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Tenure and promotion:


ELISE SCHWEITZER, associate professor of art I believe that painting is just about the best thing anyone can do with her time. When I’m working at an easel, I am alive to the world around me, more aware of light, form, and color. At Hollins I teach painting and drawing, technique and theory, and also patience, perseverance, and new methods for interacting with the world around us. Beginning drawing and painting students start by working from life, but learning to draw or paint isn’t just about making realistic images, it’s about changing how we see. Try to draw a portrait and you’ll recognize just how complicated our noses are. Paint a shadow on Tinker Mountain in the fall and you’ll see sunlight in a whole new way. Draw a shadow or mix a color and you’ll understand and remember that nose or that sunny afternoon. Making artwork can bring to light connections and convergences. During Short Term trips to Italy, I teach students to draw on location everywhere, from cathedrals to neighborhood cafes. Drawing in her sketchbook, a student can camp out in front of Botticelli’s painting of Venus for an hour and really look at the painting, at the glints of gold in the water and all the flowers flying through the air. She might start to wonder, Doesn’t Venus look like that other Botticelli painting of Simonetta Vespucci? Is she related to Amerigo Vespucci? The one who made the maps of America? Incredible!


DAN DERRINGER, professor of chemistry Dan Derringer received degrees in chemistry from Kalamazoo College (B.A.) and Purdue University (Ph.D.). Helping students learn is one of his preeminent joys. In addition to teaching courses for chemistry majors, he has taught a variety of courses for nonmajors, including The Chemistry of Art and Archaeology; Chemistry and Cooking; Contribution of Science to Global Issues; and Earth Science, Leadership, and Expedition Behavior. One of his favorite courses for nonmajors is Learning Navigation Skills, which draws heavily on his experiences as a hiker, a scuba diver, and an airplane pilot. As a researcher, Derringer makes and characterizes compounds of transition metals. At present he and his student assistants are investigating the structural, spectroscopic, and electrochemical properties of several new compounds they have synthesized. He believes the best way for students to put into practice the theories they learn in the classroom is to involve them in laboratory research. Derringer is a firm believer in the liberal arts, especially the emphasis it places on lifelong learning. He is enrolled in a master’s-level course in philosophy. He says this course is teaching him to be a better thinker, a quality he knows he can pass on to his own students. When he is not teaching or taking classes, he is spending time with his family.


MORGAN WILSON, professor of biology The son of a biologist and naturalist, Wilson received degrees in biology from Hampden-Sydney College (B.S.), Virginia Tech (M.S.), and the University of Mississippi (Ph.D.). He enjoys studying and teaching about how things work biologically—physiological and behavioral mechanisms, to be exact—especially in organisms in their natural environment. He teaches courses in Hollins’ biology and environmental studies programs, including human physiology, ornithology, human anatomy, invertebrate zoology, and human biology. He and Hollins biologist Renee Godard frequently lead Short Term trips to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands to explore marine diversity in the Caribbean, environmental concerns, and cultural history. With Hollins biologist Elizabeth Gleim ’06 and students, he explores tick ecology in Southwest Virginia and its possible connection to the risk of Lyme disease. Other research has taken him to the edge of the Arctic, the Appalachian Mountains, the Mississippi Delta, and the prairie pothole region of North Dakota. He has published various articles on topics ranging from the migration of the bluewinged teal to the causes of stress in male yellow warblers breeding at high latitudes. Put him in nature, be it a marsh, meadow, or mountain, and he is a happy man. In his spare time, he enjoys fly fishing, canoeing, trail running, waterfowling, bow hunting, hiking, and spending time with his family.

Summer 2019 5

Profile for Hollins University

Hollins University Alumnae Magazine, Summer 2019 Issue  

Hollins magazine is published quarterly by Hollins University, Roanoke, VA

Hollins University Alumnae Magazine, Summer 2019 Issue  

Hollins magazine is published quarterly by Hollins University, Roanoke, VA