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The Newsletter of the Society of Westover Fellows

What’s Up Westover Issue 2 fall 2008


Westover Honors colloquium this Fall has conducted a successful experiment in off-campus domestic study! The eight students in Dr. Gray’s “Broadway Bound: A Survey of American Drama” (HONR 345) took 5 days during Fall Break to get a taste of the New York theatre scene in all of its variety. Travel was easy once they got on the 6am train from Lynchburg. The group’s hotel on 57th Street just below Central Park provided the perfect location for learning how to get around in the city on the subway and mostly, like real New Yorkers, on foot! Students sampled a big Broadway show, (Patti Lupone in Gypsy), a couple of plays at smaller theatres off Broadway (Kindness at Playwrights Horizons and Boys’ Life at Second Stage), and even took the subway to St. Anne’s Warehouse in Brooklyn to see Black Watch, the National Theatre of Scotland’s production about the experiences of Scottish soldiers in Iraq. Along with tours of Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, and the historic theatre district, they got to visit with theatre professional Ida

the inside scoop

Dr. Kate Gray

Cole in her Soho apartment to hear her mini-lecture on the economics of producing a Broadway show. Students used their free time to stand in line at the crack of dawn to get ½-price matinee tickets to some of the longruns, study exhibits at museums, enjoy walking in Central Park, meet friends from the area, do a little shopping, or just take in the sights, sounds, and vitality of this exciting city. One student stood in line for a $20 “student” ticket to La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera House and he was lucky enough to get the second-tothe-last seat for that night—a chance of a life time! Dr. Gray happened upon Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola one evening, just in time for a little Afro-Cuban jazz and a light supper. The success of this first off-campus domestic study trip will pave the way for creative Westover teachers and students. Broadway Bound will be offered again in the near future.

Welcome Induction 2 President’s of the Citizen PASSing Class 3 Year Senior Thesis Freshtover Retreat 4 Editorial: Life Vietnam in Lynchburg 5 Greek Housing Greetings From Madrid 6 Freshtover Westover Fellows Go International 7 Intrepid 8 Alumni News

Here is most of the group enjoying the warm fall sun on the pier in Brooklyn.

MEET THE BOARD for 08-09 President Joe Orenstien

Vice President Billy Green

Secratary Jordan Taylor

Treasurer Lydia Nilsen

PR Chairperson Maddie Coultrip

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I am honored to serve in my second term...and, with the help of the society, I look forward to another excellent year.

” PRESIDENT’S -Joe Orenstien


Joe Orenstien

new year of school is upon us, and I would like to welcome back all Westover Honors Society students, parents, faculty, and alumni. I would also like to extend a special welcome to our new freshman class and my congratulations on



he annual induction of new Westover Fellows was held on October 4th in Snidow Chapel. This ceremony allowed for students, family, and faculty to come together and acknowledge the achievements of not only the newly inducted “Freshtovers,” but also the upper classmen. As the new freshmen walked down the center aisle of the Chapel into the reserved pews, their families looked on with pride while the older students remembered when they were in the same place. Vince Milone ’10, stated, “The ceremony really made me feel the unity of the group both as a class and as a whole.” Dr. DeClair was the first to speak and he welcomed the crowd and made introductory comments in which he applauded the many accomplishments of the all Westover Fellows. With athletes, scholars, and campus leaders at all levels from seniors to freshmen, it is easy to observe the high quality of students in the program.

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your admission and induction into the Society. I hope you all find this second edition of our Westover newsletter engaging and informative. I am honored to serve in my second term as Westover Honors Society President and, with the help of the society, I look forward to another excellent year. Last year the executive board made several initiatives possible, including a new Westover housing program for sophomores and an excellent servicelearning program for freshmen, as well as continuing our traditional role as a team in the LC Relay for Life. This year offers several new opportunities. First, I would like to welcome our new Public Relations Chair, Maddie Coultrip, who is responsible for bringing the newsletter to you this year. We appreciate her hard work and the work that is yet to come in future editions of our newsletter. I would also like to welcome a new executive board in Billy Green (VP), Lydia Nilsen (Treasurer), and Jordan Taylor (Secretary).

