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President Steven L. Solnick, seventh president of Warren Wilson





2ZO 6SDGHLVSURGXFHGE\WKHRIÀFHV of communications, media relations and advancement for alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends of Warren Wilson College. Editor John Bowers Graphic Designer Martha Smith Contributing Writer Ben Anderson Contributors Kelly Ball Linden Blaisus ’11 Christey Carwile Paul Clark J. Clarkson ’95 Mary Craig Melissa Davis ’71 Melissa Ray Davis ’02 Janet Doyle Don Harris Alisa Hove Jack Igelman Phil Jamison Kat Laufenberg ’13 Freesia McKee ’12 David Moore Paul Neubauer ’15 Dustin Rhodes ’95 Kathryn Schwille MFA ’11 Armin Weise ’16 Micah Wilkins ’14 Ally Wilson Copy Editor Jennie Vaughn

Mission The mission of Warren Wilson College is to provide a distinctive undergraduate and graduate liberal arts education. Our undergraduate education combines academics, work and service in a learning community committed to environmental responsibility, cross-cultural understanding and the common good. Cover photo by Benjamin Porter Correction: In the fall 2012 issue, we failed to give photographer David Lynn Meade credit for the photography in the Underhill Rose story. Owl & Spade (ISSN spring/fall publication: 202-7074111) is published twice a year (spring, fall) by the staff of Warren Wilson College. Address changes and distribution issues should be sent to or Rodney Lytle, CPO 6376, PO Box 9000, Asheville, NC 28815. Printed on Rolland Enviro100 Print paper (made with 100% post-consumer waste and processed totally chlorine free). Printed with vegetable oil-base inks. Compared to virgin paper, using this paper saved 81 trees, 29,261 gallons of water, 56 min BTUs of energy (224 days of power for an average American household), 7,049 pounds of emissions, 3,758 of solid waste recyFOHGLQVWHDGRIODQGÀOOHG7KHVHÀJXUHVFDOFXODWHGXVLQJ Environment Savings Calculator at www.neenahpapers. com/Resources/Calculators/ECalculator

A day to remember at Warren Wilson


he inauguration of a new president is a major event in the life of a college and so it is at Warren Wilson. Typically the formal ceremony occurs several months after the president assumes the position, and the hope of any college is that it doesn’t need to inaugurate a new leader very often. Warren Wilson has been fortunate in that regard, having had just seven presidents in its 71-year history as a college. Steven L. Solnick, Ph.D., is president No. 7, and his April 27 inauguration came roughly 10 months after he began his presidency in July 2012. One of the nice things about an inauguration—which really is as much a celebration as anything else—is that it brings together delegates representing many colleges and universities. The Solnick inauguration attracted more than 50 delegates, including a dozen or so from N.C. colleges and universities. The ceremony also brings alumni back to campus, with alumni greetings at the recent inauguration delivered by Alumni Board President Melissa Davis ’71. In planning an inauguration (or commencement), is there a lovelier venue for such an event than Sunderland Lawn, the greensward beneath hemlock, spruce and hardwoods framed by the Great Craggy and Swannanoa mountain ranges? Likely not. In late April, redbud, dogwood and azalea in bloom provide even more of a visual feast. But, yes, often there are the elements to worry about. Over the years the College has been exceedingly fortunate in dodging rain and even thunderstorms at commencements and inaugurations. This year, however, inauguration planners were on edge all week when the weekend forecasts began calling for a good chance of rain, beginning the morning of the ceremony. As it turned out, light rain did fall early morning, but the decision was made about 7 a.m. to proceed with the 11 a.m. ceremony outdoors and to serve the picnic lunch indoors, in venerable Bryson Gym. At the ceremony itself greetings came from many quarters, including the City of Asheville via Mayor Terry Bellamy and the Warren Wilson College Board of Trustees via Chair Alice Buhl. There was even a poetry reading from Ellen Bryant Voigt, founder of Warren Wilson’s renowned MFA Program for Writers. But the highlight, as expected, was the terrific inaugural address by President Solnick. Although a light rain starting falling as he began to speak, it failed to dampen the enthusiasm with which his address was received by those who had gathered on the lawn. Titled “Not the Old, Not the New, But the Necessary,” the entire address is on pages 2-4 in this issue of Owl & Spade. Ben Anderson Media Relations Director OWL & SPADE





















“Not the Old, Not the New, But the Necessary” Steven L. Solnick Editor's note: Follwing is the complete text of Presdient Solnick's inaugural address April 27 on Sunderland Lawn.

Thank you, Alice (Buhl) and Joel (Adams), for entrusting me with these symbols of office. And thank you to Anne (Graham Masters ’71) for that stirring introduction. Your words reminded me of a story told by former Senator Sam Ervin of a principal who was asked by the chair of the school board to fire a young science teacher. The principal expressed surprise and pointed out that this particular teacher had many advanced degrees. To which the school board chair replied, “That’s the trouble with him. He has been educated way past his intelligence.” I worry that I have been educated way past my intelligence. I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for placing their faith in me to lead this great College, and to each of our speakers today for their words of encouragement and support. Thank you to Ellen (Bryant Voight) and to Rayna (Gellert) and to Brian (Ammons) for each, in their own way, summoning reminders of the many faces of the divine that surround us when we open our minds to it. Thank you to all the delegates, alumni, faculty, staff, students and guests who have come here to share this day with us. Thank you to the Inaugural Committee that worked for months to make this day possible, and to the army of workers and volunteers—students and staff—who are taking care of all the details today. The committee members are listed in the program, and they deserve a big round of applause. I am happy that my wife, Maeve, and my children, Elinor, Naomi and Reuben, are all here with me today. We are all grateful to the entire college community—faculty, staff and students—for being so welcoming and thoughtful from the first day we set foot on this campus. My parents did not live to see this day, but they would have loved this place. I am equally grateful to all the alumni who have delivered messages of support— by mail, by email and in person at events around the country. 2

And, finally, I am grateful to be called to this place, this community in this beautiful valley with a proud history and an extremely bright future. That history and that future are both on my mind this morning, and I’d like to speak about both of them.

of collective amnesia. So it is important to begin by looking backward, or perhaps sideways.

Those of you who know me will understand how rare it is for me to say that I have struggled to find the right words for this important moment. Pity the inaugural speechwriter—the metaphor is not his friend. The Inauguration is a crossroad, a watershed, an inflection point, a fork in the road….

Jensen Hall, to my left, is named after Henry Jensen—Doc Jensen—a Bostonian who came to the Asheville Farm School from Harvard after getting his Ph.D. in 1933. He planned to stay a year. He remained for the rest of his life, becoming Director of the Work Program and later Dean of the College.

In fact, it’s rarely all that. While I am just the seventh president of Warren Wilson College, I take my place in a line of dedicated and brilliant men and women that stretches back over the last 120 years, to the founding of the Asheville Farm School by the Women’s Board of the Presbyterian Missions in 1894. Even so, transitions are fraught.

Bryson Gym, to my right, is named after Holmes Bryson, a 1920 graduate of the Asheville Farm School and one-time mayor of Asheville.

When I was living in Leningrad in the summer of 1987—in the early days of Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika—I decided to build up my library and acquire for just a few dollars the collected writings of the late Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. I went into the main bookstore on Nevsky Prospect and asked a young woman behind the counter where I could find Brezhnev’s collected works. Brezhnev? She asked. Yes Brezhnev, I repeated. Brezhnev? She asked again. Yes, I said. Leonid Brezhnev. The man who ruled the country for 16 long years. She shook her head at me slowly, as if I were the village idiot. Then she finally pointed to the shelves around her and said, “We don’t have Brezhnev. Now we have G-o-r-b-a-c-h-e-v. Gor-bah-chev!” While transitions are moments of great hope and expectation, they can also be moments

Sunderland Hall, behind you, is named after Laura Sunderland, a benefactor of the Baltimore Synod of the Presbyterian Church. It is one of the many reminders on campus of the debt we owe to the Presbyterians who founded and supported the school for many decades. Our Presbyterian roots live on not just through names of buildings, but through the College’s core values—the primacy of learning, the dignity of work, the value of service to the community, respect for different cultures and our obligations to preserve the environment. We honor that heritage by providing a first-class liberal arts education infused with these values, and by welcoming people of all faiths into this community of shared values and mutual respect. The College’s history also lives in the memory of our namesake, Warren H. Wilson, a Presbyterian educator and a perceptive scholar of rural life in early 20th century America. Wilson was a cold-eyed realist about agrarian life. He lamented what he called the “loose and sentimental idealization of the country home.” He saw one-room schools as neglected and insufficient, and country churches as divisive. He was a passionate advocate for greater integration of urban and rural social OWL & SPADE

and economic networks—a viewpoint we sometimes forget in our own embrace of self-sufficiency. This College is at its best when we, too, find ways to connect local and global, rural and urban, self-sufficiency and inter-connectedness. The most obvious reminder of our history is our Triad of academics, work and service. We are the only liberal arts college in the United States with a national student body and integrated work and service programs required for all students. The Triad is the most distinctive part of our DNA—yet like most modern DNA it is more the result of continuous evolution than deliberate design. What we now know as the work component of the Triad was born of necessity—as a way for poor mountain boys to gain an education by working to support the school. Yet by the 1930s, the “Cooperative Work Program”—as it was then called —was already being viewed as a new and experimental model in education, a template for “learning by doing.” As early as 1938, Doc Jensen was careful to portray the work program not as an alternative to a strong academic core, or even as a complement to it, but as a part of an integrated educational experience. He wrote: “In later years, some graduates have expressed the opinion that the instruction and qualities developed by the student work program contributed far more to their present success than did their studies. Flattering as this may be for a work supervisor, all we really hope for is an equal appreciation of the work and academic programs. Some may look forward to the day when even that distinction will fail and students will have but one program impossible of division into two categories.” That “one program impossible of division” is indeed the goal across the Triad—that work and service combine with academics to create a holistic learning environment. In the process, our work program has become very different than it was in the days of the Asheville Farm School—our students now defray just a small portion of their tuition through work on campus crews. Our service program has also grown far beyond its initial contours as an outgrowth of Church service—most recently through a re-invention that measures service-learning SPRING 2013

much more through learning goals than by hours logged. This evolution, too, leads us to focus on the student learning that is reinforced at work and in the classroom. And, clearly, our classrooms have evolved. As we grew from a high school to a fouryear liberal arts college, our academic ambitions have grown as well. We are now home to cutting-edge research in the natural and social sciences, a world class MFA in writing, vibrant music and arts programs, pioneering undergraduate programs in outdoor leadership, geographic information systems, Appalachian studies—I could go on and on. We continue to evolve. By conceiving of the College as a 24/7 learning environment, a laboratory for service-learning and work-learning, an intentional community in which all members must give if they are to receive, we keep alive a long tradition by the very act of continuously reinventing it.

But the book did not put the great universities out of business—in fact, the emergence of a global marketplace of books fueled a great expansion of universities across Europe precisely because it fueled the marketplace of IDEAS. And that boom accelerated as European settlers came to America, since one of the first acts of many of these new arrivals, right after the establishment of a church, was to establish a college. Why a college, and not just a library? I think it is because these early pioneers understood that the book was really just a delivery mechanism for ideas, and one that operated in just one direction. And the liberal arts tradition, in which Warren Wilson College is firmly rooted, was not really about transmitting ideas. It was about sustaining a conversation. A conversation about ideas, to be sure, but also about the world around us, and about each other and how we fit into that world.

If we are to push our students to move beyond their comfort zones and take risks, then we must be equally prepared as individuals and as an institution, to take risks and inevitably to be wrong, and even to fail. Because in the effort, we renew our optimism as an institution, WKHVDPHRSWLPLVPZHÀQGLQRXUVWXGHQWVDQGLQWKHYHU\LGHDORI higher education. If the lesson of our history is that change is continuous, what changes lie ahead for the College? Albert Einstein said, “I never think about the future; it comes soon enough.” In higher education, I’m afraid, we don’t have Einstein’s luxury. We are bombarded in the daily newspaper and on the Internet by apocalyptic visions of the death of higher education. The mortal threats come from many directions, especially from new technologies, but they are not entirely unprecedented. I am sure that if bloggers or Twitter had existed in the 1450s, there would have been a trending topic in Germany predicting the imminent demise of the traditional university in light of Gutenberg’s printing press. Imagine the Tweet, “Why will young men travel to Heidelberg to sit at the feet of second-rate theologians when they can now read the best commentaries at a fraction of the cost?”

Liberal arts colleges were established to foster critical thinking skills, of the caliber that would be needed not just to get students a job, but to bring meaning into their professional and civic lives. They were dedicated to turning out selfdirected learners, graduates able not just to understand a book but to have an opinion about it. That is why, I think, so many see the Internet as an existential threat to higher education, because the Internet is a “social medium” in which students can download their texts and then upload their commentary and engage in virtual discussions with students from around the globe. But this misses a key fact about our connected world. The easier it has become for us to connect, the easier it is for us to disconnect. We have become a self-sifting society—we watch the TV channels we basically agree with, subscribe to periodicals 3

that reinforce our worldviews, share Facebook postings we know our Friends will Like, follow Twitter feeds that amuse us rather than infuriate us. The role for liberal arts colleges should be clear: We are society’s last chance to force people to mix—to encounter, debate and collaborate with people from different backgrounds and beliefs. It is our last chance, as a nation, to teach people how to argue constructively, how to be media literate, how to recognize the humanity behind viewpoints we may reject. Yet in the face of this challenge, many colleges have commodified higher education. We are increasingly competing on amenities, and we are assessed on our students’ first jobs after graduation. Higher education is now commonly described as a product, with the college as a delivery mechanism and students viewed as consumers rather than as citizens-in-themaking. Warren Wilson College has traveled a different path. We continue to mix and remix students, faculty and staff: in classes, work crews and service learning —all experiences you can’t replicate on the Internet. We continue to teach that being part of a community requires giving back to that community—whether that is on our campus, in Asheville and Buncombe County, or in the global community. Through our commitments to environmental and social justice and to service-learning and participatory governance, we continue to remind students that it is not enough to know how to think; it is even more important to know how to act. How can we be sure that this is the right path for us? As the world around us changes, how can we stay true to what my predecessor Ben Holden called “the traditions and basic truths that have given Warren Wilson a unique place in the sun”? I am a believer in serendipity, and as I was contemplating this question some weeks ago, I received a postcard from a friend in St. Petersburg, Russia. The postcard was blank white, except for a single quotation in small red type from the Russian artist Vladimir Tatlin. And that read: “Not the Old, Not the New, But the Necessary.” 4

Tatlin and his Constructivist colleagues in the 1910s and ’20s tried to re-imagine art as neither enslaved to tradition nor flitting from fad to fad. They sought a comprehensive re-imagining of how we worked, lived and even thought. And that, it seems to me, is what Warren Wilson College is ultimately about—a re-imagining of what college in America in the 21st century can, and SHOULD be. We must focus neither on the old, nor the new, but on the necessary. Let us recommit to using the Triad as a framework for innovation, not for the sake of being different but because it is necessary that colleges in the coming decades connect the classroom to the campus to the community beyond. Let us revitalize our leadership among colleges in the areas of environmental sustainability and resilience because it is necessary for colleges to take the lead in setting ambitious goals if our students are to save the planet, and because THIS college can and therefore should be a model to the whole sector on how to unite curriculum, work-learning, campus operations and community partnership. Let us hold ourselves to the highest standards of excellence in academics, work, service, administration, alumni relations and community engagement, because it is necessary for us to meet those standards if we are to become the model in higher education that I believe we should be. Let us aggressively seek more diversity on our campus, and find creative ways to engage with it—and not just because in the 1950s we were the first post-secondary institution in the South to admit an African American student, and not just because in the 1960s we were the most international campus in North Carolina. Let us do it because it is necessary for students, faculty and staff at a liberal arts institution to constantly engage with people of different ethnic, national and racial backgrounds, religious beliefs, and sexual orientations. Let us actively and definitively welcome diversity of thought and opinions on this campus as well, because if our students are to leave here and change the world, it is necessary for them to welcome debate.

Finally, let us be nimble as an institution, not just because adapting to the needs of the times has been the secret of success for Warren Wilson College, but because trying new things is necessary in these rapidly changing times. But how are we to know that all this is truly necessary? What if we try the wrong new things? Kathryn Schulz, in her extraordinary book Being Wrong, documents our obsession with being right. She describes our reluctance to revise our own views of ourselves—for example, our naive faith that we’ll answer all those emails after dinner—as a form of optimism. She calls it “an endlessly renewable, overextended faith in our own potential.” If we are truly to live up to our potential as a liberal arts college to teach our students to question assumptions and think critically, we must embrace the inevitability of our own failure. We must accept that the only way to avoid failure is to avoid risk, and to avoid risk entirely will doom us as a College. In the words of William James, “Our errors are surely not such awfully solemn things.” If we are to push our students to move beyond their comfort zones and take risks, then we must be equally prepared as individuals and as an institution, to take risks and inevitably to be wrong, and even to fail. Because in the effort, we renew our optimism as an institution, the same optimism we find in our students and in the very ideal of higher education. So let us do what is necessary, without fear that we may make mistakes along the way. I was reading a senior essay the other day, by a student who will graduate on this stage in just a few weeks. Rather than write the standard three pages, she decided to produce a graphic novel of her years at Warren Wilson College. And she ended it this way: “Because if Warren Wilson has given me anything, it’s the courage to try when I don’t know how or what to do.” Let us all have that courage. Thank you very much.


