Longwood Magazine | Spring 2022

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The pitter-patter of tiny feet | Civitae’s Perspectives classes emphasize connections A MAGAZI N E FOR ALU M N I AN D FR I E N D S OF LONGWOOD U N I VE R SITY

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I can picture myself talking to my kids one day about the things we discussed in that women and gender studies course.’ —TIMOTHY HOLCEY ’22 Page 14

On the Cover Men’s and women’s basketball played their hearts out in the regular season and postseason, culminating in twin Big South Tournament championships and tickets to NCAA March Madness—both firsts for both teams. Page 6

She’s Not Shy Moton Scholarship recipient speaks up for diversity and inclusion

President’s Message






The new kids on Brock Commons are getting a great education, too

Perspectives courses teach students to look for connections between ideas, disciplines

Honors College Dean Chris Kukk is a perfect fit for Longwood

Pitter-Patter of Tiny Feet

Dotted Line Relationships

In His Element

In the Margins

Going Dancing

An Unforgettable Character

Dos Passos Prize winner writes through the eyes of those who have been marginalized

As Big South champions, basketball teams get their first taste of March Madness

Remembering Dr. Henry Willett’s life-changing impact




On Point 3

Class Notes 21

In Memoriam 30




Alumna’s story is a tale of family secrets and heartfelt reunions

Finding homes for neglected and abused animals is her life’s work

Woodworking is alum’s therapy—and his business

Drama in Real Life

Animal Instinct

Going with the Grain





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Sabrina Brown Creative Director

JoDee Stringham

Associate Editors

Mike Kropf ’14

Gina Caldwell, Matthew McWilliams, Lauren Whittington Photographer

Courtney Vogel


Whitney Dunlap-Fowler ’07, Stephen Faleski/The Smithfield Times, Harrisonburg Today, Lisa Helmick ’84, The (Hagerstown, Maryland) Herald-Mail, Mike Kropf ’14, Miss Rodeo America, Zachary Pomeroy/Pitt County Schools, Justin Pope, Jessica Smith Photography, richmondbizsense.com, Richmond Times Dispatch/Powhatan Today, Jason Snyder, David Vogin, The Washington Post, WOAY-TV, Amy Waters Yarsinske. Advisory Board

Wade Edwards, Larissa Smith, Courtney Hodges, Victoria Kindon, David Locascio, Justin Pope Board of Visitors

Lucia Anna “Pia” Trigiani, Rector, Alexandria Eileen Mathes Anderson ’83, Glen Allen Katharine McKeown Bond ’98, Mechanicsville Fabiola Aguilar Carter, Richmond Michael A. Evans, Richmond Steven P. Gould, Danville Nadine Marsh-Carter, Richmond Larry I. Palmer, Richmond Polly H. Raible ’91, Midlothian Rhodes B. Ritenour, Richmond Ricshawn Adkins Roane, Great Falls N.H. “Cookie” Scott ’72, Midlothian Shawn L. Smith ’92, Richmond Editorial offices for Longwood magazine are maintained at the Office of University Marketing, Communications and Engagement, Longwood University, 201 High Street, Farmville, VA 23909. Telephone: 434-414-6241; email: browncs2@longwood.edu. Comments, letters and contributions are encouraged. Printed on recycled stocks containing 100% postconsumer waste.

FROM TH E PR ESI D EN T All of us who love Longwood know the feeling that it’s a “hidden gem,” a place deeply appreciated by those who know it but not as widely known as it should be. There is great joy when the story gets out, and we see others caught up in the excitement. That joy is something all of us felt as Longwood’s men’s and women’s basketball teams enjoyed historic seasons, winning their first Big South championships and playing, for the first time, on the global stage of the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament. What makes me especially proud is that it wasn’t just that the name Longwood that was shared so widely. Truly, the world saw our story. Thanks to the immensely hard work of people across the university, from athletics to communications, we made sure the world saw who we really are. It was no accident that the stories told to millions across countless media outlets reflected our camaraderie, our beautiful campus, our citizen-leadership mission, our outstanding student-athletes and our great college town of Farmville. It wasn’t just that America and the world saw that Longwood made it to the NCAA Tournament. They learned about who we are and thought, “What a great place. The people affiliated with Longwood clearly love it. I see why they’re so proud.” As a former Division I college athlete myself, I’ve reflected often on the role an athletics program can play in strengthening a university like Longwood. We all witnessed that this year—on campus and I’m sure in your home communities, too. Athletics are “the front porch” of the university to a national audience. The coaches and student-athletes inevitably reflect the institution whose jerseys they wear. Happily, these two teams in particular reflect Longwood values that deserve celebration: commitment, hard work and selflessness. Their stories and our story naturally align. Most happily of all, thanks to the remarkable leadership of Athletics Director Michelle Meadows and the strong foundation she and others have set, there is every reason to believe March Madness is something we’ll experience again in the years to come. It will bring us together and continue to help share our proud story with the world. All my best,

To request this magazine in alternate format (large print, braille, audio, etc.), please contact Longwood Disability Resources, 434-395-2391; TRS: 711. Published April 2022

W. Taylor Reveley IV President




President Reveley (center) and Board of Visitors Rector Pia Trigiani soak up the excitement of March Madness at the NCAA Women’s Tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina.


She’s Not Shy

Moton Legacy Scholarship recipient speaks up for diversity and inclusion, looks to career as pediatrician helping underserved communities


acqueline Amaya Hernandez ’23 applied to a total of 16 colleges and universities in her college search. Ultimately, she chose Longwood because she fell in love with the close-knit campus community and individualized academic support—missing in her exploration of larger universities—and because financially it made sense. “The one-on-one connection with the professors was something that I was definitely seeking,” Amaya Hernandez said. “At a smaller school, you get more attention. It also helped that Longwood offered me the best financial aid package.” Now in her junior year, the biology major, who aspires to become a pediatrician and help underserved communities, recently received one of the highest

honors bestowed by the university—a scholarship that covers full tuition for one year. Amaya Hernandez was named the recipient of the 2022 Moton Legacy Scholarship, established by the Board of Visitors in 2014. Given annually, it recognizes a student with great promise for a life and career of citizen leadership. The ideal recipient will advance in a contemporary context the ideals espoused by those who fought for equal opportunity in Longwood’s home communities of Farmville and Prince Edward County during the civil rights era. A member of the Cormier Honors College and a LIFE STEM scholar, Amaya Hernandez said the story of the Moton students who were involved in the 1951 walkout to protest the school conditions inspired her to step up for what she wants.

Jacqueline Amaya Hernandez ’23, a biology major and a member of the Cormier Honors College, is the 2022 recipient of the Moton Legacy Scholarship, which recognizes a student with great promise for a life and career of citizen leadership.

She is especially proud of her work to increase diversity and inclusion on campus through her work as president of the Hispanic Latino Association and as a Student Government Association senator. Also vice president of Global Leaders on campus, she said she prides herself on being a voice for students who aren’t as inclined to speak up. Amaya Hernandez was born in El Salvador and came to the United States at age 6. She grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, and realized in high school that she wanted to go to medical school. Last fall she spent 40 clinical hours shadowing doctors and medical professionals at Centra Southside Community Hospital, and she is currently studying for the MCAT. “My long-term goal once I become a pediatrician is to provide medical resources to low-income communities around the world,” Amaya Hernandez said. “I believe that health care is a right, not a privilege, and I would like to change the system so that more people have access to that right.”





Working in the Margins Dos Passos winner’s writing focuses on those who historically have been marginalized


onique Truong, an award-winning novelist and essayist who explores themes of food, displacement and hunger in her work, is the 2021 winner of the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the premier literary prize, given annually by Longwood to an extremely talented but underappreciated American writer. Truong is known for her best-selling novels The Book of Salt (2003), Bitter in the Mouth (2010) and The Sweetest Fruits (2019). The Brooklyn-based writer’s work is often based on real-life people and experiences, seen through the eyes of those who have been marginalized in history. Born in Saigon, South Vietnam, Truong came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1975. She earned an undergraduate degree in literature from Yale University and a Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law. Her essays on topics ranging from food to racism to the Vietnam War have appeared in The Wall Street Journal; O, The Oprah Magazine; The Washington Post; and The New York Times. She also is an intellectual property attorney. The John Dos Passos Prize for Literature is the oldest literary award given by a Virginia college or university.

Haruka Sakaguchi

Monique Truong is the 2021 winner of the Dos Passos Prize for Literature, which is marking its 40th anniversary.





National Science Foundation funds second chapter of program supporting students in the sciences The $1.5 million NSF grant will support recruitment of aspiring scientists in rural southern Virginia schools.


ongwood has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in STEM program to support 45 academically talented, low-income students majoring in biology, chemistry, environmental science and physics. In addition to renewable scholarships of up to $10,000 per year, these scholars will benefit from an ecosystem of student-support services, including early research experiences, structured faculty mentoring, a summer bridge program and a four-year arc of professional development activities. This grant supports an expansion of the successful LIFE STEM program, which was funded by a $650,000 NSF award in 2016. Under the leadership of Dr. Michelle Parry, professor of physics, the first chapter of the LIFE STEM program supported three cohorts of talented science majors, including the program’s first graduates in the Class of 2021. In addition to financial and wrap-around support for students, the program has been the context for faculty professional development and discipline-based educational research-focused mentoring. LIFE STEM’s second chapter will build on that strong foundation and emphasize recruiting of aspiring scientists in rural southern Virginia schools. The three multidisciplinary student cohorts will be supported by more than two dozen faculty mentors in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Physics. The new grant’s first cohort of LIFE STEM Scholars will arrive on campus in August 2022 and will begin their undergraduate careers with a summer bridge experience at the Baliles Center for Environmental Education at Hull Springs.

An Unforgettable Character

Those who knew him remember how Dr. Henry Willett changed their lives What kind of impact can a single person have? Just ask the friends, former students and colleagues of Dr. Henry Willett, Longwood’s president from 1967-81. When they heard of his passing last November, they began writing—on social media, in emails, with actual pen and paper—pouring out memories of a man who was “tough” but also “made everyone feel special.” We’ve chosen a few recollections to share here. Far right: Dr. Willett on Commencement day in front of Lancaster Hall. Left: Linda Paschall Norris (second from left), Tammy Bird Jones and Melody Crawley Margrave, all class of 1981, at their fifth-year reunion with Dr. Willett and his wife, Mary Willett (left). The Willetts attended as special invited guests.

