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Hollins Magazine Vol. 70, No. 1 July - September 2019


GUEST EDITOR Jean Holzinger M.A.L.S. ’11


ADVISORY BOARD Vice President for External Relations Suzy Mink ’74, Director of Alumnae Relations Lauren Sells Walker ’04, Director of Public Relations Jeff Hodges M.A.L.S. ’11 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ann Atkins Hackworth ’82, M.A.L.S. ’95; Mary Ann Harvey Johnson ’67, M.A. ’71; Lucy Lee M.A.L.S. ’85, C.A.S. ’03; Linda Martin; Brenda McDaniel HON ’12; Sharon Meador; Kathy Rucker

Interim President Nancy Oliver Gray shares her goals for the coming year.

PRINTER Progress Printing, Lynchburg, VA Hollins (USPS 247/440) is published quarterly by Hollins University, Roanoke, VA 24020. Entered as Periodicals Postage Paid at Roanoke, VA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Hollins, Hollins University, Box 9688, Roanoke, VA 24020 or call (800) TINKER1. The articles and class letters in Hollins do not necessarily represent the official policies of Hollins University, nor are they always the opinions of the editor. Hollins University does not discriminate in admission because of race, color, religion, age, disability, genetic information, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, or sexual orientation and maintains a nondiscriminatory policy throughout its operation. For more information, contact the director of human resources/Title IX coordinator, (540) 362-6660 or Questions, comments, corrections, or story ideas may be sent to: Magazine Editor Hollins University Box 9657 Roanoke, VA 24020


Visit the online version of Hollins magazine at

On the cover: Joan Phillips Timbers ’69. Photo by Michael Sink.

Reunion 2019 Photos from this year’s celebration.


This Is Us Recent highlights of the Hollins experience.


The New Village Opens Its Doors to Students Phase one of the student village opened in August, to the delight of its first residents.


Twenty Years (and Counting) in the Life of a Library Twenty years after the Wyndham Robertson Library opened, its signature elements remain—but changes in services and in space, both physical and digital, address the evolving needs of the campus community. By Luke Vilelle, Maryke Barber, and Rebecca Seipp

CLASS LETTERS EDITORS Olivia Body ’08, Samantha Hoover DESIGNERS Erica Cundiff, Sarah Sprigings, David Hodge Anstey Hodge Advertising Group, Roanoke, VA

A Time to Look Ahead


The American Experience in Photographs Photography expert Denise Bethel ’73 spoke on campus last spring about an exhibition at the Wilson Museum that included work by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and others. By Karen Adams M.A. ’93 English and creative writing; M.A. ’00, M.F.A. ’10 children’s literature


Collaborative and Pragmatic Jennifer Barton Boysko ’89 has moved from Virginia’s House to the Senate, inspiring voters with her “genuine desire to make the world better.” By Beth JoJack ’98


Pushing a Boulder Up a Hill First published in 1977, Artemis still celebrates the prodigious talents of Southwest Virginia writers and artists, including Hollins students, alumnae, and faculty. By Jeff Hodges M.A.L.S. ’11


The Love Language of Lima Beans Rachel McCarthy James ’08 writes about how the humble vegetable has become a symbol of love between her and her husband.

D E P A R T M E N T S 3

In the Loop


Alumnae Connections


Focus on Philanthropy


Class Letters, with profiles of Anna Copplestone ’06 and Jenna Milton ’13





Sharon Meador

Interim President Nancy Oliver Gray shares her goals for the coming year.


arlier this summer, I agreed to serve as Hollins’ interim president for the 2019-20 academic year while the university conducts the search for our next president. As we commence work to guarantee a smooth and successful leadership transition, I wanted to convey my thoughts on returning to an institution that means so much to me. First, I join the Board of Trustees in thanking President Pareena Lawrence for her service and leadership over the past two years. Like many

I ask you, our alumnae/i, to focus your passion for Hollins and fervently support the institution in a multitude of ways: by being generous donors, referring prospective students, and sponsoring internships and jobs after graduation.

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of you, I am grateful for the new ideas she brought to Hollins and delighted to see longawaited projects such as the student apartment village begin. I wish her the very best as she pursues her interests in international education and development.

Since retiring from Hollins in 2017, I have enjoyed spending time with my family and helping educational and nonprofit institutions strengthen their leadership and advancement capabilities. I will continue working part time as a consultant in the future; however, when the Board of Trustees approached me to serve as interim president on a limited basis, I knew I had a responsibility to return to this special community. While the search for our 13th president is underway, I will do all I can to help Hollins progress. However, I will need your help. As you are aware, independent liberal arts colleges and universities such as ours face considerable challenges. In order to thrive, I ask you, our alumnae/i, to focus your passion for Hollins and fervently support the institution in a multitude of ways: by being generous donors, referring prospective students, and sponsoring internships and jobs after graduation. This is a time for us to come together for the Hollins we cherish, a time to look ahead and not backward. In the months ahead, let us “lift up our eyes” and commit ourselves to strengthening and advancing this university and ensuring that Hollins is a welcoming and inspirational place in which to learn, live, and work. As we begin the 178th academic session at Hollins, I share the confidence of Alexandra Trower ’86, chair of the Board of Trustees, that Hollins will remain the university of choice for the leaders, decision makers, and cultural shapers of tomorrow. Working in tandem with our outstanding faculty, staff, and senior administrators, and drawing upon your love for and loyalty to your alma mater, I am certain we have the wherewithal to prosper. In the coming year, I look forward to renewing old friendships, building new relationships, and most of all, continuing as an enthusiastic champion for Hollins.


Loop “Keep on defeating those mountains” Advice from commencement speaker Shireen Lewis uring the 177th commencement exercises on May 26, EduSeed Executive Director Shireen K. Lewis encouraged the class of 2019 to take the power of sisterhood into the world and “create a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive community for all women.” Lewis, who has devoted more than 20 years to mentoring and coaching women and girls, leads EduSeed’s efforts to promote education in historically disadvantaged and underserved communities. She also founded the organization’s SisterMentors program, which supports learning among women and girls of color. A graduate of Douglass College, a women’s college at Rutgers University, Lewis cited the continuing importance and value of women’s colleges today and “their desire to create something new, something different, something that is more just.” Referencing Hollins’ Tinker Day tradition, she proclaimed, “Nobody can say that Hollins women don’t know how to defeat a mountain. So keep on defeating those mountains, Hollins women! Let’s imagine and build together a world where we listen to all women when they speak the truth. Let’s imagine and build together a world where not just a few women are free, but all women are free—free from all kinds of harm.”