TRI ADN E WS 2013 Commencement, 45th as a four year-college On April 27, the College inaugurated its seventh president, Steven L. Solnick, on Sunderland Lawn just before a heavy rain settled in. Exactly three weeks later, on May 18, there was no such luck with the elements; the 2013 Commencement had to be moved across the road to DeVries Gymnasium because of a persistent morning rain. But the quickly coordinated efforts of many people both inside and outside the gym somehow made the last-minute location work. Of course, there’s at least a slight upside to nearly every shift in plans. As the College’s minister, the Rev. Steve Runholt, observed just before delivering the invocation, the Commencement location had been moved from Sunderland Lawn to the hardwood home of the 2013 men’s basketball national champions. And, yes, the banner recognizing the Owls’ USCAA Division II title hangs on the wall the Commencement audience was facing. But as always, the stars of the Commencement show were the nearly 200 bachelor’s degree recipients who had earned B.A. and B.S. degrees. The graduating class was Warren Wilson’s 45th as a four-year college. Speaking of graduates, one of the College’s many distinguished MFA Program for Writers alumni, N.C. Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti, delivered an engaging main address.

N.C. Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti, alumnus of the College’s MFA Program for Writers, delivered an engaging main address.

This year’s graduating senior top honors went to Courtney Newsome, Pfaff Cup winner, and Felicia Hall, Sullivan Award recipient. Barnaby Ohrstrom was chosen by his classmates to be senior class speaker. Top teaching awards went to Laura Vance (faculty), professor of sociology and gender/women’s studies, and to Stan Cross (staff) of the College’s Environmental Leadership Center.



TR I ADN E WS Remarkable late-season run carries Owls to national title By Ben Anderson

In late August 2012, the men’s basketball team suddenly found itself without a head coach when Kevin Walden accepted the head coaching job at his alma mater, Knox College, after four seasons at WWC. The Owls were reeling for a while after Walden’s unexpected departure, but soon regrouped in anticipation of a new season and a new coach. By late January, the team had a 7-10 record, a losing record owing in no small measure to a difficult early-season schedule. One loss was to NCAA Division I opponent Western Carolina, a team the visiting Owls trailed by just three points with 15 minutes to play before the Catamounts pulled away. But Warren Wilson’s 10th loss was to be its last, and by early March the surging Owls had won a national title. Not bad for a team that didn’t have a head coach during the first weeks of the academic year. Guided by new head coach Greg Neeley and assistant coaches Tiger Norman and Matt Kantor ’12, the Owls finished the season with 12 consecutive victories to win the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association national championship (Division II). Their 19-10 record included four wins in four nights as the ninth seed in the national tournament’s 10-team field, including a 76-68 comeback win over host team Penn State Fayette in the title game March 2 in Uniontown, Pa.

“The support and genuine love you’ve shown has been amazing, Everyone here has helped me, and the word ‘grateful’ does not do justice

Raysean Love ’13, Dylan Johnson ’13, Anthony Barringer ’14, Patrick Albright ’14 and Dan Jackson ’13 after cutting down the nets following the Owls’ national basketball championship victory.

Senior shooting guard Raysean Love of Burlington, N.C., led the way in the finale with 22 points, his average over the final three games. Not surprisingly, Love was named tournament Most Valuable Player for his shooting accuracy and all-around play in leading the Owls to the title. Anthony Barringer, senior point guard from Charlotte, and Rashad Ali, junior post player from Chicago, also were named to the All-Tournament Team. There’s no question, however, that everyone on the team contributed to the Owls’ success as they produced a college version of “Hoosiers.” No, Hollywood could not have dreamed up a better story with a better ending.

excellent early recruits such as Patrick Albright of Kingsport, Tenn., and Dan Jackson of Chicago, the Owls showed steady improvement before posting in 2012 their first winning season since the 1980s, winning their final nine games to finish 16-9. Alas, the season ended with a bitter taste when Warren Wilson did not receive a seemingly well-deserved invitation to the national tournament. The 2012 snub only served to fuel the players’ tournament fire for this past season, especially for the Owls’ five seniors. One of them, Dylan Johnson of Wilkesboro, N.C., repeatedly told coaches interviewing for the coaching vacancy that the team’s goal wasn’t

The Owls’ road to the national championship actually began five years ago, with the hiring of Walden as head basketball coach and sports information director. Thanks in part to

to the way I feel.” —Raysean Love ’13 Owls fans at the national championship game



TRI ADNEWS to make the national tournament, but to win the national title. He wasn’t kidding. Although the capacity crowd that gathered for the title game in Uniontown consisted mostly of Penn State Fayette fans, the Warren Wilson contingent made plenty of noise as they had much to cheer with a basketball program that had come so very far in the past five years. In addition to students and players’ parents, alumni, faculty, staff, trustees and administrators were represented at the game. One alumnus, former player and assistant coach Jay Lively ’00 of Asheville, even drove a bus that carried 25 Warren Wilson fans to southwestern Pennsylvania on a wintry weekend. After the championship game, tears were flowing and hugs were common all around the court before and after the trophy presentation and ceremonial net cutting. Of all the celebratory embraces, perhaps none was more emotional than that of MVP Love and his mother, Ada. The next day the national champions were welcomed home at DeVries Gym by

Anthony Barringer '14 drives against a tournament opponent.

a cheering throng of fans undeterred by a cold late-winter night. The following evening, a more formal victory ceremony was held on the gym floor. The five seniors, three coaches and Athletic Director Stacey Enos all spoke and expressed their heartfelt thanks to everyone who had supported the team during its remarkable title run. “The support and genuine love you’ve shown has been amazing,” Love said. “Everyone here has helped me, and the word ‘grateful’ does not do justice to the way I feel.”

An archaeologist on sports, community and pride Like the rest of you, I was thrilled by the basketball team’s performance in the tournament, and I want to congratulate the players, coaches and all the folks associated with their tournament experience. I’d also like to quickly tell you what it was like to attend the championship celebration at DeVries Gym. Each of the five seniors spoke. I was struck by their poise, passion, emotion and eloquence as they described the kinship they felt for each other, the feeling they had for the College and the challenges that they had experienced during their time on the team over the past four years. “Gratitude” was a word that several of them used, and they all expressed that sense to their teammates, their coaches and their fans, especially those who had traveled to Pennsylvania to support them. During the ceremony I thought back to my time as a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill when I had the thrill of welcoming back two national championship basketball teams. You can imagine the scene: 15,000 fans in the football stadium screaming for their rock-star basketball team with players like James Worthy and Michael Jordan. I heard some of those players take the microphone and speak to those crowds. They were excited and proud, certainly, but I never heard the depth of character or commitment of purpose that I heard in DeVries for the celebration. Folks, I could not have been more proud of the young men that spoke that night. We should all take some pride in what these fellows have done for the College because they have represented all of us. We could not hope for better or truer studentathletes. And, as Athletic Director Stacy Enos reminded us before introducing the team, they aren’t the first Warren Wilson champion athletes. She went on to describe the accomplishments of many of our other teams and clubs. Thanks to the Athletic Department and all of our wonderful student athletes who help to make WWC such a great place to live and work and go to school. Go Owls, hoot-hoot! Archaeology Professor Dave Moore




Major grant expands material arts program The College has been awarded a $2.1 million grant by the Windgate Charitable Foundation to enhance its art department with the addition of studio craft and material arts, working with partners to make Western North Carolina a recognized center for craft study. The grant, spanning a three-year period, will foster a close partnership between Warren Wilson and The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) in Hendersonville. The collaboration will provide a sustainable home for craft education in the region that will be open to students across the nation. Grant funding initially will provide for increased faculty and staff positions, including a full-time teaching position in sculpture and greater support for woodworking, fiber arts and blacksmithing so that they continue to flourish at Warren Wilson. In addition to increased faculty support and artist-in-residence positions in each of the three areas, internships for recent graduates will be phased in at the College during the grant period. The


Windgate grant also will enable the creation of a new staff position in order to coordinate the partnership with CCCD. “This is an excellent opportunity to enhance an existing strength of the College,” President Steve Solnick said. “We already collaborate with CCCD, and we look forward to doing so more formally and to working with other schools and programs in the area to support the role of craft in our region.” CCCD Board Chair Michael Sherrill agrees: “For the past two years, the center and Warren Wilson have based our discussions on developing a model craft program for faculty and students in the region, as well as for others around the country who are interested in sustaining craft culture. We look forward to making this vision a reality.” Warren Wilson has long had a tradition of Appalachian crafts on campus. The College had, however, seen a decline in student interest until 2009, when interest reemerged in several areas and the College created student work crews with an eye toward reviving the tradition of fine craftwork on

campus. Currently the crews include fiber arts, blacksmithing and fine woodworking. The Windgate grant will allow Warren Wilson to dramatically increase its craft outreach to the greater community and its artisans, collaborating with CCCD to reach many of the center’s goals, as well. “This grant provides a unique opportunity for the College to take a leading role in the teaching of craft and forges an important partnership with the center,” said Stephanie Moore, CCCD executive director. “Students will be engaged in learning a significant art form that helped build the economy of our region and changed so many lives. “Warren Wilson is an extraordinary treasure in the Southeast, and we look forward to working with both the students and faculty to develop a top-notch craft studies program.”



Nora Purcell ’09 has a passion for tracking how diseases spread, a passion she discovered during an internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The internship was “pretty key� to her career, said Purcell, hired at CDC after her internship and now in pre-med classes at Johns Hopkins University. “I don’t think I would have otherwise known to go into public health.� She credits chemistry/environmental studies professor John Brock’s class in epidemiology with initially leading her toward her passion. One of the few undergraduate courses of its kind in the country, it complemented her interest in mapping and geographic information systems. The environmental studies major put all of that to work at the CDC in her study of the relationship between schools beside busy roadways and the health of the students inside.

“I think a lot of young people are looking for something really worth doing. This internship helps them focus on a manageable set of problems that WKH\Ă€QGLVZRUWKWKHLUWLPHWKDW they can devote their lives to.â€? –Professor John Brock

Brock, who worked at the CDC before coming to Warren Wilson, said the study yielded “beautiful, elegant layers of analyses.� “I think a lot of young people are looking for something really worth doing,� he said. “This internship helps them focus on a manageable set of problems that they find is

Kathleen Sebelius (left), U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, chats with Nora Purcell ’09 (right) and another member of the CDC’s Haiti team.

worth their time, that they can devote their lives to.� The CDC hired Purcell upon graduation as a geographer mapping and analyzing public health developments. After three years in Atlanta, she joined a team of more than 300 CDC scientists and staff in Haiti, working to help the country rebuild its health services infrastructure after the devastating 2010 earthquake and cholera epidemic. Warren Wilson has sent half a dozen students to the CDC for internships in the past 15 years. Most CDC interns from Warren Wilson end up working there after graduation, some leaving only to go to medical or nursing school. “Warren Wilson students tend to be very popular there, and I think that’s because we teach critical thinking very well here,� said Brock, who is currently working with the CDC on the relationship between health and climate change. “When our students are thrown into situations that call for multiple

disciplines, which public health does, they do really well. The liberal arts teach them to think broadly and quickly about the systems they’re working on.� Brock also noted the work of former student and CDC intern Luke Lucas. Brock said Lucas has done “amazing work� in HIV epidemiology. “He really found his passion doing this,� Brock said. “Once the fire was lit, that passion really took off. I want to help our students find that passion.�

“When our students are thrown into situations that call for multiple disciplines, which public health does, they do really well. The liberal arts teach them to think broadly and quickly about the systems they’re working on.� –Professor John Brock



TRI ADN E WS Center campus tree inventory In a partnership with the North Carolina Forest Service during the 2012-13 academic year, environmental studies graduate Linden Blaisus ’11 and the Landscaping Crew conducted an assessment of the composition, function and value of the urban forest on center campus.

The center campus also contained rare species like the scholar tree (Styphnolobium japonicum), dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), and a Korean oak (Quercus glandulifera). The total structural replacement value for these landscape trees is $2.11 million; they sequester 12 tons of carbon every year and store 480 tons of carbon in their wood.

Analyses of these data provide insight into the value of the center campus trees: their monetary worth, carbon sequestration/ storage, structure and ecosystem function. These analyses will be used to guide future management decisions with the goal of improving human health, environmental quality and aesthetic value. Linden Blaisus ’11

The study area for the center campus tree inventory covers 59 acres of land surrounding the academic, administrative and student residence buildings. This 59acre center campus is stratified into two land types—39 acres of landscaped/built campus grounds and 20 acres of semi-intact forest. A complete census of every tree with diameter at breast height two inches or greater was conducted in the landscaped area; representative plot sampling was conducted in the forested area. All data

were analyzed using the i-Tree Eco model developed by the U.S. Forest Service. In the landscaped area census, there were 1,153 trees individually measured and cataloged. There are 135 unique species within this landscape, the most numerous being flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), followed by eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and Norway spruce (Picea abies).

Only a third of the center campus study area is forested, but within that forest there are 8,760 trees, over seven times the number in the landscaped area. Adding the value of the forest trees brings the total structural replacement value for all center campus trees to $11.04 million. The combined carbon sequestration for the landscape and forest trees is 68 tons per year; the combined carbon storage is 2,419 tons, equivalent to the carbon emissions of the College for 202 days. If you would like to learn more about this project, downloadable maps, reports and GIS shape files are available at

Caleb Hawkins’15 advances to Timbersports National Caleb Hawkins ’15, a Forestry Crew member from Sedgwick, Maine, won the Regional Stihl 0LG$WODQWLF4XDOLÀHU7LPEHUVSRUWVFRPSHWLWLRQ +HSODFHGÀUVWLQVWRFNVDZVHFRQGLQVLQJOH buck, third in underhand chop and fourth in standing block chop. He was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and advances to the National Collegiate Championship June 7-9 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The collegiate national champion earns a spot competing on the international rookie relay team in the 2013 Stihl Timbersports Series World Championship in Stuttgart, Germany, and an automatic spot in the 2014 Stihl Timbersports Professional Series. Stay tuned to the College website ( to see Caleb’s results in the championship. 10

WWC Forest Manager and timbersports coach Shawn Swartz with Mid-Atlantic champion Caleb Hawkins ’15.


TRI ADN E WS Paddling team triumphs as national champions, continues the legacy Story by Micah Wilkins ’14

I Photos by Armin Weise ’16

Warren Wilson College caught what Alessia Faverio ’13 calls the “whitewater bug” 25 years ago, when the paddling team was created. “Once you catch it, you can’t get rid of it easily,” she said. Since its formation, the Warren Wilson Paddling Team has grown into a large, talented group. At the end of March, the team and Coach John“Lightnin’ ” Griffith won the American Canoe Association (ACA) Collegiate National Championship. 2013–13 Paddling Team

During the competition on the Tuckasegee River, the paddling Owls won almost every event, and the paddlers collected a total of 22 medals in solo and tandem races. They competed against the University of Alabama, Albion College, Hollins University and Sweet Briar College. Faverio has been on the team since her freshman year, when they placed third at nationals. Last year, the team placed second. “We’ve been steadily improving,” Faverio said. What significantly helped them in competition this year has been the grant that the team received from former WWC President Sandy Pfeiffer. Last year, Coach Griffith applied for a grant through the President’s Initiative Fund, which is sponsored by several trustees of the College. The paddling team was awarded $5,000 to purchase new, faster canoes and kayaks. “We had gotten to a point where we had the skills but not the boats to match,” Griffith said. “I told them that a national championship was within our grasp if we had competitive boats.” SPRING 2013

As a club sport, the paddling team has a smaller budget than other official college teams. Earlier this season, the team was running out of money, and it was uncertain whether they would be able to make it to nationals. The team hosted a bake sale and used the proceeds to travel to Dillsboro, N.C., and become the 2013 national champions. “We want to thank the community for our bake sale,” Faverio said. “That was the only reason we were able to go.” This year, the team consists of 17 paddlers, all of whom have different backgrounds and experience levels. “A lot of people start off inexperienced,” Faverio said. “But we’re willing to teach people.” Before coming to the Swannanoa Valley, Faverio had never paddled before. She attended roll practice, hosted by Outdoor Programs in the pool, and after having enjoyed the time in the water, decided to join the team. Since becoming part of the team her freshman year, she has become co-captain, and has achieved first place in the women’s kayaking division two years in a row.

During her time on the team, Faverio has only seen one person stop showing up for practice because schoolwork became too demanding. “Once they join, once they catch the whitewater bug, they’re usually in for the duration,” she said. And it’s not only students who have caught the bug. The team has produced legends out of many alumni. Eli Helbert ’98, now a professional open boater and creek racer, sometimes returns to help coach the team. Now a professional kayaker, Chris Gragtmans ’08 also returns to instruct the team. When paddling volunteer Will Leverette ’78 was a student, he was the head of the Paddling Crew, and he started Outdoor Programs, which began as a club and grew into a crew. Travis Weiland ’07 was a part of the paddling team when it was an official varsity team; now he teaches math at the College. “It seems like everything comes back around,” Faverio said. A version of this story originally appeared in The Echo— 11

TRI ADN E WS 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction A higher education pioneer in community service, with a program launched in the late 1950s, the College has been named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.

