Marlin Magazine 2011-2012

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The Pioneering Class

Virginia Wesleyan College, Class of 1970 The College’s first graduating class


F e at u r e s



The Future is Hands-On New curricular model will bridge classroom and community like never before


Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On


The Long Run


Special 50th Anniversary Section

The Hofheimer Theater celebrates 30 years of music, theater and transformations


The New “Show and Tell” Virginia Wesleyan professors not only instruct future teachers on how to be successful in today’s classrooms, they model vital techniques firsthand

How a little momentum and a lot of Marlin spirit have transformed VWC Track & Field from an idea to an institution in the making

Stay Connected VWC on vawesleyan VWC on VirginiaWesleyan

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I’ve had the privilege of serving the Virginia Wesleyan College community for nearly 20 years, almost half of the College’s history, and during that time I have experienced many gratifying moments. I’ve been particularly impressed with our incredible students and outstanding faculty who never cease to amaze me with their accomplishments – from the creation of a documentary on Vietnam by Dr. Steven Emmanuel and Dr. Stuart Minnis to recent graduate Elizabeth Maxwell’s Fulbright Scholarship and acceptance into the London School of Economics. I’m proud of our many campus improvements and advancement efforts, such as the construction of the Jane P. Batten Student Center, the recent renovations in Blocker Hall and a highly coveted and competitive grant from the National Science Foundation, which will assist our efforts in the natural sciences. I am thrilled that our athletic programs are garnering national reputations. Our 2006 NCAA Division III championship in men’s basketball was a thrilling accomplishment we’ll always remember. Virginia Wesleyan also received national attention when named a 2011 ”best college in the southeast“ by the Princeton Review. I’m also proud that we were one of the first colleges in America to sign the ”green campus compact,“ and we were listed in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition. I’m delighted that our efforts in undergraduate research have expanded and that we achieved record enrollment numbers for 2011-2012. And though I’m extremely proud of our College’s history, I’m also looking forward to the years ahead.

A Letter from the President


Focused on our future

An Exciting Time to Be a Marlin PROUD OF OUR PAST VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE WILL BE CELEBRATING A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE during the 2011-12 academic year. This is the year the College turns 50. It’s hard to believe that five decades have passed since the signing of our charter in 1961. Much has happened during the last half century – most of it carefully chronicled in Dr. Stephen Mansfield’s recently published book Wisdom Lights the Way: Virginia Wesleyan College’s First Half Century. And thanks to our founders and their families, the early years of the College built a strong foundation for the rich traditions we continue to honor today.

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Our 50th year begins with many exciting opportunities. In 2011-2012, the College launches an ”enhanced“ curriculum with a new course structure that is the culmination of four years of dedicated work by Dean Timothy O’Rourke and our faculty. They have reviewed and revised every academic major and every course offering in order to make the VWC educational experience – both inside and outside the classroom – even more engaging and ultimately more relevant to the career aspirations of our students. We are delighted to welcome a record number of new freshmen this year. The focused efforts of our admissions team resulted in a 220 percent increase in applications and the largest, most diverse class of new Marlins in the College’s history. Our dedicated, supportive Board of Trustees has approved a strategic plan that will guide our efforts in the near future

and prepare the College for even greater success in the long term. Briefly, our strategic goals include: 1.



Transformative Educational Experience: Develop each student through a rigorous educational experience in the classroom, on the campus, in the community, and in the world Enhanced Enrollment – Recruitment and Retention: Attract greater numbers of better-prepared students and retain them through graduation Strategic Business Plan: Increase net revenue through enhanced enrollment and greater external support, while allocating resources for strategic priorities and initiatives

Enjoy the new Marlin Magazine In the pages of this special 50th anniversary edition of Marlin—– Virginia Wesleyan College Magazine you’ll discover just what makes VWC so special. The following pages will provide you with tributes to our memorable past as well as glimpses into our promising future. In this reimagined version of the magazine, you’ll find select stories about our students, alumni and faculty representing a sampling of the College’s vigorous intellectual culture and diverse community. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have and that you will experience the same sense of pride that I feel in being connected to such a remarkable institution. If you haven’t visited campus lately, I encourage you to visit during this landmark year and help us celebrate our accomplishments and set the stage for the next 50 years. As always, I invite you to stop by my office in Godwin Hall while you are here. I look forward to reconnecting with those I have not seen in a while and staying in touch with current Wesleyan friends and family. I can tell you that 50 sure looks good on us, but you should visit campus to see for yourself. It is indeed an exciting time to be a Marlin!



Publisher Laynee Timlin

Billy Greer, President

Editor-in-Chief Leona Baker

David Buckingham, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Enrollment Services

Art Director Mary Millar Hester

Timothy O’Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College

Production Manager & Photo Editor Janice Marshall-Pittman

Bryan Price, Associate Vice President for Institutional Research and Effectiveness and Director of Strategic Planning

Contributing Writers Elizabeth Blachman Maura Bradley ’11 Benjamin Haller Kristen De Deyn Kirk Edward Phillips ’11 Megan Shearin ’06 Joe Wasiluk Advertising Designer Christine Hall Contributing Editors Kristen De Deyn Kirk Diane Hotaling Contributing Designers/ Illustrators Chris Gallagher Jeff Mellin Contributing Photographers Rachel Balsley '13 Vic Culver Kathy Keeney Glen McClure Edward Phillips ’11 Daniel Proud ’07 Contributing Photo Editor Augusta Pittman

Cary Sawyer, Vice President of Finance Laynee Timlin, Director of College Communications Mita Vail, Vice President for College Advancement Bruce Vaughan, Vice President of Operations ALUMNI RELATIONS Contact Alumni Relations Director Katy Judge at or 757.455.2115 Marlin Magazine is published by the Office of College Communications. The purpose of the publication is to inform, inspire and entertain a broad readership including alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, supporters and friends by documenting the College’s vigorous intellectual culture and diverse community. The individual viewpoints expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect those of the magazine staff or of the College and its policies. Contact the magazine at or Marlin Magazine, Office of College Communications, 1584 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502. Website:

William T. ”Billy“ Greer President

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Wesleyan Window

Outfitted For Inquiry COMPLETION OF SECOND PHASE OF MAJOR RENOVATIONS TO BLOCKER HALL A BOON FOR NATURAL SCIENCES AT VWC BLOCKER 302 HAS SEEN ITS SHARE OF separations and reactions – the chemical kind, that is. The General Chemistry Lab on the top floor of Blocker Hall, Virginia Wesleyan College’s only natural sciences facility, has served students and faculty for nearly as long as the College has existed. Thanks to a recently completed major renovation project totaling $2.8 million, this well used room—along with many others in the building—has gotten a much needed overhaul. These renovations, which

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began in 2010, will allow science majors and non science majors alike access to modern research facilities and state-of-the art equipment that will prepare them for advanced study and careers in the natural sciences and beyond. Built in 1970, Blocker Hall has undergone only one other significant renovation in 2003 when two small spaces, a computer lab and a microbiology lab, were combined to form a 900-square-foot microbiology teaching and research lab that supports

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE: Among the dedicated research labs that are part of the Blocker renovation is the Chesapeake Bay wet lab.

advanced courses in genetics, human anatomy and physiology and microbiology. The more recent renovations included refurbishing of several teaching/research labs; substantial changes to room configurations to ensure that lab benches and work spaces can support more student projects than in the past; significant upgrades to electrical, plumbing, lighting, temperature control and ventilation systems; and the creation of seven new dedicated research labs through the repair of existing lab and project spaces in Blocker. Among the new spaces is a substantially larger wet lab, the Chesapeake Bay Lab. These spaces double the capacity for students majoring in biology, chemistry and earth and environmental sciences to conduct

independent, hypothesis-driven research in these fields each year. The creation of dedicated research spaces will also promote collaborations and enhance the overall quality of research training across the natural sciences, while renovations to the existing infrastructure will support advanced instrumentation such as scanning electron microscopy and ion chromatography. ”It is very exciting to see these renovations being realized,“ says Maynard Schaus, professor of biology and director of undergraduate research at Virginia Wesleyan. ”These new facilities coupled with new equipment, such as an electron microscope, will greatly enhance our ability to support undergraduate research in the natural sciences.“


Wesleyan Window


BETTER BLOCKER TEACHING/RESEARCH LABS Advanced Chemistry Lab Environmental Science Lab General Biology Lab General Chemistry Lab Physics/Geology Lab DEDICATED RESEARCH LABS Chesapeake Bay Lab Chromatography Lab Electron Microscopy Lab Freshwater Ecology Lab Mercury Analysis Lab Molecular Biology Lab Spectroscopy Lab Blocker Renovation Funding National Science Foundation Grant* — $621,507 Birdsong Corporation/George and Sue Birdsong — $375,000 Beazley Foundation — $200,000 Hampton Roads Community Foundation — $114,076 Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges Capital Project Grants — $14,000 Mary Morton Parsons Foundation Matching Grant** — $250,000 *This prestigious award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to be used for the “Strategic Modernization of Undergraduate Research Facilities in the Sciences.”

A Seaworthy Partnership OCEAN EXPLORER RESEARCH VESSEL OFFERS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR VWC STUDENTS THE LARGEST ESTUARY IN THE UNITED States, the Chesapeake Bay, happens to be located on the doorstep of Virginia Wesleyan College. This biologically diverse and storied watershed provides the perfect setting for VWC students to engage in undergraduate research and study. In late 2009, the College christened a new 45-foot research vessel, the Ocean Explorer, in partnership with the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. The vessel gives students hands-on experience collecting samples and conducting field experiments in an effort to examine the historical utilization, ecology and cultures of the Bay, the human impact on the preservation of this system as well as various issues affecting the watershed and its future. The close of the spring 2011 semester represented the completion of the vessel’s first full academic year in use.

Much like a floating laboratory, the Ocean Explorer boasts a bevy of specialized technology and marine research equipment. It features a flybridge observation deck, tuna tower, cabin with galley, v-berth and chart table and on-board computer system with wifi connectivity. Other major features include a 700 hp Caterpillar marine diesel engine, 12 kW Northern Lights marine generator, expansive deck space, full electronics with satellite phone, and a transom door and swim platform. Students in a variety of courses at Virginia Wesleyan such as oceanography, marine biology, ecology, environmental chemistry and environmental geology will have a chance to utilize the vessel. The Ocean Explorer is also an essential tool in the College’s new minor in marine science, a combination of biology and earth and environmental science courses.

**The College must raise $500,000 in new commitments to receive this grant. The challenge continues through the spring of 2012.

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Record Breaking Class of 2015




ACADEMIC YEAR 2011-12 WILL BE A HISTORY-MAKING YEAR AT VIRGINIA Wesleyan College in more ways than one. The College will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding just as it welcomes its largest freshman class ever. When compared to the last three freshman classes, the enrollment growth in 2011 is nothing short of phenomenal. After four consecutive years of declining freshman enrollment, the final admitted freshman tally for 2011-12 reached approximately 450 students. This astounding surge is the result of comprehensive changes in enrollment management processes, which have attracted the attention of 4,698 prospective students this year. This represents an increase of 220 percent over 2010. Virginia Wesleyan Dean of Admissions Patty Patten attributes this huge increase in applications to the use of refined marketing messages, e-marketing strategies, and 21st-century techniques such as Facebook, smartphone applications and other social media. Patten says that her staff has doubled

MARLINS IN THE MAKING: Members of the Class of 2015 make themselves at home during freshman orientation. high school visits and expedited application processes to achieve these remarkable results. The College’s decision to adopt a ”test optional“ admissions policy as well as a series of accolades and positive national press – a prestigious grant from the National Science Foundation, recognitions from the Princeton Review and a winning men’s basketball season among others – are also possible factors. As the 2011-12 academic years gets into full swing, faculty, staff and returning students are prepared, as always, to help the Class of 2015 acclimate to life at VWC. ”It was a pleasure getting to know these students and their families at orientation,“ says David Buckingham, vice president of student affairs and dean of enrollment services. ”Their presence has energized us all, and we’re thrilled to welcome them officially into the campus community.“

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“IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE QUINTESSENTIAL small college experience, you’ll find a good match at Virginia Wesleyan College,“ said one student responder of the more than 120,000 across the nation who were asked to rate their schools on everything from the accessibility of professors to quality of the campus food as part of a survey by The Princeton Review for an annual online feature highlighting the best regional colleges. For 2011 and 2012, Virginia Wesleyan College was selected as one of approximately 135 institutions in the ”Best in the Southeast“ section, which includes 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. According to Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review, ”from hundreds of institutions we reviewed in each region, we selected colleges and universities primarily for their excellent academic programs. We also took into account what students attending the schools reported to us about their campus experiences . Our ‘regional best’ colleges constitute only 25 percent of the national four-year colleges, a select group, indeed.“

VWC Goes Test Optional POLICY CHANGE GIVES STUDENTS SAT-FREE ADMISSIONS ALTERNATIVE IN LATE 2010, VIRGINIA WESLEYAN ANNOUNCED it would begin making admissions decisions for top students without using the SAT or ACT score. The change in policy was designed to welcome freshmen who are stars in the classroom, but do not necessarily perform well on standardized tests. The recently admitted Class of 2015 represents the first group of incoming freshmen for which the option was available. About 70 out of the incoming class of approximately 447 students chose the test-free option. In order to be considered for the option, prospective freshmen must have at least a 3.5 GPA and have taken a strong college preparatory curriculum in high school. ”These are some of the best students we see – superb in the classroom, but not necessarily super test takers,“ says Dean of Admissions Patty Patten. Research shows that high school GPA is by far the best predictor of college success, and a study of Virginia Wesleyan students follows this pattern. Virginia Wesleyan is one of only a few schools in Virginia to adopt a test optional policy, but more than 830 institutions in the nation – including many top liberal arts institutions – have done so.

Wesleyan Window

By the Numbers



Number of books/eBooks in the VWC library

Percentage of VWC students who choose business as their major


7,764 Number of VWC alumni


Percentage of VWC faculty who hold terminal degrees – doctorates or equivalents – in their fields



Percentage of VWC graduates who go on to employment or continuing education within one year

Average class size at VWC

Number of new majors offered to incoming students at VWC


Percentage of full-time VWC students who receive some form of financial aid

447 Approximate number of incoming freshmen for 2011

Number of athletics teams at VWC

All data verified by the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness to be accurate as of press time, July 28, 2011. Virg in ia We sle ya n C o lle g e Ma g a zin e 2011- 2012 / 9 /


Faculty Focus


IN THE SPRING OF 2010, VWC PROFESSOR of Religious Studies Craig Wansink coauthored an article with his brother, Brian Wansink of Cornell University, in the International Journal of Obesity that struck a chord with the media and the public. The article detailed research that indicated that the size of the meals depicted in images of the Last Supper had gone from modest repasts to feasts fit for a king over the course of a millennium. Using a computer, the brothers compared the size of the food to the size of the heads in 52 paintings of Jesus and his disciples. Their research showed that over 1,000 years, food portions in the paintings grew significantly. ”We found that this whole supersizing phenomenon has really gone on for a long time,“ says Wansink. ”In an age of supersizing, there’s a general trend that increased food sizes have been seen as good, and we need to acknowledge and be aware of this.“ The article was covered by diverse media outlets such as the New York Times, Fox News, the BBC, Psychology Today, the Chicago Tribune, Good Morning America and CNN. It was cited in more than 700 newspapers and magazines, and Wansink was interviewed by reporters in over 25 different countries including Australia, Mexico,

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SIZE MATTERS: Professor Craig Wansink in his element at Virginia Wesleyan College

POETRY IN MOTION Professor of English Vivian Teter’s six-line poem, inspired by a ginko tree on the Wesleyan campus with leaves that turn brilliant gold in the fall, has been chosen to be immortalized in a permanent public art installation at the still-under-construction Tysons Central 7 Metro Station outside of Washington, D.C. The poetry contest was sponsored by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the Poetry Society of Virginia. The honor is a bittersweet one for Teter, who lost her sister to cancer in 2011 and says the poem is in part about ”how we live this life and how we leave this life.“ The theme of transition is presented simply and powerfully in the poem, titled ”Utterly.“ The work will enrich the lives thousands of Metro passengers once the new station opens in 2012 or 2013.