This year we will be working on a new, dedicated service learning project with Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of Lynchburg. Our intent is to have a program in place that is identified with the Westover Honors Program and our Freshtover students. Also on the agenda is a new Westover t-shirt, which will be coming your way this spring. Lastly, there are some rumblings of an expansion of our Westover Resource Room and the space provided for the Society’s exclusive use. These discussions are still nascient and unofficial, but as a board we are working towards expanding our space to better accommodate our growing ranks. Having said that, I hope that society members will feel obliged to send suggestions or needs my way. I would be more than willing to help in any way possible. Thank you for picking up this semester’s newsletter and I hope you all have a wonderful year.

Reid Taylor

Dr. DeClair even mentioned that this year’s group of freshmen was the only group in history to achieve 100% participation on the zip line at the yearly retreat. Hopefully this brave enthusiasm will directly correlate with their success in the coming years at Lynchburg College. After a comedic speech by the president

of the Westover Society and this year’s recipient of the Somerville Scholar Award, Joe Orenstein, Becca Harris spoke on behalf of the freshmen. After they carefully placed their candles in the box of kitty litter and received their blank journals, Dr. DeClair recognized this year’s class of Westover Fellows.



he upcoming presidential elections have inspired LC to choose as this year’s theme: The Year of the Citizen. Following on the heels of the Year of the Environment, the Year of the Citizen is “not just about the election. It’s about encouraging students to get involved also,” says junior Westover, Vincent Milone. And no one would know better than Vincent Milone, who is not only SGA Vice President, but also the Student Chair of the Year of the Citizen Committee. This semester, the theme’s focus is on the election, with upcoming debates between the College Democrats and the College Republicans, a debate-watching party, an election party similar to a Super Bowl party, and an absentee voting campaign. However, a major concern for students is what the Year of the


Citizen will be after the election. Sophomore Thom Ales asks, “What’s the point? It seems like the Year of the Citizen will be over after the election.” Vincent Milone assures that there are plenty of activities in the works. He is excited to be planning student forums, a mock convention for the governor’s race, and speakers who are involved in their local communities to come in and talk about their experiences -all in the spring semester. The Year of the Citizen looks to set up a great foundation of involvement and political knowledge on campus. Freshman Westover Zach Hughes commented, “I hope that, due to the Year of the Citizen, young people, who have traditionally been very apathetic, would become more aware and involved in the electoral process.”


estover students have a history of reaching out to help others in the Lynchburg College community. One of the most important ways Westovers help their fellow students, both in and outside of the program, is by filling academic support roles as Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS) Leaders, lab assistants, as well as Writing Center and History Lab tutors. More than twenty Westover Fellows utilize the academic and leadership abilities that help them succeed in the Westover program to assist other students. Many times, students may not fully comprehend a concept taught in class, or possibly don’t feel comfortable asking their professors certain questions; in these instances

Tabitha Bollinger

I hope that, due to the Year of the Citizen, young people, who have traditionally been very apathetic, would become more aware and involved in the electoral process.

-Zach Hughes

John Marks

academic support from a fellow student outside of the classroom can be extremely valuable in reinforcing the curriculum and assisting the students in succeeding. Westover Charlotte Arbogast, junior, a tutor in the History Lab in the first-year dorm Montgomery Hall, says, “I like running into students on campus after they’ve had a test or a paper. A lot of the time, they’ll thank me for helping them out.” Junior Curtis Hancock is helping himself, in addition to other students, as a tutor in the Wilmer Writing Center: “Working in the writing center allows me to both help other students to improve their writing, and to reinforce my own ability through frequent practice.” Being a Westover

prepares these students especially well to be able to help other students with academics. Jenna Jewell, a psychology PASS leader and junior, says, “Being a Westover student has helped in that it has forced me to learn how to look at a topic from multiple different perspectives and communicate complex ideas to others. These skills allow me to be able to communicate complex psychological ideas in multiple ways to students who don’t understand or need to hear the information in a different way.” While Westovers are offering assistance in a wide variety of ways outside of the classroom, many are stepping up to the challenge of helping other students “PASS” class.

