leadership in the situations that you’re presented with.”

She wanted to continue serving others when she returned. She began what would become a six-year stint at Washington, D.C.-based Capital Area Food Bank, first as a grant writer. She would later manage the organization’s corporate and fundraising partnerships and events across Northern Virginia.

We were shoved into a very dark world but we were surrounded by a lot of light. Some of that light certainly came from Maria.”

Chance for Life appealed to Booker as a natural next step. The organization was founded by Brad Nierenberg after his best friend’s daughter was diagnosed with an aggressive spinal tumor at just 2 years old.

Nierenberg, like others impacted by pediatric cancer, found out how little research and few trials are funded and decided to do something about it. What started as a small poker gathering 15 years ago to support his friend became one of the largest amateur poker tournaments in the United States, complete with celebrity special guests, live concert performers and a taste experience curated by renowned chefs.

To date, Chance for Life has raised over $6.5 million to fund several clinical trials and support research done by Children’s National doctors.

As the organization grew, Nierenberg knew he needed to place the day-to-day operations in trusted hands. Booker’s application stood out – she was young but organized, empathetic and passionate.

Nierenberg described her as the yin to his yang, the operationally minded go-getter able to bolster and implement the plans he envisions as a marketer.

“There isn’t anything that I feel I could give her that she’s not going to say, ‘I can get that done,’ or ‘I can figure out how to get that done.’ I think that, for a leader, you need to have someone who has confidence that they can do anything or figure anything out. That gave me great confidence that I had the right person. She is somebody who had a hunger to take on more responsibility,” Nierenberg said.

Booker and Chance for Life plan to up the ante and raise a record $3 million during the next tournament in February.

Those dollars – 100% go directly to research – could help fund the next cure, said Dr. Elizabeth Kaufman, director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The cause is close to Kaufman’s heart. Her own daughter was diagnosed with childhood leukemia, the most common form of pediatric cancer. The frequency with which the disease is diagnosed has intensified the push for adequate research and treatment options. And while the landscape for childhood leukemia has changed over the years, saving the lives of many children, the same has not been true for brain tumors.

With the money raised by Chance for Life, Children’s National is able to host several trials and advance research on T-cells, proteins found in tumors, biopsies and more.

“Some are clinical trials where we are enrolling patients, and some involve more lab science or bench science. They’re pre-clinical trials, which are equally important because that’s how you identify the next big treatment. So, from my perspective, it’s really important to fund a spectrum of trials, and Chance for Life is doing that,” Kaufman said.

“With sufficient funding there is great optimism that we can make the same progress in pediatric brain tumors as we have made in pediatric leukemia. We are so grateful to Chance for Life and Maria for their support.”

Rich and Nancy Engler connected with Chance for Life when their son, Luke, was battling diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, an exceedingly aggressive and rare form of cancer found predominantly in children ages 4 to 10 with a less than 1% survival rate.

Hoping to help raise awareness for pediatric brain tumors, the Englers took part in the annual Chance for Life event in 2018 and were honored on stage.

When Luke died later that year, Chance for Life offered to pay for all expenses related to his funeral. He was honored again during the 2019 event as attendees wore “Luke’s Squad” bracelets and remembered him during a moment of silence.

Rich Engler described Booker as a person who helped bring a sense of hope, someone to turn to for a “sanity check” when he needed it. He said his family continues to be involved with Chance for Life as the organization works to help others in the fight.

“People like Maria have been a big part of our lives,” Engler said. “Chance for Life fills such a critical void in the research space. We have a debt to Maria, Brad and the folks there that I will never be able to repay.” d

Luke Engler
“Chance for Life flls such a critical void in the research space. We have a debt to Maria, Brad and the folks there that I will never be able to repay.”

Wto contribute by making a difference, celebrating milestones and telling our stories.

HEN PRESIDENT TRIBLE described the Inspiring Leadership initiative, he asked the entire university community Students, faculty, staff and alumni have responded to the call for stories. They’ve pointed us to people who are making a difference through their profession, community service or some other aspect of their lives. These are people intent on leading lives of significance and these are stories worth telling. Here are a few in brief with more to come in future issues of Voyages. And don’t stop now. Please send more suggestions through

Melissa Jackson Howell ’98 is the founder of Howell Law Group, a Norfolk labor and employment law firm repeatedly recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Law Firms in the U.S. She has performed significant pro bono legal work and won numerous awards and honors, including designation as a Top Forty Under 40 by Inside Business; one of the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Virginia and part of the Virginia Legal Elite by Virginia Business; and one of the Best Lawyers in the U.S. in employment law by U.S. News & World Report. Howell is past president of the Chesapeake Bar Association, past vicepresident of the Christopher Newport South Hampton Roads Alumni Chapter and formerly served on the Educational Foundation Board and the Alumni Board of Directors at CNU.

Freddy Arsenault ’02 is the co-founder of the Artists Fi nancial Support Group (AFSG) and president of the New York City nonprofit’s board of di rectors. AFSG offers guidance and sup port for artists grappling with uncertain incomes and student loans. Arsenault has had roles in Broadway and touring stage productions and on the television

shows “Elementary,” “House of Cards” and “Person of Interest.” He now works in higher education as director of major gifts at Seton Hall University.

Mehreen Farooq ’07 is the director of Counterpart Inter national’s Program, Quality and Learn ing Department. At the Washington, D.C. nonprofit, she specializes in developing collective im pact initiatives that emphasize religious leader engagement, gender and social inclusion, and positive youth develop ment to support social change. She also teaches a course at Georgetown Uni versity: Community based Terrorism Prevention. Farooq has led presenta tions at the United Nations and in many foreign countries. She has conducted briefings for the U.S. Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Farooq is credited with helping establish the first evidence-based community-led program in the United States to build resilience against radicalization. Farooq has co-authored several re ports on building community resilience, and has published in Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Common Ground News Service and the Christian Science Monitor. She is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Lead ership, and in 2007 was selected as a Fulbright scholar to research democratic movements in Egypt.


Alexandria Ruble ’10 is an assistant professor of his tory at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. Her research focuses on modern Eu ropean and German history, post 1945 East and West German history, women and gender in Europe, global/ comparative history and the history of the Cold War. Her work has been supported by grants from several American and German foundations, including the Fulbright U.S. Student Program in 2013-14. Ruble has had several research articles published in academic journals, an outgrowth of her participation in undergraduate research and study abroad opportuni ties at Christopher Newport.

