“Prelude to C3: A Virtual Conference” Connects Students With the Green And Gold Network

Mindful of COVID-19 protocols, Hollins alumnae/i this fall are employing a different way of conveying the lifelong power of a liberal arts education to current students.

In conjunction with Hollins Alumnae Relations and the Center for Career Development and Life Design, Hollins grads are taking the annual Career Connection Conference (C3) online with Prelude to C3: A Virtual Conference, September 28 – October 3.


Above Photo: Networking at the 2019 C3 conference

 

“Students will be able to hear some of our most accomplished alumnae/i share their insights on navigating life after Hollins,” said Director of Alumnae Relations Lauren Walker. “Since most jobs don’t come from postings but through personal and professional connections, students can maximize their future opportunities by interacting throughout the week with the Green and Gold network at C3.”

This year’s C3 will include Zoom sessions covering a wide array of topics and interests:

Monday, September 28
Healing and Healthcare
The paths that led professionals in health-related fields to their current roles and the ways in which one can make a difference in improving the well-being of others.

Life After Hollins
Tried-and-true strategies on relocating to a new city, finding housing, managing finances, finding a mentor and new social network, and overcoming transitional challenges.

Tuesday, September 29
Aiming for Advanced Study
When is a graduate degree a ticket to upward mobility and when might it carry unacceptable costs or debt?

Wednesday, September 30
Curating Culture
Finding ways in different roles and work/life configurations to keep the arts and humanities alive for oneself and others.

Brand Yourself: Monitor Your Media Image
What are employers looking for in one’s online presence and social media profiles? How does one use media most effectively for networking and job hunting?

Thursday, October 1
Innovative Endeavors
The innovative mindset required to stay agile and find new business opportunities in a rapidly changing world.

Friday, October 2
What Can I Do with a Science and Math Degree?
Representing business, data analytics, scientific research, and environmental compliance, alumnae/i in this session will discuss pioneering into fields where women have been historically unrepresented.

Life After Hollins
(See description above)

The final day of Prelude to C3: A Virtual Conference on Saturday, October 3, will feature a morning keynote address by Aheri Stanford-Asiyo ’05, a software engineer at Microsoft working to create next-generation holographic computing solutions for the workplace. Prior to joining Microsoft’s Mixed Reality team, she served as a senior JavaScript engineer at the Accenture Liquid Studio, a rapid-prototyping facility in Silicon Valley.

The afternoon will be devoted to one-on-one Zoom sessions between students and alumnae/i for the purpose of career mentoring through general networking and informational interviews.

“Whether you are a first-year student or a senior, a double major or undecided, career-ambitious or career-confused, there is a place for you at C3,” said Walker.

 

 

 


Accessing Our Network: One of Hollins’ Greatest Strengths

My Hollins University experience began differently than most students. Growing up on the campus had a significant impact on my early development. I was able to witness intelligent, strong, and creative students that went on to do amazing things. My mother, Jeri Suarez (Hollins’ associate dean of cultural and community engagement), and all of her students became the best role models a girl could ask for during her formative years. I was surrounded by love and empowering figures from an early age, and that continued to grow as I did. I have seen what Hollins can do for its students, firsthand, and when it came time for me to pick a school, I couldn’t think of a better fit for me.

The opportunities that I have had over the last four years have been unique and rewarding. Had I gone to another institution, I may not have received the tremendous mentoring, opportunities to develop strong research skills, or traveled the world as I did. At Hollins, helping students succeed and reach their fullest potential is the norm, not the exception.

I found my love of research at the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School, which provided the outlet to conduct psychological experiments and examine the real-world implications. I fell in love with the process, the emotional rollercoaster that is caring about something enough to dig deeper. Going into my first year at Hollins, I knew that I wanted to conduct research that would be impactful. Over the last four years, I had many opportunities to conduct my own research and assist in many others. In the psychology department, there are options to conduct research through classes but also working closely with professors on their research projects. At the end of my first year, I was given the chance to work in the child development laboratory with Associate Professor of Psychology Tiffany Pempek. This invaluable time in her laboratory strengthened my research abilities, interpersonal skills and confidence. The course I took on research statistics with Professor of Psychology Bonnie Bowers is something I access daily in my current position.

Each year, the Career Center and the Office of Alumnae Relations host the Career Connection Conference (C3), a wonderful event for current students to talk with alumnae and to hear their career advice. During my second year, I met Lauren Staley ’11. She worked at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Lauren spoke about her time at Hollins and the experiences she had working with the non-profit organization. I knew that was a path I wanted to pursue. She gave me her contact information and said that I could stay in touch as I explored my career path.