THE PEACE CORPS GUY Virginia Wesleyan isn’t the only institution celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Peace Corps, famously dubbed ”the toughest job you’ll ever love,“ also marks the half-century milestone in 2011. Former Peace Corps volunteer (Sierra Leone 1977-1979) and Wesleyan history professor Clay Drees is keeping the volunteer spirit alive in the classroom and beyond. As president and founder of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Hampton Roads, Drees is helping to achieve one the primary goals of the Peace Corps – ”bringing the world back home“ – through a series of local, regional and national events honoring the program established via executive order in 1961. Many VWC students know Drees as ”the Peace Corps guy,“ and a handful of students each year go on to volunteer with the organization. Drees’ own Peace Corps experience was a transformative one: ”I think any Peace Corps volunteer will tell you that it changed their life.“

HONORED FOR SERVICE IN HEALTHCARE Canada, Brazil, Holland, Spain and Germany. During the 2010 VWC Commencement ceremonies, Wansink was awarded the seventh annual Frank and Jane P. Batten Distinguished Scholar Award, which recognizes outstanding scholarship and is determined by nominations and votes cast by fulltime Wesleyan faculty.

Associate Professor of Health and Human Services Sharon Payne was inducted in 2010 into National Academies of Practices. One of only 150 members elected by membership, Payne is recognized as a distinguished practitioner and scholar in the healthcare profession. A practicing psychotherapist, Payne specializes in treating women with affective disorders, families with teens, substance abuse and addictions. Her scholarly interests include women’s issues, death, loss and homelessness, and

Wesleyan Window

Journalism professor and student newspaper adviser retires after 18 years at VWC ”I’VE HAD GREAT FORTUNE here at Virginia Wesleyan because I’ve been able to lead three lives,“ says Bill Ruehlmann as he leans on a table in the newsroom of the Marlin Chronicle thumbing through the latest issue, ”the scholarly one, the teaching one and the advising one—in meaningful ways.“ He says he stayed at VWC as long as he has for one reason: it’s fun. ”The students are fun to be with. They’re smarter than I am, which is great because I can learn from them. But they’ve also taught me there’s a time to graduate, so perhaps that’s what I’m doing now.“ Ruehlmann, 65, officially ”graduated“ at the close of the 2010-2011 school year after 18 years as a professor of journalism and communications. A tireless advocate for the First Amendment, for the journalistic enterprise and, above all, for his students, Ruehlmann credits the many awards Marlin Chronicle has received over the years to his hard-working young journalists. ”It’s all student-generated in real time, and we’ve never missed a deadline. I’m very proud of that.“ Before coming to VWC, Ruehlmann worked for many years as a general assignment reporter, feature writer and columnist for a variety of news outlets. He continued to write professionally while teaching fulltime and still publishes a weekly literary column in the Virginian-Pilot. Ruehlmann plans to enjoy his retirement by traveling and focusing on his own writing.

she has developed numerous innovative courses in those areas at Virginia Wesleyan College, including ”Women on the Brink,“ a week-long experience where female students live in a homeless shelter and on the streets in Washington, D.C.

AN ARTFUL APPLICATION Lee Jordan-Anders, professor of music and artist-in-residence at Wesleyan, has created an audio tour called ”Picture This! Music and Art with Lee Jordan-Anders“ for the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk. The tour is part of a recently released iPod application now available for free download on iTunes. ”Picture This“ pairs Jordan-Anders’ interpretations of works of classical music with specific pieces in the Museum’s collection and offers intriguing insight into the context in which each was created – from Mark Rothko and Aaron Copland to Auguste Renoir and Claude Debussy. Jordan-Anders says she hopes the work will give museum visitors ”a reason to linger, ponder, contemplate and be touched by the creative spirit in both the music and the art.“


Ruehlmann Signs Off

We Mean

GREEN COLLEGE’S ONGOING SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS HIGHLIGHTED BY NEW PROGRAMS AND HONORS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT’S Environmental Issues Council in 2005 crystallized the College’s commitment to enhance responsible management of resources and promote improvement of the quality of the environment at Virginia Wesleyan. Some recent recognitions and programs include: IN SELECT COMPANY: The Princeton Review includes VWC in its Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition, published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council. The guide recognizes schools that have demonstrated a notable commitment to sustainability. GREEN GRADS: The class of 2011 sports gowns made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled materials (primarily plastic bottles) during commencement ceremonies. A WAY WITH WORMS: Biology professor and President’s Environmental Challenge Grant recipient Philip Rock unveils his first batch of ”black gold,“ composted soil generated by the College’s very own ”worm farm.“ READY, SET, RECYCLE: Students, faculty and staff put waste reduction skills to the test as part of national event called Recyclemania, a benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to promote increased recycling rates GOT THE BLUES: VWC adds environmentally friendly ”blue cleaning“ program – which uses electrically activated water in place of chemicals to safely clean most floors, carpets and hard surface areas – to its campus operations.

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Student Spotlight



PREMEDICAL STUDENT TRAVIS DEGRAPHENRIED ’12 LEARNED HIS sophomore year of college that he had been accepted into Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) thanks to Virginia Wesleyan’s Joint Program in Medicine. The program gives premed students the exclusive opportunity to apply for early admission to EVMS. DeGraphenried is the College’s first student to be accepted into the program. Students accepted into EVMS are expected to complete a rigorous academic program while at Virginia Wesleyan and obtain substantive exposure in the medical field as undergraduates. ”I was attracted to the program by the opportunity to get into medical school early and have one less thing to stress over,“ says DeGraphenried, who is majoring in biology. ”It’s exciting to be the first student accepted, and it’s a big honor.“ While DeGraphenried’s focus may be on pursuing a career as a pediatrician, he is active outside of the classroom. He is the president of Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership society; Sigma Nu fraternity commander; Wesleyan Ambassadors student coordinator; and vice president of the Beta Beta Beta national biology society. HEADED FOR HEALING: “It’s a big honor,” says Travis DeGraphenried of his early acceptance to EVMS.

IN THE NAME OF RESEARCH Undergraduate research is an important component of academics at Virginia Wesleyan. In 2011, for the sixth consecutive year, Wesleyan students presented their work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on campus, April 26-29. The College also sent its largest ever contingent of students to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at Ithaca College in New York, March 31-April 2, 2011. Research topics ranged from ”Beauty and the Fashion Model“ to ”Epizoic Cyanobacteria“ and drew from a variety of disciplines including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics.

ETHICS ON CAMPUS A mother becomes concerned when she doesn’t hear from her daughter, a junior in college with a serious health condition, for over a week. The mother travels to the school

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but isn’t allowed to enter her daughter’s room due to privacy rules. What should she do? What would you do? This was the dilemma presented to two teams of four students who faced off in the championship round of the 12th annual statewide collegiate VFIC (Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges) Wachovia Ethics Bowl, held on the VWC campus in February 2011. The theme of this year’s Bowl was ”Ethics and Privacy.“ Eight Virginia Wesleyan students competed in 2011. The Ethics Bowl was established by the VFIC as a means of engaging students with complex ethical dilemmas based on studies of individual ethics cases involving real-world scenarios. Virginia Wesleyan College won the first annual VFIC Ethics Bowl in 2000.

THE ART OF MATH It’s tempting to think of math and art as completely incompatible disciplines—– one concerned with the objective, the other with

the subjective. But math major and recent magna cum laude VWC graduate Ashlee Edwards ’11 challenged this notion when her mathematically inspired art joined that of two other Wesleyan students in ”Seek, Interact, Connect,“ the 2011 Senior Thesis Exhibition on display in the Neil Britton Gallery. Edwards uses string, wire, yarn, twine, pushpins and wood in three-dimensional, mixedmedia pieces that are both orderly and uneasy. ”The goal is to be able to take intangible ideas or notions in mathematics and represent them in innovative ways using artistic techniques,“ Edwards explains. ”As a culture we are trained to view art as something beautiful and subjective, and mathematics as objective and straightforward.“ Edwards was the recipient of the Outstanding Mathematics Student award at the 2011Spring Honors Convocation. She is pursuing her graduate degree at Old Dominion University.

Wesleyan Window

Game, Set,


MOMS KNOW BEST Children sometimes grow up and follow in their parents footsteps. Occasionally it’s the other way around. That’s the case with three students currently enrolled in the Adult Studies Program at Virginia Wesleyan College. All three are seniors. Two are business majors and one is a social sciences major. And when all three ended up in the same evening Marketing Principles class, it was their professor who discovered all three were mothers of Wesleyan alums. ”These women are excellent examples of the best our Adult Studies Program has to offer,“ says Linda Ferguson, professor of management/business/economics. Cyndi Randolph, Mary Reilly and Rebecca Kois all have at least one child who attended VWC. Randolph, mother of Aaron ‘08 and Amber ‘05, decided to fulfill a longtime ambition after homeschooling both of her kids during high school and then sending both to Wesleyan. ”I’ve always wanted to finish school,“ explains Cyndi. ”I just didn’t have the opportunity until I got my two kids through school. And my kids had such a fabulous experience here.“


How important is trust in the workplace? Two Virginia Wesleyan business majors, Scarlett Barham ’12 and Lynne Waters ’12, addressed this topic in a research paper for a principles of management class. ”They explored the relationship between management and trust and how important trust is in terms of productivity,“ explains Paul Ewell, their faculty advisor. ”What they found is that maybe we don’t have as much trust in the workplace as we think. So what sounded like a pretty straightforward topic ended up being very enlightening.“ Ewell suggested they submit the paper for a chance to present it at the Society for Advancement of Management International Conference in Orlando, Florida. They were delighted to find the paper had been accepted. Ewell accompanied both students to the conference, April 1-3, 2011. ”We had a wonderful time in Florida and are very grateful the school helped support this tremendous opportunity we were given,“ says Lynne Waters. ”Many conference attendees expressed an interest in seeing us back next year with further research.“

DECIPHERING DNA: Thelma Donchig ’11 had a unique opportunity to explore the cutting-edge field of computational biology at Mississippi State.


Advances in DNA sequencing technologies have provided scientists with billions of bits of information with a staggering list of potential uses in the fields of medicine, forensic science, evolutionary biology, even artificial intelligence. The challenge: how to make sense of them all. One Virginia Wesleyan student recently got a chance to be on the forefront of that process. Biology major Thelma Donchig, who is scheduled to graduate in December 2011, was accepted to a highly competitive and prestigious summer research program in computational biology at Mississippi State University. ”This is real cutting-edge, modern biological research,“ says Phil Rock, professor of biology and Donchig’s adviser. ”It is an area that is full of possibilities.“ A transfer student from Tidewater Community College, Donchig considered medical school but became interested ”bioinformatics“ after Rock encouraged her to explore the field. Research projects in the Mississippi State program include such titles as ”Functional Genomics in Developmental Biology“ and ”Algorithms for High Throughput Sequencing.“

A NEW LOOK AND A NEW NAME FOR A VENUE THAT IS HOME TO ONE OF THE OLDEST ATHLETIC PROGRAMS AT VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE THE OPENING OF THE NEW Everett Tennis Center on the VWC campus adjacent to the Jane P. Batten Student Center, the first of a number of planned modernizations of the College’s outdoor athletic facilities, will provide a new home for the men’s and women’s tennis teams as well a new space to be enjoyed by the entire campus community. Established on the foundation of the Penzold Tennis Center – named for Ted Penzold, a noted tennis instructor and promoter of the game in Virginia, the Everett Tennis Center includes a total of eight new courts, including two championship courts, two lighted grandstand courts and four competition courts, along with court fencing designed with California corners, stadium seating, and storage. The new center is named after O.L. Everett, Chairman of the VWC Board of Trustees, and his wife Carol, current President of the Women of Wesleyan. It will feature new spectator-friendly fencing, an upgraded lighting system on the grandstand courts, a welcome gazebo, a viewing stand, a brick façade entrance and ample seating for fans. The location of the center near the Batten Student Center will also provide easy access to locker rooms, rest rooms and all the amenities offered in the building. ”These courts will rival any in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and will send a great signal to future Marlins that we take our continued next page

PLAY PLACE: The Everett Tennis Center will feature new spectator-friendly fencing, an upgraded lighting system on the grandstand courts, a brick façade entrance, and ample seating.

tennis seriously at VWC,“ says VWC Athletic Director Joanne Renn, who was the women’s head tennis coach from 1995 through 1999. ”We look forward to hosting tournaments with our ODAC conference competitors, especially as we celebrate the College’s 50th anniversary.“ Great care has been taken in

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the design and construction of the Everett Tennis Center to use materials, surfaces and plantings that respect the environment in keeping with the College’s overall commitment to environmental sustainability. The existing trees and shrubbery at the site will be kept in place to provide a wind break

and beautiful backdrop for the courts. Additional plantings are a key element of the final design and construction. A formal ribbon cutting event for the Everett Tennis Center is being planned in the spring of 2012 as part of the College’s 50 th anniversary celebration.


WHAT IS THE ROLE OF TRUST IN THE WORKPLACE? HOW DOES leg loss affect the order of arachnids known as harvestmen? How have ”super models“ informed our contemporary concept of beauty? ”A prudent question is one half of wisdom,“ wrote 16th–century philosopher and scientist Francis Bacon. The monumental curricular reform that goes into effect at Virginia Wesleyan College beginning in the fall of 2011 will make prudent questions like these an integral part of the academic experience. ”Inquiry-guided learning,“ as it is known, encourages students to become active learners by focusing on intellectual curiosity as a catalyst for acquiring knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, integrating that knowledge with real-world experiences. ”In the traditional college scenario, students are passive a lot,“ explains Virginia Wesleyan Professor of English and Associate Dean Lisa Carstens, who has been at the helm of a reform process several years in the making. ”That idea of a student sitting in a chair and the teacher saying, ‘Here’s what you need to know about history: write this down, you will be tested.’“ The new model represents a renaissance in higher education philosophy – one that looks beyond memorization and regurgitation and asks students to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and put it into practice on a practical level. ”If you’re having them read about the sociology of health care, that’s great,“ says Carstens, ”but if you go out there and have them volunteering in a retirement center, they’re going to understand on a deeper level how what they are reading pertains to actually helping people the profession that they are looking toward.“

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LEARNING BY DOING: Ada Van Tine ’14 in the ceramics studio in the Fine Arts Building.

TheFuture Is


New curricular model will bridge classroom and community like never before By Leona Baker

IN MAY OF 2011, MEMBERS OF LISA CARSTENS’ CREATIVE writing class are gathered at Clare Bridge Virginia Beach Estates, a senior living community with a specialized program for residents coping with dementia. Seated in a circle, a small group of residents studies a mysterious picture that has been passed around to them by one of the students. It is an old black and white photograph of a man in a wide-brimmed hat pointing a rifle towards the sky. ”Where is the picture taking place?“ one of the students prompts the residents. ”In Washington, D.C.,“ a resident suggests. ”Outside, where there’s more room to shoot,“ says another. ”Up my nose,“ yet another blurts out, drawing laughter. ”What is the man in the picture doing?“ the student asks. ”He’s trying to shoot a bird down for dinner,“ says one man. ”He’s shooting stars and killing birds back in the ’30s, trying to change the sky,“ another offers. A student sits cross-legged on the floor in the middle of the circle with an oversized drawing pad on her knees. With a purplish marker she records the residents’ responses to a variety of open-ended questions about the image, designed to encourage them to piece together a narrative based on a visual cue. The exercise is part of a national program called TimeSlips, which uses interactive, creative storytelling to engage patients with memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s. It’s just one example of a way in which students can integrate something they’ve learned in the classroom – in this case creative writing – with a hands-on opportunity in their community. This type of program, when used in the context of higher education, is often referred to as ”service learning.“ Through volunteerism, students gain valuable insight while simultaneously helping others, an important step in the development of any engaged citizen. Volunteerism has been integral to the Wesleyan experience, in part because of the school’s Methodist tradition. The formation of the Office of Community Service in 1997 crystallized these values. Many Wesleyan students get involved in everything from environmental partnerships with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to building projects with Habitat for Humanity. The new curriculum will make the connection between classroom and community service even more meaningful and measureable. ”Yes, you are helping people, and it is focused on the needs of the community,“ says Carstens, ”but you have concrete academic goals, and students are trying to learn academic concepts at the same time they are helping. It’s not one or the other; it’s both.“

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE CURRICULUM CHANGES ON a philosophical as well as a pragmatic level have meant a complete revamping of the College’s course offerings and credit requirements. This includes a sweeping overhaul of all 34 majors (down from 38) and virtually every course. More than 400 newly ”enhanced“ courses have been developed based on a four-credit rather than the traditional three-credit system –—the idea being that the ”fourth hour“ of each class will be utilized for in-depth, independent study. This study can include extra reading assignments, research or writing, community service, externships, group projects or other activities – most of which will take place outside of ”seat time“ in the classroom. It means students will take fewer classes each semester and get more credits for each class. Professors have had to think creatively about how to enhance their individual courses. Associate Professor of Education Jayne Sullivan, for example, will be taking her students to a local elementary school to observe kids in grades K-5 learning how to read.


