Mary Baldwin College’s annual observance of Black History Month returns to campus for the coming weeks under the theme “Lest We Forget.”
The Rev. Andrea Cornett-Scott, associate vice president for inclusive excellence, explains this year’s topic:
There is a West African idea called sankofa, which means it is not taboo to go back and remember what you have already forgotten. This idea points to the value that people of the African Diaspora put on remembrance and honoring the past. For West Africans and thus African Americans, there is a clear understanding that we stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us. If you do not know where you have been, you do not know where you are going. “Lest We Forget” calls the community to look back and remember our history, culture, story — all of it — with pride because everything that we have been helps shape who we are.
Baldwin Program Board and the Black Student Alliance presented Ain’t I a Woman on Feb. 9.
See the Mary Baldwin events calendar for more on Black History Month activities, including these upcoming events:
- A screening of the film 4 Little Girls, directed by Spike Lee, at 7:45 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Dixie Theater downtown.
- A performance by City Theatre of Richmond with Rodney Williams and Doc Christian at 4 p.m. Feb. 22 in Hunt West.
- Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra concert features the piano concerto of Florence B. Price — considered the first black woman composer of symphonic music — with piano soloist Lise Keiter, MBC professor of music, and guest speaker Morris Phibbs, deputy director of the Center for Black Music Research in Chicago, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at First Presbyterian Church.
The Class of 2014 will hold a series of fundraisers over the coming months to finance their class gift — a new sign for Mary Baldwin College at a prominent place on campus.
“After many conversations, we came to the realization that placing a MBC sign on the corner of Coalter and East Frederick [streets] just made sense,” said senior class President Holly Johnston.
The first fundraiser will be held downtown Friday at The Split Banana, where 10 percent of profits from 5 to 9 p.m. will go toward the seniors’ effort. Events will follow on the 14th of each month — including more fundraisers and a groundbreaking — culminating with an unveiling, planned for May 14.
Typically, the senior class tries to incorporate their freshman-year theme into their gift. The Class of 2013 banded together to create a bonfire pit on campus to reflect, “Hearts on Fire.” Finding a gift that harkens back to their freshman year theme, “The Power to Be,” proved tricky for the current seniors, but Johnston thinks they’ve nailed it.
“There is a special sense of power that comes when you name something. By naming something you claim it,” Johnston said. “We see the sign as a way to leave our mark and claim the importance of our undergraduate education here at MBC.”
Seniors have asked architects from Kahler Slater — the firm responsible for designing the new Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences building in Fishersville — to create the landmark gift. The students will know how much money they need to raise when the initial design is complete.
Interested in making a donation? Contact senior class Treasurer Amber Ocasio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences is pleased to announce the signing of articulation agreements with other Virginia institutions of higher learning, including Bridgewater College, Virginia Military Institute, and Ferrum College. These institutions have outstanding health sciences advising and prepare students well for the rigors of graduate education. These agreements provide early guaranteed admission to MDCHS physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant studies programs to select students at those institutions who meet all admission requirements and have a successful interview. A partnership with these colleges ensures their highly qualified students have access to MDCHS faculty and staff as well as a planned pipeline into MDCHS programs.
Administrators have selected Thomas A. Massaro as new medical director for the physician assistant program at the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences.
Massaro is the Harrison Foundation Professor of Medicine and Law, Emeritus at the University of Virginia. At UVa, Massaro held appointments in the departments of pediatrics and public health sciences in the School of Medicine, the School of Law, and in the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. He also held several senior administrative positions including chief of staff of UVa Health System and associate dean of clinical affairs from 1997 to 2002, and associate dean for graduate medical education from 2001 to 2006. He was formerly division chief of pediatric critical care and emergency medical transport services. He has served as an attending physician in the UVa neonatal, pediatric, and surgical intensive care units. Further, since 2005 Massaro has been involved in medical education in the developing world, serving as founding dean of the new school of medicine at the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana (2009–12).
Massaro received his MD from the University of Wisconsin, his business degree from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and his engineering degrees from MIT, Cornell, and the University of California, Berkeley. He completed residency and fellowship training at the University of Colorado in Denver. He received board certification in pediatrics, neonatology, and critical care medicine.
In addition to clinical teaching, Massaro has taught courses on Law and Medicine, Children’s Health Care, Health Care Management, Health Policy, Management of Non-profit Organizations, International Health Policy, and the Legal Implications of Biomedical Technology.
