Experiences of a Lifetime Available for Your Lancer

(In the photo above, Boston’s Harvard Square becomes an outdoor classroom for students to ponder how public art impacts communities.)

Here at Longwood, we think nothing fits the description “experience of a lifetime” better than our Brock Experiences. This academic program takes students to locations throughout the United States to ponder and explore important issues of the day—all the while learning skills they can apply in their future careers.

Four programs will be offered in 2020, two of which still have spaces available. I’ve been told the Boston program is filling up quickly; applications for Yellowstone will be accepted through about mid-March.

However, applications are accepted throughout the year and are handled on a rolling basis. So if your student wants to take advantage of this opportunity this year or next, there’s no time like the present to submit an application.

The programs scheduled for 2020 are
—The Future of Puerto Rico, June 21-July 2 (filled)
—Water Access: Colorado River, May 25-June 6 (filled)
—Art and Culture: Boston, June 8-16
—Stewardship of Public Lands: Yellowstone, May 12-21

Applications for the Brock Experiences program in Yellowstone are being accepted through about mid-March.

Other programs on the Brock Experiences roster that may be offered next year include
—Chesapeake Bay Stewardship
—Immigration: Arizona and Richmond, Virginia

Enrollment in Brock Experiences, which students take for academic credit, is kept relatively small, ranging from nine spots in the Colorado River program to about 40 for Yellowstone. Faculty members plan the curriculum for each course and accompany students to the study location, guiding them as they consider critical questions such as
—“Who owns water and how should it be used?”
—“How do the arts and humanities improve communities and enhance our understanding of our own roles as citizens?”
—“What are the responsibilities of the United States to its territories like Puerto Rico?”
—“How do we best manage our diverse natural landscape?”

Students followed the Colorado River through four states to explore issues surrounding water rights.

In addition to the work they do while “on location,” students complete assignments when they return to campus.

Brock Experiences Director Josh Blakely emphasizes that the programs include “rigorous academic work” and are not field trips or a sightseeing tour.

“A Brock Experience is a transformative learning opportunity that will open students’ eyes to the ways people can work together to tackle complex problems in the world,” he said. “We’ve seen students come alive as a result of these courses, finding areas they’re passionate about and ways to enhance their future careers.”

Dr. Alix Fink, Wilma Register Sharp and Marc Boyd Sharp Dean of the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars, heads up the Yellowstone program, which has been active at Longwood for 15 years. It was folded into the Brock Experiences when the program was created in 2016 with a $5.9 million gift from Joan ’64 and Macon Brock.

“These aren’t fun trips to some cool place,” said Fink. “Students come away more prepared to have challenging conversations, to ask difficult questions and to talk with fellow citizens whose view are very different from their own.

“Not only are those skills one uses in the workplace, but they are the very skills that citizens need to address challenges in our community.”

Costs vary by program, with the program fee covering housing in the field, transportation once the student arrives at the location, many meals and educational activities. The fee for the Boston program, for example, is $750. Students are responsible for their transportation to the program location and spending money.

Scholarships are available based on demonstrated financial need.

More information on Brock Experiences: http://www.longwood.edu/academics/brock-experiences/

Program applications: http://www.longwood.edu/academics/brock-experiences/

Separate scholarship application: https://longwood.academicworks.com

—Sabrina Brown

Keeping a High Profile: More than 100 students head into the community for MLK Service Challenge

More than 25 students helped out at the Free Family Workshop held at the Morton Museum in partnership with the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts.

(In the photo above, student volunteers work with participants in the Free Family Workshop held at the Morton Museum in partnership with the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts.)

Longwood students were a very visible presence in Farmville and the surrounding area on Monday of this week.

Your Lancer may have been among the 120 or so students who headed out to lend a helping hand to several community projects as part of the Jan. 20 MLK Service Challenge. Projects ranged from giving animals at the Southside SPCA in Meherrin some much appreciated attention to sweeping, dusting and mopping at Madeline’s House, an area women’s shelter.

The Southside YMCA was one beneficiary of this year’s MLK Service Challenge.

In all, 12 projects received some TLC from the Longwood students and a number of faculty and staff who also participated.

“The best thing about the MLK Service Challenge is that students from all walks of life, different backgrounds and different beliefs come together to uphold Dr. King’s legacy by serving their community,” said Quincy Goodine, a staff member in Multicultural Affairs at Longwood, who organizes the event.

Organizing books was one task taken on by student volunteers at the Andy Taylor Center for Early Childhood Development.

