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David J. Prior 1943 - 2012

on behalf of the

Magazine staff

Dear Alumni and Friends Our College lost a true educator and friend when Chancellor David J. Prior passed away suddenly on Feb. 2, 2012. The initial shock that enveloped our campus, our colleagues at the University of Virginia, the state and the nation was replaced with deep grief as the realization of the loss hit home. Chancellor Prior was only here for a short time, but he made those years count. An ambitious yet successful building plan, economic development strides, student success, the robust celebration of the College’s “Fulfilling the Dream” campaign and a keen vision of what UVa-Wise could be are just part of Chancellor Prior’s legacy to our College and the region it serves. There was only one choice for the cover of the Spring 2012 UVa-Wise Magazine: Photographer Tim Cox captured an image of Chancellor Prior sitting in a classroom during the 2007 Chancellor for a Day event. It was one of Mr. Prior’s favorite duties, and he took great pleasure in trading places with a student to learn more about our student experience and to raise donations for a local food pantry. The photograph captures his sunny disposition, eagerness for learning and his sense of ease wherever he was on a given day. In this issue, the magazine features many photos of Mr. Prior during his seven years at UVa-Wise. The edition also highlights many of his accomplishments and portrays his infectious sense of humor. We hope the snapshots and the words spark fond memories of David J. Prior and his time on campus. This edition is dedicated in memory of our seventh Chancellor and in honor of his wife, Merry Lu, and their family, especially granddaughter Lucy Morrison Prior, who was born on May 8. UVa-Wise grew stronger under his watchful eye, and future generations will benefit from his stewardship.


Kathy Still ’84 Magazine Editor

EDITOR Kathy Still ’84 ALUMNI EDITORS Pam Collie ’93 Cindi Sturgill ’09 PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY Tim Cox, Tim Cox Photo/Graphics MAGAZINE DESIGN Lanna Monday Lumpkins COVER PHOTO Tim Cox

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Darrell-Dingus Ely ’09 Joshua Justice ’07 Thomas Galyean Artemis Greer ’13 Lanna Monday Lumpkins Rachel Patton Kathy Still ’84 COLLEGE RELATIONS INTERNS Ashley Cvetnich ’12 Artemis Greer ’13 Brianna Mead CONTRIBUTOR Susan Mullins

Pam Collie ’93 Alumni Director

The UVa-Wise Magazine is produced by the Office of College Relations and the Office of Alumni Relations for alumni and friends of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Tell us what you think about The UVa-Wise Magazine. Email your comments, story ideas and alumni submissions to or contact us by mail at The UVa-Wise Magazine, 1 College Avenue, Wise VA 24293 or by phone at 276-376-1027.



ISS Downlink a success


Educating Educators

Departments Headlines Athletics Class Notes

2 34 40


Reflections of a visionary


Dedication of the David J. Prior Convocation Center



The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation awards a challenge grant


The directors of the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation have approved a challenge grant of $100,000 to The University of Virginia’s College at Wise for capital needs in its new Health and Wellness Center. A gift from Richard Gilliaam ’74 and Leslie Gilliam will fund the construction of the Health and Wellness Center, and the challenge grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation will provide the College with the opportunity to secure additional private funds to outfit the facility with state-of-the-art equipment.

“I am delighted that the directors of the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation have issued this challenge grant to the College,” said Tami Ely ’90, vice chancellor for development and college relations. “Creation of this new center not only exemplifies the College’s commitment to a liberal arts education, but reflects a deep commitment to a healthy citizenry in southwestern Virginia.” The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation was founded in Richmond in 1988 by Mrs. Mary Morton Parsons as a private, nonoperating foundation to support

charitable organizations. To date, the foundation has awarded approximately $73 million to qualified grantees. The terms of the challenge grant stipulate that the College must raise the required $100,000 match prior to May 2013. Private funds raised through this challenge will assist with the purchase of such equipment as adaptive motion trainers, ellipticals, treadmills, recumbent bikes, upright bikes, bicycles, climbers, stretch trainers, rowers, strength equipment and benches and racks.

Lonesome Pine Hospital Community Fund donates $25,000 for nurse training software Nursing students at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise will receive beneficial training in real-life clinical scenarios through a donation from the Lonesome Pine Hospital Community Fund. The donation will enable the College to buy software that will foster critical thinking for students. Not only will students benefit, but the College has agreed to share this software with nurses in Wellmont’s Mountain Region in Southwest Virginia. Representatives of Wellmont Health System presented a check to College officials at a ceremony Thursday, Feb. 16, in Smiddy Hall. “We are so pleased to partner again with UVa-Wise to benefit health care in the region,” said David Brash, vice president of the Mountain Region. “We share the same desire to have the best-trained nurses, and this innovative software will give the College and Wellmont an extra tool to elevate care that our patients receive.

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This is an excellent way for Wellmont and UVa-Wise to continue their productive professional relationship.” Brash said the donation is a worthwhile investment for Wellmont because many UVa-Wise nursing graduates have worked at Wellmont hospitals in Southwest Virginia. He commended UVa-Wise for its kindness in allowing Wellmont nurses to use this software for their training needs. Cathie Collins, chairwoman of UVa-Wise’s nursing department, said the software will include a virtual patient that will react in different ways depending on the type of treatment the student or nurse determines is appropriate. She said it will give nurses and students a chance to see the results of their choices. “Critical thinking is vital for those in the nursing profession,” said Sanders Huguenin, provost at UVa-Wise. “The generous gift from Wellmont Health System enables us

to purchase software that will allow our student nurses and working nurses to enhance their skills in a safe, controlled environment. The student nurses and newly licensed nurses will gain a greater level of confidence, and we are fortunate to partner with Wellmont on this project.” Todd Norris, Wellmont’s senior vice president of system advancement and executive director of Wellmont Foundation, said the donation to UVa-Wise fits well with Wellmont’s goals for the Mountain Region. “We continue to look for innovative ways to enhance our delivery of care for the Mountain Region,” Norris said. “Partnerships such as this one with UVa-Wise ultimately benefit the patients of Southwest Virginia through the use of innovative technology.” Keep up with the latest news... Subscribe to the UVa-Wise Weekly at

2012 Harrison Faculty Awards

Front row, left to right: Outstanding Advising, Teena Fast ’90; Outstanding Academic Contribution, Gillian Tiller; Outstanding Teaching, Donald Leech; Outstanding Instructional Support, Cathie Collins; Outstanding Service, Bryan Hoyt Back row, left to right: Distinguished Professor, David Rouse; Outstanding Research and Publication, Brian McKnight ’97; Special Recognition for faculty nominated for State Council for Higher Education in Virginia’s 2012 Oustanding Faculty Award, Brian McKnight ’97, Michael McNulty; Teacher of the Year, Eric Drummond Smith; Rising Star, Daniel Ray Not pictured: Mentoring Undergraduate Research, James Vance; Outstanding Teaching, Matt Harvey

First full-length opera by Southwest Virginia Summer Opera Company The University of Virginia’s College at Wise has announced the 2012 season of its Southwest Virginia Summer Opera Company. For the first time in its history, the group will stage its first full-length opera, “The Tender Land,” an American classic by Aaron Copland. With major underwriting provided by the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation, productions will be presented in a variety of venues across the tri-state region. The opera, which tells the story of a farm family in the midwest, was inspired by Copland after he viewed the Depression-era photographs of Walker Evans and James Agee’s “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.” The production features UVa-Wise students in lead roles with Wise County Public Schools students in supporting and ensemble roles. Zachary Marshall from

East Tennessee State University will be featured in a lead role. Dancers from the Center Stage Cloggers of Coeburn will also be featured. The season kicks off in Wise with a fundraising dinner and performance at MountainRose Vineyards on Saturday, June 23. Tickets are $75 per couple for the dinner, which begins at 6:30 p.m. A limited number of seats for the dinner, which includes two tickets to the performance, are available. Tickets for the performance only, which begins at 7:30 p.m., are $20 per person. Proceeds from the dinner and performance will benefit the Southwest Virginia Summer Opera Company. The next performances will be at the Trail of the Lonesome Pine outdoor theater in Big Stone Gap, Monday, June 25, at 7:30 p.m., and the Breaks Interstate Park on Tuesday, June 26 at 6 p.m. in

Breaks, Va. These performances are free and open to the public. On Thursday, June 28, the Southwest Virginia Summer Opera Company will perform at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, Ky. at 7:30 p.m. The performance is free and open to the public. The season concludes on Saturday, June 30, with a performance at 7:30 p.m. at The Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Va. Tickets are available for $12.50 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Additional underwriting is provided by MountainRose Vineyards and James Lawson, Edward Jones Investments in Wise. For information on tickets or the performances, please call (276) 3280256. Spring 2012 3

UVa-Wise recognized by CASE for media plan The Southeast District Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) recently recognized The University of Virginia’s College at Wise with its Special Merit Award in the Media Relations category. The award recognized the College’s media plan regarding the opening of its David J. Prior Convocation Center. The panel of judges evaluated the College’s media plan by reviewing a specific set of objectives, methods, staff resources, budget and results. The panel evaluated a number of printed pieces, including invitations, brochures, video clips, graphic design work and the execution of a number of events.

Comments from the panel of judges were overwhelmingly positive. Their review included the following statement: “Judges were impressed with the organization and presentation of relevant content about the facility and its opening. In today’s busy newsrooms, it is more important than ever to provide important information to the media so they can quickly and easily use it for publication. Otherwise, earning desired coverage can be significantly more difficult. Well done.” Department recognition went to the College’s Special Events unit, College Relations and printing services. Individuals recognized for their work

on execution of the media plan are Kathy Still ’84, Jenny Salyers, Alison Ray ’07 and Debra Wharton ’78. Tami Ely, vice chancellor for Development and College Relations, thanked members of the College’s staff who helped make the CASE award possible. “The CASE awards program is extremely competitive and I am pleased our media plan for the opening of the center received a Special Merit Award,” Ely said. “This recognition is a wonderful testament to the expertise and creativity of our staff members who collaborated on this effort.”


Health science graduates honored

In honor of their hard work and dedication, the College purchased scrubs for its health science graduates. These students will be attending the following graduate schools: Front row, left to right: Andrea Rose, University of Georgia College of Pharmacy; Alli Dietz, LMU DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine; Courtney Compton, VCU School of Pharmacy; Jordan Banner, ETSU Bill Gatton School of Pharmacy; Scott Hurley, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute ; Jordan Stidham, Ohio State University: College of Optometry; Nayab Chowhan, LMU DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine Back row, left to right: Tyler Mullins, University of Appalachia College of Pharmacy; Dru Morgan, LMU DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine; Caleb Vass, LMU DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine; Zhanna Bates, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute; Rachel Hensley, undecided; Patrick Begley, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute; Nathaniel Robinette, LMU DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine; Joshua Lee, VCU School of Medicine at MCV campus; Bryant O. Gray, LMU DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine; Jason Looney, ETSU Bill Gatton School of Pharmacy

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UVa-Wise honors students at 2012 Academic Awards The University of Virginia’s College at Wise recognized the scholastic achievements of non-graduating students during the Academic Awards Ceremony on April 22. EDUCATION Kayla Balthis received the Jack M. Holland Award, presented to a rising senior who shows remarkable potential as a future elementary school teacher. The award is named in honor of the former chair of the Department of Education and Professor of Education at the College. Deborah Bowman and Kristy Owens each received the Lois P. Lowry Award in Language Arts, presented to the students who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance, creative ability and great promise as a future teacher in the field of language arts. HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY Laken Branson and Anthony Moore each received the Clinch Valley College History Fund Award recognizing history majors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. Daniel Summey received the Edward L. “Buck” Henson, Jr. History Scholarship. Henson was a devoted and valued member of the College’s history faculty for 33 years. This scholarship in his memory is awarded to students recommended by the history faculty as outstanding junior history majors. Jessilyn Strauss received the Heather Markusich Scholarship. A 1989 graduate of the College, Markusich was an exemplary history major. The summer following her graduation, and just before her departure for graduate school, she was fatally injured in an automobile accident on her way to work at the Pentagon. A flood of memorial contributions came to the College from all over the country, sufficient to establish a permanently endowed scholarship in her memory. The scholarship is awarded to history majors of unusual talent and promise. LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE Megan Buchanan received the Language and Literature Award for French. Zachary Canter and Sarah Danielle Cumbo each received a Frances Currie Peake Scholarship. Frances Currie Peake taught in the mountains of Tennessee and instilled in her students and her children

a love of literature. The Frances Currie Peake Scholarship is awarded to rising junior or senior English majors who have demonstrated excellence in literary studies. Mario Jaramillo received the Augusto Portuondo Award for Spanish, which honors Portuondo’s years of service to UVa-Wise. The award recognizes a Spanish major who has demonstrated aptitude for Spanish and for teaching. NATURAL SCIENCES Katelyn Cantrell received the CRC Freshman in Chemistry Award, given to the student judged by the chemistry faculty to be the most outstanding in freshman chemistry. NURSING Matthew Davis and Andrew Vickers each received a Velta Collins Holyfield Memorial Scholarship. Family members and friends established the scholarship in 1991 shortly after Mrs. Holyfield’s death. Mrs. Holyfield graduated from the University of Virginia School of Nursing in 1957 and served the health care community in Wise for many years as a noted teacher and nurse. The Department of Nursing honors Mrs. Holyfield by awarding scholarships to nursing students who exhibit academic achievement, leadership potential, motivation and the talent to achieve excellence in nursing practice. VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS Tessa Meade received the Junior Art Achievement Award, which recognizes and celebrates the dedication and hard work of a determined artist. Trevor Hartsock received the Music Scholarship Award, which recognizes the music major who, in the past academic year, has demonstrated the strongest commitment to learning and the broadest understanding of the theoretical, historical, and pedagogical underpinnings of the discipline. Anne Michele Maher received the Musicianship Award, which recognizes music majors who not only have excelled as performers in the past academic year, but also demonstrated the strongest work ethic and dedication to the study of their principal instruments.

