It’s about you.
It’s about you doing something you care about.
It’s about you being someone you’d like to hang out with.
Emory & Henry won’t give you answers–Emory & Henry will push you to find your own answers.
You will read. You will work in the community. You will meet interesting people. You will confront difficult issues. You will be enlightened, intrigued, challenged, encouraged, guided, and set free to explore. You will share and talk and explain your point of view.
At Emory & Henry you will learn to be a contributing member of your community. You will find your place in a global society.
You’ll discover that learning doesn’t begin or end with school: it is a lifelong pursuit. And those who join that pursuit are the ones who live the best lives.
Are you ready to live your best life?
Did you know you can find E&H alumni in every corner of the world making every imaginable contribution to society? It’s true!
Government? Get to know Toni Atkins (E&H ’84) in the California Assembly or Fred Parker (E&H ’73) who is Washington County (Va.) Treasurer. Or Israel O’Quinn (E&H ’01) who serves in the Virginia legislature.
Counseling? Get to know Randall Meadows (E&H ’88), a psychotherapist in Los Angeles.
Thinking outside the box?
How about the world where food and culture intersect with art? Meet Emily Wallace (E&H ’04).
How about planning events for country music superstars? Get to know Erick Long (E&H ’91).
You don’t have to graduate to start finding your place in the world.
At Emory & Henry, students are immediately given opportunities for research, exploration, service, and career shadowing.
Watch a video about some students who did an Ampersand project on museum curation.
Meet Our Alumni
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2306-cathy-bottrell" title="Cathy Bottrell" aria-label="Cathy Bottrell"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,8,214,222/4535_41368297_705985249770551_4194188508329410560_n.rev.1536365207.jpg" alt="Cathy Bottrell" title="Cathy Bottrell" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="214" data-max-h="320"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2306-cathy-bottrell"><p> Cathy Bottrell doesn’t wear a cape: but her work with families facing cancer is super.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Look at Cathy Bottrell’s Facebook photos and you’ll see a woman who takes her job <strong><em>very</em></strong> seriously; there are pictures of her posing with fairy princesses, welcoming Storm Troopers, wearing pajamas to the office, dressed like a super hero, and doing a dance routine with a rolling office chair.</p><p> Cathy doesn’t work at a theme park: she works for the Inova Life with Cancer Center.</p><p> Inova offers a raft of free programming for individuals and families who are facing cancer, and Cathy is involved at every level to do her part to add simplicity to bureaucracy and lend guidance in what can be a stressful world of treatments. She is a licensed clinical social worker who spent 8 years working with HIV patients, and now finds herself helping families maneuver complicated systems of health care while also finding time for the joys of life. Focusing on cancer treatment while also trying to maintain positive outlook can be tricky; Cathy’s work intervenes to help maintain a healthy balance.</p><p> She’s an oncology clinical therapist at Inova Life with Cancer - Inova Schar Cancer Institute – a large facility with 40 employees. They have a family center that is a like a large home where cancer patients can learn how to deal with cancer from day to day while also maintaining quality of life for their families.</p><p><a href="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/68/height/530/src_region/0,226,504,894/4532_Cathy_Botrell.jpg" class="lw_preview_image"><img width="400" height="530" alt="Cathy Botrell will go to extremes to cheer up her friends at work: even if it means dressing like..." src="/live/image/gid/68/width/400/height/530/crop/1/src_region/0,226,504,894/4532_Cathy_Botrell.rev.1536350726.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image4532 lw_align_left lw_column_width_half" data-max-w="720" data-max-h="960"/></a>Much of Cathy’s work is with children – hence all the princesses and storm troopers – and that can be difficult; but Cathy doesn’t let the sadness keep her away from the people she loves to serve. “The families I work with show me the strength of love and compassion and how strong and brave people can be. I’m so honored to be a part of their journey during their difficult times.”</p><p> So if you see Cathy headed to work wearing a funny mask or a cape, don’t be surprised. Just know that she’s on her way to the office – where she performs acts of heroic goodness, all in a day’s work.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/2306-cathy-bottrell" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/708-" title="Mary Beth Tignor" aria-label="Mary Beth Tignor"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,300,200/358_MaryBethTignor.rev.1500388800.jpg" alt="Mary Beth Tignor" title="Mary Beth Tignor" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="300" data-max-h="200"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/708-"><p> Love for the region keeps Mary Beth Tignor’s future local </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><h1> Her love of this region and her passion for education are the fuel to her daily work. </h1><p> Mary Beth was a part of the first Emory & Henry Honors Program cohort that graduated in Spring 2013. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Community Service. Currently, she is working as an AmeriCorps with Appalachian Sustainable Development and pursuing a Master’s degree in Education with a focus area of Middle School Science. </p><p> Serving the community of this region has always been one of Mary Beth’s passion and love. As a student at Emory & Henry, she served as a volunteer of an on-campus after school program called Highlands Project. She said, “Through this program and some of my courses, I developed a passion for education and the children in this area.” Since then, she has created and is the current coordinator of a after school program at a local elementary school. Her most memorable experience in the Honors Program is going to New York City as an upperclassman leader with First-Year Honors Scholars. After her first trip to New York City, Mary Beth had learned a lot from her experiences and really enjoyed sharing them with the First-Year Honors Scholars. </p></div><a href="/live/profiles/708-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/811-karen-griffey-todd" title="Karen Todd" aria-label="Karen Todd"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/573_Karen_Griffey_Todd_EH_84.rev.1505494592.jpg" alt="Karen Griffey Todd" title="Karen Griffey Todd" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/573_Karen_Griffey_Todd_EH_84.rev.1505494592.