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instead of a customized program tailored to academic and professional goals. But if underclassmen take the initiative, they could parlay their internships or class projects into their senior thesis, which is a much more efficient option for business and other non research-based majors. Instead of requiring everyone in all majors to write a specific paper with similar guidelines, the senior thesis can take into account both the student’s major and plans after graduation. An internship can be documented with a fully researched

report as well as a presentation, focusing on what was learned through the process. Also, business majors could adapt the business plan projects they create in their BUAD 441 class and develop a thesis around that document. Although the origin of the Westover thesis was in the sciences, it has been tailored to work in other disciplines. For those whose disciplines do not normally include a traditional thesis, it makes plenty of sense to find a thesis topic that is rewarding and beneficial for their professional endeavors. All of us become Westover fellows because we are confident that the program will help us gain marketable skills and brighten our future. Let’s make the senior thesis a project that accomplishes both of those objectives for all students who complete it.

they completed a series of teambuilding events; for example, one group had to fit all eleven of their team members on a wooden block no bigger than two square feet, all at the same time! These events were certainly fun for all who participated and gave the entire group a chance to get to know

those with whom they will spend their next four years. Students gained selfconfidence and team building skills, while laying a foundation for lasting bonds between friends. The annual Freshtover retreat sets the stage for each academic year and truly makes the Westover program unique for all of its participants.

Lydia Nilsen


o matter how studious and intellectually curious Westover fellows claim to be, all of us dread the part of senior year that requires the most work and commitment: the senior thesis. For many of us, however, the senior thesis offers us a great opportunity to do research in our field which will facilitate transitions to graduate and professional schools. And quite a few majors at Lynchburg College already require a senior thesis, such as economics, history, and political science. The senior thesis seems to be a specific research project


Liz Childress


n the first day of college classes, many students sit nervously in their seats wondering if they’ll like anyone in their class or if anyone will even talk to them at all. However, one group of freshmen avoids that problem entirely. Each year before the start of school, the Westover freshmen attend a two-day retreat in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to get acquainted with themselves and with each other as well as the Westover Honors Program. During the retreat, the students complete high ropes course and low ropes courses. The freshmen also flew down a 900-foot zip line, crossed an unsteady wooden bridge over a deep and scary gorge (with no handles!), climbed enormously tall trees, and performed other exhilarating events. In addition to physical challenges,

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Alpha Kappa Alpha

Delta Sigma Theta

Alpha Phi Alpha

Kappa Delta

Alpha Sigma Alpha

Phi Delta Theta

Alpha Chi Omega

Sigma Nu

Sigma Sigma Sigma

SIgma Phi Epsilon


ne of the benefits of being in Westover is the opportunity to participate in exciting activities outside of the classroom as well as in. This year, some Westover students had the opportunity to play paintball. The excursion was sponsored by Dr. Lipani and Dr. Santos in relation to classes they taught that focused on the 1960s. It was a war simulation game meant to mimic the conditions of the Vietnam War. The experience was enlightening and succeeded in relating some of the conditions of the war, even if it was a little too much fun. The students were divided into two teams: The Viet Cong and the American Forces. Tim Willis eagerly volunteered to lead the Viet Cong team. He was joined by Dr. Lipani, Travis Blount-Elliott, and Lindsey Cooke. The American Team featured Dr. Santos, Elizabeth Ptak, and Lydia Nilsen in their ranks. Each team participated in four simulations meant to demonstrate the harsh conditions of the war. Students had to climb through thick underbrush, protect forts, and mount surprise attacks. Another layer was added to the realism