Staford Beasley ’15 is the youth and discipleship pas tor at New Bridge Baptist Church in Sandston, Vir ginia. In the words of Mary-Catherine Slaughter, a Christopher Newport instructor, Beasley is making a signifi cant impact on the lives of teens in his church and in the community. He was a participant in the President’s Leader ship Program and is a shining example of its values: service, character, ethics and strong leadership.


Alum Helping Lead Global Waste Management Transformation

Perry Moss ’83 aims to sustainably reduce waste while doing good.

LANDFILLS DATE BACK as early as ancient Rome. Trash was produced, trash was collected, trash was buried in the ground.

Not much changed for hundreds of years. Trash is still produced, trash is collected, trash is buried in the ground.

Perry Moss ’83 changed that routine and isn’t finished. The business administration major has helped lead a revolution in a traditionally predictable industry. It’s a modern

concept: producing less waste in the first place, recycling as much as possible and, while you’re at it, doing good for society.

Moss is chief advisor and a co-founder of Rubicon Global, an Atlanta-based international technology company that offers cloud-based waste and recycling management solutions with a focus on sustainability. The company’s mission is to end waste, in all its forms, by helping its partners find economic value in their waste streams and execute on their sustainability goals.


Moss oversees the company’s operations to help find the most cost-effective, sustainable solutions for customers. Rubicon’s clients include Wegmans, 7-Eleven, Lumber Liquidators and David’s Bridal.

For example, Rubicon is advising a company that is seeking help to reduce food waste. Rubicon is helping the company track and measure food as it leaves their stores, whether as donations or as feed for livestock or compost. The result is an alternative to sending this organic material to a landfill.

Rubicon is a Certified B Corporation, meaning it considers the impact of its decisions on workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. It’s a no-brainer in line with the company’s mission.

“I was certainly inspired by my time at Christopher Newport, and perhaps at the time I was attending I didn’t realize how inspired I would become,” Moss said. “Living a life of significance is very important, and what I’ve learned in business is, we can do the right things and still be profitable and have a business motivation tied to doing good. Why not do them both?”

In planning to disrupt the status quo, Rubicon’s founder, chairman and CEO Nate Morris, knew Moss was the best man for the job.

Moss’ decades of experience had made him a “legend in the space,” a trailblazer in the approach to waste and recycling that Morris wanted to spread. Working across the industry, Moss had honed his recycling and leadership expertise. Rubicon was a perfect fit.

“(Perry) had been the early pioneer of this business model, and as we started having conversations I knew that if we could take his approach and his knowledge, we could then move it to the next phase of transformation (of the industry). We were able to leverage Perry’s knowledge and his experience to help build Rubicon into what it is today,” Morris said.

The picture Morris painted aligned perfectly with Moss’ personal values of protecting the environment and doing good. Having spent part of his childhood in Hawaii, Moss had been inspired by the natural beauty of the islands and the culture of caring for those surroundings.

That translated into a lifelong interest in the environment and helping to promote environmental responsibility.

“(Rubicon’s) vision was around treating our employees differently, treating our customers differently, having a social mission to the business in addition to just being for-profit and disrupting this antiquated landfill waste model.

“Instead of pitching only cost savings, we are pitching landfill diversion, sustainability, transparency, providing data and metrics to our customers in an otherwise very opaque industry. At the end, the pitch becomes, by the way, we’ll also

save you some money as well. Where we used to lead with cost savings, now it’s frosting on the cake, so to speak,” Moss said.

Helping run and sell solutions in the waste and recycling business was not the direction Moss saw life taking him while he was at Christopher Newport. He describes himself as an average student, enjoying a robust social life and making lifelong friendships with fraternity brothers, friends who have also gone on to be successful in their respective fields.

During his time at Christopher Newport, Moss was also a charter member of the baseball club, which became a varsity sport in 1982, and fundraised for local charities.

“We had a very special student body that came together. We were maybe not as privileged as some others, but together we were a force. I’ve always found that helped me throughout my career. Don’t worry about being the underdog – if you never give up, you’ll succeed,” Moss said.

Morris said that’s evident in the way Moss works. He’s constantly learning while also doling out knowledge to younger colleagues, a mark of a good leader. Any challenges that have come their way have been met by Moss with calm and collected responses; he’s never one to give in to a crisis.

“Every day for him is teaching a new lesson about the industry, how it works, about how we can make our product better and about what we can do to continue to lead in the space. So I’ve just really enjoyed the journey with him,” Morris said. “I think it was a turning point in my trajectory as an entrepreneur in meeting Perry and being able to work side-by-side with him.”

The result of that collaboration, reduced to its most basic elements, is that we all produce less trash. Rubicon takes less trash to the landfill. Less trash is buried in the ground. That’s progress, even though it took hundreds of years to accomplish. d

We can do the right things and still be proftable and have a business motivation tied to doing good. Why not do them both?”


DR. RONALD QUINLAN, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Chemistry, was awarded a grant from Shimadzu Scientific Instruments that will fund the purchase of advanced laboratory equipment capable of tandem mass spectroscopy.

The new instrument will support current research for seven faculty and nearly a dozen students at Christopher Newport. The projects range in subject, from an analysis of the acid content of hops used in brewing to studies of roundworms in different stages of development. The equipment will also enable more opportunities for students in Christopher Newport’s innovative Summer Scholars and Project SEED research programs.

“Mass spectroscopy is a powerful tool in the characterization of molecules that we rely on, such as nucleic acids, carbohydrates and proteins,” Quinlan says. “This new instrument will greatly expand our capabilities here.”

Quinlan specializes in the fundamental chemistry of electrochemical power sources and teaches a variety of chemistry courses. He holds a PhD from the College of William & Mary.

DR. KELLY CARTWRIGHT, professor of psychology, neuroscience and teacher preparation, will co-lead a $1.4 million grant-funded project that will study dual language immersion (DLI) programs. The project, called Project CLIMB – Capturing Language Immersion Benefits – is a collaboration with professors at the University of Maryland. In DLI programs, English learners and English native speakers learn beside one another as teachers instruct in two languages across all their content areas. The award is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, an arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Project CLIMB will allow Cartwright and her colleagues to study about 600 Washington, D.C.-area kindergarten through fifth-grade students as they progress in their studies over three years.

DR. ELIZABETH KAUFER BUSCH, a prominent scholar in the field of civic education, has been named the inaugural holder of the Laura and Pete Walker Endowed Professorship in American Studies.

Busch is co-director of the Center for American Studies (CAS) and director of American studies. She was a driving force behind implementing the American studies major and minor, as well as creating the CAS in 2007 to promote faculty and undergraduate research on America’s founding principles, economics and national security.