::&WKHÀUVWVRXWKHDVWHUQFROOHJHWRVLJQ5HDO)RRG Challenge Commitment Warren Wilson and Sodexo Dining Services have signed the Real Food Challenge Commitment, partnering to become the first college in the Southeast to sign the agreement. President Steve Solnick and Dining Services General Manager Brian O’Loughlin signed the commitment April 15 in a ceremony on campus. The agreement, augmenting previous sustainability commitments by the College, states that Warren Wilson will procure 40 percent “real food” annually by the year 2020. The College’s Local Foods Crew is charged with monitoring the food purchasing.

“Real Food”: Local, sustainable, humane and fair in trade

The national Real Food Challenge seeks to ensure that by 2020 at least 20 percent of college and university food purchases will be in the category of “real food”: local, sustainable, humane and fair in trade. The Warren Wilson agreement is intended to double that national target percentage. “We’re thrilled as a college to be signing this and to be partnering with Sodexo,” Solnick said. “I’m especially excited because this is student driven.”

Warren Wilson joins four public universities in North Carolina’s Piedmont region as the only five N.C. institutions to receive the honor roll’s distinction designation in 2013.    According to its website, the President’s honor roll “annually highlights the role college and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.” The honor roll was formally announced March 4 at the American Council on Education’s 95th annual meeting in Washington, D.C. “It is an honor to be recognized as a college where students are not only learning from their service experiences, but are also achieving meaningful and measureable outcomes in our community,” WWC Dean of Service Cathy Kramer said. “We do our own internal assessment to evaluate whether we are effectively meeting our goal of preparing students for civic life, but it is also helpful to have an outside organization acknowledge that our efforts are successful.”

Princeton Review 2013 Green Rating Honor Roll Warren Wilson is among 21 colleges and universities nationwide included on The Princeton Review’s 2013 Green Rating Honor Roll. The College received the review’s highest possible green rating of 99. According to The Princeton Review, “criteria for the green rating cover three areas: whether the school’s students have a campus quality of life that is healthy and sustainable; how well the school is preparing its students for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges; and the school’s overall commitment to environmental issues.” The institutional survey for the rating included questions on energy use, recycling, food, buildings, and transportation as well as academic offerings and action plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The recognition by The Princeton Review is the latest in a long list of green accolades the College has received for its environmental and sustainability initiatives. On the Web: 12


TRI ADN E WS Dawn Medley named Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing Dawn Medley, Director of Student Success and assistant professor at Missouri Valley College, has been named to the new position of Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing. Medley will oversee and fully integrate the offices of undergraduate Admission, Financial Aid and Marketing. Among other duties, she will direct all image, branding, communication and public relations efforts of the College, in order to ensure increased understanding of Warren Wilson College in the higher education marketplace. “We’re thrilled that Dawn Medley will be joining us to lead our efforts in enrollment and marketing,” Solnick said. “She brings a broad range of skills and experience that will help us continue spreading the word about our Triad of strong academics, work and service, unique among liberal arts colleges in America.” Medley has more than 20 years of higher education experience, including the areas of enrollment management, financial aid and marketing. She has been Vice President of Enrollment Services at Forest Institute; Director of Admissions at the University of Arkansas; Associate Director of Admissions at Southeast Missouri State University; and

Latin rhythms inspire students to cha-cha-cha


Coordinator of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Missouri–Rolla. “I am honored and thrilled to be chosen as Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing at Warren Wilson College,” Medley said. “I am grateful to the search committee and to Dr. Solnick for the confidence they have shown in me. WWC is a campus with tremendous opportunities and potential, and I look forward to sharing the story on a national level.

Dawn Medley, Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing, and daughter, Ellie, who will enroll at Warren Wilson this fall.

“When I was on campus I felt completely at home with the wonderful students, staff and faculty with whom I interacted. I also had a chance to attend the College’s Circus, which helped me know that WWC is where I belong. I’m eager to get to campus and get going.” Medley will assume responsibility for some of the areas currently supervised by Richard Blomgren, who has directed Warren Wilson’s admission and marketing efforts since 1996. Blomgren will continue as Vice President for Advancement, a position he also has held since 2009.

“The College is grateful to Richard Blomgren for his leadership of admission and marketing for 17 years,” Solnick said, “and I look forward to having his full talents and energies focused on our advancement efforts.” Solnick also expressed appreciation to members of the search committee: Chair Ed Raiola, Cathy Kramer, Sharon Lytle, Lyn O’Hare, J.T. Wagner and Ben Surface ’15. Lahti Search Consultants, based in Minneapolis, assisted in the national search.

During the spring semester, Christey Carwile’s anthropology course Dance, Culture and Identity and Warren Gaughan’s Latin Music course met together for two weeks to focus on the intersection of Latin rhythms and their associated dances. Students learned the musical components and history of merengue, bachata, salsa/mambo, cha-chacha and samba as well as how to embody these rhythms in dance movement. The class culminated in an evening event with live music where students could both practice their dance moves and participate in music making.


TRI ADN E WS Old-Time String Band As part of the new minor in traditional music, the College now has two new music ensembles, an old-time string band and a bluegrass band. The Old-Time String Band (aka The Cider Gang) plays a variety of traditional old-time music—fiddle tunes, ballads, and folk songs—from the Southern Appalachian region and beyond. Composed of students hailing from North Carolina to Alaska, this group has performed for dances, concerts, festivals and other events in the region, including Shindig on the Green in Asheville and the Carter Family Fold in Virginia. They were part of the celebration at the inauguration of President Solnick, and performed at the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) in Black Mountain.


Students win research awards at North Carolina Academy of Science

Back row: David Zaritsky â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13, Grace Wiessner â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13, Dean Kahl, Mary Reding â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13, Amelia Snyder â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13, Alisa Hove Front row: Chelsea Kay â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13, Marie Orton â&#x20AC;&#x2122;12, Sarah Jamison â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13, and Tabitha Ndungâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;u â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13


Eight students presented their Natural Science Seminar (NSS) research at the North Carolina Academy of Science annual meeting at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Three students won awards for their research. In the Chemistry, Physics, Science Education and Health Sciences category, Mary Reding â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13 won second place for her research â&#x20AC;&#x153;Aflatoxins in peanut butter measured using enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA).â&#x20AC;? In the Botany, Zoology, Ecology and Environmental Science category, Chelsea Kay â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13 won second place for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sexual determination in freshwater jellyfish Medusae, Craspedacusta sowerbii, captured in Lake Fontana, North Carolinaâ&#x20AC;?; and Amelia Snyder â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13 won third place for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Migration of metals from a coal ash pond into the sediment of the French Broad River.â&#x20AC;? OWL & SPADE


2012-13 Cycling Team

Epic Cycles sponsors cycling team Epic Cycles in Black Mountain, N.C., is the new sponsor of the WWC Cycling Team. Through the agreement, Epic Cycles will be the chief supplier of all cycling needs for Warren Wilson athletics. “Epic Cycles is a great fit for the mission of Warren Wilson and our athletic department,” said WWC Athletics Director Stacey Enos. For Epic Cycles, the chance to give back to Warren Wilson students was an easy decision.

The new partnership with Epic Cycles marks the end of 12 years of support from Ski Country Sports. “We would like to thank Craig Friedrich of Ski Country Sports for helping our program receive national attention by providing wonderful service and bikes to our student athletes,” said Enos. “His support came at a time when most colleges did not have mountain biking teams, and we want to thank him for putting our program on the map.”

The Warren Wilson Cycling Team has been a top-four mountain biking finisher nationally for 11 straight seasons. The College is also ranked 6th on Mountain Bike Action’s list of “America’s Top 10 Colleges for Mountain Bikers.” This spring, the College added road cycling and had top finishes in its inaugural season.

“I have worked with a lot of the students as employees in the shop, and they have been fantastic,” said Epic Cycles owner Allan Hightower. “We are located close to campus and really wanted to support what they are doing.” Epic Cycles offers a wide range of bikes for beginners to the most advanced cyclists. Their focus is a positive and inspiring cycling experience accomplished through top-notch, personalized customer service.





PHOTO Contest

Every fall, the International 3URJUDPV2IÀFHLQYLWHVWKH College community to submit photographs from their study abroad experiences and international travels. Submissions are displayed in the library as community members vote for their favorite photographs in three categories.

Ayla Macko ’13 won the People’s Choice Award for her image of a child and rainbow in the rural village of Lama Bonita, Panama. Ayla studied in Panama for a semester through the School for International Training, with support from Warren Wilson.


Natasha Shipman, assistant manager of the departments of biology and environmental studies, won Best Landscape Photo for “Dawn Patrol,” depicting hyenas walking along a safari jeep road in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Natasha was one of the co-instructors for the study abroad course Natural History, Conservation and Culture of East Africa.

Annie Pryor ’13 won Best CrossCultural Photo for her photograph taken in Aceh, Indonesia, showing Annie “learning bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language) from the little perempuan (women) of Aceh.” Annie traveled to Indonesia last summer with professor Siti Kusujiarti as part of a research trip.




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October 4-­‐6,  2013




FACULT Y&STA F FNE WS Poems by MFA Program for Writers Director Debra Allbery appear in the spring issue of New England Review. Director of Spiritual Life and Chaplain Brian Ammons has written a chapter for the

book Queer South Rising. Biology/environmental studies professor Amy Boyd, greenhouse intern Marie Orton ’12 and biology/environmental studies assistant manager Natasha Shipman won the Warren Wilson spelling bee and Literacy Council of Buncombe County spelling bee. Chemistry/environmental studies professor John Brock has been jointly appointed as an associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston. This summer he will use the appointment to create a summer research program for Warren Wilson students interested in human health and the environment. In addition, he will be advising MUSC graduate students and have access to MUSC clinics, laboratories and instrumentation. Psychology professor Kathryn Burleson published the Pine Ridge blog,, which is based on a service trip she led to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Anthropology professor Ben Feinberg and International Programs assistant Felicia Hall ’13 presented the paper “Drop a Match: Online Media and Anonymous Commentary on the Drug War on Both Sides of the Border” at the Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology spring conference in Mexico. 20

Career advisor Courtney Gauthier and Career Services director Wendy Seligmann presented the workshop “Experiencing the Experiential” at the North Carolina Association of Colleges and Employers spring conference. Associate dean for faculty and writing professor Gary Hawkins co-presented “What Works in New Faculty Orientation? Principles, Practices, and Platforms” at the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education annual conference. Music professor Kevin Kehrberg

organized a panel titled “ShapeNote Gospel Traditions in Arkansas and Beyond” for the Society for American Music national conference. As part of the panel, he presented the paper “‘That We May Effect a More Nearly Perfect Society’: Community Shape-Note Gospel Singing in Central Arkansas, 1920-1950.” Social work professor Lucy Lawrence presented “Social Work Education in Cuba: Professional Exchange and Study Abroad” at the annual Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors meeting. Collaborating with colleagues from Barton College and Indiana University who participated with her in the Council on Social Work Education research delegation to Cuba in June 2012, Lawrence presented about the pedagogy and content of the WWC shortterm study abroad course, Intersections of Agricultural and Social Welfare Systems in Cuba: Paradigms and Paradoxes. Lawrence was joined in this presentation by some of the students who were part of the study-

abroad course: Rebecca Foster ’14, Ellen Froliklong ’15, Sydney Idzikowski ’14 and Lia Kaz ’15. Lawrence’s course, co-taught with WWC Farm Manager Chase Hubbard ’95, was the first undergraduate social work study abroad course from a U.S. institution to Cuba since the revolution, and the first WWC study abroad course to the island nation. Environmental studies/sustainable agriculture professor Laura Lengnick gave a number of invited presentations and media interviews associated with the release of the USDA report “Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation.” A lead author of the USDA publication, Lengnick appeared on WUNC’s “The State of Things” and gave the keynote address at the Farming Strategies in Today’s Changing Climate conference. She traveled to Maryland to make a presentation to federal research scientists on “Adapting U.S. Agriculture to Climate Change: New Research for a Novel Challenge” at the USDA Beltsville Agriculture Research Center. She also gave the presentation “Is Your Farm ClimateReady?” at the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association annual conference. Director of peace and justice studies Paul Magnarella delivered a series of lectures on the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey in the Montreat College Adult Learning program. He delivered the World Affairs Council’s Great Decision lecture, titled “Iran, Israel the US and the Bomb,” at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Brevard College, Blue Ridge Community College and Isothermal Community College. He also reviewed Peace and Justice at the International Criminal Court by Errol Mendes for the Journal of Third World Studies and Turkey in the 1960s and 1970s through the Reports of American Diplomats by Rifat N. Bali for the Journal of American Studies of Turkey. OWL & SPADE

FACU LT Y&S TA F FNE WS Outdoor leadership/environmental studies professor Mallory McDuff presented the keynote address on spirituality and climate change at two national conferences: the Moravian Environmental Stewardship conference and the Caring for God’s Creation conference. At these gatherings, she also facilitated workshops on writing op-eds to connect faith and the earth. This spring, she published five op-eds in national media outlets, including Sojourners and the Huffington Post. McDuff also was accepted into the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop at Reed College. Archaeology professor David Moore co-wrote a chapter for the book In Native and Spanish New Worlds: Sixteenth-Century Entradas in the American Southwest and Southeast. Library director Chris Nugent participated in the live online audio workshop “Getting Started with Oral History,” offered by the Baylor University Institute for Oral

History, in preparation for her sabbatical research project, for which she received an Appalachian College Association Faculty Fellowship. She also presented “The Voice of the Visitor: Popular Reactions to the Exhibit Vernichtungskrieg: Verbrechen der Wehrmacht 1941–1944” at the German Studies Association annual conference. Psychology professor Robert Swoap and three students, Barnaby Ohrstrom ’13, Kate Lundquist ’14 and Diana Diamant ’12, presented their research, “Short Exercise Bouts in the Elementary Classroom Improve Children’s Mood, Behavior and Fitness,” at the Association for Psychological Science annual convention. Sociology professor Laura Vance presented the paper “From Eternal Gender to Outer Darkness: A Journey of Scholarship and Activism” at the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association annual conference. She also served as a proposal reviewer for

Kehrberg and Keith in Ecuador Last spring Owl & Spade reported on a U.S. Department of Statesponsored tour that sent music professors Kevin Kehrberg and Jeff Keith, along with their band, the Red State Ramblers, to a Jeff Keith and Kevin Kehrberg perform during a master class at Salvador cultural exchange Bustamante Celi Music Conservatory in Loja, Ecuador, the “City of Music.” mission in Kyrgyzstan. In October, they conducted their second tour as cultural emissaries for the State Department. The Red State Ramblers performed in a number of cities in Ecuador, including Loja, Zaruma, Machala and Guayaquil. They played at the International Festival of Music, the Bi-National Center, churches, schools and community centers. At the last concert, the U.S. Consul General David Lindwall approached the band after their show, saying that the Ramblers’ music touched hearts and was a powerful tool for communication between people and culture. “It wasn’t until this last evening that I pictured our music beyond a level of entertainment,” Kehrberg said. “We were helping to bridge something that was bigger than I had imagined.” SPRING 2013

the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference, a reviewer for the Journal of Homosexuality, and as an editorial consultant for Nova Religio.

Associate Director of Admission Keri Willever ’95 was awarded a Group Study Exchange Rotary Scholarship by the Western North Carolina District chapter. Through the scholarship, she traveled through India’s northwestern states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and beyond with three young professionals from Western North Carolina. They spent their time living with host families while visiting schools and talking with students, staff and alumni; giving presentations about North Carolina; and touring museums, forts, markets, hospitals, Barefoot College, Tree of Life for Animals, the Taj Mahal and many other places. Art professor Jessica White’s new book Letterpress Now: A DIY Guide to New and Old Printing Methods, a contemporary how-to reference on letterpress printing techniques, was published by Lark Crafts. She will be teaching a new special topics course, Introduction to Letterpress, in the fall.


Lee Ebner AFS ’40 keeps on plugging By Janet Doyle


he twinkle in the eyes of Lee Ebner ’40 is always followed by uproarious laughter. His life has been devoted to bringing humor to others. A veteran of caricature and a long-time staff artist for the Louisville Courier-Journal, Ebner is a die-hard Warren Wilson fan. He vividly recalls helping Mrs. Randolph build the wall and plant her garden behind their new house and working hard all over the Asheville Farm School campus. He has faithfully attended nearly every reunion of the Asheville Farm School, delighting his fellow alumni at every turn. With that ever-present twinkle, Ebner’s face never shows much of the tragedy he witnessed as a World War II Navy veteran. Signalman Ebner was at Pearl Harbor on the USS West Virginia that was bombed on December 7, 1941, and watched on the signal bridge as his fellow seamen disappeared. His brother Emanuel ’40 survived along with him. His service continued throughout the war, and he saw the action along many shores, including at Iwo Jima and the night attack at Surigao Straits.