Other projects and organizations on the receiving end of Longwood students’ help included
*Andy Taylor Center for Early Childhood Development
*Free Family Workshop at the Moton Museum in partnership with the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts (LCVA)
*South Virginia Street Community Garden
*Clean Virginia Waterways roadside cleanup
*Southside YMCA

Longwood volunteers helped get the South Virginia Street Community Garden in shape for spring planting.

“We definitely could not have done this [Free Family Workshop] without the volunteers,” said Kristen Mosley, an LCVA staff member. “They were so engaging with the community and made the event joyous for all of us.”

More than 200 members of the community turned out to make “Dream Big” hats and wall hangings at the workshop, which also included poetry readings and the premiere of a hip-hop video.

With a Moton Museum mural in the background, children create their own art with the help of student volunteers at the Free Family Workshop co-sponsored by the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. More than 25 students helped with the event.

Goodine said the students’ efforts have a significant impact on the community—and on the students themselves.

“It shows our students are thinking outside the box and that they are aware of areas and issues outside campus,” he said. “People are very grateful, and they often want students to come back—whether for an internship or another service opportunity.

“They say the Longwood students are a pleasure to work with and eager to get involved.”

I often say that Longwood students are the best young people around—helpful, considerate, positive and hard-working. The MLK Service Challenge was a perfect example of that. You can be very proud!

—Sabrina Brown

At Longwood, It’s Always Safety First

(The photo above is from this year’s Campus Safety Walk, a joint initiative of Longwood students, LUPD and the Office of Residential and Commuter Life. The walk’s goal is to identify areas on campus where safety can be improved, especially after dark.)

Nothing is more important to Longwood’s administrators, faculty and staff than the safety of your student.

The resources we devote to personnel, programming, planning and communication; the high standards we set for our campus police department; and the attention we pay to the safety concerns of students are just a few indicators of how seriously the university takes this responsibility.

“In the last 10 years, we have nearly doubled the security budget on campus, including growing our law enforcement staff to more than double the national average for a population our size,” said Dr. Tim Pierson, vice president for student affairs, who oversees the Longwood Police Department. “That kind of commitment from the top down … is a real testament to the values and forward-thinking practices put in place over that time.”

LUPD is accredited by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission, a distinction held by less than a third of the law enforcement agencies in the state.

The Longwood Police Department is recognized as one of the best college police department’s in the nation. Over the last 11 years, Longwood has consistently outperformed Virginia’s other colleges and universities in the higher education category of Security magazine’s annual rankings. LUPD’s latest top-20 ranking, which was announced in late 2019, is the department’s eighth in the last 10 years.

In addition, LUPD is accredited by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission, a distinction held by less than a third of the law enforcement agencies in the state.

Below are a few of the university’s efforts, initiatives and services. You’ll see that some of the safety measures available require you and/or your student to sign up or take another action. Please encourage your student to take full advantage of every service Longwood offers to help them stay safe.

Alerts.Longwood.edu
Anyone with an interest in campus safety can sign up for email and text alerts at this website, which provides up-to-date information about any situation that could affect the safety of Longwood students. Students’ automatically receive emails through this alert system, but they must go to the site and sign up to receive text messages.

In addition, alerts.longwood.edu provides information about Longwood’s inclement weather policy, a list of emergency phone numbers and links to additional safety resources.

#SafeAtLongwood
Encourage your student to use the hashtag #SafeAtLongwood on their public social media accounts to let you and others know they’re safe in the event of a major emergency. During a major crisis, cell service might be down.

LiveSafe App
LiveSafe delivers peer-to-peer and self-service tools to help everyone in the community stay safe, in everyday and high-risk scenarios. Encourage your student to download the free LiveSafe app from Google Play or the Apple App Store. Features includetwo-way communication with Longwood safety officials using text, picture, video and audio, as well as SafeWalk, a virtual walk-along service that will alert designated contacts if the user doesn’t reach their destination.

Sixty emergency blue-light phones placed at strategic outdoor locations provide direct communication with the Longwood Police Department

Emergency Phones and Security Cameras
More than 300 security cameras keep an eye on the campus and university-managed housing complexes. In addition, more than 100 emergency area-of-rescue photos placed inside buildings and 60 emergency blue-light phones placed at strategic outdoor locations provide direct communication with the Longwood Police Department.

