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A Publication for Alumnae and Friends of Meredith College

Summer 2014, Volume 39, Number 2




Meredith Magazine Volume 39, Number 2 Summer 2014 Executive Editor Kristi Eaves-McLennan Managing Editors Melyssa Allen Karen T. Dunton Assistant Editor Gaye Hill Writer Meaghan Bixby Art Director Vanessa Harris Designer Lauren Sumner Alumnae Connection Editors Hilary Allen, ’01 Sarah R. Terrell, ’12 Contributing Writers Wendy Jones Leslie Maxwell, ’01 Betsy Rhame-Minor, ’01 Suzanne Stanard Editorial Assistant Kaye Rains Photographers Charlotte Claypoole Christopher Ferrer Gary Knight Patricia Lay-Dorsey Lauren Sumner


Meredith educates teachers to thrive in a changing profession.


Campus Kitchens at Meredith College empowers students to combat hunger in the local community.


Alumna uses art as springboard for discussion of disability.


Meredith alumnae are making an impact in the world of politics.


New StrongPointsTM Program Empowers Students for Success


Meredith Celebrates the Class of 2014

11 Young Adult Authors Share Their Craft 14 Faculty Distinguished Lecture Focuses on Christianity Before and After the Civil War


Meredith Magazine exists to serve the Meredith community by providing readers with insight and information about the news, activities, events, programs, plans, and people of the College. Meredith Magazine is published three times a year by the Meredith College Department of Marketing. Questions or comments may be submitted to © 2014 Meredith College. The Meredith name and word mark are registered trademarks of Meredith College and may not be used without permission. All rights reserved. 14-017


Meredith Campus News


Letter from the President


Meredith Experts in the News



13 Strong Stories 33 Alumnae Connection On the Cover: Presidential award-winning teacher Carol Swink Wooten, ’98, teaching a Physics with Toys class at Raleigh’s Hunter Elementary School.


NEWS At Meredith, a year’s worth of student success is acknowledged during Celebrating Student Achievement Day. The core of the day is built around research and poster presentations that show the results of Meredith’s strong undergraduate research program. The 2014 event featured the work of more than 125 student researchers. Learn more on page 3.

Engineering student Mary Rawls, ’14, presents her research on CSA Day.



New StrongPoints Program Empowers Students TM

By Melyssa Allen


t Meredith’s 2014 Founders’ Day celebration, President Jo Allen announced a new initiative that will shape the educational experience of current and future Meredith students. “StrongPointsTM is a signature program of innovative, personal advising that coaches students through critical learning and life decisions, putting their futures more firmly in their own hands,” Allen said. The new program will launch in fall 2014. Through this comprehensive initiative, stu-

dents will identify and use their strengths over the course of their four years at Meredith to help them shape their academic options, engaged learning opportunities (such as study abroad, internships, service learning, and undergraduate research), financial goals, and career choices. Students will work with trained faculty/staff advisers to explore possibilities and articulate goals that build on and enhance their strengths for succeeding in college and in life. Students will have access to resources

including the opportunity to create a career portfolio, a robust assessment tool to identify individual strengths, and Strengths Lab, a dedicated on-campus space to develop and refine their strengths. “Throughout this work, students will better understand life’s challenges, the power of planning, and the opportunities that arise from being well-informed, confident, and proactive,” Allen said. Learn more about StrongPoints at

Watch President Allen announce the StrongPoints program on

Participate in Meredith’s Summer Reading Program


eredith’s 2014 Summer Reading Program selection is Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings. Alumnae are invited to read along with the campus community. The historical fiction novel tells the story of the Grimke sisters, who were abolitionists and supporters of women’s rights in 1830s Charleston, S.C. It is richly de-


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scriptive, and the alternating narrators – Sarah Grimke and a young slave girl called “Handful” – offer thought-provoking perspectives on daily life and issues of the time. The committee charged with selecting the summer reading book expects that The Invention of Wings will engage students with a compelling story, attract a wide range of disciplinary perspectives

and opportunities for involvement, and address a topic of importance to the College. The Summer Reading Program enhances the academic climate on campus by engaging incoming first-year students in a shared intellectual endeavor with the entire campus community, including students, faculty, staff, and alumnae.

Strong Students Share Their Work During Celebrating Student Achievement Day By Melyssa Allen


elebrating Student Achievement (CSA) Day is a showcase of strong Meredith College students. The annual event, which features research presentations, performances and creative projects, and other activities that honor student success, was held on April 8. “This is a day celebrating exploration and intellectual life,” said President Jo Allen, who calls CSA Day her favorite Meredith tradition. Provost Matthew Poslusny also sees CSA Day as a celebration. “Education is not a spectator sport, you have to be active and involved,” Poslusny said. “CSA Day is a celebration of that.” Approximately 125 students presented research during CSA Day. The day began with poster presentations on topics including “The Effect of Theater

on High School Academics,” “Music Icons in Fashion,” “The Effects of Nicotine Sulfate on Escherichia coli,” and “Relationship between High School Size and Transitional Stress among First Year College Women.” There were 13 conference sessions that featured in-depth presentations of student research. Many of the students’ presentations focused on topics that support their career goals. Callie Davis, ’15, who wants to become an orthodontist, researched the physics behind braces. Sarah Boykin, ’14, who plans to become a veterinarian, shared her patient profile for Rocinante, the horse in the novel Don Quxiote. She was one of four students from an honors course that used Miguel de Cervantes’ classic work as a basis for research. Other students offered insights gained from study abroad. Taylor Haines, ’14, present-

ed “The Green Adventurer,” which explored the environmental impact of travel, including eco-tourism alternatives. Jasmine Johnson, ’14, presented her findings of the differing levels of materialism found in birthday celebrations in the United States and Costa Rica. Students also shared their winning compositions from the 2013 study abroad essay contest. Students in art and design demonstrated their skills in sessions including an interior design showcase, a fashion show, performances, and art history presentations. Celebrating Student Achievement Day powerfully illustrates the value of the undergraduate research experience. Research “helps students see where curiosity can take them and … creates a lifelong habit of asking good questions and seeking good answers,” Allen said.

Undergraduate research is one way Meredith students are Going Strong. Watch our undergraduate research video series on

Celebrating Student Achievement Day focuses on research and other student successes.

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Finance Expert Shares Tips on Becoming Financially Fearless By Melyssa Allen


uring the 2014 Woman of Achievement Lecture, LearnVest founder and CEO Alexa von Tobel shared her story of becoming a personal finance expert and gave Meredith College students tools to become financially fearless. The lecture was held on Monday, February 24, 2014, in Jones Auditorium. “I want everyone to leave this lecture smarter about money and more inspired,” von Tobel said. Her company,, is an award-winning personal finance platform. The inspiration for starting her company was a desire to make dealing with money fun and easy to understand. She called her book Financially Fearless because she believes with the right knowledge, financial planning shouldn’t be scary. According to von Tobel, 76% of Americans feel out of control about money, and 84% of college students admit they need students to take responsibility for understandmore personal finance education. “We can change the world by making peo- ing their finances. “People sometimes think financial planning ple feel better about money,” von Tobel said. She is a topic for your 30s said personal finance it is a topic for right education is lacking at “Financial education is –now. You’ll be able to most colleges, and she fundamental. Meredith save a lot more if you praised Meredith College for making finan- students are lucky to be take charge now.” Since launching cial education a priority. Financial education is at a school that empha- LearnVest in 2009, von Tobel has earned nua piece of the College’s sizes that.” – Alexa Von Tobel merous accolades, innew StrongPoints™ cluding being named program, which begins a 2012 Fortune Most Powerful Women Enin fall 2014. (Read more on pg. 2). “Financial education is fundamental,” von trepreneur and a 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival Tobel said. “Meredith students are lucky to be Scholar. She was included on Fortune’s list of “40 Under 40: Ones to Watch,” named at a school that emphasizes that.” Von Tobel said it is important for college “One of the Coolest Young Entrepreneurs” in


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Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 feature, titled a “Woman to Watch” by Forbes and included on the publication’s 30 Under 30 list. The latest honor for von Tobel is Meredith College’s Woman of Achievement Award. She was presented with the award by President Jo Allen. “The Meredith College Woman of Achievement Award recognizes women who are inspirational role models and visionary thinkers,” Allen said. “In short, this award celebrates women who are going strong.” The Woman of Achievement Lecture was presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina in commemoration of Meredith College’s Founders’ Day. This lecture is part of the Meredith College Presidential Lecture Series.


Making a Difference


aving just celebrated its 123rd anniversary, Meredith College is known for making a difference in the lives of others throughout our community and the world. This issue of Meredith Magazine shines a spotlight on some of the ways that we work to improve all of our futures. Our students are engaged in many learning experiences beyond the classroom – from research to internships to service to travel. Their work through clubs and organizations, performances and sports, provide education, outreach, and entertainment, as well as powerful lessons about commitment, discipline, and giving back. Critically important, therefore, is that their experiences are not just benefitting themselves, but others as well. In this issue, we are especially proud to feature teacher education, one of the most prominent ways that talented Meredith students give back, especially given the declining pay and public appreciation for their work. As one of the crown jewels of the Meredith curriculum, our brand of teacher education is unique because it is not a major here, but Campus Kitchens at Meredith College, which provides healthy meals to local children, is a rather a pedagogy rooted in content knowlnew way the College makes a difference. edge (history, language, math, etc.) and then brought to life by the theory and practice of they will be able to eat at all, much less be and in the organization of information and high quality teaching. It is no surprise that able to eat a healthy meal. The Meredith com- action is an important step forward for all women, regardless of our individual politics. Meredith teachers are highly sought after in munity is working to provide a solution. Just as educational I am proud that Meredith stands strong the workplace. It is also no sur- “I am proud that Meredith and food policies af- in its commitment to enhancing the lives of fect the lives of so its students – and even prouder that they, in prise that Meredith stands strong in its com- many in our commu- turn, are so committed to enhancing the lives students seek other ways to give back, and mitment to enhancing the nity – arguably, all of of others. Surely the key to “going strong” is we are delighted to lives of its students – and our community – it is looking beyond oneself and into the wider especially fitting that world. have established Cam- even prouder that they, pus Kitchens through in turn, are so committed we also feature alumnae who are working which our nutrition to make a difference in students work with to enhancing the lives of – Jo Allen others.” the political arena. We other students and are mindful that nei- President employee volunteers to ther Meredith women ensure a healthy meal for children in an afterschool program. It is nor women in general hold monolithic views deeply troubling that so many children and on our country’s ills and opportunities. That adults are “food-insecure,” uncertain whether they are finding a voice in the conversation S ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E




Meredith Celebrates the Class of 2014 By Melyssa Allen


eredith College celebrated its newest class of graduates at the College’s 2014 commencement ceremony, held on May 3, 2014, in Dorton Arena. Zawadi Africa Founder and Coca-Cola Executive Susan Mboya delivered the commencement address. An executive and philanthropist, Mboya serves as the group director of the Eurasia Africa Group (EAG) for women’s economic empowerment at Coca-Cola, and as the president of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. Mboya is also the founder and president of the Zawadi Africa Educational Fund, a 501c (3) non-profit organization that provides African young women with scholarships at over 65 top universities in the U.S. and Canada, including Meredith College. Rodda Ouma, ’14, of Nairobi, Kenya, is the fourth woman to attend Meredith through the Zawadi Africa program. Mboya’s speech was about empowerment. She said she wants to instill in her Zawadi students the same strong values that Meredith College instills in its students. “I love Meredith’s new ‘Going Strong’ brand,” Mboya said.

“This phrase captures for me the true essence of women’s empowerment, something I have dedicated my life to over the years.” Mboya told the graduates that empowerment is best defined by the individual. “Empowerment is only realized when you are no longer defined by what others think about you, but rather, are defined by your own values and beliefs,” Mboya said. According to Mboya, the corporate ladder for most women is more of a corporate lattice. “Your life is not linear, it takes many twists and turns,” Mboya said. “Empowerment is about having the choice to define for yourselves what your version of success looks like at any stage of your life ... make your own choices, and by withholding judgment, give permission to others to do the same.”

President Allen Calls Graduates “Bright New Lights in the World” At the closing of the commencement ceremony, Meredith’s new graduates circled around the arena floor while holding candles that symbolized “Lux” or light, which is a prominent part of the Meredith College seal.

Watch commencement highlights at


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“We charge you now to take the Meredith light into the world, shining it into the darkness of ignorance, despair, evil, and weakness. As you have gained confidence, knowledge, courage, and strength, we charge you now to put those qualities to work to improve our world. Finally, we charge you to remember – for all time – the light and the legacy that is Meredith College,” said President Jo Allen. Allen reminded the graduates that they are members of an exclusive group – the one percent of the world with a college education. “You are ready for this challenge and bound by this honor,” Allen said. “You are a bright new light in the world. Take that giant step forward into that world and shine.”

