Chi Alpha Sigma Inducts Eight Hollins Student-Athletes

 

 

Chi Alpha Sigma, the national honor society recognizing collegiate student-athletes for their achievements in athletic competition as well as in the classroom, is welcoming eight new members from Hollins University Athletics.

 

 

New inductees for the 2020-21 academic year include:

Kaeley Aroesty ’22 – Riding
Hannah Arthur ’22 – Volleyball and Riding
Madeline Evangelista ’21 – Swimming
Sarah Grace Himes ’22 – Riding
Summer Jaime ’22 – Swimming
Hannah Jones ’22 – Riding
Abigail Richards ’22 – Soccer
Kayla Surles ’22 – Basketball

The eight new members join the 18 Hollins student-athletes who were inducted for the 2019-20 academic year:

Juliette Baek ’20 – Tennis
Megan Bull ’21 – Swimming
Shravani Chitineni ’21 – Soccer
Grace Davis ’21 – Cross Country and Swimming
Hanna DeVarona ’21 – Swimming
Elizabeth Eubank ’21 – Tennis
Carsen Helms ’22 – Basketball and Lacrosse
Logan Landfried ’21 – Riding and Lacrosse
Emily Miehlke ’21 – Swimming
Hannah Piatak ’21 – Volleyball
Claire Reid ’20 – Riding
Cecilia Riddle ’20 – Basketball and Track & Field
Alex Sanchez ’20 – Swimming and Riding
Caylin Smith ’21 – Soccer
Molly Sullivan ’21 – Swimming
Madi Szurley ’21 – Lacrosse
Keyazia Taylor ’21 – Basketball
Yasmine Tyler ’21 – Basketball

Chi Alpha Sigma honors college student-athletes who participate in a sport at the varsity intercollegiate level, achieve junior academic standing or higher after their fifth full time semester, and earn a 3.4 or higher cumulative grade point average.

 

 


Wyndham Robertson Library Announces 2021 Undergraduate Research Awards

For the tenth consecutive year, Wyndham Robertson Library has recognized exemplary student projects completed in Hollins courses with the presentation of the 2021 Undergraduate Research Awards.

The awards were established in 2011 to honor research projects that showcase extensive and creative use of the library’s resources; the ability to synthesize those resources in completing each project; and growth in the student’s research skills. All current Hollins undergraduate students are eligible and two awards are given: one for a first-year/sophomore and the second for a junior/senior. Winners receive a $250 cash prize and publication/archiving of their work on the Hollins Digital Commons.

The winners and finalists for the 2021 Undergraduate Research Awards include:

First-Year/Sophomore

Winner: “Interpretresses: Native American Women Translators in Colonial America” by Faith Clarkson, recommended by Assistant Professor of History Christopher Florio

Finalist: “The Impact of Patriarchy on Stud Lesbians” by Meilin Miller, recommended by Professor of Anthropology and Gender & Women’s Studies LeeRay Costa

Junior/Senior

Winner: “The Creature in The Looking Glass: Miltonic Marriage and The Female Self in Breaking Dawn”  by Jay Wright, recommended by Professor of English & Creative Writing Julie Pfeiffer

Finalist: “The Relationship Between Parasocial Relationships and Chronic Ostracism Among Differing Belongingness Needs” by Kaitlin Mitchell, recommended by Professor of Psychology Bonnie Bowers


President Hinton Named to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Hollins University President Mary Dana Hinton has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, an organization established in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock, and others among the nation’s founders to honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good.

Announcing this year’s new members, the Academy stated, “The 2021 election provides an opportunity to recognize extraordinary people who help solve the world’s most urgent challenges, create meaning through art, and contribute to the common good from every field, discipline, and profession.”

“We are honoring the excellence of these individuals, celebrating what they have achieved so far, and imagining what they will continue to accomplish,” added David Oxtoby, president of the Academy. “This is an opportunity to illuminate the importance of art, ideas, knowledge, and leadership that can make a better world.”

