Category Archives: News

COVID-19 Testing for Faculty

A COVID-19 Testing graphic. Photo retrieved from

Evy Brunelle ~ News Editor

    While there has been much focus on COVID-19 testing of the student community at the University of Lynchburg,  faculty this semester also have the option for free testing.   

There has been some concern about COVID-19 safety in classrooms, but  Dr. Robin Bates, a professor in the English Department, explained that she feels safe when she does teach in-person. 

She said, “My classrooms all seem well-sectioned off and are easy to wipe down, and my students are quick to do so. I feel that we are as safe as we can be. My colleagues at many other schools do not feel as safe as I do here, honestly. I think we are doing really well. That is not just in the administration. It is everyone working together.” 

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Faculty Spotlight – Rebekkah McLellan

The photo was taken by Rebekkah McLellan with her HP: 300 Drugs and Behavior Management class on Nov. 17, 2020.

Hunter Epperson ~ Staff Writer

     For the academic year of 2020-2021, the University of Lynchburg’s health promotion department welcomed a new professor who is already making a positive impact in students’ lives.

     Rebekkah McLellan, MPH, CHES, is now an adjunct faculty member to the department. She currently teaches HP: 300 Drugs and Behavior Management.

     McLellan is from Amherst, Va., and she earned a B.S. in psychology from Rutgers University. After graduating in 2017, she attended the University of Lynchburg to work towards a master’s degree in public health with a global health emphasis. She transferred to Liberty University to complete her degree, and is now an “all-but-dissertation” (ABD) candidate at A.T. Still University, where she is pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Health Professions.

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Lynchburg Dam Removal

College Lake flooding
Image from:

Gannon Vitelli ~ Breaking News Editor 

     The University of Lynchburg and city of Lynchburg have been working closely together to remove College Lake Dam, which is an ongoing project that is expected to be completed within the next three years.

     In 2018, the dam was nearly destroyed after it overflowed, which is one of the reasons the school and city have decided to remove it entirely. The goal is to remove the lake and turn it into thriving wetlands.

     The city of Lynchburg has released a specific plan to remove the dam, and this plan lists several reasons for why the dam is a hazard. Still, there are people who believe the dam removal is unnecessary. 

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NAACP at Lynchburg

NAACP - Wikipedia

TJ Harvey ~ Guest Writer

   The University of Lynchburg is pushing ahead with plans to implement a campus chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). This effort is being spearheaded by Dr. Robert L. Canida II, vice president for Inclusive Excellence, Desmond Mosby, student employment coordinator, and Davion Washington, Student Government Association president.

     “The next step is first to have 25 paid members. We need 25 applications in order to move forward with chartering on campus. Mr. Washington is inviting people to join the chapter, and that my office is willing to pay for some members to be chartered as well,” said Canida.

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Change and Challenges To Theatre in a Pandemic

Image from the University of Lynchburg Theatre Department Facebook page.

Cassandra Matthews ~ Assistant Editor

     On Feb. 26 and Feb. 27, the theatre department at the University of Lynchburg streamed its production of “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms.”

     This play is a drama-comedy about a high school senior, Agnes Evans, who has lost her family in a car accident. She discovers a notebook that her little sister, Tilly, had used to design a Dungeons & Dragons game. Agnes sets out to play the game in order to grieve the sister she realizes she hardly knew.

      Brianna Yancey, a junior theatre major, plays Agnes Evans. Being that this is the University of Lynchburg’s first virtual-only production, Yancey explained that the process felt different from in-person productions. 

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University of Lynchburg Men’s Hornets Hit the Ball Out of the Park

Photo retrieved from

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

      The University of Lynchburg’s Men’s Baseball Team hit the ball out of the park in their comeback victory against Averett on Wednesday, Feb. 24. 

      Head Coach Lucas Jones was ecstatic about the victory, stating, “In the home opener, we were down 9-2, but due to Santiago Meneses’ brilliant pitching and the batting turning the corner, we ended up winning 11-9. We really turned the corner as a team because we learned how to win important games when the odds are stacked against us.”  

      Meneses, a pitcher, thought that the win showed how much resilience he and his teammates have. Meneses said, “In the past two matches, my teammates and I showed tremendous attitude and grit no matter what the score was. We look forward to continuing to use this same attitude to build off our performance and continuing to improve as a team.” 

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News and Brief for the Week of March 1st.

Myanmar: Police fire water cannon as protests grow over military coup |  World News | Sky News
Myanmar Protesters being sprayed with a water hose.

FBI chief calls Jan. 6 ‘domestic terrorism,’ defends intel


WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director Chris Wray condemned the January riot at the U.S. Capitol as “domestic terrorism” Tuesday as he defended the bureau’s handling of intelligence indicating the prospect for violence. He told lawmakers the information was properly shared with other law enforcement agencies even though it was raw and unverified.

