The Virginia Association for College and University Residence Halls (VACURH) has selected Mary Baldwin College as the site of its 2015 conference, which will bring together student leaders from schools all across Virginia.
Over the course of the last semester, the MBC Residence Hall Association (RHA) executive board drafted a bid detailing a plan for MBC to host next year’s conference. Their pitch first won approval from the Office of Student Life, according to Amber Keen, director of student development and support.
“The students put in a lot of hard work, and it was obvious when they presented how much they wanted to do this,” Keen said.
After a delegation of 10 MBC residence hall reps — comprised of the executive board and several hall presidents — presented their bid at the 2014 conference at The College of William & Mary last weekend, representatives from other schools in Virginia selected Mary Baldwin as the site.
Next year’s conference is scheduled for February 20–22 with a Monsters University theme. According to planners, in sessions and activities modeled after the movie, students will develop their leadership skills and gain program ideas to take back to their campuses.
Damba Koroma and Anneliese Slaton, both juniors at MBC, took on most of the work for the bid and presentation and will serve as conference co-chairs for next year.
“Being able to host the conference is a huge honor and allows us to showcase our beautiful campus,” Keen said. “It will allow us to show that our school — while small in [student] number — can put on a great weekend for students from other larger schools across the state.”
Keen pulled together her own bid at the conference and was elected 2015 conference advisor. Her two-year term includes advising the student VACURH board.
“Being selected as the state board advisor will improve my advising skills,” Keen said. “It will be my first chance to advise outside of my home campus, and it will fine-tune skills that I can certainly bring back to my advising roles here at MBC. It will also provide immense networking opportunities with other colleges and universities across Virginia, which will help me bring the new and exciting things I learn about right back to our campus.”
Two Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership cadets have received the Aubrey Jackson/Augusta Lions Civic Leadership award and $375 to support the civic engagement trip they will take to Cherident, Haiti, next week during spring break.
Derrica Stone, a sophomore social work major from Boston, will enter the U.S. Army after graduation. Stone has leadership roles with a number of campus organizations. She looks forward to working with Visiting Assistant Professor of Social Work Doris Dodson on completing a community-needs assessment study for Cherident. She’ll also work with children on the creation of a community mural.
Joyce Campbell, also a sophomore who intends to serve in the Army, is from Baltimore. She hopes to become a health care professional, possibly in obstetrics and gynecology. In Cherident, Campbell will assist Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences Director of Clinical Education Kai Kennedy with delivery of physical therapy to local residents.
Jackson is a member of the Augusta Lions and was a familiar, friendly face at MBC for many years as supervisor of the campus mail service.
Mary Baldwin College has launched a new website that will make it easier to navigate one professor’s extensive research into a local African-American cemetery.
The Fairview Cemetery website — produced in conjunction with Augusta Free Press — includes a thorough database of historical records collected over the past decade by MBC Associate Professor of History Amy Tillerson-Brown and her students.
Since its establishment in 1869 at the intersection of Lambert and Augusta streets in Staunton, Fairview has remained an important local landmark, providing a wellspring of stories and serving as a testament to the tradition of community building in the city’s black community.
The first Mary Baldwin College students to collect research surrounding Fairview Cemetery began their work in 2005. Since then, approximately 15 students have contributed to the project in ways ranging from participating in community forums to conducting oral interviews and locating and analyzing primary-source documents.
“I am quite happy that the student-developed inventory of graves is now accessible to the larger public and I am excited about the prospects of future research possibilities,” Tillerson-Brown said. “In the near future, I hope that we will be able digitize images and primary sources and link them to the appropriate fields that exist in the current site.”
Tillerson-Brown also noted the college’s support of her work with students. For example, she said, some students received academic credit for completion of a colloquium focused on writing and collecting local history; others were appointed to work-study Changemaker positions made available through the Spencer Center.
In addition, members of the Staunton community shared their memories and donated photographs, obituaries, and other documents pertinent to Fairview research.
“Without the support of the Staunton community, this project would not have witnessed its current level of development,” Tillerson-Brown said. “This is yet another wonderful example of our college and community collaboration.”
“It was three stories underground in Nebraska. It had no numbers to dial. It was how the Strategic Air Command would start bombers on their way to Moscow,” said Judy Klein, professor of economics at Mary Baldwin, referencing the famous Cold-War-era “Red Telephone” on the cover of her new book.
