If you’ve ever visited the Longwood campus, you’ve likely strolled down Brock Commons, a central mall that replaced a busy city street that once bisected campus.
Hopefully your student has had or will have the opportunity to participate in one of Longwood’s Brock Experiences courses, which take students throughout the U.S. to grapple with issues of the day, such as water rights and immigration.
These transformative changes—and many others—are the work of philanthropists Joan Brock, a 1964 graduate of Longwood, and her late husband, Macon Brock.
But Joan Brock isn’t finished with transforming Longwood yet.
Yesterday the university announced she had made another gift—at $15 million, the largest in the university’s history—to help fund the construction of a campus events center. The facility, which will seat 2,500 to 3,000 people, will provide not only a place for Convocation, the Honor and Integrity Ceremony, concerts, speakers and other large events but also a new home for Longwood’s Division I men’s and women’s basketball teams.
In making the gift, Mrs. Brock said she wanted to continue repaying a debt to Longwood for its formative impact on her own life, and for introducing her to those who remain her closest friends.
The Joan Perry Brock Center could be complete as early as spring 2022, in time to cap off senior year for our current freshmen.
One of the best things about working at Longwood is having the opportunity to see the transformational power of the university at work.
My position in University Marketing and Communications doesn’t involve day-to-day—or even weekly—contact with students. So my view of that impact is usually from afar. This year, however, I was lucky enough to be able to see it up close through my work with a group of freshmen who agreed to blog about their first year at Longwood in a project we called My Life As A Freshman, or MLAF.
Not all of the students have stuck with the project, but a few have. It has been so much fun getting to know them, watching them grapple with the challenges of college and seeing them emerge—now almost at the end of their first year—on the other side. It’s been easier for some than others; and it’s been more transformational for some than others. But they all have learned and grown through the process.
One of the freshmen who has truly amazed and surprised me is Brooklynn Weissenfluh.
When the nine freshmen who’d signed up for MLAF got together at the beginning of fall 2018, Brooklynn seemed a little overpowered by some of the others in the group. They were laughing and talking, giving the appearance of being full of confidence. Brooklynn, a petite young woman with a shy smile, hung back a little, perhaps not quite ready to claim her space in the group.
As the fall semester went on, she seemed to hit her stride a bit. Her posts became more lively and assured as she talked about working with tutors in the Writing Center, making friends and going to activities on campus.
But this spring is when she really seemed to blossom.
She got the job as a resident assistant (RA) that she’d applied for in the fall, saying she wanted to “be a part of something bigger than myself and make a positive impact on the lives of Longwood students” and that she was looking forward to being a role model for the residents in her hall.
Then I heard that she’d been selected to serve on the Honor and Conduct Board next year and that she’d been elected an officer in an organization related to her major. She also had started going to activities hosted by the Catholic Campus Ministry, a joint group with nearby Hampden-Sydney College.
And she’s been volunteering all over, from Relay for Life to a Lions Club casino night at a local retirement community to a food pantry to a fundraiser hosted by a sorority that’s she’s not even a member of.
Was this really the same shy girl I’d met just a few months earlier?
Brooklynn is a perfect example of how students who embrace the Longwood community can find their place socially, academically and as leaders. And she’s not unique—there are so many other students on campus just like her. Longwood truly is a place where young people can find out what they’re capable of and who they are.
I sincerely hope your student is involved at Longwood. A little effort can have great rewards.
At Longwood, learning is much broader than academics, and it can happen anywhere—not just in a classroom or a lab. We’re continually creating activities and experiences that help our students develop into well-informed citizens who care about the future of their communities and beyond. (The photo above is of students who participated in last year’s Big Event.)
A few opportunities that are coming up soon are mentioned below. Spread the word if you see something your student might be interested in!
The Big Event: A Morning of Service Saturday, March 30, 9 a.m. to noon
Service is at the heart of citizen leadership at Longwood, and our annual Big Event service project makes it easy for students to show they are part of the Farmville community. Each year hundreds of students volunteer for a variety of projects, including yard work, painting and clearing debris. Students can sign up to participate here: The Big Event Sign Up.
Eco-April Tree Planting Saturday, March 30, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Studies have shown that in one year a 10-year-old tree absorbs 48 pounds of carbon dioxide. In that same time, an acre of trees absorbs about the same amount of carbon dioxide produced by driving a car 26,000 miles. There are about 650 trees on the Longwood campus, and we’re always working to add more. Each spring, students can learn about the value of trees and contribute to the environmental health of the Longwood and Farmville community by helping plant trees on campus. Students can sign up to participate here: Annual Tree Planting.
