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A Publication for Alumnae and Friends of Meredith College

M a g a z i n e

Fall 2010, Volume 35, Number 3

Experiencing Italy Meredith students living and learning abroad

Contents Meredith Magazine Volume 35, Number 3 Fall 2010 Executive Editor Kristi Eaves-McLennan Managing Editors Melyssa Allen Karen T. Dunton Assistant Editor Gaye Hill Art Director Vanessa Harris Senior Designer Mary Rose, ’01 Designer Lauren Sumner Alumnae Connection Editors Hilary Allen, ’01 Amanda Oliver, ’02 Contributing Writers Lauren McDonald, ’11 Editorial Assistant Kaye Rains Photographers Christopher Ferrar Gary Knight Mary Rose Lauren Sumner David Timberlake Christine Webb Meredith Students 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 © 2010 Meredith College 10-098

Features 12 Learning How to Think Well A new academic initiative strengthens critical thinking skills across campus 14 Living and Learning in Italy Study abroad site provides authentic Italian experience 18 Books That Made Me Think A recommended reading list from faculty and staff

News 2

Summer Reading Author Nicholas Kristof Shares Message of Gender Equality

5 Longtime Educator Donates Treasure Trove of Children’s Literature 7 Dual Solution announced for 2010-12 Academic Leadership 11 The Oaks Near Capacity for 2010-11

in every issue 1

Meredith Campus News




Meredith Experts in the News


Dateline Meredith



22 Alumnae Connection 33 Cultural Events

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Campus News An Update

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Effort Begins to Find Meredith College’s Eighth President By Melyssa Allen


he Meredith College Board of Trustees has begun its work to find President Maureen Hartford’s successor. Hartford will retire in June of 2011 after 12 years as Meredith’s president.  Sam Ewell, Board of Trustees chair, announced in June that Elizabeth Triplett Beam, ’72, will chair the Presidential Search Committee. Trustee Nancy Cheek, ’63, is Search Committee vice chair. (See sidebar for full committee list.) Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, LLC, is assisting the Presidential Search Committee.  Storbeck/Pimentel is a minority- and female-owned executive search firm specializing in providing executive recruitment services to colleges, universities, independent schools and not-for-profit organizations. Its East Coast headquarters are located in Media, Penn., a suburb of Philadelphia. Anne Coyle, a vice president and partner who resides in New Haven, Conn., is leading the Storbeck/Pimentel team. She earned her A.B. in biological anthropology from Harvard College, and her M.P.A. from Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Her educational experience includes serving as director of admissions at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, and director of admissions at Yale School of Management. She has extensive executive search experience, having previously served as a consultant for an international search firm, conducting searches for colleges and universities, independent schools and other nonprofit organizations. Shelly Weiss Storbeck, managing partner and co-owner of the firm, is assisting with the process. Storbeck has been named

one of Business Week’s 100 Most Influential Headhunters. She earned her B.A. in English and Religion from Dickinson College and her A.M. in English from Bryn Mawr College.  For more information about the firm and its client list, visit The Search Committee has solicited input from alumnae, who have an important voice in the presidential search process. Input sessions were held in October for alumnae, students, faculty and staff, and a survey was emailed to constituents for input. Updates and announcements about the process will be shared through emails from Elizabeth Beam, ’72, on behalf of the search committee. Informational updates will also be posted to Alumnae are invited to make nominations for someone who may make a good candidate by emailing the search firm at

Presidential Search Committee Members

Trustee Representatives Elizabeth Beam, ’72, Search Committee chair Nancy Cheek, ’63, Search Committee vice chair Sam Ewell, chair, Meredith College Board of Trustees (ex officio) Alex Holmes Randall Lolley Maureen O’Connor Deborah Dove Smith, ’80 C.C. Wiggins, ’76 Student Representative Beth Howard, ’11 Alumnae Association Representative Deborah Jordan Matthews, ’74, Alumnae Association president Faculty Representatives Monica McKinney, professor of education Beth Mulvaney, professor of art history Staff Representative Melyssa Allen, news director

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Journalist Nicholas Kristof Shares Message of Gender Equality By Melyssa Allen


ulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof brought his campaign for women’s empowerment to Meredith College on September 20, 2010. “In this century, the cause of our times is gender inequality around the world,” Kristof said to an audience of more than 800 people during an evening lecture. Kristof is the co-author of Meredith’s 2010 Summer Reading Program selection “Half the Sky: From Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” In “Half the Sky,” Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, explore issues faced by women around the world, and offer ways readers can help make a difference. He shared the stories of some of the women and girls featured in the book during his lecture at Meredith. “Girls are being discriminated against to death,” Kristof said. “In an equitable world, there would be more women than men, but this isn’t an equitable world. When there isn’t enough food to go around, you feed your sons and starve your daughters.” Kristof argued that women’s inequality is not just a women’s issue.

Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone” Kristof Advises

Upcoming Blue Cross &

In addition to the public lecture, Kristof spoke to the Meredith community during an afternoon Q&A session. According to Kristof, there’s no one answer on the best next step for students who were inspired by “Half the Sky.” He encouraged students to study abroad or to volunteer in locations that “get you out of your comfort zone.”

Blue Shield of North

“In this century, the cause of our times is gender inequality around the world.”—Nicholas Kristof “If you want to fight poverty, terrorism or civil conflict, the most cost effective way is to educate girls and bring them into the workforce,” he said. “There are no silver bullets, but the closest you can get is education.” By writing the book, Kristof and WuDunn hope to recruit readers into supporting women’s equality issues. For more information on ways to get involved, visit A columnist for The New York Times since 2001, Kristof earned a Pulitzer in 1990 with WuDunn for their coverage of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement, and another in 2006 for commentary on genocide in Darfur and other parts of the world. 2

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“Depending on what resonates with you, find some cause larger than yourself. I hope getting engaged with a cause means that some of you do not just donate to a cause, but travel and see your work at a grassroots level” with some of the organizations in his book. “You will be empowering yourself at the same time that you are empowering others,” Kristof said. Kristof ’s visit was part of the 2010-11 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Presidential Lecture Series at Meredith College. The series supports Meredith’s campus theme, which for 2010-11 is “Critical Thinking for Critical Times.” Visit for more information.

Carolina Presidential Lecture Series Events

Maureen Hartford Monday, February 28, 2011, 7 p.m., Jones Auditorium Meredith College President Maureen Hartford will lecture as part of the College’s 2011 Founders’ Day observance. Hartford, Meredith’s first woman president, will discuss “Critical Thinking in Women’s Education.” Twyla Tharp Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 7 p.m., Jones Auditorium Tony and Emmy Award winner Twyla Tharp will present the 2011 Woman of Achievement Lecture. All Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Presidential Lecture Series events are free and open to the public.

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Meredith Offering One of N.C.’s First Environmental Sustainability Majors By Melyssa Allen


eredith College launched a new major in the 2010-11 academic year, becoming one of the first colleges in North Carolina to offer an interdisciplinary major focused on environmental sustainability. “Our program is unique because it is grounded in the liberal arts and offers a broad overview of elements of sustainability,” said Meredith Sustainability Coordinator Laura Fieselman. “This aspect of the program allows it to stand alone but also makes it pair well with other programs at Meredith.” Meredith’s environmental sustainability major/minor is focused on three foundations: natural and mathematical sciences, social sciences, and economics and communication.  The flexible nature of the environmental sustainability major at Meredith allows students to tailor a program that fits their professional interests. Students take liberal arts courses, such as environmental ethics, economics and politics, in addition to science and math classes. Majors also participate in a research or internship experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 10% of new jobs

by 2038 will be “green” careers. An environmental sustainability major offers access to a diverse array of potential careers. Community planner, environmental consultant, environmental engineer, environmental lawyer, environmental scientist, technician, surveyor, corporate or non-profit sustainability coordinator, socially responsible business-owner and green designer are among potential career options. Visit for more information.

Sustainability at Meredith

The new Environmental Sustainability program also builds upon the College’s commitment to sustainability. In 2008, Meredith’s first sustainability coordinator was hired. The College’s greenprint plan for integrating sustainability into its practices in education and daily operations was developed in 2009. The Oaks, Meredith’s student apartments, are the College’s first LEED Silver certified construction. Visit for more information.

Meredith Uses Technology to Reach New Audiences By Melyssa Allen


wo recent efforts are helping Meredith reach new audiences through social media and multi-media programs. Admissions Office Fan Page on Facebook

Meredith’s Office of Admissions has created a fan page on Facebook. The new page is a way for prospective undergraduate students to interact with the admissions office, to ask questions and get information throughout the college search process.

The new page builds off the success of Meredith College’s official Facebook fan page, which now has more than 3,700 fans. The official page is used to share Meredith College news, promote events, and generate conversation between students, alumnae and other Meredith fans. Visit to view the official page. To view the new Meredith College Undergraduate Admissions page and become a fan, visit

New Mobile Website

Meredith College now has a mobile website for use on smart phones and other mobile devices. The site,, provides quick access to essential information for users on the go, including students and campus visitors. Features include a directory, a campus map, college news, hours for campus offices, a library link, the academic calendar and more. M er edi t h M ag az i n e / fal l 2 010 /


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Meredith Freshman is an IronWoman By Lauren McDonald, ’11, Sports Information Intern


t was a cool August morning in Louisville, Ky., as freshman Lara Pantlin prepared to start her first Ironman triathlon. Pantlin is an 18 year-old freshman cross country runner at Meredith College and has participated in over 20 preliminary triathlons throughout her life, completing her first at age eight. All Ironman triathlons consist of a total of 140.2 miles; including two swimming, 112 biking and 26.2 running. Participants must be at least 18 before they are eligible to compete in an Ironman triathlon and most participants that compete are in their mid-to-late 30s. After watching her mother complete an Ironman triathlon, Pantlin knew she wanted to complete an Ironman event as soon as she was eligible. “I was ten years old, and when my mom crossed the finish line, I told her I wanted to do one as soon as I turned 18, and that’s what we did,” said Pantlin. Vigorous training and dedication is necessary for any triathlon, but the amount of training for an Ironman is colossal. Pantlin began training for her Ironman over a year ago. She was trained by her mother Susan and a family friend. To prepare her for the Ironman, Pantlin’s training consisted of many long endurance and consistency workouts. She focused on training specific muscles for different parts of the race and had to constantly manage her

nutrition to avoid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. “The hardest part of my training was probably staying ahead of my nutrition; it was difficult for me to grasp the concept that you become dehydrated before you are even thirsty,” said Pantlin. Running was Pantlin’s favorite part of the race. “It was definitely the most challenging but I felt the most accomplished when I completed the running part of the race,” said Pantlin. “When I started competing, running was the most challenging, and being able to see my progress was really cool.” Pantlin described miles 10-19 of the

New Athletics Website Launched By Melyssa Allen


his fall, the Meredith College Athletics Department launched as the new online home of Meredith Athletics. The site, developed by PrestoSports, features a robust design with dynamic schedules and content, RSS feeds, streaming videos and connections to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It also features a mobile website using MobileClassic software. The website allows fans to quickly find 4

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information about the College’s athletic teams. Now part of the PrestoSports Network, Meredith scores entered into the website will immediately update the website’s schedules, and national media sites such as d3hoops, d3soccer and d3baseball. PrestoSports is a technology provider to over 250 collegiate athletic departments. Meredith joins the USA South Athletic Conference, Shenandoah University and Peace College as a PrestoSports website member.

running portion as the most difficult time during the Ironman. “Quitting never crossed my mind because I knew I had come too far, but there were a few times that I did think about how nice it would be to stop,” Pantlin said. Being the youngest competitor in this particular Ironman, Pantlin finished with an impressive time of 13 hours and 51 minutes. The last few competitors of the race finished in around 17 hours. During the hardest part of the race, Pantlin’s brother, Eric, ran six miles of the running portion with her. “He doesn’t even run but he did six miles like it was nothing. He was awesome and I couldn’t have done it without him there,” Pantlin said of her younger brother. After the race, she slowly eased back into running and practicing with her college team. Pantlin explained she had to take about two weeks off from all athletic activity so that she could give her body time to recover and avoid injury. She has been an asset to the Meredith cross country team during the 2010 season. When asked about future participation in Ironman triathlons, Pantlin replied, “I want to do another Ironman, but for now I am focusing on cross country and enjoying my freshman year of college.”