The Academy’s newest members are grouped in 30 sections within five classes. Hinton is among the seven elected in the Educational and Academic Leadership section from the Leadership, Policy, and Communications class. Other new members from this section are Joy Connolly, American Council of Learned Societies; Michael M. Crow, Arizona State University; John W. Etchemendy, Stanford University;  Katherine E. Fleming, New York University; Kumble R. Subbaswamy, University of Massachusetts Amherst; and H. Holden Thorp, American Association for the Advancement of Science. They join other artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors elected this year including:

  • Economist Dirk Bergemann, Yale University
  • Civil rights lawyer and scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, Columbia Law School; UCLA School of Law
  • Neurosurgeon and medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, CNN; Emory University
  • Civil rights activist and math literacy pioneer Robert Moses, The Algebra Project
  • Composer, songwriter, and performer Robbie Robertson
  • Journalist Kara Swisher, VOX Media Inc.; The New York Times
  • Atmospheric scientist Anne Thompson, NASA/Godard Space Flight Center
  • Media entrepreneur and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey

The Academy noted that 55% of the members elected in 2021 are women.

“While it is noteworthy that we continue to elect members more than 240 years after the Academy’s founding, this is about more than maintaining traditions,” said Academy Board of Directors Chair Nancy C. Andrews. “We recognize individuals who use their talents and their influence to confront today’s challenges, to lift our spirits through the arts, and to help shape our collective future.”

The new class joins Academy members elected before them, including Benjamin Franklin (1781), Alexander Hamilton (1791), Ralph Waldo Emerson (1864), Charles Darwin (1874), Albert Einstein (1924), Robert Frost (1931), Margaret Mead (1948), Martin Luther King Jr. (1966), Anthony Fauci (1991), Antonin Scalia (2003), John Legend (2017), and Anna Devere Smith (2019).


Princeton Review: Hollins Is Among Nation’s Top Colleges for Alumni Networking, Internships, Value

Hollins University nationally has the #5 Best Alumni Network (Private Schools) and is 12th among the Best Schools for Internships (Private Schools), according to The Princeton Review’s Best Value Colleges for 2021.

The Best Alumni Network rankings are based on students’ ratings of alumni activity and visibility on campus, while the Best Schools for Internships are determined by students’ ratings of accessibility of internship placement at their school.

The education services company also selected Hollins as one of the nation’s top 200 colleges “for students seeking a superb education at an affordable price.”

The Princeton Review chose its Best Value Colleges for 2021 based on data the company collected from its surveys of administrators at more than 650 colleges in 2019-20. The company also factored in data from its surveys of students attending the schools as well as PayScale.com surveys of alumni of the schools about their starting and mid-career salaries and job satisfaction figures.

In all, The Princeton Review crunched more than 40 data points to tally ROI (Return on Investment) ratings of the colleges that determined its selection of the 200 schools for the 2021 project. Topics covered everything from academics, cost, and financial aid to graduation rates, student debt, alumni salaries, and job satisfaction.

“The schools we name as our Best Value Colleges for 2021 comprise only just over one percent of the nation’s four-year colleges,” noted Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief. “They are distinctive in their programs, size, region, and type, yet they are similar in three areas. Every school we selected offers outstanding academics, generous financial aid and/or a relative low cost of attendance, and stellar career services. We salute Hollins University for these exceptional offerings and recommend it highly to college applicants and parents.”


Leah Wilkins ’23 Selected for Prelaw Undergraduate Scholar Program

Leah Wilkins ’23 has been named a Prelaw Undergraduate Scholar (PLUS) by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

The political science major is one of only 185 scholars competitively selected nationally to attend an intensive five-week summer program with law school faculty at one of seven partner institutions. LSAC is a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting quality, access, and equity in law and education worldwide by supporting individuals’ enrollment journeys and providing preeminent assessment, data, and technology services. LSAC’s PLUS program is designed to increase the number of lawyers from underrepresented groups by introducing first- and second-year college students to the skills important for success in law school. Propelling future legal careers, scholars receive a summer stipend, and LSAC funds their law school application process and admission test, the LSAT.

Wilkins is passionate about amplifying Black women’s voices and experiences in law and policy. “My knowledge will be an asset to my community,” she said of translating her Hollins courses such as Gender and the Law to legal practice. She is excited to work with the law school faculty at the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC). “Born and raised in Texas, continuing my training at UHLC this summer is an honor,” she stated, adding that she is confident the program will make her an even “better advocate in a state I love.”

Assistant Professor of Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies Courtney Chenette, who is also an attorney, noted that “Leah’s confident leadership and interpersonal intelligence already make her a successful community advocate.” Wilkins serves as vice president of Sandusky House, Hollins’ community service residence hall, and as chair of the university’s Honor Court, which is charged with hearing issues of honesty and integrity and upholding Hollins’ core values. She is committed to building an empowering community at Hollins and in her future as a lawyer.