Sponsored by the Office for Sustainability
Designing A Career: One Artist’s Story Monday, April 1, 5 p.m. Bedford Auditorium
If your student is interested in graphic design as a career, this talk should be inspiring. Antonio Alcalá, owner of Studio A in Alexandria and an art director for the U.S. Postal Service Stamp Division, is Longwood’s Rosemary Sprague Visiting Designer. His clients include the National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Alcalá also is an adjunct faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Sponsored by the Graphic and Animation Design Program
Follow the Money: A Personal Finance Simulation Tuesday, April 9, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Blackwell Ballroom
This personal finance simulation is designed to give students an accurate look at their current financial situation or their financial outlook after graduation. It’s a way for students to explore the serious business of how to manage their own finances in a fun atmosphere.
Organized by the Center for Financial Responsibility in the College of Business and Economics in partnership with Virginia Credit Union
Road Trip: The Virginia Holocaust Museum Thursday, April 18, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
The core exhibits at the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond narrate the complex and sobering history of the Holocaust. Visitors are presented with a glimpse into the genocide of 6 million European Jews in the 1930s and ’40s and, more broadly, into the dangers of intolerance.
Three hundred artifacts and the testimonies of local Holocaust survivors expand on this history, representing the tangible and personal realities of this tragic event. Transportation (via bus) and admission to the museum are free. Faculty may give students an excused absence if it’s for an educational activity. If your student has class this day and they’re interested in participating, they should check with their professor(s).
My daughter is now in the spring semester of her senior year, and, for the first time, she sent me her midterm grades—without my asking. I’m sure the reason is that she had all A’s for the first time.
Looking back, her explanations for previous less-than-stellar midterm grades probably contained at least a grain of truth: not much work graded yet, not all grades factored into the midterm average, forgot her calculator for her first accounting test, etc.
Some of those explanations (with the notable exception of the forgotten calculator) are echoed in this Q&A with Dr. Emily Heady, senior director of student success and retention. Dr. Heady provides insight into midterm grades, which are due out this week, including *What you shouldn’t worry about *Red flags *How to deal with low midterm grades
I hope you find the information below helpful.
What is the purpose of midterm grades?
They’re sort of like split times in a long race—they let you know what your progress is at the halfway mark. They can be encouraging, or they might be an indication that you need to pick up the pace.
Do all faculty report midterm grades for every class?
No. They’re required for all freshmen, as well as for some other populations (ROTC and students in academic difficulty, for example). Otherwise, midterm grades are optional.
Why should parents ask to see midterm grades?
Every semester, I get calls from parents who weren’t aware their students were in trouble in particular courses. My first move is to check the midterm grades, and, most of the time, the student had plenty of warning.
Here’s what I tell students about midterm grades, and I’d love for parents to overhear it:
If you’ve got all A’s and B’s, that simply means that what you’re doing is working—so keep it up! If the grades aren’t what you hoped for, it’s still good to have the information. If you want to stay in the class, know that there’s still time to regroup.
In most college classes, the majority of the points are awarded at the end of the term. A grade of C or lower at midterm would be an indication that you need to use your resources: Visit the professor during office hours, use the Writing Center or Center for Academic Success, and/or make changes to your study habits.
If you’re simply lost in a class, you may want to think about withdrawing and trying it again at a later point. If you want to withdraw, be sure to speak to your academic adviser, as lowering the number of credit hours you’re taking below 12 might have implications for your financial aid.
What should students keep in mind if they’re considering withdrawing from a course?
Withdrawing may be a good option if the student can afford to hit the “pause” button and take the course again at a later time. But there may be consequences. First, if the student’s credit hours for the semester dip below 12 hours, their financial aid may be affected. Also, if they withdraw from a course that they need to stay on track for their major, they may not be able to graduate at the time they originally planned.
Is Longwood able to provide parents with access to their student’s grades?
Students’ records are protected by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), and we follow those policies. That means we can’t give out grades unless the student has signed a release. If students have signed a release for their academic records, we are able to discuss their academic progress with parents, but we have to do so in a way that’s in the student’s academic interests.
Typically, if a parent calls wanting grades, we’ll respond by asking the student to share them, or we’ll offer to serve as moderators in a conversation in which the student and parent discuss the grades together. We won’t simply tattle, as it’s not in the student’s best interests.
We honor the students as the legal adults that they are and help them learn to have the grownup conversations that will continue to be part of their lives.
At what point are midterm grades a red flag?
A grade of D or F is definitely something to worry about. A C might be something to worry about, but isn’t necessarily, depending on the types of assignments that the grade includes. If the grade mostly reflects one big exam and the student is a better writer than test-taker, a C might turn into a B—but it’s still worth watching!