How Reason Almost Lost its Mind: The Strange Career of Cold War Rationality — co-authored with Paul Erickson, Lorraine Daston, Rebecca Lemov, Thomas Sturm, and Michael D. Gordin, her colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and published by The University of Chicago Press — examines how top thinkers redefined rationality into a more optimizing, algorithmic, and mechanical tool, aiming to tackle Cold War-era problems. Klein and her fellow authors investigate what it meant to be rational at a time when nuclear war was just a phone call away.
“We are looking at how the social and behavioral sciences played a role in research for the military,” Klein said. “The title refers to the development of an algorithmic view of rationality that involved a lot of loss of judgment, coming in the context of ‘Peace is our profession’ [the official motto of Strategic Air Command] when many military and government officials thought they had to increase armaments to promote peace, according to the theory of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).”
Researchers and scientists from many different fields hoped to find reliable safeguards to stave off the threat of nuclear war and ensure that decision-makers followed rules of rationality usable in — as the authors write in the book’s abstract — “a mad, MAD world.”
“Military needs shaped a new view of rationality — an eagerness to let computers take over the decision-making process,” Klein explained.
Each author approached the theme of Cold War rationality from a different disciplinary perspective. Klein contributed the most expertise to Chapter 2, “The Bounded Rationality of Cold War Operations Research.”
“You can tell there’s a lot of economics to it,” she laughed. “The theme of Chapter 2 is that there was so much pressure on the military to cut its budget after World War II (during the war the military consumed more than half of all goods and services in circulation) that it turned to an algorithmic view, to the promise of digital computers and mathematical models of decision-making as ways to save money.”
Chapter 2 begins with the Berlin airlift (1948–49) and looks at how, during the airlift operation, the United States Air Force tested methods developed by its Project for the Scientific Computation of Optimum Programs (or Project SCOOP, first started in 1947). During this project, applied mathematicians and economists had created mathematical models and algorithmic solutions for digital computation that aimed to rationalize and optimize Air Force activities. The application of these models to the real-time situation of the Berlin airlift, however, showed that a lack of computing capacity prevented them from optimizing operations effectively. They were, literally, ahead of their time.
“Herbert Simon of Project SCOOP realized that rationality was limited by computational resources, what he called ‘bounded rationality,’” said Klein. “They didn’t have the computers needed to fully utilize these mathematical models until after 1952. The linear programming that he came up with, however, is still widely used throughout business and government.”
Authors in Berlin; Klein is third from right
In keeping with the book’s theme, the authors used a randomizing computer program to determine the order of their names on the cover. Klein emphasized that the book is a collaborative work that began in March 2010 when a group of scholars gathered in Berlin for a workshop on “The Strangelovian Sciences” (referencing the film Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) at the Max Planck Institute. Six members of that original group returned to Berlin during summer 2010 to continue their discussions and begin writing.
“We all worked together,” Klein said. “It was a wonderful process, and we got to spend a summer in Berlin, which was a great place for studying the Cold War. The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science supported our project.”
The book garnered a review in Science magazine about which Klein said, “I was pleased that the book was reviewed, and the reviewer pointed out some things that were left unresolved in this book that maybe will yield new work.”
Klein now plans to return to her research on another book — one on which she has been working for almost 10 years — that was supported by an Institute for New Economic Thinking grant in 2011. Klein looks at how work for the military in World War II and the Cold War yielded applied mathematical models that then went on to have a huge impact on modern economics. She explores how U.S. Military needs induced a mathematical modeling of rational allocation and control processes while simultaneously binding that rationality with computational reality. Modeling strategies — to map the optimal to the operational — ensued and eventually became a key driving force to the development of macroeconomic theory.
“The Air Force and the Navy in the 1940s and 1950s ended up funding a lot of economic research,” she explained. “During World War II, the economists who were hired by the military had statistical backgrounds, which was relatively uncommon in the discipline at the time. The military wanted applied mathematicians to help them economize, and this selection process ended up emphasizing statistical backgrounds and changing the whole track of becoming an economist. Now it is a very statistical/mathematical discipline.”
School of Arts, Humanities, and Renaissance Studies
||James Gilman, professor of religion and philosophy Book, The Benevolent Community: Faith, Justice, and a Politics of Mercy, accepted for publication by Rowman & Littlefield International.
||Paul Menzer, director of the MLitt/MFA program in Shakespeare and Performance Invited lectures, February 7 and 8 at Hiram College, Ohio; February 19 at the University of Pennsylvania; and February 21 at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C.
||Janna Segal, assistant professor of theatreAn invited speaker and paper presentation of “Resurrecting Romeo and Juliet,” UC Irvine Drama Alumni Research Symposium, January 31.
