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For Alumni, Parents and Friends


Fall 2016

High Point University Magazine



Condoleezza Rice Former Secretary of State


Steve Wozniak Co-Founder, Apple


Biz Stone Co-Founder, Twitter

Innovation (n): Connecting the dots between creativity and pragmatism. Creating something new and relevant to move the world forward in positive ways. Reinventing methods that already exist in a different, value-adding capacity. Removing friction points. Solving problems. Generating meaningful change.

For Alumni, Parents and Friends

High Point University Magazine

High Point University Board Leadership









Board of Trustees Jack Finch, Chairman


Board of Visitors A.B. Henley, Chairman Alumni Board Jason Walters (‘05), President Panther Club Jamie Amos, President SEND QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT HPU MAGAZINE TO: Pam Haynes, Director of Media Relations High Point University One University Parkway High Point, NC 27268 USA 336-841-9055 SEND INFORMATION FOR CLASS NOTES AND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: Hayley Harris Alumni Engagement Manager High Point University One University Parkway High Point, NC 27268 USA 336-841-9548 High Point University website: HPU Magazine is published for alumni, parents and friends of High Point University.

EXTRAORDINARY EDUCATION Steve Wozniak Becomes a Mentor to Students as HPU’s Innovator In Residence



INSPIRING ENVIRONMENT Condoleezza Rice Challenges Class of 2016 to Become Optimists for the World



CARING PEOPLE Creating Community Impact


HPU Photographer: J. Chadwick Christian Numbers to know: Receptionist: 336-841-9000 Admissions: 800-345-6993 Alumni and Family Engagement: 336-841-9127 Athletics: 336-841-9281 Campus Concierge: 336-841-4636 Security: 336-841-9112

On the cover: Global thought leaders such as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone are attracted to the HPU campus. Lessons they shared with students during their time here have been condensed for space and clarity on the front of this magazine. Find more inside. Left: Students connect, create and collaborate inside Cottrell Hall, home of the Flanagan Center for Student Success. The Bernard Lobby, surrounded by glass walls and featuring a 30-foot chandelier, is the heart of the facility.

Fall 2016

Preparing Students for the World as It Is Going to Be Dear HPU Friend: Look at the world around us. The old rules and ways of relating to one another have changed dramatically, and you’ll find examples as close as the nearest computer screen. Amazon, the world’s largest

President Nido R. Qubein

retailer today, owns no inventory. Uber, the largest taxi service, owns no vehicles. Airbnb, the largest hotelier, owns no real estate. What these companies own is the trust of their clients. Their value lies in the process, not only in the product.

We prepare our students at High Point University for our ever-changing world with an innovative philosophy toward education that has drawn interest from college leaders, parents and students alike. Our approach to teaching and learning blends scientific strategy and creative artistry in a way that enables students to navigate the world as it is going to be, not the way it is today. The HPU family of top scholars and talented staff teach, coach and inspire students to thrive in an increasingly competitive global environment where customers, clients and collaborators are only a click away. This environment has sparked change everywhere we look and has created what marketing pioneer Seth Godin called the “Connection Economy” during a recent presentation on campus. But change should not scare us; it should energize us. The one constant that can help us is the one thing that never changes: our core values.


Aristotle said centuries ago: “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” At HPU, his idea is still important today. We believe that often what one does is not as important as how one does it.

Finding the Ethical Compass Within It’s the questions we all ask ourselves: “Who are we? What do we believe? What drives us? What sustains us — and why?” Our campus environment encourages students to ask and answer such questions. They hear about it in class and in seminars, and they see it when they walk across the Kester International Promenade. On a granite slab embedded in a redbrick path are the chiseled words of Roy Disney, the nephew of Walt. His words have always resonated with me: “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”

An Extension of Your Home Service. Hard work. Generosity. Gratitude. These are some of the values we instill in our students. We don’t formally teach these values in any classroom, but our HPU family acknowledges that modeling such values is central to who we are — a God, family and country school. These core values built our country, and we believe these principles can guide our students in taking the measured steps they need toward reaching a satisfying future. We help them every step of the way. For us, our family is your family; your student is our student.

Critical Thinking Skills— The Hallmark of the Academy Because we stand on the edge of an unknowable future, we make sure our students access the crucial tool they need to thrive in our global marketplace: critical thinking skills, the key ingredient in any liberal arts university. HPU faculty guide students on their journey, helping them build a baseline of competence and scholarly knowledge in their given field of study. Meanwhile, they engage students in substantive educational endeavors through experiential learning, which accounts for a good portion of our academic programming. Undergraduate research, study abroad and service learning programs further enrich students’ academic lives and allow them to learn, adapt and grow. In turn, they become what I call “diagonal thinkers.” They learn to connect ideas and knowledge. They find new ways to apply what they know to what they don’t know. That is the essence of an independent mind, a mind where flexibility and innovation are as expected as day follows night.

We do move with a sense of urgency on campus. Walk inside the newest building, Cottrell Hall, home to the Flanagan Center for Student Success, and you’ll see what I mean right away — a wall-size graphic that defines “the entrepreneurial mindset” with words like “nimble,’’ “insightful” and “can-do attitude.” While we don’t expect or encourage every student to start a new venture, the entrepreneurial mindset is an essential trait for future leaders. To help students understand that, we bring leaders and innovators from across the globe to share their life experience with the HPU family. Students receive the guidance, feedback and support from Steve Wozniak (Apple), Marc Randolph (Netflix) and Biz Stone (Twitter) among others, to help them create a future all their own. It’s why our “Access to Innovators” initiative continues to grow on campus and air on public television. And it’s why our strategic plan will continue to expose students to exceptional leaders like Condoleezza Rice, Tom Brokaw and Colin Powell. We believe these proven leaders can become heroes, models and mentors to our students and make HPU a life-affirming place for everyone involved. Every page in this magazine offers examples of our commitment to higher education. Read, and you will see exactly how HPU marries time-tested methods of a liberal arts education with rock-solid values and experiential learning opportunities. Absorb, and you will understand how we at High Point University prepare our students. We prepare them for the world as it is going to be. Innovative indeed. Sincerely, Nido R. Qubein President


E X T R AO R D I N A R Y E D U C AT I O N 5 WAYS HPU FOSTERS INNOVATION Innovation is in High Point University’s DNA. Here are five ways HPU models innovation in and out of the classroom, and in doing so, prepares students for the world as it is going to be:

1. ACCESS TO INNOVATORS HPU gives students a chance to meet with global innovators and thought leaders. When that happens, no longer are these global luminaries super-humans. Rather, they become real people with real words of advice and encouragement for students. The simple lesson learned — I can do it.

2. PROMOTING A SENSE OF URGENCY The world is changing at an alarmingly fast pace. That’s why HPU’s academic offerings constantly evolve to meet growth and demand in the marketplace. Students don’t meet with Career and Professional Development when they are juniors; they meet with them the moment they step foot on campus as freshmen.

3. LIFE SKILLS Students gain practical intelligence including fiscal literacy, communication skills, presentation skills and more in Dr. Qubein’s seminars for freshmen and seniors. They learn business and social etiquette, global cultures and cuisines at 1924 PRIME. They learn valuable life lessons — lessons that prepare them to thrive in a competitive marketplace.

4. ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET While not every student will start a business, a flexible and adaptable mindset is an essential trait of future leaders. Regardless of someone’s major or occupation, they will always have to sell themselves. The Harris Sales Education Center in Cottrell Hall is open to everyone — not just sales majors — and helps students hone those skills before graduation.

5. VALUES-BASED EDUCATION HPU’s entire team of faculty and staff model values of service, hard work, generosity, gratitude and so many more in their daily interactions with students. Being equipped with the proper values in life will transcend any other skill set or qualification. In today’s workforce, that edge sets students apart.


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Twitter co-founder Biz Stone visited campus and spoke in front of a packed Hayworth Fine Arts Center. There, he shared tips for launching a successful startup. Read more on page 53.


Total transformation


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It’s more than an extraordinary campus. It’s an extraordinary culture. Change is hard.


But stagnation? That’s worse — deadly, in fact, for those who succumb to the comfort of it.

Sekhon is one of a number of people accomplishing milestones in HPU history. In 2015, she and her team welcomed the first cohort of physician assistant students to the Congdon School of Health Sciences, signifying the university’s entrance into the realm of health education.

Dr. Linda Sekhon, founding chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies, knows this. That’s why she and her team of faculty developed a problem-based curriculum that pushes their students to prepare for the world as it will be, not as it is. “Change can be a place that’s uncomfortable to live, but this place of ‘I don’t know’ is where we grow to the next level,” Sekhon says. “We ask our students to do that.” Sekhon came to build the PA program because she knows there are few places that live and breathe this mantra like High Point University.

Dr. Ronald Ragan, dean of the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, is another. The school officially opened its doors this fall as the only pharmacy school in the Piedmont Triad region. Finding students with the ambition and foresight needed to lead an inaugural class takes a special approach. Ragan knows this after establishing pharmacy programs in other parts of the country.

It’s been that way for nearly 12 years now since Dr. Nido Qubein entered as HPU president. That’s when a break-through moment hit campus, and the university’s culture began to shift.

Yet, he found them. Applications poured in for the Doctor of Pharmacy program, known as Pharm.D. The first cohort brought in top-notch students. They came from HPU’s undergraduate student body, as well as other institutions across the country.

Now, woven through HPU’s fabric is the notion that achieving success never ends. Instead, it’s a journey continuously challenging and changing those who pursue it.

“We’ve had the opportunity to design our program from a clean slate,” says Ragan, an expert in pharmacology, toxicology and the importance of patient care in our aging society.



“Our faculty have taken a step back from the profession, looked at it with a broad lens and asked, ‘What’s the best way a student can learn this skill set?’” That’s the type of education that inaugural cohort member Jonathan Paez, who came to HPU from Orange County, California, as an undergraduate, believed would be the best foundation for his career.

FINDING DATA IN DIAPERS Dr. Mary Jayne Kennedy knows that innovators take bold stances, even when their ideas make others raise an eyebrow at first. Like the time she told a group of researchers not to throw away some used baby diapers. Kennedy is the first chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences in the new Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy. She came to HPU with an established career in pediatric pharmacology, including a study on premature babies that she’s now wellknown for in the industry. She was part of a team in Virginia researching drug therapies that could help babies born after just 24 weeks in the womb. But there was a problem. These babies that fit in the palm of your hand only have a tablespoon of blood in their entire body, making it impossible to draw traditional samples and leaving virtually no data with which to begin. “How do you sample and not harm them?” Kennedy says she asked herself. “I always believed that just because it was hard to do didn’t mean we couldn’t do it.” Dr. Kennedy is a problem solver at heart, and she found that something as simple as urine from a diaper would allow scientists to build data sets that lead to new treatment methods. Not just any diaper would work though. She tested several types and found that gauze diapers without gel for absorption maintained a viable sample. “We validated the method and found we could get DNA and all types of samples from these diapers,” she says. “We figured out how to use things that were already there, and now we can get some really good answers from something that used to be just waste.”


extraordinary education

Paez completed two years of HPU undergraduate work before applying to the pharmacy program, which enrolls students in their junior year on a path to finish in four more years. That’s a total of six years for a doctorate degree. “I just finished my second year in college and I’m already starting on my doctorate,” Paez says. “Everyone in the class is highly qualified and largely diverse. It’s exciting to be paving the way for the future.”

PRACTITIONERS FROM DAY ONE Paez believes in the power of good communication and connection between physicians and their patients. That’s partly what attracted him to HPU’s program. “We know that expecting students to learn something their first year and not put it into practice until the third year is a bad way to learn,” Ragan says. “We’ve built opportunities for experiential learning early on, both simulated and in the community. Our students will take knowledge from lectures to the field in real time.” This integrative method instills the hard skills. Meanwhile, other initiatives teach students the importance of developing relationships with patients, like the patient in the community who pharmacy students will be assigned to follow for three years. That happens in just the second semester of their pharmacy work. “Our students will follow them and understand their real-life issues and how they navigate the health system,” says Dr. Mary Jayne Kennedy, a successful pediatric pharmacologist, who created the partnership. “They’ll develop the soft skills, like how to have conversations and how to ask difficult questions.”

Top Job, a leading job review site, ranks Physician Assistant #7 in its list of “25 Best Jobs in America.”

It’s a problem-solving approach derived from the demands of the industry after Sekhon’s team surveyed practitioners to understand what they need most in new graduates. “They all answered the same: We want a graduate who is ready to practice from day one,” she says. So curriculum in HPU’s health programs was constructed to challenge students at a high level early on. “Those were our marching orders,” Sekhon says.

A FACILITY FOR THE FUTURE OF CARE As Ragan has been building an impressive team of faculty, a new program and an inaugural class, so too has Dr. Daniel Erb, dean of the Congdon School of Health Sciences. He came to HPU from Duke University in 2011 and hired people like Sekhon to train the next generation of health care providers. The School of Health Sciences already housed undergraduate athletic training and exercise science programs. It has since added an athletic training master of science program, the physician assistant studies program and will soon add a doctoral program in physical therapy.






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HPU Growth: 2005–2016

All the while, something else is being built from the ground up — a mammoth health complex now towering over the western portion of campus. In fall 2015, Erb and Ragan watched plans transform into reality when ground was broken for a complex to house physician assistant, physical therapy and pharmacy programs. At four stories and 224,000 square feet, the $120 million project is the university’s single largest investment in history. And it’s no secret that faculty and students can’t wait to burst through its doors in 2017 to begin classes. “We have this fabulous facility as a backdrop to attract renowned faculty and students,” says Ragan. “We have some amazing tools we’ve been able to leverage.” Inside will be a simulated operating room, a cadaver lab, advanced biomedical facilities, standardized client space that records students’ interactions with patients to allow for critiquing, additional simulation labs, electronic medical records software and many more components that Erb and Ragan know are vital to the development of future health care leaders. The two-story lobby will be anchored with a sky-high sculpture of a DNA strand. Its significance to the world of health and science is obvious, but it also connects to the DNA of the university. And as monumental as the ground breaking was, Erb had seen it happen before. In 2012, the university transformed a former retail building into a Human Biomechanics and Physiology Lab, as well as an innovative space for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. That’s where faculty conduct research and teach students until the new complex opens, and it rivals most permanent spaces at other universities. “To me, the greatest gift anyone can give is to improve a person’s quality of life,” Erb says. “You can do that in a number of ways. Improving the health or the function of an individual is an amazing thing to do, and we’ve designed our programs and facilities with that in mind.”

Pictured left to right are Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president; Dr. Daniel Erb, dean of the Congdon School of Health Sciences; and Ernie Bovio, CEO and president of High Point Regional Health at the announcement of HPU’s future Community Rehabilitation Clinic.

Pro Bono Clinic Will Serve the Underserved Dr. Daniel Erb, dean of the Congdon School of Health Sciences, has a standard that he’s long lived by — dedicate at least 10 percent of his work to pro bono practice each year. The caring culture permeating HPU’s campus is part of what drew Erb from Duke University to HPU. New health care programs, including a physical therapy program launching in 2017, will continue to further this culture. A partnership with High Point Regional Health System has brought new opportunities to HPU, including a pro bono physical therapy clinic that serves the underserved in the city of High Point. High Point Regional will serve as a significant partner for clinical education opportunities for HPU students — an important piece of the program’s educational components that ensure students are ready to practice as soon as they graduate. This partnership also opens the door for HPU to establish the pro bono clinic, which will be staffed primarily by faculty and students. They’ll work in unison to improve the lives of others following the standard Erb and his faculty have set. “We are being connected with the hospital and have a pipeline for other medical conditions individuals may have,” Erb says. “If we begin working with someone who primarily has a physical therapy related problem, but they’re also diabetic and have trouble regulating their blood glucose level, we can refer them through the hospital’s health care system for appropriate care in regulating their blood glucose levels. It’s an important model for continuity of care.” “We are High Point’s University,” said HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein at an event when the partnership was announced. “Through new science programs, our faculty and students will partner with High Point Regional Health physicians to provide specialized treatment for people in our city who need it most. This one-of-a-kind clinic will improve the lives of patients and their families in our community.”




Faculty and students in the Human Biomechanics and Physiology Laboratory are working to prevent injuries and improve performance in athletes across the globe. Inside their state-of-the-art facility, they’re frequently training, rehabilitating and consulting with athletes in the NFL, PGA, UFC and NASCAR. Through a $528,107 grant from the National Institutes of Health, they’re also working to prevent injuries in youth athletes. Dr. Kevin Ford, director of the lab, in conjunction with Dr. Jeff Taylor, assistant professor of physical therapy at HPU; Dr. Yum Nguyen, associate professor of athletic training at HPU; and Dr. Mark Paterno and Dr. Bin Huang from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital will research over the course of three years how different training programs impact ACL injury risk in females. Their goal is to find methods that reduce the risk of ACL injuries in female soccer players in middle and high school. With females four to six times more likely to tear their ACL than males in non-contact injuries, which are common in sports like soccer and basketball, there’s a great deal of national interest in the research. “Working alongside the talented and passionate students and faculty at HPU has been a rewarding experience,” says Ford, who has also published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles. “I am grateful for the support the lab has received across campus and look forward to working with hundreds of future undergraduate and graduate students.” In addition to the prestigious NIH grant, Adidas has also granted funds to Ford for numerous research endeavors regarding better footwear for athletes. * Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under award number R21AR069873.


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The boldness to embrace innovation, growth and change is evident in HPU’s new health care programs. They’ve taken center stage in the last year with a wave of new people and construction on campus. But that approach is the nexus for every program, student and faculty, too. That was evident when Qubein announced in April another $160 million expansion, on top of the $150 million in construction already underway and in addition to $1.5 billion HPU has invested already in academic programs, facilities and student life since 2005. The $160 million expansion includes: Arena and Conference Center — A $70 million Arena and Conference Center will be built on the university’s main campus. The university has hired an architecture firm for the project, set to begin during the 2018 – 2019 academic year.

The Arena will become the home of HPU’s men’s and women’s basketball programs, as well as a venue for major ceremonial events, speakers, concerts, entertainment and recreational activities. It will seat 5,000 spectators and include suites, locker rooms, staff offices, concession stands, a merchandising area, media suite, film room, press conference room, weight room, athletic training room, hospitality area, high tech audio and video equipment, ticket office and practice gym. The Conference Center will provide event space for growing undergraduate and graduate programs, student groups and community organizations. It will seat up to 2,500 individuals and have the ability to be subdivided into smaller venues with lighting, sound and video for state-of-the-art presentations.

“Today, our institution is poised for continued success and endless opportunities on the horizon.” – Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU President

The master plan for the project may include a small, executive hotel, pending approval from the Board of Trustees. It would be located adjacent to the Arena and Conference Center and serve the sport and event management major and a proposed hospitality management program. Undergraduate Sciences Building — A $60 million

undergraduate sciences facility will accommodate growth in majors including biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, actuarial science and more. These programs complement HPU’s new graduate programs in physician assistant studies, pharmacy, athletic training and future physical therapy program. The building will also house a planetarium and may include a conservatory. Construction will begin in spring 2017. It will be located next to the $120 million Congdon School of Health Sciences and Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy. New Residence Hall — A 150,000-square-foot residence hall will

accommodate HPU’s growing enrollment. The $23 million facility will house 310 students and be constructed near the new $22 million Cottrell Hall that opened in fall 2015. Construction began this past summer. It will be the tenth residential facility HPU has added to its campus since 2005.

Undergraduate Sciences Building

In addition to these projects, several million will be spent on site preparation. It’s a testament to the work that began in 2005 — work that was so vastly different from what other universities had done in the past, that some couldn’t help but stop and take a second look. But Qubein knew then like he knows now that paving the way requires a certain kind of spirit. It demands vision. It requires growth, discomfort and perseverance. Just like those faculty and students leading inaugural classes and doing things that have never been done across campus. Change. Without it, there’s no growth. Only stagnation. “At High Point University, we are blessed to do what seems impossible, especially during one of the greatest recessions of our time,” Qubein said at a meeting filled with city leaders, all charged with moving the city of High Point forward. “People questioned us. But we knew that when you have faith and when you have courage, anything is possible. And today, our institution is poised for continued success and endless opportunity on the horizon.” ▲

New Residence Hall


A C C E S S TO INNOVATORS As Steve Wozniak begins his role as “Innovator in Residence,� students come to know the genius behind Apple Computer as a mentor and a friend.


extraordinary education

Mandy Engelman could barely believe her eyes.

His ideas poured out like water rushing down a river.

She was sitting in a bright blue chair inside the Belk Entrepreneurship Center, and just an arm’s length away sat Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Computer.

“Think about what your fellow students want from this,” Wozniak said. “Think about the value this could have for their lives.”

The center was filled with students soaking up Wozniak’s wisdom. After all, his invention paved the way for the iPhones in their pockets and the laptops in their backpacks.

“And know the abilities of the people on your team,” he added. “The way you work together and interact is more important than any body of knowledge.”

Yet there he was, in the middle of this circle of students, answering questions with the excitement and energy of someone inventing something new for the first time.

Just like in the fall, when Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph visited students, Engelman found herself blinking in disbelief that in her first year of college, she was talking to a worldwide influencer right here on campus.

Computer science and physics students were working on a mobile driverless kiosk that could make deliveries around campus. Every question they asked, Wozniak answered. He did more, too. He interjected his own questions, shared his vision for the possibilities of their work and offered new ways to think about their goal.

“I love how Steve Wozniak said that when you find the right thing, you will never be bored,” said the entrepreneurship major who runs her own website and blog. “When you find the right thing, the opportunities are endless and you never know where that passion is going to take you.”


“High Point has allowed me to talk to co-founders of so many great companies — Netflix, Twitter, Apple. When you hear first-hand from them how they did it, and when they give you advice on your personal goals and projects, it’s meaningful.” Reza Moghtaderi HPU graduate Software developer in New Orleans

Becoming Innovator in Residence

Ever since his first visit, Wozniak has been an HPU advocate, and that led him to join the university as the first Innovator in Residence. In his ongoing visits to campus, he’ll connect with students and faculty through a variety of hands-on projects and act as a consultant, teacher and motivator. “I talk about HPU everywhere I go,” Wozniak says. “Their focus on student development is second to none. And their leadership is dedicated to the personal and professional development of students. How they deliver it is truly innovative.” He began his new role on campus last spring inside the Hayworth Fine Arts Center. Twelve students representing communication, education, physics, computer science and entrepreneurship majors sat at high-top tables on the stage along with Wozniak, while Qubein moderated an interactive question-and-answer session with 600 people filling the audience. A hot pink spotlight shone on each student when it was their turn to pick Wozniak’s brain. “What should


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students do if they want to run their own startup but are also getting job offers from major companies?” one asked. “What’s a major obstacle you overcame, and what did it teach you?” asked another. Wozniak answered each one through stories of his own life, including what it was like to work with Steve Jobs and change the world through technology. “You ooze with passion,” Qubein said to him at the event. “You love talking about these inventions, these solutions. There’s a huge lesson in that. Whatever it is we do in life, we must do it to the fullest, with a sense of purpose.” “You have to be innovative in your own personality,” Wozniak said. “Be one of those people who can spot things that are different and see trends. And when you are working on something, always ask yourself, ‘What is there that I can do to make this better or special?’”