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/573_Karen_Griffey_Todd_EH_84.rev.1505494592.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2400" data-max-h="3200"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/811-karen-griffey-todd"><p> A tall tale of giraffes and philanthropy.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><blockquote><p><strong>It’s a tall tale.</strong></p></blockquote><p> When the City of Kingsport was building a carousel, they needed sponsors for the array animals that would soon be running in circles to the delight of young and old. When Karen Griffey Todd (’84) heard there was a giraffe that needed a sponsor, she was ready to step up.<br/><br/> On a trip to Africa in 2001 she fell in love with the long-necked creatures, and now she feels passionate about the real ones and the wooden one that delights children on Kingsport’s now-famous Carousel.<br/><br/><img width="500" height="750" alt="Rothschild the Giraffe stands tall on the Kingsport Carousel" src="/live/image/gid/68/width/500/height/750/574_Kingsport_Carousel_Giraffe.rev.1505494593.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image574 lw_align_left lw_column_width_half" data-max-w="683" data-max-h="1024"/><span class="lw_image_caption lw_column_width_half lw_align_left" style="width: 500px">Rothschild the Giraffe stands tall on the Kingsport Carousel</span>“I will never forget the very first time I saw one in the wild in Tanzania. Then I started reading & learning about them & found that no one had really studied them that much. I was lucky enough to go back to Africa in 2014 to see them in Botswana, Zambia & Zimbabwe. They are already extinct in several African countries. The giraffe is now considered a “vulnerable” species for wildlife conservation with a few of the subspecies being endangered, including the Rothschild giraffe found in Kenya.”<br/><br/> In fact, Rothschild is the name Karen gave to her Carousel giraffe. Hopefully, folks will give a second thought to the serious plight of Rothschild’s real ancestors as they take a turn for fun.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/811-karen-griffey-todd" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/793-joe-shortt" title="Joe Shortt" aria-label="Joe Shortt"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/213,0,1089,877/563_Joe_Shortt.rev.1505400886.jpg" alt="Joe Shortt" title="Joe Shortt" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/213,0,1089,877/563_Joe_Shortt.rev.1505400886.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/213,0,1089,877/563_Joe_Shortt.rev.1505400886.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1200" data-max-h="877"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/793-joe-shortt"><p> Joe Shortt has been inducted into the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Virginia’s Hall of Fame.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><blockquote><p> Joe Shortt is a 2017 inductee into the Hall of Fame of the American Saddlebred Horse Association. </p></blockquote><p> Joe Shortt was a STEM guy before STEM was cool. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in chemistry with minors in math and physics. And while his career utilized his science background, it was his sideline that has recently garnered him recognition.</p><p> A well-known horse-trainer, Joe was inducted into the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Virginia’s Hall of Fame in 2017.</p><p> Through the 1970s he trained a host of champion horses with names like Prince Magic, Drum Chant, Bourbon’s Curiosity, Katy Vanguard and Boomerang. He told the Smyth County News and Messenger that his love of horses took shape while he was still in high school. “As a sophomore in high school I began working during the summer at Nancy Brown’s training stable in Seven Mile Ford. This is what encouraged me to begin a professional training career.”</p><p> But he started riding much earlier. “I began riding at about eight years old on my Shetland pony named Nubbins, and showed him for the first time at the Rich Valley Fair the following year.”</p><p> Joe worked with horses in Virginia until he moved to Sevierville, Tennessee, with his company, Blue Circle Cement.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/793-joe-shortt" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/155-" title="Ken Noe" aria-label="Ken Noe"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,450,490/27_abe1975e59116cf763b1821b22668003_f74661.rev.1491319536.jpg" alt="Ken Noe" title="Ken Noe" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="450" data-max-h="490"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/155-"><p> Dr. Ken Noe ’79 Writing Book on the Weather’s Impact on the American Civil War</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> When Dr. Ken Noe (’79) was growing up in Elliston he remembers that weather played a huge role in the work done on his grandfather’s farm. “If rain was coming, we dropped everything else to put up hay.” He thinks this experience planted a seed in the back of his mind about the impactful influence of weather. Later, his interest in weather grew when he took a geography course at Emory & Henry with Dr. Ed Bingham.</p><p> But even he could never have predicted that he would now be writing a two-volume book on weather’s impact on the American Civil War.</p><p> Ken is the Draughon Professor of Southern History at Auburn University. He is the author or editor of seven books, and he has published scads of articles, essays and chapters about the Civil War. He is a decorated history professor serving at West Georgia College before heading to Auburn. He was a Pulitzer Prize entrant and won the 2003 Kentucky Governor’s award, the 2002 Peter Seaborg Book Award for Civil War Non-fiction, and the 1997 Tennessee History Book Award. He has won several teaching awards, has served as president of the Alabama Historical Association, and is serving on the Advisory Board of the Society of Civil War Historians. He has even been a consultant for the NBC series <em>Who Do You Think You Are? </em></p><p> But in all his prolific writing and research and publishing even he is surprised that his biggest and most industrious work to-date will be about weather. “Meteorologists are still trying to work out why the weather during the Civil War was so unusual. They dealt with incredibly snowy and rainy winters and droughts in the summer that affected Southern food supplies. There were dust storms, flooded rivers, and only two hurricanes. It had a profound effect on many campaigns.”