Ebner was aboard the destroyer Newcomb at its Okinawa bombing in 1945. Reassigned to the USS Rockwall after the War and at Bikini Atoll, he was 13 miles away from the first peacetime atomic bomb tests. Our country’s hero gives clear, firsthand accounts of the war’s progression. “I saw a lot of action,” Ebner said. “The Navy gave me a front row seat.” At each seaman’s death, Ebner made quick friends with all. He wondered, “Why not me?” and thanked God for his good luck. Perhaps that’s why humor became even more important to Ebner. It was through an opportunity at the Asheville Farm School, where he and his late brother, Emanuel, were sent from Pineville, Kentucky, to study, that propelled Ebner into cartooning. Frank Willard, famous creator of the “Moon Mullins” comic strip, came to the Grove Park Inn in 1938 for a therapeutic vacation. Ebner had dabbled in comedic sketches when he was younger and hitched a ride to the resort, boldly inquiring through the reception desk for Willard. Willard welcomed him, took a look at Ebner’s drawing, and promptly drew him a cartoon in response. On it he scribed the words, “Keep on pluggin’ Lee, and you’ll

be a great cartoonist one of these days kid. With best wishes from Willard.” Today, it is one of Ebner’s proudest possessions. With that injection of confidence, Ebner’s artistic humor burgeoned after the War. He studied two years at the Louisville Art Center and two more at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Ebner began his 32-year career at the Louisville Courier Journal and the Louisville Times in 1951, consistently bringing merriment to the city’s readers. He also taught cartooning at Bellermine College and was a frequent instructor at area high schools throughout his life. Soon to be 94, Ebner continues to dazzle his friends with humor, finding the best in everyone in a joke-filled cartoon on a paper napkin or through thoughtful letters. Kiwanis members adore Ebner’s joie d’vivre, and weavers at the Little Loomhouse near his home in Louisville feel fortunate for his weekly warm baked goodies and heartfelt love of life that he freely shares with all.





Sara On Agorafabulous, farm boys Benincasa Interviewed by Dustin Garrett Rhodes ’95, Director of the Annual Fund

Sara Benincasa ’05 is an award-winning comedian and author of Agorafabulous, a book based on her critically acclaimed solo show about panic attacks and agoraphobia. Her outspoken, sexually charged comedy has won praise from the Chicago Tribune, CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times,, and, and has earned her an ECNY (Emerging Comedian of New York) Award and a Webby nomination. Sara’s television appearances include NBC’s Today Show, the CBS Early Show, CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, MTV News, and CUNYTV’s Brian Lehrer Live. Sara was a citizen journalist for the MTV Choose or Lose Street Team ’08, part of MTV’s Emmy Award-winning Think campaign. During the 2008 election, she created a splash with her original Sarah Palin videos on Huffington Post’s satirical news and opinion site 23/6, a series for which she won an ECNY Award and was nominated for a Webby for best performance. From 2006 to 2008, she hosted’s hit “Tub Talk with Sara B.,” a notorious web talk show in which she interviewed comedians and humor writers in her bathtub. Guests included humorist Andy Borowitz (BorowitzReport. com), Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney, comedian Reggie Watts, author Jonathan Ames (“Bored to Death”), and a variety of other funny, smart, and weird people. Sara is currently living in Los Angeles and working on a second book scheduled for release in early 2014.


Here’s Dustin's recent interview with Sara: I wrote to many people you know— some of whom may or may not star anonymously in your hilarious memoir Agorafabulous—to solicit questions for this interview. Some of the questions would get me fired. I value my job, so I am sticking to the pure and innocent. Every single person wanted to know why you chose Warren Wilson—how you got here exactly. Apparently, that’s a complete mystery. I was choosing between Warren Wilson College and UNCA, and when I arrived on campus, Sharon [Lytle] was so warm and welcoming and awesome. I remember seeing all of those rocking chairs in front of the admission office. It was all just so perfect, and I knew I had found my new home. I knew this is where I was meant to be. I would be remiss if I did not add that encountering a pickup truck full of shirtless farm boys did not impede my decision. OWL & SPADE

and why she loves Warren Wilson How did you even hear about Warren Wilson in the first place? I found out about Warren Wilson by mistake. I was planning a road trip through the South, and I figured I might as well look at colleges while I was down there, because I wanted to transfer. I found a guidebook on the South in general, and it made Asheville sound particularly cool. It mentioned a hostel that sounded really amazing (which turned out not to exist). I read about UNCA and Warren Wilson and decided to apply to both, visit and see if Asheville was the amazing place it seemed to be on paper. Turns out it was better than anything I could’ve imagined. The first thing I saw when I got into town was a barefoot hippie family standing outside an organic coffee shop. I knew this was my kind of place. So, you actually didn’t know that Warren Wilson had programs that aligned with your talent and interests? I was looking based on location, location, location. It wasn’t until I visited and experienced the beauty—that’s when I realized it was perfect for me in every way. You came to Warren Wilson at a difficult time in your life, but you really seemed to thrive here, academically and socially. You wrote an entire memoir about being agoraphobic and having an eating disorder. How were you able to be so successful here? I think Warren Wilson College is a healing place, on many levels, and it’s perfect for nontraditional students, students who might be a little older. The community aspect made me feel very welcomed and loved. That was really key. Just the fact that you have to do service at Warren Wilson


helps take your mind off of you and your own problems. It helps you focus on others. That’s really helpful for folks like me. What crews did you work on? How did they help transform you into the fabulous star that you are (which is not to say that all of our alums are not rare and precious snowflakes)? For my first job, I was a janitor, and I was horrible at it. Awful! Later I was on the Writing Center Crew, and I was successful at that. That’s why I sought an AmeriCorps position, and it’s also why I decided to get a master’s in education.

shopping at the Free Store and during the times I was having difficulty, the Counseling Center was really incredible. Plus, I got a really excellent education and met so many wonderful teachers and friends. Did I mention the shirtless farm boys? I did? They’re worth another mention. OK, give us a rundown of what happened between graduating, writing a fabulous book, becoming famous for imitating Sarah Palin and moving to Los Angeles to work on a top-secret project that I am not allowed to disclose in this interview but that may make you very famous.

What are some of your most special memories from your time at Wilson? (Don’t feel any pressure to mention the amazing Student Activities program that I had the privilege of directing when you were a student.)

I left Wilson and went to AmeriCorps in the Southwest and taught creative writing. During that time, I applied to Columbia University’s Teachers College and was accepted. I moved to New York City. While I was in school there, a woman in one of my seminar classes told me I should get into stand-up comedy. She had just quit her job at Comedy Central, and she offered to help me out by introducing me to various people in the business. I eventually completed my [master’s] degree, but by then I knew I didn’t really have an interest in teaching; I knew I wanted a career in entertainment. I took a bunch of different day jobs and did stand-up comedy at night. I started blogging professionally, too, for various places.

Of course the Student Activities program was so awesome and there was always something exciting happening. I loved the brick oven pizza at Sage on Friday nights. I was so happy rocking on a rocking chair with friends in front of my dorm. Being a [resident advisor] is such a delightful memory. I loved swimming in the pond, but that completely grosses me out to think about it now. I loved eating at Cowpie,

In 2008, three things happened: I got hired as reporter for MTV’s Choose or Lose Street Team ’08. And I got hired at SiriusXM to host a show called “Get in Bed.” I was the host and producer for two years. Also in 2008, I started doing Sarah Palin impressions with my friend Diana Saez, who played Palin’s ambiguously gay cousin/personal assistant. Both of those things kind of took off and got attention.

You’re also supposed to mention here that someone taught you to be a masterful toilet cleaner and that you are indebted for life…. I regret my lack of devotion to clean toilets on campus, but if it counts for anything, I can now clean a toilet with both vim and vigor. Which is to say that I pay someone else to do it. I’m a job creator.


I started doing some television, different sorts of commentator spots; I got a media reel together and then that led to more TV work for places like Fuse, VH1 and CNN. Around that time I also got a literary agent and started working on a memoir. I didn’t write a good version of it until 2010, so it took a while. But I stuck it out and got a deal with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins. I wrote the book, and then my radio show got cancelled so I started freelancing. The book came out, and then I got a two-book deal for young adult fiction novels. Then I decided I wanted to move to Los Angeles. I spent seven years in New York City, and it’s extraordinarily expensive. Los Angeles just seemed to make sense because I could still pursue the comedy and the writing. I still write a lot—for Jezebel, XOJane, TakePart, and sometimes for Wonkette. I am working on teen novels here, and I still go on auditions occasionally. But that’s the short version of how I got to LA. How did you end up with the last name Benincasa? Did you know that, according to the Internet anyway, it means, “welcome in the home” and is usually bestowed on a much-wanted child? It’s also the name of a hospice care center. [Laughs.] I chose the name because I was teaching at a prestigious school in New York City, and that’s when I began doing stand-up comedy. I did not want people to be able to Google “Miss Donnelly,” and find out I was doing raunchy comedy that night. I thought, “I’ll just have this bifurcated identity.” My educator career just wasn’t compatible with my standup work. So I started using my mother’s maiden name for all my comedy and writing stuff. It honors her and gives her a thrill, plus it’s a somewhat inscrutable last name. People often think I am Latina. It’s an Italian last name, according to Google.

Are you and Joseph Gordon-Levitt engaged to be married, and will you take his last name or hyphenate? Joseph Gordon-Levitt and I are engaged to be married in my head. I will hyphenate and be Sara Benincasa-Donnelly-GordonLevitt. You give advice to anonymous fans on your Tumblr blog. What advice would you give to young Warren Wilson students who probably have no idea what they want to do with their life? I would tell them to join AmeriCorps or get an internship or join a program that gives them some experience and/or training after graduating. Work on an organic farm or something. Continue that work-service thing instead of jumping right into a job or graduate school, unless you’re 100% certain of your career path. Graduate school is crazy expensive. Also, you should do service for the rest of your life, one way or another. Speaking of the rest of one’s life: What are your plans? I am going to continue writing—I have books coming out in 2014 and 2015. I hope they are huge hits so I can continue writing them! I am continuing with the comedy, too, although that is increasingly for fun. I am touring colleges talking about mental health issues in a fun and entertaining way; that’s extraordinarily gratifying for me. I love it. At some point I’d like to get married and maybe have children—or at least a dog. I really want to have the experience of writing on a TV show. I hope to continue to be a part of the Wilson community. I have this big dream of teaching at Wilson one day, or somehow convincing them that I need to be on staff. Maybe I’ll be a resident director. Or I’ll found the stand-up comedy major.

Are you allowed to say anything about your super-top-secret project in Los Angeles that stands to make you very famous? I can say that I am working with a team of people to turn Agorafabulous into something new and different and exciting. And it’s really fun. I am also working with a dream team of people who—well, if you’d asked me when I was younger who I would have dreamed of working with, these are those people. I have a tattoo on my arm; it’s of North Carolina, with a heart over Warren Wilson. I always tell people about it and they say, “That sounds like a dream school.” I tell them it was and is. Asheville is also a dream for the future. Someday, maybe. I really can’t emphasize enough how great an effect Wilson has had on my life. It really made me a better, smarter, happier human being. One last thing, and really this—for obvious reasons—is the most important question of all: How do I get your friends, my friends and everyone else who ever attended Warren Wilson to give to the Warren Wilson College Fund? I mean, the money helps grow baby Sara DonnellyBenincasa-Gordon-Levitts! Give! I need to donate myself. Do you take credit cards? Yes! In all seriousness, I know that even small amounts help with scholarships and all kinds of stuff. Warren Wilson really is saving the world. I don’t have a lot, but I do give a dollar a day to NPR, which is taken out of my account on a monthly basis. Can I do that at Wilson? Why, yes you can! I’m signing up! I love you!

Yes it is, but you’d be surprised how many people think it’s Spanish. I like being identified as an Italian girl, and it lends itself to a lot of funny material. 26


Philip Curry: Revolutionizing the adventure gear industry By Jack Igelman


ore than two decades ago, Philip Curry ’95, founder of Astral Designs, was paddling whitewater in Idaho when he saw a German-made life vest that was the finest piece of gear he’d ever seen. Its design was simple and elegant; its fit, snug. At the time, most whitewater boaters were settling for life vests designed for sailors rather than paddlers—a problem in tight-fitting cockpits on testy rivers. This new life vest could change all that. Curry recalls that everything about the jacket was perfect. Everything but the price. It was over $300, says Curry. “I knew I needed to go back to Asheville and make these and sell them for $120.” He started out small, crafting homemade life vests one at a time and selling them from the backseat of his vehicle. Curry launched his first company, Lotus Designs, from his apartment near campus. Fastforward a few years, and now he’s head of a worldwide enterprise on the cutting edge of innovation in the outdoor adventure gear industry. Not only is Curry on the sharp end of functional design, he’s making it greener. While his journey has been exhilarating, it wasn’t easy at first. “The amount of work in starting a business and cultivating a unique idea can’t be understated. It takes every gram of energy you have,” explains Curry. “There are no shortcuts. If you’ve got an idea or a product, you’ve got to be its biggest advocate; you have to understand why it is a necessary purchase. I knew that the world needed this type of PFD (personal flotation device).” Curry put his studies on hold in his third year to nurture his enterprise. Over the next few months, he dedicated himself to designing and making PFDs. “He closed the door, and that’s all he did,” says Scott Albright ’93, an early Lotus employee and now the sourcing and development manager at Gregory Mountain Products. Eventually Curry did take a break and sold Lotus to outdoor giant Patagonia in 1999.


on we literally knew how to make our product. We were craftsmen. We could cut it up, sew it and modify it,” says Albright. “All of the material came from the United States. All of the labor was local. None of that’s here anymore.” That reality has forced Curry to reexamine his concept of managing a sustainable, compassionate business; what started as a local grassroots outfitter in the Swannanoa Valley now spans the globe. Philip (far right) reviewing the design philosophy of Astral footwear with his staff in Asheville.

Three years later—one day after a noncompete clause with Patagonia expired— Curry launched Astral Designs. “I was fired up,” he says. “I already knew I could design a functional PFD. This time I wanted to do it sustainably.” In the early 1970s, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) became the standard fill for PFDs because it molds well, it floats and it’s economical. In other ways, however, it is far from ideal. Besides releasing toxins during production, the material is hard to recycle. And because the fill is cut from sheets, its use generates considerable waste. “When Lotus started there were no options; the life vest industry was confined by a world of plastic and glue,” says Albright. “Philip revolutionized the industry.” Curry and his collaborators can take credit for setting an industry standard by shaving 35% of the material from a PFD, in addition to eliminating the use of PVC—feats once deemed insurmountable. Curry continues to strive for ways to reduce toxic materials from the production of Astral’s products. He has experimented with a variety of renewable materials and eventually hopes to produce a compostable life jacket. Curry has bucked industry trends from the inside out, but there’s one trend that he can’t paddle away from—globalization. In recent years Curry has had to adapt to global economic forces that are as unrelenting as a Class V rapid. “Early

While Astral’s operational headquarters remain in Asheville, Curry orchestrates the enterprise from his home in Bali, Indonesia, where he lives with his wife and three children. He chose Indonesia because it puts him closer to Astral production facilities in Vietnam and China. “A huge part of what I do is manage our human resources: 150 people earn their living off of our products,” he says. “Most brands have an agent check on production once a year. To me that’s not satisfactory. You have to make sure that you are using the business for good.” Curry credits his time at WWC for helping forge his business philosophy. “Warren Wilson has the ability to be a cozy Appalachian campus and at the same time have a world view and a presence from the outside. That was a model for what I’m doing now,” says Curry. Recently, Astral has successfully diversified its product line by introducing a popular dog bed and a line of footwear. National Geographic Adventure and Outside magazines have recognized one of the shoes, the Brewer, as among the best new pieces of gear in 2013. That’s good news for Curry, who has to manage the day-to-day finances and realities of keeping a business afloat. Still, he hasn’t lost sight of his endgame: to make the world better. “Astral’s position is that we accelerate change,” he says. “Business has been the most powerful tool in my lifetime to improve lives. I take it very seriously.” On the Web: 27

Marion Medical Mission:

Safe drinking water, one well at a time By Kat Laufenberg ’13


ould you imagine surviving without a clean source of drinking water? In Southeastern Africa, this isn’t a hypothetical question. It’s reality. Waterborne illnesses from contaminated drinking water account for a great deal of suffering. Infant mortality is frighteningly high, disease outbreaks are commonplace, and people have no choice but to return to the same contaminated well day after day. Fortunately, the outlook isn’t entirely grim. A dedicated service organization and Warren Wilson alumni are chipping away at the problem of waterborne illness in Africa, one well at a time. That dedicated service organization is Marion Medical Mission (MMM), founded by Tom (’64) and Jocelyn (’64) Logan, winners of the WWC Distinguished Community Service Award in 2012. The mission has installed thousands of shallow wells in rural Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. “In 2012, we set a new record by building 2,754 wells in remote African villages and providing an estimated 413,000 people with a sustainable source of safe drinking water,” Tom said. “Out of 16,648 wells built by MMM since 1990, more than 92% are functional. That’s potable water for an estimated 2.5 million people.” Each well only costs $400 to install and serves 100 to 300 people. Tom said the difference between MMM and other service organizations doing similar work is the way in which the communities are involved. “We believe that the people can and will do what is necessary to improve their lives. We bring them into the partnership to help from the very beginning,” he said. In the world of community service, you don’t have to look hard or long to find Warren Wilson alumni. Jack Allison graduated in 1963 when the school was still a junior college. He went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in 1966 before joining the Peace Corps from 1966 to 1969. Allison was stationed in Malawi, and he fell in love with the country’s culture, language and people. He became fluent in the local language, Chichewa, and nearly 40 years later he can still use his language skills to communicate with native speakers. While in Malawi, he Jack Allison ’63 in Zambia



also wrote a song that topped the country’s music charts for three years. Since his first time in Southeastern Africa, Allison has distinguished himself in many ways, including earning a medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and authoring over 280 scholarly articles. He received the 1988 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College, the 2010 John G. Wiegenstein Leadership Award from the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the 2012 Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award from the UNC School of Medicine. Most recently, he joined MMM in Zambia, a country neighboring Malawi. During his time with the mission, Allison, or Agogo Phiri as the locals called him, was personally involved in the installation of over 112 wells in Zambia, which provide fresh water to rural villages. “Why aren’t you home with your grandchildren, Agogo?” one man asked, using the local word for grandfather. This question hadn’t even crossed Allison’s mind. Rather than relaxing at home in the United States, he chose to work six days a week, getting up at 4:30 a.m. and driving a rickety truck filled with supplies along the rough roads of rural Zambia. The job certainly had its challenges. “I got three flat tires while I was there,” Allison said. “Two of them were at the same time!” One night, the truck’s headlights went out, and he drove through the pitch dark with only his turn signals to guide him. Another time, his truck got stuck in a ravine. Without a cell phone, “I would probably still be there,” he said, laughing. His assigned truck lost its brakes not once, but twice while he was there. Not even that would slow down Agogo. On one of the days he had no brakes, Allison and his partner still managed to assist with the installation of 15 wells. “Is it meaningful? Oh my gosh, yes!” he exclaimed when asked about his work with MMM. “If people weren’t sick from waterborne diseases, think of how much more productive they could be.” There is a huge improvement in health and quality of life for the people MMM serves after a well is installed. Studies show a high correlation between the transmission of waterborne diseases and polluted wells. The decrease SPRING 2013