The concept is already in play in some respects at Virginia Wesleyan and at many colleges and universities. Science students, for instance, tend toward inquiry-based practices because of the nature of the research process and activities in the lab and elsewhere. Study abroad is another example in which immersive, experiential learning comes with the territory. The newly implemented reforms, however, will apply that principle in a broader way across the entire curriculum – whether it’s students of Greek mythology attending an opera and writing about the political and religious dimensions of tragedy or psychology students creating campus programs to increase awareness about eating disorders. It’s about connections.

THE POWER OF STORIES: Student Scott Westfall '14 with Mr. Tiller, a resident at Clare Bridge Estates in Virginia Beach and participant in the TimeSlips program ”It’s going to be really exciting and vastly different,“ Sullivan says. ”Watching master teachers demonstrate with students should be informative and enlightening.“ For students of theater, the reforms might mean more time immersed in the artistic process. ”In performance-based classes such as acting, directing, and improvisation we are adding a half dozen lab sessions throughout the semester,“ says Professor of Theatre Sally Shedd. ”These sessions provide an opportunity for students to perform scenes and monologues in front of a larger group, participate in large-scale group exercises, and work with guest artists.“ Professor of Philosophy Larry Hultgren is taking a different approach by asking students in his philosophy/environmental studies course to keep a ”sense of place journal“ to help them connect their reading in environmental theory with a specific location. They will also be asked to consider ”the ethical dimension of sustainability,“ he explains, by ”comparing and contrasting the ecological footprints of differing lifestyles, their own included.“ Whether it’s keeping journals or journeying into the community, students like rising sophomore Ada Van Tine seem to be taking the changes in stride. ”It’s going to be fewer classes but a more intense learning experience,“ Van Tine says, ”so I’m excited about that part.“

Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On The Hofheimer Theater celebrates 30 years of music, theater and transformations

STAGES OF SLEEP: Michael Blankenship and Chana Kostka in a production of Three Top Hats by Miguel Mihura, directed by Rick Hite.

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By Elizabeth Blachman

THE EDWARD D. HOFHEIMER THEATER opened in 1981 with a mighty storm and a homemade fog machine. The first main stage production was The Tempest, Shakespeare’s romance about creating theatrical magic out of thin air. This fall, the Hofheimer and I will both turn 30. But I can still remember sitting in the black box next to my mother in 1995, watching theater professor Rick Hite spiral into madness as King Lear. I was 13, and I saw for the first time the alchemy that could turn wide, blank walls into a Caribbean island, a British castle or a cramped apartment. On a June day the Hofheimer is between transformations. The theater is quiet; the walls are bare and black. Behind a curtain Greek columns and trash bins are stacked full of equipment. Costumes on a rack are arranged by era – pink tulle peeks out from behind a green jacket. Empty, the Hofheimer is a blank canvas—the place where, as Prospero says, ”The cloud-capp’d A MIGHTY STORM:: Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the inaugural show in the Edward towers, the gorgeous palaces/The solemn temples, Hofheimer Theater in 1981, featuring (from left) Rick Hite as Prospero, Toni French as the great globe itself/Ye all which it inherit, shall Miranda, Allen Webb as Ferdinand, and David Clayton as Alonso, King of Naples. dissolve/And, like this insubstantial pageant faded/ Leave not a rack behind.“ ”It needed to be so high,“ says Hite, now an emeritus professor, remembering the requirements that he and his ”I think that the theater should be defined by what’s happened in it,“ colleague Bentley Anderson had placed upon the theater at its genesis. says Jordan-Anders. ”A room is simply four walls, but the relationships ”It needed to be capable of going to total darkness, total black; it needed and the energy that they surround are what’s important.“ to have a wooden floor. [It was] very modest in all other ways.“ Professor of Theatre Sally Shedd cites the theater’s versatility and The first mention of the Hofheimer in the Wesleyan archives is a intimacy as its major assets. 1978 letter about a fundraising push for a fine arts center to house the ”You never forget that you’re surrounded by other audience members, College’s growing music, theater and art programs. In the years between and there’s kind of a beauty to that,“ Shedd says. ”It builds the sense of then and the September 1981 opening of what was called the ”laboratory community in the audience that reflects the sense of community that’s theater,“ letters and discussions sailed back and forth among Hite, everywhere here on campus.“ Anderson, college officials and the architect covering topics from how ”It changed for virtually every show we did,“ says communication and high the ceilings should be to whether the sounds of flushing toilets theater major Kyle Ulsh, who graduated from Wesleyan in the spring of might interrupt the action onstage. 2011. ”Very rarely did the seating arrangement ever stay the same, so it In the years before the Hofheimer opened, Wesleyan’s theater was fun having to adapt performances styles for each scenario.“ department performed in the dining hall and the chapel, and the music For a medieval morality play the audience sat in two groups department performed in the chapel or the science auditorium. facing each other on either side of an alley where the actors ”We’d have to set up the set every night,“ Hite recalls. ”I mean clear the performed. For A Servant of Two Masters, patrons entered by dining hall, set up the seating, do the show, take everything down, and then walking under a bridge into an Italian palazzo. The protean theater is set up the dining hall for breakfast…I used to refer to it as touring without constantly in use – filling up several times a day with lectures, piano going anywhere because we had all the work but none of the travel.“ tunings, rehearsals and performances. Since its opening in 1981, the Hofheimer has been transformed into ”It just gets to the point where we will run weeks and weeks over ancient Greece and Laramie, Wyoming, a girls’ boarding school in 200 percent occupied,“ says the theater’s technical director Tammy Massachusetts and a garden in Grenada, Spain. Once, after performing Dhority Thornes. a Greek play, Hite found a copperhead snake basking in the glow of a There is little storage space in the Fine Arts Building where the theater single stage light and carefully carried it to the woods out back to keep is housed, so once a set is built, the only place to store it is onstage. from offending the theater gods. In April, the theater held a standingMusic rehearsals might take place with Greek columns or the Little Shop room-only crowd at a memorial service for Bentley Anderson, who of Horrors plant in the background. The theater department can’t accrue taught theater and communications at Wesleyan for 34 years. much in the way of sets and costumes – though that would be more The walls of the theater have also echoed with Brahms, Schubert, economical in the long run – because there’s nowhere to put them. Bach and Copland. The Familiar Faces Concert Series, directed by Batten ”We just need more space,“ says Thornes. ”We need more space.“ Professor of Music Lee Jordan-Anders, brought six concerts a year to the ”The departments have to work together, and it’s not always easy to space, and the Music Department has encouraged collaborations that share the space because our requirements are so very different,“ says fused music with dance and art. Jordan-Anders.

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE: Talking is a must when it comes to connecting with students, says Virginia Corbett ’97, who was named teacher of the year in Chesapeake.

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The New

”Show & Tell“ Virginia Wesleyan professors not only instruct future teachers on how to be successful in today’s classrooms, they model vital techniques firsthand by Kristen De Deyn Kirk

EARLY ON A SPRING AFTERNOON, Allison Mahoney ’06 was being pulled in two directions. She was on the phone during her lunch break, reminiscing about her experiences at Virginia Wesleyan College, but a Virginia Beach elementary school teacher needed to check in with her about a student. ”He was great!,“ Mahoney told the teacher. ”In the beginning, he shut down. I had a little chat with him, and he really turned it around. He showed me how to do some ladder multiplication; he could explain it better than me!“ In the class where she was substitute teaching, Mahoney had successfully connected with a student who was known to get easily frustrated, so much so that he would disengage and withdraw. She appreciated that one of the teachers who worked with him regularly was concerned about her progress – and she was proud that she didn’t need any help. Soon, she will be graduating with her second degree from Wesleyan, first in accounting and now in education through the ACT program (Alternative Certification for Teachers), and she is gaining confidence in her skills. A few weeks before, another teacher explained what she wanted done in her absence, and she paused as she went through her list. ”Oh, sorry,“ she said to Mahoney. ”I said ‘Kagan strategies;’ you probably don’t know what those are.“ ”Well, actually, I do,“ replied Mahoney. ”I’ve studied Kagan (who recommends techniques for students working one-on-one and in small groups to increase participation and lesson mastery).“

She had already practiced ”Kagan“ and used his methods in classes. Dr. Malcolm Lively, director of teacher education at Wesleyan, would probably smile if he heard about Mahoney’s proud moment. He wants each graduating teacher to have a variety of options when faced with challenges in the classrooms. Visualize his goal this way: Tool bags. ”I want the teachers to have a wealth of skills and strategies at their disposal,“ he explained. ”Teaching doesn’t have to be only memorization and drills. You want to know about different techniques. Maybe you won’t use some of them for two or three years, but you will need them all at some point. That’s when you’ll be prepared, because you’ll have studied something that will help your students.“ The challenges of teaching have never been easy. Video games, cell phones, and hundreds of television stations make them even harder nowadays, Lively noted. Students’ attention spans are shorter, and after all the lights, movement and noise of electronic entertainment, students want excitement. They might not realize it, but they also crave human connection, something that can often be sadly missing from their wired lives. The keys to drawing the students in: Having knowledge of the material – and knowledge of the person, said Lively. ”Good teachers learn the students’ names quickly and what makes them special,“ he said. While Lively encourages his future teachers to become connected with their students, he does the same at Wesleyan with his fellow staffers. Fortunately, it’s not a difficult task. Professors are often drawn to the College because of the small classes and the chance to interact closely with students. While the exact number of students in each class varies, it’s almost always smaller than other colleges. ”Some are only eight or nine,“ said Lively. ”It’s always under 20, and usually around 11.“ These small classes provide the ideal setting to relate with students and dive into hands-on activities. Lively and his fellow professors teach the way they want their students to eventually teach. Mahoney has always appreciated this fact. In one class, she was learning about teaching science. The teacher didn’t just say ”this is what you need to know“ and then test that they understood the material. She taught the students the content by constructing different stations and experiments for them to work on. Mahoney and the other students walked away having mastered the science concepts and adding to their file of future lesson plans. Virginia Corbett ’97 had a similar experience at Wesleyan. One of her favorite professors was Karen Bosch, who covered teaching methods. ”She lived what she taught,“ said Corbett. ”Every classroom experience was engaging, and she set a high standard. I also appreciated that she was nurturing and would give you a thumbs up and an ‘atta girl’ when you did well. Just her presence made me want to do better.“ This year, Corbett had a lot of time to think about her education and the work she does now with civics students at Hugo Owens Middle School in Chesapeake, Virginia. She was named teacher of the year at the school and put together a portfolio to compete for the district-wide middle school teacher of the year title. (She won, and was thrilled that Bosch came to the announcement ceremony!) The techniques and tools she uses range from

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The Long Run by Leona Baker


IT’S A LATE SUMMER MORNING AT VIRGINIA WESLEYAN. The air is already thick with humidity as a crescendo of cicadas vibrates the air. The grass on the expanse of lush green athletic fields on the campus’ north side is still wet with dew. In just a matter of weeks, these fields will be teeming with activity soccer and field hockey players running drills, intramural athletes warming up for a fun game of flag football or ultimate Frisbee. At least one of the fields is also likely to double as a practice space for VWC’s youngest collegiate athletic program – track and field. ”Sometimes we’ll measure out a handmade track around the field hockey practice field with cones,“ says Head Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field Coach Mat Littleton. A little ingenuity has gone a long way for Mat and his wife, Krista, who is the Head Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field Coach, since the program’s inception. Though competition in cross country has existed at various times throughout the College's history, track and field was not added until 2004. The two Coach Littletons, both originally from Illinois, share an office with their respective desks pushed back to back, a controlled chaos of papers and books piled here and there as they prepare to welcome back returning athletes along with a promising crop of incoming freshmen for the 2011-12 season. Without a regulation paved outdoor track to call their own, the team has to juggle schedules with nearby Norfolk Academy, work on starts and sprints on the 178-meter indoor track in the Batten Center, and come up with a variety of creative ways to get their athletes prepared for competition.

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”I think where it affects us the most is in the technical events,“ says Krista, ”the field events where they need the sand pits and the runways for the long jump or the triple jump, or they need the high jump matting to do the high jump and the pole vault.“ It also means that meets can’t be held on campus, so the team has to travel every time they compete. An outdoor track and field complex is among a list of capital projects on the College’s short-term master plan. Remarkably, the lack of a dedicated facility has done little to impede the program’s progress. ”We went from not even having a track program to having close to 50 athletes this year,“ says Mat. ”The fact they we get them to come here without a track is almost a little mindboggling at times.“ Perhaps not so mindboggling when you consider that many students are looking not just for a place where they can excel athletically or academically, but a sense of belonging – something Wesleyan’s small, close-knit campus community is known for. ”I like being a part of this team because we’re like a family,“ says rising sophomore Courtney Mebane, who was named rookie of the year at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s indoor and outdoor championship meets in 2011 and won the conference in the 55m and 100m hurdles. ”We have a lot of team dinners and activities. I can rely on my teammates for help or advice on anything.“ The team spirit on and off the track is something the coaches go out of their way to cultivate. The men’s and women’s teams even take an annual camping trip together as a bonding exercise most often to First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.



RAISING THE BAR: Sophomore and Virginia Beach native Courtney Mebane could have easily attended a larger state school but instead chose Wesleyan, where she describes her teammates “as family.”

FIRM FOOTING: Distance runner Sean Whitson ’12 (foreground) recently became VWC’s first men's provisional national qualifier. ”We try to have a family-type atmosphere,“ says Krista. ”Virginia Wesleyan tends to treat this institution like one big family, and I think we try to do the same thing.“ That means coaches are often more than coaches. ”You know if you come here, you’re going to have people that care about you,“ says Mat. ”I think all the coaches here are great about that.“ It’s not only the coaches who create the family atmosphere; it’s the students themselves. This network of support has been a major factor in attracting strong athletes, including those who could easily attend larger Division II or Division I schools. ”I made my decision to join this team because they are there for you as friends when life gets tough outside of academics and running,“ says another team standout, distance runner Sean Whitson ’12, who recently became the men's program’s first provisional national qualifier. ”I feel like we are a close team having friends that are distance runners, sprinters and field athletes. We cheer and push each other, but we are a hard working group that earned the success this team has today.“

Track and field is a democratic sport in that it offers a wide variety of opportunities for athletes with different skill sets. Most athletes specialize in two or three events. ”That’s the great thing about this sport,“ Mat says, ”you’re going to be able to find an event that plays into some kind of strength that you have. If you’re a bigger muscular person, you can throw. If you’re fast, there are sprints. If you’re somebody who has athleticism and can jump, then there are jumping events. If you’re more of an endurance person, there are distance events.“ When the coaches are looking for students to recruit, however, they’re looking beyond athletic ability. ”Ultimately we’re looking for what kind of person they are,“ says Mat. ”I think we have a certain culture in our program we’re pretty proud of as far as how they do academically and how they behave on campus and things like that.“ The team begins practicing in October, right after students return from fall break. Their first meet is in December, and competition continues through spring semester. Track or no track, this team has what it takes to go the distance.