Carolyn Nelson

because they were forced to adhere to the rules of war. Lydia Nilsen said, “During the ambush scenario, the American team wasn’t allowed to shoot unless shot at first, even if we saw them with guns. I was killed before I got to shoot at all. It was a good simulation. I now understand why it was so hard to win over there.” This same sentiment was affirmed by the opposition. Travis Blount-Elliott declared, “It was definitely better to be VC; it allowed me to fight the way I wanted to fight more than being an American would have. We totally dominated.” The students gained a powerful insight into the war, but this lesson was only carried so far, as Tim Willis noted: “As a war simulation, paintball is about as useful as chess. Sure, you get to see some of the strategy involved, but the biggest part of war is the psychological aspect, and no simulation can or should reproduce that.” One other fact hampered the social lesson which Lindsey Cooke pointed out: “It was a lot of fun to shoot at my professors and classmates!”

As a war simulation, paintball is about as useful as chess. Sure, you get to see some of the strategy involved, but the biggest part of war is the psychological aspect, and no simulation can or should reproduce that.

-Tim Willis


Evan Heon

ne might think of Westover Fellows as being leaders on campus through SGA, SJB, PASS, CL, and other acronymic organizations, but Greek Life is another popular choice. With a member in every chapter on Greek Row, including two Chapter Presidents, Westover has quite a presence in fraternity and sorority life. This correlation makes sense since Westover and Greek life share many of the same values, which translates into great success for Greek Westovers. At last year’s Greek Awards, the only nominations for Male Outstanding Service Award were Westovers Timothy Wolff and Vince Milone. Not surprisingly, Westover stresses service as well, while Greek life also stresses academics. There is a minimum GPA requirement, and the Greek GPA has been kept well above the Campus’s GPA over the last several years. In fact, last year’s Sommerville Scholar and Westover Fellow Leslie Harris was one of the founding members of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority. Westover Fellows are also encouraged to develop relationships with professors. According to Anthony Weinkopff, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity’s President and a Senior Westover Fellow, “Greek Life at Lynchburg College has given me the chance to establish lifelong connections with not only brothers and friends, but faculty as well. This bond has provided me the opportunity to become a leader and a diligent student. These Greek Life experiences have made me the man I am.” It is no secret that Westover Fellows are involved all over campus, but let it be known that Westovers are leaving their mark on Greek Life too.

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Autumn Scott

he Freshtover halls have become a gathering place for the Westover freshmen. For the first month of school it was the hang-out, and still is even though new places to gather have been found. However, not all the freshmen live on Mont 4th and 5th short; freshman Westovers are all over campus. There are also nonWestovers living in those halls. The girls’ Freshtover hall has been the site of dance parties, Hogwarts, and all sorts of fun. It is also a place to go to study, ask questions, hear beautiful vocals, or even meet new people. The atmosphere is light, inviting, and easy to be in. It is not uncommon to see groups of people just standing


in Mont 4th short waiting to do something as a group, listening to music, or simply laughing at random hours of the night on weekends. Even for those that do not live in Mont, it is a place of fun. The mixture of Westovers and non-Westovers provides for a unique experience and helps keep school from becoming overwhelming. It is also a place where

-Autumn Scott

host family only provides breakfast and the main midday meal for us, so for the first week my roommate and I had our dinners (a lighter meal, consumed at 9 or 10pm) at a different restaurant around our neighborhood each day. We could have probably made it into a month, but weekly trips to one of the surrounding grocery stores have proved much more cost-effective. There is so much to see in Madrid that I fear I may not be able to see it all before the end of the semester—

one is surrounded by a family that is supportive and caring. There is always someone there who is willing to listen and help you through hard times. The 4th short girls have decorated other Westovers’ rooms to cheer them up after a family emergency and for birthdays. The Frestover halls are a unique place and have truly become a home away from home.


