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UVA-WISE The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Spring/Summer 2017

An enduring legacy Remembering Papa Joe


MESSAGE FROM THE CHANCELLOR Friends: Dear UVa-Wise Alumni and h talents behind us, I reflect on the ric With another academic year of Virginia’s than 60 years, The University re mo For y. nit mu com our of home to nch Valley College, has been College at Wise, for merly Cli ff. ts, faculty, alumni and sta exceptionally qualified studen about the accolades and In these pages, you will read and collective munity members. Individual com our of s ent shm pli om acc . The and meaningf ul contributions efforts sum up to outstanding ent. The pm elo students’ growth and dev UVa-Wise family nur tures our lth, hea significantly to the economic UVa-Wise family contributes e UVaional and state economies. Th reg our of y alit vit and alth we nty of e to sustain the beauty and bou Wise family volunteers its tim de and pri of se r actions reflect a true sen our nat ural environment. Ou stewardship. ese qualities were er concept is new in Wise. Th ed nearly 11,000 Pride and stewardship. Neith rs whose ingenuity has produc nee pio the e, lleg Co at gre and stewardship, evident in the founders of our tradition of excellence, pride, s thi on ld bui to ue tin con We graduates of this institution. s. odd all of e dom, integrity, at times, in defianc e come before us, whose wis hav o wh se tho dit cre to e lik r Emeritus Joseph In this issue, I would a-Wise. I speak of Chancello UV on rk ma le elib ind an t lef t, deep and compassion and vision have away in May. His legacy is vas sed pas o wh , Joe a Pap as , wn in May, C. Smiddy, affectionately kno Lu Prior, also sadly departed rry Me of ak spe I le. rab asu truly imme commitment to riented heart and unwavering whose good nat ure, ser vice-o Lu. Thank you ank you, Papa Joe and Merry the College touched us all. Th and after you. ditions to all who have come before identity and time-honored tra our , tes tra ons dem ue iss s thi As ancellor for a Day remain strong. The annual Ch continuation of event, and others, point to the beginning of new our favorite practices and the today, we continue ones. Evidence abounds that, hands, gifts and to build upon the people, ideas, iversity of Virginia’s hard-work that define The Un College at Wise. Thank you for being a par t of this story. To add to this tradition of excellence, I am aduates, alumni, the Class of 2017. Gr pleased to welcome our newest a par t be ays alw remember, you will congratulations, good luck, and of the UVa-Wise family. Best regards, Donna P. Henry Chancellor


THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA’S COLLEGE AT WISE • SPRING/SUMMER 2017

UVA-WISEMAGAZINE DEPARTMENTS Headlines 2 Student Research 4 Shelf Expressions 14 Athletics 38 The UVa-Wise Magazine is produced by College Relations and Alumni Relations for alumni and friends of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

Classnotes 46

EDITOR Kathy Still ’84 EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Susan Mullins Alexis Hillman Mattie Ruth Stanley Principal Photography Tim Cox, Tim Cox Photo/Graphics Contributing Writers Kathy Still ’84 Katherine Fleming Rachel Fischer ’10 Sports Contributing Writers Darrell-Dingus Ely ’10 Luke Bolanos Magazine Design Jenny Salyers

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UVa-Wise and partners build free science lesson plans for teachers

HEADLINES

It’s always a bonus when the answer to a perplexing problem is found right outside the door. That’s exactly what happened when a group of determined scientists, environmentalists and educators worked together to fulfill the needs of public school science teachers. Teachers in 10 counties in Southwest Virginia were surveyed a couple of years ago. They expressed the need for lesson plans that would allow them to use the region’s assets—public parks, rivers and wildlife—to teach complex scientific topics instead of relying on curricula that would require expensive supplies for laboratories. UVa-Wise, Clinch River Valley Initiative and Friends of Southwest Virginia listened. Using funds from the Virginia Environmental Endowment, the partners developed Teach the Clinch, a series of 50 lesson plans for K-12 classrooms. The lessons focus on using natural assets to teach the broader topics in biology, geology and watershed science. Teach the Clinch went into use this year, and it seems to be successful. Wally Smith, a biology professor at UVa-Wise, said the program is designed to increase environmental education in the region. Teachers reported the need for adequate facilities, funding and training, but limited money was an immediate issue for school systems. Those involved in the project realized straightaway that Southwest Virginia has plenty of public areas to study habitats, wildlife, watersheds and geology, Smith explained. The partners were thrilled at the notion that the scientific topics could be taught using free resources. Smith said veteran educator Terry Vencil, known for her work with the Estonoa outdoor classroom in St. Paul, played a big part in the project. The mother-son team of Carol Doss and Christopher Anama-Green were tapped to build the lesson plans. The five content areas in the program are tuned to Virginia’s Standards of Learning. Doss and Anama-Green built the plan to be a living document that can be adjusted when needed. “The power of place, which is so prevalent in the Clinch River Watershed, was always evident to me growing up,” Anama-Green said. “I’m go glad that I could combine my passion for education and my love for the region through the Teach the Clinch curriculum project.” Anama-Green said the program targets specific areas of environmental education and lessons that are original to the project and resources that have been tailored to the Clinch River Watershed. “The curriculum incorporates some of the best-available pedagogical strategies and resources to allow teachers to provide highquality environmental education concepts for easy cross-curricular connections,” he said. “It is truly a blessing that we are able to provide this resource at a time when environmental education does not receive enough support or resources.” The lesson plans can be downloaded directly from the website for free, or educators can download the whole guide as a standalone PDF and send it to their Kindle or other tablet device as an e-book. The website can be found at http://southwestvirginiacsi.wixsite.com/ clinch/blank.

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Chick-fil-A opening at UVa-Wise this fall The University of Virginia’s College at Wise announced Wednesday that opening a Chick-fil-A Express is the first improvement of a $500,000 investment that Chartwells, the College’s dining company, is making toward food service on campus. Chartwells will open the Chick-fil-A at no cost to UVa-Wise. The nation’s most popular fast food restaurant will be located in the Slemp Student Center in the space occupied by Mondo’s Subs and Coyote Jack’s. Chartwells is looking at reopening Mondo’s subs in another location on campus. Joe Kiser, director of college services, said the planned improvements are an example of the partnership between the College and Chartwells, its contracted dining services provider. “The Chick-fil-A will be, of course, open to the public,” Kiser said. “All our dining facilities are open to the public, and we encourage those from outside campus to use the services Chartwells provides.” Chartwells operates the Smith Dining Commons, Papa John’s, and Books and Brew, a coffee shop that serves authorized Starbucks products. Mondo’s Subs and Coyote Jack’s are also operated by Chartwells. Kiser said plans call for construction of the Chick-fil-A to take place at the end of the spring semester. The Chick-fil-A Express will offer the core menu of the bigger restaurants as well as a Grab and Go option. Brett Lawson, head of the UVa-Wise Chartwells operations, said the eatery would be open during weekdays and would be open on Saturday. Chick-fil-A would not be open on Sunday. Lawson said Chartwells will hire more local employees in order to keep up with the increased volume that would come with operating additional dining options. The employees that will work at Chick-fil-A Express will undergo comprehensive training in Atlanta. The training would be conducted under the strict guidance of the Chickfil-A corporate office in order to ensure quality standards. “We will be living by their high standards,” Lawson said. “It’s a good move for everybody involved.”


SAMRA team works to conserve sugar maple The Southern Appalachian Maple Research and Activities team was established in 2015 by Professor Ryan Huish and students at UVa-Wise. The aim of the interdisciplinary team of researchers and community members in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia is to conserve sugar maple, assess alternative maple species for sugaring in the region and to increase awareness of maple traditions, ecology, conservation, and socio-economic potential through research and educational activities. 
Team members have presented results from this research at regional and international meetings, including the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, The Society for Economic Botany, The Clinch Coalition, the High Knob Naturalist Rally, and the regional Maple School. Samara is the botanical name for the type of “helicopter” fruit/seed maples produce, symbolic of the team’s outreach efforts. The team invites others from many backgrounds to join and help fulfill these aims. Research and educational outreach is ongoing; please contact Ryan Huish at rdh5b@uvawise.edu for more information or to collaborate in any way with this project.

Bevins earns ITEEA honor Scott Bevins, the associate vice chancellor for information services at UVa-Wise, has been awarded the Distinguished Technology and Engineering Professional designation by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. The honor is based upon documented evidence of leadership and management skills, continuing participation in association education programs and demonstration of leadership in the association and community. “Having the Distinguished Technology and Engineering Professional designation bestowed upon me by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association this month is truly an honor,” Bevins said. “Technology has always fascinated and intrigued me, and it goes well beyond that of pleasure or entertainment. I am interested in the ‘technology’ itself and where that technology may lead and the impact it would have on the economy, both domestically and globally.” Bevins said technology has eroded all barriers in the exchange of ideas and information. “With technology growing at such a rapid rate, continued success requires all of us to be lifelong learners,” he said. “The DTE designation reaffirms the importance that I place on technology education and on the education of our citizenry of all ages.” The DTE professional program acknowledges the essential principles of adult learning and incorporates both recognition and credit for the work experiences and accomplishments of those in the field.

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Maggard debunks moonshiner stereotype

STUDENT RESEARCH

Julia Maggard grew tired of watching television shows and movies that portrayed moonshiners as wealthy, violent lawbreakers or backwoods hillbillies with no responsibilities. She decided that myth was ripe for busting. Maggard, who graduated this May with a degree in strategic communication, a hybrid of communication studies and business, did her own research for the College’s Peake Honors Program, under the David Rouse Fellowship, to portray Appalachian moonshiners in a truthful and sometimes painful way. She didn’t have to look far to get a start on her research. Her great-grandfather was a moonshiner. She never met him, but she heard the stories.  “There has always been a misconception about moonshiners,” she said. “I wanted to discover what life was really like for people who made moonshine. I wanted to see how they lived and what impact it had on their families.”  Maggard delved into the subject for her senior capstone project. She worked as a research fellow for the Center for Appalachian Studies under the direction of Professor Amy Clark and Professor Brian McKnight and came up with a portrayal of a typical Appalachian moonshiner. She used people from the region with firsthand experience with moonshining. Most were children of moonshiners from the 1940s era.  What she found was that moonshining was a crucial economic supplement for some families in the region. Moonshining provided the basics, but did not lead to wealth. Maggard interviewed a woman in her late 80s whose father was a moonshiner. She spoke with two brothers who recalled their father’s shine business. She also talked with an elderly man who recounted his childhood as a son of a moonshiner. She asked about their childhoods. She wanted to know about their clothing, homes and what a typical meal consisted of back in the day. She got detailed responses.  “I wanted to debunk the myths,” she said. “I found out that they usually had one to two sets of clothing, one pair of shoes that had to last them a year, and the clothing was only purchased in the fall for school. They normally did not often have meat for meals.”  Money from moonshine basically just met the families’ needs. There were no luxury items. Clothing did not get passed down to younger siblings because shirts, pants and shoes would be worn out by summer’s end. 4 UVa-Wise Magazine

The Wise resident learned that moonshiners formed a close group that stuck together when times were rough. Each had their own special recipes, and they all had to dodge the federal authorities.  “There were always many people making moonshine, but if one of them got sick or had to have surgery, the others would pitch in and sell his moonshine for him,” she said. “A whole group of men would load everything in a wagon and get it to where it needed to go. I thought that was incredible. There was a sense of brotherhood. They took care of each other.”  The steps the shiners would take to hide their stills from the revenuers, the federal agents who worked to stamp out illegal liquor production, also fascinated Maggard.  “They had to hide the stills in the woods where there was a good water source,” she said. "It had to be hid hard enough to keep others away but easy enough for them to make a run of moonshine. After one or two runs, they would have to move the still and find another location.”  Smoke was the main reason moonshiners were caught, so they used birch wood as a fuel source because it emitted less noticeable smoke. Maggard said the entire process was pure craftsmanship. “It was hard work to tear down a still, walk it piece by piece through the woods, assemble it again, carry in the supplies, hide the bottles in the woods, and coordinate with others when it was time to sell the moonshine,” she said.  While some “revenuers” were the enemy, some moonshiners developed a relationship with some and would often get tipped off before a raid. Some of the federal officers would confront suspected moonshiners and tell them they would eventually catch them. Sometimes they were caught. Sometimes they were not. Moonshining was illegal because it was not taxed, Maggard explained.  “These people were criminalized for tax purposes,” she said. “These people were hunted down and imprisoned for taxes, and they were not living well-to-do lives. They were trying to survive.”  The research touched Maggard in many ways.  “I learned that I should take a lot of pride in my heritage,” Maggard said. “They were trying to survive and to provide for their families, and they did it successfully. The research made me feel closer to them. I never even got a chance to meet my grandfather and this helped me learn about him and my great-grandfather. I felt closer to my family.”