Especially in “make-or-break” classes—those typically challenging courses that students need to complete as requirements of their major—we want to see strong performance. Grades in these classes usually indicate whether a student will succeed in a particular major.
What can parents do to help students whose midterm grades are of concern?
*First, ask your student if they’re going to see their professor during office hours (which are designated times when faculty are in their offices and available to talk to students). The faculty member is the first and best resource.
*Ask your student if they’ve used tutoring resources, and encourage them to reach out.
*Ask your student how they’re spending their time, especially if they’re doing their work BEFORE they socialize.
*Ask what their plan is to get back on track.
Personnel in the Center for Academic Success are always ready to meet with students who need to make a game plan.
What questions should a student ask themselves to determine whether or not they’re able to recover from a low midterm grade?
*How may points are left? *Can I get the grades I need on the remaining assignments? *Can I commit to increase my study time? *Can I make some life decisions that enable to me set a new course?
What steps can students take before midterm to be sure they’re on solid ground academically?
Students who do well typically go to class, turn in all their work in a timely fashion, use office hours and other resources as needed, and make healthy life choices.
The fastest way to get off track is to skip class. There are attendance policies, and students will often miss important instruction and even opportunities to earn points if they skip. The second-fastest way is not to ask for help when you need it. Longwood is a very success-minded place. We want students to do well, and we have all kinds of resources to help this happen. But if students don’t use the resources, we can’t help. Encourage your student to ask.
Why is it better to drop a course earlier in the semester than to withdraw after midterm grades?
Dropping has fewer consequences than withdrawing. If a student drops during the add/drop period, they have a chance to add another class in place of the one they dropped. Dropping has no financial implications, and the student will receive a full refund for the class—though they still need to be careful to maintain the required number of credit hours and to be mindful of their progress toward degree.
What’s the most important thing for parents to remember about midterm grades?
They’re not the final word. They’re a helpful indication of progress thus far, and that’s how they should be taken—as something that’s meant to help. Ultimately, the burden is on the student to take action. Longwood stands ready to help, but the student needs to ask.
Most colleges and universities have a dean of students, a person whose responsibilities vary by institution but generally involve serving as a point of information for students and responding to students’ needs.
At Longwood, Larry Robertson fills this role. Basically that means students are the center of his work universe. A 1990 Longwood grad himself, Robertson has worked at the university nearly 20 years, and was named dean of students in 2012.
Thinking you might be interested in knowing more about Robertson and the Office of the Dean of Students, I posed some questions for him. I hope you find his answers helpful and informative. Contact information for the office is at the end of the post.
What offices report to the Dean of Students Office?
Residential and Commuter Life and the Office of Disability Resources.
What do you like best about your job?
There are so many things to love about my job. I never know what to anticipate, and I am never bored. More importantly, I work with an incredibly caring and professional staff who are dedicated to meeting the needs of our students. But I have to admit that watching students grow throughout their careers at Longwood and then hearing about their successes after they leave is by far the best part.
How does it feel to be helping students at the same school where you were also a student? Do you think that gives you an advantage in your job? If so, how?
I have always said that coming to Longwood as a student was the best decision that I ever made. It became a second home to me. Although the campus has changed a great deal, it still feels like home to me. In many ways, my remaining at Longwood gives me a chance to re-pay the faculty and staff who inspired me to grow as a student and a leader.
Being an alum is an advantage. Students enjoy hearing about what they call “old” Longwood. I can talk to them about life at Longwood before cell phones and Google. I can also help them learn about and enjoy our many traditions. Most importantly, the students keep me young!
What are the main services that your office provides to students?
The Office of the Dean of Students provides programs, services and referrals that support student success and foster the development of citizen leaders. Our staff is available to answer questions, point students and families in the right direction to get the information they need and serve as a single point of contact in time of crisis. We collaborate with partners across campus to foster involvement, promote responsible decision making and enhance student learning.
We strive to be available for all students and their families and to be a liaison between the students and the rest of the university. We may not know the answer to every question, but we will make sure that we refer you to the right person.
One of our biggest initiatives is the management of the Care Team. The team comprises representatives from across campus who meet regularly to discuss and develop interventions for individual students before their behavior escalates and becomes detrimental. We make every attempt to ensure that the students do not even know that we are intervening and that they are learning to solve problems for themselves.
Are you working on any new initiatives?
We have worked with the Longwood Foundation to set up Longwood Cares—A Student Emergency Fund that will provide money to students in need of items not provided by other offices or funding resources.
We are also working to develop a series of programs on civility and diversity issues.
