President-Elect Hinton Joins Higher Ed. Leaders, New York Times Magazine to Discuss College This Fall

President-elect Mary Dana Hinton is among the higher education leaders brought together this week by The New York Times Magazine to consider “What Will College Be Like in the Fall?”

In her introduction to the discussion, Staff Writer Emily Bazelton notes the challenges colleges and universities face as the coronavirus remains a global threat this fall and winter. “On one side of the ledger are the health risks of density if students return to the dorms and classrooms and facilities….On the other side are disruption and derailment, concern about the isolation of online learning and economic loss for institutions, college towns and regions.”

Bazelton asks, “As colleges and universities make decisions now about their operations over the next academic year, what are the conditions for trying to reopen campuses? If students return, what changes to college life will be needed to contain and suppress the virus?”

Hinton and five other panelists explore “the new realities of life on campus in the midst of a pandemic,” and address specifically the following questions:

  • “If Schools Reopen, What Will Campus Life Look Like?”
  • “What About Working on Campus?”
  • “What Will Learning Be Like?”

Hinton believes reopening Hollins “will be a time of mutual accountability and collective responsibility for the well-being of one another. Healing and the safe re-establishment of community has to be the priority for student life on campus. The community has to collaborate.”

The president-elect goes on to highlight the distinction that “for students whom we want to have social and economic mobility, it’s not just the transactional part of education that matters. It’s the transformational component. And we hear from our students that the development of critical thinking, problem solving and leadership skills – skills that are so important in this search for equity and mobility – happen within and outside the classroom. Being together, being seen and heard, really matters. Also, for some of our students, they need the housing, they need food, they need safety, they need to be in community.”

Joining Hinton in the discussion are Carlos Aramayo, president of the Boston chapter (Local 26) of the union UNITE HERE, which represents dining hall staff members at colleges and universities; Michael V. Drake, president of Ohio State University and a physician; Richard Levin, former president of Yale University and an economist; David Wall Rice, a psychology professor and associate provost at Morehouse College; and Pardis Sabeti, a biology professor at Harvard University and a member of the Broad Institute and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 


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.

 

 

 

 

 


“I Craved the Feeling that I Was Making a Difference”: A Senior Shares Her Journey Into the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Claire Tourigny ‘20 is an English major from Manchester, New Hampshire.

The story of how I came to discover the entrepreneurial mindset is not an unusual one, but it is strange. By that, I mean it’s a bizarre journey that includes a psychic and a trip across the ocean, but it’s one that I think a lot of people might resonate with.

I came to Hollins effectively a pre-declared English major, and in fact, the knowledge that I would be studying creative writing is what drew me to Hollins in the first place. I had spent my high school years bouncing between literary magazines and student newspapers, paying more attention to my books and journals than to my classes, and dreaming of one day becoming a successful writer.

Little has changed on that front. What stood out to me about Hollins was the English Department  –  the professors, the classes, the student involvement. Immediately after first-year orientation I filled my schedule with as many gen-ed and prereq courses as possible, just so I could get the boring stuff out of the way and devote the rest of my college experience to my writing. This would turn out to be the smartest decision I made that first semester, as it freed up the next three and half years for my winding journey through academia.

It was a dark and stormy night when my friend and I were deciding our class schedule for the fall of 2017. I’d picked three English-adjacent classes I wanted to take, but one of them was only two credits, and so I found myself a few credit hours short. So, what was a young creative writer with most of her gen-eds already over with to do, but select a class at random? I scrolled through the class catalogue, trying to find an introductory level class that fit in with my schedule, when I stumbled across “BUS 100 – Introduction to Business.”

Now, this is where things get a little bizarre.

See, the summer after high school, after I had already enrolled at Hollins and was planning my very lucrative future as a novelist, a fortune teller had told me that I was going to work in marketing. As a side note, this was one of those beach boardwalk palm readers who charged $15 for some generic rambling and told me that I would be married with children by age 20, so the validity of her claims is still a little bit up in the air. But nonetheless, I thought about that moment when reading the BUS 100 course description and thought, “Alright, I’ll bite.” Not because I had any faith at all in the predictions of the stars or whatever, but because… hey, why not?