Steven Allen received the Music Leadership Award, which recognizes the music student who has best exemplified commitment, cordiality and competence in their leadership role in the Division of Music during the past academic year.

The Columbus Phipps Foundation supports supplemental instruction The Columbus Phipps Foundation, long a supporter of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, is again partnering with the College through a $10,000 gift to help implement Supplemental Instruction, an innovative academic assistance program focusing on students in upper-level science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses. Supplemental Instruction is a student assistance program that increases academic performance and retention through its use of collaborative learning strategies. The program will target traditionally difficult academic courses—those that typically have 30 percent or higher D or F final course grades and/or withdrawals—and provide regularly scheduled, out-ofclass, peer-facilitated sessions that offer students an opportunity to discuss and process course information. The goal is not to help students achieve perfect scores in their courses, but is ultimately to keep students who would typically withdraw or fail to succeed in their academic pursuits and prepare them to enter the workforce. The College’s Division of Student Support Services will work to implement the program in the following courses: Foundations of Computer Programming, College Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II, Introduction to Physics I & II, Elementary Probability & Statistics, Pre-Calculus I, Pre-Calculus II, Calculus I and Calculus II. Spring 2012 5



a success

More than 4,000 students from Wise County and Southwest Virginia packed the David J. Prior Convocation Center at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Thursday, January 26 to talk live with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Buses from throughout the region arrived early and the students and their teachers browsed through various NASA exhibits, including a moon rock, various equipment used by astronauts and a very special “robonaut” worked on by Big Stone Gap native Adam Sanders. As they took their seats, Leland Melvin, an engineer and NASA astronaut who served on the space shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist on two flights, reminded the crowd that the youngsters are the next generation of explorers who will make their own marks in the fields of science and mathematics. Melvin fueled the students’ excitement for space and scientific exploration, but had to pause his presentation for a very important event in which timing was vital. It was time to get the downlink with the International Space Station going. Three large screens broadcast the image of Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineer Don Pettit as they sat in a work area of the International Space Station. After a brief audio glitch, the downlink began and the students grew quiet. “Wise County Public Schools, this is the International Space Station. We are delighted to be with you,” the astronauts said as the students cheered. Various students who were selected prior to the downlink to ask questions to Burbank and Pettit took the stage one by one to talk to the astronauts. The queries ranged from simple ones about life in 6 UVa-Wise Magazine

orbit to NASA’s decision process regarding space exploration. One student wanted to know if Virginia’s spaceport on Wallops Island would be sending humans to space one day. Burbank told the students that NASA is moving appropriately, but he made it clear that more exploration is always positive. “We can’t go to Mars fast enough,” he said. Pettit agreed and told the students that it could take from five to eight months to travel to Mars. The months some crew members spend on the space station will help prepare humans for the long trip to Mars. “I’d go to Mars in a heartbeat if the opportunity presents itself,” Pettit said. Pettit and Burbank said life on the space station is never the same because it changes day to day. All astronauts have specific tasks to do on the space station, but conducting science experiments is one of the best jobs, they said. A major project now is to develop better ways to keep humans safe and healthy on space missions. Improving safety and health readies humans for longer space missions and explorations. After the question and answer session, Burbank and Pettit proved to the youngsters that they were actually in space by floating around for a few minutes. The students clapped and waved goodbye to Pettit and Burbank and the downlink concluded. However, the program was just getting started. The younger students giggled in admiration as Melvin continued

his presentation and showed a video of him slurping a large water bubble floating around the cabin during dinner on one of his missions. They giggled more when Melvin was seen coughing. “I made it to space safely and almost chocked on a water bubble and died,” he said. Anousheh Ansari, an engineer and co-founder and chair of Prodea Systems, told the students about her trip to space in 2006 when she became the first IranianAmerican in space and the first female private space explorer. She urged the students to work hard in math, science and engineering so they can help develop technology and programs that will help the world in many ways. Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and Delegate Terry Kilgore ’83 spoke with

the students via Skype from Richmond. The governor spoke about the benefits of a strong education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and said he has placed millions in the proposed state budget to improve education and training in those areas in public schools. Kilgore said he is “very proud of what is going on at UVa-Wise today.” The governor agreed. “UVa-Wise programs are just outstanding,” the governor said. Senator Mark Warner also spoke with the students via video link. Jack Kennedy ’78, the Wise County Circuit Court clerk and a member of Virginia’s Space Board, spearheaded the ISS Downlink, along with his staff and through the sponsorship of many organizations and individuals. Kennedy was pleased with the event and has hopes that the ISS will one day host a UVa-Wise science experiment. “It’s a great day for the College, and I am proud to be a UVa-Wise graduate,” Kennedy said. “This is just the beginning. I want to see a UVa-Wise science experiment on the ISS before the end of 2013.” Photos by David J. Prior and Merry Lu Prior

Top: Students fill the David J. Prior Convocation center; lower: Adam Sanders, Robonaut-2 software engineer and UVa graduate poses with his creation; far left: Anousheh Ansari, engineer and co-founder /chair of Prodea Systems speaks to students

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Impressive Growth... Enrollment in CTE coursework has more than tripled in the last four years: 2007-2008 - 193 2010-2011 - 641 From left to right: Jennifer Partin ’12, James Wardell and Heather Blanton ’01 8 UVa-Wise Magazine

TEACHING EXCELLENCE A dreamer, visionary and techie existing under one roof might sound like an odd mix, but in the case of the UVaWise Center for Teaching Excellence, the blend has generated a spark that is lighting the way for Virginia’s K-12 teachers to stay on top of their subject material and technological advances. The center, located at UVA-Wise, caters to Virginia’s teachers by offering re-certification and licensure courses and workshops in innovative and tech savvy ways. In Virginia, K-12 teachers must have training every five years to maintain their teaching license. Founded in 2000 to enhance the quality of public education in Virginia, the CTE initially operated in a face-to-face classroom environment within the region providing K-12 teachers training needed to maintain their licensing requirements. Each year the need for more licensing options is growing. Busy schedules and the number of teachers entering the workforce on a provisional basis means additional licensing courses are needed. Meeting this growing requirement of keeping the educators educated is a challenge. Armed with three very different personality types, the Center for Teaching Excellence staff works to find the best ways to serve the influx of teachers. “With the addition of fiber optics and careful planning, we now offer comprehensive online programs not just in the region, but throughout the entire state,” says the “dreamer” and director of

the group, James Wardell. “It is a win-win for everyone.” Coordinating and planning belongs to Jennifer Partin ’12, the group’s visionary. Partin takes the dream, makes it a reality and then adds her thumbprint. Realizing that teachers could use training opportunities in the summer, Partin spearheaded the quest for summer programs and workshops that include showcasing the latest educational software and gadgets to keep them up to date. “It just made sense,” she said. “Summer is the least busy time of year for most teachers, so it would be a good time to offer updates and training.” Thus CTE’s Online Summer School was born. In 2010, the center garnered another boost from the addition of an instructional technologist, Heather Blanton ’01. “Heather brought a much needed group of skills to the table,” says Wardell. “Blanton manages Moodle, our online course learning management system for distance learners and assists trainers with technological issues. We use a large number of instructors and professors to teach these courses, and Heather is part of their life support.” Being the dreamer that he is, Wardell has chosen to branch out and offer additional services to school systems throughout the state that need customized offerings. “We work with faculty to create special programs and develop laser focused classes and workshops to work with issues in specific school systems. In addition

to many local workshops, we conducted a two-day seminar for 50 teachers on poverty in the Pittsylvania County School System as part of a continuing education endeavor.” The CTE offers summer institutes that are four-day intensive on-site workshops on topics such as digital media for teachers, collaboration for special education teachers and education law. The center sponsors large conferences with the Southwest Virginia Public Education Consortium such as the Fall Leadership Conference for principals and administrators in 14 school divisions at no cost. Other programs the center offers include Digital Arts Workshop and Spanish Immersion Weekend. CTE is also offering research-based strategies for correctional educators. Maintaining this multitude of offerings is no easy task. The center keeps working away as a team full of innovative ideas, visions for the future and a technological trump card. “We always want to be ahead of the curve by meeting and exceeding the needs of our teachers,” says Wardell. “By blending the center’s group with the skills and knowledge base of its instructors, the center has committed to meeting the professional development and continuing education needs of Virginia teachers and administrators.” For more information on the Center for Teaching Excellence, visit the center online at or call 276-3764528. Spring 2012 9

Cavaliers Care: A Day of Service

Top, left and center: Students revive the playground; above: volunteers at The Laurels 10 UVa-Wise Magazine

More than 200 students, faculty, staff and alumni of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise joined with others in the community on Saturday, April 14 for the second annual Cavaliers Care: A Day of Service. The event was funded by an endowment made possible by the Wise Kiwanis Club. It was organized by the Office of Student Life and sponsored by the UVa-Wise Student Government Association. The Day of Service was held in conjunction with the College’s Founder’s Day and in memory of three women who were instrumental in the founding of the College—Mary Thompson, Lois Tracy and Jane Knox. (See “Three Wise Women,” page 12)

Volunteers participated in a variety of projects, including campus beautification

activities, a clothing drive for area churches, flower planting at The Laurels assisted living facility, a housewares drive to benefit Habitat for Humanity, cleanup of the College’s wetlands, installation of new horseshoe pits in the College’s residential community and refurbishment of the Pow Wow Playground at Wise Primary School. “The Day of Service is a chance for us to encourage civic engagement, a core piece of the College’s mission, for our students, faculty, staff and community members,” said Josh Justice, assistant director of leadership and Greek life and coordinator of the event. “The devotion of time and energy shown by these volunteers is just one example of the ways that our students and the College give back to the community.”

Participants ranged from a wide variety of student groups, including SGA, the Environmental Club, the Cavaliers football, volleyball, women’s basketball teams and housing and residence life organizations. Volunteers from all nine of the fraternities and sororities on campus united to paint and clean the Pow Wow Playground at Wise Primary School. Several Wise Primary School teachers and administrators also helped with the playground project. “The Day of Service provided an excellent opportunity for the College to come together and support the community that houses us for nine months out of the year,” said James Tiffany, member of the Class of 2012, UVa-Wise Student Government Association and Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. The Day of Service was first held last year as a joint venture between the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and the College at Wise to honor and celebrate the inauguration of Teresa A. Sullivan as the eighth president of the University. In keeping with the College’s mission to promote civic involvement within the community, the Day of Service has become an annual event sponsored by the Office of Student Life. Top: Pow Wow Playground clean-up participants; left: Clothing sort for Clothes Closet and Habitat for Humanity.

