A peek into the lives of those who learn, teach, research and work at the College.
April 14, 2014 by Skyler Paltell
Day for Admitted Students was this weekend, and William & Mary welcomed over 3,000 students and their families to campus. As a tour guide, I’ve been volunteering with DFAS for three years now, and every year the tribe pride that accompanies the occasion is unrivaled. Admitted students are exceptionally great because they’ve already applied and found something to love about W&M–and while deciding on a college is difficult, DFAS is meant to show them who we are, and what they could be a part of. So without further ado, here are the top 15 reasons I chose to become a member of the Tribe.
- The beauty of the campus and the surrounding area. Having grown up in a city, I had never seen so many trees and bricks in one place. I was enchanted by the beauty of old campus and the colonial architecture on DoG Street.
- The people. Every time I got lost on my campus visit, someone was always more than willing to point me in the right direction. Everyone was friendly, the students seemed interesting and genuinely happy, and the professors I spoke to via email were amazingly helpful.
- The Wren Building. You can’t challenge the appeal of attending class in the oldest academic building in America.
- The traditions. Between Yule Log, Convocation, and King & Queens, W&M has an undeniable array of amazing traditions. And what’s more, everyone takes them seriously and each tradition has a history.
- The prestige. Attending one of the most elite public schools in the nation has its advantages–the W&M name carries a definite weight.
- The small classes. I wanted a school where I could have a personal relationship with my professors, and small classes where I could be an active participant. I found that here, even in entry level classes and major requirements.
- My senior interviewer. He was my first up close and personal impression of a W&M student, and I had a great interview. I still remember him making me laugh and putting my nerves at ease.
- Lake Matoaka. Outdoor recreation has always been important to me, and having 10 miles of hiking trails at my disposal was a definite plus. And don’t forget the canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards that are free to check out with your student ID.
- Tribe Pride. W&M students have a definite sense of community and school spirit that I didn’t find on any other campuses I toured.
- The Cipher. W&M is the only school with its own British charter, crest, and cipher. I remember thinking even the police cars looked classy with the intertwined W and M emblazoned on their sides.
- A sense of belonging. When I stepped onto campus, I felt like I belonged. I could see myself walking through Wren during Convocation, wearing green and gold during football games, and taking pictures with the Griffin.
- The safety of the campus. Coming from Baltimore, Maryland (the third homicide capital in America), being able to feel safe and secure on campus was a definite plus.
- The Alma Mater. Every time I sing it, I still get really excited to shout “William! And Mary!” at the top of my lungs during the chorus.
- Taylor Reveley. He just seemed awesome. He still is awesome.
- The gut feeling that this was the place for me. When I walked onto campus for a tour my junior year of high school, I never wanted to leave. Between the amazing people, the brilliant professors, and the beautiful campus, I knew that W&M was the best place for me for the next four years. Applying early is not something I have ever regretted–I can’t see myself anywhere else.
April 11, 2014 by Admit It!
We Admit It! We love it when a plan comes together. With Dean Livingston out on maternity leave while our admitted students look for guidance to help them make their decision about where to enroll next fall, Dean Broaddus himself put together a blog entry for us in the form of a slideshow to offer his personal answer to the question “Why William & Mary?”
April 6, 2014 by Chuck Bailey
This past week I co-convened a Geological Society of America Penrose Conference focused on Feedbacks and Linkages in Orogenic Systems. An orogen is a geologic term for a mountain belt, and orogenesis describes the processes at work in mountain belts (derived from Greek- oros for “mountain” and genesis for “creation/origin”). The world’s great mountain belts include massive modern ranges such as the Himalayas, Andes, and Alps as well as ancient mountain belts such as the Caledonian orogen in Greenland, Scotland, and Scandinavia, the Grenvillian orogen in Canada, and the Limpopo orogen in South Africa.
The Penrose Conference included structural geologists, petrologists, sedimentologists, geomorphologists, geochronologists, and geophysicists all with a common interest in orogenic processes. Geoscientists from as far away as China and Poland traveled to Asheville, North Carolina for nearly a week’s worth of discussions, talks, posters, and field trips. Penrose Conferences are small meetings where the participants are encouraged to present novel or controversial hypotheses and hash out those ideas with colleagues.