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STUDENT RESEARCH

Theatre students attend SETC UVa-Wise theatre students attended the Southeastern Theatre Conference this spring to learn more about career opportunities across the nation. They learned valuable information from professionals who worked with many Broadway shows, including “Hamilton,” “Rock of Ages,” and other awardwinning productions. The conference brought more than 4,000 theatre community members together for workshops, speakers, festivals, recruiting, job interviews and competitions. Students Nathan Clark, Alex Mitchell, Alex Hall, Jacy Burdette, Lorraine Dresch, Amber BeltranGonzalez, Logan Patrick and Robert Torres attended.  “It was interesting to hear our students talk about the conference in the van ride back to campus,” Professor Ben Mays said. “I was particularly interested in how some light bulbs seemed to be going off for a few of them. Given the extraordinary keynote speakers, I am not surprised, and I’m hopeful for our future.” Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public Theatre, credited with nurturing the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” discussed the state of American theatre and the changes non-profit theatres face. Alice Ripley, an actor known for Broadway work in musicals, including “Next to Normal” and “Side Show,” was also a keynote speaker. Ripley conducted some

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workshops as well. Beowulf Boritt, set designer for “Rock of Ages” and “Scottsboro Boys,” spoke about scenic design. J. Allen Suddeth spoke about staging fights for theatre and movies. John Gromada, an award-winning composer and a sound designer on 35 Broadway shows, Alejo Vietti, a costume designer, and Kevin Rigdon, a lighting designer who has worked at London’s West End and Broadway and is a founding member of Steppenwolf Theatre, were among the professionals who offered tips to the students. “We had some interesting conservations about some of the keynote points as well as the opportunities the students had to talk to possible employers during the job fair,” Mays said. “Of course, the graduate programs from different schools across the country were also helpful. I hope this becomes an annual event for our students.”  Logan Patrick, a senior who is interested in directing, attended a master class in directing. “It made me think about what I want to do as an artist and where I want to go,” Patrick said. “It also made me

think about what changes do I want to make and how to achieve what I want. I brought that back to our theatre department.” Amber BeltranGonzalez, a senior interested in costuming, said she was surprised by the amount of technology, such as 3D laser printers, used in costume designing. Nathan Clark, a junior, said the conference helped him realize the process he needs to go through in order to get to the next step in a theatre career. Jacy Burdette, a senior, is focused on theatre education. The sense of community and social justice that was part of some workshops she attended appealed to her interests. Lorraine Dresch, a junior, honed her juggling skills at the conference. She also attended dance and movement workshops. Alex Hall, a senior, attended a mask making class and said the skills he learned will help in future UVaWise productions. Hall also attended a workshop on theatrical makeup. He participated in one demonstration and was transformed into a zombie by a talented makeup artist who had been on the Syfy show “Face Off.”  The students have been sharing their new skills and tips with fellow theatre students. They also learned that the lighting equipment in the Gilliam Center for the Arts is better than most blackbox theatres in the nation.


Students use satellites to study western environment Satellites and a partnership between the National Parks Service, NASA DEVELOP and other organizations helped UVa-Wise students Brooke Colley and Austin Counts conduct research on environmental issues in the Northern Great Plains and the Grand Canyon. Colley used NASA Earth Observations to detect changes in annual snowpack coverage in the intermountain natural parks, specifically in Glacier, Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. The communities raised concerns that ice and snow melt in the national parks have the region seeing changes in vegetation cover and fire regime because of receding ice sheets. Mapping the changes is a positive way to build management plans to respond to the changing landscape. In her presentation, Colley explained that the areas that were previously covered by persistent ice and snow are now exposed. A study of the yearly changes in the ice and snow cover allowed researchers to see areas of glacial boundary recession. According to Colley, national parks in the Northern Great Plains are seeing the glacier and ice melting due to changes in climate. In Grand Teton National Park, only 10 glaciers are left, and two-thirds of the glaciers in Glacier National Park have disappeared since the 1980s. Yellowstone National Park has no glaciers, but ice and snow cover has receded.

Colley said her research had limitations caused by shadows in the photos of the region. Cloud covers also created some false positives, she said. Overall, she was pleased with the results of her research. Counts, using similar resources and partners, conducted research on a project to assist the National Park Service monitor shoreline land cover change in the lower Grand Canyon. He worked on the Lake Mead area. According to his research, Lake Mead’s water levels have decreased because of an ongoing drought in that part of the country. The drought, which started in 1998, has caused Lake Mead to fall to historic lows, and that has exposed thousands of acres of lakebed sediment, which contributed to changes in riparian vegetative cover. The low water has also harmed air and water quality because of wind disturbance of the exposed sediment. Counts found that invasive plant species colonized parts of the lakebed sediment, which altered habitats for land and avian organisms. Counts concluded that the water level decrease correlates closely with the drought measurements. He said the changes directly impacted the riparian ecosystem. Counts and Colley are two of several students working with NASA DEVELOP on a variety of research projects.

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FOUNDER’S DAY

y p p a H J T , y a d h t r Bi

Several hundred UVa-Wise students, faculty and staff celebrated Founder’s Day on April 12 in the Gilliam Sculpture Garden. Those attending dropped in at various times during the event to enjoy food, fun and music. “Founders Day is important to the Student Government Association because it is our chance to commemorate the individuals that had a part in establishing UVa-Wise,” SGA President Cassidy Strange said. “This day is about coming together in fellowship to celebrate our heritage.” Student Samuel Houston emerged victorious in the Founder’s Day Trivia Contest and took home a Kindle Fire. Student Montana Hill won the poster caption contest and received an Amazon Dot, complements of the SGA. Chancellor Donna P. Henry gave those attending a quick history of the founding of the University of Virginia and UVaWise. She also spoke about the University’s bicentennial celebration that begins this fall. “Six months after Mr. Jefferson’s 74th birthday, on Oct. 6, 1817, the cornerstone for the University was laid at Pavilion VII with former U.S. Presidents James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, as well as sitting President James Monroe, in attendance,” Henry said. “On October 6, 2017, the University launches a bicentennial celebration that honors Mr. Jefferson’s educational legacy as well as his legacy of innovation.” Henry said UVa-Wise is a manifestation of Mr. Jefferson’s dream of a state wide education system in Virginia. “UVa-Wise began to take shape at the Inn at Wise where Sam Crockett, a UVA extension agent, stopped to have dinner on one snowy evening in December 1953,” Henry said. “He joined in a conversation with Lois Tracey and Mary Thompson. The women made a strong case to him that Southwest Virginia needed a branch campus of the University.” The idea and discussions quickly expanded to include state legislators and others who formed a working committee. “Three committee representatives, Kenneth Asbury, William Thompson, and Fred Greear, our beloved three Wise men, made the long trek to Charlottesville,” she said. “After hitting a few roadblocks, they met with UVA President Colgate Darden who encouraged them to drive quickly to Richmond to make their case to the General Assembly. The rest is history. The three Wise men secured $10,000 to support ‘an extension school of the University of Virginia in Wise County.’ Less than nine months later, on September 13, 1954, Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia opened its doors. Look at us today! We are a growing, vibrant public, liberal arts college meeting the needs of our students, our region and the Commonwealth.”

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Smith wins Rising Star award Wally Smith, assistant professor of biology at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise has received Virginia’s highest honor for faculty by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Smith, who has been teaching at UVa-Wise since 2012, was one of two recipients statewide to receive the Rising Star Award. The award is given to faculty members who show extraordinary promise early in their teaching careers. The award is based on performance in teaching, discovery, integration of knowledge and service. “Whether in the field or classroom, Wally Smith always fulfills the College’s mission to combine exceptional teaching and strong research to give our students real world experiences that will ultimately make them better scholars and community leaders,” UVa-Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “His

UVa-Wise colleagues and I are thrilled but not surprised that he has received Virginia’s highest honor for faculty.” Smith has become one of the college’s most popular professors among students and has developed novel, nationally recognized approaches to integrating traditional undergraduate curricula with biological research and community outreach. A conservation biologist and herpetologist by training, Smith has been described by students as “the best professor on campus” and an “outstanding teacher… (who) truly understands how students learn.” In addition, he has been involved with grant projects receiving over $2 million in funding both as a sole investigator and co-investigator for research and curriculum development at UVa-Wise. His research has been put into practice by multiple communities in rural Appalachia and is a model for how interdisciplinary research involving students can transcend the academy to create tangible impacts in rural communities. “I was stunned,” Smith said when he learned he had received the award. “I am incredibly honored and humbled. There are a lot of impressive folks on the list who have received this award, and I don’t feel like I belong with that group.” The faculty position at UVa-Wise is the first one for Smith. He and his wife, Katie Dunn, have gained a reputation for helping their adopted community, especially in outdoor recreation and conservation. “I really think I’ve found a home here, both at the college and the community,” he said. “I’m happy.” Smith and other recipients of Outstanding Faculty Awards were recognized in Richmond in February at a ceremony. The OFA program is administered by SCHEV and funded by a grant from the Dominion Foundation, which has fully supported the OFA program since 2005. Smith is the first UVa-Wise professor to win the Rising Star Award, but faculty members Amy Clark and Garrett Sheldon, and former faculty member Brian Wills, were previously honored with the Outstanding Faculty Award. Spring/Summer 2017 9


Day of Service

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The annual Cavaliers Care: Day of Service, held on April 1, drew 160 participants from UVaWise. The volunteers spent the day working on a variety of projects on campus, and in Wise County and the city of Norton. The Student Government Association purchased mulch to spruce up Big Glades in Wise, and other volunteers helped in a project to send letters to U.S. Troops and to create tray liners for children who are receiving treatment at Niswonger Childrenยนs Hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee. Others cleaned litter along Darden Drive, made pet adoption blankets, served snacks at the Southwest Virginia Regional Cancer Center, helped on beautification projects at Camp Bethel and worked on various projects for Family Crisis Support Services.

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Celebrates 40th Anniversary By Rachel Fischer

Pro-Art Association is celebrating its 40th anniversary and its ties to UVa-Wise remain strong. As a long-standing member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Pro-Art Executive Director Bonnie Elosser is often reminded that achieving sustainability for an organization comes from knowing its history. She firmly believes that history is relevant to the survival of Pro-Art Association, one of the premiere arts organizations in Virginia. As a board member and executive director of Pro-Art, Elosser has been around for both the good times and the bad. She and others helped revive the organization when it almost closed the doors 10 years ago. As a result, this performance season marks the 40th year of innovation, dedication and teamwork for Pro-Art Association. The history of Pro-Art began with Daisy Portuondo and the creation of the Wise School of Dance, the International Arts Festival, Christmas Around the World and the Creative Arts Summer Camp. As a native of Cuba who immigrated to Wise County when her husband became a Spanish professor, she decided to develop a dance school for her daughters. One project led to another, and soon she found herself involved with various community projects in the arts. Portuondo’s strong dedication, according to Elosser, brought world-class performances to far Southwest Virginia.

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Elosser explained that residents were astounded to see artists from around the world performing in their own hometowns. For the first thirty years, Pro-Art actively exposed the region to the most diverse cultural arts programs available. But like all organizations experience at one time or another, Pro-Art Association experienced financial issues when it reached its third decade. “There was no money, and a significant amount of debt,” Elosser explained, “when I became Executive Director ten years ago.” The executive committee met and reluctantly voted “to close the doors for good.” However, Elosser was contacted by Merry Lu Prior, a board member and spouse of then Chancellor David J. Prior, soon after the meeting. Mrs. Prior told her “do not close the doors.” She told Elosser that Chancellor Prior would be in contact within hours. Chancellor Prior contacted Elosser and asked her and the Board of Trustees to come up with a financial plan. Within two weeks the board of trustees raised $50,000 and developed a long-range financial plan as Chancellor Prior requested. In return, Pro-Art provides a UVa-Wise Cultural Arts series on the campus and credits the College for all performances throughout the region. “We rose from the ashes 10 years ago and have been debt free for five years,” Elosser said. She said it is truly a blessing to be debt


free during a time when arts organizations all over the state are closing or struggling financially, and she credits UVa-Wise, Mountain Empire Community College, the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation and many other contributors for helping to revive Pro-Art. Today, Pro Art Association provides 40 to 45 performances annually in Wise, Lee and Dickenson counties and the city of Norton. The shows include music, dance and theatrical performances. After four decades, Pro-Art Association has truly become a community centered organization dedicated to providing quality entertainment throughout the region. The Virginians for the Arts have a slogan: “The Arts Build Communities.� And Elosser said: “Pro-Art is a great example. Several years ago the organization acquired a $500,000 grant to renovate the C. Bascom Slemp auditorium at Lee High School where they offer performances annually. The venue is now suitable for professional programming. but the auditorium is also a much better facility for use by the community and the students at the high school. Pro-Art also provided nine performances at the newly renovated Lee Theatre in Pennington Gap. This project is part of the Main Street improvement program and Pro-Art contributes to the success of the theatre annually. One very successful product of Pro-Art is the Wise JAMS program that provides students in grades 4-8 an opportunity to have an Appalachian

music experience by teaching them to play old-time songs on stringed instruments. Dominion Foundation recently awarded the Pro-Art Wise JAMS program a $10,000 Shining Star Award for providing this opportunity to the children of Wise County. Some children have never even heard live music before, Elosser said, adding that Wise JAMS is a one of a kind experience which teaches them to play a musical instrument and also helps them understand the musical heritage of the place where they live. Whether it is working with local schools to provide children with their first live music experience, or presenting culturally relevant performances like the Nova Scotia Men of the Deeps or Symphony of the Mountains, the organization is developing partnerships and forging connections in

the local communities. Working with MECC during Home Craft Days, being involved with the Fall Fling in Wise and co-sponsoring the Celtic Festival in Big Stone Gap, are some of the ways Pro-Art is providing a variety of experiences in the arts that are entertaining and educational. As she approaches the end of her tenth year as executive director and her imminent retirement, Elosser says she is incredibly pleased to leave behind a thriving arts organization that is positioned to provide quality entertainment far into the future.

