The Blog @
Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: News

  1. Q&A: Brian Toolan, Former AP Religion Editor

    October 15, 2015


    I recently had the chance to sit down with Brian Toolan, former national religion editor for the Associated Press, when he visited campus as a guest for Professor Jeff Benedict’s “Contemporary Issues” class in September. Toolan is also the former editor-in-chief of the Hartford Courant and former business editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer. After meeting with me for a few minutes and discussing his career in journalism and his advice for today’s college students, Toolan joined Benedict to teach a room full of Southern Virginia students — both members of Benedict’s class and of Hugh Bouchelle’s course, “Writing for Digital Media.”

    Q: Why did you choose to go into journalism and what steps did you take to launch your career?

    Toolan: When I was a senior in college, my father was a newspaperman, but I really wasn’t certain that’s what I wanted to do. The managing editor at that paper, which was in Scranton, Pennsylvania, basically asked my father if I’d be interested in starting off [writing] … obituaries and [covering events such as] fires. I thought I’d do it for a little while and then assess, but I loved it right from the beginning. I was very lucky; I had a very good career. I went from Scranton to Dayton, Ohio, on the sports desk there, and then to a [newspaper] in Baltimore, also on sports. Then I came to the Philadelphia Daily News and eventually I was a sports editor there and then the managing editor. In 1998, I became the editor at the Hartford Courant in Connecticut. That was the best stretch of my career. We won a Pulitzer Prize and were finalists a number of other times. There’s an awful lot of talent there. It was a lot of fun. … Now I’ve got a couple of book ideas and so that’s what I’m planning to do now.

    Q: What are some of your proudest accomplishments?

    Toolan: Many of them came when I was at the Hartford Courant. We won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 1999 and it was about coverage of a disgruntled employee coming into the Connecticut State Lottery headquarters and killing six people. We also won Pulitzer Prizes for a series on bad doctors that we did. We had a photography Pulitzer Prize for a town in Connecticut that was overrun with heroin abuse and the toll it took on the town and the people that were selling and using. There were a lot of good things there. … I was proud to be a part of it. (more…)

  2. Some Lessons on Love

    February 15, 2015

    Dr. La Rae Carter


    Tips from a 58-year-old marriage:

    Keep your love fresh and as exciting as it was when you fell in love.  Do for each other, little things as well as big.  Never let anyone come between you as a couple, not with advice or in your decisions.  Not Mom, Dad, or friends.   Never take each other for granted.  Put forth effort to renew your relationship every day by being interested in what your spouse has a passion for, whether it be work, recreation, or just plain fun.  With each child that comes, life becomes more complicated, and it is easy to put your spouse on the back burner.    Be unified in all your decisions about raising the children.  Then they will not be confused or manipulative as to the rules of the house or who is in charge.  They NEED you to be in control of the home, to be a parent, friendly, but not a friend.  They have enough friends.  The wife can set the tone of the home, whether she likes it or not.  If you exude a happy, positive and kind spirit, all of the family will pick up on it, have the same outlook, and feel secure.  And never downplay the importance of humor.  An important philosopher once said that if your intended has not laughter  or humor in his/her outlook, run from that person.  You will not be happy.  May I conclude with these words from an old popular song:  “Love Is a many splendored thing,” and its splendors will continue to broaden and amaze you all of your life if you are engaged in what love truly means and the depth, wonder, and possibilities it can open up to you and your spouse.

    Jeremiah and Alison Krites


    Don’t let your relationship become too serious. Learn to laugh during the hard times and be able to laugh at yourself. 

    Professor Morgen Reynolds and Daman Reynolds

    1. Always wear deodorant. Seriously. It matters.
    2. Sometimes, it is actually good to go to bed angry. Pray together before bed, but late night conversations sometimes don’t get anything settled as well as a good night’s sleep might.
    3. Don’t use the toilet while they are in the bathroom. This is my own personal doctrine. I will run out screaming “The magic is gone!!” I’m not kidding on this one. I will sing really loud if I have to do my business while he is in the shower. It’s all about the romance.

    Elizabeth and Tyler Laurent

    Tyler and Liz wedding (5 of 76)

    It is really important to not get offended! Also, take time to find activities that you both enjoy, but also encourage each other to do activities/develop talents individually. I’m sure someone has said this, but put your spouse’s needs above your own, and if they do the same, life will be much easier and more fun.

    Dr. Scott Dransfield and Andrea Dransfield

    wedding pics

    Always leave with a kiss; always return with one.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16.)

  3. Video: President Wilcox Forum

    November 14, 2014

    President Reed Wilcox and his wife, Diane Wilcox, spoke today about their love for Southern Virginia University and their faith in its potential. In their remarks, they discussed ways that the university’s leaders plan to improve the quality of life and learning at Southern Virginia.

    (Post by Hannah King ’13. Video by John Worthington ’13.)

  4. ‘Ten Thousand Spirals’: Professor Benedict, Steve Young Collaborate on Book

    November 10, 2014

    Jeff Benedict, distinguished professor of writing and mass media at Southern Virginia University, released an exclusive chapter from his upcoming book about Steve Young on his blog today. Young and Benedict are coauthors of the book, which focuses on the life of Steve Young, one of the most highly-ranked quarterbacks in NFL history.

    The chapter released today, titled “Ten Thousand Spirals,” features the challenges Young faced as a young man and new player on the Brigham Young University football team. Go ahead and give it a read to learn more about the early life of this famous Latter-day Saint athlete.

    (Post by Hannah King ’13.)

  5. Introducing the New Student Executive Council

    April 16, 2014


    It’s that time of year again: there’s a freshly minted student executive council. They will serve in their various positions during the 2014-2015 academic year.

    Student Body President

    • Name: Kirsten Laurence
    • Hometown: Bountiful, Utah
    • Major: Business Management & Leadership
    • Minor: Music
    • Year in school: Junior
    • Interesting Fact: “I love to watch Spongebob in my spare time”

    Vice President of Operations

    • Name: Wright Noel
    • Hometown: Seattle, Washington
    • Major: Business Management & Leadership
    • Year in school: Sophomore
    • Interesting fact: Served a mission in Brazil

    Vice President of Campus Programming

    • Name: Elissa Greenman
    • Hometown: Burley, Idaho
    • Major: Liberal Arts
    • Year in school: Junior
    • Interesting fact: “I speak three languages”

    Vice President of Arts and Athletics

    • Name: Rex Winslow
    • Hometown: Ventura, California
    • Year in school: Sophomore
    • Majors: Liberal Arts and Computer Science
    • Interesting fact: “I have been to France twice but never seen the Eiffel Tower”

    Vice President of Finance

    • Name: Darlynn McFadden
    • Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Major: Business Management & Leadership
    • Year in school: Junior

    Vice President of Honor

    • Name: Kaitlyn Fife
    • Hometown: Shreveport, Louisiana
    • Majors: English, Theatre, and Liberal Arts
    • Year in school: Senior
    • Interesting Fact: “First solo flight as a student pilot at 16 years old — and almost crashed because the engine died”

    Vice President of Service

    • Name: Dan Cline
    • Hometown: Crescent, Iowa
    • Major: Liberal Arts
    • Track: Pre-medical
    • Year in school: Junior
    • Interesting fact: “I feel invincible in a rock climbing harness”


    • Name: Morgan Dignard
    • Hometown: Chesapeake, Virginia
    • Major: Business Management & Leadership
    • Year in school: Sophomore
    • Interesting fact: “I’m in a band!”

    (Post by Hannah Benson Rodriguez ’13. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)