Success After Meredith Meredith 2014 graduates have been hired by SAS, Uncharted Play, Converse, public school systems, and Disney World. Others will pursue graduate degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, UNC-Chapel Hill, George Washington University, the Medical University of South Carolina, Appalachian State University, Colorado State University, and East Carolina University.

By the Numbers: Commencement 2014




People attended commencement to celebrate the Class of 2014.

Degrees conferred by Meredith College during the ceremony.

Commencement platform party members, including Yailyn Polanco,’14, who represented undergraduates, and Regina Henline, ’14, who represented graduate students.


Times #mcgrad14 was used on social media.

Undergraduates had completed Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Social Work degrees and graduates earned master’s degrees in business, education, and nutrition.


Members of the Class of 2014 graduating with honors.

Meredith Experts in the News Meredith faculty and staff served as experts in a wide variety of news articles, in media outlets such as, The Charlotte Observer, Entrepreneur. com, and The News & Observer.

“By watching their parents play, kids learn that life can be joyful. Playing teaches kids that parents are people, too. That life is fun.”

“We tend to focus our attention on things that are relevant to our current needs. So, when you’re hungry you notice ads for food. If you’ve lost your job and money is a pressing issue, everything you see that offers a lifeline in some way grabs your attention. You focus on the benefits being promised by the swindler which makes you more likely to fall for the false promise.”

– Professor of Psychology Cynthia Edwards, in an article about the benefits of family participation in athletic events such as mud runs. The story ran in The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer.

– Associate Professor of Business Jeff Langenderfer in a story about what makes people vulnerable to online fraud. The story was featured on NBC’s Today show website,

– Professor of English Rebecca Duncan, in a Point of View piece reflecting on the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Her essay ran in The News & Observer.

“Consistency is key. No matter where you take your message, new media or old, make sure that your customers know it is you. They won’t mind hearing from you in more than one space. While marketers are ‘reinventing the wheel,’ savvy entrepreneurs will understand that the old wheel does still serve a purpose.” – Assistant Professor of Marketing Karen Mishra in an post about why marketers can’t forget traditional marketing when using social media.

“The Beatles got a lot of people thinking and caring in new ways … [we should] all demand more from our lyrical poets, our musical innovators, and from all of those performers who inspire us, speak for us and in many ways decide who we are as a culture.”

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NEWS Claudia Waite

Vivian Howard

Notables on Campus


chef, an opera star, an architect, and an artist are among the notable names who visited Meredith during the spring 2014 semester.

Vivian Howard Vivian Howard, owner of Chef & the Farmer restaurant in Kinston, N.C., shared her passion for farm-to-fork dining with a Meredith College audience on February 4. Howard is the star of the Peabody award-winning PBS documentary series A Chef ’s Life, which presents cooking and the food industry in a realistic way. “We produced an authentic story about living, working, and cooking in eastern North Carolina,” said Howard, who was invited to campus by the Meredith Master of Science in Nutrition and the Environmental Sustainability Initiative.

Claudia Waite Students in Meredith’s music program worked with artist-in-residence Claudia Waite when the New York Metropolitan Opera soprano came to campus to star in a production of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. “In addition to singing the part of Lady Billows, she stage directed and offered help in character-


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Peter Callas

ization,” said Professor of Music Ellen Williams. “Opera is one of the most complex art forms, so she assisted them with learning how to inhabit their characters and to relate to other performers on stage.” Billows presented a master class, attended student lessons, and participated in the department’s recruiting and community outreach events during her month-long residency.

Sarah Susanka Architect Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big House, brought her sustainability message to campus on February 27. A best-selling author, Susanka talked about her design philosophy and her life as an architect and author, advising the audience to find their passion and focus on that. “Life is the experiencing of the experience,” Susanka said. “We can’t notice what we are experiencing until we learn to slow down.” Her lecture was sponsored by the Meredith College Interior Design program, with the support of Kenan Funds.

Peter Callas Internationally-respected ceramic artist Peter Callas presented a lecture and demonstration of his work on April 7, at the invitation of

Associate Professor of Art Warner Hyde. Callas spent many years in Japan working with multiple masters and Japan’s National Living Treasures. He also had a 30-year collaboration with Peter Voulkos, the most recognized ceramic artist of the 20th century. “Peter is an engaging and exciting artist,” said Hyde. “This is a one of a kind opportunity for our campus.”

Newsmakers Professor of Dance Sherry Shapiro has been named to the Fulbright Specialist Roster, a list of all candidates who are eligible to be matched with incoming project requests from overseas academic institutions. The Fulbright program is a project of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars. The Meredith in Italy semester program was featured in the March-April issue of International Educator magazine for innovative use of web conferencing technology in study abroad. The article profiles fall 2013 Sansepolcro student, Becky O’Brien, who used Skype to participate in Assoicate Professor of Education Julie Schrock’s EDU 234 course while in Italy. As part of the course, O’Brien completed an education practicum in a local Italian classroom and compared her experiences with other students who completed practicums in Raleigh. Meredith teaching licensure candidates in Sansepolcro will continue to use Skype to participate in EDU 234 and complete Italian school practicum placements in fall 2014. Tessa Nguyen, who completed Meredith’s Dietetic Internship in spring 2014, is the recipient of the North Carolina Dietetic Association Outstanding Dietetics Student Award. The Award program recognizes the emerging leadership and achievement of students in Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics accredited and

Meredith College Mourns Longtime Trustee Longtime Meredith College Trustee Jo Ellen Ammons, of Raleigh, N.C., passed away on February 21, 2014. She served four terms on Meredith’s Board of Trustees, including terms on the Board’s Executive Committee. She is survived by her husband, Jud, and their four children. Ammons earned her bachelor’s degree in religion from Meredith College in 1957, and maintained a strong commitment to Meredith throughout her life. She was a member of the College’s Heritage Society, Stringfield Society, and Thomas Meredith Society. She supported the Class of 1957 Scholarship, the Kresge Challenge, the Library Expansion Project, the Park-Cate Center renovation, the Maddrey Parlor project, and The Meredith Fund. Ammons, along with her aunt and her sister, established The James G. Faulk First Family Scholarship at Meredith. She also served as the Tri-Chair of the Campaign Steering Committee for The Campaign for Meredith. Ammons received the Meredith College Alumnae Philanthropist Award and was a class agent for the Class of 1957. In 2008, Meredith was proud to nominate her for the North Carolina Baptist Heritage Award.

Associate Professor Appears on ABC drama Meredith Associate Professor of Theatre Steven Roten appeared on an episode of the ABC drama Nashville. His episode aired January 22. The show is in its second season. Roten is a professional stage, television, and film actor and a member of The Actors’ Equity Association. He is the coordinator of Meredith’s theatre program. He got the role on Nashville by auditioning for it through Finncannon & Associates casting agency in Wilmington, N.C. Roten said he had a wonderful experience on the set for the show, which films in Nashville, Tenn. “The cast and crew were welcoming and professional,” Roten said. “I got to work with Hayden Panettiere, one of the leads of the show, Ed Amatrudo, Melvin Kearney, and Kourtney Hansen among others and that experience was really satisfying.” Being a working actor is beneficial to Roten’s students in Meredith’s theatre program. “My experience is invaluable to my students who plan on pursuing a career as a performer,” Roten said. “Demystifying the process for them and teaching them what to expect and how to be ‘technically correct’ go a great deal toward landing the role in the first place.”

approved dietetics education programs. Nguyen plans to specialize in the field of sports nutrition. Resident Assistant Ali Santiago presented at the North Carolina Association of Residence Halls. Her program was ranked by her peers as one of the Top 8 Programs out of the 24 programs presented that day. She was recognized and awarded with a “Top 8” plaque. Meredith College earned five out of six all-conference awards – Best Philanthropy, Most Green, Best Banner, Best Roll

Meredith Dancers Make Strong Impression Dancers from Meredith College were selected to perform at the American College Dance Festival Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference Gala Concert on March 11, 2014. “Kitchen Stories,” choreographed by Meredith Professor of Dance Carol Finley, was selected from more than 50 dances to be part of the gala performance. Twelve dances were included in the gala. Performers in “Kitchen Stories” were Carrie Barbour, Lindsey Floyd, Kathleen Holbrook, Nicole Lawson, Tequila Reid, and Sierra Riddle. The American College Dance Festival Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference was held March 8-11, 2014, on the campus of George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va.

Call, and Most Spirited. S ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E




Meredith Fashion Association Plays Cinderella for Local High School Women The Cinderella Project is the annual service effort by the Meredith Fashion Association. During the spring semester, the organization collects donations of gently used formal wear. Then in March, a temporary store opens in Raleigh’s North Hills shopping center so young women at local schools can shop for free prom dresses. This outreach opportunity also helps students in the fashion design and merchandising program gain valuable skills in their chosen field.


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Authors Jenny Hubbard, ’87, (left) and Jenny Han.

Young Adult Authors Share Their Craft By Melyssa Allen


oung Adult Literature authors Jenny Han and Jenny Hubbard, who both attended Meredith, returned to campus this spring to talk about their work. Jenny Hubbard is a 1987 graduate, and Jenny Han attended Meredith for two years before transferring to UNC-Chapel Hill. Their afternoon conversation about writing was sponsored by the Colton English Club and the Meredith Department of English. Han and Hubbard were asked where they get ideas for their novels. “My ideas come to me as images, and I work from that picture,” Hubbard said. Han said ideas come from a variety of

sources. “I get ideas sitting on the subway, seeing an ad, or hearing a name … talking to a friend or in a dream,” Han said. Both authors talked about their love of reading. “I always loved to write and always loved books, but I didn’t know it was a viable career option until I took a class on writing for children,” Han said. Hubbard knew from an early age she wanted to write, announcing her intention to her kindergarten class. “I always loved to read,” Hubbard said. “I came to writing through my reading.” Hubbard, who studied English and the-

atre at Meredith, talked about how her theatre training influences her writing. “I’m interested in making dialogue as realistic as possible,” Hubbard said. “Theatre helps with that, and also with book presentations.” The authors also talked about the challenges of writing as a profession. Authors are encouraged to be on social media and to tour with their books in order to make a connection with their readers. Han said she tells aspiring writers to “really enjoy the time before you get published, when it is still a dream … nothing ever touches that high of finding out for the first time your book will be published.”

Professor’s Modern Translation Published


rofessor of Foreign Languages and Literatures Brent Pitts’ modern English translation of Estoire de l’Evangile has been published. The title of the new publication is The Anglo-Norman Gospel Harmony: A translation of the Estoire de l’Evangile, published by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. This is the first modern English trans-

lation of the work. The research effort has been a long term project for Pitts. “I began work on the Anglo-Norman gospel harmony in early 2005, first preparing a critical edition of the work (Medium AEvum Monographs, Oxford, 2011), then capping the project with the modern English translation,” Pitts said. “I am fortunate to have found this project; to conduct research in this area has been an extremely

rich and rewarding experience for me.” Pitts credits Meredith College for support of his work. “Meredith College promoted my work in numerous ways, including warp-speed interlibrary loan and generous support for travel to Dublin in 2005 to consult the unique manuscript and to the Holy Land in 2010 to see most of the places named in the Estoire,” Pitts said.

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New Options Make Business School Even Stronger By Melyssa Allen


eredith’s AACSB-accredited School of Business is launching three new options in 2014 that will make its programs even stronger.

derstand how to collect and use data to make informed decisions,” said Dean of the School of Business Denise Rotondo.

MBA Concentration in Health Informatics

MBA Program Early Entry Option

Starting in fall 2014, the Meredith MBA will include an option to earn a concentration in health informatics. Students coming out of the MBA program with a health informatics focus will understand the business of health operations, and data collection and organization. Through a partnership with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, students will be able to earn an MBA with a graduate certificate in health informatics. The concentration option is being offered in response to the demands of the workforce. “When we talked to employers in the industry there was a high demand for people who knew the health industry and who can un-

Traditional applicants to Meredith’s MBA Program are required to have at least two years of work experience. Now, a select group of recent graduates without that experience may still apply to a Meredith MBA through the Early Career Entry option. Early Career Entry is a selective process and limited spaces are available. A strong undergraduate GPA, superior entrance exam scores, and at least one internship or comparable corporate experience are required. These students will gain extensive professional development through active classroom interactions, team-based projects, and problem solving.

Broyhill Business Fellows The Broyhill Business Fellows Program, which begins in fall 2014, will prepare students for top internships and job placements through specially designed leadership and professional development activities. Accounting, business administration, or economics majors who have completed 12 hours of study in business at Meredith are eligible to apply for the Broyhill program. Students selected for the program will participate in unique leadership seminars, make corporate visits, and interact with accomplished business leaders. Leader-shadowing experiences and one-on-one career coaching bookend the program, providing flexibility to allow each student achieve her unique career goals. Special scholarships for study abroad and to support professional development are also available.

