Saturday, April 30, 2016

Spring Fling '16 now in the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
A bit of our history spotted in downtown Norfolk.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The photo gallery from Wednesday's social of The Wesleyan Society:

Nota Bene: CSRF's Founding Fellow Robert C. Nusbaum

April 29, 2016
Monday evening, April 25, was a very special occasion for the Virginia Wesleyan College community. We recognized and honored Robert C. Nusbaum for his founding vision in establishing and supporting our Center for the Study of Religious Freedom.

I presented Bob with a special citation honoring him as the Center's Founding Fellow, prior to the Justine L. Nusbaum Lecture which is named for his mother. The excellent lecture this year, “Spirit Voices of an Emerging African-American Community in 18th-Century America," was delivered by Dr. Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander, Professor of History and Director of the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies at Norfolk State University.
In November 1995, Bob Nusbaum wrote to the President of the College and proposed the idea for a Center for the Study of Religious Freedom. In his letter, he wrote, “I venture to guess that more persons have been slaughtered in the name of religion than from any other cause… in this continuing saga of man’s inhumanity to man, the one bright light that goes beyond mere tolerance is Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom. It laid the foundation for the First Amendment, and has served as a beacon for all enlightened constitutions ever since.”
That letter led to the creation of a center to promote religious freedom and understanding of different faiths. The establishment of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan College was announced in September 1996.
Bob Nusbaum and his brother, V.H. “Pooch” Nusbaum, later established the Justine L. Nusbaum Endowed Lectureship in honor of their mother, who was well known for her lifelong volunteer service and dedication to humanitarian causes.
More recently, Bob has established an endowment to enable the Center to hold an annual student essay contest. Beginning in the fall, during the 20th anniversary of the Center’s founding, we will launch an essay contest for VWC students to write about issues of religious freedom. Prize money will be awarded to the authors of winning essays.
Bob is concerned that many young people do not understand the heritage of religious freedom. His dream – and our dream, too – would be for every VWC student to graduate with an understanding of the challenges and obstacles that humanity has overcome in attaining religious freedom. Moreover, it is important for our students to have an appreciation of the need to be ever vigilant to maintain those rights.

The founding of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, the establishment of the Justine L. Nusbaum Lectureship, and now the Student Religious Freedom Essay Contest—Bob is the driving force behind all of these. It was a pleasure to welcome him, his family and friends to campus and to express our gratitude for his commitment to Virginia Wesleyan College in this vital way.

Congratulations to the Center's coordinators, Dr. Craig Wansink and Kelly Jackson, for hosting a full schedule of enlightening, informative events this year, and for fulfilling so well Bob Nusbaum's founding vision for understanding and promoting religious freedom.
This month's chapter of "Presidential Perspectives"—edited by Marylouise Fennell and me:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Great visit with our friends at Broadwater Academy in Exmore, VA. Pictured with VWC Vice President for Enrollment David Waggoner, BA Head of School Joe Spagnola, BA Director of Middle and Upper School Nancy Dix, and VWC Associate Dean Debbie Hicks.
Enjoyed meeting two Virginia Wesleyanites during a visit to Broadwater Academy in Exmore, Virginia. Christy Northam Kellam (left) received her BA in Communications from VWC in 2009. Kristi Parker Linton (right) received her BA in Communications from VWC in 1992.

Nota Bene: Undergraduate Research Symposium

April 28, 2016

This week marks Virginia Wesleyan College’s 11th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. This year’s Symposium features four days of presentations that showcase students’ research from a variety of disciplines.

Undergraduate research speaks to the heart of Virginia Wesleyan’s liberal arts tradition. By independently developing a research problem to investigate, studying scholarly literature, conducting a research study, and presenting findings, student-researchers develop critical, independent thinking skills. In addition, student-researchers contribute to the body of knowledge in their fields. Virginia Wesleyan College recognizes the work of these student-researchers as well as their contribution to our liberal arts community.

The Symposium began with a Kickoff Event on Monday, April 25th. This event brought together the entire campus in a celebration of the liberal arts. It featured Virginia Wesleyan’s top student-researchers: Ms. Madison Thomer (English), Ms. Ashley Jens (Psychology), and Ms. Joanna Clark (Chemistry). These students were selected by faculty committees from each division to represent their divisions. The Kickoff Event also included a keynote speaker, Dr. Martine Kei Green-Rogers ‘02, a Virginia Wesleyan graduate in Theatre.