The summer between my junior and senior years, I received a research internship at the Addiction Recovery Research Center (Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC), while working on my senior honors thesis. It was time to explore my future plans. My goal was to gain additional work experience, conducting research at a professional level, before entering graduate school. I wrote to Lauren Staley in the fall of my senior year to ask for her advice about applying to work for AIR. She connected me to a former colleague who helped me immensely in the application process.

Applying for a job becomes more daunting in the face of a global pandemic. But, by accessing the Hollins network, as well as my college preparation, I had the confidence to pursue a position with AIR. I was offered an interview with the organization. Due to COVID-19, the process was a 2.5-hour interview over Skype with multiple researchers. Although it felt intimidating at times, I was well prepared and confident in my abilities and able to showcase them.

I have been working at AIR for two months now. I split my time between two departments: the Annual Reports – Digest of Education Statistics team and the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. These two divisions are committed to increasing the effectiveness of education at every level through research, analysis, training, and assistance in the technical field. AIR’s commitment to research and evaluation provides important insight for policy makers and practitioners with which to guide implementation of certain programs, techniques, and funding. I have since gained new skills in programming, data checking, writing research proposals, and website design. I am honored to be working at this incredible organization.

Hollins helped me develop my skill set and confidence to take chances and to dream bigger. At 19 years old, I did not realize that a 15-minute conversation with an alumna would lead to my first professional position. I thank everyone who helped me on this journey.

 

 


New Memoir by Natasha Trethewey M.A. ’91 Earns Praise and Inspires Dialogue

“To survive trauma, one must be able to tell a story about it,” writes Natasha Trethewey M.A. ’91.

In her new book, Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir, the Pulitzer Prize winner and two-time U.S. Poet Laureate courageously and compellingly faces, after more than three decades, the shooting death of her mother by her second husband and Trethewey’s former stepfather. The murder followed years of domestic abuse.

“The reason that I am a writer is that tremendous loss from when I was 19,” Trethewey relates in an interview with Esquire magazine. But, as her public profile grew during her terms as poet laureate, PBS NewsHour Chief Arts Correspondent Jeffrey Brown notes that the author “saw articles written about her make her mother’s killing almost kind of a footnote.”

Trethewey tells Brown, “And I thought, if that was going to continue to happen, that I needed to be the one to tell her story, so that she could be put in her proper context….”

Esquire calls this summer’s publication of Memorial Drive “a second alignment of the stars” for Trethewey in that it “confronts the murder of her mother as well as our nation’s fraught racial legacy.”

“Not only is it that all of these [race-based topics] are coming to a head right now,” she says, “but also, the pandemic has increased the number of cases of domestic violence. People are sheltering in place often with their abusers because they have no choice. So, to see these things intersecting in such a powerful and traumatic way is difficult, but it also suggests that maybe we’ll be able to have a conversation and a reckoning with it that we haven’t quite had before.”

The memoir has resounded with journalists and critics at a number of major media outlets. Along with the profiles in Esquire (which has already named Memorial Drive one of its Best Books of 2020) and on PBS NewsHour, Trethewey has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine, and The Atlantic, and heard on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. People magazine named Memorial Drive its Book of the Week (while also citing Hieroglyphics by Jill McCorkle M.A. ’81 in the same issue as one of the week’s Best New Books), while the New York Post included it among its Best Books of the Week for the first week of August.

Memorial Drive has also garnered enthusiastic acclaim, both nationally and internationally:

  • “Trethewey’s masterpiece.” – The New York Times
  • “Trethewey has delivered the kind of book that can only come from a writer at the height of her powers, a human at the height of her wisdom and pathos.” – Chicago magazine
  • “An enduring work, beautiful and horrific.” – The Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)
  • “Trethewey excavates her mother’s life, transforming her from tragic victim to luminous human being. She is a living, breathing dynamo, coming of age in the Jim Crow South, breaking out of the restrictions imposed on her.” – The Washington Post
  • “An exquisitely written, elegiac memoir. Memorial Drive is Trethewey’s gorgeous exploration of all the wounds that never heal: her mother’s, her own, and the wounds of slavery and racism on the soul of a troubled nation.” – USA Today
  • “Stunning….As Trethewey revisits her past, she again turns on a light in the darkest of corners, piecing together the memories of her childhood and her mother’s death as the hands of her stepfather. Her pain still feels primal, but the poet confronts shadows to reveal, as she writes, ‘the story I tell myself to survive.’” – Garden & Gun
  • “Three decades ago that masterly American writer Tobias Wolff published This Boy’s Life, his classic memoir of a troubled childhood and a bullying, unpredictably violent stepfather. It’s no exaggeration to say that Natasha Trethewey’s book belongs in the same exalted company.” – The Times (London)