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The 2012 Day of Service was held in remembrance of Jane Knox, Mary Thompson and Lois Tracy, otherwise known as the “Three Wise Women” because of the lasting contributions they made to the area and, in particular, to the founding of UVa-Wise. Most people who live in Wise County, whether permanent residents or students passing through, have heard of the “Three Wise Men.” No, not the gold, frankincense and myrrh toting men of legend, but the three local men who earned the distinction by persuading Colgate W. Darden that the University of Virginia should open a branch right here in Southwest Virginia’s own Wise County. The group consisted of attorney Kenneth P. Asbury, attorney Fred B. Greear and Wise businessman William A. Thompson, Sr. The story goes that, on Dec. 17, 1953, Samuel R. Crockett Jr., an extension agent from the University of Virginia, had stopped at The Wise Inn to seek shelter from a winter storm. While there, he met some local ladies who suggested that the University needed a presence in Wise. Shortly after the subtle suggestion from the ladies, the Wise men took matters into their own hands and, only a few months later, a little school called Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia opened its doors. Much has been said and written about the parts played by the men, and they certainly deserve to be remembered. But what about the women? Without them, there might not be a story to tell. Wise was a busy little place in the 1950s. The coal business was booming, The Wise Inn was always jumping, and people came from all over to be a part of it. In 1949, enterprising couple Jane Knox and her husband, Sam, came to start Knox and Sons Oil Company, which proved to be a great success. Always interested in learning and discussing new ideas, Knox was an early member of the Wise Study Club and could often be seen chatting with the other regulars at the Wise Inn. 12 UVa-Wise Magazine

ise Women

From top, left: Mary Thompson, Jane Knox and Lois Tracy (photo: Sarasota Tribune); directly above: The Wise Inn

In 1948, Mary Thompson arrived from Bluefield with her husband, William A. Thompson, Sr., to join his brother in the thriving coal business. Not content to play the part of a 1950’s housewife, Mrs. Thompson jumped into her new surroundings with both feet, acquiring a job as an English teacher in the Wise County Public Schools. She is remembered as outgoing, friendly and as a source of inspiration and encouragement, especially by the children in the coal camps whom she tutored in her spare time. Lois Tracy and her husband, Harry “Bus” Tracy, moved to Wise around 1950. He was an innkeeper by trade and she was an artist who had attained a certain level of fame for being not just one of the first American abstract painters, but for being one of the first - and female. Lois Tracy was very unhappy with the restrictions that were placed upon women

during that time and gained notoriety in the 1920’s when she and two other friends were featured on the front page of the Detroit Free Press for wearing pants in public. The Tracys had been living in New Hampshire, where they owned and ran a hotel. When their hotel burned down, Mr. Tracy was hired to run both the Martha Washington Inn and The Wise Inn. At first, no one really thought that putting a college right here in Wise County was realistic. But, those three women could not shake the idea that just because Wise was not a metropolis did not mean the residents should go without access to higher education. Their contributions should not be ignored, and we also owe a debt of gratitude to the three women who gave so much to their community and are a vital part of the College’s history. -by Artemis Greer ’13

American Dozens of volunteers gathered at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise on March 10 to work on a project to restore the American chestnut tree to the Appalachian region. The project also gives UVa-Wise an outdoor classroom area so its students may monitor the tree growth on land that was once surface mined. UVa-Wise is partnering with the Virginia Department of Forestry, the American Chestnut Foundation, federal Office of Surface Mining, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, Mountain Forest Products and other groups on the reforestation project. The initiative will help return healthy hardwood forests to a small portion of the estimated three-fourths of a million acres of previously mined land. The American chestnut was hit by blight more than 100 years ago. The disease eradicated older chestnuts from the forests. The American chestnut is still found in the eastern part of the United States, but only grow to small saplings that eventually die from the blight. The seeds that were planted on campus are potentially blight-resistant chestnuts that are the result of nearly 30 years of research and development. “This is an exciting project for the College, Forest Service and other agencies,” said Sim Ewing, vice chancellor for finance and administration. “It is a real opportunity, especially since the College had the property available. It will go well with our wetlands project, and it will make the land usable again.” The volunteers arrived early and walked to a portion of campus that has been mined about three times since the late 1950s. The soil had been compacted tightly as required


planted at UVa-Wise

under mined land reclamation regulations in place when the coal was mined. The soil at the planting site was softened through a process known as deep ripping in order to give the trees a chance to flourish. “UVa-Wise has been tremendous for us to work with on this project,” said Bill Miller with the Virginia Department of Forestry. Richard Davis ’75, a veteran employee with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, said working on the planting project was a bit of a homecoming.

Davis, a graduate of the College, spent time as a student counting the white-footed deer mice for a class assignment about 32 years ago. He invited the youngsters in the crowd to return to the site years from now to see how the trees have grown. Michael French, a representative of the American Chestnut Foundation, said the trees were abundant from Maine to Georgia before the blight. The newly planted seeds could grow fast and possible produce chestnuts in about eight years.

Richard Davis ’75, plants American chestnuts at UVa-Wise.

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Spring Swing Alumni News

Winners of the Spring Swing, Jody Riggs ’01, Carroll Dale, Allen Blanken and Jim Riggs

UVa-Wise alumni and friends make 17th Annual Community Spring Swing a success

The 17th Annual Community Spring Swing was held on Friday, April 20 at the Lonesome Pine Country Club in Powell Valley. A total of 28 teams competed for the title. Norton Community Hospital of the Mountain States Health Alliance was corporate sponsor. Pepsi-Cola Bottling of Norton was beverage sponsor, and luncheon sponsor was Cavalier Pharmacy.

Ed Roop ’76

Student/Alumni Picnic

The annual Student/Alumni Picnic, sponsored by the UVa-Wise Alumni Association, was held on May 2 in the Betty J. Gilliam Sculpture Garden. Alumni and alumni board members volunteered to grill for more than 800 students, alumni, faculty and staff.

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Left: Sharon Daniels ’88, David Amos ’03, Sarah Smith ’11; above: Cindi Sturgill ’09, Laura Pritchard ’91, Cathy Sandidge ’71, David Amos ’03

Alumni Board of Directors Annual Meeting The Alumni Board of Directors annual meeting and reception was held at the historic Bristol Train Station on April 10. Alumni Association President Rick L. Mullins ’91 presided over the meeting. The 2012-2013 slate of candidates was approved and a reception for area alumni was held.

Rick Mullins ’91, Pam Collie ’93, Sarah Love McReynolds ’87, Rhonda Perkins ’73, Fran Wall ’73, Cathy Sandidge ’71, Linda Dishner ’71, David Amos ’03



Kevin Kilgore ’86 and Hattie Kilgore ’88 with Rhonda Perkins ’73

On Saturday, Nov. 11, 2011 the UVa-Wise Alumni Board of Directors held a Northern Virginia Club gathering at the Brio Tuscan Grille in McLean, Va. More than 40 alumni and friends of UVaWise gathered for a meal and conversation about events at the College. Those attending enjoyed the evening and had fun chatting with old friends.

Top: Rick L. Mullins ’91, Kevin Rubink ’99, Pam Collie ’93, Oanh Rubink; left: Daniel Henshaw, Emmy Spillenkothen ’10, Mike Bradshaw ’11, Sarah Bradshaw; right: Alicia Richards ’10, Toniesha Thompson ’11

Spring 2012 15

Judy Harding ’75 is an explorer who is unafraid to grasp opportunities that others fail to recognize, and the combination helped her soar in the gas and oil industries. She shared her experiences last fall as the inaugural speaker in the UVaWise Alumni Lecture Series. Harding learned the value of hard work and the benefits of independence, perseverance and determination from her parents. “Something in me knew that going to college was what I had to do,” she said. “Even though I had no idea what I wanted to do, I knew what I didn’t want to do. I couldn’t afford to go away to college, so I was very lucky that the College at Wise existed in my backyard.” It was her only choice, but it was the best choice. She recognized an “opportunity” the day she arrived on campus. Unsure of a career path, her advisor, Professor Doug Elosser, suggested she study medical technology in order to help pay for classes. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I had the grades in the pertinent subject and there was a program to fund and train medical technologists at the time,” she said. Elosser also urged her to take mathematics courses so she would have options. Harding soon realized medical technology was not for her, but mathematics was a good fit. “I entered the College naïve, not very confident, but very determined,” she said. “I was exposed to professors and administrators who truly cared about us, who wanted us to succeed, who taught, coached, supported us, challenged us and our thinking, encouraged us to question, presented us with options and encouraged us to identify other options.” 16 UVa-Wise Magazine

The College fueled her explorer nature. She delved into liberal arts and found she could take the knowledge and find her own wisdom in it. Another “opportunity” came along when she was asked to consider the field of engineering science at the University of Virginia. She eventually earned a master of engineering degree with a civil engineering concentration at the University, but she had to find work away from her Wise County home. She took a post with Shell Oil in New Orleans and enjoyed exploring new adventures. She had a high-rise office, enjoyed Jazz and Zydeco, and crawfish and beignets in between helicopter rides to offshore oil platforms. Her education was not over. She had weeks of training in various aspects of the industry, but even more “opportunities” were suddenly in her grasp. “I decided that I liked exploring the world, and Canada could be my next stop,” she said. She held a host of engineering positions, including management roles. She worked with people from Hong Kong, China, Lebanon, Egypt, United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Nigeria and eastern Europe. Her teams often resembled the United Nations. Harding continued to grab “opportunities.” If a job opened, she asked for it, even if others didn’t see the benefits of that particular post. She eventually joined British Petroleum and ran one of its exploration/reservoir team. She stepped down from a supervisory position to get more experience in operations. Harding worked closely with the field staff that operated the wells and helped the team increase productivity. Two years later, another “opportunity”

arose and she took a job in the marketing department. As an engineer, she helped the marketing team understand the gas supply issues and the engineers understand the importance of marketing. Yet another “opportunity” presented itself when the land department found itself in a bind. She was asked to lead the department, where some expressed shock that an engineer and a woman could lead a land department. After a successful stint in the land department, Harding embraced another “opportunity.” She led a compliance department to ensure the company met all regulations. After successfully handling that task, Harding landed a job in upstate New York when she was appointed president of a company subsidiary. She eventually moved back to Canada so her son could complete high school in the region, and she took a job as vice president of a larger operating area. It was an exciting time, but Harding kept her vow to retire when she turned 55. She enjoys giving back to her community and is involved in a variety of volunteer work. “When I look back on my career, the themes were about opportunity and exploration,” she said. “I like trying new things, and the one constant in life is change. There were always lots of opportunities to try new things and become a leader of change.” Harding often did the jobs that others did not want. She took those positions because she recognized the opportunities and the fun those posts offered. “The person I became was nurtured in this College environment,” she said. “I was given the opportunity to explore various subjects. It was in this environment that I became my own person.”


ydow shares UVa-Wise mission

After a stellar career as president of the State University of New York’s Onondaga Community College, Debbie Sydow ’85 is coming home to Virginia to head Richard Bland College in Williamsburg. Sydow will begin her duties as president of the branch of the College of William and Mary in July. The announcement of her new posting came just days before her April visit to UVa-Wise as the featured speaker in the Alumni Lecture Series. Higher education has been a part of her life since she earned a bachelor’s degree in English at UVa-Wise. The Pound native received her master’s degree in English from Marquette University. She earned a doctorate in English, rhetoric and linguistics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania while teaching English at Southwest Virginia Community College. After a stint at Mountain Empire Community College, including acting president, Sydow took the post as president of Onondaga. While head of Onondaga, Sydow raised more than $110,000,000 for capital improvements and new construction, including the installation of campuswide smart classrooms and the addition of the campus’ first apartment-style student housing. Other projects include the repurposing of a poor farm hospital to a regional higher education center, construction of a 6,500 seat arena for the use of arts and athletics by Central New York, and the construction of a performing arts center that is suspended 150 feet over a gorge that bridges the east and west sides of campus. If some of the projects at Onondaga sound similar to improvements and

construction at UVa-Wise, Sydow has carried the lessons she learned at Wise throughout her career in higher education. “My career, first as a college teacher and over the past 20 years as a college administrator, reflects the values, the insights, the sensitivity and the integrity that was nurtured right here at my alma mater some 30 years ago,” she said. Sydow, the first in her family to attend college, recalled arriving for her first day of class at then Clinch Valley College in 1981 with a little fear, even though she was filled with her mother’s optimism and her father‘s example of fortitude and courage. She soon found the professors and staff were true to the College’s mission to provide students with learning experiences that offer opportunities to develop the skills and insight to enrich the lives of others. She would carry the lessons she learned from UVa-Wise administrators, staff and faculty with her throughout her career. Sydow benefited from plays and performances that Pro-Art brought to campus and the region. Pro-Art exposed her to diverse cultures and inspired her thinking and understanding of the world. It is no surprise that while at Onondaga she worked with Syracuse area art and cultural organizations and art, photography and music faculty to secure funding for a similar program called Arts Across Campus. At UVa-Wise, Sydow participated in study abroad programs. She studied Greek language and literature in Athens and Poros. The formal study of

Greek language and drama in Greece had an enormous impact on Sydow. She helped bring study abroad programs with her to Southwest Virginia Community College, Mountain Empire Community College and Onondaga Community College. “It was this experience that immensely deepened my sensitivity to diverse cultures and people,” she said. “My involvement, support and investment in study abroad programs has been another constant throughout my career in higher education.” Many have asked Sydow why she would leave a presidency at one of SUNY’s largest colleges to take the same role at a small branch college. “When you consider the parallels between Richard Bland College and the old Clinch Valley College, I’ll bet you can guess why this position holds so much appeal for me,” she said.