Wray’s comments in his first public appearance before Congress since the deadly Capitol attack two months ago amounted to the FBI’s most vigorous defense against the suggestion that it had not adequately communicated to police agencies that there was a distinct possibility of violence as lawmakers were gathering to certify the results of the presidential election.

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Commuter Student COVID Testing

Coronavirus COVID-19 medical technician professional doctor hand giving a swab test. Photo retrieved from

Evy Brunelle ~ News Editor

     The University of Lynchburg has ramped up COVID testing of students, faculty and staff for the spring 2021 semester. 

    However, a rumor has been circulating that there is a difference in COVID testing fees between commuter and residential students, but this rumor is false. According to Dean of Students, Dr. Aaron Smith, “There is not a difference in the testing fees for residential students and commuter students. The type of test would determine if there is a cost that goes to any student, but there is not a difference in cost for different students.” 

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PRSSA at University of Lynchburg

The outside of Schewel Hall. Photo by Gannon Vitelli

Gannon Vitelli ~ Breaking News Editor

     The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter at the University of Lynchburg continues to be productive despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

     Dr. Jeremey Langett who is a communications professor at the university and oversees PRSSA. He said, “I was so happy to hear not only did we meet the 10 member goal, but we exceeded it.” 

The club was able to recruit 12 members last semester which exceeded the necessary number in order to run a club on campus. 

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News and Brief for the Week of Feb. 22nd

Protesters were called to Washington by Donald Trump in an unprecedented  moment in US history - ABC News
Protests at the U.S Capital Building. Image from

Security officials cast blame for Jan. 6 failures at Capitol


WASHINGTON (AP) — Testifying for the first time about the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, former security officials blamed faulty intelligence for the disastrous failure to anticipate the violent intentions of the mob that invaded the building and interrupted the certification of the presidential election.

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Black History Month Spotlight: Charles Richard Drew

Photo retrieved from

Hunter Epperson ~ Staff Wrtier

     Charles Richard Drew, MD, or the “father of the blood bank,” was born in Washington, DC., on June 3, 1904. 

     Drew made long strives for equality since “he was recruited, and was offered a scholarship, to play football and track at Amherst College in Massachusetts,” according to the American Chemical Society. At Amherst College, Drew was one of only thirteen African Americans among the student body before graduating and attending McGill University College of Medicine in Montreal, Canada. 

     While a student at McGill, Drew won the annual scholarship prize in the field of neuroanatomy, was inducted into the medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha, and was a staff member for the McGill Medical Journal. The American Chemical Society also reported that he won the J. Francis William Prize in medicine and graduated second in his class before becoming a pathology instructor at Howard University, before becoming a surgical instructor and chief surgical resident at Freedmen’s Hospital. 

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Field Hockey Hunts for #21

Link for Photo:

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

 Head Coach Eza Steele and the University of Lynchburg Women’s Field Hockey Team received the opportunity to present at the National All Sports Coaches Summit. 

     Steele said, “It was definitely an honor to be asked to present at the National All Sports Coaches Summit with so many prestigious coaches across a variety of sports.  I have to admit I was a bit nervous, but it went smoothly.  My presentation was the 4 Stages of Games Play concepts.”  

     She continued, “This concept is vital in designing and progression of drills to best facilitate transfer of skill to the actual game.  My players were videoed in all four progression stages while I spoke about the concept and how it would transfer into the actual game.”

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Women’s Volleyball to Ready for Marymount and Virginia Wesleyan

Natalie Lavelle. Photo retrieved from

William Masseli ~ Sports Columnist

     Interim Head Coach Hannah Givens and her women volleyball players have remained motivated and focused so they can serve up defeat in the season opener against Marymount University on Feb. 27, 2021. 

     Givens said, “So far we have not played any matches yet, but we are looking forward to our first match coming up on the 27th against Marymount. Practices have been great, and the girls are working hard. We have plenty of goals this season, and we are looking forward to competing for an ODAC.” 

     Natalie Lavelle, a senior on the team said, “Our season has not yet officially begun. However, the atmosphere in the gym during practice is filled with intensity and an intentional mindset. Our team’s expectations this year are to continue to better our play and achieve our goal of winning the ODAC.” 

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First Wellness Day

TJ Harvey ~ Guest Writer

     On Feb. 15th, the University of Lynchburg hosted its first of five wellness days for students to replace spring break which has been cancelled because of COVID. 

     The University hopes to mitigate the spread of COVID by decreasing the possibility of student travel over the break. Wellness days are supposed to give students an opportunity to relax and to take a break from academic studies. 

     The University organized spiritual and physical activities to participate in throughout the day. 

     Junior Keturah Forbes said,  “I think it is a good idea but for people that have jobs on campus they don’t have a free day so the wellness day is not particularly ideal for them.” 

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