So I signed up for the introductory business class, and like most decisions made based on the advice of a shady psychic, I immediately felt as though I had made the wrong decision. Even as sophomores, all of my classmates were so… businessy. And I was so decidedly not. There was a reason I had devoted most of my time to the written word up until that point. I stumbled and stuttered my way through classroom presentations, disappeared into my seat during discussions, and overall spent more time maintaining eye contact with the wall than my classmates.

But through it all, the material engaged me in a way that few of my random gen-eds had before. Our semester-long project was to work with a few partners to create a business plan for a hypothetical startup, and while our group’s food truck/art gallery was one of the more bizarre companies pitched during the final presentations, I found myself engaged by the process of creating something from the ground up. The numbers behind it all eluded me, but the idea of finding a need in the local economy and fulfilling it was something I had never really considered to be a part of business before. See, my group and I decided that while Roanoke certainly had its fair share of art galleries and healthy restaurants, none of those were really accessible to your average student, so we created a food truck business that also displayed student art. Yes, it was a weird idea, but it was also (unbeknownst to me) my first glimpse of social entrepreneurship. I was new to the idea of the entrepreneurial mindset, and before taking the class, “business” to me was shaking hands with sweaty guys in suits and sitting at a desk inputting numbers all day. The Intro to Business class gave me my first glimpse into the big, wide world of entrepreneurship.

So I continued down the business track, thinking that if I was going to major in English, I ought to have something practical under my belt. Due to my aforementioned preconceived notion of business as sweaty handshakes, meetings about profit margins, and a lot of spreadsheets, I assumed that a businesswoman would need a head for numbers, so I took an accounting class during the spring of my sophomore year. As someone who has always struggled with numbers, this was a strange experience. I think everyone needs basic accounting competency, just like everyone should know how to write. What I learned is that math is just another type of language, and while I enjoyed the structure and stability of learning formulas, balancing equations, and filling out charts and tables, it was nothing I could imagine myself doing long-term. I am a writer, first and foremost, and I was not willing to give that up in order to fit into my skewed image of what a business student was. I completed my accounting class with an average grade and no desire to ever continue down that road.

The next stage of my journey was in London, during the first semester of my junior year. At this point, after my unsuccessful foray into accounting, I’d decided that I needed to start seriously thinking about a stable career that fell in line with both my interests and my skills. I know –  such an easy goal, right? Well, at the time, the only thing I could really think of was journalism. So I interned for a semester at a London-based tech publication. It was, all-in-all, a great experience. I enjoyed the company I was working with, and the opportunity to spend a few months living in a different country and building up a nice portfolio wasn’t anything to turn my nose up at. But journalism itself wasn’t what I thought it would be, or rather, it wasn’t what I wanted. Or, rather rather, it wasn’t what I learned that I needed.

By that, I mean simply that I learned something while spending a semester churning out tech articles and scheduling interviews. While I don’t believe that there’s such a thing as “selling out,” it wasn’t enough for me to simply spend my days writing about whatever I was told to write about. I wanted creative control over my own words. I wanted to choose what to write about based on my interests, not just trending news topics and hashtags. And more than that, I craved the feeling I got during BUS 100, when my group partners and I sat around a table, spit-firing out ideas on how to fill the need for low-cost food and accessible art in the Roanoke community –  the feeling that I was making a difference.

When I got back to Hollins in the spring of my junior year, I decided I was going to minor in business, and signed up for an e-commerce class as a way of fulfilling a graduation requirement. At this stage, I still had no idea where I wanted my business minor to take me –  I just knew that I wanted it to take me somewhere. I’ll admit, I was expecting very little from this class, solely based off of the fact that I did not think I would really engage with the material. Oh, how wrong I was.

