UVa-Wise student Dakota Mullins wanted to remind people that soldiers from Southwest Virginia made a difference in World War I, so he focused on that topic when he worked with the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park to create an exhibit.
The exhibit, “Valiant Virginians: Servicemen in World War I,” focuses on area soldiers in the Great War. The display, in the Special Collections section of the UVa-Wise library, includes original objects on loan from the museum.
“I decided to focus on World War I as it is a topic in American history that is often just passed by with only a few mentions when in fact it was so much more,” Mullins said. “I just wanted to see if I could spark an interest in individuals about the topic, as well as commemorate the centennial of the United States involvement in the war during 1917 and it’s end in 1918.”
Mullins decided to explore the war through the artifacts of soldiers that were from Southwest Virginia. He found plenty at the museum. He was fascinated by what he learned about a Southwest Virginia native’s role in the war.
“One of the soldiers I covered in the exhibit, Rhea Mullins, was an airplane mechanic for the military when airplanes were still somewhat a new invention and a new form of warfare,” Mullins said. “The fact that he was able to perform such a duty in a war that is known for its first use of aerial combat is amazing to me. Overall this exhibit helps me understand that individuals from this area are able to make a lasting impact.”
UVa-Wise history professor Jen Murray echoed her student’s thoughts.
“The Valiant Virginians exhibit offers an opportunity to explore the contributions of men from southwestern Virginia to the Great War,” she said. “Unfortunately, while the Great War is too often overshadowed in American history, Dakota’s exhibit reminds us that World War I reached many parts of the globe, including our region in southwestern Virginia. “
Murray said Mullins was well suited to design the exhibit.
“He is a distinguished History major with a public history concentration, and his excitement for history is contagious,” she said. “Through his efforts we all have a chance to view the impact of World War I on these ‘Valiant Virginians.’”
The exhibit will be open for viewing each Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. through July 31 in the Special Collections room in the library. It is free and open to the public.
The post UVa-Wise student creates WWI exhibit focusing on local soldiers appeared first on UVa-Wise.
WISE - - Due to weather, the UVa-Wise softball conference opener scheduled against West Virginia State University on Saturday, Mar. 17, has been moved. The doubleheader will now be played on Monday, Mar. 19, with game times slated for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
This production is directed by Theater major Landon Kime.
Successfully produced both on and Off-Broadway. One of the masterpieces of comic theatre, given fresh timeliness and appeal in the brilliant new version. “For the first time in 300 years, a play of Molière has the English translation it deserves.” —Commonweal. “…surely the best translation of Molière ever done into English.” —Hudson Review.
This is a cultural activity credit event.
Free to UVa-Wise students & employees / $5 for public
Sponsored by The Gathering
For more information contact Joshua Griggs at firstname.lastname@example.org
Not approved for cultural activity credit
The Catholic Campus Ministry offers mass at 5 p.m. every Thursday in the Sandstone Room (Cantrell Hall). The service lasts about 30 minutes. For more information contact Matt Vaughn at email@example.com
UVa-Wise sophomore Telena Turner took a drive through her family history for an undergraduate research project and rediscovered her Appalachian roots along the way.
The Haysi, Virginia native’s research project was inspired by the novels and books she read in an Appalachian literature class. She was elated to see how oral history can captivate a reader and vividly preserve a place and time. She also noticed how coal played a vital part in many oral histories of Southwest Virginia and its people.
“The same theme, coal mining, kept popping up,” Turner said.
Acclaimed writer Lee Smith, a Grundy native, was of particular inspiration to Turner. Coal mining was a central theme to Smith’s “Oral History” novel. When Turner contemplated a personal reflection project, she wanted to examine the personal values the characters in the books portrayed, examine what is culture and what does it mean to be Appalachian.
“I decided to start with my own family,” she said. “Growing up, I was told multitudes of stories about the past and about how life has changed over the years,” she said. “Through my research, I observed that while the past is different from the present, it is not separate. The past plays a direct and active role in shaping the present through the concept of cultural transmission.”