Debbie Sydow ’85

Spring 2012 17


18 UVa-Wise Magazine

David J. Prior 1943 - 2012

“Many exciting opportunities are just ahead... including new facilities, expanding enrollment and innovative outreach programs. Working together, we will continue honoring the UVa-Wise traditions while charting our course toward new heights of service and distinction.” -David J. Prior (2005) David J. Prior began his tenure at UVa-Wise during one of the most exciting times in the College’s history. The campus was experiencing a rapid growth spurt with record freshmen enrollment for three consecutive years. UVa-Wise was on the verge of breaking the 2,000 enrollment mark, and a new residence hall was slated to open to meet the housing needs of the additional students. Crockett Hall, the College’s original and most revered building, was awaiting a much-needed renovation, the theater building where Professor Charles Lewis and his students created elaborate and always entertaining productions was slated for a major renovation and expansion, and the Development office was planning to launch the College’s second fund-raising campaign. It was a wonderful time for Prior, a scientist, educator and experienced college administrator, and his wife, Merry Lu Prior, to join the UVa-Wise family. The seven years that Chancellor Prior spent at UVa-Wise were marked with positive change and remarkable growth of both the campus and its presence in the region, state and nation. Under his leadership, UVa-Wise celebrated the success of its “Fulfilling the Dream” campaign that raised more than $50 million to fund new scholarships, endowed professorships, major capital projects and such innovative programs as the Marching Highland Cavaliers band. He led the largest building program in the College’s history, including the $30 million Convocation Center that now bears his name. He secured funding for a new six-story library and a health and wellness wing for the Slemp Student Center. The wellness center and library were in the planning stages when Mr. Prior passed away suddenly on Feb. 2, 2012. “I derive tremendous pleasure from the success of others.” - David J. Prior (2005) Mr. Prior understood that a college is more than bricks and mortar. He championed the need for students to have a true college experience in classrooms, athletic fields and on the performance stage. Student success was important to Chancellor Prior. He worked hard to ensure students were prepared for the rigors of pursuing graduate and professional education, and he was a staunch supporter of encouraging students to pursue the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health. He made student research a priority, and UVa-Wise gained a solid reputation among its peer institutions. UVa-Wise created the software engineering,

computer science, MIS, biochemistry and music majors under Chancellor Prior’s leadership. He cherished the times he taught freshman biology. “I’d like to see the College be the hub of economic development in Southwest Virginia. As the region’s four-year public college, we must take a leadership role to help facilitate private sector partnerships across the region.” - David J. Prior (2005) UVa-Wise is an engine for economic development, and Chancellor Prior made sure the College, faculty and staff did their parts to help the region reach and exceed its potential. He established the Office of Economic Development and created the Southwest Virginia Technology Development Center in partnership with Russell County’s Industrial Development Authority in 2007. In addition, he cultivated strategic corporate relationships with key regional employers such as CGI, Northrop Grumman and Sykes Enterprises. He established the Healthy Appalachia Institute, a partnership with the University of Virginia, and helped bring the University’s globally recognized Darden Executive Education to the region and served on the board of LEAD Virginia, the Southwest Virginia Health Authority, and was president of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges when he passed away. “I know that I lead an institution that is cherished by countless employees, alumni and friends. I want you to know I am committed to leading UVa-Wise as we enhance our highquality learning environment.” - David J. Prior (2005) Chancellor Prior listed his top goals for UVa-Wise shortly after he arrived on campus. The first goal was to place a greater emphasis on communication as a life skill by extending the curriculum beyond traditional oral and written communication. The second goal was to work with public schools to enhance science, technology and mathematics education at all levels. The last goal was to enhance the college experience by offering more opportunities for undergraduate research and creative works, honors courses and international study. In seven short years, he met those goals. UVa-Wise is stronger and more vibrant because of his vision and leadership. Well done, Mr. Prior. Spring 2012 19

“As all of you know from working and interacting with David in various ways, he was a strong, capable leader with a clear vision for the College and its future. He cared deeply about the success of the College and the people of his community, and he was a respected and much-loved figure throughout Southwest Virginia. He worked hard to build relationships with students, alumni, donors, and elected officials. He was a gifted scientist, scholar, and administrator. But most importantly…he was a warm, compassionate person whose kindheartedness and good humor touched many lives. He will be dearly missed.”

”Chancellor Prior was more than a chancellor. He was a mentor and a friend. Being on the Student Government Association and working in the Campus Police office gave me twice as many chances to watch, grow and learn from him. He gave me advice that I will use for the rest of my life. He was motivated to see this campus and its students live life to the fullest and to excel to the highest standards.” - Ashley Cvetnich ’12

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-Teresa Sullivan President of the University of Virginia

“I was spending a quiet Friday evening at home when I received a text message from Mr. Prior. ‘Bear spotted on frozen lake on campus. Should we attempt rescue?’ Mr. Prior was referring to the stuffed polar bear that someone had placed in the center of the frozen lake a week earlier. The cute bear was sitting in a canvas lawn chair, and he was quite an attraction. Students started discussing ways to save the bear, and that caused some administrators and staff to worry. I responded with a ‘Yes.’ Next I received another message. ‘I have a canoe, rope and safety equipment.’ Still thinking he was joking, I responded, ‘I have my kayak and a gang of Really Old Women kayakers who stand ready to help.’ His response got me out of the house and on the way. ‘On the way…see you there.’ When I arrived, Mr. Prior, an avid ice fisherman, was rowing his canoe across the slush and ice. The polar bear was in the canoe. Mrs. Prior was standing along the edge of the lake, keeping a close eye on the safety ropes her husband had tied to the lamp post. ‘You know, we probably should have told Campus Police what we were doing,’ he said with a hearty laugh. Mr. Prior was concerned that a student would attempt to save the bear, so he took care of the situation. I learned that the Chancellor would always act first when it came to student safety, and that Mrs. Prior would be right there by his side. - Kathy Still ’84 Director of news and media relations “David Prior was a champion for the College at Wise, and he worked tirelessly to spread the culture of education throughout Southwest Virginia and the commonwealth. He was a tireless advocate of STEM initiatives at the College, and this legacy will have a tremendous impact on the region and its economic development efforts well into the future.” - Marvin Gilliam, Jr.

Spring 2012 21

“A few years ago when we had just moved down from South Bend, Ind., I mentioned to Chancellor Prior that my son was collecting hockey trading cards and wanted to watch hockey every time it was on TV. I didn’t know the Chancellor had played hockey before, and I shared that moving from northern Indiana where hockey is pretty big to Wise, Virginia where hockey is something Canadians play, was a bit hard on my son’s interests. His eyes lit up! He said ‘you get that boy out to the house and I’ll show him how to play street hockey. I’ve got my gear and a net and I’ll show him the ropes.’ He gave my boy a Colorado State hockey puck that he had gotten from a game, and encouraged him to learn to skate a bit. My son treats that puck like it was made of gold. I treat that puck like it is made of gold, too. - Keith Fowlkes Vice chancellor for information technology and CIO

22 UVa-Wise Magazine

“David was a model and mentor for those of us who worked with him in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. For him the word “public” was as important as all the others in the name. It meant deep commitments to accessibility and to accountability – the kind that involves talking, listening and working with people beyond the walls of the ivory tower, not just counting students, costs and completion times. Evidently he walked the talk in southwestern Virginia. He pushed all of us to do more for our students and communities. A public mission, he insisted, was not optional.” -Roger Epp Former Dean of the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus

“Chancellor Prior led by example. I had scheduled a meeting with Mr. Prior after I became the student representative on the College Board. He had asked me to stop by and talk with him so he could fill me in on the purpose and mission of the Board. We discussed the responsibilities and duties of the Board and how I could contribute. He asked me about my plans after graduation, about my classes and my family. I told him I planned to go to law school, and he went into great detail about the steps I should take before applying, prospective schools, and my specific interest in law. Two hours later, I emerged from Bowers-Sturgill Hall. I knew he had a lot more important things to do, running a college and all, but he was doing what he saw as most important; helping a student. He saw value in people, and at that moment, it was me.” - Luke Rasnick ’12 “I first met Chancellor Prior when we were on a school trip to Ecuador in May 2011. One day a group of us decided to go ziplining. After hiking up the side of a steep mountain, we reached the spot that we were supposed to start, but all of us were too scared. Chancellor Prior was the one to go first. I think this is a great example of his leadership, determination and commitment. - Madison Savarese ’14

Spring 2012 23

David J. Prior

Convocation Center dedicated

Marcia Gilliam ’82, chair of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Board, said it best when she addressed the 250 people who gathered on Wednesday, April 25, to officially dedicate a 78,000 square foot arena in honor of the late Chancellor David J. Prior. “Today, we are here to celebrate a life well-lived, a heart well-loved, in a place that will be well-used,” Gilliam said. “We are here to celebrate David J. Prior and the David J. Prior Convocation Center.” Chancellor Prior died suddenly on Feb. 2, 2012. He was the seventh chancellor at UVa-Wise, and the College experienced remarkable growth under the seven years of his leadership. He was extremely proud of the facility that now bears his name. Chancellor Prior gave so many tours during construction that he kept the trunk of his car full of hard hats, Gilliam recalled. “There could be no other name for this building,” said Gilliam. “We can all attest to how much David loved this place. During construction, he was here almost every day in his hard hat, watching it emerge from the ground.” Gilliam told the crowd that she is proud that Chancellor Prior will be remembered 24 UVa-Wise Magazine

and honored in such a meaningful way. “The David J. Prior Convocation Center will be a part of our lives and the lives of our faculty, staff, students, alumni and the people of Southwest Virginia for years to come,” Gilliam added. Delegate Terry Kilgore ’83, who worked with the region’s legislators in the Virginia General Assembly to acquire the $30 million needed to build the center, called Chancellor Prior “a true friend and a wonderful

individual” who will leave an impact on the community. “We’re here to honor a great friend and a true Southwest Virginia leader,” Kilgore said. Kilgore presented Mrs. Merry Lu Prior and UVa-Wise with a framed copy of the House Joint Resolution that authorized funding for the center’s construction in 2009. The resolution was signed by the region’s legislative delegation.

Mrs. Prior said she and her family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received from near and far. “He did absolutely love this building,” Mrs. Prior said of her husband. “If he wasn’t home at 5 o’clock, I figured he was here, and it was usually true.” Marvin Gilliam, Jr., a member of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors and chair of the Board of Visitors’ Committee on the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, called Chancellor Prior a “forceful and successful advocate for The University of Virginia’s College at Wise.” The David J. Prior Center is the realization of Chancellor Prior’s vision, he added. Teresa Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, said UVa-Wise exists today because the people of Southwest Virginia saw in its founding the creation of opportunity for their children. The David J. Prior Convocation Center also represents opportunity for enhanced prosperity in Southwest Virginia, she added. “How appropriate that this building will

bear the name of the man who was most responsible for bringing it to fruition,” President Sullivan said. As wonderful as the center and the other buildings that were constructed and renovated during his chancellorship, Chancellor Prior’s legacy is more than bricks and mortar, she said. “David will live on in the hearts and minds of the people in the College and all of Southwest Virginia,” she said. “His legacy is a legacy of hope, energy and boundless optimism for what the people in this College and this region can accomplish together.” Children who attend events at the center will ask their parents about David J. Prior, she said. “There are a lot of ways to answer that question,” she told the crowd. “Chancellor. Scientist. Community leader. Family man. All those are right answers to the question. But the parents could tell their child, ‘he built this building,’ and that would be the right answer, too.”

