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Mike Lund’s Writing Workshop for Vets Featured


There are many ways to honor Veterans on Veteran’s Day, but one of the easiest may be simply listening to their stories. One church in Buckingham County has taken that a step further–with the help of Dr. Mike Lund, professor emeritus of English–and self-published the stories of the veterans in its congregation. WMRA’s Emily Richardson-Lorente went to meet a few of the contributors.

Listen to the interview or read the transcript  here.

Lacy J. Klinger, Assistant Professor of Theatre, to perform with Broadway Actor

(Norfolk, VA) Lacy J. Klinger, Assistant Professor of Theatre, and senior BFA Theatre Performance Major Garrett D. Reese will be performing in the Virginia Theatre Association’s (www.vtasite.org) staged reading of the musical Bubble Boy. The musical is written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (Despicable Me, The Lorax, The Secret Life of Pets), who also wrote the 2001 major motion picture of the same title and starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

Klinger and Reese were chosen out of 100 video submissions from across the state of Virginia, which included a brief selection of a musical theatre song that showed off their vocal range and comedic acting technique. Klinger is playing the role of the title character’s germ-a-phobic, neurotic mother Mrs. Livingston. Reese will be playing the character of Slim, the leader of a biker gang, as well as serving in the ensemble.

“Slim is very much a ‘tough guy’ with a very soft heart,” Reese says. “He’s been burned in the past but he refuses to live with regret, as we learn from his song, appropriately titled ‘Regret,’” Reese laughs.

Jimmy Livingston, a boy destined to live his entire life in a plastic bubble lest he be killed by just one germ, will be played by professional Broadway actor Jacob Stuart Dickey (www.jacobstuartdickey.com) who is currently in the ensemble of Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway. Dickey also serves as the understudy for the roles of Aladdin and Kassim.

This staged reading, performing on Friday October 26, 2018, is being produced in conjunction with the professional theatre company Wolfbane Productions (www.wolfbane.org), based in Appomattox, VA, and directed by Ken Arpino, the company’s Executive Director. The rest of the cast is comprised of high school students and theatre professionals throughout the state of Virginia, as well as VTA’s own president, Jeff Price.

“For the last few years, [VTA] has had some pretty awesome people at the conference, but access to our headliners has been somewhat limited,” Jeff Price states. The staged reading was brought to life in order to allow those attending the conference to meet the conference’s headliners during The President’s Reception. “We want as many folks as possible to get an opportunity to hob nob with the amazing artists we bring in.”

Not only will the reading provide an opportunity to mingle with headliners, it will allow the performers to showcase their talent to those professionals. “I am most excited for Garrett’s opportunity to share his talent with not only industry professionals across the state, but the successful writing team of Paul and Daurio and executive director of Wolfbane, Ken Arpino,” Klinger says. “It’s a wonderful chance for him to make professional connections just before he graduates. He is an exceptionally talented actor and deserves all the best after leaving Longwood University.”

Reese is honored to represent Longwood Theatre at the conference in front of potential future Longwood students. “I am truly grateful for the opportunity,” Reese says. “I am very happy I was chosen and I cannot wait to meet everyone at the conference, to make these connections, and to showcase all the training I’ve received here at Longwood.”

Women’s Choir Commissioning Consortium

Dr. Pamela McDermott and members of Longwood’s Chamber Singers have been working as part of a women’s choir commissioning consortium: a group of women’s choirs gathered to commission a work by, for, and about women. The resulting work is being performed this semester: first, in a world premiere performance in Raleigh on Saturday, Oct. 5, then in a Virginia premiere on Oct. 30 at Hollins University, and finally in concert at Longwood on Nov. 19.

Dr. Nana Wolfe-Hill of Wingate University initiated the project with composer Linda Tutas Haugen, who is known for her work with historical, literary, and ethnic sources. After extensive research into the source materials of Appalachian folk music, searching for songs that captured a woman’s heart and experience, she created Appalachian Love Songs: Women’s Reflections on Love, Loss and Strength, five movements for women’s voices, piano, and violin.