AS THE EDITOR of The Rotunda in 1979 and 1980, I apologized to [Dr. Willett] once for having to ask some of the questions I did. He told me to be honest and fair. Years later, I saw him at an alumni event. He greeted me jokingly, saying, ‘Melody Crawley, I was always scared to see you coming. I never knew what you were going to ask.’ I was stunned for a minute—until he started to laugh. Even after I graduated, Dr. Willett and I kept up with each other. We exchanged Christmas cards every year. MELODY CRAWLEY MARGRAVE ’81 A special memory for Linda Paschall Norris and Melody Crawley Margrave (shown in photo) was when Dr. Willett signed their diplomas prior to Commencement in 1981.

MY MOST VIVID MEMORY of Dr. Willett was when I was president of the Student Government Association, and we hosted press conferences monthly in Lankford. I was always nervous when speaking publicly but President Willett was … supportive, offering me tips. I gained confidence as a leader and public speaker because of my experiences with SGA and Dr. Willett’s positive influence. TAMMY BIRD JONES ’81

When I think about Henry Willett, I think about someone who encouraged me to make a life-changing and career-changing decision… .’ —DR. STUART TENNANT, FORMER LONGWOOD STAFF MEMBER

DURING THE LAST MONTH of my senior year, just before graduation in 1981, … I learned that our diplomas had arrived with an error. Instead of Farmville, our beloved college town had been printed as Farmtown! I believe the mistake was discovered after Dr. Willett had signed many of the diplomas. The [administration] rushed to have the diplomas reprinted in time, and I was invited to Dr. Willett’s office where he personally signed my diploma. LINDA PASCHALL NORRIS ’81

I FIRST MET DR. WILLETT when I interviewed for my initial position at Longwood in the admissions office, where I started work in 1974. That I am now Dr. Tennant with a 30-year career in higher education is directly attributable to advice [Dr. Willett] gave me. He observed, ‘Congratulations, Stuart. You are the youngest registrar in Virginia, but, if you don’t earn your doctorate, you’ll become the oldest.’ I took his advice to heart and left Longwood to begin my doctoral studies at Ohio State University, where I earned a Ph.D. in higher education and student affairs. When I think about Henry Willett, I think about someone who encouraged me to make a life-changing and career-changing decision, and who actively engaged me in the good work he was doing to make Longwood welcoming to Black students and to men. DR. STUART TENNANT, FORMER LONGWOOD ADMISSIONS COUNSELOR, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS AND REGISTRAR, 1974-79




This page: In their second game of the NCAA tournament, the women’s team took on top-seeded North Carolina State on their home court in Raleigh.

Courtney Vogel

Mike Kropf ’14

Opposite page: The men celebrate their victory over Winthrop in the Big South Conference title game.




It didn’t matter whether you were a casual Longwood fan or a fanatical devotee: Watching both the men’s and women’s Lancer basketball teams on the national stage of March Madness was something you’ll never forget. >>> SPRING 2022



nd it wasn’t just March. Longwood’s first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament berths were the culmination of a magical stretch of weeks that saw the two teams win more combined games than any other Division I program in Virginia, both programs win their first-ever Big South regular season and tournament championships—and Willett Hall become the most exciting place to watch college basketball in Virginia. In fact, the journey went back even further—to the day four years ago when new head coaches Rebecca Tillett and Griff Aldrich were introduced on campus together, and began building the programs that would galvanize students, faculty, staff and alumni across the Lancer Nation in 2022.




There were so many memorable milestones for both teams it’s hard to even know where to begin. For the men, there was the 15-1 regular-season record in the Big South, the 16-1 mark in Willett, the first-ever ESPN-televised home game and an unforgettable three-day run through the Big South Tournament in Charlotte—capped by the dominating 79-58 victory over perennial powerhouse Winthrop in the title game to secure the invitation to March Madness. For the women, there were 16 wins in 17 games to earn a share of their first Big South regular season title and then their own dominating Big South Tournament 86-47 title game victory over rival Campbell. Individual accolades included Big South Player of the Year Akila Smith, Big

South Tournament MVP Tra’Dayja Smith and Kyla McMakin, who became Longwood’s all-time leading scorer as a junior. But it was the trip to the national stage that thrilled and shined a true spotlight on Longwood. Farmville greeted both teams with a parade when they returned from the Big South Tournament. A week later, students and community members packed Willett to watch the national selection shows for both teams—part of a wave of national attention in the 10-day run-up to the NCAAs. There were stories on CBS, ESPN, NPR, in The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and countless others. All of America seemed to latch on to the school from Farmville that was one of just six colleges in the country to win its men’s

Mike Kropf ’14

Mike Kropf ’14

Opposite page: Lancer Nation turned out to support their teams throughout the season, culminating with the Big South and NCAA tournaments.

Mike Kropf ’14

This page, top left: This year was an emotion-filled ride for men’s head coach Griff Aldrich and his players. This page, top right: In their first-ever NCAA Tournament game, the men’s team faced Southeastern Conference champion Tennessee. This page, center: Community members showed their Lancer pride in welcoming the men’s and women’s teams home after they each claimed a Big South Conference championship.

Courtney Vogel

Mike Kropf ’14

and women’s conference tournaments this year, and the only one to send both teams to both NCAA tournaments for the first time. LongwoodLancers.com and Longwood social media shattered all previous records for traffic. “It was just an incredible time for Longwood and Farmville,” said Longwood Athletics Director Michelle Meadows, now in her fourth year overseeing the department and her 17th year at Longwood. “We’ve watched the groundswell in Willett Hall throughout the season, and anyone who came to a home game this year knew something special was happening. But to take that energy that we saw there all season and put it in the streets of Farmville was really special. I can’t think of any better way to celebrate such amazing accomplishments than doing so with the fans who were there with us the whole way.” The women earned Longwood’s first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament win, a 74-70 victory over Mount St. Mary’s in a “First Four” contest in Raleigh on March 17, before falling honorably to Atlantic Coast Conference champion and No. 1 seed N.C. State 96-68 two days later. The women finished the year 22-12. The men, who traveled to Indianapolis and fell to Southeastern Conference champion Tennessee 88-56, finished the year 26-7. Both records were by far the best in the Division I history of the programs. What’s even more exciting is the future. Both coaches have worked to build a sustainable foundation and have great pipelines of talent. Next year, which will be the last season played in Willett, has all the makings of another good one. Then it looks as if the new Joan Perry Brock Convocation Center, scheduled to open in 2023, will be home to two programs capable of making March Madness a regular occurrence in Farmville.

This page, bottom: Women’s head coach Rebecca Tillett (left) led her team to Longwood basketball’s first NCAA Division I Tournament win, a 74-70 victory over Mount St. Mary’s.




Giggling, playful children are bringing a new dynamic to the heart of campus with the recent relocation of the Andy Taylor Center for Early Childhood Development to Lankford Hall. This large outdoor play area is well-utilized when the weather is nice.

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ROM INSIDE HER OFFICE in Hiner Hall, Ashley Crute ’10 will sometimes pause to soak in the playful giggles and chatter she hears outside on Brock Commons. The young voices instantly brightening her day are not the ones you normally hear on a university campus. These young people aren’t even thinking about college, but they’re quickly becoming a part of the fabric of life at Longwood. Enjoying the fresh air as they stroll past Crute’s window are the children who attend the Andy Taylor Center for Early Childhood Development, which moved to its new location in the heart of main campus in late January. Among them are often Crute’s own children—Ragan, who is 5, and Eason, 2-1/2. “We all need to hear laughter, and it changes your whole mindset in the midst of a stressful day when you hear little kids’ voices,” said Crute, associate director of the McGaughy Internship and Professional Development Center. “When I hear that and I look out my window, most of the time I see my kids and it makes me smile.” The Andy Taylor Center, which serves the Longwood community, now occupies the first floor of Lankford Hall, which many alumni will remember fondly for housing the former student union with its bowling alley, or, as Crute recalls, where the Chickfil-A was located in the union’s food court. While chicken nuggets might still be found in packed lunches each day, the vast space on the bottom floor of the building has been artistically renovated and beautifully transformed into a state-of-the-art early childhood learning center featuring large beams reimagined as trees throughout its hallways. The one-time bowling area is now an open play space known as the piazza, named for the square that is the beating heart of every Italian town and a nod to the Reggio Emilia-modeled child-centered approach to learning the center embraces. Outside there is a fenced-in playground where students play at least once a day, weather permitting. The move to the bustling center of campus is a win-win. Not only does it mean more opportunities for Andy Taylor Center students to take advantage of resources on Longwood’s campus, but it also will provide a learning lab of sorts for Longwood




students studying early education and related learning and developmental fields. “When I think about Andy Taylor Center, I think about what a blessing it is to have a high-quality early childhood program for the people in this community, with teachers who are so dedicated to serving these young children and giving them very rich experiences,” said Dr. Lissa Power-deFur, interim dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services. “It is so exciting to have the center right in the middle of campus because it is going to facilitate a lot of multipronged collaboration with our various programs.”