Top left: Dedication attendees numbered in the hundreds; lower left: Merry Lou Prior with U.Va. President, Teresa Sullivan and UVa-Wise SGA; above: Mrs. Prior expresses her appreciation; lower right: Delegate Terry Kilgore ’83, honors the late Chancellor David J. Prior Spring 2012 25

Library construction to begin Construction on the six-story library planned for the center of campus is set to begin late this summer, according to Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Sim Ewing. The $50 million project, funded by state bonds meant to support capital projects for educational institutions, is expected to take three years to construct and will join the Slemp Student Center as a bridge between the lower part of campus and the academic buildings on top of the hill. Since the construction site is in the middle of campus – set between Henson, Cantrell Hall, the Chapel, Gilliam Center for the Arts, John C. Wyllie Library and Darden – students and faculty can expect modifications to the sidewalks, an increased volume of traffic, and the noise of the machines once construction begins. The completed 65,000 square foot building will consist of the library’s stacks and materials as well as a number of study areas and lounges. When the library section closes, it will be able to be partitioned off

26 UVa-Wise Magazine

from the study areas to allow a separate 24hour study and socialization area and access to the stairs and elevators from the lower floors to the top of the hill. The main entrance of the building is set to be located on the fourth floor, which will be on the same level as the fourth floor of the Student Center. There will be another entrance on the second floor, which will lead off of the walkway stretching in front of Henson. Each of the six stories is planned to contain a number of shelves for the library’s collection of books and other materials. This will allow the library to expand its collection each year and keep older books instead of having to purge to fit limited space, as is the case now with the small storage area in the current library. The library staff is preparing for the move already by sorting their current collection and weeding out old books that may need to be replaced, according to reference librarian Shannon Steffey. They will decide which books go on which floors of the new library before moving.

An expanded coffee shop will be placed on the fifth floor of the building, which is planned to be at the level of the base of Darden. Officials are expected to coordinate with Chartwells, the food service provider contracted to UVa-Wise, to provide a café area with longer hours and a variety of food items. The goal of the larger coffee shop is to provide a major food and social destination, said Ewing. Other amenities expected for the building include quiet study areas, classrooms, wireless Internet available in the 24-hour section, offices for the library staff, a special collections room and a large meeting room that can accommodate formal gatherings. “This building is really showing that we are advancing our academic program,” said Ewing. “Academics are important in Wise and we’re adding another state-of-the-art facility for them.”

- Jessica Shartouny ’14 Highland Cavalier Editor

Science Center named in honor of Sandridge The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Board named the Science Center in honor of Leonard W. Sandridge, Jr., the University’s former chief operating officer and a longtime supporter and friend of the College. The UVa-Wise Board approved the measure naming the facility the Leonard W. Sandridge, Jr. Science Center on Dec. 9, 2011. Sandridge, who retired in July 2011, served the University of Virginia for nearly half a century. He joined the University’s internal audit team in 1967 and worked his

way up to executive vice president and chief operating officer. He continues to work as a special advisor to President Teresa A. Sullivan. “It is a huge honor to be recognized in this way by my friends at the College at Wise,” Sandridge said. “Words do not adequately express my deep appreciation to the College Board and Chancellor Prior.” Sandridge said nothing has been more rewarding over the past 44 years than the time he and his wife, Jerry, spent with students, staff, faculty and board members who share their love for the College.

“I have always admired the work that is done at the College and have enjoyed being a small part of what has been accomplished over the last several decades,” he said. “I am grateful and humbled by the Board’s action. I certainly didn’t expect anything like this, but it means more to Jerry and me than you can imagine.” The $13.4 million facility was renovated to create a new wing and provided laboratory spaces for courses in geology, software engineering and physics.

Spring 2012 27


Scholarship Luncheon

Top from right: Apsara Aryal ’12, Kathy Sturgill (second from the right), Jeff Sturgill ’74 (representing the Sturgill Merit Scholarship and Susie Sturgill Athletic Scholarship) with students Rocky Wireman (left) and Emily Shai Mullins (right); middle: Tice Total Achievement Award recipients left to right Josh R. Shoemaker, Ran Tao, Provost Sanders Huguenin (center), Michael D. Baker, M. Ryan Blevins and Dustin A. Sparks, (not pictured); bottom from left: Joyce Carter, Lisa M. Yates, founders of the Julie Carter Bray Scholarship, and Natasha M. Kennedy (Thomas A. Akers, Sr. and Minnie Ruth Aker Memorial Scholarship) 28 UVa-Wise Magazine

Top: Jim Thompson, Melissa Thompson (seated) and daughter Molly Thompson; middle right: gymnasium; bottom left: Dennis Kern ’ 72 (standing on right representing Claude and Agnes McMurray Scholarship) shaking hands with scholarship recipient Barklie Estes ’12, Cassie Kern; right bottom: Marcia Adams Gilliam ‘82, Marvin Gilliam (Marcia Adams Gilliam Scholarship and the Betty Jones Gilliam Scholarship) pictured with recipient Lauren Powers ’12; above: Gilmer Blackburn, former provost, with scholarship recipient Robert “Bo” Endean; immediately above: Caleb Green ’12 with faculty member Tom Costa and student Marcus Montgomery Spring 2012 29

UVa-Wise confers degrees and holds its first ROTC commissioning William C. Wampler, Jr., a former state senator, urged nearly 300 graduates of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise to work hard and to be relevant to the success of the organization they work for so their skills will be recognized accordingly. “Simply put, be the best at whatever you do,” Wampler, director of New College Institute, told the UVa-Wise Class of 2012. “When it comes to work ethic or working hard, you and you alone control your destiny. It’s up to you.” Wampler, who served as senior lecturer at UVa-Wise, told the Class of 2012 a little about his role in successful legislation that changed the College’s name from Clinch Valley College to The University of Virginia’s College at Wise in 1998. “It was nothing short of a Herculean effort by many to get these bills passed,” Wampler said. The College’s relationship with the University of Virginia is stronger today than ever before, and students from across Virginia are enrolling and graduating from UVa-Wise in record numbers, he said. “Today marks the day of your life when you, perhaps, feel the way my four-times great grandfather must have felt when he settled here in Wise so many years ago,”

William Wampler, Jr. 30 UVa-Wise Magazine

Wampler said. “Uncertain about what the future holds but excited about the opportunities and putting what you have learned to work while making a difference.” UVa-Wise held its Commencement 2012 ceremony on May 19 at the Lawn by the Lake. The hundreds attending cheered as the College celebrated its first ROTC commissioning ceremony when Cadet Michael Dustin Bailey received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing and left the stage as Second Lieutenant Bailey. Often during Commencement, speakers paused to reflect on the legacy of the late David J. Prior, the College’s seventh chancellor. Mr. Prior passed away suddenly during his seventh year as head of the only branch of the University of Virginia. Marvin Gilliam, a member of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors, brought greetings from Teresa Sullivan, president of the University. ‘The true measure of any college is the people who enroll in classes, work hard, expand their horizons and leave the school a more complete person,” Gilliam said. “This has long been a tradition of this college and I know that you graduates will continue this story of success.” Marcia Gilliam ’82, chair of the UVaWise Board, said the Class of 2012 was likely thinking about the reasons they chose to attend college in Wise.

“As you are now poised to graduate, I’m betting that your time at UVa-Wise has helped you realize that those were not just reasons to come to college, but remain reasons to move forward into your new lives,” she said. “If you realize that, then our College has done its job. As you keep moving toward what is next, remember to learn more, to love more, to do more and to be more.” Ashlee Washburn, president of the Student Government Association, said the Class of 2012 has matured as UVa-Wise has matured. “I want our Class of 2012 to never stop learning and don’t be afraid to go off the plans you make for yourself,” Washburn said. “Sometimes the best things in life are not planned. Nayab Chowhan, the Class of 2012 honorary student speaker, said they were often asked as children what they wanted to be when they grew up and where did they want to attend college. “Now it will be ‘what are you going to do with the rest of your life? So next week, when your parents come down to the basement to ask you this, here is what you say, I’m going to live it. Life is not something to be planned or waited on. It’s happening right now and we are the stars.”

First salute Wise resident Michael Dustin Bailey received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, but he left Commencement as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. It was a poignant and historic moment that those attending will not soon forget. Bailey is the first to be commissioned as part of the College’s ROTC program. Those attending listened quietly and gave their full attention to Bailey, his family and the officers and enlisted soldiers as they took the stage for the official ceremony. He took his oath and stood strong as Mike and Karen Bailey placed rank bars on their son’s shoulders. In time-honored tradition, newly promoted Second Lieutenant Bailey, 23, was ready for his first salute. Sgt. Thomas Scholl, a non-commissioned officer who instilled the proper military way of doing things into the ROTC cadets, walked swiftly toward Bailey and gave him a crisp salute. In exchange, Lt. Bailey presented Sgt. Scholl with a silver dollar. “I fell in love with the military when I was in the Jr. ROTC program in high school,” he said in an interview two days before he became an Army officer. “I enjoyed the four years that I was in the Army ROTC.” It is a family tradition to be a nurse and to serve in the military. His mother, Karen Bailey, is a nurse. His grandfather and great-grandfather served in the Army as enlisted soldiers. When it came time to choosing a major, nursing seemed a good fit. “I’d watched my mom working as a nurse, and I shadowed a nurse anesthetist as a student,” he said. “I fell in love with nursing, but I knew I had to have a bachelor’s degree to be a nurse anesthetist.” After a stint as a bridge builder in the National Guard, he toyed with the thought of moving up in the ranks to become an officer. He decided to get a college education and pursue a commission through the ROTC program. He had no idea that he would be the first to be commissioned at UVa-Wise, a college with its own special connection to the military. More than 70 percent of the College’s first students were veterans of the Korean Conflict. Many students and graduates have had stellar military careers in peacetime and in conflict, especially in recent wars in the Middle East. “I’m kind of proud to be the first to be commissioned here,” he said. “I am honored. I would recommend the ROTC program for others. I’d like to see it grow and get bigger. I think we have 12 prospects here for the fall. It’s a great program. You get an education and will know you have a job when you graduate.” Lt. Martin Asirifi has been with the ROTC program on campus for nearly two years. He had nothing but praise for Lt. Bailey and the program. “He should do very well as a nurse and as an officer,” he said. “Many people, even ones on campus, are not fully aware of the ROTC program. After seeing the commissioning, there will be no doubts.” Top: Dustin Bailey ’12 and parents; middle: Bailey takes oath; bottom: Bailey’s first salute Spring 2012 31

Commencement 2012

32 UVa-Wise Magazine

Spring 2012 33

Hall Fame New members announced Athletics


Robert “Bob” Sage ’79, Hobby Stuart ’88 and Zack Moore ’04 are the newest members of the UVa-Wise Athletic Hall of Fame. Sage was a three-year starter on the Cavalier baseball team and was a .350 career hitter. He had a career day when he belted three doubles and drove in eight runs when Clinch Valley College defeated rival Lincoln Memorial University. That same season, LMU defeated East Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee. As a senior, Sage led the team in hits, doubles, homeruns, and RBI. Sage finished the season with a .419 batting average and became one of the first All-Conference players in the history of the school when he was selected to the District 32 All-Star team. In 1979, Sage was named Most Outstanding Player. Sage lives in Virginia Beach where he is the vice president of sales for VSA Resorts. Moore came to UVa-Wise after leading Pound High School to a state runner up finish. He continued his success at UVaWise, and in four years, he was a three-time All Appalachian

34 UVa-Wise Magazine

Robert Sage ’79 and Zack Moore ’04

Conference selection. As a senior, he became the first men’s basketball player in the history of the program to be named First Team NAIA All-American. In his senior season, Moore captained the Cavaliers to a conference championship and a trip to the national tournament en route to becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,348 points. He currently serves as the boy’s basketball coach at Union High School. Hobby Stuart started his career in 1984 at Clinch Valley College and the Appalachia High School product left a lasting impression. Stuart started every game at point guard during a career that saw him establish several school records. Stuart made 368 free throws out of 480 attempts in a Cavalier uniform while also setting the school record for points in a game when he scored 42 points against The University of Pikeville, he later tied the mark against Union College. He also ended his career as the school’s leading scorer with 1,646 career points to go along with an all KIAC selection in 1986 and All-District 32 status in 1986 and 1987.