“Know the abilities of the people on your team. The way you work together and interact is more important than any body of knowledge.” Steve Wozniak Apple co-founder & HPU Innovator in Residence Expand to view thought leaders who’ve visited campus and growth in academic innovation.


Wozniak first came to HPU in 2013 when he served as the Commencement speaker and took part in a discussion with Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, for North Carolina public television. They talked about breakthroughs in technology and the future of education, including the Montlieu Academy of Technology iPad Project. HPU committed funds and resources to putting iPads into the hands of every student through the project, and Montlieu went on to be named an Apple Distinguished School.



Each year, HPU attracts thought leaders, innovators and change agents to campus. Students meet with them and discover the art of the possible. Here are a few lessons in leadership that have resonated with HPU students over the past few years.

Access to Innovators Working with ‘Woz’ Wozniak’s next stop on campus was Cottrell Hall for a surprise coffee session with students, who lined the hallways in a moment’s notice to meet the man credited for building the first personal computer. He embraced every moment to take photos with them, chat and sign their iPhones and MacBooks before he headed to the Entrepreneurship Center to lead a workshop with students.

Guest speakers are selected as part of an intentional effort to provide students with the opportunity to understand diverse viewpoints, positions and backgrounds.

Bill Clinton President

Best-selling Author

Former United States Secretary of State

General Colin L. Powell

Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan

John Maxwell

Buzz Aldrin

Steve Forbes

Malcolm Gladwell


Mitch Albom

Condoleezza Rice

George W. Bush

Biz Stone

Twitter Co-founder

And then it was time to talk technology. Wozniak sat in the middle of the students while computer science major Reza Moghtaderi sketched project plans for the mobile kiosk on dry erase walls that wrap around the center. They used words like “accentuators” and “proximity sensors” as questions bounced back and forth from students to Wozniak, and from Wozniak back to students. People around the room chimed in on the different aspects of the machine. Yet Wozniak wove the pragmatic advice needed to take a project from idea to reality through the technological details. “Always do the simplest tests you can to make progress first,” he told students. “Every test motivates you to progress. And whenever you take a step forward, remember that you’ve got to have a way to show that to the world.” Moghtaderi graduated in May, but he still carries his iPhone that Wozniak signed, along with the lessons he gleaned from “the Woz,” as computer science majors have come to call him. “High Point has allowed me to talk to co-founders of so many great companies — Netflix, Twitter, Apple. When you hear first-hand from them how they did it, and when they give you advice on your personal goals and projects, it’s meaningful. Wozniak helped us take our project in the right direction and gave us milestones to guide us through the next steps. “I’ve already started my own company with three other students at High Point,” says Moghtaderi. “So it was great to see those innovators and entrepreneurs like Wozniak on such a personal level. I’ll never forget it.”

USA (Ret.), Former Secretary of State

CEO, Forbes Magazine

New York Times Best-selling Author

New York Times Best-selling Author and Leadership Expert

Laura Bush


Ben Carson

Rudy Giuliani

New York Mayor

Seth Godin

First Lady

Renowned Neurosurgeon and Best-selling Author

Marketing Pioneer/ Author of 14 Best-selling Books

David Neal

Political Strategist, Former George W. Bush Advisor

Political Analyst, Entrepreneur and Best-selling Author

Emmy Award Winner/ Executive Producer Fox Sports World Cup Coverage

Muhtar Kent

Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company

Pamela Brown

Chris Gardner

Jennifer Azzi

Thomas Friedman

Cal Ripken, Jr.

Howard Putnam

Karl Rove

Wes Moore

Author of “The Pursuit of Happyness”

Olympic Gold Medalist

Marc Randolph

Netflix Co-founder, Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

Pulitzer PrizeWinning NY Times Columnist

Richard Childress Bonnie McElveenPresident and CEO Hunter of Richard Childress Racing

Chair of the Board of Governors, American Red Cross; Founder and CEO, Pace Communications

CNN National Correspondent

Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame

Former CEO, Southwest Airlines

Clarence Thomas

Stedman Graham

U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Best-selling Author and Noted Speaker 17 17

LESSONS FROM “THE WOZ” “Be innovative in your own personality. Be one of those people who can spot things that are different and see trends. And when you are working on something, always ask yourself, ‘What is there that I can do to make this better or special?’”

Awesome to see son inspired by @stevewoz & meeting him at @HighPointU. A true life experience to learn from a legend





6:33 PM · 29 Mar 2016 Maryland, USA

“Independent living leads to independent thinking. That independent thought is what’s going to turn your ideas into something real.” “When writing a program to solve a problem, I think, ‘Is there a different method that isn’t the obvious one we’re taught in the books? Is there another method that can work smaller, simpler, faster?’ Always work to try to make things smaller and simpler.” “Don’t let anything stop you or hold you down. Don’t give up what you love.” “They say to put 10,000 hours in to get good at something. That’ll never fail you. Work on your own favorite things for a long time, and you’ll get better and better at it than anyone else.” “My number one piece of advice is to be someone people like. The more people like you, the further you’re going to go in business. You have to respect them, too. Don’t treat them like they’re nothing.” “I have one rule in life that I developed from my early college days: If somebody is bad to you, you’re still good to them.” “You feel good when you laugh, and you feel bad when you frown. So my formula for life is ‘Happiness = Smiles – Frowns.’”


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A Network of Influencers Wozniak’s role as Innovator in Residence may be new, but the mindset behind it isn’t new to campus. For more than a decade, HPU has connected students with some of the most influential leaders of our time. The list of those influencers who’ve visited is long: Twitter co-founder Biz Stone; Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph; marketing guru and former Yahoo Vice President Seth Godin; New York Times columnist and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell; former Secretary of State and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell; former First Lady Laura Bush; CNN Correspondent Pamela Brown; futurist and expert on aging Dr. Ken Dychtwald; and the list continues. But giving students unprecedented access to innovators takes place almost daily on campus. Why? Because leaders at the university know major companies and organizations invest millions of dollars to expose their employees to these experts. So HPU brings in the same industry leaders to give students an academic and executive education in tandem.

SOPHOMORE NAMED ONE OF THE NATION'S TOP COLLEGE MOGULS Mandy Engelman has an entrepreneurial spirit. It’s what brought her to High Point University. “I’m most looking forward to escaping my comfort zone,” she said as a prospective student about becoming part of the HPU family. And after her first year at HPU, she has. Since arriving, Engelman has pitched her business plan and concept to Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph for his feedback when he visited HPU in fall 2015. She met Twitter co-founder Biz Stone during his time on campus in early 2016, and most recently, learned from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak when he became HPU’s Innovator in Residence. She was named one of “The Top 30 College Moguls in the U.S. You Need To Know About in 2016” by Mogul, an award-winning technology platform for women worldwide, alongside entrepreneurs from Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Stanford and Duke. As the creator, designer and author of her own blog and website, she has big dreams for Since she became a High Point University student, those dreams have only gotten bigger. “I want to end up in Wozniak’s position where I create a company that impacts so many people’s lives positively, so getting advice from these innovators is huge for me,” she said. “Just to hear someone who has been in our shoes and wanted to create something when they were our age — it’s amazing.”

Like Marilyn Sherman, known as the “Front Row Girl.” She travels the world inspiring people to get out of their comfort zone, overcome obstacles, take a front-row seat in life and reach their true potential. She’s worked her magic on teams at Coca-Cola, Mass Mutual Life Insurance, Marriott, the United States Army, Starbucks, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and dozens more.

Disch, both in their 20s, invigorated students with the story of their company’s founding and the message that anyone — regardless of age — can turn big dreams into a relevant, sought-after venture.

At HPU, she inspired students and their parents during a multi-day visit that culminated in a Family Weekend presentation.

Like Engelman, the entrepreneurship major who once pitched her business plan to the Netflix co-founder inside the Entrepreneurship Center, and then sat a foot away from Wozniak as he opened his heart and his mind to students.

“Marilyn’s event taught me that I’m capable of steering my life into a positive direction no matter what else is happening around me,” student Eliana Betzio said. “She showed me that my power lies in the belief of myself, and that finding success is a choice — not something determined by luck or fate.” Entrepreneurs come to campus too, like the owners of Ace and Everett, a high-end sock maker that manufactures their product in the city of High Point. Cody and Sage

It’s a part of HPU’s distinguished learning model. It ensures that when students graduate, they’ve built a network with the disruptors and change agents of the world. And they’ve learned the most valuable lesson of all: the art of the possible. The simple notion that they can do it, too.

“The opportunities that I have had at High Point University are unreal,” she says. “I have come to know these innovators who visit our campus as normal people. They took their idea and ran with it and would never say no or stop working toward the end goal. I plan to do the same thing.” ▲



EDGE Equipping Students for Post-Grad Success

Jake Jackson needed help. Like any college student, he wanted to land his dream job. But he didn’t know how to take the first step. Then he heard Bridget Holcombe speak during one of his business classes at High Point University. She told them about the resources available in Career and Professional Development — the office she directs at HPU. Bingo. This is how I’ll get my job, Jackson thought. Career advisors at HPU see students like Jackson every day across campus and in Cottrell Hall, home of the Flanagan

Center for Student Success. The facility’s glass walls house numerous experiential learning programs that help students make their dreams a reality. Career and Professional Development is one of them. Whether they need help making that initial connection with an employer, dressing for an interview, or wording an acceptance letter, career advisors are there to help students prepare for the world as it’s going to be.


All about the Outcomes From the moment students step foot on campus, career advisors partner with faculty to weave career preparation into their academic curriculum. Students take a career self-assessment, complete a LinkedIn profile, conduct mock interviews and more. For many, it’s all part of their coursework. These career-centric class sessions often act as a launch pad for students to seek further one-on-one advising.

% 95

employment and grad school placement within six months of graduation

Data from the Class of 2015. High Point University follows the National Association of Colleges and Employers first destination reporting protocols.

That’s what Jackson, a business administration major, did. He met with HPU career advisor Eric Melniczek. Their first plan of action? Develop a resume that stood out from the crowd. Melniczek guided Jackson through the process, sharing a treasure trove of tips he’s gleaned through more than 17 years of career management and recruiting experience. Here’s one: Put your most important information near the upper left corner. “If the position you’re applying to requires a unique skillset or experience that you have, move that information to the top of your resume to highlight your 22

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strengths,” says career advisor Doug Hall. “Don’t use a ‘one size fits all’ resume approach when you’re applying to multiple jobs. Instead, move information around on your resume to reflect the nature of the desired position.” Jackson continued to meet with the career team in the following months, getting help with every step of the process: discovering his passion for the furniture industry, perfecting his LinkedIn profile, connecting with HPU alumni at companies Jackson was interested in, securing an internship, conducting mock interviews, and negotiating a salary when he received a full-time job offer before graduating in May. Jackson got the job he always wanted. Today, he’s the operations manager for Leather Creations Furniture in Atlanta. “Eric helped me create my LinkedIn page and transformed my resume from a sub-par piece of paper to a meaningful document that I felt confident handing out to employers,” Jackson says. “Much of where I am now is because of Eric and the career team.”

The Changing World of Recruiting Companies are using LinkedIn to post jobs and scope out candidates now more than ever. That’s

why Holcombe tells students when employers research their name on the internet, their LinkedIn profile should be the first thing employers see. “We saw this trend coming as a force to be reckoned with,” Holcombe says. “Many employers Google a candidate even before looking at their resume, so your LinkedIn profile should be complete and a reflection of your professional value. We also have students create a custom LinkedIn URL to add to their email signatures, business cards and resumes.” There’s also a rise in digital interviews via phone, Skype and even pre-recorded videos. That’s where HPU’s Interview Stream comes in. It’s an online platform that lets students video themselves answering standard interview questions. Students then review their recordings and work with the career office to perfect their answers, tone, body language and more. “We educate students on what recruiting looks like in today’s world,” says career advisor Elizabeth Walker. “We are also focused on how this generation of students learn. They’re tech savvy. We show them how to use that to their advantage.”

“Don’t use a ‘one size fits all’ resume approach when you’re applying to multiple jobs. Instead, move information around on your resume to reflect the nature of the desired position.” – Doug Hall, HPU career advisor

Alumni Advocates

HPU alumnae and Bassett Furniture employees Virginia Ellis and Erin Raleigh speak with current HPU students about opportunities during the Career & Internship Expo. Vincent Perez, 2016 HPU graduate

A Network of Support At every turn, HPU is there to help. Programs like Peer Career Advisors (PCAs) connect successful students who’ve already completed impressive internships or jobs with underclassmen striving to accomplish the same. Senior Haley McKeown is a seasoned PCA. When students come to the Career Bar in Cottrell Hall, McKeown is there with a smiling face and an eagerness to see her peers succeed. She and other PCAs help students with their resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. Then, HPU invites companies to the biannual Career & Internship Expo on campus. A new career fair app lets students bookmark employers, research recruiters and easily navigate the event. Students who attend these expos talk with top employers. They leave with interviews with companies like BB&T, Lenovo, Bassett Furniture and Volvo. And they land internships and job offers because of it.

Even after students graduate, their HPU support system goes with them. HPU’s Office of Alumni Engagement opens doors for networking and job opportunities, plans social and networking events for alumni, and keeps graduates connected with their alma mater even if they’re halfway around the world.

Like many students, Vincent Perez attended HPU’s Career and Internship Expo last spring. Graduation was just around the corner, and he knew the expo was a great way to network with representatives from top companies. Nick O’Brien also attended the expo, but not as a student. O’Brien graduated from HPU in 2015. He was there recruiting for Gartner, the information technology research company he works for in Fort Myers, Florida.

Connections for Life From freshman year and beyond, the entire university is committed to helping students become who they want to be.

Perez approached O’Brien’s table at the expo. The shared HPU connection kickstarted a conversation, which later led to an interview and a job offer before Perez graduated in May.

That’s why Career and Professional Development exists. It’s about equipping students with the practical knowledge and insider nuances to excel in life after college.

Like O’Brien, Perez now enjoys a career as an account executive with the company in Florida. “It’s always beneficial to have someone advocating for you on the inside,” Perez says. “Although, I think the impact came even more so after I was extended the offer. I was able to talk to Nick about his experience and ask him for advice on where to live in Fort Myers and more. He definitely helped me get a foot in the door, but it was also nice to be able to talk to someone you know who’s in the industry.”

“If I could tell students one thing, it would be to use our office ‘early and often,’” Melniczek says. “Students who do so usually have a higher level of self-confidence, a higher level of career maturity, complete more internships and more. We help them find that extra ‘oomph’ from within, and it makes a world of a difference.” ▲


A World without Borders Study Abroad Program Offers New Perspectives for Students

Amy Sladek overlooks a sea of faces in Cottrell Hall. She tells them stories about how her semester in Australia changed her, and how studying abroad can transform them, too. “In one of my business classes, I worked for a real Australian client to develop a marketing plan that the company uses today,” Sladek tells the crowd. “Through that, I created an international network of people, from classmates, roommates, professors, travel companions and more.” Sladek, a senior communication major, is an ambassador for High Point University’s Office of Study Abroad. She frequently speaks to current and potential students about why they should pursue international experiences. For many students, the thought of stepping foot into a foreign country for the first time can be jolting. There are new faces to meet, new cultures to absorb and new places to explore. 24

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But ask anyone who’s studied abroad, and they’ll all agree on one thing: It’s so worth it.

A Global Marketplace At HPU, students accomplish their global aspirations. They can climb mountains in Australia, take business classes with German students, learn Italian from the locals, create memories in Hong Kong and much more. HPU’s offerings abroad have grown immensely in the past year alone. This fall, HPU welcomed nearly 40 new exchange students from across the world — the largest number of exchange students in HPU history. With 64 culturally-immersive programs to choose from, including ‘Maymesters’ and faculty-in-residence programs, students can easily find their fit. What makes studying abroad worth it? You expand your worldview and network. “It’s part of the mission of the university — to be significant and thrive in a global marketplace,” says Heidi Fischer, HPU’s director of study abroad.

“Studying abroad was essential to tying together what you learn in the classroom and the world — it exposes you to so much and makes you grow as an individual.”

Amy Sladek, HPU senior

– Lynde Pepper, Class of 2016

“You will broaden your horizons because you stepped out of your comfort zone. You have to adapt, you have to talk to people who are different from you, or you’ll never talk to anyone all day long. And you build an international network when you live with people from different countries.” Just before Sladek jetted off to Australia, she tore her Achilles tendon. She spent her first few weeks overseas in a wheelchair, cast and crutches. She says that while it wasn’t what she originally wanted, dealing with her injury abroad taught her to cherish every moment, experience, sight and ability that she had, regardless of her condition. “Amy had such a varied semester,” Fischer says. “She did travel and visit new places — everyone does that. But she also got plugged in at a church, grew through adversity, had the experiential learning component in her classes and met the locals. She had the experience we want for our students.”

Expanding Horizons Students also learn time management from balancing travel and studies, and practical life skills from independent living. These are the types of career-building skills that employers seek. Lynde Pepper, a 2016 interior design graduate, spent a semester in Europe with 14 fellow interior design majors. The experience brought her classroom learning to a new level. “After taking three ‘History of Interiors’ classes with our dean, Dr. John Turpin, we were able to see the art and architecture shown to us in his PowerPoints in real life — and every time we recognized a picture we got

really excited because we already knew its history,” says Pepper, who’s now pursuing her master’s in interior design at Florida State University. “Studying abroad was essential to tying together what you learn in the classroom and the world — it exposes you to so much and makes you grow as an individual.” Sladek agrees. She tells the crowd in Cottrell Hall how her semester in Australia enhanced the value of her degree. But it also helped her discover her “wanderlust gene” — the one that makes her take risks, explore new ideas and embrace adventure. “We’re meeting the needs of our students — personal, academic and professional goals,” says Fischer. “That’s always been our philosophy in the office. It’s exciting to offer dozens of new international programs. Our study abroad fair is huge now. Our students travel across the globe to represent HPU. We welcome new exchange students from new countries each semester. “This process has been challenging and rewarding. Yes, it’s hard work. But look at all we’ve done.” ▲


Classrooms without Walls: Learning Takes Place Everywhere in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication


cameras and edit. If a student wants to be an on-air news anchor, then they’re behind the desk in the studio, anchoring the newscast. I want my students to walk out of HPU on graduation day, begin their career in a television studio and know exactly what they are doing.”

Experiential learning. That’s what Dr. Wilfred Tremblay, dean of the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication, sees taking place every day. At High Point University, students engage in hands-on learning from Ph.D. professors and industry professionals from the “Today” show and NBC Primetime.

Leading a Political Change Lenoir, a political communication professor, is also a pro in his field. He worked as a lobbyist, political campaign manager and political consultant. After that, he pursued a career in broadcasting and worked as a political reporter and anchor before entering the world of academia.

They record news broadcasts in a world-class television studio where they write, film and edit their own program. In the gaming studio, they create characters from scratch and bring ideas to life. The school flourishes with opportunity.

“When students realize I’ve done what I’m talking about, it improves my credibility,” Lenoir says. “I’m not just talking about something I read; I’m talking about something I did and how it directly applies to what they’re learning.”

“Communication by nature is experiential,” Tremblay says. “Our job is to prepare students to use technology to communicate as clearly and interestingly as possible. We teach them how to best articulate a story. That is why we have the best equipment available for our students to be taught by people with top notch professional experience.”

His hope is that students learn what it takes to build a thriving democracy. For example, students in his Political Communication and Campaigns course each volunteer 25 hours with a political campaign.

The Value of Tangible Experience According to Dr. Brandon Lenoir and Joe Michaels, two professors in the School of Communication, real-world experience is the key to success in the industry. That’s why they focus on hands-on experience in their classes so students can pursue a broad spectrum of career paths.

“The younger generation, ages 18–25, is the least politically engaged out of all of the age groups in the United States,” Lenoir says. “If we can get students involved in the political process at this stage, we are fostering a value of civic engagement for their future professional lives. If they’re involved in politics now, they will be involved in the future.”

Michaels, artist in residence at HPU, is a television icon. He directed NBC’s “Today” show for 23 years, and is an eight-time Emmy Award-winning director and industry innovator. He directed the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics and spent over 40 years at NBC News and NBC Sports.

Lenoir hosts debate viewing parties on campus where students discuss their thoughts on each of the candidates. He is also regularly interviewed

Students soak up everything he has to offer. If you want to work in the field of broadcasting, who better to learn from than an international broadcast legend? “These students need real experience,” Michaels says. “That is why I constantly have them in the studio doing what they hope to pursue when they graduate. Journalism students write the script; electronic media students use the


millennial. Local newspapers also printed editorials penned by students discussing their daily life at the events.

As deputy state director at Hillary for Nevada, 2008 HPU alumna Michelle White (left) oversaw the statewide program for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. by television news media, and often takes students to local news stations so they can experience the behind-the-scenes workings of a newscast.

Students Soar at the Presidential Conventions This year, HPU brought interdisciplinary learning a step further by taking students to the Democratic and Republican national conventions. HPU students from a variety of majors, including political science and communication, attended the conventions to interview political leaders and attendees, produce stories and learn how to cover politics. Through it all, students gained a broader understanding of the electoral

process, civic responsibility and other issues in American democracy. Students even got to watch Michaels in action on a national network. He directed the CNN pool feed for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. “These students were able to see something that doesn’t happen often, an event that brings together all of the networks in one place — ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox,” Michaels says. “I loved showing my students the interworkings of a pool feed and what it takes to direct something of that capacity. They absolutely loved it.” WGHP, the Fox affiliate in High Point, aired the stories the students produced, giving viewers an opportunity to see the conventions through the eyes of a

“Conventions of this magnitude encompass everything we teach under the roof of the School of Communication,” Lenoir says. “Event management majors witnessed an event on a grand scale. Journalism majors stumbled over stories wherever they went. And for students interested in video production, the fact that they can work with the best of the industry with Joe at the helm — that is experiential learning at its finest.” Tremblay has led the legacy of the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication, which continues to emerge graduates who launch careers at major companies like Discovery Communications, People Magazine, Ellen DeGeneres Show, ESPNU, CBS Interactive, the Charlotte Hornets and more. “Every professor at HPU is innovative in the approach they take to both teaching and learning,” Tremblay says. “Placing students in situations where they can actually apply their knowledge will serve them well throughout their life. When students take everything they’ve learned — both in and outside of the classroom — and use that in their professional careers after graduation from HPU, they can and will be successful.” ▲

Technology from Think Big Grant Gauges Civic Engagement in MILLENNIALS Through a Think Big Grant, students have access to the latest technology in analyzing media messages. Perception Analyzers, located in the Screening Room of the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication, are hand-held dials that gather continuous, in-themoment feedback. Students from a number of academic programs including communication, 28

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marketing, political science, human relations, sociology, psychology and education are using this to learn how audiences react to different media messages. Dr. Brandon Lenoir, for example, is using this tool to track real-time data when students watch a major event such as a political debate or the State of the Union Address. When a student turns their dial

to the right, it means they agree with what is being said; if they turn the dial to the left, they disagree. This data is then tracked and analyzed for professors to reference the opinions of millenials on key issues. This unique learning experience involves hundreds of students and multiple university departments each semester.