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SHELF EXPRESSIONS

A glimpse of the treasures and trinkets found in faculty and staff offices

Gneiss treasure

“How do you date a rock?” Geologist Bob VanGundy likes to tell

SHELF EXPRESSIONS

this joke to UVa-Wise students in his geology classes when he teaches them how to identify rocks and minerals. When no one answers, he replies “Well, you wine it, dine it, and call it gneiss!” Gneiss is one of the many metamorphic rocks VanGundy discusses in his classes. But most students don’t know that among the many exotic items in his office, VanGundy keeps a timeless treasure: Acasta gneiss. In northwestern Canada geologists have discovered gneiss from the

by Rachel Fischer '17 Acasta River that is over four billion years old, and VanGundy was lucky enough to get his hands on a piece. This particular piece of gneiss came from even older rocks that were part of the first formation of the earth’s crust. Although VanGundy travels often, both for business and pleasure, he did not discover the piece of gneiss himself. The story of how he received it actually reminds him of why he first wanted to be a geologist.  Field trips with VanGundy wouldn’t be field trips if the class didn’t find themselves parked on the side of the highway examining rock formations. Upon attending one of these trips, a student found herself so inspired by the stories that rocks can tell about life on earth that she eventually left UVa-Wise to pursue a geology degree.  Like many professors at UVa-Wise, VanGundy keeps in touch with many of his former students. So it was no surprise when this particular student got in touch with him and passed on a piece of Acasta gneiss she obtained while working for a mining company in Canada.  “It reminded me of how I got started as a geologist,” VanGundy explained.  In the eighth grade, his teacher brought in a piece of quartz crystal and told the class how it formed in the ground.  “I couldn’t believe something like that came from inside the earth!”  From then on, VanGundy was fascinated by what rocks could tell about the land and all the life it holds. While VanGundy has worked different jobs in many places, he considers himself first and foremost a geologist. But he gets the most pleasure as a professor when he sees students that aren’t necessarily science majors noticing things about the land and understanding geological processes. He is all about providing students with experiences and knowledge that can help aid them in whatever they decide to do in life. In short, he aims to change the way students look at the world-one rock at a time.  

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ACADEMY LESSONS STILL MOTIVATE DENNEHY Meagan Dennehy began her career as the head coach of women’s lacrosse at Queens University of Charlotte after a two and a half year stint as an assistant coach.  Always eager to be the best she could be at her job, she took some advice from a fellow coach and applied for a spot at the NCAA Women Coaches Academy hosted by the Alliance of Women Coaches and the NCAA. Upon being accepted in the program, she learned that women coaches from many different schools and sports were on the same quest she was: to learn how to be a coach that not only makes her players better athletes, but also makes them better people. After graduating

strategies so that coaches are equipped to find employment and keep employment. Dennehy found the lessons learned at the academy especially important as she researched the employment from the four-day training program, she issue heavily and found that coaching positions in women’s sports can be received a certificate that she proudly hard to obtain for women because male hangs on her office wall.  The certificate is a constant reminder coaches are often given the positions.   “We are fortunate to have so many for Dennehy to remain motivated and women coaches coaching women’s confident in her day-to-day tasks as a sports here at UVa-Wise,” she said. coach. She is able to recall the many  One of the main goals that the lessons she learned at the academy, such academy presented that stood out as how to communicate better with her to Dennehy was the building of staff and players, how to make more community. The program teaches ethical administrative decisions and coaches not only to build a community how to be a better leader. The academy among all women coaches, but to build a also helped her and other coaches gain knowledge about how to build a resume, community among their players as well.  Dennehy was excited in 2013 to be negotiate contracts and create recruiting named head coach of lacrosse at UVaWise because she knew that a smaller college in the mountains would attract people who would make great athletes. She also saw a greater opportunity to form a solid community of players that would learn well together.  Although the lacrosse program is still fairly new, many of Dennehy’s players are creating a comfortable, yet competitive community and are learning to support each other on and off the field. Her players often come to her office to visit and chat as well. Dennehy firmly believes that getting to know players personally is an important part of doing her job well. She is grateful to be a part of a network of women coaches that can learn how to be successful coaches together during a time where women’s sports are in dire need of them. She is also especially grateful for the great group of players she gets to coach. As she likes to say, “We think, breathe, and dream lacrosse!”

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HEADLINES

UVa-Wise’s economic engine roars Business and community leaders met in January to discuss ways to help the town of Wise grow its economy and improve the quality of life for its residents. It was no surprise that The University of Virginia’s College at Wise was listed as the top asset. A college or university can have a tremendous impact on a community. A college spends money, provides paychecks for employees, and comes with a small army of students who spend money locally. Sporting events, community meetings, concerts and a variety of college events bring visitors to the region, and the influx of people means ringing coffers in the community. There are, indeed, many ways that a college is an economic driver for a town, county and region. An economic impact study reveals that the University of Virginia’s College at Wise pumped $84 million into Virginia’s economy and had a strong $64 million overall economic impact on the seven coalfield counties and the city of Norton in fiscal year 2015. The study, conducted by Tripp Umbach, a nationally recognized consulting firm, revealed that the College’s 387 employees generated additional spending in Virginia

and supported 680 jobs in the Commonwealth. Regionally, UVaWise employees, students and visitors spend money locally, which supported 586 jobs in the LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau planning districts. “The analysis shows that UVaWise has a tremendous impact on Virginia and the region,” Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “The cumulative effect is even more impressive when the impact our employees, students

EMPLOYMENT IMPACT

    

ECONOMIC IMPACT $84 MILLION

specific regions and Virginia. To complete the analysis, Tripp Umbach measured the effect of direct, indirect and induced economic employment and government revenue impacts for UVa-Wise. The impact analysis included only the operations of UVa-Wise. The impact findings were generated at the state and LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau planning districts levels. Data included capital expenditures, operational expenditures, employment headcounts, payroll and benefits, taxes, and event information for fiscal year 2015. According to the study, UVa-Wise was responsible for nearly $3.5 million in government revenues generated when the College, its employees, its 2,000 students and numerous visitors purchased goods in Virginia. The figure was $2.7 million specifically for the coalfield region.

680 JOBS

and visitors have on the economy is examined. Our College has had the support of the region for more than 60 years, and it is encouraging to see that the campus is supporting the region’s economy in numerous ways.” The University of Virginia retained Tripp Umbach to measure the economic, employment and government revenue impacts of operations and research of the University, the University Health system and the College at Wise. UVa-Wise is a division of the University. The study, using fiscal year 2015 data, examined the overall economic and fiscal impact the institutions have on their

$$$ GOVERNMENT REVENUE $3.5 MILLION In terms of community impact, UVa-Wise faculty, staff and students

“The analysis shows that UVa-Wise has a tremendous impact on Virginia and the region,” Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “The cumulative effect is even more impressive when the impact our employees, students and visitors have on the economy is examined. Our College has had the support of the region for more than 60 years, and it is encouraging to see that the campus is supporting the region’s economy in numerous ways.” 16 UVa-Wise UVa-WiseMagazine Magazine 16

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generated more than $5.8 million in charitable donations and volunteer services. More than $1 million was donated to local charitable organizations such as food banks,

COMMUNITY IMPACT $5.8 MILLION

schools and other charities. The value of volunteer time provided to the region in projects such as Cavaliers Care: A Day of Service, Girls Day in STEM-H and other events totaled $4.7 million. Tripp Umbach reported that on campus events, visits from students and families, and from others on college business spread money through local spending. The impact of those visits was $6.1 million, which supported 67 jobs and brought in more than $403,000 in state and local tax revenue. UVa-Wise attracts students to the region, which boosts the local economy as students spend for food, merchandise and other goods. The economic impact of the students in fiscal year 2015 was $5.2 million, which

supported 58 jobs and produced $287,000 in state and local taxes. UVa-Wise, while a liberal arts school, is heavily involved in undergraduate research across all academic disciplines. According to the study, the research conducted on campus by students and faculty, which totaled $1.3 million in expenditures, resulted in $2.6 million in economic impact and supported 24 jobs. “This shows that scholarship is important, faculty are interested, and students are more and more eager to have the opportunity to conduct research and learn outside the classroom,” said Academic Dean Amelia Harris. The study also gave UVa-Wise clear evidence that its economic development

2007 to continue the College’s mission to boost the region and its economy, worked with business and industries to create opportunities for students, strengthened partnerships with local and state economic developers, created internships, provided academic and professional programs and supported the Healthy Appalachia Institute. The Higher Education Restructuring Act, which requires colleges to embrace economic development activities, made the College’s economic development efforts more critical. “Colleges and universities have major impacts on the communities and regions in which they operate, and we are eager to find additional opportunities to engage our students and faculty in ways that will continually add value to Southwest Virginia and the broader region,” said Vice Chancellor for Economic Development and Engagement Shannon Blevins. The analysis revealed that UVaWise, along with the University of Virginia, is a significant generator of economic, employment and government revenue in Virginia and locally. Read the full study at http:// www.virginia.edu/economicimpact/

efforts yielded positive results. The Office of Economic Development and Engagement, started in

Source: Tripp Umbach findings using IMPLAN results from data obtained by the University of Virginia based on data from FY2015

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Cybersecurity

It’s location, location, location Southwest Virginia’s strategic geographical location, once seen as a barrier, will serve the region well as it meets the growing needs of the digital world. The University of Virginia’s College at Wise is uniquely positioned to help its region meet the growing needs of the high tech companies, especially in the vital field of cybersecurity.  Southwest Virginia is closer to seven other state capitols than Richmond which has put the mountainous sliver of the Commonwealth at an economic disadvantage for decades. The southwestern counties were often viewed as geographically insulate and economically dependent on the once thriving but now floundering coal industry. Its rural communities were often a tough sell for prospective industry because of the slow pace of small town life.  UVa-Wise has taken bold steps to ensure Southwest Virginia’s assets—rural area with robust outdoor recreation, dedicated and highly trainable workforce, supportive and cooperative local governments willing to ignore borders for the greater economic good, and lush mountains that insolate the region from the negative aspects of city life— are used to lure high tech companies to the region. The results are promising, and the College, a division of the University of Virginia, is living up to its reputation as an economic driver for Southwest Virginia.  “Southwest Virginia is strategically placed to attract high-tech employers to the region,” Chancellor Donna P. Henry explained. “We at UVa-Wise are working with the region’s economic developers to make it happen.”  The College boasts Virginia’s only undergraduate software engineering program, and plans are in place to enhance the academic program with specific cybersecurity courses and additional faculty with cybersecurity 18 UVa-Wise Magazine

expertise. The stringent program, which includes high-level mathematics, internships and capstone projects that highlight the value of working on projects as a team, has been in place for less than 10 years. It has 100 percent job placement. The College’s computer science and information management system graduates are also highly recruited in and outside the region. “Adding a cybersecurity component to the UVa-Wise technology programs will increase their prominence and translate into increased enrollment in the program,” Henry said.  The software engineering program is a key component of the College’s plan to establish a cybersecurity accelerator in its newly acquired Oxbow Center, a nearly $1 million facility that sits along the banks of the pristine Clinch River. The College is working with MACH37 , a premier cybersecurity accelerator in Herndon, Virginia, to develop the project in the St. Paul facility.  Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced an agreement that provides a framework for UVa-Wise to engage with MACH37   companies and to familiarize them to Southwest Virginia’s infrastructure, business climate and quality of life. The first familiarization tour took place in mid September. Feedback from the visit was positive and the companies expressed an eagerness to hire UVa-Wise interns.  The region’s rich culture and abundant outdoor recreational activities are attractive to high-tech employers, and the companies looking to establish operations in the area have noticed.  “Southwest Virginia offers a peaceful, awe-inspiring landscape and a creative culture that is very attractive to the lifestyles and work culture of that particular workforce,” Henry said.  Southwest Virginia leaders also had the foresight to plan for the future when the coal industry was in full TM

TM

production. Shannon Blevins, associate vice chancellor for economic development and engagement at UVa-Wise, explained that the region's investment in redundant electric and internet backbone is also attractive to prospective high tech companies, especially cybersecurity sectors. “The investments made in broadband fiber networks have created a critical and essential infrastructure for companies that rely on the internet for continuous operations,” Blevins said.


