Classical Association of Virginia Honors Hollins Professor as Teacher of the Year

Hollins University Professor of Classical Studies Christina A. Salowey has been named the Lurlene W. Todd Teacher of the Year for 2019-20 by the Classical Association of Virginia (CAV).

First presented in 2005, the award recognizes outstanding Latin teachers and professors in Virginia. Nominees are evaluated on at least four of the following factors:



  • Evidence of the success, size, and growth of the teacher’s program.
  • Examples of innovative and creative classroom activity.
  • Evidence of improved student learning.
  • Significant numbers of students who continue their study of the classics at the next available level.
  • Examples of outreach and promotion of the classics inside and outside of the teacher’s institution.
  • Evidence of the teacher’s professional service and profession development.
  • Student success in contests and competitions, especially those offered by the CAV.
  • Examples of student travel and field trips which enhance learning and promote the program.

“We applaud Professor Salowey’s exemplary dedication to her students and to pedagogy across her career at Hollins,” said Trudy Harrington Becker, a senior instructor of history at Virginia Tech and chair of the Lurlene W. Todd Award Committee.

A member of the Hollins faculty since 1996, Salowey teaches numerous literature genres, two ancient languages, and the art, religion, history, philosophy, architecture, science, and geography of the long-lived civilizations that spoke and wrote those languages.

“There are many joys in teaching at a small, liberal arts university,” she has said, “ but a significant one for me is that I am not restricted to one sub-discipline in a broad field of study.”

Throughout her time at Hollins, Salowey and her husband, Associate Professor of Communication Studies Chris Richter, have led undergraduates to Greece during January Short Term to engage in intensive study and research. Each trip is unique and has focused on different regions, such as Crete, northern Greece, and Greece and Turkey.

In collaboration with students in her Greek 350: Greek Inscriptions class, Salowey produced a digital exhibition highlighting photographs of ancient Greek texts that were inscribed on ancient works of art. The exhibition features a commentary for those texts for elementary readers of Greek.

Professor of Classical Studies George Fredric Franko adds that Salowey “routinely teaches overloads and supervises independent studies, in which she meets with students weekly to keep them on track. As an indicator of her success in inspiring students with zeal for the study of ancient Greek, Latin, and ancient art, this year six seniors are graduating with a major in classical studies.”

Salowey also devised, implemented, and led a new summer program at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. These seminars address the needs of graduate and undergraduate students, as well as secondary and college teachers, by offering 18-day sessions on specific topics in Greece and visiting major monuments under the guidance of exceptional scholars.

In 2019, Hollins honored Salowey with the Herta T. Freitag Faculty Legacy Award, which is presented to a member of the faculty whose recent scholarly and creative accomplishments reflect the extraordinary academic standards set by Freitag, who served as professor of mathematics at Hollins from 1948 to 1971.

Model UN/Model Arab League Program Presents Honor Cords to Seven Seniors

Hollins University’s Model UN/Model Arab League program has awarded honor cords to seven graduating seniors in tribute to their achievements.

Seniors earning recognition this year include Hannah Byrum, Katie Grandelli, Amber Hilbish, Hannah Jensen, Alicia Lumbley, Shenoah Manter, and Reilly Swennes.

“Even with the cancellation of conferences this spring, this is one of the strongest groups of seniors the organization has seen,” says Grandelli, outgoing president of Model UN/Model Arab League at Hollins. “These seniors attended a combined 33 conferences, held various leadership roles at those conferences, and won nine awards.” Grandelli served as secretary-general for two conferences last fall and was honored as Best Secretary-General for 2019 by the National Council on U.S. – Arab Relations (NACUSAR). She also traveled as a representative of the NACUSAR on an all-expenses-paid trip to Saudi Arabia in April of last year. Jensen, former president of the club, was among the Hollins students who received awards at the 30th Annual American Model United Nations International Collegiate Conference, held last November in Chicago, which featured more than 900 participants.

Professor of Political Science Edward Lynch, who serves as faculty advisor to  Model UN/Model Arab League, notes, “Hollins students in the program have made their presence felt, nationally and internationally. When the Capital Area Model Arab League Conference suddenly needed a secretary-general and chairs, they immediately thought of Hollins and our students came through, saving a conference that might have been cancelled otherwise. Katie in particular has provided stellar leadership, better than anyone I have worked with in 15 years of advising Model UN.”