Nido R. Qubein School of Communication Faculty:

Students Serve at National Conventions


Communication and political science majors worked for CNN and ABC News behind the scenes at the Republican and Democratic national conventions as history was made.

Communication students learn from 40 faculty in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication who are industry professionals. Here are a few examples of their industry experience and academic credentials.

Charisse McGhee-Lazarou

Dr. Jim Trammell

Dr. Vern Biaett

• Assistant professor of communication • Former vice president of Primetime Programming at NBC

• Associate professor of communication • Received Ph.D. from University of Iowa • Former head and research chair of the Religion and Media Interest Group for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

• Assistant professor of event management • Received Ph.D. from Arizona State University • Conducted research on the examination of behavior of attendees at community festivals

Brad Lambert • Assistant professor of communication • Former co-producer, editor, animator and composer for PBS Digital Studios

Joe Michaels • Artist in residence • 23-year former director of NBC’s “Today” show

Dr. Brandon Lenoir

Phil Watson

• Assistant professor of political communication • Received Ph.D. from University of Pittsburgh • Former lobbyist, political campaign manager and political consultant

• Assistant professor of the practice of communication • Received MBA from Harvard University • Former TV business reporter and producer for stations in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles


The Silicon

Valley of Furniture

There’s a reason the City of High Point is known as the Silicon Valley of Furniture. A few blocks down from High Point University’s campus is the High Point Market, the world’s largest semiannual home furnishings industry trade show. Twice a year, market brings 75,000 people from 100 countries to the city of High Point for a global meeting of furniture professionals. During market, HPU students work showrooms and rub elbows with famous designers like Chip and Joanna Gaines, Ty Pennington, Candice Olson, country singer Trisha Yearwood and NFL player Jared Allen, who unveil new product lines at market. Other celebrities like Ralph Lauren, Paula Deen and Peter Frampton are there, too. These industry leaders frequently commend and seek out HPU students for their talents. “It is great to be a part of something like this and take what I am doing inside of the classroom and put it into action at 30

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market,” said HPU interior design student Amanda Shuford. “I am getting real-world, tangible experience attending a university located in the furniture capital of the world. Students elsewhere don’t get this opportunity.” Thanks to intense curriculum, advanced technology and experiential learning opportunities found at the High Point Market and throughout the city, HPU students regularly showcase their talents and work with major furniture companies. Opportunity and innovation abound.

Location, Location, Location Approximately 50 percent of the wood and 35 percent of the upholstered household furniture in the country is sold by companies within easy driving distance of HPU. This offers students opportunities to see industry leaders in action, land impressive internships and gain real-world experience year-round. 2002 graduate Holly Hutson Ranney (left) and her husband (second from left) renovated a room for Katie, a little girl with cancer.

From Paper to Production Students in the School of Art and Design have access to equipment like a 20+ station MAC lab with Cintiq interactive pen displays, fully equipped 2D and 3D studios, drafting labs and more. These students master design programs that are industry standards — programs like Sketch-Up, CAD, REVIT and the Adobe Suite.

Alumna Brings “SUNSHINE ON A RANNEY DAY” Holly Hutson Ranney, a 2002 HPU interior design alumna, gets to make magical moments happen for children in need of something special. How? Through Sunshine on a Ranney Day (SOARD), her Atlanta-based nonprofit that does dream room and home makeovers for children with disabilities or long-term illnesses.

Then, their designs come to life using a 3D printer on campus. It produces to-scale models of furnishings or products at a degree of detail tempered only by their imagination. For some students, their designs go even further. A project created by Emma Newell, a 2013 graduate, was found in dorm rooms across the country shortly after she graduated. FOB, a furniture retailer based in Charlotte, North Carolina, put Newell’s double armoire design into production.

Ranney, pronounced “rainy,” worked in product development for Rooms To Go’s corporate headquarters for 12 years until she and her husband, Peter, founded SOARD in 2012.

And there’s interior design major Aria Real, whose furniture design may be put into production by Shermag Furniture, a Canadian furniture company that could distribute her product to major retailers. Shermag approached HPU’s interior design program about hosting a competition amongst students to design a new crib and changing table to sell in America.

Since then, the Ranneys have completed nearly 50 room makeovers for children like Tripp. Tripp suffered a traumatic brain injury after a tree limb fell on him at his daycare during Hurricane Sandy. Ranney and her team revamped Tripp’s entire home — $300,000 in renovations came to fruition while 1.6 million people watched the reveal online through a live stream.

“We have been coming to market for over 25 years and have seen the university grow,” said Alex Adimari, president and chief operating officer for Shermag. “We chose High Point University above all other schools because of their tie to the furniture market and the great reputation that the university and the interior design department have.” Real, a senior, won first place with her crib design. She received a cash prize and a trip to the Shermag factory in Montreal over the summer, where she presented her multifunctional crib idea to the company and representatives from Babies R Us. The company may sell the product in its stores across the country after Shermag puts it into production.

“My favorite thing about SOARD is seeing the impact of the makeovers on the children and families,” Ranney says. “We help make their lives easier inside their home and help give them a huge support system. On the reveal day, it’s an amazing feeling seeing their excitement and emotion.”

“I am so grateful to participate in this competition,” said Real, a native of Abingdon, Maryland. “I have gained valuable experience from this and it is an opportunity that I got because I am a High Point University student. I wouldn’t have received this anywhere else.”

Changed lives. Brightened spirits. New beginnings.

Shermag plans to hold another design competition for HPU students in the future. “Our connections with the furniture industry are driving the education for our students into the 21st century,” said Dr. John Turpin, dean of the School of Art and Design. “It is great to have many companies just like Shermag partner with us to give our students invaluable experience.” ▲

That’s why Ranney does it. That’s what a life of success and significance is all about.



HPU’s MISSION Generous alumni, parents, friends and donors frequently invest in HPU’s mission. Since Dr. Nido Qubein became HPU president in 2005, more than $280 million has been raised. The following families are an example of the generous philanthropic supporters who help provide opportunities for HPU students to thrive through an innovative learning environment, as well as access to research, study abroad, internship and career opportunities. “The support from these families is instrumental as HPU continues down a pathway of success,” says Qubein. “The immense advocacy we receive from our alumni, parents and friends ensures this institution will continue to transform lives as it has since its founding in 1924.”

Harris Family Invests in HPU Cottrell Hall’s sales education center has been named in honor of a local family that operates the largest furniture store in the world. The Harris Sales Education Center reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of Darrell and Stella Harris, who founded Furnitureland South in High Point in 1969, as well as their sons, Jeff Harris and Jason Harris, who own and operate the business today. The Harris family has made a significant impact in the city of High Point, including a $1 million gift to HPU. Jeff Harris serves as CEO and president of Furnitureland South, which features more than 1 million square feet of showroom space and furnishes more than 25,000 homes all over the world each year. Jason Harris serves as founder and CEO of The Design Network, a broadband television network on Apple TV that features design shows and designer-curated shopping. Both are based in High Point, the furniture capital of the world. “We are proud to support High Point University and its mission to prepare students for the world as it’s going to be,” says Jeff Harris. “Developing the next generation of leaders in furniture is important to our industry and our city.” “High Point University is setting a new standard for higher education. We believe in their mission and we feel so fortunate that this amazing institution is right here in our own community. We are excited about the collaborative opportunities ahead,” says Jason Harris.


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Alumni Couple Gives to HPU

Alumnus Honors his Alma Mater

Two High Point University alumni are giving back to their alma mater in a major way.

Mark and Jerri Webb have contributed a major gift to High Point University in honor of Mark’s late father, Lewis Andrew Webb, mother Janice Webb, and their entire family.

The Boles, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, have a significant history with HPU as three generations of their family have attended the university. They are successful entrepreneurs and generous philanthropists. Mickey serves as owner and CEO of Smith Phillips Building Supply, a leading building material supply company, while Katy served as co-founder, president and CEO of Graham and Boles Properties, a residential real estate brokerage firm. Both are involved in leadership positions at their alma mater, where Katy serves on the HPU Board of Trustees, and Mickey serves on the HPU Board of Visitors. Now the Boles have contributed a seven-figure gift to HPU. The Boles Commons at Centennial Square II will carry their family name as a symbol of their commitment to campus. The Boles Commons features a large study area, recreation facilities and post office. Centennial Square II opened in August 2015 as the university’s second townhome community and houses 375 students.

Mark is a 1983 alumnus and native of High Point. He owns and operates Interstate Foam and Supply, Inc. in Conover, North Carolina, where the company employees more than 300 associates. IFS was founded by Lewis in 1981, with Mark joining in 1984, and has since grown to become a major fabricator and distributor of quality seating and polyurethane foam components. Mark and Jerri live in Charlotte, North Carolina, with their son, Connor. Their contribution underscores the importance of alumni giving as graduates from across the decades continue to make philanthropic investments in HPU and visit campus frequently. To honor the Webb family’s contributions to free enterprise, the Webb Conference Center has been named for them on the HPU campus. The facility is located on International Avenue, adjacent to the new Congdon School of Health Sciences and Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy facility. Students, faculty and community members use this facility daily for classroom lectures, meetings, banquets and more. ▲


South Africa, Oprah’s Academy and the

Power of


Student Empowers Others by Sharing Her Story

Your circumstances don’t define you, but they can give you a powerful story to tell. When you’re 23-year-old Mpumi Nobiva (pronounced Em-pū-mee), that’s all you really need to send waves of change through the world. Nobiva is frequently invited to share her message with international audiences at events like the 2016 United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C. They invite her because despite being born into South Africa’s political unrest, poverty and losing her mother to HIV/AIDS, she believed there was a purpose for her pain. And she never stopped searching for it. “There are no excuses,” says Nobiva, a strategic communication graduate student. “If there was a way my family could overcome our situation and still be able to love one another, believe in God and grow to the point where I would be scouted for an academy, I know there’s always a way.” Nobiva was one of the first girls to be selected for Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls near Johannesburg. She competed against thousands and 34

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sat wide-eyed across from Winfrey herself, who asked her, “Why do you deserve to be a student here?” She answered Winfrey by pouring out her story — her mother’s death, HIV and AIDs, having little to no money and working relentlessly in school. That story starts with her mom, who was young when she had Nobiva and worked many jobs away from home. At just eight years old, Nobiva learned a devastating truth. Her mother had HIV, and she was dying from it. “She sat me down and told me things were going to change, but she wanted me to not be afraid,” Nobiva says. “She was heartbroken but at the same time sounded optimistic when she talked about my future. She said she knew I was going to be different, make better choices and work very hard in life.” The suffering and loss was excruciating. But somehow the young girl stayed centered. “I think it was because my mother spoke to me about the truth,” Nobiva says. “She told me she was going to die

but that she was proud of me and that I was going to be OK. She recognized my spirit and my humanity, and I felt seen and regarded.” Near the end of her middle schooling, her teachers helped her apply for the academy Winfrey was building. She was accepted to and graduated from that academy, came to the United States to complete undergraduate work at Johnson C. Smith University, then enrolled in High Point University’s strategic communication master’s program. Along the way, she learned that sharing her story — talking openly about difficult things — empowers people, just like it empowered her. “No one else in this world has your journey and your story except you,” says Nobiva, who launched a Share Your Story campaign for women. “Sometimes people are afraid to use that. But surely we went through the pain so that somebody else would not go through it. “Surely it matters.” ▲

“There are no excuses.” – Mpumi Nobiva, strategic communication graduate student

Fulbright Scholar Breaks Barriers in Bosnia Hannah Bailey is serving as a 2016 Fulbright Scholar in Bosnia. Through the prestigious award, Bailey is implementing a social reconciliation project to connect people across ethnic and religious lines. Bailey received her bachelor’s degree in international relations in May. As an HPU student, she studied abroad in Austria, where she focused on Bosnian politics and took language courses in Serbo-Croatian. The university’s Fulbright Program Committee assisted her through the application process in her senior year. Thanks to their mentorship and the education she’s received, Bailey is the university’s first Fulbright Scholar. “Hannah is a trailblazer for the university,” says Dr. Brian Augustine, chair of the committee. “She broke barriers and serves as a shining example of the types of students we have at HPU.” Her research is focused on empowering high school students to use photography as a way to explore their own lives and the lives of others. Bosnia’s ethnic groups remain divided after the country’s violent civil war in the 1990s.

“Similar research has been conducted Bailey’s goal is by leading scholars and published in to encourage more interaction premier journals, and Hannah has a between those great opportunity to make a groups in an effort contribution to that.” to reduce prejudice through knowledge – Dr. Sam Whitt, assistant professor of and understanding political science and member of the gained from each other. HPU Fulbright Program Committee

“I have chosen to work with students because though they were born after the war ended, they have in many instances inherited prejudices from those who experienced the conflict,” says Bailey. “People in Bosnia will tell you they can see differences in each other. They say they can see it in how others look, their accent or their last name. But when you simplify things to a portrait that captures someone’s humanity, their ethnic identity becomes uncertain. It is in that uncertainty that prejudice falters.”

“Hannah’s project will examine the so-called ‘contact hypothesis’— to what extent can groups with a history of violence find ways to overcome fears and mistrust through proactive interactions with one another?” says Dr. Sam Whitt, assistant professor of political science and member of the HPU Fulbright Program Committee. “Similar research has been conducted by leading scholars and published in premier journals, and Hannah has a great opportunity to make a contribution to that.”

She hopes her project will lead to photography exhibits, both in Bosnia and here in the United States, that showcase her students’ portraits of each other.

Developing the university’s first Fulbright Scholar is part of a long list of academic milestones HPU has achieved in the last decade, many of which are featured throughout this magazine. ▲




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Where Students Learn to Sell Their Value The rooms inside Cottrell Hall look like an executive suite, complete with modern furniture and the smell of new leather. But for members of HPU’s Professional Sales Club, the rooms are their laboratories, places where they practice and begin to dream. Hooked to the wall is a video camera that looks like a big microphone. Sales Club members can record and critique every role-playing negotiation and produce a virtual resume for any potential employer to see. Moreover, though, the Harris Sales Education Center has become a safe space. Students settle their nerves. They make mistakes, gain confidence and learn the art and science of selling. Larry Quinn, the chair of HPU’s marketing department and director of the selling program, loves that. He helped create the sales labs. Four years ago, after participating in other collegiate sales competitions, he thought a sales lab could better prepare students for the world of work.

Last fall, HPU unveiled Cottrell Hall. It’s a $22 million, two-story building that feels like a big fishbowl, with its walls of glass and its 43,000 square feet of open space used for classrooms, experiential programs and the sales labs. The rooms complement well HPU’s new business school curricula. Last year, the Earl N. Phillips School of Business began offering a sales major, a sales minor, a sales major with emphasis on furniture and an MBA with a concentration in sales. With 4,500 colleges and universities nationwide, Quinn says HPU is one of

only a few that offer a comprehensive professional sales degree program. HPU already had the students and the professors. Now, HPU has the tools. “This swells my chest,” says Quinn, stepping into a sales lab a few steps from his office. “Our students will come in here and stand taller. They’ll realize, ‘I’m not a kid anymore. I’m walking into an executive office.’ They have that sense of ‘I can do this.’ “When that happens, they’re bulletproof. They realize they can go anywhere.”


Conductors of Confidence The Phillips School of Business Sales Club uses the labs to prepare for four sales competitions, two career fairs and the constant two-minute elevator pitch exercises club members work on every year. Jamison Orr, the club’s co-president, sees the benefit right away. “It’s the experience itself,” says Orr, a business administration senior from Falmouth, Massachusetts. “When we walk into a beautiful office for an interview, we won’t be mind-blown by the whole situation. It could be our first interview. But it’ll feel like our sixth or seventh. I’m a firm believer that the more you practice, the better you get.”

The sales labs are invaluable tools. But really, it’s the club’s two advisors — Quinn and marketing professor Randy Moser — who help the students shine. Quinn and Moser have 90 years of combined sales and marketing experience, and their teaching style draws students into discussions like moths to an outdoor light. Moser is a longtime executive coach; Quinn, a former sales executive with Xerox. Moser frequently rolls out advice on life that students call Moser Mantras. Quinn talks about the importance of the Platinum Rule. The Platinum Rule is treating people how they want to be treated. Jaime Durie, a Sales Club member from Saco, Maine, understands that.

Last November, at a sales competition in New Jersey, she stood before six tables of judges and got ready for her two-minute elevator pitch. Her jaw started to shake, her throat tightened and her stomach turned into a knot. The words, she worried, wouldn’t come. But right behind her stood Quinn. He whispered to her: “You’ve done this 100 times. Pretend it’s me.” With the first judge, Durie felt her eyes well with tears. By the last judge, she felt awash with confidence. Quinn’s encouragement worked. Practice did, too. And to think, a year ago, she walked into Quinn’s office and asked about the Professional Sales Club. In May, Durie graduated with a degree in psychology with a minor in biology. When she did, she already had a job — selling dental supplies and equipment in the Boston area for Henry Schein. “I don’t think I would’ve gotten this job if it wasn’t for High Point,” Durie says. “I know people my age who have no idea what they want to do. But I figured it out, and that is a good feeling. I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t walked into Quinn’s office.”


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Finding the Leader Within In May, Sara Katherine Kirkpatrick became the third generation of her family to graduate from High Point University. Kirkpatrick, a business administration major from Thomasville, North Carolina, left campus as a Presidential Scholar, the founding co-president of the Sales and Entrepreneurship Clubs, and a member of the track team. She was a heptathlete, participating in seven events from running the 100-meter hurdles to throwing the shot put. On the track and with the two clubs she helped create, she learned how to persevere. Seven months before she graduated, after meeting a representative from General Electric, GE picked Kirkpatrick as one of 13 college students nationwide hired for its commercial leadership program. Kirkpatrick beat out hundreds of other students. She comes from a family of leaders and entrepreneurs. High Point University helped her fine-tune that gift. “High Point lets us start things,” Kirkpatrick said a few months before graduation. “They send us to sales competitions and entrepreneurship conferences. I get to know the dean. I sit in small classes. High Point connects me, supports me. There are so many opportunities.” And Cottrell Hall? Kirkpatrick laughs. “We all joke that they built that building for us,” she says. “We get to show it off, and it is so much fun.” ▲

Standing Out from the Crowd Sweaty from track practice, her legs loose from running hurdles, Sara Katherine Kirkpatrick stood on the High Point Greenway and listened to the voicemail on her phone. She froze. Erin Prymus from General Electric. Great. An HPU senior at the time, Kirkpatrick didn’t think she did all that well last fall when she interviewed with GE in Milwaukee. She told Larry Quinn, her marketing professor, as much. She was sick. Still, she called Prymas back. Even with the wind blowing along the greenway, Kirkpatrick heard the words: “We would love to have you at GE.” Kirkpatrick could barely breathe. Her mind spun back to her day with Prymus on campus last fall. The tour she gave. The lunch. The dinner. The discussion about GE’s commercial leadership program and thinking, “I want to do that!” Kirkpatrick applied. Every year, hundreds of college students apply for a few slots, and GE always picks students from much bigger schools. Yet, GE picked Kirkpatrick. “Still there?” Prymus asked. “Yes,” Kirkpatrick responded. “But I’m trying not to squeal.” She felt weightless, relieved. She showered, quick-walked to a weekly Sales Club meeting at Cottrell Hall and searched for Quinn, one of the club’s advisors. “Guess what,” Kirkpatrick said. “I got it!” A smile broke wide across Quinn’s face. “Of course you did,” he said.


THE ENTREPRENEURIAL When the idea strikes them, HPU students know where to channel their energy. Inside the Belk Entrepreneurship Center, students craft sound business plans, pitch to investors for start-up funding, brainstorm with business owners and connect with their peers. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and thriving at HPU. Through annual Business Plan Competitions, academic programs and experiential learning opportunities that inspire innovation, HPU is graduating job creators, not job takers. On the following pages, discover a few student business ventures that stemmed from the center. These are merely a snapshot of the studententrepreneurs at HPU.


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Bridget McKercher

The Friendly Needle

The Friendly Needle is designed to take medical fear out of health care for children. This hypodermic needle can be concealed as an attractive toy lowering the fear of the child before getting inoculated. With the needle being concealed, the fear of the shot should be taken away and replaced by the anticipation of the toy as a gift from the doctor.

Alex Frees

CR Publishing

CR Publishing, home to the Credit Repair Intelligence System, is a company that publishes credit repair books and publications to help educate people on how to build their credit. As part owner and advisor, Frees oversees the website, takes business calls, develops content and edits the 60-page starter guides and the 267-page credit repair books. His company has sold 14,000 publications in five years. Frees also runs another business, Profit Systems & Solutions LLC.

Clara Osmont

Tattle Tail

Osmont is working on an app that notifies you when someone has taken a screenshot of your text messages on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. There will be two versions of Tattle Tail: a basic free version and the upgraded version that will give users details about who has taken the screenshot. When finalized, the app will produce revenues through ads and upgrades. According to Forbes, the app industry as a whole is worth $100 billion and growing.


Emily De Lena

Track Rabbit

Track Rabbit addresses the need that athletes have to pace themselves during their practices. Currently, they use watches, verbal signals and teammates to attempt to keep on pace. Track Rabbit solves this problem in a unique way. The device allows a runner to actually see a computergenerated line in order to know what time or distance they have to beat. De Lena plans to grow her business to serve college and university athletes.

Morgan Drucker My University

Developed by Drucker’s Enterprises, My University is an app that allows universities to engage potential students through the virtual reality tool of Google Cardboard technology. This technology allows future students to “Feel the Fit� of their college choices. Likewise, it helps universities recruit students from distances without increasing costs.