Hollins Announces Winner of the 2021 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature

Hollins University has honored Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author Meg Medina as the winner of the sixth annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature.

Medina will receive an engraved medal and a $1,000 cash prize for Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away, a story of friendship and change illustrated by Sonia Sánchez and published by Candlewick Press.

Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away is all at once poignant and hopeful, poetic but utterly child-centered,” the judges for this year’s prize stated. “From the moment you meet the moving truck ‘with its mouth wide open’ you know you’re in their world – these nearly twin mejor amigas who are having to say goodbye. Thankfully, Medina and Sánchez make the experience – even the really sad parts – sing.”

Medina’s other books include Merci Suárez Changes Gears, the 2019 John Newbery Medal winner; Burn Baby Burn, long-listed for the 2016 National Book Award; and The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, a 2012 Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year. She resides in Richmond, Virginia, and in addition to writing, she works on community projects that support girls, Latino youth, and/or literacy. She serves on the National Board of Advisors for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and is a faculty member of Hamline University’s Master of Fine Arts program in children’s literature.

Judges for this year’s Margaret Wise Brown Prize also named one Honor Book: You Matter by author/illustrator Christian Robinson and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. “A quirky, whimsical, nearly circular text that can be read in more than one way, helping young readers understand that they might be both specks of stardust and the stars themselves,” commented the judges. “Lyrical and affirming but also funny and particular in such a Margaret Wise Brown way.”

Hollins established the Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature as a way to pay tribute to one of its best-known alumnae and one of America’s most beloved children’s authors. The cash prizes are made possible by an endowed fund created by James Rockefeller, Brown’s fiancé at the time of her death.

“The Margaret Wise Brown Prize is one of the few children’s book awards that has a cash prize attached,” said Lisa Rowe Fraustino, director of the graduate programs in children’s literature at Hollins.

The engraved medal presented to the winners was conceived by award-winning sculptor, painter, and Hollins alumna Betty Branch of Roanoke. Winners and Honor Book recipients are presented an original linocut certificate designed and donated by Ashley Wolff, author and/or illustrator of more than 50 children’s books.

Margaret Wise Brown graduated from Hollins in 1932 and went on to write Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and other children’s classics before she died in 1952.

The study of children’s literature as a scholarly experience was initiated at Hollins in 1973; in 1992, the graduate program in children’s literature was founded. Today, Hollins offers summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs exclusively in the study and writing of children’s literature, an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustrating, and a graduate-level certificate in children’s illustration.

This summer, Hollins’ children’s literature program will release information on how to submit books for consideration for the 2022 Margaret Wise Brown Prize.


Hollins Announces Six Winners of the 57th Annual Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest

Whoever said poetry doesn’t pay must’ve never applied to a poetry competition. Case in point, Hollins University announced this week the first- and second-place winners to its 57th Annual Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest. The international competition for young women in high school recognized six talented writers, awarding the top prize to Samiksha Gaherwar of Lambert High School in Suwanee, Georgia, for her poem “slavish numerals.”

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award and incredibly excited at the opportunity to attend the Hollinsummer creative writing program,” said Gaherwar. “Thank you for [fostering] appreciation and love for poetry in my generation!”

In addition to free tuition and housing for the university’s 2021 summer creative writing workshops, Gaherwar will also receive a $350 cash prize and publication in Cargoes, Hollins’ student-run literary magazine, plus the option to receive a renewable scholarship of up to $5000 a year, should she choose to enroll at the university. 

Hollins also recognized six second-place poems, each of which will be published in Cargoes. In a rare occurrence, two of those poems were submitted by the same student, Chaerim Kim-Worthington of North Hollywood, California, who received a separate “double-winner” prize of free tuition and housing for Hollinsummer. The other second-place winners will receive a $500 scholarship applicable toward those same summer programs. 

It was a very competitive contest this year,” said Jessie van Eerden, associate professor of English and creative writing at Hollins and contest coordinator. The 57th edition received a total of 968 poems written by 607 contestants (each contestant could submit only two poems). The young writers hailed from across the United States, D.C., Puerto Rico, and 18 countries abroad, including some as far-flung as Taiwan, Germany, New Zealand, and Kazakhstan. “[Gaherwar] ended up sending me an email that was really over the moon,” recalled van Eerden about the first-place winner’s response. “She was just so humble, too, and that struck me, that she was kind of taken by surprise to have her work recognized.” 