Assistant Professor of Political Science Courtney Chenette, who is also a faculty advisor to the program, says of the graduating class, “These students are dedicated and creative advocates, representatives, and leaders. I am confident that their passions and Model UN/Model Arab League skills will help them fuel change, manage crises, and create community, far beyond Hollins.”

The Model UN/Model Arab League program will celebrate the accomplishments of these seniors during Hollins’ 178th Commencement Exercises in September.






Hollins Student-Athletes Earn Chi Alpha Sigma Honors

Eighteen Hollins University student-athletes have been inducted into the national honor society Chi Alpha Sigma for the 2019-20 academic year.

Chi Alpha Sigma is the first and only nonprofit organization that recognizes college student-athletes who have excelled in both the classroom and on the field of competition. Inductees must achieve junior academic standing or higher, earn a 3.4 or higher cumulative grade point average, and be a team member for at least a full season.


Hollins’ newest inductees are:

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

Current Hollins student-athletes who previously earned induction include:

  • Kalyn Chapman ’20 – Track and Field
  • Francesca Reilly ’20 – Cross-Country/Track and Field
  • Kendra Rich ’20 – Soccer
  • Sarah Snoddy ’20 – Tennis
  • Delaney Waller ’20 – Lacrosse
  • Kate Woodruff ’20 – Lacrosse

Founded in 1996, Chi Alpha Sigma provides outstanding student-athletes with an opportunity to become connected within a fraternal association that aligns their educational and athletic successes for a lifetime.


Hollins Announces Winner of the 2020 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature

Hollins University has honored a writer/illustrator/academic from the United Kingdom as the winner of the fifth annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature.

Wendy Meddour, an internationally best-selling children’s author whose books have been translated into 18 languages, will receive an engraved medal and a $1,000 cash prize for Lubna and Pebble, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus and published by Dial Books. In a story that subtly addresses the refugee crisis, a young girl must decide if friendship means giving up the one item that brings her comfort during a time of uncertainty.

Lubna and Pebble stands out as exemplary picture book writing,” the judges for this year’s prize stated. “Concise and poignant, its simple words dramatize a child’s resourcefulness and hope in the face of her difficulties as a refugee. That she ultimately transfers her fortitude to another child, in an act of self-denial, is her greatest triumph.”

Time magazine selected Lubna and Pebble as one of the “10 Best YA and Children’s Books of 2019,” while both the New York Public Library and Chicago Public Library placed it on their respective “Best Books” lists for the year. Horn Book noted that “Meddour’s short, simple sentences pack and emotional punch….This tender, understated story honors the emotional resilience of young people.”

Judges for this year’s Margaret Wise Brown Prize also named one Honor Book: One Dark Bird, written by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon, and published by Simon and Schuster.

Each year, Hollins invites nominations for the prize from children’s book publishers located across the country and around the world. A three-judge panel, consisting of established picture book authors, reviews the nominations and chooses a winner.

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 over 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. Hollins celebrated her life and work with a year-long Margaret Wise Brown Festival in 2011 and 2012, which featured stage and musical adaptations of her work along with readings, workshops, guest lectures, and other activities for all ages.

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 book illustration.

This summer, Hollins’ children’s literature program will release information on how to submit books for consideration for the 2021 Margaret Wise Brown Prize.

Library Announces Undergraduate Research Awards for 2020

Wyndham Robertson Library is honoring exemplary student projects completed in Hollins courses during this academic year with the presentation of the 2020 Undergraduate Research Awards.

An annual celebration since 2011, the awards recognize extensive and creative use of library resources; the ability to synthesize those resources in project completion; and growth in a student’s research skills. Each winner receives a $250 cash prize, and their projects are archived in the Hollins Digital Commons, where they can be read by a worldwide audience. Finalists for the award also have their work published in the repository.

Here are the winners and finalists for the 2020 Undergraduate Research Awards:

First-Year/Sophomore Category

Winner: “Rejecting Bolivarianism: Political Power in South America” by Jaiya McMillan ’23, recommended by Associate Professor of History Rachel Nuñez.

