Gifts At Work
Four Longwood, For Longwood
By supporting the Annual Fund, you are supporting the core values of a Longwood education. Your generous support has made lasting memories and experiences like these possible for the entire campus community.
Dr. Stephen Keith-Full-time Faculty Member; part-time international ambassador and advocate for education-helping to create the first ever gifted program for children in Central America. Imagine living without electricity, running water, and transportation; limited food supply, and tattered clothes and shoes; in a country ravished with recent political turmoil. Now, imagine a child who is attending school in such conditions, where education is the last priority. No need to imagine-this is the daily life of a child in Honduras, Central America. Dr. Stephen Keith, a full-time faculty member in the College of Education and Human Services, spends his vacation visiting a private bilingual school, the Dowal School in Honduras, lending his expertise in research and developing educational methods. This is the first time ever in the history of Honduras that this has been tackled. His projects are the foundation for a stimulating and rewarding education that would inevitably change the fate of the lives of these students. Part of Dr. Keith's work involves helping to create the first ever curriculum for gifted level students in the country. His goal is to eventually develop a program for all areas of giftedness in Central and South America, "...there is nothing [like this] for them; when you don't meet their institutional needs, they [the students] get turned off on to school and learning," he said.
Nearly ten years ago, Dr. Keith was introduced to the country through a Longwood Master's program, in which Hondurans could receive a Master's degree from Longwood in their native home. "Longwood has a long, rich history in Honduras," he explains. It was through this experience and working with the Dowal School's superintendent that Dr. Keith began his work in Honduras. Now, he works side by side with former Longwood student and Honduras native Dr. Patty Valentino, professor at the University of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida on the projects, "The exciting part is that I am working with her [Dr. Valentino]. I am gradually teaching her, and she will be able to continue the work."
Dr. Keith's students back at Longwood are also eager to help from the comforts of Farmville. As the chapter advisor for the Student Virginia Education Association-Longwood Chapter, Dr. Keith's students raise funds for school supplies to send to one of the public schools in Honduras-even simple, necessary supplies are too expensive for many of the Honduran families to afford. Some of Dr. Keith's work is being recognized and even implemented in area school systems. Many of his research findings are about to be published in accredited publications and scholarly journals; children's literature reflecting one of his practices is also soon to be released.
Amanda Crotty-Sophomore, majoring in Liberal Studies Elementary Education; second generation future Longwood graduate- standing on her own and finding common ground as she traces her father's footsteps. Amanda Crotty and Ronald 'Butch' Crotty share more in common than father/daughter relationship; they share Longwood...redefining the term "legacy".
This past Oktoberfest weekend marked an especially memorable day for the Crotty family. Father, Butch Crotty (1982 graduate) and daughter, Amanda Crotty (current student) united at the newly-named Charles Buddy Bolding Stadium for the baseball stadium dedication celebration. A player for the first baseball team at Longwood, Butch Crotty joined former teammates to support their coach, Buddy Bolding. "It was inspiring to see my dad in that atmosphere. Normally, he is supporting me and what I am doing; it was just really neat getting to watch him during his moment," says Amanda Crotty.
Attending the same place at a different time, the two Crotty's have made their own names for themselves and lasting memories of personal experiences, school pride, and tradition. With an expected graduation date of 2012, Amanda will walk the same walk at Wheeler Mall of her father nearly 30 years later. "I think it would be an honor for him to get to see me graduate from the same place he did," she said. The Longwood duo share common interests and college involvement from his time and now hers, which includes a love for athletics and Greek life.
Longwood has seen several phases of change since Amanda's father was a student: renovations, building additions, landscape; the exchange of students, faculty, and staff, and yet one of Butch's former professors recognized Amanda as Crotty's daughter. Recalling the conversation she had with her father's former professor Dr. James Jordan, Amanda said, "He was like, oh my gosh you're Butch Crotty's daughter?!... It felt like my dad had left a lasting impression."
In Amanda's dorm room she keeps a stuffed teddy bear that wears a Longwood sweatshirt that her father gave to her on her first day of college, serving as a memento recognizing their special connection.
Adrienne Heinbaugh-Senior, majoring in Art; world traveler and ambitious entrepreneur- with a focus on sustainability. "Work hard, study hard, enjoy life, do good for the earth and people around you." Excerpted from Adrienne Heignbaugh's journal. Come next spring, Adrienne Heinbaugh will not only be receiving her diploma, but her business license as well. The savvy young professional along with her business partner, will be opening a papermaking studio in Powhatan, Virginia. The art studio will feature everything paper- stationary, gift cards, letter head; and lanterns and broadside posters-with a focus on sustainability. "It's a really sustainable art form," she explains. Every hand-made, one-of-a-kind product will be made from 100% recycled materials. Multiple scholarships have allowed Heinbaugh to attend and present at several conferences for ceramics and papermaking. At her most recent conference in Atlanta, she created the folders and invitations for the conference itself.
Blending her education with unique outside opportunities through Longwood, Heinbaugh has gained valuable experience, benefitting her and her ambitious career goals, "It [experience] is very vital to the success of people after graduation because you are making connections now that will benefit you for years to come."
This past summer, Heinbaugh studied abroad in Ecuador studying birds in their natural habitats. She says that the trip was an unforgettable experience; gaining valuable knowledge in the field, learning how to work with groups, surviving in a off-the-grid household located on a natural reserve, and the excursions to the Andes Mountains capturing views of Cotopaxi-a glacial volcano and the hot springs. "It doesn't matter how many pictures you see-going there and getting the experience is the most valuable thing," she said.
Her education and experience in art and biology has prepared Heinbaugh to be successful in an innovative industry, and put her in the leading ranks of such a turbulent job market. Heinbaugh attributes the support of Longwood and encouragement of the faculty for taking the initiative to experience such unique opportunities. "What we are doing has a purpose, and it is because we have such great professors here; they want us to go out and learn and get this experience, I don't think they would have it any other way." She said. "I really am grateful that Longwood is so willing to help me on my way to succeed after college, if it weren't for these experiences, I would not be the same person."
T. Jordan Miles III-Senior, majoring in History with a minor in Geography and Political Science; passionate about serving the public and defending the rights of students fairly and democratically, representing student leadership on a whole new level. "Longwood allows you to grow in all realms of life. You take these values with you throughout your life because of the importance Longwood places on them." Jordan Miles Chairman of the Judicial Board said. Taking representing Longwood's mission and core values seriously, Miles' stays busy. Whether it's hearing a case, serving his fraternity, or working hard academically, the list of involvement is lengthy, but share one common theme- serving the community with respect, honesty, and integrity. "Longwood is a unique place- it's about students educating students. Your peers are holding you accountable," he said.
Miles' political and public service roots run deep. Dick Miles, Jordan's grandfather and inspiration was a five star staff sergeant in World War II; a Mason, and active in local politics in Buckingham County, Virginia. A pillar in the rural community, the elder Miles even helped local low-income families when they would come in to the store that he owned and managed. "He was a good man, he helped a lot of people," Miles said.
According to Miles, serving on the Judicial Board and representing and defending students rights has made him a better person, "...it has taught me what citizen leadership is all about." He said. "You have to hold yourself to a higher standard; I strive to be the most honest, trustworthy person I can be." Miles' says that the university does a good job of instilling the values of citizen leadership in students. Upon graduation in May, he has hopes of pursuing a career in public service. In his free time he enjoys life on the farm back home in Buckingham County-cutting hay, tending to the garden, and riding his 1945 Massey Ferguson...even comparing the conflicts of handling an old tractor to those of life. "Life is like driving an old tractor with no breaks; you have to be prepared and quick to respond," said Miles.
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