The newly endowed professorship is named in honor of Laura and Pete Walker. The Walkers were inspired to provide the lead gift due to their close relationship with the American studies program. Their daughter Rachel Walker-Kulzick

was among the first students to graduate from the program in 2009 and was mentored by Busch. Pete Walker is the president of P.V. Walker, Inc., an accounting firm based in Front Royal and serves on the CAS Board of Advisors.

“We are grateful to Laura and Pete Walker for making this endowed professorship possible,” said President Paul Trible. “It is an enormous milestone for the American studies program and the university, ensuring that top faculty will continue to teach courses on American civics and responsibility – hallmarks of the CNU educational experience. We are also delighted that Dr. Elizabeth Kaufer Busch will be the inaugural holder of the Walker Professorship. She is a prized faculty member, a beloved teacher, a respected scholar and is highly deserving of this professorship.”

The focus of Dr. Busch’s research is the role of civic education in supporting democratic institutions and good governance.


LISA HEUVEL is part of a team of educa- the teachers to an understanding of the tors awarded a National Endowment cultures in place before and after the for the Humanities (NEH) grant for a Mayflower’s arrival. teacher institute focused on the 400th “My colleagues and I will bring anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival new findings in archaeology, historical and the complex legacy of the Plym- scholarship and leadership studies to a outh Colony: Beyond the Mayflower: unique case-study: how the indigenous New Voices from Colonial America. and colonial communities functioned Heuvel and colleagues from the as living systems in a changing geoPlimoth Plantation living history mu- political landscape.” Heuvel said. “Our seum in Massachusetts submitted a participants will have a multisensory, proposal for the project to the NEH’s interdisciplinary and cross-cultural Summer Seminars and Institutes environment in which to rediscover grant competition. Plymouth Colony and explore its sigHeuvel will co-direct an institute nificance in the 21st-century world.” at Plimoth Plantation for elementary, In addition to leading classes in middle school and high school teach- the Department of Leadership and ers to be held in the summer of 2020. American Studies at Christopher NewA diverse faculty and guest speakers, port, Heuvel is the former director of including representatives from the the Colonial Williamsburg FoundaMashpee Wampanoag tribe will guide tion’s Teacher Institute.

DR. LISA SPILLER is an acclaimed teacher and accomplished scholar. She says she was inspired as a child by her entrepreneurial father and by cookies. Girl Scout Cookies.

“I attribute much of my interest in marketing to my Girl Scout days,” Spiller told the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. “Selling Girl Scout cookies was probably the spark that ignited my interest!” Spiller was one of seven local former Girl Scouts – all considered leaders in their field and role models for girls today – to be honored at the Girl Scout Famous Formers Luncheon. According to the Girl Scouts, 64% of the nation’s female leaders in government, business and nonprofit positions were once scouts. “While selling cookies is certainly what most people think about when they hear Girl Scouts, the organization is so much more,” Spiller said. “So many women leaders have come out of the Girl Scout ranks and have used Girl Scouts as a leadership foundation.”

Spiller is a Distinguished Professor in the Joseph W. Luter, III School of Business. She joined the faculty in 1991 and is an expert on direct and interactive marketing. In addition to winning awards for her teaching and service on campus, she is the author of the influential textbook Direct, Digital and DataDriven Marketing

DR. MARTINA MARINOVA, associate professor of English, has published Mikhail Bakhtin: The Duvakin Interviews, 1973 The book is a translation of the work of Viktor Duvakin, who in 1973 taped six interviews with Bakhtin over 12 hours. In the interviews, Bakhtin discusses formative moments in his education and exile; his reaction to the Revolution; his impressions of political, intellectual and theatrical figures during the first two decades of the 20th century; and his nonconformist opinions on Russian and Soviet poets and musicians.

Marinova says Bakhtin never published his memoirs due to extreme censorship in place under communism in the Soviet Union, but that in oral interviews he was able to speak freely, without fear of political repercussions. “What Western readers and scholars can learn from these conversations with him is invaluable,” she says. “We already know that Bakhtin is a literary critic of major importance. It is time for us to enter into a more intimate and complex dialogue with his ideas in their entirety.”

Marinova specializes in Russian and Eastern European literature and culture.


Professors Receive Faculty Excellence Awards

Innovation, teaching, scholarship and service exemplifed by their work.

FOUR CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT PROFESSORS received 2019 Faculty Excellence Awards, including a new recognition for work across disciplines.

The eighth annual awards recognize exceptional achievements in teaching, scholarship, service and thinking beyond academic boundaries. A rigorous application process,

including a dean’s review and ranking by the Faculty Senate, determines the winners. Each receives a certificate and a monetary award.

“Given that Christopher Newport faculty already set the performance bar so high, the accomplishments of these award winners are truly outstanding,” said Provost Dr. Dave Doughty.

Faculty Excellence Award in Interdisciplinarity

Professor Denise Gillman

Department of Teater and Dance

Gillman is known for merging the fields of theater and science, directing several plays and programming the Science Play Festival at Christopher Newport. She has also developed interdisciplinary courses in theater honors and written essays on the subject.

Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching

Dr. Brent Cusher

Department of Leadership and American Studies

Cusher received a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a leadership elective course, created three Honors seminars and taught all courses in the leadership minor, while mentoring students outside of the classroom.

Faculty Excellence Award in Scholarship

Dr. Mark Padilla

Department of Modern and Classical

Languages and Literatures

Padilla published two single-authored monographs on classical mythology in Alfred Hitchcock’s films as well as essays on the subject. He also presented many scholarly papers at conferences in Virginia and before international groups.

Faculty Excellence Award for Service

Dr. Linda Waldron

Department of Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology

Waldron is director of the Center for Education Research and Policy. She has served on numerous boards and committees, yet still finds time to coach soccer and volunteer at the Helping Hands Food Pantry.


Dr. Laura Puaca: Teacher, Scholar, Storyteller

YOU COULD ACCURATELY DESCRIBE Dr. Laura Puaca as an acclaimed teacher, an impactful scholar and an illuminating storyteller. The recipient of the Alumni Society Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring combines all of those descriptions into this one:

“I am a historian. And, as a historian, one of my main jobs is to make meaning of the past. To help us understand its complexities. To help us comprehend its nuances. And to help us see its relationship to the present day.”

Those were Puaca’s words in her speech at the Latin Honors Convocation in May accepting the Alumni Society Award. It is the highest honor the university bestows on faculty.

Created in 2007, the award recognizes faculty who are exceptionally committed to teaching and learning excellence and university citizenship. In announcing the award, President Paul Trible underscored the importance of teaching: “Our students are with us in order to learn; our faculty are with us to empower that learning. Everything else is secondary; and the importance of everything else we do is measured by the extent to which it contributes to learning.”