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Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On


THEATER IN THE NOW: A recent production of Waiting for Godot in the Hofheimer Theater.

And perhaps appropriately for a theater that started with a shipwreck, the building has sprung a few leaks. White streaks down the wall at the back corner testify to the water that comes in during heavy rains – filling buckets. The summer before last a massive air conditioner leak soaked the floors. But improvements are slowly being made. The Hofheimer has vastly upgraded its lighting system in recent years, and Shedd and Thorne want a lighting booth that doesn’t have to be accessed by a steep ladder. ”Well loved, well used,“ says Shedd of the theater. ”It is a testament to those that came before, to Dr. Hite and Mr. Anderson and everyone here that we are ready. We’re just bursting at the seams in terms of the next step, whatever that’s going to be.“ And so as the fine arts departments at Wesleyan contemplates the Hofheimer’s need for future changes, Chana Ball, who graduated from Wesleyan in 1983, remembers that first transformation. Ball played Miranda in the 1981 production of The Tempest. She remembers the moment when Shakespeare’s language suddenly became clear to her, the moment when Hite’s encouragement gave her the guts to audition, and the moment when the Hofheimer Theater was transformed into an island. ”I couldn’t believe how much things had changed in the theater in those two short weeks,“ Ball recalls. It was what I had noticed in 1995: An empty box could become a world. Hite quotes Prospero, the magician he played in that first production, when he describes what happened in the Hofheimer that night amid the smoke of Anderson’s homemade fog machine. ”It was,“ he says, ”‘such stuff as dreams are made on.’“ Elizabeth Blachman is a writer and dancer who grew up running around the campus of Virginia Wesleyan because her mother, Eve Blachman, was a professor of English at the College for 35 years.

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The New "Show & Tell" interactive notebooks, puzzles, flipbooks and foldables (multisided panels on which students illustrate or write lessons) to problem-solving challenges, singing, dancing and sign language. Recently, she asked students to devise a business, decide on its product, and set a price for it. They were graded by their fellow students on the project, and in a roundabout way, by Corbett: She looked at test results to see how well the students had mastered the concepts of different kinds of businesses sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations. ”Every single student scored 80 percent or higher on that section,“ she said. ”They learned the material.“ Reflecting on her career, Corbett identified another way she helps students succeed: Talk. ”Talk time is a must. When I’m at a meeting, I can’t just sit there,“ she said. ”So I can’t expect my students to do that.“ She also likes to talk about herself to students. They know about her life and daily ups and downs with her three children. The students can see her as a real person – and hopefully feel comfortable sharing their lives as well. ”I’m a role model,“ said Corbett. ”I might be the only person who gives some of these students a whole 55 minutes of attention every day. Some go home alone. Their parents have to work two jobs or the mom is home but the dad is deployed.“ In addition to being rewarded with two actual teaching awards this year, Corbett also received the best feedback of all: A former student whom she had recommended for a combination 7th and 8th grade program – to catch up after once being held back got in touch with her. She had just been accepted to college. ”She told me ‘because you cared a little too much, I’m doing great,’“ Corbett said. ”She was so smart, and I would tell her that. She needed a challenge, or we would lose her to the system or motherhood. She said ‘you never gave up on me.’“ The best teachers don’t, says Lively: They strive to lift up their students by keeping themselves and their classrooms fresh. ”I get tired (from teaching), but not tired of it,“ he said. ”I and all good teachers are always thinking ‘what can I do differently?’ (to keep things energized). I’ve done research on teachers, and good ones constantly think about ‘what else can I learn?’, ‘what can I do next time?’“ Lively knows that the teachers graduating from Wesleyan are like that: He recently heard from an experienced math teacher in the Virginia Beach school system who told him that Wesleyan graduates are always nice to work with and effective at teaching. ”The best part was that his feedback was unsolicited,“ he said. Kristen De Deyn Kirk, the daughter and granddaughter of two brilliant teachers, feeds her lifelong commitment to learning by writing and editing for a variety of publications, including an international teachers’ magazine. Reach her at

A Fire That Never Goes Out IT TAKES A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MOXIE TO SIGN UP TO attend a college that doesn’t even exist. That’s precisely what the 41 pioneering members of the inaugural graduating class of Virginia Wesleyan did in the mid-1960s. The first generation of Wesleyan supporters, faculty and staff, too, was called upon to devote itself to an idea that had yet to materialize in a physical sense. ”I think part of the intrigue is what’s involved in developing a curriculum,“ says Stephen Mansfield, College archivist and former Wesleyan history professor and dean of the College, ”putting out a catalog and recruiting students when there is no college – the kind of faith and commitment that people make.“ Chartered in 1961, Virginia Wesleyan College first opened its doors to students in 1966 with support from the United Methodist Church. During its five decades in existence, Virginia Wesleyan has evolved into one of the country’s preeminent small private colleges, known for its academic

A College Is Born; A Book Is Published COLLEGE ARCHIVIST STEPHEN Mansfield, who has been with the College for 42 of its 50 years in existence, has watched this ”powerhouse of a little place“ evolve from a dream on paper to one of the nation’s preeminent liberal arts colleges. Several years ago, he began compiling the resource materials he would use to write the first comprehensive overview of the College’s history. The result of his efforts, Wisdom Lights the Way: Virginia Wesleyan College’s First Half Century (The Donning Company, $39.95), is now available for purchase in the campus bookstore and

Virginia Wesleyan College at


excellence, close-knit nurturing community, serene setting, and proximity to southeastern Virginia’s breathtaking waterways and urban centers. ”Catch on fire with enthusiasm,“ Methodism founder John Wesley famously said, ”and people will come for miles to watch you burn.“ Rooted in the liberal arts tradition as well as its Methodist heritage, Virginia Wesleyan is focused on providing a broad academic foundation while cultivating engaged citizens and independent thinkers with a lifelong enthusiasm for learning – a ”fire“ that never goes out. On the momentous occasion of the school’s 50th anniversary, Virginia Wesleyan College reaffirms its commitment to providing a transformative liberal arts education in a supportive environment dedicated to social responsibility, ethical conduct, higher learning and religious freedom.

online. The publication of this beautiful, limited-edition 192-page volume commemorates the 50th anniversary of the College’s charter in 1961. The book chronicles the College’s challenging early years and the perseverance of the charter trustees, representatives of the Methodist Church, early faculty, staff, students and others whose dedication and resourcefulness allowed the school not only to survive but to thrive into the 21st century. In addition to a detailed account of Wesleyan’s various stages of growth and the many people whose involvement have made the College what it is today, the book contains approximately 270 photographs of important figures, places, campus life and monumental moments – from the late 1800s when the farm land that would become VWC was

sold at auction to the present. For Mansfield, the creation of the book was not only historical pursuit but a personal journey. ”It’s really been a joy,“ he says. ”I’ve envisioned writing something like this for decades.“ This unique memento, an excellent gift idea for alumni, faculty and W isWesdom Lig Virginia friends, will hts the Wa leyan Co llege’s First Ha y lF-Centu serve as an ry important record and lasting tribute for years to come. stephen

s. Mansfi eld

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Virginia Wesleyan College 1961 – VWC created by small group of Methodists

1963 Marlin

mascot, college seal and blue and silver colors adopted

Clarke named second president of VWC

1966 – The first

semester of classes begin

1961 – VWC

chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia

1969 – Hofheimer Library opens

1970 – 1970 – VWC joins Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

VWC receives full SACS accreditation

1970 First

commencement takes place

1965 – Joseph



1976 –

Johnston named first president of VWC Groundbreaking on the VWC campus begins

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1966 Lambuth

Monumental Chapel opens

Cunningham Gym opens to students and faculty

Virginia Wesleyan College at


Through The Years 2006 – VWC

1991 – VWC Honor 1982 – Adult

Studies Program begins

1992 – Beech Grove controversy

1982 – VWC

1992 – Billy Greer

1983 – VWC

1994 – Center

elected to the VFIC

joins Tidewater Consortium

named third president of VWC for Sacred Music established

1983 – First

annual Mud Games

takes first place in the Ethics Bowl

1984 – First

1995 Statue

1985 –

1996 – Center for

Wesleyan Scholars program launched

1996 –First

2000 – VWC

annual Seafood in the Dell annual Christmas tree lighting

wins national Division III basketball championship

Code established

of John Wesley unveiled

Study of Religious Freedom opens

2002 – Jane P.

2006 VWC

awards its first Bachelor of Science

2011 – VWC

changes to the four-credit hour curriculum


Batten Student Center – First opens Athletic Hall of Fame inductees recognized

1989 VWC

joins Old Dominion Athletic Conference

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A special exhibition of alumni art runs through November, 2011, in the Neil Britton Art Gallery and includes work such as this abstract painting by successful Florida-based artist Will Corr ’94.

A Time to Celebrate VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE 50TH ANNIVERSARY EVENTS CALENDAR July 27, 2011 Sacred Music Summer Conference Hymn Festival and Service “So Great a Cloud of Witnesses,” held on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the charter for Virginia Wesleyan at Bayside Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach. July 30, 2011 Founders’ Reception Unveiling of commemorative plaque for the Royster Building, the first official home of the College, followed by a celebratory sacred music concert, “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow,” with Mack Wilberg, / 28 / MARLIN

Music Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Wesleyan Festival Chorus at Christ & St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Norfolk. July 2011 “1961” Alumni Community Service Registry Launch Our alumni continue to give back. The goal for this project is 1,961 VWC alumni registering their continued community service. The project will continue throughout 201112. Contact Diane Hotaling at dhotaling@vwc. edu or visit our website,, for more information.

September 8, 2011 Fall Convocation The formal opening of the 2011-12 academic year and the College’s first official on-campus 50th anniversary celebration takes place at 11 a.m. in the Jane P. Batten Convocation Center. The fall convocation speaker will be Carine McCandless, sister of Into the Wild literary icon Chris McCandless. September 8, 2011 50th Anniversary Alumni Art Exhibition Opening Reception This special exhibition of alumni art runs from August-November 2011 in

the Neil Britton Art Gallery. The opening reception will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on September 8. For more information contact John Rudel at September 22, 2011 Center for Sacred Music’s 2011-12 Sound and Symbol Series Opening This year, the Center for Sacred Music’s Sound and Symbol Series, designed to foster understanding and encourage an appreciation for diversity in the sacred arts, will focus on “Religion and Its Soundtrack in America, 1961-2011.” The opening lecture will be held at 11 a.m. in the Monumental Chapel on September 22. Craig Wansink presents “The New Reformation: Worship and Religion in America.” The series continues through March 13, 2012. For more information contact Sandi Billy at

Virginia Wesleyan College at


October 5, 2011 Center for the Study of Religious Freedom Fall Symposium Opening This year’s symposium, titled “Religion in the Public Schools: Possibilities, Pitfalls and Practices,” will focus on two important cases from 50 years ago (1962 & 1963) that barred schoolsponsored prayer and Bible readings in public schools and set the stage for controversy that continues today. The opening lecture will take place on October 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Monumental Chapel. The series continues through November 17. For more information, contact Paul Rasor at

Pump Boys and Dinettes, a down-home, feel-good musical set in a gas station and diner on Highway 57, will be a highlight of Homecoming 2011.

to register and view a schedule of events.


October 3-7, 2011 Symposium: “What Does 50 Look Like?”

The 2011 Center for the Study of Religious Freedom Fall Symposium focuses on religion in the public schools and draws on two important court cases from 50 years ago.

of other institutions, military and senior citizens. Reservations can be made by calling 757.455.3381 after September 1. Pump Boys and Dinettes is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

A campus-wide symposium of themed classroom lectures/ presentations by VWC faculty to honor the College’s 50th anniversary. For more October 7-9, 2011 information contact Homecoming and Parent Lee Jordan-Anders at Weekend ljordananders@vwc. edu or Kathy Stolley at Join alumni, students, parents and friends of VWC for our annual October 6-9, 2011 tradition of bringing Pump Boys and Dinettes together current and past students and their This down-home, feelfamilies. This year’s good musical is set festivities celebrate the in a gas station and 50th Anniversary of diner on Highway 57 Virginia Wesleyan College. somewhere between Join us October 7-9 for Frog Level and Smyrna. a weekend you don’t Songs include “Farmer want to miss! For more Tan,” “Fisherman’s information, contact Katy Prayer,” “Mamaw,” and Judge at kjudge@vwc. “Drinkin’ Shoes.” General edu or visit the Alumni admission tickets are $10 & Friends section of our with a reduced price of website,, $5 for children/students

October 28, 2011 & March 5, 2012 Virginia Wesleyan College Concert Series: “And the Beat Goes On” Americana/roots rock band Yarn, with lead singer/guitarist and VWC alumnus Blake Christiana, play the Hofheimer Theater at 7:30 p.m. on October 28, 2011. On March 5, 2012, VWC alumni and opera singers Robynne Redmon and Michael Dailey and pianist Charles Woodward team up at 7:30 p.m. in the Hofheimer Theater. For more information, contact Sandi Billy at February 11, 2012 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon During the 50th anniversary year, Virginia Wesleyan will induct the fourth class of the recently established Athletic Hall of Fame, which honors those whose outstanding continued next page

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Spring 2012 50th Anniversary Campus Community Barbeque with President Greer PHOTO: COURTESY OF TREELINE ARTISTS

VWC President Billy Greer is a master at the grill. Join the campus community for this gathering with good friends and good food. Date and time TBA. May 4, 2012 Undergraduate Research Symposium athletic achievements, service or significant contributions have had a lasting effect on the College’s intercollegiate athletic program. For more information visit the Alumni & friends section of our website,

March 21, 2012 50th Anniversary Community Luncheon This community celebration will feature guest speaker David Brooks, celebrated New York Times columnist and author.

Americana/rock band Yarn, with lead singer/guitarist and VWC alumnus Blake Christiana, will be part of this year’s College Concert Series.

For more information, contact Kari Kelly at or 757.455.3217

The annual Undergraduate Research Symposium will feature a special research award for a “VWC Tradition and Change” project in honor of VWC’s 50th anniversary. More details TBA. May 19, 2012 VWC 43rd Commencement


The Class of 2012 and the entire campus community mark a tremendous achievement with graduation day festivities. Please note: All events are subject to change. Please visit our website,, for all of the latest information on 50th anniversary events and other campus news and information. The Class of 2012 and the entire campus community mark a tremendous achievement and close out the 50th anniversary year on May 19.

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Making Waves VIRGINIA WESLEYAN ART PROFESSOR PHIL GUILFOYLE AND his longboard are regulars on the waves off the coast of Sandbridge in Virginia Beach where he lives with his wife and two sons. But soon he’ll take his love of surfing and art on an educational journey to the ”rich coast“ of Costa Rica along with a handful of Wesleyan students who will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse themselves in culture and creativity against a tropical backdrop. The class, called ”Topics in Art: Water Media and the Art of Surfing,“ is one of seven travel courses taking place during Winter Session 2012, an optional, intensive three-week study period during which VWC students explore various disciplines in a variety of ways. Students on the eight-day Costa Rica trip will attend surfing lessons every morning at the Safari Surf School in Nosara on the Pacific coast. In the afternoons, they’ll work with watercolors and acrylics to create surf-inspired art by the pool or on the beach. The connection between riding waves and putting paint to canvas is a natural one, says Guilfoyle. ”Most surfers are artists because they are dreamers. So why not combine the two?“ Students who participate in travel courses generally pay regular tuition fees plus travel expenses, often at a discounted group rate. As fun as jetting off to Coast Rica in the dead of winter sounds, the immersive, hands-on nature of this intensive learning trip will provide an invaluable educational experience. ”Whether it is a domestic or international journey,“ explains Lena Johnson, director of the office of International and Intercultural Programs at VWC, ”the level of engagement and inquiry is enhanced when the world becomes the classroom.“ – Leona Baker

BEACH TO TEACH: VWC art professor Phil Guilfoyle is leading a winter session trip to Costa Rica.