Finalist: “The Practice of Clitoridectomies: Its Influence on the Gikuyu Tribe, Kenyan National Identity, Cultural Nationalism, and British Powers” by Savannah Scott ’23, recommended by Associate Professor of History Rachel Nuñez.

Junior/Senior Category

Winner: “The Effect of Long-term Stress on Hippocampus and the Involvement in the Pathophysiology of Psychological Disorders, Suicide, and Alcohol Use Disorder” by Hinza Malik ’21, recommended by Associate Professor of Psychology Richard Michalski.

Finalist: “Sustainable Operations, Industry Performance, and Environmental Sustainability: A Case Study on U.S. Marine Fisheries and Pacific Bluefin Tuna” by Kalyn Chapman ’20, recommended by Associate Professor of Business and Economics Pablo Hernandez.

To learn more about this year’s winners and finalists and their research projects, visit the Undergraduate Research Awards web page.

The Undergraduate Research Awards are jointly sponsored by Wyndham Robertson Library and Hollins’ Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.



M.F.A. Student Selected As “We Need Diverse Books” Mentee

Donald A.D. Sutton, an aspiring author and illustrator who is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in children’s literature and children’s book illustration at Hollins, is one of ten book creators chosen to take part in the We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) Mentorship Program for 2020.

WNDB is a nonprofit organization of children’s book lovers that advocates for essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

Sutton, who hails from Hazlehurst, Mississippi, discovered his passion for children’s literature and illustration while completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in animation at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He and the nine other mentees, whom Mentorship Program Co-Chair Meg Cannistra called “phenomenal, an extremely talented group,” will spend a year engaged in one-on-one relationships with authors and illustrators who are established in the picture book, middle grade, and young adult genres. Some of the program’s former mentees have gone on to sign with prominent industry agents, publish multiple works, or secure a debut book contract.

Sutton will be mentored by Floyd Cooper, an illustrator of nearly 100 books for children, including Ruth and the Green Book, These Hands, A Beach Tail, and A Dance Like Starlight, which received a Kirkus Starred Review. He is a three-time Coretta Scott King Honoree and an NAACP Image Award winner.


Kayla Surles ’22 Named to VASID All-State Second Team

Hollins Basketball’s Kayla Surles ’22 has been named to the 2020 Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) College Women’s Basketball All-State Team as a Second Team honoree.

Surles finished the 2019-20 regular season ranked second in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) in scoring with 16.6 points per game and tied for first in assists with 4.4 per game. She scored in double figures in 23 of Hollins’ 25 regular season games, which was best in the ODAC. The sophomore guard and communication studies major from Raleigh, North Carolina, was subsequently named an All-ODAC Second Team member.

Surles’ selection to the VaSID All-State Team was the Green and Gold’s first since Jasmine Greene ’13 earned First Team recognition in 2013.

VaSID is comprised of sports information professionals from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, independent institutions, and community colleges located throughout Virginia. The purpose of the organization is to promote college athletics at all two- or four-year institutions. VaSID sponsors All-State teams in a number of sports in both university and college divisions.



Tien Nguyen ’22 Is Again Virginia’s Top-Ranked Female Chess Player

A Hollins University sophomore has been ranked as the top female chess player in the commonwealth for the second year in a row.

Tien Nguyen ’22 earned the honor at the 2019-20 Virginia Scholastic and College Chess Championships, held March 6 and 7 in Alexandria, Virginia. She and Chanmolis Mout ’23 combined to win second place in the College Section’s Blitz team competition, while Nguyen took third in the Blitz individual category. Nguyen also tied for third place in the tournament’s Standard competition.

“Tien is very smart and talented, and she deserves all of this,” said Mout. “This was my first tournament and she supported me throughout the event. She is a really good coach.”

Nguyen and Mout both thanked Maryke Barber, information literacy and arts liaison librarian at Hollins’ Wyndham Robertson Library, for sponsoring their trip to the tournament. “Without all her love and support,” said Nguyen, “we wouldn’t have been able to bring back four trophies to Hollins!”

The Virginia Scholastic and College Chess Championships this year welcomed more than 600 players who competed in accordance with their rating and their age group.  Along with Nguyen and Mout representing Hollins, the College Section featured players from the University of Virginia, College of William and Mary, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, and Longwood University.