Women’s golf at UVa-Wise Women’s golf will become the 12th intercollegiate sport offered at UVa-Wise when it begins its first season in the fall of 2012 under the direction of former men’s golf coach Leigh Clark. “I am excited about the new women’s golf program, and I am honored to be the coach,” Clark said. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with motivated and talented young women athletes on and off the golf course.” Coach Clark made Katelyn Mullins the first ever UVa-Wise women’s golf signee recently when the Abingdon High School product signed a letter of intent to play collegiately in Wise. A three-sport athlete, Mullins earned the Coaches Award in both golf and basketball while also earning the Falcon Award in tennis. A quality student, Mullins has consistently

Chelsea Cluesman ’13

been on the honor roll while also being a member of the National Honor Society at Abingdon High School. The daughter of David and Melissa Mullins, Katelyn plans to pursue a degree in nursing once reaching campus. UVa-Wise basketball standout Chelsea Cluesman and her sister MaKenzie Cluesman, signed to played collegiate golf at the school. MaKenzie also signed to join rising senior Chelsea on the basketball floor. The pair of sisters both had stellar careers at nearby Lee High School as they each qualified for the Virginia High School League State Tournament playing under Head Coach Gary Pendegraft. Chelsea was twice named All-Region as a golfer in high school and is currently an All-Mid-South performer on the women’s basketball team. A standout on the basketball floor, MaKenzie aided the Generals to a VHSL State Final Four appearance while also earning Honorable Mention All-State accolades. Chelsea is currently a sport management major while MaKenzie is yet to decide her field of study. They are the daughters of Jerry and Donna Cluesman. Kortne Gilbert also recently signed a letter of intent to continue her golf career at UVa-Wise. A native of Toledo, Ohio, Gilbert earned Northwest Ohio Girls Golf League First Team accolades while also earning Second Team All-Northern Lakes League honors. In addition, she was a First Team All-Academic Ohio selection while also garnering All-Academic Second Team honors in her district. She is the daughter of Kermit and Robin Gilbert. Kortne intends to pursue a degree in communications.

Senior athletes honored Several UVa-Wise senior student-athletes were honored this spring for their work inside the classroom. The student-athletes listed below earned these awards for outstanding work and contribution to their department and major. Josh Jordan received the Senior Capstone Award for Communication Studies. This award recognizes students who have distinguished themselves in the senior capstone course. These students research, design, and execute an original project in media studies, rhetorical criticism, interpersonal communication or business communication. The research culminates in two public presentations of their work and a scholarly written report. Megan Funk received the Outstanding Woman Scholar in Education Award. The Virginia Iota Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International honors a senior at UVa-Wise as an Outstanding Woman Scholar in Education. Delta Kappa Gamma Society promotes quality education internationally. Cody Bentley received the Ray Spenilla Award in Health and Physical Education. This award is named for Coach Spenilla’s contributions as teacher, coach, and athletic director and his seminal work in developing and supporting the health and physical education major at the College. The award is given to the graduating senior who has demonstrated remarkable promise as a future health and physical education teacher. Emily Doane and Kristin Mullins each received the Gilmer Blackburn Award in Sports Management. This award is named in honor of former Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Gilmer Blackburn., who was instrumental in supporting sport management as a new field of study at the College. The award is given to a graduating senior who shows outstanding promise in the field of sports management. Collin Skeen received the William Elbert Fraley Award in English. The Fraley Award in English is given to a graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence in English studies and plans to attend graduate school.

Spring 2012 35

Tennis athletes recognized


Megan Buchanan, Mark Collins and Zach Holcomb are among 121 NAIA tennis studentathletes named Daktronics-NAIA Scholarship Athletes. Buchanan is a member of the womens tennis team. Collins and Holcomb are members of the mens tennis team. In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach, a studentathlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.

Above, from left: Mark Collins, Megan Buchanan and Zack Holcomb

Athletes speak at PVMS Four Cavs Several members of the UVa-Wise Student-Athlete Advisory Council and athletic department staff participated in the 18th Annual Voyage of Discovery/ earn academic Academic Night at Powell Valley Middle School. Junior football player and Pound native, Erik Bolling, and classmate and honors volleyball player from Twin Springs, Robyn Dougherty, shared their experiences as The NAIA recently released its 2012 Academic All-American honorees and four UVa-Wise women’s basketball players were tapped for their stellar academic skills. Seniors Emily Doane and Kristin Mullins each earned the award for a second time while juniors Charlotte Reasor and Chelsea Cluesman obtained the honor the first year they were eligible. For a student-athlete to receive the prestigious honor, they must have a 3.5 grade point average or higher while being in good academic standing with his or her academic institution. In addition, the student-athlete must be a junior or senior while being a contributor to the athletic team they represent.

Keep up with the latest in Cavalier sports at 36 UVa-Wise Magazine

collegiate student-athletes. They spoke to nearly 60 students and their parents about the challenges they faced in the transition from high school to college, and the value of learning good time management skills as well as maintaining a positive attitude and work ethic. Joining Bolling and Dougherty were UVa-Wise defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton, assistant athletic trainer Kendra Potter, and associate athletic director Kendall Rainey. Hamilton shared words of wisdom regarding the importance of earning a college degree while pursuing a professional athletic career, and he emphasized the significance of creating positive habits growing up as they will be with you throughout your life. Potter and Rainey discussed how their playing experiences in high school and college sports impacted their career paths. They focused on transferrable skills such as commitment, dedication, and communication. Each presented their stories and information to the participants on careers in sports outside of being a professional athlete or coach.

Tennis teams donate clothing to tornado victims Members of the UVa-Wise men’s and women’s tennis teams traveled through tornado stricken Salyersville, Ky. on a road trip. The sight of destruction deeply moved the team and its coach Danny Rowland so much that they gathered clothing to donate to the tornado victims. “We had driven through the town the morning after the tornado and had seen firsthand what the destruction had done,” Rowland said. “ It truly moved us all and was heartbreaking to see people in total shock. We felt a strong need to help these people ever since that happened.”

Cavs accepted as provisional G-MAC member Uva-Wise has been accepted as a provisional member of the NCAA Division II Great Midwest Athletic Conference. UVa-Wise will become the seventh member of the conference and begin competition in 2013-2014. “Pursuing NCAA membership began under the vision of Chancellor Prior and everyone associated with athletics is dedicated to making that vision reality,” said UVa-Wise Director of Athletics Danny Sterling. “As many know, on March 23, the UVa-Wise Board passed a resolution supporting our transition into NCAA Division II once a conference was identified. We have found that conference in the G-MAC. “ With acceptance into the G-MAC, UVa-Wise will apply for admittance into the NCAA Division II membership process in advance of the June 1 deadline for submission of applications. If accepted into the membership process, UVa-Wise will work to meet the requirements of candidacy with the hope of an invitation to active NCAA Division II status for the 2015-16 academic year.

“Our members feel UVa-Wise is poised to make a smooth transition to NCAA Division II if extended an invitation to enter the membership process,” said Tom Daeger, G-MAC Commissioner. “UVa-Wise has illustrated the leadership and drive to, not only meet the expectations of a NCAA Division II member, but to far exceed them and we will support them in their development through the membership process if the opportunity is awarded.” If successfully admitted into NCAA Division II candidacy, the institution will become a Full Member of the G-MAC and will join the charter members of the Conference which includes Cedarville University (Cedarville, Ohio), Central State University (Wilberforce, Ohio), Kentucky Wesleyan College (Owensboro, Ky.), Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, Tenn.), Urbana University (Urbana, Ohio), and Ursuline College (Pepper Pike, Ohio) The G-MAC, headquartered in Indianapolis, will sponsor 12 championships in 2012-13 with intention to begin competition as an active NCAA Division II member conference in 2013-14.

“We have been very impressed with the leadership and vision of Tom Daeger and the members of the G-MAC. Everyone involved is looking forward to building a long, successful and competitive relationship with the other members of our new conference,” said Sterling. UVa-Wise currently competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in the Mid-South Conference and sponsors 11 sports. UVaWise offers student-athletes the opportunity to compete in men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, football, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis and softball. Women’s golf will become the 12th sport sponsored by the institution when the program begins play in the fall of 2012. The school has won eight conference or regional titles over the course of the past five seasons. The UVa-Wise Cheerleading squad placed third at the NAIA East Regional Cheer Small Co-ed Division held on Feb. 4, 2012, at Campbellsville University. The third place finish marks the first time the school has placed in a competition.

Baseball players named All-American Conference UVa-Wise junior baseball players Kirk Jennings and Justin Wilson were named NAIA honors Cavs Academic All-Americans for the 2011-2012 academic year. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be at least a junior while maintaining at least a 3.5 grade point average. In addition, the student must be in good standing with his or her academic institution while being a contributor in the sport they play. Jennings started 36 games for the Cavaliers in 2012 while hitting .269 and driving in 17 runs. The Colonial Heights, Va. native is a mathematics major where he has posted a 3.56 grade point average to this point. Jennings is currently on pace to graduate next May. Fellow junior Justin Wilson had a spectacular year on the mound for UVa-Wise. The St. Paul, Va. product posted a 2.43 earned run average while striking out 59 opposing hitters and limiting the opposition to a .208 batting average against. Wilson is a health and physical education major and has posted a 3.52 grade point average during his time at UVa-Wise. Like Jennings, Wilson is on pace to graduate with his degree next May.

Collins named cheer coach Kara Collins has been named UVa-Wise’s new cheerleading coach. A 2011 graduate of the College, Collins takes over the position vacated by Chelsie Lawson ’06. The Wise native brings experience to the program from working as an assistant junior varsity coach at the former J.J. Kelly High School, to being offered a coaching position with the Universal Cheer Association. In addition to her new coaching position, Collins works in the office of admissions and teaches freshman seminar class.

The Mid-South Conference announced its 2012 All-Conference selections. Juniors Brett Hylton and Tommy Meier each received first team accolades while senior Ryan Crosby was a second team honoree. Hylton entered the Mid-South Tournament hitting .338 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs. The home runs rank the right fielder second in the league while his RBI total is fourth best in the conference. Fellow junior Tommy Meier enters the tournament hitting .388 with 37 runs scored and 10 stolen bases. In addition, the catcher is currently on a career best 18 game hitting streak. Ryan Crosby, the lone pitcher to be honored from UVa-Wise, led the Mid-South in strikeouts with 89 while posting a 7-3 record and a 2.04 ERA. In addition to the three athletic awards, Cody Bentley, Kirk Jennings, and Justin Wilson earned Academic All-Mid-South honors for their work in the classroom.

Spring 2012 37

t n i r luep


for Entrepreneurial Growth and Economic Prosperity in Southwest Virginia

The Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Growth and Economic Prosperity in Southwest Virginia, a community-based initiative designed to promote entrepreneurial activity in the region, has been released. The Blueprint, supported by the Virginia Coalfield Coalition and Appalachian Ventures, was developed to inspire collective action, impact policy, foster regional networks, build on the region’s remarkable assets and to seek new investment. During a series of four community forums, economic developers, educators, healthcare professionals, government agencies, entrepreneurs and local business leaders gathered to consider what entrepreneurship means to this region. The format was interactive and collaborative, building upon each participant’s expertise and driving toward a consensus on the region’s challenges and strengths. These community discussions, combined with dozens of follow up talks ultimately led to the creation of the comprehensive document supporting an asset-based strategy for entrepreneurial growth. Those tasked with building the blueprint learned that nearly 70 percent of job creation in the United States comes from small business. Small businesses created in rural regions contribute significantly to the stability of a region’s economy, and if successful, stay and grow in the community in which they originated. Building an ecosystem to create a pipeline of entrepreneurs, engaging the youth and encouraging them to see starting their own business as a viable career option and promoting the region as a fertile location for starting or growing a business, are the cornerstones of this regional strategy.

More about... The Southwest Virginia Technology Development Center located in Lebanon, Virginia, offers the region a state-of-the-art facility to host conferences, meetings, staff retreats and training. The 32,000 square foot facility is managed by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Office of Economic Development on behalf of the Russell County Industrial Development Authority. The center features classroom space, conference rooms, two fully-equipped computer labs, and an executive 38 UVa-Wise Magazine

auditorium with desk-mounted pop-up electrical and network ports. The facility offers highspeed wireless Internet and video conferencing capabilities. The SVTDC can assist in all aspects of planning and executing events from arranging catering to coordinating customized training opportunities. The facility has an experienced IT support staff to assist with technical needs. The SVTDC is now booking space for Fall 2012. For more information, contact the SVTDC at 276-889-8180 or visit the website at

The Southwest Virginia Technology Development Center is conveniently located in Lebanon, Va.


