The Blog @
Southern Virginia University
  1. Lunch in the Library: Discussion on Cuba

    January 26, 2015


    Today, the Von Canon Library hosted the first in a series of lunchtime discussions this semester. The subject of the brown bag lunch was Cuba: People and Policy and began with Dr. Ariel Rodriguez, associate professor of family and child development, speaking about life as a Cuban American. Dr. Rodriguez, who happens to be my dad, is the son of two Cuban refugees, Enrique and Gloria Maria Rodriguez. In his remarks, he spoke of the conditions under which his parents left Cuba and started a new life in America, as well as his own experiences growing up in Southern California. His portion of the discussion ended with a brief question-and-answer session.

    After that, Dr. Jeremiah John, associate professor of politics, spoke about the history of Cuba from a political perspective, as well as what the current diplomatic arrangements between the U.S. and Cuba could mean for both countries. Students, librarians and the two professors asked questions, made comments, and had a lively discussion of the key issues, such as whether lifting the embargo will benefit the Cuban people, how increased tourism may affect Cuba’s economy, and what all of this will mean for Cuban Americans.

    At the conclusion of the discussion, Dr. Christopher Richardson, director of library services, described several new books on Cuba that the library recently added to its collection. I really appreciated this gesture by the library and checked out two of the recommended books. It was a great experience to be able to discuss a current event with knowledgable professors and others, and then to be able to follow up the discussion by learning more through the library’s updated collection of relevant books. Dr. Richardson also announced that the library will hold more of these lunchtime discussions throughout the coming semester. He said that the library plans to host discussions on a variety of topics and not just political issues. I look forward to the next time I can have such an elevated, informative discussion with the campus community.

    (Post by Hannah King ’13. Photo by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  2. Photos: Nothing But Nets

    January 23, 2015


    How did you spend Martin Luther King Junior Day? A chunk of the Southern Virginia community spent the afternoon playing three-on-three basketball, as part of the university’s inaugural Nothing But Nets tournament. The Nothing But Nets idea is to contribute $10 to purchase, ship, and place a mosquito net in sub-Saharan Africa to protect a child or a family from malaria.

    The tournament brought almost 50 players onto the court between 1 and 5 p.m., with 12 separate teams competing. Props to the women’s basketball team for organizing and running this event! Also, hats off to winning team—The Replacements—which consisted of Ryan Foster, Dakoda Winsor, Shelby Winsor, and Preston Eaton.  If there had have been a separate competition for happeningest team names, then Still Hoopin’ It, Nothing but Tots or The Winners might have taken the cake.

    Honorable mentions go out to the Women’s Soccer Team for great teamwork, and to Christina’s Boys for being classy and tall, minus that one short guy named Stephen.

    (Post by Stephen Taylor ’15. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  3. Orientation Photos: Bubble Soccer

    January 16, 2015

    One day, while desperately trying to avoid homework by watching pointless YouTube videos, I stumbled upon the concept of bubble soccer. I was enthralled. I couldn’t understand how I’d never heard of this before. It immediately found a place onto my bucket list, right between driving the autobahn and owning a toilet with heated seats. As the plans for Orientation materialized and the word got out that bubble soccer would be a thing, I was ecstatic. In fact, I was supposed to pick up my roommate from the airport that very afternoon, but I let him wait around after arriving for an hour just so I could make an appearance at this event.

    It was a bucket list item … don’t judge.

    Anyway, it was just as great as I’d hoped. Once you’re encased in an enormous plastic bubble, you can’t help but feel invincible. There’s something almost redemptive in the childishness that comes out when you make it socially and ethically acceptable to run around shoving people over. Well, maybe not, but it was a lot of fun regardless. I had a blast and I can’t wait to see more bubble soccer in the future!

    (Post by Alec Johnson ’14. Photos by Hannah King ’13.)

  4. Travel to London with the Sowells!

    January 15, 2015

    london-fProvost Madison Sowell and his wife, Professor Debra Sowell, specializing in Italian culture and performing arts, respectively, will direct a Travel Study trip to London, England, this May. Unlike the Travel Study trips that the university regularly offers to students, this trip is intended primarily for alumni and friends of the university.

    The trip includes nine nights in four-star accommodations, fine dining, and countless excursions in one of Europe’s oldest and most influential cities. The Sowells, with their shared love for and knowledge of European culture, will take travelers to all the essential London sights, from The British Museum to St. Paul’s Cathedral to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

    During their stay, participants will also travel to other parts of the country to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon and Oxford. While there, they will have the opportunity to visit historic locations such as Anne Hathaway’s cottage and participate in a tour of Christ Church College at Oxford.

    The Sowells have traveled extensively and have led more than a dozen study abroad programs in Europe. Additionally, they lived in Italy for several years and served as study abroad directors in London during three separate semesters.

    The trip runs May 11-20, 2015. A small portion of the total cost will be used as a donation to Southern Virginia to fund Travel Study scholarships for students with financial need. To learn more about the trip and to register, visit the university website or view the brochure. Registration ends Feb. 1.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16.)

  5. Orientation Photos: Ice Skating

    January 14, 2015

    The Southern Virginia University Student Association always plans great activities for new student orientation in both the fall and spring semesters. This semester was no different. After a busy two days of checking in, meeting in orientation groups, and participating in service projects and activities, Southern Virginia’s newest students had the opportunity to go ice skating with returning students and other members of the university community.

    I’ve gone on the ice skating trip several times in the past and I’ve had a blast each time. It’s always fun to see both new and returning students  get out on the ice together and skate, slip, dance, and fall. Some ice skated like pros, while others laced up their skates for the first time. My favorite part of the activity was seeing students look out for each other. When a student seemed unsure or cautious on the ice, it wasn’t long before a few friends came along to lend a literal hand in support of their friend.

    I hope that after a fun weekend and the first two days of classes, all of our new students are excited for their first semester at Southern Virginia.

    (Post and photos by Hannah King ’13.)