Massaro’s early research contributions were in biomedical engineering but recently his focus has been on international health care strategy and reform, including taking an active role in the health insurance reform process in the Czech Republic. He reviewed the medical savings account system in the Republic of Singapore and interprets that approach for the American and other national health systems. He served as a consultant for the New Zealand Ministries of Finance and Health as they introduced business and free market principles into their health care system.
His publications in medical informatics addressing the social and cultural constraints on the introduction of computer technology into the medical setting are well known. His book, The Business of Critical Care, describes the management skills necessary to direct high-technology patient care teams in the contemporary environment. He has served on the editorial board of the Association of American Medical Colleges journal, Academic Medicine. In the past, his research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Colorado Heart Association, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Whittaker Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, and a number of private firms.
Despite an unusually wet fall and a frigid winter, the flagship building of the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences in Fishersville is on track for completion on time by May 1.
Brent Douglass, director of facilities management at MBC, is overseeing the project and says 70 percent of the building is finished. Its structure and exterior masonry are complete, 80 percent of the windows are installed, permanent roof installation is half-finished, and framing of the glass curtain walls on the north and south sides of the atrium is in progress. Interior partitions are framed, and drywall is being installed on the first and second floors. All mechanical systems are complete, and permanent electric, water, and gas service installation are underway. Landscaping and site work around the building should start in March.
The swift development of MDCHS has not come without its challenges, however. Kjellstrom + Lee Construction workers have been laboring six days per week for months.
“They continue to do a remarkable job keeping the project on schedule, in spite of higher than normal rainfall last fall and abnormally low temperatures this winter,” Douglass said.
The first group of students in the doctor of physical therapy and doctor of occupational therapy programs will start courses in mid-June. Murphy Deming faculty recently toured the building with Kjellstrom + Lee’s construction superintendent, reviewing each lab and classroom to ensure specifics regarding those spaces were in place. Equipment for the labs has been ordered and is expected to arrive in early May.
According to Linda Seestedt-Stanford, vice president for health sciences, the vision for the building was reinforced during that visit.
“Lots of light, views of the mountains, and well thought-out classrooms and lab spaces complement this innovatively designed building,” she said, “Faculty and staff are excited about welcoming our new students to the state-of-the-art building in June.”
The Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences has reached a crucial benchmark in pursuit of full accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE) that will allow students to be accepted into Mary Baldwin College’s physical therapy and occupational therapy graduate programs.
“The accreditation process is exceptionally rigorous, and for good reason,” said Linda Seestedt-Stanford, founding vice president of the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences. “Accreditation protects the public and ensures that our students demonstrate the required skills and competencies for entry-level physical therapy practice.”
Classes in physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) are slated to begin in June 2014.
“We are thrilled and excited about the quality of our applicants and look forward to seating the class of 2017,” said Nathan “Ben” Herz, program director for occupational therapy, who has started informing prospective students about the development.
“We are impressed by the caliber and number of applicants coming in from around the region, state, and nation, and we are eager to admit them into our program,” said Lisa Shoaf, physical therapy program director. “It is exciting to think about welcoming those first students who will experience our innovative curriculum with a focus on interprofessional education that will set us apart in the field.”
Mary Baldwin has steadily received applications for both PT and OT programs since July, and each program will accept approximately 30 students into its inaugural class. Some prospective students have had the opportunity to meet directors and faculty from the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences at graduate school fairs, open houses, and information sessions.
In the meantime, construction is progressing on Murphy Deming’s initial three-story, 57,000-square-foot building on the site off Goose Creek Road in Fishersville. Instructional technology for the state-of-the-art facility has also been finalized, including simulation labs, lecture capture capability, videoconferencing, and projection of multiple images on large flat-screen monitors in classrooms. In addition, MDCHS faculty and staff have connected with key community partners through the Augusta Community Forum and the Mary Baldwin College service-learning network to develop ongoing projects.
A $15 million gift from longtime MBC benefactor Bertie Murphy Deming Smith ’46 launched the development of the college of health sciences and jump-started construction. In addition to doctor of physical therapy and doctor of occupational therapy programs, a master of science in physician assistant studies program is also planned to open in 2015.
Find out more about the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences and read more about each program’s accreditation status.
As Mary Baldwin College prepares to open the doors to the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences in June, it is already announcing plans to expand curricular offerings.