Marion Medical Mission has installed thousands of shallow wells in rural Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.

or absence of disease among populations visited by MMM’s shallow well project is undeniable. According to Allison, the villagers are grateful for the help they receive from MMM volunteers. Many times, the local people would give gifts of bananas, chickens, peanuts and dried beans for his help with the well’s installation. “The work is hard and it’s rigorous, but it’s gratifying,” he says. “They are always most grateful, and we were so pleased to have been afforded the blessed opportunity to provide such a meaningful service.” When asked about his lifelong interest in service, Allison smiles with a twinkle in his eye. “Hmm, I wonder where I learned that?” he mused, then laughed and winked. “I got involved in service from my experiences at Warren Wilson. Academics, work and service were instilled in me there. It’s where I became an adult.” The doctor speaks

proudly of his alma mater, mentioning that Warren Wilson generates more Peace Corps volunteers per capita than any other college. This fact brings him great satisfaction. Allison continues to serve his local community and the larger world in many other ways. During his time volunteering last year, he wrote a song for MMM in English and Chichewa, which he hopes to record later this year. He has recorded more than 100 songs and raised over $150,000 for charity with his music. He has also volunteered in other parts of Africa, such as Kenya and Somalia, where he provided medical care to Somali refugees and headed up public health education projects. One such project was educating the public about the ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrine, which helps eliminate odors and cut down on mosquitoes, flies, roaches and rats, all of which can spread disease. How did he do this education? With a puppet show, of course! Mary Mosquito and Fred the Fly were originally the idea of Allison’s wife, Sue Wilson; the show was so well received that they’ve taken it to other countries. Allison plans to return to Southeastern Africa with the MMM, but for now he is staying closer to home. He is active in the Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church, singing in the choir as well as cooking and delivering meals to congregational members in need. He only wants to alleviate a little stress where he can. On the Web: or email


Jumping into the field from the College Farm By Paul Clark


hat a farmer in Peru is doing is important to a farmer in Vietnam or Ethiopia or the United States,â&#x20AC;? said Cardeli, who recently helped build an organic training farm at an orphanage in Kenya. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All over the world you have amazing innovations from people that never went to school. Asher and I wanted to pull all that together so farmers everywhere could work together.â&#x20AC;?

Asher (right) in El Bolson, Argentina, talking with an organic raspberry producer about soil amendments

Asher Wright â&#x20AC;&#x2122;08 and Loren Cardeli â&#x20AC;&#x2122;08, best friends, colleagues on the Farm Crew and environmental studies majors, have created A Growing Culture (AGC), a nonprofit that helps farmers the world over solve local problems in sustainable ways.

AGC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to local eco-agriculture, is many things. Through its forum, it is an exchange of ideas for all things green and growing. Through its library, it is a farmer-written depository of essays, interviews, opinions and farm profiles from around the world. Through its fieldwork, it is helping farmers find sustainable ways to grow crops and raise livestock. And through Google Translate, it is readable in a host of languages, making it accessible to people in Internet cafes in the most rugged parts of the world. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a big idea, a really big idea,â&#x20AC;? said environmental studies/sustainable agriculture professor Laura Lengnick,

who was Wright and Cardeliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s academic advisor. AGC is â&#x20AC;&#x153;very grounded in the realities of farming. There is something very powerful and informative when you have two peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;talking to each other when they both do the thing theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking about. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like an artisan talking to an artisan, rather than an art critic talking to an artisan.â&#x20AC;? Wright and Cardeli believe that respecting local agricultural traditions will help AGC establish long-term relationships with the communities it works in. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to focus on systems already in place because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re already working and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re affordable,â&#x20AC;? Wright said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gotten a very warm welcome to our approach.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Low-cost,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;low-techâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;low-laborâ&#x20AC;? are words AGC values when it comes to improving soil quality and farmer productivity, as well as helping rural communities find their way to food security. Wright and Cardeli believe AGC is one of the few organizations that emphasize sustainable agricultureâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; something they learned at Warren Wilson.

The website they created in 2010,, is a rich compendium of solutions that farmers have come up with to deal with challenges relating to soil, climate, crops and livestock. Now three years old, the translatable site generates hundreds of hits a day from all over the world.




education. And it’s nice that Warren Wilson provides you with both. I was studying agriculture and birthing calves between classes.” “Loren and Asher affirm the Triad approach we have,” WWC Farm Manager Chase Hubbard said. “Fueled by a desire to help others and possessing a firm grasp on global food and farming issues, they have wasted little time getting to the work of improving agricultural systems worldwide.” A local, organic producer that Loren visited near Kathmandu, Nepal

“A lot of government groups and nongovernment organizations in Africa and Southeast Asia focus on economic development,” Wright said. “Even church groups seem to be helping with water systems and waste management. But they don’t seem to have much experience with farms.” Wright and Cardeli created the website in early 2010 initially as a way for Cardeli to share information he found at farms during his future travels in Southeast Asia. Then they realized that the site could be more than that—it could be a place where farmers talked to each other about solving problems in ecologically sensitive ways. Wright seeded the website with articles written by friends and fellow Warren Wilson alumni. By the time it went live, it had about 15 articles, including profiles of a grass-based dairy, an organic flower farm, and a ranch in Colorado that pastured poultry. Cardeli was already in Asia, and Wright had been in South America for about a week. They needed to experience what they were asking their writers to do— visit farmers around the world, perhaps live and work with them, sleeping on the ground and at times, foraging for food. In Chile, Wright visited a biodynamic vineyard that used turkeys for pest control, manure for fertilization and astrological signs for planting. In El Bolsón, Argentina, he visited a farmer who made his organic vegetable subscription program affordable by letting people pay what they could when they could. He poked around an organic raspberry farm not far away that made its own fermented fertilizer and inoculated its soil with earthworms it grew. SPRING 2013

Loren in Kathmandu, Nepal, working with an urban farmer.

Wright, who recently obtained his master’s degree in animal science at Clemson University and was named the American Forage and Grassland Council’s Emerging Scientist of 2013, came to Warren Wilson originally to study outdoor education. He loved the idea of the Triad of academics, work and service and signed up for the Farm Crew. Having grown up outside of Atlanta, “I was a little green,” he said. “I didn’t know the front end of a cow from the back end.” Cardeli, who grew up outside of New York City, was his comrade in the field. Cows, pigs, chickens, corn, barley and oats—Cardeli raised and reared them all on campus, pulling upon his studies and interests in biology, chemistry, carpentry and art to arrive at holistic solutions to seemingly disparate problems. “I learned more in the field than in the classroom,” Cardeli said. “For me, experience is just as important as

Through the Triad, Cardeli and Wright also learned the importance of serving others, both locally and globally—lessons they drew upon when they were creating AGC. “We all need to contribute to a higher good,” Cardeli said. “Warren Wilson is an amazing school in what it teaches you. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.” AGC has entered its next growth cycle. By the end of the year, Wright and Cardeli hope to hire an executive director to raise money and handle day-to-day operations. That will free the two friends to do what they love doing most—visiting farms, setting up field programs and enlisting others to become part of A Growing Culture. “We set sail without a known destination,” Wright said of the organization’s earliest days. “But we realized that this could go somewhere.” On the Web: 31

Former trustee Deborah Bailey and Tabi Ndung'u '13

From the

Rift Valley

to the

Swannanoa Valley By J. Clarkson ’95



f you were meeting Tabitha Ndung’u ’13 for the first time, you would do well to look for the biggest smile in the crowd. Her bright grin and gentle manner are accurate reflections of her caring spirit. She wants to be a doctor, and it’s easy to imagine her, a few years down the road, at a bedside consulting with a patient. Yet the fact that Tabitha, who goes by Tabi, has such lofty aspirations is almost as remarkable as her ability to smile so brightly despite the darkness that defined much of her early life. Tabi was born in Olenguruone, a rural area in the Rift Valley of Kenya. Her family belongs to the Kikuyu tribe, which in the early 1990s found itself on the wrong side of a tribal conflict. Tabi witnessed the violent death of her father and sister in the horror of this period. She also lost contact with a

brother. Miraculously, she, her mother and a sister managed to escape. They eventually made their way to Kijabe, a mission station and small city between the Rift Valley and Nairobi. It was in Kijabe that Tabi began to form an idea about how she could lessen the impact of the violence that raged around her. This was also where she met the people who could help her transform that idea to reality. But first there was more loss. Not long after she got her children to safety, Tabi’s mother disappeared for almost 10 years. She returned pregnant and infected with HIV. Tabi’s youngest sister, Joy, was born in 2003, and Tabi was soon caring for her two sisters and her dying mother while earning an income for the family and completing secondary school. OWL & SPADE

Noticing her remarkable spirit and obvious intelligence, the parents of the children to whom Tabi was teaching Swahili and Kikuyu supported not only her pursuit of a high school diploma, but also her dream of becoming a doctor. Tabi was sure that there was knowledge available that could have saved her father from his wounds and her mother from the ravages of AIDS. Her situation came to the attention of Steve Peifer, a Kijabe missionary, college counselor and CNN Hero award winner. He gave her many gifts, not the least of which was a flashlight. Tabi put that flashlight to good use, waking each day at 4 a.m. to study for the SAT before beginning her day of caring for her sisters, going to school, working, studying and putting the kids to bed. “It was very intense,” she said. “But I did not really realize it at the time.” She was also unaware of all the work being done on her behalf to bring her to Warren Wilson. Of all the colleges Steve Peifer contacted on Tabi’s behalf, WWC was one of the few willing to put in the effort necessary to bring her to the United States to study. The Prevail Fund, chaired by former Warren Wilson trustee Deborah Hicks Midanek Bailey and supported by several alumni, took a crucial step forward early on, providing help with everything from transportation to arranging for Tabi’s passport and visa. “It was clear to me that Tabi would make a huge contribution to the Warren Wilson community,” Deborah said. “We just had to figure out how to get her here.” When Tabi learned she would be traveling to North Carolina to study, it was “more than I could imagine. The only thing I could actually connect with was that they would give me a phone. That seemed like a really, really big deal because I had no context for what the larger world was like.” The other mystery for Tabi was how to answer the questionnaire from the Work Program Office asking what jobs she could do. “I knew how to sweep and mop from the time I was seven. I can slaughter chickens. The question was not what could I do, but what did they want me to do?” Matching her work assignment with her aspirations, the College assigned her to the Student Health Center Crew, where she worked four years. “I have learned so much from my crew supervisor, Pat Parker,” said Tabi. “She is so kind, and I have learned how to work selflessly by watching her.” Tabi has also taught the students on her SPRING 2013

“When we talk about the importance of international student education, it’s not only about how we can prepare these students to serve the world. We need these students to bring their life experience to Warren Wilson so that our perspective stays global.” –Ross Arnold, Warren Wilson trustee

crew the importance of doing work as if no one would be coming behind them. “Otherwise you are wasting whatever resources you are using, and you are wasting someone else’s time.” She remains a conscious steward of resources, despite the relative abundance of them in the United States when compared her home in Kenya. This abundance, especially in the amount and variety of food, was striking to Tabi. More surprising, however, was the actual presence of the Red Barn at the southern edge of campus. “So many places use pictures in their brochures that have nothing to do with where they are. I was shocked to find that Warren Wilson was as beautiful as it was pictured in the publications.” Another pleasant surprise has been the support that she has received from her fellow students. Tabi began to form bonds with her peers from the first day she arrived on campus. As she has progressed through her studies as a biochemistry major, Tabi has grown close to the cohort of students working beside her every day. “There is great unity among the students as we work together in classes or study together in groups.” Her faculty mentors have been just as supportive. “There are days when I think I cannot go any further, and Dr. Collins or Dr. Cartier will say ‘Yes, Tabi, you can do it!’ and that’s just what I need to keep going.” With the help of the chemistry department faculty, Tabi recently completed her Natural Science Seminar project, which was a study of the quality of antimalarial drugs being sold in Kenya. Her innovative procedure allowed her to analyze field samples quickly and effectively. “The medicines being sold in Kenya vary widely in terms of quality, which is no surprise,” said Tabi. This is the type of larger public health issue that increasingly draws Tabi’s attention. Between her work in the Student Health Center and a service project at Mission Hospital, she has seen how basic preventative

measures, such as hand washing, can make a big difference in the health of a community. In the summer of 2012, Tabi returned to Kenya with the help of the Prevail Fund and volunteered at a hospital in Kibera. There she shared basic sanitation information with the goal of stemming the spread of diseases like cholera, malaria, HIV and AIDS. She also began the formal process of adopting her youngest sister, Joy, for whom she already serves as legal guardian, in the hopes that they might live as a family when she continues her studies beyond Warren Wilson. “My experiences in the classroom, at work, and through my service have helped me focus on where I am going,” Tabi said recently. “I had been focused almost exclusively on primary care, and I still want to become a physician, but now I know that public health, and especially sanitation, is also very important.” In addition to pursuing an M.D., Tabi now plans to work toward a master’s in public health as well. “All that I have been able to achieve would not have been possible without Warren Wilson,” she said. Nor would Warren Wilson have been the same without students like Tabi. “When we talk about the importance of international student education, it’s not only about how we can prepare these students to serve the world,” says Warren Wilson trustee Ross Arnold, who along with Tami Pearson and Richard Blomgren, established the Harambee Scholarship to honor Deborah Bailey. This fund supports students like Tabi who might not otherwise be able to pursue a college education. “We need these students to bring their life experience to Warren Wilson so that our perspective stays global.” Tabi is aware that she is part of something larger than any one person. “It has taken a lot of love, faith and support to get to this point,” she said. “This effort, both in Kenya and here, is an example of the incredible sense of community at Warren Wilson.”




Virginia Woolf’s “Moments of Being” and the Service Program Freesia McKee ’12


n an essay published after her death, Virginia Woolf discusses the state a person enters when she is completely present in the potential and profundity of a single, transcendent moment. Woolf calls such alerting instances “moments of being.” In these rare times, we awaken more than usual. Woolf ’s articulation of moments of being is one way I have been able to grasp some of the experiences of social injustice I have encountered the four years I attended Warren Wilson. As one of seven work colleges in the country, WWC requires that every student work fifteen hours a week as part of an on-campus work crew. In addition to on-campus work, each student completes a service commitment with off-campus direct service, policy and advocacy agencies. In the 2011-12 academic year, the College shifted the service commitment to an experientially based model measured by learning outcomes. During my time at the College, I struggled to wrap my mind around the idea of separate justice issues. I view separate social justice issues as a school of fish rather than as individual islands.

And the hours logged on my service transcript don’t necessarily communicate which experiences taught me the most. As I reflect upon the last four years, I collect armfuls of the moments of being that did. I remember realizing on many occasions that successful social justice work necessitates an awareness of connectivity and layeredness. I also remember the ways I’ve chosen and been forced to ignore such interdependent relationships. The more I reflect, the more difficult it becomes to isolate a single social justice issue to write about. What issue would it even be? I could write about colonialism. The summer of my sophomore year, I traveled to Nicaragua for a week to build a house. I try not to build pity, imbalanced power dynamics, more blind privilege, or an imperialist mentality. As we erect a cinder block house, more hurricane-proof than the tin structure before, I take a break in Los Lopez’s equatorial heat. I could write about finally seeing my blonde, white, U.S. American citizen self, how that day I walk to the store with my sister to buy a Coke like it is nothing, pocket change, and how I don’t realize the impact of my privilege, thrown about, until I leave the store and make eye contact with children sitting outside. How I want to crawl back into the noisy refrigerator with the Cokes I hadn’t purchased. I feel guilty and want to disappear. On the walk back to the work site, I realize that this is privilege I have every day; today is merely the first day I have held an awareness of it. My father is on this trip, too. Back in Wisconsin, in order to pay for the trip’s costs, my dad took another job in the mornings washing boats at the marina. Here in Nicaragua, we know my father is a “wealthy” man. In the afternoon, he buys ice cream for every person at our work site. What does “power” mean? People back home often think my father is a college professor instead of a factory worker because of his white skin, his height, the way he talks. But I don’t think he or I knew much about Nicaraguan history before we arrived in the country, how the United States disputed its democratically elected government in 1909 and then again in 1984. Now, we buy ice cream for kids in this country where we don’t even speak the language. I wear a shirt made in Nicaragua.


