Category Archives: Campus

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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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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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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Spring Sorority and Fraternity Recruitment

7 Tips to Mastering Sorority Recruitment | by Briana Gibson | Medium
Image from

 Grace Curl ~ Guest Writer

     University of Lynchburg’s National Pan-Hellenic Council, Panhellenic Council, and Interfraternity Council community are holding their recruitment in the spring of 2021.

     To be a part of the recruitment process there is a fee of $25, which includes a t-shirt. There are multiple events to get to know the chapters, leading up to the main recruitment event. This is a great way for people to meet each other and learn about what being a part of Greek Life at the University of Lynchburg is like. 

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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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America Votes

By Grace Cavanaugh, Cassandra Mathews and Dr. Ghislaine Lewis

As the United States grapples with a global pandemic and rising social tensions Tuesday, Nov. 2 marks the end of what has been a contentious electoral season.

At the University of Lynchburg , the Center for Community Engagement along with faculty, staff and students across the campus have been engaged in encouraging the community  to participate in the electoral process. 

Director of Community Engagement and Bonner Leaders Cindy Ferguson said she hoped students will be able to see that they have a voice and be able to learn to listen to all sides of the issues as they have constructive, civil, respectful conversations with others.

Ferguson noted, “My motto is that ‘it takes all kinds of people to reach all kinds of people,’ and we are always better when we work together to meet the needs of our communities, states and nation.”

Vice President for Inclusive Excellence, Dr. Robert Canida said, “Students who exercise their right to vote, should feel a sense of fulfilling a civic duty. My hope is that they realize that their vote counts, but equally important, that they have participated in such an important process whereby they can hold leaders accountable.”

Many students at Lynchburg at Lynchburg are ambivalent about this year’s elections but are still committed to exercising their right to vote.

Junior Niraly Patel said, “I’m sad and empowered at the same time. I wish our political system allowed for more competent candidates to have a chance, but money and connections are inextricably tied to success in the presidential race. I am empowered because it will be my first time exercising my right to voet and although the choices aren’t ideal, I will be able to vouch for myself and minority groups around the nation.”

While Amanda Linehan said she was not particularly excited but understood it was part of her civic duty. 

Other students like  senior Julia Melone said, “I’m glad I get to vote because so many Americans are being denied that right but I’m definitely dreading the election itself.

Ferguson cautioned students, she said, “Don’t listen to anyone that says that you are too young or know the issues well enough to vote.  You have a voice, be empowered to use it.It is important not only to vote but to be an informed voter.  Know the issues that are important to you and the candidates’ stands on those issues.There are many people who have fought for your right to vote and your responsibility as an American citizen should not be taken lightly.”

Despite the national concerns around free, fair and safe elections, Dr. Canida noted, “What a wonderful feeling it is to have your voice heard, especially by casting your vote. College age students will be this Nation’s future leaders! Their action to vote will drive the future of the United States.”

Halloween on U of L Campus

Graphic made by

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

     On Oct. 23, the University of Lynchburg held a Fall Festival, which has been just one of the many events being held around campus to celebrate the season.

     With the Senior Exclusive Oktoberfest, the Fall Festival, a scary car competition, and even a trivia night, the school is still making efforts despite COVID to keep students engaged and interactive. For some students, this is a needed and wanted break and distraction from the workload and pressure of this compressed, strange semester. For others, these events pose a health risk or often don’t fit into their schedules, so they are making their own Halloween plans instead.

     Kayla Zinski, a junior English and studio art double major, said that she has not “been involved much this semester. [I have] been mainly swamped with school and work.” Zinski said she is burnt out from working two jobs and homework. She also explained, “having festive activities on campus might help, but I think a true break from school would help the most.”

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