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Longtime Educator Donates Treasure Trove of Children’s Literature By Melyssa Allen


ore than 9,000 children’s books have new homes at Meredith and in other local schools, thanks to the generosity of longtime educator Janet Groomer. Groomer collected the books during her career, which spanned more than 50 years at schools in California, Indiana and North Carolina. She most recently worked as a literacy specialist at Raleigh’s Underwood Elementary School and Washington Elementary School. Interestingly, Groomer began as a math teacher, but eventually specialized in reading. Along the way she worked with leaders in the field of education, and developed a “fascination with children’s literature.” Her collection grew gradually, as she purchased books that seemed to spark the interest of her students. “I had success with reluctant readers. If we were talking about a subject that interested students, I’d buy all the books on that topic I could,” Groomer said. “Children don’t always have adequate background knowledge, so I would bring in books, articles, newspapers and these light bulbs would just go on.” She used her books to create a library in her classroom, and taught students to take care of books so they would last for future students. “I’m a real stickler for not turning down corners,” Groomer said. “I liked for children to take care of books.” Groomer’s involvement at Meredith began when she was president of the Raleigh/ Wake Reading Association, an organization that holds its meetings at Meredith College. Through this organization, Groomer met Associate Professor of Education Beth Marr. “We found out we knew so many of the same people,” Groomer said of Marr, who is originally from Indiana. “We struck up a friendship.”

“I had success with reluctant readers. If we were talking about a subject that interested students, I’d buy all the books on that topic I could.” —Janet Groomer Groomer has also volunteered in Meredith’s education department, assisting in Assistant Professor of Education Tisha Duncan’s Children’s Literature class and offering suggestions to pre-service teachers. “I want [Meredith students] to have the same passion that I have for using children’s literature with their students.” Meredith College came to mind when Groomer decided it was time to share her collection of children’s literature, as well as professional education texts. “I could have been miserly and kept these books to myself,” Groomer said. “But I realized to leave those books in boxes at my home meant that children were missing out on some really good books.” Ted Waller, head of technical services for Meredith’s Carlyle Campbell Library,

coordinated the donation process, including managing the distribution of the books at Meredith and beyond. Approximately 1,800 of the books were given to Meredith’s Department of Education, for use in the classroom, and another 2,500 books are now in circulation at the Carlyle Campbell Library, with more still being catalogued. Other books have been distributed among schools and organizations in Wake, Durham, Warren, Guilford and Harnett counties. Many of the schools were without libraries before Groomer’s donation. Waller said, “I have to confess that being surrounded by books every day I sometimes forget the power they hold for those who are less fortunate. I feel privileged to have been a part of this process.” M er edi t h M ag az i n e / fal l 2 010 /


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Meredith Experts in the News Meredith faculty, staff and students have served as experts in a wide variety of news articles, in media outlets such as,, and EdTech Magazine.

Single-gender education creates, very early on, a different level of confidence. This creates stronger leaders who will know how to work with men. They’ve honed their skills, they’re comfortable with who they are and are confident going out and leading. As a result, they are better citizens, volunteers and workers.” —President Maureen Hartford, in a profile as one of Cary Magazine’s 2010 Women of Western Wake.

Under basic guidelines of contract law, silence is not a contractual acceptance. In other words, someone can’t send you a letter reading, “If I don’t hear from you by Friday, we have a contract” and thereby bind you. In many ways, a pre-checked purchase box is not any different in that it requires no active assent from a

By Melyssa Allen

purchaser, and thus tries to create a contract


by inaction or silence—something that the law has prohibited for a very long time.” —Associate Professor of Business Jeff Langenderfer in an article in The Washington Post on opt-out travel insurance. The story also ran on

The teacher’s job is to respect the role of the parents … but also to make a safe place for children to ask questions and speak. So when you’re talking about introducing this into a class, you have to think about respecting lots of family boundaries.” —Mary Kay Delaney, Associate Professor of Education and Head of the Department of Education, in a article about talking about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with children who are too young to remember the event.

High Percentage of Class of 2010 Studied Abroad

By standardizing on professional-grade hardware and software, we give our faculty the confidence of knowing that all students have the appropriate tools for what they want to teach.” —Jeff Howlett, Chief Information Officer, in an EdTech Magazine article about college technology initiatives.


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early 40% of the most recent graduating class had studied abroad at least once while attending Meredith College. The Office of International Programs reports that 39.34% of the Class of 2010 studied abroad, compared with 31% last year. The percentage of students studying abroad from each graduating class has increased from 7.7% in 2001 to its current level. Global education was a primary focus of Meredith’s Vision 2010 strategic plan, which included a goal of having 25% of each graduating class study abroad.

two who participated in the College’s inaugural semester program in Sansepolcro, Italy. The remaining third studied with other schools or educational organizations. Students studied a wide range of subjects including foreign language, peace and conflict studies, history, art, politics, culture, literature, business, fashion merchandising and design, education and child development among others. In addition some students completed internships or scientific research while abroad. The full list of countries visited are Australia, Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, the

The percentage of students studying abroad from each graduating class has increased from 7.7% in 2001 to its current level. The total number of students who studied abroad was 155, with 20 students completing more than one study abroad experience. Thirty-three students studied in semester programs, and one student went abroad for a full academic year. Two thirds of the students studied on Meredith faculty-led programs, including

Dominican Republic, France, Greece, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Panama, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Turkey and the United Kingdom. For more information on study abroad at Meredith, visit abroad.

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Dual Solution Announced for 2010-12 Academic Leadership By Melyssa Allen


ean of the School of Business Denise Rotondo and Dean of the School of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Elizabeth Wolfinger have been named to term appointments to provide academic leadership for Meredith College through 2012. Rotondo is serving as senior vice president for academic administration and Wolfinger is vice president for academic planning and programs. President Maureen Hartford said their selection was an unusual way to provide academic leadership when Vice President for Academic Programs Allen Page retired at the end of the 2009-10 academic year. “The term appointments were made in order to allow the next president an opportunity to permanently appoint Meredith’s academic vice president,” Hartford said. Rotondo and Wolfinger bring different backgrounds and perspectives to these roles. Wolfinger has spent her academic career at Meredith, joining the faculty in 1992, and Rotondo was recruited from the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University in 2006 to serve as dean of the School of Business. “We have found ourselves aligned on so many issues relating to Meredith College and to women in higher education,” Rotondo said. “Without that, this arrangement would be a challenge. We’ve found that working together allows us to do a lot that we couldn’t do individually.”

Elizabeth Wolfinger (left) and Denise Rotondo (right)

“Our commitment to Meredith College was the reason we were willing to take on this unique challenge,” said Wolfinger. “We believe in the future and the potential of this college. Our goal is to help all programs thrive.” Their aim for the term is to work with faculty to strengthen Meredith’s current programs and work with the Meredith community to identify institutional priorities. “It’s extremely important to work with the community to really understand what needs to emerge as the College’s priorities,” Wolfinger said. Those priorities will include strengthening existing programs and building new programs, growing enrollment, and using Meredith’s location as an advantage. Though the arrangement is uncommon, both agree that it has its benefits. “We’re on the same page with priorities

and decision-making, which allows us to invest energy into areas that would be difficult to tackle as an individual new vice president,” Wolfinger said. Both Rotondo and Wolfinger encourage alumnae to support Meredith in a variety of ways. “Everything an alumna does to support Meredith is an investment in her own degree,” Rotondo said. “Every time an alumna gives back to Meredith, by speaking to a class or hiring a student as an intern, she is building a network of support for current students and young alumnae.” Alumnae support is a “vote of confidence for Meredith” in the eyes of the public, according to Wolfinger. “Alumnae who make a gift to Meredith or encourage prospective students to come to Meredith can make a huge difference in the College’s immediate future,” Wolfinger said.

Be One in a Million By Supporting The Meredith Fund By Melyssa Allen


eredith College has launched a new fundraising campaign, Be One in a Million, in support of The Meredith Fund. “This historic effort to raise $1 million for The Meredith Fund is eminently achievable if every person who cares about Meredith demonstrates her or his concern through a financial gift,” said Jane Mitchell,

director of The Meredith Fund. The Be One in a Million campaign began this fall. As of November 5, 2010, a total of $117,000 has been raised, with an average gift of $127. Each gift will bring the College closer to that exciting goal of $1 million. Most important, every gift touches our students, enhancing their learning and making a Meredith education more accessible.

By choosing to Be One in a Million, alumnae and other friends of the College are participating in a tradition of giving that has long supported Meredith College. By doing so, donors are challenging others to give so they, too, can be a part of something bigger. Visit to learn how to Be One in a Million. M er edi t h M ag az i n e / fal l 2 010 /



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Meredith Holds “Skywalkers” Awareness Walk By Melyssa Allen


embers of the Meredith College community participated in the “Skywalkers” awareness walk on September 15. The event, which was inspired by the Summer Reading Program selection “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, raised awareness of the oppression of women in developing countries. Participants gathered outside Jones Chapel and walked a one-mile route across Meredith’s campus. They carried flags on which they had written issues or names of women featured in “Half the Sky.” At the halfway point of the walk,

Rotondo Receives Women in Business Award By Melyssa Allen Meredith College Senior Vice President for Academic Administration Denise Rotondo is one of the 2010 Women in Business Award winners. “The Triangle Business Journal” honored 26 businesswomen in the Raleigh-Durham area at the 13th annual Women in Business Awards event. “This year’s winners represent the best 8

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these flags were used to spell out Half the Sky in front of a Meredith College sign. “Today we leave a temporary mark to remind ourselves and the community that millions of women beyond our gates are suffering,” said Chaplain Stacey Pardue, who opened the event. Pardue reminded listeners that the title of the summer reading book comes from a Chinese proverb that says “women hold up half the sky.” “If you were moved by Kristof ’s account … the metaphor makes good sense,” Pardue said. “Which half needs my support? As privileged women, let us use

in our communities—achieving professional success while also contributing to social causes and raising strong families. They exemplify what the Women in Business Awards are all about,” said Charlene Grunwaldt, publisher of “The Triangle Business Journal.” Rotondo has served as dean of the School of Business and professor of business at Meredith since 2006. She is serving a term appointment as senior vice president for academic administration. As dean, Rotondo led the School of Business’ efforts to earn ac-

our hands, tools, creativity and resources to make a difference for girls and women who struggle in so many ways.” The event closed with a moment of silence during which participants reflected on their experience. Students in the First Year Experience (FYE) Program also raised money for KIVA, an organization that provides micro-loans to help the working poor establish financial independence. Learn more about KIVA at Visit summer-reading for more on the Summer Reading Program.

creditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). In 2010, Meredith joined the five percent of business schools worldwide to hold AACSB accreditation, becoming one of only two women’s colleges in the country to have earned this distinction. Prior to joining Meredith, Rotondo served as associate professor of management and associate dean of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Md. Rotondo holds a Bachelor

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of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida, and an M.B.A and Ph.D. from Florida State University. In addition to Rotondo, Meredith College MBA Program alumna Paige Humble, of Duke Raleigh Hospital, received a 2010 Women in Business award. Profiles of the honorees were featured in a Women in Business Awards special section that was published in Triangle Business Journal on August 27, 2010.

Meredith Named a Princeton Review Best in the Southeast By Melyssa Allen Meredith College is one of the best colleges in the Southeast according to the nationally known education services company, The Princeton Review. It is one of 133 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its “Best in the Southeast” section of its website feature, “2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region.” For this project, The Princeton Review asks students attending the schools to rate their own schools on several issues — from the accessibility of their professors to quality of the campus food — and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students, and their campus life. Comments from surveyed students are quoted in the school profiles on The Princeton Review site. Student comments include the following:

• “Meredith College is a place where women are given the tools and the confidence necessary to make an impact and do what they love (and not what they think they must settle for).” • The “intensive coursework” challenges students “to become the best critical thinkers they can be so that they are prepared for the world outside of school,” and “teaches young women how to be competitive in the world of today and tomorrow.” • Meredith’s “outspoken,” “fearless,” “aware,” and “independent” women are “active about doing something in their lives and in the world.” This “very tight-knit group of students” regard their education as an opportunity to “push your mind and your conventions” and “make your own way in life.” The schools in The Princeton Review’s “2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region” website section are also rated in six categories by The Princeton Review. The rating scores Meredith received include: Academics 79, Admissions Selectivity 76, Financial Aid 77, Fire Safety 77, Quality of Life 90, and Green 60. The Princeton Review explains the criteria for each rating score on its site at college-ratings.aspx. The Princeton Review does not rank the 623 colleges in its “2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list hierarchically or by region or in various categories. Visit and search for Meredith College in order to view Meredith’s full profile.

