Priority week at the University of Lynchburg is off to a slow start despite administration’s Lynchburg Cares incentives.
The Priority Survey originally sent out on February 24th is meant to compile data from students that will help the university improve both student life and academic success.
According to an email by President Alison Morrison-Schetlar, this survey is a key component for the university’s upcoming accreditation review for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Some of the main topics of this survey include questions relating to financial needs, campus security, academic advisors and the knowledgeability of the faculty and staff.
While the results of the survey could greatly improve campus life, students have indicated that it has not been advertised in a way that is accessible.
There is also a time commitment of about 15-20 minutes to complete the survey, which could be inconvenient for the majority of students, especially those who are studying for midterms and finals.
Abigail Lawrence, a CA for the university, said, “It would take time that I don’t have.”
When interviewing students about their knowledge of this survey, 4 of 5 admitted that they had never heard of the survey before, let alone filled it out.
An intern for the research center, Emily Brown, added, “It is not a priority, even though it’s called priority week.”
For each survey completed, there was also supposed to be a $1 donation sent to the Lynchburg Cares Fund, which offers financial aid for students in times of need.
The last day for students to complete the survey is Sunday, March 5th.
Born of a collaboration between Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, the franchise has run on the lifeblood of grand adventure and great nostalgia for a bygone age when such adventures seemed somehow more possible. This summer, the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise will hit the big screen. The question is will Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny be the last installment?
According to series star Harrison Ford, it will definitely be the last time we see him as Indy on the big screen and perhaps the last time we’ll see the character of Indiana Jones up there as well. Ford is probably right about that first part. He is 80 after all it takes a long, long time for the movie making constellations to align just right to produce an Indiana Jones film. I hope Ford is wrong about the second.
There comes a point in every franchise where actors must move on and new actors take over their parts. We live in a world of multiple James Bonds and Batman. Some franchises even bake this into their DNA, such as the way regeneration works on Doctor Who to give us at least fourteen different actors in the main role.
As fans, we can argue and debate who was best as their character. I’m an unapologetic “Bond is Sean Connery” fan and if I’m forced to pick a Batman and a Doctor, I’ll go with Michael Keaton and David Tennant. But hey, I still love Roger Moore, Adam West, and Tom Baker too. That’s the fun of franchises.
Ford and Jones seem a bit more connected somehow. It’s hard to imagine someone else as Indiana Jones. That is why I’ve always been boggled by the thought that the creators originally wanted Tom Selleck in the part. Nothing against Tom, but I’m glad it did not work out for him.
As hard as it would be to recast Indiana Jones, I do not want this franchise to end with this film for reasons beyond just my own fandom. I think these movies play an important cultural role. This is because Indiana Jones is at his best when he is punching Nazis.
The best films in the series, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), feature Nazis as the primary antagonists. When Indiana Jones takes on the Third Reich, he reminds us of important American cultural values. Freedom beats out fascism. We are reinvested in some ideas that are important to us.
Other franchises are just not touching these ideas. Even Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) pulled back from this a bit, having the WWII era Red Skull be more Hydra than Nazi. I get it. Disney does not want to engage the PR difficulties that come with onscreen swastikas and toys in Nazi uniforms. But particularly in this day and age, where fascist ideas are on the rise, we need someone to beat that foe.
Ford may not be able to continue, but we will still need Indiana Jones there defeating the Nazis. We will always need that.
Dr. Bosco Bae became a widely known and loved professor in an extremely short amount of time; both in his department and campus-wide.
Bae first came to the university two years ago at the start of a one-year visiting contract as an assistant professor of religious studies.
“He made himself invaluable to the religious studies department, to the general education program and to the students,” says Dr. Amy Merrill Willis.
It was Merrill-Willis’ goal from the start of Bae’s Lynchburg journey to get him renewed for a second contract.
Automatically upon his arrival, Bae made connections with students, faculty and staff across the university community, quickly making a name and reputation for himself.
Merrill-Willis recalls hearing about this good reputation by the middle of his first semester here in 2021 from students and faculty advisors.
Students of color were quickly drawn to Bae and he quickly became a confidant and trusted faculty member, which led to him being hired as the director for student diversity and belonging in the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
“In my opinion Dr. Bae was one of the few professors that really cared about the well-being of black students, as well as people of color in general,” says alum Theo Veal.
Veal reflects on how Bae was always open and honest about who he was as a person, and cultivated a free and personal atmosphere in the classroom. “Dr. Bae took the time to connect with his students and you could tell that he cared deeply about them,” continues Veal.
