The Christiansburg Institute. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

Here’s a round-up of education briefs from around Southwest and Southside. There’s no full-time education reporter west of Richmond. You can help change that. Help fund us.

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Christiansburg Institute archives are being digitized

The Council on Library Information Resources has awarded a  $251,052 Digitizing Hidden Collections: Amplifying Unheard Voices grant to to digitize stories, photos, and documents of Christiansburg Industrial Institute — the first high school in Southwest Virginia to educate the formerly enslaved (1866-1966). 

The grant funds will support digitization of 38.65 linear feet of Christiansburg Institute Museum and Archives’ collections, including technology and two new institute staff positions to digitize and process materials on site at the Christiansburg Institute.

 University Libraries at Virginia Tech is collaborating with the institute on this grant-funded project, “Changing the Narrative: Modeling Equitable Stewardship of African American Storytelling and History.”

The materials involve include 870 photographs, 60 slides, 15 diplomas, 48,000 typed pages, and 3,300 handwritten pages from the school’s principals, teachers, and students . When digitized, they will be freely available to anyone with an internet connection through the Christiansburg Institute Digital Archive and the University Libraries’ Southwest Virginia Digital Archive.

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Emory & Henry now in second year of Division II provisional membership

Emory & Henry College has advanced to the second year of NCAA Division II provisional membership, NCAA officials announced Thursday. The news comes less than two weeks after the College officially began its tenure as a member of the South Atlantic Conference.

The 2022-23 academic year will be the second of three years of provisional status in the College’s reclassification from NCAA Division III to Division II. This year, E&H will play a full SAC schedule and will be eligible for player of the week and all-conference awards.

With satisfactory performance in the upcoming year, the Wasps will begin provisional year three in August of 2023. Along with this, all teams will be eligible to compete for SAC Championships, but will not yet be able to play in the NCAA Tournament.

With continued satisfactory progress, Emory & Henry will be eligible for full Division II membership for the 2024-25 academic year which includes eligibility for NCAA Championship events.

Background story on Emory & Henry’s growth spurt: “Emory & Henry College going through a ‘creative reinvention.‘”

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Alice Kassens. Courtesy of Roanoke College.

Roanoke College professor is research fellow with St. Louis Fed

Dr. Alice Kassens, John S. Shannon Professor of Economics at Roanoke College, recently became a research fellow with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ Institute for Economic Equity.

Aalongside William M. Rogers III, the director of the institute, she has co-written a study entitled What Does the Beveridge Curve Tell Us about the Labor Market Recovery. It’s a three-part series on the current labor market. 

Kassens’ position requires that she writes several research papers a year, which the institute will then publish. She will also participate in research workshops with the other research fellows at the institute. Kassens is also the head of the Center for Economic Freedom at Roanoke College. Positions like this are usually held by academics from major research colleges and universities so Kassen’s appointment is noteworthy.

Rodgers was Kassens’ professor and advisor when she was an undergraduate at The College of William and Mary, and the two have kept in touch and worked together ever since. In 2021, they were two co-authors of a study that examined mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.