</p><p> His research on weather has already taken several years, and he still has a few years left before he publishes. And even he was amazed to realize just how much information he had accumulated. “Very little has been written about Civil War environmental history. It is only now becoming part of the conversation about Civil War history.” </p><p> Ken says that even in a field of study like Civil War history where so many things have been written, there is still new area for research and a lot of topics that haven’t been covered. He has grad students asking new questions about the role of religion, the prison industries during the war, the role of friendship, and one young man, who is an E&H grad, is looking into camp life.</p><p> Even though we have just passed the 150<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the American Civil War, Ken points out that this conflict still has implications for current events; and he marvels that most conversations over the past 18 months have quickly moved from history to current topics like the Confederate flag, U.S. prisons, and race relations. He says his field has gotten so tangled with politics that there is a declining interest in Civil War history among the public. “But this event still has much to teach us. It was a great turning point in American History and opened up questions that are still being answered about equality of humankind, the status of women, states’ rights. I don’t know how we can answer all these questions unless we go back to the beginning.” He consistently stresses to his students the importance of going back to primary source information rather than depending on how the stories have been told and passed down.</p><p> Ken actually majored in education at Emory & Henry and still remembers panicking when he realized he didn’t want to be a junior high school teacher. “I had a lot of electives leftover and started taking history classes late in my college experience. I realized what I wanted to be was a historian and teach at a higher level.” A conversation with Patsi Trollinger (’72) reassured him that most alumni do not stick to work within their major. And a conversation with Dr. Gene Rasor in the history department led to a phone call which ended with Dr. Rasor telling Ken he had an interview with the history department at Virginia Tech.</p><p> The rest, as they say, is history.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/155-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1744-melvin-dillon" title="Melvin Dillon" aria-label="Melvin Dillon"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/346,345,1076,1074/3151_dillon.rev.1518206768.jpg" alt="Melvin Dillon" title="Melvin Dillon" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/346,345,1076,1074/3151_dillon.rev.1518206768.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/346,345,1076,1074/3151_dillon.rev.1518206768.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1432" data-max-h="1074"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1744-melvin-dillon"><p> Melvin Dillon is part of the Vinyl Revival</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Melvin Dillon (E&H ’06) is a musician himself, and used to play at venues in the Emory area while a student to make a little extra money. But as he got to know the industry, there were things that bothered him about the business of music. Says Melvin, “Soul Step Records is known because of our unwillingness to do business that serves our bottom line. We do everything in service to our artists. I think that’s why we’ve grown in such a short time.”</p><p> According to the Soul Step Records website, Melvin’s goal was simple; he wanted to give artists the ability to make vinyl records (so that music can be “listened to the way music should be…”). The thing that sets him apart from other music companies is that Soul Step pays all the upfront costs, and then profits are split evenly between the company and the band. “Our number one goal with each release is to have enough to fund another record. I have yet to take a dime from sales; every profit for Soul Step goes back into building up for another release. …Our relationship with our artists is paramount to us.”</p><p> And his good intentions are resulting in good business.</p><p> One of his current artist/clients is starring in <em>Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway</em>, and most of the music he is recording is currently featured in TV and film. Another client is Holy Ghost Tent Revival, and he says getting to know them years ago, and seeing the struggles they had with traditional means of recording, served as much of the inspiration for his company.</p><p> Because he loves the artist aspect of the music business it allows him some great opportunities, including the fact that with each release they do 100 vinyl records in a special color – while the rest of the run is in the traditional black vinyl. One album garnered particularly interesting success with the cover art. “When I was releasing my third album, Matt Duncan’s <em>Soft Times</em> I saw the artwork that was done by Robert Beatty. It was this psych-tarot card freaky artwork. Truly beautiful …After seeing the tarot card artwork - I went to the pressing plant I was using and said I wanted to put a tarot card INSIDE the record. After much trial and error, and even going as far as accidentally setting a pressing machine on fire, we were able to conjure a way to make this happen. The results were stunning and we had mentions from tons of music and vinyl publications. These 100 records we made for that project will pop up on eBay – typically going over a hundred dollars. Crazy.”</p><p> </p><p> Melvin says his time at E&H helped prepare him for a business model that breaks the mold. “The big keyword is service. It’s hard to be a student of Emory and not have service of others instilled into you. The heart of this company is service. I think that Emory helps you understand the value in giving back. Many of my fellow alumni who are in position to do so find some way to give back. It’s something that I’m proud of. I’ve been very fortunate to find a job with a phenomenal company that puts me in the position to do this. I feel that it’s my duty to find a way to give back. I’m happy that Soul Step fills that need.”</p><p> </p><p> Melvin spends only part of his week with Soul Step, and is also a manager for Apple Computer.