Preservation N.C. Features Meredith I.D. Project By Melyssa Allen Preservation North Carolina has featured a Meredith College interior design project on its website. Students in faculty member Lina Sibert’s Interior Design II (ID 244) class were invited by Elizabeth Sappenfield, Preservation North Carolina’s director of urban issues, to help with an ongoing renovation project in Goldsboro, N.C. The Meredith students were asked to reimagine how some of Goldsboro’s Victorian

homes could be renovated as single-family homes while maintaining historic character. “The project was a perfect fit for the class, which focuses on residential interiors,” Sibert said. Eighteen students in the class were divided into groups of three. The class developed design ideas for six historic homes in Goldsboro. They presented their work at Goldsboro’s city hall, to an audience including local officials, Preservation North Carolina members and local homeowners. The students’ designs are featured on Preservation North Carolina’s website. Visit to view their projects.

Art Faculty Member’s Sculpture Unveiled at U.S. Naval Museum By Melyssa Allen In 2009, Assistant Professor of Art Warner Hyde was selected from a national juried pool of artists and was commissioned to create a large ceramic sculpture for the U.S. Navy. The work, which commemorates all nuclear submariners involved in the Cold War, was unveiled on August 12, 2010. Hyde traveled to Groton, Conn., to the U.S. Naval and Submarine Museum for the presentation and unveiling of the sculpture. Approximately 500 people attended the ceremony, including top admirals from the U.S. Navy, Russian Navy and from other nations. These officials were together for the first time for the event. The sculpture was on display at the U.S. Naval and Submarine Museum for a month before traveling to other sites around the world, visiting more than 60 countries. M er edi t h M ag az i n e / fal l 2 010 /


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Students from Around the World Join Meredith’s Class of 2014 By Melyssa Allen


eredith College welcomed students from around the world as the Class of 2014 arrived on campus on Saturday, August 14, for Move-In Day 2010. Approximately 370 students make up the new class. The international/multicultural population of Meredith’s enrolled students nearly doubled this year. The Class of 2014 includes students from 18 different states,

and Afghanistan, Canada, China, Congo, El Salvador, Gambia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, the Netherlands, Peru and Tanzania. This class has the largest number of honors students in Meredith’s history. Fortyfour students in the first-year class joined the Honors Program. The class includes one Alumnae Legacy Scholar, three Presidential Scholars, and 20 Teaching Fellows.

Meredith College’s 10th LeaderShape session was held in May 2010

Meredith Marks 10th Anniversary of LeaderShape Program By Melyssa Allen


eredith College held its 10th campus-based LeaderShape Institute during the summer of 2010, and this milestone was celebrated by the College community during the month of September. In addition to the annual LeaderShape Vision Showcase, which put the spotlight on the 2010 participants, Meredith College invited LeaderShape graduates to attend 10

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the September 20 lecture by Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof. The LeaderShape® Institute is a 6-day leadership program designed to improve society by inspiring, developing and supporting students to “lead with integrity.” The program content for the LeaderShape® Institute reflects key leadership issues such as vision, partnerships, integrity and results.

A display of LeaderShape visions from throughout the 10 years of the program was created for the anniversary event. LeaderShape visions are defined as “well-conceived plans for change in our world.” Visit leadership-service/visions.htm to learn more, and to view the collection of Meredith LeaderShape visions from 2001-10.

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The Oaks Near Capacity for 2010-11 By Melyssa Allen

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences


he Oaks, Meredith’s apartments for juniors and seniors, is at 97% capacity during its second year. Approximately 235 students will call The Oaks home for the 2010-11 academic year. The first new residential construction at Meredith since the 1970s, The Oaks opened in August 2009. The Oaks will generate enough revenue to meet all its direct costs in this budget year, which is at least one year ahead of schedule. Residents of The Oaks say they have enjoyed the convenience of living in oncampus apartments. “I love the freedoms that come with living in The Oaks while still being able to walk to class or on-campus activities,” said Katherine Thomas, ’11. “I would definitely recommend living in the apartments to any student who is interested. Living here is so much fun and so convenient.” Brittany M. Phelps, ’11, said living in The Oaks last year was even better than she expected. “I have really enjoyed the extra space and the added facilities, and a full kitchen has

Newsmakers Erin Lindquist is part of a team that received a $494,980 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish an ecological research and education network among 12 primarily undergraduate institutions, with the network expanding over time to include additional partners. Lindquist is a co-author on the grant, and will serve on the leadership working group. Laurel Anderson, Ohio Wesleyan University associate professor of botanymicrobiology, is the network coordinator and will chair the leadership working group. Associate Professor of Theatre Steven Roten

Rachel Karaman said she and her apartment-mates have created a minifamily while living in The Oaks. “We all get along great and are best friends. Living with friends has been the highlight of the year,” said Karaman. Among the residents of The Oaks will be a number of student leaders. “For the second year in a row after a long hiatus, both the senior class president and the SGA president are living on campus in The Oaks,” said Residence

was selected to participate in the summer 2010 Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive in Washington, D.C. He was one of 60 participants chosen from hundreds of applicants. The Kennedy Center program consists of rigorous writing workshops and discussions of the art, craft and business of playwriting. Associate Professor of Mathematics Cammey Cole Manning has been named workshop director for the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM). In this role, Manning oversees AWM’s successful workshop programs by

“Having student leaders live on campus as juniors and seniors was a major part of Meredith’s decision to build on-campus apartments.”

coordinating with the workshop committees

—Residence Life Director Heidi LeCount.

Meredith College hosted The North Carolina

really been a lot of fun this year as we have tried to learn how to cook something other than ramen,” Phelps said. “We still have that sense of community on our halls and floors, but there is a little more privacy and space.” Sarah Wheeler, ’11, said in addition to being able to stay involved in the Meredith community, The Oaks residents have created their own community. “I love the fact that we, The Oaks residents, are still a part of Meredith’s community, but we are our own community as well,” Wheeler said. “We have special events just for the women living in the apartments, and even some of our rules and policies are a little different than those in the residence halls. It makes living in The Oaks special, it makes it home.”

Life Director Heidi LeCount. “Having student leaders live on campus as juniors and seniors was a major part of Meredith’s decision to build on-campus apartments.” About The Oaks

The Oaks contains 48 four bedroom/ two bath units and 30 two bedroom/ two bath units. Each unit is completely furnished, with living, dining and bedroom furniture, and appliances including washers and dryers. In keeping with Meredith’s commitment to sustainability, the apartments were built in an environmentally friendly manner; the project earned LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Visit apartments for more information.

and the AWM Executive Committee.

Collegiate Sports Information Association’s 2010 General Meeting and Workshop in June 2010. The North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) was formed in 2002. The primary focus of the organization is to better promote student-athletes from North Carolina’s colleges and universities. Meredith Sports Information Director Greg Jarvis serves on the NCCSIA’s executive board as secretary/publicist. Associate Professor of Mass Communication Doug Spero presented two seminars on journalism in the United States for the American Embassy in Bolivia this summer. The lectures, which were held at Universidad del Valle in Cochabamba, focused on ethics, media law and long-form investigations.

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Think Well By Gaye Hill

A new academic initiative at Meredith is designed to strengthen students’ learning by fostering their ability to think critically.


cross Meredith’s campus, students, faculty and staff are learning new ways to think. Although thinking is as natural to humans as breathing, it is becoming increasingly apparent that, left to our own devices, we don’t naturally think “well.” Our tendency is to allow ourselves to be swayed by personal biases, distortions and prejudices. In contrast, thinking critically requires the ability to ask meaningful questions, gather relevant information, come to reasonable conclusions and communicate such findings clearly and effectively. And while these skills are clearly needed in an academic setting, they are no less important once students graduate. Such skills are increasingly expected by employers, says Marie Sumerel, director of Meredith’s Academic and Career Planning office. “With the challenging economy of the past few years, employees have to assume more responsibilities and adapt to complexities that arise more rapidly than they did in the past. Critical thinking skills provide a foundation for the flexibility and adaptability that is required in today’s workplace,” said Sumerel.

What is PRISM?

As part of its reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Meredith was required to propose a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to enhance student learning. The QEP committee consulted with students, faculty and staff and consistently heard that students needed to develop stronger critical thinking skills. The program that emerged from that process, known as the PRISM Experience, addresses students’ learning throughout their four years at the College. PRISM stands for Purposeful Reasoning, Inquiry and Scholarship at Meredith. The program consists of several components to engage students: • a discipline-focused freshmen seminar • an infusion of critical-thinking tools and strategies into existing courses and experiences • professional development and support for faculty and staff to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of how to teach critical thinking skills. In order to develop an effective program that offers adequate opportunities for students

to learn such skills, the entire campus is engaged, even extending to this year’s campus theme, “Critical Thinking for Critical Times.” This whole-student approach is typical of Meredith, which has long emphasized learning both in and out of the classroom. “Like any skill, developing critical thinking cannot be isolated to one class or one experience. By emphasizing this skill in a more intentional way across all facets of Meredith, we believe our students will have a much more enriching college experience,” said Mark O’Dekirk, associate professor of psychology and PRISM committee member. A Necessary Trend in Higher Education

An increased emphasis on such skills is not confined to Meredith, but can be seen emerging across higher education. According to Ed Neal, the former Director of Faculty Development for UNC-Chapel Hill who led a half-day workshop this fall for Meredith faculty and staff, colleges and universities are becoming increasingly aware of consistent gaps in students’ learning.

PRISM Seminars: This fall, freshmen were offered three PRISM Seminars: The Future of Technology, Education Under Fire and Reflections of Body Image in the Media. “While we are establishing a common framework for critical thinking, we also recognize that advanced critical thinking often looks different in the various disciplines. We want our students to learn what it means to think as a mathematician, a businessperson, an artist, etc.”—Timothy Hendrix, associate professor of mathematics and member of PRISM committee 12

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Plans for the PRISM initiative include the gradual addition of PRISM seminars each year, with an ultimate goal of offering 15 different seminars by the year 2015.


purposefulreasoning reasoning purposeful

reflectivethinking thinking reflective

inquiryand andproblem-solving problem-solving inquiry

scholarship scholarship

meaningfuldecision decisionmaking making meaningful

“The recent attention to the topic seems to be related to the growing realization that America is falling behind other industrialized nations in areas that require critical and creative thinking,” said Neal. According to Neal, many college teachers continue to use the same methods by which they were taught—an instructor-centered, lecture-based pedagogy. Such methods do not promote critical thinking, though it’s not surprising that they are so widespread because Ph.D. programs have not typically provided instruction in pedagogy. Neal notes that in today’s world, where facts are continually being replaced with new information and data, critical thinking is an essential survival skill. “The absence of critical thinking is painfully apparent in American political life, where we find widespread use of logical

fallacies, ad hominem attacks on political figures, hasty generalizations and the reduction of important issues to black-and-white simplifications,” said Neal. “An informed, critical electorate is the only defense against scoundrels and demagogues.” PRISM in the Future

Plans for the PRISM initiative include the gradual addition of PRISM seminars each year, with an ultimate goal of offering 15 different seminars by the year 2015. Students will engage in critical thinking-focused experiences in upper-level classes and through experiential learning such as leadership, research and servicelearning opportunities. In addition, staff and faculty will continue the process of learning how best to help students acquire these essential skills through campus-wide