She conducted an oral history project to explore the idea of cultural transmission as a living entity, basically an attempt to celebrate the past while acknowledging how it shaped the present.
Turner’s family is filled with coal truck drivers. Several generations of her extended family transported coal from mines to other transportation sources over many decades. The work was hard, but the coal trucking life proved colorful in many ways. She learned that driving a coal truck gave her family many stories to treasure. With laptop in tow, Turner decided to take her own journey through her family history.
Her project, “Trucking Through Time,” explores the lives of David and Mavis, two members of her family. Mavis, one of the first women to drive coal trucks in the region, climbed into the cab in the 1970s. David began transporting coal when he was 18, and he drove during good days for the coal mining business and navigated the difficult times as well. Their stories fascinated Turner.
Turner gained an appreciation for family and their stories from Mavis. She quickly saw how events influenced Mavis as a person. Turner, who was born when coal mining had significantly declined, realized she did not know of any women who mined coal or transported coal. She set out to find what Mavis experienced in the field and to hear any adventures that she recalled.
Mavis is recorded discussing her career.
“They can be nice after they find that you’re not there to take their jobs. And I told them, I said boys I got a truck and house just like you do, and I have payments, so you may as well not razz me about nothing. Don’t have nobody riding with me. They was out here thinking I was gonna teach other women to drive, but I’m not a teacher. I’m not a preacher either…”
Turner was surprised that Mavis and David had similar experiences. Both told harrowing tales of driving big trucks on bad roads. They recalled accidents that fellow drivers had over the years. Some tales were funny, but others were more serious.
David is recorded discussing his career.
“When I was growing up, you know, coal was king. Everything revolved around coal. And, it was just natural that, you know, that’s where I found my spot at. It’s had a big impact, I mean, every family…around me anyway…is deeply rooted in coal. You know, they had to be.”
“It just comes down to family for me,” she said. “With David, I gained an appreciation of the hard work he has done. I learned of his passion for truck driving in the stories he told me.”
She also learned that her life is much different that the lives of David and Mavis.
“You grow up hearing stories, but you forget so much,” she explained. “You forget what it was like for your family years ago. It made me grateful and humble to hear their stories. It’s part of my family history.”
After her research, Turner concluded that cultural transmission played an active part in shaping the lives of both David and Mavis.
“Their stories can be applied generally to all of Appalachian culture,” Turner said. “Cultural transmission is important to study in reference to Appalachia and its literature because it’s not a passive and theoretical societal construct. In Appalachia it is an active and acclaimed propellant of the future.”
She explained that for David and Mavis and many characters in the stories, their past is not a part of who they are, it is who they are, and it defines what they strive to become and what they will become.
“Appalachia as a region isn’t known for what it invented,” Turner said. “It is known for what it has preserved. And those lines on the family tree…aren’t chains or feeble links to the past. They are open and well-maintained roadways that Appalachians use and have used to both pave the way to the future and to preserve the past.”
Turner said she would look deeper into her family’s truck driving history if she continues research on the topic. She plans to continue her communication studies coursework and is considering higher education or rhetoric as a career after graduation.
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This Week’s Food Truck is:
Visit The Shack on Facebook @getyoursteakon
Meet at Alumni Hall on Thursdays for fun, food and friendship.
We will feature a different food truck each week.
Follow us on Facebook @UVaWiseAlumni for more information.
All food trucks gladly accept cash or credit.
Truck-in Thursday at Alumni Hall
Natalie Chapman, a senior economics major at UVa-Wise, was inspired to conduct an extensive undergraduate research project, one that included nearly a year of scouring through 30,000 grant reports, after reading the news about proposed slashes to the federal budget.
The proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 included defunding the Appalachian Regional Commission, an organization that has supplied vital funding to 13 states in the economically depressed Appalachia region. She knew the ARC has traditionally funded many educational programs and projects in the region, particularly in her home of Central Appalachia.
“I believe education has the power to transform lives and open many previously closed doors and opportunities for students,” said Chapman, a Big Stone Gap native. “I also know that education funding and resources can significantly impact the range and quality of offerings that an educational institution can provide to its students.”