Meredith Celebrates 123 Years on Founders’ Day


eredith College celebrated Founders’ Day on February 27, 2014, marking 123 years since the College’s founding in 1891. The College community took this opportunity to celebrate its success and to look toward the future. “[Founders’ Day is] an ideal opportunity for faculty, staff, students, alumnae, and community members to gather to honor Meredith’s past, celebrate recent accomplishments, and talk about the ways that Meredith College – an institution that is Going Strong – will become even stronger in


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the future,” said President Jo Allen. Meredith College has grown from a student body of 200 women when the College’s doors opened into one of the largest and most successful women’s colleges in the nation, with 2,000 students and 19,000 graduates. Meredith expanded the celebration of Founders’ Day to a full Going Strong Week. The observance included the Woman of Achievement Lecture by finance expert Alexa von Tobel and Meredith Pride Day, during which community members were encouraged to show their pride by wearing Meredith apparel.



A strong student stands out By Gaye Hill


eenat Razvi, ’13, has been awarded a 2014 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship – the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind in the country, and one of the most prestigious. Razvi’s award places her among impressive company. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, Google founder Sergey Brin, and Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt. Razvi was a Meredith Legacy Scholar who pursued her passion for research throughout her time at Meredith, starting her freshman year. Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, Razvi was an active participant in Meredith’s Undergraduate Research Program (URP). She presented her work at regional and national conferences, where she won multiple awards. After graduating from Meredith, Razvi went on to Duke to pursue her Ph.D. in chemistry. She was quick to give Meredith credit for her success in applying for and receiving the fellowship. “Meredith faculty, especially those in the chemistry department, were instrumental in helping me get this fellowship, from initially encouraging me to apply to helping me write the application,” said Razvi. She also noted the work she did through the Undergraduate Research Program was essential. “I wouldn’t have been able to do multiple

summers and semesters of research without funding from URP – and without undergraduate research experience, getting this fellowship would have been near to impossible,” said Razvi. Razvi also expressed appreciation for the Meredith Legacy Scholarship. As Meredith’s most prestigious scholarship, it is awarded based on superior academic achievement, intellectual promise, and leadership ability and includes funding for study abroad. Razvi’s experience in Sansepolcro, Italy, was a factor in receiving the NSF Fellowship. “My fellowship reviewers greatly appreciated my study abroad experience, which included designing science in art course work,” said Razvi.

Kassy Mies, who served as Razvi’s academic and research adviser during her time at Meredith, rated Razvi as being in the top one percent of all students she has taught at Duke University, Meredith College, and Randolph-Macon College. “Throughout Zeenat’s four year experience as an undergraduate, I had the privilege of watching her develop as a researcher, an academic, a leader, and a person. Her abilities to understand, reason, analyze, problem solve, and synthesize are incredible, and I truly consider myself lucky to have taught and advised her. This well-deserved NSF Fellowship is another great stepping stone in her pathway to an amazing and impactful future,” said Mies.

Meredith College is Going Strong. And the best evidence of that strength lies in the success of our community – our students, alumnae, and our faculty and staff. We’ll be sharing strong stories in each issue of Meredith Magazine. You can find more strong stories, including videos, at S ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E




Faculty Distinguished Lecture Focuses on Christianity Before and After the Civil War By Melyssa Allen


hen did Christianity really take pened during and after the Civil War. hold in enslaved African-Amer- “As anyone who has tried it knows, swimican communities? Was it prior ming against the current of accepted scholarly to the Civil War, as is commonly believed, or interpretation can be a difficult and lonely task,” Fountain said. “Nonetheless, that is after emancipation? Associate Professor of History Dan Foun- what I have done …” tain’s presentation, “Slavery, Civil War, & Fountain’s research showed that a high Salvation,” used primary sources including percentage of slaves were not allowed to attend church, and testimony of slaves to those who did often explore this question “Freedom allowed the heard services that in Meredith College’s Christian core’s belief to were focused on re2014 Faculty Distinburn brighter than ever inforcing the idea of guished Lecture. before, and forever obedience to masters. Many historians “Problems of say that most slaves changed the Africanaccess, poor message, converted to Christi- American religious and religious example anity before the Civil – Dan Fountain landscape.” are what limited the War years, when the appeal of Christianity message of AfroChristianity encouraged perseverance and under slavery,” Fountain said. “Based on these hope for deliverance. Fountain’s research coun- findings, I argue that slavery was not a Christianizing institution.” ters this belief. Fountain argued that far fewer slaves had His research showed that many more Africonverted prior to the Civil War than most can-Americans became Christian during and scholars suggest, that the conditions of slav- after the Civil War than before the war. ery were responsible for limiting the appeal of “Freedom, rather than slavery, proved to be Christianity, and that most conversions hap- the greatest force for conversion among Afri-


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can-Americans in the South,” Fountain said. After emancipation, African-Americans could preach a more appealing message, could control their own religious institutions, and increase the reach of Christianity as more effective emissaries of the faith. “Freedom allowed the Christian core’s belief to burn brighter than ever before, and in doing so, forever changed the African-American religious landscape by drawing a majority of the community into their faith.” Fountain’s research interests focus on the nineteenth century United States and the U.S. South with a specific interest in the history of slavery and race. He is author of Slavery, Civil War, & Salvation: African American Slaves and Christianity, 1830-1870, published by LSU Press in 2010. He has appeared on NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?, helping actor Blair Underwood explore his ancestry, and on the History Channel series The States. In 2011, Fountain was inducted into the Historical Society of North Carolina, an organization dedicated to the study and promotion of North Carolina History. Membership in the Society is by nomination only and is limited to 75 active members.

Beirne Completes Softball Career While Pursuing Graduate Degree By Wendy Jones, Sports Information Director


eredith softball player Amanda Beirne, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology with K-12 licensure in August 2013, continued her studies this spring in the College’s Master of Education program. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) permits student-athletes the opportunity to continue athletic participation as graduate students. Division III students must continue the graduate studies at the same institution as their undergraduate work and must follow other regulations set forth by the NCAA Division III bylaws. Beirne capitalized on the opportunity to continue her training in Meredith’s education program. “Pursuing my Master in Education has always been a dream of mine,” said Beirne. “Going through the education program at Meredith, I grew fond of the program itself, the professors, and the way they taught the content. After learning more about the master’s program, I knew that is what I wanted to pursue.” The graduate degree moves Beirne one step closer to her career goal of teaching at the college level. While not the only factor returning Beirne to her alma mater, the chance to extend her collegiate softball career certainly influenced the decision. Beirne appeared in 19 games during her rookie season with an earned run average of 1.98. The stellar finish garnered her All-Conference third team accolades. Beirne lost most of her sophomore year to injury and was granted

a waiver for the season. “Softball has been a consistent part of my life,” said Beirne. After suffering the season-ending injury, she considered “hanging up [her] cleats.” Significant rehabilitation, an increasingly difficult academic schedule, and the separation from the field challenged Beirne’s commitment to softball. “I realized I truly never could leave the sport, and I owed it to myself to push through rehab and come back for another season,” said Beirne. “Amanda has been an inspiration to her teammates, overcoming adversity and working her way back to success on the field after multiple injuries,” said Head Meredith Softball Coach Kim Scavone. During her four seasons with the Avenging Angels, Beirne accumulated numerous awards. She earned USA South All-Conference each of her four seasons, the Dean Burris Coach’s Award as a junior, and All-Academic honors and team Most Valuable Player as a senior. On March 16, 2014, Beirne reached the top of the Division III national softball rankings with 115 strikeouts. She leads the USA South in strikeouts and wins and ranks in the top 10 with her earned run average.

Meredith Wins USA South Women’s Lacrosse Championship By Wendy Jones, Sports Information Director


n just its second year of competition, the Meredith College lacrosse program earned the 2014 USA South Women’s Lacrosse Championship in a 15-14 overtime victory. The second-seeded Avenging Angels upset top-seeded Piedmont on April 12, to earn the conference automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament. Conference Player of the Year Katie Burnet earned the women’s lacrosse tournament Most Valuable Player award and five other Avenging Angels joined Burnet on the AllTournament team. Lauren DeLucia, Danielle Lee, and Victoria Doyle were joined by fresh-

men Raven Winters and Katie Sills. In addition to the outstanding tournament success of the lacrosse team, the season efforts of several Angels led to AllConference selections announced at the end of the regular season. The 2013 Rookie of the Year, Burnet earned her second consecutive first team honor, as well as being tagged her sport’s Player of the Year. Sophomore transfer Doyle joined Burnet on the first team. Lee, Sills, and rookie Molly Miller earned second team honors, and senior Angie Ramkellawan garnered the team’s All-Sportsmanship honor.

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Meredith educates teachers to thrive in a changing profession. By Leslie Maxwell, ’01


eredith College has long educated future teachers for the classroom – and for the reality that the nature of the profession is change. So teachers educated at Meredith know how to respond to recent changes, such as North Carolina’s implementation of the Common Core standards, as well as legislation impacting teacher pay and assessment, according to Mary Kay Delaney, head of Meredith’s Department of Education. “We’re teaching very few of the same classes we were five years ago,” Delaney said. S ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E


As a student of education, Amy Kay Nickerson, ’07, who teaches high school English in Smyrna, Tenn., saw her professors model the expectation for change in the teaching profession as faculty learned about and adapted instruction to the federal No Child Left Behind legislation. Nickerson said, “we got that sense that education changes constantly, and they prepared us for that.” Kelly Roberts, ’91, associate professor of English and program coordinator for English licensure candidates, pointed to the relatively recent expectation that teachers provide different kinds of instruction to students in the same classroom. Meredith is helping teachers provide this instruction, according to Monica McKinney, ’12 (M.Ed.), director of graduate programs in education. “We’ve created a palette of programs that serve different kinds of learners,” she said. These programs include, at the graduate level, specialties in special education, academically and intellectually gifted, and English as a second language. “We’ve been responsive to what our community needs in terms of teachers, and we’ll continue to do that, through whole programs

or course offerings,” McKinney said. Meredith has a history of embracing changes in education. In 1983, the Board of Trustees approved the master’s degree in education. Today, not only is the graduate program going strong after three decades, but it has expanded.

“It was unlikely that we’d have a Meredith graduate applying who wasn’t notches above everyone else and who wouldn’t be of a higher caliber.” – Karen Baker Burden, ’81

Meredith offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.), a degree for teachers who are already licensed and, in 2008, began offering a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), a degree for people making career changes into teaching. At both the graduate and undergraduate levels, Meredith teaches students to recognize that there is always something to learn. “You always have to be learning,” said We-

tonah Parker, director of teacher education at Meredith College. “How you teach and what you teach change.”

Reputation for Excellence Preparation for change is just one of the qualities of Meredith’s education program that has helped build Meredith’s reputation in the education community. “Our goal is for students to be excellent teachers in their first year,” Delaney said. Often, Meredith students impress principals even before that. “What we hear from principals over and over is that our student teachers look like first-year teachers,” Roberts said. When Allynna Taylor Stone, ’74, became the principal at Washington Elementary in Raleigh, she saw Meredith’s reputation from the other side of the hiring desk. “As a principal, when I had a Meredith resume, it went to the top of the list,” said Stone, now retired from the public schools and from a stint as director of Meredith’s Teaching Fellows Program. “You know they’re well prepared and that they’ve had the practical piece of it, as well.” Karen Baker Burden, ’81, who served as the English department chair at several high

Why is there no education major at Meredith?


students, and we are very invested in them

Meredith College has a strong educa-

tion department with a stellar reputation.

before they do student teaching.”

But no undergraduate student at Meredith

majors in education. Instead, students

rectory Allynna Taylor Stone, ’74, noted

choose a content area as a major and seek

the importance of the entire campus in

licensure in a field or grade level. For middle

Meredith’s education department: “All of

or high school teachers, students choose

these folks are stakeholders in the Mer-

a major in line with the subject they would

edith education program.”

like to teach – for instance, a student plan-

ning to teach high school math would major

tion, said that having the content knowl-

in math and seek a 9-12 teaching license.

edge and the pedagogy ensures that stu-

Students choose a major and apply to the

dents start strong after they leave Meredith

education licensure program, typically in

and enter the classroom.

their sophomore year. At Meredith, in ad-

dition to their major courses, licensure-

licensure area has helped them as teachers.

Former Meredith Teaching Fellow Di-

Wetonah Parker, professor of educa-

Alumnae say that having the content and

seeking students take between 28 and 38

both a content area and in the tools of

hours of course credit in education and


my English classes were instrumental in

education-related courses, depending on

“Our education department is not a

helping me teach the content. The educa-

the level they intend to teach.

silo,” said Kelly Roberts, ’91, associate

tion department helped prepare me for the

In this way, students are experts in

professor of English. “We all share those

role of ‘teacher.’”

