It’s a Wrap: Commencement ceremonies tie a bow on the 2022-23 year

The 2022-23 academic year officially wrapped up this past weekend with Commencement ceremonies for students receiving undergraduate degrees on Saturday and graduate degrees on Friday. The campus was dressed up as much as the Class of 2023 and their guests, and the weather could not have been more perfect, especially for Saturday’s outdoor ceremony. What beautiful, happy days!

For those of you whose students received degrees, Congratulations! You might just find a familiar face in one of the photo galleries or the video below.

For those of you whose students are still working toward their diplomas, you can see what’s in store for you and your Lancer in the future.

I hope you and your students have a wonderful summer.

—Sabrina Brown

Commencement 2023 Video

Undergraduate Commencement

Graduate Commencement

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Hello, welcome to my portfolio.

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22/23 Tony’s Announced

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SOCL 401

UE 1

Our first unit introduced some lesser-known founders of sociology. These were some important figures in establishing sociology as a scientific discipline and sociological thought. Yet, for a long time, their work and contributions to the field were minimized, overlooked, or outright ignored. Keeping this in mind, address the following questions:

  1. Who were some early figures which helped to establish sociology as a scientific discipline AND what were their contributions to sociology?

Emile Durkheim is one of the key founders of the sociology discipline. Durkheim argues that social facts are separate entities from people and should be studied as such. Marx would argue that social facts can never be separated from people, and how people make sense of such phenomena is what matters most. (Sternheimer, 2018) Marx was the founder of revolutionary communism and a sociology historian of materialism. (Reed, 2006) Comte’s aim was to create a naturalistic science of society, which would both explain the past development of mankind and predict its future. Comte focused mainly on stages in the development and progressive emancipation of the human mind. (Coser, 2003) Comte has been involved analysis of the central elements and functions of social systems using concrete and comparative historical methods in order to establish testable generalizations about them. 

  1. What is sociological theory? 

A theory is a system of ideas that has been developed after multiple studies. Constructed by examining the results of research repeated observations. Theory is the beginning, and end by noting how their findings ass to the theory. Sociological theories are explanations about an aspect of society that interest us to learn more about. Theories do not come from one but multiple studies. (Sternhemier, 2020) Sociological theory is a set of ideas that explains observable facts, to make sense of experiences. A theory includes assumptions, interrelated concepts, and statements about relationships. Sociological theory attempts to explain the how and why of social behavior in the real world. It also aims to develop/refine general statements about some aspects of social life. Sociological theory is a foundational aspect of the discipline of sociology. It is a way to help explain how people might behave under certain social circumstances. 

  1. What makes sociology unique from other scientific theories?

Theories are necessary in sociological research, hypotheses are not required. Inductive reasoning is where we use supporting evidence to test the accuracy of our hypotheses. Inductive reasoning only requires us to be curious without making predictions. Some theories change over time due they can lose popularity over time because of the social-historical moment. Sociological theory is fundamentally rooted in understanding the human condition. It is also rooted in answering questions about the human condition and proposing ways to alleviate the human condition for those who are struggling. Sociological theories are what help sociologist explain their data. A social theory systematically directs one’s attention to certain features of human social relations. 

UE 2

Our second unit introduced some of the more well-known founders of sociology – Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Marianne Weber, and W.E.B. DuBois. These individuals produced a body of work which sociologists continue to venerate. This is due in large part to the staying power of their theoretical contributions. Keeping this in mind, pick ONE of the theorists listed above and address the following questions:

  1. What were the major concerns of this theorist? In other words, what were the questions, social issues, or sociological puzzles which appeared to motivate their theoretical interests?

W.E.B DuBois focused on a concept called race conflict theory which is how this sociologist studied race. Race is a term for a group of people who share similar biological traits, but is mostly socially created by society. DuBois recognized how black people are treated differently when he moved to the South and realized that race was a big part of his identity. “For Dubois, externally imposed social conditions constituted the foundations of race oppression and white supremacy. In contrast to white social scientists, DuBois insisted that the newly emerging social sciences be built on careful, empirical research focused on human action in order to pass the test  as genuine science (Morris, 2015, p.3).” DuBois studied how race affected the black community’s identity within society and proposes new ideas on how sociologists should look at race. Some of the connected concepts to DuBois’ work are critical theory, critical race theory, racial formation theory, and postcolonialism.  

  1. What are their key theoretical contributions? Make sure to explain what these contributions are in your own words. 

Some of the key contributions DuBois uses to understand his work are the color line, the veil, and double consciousness. The first addition DuBois used to his work to understand race in America was the color line. The color line is how race and racism are built into society and how people with power treat others without power. This is typically based on race and ethnicity, being that this contributes to how much power someone has. Another key concept Dubois talks about in his understanding of race in America is the like a “veil”. This concept examines how black people view the world differently than white people. The veil is a representation of a barrier to black people in viewing themselves only through what white America describes and prescribes for them. This leads to double consciousness which is another key contribution to DuBois’ work. This concept explains the identity of the black community to have two separate parts. DuBois quotes “This sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.” The double consciousness of a person’s identity is divided into two parts, one where you see yourself through the eyes of others and seeing yourself within your community and family. This shows how it is hard to have a true identity of one’s self because of the constant pressure of stereotypes. 