Training teachers for early childhood programs The new location comes as Longwood prepares to launch a new early childhood education program on campus this fall. The unique and flexible 2+2 program—designed for students to earn an associate’s degree at a community college and then complete their bachelor’s degree at Longwood in two years—will provide a pipeline to produce skilled and certified educators at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted every facet of education, especially the early childhood sector. “There’s a huge shortage of quality early childhood programs, and we’re not going to solve that until we develop a greater supply of well-trained professionals to work in early childhood,” Power-deFur said. “This program is a wonderful addition to our toolbox for students who know they want to make a difference in the world and they have a passion for young children.” The Andy Taylor Center opened in fall 2017 and was previously located at the former lumberyard building in downtown Farmville, a few blocks from central campus. In addition to Longwood, the center also serves the broader surrounding community. It is set to soon become a social services subsidy provider, which will expand its local reach further to lower-income families. The move

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to Lankford is also facilitating the addition of infant and toddler care, a critical need in rural areas. The center is supported by a gift from retired educator Dr. Jane Richardson Taylor ’71 and is named for her first child, who died when he was 13 months old. Taylor also financially supports annual scholarships for students to attend the center and for Longwood students studying early childhood education. Early care and education are often viewed in society as tantamount to child care, day care or even babysitting—in other words, a necessity that allows parents to be in the workforce. However, research shows that, contrary to the babysitting stereotype, adults working with young children are doing critically important

teaching and assisting in the development of key skills like literacy. The center’s Reggio Emilia-inspired approach to learning emphasizes whole-child development that is project-based and child-led. Classroom projects are based on the interests and curiosities of the children, leading to learning through exploration and experimentation—a model highly regarded by experts in the field. A teacher might have an overarching plan to go outside and investigate butterflies. But once outside the children become interested in earthworms so the teacher pivots the focus and builds projects to learn about earthworms instead. “It might be for one day or last for two weeks, depending on how far the children want to continue exploring,” said Eileen Adams, the Andy Taylor Center director. The center is unique in that all lead teachers possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and are licensed or provisionally licensed teachers. The center can serve up to 52 children, including infants and 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds, and the staff-to-child ratios are consistent with early childhood requirements. Currently, about 70 percent of the students have a Longwood connection, and 30 percent come from the greater community. Adams is looking forward to utilizing more university resources in the new location and to being an integrated part of campus. “In the summer the kids can play in the dancing fountains. We can access the library. We can have picnics. We can go out and count umbrellas if it’s raining,” she said. “There is proximity to so many different experiences here on campus. I think

it’s exciting for the people who work at Longwood and the people who go to school here to see young children. It’s uplifting.”

An economic and societal lynchpin For the last five to six years in Virginia, there has been an increased focus on improving early childhood education, including discussions on how to increase the compensation for these educators, who are paid much less compared with their peers teaching K-12 students. “We need adults who are teaching and caring for children during these early years to have a lot of skills, competencies and knowledge around childhood development, language acquisition and early education,” said Dr. Sara Miller, associate professor of education who participated in a state-level working group on how to grow the early childhood workforce. “This workforce needs to be as skilled, if not more skilled, than the workforce in upper grades.” To that end, Miller spearheaded the development of a new early childhood education program, which will launch this fall on the Farmville campus. Longwood’s 2+2 program is unique in the state in that it is designed for students who have already earned an associate’s degree in early childhood development from a community college. It also offers dual licensure, which makes it very versatile. “We wanted this to be a vehicle for the students who are in the early education pipeline already and trying to do that in the most affordable manner that they can,” Miller said. “It was a complicated puzzle figuring out how to get them dually

licensed so that they have the most training, the most expertise and the most flexibility with their degree.” The program has already been implemented at Longwood at the New College Institute in Martinsville, which partners with Patrick and Henry Community College. Longwood and the NCI have a long-established partnership with the community college through its elementary education program, so it made sense to launch the program there first, Miller said. While the program is geared toward working adults, Miller envisions that it will attract a mix of traditional and posttraditional students, some of whom may already have established careers in early childhood education. It has two tracks: licensure and nonlicensure. Students who complete the licensure track will be certified to teach early primary general education (pre-K through third grade) as well as early childhood special education. “The pandemic helped everyone see more clearly how a unified early child care system, or the lack thereof, is so much a part of how our economy and our society functions,” Miller said. “We certainly don’t talk about it or fund it in that way, but it’s a lynchpin for everything else working.”

A facility for child learning and student learning Indeed, many parents face difficult decisions and the prospect of leaving the workforce if they can’t find available child care. Adams arrived at the Taylor Center in the midst of the pandemic, which forced the center to close its doors for a few months. Some centers didn’t survive, and there continues to be a critical shortage of services for children in the birth to pre-K age range. There are plans to strategically incorporate the Andy Taylor Center into the new

Opposite page, top: The Andy Taylor Center’s approach to learning emphasizes whole-child development that is project-based and child-led. All lead teachers possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

Opposite page, bottom: The center’s move to Lankford Hall is facilitating the addition of infant and toddler care, a critical need in rural areas.

This page: The center’s new facility was designed for both child learning and Longwood student learning. In addition to outdoor areas, there are observation booths inside where students can observe firsthand the implementation of theories and pedagogy they are learning about in class.

early childhood program. The renovated center features a large multipurpose room that is envisioned as a space Longwood faculty can utilize as a classroom. “The Taylor Center was designed from an architectural standpoint for student learning as well as child learning,” Miller said. “There are observation booths where students can be observing child interactions with teachers, and watching the theories and pedagogy they are learning about firsthand.” The multipurpose Woodward Room is named in honor of Dr. Taylor’s late brother-in-law, John W. Woodward. She also is supporting the annual Woodward Scholarship for a student in the new early childhood education program. It is named for her late brother-in-law and sister, Francine R. Woodward ’68. She also supports the Taylor Scholarships, available annually to Taylor Center students whose families were impacted by the historic school closures in Prince Edward County. A formal dedication of the center is planned for this spring. Dr. Taylor, who spent her career as a secondary school administrator and then pre-school director, is passionate about putting skilled early educators into the workforce. “Longwood is where I learned to be a teacher, and, once you are a teacher, it doesn’t matter what you teach, whether it’s high school or middle school or preschool,” Taylor said. “Pre-schoolers are the future, and we don’t have enough certified, trained teachers. I want to support children getting the kind of education they deserve.”




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Dotted Line relationships CIVITAE



THIS SPRING, the first class of Longwood students to have completed the Civitae Core Curriculum, unveiled in 2018, will graduate. It’s an experiment, unique in American higher education, with “democracy as its North Star,” as President W. Taylor Reveley IV often puts it. This story is the second in a three-part series that explores how Civitae is shaping and inspiring students throughout their time on campus, not just the first year.

Perspectives courses teach students to look for connections between ideas and disciplines BY MATTHEW MCWILLIAMS ILLUSTRATIONS BY DAVID VOGIN SPRING 2022



“What marks those courses as distinctive is an integration of information,” said Dr. Heather Lettner-Rust, associate professor of English and director of the Civitae Core Curriculum. “The name Perspectives is intentionally plural to give the students the understanding that they need to integrate their information from a number of places, a number of sources and a number of disciplines to argue their point. So an instructor will teach a course from their own discipline, but integrate other disciplines into their teaching and assignments. “We’ve asked our professors to become more explicit about that integration. For example, you may have a history professor lecturing on social movements fighting chemical warfare during

It struck me that I can be taking a kinesiology class and a communication studies class and have the same discussion.’ —WHITNEY HAYWOOD ’24, COMMUNICATION STUDIES MAJOR


or generations of college students, the words “core curriculum” were dreaded—they meant the slog of a dozen or so classes they had to take in order to get to the good stuff. Intro to Chemistry. British Literature Survey. An art class that inspired your creativity, but only for a semester before that box was checked.


At Longwood, in contrast, the unique Civitae Core Curriculum ties together the full educational experience. After the intro Foundations-level courses, Longwood students move on to a group of classes called “Perspectives.” These sophomore- and junior-level courses take the best intentions of the liberal arts—exposure to a wide variety of topics—and connect those topics in ways that build in students an ability to think critically and deeply. Leah Richardson ’23, a psychology major and philosophy minor from Stafford, took Philosophy and Literature, a Perspectives course co-taught by Dr. Chene Heady, an English professor, and Dr. Charles Repp, a philosophy professor. Not much of a lover of fiction, Richardson was initially a bit uneasy about the course. “I value literature so much differently now,” she said. “I would have never connected literature and philosophy before, and I don’t know why because they are clearly connected. What’s most interesting to me is taking a philosophical approach to fiction— it’s not so much what’s in the book, but how we interpret the book. It’s like pulling the pieces out, and that’s really changed the way I approach other classes.” Faculty teaching Perspectives-level courses intentionally build in material from other disciplines so students are forced to make connections across different subjects. A course called the Chemistry of War might explore how chemistry has led to more sophisticated weaponry one day, and the next discuss the historical and political impact of that sophistication.

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(Page 14) Perspectives courses were eye-opening for Timothy Holcey ’22, who took Reproductive Justice, a women and gender studies offering, and Statistical Decision Making. (above) Doping in Sport and Society, a Perspectives course, showed Whitney Haywood ’24 the connections between communication studies, her major, and kinesiology. (right) Dr. Heather Lettner-Rust, director of the Civitae Core Curriculum, believes that Civitae’s courses give all students the opportunity to participate in the ‘best and brightest discussions that take place on campus.’

World War II. Now that they have a mix of majors in the class, they can ask the communication studies students about media at the time. They can ask chemistry students about chemicals in use during that time, and the geography students about wind patterns. That's really unique in an upper-level class.” For Whitney Haywood ’24, a communication studies major from Wakefield, two separate moments that happened in an upper-level communication studies class and in her Perspectives-level Doping in Sport and Society course solidified the value of the Perspectives classes. “Within a few days, I had very similar discussions in both classes,” said Haywood. “We were discussing how we define morality in the context of cheating and how we formed that definition. In both classes, we discussed cheating in relationships, and surprisingly there was a lot of nuance to the idea once you really think about it and try to answer challenges to your own point of view,” she said. “It struck me that I can be taking a kinesiology class and a communication studies class and have the same discussion. Everything is interconnected.”


