Highlanders in the News: Week of Nov. 8

Every week, our Highlanders are using their education to do extraordinary things. Here, we’ll highlight some notable mentions from local, regional, national and international news media. Whether our students, alumni, faculty and staff are featured as subject matter experts in high-profile stories or simply helping make the world a better place, we’ll feature their stories.


Penn named college VP

After serving as a state education official in the Pacific Northwest, a Radford University graduate will sharpen her focus this month on one institution in particular.

Jamilyn Penn, MA ’92, has been named interim vice president of Highline College in Des Moines, Washington, just south of Seattle. She is due to start in that position Nov. 15.

Penn earned her master’s degree in English at Radford, and holds a doctorate in higher education leadership from Northeastern University.

She previously served as the statewide director of Transfer Education in the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and, in that position, dramatically increased the number of Applied Baccalaureate degrees offered by colleges across Washington, according to a news release from Highland College.

Highland, the first community college in its area, was founded in 1961 and serves more than 16,500 students, boasting 350,000 alumni.


Dancer points out pros and cons of dual degrees

A Highlander who now performs as part of a professional ballet company recently discussed the challenges and benefits of double-majoring as an undergraduate.

LeeAnn Elder ’14 spoke to Pointe Magazine, an international quarterly for dancers and students, for a Nov. 8 article about the option of obtaining a “backup degree” while also honing an artistic craft.

Elder, now with the Roanoke Ballet Theatre, earned her BFA in dance and her BS in nutrition and dietetics. In the story, she recalls that it required her to carry about five or six additional credit hours each semester – an expense of both energy and free time – but left her with a broader range of skills.

She says she now uses her knowledge of nutrition to plan family meals and her practical abilities to manage the finances at work: “It’s nice to be able to show that I can do things other than dance.”


Artist on display in Floyd

An exhibition by a Radford University artist will be on display in Floyd through the end of the year.

Sidra Kaluszka, MFA ’10, works in ceramics and watercolors, and her work has been shown in Alaska, Colorado, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Japan.

In 2016, Watercolor Artist magazine named Kaluszka to its annual list of “Ones to Watch.”

The show, at New Leaf Gallery in Floyd, is a joint exhibit by Kaluszka and Pulaski painter and photographer David Ferrell. It will close at the end of December.

For more information on New Leaf Gallery offerings, call (540) 745-7367 or visit https://anewleaf-gallery.com.


Nov 12, 2021
Neil Harvey
(540) 831-5150