Archive for the 'Faculty' Category

W&L’s Shay Discusses Entrepreneurship on WMRA

Jeff Shay

Jeff Shay, the Johnson Professor of Entrepreneurship and Leadership at Washington and Lee, appeared on NPR affiliate WMRA’s “Virginia Insight” radio show on Monday, Sept. 19, to discuss key lessons for small-business success.

An entrepreneur himself when he was in his early 20s, Jeff has more than 20 years of consulting experience through his company, Shay Consulting International. He provides these services in order to keep current with the practical application of what he teaches.

Listen to an archive of the program below:

Wheeler Is Finalist for Prestigious Literary Award

Lesley Wheeler

Congratulations to Lesley Wheeler, the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington and Lee. She is one of three finalists in the poetry category of the 2011 Library of Virginia Literary Awards, for her book Heterotopia (Barrow Street Press).

Lesley, in fact, won a prize for the volume when it was still in manuscript, the 2009 Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize. We blogged about it at the time; you can read it here. Heterotopia is Lesley’s second book of poetry.

For the poetry award, judges selected three finalists out of a pool of 24 nominees. The Library of Virginia will bestow the Literary Awards on Oct. 15. You can read more about them here.

Lesley and her family, which includes her husband, Chris Gavaler, visiting assistant professor of English at W&L, recently returned from six months at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Lesley worked there under the auspices of a Fulbright Scholar senior research grant.

It’s not the first time the library has recognized W&L faculty members for their literary talents. Rod Smith, editor of Shenandoah, won the poetry prize in 2002 and 2008 and was a finalist in 2004; Dabney Stuart, professor of English emeritus, was a finalist for fiction in 1998 and the winner for poetry in 2006; and Domnica Radulescu, professor of Romance languages, won the fiction prize in 2009.

Alumni have won recognition too. In 2007, Tom Wolfe, of the Class of 1951, received the library’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

W&L’s Goldsmith on WMRA

Art Goldsmith

Art Goldsmith, the Jackson T. Stephens Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee, appeared on NPR affiliate WMRA’s Virginia Insight show Thursday, Sept. 15. He was part of a panel that discussed President Obama’s latest job creation proposals. Other panelists were Robert North Roberts, professor of political science and public administration at James Madison University, and Joseph J. Thorndike, director of the The Tax History Project and a visiting scholar in the department of history at the University of Virginia.

Goldsmith is a specialist in labor economics and is author of “Rethinking the Relation Between Government Spending and Economic Growth,” in the Spring 2008 edition of the  Journal of Economic Education.

Listen to the program below:

Journalism Prof Says “Ciao” to Italy

Doug Cumming enjoying la dolce vita.

Doug Cumming, associate professor of journalism and mass communications at Washington and Lee, acquired some continental habits this summer. He learned to dry his clothes on an indoor clothesline, display potted geraniums in his window, and don what he calls a “Fellini” jacket and a Panama hat. He chalks up this transformation to a four-week teaching assignment — in Italy.

The other faculty members included a Pulitzer-winning reporter from the New Orleans Times-Picayune; a photojournalism professor who worked in Poland for Time, Life and other magazines; a Polish photojournalist; and two broadcast journalism professors from our neighbors in Harrisonburg, Va., James Madison University. (Read JMU’s story about the program, including a video, here.) Doug counts them all as friends now.

In addition to the journalism topics, the students dug into intensive lessons in Italian. Meanwhile, Libby enjoyed the vacation and Sarah, a student at Sewanee, took the course. “It was like winning the lottery,” Doug tells us, “the academically rich international experience I was hoping for during my nine-month break from teaching.” As a bonus, the Cummings enjoyed “a beautiful family vacation on the side.”

The students showcased the result of their work on this website, Urbino Project 2011. Doug says of the course, “I would highly recommend it for our journalism majors as a study-abroad experience.” You can also read Doug’s delightful blog, “DCumming in Italia,” where he describes his adventures with the cuisine, language, churches, students, colleagues, opera and other magical features of the country.

Examining Empathy

Suzanne Keen

When a contributor to the Miller-McCune magazine needed an expert, he knew who to call: Suzanne Keen, the Thomas H. Broadus Professor of English and chair of the Department of English at Washington and Lee University.

Suzanne is quoted at length in an article titled “Teaching Empathy to the ‘Me’ Generation,” by Eric Leake, a Ph.D. candidate in composition and rhetoric at the University of Louisville. Suzanne, of course, is well known for her scholarship on empathy. Her 2007 book, Empathy and the Novel, examines the topic in depth.

The article discusses the so-called Empathy Experiment at Capital University, in Columbus, Ohio. Suzanne tells Leake, “I think when teachers in real life are interacting with students — all real people — the empathy-and-moral-education relation can be much more robust if the teachers can make a direct correlation.”

You can read the entire article here. And you can read more about Suzanne and her scholarship here, in this article about her 2008 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Miller-McCune is available in print and online. It bills itself as containing “polished, in-depth reports on research and solutions across the policy spectrum — from health care, education and energy to international affairs, poverty and the global economy.”

Studying Democracy in China

Roger Jeans

Roger Jeans found the hot, humid July weather in Lexington a bit of a shock when he returned from an out-of-town conference. His dismay is understandable, for the meeting, at which he was an invited speaker, took place in the balmy environs of Oxford, England.

Roger, the Elizabeth Lewis Otey Professor Emeritus of East Asian History, may be retired from W&L, but that just gives him more time for researching and writing. At this particular conference, An Audit of Democratic Development in the Republic of China (pdf), he discoursed on “Why Early [1912-1927] Republican [China] Democratic Attempts Failed.” The conference was a joint production of St. Antony’s of the University of Oxford and the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham. It drew scholars from Taiwan, China, the United Kingdom, German, France and the U.S.

Despite the shock of re-entry into a Southern summer, Roger reports, “The conference was extraordinary, and I’m glad I was invited.”

Roger also has edited a new book, which is coming out next month:  “The Marshall Mission to China, 1945–1947: The Letters and Diary of Colonel John Hart Caughey.” It follows his 2009 book, “Terasaki Hidenari, Pearl Harbor, and Occupied Japan: A Bridge to Reality,” which we wrote about when it was published.