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Amy Kay Nickerson, ’07, said, “All of

schools in Wake County and is now retired, said that the principals and assistant principals at her schools gave priority to resumes from Meredith-educated teachers. “It was unlikely that we’d have a Meredith graduate applying who wasn’t notches above everyone else and who wouldn’t be of a higher caliber,” Burden said. Meredith’s reputation in the community isn’t just talk. According to Parker, Meredith graduates have been named teachers of the year for schools, school districts, and the state, and they’ve been recognized nationally. They go on to become administrators and leaders in education. Part of what makes Meredith graduates strong is the confidence that the education program at Meredith gave them. “I felt completely prepared coming out of Meredith,” Nickerson said. “I knew my curriculum, and I was much better off than many of my first-year teacher peers.” Catherine Pate, ’98, and ’13 (M.Ed.), credited her graduate school experience at Meredith with helping her become what she called a “lifelong learner.” Pate, who plans to return to the classroom later this year, said, “I’ve got the confidence that I will be successful.” Tricia Willoughby, ’90 (M.Ed.), a member of the North Carolina Board of Education and former professor of education at Meredith, also used the word “confidence” to describe how her master’s degree from Meredith helped her career: “As doors and windows opened to me, I had this master’s from Meredith that gave me a lot of confidence.” Carol Swink Wooten, ’98, a science and math teacher at Hunter Elementary in Raleigh, noted, “Meredith provides teachers with confidence when they leave the education department because their ability to apply skills in the classroom is outstanding.” In 2009, Wooten herself was the recipient of a national Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Bill Bastin, ’11 (MAT), the specialist for academically and intellectually gifted students at Washington Elementary in Raleigh, credits the faculty at Meredith for his growth during his graduate studies. “They encouraged us to become teacher leaders,” said Bastin. “They showed us that we

Education students at Meredith benefit from the program’s long history of success and reputation for excellence. Graduate programs in education have been offered for 30 years, and now include both Master of Education and Master of Arts in Teaching options.

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A timeline of the master’s degree in education at Meredith 1902-11: Meredith awards three master’s degrees, according to Carolyn Robinson’s The Vision Revisited.

1982: In November, Meredith faculty voted to approve graduate degrees, including education. The spring 1983 issue of Meredith Magazine featured part of the faculty’s recommendation: “The offering of post-baccalaureate studies is consistent with Meredith College’s mission, purpose, and history.” 1983: The Board of Trustees approved of the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in February. That August, the first cohort of M.Ed. students enrolled at Meredith. 1985: The first cohort of 17 M.Ed. students graduated from Meredith. 2008: Meredith began offering the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), “designed as a program for career changers,” according to Monica McKinney, ’12 (M.Ed.), director of graduate programs in education. 2013-14: The graduate program in education celebrates its 30th anniversary. Through 2013, 360 graduates have completed either the M.Ed. or MAT program since 1985. In the past few years, approximately 50 students per year have earned graduate degrees in education from Meredith College.


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The need for Meredith’s education offerings does not seem to be going away, even as teacher pay for those with master’s degrees remains an issue in North Carolina. Over the past four years, an average of 50 students per year have earned graduate degrees in education, McKinney said. Burden said that her Meredith education Education Faculty Instrumenconnects her with a special group of teachers. “There are so many teachers like me, so tal in Success Much of the success of the education depart- many Meredith graduates,” Burden said. “We ment at Meredith comes back to the faculty run into each other all the time at meetings, who teach in the program, according to stu- and we wear our rings. I’m very proud to tell people I graduated dents and alumni. When Ben Goot- “I felt completely prepared from Meredith.” Parker recalled man, a current MAT coming out of Meredith, a story about the student who is seekrole a Meredith ring ing a special educa- I knew my curriculum, played in one Mertion license, was deand I was much better off edith graduate’s job as ciding where to get his master’s, sitting in than many of my first-year a teacher. “It was the beon a class and meetteacher peers.” ginning of the school ing the faculty solidi– Amy Kay Nickerson, ’07 year, and one of the fied his choice to atchildren saw her ring tend Meredith. Bastin, too, said that the quality of the fac- and said, ‘You’ve got the good-teacher ring.’” ulty made his decision to attend Meredith an Parker noted that the faculty at Meredith easy one: “I have a real gratitude and respect see their goal in a larger context so that Merfor faculty there. Meredith is a great place for edith-educated teachers can continue to be men, as well as women, to study and become recognized for their skill and professionalism: “Our students recognize that all of us in the teachers.” Nickerson said that her professors at Mer- education department have a commitment to edith gave her something that all teachers giving the best education that we can to pubneed: self-reliance: “I learned how to figure lic school children and that we are committed it out, and that was important – no program to developing in our students that same sense of commitment.” can teach you everything.” could be teachers who changed the profession for good.” Said Nickerson, “I can think of so many of my classmates who are leaders in education, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. The education department definitely helped facilitate that.”

Q&A with Mary Kay Delaney Mary Kay Delaney, head of the education department at Meredith, started teaching at Meredith in the mid-1990s as an adjunct professor. In 1997, she joined Meredith as an assistant professor of education and taught through December of 2001. Then, she left Meredith to become the principal of a school in Durham, N.C., and stayed there through the summer of 2007. She rejoined Meredith’s faculty for fall semester 2007 as department head. Meredith Magazine spoke with Delaney recently about the education department at Meredith. Meredith Magazine: How is Meredith’s education program perceived in the state? Mary Kay Delaney: Our graduates are known for being able to come to school on the first day and know what to do. Our graduates get jobs. All of the students who graduated from undergraduate or graduate programs who sought teaching jobs are teaching. MM: Why is Meredith so good at teacher education? MKD: First of all, we have really awesome public school partners. They include public school teachers and administrators, our cooperating teachers, and the administrators at schools with which we have partnerships. We constantly ask them for feedback, and they are honest about giving it to us. That happens on a program level and on an individual student level. The Meredith supervisor and cooperating teacher [at the school] work closely together to make sure the student teacher learns what she needs to learn. Another thing is that all of our faculty have had public school teaching experience. All of our faculty are familiar with how public schools work. The other distinguishing feature is that Meredith’s Department of Education has one mission, and that’s teacher education.

Mary Kay Delaney, Head of Meredith’s Department of Education

understands that there are ebbs and flows in political circumstances. If you are unhappy with something that is going on, it helps you understand how to react to that construcMKD: Meredith graduates stay in teaching. tively, and it gives the bigger picture that it is They want to be teachers. We have great not going to be like that forever. students working with great faculty working It also gives students the understanding with great public school partners. that they actually have a hand in helping to support learning in MM: What role does “Our graduates are known people who are goteacher education ing to be the future for being able to come play in Meredith’s of our democracy. It’s mission (“Meredith to school on the first day really fashionable toCollege, grounded day to talk about the and know what to do. Our in the liberal arts and link between educacommitted to pro- graduates get jobs.” tion and work, but fessional prepara- – Mary Kay Delaney to me, that’s a subtion, educates and set of a way bigger inspires students to picture, which is that live with integrity and provide leadership for education contributes to the development of the needs, opportunities, and challenges of a democracy. We’re passionate about that society.”)? and to making sure that our teachers are prepared to teach every kid in the state. We MKD: Teachers who have liberal arts backwant our graduates to be excellent teachers grounds understand their work in a larger for all students. That fits into our mission, in context. I think that has practical repercusmy opinion. sions. The student who understands history MM: What sets Meredith teacher graduates apart from graduates of other teaching programs?

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FIGHTING HUNGER IN A MEANINGFUL WAY Campus Kitchens at Meredith College empowers students to combat hunger in the local community. By Meaghan Bixby


n any given Wednesday during the academic year, a group of students can be found cooking up a storm in lower Belk Dining Hall. Clad in aprons, hairnets, gloves, and non-slip shoes, they are hard at work preparing nutritious dishes from a menu they developed the day before. And their end result will be much more than just a meal. As volunteers for Campus Kitchens at Meredith College, a student-run organization recently established on campus, they’re meeting a need in the community – in a healthy and sustainable way. The Campus Kitchens Project is a national organization based in Washington, D.C., that empowers student volunteers to fight hunger and food waste in their community. Campus Kitchens volunteers around the country transform unused food into meals that are delivered to local agencies serving those in need. At Meredith, volunteers prepare meals that feed approximately 60 underserved K-12 students who attend an afterschool program at the Kentwood Learning Center in Raleigh.

An Ideal Fit Peggy Ross, assistant director of student leadership and service, sat in on a session about Campus Kitchens while attending a conference in 2012. As she learned more about the program, she became increasingly convinced that that the culture and values of Meredith were a perfect match for the mission and goals of the Campus Kitchens Project. With Meredith’s strong focus on experiential and service learning, as well as its commitment to enriching quality of life – for students, faculty, staff, and the community – bringing Campus Kitchens to the College seemed like an ideal fit. Ross left the conference excited and determined. “The entire conversation on the drive back from the conference was ‘if we could just get this to our campus,’” said Ross. “I couldn’t wait to get back and see how we could do it.” She knew exactly where to go for support. “The poverty initiative was the perfect place to start,” said Ross. Led by Meredith’s Chaplain Rev. Stacy Pardue, the College’s poverty initiative – known as the Children’s Collaborative of

Wake County – works with community partners to create a cradle-to-career pipeline of services, which aims to break the cycle of generational poverty in the nearby Kentwood neighborhood. Ross contacted Pardue to discuss how they could work together to implement Campus Kitchens on Meredith’s campus through the Collaborative. “I was very taken with the whole project and could see how it would tie in nicely with the Children’s Collaborative of Wake County,” said Pardue. “The community engagement and leadership development components seemed like a great opportunity for Meredith students to get involved, and we loved the food reuse piece of it, too.” The Collaborative partners with Telamon Head Start, Communities in Schools, and Wake County schools to provide parenting programs, home visitation case management, preschool education, connections with public school officials, and an afterschool homework help and weekend tutoring program. The addition of Campus Kitchens rounded out the programming offered by including a food inS ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E


security and nutrition education component to the pipeline of services. “One of the things I love about working with college students is that they are really concerned and engaged in the community and in the world, and Campus Kitchens hits on a number of different issues they care about: sustainability, the environment, food reuse, poverty, and children,” said Pardue. Getting students involved in the program was essential to its success. So when Chapel intern Amy Brock, ’14 (MAT), was appointed executive coordinator for Campus Kitchens at Meredith, her first order of business was interviewing students to serve on the student leadership team. Creating interest in the program and recruiting student volunteers was easier than she anticipated. “Campus Kitchens speaks for itself,” Brock said. “Once we announced the program, people just started coming [to volunteer]. Being able to do something on campus that benefits the community is appealing.” The buy-in among students, particularly those studying nutrition, exceeded initial expectations. Brock assembled a student leadership team consisting of four undergraduate food and nutrition students and four graduate nutrition students. They’re responsible for assessing what food has been donated each week from community partners and creating a nutritious menu around those ingredients. At Meredith, the project partners with Aramark, the College’s campus dining partner, which donates the kitchen space and cooking equipment used by the volunteers, as well as the Fresh Market at Cameron Village and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, which donate the ingredients for all meals. “The food bank takes donations of leftover food from many grocery stores in the area,” said Pardue. “When you think of a food bank, you typically think of canned goods, but there’s a significant amount of fresh food that’s going to be thrown out if it’s not picked up and used.”

Reinforcing Lessons Because every meal prepared in a Campus Kitchen must meet specific nutrition criteria, menu planning is an ideal way for nutrition students to apply what they learn in the classroom. Kate Jablonski, ’16, is a food and nutrition major who serves on the student leadership


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team. “I definitely draw on what I’m learning in class to be able to create a balanced meal,” she said. The interdisciplinary nature of the project means that nutrition students aren’t the only ones experiencing the benefits of being involved with Campus Kitchens. Nideara Tucker, ’16, is a criminology and sociology double major who’s “lost count” of how many times she’s volunteered for Campus Kitchens at Meredith. Her volunteer experience has reinforced the lessons she’s learned in the classroom. “You have to stretch your imagination when you don’t have an abundance of materials,” she said. And while Tucker enjoys cooking – making breadcrumbs is a personal favorite – she is aware that her efforts go beyond herself. “Volunteer work, as opposed to charity, is about creating a bond,” she said. “Building a partnership and being a part of meeting someone’s basic needs is really empowering.” Anyone involved in bringing Campus Kitchens to Meredith will say that’s what they hoped student volunteers would get out of the experience. “One of the critical features of a college education is the understanding that the benefits of that education extend far beyond personal development and well-being,” said President Jo Allen, ’80. “The history of higher education in America has been articulately defined as a ‘social contract’ between our colleges and universities and our society with the very clear message that having more college educated citizens is a direct link to a nation’s better future. We see the numbers of service opportunities on our campus as critical elements of that social contract.”

