Home Spring 2020

Spring 2020

Elevating Black Voices: It’s Time to Listen and to Learn

Written by Alexis Barton Let’s talk about what happened, or rather what has been happening to people of color in our country for decades. For eight minutes and forty-seven seconds, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck in response to a possible forgery-in-progress. Floyd was accused of using a fake $20 bill. In response, Chauvin stopped the blood from reaching his heart and oxygen from reaching his brain while 3 of his colleagues watched.    This is the reality that people of color face in our country. I pose this question: if we are a nation that upholds human rights and equality, then why is it that we see cases like George Floyd, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray, and countless more without any systematic changes to our judicial system? How many more black men and women have to die before we realize this is an issue? Enough is enough.    Instead of using this platform to air out my own frustrations, I want to highlight the experiences of just a few people of color who have been incredibly influential in my life.    Ava Brown is a rising high school senior from California, MD. In her life, Ava says that she has not been exposed directly to police brutality, but she is no stranger to being a part of a small group of minority students in her predominantly white high school. “I see very little representation of my heritage and background in school. Things get very awkward when topics like the Black Lives Matter movement come up… For example, during my freshman year, I took U.S. History, and obviously, we had to cover slavery. When we started to talk about it, everyone, and I mean everyone, looked at me and the one other black kid in…

Educate Yourself and Make Your Voice Heard

Written by Kaelyn Spickler This year has been like an ongoing wrestling match, and we keep getting knocked out before we can get back up from the previous punch; however, the most recent punch has left our nation divided, scared, angry, upset, etc. Two weeks ago, another innocent African American life was taken. George Floyd, a father and young grandparent, was murdered by Officer Derek Chauvian following his arrest as a suspect for a non-violent crime. His name joins the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery who was shot while on a run in Georgia and Breonna Taylor who was shot in her own apartment while officers were executing a drug warrant, though the man they were searching for had already been detained. The list is only beginning here.   The list of names should not be increasing yet 400 years later, and it is appalling that racism is still a problem in our country- a country which guarantees “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all of its sons and daughters.” The recent murder of Floyd is an example of how the basic, fundamental freedoms that our country was founded on have not been guaranteed to African Americans, and it’s far past time the changes in our nation are made to ensure the list stops growing. Change starts with a shift in our thinking. We should not think, say, or feel that color or race doesn’t matter. Instead, we need to honor and respect our differences, ask questions to better understand what they’ve been through, and fight these injustices, no matter how big or small. This comes with educating ourselves on the history of racism, the current struggles, and how we can make our voices heard. Our voices are important, and together, one voice can become 10 which can become…

SGA, BSA, and Shades of Maroon Take a Stand Together

Written by Devon Mitchell On Wednesday, June 3 the Student Government Association released a joint statement with the Black Student Alliance and Shades of Maroon. The statement informs Roanoke College students that the three student-led organizations have passed a joint resolution “in support of black students, community members, and Americans and to condemn acts of prejudice and hatred.” The statement comes amid national protests against police brutality towards black lives following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was wrongly accused of using counterfeit money and was met with police aggression by Minneapolis Police Officers. Floyd is among many black Americans whose lives have been lost due to police brutality. His death catalyzed Americans of every race, social status, and generation to take a stand and fight against the years of systematic racism which has been a dark part of America’s past and present. Roanoke students, like the rest of America, have seen the injustices people of color have to face daily and cannot stay silent. The statement sent to all Roanoke College students, faculty, and staff highlights the College’s purposes and principles. The phrase we all hear coming into orientation and in our years at Roanoke, “Live on Purpose” reminds students to not ignore. “Many Americans are not granted this option [to live on purpose] and instead are targeted for the color of their skin.” SGA reminds students in their statement that remaining silent is not an option and of the expectation of students to stand up against the injustices of racism and hatred. Additionally, SGA encourages the student community to take responsibility for educating themselves on the issues at hand. Promoting the college’s goals to produce “resourceful, informed, and responsible citizens,” SGA encourages the students they govern to stay informed, take action, and use their…