Haugen writes: “The songs are about love and loss through accident, war, and unfaithfulness; the strength of women supporting and mentoring each other; finding solace and comfort through music and song; determining success or happiness through one’s actions rather than being defined or controlled by others; and the joy, tenderness and companionship of a life-long journey with a spouse.”

During the rehearsal process, Dr. McDermott and the members of Chamber Singers offered feedback to Haugen as she finalized the scores and discussed Haugen’s research findings as she finalized her writings about each song. At the world premiere in Raleigh, members of Chamber Singers worked with 120 singers from 16 other ensembles. They learned directly from the composer and then performed for an audience of choir directors and family members.

You can view a short clip of “Lily Monroe” from the dress rehearsal in Raleigh here: https://youtu.be/P21ptHJ7wiA. “Lily Monroe” is about a woman who becomes a soldier and saves her lover. Haugen’s research into this folk song led her to documents from the 17thand 18thcenturies about a number of women soldiers in Great Britain and Europe, including officers, and their awards and burials with honors. She told of the repression of these stories during the Victorian era, when the notion that “a woman’s place is in the home” became greater than the history of women at war. We found it especially meaningful that Haugen mentioned Joan of Arc as an example of a woman warrior.

Thank you to Dean Byrne, whose support ensured that Longwood’s singers would experience this unique access to the process of musical research and composition, collaborative rehearsal and performance, and the reflection and discussion these experiences generated and continue to generate. Appalachian Love Songswill be performed in Farmville on November 19, 7:30 pm, in Jarman Auditorium as part of the choir department’s fall concert, “We Are Found in Song”.

Cook and Cole Awards for Mentorship

Congratulations to Mary Carroll-Hackett and Andrew Yeagley, the 2018 recipients of the Cook and Cole Medals for Undergraduate Mentorship.

The John Randall Cook Faculty Mentor Award and the Waverly Manson Cole Faculty Mentor Award recognize, respectively, a tenure-track faculty member and a tenured faculty member who have demonstrated excellence in mentoring undergraduate scholarly activity and creative endeavors and working with students to disseminate the results through professional meetings, publications, exhibits or performance.  These faculty members demonstrate a sustained record of such mentorships and impact on students’ careers as they move to graduate school or employment.

Mary and Andrew were recognized at the opening meeting of the Cook-Cole College on Wednesday, August 15. Pictured are Roger Byrne, Dean of the College; Mary Carroll-Hackett; Andrew Yeagley; and Adam Franssen, chair of the selection committee.

Dr. Elif Guler presents at the International Conference on Global Studies

Dr. Elif Guler, Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Professional Writing at Longwood, has recently presented her study, “The Rhetorical Understanding of Agency in The Wisdom of Royal Glory and its Implications for the Contemporary World,” at IAFOR’s International Conference on Global Studies in Barcelona, Spain (July 2018). Upon invitation to the conference entitled, “Fearful Futures: Cultural Studies and the Question of Agency in the Twenty-First Century,” Dr. Guler was also asked to serve as a senior reviewer for IAFOR and invited to publish her study as a chapter in an intercultural rhetoric book contracted with the Southern Illinois University Press.
Dr. Guler’s presentation covered some of the results of her studies recovering non-Western principles of rhetoric with a particular focus on the Turkish rhetorical tradition. Specifically, the presentation focused on an 11th-century Turkish text’s education of an ideal agent who has to study language so s/he can effectively and morally communicate with and utilize authority and power. Dr. Guler also discussed the implications of this text, which originated in the Karakhanid Empire of Central Asia, for a rhetorical construction of a collective identity–an identity which (rather than a race, an ethnicity, or being a lawful member of a society) relies on one’s act of following the tore (a certain set of moral principles that are supposed to govern an individual’s behavior).