Puaca’s contributions to learning come in many forms. She serves as director of the women’s and gender studies program. She is also the founder and director of the Hampton Roads Oral History Project. This service-learning initiative brings together students and community members in documenting the history of the civil rights movement in the area.

On a campus committed to strong teaching, Puaca’s lectures and classroom activities earn lavish praise from students such as Jessica Patchan ’18, who is studying to become a high school history teacher. In a letter nominating Puaca for the Alumni Society Award, Patchan wrote: “I hope to incorporate many of her strategies in my own classroom someday, such as connecting current events to history … and making history inclusive so all my students can see themselves reflected in the curriculum.”

Puaca sees her teaching as enriched by her research, which focuses on the role of social movements in effecting change. Much of her work examines the history of women in STEM, where she has uncovered overlooked efforts to expand women’s participation during World War II and the early Cold War era. She has also developed an interest in the advancement of disability rights and the vocational rehabilitation of disabled homemakers after World War II.

Among many awards for her work, Puaca received the prestigious Margaret W. Rossiter Prize for best book in the history of women in science and the Disability History Association’s award for best article or chapter in the field.

To share that knowledge effectively, whether in the community or the classroom, takes the skills of a storyteller. Puaca says historians are, in a sense, professional storytellers: “We use a wide range of historical sources to identify actors or characters. We employ evidence to piece together their lives and experiences. In the process, we learn about the places they lived, the people they knew, the causes they cared about, the challenges they faced, the determination they displayed, the goals they achieved and the work they left undone. We then weave these insights into narratives that shed light on both the past and present.”

Puaca says those stories also inspire students to think about their futures, identifying goals that they may not have previously considered or seen as possible. And so in her address, Puaca challenged the students to do something remarkable. “Build something,” she said. “Write something! Solve something! Compose something! Invent something! Paint something! Give the historian 50 years from now a good story to tell.” d

Give the historian 50 years from now a good story to tell.”


Introducing TowneBank Stadium

THE CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT football and track and field facility is now named TowneBank Stadium as a result of a continuing partnership with one of the largest banks headquartered in Virginia.

President Paul Trible and TowneBank Chief Banking Officer Brian Skinner unveiled the new name at a ceremony at the stadium.

The new name stems from a gift made by TowneBank to the university’s Defining Significance comprehensive campaign in 2016. The funds support athletics, the Ferguson Center for the Arts and the TowneBank Leadership Scholarships.

“We are thankful and thrilled that the Captains will play for championships and the Marching Captains band will

perform in front of thousands of cheering fans at TowneBank Stadium,” said Trible. “TowneBank contributes immensely to the life and success of Virginia and so does Christopher Newport. We are proud to be partners.”

“Serving the community is the foundation of all we do at TowneBank,” said Skinner, a 1992 Christopher Newport graduate. “We are pleased to have our name on the Christopher Newport stadium and look forward to many opportunities for the community to come together and cheer for the Captains.”

The stadium, with a capacity of 4,200 and featuring a natural grass surface and high-definition video board, opened in 2001 when Christopher Newport’s football team played its first game.


Jennings Family Stadium Dedicated During Homecoming Festivities

Longtime supporters honored during ceremony.

THE JENNINGS FAMILY celebrated the opening of a stadium named in their honor and topped it off with a goal.

Bruce and Laurie Jennings and their family have contributed to the academic and athletic lives of Captains for many years. Their daughter Kylene was a four-year member of the lacrosse team and graduated in 2008.

“Christopher Newport University inspires hope, meaning, purpose and generosity. That’s why I support Christopher Newport. It’s a magical place. All of those words have more significance and meaning to me here today,” said Bruce Jennings.

The Jennings Family Stadium serves as the home for Captains field hockey and lacrosse. The stadium features

lights, a new turf field, seating for one thousand spectators and, to reduce sun interference, the new field has a northsouth orientation.

“This beautiful turf field, under the lights, is used constantly by Christopher Newport students for intercollegiate competition, intramurals and all kinds of activities,” said President Paul Trible. “We honor the Jennings family. Bruce and Laurie and Kylene and Kendall have all been strong and generous supporters of our academic and athletic programs.”

As part of the Homecoming festivities, our women’s lacrosse team played our alumni team at Jennings Family Stadium. Naturally, Kylene scored yet another goal in her career, but this time as a Captain for Life.

(Left to right) Kyle McMullin, Bruce and Laurie Jennings, head lacrosse coaches Lisa Valentine and Mikey Tompson


After leading the way for the men’s cross country team all season, senior Jason Putnam collected his first career All-Region certifi cate with a 15th-place showing at the NCAA South/Southeast regional championship. Putnam finished the 8K in 25:38.3 to pace a Captains eighth place finish as a team in the 40 team field. Joining Putnam in the top 50 were Eric Speeney, with a personal best finish of 26:30.0 and Sam Koltisko, sixth among freshmen, with a time of 26:37.1. During the season, Christopher Newport finished second at the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) cham pionship with five all-conference performances. Putnam, Koltisko and Speeney were joined by second team All-CAC finishes from Ryan Henderson and Nick Tolarchyk.


Senior Monica Lannen capped off her cross country career with a historic showcase in the 2019 South/Southeast regional championships. She secured all-region honors, becoming just the 10th runner in program history to earn three straight all-region certificates, while finishing 15th in the race. She did so by posting a personal record time of 22:21.1 in the 6K race, marking the sixth fastest time in program history. With Lannen helping lead the way, the women’s cross country team won the 2019 CAC championship to secure the program’s fourth conference title. Senior Samantha Dickerson finished first for the Captains followed by Lannen as both earned first team all-CAC honors. Jessica Lee and Kaitlyn Ardrey also earned second team allconference honors to help lead the Captains to their first conference title since 2015.



The field hockey team once again proved its worth as one of the top programs in the nation in 2019 after concluding the season ranked No. 13 in a national coaches poll. The Captains faced one of the most challenging schedules in program history en route to a 14-5 overall record while advancing to the CAC championship for the third consecutive season. Christopher Newport was a perfect 8-0 at home and earned three wins over top-10 ranked programs with victories against No. 9 Rochester (1-0), No. 5 Johns Hopkins (2-1) and No. 5 Vassar (3-2). Abby Asuncion was named the CAC rookie of the year and headlined a group of four first team all-conference selections for the Captains in 2019. She set a program record with seven game-winning goals while also establishing a freshman record with 14 total goals scored. Also earning first team all-CAC honors were junior Courtney Fiest and seniors Rachel Cooke and Bailey Miller. Miller helped drive a strong defensive front for the Captains along with senior Kennedy Johnson, who made history as just the fifth Captain in program history to start her first 50 games.