When asked during her Esquire interview what has to happen in publishing so that “stories that hit a variety of identities get to be told on an equally grand scale as those that come from white authors with white characters,” Trethewey shares the story of a young, white college student from South Carolina who was initially dismissive when her professor assigned her class to read the author’s first collection of poems, Domestic Work, which explores the working lives of African-Americans in the pre-civil rights era of the 20th century. But, Trethewey says, after reading the book, “She saw her own family in my family.”

Trethewey concludes, “We need to understand that Black writers, or other writers of color, are telling stories that relate to all of us. They’re not just stories that are only about that select group of people. Humanity is the thing that we all have in common.”

 


Casey Mahan ’20 Prepares to Fulfill Her Dream of Becoming an Optometrist

Casey Mahan ’20 has wanted to become an optometrist since high school, and throughout her time at Hollins she gained a wide range of valuable experience in the field.

“My desire to practice optometry really solidified during my sophomore year when I traveled to North Dakota to work with a nonprofit organization called OneSight, which provides eye exams and glasses to children and adults who can’t afford them,” she says. “The following year I spent J-term working with Dr. Vin Dang, an optometrist in Bakersfield, California. I was able to shadow him as well as other optometrists and ophthalmologists, and view surgeries. As a senior I interned at a small optometry practice and loved every aspect of it, especially the relationship between doctor and patient.”

The biology major/chemistry minor from Virginia Beach says she began researching schools of optometry when she entered Hollins, and from the moment she talked with the Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), “I knew it was where I wanted to go, especially because of the early clinical experience they offer. I was also impressed with PCO graduates and what they had to say about the school. Obviously grades and coursework are a top priority for admission, but there’s also a heavy emphasis on getting to know students at the personal level during interviews. Optometry school is rigorous: It takes four years, including three summers, and they need to ensure students are well-prepared as undergraduates.”

Mahan is confident she is ready for the challenges ahead, thanks to both the “student” and “athlete” experiences she has enjoyed. “The biology department played an integral role in my acceptance to PCO, especially Associate Professor of Biology Morgan Wilson. When he became my advisor, he discussed with me the exact coursework I needed to take, when to take it, and how it could make my application stronger. He was always realistic with me about my goals. My friends at larger universities didn’t get the same personal connections with all their professors that I had, and I am forever grateful to Hollins for that.”

As captain of the Hollins volleyball team, which set the program record for victories in a season last year, Mahan believes she “became a better person, leader, and mentor, and better able to adapt to my surroundings. I learned valuable lessons about team dynamics and how they differ from year to year.”


Hollins Alumna Recalls First Job With Rep. John Lewis

As we remember Congressman John Lewis and his incredible life devoted to social justice and equality, Mary Kate Vick Fuller ’88 remembers the civil rights icon as her first boss and the unforgettable lessons he taught her.

I worked for Mr. Lewis for my first job out of Hollins in Washington, D.C. I had completed a short-term internship with Sen. Sam Nunn in January 1988. After graduation in May 1988, there was an opening in John Lewis’ office. I knew I wanted to work on Capitol Hill and didn’t care if it was for a Republican or Democrat. I just wanted to stay with Georgia representation, since I was born and raised in Rome.

Mr. Lewis was a great boss and always took the time to teach me about the Civil Rights Movement and how he led the Selma march with Martin Luther King. He was very humble and quiet, but when the words flowed, it was amazing. He considered himself a minister and talked to me about how we were all in “one house,” as he called it, under God. He was passionate about teaching young people the history of [race in] our country and how he wanted to make changes so our children’s children would live in a great country.

He had a wall of photos in his office and loved telling me about his 40-plus arrests. He would point to each photo and tell the story. The one I really remember is of him getting beaten and pushed into a car. I can still see the photo. What courage he had. It was just incredible.

I was in charge of all the tours, opening mail, and dispersing it to legislation [department for the office]. He hated it when constituents came to his office and wanted to tour the Capitol, but the tours were already booked. I asked him if I could memorize the guided tour and give tours myself. He agreed, and we never had to turn people away. I had really turned my receptionist’s job into something more, and he appreciated it.