Dr. Alec Hosterman has photo exhibit at VA Holocaust Museum and Richmond NPR Interview

On Friday, August 3rd, Dr. Alec Hosterman’s photo documentary exhibit There’s Just Us opened at the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, VA. The exhibit documents his experiences at the 2017 Unite the Right rally held in Charlottesville, VA. The museum kicked off the exhibit on Thursday, August 2 with a special invitation artist’s talk given by Alec.

Alec was also interviewed by WCVE, Richmond’s local NPR affiliate, about his experiences in Charlottesville and the photos in the exhibit at the Virginia Holocaust Museum. Click here to read/listen to that interview.

There’s Just Us runs from August 3, 2018 through October 28, 2018. Click here for more information on the exhibit and the Virginia Holocaust Museum.

Chris Bjornsen presents results of current study of social media use and personality traits.

Chris Bjornsen presented a poster at the May 2018 meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in San Francisco on the results of this year’s study of social media use and personality traits. The study examined the psychometric properties of revised measures of positive social media use, creeping, catfishing, and gossiping/shaming, and a new measure of social media pressure. These constructs were also compared to well-studied positive (‘Big Five’) and negative (‘Dark Tetrad’) personality traits. Females (ages 18-29) scored higher than males on all social media use measures except gossiping/shaming, and higher levels of social media use were predicted more consistently by higher levels of negative personality traits, especially Machiavellianism (the tendency to deceive and manipulate others for self-benefit). The presentation, available on ResearchGate, was coauthored by a Longwood University student (Madison P. Lowry) and colleagues from two separate U.S. universities.

Dr. Kenneth Pestka II with undergraduate Jacob Hull (18) present at the 175th Acoustical Society of America Meeting

Dr. Kenneth Pestka II and undergraduate Jacob Hull (18) in collaboration with Jonathan Buckley (16) and Stephen Kalista Jr. presented the talk titled, “Elastic constants of self-healing polyethylene co-methacrylic acid determined via resonant ultrasound spectroscopy,” at the 175th Acoustical Society of America Meeting on Friday May 11, 2018. An online lay language version of the talk was invited to appear on the ASA Press Room website and can be found at http://acoustics.org/5apa3-elastic-properties-of-a-self-healing-thermal-plastic-kenneth-a-pestka-ii/

Celebrate Earth Day with Longwood BioBlitz

Do you know that April is the Earth month? Would you like to be a citizen scientist and celebrate the Earth month with Longwood BioBlitz? Come explore the biodiversity at Lancer park-find, identify and record species. Learn about local wildlife and natural history while you work with experienced naturalists. Bring your smart phone and report your own findings/pictures at Longwood BioBlitz iNaturalist project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/longwood-bioblitz

The Environmental Educational Center at Lancer Park will be “BioBlitz central.” You will be able to find and learn about local wildlife, help collect data on local biodiversity, and participate in several other activities such as a scavenger hunt, and bird watching. At “touch tables”, you can get close encounters with local animals and plants, and materials for teachers will be available. In addition, there will be a large floor map of Virginia that children can explore by walking and use of manipulatives.

All events are free and open to anyone interested in exploring outdoors. Bring your family, friends and neighbors!

When: Saturday, April 21 from 9am- noon

Where: Environmental Education Center at Lancer Park, Cormier Drive, Farmville, VA 23901

Registration: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1r0k2BIXx83eXlC7ND-2XayZwkO1XX5FJ-n7XLIczQeA/edit

Find more information at Longwood BioBlitz website at https://blogs.longwood.edu/longwoodbioblitz/

Please direct any questions to,

Sujan Henkanaththegedara (Henkanaththegedarasm@longwood.edu)

Edward Kinman (kinmanel@longwood.edu)


ChLA Honors Jennie Miskec

Jennie Miskec’s edited volume, The Early Reader in Children’s Literature and Culture (Routledge 2016), was recently named the 2018 Honor title by The Children’s Literature Association’s Edited Book Award Committee. The award will be conferred at the annual conference in San Antonio in June.