Leah Larson Pedanology

Pedanology is a music education software that supplements and enhances established music training programs. Many students do not have the proper skills to effectively manage the individual practice required in order to rise to a level expected of serious music students. The software leads the students in warm-ups, accompaniment, keeping in tune, diction and more.


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Shakira Ramsey RelianceBay

RelianceBay is one of the first companies to revolutionize the concept of non-medical home health care through telecommunications, an online portal that links seniors to companionship care and concierge needs instantly. The company’s mission is to “improve the quality of life for those we serve through providing an affordable, effective and a reliable alternative to traditional non-medical home health care.”

Thomas Douglas, Reza Moghtaderi, Michael Newton and Nick Zayatz Zipsy

Zipsy is a semi-anonymous, locationbased app created by four computer science majors. It allows users to post photos with limited anonymity, but also some accountability, as well as the option to comment on photos, engage and build a following. The group created Zipsy using previous experience building an app through an economics undergraduate research project.

The Belk Entrepreneurship Center at HPU offers students support and engagement by: › Granting funds for start-up businesses owned by students › Providing individualized advising for students, from start-up through a successful launch › Creating connections for entrepreneurs to become mentors to students › Offering guest speakers from HPU’s extensive alumni and friend networks › Supporting and training students to succeed as they enter business competitions › Performing marketing research and designing marketing plans


Esteemed playwright John Cariani works with HPU students on his play “cul-de-sac.”


Com ad es T wa o Ca y mpu s

HPU theater students know John Cariani.

They’ve watched him on Broadway in the smash hit “Something Rotten,” toured with him backstage and acted in his play, “Almost, Maine,” one of the world’s most popular plays.

At first, students were star-struck. Not anymore. Last spring, Cariani came to campus for two days to help students and faculty produce the world premiere of his play, “cul-de-sac.”

As chair of HPU’s Department of Theatre and Dance, Ed Simpson has seen his students win awards, produce stellar productions, and reach a lifelong dream after graduation: be a working artist.

Students discovered what the faculty already knew: Cariani is a gracious man. He laughed, listened and he asked students what words worked — and didn’t work.

Last year, Onstage magazine picked HPU No. 1 in “The Most Underrated Theater Colleges” in the Mid-Atlantic region. The magazine wrote: “If you’re looking for a fantastic B.A. program in theater, we highly recommend you start your search at High Point.”

A few weeks before opening night, as he sat at a table during his last rehearsal on campus, Cariani turned to HPU theater professor Jay Putnam, the play’s director. “This is what I imagined it to be,” Cariani told Putnam. 44

Making an Actor’s Life Real

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In doing so, his department became an enclave of talent.

Cariani helped make that happen. He’s been an artistic associate at HPU since 2009. He starred in Simpson’s film, “Elephant Sighs,” and has helped students involved with two of his plays, “Almost, Maine” and “Love/Sick.”

“When I hear someone like John Cariani say you can make it if you work hard, I know I can walk confidently into the real world thinking, ‘You’ll be fine.’” – Patrick Kinsella-McClelland, HPU junior Each time, students shed their shyness. They listened, asked questions and learned. “I’ve told our students, ‘John is no different than you guys, and he got there by working hard,’” Simpson says. “Our students see that and believe they can have a life in a field they love — if they work hard. That humanizes theater for them. That makes an actor’s life real.” For HPU, Cariani’s presence helps draw students and create an artistic association with a prominent playwright. Just look at “Almost, Maine.” It’s has been translated into nearly 20 languages and has become the most produced play in high schools across North America, more popular than anything by William Shakespeare. Yet, for Cariani, HPU has become a safe space to polish his work. He trusts Putnam and Simpson. He sees them as colleagues and friends, and he enjoys working across the table with students. He grows. And so do they. “At 20, I’m in a state of transition,” says Patrick Kinsella-McClelland, a junior theater major from Kearny, New Jersey. “But when I hear someone like John Cariani say you can make it if you work hard, I know I can walk confidently into the real world thinking, ‘You’ll be fine.’”

Stepping Out, Finding Yourself

Alumni Profile: Theater Grad Constructs His Own Future Nathan Ruffin, a 2011 performance theater graduate, spends his days in a fabrication shop. It’s there where he’s growing his company HammerHead Design Build —  a contracting firm that builds custom displays for businesses and products. Ruffin’s story shows there’s no “normal” path to entrepreneurship — it’s a way of life. After graduating, he traveled the nation to work in backstage theater and film production, and founded HammerHead in 2014. As it turns out, the leap from performance theater to construction wasn’t that far.

Jennifer Lynn Arnold, an HPU theater graduate from 2011, had worked with Cariani during her senior year when he came down to assist with his play, “Love/Sick.”

“All of the long hours in the theater shop working on the productions at HPU put me in an excellent position to understand what I needed to succeed,” Ruffin says.

After graduation, she went on to perform on cruise ships and act in regional theater. Yet, she knew she needed to join the Actor’s Equity Association to get jobs and a better professional safety net.

Today, his one-man-show has grown into a full-service fabrication shop with other full-time employees.

So, she took Cariani to lunch in New York City and asked for advice. He told her emphatically, “You’re more than ready for your Equity card.” Less than two weeks later, with her Equity card in hand, Arnold auditioned for the musical “Showboat.” She got a part and spent her summer in Boston with the Fiddlehead Theater Company. “He’s a great advisor,” Arnold says of Cariani. “He’s been there.”

“In Dr. Qubein’s speech right before graduation, he told us, ‘The world owes you nothing; you must go out and earn your success,’” Ruffin says. “His message was clear: It’s up to each graduate to create their path of success after college. Seeing the success of my company through hard work is an awesome feeling.”

HPU theater faculty encourage that take-on-the-world mentality. They see their students as the next generation of artists breathing new life into a timeless art form as necessary as oxygen. “It’s so wonderfully freeing,” Putnam says, “to watch young people experience the world.” ▲




Embracing a Dynamic Workforce A Q&A with Bridget Holcombe, Director of Career and Professional Development There’s a major shift happening in America’s work place. It started just over a year ago, when the demographics of the United States labor force reached a turning point. Suddenly millennials outnumbered their Generation X and baby boomer predecessors, U.S. Census Bureau data showed. That caught the attention of Bridget Holcombe, director of Career and Professional Development. Holcombe’s team of career advisors makes a point to connect with students as early as possible in their education and begin plans for their lives after college. And she knew this change signaled something broader — a culture shift in the work environment. Leaders from across the decades are merging to work in unison. Holcombe’s office knows those who succeed in a global marketplace think vertically, not horizontally. They not only overcome differences, but they embrace each other’s unique strengths to move their organizations forward. Below, she dissects constantly changing expectations and opportunities for today’s job seekers.

Generational Breakdown by Birth Year: Baby boomers: 1946 – 1964 Gen X: mid 1960s – early 1980s Gen Y/Millennials: early 1980s – mid 1990s Gen Z: mid 1990s – today


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What’s the first thing students should know about today’s job market? We are excited about the opportunities that are available to our graduates. Today’s job market is changing. As baby boomers retire, millennials will find themselves in management roles where they can influence the future of their companies. It will also be fascinating to see how the values of millennials begin to impact the work place – the culture shifts that take place in how companies view the world and empower their employees to be successful, like flexible schedules and a relaxed dress code.

Timeless Tips for Young Job Interviewers: • If it’s the first time you’re meeting an employer, address them as Mr. or Ms. • Be prepared and confident, yet humble and teachable. • At the same time, express how your unique attributes and experiences could help solve the company’s concerns to show that you are capable of adding value. • As a member of Generation Y, stress that you are a “tech native” who learns new systems and software easily. Show that you are always willing to help anyone who may be intimidated by new technologies. • Be positive and likeable – someone others would enjoy working with. Employers automatically envision what it would be like to have you on their team.

How can individuals consider generational differences as they prepare for job interviews? We teach students to think about the qualities and skills that people from different generations might value. If the interviewer is a baby boomer, take a more formal approach. Remain professional, courteous and humble. If the interviewer is a fellow millennial, avoid becoming overly familiar and don’t fall into the trap of thinking the interviewer is your peer. Remain professional even if the interviewer conveys casualty. Think about what someone from a particular generation would value in an employee. No matter the age of the interviewer, pay attention to social cues, verbal and nonverbal, to understand how the manager perceives your answers. Adjust accordingly throughout the interview.

How do you sell yourself in a competitive marketplace? Employers value people who have transferrable skills in the areas of teamwork, communication and problem-solving. Our office helps students identify the skills they have gained while at HPU. We ask students to isolate the attributes that have made them successful. Once they can identify their skills, we teach them to articulate their strengths in resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and interviews. For example, employers may ask an interview question about using a company-specific software, which the student has never used. Students should think about a transferrable skill, like problem solving, that applies to the situation. Students can then describe a story where they quickly adapted and learned something new by problem-solving. It’s also important for students to convey their passions. If you love providing excellent customer service, make it known that you will put the company’s clients first. Your passion indicates to an employer the value you will add to the company.

How has social media changed job networking? Instant access and connectivity are changing the world of recruiting. The first thing a recruiter or hiring manager is likely to do after reading your resume is Google you or search for you on a social media platform such as LinkedIn. The strength of your resume is no longer the only evaluation criterion. LinkedIn has become a powerful research and networking tool. We suggest that every student develop a strong LinkedIn profile. Students can use LinkedIn to showcase their experience and to research companies, recruiters and networking contacts since employers have no qualms about using LinkedIn profiles to evaluate applicants. On the flip side, LinkedIn is a tool that students can use to conduct their own research. Students can identify companies to target.

How do you encourage students to work with people who are different than themselves? Communication and knowledge-sharing are important. All backgrounds and generations have something to contribute. Working with others is a wonderful opportunity to understand the strengths and abilities of the team. Every person brings with them different skills that can help achieve the company’s goals. Remain open and respectful of others. If you are a Generation Y employee who values efficiency, remember not every team member shares your value. A Generation X team member might be more focused on relationship building. Take some time to express consensus before delivering a solution. Remember that every team member adds value. Having a range of strengths is positive. It leads to increased productivity and a well-balanced team. ▲


HPU’s First Doctorate: Educating The Next Generation of School Leaders

The talk started a few years ago. HPU officials saw how their graduates from the School of Education had become award-winning principals and teachers whose portraits line the school’s second-floor hallway. HPU officials are proud of that, but they wanted to do more. They wanted to turn educators into leaders to inspire teachers, inspire parents and navigate the ever-changing landscape of culture, demographics and technology. And improve education along the way. So, in 2012, HPU started its first doctoral program in the school’s 92-year history and focused on educational leadership. At May’s Commencement, its first cohort —14 in all — walked across the stage, received their doctoral hoods and made it official. Patricia Boehm was one of the 14 trailblazers. She made it. In her office emails, where she works as a lower school principal at UMS-Wright, a prep school in Mobile, Alabama, she now includes beneath her name three letters that mean much to her: Ed.D. “I stayed the course and did something a percent and half of all Americans are able to do,” Boehm says. “That feels special.” 48

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The Power of Transformation Doctoral candidates, 79 in all, have come from Alabama, Florida, Indiana and various corners of North Carolina to dive into a doctoral program they see as practical, necessary and tailored to fit their working lives. They meet on weekends once a month and for three weeks in the summer. They talk via Skype to professors and work on dissertations in which they focus on finding solutions where they work. They learn from top-notch faculty like Drs. Tawannah Allen, Barbara Mallory and Don Martin. All three have decades of experience and know the educational terrain well. They all started out as teachers and rose through the ranks of education. They now see it as their personal mission to teach, guide and mentor the next generation of educational leaders. “Ph.Ds understand the world,” Mallory says. “But Ed.Ds change the world.” “What happens in our country in the future,” Martin says, “depends on what happens in the classroom today.”

Professor Creates International LEGO Partnership

“At HPU, we’re anchoring a new way of training educational leaders.” – Dr. Tawannah Allen, associate professor of educational leadership

“At HPU, we’re anchoring a new way of training educational leaders,” Allen says. “That’s powerful in itself.” These three do just that inside the university’s most energy efficient building. Students pass the LEED Silver plaque out front and the sign “HPU is Thinking Green” inside and begin to envision the future of their world — and themselves. Dr. Mariann Tillery, dean of the School of Education, understands that. She sees the array of smiling grad portraits outside her office and smiles herself. “It validates for me the incredible work our faculty is doing because the most important measure of the program’s effectiveness is not what the students do when they’re here,” she says. “It’s about what they do when they leave.”

The Importance of Family Leaving was hard for Boehm. She received her master’s in education at HPU and taught for years nearby. But HPU is like family. A building bears her maiden name, and a statue of her grandfather, Patrick Norton, stands in front. He was a major supporter of HPU. In May, when Boehm came with her family for graduation, she felt his presence. Three times the family ate together that weekend, and three times an extra glass was accidentally placed at their table. It reminded Boehm of her grandfather, and the seat he should be sitting in at the table. Boehm smiled. She knew he wouldn’t miss this for the world. “He would have been proud as heck to be there in person,” she says. “But there isn’t a doubt in my mind that he was there with us in spirit.” ▲

Dr. Shirley Disseler knows the power of LEGOs, those small plastic bricks. She sees children turn into critical thinkers, grasping history quicker and seeing how science, technology, engineering and math can fit into their future. Disseler, associate professor in HPU’s School of Education, is passionate about that. She’s from small-town North Carolina, and she tells her graduate students that LEGOs — and space exploration — can unlock the power of any mind. Her graduate students spend nearly every summer at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. When Disseler started the trips in 2011, the year after she came to HPU, the school became the country’s first university partnering with the center. But that’s not all. Disseler, a certified LEGO trainer, also has helped make the school the country’s only LEGO training center. Since 2012, she has trained hundreds of teachers and marketing specialists. Meanwhile, thousands of local children have come to campus to work with Disseler’s students and make robots out of LEGOs. In turn, classroom concepts for both feel real. And what happens? Disseler knows. “This is a way to get young teachers passionate,” she says. “This way, they can change the world.”


Unearthing the Unknown Undergraduate Research Leads to New Discoveries Research teaches students to think critically, solve problems and communicate ideas with confidence. That’s why High Point University established the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Works five years ago, as well as strong summer research programs and research opportunities in the sciences. Since then, thousands of HPU students have uncovered the unknown through undergraduate research. People are taking notice, too. In the past year alone, more than 150 students traveled the country and world presenting at conferences, competitions and performances. Nineteen students were published in scholarly journals, and nearly 60 students participated in summer research programs on campus. “High Point University is tremendously dedicated to engaging undergraduate students in research,” says Dr. Joanne Altman, URCW director. “Beyond the depth of knowledge they build through their research experiences, students also become more marketable when pursuing graduate programs and jobs. It gives them a chance to develop soft skills employers covet and show passion and enthusiasm for their work.”

Improving Cancer Treatment

Outreach through Science

HPU senior Jenny Marshall knows the effects of cancer all too well. The Frederick, Maryland, native lost her grandfather to the disease, and her cousin battled lymphoma before going into remission.

Through HPU’s annual Think Big Grants, three faculty were awarded funding to create a Mobile Lab designed to share science equipment, concepts and experiments with youth in the community.

Marshall, a chemistry major, had always wanted a career in the sciences. So she began to explore opportunities in her field to fight cancer.

The Mobile Lab, which will begin operation in the spring, allows HPU students to create their own science experiments and share them with middle and high school students. Through the process, the HPU students enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills while also promoting interest and achievement in the sciences.

Marshall worked alongside Dr. Andrew Wommack, HPU assistant professor of chemistry, researching a variety of topics that spanned from ALS therapeutics to a more recent study of osteocalcin and its correlation with bone diseases. Then, she began to focus on experiments related to cancer studies. She even landed two summer internships at the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. government’s lead agency for cancer research. “If there’s a way to cure cancer without weakening a person’s immune system, that’s what I want to find,” Marshall says. “My grandfather and my cousin were the two most positive people I knew, but the treatment took so much out of them. I like the research I’m doing. I’m learning a lot and being challenged, which I’m really excited about. Everything I’ve learned as a chemistry major at HPU has helped me with my research.”


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Faculty leading the project are Dr. Vernon Coffield, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Melissa Srougi, assistant professor of biochemistry; and Dr. Veronica Segarra, assistant professor of biology. “The Mobile Lab is an innovative instrument by which we can engage students in science, technology, engineering and math on multiple levels,” Srougi says. “Unique to our Mobile Lab is that HPU students are the ‘drivers’; they will design their own experiments and teach them to the school students. It is an incredible opportunity for our students within the sciences to be independent investigators, leaders and mentors.”

Did you know? In the past decade, scholarly publishing at HPU has increased 2,100 percent, and more than 1,000 students were engaged through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Works in 2015 –16.

Keeping Creative Arts in Classrooms HPU education and psychology faculty joined together to study the psychological benefits of writing programs for local elementary students. Dr. Leslie Cavendish and Dr. Sarah Vess, both assistant professors in the School of Education, worked with Dr. Kirsten Li-Barber, associate professor of psychology, to develop and implement an after-school writing program for third- through fifth-graders at nearby Montlieu Academy of Technology. In each session, HPU education majors led 66 Montlieu students in writing and photography exercises to explore who they are and where they are from. Their lessons included writing biography poems and taking photos of their favorite places. Through the writing program, the children gained pride in their work and motivation to continue their creative expression. Many children said they were inspired by writing about their passions and are interested in starting their own writing club. “Our scholars were inspired to be creative and write about their very own life experiences,” Montlieu principal Kimberly Scott said. “HPU has truly helped our scholars to dream big by building their passion for writing one experience at a time.”

Small Cells, Big Impact Peer through a fluorescence microscope, and you’ll probably see glow-in-the-dark blobs. But biology majors see something different. They see protein being transported in cells, the process of bone mineralization, and how the anatomy of a cell changes after a stroke. Professors in the Department of Biology at HPU use fluorescence microscopes — a special tool that detects glowing molecules or dyes within cells — in their research and teaching to help visually illustrate concepts that may be difficult to grasp. Dr. Angela Bauer uses the microscopes to familiarize students with the effects of endocrine disrupting compounds on breast cancer. Dr. Kristin Ackerman studies the effects of nicotine in early zebrafish development, while Dr. Mike Grider’s students examine cellular damage after stroke. The list goes on. And the addition of six new state-of-the-art fluorescence microscopes helps accommodate a growing number of students flocking to HPU to study undergraduate sciences. “This is just one of the recent equipment acquisitions that highlight how the sciences at HPU are being infused with resources,” says Dr. Veronica Segarra, assistant professor of biology. “Students having access to these tools of science will ultimately allow them to be better prepared for careers in the sciences.” ▲


CO-FOUNDER OF GIVES FEEDBACK TO STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS HPU students learned how Netflix was born, as well as half a dozen other startup companies, when Netflix co-founder and entrepreneur Marc Randolph visited High Point University’s campus. Inside the Belk Entrepreneurship Center, HPU students pitched their business plans to Randolph, the man who created a service that’s now part of their everyday lives. Randolph gave feedback to each student based on his experience as an innovator, entrepreneur and angel investor. “Right now, you’re all full of ideas so you immediately want to do everything,” said Randolph. “You have to stay really focused on the most important piece of your business.” “I’ve pitched my company many times, but it’s great to get feedback from somebody “Nobody knows like Marc Randolph who’s founded something as big what is going to as Netflix,” said HPU student work in advance. Blake Pakos, who shared The only way to his ideas with Randolph. “At other schools, we would figure out if it is a get overshadowed by the good idea or not is numbers. Here at HPU, by taking a risk.” it’s a small community, so opportunities like this – Marc Randolph, come all the time.” co-founder of Netflix 52

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Randolph also presented to HPU students in the Michael L. and Laura M. Baur Institute for Executive Education in Cottrell Hall and took part in “A Conversation with HPU President Nido R. Qubein.” In each presentation, Randolph shared with students that being an entrepreneur and innovator hinges on a few simple concepts:


Anyone can do it, and entrepreneurs realize that and embrace it.


A tolerance for risk is crucial.


You have to just do it, even when you don’t know what’s around the next corner.

“Nobody knows what is going to work in advance,” said Randolph. “The only way to figure out if it is a good idea or not is by taking a risk. You have to do something; you have to try something; you have to make something; and you have to build something or sell something. You learn more in one day of doing it than in a year of working on your PowerPoint or practicing your speech and doing your business plan.” Randolph’s discussion with Dr. Qubein later aired on North Carolina public television as part of HPU’s ongoing commitment to community service. ▲

Twitter Co-Founder to HPU Students:

‘Create Your Own Opportunity’ THE ART OF THE POSSIBLE IS FOR EVERYONE. Strong words, but even stronger when validated by Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter who came from humble beginnings and turned himself into a Silicon Valley leader. In a conversation led by Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, with 600 people in attendance, the two discussed lessons from Stone’s past, his ideas for the future and ways entrepreneurs can make the leap from idea to reality. “I always say, if I had to offer just one piece of advice, it’s to have an emotional investment,” Stone responded. “If you’re emotionally invested, love what you’re doing and want to see it in the world, you don’t hear the criticism about what you’re doing… It becomes like water off a duck’s back. You need a hallucinogenic optimism. A little crazy, soaring idealism and optimism. A belief that it’s going to work.”

Much of Stone’s fundamental beliefs were derived from challenges in his childhood. Starting a lacrosse team at his high school, for example, taught Stone that opportunity is manufactured. He didn’t have a father to teach him what the lines on a basketball court or football field meant, and he knew he likely wouldn’t make those teams. But no one in his high school knew much about lacrosse. So he learned everything about the sport, started the team and became captain. “I created the circumstances for the opportunity, so I was first in line to take the opportunity,” Stone said. “We don’t have to wait for it. We create it.” During his visit, Stone also spent time with communication and entrepreneurship students. “Biz grew up in a difficult situation, and I love how he took that motivation

“This was motivational for me because it lets me know that success isn’t immediate; it is gradual, just like everything else in life.” – Joshua Caudle, HPU student

and used it to push him and propel him forward,” said Joshua Caudle, HPU junior. “It is a humbling experience to hear someone like that speak. This was motivational for me because it lets me know that success isn’t immediate; it is gradual, just like everything else in life.” ▲


FACULTY FOCUS What if there was a medication that could treat addictions, such as drug abuse and alcoholism?