When there were dinners in D.C. and he was in Atlanta, he often chose me to represent him. He said, “I like how you shake hands and look people in the eye.” I loved representing him to constituents.

I read an article about him the other week where he talked about looking people in the eye when you shook their hand. I remembered having a conversation about that with Mr. Lewis. He listened intently to people and talked about how important it was to hear what people have to say. My dad always said that you treat the president of the company and the janitor the same, and that was the kind of man Mr. Lewis was.

I was also in charge of answering the phones for the office. When the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 was being voted on – [the law prohibits manufacturing, importing, selling, etc. firearms undetectable to metal detectors] – the phones were ringing off the hook. That same day, Barbara Bush had invited all the secretaries on the House of Representatives’ side to the White House for tea and cookies and to see her dog Millie’s puppies.

When Mr. Lewis came from the floor from voting, he asked me why I wasn’t at the White House meeting Barbara Bush. I said the office was too busy to leave and that I had stayed to answer all the calls. He replied, “Mary Kate, this is a chance of a lifetime, and I don’t want you to miss it. Forward your phone to my office, and I will personally answer your calls myself while you are gone. I hugged him and ran out the door to the White House. He was right. It was the chance of a lifetime.

At that time, I knew Mr. Lewis was important and had shaped our country, but I really didn’t know how big his role was until later. When I was an elementary school teacher in Rome years later, I taught my students about him.

Rest in peace, Mr. Lewis, and thank you for all you taught me.

Mary Kate Vick Fuller ’88 lives in Rome, Ga.


Through Graduate Studies at American Univ., Kiki Speights ’20 seeks to “make sure communities’ voices are heard”

Uniquely blending ethics with international studies, American University’s Master of Arts in Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights focuses on “preparing students to be ethically informed thinkers and practitioners in the analysis, development, and application of policy responses to contemporary global issues.”  With her impressive aspirations, it is understandable why Kiki Speights ’20 would be drawn to a program that prides itself on producing graduates “who go on to find and facilitate peaceful and ethical solutions to the world’s most daunting international challenges.”

“I hope to gain more knowledge in international issues, the progression of human rights, and environmental degradation,” she explains. “I also hope to be able to take advantage of research and study abroad opportunities. I want to make memorable connections within the program and with the people I meet around the world.”

The environmental science major/social justice minor from Gaston, South Carolina, says she has been especially inspired by her study abroad experiences through Hollins.

“When I traveled to Tanzania through the School for Field Studies program, I originally wanted to study zoology. However, after going on a couple of expeditions, I realized that studying large wildlife was not something I wanted to do all my life. I also learned some controversial factors concerning large wildlife conservation practices that didn’t sit right with me.”

Having taken classes such as “Socioeconomics and Policy,” Speights was drawn instead to the study of communities in the East African nation on a micro level.

“I was able to obtain information through one-on-one interviews, taking part in community meetings, and just connecting with people on a human level. I learned that just because certain conservation practices can be sustainable for animals to survive doesn’t always mean they are sustainable for human life, especially for people who are native to those regions.”

Speights performed directed research on the “Impact of Habitat Degradation on Butterfly Status in Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem in Northern Tanzania.” She says she discovered that “it is important to employ sustainable practices so that ecosystems are not degraded, but at the same time make sure that there are many sustainable alternatives so native people who live within those ecosystems are able to survive as well. Through this research I realized that I wanted to address environmental justice in marginalized communities.”

Another powerful experience for Speights was a summer internship she completed through Pre-College University, a program that gives students of color opportunities in fields in which they are demographically underrepresented such as environmental sciences. She worked as an outreach intern for the Department of Energy in Grand Junction, Colorado.

“During the internship, I assessed the effectiveness of uranium workshops that were being conducted in Navajo Nation. I sat in on chapter house meetings and federal government meetings and focused on how to communicate scientific information in a way that’s understandable. Listening to traumatic stories of the effects of uranium mining and contamination was not an easy task.” Subsequently, Speights presented her findings to the Department of Energy and offered suggestions on improving the workshops to accommodate the needs of the Navajo people.

While she admits that “doing this type of work is not for the weak-hearted,” Speights says she “loves being beside communities fighting for human rights, sustainability practices, gender rights, and public health issues to make sure their voices are heard.” After she finishes her Master’s program, she plans on living abroad for a couple of years working in the human rights career field.