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1744-melvin-dillon" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1946-brooklyn-sawyers-belk" title="Brooklyn Belk" aria-label="Brooklyn Belk"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,28,347,376/3466_BrooklynSawyersBelk.rev.1520453426.jpg" alt="Brooklyn Sawyers Belk" title="Brooklyn Sawyers Belk" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="347" data-max-h="495"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1946-brooklyn-sawyers-belk"><p> Brooklyn Sawyers Belk is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Brooklyn Sawyers Belk is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Sawyers Belk was admitted to the United States Supreme Court bar in November 2015. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee (UT) College of Law, where she teaches trial practice and interviewing and counseling. Additionally, she teaches a host of undergraduate history and pre-law courses. <br/><br/> Sawyers Belk graduated from Emory & Henry College in 2002 and serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. She obtained a Master of Arts degree in history in 2004 from East Tennessee State University and is a 2006 graduate of the UT College of Law. She resides in Knoxville with her husband, Lamont Belk, who practices civil law for the Tennessee Valley Authority. They have a daughter, Tressany, and a son, Joseph Matthew. </p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1946-brooklyn-sawyers-belk" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/874-laura-holley" title="Laura Holley" aria-label="Laura Holley"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,664/918_Laura_Holley_2.rev.1509131760.jpg" alt="Laura Holley" title="Laura Holley" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,664/918_Laura_Holley_2.rev.1509131760.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="664"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/874-laura-holley"><p> Laura Holley isn’t using her art skills as planned – but she’s bringing a lot of great talent to the National Park System!</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Laura Holley Thomas is a long way from fashion magazines.</p><p> Laura (E&H ’10) majored in art and minored in environmental studies, and she’s finding the two disciplines to be a perfect match for the work she’s doing: a special 4-year long project that has her planning, researching, writing and designing trailhead and wayside exhibits for the entirety of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota – all 110 square miles. “I’m using art, design, and the written word to communicate information about plants, animals, human culture, climate change, habitats, ecosystems, etc. Though, had I known there was more to graphic design than making fashion magazines (I kid you not. That’s what I really thought.) I might have taken more classes focused on digital art.”</p><p> Laura has been with the National Park Service for 5 years, all of which has been spent at Theodore Roosevelt. She began as a full-time volunteer (citing that volunteerism is something she saw emphasized at Emory & Henry). That led to several paid seasonal positions, and now to this current assignment. She says this is her dream job…“But, it’s temporary! So I’ll be moving on with another job or another project here or at another park. I’d like to make a career with the NPS, but gaining permanent status is difficult, so I’m keeping other options open.”</p><p> Her job experiences can’t be calculated within the confines of a resume. “Often I’ll get called away from my desk to help with whatever is going on in the park. We have a really small staff, so we all pitch in. I’ve helped return escaped bison to the park, assisted with elk reduction efforts, helped at bison roundups, helped with a prescribed burn, illustrated our new junior ranger book, led bird counts, helped plan our annual astronomy festival, done on-camera interviews with the media, gone on search and rescues, and so much more.”</p><p> And her current project to develop signage is more than busy work: it feeds into her core beliefs about the importance of National Parks. “My biggest concern is that the NPS will become irrelevant. We have to inspire each next generation to care for and about our American landscape and its history or we risk losing our relevancy. But staying relevant shouldn’t be difficult. Our parks speak for themselves. I’ve watched people look up and see the Milky Way for the first time. It’s something they (and I) will never forget. And they’ll remember that the clearest, darkest, most uninhibited sky they’ve ever seen was above a national park and they’ll understand why we protect this place. We just have to get people into their parks and make sure their experiences are meaningful and memorable. That’s what this signage project is all about. Hopefully the exhibits I create will inspire visitors to connect intellectually and emotionally with the park and its resources and turn those personal connections into active stewardship of this place and the public lands in their own communities.”</p><p> Laura’s experiences have run the gamut from wildlife management to designing websites and social media content. She even designed a special pictorial postmark to commemorate this year’s National Park Centennial (an honor stamp aficionados can appreciate). And she admits that some of the skills she’s using now were learned in E&H classes she didn’t think were all that important. “In my first few seasons as a ranger I was writing and presenting interpretive programs (tours, guided hikes, campfire talks, etc.). I leaned heavily on what I learned in speech class which I would absolutely never have signed up for had it not been mandatory!”</p><p> If you find yourself in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, look for Ranger Laura…and certainly, look for her signs.</p><p> </p><p><em><a href="https://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/68/height/815/919_Laura_Holley.jpg" class="lw_preview_image"><img width="611" height="815" alt="Laura Holley Thomas is shown here with her husband, Shawn, who is no longer a ranger, but is now ..." src="/live/image/gid/68/width/611/height/815/919_Laura_Holley.rev.1509131808.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image919 lw_align_left lw_column_width_half" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/611/height/815/919_Laura_Holley.rev.1509131808.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/611/height/815/919_Laura_Holley.rev.1509131808.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1944" data-max-h="2592"/></a>Photo, left: Laura Holley Thomas is shown here with her husband, Shawn, who is no longer a ranger, but is now a deputy.