William and Mary Digest for Jan. 30

Efforts to raise awareness of human trafficking earn student Monroe Prize

An impulsive decision to join a spring break service trip during her freshman year at William and Mary changed the trajectory of Florence Glynn’s life. It was on that trip that Glynn was introduced to the issue of human trafficking and talked with survivors, some of whom were her age.

“Even though we’d lived different lives, it made me very cognizant of how I could easily be in their shoes if I had been in slightly different circumstances,” said Glynn, now a senior at the college.

That weeklong experience inspired Glynn to become an activist and help start the student organization HEART to raise awareness of trafficking.

Her social justice work has earned Glynn the 2019 James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership, an award presented annually to a student who “has demonstrated sustained leadership of an unusual quality, leadership combined with initiative, character and an unfailing commitment to leveraging the assets of the William and Mary community to address the needs of our society.”

Glynn will receive the award during a public ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 31, in Miller Hall's Brinkley Commons.

German teacher's influence transcends mere words

The Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award at William and Mary is not intended to honor a lifetime of educating students; rather, it is given annually to a younger member of the faculty who has demonstrated “through concern as a teacher and through character and influence, the inspiration and stimulation of learning to the betterment of the individual and society as exemplified by Thomas Jefferson.”

However, if ever there was an exception to that guideline, 2019 recipient Jennifer Gully would be it. Her nominators view it as appropriate recognition for a colleague who has had a lifelong passion for teaching, to the exclusion of all other occupations.

“Jennifer Gully is one of our most gifted and knowledgeable instructors,” colleague and Associate Professor,” Robert Leventhal wrote in nominating her. “Her methods reemphasize student agency, spontaneous speaking, deep cultural understanding, serious intellectual engagement and interpersonal understanding.... We are truly fortunate to have her as a member of the German Studies Program.”

Numerous students cited Gully’s influence on them as being so great that instead of merely fulfilling a language requirement they have continued studying German. At the same time, some students cited her work with them as undergraduate teacher’s assistants as one reason they sought — and were better prepared than most of the competition — for Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships in Germany.

“That’s why it’s important to me that students learn about the countries and the people who speak these languages and what’s going on there, in order for them to become more interested to travel there,” Gully said. “That’s really heartwarming when we have a graduate who is going to move to Germany and spend a couple of years there because of what they learned here from us.

‘Nailed It’ host, comedian Nicole Byer to perform at the college

Actress, comedian and writer Nicole Byer will perform at William and Mary on Feb. 8, as part of the university’s Charter Day weekend festivities.

Byer hosts the Netflix baking show “Nailed It” and stars in a sitcom based on her life, “Loosely Exactly Nicole,” which streams on Facebook

Time Out LA, New York Comedy Festival and Refinery 29 have named her a comic to watch. Byer has performed her live show “Black Side of the Moon” in Washington, D.C., and Chicago with the Second City Touring Company.

Doors for the show open at 8 p.m., on Feb. 8, in the Chesapeake Room of the Sadler Center on 200 Stadium Drive.

Tickets will be sold for $3 for students with ID, $6 for faculty and staff with ID and $10 for the general public.

Copyright © 2019, The Virginia Gazette
86°