The College was instrumental in the successful local effort to bring Frontier Secure/Sykes, a company that provides technical assistance for Intuit, to Wise County this year. The company has plans to hire 500 or more employees, including many UVa-Wise graduates. In addition, the College’s faculty works with existing companies to provide expertise and research that some new companies find difficult to do during critical first years of operation. Student interns are also part of the mix and are often hired once the companies

are established. The federal government recently recognized the College’s efforts. The White House selected UVa-Wise and partners in an initiative to expand and develop ecosystems of high quality IT talent in rural America through the TechHire designation. In late October, the Appalachian Regional Commission provided a grant for UVa-Wise and two of the region’s community colleges to establish the Southwest Virginia Regional Cybersecurity Initiative.  The initiative is designed to enhance the region’s efforts to create a cybersecurity hub that includes creating a certification program strongly aligned with industry needs and National Security Agency guidelines. The program would provide support to the cybersecurity startups that locate to the region. Additionally, it will expand the College’s existing bachelor’s degree program and will allow the faculty to help the companies in research and development activities.  The Virginia Tobacco Commission also provided additional funding for the project, which could train 161 workers and retain 110 jobs.  “UVa-Wise will continue to help our region distinguish itself as an innovative, technology-friendly corner of the Commonwealth,” Henry said.  

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SWVA

201 2017

ECONOMIC FORUM DISCOVER CONNECT IGNITE

Eisenberg 20 UVa-Wise Magazine

UVA-WISE MISSION TO BOOST ECONOMY Economic developers, educators, business owners and others gathered on May 10 at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise to look at ways to improve Southwest Virginia’s economy by working together and sharing ideas to boost the region and its people. UVa-Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry welcomed those attending the second SWVA Economic Forum to the David J. Prior Convocation Center. Stephen Moret, president and chief executive officer of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Steve Smith, president and chief executive officer of K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. and a member of the Go Virginia Board, and state lawmakers Delegate Terry Kilgore and Delegate Israel O’Quinn were among the speakers at the event. “Many of us are partnering in ways we’ve never partnered before and engaging in creative, innovative and new initiatives that we never imagined even five years ago when I arrived in Wise,” Henry said. She listed many projects that had been accomplished since the first forum was held at the College a year ago. Several industrial announcements for new facilities and expansions of existing ones were on the list. DP Facilities and Frontier Secure/Sykes in Wise, TeleTech in Scott County, announcement of Branch Botanicals in Wythe County, expansion of Universal Companies in Washington


County, expansion of Mayville Engineering Company and Woodgrain Millwork in Smyth County were mentioned. “Additionally, investments by the Virginia Tobacco Commission and the Appalachian Regional Commission through POWER funding have enabled us to launch new, disruptive programs,” Henry added. “I mean ‘disruptive’ in the most positive sense of the word. I mean thinking outside of the box and rethinking the way we do things to achieve innovation and efficiency.” The chancellor listed Mountain Empire Community College’s Unmanned Aerial Systems training program, among Moret the first in Virginia as a program that distinguishes our region as a leader in this emerging industry. “Leveraging the fiber optic network and power grid, the community colleges and UVa-Wise partnered to successfully receive ARC POWER and VA Tobacco Commission grants to build a cybersecurity workforce in Southwest Virginia,” Henry said. Henry noted that many say more initiatives are underway than many have seen in the past. Initiatives in cyber, unmanned systems, solar, agriculture, trail development, river destinations, health & wellness coalitions, entrepreneurship and much more are occurring all across the region, she explained, adding that the projects show that Southwest Virginia is attractive for new business and industry. “All of these work together to create a diversified and vibrant economy in Southwest Virginia,” she said. “With that said, it seems we just can’t work fast enough. We see our friends and neighbors struggling--many of them leaving or considering leaving the place

they’ve called home all of their lives. There is a sense of urgency for most of us here today and a strong desire to reimagine our future. There is a strong sense of place in Southwest Virginia, and it is through cultivating a spirit of partnership that we will realize a healthy and sustainable future for our region. Our struggle is not with each other but with the external pressures facing our region. There are never enough resources… time, money or people to make things happen when we go it alone. If we collaborate and partner in creative and productive ways, we will transform the region’s economy.” Henry said the College is committed to the region and will do all it can to partner with others in the region to move Southwest Virginia forward. “I urge colleagues across all sectors, whether from education, industry, economic development, government or civic organizations, to be intentional about seeking partnerships, leverage assets with each other and to refrain from territorial thinking and work together,” Henry said. “Southwest Virginia is recognized across the Commonwealth for our regional collaboration. We’ve been a model for others in this regard. Our collaboration has gotten us through tough times before and it will see us through the challenges we face today. “ Moret presented statistics that indicate the region will lose about 1,000 people a year for Pages

the next 10 years and must add 250 new jobs each year to maintain the status quo. Other parts of rural America are experiencing the same situation, but the region is doubly challenged by the downward trend of coal markets. However, Moret touted the computer science and software engineering program at UVa-Wise and said the programs, along with a boost to workforce development training, a look at changing the state’s tax structure, better incentives for companies looking at Virginia and developing mixed-use developments that appeal to younger workers are ways to help Southwest Virginia’s future. Smith briefed those attending on the Go Virginia Board, a group created to encourage private business growth and job growth. He said the nine Go Virginia regions will work to find the needs of each area, consider which projects to recommend to the Go Virginia Board for funding, and said funding would be based on the particular needs of those projects.

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Commencement

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise

Commencement 2017 was special for Donna P. Henry, Chancellor of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. When Henry became chancellor in 2013, she welcomed a group of freshmen to campus. She handed them their diplomas when they walked across the stage on Saturday, May 6. “Now I get to confer their degrees,” she told their family and friends who gathered in the David J. Prior Convocation Center for Commencement 2017. She reminded the 270 graduates that UVa-Wise alumni are leaders in medicine, business, law, politics, education, community service, military service, science and the arts. “You have a promising future ahead,” she said. “You have choices to make and much work to do. Graduates, 22 UVa-Wise Magazine

explore and endeavor to make sound choices. Shoulder the necessary responsibilities, and lead yourself, your colleagues and your community in making a better world.” She urged the Class of 2017 to look for and commit to the essentials of life, and to nurture their families, friends and spirit as they take on the world. “Graduates, I speak for all members of our College community when I tell you how very proud we are of you,” she said. “Remember, you are not leaving UVa-Wise behind. You will always be a part of the UVa-Wise family. Your achievements, service to others and loyalty will contribute to the greatness of UVa-Wise. You have our best wishes for success and happiness throughout your lives.” University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan and University Vice

Rector Frank “Rusty” Conner III also addressed the graduates. UVa-Wise is the only off grounds division of the University of Virginia. “The University of Virginia in Charlottesville and the College at Wise are connected in many ways, perhaps most importantly by our shared commitment to a set of values—the values of academic excellence, honor, integrity and respect,” Sullivan said. She told the students she hopes they carry the values they learned on campus with them as they leave UVaWise. “You will need them,” she said. “In the years ahead, you will experience moments when it might be easier to keep quiet when truth is obscured; to argue the easy point rather than the true point; to follow blindly rather than sticking to your convictions. At those


moments, I encourage you to remember the values you learned at UVa-Wise. Those values will guide your path as you navigate your future.” Conner said UVa-Wise prepared the Class of 2017 for tackling complex problems they will face in the 21st century economy. “As you leave this campus to take on new challenges, you take with you the accumulated wisdom and advice of all the teachers, advisors and mentors who have shaped your life and learning at UVa-Wise,” he said. “You can face the future with confidence because of the excellent education you have received here at UVa-Wise.” Marcia A. Gilliam, a 1982 graduate of the College and chair of the UVa-Wise Board, also addressed the Class of 2017. “You have prepared for your future here at UVa-Wise, both emotionally and professionally, and are ready to face the challenges and goals you have set for yourselves,” Gilliam said. “Nothing can or should stop you. Remember that courage is an outgrowth of who you are. Exterior supports may temporarily sustain, but only inward character creates courage.” Henry, Sullivan and Conner also paid tribute to the late Joseph C. “Papa Joe” Smiddy. Smiddy, the College’s first chancellor, passed away on May 1 at the age of 96. “He played an essential role in establishing this College and guiding it through its early years,” Sullivan said. “From a personal standpoint, getting to know Papa Joe over the last few years was a great joy, and it was obvious why he was such a beloved figure in this community.” The Class of 2017 also heard remarks from Student Government Association President Cassidy Strange and honorary student speaker Gabrielle Smith. ROTC cadets Thomas Bauserman, Jeremiah Cooke, Karla Degener, Zachary Evans and Logan Mullins were commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army during Commencement 2017. The College has now had 22 commissioned officers since the ROTC program began in 2009.

Special Commencement The University of Virginia’s College at Wise held a special Commencement ceremony on Monday, May 8, for three Cavalier softball players who could not attend Commencement exercises because they were participating in tournament play. Chancellor Donna P. Henry invited the players and their families to her home and held a mini Commencement ceremony complete with caps, gowns and a short Processional. Olivia Cleary, Alexa Hernandez and Emily Kale received their diplomas and Henry conferred their degrees. “Olivia, Alexa and Emily, you have led outstanding undergraduate careers as student athletes,” Henry said. “You have put in countless hours on the field, off the field, and on the road. Congratulations on this milestone. Thank you for hard work,

your school spirit and your Cavalier Pride. I know being a student athlete will serve you well in all your future endeavors.” The UVa-Wise softball team received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II national championship. UVa-Wise hosted the Atlantic 1 Regional on Thursday through Saturday. “You have a promising future ahead,” Henry said. “You have choices to make and much work to do. Explore and endeavor to make sound choices. Shoulder the necessary responsibilities and lead yourself, your colleagues and your community in making a better world. Seek out and commit to the essentials in your life. Nurture your family, your friends and your spirit as you journey away from us out into the world. And remember you will always have a home here at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise.”

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Kilgore pairs advice and golden oldies in Commencement address Delegate Terry Kilgore offered advice to the 270 graduates of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, and he peppered his guidance with oldies tunes that were hits during his student days at UVa-Wise. Kilgore, who graduated from what was then Clinch Valley College in 1983 and earned a law degree from the College of William and Mary’s law school, said his four years at Wise developed his leadership skills, allowed him to form lifelong friendships and deepened his pride for his Southwest Virginia home. He recalled hard fought intramural contests, his term as Student Government Association president, dorm life in Crockett Hall, and the weekly Thursday night dances that pitted disco fans against rock and roll diehards. The dances and the music carried lessons that served graduates of that era well. He shared those lessons during the May 6 Commencement 2017 exercise at the David J. Prior Convocation Center, a facility he helped fund through his work in the Virginia House of Delegates. “While I was thinking about what wise words of wisdom I wanted to bestow upon you, I realized for me if all goes back to the ’80s,” Kilgore said. “What a time to be on campus! Crockett Hall was then just for guys, intramurals were the thing, and most importantly, every single Thursday night there was a dance.” Kilgore played bits of the song “Funky Town,” and said the battle on campus was over the music. Disco won the battle, but rock and roll won the war, he explained. “There’s a lesson here,” he said. “Don’t ever give up on the classics. There will be fads, there will be movements, but in the end, certain views have staying power…just like rock and roll.” He gave the Class of 2017 a gentle warning about the power of social media to the tune of “Jenny 867-5309.” He explained that the lack of phones in dorm rooms back then and a lack of mobile phones gave those in the 1980s some privacy. 24 UVa-Wise Magazine

“We can find out so much more about Jenny today than her phone number,” Kilgore said as he cautioned about posting pictures that parents and future employers would not want to see. “Be careful what information you give out to someone,” he said. He played snippets from “Wake Me Up Before You GoGo” and “Lean on Me” as he said friends and roommates continue to be people that they can rely on. “Magic,” “Living on a Prayer,” and “All Night Long” are reminders that students actually had to work and not procrastinate to earn good grades. “Papa Don’t Preach” illustrates that the experience earned in a classroom is often more important than picking the right major. “The Eye of the Tiger” shows


the value of competition. “During the ’80s, everyone was not a winner,” Kilgore said. “We didn’t have safe spaces. We had intramurals, and we came to win. We knew who won and who lost. We learned how to deal with those losses and how to deal with the wins. That’s an important lesson to carry forward in life. There are winners and there are losers. Understanding how to grow from each will define your life.” Kilgore told the graduates their education has given them tools to find a job, but he said the work world would be a different experience. “The real world is about to hit you,” he said as “9 to 5” played. “Just keep working hard and the money side will work out,” he said to the song “Money for Nothing.” The working world requires planning, and he played “Morning Train,” especially for graduates who will work in Northern Virginia or Hampton Roads. “This College has been an important part of your life,” he said. “It’s equally important that you not forget about UVaWise,” he said as “Don’t You Forget About Me” played. “Whether you live in this region or whether you live outside the region, it’s important to help UVa-Wise and this College succeed. I’ve tried to do that by representing this region and this College in the General Assembly in Richmond. I hope you will represent this region in your job, your position and in many other ways as you move forward.” Kilgore applauded the graduates for their accomplishments and for their decision to attend UVa-Wise. “As I look back to where you are sitting, one’80s song played in my mind,” he said as “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” played. “May God richly bless you. Thank you and good luck.”