That’s the point of the original Civitae design, said Dr. Melissa Rhoten, professor of chemistry and one of the architects of the curriculum. “Civitae was designed to very intentionally show students where natural connections exist, but also to show students where there aren’t such obvious connections, like a course that incorporates both mathematical and art concepts,” she said. “It came from this idea of helping students think critically.” In Rhoten’s chemistry department, faculty designed a Perspectives course called Applying Chemistry to Society in a way that’s flexible enough for each professor to bring his or her own expertise to bear. Dr. Tyler St. Clair frames discussions around

his expertise in polymer chemistry. Rhoten focuses more on water chemistry. “One of my favorite assignments each time I teach the course is the DDT project,” said Rhoten. “You can see students really starting to understand the nuances of an unresolved civic issue that challenges their preconceptions. It’s the course working in real time.” Reading this at home, you likely have an initial reaction to that acronym—DDT—that is very similar to the reactions of students in Rhoten’s class. DDT is banned in the United States, and generations of Americans associate the chemical with cancer, but its use is not banned worldwide. The project: develop a position on a worldwide ban on DDT. The answer is not as simple as you may think. “DDT is very, very effective in combatting malaria and other insect-borne diseases,” said Rhoten. “And it’s very good for insect control for farmers. In some developing nations that are dealing with widespread malaria cases and crops lost to insects, there is a socioeconomic and political calculation to make. Science might point to a clear solution, but is it right to effect that without considering ethics or politics or economics?”

Why shouldn’t my English students have an understanding of what game theory means?’ —DR. HEATHER LETTNER-RUST, DIRECTOR OF THE CIVITAE CORE CURRICULUM

The point is not to change students’ minds on whether DDT should be permitted in the United States. It’s that, when they advocate for or against a worldwide ban on the chemical, they have considered the implications of that position and as a result have strengthened their own argument. And you don’t have to be a chemist to speak intelligently on the subject. Put another way, “Why should a gen ed student be locked out of the best and brightest discussions that take place on campus?” asks Lettner-Rust. “Why shouldn’t my English students have an understanding of what game theory means? Maybe not on a mathematician’s level, but on a level of understanding how it relates to a civic issue. Because, as our understanding of civic issues necessarily becomes more integrated and complicated, we want Longwood graduates to be able to read that landscape.”


Often the key for a student to make those connections is to simply be open to another perspective. Timothy Holcey ’22, a cyber security major from Chesterfield, came to that conclusion in a women and gender studies Perspectives course. The only male student in the course, he quickly realized that his viewpoint was limited to his own experience. “The lesson I learned immediately was how to listen,” he said. “I can’t learn anything unless I listen to other people and really internalize what they are saying. It quickly became my favorite class, and my perspectives really grew not only from the professor, but from discussions with my classmates.” Those discussions have led him to be a better person, he says. “One way I look at it is that we are going to be in our profession for eight hours a day,” said Holcey. “What about the 16 hours that we’re not working? When we are ourselves, we need values that we can stand on, and one of the things I’ve learned has been that those values are developed by asking hard questions and considering lots of viewpoints. I can picture myself talking to my kids one day about the things we discussed in that women and gender studies course because I want them to have the same broadened perspective.”

THE REQUIREMENTS After a student completes a slate of foundational courses, including the signature freshman-level Citizen 110, they are required to complete three Perspectives-level courses and one Integrating World Languages course from these categories: • Historical and Contemporary Insights OR Behavioral and Social Institutions • Global Citizenship OR Aesthetic Expression • Quantitative Reasoning OR Scientific Reasoning These categories intentionally combine disciplines so students develop a working understanding of how to take concepts from their foundational courses and combine them to solve bigger and more complex problems.

TAKE THIS COURSE A sampling of Perspectives courses: Biodiversity and Conservation Humans: Creatures of the Coast Lies, Scams and Conspiracy Theories Media, Pride and Prejudice Music and American Literature Paris Through Art Religion and Literature Ethics in the Context of Sport Doping in Sport and Society History of the Andes Intersects: The World of Art and Math Music as an Agent of Change Media and Democracy Philosophy and Literature Protecting Life on Earth Perspectives in Toxicology Drug Addiction and Recovery The Accommodating Oceans Sociology of Education Markets and Morals




In His Element

Honors College dean’s philosophy

of putting compassion and community at the center of education is a perfect fit for Longwood BY SABRINA BROWN

is eyes bright behind wirerimmed glasses and his colorful bowtie signifying that Virginia has found its way not only into his heart but also his wardrobe, Dr. Chris Kukk starts talking before the interviewer can even turn on her recorder, much less ask a question. Barely a few minutes go by and he’s already mentioned having lunch, on separate occasions, with the Dalai Lama and the former chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service; working on a project with then-President Barack Obama; why chocolate milk (always in stock in his personal fridge) is the “essence of life”; his days as a counterintelligence agent; and how he wove a reference to James Bond (Kukk is a “big fan”) into the opening of his TEDx Talk about compassion, one of his favorite topics. Clearly Kukk, who was born and raised in the Bronx, brings an extraordinary level of energy to his position as dean of the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars at Longwood, where he’ll soon be marking the second anniversary of his appointment. But even more notable are his genuine passion for education and how seamlessly his personal and professional beliefs dovetail with Longwood’s foundational qualities. Kukk took time recently to answer a few questions about what makes the culture of the Honors College distinctive, why a strong honors college benefits all Longwood students and how he’s working to elevate the reputation, resources and reach of the college.

Courtney Vogel

(continued on Page 20)

Dr. Chris Kukk demonstrates the shaka hand gesture, which has become a common greeting at the Honors College since his arrival. The gesture means ‘hang loose’ or ‘take it easy,’ and is associated with Hawaii and surfing, both of which are very familiar to Kukk. An avid surfer, he has visited the Islands several times to introduce teachers to socialemotional learning.




when they move, the whole pod moves with them toward success. We are looking to attract people into the college who want to help and support each other, and who want everyone to be successful. That’s the definition of a compassionate achiever.

What makes the Cormier Honors College distinctive?

In a word, everything. Our motto is “Cormier is where Cognition unites with Compassion to build Community,” and that philosophy underlies everything we do. We hold ourselves to our motto in the way we review applications, what we look for in students, how we structure our classes, and the feedback we seek from our students as they move toward graduation.

How do you know your recruitment strategy is working?

All you have to do is look around and listen. On weekends in the honors lounge, you’ll see students helping other students with their writing, their math, their science. In our Citizen 110 classes for first-semester freshmen, where oral communication is emphasized, I’ve witnessed honors students giving classmates a pep talk as they walk to the front of the room to give their presentations. That’s not shark behavior. Are we perfect? No. But what I’ve noticed is that a couple of sharks who did get through our net have transformed into dolphins once they experienced the culture of our honors community.

You talk about compassion, community and cognition—but competition is noticeably absent. Don’t highachieving students, specifically honors students, thrive on competition?

So how do you “do it right” at the Honors College?

First, we read every application. I read them. Jessi Znosko, our senior director, reads them. And Josh Blakely, our director of integrative learning, reads them. The application is actually a portfolio of five items, including a resume; a sample of the applicant’s written work that provides a window into their curiosity, wit or another characteristic; and a “fast forward” personal statement describing what they’ll be doing in eight years and why. Of course, we’re looking for kids who are smart, inquisitive, innovative and hard-working, but we’re also looking for markers of compassion. I believe there are two kinds of Type A students—and honors students definitely are Type A. Some are “sharks”—they’re really smart people who eat others to get ahead. And then there are “dolphins.” Dolphins are really smart people, too, but,

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What else contributes to the college’s culture of compassionate achievers? Courtney Vogel

As a college student, I was part of an honors program, and it’s usually cutthroat. It’s different at Longwood. We’re a community. We’re a family. We nurture what I call “compassionate achievers.” We challenge our students, but it’s a constructive challenge, not a takedown. When I hear someone say it’s lonely at the top, I just shake my head. Because it’s not lonely at the top. As a matter of fact, it’s super crowded if you do it right. If you team up and put your heads, your ideas and your skills together, you can fly a lot higher and farther than you ever could on your own.

Dr. Chris Kukk shows off his socks customized with Honors College symbols. Kukk came to Longwood in summer 2020 from Western Connecticut State University, where he was founding director of the Center for Compassion, Creativity & Innovation and director the Kathwari Honors Program. He is the author of The Compassionate Achiever and a Fulbright Scholar. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from Boston College.

We tell students it’s OK to follow your heart as well as your head. We help them to open up and discover their passion, and we encourage them to let that be the inspiration for their life’s work. When students do that, they’re unstoppable. So how does that translate into the academic aspect of Longwood’s honors program?

In honors, you can’t stay in one lane. It’s very interdisciplinary. You come at it from science, from art, from history, from music. One of our graduating seniors, Liz Garri, already has two full-ride offers to law school and is a semifinalist for a Fulbright grant. Because she’s in such a focused area of study—communication sciences and disorders—she was worried that she wouldn’t be competitive in applying to law school. I told her, “You have enough interdisciplinary work through the Honors College that you have a really great shot.” That’s what honors does. It opens doors. With less than two years on the job, do you see any of your goals for the college coming to fruition?

I love to build things, so one of my goals was to increase the number and quality of honors students. For the class entering in

fall 2021—a total of 146 freshmen—we had a record number of applicants, and, even though it’s early in the recruitment cycle for fall 2022, we’ll almost certainly top last year’s number. This year, 2021-22, we have 425 students in the college, which is an increase of 15 percent over enrollment for 2019-20. Longwood has an amazing foundation—caring staff and faculty, small classes, the vision of citizen leadership— and I’m just doubling down on that as I work hand-in-hand with Admissions. I’m also focused on increasing resources. We recently created our first full-ride honors scholarship thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Ray Gaskins, a member of the Farmville community and a longtime Longwood supporter. That scholarship went to an amazing freshman this past fall, Tess Peterson. She was accepted at all 25 schools where she applied—including UVA, William & Mary and the Air Force Academy—and Longwood was her first choice. When I met with Dr. Gaskins, I told him that we could compete with the Harvards and the Princetons if we had the resources, and I truly believe that. You accepted the job at Longwood without visiting campus or meeting anyone in person. Now that you’ve experienced Longwood firsthand, how do you see that decision?

Because of Covid I interviewed on Zoom. Then, after I accepted the position, I bought my house in Farmville on FaceTime. It definitely was a leap. But when I did get here, I found myself thinking, “Wait a minute. Places like this still exist?” Longwood is amazingly beautiful—but it’s not just the campus. It’s beautiful on the inside, too, because of the students, faculty and staff who love the university and care about each other. Some of my friends in New York and Boston were a little skeptical when they heard I was coming to a university in a small town in Virginia. But then I explained citizen leadership, and I explained the Civitae Core Curriculum. I asked them, “Who does that sound like?” They said, “It sounds like you,” and they understood why I came here. I wanted to be at a place where I could weave my interest in education and compassion together. There are a lot of places that don’t believe in that—but I found it here at Longwood.