Sharon Meador



Setting their sights on Nationals


all Caitlyn Sheffer ’22 a “barn rat” and she’ll consider it a badge of honor. To her and other student-athletes in the riding program, the moniker reflects commitment and determination, attributes that helped Sheffer earn a spot in May at the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) Nationals in Syracuse, New York. She finished fifth in Open Equitation on the Flat and seventh in Open Equitation Over Fences. Qualifying for Nationals was a pleasant surprise for the York, Pennsylvania native. Although she thought her first year of collegiate riding would be a period of transition (she has ridden competitively since age seven), she didn’t expect to go to Nationals the spring term of her first year. “I had accumulated enough points to qualify for IHSA Regionals and realized Nationals was a possibility,” she says. “I met with Sherri [West, head riding coach], Liz [Courter, associate director of riding], and Elise [Roschen, manager/assistant to the director of riding] and said, ‘How can we make it happen?’ If you want something, they will do everything they can to help you get there.” A trip to Nationals entailed everything from extra lessons at 6 a.m. to gym workouts with her teammates. It also required stellar performances at both the IHSA

Regional and Zone horse shows. “You must finish first or second at Regionals to go to Zones, and then at Zones, you must earn first or second place again.” Sheffer excelled at both events, capturing first in Open Equitation on the Flat and reserve champion in Open Equitation Over Fences at the Zone 4, Region 2 Championships in March, and in April repeating those achievements at the Zone 4 Finals. Sheffer and West returned from Syracuse with next year’s goal: having the entire team qualify for Nationals. To succeed, Sheffer hopes to “get all our horses performing to the max. If that’s the case, then our riders who practice on them will have a better chance.” Individually, her focus in 2020 will be on qualifying for the Cacchione Cup, one of the highest honors in college equestrian competition. Sheffer loves winning, but her lifelong passion for riding is based on something more enduring, a philosophy that will serve her well as she pursues a career as a professional trainer one day. “Even if I don’t get recognition after a phenomenal round, I will still be happy,” she explains. “Someone will ask, ‘Did you win?’ and I’ll say, ‘No, it was just really good!’ I love knowing that the horse is comfortable, happy, and going at their best, and I’ve done all I can. It’s really satisfying.”

Sarah Himes ’22

Winning rider and coach set high goals


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Hiring and promotion announcements Tenure-track appointments:





Van Eerden

4 Hollins

COURTNEY CHENETTE ’09, political science Chenette, a political science and gender and women’s studies major at Hollins, earned her J.D. at Pace Law School and practiced law in New York City. She returned to Hollins as a visiting lecturer for 2018-19 and was honored by the class of 2019 with the Senior Class Faculty Award. She began her advocacy as a New York University Revson LSPIN Fellow, representing teenage dating and domestic violence survivors. As a civil rights attorney, Chenette litigated, trained, and counseled clients on novel constitutional questions involving government power and administration, policing, education, employment, and discrimination. She teaches constitutional law and political science courses on civil rights; voting rights; the judiciary; and race, class, gender, sexuality, and the law. Chenette also serves Hollins as a pre-law advisor. CHRISTOPHER M. FLORIO, history Florio received his B.A. from the University of Richmond in 2009 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2016. Before coming to Hollins, he was a Mellon Research Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University. Florio’s teaching and research interests include the history of slavery and emancipation, the history of capitalism, intellectual and cultural history, African American history, and the history of the U.S. and the world. He is at work on a book manuscript titled Poor Freedom: The Problem of Poverty in an Age of Slave Emancipation, under contract with Yale University Press. An article stemming from his current research, “From Poverty to Slavery: Abolitionists, Overseers, and the Global Struggle for Labor in India,” received the Louis Pelzer Memorial Award from the Organization of American Historians and was published in the Journal of American History in March 2016. CAROLINE MANN, psychology Mann earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2010 and has worked in both clinical and academic settings since that time. She served as assistant professor at Brevard College, Randolph College, and Meredith College. Her passion for teaching and lifelong learning was sparked by her liberal arts education at UNC-Asheville. She has published and presented numerous studies on the topics of mental illness stigma, implicit bias, and empathy-based interventions to reduce prejudice. She served as a post-doctoral fellow and licensed psychologist at Appalachian State University’s Counseling Center, where she specialized in working with clients around LGBTQ or cultural issues, trauma, and interpersonal difficulties. At Hollins, Mann will focus on establishing a clinical/counseling track within the major. JENNIFER TURNER, sociology Turner received her B.S. degree in sociology from James Madison University in 2010, her M.A. (and a graduate certificate in women’s studies) from Old Dominion University in 2013, and her Ph.D. (and a graduate certificate in women’s and gender studies) in sociology from Virginia Tech in 2019. Her research focuses on the intersection of race, class, and gender in the lives of low-income African American single mothers. JESSIE VAN EERDEN, creative writing Van Eerden is the author of two novels, Glorybound, winner of the Foreword Editor’s Choice Fiction Prize, and My Radio Radio, as well as the portrait essay collection The Long Weeping, winner of the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award. Her work has appeared in Best American Spiritual Writing, Oxford American, Willow Springs, Image, Blackbird, and other magazines, and in several anthologies, including The River Teeth Reader and Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia. She received the Gulf Coast Prize in Nonfiction, the Milton Fellowship, and a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Fellowship. Van Eerden holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction from the University of Iowa and directed the low-residency M.F.A. program at West Virginia Wesleyan College.



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



Photos by Mary A. Daley ’19

Open eyes and heart Student art and writing enliven public transportation


n April, the university joined RIDE Solutions, the Roanoke Arts Commission, and the Greater Roanoke Transit Company in presenting the annual Art by Bus and Writer by Bus programs, which this year showcase the talents of Hollins undergraduate and graduate students.

JM Lamb in front of her work “Wishes,” chosen for the Art by Bus program.

“Wishes,” by Horizon student JM Lamb, was chosen to be displayed on half of a Valley Metro bus. Lucy Marcus, who is pursuing an M.F.A. in creative writing, was selected as this year’s Writer by Bus. She rode various buses throughout last spring to produce literary works about her experiences, the people she met, and the neighborhoods she visited. Her chronicles can be followed on the Writer by Bus Facebook page. Marcus’ final works will appear on the RIDE Solutions webpage this fall. Artist Lamb’s intention “was to create an image that invokes memories and feelings that instill joy, transcending age, race, and cultural differences, as well as socioeconomic class inequalities. … When most of us think of dandelion seed ‘puffs,’ we can mentally scroll back to childhood and the hours spent stalking the yard

This year’s Writer by Bus, Lucy Marcus.

for an intact ‘puff’ to blow in the wind. The thought of this playful task produces a smile on most of our faces.” Marcus noted, “I feel very lucky to live here, where our city workers and elected officials who do the difficult and vital work of keeping the transit circulating also create such rich programming to integrate and support the arts. I look forward to riding and writing with my eyes and heart open.”

