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2011 News Releases

English 400 class hosts “meet and greet” with Farmville Town Council

September 21, 2011

Blake Jarrell and Allyson Johnson greet Farmville Town Manager, Gerald Spates
Blake Jarrell and Allyson Johnson greet Farmville Town Manager, Gerald Spates.

Twenty-two Longwood students recently had the opportunity to meet and greet some of Farmville's citizen leaders.  Members of the Farmville Town Council were dinner guests of Dr. Heather Lettner-Rust's English 400 class on September 14. The students met informally with the Town Council members prior to the Farmville Town Council meeting and public comment session, both of which were attended by the students.

"There is no agenda for this dinner," said Dr. Lettner-Rust. "This is simply a time to allow the students and Town Council members to get to know each other in an informal setting."

This is the second time the Town Council members have dined at Longwood's Tea Room (the oldest restaurant in Farmville) as guests of Dr. Lettner-Rust's class. At the suggestion of Sydney Moreland, who was enrolled in English 400 during the spring semester, a similar dinner "meet and greet" occurred in March and received positive comments from both the students and Town Council members.

"This event allows the Town Council members to see Longwood students as engaged individuals, not simply as a group of students who arrive on campus in September and depart in May," said Dr. Lettner-Rust. "Our goals are to get to know our neighbors, to promote a partnership with the Town Council, and to understand the role each Town Council member plays in the civic activity of Farmville."

Longwood students dine with Dr. Edward Gordon, a member of Farmville's Town Council and Longwood's Board of Visitors

Longwood students dine with Dr. Edward Gordon, a member of Farmville's Town Council and Longwood's Board of Visitors

Lauren Smiley, a senior who welcomed the Town Council members at the dinner on behalf of her classmates, said, "I am excited to get to know more about what they do and to get some ideas for my proposal."

Lauren's proposal is part of English 400, a general education course placed at the end of the student's academic career and uniquely suited to the mission of the university for developing citizen leaders.  As such, the course requires students to analyze at least one significant public issue. Dr. Lettner-Rust's class is researching Farmville's recent acceptance into the Main Street program and what that means for the downtown revitalization effort.  Along with reading the Farmville Herald, visiting the Moton Museum, and watching a local citizen group 100 Women Who Care in action, students are researching and developing their own ideas for helping Farmville.

"I am interested to know what Town Council has to say to Longwood students and how we can help the Town of Farmville," said senior Brandon Tomnay.