She didn’t know a lot about the ARC, but she knew it made a difference. She decided to do some preliminary research.
“I was inspired to devote my undergraduate research project toward better identifying the relationship between educational funding and economic growth of this area,” Chapman said.
She left her objectives as open as possible so her research would be unbiased. She hoped to find a direct correlation between ARC educational funding and the socioeconomic health of a region, but she knew it would take plenty of work. She didn’t know the work would take 10 months of straight research through 30,000 documents, which left just a few months for completing her project and coming to a conclusion.
The documents have been sorted and the data cleaned, but Chapman is still sprinting to the finish line before she graduates in May.
“There are thousands of factors that can influence an economy,” she said. “I believe cuts to the ARC could have some influence on those socioeconomic factors.”
She worked with the ARC to obtain the data she needed, but soon found the information was not organized in a way that made her research easy. In fact, it became quite difficult at times. Things got a bit easier when she turned to UVa-Wise librarians Shannon Steffey and Angie Harvey for help.
“They suggested I ask the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, and that was extremely helpful,” she said. “The Weldon Cooper Center told me about a tool called Social Explorer, a website that gives you the demographic characteristics of any place in the United States for any year over the past 100 years.”
Chapman manually sorted the 30,000 grants and wound up with 1,000 that were related to her research on Central Appalachia. She then sorted the 1,000 grants into state level and county level. Chapman did this for 82 counties in Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. After she sorted to that level, she added up the amounts of ARC funding for educational projects in each state and county. She used graphs to chart the funding levels to compare the amounts each state and locality received each year. The information shows how much education money trickled down to Central Appalachia.
The project is not complete, but her initial impression is the amount of educational funding has an impact on the socioeconomic indicators of employment rate, poverty rates, educational attainment rates, and income.
“I’m fairly confident in saying if the ARC is defunded, our Central Appalachia economy would suffer,” Chapman said.
Chapman will present her research at National Conferences on Undergraduate Research in Oklahoma in coming weeks. She hopes to have her conclusions ready to share.
“I’m really happy I took this project on,” she said. “I’m passionate about the topic. I hope others in the area will find it a meaningful topic.”
Chapman hopes to attend law school after she works in the region for a couple of years after graduation. She expressed thanks to UVa-Wise and the generous donors who made her undergraduate research project possible.
The post Chapman researches education investment in Central Appalachia appeared first on UVa-Wise.
WISE - - Due to recent snow and rain in the Wise area, this weekend's baseball schedule has been altered. The Cavaliers will now play West Liberty University in a doubleheader Sunday at 1 p.m. before playing Wheeling Jesuit Monday at 12 p.m.
Weekly Bible study and snacks
Contact Joshua Griggs at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Not approved for cultural activity credit
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – UVa-Wise softball is receiving votes in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Cavaliers (11-5) received 17 votes in the most recent poll. This is the second consecutive year the program has received votes in the poll.
WISE - - Due to the overnight snow in the Wise area, today's non-conference women's lacrosse contest between UVa-Wise and Mars Hill College has been postponed. A makeup date has yet to be established.
The Catholic Campus Ministry holds Bible study at 8 p.m. every Tuesday evening in the Henson Hall classroom. For more information contact Katie Reda at email@example.com
The National Society of Leadership & Success offers a Speaker Broadcast series each semester. Tonight will be a live broadcast of our final spring speaker, Scott Hamilton. Hamilton is the most recognized male figure skater in the world and a living example that good guys can finish first! He is an Olympic Champion, television broadcaster, philanthropist, motivational speaker, author, husband, father, cancer survivor, and eternal optimist.
This event is free and open to the public. UVa-Wise students may receive one cultural activity credit for attending an NSLS Speaker Broadcast.
Learn more about the speaker.
NOTE: For those unable to attend this evening, this speaker event will also be re-broadcast on Wednesday, March 21 at 6 pm.
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Weekly dinner followed by Bible study
For more information contact Aliyah Gavin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Not approved for cultural activity credit