Senior defensive lineman Ben James was selected the co-defensive player of the year in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) to headline a group of nine Captains honored by the conference. James posted 59 tackles this season and record 5.5 sacks for the Captains. He made 14.5 tackles for a loss (TFL) and moved into the top-five all-time in both TFL and sacks. James was named Defensive Lineman of the Year in Division II/III in Virginia by the Touchdown Club of Richmond. Also earning first team all-conference honors were senior offensive linemen Matt Rittenhouse and senior kicker Dylan Curran. Rittenhouse is a three-time all-NJAC selection and Curran capped one of the finest kicking careers in program history by knocking through 13 field goals in his senior campaign. Other individual standouts included Jake Herzog, who picked off six passes in 2019 to set a program record for interceptions by a first-year player, earning honorable mention all-conference honors. Junior Ben Garbarini ranked in the top-10 nationally in punting, averaging 42.0 yards per kick, and earned second team all-conference plaudits.



Senior Vir Menon qualified for the LaserPerformance men’s singlehanded national championship for the second straight year and finished eighth in the 2019 event. Menon was the first Captain to qualify for the event as a junior and repeated as a qualifier in his final campaign. Facing a field that included 18 of the nation’s finest singlehanded sailors, Menon finished the 14-race event with nine top-10 efforts and five finishes in the top five. He raced to a second place finish once and capped the fall season with a national championship appear ance. Menon earned the bid to nationals with a thrilling fifth place finish at the MAISA singlehanded championships after qualifying for the conference regatta with a win at the MAISA laser elimination. The rest of the fall season included the Captains qualifying for the conference championship in both co-ed and women’s sailing.


With the finest defense in program history, the men’s soccer team returned to form in 2019 with one of the best turnarounds in the nation. After winning only seven games in 2018, the Captains stormed through the 2019 schedule to go 14 2 5, reach the CAC championship game, and return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016. Senior Derek Cook was named the conference defensive player of the year, leading a group that set a record for the lowest goals-against average in a single season with a 0.54 mark, which ranked fifth nationally. Cook also tied for the team lead in scoring with 18 points on six goals and six assists while sophomore Lincoln Kickbush added 18 points as well on eight goals and two assists. Seven Captains earned all CAC honors while first year head coach Justin Chezem garnered coach of the year plaudits. Chezem helped lead Christopher Newport back into the national rankings and the Captains advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament before suffering a heartbreaking shootout loss after a 0-0 draw.



Following the program’s first trip to the NCAA Division III semifinals in 2018, the expectations were high for women’s soccer in 2019 as they started the year ranked No. 4 and climbed as high as a program-best No. 2 in the nation. Statistically, the 2019 campaign will go down as one of the greatest seasons in program history offensively and defensively as the Captains ranked 21st nationally in scoring with 3.14 goals per game and 23rd in the country in goals-against average (GAA) with a 0.53 mark. That GAA is the best season all-time at Christopher Newport as CAC defensive player of the year Keiley McCarthy headlined a back line that allowed just 12 goals in 22 games. McCarthy set a program record for career games played and started as an anchor to a defense that has posted 50 shutouts over the last four years. On the offensive end, CAC offensive player of the year Riley Cook scored 55 points on a program record 26 goals and three assists while nine players finished with at least 10 points scored on the season. The Captains reached the second round of the NCAA tournament for the fourth consecutive season and wrapped up the year with a 16-3-3 overall record.


A trio of Christopher Newport volleyball players garnered All-American recognition to lead the way for another strong season for the Captains. Seniors Katie Piper, Riley Garrison and rookie Sammy Carroll each earned honorable mention All-American honors after leading the Captains to the second round of the NCAA tournament and a 27-9 overall record. Carroll burst onto the scene to earn conference rookie and player of the year honors as the Captains’ setter averaging 9.84 assists per set in 2019. She ranked in the top-20 nationally in total assists and is only the second rookie in program history to eclipse 1,000 helpers in her first year. Her 1,230 assists were the most in any season since 2014 and the highest total for a freshman since 2004 when hall of famer Brittany Collins set the standard with 1,356. Garrison became the only player in program history with more than 100 blocks in all four seasons of her career and climbed to second all-time in career blocks with 457. Rounding out the All-American trio, Piper became just the 11th player in program history with over 1,000 kills in her career while hitting at a career best .209 clip in her senior season. She finished with 1,244 kills after a career-high 370 in 2019, ranking third most among seniors in program history.



Sarah (Wright) Long ’18 married Ryan Long ’18 on May 18, 2019, in North Carolina. They live in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Sarah works as an account manager at M is Good Marketing Agency, and Ryan is studying for his real estate license. The couple met freshman year in York River East and got engaged during the Family Weekend football game. Christopher Newport has been a huge part of their love story!


John Lawson ’85 was named deputy secretary of transportation for the commonwealth of Virginia.

Karen Jackson ’87 was named as the new executive director for the New College Institute.


Sharon Lontoc ’93 was named chief human resources officer at Title Alliance.

Sharon Day ’95 was promoted to director of James City County’s financial and management services department.

Brian Nichols ’97 was named as the new superintendent for New Kent County Schools.

Chad Parker ’98 was named as the new principal at South Stanly High School in Norwood, North Carolina.


Errold Cobbins ’00 was named as the new head football coach at Grafton High School.

Amy Jordan ’00 was named vice president of business development and customer relationship management for the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance.

Christopher Truscott ’00 is an executive speechwriter for Target in Minneapolis. He also worked in communications at St. Louis-based Monsanto.


Chad Edmondson ’03 was hired as a senior fleet consultant at Merchants Fleet in Newport News.

Brett Watts ’03 joined the firm of Hughes White Colbo Wilcox & Tervooren, LLC in Anchorage, Alaska, as an associate attorney, practicing family law and insurance defense.


Crystal Haskins ’04 has been named principal of James Blair Middle School in Williamsburg.

Taya Moss Jarman, APR ’04 was featured in a jewelry ad for Carreras Jewelry in Richmond, created by Taylor Quinn ’13. Since graduating, she has received 10 industry awards, six promotions and is a wife of 12 years and mother of two boys.

Kezia Williams ’04, CEO of The Black upStart, was named one of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s 40 Under 40 honorees.


Sarah McElwee Jaeschke ’05 was named director of sponsored programs at North Carolina A&T State University. Previously she was the pre-award manager for the Office of Sponsored Programs at Clemson University.

Michelle Nichols ’05 was hired as vice president/branch manager at Atlantic Union Bank.