Partnership a success

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Executive Education program recently completed the initial two years of a partnership to bring world-class executive development to Southwest Virginia. Fourteen participants have earned the Certificate in Leadership Development, and companies with representatives from seven states have participated in the program. Company representatives have praised the course content and the faculty leaders. “Thanks to Darden’s case method, I was able to gain new perspectives that made an immediate difference in how I do my job,” said Barry Tate, information systems manager in the Database Administration group at Crutchfield, an electronics retailer with a branch in Southwest Virginia. “I believe that Darden’s commitment will greatly enhance opportunities in this area.” The Darden/UVa-Wise Partnership for Leadership Development was forged after business leaders in the region expressed the need for executive level training. In 2007, the newly created Office of Economic Development at UVa-Wise was charged with determining how the office would serve the region. Shannon Blevins ’91, director of the Office of Economic Development, conducted a “Listening to the Region” tour with regional businesses and industries to determine employers’ needs. “Being the only branch college of the University of Virginia, we had a great opportunity to form a partnership that would bring a world class executive education program to the region,” Blevins said of the top five executive education programs in the world. UVaWise and Darden officials first met to discuss the possibility of a partnership in 2009. Darden officials listened to regional business leaders as they spoke for the need for executive education in the area. From the information gathered at the meeting, a program was designed with topics and content relevant to a variety of industries. “The Darden/UVa-Wise Partnership gives us a unique way to

serve the employers of our region,” said Sim Ewing, vice chancellor for finance and administration at UVa-Wise. “Employers expressed a need for leadership development, and we found the best to satisfy that need. Executive education doesn’t get any better than Darden, repeatedly ranked as a top-five provider in the annual “Financial Times” rankings, and we have it right here in Southwest Virginia.” Today, leaders in Southwest Virginia and the broader region have access to professional development, which helps them acquire tools and best practices to improve company strategy and performance and gain a broadened perspective from different industries. Participants in the Darden Executive Education program will have strengthened leadership and management capabilities to help their businesses and region grow. “The program is really an exceptional value to regional business leaders. Hosting the program in Southwest Virginia removes travel time and expenses,” said Blevins. Darden’s world-class faculty is on-site to teach the programs and most regional participants can commute each day. Courses include: Negotiating Success, Financial Management for the Non-Finance Professional, Managing Change: Individual and Organizational, Creating and Managing Growth, Leading a Lean Transformation, and Strategic Thinking and Action. Participants in the program have the option to complete one class or complete four classes in a fouryear period to earn a Certificate in Leadership Development from the University of Virginia. The short programs are two to three day in length and are offered at the Southwest Virginia Technology Development Center in Lebanon, Va. The next program, Managing Change: Individual and Organizational, will be offered on October 23 -25, 2012. For more information, visit or call 276-8898180.

Top: Professor Jay Bourgeois covers management practices; right: Darden student discusses the art of good busiess.

Spring 2012 39

Class Kennedy reappointed to state’s Commercial Space Flight Authority

Wise County Clerk of Circuit Court Jack Kennedy ’78 has been reappointed by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell to serve a second term on the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority governing the commercial spaceport launch pads at Wallops Island, Va. The authority is now developing a strategic plan to expand the commercial spaceport beyond the unmanned orbital launches to the International Space Station set to start late this year. A NASA lunar satellite mission called LADEE is set for launch in 2013 from the spaceport. First appointed by Gov. Tim Kaine in July 2008, Kennedy serves as an officer and director of the state authority. The licensed Virginia attorney previously served as a board member of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education based in Alexandria, and he holds a MS in Space Policy from the University of North Dakota. Along with a museum-like display of NASA exhibits, including moon rock and the first humanoid robot on-orbit, Kennedy spearheaded a regional collaboration among business, government and academia to conduct a live International Space Station downlink with hundreds of 40 UVa-Wise Magazine

83 84

Nola Mullins had grandchildren graduate from Abingdon High School this year.

Pamela Conley is employed as a business process technologist with Mountain Empire Community College. She and her husband, Ed, live in Bristol, Va. Stephen Mullins is employed as a workforce services representative with the Virginia Employment Commission in Norton, Va. His prior work experience includes serving as the first full-time alumni director for Clinch Valley College from 1985 to 1988, before attending graduate school at U.Va.

92 Jack Kennedy ’78

students from the region in January at the David J. Prior Convocation Center. In April, The Wise County and City of Norton Chamber of Commerce awarded Jack the Distinguished Service Award for his innovative approach in furthering the education of area students through the NASA DEVELOP program. DEVELOP has enabled hundreds of local students to hold a NASA internship and gain advance knowledge in geographic information science, global positioning systems, and remote sensing technologies. Jack and his wife, Linda, reside in Wise.

Kimberly Christine Bays Fields is the vice president of financial and administrative services for Virginia Highlands Community College in Abingdon, Va.


Pamela J. Collie earned a master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from King College in December 2011. She serves as the alumni director at UVa-Wise.


Vanessa L. Freeman and Leo H. Zerhusen were united in marriage on Oct. 15, 2011 at Wise Baptist Church in Wise, Va. Bridgette Arnette Hawkins ’94 served as the wedding coordinator. Vanessa is an intermediate gift specialist with the Alzheimer’s Association and Leo is a member of the United States Navy stationed at Fort Gordon. They live in Augusta, Ga. with their son, Gabriel Scott Freeman Zerhusen.

Notes Stay in touch To submit a classnote, visit alumni


C. Todd Massey was named partner with the Michael B. Cooke, CPA, P.C. in Blacksburg, Va. Todd and his wife, Jennifer, live in Christiansburg with their two daughters, Lindsey and Lauren.


Lori Michelle Estridge earned a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011. She is employed as a vocational rehabilitative counselor with the Department of Rehabilitative Services in Norton, Va. Lori has two children, Abigail and Jaylan Webb.

to receive the R.J. Reynolds Excellence in Teaching Award for her work in proposing, developing and implementing the Writing Center, which offers tutoring and writingrelated workshops, hosts Poetry Viva Voce, an open-mic event, and publishes Weavings and Unravelings: A Literary Review and student-designated publication. She received a master’s degree in English from The University of Richmond.

Christina Street Porter earned a Master in Education at Hollins University in 2002. She teaches mathematics at Hidden Valley High School in the Roanoke County Public Schools. Mr. and Mrs. Zerhusen


Gerald D. Arrington has been elected commonwealth’s attorney for Buchanan County. In 2004, he graduated from the Appalachian School of Law, magna cum laude, and has spent the last seven years practicing criminal law. Gerald and his wife, Christine ’05, have two sons, Dylan and Jackson.

Stephanie Tolliver Osborne ’04

Tonya Large is employed as an internet sales manager with Morgan McClure Chevrolet in Coeburn, Va. Gabriel Scott Freeman Zerhusen


Kristy Carlson is in resident relations with DARO Management Services, LLC in Washington D.C.

Rochelle Roberts earned her Master of Science in Education Leadership from Old Dominion University in December 2011. Rochelle teaches for Wise County Public Schools.


Vice-President Biden and Mrs. Biden with Stephanie Tolliver Osborne ’04

Stephanie Tolliver Osborne is the first Gaston College instructor Spring 2012 41

David Rabern Simmons received a Doctorate in Philosophy in Biological Sciences at the University of Maine in May. As part of his degree program, he described a new fungus Fimicolochytrium jonesii, which is named in honor of Kevin Jones in the Department of Natural Sciences at UVa-Wise. While working on his doctorate degree, David has authored and co-authored nine publications on fungal systematics and aided in the description of two orders, two families, nine genera and ten species. Simmons received the Fay HylandHilborn Prize in Plant Biology from the school of Biology & Ecology at the University of Maine for his accomplishments. Simmons, a native of Big Stone Gap, Va., is the son of Barry Lane Simmons ’91 and the late Clyda Rae Simmons ’76.



C. Cole Osborne is assistant professor of English and Humanities for Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, N.C. Cole resides in Greensboro. Kellie Burke Rose earned a Doctor of Pharmacy from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009. She is employed as a clinical pharmacy specialist with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Staunton, Va. Kellie and her husband, Richie, a soccer coach with Virginia Military Institute, live in Lexington, Va.

Kelly Burke Rose ’04 and husband Richie


Jesse Berry Begley, a family nurse practitioner, is employed at Holston Valley Specialty Ob-Gyn. Jessee is an adjunct faculty member and clinical instructor for the RN students attending UVa-Wise. Christopher Cooper is the vice president of product development for Daymuse Studios, LLC in Glenn Allen, Va. Leandrea Romero received a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Mexico Highlands University and is currently enrolled in the Counselor Education and Supervision doctoral program with an emphasis in forensic mental health at Walden University. She is employed as a mental health therapist with Southwest Family Guidance Center and Institute in Albuquerque, N.M. Thomas Williams is a state trooper with the Virginia State Police in Richmond, Va. Thomas and his wife, Maggie ’05, have two children, Katelyn and Ethan.


Kari Leigh Osborne earned a Master of Science in Sport Management from Western Illinois University in 2009. She is the assistant director of intramural and club sports at Texas A&M - Commerce.

Kari Leigh Osborne ’07

Right: Hunter - Davidson wedding party 42 UVa-Wise Magazine


Samuel M. “Matt” Jordan has been hired as branch manager of Carter Bank and Trust in the Tazewell office. He earned an associate of arts and sciences degree from Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Political Science from UVa-Wise.

Samuel M. Jordan ’09


Kelly Hunter and Josh Davidson were united in marriage on Oct. 1, 2011 at Riverside Baptist Church in Chilhowie, Va. Alumni in the wedding party included Kendra Hawkins Hammonds ’11, Whitney Stiltner Vandyke ’09. Katie Hunter, sister of the bride, served as the maid of honor and is a student at UVa-Wise. Kelly received her master’s degree in Business Administration from Appalachian State University in 2011 and is a consultant with CGI Federal in Lebanon, Va. Her husband, Josh, is a paramedic/firefighter with the town of Chilhowie.


Michael Bradshaw is a data management specialist with Accenture. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Culpeper, Va.

Lacey Leigh Boyle is employed with Eastman Chemical Company and lives in Kingsport, Tenn.

Robert M. Davis is enrolled as a graduate student at Virginia Tech.

In Memoriam Donald Wayne Gilmer ’58 passed away on Dec. 13, 2011. He was a teacher and principal in the Russell County Public Schools and a respected businessman and farmer. He served in the United States Army earning commendations including the National Defense Service Medal. He was known for providing employment opportunities and support for young people, helping the less fortunate and donating land to Bascom United Methodist Church. Larry Fish ’63 passed away in November 2011. He was a retired state employee and had served in local government in Lee County. Michael H. Brooks ’65 passed away on Nov. 6, 2011. He was employed as a supervisor with Logisticare Solutions in Norton, Va. His past work experience included serving in the United States Navy as a psychotherapist at Bethesda Naval Hospital assisting Vietnam Veterans, president of Brooks Electric Motor Corporation and former owner of an insurance agency. He was president of the Norton Lions Club where he served as district governor in 1988-1989. He was a Melvin Jones Fellow and served the club and District for more than 20 years.

Ronald Eugene Hughes ’70 passed away on July 6, 2011. He served for 25 years as vice president of Sales for Xtra Lease Corporation. He was an avid golfer and loved to work in his yard. William L. Stokes ’70 passed away on April 20, 2012. He worked and retired from Norton Social Services in Norton, Va. Naomi A. Shortt ’76 passed away on March 4, 2011. She was a senior social worker for the Wise County Social Services having worked there for 26 years. She loved traveling and the beach. Naomi was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Rebecca Wright Long ’76 passed away on Jan. 20, 2012. For the past five years she was employed as an optician for Galvin Eyes in Turnersville. She previously worked at State Optical and Eye Land. She was a member of Christ Episcopal Church, where she was a member of the Altar Guild. Kenneth John Kroeker ’83 passed away in June 2011. A memorial service was held at Eagle River Grace Church in Chugiak, Alaska. Anetha Wright ’86 passed away on May 1, 2012. She worked for Beecham Pharmaceutical Company and was retired from James Quillen Veterans Hospital. She was a member of the Jenkins Methodist Church.

Melanie Denise Keene ’88 passed away on Nov. 28, 2011. She taught school at Council High School for 19 years and two years at Hurley High School. She enjoyed spending time with children and she served as FBLA, Yearbook, Senior Class and Cheerleading sponsor. She served as school photographer and enjoyed baking. She was a member of the Heavenly Helpers Relay for Life team, served on the Board of Directors for Southern Youth in Action, Inc. and taught evening classes at Southwest Virginia Community College. Ernest C. Starker ’96 passed away on May 1, 2012. Ernest coached women’s basketball and football for local area schools in Clearwater, Fl. He was an inaugural team member of the 1991 Clinch Valley College Highland Cavalier Football Team. He played defensive back, running back and punt returner and participated in men’s basketball for two seasons. Stephanie Jessee Arney ’08 passed away on April 9, 2012. She received an administration of justice degree from UVa-Wise and was pursuing a master’s degree from Lindsey Wilson University. Stephanie was employed as a counselor with Family Preservation Services was an avid participant of Relay for Life and a member of the Order of the Eastern Star Gladeville Chapter 171 in Wise, Va.