Or, I could write about Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, what it was like to take a break trip with other Warren Wilson students trying to figure out the same issues of power and privilege as I was. We unload the truck we came with and organize the cans in a big food bank. We clear out moldy papers from Grandfather Johnson’s living room and clean the kitchen. Katrina happened three years ago and the FEMA trailers that weren’t fit for Louisiana were dropped off in South Dakota. Grandfather Johnson’s wall displays a photo of him shaking hands with JFK. I start wondering about promises. The group learned in a North Carolina classroom that the rates of diabetes and other health hazards here are astronomical. We have read that the life expectancy for men in Pine Ridge is 48 years old. For women, it’s 52. Once in South Dakota, we

Through service, I’ve been able to unearth connections our society wanted me to ignore. travel in a white van the whole week seeing the sites. I don’t know how to convey what Wounded Knee looks like in the new millennium, with beer cans scattered underneath a 40-year old sun-blistered sign marking the massacre. There’s a Christian cemetery here, its stone crosses designating the only marked graves. Some women in the cemetery try to sell us beads. My privilege and whiteness stand at Wounded Knee, exchanging too few dollars for bracelets. I didn’t learn about Andrew Jackson’s role in the Trail of Tears until an Appalachian Studies class I took when I was 19. My first year at Warren Wilson, I started on the Service-Learning Crew, knowing that this was one of the ways I could work with the College to give students the opportunity to wake up as I had started to in high school. I spent two years there. OWL & SPADE

I believe that the same thing happened to others on that crew that happened to me: the more I worked with issues of social injustice and the more I studied issues outside of the classroom, the more work I realized needed to get done. But there’s no way to do all of it singlehandedly. The summer after my first year, I felt a deep split in me. I didn’t know how to take care of myself. That summer, I stopped reading the news for a while. I started to write seriously for the first time. When I returned to school in August, I spent another amazing year on the ServiceLearning Crew, conducting the Children and Food Issue workshop, learning how to garden, and trying to plan service-learning programming with LGBTQ organizations in Asheville. In my classes, I was falling in love with creative writing and discovered writers like Naomi Shihab Nye, Lucille Clifton, Joy Harjo and A. Van Jordan who addressed social inequality and identity issues in their work. That spring, based on an instinct, I applied to the Writing Center Crew. The two threads of my interests fused as moments of being kept coming: At Room in the Inn, a travelling women’s shelter, it’s just warm enough to sit outside beside a fire we’ve built. One woman shows me wounds on her legs. The marks are from an abusive partner who hit her with a crowbar at their campsite. But they’re healing, she says. We’re cooking at the Welcome Table meal program and encounter some homophobic comments. I say nothing, and neither does anyone else. It is painful to know that we each are granted our own delineations of personal privilege and power. I have tutored an adult student for four semesters through the Buncombe County Literacy Council. One week, she gets into a car accident. I pray she isn’t undocumented. I spend the summer interning at the Lord’s Acre, a community garden for the hungry in Fairview, N.C. I ride in the back of a pickup truck with a dog and two other women on the way to work. I’ve already forgotten the name of the woman who walks several miles everyday on that road to buy a case of beer. My boss has known her to do that for years. Sometimes we give SPRING 2013

her a ride to the store, but this morning, as we often do, we drive the car past her, to the garden where we grow food for others at the food bank.

I have secured a job at the Civic Education Project for the second summer in a row. I will work as a teaching assistant in a small classroom of 14-year-olds. In addition to covering a At a gay bar Social justice is a process, not a product. curriculum about in downtown I have found that for the poet to truly “be power, privilege Asheville with my and the history of use,” she must maintain an openness friends, I see a man of social justice to moments of being. I met the month movements before at Loving in the United Food Resources, a food pantry for people States, we will work on a number of who are HIV-positive or in hospice. I service learning projects in Baltimore. The remember he forgot his hat in the shopping program encourages students to figure cart, and I ran outside to give it to him. out how to consciously engage with their Here, he laughs with his friends as I play communities. pool with mine. I have applied to two creative writing A man at the bus stop downtown shows MFA programs with a focus on the us the scar on his chest from a recent writer-as-activist. In my entrance essays, pacemaker surgery. He’s 70, he says, and is I found myself writing about servicecarrying a sleeping bag and several packages learning experiences derived from the to his campsite off of the highway. Social Service Program. During the writing Security should be coming soon. I hand process, I became increasingly excited the man five dollars before getting on the about the future as I articulated something bus, where I remember that I just spent profoundly important to me: I am more than twice that much on dinner for committed to doing justice work no matter myself. With a skinny, long beard, the man where I land. looks a lot like my mother’s brother. Social justice is a process, not a product. I I don’t know what to do with these have found that for the poet to truly “be moments. I want to catalogue them of use,” she must maintain an openness to for delivery somewhere where they will moments of being, from building a house resonate. I want to tell their whole stories. in Nicaragua, to wiping tables at a meal I appreciate the act of writing because program, to riding the bus home late on a it circumvents the coldness of statistics, cold Friday night. Service learning serves because unlike data, writing sits with its the poet, enabling her to view life as a nuances. Sandra Cisneros says that as a series of moments of being. writer, she spends her whole life looking backwards. I think that some of us have I would like to express deep gratitude to to take that stance. Many have written psychology professor Kathryn Burleson, it: “Poetry is not a luxury”(Lorde). “The the WWC Service Program Office, and the writer must be of use”(Piercy). “What Service Learning Advisory Committee. is poetry which does not save nations or people?”(Milosz). Maybe this essay can be the footnote to my service transcript, a citation for the bigger picture of what my years with the Warren Wilson Service Program have allowed me to experience. Through service, I’ve been able to unearth connections our society wanted me to ignore. The intersectional feminism I’ve developed in my gender and women’s studies classrooms and the activist sentiment I attempt to imbue into the poetry in my creative writing courses are founded upon powerful service learning experiences.

Freesia McKee is the 2012 Pfaff Cup recipient. A year later, she’s the outreach coordinator for ArtWorks for Milwaukee, a nonprofit that employs local teens to build life and team skills through the arts. She also is an intern at Sweet Water Foundation, an urban agriculture nonprofit that focuses on turning waste into a community resource at schools and other venues in the community. This essay was originally published in the fall 2012 issue of the Undergraduate Journal of Service-Learning and Community Based Research.



Activism as Art By Paul Neubauer ’15


t might have been the date of the occasion (September 11), but I think it more likely the crowd, that made Mel Chin seem a sight too stuffy and downward gazing during his discussion and film presentation at the Asheville Art Museum in September 2012. However, when he spoke on campus in November, he was collected, quick to smile and spoke with comfortable ease, repeating often that he felt he was “among friends.” Chin, a conceptual and visual artist, visited campus thanks to the effort and organization of the art, chemistry and education departments, along with the work of the Lyceum Committee. A prolific artist, he came to discuss the departure points for his work as a whole and more specifically, his most recent project, Operation Paydirt/ Fundred Dollar Bill Project. Chin described the project in brief: “Essentially we know that children are being poisoned by lead, and there is no money to deal with it. So I said, ‘We will make the money.’” The project began in New Orleans, and Chin has expanded to other urban communities in order to highlight and engage in the issues of high lead-soil levels in neighborhoods. Quick to employ word play, Chin used “Fundred” to combine the words “fun,” “fund” and “hundred.” The organizers of the project and Chin wish for individuals to create their own one-hundred dollar bill, all of which will be placed along with

hundreds of thousands of other “Fundreds” into an armored truck, which will be driven to Washington D.C. in order to demand funding from Congress for lead removal projects. It might seem odd that an artist would be involved in a project seemingly outside the scope of traditional fine art. However, Chin has never shied away from politicallyor socially-tuned expression. During the discussion on campus, he spoke many times of empathy, about how his route to empathizing follows the path of artistic creation. “In order to get somewhere, you have to de-center yourself from the tragedy someone has done to you,” Chin said. This thought extends to his art, where creation is “intended to make something so [he] could see it.” The act of de-centering, combined with his artistic reworking of perspective, is the modus operandi. Chin said that all of his works originate in concept. He approaches an issue such as the Iraq War, pollution of soil with lead or the opium wars of mid-nineteenth century China and attempts to dismantle the patchwork of facts, assumptions and misinformation involved in whatever suffering these events might have placed upon humanity. This conceptual basis allows Chin great freedom of media, from sculpture in the traditional sense to drawing, animated film, painting and activism as art. A conceptual base, one that takes precedence over aesthetic value, keeps Chin connected to those entities and individuals whom he seeks to positively impact through his work.

“Art is about inadequacy;; it’s not about how great you are.” –Mel Chin Chin seems steeped in deeply considered feelings about his work, and he has definitive opinions that he did not hesitate to share with the audience during his talk. It is apparent that he operates with confidence and a sense of moral weight in his work, yet his feelings about the specifics of artistic expression are humble. “Art is about inadequacy; it’s not about how great you are,” he said. As artists and academics, living in the age we do, there is much Warren Wilson College students can take away from Chin. Indeed, it “is not enough just to make stuff” or perhaps to learn adroit arguments, new words or clever turns-of-phrase. Instead, our time spent in studies and learning is implicit in the change we want to see. As Chin put it, we “come into the world bare-assed, and when you leave you might have a suit on.” Our legacy is not wrought in accumulated wealth or storehouses of knowledge; instead, it is constructed from the “honor of work in your own community.”

“In order to get somewhere, you have to de-center yourself from the tragedy someone has done to you.” –Mel Chin 36


A LU M N I N E WS WWC Alumni Board 2012-2013

Dear Alumni and Friends,


recently had the opportunity to hear one of our students

President Melissa Davis â&#x20AC;&#x2122;71 President Elect Mike Nix â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70 Past President Susannah M. Chewning â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;87 Secretary Lin H Orndorf â&#x20AC;&#x2122;87 2012 Graduating Student Representative Melanie Kemp

share her story of coming to Warren Wilson. Tabi came

from Kenya, and her experiences of struggling to get a background in elementary and secondary education would inspire anyone. She borrowed her motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shoes to walk to school because they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the money for her to have shoes. She always walked with a group to school because there were dangerous conditions for young girls walking to school. She was lucky enough to have an important mentor who encouraged her to think about college and Warren Wilson in particular. Her parents sold their house to get HQRXJKPRQH\IRUKHUWRĂ \WRWKH8QLWHG6WDWHV:KHQVKHJRWKHUHDUUDQJHPHQWV

Class of 2013 Peggy Burke â&#x20AC;&#x2122;56 Faris A. Ashkar â&#x20AC;&#x2122;72 Barbara Withers â&#x20AC;&#x2122;66

were made for her to meet a local couple that helped provide the support that she needed. She recently graduated and hopes to eventually become a physician so that she can go back to her country and assist with the dire need for medical care in the Kenyan countryside. You can read more on page 32 in this issue about Tabi.

Dan Scheuch â&#x20AC;&#x2122;90 Megan Bell â&#x20AC;&#x2122;07 Wade Hawkins â&#x20AC;&#x2122;07 Mimi Herman â&#x20AC;&#x2122;91

This story made me think about the important role of Warren Wilson alumni. When we talk about the College with others, we help to share the story. Contributing to the $QQXDO)XQGSURYLGHVRSSRUWXQLWLHVIRURWKHUVWXGHQWVWRDWWHQG2XULQĂ XHQFHKDV

Class of 2014 Julianne Delzer â&#x20AC;&#x2122;94

a rippling effect across the lives of potential students and their families. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss the opportunity to contribute today.

Mark Demma â&#x20AC;&#x2122;99 Nancy Allen â&#x20AC;&#x2122;64 Bo Walker â&#x20AC;&#x2122;74

Join us for Homecoming and Family Weekend October 4-6. Classes of 1963, 1988 and 2003 will celebrate their reunion years.

Erica E. Rawls â&#x20AC;&#x2122;03 Dennis Thompson â&#x20AC;&#x2122;77

I look forward to seeing you.

Susan Leading Fox â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;84

Class of 2015 Donna Kilpatrick â&#x20AC;&#x2122;88 John Wykle â&#x20AC;&#x2122;61

Melissa Davis â&#x20AC;&#x2122;71 Alumni Board President

Nina Anmahian Lantis â&#x20AC;&#x2122;12 Sherry Lee â&#x20AC;&#x2122;78 Rob Danzman â&#x20AC;&#x2122;99 Hannah Jacobs â&#x20AC;&#x2122;11 Juliana Ratner â&#x20AC;&#x2122;08



A LU M N I N E WS ’50s ’40s Clyde “Eddie” Bailey ’49from passed awaysocial on work Lois Noto ’56 is retired school December 2, 2012, in Washington State. but volunteers on church committees andHe with was there to beFriends closer to his youngest The living Compassionate support group daughter andfamilies. her family. for bereaved She has one surviving daughter, two granddaughters and a great grandson and is doing well. ’50s Mary Perrine’s ’50 dream of college began at the

Power of Dream, Love, Mission, written by age of 5. Dr. Hanna (of the Todd-Dickey Rural Training in Indiana) and WWC Junior of the topParish 10 self-published books by World College made this dream come true. After magazine in July. graduation Mary taught at Air Force schools in Africa, Europe and Asia and at a mission school John W. Shepherd ’58 and his wife, Judy, in Pakistan.their She 50th taught at public schools celebrated anniversary on Junein2, Colorado, Missouri and Georgia. Her greatest 2012, at the Lewis Fork Baptist Church in pleasure northwest is a “kid” she taught in life. Purlear, of Wilkesboro. Around Matthew M. Whong ’56, was chosen as one

150 attended the celebration, hosted by their Dean (Styles) Hays-Elam ’52 passed away children: Jody Evans of Wasilla, Alaska; Jory September 2012, after aand short illness. Shepherd of1,Wilkesboro; John M. Shepherd Survivors of Purlear.include her husband, Dave Elam; daughters Jane Fisher and Melanie Wright; and four grandchildren. Melody (Melus Rhodes) Dickinson ’59 received

her bachelor’s from UNC-Chapel Hill. In 1966 she taught English under the new Elementary Ind. In March 2012, tornadoes took her and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and was home, well as thewoman home of her daughter, the firstasCaucasian teacher at J.W. Ligon Elaine Dietrich Thomas ’79 and other family Senior High School in Raleigh. After receiving died moved on June amembers. Reva’s graduate degreehusband, in drama,Bob, Melody 24, 2012, and her twin sister, Neva Watson to California where she taught for 42 years. Newlin ’53, passed away on January 8, 2013. Melody can be reached at 156B Woodbridge Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27516; 919-968-0821 Last summer, George A. Baker III ’54 published or his memoir, The Making of a Marine-Scholar: Leading and Learning in the Bear Pit. After retirement ’60s from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1986, George invested his life in community Joy (Ritchie) Powers ’61Last andfall, herhe husband, Scott, college student living. joined the both enjoyed seeing classmates and friends at National Community College Advisory Board Homecoming and their 50th reunion in 2011. of the National American University. He continues his 30-year position on the Marine Jack Allison ’63 is Board. in Malawi, Africa, helping Corps University build shallow water wells with the founders of Marion Medical Mission (MMM), Tom Reva (Watson) Dietrich ’53 lives in Henryville,

with Merrill Lynch, Norm Dougherty ’56 is Milton still Ohlsen “alive and ’63kicking.” retired. He and his wife, Fran, sailed on their Sea Fox to the Keys, the Noto Bahamas to the Lois (Sheppard) ’56 isand stillup living in Great Lakes. After spending time theup. St. She Johns Edwardsville, Ill., where sheon grew River Florida, they became retiredinfrom school social work“dirt-dwellers” in 2004 but in Fletcher. in photography keeps veryMilt busydabbles with family, yard work,(aye2eye. church com), flowers,theand fishing and can be reached committees, Compassionate Friends and byat 313-277-5922. attending various senior lectures, activities and outings. Betty (Robinson) Gaidry ’64 and her husband, Jim, are still active Red Disaster Mental Matthew M. Whong ’56 Cross traveled to Myanmar Health in Eastlecturer Coast Central Florida. (Burma)volunteers to be a visiting and speaker They are also activeatinJudson churchInternational and non-profit at commencement organizations in Brevard County. Social Seminary in Yangon. In conjunction, he workers also keep on going and Korea, servingatothers! preached in Seoul, several locations including Kyung-Min University, Kang-Nam University and at the Governors Breakfast After starting out at Warren Wilson, Paul M. Prayer meeting of North Korean provinces. Sensibaugh ’66 graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor of civil engineering degree in 1969 and received his Master of ’60s Public with distinction, fromthe In July Administration, 2011, James Dedman III ’65 received California State University-Stanislaus in 2000. National District Attorneys Association Staff He is a for registered professional engineer in to Award exemplary career contributions California and is one of an elite group to hold the prosecution profession. The first award of Special Administrator Certification its kind,District it honors the professional, scholarly,in California. recently retireddesirable as the general ethical, andPaul personal qualities in a manager for attorney. the Mountain prosecuting JamesHouse retiredCommunity from the Services District (MHCSD). NDAA after 26 years of conducting continuing legal education courses for government

’70s attorneys and support staff. Before joining the

NDAA, he was assistant attorney general Tom Hertner ’71an is enjoying retirement in in Memphis. Colorado.