Danielle Brigida ’06 was named acting deputy director of digital strategy for the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C.

Jackie Hanes ’06 wrote an article for the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, describing the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s development of software to help robots pick themselves up after a fall.

Randall Munroe ’06, the creator of xkcd and the books What If? and Thing Explainer, presented a book talk on his latest release, How To, at the Southbank Centre in London.


Kim Moore ’07 became the new owner of We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym in Williamsburg.


Lisa Kaurich ’10 was hired as the director of corporate and foundation relations at the Alzheimer’s Association.

Amanda Veinott-Praml ’10 started Momique in 2018 to support women who are transitioning into motherhood.

Juliana Yensho ’10 was named volunteer assistant coach for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s volleyball team.


Ashley Chiera ’11 was hired as the assistant director of athletics compliance at Liberty University.

Leanne Ferry ’11 was promoted to business and marketing director at Madison+Main.


William “JJ” Edmunds ’12 was honored as one of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants’ Top 5 Under 35 for 2019.

Laura (Howton) Markovich ’12 was named to the CRN 2019 Women of the Channel list.

Michael Zimmerman ’12 is an assurance services manager for Ernst & Young in Melbourne, Australia. He earned a master’s in accounting from North Carolina State University.


Paige (Koch) Hamm ’13 is the grants manager for the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast.


Joseph Duchane ’15 graduated from Washington and Lee School of Law summa cum laude. He will work as an associate with Covington & Burling after taking the bar exam.


Christopher Adleson BS ’16, MS ’19 works at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Turesa Gilchrist ’16 was selected by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) for the NBCC Minority Fellowship Program Mental Health Counseling-Master’s.


Baylen McCarthy ’17 joined Waters & Bridgman Marketing Solutions as director of media and digital innovation.

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Alan Witt ’76 Takes on New Challenge

Alan Witt ’76 is finding new ways to serve Hamp- remarkable history of giving back to the Virginia Peninsula ton Roads and Virginia. through his work serving on the boards of the Hampton The CEO and partner of Roads Business Roundtable, Reinvent Hampton Roads, PBMares LLP is now a Riverside Health System, TowneBank and the Peninsula member of the Hampton Community Foundation. Roads Chamber of Com- He earned the CNU Outstanding Alumnus Accounting merce Board of Directors Chair #1 and Outstanding Alumni Award from the Luter and member and first School’s predecessor, the College of Business and Economics. vice chair of the Virginia A profile of Witt published in The Virginian-Pilot and Chamber of Commerce. posted on the chamber’s website captured the qualities that Under Witt’s leader- have made him such a leader in business and the community: ship, PBMares has stra - “(Alan Witt) is fond of paraphrasing a quote from Collis tegically expanded to a Potter Huntington, the builder of the Newport News shipyard. leading Mid-Atlantic firm Witt’s father worked at the shipyard for almost 15 years, and and is now one of the top Witt took to heart the quote he saw on a plaque there: ‘We shall 100 accounting and business consulting firms in the nation, build good ships here; at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, serving clients nationally and internationally. but always good ships.’

The former Newport News City Council member has a

Witt graduated from Christopher Newport with a bachelor Witt often reminds his team that, though they don’t build of science in business administration with a concentration ships, the principle is the same: Always do good work. in accounting. Just 10 years after commencement, he was “It’s all about collaborative efforts. It’s all about getting evnominated to a position on the Board of Visitors, serving eryone on the same page,” Witt said. “When that’s done, great eight years as a member and two as its first alumnus rector. things can be accomplished.’”

Former Rector Scott Millar ’85 Promoted At Canon

Canon USA has promoted HR operations and support for Canon USA and Canon Scott Millar ’85, a former Solutions America. rector and an enthusiastic In addition, Millar will continue leading the corporate and generous supporter of audit, ethics and business consultation division, overseeing the university, to senior activities relating to standards of conduct, corporate policies vice president and general and procedures, compliance with applicable laws, and promotmanager of corporate hu- ing ethical relationships across Canon. man resources, corporate “More than ever, it is essential to our business success audit, ethics and business that we take care of our people, our greatest asset, and at the consultation and Canon same time, strengthen our efforts to protect and enhance the Solutions America, Inc. Canon brand,” said Joe Adachi, chairman and CEO of Canon Human Resources. USA, in a news release about the promotion. “I am confident In its announcement, with Mr. Millar’s strong leadership and his ability to move Canon cited Millar’s ex- forward boldly and courageously, he will achieve much suctensive and diverse back- cess in the future,” Adachi said. ground in developing hu- In addition to serving as rector and as a member of man capital strategies and leading HR initiatives for the the Board of Visitors, Millar is a former president of the corporate and manufacturing business divisions. The company Alumni Society, a member of the Education Foundation, a said Millar’s HR responsibilities will now extend to Canon Captains athletics supporter and was a major supporter of the Solutions America’s direct sales business. He will continue Gregory P. Klich Alumni House. A centerpiece of the house, to be involved with talent acquisition, talent and leader- the Millar Celebration Hall, is named in honor of Scott and ship development, total rewards, employee engagement and Muriel Millar ’88.


New Honor for a Legendary Captain

Lindsey Carney Smith

’01 was a Freeman Center basketball star and now her name and her husband’s name appropriately adorn the reception room that overlooks the court.

The Carney Smith Reception Room honors the generosity of Lindsey Carney Smith and Skip Smith as well as Lindsey’s extraordinary basketball achievements.

The Carney Smith Reception Room is a multipurpose and spacious reception area. It serves as the site of pre-game, halftime and post-game socials, athletics department, and campus events. Photos and other memorabilia tell the story of Lindsey’s legendary athletic career. The facility features large windows overlooking the home of Captains basketball, volleyball and indoor track and field.

“Lindsey and Skip have contributed immensely to the success of Christopher Newport, and it is entirely fitting that a place of celebration and fellowship is named in their honor,” said President Paul Trible. “We look forward to years of joyous gatherings in the Carney Smith Reception Room.”

Lindsey Carney Smith serves on the Christopher New-

port Board of Visitors, is the chair of the Athletic Advisory Council, an adjunct professor in the pre-law program and advises students. She was recently named the managing partner for the Newport News law firm of Patten, Wornom, Hatten, Diamonstein, L.C. Skip Smith is the vice president for real estate development for W.M. Jordan Company of Newport News.

“Our student-athletes will benefit from the connections that are forged in the Carney Smith Reception Room, and they will be inspired by the leadership exemplified by Skip and Lindsey in their careers and their contributions to the university and community,” said Director of Athletics Kyle McMullin.