About Delegate Terry Kilgore Kilgore has served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 24 years. While in the state legislature, Kilgore has helped UVa-Wise grow. He was instrumental in legislation that changed the College’s name from Clinch Valley College to The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He garnered funding for the new library, science building renovations, other building renovations, and for the David J. Prior Convocation Center construction.

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Joseph C. “Papa Joe” Smiddy 1920-2017 Joseph C. “Papa Joe” Smiddy, the first chancellor of College’s first African American student by famously asking The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, passed away “what color is her money?” when worried staff ran to tell on Monday, May 1, at the age of 96, leaving a lasting legacy him that a black woman was trying to register for class. that will forever shape the College and its mission. He chose to strategically ignore some orders from Smiddy, lauded by many for his dedication to UVaCharlottesville in the early days—particularly one that Wise and Southwest Virginia, provided 30 years of said the school would never be a residential college—when groundbreaking leadership to the College. UVa-Wise those instructions ran counter to what was best for the then Chancellor Donna P. Henry said fledgling College at Wise. His Smiddy continued to provide philosophy was that it was solid and thoughtful advice to easier to ask forgiveness, and “The entire University of Virginia family the end of his life. he had a special desk drawer to mourns the passing of Joseph C. ‘Papa Joe’ Smiddy. “It has been such a blessing store those orders. Papa Joe played an essential role in establishing the for me to have known him,” He steered the two-year College at Wise and guiding the institution through Henry said. “At our last meeting, school toward its emergence its early years. He believed that the College has he was still giving advice and was as a respected four-year the power to transform students’ lives as well as very supportive of the direction institution, and he fought the entire community, and that belief continues to of our College. He was still budget cuts in the early 1980s guide the College today. On a personal note, I am working for the College until the that many feared could have so glad that I had the opportunity to get to know very end. Our hearts and prayers closed the school’s doors. He him. He was a remarkable leader, profoundly go out to his loving family.” was always there to pitch in kind, and a legend in Southwest Virginia.” Henry said the College’s first on the largest or smallest tasks - Teresa A. Sullivan chancellor provided extraordinary to strengthen the College. A President, University of Virginia service to the College. leaky roof in the early days “He was a distinguished, gave Smiddy the opportunity kind, and honorable man who led to showcase his mopping skills. the College from humble beginnings to a highly respected “You didn’t have anyone to call in those days,” he said division of the University of Virginia,” she said. “UVa-Wise when speaking to the crowd who attended Smiddy Hall’s will honor his legacy.” rededication in 2013. “You just grabbed a mop.” Papa Joe Smiddy, indeed, leaves a legacy that began Former Chancellor George Culbertson, who was with his lifelong love of education. Later in his career, he a former student of Smiddy and later served as an was honored with the Kanto Education award and the administrator during Smiddy’s tenure, said during the Laurel Leaves award. rededication that Smiddy became the face of the College. A native of Jellico, Tennessee, he made Southwest “I think the stars were in alignment when they brought Virginia his home, and used his banjo, quick wit and Joe to this institution,” Culbertson said. warm personality to serve as an ambassador for the College Smiddy graduated from Lincoln Memorial University in and the region. He was just at home in boardrooms in 1948. He earned a master’s degree in biology from Peabody Richmond as he was discussing the College and its future College when he returned from three years of service in with fellow diners in The Inn at Wise. He used his charm the U.S. Army during World War II. LMU, University and political skills to propel the College forward and safely of Richmond, Cumberland College and the College of navigate the school through good and bad times. He broke William and Mary awarded him honorary doctorates. Virginia’s antiquated segregation laws when he admitted the Education was always Smiddy’s career focus. He taught 26 UVa-Wise Magazine


at Jonesville High in Lee County and served as principal. Giving up a promising career with Shell Oil, he joined Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia when the College opened its doors in 1954. He and his first wife, the late Rosebud Smiddy, also a lifelong educator, moved their family to a small living area in what is now Bowers-Sturgill Hall, and his two children would earn degrees from the College. He became dean two years later and was named director two years after serving as dean. He became the College’s first chancellor in 1968 and guided the school for three decades. The Board of Visitors at the University of Virginia named him Chancellor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Biology after his retirement from the University’s only division college. Joseph C. “Papa Joe” Smiddy is survived by his son, Dr. Joe Frank Smiddy, and his daughter, Judge Elizabeth Wills. Several grandchildren and great grandchildren also survive him. His first wife, Rosebud Smiddy, and his second wife, Reba G. Smiddy, preceded him in death.

"He was a distinguished, kind and honorable man who led the College from humble beginnings to a highly respected division of the University of Virginia. Even in his final days, the College was always top of mind and close to his heart. His extraordinary commitment, vision and legacy lives on." - Donna P. Henry Chancellor, UVa-Wise

F. Scott Pippin’s eulogy to Papa Joe First Chancellor of Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia. Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. The most commanding voice for education in Southwest Virginia. A legacy of community and civic service. Church leader. All well-known. What is not well-known is his perpetual and enduring care and counsel of my father (Don R. Pippin, CVC Class of '58) – and of me. In 1958, Papa Joe chose my dad to be the student representative of Clinch Valley College before the General Assembly in Richmond. Since then – that is, for six decades – they were never out of touch. Papa Joe was always there, in any situation, for Dad. Half a century after he dispatched Dad to Richmond, Papa chose me to journey with him to the other side of the earth. To the very distant, very remote, very beautiful South Pacific island of New Caledonia, where he had served in the Army in World War II. He wanted to see it again, 60 years after he had left. And see it, he did! Papa Joe was 84 when we made that trip. Eighty-four. Since then, we were never out of touch. He was always there, in any situation, for me.

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True friendship across different generations For Dad and Papa, it started with a love of big band music. They were both trumpet players. For Papa and me, it was a love of distant lands and travel. How delighted Papa Joe was to tell about tracing the footsteps of the Apostle Paul at Ephesus. In youth, education, jobs, marriage, illness, the death of our loved ones, and for the first church prayer for my first-born son – now seven years old – Papa was there. In short, the trials and vicissitudes of life were no match – none at all – for the faith and love of this very great, and very good, man. The guiding star in Papa Joe’s moral compass is in Philippians: “Let your gentleness be evident to all — whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” That was the spiritual guide in Papa Joe’s life and work. The teaching, the faith, the kindness, discipline, forgiveness, counsel and patience of this remarkable man cannot be adequately described. In a Shakespeare play, in one of the death scenes, the speaker says: “He was the noblest Roman of them all.” Today, as we celebrate the life and mourn the death of Joseph Charles Smiddy, we pray that flights of angels will go with him. So take him Lord. He’s the best we got.

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"On behalf of the Board, I share our deepest sympathy following the death of Papa Joe Smiddy. In many ways, Papa Joe was the face—and the soul—of the College at Wise. All of us in the UVA community share in your grief, even as we remember and celebrate his life and his many accomplishments." - Frank M. Conner III Vice Rector, University of Virginia


To honor Papa Joe and his legacy of learning, friends and family are working to fully endow the Joseph C. Smiddy Endowed Chair. It will forever be a reminder to those who follow that Chancellor Smiddy made a difference. The Smiddy Chair will be filled by a renowned faculty member, which is the highest academic honor possible. Gifts may be sent to the UVa-Wise Office of Development, 1 College Avenue, Wise, Virginia 24293. “He was a great and humble man. When he hired me 50 years ago, I called him Mr. Smiddy, and he never told me to call him anything else, so Mr. Smiddy it is. Mr. Smiddy used music to connect to people, to uplift people, and ultimately, to inspire them. He had integrity and kindness. He elevated people. He elevated me.” - Michael O’Donnell Professor of French "Papa Joe as we knew him was such a champion of his students. He was so proud of all the students and the graduates. He was our champion." - Charlotte Dison Class of '56

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Merry Lu Prior December 12, 1944 - May 10, 2017

Merry Lucille Fritz Prior was born on December 12, 1944 in Gaylord, Michigan. She grew up with a love for traveling and exploring nature and continued to be an advocate for learning throughout her life. She received a B.A. degree from Olivet College, studied in Chile on a Rotary International Scholarship at what is now Santiago University and studied one semester abroad in Valencia, Spain. She met her husband David J. Prior while in college at Olivet. She taught Spanish and English in middle school and high school systems. Her passion to support education and the communities she lived in grew from there. Although her positive attitude and remarkable kindness left an imprint on many throughout the years, she considered Southwest Virginia and UVa-Wise her home and was devoted to ensuring its continued educational and spiritual growth in a multitude of ways. She served on the UVa-Wise Board, the UVa-Wise Alumni Association Board of Directors, Lonesome Pine Regional Library Board of Trustees, Charles Harris Library Gallery Board, Pro-Art Association Board of Trustees, and was a member of the Town and Country Federated Garden Club, Wise

30 UVa-Wise Magazine

Study Club, American Association of University Women, Twinleaf Society of UVa-Wise Retired Faculty and Staff, Gladeville Presbyterian Church, and she loved all animals, especially her cats. Merry Lu passed away on May 10, 2017 in Brighton, Michigan with her family by her side. Her legacy of thoughtfulness and devotion to others will remain a positive role model for her surviving family and friends, but especially her granddaughters Lucy and Hannah. A memorial service was held at the David J. Prior Convocation Center at UVa-Wise on Monday, May 15 at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, her family is requested gifts be made to The University of Virginia’s College at Wise to help others continue on their path to lifelong learning. Gifts in memory may be made to the UVa-Wise Merry Lu Prior Bicentennial Scholarship to help others continue on their path to lifelong learning. Gifts may be sent to UVaWise Office of Development, Merry Lu Prior Bicentennial Scholarship Fund, 1 College Avenue, Wise, VA 24293. Gifts may also be made online at giving. virginia.edu/wise.


“I’ve had a wonderful life.”

