The 2023 4-H Youth In Action Award winners: Kelli Garrett, Alice Milton, Nikhita Saravanan, and Jack Woodard. Photo by Tim Skiles for Virginia Tech.
The 2023 4-H Youth In Action Award winners: Kelli Garrett, Alice Milton, Nikhita Saravanan, and Jack Woodard. Photo by Tim Skiles for Virginia Tech.

Here’s a roundup of education briefs from around Southwest and Southside.

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Four Virginia 4-H students honored

Virginia 4-H honored four outstanding members at the recent Evening with 4-H ceremony and celebration. 

The 4‑H Youth in Action Program recognizes four members the in 4-H core pillar areas: agriculture, civic engagement, healthy living and STEM.

Alice Milton of Bedford received the award for healthy living, Kelli Garrett of Washington County received the award for agriculture, Jack Woodard of Fauquier County received the award for STEM and Nikhita Saravanan of Henrico County received the award for civic engagement. Additionally, Milton was selected as the Overall Youth in Action Award winner and will receive additional opportunities to be a spokesperson for Virginia 4-H.

Each of the four winners received a $500 mini-grant to develop a significant community project, recognition at a formal award ceremony, a full scholarship to attend the Virginia State 4-H Congress in Blacksburg, an opportunity to be featured as the Virginia 4-H youth pillar spokesperson, and support and mentorship to apply for the 2022 National 4-H Youth Leadership Awards.

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Sharon Elementary in Alleghany closed due to rodents

Sharon Elementary in Alleghany County is closed Friday due to rodents, according to a statement from the school system.

The system issued the following statement:

“Sharon Elementary School will be closed Friday, January 27, to address an issue with rodents that have been spotted in the building. We are taking this action out of an abundance of caution to protect the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. 

Keeping the school closed on Friday will allow our maintenance staff to aggressively address the issue and remove the rodents from the building. 

AHPS leaders are working closely with the Virginia Department of Health and other regulatory agencies to ensure that proper steps are taken to clean and sanitize the school. Measures will also be taken to prevent further problems with rodents in the future.

It is our hope that we can resume classes at Sharon as soon as possible. We will continue to update families as we move forward with this process.”

Virginia Western adds two to foundation board

Katherin Elam and Stephen Lemon have joined the board of directors of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation as at-large members. 

Elam retired in 2022 as the longtime president of Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia. Lemon is an attorney and principal at the firm of Martin, Hopkins and Lemon P.C. 

The volunteer board of directors guides the foundation’s mission as an independent nonprofit organization supporting student scholarships, faculty development and endowment initiatives at Virginia Western Community College. Board members are the driving force behind Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program, a public-private partnership that provides up to three years of tuition to eligible students. CCAP marks its 15th anniversary in 2023, having served 3,856 students to date and provided $9.1 million in tuition assistance.

As of 2023, the educational foundation is led by Deborah Petrine, chair; Russell Ellett, vice chair; Tammy Moss Finley, secretary: Chris Carey, treasurer; William Farrell II, immediate past-chair; and college President Robert Sandel. John Francis is the chair of Virginia Western’s local board. 

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‘Pink Triangle Legacies’ author to present Ida Wise East Lecture at Lynchburg on Feb. 9

Jake Newsome, author of “Pink Triangle Legacies: Coming Out in the Shadow of the Holocaust,” will present the University of Lynchburg’s 2023 Ida Wise East Memorial Lecture. The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9, in Hall Campus Center’s Memorial Ballroom.

Admission is free, the public is invited, and a book signing will follow the lecture.

In Newsome’s book, which was listed among its “most anticipated LGBTQIA+” books of 2022 by the Lambda Literary Foundation, he explains the evolution of the pink triangle symbol.

During the 1930s and ’40s in Nazi Germany, LGBTQ+ people were forced to wear a pink triangle, its point facing downward.

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W&L podcasts resume Feb. 14

“W&L After Class,” a podcast series managed by Lifelong Learning, Alumni Engagement and the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, enters its fourth season on Feb. 14.

The first episode of the season features James Dick, director of outdoor education and recreation at Washington and Lee. In this conversation, Dick discusses his experiential education and leadership development work on W&L’s campus.

The “After Class” podcast series began in the spring of 2020. Each episode invites listeners to experience conversations with W&L’s expert faculty, giving listeners worldwide a chance to stroll the Colonnade in the comfort of their homes. W&L faculty members discuss their teaching, research and special interests. Previous topics include poetry, witches, cybersecurity, theater and free speech. The podcast is hosted by Ruth Candler, assistant director of Lifelong Learning.

Recent episodes from the podcast’s third season include:

  • “Making the Strange Familiar and the Familiar Strange”Sascha Goluboff, professor of cultural anthropology and director of Community-Based Learning at W&L, recounts her experiences of stepping into the unknown through ethnography research, working in local prisons and even improv.
  • “Walks With A Noise”In this episode with Harvey Markowitz, emeritus professor of anthropology, we talk about how Harvey first arrived on the Rosebud Indian reservation, his relationship with the Lakota people, and conversations about identity and acknowledgement in tribal communities.
  • “Studied Carelessness”In this conversation with Caleb Dance, associate professor of classics, we explore the impact of humor, improvisation and “sprezzatura” (studied carelessness) on his research and teaching. He also shares the story of his journey into classics, the importance of studying abroad and his musical endeavors, including his work with the nonprofit MIMA.

Listeners in the W&L community and beyond are invited to listen to past episodes and seasons at or wherever they listen to podcasts.