Google Applied Computing Series coming to campus Hollins one of 11 colleges selected

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oogle has selected Hollins to be a partner institution to implement its Applied Computing Series, an initiative focusing on computer science education. Associate Professors of Mathematics Julie Clark and Steve Wassell spearheaded the effort to bring the program to Hollins, one of only 11 colleges and universities nationally that have been accepted this year. Semester-long Applied Computing courses will be offered to students who haven’t previously had the opportunity to study computer science or data science. “Google and we see these courses as appropriate for students of all majors who are interested in applying data science techniques to their fields of study,” says Clark. Google administers the course content and platform for free. Clark and Wassell took part in

faculty training this summer. Google’s Applied Computing I, offered this fall, introduces students to computer science through an easy-to-learn programming language called Python. The course emphasizes such skills as problem-solving; data analysis; design, implementation, testing, and analysis of algorithms and programs; formulating problems; thinking creatively about solutions; and expressing solutions clearly. Google’s Applied Computing II, launching in spring 2020, explores the topic “How to Think Like a Data Scientist.” The course is designed to help students make informed, data-based decisions with machine learning in combination with tools such as spreadsheets, Structured Query Language (SQL), and Python.



Alumnae gathered in Charlottesville, Richmond, and Charlotte this past spring to talk about university priorities. Charlottesville LEFT: Betsy Rawls Agelasto ’68, Elizabeth “Bizz” Glover ’99, Georgia Luck Mitchell ’02, and Mitchell’s mother, Bebe Luck. RIGHT: Class of 1964 members Virginia Hutcheson Ritchie, Tina Shepherd Cox, and Vesta Gordon.

Richmond LEFT: Two sets of daughters and mothers: Elizabeth Bartenstein ’07 and Sarah Reiners Bartenstein ’78; Mary Clare Abbott and Valerie James Abbott ’93. RIGHT: Rodie Funkhouser Savage ’49, Mary Flinn ’69, Martha A. Faulkner ’58, and Rosalyn Wright ’97.

Charlotte LEFT: Jenny Flora ’04 and Toccoa Bailey Switzer ’84. RIGHT: Suzy Mink ’74, Anna Cork ’96, and Katherine McCormick Hubler ’08.


Mark your calendar for the weekend of Friday, October 18 - Sunday, October 20 for the all-alumnae Tinker Day celebrations taking place across the world. Watch your mailbox for the list of locations.

Summer 2019 7


Philanthropy This chart highlights the areas of giving for fiscal year 2018-19. CAPITAL PROJECTS: $4,614,518

8% 17%



for phase one of the student apartment village that opened this fall

HOLLINS FUND: $3,273,604


in direct support of the overall student experience, primarily scholarship needs

to provide the financial foundation for Hollins

OTHER RESTRICTED GIFTS: $871,549 TOTAL: $10,535,279

Reunion class giving award winners for fiscal year 2018-19.



Highest participation in giving among the 10 most recent classes

Highest participation in giving to the Hollins Fund



2009 1964 with 25% with 45% Tinker Mountain Award

President Nancy Oliver Gray Award

Highest total giving to the Hollins Fund

Highest total giving for all purposes



Susan Eaves Otter, reunion chair Anne Harrington Kiland, reunion chair Roberta Gagnon McNeill

ENDOWMENT: $1,775,608


Thanks to the 2018-19 reunion volunteers.


1969 1969

Virginia Hutcheson Ritchie, reunion chair Sarah Shaver Suzanne McCormick Taylor


Mary Lou Mertens Lowry, reunion gift chair Jan Nicholson, reunion gift chair Nancy Wright Slain, reunion chair Anne Peach Biddle Ann Scott Black Kae Nelson Bolling Amanda Cockrell Lynda Cole Elaine Garrett Evans Carol Dawson Fassio Mary Flinn Ann Payne Haslanger Susie Cook Hoganson Sandy Strother Hudson Ana Torstenson Kehoe Liz Miles Montgomery Randy Dooley Peters Cathy Hoar Pinson Carol Schwenzfeier Robinson Therry Steinhardt-Neilsen Joan Phillips Timbers Allyson Neece Weathers Pam Danos Wiegand Liz Lacy Winn







Linda Koch Lorimer, reunion gift chair Suzy Mink, reunion gift chair Trisha Rawls, reunion chair

Patti Thomas Brown, reunion chair Susan Coudriet Freeman, reunion chair Emily Morgan, reunion gift chair

Judy Morrill, reunion gift chair Ann Davant Crehore Leslie Dunne Ketner Annette Kirby Allison Stanton MacDuffie Pam Parsons


Leigh Johnson, reunion gift chair Monique Carpenter Bryna Wedner Darling Cherie St. Clair


Deidre Mattox Franey, reunion chair Kristin Jeffries Henshaw, reunion gift chair Jennifer Held Bieberich Amy Breeman-Rhodes Angel Byrum Becky Hinkle Cope Meredith Daniel Ensign Ashley Hinkle Haun Laura Traa Neville Katherine Donahoo Nott Kathryn McClure Shourds Katie Bussie Woodliff

Cristen James English Shanna Ganne Keyser Harris Glancy Kimberly LaMotta Maye Jennifer Rubin Megan Normand Smith

Jessica McEwan, reunion chair Beth Burgin Waller, reunion gift chair Elizabeth Barron Page Rast

Patricia Cope-Levy, reunion chair Monica Huegel, reunion chair Rebekah Lee, reunion gift chair Elena Samel, reunion chair


Carrie Boswell, reunion chair Maggie Dwyer, reunion gift chair Kacee Eddinger Lauren Mendenhall Cecelia Parks Christine Somersett Ally Spaulding


Amber Markovitz, reunion chair Cecili Weber, reunion chair



Ann Graham Zauber ’69 Susan Seydel Cofer ’64 Anne Lindblad Quanbeck ’79


Shamecca Bryant Jones ’04


Renamed in honor of the late Sarah Holland, this award honors alumnae who exemplify excellence in volunteering for Hollins through a specific project or for overall spirit. Sarah “Sallie” Morian ’64 Reed Howell Roberts ’99


Given annually to an alumna whose participation in the life of Hollins has been extraordinary and whose personal investment of time and effort in the institution over the years represents the very best of the Hollins spirit. Suzanne “Suzy” Allen Redpath ’69 Patricia “Trisha” Rawls ’74




SEVEN DECADES of alumnae

Largest class in attendance:

CLASS OF 1969, with 57

Celebrates alumnae whose efforts have achieved a significant increase in Hollins Fund participation. Jan Nicholson ’69 Mary Lou Mertens Lowry ’69


Elizabeth Cheng ’14 Jasmine Greene ’13 Jolie Simmons Johnsen ’94 Nancy Peterson, former director of Hollins Riding 1998 IHSA National Champion Riding Team

10 Hollins

Summer 2019 11

12 Hollins

Sharon Meador

Hollins’ 177th commencement in May.