Penrose Conferences were first established in 1969 and over the last 45 years these meeting have helped bring forward many major advances in the realm of plate tectonics, ophiolites, and metamorphic core complexes (to name just a few topics). For me it was a great pleasure to co-convene a Penrose conference, I reconnected with old colleagues and met many new ones. The National Science Foundation paid the freight that enabled participation by a large contingent of graduate students, the interaction between established scientists and up-and-coming scientists was special.
The Conference honored Bob Hatcher, who first brought a plate tectonic focus to the Appalachians back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today working with his large and eager group of graduate students (aka the Hatchery), Bob continues to make seminal contributions to the field.
We experienced the fickle nature of the southern Appalachian spring on our field excursions. The first trip started under heavy overcast with a malignant wind and wet snow blanketing the outcrops. By the last stop on the final field trip day we were broiling in Carolina sunshine.
That evening as our crew of sun-drenched and thirsty geologists pulled to the curb in downtown Asheville and headed straight towards a brewpub, a natty hipster on a skateboard took one look at the group and commented, “Ah, you’re rolling deep.”
Rolling deep? Some of the brightest geologic minds I know were utterly stumped as to just what it meant to be rolling deep. I’ll use the phrase in a sentence:
“Me and my Penrose posse were rolling deep in the Brevard Fault Zone looking for trouble and some dextral transpression.”
The geologic lexicon is rich with colorful expressions (for instance- there are glacial erratics, faults have both throw and heave, and ocean lithosphere can be obducted). I have no doubt we can co-opt rolling deep as geologic term with tectonic significance.
I learned much about the linkages and feedbacks at work in mountain belts at this Penrose Conference–from the focused erosion in the Himalayan river systems that drive rapid exhumation to the growth dynamics of garnet porphyroblasts in metamorphic rocks from deep in the interior of thrust belts. Heady and exciting stuff!
April 4, 2014 by Sofia Chabolla
Admitted Class of 2018,
Congratulations on your admission to William & Mary!
Now that you have received your wonderful and exciting emails from the W&M Admission Office, it’s your turn to choose what college to attend! Yes, this is daunting, I know. I remember having SO MANY questions about what I would experience in college over the next four years. So, when making this tough of a choice, I hope that you all will think about what you hope to gain overall as part your collegiate experience. I hope you choose a place that deep down you feel that you can call home. If during your college decision making process you choose ‘Home’, I believe that your experiences and achievements will exceed your wildest imagination.
I want to tell you why, when I chose a college, William & Mary became my right choice.
Four years ago, I mapped out my goals and expectations for the next four years. Even then, though, there were so many aspects of my collegiate experience that I had no way of knowing what would happen. I was going in blind. I didn’t know then that I would have the chance to help curate a Michelangelo drawing exhibition and have my name published in a book on the subject. I didn’t know that, while studying abroad, I would watch an outdoor opera performed in Florence Italy’s Piazza Santa Croce, only a day after taking an art history class inside that same church. I didn’t know that I would spend a summer afternoon working for the Admission Office by playing a cut-throat game of kick ball against the Deans on the Sunken Garden. I didn’t even know I’d be making almost nightly study runs to Wawa for chicken strips or chips and salsa – per W&M student tradition. (But let’s face it: #Gotta_Hava_Wawa)
Here, I believe that I am able forge a path with distinct involvements, leadership roles, secret study spots, and groups of friends. As part of the William & Mary family, I am able to truly be myself and am motivated by others to succeed and achieve. Once I started college at W&M, all of the surprising moments and details of my college experience just seemed to fall into place. Here there are so many opportunities – unique and surprising and altogether pretty magical opportunities – that I have been able to take advantage of.