fter many long months of preparation, I arrived in Madrid the fourth of September to begin the most incredible semester of my life. I spent my first night here in a hotel with other students from my program (IES Abroad), and the next day I got to meet my roommate, Charlie, and the “señora” with whom we’d be staying, María Luisa. After a long trip in a small taxi, we arrived at the apartment building where María Luisa, her husband Miguel, Charlie, and I would spend the next four months together. It is a beautiful and comfortable apartment—bright colors, distinctive furniture, stone floors and large windows that let in lots of light. Charlie’s and my room is similar to a dorm room back home, with two beds, matching desks and closets, and even a minifridge. We live in a cute neighborhood in the north of the city, surrounded by other residences, little clothing shops and restaurants, a church that was built in the form of a sombrero, and a park that showcases three pieces of the Berlin Wall in its fountain. Our

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The Freshtover halls are a unique place and have truly become a home away from home.

Derrick VanLeer

but I can try! I have also been enjoying seeing other parts of Spain on the weekends; two weeks ago I got to see the mountains and rocky shores of northern Spain, and I’m currently making plans to go to Sevilla and Granada in the south with some of my friends in the IES program. I will continue posting photos on Facebook of my adventures, and you can always check out my blogs through the study abroad webpage http:// ¡Hasta luego!

Intrepid Westover Fellows Go International

Dr. Edward DeClair

Genocide and Redemption

one of the best and most meaningful experiences of my life.” They worked directly with ex-child soldiers and even helped build a village well. Carolyn too was profoundly touched by the experience, “We left Africa with a much greater understanding not only of how those in developing nations live, but how much we can learn from them. We will always be thankful for the opportunity to meet all of the amazing peopled that we did during our time in Africa.”

Have English, Will Travel

bonded with her host family and had the opportunity to explore Nagasaki. Trip highlights included a visit to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and a dance festival that she attended with her host family. Of her time in Japan, Halyee says, “I learned more in nine weeks in Japan than I ever have from a class or textbook.”

Carolyn Walsh, Sara Hardin, and Dr. Todd Olsen joined forces with Sports Outreach to participate in a powerful service learning experience in Kenya and Uganda. Before departure, Sara knew that the trip was going to be arduous, “I traveled to Africa with the knowledge that the trip was going to be hard physically, mentally, and spiritually -- and it was. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. However, it was also

Despite zero knowledge of Japanese, junior Haylee Nelson spent the summer in Nagasaki, Japan, teaching English. A double major in International Relations and Religious Studies, Haylee wanted the opportunity to explore the “beauty” of another culture. While in Japan, she

Korean Buddies

Jill Murray, a senior English major and International Relations minor, spent two consecutive summers traveling. Last year, Jill studied in Great Britain and this past summer, she traveled to Korea to participate in the Korean Culture Program hosted by LC sister-school, Hannam University. Jill has always found Korean Culture intriguing, and the “buddysystem” in her program enabled Jill to experience the culture in a most unique way. According to Jill, her buddy, Ji Won, was an excellent match: “We were paired up perfectly and the adventures we shared together were very meaningful to me.”

Hecho in Honduras

Sophomore Drew Nichols spent part of his summer traveling with the men’s soccer team in Europe, but also had the opportunity to work in the Honduran village of Talanga. His summer travels literally gave him cultural whiplash as he went from the first world to the third world and back to the first world in rapid succession. After landing at Toncontin International Airport, he realized that the shirt he was wearing had been made in Honduras. This realization became increasingly discomforting as he learned more about everyday life for the Honduran poor. Drew’s experiences in Honduras have been difficult to digest has he has had to confront “the self-centered commercialism that is American culture.”

Panamanian Ants and Spiders

Junior Loriann Garcia traveled to Panama with Dr. John Styrsky to investigate the relationship between acacia plants, acacia ants, and a spider that lives among them. They worked in association with the Smithsonian Tropical Institute of Research in Gamboa, Panama. Loriann found her time in Panama to be intellectually stimulating and culturally enriching: “Living in Panama for two months was a fantastic experience for broadening my scientific horizons in addition to experiencing Central American culture first hand.”