What is the best way for students and parents to contact you?
Parents and students can contact us by phone at 434-395-2492. They will probably speak with Tracey Jarrett, who is the true expert in our office. They can also send an email to CareTeam@longwood.edu.
For those of you whose students are graduating in May or who want to do an internship this summer, it’s not too early for them to start looking into opportunities.
The good news is that there are two great events happening this month right on campus where students can meet with potential employers. Longwood also has a Career Services office staffed with career coaches who offer advice and guidance.
EDUCATION RECRUITMENT DAY Friday, March 8 10-11:30 a.m. Soza Ballroom, Upchurch University Center
Students who are thinking about a career in education can take advantage of this fair, which will bring representatives from more than 70 school districts to campus to talk about jobs in their schools for Longwood students who are graduating and will have a standard teaching license.
Districts planning to attend include Chesapeake, Richmond, Fairfax, Roanoke, Stafford, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Williamsburg-James City County. Some of the districts will also be conducting interviews with potential candidates after the fair from 12:30-4 p.m.
SPRING JOB AND INTERNSHIP FAIR Wednesday, March 27
Blackwell Ballroom, Maugans Alumni Center
A variety of companies will be represented at this fair to discuss job and internship opportunities. Even though the event is almost a month away, more than 40 companies and organizations have already signed up.
Among the employers scheduled to attend are CarMax, CapitalOne, the Federal Reserve in Richmond, National Ground Intelligence Center, Enterprise Holdings, Centra and Walgreens.
Both of these fairs are sponsored by Career Services at Longwood, which offers many additional services to help students find jobs and internships.
Services include: *Work shadow program with Longwood alumni *Assistance in writing resumes and cover letters
*Graduate school preparation
*Strategic planning for conducting a job or internship search
Career Services offers walk-in hours, but staff encourage students to make an appointment for a one-hour, one-on-one meeting with a career coach. The phone number is 434-395-2063.
Ask just about anyone who works at a university, and they’ll tell you campus involvement is key for students to get the most out of their college experience.
There are many ways to do this, but one of the easiest is joining a student organization. Longwood has loads of these organizations—more than 175—and students are always starting new ones based on their specific interests.
We have a belly dancing club and a club football team. We have clubs for languages, musicians, academic disciplines, thespians and equestrians. We have social fraternities and sororities.
We have a student organization whose members work with children in Farmville to encourage academic achievement, good citizenship and a healthy lifestyle. We have students who get together to play chess, to strengthen their spirituality in a variety of religions and to support Longwood athletics.
At the beginning of each semester, members of these organizations participate in an Involvement Fair to reach out to their fellow students and welcome them to join the club. But students can join many clubs at any time during the semester.
Whether they’re staying on campus, going to the beach or heading somewhere more—or less—exotic, your student is probably getting excited about spring break, which is a little more than a week from today. Last year, more than 700 students registered to stay on campus over spring break, so your student will not be alone if that’s their plan.
For students living in Longwood-managed housing, spring break is officially from 6 p.m. Friday, March 1, through noon Sunday, March 10, which means that the residence halls and apartments will not be accessible during that time unless your student has filled out the required form in advance. Classes resume March 11.
If your student is planning to stay on campus for the entire break—or if they have academic or personal obligations after 6 p.m. Friday, March 1—please encourage them to go ahead and “register to stay” on campus, which will give them uninterrupted access to their assigned community.
To register, your student should log in to the Student Housing Gateway and complete the designated form. It’s simple and only takes a few minutes. The deadline to submit the online form is 11:59 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 28, but there’s no need to wait until then.
Just to be clear: Any student living in any Longwood-managed housing—whether a residence hall or apartment—will not be able to access their building/room/apartment from 6 p.m. Friday, March 1, through noon Sunday, March 10, if they have not filled out the “register to stay” online form by the deadline.
If your student has an emergency, there are some measures in place to provide access to residences over spring break—but they’re much more of a hassle than filling out the “register to stay” form: —The Lancer Card Center can provide access assistance during business hours from March 6-8. (University offices are closed March 4-5.) —In extreme cases, LUPD officers can providelimited after-hoursaccess assistance.
Here’s some additional important information about spring break: —University offices will be closed March 4-5. —Farmville Area Bus (FAB) service will end at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1, and resume at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 10. There is no bus service between campus and Lancer Park or Longwood Village during the break. —Residence hall rooms and apartments are subject to entry during break.Entry may be necessary during the break period to facilitate preventive maintenance tasks (changing filters, for example), general work orders or safety inspections. Special work projects will be directly communicated to impacted residents/buildings. —Dorrill Dining Hall will close at 2 p.m. Friday, March 1, and will re-open at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 10. Regular hours of operation resume on Monday, March 11. Visit https://longwood.campusdish.com/ for operation hours for all other campus food venues.