Picking a winner for the contest during the pandemic was no easy task either. The first round of judging took place in person, and because of COVID restrictions, van Eerden and only around a dozen undergraduate and graduate students were responsible for winnowing those initial 968 poems down to a pool of just 21. The final round of judging took place via Zoom on February 24, involving more than 60 faculty and students in Hollins’ English and Creative Writing Department.

“It’s been lovely to support so many high school young women in the process,” van Eerden said.

Here is the full list of winners:

First Place:

Samiksha Gaherwar

Lambert High School

Suwanee, GA

“slavish numerals”

 

Second Place:

Ashley Bao

Cab Calloway School of the Arts High School

Wilmington, DE

“greenville, ms”

 

Chaerim Kim-Worthington

Harvard-Westlake School

North Hollywood, CA

“modern greek student falls in love with ancient greek student”

and “on wasps”

 

Sarah Mohammed

The Harker School

San Jose, CA

“Spit & a white man’s bruised fist”

 

Gaia Rajan

Phillips Academy

Andover, MA

“Killing It”

 

Olivia Yang

Phillips Academy

Andover, MA

“Etymology of Loss”

 

Jeff Dingler is a graduate assistant in Hollins’ marketing and communications department. He is pursuing his M.F.A. in creative writing at the university.


Arbor Day Foundation Honors Hollins with 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education® Recognition

For its commitment to effective urban forest management, Hollins University has been honored with Tree Campus Higher Education® recognition for 2020 by the Arbor Day Foundation.

“Tree Campuses and their students set examples for not only their student bodies but the surrounding communities showcasing how trees create a healthier environment,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Because of Hollins’ participation, air will be purer, water cleaner, and students and faculty will be surrounded by the shade and beauty trees provide.”

The Tree Campus Higher Education program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Hollins achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus Higher Education’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and a student service-learning project. Currently there are 403 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

“This is our fifth year receiving the Tree Campus Higher Education designation, which really speaks to Hollins’ commitment to responsibly managing and caring for trees while also engaging students in that work,” said Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Elizabeth Gleim ’06. Over the past several years, students in Gleim’s Conservation Biology course have completed a full inventory of trees on campus and quantified the ecosystem services that provide, such as the amount of carbon these trees sequester.

“Through service projects, students have also planted over 100 trees on campus over the past several years in an effort to mitigate the impact of the invasive emerald ash borer, which is currently killing many of our ash trees on campus,” Gleim added.

This spring, Hollins will be celebrating both Arbor Day and Earth Day on Friday, April 23, as Gleim will conduct a Hollins Tree Tour for students, faculty, and staff. “I’ll share some cool facts about the services trees provide, some of their medicinal properties, and how to identify these trees.”

The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. It has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus Higher Education colleges and universities invested more than $51 million in campus forest management last year. This work directly supports the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees initiative — an unprecedented effort to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities and inspire five million tree planters by 2022. Last year, Tree Campus Higher Education schools collectively planted 39,178 trees and engaged 81,535 tree planters — helping the foundation work toward these critical goals.

 


International Film Festival Bestows Honors on Hollins Playwright’s Work

A feature film written by a Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University alumna has captured multiple awards at the Queen Palm International Film Festival in Palm Springs, California.

Samantha Macher M.F.A. ’12 won the Gold Award for Best Writer for To the New Girl, based on the critically acclaimed play of the same name that she wrote in 2010.

The film, which was made by an all-woman cast and creative team, also won a Gold Award for Best Feature – First Time Filmmaker for directors Aurora J. Culver, Ambika Leigh, and Adriana Gonzalez-Vega, a Silver Award for Best Actress (Skyler Vallo), and an Honorable Mention for Best Editing (Hillary Wills).

“It’s such an honor to be recognized by the Queen Palm Film Festival,” Macher told Digital Journal. “We’re so appreciative that they recognized so many creative and technical elements of the project and are looking forward to celebrating (virtually) with our cast and crew.”