One of my huge time commitments here is my role on AMP or Alma Mater Productions – the campus event programming board. I am truly honored to have had the chance to run some of the major events on campus over the last four years. Some of my favorite weeks are slam packed with AMP events. I get to hear an Environmental Sustainability speaker on Tuesday, hug a llama at a petting zoo on Wednesday afternoon, listen to friends perform at a student music showcase on Thursday night, Keep up my team’s title of Trivia Champions on Friday, and go to a Wiz Khalifa concert on Saturday. After months of planning, seeing an event run smoothly and successfully is a joy. AMP has provided me with an engaging work opportunity and a busy schedule, but also with a solid group of friends and like-minded individuals who are all passionate about supporting their community and giving back to campus.
I will never forget one of my favorite nights this year, going to a sorority formal with one of my best friends. Even though I am not affiliated with a Greek organization, I have always felt so included and welcomed at any event that a Greek organization has put on. After we danced the night away, we traded our heels for tennis shoes and ran across campus to AMP’s Late Nite Glowball event. Yes, we were still wearing our dresses and bling, but those boys had to watch out; we were pretty lethal with glow-in-the-dark dodge balls. That night epitomizes for me the magical possibilities of W&M and all the opportunities that I can take advantage of each day with my friends and organizations.
This year, I also discovered the joys of brunch. I LOVE brunch. Conveniently, Williamsburg is somehow the capital of pancake houses in the United States. The number of restaurants where I can indulge in pancakes and bacon is truly astronomical. Because of this, a group of friends and I recently decided to create a “Brunch Tour of Williamsburg” in order to travel around the area testing out all of the brunch locations possible. French Toast, Huevos Rancheros, and Honey Butter’s to-die-for corncakes really are the best way to start the weekend while laughing around a huge table with my best friends and Brunch Buddies.
Another one of my favorite moments from this semester was the spring tradition of Campus Golf. The event is a Greek philanthropy where teams dressed in crazy costumes play a round of golf across Old Campus. My team decided to be Sexy Presidents. Let me tell you, it is somewhat difficult to make President Martin van Buren look sexy with a bald cap and white pillow-stuffing mutton chops at 8:30 on a Saturday morning. It didn’t help when George Washington, Honest Abe, Teddy Roosevelt and I ended up being chased around the Sunken Garden by a mob of Sailing Club members dressed as knights from Monty Python and the Holy Grail—all wielding golf clubs and coconuts. I don’t think I made one hole that morning of Campus Golf. That said, the philanthropy did however lead to a spring break trip with my golf caddies, my fellow presidents, and one of the Knights Who Say ‘Ni!’. During campus traditions and community events, it is friends like these who have made an impact on my overall time here.
These are only a very few of surprises and moments that have made my college experience so special. I chose a school that fosters innovation on a campus steeped in tradition; a school that stresses service to the community; and a school that revels in the unique and quirky passions of its students. In being part of this environment, all of my experiences became possible.
William & Mary is my Home. I wouldn’t change my decision for the world.
So, Class of 2018, I hope in your final decision you choose ‘Home.’ Choose a college where you feel you can thrive and take advantage of all the magical possibilities available to you. And if you want to really see if William & Mary can be ‘Home’ for you, I hope that you will join the Tribe on April 12th for W&M’s Day For Admitted Students. See you on campus soon!
