E&H women’s basketball team and men’s basketball team have been invited to play in the ODAC tournament in Salem. Bring your friends to halftime and post-game receptions during both games. Tip-off for the women’s game is 1 pm on Thursday, Feb. 22. Tip-off for the men’s game is 3 pm on Friday, Feb. 23. Join us!
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Emory & Henry has about 10,000 living alumni, about 1000 students, and a Homecoming crowd that easily hits 5,000.
Meet Our Alumni
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1745-becky-edmondson-pretzel" title="Becky Pretzel" aria-label="Becky Pretzel"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/198,324,1490,1615/3152_edmondsonpretzel-1122.rev.1518207187.jpg" alt="Becky Edmondson Pretzel" title="Becky Edmondson Pretzel" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/198,324,1490,1615/3152_edmondsonpretzel-1122.rev.1518207187.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/198,324,1490,1615/3152_edmondsonpretzel-1122.rev.1518207187.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1500" data-max-h="2250"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1745-becky-edmondson-pretzel"><p> Rebecca Edmondson Pretzel (E&H ’82) is the Associate Director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at UNC Chapel Hill. </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Rebecca Edmondson Pretzel (E&H ’82) is the Associate Director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at UNC Chapel Hill. </p><p> The CIDD is a comprehensive program for services, research, and training relevant to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The CIDD provides for clinical services that range from complex interdisciplinary evaluations on-site to more limited and selected clinical services. They also provide training in all 100 counties in North Carolina. (<a href="http://www.cidd.unc.edu/">CIDD website</a>)</p><p> According to a press release, Becky is a “psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UNC. At the CIDD, she serves as the Associate Director of our federally-funded University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) program, Director of Clinical Services, and Psychology Section Head. In addition, she is an investigator on a variety of research and training grants and supervises numerous graduate students and junior faculty.</p><p> Through her longstanding experience working with many N.C. service agencies (e.g., the Department of Public Instruction, Early Intervention Branch and Division of MH/DD/SAS), Dr. Pretzel has played an important role in raising the level of care for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in the state. Dr. Pretzel is currently serving as Act Early Ambassador in North Carolina, a program directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designed to improve early identification of young children with or at risk for developmental delays.”</p><div id="social-sharing-links" class="right clearfix"><div class="muted"/></div></div><a href="/live/profiles/1745-becky-edmondson-pretzel" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1442-lindsey-kincaid" title="Lindsey Kincaid" aria-label="Lindsey Kincaid"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,720/2356_LIndsey_kincaid.rev.1516296175.jpg" alt="Lindsey Kincaid" title="Lindsey Kincaid" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,720/2356_LIndsey_kincaid.rev.1516296175.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,720/2356_LIndsey_kincaid.rev.1516296175.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1080" data-max-h="720"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1442-lindsey-kincaid"><p> Lindsey Kincaid is a custom jewelry apprentice.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Lindsey Kincaid is an apprentice at <em>Simply Unique</em> – a custom Jewelry design studio in Yorktown, VA. She’ll be studying under artist Alex Maryaskin, who has twice won the prestigious Saul Bell Award. Lindsey has been working at Emory & Henry’s McGlothlin Center for the Arts as the Arts and Marketing Coordinator and Box Office Manager.</p><p><br/> She says she is excited to “have the ability to create something new and beautiful every day.” Her ultimate goal is to someday have a sculpture studio of her own creating works in a variety of mediums.<br/><br/> Lindsey majored in Studio Art with a focus in ceramics at E&H and says her E&H education prepared her for this moment by providing her with the base knowledge, skills, support and professional development experience that has allowed her to flourish.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1442-lindsey-kincaid" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/677-doug-dalton" title="Doug Dalton" aria-label="Doug Dalton"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,640,640/272_11140356_10154000682162786_5533273719072550783_n.rev.1497276685.jpg" alt="Doug Dalton" title="Doug Dalton" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="640" data-max-h="640"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/677-doug-dalton"><p> Doug Dalton (’94) is More Than Meets The Eye</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Ask anyone who follows Doug Dalton on social media and they’ll tell you that this guy knows how to have a good time. The Fairfax, Va., native is now a dyed-in-the-wool Californian, and photos of him wearing a cheetah suit and going to Burning Man, cocktail parties, and rock concerts might lead you to think he is just a playboy.