Each day this week, we celebrate research across the divisions: On Tuesday April 28th, there were the Humanities Division's featured research presentations; on Wednesday April 27th, there were the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division's featured research presentations; and today, Thursday April 28,, there are the Social Sciences Division's featured research presentations

The week culminates with Virginia Wesleyan College’s annual Academic Fair on Friday, April 29 from 3-5:30 p.m. in Hofheimer Library.  This event features a wide array of student work from all disciplines at all levels, including the Model UN, theatre performances, 3-D printing with Mathematic students, study away experiences, internships, and research. We applaud the participating students for their academic achievements.

I'd like to recognize the faculty mentors who have carefully guided students all year long and the Lighthouse Crew. In addition, many individuals have worked behind the scenes, hosting workshops, selecting grant recipients, and organizing events. They include members of the Undergraduate Research Committee, the Lighthouse staff, and the library staff. Special thanks to:
Dr. Soraya Bartol, Director of Undergraduate Research
Ms. Sue Erickson, Director of Hofheimer Library
Dr. Stephen Hock, Divisional representative for Humanities
Mr. Stephen Leist, Research Librarian
Dr. Taryn Myers, Divisional representative for Social Sciences
Mrs. Christine Pritchard, Administrative Assistant

Dr. Philip Rock, Divisional representative for Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Ms. Amy Rush, Deputy Director of the Lighthouse
Dr. Sara Sewell, Executive Director of the Lighthouse
Ms. LaShay Wyatt, Director of Career Development and Internship Program
Mr. Steven Young, Assistant Director of Career Development and Internship Program

Information about the Lighthouse’s programs is available on Virginia Wesleyan’s website at
Enjoyable dinner and program at the Virginia Wesleyan College Honors and Scholars Program Spring Banquet. From left, student scholar Gabriel Freese; keynote speaker Taryn Myers, Assistant Professor of Psychology; and Joyce Easter, Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Honors and Scholars Program.
With Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs; Bob Albertson, Professor of Management, Business, and Economics, and Chair of the Division of Social Sciences; and LaShay McQueen, Director of the Career Development and Internship Program; at the Spring Internship Appreciation Dinner in the Pearce Hospitality Suite.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

With Timothy O'Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Jason Squinabol, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Music; and Bryson Mortensen, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at The Wesleyan Society social in the Hoffheimer Library. Outstanding performances by the Wesleyan Jazz Ensemble and The Wesleyan Choirs at the event -- recognizing supporters of the College.
With David Waggoner, Vice President for Enrollment, and Trustee and benefactor Henry Watts at tonight's The Wesleyan Society social at the Hofheimer Library.
Birthday celebration in the Center for Enrollment Services for long-time member of the Virginia Wesleyan College staff Patricia Colthurst.

Nota Bene: VWC Model United Nations Delegation

April 27, 2016

I’m happy to report that the Virginia Wesleyan delegation to the National Model United Nations Conference in New York returned to campus with good news for our team, who represented the Republic of Zimbabwe in nine committees, and Chile in a Security Council simulation.  The VWC delegation earned a "Distinguished Delegation" Award - the highest ranked award Virginia Wesleyan has ever won in New York. 

Two VWC students, Nathan VanRensselaer and Lindsey Walker won  "Best Delegate Awards" in their committees and Alexis Turner-Lafving was chosen in a competitive selection process to serve as a chairperson on her committee.

According to their website, the National Model United Nations (NMUN)  draws a diverse group of informed college/university students and faculty from around the world to address current global issues. Their conferences involve experiential learning  that provides students with a better understanding of the inner workings of the UN and a forum to hone skills in diplomacy, negotiation, critical thinking, compromise, public speaking, writing, and research.

Thanks to VWC Assistant Professor of Political Science Antje Schwennicke for guiding our students throughout this adventure. She reported that “most importantly, the students had a lot of fun and learned a lot. All of them were always engaged in long discussions with delegates from all over the world, and many took on leadership roles in their committees. They were outstanding diplomats and really came together as a team.”

Congratulations to the following students for representing Virginia Wesleyan so well:

Abby Moncus 
Alexis Moncus
Ashley Bologna
Christian Spivey
Darlene Flucker
Emily Randazzo
Nyoh Njoka
Glenn Rose
Sabine Dramou
Jaquelyn Gabaldon
Nathan VanRensselaer
Rachel Lambert
Robert McComb
Sarah Pybus-Elmore
Tori Pugh
William Lawson
Alexis Turner-Lafving
Kyle Grabulis
Lindsey Walker
Megan Morgan
Austin VonVille
Read more about our delegation’s experience on our website at
Kudos to our amazing sophomore!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The photo gallery from last night's Justine L. Nusbaum Lecture at Virginia Wesleyan College:

Nota Bene: Model NATO Challenge

April 26, 2016

This spring, Virginia Wesleyan had the honor, once again, of serving as the meeting place for the annual Model NATO Challenge, which is produced by the Norfolk NATO Festival in partnership with NATO Headquarters and Supreme Allied Command Transformation.