As I grew older, I harbored the dream that someday I would find my family in Italy.’

Megan Marchetti/Department of Wildlife Resources






1940s Carolyn Rouse Hardy ’43 provided this information about her friend Caralie Nelson Brown ’41, whose passing on Feb. 27, 2021, was noted in the summer 2021 issue of Longwood magazine. “Caralie was student body president and, at that time, Dr. Jarman, president of the college, said Caralie was the smartest student he had known. She instituted prayer at the student body meetings, which had not been done before. Some years ago, a newspaper [that covered the Raleigh area, where Caralie lived] carried an article about Caralie’s volunteer teaching of Latin in the early grades of the Raleigh public schools. That suggests the unusual personality that she was. Caralie was married to Dr. Raymond Brown, noted Baptist theologian.”


Getting the Word Out Alumna works to address lack of diverse professionals in marketing research


here’s not a lot of color in WHITNEY DUNLAPFOWLER’s professional world, but she’s doing her best to change that. Dunlap-Fowler ’07 first noticed the lack of “Black and brown” professionals in her field—market research and brand strategy—during the 10 years she worked for agencies including Kantar Added Value and Kelton Global. “It’s a very white industry—I never worked with someone of color,” she said, adding that the availability of diverse professionals has not improved as the demand has continued to grow. In 2019, the communication studies graduate started her own brand strategy and marketing research agency, Touch of Whit Creative, where she guides clients including Target, ESPN and Sephora. She does 80 percent of her agency’s work herself, but she’s also carved out some time to revive

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an initiative called Insights in Color that she started as a diversity recruitment initiative for a previous employer. Today, Insights in Color (IIC) has several objectives, including spreading awareness and generating interest in the marketing research industry among multicultural students and young professionals, who often are not even aware the career field exists, said Dunlap-Fowler. IIC also serves as a clearinghouse for companies seeking the services of diverse marketing research professionals. “We are contacted on a daily basis by brands and agencies seeking BIPOC [Black and indigenous people of color] researchers, but there is just not enough talent to fill the open vacancies,” she said. “But most important, we need to make sure the research methods and analyses these companies are doing are unbiased and inherently inclusive.”—Sabrina Brown

Stephen Faleski/The Smithfield Times

Join us for hard-hat tours of the Joan Perry Brock Center and chats sharing “insider info” about Longwood’s first-ever trip to the NCAA’s Big Dance. Register online at: go.longwood.edu/ alumniweekend Doris Horne Gwaltney ’54, novelist, poet and playwright, died Dec. 27, 2021. A lifelong resident of the Smithfield area, she grew up on a peanut farm south of town, leaving home just long enough to earn a music degree from Longwood. She returned to Smithfield and taught music for four years, but then her creativity took a different direction: writing. In 2009, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers published her young adult novel Homefront, set during World War II, describing it as a “detailed, spirited, sometimes humorous, and always deeply felt novel about two girls coming of age and becoming friends in the shadow of the biggest war in modern history.” Her first novel, also for young adults, was published in 1995. She also published two historical novels for adults; two collections of performance monologues, a number of which have been performed in local theaters and other venues; and five one-act plays based on preserved courthouse records. Her poetry and short fiction appeared in publications including the Greensboro Review and Poet’s Domain magazine. In a story after her death, its length attesting to Gwaltney’s prominence in the community, The Smithfield Times reported that she was a “moving force” with Christopher Newport University’s annual Writers Conference after twice winning the

CLASSNOTES conference’s writing contest in the 1980s. She later taught writing for CNU’s Lifelong Learning Society. Friends quoted in the story described her as “a class act” and as a “kind-hearted and lovely lady” who was “devoted to education, history and writing. And to her dear husband, Atwill.”

1960s Barbara Rosenkrans Westbrook ’69 sent this information to share. “I graduated from Longwood in 1969 with a B.S. in business education. After I graduated, I taught shorthand, typing and business law at Albemarle High School in Charlottesville. Following that, I had several careers, including legal secretary, administrative assistant and assistant manager of a restaurant. I had always wanted a job where I was self-employed and could wear jeans. So I went to a school in Commerce, Georgia, where I could learn wallpapering. My husband and I hung wallpaper all over Albemarle County and as far away as Wintergreen. I have a portfolio of pictures of our work, and many letters expressing [customers’] thanks for our excellent work. I am now retired and living in Crozet, Virginia, where I was born and raised. I will always remember my days at Longwood with my roommate and best friend Polly Dobbins [McElfish ’69].”

1980s Linda Eisenstadt Carrillo, M.A. ’81, M.S. ’92, is the author of In the Light of Silence, a novel about a scientist reconstructing her life after an accident with a group of Quakers involved with Salvadoran refugees. Set in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, it is a story of marshaling courage to begin anew and of the redemptive power of forgiveness. Carrillo previously taught English in Virginia and North Carolina and was also a hearing specialist for Harrisonburg City Public Schools. In the Light of Silence is published by Resource Books, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers.

Dinwiddie Chamber of Commerce President June Pate (right) presents the organization’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award to Barbara Thurston Pittman ’72.

Cathy McCoy Collier ’89 is the author of The Road to Independent Reading and Writing, published by Teacher Created Materials (TCM). The book focuses on writing and reading strategies with effective step-by-step routines and lessons that help teachers break key literacy concepts and skills into manageable, teachable pieces. Included are kindergarten literacy lessons, teaching tips and 150 digital resource pages; writing, spelling and composition strategies, including journal writing; and lessons focused on phonics, reading comprehension and vocabulary development.

1990s Barbara Thurston Pittman ’72, who retired from the Dinwiddie (Virginia) Public Schools in 2010 after 38 years as a teacher, coach, guidance counselor and principal, received the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dinwiddie Chamber of Commerce. She currently is a member of the Dinwiddie school board representing District 3 as well as the boards of CodeRVA, a regional public high school in Richmond focused on preparing students for college and careers in computer science and coding, and the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School. She gives her time to the Chamber of Commerce, the Dinwiddie Christmas Sharing Foundation, the Teen Expo Committee and the board of directors of Carson United Methodist Church. “I do what I do because it brings me joy. I think the good thing about this county is that we have so many who serve in their niche for their little part, which makes the community wellrounded,” Pittman told The Dinwiddie Monitor.

Greg Bowman ’90, the chief innovation officer and vice president for corporate development at Siemens Government Technologies, recently joined the eight-member Hope For The Warriors board council. For more than 15 years, Hope For The Warriors has been dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for veterans, service members and military families through a variety of programs focused on clinical health and wellness, sports and recreation, and transition. Bowman, who has held several positions at Siemens, currently is focused on driving strategic growth by leveraging innovations from across the Siemens global portfolio to support U.S. government customers around the world. Previously, he served in the U.S. Army for more than 25 years, culminating his career as the strategic military law and policy advisor/legislative counsel to the secretary of the Army.

Alec Hosterman

Dr. Molly Lee O’Dell ’76 is the author of Unsolicited: 96 Saws and Quips from the Wake of the Pandemic. Published by Whaler Books, Unsolicited is described as a “thoughtful and very casual book” that’s just right for those ready to “untangle” themselves from the snares of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Through the lens of a local epidemiology team’s initial response to the pandemic, Molly provides a constellation of perspectives for all of us to transition out of the pandemic mindset and live forward,” according to the publisher.

Alum wins Emmy for documentary SAM CHASE ’21 never thought an Emmy award was in his future. In fact, the project that earned him the elite award almost didn’t make it past a routine photography project. But then Chase started hearing stories that moved him to pick up a video camera and get to work. “I got this idea of documenting history as it happens,” he said, “and what could be better than history happening down the street from where you live? Once I started talking to people, I realized there were a lot of stories of courage to tell in this moment.” The moment was the first protest in Farmville that was organized following the death of George Floyd in summer 2020. Protests and marches in Farmville were organized by a group of women who take center stage in Chase’s documentary, offering an inside look at how the local movement came together. The short-form documentary that followed, Civil Circuit, became Chase’s senior capstone project. With encouragement from his advisor, Dr. Ryan Stouffer, Chase submitted the 17-minute film to the Regional Emmy competition, and was selected for recognition.

(continued on Page 24)


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Subject to Interpretation. Jeanie Collins Keys ’73 is an artist who thinks big. Nordstrom Department Stores sold prints of her work nationally for more than a decade. Oprah Winfrey added a Keys piece to her private collection. And the paintings themselves— profusions of color applied most often to flowers but also to dogs, children, fish and other subjects—can cover as much as 20 square feet. Galleries across Virginia and the surrounding area have shown her work, most recently the Quirk Gallery in Richmond. “Flowers influenced my life since childhood, from the stylized floral embroidery I learned from my Hungarian mother to the dozens of splendid peony bushes in the gardens where I played,” Keys says. “The paintings are visual journeys between reality and imagination in time. It is an emotional response to form and color beyond representation.”

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(continued from Page 23)

Bowman holds a master’s degree in military art and sciences from U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law and a post-doctoral degree (LL.M.) in military law and federal government procurement from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate Generals Legal Center and School. Tony Moss ’90 was named a Modern-Day Technology Leader at the 2022 BEYA (Black Engineer of the Year Award) STEM Global Competitiveness Conference in February. ModernDay Technology Leaders are chosen for demonstrating outstanding performance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Moss, who earned a physics degree at Longwood and went on to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics from Virginia State, is a mathematician/lead scientist at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) in Virginia, where he serves as a systems engineering group lead for the Fleet Sensor Analysis Branch. Carol Brown Black-Harrell ’91, was born in 1946 on a farm in Churubusco, New York. After receiving her sociology degree from Longwood when she was in her 40s, she worked for the Virginia Department of Corrections as an adult probation parole officer. In retirement, she enjoyed volunteering for the SPCA, gardening, taking care of her pets, spending time with her many friends and cheering for the Green Bay Packers. She died Dec. 21, 2021.