  1. How are their theoretical contributions still relevant in studying and understanding society today? When addressing this part of the question, make sure to include one or two examples to support your position. 

The three key contributions I discussed in the previous question are still relevant to this day. The one key concept I can relate to is double consciousness. Constantly having to live two worlds of the life you want to live and avoid living the life that others think you live. Looking at the education system, this happens too often for minorities as they live between the world of their social life at school and their lives at home. The struggle between the two causes much strain for young students because they do not know to live in a way like this. This creates the idea of code-switching, which is when you have a different idea of representing yourself around the group of people you are with. Using different language, mannerisms, and appearance are all examples of this concept.

UE 3

Our last unit introduced some of the more well-known contemporary sociologists – Erving Goffman, C. Wright Mills, and Pierre Bourdieu. These individuals are unique in that the work they published was closer in time to where we are now. Their work also looms large over many sociologists and shapes much of the work being produced today. Keeping this in mind, pick ONE of the theorists listed above and address the following questions:

  1. What were the major concerns of this theorist? In other words, what were the questions, social issues, or sociological puzzles which appeared to motivate their theoretical interests?

Goffman focused on symbolic interaction as he understood this as if it were a play performed on stage for an audience. He visualizes symbolic interaction as having a front stage, backstage, and behind the scene. Herbert Blumer coined the term symbolic interaction and defined it as, “People act toward things based on the meaning those things have for them, and these meanings are derived from social interaction and modified through interpretation”(Goffman pptx, 2023) One of Goffman’s major concerns was how people create meaning and understanding for their lives during a time of constant change. He also wanted to understand what we do with the self, how we manage our “self,” and how we display to others who we are. Dramaturgy is another way of explaining Goffman’s interpretation of how he views social life. The three key concepts that help understand dramaturgy are front-stage, back-stage, and impression management. Dramaturgy is a certain way for people to depend on how to act according to the context.

  1. What are their key theoretical contributions? Make sure to explain what these contributions are in your own words. 

Goffman expands on the idea that people come up with their identity through their social interactions with others. Because of this, questions come into play about how we present ourselves to the world and how to do we manage this image every day. Goffman attempts to answer these questions by implementing the concept of social life being a dramaturgy. What this means is we as individuals act similar to a playwright; we are all actors with specific roles, scripts, and costumes which cause us to act a certain way. The idea is broken into 3 premises with each part contributing to the next. The 1st premise is that the “self” or identity of an individual is not a material object and it is what a person allows us to see. The 2nd premise is based on impression management. This is the act of manipulating one’s own image so that we have a distinct appearance in society. Lastly, the 3rd premise is about how more time spent playing a role within society leads to more intense feelings of self.  All 3 premise tie into the idea that we as a society perform on a “front stage(1st premise), and backstage(3rd premise)”, with a concentration on impression management (2nd premise).”

  1. How do you see their work as helping to understand society today? When addressing this part of the question, make sure to include one or two examples (i.e., how their theoretical contributions help to explain a contemporary issue, trend, or problem in society) to support your position.

One of the main ways that this concept exists in today’s society is by looking at the way we approach social media. Platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter all encourage people to post pictures about their lives. However, people don’t typically post their authentic lives and they create a facade that they have perfect lives. This is an example of impression management because individuals on these social media platforms are intentionally manipulating their appearance to the public in order to have a certain type of image. Another example is when students see their teachers outside of the classroom. Teachers present themselves in a specific manner when they are teaching in front of their classes, but then they all act differently outside of the classroom setting. This is not intended to manipulate, but rather to be professional. This shows a front-stage appearance and it is only applied to certain moments in a person’s everyday life. 

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Welcome to my e-Portfolio, feel free to look around and learn more about me! I created this e-portfolio to portray my accomplishments and extracurriculars throughout my undergraduate career. By creating this e-portfolio, I was able to compile all of this information in one place for future employers, teachers, or colleagues to access. I hope that you enjoy learning more about me and and my undergraduate experience.

Within this e-portfolio you will find sample assignments and reflections from each of my undergraduate classes, descriptions of my professional development, progression of my professional writing skills, and information about who I am as a person. I am extremely grateful that I am able to say I know I will be able to use many of the skills learned in many of my classes, such as professional writing, in my future as a pediatric speech-language pathologist. I will transfer as much of my knowledge that I can into my future career and schooling by using this information in different settings to the best of my ability.

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Worth A Thousand Words: A few spring 2023 highlights

I’m a writer, so I believe in the power of the written word. But photographers and videographers also are amazing storytellers. Below are a few visual highlights from the spring semester.

Just What the Doctor Ordered: Fun

When students need a break before the final sprint to exams and the end of the semester, Spring Weekend can be just what the doctor ordered.

Many student organizations set up fundraising booths, offering food or pay-to-play games. There are performances by student groups and live music. And it wouldn’t be Spring Weekend without oozeball. See for yourself why students love this Longwood tradition.