Creating Leaders Allen, along with other members of the College’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT), showed support for the program by volunteering in February. “We wanted to experience this new program and to offer our own ways of giving back to our community,” said Allen. Jablonski served as shift captain during that particular session. “It was really exciting when the Executive Leadership Team came,” she said. “To know that they support us enough to come and spend two hours of their Wednesday afternoon was really meaningful.” Working alongside ELT gave Jablonski

a chance to assert her leadership skills in a new way. “It felt weird at first to be telling the president of my college what to do, but it was such a cool way to interact and get to know those who make Meredith so great,” she said. While each shift requires a leader, like Jablonski, the shift captains aren’t the only ones demonstrating leadership skills. Because it’s student-led, every position offers volunteers the opportunity to gain hands-on leadership experience.

“Building a partnership and being a part of meeting someone’s basic needs is really empowering.” – Nideara Tucker, ’16

Each week, volunteers recover donated food, plan menus, prepare and deliver the meals, and participate in the nutrition education component of the program. All volunteers are required to know and follow general and food safety protocols – which the shift captain is ultimately responsible for enforcing.

Safely Making an Impact Several volunteers, along with Pardue, Ross, and Brock, have earned the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe® food safety certification. Those certified took the national certification exam after attending multiple sessions of Assistant Professor of Nutrition Beth Gankofskie’s Food Service Management Systems course. As a result, at least two members of each cooking shift have passed the ServSafe training. For Gankofskie, ensuring that the volunteers were educated in the importance of food safety and the nutritional code of ethics was imperative. “Safety first, service second,” she said. “These volunteers have the responsibility of healthfully and safely feeding people – they can’t feed them food that’s compromised.” Pardue agreed. “The food safety and sanitation piece is a great learning tool for everybody.” And learning is a big part of Campus Kitchens at Meredith. After each meal is served, the students at the learning center are

given a lesson in nutrition education. They’re taught about making healthy choices, portion control, and food groups in an effort to combat the effects of food insecurity. “It’s great to see how the kids respond to the food that we bring each week and how they respond to the nutrition education component – and for us to see how it all works together,” said Jablonski. So how do the students at Kentwood feel about Campus Kitchens? “They are loving it,” said Pardue. “The kids are always willing to try new things,” said Jablonski. “They don’t always like everything, but we’ve had a lot of success!” One successful moment stands out as particularly memorable for Ross. “One of the first times a group from Meredith served a meal at the afterschool program, a student said, ‘This is heaven in my mouth,’” she recalled. “When you get feedback like that, you know you’re doing the right thing.”

Food Insecurity With an average per-capita household income of $12,000, residents in the Kentwood community run a high risk of experiencing food insecurity. The USDA’s report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2012, revealed that North Carolina ranks 5th in food insecurity in the nation, with 17 percent of the state’s population experiencing food insecurity. The national average is 15 percent. The USDA defines food insecurity as meaning “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.” Barriers to obtaining enough food include financial constraints, the high cost of a nutritious diet, and limited access to stores with more variety and lower prices. Campus Kitchens at Meredith works to strengthen the community by building relationships with and helping to meet the needs of citizens who are experiencing food insecurity by providing nutritionally sound meals and continual support. S ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E


Photos by Patricia Lay-Dorsey, ’64


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STRONG Alumna uses art as springboard for discussion of disability. By Suzanne Stanard


rtist. Peace activist. Social worker. Published photographer. Disabled person. To Patricia Lay-Dorsey, ’64, who lives with chronic progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS), none of these labels alone defines who she is. Especially not that last one. “My diagnosis was like a kick in the stomach,” Lay-Dorsey said. “My body had always done everything I’d ever wanted it to do, and the thought of ending up in a wheelchair was a nightmare. I really couldn’t get my head around it. But I went ahead with my life as best I could.” Today, 26 years after the diagnosis that turned her world upside down, Lay-Dorsey is an accomplished photographer whose stirring self-portrait project, “Falling into Place,” was published into a book that continues to generate widespread acclaim, including features in the New York Times, CBS News, and Newsweek Japan. Her path hasn’t been easy, but despite sharp twists and turns, Lay-Dorsey said, it has led her to exactly where she is meant to be. As a student at Meredith College in the early ’60s, Lay-Dorsey knew she wanted to become a social worker like her mother (“a gutsy woman,” Lay-Dorsey said), Emily Miller Lay, who graduated from Meredith in 1934. Lay-Dorsey’s two sisters also are Meredith alumnae. After earning her sociology degree from Meredith in 1964, Lay-Dorsey began her graduate studies at the Smith College School for Social Work. A field placement led her to Detroit, where she met her husband. They married in October 1966, one month after Lay-Dorsey earned her master’s degree in social work from Smith.

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She started her career working for a family service agency and volunteering in the pediatric unit of an inner-city hospital. “That’s when I discovered I had some artistic talent,” she said. “It popped up when I was drawing with the kids.” After experimenting with watercolors, she signed up for community art classes and eventually enrolled in Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. “Then I was full time in the art world for the next 10 years,” she said. She opened a studio downtown, participated in shows, wrote art reviews, and taught classes. Lay-Dorsey also ran marathons and embarked on long-distance bike treks with her husband. She danced and swam and immersed herself in her Detroit community. She became friends with the homeless people who congregated outside her downtown studio, and from that experience, learned “what it felt like to be invisible,” she said, “which was a privilege, really.” A passionate advocate for human rights, Lay-Dorsey became involved in peaceful activism during a number of world events over the years, from strife in Central America to war in the Middle East. It was after a community meeting in spring 1988 that her right leg suddenly gave out, causing a bad fall and a sprained ankle. Lay-Dorsey didn’t think much of it, until she suffered three more falls over the next five months. Then came the diagnosis. “I remember sitting in my rocking chair, trying to understand what had just happened, and I couldn’t,” Lay-Dorsey said. “I went into a form of denial.” One of the first decisions she made was to stop all athletic activity. But, 12 years after her diagnosis, the self-described “fish” got back into the pool. She couldn’t swim a stroke, but pressed on. Now she swims several times a week, works out with a personal trainer, and follows a clean diet. She has never taken MS medications. “I can’t walk,” Lay-Dorsey said, “but I’m very healthy and strong.” As her MS progressed, so did her modes of transportation. A cane led to a walker, which eventually led to her first mobility scooter in 2000. “It had been my nightmare, but it became my freedom,” she said. “It was phenomenal.” It was then that Lay-Dorsey started recording her daily life in an online journal. After a few years of blogging, she said she grew tired of words and just wanted to take pictures. So she bought her first DSLR camera in 2006, took classes on fundamentals and digital editing, and as she describes, “became totally obsessed with photography.” One summer morning two years later, Lay-Dorsey noticed a “puddle of sunlight” in the folds of her nightgown as she sat on the toilet. So she grabbed her camera – always handy in the basket of her scooter – and fired off a few shots. Then she glanced down at her bare foot on the floor, discovered an interesting shadow there, and took another picture. “But it was the next thought that made me realize this was more than just a few random photos,” Lay-Dorsey said. “I wondered what would happen if I took my camera into the shower. So I did. “I turned on the water, sat in my shower chair, and took about eight frames,” she said. “I knew then I was serious about making this into a project.” Lay-Dorsey had grown frustrated over the years with the media’s depiction of disabled people as existing on either end of a continuum: brave and heroic or sad and pitiful. “It made me think that sometime, someone, a photographer who is disabled, has got to show this from the inside,” she said. “But to do that I knew I would have to face things I didn’t want to look at. I wasn’t ready yet.” But after her epiphany in the shower, Lay-Dorsey was ready.


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She later shared a dozen of her self-portraits in an online community created by photographer David Alan Harvey. His first comment upon seeing her images was, as Lay-Dorsey recalls, “This is a book, and I’ll mentor you on it.” Thus, her self-portrait project, “Falling into Place,” was born. “The title, obviously, is about the falls that in some way have become my place,” Lay-Dorsey said. “Not that I would have chosen to be disabled, but I would not be who I am had it not happened.” Harvey published photos from the project in his online magazine in December 2008. By November 2009, a feature appeared in the New York Times “Lens” blog. Lay-Dorsey lived and breathed the project for nearly two years. “It was as if I became two different beings: the photographer and the subject,” she said. “The photographer was relentless and wanted to take pictures of everything, and sometimes the subject did not agree. But the photographer always won.” Taking self-portraits was the easy part, she said, with her camera’s self-timer and remote-controlled shutter release. The difficulty came when she had to look at the photos on her computer screen. “Some of them really spooked me, and there are a couple in the book that I’m not fond of, but I knew they had to be there,” she said. “I had to be as absolutely truthful as I could be. Everything had to be authentically what my daily life would be like. It wasn’t easy.” In 2012, Lay-Dorsey took her work to FotoFest in Houston, Texas. After just one day of portfolio reviews, she fielded two invitations for solo gallery exhibitions. On the last day of reviews, her life forever changed. She met with David Drake of Ffotogallery in Wales, because she wanted to participate in a festival that he organized. She showed him her prints, and they parted ways. Two days later, Drake sent her an email saying that he wanted to publish her book. In a word, Lay-Dorsey describes herself in that moment as “stunned.” They started work in April 2013, along with U.K.-based book designer Victoria Forrest. By October 2013, the book was on press in Belgium and LayDorsey and Forrest were there too. “I’m very pleased with the book and very grateful to the magnificent people I got to work with,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier. This book has changed everything.” Today, Lay-Dorsey delivers presentations about “Falling into Place” to universities, disability organizations, and community groups. And she recently was invited to exhibit her project in China. Despite the hoopla, she remains grounded. “The project, the book, all of it, I don’t think that’s what’s important,” she said. “What is important is using it as a springboard for discussion about disability.” Challenges – visible and invisible – are real for each of us, Lay-Dorsey said. “The question is what you do with them. How do you get going after something has knocked you for a loop? How do you incorporate it into your life in a way that you do more than just survive, that you really thrive? And that to me is the whole point.” Lay-Dorsey has advice for those inspired by her story. “If I were ever to have any kind of message that I’d want to give out, especially to young people, it’s this: Push the envelope. Risk. Dare. Jump off the cliff trusting that something will catch you. And it will be something new. And you won’t know ahead of time what it will be. Who would have thought when I was diagnosed with MS that it would end up like this? I would never have imagined it.”

For more information about Patricia Lay-Dorsey and her work, visit S ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E


Missy Neff Gould, ’01, worked as assistant secretary of natural resources for Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.


PUBLIC SERVICE Meredith alumnae are making an impact in the world of politics. By Betsy Rhame-Minor, ’01


he challenges include long hours, job instability, financial insecurity, travel, and dealing with difficult personalities. But the Meredith alumnae who have chosen a career in politics say the rewards outweigh the demands. Kimberly Spell, ’94, has been in politics for 20 years. Her work has included being national press secretary for General Wesley Clark during his bid for the U.S. Presidency, deputy communications director for Vice President Al Gore during his presidential


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campaign, communications director for John Edwards’ U.S. Senate campaign, press secretary and speechwriter for U.S. Representative David Price’s press secretary, and speechwriter and assistant press secretary for North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt. “Public service is one of the most noble things you can do with your life,” said Spell. “It was especially great working for [Representative Price and Governor Hunt] because I was not only giving back to the state where I’m from, but working for two people I admired.”

Having an Influence in Policy Making Spell found intrinsic benefits resulted from the hard work required by the political field. “Having a voice and influence in the policy making process … it gives you a chance almost without exception to work with talented, dedicated people and give back in ways you would otherwise [not be able to],” Spell said. Whether their interest in politics was there before enrollment or discovered as a student, political involvement early and often






Clockwise from left: 1) Lindsey de La Fosse Turnau, ’06, says Meredith taught her to be a leader. Her political experience includes working with the N.C. Republican Party. 2) Turnau (center) is shown with Senator John McCain. 3) Julia Adams, ’06, (right) is an advocate for citizens with disabilities, working with politicians like N.C. Senator Tamara Barringer on issues related to health care, foster care, and education. 4) Emily Hawkins, ’14, (right) is serving as finance assistant on Senator Kay Hagan’s campaign for re-election. 5) Amanda Eubanks, ’10, (right) works as a political fundraiser. She is shown volunteering at Stop Hunger Now with Del Mattioli, a candidate for Durham City Council.

is common among Meredith women. For Amanda Eubanks, ’10, an interest in politics started before she became a Meredith student. She volunteered for her first political campaign in high school and began learning how elections work. “I chose this career path because I have been interested in presidential history and the political process from an early age,” Eubanks said. “After entering Meredith I continued to benefit from opportunities to volunteer, intern, and work on campaigns, which deepened my comprehension of the political landscape and reinforced my determination to build a political career.” Eubanks isn’t unique in that involvement in politics as interns or volunteers can lead to work after graduation. For some alumnae, advice from a professor sparked an interest in politics and started them on a political path. Lindsey de La Fosse Turnau, ’06, was a history major planning to get K-6 certification until Professor of History Michael Novak

suggested she apply for an internship with the North Carolina Republican Party. Turnau became an intern working for the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004 at the state level. That led her to replace education with a minor in communication her junior year. The pairing of history classes with communication, along with the internship, changed her course. As an intern Turnau worked one to two days per week making copies, setting up spreadsheets, and doing data entry. She attended the inaugural ball in Washington, D.C., for Bush/Cheney and remained an intern for the Republican Party until she graduated. Turnau’s first job out of college was as the director of member relations for the North Carolina Republican Party.