An anthology film released by New Girl Pictures and available through Amazon Prime Video, To the New Girl follows ten women scorned as they directly address their exes’ new wives and lovers at an open mic night in Los Angeles. Created by a group of emerging filmmakers at a time when audiences are demanding films made both by and for women, the 80-minute movie taps into a social and political climate that’s left women poised to take back their voices and be heard.

“What I love about the project is that Samantha’s writing really connects with audiences on a universal level and our actresses bring the words to life with these phenomenal performances,” producer Laura Hunter Drago said last summer. “I’m so excited that we’re able to share that with audiences and spark some interesting conversations about how we all process heartbreak and relationships.”

Macher’s play was first produced at SkyPilot Theatre in Los Angeles and at Studio Roanoke with the Playwright’s Lab, and went on to earn enthusiastic reviews, including “A bracing blitz of pure estrogen” (Los Angeles Times), “Smart and sophisticated, witty and charming” (NoHo Arts District), and “A provocative study of the deep pain of ‘cheating’ by your ‘one and only'” (Tolucan Times).

Funded through a Kickstarter campaign by supporters of women in entertainment, To the New Girl was filmed in just three days on location in Los Angeles with a budget under $20,000.


President Hinton Honored As Winner of Courageous Leadership Award

Credo, a comprehensive higher education consulting firm specializing in working with independent colleges and universities, has named Hollins University President Mary Dana Hinton as the recipient of its eighth annual Courageous Leadership Award.

Presented each year during the Council for Independent Colleges (CIC) Presidents Institute, the Courageous Leadership Award is given by Credo to recognize an innovative leader in independent higher education. Recipients demonstrate one, or many, of the following achievements as part of their institutional leadership:

  • Minimum five years in a leadership position at current or most recent institution.
  • Institutional growth across one or more key indicators: enrollment, fundraising, retention.
  • Visible champion and advocate for students and their success.
  • Proven champion of inclusive leadership.
  • Articulation and successful execution of a compelling and clear vision for their institution.
  • Proven track record of fostering collaborative relationships both inside and outside of their institution.
  • Acknowledgement by peers and/or within the field of higher education as an advocate and champion of independent higher education.
  • Proven innovation in operations, academics, net revenue, strategic planning, student success, or other critical areas.
  • Strategic, game-changing planning for and investments in campus spaces and places.

“Mary’s dynamic and inclusive leadership improves the student experience and lifts up leaders around her wherever she is,” said Tom Gavic, president and cofounder of Credo. “We have such a deep respect for Mary and know that the field of higher education is stronger with her in it.”

The award announcement from Credo stated:

“An active and respected proponent of the liberal arts, her leadership reflects a deep and abiding commitment to educational equity and the education of women.

“In a few short months [after becoming Hollins’ 13th president on August 1], Hinton’s forward thinking, team-oriented approach began coming to fruition. She engaged in dialogue with more than 200 campus community members to create a comprehensive strategy to facilitate and support diversity, equity, and inclusion. This important work was augmented by Hollins’ first annual Leading Equity, Diversity, and Justice (EDJ) Day, where more than 550 students, faculty, staff, alumnae/i, and trustees joined together to explore themes of race and racial justice.

“Hinton also helped champion a spirit of mutual accountability and collective responsibility, a Culture of Care, that is enabling Hollins to successfully navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. In this achievement, she embraced the transformational role of education; as a leader, she entrusted, empowered, and supported the campus community in every shared experience.

“For six years prior, Hinton served as president of the College of Saint Benedict (Saint Ben’s) in Saint Joseph, Minnesota, and was named President Emerita upon her departure. Under her leadership, Saint Ben’s put into action a collaborative strategic plan and dynamic vision to guide the institution through 2020. During her tenure, the college completed a $100 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, exceeding its goal. Hinton also led the process to implement a $43 million campus facilities update, enabling Saint Ben’s to provide premier facilities for teaching learning, and women’s leadership development.

“Hinton speaks frequently in the U.S. and abroad, and founded the Liberal Arts Illuminated Conference. Hinton’s scholarship focuses on higher education leadership, strategic planning, the role of education in peace building, African American religious history, and inclusion and equity in higher education. She is the author of The Commercial Church: Black Churches and the New Religious Marketplace in America, and is a frequent op-ed contributor across higher education publications. Her TEDx talk, “Leading from the Margins,” reflects the thesis of her new book.”

To be considered for the Credo Courageous Leadership Award, a leader need not be a current or past Credo client.