Rodney Berger ’92 fulfilled his father’s dream when he moved back to Gretna, Virginia, after 23 years in New York City and opened a restaurant. “My father, Chester Berger, always wanted to have a restaurant,” Rodney Berger told the Chatham (Virginia) Star Tribune. “Us kids were too young to appreciate his dream and make it happen. He passed away a couple of years ago. So this restaurant is dedicated to him. …” The Artist Way Café opened mid-pandemic in October 2020 as takeout-only and later added a dine-in option. Serving homemade sandwiches and desserts, the family-run restaurant has a New York flavor, not only in its menu— the double Coney Island hot dog is a favorite— but also its décor and art gallery, which includes some of Berger’s own paintings. “I wanted to bring some of New York to Gretna,” he told the

CLASSNOTES Star Tribune. “The décor mimics my favorite downtown Brooklyn café.” Todd Bono ’92 has only moved “one seat to the left” in his new job at Smithsburg (Maryland) High School—but there’s a huge distance between those two chairs when they’re on the sidelines of a basketball court, as Bono well knows. He was the head coach of the girls’ basketball team in Frederick, Maryland, for five years after moving to Smithsburg to be closer to his wife’s family. Three years ago he cut out his 30-minute commute each way to Frederick and signed on as an assistant coach at Smithsburg. He now bears full responsibility for the girls’ team—and there’s no place he’d rather be. His first coaching experience was with a youth league team when he was in high school, he told the The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, Maryland. He was just a few years older than his players, but he was old enough to know he’d found his passion. “Teachers always say they are looking for the lightbulb moment to flash. That was it for me. I wanted to coach and be a teacher. There is no greater job. Teaching and coaching go hand in hand.” Keith Birdsong ’93 died Jan. 10, 2022. He was the creative services director at WOAY-TV in Oak Hill, West Virginia. The station posted the following remembrance of him: “Keith was the voice of WOAY’s station identification. He was the voice of many of our clients. He just recently produced our new One Tank Trip promo. He was our go-to guy for nearly every local commercial on this station. “He loved to create. He conceptualized ideas, recorded the video, added audio and edited the finished products you see on air. … He had a flair for the creative. He created unique video effects and produced holiday spots with multiple layers of video and audio. “Keith held on to the nostalgic. When offered a new desk here at WOAY, he opted to stay with the same old wooden table on which his predecessors spliced film to make commercials years ago. … We will miss Keith’s smile, his laughter, his superb work ethic, his wonderful creativity and that familiar voice.” Jennifer Gilbertson ’95 was named as Pet Partners’ chief marketing officer and director of marketing for the Association of Animal-Assisted Intervention Professionals (AAAIP). In her new role, Gilbertson will lead all marketing strategy and initiatives for Pet Partners and AAAIP. AAAIP officially launches in 2022 and will organize a community of professionals who incorporate therapy animals into their practices, including mental health providers, educators, researchers, trainers and behaviorists. Pet Partners promotes the health and wellness benefits of animal-assisted therapy, activities and education, and is the nation’s most diverse nonprofit registering handlers of multiple species as volunteer teams. Charlaine Coetzee Hirst ’95 was named the LPGA Professionals Junior Golf Leader of the (continued on Page 27)

Elizabeth “Liz” Fentress Waters ’60

Send us your class notes

If you have any news from your professional or personal life, we’d love to hear about it. Please email the details to us at alumni@longwood.edu. Remember to give us your full name, the year you graduated and the degree you received.

Precious Memories Alumna’s daughter relays how much her mom treasured her college years


After graduating from Longwood, LIZABETH “LIZ” FENTRESS Waters taught school at Great Bridge WATERS ’60 was born in Norfolk, Middle/High School in Chesapeake, then Virginia, in 1938. After she passed left teaching, temporarily, when she had away on Dec. 30, 2021, one of her children the first of four children after marrying. relayed how dearly her mother held her Once the job of raising her family was memories of her days at Longwood. done, she returned to the classroom at “Nothing before or later topped the Norfolk Collegiate School in 1993 and time at Longwood for her, from the taught for 18 years. lifelong friendships, to the sense of vibran“She was the consummate teacher, and cy and being alive that she felt during her legacy in the those precious decades to come four years in NOTHING BEFORE OR will be all those Farmville,” said her young people she daughter, Amy LATER TOPPED THE TIME AT taught and helped Waters Yarsinske. LONGWOOD FOR HER, FROM set up for success. “To me, the most The kids loved her, important part of THE LIFELONG FRIENDSHIPS, and she loved what remained of TO THE SENSE OF VIBRANCY them,” said her in the house AND BEING ALIVE THAT Yarsinske. we grew up in Another source were all the SHE FELT DURING THOSE of happiness and pictures and PRECIOUS FOUR YEARS IN pride for Waters memorabilia from was that her Longwood. She FARMVILLE.’ granddaughter saved every —AMY WATERS YARSINSKE followed her to chorale program, Longwood. every item from When ALLYSON EMILY YARSINSKE ’16 her sorority [Alpha Sigma Alpha], was accepted early to Longwood, her Longwood magazines and newspapers grandmother was the first person she from her four years, her freshman beanie called. Allyson went on to earn a master’s and other Longwood hats she had back degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University and then. I am still sorting through bins and is now a licensed adult therapist in Chapel chests of personal things that belonged to Hill, North Carolina. her. I will treasure so much of this always.”


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She placed the baby with a convent for adoption, returned to her family in Italy and took her secret to the grave.’ — LISA HARWOOD HELMICK ’84

Drama in Real Life

Alumna is the central character in a tale that includes family secrets, the CIA and reuniting with her birth family in Italy by Lisa Harwood Helmick ’84


y story begins in 1961 in Bassano del Grappa, a town of just over 40,000 on the Brenta River in northern Italy. An attractive, unmarried young woman had just found out she was pregnant, and, given the mores of the time, decided to keep that fact a secret from her large and close-knit family. Just 25 years old, she told her family she was taking a job in Basel, Switzerland, calculating that it was far enough away—13 hours by train—to discourage visitors from home. It was there that she gave birth to a daughter on June 23, 1962. She placed the baby with a convent for adoption, returned to her family in Italy and took her secret to the grave. That woman was my mother.

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I’ve always known that I was adopted and that I was Italian. My father was station chief of the CIA in Paris, and my mother had recently given up her career as a physician to follow him around the world when they opened their arms and their hearts to me. As I grew older, I harbored the dream that someday I would find my family in Italy. That possibility seemed a little closer when I discovered my adoption papers in a safe deposit box after my father died in 1999. But, as they say, life got in the way. My husband, Jeff Helmick ’84, also a Longwood graduate and a career Army officer, and I had just settled in Yorktown, Virginia, after other postings in the U.S. and Europe, and I had accepted a teaching position at York High School. It just didn’t seem like the right time.

Above left: Helmick’s mother, Aurora Gramatica (right), with her twin sister, Giovanna, in about 1965. Above right: Helmick was embraced by her birth family in Italy, including her Aunt Giovanna, after reuniting with them in 2018. ‘You are home, and we love you,’ her aunt told her.

Seventeen years went by before life intervened again—this time sending me the message that time is a limited commodity. In the space of five months, I survived a ruptured brain aneurism and the passings of my brother and my mother-in-law. Just when I had decided it was time to act on my dream of finding my birth family, I met someone at a party who had connections that would pull together the clues from the safe deposit box I had opened years earlier. That person was Marvin Key, whose inlaws lived in Italy. Marvin enlisted the help of his father-in-law, setting in motion a chain of events that included an initial visit to my mother’s hometown in December 2017 and, thanks to some digging by Marvin’s wife and her mother, the location of my birth family just a few months later. In a classic East meets West moment, my American family and I flew back to Italy the day after Easter Sunday 2018 to meet my Italian family for the first time. My mother had died several years earlier, but I got to meet her identical twin sister, my Aunt Giovanna, as well as my mother’s five other brothers and sisters and many of my numerous cousins. Most amazing, though, was finding out that Giovanna had been expecting a baby at the same time as my mother and had given birth to a son just two weeks before I was born. After that last visit, my husband and I moved to Bassano, Italy, planning to stay for three years. Today, with still a few months to go in Italy, I have learned how to cook my grandmother’s recipes, become (somewhat) proficient in Italian, traveled extensively and worked through the complicated legal process of having my Italian citizenship reinstated—all while being overwhelmed by the love of this family. Sadly, I never got to tell my mother that I loved her and to thank her for giving me a great life. But I was able to look her twin sister in the eye and tell her the same thing. My aunt replied, “Don’t worry now. You are home, and we love you.”

CLASSNOTES Michelle Cifers Martin ’99 is the new principal of Powhatan High School. Previously assistant principal at the school, she stepped into the top leadership position just as students were returning to in-person learning at the beginning of this school year. “I had wonderful things said by teachers and parents, but really when the students greeted me the first week of school and said, ‘I am so excited it was you,’ that was the best part. Knowing I am where I am supposed to be and where students wanted me to be,” she told the Richmond Times Dispatch/Powhatan Today. “The kids are so energizing. It is really why we do what we do. Our students have transitioned well back into the building. Generally even the kids who don’t love school are happy to be here—happy to have some consistency and routines in their lives.” Martin began her career with the Powhatan County Public Schools in 2008, when she was hired as an instructional technology resource teacher. In 2014, she transitioned to supervisor of instructional technology for the school division and then moved to Powhatan High School as assistant principal.

(continued from Page 25)

Year in September 2021. Hirst is the sole owner of Charlaine Hirst Golf, LLC, in Pinehurst, North Carolina. In 2020, she received the Sandy LaBauve Spirit Award, the most coveted honor bestowed by LPGA*USGA Girls Golf.

Michael Pratte ’95, the K-12 science facilitator for the Stafford County Public Schools, received a Virginia Association of Science Teachers Recognition in Science Education award. The awards spotlight excellent work by science educators across Virginia. Pratte is the recipient for excellent service in science supervision. “I am so excited for this school year and how science is back!” Pratte told Fredericksburg Today. In the same article, Dr. Stanley B. Jones, interim superintendent, said, “In his role as the K-12 science facilitator, Mike ensures science curriculum is about more than sitting behind a table in a classroom. His work to incorporate field experiences and STEM opportunities, and to engage both students and teachers in the process is admirable.”