Cosmopolitan Classrooms OTHER WINTER SESSION 2012 TRAVEL DESTINATIONS Belize :– ”Tropical Ecology“ Rainforests, mangroves and caves… – oh my. From snorkeling reefs to trekking through the jungle, students get up close and personal with the incredibly diverse flora and fauna of this Central American nation.

Orlando, Florida: ”Genres in Film on the ABCs of Disney“ It’s a small world after all, and it’s difficult to find a corner of it that hasn’t been influenced by Walt Disney. Students experience the magic while exploring the art, business and culture of the Disney phenomenon.

Greece :– ”VWC in Greece“ Classics come to life on Homer’s ”wine-dark sea“ as students study the history, religion, art and architecture of Greece through material culture from the Bronze Age to the Roman period.

Browning, Montana: ”Life and Education on a Montana Reservation“ Making a difference while making the grade, students have a chance to assist school teachers and serve as mentors to children on the Blackfeet Native American Reservation.

Mayan Region, Mexico: ”Myths, Rituals, and Reality in the Hispanic Syncretic Imagination“ The archeological jewels of this civilization have much to tell us about ourselves. Students immerse themselves in the culture of the Spanish-speaking world through a comparative study of its ancient mythologies, traditions and popular folklore.

Maui, Hawaii: ”Maui Moguls“ Adventure travel is all the rage, but at what cost? Students discover the island while examining the environmental, cultural and economic impact on popular destinations.

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SEEING RED: A harvestman from the family Cosmetidae, collected at Volcan Cacao in Costa Rica and photographed by Daniel Proud, one of the students Vic Townsend has worked with in his research on these largely overlooked arachnids.

By Leona Baker FROM THE BOTTOM OF A PACKED shelf in his office in Blocker Hall, Vic Townsend produces a large lidded jar. Inside the jar are about 20 smaller vials, each containing a cluster of arachnid specimens preserved in liquid. ”There’s so much variation in appearance and color,“ he says, squinting into the jar. ”It’s just really cool.“ These crawlers have eight legs, yes. But don’t call them spiders. They’re actually part of an order of arachnids known as ”harvestmen“—so called because of their abundance during harvest season. Most of us know them as daddy longlegs – those ubiquitous warm weather critters you find scurrying over piles of leaves or lingering on tree trunks. But there are more than 6,400 known species of harvestmen and perhaps thousands yet to be discovered around the world. Townsend, a professor of biology at Virginia Wesleyan, has become a leading

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international authority on harvestmen. He has discovered and officially described three new species and found two to three dozen others he believes to be unrecorded, but that he has yet to describe – some from Trinidad and Tobago, others from Costa Rica. ”It’s a fairly involved process,“ he explains. ”You have to compare the animal to all other known animals.“ Townsend, a Hampton Roads native and graduate of Maury High School, became interested in harvestmen by happy accident. In 2003, he traveled to Trinidad to research snakes. He didn’t have much luck capturing snakes so he began to focus on the ”overlooked“ harvestmen he found dwelling there instead. They’ve been largely ignored by the scientific world, he says, in part because of good behavior. ”They don’t transmit diseases, they don’t eat crops and they don’t hurt people.“ They are not venomous, and they don’t make webs like spiders, but many

harvestmen have common names like ”garlic spider“ and ”stink spider“ because of their tendency to emit a foul odor when threatened. They have a habit of bobbing up and down when agitated, and some tropical species are quite beautiful and vibrantly colored. There are four species of harvestmen on the Virginia Wesleyan campus alone – making them great candidates for undergraduate study. Townsend has also taken a number of students on trips abroad to tropical destinations – including the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica – to research the species of harvestmen there. He is leading a tropical ecology trip to Belize along with fellow biology professor Maynard Schaus in January 2012. In all, he has worked with 23 students on projects involving harvestmen and snakes.



“SPIDER” MAN: Vic Townsend with a cluster of harvestmen (foreground), also known as daddy longlegs, on the VWC campus.

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TURNING A PAGE: Students in Rebecca Hooker’s “Popular Literary Culture” class will explore what bestselling fiction tells us about the everyday American experience.

Romancing the Reading List STUDENTS IN A SURVEY OF American literature class might expect to see Mark Twain or Walt Whitman on their roster of required texts. But Dean Koontz or Nora Roberts? Not so much. Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Hooker has created a new course that eschews traditional tomes in favor of titles you might find while you’re waiting in line at your nearest grocery checkout counter. The reading list for ”Popular Literary Culture“ will include recently released bestselling fiction representing go-to genres like romance, mystery, science fiction and fantasy. ”We have this idea when we teach literature in college that we’re going to expose our students to the classics,“ Hooker explains. ”But if you look back to the 19th century, for example, you think of Hawthorne, Whitman, Poe, Emerson, Thoreau. But that’s not what people were reading. Those were not the popular writers of that time.“ Similarly, there is a disconnect between what critics and academics consider great works of literature and what the bookbuying public consumes in

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the 20th and 21st centuries. ”I want to explore why people read these popular books,“ Hooker explains, ”and what the books tell us about American culture. Romance novels, for example what do they tell us about our expectations about relationships between men and women? What do crime novels tell us about our criminal justice system?“ Hooker’s class will pair novels published in the last several years with other 20thcentury fiction to observe how the various genres change over time and what that reveals. The science fiction novel Pathfinder (2010) by Orson Scott Card, for example, will be studied along with Fahrenheit 451 (1951) by Ray Bradbury and Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson. The course is designed to challenge students’ assumptions about literature and popular culture and where the two intersect, but it’s also a not-so-guilty pleasure for Hooker. ”I love romance novels,“ she admits. ”I’ve read hundreds of them – hundreds.“ – Leona Baker

The Revolution Will Be Feminized ON ONE OF HER RESEARCH trips to the National Archives (Bundesarchiv) in Berlin, Germany, Associate Professor of History Sara Sewell came across a picture that struck her interest. It’s a 1925 image of an ordinary German family standing outside the door of their home. The mother is clutching a donations box for Red Aid, a communist organization that provided assistance to working-class families. An assistant who was helping Sewell with her research was baffled as to why she would be concerned with the picture. This volatile part of German history, the lead-up to the Nazi regime commonly known as the Weimar Republic, is typically told by examining people in positions of power. ”I’m not interested in that,“ Sewell explains. ”That’s been done. I’m telling a very unofficial story.“ What she is interested in, she says, gesturing excitedly and talking rapid-fire in an accent that gives away her Wisconsin roots is cultural history. Why were regular people attracted to communism and how did it manifest itself in their daily lives? The more she examined these questions, the more one thing became clear. SKIRTING THE ISSUE: The German Communist Party recognized the need to engage average citizens – including women and children – in their movement. RED YOUNG PIONEERS OF THE GERMAN COMMUNIST PARTY, GERMANY, 1 MAY 1931 ( SAPMO/BA BILD Y 1-783/88)

”I realized you can’t research interwar communism without taking gender into consideration, so I began to focus on how gender relations informed the communist movement.“ Sewell’s most recent research, ”Bolshevizing Communist Women: The Red Women and Girls’ League in Weimar Germany,“ will be published in the journal Central European History in June 2012. The German Communist Party founded the Red Women and Girls’ League in 1925 ”to appeal to a broad working-class female constituency by championing issues they faced in their daily lives.“ In their efforts to cultivate the communist feminine ideal, however, the party faced an unforeseen culture clash between militancy – think warrior-like, antifascist women revolutionaries in boots and berets and red scarfs – and conventional femininity. The party’s desire to exert influence over the hearts and minds of ordinary German women, says Sewell, is a reflection of the lengths they were prepared to go to achieve their political goals. ”They were battling it out on every level in everyday life.“ Sewell is currently working on a memoir about a Hampton Roadsbased Holocaust survivor, Hanns Lowenbach. – – Leona Baker


Publisher's Desk

The Magic Kingdom Touch Disneyland and Culture: Essays on the Parks and Their Influence Edited by Kathy Merlock Jackson and Mark I. West McFarland, 2011


he latest from VWC communications professor Kathy Merlock Jackson takes her deeper into all things Disney. Disneyland and Culture: Essays on the Parks and Their Influence explores the success of the Disney theme parks and how that success has been translated into not only a business empire but a pervasive cultural influence from Hollywood to Hong Kong. “The magic spread, too powerful to be self contained,” Merlock Jackson writes in the book’s introduction. “Disney masterminded not only media products and recreational facilities but also ways of looking at the world, making sense of our environment, interpreting history, and finding connections.” In “Synergistic Disney,” one of two essays she contributes to the book, Merlock Jackson looks at Disney’s ability to market its brand across platforms—from the theme parks’ early days and the leap into the then-emerging medium of television to the merchandising juggernaut that began with Davy Crocket coonskin hats and hasn’t waned since. Disneyland and Culture, co-edited with University of North Carolina-Charlotte children’s literature professor Mark West, is Merlock Jackson’s fifth book and her third on Disney. Among the topics covered in the book are Disney’s role in the creation of children’s architecture; Frontierland as an allegorical map of the American West; the “cultural invasion of France” in Disneyland Paris; the politics of nostalgia; and “hyperurbanity” in the town of Celebration, Florida. Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson is the editor of The Journal of American Culture and is a past president of the American Culture Association. During winter session 2012 at VWC, she will lead her second travel course—along with Dr. Terry Lindvall—to Orlando, Florida where students enrolled in the course will get a chance to study the Disney dynamic firsthand. – Leona Baker

And God Said, Let There Be Lights, Camera, Action Encyclopedia of Religion and Film Edited by Eric Michael Mazur ABC-CLIO, 2011


rom angels to The Zombies of Sugar Hill, from Alien to Zen Buddhism, Eric Mazur’s Encyclopedia of Religion and Film provides a lens through which nearly any film—“low” art or “high”—can be viewed as a commentary on the role of religion in society. Despite its 90-page filmography, Mazur’s encyclopedia is not a catalogue of films but a collection of 90 alphabetically arranged entries on broad topics that investigate the geography, the themes, the religions and the major directors that reside in the space where the sacred cow meets the silver screen. The encyclopedia includes films that directly address religious beliefs like The Ten Commandments or The Passion of the Christ. It also expands the boundaries of religion and finds Christ allegory in E.T., examinations of death and rebirth in Star Wars and cult rituals in Rocky Horror. An entry on silent film by VWC professor Terry Lindvall examines the way in which—as the sites of mythmaking and the defining of morality—the moving picture theaters became “the new cathedrals of America.” Stuart Minnis, who teaches film studies at Wesleyan, examines Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky’s creation of art that confronts “struggles with the divine” in the Soviet Union of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. In Mazur’s encyclopedia, investigations of film reach beyond an academic analysis to provide what he calls “a source of insight into the place and meaning of religion in the contemporary world.” Dr. Eric Michael Mazur is a professor of religious studies at VWC and teaches courses in Judaism, religion in American culture, and the academic study of religion. Encyclopedia of Religion and Film is his sixth book. – Elizabeth Blachman

Religious Freedom: A Virginia Story

From Jamestown to Jefferson: The Evolution of Religious Freedom in Virginia Edited by Paul Rasor and Richard E. Bond University of Virginia Press, 2011


ike the book of Genesis, the first essay in From Jamestown to Jefferson: The Evolution of Religious Freedom in Virginia starts with the words: “In the beginning.” The beginning, in this volume edited by VWC professors Paul Rasor and Richard E. Bond, is the spring of 1607, when Captain John Smith and the other settlers in colonial Virginia gathered to worship under the awning of an old sail with a hunk of wood as a pulpit. From Jefferson to Jamestown examines the religious narratives of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia history as a story about the genesis of Jefferson’s 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. In their introductory essay, Rasor and Bond discuss the often overlooked religious diversity that affected the political and social history of Virginia. The ideal of religious freedom, they write, “also grew out of the daily religious practices and struggles that took place in the town halls, backwoods settlements, plantation houses, and slave quarters that dotted the 17th – and 18th – century Virginia landscape.” During the fall of 2007, VWC’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom hosted a series of public lectures in conjunction with a class in Virginia history taught by Bond. From Jamestown to Jefferson grew out of that symposium, and the essays in the volume thus began as a public conversation and so read as a unified tale about Virginia’s contribution to the American pursuit of religious freedom. Jefferson’s statute, in the rich tapestry of faith, diversity, and struggles for independence presented by Rasor, Bond, and the other eminent historians who contributed to the work, is not an end but a beginning. Dr. Paul Rasor is a professor of interdisciplinary studies and the director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at VWC. Dr. Richard E. Bond is associate professor of history at Wesleyan. – Elizabeth Blachman

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AT TIMES LIKE THE PRESENT, WHEN much of the middle class watches the economic news with white knuckles and a sensation of helplessness, which the Greeks would have called ”aporia,“ it is natural to look to examples from the past for how best to deal with adversity in the modern world. One unlikely source of solace I would suggest is the Odes of the poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, better known to us as Horace. A Roman composer of odes employing Greek meters, Horace may seem an odd place for moderns to seek wisdom. He picked the losing side during the Civil Wars, serving as a military tribune for Brutus – the infamous assassin of Caesar. He was later pardoned by Augustus and spent much of the rest of his life making it up to Rome’s newly minted emperor by writing sometimes effusive poems in his honor. Odes III.29 is a good example of Horace’s take on how a good Epicurean faces tumultuous circumstances. The poem is intended to teach his patron Maecenas, a political big-wig and friend of Augustus, how to survive his formidable responsibilities in the ”Urbs et Orbis,“ Rome’s political pressure-cooker. Horace begins the poem on a carefree, Epicurean note, tossing off a catalogue of simple and moderate pleasures which can be enjoyed far from the excesses and dissipations of the famously corrupt city of Rome: the company of a good friend, wine, some flowers, some sweet-smelling unguents – the usual accoutrements to the Greco-Roman convivium or symposium. Though the symposium was indeed a sort of drinking party – an occasionally wild one – Horace was a good Epicurean. Despite the rather unfair reputation with which this school was saddled by their philosophical competitors the Stoics, Epicureans were far from hedonists. In fact, they actively discouraged indulgence in pleasures they regarded as unnecessary or unnatural.

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By Benjamin Haller

What, then, are the simple and appropriate pleasures which Horace wishes to encourage Maecenas to enjoy in the ode at hand? We know from other poems that Maecenas has given Horace a countryside villa, and it is to here that Horace is likely urging Maecenas to repair in

Odes III.29. Elsewhere, Horace harps on the idea that the gods do not go in for frippery, but rejoice in simple sacrifices, modest gifts like hands raised to the waxing moon, incense, and the like. As in sacrifices, so in feasts for one’s patron. In III.29, Horace proves no aficionado

Academia of haute cuisine or lofty living, but rather a haunter of glades, a seeker of secluded trees that lull one to sleep with the shifting susurrus of their leaves and the darkling luminescence of refracted sunlight on the somnolent insides of one’s eyelids. A quiet meal at home or the welcome shade of some sylvan refuge are the surest panacea – ”welcome retreats from rich circumstances“ – to the burden of Maecenas’ wealth and power, he argues. This insistence on acquiring an almost Zenlike facility for enjoying the here and now is intimately connected to Horace’s understanding of the workings of the goddess Fortune – ”merry in her cruel business.“ He compares the flow of time in human life to the Tiber River. While it begins its course peacefully enough, it

gathers strength as it goes, eventually growing into a sonorous deluge, crumbling durable stones, uprooting trees, and dragging off cattle and homes in its cacophonous torrent. Horace, who had found himself deluged by Fortune’s fickle waves more than once in the past, was regretfully acknowledging that like catastrophes may happen again to both him and Maecenas. Since such misfortunes are just a part of life, however, Horace intimates that what makes the man is the frame of mind in which he endures Fortune’s ups and downs. This ”self-sufficient and self-controlled man“ will have lived joyously according to Horace, a sentiment that echoes the equanimity and self-reliance fundamental to both Epicurean and Stoic ethics. And the point of all this for Horace, is, since neither Maecenas nor

we know when the economy will collapse, or the Parthians launch an offensive, or any number of yet unguessed catastrophes befall, we should forget the politicians, seize the opportunity to seek out some secluded, rustic retreat (one suspects that the beach would do), and enjoy a simple repast in the company of friends. Dr. Benjamin Haller is an assistant professor of Classics at Virginia Wesleyan College. His recent peer reviewed presentations and publications address topics like Homer’s Odyssey, Neo-Latin poetry in colonial Pennsylvania, and human rights in the second century A.D. Roman Empire. He is very excited to be leading a trip to Greece with Dr. Clayton Drees in January 2012.

e Horace Odes III.29 e

Maecenas, descendent of Etruscan kings, for you I have a mellow, undiluted wine, from a bottle Never before opened, and the blossoms of roses, And exotic eastern unguents for your hair:

Equanimity. All other cares are carried along, as it were, On the river, which now in the middle of its course Glides peacefully down to the Etruscan sea, Tumbling with it abraded stones,

They have awaited you for a long time now at my home. Rescue Yourself from your own dilatory ways, then, and do not merely Gaze forever from afar upon Tibur and the sloping fields of Aefula And the Tusculan hills of parricidal Telegonus.