</p><p> Think again!</p><p> He is also the owner of 9 very successful, very popular, very trendy bars in San Francisco, as well as 3 stores.</p><p> How — and why – does a former “dot com guy” end up as a bar entrepreneur? “I was working at Estee Lauder as the Chief Technology Officer living in San Francisco and New York City. New Yorkers would often speak poorly about San Francisco saying there was nothing interesting to do there. I wanted to contribute to San Francisco because I felt it was a wonderful town. San Francisco at the time was full of incredible restaurants and dive bars but nothing in between, so I ventured to make an elusive but not exclusive high-end bar experience on par with the New York nightlife scene.”</p><p> Doug and his partners venture into areas that some businesses are reluctant to consider (like the Tenderloin District) and his successes are reinvigorating long-ignored areas. “Our bars are bringing new life and other businesses to the area, helping to better them and make them more inviting.”</p><p> If you know a student who is interested in identifying a problem…and working for a solution…encourage him or her to look at Emory & Henry’s Ampersand project. Maybe they’ll grow up and be like Doug Dalton: an answer to community challenge.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/677-doug-dalton" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1747-art-scott" title="Art Scott" aria-label="Art Scott"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,492,492/3154_Art_Scott.rev.1518207659.jpg" alt="Art Scott" title="Art Scott" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="492" data-max-h="492"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1747-art-scott"><p> Art Scott is with the National Association of Counties.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Arthur Scott serves as Associate Legislative Director for National Association of County’s (NACo’s) Agriculture and Rural Affairs portfolio, lobbying on a broad range of issues facing rural counties. Arthur also serves as Political Outreach Manager for NACo developing and leveraging strategic partnerships to help address key county priorities in Congress and the Administration. Additionally, Arthur designed and managed NACo’s 2016 U.S. Presidential Election initiative “Counties Connect America.” Other responsibilities include staffing NACo’s Northeast Region Caucus and the National Association of County Intergovernmental Relations Officials (NACIRO).</p><p> Prior to NACo, Arthur served as Deputy Chief of Staff in the U.S. Senate. During his time in the Senate, Arthur managed all federal appointment processes including judicial nominations and coordinated political and civic outreach initiatives across the Commonwealth. Arthur also managed the grassroots outreach programs for congressional campaigns during the 2008, 2010 and 2012 election cycles. Taking a leave of absence from his position in the Senate, Arthur helped design and execute field programs to address the diverse geographic and demographic landscapes of Virginia. A native of rural Southwestern Virginia, he graduated from Emory and Henry College in 2007 with a B.A. in Geography and minor in Business Management. Before moving to Washington, D.C. in 2008, Arthur operated in several capacities within the economic development community in Southwest Virginia including an internship with Lenowisco, the regional planning district commission.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1747-art-scott" 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/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/1295-sarah-agron" title="Sarah Agron" aria-label="Sarah Agron"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,857,1132/1875_me.rev.1515517710.png" alt="Sarah Agron" title="Sarah Agron" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,857,1132/1875_me.rev.1515517710.png 2x" data-max-w="857" data-max-h="1132"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1295-sarah-agron"><p> Sarah’s work with Migrant Health Network gives her a new perspective on the world.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><div> Sarah Agron’s internship with the Migrant Health Network was likely the key to her being hired. And she credits her E&H professors with pushing her to try new challenges. “My professors helped to push me out of my comfort zone in many different ways, and encouraged me to push through my timidity when it came to speaking another language.”<br/><br/> Her job title is Outreach Worker. with Migrant Health Network. “What I do is reach out to the migrant farm worker population here in Washington and Smyth counties and offer my help with anything they might be needing regarding health care. I offer interpretation, transportation, and care navigation. I’m basically a bilingual case manager. Also, I try to help with filling out insurance applications and providing health education materials in Spanish.”