</em></p><p> </p><p> Submitted October 25, 2016</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/874-laura-holley" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/12-" title="Jason Jones" aria-label="Jason Jones"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/20_50e7f6e024ddf954897b5c198cf66106_f51611.rev.1490707161.jpg" alt="Jason Jones" title="Jason Jones" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/20_50e7f6e024ddf954897b5c198cf66106_f51611.rev.1490707161.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/12-"><p> Jason Jones (’12) Giving Hope to At-Risk Children</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> In a school district where the failure rate is very high and the pass rate is very low, Jason Jones is making a difference.</p><p> The 2012 Emory & Henry graduate is giving hope every day to at-risk children in San Antonio, Texas, hundreds of miles from his hometown in Greeneville, Tenn., where he teaches K-5 music during the day and, after school, directs the choir and orchestra, teaches music memory, and advises the yearbook staff.</p><p> And, he’s doing it one note at a time.</p><p> Two years ago, Jones introduced orchestra music to students at Highlands Hills Elementary School, the only one among 54 schools in the district that has an orchestra program.</p><p> The results have been astounding.</p><p> “I’ve seen students who were not motivated to be in school. I’ve seen students who were making low grades and poor choices,” said Jones.</p><p> “After a fifth-grade student joined the orchestra, she got involved in school. She became a school patrol; she went on to middle school where she continued to take music. She’s taken all honor classes—just because she was in the orchestra. It changed her life, and it’s changing the lives of other students.”</p><p> Following college graduation, Jones completed a two-year position with Teach for America at Highland Hills Elementary School. When his two-year position was completed, he was asked to stay.</p><p> Jones said he was among 54,000 applicants when he applied for the Teach for America position in 2012. The organization only accepted 5,000 teachers that year and only 100 of them were placed in San Antonio.</p><p> No doubt about it, he’s making his mark on education.</p><p> Jones witnessed more affluent schools in the district enjoying generous budgets while his school did not have the money for extra music programs.</p><p> “I didn’t think it was fair that students in the richer part of the city got to learn these instruments and my students on the south side of San Antonio in a poor neighborhood didn’t have those same opportunities,” Jones said. “Nearly 100 percent of the children eat free and reduced lunches. They can’t afford instruments or music lessons. Some of their parents work as many as four jobs.”</p><p> He couldn’t help but think back to the conversations that took place in Dr. Julia Wilson’s sociology classroom when he was a student. “Fighting for the less fortunate people who don’t know how to help themselves really stuck with me.”</p><p> So, instead of complaining, he and a middle school orchestra teacher applied for a grant to receive help. Their school was awarded a $10,000 grant from San Antonio Independent School District Foundation (SAISD), which paid for 20 instruments for the students in 2012. Two years later, the school received another $500 for upkeep costs to the instruments.</p><p> “I will be applying for another grant this coming school year because I should have 35 to 40 students in orchestra,” he said.</p><p> Before Jones received the grant money, he was paying for music supplies out of his own pocket. “There’s no extra pay or stipends for running the orchestra program. I just call it a love for teaching,” said Jones, who learned Spanish on his own so that he could teach six Spanish classes at the school.</p><p> When his co-worker became ill, Jones took over the program. “I’d never taken a strings course; I don’t play violin, cello or bass. “I concentrated in voice and piano at Emory & Henry, but, I was given the music education skills at Emory & Henry to be able to teach strings.”</p><p> Jones also has organized a student choir at the school. “The first year I had 12 students in choir class, now I have 85 or more. I’m also adding a hand bells choir next year.”</p><p> Perhaps the most exciting news is that all of Jones’ orchestra students passed standardized tests this year, and 90 percent of his fifth-grade choir students passed the tests.</p><p> His work at the school seems never-ending.</p><p> Jones started after-school clubs at the school, one of which is a music memory academic club that meets once a week for third-through-fifth-grade students. “We study scores of classical pieces. They have to memorize and learn every piece, who wrote it, when they wrote it, and the names of large and small works,” he explained. His students entered a regional competition this year and nearly all of the students placed.</p><p> In addition, he received a grant to organize a year book club, allowing the school to publish its first year book in 30 years.</p><p> Jones is earning a second master’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio where he received the Presidential Scholarship from the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. He also received the Dashnell Endowment Scholarship for which he was the first elementary focus to receive.</p><p> He is being mentored by the nation’s leading expert on a Dalcroze Eurythmics at UTSA, a developmental approach to enhance musical expression and understanding for students of all ages.</p><p> He is an active member of the San Antonio Teachers’ Alliance (campus representative), the Texas State Teachers’ Association (regional and state delegate), the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, and the Texas Music Educators’ Association. For two years, he has been a 2012 corps member for the San Antonio Region of Teach for America. </p><p> One of his best pieces of advice to future teachers:</p><blockquote> I teach my students how to be thinkers. I learned at Emory & Henry to be a thinker, not a follower or just a doer, but instead a thinker and a leader. And that’s what I want my students to learn.</blockquote></div><a href="/live/profiles/12-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/790-richard-groover" title="Richard Groover" aria-label="Richard Groover"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/564_2887April2917_005.rev.1505402809.JPG" alt="Richard Groover" title="Richard Groover" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/564_2887April2917_005.rev.1505402809.