Engaged in Politics Day One Many alumnae began their advocacy work as students. As a political science major Julia Marie Adams, ’06, advocated for an elevator

in Joyner Hall, and she’s still doing this type of work today. Now Adams lobbies for intellectual and developmental disability policies for the Marketing Association for Rehabilitation Centers, The ARC of North Carolina, the Autism Society of North Carolina, and North Carolina Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. “I advocate strongly for a community without a solid voice,” she explained. “I am hired to represent a community and the ideals that community holds. [I] make sure my clients’ needs are being satisfied at the general assembly.” In North Carolina’s capital city, work with political campaigns, interest groups, and state government agencies is abundant. “Our location in the state capital provides valuable opportunities for students,” explained Clyde Frazier, professor of political science. “Students can really get started.” Political science coursework at Meredith covers federal, state, and local government. A S ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E


public leadership practicum puts on the Meredith Votes Campaign for voter registration and turnout on campus. “When I came to Meredith I was the only person teaching politics so I really taught it all,” said Frazier, who began teaching at Meredith 31 years ago and retires this summer. The history and political science program turns out students ready to work in all areas of the political arena with sharpened public speaking, writing, and critical thinking skills. “We don’t train someone for an ordinary slot,” said Frazier. “These are students engaged from day one.” Emily Hawkins, ’14, credits Frazier for helping to shape her research and coursework. “Dr. Frazier helped advise my honors thesis on women in politics and has been a constant cheerleader for me,” she said. “I held fundraising and development internships … and was selected to intern on the finance team on Senator [Kay] Hagan’s campaign last fall. When there was a full-time opening in December, I interviewed for the job and was selected.” Now Hawkins is finance assistant for Hagan for U.S. Senate, Inc. Previously she interned at the White House, EMILY’S List, and with Representative Deborah Ross in the North Carolina General Assembly.

Love of Politics Strengthened by Meredith Experience For Missy Neff Gould, ’01, a love for politics and policy was already there before she was a Meredith student. Once at Meredith, Gould said, “I started gravitating more toward policy-based stuff. I was initially drawn to a particular set of issues, [the environment]. I grew up as a kid spending a lot of time outdoors. Small things planted the seed.” The history and politics major found she was in good company. She and her classmates would often gather in the Joyner lounge. “We would read The Economist and Christian Science Monitor,” said Gould. “We would sit around and discuss robust issues. We had good, thoughtful, open discussion.” After graduation, Gould worked as a lobbyist and political consultant, and as the assistant secretary of natural resources for Virginia


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Governor Tim Kaine. Now she is market director of community and government relations for South Central Virginia’s LifePoint Hospitals. In this role, Gould does policy work and strengthens local relationships for this hospital. “Now I’m interacting with the community, trying to pass [a] kind of Medicare expansion,” she explained. “It’s important for hospitals.”

The Confidence to Have an Opinion Kasey Ginsberg, ’10, also credits her time at Meredith with making her successful in her current role as policy advisor for the Speaker of the North Carolina House. “Because of the confidence I learned at Meredith College…I can be bolder,” she said. “I can say what I need to say. Small class sizes force you to participate. You have to have an opinion on the issue.” Turnau has also benefitted from the skills she developed while at Meredith. “One of the things Meredith teaches is that we can be leaders,” she explained. “I knew I was a proven leader and I just needed to prove to [my coworkers] that I could be their leader.” Adams was prepared for her role as a lobbyist by the debates and differing opinions in her classes at Meredith. “What I learned at Meredith were the skills to look at the argument and present a counter argument,” she said. “Meredith is a

thinking school.” While some alumnae, like Gould, Ginsberg, Adams, and Turnau, have transitioned out of campaign work, others choose to remain in that part of politics. Hawkins and Eubanks both work as political fundraisers. “I help raise the funds that the campaign will use to get Kay [Hagan]’s message to voters,” Hawkins explained. “Fundraising specifically requires a desire to interact with people regularly and the ability to be persistent. I always knew I wanted to have a job that required me to interact with others and I have a deep passion to elect more Democratic women to political office. Fundraising allows me to do both and that made it a natural choice.” Eubanks is a political strategist and campaign operations with Greenprint Strategies in Durham, N.C. “I am responsible for helping democratic candidates, from the bottom of the ballot up, develop and execute their fundraising, communication, and field operations,” she said. Eubanks uses what she learned at Meredith College in her career. “Meredith nurtured my passion and granted me the time and resources to develop my research abilities, critical thinking, and communication skills, which are all vital to a successful political career.” Across the different types of political jobs the rewards balance out the demands. Said Ginsberg, “There are so many little bills, little issues that improve people’s lives,” she said. “It’s cool to know that I have an impact.”

Meredith’s political science students are taught to advocate for their opinions in the classroom. Our location in North Carolina’s capital provides ample opportunity for political internships.


CONNECTION Class notes and news for Meredith Alumnae 1960 Helen Carlton Walker continues to work with her daughter and husband in their company Designer Stencils. They have become a global business, selling culinary stencils to the bakery market. She demonstrated how to decorate cakes and cookies at Cake Expos in Hamburg, Germany, and Paris, France, in March.

1963 Frances Gorham Stewart stays active by keeping up with friends, exercising, delivering Meals on Wheels, and church activities. She has even tried her hand at art.

1964 Frieda Farmer Bostian enjoys canoeing, hiking, tutoring, and volunteering at church since she retired from the English department at Virginia Tech. She also reviews children’s books, enjoys some National Geographic trips with her husband, and visits their bi-coastal children when possible. Mary Alice Bell Bragg, organist at Elon University, is a retired music teacher. Her son has been on the music faculty at Harvard University. Betsy Forbes Brewer and husband, Paul, took their first trip to Europe and a cruise of the Rhine River with their family in December. Camille Griffin Camp was the first female warden of a men’s maximum security prison during a very successful career in corrections. She has returned to Flat Rock, N.C., and is writing about her correctional system exploits. Sandra Harrill Davis survived super storm “Sandy” but sustained much damage. She plans to move south to Wilmington, N.C., soon.

Patricia Lay-Dorsey is a professional photographer who has captured what it’s like to live with MS in a recently published book of self-portraits titled Falling into Place. She lives in Detroit, Mich. with her husband, Ed. (Read more about Patricia Lay-Dorsey’s art project on pg. 26) Mary Wilson Grogan is still working and contributing in the field of nursing in the Eden, N.C., area. Martha Haywood Hanford and her husband celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2013 and are planning a trip to China. Sue Ennis Kearney traveled to France in 2013 with a Road Scholar program focused on where the Impressionists lived and painted. Also on that trip were Shera Jackson Hube, ’69, and Martha Spence Blount, ’63. Sandra Anderson Kelly moved to her lake home in Mill Spring, N.C., after her husband’s death in 2005. She had lived in Greenville, S.C., the previous 25 years. Marie-Louise Allen Kempf is still teaching art and inspiring students in New Port Richey, Fla. Bonnie Jean Sears Kirk was administrative assistant to the Neuse Baptist Association for 35 years. Joy Adams Lucas and her husband are planning to return to San Francisco in June to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. The Honorable Sarah E. Parker is retiring as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in September 2014. Margaret Rackley Phillips retired from her site manager job at Historic Halifax, N.C., facility after over 30 years of leadership. Karen Roberts took an interesting trip to Israel in the spring of 2013. Sue Anne James Schoonderwoerd and her granddaughter Kate, a 16-year-old aspiring Meredith Angel, completed a series of cake decorating classes this year. Kate has since developed her own business, “Cakes by Kate,” baking personalized birth-

day cakes and larger cakes for group catering. Pat Bescher Austin Sevier is very active in Greensboro’s volunteer community, serving the Library Board, N.C. Museum of History, Arts Council, and Greensboro Symphony. Kitty Kelly Walton is still assisting her husband in his legal practice in Chadbourne, N.C. They’ve been at it for 50 years. Elaine Griffin Wareing taught school for 34 years in the Virginia Beach area. Ann Rivers Yancey is still teaching at Hunter Huss High School in Gastonia, N.C.

1966 Phyllis Duncan and Rachel Owen Bivins traveled to the island of Guernsey followed by several days in the Cotswolds in England. Duncan enjoyed her eighth annual Angels-at-the-Beach Weekend with classmates Jean Lyles McLeod, Marshall Moore Marchman, Florence Dickens McDonald, Judy Riley Matlock, Linda Carter Stensvad, Johnette Ingold Fields, Shirley Tarleton Napier, and Jo Ann Savage Blankenship.

1980 Leigh Osborne Walters was named 2014 North Carolina Secondary Principal of the Year.

1981 Robin Bailey Colby was the 2013 recipient of the Norma Rose Chair in Meredith’s Department of English. She has transitioned into the role of director of writing at Meredith. Also, in 2013, along with Marie Sumerel, she co-chaired what has become known as the StrongPointsTM initiative. Her son, Evan, is now 15 and has his learner’s permit.

Compiled by the Office of Alumnae & Parent Relations from January-March 2014. Information may be edited for space limitations and content restrictions. Submit class notes to your class agent, online at, by email at alumnae@meredith. edu, by fax (919) 760-2818, or by phone to the Office of Alumnae and Parent Relations at (919) 760-8548. Deadline for the fall 2014 issue is July 28, 2014. Submissions received after this date will appear in the spring 2015 issue. S ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E


1982 Martha Linda Carter was appointed associate vice chancellor of alumni engagement at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in January 2013. She resides in the Village of Bel-Nor, a municipality in Saint Louis County near the UMSL campus. She is active in the United Way of St. Louis, enjoys classes at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and is an active member of Unity Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Bel-Nor. Lynne Johnson Sterritt has been named director of music at St Brendan Catholic Church in Cumming, Ga. Steffani Webb lives in Kansas City and serves as vice chancellor for administration at The University of Kansas Medical Center, where she is also leading an organizational improvement initiative. Webb says this is the most enjoyable and rewarding job of her career. She is married with two grown children and is grandma to a sweet little five-year-old girl. She spends a lot of time at work during the week, but on Saturdays and Sundays she can be found on the golf course.

1983 Karen Smith Monroe, still living in Texas with her husband, recently celebrated the marriage of her daughter and the birth of twin grandchildren. Virginia Gentry Parker is the senior vice president for resource development and strategic partnerships for the United Way of the Greater Triangle. She and her staff of 10 are responsible for raising more than $16 million to help fund the work of the United Way. Nancy Whelan resides in Durham and is a freelance collaborative pianist. She is a staff pianist at Duke University and is in her tenth season working with NC Theatre.

1984 Jane Dodd was awarded Sales Agent of the Year for 2013 in Residential Real Estate Sales in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, N.C., for Intracoastal Realty. Nancye Butterworth retired from 20 years of working with children. She now volunteers with a nursing home, teaches roller skating, and plays roller derby with a team in the Triad. Kathy Seeger Rhoades retired on March 31, 2014, after 30 years in public education in North Carolina. One of Rhoades’ priorities in retirement will be spending more time at Meredith.

1987 Rosemarie Hopkins Cooper serves as principal of Crain’s Creek Middle school in Moore County, where she was voted Principal of the Year in 2012. She is serving as past president of the Carthage Rotary


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Club. Her daughter, Summer, will graduate from UNC this year and will be competing in the Miss North Carolina pageant in June. Her son, Matthew, will be headed to college in the fall and is planning on playing soccer at East Tennessee State University. Anna Galloway-Currie owns a catering business called Exclamations. In March her company was awarded the national Achievement Catering Excellence (ACE) Challenge award at Catersource in Las Vegas. Kim Buckner Pennington joined Lenoir-Rhyne University last year as faculty and director of the Solmaz Institute in Hickory, N.C. Her daughter, Susannah, has visited Meredith, and her mom is hoping that she will carry on the tradition by entering in the fall of 2015. Her son Thomas will be graduating from USC in May, and will be making a decision on law schools soon. In December, she celebrated 25 years of marriage to her husband, Tom. Their family continues to live in Belmont, N.C. Martha L. Register has started her own tax and consulting practice after 26 years of working in public accounting and industry. She formed Martha L. Register CPA, PLLC in January 2014. Donna Wilson Thagard has been with Stock Building Supply in Raleigh for over 22 years. She serves as vice president, corporate controller for the company. In August 2013, the company went public and she participated in the NASDAQ opening bell ringing in New York City. Laura Milano Wallace’s son, Patrick, is a freshman at NC State and plays for the basketball team.