April 2, 2014 by David Aday
The MANOS students had reason for concerns about language proficiency and depth for the annual project trip. Two of our most talented and experienced teammates would not make the trip. Lester Chavez ’14 (8 trips) and Kristina Ripley ’15 (2 trips), both native Spanish speakers and both deeply knowledgeable about our research, methods, and theory, were missed for their talents — and for their companionship. MANOS students with “advanced” speaking abilities were asked to step up and to step into more active roles in focus group interviews and community meetings. Johnathan (“J$”) Maza ’15 (5 trips) and Kristin Giordano ’14 (5 trips), in particular, assumed lead speaking roles and made especially significant contributions to team efforts. Chrissy Sherman ’14 (8 trips), Brooke (aka “Bruce”) Huffman ’15 (4 trips), Roni Nagle ’15 (4 trips), Tommy (“Mad Dog”) Northrup ’16 (3 trips), Ambika Babbar ’14 (3 trips), Steph (aka “Baywatch”) Wraith ’15 (4 trips), Emily Mahoney ’15 (2 trips), and Zander (aka “TZ”) Pelligrino ’15 (4 trips) pushed themselves to engage more actively as speakers and translators, and the result was that we had more language abilities in play than in any previous project work. (My opinion; my teammates past and present may or may not agree.) And, our newest team members, especially Quetzabel (“Q”) Benavides ’16 (2nd trip), Michelle Betancourt ’17 (1), both native Spanish speakers, moved seamlessly into very demanding roles in both interviewing and facilitating community meetings. Sarah (aka “SB”) Martin ’17 (1 trip) and “Quesa” Diya Uthappa ’17 (1) waded into the mix to provide both sound note-taking (in Spanish) and comments and questions in the course of meetings and interviews. In all, it was a very strong showing.
J$ Maza struggled against his comfort zone to meet team needs for communications — not just proficient Spanish but engaged, deliberative, inviting exchange that brought participants fully into important and consequential conversations. Reminiscent of James Bond’s provisioner, our very own “Q” was a marvel of invention and innovation, particularly adept with the turn of phrase and metaphor — and remarkably steady in facilitating the participation and inclusion of Chaguite residents.
What to say of this intrepid, rowdy bunch of public health and participatory development research wonks? They are not easily discouraged; they don’t whine; they bend to the work at hand; they rise above the challenges; and they stay focused on systematic knowledge and respectful partnering to promote change. There was not much drama in this year’s work. Given the challenges of logistics, the demands of the work, the difficulty of living with 18 or so other people 24-hours per day, and the complexity of the issues we attempt to understand and manage, that says a hell of a lot! Somehow, Baywatch and her assembly of collaborators managed to set up and operate daily clinics in multiple locations, only one of which is intended for use as a medical clinic. The daily setup and striking, by all accounts, were seamless. FOMO Sherman was everywhere, responding to the needs of the work even before the rest of us knew that there were needs. Kristin Giordano proved herself again to be a “thoughtful watcher,” keenly aware of details in exchanges, unfailing in her attention to human and cultural matters — even as she took on significant responsibilities as a lead speaker. We have been fortunate throughout the project to have at least one team member whose deep concerns for respectful partnering, whose cultural awareness and sensitivity shine a bright light on what we say and do as guests in another country and community. Kristin has been superb in this role.
As always, there is more to say: ”Dog bites man.” ”Mountain bruises car.” ”Earthquake compounds travel difficulties.” These might have been (and still might be) headlines for blog posts. The countless contributions of every member of the team deserve to be spotlighted, but fortunately for all of us, we don’t do this for recognition. The satisfaction comes from learning and from careful, methodical efforts to test the value of what we learn in advancing authentic partnerships for change.
March 31, 2014 by Admission Ambassador
Green has been a pretty popular color as of late. Some people “go green” to help the environment and spread awareness of how harmful our actions can be to our gentle planet. Others celebrate their Irish heritage by dyeing their town river green and wearing shamrock hats on St. Patrick’s Day. Some people just want to make a little more green for their wallet, what with the current economic climate being almost as unstable as the planet’s climate. However, my favorite way to “go green” is when it comes with gold too.
Did you know that in 1896 William & Mary’s school colors were orange and white? The colors weren’t changed to green and gold until 1924 in order to match the College’s coat of arms. Personally, I say a small thank you to whoever made that decision every day. I’d much rather sport a green and gold hoodie than a bright orange one.
But in all seriousness, I think that green and gold goes far beyond just being our school colors. It represents something much deeper and fundamentally ‘William & Mary’. Green can be seen all over our beautiful campus. One of the many benefits of being located in the tidewater Virginia area is the exceptionally lively, natural feel of our campus. Whether you’re walking through the wooded trails to the Caf, passing the Crim Dell on a sunny day, or lounging on the Sunken Garden, you’re pretty much constantly being made aware of how green and picturesque our campus is.