Tree trunks it has snatched up, cattle, houses, all together, Not without clamorous echoes from the mountains And nearby forests when savage floods provoke The quiet stream.

Let go luxury, which only brings you disgust, and The lumbering edifices of the city, too near the steep clouds; Give off wondering at the smoke and riches and uproar Of fortunate Rome.

The self-sufficient and self-controlled man will live Joyously. To him it is permitted to have said, each day, ”I have lived: tomorrow let Father Jupiter imbue the sky With black clouds,

Often welcome retreats from rich circumstances And the simple meals of paupers eaten under the blessing Of a modest household god, without tapestries and opulent Purple cloths, have uncreased an anxious brow.

Or with serene sunlight; whatever he does, he will not Undo what is past, nor will he unmake or abnegate what The fugitive hour has brought, Once it has brought it.“

Already the summer constellation Cepheus, bright father of Andromeda, is unveiling his hidden fire, now Procyon rages, And the star of the ravening Lion as well: the sun is Bringing back the dry hot days of July.

The goddess Fortune is merry in her cruel business, and Persistently plays out her arrogant game, Changing our wavering distinctions and offices into their Opposite – now kindly to me, now to another.

Already the weary shepherd seeks shade and a cool stream In the company of his sluggish flock, and the glades Of the frightful woodland god Silvanus; already the still Stream’s banks can feel no vagrant breezes.

I praise her when she is consistent; but if she shakes her Quick wings, I surrender what she has granted, and wrap Myself up in my courage, and seek honest Poverty As my bride with no dowry.

You have been concerning yourself with what constitution Is right for the state, and, anxious for the City, you fear what Machinations the Seres, the Bactrians ruled by Cyrus, The discordant Scythians, are making!

It is not my way, if the mast groans in the gales of African winds, to have recourse to pitiful prayers, and to traffic In vows to the gods, in the hope that My Cyprian and Tyrian merchandise

Prudently did God conceal the outcome of future events In murky darkness, and laughs if any mortal man Worries beyond his apportioned lot. Remember to Make provisions for what is within your control with

May be rescued from adding to the riches of the greedy sea. Then the breeze – and Castor and Pollux – will bear me, saved by the protection of my two-oared skiff, through the Aegean storm-swells.

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Living & Learning

Then and Now



LISA AND BRIAN BOETTCHER BOTH WENT TO VWC — MORE THAN TWO DECADES APART. ON A SUMMER DAY, the mother and son duo sit at a table in the Batten Center and compare notes about their lives at Virginia Wesleyan. Lisa, who graduated in 1986 with a degree in math and computer science, went on to a nearly 20-year consulting career before she became a high school math teacher. Brian, a religious studies major who hopes to be a Methodist minister, will be a junior next year. Brian peruses the photos in his mother’s VWC yearbook and laughs. “The hairstyles have definitely changed,” he says.

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Living & Learning

Lisa Boettcher

Brian Boettcher

Why she came to VWC: I went to JMU my freshman year, and I wanted to come back home. I grew up in Chesapeake and Western Branch close to where I live now. [VWC was] small enough to maintain a family atmosphere, yet large enough to give me the opportunity to flourish.

Why he came to VWC: ”I came here predominantly because of the religious studies department and program. And I really liked the small feel.“

YEARS AT VWC: 1983-1986

The Technology: ”There was no internet. There’s a picture in [my yearbook] of the computer science club and the Apple IIe’s that didn’t even have an operating system until you put a disk in.“ The Music: “Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ was very popular. I remember hearing Phil Collins’ Genesis on the radio at a math/ computer science gathering.“ The Hangouts: ”I spent a lot of time at Blocker Hall—– that’s me. I’d go there to study and work in the computer lab.“ The Communication: ”I don’t even know how we got information other than just in your mailbox. We really didn’t have the flow of information that they have now. I don’t even remember calling anybody in their room; I think you would just walk over there and try to find them.“ The Campus: ”None of this [the Batten Center] was here. Clark and everything, none of that was there. It was just the old Village I stuff and some of Village II. Gum and Smithdeal were there.“

YEARS AT VWC: 2008-2012

The Technology: ”I don’t have to go to the library if I don’t want to—– I can use the internet. I have a laptop. And everyone has access to a computer, which was probably not the case back then.“ The Music: ”When I think about the song that defines my college experience, it would have to be ‘Gotta Feeling’ (The Black Eyed Peas).“ The Hangouts: “I couldn’t imagine life without the Batten Center. I spend most of my day here. I’m a student supervisor—– I help out with student activities a lot.“ The Communication: ”I think it [social media] makes it easier to stay in touch with people, during the summers and after you graduate. And while we’re on campus, even if you’re not in the same place it’s really easy to get in contact with somebody else because it’s 24-hour exposure. I have friends who call me at 3 o’clock in the morning on a regular basis.“ The Campus: ”When [my mom] was a student here, there probably was only about six halls on campus, and now there are easily five more than that. There’s no way that the campus would be the same experience without all these new buildings and the Batten Center.“

Campus Life: ”I wasn’t as involved in it because I commuted.“ The Rat Race: ”I was pretty busy. I would get up early, come up here, go to classes, and then I worked in the evenings a lot at TCI (Tidewater Consultants Incorporated) and studying and I had a boyfriend at the time. Who’s now my husband.“ The Food: ”They had a small grill that was near the book store. And then they had a cafeteria that was over in Village I. I ate at that grill a lot.“ The Sports: ”There are teams now that there weren’t when I was in school. I think Wesleyan is more known for its athletics now than it was then. Every once in a while I would go with friends and watch part of a baseball game or tennis.“ The Classes: ”I really felt I got a well-rounded education. I took classes in each of the divisions, met a lot of people that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. [Brian and I] talk a lot about classes. I took a lot of religion and philosophy classes that I really enjoyed.“ The Funny Business: ”I remember the large caricatures of the faculty/administration painted on the walls of the snack bar.“

A FAMILY AFFAIR: Mom Lisa Boettcher ’86 and son Brian ’12 have different takes on campus life.

Campus Life: ”Student activities and Greek life are pretty big. I’m a member of Sigma Nu so I stay pretty busy working with them and doing other things on campus. A lot of people just hang out. We have Air Band, which is in my mom’s yearbook; they established it back then, and it still goes on today.“ The Rat Race: ”I find myself being busy all the time. I constantly have somewhere to go, some club meeting to go to, class to go to, homework to do. There are days where I’m working at the student center at 5:30 in the morning, and my day’s not over until 11 o’clock at night. So then I go to sleep and do it again the next day.“ The Food: ”The way I would describe it is, well, I didn’t lose weight when I came to college, so the food can’t be but so bad.“ The Sports: ”It’s hard to find a seat at a regular-season basketball game. If you go upstairs, a whole wing of the building is coaches’ offices and that hallway is all locker rooms for the sports teams. So it’s a huge part of student life here.“ The Classes: “They have different names and different numbers, but they’re the same classes.“ The Funny Business: ”People putting bubbles in the fountains.“

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Helping Is Where the Heart Is RECENT GRADUATE MAURA BRADLEY LEARNS THE MEANING OF THE HABITAT EXPERIENCE AND A THING OR TWO ABOUT SWINGING A HAMMER By Maura Bradley ’11 WHEN I FIRST CAME TO VIRGINIA Wesleyan College, I knew I would leave with a degree, well-prepared for the challenges I would face in the real world. But I didn’t know I would leave with a highly contagious condition called Habitatitis. Many who learn about Habitat for Humanity, an international organization that strives to provide decent, affordable housing for all, become infected. It crept up on me slowly: In the spring semester of my junior year, I became president of VWC’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, and the itch to ”do good“ while swinging a hammer first presented itself at Norfolk Botanical Garden. It was there that our chapter built an Alice in Wonderland storybook house. Diane Hotaling, VWC’s Director of Community Service, was supportive and kept

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a sense of humor about my condition. She and some of the other volunteers took care of me, teaching me how to paint and use a hammer properly. I soon decided I needed more, and Diane again helped me, this time by co-planning VWC’s first alternative fall break trip. Instead of visiting family in their hometowns during the break like some Wesleyan students, the Habitat for Humanity chapter members headed to the Eastern Shore of Virginia to build a new home for a family we had never met. Little did I know I would soon build a home again, but this time a little closer to campus: While we were on the Eastern Shore, VWC President Billy Greer was joining forces with Charlie Henderson, Hampton Roads Market President for Bank of America, to build a Habitat home on Nelms Lane in Virginia Beach. With such a big project to work on (four two-story townhouses), about 60 students, faculty members and staff from throughout the campus got involved. My first thought was: ”Great! All this participation means the Habitat chapter will continue after my graduation!“ But the real importance of the project hit me at the reception we held for one of the recipient families. The mother, Kiska Morris, hugged me and introduced me to her sons, Vidal and Keenan, and I realized that this

was not just about having a successful BUILDING COMMUNITY: Maura chapter or getting Bradley and fellow comfortable using Habitat volunteer tools. It was really Melissa Snyder ’12 on about helping the job at the Nelms someone. Lane site We started building in April of 2011, and the ”Red Hats,“ the skilled volunteers behind every Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads project, led the way – teaching the newbies that 35 inches and four tick marks is not a proper measurement. More importantly, they opened our eyes to so much more as they told stories about their families and their lives. (It seemed that Russ, one of the Red Hats I regularly shared pretzels with, had dozens of grandchildren about whom he loved to talk.) We turned to them not only for guidance, but also friendship, and in the end did what VWC leaders always talk about: we built a community. Virginia’s Wesleyan College’s fourth Habitat for Humanity house is expected to be completed in the fall of 2011. A dedication will follow. Visit the College’s Community Service page (under Student Life) or contact Diane Hotaling at for more information.

Living & Learning

Siren Song KELSEY HOTTLE ’12 DOESN’T SLEEP much. The VWC senior works at the Batten Center and Chick-fil-A, builds houses for Habitat for Humanity, studies for her criminal justice classes and – in her spare time—– saves lives. In May, Hottle was certified as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Virginia Beach. She signed up when the emergency medical services came to recruit at Wesleyan. Hottle remembers thinking about how her health and human services professor Ben Dobrin told his students to, as Hottle puts it, ”Go out and do stuff.“ After a semester of training for eight hours a week during the spring of her junior year, Hottle knew how to perform CPR, splint bones, lift injured people onto stretchers, assess medical situations, comfort scared patients and drive an ambulance – with lights and sirens. She will work four 12-hour shifts a month throughout her senior year. On a Friday morning in summer, Hottle strolls through EMS station #8 as the crackle of the radio from the speakers overhead announces rescue calls from the dispatcher. ”You can always tell when the city wakes up,“ she says, because the rescue calls start coming in over the radio. In her trim white uniform, the 21-year-old hops deftly in and out of the ambulance in the vast garage. Back in the lounge where the EMTs wait between calls, she talks with quiet glee about using her classroom skills in real-life recues. Recently, Hottle was called to a car accident and carefully strapped a woman into a special seat that protected her spine. ”They make you do it 100,000 times in class, so when we actually got to it do it I was comfortable,“ she remembers. ”And the firefighters, they said I did alright.“ Hottle also speaks frankly about the difficult moments. ”Every time I’ve seen someone die, the crew is really respectful,“ she says. ”Like this


By Elizabeth Blachman

TO THE RESCUE: “I want to be a ‘good cop,’” says Kelsey Hottle, who was recently certified as an EMT and is considering a variety of careers in public service.

person at the hospital, their arm was hanging off the bed, and my partner picked it up and placed it gently on the table. I’ve seen people close the person’s eyes.“ The careers Hottle is considering – police officer, U.S. marshal –—are all in public service. ”And all of those jobs also have a bit of an adrenaline rush, so you have to like that. And I guess I do, because I don’t like to be bored.“ Hottle is understated but passionate when she talks about volunteerism and service. ”I want to be a ‘good cop,’ for lack of a better word. I want to do something for somebody. It’s a public service job. I want to help the public.“ She says she read a lot of detective novels when she was young. ”The hero is always the hero,“ she remembers. ”They’re the good guy, and that’s what you’re supposed to be.“

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Saving the World, One Student at aTime DIANE HOTALING IN HER OWN WORDS VWC COMMUNITY SERVICE DIRECTOR Diane Hotaling has been with the College for 25 years. Countless students have passed through her door in the Batten Student Center since she took ownership of the newly formed Office of Community Service in 1997 – some for a class, others just looking for that indescribable feeling that comes from knowing you’ve made even the smallest difference in the world. Many have life-changing experiences in part because Hotaling encourages them to go out and find what ”brings them meaning in their own world.“ Here, Hotaling shares a few thoughts on her work – including the annual on-campus homeless shelter. Held for a week each January in partnership with the Portsmouth Volunteers for the Homeless, it is the believed to be the only homeless shelter housed on a college campus in the United States.

The personal and the professional ”I have worked with our students more from the heart than from the head. What I have seen is that community service provides a transformative experience for them. We would all like to think that we can transform our kids – that we are the ones that set our children on the way that they’re supposed to go, but the bottom line is that it’s self-discovery. I encourage students to come by the Office of Community Service so that they can find what it is that’s important to them, so they can find that career connection that not only pays the bills but brings them meaning in their own world.“

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The case for community service ”Higher education started out as a way to grow people for this new democracy of ours, to develop leaders. At Virginia Wesleyan we want to be more that just a filling station for students, as President Greer often says, we want students to do something meaningful with the knowledge they've gained.. We want to graduate enlightened citizens who are active in their communities. I tell parents that community service is a vehicle for helping them see the many ways they can go about doing that.“ Most memorable moments ”Highlights for me over time have been those moments when the light bulbs go off for students – not that they make wholesale changes or career changes but that what’s important to them becomes clear. Something they’ve engaged in affirms the direction that they’re heading in or makes them realize that they were off-base. They say, ‘Now I really want to go and save the world.’ For me, that’s when it really comes together, when I see that students are connecting.“

The homeless shelter experience ”Credit goes to the group of students who banded together around this idea that we should have a homeless shelter. To have an idea is one thing, to put it into action is another. They made the proposal, they got it approved, they met with the community partner, they got it happening here. It’s now going into its sixth year. To sustain something of that magnitude, of that level of humanity is huge for a college campus. The ways that the program has touched people and the ways it has pulled together our campus is phenomenal to me. Every year it’s the most emotional week of my life on a number of levels.“

Living & Learning


You Love 

”Dr. William Shealy opened my eyes. Dr. Joseph Harkey was always there to help me and give me advice. One of the first things he said to me was, ‘Miss Liddle, they sell pocket spelling dictionaries in the bookstore and I suggest that you purchase one quickly.’ I really did enjoy his classes.“ — – Deborah Liddle McDonough ’71 ”Dr. Mavel Velasco, Dr. Patricia Sullivan and Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson. These were all fantastic professors who encouraged and inspired me during my time at VWC. I still carry with me some lessons I learned from them... some 20 years later!“ — – Daisy Lopez-Duke ’90

We asked friends of our alumni Facebook page ( to tell us about their favorite Wesleyan professors. Here are some of the many responses.