Choir: The Last Four Years

Written by Jessica Shelburne From 2017-2020, the Roanoke College Choir Department has experienced a collection of remarkable events and moments. In the spring of 2017, both the A Capella Choir and Oriana Singers joined the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and a handful of other collegiate choirs for a performance of Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 9. This Symphony is one of Beethoven’s most notable creations.   The following fall of 2017, RCACC toured Virginia Lutheran churches and high schools with a professional orchestra celebrating the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his Ninety-Five Theses. The choir performed 13 concerts during this memorable tour, titled “A Mighty Fortress Tour: Luther in Music.” As the second Lutheran college in the world, this anniversary is a hallmark of Roanoke College values.   In the spring of 2018, the Oriana Singers, along with the University of Chicago’s Men’s Glee Club, received a special invitation to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Here, they perform a concert with UVA’s Men’s Glee Club.   After the spring farewell concert to the class of 2019, members of both Oriana and A Capella had the privilege of traveling to France. They performed in Normandy and Brittany in commemoration of the 175th anniversary of D-Day. The singers got to meet with historical groups and perform at memorial ceremonies in recognition of the anniversary.   In the fall of 2019, RCACC performed its first opera, I Pagliacci, Leoncavallo’s treasured story of love and betrayal, balanced with elements of comedy and tragedy. The choirs joined the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and the Opera Roanoke Chorus to launch the beginning of Opera Roanoke’s 44th season. These concerts were conducted by Steven White of the Metropolitan Opera.   In 2020, the choirs were presented by Opera Roanoke at the Jefferson Center in Downtown Roanoke for their…

A Letter to the HEXS Class of 2020

Consider this note a celebratory embrace for your accomplishments and contributions to the Roanoke College community. The HEXS faculty have appreciated the many opportunities we’ve had to support your development – intellectually, emotionally, socially, and professionally – and we can’t wait to see where life will take you. Before we send you off, I want you to know that you are extraordinary. While we are certainly in the midst of unprecedented and extraordinary times, you are extraordinary for reasons you may not realize. Do you realize that, as a class, you experienced more change than any other class of HEXS majors in Roanoke College history? You are the first class to complete the entire HEXS program from our new home in the Cregger Center. Together, we shared the growing pains and delights of establishing roots in our new classrooms and lab spaces. Do you remember the first time you measured VO2max in the Human Performance lab? I do, and it was awesome. Then you helped us welcome Dr. Artese to our faculty line-up, embracing a shift in HEXS culture that we had been thirsting for. Do you remember the first time you experienced her energy in the classroom? I do, and I’ll remember it for the rest of my life; I hope you will, too. As you began to settle into your academic home in the HEXS major, we turned the program on its head, implementing the biggest programmatic overhaul in HEXS history. Do you remember how it felt to see Research Methods, Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning, and Neuromechanics offered for the first time? I do, and it gave me goosebumps. As a class, you could’ve stayed the course and continued with the old major, yet none of you did. You ran to new, challenging opportunities while we held our…

HHP Seniors

Written by Professor Matthew Rearick Seniors Kyle Grohbrugge and Natalie Whitney presented their research posters at the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Jacksonville, FL. Kyle presented on the relationship between exercise perceptions and both quality of life and fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Natalie presented on the relationship between physical activity and both strength and physical function in breast cancer survivors.  They both worked in Dr. Ashley Artese’s lab.   Kasey Fairbanks, Abigail Poague, and Kyle Grohbrugge represented Roanoke College at the Student Bowl at the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Jacksonville, FL. They placed 5th out of 37 teams! Way to go!  These three ladies were supported by Dr. Liz Ackley and Dr. Ashley Artese.  Abigail and Kyle are both seniors.  Both have been accepted to graduate school, Abigail in Masters of AT and Kyle, DPT.    

Class of 2020 Memories

Written by Dr. Jennifer Jackl Senior Seminar in Communication Studies, Fall 2019, was full of our current graduating seniors who were diligently working all semester long to create and complete a research study of their choosing in a research team. One team (Claire Kivior and Elise Baer) was researching narrative sense-making of college binge-drinking. As a result, the class was discussing existing literature related to binge-drinking. Oh, the conversations we had that day! I won’t bring up all the details of those quasi-academic discussions…but suffice it to say, we all learned a lot about each other that afternoon, particularly the drinking habits (or lack thereof) and preferences in the room. Especially important was that some *cough—Adam—cough* learned that “dark wine” is not a thing!   At the conclusion of Communication Studies Senior Seminar in fall 2019, we all went to Mac n’ Bob’s to celebrate everyone’s successful research project. It was such fun to sit at a table with 12 delightful seniors at the end of a semester and kick back and chat! For a few (Cara, Maddie, Janney) that was a pre-graduation celebration, as they are December ‘19 grads! (see attached photo)   Sadly, Spring 2020 Senior Seminar in Communication Studies hasn’t exactly been what we had all hoped in terms of community building and memory making… But for the first 8 weeks of the semester it was fun to hear about their daily lives and plans for post-graduation. And the research ideas coming from that group (currently still in progress) are interesting: discourses of college dating; definitions of healthy relationship communication; correlations between loves styles and gender; correlations between attachment style and perceptions of emotional infidelity online.   Congratulations, Class of 2020! May your futures be bright, your paths be unique and full of interesting twists and turns….

