Monday, January 30, 2023

Nota Bene: Weekly Update


January 30, 2023

Good morning,
We hope everyone has enjoyed their first week of classes of the Spring semester! Remember, our campus resources are here to help you have the best semester possible. The Learning CenterCounseling ServicesStudent ActivitiesThe Lighthouse, and more are all available to you as you navigate your way through classes, coursework, and extracurricular activities. 

Best wishes as we continue the Spring semester, Marlins!
The University has been delighted to host the 23rd annual Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges’ Ethics Bowl yesterday and today for the fourth time in the program’s history. The Ethics Bowl will culminate today with the final round and award ceremony to be held at 11:30 a.m. in the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center. 

This year’s topic is “Ethics and Digital Media.” The 2023 Virginia Wesleyan team includes Casey Bennett, Elena Lichtenwalner, Christian Palmisano, Lily Reslink, Andrew Steiner, Tyler Stanczyk, Rowan Stuart, Kainaat Trehan, and Abigail Villacrusis. They are led by Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson, Professor of Communication, who first began advising students for Ethics Bowl deliberations in 2012. The Marlins have won the coveted Batten Cup in 2000 and 2020. We wish this year’s team the best as they continue in today’s case deliberations.

Last night, the 2023 Ethics Bowl Dinner honored VWU Trustee Emeritus and VFIC Trustee George Y. Birdsong H’19 for this steadfast support of private higher education at VWU and throughout the Commonwealth. George has been an incredible friend to VWU, and we were so proud to recognize him in this manner on our campus. 

A major component of the Ethics Bowl Dinner is fundraising. Our special thanks to VWU Trustee Gary D. Bonnewell ‘79 H’16 for his efforts in raising scholarship funds for the VFIC for students in Coastal Virginia. 

It’s a great day to be a Marlin!
Virginia Wesleyan University Online is again attracting attention in national rankings. The University has been selected for inclusion among U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Best Online Programs,” released last week. The University’s entire catalog of online bachelor’s programs is recognized as a whole, and singled out in the discipline-specific categories are VWU’s online Bachelor of Arts in Business and Master of Business Administration.

VWU Online launched at the start of the 2017-2018 Academic Year with the transition of Virginia Wesleyan from a college to a university and has quickly become a top online program in the nation. Learn more.
The VWU community continues to mourn the passing of the Reverend Dr. William Shealy. Bill was one of the first members of the Virginia Wesleyan faculty, teaching in the Department of Religious Studies from 1968 to 1997. He served as Division Chair for the Social Sciences in the 1970s, and he developed an extensive teaching collection for his students. He brought creativity and enthusiasm to his pedagogy, he influenced generations of students and Methodist clergy, and we are grateful for the ways he shaped this university. 

Alumni, campus, community, and all friends of Bill are invited to a small, informal celebration of life on Friday, February 3, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the Barclay Sheaks Gallery (in the Hofheimer Library). 

Bill's obituary can be found here. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts.
Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX
The NCAA and its member institutions are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX. To celebrate on campus, Virginia Wesleyan Athletics is excited to welcome Carol Hutchins, former University of Michigan Softball Coach, on February 3 to speak to our student-athletes and coaching staff about her experience as it relates to Title IX. Coach Hutchins is currently the winningest Head Coach in Division I NCAA Softball history with 1,684 wins at Michigan and 1,707 career wins. She retired from Michigan in August 2022. Coach Hutchins played basketball and softball at Michigan State University from 1976 to 1979, shortly after Title IX legislation passed in 1972. We thank Head Softball Coach Brandon Elliott for organizing this opportunity for our community.
Counseling and Student Health Hosts “Talk to the Pros” Mental Health Discussion
The Office of Counseling and Student Health recently hosted "Talk to the Pros: Mental Health Discussion." Panelists for this event included Sergeant Shamber Garrett with Chesapeake Police Department, who is responsible for their Crisis Negotiation Team; the former clinical director at Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Phillip Riddick; outpatient psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Elizabeth MtCastle; and VWU Senior Vice President, Keith Moore. The discussion focused on coping skills, what a mental health crisis looks like, and how to respond to a crisis. Self-care tools were available to students at the conclusion of the event.
A Celebration for a New Cohort of Joint Degree Nursing Students 
Congratulations to the four Marlin students in our joint Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program with Sentara College of Health Sciences who are transitioning to the clinical portion of their studies at SCOHS. Students Joana Robles, Rayven Amaya, Olivia Winslow, and Sophia Bourassa were celebrated during a reception in Brock Commons last week. They are pictured with Dr. Susan Larkin, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. Maury Howard, Professor of Chemistry and Director of Nursing and Allied Health; and Judith Johnson, SCOHS Chair of Nursing. My thanks to Dr. Howard for organizing the event and best wishes to our students!
Healthier757 Brings Rewards for Healthy Living
The University recently partnered with Healthier757, creators of an educational gaming platform designed to improve health literacy. Students, faculty, and staff across campus may have seen table tents, posters, and flyers promoting Rewards for Healthy Living. The platform makes learning about healthy living informative and fun. Profiles are based on each user’s individual needs and interests. Participants are entered into monthly raffles for cash prizes based on engagement. We are excited about this opportunity as it is yet another way to promote wellness and support our community.
Elizabeth River Project River Star Businesses Annual Recognition Luncheon
As previously reported, VWU was honored to receive two awards during the River Star Businesses Annual Recognition Luncheon two weeks ago. We were recognized as a Sustained Distinguished Performer at the Model Level and inducted into the River Stars Hall of Fame. A digital version of the Inside Business’ special River Star report can be found here.
VWU Athletics Displayed at the Virginia Beach Sports Complex
We’re proud to showcase signature athletic programs like basketball and track & field at the Virginia Beach Sports Complex. These banners will help garner interest in VWU Athletics and the university in general. Thanks to Christine Hall, our Branding and Design Manager, for these great-looking banners!
VWU Faculty and Staff in the Media
Vice President for Enrollment Heather Campbell was quoted in The Virginian-Pilot on why Virginia Wesleyan has remained test-optional in the wake of the pandemic. 