Merrill-Willis also noticed the impact he has had on students over the past two years and says that he is extraordinary at listening to students’ concerns, helping them and encouraging them to listen to each other as well.
Bae was also integral to the DELL General Education Program and taught several classes outside of the specified religious studies offerings.
One of these classes was Sociology of Race and Ethnicity in which he had Jacob Jones, sophomore as a student.
Jones says, “He made it a really fun class and it was good to hear a minority perspective.” Jones is also the president of Man2Man, a club that “focuses on the successful development of men of color at the University of Lynchburg”.
Because Man2Man is housed in the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Jones has been able to work with Bae in both a classroom setting and club setting. “I’m sad to see him go,” says Jones. “He is always a bright spot in my day.”
Bae will be moving on to Centre College in Danville, Kentucky after this semester is over, where he will continue to deepen his impact.
“Wherever he lands, I want him to flourish and thrive and be in a place where he can practice his scholarly gifts and teaching gifts to the extent that he deserves,” concludes Merrill-Willis.
Bae will be deeply missed by both students and faculty campus-wide.
Dr. Adam Dean, History Department
Dr. Adam Dean first entered the University of Lynchburg in the fall of 2011, with his now-wife Dr. Kara Eaton Dean and has made a great impact on the university and its students in the years since.
Dean currently serves as the chair of the history department and, according to Dr. Brian Crim, is a great leader of the department.
“He’s masterful as a chair. He’s very personable and then he knows how to work between faculty colleagues and administrators, which is a hard thing to do,” says Crim.
Crim also serves as a Professor of history and arrived at the university two years before Dean in 2008. One of the greatest impacts Crim has seen Dean have on students is through his domestic study-away program and building-up of internship opportunities and connections in central Virginia.
“The trip both incorporated my personal experiences with going to Yellowstone since I was a kid, and my academic work,” says Dean.
In addition to his love of teaching, Dean also wrote a book on mid-19th century land policy that included a chapter on the creation of Yosemite and Yellowstone, which he loved teaching the students about on the trip.
Dean has always had a love for US National Parks and has visited them almost every summer since he was a third grader, so it is fitting that Dean’s next journey will be to New Mexico, where will become a park ranger at Vias Caldera National Preserve.
“I’m passionate about the history [of national parks], and a big value of Vias Caldera is to become a model park for tribal partnerships and cooperation,” says Dean.
Dean led a talk about indigenous dispossession in US National Parks. “I think, quite frankly, it’s easy to be critical when you’re sitting in your office over there in Carnegie, but to actually try and be part of the solution is something important to me,” says Dean.
Understanding past history and being critical and discerning when it comes to information is something Dean is passionate about teaching his students as well.
“I hope that they [students] understand the past in greater complexity and nuance,” says Dean. “I hope that they’ve become better writers and discerners of information and develop their own answers to complicated history.”
Senior Rebecca Faulkner exemplifies this legacy that Dean hopes to leave behind.
Faulkner took a class with Dean her sophomore year, and learned skills in his class that she has taken with her through her college career.
Faulkner recalls her experience in class as one that genuinely applied concepts learned in lectures to everyday life and facets of American culture.
“In this class specifically we were talking about the development of slavery in the United States, and how it looked from an economic perspective, religious perspective, and all of these other facets that I hadn’t heard of before,” says Faulkner.
Faulkner raved about the discussion based classes and how Dean taught more than just history, changing the way she viewed the subject going forward.
Dean has left a legacy behind at the university and the community is excited to see him doing something that perfectly fits his passions.
“He’s going to be impossible to replace,” says Crim. “It’s great for his young family, so the timing is right for him.”
Dean is looking forward to the snow that will be present in his future home of Jemez Springs, New Mexico where he will be closer to his family and original western roots.
Dr. Takashi Maie, Biology Department
Dr. Takashi Maie came to Lynchburg after teaching at a public university in Minnesota on a year contract.
That was in 2014 and since then he has led study-abroad trips to Japan, where he is from, and collaborated on projects with other professors, such as Chemistry Professor Dr. Samrat Thapa.
Maie teaches anatomy and physiology and is passionate about teaching his students the art of understanding.
“It’s a content rich subject, but as students learn how organ systems work, how our body functions, I love to see how their face lights up when they understand it and have that eureka moment,” says Maie.
He hopes that students will be able to take that same excited energy and spread it to their future students or patients after they graduate.