During the mock global crisis simulation, held in Boyd Dining Center, local high school juniors and seniors took on the roles of student diplomats, each representing one of the 28 NATO Member Nations. Select students also participated in the Student Press Corps covering the event action in a live media role.

Our involvement in the Challenge stems from the College’s formal agreement with NATO-ACT which offers up to 25 International Student Grants of $9,000 per semester—$18,000 per year—to dependents of NATO-ACT employees stationed in Norfolk. In return, NATO-ACT offers their staff's expertise to the VWC community in the form of guest lectures, internship opportunities, and NATO simulation opportunities like the Model NATO Challenge.

We are extremely grateful for this valuable partnership and celebrate the opportunity to build global partnerships right here in our community.
It's a great day to be a Marlin! Congratulations Evan.
Kudos Coach Hearn!

Monday, April 25, 2016

With long-time members of the Virginia Wesleyan family -- Stephen Mansfield, Bob Nusbaum, and Jim Bergdoll at tonight's Justine L. Nusbaum Lecture.
With tonight's featured speaker, Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, at tonight's Justine L. Nusbaum Lecture sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom.
Robert C. Nusbaum was honored this evening as the Founding Fellow of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom during the Justine L. Nusbaum Lecture.
Dr. Mort Gamble, Vice President for Advancement, and I had an enjoyable visit and tour this morning at the Norfolk location of the E3 School, an early childhood development program adjacent to the YMCA on Granby Street. Lisa Howard, President and CEO, briefed us on the school's mission, programs, and outreach, with approximately 50 students aged 1 to 5 enrolled currently and growth of enrollment expected.
Kate Griffin (Director of Student Activities), Keith Moore (Vice President for Student Affairs), and I recapped a successful year of programming with Wesleyan Activity Council Supervisors, Jasmin Reeves, Sarah Malaby, and Georgia Walker.

Nota Bene: Congratulations to Kathleen Casey!

April 25, 2016

I am proud to inform you that Assistant Professor of History Kathleen Casey has been awarded a Maurice L. Mednick Memorial Fellowship by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges for her project, The Things She Carried: Women and the Power of the Purse.

While conducting research for her book,
The Prettiest Girl on Stage is a Man: Race and Gender Benders in American Vaudville (University of Tennessee Press, 2015), Dr. Casey says she was struck by the critical role that costuming played in the development of each performer’s persona—in particular, one performer’s matching dress and purse made out of four thousand pennies.

The Things She Carried will be a book-length social and cultural biography of the purse. The Mednick Fellowship will support Dr. Casey’s research, which will include travel to the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture at the New-York Historical Society, the Fashion Institute of Technology Archives, and the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard University.

Dr. Casey joined the faculty at Virginia Wesleyan in the fall of 2012. Her areas of expertise include late 19th and early 20th-century American cultural and social history. Her research focuses on modern American popular and material culture, gender and sexuality, and African-American history.

Please join me in congratulating Professor Casey on this outstanding achievement. Virginia Wesleyan’s dedicated faculty excel as teacher-scholars, and Dr. Casey serves as an exemplary model of this.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Marlins now 34-5 after a doubleheader sweep yesterday!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Annie and I enjoyed our first Virginia Wesleyan College "Seafood in the Dell" with Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Moore and his family. A 34 year spring tradition at Wesleyan.
Annie and I were guests of The Virginia Arts Festival, The Norfolk NATO Festival, The NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Denis Mercier and City of Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim for a private pre-event social and followed by the performance by 17 featured artists at the Scope last night. Pictured with Bert Schmidt, President and CEO of WHRO, Heather Mazzoni, Vice President of Content at WHRO.
This week's edition of "@vawesleyan":
Enjoyed visiting with faculty and staff colleagues at the fourth annual "Feather in Your Cap" reception in the Hofheimer Library. A special library display of accomplishments included books, professional journal articles, encyclopedia entries, translations, music composition, music performances, and more.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day....the Mud Games at Virginia Wesleyan College

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wonderful evening with New York City alumni and friends at the beautiful penthouse condo of Amy Gallup Klann '89 and her husband Eric Klann.
Nice article in The Suffolk News-Herald on our partnership with Nansemond-Suffolk Academy:
Robert Leitgeb, Chief Information Officer at Virginia Wesleyan, was a featured speaker at the Ellucian Executive Forum in Denver this week. Over 500 higher education executives attended the session.
Great turnout at the Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Studio for Virginia Wesleyan College alumni and friends social and presentation by our student and graduates. The Chrysler Museum and Virginia Wesleyan College have been academic partners for a number of years. Pictured with (upper left) Charlotte Potter, CMA Glass Studio Manager and Programming Director; (upper right) the incoming chair of our Alumni Council Mavis McKenley and her husband Wayne; (lower left) Professors Phil Guilfoyle and Sharon Swift; and (lower right) Sydney Covey and Charla Smith-Worley.