What is Critical Thinking? At Meredith, we define critical thinking as a purposeful, self-directed process in which we take charge of knowledge, use reason to propel our scholarship and solve problems, and integrate these skills into intellectual endeavors or actions. workshops, seminars and professional learning communities. According to Dean of Students Ann Gleason, PRISM directly supports Meredith’s mission of educating women to excel. “All persons need to have strong critical thinking skills to be active, engaged and informed citizens of their families, their colleges, their communities and the world,” said Gleason. M er edi t h M ag az i n e / fal l 2 010 /


Living and Learning in


Meredith’s study abroad site in Sansepolcro, Italy, offers students the opportunity to live, travel and learn in the heart of Tuscany while experiencing an authentic Italian way of life. By Melyssa Allen By Melyssa Allen


magine leaving Italian language class and immediately putting what you’ve learned to practice ordering a meal or greeting new friends in the town piazza. Or, reading about Italian World War II experiences and then visiting the sites featured in the texts. Since Fall 2009, Meredith students have enjoyed this opportunity through Meredith’s semester abroad program in Sansepolcro, Italy. Located in the heart of Tuscany, Sansepolcro provides Meredith students with an authentic Italian experience that is harder to find among all the tourists in Rome, Venice or Florence. Students live and take classes in Palazzo Alberti, a 16th-century palazzo on Sansepolcro’s main pedestrian street. Student living spaces, lounges and dining facilities are on the top floor of the palazzo while classrooms, offices, and a faculty apartment are just below, on the second floor. The College leased the site as part of an effort to increase study abroad. Meredith’s investments in study abroad have paid off, illustrated by the fact that nearly 40% of the Class of 2010 studied abroad, compared with 7.7% of the Class of 2001. While abroad, students complete a language intensive program that provides a year’s worth of Italian study in one semester. Students also take a one hour course that imparts the skills needed to be an educated, independent traveler. Another required course, Italy Today, focuses on contemporary Italian society, including politics, 14

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Location Sansepolcro

education and religion. Students then choose from a variety of electives. During Fall 2010, these included art history, educational psychology and an English course called Justice & Liberty, which explores Italy during World War II. “The mantra for all of our programs is “learn to travel and travel to learn,” said Director of International Programs Betty Webb. “Chief among the things we hope students will learn from a semester of travel and study in Italy is that people in other countries are both interestingly different and profoundly similar, shaped as our students are by their history, their geography, their culture.” 

1.5 hours outside of Florence, in the Tuscany region of Italy. Population: 20,000.

Patsy McQuaid, ’13 Entry 1: September 14, 2010: Oh the Sights and Smells of Italy

“Listening to the many ‘ciaos’ and ‘Buongiornos’ drifting in through the open windows of the Palazzo Alberti, I can hardly believe that only a week ago, I heard Italian for the first time … Sansepolcro is a beautiful town, a picture of gorgeous pale stucco, terra cotta and tile architecture. Modern supermarkets and stop lights are built next to the sturdy Roman town walls built in 1500 and ancient cathedrals, melding present and the past … Sansepolcro has already become a second home to me.”

Sansepolcro Meredith College Campus Palazzo Alberti

Palazzo Alberti Palazzo Alberti • FACT This 16th century palace was renovated to serve as Meredith’s home in Sansepolcro. Interior design students worked with Professor of Interior Design Ellen Goode on the renovation project. The palazzo features a newly restored fresco by Cherubino Alberti.

Emily Melton, ’13 Entry 3: September 21, 2010: Firenze

“Despite the many glories of Florence, I was very glad to return to the palazzo in Sansepolcro. Florence is, obviously, a big city, with many tourists, lots of noise, and tons of hustling and bustling. While there, at times I caught myself feeling almost annoyed with the swarms of tourists … In three short weeks I have grown very attached to Sansepolcro and am exceedingly grateful to call it my home.”

Janna Kukelhan, ’12 Entry 1: September 6, 2010: “La Mia Vita Italiana”

“Most of all I have loved using my Italian lessons from class with the people of Sansepolcro. Just today I was finally able to understand how much I owed for my groceries at the PAM, a local grocery store, without looking clueless, having the cashier print out the receipt, and then point to the amount owed. This small accomplishment left me feeling proud and ready to take on the world.”

Culture • FACT Sansepolcro is off the main tourist route, which is an advantage for students who are learning the Italian language and culture.

Culture 40% of Meredith college students study abroad

Classroom • FACT Students complete a year of Italian study in just one semester. In other courses, service-learning opportunities ensure that what students discover in the classroom is tested in the community.

Books that made me think By Melyssa Allen


good book can introduce unforgettable characters and take its reader to a new world. The best books are those that make the reader ponder new ideas or consider familiar themes in a new way, long after the final chapter ends. In celebration of the 2010-11 campus theme, “Critical Thinking for Critical Times,� we asked Meredith faculty and staff to share memories of books that made them think.

“Haroun and the Sea of Stories”

“Practical Ethics”

by Salman Rushdie

by Peter Singer

“Most of us parents have read traditional, classic books to our children—from ‘Pat the Bunny’ to ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’  In our family we have been blessed to have two sons who returned the favor—Jonathan and Leigh have shared their favorite titles with us parents and joined us in reading them aloud together. One of our fondest family memories is of a three-day train trip across China during which we alternated between viewing water buffalo plowing rice paddies and listening to Leigh mimic Delores Umbridge’s “hem, hem” as we read the fifth Harry Potter book aloud together. But one of the books that made me think far more than the Potter series is ‘Haroun and the Sea of Stories.’  For years Professor of English Susan Gilbert taught and recommended the serious works of Salman Rushdie— first ‘Midnight’s Children,’ eventually ‘The Satanic Verses.’  I had trouble getting started with either of those weighty tomes, so I chose as my entry point into Rushdie’s works the young adult novel that Rushdie wrote after he left his family and went into hiding when his life was threatened by Islamic fundamentalists. Haroun reminds me of Hamlet—a young man who loves his father and feels called upon to help him recover his strength and birthright. Father Rashid, the “Shah of Blah,” is a marvelous story-teller until his “story water” dries up. His son embarks on a series of ever more extravagant adventures to replenish his father’s wellspring of imagination. Along the way he is aided by a mechanical steed (Butt the Hoopoe), Mali a floating vegetative water gardener, Iff the water genie, and a host of other magical creatures. But the problems in this fantasy are very real to modern families—the difficulties of parent-child communication, the threat that growing up poses to the vibrant imagination so prevalent in our youth, the joy of time spent spinning yarns together in a family, the contributions of the arts in building a fulfilling life. This is not a book for children, but for families—one to read aloud and savor and share, one to make us think and to help us spin our own family stories. When I hear that my son Jonathan has bought and shared copies of this book with his friends, just as I have done, I know the story water is continuing to flow.”

“I picked ‘Practical Ethics’ up a couple of years after graduating from college because Peter Singer had recently joined the faculty at my alma mater, Princeton, and his arrival had generated tremendous controversy in the community. I thought I needed to read what he had written in order to understand what the fuss was all about. This is a challenging book that is nonetheless easy to read. Singer has a light touch for a philosopher, writing in a clear, accessible style, but he takes on profoundly difficult issues. How can we make morally good and consistent decisions about what to eat, how to help the poor, whether to extend a life or allow (or even hasten) death? Singer argues that we need to approach such issues systematically, and he takes the reader through his own reasoning on a wide range of ethical problems. The decisions Singer writes about are ones that we make all the time, individually and as a society, too often without critical reflection. Regardless of whether she agrees or disagrees with Singer’s arguments, a reader will come away from ‘Practical Ethics’ having thought a lot more about her own positions on some consequential problems. And that, it seems to me, is what critical thinking is all about.”

—Recommended by School of the Arts & Humanities Dean Garry Walton

“This is not a book for children, but for families—one to read aloud and savor and share, one to make us think and to help us spin our own family stories.”—Garry Walton, School of the Arts & Humanities Dean

—Recommended by Assistant Professor of History Hilary Smith

Recommendations from Meredith’s Facebook Fans A few of Meredith’s Facebook fans weighed in on books that made them think. Here’s a sampling of suggestions offered by students and alumnae.

“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett:

to do international work. Since I’m

“The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair:

“It’s an amazing book that really

already in college, I’m planning on

“It made me realize how difficult

gives a different perspective on civil

taking a gap year between my under-

circumstances can lead to the

rights.” —Crystal Sumner

graduate and graduate experiences.”

ruin of good people. It also made

—Jennifer Prince

me thankful for today’s working and living conditions.” —Allison

Summer Reading Book for this year

“The Ominvore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan: “Completely changed

made me examine the plans I have

the way I eat.” —Liz Otey

Other suggestions included The

book, Kristof recommends that high

“Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” by Annie Dillard: “We are here on the planet

Bible, “The Fountainhead” by Ayn

school students take a “gap year”

only once, and might as well get a

in between high school and college

feel for the place.” –Martha Beth

“Half The Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn: “Meredith’s

for my time after college. In the

Harmon Callis

Rand, “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver and “The Sweet By and By” by Todd Johnson. M er edi t h M ag az i n e / fal l 2 010 /


“War in Val D’Orcia: An Italian War Diary 1943-44” by Iris Origo  

“The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan “Recommended to me so many times that I could no longer not read it, Pollan’s ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ delves into one of the most basic elements of our lives. No matter whom we are or where we live, all of us eat, every day. Pollan invites us to begin thinking critically about what’s on our plate by introducing some of the political, economic, environmental and social issues hidden behind dinner. The cultivation, preparation and consumption of food boasts such beautiful traditions many places in the world, yet here in the United States, eating is often fraught with negative associations and corporate motivations. Pollan’s gentle introduction makes the issues behind eating accessible, as each of us evaluate our priorities in choosing how to feed ourselves and our families.” —Recommended by Sustainability Coordinator Laura Fieselman

“The Myth of the Paperless Office” by Abigail J. Sellen & Richard H.R. Harper “What makes this book so important is that it asks us to refrain from either 1) assuming technology will fix all of our ills or 2) fearing that technology is going to uproot our values systems. Technology is one of the many tools that we have at our disposal, and its affordances are very different than what paper or handwriting or speaking or other human forms of communication offer. Each of our ways of communicating is important ... but different. I encourage everyone to read it because ‘The Myth of the Paperless Office’ asks us to question technological determinism in ways that are both practical and calming.” —Recommended by Director of the Learning Center Carmen Christopher Caviness

“I do not read about war, but while teaching in Sansepolcro this past year, I learned that the group would visit the Tuscan manor, La Foce, which is less than two hours away and still belongs to the family of Marchesa Iris Origo, and that the students were reading her ‘Diary.’  I decided to give it a try and borrowed the book from one of the students. I’m so glad I did. The life of this well-born woman and her husband and children during these years is awe-inspiring, in the truest sense of this overused word.  Indeed, reading about the challenges of turning an area that most would view as a wasteland into a place of beauty boasting a lovely manor with fine gardens and farmlands around hooked me. But the coming of war to the area, bringing with it the confusion and danger that demanded a level of courage and sacrifice that I could only imagine, was compelling and I raced through the book as entry after entry became increasingly informative and riveting. I learned more about the war in Italy through this book than I could have learned from reading several tedious “war” books.  The war in Italy was especially brutal and long, I learned, with much more of consequence happening that I had ever realized.  When we visited the family manor and saw the fine gardens, the surrounding countryside, and the nearby cemetery where Iris Origo and her husband are buried, I felt that I knew something special about the country where I was spending time focused on learning about the natural world.  One review of the book states, “Beyond praise and above mere documentary value, ‘War in Val D’Orcia’ belongs to the literature of humanity.”  I can’t think of a better description.”       —Recommended by Professor Emerita of Biology Janice Swab

“Reading about the challenges of turning an area that most would view as a wasteland into a place of beauty boasting a lovely manor with fine gardens and farmlands around hooked me. —Janice Swab, Professor Emerita of Biology “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis “ One of the most important things that we can do in life is to try to understand why we are living and determine how we should use the time that we have. This book compels a person to consider issues related to these goals in a manner that is much different from things that most people have read or heard. C. S. Lewis was a bright, learned man who tried to use logic to govern his life. He was an atheist who decided to become a Christian. This is a book for people who think—and it gently guides you in doing so. This is a book that is about theology, but it is not theological. This is a book that is about Christian belief, but it is not a book about religion. C. S. Lewis wrote these words as radio addresses, later pamphlets, for individuals caught up in the terrible drama of the Second World War. The war made life vivid for many of these people. Should we, regardless of the conditions of our lives, not be concerned with the same issues?”     ­—Recommended by Professor of Psychology Lyn Aubrecht