Gold, to me, represents our students. Every single member of the Tribe brings something amazing and positive to our community. They are literally golden. I don’t know anywhere else in the world that I can find such diverse, inspiring people to meet and learn with every day. To the Class of 2018, I know the admission committee worked hard making sure that each one of you is a shining gold star [can I seriously get any cornier? Sorry..] that will add so much to our community. I can’t wait to meet you all and encourage you to go green and gold!
- Audrey Savage
March 31, 2014 by Admission Ambassador
The first song I learned is called the Unicorn Song. For anyone that’s heard it, you know what I’m talking about…the one with the green alligators and long-necked geese. Until I was about 14, I thought it was just a fun children’s song about unicorns…then I listened to the words. And now I know why I’ve never seen a unicorn to this very day.
Every year growing up, the town threw a GREAT St. Patrick’s Day party in the Hospitality House – yes that’s a dorm now and I’m really sad about no more parties. But all of our families would spend the day at the party singing old Irish songs and entering raffles, and playing shuffleboard. I remember these days as times with friends that I’ve had since we were born. As families that grew into bigger families as we got older and family meant more than brothers and sisters.
I’ve been so fortunate to grow up in a place where you don’t have to be related to be family, where everything works out in the wash, and you always wave to your neighbor. Now that I’m leaving it, I’m realizing how lucky I was to have it. How grateful I am to have learned how to be a good citizen and caring neighbor from this place. How much community really means to me. How playing 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon is easy as pie.
In the Irish Rover rendition of the Unicorn Song, they add a part to the end of the song that gives the unicorns wings to catch up to Noah’s Arc. All of the animals came in pairs, so maybe it’s time I start thinking of Williamsburg as my unicorn. And now it’s time to leave and find another.
- Kelley Quinzio
March 31, 2014 by Admission Ambassador
My second favorite holiday of the year is St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe it’s the Irish heritage, or growing up in the Boston area, but there is nothing better than decking yourself out in as much green as possible. St. Patrick’s Day takes on a very different tone at William & Mary. While everyone is Irish for that one day of the year, St. Patrick’s Day looks like an explosion of school spirit at the College. Having the colors green and gold makes it very easy to wear a little green, but it’s never just a little green here.
One of my absolute favorite things about the College is the school spirit. Whether it’s at football games or seeing the College’s name pop up on a list of awesome schools, we are fiercely proud to be members of the Tribe. When you come to William & Mary it is nearly impossible to be just a face in the crowd. Even the one or two people I know that are not as involved in extracurricular activities on campus, seem to somehow be connected to my friends from other circles of my W&M life.
I love that we are a family at William & Mary, and I love that we show our Tribe Pride loud and proud!
- Kate Fitzgerald
March 31, 2014 by Daniel Reichwein
Arthur Ashe, one of the first African-American tennis players, spoke these words –”Start Where You Are, Use What You Have, Do What You Can” – as an activist. At a one-day, personal development seminar held at William & Mary on the 16th, Ashe’s words nicely summarized what we students had learned that day and how simply each of us could become a catalyst—a catalyst for improving our personal lives or a catalyst for improving the world around us.
The Catalyst program, designed for students interested in challenging themselves to go deeper, wider, and further out in their definition of who they are and where they can have an impact, was sponsored by the Office of Student Leadership Development. As a student assistant in the Office of Community Engagement, I spoke with the Director, Drew Stelljes, prior to the event. He was very enthusiastic about it and encouraged me it would be worthwhile, saying:
“The new OSLD has aligned its mission with the William & Mary vision. Theory based, the OSLD is well on its way to becoming a national model for student leadership development. As our W&M vision statement aspires for our graduates to change the world, the OSLD is a mechanism to prepare students to do just that. We aspire to establish a campus culture where students examine their talents and joys and use them to address the world’s greatest needs. There is no better place than W&M to cultivate in students an intense desire to emerge as engaged citizens and effective leaders.”