Dr. Comfort Boateng, assistant professor in the Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, is teaching her students to fit elements together like puzzle pieces and discover a potentially life-saving medication for addiction. Before coming to High Point University, Boateng worked for the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., one of the world’s foremost medical research centers. But she wanted to do more than research; she wanted to

work with the minds of young people and help them grow. “I love research, but I also have the passion for mentoring through teaching and helping students,” says Boateng. “Helping them succeed is my ultimate goal.” Boateng gives her students an experiential education with practical application that can be used outside of the classroom. “I came to High Point University because I am able to not only mentor students, but continue my research as well,” says Boateng. “The opportunities that my students have are endless. I want them to think, ‘How are drugs discovered? How are they designed? How can they be used in clinical applications? How do they impact the pharmaceutical industry? How can they help mankind?’” Once students learn the intricate chemical details of molecules, elements and drugs, Boateng helps them explore the idea of how these different elements can affect a person. She teaches them to see how taking those elements and producing them into a prescription drug will have an effect on one’s body in a positive way, and help them get rid of the drug addictions that they have. But how would that work — this drug to heal all drug addictions? Boateng believes it’s something her students can discover.

“I love research, but I also have the passion for mentoring through teaching and helping students. Helping them succeed is my ultimate goal.” – Dr. Comfort Boateng, assistant professor of pharmacy


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“The students need to be thinking, if I take this element and put it with this different element, how is this going to affect a person’s body that has an addiction problem? Can this element help them kick their addiction? It is powerful stuff, getting these students to think this way. One day, they will have a breakthrough.” ▲


A Scholar &


Students learn how to learn from Dr. Yum Nguyen. If you ask, Dr. Anh-Dung “Yum” Nguyen will tell you. Growing up, he never thought he would be a professor. Yet here he is, teaching and mentoring High Point University students with an unrivaled passion for developing young minds. Originally from Vietnam, Nguyen came to America with his mom and six siblings shortly after the Vietnam War. Today, he’s an associate professor of athletic training in the Congdon School of Health Sciences at HPU. He teaches hands-on, practical courses where students learn how to evaluate injuries, and theory-based classes on applied biomechanics and neuromuscular concepts. His ultimate goal is for students to develop an intellectual curiosity. To transform them into lifelong learners and “teach students how to think,” as he puts it. It’s easy to see why he was named the 2016 Educator of the Year by the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association. Nguyen has been published nearly 70 times in sports medicine papers, book chapters and scientific abstracts. Because of that, he’s a champion of undergraduate research — something that sets HPU students apart from an ocean of other applicants for jobs or grad schools. “Our students present their research at invitation-only, national and international conferences every year,” says Nguyen. “They present side-by-side with the same people they reference in their abstract or project. You can’t get that in the classroom alone. To hear from professional colleagues who compliment the level of research our students are doing — particularly at the undergraduate level — is very rewarding.” Take senior Emma Zuk, for example. As Nguyen’s research assistant, Zuk has spent the past three years with Nguyen in the Human Biomechanics and

“Dr. Nguyen is truly the embodiment of an extraordinary educator. He has the unique ability to see the potential in someone far before they see it in themselves.” – Emma Zuk, HPU senior Physiology Laboratory, uncovering the relationship between hip function and knee injuries. They’re investigating risk factors for ACL injuries in youth athletes, one of the most common sports injuries. Zuk has presented their findings at numerous conferences across the country. “Emma’s story has been one of our program’s biggest accomplishments,” says Nguyen. “To have a student co-present with me at a high level conference is a testament to her desire to excel and confirmed that my role as an educator is paying off.” “Dr. Nguyen is truly the embodiment of an extraordinary educator,” says Zuk. “He has the unique ability to see the potential in someone far before they see it in themselves. While helping me complete my many presentations, Dr. Nguyen once told me, ‘We are working on impactful research.’ How many undergraduate students can say that they are a part of something so significant?” Because of Nguyen, she can. ▲


THIN SLICES Dr. Sadie Leder Elder, assistant professor of psychology, authored and edited the second edition of the e-book, “Introductory Psychology Teaching Primer: A Guide for New Teachers of Psych 101.�

Through a Think Big grant, faculty secured funding to implement an Oculus Rift virtual reality system in their classrooms. Through the grant, HPU installed a VR lab and portable smartphonebased VR headsets to begin using this fall.

The State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium brought 800 visitors to HPU when students from across North Carolina presented their research.


thin slices

Best-selling author, educator and entrepreneur Dr. Stedman Graham visited campus to speak about personal development, identity and success.

During the “Power and Politics” Maymester course in Washington, D.C., HPU students visited the Associated Press Washington Bureau, toured National Public Radio, and met host Chuck Todd in-studio at a recording of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Research published by Dr. Sojung Claire Kim, assistant professor of strategic communication, shows that online discussions have a positive impact on people’s intentions to participate in genetic testing and research. The article appeared in the journal “Psychology & Health.”


THIN SLICES Interior design and visual merchandising majors earned international design certificates after studying abroad at the Lorenzo de Medici International Institute in Florence. HPU music majors Jay Card, Laura Hutchins and James Austin Porzenski performed Tchaikovsky’s opera “Eugene Onegi” with the North Carolina Opera at Meymandi Auditorium in Raleigh.

Student Noah Coates received a research grant at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium that will help him pursue interdisciplinary research on how writing can provide psychological, emotional and physical health benefits for adults and children.


thin slices

Dr. Briana Fiser, assistant professor of physics, was granted her second U.S. patent for components that make up potentially lifesaving medical devices that are in the early stages of development.

HPU’s MBA program offers an applied curriculum managers can immediately implement in professional work environments.

Five communication majors designed a video game, titled “Guinevere and the Fallen King,� which placed in the top five of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) College Game Competition, an event that targets 400 of the best game design programs in the nation.


INSPIRING ENVIRONMENT 5 WAYS HPU CREATES VALUE THROUGH AN INSPIRING ENVIRONMENT The HPU experience compels students to learn, grow and create value. An inspiring environment educates students from within and creates value that complements the classroom.

1. WORLD-CLASS FACILITIES SIMULATE REAL-WORLD ENVIRONMENTS People rise to the level of the environment in which they live. Whether students are in class, a residence hall or one of the library learning common spaces throughout campus, they are consistently surrounded by facilities that foster academic success.

2. GROWTH MINDSET HPU instills in students a growth mindset. They live, learn and grow to understand that intelligence, like a muscle, can be exercised and strengthened. This way of thinking enables students to learn more efficiently and transforms them into lifelong learners – a skill that will stay with them long after they graduate.

3. POSITIVE CULTURE PROMOTES PERSONAL INITIATIVE HPU creates an atmosphere of excellence. Faculty and staff choose to be extraordinary and model values. When students are surrounded by positive attitudes, they begin to understand that nothing is impossible for the individual who is willing to work hard enough and smart enough.

4. A 430-ACRE “CLASSROOM” Flags from more than 52 nations fly along the promenade to honor each student’s home country. Quotations provide ideas for reflection. Sculptures of significant historical figures inspire students to pursue their goals. The Mariana H. Qubein Arboretum and Botanical Gardens bring holistic learning to life.

5. ENGAGING EVENTS FOSTER CONNECTION From the Activities Fair, to Greek organizations, guest lectures, athletic events, concerts, theater performances and more, students learn to thrive in collaborative environments, build relationships and connect the dots wherever they go. 60

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VA L U E S “ W H E N YO U R VA L U E S A R E C L E A R T O YO U , M A K I N G D E C I S I O N S B E C O M E S E A S I E R .”

R OY E . D I S N E Y As found on the Gene and Jane Kester International Promenade



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FOR THE WORLD Rice’s challenge for the Class of 2016 Unwavering optimism. For Dr. Condoleezza Rice, that’s been the foundation of her family’s legacy. It’s an obligation for those who’ve had the opportunity to receive an education, and it’s the reason that a black girl from Alabama could go on to become the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, she told High Point University’s graduating Class of 2016 in May. “Too often cynicism can be the fellow traveler of learning, and I know why,” Rice said, addressing 10,000 people on the Roberts Hall lawn. “History is full of much cruelty and suffering and darkness. It can be hard sometimes to believe that there’s a brighter future. But for all of our failings as human beings, for all of our current problems, more people today enjoy lives of opportunities than in all of human history. “This progress has been the concerted effort not of cynics,” she said, “but of visionaries and optimists and idealists who deal with the world as it is but who never stop working for the world as it should be.”


“Average is out; excellence is in. The question is how do you become excellent in your life? There’s only one way — you are excellent when you are relevant. In everything you do, every relationship you encounter, be relevant. Do not swim in an ocean of sameness.”

HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein addresses the Class of 2016 at Commencement.

– Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU President

NBC Nightly News @NBCNightlyNews

@HighPointU Our annual commencement roundup airs tonight and your school is featured. Tune in tonight! RETWEETS




3:31 PM - 3 Jun 2016

Those optimists reflect Rice’s own family as she shared experiences from her childhood, a world that seems nearly incomprehensible for those in the Class of 2016. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, during the civil rights era, and generations of her family endured hardships in the segregated South. Yet numerous family members earned degrees of higher education, including her grandfather, Rev. John Wesley Sr., her father, Rev. John Wesley Jr., and her aunt, Theresa Love, who held a Ph.D. in Victorian literature. Because they remained optimistic they could receive an education despite challenges like poverty and segregation, her family was able to “change the pathway for the Rices for years to come.” “Education is transformative,” she said. “It literally changes lives. That is why people for centuries have worked so hard to become educated. Education more than any other force can help to erase arbitrary divisions of race and class, arbitrary divisions of culture, and to unlock every person’s God-given potential.” Rice spoke during a significant graduation for High Point University as it bestowed the first doctoral degrees in its history to educational leadership graduates. Achieving doctoral-degree granting status has been part of a major transformation at HPU in the last 10 years. 64

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Rice’s address concluded a Commencement weekend filled with memorable moments for families. It began with a senior send-off titled “Onward with Faithful Courage,” where Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, spoke to students and their parents. “Average is out; excellence is in,” Qubein told graduates. “The question is how do you become excellent in your life? There’s only one way — you are excellent when you are relevant. In everything you do, every relationship you encounter, be relevant. Do not swim in an ocean of sameness.” As is tradition, a bald eagle soared over the graduates at the Commencement ceremony to symbolize the ideals of free enterprise, independence and the ability to pursue new opportunities in America. Each student also received a blanket to give their mothers on Mother’s Day, which fell on the day after Commencement. And numerous Class of 2016 graduates headed to careers at Fortune 500 companies, financial firms, nonprofit organizations and businesses across the nation, while others were accepted into prestigious law, medical and graduate school programs. ▲

Words of Wisdom  — Top highlights from Dr. Condoleezza Rice’s  — Commencement speech include: When you find your passion, it’s yours. Not what someone else thinks it should be. There’s no earthly reason that a black girl from Birmingham, Alabama, should be a Soviet specialist. But that’s what I wanted to be. Don’t let anyone else define your passion for you because of your gender or the color of your skin. It is your responsibility as educated people to help close the gaps of justice and opportunity, and yes, the gaps of freedom that still exist beyond our shores as well as within them. When you encounter those who are less fortunate, you cannot possibly give way to grievance [by asking] “Why do I not have?” Or its twin brother, entitlement — “Why don’t they give me?” Instead, you will ask, “Why have I been given so much?” And from that spirit, you will join the legions of optimists who are working toward a better human future. As an educated person, you have an opportunity to spend your life doing what you love to do. And you should never forget that many people don’t have that opportunity. As you work to find your passion, beware. If you haven’t found it yet, it might just find you. It’s possible today to live in an echo chamber that serves only to reinforce your own high opinion of yourself and what you think. But at times when you are sure that you’re absolutely right, go and find somebody who disagrees. Don’t allow yourself the easy course of the constant amen to everything that you say. Be passionate about what you choose to do in life. Use your power of reason. Cultivate humility. Remain optimistic and always try to serve others as well as the goals of freedom and peace and justice.




At HPU, students gain more than an education. They gain a network of mentors and friends who provide endless opportunities for engagement.


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You’ll notice it first when you pull onto campus. A security officer smiling to greet you. Then, you’ll see hints of it as you go throughout your day. A professor stooping down to pick up a piece of trash along the Promenade. The President waving as you walk to class. A student holding the door for you. Those gestures happen every day on the campus of High Point University. While seemingly insignificant, those small gestures make a big impact. Combine them with a campus culture that inspires students to be all they can be, and it all adds up to create an intentional, engaging and inspiring environment at HPU.


But it doesn’t stop there.

That values-based environment is in part why HPU was named the No. 1 Best Regional College in the South by U.S. News and World Report.

Faculty members teach in small class sizes and conduct research alongside students. Career advisors in Career and Professional Development open doors to internships and jobs. Dozens of club sports and Division I athletic teams build camaraderie. Global innovators visit campus to share their lessons in leadership and encouragement. Concerts on the Roberts Hall lawn bring major musical acts to campus. There are community service efforts, Greek life organizations, study abroad trips and more.

From the first day they set foot on campus as freshmen to the day they turn their tassels as seniors, a dedicated team of faculty and staff ensures students are woven into the HPU family. The assimilation begins before classes start in the fall, when students attend an activities fair to peruse HPU’s 100+ clubs and organizations. Then, freshmen work with their success coach, whose key purpose is to help make their transition from home to college as smooth as possible. Success coaches are academic advisors, life coaches, university liaisons, activity coordinators and social mentors. Freshmen can meet with their success coaches anytime to find their “niche.”

“I’ve been able to learn from so many leaders in the past year at HPU,” says sophomore Louis Samara from Morristown, New Jersey. “Other schools can’t compare. I’ve already met Condoleezza Rice, Steve Wozniak, Andy Grammer and Jeremih — and I still have three more years here. I’m excited to see who HPU will bring next.”


“The people I live with, work with, study with and learn from have really made this campus, nearly 2,000 miles away from my house, a new home.” – Laura Bernitsky, Class of 2016 Opportunities to be extraordinary are abundant. At HPU, students benefit from an intentional campus culture that exposes them to unique transformational opportunities. And when they graduate and pursue professional careers, employers see the distinct differentiation in candidates who embrace excellence.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME Holistic education defines the HPU experience. Every moment — from classroom discussions to casual meet-ups in Cottrell Hall — is a chance to learn, grow and connect. And students thrive in a community built on robust academics designed to inspire, enlighten and energize. That’s what Brittany Lukowicz did. She thrived. Lukowicz came to HPU as a freshman in 2013, and made the 12-hour drive from her hometown just outside of Chicago. After she moved into her dorm, she, admittedly, was homesick for a while. She was afraid she wouldn’t make friends. It didn’t help that a bout of pneumonia struck her down a few weeks into the semester. “But once I got into my classes and started getting involved, that fear just drifted away,” Lukowicz, now a senior, says. “The more I got involved, the more HPU felt like a second home.” And she did get plugged in. 68

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Today, Lukowicz is a psychology major, captain of the equestrian team, a student photographer, a tutor for pre-calculus and darkroom photography, and a volunteer at a local assisted living community. “HPU gives every student a chance to find something they like to do,” Lukowicz says. “With all the opportunities offered, it lets students try new things and really find themselves. For me, it’s not just ‘stuff’ to put on my resume; these are things I genuinely love to do to give back, help out and have fun.”

VALUES-BASED LIVING AND LEARNING As HPU President Nido R. Qubein frequently tells audiences, “To be a great person, walk hand-in-hand and side-by-side with great people.” “We live, they watch, they learn,” he tells faculty and staff about their impact on students. Qubein explains that students are paying attention to the actions of those around them, and they need heroes, models and mentors to positively influence their lives. That’s why the entire HPU family models values of service, joy, generosity, gratitude and respect. Holding a door. Smiling to a campus visitor. Waving to a friend. Picking up trash. There’s a reason behind it all.

Just ask Laura Bernitsky. She’s a 2016 biology grad from Albuquerque, New Mexico, now attending dental school in Kansas. Her junior year at HPU, she came down with an upper respiratory infection and woke up feeling miserable. She stopped by Starbucks to get some hot tea on her way to her 8 a.m. chemistry lab, hoping it would help. That’s when she spotted her boss, admissions director Joe Cristy. “LB!” Cristy cheered. “You don’t look so hot my friend. How are you?”

“Joe Cristy got me smiling enough to get my tea and make it through class,” Bernitsky recalled a few weeks before she graduated. “Right then, I realized how much of a family HPU has become. The people I live with, work with, study with and learn from have really made this campus, nearly 2,000 miles away from my house, a new home. Realizing that, even though my parents are nowhere near here, I have someone who can give me a big bear hug, tease me into laughing and send me on my way in a better mood, was comforting. It reminded me how lucky I am to go to this wonderful school.” ▲

“Not so good,” Bernitsky muttered. “You look like you could use a hug,” Cristy said as he opened his arms and pulled her in. At that moment, in the middle of the morning Starbucks rush, Bernitsky began to cry on Cristy’s shoulder. She couldn’t hold it together any longer. Bernitsky apologized for getting his lapel wet, and Cristy laughed it off and got her to do the same until she felt better.



200+ campus events

47 majors



clubs & organizations



DIVISION I athletic teams


GRADUATE programs


CLUB sports




GREEK organizations

100,000+ annual VOLUNTEER HOURS


HPU's Landscape of

A few weeks before graduation, down 48 steps into a new amphitheatre, HPU First Lady Mariana Qubein began yet another Arbor Day celebration. She talked about potential. She always has ever since her husband became HPU’s seventh president 11 years ago. Her vision helped turn HPU into an academic Garden of Eden that attracts students, awes visitors and brings accolades. Her vision inspired the school’s board of trustees to give the beauty of the campus a special name: the Mariana H. Qubein Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Anyone who comes can see 25 gardens, 500 trees and 3,000 different plants from all over the world. But it’s more than just numbers. Every 10 steps, the gardens unveil botanical surprises that have turned HPU into an outdoor classroom and earned the school a Tree Campus USA distinction seven straight years. But like her husband, Qubein never settles. In late April, in the Alumni Avenue Amphitheatre behind Cottrell Hall, she told the crowd the area around her will soon be awash in color with plants, fountains, flowers and trees. For her, such beauty brings inspiration and inner peace, life and hope. “Just imagine,” Qubein told the audience. They do. Because of Qubein, it’s not hard. 70

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added in 2015-16

Planting the Seed Eleven years ago, where she saw grass and dirt, Qubein dreamed of seeing explosions of natural color that reminded her of a Monet painting. Today, she still dreams. She talks to her husband, HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein. She talks to her friends in High Point. She takes notes on her iPhone during her travels. Twice a month, she walks the campus with other like-minded plant enthusiasts to see what else needs to be done. One of those she walks with is Jon Roethling, HPU’s curator of the grounds. Roethling came to campus in 2010. He’s a North Carolina native who grew up gardening. He earned a horticultural science degree from N.C. State, worked with renowned botanical experts and traveled the world looking for plants. He is, as he says today, a “plant geek.” “There’s something about gardening that connects with people’s souls,” Roethling says. “It offers that refuge, that escape, and when I came here, I told people that if this is the last job I’d ever have, I’d die a happy man. “I mean, how many times do you get to do this and create a legacy?”

Watching the Garden Grow HPU’s legacy of green continued this year. Three gardens received new names to highlight the generosity of campus supporters Sandy Rankin, Daphne Horney, and James and Phyllis Morgan, husband and wife. There’s also the newest addition to Hayworth Park: a Sophora Japonica, a tree with a leaf canopy at least 30 feet wide. It honors the first class graduating in May with doctoral degrees in educational leadership. Its name is apt: the “Scholar Tree.” Over the past few years, HPU has turned the gardens into a learning lab. Students conduct research, study plants, create sculptures, take photos and draw leaves for class assignments.

This past year, students, faculty and staff stepped beyond campus and planted seven community gardens to help feed families, engage neighborhoods and connect High Point to High Point’s university. “Gardens help us be thankful,” Qubein says. “It’s hard work. You plant, you water, then, you see what happens. Look at the roses in front of the library. They looked like sticks in the beginning. So, how did that happen? God had to be there.” HPU students get that. And they help to plant, weed and keep the gardens beautiful. One of those students is Garlan Miles, a senior from Matthews, North Carolina, majoring in video game design. Her favorite spot is the Woodland Hillside Garden behind Blessing, a residence hall. There, she finds her favorite plant, the Golden Paperbush. She smelled it before she saw it. It was this sweet perfume. When she turned a corner, she spotted a bush full of pale yellow flowers the size of golf balls that looked like, as she remembers, “little chandeliers.” A few steps away is a placard holding the quote from Lady Bird Johnson: “Where flowers bloom so does hope.” “This place,” Miles says, “feels like a different pocket of the world.”

Mariana's Vision, High Point's Gain Qubein grew up planting roses with her mother. She came to HPU and earned a biology degree. Today, she is a mother of four, a grandmother to three and first lady to more than 4,800 students. For her, the students are like her favorite flowers. They need to be nurtured to grow. And grow, they do. In the gardens, they study and volunteer, create art and understand science. Thus, they begin to understand — the true nature of nature. “God has given us nature as a gift,” she says. “It is our responsibility to take care of it.” ▲


CONNECTING Faith with Campus Brittani Hunt says she’s a change agent — a person who creatively, intentionally and compassionately seeks to impact lives and make the world a better place. She fits in at High Point University, where holistic learning thrives. Hunt is the manager of chapel programs. In her job, she helps the Rev. Preston Davis plan and execute chapel programs, including weekly nondenominational chapel services and other multi-religious events. She shows students that on the HPU campus, they can grow intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.

Interfaith Offerings A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Hunt pursued a career in banking for a few years, eventually working her way up to branch manager for a $93.8 billion financial services firm in Ohio. Her career promised her plenty in the form of success, but little in the form of significance. That’s when she began to realize that maybe, she was called to do something different. So Hunt drove to North Carolina to pursue a Master of Divinity and joined HPU in 2015. Since then, she’s helped coordinate Communion during the weekly chapel services, and advised the Genesis Gospel Choir as they perform dozens of times on campus and in the community each semester. Hunt also spearheaded a new alternative spring break offering. The trip, called “God in the City: A New York City Pilgrimage,” will give students a first-hand look at the many ways faith inspires action.

HPU has hosted numerous candlelight vigils on campus to bring the community together and honor those affected by tragic events in France, Orlando, Dallas and others.


inspiring environment

In the midst of it all, Hunt and other Religious Life staff help foster a welcoming environment for students of other faiths. Catholic students host Mass on Sunday, while Jewish

students enjoy a vibrant Hillel guided by a Jewish life coordinator. InterFaith United offers an opportunity for dialogue for those who want to explore religious life. And in the MultiFaith Prayer and Meditation Space, Muslim, Hindu and students of other faiths come together for religious expression. “We intentionally strive to create and offer something for everybody,” Hunt says. “The United Methodist Church is part of our tradition and it informs the way we do our weekly worship services. But at the end of the day, we really want students to know what it means to be the hands and feet of God, in whatever form that takes.”