<br/><br/> Sarah says the Migrant Health Network’s goal is to provide services/care to as many migrant workers as possible. “Our group has 4 workers each serving about 3 counties a piece here in Southwest Virginia. In 2017, we served 720 farm workers. We hope for that number to grow for 2018. Our organization is about providing care to those who would normally feel helpless to try to go about taking care of their health care needs.”<br/><br/> She says every day presents a new challenge, and because the culture is so different from hers and because she’s dealing with medical issues, she is always having to expand her vocabulary. “I can go in with a patient to a regular check-up, and the next thing I know, the doctor is talking about different kinds of deep sea fish the patient should be eating, or maybe some kind of neurological illness I’ve never heard of before.”<br/><br/> She says she appreciates not only the education she got at Emory & Henry…but also the empathy she gained. “By the time I graduated from E&H in 2015, I had learned to see what was going on in the world through other people’s eyes, which has helped me considerably in a job where I am almost constantly with those from another culture and background.”</div><div/><div/><div/></div><a href="/live/profiles/1295-sarah-agron" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/701-" title="Will Wadlington" aria-label="Will Wadlington"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,411,441/351_22190fabaa5cf5891f3c9f97021a2c3b_f7834.rev.1500384865.jpg" alt="Will Wadlington" title="Will Wadlington" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="411" data-max-h="441"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/701-"><p> Salad Days </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Will Wadlington (’08) recently shared a little tidbit:</p><p> “You may like to know I just accepted a new position as Lettuce Breeder, fyi.”</p><p> How could we not have follow up questions??</p><p> He recently defended his Ph. D. work in Plant Biology at the University of Illinois, and his current research is on spinach sex chromosomes. Working at Everglades Research & Education Center, Dr. Wadlington says they are doing research to determine how plants control whether they are male or female. “We don’t really know how plants do that, so I’m researching how spinach (my specialty) and also papaya use sex chromosomes to have male or female plants. It’s basic research to figure out how botany works.”</p><p> Turns out there’s an advantage to being able to change the sex of spinach: “I developed a variety of spinach that makes YY spinach (not XX not XY but with two Y’s). Breeders use those for seed production to make the most pollen.”</p><p> His next post-doc job will be working with lettuce. In particular, he’s looking at making lettuce more disease-resistant. “Lettuce in the field gets pathogens sometimes and it can ruin a crop or make them ugly. We are finding varieties that are resistant to common diseases so we can then breed naturally occurring resistance genes into major lines.”</p><p> The hope is for less food waste and higher quality produce – which is great for growers, but also for the environment. “Disease-resistant lettuce requires fewer chemical sprays when cultivated, so it’s cheaper to produce, better for the environment, and great for the people that work in the fields and eat salads.”</p><p> Let-us all hope for Will’s success.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/701-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1432-josh-myers" title="Josh Myers" aria-label="Josh Myers"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,427,427/1596_Josh_Myers.rev.1513028145.jpg" alt="Josh Myers" title="Josh Myers" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="427" data-max-h="427"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1432-josh-myers"><p> Myers is president of EMM Financial Services.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Josh Myers, is president of EMM Financial Services, Inc. in Greensboro, North Carolina.<br/></p><p> His post-college experience has varied widely. He spent a bit of time in the nation’s capitol working for a large national lobby based in Northern Virginia. He attended the University of South Carolina for graduate studies in public administration. And he ran a statewide political campaign in South Carolina. He says that all his experiences and especially his education at Emory & Henry have given him the confidence, as well as the financial and analytical tools that prepared him for his leadership position with EMM.<br/></p><p> A management major at Emory & Henry, Josh says working collaboratively within groups and having real-world experiences through internships were the most helpful tools he acquired as an undergrad. He credits the compassionate community-based mantra of E&H as being an underlying guide to how he lives his life and serves his clients. He is reminded daily to always put people first and the rest will follow.<br/></p><p> He also says he has one very simple and helpful word of advice to anyone planning for the future: Save early and save often. No one ever got to the end of the road and said they wish they’d saved less.