Nancy Mace’74 ’66retired sends greetings from Mary L.(Coleman) (Strome) Stahl from teaching

the Eastern of Maryland and welcomes in May 2011Shore and has become manager of the visiting WWC friends. She stays busy by Junction City Opera House in Kansas. Visit providing music therapy services to the elderly, singing with the Salisbury University Chorale and volunteering Cross and Pets Martin L. Jones ’79with is anRed undergraduate math on Wheels. She and her husband, Tom,where have professor at the College of Charleston, been andtop theyteachers, enjoy he wasmarried namedalmost one of 44 theyears nation’s traveling totoFlorida in their RV. TheirThe son,Best John, according The Princeton Review’s recently married his wife, Heather, in Colorado. 300 Professors. Paul Sensibaugh ’66 capped offbeen his 42-year LeslieM.(Cowan) Shaidnagle ’79 has living career by opening consulting firm Sensibaugh in Germany for the past 30 years. She originally Engineering and Public in became “hooked” on theAdministration European lifestyle Stockton, Calif. In 2012, Paul was appointed by while on a trip to Vienna with the WWC the SanShe Joaquin County of Supervisors to Choir. credits WWCBoard with giving her the redevelopment oversight boards for the City the basis for so many positive relations and of Stockton in and City of Tracy, Calif. He experiences herthe life. chairs both boards.

Bill Young ’54 retired from the Baptist Logan ’64 and Jocelyn LoganTenn., ’64. Jack Sunday School in Nashville, butspent is

three asyear a USasPeace Corps Volunteer in his years fourth a substitute teacher forin Malawi during the late ’60s. He famous Williamson County Schools. Heisand his for having the No. 1 song (“Ufa wa Mtedza,” wife Mary Todd traveled to Costa, W.Va., ato song encouraging to add roommate, peanut flour reconnect with hismothers WWC college to their children’s porridge) on the Malawian Philip Thornton ’52. They enjoyed catching up Hittheir Parade forsince 3½ years and 50’s. has donated on lives the early Bill says all that proceedswas to one charity. WWC of the best things that ever

happened to him. In the photo, Philip is on left AfterBill pastorates in New York, Ohio, and and is on right. Missouri and a second career as a vice president 38

’80s Claudia (Pugh) Nix ’69 and Mike Nix ’70 received the Trek Legends Award, Trek Bicycles’ most J. Kim Wright ’81 has been location-independent prestigious recognition of their dealers. The since 2008, traveling around the world, working Nixes own Liberty Bicycles in Asheville. on the transformation of the legal system to peacemaking, healing and problem solving. This past summer she taught integrative law at ’70s Charlotte Law School and is in New Mexico Fred Patterson ’70 is contracts manager at this fall. Her book, Lawyers Peacemakers: Computer Business MethodsasInc. in Springfield, Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law, Va. He has four children and is proud to was named an that American Bar Association Flagship announce his youngest finished his Book. undergraduate degree in December 2012. Fred still has one child in grad school at Virginia Melanie in herat27th year as Tech andNewton one in ’83 law isschool the University of aVirginia. social worker and is “happy as a lark” in

Northampton, Mass. Her son Ian, age director 24, is Sam Dempsey ’73 is special education educated in adventure recreation education. for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.Life is better good—they grateful! He is alsothan active as a refereeareinmost rowing at the She sends warm to all her WWC national andregards international levels. He friends. has helped establish special education programs in India, China and South America. Tom Overman ’84 retired from the Navy after Ryan Kamchan ’75duty andand Kimreserve (Forsigh) Kamchan 33 years of active service. His ’79 relocated Thai restaurant, Zen Garcia, Bistro, tours led him their to Midway Island, Diego in Beach. The family business is and La Daytona Maddalena, Sardinia, Terceira, Azores, now five Tom yearscurrently old, and it was time own beyond. works as anto information aassurance newer and larger place. Check them out manager for Hawaiian Electric at andyears Kimto Company.  He has been marriedRyan for 29 celebrated years marriage in April after in Mary Ellen36 and theyofhave two sons, Jeremiah meeting WWC in 1975. Charlotteatand Benjamin in Hawaii. Even though her’87 death was reported in the Marsha Morgan performs as a singer in last Owl & Beach. Spade, Mildred (Moore) Thompson Myrtle She is also an online teacher’75 ofis alive well, working several community high and school English andon journalism at the South service projects, and caring for her Carolina Virtualgardening Charter School. grandson. So far retirement has been a very busy time.


Peter Lorenz ’76 is Gregory recovering from surgery This past summer, T. Wilkins ’90 with an excellent prognosis for University a completeand recovery. lectured at Moscow State His swordsmen, American Musketeers, Northeastern State University in Siberia.continue He to Renaissance fairs and wasappear part ofregularly the 5th at Annual Global Studies similar venues around the recently Conference in Moscow. He region, and hismost colleagues at Annual Carolina Renaissance arethe developing an exchange programFestival with near Huntersville. He can beMankato contactedand at 26 Minnesota State University, Parker Road inState Weaverville or at (828)645Northeastern University. 7092. Christopher Johns ’94 celebrates eight years as Leslie Shaidnagle ’79 signed for owner (Cowan) of Christopher’s Computers inup Asheville. English a Second her first yearto He lovesasserving andLanguage providinginemployment at WWC, not knowing the his course was. the community that haswhat become home after She has been teaching it for years now, graduating from WWC. He over lives 30 in Weaverville mostly Germany, andand stillstepdaughter, loves it. It allSarah. with hisinwife, Rachael, began by at WWC, tutored some foreign Drop his shopwhen at 549sheMerrimon Avenue and students say hello!in her senior year. Joshua Prentice ’94 published a book in early ’80sBeowulf: 2012: Verse Adaptation Withvisited Young Duncan GrosbollA’80 and fellow alums Readers In Mind. Visit former WWC Director of Athletics (1973- for more or to read other works. 1978)information and soccer coach HankhisSteinbrecher.

This picture was taken last July in Chicago in Joshua in his of recovery where after front ofisthe U.S.second Socceryear Headquarters, being diagnosed stage III melanoma. He Steinbrecher was with the CEO/Secretary General and his1990s. wife, Ketaki Bhattacharyya , have in the From left: Joe Carreiro’93 ’81, Hank two sons, Zachary (“Zooe”) and Noah. Steinbrecher, Duncan Grosboll ’80, Roland Paiva ’79, Alan Wallwork ’78, Jesse Eversole ’78, Eric Denise Tudor her ’80 husband both work Vaughter ’78, ’94 Joe and Pereira and Joe Eckin’77.

Garmisch, Germany, at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. The Center seeks to bring countries together to work towards peace and security.


A LU M N I N E WS Malorie (Maver) McGinnis ’81 returned to Black

Mountain Primary School to lead as principal. She previously held this post at Avery’s Creek Elementary School and was a partner principal at Glen Arden Elementary. McGinnis taught at Black Mountain Primary from 1995 to 2003.

Haiti, including but not limited to direct food assistance, seeds, sustainable electricity, training and more. Susannah M. Chewning ’87 is a 2012-2013

recipient of the On Course Ambassador of the Year Award. This award acknowledges university educators who have used On Course to promote a culture of success in their classes, at their campuses, and beyond. Susannah is a senior professor of English at Union County College in New Jersey.

Kyyio Cecil-Raditz ’98 is the program director at the Point Bonita YMCA, an environmental outdoor education center in the Marin Headlands of California. She is currently working on her thesis for her master’s in education and is a proud mother to her six-yearold daughter, Ember Sadin.

Elizabeth Holtam ’87 wrote and illustrated a

Douglas Korb ’99 and Erika (Haupt) Korb ’01 welcomed the newest member of their family, Caden Indiana Korb.

children’s book called A Possum in My Pocket. It was published by Xlibris in January and features a baby possum that is befriended by the narrator and her mother.

Last year J. Kim (Zapata) Wright ’81 spent several weeks in Canada, Australia and South Africa sharing the message that lawyers can be peacemakers, problem-solvers and healers of conflicts. In February she co-hosted a leadership summit for the integrative law movement and co-planned a conference at the Phoenix School of Law. Six countries were represented, along with four indigenous North American tribes and a diverse group of other Americans. In this photo from the summit, Wright (on left) stands with Amanda Boardman, director of the Centre for Integrative Law in South Africa, and Edwin Cameron, a justice in the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Bill Finch ’83 co-authored Longleaf: As Far As the Eye Can See: A New Vision of North America’s Richest Forest. Published in October 2012, this book highlights the special nature of longleaf forests and proposes ways to conserve and expand them. Bill currently serves as director of the Mobile (Alabama) Botanical Garden and is restoring a 35-acre stand of native longleaf pine adjacent to Langan Park. Joanne E. Lincoln ’84 went with the senior

group from the Lake Tomahawk Center in Black Mountain to Savannah, Ga. They had a lot of good fun. In 2004, Margo MacIntyre ’84 returned to her hometown of Chapel Hill and began working for the North Carolina Botanical Garden. In 2008, Margo became the curator of the Coker Arboretum (located at the heart of the UNC campus) and currently lives nearby with her husband, Stephen Rich. Mark Hare ’87 and his wife, Jenny Bent, serve

together as an officially recognized mission team through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s World Missions. Mark has served in the Haiti’s Farmer’s Movement of Papayae (MPP) since 2004. The organization provides an array of services and supplies for families in

FALL 2012 SPRING 2013

Following completion of a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at Virginia Tech, Josh Freeman ’97 became the Brevard city planner and has held that position since 2004.

John Brandt ’89 lives in Charlottesville, Va., and

is going back to school to pursue licensing as a health care worker.

Shrawan Nepali ’89 left the corporate world in

2001 to start the Ama Foundation, a home for underprivileged children in Nepal. In 2006 he founded Curry Without Worry, a nonprofit organization that provides healthy and tasty food to the hungry in San Francisco and Kathmandu.

’90s Jesse Fripp ’94 was recently named managing director for the capacity solutions business resulting from the merger of leading inclusive finance and sustainable enterprise consulting firms ShoreBank International of the U.S. and Triodos Facet of the Netherlands. On the family front, his daughter, Geanina, is a freshman at Sewanee and his son, Arthur, is in fifth grade. Jesse’s better half, Marga, continues her work leading Empowered Women International. Denise (Linde) Tudor ’94 is an event coordinator

Marissa Oppel-Sutter ’99 and her husband, Mark, celebrated the birth of their daughter Violet Mae Sutter in 2012. Marissa is a lab coordinator at El Centro College in Dallas where she completed a certificate in interactive media development. She holds a MS in pharmacognosy (the study of medicine from natural sources) from the University of Illinois at Chicago and maintains a street art and graffiti photoblog at

’00s Melanie MacNeil ’00 has traveled the Western North Carolina region hoop dancing at festivals, and she represented the United States as a “hoop ambassador” in Jamaica. From June through August she helps coordinate the Asheville Community Hoop Jam at Pritchard Park in Asheville. Bonita (Vess) Mercurio ’02 and Andrew Mercurio ’04 had the first baby of 2013 at Mission

Hospital in Asheville. Cooper Vincent Mercurio weighed in at 9.9 pounds and was 21.5 inches long. Vincent was welcomed by his two-yearold sister, Audrey.

for the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. She lives in GarmischPartenkirchen, Germany, with her husband, Jason, and daughter, Annabelle. WWC friends are welcome to visit any time!

Thomas Stern ’02 founded a health services

James “Jim” C. O. Shropshire ’95 and wife, Laura, welcomed son Thomas Pierce Shropshire into the world on December 21, 2012. Thomas joins his brother William Coulter, born July 2, 2010. Jim teaches fourth grade in Gwinnett County, Ga.

Sarah (Leavitt) Smith ’04 and her husband,

John Todd O’Neal ’96 is the headmaster and athletics director at the Gabriel Christian Academy in Tennessee. Todd is also the head boy’s basketball coach and led his team to victory at the NACA National High School Championship this season.

organization in Asheville called AV.E Health ( Their services include assisted vacations for individuals with health problems and their families/caregivers.

Garin, run Grassland Farm in Skowhegan, Maine. They have placed themselves in the forefront of Maine’s healthy food advocacy by organizing projects to bring the Skowhegan Farmers’ Market to children, pregnant women and the poor. Sarah has managed the Market for five years and, along with her husband, also runs The Pickup, a CSA that supports 40 producers.

39 27

masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in comparative literature at Toronto. She has published her first scholarly article in the University of Georgiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Franklin College Comparative Lit journal, now available online at Kimberly Lynn Miller â&#x20AC;&#x2122;07 married Jonathon Hughes Daggerhart this past October. Kimberly works at Belk in Charlotte as a digital marketing coordinator. D. Lawson Revan â&#x20AC;&#x2122;07 moved to Seattle with his

Kelly J. Johnson â&#x20AC;&#x2122;05 is a high school English teacher at North County High School, just outside of Baltimore. She was able to tell her students all about her alma mater by decorating her door for spring spirit week. Kellyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s display of WWC won 2nd prize! Amanda (Tuzik) Pierzala â&#x20AC;&#x2122;05 and William Pierzala â&#x20AC;&#x2122;05 were married in November in a

three-day celebration of love and music dubbed Tuzalapalooza.

Katherine (Webb) Quinn â&#x20AC;&#x2122;05 is the Garden Program Specialist at Yellville-Summit Middle School in Arkansas. She believes that WWCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sustainable agriculture program really shapes and motivates young leaders around the country.

In 2010, Roxy Todd â&#x20AC;&#x2122;05 helped start an oral history project in West Virginia called Traveling 219: The Seneca Trail. Traveling 219 is a multimedia project, following in the tradition of the Federal Writersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Project, consisting of collected stories along U.S. 219. As a producer and coordinator, Roxy helped get more than 20 of the collected stories on the radio and more than 15 newspaper articles published across West Virginia. Nicholas Tobasco Bissett â&#x20AC;&#x2122;06 was 2012 Salesman

of the Year at Dex Imaging in Tampa, Florida.

Amelia Dulee-Kinsolving â&#x20AC;&#x2122;06 completed two

years as a Peace Corps youth development volunteer in the northern Andes in Peru. Afterwards, and with a full scholarship from the European Commission, she completed two masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degrees (one in public policy, one in public administration and international relations) and spent a year teaching English in Madrid. Amelia was recently awarded a full, four-year Politics and International Relations Ph.D. Scholarship from Dublin City University, where she began her studies last fall.

Hannah Lynn Barks â&#x20AC;&#x2122;06 married Jason Lee

McLain this past October and they decided to make Greenbelt, Md., their home. Sophia Sunseri â&#x20AC;&#x2122;06Â has an MFA in poetry from the New School and is currently finishing a 40

pup, Rosalyn, after receiving a juris doctor and masters of environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School in 2012. You can reach him at

Shannon Saville â&#x20AC;&#x2122;07 used her game show puzzle-

solving prowess to win on Wheel of Fortune. Host Pat Sajak told her she was the first in the showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 30-year history to win with all cash and no prizes.

Last December, Celia Barbieri â&#x20AC;&#x2122;07, Nicole Accordino â&#x20AC;&#x2122;07, Anna Chollet â&#x20AC;&#x2122;07, Lily Doyle â&#x20AC;&#x2122;06, Rene Gaudett â&#x20AC;&#x2122;09, Mica Mead â&#x20AC;&#x2122;07, Sarah Rawleigh â&#x20AC;&#x2122;07, Amelia Taylor â&#x20AC;&#x2122;09, Shannon Waldron â&#x20AC;&#x2122;08 and Katie Walsh â&#x20AC;&#x2122;07 all gathered

for a camping trip on Goat Island, S.C., to reconnect, celebrate sisterhood, laugh, cook food, reminisce and bring in the New Year. They are all doing great. Go Hooters!

Julian Kern â&#x20AC;&#x2122;08 married Elizabeth Brooke Howard this past November. Julian is a project manager with Jade Mountain Builders, custom home builders in Asheville.

This semester, Joseph Nabholz â&#x20AC;&#x2122;08 is teaching Mandarin Chinese at Susquehanna Waldorf School in Pennsylvania. He learned Mandarin Chinese when he lived and taught English in Taiwan for four years. His interest in Asian culture and languages began when he participated in a WWC travel abroad program to Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Patrick Addabbo â&#x20AC;&#x2122;08 is loving life in the

paradise of Crested Butte, Colo., working for the Adaptive Sports Center. Open invitations stand for all to make a trip for some biking or skiing! Patrick sends his best to Swannanoa and hopes to see everyone at Homecoming. He can be contacted at or (240) 338-3102.

Katie Spotzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2122;08 latest campaign, Schools for Water, challenged ten schools in Ohio to help ten schools in Kenya. The Ohio schools raised more than $100,000, enough to help 10,000 Kenyan students gain access to safe drinking water. Schools for Water surpassed their fundraising goals and to celebrate, set a Guinness World Record for the most people carrying water jugs on their heads (474). Megan (Cornett) Leiss â&#x20AC;&#x2122;09 married Jonathan

Leiss on October 6, 2012.  They live in their hometown of Hillsborough, N.C. Jonathan is a professional firefighter with the city of Durham. Megan teaches kindergarten and fishes on salmon boats in Bristol Bay, Alaska, during summer vacation. Megan and Jonathan are saving for a piece of land in the Hillsborough area where they can homestead and farm.   Cameron Lash â&#x20AC;&#x2122;09 is in Massachusetts, working with deaf and blind individuals. He is in school for sign language interpretation and was scheduled to graduate in May. Cameron loves the snow but misses the Swannanoa Valley every single day.