What You’re Made Of

Written by Kaelyn Spickler Whether they be August 2019 graduates, December 2019 graduates, or May 2020 graduates, there will be 428 Roanoke College students eligible to receive a diploma from President Maxey. These 428 students have brought so much to our community and represent many backgrounds and interests. The Class of 2020 comes from all over the country and the world. 10 graduates are international students from nine different countries. Argentina, Guatemala, India, Rwanda, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, and the Palestinian Territories all have one RC graduate to represent their country, and Zimbabwe has two graduates. 26 United States and territories are represented, including the Virgin Islands. 230 of the graduates call Virginia their home, with the next most popular state being North Carolina at 32 students and Maryland right behind at 29 students. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maine are also well represented states among the Class of 2020. The seniors are dispersed among the many majors offered at RC, and two students are even triple majors. The highest populated department among the class of 2020 is Business Administration with 84 graduates. Other popular majors are Biology and Psychology both with 37, Communication Studies at 28, Health and Exercise Science at 24, and History and Sociology each with 21.  On average, the 428 graduates participated in 2.2 campus organizations including Greek Life, Intramurals, and the many clubs offered on campus. The highest count of organization participation was 11 different organizations for one student. Each and every one of these 428 graduates have impacted the campus in some way, and they have truly left their mark at RC. There is a lot for the Class of 2020 to be proud of, and they have set the bar high for the following classes to reach. 

Band: The Last Four Years

Written by Jessica Shelburne The band is a staple of the Music Department at Roanoke College. Dr. Marc LaChance, the new director, has recently been appointed and is working with the band to continue concerts and performances that showcase the talent possessed by the band’s members. The college’s student band performs concerts twice each semester featuring pieces composed by various musicians. The latest concert, in February 2020, included Aaron Copland, Julie Giroux, and David Biedenbender.   The RC Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band frequently perform concerts together featuring pieces that highlight the instruments involved in both factions and exhibit how they blend together. Following the two semesterly concerts from the fall semester of 2019, a special Christmas concert was performed downtown at Charter Hall. Titled “Bridging the Community Gap,” this event was designed to bring members of the community together through music and encouraged people to donate to a canned food drive.   A major band event at RC was during Convocation in the fall of 2017. The Quantico US Marine Corps Band helped kick off the semester with a highly praised performance. Towards the end of their set that featured more classic pieces, the popular Isley Brothers song “Twist and Shout” was played which elicited some breakout dance by new students in the audience and set an exciting tone for the new year. Then, in 2018, the US Coast Guard Band visited Salem and performed music ranging from jazz to wind ensemble classics. Having these prestigious bands that represent high American values visit our community upholds the band’s mission to promote public goodwill and advocates musical performance both nationally and locally.   Every instrument included in a band set is essential, but even more important is the musician behind it. Each senior that participated in the band contributed to…

Madalyn Chapman: An RC Icon

Written by Joyelle Ronan If you told me that in her limited free time Madalyn Chapman found the answer to world peace, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. It just sounds like something Maddy could do.     If you don’t already know Maddy, you probably know of her work on campus. She is a social media assistant for both the Marketing and Communications Department and the English/Communication Studies Department. Her academic success has led her to be a part of Phi Beta Kappa, and Lambda Pi Eta. She is also a member of the french club, a WRKE radio host, and of course, the Brackety-Ack’s beloved business manager. In addition to her many extracurriculars, Maddy managed to graduate a year early with a B.A. in Communication Studies and a minor in foreign politics.    While there is no denying that Maddy’s resume is very impressive, what stands out to me is how kind and thoughtful she is. She truly embodies what it means to be a maroon.     I met Maddy freshman year in our INQ 120 class. In the last three years, Maddy has always been happy to give me advice. Whether it’s about school, politics (especially Pete Buttigieg,) or scoring Broadway tickets, she is a wealth of knowledge. I loved tuning into her Musical Theatre radio show and chatting with her about the latest Marvel movie.     It’s hard saying goodbye to someone who has had such an impact on our campus. When it comes to Maddy, it’s not really about saying “goodbye,” it’s more like “see you later” because she is the type of alum who will one day return to Roanoke College and share the stories of her success with the newest group of Maroons.    Maddy, the Brackety-Ack will miss your incredible insight…