I 2000s Ross Schwalm (left) presents a certificate of appreciation to Rob Orrison ’98 on behalf of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Rob Orrison ’98, historic preservation division manager for the Prince William County Office of Historic Preservation, gave a talk to the Colonel William Grayson Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution about the events of April 19, 1775, the day of “the shot heard round the world” and the beginning of the American Revolution. Orrison is the coauthor of A Single Blow, a book that focuses on the battles of Lexington and Concord and the beginning of the revolution. He received his master’s degree in public history from George Mason University. He is a member of the board for the Mosby Heritage Area Association and the Virginia Civil War Trails, and is president of the governing council of the Virginia Association of Museums.

Green Bay fan lands dream job

John Matthew Deal ’00 and Janet Lynn Guill were married Oct. 10, 2021, in South Boston, Virginia. John earned his master’s degree at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia, and is a science teacher at Halifax County Middle School, where Janet also teaches science.

t’s a dream job that can have moments of personal heartbreak, but those emotions come with the territory when you’re a journalist covering your favorite NFL team. For BRANDON CARWILE ’16, it’s the Green Bay Packers, which he covers for USA Today’s PackersWire. The heartbreak came with the Packers’ loss in the 2021 season playoffs, but he’s already “looking forward to next year’s playoffs and the endless story opportunities that come with it.”

I’ll never forget going to a Packers game in D.C. on Halloween and feeling that electric atmosphere.’ —BRANDON CARWILE ’16

Dr. Kendall Lee ’01, assistant director of Longwood Speech, Hearing and Learning Services, (continued on Page 28)

Carwile has followed a nontraditional path into professional journalism. Starting with regional blogs and creating content about the Packers, he began to get noticed and published on ever-larger sites—until USA Today came calling. While his journalism career began at Longwood, where he was a communication studies major, his Packers fandom started in his childhood living room, watching Packers games with his father. “We watched every game that we could together, and got to travel up to Washington to see people like Brett Favre play,” he said. “I’ll never forget going to a Packers game in D.C. on Halloween and feeling that electric atmosphere.”


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CLASSNOTES (continued from Page 27)

His World’s a Stage. Brandon Carter ’10,

Brook Dodson Hatcher ’02, M.S. ’13, was named 2021 Educator of the Year by Mecklenburg County Public Schools. As MCPS director of technology, Hatcher was instrumental in the shift to virtual education that took place during the 2020-21 school year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In her 18 years with the school division, she has progressed from technology resource teacher to assistant director of technology to the director’s position, which she assumed in 2017.

Zachary Pomeroy/Pitt County Schools

a resident actor with the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) since 2018, was named the new artistic director of the center, becoming the first person of color to hold that position. ASC is a 34-year-old company producing the classics in a 300seat mock-Tudor playhouse in Staunton, Virginia. Carter’s expertise and passion is classical work. His mission is to “break the legacy” and culture surrounding the classics by creating a symbiotic relationship between classical texts and innovative voices. “Our audience is ready to see something new from us, and I’m ready to open the door,” Carter told The Washington Post. Along with his executive duties as artistic director, Carter will continue to act as an ASC company member and will continue to take on roles with other theatres.

was reappointed to the Virginia Interagency Coordinating Council.

South Greenville (North Carolina) Elementary School students line the hallway to congratulate Principal Alison Covington ’03 after she was named North Carolina’s Wells Fargo Northeast Regional Principal of the Year.

Alison Covington ’03, principal of South Greenville (North Carolina) Elementary School, was named North Carolina’s Wells Fargo Northeast Regional Principal of the Year in December 2021. The award comes on the heels of Covington’s recognition in October as the Pitt County Schools’ Principal of the Year. Covington has been an educator for 18 years, most of them in the Pitt County Schools. She began her career as a middle-school math teacher, then earned a master’s degree in school administration at East Carolina University. Berkeley Reynolds ’03, manager of operations and administration for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, was reappointed to the Boyce, Virginia, town council in January to fill a vacant seat. She’ll hold the seat through the end of 2022. The Cooke Foundation provides scholarships to students who are academically talented but financially in need. In addition to her Longwood degree in communication studies, Reynolds has a master’s degree in tourism administration from George Washington University.

Mike Kropf ’14

Amanda Renwick Lloyd ’04 was appointed to serve on the State Historical Records Advisory Board. Lloyd, director of the Academy for Nonprofit Excellence at Tidewater Community College, also is on the adjunct faculty of Southern New Hampshire University and a member of the Norfolk City Planning Commission. She recently completed the work for a Ph.D. in educational management (higher education) at Hampton University.

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(continued on Page 30)


CLASSNOTES Caitlin Daly ’08 is the president and CEO of the SPCA Serving Erie County, which includes a farm rescue, a wildlife department, a traditional shelter and a companion animal department. With Daly is farm manager Sheila Foss, one of the organization’s 100 staff members.


Colin Gordon Photography


Animal Instinct Alumna finds inspiration in a career focused on finding homes for neglected, abused and abandoned animals


AITLIN DALY ’08 is the president and CEO of the SPCA Serving Erie County, a private organization in the Buffalo, New York, area that provided shelter for more than 7,500 dogs, cats, chickens, goats, bats, snakes, turtles and other critters in 2021. In addition to watching over the animals, Daly manages a staff of 100, including seven peace officers, and nearly 900 active volunteers.

But it hasn’t been that long since she was cleaning out cages—her first paid job at a shelter. Even then, she loved the work. “When we get these animals in, they’re broken, neglected, abused or just not wanted any longer,” said Daly, who earned a psychology degree at Longwood. “To be able to take an animal from the lowest place they’ll ever be and build them up and find them a home—it’s really just a magical experience all the way around.” Daly chose her career path after working at a senior living facility, where she planned events and helped the residents stay mentally active. She knew it was an important job, but it just wasn’t right for her. “I would come home at the end of the day just feeling drained,” she said. “At the same time, I was volunteering at a shelter, and I’d come home after working eight

hours there feeling motivated and inspired. I decided that I wanted to feel that way every day if I could.” She took an entry-level position at a shelter in North Carolina and eventually worked her way up to facility manager. Next was the Fredericksburg, Virginia, SPCA and then Lollypop Farm in Rochester, New York, where she was chief operating officer. She began her current job in January 2022. Daly didn’t leave her event-planning skills behind, however, and they actually contributed to what she considers one of her biggest accomplishments since she switched career paths. Adventure Tails, a program she created while she was in Fredericksburg, recruits volunteers to get animals out of the shelter for a few hours to give them some physical exercise and a mental break. The results? Adoptions increased by 33 percent in just one year, and the health of many of the animals improved. “When dogs don’t sit around in cages all the time, they don’t get sick and they’re happier—so they get adopted more quickly,” she said, adding that Adventure Tails has received national recognition and is being replicated by other animal welfare organizations. Daly is excited about the challenges and opportunities at the Erie County facility, which includes a farm rescue, a wildlife department, a traditional shelter and a companion animal department. There are many administrative responsibilities, but she keeps her love of animals at the forefront both at work and at home, where her family includes her dogs, Poe and Noah, and her Siberian forest cat, Bella—all of them adopted from various agencies. “I do get to interact with the animals at the shelter every day,” she said. “That’s my passion, and I want to keep my focus on my passion.”—Sabrina Brown


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CLASSNOTES (continued from Page 28)

Dan Mazzio ’04 is an attorney with Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers. He previously was chief deputy pubic defender with the Hampton Public Defender’s Office. Mazzio received his J.D. from the University of Richmond.

Longwood’s 1 Hour a Month program is an ongoing volunteer experience designed for alumni and friends. You’ll be rewarded with exclusive Longwood swag depending on your level of participation. Find out more at


In Memoriam 1930s

Willie Burge Tomlinson ’38 Dec. 29, 2021


Katherine Beaton Jordan ’43 Nov. 24, 2021 Lucy Davis Gunn ’43 Jan. 12, 2022. Mary Thompson Sterrett Lipscomb ’45 Jan. 21, 2022 Margaret McIntyre Davis ’46 Oct. 12, 2021 Joyce Sisk Creasy ’48 Feb. 15, 2019 Charlotte Grizzard Dimmig ’48 Dec. 2, 2021 Kathryn Baldwin Bondurant ’49 Oct. 3, 2021


Ronald Travell Kaipo Morrison ’05 was selected as the 2022 Mary V. Bicouvaris Teacher of the Year for Nottoway High School in Crewe, Virginia. He was also chosen as Teacher of the Year for the Nottoway County Public Schools. Carly Fullerton ‘07 was promoted to assistant athletics director/sports medicine at Longwood in January 2021 after serving as director of sports performance/head athletic trainer since August 2016. She was initially employed in 2008 as an assistant athletic trainer and received her first promotion at Longwood in 2013, when she was named associate head athletic trainer. Fullerton earned her Master of Science degree in sports medicine from the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama.