School of Education, Health, and Social Work
||Steve Mosher, director of Health Care Administration program A talk, “Augusta Care Partners Fitting into the Community and the Post-Acute Care Setting,” January 17, Augusta Health in Fishersville.
The Adult Degree Program
||Sharon Barnes, director of Roanoke ADP Center Serving as a mentor for the Association of Continuing Higher Education Mentor Program, which focuses on the need to better nurture leadership in continuing education.
February’s busy month of music continues at 8 p.m. on February 27 in Francis Auditorium, as the award-winning cellist Amit Peled takes the stage with pianist Alon Goldstein for the Carl Broman Concert Series at Mary Baldwin College. Peled is considered one of the most exciting instrumentalists on the concert stage today, universally praised not only for his profound artistry, but also his charismatic stage presence and engaging manner with audiences. Goldstein is similarly admired for his energetic, yet sensitive performances, as well as his dynamic personality.
Many area concert-goers are already familiar with Peled’s compelling performances, since he is a faculty member of the Heifetz International Music Institute who performs frequently for the Celebrity Series during the summer.
“We are thrilled to be presenting Amit Peled on the Broman Concert Series,” says Lise Keiter, professor of music at Mary Baldwin. “Not only is he a fantastic cellist, but his visit also represents a nice way to highlight the important relationship between the MBC music department and the Heifetz Institute.”
Cellist Dmitry Volkov, MBC’s first Heifetz artist-in-residence, agrees, adding that it is great to show the connection “not only during the summer, but also during the academic year.” Volkov raves about Peled’s artistry and urges people to attend the performance, saying “I’m 100% sure it will be an amazing concert.” He also points out that audiences will enjoy the diverse program, which includes not only well-known favorites but some lesser-known pieces about which Peled will undoubtedly talk to the audience during the concert.
One such work is Kaddish, by the successful Israeli composer Mark Kopytman, whose unique style is inspired by Jewish folklore. One reviewer called Peled’s recent performance of this piece “absolutely riveting.” Peled and Goldstein will also perform the beautiful and dramatic Second Sonata in F Major of Brahms, as well as David Popper’s crowd-pleasing Tarantella and Tsintsadze’s Five Pieces on Folk Themes for Cello and Piano. Goldstein, a noted Beethoven interpreter, will also treat the audience to a performance of Beethoven’s Tempest Sonata for solo piano.
Peled has performed as a soloist with many orchestras and in the world’s major concert halls, such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Salle Gaveau in Paris, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium. A busy recording artist, he recently released his third CD, Reflections, and he enjoys critical acclaim for his previous two CDs, The Jewish Soul and Cellobration.
Pianist Alon Goldstein maintains a similarly active performance schedule and has played with the Israel, London, Radio France, and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras as well as the Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Baltimore symphonies. He also performs frequently in solo recital and in chamber music settings, and his recordings include a recent release of Mendelssohn Piano Concertos with the Israel Chamber Orchestra.
Tickets for Amit Peled and Alon Goldstein may be purchased at the door and are $25 for the general public, $20 for seniors, and $5 for students. MBC faculty, staff, and students are free. For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit Music at MBC.
Here are the latest scholarly accomplishments from the School of Education, Health, and Social Work and the School of Social Sciences, Business, and Global Studies.
School of Education, Health, and Social Work
||Greg Corder, GTE adjunct faculty memberSecond edition of a book, Nonparametric Statistics: A Step-by-Step Approach, published by Wiley.
||Kristin Dulaney, ADP adjunct memberAn article, “PALS Online System: Bridging Assessment and Instruction,” to be published in the spring edition of Reading in Virginia, the journal of the Virginia State Reading Association, co-written by Michele Burke and Marcia Invernizzi.
School of Social Sciences, Business, and Global Studies
||Doug Davis, director of the criminal justice programElected as chairman, Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation (VPCF), and chairman, VPCF training sub-committee.
||Bruce Joffe, adjunct associate professor of communicationA book, The Gospel According to Facebook: Social Media and the Good News, accepted for publication by VBW Publishing, to be released during this spring semester.
||Daniel Metraux, professor of Asian studies A paper, “The Malevolent Japanese Seizure of Korea in 1905 through the Eyes of Canadian Journalist Frederick Arthur McKenzie,” Southeast Chapter of the Association for Asian Studies conference, Duke University.
||Laura van Assendelft, professor of political science A book chapter, “Entry-Level Candidates? Women as Candidates and Elected Officials at the Local Level,” in Women and Elective Office, edited by Sue Thomas and Clyde Wilcox.
The Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra continues its 2013–2014 season of free concerts on February 22 and 23 with Women of the American Symphonic Landscape. The program, led by Music Director Peter Wilson, opens with the beautiful blue cathedral, a recent work by the award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon. The symphony next celebrates Black History Month with Florence Price’s recently-restored Piano Concerto in One Movement with piano soloist Lise Keiter. The program ends with the 1894 work the Gaelic Symphony of Amy Beach.
In recognition of Black History Month, a short talk by Morris Phibbs, deputy director of the Center for Black Music Research, will precede Price’s piano concerto, relating how composer Trevor Weston and other music scholars reconstructed her work. Price is considered the first black woman composer of symphonic music, and this piece reflects a very appealing style, similar to that of William Grant Still and ragtime composer Scott Joplin.
“I have long been interested in the Piano Concerto of Florence B. Price and am excited to be collaborating with Maestro Peter Wilson and the Waynesboro Symphony, along with Morris Phibbs, in these performances of this important, recently-reconstructed work,” Keiter said.
The concerts are 7:30 p.m., February 22 at Staunton’s First Presbyterian Church and 3 p.m., February 23 at Waynesboro’s First Presbyterian. Phibbs will also give a presentation on Price and the history of black composers 12:15 p.m., February 20 at Mary Baldwin College’s Francis Auditorium. The concerts and presentation are free and open to the public. Call 540-241-2683 for more information.
About the performers
Pianist Lise Keiter is active as a solo recitalist, collaborative artist, and soloist with orchestra, and her performances have taken her throughout the U.S. and to Europe. Her latest European appearances include recitals with France’s International Roussel Festival, as well as with the Internationale Academie de Musique in Gargenville, France. She is delighted to be returning to perform with the Waynesboro Symphony this season and has also recently appeared with orchestras in Indiana, Virginia, and North Carolina. Some of her other recent concert engagements have taken her to Wisconsin, Idaho, West Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, South Carolina, and throughout Virginia.
A verstile musician with a wide range of interests, Keiter is especially drawn to the music of female composers, often featuring works by women in her performances. She is in demand for her expertise in the subject and has given numerous recitals and lectures throughout the United States. Keiter is on the faculty at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, where she currently serves as music department chair.
Morris Phibbs is deputy director of the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago, where he has worked since 1989. In addition to working on development and fundraising for the center, he has produced conferences on black music research throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago. He has also produced four critically acclaimed performance ensembles, including the Black Music Repertory Ensemble, Ensemble Kalinda Chicago, Ensemble Stop-Time, and the New Black Music Repertory Ensemble. In 2010 Phibbs designed and supervised the extended research project that led to the recreation of the musical score for Florence Price’s Concerto in One Movement in D Minor.
Phibbs, a native of Bridgewater, VA, received his undergraduate degree in music from Bridgewater College, earned a master’s degree in music history and literature from West Virginia University, and did substantial doctoral work toward a degree in choral literature and conducting from the University of Colorado. In 1989, he relocated to Chicago to join the staff of the Center for Black Music Research. He has held a number of positions as minister of music and director of vocal and hand-bell choirs in Colorado and Illinois and serves as a music panelist for the Illinois Arts Council.
Music Director Peter Wilson is an engaging and multifaceted American violinist and conductor whose musicianship has been noted as “first-class” by The Washington Post. He currently serves as music director of the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra, was recently appointed music director of the Richmond Philharmonic, and has conducted the National Symphony Orchestra as well as the National Gallery Orchestra. Highly respected throughout the nation’s capital, he has served as a violinist of the White House for two decades and is an active chamber musician, concertmaster, recording artist, and performance clinician throughout the United States.
About the Composers
Pulitzer-prize winner Jennifer Higdon, born in Brooklyn in late 1962, started teaching herself to play flute at the age of 15. Despite this late start, Higdon has become a major figure in modern classical music. She writes in a wide range, from orchestral to vocal works. Hailed by The Washington Post as “a savvy, sensitive composer,” the League of American Orchestras reports that she is one of America’s most frequently performed composers.
Higdon received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, with the committee citing Higdon’s work as a “deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity.” She has been a featured composer at many festivals including Tanglewood, Vail, Cabrillo, Grand Teton, Norfolk, and Winnipeg. She has served as composer-in-residence with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Fort Worth Symphony. There are several hundred performances a year of Higdon’s works. Blue cathedral is one of the most performed modern pieces and has received more than 400 performances worldwide since its premiere in 2000.