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“I was interested in and motivated to read about the challenges that girls encounter when going from elementary school through middle school and high school and how the mother-daughter relationship can be key in providing a sustaining, supportive and confidence-building experience.”—Ann Gleason, Dean of Students “The Mother-Daughter Project” by SuEllen Hamkins and Renee Schultz “‘The Mother-Daughter Project’ is a book that made me think—and take action. The authors—a psychiatrist and a family therapist who are both mothers of daughters—present a vision and a framework for a healthy mother-daughter relationship that is sustained through adolescence and into emerging adulthood. As Meredith’s dean of students and, more specifically, as mother of my daughter Ellie, I was interested in and motivated to read about the challenges that girls encounter when going from elementary school through middle school and high school and how the mother-daughter relationship can be key in providing a sustaining, supportive and confidence-building experience. The purpose of the book is to empower mothers and girls, provide companionship for women and girls in a mother-daughter group, and address issues girls face early (before they get to be tougher issues). The book provides information about the challenges girls face and a framework for creating a motherdaughter group in your neighborhood or community. My friend and I created our own Mother-Daughter group in Durham in early 2009 with six mothers and seven daughters ages 7-9. We meet once a month with mothers to plan ahead for our mother-daughter meetings and then our entire group meets once a month. I recommend this book to any mother who is hoping to empower and support her daughter while also meeting with a supportive group of women who have similar goals.” —Recommended by Dean of Students Ann Gleason

“Italy’s Sorrow” By James Holland “I do not know when—or even if—I have ever read a more satisfying book than ‘Italy’s Sorrow.’ When Meredith decided to open a campus in Italy, I wanted to teach a course that would help students move past the stereotypical infatuation with all things Italian. I decided that I wanted to focus on Italy’s Jewish writers who wrote about the imposition of racial laws and the ultimate transportation of Italian citizens to concentration camps. How could that have happened in Italy?, I wanted them to wonder. So much for the Tuscan sun. War is not a subject most female students seem automatically drawn to. For them this book is perfect, however, since the story of the war is told through the narratives of those who lived through it. The balanced representation of the perspectives of all participants is truly one of the finest aspects of a very fine book.” —Recommended by Professor of English and Director of International Programs Betty Webb, ’67

“Whatever It Takes” by Paul Tough “‘Whatever it Takes’ by Paul Tough is the story of Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City. Canada’s comprehensive model for addressing issues of poverty, specifically in regards to education, is compelling and is achieving remarkable results. President Obama has funds in the federal budget to start 20 “Promise Neighborhoods” based on Canada’s model; cities throughout the country are currently in the early stages of formulating proposals for these significant grants. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in issues of education, sociology, poverty and urban planning.” —Recommended by Chaplain Stacy Pardue

Meredith College Alumnae Book Club Want more book suggestions? Read along with the Meredith College Alumnae Book Club. This year’s series includes the following selections for 2011: January: “Moloka’I” by Alan Brennert February: “Prodigal Summer” by Barbara Kingsolver March: “The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake April: “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett May: “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck The club read “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery in October, “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch in November, and “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead in December.  For more information, please contact the Office of Alumnae & Parent Relations at or (919) 760-8548.

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lumnae Connection Notes and news for Meredith alumnae

Highlights Alumna Profile: Karen Wells, ’98....... 25 Then and Now: Move in Day............ 27 Alumna Profile: Alma Ammons Hoffmann, ’89........... ............... 28 Where in the World is Meredith?....... 29 Alumna Profile: Amanda Beasley, ’04......31

Stay Connected!

Have you provided an email address to Meredith? Email communication is one of the best ways to stay connected to your alma mater. If you’d like to receive issues of The Lux, Meredith’s electronic newsletter, find out about chapter events in your area, or get updates on the presidential search and other campus news, make sure Meredith has your email address. To update your contact information, contact the Office of Alumnae & Parent Relations by phone at (919) 760-8548, by email at or complete the online form at information-change.htm.


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Get Involved in Your Local Alumnae Chapter


he fall was bustling with alumnae chapter events held around the country. North, South, East or West, there was probably an alumnae event held in your area. After sponsoring nearly 40 chapter events this fall, the Office of Alumnae & Parent Relations is close to reaching the institutional goal of hosting 60 regional chapter events during the 2010-11 academic year. This past fall, gatherings included a series of farewell events to honor the retirement of President Maureen Hartford, College updates from various campus leaders, an Oktoberfest celebration, a tapas night, an art class where participants left with a rendering of Johnson Hall, and dinners or lunches at local restaurants. Lyda Fontes Ellis, ’01, a chapter leader in Denver, Colo., notes that, “Living in Colorado puts a lot of distance between me and Meredith. My experience with the alumnae chapter brings a connection with other alumnae and makes that distance seem shorter. And I love meeting with other alumnae—it’s like having my own piece of Meredith right here in Colorado!” Meredith alumnae are well represented around the country. We have more than 30 chapters in 12 different states. If you are interested in meeting and interacting with other Meredith alumnae in your area, contact the chapter leader or staff liaison listed on our website and find out how you can get involved ( Most chapters meet several times a year and engage in a wide range of educational, social and service activities. If you live in an area without an alumnae chapter and you would be interested in starting a chapter, we’d love to help you. Please contact our office at (919) 760-8548 or for more information. We hope to see you very soon at your local chapter event!

Members of the Central Wake County Alumnae Chapter display their paintings of Johnson Hall.

class notes Compiled by the Office of Alumnae & Parent Relations from June 2010 – September 20, 2010. Information may be edited for space limitations and content restrictions. Submit class notes to your class agent, online at, by email at, by fax (919) 760-2818, or by phone to the Office of Alumnae and Parent Relations at (919) 760-8548. Deadline for the Spring 2011 issue is January 21, 2011. Submissions received after this date will appear in the Summer 2011 issue.



still lives in Randleman, N.C., and remains very active in her church and enjoys spending time with her family.

by Governor Beverly Perdue to the North Carolina Utilities Commission to fill a term that expires in June 2013. Jane Guion Kanipe received NCASFAA’s Award of Merit recognizing her important contributions to the organization and the financial aid profession. Sarah Parker Martin is happy to announce that she now has two granddaughters at Meredith, one who is a senior and one who is a freshman.

Hilda Hamilton Pickard writes to tell us that she


Lois Virginia Edinger was featured in The Greens-

boro News Record in an article titled “A Life Dedicated to Teaching,” which highlighted her career as an educator. The article mentioned her many accomplishments including receiving the H. Council Trenholm Award for improvement of Human Relations and the ETA State Founders Award for her ‘leadership and outstanding contributions to the quality of human life’.


Peggy Haywood, now Peggy Gregory Jones,

writes that she and her husband are living happily together in Florence, S.C.


Mary Taylor Dixon would like to announce the birth of her great grandson. His mother, Dixon’s granddaughter, is also a Meredith alumna.

Lucy Taylor Allen has recently been appointed


Nancy Goddard and her husband are both retired and watch their grandson two days a week. Their daughter is working as a fourth grade teacher.


Janet Morris Belvin is teaching seventh grade

English in Fairfax Station, Va., She is married to an attorney, has three grown children and one granddaughter. Peggy Timmerman Carter and her husband have lived in Pendleton since 1981. They

Do you remember how it felt to compete in Cornhuskin’?


Friendly competition was a defining part of your college experience—and Meredith women love to win!


Conner and Jackie Young Jones all met at Jones’

This year, you can reconnect with your class rivalry. Choose to Be One in a Million and show that your class is still the best! Your gift, no matter the size, will increase your class giving rate and help us reach our million dollar goal.

home in Beaufort, N.C., for a reunion. They write that they are grateful for their lasting friendships that developed while at Meredith College.

Check out your current class giving rate and make a gift online at

Betsy Barden Tharrington continues to live in Vienna, Va., near her daughter and two grandchildren.

Sarah Shoaf Gamble, Sue Holland Rodgers, Judy Young James, Letitia Blount Bratton, Ann Taylor


have two grown sons, one in Pendleton and one in California. She and her husband enjoy their laidback life in a small, friendly town and have taken trips in Montana for the last several years. Jaime Thomas Combs is working as an officer manager at a Raleigh dermatology center. Her daughter lives in Florida and has two children. Margaret Martin Conley moved to Wilmington in 2006 after many years of living in Frederick, Md. She has three grown children, two granddogs and one grandcat, and works part-time for volunteer services at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Sue Hammons Cook retired in 2006 from the Wake County Public School System but went back part-time as a reading teacher. She has two grown children with three grandchildren. She has recently remodeled her kitchen, loves doing yard work and enjoys having more time to spend with family and friends. Jeanne Spach Cox and her husband are enjoying their free time at Pine Knoll Shores, N.C. Their daughter recently had their first grandchild in August, 2009. Their son was married in Puerto Rico in May.

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Janet Jones Kapur has worked with the federal

government for 42 years and is currently working at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a medical technologist.

Be One in a Million. Bring back the rivalry. Win. M er edi t h M ag az i n e / fa l l 2 010 /


alumnae Connection Meredith Alumnae Store—Coming Soon! The Office of Alumnae & Parent Relations is pleased to announce that we will be launching a new online store. Alumnae and parents will be able to shop online and have Meredith merchandise delivered right to their door. Also, we are now offering dog collars and official Meredith College Vineyard Vines totes and ties. To place an order, contact the Office of Alumnae & Parent Relations at (919) 760-8548 or

Phyllis Jeffreys Culbreth manages her family

automotive dealership in Louisburg, N.C. She and her husband have three grown daughters and they enjoy spending time at Atlantic Beach. She writes that she misses “all of those bridge games.” Susan Soloway Daul has been married for 40 years and has three incredible children. She has worked as an artist for the last 20 years and enjoys gardening and Zumba (dancing). Betty Bryant Denison taught high school math for six years in Tennessee and then taught at Roane State Community College in Oak Ridge for 21 years where she retired as associate professor. She is now the owner and operator of Curves in Knoxville, Tenn. Nancy Yates Dove retired in 2000 after 30 years with Columbus County Schools. She currently serves as an officer with the NSDAR, is chairman of the Chadbourn Planning and Zoning Board, and a board member of the Columbus County Literacy Council. She is an active member of Piney Forest Church and an assistant secretary for the Columbus County GOP. She and her husband are the owners of Southern Designs and Interior. Alicia Butler Eller is a retired Spanish teacher and now teaches part-time at Louisburg College. In addition, she is a correspondent for The Franklin Times, Children’s Music Director at Louisburg UMC, a member of the Chancel Chimers, and a member of the choir. She is a member of the Louisburg School of Dance, teaches guitar lessons, works with the Boys and Girls Club and teaches Spanish at the UMC preschool. Peggy Williams Elmore has been married for 38 years and has lived 24

/ Meredith M a ga z i ne / fa l l 2 0 10

in Charlotte for 23 years. She has been a realtor for over 25 years, is very active in her church and has started painting again. Elmore’s son is a recent graduate of Auburn. Paula Tudor Gilbert has been married 41 years. She and her husband have two daughters and two grandchildren. Gilbert has been a casework supervisor for Crisis Assistance Ministry for 17 years and is an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Lincolnton, N.C. Nancy Walters Hardee retired after 35 years of teaching high school math in Greenville, N.C. She has three grown children and two grandchildren and spends as much time as possible at Emerald Isle. Cheryl Heedick is retired and living in Charlotte. She enjoys traveling in Greece, France and Italy. She also plays lots of bridge and writes that it “must be a hold-over from her Meredith days”. Belinda Smith Helms has been married for 42 years. She and her husband are very active in the lives of their two daughters and grandchildren. Brenda spends time volunteering in church and community activities. For the past 12 years she has been tutoring and mentoring elementary school students in a public housing area in Asheboro. Lou Pearce Hillenbrand graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1973. She taught special education for eleven years followed by four- and six-year-olds for two years. She then went to massage school and has been using these talents for the last 20 years with her local senior community, mental health facility and wellness center in Columbus. She has two grown children and is patiently waiting for a first grandchild.

