Amanda Moll (a 2006 grad) is celebrating a decade of working at CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere), an international humanitarian and development organization whose mission is to address the root causes of poverty, inequality and injustice. It’s a great fit, because at Berry, Amanda was interested in international education and political efforts, having participated in the politics and law society as a student and interned abroad in London with one of the British political parties. “The Berry culture that balances high academic standards, real-life practicalities, work ethic and having fun is extremely unique and built a strong foundation in me to continue seeking these qualities.” The Dean of Admissions helped open the door for Amanda to get an internship with The Carter Center. Her Berry experience, plus her internship helped lead her to an internship with CARE that turned into a full-time position. Ten years later, she’s still enjoying her position working in some of the most remote parts of the world, assessing how to improve education across the globe. Amanda says, “I think Martha’s leadership for being a pioneering woman who focused on the importance of education has shaped – directly or indirectly—the last ten years of my career on education for the most marginalized. Her perseverance and ingenuity in forging her own path are still inspiring today.”
With technology a fixture in today’s classrooms, more teachers are exploring new software to assist their students in their studies. One such teacher is Berry alumna Lauren Pittman (09C), who was approached by Microsoft to try out Learning Tools, a program that highlights words on a computer screen to help students with dyslexia become strong readers. Lauren’s students starred in a worldwide campaign to promote the software and told an international audience about their experience. “It’s helped show my students that there is success for them in the classroom and they can be successful readers,” Lauren says. Her classroom success story has been featured in the Washington Post, Ed Tech Magazine and later this year, Good Housekeeping. Lauren is a graduate of Berry’s Charter School of Education and Human Sciences. “What I learned at Berry and what they prepared me for has helped to set the base for my teaching philosophy and how I want to affect children’s lives,” she said.
Alyssa Hollingsworth (13C) has landed a two-book, two-continent publishing contract with Macmillian (U.S.) and HotKey Books (U.K.). Her debut novel, The Eleventh Trade, will hit shelves in fall 2018, with another following in 2019. Alyssa credits much of her writing savvy to her experiences at Berry, where she benefitted from one-on-one instruction from literature and writing professors who took every opportunity to encourage and challenge her. “Berry was a wonderful place to thrive as a writer because I had so much individual attention from my fantastic professors in the English department,” she said.
Her experience at Berry helped her win acclaim in a national essay contest sponsored by the Elie Wiesel Foundation and admission to a prestigious graduate program at England’s Bath Spa University. As a work-based Gate of Opportunity Scholar, she was able to apply what she learned as a writer for the college’s alumni publications, eventually penning a cover feature for Berry magazine. Those experiences deepened her work ethic and instilled a sense of professionalism that’s reflected in her writing. Her first book, about an Afghan boy named Sami who moves to the U.S. after the Taliban take over his country, was inspired by her own observations visiting her sister in Afghanistan.
Dr. Stanard co-organized “The End of Empire: European Popular Responses,” conference which took place in Birmingham, England, Jan. 11-13. The Evans School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences was a major sponsor of this international conference, which involved numerous scholars from some 10 countries, including the U.S., Denmark, Australia, the U.K., France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Dr. Stanard presented at the conference his own research titled, “Some ABCs of Post-Colony Belgium: Africana, Belgian Collections, and the Decolonization Experience.”
He also recently published “The colonial past is never dead. It’s not even past: Histories of Empire, Decolonization, and European Cultures after 1945” as the invited Forum essay for the 2016 Jahrbuch für Europäische Geschichte/European History Yearbook. Dr. Stanard’s chapter “Interwar Crises and Europe’s Unfinished Empires” also has appeared in print in the volume “The Oxford Handbook of Europe 1914-1945”, published by Oxford University Press. He published reviews of Anthony Pagden’s “The Burdens of Empire”(on H-Empire), Dean Pavlakis’s “British Humanitarianism and the Congo Reform Movement, 1896-1913” and Nancy Rose Hunt’s “A Nervous State” in the Journal of The History of Medicine and Allied Sciences.
In April, Dr. Stanard traveled to Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, to serve on an international Ph.D. defense committee at the Universidad del País Vasco. The dissertation being examined, “La Guerra civil en el País Vasco en la prensa local norteamericana (1936-1939),” was an in-depth analysis of local U.S. press coverage of the Spanish Civil War as it affected Spain’s Basque Country. While in Spain, he gave a lecture at the the Universidad del País Vasco’s Leioa Campus, outside Bilbao, on “The Congo and Decolonization: From Belgian Empire to Cold War Crisis.”
Dr. Diller recently published the essay “Democratic Doxa:” Toward a Genealogy of Typicality in Nationalist American Literature” in American Multiculturalism in Interdisciplinary and International Contexts. He also co-edited and published an anthology “Nathaniel Hawthorne in the College Classroom: Contexts, Materials, and Approaches.” (New York: AMS Press, 2017)
Help from an attentive faculty member and a bit of jazz helped Mark Morton (16C) find his dream! Mark initially entered Berry as a midfielder for the lacrosse team, but an injury led him to leave the sports life in pursuit of another calling.
At Berry, Amanda Ashley (16C) pursued her dreams of making the world a better place. Whether at home or abroad, Amanda stood out among the rest, studying abroad in Moscow with the Gilman scholarship, yet tutoring at-risk children in Rome.