Curtains Rise On Radford-Hosted Summer Governor’s School
RADFORD --The rising temperatures aren’t the only thing heating up the campus of Radford University, where hundreds of Virginia’s brightest young stars are showcasing their talents as part of the 2010 Summer Residential Governor's Schools in the Humanities and Visual and Performing Arts. Chosen by the Virginia Department of Education as host of this summer’s governor’s school program, Radford University is proud to welcome 400 of the commonwealth’s most artistically gifted and musically talented rising junior and senior high school students.
Held June 26-July 24, the intensive summer program’s theme is "The Digital Humanities and Performing Arts” with students working with university faculty members to develop new technological skills, then applying their acquired knowledge to topics in their elected discipline.
The governor’s school program is a great opportunity for both the exceptional high school talents and for first-time host Radford University, said Bill Kennan, associate dean for RU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
“We expected outstanding students, and we certainly got them,” said Kennan, who is coordinating the 28-day program with fellow directors Martha Hale and Lucinda McDermott Piro.
The summer program offer participants the opportunity to live, study, and develop bonds with other students with similar interests and abilities from across the commonwealth. Both co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are designed to encourage students' interests and abilities. Nominations for attendance were made by teachers, guidance counselors, peers, or by the students themselves, with consideration given to students' academic records, test scores, extra-curricular activities, honors and awards, creativity, original essays, and teacher recommendations.
“It’s a great group of young people,” Kennan said. “They’re inquisitive, they’re excited to be here, they’re excited to learn, and we’re really glad to have them here.”
With 30 years of experience teaching at a collegiate level, Kennan said having the opportunity to engage hundreds of eager 15-18 year old talents has been truly rewarding.
Teaching is made easy, he said, when students are enthusiastic, active participants.
“They ask lots of questions, and they always want to know more. They’re the kind of students where you start in on something, and an hour later they’re still asking questions,” said Kennan. “This is something that they chose to do—to come and dance, play the clarinet, or learn about literature—this is a choice that they made and something they wanted to pursue. They are fully engaged in the program.”
The 400 high school students in the summer program are divided equally amongst the two RU colleges—the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
“We try to do something with them together, and really try to avoid a ‘this school or that school’ kind of thing,” said Kennan, emphasizing the importance of providing the young dynamos with a multi-faceted genuine taste of college life.
“Radford University has traditionally been the kind of school where a young person can get some attention, and they’re not just some anonymous person on campus, and that carries over into the governor’s school,” he said. “We try to give them as much of a college experience as we can, recognizing that they’re 15-18 years old.”
The program continues through July 24 and will conclude with a festival-like atmosphere the final week when the students invite their favorite high school teacher or faculty member to campus and put their talents on display, taking center stage in their chosen field or discipline.
July 8, 2010