Anne Morris Hinson is retired and keeps busy travelling, gardening, bicycling, jet skiing and reading. She also does volunteer work with the Dolly Parton Imagination Book project. Ann Euliss Holt is retired from Music Ministry. She teaches piano lessons in Indian Land, S.C., and is the primary care giver for her 89-year-old mother. She married her high school sweetheart in 2008 and has three grown children. Kathy Parrish Horton is retired after 30 years of teaching. In 2004 she moved to a new house in Clemmons, N.C. Horton has three grown children and three grandchildren. Brenda Parks Hughes is a film producer whose latest documentary, N.C. Experiences in WWII, aired on UNC-TV in November 2010. Lynda Barker Imhoff works with the N.C. Bar Association and leads a Bible study at the N.C. Correctional Institute for Women in Raleigh. She is the proud grandmother of six. Evelyn Godwin Kientz retired from her local community college and worked for three years as a school counselor for a private school for disadvantaged and at-risk teen girls. She loves gardening, making window treatments, quilting and her two grandchildren. Dianne Yelton Kinard retired in 2010 after working for 35 years as a reading specialist in Alexandria, Va. She has three grown sons and spends as much leisure time as possible at their vacation home in North Myrtle Beach. Rita Cavney Mangum is working as a minister of Christian education at Bible Missionary Baptist Church in Wilson, N.C. Jeannie Lindsay Martin helps out in her husband’s office. They keep their grandchildren whenever called upon and like to spend time at the beach and biking the Raleigh greenways. Cindy Griffith McEnery worked at First Union Bank in Charlotte for six years. The next 31 years were spent at IBM where she was responsible for marketing for colleges and universities in the East. She and her husband now enjoy travelling and spending time in their cabin in Banner Elk, N.C. Her son is an attorney in Raleigh and daughter is a professional actress. McEnery does lots of volunteer work in Raleigh and is on the board of The Lost Colony. Gary Clarke McInnis is retired from the Wake County Public Schools System but “still subs when she wants to”. She is active at her church, where she is a Sunday school teacher, members of the handbell choir and involved in women’s group activities. McInnis is also a member of a line dancing team that has won two second place medals. Ann Brown Montgomery is married with two children. Montgomery retired from teaching fifth grade but is presently director of White Memorial Weekday School in Raleigh. She loves to knit and is learning to crochet from an 8 year-old. Dwan Thomas Moore has been married for 35 blissful

alumnae Connection years. She and her husband have one daughter who is a Duke grad and is working on her doctorate at Emory. Moore breeds and shows Arabian horses and has won regional and national honors. She also breeds border collies and is currently working for the NC Department of Agriculture. Suzanne George Palmer retired in 2008 as an educator; she had been a NC Board Certified Teacher since 1999. Currently Palmer is one of five NCCSI Coordinators coordinating efforts to support teachers pursuing National Board Certification. Her daughter is a jewelry designer and son is a deputy sheriff and emergency coordinator in Chowan County. Carolyn Langhorne Pittman has been married for 40 years and works with her husband at Prudential York Simpson Underwood realtors. Their daughter, who lives in Raleigh, gave them their first grandchild this year. Their son also lives in Raleigh. Sharon Ray has just completed 40 years of teaching and plans to teach 20 more. She teaches at Oneness-Family School in Maryland. The school is a progressive, holistic, mind, body and spirit school with emphasis on the Montessori, Waldorf philosophies as well as cooperation, conflict-resolution, arts, academics, yoga and meditation. Jean Wolf Robb has been married for 37 years. She and her husband are parents of four children and are founding members of Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church in Suffolk, Va. After teaching for eight years, Robb became a full time mother and caregiver for her family and her mother. Her hobbies are quilting, knitting and sewing. Cherie Gulley Rose does computer work for her husband in Nashville, N.C. They have three married daughters, three granddaughters and five grandsons. Emma Ruth Bartholomew Stewart continues to do bookkeeping for her husband’s dental office in Louisburg, N.C. This is her 18th year on the Louisburg Town Council. She has two grown sons and enjoys reading, walking and swimming. Anne Holloway Underwood took eight women, including classmates Jeannie Martin Lindsey and Sharon Ray, to a villa in Tuscany this past summer. Mary Turner Wannamaker has been retired for 17 years and has gotten used to a “real life of leisure on the ruh-va” in Charlotte where she golfs, grows vegetables and spoils three great nephews rotten. Ann Carroll Ward is teaching first grade in Gastonia, N.C. She loves to garden and is involved in her church as well as learning how to maneuver through Facebook. Eva Neel Wardrup spent almost 20 years as a social worker in N.C. and 20 years as a librarian in Georgia. She has been married for 41 years and is active in her church. Wardrup and her husband have two sons and a grandson and have taken many trips to Europe, Bermuda and Mexico.

MBA Alumna Named Vice President at McDonald’s USA By Melyssa Allen


n alumna of Meredith’s MBA program is helping develop the menu strategy of the world’s largest fast food restaurant chain. Karen Wells, ’98, was promoted to vice president, U.S. nutrition and menu strategy, at McDonald’s USA in July 2010. In this new role, Wells is responsible for all aspects of U.S. menu innovation as well as nutrition strategy for McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants. Wells oversees a staff of registered dietitians, culinary, food and beverage scientists, and other menu experts responsible for designing McDonald’s menu. “My goal is to continue to support our brand mission to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink,” Wells said. “Now, with the addition of our nutrition team of registered dietitians, which complements our existing talented culinary experts, food scientists, and marketing and operations professionals, it will only further enhance our ability to evolve our menu to meet the changing nutritional needs of our customers.” Wells says her team shapes McDonald’s customer experiences and the food that feeds more than 27 million people a day. One example is the chain’s recent introduction of Real Fruit Smoothies. “We do not take this task lightly. We work Karen Wells, ’98 MBA closely with our customers to develop new food and beverage choices that meet their evolving needs as well as create restaurant innovation that delights them,” said Wells. “It is extremely rewarding for our entire team.” Serving as a mentor to her team members is also rewarding to Wells. “I consider my role as a leader and a coach as a unique opportunity to provide support for others’ personal and professional goals,” she said. “So many people have done and continue to do that for me, and I consider it an honor to help others in that same way.” Attending Meredith inspired Wells as a woman business leader. “The experience I gained working side by side with other women learning from each other, challenging each other and supporting each other catapulted my appreciation for women in business,” Wells said. “It began my continued commitment to help, advocate, support and learn from my women colleagues as we all pursue our professional and personal goals. As a result, I am a member of McDonald’s Women’s Leadership Network as well as the McDonald’s Global Women’s Network Core Team. Wells said she treasures the time she spent at Meredith pursuing an MBA. “That experience has certainly supported my career goals by providing a sound foundation for my continued pursuit of learning,” Wells said. “The principles and discipline I learned while there have assisted in helping me navigate successful transitions into various functions.” 

M er edi t h M ag az i n e / fal l 2 010 /


alumnae Connection Ruth Talton Watson and her husband have two grown children and one granddaughter born in March 2010. Ruth works part-time for a Raleigh CPA firm and had her “15 minutes of fame” when she was in an article in Reader’s Digest in 2008 about “sleepy drivers”. Karen Watson Watts has retired as a high school principal in Charlotte and enjoys gardening, bridge and book clubs. Mary Anne Westphal retired from Gainesville, Fla., Regional Utilities in 2000. She and her husband are now involved in the BioMat Company selling medical devices to alternative and anti-aging physicians. Bonnie Campbell Whitesell is the media coordinator at Princeton Middle and High Schools and librarian for Princeton Public Library. She has three children and two grandchildren. Cathy Moran Winstead is retired after 28 years with the Wake County Public Schools System and does occasional substitute teaching at a Cary elementary school. Winstead and her husband have been married over 41 years and are enjoying their two grandchildren who live two blocks away. They also enjoy spending time in Banner Elk at their mountain retreat on Sugar Mountain. Sophia McLawhorn Yarborough and her husband enjoy travelling through the U.S. Their son graduated from the University of Colorado in Denver this spring.

the field. Holly Waddell Marchisello is working as the pharmacy manager at Kerr Drug in Four Oaks, N.C. Also, she and her husband have three grandsons.


in the real estate by Triangle Business Leader Magazine which recognizes outstanding achievement and contributions to the Triangle business community.

Margaret Beale Eppes writes that she is a new grandmother twice in five months. She has one new grandson and one new granddaughter. Sherrill Doggett-Lockhart Gaye has been appointed to the Board of Advisors for Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, VA. In addition, she is serving as a chairperson for the Metro DC Saint Paul’s College Scholarship Fundraising Committee.


In addition to being classmates, Sherri Houchens Blight and Barbara Morton Marsh are now in-laws! Blight’s daughter married Marsh’s son this past May.


Aurelia Blount Roller, Karen Britt Peeler, Janet Koonce Dumas, Susan Willetts Roberts and Linza Layman Coffee enjoyed a weekend at Sunset Beach, N.C., in March.


Anne Loy is retiring from her position of school social

worker at Mary Scroggs Elementary School in Chapel Hill. She has worked with children for the last 30 years and was recently recognized by the NC School Social Workers Association for her leadership and service in 26

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Susan Shackelford Baker works in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Colorado State University. Baker works with graduate students, manages research projects and administers a statewide program through Cooperative Extension.


Ginger Woodard is currently working as an associ-

ate dean of the College of Human Ecology at East Carolina University. She is also tenured associate professor in the Department of Interior Design and Merchandising.


Liza Walters Weidle has been selected to represent North Carolina in the Parenting Magazine Mom Congress. She is now blogging about her experiences with Parenting Magazine.


Kellie Falk-Tillett was awarded the Impact Award


Sharon McGee Sutor received her Master’s of

Education degree as a Reading Specialist from UNCGreensboro. Sutor and her family have moved from Lexington, N.C., to Trussville, Ala.


Kelly Greene Groce is working as the first female senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, N.C. Michelle Tutherow Johnson works as a business education teacher at North Lincoln High School in Lincolnton, N.C.


Elisabeth Willson Brown is living in Knoxville,

Tenn., and working as the economic development coordinator for the Oak Ridge Economic Partnership in Oak Ridge, Tenn. She is also a busy mom of one son and one daughter.


Amy Carter Bland has been selected for the N.C. Prin-

cipal Fellows Scholarship and will begin her graduate studies this fall at Appalachian State University.


Kelly Falls Miller works as a district attorney in

Charlotte to prosecute sex offenders. In May 2010, she received a national award from the U.S. Attorney General for her work on a recent case.


Hope Murdock has been elected to serve as the

2010-11 Chair of the Durham County Women’s Commission. Karen Rouse O’Dwyer (MBA graduate) recently joined Fonville Morisey as a full-time sales associate in the Chapel Hill office.


Peggy Leigh Barbee just celebrated the birth of

her fourth grandchild in April, 2010. Sheila Barrett Barnes recently completed a Masters in Public

Administration from Strayer University. In addition, Barnes was inducted into the District of Columbia Gamma Chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society. Megan Carney met up with Joy Little Pletcher this past summer in Munich, Germany. Lisa Bamford Cooper works for Creative Soul School of Modern Music in Texas and has also worked as a worship leader for both local churches and national conferences. Cooper has recorded and toured with Christian artists such as Michael W. Smith and Mercy Me. Amanda Austin Stratton is working as a project manager for Cushman & Wakefield.


Karen Smith Wells (MBA graduate) was named vice president for U.S. nutrition and menu strategy for McDonalds, USA. In this role, she will be responsible for McDonalds’ U.S. menu innovations as well as their nutrition strategy. (See alumna profile page 25 for more).


Michelle Annette Duda has been promoted to

assistant attorney general II for the Commonwealth of Virginia and represents the Virginia Department of Social Services, Division of Child Support and Enforcement. Duda is the lead attorney for the Norfolk office. Christine Miller Lowder graduated from UNC-Pembroke in May 2010 with a Master’s in Education for school counseling.


