Category Archives: News

In Memoriam: Dr. Nancy Cowden

University of Lynchburg Associate Director of the Westover Honors College, Dr. Nancy Cowden

By Cassandra Matthews ~ Assistant Editor

This weekend, beloved biology professor and Associate Director of the Westover Honors College Dr. Nancy Cowden passed away.

Dr. Cowden has been a faculty member of the University of Lynchburg since 2000. She taught courses in biology, plant biology, plant ecology, general ecology, and sustainable forest management. In Westover, Dr. Cowden taught various colloquia and a senior thesis course.

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Pancreatic Awareness Month

November is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month - Northeast Digestive

Hunter Epperson ~ Staff Writer

     In light of Alex Trebeck’s death there has been a national conversation on pancreatic cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 47,000 deaths this year have been due to pancreatic cancer, and there have been roughly 58,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer confirmed this year. 

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the formation of malignant cells (cancer cells) in the tissues of the pancreas. 

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Career Center Workshops

Photo retrieved from

Evy Brunelle ~ News Editor

     One of the ways the University of Lynchburg helps students prepare for graduation is by having workshops designed to help students land a job when they graduate. 

     The Career and Professionalism Center has recently held workshops  on resumes and cover letters as well as interviewing for students.

Career and Internship Counselor Kara Douglas facilitated the Resumes and Cover Letter workshop, and the Interviewing workshop was co-facilitated by  Caleb Simon, a graduate assistant at the Career and Professionalism Center

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NACE Conference

NACE conference schedule sent out through the Hornet Info e-mail by the University of Lynchburg.

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

     On Monday, Nov. 9, the University of Lynchburg began the four-day National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Conference. The conference features a series of lectures by faculty and staff of the University of Lynchburg, focusing on communication and networking in the technological era. 

     Kalila Murray, a senior nursing major, is the current president of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), which was partially in charge of organizing the NACE Conference. She explained that she “[has] been the liaison between our advisors Jonathan Fries, BJ Keefer, and Dean Aaron Smith and the presenters who will be presenting on the different topics.” Murray also bore the responsibility of “send[ing] out the different emails to the students who showed interest in the conference and also the campus as a whole.”

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Dance Works Dances On

Photo by Emma Noe.

Cassandra Matthews ~ Assistant Editor

Dance Works presents Fall 2020 showcase. Includes solo site-specific works that reflect the past and present. Link:”  

     Dance Works at the University of Lynchburg has had to make some adjustments this semester, but the pandemic has not stopped them from dancing.

     Dance Works is made up of an ensemble of students who meet twice a week to practice. They engage in a range of styles, including ballet, modern, jazz, musical theater, and tap. 

     Emma Noe, a senior, is one of the dance captains while Susie Young, leads warm ups and helps other dancers with moves, techniques, or anything else.

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Ashani Parker Named 2020 Somerville Scholar

Photo from the Sommerville Scholar Announcement video.

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Editor in Chief

   Ashani Parker has been named as University of Lynchburg’s 55th Sommerville Scholar.

     The five other finalists were Amanda Linehan, Ellen Drubbisch, Jaquelyn Wilson, Niko Louvros, and Natalie Hanno.

     According to the email sharing the Sommerville Scholar Livestream, “The Sommerville Scholarship is named after Richard Clarke Sommerville, a distinguished professor at then Lynchburg College, serving students for more than 20 years during a remarkably rich career and life.  Professor Sommerville was a visible multi-disciplinarian, and Lynchburg allowed him the freedom to teach in the three fields he knew and loved the most—psychology, education, and philosophy.  He had an even wider influence as he performed as an artist and actor within the local fine arts community.  Following his retirement, he continued to participate in the life of the College and community.  Upon his death in 1963, friends and colleagues established a scholarship in his honor, given for the first time in 1965 and awarded annually to a rising senior student with a QPA of 3.5 or higher scholarship and character without regard to activities or need. Their character should include the student’s attitude toward University of Lynchburg and the scholarly life in general…[as shown by] the scholarly habit and appetite which lead to ever-increasing knowledge.”

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A Marathon of Preparation and Success

Photo retrieved from

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

     Director of the University of Lynchburg Men and Women’s Cross-Country Track and Field James Sprecher will speak at the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association’s Technical Symposium Series.

Sprecher said, “It is a great honor to represent the University of Lynchburg on the national stage. It is an opportunity to sell our program, our institution, and the ODAC with a national audience. As a NCAA Division III coach, it is nice to share the stage with the best coaches and programs in the country. From a recruiting standpoint it always helps to put your name and program out there for others to see.”

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News and Brief for the week of Nov. 9th

Joe Biden: 2020 Presidential Election Candidate | NBC News
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Biden vows to ‘get right to work’ despite Trump resistance

Vowing “to get right to work,” President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday shrugged off President Donald Trump’s fierce refusal to accept the election outcome as “inconsequential,” even as Democrats elsewhere warned that the Republican president’s actions were dangerous.

