December 2023
A Note from the Dean
Dear Colleagues,
On this rainy December 1, we're wondering how we got to this date so quickly. This term seems to have flown by. We started out strong, experienced one doozy of an afternoon a month ago, and now all our hopes are on a peaceful and smooth landing into the winter break.
Thinking back to November 1 and our uncertain afternoon of "sheltering in place," we want to point you to of the university Emergency Management Plan. It merits an initial perusal and periodic reminders. Please also consider attending a Winter Academy session on the same topic; links are below.
You have been all-in with using innovative techniques for active learning in your courses, with making diligent progress on your scholarship and creative work—especially with students, and with your service to your departments/programs, the university, and your professions. This does not go unnoticed, and we are grateful for your continued participation in sustaining the excellence of W&L.
Thank you.
Stay warm,
We see you!
Our colleagues are busy, and we're here for it!
---Take a listen this story on NPR about an impactful local project organized by Fran Elrod (Shepherd).
---Check out this NPR story for Sometime, Somewhere a documentary about Latin American immigrants in Virginia for which Seth Michelson (Spanish) was interviewed as a part of the project.
---Feast your eyes on this insightful tribute to Lisa Greer's (Earth & Environmental Geoscience) work featured on BioGraphic.
---Get all knotted up in this intriguing article from The New Yorker in which Elizabeth Denne (Mathematics) is interviewed about necktie knots.
Nobel Lectures: Thank you Tom and Kyle! 
Tom McClain and Kyle Friend delivered two very informative and engaging Nobel talks which were followed by engaging discussions with their audience. Thank you both!
What Should You Do During an Emergency?
There will be 3 emergency planning and response sessions held during Winter Academy. Two sessions are available on: Monday, December 11th at 1:15pm & 3:00pm and one on Thursday, December 14th at 2:00pm.
Craig VanClief, Director of Public Safety, will review the University's Emergency Plans and communication methods in response to emergency situations. The session will include open discussion and interaction. You can find more information and sign up here.
Dream by the fire about summer research!
Join Arts and Humanities faculty December 12th from 4:30 to 5:30 in Mason Taylor New (Payne Hall) for a fireside chat to discuss summer research with students. This is a brainstorming session (nothing pre-planned except for conversation!) to think about the different models Arts and Humanities faculty have for working with summer research students. Come ready to try out your ideas or design something new! We'll also hear from Director of Fellowships and Student Research, Matthew Loar, about the new process for submitting proposals for the Summer Research Scholars program this year.
Human Library Readers Wanted!
On January 24, 2024, Washington & Lee will be hosting its first Human Library event in Leyburn Library. The Human Library is designed to build a positive framework for us to "unjudge people." It is a place where real people, called Human Books, are on loan to Readers who borrow them for short, small-group dialogues.
If you are interested in learning more about being a Reader, please check out this link. Pre-registration is required, and seats are limited. This event is co-sponsored by the Mudd Center for Ethics and the University Library.
Career Connections Cohort
Join this Winter term cohort to identify how you can empower students to gain confidence about their professional futures, regardless of their choice of major. While most students seek a fulfilling, but also good job following graduation, they struggle to articulate the skills they're developing in their coursework. In turn, this means they struggle to articulate their abilities to potential employers, and instead of thinking about the skills conveyed in every course, choose majors that appear to lead directly to a job. First-gen and underrepresented students experience the most difficulty with this, as they have fewer connections to the "hidden curriculum" related to professionalization. Faculty, who are often the most accessible career mentors to students due to the length of time they spend with students in class, are well positioned to help students close the gap between coursework and careers, and to make career planning accessible to all students. Topics over the four lunch-and-learn sessions include: 1. How your existing course translates to employee-sought skills; 2. How to meet the needs of first-gen and underrepresented students when it comes to career connections; 3. How to emphasize students' values and strengths in relation to their wellbeing; and 4. How to think holistically across key areas - from advising, to major declaration, to internship, research and co-curricular experiences - in relation to students' need for purposeful work.
Contact Genelle Gertz if you would like to join this Winter-term teacher-scholar cohort. Everyone is welcome!
Field Trip to the Theatre Anyone?
Be sure to take advantage of free performances for your classes, and free visits/workshops (Core Curriculum and Leadership Modules) for your classes through the American Shakespeare Center. As members of the ASC Consortium, W&L faculty and students have these programs available to them. To request tickets or workshops, email Aubrey Whitlock, Associate Director of Education at the American Shakespeare Center, with your request and copy Genelle Gertz. (Since this is offered free through our consortium membership, you do not need to request a mini-grant for ASC programming.)
Here is the Spring 2024 Season; performances this winter include:
January 25-June 8: Julius Caesar, February 1 - June 8: Pride and Prejudice, March 14 - June 9: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Remember that class visits can either be centered around the ASC Core Curriculum, Leadership Modules or tailored workshops. For instance, if you are having students study any aspect of a trial, you can request a workshop on the performance aspect of trial. Again, if you want to offer ASC programming this year, please contact Aubrey and CC Genelle.
Winter Career Trips
The Career and Professional Development office announces 4 winter career trips during February 26 - March 1 in New York City. The themes are (1) Finance (for sophomores), (2) Healthcare, (3) Law, (4)Exploring careers in New York.
Students apply on Handshake by Sunday 12.17.23
Do you work with or know some amazing people at W&L?
Know someone who's accomplishing great things? Take the time to show them your appreciation by submitting their name and info to The Office of Communications and Public Affairs. If selected, the person may be featured in the Employee Accolades portion of The Columns Weekly newsletter. W&L is filled with amazing people, let's tell each other all about them!
(Also, shout out to Paul Gregory for this cute squirrel photo!) 
Dates and Deadlines
First Pre-tenure Review Letters from Department Heads due to Dean
Winter Mini-grant Proposals from Faculty Due
Submit to Dept/Prog Heads for Endorsement
Undergraduate Faculty Meeting
4:00pm - Stackhouse
Winter Mini-grant Proposals from Dept/Prog Heads Due
Heads Submit to Dean's Office by Email
Winter Academy ~ December 11-14
Final Fall 2023 Grades Due at Noon for all Undergraduates
Winter Classes Begin
College Faculty Activities Reports Due
Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
Classes suspended
Deadline for Proposals to be Included in the 2024-25 University Catalog
Deadline to Confirm Final Spring 2024 Term Section Details
University Faculty Meeting
4:00pm, Stackhouse
Lenfest Grant Applications for Summer 2024
Summer Research Scholar Applications for Summer 2024
Department and Program Heads Meeting
4:00pm, Hillel 101
About the CollegeFor FacultyFor StaffContact Info
Washington and Lee University
The Office of the Dean of the College
Lexington, Virginia 24450
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