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Partin receives Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award Commencement is always special for faculty and staff at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, but Jennifer Partin ’12, administrative assistant for the College’s Center for Teaching Excellence, saw Commencement 2012 from another perspective. Partin, the 2012 winner of the Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award, joined the ranks of the College at Wise alumni. She earned her bachelors degree in business administration nearly three decades after graduating high school. “When I graduated high school, I wanted to take time off before college,” Partin said. “I got a job in a local bank just before it was time for classes. It was a good job for a 17-yearold.” Partin stayed with the bank for nearly 14 years, but her desire to pursue a college degree remained strong. She later took an administrative assistant position in Wise County Public Schools, but kept thinking about the benefits of higher education. She always wanted to work at the College at Wise, and she landed her current job eight years ago. Working on campus 44 UVa-Wise Magazine

Jennifer Partin ’12

provided more than enough incentive to finally pursue the elusive degree, and her hard worked paid off this spring. Her family—husband Randy, daughters Brittney and Brianna and son Bryson are proud of her accomplishment. James Wardell, director of the CTE, and Heather Blanton ’01, instructional technologies coordinator for the center, nominated Partin for the Outstanding Contribution Award. “Jennifer has demonstrated herself to be an outstanding worker and a natural leader,” Wardell and Blanton wrote in the nomination letter. “Her involvement in CTE activities extends beyond the workday and demonstrates a commitment to all aspects of our program.” Partin regularly exceeds expectations by providing support to instructors, addressing teacher licensure issues, answering questions from teachers who need CTE’s services, and by working closely with all departments at the College at Wise. “I enjoy helping teachers,” she said. “I am in a family of educators. Teachers are underappreciated, and I know how hard they work.” As winner of the OCA, Partin was invited to the Service Awards Day reception at the University of Virginia.

Duesing wins national health outreach award Whether helping cancer patients find accurate information or caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients overcome a sense of isolation, Ann Duesing has spent 16 years connecting Southwest Virginia residents with information to help them live healthier lives. Her dedication and her ability to build partnerships with community groups helped Duesing, outreach librarian for Southwest Virginia with the University of Virginia Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, win the National Library of Medicine Michael E. DeBakey Library Services Outreach Award. The award is given annually to honor a health sciences librarian assisting an underserved community. Making healthcare information easier to access Based at UVa-Wise, Duesing sees her role as helping residents overcome barriers – whether geographic, financial or informational – to get the knowledge and care they need. “There’s such a need for access to healthcare and information about healthcare,” she says. Duesing has helped expand access by

combining her deep commitment to the region with an ability to foster collaboration. “She has the ability to develop positive, long-lasting relationships in the community and with community leaders,” says Gretchen Arnold, associate dean and director of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library. The leader of one community group that frequently partners with Duesing says her tireless work ethic and inclusiveness make it easy to team with her. “Other people enjoy working with Ann because she includes everyone, treats everyone with equal respect, never takes herself too seriously and is lots of fun,” says Marilyn Pace Maxwell, executive director of Mountain Empire Older Citizens (MEOC). “She is generous with her time and generous in her relationships with others. People respond positively to her generosity of spirit.” Efforts have benefited Alzheimer’s, cancer patients She has played a key role in several major health initiatives, including: TechWorld: A partnership that includes MEOC and local public schools, the

Clark’s new book chronicles journeys to success Professor Amy Clark ’92 has written a new book “Success in Hill Country.” Published by the Napoleon Hill Foundation, the book is based on a collection of interviews with some of the region’s most successful people, including NASCAR President Michael Helton to author Lee Smith. Clark’s book examines their inspiring journeys to success, as well as the personal and cultural values that each person credits for driving them to their achievements. Though they come from very different walks of life, they all have in common the belief, as taught by Southwest Virginia native and global bestselling motivational writer Napoleon Hill, that success is not about wealth but the power of the mind. Clark, a native of Jonesville, is the author of the forthcoming “Appalachian Englishes.” She is the founding director of the Appalachian Writing Project, a non-profit organization that supports rural teachers in their research, writing, and teaching about writing. She teaches courses in writing pedagogy, Appalachian literature, rhetorical theory, speech, and sociolinguistics at UVa-Wise.

program uses student volunteers from area high schools to teach computer skills to caregivers for patients with Alzheimer’s and other conditions. The program helps caregivers, many of whom provide aroundthe-clock care, to access health information and other resources, such as support groups. Mountain Laurel Cancer Support and Resource Center: Through a partnership with MEOC, the center helps residents access online information about cancer and cancer treatments and also provides gas cards and food to patients who travel to receive cancer treatment. Duesing helped secure a grant for a touch screen computer and printer to provide cancer information updated monthly. Healthy Appalachia Institute: Duesing is a faculty member at the institute, charged with helping leaders of health projects access information to help them in their work. “She has touched an endless number of people and her influence continues to be far-reaching and substantial,” Maxwell wrote in her letter nominating Duesing for the award.

Welch pens memoir of bookstore ownership in a small town Wendy Welch, who teaches at UVa-Wise and is a professional storyteller and the co-owner of Tales of the Lonesome Pine Used Books in Big Stone Gap, has penned a book about losing your place, finding your purpose, and immersing yourself in what holds community, and humanity, together—books. Welch and her husband had always dreamed of owning a bookstore. They chose to ignore the “death of the book,” the closing of bookstores across the nation, and the difficult economic environment, and six years later they have carved a bookstore— and a life—out of an Appalachian mountain community. Amazon describes the book as “a story of beating bad odds with grace, ingenuity, good books, and single malt, this memoir chronicles two bibliophiles discovering unlikely ways in which daily living and literature intertwine.” The online bookstore giant also says Welch’s book “will make you want to run to the local bookstore, and curl up in an armchair with a treasure in bound pages.”

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Pinker and Grandin featured in Colgate Darden Lecture Series Steven Pinker, a best-selling author and scientist, and Temple Grandin, an animal scientist who was the subject of an awardwinning HBO film, have been selected as the 2012 and 2013 speakers in the Colgate Darden Lecture Series at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Pinker will deliver the 2012 Colgate Darden Lecture on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012.

Steven Pinker

He is the Johnston Professor of Psychology at Harvard and has also taught at Stanford and MIT. One of the world’s leading cognitive scientists, Pinker translates groundbreaking research into writing that is accessible to the general reader. His most recent book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,” was named one of the 100 most notable books of 2011 by The New York Times. His other works include “The Blank Slate” and “How The Mind Works,” both bestsellers and finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Pinker’s acclaimed work on language includes “The Language Instinct,” “Words and Rules” and “The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature.“ A native of Montreal, Pinker was recently named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the

World.” Known for his verve, wit and profound ideas—many of them explained by referencing pop culture—Pinker helps non-specialists understand the science behind human thought and action. He is a fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Pinker has won a number of teaching prizes and was named among Newsweek’s “100 Americans for the Next Century.” His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has received numerous awards, including the Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences. Pinker graduated from Dawson College in 1971. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology at McGill University in 1976 and earned a Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Harvard University in 1979. In 2006, Pinker received the American Humanist Association’s “Humanist of the Year” award for his contribution to public understanding of human evolution. On Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, Temple Grandin will deliver the 2013 Colgate Darden Lecture. Grandin is a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, where she conducts research while teaching courses on livestock handling and facility design. Her book, “Animals in Translation,” was a New York Times bestseller. Other popular books authored by Grandin are “Thinking in Pictures,” “Emergence: Labeled Autistic,” “Animals Make us Human,” “Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach” and “The Way I See It.” She has had a major impact on the meat and livestock industries worldwide, designing livestock facilities throughout the United States and Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. In North America, Temple Grandin

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almost half of the cattle processing facilities include a center track retaining system that she designed for meat plants. Grandin was born in Boston and diagnosed with autism as a child. She obtained a bachelor’s degree at Franklin Pierce College in 1970. In 1974, she was employed as livestock editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and also worked for Corral Industries on equipment design. In 1975, she earned a master of science degree at Arizona State University for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes. Grandin was awarded a Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989. She has written several hundred industry publications, book chapters and technical papers on animal handling. As a consultant, Grandin has worked with Cargill, Tyson, JBS Swift, Smithfield, Seaboard, Cactus Feeders and many other large companies. Her company does design work for many ranches. She has worked with companies such as Wendy’s International, Burger King, Whole Foods, Chipotle and McDonald’s Corporation, where she has trained auditors regarding animal care at processing plants. Both lectures are free to the public and will take place in the David J. Prior Convocation Center at UVa-Wise. The lectures are part of the Colgate Darden Endowed Lecture Series.

UVa-Wise assists river walk clean-up Students and professors with The University of Virginia’s College at Wise joined city of Norton officials this spring to clean trash and debris from a proposed walking trail along a portion of the Guest River. The project, which received a $30,000 boost from the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion, to provide water quality education opportunities in Norton, is in the planning stages. Norton plans to build a 1.25 mile river walk along the Guest River, which will serve as a riparian buffer to prevent the runoff of sediment and pollutants from coal mining, industrial, commercial and residential property bordering the river’s banks. Construction of the river walk will provide UVa-Wise an opportunity to help fulfill part of its mission, which is to help lead efforts in regional environmental stewardship. With the aid of the Dominion grant, UVa-Wise students will conduct a one-year preliminary study of the area proposed for the river walk. Students will conduct a biodiversity survey of the project area, including an assessment of soil and water quality.

River walk clean-up participants (Photos by Katie Dunn)

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The next best thing to an original Bill Barker, a well-known portrayer of Thomas Jefferson, visited campus on April 13 for Founder’s Day activities. In addition to turning some heads as we strolled through Zehmer Hall, Barker lectured in a couple of history and government classes during his visit. Barker has portrayed Thomas Jefferson in a variety of settings over the past 20 years. He first came to Williamsburg to perform as Jefferson in a film produced to honor Ambassador and Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg, and he has continued to appear as Jefferson for Colonial Williamsburg as well as assist in the development of Jefferson programs. He researches the world Jefferson knew and the era he lived with an interest in the role Jefferson played, and continues to play, in the nation’s identity. Barker has appeared in programs aired on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, The History Channel and C-SPAN. He enjoys historical research, archaeology and traveling. Bill Barker, a Thomas Jefferson portrayer, on Founder’s Day

Bevins listed in 2012 Leaders to Watch rankings Scott Bevins ’89, director of institutional research at UVa-Wise, is listed in the 2012 Leaders to Watch ranking by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. Those named in the list have contributed to the technology and engineering field for many years and are known for teaching, written work, presentations, research and have been recognized by professional groups. In addition, those selected have shown outstanding leadership as educators early in their careers. Bevins provides information to support institutional and academic planning and decision making at UVa-Wise. He directs and conducts the collection, maintenance and dissemination of data required to satisfy

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information requests from federal, state and local governments. He serves on the editorial review board for ITEEA’s Technology and Engineering Teacher journal, is a member of Virginia’s Higher Education Working Group for Children’s Engineering and is the communications coordinator for the Virginia Association for Management Analysis and Planning. His research interests include technological literacy, agricultural technology and production, aqua-culture, global workforce development for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers, student success in STEM programs and the connections between the liberal arts and STEM.

Scott Bevins ’89

To our nearly 9,000 alumni... Alumni giving, whether time or money, is important to the success of UVa-Wise. Your gift of time is valuable whether you volunteer for one or more of our many events or whether you introduce a potential student to the College by spreading the UVa-Wise story helps in countless ways. Your monetary gift, whether big or small, makes a permanent impact on the lives of students for years to come. So thanks once again for your generosity.


Upcoming Events August 11 Second Annual Cavalier Alumni $elebration Richmond, Va. September 7 & 8 Raleigh, N.C. Club Gathering September 28 & 29 Homecoming September 28 Steven Pinker Lecture November 10 Super Raffle


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The University of Virginia's College at Wise Magazine  

The University of Virginia's College at Wise Magazine

The University of Virginia's College at Wise Magazine  

The University of Virginia's College at Wise Magazine