Class notes: August 2020
“Florence Adler Swims Forever” by Rachel Beanland (M.F.A.’20/H&S) was published by Simon & Schuster on July 7. It was a Barnes & Noble Book Club pick for July and was named Amazon’s Featured Debut this month. The novel follows three generations of a family in Atlantic City, N.J., as they deal with heartbreak, romance and the weight of their own secrets. Beanland, who has a master’s in creative writing, developed the idea in a VCU Department of English novel writing workshop in 2016.
Leslie Bolda (B.A.’20/H&S; B.S.’20/H&S) has been selected as a Fulbright scholar for 2020-21. With degrees in Spanish and chemistry, she will be English teaching assistant in Argentina; after completing her Fulbright, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry education at the University of Iowa, with an ultimate goal to work as a chemistry educator.
Brianna Griffin (B.A.’20/H&S) has been selected as a Fulbright scholar for 2020-21. She majored in psychology with a minor in biology. She will be an English teaching assistant in Germany. She plans to build on her Fulbright experience in Germany by completing a master’s in education after she returns to the U.S. and then working with underserved populations teaching English as a second language.
Precious Lewis (B.A.'14/H&S) graduated from St. John’s University School of Law and in August 2019 accepted a law clerk position at Christopher Q. Davis, a boutique employment law firm that litigates class action wage and hour matters. She drafts pleadings, memorandums, responses, briefs and assists in class action discovery. She will sit for the bar exam in September in New York City, after which she will become a first-year associate at the firm. She would enjoy mentoring people who want to pursue a law degree.
Retired educator and philanthropist Anna Lou Schaberg (B.S.’66/H&S; M.Ed.’70/E) and her husband, Bob, pledged $1.2 million in December 2017 to establish the VCU School of Education’s first distinguished endowed professorship, the Anna Lou Schaberg Professor of Practice in Education. The gift is one the two largest gifts in the school’s history.
Haejung “Katelyn” Shin (B.S.’18/H&S), Alexandria Ritchie (B.S.’18/En) and Hilton Bennet (B.S.’16/En; Cert.’16/DVC;; M.P.I.’18/DVC) have formed DuraSafe LLC. The company is developing the EpiNavigator, a medical device designed to improve the accuracy of epidural placements. The startup was featured in an article in the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch.
Cole Williams (B.A.’16/H&S), has been selected as a Fulbright scholar for 2020-21. He will be an English teaching assistant in India. He began studying Hindi with the support of a Critical Language Scholarship in the summer of 2016. After graduating from VCU with a degree in religious studies and minors in philosophy and anthropology, he completed a master’s degree in religion at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After his Fulbright experience, Williams plans to continue working as an English teacher abroad or as an ESL teacher in the U.S.
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