In addition to understanding the subject of anatomy and physiology, he also has led a study-abroad trip in the hopes that students will understand what it is like to be a foreigner in a new country.
“I wanted to help reverse that experience, because I came here as a foreigner and I think it’s important for students to go outside of the US and experience other cultures,” says Maie.
He has not only affected the lives of his students, but has also cultivated great relationships amongst faculty members.
Thapa in particular, has collaborated with him on projects and research that have enriched the School of Sciences.
Because of his focus on anatomy, Maie works closely with wetting solutions that are used with cadavers. Maie and Thapa collaborated on a project that merged their chemistry and anatomy backgrounds to find alternative solutions.
Thapa and Maie are not only good research partners, but also great friends as they arrived at the university at the same time and quickly found that they had much in common and generally enjoyed getting to know each other.
“He always has that smile plastered on his face, very welcoming. He’s just very affable and kind,” remarked Thapa.
Since coming to teach at the university, Maie has helped around 40 students with their senior research projects, many of them being nursing students.
Nursing student Naomi Watkins says, “Having Maie as my professor this semester has been a new experience for me that I’m grateful for.”
Maie will be heading back to Minnesota in the fall to St. Olaf’s College, a private, liberal arts school close in size to Lynchburg.
He hopes to be able to expand his research there and have more opportunities to discover.
First a contributing member of the Lynchburg women’s basketball team, Kacey Kelly has now found her niche on the track and field team in the triple jump.
Kelly competes in triple jump at the 2023 Dr. Jack M. Toms Invitational, hosted by University of Lynchburg. The freshman broke the school record in the event, clearing 11.73 meters.
Lynchburg, Va. — It did not take long for Kacey Kelly to make her mark on the Lynchburg women’s track and field team. Just a few jumps in fact.
After wrapping up her inaugural season with the Lynchburg women’s basketball team, the first-year from Woodbridge, Va. took down the Lynchburg school record in triple jump, clearing 11.73 meters to outdo the previous mark set by teammate and national qualifier Aniya Seward.
“Honestly, my goal going in was to just get somewhere close to where I had jumped in high school,” Kelly said. “The fact that I ended up breaking the record is insane and took me by surprise.”
Despite that mark effectively sealing the deal on a trip to the 2023 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, it only got better from there.
A few weeks later, Kelly jumped 12.09 meters in the event, joining Seward as the first and second Hornets in school history to clear 12 meters. She currently ranks seventh in the nation and holds the highest mark of any freshman.
At last weekend’s Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships, she secured a pair of all-conference performances, winning the triple jump and taking second in long jump to help Lynchburg secure its fifth consecutive team title.
Sophie Tully, during an important upset victory of Virginia Wesleyan University. Photo Courtesy of Lynchburg Sports and Sam Rice
The University of Lynchburg’s Softball team wrapped up their season this past weekend on the road against the strong conference foe, Roanoke College. Although the regular season’s final double header was not a success for the Hornets, they found themselves firmly secured into the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament.
The Hornets were led by an experienced group of players that have not only played well for the team but have become leaders to the next generation of Hornet softball players.
Senior first baseman Sophie Tully stated, “We have a great group of seniors, and we’ve been able to use our experience to help guide the team through a very competitive schedule.”
The Hornets competitive schedule included ten games against teams that were ranked inside of the top-ten in the country.
According to the University of Lynchburg’s Athletics website, in these games the squad earned upset victories over Salisbury University and Christopher Newport University, who were ranked number one and number two respectively. As well as a conference victory over the sixth ranked, Virginia Wesleyan Marlins.
Tim LaDuca overseeing action at the 2023 ODAC Women’s Golf Championship. Photo Courtesy of Lynchburg Sports and Caroline Gerke.
Lynchburg’s media department within the University of Lynchburg’s athletics department stepped into a new role this semester when they began working almost simultaneously.
Tim LaDuca, who is the Director of Digital Media for the athletic department was thrust into a new role, as not only the head of the digital media department, but also took over the reins of the sports information department early in the spring semester.
However, this work was not done alone. The experienced staff of LaDuca and Sam Rice, the assistant director of digital media, are excited to reshape the landscape of these two departments.
LaDuca has been asked to step into a very large role as the director of this new era in sports information.
He has had the responsibility to step into many different roles in these positions. LaDuca stated, “Digital media is curating our social media, creating interactive posts, highlighting our student athletes online and also live streaming the events with broadcasts online.”