Hollins Alumna’s Graduate Thesis in History Explores “An Island of Integration in an Otherwise Sea of Segregation”

When Meika Downey ’17 entered Hollins University as a first-year student, she brought with her a keen fascination with 20th century military history. Her undergraduate career as a history and political science double major would subsequently inspire in her a zeal for social, gender, and minority history. Thus, it’s not surprising that when Downey later chose to pursue a Master of Arts in history at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), she enrolled with two certainties: she wanted the challenge of a thesis concentration, and with her thesis she intended to explore a topic that encompassed as many of her interests as possible.

“I realized that the historiography of U.S. military desegregation in the mid-20th century was an almost exclusively male-dominated narrative, and I wanted to disrupt this trend by crafting a fuller and more inclusive historical interpretation,” Downey recalled. “To that end, I wondered how American women – particularly women of color – experienced and contributed to the vital process of racial integration of the armed forces in the 1950s.”

This approach became the basis for Downey’s graduate thesis, “‘Island of Integration’: Desegregation of the Women’s Army Corps at Fort Lee, Virginia, 1948 – 1954,” which looked at how the national training center for the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during the Korean War era desegregated all barracks, mess halls, bathrooms, and recreational facilities in April 1950, four years before the larger, more established male Army completed the process.

“I wanted to examine how and why the women at Fort Lee came to desegregate its ranks with relative ease and tolerance at mid-century,” Downey explained. She conducted oral histories with WAC veterans who trained at Fort Lee during that time period, including interviews with nine racially diverse women about their experiences. “The WAC wasn’t necessarily seeking to promote racial equality. There simply weren’t enough Black women enlisted to merit segregation any longer.” Still, she said, “the swift manner in which these women, now in their late 80s and early 90s, positively responded to the call to desegregate not only fostered an amicable environment in which to train and live, an ‘island of integration in an otherwise sea of segregation,’ but also set precedents for other branches and bases in the military.”

With her work, Downey charted new historiographical territory and overcame a lack of secondary literature on the topic. “The majority of these women had never before been interviewed about their WAC service, let alone race relations therein, and they were generous with their time and memories. My thesis used oral history to conceptualize the racial culture of the WAC at Fort Lee and recreate 1950s basic training for modern readers.”

Downey was awarded the 2020-21 VCU Graduate School Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award in the Humanities and Fine Arts category, and her oral history interviews will be donated to the U.S. Army Women’s Museum at Fort Lee. She is currently developing an article based on her thesis to submit for publication.

After earning her M.A. in history and a certificate in public history this spring, Downey reflected on how her Hollins education prepared her for success in graduate school and beyond.

“Academically, professionally, and personally, my time at Hollins was a transformative experience and informed who I am now. Studying under [Associate Professor of History] Peter Coogan and [Associate Professor of History] Rachel Nuñez in the history department inspired a curiosity to learn about and question the world around me and the world that existed before me.

“Perhaps the most important and transferable skills with which I emerged from Hollins were the abilities to think critically and communicate orally and in writing.  The academic rigor with which Professor Coogan and Nuñez taught their classes also invariably prepared me for graduate school.”

Additionally, Downey credits the four internships she completed as an undergraduate for enhancing her professional development. “I was fortunate to have identified early on that I wanted to pursue a career in public history at a museum or historic site,” she said. “My internships with the Virginia Historical Society (with Lizzie Oglesby ’03 and special thanks to Carey Wodehouse ’03), Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum (special thanks to Priscilla Geraghty ’74), and the National D-Day Memorial (with April Cheek-Messier ’94) introduced me to the field of public history and helped me develop a passion for museum education.”

Downey is now preparing to embark on what she describes as “a dream position” as education manager with Preservation Virginia’s John Marshall House. Located in Richmond, the brick structure dates back to 1790 and was home to the longest serving and arguably most influential Chief Justice of the United States, his family, and about 10 to 12 enslaved people. “I am very excited about this job because it allows me to implement the training, experience, and enthusiasm I’ve garnered from part-time museum jobs and internships from the past four years.”

Hoping to build the John Marshall House’s presence in the community, Downey is looking forward to “creating educational content pertaining to Marshall, his career, and the nuances of Early America, as well as programming about the Supreme Court, its justices, and rulings across the decades. I also plan to continue to broaden the John Marshall House’s historical interpretation by expanding our knowledge and understanding of the enslaved people Marshall owned during his lifetime. I want to develop a diversity of public and school programs and welcome lots of school groups to the House.”