2010s Brittany Miller Anderson ’10 is an environmental compliance analyst with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. She helps maintain shoreside and ship regulatory

30 I


Sarah Droste Brown ’50 Oct. 3, 2021 Marian Avedikian Kachadurian ’50 Oct. 6, 2021 Julia Hughes Reynolds ’50 Nov. 7, 2021 Patricia Walker DeLisio ’51 Sept. 23, 2021 Ann Norfleet Taylor ’51 Nov. 29, 2021 Polly Hawkins Jarrett ’51 Oct. 14, 2021 Harriet Butterworth Miller ’51 Feb. 2, 2022 Frances Minter Whyte ’51 Nov. 19, 2021 Kathryn Terry Wilson ’51 Sept. 17, 2021 Betty Borkey Banks ’52 Jan. 29, 2022 Cecil G. Yattes Sr. ’52 Sept. 21, 2021 Betty Bailey Agee ’54 Sept. 18, 2021 Doris Horne Gwaltney ’54 Dec. 27, 2021 Betty Benton Odom ’54 Dec. 31, 2021 Josephine “Judy” Burley Adams ’55 June 16, 2021 Sara M. Cecil ’55 Jan. 30, 2022 Joan Williams Jurney ’55 Jan. 27, 2022 Sandra Cooley Darnell ’58 Oct. 20, 2021 Charlotte Hall Padera ’58 Dec. 20, 2021 Sue Taylor Paschall ’58 Jan. 8, 2022


Tae Wamsley Glasson ’60 Oct. 2, 2021 Elizabeth Fentress Waters ’60 Dec. 30, 2021 Patricia Marsh Lasseter ’61 Nov. 22, 2020 Joyce Archer Pilcher ’61 Sept. 28, 2021 Virginia Van de Riet Gardner ’61 Sept. 30, 2021 Georgie Harrell Copeland ’62 Oct. 12, 2020 Betty Patteson McNally ’62 Oct. 21, 2021 Ewell Alexander Morgan ’62 Oct. 30, 2021 Patricia Sadler-Sturgeon Motley ’62 Sept. 25, 2021 Barclay Woodword Smith ’62 July 9, 2021 M. Jane Brooke ’63 Jan. 10, 2022 Elizabeth Currin Robertson ’63 April 22, 2021 Elaine Lohr Wizda ’63 Feb. 6, 2022 Judith A. Duncan ’64 Nov. 23, 2021 Joyce “Joy” Smith McCool ’64 Jan. 23, 2022 Sally Taylor Flach ’65 Oct. 11, 2021

Virginia “Lee” White Dunnington ’66 Nov. 12, 2021 Mary Edgerton Parrott ’66 Nov. 25, 2020 Ruth Anne Troxell ’66 Oct. 1, 2021 Mary Anne Thompson Garnett ’68 Oct. 13, 2021 Martha Ann Via Wingfield ’68 Oct. 9, 2021 Linda Martin Patgorski ’69 Jan. 18, 2022


Ellen Smith Costan ’70 Oct. 24, 2020 Julia Brown Davis ’70 Aug. 17, 2021 Hope Vaughan Sullivan ’74 Sept. 23, 2021 Patricia Hopkins Bero ’75 Nov. 4, 2021 Betty Jane Weldon ’76 Dec. 23, 2021 Patricia Byrum Kirtz ’78 Oct. 25, 2021 Ruth Ellen Maxey Crumpler ’78 Aug. 7, 2021


James Walter Gmitter ’80 Jan. 9, 2022 Carolyn M. Crinkley ’81 Nov. 11, 2021 Jeanne Marie Pearson ’82 Dec. 12, 2021 Gwendolyn R. Stephenson ’84 Feb. 16, 2021 Michael Steven Carey ’88 Jan. 17, 2022 James Todd “JT” Suddarth ’88 Jan. 19, 2022


Carol Brown Black-Harrell ’90 Dec. 21, 2021 Lisa Ford McDaniels ’92 Jan. 12, 2022 James Keith Birdsong ’93 Jan. 10, 2022 Mark Edward Sheffield ’93 Feb. 4, 2022


Ellen Brie Houseknecht ’00 Dec. 14, 2021 Shanika Rochelle Johnson ’00 Sept. 20, 2021 Gregory Sean McSween ’03 Nov. 9, 2021 Edwin Enoch Chamblin ’05 Sept. 28, 2021 Richard A. “Trey” Paradiso ’07 Dec. 1, 2021


Janet Mayberry Barricks ’21 Nov. 10, 2021

Faculty, Staff and Friends Thomas Patrick “Pat” Burke Jr. Feb. 3, 2022 Lynn E. Eanes Oct. 11, 2021 Robert R. Fischer Sept. 3, 2021 Sarah E. Fugate Nov. 5, 2021 Charles “Chip” Breckinridge Oct. 28, 2020 James “Bill” Lewter June 10, 2021 Herbert H. Mullinex Nov. 11, 2021 J. David Smith Jan. 1, 2022 James L. Sullivan Oct. 4, 2021 James A. Robertson May 18, 2021 Betty Jean I. Whitt Oct. 18, 2021 Henry I. Willett Nov. 11, 2021 Thomas F. Williams Jr. Oct. 21, 2021

CLASSNOTES Jack Jacobs/Richmond BizSense

compliance, work that ensures shipboard environmental compliance officers, new facility managers and commanding officers at marine operations centers nationwide are up to speed on crucial environmental practices. Brian Paul Hancock ’10 is an owner/coach at MovNat Madison (Wisconsin), a natural movement gym that follows a health and fitness discipline based on the overall practice of natural human movement skills. Hancock, who earned a degree in exercise science, served in the military and worked for HMOs and large corporations before starting his own gym.

Michelle Williams Hildreth, M.S. ’11, is the new assistant principal at Wolcott Street School in Le Roy, New York. Before coming to Le Roy, she was a second- and third-grade classroom teacher, and a reading specialist and reading coach at Rush-Henrietta Central School. Emily Popek O’Hare ’12 completed her MBA at Longwood in December 2021. Capt. Luke Talian ’12 is an instructor in the Special Operations Forces Governance Officer course at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Course and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Mark Parker ’14 was promoted to key account manager at OMG Roofing Products, a leading manufacturer and global supplier of highperformance products for the commercial roofing industry. Previously territory manager for North and South Carolina, Parker is using his selling, negotiation, communications and business-management skills to drive sales, loyalty and long-term growth for several of the company’s strategic private label accounts. During his time at OMG, which is headquartered in Agawam, Massachusetts, Parker was recognized as his region’s leading territory manager. Emma Beckett ’16 joined Cushman & Wakefield/Thalhimer as a marketing and graphic design specialist. Thalhimer, with offices throughout Virginia and South Carolina, is the region’s leading provider of comprehensive commercial real estate services. Previously Beckett was with Motleys Asset Disposition Group, where she worked as a graphic designer and gained experience in several specialized industries. (continued on Page 32)

Going with the Grain. For some people, woodwork-

ing is a hobby. For some people, it’s a job. But for Dalton Rudd ’20 it’s his therapy—and his business. Making good on an idea that came to him even before he finished his business degree at Longwood, he opened The Workbench RVA in November 2021 in Richmond. Members (16 as of early February), who pay a monthly fee to join, have access to tools and equipment—including a variety of saws, lathes and drill presses—as well as the space to create. “Woodworking has always been there for me. It’s my release, my therapy,” Rudd told richmondbizsense.com, adding that he had the idea for The Workbench after visiting a custom cabinet shop a few years ago. “It dawned on me like, ‘I know I’m not the only person in this world who likes woodworking. … I need to figure out how to make this a public thing.” SPRING 2022



CLASSNOTES (continued from Page 31)

cember 2021. She is the assistant coach for the Patrick Henry High School cross country and track teams. Ashley Helms ’19, cheerleading alumna and former team captain, is the Lancers’ new cheerleading coach. She cheered for Longwood men’s and women’s basketball for four seasons and was heavily involved in a number of athletics and campus organizations. A business administration major with a concentration in real estate, she is currently a design coordinator for HHHunt Homes in Midlothian.

Jessica Smith Photography


OLIVIA COLELLA ’16 and CHRISTIAN KEILTY ’16 were married on September 17, 2021, at St. Veronica Catholic Church in Chantilly, Virginia. The two met at Longwood, where they both played soccer. Olivia, who graduated with a biology degree, works as a forensic scientist specializing in latent fingerprints, and Christian, who earned a psychology degree, works in software sales. The couple lives in Reston, Virginia.

Andrew Hunter ’16, an Automated Clearing House (ACH) processor at ABNB Federal Credit Union, received his Accredited ACH Professional certification in the area of utilizing electronic transfers of funds via the ACH network. ABNB is a full-service financial institution serving nearly 70,000 members in the Greater Hampton Roads area of Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Hunter, who has worked at ABNB for more than a year, previously was a financial service representative at Langley Federal Credit and a personal banker supervisor at Dollar Bank and Bank @lantec.

Sutton Dunnavant Reekes ’20 is a reporter with NBC affiliate WNWO-Channel 24 in Toledo, Ohio. After graduating from Longwood, she earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. WNWO notes in Reekes’ bio that her interests include teaching dance, practicing yoga, reading and spending time with her pup, Corduroy. She is an avid follower of fashion and a student of history, particularly American history.

Alexander Morton ’16, a graduate of Longwood’s Call Me MISTER program, received the 2022 Mary V. Bicouvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year Award for Nottoway Middle School. Morton teaches history.

MEGAN SCOTT ’18 and DYLAN CAMPBELL ’19 were married November 13, 2021, after meeting in the Cormier Honors College and Dr. Mary Carver’s political science class. Fellow alumni were present at the wedding and included in the wedding party. “Elwood even made an appearance on the cake!” Megan reports. Both Megan and Dylan are employed with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Megan teaching seventh-grade social studies and Dylan working in the IT department.

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TJ Wengert ’20 is the director digital media at Lynchburg College, a position that includes providing play-by-play and commentary for broadcasts of men’s and women’s basketball games as well as being part of a team that produces video content for social media, postgame interviews, a weekly rundown of happenings among UL’s teams, a monthly “Top Plays” segment, and two podcasts focused on current and former athletes and coaches. Wengert also leads multiple interns and students working behind the scenes to create Lynchburg Hornets Sports Network streams and other content.

Bayley Johnson ’17 won the Miss Rodeo Virginia 2020-21 title and competed in the Miss Rodeo America pageant in Las Vegas in De-

Christian Wilson ’21 is a communications analyst at JP Morgan Chase & Co. in New York City. He earned a degree in communication studies at Longwood and was captain of the men’s basketball team.

Register ONLINE

go.longwood.edu/ alumniweekend

Did you miss your in-person reunion in 2020 or 2021? We will be celebrating you this year!

Alumni Weekend

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June 2–5, 2022 (Thursday–Sunday after Memorial Day)







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Courtney Vogel

Seeing Double The men’s and women’s basketball teams received a heartfelt and exuberant welcome home on Farmville’s Main Street when they returned, twin trophies in tow, as first-time winners of their respective Big South Tournament championships. The championships earned both teams tickets to the NCAA Tournament, another Longwood first, fully immersing Lancer Nation in March Madness. Read more about this historic season on Page 6.

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