The Lynchburg Hornets Sports Network has been the epitome of NCAA Division III broadcast channels for many years, but this year it has also been reshaped. Although student help has been important in the past, it has taken on an increased level of importance with a smaller salaried staff.
Emily Brubaker and Coach Veverka celebrating during the third round of the ODAC Championship. Photo courtesy of Lynchburg Sports and Caroline Gerke
The University of Lynchburg’s Women’s Golf team concluded the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament on Sunday in rainy and difficult conditions. But that did not stop the Hornets from completing one of their lowest rounds of the season during the most important tournament.
Going into the tournament, which took place in Crozet, Virginia at Old Trail Golf Club, Emily Brubaker and the Hornets planned to stick to their overall goals for the season. Brubaker stated “A lot of our goals were to just have fun and work on lowering the amount of missed shots.”
This focus on having fun translated directly into lowering the number of missed shots. According to the ODAC website, the Hornets earned a 320.1 scoring average per round over the course of the season. This mark places second in the history of the program, only behind the 2021-2022 season.
The team this season was led by an experienced group of juniors: Brubaker had the fourth lowest scoring average in the conference, earning her third consecutive All-ODAC First Team honor. Emily Erickson and Gracie Cannon also both played huge roles in the overall success of the team this season.
The Hornets secured home field advantage in the upcoming Old Dominion Athletic Conference for the first time since 2015.
Lynchburg secured home field advantage in the 2023 ODAC men’s lacrosse tournament with a 14-2 victory over Hampden-Sydney Saturday. It will be the first time Lynchburg has hosted since 2015.
Lynchburg, Va. — When Dylan Wolfe scored a goal with 11:53 remaining in the third quarter, Lynchburg (12-5, 8-1 ODAC) had already effectively put the game out of reach from visiting Hampden-Sydney (13-4, 8-1 ODAC) on Saturday in a battle for the No. 1 seed in this week’s Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament.
The shot gave the Hornets a 10-1 advantage in a game Lynchburg would go on to win by a score of 14-2 on senior night.
However, the senior from Pasadena, Md. was welcomed back to the sideline as if he had just scored the go-ahead goal to win the national championship.
On Sunday, April 23rd, Phi Kappa Tau hosted the second annual Sean Williams Memorial Volleyball Tournament in remembrance of their late brother.
Photo taken by CeVonte Jones.
Last year, the brothers had the idea of a memorial volleyball tournament to fundraise for a memorial plaque to be placed in Sean’s honor, as well as donate to a men’s mental health organization, Movember.
As the two-year anniversary of William’s passing approaches in May, the brothers of Phi Kappa Tau continued with the annual memorial tournament and donated their proceeds to Movember.
Kyle Deedman, the philanthropy chair for Phi Kappa Tau planned this year’s tournament saying,“Our chapter raised money [for this event] with the food that we provided and the team sign ups. The other way was through shirt sales.”
The African American Affinity Group (AAAG) at the University of Lynchburg has launched BIPOC round table talks to provide a platform for students of color to engage with faculty and staff.
BIPOC round table talks are not just for black students on campus. “It’s for African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, indigenous, international and the LGBTQ+ students,” said Vice President of Inclusive Excellence Dr. Robert Canida II.
These monthly round table discussions give students a safe place to air their concerns.
Senior Christian Otero, a regular member of these talks said “I love the roundtable talks and wish that we had something like this my first couple of years here on campus.”
The round table talks give students a chance to use their voice and express their grievances.
“These talks are necessary because we experience things from other students on campus that is important to talk about,” said Otero.
A senior at the University of Lynchburg has been selected as a 2023 finalist for the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.
Rick Smallshaw ‘23 is a history major emphasizing in medieval and renaissance studies, minoring in German.
He is extremely involved on campus as a Westover Honors Fellow, president of Phi Alpha Theta, Wilmer Writing Center tutor and plays the viola in the string orchestra, chamber orchestra, university symphony and Calabrone string quartet.
“I will be, for the 2023-2024 school year, teaching English somewhere in the country of Germany,” said Smallshaw.
The Fulbright scholarship, a highly competitive program, allows the chosen scholar to teach English abroad, conduct research or obtain a graduate degree, while participating in cultural exchanges.
The Fulbright website explains, “In partnership with more than 140 countries worldwide, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers unparalleled opportunities in all academic disciplines to passionate and accomplished graduating college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals from all backgrounds.”
The Sins of Sinister event has finally come to an end with Sins of Sinister: Dominion, and the X-Men will never be the same again.
