What’s New at SVU?

By Lily Ghiz

A guide to all things new for incoming and returning students and staff.

The Herald/Lily Ghiz

The 2018–19 school year is off to a great start, complete with a new burrito bar, field hockey club team and marching band. Southern Virginia has also recently acquired some new professors and coaches who are prepared to make this year great.

The Professors

Donald Chisholm

Donald Chisholm started teaching computer science at Southern Virginia in July. Chisholm previously taught in New York state, at a university in Mexico and was an adjunct faculty member for two institutions of higher learning.

“I was looking for a smaller, private university in the Mid-Atlantic region, and SVU turned out to be the perfect match,” Chisholm explains.

David Dixon

David Dixon is one of Southern Virginia’s new business professors. Dixon just recently completed his Ph.D. in Business Management at Stanford University.

“Instead of considering other schools on the market I contacted SVU directly to apply for the job. I’ve followed SVU’s growth and maturing for over two decades. Something extraordinarily special is happening here, and I wanted to be a part of it for life,” says Dixon.

Katherine Doar

Katherine Doar is here at Southern Virginia as a writing instructor. Doar earned her Master’s degree at Boston College, where she studied Irish Literature, contemporary non-fiction, Shakespeare and more. She also taught first-year writing at Boston College.

“I decided to move away from Boston after my husband accepted his offer of admission to W&L Law school. SVU was hiring a writing instructor, and it seemed like a great place to work. I have loved it here so far!” says Doar.

Henry Kirby

Henry Kirby is a part-time writing professor at Southern Virginia. In 2014, Kirby received an MA in English from Virginia Tech and then began teaching Writing at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA.

Megan Mason

Megan Mason is teaching music at Southern Virginia. Mason received degrees from the University of Michigan, The Juilliard School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a founding member of the internationally-acclaimed Tesla String Quartet, the Principal Viola of the Ballet West Orchestra and the director of the viola department of the Gifted Music School in Salt Lake City.

Mason is also a recording artist. “I can be heard in many soundtracks for movies, video games, commercials, and albums across genres,” she says.

Stephanie RiCharde

Stephanie RiCharde is teaching Psychology part-time at Southern Virginia while also working in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Lynchburg. RiCharde completed a BS in Psychology at Virginia Tech and an MA in Clinical Psychology at the University of Central Florida. In 2016, she received her doctorate in International Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

She has worked as a mental help clinician, in a private practice and in the Department of Psychology at the Virginia Military Institute. She also volunteered with AmeriCorps*VISTA in the Shepherd Program for the Study of Poverty and Human Capability at Washington and Lee University for a year. “It was a wonderful year of service, during which time I finished and defended my dissertation,” she says.

Jacob Ricks

Jason Ricks is a new Design professor at Southern Virginia. Ricks has worked as a graphic designer and a creative director. He has previously taught at BYU-Idaho as a part of their online program.

“SVU was appealing, not only for the small-town charm of Buena Vista, but for the amazing students. I am excited about the opportunity to be working with them,” Ricks says on his decision to teach at Southern Virginia.

Jeff Swift

Jeff Swift joins Southern Virginia as a writing professor. Previous to Southern Virginia, Swift worked in consulting and in Los Angeles at a tech startup. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a Ph.D. in Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media.

“I am excited to work with such incredible faculty and staff to help the university continue to fulfill its mission to gather, lift and launch.”

The following professors are also new, but at the time of publication, The Herald had not been able to reach them.

Katherine Crowley (Math), Suzanne Garcia (Health & Wellness), Ashley Hiatt (Business), Richard Mullins (Chemistry), Natalie Oleksyshyn (Art History), Mackenzie Romriell (Music).

Left to right: Stephanie RiCharde, Jacob Ricks, Jeff Swift, David Dixon, Henry Kirby, Megan Mason/Courtesy of Respective Parties

Latest Additions

Marching Band

One new addition is Southern Virginia’s first-ever marching band. The idea was developed by Southern Virginia’s administration and then passed on to Professor Heather Dobbins, the Director of Bands. “The crowds enjoyed having live music at the games…and the administration wanted to expand on that,” says Dobbins.

The band has about 30 members and will be performing at home football games.

Women’s Field Hockey

Women’s Field Hockey Team/Grace De Gruccio.

Another addition is the women’s field hockey club team, coached by Camille Lamb. A field hockey team has been a dream of Coach Lamb for many years, ever since Lamb was a student at Southern Virginia. Recruitment started at the end of 2017 after Lamb received positive responses about starting a team.

“Field hockey has always had a close-knit-family-type team unity that seemed to fit perfectly into our school’s environment and mission,” says Lamb.

The Coaches

Adam Wardenburg

Adam Wardenburg was named head women’s basketball coach in July 2018. Wardenburg previously served as an assistant women’s basketball coach and recruiting coordinator at Utah Valley University.

“SVU gives athletes opportunities to live a good, balanced life and have a great education. Any time you can work at a place like this, you do it! I’m excited to serve the players and help them in all aspects,” says Wardenburg.

Greg Winslow

Greg Winslow was named head men’s basketball coach in May 2018. Winslow previously served as the assistant men’s basketball coach and Intramural Director at Southern Virginia.

“I came here four years ago after much prayer. My wife and I both felt this is where the Lord wanted us to be.”

Camille Lamb

Camille Lamb is the head coach for the newly created women’s field hockey team. Lamb has played and coached field hockey for many years and has previously attended Southern Virginia.

“I’ve never gotten to coach in a church environment where we can incorporate prayers and the spiritual aspect into practices and the team. I am excited to have that experience and also offer it to the athletes here and future athletes coming,” Lamb remarks.

Jerry Schlegelmilch

Jerry Schlegelmilch was named head baseball coach in July 2018. Schlegelmilch previously served in the same position from 2002–06. He is back to coach at Southern Virginia after teaching physical education at Brigham Young University Idaho.

Improved Virtual Resources


Southern Virginia has recently adopted Canvas, a learning management system, to use in place of MySVU.

“Canvas is best-in-class LMS software, and we feel it will help us improve the way students learn at SVU,” says Jon Wallin, director of institutional effectiveness.

Canvas is one of leading learning management systems and is used in top schools around the country such as Cornell and Stanford. Students will be able to access course content, complete assignments and contact professors through the Canvas app.

The transition from MySVU to Canvas will be slow during the 2018–19 school year, giving professors and teachers time to adjust.

Virtual Bookstore

Southern Virginia’s on-campus bookstore no longer exists as textbooks are now available for purchase online through the school’s virtual bookstore. Southern Virginia has partnered with eCampus.com, which provides textbooks at cheaper prices and still gives students the option to rent and return or buy and sell back textbooks. This change works hand-in-hand with the LaunchPad initiative.

Things to Know

  • Jonezzy’s is no more. At least for now. In its place stands a burrito bar. However, plans are in action to re-open Jonezzy’s in the bookstore’s previous location. No dates are set for the re-opening yet.
  • The Mail Room is no longer located in the Kimball Student Center. It is now in the basement of the library.
  • The library itself underwent minor renovations — some fresh paint, less bookshelves, and more furniture. There is also new carpeting in Durham.
  • The Student Wellness Center is in Main Hall 236. While the counselling center was already there, the nurse’s office has moved up from the basement of Main Hall, bringing all aspects of student wellness into one location.

Correction: It was previously stated that the security office and Title IX office were located in the Wellness center, which is incorrect.