International Women’s Day is celebrated across the world on March 8th. Mary Alexander ’16 and Jennifer Thompson ’17 asked some of their fellow female Lancers about the women who have made a difference in their lives at Longwood.
Dr. Melanie Marks
Daniela Diez ’19 is a business major and tennis player from Panama. Her biggest inspiration at Longwood has been Dr. Melanie Marks, a professor of economics.
“I fell in love with microeconomics. She is always willing to explain everything for you to understand and get excited about the class,” said Diez.
Marks has a strong, independent personality and a can-do attitude, which moved Diez to put her best foot forward in the classroom and beyond. “You can tell by the way she teaches that she actually enjoys being a teacher,” said Diez.
“She motivated me to keep working hard and never give up. I love how she uses real life examples in her class; economics is everywhere, and the entire world revolves around it.”
Nicole Riddick ’17 is a junior Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSDS) major who has been greatly inspired by Professor Wendy Pulliam, a Clinical Director/Educator in the Social Work/CSDS department.
“I met Mrs. Pulliam during exam week last semester when I was working with another professor to complete my application for my degree,” she recalled. Many of the classes were full, so Pulliam went above and beyond to help Riddick get what she needed in order to graduate on time.
“She didn’t have to do that for me, and it meant so much,” said Riddick. “She made sure I did not leave that office without a smile on my face.
I am now currently taking a class with her, and I look forward to seeing her every Tuesday and Thursday morning.
She always comes to class with a positive attitude and ready to tackle the lesson. She is the most encouraging professor I have had in my three years here at Longwood.”
Dr. Emily Kane
Monika Gutierrez ’16 is a senior German major with minors in Anthropology and Homeland Security. She recently spent a semester abroad in Munich, Germany as part of her program and, upon returning, found a mentor in the Director of Study Abroad in the Office of International Affairs at Longwood, Dr. Emily Kane.
“She is an integral part in helping students transition back into their home environment, whether it be Longwood or getting used to the United States again in general,” said Gutierrez.
Kane headed a trip to the Lessons from Abroad conference at VCU and helped Gutierrez integrate the study abroad experience into a professional resume.
“She personally studied abroad in England, so she is knowledgeable about the study abroad process, but has also worked in a variety of different fields, including National Geographic,” said Gutierrez.
“She is a wonderful, positive, person with an upbeat, can-do personality who is ready and willing to tackle any challenge put in front of her; this inspires me to go out into the world and try my best with the same positive attitude.”
Dr. Naomi Johnson
A Communication Studies graduate from the class of 2015, Sarah Luongo is the Communications and Event Coordinator for the College of Business and Economics at Longwood.
As a student and an alumna, Luongo was greatly inspired by Dr. Naomi Johnson, the chair of the Communication Studies department. “She always has her door open; you can go in and talk to her anytime. I have learned so much from her, and I feel like I still learn from her now that I’m an alum,” she said.
One of the major projects every COMM senior must face is the senior thesis, with which Johnson has been both helpful and supportive every step of the way. “I would have never survived that process without her, and she actually encouraged me to submit my research to a conference,” said Luongo.
“I got accepted, and it was such a great experience for me; I would never have done that without her. Even now, I still see her on campus, and she’s invited me to speak, so it’s very fortunate that I’m still on campus, because I can be in such close proximity to mentors that I had loved here at Longwood.”
Beasa Dukes ’16 is an English major at Longwood University and has been greatly inspired by Mary Carroll-Hackett. Carroll-Hackett is an English professor who has been “nothing but open and honest” to her students.
Dukes believes that Carroll-Hackett has helped her to feel confident in her own self-expression.
Carroll-Hackett has helped her to find her voice, both as a writer and as a person. Beasa herself has recently been noted for her acceptance into fraternity Phi Mu Delta. She is a wonderful, strong individual herself and has grown from Carroll-Hackett’s intense, yet loving guidance.
As part of her class, Dukes feels the electricity in the air and is always happy and eager to talk to Carroll-Hackett, both in and out of the classroom. With a desire to learn and grow, Carroll-Hackett has influenced Dukes to grow herself.
For Alyssa Taylor ’17, a Communication studies major who is actively involved on campus as a member of S.E.A.L., as well as a desk aide, Rhonda Scarrow has been a huge inspiration both as a student and as a citizen leader. Taylor believes that Scarrow’s own enthusiasm and self-image has helped her in her own footing.
Scarrow exhibits great interpersonal skills that have helped Taylor with her own personal growth. Taylor believes that Scarrow encompasses all of the traits of what a good citizen leader should be.
For Taylor, Scarrow is “sociable, confident, understanding, and friendly,” which helps to develop bright and happy atmosphere.