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32 UVa-Wise UVa-Wise Magazine Magazine 32


New Endowed Scholarships • Glenn Blackburn Scholarship in Philosophy established by Tom Costa on behalf of faculty and friends of the College at Wise History Department • Brian K. Blanton & Daphne D. Blanton Scholarship established by Brian K. Blanton ’92 and Daphne D. Blanton ’93 • Rick Lee Brown Memorial Basketball Scholarship established by Rachel W. Brown ’04, Zachary S. Moore ’04, Michael S. Ratliff ’00 and Stacy R. Ervin ‘02 • John I. Burton High School Class of 1984 Scholarship established by members of the John I. Burton Class of 1984 with leadership provided by Sherry Adams ’88, Charles Lawson, Fred L. Ramey ’88 and Stewart R. Spradlin ’92 • Edna Robinette Couch and Carra Carico Robinette Scholarship established by Nancy B. Culbertson ’77 and George E. Culbertson ’57 • Dr. W. H. Hankins, Jr. Memorial Tennis Scholarship established by Martha Hankins Hunt ’81 and Fran G. Hunt ’80 • Rebecca Horne ’91 and William C. Horne, Jr. ’91 Scholarship established by Rebecca Horne ’91 and William C. Horne, Jr. ’91 • William P. Kanto, Jr., M.D. & Marguerite T. Kanto Scholarship established by William P. Kanto, Jr. and Marguerite T. Kanton • Jim and Clara Lipps Scholarship established by Clara M. Lipps ’56, Mike J. Lipps ’02, Linda P. Lipps ’96 and Lindsay M. Lipps ’08 • Preston Mitchell Scholarship established by Tom Costa and friends and family • Nelson-Hopkins Nursing Scholarship established by Tom Costa along with friends of the Department of Nursing and friends and family • Norton Community Hospital Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship established by Norton Community Hospital • Charles S. Perkins & Celestine Wright Perkins Scholarship established by Carolyn P. Cummins • Pi Kappa Phi Leadership Scholarship established by the Pi Kappa Phi Alumni Chapter with leadership by Luther “L.J.” Boothe, Jr. ’07, Dakota R. Hill ’15, Luke Robert Layne ’07, Aaron Trey Stapleton ’06, and Jordan W. Viars ’15 • Benjamin James Price and Michael Enoch Schimansky Bicentennial Scholarship established by Donna Price Henry and Doris J. Price & Richard W. Price • Theresa Roberts Rigg Scholarship established by Claire Rigg and Catherine Rigg Stewart ’11 • Dr. Bhagvan and Malini Sheshadri Scholarship established by Saroj & Naresh Ramdas and Vikram and Rashmi Sheshadri • Marion and Lucille Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund established by Marion W. Smith, Jr. ’73 and John G. Smith • Eugene K. Street Bicentennial Scholarship Fund established by donors who wish to remain anonymous • Thomas Family Bicentennial Scholarship Fund established by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous

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Tice Total Achievement recipients

SCHOLARSHIP LUNCHEON

Five UVa-Wise students were recipients of the Tice Total Achievement Award, an honor presented to students who encourage family values, community service, cooperation, creativity and scholarship. The awards were given during the 2017 Scholarship Luncheon. Each student received $1,000. Melissa D. Bartley A freshman, from Jenkins, Kentucky, Bartley is a volunteer coach with the Kentucky Little League All Star team. She is a donor to the “Share the Meal” program, a cooperative venture that provides meals to children in Africa. Recently, she solicited the help of others to establish a team to support the “Share the Meal” program. She is also a member of the UVaWise softball team and serves as a mentor in the Little Cavs program. She recently made the decision to change her major to biology and has plans to pursue a career as a veterinarian. Christopher A. Burke A rising senior, Burke has spent numerous hours learning and practicing music. He has been selected to join the music department in several conferences the past two years where he has been exposed to a wide range of instruments. He is a member of the College’s pep band, marching band and the Wise Guys. He has stepped up to help his family through his father’s failing health in recent years. He traveled in May to the Transatlantic Dialogue Conference in Luxembourg where he performed with the Wise Guys and Bluegrass Band. He plans to attend graduate school after UVa-Wise. Colton C. Collins A sophomore, Collins is majoring in psychology. A resident of Cape Charles, Virginia, Collins has immersed himself in service to others at UVa-Wise. He is involved with the Residence Hall Association, Pre-Professional Club, the Napoleon Hill Scholars Program, National Society of Leadership and Success, and Women in STREAM. He 34 UVa-Wise Magazine

is a sophomore senator on the Student Government Association. Collins has been an exemplary Resident Advisor in Culbertson Hall. His community is known as the Jefferson Trails, where he has built a close-knit community among the students that live on his floor. He also volunteered with the Remote Area Medical in Grundy last spring where he assisted in the dental unit. This past fall, he helped with the inaugural Girls’ Day in STEM event, hosted by UVa-Wise at the David J. Prior Convocation Center. The event reinforced for the sixth grade girls who participated that STEM fields are for everyone. Haley E. Isbell Isbell, a freshman double majoring in art and psychology, is from Coeburn, Virginia. She is passionate about helping others. She hopes to put her degree to work as an art therapist helping children who would benefit from these therapeutic techniques. She spends a good part of her spare time assisting her family with her two young adopted siblings, a brother and a sister, who are in the second and third grades. She picks them up from school and assists in getting them to after-school activities. She also serves as a song and worship leader at the Freedom of Worship Church. Praised as an exceptional role model for other students, she is known for uplifting and inspiring the staff in the Housing and Residence Life Office. Thomas O. Wheatley Wheatley was raised in the United Kingdom but completed much of his education in Wise County and now lives in Norton, Virginia. He has been described as a student who is unafraid of math or philosophy and who has a strong desire to stretch himself intellectually. He has been involved in the Psychology Club and has worked multiple jobs to enjoy the privilege of pursuing a higher education. In his spare time, Wheatley enjoys helping people through his work in construction.


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STRONG UVA-WISE TIES

SCHOLARSHIP LUNCHEON

Freddie Mullins’ family tree has strong roots at the UVaWise campus. His father was in the first graduating class when the school was called Clinch Valley College, and his mother received a mathematics degree on campus. His wife, sister, brother-in-law, several aunts, and his mother-in-law are also on the alumni roll. Mullins, Class of '96, told the crowd at the 2017 Scholarship Luncheon that his family has been involved with and greatly benefitted from UVa-Wise over the years.  “I think it is pretty safe to say that neither of my parents would have attended college had it not been for this institution,” Mullins said. “My father was the first to attend college in his family. For as long as I can remember, my parents were self- employed. The College, with its location and affordability, gave them the opportunity for a different and better life.”  Mullins sad everyone who attends and graduates from the College emerges in a better place. UVa-Wise is a shining beacon and an opportunity for students to receive a world-class education without the crippling debt load.  “Thanks to the College and its generous supporters, the dream of obtaining a college degree is an attainable goal for our citizens if he or she is willing to work and apply themselves,” he said.  The Dickenson County resident, who received his juris doctorate from the University of Tennessee’s College of Law, said he knew from the age of five he wanted to be attorney. All it took was a look at the big desk and rows of books he saw during a visit to a local attorney’s office to set the youngster on his career path. UVa-Wise solidified his goals. “When I started law school, I never felt unprepared,” he said. “Well, that’s not exactly true. Everybody feels lost in the first year of law school, but I never felt more lost than my classmates. I had the benefit of an intensive undergraduate education by a superb group of instructors and faculty.  The College was the first step to be fulfilling my goal, and every morning I wake up having achieved that goal in large part because of the College.” Mullins, whose sister and mother have served or serve on several UVa-Wise boards, said he often asks himself what he can do to help the College. He said the answer is scholarship endowment, donations or the volunteering of time and talent. His parents endowed a scholarship and he donates to the fund. Another way of giving back is to serve as an ambassador and tell the College’s powerful story. “Perhaps the most overlooked way of helping the College is through what I call facilitation,” he told the crowd of scholarship donors and students. “Bring others in and show them the benefits of the College. Encourage others to set up scholarships. Introduce them to the administration. Get others on campus through the various college functions.”  Mullins has facilitated bringing Norton Community Hospital, the Mountain States Health Alliance Foundation

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and the Industrial Development Authority of Dickenson County to the College. He said those facilitation opportunities were not planned, but came from just listening to people who wanted to invest in their communities. UVa-Wise provided those opportunities. He told the students that opportunities to give back to UVa-Wise would arise as they progress through their careers. “Be prepared when those opportunities come,” he said. “Remember UVa-Wise and the opportunities it gave you. Reach out and give those opportunities to someone else.” Mullins said he did not personally know the people who endowed some of the scholarships he received at UVa-Wise, but he thanked them for their help. “It’s not about knowing the people we are helping,” he said. “We do what we are doing because we have been blessed with the ability and opportunity to make our part of the world a better place. That is our sacred responsibility to not only help the people we know, but for all those yet to come.”  


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FROM SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA TO ANCONA ITALY,

ZACHARY BLAIR When the final whistle blows at the end of a senior season, typically the playing career of a NCAA Division II student-athlete is over. That is not the case for Zachary Blair, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker who excelled for the Highland Cavaliers over the past four seasons. The Front Royal, Virginia native is in his first season as a member of the Ancona Dolphins in the Italian Football League after completing his collegiate career at UVa-Wise last fall. “I sent out film to as many people as possible and got some interest back,” said Blair on how the opportunity to play in Italy arose. “I had a phone conversation with the president of the Ancona Dolphins and within a few days had a contract offer.” After an impressive collegiate career, it’s easy to see why Blair still has the opportunity to strap on the shoulder pads. At UVa-Wise, the former Skyline High School star set six school records, established a pair of conference records and became NCAA Division II’s alltime leader in tackles for loss with 80. A Second-Team All-America honoree, Blair was a three-time All-Mountain East Conference FirstTeam selection while twice earning all-region acclaim. As a senior, he repeated as Virginia’s Small College Defensive Player of the Year while being named Linebacker of the Year by the Richmond Touchdown Club. A finalist for the Cliff Harris Award, which is awarded annually to the nation’s top defensive player, Blair was twice named MEC Defensive Player of the Week during a senior season that saw him lead the 38 UVa-Wise Magazine

ATHLETICS

CONTINUES TO MAKE PLAYS

Cavaliers in tackles (87), sacks (5) and blocked kicks (2). Since transitioning to Italy, the success has continued as Blair has led the Dolphins in tackles in each of the team’s first three games. His trademark stop behind the line of scrimmage has carried over to Italy as well; through five games, Blair has six stops behind the line of scrimmage to lead the Dolphins. Being an athlete and a student continues for Blair also. Six classes shy of graduation, the special education major is taking classes online to finish his degree. “The adjustment has been a little tough, but my professors have been very understanding and helpful with my travel schedule and time difference,” stated Blair. “After football, I want to be a special education teacher and work with kids in the Special Olympics.” While Blair’s personal accolades are remarkable, he and his teammates helped turn around the UVa-Wise football program last fall. After seven consecutive losing seasons, the Cavaliers claimed six wins, four of which came by three points or fewer. Blair started out his final collegiate season by setting the school record for TFLs in a career by registering five in his team’s 1310 overtime victory at Tusculum. A month later, the linebacker had an 82-yard interception return for

a touchdown in UVa-Wise’s 3937 come from behind win at West Virginia State in early October. The strong play in close games continued when he blocked a game-winning field goal attempt at West Liberty to give the Cavs a 28-27 win. In the final win of his collegiate career, Blair led the team with eight tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage in his team’s 39-36 win at Urbana University. While football played an important role in Blair’s time at UVa-Wise, he says it was the relationships with those outside of football he cherishes the most: “The relationships I made with the community are special to me. The people at Mount Olive Church, my Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers and all my friends outside of football provided me with some great times. When I come back to do my student teaching I can’t wait to get in touch with those people.” Blair will play out the remainder of the season with the Dolphins before returning home in June in plotting his next step. “I’m not sure yet on long-term plans,” remarked Blair. “It’s always one week at a time for me, I’ll figure out a plan that is best for my family and me after the season.” Blair’s football life in Ancona, Italy continues while his friends in Southwest Virginia watch from afar.


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Cavalier Softball

Reaches New Heights,

T

he UVa-Wise softball team reached new heights during its 2017 campaign and became the first athletics program in school history to claim a NCAA postseason win in the school’s second year of being eligible for NCAA postseason play. After appearing in the NCAA Division II regional rankings throughout the regular season, a first for the program, the Cavaliers reached the Mountain East Conference Tournament title game with an upset of seventh-ranked West Virginia Wesleyan in game one of the championship round. UVa-Wise was selected as the No. 4 seed in the 2017 NCAA Division II Atlantic Region and the host for the Atlantic 1 Regional, becoming the first UVaWise athletics team to receive an at-large bid into NCAA postseason competition and host. The Cavs then eliminated 40 UVa-Wise Magazine

No. 8 seed Chowan University 2-1 in the consolation bracket of the Atlantic Regional for UVa-Wise’s first-ever NCAA postseason win. The Cavs, who reached 30 wins for the first time since 2014 and third time in the past six years, finished the season with a 36-19 overall record and a 22-8 mark in MEC play. The 22 league victories marking the most conference wins since joining the league. UVa-Wise’s players enjoyed plenty of individual accolades as well with six different Cavs being named to the All-MEC First and Second Teams. Junior righthanded pitcher Taylor Brandts (King George, Va.) and junior right fielder Zoe Millard (Glen Allen, Va.) were both named the All-MEC First Team, while senior first


Makes History in 2017

baseman Olivia Cleary (Riner, Va.), senior second baseman Alexa Hernandez (Woodbridge, Va.), junior third baseman Samantha Ely (Jonesville, Va.) and senior right-handed pitcher Emily Kale (Shelby, N.C.) claimed second-team honors. Taylor Brandts, who became UVa-Wise’s all-time winningest pitcher with her 61st career victory, also claimed two all-region plaudits as Hernandez and Millard earned NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA) All-Atlantic Region Second Team recognition. Co-head coach Karen Bitter reflected on the progression of the program since becoming NCAA Division II members and joining the MEC. “We were fortunate to have a veteran team headed into our first year playing a NCAA Division II schedule. But

from the course of one summer, we went from a veteran team to a very young team.” “We spent some time focusing on the process and staying the course the last couple seasons, regardless of the result," bitter said. "Now we have managed to find our way into the regional discussions.” “I’m just really, really proud of this team and what they’ve accomplished this season,” commented Bitter after the Cavs’ season-ending loss in the Atlantic Regional. Taylor Brandts remarked about the seniors graduating and the future of the team; “I feel like we have people who can fill their roles but they’ve left a legacy that this team is not going to let down and we’re going to keep striving to go further.”