Kate Breen is completing her second year of busi-

ness school at the Kenan Flagler School of Business at UNC-Chapel Hill. Leslie Maxwell is attending graduate school at George Mason University. Ericka

Lee Wilkins is currently living in Raleigh, N.C., and is the owner and director of the Aria School of Music.


Phyllis Bryant graduated from Duke University with

a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies in May of 2010. On December 1, 2010, she celebrated 10 years of life with the recipient of her 2002 kidney donation. Sarah Wood Swihart was named world languages department chair at Hayfield Secondary School in Fairfax County, Va., where she works as a French teacher.



alumnae Connection

Move-In Day 1960s


Laura Bates is currently working as the director of student involvement and campus activities at Truman State University. Whitney Crowder has been promoted to the assistant vice president with BB&T. Julia Diez d’Aux earned her Master’s in International Education and Human Development from the George Washington University and will be traveling to Bangladesh to teach at the Asian University for Women. April Brown Erichsen graduated from UNC-Wilmington with a Master’s of Science in Accountancy in June 2010. She has completed the requirements to obtain her CPA licensure in August, 2010 and is working as an associate for Internal Audit with PPD in Wilmington.


Holly Broadbent Horvat is an RN at Harborview

Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.

Move-In Day 2010




Tara Wahl Burgon is an RN in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Charlotte Burton is a school counselor at Cape Hatteras Elementary in Dare County. Rachel Chilcot Findley is the director of child nutrition services for Johnston County Schools. Jeanne Valentine Ford is a dental hygienist at Lane and Associates. Katie Henderson is now working as an interior designer for Daly Seven, Inc. Courtney Morris is a third grade teacher at Carter Community Charter School. Hannah Pollet Edens completed her Master’s of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at UNC-Chapel Hill and is now working as a nutritionist at the Guilford County Health Department. Christi McKee Standley is an undergraduate program coordinator at NC State University. Leslie van den Berg is a 1st grade teacher and high school dance troupe coach at Concordia International School in Shanghai, China. Casey Wilson received her Master of Business Administration from Campbell University. She is working an accountant and team leader for Oxford University Press in Cary, NC.

M er edi t h M ag az i n e / fa l l 2 010 /


alumnae Connection

M.Ed. Graduate Teaches Children to “Write More” By Kristi Eaves-McLennan


lma Ammons Hoffmann, ’89, owner and founder of Write More Education Resources, is on a mission to teach others how to write–and to prove to them that it’s possible for writing to be fun. After earning a B.A. in education from UNC-Chapel Hill, Hoffmann taught elementary school for nearly 10 years before starting her company, which sells products aimed at supporting teachers and parents in teaching children how to write. She founded the company after realizing that teachers and parents didn’t have access to enough information about how to teach good writing skills. Hoffmann says she first started thinking about the importance of learning how to teach writing after she finished her first year of teaching. A fifth grade teacher at the time, Hoffmann recalls a mom approaching her on the last day of school. “She told me that I’d done a pretty good job with her son,” Hoffmann said. “But she also said, ‘It’s a shame you never taught Billy how to write.’’ Hoffmann says she realized then that she’d never really learned how to teach writing. “Somehow, I’d missed that lesson on my way to becoming a teacher,” Hoffmann says. “I began wondering how many other teachers had missed that lesson, too.” She began buying books on how to teach writing and attended conferences and workshops on the subject, and eventually gained Alma Ammons Hoffmann, ’89 enough knowledge and expertise to write her own book, “Writing Works,” which was published in 1996. Write More Education Resources evolved from the success of Hoffmann’s book and her experiences leading continuing education classes at Meredith. Hoffmann, who earned her M.Ed. in reading from Meredith, says the “great professors” and Meredith’s “good name in the field of education” have contributed to her success. “Having a degree from Meredith gives you instant credibility among educators,” she says. In addition to educational products and programs, Write More Education Resources offers track out, after school and summer camps for children in second through sixth grade. The company now has international schools and clients seeking the resources and guides it offers to support the success of young writers. Teaching children how to write continues to be a universal challenge facing parents and educators, Hoffmann says. “Whether you’re a teacher in Ohio, a principal in Kentucky or a parent in North Carolina, we’re all trying to do the same thing,” she says. For more information about Write More Education Resources, visit


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Stacy Cabeen Buck earned a Master of Arts in

reading education from Appalachian State University in August 2010. Becca Lee Taylor works as a Family and Consumer Sciences interior design teacher at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, N.C.


Leigh Ann Alford is working as a social studies

teacher at Knightdale High School. Nichole Ecklund Miller is working as a More at Four lead teacher at the Methodist Home for Children. Meredith Pugh is living in Columbus, Ohio and has completed her first year of service with AmeriCorps with the YWCA Family Center. Pugh works with homeless families and also runs an after school program for teens.


Nicolette Baglio is working for the ‘Pretty In Pink Foundation’ which is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance for uninsured and underinsured North Carolinians diagnosed with breast cancer. Bethany Burriss is working for the Chatham County Department of Social Services. Stephanie Farmer has accepted a new job as the marketing and communications coordinator at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Va. Lauren Fletcher Jacumin is currently working as a nutritionist at the Gaston County Health Department. Kelly Bradshaw Stanforth is a second year math teacher at South Johnson High in Four Oaks, N.C.


The Class of 2010 has several members who are living and working abroad. Kerianne Bethea and Jessica Dean are in Spain, and Virginia Claire Tharrington and Pamela Vanias are in China.

MARRIAGE 1946 Peggy Gregory to Morris Jones, 6/26/10.

1980 Wendy Evans to Richard Wadhams, 5/29/10.

1989 Michelle Tutherow to Mark Johnson, 1/11/09.

1997 Sharon Rushing to Dane Moore, 6/11/10.

1999 Kindra Sharrard to Patrick Ingram, 3/27/10.

alumnae Connection 2000 Christina Hazelwood to Raymond Carrino, Jr., 6/26/10. Shari Roberts to Bryan Stilley, 10/4/08.

Where in the World is Meredith?


Lindsey Jones, ’04, worked with a group of women leaders from a women’s vegetable growers association in Sierra Leone. The association is composed of 25 smaller women’s cooperatives in the northern part of the country. Jointly they are able to access land and quality seeds and tools to grow high quality crops Lindsey Jones, ’04, in and generate their own Sierra Leone. income. Jones works for an organization called ACDI/ VOCA based in Washington D.C., and provides technical assistance, grants and tools to agricultural groups like this one. For more information, go to

Melissa Favreau to Gregory Mathe, 6/19/10. Susan Ames to Bryce Webster, 8/15/09.

2002 Jennifer Barber to David Lewington Crane, 6/26/10. Kathryn Vreeland to Martin J. Locklear, II, 7/27/10.

2003 Mary Katherine Pittman to Rick Preston, 7/27/09.

2004 Lauren Broere to August Husmillo, 1/23/10.

2005 Holly Schmidt to Seth Akkerman, 4/24/10. Jeanne Valentine to John Ford, 7/14/04. Lauren Midgett

to Brandon Williams, 9/18/10. Hannah Pollet to Chas Edens, 9/18/10. Rebecca Leigh Rudder to John Sykes, 7/17/10. Blair Wannamaker to Jorge Archila, 4/10/10.

2006 Ashley Bohn to Josh Roberson, 2/7/09. Lindsey French to Neal Parnell, 6/26/10. Patricia Perry to

in ere Wh is orld h? w e edit th Mer

Help us share “Where in the World” Meredith alumnae have been. The next time you make plans to travel, request a Meredith t-shirt and then submit a photo of yourself wearing the shirt. To request a shirt, contact the Alumnae Office at (919) 760-8548 or

Joseph Upchurch, 6/11/10.

2007 Stacy Cabeen to William Buck, 9/4/07. Ashley Hooks to Joey Copersito, 4/16/10. Jessica Pike to Matthew Currin, 6/19/10. Catherine Phifer Belton to Jonathan Hogan, 5/22/10. Becca Lee to Jacob Taylor, 8/16/08. Dawn Vanderburg to Alec Lockavitch, 6/5/10. Jessica Lesley Camlin to Spiro Manolas, 10/9/10. Lauren Powers to Chandler Hair, 9/4/10. Meredith Gilliam to Jerry D. Richardson, Jr., 5/22/10. Mary Eleanor Stevens to Benjamin Webb, 7/31/10.

2008 Rosanna Harrell to Marcus Thomas, 3/27/10. Melissa Bland to Chris Turner, 6/12/10.

2009 Lauren Fletcher to Kyle Jacumin on 4/17/10. Nellary Branch to Christopher Moody, 6/19/10. Catherine Davis to Jamie Nickerson, 10/15/09. Lauren Haithcock to Matthew Ross, 5/21/10. Kelly Bradshaw to Trent Stanforth, 8/1/09.

2010 Katherine Brown to Gregory Tompkins, 6/12/10. Misty Hyde to Kelly Start Ryan King, 7/17/10. Elizabeth Pasi to Wes Wright, 6/5/10.

BIRTHS 1992 Mary Adcock Pearce, a son, Christopher Andrew,

7/8/10. Kelli Craig Snyder, a son, Michael Jeffrey, 8/4/10.

daughter, Eleanor Grace, 7/5/09. Cristina Elizabeth Rice Savina, a daughter and a son, Ava Redfield

and Geoffrey Cade, 4/27/10.


McArthur, 5/26/10. Kimberly Caldwell Wagner, a daughter, Molly Kay, 6/9/10.

Kristye Koontz Brackett, a son, McKay Hovis, 5/15/10. Sierra Ferrell Fulton, a son, Oliver Hayes, 7/6/09. Jennifer House Brockenfelt, a daughter, Aubrey Kathleen, 4/5/10. Sharon Rushing Moore, a daughter, Delanie Jade, 6/12/10. Patricia Truman Perkoski, a daughter, Anna Catherine, 2/25/10.



1993 Georgia Moyer Davis, a daughter, Campbell

Tracey Rawls Preslan, a daughter, Macey Wynne,

4/26/10. Nancy Bradley Thompson, a daughter, Molly Bryan, 5/30/10.

1995 Rebecca Sweeney Anderson, a daughter, Kathryn

Lacey, 7/12/10. Valerie Cline, a son, Aidan James, 7/9/10. Heather Johnson McCullen, a daughter, Mary Brown, 9/1/10.

1996 Shauna March King, a daughter, Katherine Mary, 12/31/09. Jennifer Roberson Kiser, a daughter, Lillian Grace, 11/4/09. Shelly Barrick Parsons, a

Vittoria Trojer, a son, Alessandro Mauro, 8/2/09.

1999 Anna King Bedford, a daughter, Claire Allison, 1/26/10. Shannon MacFarlane Byers, a son, Luke Cowan, 8/18/10. Saura Baker Frazier, a son, Grant Ryan, 6/15/10. Christine Miller Lowder, a son, Christopher Joel, Jr., 7/7/10. Heather Harris Pasteur, a son, Nathan Drew, 7/29/10. April Hardison Perdue, a daughter, Hadley Hardison, 4/22/10.

2000 Heather Stephenson Darling, a son, Collin

Patrick, 6/10/10. Leigh Anna Eason Farrell, a M er edi t h M ag az i n e / fal l 2 010 /


alumnae Connection




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Snow days were the best. One of my fondest college memories was when it snowed during my freshman year. Raleigh was buried in several feet of snow and the entire campus was shut down. A big group of us decided to walk down Hillsborough Street. There were Meredith and NC State students running around, making snowmen, having snowball fights and hanging out. Everything was covered in snow; we had such a great time on our snow days!” —Leah Harris Rucker, ’85

alumnae Connection daughter, Hannah Jean, 7/4/2010. Melinda Burns Klinger, a son, Haden Paul, 4/2/10. Heather Quinn Spesshardt, a son, Fletcher Brant, 8/25/10. Shari Roberts Stilley, a son, Wirt Weston Stilley, III,

2/23/10. Frankie Epps Taylor, a daughter, Joanna Grace, 2/25/10.