Lauren Crawford ’20 in a field class taught by Professor of Biology Renee Godard. Lacrosse star Valerie “Allie” Helmbrecht ’19 (left), whose five goals per game tied her for 10th in the nation.

In the spring 2019 issue, the student tennis player on page 12 was incorrectly identified. She is Sarah Jordan Snoddy ’20.

Mary Daley ’19

Some 125 audience members enjoyed the spring cultural festival in honor of International Women’s Day. Highlights included performances, a parade of countries, and desserts from around the world. Standing, left to right: Kloe Borja ’21, Udipta Bohara ’21, Gedin Cabrera ’22. Kneeling: Shivani Karn ’20, Pragya Khanal ’21, Kycel Butters ’21, Josepha “Epa” Cabrera ’20.

Kloe Borja ’21 working with students in Lucea Primary School on the Jamaica Cultural Immersion Program during spring break.

Erin Harrover ’19 (left) and Liza Davis ’19 spar in a kickboxing class with HOP Director Jon Guy Owens.

Participating in April’s Day of Giving on Front Quad were Isabel Estrada Lugo ’22 (playing Jenga), Madison Harr ’22 and Elizabeth Dion ’22 (playing ladder toss), and Elsie Uwera ’22 (with popsicle).

Summer 2019 13


Village Opens Doors ITS


Phase one of the student village opened in August, to the delight of its first residents.

14 Hollins

Sharon Meador


uring the spring and summer, those who watched construction taking place on the road to the stables above Randolph and Tinker could see four houses taking shape as phase one of the new student residential village. These structures, whose design incorporates key architectural elements from campus— from the historic Front Quad buildings to the late 19th- and early 20th-century Hill Houses—offer spacious porches and lots of windows that open to stunning views of the campus and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Those who placed high in last spring’s housing lottery are the first residents this fall. The village is the university’s first new residential housing in 50 years. The operating principle behind this construction is that it will bring more students to the main part of campus to strengthen the sense of community. The village is physically connected to the campus—close to classes, dining options, extracurricular activities, and athletic events—but with all the benefits of apartment living. The four buildings in phase one feature eight units with 12 double rooms and 16 single rooms, accommodating a total of 40 students. Phase two, for which fundraising is underway (see chart), will consist of six buildings with 12 units, 16 double rooms, and 24 single rooms, making a total of 56 beds. The amount needed to build the second phase is $6 million. The village replaces the university-owned student apartments, located across Williamson Road from the main campus. Those apartments closed in late July following the conclusion of the graduate programs’ summer term. Administrators are exploring options for redevelopment of the land that will support the campus as well as the surrounding community and businesses.

CASEY MAHAN ’20 “I am thrilled to see Hollins providing new, modern housing, which will foster a greater sense of community and build upon our beautiful campus. Thank you to all of the generous donors who have made this milestone possible.”


Residents enjoy beautiful views of the campus and mountains.

NEXT: PHASE TWO OF CONSTRUCTION Currently, fundraising is underway for phase two of the village. Donors have many ways to support the construction of the student apartment village and establish an endowment to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the amenities of apartment-style living for many years to come.

CHALLENGE GRANT ADDS NEW INCENTIVE The Cabell Foundation of Richmond has awarded Hollins a challenge grant of $400,000 to support the second phase of construction. The grant requires a three-to-one match, meaning $1.2 million must be raised by May 23, 2020, to receive the grant.

VILLAGE $5,000,000 TWO BUILDINGS $1,000,000 ONE BUILDING $500,000 APARTMENT UNIT $100,000 KITCHEN $50,000 PORCH $35,000 BEDROOM $25,000

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Suzy Mink, ’74, Vice President for External Relations | (202) 309-1750 or (540) 362-7439

“Our class is looking forward to being a part of history, as we will be the first class to live in the new student village. We are so thankful to the alumnae/i who have helped enrich our living experience at Hollins.”

EPA CABRERA ’20 “The student village brings contemporary housing to the Hollins campus, enhances the already beautiful scenery, and provides a space that embraces both community and nature.”


The new apartment village offers a variety of suite-style living options popular with today’s students. The units include single and double bedrooms, communal living spaces, kitchens, private bathrooms, laundry machines, spacious front porches, and shared outdoor areas. To view floor plans, visit

Summer 2019 15

Twenty years after the Wyndham Robertson Library opened, its signature elements remain—but changes in services and in space, both physical and digital, address the evolving needs of the campus community. BY LUKE VILELLE, MARYKE BARBER, AND REBECCA SEIPP

16 Hollins

IN THE LIFE OF A LIBRARY New spaces and services


he library’s stately columns, light-filled spaces, dedication to the printed word, and Hollins Authors collection all remain signature elements in 2019, 20 years after the building’s grand opening. But over those years, subtle and not-so-subtle changes have been made, in response to community needs, that have elevated the library’s spaces and collections. Most prominent is the 2015 firstfloor addition of the R. Lowell Wine Center for Learning Excellence (CLE), home to the Writing Center and Quantitative Reasoning Center. The CLE firmly establishes the library as the go-to building for student support. Included in the CLE is a flexible and tech-infused classroom, critical to the burgeoning instruction needs of the library. Librarians teach more than 100 research and information literacy sessions each academic year, more than five times as many as they did in 1999.

Near the CLE on the first floor, you will find a revamped reading room. The periodical shelves included in the original construction were no longer needed, because of the migration of journal content online, but the space remains true to its original design with the 2014 installation of armchairs and couches that invite community members into the space. The evening coffee shop, which opened in 2015 in the Norfolk Southern Coffee Commons, provides additional motivation to students to plant themselves in the library for studying and reading. As you travel deeper into the library, you might note many smaller improvements, such as: • Two “living room” spaces in library corners, featuring sofas and comfortable seating, to accommodate our students’ wish for a variety of seating options • Tabletop lamps with charging stations for powering up student mobile devices

Richard Boyd

(and counting)

Richard Boyd



• Whiteboards in many group study spaces, which you may find filled with formulas, poetry, or simple encouragement for the next students to use the space What you don’t see, however, may be the biggest change to the library. In 2014, the library debuted its institutional repository, the Hollins Digital Commons, and has since extended its digital initiatives to include other platforms that support digital teaching and learning. These projects preserve, promote, and provide open access to the intellectual and creative output of the Hollins University community. With these resources, you can be transported virtually to the Wyndham Robertson Library from any place and at any time. Luke Vilelle, university librarian


Visit the Digital Commons:


Library book club


uch of the programming on campus focuses on the needs of students. The library wanted to do something specifically for staff, and started the book club in the fall of 2008 with a discussion of Annie Dillard’s [’67, M.A. ’68] The May Trees. Over the years, faculty and alumnae/i were invited to the table; to our knowledge, this is the only recurring program in which these three groups get to come together in intellectual discussion. To accommodate staff schedules, the group meets at lunchtime; it is a real pleasure to have a break in the day for contemplating the merits (or shortcomings) of a great read. We meet in the beautiful Hollins Room and enjoy coffee and dessert, occasionally baked by the library staff. Our readings range broadly from literary fiction to biography and back again. There are so many great opportunities for inspiration at a university: books by alums, books by speakers and other visitors, the first-year readings, the selection for Roanoke Valley Reads, or whatever fires the imaginations of the group. Occasionally a theme is chosen, and the group votes on selections that are all comedies, or works in translation, or classic plays, or another genre of interest. Some theme

suggestions are more challenging than others: I think one which gave me the most pause was “Let’s read something funny by a Southern author!” This sounded perfectly reasonable until I started searching and realized just how much of Great Southern Literature is drama, if not downright gothic. But there’s always a solution: In this case, we had a great time reading Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter. Here’s a list of what I consider our most interesting/popular reads: Aeschylus: Agamemnon; Sophocles: Antigone; and Euripides: Medea Fredrik Backman: Beartown Charlotte Brontë: Villette Paul Harding: Tinkers Paul Kalanithi: When Breath Becomes Air Beth Macy M.A. ’93: Dopesick Wangari Maathai: Unbowed: A Memoir José Saramago: Death with Interruptions David Wroblewski: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle Maryke Barber, public services/ liaison librarian Local alumnae/i are welcome to join our mailing list. Contact for more details.

Jan Thompson ’99 led the procession to the new library in spring 1999. The group carried 15 works by Hollins authors, including books, a musical score, a videotape, and a journal article.

Fixing Wikipedia’s gender bias


ikipedia’s gender trouble is well documented. In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10 percent of its contributors were women. While the reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, the practical effect of this disparity is not: Content is skewed by the lack of representation from women. In 2014, the first national Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon was held to help correct this bias. In 2018, the Wyndham Robertson Library partnered with the Wilson Museum to participate in our first Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Hollins’ rich artistic history provided us with a wonderful opportunity to create a specific focus for our spring 2018 event: updating and creating pages

for artists associated with the university as faculty, alumnae/i, or artists-inresidence. The following semester, Public Services Librarian Maryke Barber partnered with Assistant Professor of Art Genevieve Hendricks to bring Wikipedia editing to her first-year seminar, which was focused on women in architecture. As part of their course assignment, students searched for reliable sources; they added new information and enhanced the references for existing articles; and one student even created an entirely new article. In spring 2019, the library hosted a second public edit-a-thon where students and members of the Hollins community could stop by to learn more about Wikipedia and begin editing. Why Wikipedia and why the Wyndham Robertson Library? Aside

from the obvious connection of a women’s university wanting to help address gender bias on one of the most visited sites on the internet, Wikipedia is ripe with opportunity for discussion about knowledge creation in the 21st century. What makes a credible source? Who creates this information? How do you determine authority? These are questions that every beginning scholar grapples with, and they can be explored through Wikipedia using this hands-on experience that immerses participants in creating and learning. Rebecca Seipp, outreach/liaison librarian


For more information about edit-a-thons from the Art+Feminism organization:

Summer 2019 17

The American Experience in


Photography expert Denise Bethel ’73 spoke on campus last spring about an exhibition at the Wilson Museum that included work by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Lewis Hine, and others. B Y K A R E N A D A M S M . A . ’ 9 3 E N G L I S H A N D C R E A T I V E W R I T I N G ; M . A . ’ 0 0 , M . F. A . ’ 10 C H I L D R E N ’ S L I T E R A T U R E

historical practice and introduced her to the excitement of researching actual objects. And the studio art classes she took from Professor of Art Emeritus Bill White, painting and drawing in particular, were equally formative. “Bill White was a key person at Hollins for me,” she said. “His courses developed my eye.” In the summer after her junior year, Bethel won one of three scholarships from the Richmond branch of the English-Speaking Union to spend six weeks studying in the British Isles. Each college and university in Virginia was allowed to submit one name for the competition. “Had I not been at Hollins, a women’s college, I might not have been nominated,” she observed, noting that the two other winners were men from coed schools. She chose an extramural program in 18th-century art and literature at the University of London. “That was life changing,” she said. “It was my first experience abroad, and it opened up my world. It’s one of those things that shape our lives, but we may not realize it at the time.” After Hollins, Bethel earned a master’s degree with distinction from the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London. Later, after returning to the U.S. in 1975, she worked as curator for Richmond’s Edgar Allan Poe Foundation on a four-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1980, she decided to take a leap and move to New York to try “the trade” in art. She landed her first job at the rare book auction house Swann Galleries, where she learned to evaluate, among other things, rare photographs, a category of fine art that was just taking off at the time. She then moved to Sotheby’s as a photo specialist and auctioneer in 1990, and by then, the market for photographs was booming. In her 25 years at Sotheby’s, she set dozens of records for rare photography, including the highest price for a single photograph at auction, $2.93 million in 2006, and the auction record for a collection of photographs, $21.3 million in 2014. “Denise Bethel really has been a pioneer in that field, and you can tell how much she loves the medium,” said

Michael Falco


enise Bethel saw and auctioned thousands of photographs in her role as former chair of Photographs Americas at Sotheby’s New York, a career that she did not even know existed when she was a student at Hollins. Bethel returned to campus on April 18 to present a lecture on “The Documentary Photograph as a Work of Art,” in conjunction with an exhibit of photographs collected by Walter and Sally Rugaber. The loaned collection was exhibited February 21 through April 28 in the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum. The Rugabers have long supported Hollins and the arts community. Walter Rugaber, former publisher and president of The Roanoke Times and Landmark Publishing Group, served on the Hollins Board of Trustees (1993– 2007) and was the university’s interim president (2001–02). Their collection of 53 photographs includes work by Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, Lewis Hine, Dorothea Lange, Danny Lyon, Sally Mann ’74, M.A. ’75, and many others. Bethel found the most moving images in the collection to be those that captured iconic moments in American history, including the Great Depression and the Civil Rights movement. “Nothing tells the story of the American experience like these photographs,” she said. “Photographs do change lives.” She considers herself fortunate to have gotten to know these images and others like them in her long career in the auction world and also to have witnessed, and influenced, the changing perception of documentary photography as fine art. “I hope the high values I set while at Sotheby’s helped draw attention to the field,” she said. Upon arriving at Hollins in 1969 from Richmond, Bethel planned to major in theatre. And while she did participate in theatre projects both on and behind the stage, she ended up with a double major in English and art history. Hollins’ famous English department and creative writing classes inspired her, but it was the art department that was a revelation, both in art history and studio. Former Professor of Art History Tony Whitwell was her mentor in art