All of us at Longwood wish your student a safe, fun and/or productive spring break!
It’s February 14, and it’s a Thursday, so chances are your students won’t be wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day in person.
But take heart! (I know, but I couldn’t resist.) There’s a small chance your son or daughter is one of the Longwood students that I asked to write Valentine’s Day notes to their parents.
I prompted them to write about something good that happened to them recently. So even if your student isn’t included in this post, I hope you can enjoy the happy events mentioned below and think that your student is probably having similar good experiences this month.
The smiling faces below made me smile. I hope they have the same effect on you.
Shiann, freshman, environmental science major Dear Mom and Dad, My environmental science professor helped me get a bit more informed about college writing and different assignments. She also introduced me to my advisor. Love you guys!
Jamyl, freshman, business major
Dear Mom and Dad,
I’ve been getting involved in many different clubs and organizations to meet new people at school.
Madison, freshman, business major Dear Mom, I got an A on my first exam of the semester! Love you!
Zachary, freshman, political science major
Dear Mom and Dad,
I was able to share my faith with someone and make a new friend.
Aaqila, junior, psychology major
Dear Mom and Dad,
I got my fifth 100% in one of my classes, keeping me at a perfect grade. Also, I gave my first candidate tour, and it was amazing.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Love you both! Thanks for all that you do. I miss you guys. See you soon.
Nicola, junior, social work major
Dear Mom and Dad,
I got an A+ on my first social work paper of the semester!
Rian, freshman, biology major
I had a really exciting biology lab, and we added two new species to the Longwood Bioblitz. And I get my big in my sorority today!
Matthew, sophomore, communication studies/political science major
Dear Mom and Dad,
I got my first A on a test.
Ashley, freshman, liberal studies major
Dear Mom and Dad,
I got a B on my first English test!
Happy Valentine’s Day! I love y’all!
Siara, junior, communication studies major
Dear Mom and Dad,
I did an interview with Lancer Link, I applied to more internships and I put in my desk assistant (DA) application.
Thanks for the love and support!
Christopher, junior, business major
Dear Mom and Dad,
I got invited to attend a regional Ambassador Leadership conference in Richmond—and they’re paying for me to go!
I love you both and my animals!
Libbie, freshman, information systems and cyber security major
Dear Mom and Dad,
This week I had so much fun playing in an intramural basketball game—and I ended up scoring!
Liam, junior, political science major
I got an A on an exam that I thought I’d failed.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Each student first meets with a psychologist or counselor for a 30-minute initial consultation. In that meeting, students can talk about their concerns, and the psychologist or counselor will ask questions to help clarify the situation. At the end of the consultation, a referral to the workshops or a group will be made, if therapeutically warranted.
Counseling Workshops Workshops are a rotating series of three skill-building sessions that cover mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance. Students will learn skills to become more aware of their inner thought processes, improve their relationships with others, manage changing emotional states and cope with times when their emotions are high. If you think your student would be interested in the workshops, encourage them to contact Dr. Jenny Glass.
CAPS also provides three group counseling opportunities. Groups meet weekly; individual counseling is provided every other week.
The benefits of group counseling are many: –Students learn that they are not alone with their concerns –Group members receive support from peers and benefit from helping their peers –Group members see that others with similar concerns have improved –Group members learn more effective coping strategies
Advanced Skills Group If your student has completed the counseling workshops and is interested in learning more advanced skills, CAPS offers a group that focuses on emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and distress tolerance, all incorporating mindfulness. Group members also share their experiences with these skills and gain/provide feedback about personal matters. If you think your student would be interested in this group, encourage them to email or call the CAPS office.
Stress and Anxiety Management Group This group is designed for students who have symptoms related to stress and anxiety and are seeking support and strategies to cope more effectively. In the group, students can gain support and constructive feedback from other students who struggle with problems related to stress/anxiety. Counselors will present psychoeducational information related to stress/anxiety. If you think your student would be interested in this group, please encourage them to contact contact Dr. David Davino.
ACT Group This weekly support group is a longstanding collaboration between CAPS and the Office of Disability Resources (ODR). The group is open to any student who has registered with ODR. The Advocacy, Communication and Transition Group (ACT) provides a safe and supportive place for students to openly share concerns, discuss issues, and gain specific skills and strategies to meet personal goals and receive support and encouragement. If you think your student would be interested in this group, please encourage them to contact Madeline Schutt or Dr. Maureen Walls-McKay.