After a statement like that, what W&M student wouldn’t go? The seminar featured a great speaker, Arthur Gregg, from the University of Texas. There were introspective questions such as, “Am I becoming the person I want to be?” and sapient quotes like Andre Gide’s words, “It’s better to fail at your own life than succeed at someone else’s.” Mr. Gregg spoke about the importance of active listening and appreciative inquiry when interacting with people, authenticity and integrity, and teamwork. He had a felicitous story about teamwork involving a drum major, and ended it by saying, “You can have a band without a drum major, but you can’t have a drum major without a band.” No matter how talented or driven you are, we all have to rely on others at some point. This was a good quote for me personally because as a highly conscientious and dominant introvert (personality traits we formally learned about), I prefer to work by myself so that I know things are done correctly and according to my way of thinking.
Anyone in the business school would have been happy with a second shot at a team-building exercise in which four groups of students worked together to build the tallest free-standing tower that had to hold a golf ball at the top, using only plastic straws and tape. (We business students had to do a similar exercise using marshmallows and spaghetti). Besides learning that the compression strength of a series of plastics straws measuring over six feet in length is pretty low, the importance of group communication, group decision making, prototyping, and personality dynamics were reinforced.
As the day came to an end, we began focusing on what we would take away from the seminar. Leveraging one’s strengths, thinking rationally about what holds us back, and the commitments and contributions we want to make going forward. Words of wisdom from Aristotle himself, “Criticism is something we can avoid easily—by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing,” touched on one of the common answers to what holds one back—fear of criticism and failure, but if we allow our lives to be guided by these constraints, we will accomplish nothing. Life is a process. Vulnerability and uncertainty are OK. Do what you know to be best and true for yourself.
Before everyone parted ways, we were asked to write down what we would take away from the seminar or what we would commit to afterwards. You might expect me to write what I wrote down, but what I wrote is unimportant. The words of another student that I had teamed with for some of the activities and discussions were far more inspiring to me. She said that because she had been in a group with a few older students (Tribe PRIME!) who shared their life experiences, she learned that life may not work out the way you plan. You will make mistakes. But, if you have confidence in yourself, in the process and confidence that you’ll figure it out, your life will turn out the way you want.
In retrospect, this was a touching moment for me. I had shared my personal story with my group and talked about the moment when I was being evicted into homelessness: I had no idea where I would sleep that night, but despite the feelings of desperation, anxiety, and loneliness, I told myself that I would figure it out because I had confidence in myself despite everything that happened leading up to this moment. It didn’t happen right away (what happened right away was sleeping in a parking garage, lol), but I did figure it out eventually. I attended this seminar hoping to take something away from it for myself, but instead I gave up something – wisdom and confidence – to other, younger students who took my advice to heart and will use it as they make their own paths in life.
March 28, 2014 by Admission Ambassador
William & Mary is wonderful. It’s a gorgeous campus, the weather is typically significantly warmer than home, and the people are fantastic. But this winter has been cold and wet. The best part about Spring Break is the minimal work that typically needs to be done. It’s half-way through the semester (I refuse to countdown the days ‘til graduation, so don’t ask), and all of my midterms are done! When I go home, I become the ultimate hermit. I wake up late, hang out on the couch, and brush my constantly shedding dog.
This break definitely had a lot of hibernation, but I also got a chance to go to a Bruins game with my family. It was tons of fun and an excellent game including a hat trick for David Krejci. The only other reason I left my house was Dunkin’ Donuts. A major reason I can survive at William & Mary is the Dunkin’ Donuts down the street, but there is nothing like Boston when it comes to Dunkies. There are two in my hometown on the same street! As it’s the beginning of March, everyone is on their mint kicks, and Dunkies is definitely included in that game. Mint Hot Chocolate is my weakness. Greenberry’s, the coffee shop in Swem Library, had some at the end of the fall semester, but I got a large one every day when I was home for break.
While I’ve missed my friends and am looking forward to the end here at W&M, I’m definitely going to miss the 2 minute drive to limitless Mint Hot Chocolate. Until next March, Dunkies, I guess I’ll settle with a regular.
- Kate Fitzgerald