Florence Beatrice Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1887 she performed a piano recital at age 4, published her first work at 11, and enrolled in the New England Conservatory of Music at 16. Though she left Little Rock for Chicago around 1927, she could not escape the smoldering vestiges of the de facto apartheid that had inspired her flight. Even in Chicago, few were the opportunities for classical composers. But in 1932 Price won a prestigious prize for symphonic composition, and the conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Frederick Stock, took note. Stock encouraged her to write a piano concerto and the following year he presented Price’s Symphony in E minor at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair — the first time that a major American orchestra performed a symphony written by a black woman.
Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, born in 1867 and died late in 1944, was an American composer and pianist. She was the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music. Most of her compositions and performances were under the name Mrs. H.H.A. Beach. Beach was born into a distinguished New England family. A child prodigy, she was able to sing forty tunes accurately by age 1. She began formal piano lessons with her playing works by Handel, Beethoven, Chopin, and her own pieces. In 1875, Beach’s family moved to Boston, and at age 14, she received her only formal training in composition with Junius W. Hill with whom she studied harmony and counterpoint for a year. Other than this year of training, Beach was self-taught; she often learned by studying much earlier works, such as Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier.
Beach made her professional debut in Boston in 1883, playing Chopin; shortly after she appeared as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Following her marriage in 1885 to Dr. Henry Harris Aubrey Beach — a Boston surgeon 24 years older than her — she agreed to limit performances to one public recital a year, with proceeds donated to charity. Following her husband’s wishes, she devoted herself to composition. Her first major success was the Mass in E-flat major, which was performed in 1892 by the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston. The well-received performance of the mass moved Beach into the rank of America’s foremost composers. After her husband died in 1910, Beach toured Europe for three years as a pianist, playing her own compositions. The Gaelic Symphony dates from this period, first heard in London. She returned to America in 1914 and later moved to New York City. She used her status as the top female American composer to further the careers of young musicians, serving as leader of several organizations, including the Society of American Women Composers as its first president. Heart disease led to Beach’s retirement in 1940 and her death in New York City in 1944.
The music department at Mary Baldwin College is pleased to announce the first Sunday Recital of 2014 at 3 p.m. on February 2 at James D. Francis Auditorium. Pianist Lacey Johnson will present a program that features familiar works of Mozart, J.S. Bach, Chopin, and Prokofiev.
Johnson will open with the sparkling French Suite in G Major of J. S. Bach. Next on the program is Sergei Prokofiev’s exciting Second Sonata in D Minor. This highly-accessible work “presents a wide range of emotions,” Johnson says, “including anger, mourning, playfulness, longing, and darkness.” She will continue with Mozart’s vibrant and elegant piano sonata, K. 576 in D Major, a piece which she says “truly presents late Mozart at his best.” The popular Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise brillante of Frederic Chopin rounds out this perfectly-balanced afternoon of music.
Johnson is a faculty member at Mary Baldwin College, and she also teaches at Bridgewater College. She also serves as staff accompanist at the two colleges and has taught at Eastern Mennonite University and James Madison University. She earned a B.A. from Bridgewater College and a master of music from James Madison University, and she is the music director at Bridgewater Presbyterian Church.
Johnson’s program kicks off an exciting spring season of performances at Mary Baldwin. Audiences won’t want to miss the Carl Broman Concert on February 27, featuring a much-anticipated performance by Israeli cellist Amit Peled. Hailed both for his profound artistry and charismatic stage presence, Peled performs world-wide and is already well-known to the Staunton community as a faculty member at the Heifetz Institute. On April 1, the award-winning Japanese marimbist Naoko Takada will captivate the audience with her impeccable technique and wide-ranging style. This season also features Sunday Recitals on March 30 (Elise Blake, violin; Sheng-Yuan Kuan, piano; and Abagail Pack, horn) and April 13 (tenor Donald George and pianist Lucy Mauro), as well as the Spring Choir Concert on April 8.
Single tickets for the February 2 recital may be purchased at the door and are $5 for the general public and $4 for students and seniors (free for MBC students, faculty, and staff). For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit Music at MBC.
Physical Plant crews have worked tirelessly for the past week — clearing paths and salting sidewalks to keep students, faculty, and staff moving safely through a cold snap that has brought single-digit temperatures, below-zero wind chills, and several inches of snow to campus.