As a point guard, Lindsey Carney Smith was the floor leader for the Captains and ended her junior and senior seasons leading the team in assists and steals. She earned an allDixie Conference tournament selection in 2000, second team all-Dixie Conference selection in 2001 and set the Freeman Center record when she assisted her teammates 11 times in a win over Ferrum College on January 21, 2001.

She graduated from Christopher Newport in 2001 with a degree in governmental administration (with a concentration in legal studies) and went on to earn her law degree from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary.

Her sister, Hillary Carney, also attended Christopher Newport and was a stellar soccer player and former assistant coach who holds numerous honors, including being named first-team all-state, first-team all-USA South and the USA South tournament’s most valuable player.

Skip Smith (left) and Lindsey Carney Smith ’01

Music Graduate Selected for New York Lyric Opera Theatre Program

A Christopher Newport alumna performed this summer on three of the world’s most prestigious stages: Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and the National Opera Center.

Jennifer Moore Woods ’09 was one of about 50 singers selected for the month-long New York Lyric Opera Theatre Summer Music Program. The program, which draws applicants from around the globe, provides performance and learning opportunities for young singers.

Participants took part in lessons, coaching and master classes with expert faculty.

“Performing at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall was the most exciting to me,” Woods said. “The space was gorgeous, and I kept thinking about all of the amazing performers who have graced that stage before me. I hope that I sing half as well as them someday! Their legacies are a lot to live up to, and I know I have a long way to go in my music career.”

The program was the right fit for the soprano, who graduated from Christopher Newport with bachelor of arts degrees in fine and performing arts and music theater with minors in voice and dance. After graduation, she worked as a paralegal and later as a sketch and improv comedian.

Woods, of Yorktown, said it was her return to Christopher Newport in 2015 to participate in the Torggler Vocal Institute

that reignited her passion for singing and opera. The program provided a similar intensive singing experience to that of the New York Lyric Opera Theatre program.

Her role this summer of Papagena in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” allowed her to combine her sense of humor, singing and stage acting skills in the comedic role.

“Everything prepared me,” Woods said about her time at Christopher Newport. “You need stage combat, dancing, acting, voice lessons. Everything prepared me for what I’m doing now. You don’t know where it’s going to take you eventually, but you can look back and see, oh yeah, I did have an interest in this.”

After Torggler, she further pursued opportunities with Virginia Opera performances and worked with a private vocal coach. In 2017, she moved to New York and began pursuing her master of music in classical voice performance and advanced certificate in vocal pedagogy at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

Part of the pedagogy certificate program means spending time as an adjunct faculty member teaching vocal lessons to non-majors, a fulfilling experience, she said.

“I love teaching, I love all the nuances of the voice and how everybody’s voice is different and you can find what suits them the best. It’s another piece of the puzzle,” Woods said. After graduation next May, she plans to audition for opera companies in New York and grow her private voice studio. She wants to teach more students and help them on their way to Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and the National Opera Center.


How does it feel to be named York County’s Teacher of the Year?

I feel very humbled and thankful, reflecting on the great honor that it has been to work with the kids. They just make my job so much easier and so worthwhile with their effort and their creativity. They really want to learn and explore and do well, so it doesn’t make it feel like work for me. It’s just a joy to be around them.

Getting named Teacher of the Year, it’s still surreal. It feels like I don’t really deserve it. I’m just doing my best every day to try to serve them and help them. I think it has really highlighted why I love teaching – it can be a thankless profession, and draining and difficult, but in the end it’s really all about the kids. If I can have an impact on one of them, I feel like it’s been worth it.

MAT Graduate Named York County Teacher of the Year

Mandy Rocamontes Poe ’11, ’12 knew from the moment she stepped on Christopher Newport’s campus that it was the place she wanted to pursue her teaching career.

The Virginia Beach native graduated with her bachelor’s in Spanish and minor in leadership studies, and then again the following year with her master of arts in teaching. Seven years later, she has been named the York County School Division’s Teacher of the Year, the top honor in the 13,000-student school district.

Poe has taught Spanish and various student readiness courses at Grafton Middle School since graduating, educating students across all three middle school grade levels. She and her husband Josh Poe ’11, ’12 live in Virginia Beach, and they welcomed a future Captain in September.

Why did you choose Christopher Newport?

I wanted to come to CNU because I was looking for a smaller school with kind of a closeknit feel, more of a family. And actually when I toured the first time, we ran into President Trible and he shook all our hands and asked our names. When I came my freshman year, I met him at the President’s Leadership Program (PLP) banquet – he remembered my name. It just kind of highlighted I made the right choice, just a place I could be known and make an impact.

I majored in Spanish, with a minor in leadership studies, and I was in the Honors Program. All of that was really awesome and very helpful for teaching, especially leadership. That has served me well with the different styles, and all of that information has been really valuable. I loved studying Spanish at CNU. I got really close with my professors and they mentored me my first year of teaching, helped answer questions and gave me resources. I was able to study abroad in Spain. That was a life-changing experience.

How did your time at Christopher Newport make an impact on your career?

CNU gave me great mentoring relationships teaching and I love Spanish. Those exwith my professors. I feel like CNU gives its periences I would not have gotten if they students a ton of opportunities to try out didn’t push you out of your comfort zone and new things, and test and hone your skills. provide support for those experiences.

PLP required an internship; I did mine There’s an emphasis on service; I feel in Nicaragua at an orphanage. That was my that was emphasized in my classes and in first experience working with kids and it PLP. That is the biggest, most crucial part was all in Spanish – no one spoke English. of teaching: it’s not about you. It’s about That was what really solidified that I love trying to live every day with that in mind.


Making It Work With


(article and photo courtesy of Capital One)

A student turns his internship into an ofer for full-time employment.

For Capital One Associate key strengths common among those with ASD. He quickly Rob Maino ’15, childhood identified Rob’s ability to focus intensively on his favorite was difficult because of his projects, including the ability to quickly learn new skills and Autism Spectrum Disorder an affinity for building complex exchange interfaces. (ASD). Early on, his social Amritpal says that Rob’s abilities are both unique and tendencies often invited empowering for the entire team. That feeling goes both ways: bullying, though by high “I feel that having a team is essential for someone with my school his peers were more disability,” Rob shares. “What kills [me] is anxiety, and when Rob

Amritpal Singh accepting. While at Chris-[I] don’t know how to do something that raises anxiety. So, topher Newport, Rob was offered an internship on the Capital working on a team and having someone you can tap on the One Card team through the Autism at Work Internship Program. shoulder for help is a huge stress relief.”