In fact, no business class changed my perspective as much as this one, because it was this e-commerce class that introduced me to the world of inbound marketing. It hit me like an arrow –  all of a sudden, I realized that I could combine my love for writing with my interest in business. Our semester-long project was to design a website for a local small business that was just about to launch, and for the first time in my academic career, I found myself actually volunteering to take charge over the blog. I’m not good at numbers and I can’t for the life of me make a presentation without panicking, but I can write. And for the first time ever, I realized that my skills could actually be useful as an entrepreneur.

After the semester ended and senior year began, I was hired to work for the then-new Entrepreneurial Learning Institute (ELI) as a content marketer. Not only did I write the blog posts and help manage the social media presence, but I found myself at the base of something important, working beside other, frankly more talented students to help create the institute from the ground up. It was through working for ELI that I finally defined social entrepreneurship. It’s the idea that I just barely came across in BUS 100, the idea that a small startup can create powerful change just by fulfilling a need in the community. And through this definition, I realized that anyone, even a creative writer, can be an entrepreneur.

 

Photo Credit: Mary Daley Photography


Eager to Perform “Meaningful Work with Impact at the State Level,” Political Science Major Pursues Master of Public Policy at UVa

Since coming to Hollins as a first-year student, Hannah Byrum ’20 has been drawn to the study of legislation enacted by state government and the importance of leadership as it relates to policy.

Beginning this fall, the political science major will immerse herself in what she describes as “the best of both worlds” through the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. 

“As a student in the MPP program, you get to tackle the most pressing issues of the world in a variety of ways while also working on your leadership and team-building abilities,” Byrum says. “My emphasis while there will continue to be on state policy analysis.”

During her first two years at Hollins, Byrum laid the groundwork for a career in government and politics. She performed January Short Term internships as a first-year student and as a sophomore with government relations firms in Richmond, Virginia, that focus on state public policy issues: Commonwealth Strategy Group and Pickral Consulting. She subsequently completed a summer internship with the constituent services team in the Office of U.S. Senator Tim Kaine. In January of this year, she interned with the Office of Delegate Karrie Delaney, who represents the 67th District in Virginia’s House of Delegates. While in the latter role, Byrum helped write several pieces of legislation that were passed during the most recent Virginia General Assembly session.

“The internships provided me with an opportunity to apply what I had learned in class to the real world while also bringing conversation and a new perspective to the classroom,” Byrum says. “Seeing such strong and passionate people representing the needs of constituents and interest groups helped direct my career path of working with Virginia’s lawmakers on legislation.”

After completing her General Assembly legislation work, Byrum noticed discrepancies in how human sex trafficking laws in Virginia were approached. “The political science department requires a research methods course,” she notes, “and that was when I realized I wanted to focus my research on human sex trafficking.” Byrum went on to devote her honors thesis to examining the human trafficking laws and bills that were presented during the 2020 General Assembly.

“I dissect the language in those laws and bills and identify potential inconsistencies that could result in victims not receiving the safeguards and services they need. I make recommendations for language that should be included in future legislation. I also offer general direction for more assistance and general protections under the law that will be beneficial to victims.”

Byrum praises two of her professors, Professor of Political Science Edward Lynch and Assistant Professor of Political Science Courtney Chenette, for having “a substantial impact on my education.” As a student in Lynch’s first-year seminar course, “How to be a President,” Byrum was invited to attend a lecture on international relations and global politics at the University of Virginia. “I knew then how much I wanted to attend UVa for graduate school,” she recalls.

Chenette was Byrum’s thesis advisor. “She has provided so much feedback, encouragement, and excitement for my work,” Byrum says. “I cannot thank her enough.”

The Williamsburg, Virginia, native believes that she would not have had the amount of success she has had at Hollins if it were not for Lynch and Chenette’s support. “Both of them care so much for the success of their students and want to see us work hard for what we want. They aren’t going to sugar-coat things and that’s what makes them incredible as professors.”

Byrum also cites the tools she has gained from her involvement with the Batten Leadership Institute at Hollins. “I can confidently navigate personal, academic, or professional conflict in a way that is extremely effective, and improve communication when tensions may be high. I learned how to be a better leader in every aspect of my life. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Batten when I started my first year, but thanks to (Executive Director) Abrina Schnurman, my experience went far beyond what I could have imagined.”