<br/></p><p> Josh is married to Catherine “Katie” Reynolds Myers (E&H ’08) who is a speech pathologist in the Guilford County, North Carolina, school system and the couple have two children, Carter and Emily. </p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1432-josh-myers" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1433-toni-atkins" title="Toni Atkins" aria-label="Toni Atkins"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,56,800,857/2267_Toni_Atkins.rev.1516131104.jpg" alt="Toni Atkins" title="Toni Atkins" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,56,800,857/2267_Toni_Atkins.rev.1516131104.jpg 2x" data-max-w="800" data-max-h="1054"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1433-toni-atkins"><p> Toni Atkins is the leader of the California Senate – and is the first woman to hold this position.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Toni Atkins, E&H ’84, recently made history by becoming the first woman to serve as president pro Tempore of the California Senate. She has served as interim Mayor of San Diego, and was Governor of California for nine hours in 2014 – making her California’s first openly gay governor, and it also landed her a spot on the Jimmy Kimmel talk show.</p><p> </p><p> Below is an article by Lisa Renner written for Capitol Weekly in 2017:</p><p> State Sen. Toni Atkins has come a long way since she was a girl growing up poor without running water in rural Virginia.</p><p> This month, the San Diego lawmaker is set to replace Kevin de León as leader of the California Senate. She will be the first woman and first open lesbian to hold the position. She also will be the first person since the 19<sup>th</sup> century to hold both of the Legislature’s top jobs – Assembly speaker and Senate leader.</p><blockquote><p> “She came with a sense of wanting to make a difference but didn’t think she could make a difference because of her background.” — Stephen Fisher </p></blockquote><p> Atkins, 55, is a real coal miner’s daughter who grew up in a house without indoor plumbing or running water, and her mother cooked on a wood stove, according to her college professor and close friend Stephen Fisher. When Atkins and her family moved to the city of Roanoke, she was teased for her hillbilly accent.</p><div id="div-gpt-ad-1395717372217-22_container" class="idm_ad_unit"/><p> </p><p> Only two others have served as both Assembly speaker and Senate leader — Ransom Burnell (Assembly Speaker in 1861 and Senate pro Tem in 1864) and James T. Farley (Assembly speaker in 1856 and Senate pro Tem in 1871-1872), said Alex Vassar, author of <em>California Lawmaker: The Men and Women of the California State Legislature.</em></p><p> Fisher recalls that when she arrived at Emory and Henry College, where she ultimately majored in political science, she had a lot of “anger and shame” about her upbringing. “She came with a sense of wanting to make a difference but didn’t think she could make a difference because of her background,” he said.</p><p> But as she grew more comfortable, she became more confident in her skin. She was part of a group of students who asked Fisher to teach a course on feminism. He agreed if the students would help him create the course, including decided what texts do use and how the class would be structured. “It was a transformative experience for all of us,” he said, adding that Atkins wasn’t the only participant who went on to have great success in professional life.</p><p> Atkins also showed courage by helping arrange for a visit to campus by lesbian folk singer Holly Near in the early 1980s when the college “was not a safe place to come out in,” Fisher said.</p><blockquote><p> Atkins was elected to the state Assembly in 2010. becoming Speaker of the Assembly in 2014. </p></blockquote><p> But Fisher said he had no idea back then that Atkins would end up where she is now. “I knew that she was going to do well but I had no notion that she was going into public work.”</p><p> Atkins ended up continuing her education at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University before relocating to San Diego in 1985.</p><p> She initially served as director of clinic services of Womancare Health Center but soon began working for then San Diego City Councilmember Christine Kehoe, the city’s first openly gay elected official. Atkins’ first jump into elected office came on the San Diego City Council in 2000, when she replaced Kehoe after Kehoe moved on to the state Legislature.</p><p> Atkins was herself elected to the state Assembly in 2010. becoming Speaker of the Assembly in 2014. She set her priorities as access to health care, affordable housing and educational opportunities.</p><p> Among her achievements was getting the bipartisan support for a $7.5 billion water bond approved by voters in 2014. “That was a clear example of her leadership because folks believed it could not be done,” said Assemblymember Shirley Weber of San Diego.</p><blockquote><p> “She has that coal miner’s daughter perspective that comes out of that environment.” — Shirley Weber </p></blockquote><p> Weber also credits Atkins with getting her to run for office. Weber was recently retired after a long career as a professor of Africana studies at San Diego State University when Atkins asked her to consider running for the Assembly.