The Blog @
Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Alumni

  1. Photos & Videos: Commencement

    June 30, 2014

    We enjoyed a beautiful Commencement on May 8, 2014, with addresses by Elaine S. Dalton and three graduating seniors. View their speeches and a Commencement video below.

    Commencement 2014 Video

    Elaine S. Dalton

    Valedictorian George Ryan Sloan

    Salutatorian Sariah Benson Rodriguez

    Senior Speaker Gregory J. Turner

    (Post by Hannah King ’13. Photos by Brinn Willis ’07, Jordan Wunderlich ’16, Hysen Justo, and Hannah King ’13. Videos by John Worthington ’13.)

  2. Throwback Thursday on Friendship Lane

    June 19, 2014


    Yeah, that’s right. You’re looking at a photo of a bunch of college kids standing around a street sign that reads, “Friendship Lane.” This was the summer of 2010, and I think we were on our way back from The Cheese Shop, which may explain why we took such a cheesy photo. That summer was so much fun. Nothing really monumental happened — I mean, we stopped by Foamhenge, but that’s more of a faux monument — but it was all the little things we did as friends that made it so memorable.

    One day we hiked from Lexington to BV. Some of us had a Toy Story marathon which culminated in going to the theaters to see the newly released Toy Story 3 (which is still my favorite movie by the way). A bunch of us were regular participants in yoga club. Many of my friends were in the summer musical, “Annie, Get Your Gun.” I was a FHE group leader in the summer ward, and we had great activities, including when we ambushed another FHE group with water balloons and they totally soaked us in retaliation. A thousand such memories cloak those months in an aura of magical nostalgia.

    Today, everyone in that photo has graduated. (Actually, I think they’re withholding my diploma until I pay all those library fines, but it’s close enough.) It’s amazing to look back and see how far I’ve come in four years. There are many things I appreciate about Southern Virginia University. The liberal arts education, the spiritual environment, the opportunities to participate, the small classes and personal attention from professors are a few of these things. But what makes me truly love this place are the friendships I’ve made since coming here.

    (Post by Alec Johnson ’14.)

  3. National Association Features Tyson Cooper (’07)

    January 15, 2014

    BOM201312_BackStoryThe National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) featured Tyson Cooper (’07) in an article by Margo Vanover Porter.

    Cooper, a Southern Virginia University graduate, currently serves as director of student financial services and associate director of human resources at Southern Virginia. He received a master’s degree from Liberty University in 2011. He and his wife, Camden, live in Buena Vista, Va., with their four children.

    Read NACUBO’s feature to learn more about how Cooper has improved the university’s Student Financial Services Office.

    (Post by Hannah Benson Rodriguez ’13.)

  4. Southern Virginia Graduate Teaches Spanish In Local School

    December 17, 2013

    IMG_0064Jordan Clark (’13) is one of the latest Southern Virginia University alumni to put his education to use in the local community. Clark started teaching Spanish at the middle school level in Lexington, Va., this fall.

    “I love it,” Clark said. “I love waking up and doing what I studied for and what I wanted to do. It’s great to have a job that you worked hard for.”

    Clark learned Spanish while living in Peru as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. While attending Southern Virginia, he quickly realized he had a passion for the Spanish language.

    “When I came back from my mission,” Clark said, “I learned I loved the culture and language, and that’s when I decided that’s what I wanted to do.”

    Clark, who transferred to Southern Virginia in 2010 after attending Santa Barbara City College, chose to major in Spanish and minor in politics.

    After working as a Spanish tutor at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington while he was still a student, Clark now teaches sixth, seventh, and eighth grade Spanish at Lilburn Downing Middle School. Clark still plans on furthering his education at the graduate level, and hopes to teach college eventually. But for now, he enjoys teaching Spanish to younger students. In the two years he spent as a student at Southern Virginia, Clark found that small classes with personal focus are the most effective model of education.

    “I love the small class environment,” he said. “When I was at my old school in California, I was in classes with 125 students. It was so impersonal. You didn’t know the professor, they didn’t know you, you were just a name on a list. But I believe in the genius of small. What made the difference was being able to interact with the teacher one on one. That’s what I try to do with my students. I try to imitate what I did here with my professors.”


    Clark says the most helpful aspect of small classes at Southern Virginia he’s been able to transfer to the middle school level is teaching a foreign language through conversation.

    “[Professor] Konstantinova’s teaching style in the class was more conversational,” Clark said. “Which really showed how teaching can be more than just standing in front of a class lecturing, but actually talking back and forth and having a conversation.”

  5. Students Volunteer in Virginia Campaigns

    November 15, 2013

    Last week, Virginians across the Commonwealth cast their votes to determine who would serve as Virginia’s next governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. Throughout the Virginia gubernatorial campaign season, several Southern Virginia students volunteered for their choice of candidate.

    Brea Roberts, a senior from Modesto, Calif., triple-majoring in history, politics and liberal arts, served as the office manager in Lexington, Va., for the Republican Party.

    “Last year I worked on the Romney campaign and I just enjoyed being a part of the campaign and learning how a campaign works,” said Roberts. “[For Ken Cuccinelli's campaign] I recruited volunteers and interns, met the candidates, made a lot of phone calls, knocked on a lot of doors and did a lot of paperwork and computer work.”

    After she graduates from Southern Virginia, Roberts plans to pursue a law degree. She said that she has appreciated being a part of Cuccinelli’s campaign, in part because of the opportunity she had to make connections and meet people involved in different campaigns throughout the United States. Roberts was joined by two other students — Wright Noel and Melzer Jones — in volunteering for the campaign.

    Several other Southern Virginia students, as well as one alumna, participated in Terry McAullife’s campaign. Colin Smith, a junior majoring in history from Silverspring, Md., spent time making phone calls, going door-to-door, and staffing events under the direction of Sara Helsel — a Southern Virginia alumna who served as the campaign’s deputy field organizer in Lexington, Va.

    “[I volunteered] because I care a lot about politics,” said Smith. “My dad is a political scientist and I’ve been talking political theory since I can remember. I also really like Sara [Helsel] and I wanted to work for her.”

    Smith said that his favorite part of volunteering was “getting to see Bill Clinton speak in Roanoke.” Smith previously has volunteered for campaigns both in Virginia and in his home state of Maryland. Smith said that other students — including Nicolas Jensen, Lindsay and Scott Dransfield, Mary Cragun, and Cody Shafer — also spent time volunteering for the campaign.

    (Post by Hannah Benson Rodriguez ’13.)