Nota Bene: Academic Community Partnerships

April 21, 2016

Last week, a group of advanced placement environmental sciences students from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (NSA) set sail aboard the Ocean Explorer, Virginia Wesleyan's 45-foot research vessel owned in partnership with the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.

The 18 students were guided by Associate Professor of Biology Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson—as well as VWC biology students Marlan Hare '16, Rosalind Ludovici '16, and Elizabeth Quamme '17—in sampling marine organisms and conducting water quality testing in the creek behind Rudee Inlet. Also along for the excursion was NSA Science Department Head Laura George.

This initiative is part of an ongoing effort by the College, under the leadership of Batten Associate Professor of Education Hilve Firek, to expand mutually beneficial academic partnerships in the community. Partnerships to date have included:

Programs like these are immensely valuable for participants, both young learners and seasoned professionals. And likewise, they provide an excellent opportunity for us, as a college, to showcase our outstanding programs, faculty and facilities.

Proudly attended the 41st annual President's Review and Awards Ceremony as four members of our Army ROTC were recognized by the Monarch Battalion. With me (from left) Dr. Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs, Hebo Dramaou, Rolanda Taylor, Clay Jones, Gavin Fry, and Amy Rush, Advisor.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Enjoyed meeting Roseann Carlson and her husband, Neil Carroll, during lunch today with Rolanda Taylor ’18 (center), the recipient of the Dr. Edmund D. "Del" Carlson Memorial Endowed Scholarship. Rolanda is a political science major from Norfolk and a member of Virginia Wesleyan’s Army ROTC Marlin Detachment. Also pictured is Suzanne Savage, Associate Vice President for Advancement.

Nota Bene: Kudos to the Marlin Chronicle Staff

April 20, 2016
The Society of Collegiate Journalists (SCJ) has announced the results of this year's national competition for college and university news media. I am pleased and proud to share with you some very good news from Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Communication/Advisor to our student-operated campus publication The Marlin Chronicle.
The Chronicle's staff received a total of 9 awards, including second place for newspaper overall excellence in the weekly or less category, and second place in sports news.
Other awards went to:
  • Sarah Antozzi -- Honorable mention, sports feature
  • Anthony Dellamura -- First place, feature photo
  • Anthony Dellamura -- Second place, sports photo
  • Michael Wilson -- Second place, sports column
  • Richard Cremin -- Honorable mention, editorial cartoon
  • Thomas Mills -- Honorable mention, graphic illustration
  • Aoife Branco -- Honorable mention, column or commentary
Courtney Herrick is editor-in-chief of The Marlin Chronicle.

As a former collegiate student newspaper editor, professional journalist and longtime advisor to the Society of Collegiate Journalists, I congratulate our student journalists for their tremendous achievements in this year's competition. I sincerely hope that this recognition, which joins many other awards for the Chronicle, will encourage other students to take to their keyboards and keep the tradition of an independent, student-edited newspaper strong and vibrant.

All of us at Virginia Wesleyan College should be very proud of our newspaper, its talented editors and reporters, and the vital tradition of journalism practiced here. 
Congratulations to the newest inductees into Sigma Zeta Honor Society (Mathematics and Science)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Virginia Wesleyan College chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, was recently recognized on the 35th anniversary of their ODK Charter. The Virginia Wesleyan circle (chapter) was installed on April 5, 1981. ODK, founded at Washington and Lee University in 1914, has circles on more than 285 college and university campuses throughout the United States. VWC President Dr. Scott D. Miller is pictured presenting to Dr. Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs.
Congratulations to an outstanding Virginia Wesleyan College alum:

Nota Bene: Campus Compact 30th Anniversary Action Statement

April 19, 2016

Campus Compact recently celebrated the more than 360 signatories on its Action Statement during a Summit of Presidents and Chancellors at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston. On behalf of Virginia Wesleyan College, I am among the presidents who signed the Campus Compact 30th Anniversary Action Statement, a document containing strong language about the public obligations of higher education that commits campuses to taking specific steps to deepen their engagement for the benefit of students, communities, and the broader public. The document concludes with a commitment by each signatory to create a Campus Civic Action Plan to be shared publicly.