Final weeks of historic hurricane season bring new storms

Just when you thought it should be safe to go back to the water, the record-setting tropics are going crazy. Again.

Apple unveils first Macs built to run more like iPhones

Apple is rolling out new Mac computers powered by the same kind of chips that run iPhones and iPads, a move aimed at making it easier for its most popular products to work together.

President- Elect Biden

Presiden-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris

By Grace Cavannaugh, Jessica Head & Dr. Ghislaine Lewis

After a contentious election season, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was declared the winner of the 2020 contest on Nov. 7. 

The winner was first announced by CNN as they projected that Biden had won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral college votes to put him over the 270 threshold with 273 votes. 

According to the Associated Press, Biden currently has 290 electoral votes after winning Nevada and Arizona. Biden is also projected to win Georgia. President Donald J. Trump has secured 214 electoral votes including wins in Texas and Florida and is projected to win North Carolina. 

The Associated Press has also reported that Biden won the popular vote with 75,405,598 votes to Trump’s 70,905,496.

The Biden team also included the historic election of the first female, person of color as vice president in Kamala Harris.

After four days of waiting on the projections, students at the University of Lynchburg are relieved that there has finally been an outcome. 

Junior Michael Affo-Ashong said, “The election has been so consuming and distracting this past week, that was definitely a great thing to wake up to on Saturday,

While, senior Julia Melone said, “I’m thankful we didn’t and still aren’t folding to peer pressure and we’re staying true to democracy to have their vote heard. We ought to expect that bare minimum from our government.”

At publication time, President Donald Trump had not yet conceded. 

Senior Amanda Linehan said, “I feel a sense of relief but a bi of reservation. I am unsure how Trump will react and how his supporters will respond. He has already tried to make this an illegitimate election and that can be dangerous. It’s also our duty to keep the Biden administration accountable and continue to fight for social justice and individual rights.”

President-Elect Biden will official become president on Jan. 20, 2021

News and brief for the week of Nov. 2nd

FBI investigating voter suppression robocalls on Election Day - CNET
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FBI investigates robocalls warning voters to ‘stay home’

Voters across the U.S. received anonymous robocalls in the days and weeks before Election Day urging them to “stay safe and stay home” — an ominous warning that election experts said could be an effort to scare voters into sitting out the election.

The FBI is investigating calls that seek to discourage people from voting, a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security told reporters Tuesday. Authorities wouldn’t offer details.

Virus hospitalizations surge as pandemic shadows US election

Americans went to the polls Tuesday under the shadow of a resurging pandemic, with an alarming increase in cases nationwide and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 reaching record highs in a growing number of states.

While daily infections were rising in all but three states, the surge was most pronounced in the Midwest and Southwest.

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COVID Testing for Spring Semester

Image taken from

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

     With only two weeks left of class, students are beginning to wonder about COVID’s effect on the spring 2021 semester. 

     After this compressed semester, students are seeing the positives and negatives of a compressed, hybrid semester, additionally, they saw how COVID still persisted despite the precautions. With students preparing to go home for the winter break, there is a rising concern for taking the virus home or bringing it back in the spring. 

     Nothing had been confirmed about testing for students and staff returning in the spring, but the University of Lynchburg Health Services sent out an email with information about free COVID testing before Winter break. The email started with, “The Health Center has partnered with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to offer free COVID testing prior to students returning home for winter break. Students wishing to take advantage of this service must pre-register using the link below.” The message included the link for registration and also states the location, “Hall Campus Center, Memorial Ballroom,” and time “Nov. 11, 2020 … 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.” There is also a bulleted point explaining that the test is only for those who do not have symptoms. 

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Spring Break 2021

Image by Nat LeDonne, taken from @university.of.lynchburg on Instagram.

Cassandra Matthews ~ Assistant Editor

     The University of Lynchburg is implementing “Wellness Days” as opposed to a traditional spring break next semester.

     Faculty and staff alike have voiced how they are finding the fall 2020 semester to be difficult without any breaks. Usually, there is a fall break and Thanksgiving break, but this semester the University of Lynchburg is working through the entire semester without any breaks. This is so that traveling to and from campus is limited, therefore mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Next semester will look similar; however, days off from normal operations are being added to the calendar for spring 2021. 

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Mustache Madness

Photo provided by HEADstrong foundation.

Chip Quinn ~ Guest Writer

     The Lynchburg men’s lacrosse team is growing their mustaches and fundraising in an effort to fight cancer with HEADstrong Foundations Mustache Madness. 

     With fall ball coming to a close for the men’s lacrosse team, they have joined an initiative started by the HEADstrong foundation where college lacrosse players around the country are raising money to support families who are battling cancer. A member of the Lynchburg men’s lacrosse team recently had a close friend diagnosed with testicular cancer and this sparked the interest to get a fund-raising page started. 

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