</p><p> When Weber won the election and joined the Assembly in 2012, it was Atkins who opened doors for her and helped her make the transition. “She said I will help you do this and she did,” Weber said. “Other people say I’ll help you and you can’t find them. They don’t do anything for you.”</p><p> Weber said she is impressed that Atkins has been able to rise so far while keeping her dignity and maintaining her integrity.</p><p> “She has that coal miner’s daughter perspective that comes out of that environment,” she said. “You don’t get out of that environment if you don’t take what you have, make it better, learn from strengths and minimize your weaknesses.”</p><p> Atkins was elected to the state Senate in 2016 and was able to get all 12 bills she sent to the governor, signed and approved. In her December newsletter, she said she is especially proud of Senate Bill 2, which creates a permanent funding source for affordable housing and Senate Bill 179, which requires the state to legally recognize “nonbinary” as a gender for people who do not identify as male or female.</p><p> Rick Zbur, executive director for Equality California, said Atkins is one of the best advocates for the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. He applauded her upcoming advance to leadership of the senate.</p><p> “It’s important that she has shattered yet another glass ceiling,” he said. “These kinds of achievements are important for LBGTQ people because we have been historically underrepresented in government.”</p><p> Through it all, she remembers her Virginia roots. She invited Cameron Chase, a 20-year-old Emory and Henry student, to Sacramento for a three-week internship with her earlier this year. “Sen. Atkins is literally so down to earth and so kind and generous,” he said.</p><p> In a 2014 statement to the Washington Post, Atkins reflected on her rise from poverty to high office in California. “What that says about our opportunities as Americans and our democracy is profound.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1433-toni-atkins" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1743-myron-wingfield" title="Myron Wingfield" aria-label="Myron Wingfield"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,320,404/3150_Myron_Wingfield.rev.1518206236.jpg" alt="Myron Wingfield" title="Myron Wingfield" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="320" data-max-h="404"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1743-myron-wingfield"><p> Myron Wingfield (E&H ’83) is the Executive Director of Connectional Ministries for the California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Myron Wingfield (E&H ’83) has returned to California to be the Executive Director of Connectional Ministries for the California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church.</p><p> Resident Bishop Grant J. Hagiya of the Los Angeles Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church recently shared the following letter as a means of announcing the news:</p><p> “I am pleased to announce that Rev. Myron D. Wingfield will become our next California-Pacific Conference’s Executive Director of Connectional Ministries.</p><p> Rev. Wingfield currently serves as the Associate General Secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Division of Ordained Ministry where he supervises and coordinates the work of the program and administrative staff of the Division of Ordained Ministry. His work includes providing training, consultation, and resources for district superintendents across the Connection and for administering the Effective Ministry Assessment (EMA) on effective clergy-congregational leadership collaboration as well as the Ministerial Education Fund and the Central Conference Theological Education Fund.</p><p> Prior to this, in the California-Pacific Conference, he served as District Superintendent in the San Diego District for seven years and on the Board of Ordained Ministry for nine years. He has also served as Co-Pastor of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church (San Diego, CA), among other local churches, and as a delegate to the 2012 Western Jurisdictional Conference.</p><p> Rev. Wingfield earned a Master of Divinity with Honors from Candler School of Theology, Emory University (Atlanta, GA), and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Emory & Henry College (Emory, VA).</p><p> Myron both understands our Cal-Pac Conference culture and brings the perspective of the General Church, both nationally and internationally. He supervises the entire staff of the Division of Ordained Ministry, and as such brings a wealth of administration as well as program ministry gifts. I am confident that God will lead us into greater ministry vitality in and through his leadership. Let us keep him in prayer and welcome him as he comes to lead in this capacity, starting January 15, 2017.</p><p><strong>Bishop Grant J. Hagiya</strong><br/> Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop<br/> The United Methodist Church”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1743-myron-wingfield" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1444-fred-parker" title="Fred Parker" aria-label="Fred Parker"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2125,3199/2358_Political_People_004.rev.1516296690.JPG" alt="Fred Parker" title="Fred Parker" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2125,3199/2358_Political_People_004.rev.1516296690.