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LACROSSE AWARD WINNERS

ATHLETICS

After a program record 12 wins during the regular season, the women’s lacrosse program at UVa-Wise received a plethora of individual honors when the Mountain East Conference announced its allconference teams Wednesday. Junior goalie Melanie Reilly was named Defensive Player of the Year while freshman attacker Jesse French took home Freshman of the Year accolades. Junior midfielder Hannah Marshall was named First-Team AllMEC for the third consecutive year to join defender Lauren and Reilly as Cavaliers named to the unit. Additionally, French (Dumfries, Va./St. Paul The Great Catholic H.S.), attacker Sydney Steinberg (Gainesville, Fla./Bucholz H.S.), midfielder McKayla Grasham (Baltimore/Mercy H.S.) and defender Jessica Apgar (Elliston, Va./Salem H.S.) were named to Second-Team All-MEC. Midfielder Kristin Gobbi (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield H.S.) was an All-MEC Honorable Mention honoree while fellow midfielder Ashley Wells (Purcellville, Va./ Loudon Valley H.S.) joined French on the conference’s All-Freshman Team. Reilly (Chesapeake, Va./Bishop Sullivan Catholic H.S.) earned Defensive Player of the Year and FirstTeam All-MEC accolades after earning Second-Team All-MEC in each of the previous two seasons. The goalie led the MEC in goals against average (9.09), save percentage (.505) and saves per game (9.44). On Feb. 25, Reilly posted a shutout in the Cavaliers’ 17-0 win at Lees-McRae College. French led UVa-Wise with 39 goals in her first collegiate season. The attacker ranked fifth in the league in goals per game (2.44) while tying for the conference lead in game-winning goals with three. French added eight assists to finish the regular season with 47 points, ranking sixth in league in points per game. The Defensive Player of the Year

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and Freshman of the Year honors are the first bestowed on any women's lacrosse player at UVa-Wise since the formation of the program in 2015. Earning her third consecutive First-Team All-MEC award, Marshall posted a trio of game-winning goals to tie French for the league lead. The midfielder led UVa-Wise and finished third in the MEC in caused turnovers per game at 1.81 while also ranking fourth in the conference in groundballs per game at 2.75. She is the only women's lacrosse player in school history to be a three-time FirstTeam All-MEC honoree. For the second consecutive season Donahue is a First-Team All-MEC selection. The defender recorded 15 groundballs and caused seven turnovers en route to back-toback first-team awards. Steinberg led UVa-Wise and the MEC in assists with two per game. The Floridian added 23 goals to finish with 55 points on the season to lead the Cavaliers and fifth in the league. Steinberg posted six contests of four or more points. A member of the MEC AllFreshman Team a year ago, Grasham picked up Second-Team All-MEC recognition in her second collegiate season. The Baltimore product tallied 19 goals, five assists, 22 groundballs and 34 draw controls during the year. The attacker recorded five multi-point games in 2017. Like Steinberg, Apgar made the jump from All-Freshman Team to Second-Team All-MEC as a sophomore. The defender led UVaWise and ranked third in the MEC in groundballs per game at 2.88 while adding 15 caused turnovers and 18 draw controls this spring. Gobbi finished second on the team and eighth in the league in goals per game at 2.0. The midfielder tallied 10 multi-goals games while registered six goals on two separate occasions.

Student-Athletes Honored at 2017 Athletics Awards Banquet Senior men’s cross country runner Shaquon Wilkins and late senior men’s golfer Nick England were honored as Co-Cavaliers of the Year at the 2017 UVa-Wise Athletics Awards Banquet held in the David J. Prior Convocation on Thursday, April 27. Six other awards were handed out at the annual awards banquet, including Male and Female Athlete of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Team of the Year, Coach of the Year and the Outstanding Service Award. The award winners were as follows: Shaquon Wilkins (Men’s Cross Country), Co-Cavalier of the Year Nick England (Men’s Golf), CoCavalier of the Year Zachary Blair (Football), Male Athlete of the Year Makenzie Cluesman (Women’s Basketball), Female Athlete of the Year Alex Arnold (Men’s Golf), Freshman of the Year Men’s Golf, Team of the Year Kristin Kunzman (Women’s Basketball), Coach of the Year Paul Kilgore (Greear Gymnasium Housekeeper), Outstanding Service Award


A RENAISSANCE MAN, SAM DIXON RETURNS TO HIS ROOTS AFTER LIFE OVERSEAS Sam Dixon, the current sports editor of the Coalfield Progress and proud alum of the College, has come full circle and back to his old stomping grounds after a life abroad. Born in nearby Norton, Virginia, and raised in Appalachia, Dixon grew up on sports as his father, Sam Dixon Sr., was the head football coach at Appalachia High School. After living in northern Virginia and Baltimore County, Maryland, as a teenager, Dixon graduated from Lansdowne High School and received a full scholarship to play basketball at then Clinch Valley College. Dixon couldn’t wait to return home and attend college near where he grew up. Little did he know it wouldn’t be his last homecoming. Majoring in English, Dixon played just one year of collegiate basketball before retiring his sneakers and pursuing other endeavors. He got a job at the local Piggly Wiggly as a bag boy and shortly afterwards began his professional career as an editor. His first gig was as sports editor at the Coalfield Progress, a title he would return to much later in life. Continuing to take night classes while working at the Coalfield Progress, Dixon took the seven-year plan at CVC but graduated in 1981. Upon graduating, he taught a year of English and journalism at both J.J. Kelly High School in Wise and Coeburn High School, where he also served as an assistant football coach. After his two-year stint as a teacher and coach in Wise County, Dixon left the area once again to further his career as an editor in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore area. Being an adventuresome young man and seeking a new thrill, Dixon saw an opportunity courtesy of a newspaper ad to travel overseas for an editor job in Taipei, Taiwan. Before he knew it, Sam had not only applied for the job but landed it and was headed to Taiwan for an eye-opening experience. Dixon began his life overseas by signing a one-year contract and ended

up signing 12 one-year contracts as the senior editor at the Republic of China Government Information Office. It wasn’t long before Sam met and fell in love with a Filipino woman named Jenny, who would lead him on even more adventures in Southeast Asia. Getting engaged and then married,

Dixon followed Jenny down to the Philippines where he worked for Global Sources, an e-commerce company in Manila, as an editor for seven years. Following a layoff, Dixon and his wife found another opportunity in Bangkok, Thailand, where Sam became an editor for Western Digital. After serving as a government and business editor in three different Southwest Asian countries, Dixon wanted to move back to the United States for his son, Dwight. Sam and his wife wanted their son to have more opportunities by going to high school and college here in the U.S. His dreams became a reality in the spring of 2016 when Dixon was offered the same job at the Coalfield Progress that he held 34 years ago. Dixon and his family did not hesitate at the opportunity to return to Sam’s hometown and his roots. They now reside in Norton and Dwight attends John I. Burton High School. Being away for so long and now stepping back on the campus of UVaWise, Dixon is impressed with how far the College has come. “UVa-Wise is like a grownup and Clinch Valley College to me was like an

adolescent,” Dixon stated. He also remembers playing basketball on the old hardwood of historic Greear Gymnasium. “This campus is big time to me,” Dixon continued. “The David J. Prior Convocation Center is one of the finest basketball/volleyball arenas I’ve ever been in and it’s got a special feeling to it when you walk through those doors. Carl Smith Stadium is just beautiful and the campus itself has changed so much, the new library is amazing.” The lessons and education Dixon received while attending CVC are something he doesn’t take for granted. “Richard Peake, who was the dean or chairman of the English department, was a passionate professor and instilled a respect for writing in me as a freshman,” reflected Sam. Even today while editing stories at the Coalfield Progress, Dixon puts into practice what he was taught 35 years ago. “One of the most important lessons I learned is how to make a sentence sharper, cleaner, more concise without affecting the meaning because shorter sentences mean shorter paragraphs, means shorter stories, which means I can get more stories in the paper,” stated Dixon. “I learned that lesson here at the College in my 20s and I’m now 61 years old, I put that lesson into practice every day.” It’s the culture and beauty of Southwest Virginia that attracted Dixon and Jenny back to Norton and the foot of High Knob after 27 years overseas. Dixon said it’s been zero adjustment going from living in three of the most crowded cities in the world to moving back to the countryside of Southwest Virginia. “I never stopped thinking about Southwest Virginia, Wise County and the city of Norton while I was living overseas,” Dixon remarked. “In my mind every day I was thinking about this place; I never stopped thinking about the Powell Valley Overlook and all the other places around here.” He enjoys the simplicity of the area and mountain climate, sitting on the porch with his family, eating biscuits and gravy in the morning and listening to the birds sing.

Spring/Summer 2017 43


UVa-Wise to Duke and now Harvard

ALUMNI NEWS

Holcomb’s journey continues

A

lumnus Zack Holcomb was sitting in the Great Hall of Duke University Medical School on St. Patrick’s Day. He was not alone. His parents, Deborah and Thurman Holcomb, were there. He credits them for their unwavering support. Dozens of his fellow Duke classmates were also in the Great Hall nervously waiting to learn where they would be spending the next three to seven years in residency. Each student was called to the stage and given a sealed envelope. The envelope either held their dream residency or one that was not their top choice. Holcomb and other medical students across the nation tightly gripped the closed envelopes until 1 p.m., the time everyone would find out the big news. Holcomb had applied for a combined residency in internal medicine and dermatology, a program that would only accept a half dozen people across the country. He

44 UVa-Wise Magazine

would soon learn if he was one of the six. Holcomb opened his envelope. The envelope contents revealed that he was going to Boston for a five-year dermatology and internal medicine program at Harvard University. He was one of the six. “It was an amazing experience,” Holcomb recalled. “All around me there were tears of joy, and some were upset. It was part of my plan from my third year in medical school. I fell in love with both dermatology and internal medicine and didn’t know which one to choose. I learned about the combined program, but there were only five in the country and only six total spots were offered.” He begins the program in June. He will work at several hospitals affiliated with Harvard, including Brigham and Women’s, Massachusetts General and Beth Israel. As a resident, Holcomb will face grueling 28-hour shifts on some days. He is trying to mentally prepare for the next step in his medical training. “I will move from being a learner to being responsible for patient care and being responsible for a person’s life,” he said. “One moment you are a learner and the next moment you are the only person there at night.” The responsibility is sobering, but Holcomb believes the lessons he learned as an undergraduate at UVa-Wise will serve him well in his career. Studying at a smal liberal arts school prepared him for the challenges he faced in medical school and those he will face in the residency program. He has encountered a perception from some that he succeeded in medical school despite his undergraduate education

at a smaller school. He dismissed that notion outright. “No, it is because of my undergraduate education,” he said. “You can get factual knowledge at any school, but my involvement in research, one-on-one work with a faculty mentor, my work as a resident advisor and even playing tennis are something you don’t always get at other schools.” The Big Stone Gap native said his undergraduate research work with Professor Lucian Undreiu on an astrophysics project examining the spectrum of emitted light from a variable star to determine its elemental composition taught him many skills that he used daily in medical school. “It springboarded my career,” he said. “I started the research in the summer of 2012 under the Fellowship in Natural Sciences program. I did not anticipate the many problems that would happen along the way. There was a lot of calibrating the telescope and a lot of tinkering. I got to learn what that process was like.” Holcomb spent many nights at the observatory, even shifting his sleep patterns in order to track the star. “Subconsciously, I was preparing myself for medical school and for residency,” he said. He recommends all undergraduate students consider research projects and to get involved with the many opportunities UVa-Wise offers. “I didn’t even scratch the surface,” he said of those opportunities. “I wish I had been involved more. Getting involved will help develop skills for a career in general. Those skills are vital to success.” Holcomb is looking forward to his work in Boston. Several of his classmates from Duke were matched with residency programs in the Boston area so Holcomb will have a good support system as he begins the next five years of his medical training.