Mentorship Matters Hunt also leads a small group of freshmen in a Bible study. That opportunity to mentor students and provide a safe space for them to talk, she says, is a confirmation of the work she’s doing at HPU. “Brittani is a strong, determined, caring woman and I aspire to be like her when I start my career,” says Brianna Beard, an elementary education major from Fairfield, Connecticut, who participated

in Hunt’s small group for freshmen. “Her wisdom was exactly what I needed entering my first year of college.” Bringing different faiths and communities together on campus is no easy task. For some, it could be easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day operations that come with the job. But Hunt sees it differently. “President Qubein talks about it all the time — the difference between being successful and being significant,” Hunt says. “For me, the difference is the ability to say, ‘There are tons of things in this world that I could do that would make me millions of dollars. But there’s something about this work that I know will be significant— something that will impact the lives of other people, walking beside them as they become all they’re purposed to be.’” ▲

RELIGIOUS LIFE SPOTLIGHT HPU is committed to providing hospitality to people of all faith traditions. Below, meet two Religious Life staff members who help meet the needs of students from all faiths across campus. Name: Brittani Hunt Title: Manager of Chapel Programs

“The lives of our young adults are HPU’s bottom line, and we help them develop in a very transitional, special, formative time in their life. Hearing that students are thankful to have me as a mentor — someone who is able to walk alongside them — is really encouraging and confirming to the work I’m doing here.” Name: Ron Yardenay Title: Jewish Life Coordinator

“I work with students in HPU’s Hillel chapter and build upon the university’s welcoming Jewish community. For Jewish students, Hillel is a place where they can feel at home. For those less familiar with Judaism, it’s a place where they have the opportunity to explore and discover the religion’s rich heritage.”


Security Officer Leads Students in Service Bob Yarbrough promotes positive campus environment and involves students in disaster recovery

Bob Yarbrough remembers being in Mississippi 18 months after Hurricane Katrina talking to a woman who lived in a FEMA trailer and had lost everything. “I cannot believe so many people who don’t even know me could love me enough to give up a week of their life to help me,” she said. Yarbrough was with students from High Point University on an alternative spring break trip. The group installed drywall, replaced flooring, repaired roofs, painted and cleared debris from yards. Their work: repairing homes. Their mission: restoring hope. “Regardless of the type of disaster, we encourage the students to talk with the victims. Give them a chance to explain the impact it has had on their lives and the community,” he says.

Yarbrough has taken HPU students to Texas, Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, eastern North Carolina, New Jersey, South Carolina and Tennessee for tornado and flood relief, first as a member of Oak Ridge United Methodist Church and now as an HPU employee. He became a campus security officer eight years ago and has continued to make an impact through his service on campus. Yarbrough is one of the trained officers and dispatchers who safeguard campus 24/7. Collectively, they bring more than 300 years of police, military and fire/EMS experience to the university. Along with this expertise, they are trained in customer service. Each encounter with a student, staff member or visitor is an opportunity to provide extraordinary service, and Yarbrough has taken this part of his job to heart. He is frequently stationed at one of HPU’s welcome centers, often the first place visitors experience the caring environment. There, he greets each person coming onto campus. “The welcome centers provide the best opportunity for me to personally create a positive first impression,” he says.


inspiring environment

Yarbrough takes time to memorize the names of visitors who are coming for tours so he can greet them personally when they arrive. This level of compassionate service, coupled with the security department’s state-of-the-art technology, helps HPU provide a safe, inspiring learning environment. It’s also one of the reasons the security department is frequently commended. HPU was ranked 14th in the nation by Security magazine and one of the top 25 safest campuses by the National Campus Safety Summit. Yarbrough has been an important part of developing the department’s culture of caring, an innovative approach among collegiate security programs. “Bob’s magnanimous efforts personify the values of HPU and the security department,” says Jeff Karpovich, security chief and transportation director. “He devotes his spare time to his grandchildren, church and HPU students. I’ve lost track of the times he’s used vacation to chaperone alternative break trips. He’s a pillar of devotion and generosity and we are blessed to call him a team member.” ▲


SMILES TOP HONORS FOR HPU DINE • For four consecutive years, HPU has been ranked No. 1 as the Best College Food for more than 350 Aramark Accounts. • HPU is ranked No. 1 out of 36 in the state and No. 23 out of 1,175 in the nation for best campus food, according to NICHE. • Out of the top 75 universities in the country, HPU is ranked No. 33 for Campus Dining, according to “The Daily Meal.”

It’s 12:45 on a Tuesday afternoon in the Café and the lunch rush is in full swing. Kristy Norton is a whirlwind of activity. She greets every student by name. She puts one bowl of noodles in the pan and immediately starts prepping another. The first bowl is done; she serves the pasta on a student’s plate and begins the cycle again. “Thanks Kristy,” the student says. “Have a great day!” This is an average day for Norton. She works in the Café on High Point University’s campus and manages a rotating station that offers pasta, burritos and stir fry. She’s on a first-name basis with many students who frequent

the Café. The students know Norton, too — her friendly smile, her eagerness to serve, and her uncanny ability to know everyone’s “usual.” “Kristy knows my order,” says Bridgett Hess, a student from Lexington, Virginia. “I don’t have to tell her anymore. She sees me and says, ‘Hey Bridgett,’ and starts making my alfredo pasta and asking me about my life. She asks me about my job interview — my friends don’t even remember that! Kristy remembers who you are as a person.” It’s Norton’s dedication to service that not only helps rank HPU Dining among the best in the country, but helps weave students into the HPU family, from the classroom to the dining halls.

“Kristy remembers who you are as a person.” – Bridgett Hess, HPU student

Norton says her job is not just about food; it’s about being a caring hero, model and mentor to students. To teach values. To make an impact on people’s lives and get to know the story — the student — behind the pasta bowl. That’s what the HPU family is all about. “I love working here,” she says. “If I’m having a bad day, or running late, or anything, the students always make me feel better. Everybody is so nice. I’ve been here for a long time. And I wouldn’t leave unless they kicked me out,” she laughs. Norton’s constant care and attention to detail make a huge impact on students. “You know, her job is to manage that station,” says Hess. “But she cares about my personal life. She asks me about my friendships and gives me advice, and relates it back to her real life. That means the world to me.” ▲



Jeremih, Chicago R&B singer, performed for HPU students at the spring concert.

For the third year in a row, HPU made Security magazine’s list of top campus security programs. HPU is ranked 14th in the nation.

HPU earned the “Tree Campus USA” award for the seventh year in a row from the Arbor Day Foundation. The award recognizes university campuses that effectively manage trees and engage students. 76

thin slices

HPU was ranked one of the Most Innovative Small Colleges in America by Best Degree Programs.

HPU’s fall concert featured pop star Andy Grammer singing his hit songs including “Honey, I’m Good” and “Fine By Me.”

The Posh Fashion Club raised funds for Family Service of the Piedmont at their first Charity on the Runway event. Former “Bachelor” star Sean Lowe was a featured guest.


You can’t keep Miles Bowman down for long. He’s been knocked down more than once, that’s for sure — but he never stays there. Like in January 2014, when he had just committed to High Point University to play his final two seasons of college basketball. Life was good. And then he heard a pop. In the blink of an eye, Bowman’s future as a Division I player was suddenly in question. The 6-6 forward crumpled to the ground in agony. He had torn his ACL, MCL and meniscus all at once. Rehab, experts said, would take at least a year. But HPU’s coaches believed in Bowman and knew his potential was sky high. After all, Bowman had resilience, and not just the kind you find on the court. When he was just a 6-year-old boy, he lost his mother to breast cancer. At 7, he lost his father to natural causes. So he grew up to understand that the dark moments would always come. But when they did, he’d push through them. This one included.

BOUNCING BACK He enrolled at High Point University in June 2014 and rehab was progressing well. But just when he was getting comfortable, it all happened again. Bowman tore his meniscus, starting the whole process over. For six more months, Bowman tried to get back to the game he loved so much. January 2015 arrived, and he finally could practice with the teammates he had developed close relationships with over the past year. Life, again, was good. But then, in the middle of practice, Bowman rose for a lay-up and immediately went down in severe pain. His knee had failed him for a third time. A third surgery had to be scheduled. But still, there was hope. Bowman knew that and took comfort in the fact that he had a strong support system in place at HPU. “I have so much love for our athletic training staff who helped me any way they could,” Bowman says. “Our coaches, our fans, our donors, students — they all believed in me. This is such a loving program and a loving university. High Point University is a special place.”

He’s a great person. His teammates love him and he loves being a part of this program.” The season continued. The itch to play was eating him alive inside. His minutes were sporadic, but he remained HPU’s biggest cheerleader. The first one to stand up and fist pump after a made basket. The first one to encourage a teammate leaving the floor. And as the game came back to him, Bowman began to blossom. Then, after HPU lost its top two players in John Brown and Adam Weary due to injury late in the season, Bowman took the team and put it on his back. He had 19 points and seven rebounds in the Panthers’ Big South quarterfinal win. And in the semis, he dropped an astounding 23 points and 16 rebounds, becoming the first HPU All-Tournament Team selection since 2007 in the process. “I take nothing for granted after being apart from the game for so long,” Bowman says. “Even when I was playing two minutes, I was happy to be on the floor. Just checking into a game felt wonderful. I never thought it would get to the point where I would be starting and having such an impact. I thank our coaches for believing in me and trusting in me throughout this whole process.”


FAITHFUL COURAGE Fast forward to January 2016. Nearly two years of treatments, strength training, rehab and the torment of little basketball activity had finally paid off. With knee brace in tow, Bowman suited up and played his first game for the Panthers against Presbyterian. “Tonight was one of the better moments of my coaching career because of everything Miles has been through,” head coach Scott Cherry said after the game. “To see him get out there and finally do the thing he loves to do again is pretty special.

Bowman’s emergence was a key factor in HPU earning the program’s fourth-straight Big South title, and qualifying for the NIT for the second time in three years. High Point has now won 20 games in back-to-back years and is one of just four programs nationally (Kansas, Gonzaga, Stephen F. Austin) to win four-straight league titles. With the graduation of the school’s all-time winningest Division I class this past spring, the charge of continuing the program’s championship culture rests with the senior and HPU’s strong returning nucleus. Bowman knows the Panthers can do it. He’s ready to go. Life is good once more. ▲

“This is such a loving program and a loving university. High Point University is a special place.” – Miles Bowman, senior basketball player


MIRACLE PLAYER TAKES THE FIELD A love for lacrosse brought Connor McKemey back from a life-threatening accident.

What does it take to overcome a 1 percent chance of survival and third-degree burns on 87 percent of your body? For Connor McKemey, it was an unwavering passion to play Division I lacrosse. There was a short time when McKemey feared those burns and the resulting scars and injuries would keep him from living out that dream. But it didn’t. Not even when doctors told McKemey he’d probably never walk again. This spring, he dressed in a High Point University lacrosse uniform and made his official debut with the men’s lacrosse team. Yet just seven years ago, he was waking up from a medically induced coma and questioning what his future might really look like.



How it Happened It was four days before Christmas. McKemey was a 13-year-old eighth grader then. He lived in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and played basketball, football and lacrosse. He invited a girl from school over to his house and planned an evening for them around his backyard fire pit since the cold winter had set in. But the fire wasn’t enough to keep them warm, so he pulled a portable heater closer. Moments later, an explosion changed his life forever. Ten weeks later, McKemey woke up in a hospital bed and listened to doctors and family explain what had happened. He had suffered life-threatening burns. This athlete with an intense love for lacrosse was told sports were no longer an option; his bones were brittle, he had lost more

He was supposed to be in the hospital for nine months, but went home after four and a half. Then, in his backyard, he decided to do something crazy one day. He picked up a lacrosse stick and ran across the yard with it. He pressed so hard every day after that he made the JV lacrosse team his freshman year of high school and played the entire season.

McKemey’s miraculous recovery was enough to land him on the cover of Lacrosse Magazine in 2011. The story inside about his journey ended with a few words that, once again, changed his life forever. “Connor hopes to play lacrosse at High Point University…” the story read. Jon Torpey, who had just left Dartmouth to begin HPU’s new men’s lacrosse

than 50 pounds and portions of his hands were gone.

program, read the story and immediately reached out to McKemey.

For weeks, he mourned. He was just a teenager — there seemed to be so many things he couldn’t do now.

They set up a meeting on campus. That’s when McKemey told Torpey his story, and how he had passed through the Piedmont Triad from time to time on his way to surgeries in Chapel Hill. McKemey had read about Torpey heading to High Point to start a team. He had driven through the campus, fallen in love with it, and dreamed about playing there one day.

Then he put his feet on the floor. After that, he stood. Then he’d take a few steps each day. Then he walked around the intensive care unit where he was staying.

Making the Team

“I called my mom after helping out at the first practice and said, ‘Mom, this is the most fun I’ve ever had. In seven years, I haven’t been this happy.’” He poured his heart into the team for two years before he had to confront another one of those life-changing moments. He wanted to be on the field, and he knew he had to ask his coach and teammates if he could not only manage the team, but play as an official team member. “That’s probably one of the scariest speeches I’ve ever given. I was choking up the whole time,” McKemey said. “I remember just looking at their faces, not knowing how they’d react when I said I wanted to play. But then I saw them light up.”

–  Connor McKemey, senior lacrosse player

“One day I looked at the doctors and said, ‘How can I walk again?’ They told me if I wanted to walk, I was going to have to be able to sit up. So I started with that.”

“After that meeting, this is the only place I wanted to be,” McKemey said. “No other university made me feel so wanted, so important. There was nowhere else.”

When McKemey arrived in August 2013, he quickly became part of a new family.

Landing at High Point

“No other university made me feel so wanted, so important.”

But his desire to play stayed with him —  even through painful surgeries and treatment. So he made a decision: He wouldn’t let his prognosis determine his future.

“Connor is one of those guys. I knew he’d bring an extra edge to the team.”

Torpey made a one-of-a-kind offer to McKemey: come to HPU in the fall of 2013 as a student, but also a men’s lacrosse team manager. “We look for good guys who are dedicated, have a passion for the sport and value their education,” Torpey said.

When his speech ended, his teammates grabbed him and cheered. He knew their answer was yes. So he put on that jersey for the first time, and it was a big moment. On his 21st birthday, he took to the field in a game against Marist. He accomplished his dream, and it brought him to a new point of peace. “People have always asked me if I could choose, would I have it the other way — life without the accident. But I don’t ever wish it were the other way. It’s a time when I had to deal with pain and frustration, but it was a short time compared to all of the opportunities I’ve been given and the people I’ve met because of it. And now I’m playing for High Point against all the big teams. This is what I wanted.” ▲



THE ROOTS OF A LEGEND Nearly a half century ago, he came to High Point College to play basketball.

He was one of three African-Americans on campus, a farmer’s son from Maryland who grew up using a bushel basket nailed to a corn house as his backyard hoop. When he arrived, he had never been to North Carolina before. He was willow-thin, stood 6-foot-3 and played wide open. He became a team captain and earned all-conference honors as a senior. He graduated in 1973, and today, he is the school’s seventh all-time leading scorer with 1,589 career points.

But he’s known for his success beside the court — not on it. He is now one of the best coaches in college basketball, one of only seven still coaching who has reached 500 wins and captured a national title. He is Orlando Smith. Everyone knows him by his boyhood nickname: Tubby. In May, along with a coach and two other athletes, Orlando “Tubby” Smith was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame at High Point University. Ask him about college, he doesn’t mention games. He talks about relationships. At High Point College, he met his wife and formed lifelong friendships. He now sees North Carolina as home and his alma mater as the place that started it all.

82 82 athletics

Finding Lifelong Connections Smith grew up in Scotland, Maryland, a working-class community beside the Chesapeake Bay. His father, Guffrie, farmed, cut hair, worked construction and drove a school bus to feed his wife, Parthenia, and their 17 children. After a university withdrew his son’s basketball scholarship, Guffrie told Tubby — the sixth of his 17 children — to consider the Methodist school in North Carolina, the one that sent him recruiting letters. “You’re going to High Point,” Guffrie told him. At High Point College, Smith met Donna Walls, the college’s first black homecoming queen. She later became his wife and the mother of their four children — one daughter, Trish; and three sons, Orlando (G.G.), Saul and Brian. He also met fellow basketball players Carlvin Steed, Joe Colbert and Phil Butler, and their friendship blossomed. Smith found a second home with the Steed family. They lived on High Point’s south side. Smith found an older mentor in Colbert, a Vietnam veteran a decade older than him. Smith found another brother in Butler. Those relationships haven’t changed. “You can go through life and count your friends on one hand,” Butler says today. “Well, Tubby’s got one finger on my hand. Trust me.” When Steed died five years ago from cancer, Smith spoke at his funeral. Afterward, he gave Steed’s only son a gift Smith had received from Steed — a pocket watch, a Steed family heirloom. For Butler and Colbert, that act defines Smith. “You could see the good in him, even at 17 years old,” Colbert says. “Joy was in him. It always came out.”

“That is what I got from High Point — an education, of how to make decisions, of how to live and conduct myself, how to help others. That is what High Point did for me.”

– Tubby Smith, ’73

Where It All Began Smith’s accolades are many. Here are a few: named National Coach of the Year three times, won a national title with Kentucky in 1998, took five different schools to the NCAA Tournament — Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota and Texas Tech. In April, Smith became head basketball coach for the University of Memphis. At 65, after four decades of coaching, Smith still loves the game. His dad gave him the secret to longevity: Work hard every day like you’re going to be there forever. But High Point College, now High Point University, gave him the tools to persevere. “My whole family came from Scotland County to see me get my degree,” Smith says. “My dad drove the bus to get them here. It meant so much to us. Now, I always tell kids about the importance of getting an education, and that is what I got from High Point — an education, of how to make decisions, of how to live and conduct myself, how to help others. “That is what High Point did for me.” ▲

Hall of Fame Inductees • Marie Riley (’80). Starred for the Panthers in women’s basketball, volleyball and tennis. Three-time All-American and Carolinas Conference Player of the Year in women’s basketball. Led women’s hoops to the 1978 AIAW National Championship and was named the title game’s most valuable player. Also led the Panthers to three state titles in volleyball and was a four time all-conference selection in tennis. • Kitty Steele. Helped usher in women’s athletics at High Point College in the 1970s. Served as the HPU women’s tennis and field hockey head coach from 1977-96. Named conference and district coach of the year 12 times. Inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1993. Namesake for HPU’s Jerry and Kitty Steele Sports Center dedicated in 2007. • Roger Watson (’66). HPU’s most prominent golf alumnus. NAIA All-American during his High Point College playing career. Defeated seven-time major champion and 82-time PGA Tour winner Sam Snead in a playoff to win the 1974 PGA Club Professionals Championship and repeated as champion in 1975. Inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1981 and Carolinas PGA Hall of Fame in 1997.





Kai-Lin Hernandez Senior women’s soccer student-athlete Kai-Lin Hernandez has excelled on the soccer field during her time at High Point University. It hasn’t gone unnoticed; last fall, Hernandez was called up to represent Jamaica in the Caribbean Football Union 2016 Olympic Qualifying tournament. The strategic communication major hopes to carry her expertise and love of sports with her after graduation as she pursues a job in sports communication.



What does it mean to be part of the women’s soccer team at High Point University? It has always been a dream of mine to play college soccer. The fact that I am able to live out that dream here is amazing. The people I have met and the experiences I’ve had through the school are things that I will never forget. I am very grateful to say that I go to High Point University. What was it like getting an invite to join the Jamaican National Team? Getting that call was shocking. It has always been one of my biggest dreams to play internationally, whether for the U.S., or for Jamaica on my mother’s side, or Colombia through my dad’s side. The fact that I had the chance to do that is unbelievable. I went in with high hopes and I wanted to do the best I could. How did your time here at HPU help you when you were called into the Jamaican National Team? We have played against some tough teams during my time here, and playing against those teams really prepares you physically for playing professionally or internationally. Becoming accustomed

to that physicality helped when I went to the Jamaican National Team. I was able to bring my own athleticism and physicality and show the coaches all that I have learned here at HPU. How has HPU prepared you for your future off the field? I definitely want to be in the communication field after graduation, and I will be able to apply the skills I have learned through HPU’s communication school when I move on. Working in the HPU athletic communications office has been eye-opening and is something that I might pursue when my time at HPU is finished. I have grown up with sports so it is something I could see myself doing for a long time. What do the bonds you have formed here at High Point mean to you? Meeting people not just from all over this country — but the world — has been amazing. I have loved being able to learn about their experiences and create new friendships. My teachers have so much knowledge and building close relationships with them has been special. I have built friendships that will last a lifetime and I am so grateful. ▲



What does being a member of the women’s lacrosse team and wearing “High Point University” on your jersey mean to you? Being a member of this team is a symbol to me of all of the hard work that I have done to get to this point. To be able to play every day with such an amazing group of people and to be able to contribute to such a successful program is an extremely rewarding feeling. It’s important to surround yourself with people who have the same goals and mindsets as you do, and I feel that by being a part of this team I have done that for myself. What are some of the biggest challenges that come with balancing the requirements of a student-athlete? Time management is huge for a student-athlete. You need to be able to prioritize what is more important and stick to your commitments. Sometimes you have to make decisions between what you want to do and what you have to do. But I knew what I was signing up for when I put on that jersey, and I don’t regret anything for a second.

What lessons from your time as a student-athlete will you take with you and apply to your life upon graduation? Being part of a successful program has taught me that hard work, discipline and teamwork can lead to substantial accomplishments. I’ve also learned that nothing is given to you in life, and that greater success comes with setting high goals. My goal is to go on to graduate school to become a physician assistant. This experience has pushed me to become a much more driven and competitive person than when I first arrived at High Point my freshman year. I think these are very positive qualities to possess in any kind of work environment. What are some of the things about HPU that you value the most? Everyone is so willing to help you, whether it’s in the classroom or in the athletic department. The professors are always available for anything that you need and they’re very easy to contact and communicate with. The trainers in the athletic training room are also always available and willing to do whatever I need to help me succeed on the field. I couldn’t be more grateful for all the support I receive at High Point University. ▲


Samantha Brown Senior Samantha Brown’s development as a women’s lacrosse student-athlete truly exemplifies what it means to take your potential and make it extraordinary at High Point University. The Basking Ridge, New Jersey, native has worked consistently day in and day out to become a better player. Now heading into her senior season, the exercise science major looks to lead the Panthers to another league championship and prepare for a career as a physician assistant after graduation.