Thanks to a sponsorship from Augusta Health, MBC is set to begin development of a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree completion program that will allow registered nurses at Augusta Health and throughout the region to meet increasingly rigorous educational requirements. MBC plans to have the new RN-to-BSN program up and running in 2015.
Augusta Health’s sponsorship of $60,000 per year for five years will help Augusta Health nurses meet national education mandates while allowing MBC to move forward quickly with development of a program that serves compelling regional needs. The opportunity presented by the new RN-to-BSN degree completion program is a timely one for Augusta Health and other Virginia hospitals: The Institute of Medicine’s new standards call for the proportion of hospital-based nurses with a baccalaureate degree to increase to 80 percent by 2020.
“Mary Baldwin has benefitted from the goodwill, professional expertise, and wise advice of our colleagues at Augusta Health as we work to launch Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences. Their sponsorship now allows us to develop another degree program that will serve Virginia’s RN-prepared nurses, and through them their patients and indeed our broader community,” said MBC President Pamela Fox. “We are so very grateful for their confidence in us and the opportunity to collaborate for the greater good.”
“Augusta Health is proud to work with Mary Baldwin College and the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences to provide educational alternatives for our nurses and for all nurses in the community,” said Mary N. Mannix, FACHE, president and CEO of Augusta Health, who began her own career as a hospital nurse. “We value our partnership with Mary Baldwin’s new college of health sciences, and our joint commitment to education.”
Courses will include post-professional nursing courses as well as general studies coursework to complete the requirements for the BSN. This program will be offered online, with face-to-face support provided as needed for those new to online education. Having the online format will allow working nurses to access their classes when convenient for them.
“Mary Baldwin College has a 40-year track record of providing quality distance-learning coursework and is well prepared to support this initiative,” said Linda Seestedt-Stanford, vice president of health sciences at MBC. “Over the next five years, this significant sponsorship from Augusta Health will help us help Virginia nurses to earn advanced degrees and support their commitment to a higher level of quality care. This program is an exciting addition to the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences and links with our interprofessional focus, a significant aspect of the Murphy Deming programs.”
Mary Baldwin College is forward-looking master’s level university offering a variety of coeducational programs at 12 Virginia locations and, at the same time, one of the nation’s oldest women’s colleges. Through Murphy Deming, Mary Baldwin will offer doctoral degrees in physical therapy and occupational therapy beginning this June, and a master’s in physician assistant studies in August 2015. A 53,000-square-foot building on a new branch campus in Fishersville, currently under construction, will house the new college.
Striding across the Mary Baldwin College campus with a cello case strapped to his back, world-class musician Dmitry Volkov is visiting with students to share his passion for classical music. As the very first Heifetz International Music Institute’s artist-in-residence, Volkov is making an impression on campus and around the community.
Photo by Kat Kiernan
Because of a partnership between MBC and Heifetz Volkov’s stay in Staunton is possible, extending the affiliation beyond the elite summer music program, which has been based at the college since 2011.
“Since the beginning [of the MBC-Heifetz affiliation], we’ve been discussing ways in which the Institute could have more of a year-round presence at the college, so that MBC students and faculty could have the opportunity to see, hear, and interact with some of these talented musicians,” said Professor of Music Lise Keiter. “Having Dmitry here this year is wonderful, because it allows the Mary Baldwin Community to do just that — they are able to hear him play, learn a bit about Russian culture and the life of a traveling performer, and just have a conversation with him.”
Volkov arrived in August and plans to stay until the end of the spring semester.
“This [residency] was created to help build a bigger, stronger relationship between MBC and Heifetz beyond what happens in the summer,” said the 25-year-old artist. “It also fits with the Heifetz mission to reach out into the community.”
“I love this town,” Volkov said, adding that he’s impressed with the architecture, food, and people of Staunton despite its relatively small size. “I thought I was born in a small town in Russia until I moved to Staunton.”
Volkov was born in the city of Togliatti on the Volga River and moved to Moscow at age 14. He later relocated to Baltimore, where he attended the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. He has won numerous scholarships and awards and has performed in several of the most prestigious concert halls in Europe. Volkov was selected to participate in the Heifetz summer program in previous years, including 2012 — the first year the festival was held in Staunton.
Since his arrival, Volkov has played for a winery opening and for officials at Augusta Health. He has also visited local public schools and the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (VSDB) where he had an unforgettable moment with a group of blind students.
“It gave me some unexpected delight to hear their comments,” Volkov said. “They hear music differently.”