Photo caption: Tien Nguyen ’22 (left) and Chanmolis Mout ’23 earned accolades at the Virginia Scholastic and College Chess Championships.


Entrepreneurship Team Earns Praise at Innovation Challenge

A team of Hollins students sponsored by the university’s Entrepreneurial Learning Institute received honors at the 2020 Elon Innovation Challenge, held February 29 at Elon University in North Carolina.

De Faustina Camacho ‘23, Olivia Dannon ‘20, Zahin Mahbuba ‘23, and Chanmolis Mout ’23 were recognized with an Honorable Mention and the Best Prototype Award at the annual event, where teams of students from several universities engage in a one-day social innovation competition to solve a compelling real-life issue. This year, 20 teams from four states developed solutions to improve student health and well-being on college campuses.

“For our project, we had to identify the value proposition, target market, and competitive landscape, as well as our market strategy and business model,” Dannon explained. “The solid foundation of business and entrepreneurial concepts our team has learned at Hollins was a large factor in our overall performance.”

She added, “I have always had a strong interest in innovation and entrepreneurship, and having this opportunity to put that interest into practice was rewarding.”

Mahbuba believes her presentation capabilities improved dramatically as a result of participating in the event. “Coming up with a problem and a viable solution in less than ten hours and then convincing a panel of expert judges really helped me grow my skills. I also learned a lot from watching others articulate their ideas and offer other methodologies toward solving problems.”

The first-year student is planning to employ what she experienced at the Innovation Challenge within her own campus community. “This further enlightened me as far as both problem finding and problem solving, and opens more doors for me to serve Hollins.”

Hollins’ Entrepreneurial Learning Institute combines the hallmarks of a liberal arts education – critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and leadership – with the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset that are driving opportunity and business growth in the 21st century.


Photo: Members of the Hollins entrepreneurship team with Alyssa Martina, director of the Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Elon University (far left) and Karen Messer-Bourgoin (far right), director of Hollins’ Entrepreneurial Learning Institute and professor of practice in the university’s economics and business department.


Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest Recognizes Seven Young Writers

A South Carolina student has captured the top honor in Hollins University’s 56th Annual Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest.

The competition presents scholarships, prizes, and recognition for the best poems submitted by young women in high school. This year, 944 contestants from 650 high schools in 45 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and 17 countries in addition to the United States submitted works for consideration.

Luisa Peñaflor, a student at the Fine Arts Center of Greenville, won first place for her work, “This Is Not a Heritage Poem.” She will receive a $350 cash prize; publication in Cargoes, Hollins’ award-winning student literary magazine; ten copies of Cargoes; a renewable scholarship of up to $5,000 provided through the Creative Talent Award in Creative Writing for a total value of $20,000 in scholarship funds over four years (applicable if she enrolls at Hollins); and free tuition and housing for the university’s Hollinsummer creative writing program for rising ninth through 12th grade students.

Six other students earned second place honors in this year’s contest. Each of them will receive publication in Cargoes; two copies of Cargoes; a renewable scholarship of up to $1,000 provided through the Creative Talent Award in Creative Writing for a total value of $4,000 in scholarship funds over four years (applicable if the students enroll at Hollins); and a $500 scholarship to apply toward the Hollinsummer creative writing program.

The second place winners include:

Emma Rose Gowans: “2 Sides: reclamation & resurrection with my mother”
South Carolina Governors School for Arts and Humanities
Greenville, South Carolina

Hye In Lee: “A Kisaeng’s Sijo”
Bergen County Academies
Hackensack, New Jersey

Uma Menon: “Sonnet for Bilingual Women”
Winter Park High School
Winter Park, Florida
(A second poem by Menon was awarded finalist standing)

Maya Miller: “Two Lefts Then a Right on Orange Grove Boulevard”
Polytechnic School
Pasadena, California
(A second poem by Miller was awarded finalist standing)

Renee Morales: “crumbs, too, are food
Barbara Goleman High School
Hialeah, Florida

Hannah Grace Wehrung: “Man for Hire, Holmdel, 1964”
Douglas Anderson School for the Arts
Jacksonville, Florida

Nancy Thorp, a member of the class of 1960 at Hollins, was a young poet who showed great promise when she was a student. Following her death in 1962, he family established the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest to encourage and recognize the work of young poets.