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2125,3199/2358_Political_People_004.rev.1516296690.JPG 3x" data-max-w="2125" data-max-h="3199"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1444-fred-parker"><p> Fred Parker serves as the Treasurer of Washington County, Virginia.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> In addition to his E&H degree, he also holds studied at Lincoln Memorial University, East Tennessee State University, and the University of Virginia.</p><p> He has served on a variety of professional boards including the Governor’s Advisory Commission on the Dillon Rule and Local Government, the Virginia Association of Locally Elected Constitutional Officers (serving as president in 2004), Served as president of the Treasurers Association of Virginia, is on the Southwest Virginia Association of Treasurer’s and Clerks, the Treasurer’s Association of VA, Virginia State SNAP Non-Arbitrage Program Advisory Board Since Inception, Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority, VA Government Finance Officers Association, VACo Investment Pool, and Washington County Industrial Development Authority.</p><p> He is a member of the Abingdon Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He is a former chair of the Washington County Democratic Committee and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1996.</p><p><br/> His list of awards and involvements is long, as is his passion for serving the community.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1444-fred-parker" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/690-" title="Chris Whitt" aria-label="Chris Whitt"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,450,299/340_195154692a4a9ca21aec2fe00c319ccd_f7172.rev.1500309442.jpg" alt="Chris Whitt" title="Chris Whitt" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="450" data-max-h="299"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/690-"><p> It’s all Emory & Henry’s Fault</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> “While I was a student, I participated in a teaching abroad program in Brazil that was offered by the college, and I fell in love with the Brazilian culture and people. So I decided to make it my home.” So for 7 years he ran a school that taught English as a second language, and in 2008 he opened his very own such business in Londrina, Brazil, called High School Language Center. Solving more than one need for the community, his school gives families a chance for constructive child care. “My school offers an alternative to a babysitter for families who think learning another language is important. The kids from ages 2 1/2 and up study 3 hours per day at my school. They have a lot of fun learning.” Look for his school online and you’ll find projects like mystery movies his students produce to practice their English.</p><p> Chris is just one of many alumni who are using their E&H degrees to solve problems. If you know a student who might like to use education to make the world a better place, check out the <a href="https://www.ehc.edu/ampersand/">Ampersand</a> project at Emory & Henry!</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/690-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1751-erick-long" title="Erick Long" aria-label="Erick Long"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,612,515/3181_Erick_Long.rev.1518214003.jpg" alt="Erick Long" title="Erick Long" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="612" data-max-h="515"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1751-erick-long"><p> Erick Long is a vice president for the Academy of Country Music in Los Angeles.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Erick Long joined the Academy of Country Music in 2009 after many years in the events industry. He currently manages Operations & Events at the Academy including several components of the Academy of Country Music Awards, ACM Party for a Cause Festival as well as ACM Honors. Long oversees the general operations of the ACM, event production, red carpet, talent logistics, sponsor fulfillment, catering, board meetings, security, transportation, the All-Star Jam (official after party), IT, as well as the internship and volunteer programs.</p><p> Prior to joining the Academy, Long spent more than six years in special events at Universal Studios Hollywood where he managed large-scale events including the MTV Movie Awards After Party, the Tahitian Noni International Conference, Lance Armstrong’s Tour of Hope, and New Year’s Eve events, among others. Before Universal, Long spent more than 10 years in event production and operations with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Pallotta TeamWorks - Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, Up with People as well as independent contracts with the Grammys, Latin Grammys, and the Inland Valley Humane Society. A Tennessee native, Long graduated from Emory & Henry College in Virginia. He has lived in Los Angeles since 2000.