CARING PEOPLE Each year, High Point University students, faculty and staff contribute more than 100,000 volunteer hours to organizations in the city and around the world. They serve at a variety of nonprofits, schools, community centers and shelters simply because they care. Their efforts are valued at $2.3 million, according to the United Way. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, that service is amplified while the HPU family spends “A Day On, Not Off.” This year, more than 600 volunteers contributed 1,500 hours of service through dozens of projects. They packed meals for the hungry and care kits for the homeless. They planted gardens, cleaned up schools, painted community spaces, worked with refugees, beautified the city and more. It’s one of many ways that the HPU family shows it cares. “We knew that we had the day off, so we wanted to make it a day of service,” said Alex Persiani, a member of the HPU soccer team who did landscaping with her teammates at West End Ministries. “We are just trying to help in any way we can. We love doing this and giving back.” “High Point University has helped out West End Ministries tremendously today, as they do all year around,” said Brad Bowers, program director at West End Ministries. “They are getting done in two or three hours what would take us weeks to finish. They have organized rooms, cleaned out rooms and helped in our food pantry. It means a lot to us.”


caring people



During “A Day On, Not Off,” HPU student Brittany Vose (left) helped Jakki Davis, executive director of the local nonprofit D-UP, spruce up the interior of the Ritz Theatre on Washington Street.




caring people

As High Point University grows, so too does its positive effect on the city of High Point. Melanie Maldonado is beginning to see it.

Developing Leaders through Service

Her work as a High Point University student embedded in community service is making an impact.

The Bonner Leader program brings to campus a group of students who have a mission in the community.

She sees it at the YWCA career closet, where women in need come to receive a professional outfit to wear to a job interview. Those women tell her thank you, and she can tell they mean it.

These students apply to be part of the program that will require at least 300 hours of service from them annually for four years, though probably much more, and a schedule filled with community work on top of academics.

“The outfit builds up their confidence, and that’s just as important,” she says. It happens in an elementary classroom, where she volunteers to teach children about healthy foods at an early age. The children go home and ask their parents if they can have zucchini or carrots as part of their dinner. They didn’t know what a zucchini was before she taught them. And then she sees it on her campus when she asks a fellow student to join her for a volunteer opportunity. They do, and they keep coming back to volunteer. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Maldonado says community impact can’t happen without these three things: persistence, teamwork and patience. But with them, relationships can blossom, resources can be created and great things can be accomplished. “I’ve learned that improving communities is a lot of work behind the scenes that you don’t necessarily get rewarded for or see progress from right away,” says the junior from New Mexico. “But you will see it over time, and it’s worth it.” Maldonado is a Bonner Leader, a program that’s part of High Point University’s commitment to the city. It’s a commitment that’s increased measurably over time, and just like Maldonado’s work, the positive impact becomes more noticeable each day.

In return, they receive a wealth of experience — the kind that can’t be taught in a classroom. “The Bonner Program immerses students in problem-based learning,” says Dr. Joe Blosser, the Robert G. Culp Jr. director of service learning who oversees the program. “That means that in much of what they do, they don’t even realize they’re learning and working through real-world problems with really diverse groups of people and dealing with the frustrations of projects in the real world where sometimes things don’t go as planned. “But that’s exactly what they’re learning, and it’s making them stronger.” Like when Maldonado took on the task to help plan, promote and execute the YWCA’s annual International Women’s Night. It sounded like a wonderful opportunity, but it required her to put in a lot of hours and pull together a lot of resources to make it happen. “It took weeks and so much coordination,” she says. “But when I saw women from different cultural backgrounds come together that night to dance and laugh and fellowship, I saw how this program and my work actually helped people in the community. That was my reward.” When the Bonners move into their second year, they receive a site selection — a nonprofit where they serve for


the next three to four years. And they also serve on campus as volunteer coordinators. With access to 4,500 undergraduate students as their peers, they’re constantly connecting these students and their talents with agencies that need them. “We want them to commit to an agency so they can deepen their relationships and responsibilities there,” says Blosser. “The nonprofits we’ve worked with have moved from seeing Bonners as volunteers to seeing them as staff. They place more responsibility on them with higher expectations than they do with regular volunteers. When students are gone on spring or fall or other breaks, the nonprofits really miss them. “But that’s our goal — for the Bonners to build the capacity of local nonprofits.”

Modeling Values Part of HPU’s holistic approach to education is a focus on values. High Point University President Nido Qubein often talks about the way the campus instills



$465 Million Economic Impact


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values in its students. “You can’t teach values,” he says. “Instead, our faculty and staff model a values-based approach to life. Students see, they watch, they listen and they learn.” That’s why HPU, as one of the city’s anchor institutions, makes significant commitments to city organizations and services. In the last year, the university committed $110,000 to the High Point Fire Department, which used the funds to purchase new self-contained breathing apparatuses and 92 face pieces. The new equipment heightens safety for the city’s fire fighters. The university also made an investment for local children by underwriting the new Splash Park at the YMCA and naming it in honor of HPU alumna and community leader Carlvena Foster. Other gifts, including $10,000 to High Point Community Against Violence, were invested locally. When students become part of a campus that embraces giving back, they too learn to give.

Like the group of students who began The Food Recovery Network — a structured way to donate surplus food from campus to Open Door Ministries, a nonprofit that serves three meals a day, seven days a week, to those in need. “It warmed my heart to see my friends at Open Door Ministries eating nutritious foods such as fresh vegetables and chicken,” said HPU student organizer Haley Slone. “I hope that the bond between the students and the community continues to grow through this effort.” Or the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, which Maldonado helps organize. It’s a single day where students contribute more than 1,500 hours of service to 34 projects. Each project moves the city forward, even if a little at a time. Maldonado didn’t see it at first, but now she sees it in the faces of the women and children she works with who know her and depend on her. She’s on the track to medical school, and she knows it won’t be easy. But she’s a


HPU Community Center offers free event space for nonprofits

80,000 Annual Visitors to the City

$10,000 to High Point Community Against Violence

skilled problem solver now who knows how to build relationships in a community and find solutions together. “My experience would be completely different if I wasn’t rooted in the community,” Maldonado says. “I may be busy all the time, but it’s worth it.”

Connecting Curriculum and Community HPU faculty are strong advocates of the community too, and they know that in each class, there’s an opportunity to develop curriculum that meets a need. While the Bonner Leaders are in motion, Blosser is also coordinating several dozen service learning classes that put other students in service leadership positions. The classes range from video game design majors helping children find a creative outlet after school by designing their own video game, to English majors reading and writing poetry with senior citizens who are battling dementia or chronic pain.

$100,000 to YMCA Splash Park

“I saw how my work actually helped people in the community, and that was my reward.” –  Melanie Maldonado, junior and Bonner Leader Allison Walker, the professor who leads the English class, has conducted research and led students to conduct research on how reading and writing workshops are actually a form of “narrative medicine” —  a way to improve certain conditions that ail the elderly. “Our students have become empathetic listeners for these older adults,” says Walker. “Both have challenged each other to see joy and good in different circumstances. Even if this isn’t directly tied to a student’s major, we will all experience aging in our lives and the process of becoming older. It’s a human experience that they’ve now shared with someone else.” And in this cycle of connecting classes and Bonners to community organizations,

100 Free Community Events

Blosser has brought on three AmeriCorps VISTAs that HPU hosts by providing free housing, meals and office space — all to keep the plates spinning within the programs that offer students avenues to give back. It’s reflective of something Qubein can be heard saying at dozens of events in the community. “We are High Point’s University,” he says. “We are passionate about making a difference in our community by bringing new people to live and learn and work here, and by developing them as leaders who understand that in life, there are no unrealistic dreams. Every day that we wake up is a new opportunity to accomplish great things.” ▲

$230,000 United Way Campaign

$110,000 to High Point Fire Department

100,000+ Hours of Service


Social Entrepreneurship:

A Well of Salvation In mid-July last year, Brandon Holder awoke with a Bible verse in his head. Even though he was raised Baptist, went to Sunday School and participated in Royal Ambassadors, the Christian faith version of Boy Scouts, he never really knew the verse by heart.

Yet, when he looked up Isaiah 12:3, he got goose bumps. In the King James version, it reads: “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Right away, Holder knew. Haiti.

The idea struck Holder after visiting Haiti for an HPU alternative spring break trip in 2015. Holder taught English in six villages and tapped into children’s creativity with arts and crafts.

He hasn’t.

He saw firsthand how each village had become so dependent on water. Children skipped school to carry water in five-gallon buckets from near and far.

Today, the 2016 High Point University graduate has created a mission-based business that aims to provide the world’s poor with water for their gardens — and themselves.

Rain helped. But if it didn’t rain, villagers often couldn’t get enough water for their gardens. Then, crops withered, and people went hungry.

His idea involves a four-wheeled cart, a 35-gallon tank, a solar pump and a water purifier no bigger than an eyeglass case.

That’s when he came up with Water the World.

“Well, I put the water on the back burner,” he said to himself. “I guess I can’t do that now.”

‘Meeting a Real Need’ Holder used $500 of his own money and ordered the needed equipment online. With the help of his parents, he made three filtration systems on his family’s back porch in Clayton, North Carolina. Holder’s innovative invention distributes water at 5.5 gallons per minute. A filtration attachment reduces viruses, bacteria, cysts and protozoa by 99.99 percent, making virtually any water clean. It’s self-sustainable, too: It has a life-span of over a decade and uses gravity to filter water. When Holder came back to school for his senior year, he sought the advice of two people: Kathy Elliott, director of HPU’s entrepreneurship center; and Dr. Jim Wehrley, dean of HPU’s Earl N. Phillips School of Business.


in nearby Asheboro, North Carolina. After hearing Holder’s pitch, she couldn’t stop thinking about what he had created. So, Smith came back to HPU with two co-workers from church and a representative from a local conference center. Holder presented again. They came away impressed.

Elliott asked Holder to bring his water-tank cart to HPU’s Fall Family Weekend and showcase it in the Belk Entrepreneurship Center for anyone to see.

“God bless him,” said Smith. “He had the presentation ready, and he talked about how he got it started, how God spoke to him, and we were so excited about it. I wanted to buy the first one.

Janet Smith, an HPU parent, attended Holder’s presentation at Family Weekend. She’s an associate pastor at First Baptist Church

“I feel like it’s going to be something very successful. He will be meeting a real need.”

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There is real opportunity for ‘Water the World’ because people want to help, and I have a way.” – Brandon Holder HPU student entrepreneur

‘I Have a Way’ As Holder talked in the Entrepreneurship Center, Elliott listened from behind her desk in her glassed office. She watched Holder answer every question. “The students were in there studying, he was there pitching, and I thought, ‘That is exactly what the Center is for,’” Elliott said. And it’s catching on. At HPU’s annual Elevator Pitch Competition, a four-judge panel awarded Holder first place and $500 in venture capital, beating out 16 other student entrepreneurs. Then, one of his biggest boosts came at the university’s Business Plan Competition, where he won first place and another $7,000 in funds. He’s already sold numerous water-tank carts for $300 apiece to groups in North Carolina. In December 2015, he went back to Haiti and brought with him six water filters to help communities there. Holder also donated one Water the World creation to Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief nonprofit. The

organization then agreed to ship — at no cost to Holder — five additional Water the World systems to Haiti in March. “Social entrepreneurship ventures like Brandon’s are missiondriven,” Elliott says. “They’re sustainable. They meet a need and address a problem where the government and other foundations can’t. Beyond that, Brandon wants to grow his business and solve bigger problems. As the saying goes, he doesn’t want to just give someone a fish, but teach them how to fish.” These days, Holder’s time isn’t spent in the classroom, or in Elliott’s office, or on his family’s back porch in Clayton anymore. He graduated in May with a degree in business administration. But he continues to develop his business and discover new markets for his invention wherever he goes. “It’s crazy to think that in such a short time, we were distributing on a global level,” he said. “But there is real opportunity for Water the World because people want to help, and I have a way.” ▲




Brittany Vose

The 18 Hole Stroll for Pancreatic Cancer Research When she was 5 years old, Brittany Vose lost her father to pancreatic cancer. As she got older, she wanted to do more to raise awareness and find a cure. Vose organized a small walk for awareness when she was in high school. It has since grown into The 18-Hole Stroll for Pancreatic Cancer Research, which is part of the annual Travelers Championship PGA Tour held in Cromwell, Connecticut. Vose has raised more than $400,000 for cancer research since first establishing the walk. “It means the world to me, knowing that all this money is being raised and all this awareness is being brought to the world. But I don’t take it personally. It’s not for me. This is my way of giving back and helping others not go through what I’ve gone through. That’s what’s important.”


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Alyssa Farraye The Relief Bus

Senior Alyssa Farraye has a passion for helping people. She recently spent a summer working on The Relief Bus — a mobile homeless resource center in New Jersey — offering hot meals, drinks, health care, job training, prayer, hygiene kits and socks to anyone who wanted them. “This world is in need of people who can love others for their stories. But people are scared of their past and their scars. When they hear, ‘I love you for you, I respect you for you, I want to hear your story,’ that begins to break down the wall they’re hiding behind. We do that here on campus at HPU. We’re welcoming, we’re judgment-free and we’re caring. We learn to take it outside campus and extend this hope into the city and beyond.”

David Garborcauskas Jr. David Garbo Jr. Fund

David “Garbo,” a NASCAR driver for Whelen Motorsports, established the David Garbo Jr. Fund to help fund tutoring for athletically-inclined students with non-traditional learning styles and learning differences like dyslexia and ADD/ADHD. Growing up with dyslexia himself, he understands firsthand the benefit some students can gain from tutoring or extra help. “My favorite part about running my fund is allowing kids to follow their dreams and find academic success. I know how important reading is in our culture and in my life. If I can help just one other student to get beyond the frustration of a reading disability, I will feel like I’m helping out.”

Jasmine Williams

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Jasmine Williams is a long-time volunteer and “Big Sister” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont. Since 2012, Williams has mentored her “Little,” Yave Maldonado, a local fifth-grader who lost his mother to a car accident. They work on homework together, visit the school library and play kickball during recess. Williams has raised more than $1,000 for BBBS, and received the honor of “Big of the Year” for her service work. “I have had so many amazing mentors over the years, and I wanted to have that influential role in a child’s life. I try to help him learn from my mistakes. I help him realize just how important school is for his future. He gets tough love from me sometimes, but it’s all to make him a better person.”




A hundred pairs of hands clapped and waved American flags when veterans arrived at High Point University on Veterans Day.

“Our country wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for you. High Point University is a God, family and country school, and we thank you and pray that God blesses you.” – Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU President

These men and women, whose service spans many decades, brought cheers and applause from students who lined up to welcome them. The HPU students called it a Heroes Walk, and they organized it to thank a group of veterans from Pennybyrn at Maryfield, a local retirement community, who came to campus for a Veterans Day Luncheon. “I was on the bus from Pennybyrn, and I saw this crowd of people lined up outside of the building,” said Harlen Kebel, Korean and Vietnam War Veteran. “When I realized that High Point University students were waiting to greet us when we got off the bus cheering and smiling, I was deeply moved. It has been a very welcoming experience, and I truly do appreciate the thoughts that were expressed today.” The Pennybyrn residents shared stories from their time in the service with HPU ROTC students during lunch. HPU President 96

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Dr. Nido Qubein, who came to the United States in 1966, thanked them for their service and sacrifice.

“You have not only created an atmosphere for freedom for all Americans, but you have also allowed people like me to come to this country to go to school, go to work and do well,” said Qubein. “This is what America is all about. Our country wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for you. High Point University is a God, family and country school, and we thank you and pray that God blesses you.” After the luncheon, ROTC students presented a blanket to each veteran. The blanket symbolized the warmth and comfort all veterans have brought into the lives of Americans. “It is an amazing opportunity to be able to connect with prior generations that have served,” said HPU student and ROTC member Kevin Bush. “It helps us bridge the gap between my generation and theirs so we don’t lose our personal connection to history and what they’ve accomplished as veterans. They have been through so many tremendous experiences, and for me to take even just one thing from that, it will help me develop as a person and as an officer.” ▲

Meet the Class of 2020’s First to be Accepted When Megan Kinney was a girl, she listened to other children talk about what they wanted to be when they grew up. But she was never able to join the conversation. She couldn’t bring herself to say she wanted to be a doctor or a teacher like the other kids because she was worried she wouldn’t have the chance to grow up at all. Kinney has battled cystic fibrosis since she was born. And her single wish has always been to simply have a future. Her life always appeared normal to those on the outside. She played lacrosse in high school, was bubbly, energetic and had a lot of friends. And it’s always been her goal to live life to the fullest despite her obstacles. So after years of praying, and after many scientific advancements that give cystic fibrosis patients more hope, Kinney decided to apply to college and move forward in her life as an independent person. She even made a video explaining her choice to apply to High Point University, and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions quickly noticed it. In that video, Megan explains her daily battle with cystic fibrosis, which includes but is not limited to fistfuls of pills, hours of breathing treatments, and the worry of a life cut too short. But she also explains that she doesn’t let it hold her back. After they watched it, they knew. Megan embodies the HPU spirit. She chooses to be extraordinary every single day. She chooses to overcome daily more challenges than most of us will ever face. “The decision to admit Megan wasn’t difficult,” says Andy Bills, senior vice president for enrollment. “She’s a bright student with many accomplishments, but she also embodies the High Point University mantra: Choose to be extraordinary. We knew we wanted her to be part of the Class of 2020 and this campus, and we knew we had to welcome her in a special way.”

“I remember what President Qubein said to me when I met him on campus. He said, ‘Megan, life is what you make it; why not choose to make it extraordinary?’” – Megan Kinney, First to be admitted to the Class of 2020 So in February, Bills and a team from admissions flew to Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh, to give Kinney the surprise of her life. They stepped inside Kinney’s high school and waited with purple balloons and HPU signs in hand. Her teachers, school staff and parents knew well beforehand what would take place that day. When Megan opened the door, the room greeted her with a roar of congratulations. Her jaw draw dropped and her palm flew to her chest. They gave her the news that not only was she the first student to be admitted to HPU’s Class of 2020, but she was also about to fly back to campus to spend the weekend there. Kinney is a thriving student on campus now. She’s built relationships, is involved in many organizations and is constantly focused on her academic work. But she’ll never forget that day on campus, or the ones before it. “I remember what President [Nido] Qubein said to me when I met him on campus,” Kinney said. “He said, ‘Megan, life is what you make it; why not choose to make it extraordinary?’” “I was in a life where I thought this wouldn’t be happening,” she said. “But now it’s happening…So yes, I choose to be extraordinary.” ▲


THIN SLICES Students traveled around the world on their spring break and made an impact on the lives of people in Haiti, Florida and South Carolina.

Pharmacy faculty distributed free overthe-counter medication and provided health screenings at High Point Seventh-Day Adventist Church for members of the community.

Forty-five HPU education majors paired with their Montlieu Academy of Technology book buddies for a semester to encourage and facilitate reading in a one-on-one setting for the elementary school children.


thin slices

HPU’s Department of Physics hosted 1,000 members of the community for the second HPUniverse Day astronomy event. Local children enjoyed hovercrafts, water bottle rockets and vortex rings.

HPU’s Alpha Chi Omega sorority and Beta Theta Pi fraternity hosted the second science fair for the Boys and Girls Club of High Point.

HPU’s Kappa Delta sorority and the Guild of Family Service of High Point raised over $25,000 for Family Service of the Piedmont as a part of the third Super Hero Dash.


THIN SLICES The HPU family donated 1,000 stockings for the Salvation Army’s Stuff a Stocking campaign. The stockings were distributed to children in the community as a way to brighten their Christmas morning.

Students enrolled in the “Narrative Medicine in Action” course spent time with residents of Pennybyrn, a local retirement living community, each weekend reading stories, creating poems, laughing and learning from each other.

HPU’s Student Council for Exceptional Children hosted a Valentine’s Day Dance for individuals with disabilities from the community with High Point Parks and Recreation and Wheatmore High School students.


thin slices

HPU and the High Point Police Department partnered to host a Youth Leadership Academy for local teens in the summer. It offered numerous opportunities for the participants to give back to their community and hone leadership skills.

HPU and Primo Water Corporation donated 92,160 8-ounce servings of water to St. Stephen AME Zion Church’s Operation Fresh Water campaign to aid in the Flint, Michigan, water crisis.

Students participated in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and helped members of the community file their taxes free of charge for the fourth year in a row. During the four tax seasons since 2012, 52 students participated in the VITA program and worked 1,346 hours while preparing 911 state and federal tax returns.




High Point University graduates commence prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. It’s no wonder that 95 percent of HPU graduates either start a career or continue to graduate school within six months of graduation. Here is a snapshot of their success. To see where more than 100 members of the Class of 2016 are launching careers, visit

STEPHANIE BELLISARIO Business Operations at Lincoln Financial Hometown: Wayne, Pennsylvania Degree: Business Administration

“High Point University helped me by providing students with professors who want you to succeed outside the classroom and prepare you for the real world. I utilized the Office of Career and Professional Development by setting up multiple mock interviews, and I was always prepared and knew about the company going into the mock interviews. I would also set up appointments with them to see if any alumni were currently working, or had worked in the past, at the company I was looking into.“


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Dental school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor Hometown: Richmond, Virginia Degree: Psychology

“HPU taught me about how perseverance and hard work are essential for success even when obstacles come your way. I’ve learned the importance of toughness, sacrifice, dedication and, most importantly, to never take for granted the opportunities that have been presented to you.”

EMMY PEARL Leadership Associate for BB&T Hometown: Lebanon, Tennessee Degree: Actuarial Science

“HPU has given me countless experiences that have distinguished me from other applicants. My parents provided me with the opportunity of going to this great university, but it was the university that provided me with incredible opportunities such as the position I have now.”


TradeDesk Analyst at Colonial Funding Group Hometown: Camas, Washington Degree: Business Administration

“A great deal of the credit for this is due to the professionalism and skills that I have learned and experienced during my years at High Point University. My experience at HPU has allowed me to learn and grow as a business professional. In addition to academic education, HPU also provided resources for me to learn about life skills.”


Shaping FUTURE the


By: Ariel Gariepy, ‘14

The 2016 election cycle is wrapping up, although it’s hard to forget all the debates, the news coverage and the canvassing efforts leading up to it. But have you ever thought about the technology that goes into running a political campaign? I have. Every day. See, I spend my days working in Microsoft’s Innovation and Policy Center in the heart of Washington, D.C. I’m the program coordinator for its Campaign and Technology Services team. Political hopefuls — whether at the local, state or national level — rely heavily on technology to make their campaigns successful. Trends toward mobile technology, social media, real-time feedback and cloud computing force candidates to look for solutions that can reach their constituents anytime, anywhere. That’s where I come in. My team works with the presidential campaigns

and their partners to help them achieve more using Microsoft’s resources. I prep meeting materials, draft and edit internal and external communications, and curate content for Microsoft’s Elections Newsroom. It’s my job to ensure a company-wide coordination of efforts. It’s an amazing opportunity to have visibility across Microsoft and work with some of the smartest professionals I have ever met. After I graduated from HPU in 2014, I moved to D.C. to attend grad school at American University. Working a full time job, finishing up my Master of Arts degree, and taking complete advantage of being a young professional in D.C. has made my life a blur for the past couple of years. But working for Microsoft in the city that I love, making a positive impact on the world, is truly a dream come true. Luckily for me, I landed at a university that takes your dreams seriously and gives students the tools to make dreams a reality.