Jenine Culligan, director of the Wilson Museum, who curated the exhibit. Brook Dickson ’95, interim executive assistant to the president and secretary for the Board of Trustees, had seen and appreciated the Rugabers’ photographs during visits to their home, and she alerted Culligan to the collection. When the Rugabers agreed to an exhibition, they also suggested a gallery talk by Bethel, whom they had met earlier on a Hollins trip to New York. “It was amazing to see these images go from their home into a museum setting,” said Dickson. “It made quite an impact on everyone.” A range of visitors, from Hollins students and faculty to members of the community, attended Bethel’s presentation. Bethel’s unique knowledge added significantly to the museum experience. “Besides her historical knowledge of photography, she has had so many photographs come through her own hands,” Culligan said. Culligan noted how modest the Rugabers were about their collection, and how the museum setting affected their own perception of the photographs. “And then having Denise Bethel come and speak changed the meaning of the collection for them and made it even more special.” Having left Sotheby’s in 2015, Bethel is now a consultant to private collectors and institutions. “I’ve had the privilege of working with rare photographs for almost 40 years now, and it was a pleasure to come back to Hollins to speak about the Rugabers’ wonderful collection,” she said. “Their photographs show just how powerful and important the medium can be.” Karen Adams is a local writer.

Opposite page: Lewis Hine (American, 1874-1940), “Adolescent Girls in Bibb Mill #1, Macon Georgia, 1909,” gelatin silver print. Collection of Walter and Sally Rugaber.

Summer 2019 19

Collaborative & PRAGMATIC Jennifer Boysko saying goodbye to the Virginia House of Delegates in January after winning election to the Virginia Senate.

Jennifer Barton Boysko ’89 has moved from Virginia’s House to the Senate, inspiring voters with her “genuine desire to make the world better.” BY BETH JOJACK ’98

20 Hollins


hen the last vote gets counted this November, Jennifer Boysko ’89 will have run in eight elections over a six-year period. “I’m not aware that any of my colleagues have been through quite this pace,” she says. If Boysko wins her re-election bid to serve the 33rd state Senate district, which covers parts of Loudoun and Fairfax counties, the progressive Democrat won’t have to campaign again for four years. “I’ll be able to take a deep breath finally,” says Boysko.

She’ll also have the opportunity to immerse herself in the part of the job she likes best: working for her constituents, whether that means making calls on behalf of a single mom tangled up in bureaucracy or writing legislation to ensure children of undocumented immigrants qualify for in-state college tuition rates. “I get to know my constituents very well and can help them with a variety of things,” Boysko says. “I can drive from one end of my district to the other in about an hour, and I like that kind of accessibility.”

Boysko’s fan club includes Linda Brooks, head of the Virginia Women’s Democratic Caucus. Northern Virginia voters like Boysko, she says, for her genuineness and her fierce work ethic. “She truly wants to know what she can do for her community,” Brooks says.

Bob Brown / Richmond Times-Dispatch

Path to Richmond After graduating from Hollins, Boysko, who majored in French and psychology, worked in the U.S. Senate office of Richard Shelby from her home state of Alabama. Later, she took a job at a D.C. government-relations firm as a legislative assistant. While putting her career on pause to raise her two girls, Boysko, who lives in Herndon, volunteered as a grassroots organizer for numerous progressive candidates. Her daughters were in elementary school when Boysko served as the Virginia codirector for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. “The older one would make calls and stuff envelopes,” Boysko recalls. “We did door-to-door together.” In 2008, Boysko began working as an aide to Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust. A few years later, she decided to make her first run for office after feeling increasingly frustrated by her representative in the House of Delegates, Tom Rust, a Republican. In 2013, she lost her bid by a mere 32 votes to take out the incumbent. When Rust announced his retirement in 2015, Boysko ran again. She easily

run the day after Wexton’s victory. In a firehouse primary held later that month, voters overwhelmingly picked Boysko as their candidate for the state Senate. She only had a few weeks to campaign for the special election, held on January 9, 2019. Luckily, Boysko had a lot of supporters. They included former first lady, New York Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who sent out a tweet reminding folks in Boysko’s district to hit the polls the morning of the election. “To have her cheering me on from the sidelines is a huge honor,” Boysko says. In the same breath, Boysko mentions the numerous volunteers who worked to put her in office. “I had hundreds of people who came and talked to voters individually,” she says. “That’s the most important thing about any of this. It’s not having star power.” Voters elected Boysko with close to 70 percent of the vote. She was sworn into office January 11. From her first day, Boysko could tell she’d made the right career move. “The Senate is smaller,” she explains, “so you get to know everybody in the chamber fairly well, and you find ways to work together.”

New perspectives Virginia voters have elected a mere seven women to the U.S. House and none to the Senate; they’ve never tapped a woman to serve as governor or

“I can drive from one end of my district to the other in about an hour, and I like that kind of accessibility.” won the seat. In 2017, voters chose to send her back to Richmond, with nearly 69 percent of the vote. Last November, Boysko’s friend Jennifer Wexton rode the blue wave to take Virginia’s 10th congressional district. That opened Wexton’s seat in the state Senate representing district 33. Boysko announced her intention to

lieutenant governor. But there’s certainly room for optimism. A record number of women were elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates in 2017. Currently, women take up 37 out of 140 seats in the General Assembly. “Having more women is making a difference,” Boysko says. “It’s bringing

up issues that in the past would not be addressed or taken seriously.” Case in point: This year’s General Assembly passed legislation to lower the sales tax on feminine hygiene products and diapers. As a delegate, Boysko had introduced similar legislation several times without success. When she moved to the Senate, Delegate Kathy Byron, a Republican in the 22nd district, which includes parts of Bedford County and Lynchburg, took the baton there, while Boysko introduced a bill to exempt menstrual supplies from the sales tax in the Senate. Boysko knew how to work with Byron from when both women sat on the Broadband Advisory Committee in the House. “I’ve been able to forge relationships with people on both sides of the aisle,” Boysko says, “because I’ve been collaborative and pragmatic.” Ultimately, Boysko agreed to lower the tax to 2.5 percent rather than seeing it eliminated altogether, but she was happy to get it reduced by more than half. “I was thrilled to get that done,” Boysko says. A champion of women’s rights since her days at Hollins, Boysko advocates for equal pay for equal work, reproductive rights, and paid maternity leave. She helped pass the bill to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the Senate; it later stalled in the House. Boysko wants to improve Virginia’s mental health system and to help families struggling with the opioid epidemic. She’s long advocated for common-sense legislation to prevent gun violence. A bit of a policy wonk, Boysko is an authority on the importance of broadband in rural areas and can wax poetic about infrastructure funding. “What we do at the state level really impacts our lives at a greater level than a lot of the federal stuff,” she says. And that, Linda Brooks will tell you, is what motivates Boysko: her genuine desire to make the world better. “She’s not there for the credit or a crown on her head,” she says. “She just really cares about effecting change.” Beth JoJack lives and writes in Roanoke.