Safety Programming
The Longwood Police Department provides a range of programming designed to help keep your student safe. Here are just a few examples:
 —Personal Safety Seminars
These seminars are designed to improve students’ safety habits. Topics include alcohol awareness, residence hall security, personal safety habits, reporting illegal or suspicious activity, crime on campus and police services. This program allows the student the opportunity to address safety concerns and to receive an appropriate response.
—R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense)
The Rape Aggression Defense system is dedicated to teaching women defensive concepts and techniques against various types of assault by utilizing easy, effective and proven self-defense/martial arts tactics.
—Code Red
This program is designed to make participants aware of their surroundings with an all-hazards approach. Participants also learn the appropriate actions to take to protect themselves and others in an active threat situation. Severe weather safety measures are also covered.

—Sabrina Brown

 

 

 

 

All About Scholarships: March 1 application deadline approaches as a new initiative gets rolling

Here at Longwood we recognize that your student’s college education is a major investment for your family. Longwood’s president, W. Taylor Reveley IV, has said many times that Longwood is committed to keeping costs as affordable as possible. This year’s tuition freeze and several previous years’ lower-than-average tuition increases are evidence of the sincerity of that commitment.

But that’s not all Longwood is doing.

This fall the university announced a scholarship initiative that aims to create 90 new endowed scholarships (25 each in Longwood’s three main academic colleges—arts and sciences, business and economics, and education and human services—and 15 in athletics) through a matching program established by several key donors.

The Family Scholarship Program is already well on its way with 18 new scholarships at some stage of being created as I write this. Each $15,000 scholarship gift will be matched by the key donors up to a total of $375,000 in each of the colleges and $225,000 in athletics.

And there’s more good news. In addition to the endowed scholarships, the Family Scholarship Program was structured to create some additional $1,000  scholarships that can begin to be awarded right away.

These new scholarships will be administered by the Longwood University Foundation, which already awards in the neighborhood of 300 scholarships a year to Longwood students.

There are scholarships available for all Longwood students—including all current undergraduate and graduate students as well as incoming transfer students and freshmen.

In fact, most Longwood students meet the criteria for an average of five different scholarships. A description of these scholarships and the application can be found here: https://longwood.academicworks.com/?page=2

All it takes for your student to be considered is about five minutes to fill out the application and, for a few scholarships, the time required to write an essay or two. The deadline to submit applications for scholarships to be awarded for the 2020-21 academic year is March 1, 2020. So let your student know there’s no time like the present to get started on the application.

The university expects to notify recipients no later than July 1, 2020.

Here’s hoping your student is on the receiving end of one of these Longwood University Foundation scholarships!

—Sabrina Brown

Looking for Fun? Make It a Back-to-Campus Weekend in Farmville

Longwood-managed housing reopens at noon on Saturday, Jan. 11. If you happen to be bringing your student back to campus in person, you might want to consider hanging out in Farmville for the weekend.

Farmville may not be a big city—but don’t let that fool you.

There is plenty to do, from art exhibitions to live music to hiking and biking. And don’t forget the shopping, especially if you’re in the market for new furniture, rugs or accessories. Take Green Front Furniture, for example, where you’ll find 900,000 square feet of showroom space filled to the brim in 12 different buildings.

Hotel Weyanoke is right across the street from campus and offers a discount for Longwood parents.

If you want to spend the night, accommodations abound, including Hotel Weyanoke, which offers a luxurious boutique hotel experience right across from campus (on High Street) and right around the corner from Main Street. For the 10 percent discount available to parents, just mention LU10 when you make a reservation.

Here are just a few of the other places you might want to explore in downtown Farmville…

The High Bridge Trail: a hiking and biking path with a history and one of the most spectacular views in this part of Virginia

High Bridge Trail offers hiking, biking and spectacular views from the bridge.

Longwood Center for the Visual Arts: Rural Avant-Garde: The Mountain Lake Experience exhibition is not to be missed

Moton Museum: an exploration of the genesis and history of the civil rights movement

The Moton Museum sheds light on the civil rights movement and Farmville’s role.

An impressive selection of noncorporate restaurants offering eclectic and imaginative cuisine, including: North Street Press Club, Effingham’s, one19, Uptown Coffee Café, The Brew House and Charley’s Waterfront Café, to mention a few

One19 (top) and North Street Press Club are among the restaurants offering eclectic and imaginative cuisine.

The Virginia Tasting Cellar: live music and a sampling of Virginia’s best wines

Three Roads Brewing: handcrafted beer and live music

If you’re looking for a fun weekend, Farmville is a sure bet. Hope to see you around town soon!

—Sabrina Brown