2001 Brooke Bailey Boyle, a son, Bailey James, 8/31/10. Sarah Baluss Goins, a daughter, Elizabeth “Betsy” Everett, 6/4/10. Elizabeth Hamilton McLamb, three sons, Austin Thomas, Currin William and Lee Hamilton, 7/14/10. Ericka Lee Wilkins, a daughter, Deja Lauralee, 10/17/09.

2002 Lori Beck Blackley, a daughter, Taylor Elizabeth, 11/24/09. Lisa Tran Hicks, a daughter, Mackenzie Alison, 4/3/10. Kristina Wood Ray, a daughter, Avery Grace, 10/28/09. Kay Williams Thompson, a son, Daniel Lee, 3/14/08 and a son, Jack Dossie, 12/19/09. Sarah Edwards Wilson, a daughter, Mary Charlotte, 5/17/10.

2003 Tara Baker Dew, twins, a son, Samuel David and a

daughter, Samantha Lynn, 2/27/10. Lindsey Moorefield Howard, a daughter, Morgan Baylor, 2/28/10. Jennie Frazier Mitchell, a son, Cole Robert, 7/27/10. Nichole Cantwell Olbertz, a daughter, Payton Claire, 4/11/10. Mary Katherine Pittman Preston, a son, James Henry, 8/25/10. Caroline Mercer Sweezy, a son, Garrett Lee, 9/5/10.

2004 Jamie Morris Firebaugh, a daughter, Cameron

Blake, 6/17/10. Whitney Pence Rodgers, a daughter, Emma Claire Louise, 2/18/10. Stephanie Doyon Spencer, a daughter, Carleigh Grace, 8/13/10.

2005 Kendra Keech Alexander, a son, Brody Warren,

7/26/10. Leigh Ann Stanley Bratcher, a son, Ethan McCoy, 9/11/09. Summer McClanahan Carter, a daughter, Natalie Noelle, 9/16/09. Rachel Chilcot Findley, a daughter, Sophia Rose, on 3/30/10. Carmella Blakney Melton, a daughter, Jayla Denise, 7/3/10. Emily Munden Mountford, a daughter, Kenden Mia, 8/5/10.

2006 Ashley Bohn Roberts, a son, Levi James, 7/16/09. Genevieve Sawyer Dozier, a son, Tucker Aston,

6/2/10. Sarah King Krizan, a son, Patrick John, 4/3/10. Hunter Kuszmaul Misenis, a son, Riley

Alumna Embarks on Global Adventure By Melyssa Allen


fter four years of advising Meredith College students on their study abroad options, Amanda Beasley, ’04, has left her role as assistant director of international programs to put her advice into practice. Beasley embarked on a global adventure in August 2010, and will travel the world for at least a year. “Travel is something I’m passionate about. There are no guarantees of a long life or time to travel during retirement, so why not do it while you can if you have the opportunity?,” Beasley said. An experienced study abroad professional, Beasley first caught the travel bug on a high school tour of four European countries. As a Meredith student, she participated in the Meredith Abroad program to Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and in a Borderlinks semester program along the U.S./Mexico border. After graduation she spent a year in New Zealand and Australia. Beasley will visit at least 28 countries. Italy and Australia are the only two that she’s visited before. She built an itinerary that also includes Scandinavia, Greece, Morocco, Egypt, Peru, Antarctica, Japan, China and more. One leg of her journey will be a guided tour from Kenya to South Africa, and she’ll visit several countries in Southeast Asia. To prepare for the trip Beasley has been “going through all the steps we tell our stu- Amanda Beasley, ’04 dents” including researching the locations and trying to read about the places she’ll be visiting, which include a mix of national capitals and smaller locales. “Capitals have great museums and historic sites, but there’s also a lot more to every country,” Beasley said. “It’s important to see and experience a variety of places. That’s advice we give to our study abroad students.” Her plans have enough flexibility that she can adjust along the way. “I have put together a general idea of where I want to visit, but it is flexible enough to change. If I hear from a local that there’s some place I have to go, I have time to add that.” After her travel adventure is over, she plans to attend graduate school in international studies, international education, higher education administration or perhaps hospitality. “I’m happiest when I’m helping people enjoy new experiences, so all of those fields relate to that,” said Beasley, who is waiting until she returns to determine her education plans. “I’m sure I won’t be the same person when I return, so I might not want the same things after this experience.” Follow along on Beasley’s travels via her blog,

M er edi t h M ag az i n e / fal l 2 010 /


alumnae Connection Carlton, 1/8/10. Ashley Lauren Jones Richardson, a son, Lawson Drake, 7/10/10.

2007 Morgan Slavin Eklund, a son, Tucker Carl, 7/08/10. Mary Rogers Williford, a daughter, Morgan Taylor,


2008 Jessica Ellis Law, a son, Ezekiel Abram, 11/18/09.

2010 Brittny Sumler, a daughter, Shariyah Brooklyn Skye Graham, 7/1/10.

DEATHS 1932 Dorothy Taylor Cutler, 8/24/10.

1934 Ruth Robertson Prince, 6/13/10.

1944 Martha Allen Turnage, 8/3/06. Anne Richie Har-

Save the Date! Alumnae Reunion Weekend May 13-15, 2011

Save the date to relive your Meredith days! All alumnae are invited to attend Alumnae Reunion Weekend, but classes ending in a one or six will be celebrating a special class reunion. You will be receiving additional information about your reunion from your class agents. Information about Alumnae Reunion Weekend is available online by visiting alumnae. Or, contact the Office of Alumnae & Parent Relations at (919) 760-8548 or for additional information. Please consider nominating a fellow classmate or alumna for one of the Alumnae Awards. The categories for consideration are: Distinguished Alumna, Career Achievement and Recent Graduate. Nominations for Alumnae Awards are due by March 15, 2011. The Alumnae Award application is available at

ris Whaley, 9/6/10.

1946 Lillian Lineberry Bedford, 4/11/10.

1947 Evelyn Pitman Buckley, 6/25/10.

1949 Joyce Harrell Hodge, 8/30/10. Virginia “Puney” Gerock Reid, 8/9/10.

1952 Francene King Barber, 8/1/10.

SYMPATHY 1945 Lois Virginia Edinger in the death of her sister.

1946 Dorothy Tippett Holland in the death of her brother.



Dorothy Cutts Gabriel in the death of her brother.

Nell Garrell Bullard, 8/9/10.



Thea Burges Dean in the death of her husband.

Marilyn McArthur Gordon, 7/27/08.

1964 Mary Woodard Finley, 9/3/10.

1980 Elizabeth “Beth” Flannagan Gatewood, 8/23/10. Elizabeth Chandler Allen Hotchkiss, 7/2/10.


her brother and sister. Susan T. Wilkins Porter in the death of her mother.

1976 Marilyn Liles Jones in the death of her uncle.

1978 Mary Nell Bostick Jenke in the death of her


1979 Lois Hayes Chamblee in the death of her father.

Barbara White DeLouise in the death of her



Jean Page Kreisher in the death of her father.



Jenny Taylor Bond in the death of her mother.

Susan Jones Turner in the death of her uncle.



Brenda Payne Millar in the death of her brother.

Jeanne Puckett Fishwick in the death of her



Meredith Elam Muse in the death of her mother.


Jean Brown Webb in the death of her mother.

Lee Page in the death of her father.




Sherri Putney Barham, 6/23/10.

Sherrill Doggett-Lockhart Gaye, in the death of

April Brown Erichsen in the death of her grandmother.

Carolyn Q. Foil, 4/28/10.


/ Meredith M a ga zi ne / fa l l 2 0 10


ultural events Spring Calendar for Meredith College

Meredith College is delighted to host a variety of cultural events in the spring of 2011. Offerings vary, ranging from lectures by Tony- and Emmy-award winning choreographer Twyla Tharp and President Maureen Hartford, to a host of art exhibits and a Meredith Opera Workshop production of Mozart’s “Magic Flute.” We hope you’ll make plans to attend many of these exciting events as we look forward to welcoming you to campus.


“The Vagina Monologues”

Meredith Jazz and Tap Company in Concert Friday-Saturday, January 21-22, 8 p.m.

Jones Auditorium Tickets: $10 adults; $5 students/seniors Reservations:

Faculty Distinguished Lecture Eloise Grathwohl—The Glacier Stands Open Tuesday, January 25, 7 p.m.

Jones Auditorium

North Carolina Dance Festival Friday-Saturday, January 28-29, 8 p.m.

Jones Auditorium All Tickets: $10 Festival pass $18 Reservations:

Children’s Dance Festival

by Eve Ensler Thursday-Friday, February 24-25, 8 p.m.

Jones Auditorium All Tickets: $5 Festival pass $18 Reservations:

Carswell Concert Hall

All tickets: $10 Benefits Interact of Wake County Reservations:

Tickets: $10 adults; $5 students/seniors Reservations:

Meredith Concerto/Aria Concert

Senior Art Exhibition

Saturday, February 26, 8 p.m.

Opening reception: April 10, 2-4 p.m. April 10-28

Jones Auditorium Meredith students perform with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra

Frankie G. Weems Art Gallery

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Presidential Lecture Series at Meredith College

Opening reception: April 10, 2-4 p.m. Awards ceremony, 3 p.m. April 10-August 28

Maureen Hartford Monday, February 28, 7 p.m.

Jones Auditorium

Meredith Choral Concert Tuesday, March 1, 8 p.m.

Jones Chapel

Mirrored Truths: Meredith College Art Department Faculty

Meredith Sinfonietta Concert

Opening reception, January 30, 2-4 p.m. January 30-March 27, 2011

Jones Auditorium

Rotunda Gallery

Resist/Resistance Art Exhibit Opening reception, January 30, 2-4 p.m. January 30-March 27, 2011

Frankie G. Weems Art Gallery

February “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” a musical comedy by Sheinkin & Finn Tuesday-Saturday, February 15-19, 8 p.m. Sunday, February 20, 3 p.m.

Jones Auditorium Tickets: $10 adults; $5 students/seniors Reservations:

Friday-Saturday, April 8-9, 8 p.m.

Studio Theatre


Sunday, January 30, 3 p.m.

Meredith Opera Workshop production of Mozart’s “Magic Flute”

Thursday, March 3, 8 p.m.

Convocation Sarah Hrdy—Why Humans Are Such Cooperative Apes Tuesday, March 29, 7 p.m.

Jones Auditorium


Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition

Rotunda Gallery

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Presidential Lecture Series at Meredith College Twyla Tharp Wednesday, April 13, 7 p.m.

Jones Auditorium

DanceWorks Jones Auditorium Tickets: $10 adults; $5 students/seniors Reservations:

Program A: Emerging Artists

Friday, April 15, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 16, 3 p.m.

Program B: Mainstage Artists

Saturday, April 16, 8 p.m. Sunday, April 17, 3 p.m.

Gala Performance

“The Art of Self-Defense”

Sunday, April 17, 8 p.m.

a comedy by Trish Johnson Tuesday-Saturday, April 5-9, 8 p.m. Sunday, April 10, 3 p.m.

Meredith Spring Choral Concert

Studio Theatre Tickets: $10 adults; $5 students/seniors Reservations:

Tuesday, April 26, 8 p.m.

Jones Chapel

Meredith Sinfonietta Concert Thursday, April 28, 8 p.m.

Jones Auditorium

Meredith College cultural events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. We invite you to visit for more information about these and other events.

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


Cert no. BV-COC-080214

New Admissions & Financial Assistance Websites Unveiled Meredith College alumnae have experienced firsthand the value of a Meredith education. Newly redesigned admissions and financial assistance websites are important tools to introduce prospective students to the unique Meredith experience. The admissions site features targeted information for specific audiences, including prospective students, accepted students, parents and school counselors. There is a page for alumnae that offers ways to connect with Meredith and encourage prospective students to learn more about the College. A robust financial assistance website features types of financial assistance available, including extensive scholarship and grant listings, as well as information on how to apply for scholarships and other types of aid. The new sites let Meredith students share their stories—through an admissions video and through student testimonials and quotes. Other features include the following: • clear navigation that makes it easy for prospective students to find the information they need; • big, beautiful photos to help give visitors a real sense of the Meredith experience; • and a section highlighting the benefits of Meredith’s location in Raleigh. and and share them with prospective students. View the new sites at

Meredith Magazine Fall 2010