After completing the MPP program at UVa, Byrum says she “would love to dive head-first into meaningful work with impact at the state level,” whether that is with a government relations firm or state government entity. Working on a campaign or as a legislative aide for a state delegate or senator is also a possibility.

“All I know for certain is, I want to continue to serve my community to the best of my ability, however that may present itself.”

 


Johns Hopkins Internship Propels Senior Gates Millennium Scholar to M.P.H. Program at Brown

One of the nation’s largest and most ambitious scholarship initiatives, the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program helps African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with high academic and leadership potential, and with financial need, realize their higher education aspirations.

For Epa Cabrera ’20, GMS made possible her journey from her home on Saipan in the western Pacific Ocean’s Northern Mariana Islands to study at Hollins University. The program also enabled the business and economics double major to take advantage of real-world experiences outside the classroom. One of those opportunities was working as a research assistant during this year’s January Short Term at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

“My J-term experience enhanced my interest in public health and inspired me to pursue a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree,” Cabrera notes. She subsequently applied to and earned admission at some of the country’s most prestigious M.P.H. schools: the Milken Institute of Public Health at The George Washington University; the Boston University School of Public Health; the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Public Health; the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University; Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health; and the Brown University School of Public Health.

“I was admitted to some amazing M.P.H. programs,” she explains, “and after weighing the pros and cons of each, I decided Brown was the best fit for me. I was drawn by its emphasis on applying the skills that we, as students, would learn with hands-on practical experience through internships.”

Cabrera was also impressed with the caliber of Brown’s faculty. “The School of Public Health offers a cadre of world-renowned researchers who focus on a number of topics in which I am particularly interested in exploring. For instance, I’d like to work closely with Associate Professor of Epidemiology Eric Loucks. His examination into social factors that influence cardiovascular disease aligns with my current thesis on obesity in women and its consequences for the U.S. labor supply. I’m also intrigued by recent research undertaken by Bess Marcus, dean of the School of Public Health, which investigates low-cost interventions to promote physical behavior in habitual environments.”

After completing the two-year MPH program at Brown, Cabrera wants to engage in public health projects on a global scale. “I hope to contribute to protecting the well-being of individuals by supporting policies and strategies worldwide through the World Health Organization.” Her long-range goals include completing a doctorate in public health.

Cabrera praises GMS for enabling her to graduate this spring debt-free and able to continue her education without an economic burden. At the same time, she says, “I am grateful for the professors, deans, and the Batten Leadership Institute at Hollins. They have exceedingly given me support and encouragement throughout my time here.”


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.

 


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.

 

 


Hollins Researchers Partner With Other Universities To Study Impact Of COVID-19 On Tick-Borne Illnesses

Two Hollins professors are collaborating with scientists from four other universities to determine if the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the time people spend outdoors and if that change could result in increased exposure to ticks or tick-borne diseases.

Elizabeth Gleim
Elizabeth Gleim (Photo Credit: Nancy Evelyn)

Elizabeth Gleim, assistant professor of biology and environmental studies, and Meg du Bray, a visiting assistant professor in environmental studies at Augustana College who will be joining the Hollins faculty this fall as an assistant professor of environmental studies, are working with researchers from the University of Georgia, Duke University, Clemson University, and the University of Rhode Island on a new study entitled, “Investigating COVID-19 Impacts on the Epidemiology of Tick-Borne Diseases in People and Pets.”

“We’re examining whether people are spending more time outside due to COVID-19 restrictions and whether this might be affecting them, their families, and/or their pets’ (if they have any) risk of contracting a tick-borne illness,” Gleim explains.

Gleim and her fellow researchers are inviting any person 18 years or older who resides in the United States or Canada to fill out a short survey that “should only take about 10 to 15 minutes of your time,” she notes, “or less if you do not have children and/or dogs.”

The research team is hoping to have as many people as possible participate in the study. “We encourage everyone to please share the survey with any individuals or groups that you think would be willing to complete it,” Gleim says.


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.