To say High Point University helped me get here would be a large understatement. The truth is, the professors, values and environment at HPU empowered me to graduate ready to succeed in the “real world.” My advisors worked with me from freshman to senior year to make sure that the courses I took would prepare me to pursue my education at a higher level or obtain a position at a top tier organization like Microsoft. These two years in D.C. have developed much differently than I initially thought they would, but I am so thrilled that I now hold an M.A. in international peace and conflict resolution, and continue to be a part of the Campaign Tech team at Microsoft. While I do not know what the next years of my life will hold, I will always feel grateful to have attended a university that showed me to dream big and embrace every challenge and opportunity life throws your way. ▲

“Luckily for me, I landed at a university that takes your dreams seriously and gives students the tools to make dreams a reality.” – Ariel Gariepy, ’14 Program coordinator for Campaign Technology Services at Microsoft



Pitching the Powerhouses:

Life as a PR Pro John Marsicano was having lunch with one of his HPU mentors, Senior Vice President for Communications Roger Clodfelter, when he got the news. He was a senior at the time, in the spring of 2015, about to graduate with a strategic communication degree. As their soup arrived, Marsicano looked down at his phone, then glanced back up to say, “I got the job.” Fast forward to today and you’ll find the Long Island native spending his days in downtown Dallas. He works at Jackson Spalding, a major public relations firm that represents companies including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Toyota, Chick-fil-A and Orkin LLC. Marsicano is a PR pro at Jackson Spalding. He pitches stories to media, creates content for social platforms and forges partnerships for a variety of clients, including the nation’s largest independent bedding retailer, Mattress Firm. “I genuinely love what I do,” he says. “I work for an incredible agency, alongside some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. I knew I wanted to work in public relations for years, but to actually do it, to finally call it ‘my career,’ I feel very lucky to be able to say I look forward to going to work every day. I cannot imagine doing anything else.” Marsicano’s story is uniquely his own. But the successful outcome he experienced is the standard at HPU. His time as a student was filled with experiential learning opportunities. He landed internships with top PR agencies, attended the Democratic and Republican national conventions for the HPU Democracy USA project, and led the HPU fraternity chapter of Kappa Sigma to new heights.

All these experiences, the Long Island native says, prepared him for the world as it is going to be. “Plain and simple: A holistic education is a microcosm of the world we live in. HPU provides you with the tools necessary to succeed post-graduation and beyond. That extraordinary education doesn’t come to an end after four years; those experiences, the work ethic, everything you’ve worked to achieve is forever embedded in your DNA.” He uses those lessons every day at Jackson Spalding, where he builds bridges and shares impactful stories. “John is one example of the type of hard work and determination that has come to define the HPU graduate,” says Clodfelter. “Entrepreneurial, optimistic and prepared to welcome the next opportunity or challenge. That is what living a life of success and significance is all about.” ▲


CLASS NOTES workshops, he has performed more than 15,000 live shows for more than 500,000 children over the last 15 years.

Richard “Chuck” Miller (1962), along with his wife and other HPU friends, took a caravan tour through Costa Rica. He joined Lynne Lilly, wife of 1966 alumnus Harry Lilly; 1964 alumna Carolyn Frye Munro; and 1965 alumna Jean McCollum Hurt. Both Munro and Hurt were active members of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority during their time at HPU. Brian Ditzler (1970) retired from IBM after a 35-year career with the company. Ditzler is now the co-chair of the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club, and vice president of a consumer protection nonprofit. He frequently speaks on environmental and consumer protection legislation to committees of the Maryland General Assembly. Donny Lambeth (1972) received the 2016 Legislator of the Year Award from the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors. Lambeth is a Forsyth County State Representative for District 75. He received the award for his legislative commitment to improve the health of North Carolina, and specifically for his support of public health in his role as chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Bill Buczinsky (1979) is the founder of A Child’s Voice, a company created in 1997 to help children discover and develop their poetic powers. Through multimedia performances, poetry readings and 106

class notes

Frederick A. Patterson Jr. (1980) has been named the director of development for the Old Hickory Council for Boy Scouts of America in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Old Hickory Council serves Scouting in Northwest North Carolina. Al Seymour (1980) is a platinum financial services advisor at Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., and serves on the HPU Alumni Board. In 2014, he was named a Five Star Wealth Manager and was in the top one percent of the Annuity Elite. He has received recognitions from the Million Dollar Round Table as a Life and Qualifying Member 2013 Court of the Table, and also serves on the Winston-Salem City/ County Utility Commission. Mark Murphy (1988) transferred to Navy Staff (Pentagon) and was assigned as Deputy Director, Logistics Programs and Business Operations Division (OPNAV N41). Kevin Clement (1990) is an account manager with Displayit, a leading provider of portable display products for trade shows and other event marketing projects, located in Metro Atlanta. Michelle Saunders (1990) was appointed to the bench as an associate judge of the District Court of Maryland on Oct. 17, 2013. She currently presides over cases in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties. Amy Marshall Audlin (1992) has been the human relations manager at Capital

Mechanical in Virginia for 12 years. She also serves on the HPU Alumni Board of Directors. Audlin has been married to her husband, David, for 21 years. They have a 16-year-old son, Hunter. Dan Goldstein (1992) is the executive director of Culpeper Renaissance Inc. in Culpeper, Virginia. Along with the organization’s board of directors, Goldstein is developing a list of new projects to help keep downtown Culpeper a vibrant area.

Bryan Knight Bowles (1993) competed in the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. This was his 16th total Ironman competition. Along with his 80 marathon finishes, Bowles continues to race across the country striving towards 100 total marathon finishes including every state and six continents. He’s also pursuing an additional career in real estate. Bowles says, “I’m so fortunate to have had such a wonderful journey. My experiences at HPU were my foundation!” He currently resides in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, with his wife, Shannon, and two children, Alleigh and A.J. Elizabeth Caruso (1994) was appointed executive director and CEO of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenanceof-Way Association (AREMA). Caruso joined AREMA in 1999 and most recently served as its director of administration. She is also a member of the American Society of Association Executives and has earned her Certified Association Executive designation. She resides in Maryland with her husband, Chris, and two children.

Rita Sigmon (1994) joined Davis Group, a tax and accounting firm in Salisbury, North Carolina. In her position, Sigmon assists clients with bookkeeping, payroll and tax compliance including tax return preparation for individuals. Tina Greene (1995) won Best Banker in the Go Triad Readers’ Choice Award 2015. Greene is a vice president at Bank of North Carolina and has more than 20 years of experience in banking. Carrie Hamilton (1995) joined the Bald Ridge Boy’s Lodge Board of Directors in Cumming, Georgia, for a three-year term. Hamilton was appointed in August 2014. Bald Ridge Lodge is a nonprofit stabilization and assessment center for boys ages 12 –17 in Forsyth County, Georgia. Rebekah Lee Ricardo (1996) co-presented a workshop titled, “Public Safety Roundtable for the Advanced Practitioner” at the 2015 Grant Professionals Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. During the 2015 conference, she was selected to co-chair the Public Safety Special Interest Group Committee for 2016. In January 2016, Ricardo helped found the first-ever North Carolina chapter of Grant Professionals Association and was elected Chapter President for 2016. She is also the grants analyst for the Winston-Salem Police Department and works as a freelance grant specialist. In her spare time she writes a blog called “pétanque” and plays competitive pétanque with Carolina Petanque. She and her husband, Nelson, reside in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mitchell Smith (1998) and Amy Coffman Smith (1999) welcomed a little boy, Camden Aaron, on Oct. 17, 2014. Karah Hensley Wilson (1999) has been married to Tim Wilson (2001) for 17 years. Karah, a former HPU volleyball player, is a

physical therapist assistant in Hartsville, South Carolina. Tim, a former HPU basketball player, is a supervisor at QVC. The couple has two children, Bailee and Drew. Brandon Kuebler (2000) is a pediatric cardiologist for Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Florida. Kuebler attended medical school at West Virginia University. He is a board certified internist, pediatrician and pediatric cardiologist. He recently passed a new board subspecialty certification for Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD), making him one of the first doctors in the country to receive the certification. Vikki Fuller (2002) is pursuing her doctorate in organizational psychology at Capella University while maintaining honors status. Fuller also received her master’s in human relations management from Strayer University in 2012, graduating with honors. She currently resides in Clarksville, Tennessee. Shannon O’Brien (2003) is the vice president of technology banking at Square 1 Bank, the premier banking partner to entrepreneurs and the venture capital community, in New England. Her past experience includes vice president at Silicon Valley Bank, as well as roles in trade operations and accounting with Boston hedge fund Highfields Capital Management LP. O’Brien received a bachelor’s degree in business from HPU. Jocelyn Paza Cothran (2003) and Scott “Matt” Cothran (2007) welcomed a son, Rome Andris, on January 27, 2015. The Cothrans also have a 5-year-old daughter, Mara Matelyn.

Mike (2005) and Sarah Maykish (2006) spent four weeks working with children and public school teachers in Shanghai, China, as Fulbright-Hays participants through the U.S. Department of Education. Mike is a speech language pathologist for Brunswick County Schools (BCS), and Sarah is a middle grade language arts teacher for BCS. The couple resides in Leland, North Carolina. Adam Duncan (2006) and Nicole Clausi Duncan (2009) were married in 2013 and have one daughter, Haydin Sue, who was born in 2014. Adam and Nicole are both teachers in the surrounding areas of High Point. Nicole coaches club women’s lacrosse for HPU. Daniel Wolff (2006) is an upper school learning resource specialist at The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia. He is also an assistant varsity coach for the school’s football and baseball teams. Scott Andrews (2007) was named president of the Forsyth County Restaurant Association. He is also the Triad area territory manager for THE SEALS, a North Carolina-based distributor of gaskets for commercial refrigerator doors, freezer doors, oven doors and steamer doors throughout the Carolinas. Jordan Googe (2007) began brokerage with Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors, in September 2014.


CLASS NOTES Jake Baldus Grier (2007) is a realtor specializing in commercial properties for Baldus Real Estatae in La Plata, Maryland. He recently refinanced a 110,000 squarefoot assisted living community with 75 employees and 175 residents in Waldorf, Maryland. He credits HPU in helping him get where he is today: “Thank you to High Point University and Dr. Lifland (in the finance department) for teaching me about finance, economics and business management.” John Taylor (2007) is a health and physical education teacher at BelovED Community Charter School. He was named the 2016 New Jersey Teacher of the Year by the New Jersey Charter Schools Association for exemplifying what it means to go above and beyond to improve educational opportunities for every child and advance the charter movement. Taylor, who has acquired $96,000 in physical activity grants since 2012, was recognized at the 8th Annual NJCSA Conference on May 26, 2016. Lisa Thompson (2008) was named the 2015-16 Principal of the Year for Randolph County Schools. This is her third year as principal at Archdale Elementary School. Thompson received her master’s degree in educational leadership from HPU. Carter Burns (2009) received the East Coast Rising Star Award from the International Home Furnishings Representatives Association during its 2016 Furniture Industry Awards Gala. The award is given to sales representatives who have been on the road for five years or less. Burns currently represents Caracole, Saloom Casual Dining and eBITS Solutions. Burns lives in Denton, North Carolina. 108

class notes

Ilia Owens (2009) is the new partners development specialist at the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Owens received her master’s in nonprofit management and leadership from HPU.

Mexico.” Spurrier worked alongside now-retired Dr. Gerald Smith, HPU professor of biology, and others in her research.

Bryan Rothamel (2009) married Blair Wissinger Rothamel on May 30, 2015, in Warm Springs, Virginia. Tiffany Tolliver (2009) is serving in 11 different countries during an 11-month mission trip with the World Race. She previously served as the director of product development for Greenhouse Fabrics in High Point. After the World Race, she will return to Greenhouse Fabrics. Jesse Cherry (2010) was on the cover of the March 2016 issue of Runner’s World Magazine. He is a secondtime Olympic Trial Marathon qualifier, as well as the product manager at Zombot Studios, a video game design firm based in San Francisco, California. Heather O’Connell (2010) is part of the design team for Merritt Properties, a real estate firm that owns the largest square footage of commercial real estate development in the Baltimore area. O’Connell also runs her own residential design company, Heather Lynn Interiors. Lauren Ott (2011) graduated from Duke University with a doctorate in physical therapy. Ariel Spurrier (2011) published an article in Novon by the Missouri Botanical Garden Press, titled, “A New Species of Zephyranthes (Amaryllidaceae) from

Marie Ventrone (2011) starred in an episode of Investigation Discovery Channel’s new series, “Shadow of Doubt” (episode 3, the Rhonda Boggs case) which aired on Jan. 20, 2016. She is credited as Marie Nicole, her stage name. She also starred in an episode of Syfy’s series “The Internet Ruined My Life” (episode 5, “Gleek Tragedy”), which aired on April 10, 2016. Since graduating from HPU with a theater degree in 2011, Ventrone has been working with various regional theatre companies and performing on world cruises. Rebekah Bofinger (2012) graduated from West Virginia University College of Law in May 2015, and was admitted to the Maryland State Bar in December 2015.

Aubrey L. Mahall (2012) graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, with a Master of Science degree in nutrition in 2014. She completed her dietetic internship through the distance learning program with Iowa State University in June 2015 and is prepping for the Registered Dietitian’s Exam given by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Brianne Conley (2014) and her mother co-own the Number Fourteen Boutique in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The store, which opened in 2014, sells women’s clothing, accessories, gift items and refurbished furniture. Matthew Petrone (2012) and Kristen Bollert Petrone (2012) were married in Newport, Rhode Island, on July 11, 2015. There were 22 HPU alumni present at the wedding. Jazmin Cromartie (2013) graduated from Wake Forest University with a master’s degree in intercultural services in health care. Cromartie is the first HPU graduate to receive the degree from WFU. She is currently attending dental school at East Carolina University. Amy Lorraine Gravel (2013) was cast as an extra and stand-in for the upcoming pilot of “Stand-In,” a television show being filmed in New York City. Steven Haller (2013) is a benefits specialist at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. He discovered the position through his HPU alumni network, and his manager graduated from HPU in 1993. Haller lives in Pasadena, Maryland. Brady Johnson (2013) got engaged to Trey Compton on a gondola in Venice, Italy. The couple was married on Oct. 1, 2016, in Aldie, Virginia.

Eric (2013) and Rachel King Lawrence (2013) were married on May 29, 2015, at the Oaks of Salem in Apex, North Carolina. Dana Lindblad (2013) is a special assistant and program analyst at Project Support Services, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business established to provide project and contract support services to government agencies, private sector firms, general contractors and sub-contractors. Sara Orazi (2013) moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2015 to help plant the church Grace Capital City. Orazi will be apprenticing with the church, learning more about ministry and growing spiritually stronger. Bradley Taylor (2013) graduated with a Master of Education degree in higher education administration from North Carolina State University. He is now a success coach for freshmen at HPU. Nicole Alexandra White (2013) was selected through the Fulbright Austria program as an English language teaching assistant at the Vienna Business School in Austria. She previously spent two years in a Teach for America program in Warsaw, North Carolina, as a fourth-grade teacher. White is also working toward her master’s degree online from Northeastern University in Boston.

Kristin Joyce (2014) is an executive assistant at State Street Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts. Molly Gibson Mays (2014) married Connor Mays on April 11, 2015, at The Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Savannah, Georgia. She graduated with a B.S. in interior design, and is the director of design and marketing for International Rug Group. The couple lives in New York City. Katie Moorehead (2014) is a producer and production coordinator at Vital Companies, a video production studio in Columbus, Ohio. In her position, Moorehead is responsible for the creative development and execution of campaign videos for clients such as Nationwide Insurance, OhioHealth and Columbus Metropolitan Library. Mallory McMahon (2014) is pursuing her Ph.D. in applied mathematics at North Carolina State University. Alex Oberlander (2014) is a business development representative at in New York City, one of the largest software companies in the world.


CLASS NOTES Kathryn Prominiski (2015) is pursuing her Doctor of Physical Therapy at Columbia University in New York. She was also accepted at Belmont University, Marymount University and Washington University at St. Louis.

Alexandria Palmer (2014) is pursuing her Master of Public Administration at The University of Georgia in Athens. She also completed an internship at the Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C., over the summer. Madison Jordan (2015) co-starred in the NYC off-Broadway musical “A Pound in Your Pocket,” and was cast as an extra and stand-in for the upcoming pilot of “Stand-In,” a television show being filmed in New York City.

Grace Beal (2015) is a campaign specialist for The National Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Natick, Massachusetts.

Ken Marshall (2015) is a communications consultant for AT&T in El Segundo, California. He is also on the company’s production team.

Barrett South (2015) moved to New York City to begin a new job in the merchandising department at J. Crew’s headquarters.

Meredith Miller (2015) is a lead teacher for students in grades K–5 in the extended day program at Charlotte Latin School.

Andrew Schleicher (2015) is a fan relations specialist in Major League Soccer for the San Jose Earthquakes.

Lydia Monteiro (2015) is an associate photographer at Infinite Loop Photography in Florida. Monteiro landed the job in part due to a connection with the company’s owner, Patricia Dash, whose son also attends HPU.

Kelly Schwab (2015) is a digital marketing specialist for an advertising agency in Baltimore. In her position, Schwab helps clients understand their audience and how to reach them.

Christina Burchette (2015) is a communications specialist for the EPA in Washington, D.C. Spencer Calligar (2015) is a licensed real estate salesperson at The Corcoran Group in New York City. Zachary Cocroft (2015) is an account manager at Xperience Creative in Boston. Shannon Curley (2015) is the copy and brand writer for Marvel and Star Wars products at Hasbro. Michael Heslink (2015) is pursuing his master’s in professional writing at Carnegie Mellon University.

Liz Naylor (2015) is an event coordinator for the Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation in Ohio.

High Point University Alumni @HPUAlum Send your alumni notes and updates to!


John Resnik (2015) is pursuing his Juris Doctor at Michigan State University College of Law.

Stephanie Schwartz (2014) is the business channel marketing specialist at the global headquarters of ADT in Boca Raton, Florida.

class notes

Taylor Smith (2015) is a staff associate at MP&F Public Relations in Nashville, Tennessee.

Devin Gant (2016) competed for the title of Miss USA 2016 in June. She holds the title of Miss North Carolina USA 2016. For more success stories from the Class of 2016, visit classof2016.


Baltimore, MD

Washington, DC

Raleigh-Durham, NC

New York City, NY


In Their


Students, alumni, parents, donors and friends frequently give high praise for High Point University. Here are just a few examples of online advocacy. Alex Hostetler @alexhh2014 · 17 Nov 2015



Happy that @HighPointU provides me with the tools and resources I need to live a life of #SuccessAndSignificance

2 weeks into my internship that @HighPointU‘s career center introduced me to and I love it! #HPUSMM LIKES

4 8:35 PM - 26 Jan 2016

High Point, NC


Becky Irons @Birons615

Thank you @HighPointU for helping hone my fine dining etiquette, I received glowing praise from the waiter at dinner tonight. #1924Prime




jonicawatrous High Point University




10:24 PM · 18 Aug 2015

What drew us to HPU is that it is nurturing and caring and develops the student as a whole person. A student can get a diploma anywhere; HPU prepares them for the real world and helps them with internships, job readiness and developing skills that bring something unique to the workforce. That is the only way they can compete in this job market. They need to stand out. HPU has this down. We love HPU! –  Allison Benson, mother of sophomore Christopher Benson


6 4:31 PM - 13 Feb 2016

As a parent, I knew that I had found a safe, comforting and inspiring home for my daughter to transition into the next phase of her life. For Dominique, she found leaders who could mentor and inspire her. Dr. Qubein was her mentor who she admired and spoke to often. It is here that she found her voice and embarked upon her passion – communications. It was here that she embraced the concept of being extraordinary in her own sense and emerged ready to face the world. Thank you, HPU! –  Latonia Lewis, mother of 2015 graduate Dominique Higdon (assistant program director at Radio One for 93.9 in Washington, D.C.)



jonicawatrous Thank you. Thank you to @highpointu for four years I will never forget. To my mentors and teachers for guiding me and being a friend through it all. To my sisters for being exactly that, sisters, there no matter what. To my friends for never ceasing to make me smile. And to my parents for giving me this opportunity. #hpugrad2016

The staff and professors truly care about their students. I have a daughter who graduated in 2014 and another daughter there now. Best choice of college that reinforces values, kindness and community service to others. High Point University is extraordinary! –  Bonnie Houston, mother of 2014 graduate Jessica Houston (residential counselor at Florence Crittenton Services in Charlotte, North Carolina)



High Point University students, parents and alumni showcase their HPU pride all around the world. Send photos of you and your family in HPU gear to Emmi Esker (2019)

Jaipur, India

Jordan Hutcheson (2017) Kaneohe, Hawaii

GR Dulac (2019)

Costa Brava, Spain

John Gavin Rhodes (2019) Sedona, Arizona

Elie Finn (2016)

London, England

Stephen Brzozowski (2017) Lake George, New York

Brandon Parks (2018)

Juneau, Alaska

Katie Knect (2016) Hong Kong, China

One University Parkway High Point, N.C. 27268 USA 336-841-9000

High Point University is ranked the #1 Best Regional College in the South for five consecutive years and the #1 Most Innovative Regional College in the South for two consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Named 2017 Commencement Speaker Wolf Blitzer is CNN’s lead political anchor and anchor of “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” known as the command center for breaking news, politics and extraordinary reports from around the world. Over the decades, Blitzer has reported on a wide range of major stories that have shaped the international political landscape. The numerous honors he has received for his reporting include an Emmy Award from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing and a Golden CableACE from the National Academy of Cable Programming for his and CNN’s coverage of the Persian Gulf War. He anchored CNN’s Emmy Award-winning live coverage of the 2006 Election Day. He was also among the teams awarded a George Foster Peabody award for Hurricane Katrina coverage; an Alfred I. duPont Award for coverage of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia; and an Edward R. Murrow Award for CNN’s coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Blitzer has also interviewed some of recent history’s most notable figures including United States Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, as well as many foreign heads of state including former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

High Point University Magazine | Fall 2016  
High Point University Magazine | Fall 2016