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Victoria Williams is now Dr. Williams, Associate Professor of Political Science and director of the Alvernia University Honors Program. She has two daughters, Lillian and Charlotte, and a husband, Scot Case, who is a vegetarian.


Lynn Langford completed her M.Ed. in Special Education in 1994 and is currently working on her M.A. in English at LC. She taught education special for thirteen years in Halifax and Campbell counties and is now a high school English teacher in Amherst County. She is also the proud mother of Joseph, 13; Joshua, 9; and Kaitlin, 8.


Dan Reilly finally followed Dr. Richard Burke’s advice and completed his MBA at Georgia State University in 1999. He is currently a Managing Director at Thornburg Investment Management. He “enjoyed” receiving the newsletter and was “pleased to learn of the wonderful opportunities offered to current Westovers.”


Amy Brocato Pearson completed her MA in Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin in 2000 after writing for an American military newspaper in Germany for a few years. Her first son was born in 2002.


Andrea Russell Hines is a middle school band director in Lee County, Virginia where she also assists with the high school marching band. She will soon complete her MA in Music Education at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia. She has very fond memories of the Westover Program and says, “I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to be a Westover during my four years at LC.” Mike Miller completed his MFA at Temple University. He

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has performed with the Walnut Street Theatre and the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival. He also played the title role in Romeo and Juliet in New Year City’s Shakespeare in the Park series. He currently resides in Los Angles where he continues to explore professional acting opportunities.


Heather Blythe wants everyone to know that the fabulous Caelan is already five years old and studying Chinese while Heather works on her graduate degree in psychology and workso work full time at the Weather Channel. Koryn Johnston is a second year medical student at Midwestern University. Elizabeth Vaughn Linehan and husband Joey recently welcomed their daughter, Audrey Rose who was born on November 13th. Liz is teaching high school English and completing her MA at LC.


Katie Hunt has completed two internships at the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas. While at the refuge, Katie worked with lions, tigers and bears as well as cougars, bobcats and one scarlet macaw known as Alex. Surprisingly, she still has all of her fingers. Erica Joerger is teaching seventh grade math in Shenandoah County, Virginia. She is now engaged and has set the wedding date for June 2009. Kate Skaggs is completing her Environmental Studies graduate degree at the College of Charleston where she is writing a thesis entitled, “Implications of Emerging Neoliberal Politics on Conservation Governance in the South Carolina Low Country.” Kate says the “Westover thesis couldn’t have prepared her better” for her work in graduate school. Jessica Stevermer completed her M.P.A at Western Carolina University. She is now employed as the Fund Development Coordinator

Dr. Edward DeClair

for Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and Recreation Services. Katie Sparrow completed her MA in International Affairs at American University in May 2008 and recently accepted a position as manager of international affairs at the International Dairy Foods Association in Washington, D.C. Katie says, “As far as research, it’s amazing how well Westover prepared me for graduate school.”


Tom Brown married Dollie Morton in June 2007, moved to Greensboro, and began a graduate program in Music Theory at UNC Greensboro. Jim Pask is a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University in Microbiology and Immunology. His first publication will appear soon. Justin Recklau is a graduate student at the University of Delaware where he is completing his MS in Health and Exercise Sciences. Lora Settle began a graduate history program at Virginia Tech in Fall 2008. Ben Sprague spent a limited amount of time in the world of work before applying to graduate school. He is currently at Georgetown University working on graduate degree in public policy.


Mary Mohay has begun her doctoral program in physical therapy program at Duke University.

The Newsletter of the Society of Westover Fellows Lynchburg College 1501 Lakeside Drive Lynchburg, VA 24501 Director of Westover Honors: Dr. Ed DeClair Phone: 434-544-8481 E-mail: Assistant Director: Dr. Kate Gray Assistant Director: Dr. Nancy Cowden

What's Up Westover fall 2008  

What's Up Westover fall 2008 Newsletter

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