1989 Tracy G. Knight’s son, Joshua, graduated from UNCChapel Hill School of Medicine in May 2013 and is now in residency for anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

1990 Deanna Harris is in her 21st year as an educator, and is currently working as the teacher librarian at East Cary Middle School. She is also serving as the PTA president at her daughter’s elementary school. Cheryl Alderman Slokker serves on the Junior Board of the Children’s Hospital of Richmond. Julia Toone is the executive director of Family Services of Davidson County.

1991 Maria Williams Styers, a culinary arts teacher at Franklinton High School, was awarded WRAL’s Teacher of the Week.

1992 Jacqueline Dato Mawyer is the assistant principal

in Chesterfield County, Va., at Woolridge Elementary School.

1993 Jackie Manning is now the departmental assistant for English, history and political science, religious and ethical studies, and sociology at Meredith.

1995 Sonali Kolhatkar Oberg is now working at the American Bar Association as their director of product marketing. Jennifer Pitts began a new position as a leadership consultant for Bon Secours Health System, she lives in Richmond, Va., and travels to the various facilities recruiting executives and physicians while supporting the mission of Bon Secours.

1997 Deanna Lemond LaMotte completed a Master of Public Health degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2013. She now lives in Black Mountain, N.C. and works as the Program Coordinator of Triple P-Positive Parenting Program-for Buncombe County. Her son just turned five years old.

1998 Kim Collins earned her master’s degree in school administration from NC State in 2010 and has been an assistant principal at Green Hope High in Cary since August 2010. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her two nieces and two nephews. Amy Arrowood Lin and her husband, Phillip, are the new owners of Catering By Design in Cary, N.C.

2001 Sandi Matthews celebrated her seventh anniversary at the North Carolina Community Foundation in January 2014. Sandi is the Foundation’s controller and is a certified public accountant. She also serves as treasurer of the volunteer center Activate Good, a volunteer position she has held for more than three years.

2002 Leesha Austin-Buehlmann lives in Munich, Germany, with her husband Alex and their son Dylan. She is still working for Texas Instruments in the EMEA headquarters (Europe, Middle East, Africa). Her current position is marketing communications manager for TI’s European University Program and distribution partners. Her son understands and speaks English, Swiss German, and High German. Regan Brown Reynolds joined Avison Young North Carolina as business operations manager.

Meredith Awards Honor Alumnae Accomplishments By Melyssa Allen


hree accomplished alumnae were celebrated during Meredith’s annual reunion weekend. These women, Sue Kearney, Sarah Parker, and Jennifer Jones, are the 2014 Alumnae Award recipients.

Ann Shivar, ’74, Sarah Parker, President Jo Allen, ’80, Sue Kearney, ’64, Jennifer Jones, ’04, ’11, and Alumnae Association President Andrea Fox, ’95.

Sue Kearney, ’64 Distinguished Alumna Award Four years as an outstanding Meredith student and 43 years as an administrator who made Meredith an even better place more than qualify Sue Kearney, ’64, for Meredith’s Distinguished Alumna award. Kearney served three Meredith presidents – Heilman, Weems, and Hartford, beginning her career in 1966, as the assistant director in the Office of Admissions. She became director of admissions in 1984. In 1997, she became dean of enrollment planning and institutional research, and from 2002 until her retirement, she served as dean of institutional effectiveness and assistant to the president for planning. In her roles as leader of planning and assessment, she was a key player in Meredith’s last two reaffirmations of SACS accreditation and was heavily involved in strategic planning. Her enthusiasm and love for Meredith continues, and Kearney is an active Meredith alumna. Vice President for College Programs Jean Jackson, ’75, praised Kearney’s ability to remember the students she admitted to the College. “She has been one of Meredith’s best ambassadors, helping students and alumnae feel remembered and treasured by the College,” Jackson said.

Sarah Parker Career Achievement Award North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker has had a distinguished judicial career, and will retire as chief justice in August 2014, having served in this position since 2006. The third woman in North Carolina history to serve as chief justice, Parker attended Meredith from 1960-62, before completing undergraduate studies and law school at UNC-Chapel Hill. Parker was an associate justice on the N.C. Supreme Court from 1993-2006, and

a judge on the N.C. Court of Appeals from 1985-1992. Prior to her judicial service, Parker was an attorney in private practice for 15 years. She has also served on the Governor’s Crime Commission and the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission. Prior to law school, Parker was in the Peace Corps in Ankara, Turkey. “She has lived a life of public service, has risen to great heights in her profession, and is leaving a legacy that makes us proud,” said Sue Kearney, who nominated Parker. Kearney remembers Parker as a gifted student involved in class activities, and as an alumna who remained connected to Meredith after transferring, attending reunions, giving to the College, and speaking at commencement in 2009.

ply industry. She is the lead manager of the Service Organization Controls Report Solution at Grant Thornton for the Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., and North and South Carolina regions. Grant Thornton is a leading independent audit, tax, and advisory organization. Jones was nominated by Lauren Cookson, ’03. “In her valedictorian speech from high school Jennifer said ‘in order for us to accomplish our goals and be where we want to be in the future, we will have to maneuver through life as drivers in control of our destinies, not passengers along for the ride.’ Jennifer has definitely taken control of her destiny,” said Cookson. “The entire time I have known her, Jennifer has always strived to excel in every endeavor.”

Jennifer Jones, ’04, ’11 (MBA)

Philanthropy Awards

Recent Graduate Award Jennifer Jones puts the expertise gained through two Meredith College degrees to use in her work in business. Jones earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a concentration in finance in 2004 and in 2011, graduated from Meredith again with an MBA. Her service to Meredith includes teaching as an adjunct instructor and serving on the Alumnae Board. Over the course of her career Jones has worked as an internal auditor in both the financial service industry and building sup-

Two philanthropy awards were presented during reunion. Ann Shivar, ’74, received the Reunion Philanthropy Award. Shivar has served Meredith as a trustee, on the Meredith Legacy committee, and as alumnae co-chair of the campaign planning committee. Jo Ellen Ammons, ’57, was recognized with the Memorial Philanthropy Award. (Read more about Ammons on page 9.) Watch videos about each of the Alumnae Award recipients on S ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E






Make plans to join us for the Annual Alumnae Trip to the Big Apple!

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps with fellow alumnae and friends! The annual alumnae trip to New York City is scheduled for Friday, November 14 – Sunday, November 16, 2014. This fun-filled weekend getaway includes: airfare from RDU, transfer service, accommodations at The Muse Hotel, a reception for travelers and area alumnae, tickets to the 9/11 Memorial and to a Broadway show. Travelers have the option to add on a Food on Foot Tour and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Accom-

2004 Amanda Vause Kessler left the classroom after nine years to take a job working at the Wilson County Public Library. She recently edited her mother’s first e-book, which should be published in 2014. She still lives in Wilson, N.C., with her husband, Jason, and their four-year-old daughter, Meredith Thomas.

2005 Sarah Gransee Arnaudin is a branch manager at South Buncombe Library in Asheville, N.C. Mary Hemphill is a principal at Elizabeth Duncan Koontz Elementary School in Rowan-Salisbury (N.C.) Schools. Ashley Arnold Taylor received her master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma and is a special investigator for the State Department.

2006 Meredith Strub is working on her M.S. in publishing from Pace University in New York.

2007 Jennifer Williams Bottoms graduated from Charlotte School of Law in May 2014.



Brandi Bowen Moody opened an art studio and retail space in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District inside of 311 West Martin Street Galleries & Studios.

For additional information, please contact Hilary Allen, ’01, at


modations are available for those wishing to make separate flight or (919) 760-8751.


Allison Lowrey Duncan is teaching again as her and her daughter, Charlotte, are involved in a co-op preschool group with friends. Megan Greer was promoted to director of communications and outreach for the Entrepreneurship Initiative at N.C. State University. Christy Sadler is director of editing and publications at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. In November 2013, she went to Lesotho, Africa, with her church to do short-term mission work at an orphanage.

me re d i th.e d u

Natalie Braswell married Penn Broyhill and now works at Reynolda House Museum of American Art. Anna Buryk graduated from Norwich University in June, 2013, with a Master of Public Administration, with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. She was promoted to assistant director of admissions at Meredith in January 2013. She is spearheading a new program, developing a comprehensive alumnae recruitment program, engaging alumnae in recruit-

ment activities in North Carolina and out of state. Bekah Williams Sullivan spent her first year “out of the nest” helping Dr. Betty Webb get the Sansepolcro program up and running. In June 2010, she married her best friend of many years in Blowing Rock, N.C. She and her husband were in Wilmington the first two years of their marriage, but now live in Raleigh. She now works at an ophthalmology practice in an administrative/insurance capacity. She had a little girl named Emmaline in 2013.


CAS ROBERTS, ’12 Collaborative Problem Solver


By Melyssa Allen

Becky Forbes works at the State Library of NC as a cataloging library technician, and she loves it. Her daughter, Miranda, attends Meredith College and will graduate in 2017. Her two sons, Tyler and Kieran, are doing great in school. She and her husband celebrated 15 years of marriage in September, 2013. Meredith Moody works in the design center at Standard Pacific Homes.


ideas for design, and build pages both

Hannah Allen worked as a teacher of English and dance in Moscow. Since she has been back she’s been working in the Triangle area as an administrator in the foreign language department at NC State, as an after-schoolcare-program worker in a Catholic school in downtown Raleigh, and independently as a Russian teacher, dance instructor, and contract writer. She is planning for a thruhike of the Appalachian Trail, which winds through the Appalachians from Georgia to Maine, a distance of approximately 2,180 miles. She hopes to return to school in the fall to get a master’s degree and licensure to teach middle and high school English. Nataleigh Timberlake Carscaddon and her husband are in the process of buying their first home in Smithfield, N.C. She truly loves her job at Camp Oak Hill. Jordan Jaked accepted a stitcher position at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival for summer 2014. At its completion in mid-August, she will be returning to Athens, Ga., for her third and final year of graduate school in costume design at the University of Georgia. She has the opportunity to design The Great Gatsby as her thesis in November.

2012 Rebecca Brodney recently graduated from NC State with a master’s in British and American literature. Most of her energy was spent researching Middle English Arthurian legends. She is working toward a certification that will enable her to teach yoga. She hopes to soon land her first big writing job.


Using her creativity to fix problems is all in a day’s work for Cas Roberts, ’12.

Roberts is a user experience web developer at Red Hat, a leading software company based in Raleigh, N.C.

“As a web developer, a big part of my job is finding creative ways to pres-

ent information and fix problems,” Roberts said. “I write HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for, research user experiences, fix bugs, generate in Drupal and with raw HTML.”

Roberts identifies perseverance

as one of her strengths, and she has found this quality helpful in her career.

“A good percentage of the solu-

tions I try don’t end up working but I file that information away and keep pushing forward,” Roberts said.

While she estimates that 70% of

her working hours are spent coding, Roberts also collaborates with other teams to design better experiences for Red Hat customers. Thanks to her experience in Meredith’s computer science program, Roberts is confident in her ability to code and to work successfully on a team.

Roberts learned these skills through hands-on experience in her Meredith

classes. “We had the opportunity to live code in class and work collaboratively, which is very rare in most computer science courses,” said Roberts. “When you code collaboratively, you learn a lot more a lot faster.”

The real world experience offered at Meredith is crucial, Roberts said.

“You’re not going to learn code by passively watching someone else write

it,” she said. “You have to get into it, get really tangled up in it, and ask how you could make it better.”

Roberts believes the environment at Meredith inspires constant improvement.

“Professors, students, staff – everyone at Meredith – is working toward the

same goal: to create a better world full of strong, empowered, capable women.”

Roberts praised Meredith faculty members who knew her learning style and

taught in ways that were accessible to students.

“They let me ask questions and experiment, and engaged me in the whole

subject, not just materials for the test,” Roberts said. “I bring that same enthusiasm to my job now. I question, study and try new things, and in the process, push the envelope for good web development.”

Holly Pennington is working as an administrative asS ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E



CONNECTION sistant at a commercial property management company, and is also a weekend assistant manager at Tripps Restaurant, located behind Meredith College.




Model Activist

Marti Miller Elliott to Phillip Best, 06/13.