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/564_2887April2917_005.rev.1505402809.JPG 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2133"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/790-richard-groover"><p> Catching dragonflies for the National Park Service is only the latest of Richard Groover’s cool projects.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> It’s probably easier to ask Richard Groover what he HASN’T done. After being a scientist, a teacher, a field researcher, a government employee, a reserve deputy sheriff, hostage negotiator for 9 years, a documentary filmmaker, a National Park docent, a former member of the Governor’s Climate Change Commission for Virginia, a current member of the Board of Trustees for the Virginia Science Museum and now an author – you’d think there wouldn’t be much new territory left to explore.</p><p><a href="http://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/68/width/650/569_groover.jpg" class="lw_preview_image"><img width="500" height="414" alt="Richard Groover poses with his wife, Patti Jackson." src="http://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/68/width/500/height/414/569_groover.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image569 lw_align_left lw_column_width_half" data-max-w="629" data-max-h="521"/></a>But he has plans.</p><p> “I figure I’ve got about 10 years left in me before my brain goes, so I’ve got a lot to do.”</p><p> Richard graduated from E&H in 1971, and at the age of 68 he just this year completed his Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy at George Mason University. “Well, you know, the dog died, the children grew up, the skies parted – I realized I had time to do my Ph.D.”</p><p> He speaks excitedly about his graduate work: he focused on Ecology and Policy. He says he studied with the best and brightest in public policy (including Lee Talbott who authored the Endangered Species Act), but his real passion is education and research in the field. He is a Biology and Environmental Studies teacher at Reynolds Community College in Richmond, and he is currently doing a project for the National Park Service studying dragonflies on National Battlefields. (For the record, he has nothing against damselflies he just thinks they’re “wimpy.” We couldn’t reach a damselfly for comment.)</p><p> He is just about to publish an ambitious reference book: <em>Second Edition of the Environmental Almanac of Virginia</em>. Richard approached the author of first edition to encourage him to write a second part – but the author, Frits van der Leeden (real name) said Richard ought to write it. The book will be out in October of 2017.</p><p> Richard says he doesn’t mind staying busy. “I’m worried about being bored. If I die tomorrow, I’ve had a really fun life!”</p><p> You can reach Richard speak of many things, including his upcoming book: <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">email@example.com</span></a></p></div><a href="/live/profiles/790-richard-groover" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/841-pat-bear-huber" title="Pat Huber" aria-label="Pat Huber"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,500,700/743_huber.rev.1507060606.jpg" alt="Pat Bear Huber" title="Pat Bear Huber" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="500" data-max-h="700"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/841-pat-bear-huber"><p> Pat Bear Huber is the first female president of New River Community College.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Dr. Pat Huber is the president of New River Community College, in Dublin, Virginia, as of July 1, 2017.</p><p> Huber becomes the sixth person, and first woman, to serve as the college’s permanent president. Her hiring ended a process that began with a national search, which attracted more than 90 candidates.</p><p> “I’ve known Pat for a long time and have always been impressed with her remarkable passion and dedication for the people community colleges serve,” said DuBois. “Pat has dedicated her entire career to community college education, and I know that she is going to do a terrific job as New River’s president.”</p><p> Huber has worked in education for 41 years, and has worked at New River Community College since 1988 where she began as an adjunct English instructor. She began working at NRCC full time in 1992 as an assistant professor. From there, she rose through the ranks becoming an assistant division chair in 1999, a dean in 2005, and vice president for instruction and student services in 2007 – the position she holds today. Huber also served as the interim vice president for academic and student services at Wytheville Community College during the spring and summer of 2003.</p><p> Huber earned a doctorate in community college leadership from Old Dominion University; a master’s degree from West Virginia University in Morgantown; a bachelor’s degree from Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA; and an associate degree from Wytheville Community College.</p><p> “The quality of the candidates this process produced made this decision a tough one,” said Steve Harvey, chair of the New River Community College local board. “That said, Dr. Huber has demonstrated outstanding leadership at NRCC in the past. She is focused on curriculum, certifications and credentialing, student success, and intentional engagement in the education of students. She is committed to outreach to the local businesses, school systems, and higher education facilities within the five localities serviced by NRCC. Under Dr. Huber’s guidance, NRCC will continue to be an affordable educational option to help provide the local economy an educated workforce. The board will work closely with her during her transition, and I encourage the local stakeholders to be engaged in the process.”</p><p> Huber succeeded Dr. Jack Lewis, who retired last year after serving NRCC for 42 years, including 17 as college president. Longtime Virginia community college leader, Dr. Charlie White, is currently serving at the college’s interim president.</p><p> New River Community College, which opened in 1969, is a comprehensive community college located in Virginia’s New River Valley, serving an estimated 4,500 students in the counties of Montgomery, Floyd, Pulaski and Giles and the city of Radford.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/841-pat-bear-huber" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/705-" title="John Honeycutt" aria-label="John Honeycutt"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/355_cb05c7c2dda509f77c32d255409bb14f_f3246.rev.1500387149.jpg" alt="John Honeycutt" title="John Honeycutt" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/355_cb05c7c2dda509f77c32d255409bb14f_f3246.rev.1500387149.