Last Tuesday at Mary Baldwin, Volkov and the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement hosted a screening of the lighthearted film The Barber of Siberia with a short talk, performance, and Russian food to celebrate the old Russian New Year.
He said he has enjoyed getting to know MBC students during class visits.
“I start out, of course, talking about myself. But then I adapt to the subject matter at hand. If it’s a history class, we talk a little bit about Russian history; if it’s a philosophy class, we pretend we are smart,” Volkov joked. “And I love it when people ask me questions.”
“He is the perfect first artist-in-residence for us, because not only is he a fantastic cellist, but he is also very friendly, approachable, and genuinely interested in those around him,” Keiter said. “Dmitry and I also enjoy working together, so our musical collaborations are another great example of the strong partnership between the institute and the MBC Music Department.”
Volkov’s residency is scheduled to end in May but he is open to extending it into the summer.
In her first official appearance on the Mary Baldwin College campus, Brigadier General Teresa Djuric will deliver the address at this year’s Founders Day Convocation at 12:15 p.m. October 3.
Djuric will officially become the new commandant of cadets for the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership on October 1. Djuric most recently served as deputy director in the Space Intelligence Office at the Pentagon. Her Founders Day address is titled “Empowering Our Future.”
The event — always held near Mary Julia Baldwin’s October 4 birthday — honors Baldwin, who led the Augusta Female Seminary for 34 years, and her teacher and first-founder of the seminary, Rufus Bailey. Members of the senior class are invited to wear their caps and gowns to the ceremony, held annually in First Presbyterian Church, and process from the college’s Administration Building across Frederick Street.
For more sports news, visit the MBC Athletics website.
XC Standout Receives Conference’s Most Prestigious Award
Two-time All-American Sophia Stone was presented with the USA South Athletic Conference’s most prestigious award when Commissioner Rita Wiggs visited Mary Baldwin College on September 12. The senior from Pacific Palisades, California, was voted the recipient of the Don Scalf Award in June. Stone earned the honor after finishing 19th at the NCAA Women’s National Cross Country Championships in November 2012, earning her All-American honors for the second straight year. Stone had won both the NCAA South/Southeast Regional Championship and the USA South Conference Championship for the second straight year. She has earned USA South Runner of the Year honors twice, is a three-time member of the All-Conference First Team and currently owns the Conference Championship course record.
Stone also received the Capital One Academic All-America award. This award recognizes both her athletic and academic accomplishments. In the classroom, Stone has compiled a 3.98 grade point average while majoring in both Psychology and Biology. She is a three-time member of the USA South All-Academic Team and a two-time member of the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team. The senior has been awarded the Mary Jane Donnalley Scholar Athlete honor twice in her career.
Head Cross Country Coach Sharon Spalding talked about Stone’s accomplishments. “Sophia’s first three seasons have been remarkable, with great improvement each year. She embodies the term student-athlete and tonight she is being rewarded in both areas as she receives the Don Scalf Award, the CoSida Academic All-American Award and the USA South All-Academic Award.”
Spalding also commented on Sophia’s decision to take this year off from cross country. “To further her academic pursuits, Sophia will be sitting out this year to pursue a third major in chemistry. Since this requires an extra year, we will welcome her back to the team next season for her senior season.”
Fighting Squirrels Take Sportsmanship Trophy
The Mary Baldwin College Athletic Department received the USA South Athletic Conference Team Sportsmanship Award Thursday evening September 12. Commissioner of the USA South Athletic Conference Rita Wiggs presented the award to Athletic Director Sharon Spalding and representatives of the volleyball, soccer, basketball, and softball teams. Each of these teams received the sportsmanship award for their particular sport during the 2012-13 academic year. This is the 4th time in the past five years that Mary Baldwin College has received this award.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Catharine O’Connell was also on hand to present student athletes who earned USA South All-Academic Team honors in 2012-13. Mary Baldwin College had 25 student athletes receive this honor, which is the most since joining the USA South in 2007. To be eligible, a student athlete must have earned a 3.0 GPA in each of the two semesters of a given year.
O’Connell was happy to present these honors and added, “I am so pleased — but not at all surprised — that such a large percentage of our athletes have earned this academic honor. It is a testament to the self-discipline and academic dedication of the athletes who compete for Mary Baldwin College, as well as to the priorities of our coaches and athletic director. These young women are truly student athletes, as their strong academic performance demonstrates. We celebrate them and their mentors who encouraged and supported hard work in the classroom as well as on the field or court.”