The issue began following the aftermath of Storm and the Brotherhood of Mutants and Nightcrawlers Issue 3. Both Mister Sinister and Mother Righteous, the two Sinister clones and key players in the event, had found their way to Fort Arakko.
Dwelling deep inside the fort was Sinister’s shielded lab, holding the clones of Moira Mactaggart, the only mutant capable of destroying the current timeline and resetting it just before the event starts.
However, with several key players on the board, including the original Moira Mactaggart, new hero Ironfire and Charles Xavier, the event was nowhere close to being over.
While Charles Xavier was enforcing The Dream on another world, he took control of a planet to prevent the destruction of the timeline. This led to Ironfire having to keep him busy while Sinister made it to the lab.
Here, he and Moira fought before coming to a standstill. While thinking Sinister was going to end the timeline, he instead activated his Hellfire Failsafe.
Photo Credit: @lynchburg_distance on Instagram via Kyle Lauffenberger
Lynchburg celebrates a pair of Old Dominion Athletic Conference team titles on the campus of Bridgewater College. It was the 13th championship in program history for the women and the 31st all-time for the men.
Bridgewater, Va. — The Lynchburg men’s and women’s track and field teams each won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference outdoor track and field championship on Monday afternoon on the campus of Bridgewater College, securing a third consecutive sweep of the men’s and women’s outdoor titles.
This is also the second straight year in which both the men’s and women’s teams have completed the ‘triple crown,’ achieved by winning the conference titles in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track.
While the women secured their 13th title in program history in style, defeating second-place Washington & Lee by 98 points, the men escaped with their 31st championship in a more dramatic fashion, staving off a late meet comeback effort from Washington & Lee.
Dramatics were supplied in large part due to a lap miscount in the men’s 5,000-meter, which resulted in many athletes believing they were finished a lap early, at 4,600 meters.
This led to mass confusion before a mad scramble by all athletes involved in a pivotal race which had the potential to swing the outcome of the meet.
The event was ultimately scored through that 4,600-meter mark, with Lynchburg’s Frank Csorba capturing the win. Had it been scored with the official 5,000-meter results, Washington & Lee would have drawn within four points of the Lynchburg lead.
However, all was put to rest a short while later as the Lynchburg men’s 4×400-meter relay secured gold to secure the team victory once and for all.
It is the third-straight meet victory for the men and the fifth-straight for the women.
“This one was a lot of fun,” said senior Sam Llaneza, who picked up 18 points to lead the way on the men’s side, including an event victory in the 800. “This was the first time having the meet at a location other than our track and you could tell that the atmosphere was hard to match being away from Lynchburg.”
Llaneza, a four-time All-American ranks in the nation’s top-10 in both the 800 and the 1,500 and led the way for a men’s mid-distance group that put together a great meet.
“Our goals going in were to finish first through third in the 800 and 1,500 and we did that, even going first through fourth in the 1,500,” he said. “I think we see now that Lynchburg has by far one of the best middle distance programs in the ODAC and at the national level as well.”
Llaneza, the defending champ in the 1,500, failed to repeat his title in that event, though the victory remained with Lynchburg as freshman Chasen Hunt claimed the victory in a highly-strategic race.
On the women’s side, Lynchburg was led by sprinter and jumper Aniya Seward and distance athlete Kelsey Lagunas in scoring an impressive 251 points to run away with the title.
“Winning ODACs as a team again was so much fun,” said Lagunas, who competed in both the women’s 5,000 and 3,000-meter steeplechase. “Watching jumps, sprints, throws and distance all come together to do their individual parts for the team was such a magical moment.”
Lagunas successfully defended her 2022 conference title in the steeplechase by resetting her own meet and school record to run away with the victory on day one of the two day meet.
She returned on day two to put together one of the more impressive performances of the meet, using a late-race surge to propel herself in front of Washington & Lee’s Carolyn Todd to claim the 5,000 victory.
“It was great to win those two individual titles with the girls,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without their support in the race and outside the race. Yes they are two individual titles, but in the end, I do it for them.”
Seward supplied an additional 47 points, including a trio of event victories, and a total of five all-conference selections. In the process, she reset the school record in the 100-meter dash and was a member of the second-fastest 4×100-meter relay in school history.
All told, she competed nine different times across six different events, between preliminary and finals races.
The pair of teams will now turn their attention to last chance meets over the next two weeks in an attempt to qualify as many athletes as possible for the 2023 NCAA Division III National Championships, hosted by St. John Fisher University beginning May 25 and concluding May 27.