”The late Dr. William Jones and Frau Doktor Susan Wansink. Both were so inspiring to me but each had a very gentle, kind spirit. I will never forget the impact each of them had on me.“ — – Jennifer Dodson Dubler, Attended 1989-1992 ”It is a tossup. Dr. Daniel Graf’s classes were always my favorites, but I don’t think I’ve ever met a kinder person than Dr. William Jones.“ – Thomas Hudson ’93 ”Dr. L Anderson Orr’s easy brilliant style. Ditto for Dr. William Shealy. Dr. Sullivan for her amazing energy.“ — – Heather Bailey Somervail, Attended 1990-93

”Hands down, Dr. Clay Drees. His classes were some of the toughest I took at VWC, but his storytelling teaching style made the subject matter interesting and the classes fun.“ — – Leslie McConnell Taber ’98 ”Dr. Craig Wansink, hands down. Fun, energetic, funny, relevant, passionate, a true educator through and through.“ — – Bobbi Losse Vernon ’98 ”First and foremost Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson and Dr. Bill Ruehlmann. Both were extraordinary teachers but also great advisors in life.“ — – Brian O’Neil ’99

MEMORABLE MENTORS: (Left to right) Dr. Mavel Velasco, Dr. Linda Ferguson, Dr. Chris Haley, Dr. Susan Wansink, Bentley Anderson, and Dr. William Jones ”Here are my top ones: Theatre profs Bentley Anderson and Rick Hite; English professor Dr. L. Anderson Orr; General all round great person Dr. Patricia Sullivan, and a very patient Dr. David Clayton.“ — – Pam McClure ’78

”Dr. Patricia Sullivan, Dr. William Shealy, and Dr. Del Carlson stand out. Each of these profs challenged me in ways I hadn’t been challenged before. The impact on me has been profound.“ — – Paul Davies ’94

”Dora Dobrin and Dr. David Garraty, both were inspiring and genuine people. “ — – Sarah Garrette Kellam ’92

”Dr. Rita Frank is among my favorites. She was an outstanding instructor and a great role model. She took an interest in her students and was inspirational to me.“ — – Diana Saunders ’95

”Dr. William Shealy. He was one of the greatest influences on my life and started me on a journey I still actively travel. He introduced me to folks like Barth, Tillich, Niebuhr, Bonhoeffer, Augustine, Luther and, his personal favorite, God.“ – Art McDonough ’73 ”Dr. Bob Albertson, Dave Garraty and Bob Cass because all three were excellent teachers and gave personal attention to each student.“ —– Charlotte Holtry ’83 ”Colonel Tucker. His classes filled so quickly because he was so entertaining and had hands-on experiences in war. Best history teacher ever. Always had great props, too. Never a dull moment.“ — – Liana Schaarschmidt Peebles ’83

”There are too many to count. Dr. Daniel Graf, Dr. Craig Wansink, Frau Dr. Susan Wansink, Dr. William Jones, Dr. Del Carlson...the list goes on! I want to add Dr. Gary Noe, Dr. Verne Keefer and Dr. Deborah Otis. They really made science fun!“ —– Krista Vicich ’95 ”Dr. Clay Drees, Dr. Mavel Velasco, Dr. Patricia Sullivan, and Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson. These were all fantastic professors who encouraged and inspired me during my time at VWC. I still carry with me lessons I learned from them 20 years later!“ — – Laurie Heisler Meiggs ’96

”Mine were Dr. Sally Shedd, Dr. Rick Hite, and Dr. Stephen Emanuel. The three not only taught great courses, but they were great people outside the classroom. While not the easiest professors, I remember their classes the most.“ — – Jon Smith ’00 ”Dr. Chris Haley! His lectures were always engaging, enthusiastic, creative and interactive. Dr. Haley is personable, respectful and encouraging to all of his students. Eight years later, we still keep in touch!“ — – Kristy Riggs Francisco ’03 ”Dr. Linda Ferguson. I loved her teaching style and her classes were the most interesting and enjoyable of my time at VWC.“ – Amanda Sasse-Sutton ’07 ”Dr. Karen Bosch, Dr. Bosch, and...Dr. Bosch. She will tell you like it is; real dosage of tough love that will inspire and challenge you to reach your full potential! We still trade emails.“ – Trish Wilhelm ’10

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Home Run

VIRGINIA WESLEYAN’S SOFTBALL TEAM NAMED 2011 ODAC CHAMPIONS VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE’S Softball Marlins shut out Randolph College in the title game, posting a 7-0 victory and claiming the 2011 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship. It is the sixth ODAC title overall for the VWC softball program, and according to Sports Information Director Joe Wasiluk, VWC has actually won softball conference titles nine times since the inception of the program. The 2011 Marlins, coached by VWC alum Brandon Elliott ’03, improved to an impressive 29-9 for the season. Their championship

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effort resulted in only the fifth shutout victory in ODAC tournament title game history. Rookie pitcher MacKenzie Creech (Hollsbourough, NC/Orange) was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 ODAC tournament. Junior Brianna Bertovich (Richmond, VA/Monacan), freshman Season Dailey (Norfolk, VA/Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox), sophomore Chelsea Henline (Chesapeake, VA/Great Bridge), and junior Jaclyn Quinn (Chesapeake, VA/Hickory) also received tournament honors and were named to the All-Tournament team.

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF The 1985-86 women’s softball team won its first Dixie Conference title, and advanced to the NCAA Division III championship tournament for the first time, under the guidance of coach Jack Jordan.




Starting Lineup

FRESHMAN YEAR WAS CERTAINLY a slam dunk for Virginia Wesleyan’s 6-foot3 guard DJ Woodmore from Virginia Beach (Landstown High). He completed his first year with an incredible list of awards and accomplishments. Woodmore was selected by the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association as the 2010-11 College Division Rookie of the Year. He was also was named national Rookie of the Year by, South Region Rookie of the Year and Old Dominion Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year. He was included in the DIII News’ 10-member national All-Freshman team, a first for the Wesleyan men’s basketball program. ”These awards just solidify the fact that DJ is a pretty special player,“ says Dave Macedo, Men’s Head Basketball Coach. ”DJ’s skill level is complemented by his unselfish attitude. He is a team player, and he wants to win championships. He’s a driven player who makes the guys around him better. Plus, he’s an outstanding student. We’re fortunate to have him for three more years.“ Woodmore was just as successful in the classroom, garnering Dean’s List honors in both of his first two semesters at VWC as a business major.

Five Decades of Marlin Athletics 1960s • Competition begins in cross country (1966-67) • Competition begins in men’s basketball and men’s tennis (1968-69) • Competition begins in golf and men’s soccer (1969-70)

1970s • Baseball competition begins with a championship season (1973-74) • VWC wins its first conference title in men’s soccer, finishing 7-0 in the Dixie Conference (1976-77) Competition begins in women’s basketball and goes on to win its first championship the following year (1976-77)

• Men’s basketball wins its first Dixie Conference championship (1977-78)


1980s • VWC begins intercollegiate competition in softball, posts winning seasons for the first 20 years of competition (1981-82)



Eight and counting. Can the volleyball Marlins post a ninth consecutive winning season and fourth straight 20+ victory campaign against a very tough schedule?

Can the men’s lacrosse program extend its streak of success that includes five winning seasons in the last six years?

VWC women’s soccer aims for a seventh

as the Marlins attempt to earn a berth in the ODAC championship match after qualifying for semifinals in eight of the past 10 years.

straight NCAA tournament berth. Watch the progress of Sean Whitson as he attempts to qualify for the NCAA championship race for an unprecedented third consecutive year.

• Competition begins in women’s tennis (1982-83)

• VWC begins competition in men’s lacrosse (1989-90)


• Women’s softball wins its first Dixie Conference title and advances to the NCAA DIII tournament for the first time (1985-86)

Watch the progress of track and field standouts Randy Lott and Courtney Mebane as they lead another promising group of VWC athletes.


• Women’s basketball earns its first berth in the NCAA Division III championship (1983-84) • VWC begins intercollegiate competition in women’s soccer (1984-85)

Women’s lacrosse returns a solid team

Men’s and women’s tennis aim for standout seasons as they begin competition at the new, state-of-the-art Everett Tennis Center.

WINTER A spotlight will be on the VWC men’s basketball team that returns all five starters from last year’s 25-5 team that advanced to the sectionals of the NCAA tournament. Keep an eye on the VWC women’s basketball team as it attempts to return to the ODAC championship game for the fourth time in six years.

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Compiled by VWC Sports Information Director Joe Wasiluk



FANS FOR LIFE: VWC ranked in the top 20 for attendance in NCAA Division III basketball.

DON’T LOOK NOW, but there’s a ”white out“ coming your way. Wesleyan fans take their hoops seriously, and they’ve got the records to prove it. VWC ranked in the top 20 for attendance for NCAA Division III basketball in 2011. The average attendance was 927 fans per game with the largest home crowd of the season, 1,206, bringing the noise in the Convocation Center on March 4 for the opening game of the NCAA tournament against Pennsylvania’s Delaware Valley College.


These Fish

Virginia Wesleyan’s Marlins finished with a glowing 25-5 record and closed the 2011 season on the road in NCAA third round tournament competition at Williamstown, Massachusetts, before a crowd of 1,561. Overall, VWC crowds topped the 1,000 mark seven times during the season and numbered

more than 900 fans at four other contests. ”Fear the fish“ will be in full effect in 2012 as the Marlins attempt to return to the NCAA championship and bring home the trophy for the second time since claiming the Division III title in 2006.

A Winning Tune

VIRGINIA WESLEYAN ATHLETES AND FANS NOW HAVE THEIR VERY OWN MUSICAL MOTIVATION IN THE FORM OF A VWC FIGHT SONG “ONE OF THE THINGS I’VE ALWAYS WANTED SINCE I GOT here 17 years ago was a fight song,“ VWC Athletic Director Joanne Renn told a small but enthusiastic group gathered in the lobby of Godwin Hall in May of 2011. With that, she lifted her flute, gave the crowd a G and launched into a spirited a capella version of ”On, Virginia Wesleyan!,“ the College’s newly unveiled musical motivation. The assembled chorus of students, faculty and staff sang along with freshly printed cheat sheets in hand. ”Vee-dub , vee-dub, fight, fight, fight!“ they chanted, ”Wesleyan do or die!“ Renn co-wrote the fight song with veteran area sports announcer Bill Bishop. ”He and I have been friends forever,“ Renn said. ”I saw him at an ODU basketball game and he said, ‘Does Wesleyan have a fight song?’ I said no, and he said, ‘Well, we need to write one.’ Literally in 10 minutes he wrote the music and I wrote some lyrics. He is so talented and has that God-given gift of musicality.“ The rest will soon be history. A recorded instrumental version of the catchy new tune, complete with introductory drum cadence, is now available for use at home and away games and other VWC events.

”Every school needs a great fight song,“ said President Billy Greer. ”We’ve always had the Marlin spirit, but this is going to bring the excitement to a new level. I think our student athletes and fans are going to be thrilled with it.“

1990s • VWC men’s soccer wins its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship and advances to the NCAA DIII national championship tournament (1990-91) • Women’s softball wins its first ODAC championship (1990-91) • Competition begins in field hockey (1991-92) • Baseball wins its first ODAC tournament title (1996-97) • Competition begins in women’s lacrosse (1998-99)

”ON, VIRGINIA WESLEYAN“ Music and Lyrics: Bill Bishop/Joanne Renn On Virginia Wesleyan, on to victory Let’s go get ’em, Wesleyan, let’s make history We’re behind you, Marlins, as we raise our voices high M-A-R-L-I-N-S, Wesleyan do or die Vee-dub, vee-dub, fight, fight, fight Wesleyan do or die! Fight blue Marlins, ’til we win, pride will soon prevail Fear the fish is what we shout, we will never fail Blue and silver lead the way, our colors never run M-A-R-L-I-N-S, Wesleyan number one Vee-dub, vee-dub, fight, fight, fight Wesleyan number one!

2000s • Baseball sweeps the ODAC regular season and tournament titles (2002-2003) • Competition begins in women’s volleyball (2003-04)

• Field hockey wins its first ODAC championship and qualifies for the NCAA DIII national championship tournament (2003-04) • VWC begins competition in track and field (2004-05) • Men’s basketball wins the ODAC championship and becomes VWC’s first national championship team finishing 5-0 in the NCAA DIII tournament (2005-06) • Women’s soccer wins its first ODAC championship and advances to the NCAA DIII Final Four (2006-07)

What About


THE MARLIN WAS ADOPTED AS THE COLLEGE’S mascot by the first Board of Trustees in 1963, inspired by the legendary fighting game fish prevalent off the Atlantic coast. ”Bob Marlin,“ the colorful mischiefmaking, pompom-swiping character we all know and love from recent VWC athletic events, however, is a more contemporary creation. Bob Marlin is actually a student invention, the result of class project assigned by recreation and leisure studies professor Doug Kennedy in 2003. The students came up with a concept, selected a designer and even raised funds for the project. If his name reminds you of a certain reggae icon, it’s no accident. ”We started discussing the name, and one of the students suggested ‘Bob Marlin’ in partial recognition of the reggae performer and perennial student favorite Bob Marley,“ Kennedy remembers. ”The whole class immediately agreed. I don’t see that often in classes! The costume was completed and shipped to me a couple months later and made its debut in time for the start of basketball season that fall.“

Bob Marlin A Profile

Likes National championships A packed Convocation Center VWC cheerleaders High-fives with mini-Marlins Dislikes Filet of fish sandwiches ”Yellow Jackets,“ ”Maroons,“ ”Tigers“ – need we go on? Favorite hangout The ”Fish Tank“ Favorite local attraction Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center Favorite Song ”No Woman, No Fish Fry“ Last book read The Old Man and the Sea Favorite movies Finding Nemo; A Fish Called Wanda

• Men’s basketball advances to the NCAA DIII tournament (2010-11)

Leading ladies Marlin Monroe Lady Gill Gill BFFs President Greer Joanne Renn

• Women’s softball finish the season as ODAC champions (2010-11)

Pet peeve Hard-to-find athletic shoes in size 27-DDD Hobbies Taunting rival fans Stealing pompoms Community service

For more detailed highlights and individual athlete’s accomplishments, visit our website at

Often overheard saying: ”It’s not a ‘nose,’ it’s a ‘bill.’“

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Alumni Pages Alumni profile

In the Name of the Law Christine (Langsam) Williams ’97


LIKE MANY VWC ALUMNI, CHRISTINE (Langsam) Williams ’97 built not only the foundations of a successful career at Wesleyan but the foundations of many successful relationships – including one with her husband, Jason Williams ’95. Christine, who is originally from Oyster Bay, New York, and Jason currently live in Richmond, Virginia with their two children, Walker and Hudson. ”I learned the value and importance of all different types of relationships at Wesleyan,“ says Christine, who played field hockey and was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. ”I realized you can be successful and have fun, too – one did not have to come at the expense of the other.“ After graduating magna cum laude from VWC with her degree in psychology, Christine went on to receive her law degree at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. Now a Director at DurretteCrump, PLC, a law firm in Richmond, Christine represents individuals and businesses in various areas of business litigation. She has been recognized as one of ”Virginia’s Legal Elite“ in Virginia Business Magazine, a Virginia ”Super Lawyer“ by a prestigious rating service, and one of the ”Influential Women of Virginia“ in 2011 by Virginia Lawyers Media, publishers of Virginia Lawyers Weekly and the Virginia Medical Law Report. The individualized attention she got at Wesleyan, she says, helped shape her future. ”Dr. Rita Frank was by far my favorite professor. I took all of her classes. I remember a class I took with her that required a research project and she invited the students to her house to help us with the project on an individual basis. I thought that was so impressive – that she would open the door to her home, on her time, to continue teaching us. She was always available – as were all the professors at Wesleyan.“ Like many Marlins, Christine was also bitten by the community service bug. Today she is co-chairman of the board for TrePadges, a charitable foundation dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children in Virginia,

and a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for Comfort Zone Camp, the nation’s largest nonprofit

bereavement camp for children who have lost a parent, sibling or primary caregiver.