Reaching these goals, Downey noted, will mean using the “skills and competencies that Hollins taught me every day. Inside and outside the classroom, I learned to embrace challenges. I felt empowered to chase my dreams, confident in seizing opportunities, and bold in asking questions. I know how to think for myself, conduct research, and draw and defend my own conclusions. And, I’ve never stopped building upon those skills since I graduated.”

 


Hollins Theatre Presents Natasha Trethewey’s Acclaimed “Native Guard,” March 8

The Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Hollins University alumna and former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey is coming to Hollins Theatre.

Trethewey’s Native Guard, which received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2007, will be presented in a theatrical reading with stunning visuals and live music on Sunday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. on the theatre’s Main Stage. Admission is free with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. A conversation with Trethewey, who earned her M.A. from Hollins in 1991, will immediately follow the performance.

Native Guard juxtaposes the deeply personal experiences of Trethewey, a child of a then-illegal marriage between her African American mother and Caucasian father living in 1960s Mississippi, with the experience of a soldier in the Native Guard, the first African American Union troop in the Civil War. Years after her mother’s tragic death, Trethewey reclaims her memory, just as she reclaims the voices of the black soldiers whose service has been all but forgotten.

The evening of poetry and theatricality stars January LaVoy, an Atlanta-based actress best known for her role as Noelle Ortiz-Stubbs on the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live.  She has appeared on Broadway and guest starred on several prime time network series, including Elementary, Blue Bloods, and N0S4A2. The cast also features Dominic Taylor, a writer, director, and scholar of African American theatre who is currently the resident professional teaching artist at Hollins Theatre, and Roanoke’s own Shawn Spencer, a renowned jazz and blues vocalist.

Native Guard is the second volume of poetry by Trethewey that Hollins Theatre has adapted for the stage. Bellocq’s Ophelia premiered in 2012 and the following year was one of five full productions from the southeastern United States chosen for performance at the Region IV Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.


Rutherfoord Center for Experiential Learning Guarantees Access to a World of Possibilities

Hollins University is pleased to announce the creation of the Rutherfoord Center for Experiential Learning, which ensures undergraduates beginning in their first year can benefit more than ever from dynamic, real-world experiences beyond the classroom.

“The establishment of the Rutherfoord Center enables Hollins to build upon its strong foundation of experiential learning programs,” said Interim President Nancy Gray. “Bringing these programs together in a new way allows for more collaboration and interaction while at the same time expanding opportunities for students.”

Made possible by the generosity of Jean Hall Rutherfoord, Hollins class of 1974, and her husband, Thomas D. Rutherfoord Jr. (pictured), the Rutherfoord Center encompasses study abroad at an array of destinations around the world; domestic and international internships; initiatives that promote innovation and engagement while connecting academic work with practical application; leadership practice; and undergraduate research projects conducted in close partnership with Hollins faculty.

“Through the Rutherfoord Center, students can develop a global perspective and build their creative thinking and problem-solving skills in a tangible way,” Gray said. “They acquire the experience necessary to thrive in both professional and educational settings after earning their undergraduate degrees.”

The Rutherfoord Center guarantees every student can pursue each of these programs throughout all of their four years at Hollins. At the same time, they gain mentorship; receive expert help in identifying leadership, study abroad, research, and career options; and explore prospects for financial assistance.

Gray emphasized that the power of experiential learning cannot be overestimated. “Experiential learning transforms personal and social development. It enhances resiliency, tenacity, curiosity, and self-reflection. It’s an immersive process by which students gain knowledge and skills by observing, inferring, and most of all, doing.”

To learn more, visit  https://www.hollins.edu/rutherfoordcenter.


The Princeton Review Places Hollins Among Nation’s Best for Alumni Networks, Internships, and Value

Announcing its Best Value Colleges for 2020, The Princeton Review has ranked Hollins University as having the #5 Best Alumni Network in the country and #21 in the category Best Schools for Internships.

The Best Alumni Network rankings are based on college student ratings of alumni activity and visibility on campus, while the Best Schools for Internships are determined by student 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 with great career preparation at an affordable price.”

The Princeton Review chose its Best Value Colleges for 2020 based on data the company collected from its surveys of administrators at 656 colleges in 2018-19. 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 2020 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 2020 comprise only 7% of the nation’s four-year colleges,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief. “They are truly distinctive and diverse 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.”