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/705-"><p> John Honeycutt: Successful Attorney </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> John Honeycutt said his experiences as a student at Emory & Henry reached far beyond the four walls and whiteboard, making a positive impact in his life a decade later.</p><p> As an attorney in Abingdon, Va., Honeycutt believes his college experience opened the door for his eventual profession.</p><p> “Becoming an attorney was not a driving force for me during college, but I enjoyed the legal classes I took through the political science department and eventually decided the study of law was more than a passing interest for me,” he said.</p><p> Honeycutt credits many members of the College community, including political science professor <a class="soft-link" title="View Dr. Joe Lane's profile page" href="http://www.ehc.edu/profile/view/822/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dr. Joe Lane</a>, for building his confidence.</p><blockquote><a class="soft-link" title="View Dr. Joe Lane's profile page" href="http://www.ehc.edu/profile/view/822/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dr. Lane</a> helped me become a big fish in a small pond, but at the same time, he made sure I knew there were lakes and oceans out there. When I got to the ‘lakes’ and ‘oceans,’ I wasn’t shocked by the fact that smart, capable people are everywhere. Instead, I knew I was one of them and found my own place.<a title="Learn more about this outstanding Emory and Henry College alum" href="http://www.pennstuart.com/attorneys/jhoneycutt.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">John Honeycutt</a><br/> Attorney</blockquote><h2> A Successful Struggle</h2><p> As is typical for many college students, Honeycutt struggled early on to find the right academic path. “I come from a family of ministers, and I initially took a lot of religion courses with <a class="soft-link" title="View Dr. Joseph Reiff's profile page" href="http://www.ehc.edu/profile/view/888/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dr. Reiff</a> and Dr. Kellogg,” he said. “I was close to going down the path of religion for my major and profession, but I was never quite as comfortable and confident with religion as I am with the law. It’s funny how things work out. I really appreciate what Joe Reiff and Fred Kellogg taught me. What I learned from them was a vital part of my E&H experience.”</p><p> Following graduation from E&H, Honeycutt earned a Masters of Public Administration at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before attending the College of Law at University of Tennessee. For the past four years, he has practiced employment law at Penn, Stuart & Eskridge in Abingdon, primarily representing employers in workers’ compensation claims filed by their employees. He also represents employers in federal employment discrimination law suits.</p><p> “E&H challenged and grew my capacity to work hard,” said Honeycutt. “When I was in graduate school and law school, I drew on the experience of classes I took from Dr. Lane, Dr. Kathleen Chamberlain, and Dr. Joe Reiff to get me through. The papers, tests, and presentations for these classes made me realize I had to be better to be successful. Those challenges pushed my limits, and when I got to graduate school and law school, I was able to handle the difficulty when other students from less strenuous undergraduate institutions could not.”</p><p> Honeycutt said E&H helped him learn about work ethic and self-awareness. “Most any institution of higher education can teach students facts and figures, but E&H does better than most,” he said. “What sets E&H apart, however, is the unique environment in which it teaches students those facts and figures. To those students who engage the entire college community, E&H provides context better than any other institution of higher education I’ve seen.”</p><p> He added, “I also appreciate my experience at the College because it’s where I met some wonderful friends with whom I’m still close more than 10 years later. I also met my wife, Jenna, while we were students at E&H. We have a precious little girl, Anna Claire. We love her, and we’re so proud of her.”</p><div id="social-sharing-links" class="right clearfix"/></div><a href="/live/profiles/705-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1746-cathy-cuskey-large" title="Cathy Large" aria-label="Cathy Large"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/201,93,535,426/3153_cuskey_large.rev.1518207527.jpg" alt="Cathy Cuskey Large" title="Cathy Cuskey Large" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="604" data-max-h="453"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1746-cathy-cuskey-large"/></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Cathy Cuskey Large (’93) used to avoid physics like the plague: so, of course, she is now flourishing as a Medical Physicist.</p><p> “I took physics in high school and just hated it. But I had a teacher at Virginia Highlands Community College who made me love it.”</p><p> So she transferred to Emory & Henry, graduated with a major in physics and a minor in math, and then headed to UT for a master’s in physics. While there she ventured into the engineering department to explore a more applications-based area of physics (less theoretic), and that’s where she first heard about medical physics. She’s never looked back.</p><p> She has worked at the clinic level where she had to implement logistics necessary to make it safe for cancer patients and health workers to be around radiation treatment. “We even have to take into consideration someone who might be working on the roof on a given day.”</p><p> Her work there involved everything from selecting proper building materials to measuring wall widths. These days she’s working for Phillips Medical as a consultant, and is writing algorithms for the administration of radiation. “It’s a great career, and there aren’t a lot of people doing this – so there are great opportunities for new grads.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1746-cathy-cuskey-large" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2053-mike-fintel" title="Mike Fintel" aria-label="Mike Fintel"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,720,720/4097_image.rev.1525119131.png" alt="Mike Fintel" title="Mike Fintel" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,720,720/4097_image.rev.1525119131.png 2x" data-max-w="720" data-max-h="960"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2053-mike-fintel"><p> Mike Fintel is making a difference in higher education.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Mike Fintel wants to make a difference.