Summer 2019 21


UP A HILL First published in 1977, Artemis still celebrates the prodigious talents of Southwest Virginia writers and artists, including Hollins students, alumnae, and faculty. B Y J E F F H O D G E S M . A . L . S . ’ 11

22 Hollins


or the better part of four decades, Artemis has showcased compelling new voices in tandem with notable authors who have ranged from poet laureates to Pulitzer Prize and other major award winners and nominees. The rich history of creativity at Hollins in the written word and other artistic expression has played an integral role in the success and perseverance of Artemis: Through the years, more than 140 Hollins writers and artists, including more than 90 students and 40 professors, have been featured

contributors or have donated their time and expertise as board members for the all-volunteer operation. “Without Hollins and the direction it provided, Artemis would not have lasted,” says editor and founder Jeri Rogers M.A.L.S. ’91. Artemis began in 1977 while Rogers was serving as director of the Women’s Resource Center in Roanoke, sponsored by Total Action Against Poverty (now Total Action for Progress). “I had gotten a grant to do a photographic study of women and in the process found that a lot of my subjects were writers. At the

same time, one of the biggest problems I saw at the center was women who had suffered from abuse. That’s a really tough subject to deal with because poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, and homelessness are also involved. It was so upsetting and sad to see this, but I thought, ‘What can we do to help move this forward?’ So I started a writing workshop for abused women.” The first workshop, which was run “with the help of some of Hollins’ best writers,” she says, generated “amazing results.” Rogers was inspired to launch a new literary journal that she named Artemis after the lunar goddess. “I pitched the idea and my supervisors were like, ‘Go for it, we’ll get some money for you.’ That was how it started, and it was such a great vehicle because it published some of the writings of these women and talked about the work we were doing at the center.” Poems and short stories by Hollins students and professors appeared as well in the debut issue of Artemis. Over the years, the literary journal has included work from such authors as recently retired Professor of English Jeanne Larsen M.A. ’72, Professor of English Cathryn Hankla ’80, M.A. ’82, and Beth Macy M.A. ’93, and such artists as Professor of Art Emeritus Bill White and Betty Branch ’79, M.A.L.S. ’87. Well into the 1980s, Hollins faculty writers, including Amanda Cockrell ’69, M.A. ’88 (founding director of Hollins’ graduate programs in children’s literature), Thorpe Moeckel (associate professor of English), and Professor of English Eric Trethewey (who died in 2014) continued to play a prominent

role in the writing workshops. Rogers notes that “[Professor of English] Richard Dillard got involved early on, and thanks to him, every issue of Artemis is now part of special collections at the Wyndham Robertson Library.” The first 20-plus years of the journal’s existence were gratifying yet exhausting for Rogers and her volunteers. She was raising three children and working as a professional photographer. Artemis went dormant in 2000 for more than 10 years, but “there were a number of us who missed it,” Rogers recalls, “and we decided to resurrect it in 2014” with one caveat: “We’ve gotta keep it small.” Today, the Artemis staff features Rogers and six other volunteers, and she has emphasized recruiting younger people to make sure the journal continues for years to come. Rogers admits that producing a “beautifully printed, perfect-bound,” 200-page volume in the digital age “is a challenge. It’s pushing that boulder up that hill. But we don’t give up. There’s nothing like having your work printed … in a book.” Since its return, Artemis’ print run has increased to between 500 and 600 copies. Most copies are sold for $25 during a celebration launch event held each year at Roanoke’s Taubman Museum of Art. The official debut of Artemis XXVI, the 2019 edition of the

journal, took place in June. It’s also available for purchase online. Fittingly, the two featured writers and artists in Artemis XXVI are distinguished Hollins alumnae: Natasha Trethewey M.A. ‘91, Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate, and Sally Mann ’74, M.A. ’75. “Natasha — you just can’t get much better than that. And what can we say about Sally other than ‘wow,’” says Rogers. Two of the key players since the beginning who continue to play vital roles today are literary editor Maurice Ferguson and design editor Virginia Lepley. Rogers also cites organizations such as the Taubman Museum, which provides space for the annual issue launch free of charge, and the Roanoke Arts Commission, whose grants have given Artemis crucial financial support. “When you start something, it’s probably going to work out if you have good intentions,” Rogers concludes. “If it’s egotistically motivated, it’s going to have some problems. It won’t last. All along, during the history of Artemis, there have been people who get on board, are so dedicated to the arts, and want to keep this thing going. I think that’s why we’ve existed as long as we have.” Jeff Hodges is director of public relations.

Left: Taubman View #4: H&C Coffee (2011), shown as it was cropped for the cover of Artemis’ 2015 issue, was painted by Professor of Art Emeritus Bill White. The painting is in the collection of the Taubman Museum of Art; the image is used with the museum’s permission. Right: Artemis literary editor Maurice Ferguson, editor and founder Jeri Rogers, and Special Collections Librarian Beth Harris.

Summer 2019 23

ove LL anuage THE




e burned a lot of garlic bread the summer we were 22. Jason and I had been together two years already when we moved into what had once been a chicken coop on Little Brushy Mountain in southwestern Virginia, soon after our respective graduations from Roanoke College and Hollins University. We spent all of our time together, filling the days with the joys of youth — parties on the deck in the moonlight, unlimited amounts of exactly the food we wanted, our own rules — and the arguments of early relationships adjusting to different living patterns. He was neater than I was, which he knew beforehand but didn’t realize until the layer of clothes on the floor took over the bedroom and began to eye the couch. We were optimistic but aware of our youth; we had no experience, but like it was on a syllabus of growing up, we understood that cohabitation was a trial we could fail. Still, though, we were young and in love, and learning to cook. We burned our tentative attempts at our moms’ spaghetti and chili often enough, but sometimes our meals simmered into something great. Up until this point, I’d never spent more than $30 in one go at a grocery store before. What did I need besides some candy and chips and pop, a pack of ramen or mac and cheese to be made in a sticky residence hall microwave? Everything was handed to us, and now we had to hold it in our hands and make it edible. So we tried things. We raided the frozen section of Kroger, filling