Show and Tell on a Much Higher Level

Twice a year Longwood dedicates an entire day to student research and scholarly activities. Through oral presentations, poster sessions, live performances and more, students show off their “muscles” in their areas of study.

The variety of topics is truly impressive, as you can see in this video and these photos from the Spring 2023 Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry.

Stress-Lowering Treatment in a Fur Coat

It’s pretty well-known that final exams can be stressful. Also well-known is that interacting with a friendly, tail-wagging canine can help reduce stress.

So when exams roll around, so does Study Paws. Faculty and staff bring their dogs to campus, and students gather for a furry therapy session. Take a look.

Putting a Ring On It

Just before Christmas, I posted some information about how to buy your student a Longwood class ring. What makes this gift even more special is the Ring Ceremony. Held in the spring, the event starts with the rings spending the night in the Rotunda.

The next day, family are invited to be on hand as the rings are presented. This year Vice President for Student Affairs Cameron Patterson ’10, M.S. ’17, was there to receive his own Longwood ring.

—Sabrina Brown

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Welcome to my E-Portfolio!

Welcome to my site! In this portfolio, I discuss the work of important theorists of Sociology such as Auguste Comte, Harriet Martineau, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, and C. Wright Mills.

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End-of-Year Thoughts and Move-out Tips

The longer I work in higher education, the faster the years seem to go by. I keep looking at the calendar and wondering how it’s already the end of the academic year.

I sincerely hope this year has been productive, enlightening and fun for your student. I have worked for several universities, and I can honestly say that Longwood students are special. They are friendly, caring, unpretentious, talented and hard-working. In short, they are a joy to be around. What I often say is that Longwood students were raised right. You have good reason to be proud.

And special congratulations to those of you whose students will be graduating in May! The undergraduate ceremony is set for Saturday, May 20.

I hope the information below will make the moving-out process a little easier for those of you whose students live in Longwood-managed housing.

Moving Out

Residence halls close at noon on Saturday, May 6.
Except for the groups mentioned below, all students must depart their residences within 24 hours of the conclusion of their last spring 2023 exams or by noon on Saturday, May 6, whichever comes first.

The following students may remain on campus after noon on May 6*:
Graduating seniors**
Graduating master’s degree students who live in the residence halls**
Students approved to assist with Commencement**
Apartment residents participating in 12-month housing
Students working with select faculty- or staff-sponsored department activities (for example, some athletes and students working with Brock Experiences)
*Students who believe they should receive special approval to remain in Longwood-managed housing after noon May 6 should contact their coach or the appropriate faculty member for approval information.
**Students participating in Commencement must depart campus no later than 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20.

Helpful Hints

—Do not drive or park on the grass.
—Do not park in the nearby lots for private businesses. These lots are TOW-AWAY ZONES at all times, including weekends.
Farmville Area Bus (FAB) service ends at 6 p.m. Friday, May 5.
—Residents are encouraged to consider donating items—especially those they might otherwise throw away—to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, FACES Food Pantry, Southside SPCA or a local clothes closet.Collection boxes are available in Moss and Johns halls, Lancer Park and other locations. For more information, contact

Checkout Process 

Remove all belongings. Residents must remove all personal items from their assigned space or any other areas of their unit before departing campus.
Abandoned property. Personal items still in a unit after a resident has checked out OR left in an unauthorized area of a unit will be considered abandoned and are subject to disposal and financial charges. Residents should be sure to double-check their unit and remove all personal items prior to departing campus.
Using checkout envelopes and drop box (available for all residence halls and apartment communities).
—Envelopes are available at each service desk.
—Fill out the envelope.
—Place key(s) inside envelope.
—Place the envelope in the drop box. For residence halls, the drop box is in the vicinity of the front desk. For Lancer Park, there is an exterior mounted box close to the Brown Commons front service desk. In the Landings, each ground floor elevator lobby area has a wall-mounted box.

Departure Expectations

Prior to leaving campus, all residents must complete the tasks below. Units will be inspected to ensure compliance. Failure to comply may result in judicial sanctions and/or financial charges.
Departure Checklist
—Remove all trash and perishable food.
—Thoroughly clean the unit, including the bathroom and common spaces.
—Remove all personal items (medication, electronic devices, eyeglasses, wallet, etc.).
—Turn off all lights.
—Close and lock all windows.
—Lower all window blinds/shades.
—Lock all doors.

Information for Residents of Moss and Johns Halls

Loading zone access on the South Main Street side of Moss and Johns halls will be closed from Wednesday, May 3, through Saturday, May 6.
—In order to access Spruce Street, enter Wynne Drive to Pine Street and turn onto the sidewalk in front of the Fitness Center.
Spruce Street and Redford Streetwill be open for exit only (one-way traffic) onto South Main Street from Thursday, May 4, through Saturday, May 6. Do not enter campus at Redford Street from South Main Street.
U-turns will be permitted on Spruce Street, if/when the construction gates are closed.

—Sabrina Brown

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Welcome to my page!

I am so very grateful for my four years at Longwood. Graduation is right around the corner, which is hard to believe. I am immensely thankful for each professor in the Biology program who put their time and effort into shaping me into the best Biology professional I can be!

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