The fine work of Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling and Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Kathy Stolley position us well for the successful completion of this Action Plan. They will lead our efforts in creating a plan that deepens engagement and active citizenship. Thanks to Diane and Kathy for leading our process. I look forward to sharing our campus plan with you in the future and to your support of our commitment.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Enjoyable dinner tonight with Dr. Carolyn Williams, retired Virginia Beach educator and mother of Grammy Award winning musician/entrepreneur Pharrell Williams. Dr. Williams was the featured speaker tonight at the opening dinner for the VWC student-led business conference, Marlin Prestige. Her nephew, Mario Thourogood, is the CEO of the Conference. Mario is also student associate in the Office of the President.
It's a Great Day (and Week) to be a Marlin! Kudos to baseball pitcher Sean Grieser -- ODAC Pitcher of the Week!
Congrats to Drew Tomajczyk -- this week's ODAC Player of the Week! The Marlins are 8-0 in the ODAC and handed Washington & Lee University its first ODAC loss since 2009.
Congrats to freshman Kandis Kresinke -- ODAC Pitcher of the Week for the second straight week! That's four times for her this year.
Thanks for visiting this weekend,#VWC2020! View your photos with Bob Marlin:

Nota Bene: Student-led Business Conference

April 18, 2016
Virginia Wesleyan’s student-led Business Conference—branded the Marlin Prestige—begins today with events that will take place throughout the week. Community members have been invited to participate in workshops, presentations and interactive panels that embrace the spring 2016 theme, "Life Prep: What You Weren’t Taught in Class."

The conference is the culmination of months of hard work by students in the Virginia Wesleyan business course, "Principles of Management." Students coordinate all aspects of the event, exercising key management skills like product development, networking, and project and financial planning.

Virginia Wesleyan junior Mario Thourogood, who works in my office as a president’s assistant, is the chief executive officer of the Marlin Prestige this semester. Mario has worked with fellow students and faculty to develop a conference that will feature a variety of guest speakers, among them Dr. Carolyn Williams, retired teacher and library media specialist for Virginia Beach City Public Schools (by invite only); Quentin Williams and Jan Marshall, agents with New York Life Insurance Company; and Raymond Sanders, executive vice president and chief operating officer/chief risk officer at Village Bank.

Daily activities will once again include the popular "Shark Tank" presentations, which closely mirror the popular ABC television series, as well as interactive alumni and faculty career panels. For more information and a complete schedule of events visit the Marlin Prestige webpage.
Thanks to Associate Professor of Management, Business, and Economics, Dr. Paul Ewell, and the VWC Business department faculty and students for hosting this semi-annual conference for our community.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Perfect 8-0 in the ODAC after a 5-4 win over Washington & Lee University.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Baseball and softball team up for Strike Out Cancer at Virginia Wesleyan College today.
Overflow crowd in the Boyd Dining Center for the opening session of VWC Day.
Hanging out with Bob Marlin & the Wesleyan Ambassadors before today's VWC Day. It's A Great Day To Be A Marlin!
We hosted a reception in the Pearce Hospitality Suite to recognize members of the Virginia Wesleyan College Parents’ Council whose students are graduating.
We recognized and thanked Parents’ Council Co-Chairs Jeff and Joan Kayser for their outstanding leadership.
Thanks to the Virginia Wesleyan College Parents' Council for the $35,200 gift to The Excellence Fund during today’s Parents’ Council Business Meeting. Parents’ Council Co-Chairs Jeff and Joan Kayser presented the check on behalf of the Council.

Friday, April 15, 2016

We appreciate the leadership of Cindy Garver (and her husband Rob) who will serve as Co-Chairs of the 2016-17 Parents’ Council. Their daughter Katie will be a senior next year.
Nice to visit with Melissa Hipple tonight at the Parents' Council reception. Nic '18 (left) and Britton '16 are current students. Libby '20 will be attending this fall.
See you in the morning...
Dr. Keith Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs, presenting the Best Collaborative Program Award to Domestic Violence Week (Red Flag Campaign, Social Work Club, Phenomenal Woman).
Presenting the Wesleyan Spirit Award to Tyler Turner at today's Bob Marlin Student Leadership Awards.
The photo gallery from the President's List reception:
Joanne Renn, Executive Director of Athletics, Brandon Elliott, women's softball coach, and Mat Littleton, men's cross country track and field coach, talk about Virginia Wesleyan College's athletic success at the Chesapeake Sports Club.