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1751-erick-long" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/704-" title="Rachel Dunne" aria-label="Rachel Dunne"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,690,390/354_25f3d785419f0eb611f94ba17fd1703d_f1833.rev.1500386495.jpg" alt="Rachel Dunne" title="Rachel Dunne" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="690" data-max-h="390"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/704-"><p> Rachel Dunne Finds Unlikely Path in Alaska </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> When Rachel Dunne (’04) was a student at E&H, she pretty much set the woods on fire. Lately, she’s been busy putting out fires. This is truly a young woman who knows how to fire up a Liberal Arts degree. </p><p> This is all a corny way of saying that Rachel has been fighting wildland fires in Alaska.</p><p> A double major in Public Policy & Community Service and Psychology, Rachel was a top notch student with a heart intent on making a difference. And it comes as no surprise that she is finding such a creative means of making her way in the world. She wanted to pursue work in the area of disaster relief response after graduate school, but needed job experience. She spent 10 months in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps doing a lot of work in the Gulf region of the U.S. working on Katrina recovery efforts. She also got sent to a very small town in Arizona where her team was assigned to assistance with brush clearing to prevent wildfires. Her superiors suggested she come back after AmeriCorps for a job.</p><p> While she only intended to do the job for a year, she stayed for two and a half years honing her skills not only in firefighting and prevention but also in coordinating fire response, GIS, HAZMAT, EMT, and learned how to drive a water tender (please Google this to see how impressive this feat is).</p><p> After Arizona she found an opportunity to continue this good work and to see some of the country’s most beautiful land. She considered Big Sky country, but ended up in Alaska because of their unique challenges in fire logistics. She served as a fire logistics dispatcher for the Alaska Fire Service, which is part of the Bureau of Land Management. In this role, she helped get the people, supplies, and aircraft out to remote areas of Alaska for wildland fires.</p><p> As is wont to happen, while in Alaska, Rachel ran smack into another Emory & Henry person! Daniel Griggs (’07) was there doing similar work and putting his geography background to good use. Giving Dr. John Morgan all the credit for getting him the right start, Daniel says he finds working for the fire service very “real” in the sense that there is “immediate need for accurate geospatial information.” He ended up in Alaska because he had always wanted to visit the state, so when he got a job offer in Anchorage he jumped at the chance.</p><p> Rachel says folks in her position work seasonally—putting in 6 months of work and then filling the other half of the year with school, other work, travel, or personal projects and hobbies. While the job sounds pretty cushy, it turns out those six months are pretty demanding. On a fire assignment, dispatchers and firefighters alike usually work 14 straight days of up to 16 hour shifts. In many ways, it’s more of a lifestyle than a job.</p><p> So what happens during those long days? This season, Daniel got sent out to the field as a GIS specialist, providing custom real-time maps of fires for the incident decision-makers. Rachel moved to another dispatch center as an aircraft dispatcher, where she finds the helicopters and planes that support both fires and scientists in interior Alaska and the lower 48. “It’s not every day you get to say, ‘Yeah, I ordered a jumbo jet at work today’,” says Rachel. “The best part of the job is the constant challenge—you never know who is going to call or what they are going to need, and it’s great to be able to say, ‘Sure, I can make that happen,’ even when it means getting people or supplies into parts of Alaska your average tourist will never even think about visiting.”</p><p> With these new job demands, Rachel is less “fire fighter” and more “travel agent” – booking flights into all corners of the state. Whether they are VIPs touring Alaska before making recommendations on energy or land management policy, scientists researching animal habitats and archeological sites, or firefighters protecting Alaska’s assets, everybody knows they’ll have to fly to get to their Alaskan destination. “I may miss the smell of smoke and getting to do things with my own hands, but what I can do with a phone and a radio allows those professionals to make the difference, and I’m proud to be part of their support network.”</p><p> While Daniel will stay on with Alaska Fire Service in Fairbanks for the near future, Rachel plans to move on after this season ends. “What’s next? I don’t know, but if you’d told me I was going to be a firefighter or live in Alaska while I was at Emory, I’d have laughed. I just keep believing in the hope that people can do amazing things when we are willing to take on a challenge, even if it means leaving our comfort zones behind.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/704-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>