56 Hollins

our cart in the hopes that we would find something we liked. Peas and carrots, pearl onions, lima beans, whatever, it’s just a dollar! Jason first cracked the code for lima beans. It wasn’t anything too complicated, just beans thawed on the stovetop, then sort of sauteed in some margarine with some added flavors. We only had about six spices and he used three of them: garlic powder, lemon and pepper, and dried basil. With something simple and hard to screw up — a frozen salmon filet, perhaps, or chicken drumsticks —  it made a whole and healthy meal. We made lima beans constantly. Their texture can be smooth or a little starchy, easy to imbue with other, stronger flavors. Almost as hearty as a potato and as healthy as most any green food, they are a complement to any simple meal that you hope won’t overwhelm you with prep work and concentration. As we stumbled through meals, we found that lima beans were the one thing we could get right consistently. Lima beans are an inherently uncool bean, but like brussels sprouts, that makes them a ripe target for renovation. Our friends even asked for the recipe. Making a supremely dorky source of fiber appealing to our peers was one of the first triumphs of our pre-marriage. It was 10 years ago when Jason first made his lima beans. We live in Kansas now, far from any mountain and much closer to good restaurants. And as we had a little more money and a little more experience at the stove, we moved away from our old standby; lima beans

have never claimed to be exciting. Soon enough, our newly expanded appetite became its own financial problem; pizza and fresh salmon and out-of-season produce all cost more than a buck-fifty bag of vegetables. While budgeting, we looked for solutions to cut down on food costs. “What about lima beans?” he asked, and it was like hearing the voice of a friend you haven’t seen in years. These days, our lima beans are much better. We use real butter now, no more tubs of “healthy” margarine we grew up with. We use fresh basil, from local grocery store Checkers or from our garden. And fresh garlic, which we know how to crush, and fresh lemons, which we don’t know how to zest yet but do have the ability to cut in half and juice, and fresh cracked pepper, which we use on everything. But our method hasn’t changed much: Put the frozen beans in boiling water, bring back to boil, turn down, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, season, and serve. It’s what we turn to when we’re stressed, out of money and time, wishing not to go to the grocery store. And it’s what we cook when we want to remember being 23, figuring it out together, in hopes that we will still be figuring it out together in another 10 years or so. Lima beans are our love language: tasty, healthy, reliable. Nothing exceptional, but entirely ours. This essay first ran in on January 22, 2018. It is reprinted with permission.


Ann Graham Zauber ’69

Recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award | June 2019


nn Zauber’s research focuses on reducing the burden of colorectal cancer through population-based investigation. The statistical modeling work she does helps identify effective screening strategies to better inform health policy and randomized clinical trials. After earning a B.A. in statistics, Zauber received a Ph.D. in biostatistics from Johns Hopkins University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh and in 1978 joined the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she is now a full member. Zauber has served as lead biostatistician on many national and international studies, including the National Polyp Study, the Adenoma Prevention with Celebrex, and the Nordic-European Initiative on Colorectal Cancer. She is well known for her leadership role in the development of colorectal cancer screening guidelines in the U.S., which have significantly reduced mortality and incidence rates. Zauber received the 2019 Research Service Award from the American Gastroenterology Association, which recognizes an individual who has significantly advanced gastroenterological science and research through dedicated efforts. Your major was in statistics. What drew you to the field of biostatistics?

I arrived at Hollins with an open mind for a major. My first year I especially enjoyed the required humanities course. I was also excited by modern European history and introductory psychology. Sophomore year, I liked both chemistry and statistics and declared for chemistry. A summer internship at the University of Alabama in Birmingham in a medical lab made me realize that I enjoyed the hypotheses of clinical trials, designing the study, analyzing the data, and

forming conclusions. I was very fortunate that Professor Lowell Wine allowed me to declare a statistics major well into my junior year. Statistics was not offered at many colleges at that time, much less at a women’s college. Hollins was unique in its range of professional choices and its focus on liberal arts. How has the field changed from when you first studied it?

The computing power of today’s computers is immeasurably greater than when I started in statistics. We had manual adding machines for our data analysis homework. When we had access to a computer, we submitted punch cards to be read into the computer. One wrong number, letter, or symbol, and your program crashed. Also, the computers could not handle large-scale studies involving many patients and numerous variables. With current computer power, statistics can provide far more sophisticated analyses. Please explain what population-based investigation is and how this research has made a difference in health policy.

Microsimulation modeling uses computer-generated models of a disease process. The model is based upon actual data obtained from large clinical studies. The computer model can then simulate what would occur, as a result of a hypothetical intervention, to a large population of people. The computergenerated results can assist public officials in their deliberations regarding health policy. For example, our model of colorectal cancer can estimate the incidence of detected cancers, if a given population were to be screened at an 80 percent level. Public officials can then determine the degree of resources needed. What can people do to reduce their own risk of getting colon cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, yet it can be

largely prevented with proper screening. Colonoscopy is often used for screening because it can both detect and remove polyps that could become future colorectal cancers. This procedure can also detect early stage colorectal when it is easier to treat and cure. Other screening tests such as annual fecal immunochemical tests are also used for screening. If this test is positive, colonoscopy is then necessary to address the cause. Having a healthy lifestyle of maintaining normal weight, engaging in regular exercise, and avoiding smoking also lowers the risk for developing colorectal cancer. What advice do you have for students considering a career in scientific research?

Science is quantitative. Develop a sound basis in math, statistics, and computing. Learn as much as possible in multiple fields of science because many are related. Be cognizant of the discipline of research: formulating a hypothesis and then acquiring observed facts by which to test your hypothesis. Always be curious. If you could give any advice to your 20-year-old self, what would it be?

Learn to be resilient. No matter how many degrees or high grades one acquires, you will hit bumps in the road. Learn from your successes and also from your failures. Pick yourself up and start again. Be willing to try new things and take on new challenges that lead you in another direction. My current work involves microsimulation modeling to inform health policy decisions. When I was at Hollins, neither microsimulation modeling nor health policy were fields of study. Find a niche where you can thrive with the skills you have and those skills you are willing to learn.

Josepha “Epa” Cabrera ’20 HOMETOWN: Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands MAJOR: Business (Finance and Economics) ACTIVITIES AT HOLLINS: Social media intern for Instagram and Snapchat, Day of Giving student ambassador, International Student Orientation Program (ISOP) mentor, Housing and Residence Life resident assistant, tour guide for Office of Admission, SHARE Roanoke Area Ministries (RAM) House volunteer PLANS FOR AFTER GRADUATION: I plan to pursue a master’s degree in public health.

THE HOLLINS FUND Supporting Outstanding Students

Hollins THE


By giving annually to the Hollins Fund, you support the education of exceptional Hollins women like Epa. Three ways to give: • Online through our secure website at • Via check to the Hollins Fund, Hollins University, Box 9629, Roanoke, VA 24020 • By calling us with your credit card number: (800) TINKER1 (800-846-5371)

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