1992 Dana Lowder to Donald James, 05/04/13.

By Melyssa Allen


me re d i th.e d u

2001 Elizabeth Jackson to Jon Fazenbaker, 01/25/14.

2005 Ashley Harrison to Jeremy Bitner, 11/16/13. Jenna Chambers to Luke Higgs, 08/07/14. Christina Robinson to Patrick Quinn, 03/08/14.

2007 Caitlin Quinnett to Daniel Clayton, 08/24/13.

2008 Megan Ray to Zeb Saunders, 10/05/13. Kate Robinson to David Newkirk, 07/19/14. PHOTO COURTESY OF GLENN JONES/IKONA PHOTOGRAPHY

Charis Hill, ’09, doesn’t let obstacles stop her for long. So when Hill was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) in March 2013, she soon devoted herself to bringing attention to this rare form of arthritis. Hill experienced symptoms for 13 years before she was diagnosed, and though she struggled with the news, she is now taking action. “I feel certain that I have the power to influence more research to find a cure, and that begins with creating awareness,” said Hill. “More people have AS than have Multiple Sclerosis, yet most people have never heard of AS. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.,” Hill said. “I am extremely vocal and relate everything I do to my diagnosis.” Hill calls herself a “realistic idealist” who has found a unique way to bring attention to AS – modeling to raise awareness. “When I model, I open up the conversation … to put a face on a disease that so often forces people into a sedentary lifestyle,” Hill explained. Hill’s first modeling experience was in 2013 as part of a benefit show. She then auditioned for the 2014 Sacramento Fashion Week, and was chosen by two designers. “It feels powerful that I can show people what I can still do even with a debilitating and extremely painful disease,” Hill said. “I’m using it as a platform to create awareness of AS and other chronic diseases.” Though fatigue is a common symptom of AS, Hill has a very active lifestyle. She works for Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting bicycling as a way to make the Sacramento region a healthier place, and for the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, planning the region’s annual bike month. Hill raised more than $5,000 for the Arthritis Foundation in 2013. She was named the adult honoree for the Sacramento affiliate of the Arthritis Foundation’s winter fundraiser, and was selected to attend the 2014 National Arthritis Summit in Washington, D.C. The event gathers 300 advocates from around the country to meet with Congressional representatives to garner support for arthritis. Hill remains inspired by her experiences as a Meredith student. “What makes a Meredith student strong is that she is trusted with the responsibility of knowledge, and that’s a very powerful thing.”

2010 Samantha Perry to Adam Stallings, 05/17/14. Renata Heineman to Brent Spencer, 06/22/13. Allison Tart to Jordan Taylor, 12/08/12.

2011 Kelsey Donahue to Michael Stevens, Jr., 03/29/14.

2013 Kelsey Suttenfield to Sam Lawhorn, 02/01/14.

BIRTHS 1991 Vanessa Taylor Ussery, a son, Gabriel Nathan, 12/18/13.

1999 Krista Williams Bunting, a daughter, Karsyn Avery, 02/10/14.

2001 Christine Judith Furmick, a son, Robert Lewis Fussell III, 01/17/14.

2002 Amanda Griffin Bramble, a daughter, Ellison MaKenneth, 02/17/14. Kelly Mutzabaugh Williams, a daughter, Kensington Marie, 09/25/13.

2003 Malissa de La Fosse Albright, a son, John Callaway, 09/24/13. Lindsay Sutton Beavers, a son, Benjamin Mills, 12/10/13. Meaghan O’Shea Clayton, two sons, Keegan, 12/19/09 and Caeden,

10/13/13. Amanda Austin Hummel, a son, Davis Heath, 11/23/13. Christy Johnson New, a son, Lucas Stephen, 06/19/13. Constance Dale Page, a son, Alton John, 08/30/13. Sarah Wood Swihart, a son, Ellis Jefferson, 08/09/13.

2004 Beth Newkirk Prevatte, a daughter, Kathleen Jane, 08/31/13. Erin McGraw Worley, a daughter, Kaley Elizabeth, 02/18/14.

2005 Mary Clarke Shuff Bourgeois, a daughter, Mary Landon Elizabeth, 02/23/14. Julia Pollard Eubanks, a son, Kenneth ‘Walker’, 02/25/14. Rachel Salsman Harrison, a daughter, Josephine “Josie” Eleanor, 11/16/13. Charlotte Burton Heroux, a daughter, Anna Grace, 03/02/14. Jennifer Schrum Marsh, a son, Julian Edward, 11/14/13. Jennifer Rose Mercer, a daughter, Ivy Claire, 02/27/14. Brandy Pulley Powers, a son, Cooper Brayden, 12/07/13. Ashley Arnold Taylor, a daughter, Elizabeth Grace, 08/01/13.

2007 Dawn Vanderburg Lockavitch, a daughter, Everly Rachel, 10/09/13. Caitlin Spicola Skotnicki, a daughter, Lillian Kate, 08/26/13.

2008 Megan Borland Eargle, a son, Griffin Wesley, 01/22/14. Whitney Phillips Goudling, a son, Keaton James, 09/10/13. Whitney Collins Hunter, a son, William Lee, 03/10/14. LeAnn Brown Roelofs, a son, Glenn, 08/27/13.

2009 Carshia Craven, a daughter, Nia Lily, 08/23/13. Torie Scheetz Fields, a daughter, Lynnleigh Anne, 03/05/14.



Elizabeth Pruitt Johnson, 02/05/14. Claire Hill Shaw, 03/31/14.

Cheryl Smith Harrison, 01/11/14.



Dorothy Winstead Franklin, 03/03/14.



Amelia Pruitt Nichols in the death of her sister.

Margaret Helen Jordan, 02/01/14. Margaret Lowery Nix, 12/16/13


1946 Katherine Roddick Moore, 03/05/14. Elizabeth Reid Murray, 03/13/14. Emma Southerland Richards, 03/12/14. Elizabeth Shelton Smith-Cox, 01/08/14.

1949 Jean Ferebee Bishop, 01/19/14. Pollyanna Langston, 03/01/14.

1950 Martha Lou Stephenson, 03/06/14.

1951 Elaine Saunders King, 02/06/14. Helen Brewer Norwood, 03/13/14.


Edith Stephenson Simpson in the death of her sister. Ann Wallis Stephenson in the death of her sister-in-law.

1952 Virginia Ruth Price Roberts in the death of her husband.

1954 Jane Williamson Teague in the death of her husband.

1955 Nancy Hall in the death of her brother.

1956 Polly Richardson Farned in the death of her husband.



Barbara Booth Florence in the death of her husband. Betsy Thomerson Pendergraph in the death of her husband.

Ann Partin Holland, 02/01/14.


1955 Sylvia Jenkins Sanders, 11/15/13.

Sue Anne James Schoonderwoerd in the death of her mother.



Linda Grigg Duncan, 12/28/13.

Elizabeth Johnson Saffer in the death of her mother.

Lynette Adcock Thomas, 01/07/14.

1959 Katherine Almond Talbert, 02/16/14.



Terri Hudson Creagh in the death of her mother. Susan Harward in the death of her mother.

Lyresse Evans Kapp, 12/12/13.





Ruth Walston Miller, 08/18/13.

Mary Elizabeth Kemp Allen, 02/05/14.



Harriett McLoud Dixon, 12/15/13.

Margaret Davis Haywood, 02/05/14.



Jane Rawls Timper, 03/26/14.

Lucille Parker Guthrie, 03/02/14.



Jean Creel Jackson, 12/14/13.

Margaret Nichols Wallace, 12/06/13.



Carole Gaskins, 01/11/14.

Sherri Houchens Blight in the death of her mother. Mary Lu Wooten in the death of her father.

Marjorie Pearce, 02/26/14.



Samantha Shannel Atkins, 02/09/14.


Mary Esther Williams Harward, 02/11/14.


Martha Beth Stephenson in the death of her aunt.

1973 Luanne Roebuck Brown in the death of her father in law. Pat Paschal Scott-Finn in the death of her mother.

1974 Linda Veazey Duda in the death of her father.


Amy Garber Byrd in the death of her father. Bettina King Slavin in the death of her mother.

Amy Michele Barber, 12/08/13. S ummer 2014 | M E R E D IT H M A G A Z I N E





KYLENE DIBBLE, ’03 Community Connector By Melyssa Allen Kylene Dibble, ’03, is an educator and a connector who uses her social work education to support PLM Families Together (PLM FT), a non-profit that provides housing and comprehensive services for families experiencing homelessness in Wake County, N.C. PLM FT’s mission includes addressing homelessness as a community. As community engagement coordinator, Dibble coordinates volunteer groups who want to care for the PLM FT property or to be involved with families. One of her responsibilities is to organize family activities and workshops. A recent example is a series of monthly financial literacy programs presented by a local bank. The series was the result of a connection Dibble made for PLM FT. “I am very good at making a link between the issues I care about and the people who want to do something about [these issues],” Dibble said. “I truly enjoy working directly with clients, but what I enjoy even more is educating the community about how to get involved with the population I work with, rather than always doing things for them.” Educating the community about how they can make a difference is an important part of her work. “I love educating people about causes of family homelessness, about issues specific to homeless families, and what PLM FT is doing to make a difference,” Dibble explained. At Meredith, Dibble’s professors encouraged her to use their classes as a way to discover herself. She graduated feeling “well prepared for all that was next.” “When I went to grad school to earn a Master of Social Work, I often felt frustrated that I wasn’t being challenged enough, because I was learning so many things that I had already learned at Meredith.” Dibble credits her campus leadership activities for helping her find her niche. She was a resident assistant for three years, vice president of the Meredith Christian Association, and president of the social work club. “I developed a lot of self-confidence, but also the ability to know what resources are available and how to make connections,” Dibble said. “Meredith taught me to be passionate. It really doesn’t matter what the issue at hand is, at Meredith, people give it their all.”

Cathy McCracken James in the death of her father-in-law. Alice Johnson in the death of her mother.

1978 Mary Rives Creech Gulledge in the death of her mother. Charlene Holland Smith in the death of her mother.

1979 Rita Blevins Jennings in the death of her father. Julia Smith Terrell in the death of her father. Lisa Williams in the death of her aunt.

1980 Katherine Argersinger Grant in the death of her husband.

1983 Barbara Keegan Armstrong in the death of her son. Christie Bishop Barbee in the death of her mother. Patricia Proctor Bizzell in the death of her daughter. Kelly Weaver Goley in the death of her father. Ann Wilkerson Suber in the death of her father.

1985 Nancy Dellinger Beane in the death of her mother.

1988 Marti Hatch in the death of her mother.

1990 Paula Holland Mills in the death of her mother.

1993 Ginny Holland Sears in the death of her mother.

1999 Jennifer Gay in the death of her brother.

2002 Sara Barbee in the death of her grandmother.

2003 Ganey Mozley in the death of her husband. Christy Sadler in the death of her father.

2005 Jennifer Schrum Marsh in the death of her grandmother. Holly Scott in the death of her grandmother.

2007 Morgan Slavin Eklund in the death of her grandmother. Caitlin Spicola Skotnicki in the death of her father.

2009 Maggie Bizzell in the death of her grandfather.

2010 Katie Nagel in the death of her grandfather.

2011 Kathryn Hicks in the death of her grandmother.


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Your years at Meredith were powerful. You earned a degree whose value continues to grow, made lasting friends, and laid the foundation for a successful, fulfilled life. If you’re a recent graduate, now there’s an easy way to honor your connection to Meredith – by joining the Ivy Society. You’ll help sustain Meredith for future generations. And you’ll help current students thrive by supporting initiatives like scholarships, new academic programs, and study abroad. You’ll also receive unique benefits, like invitations to special events, access to select alumnae merchandise, and an Ivy Society decal for your car. You can become a member if you graduated within the last ten years and give at least $10 a month to The Meredith Fund. Join the Ivy Society today. Help keep Meredith College Going Strong.

Watch the Ivy Society video and then join online at

Department of Marketing 3800 Hillsborough Street Raleigh, North Carolina 27607-5298

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Raleigh, NC Permit No. 369


OF THE BEHOLDER. In case you haven’t noticed, Meredith College is Going Strong. In fact, the College is going strong in so many ways, it’s nearly impossible to capture the complete picture. But that doesn’t mean we’re not up for the challenge. That’s why we created a new multimedia page on our website, designed to celebrate Meredith’s strengths and the strong people who make up our community. To see some of the ways Meredith is going strong, go to You’ll find strong facts about the College, a Strong Stories blog, videos, a timeline of Meredith history, and an opportunity to share your own strong story. This snapshot of Meredith’s strengths will evolve and grow, so check back often.

See what strong looks like. Go to goingstrong.

Meredith Magazine Summer 2014  

A publication for Alumnae and Friends of Meredith College

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