Community Spring Swing On April 21, 2017 at the picturesque Lonesome Pine Country Club the Alumni Association hosted the 22nd annual Community Spring Swing Golf Tournament. On behalf of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Alumni Association, thank you for your support of the Community Spring Swing golf tournament. This is a wonderful event that helps our college, our alumni and our community strengthen its bonds and it builds our outstanding reputation in the SWVA region. A special thanks to Norton Community Hospital, our tournament sponsor for the last 22 years.

Our tournament winners are: Women’s Closest to the Pin: Valeri Colyer Men’s Closest to the Pin: Bryan Sturgill Women’s Longest Drive: Beth Hubbard Men’s Longest Drive: Michael Edwards Championship Flight First Place: (Team Carroll Dale) Carroll Dale, Allen Blanken, Ralph Lawson, Jimmy Riggs Second Place: (Team Lake Street Secure Storage) Bruce Hayes, Evan Burchel, Randy Rigg, Robby Wright Third Place: (Team Chainsaw) Jim Cox, Steve Mullins, David Boone, Bryan Sturgill

First Flight First Place: (Team Goodnough) Butch Goodnough, Greg Perry, Steve Conklin, Jim Caudill Second Place: Team New Peoples Bank) Brandon Boling, Chad Pennington, Brad Robinson, Tyler Giles, Third Place: (Team Rose) Danny Rose, Keith Roop, Jim Russell, Robert Stump Second Flight First Place: (Team Powell Valley Bank) Cory Dotson, Todd Barnette, Ryan Brooks, David Hall Second Place: (Team Colyer) Rod Colyer, Valeri Colyer, Bobby Colyer, Blake Brunner Third Place: (Team CSE Agency) Klay Koester, Shap Boyd, Mike Compton, Wes McDermott

Spring/Summer 2017 45


’84

Sheila Dougherty May, earned a master’s in 1994, Rank 1 Director of Special Education in 2009, and Moderate/Severe Disabilities in 2013 from Western Kentucky University. She is employed with Hardin County Schools as a low incidence special education teacher. Sheila has two children, Nickolas and Abbie. They live in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

’86

CLASSNOTES

Dottie Ison is employed with the South Carolina Department of Labor OSHA Division as an administrator. Dottie and her husband, Brian, have two grandchildren, Haleigh and Roan. They live in Columbia, South Carolina.

’96

Mark Mullins is employed with Lee County Public Schools as a special education teacher. He lives in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Stephanie Muncy Surrett  earned a Master of Arts in Business Administration from Bob Jones University in 2007. She is employed with Southwest Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence as the executive director. Stephanie and her husband, Michael, have two children, Presely and TJ. They live in Abingdon, Virginia.

’01

LaKesha Dearmen Anderson earned a Master of Arts in Communication from East Tennessee State University in 2004, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Communication from George Mason University in 2010. She is employed with National Communication Association - Johns Hopkins University as the assistant director of faculty. LaKesha has two children, Akasha and Exodus, and they live in Reston, Virginia.

46 UVa-Wise Magazine

’05

David Dingus and his wife, Charity, welcomed their daughter on July 18, 2016. They live in Castlewood, Virginia. Sherri Martin is employed with Saint Paul Elementary School as a special education teacher. She is a graduate student at Regent University and lives in Saint Paul, Virginia. Jessica Turner and Brandon Roberts were married in October 2016. Jessica is employed with Wise County Department of Social Services in adult protective services. They live in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

’06

Aron Brown and Jessica Lottie were married on June 18, 2016 at the Transformation Ministries Church in Baltimore, Maryland. The best man was Alan Juan Brown Jr. Aron is employed with the Federal Communications Commission as an auditor. They live in Dumfries, Virginia.

’07

Jared Stallard and his wife, Heather Hawthorn Stallard ’08, have two daughters, Jaylynn and Juliana. Heather is employed with Missions Hospital as a photographer. They live in Kingsport, Tennessee. Patrick Timothy Lloyd

’09 Stallard Children

Amanda Terry Patterson earned a Master of Science in Counseling Education from Radford University in 2011. She is employed with Washington County Virginia Public Schools as a school counselor. Amanda and her husband, Rob, live in Bristol, Virginia. Janet Yates is employed with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy as a geologist. She lives in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

’08

Whittney Lane is employed with Frontier Secure and she lives in Norton, Virginia. Mr. & Mrs. Brown

Samuel Ostrander is employed with Garden City Group, LLC as the manager of data analysis, systems and technology. Samuel and his wife, Rachel, have two children, Josephine and Katherine. They live in Burien, Washington.

Kelly White Robinett and her husband, Josh, welcomed their daughter, Harper Shay, on June 29, 2016. She weighed six pounds thirteen ounces. They live in McCalla, Alabama.

Jay Lloyd and his wife, Anna, welcomed their son, Patrick Timothy, on April 9, 2016. He weighed seven pounds. Jay is employed with the city of Williamsburg in public works. They live in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Maggie Yost Steele and her husband, Erik, welcomed their daughter, Maelee Raine, on May 6, 2016. She weighed six pounds four ounces. Maggie is employed with Walgreens as a store manager. They live in Mount Carmel, Tennessee. Maelee Raine Steele

Harper Shay Robinett

’10

Jariel Walton is employed with Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & IMF as a physical science technician. Jariel and his wife, Alaysha, live in Suffolk, Virginia.

’13

J.J. Hanchak and Carlee Reiber ’14 were married on Oct. 1, 2016 at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina. The maid of honor was Maegan Smith Britain ’13 and the bridesmaids were Liz Hanchak ’09 and Manon Randin. The best man was Keenan France ’14 and the groomsman was Will Mayo ’14. J.J. is employed with the city of Newport News as a class 1 water treatment plant operator. Carlee is employed with Achilles Elementary School as a long-term substitute


school counselor. They live in Newport News, Virginia.

Mr. & Mrs. Hanchak

Marcus Montgomery is employed with Hillphoenix as a manager. His wife, Jenna Brown Montgomery ’15, is employed with Chesterfield County Public Schools as a first grade teacher. They live in Richmond, Virginia.

’15

Bryce Carter and Cynthia James ’16 were married on Nov. 5, 2016 in Williamsburg, Virginia. The maid of honor was Emily Corlett and the bridesmaids were Sarah James, Laura James, Alex Withers ’13, and Katie Reda. The best man was Rodney Carter and the groomsmen were Codie Smith, Kyle Smith, Nathan McGlone ’16, and Michael Briscoe ’15. Bryce is employed with Virginia Building Solutions in home design/ sales. Cynthia is employed with Capital One as a data engineer. They live in Aylett, Virginia. Leeanna Hale is currently pursuing her doctorate in physical therapy at Lynchburg College.

Leeanna Hale

’16 Mr. & Mrs. Montgomery

Jordan Sandidge earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning in 2015. He is employed with The University of Virginia’s College at Wise as a professor of fine arts. Jordan lives in Church Hill, Tennessee.

Sean Matthews is employed with the New Jersey Primary Care Association (NJPCA) as a program assistant. NJPCA is a non-profit organization that represents 23 Community Health Centers and 129 satellite communitybased ambulatory healthcare facilities throughout the state to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, high quality healthcare. Sean lives in Barnegat, New Jersey.

’14

Ethan Little is employed with the Buchanan County Department of Social Services as a family services specialist II. He lives in Hurley, Virginia. Tangela Owens is employed with Lee County Schools as an algebra 1 teacher and coach. She lives in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

Sean Matthews

In Memoriam A. Larry Branham ’56 passed away on July 16, 2001.

He lived in Chesterfield, Virginia.

Shirley L. Kiser ’56 passed away on July 30, 2016.

She lived in Saint Paul, Virginia. Josephine C. Rife ’58 passed away on Oct. 23, 2008. She lived in Grundy, Virginia. Vicey S. Mullins ’60 passed away on Sept. 26, 2012. She lived in Wise, Virginia. Larry J. Hill ’62 passed away on Dec. 24, 2016. He lived in Norton, Virginia. Andrew K. Gurney ’63 passed away on Jan. 2, 2016. He lived in Eugene, Oregon. William Roy Hubbard ’63 passed away on Dec. 29, 2011. He lived in Collins, Ohio. George Byington ’66 passed away on Sept. 26, 1971. He lived in Marion, Virginia. Danny R. Hutchison ’70 passed away on April 2, 2013. He lived in Kerrville, Texas. Twila F. Summers ’70 passed away on Jan. 8, 2017. She lived in Piney Flats, Tennessee. Joseph P. Honto Jr. ’72 passed away on June 14, 2016. He lived in Pounding Mill, Virginia. Sharon Thay Byars ’76 passed away on Dec. 22, 2008. She lived in Abingdon, Virginia. Roberta K. Presley ’76 passed away on July 18, 2012. She lived in Huntsville, Alabama. Barbara Ann Bass ’77 passed away on Nov. 29, 2016. She lived in Bluff City, Tennessee. Susan Marie Nelson ’77 passed away on Nov. 7, 2016. She lived in Wise, Virginia. Jennifer Dean Beavers ’80 passed away on Jan. 11, 2017. She lived in Hiltons, Virginia. Sherry Elizabeth H. Comstock ’82 passed away on March 13, 2017. She lived in Montour Falls, New York. Jerry W. Rasnake ’82 passed away on March 22, 2016. He lived in Honaker, Virginia. Robert E. Childress Jr. ’84 passed away on March 14, 2015. He lived in Rosedale, Virginia. Jane Ryther Upp ’84 passed away on Nov. 8, 2016. She lived in Raleigh, North Carolina. Buford W. Cordle ’90 passed away on Dec. 20, 2015. He lived in Cedar Bluff, Virginia. Mark G. Bentley ’91 passed away on Nov. 26, 2016. He lived in Pound, Virginia. Lahoma L. Cantrell ’00 passed away on July 1, 2015. She lived in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Ansel Lee Payne ’01 passed away on Oct. 15, 2010. He lived in Appalachia, Virginia. Marcus A. Martin ’10 passed away on Jan. 9, 2017. He lived in Chilhowie, Virginia. Ernest Y. Oppong ’14 passed away on Dec. 31, 2016. He lived in Alexandria, Virginia. Nicholas A. England ’17 passed away on March 10, 2017. He lived in Wise, Virginia.

Spring/Summer 2017 47


Let’s Cruise!

The UVa-Wise Alumni Association invites you to visit the Bahamas on a Dec. 18-22, 2017 cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas. Our group cruise sails from Port Canaveral and will visit Nassau and Coco Cay.

Alumnus LJ Boothe and Cruise Planners are offering some extras for our group as well. UVa-Wise will have a representative on this sailing. Travelers are responsible for transportation to/from the cruise port. Rate includes cruise fare, taxes, port fees and gratuities.

Space is limited, so get your $200 per room deposits in ASAP!

Deposits are fully refundable until early October. Register now and finalize your plans as we get closer. Visit www.voyageseeker.com/group/Alumni for details or call Alumni Relations at 276-328-0128 with any questions.

U Va-Wise

DAR OF EVENTS N E L A C TM

Homecoming 2017 Sept. 22 - Silver Saber Spirit Contest, Pep Rally & Meet the CAVS Sept. 23 - UVa-Wise vs. West Liberty University Alumni Picnic, family carnival & 5th quarter alumni gathering Oct. 2 - 25th annual Cavalier Golf Classic at the Virginian 48 UVa-Wise Magazine


YOUR GIFT MATCHED Access UVa-Wise

Help us keep a higher education within reach by supporting the UVa-Wise/U.Va. Bicentennial Scholars Fund Challenge

We have great news to share with alumni and friends of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. An initiative to expand need-based scholarships to students at the University of Virginia and UVa-Wise is underway. Making this incredibly attractive is the fact that scholarship gifts and pledges totaling $50,000 and higher will be matched at 50%! Yes, you read that correctly. Establish a new endowed scholarship fund today with a gift or pledge of $50,000, payable over a 5-year period, and it will be matched at 50% making the scholarship fund total $75,000. The more you give, the more the match and the greater the impact! This will be transformational for the students at UVa-Wise. Will you join this effort to make a valuable University of Virginia education more affordable to Wise students? The matching funds are available on a first-come basis. Contact us today!

Bob Bragg            276.376.1057         Valerie Lawson Danny Sterling   276.328.0204           Bill Wendle       

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Office of Development 276.376.4523 1 College Avenue Wise, VA 24293 276.376.3434

WILL MAKE AN EVEN BIGGER IMPACT

Spring/Summer 2017 49

Get Your UVa-Wise Plate at www.dmvNOW.com


ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED 1 College Avenue Wise, Virginia 24293

50 UVa-Wise Magazine

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UVa-Wise Magazine, Spring/Summer 2017  

A bi-annual publication of The University of Virginia's College at Wise

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