He delivered impressive work on mobile automation coding In 2018, Rob, Amritpal and the rest of their team became and, as a result, Rob received an offer for full-time employ- recipients of the Circle of Excellence Award, Capital One’s highment at Capital One. est internal honor, designed to celebrate associates who not

To best support Rob, his manager, Amritpal Singh, took only embody (Capital One’s) mission and values, but go above autism awareness training and independently researched and beyond to drive innovation and help customers succeed.

Dr. Jonathan White and Alum Edit, Publish Book Together

Dr. Jonathan W. White, as- taught me how to use microfilm, newspaper databases and sociate professor of Ameri- the National Archives to answer the research questions. Now, can studies, and his former I am in law school, and my research calls for different tools. student, Daniel Glenn ’19, Yet the underlying mindset is the same. The research skills I have released a book that learned through editing the Ashenfelter letters will carry on provides rare insight into col- into my legal career.”

lege life during the Civil War. In Untouched by the Conflict, the letters sent between Untouched by the Conflict Ashenfelter and his best friend dive deeply into the personal reproduces the letters of Sin- and emotional life of a young college student, while also giving gleton Ashenfelter, a student an important perspective of what a liberal arts education was at Pennsylvania’s Dickinson like in mid-19th-century America. They also paint a wonderful College during the Civil War. portrait of a friendship between two young men who decided to Dr. Jonathan White

White and Glenn, pro- stay on the home front, rather than fight, during the Civil War. and Daniel Glenn fessor and student, worked “Although a century and a half separate us, I feel that together for two years on the book, transcribing the letters, Singleton Ashenfelter and I have almost gone through college editing their work and figuring out the identities of the people together,” Glenn says. “I began reading his letters right after referenced in the letters. my freshman year – at about the same age as Ashenfelter was Glenn graduated in May 2019 with bachelor’s degrees in when he began writing them in earnest. ‘Sing’s’ personality American studies and political science and now attends law emerges so powerfully in his letters that I almost feel he was school at the College of William & Mary. one of my peers.”

He and White worked together in 2016 through Chris- Added White: “There are very few collections of letters topher Newport’s Summer Scholars program, during which that give such a detailed portrayal of what the Northern home White approached Glenn about the project. White has collabo- front was like during the Civil War, and I don’t know of any rated with students before on over two dozen article-length other books of college students’ letters. Readers will find a projects, but Untouched by the Conflict is his first book-length rare view of the Civil War in these pages.” student collaboration.

It is familiar territory for White. He is one of the nation’s

For Glenn, writing and editing Untouched by the Conflict foremost experts on Abraham Lincoln’s life and leadership, alongside White helped shape the way he writes, researches and is the author or editor of nine books and more than 100 and simply approaches learning. articles, essays and reviews about the Civil War. He is a recipi-

“I think the most important practical skill I learned was ent of the 2019 State Council of Higher Education for Virginia how to conduct research,” he says. “My work with Dr. White Outstanding Faculty Award.

Maino (left) with (left)


Katie Martin ’11 and Cody Lloyd ’13 got married on May 11, 2019. They met while working together at the Freeman Center. They live and work in Charlottesville.

Brandy (Estes) Youngman ’14 married Zachary Youngman ’13 on December 31, 2018 at CrossKeys Vineyard in Mount Crawford. Brandy is a program developer of international programs and Zach is in law enforcement. The couple lives in Hanover.

Karli Wensel ’15 and Daniel Gilbert ’16 were married at Bold Rock Cidery on April 12, 2019 in Nellysford. The couple lives and works in Northern Virginia. Dan is a business systems analyst for Lidl and Karli is pursuing her doctoral degree in neuroscience at Georgetown University.

Olivia (Hildebrand) Ehrbar’14 married John Ehrbar ’15 on April 20, 2019, at Stevenson Ridge in Spotsylvania. They live in Fredericksburg where Olivia works with Spotsylvania County Public Schools as a social worker and John is a police officer in Prince William County.

Hannah Leich ’16 married Nathan Pede ’17 in Clifton, at Westfields Golf Club. They currently live in Richmond where they both work at VCU. Hannah is an academic adviser in the biology department and Nathan is a coordinator for student conduct.

(Photo credit: Kristen Camielle Photography)

WEDDING Announcements

Jamie Ellermets ’17 married Samuel

Mary St. Jean ’14 and Matthew Clevenger got married in Leesburg Fleshman on September 23, 2018 in on January 6, 2018. Mary is a music Lucketts. Hayley Crowder ’17, Bree Brown ’17 teacher and Matthew is an iOS and Lauren Sturman ’17 were bridesmaids. developer. They live in Chantilly. They live in Tacoma, Washington.

Amanda Tyndall ’15 married Aaron Imdahl on June 1, 2019 at Fair Winds Farm in Virginia Beach. Kayley Humphrey ’15 was the maid of honor, Katie Cole ’15 and Caitlyn (Shumway) Palmen ’15 were bridesmaids. Amanda is currently working as a pre-K teacher while pursuing her master of education degree from Old Dominion University. Aaron is a probation officer in Newport News.

Dylan Thomson ’18 and Brad (Goode) Thomson got married on July 11, 2019 on Smathers Beach in Key West, Florida. They live in Orlando, Florida, where Dylan is a middle school teacher for Orange County Public Schools and Brad works for Carmax.

(Photo credit: Alina Thomas Photography) (Photo credit: Wedding Bug)


Tabetha (Giles) Holt ’05 brings sons Case and Chancellor to a Captains football game. Tabetha is the human resources director for Riverside Doctors’ Hospital in Williamsburg. Heather (Irvine) Heubi ’06 and her husband Trae Heubi welcomed their sweet baby boy, Henry David, on July 28, 2019 in Fredericksburg. Lisa (Lazzari) Kaurich ’10 and John Kaurich ’08 welcomed their second child, Gregory (pictured with big sister Abigail). Katie Phillips ’14 and Jeffrey Phillips are proud to announce the birth of their baby girl, Charlotte, born on May 14, 2019.
(Photo credit: Kathryn Randazzo – Prisma Photography)
(Photo credit: Valarie Lazzari Photography)

Forever CAPTAINS Alumni

Judith Edwards ’81

Aprel Hartsfeld ’93

Samuel Worley ’95

Pamela Earley ’95

Gary Abbott ’01

Gerrod Fullilove ’01

Madison Clodius (former student)

Grace Ann McLaughlin (former student)

Faculty, Staff & Friends

Alan Diamonstein

Dorothy Crossman Freeman

Robert Lee Freeman

Teresa Talley Kelly, former childhood studies adjunct

Lucy Lee Lalley Latchum ’96

Faye Ola Loessin

Maynard “Mo Jay Weber, former baseball coach

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