â&#x20AC;&#x2122;10s Lipei Wang â&#x20AC;&#x2122;11 graduated from Liaocheng University in China last summer and is looking at Australia for graduate schools. Cody Wright â&#x20AC;&#x2122;11 is proud and humbled to announce the final guest musician on his new Jonathan Scales Fourchestra album. Five-time Grammy-winning bass legend Victor Wooten will play bass on the track â&#x20AC;&#x153;Life After D.â&#x20AC;? (Cody also plays guitar on the track.) This brings the total number of Grammy-winning musicians on the new album to four. You can learn more about Codyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music at www.codywrightmusic. com. Samantha Capps â&#x20AC;&#x2122;12 has a creative nonfiction

essay in the spring 2013 issue of Confrontation magazine. Read the essay at http://

Connect and stay in touch with your fellow alumni through AlumniLink, your online alumni directory. Through AlumniLink, you can search for alumni living in your area or working in your Ă&#x20AC;HOGXSGDWH\RXUDOXPQLSURĂ&#x20AC;OH register for Warren Wilson events and more. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already registered for $OXPQL/LQNWKDQN\RX:HKRSH\RX¡UH enjoying its features. If you have not yet registered, visit to log in. OWL & SPADE

ALU M N IAWARDS Distinguished Alumni Award: Bob Washel ’72 Bob Washel is widely recognized as a leader in the local education profession. Bob retired from the Buncombe County School System in 2012 after serving for 40 years as a teacher, coach, department chair, principal, director of the Buncombe County Schools Foundation and assistant to the superintendent. He has achieved distinction in the community with his service. He is chair of the Black Mountain State Employees Credit Union Advisory Board and he previously served on the WWC Alumni Board and as a volunteer for the schools.

Distinguished Community Service Award: Dr. A. Eugene Hileman ’56 Gene has an impressive background in teaching, research and leading in academic work. After he retired from Northeastern State University, he made a major commitment in the area of disaster response. He serves as the Disaster Response Coordinator for the Southwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. In this volunteer position, he plans and implements the response to natural disaster by United Methodist churches in an area more than 550 miles across. Gene has also served as a committee chair for Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and as a board member for Help in Crisis, a domestic violence agency.

Distinguished Community Service Award: Tom Logan ’64 and Jocelyn Lai Logan ’64 In 1985 Tom and Jocelyn founded Marion Medical Mission (MMM), an ecumenical nonprofit organization that responds to Christ’s call to serve by working handin-hand with people in Africa. Initially, their focus was on medical needs, and they took volunteers and supplies to hospitals. Since 1990, their primary focus has been preventative medicine via their shallow

FALL 2012 SPRING 2013

Alumni award winners Eugene Hileman ’56, Bob Washel ’72 and Bill Mosher

wells program. They have also built schools and partnered with African churches to further their mission. The Logans live in Marion, Ill., where they develop and manage low-income housing. They have been on over 50 mission trips to Africa. See story on page 28.

Distinguished Service Award: Bill Mosher Bill was a WWC professor from 19652007. In that time, he promoted cultural awareness and international experiences on campus. He organized international fairs at Swannanoa Elementary School to introduce its students to WWC international students. He also started an International Traveling Troupe for international students to share their culture across the eastern United States. Most importantly, he took more than 200 students on trips to Sri Lanka and India—trips that immersed students in the cultures and helped broaden their global understanding. As one alumnus said, “Bill started me on the path to be a citizen of the world.”

Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Hugh Verner Hugh has been a generous and faithful friend and donor to Warren Wilson since 1972. He and his late wife, Danny, established the Verner Scholarship Fund to help first-generation students afford college. Their shared passion to uplift the lives of children in need resulted in the establishment of the Mountain Area Child & Family Center in partnership with the College. Hugh served on the WWC Board of Trustees from 1984-1994 and was board chair from 1988-1994. He also co-chaired the Centennial Campaign with Mimi Cecil and played a crucial role in its success. Hugh’s wisdom and understanding of the needs and vision of the College are evident in the two presidents that he helped identify and bring to Warren Wilson: Alf Canon and Doug Orr.

29 41

LOS S E S Warren Wilson College Emma Dean Wilson Carver ’43 February 15, 2011 Thelma Baker Donahue ’44 June 22, 2008 Pauline McGaha Eure ’44 January 19, 2013 Clyde R. Patterson ’44 January 4, 2013 Harvey E. Franklin ’48 March 26, 2013 Clyde E. “Eddie” Bailey ’49 December 2, 2012 Mary F. Buchanan ’51 December 10, 2012 Dorothy “Dot” Hunter Dillard ’51 October 15, 2012 Betty Brown Pierce ’51 October 19, 2012 Neva Watson Newlin ’53 January 18, 2013 Margaret Joyce Austin ’54 March 28, 2013 Helen “Honey” Wilson Colella ’55 January 11, 2013 Shirley Arrowood Smith ’55 January 9, 2013 Betty Jane Brown Wilhelm ’55 July 12, 2012 David E. Hall ’60 October 19, 2012 Polo V. Manuma ’62 August 15, 1998 Fia Tiapula ’62 December 15, 2003 Janice Powers Hoyle ’74 March 27, 2013 James B. Patelidas ’74 February 2, 2013

Dorland-Bell School

George S. Hildebrand ’76 February 6, 2013

Madge McDaniel Napolitano ’38 February 16, 2010

Paul A. Strobel ’81 January 19, 2013

Lucile Moody Peters ’38 April 3, 2011

Brandon Lacy Campos ’99 November 9, 2012

6KLUOH\*ULIÀQ+RUQH· September 12, 2010

Richard F. Gaukel ’05 April 20, 2013

Montrose Simmons Roberts ’39 March 25, 2013

Asheville Farm School

Gladys Ponder Ammons ’40 March 11, 2013

Employees, Volunteers, Friends

Elizabeth “Betty” McKinney Bishop ’40 January 7, 2010

Ruth A. Bacon November 22, 2012

E. S. Horner ’39 January 9, 2013 Mervine E. Rudd ’41 March 18, 2013

Asheville Normal and Teachers College Mayme Howard Medford August 4, 2009 Margaret “Marge” Garrett Groff January 28, 2013 Martha Reid Howe Farriss ’28 December 29, 2010 Eleanor Todd Lusk ’28 January 23, 2009 Matsie Weatherly Anderson ’29 July 30, 2012 Harriet Scroggs Moody ’29 December 16, 1999 Nelle Barnett Cantrell ’30 April 21, 2010 Reba Davis Williams ’32 December 11, 2012

Virginia Boggs McKnight ’40 March 23, 2013 Pauline Pannell ’40 September 16, 2006 Menola Smith Williams ’40 November 9, 2008 Amy Cornelia Pettit Giles Wood ’40 May 24, 2011 Vera Gettys Oden ’41 May 31, 2010 Frances “Fran” Smith Suttle ’42 March 27, 2013 Louise Henry Battle ’43 October 1, 2012 Evelyn Payne Henderson ’43 March 15, 2013 Grace Nicholson McLees ’43 June 1, 2001 Mildred Bishop Huffman ’44 March 17, 2013

Maud Hensley Higgens ’30 September 18, 2011 Ellen Davis Stuart ’38 November 28, 2012 Gladys Franklin Meadows ’40 December 2, 2011

Chester G. Dann November 7, 2012 Jo Anne Keener October 12, 2012 James D. Lenhart September 21, 2012 Nancy Lesko September 17, 2012 Barbara C. Mahler September 6, 2012 Dorothy McConkey September 21, 2012 Ann Menges August 6, 2012 Kathryn “Kay” Parke May 3, 2013 Arthur Seesholtz December 2, 2009 Jane Weis February 19, 2013

Helen Turner Jones ’33 February 2, 2013 Cora Lee Williams ’33 February 6, 2004 Margaret Winecoff Stewart ’35 April 25, 2012

Willie M. Monroe ’75 March 5, 2013 42


LOS S E S Rick Gaukel ’05 of Estes Park, Colo., was one of five snowboarders killed in an avalanche on Saturday, May 20, at Loveland Pass in Colorado during the Rocky Mountain High Backcountry Bash, an event that raised money for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. A 2005 graduate majoring in outdoor leadership, Rick received the Outdoor Leadership Graduating Senior Award, which is special recognition for outstanding achievement in academics, professional practice, service and work. In addition, he was MVP of the mountain bike team in 2005. Rick was an active in sharing his love for outdoor adventure education with people of all ages. He spent the summer of 2004 instructing and leading trips in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with inner city youth from the Bay Area. On campus, he was seen as a role model who helped to assist less experienced students to become contributing, qualified members of the profession. His wife, Jonna, was a Vista volunteer at the Service Program Office from 2004-2007 and was active in coordinating service break trips. Ann L. Menges died August 6, 2012. She was the campus dietitian from 1963-64, following the retirement of Ernst Laursen’s mother, Kathrine Laursen. Ms. Menges left a generous gift of $463,000 to the College in her estate plans—money she designated to be used for “the salaries of teachers and professors.” Nancy Allen ’64 remembers Ms. Menges as an outspoken and exuberant person who loved to laugh and have fun. In the 1964 yearbook, this sentiment is captured in a photo showing her sitting on the back porch of the kitchen blowing an enormous bubblegum bubble. Ms. Menges was a lot of fun in the kitchen, with mischievous dough fights and lots of laughter.

Frances Smith Suttle ’42 died March 28, 2013, at Spartanburg Memorial Hospital. Born in 1922 in Landrum, South Carolina, she graduated from Asheville Normal and Teachers College (ANTC) in 1942. She dedicated her career to teaching and retired after 35 years at the O.P. Earle Elementary School in Landrum. Mrs. Suttle served as president of the ANTC Alumnae Association and was instrumental in helping alumnae identify with Warren Wilson College in order to establish the ANTC dormitory on campus and endow a scholarship in their name. In addition to her service to the ANTC Alumnae Association and the College, Mrs. Suttle was an active member of the Landrum United Methodist Church, where she was a Sunday school teacher and a lay leader. She was also a volunteer in her hometown where she was most recently working with the library to compile a history of Landrum. Mrs. Suttle kept joy in her heart and lived each day of her nearly 91 years fully.

Longtime WWC volunteer Jane Weis died on Feb. 19. She had volunteered at the College since 1974, serving in a variety of roles. Instrumental in establishing the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, Mrs. Weiss also worked with the ElderHostel program and assisted in two self-studies and a presidential search. Her last “assignment” was in the Advancement Office, where she recorded gifts and was the “File Room Queen.” She also was a proofreader extraordinaire of many publications, including the College Catalog and Owl & Spade. Mrs. Weiss loved the College. She was deeply nonreligious (her words) and has donated her body to a medical institution. Frank Ell, longtime director of the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival and dear friend, reminisced after her death: “When she still had her wits about her but was clearly in decline when I called, I told her that I would be thinking about her. Her reply was a typical Jane-ism: “Haven’t you got anything better to do?’ ”

Leverage Your Gift to the College with

Life Insurance


ost people have some form of life insurance, either term or cash value insurance. But also, many people who purchased insurance when they were young ÀQGLQWKHLUODWHU\HDUVWKDWWKHSXUSRVHVIRUZKLFKWKH\ originally purchased the insurance no longer apply. If you are one of these people, let us suggest another use of your insurance policy: as a way to make a VLJQLÀFDQWJLIWWR:DUUHQ:LOVRQ


)UDQ:KLWÀHOGLVD:DUUHQ:LOVRQ alum and trustee. She credits the College for much of her success as a career nurse for the

Our benefactors have discovered numerous RSSRUWXQLWLHVWRIXOÀOOWKHLUSKLODQWKURSLFJRDOVWKURXJK life insurance.

start she got there. She and her husband, Doug, have established an endowed scholarship to help future generations of students.


In addition, they have taken out a

•Donate an obsolete policy

life insurance policy and named

•Buy a new policy and donate it to the College •Replace a charitable bequest in your will with a gift of life insurance policy today

WKH&ROOHJHDVEHQHÀFLDU\7KH proceeds will be added to the scholarship. It allows Doug and Fran to make an even more VLJQLÀFDQWJLIWWRWKH&ROOHJHDQG

For more information on how life insurance can be used to support the mission of Warren Wilson College, please contact Don Harris, Julie Lehman, or Janet Doyle at 828.771.2042.




M FA B O O K S H E L F Awards and works by MFA Program for Writers alumni and faculty Catherine Barnett ’02

She received the 2012 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets for her poetry collection, The Game of Boxes.

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara ’01

Her collection of short stories, Damn Love, was published by ig Publishing.

Adrian Blevins ’02

Her chapbook, Bloodline, has been published by Hollyridge Press.

Julia (Nunnally) Duncan ’84

Her third poetry collection, Barefoot in the Snow, has been published by World Audience Publishers. Her poem “Summer Diet” received Honorable Mention in the 2013 Carolina Woman Magazine Writing Contest.

Julie Bruck ’86

She won the Canada Council for the Arts Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry for her collection, Monkey Ranch.

Nan Cuba ’89

Hal Herring ’96

He is the recipient of the Special Achievement Award in Conservation from the National Wildlife Federation for his reporting and writing about environmental issues across the country.

Marjorie Hudson ’00

She was a writer-in-residence at the Ucross Retreat, where she worked on her new novel. She received a Ucross Fellowship from PENNew England and the Hemingway Foundation in recognition for her short story collection Accidental Birds of the Carolinas.

Addie Tsai ’05

Twinsung, her memoir, was published by Chiasmus Press.

Sara Quinn Rivara ’02

Her poetry chapbook, Lake Effect, is out from Kelsay Books.

FACULTY NEWS Adria Bernardi has a collection of essays, Dead Meander, just out from Kore Press.

Jamaal May ’11

Marianne Boruch has won the $100,000

Rose McLarney ’10

Reviews of new books by poetry faculty members Daisy Fried and A. Van Jordan appeared in The New York Times Book Review. Fried’s book is titled Women’s Poetry and Jordan’s is The Cineaste.

His poetry collection, Hum, won the Beatrice Hawley Award and was published by Alice James Books. She was awarded the 2013 George Garrett New Writing Award for Poetry, given by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. The author of The Always Broken Plates of Mountains, she is a former WWC Joan Beebe fellow.

Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for her collection, The Book of Hours.

Brooks Haxton received the 2013 Hanes

Marisa Silver ’96

James Franco ’12

Hollyridge Press has published his poetry chapbook, Strongest of the Litter.

Mary Coin, her novel inspired by Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” photograph, was published by Blue Rider Press/Penguin and named a New York Times bestseller.

Award for Poetry from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He is the author of ten books of poetry and translations, the most recent of which is They Lift Their Wings to Cry.

Diane Gilliam ’01

Heidy Steidlmayer ’00

Maurice Manning was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His fifth book of poetry, The Gone and the Going Away, was published this year. His previous book, The Common Man, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011.

Body and Bread, her first novel, is out from Engine Books.

She won the $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation, the largest grant of its kind for women writers. Gilliam is the author of two poetry books, One of Everything and Kettle Bottom.

She has won the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for her poetry collection, Fowling Piece, published by TriQuarterly Press.

Leslie Shinn ’01

Her book, Inside Spiders, won the 2013 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry and will be published by Persea Books.

Lisa Russ Spaar

The Hide-and-Seek Muse: Annotations of Contemporary Poetry, published by Drunken Boat Media, collects more than fifty of her essays written for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Arts & Academe and Brainstorm.


Two ways you can help us reach out to new students

•Refer a student. Give us a prospective student's contact information, and we'll take it from there. •Represent Warren Wilson at a college fair in your area.

Call us at 800.934.3536 or email 44


Return to campus and reconnect with all that made your time

here special. Reminisce with friends, chow down on tasty barbecue, cheer on the Owls in soccer, support a classmate receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award or simply soak up the view of the valley. Regardless of how you spend your time here, be sure to . . .

return, reconnect, reminisce.



CLASSES OF 1963, 1988 AND 2003

It's your special reunion year! Contact Dustin Rhodes— or 828.771.2088— to learn more about the plans for the 50th, 25th and 10th year reunion dinners.

Oct 4-­6

Photo by Melissa Ray Davis


HAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE? A new job, a new home, a wedding or birth of a child? Please take a few minutes to

let us know about the latest developments in your life by filling out this form. Please print clearly and indicate dates and/or places of events so we get the facts straight. We generally refrain from publishing events that are expected to occur in the future to avoid any mishaps. If you have a picture of an event or child, please send it along. RI would like the news below printed in the Class Notes section of the Owl & Spade. RIt is not necessary to print this news in Class Notes.

Name (Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms.) ________________________________________________________________________ Class ______________ Street address ______________________________________________________________________ City ___________________________ State ____________ Zip _________________ Country _____________________ Email _________________________________________ Home phone ________________________ Office phone ____________________________ Cell phone _____________________________ Job title ____________________________________________ Company _____________________________________________________ Marital status ________________________ Spouse’s name __________________________________________________________________ Class Notes News: Please limit to 50 words or less. Alumni Office reserves the right to edit for space and content. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Please fill out this form and send it to Alumni Office, Warren Wilson College, CPO 6324, PO Box 9000, Asheville, NC 28815-9000 Fax 828.771.5850 •




PO Box 9000 Asheville, NC 28815-9000 Address Service Requested

Raysean Love â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13, Dylan Johnson â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13, Anthony Barringer â&#x20AC;&#x2122;14, Patrick Albright â&#x20AC;&#x2122;14 and Dan Jackson â&#x20AC;&#x2122;13 after cutting down the nets following the Owlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; national basketbal championship victory.

Spring '13 Owl & Spade  

The magazine of Warren Wilson College

Spring '13 Owl & Spade  

The magazine of Warren Wilson College