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Class Notes


Darryl Perkinson (1975) received the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award from Strayer University. Charles Michael Pritchard (1979) died in Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital on February 24, 2011. Michael, born in Norfolk, was the son of the late Charles Vivian Pritchard and Sylvia Leota Hartsock Pritchard and grandson of the late George L. Pritchard and Beulah Perry Pritchard. He was a librarian assistant at Bayside Library. He is survived by a sister, Suzanne Pritchard Kennedy, and her husband James of Norfolk, and many loving family members and friends.


Carol (Scotece) Armstrong-Minton’s (1983) oldest son, Nicholas, an Infantryman of the 10th Mountain Division, U.S. Army, recently returned home from a 12-month deployment to Afghanistan. While Nick was deployed, Carol founded ”Operation Pocket Field Pillow.“ With the help of hundred of volunteers across the East Coast, her team was able to ship nearly 10,000 handmade ACU field pillows to soldiers throughout Afghanistan and to our wounded troops in Germany and across the U.S. Their motto: ”’til they all come home.“ Lonnie Blow (1982) has been named an assistant coach with the Old Dominion University Monarch's men's basketball team. Robert Coats (1986) received a MDiv in Theology from The Episcopal Divinity School in May 2011. His title is now ”Ordained Minister, Pastoral Counselor and Chaplain.“ Patricia (Smith) Liebler (1982) and Butch Liebler are proud to announce the birth of their first gradnchild, Lilly MacLaurin Hamby. She was born on March 22, 2011 and weighed 7 lb., 9 oz. Lilly is doing well. David Luton (1986) is proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Sara Elisabet. She was born on February 2, 2011. Both mother and daughter are doing well. David resides with his wife, Nuria, and his newly born daughter in Valencia, Spain where he works as an English teacher. / 50 / MARLIN

Karen (JD) Vonier (1983) is happy to announce her marriage on October 23, 2010. She and her new spouse currently reside in Woodbridge, Virginia.


Donna Lynn Hall (1992) is a new published author. To learn more about her writing, visit www. Kenneth Barber (1998) and Patricia Rosas Barber are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Emily Rose Rosas-Barber. She was born on December 29, 2010 in Williamsburg, Virginia. Both mother and baby are doing well. Frank Bottone (1993) has entered in the Let’s Move! Apps for Healthy Kids competition that is seeking fun and interesting ways to teach children how to eat right. The competition is part of Michelle Obama’s healthy kids campaign, sponsored by Let’s Move and the USDA. Sebrina Brown (1995) graduated from the FBI Norfolk Citizens Academy and is now a member of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association. Virginia (Chavers) Corbett (1997) was named Teacher of the Year at Hugo Owens Middle School in Chesapeake, Virginia where she is a civics teacher. She was honored by her family, friends and colleagues at a ceremony on November 4, 2010. Nori (Ramos) Lembree (1993) received a Master’s in Education from University of New Haven in July 2010. AnnaLisa (Ehrlick) Michalski (1995) and Timothy Michalski (1995) are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Erin Lindsay. She was born on August 13, 2010, in Portsmouth, Virginia, and weighed 8 lb., 10 oz. Adam (3 1/2) and Luke (21 mos.) are taking good care of their new sister. Kimberlie (Meyer) Russell (1994) was recently promoted to assistant vice president of contracts from contract manager at Valkyrie Enterprises, LLC located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Kimberlie has been with the Virginia Beach-based defense

contractor since shortly after the organization’s creation in August 2007. She is responsible for cradleto-grave contract management from proposal development and contract negotiation to project control and accounts receivable. Her background in accounting allows Kimberlie to take a wellrounded approach to contract administration. Ronald Stebbins (1992) received his ASQ/DoN Certfication as a Lean Six Sigma Black and was designated a Master LSS Black Belt after teaching a five month Black Belt Class of 21 students at Lean Six Sigma College. More recently, Ronald had his retirement ceremony from the U.S. Navy in July 2010, completing 31 years of service. Ronald will join Aviation Managment Analytical Consultants LLC as a co-Owner and chief financial officer. Isabel (Vaca) Valentini (1992) was awarded the Classroom Teacher of the Year-Elementary (K-5) Category by the Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST). The award is presented to outstanding educators for their exemplary contributions to science education. The award was presented on November 19, 2010 at the Virginia Air and Space Museum in Hampton, Virginia. Christine (Langsam) Williams (1997) has been named by the publishers of Virginia Lawyers Weekly as one of the ”Influential Women of Virginia“ for 2011. Christine and her fellow honorees were recognzed at a luncheon in May 2011. Christine currently practices with the law firm of DurretteCrump PLC in Richmond, Virginia. Chris Yeager (1994) was named the 2010 Division III Men’s Soccer National Coach of the Year, announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) at the NSCAA annual convention. continued on page 52

Alumni Pages Alumni profile

A Passion for History


J. Michael Cobb ’75

MIKE COBB, CURATOR OF THE HAMPTON History Museum in Hampton, Virginia for nearly 28 years, lives and breathes history. It’s a passion that has its roots on the Virginia Wesleyan campus. ”The intimate academic setting in a rural environment gave a sense of a center of learning surrounded by the natural world – which helped bring the ideas of history, science and literature and much more into a focus that made it both a meaningful and an enjoyable pastime,“ he says of his time at VWC. ”It became part of me. The ideas that I learned there became part of who I am.“ After completing his degree in history and political science at VWC, Cobb received a master’s in American history at Old Dominion University and a master’s in American studies

at the College of William & Mary. He is the coauthor of Hampton (Images of America: Virginia) (Arcadia, 2008) and the author of Fort Wool: Star Spangled Banner Rising (The History Press, 2009). He is currently coauthoring The Battle of Big Bethel: The Devil was the Artillerist. He is also the director of the Fort Wool historic site. Cobb’s MVP list of Wesleyan professors includes Stephen Mansfield – ”his devotion to history and obvious enthusiasm in wanting to share his knowledge and his ability to connect with students was inspiring“; Joseph Harkey – ”he often would become part of whatever teaching lesson he was conveying… be it American or English lit, he was one with it, and it drew you to these words written long ago“; and Colonel Robert Tucker – ”he had a

bombastic and impelling style that brought the echo and vibration of Civil War battles into the classroom.“ Cobb’s own personal history includes a sense of nostalgia for his alma mater. ”When I pass Wesleyan, even after these many years – decades – my mind goes back to that time and sometimes simple things such as walking to class, standing in line for registration and maybe most of all, the anxious moments late at night in Hofheimer Library studying, trying to anticipate the next day’s exam. These are moments I will never forget. They will be with me for the rest of my life.“

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Class Notes


Julie (Ecker) Marangoni (2000) and James Marangoni were married on September 12, 2009 in Radford, Virginia. They went to St. Lucia for their honeymoon. Julie is a licensed veterinary technician and James owns his own business. The happy couple and their three dogs currently reside in Centreville, Virginia. Jennifer Newman (2000) earned her Master’s of Arts in English from the University of Virginia in 2002. Currently, she is the owner of The Ink Editor: Proofreading and Editorial Services. Her clients have included writers, scholars, medical and technical professionals, small business owners, and large corporations. The Ink Editor provides expert proofreading, copyediting, and substantive editing for printed matter and online content. Her business is based in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Stephanie (Stevenson) Lesniewicz (2000) and Bryan Lesniewicz are happy to announce their marriage on July 17, 2010 in Albemarle Plantation, Hertford, North Carolina. The wedding was held at a golf course on the Albemarle Sound. The couple then took a road trip along the coastal Carolinas, spending time in Wilmington, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina. Stephanie is currently a store manager for a local surf retailer and Bryan is an assistant manager of a restaurant. They reside in Chesapeake, Virginia with their dog, Scarlett. Michelle (Superczynski) Hurst (2001) was recently promoted to human resources analyst at Maersk Line, Limited. Kelly (Smith) Evans (2001) is proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Arwen Constance. She was born on November 17, 2009 in Indiana. Kelly recently accepted a position as a business librarian at the University of South Florida. Martine Green (2002) is involved with the company theHegira, located in Washington, DC. It is dedicated to producing work by women of color. To learn more about theHegira, visit Mark Caffee (2002) died in Chesapeake, Virginia on June / 52 / MARLIN

11, 2011. Mark was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church. Over the past 10 years, he served as coach, manager, and baseball commissioner for the Western Branch Athletic Club. He was actively involved in his children’s teams, and through coaching touched the lives of many other children. Melissa (D’Avignon) Payne (2003) and Chris Payne are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Ryan Christopher. He was born on December 19, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland and weighed 3 lb., 12 oz. Ryan was born at 31 weeks. He is thriving and doing wonderful. Bladen Finch (2003) was recently elected to the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Information and Constituent Services Executive Committee for a two-year term. This committee plans a yearly professional development seminar, and Bladen will work with staff members from across the country. Bladen Finch was also accepted into the Associate Exchange Program through the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries. He will be working in the California State Senate Public Relations Office for a week. In addition, Bladen received the Virginia YMCA Service to Youth Award during the Model General Assembly at the State Capitol. Heather (Segraves) Jenkins (2004) and Drew Jenkins are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Kiffen Mary. She was born on October 14, 2010 in Annapolis, Maryland and weighed 8 lb., 5 oz. Julia (Green) Marks (2004) and Jeremey Marks are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Amelia, on March 10, 2011 in Rhinebeck, NY. Erica Clarke (2005) received a Master’s in communication and rhetorical studies from Syracuse University on May 8, 2007. She has received a full academic fellowship as a doctoral student in the department of communication and rhetoric at the University of Pittsburgh. As a K. Leroy Irvis Fellow, she will concentrate her four years of

study on black and white audience reception of African-Americans in visual media (past and present). Erica was previously employed as a lecturer of communication studies at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Martha (Blevins) Thomas (2006) was recently promoted to executive assistant to the provost and executive vice president at Mississippi State University. Earlier in 2010, she earned her Master’s in public policy and administration and was elected to the board of directors of the Oktibbeha County Humane Society. Ashley Carmichael (2006) is at SECEP as a Special Education Teacher. She is also a student at Regent University working on her Master’s in special education. Laura (Cox) Taylor (2006) and Richard Taylor are happy to announce their marriage on October 23, 2010 at Chateau Elan Winery in Braselton, Georgia. They currently reside in Roswell, Georgia. Brenton Smith (2007) and Jessica (Whitely) Smith (2007) are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Cayden Gracie Smith. She was born on May 18, 2011 in Virginia Beach General Hospital, and weighed 7 lb., 1 oz. Both the mother and baby are doing well. Ryan Ferguson (2008) has recently graduated from the police academy and will joining the Hopewell police department in September 2010. Pierrette Swan (2008) and Zachary Jones (2009) are co-owners of Tasket Clothing. They were on campus for a high school trade show earlier this year and will be attending again next year. They have also attended Warped Tour 2010. You can learn more at tasketclothing. Chelsey Barrett (2008) recently accepted a new position at Stevenson University located in Stevenson, Maryland as the events coordinator. Krystle Kitchen (2008) received a Master’s in business administration with a concentration in human resources from Liberty University on May 14, 2011.

Alumni Pages Alumni profile

The Entrepreneurial Spirit ”WHAT IF?“ FOR AN INVENTOR, it’s the operative question. For alumnus Hugh Brydges, who graduated from Wesleyan with his degree in political science in 1981, the question has led to quite a few intriguing answers. One of them even landed him on the pages of Time magazine in their ”Best Inventions of 2007“ issue. It’s an ingenious device that aims to make dangerous police car chases (unfortunately one of the many hazards of police work) a thing of the past. The StarChase Pursuit Management System, as it’s called, uses a

laser-guided launcher attached to the front of an officer’s car to shoot a GPS tracking device at a suspect’s vehicle. The device sticks to the vehicle, and the police officer is able to hang back and wait as data from the GPS is sent to police headquarters. ”My Wesleyan education helped me to continue my journey as an entrepreneur by teaching me how to recognize and prepare for real world opportunities whenever and wherever they might present themselves,“ Brydges says of the college experience that paved the way for his professional life. ”In my case, those opportunities are gaps in the market that allow me to create new businesses or inventions to fill those gaps.“ The entrepreneurial spirit has taken Brydges, a resident of

Virginia Beach, in many exciting directions. He is currently Vice President of Trident Forces, which specializes in developmental technology for the U.S. military He is also founder and business development consultant for StarChase, LLC, and a consultant for Hartwell Capitol Consulting. Brydges serves on the financial board of Young Life/Capernaum, an organization that works with mentally challenged children and adults, and is a board member of Robot Ventures, a NASA/NIA group that specializes in engineering, building and flying the next generation of unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles. He also happens to be a licensed commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor.


Hugh Brydges ’81

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Introducing the Alumni Board of Directors Board of Directors. In addition to their advocacy role, the Alumni Board also plans important alumni events throughout the year, including Homecoming, Wesleyan Wednesday, the Alumni Awards, and reunion events. The Alumni Board of Directors has made a $50,000 pledge to the Legacy Endowed Scholarship, which will be awarded to the child of an alumnus every year. Today, over

$200,000 has been contributed from both our alumni community and dues paying members to support the scholarship. You too can serve your College and your fellow alumni by applying to the Alumni Board of Directors. Visit our website at

ALUMNI BOARD: First row: Angela Costello,'87; Laura Gadsby, '90; Wonder Burgung, '09. Second row: Ksera Dyette, student representative; Darryl Perkinson, '75; Third row: John Haynes, '98; Rebecca Hooker, faculty representative; Amy Mallett Rickard, '98; Richard Carmichael, '86. Fourth row: Bill Miller, '09; Beth Widmaier, '99; Barrett Richardson, '81. Not pictured: Chris Dotolo, '91; Joan Jarrell, '96; Paul Mumford, '91; Chris Stefi, '91


THE ALUMNI BOARD OF DIRECTORS serves as an advocate for alumni to Virginia Wesleyan College and to our larger communities. The Board of Directors represents the Alumni Association membership by adding benefits to our membership, striving to promote the College, and bringing a lasting impact to future Marlins through scholarships and internship opportunities. The Alumni Board consists of 12-20 alumni who are active in their communities and committed to supporting Virginia Wesleyan College. Members of the board are nominated by their fellow alumni and slated by the Alumni

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Update Your Information for the 2011-2012 Alumni Directory! Join your friends and classmates and participate in the Special 50th Anniversary Edition of the Virginia Wesleyan College Alumni Directory! It’ll be a comprehensive reference with contact information and career and family details for more than 7,000 of our graduates. And, it’ll be the first-ever directory to feature listings along with photos and essays you can submit.

Update your information and stay connected! You can submit your personal profile with information about you, your career, and how you and your classmates can stay in touch. Harris Connect will contact our alumni to verify the information. Be on the lookout for your chance to participate!

The Play Makers FOURTH CLASS OF HONOREES TO BE INDUCTED INTO VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE’S ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME ON FEBRUARY 11, 2012 DO YOU REMEMBER WHO HIT THE MOST home runs, sprinted the fastest or dunked the most when you were at VWC? Don’t miss your chance to honor these all-Americans, record breakers and other extraordinary men and women who have made their mark on VWC athletics. During the 50th Anniversary year, Virginia Wesleyan will induct the fourth class of the recently established Athletic Hall of Fame. Established in May 2007, the Athletic Hall of Fame honors those whose outstanding athletic achievements, service or significant contributions have had a lasting effect on Virginia Wesleyan College’s intercollegiate athletic program. Each year, nominations for the Athletic Hall of Fame are accepted from April 1 through August 31. Student athletes are eligible for nomination five years after they have graduated from the College. Marlin teams, coaches and friends of athletics may also be nominated. More information about the selection criteria and nomination process is available at The 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon will be held on February 11, 2012. The title sponsor of this year’s festivities is the Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union. Join us for recognition of Marlin athletic accomplishments and opportunities to reminisce with fellow alumni and coaches!

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AIR APPARENT: Three-sport letterman and current VWC Board of Trustees member Tassos Paphites ’79 was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

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