Dr. Kathleen Casey, Associate Professor of History, was recently published in Ms. Magazine with her article, "The Renaissance of Feminist Bookstores.” The article connects with the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Program’s keynote speaker for Women's History Month, Erin Dougherty, the owner of Eleanor's Norfolk.

Dr. Ben Dobrin, Professor of Social Work and Dean of the D. Henry Watts School of Professional Studies, was featured in a WTKR news segment about the Special Olympics Polar Plunge at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Dr. Dobrin served as a volunteer diver at that event. 

Dr. Taryn Myers, Professor of Psychology, was recently featured in's Mental Health Guide for College Students. Dr. Myers shared her advice and experiences regarding working through academic stress, maintaining good mental health, and supporting peers struggling with mental health issues.
Partnership with Haygood UMC
Sunday worship in Monumental Chapel will resume on February 5 at 4:00 p.m. Students also worship on Monday nights at 9:00 p.m. in the Student Ministries Lounge. Additionally, the entire campus community is welcome to worship at Haygood UMC on Sunday mornings. There is a traditional service at 9:30 a.m. and a modern service at 10:45 a.m. We remain grateful to Rev. Beth Givens, Marie Porter (Director of Student Ministries) and the entire Haygood UMC community for their support of our students.
Construction Update
Earth-moving to begin the construction of the D. Henry and Eleanor Watts Fieldhouse has finally begun. The fieldhouse will bring locker rooms for the team and restroom facilities for all to Tom and Betty Broyles Field at TowneBank Park. Our sincere thanks to the Watts for their continued support of Virginia Wesleyan and VWU Athletics. 

Work has begun on updates to the heating and cooling system for Godwin Hall. In partnership with Aramark Engineering Services, the new system will feature a new chiller and variable air volume (VAV) control system. Benefits of a VAV system include more precise temperature control, reduced wear on system compressors, and lower energy consumption. These updates will significantly improve the efficiency and functionality of the Godwin Hall HVAC system. Updates are anticipated to be completed by May 2023.
I hope you find these links useful to my recent columns and publications:

Twitter: @vawesleyanprez 
Instagram: @prezscottmiller 
Flickr: Scott D. Miller 
(Be sure to subscribe to Dialogue for daily updates via email
Have a great week, Marlins!

Scott D. Miller, Ph.D.
Virginia Wesleyan University
5817 Wesleyan Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Phone: 757.455.3215

Friday, January 27, 2023

VWU Cross Country


Kudos to Virginia Wesleyan University cross country on this special recognition by U.S. Track & Field / Cross Country Coaches Association!

Welcome Back Roast


“Welcome Back” pig roast tonight in The Cove at Brock Commons! (Veggie options available in Boyd.) Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Ethics Bowl Practice

The campus community was invited to a debate demonstration of the VWU Ethics Bowl team designed to provide practice for the statewide VFIC competition being hosted by VWU this weekend. This year’s Ethics Bowl topic is “Ethics and Digital Media.”
Participating students include: Casey Bennett, Elena Lichtenwalner, Christian Palmisano, Lily Reslink, Andrew Steiner, Tyler Stanczyk, Kainaat Trehan, and Abigail Villacrusis, with Professor of Communication Kathy Merlock Jackson serving as faculty coordinator for the team.


Welcome, Chris Peace

As the Chair of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, I was delighted to welcome CICV’s incoming president, Chris Peace, to VWU today.


Sandler Center

Enjoyable evening at the Sandler Center as we celebrated the illustrious career of Nancy Creech (upper left with Neptune Festival CEO Christopher “Kit” Chope ). A former member of the Board of Trustees of then Virginia Wesleyan College, Nancy has been a stalwart in the Virginia Beach community — most recently as president of the Neptune Festival. Upper right, with Deputy City Manager Taylor Adams and his wife Phoenix. Lower left, with former Mayor Will Sessoms. Lower right, with former Governor Bob McDonnell.


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Visit with Michelle Butler and Lem Lewis

Nice to visit with Michelle Butler, TowneBank Executive Vice President, and Lem Lewis, Retired Executive Vice President and CFO, Landmark Communications, at tonight’s pre-event dinner for the Norfolk Forum. Michelle is the mother of VWU assistant baseball coach Jeff Butler. Lem is Trustee emeritus at VWU.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Dinner with Linda Johnson Rice

Enjoyable pre-event dinner with Linda Johnson Rice featured speaker for tonight’s Norfolk Forum. She is the Chair & CEO of Johnson Publishing Co. and Chair Emeritus of Ebony Media Operations with decades of experience in building globally recognized brands.


D. Henry and Eleanor Watts Field House

Site preparation began today for construction of the D. Henry and Eleanor Watts Field House at TowneBank Park. The field house will provide locker rooms for the softball team and restroom facilities for the team and spectators.