</p><p> With a degree in Business Management it seemed pretty obvious what he would do after college. And when he landed a plum job with the Shelor Corporation in Montgomery County, Virginia, he was off and running.</p><p> His business background got paired with his soccer experiences as he was first given responsibilities with one of Shelor’s more athletic projects. Mike was General Manager and then Sales and Marketing Manager for the Pulaski Yankees, running historic Calfee ballpark in Pulaski and overseeing marketing for the new Jackson Park Inn hotel and Al’s on First restaurant. He increased sales revenues for the baseball park, and saw an uptick in group sales.</p><p> Soon after that, he was offered a promotion in the company with more responsibility and opportunity. Things were exactly on track!</p><p> And that’s when he walked away.</p><p> Mike said his inner voice was telling him to make a change. “It just didn’t feel like that was what I was supposed to be doing. I wanted to make a difference.”</p><p> In 2017, Mike was inspired by a fellow E&H Classmate <em>(Chris O’Connor)</em> to join Big Brothers, Big Sisters as a mentor with an elementary school in a rural town. It was through this mentorship that Mike decided to follow his heart to higher education. </p><p> He is now an Admissions Counselor at Roanoke College and Mike says work doesn’t seem like work any more. “I am driven by the thought of waking up each morning, knowing that I can help students envision the achievable dream of attending college. Work no longer seems like a chore.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/2053-mike-fintel" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/13-" title="Sydney England" aria-label="Sydney England"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/22_fbd04c901271156159e4e275a5bf845f_f50561.rev.1490707796.jpg" alt="Sydney England" title="Sydney England" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/22_fbd04c901271156159e4e275a5bf845f_f50561.rev.1490707796.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/13-"><p> Sydney England (’14) Receives Prestigious Fellowship Opportunity </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> She received the Armbrister Memorial Scholarship for freshmen honors and the Outstanding Senior Award from the Sociology Department. She was on the dean’s list all eight semesters while a student at Emory & Henry, and she graduated summa cum laude with college honors. She also was inducted into several national honor societies.</p><p> Is it any wonder that Sydney England is one of only two students throughout the country selected to receive the Jessie Ball duPont Fund Fellowship, providing a two-year period of work and study in philanthropy and charitable work?</p><p> England, a 2014 graduate of Emory & Henry College, was nominated by the college, which is among many liberal arts colleges and universities eligible for support from the Jessie DuPont Fund. England was selected from a large field of applicants.</p><blockquote> Dr. Joe Lane brought the fellowship opportunity to my attention. I don’t know if I ever fully set my sights on the fellowship because it always seemed like a long shot.Sydney EnglandClass of 2014</blockquote><p> The Jessie Ball duPont Fund Fellowship program, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., is designed to provide practical experience for students interested in careers with nonprofit, faith-based, or philanthropic organizations. As a fellow, England is exposed to foundation governance, grant making, governmental oversight, and industry events.</p><p> “Responsibilities shift daily, but primarily it’s a lot of research and grant management. The fellows are really there to support senior staffers with some of their project management and report preparation,” explained England.</p><p> “This fellowship will afford me an acute insight into the full life-cycle of a grant, from initial proposal to grant management and re-evaluation. It’s very rare to have the opportunity to see this grant maturation within a wide array of nonprofit organizations at my age and experience level,” she said.</p><p> “I’m really just hoping to develop a strong grant writing and nonprofit management portfolio and to engage in meaningful personal research during my two years at the Fund.”</p><p> England is among the fifth class of fellows at the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Some of their predecessors work with the Peace Corps, religious organizations, and community-based nonprofits.</p><p> Her accomplishments at Emory & Henry are equally impressive.</p><p> The alumna doubled majored in sociology and history with a minor in women’s studies. “When I entered Emory & Henry, I was the conventional high-performing student who was primarily concerned with grades. If nothing else, E&H taught me that if you aren’t imagining beyond your goals, you aren’t giving yourself enough latitude to grow.”</p><p> While a student at Emory & Henry, England was a research assistant, and she also gained experience working for Terry McAuliffe’s campaign for governor in Virginia.</p><p> Her honors thesis was entitled “Check Here: A Critique of Normative Discursive Categorization within Survey Construction.” The premise of her research was to address some of the General Social Survey’s methodological limitations.</p><p> “I found that nominal and mutually-exclusive language, as it pertains to the General Social Survey categorization of sex, creates a false sense of normativeness within American society and harshly limits the accuracy of data when causal inferences link these two categories to various other demographic features within the data set. Ultimately, I created an alternative survey proposal that I hope will be adopted more frequently on campus.”</p><p> England said her experiences at Emory & Henry have enabled her to be a successful person, employee, and citizen.</p><p> “I feel the impact of my liberal arts education daily and in several dimensions. First, I often find myself willing to engage in critical, solutions-oriented dialogue, and I think that’s a direct result of the type of Socratic courses that you regularly find at Emory.</p><p> “Second, I’m acutely aware of the impact that place has on people, and this is really imperative when you’re in a workspace. I’m really aware of workplace dynamics and organizational core values. Those are really important to understand when you’re trying to figure out how you, the individual, fit into the structure. At Emory, we were constantly reminded of how people and place are inextricably connected.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/13-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>