Highlanders in the News: Week of June 19, 2023

Every other 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.

Spencer Horwitz ’19, a former Radford University infielder, was recently promoted to the Toronto Blue Jays and played his first major league game on June 18.

Welcome to “the show”

All signs indicate that Spencer Horwitz ’19 is having a pretty great month.

Radford University’s former infielder, more recently a member of the Buffalo Bisons minor league team, was called up to the majors last week to play first base for the Toronto Blue Jays.

His MLB debut came June 18 in Arlington, Texas, against the Rangers. In his first at-bat, Horwitz notched a ground-ball single, according to theforward.com.

Here’s a short video of the rookie himself, handily cracking the ball into right field.

The website jmoreliving.com also has coverage from the game, with a shot of the rookie smiling down from the jumbotron.

And while the Rangers ultimately prevailed 11-7, Horwitz definitely made his mark, scoring the Blue Jays’ third home run of the Father’s Day game as his dad and other family members watched from the stands.

Earlier this year, Horwitz played in the World Baseball Classic, representing Team Israel, and the club tweeted congrats his way. He also got a shout-out from a source closer to him – his grandfather, Jay Horwitz.

“I’m thrilled to be living out a dream of mine,” the newly minted first baseman, looking moderately elated, told Fanatics View in this brief interview from the game.

Horwitz played three years for the Highlanders from 2017-19, batting .288 for his career with 25 home runs and 118 RBI in 169 games.

Radford University Professor Emeritus of Political Science Matthew J. Franck

Audio, books

Bibliophiles and reluctant students alike can discover new dimensions in literature by reciting it themselves or hearing it secondhand, according to Radford University Professor Emeritus of Political Science Matthew J. Franck.

In “Thinking Out Loud,” a recent installment of Franck’s Public Discourse column “The Bookshelf,” he recommends that all readers should occasionally lend their voices to the words on the page.

“Being read to, and then reading aloud ourselves, are how we learn to read in the first place, and the practices of speaking and hearing the written word can continue to be both pleasurable and instructive,” writes Franck.

“Taking in the text with ear as well as eye is an aid to understanding,” he explains.

In addition to thoughts from friends, colleagues and other authors, Franck’s essay also includes reflections and recollections on reading and the act of being read to, such as when his fifth-grade teacher walked his entire class through J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” over several weeks. Hearing it aloud later led him to seek out and consume Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

That classroom memory maintains a lasting effect on him today.

“It was wonderful...” Franck writes. “And it helped to shape my ear for the music of prose.”

“Thinking Out Loud” was also recently reprinted in The Catholic Education Resource Center.

Heather Obleada ’95 (left) with her husband Gus and her two children. (Photo: Charlotte Parent)

Parent company

Since she earned her degree at Radford, Heather Obleada ’95 has added a lot of new chapters to her biography: she’s taught and choreographed ballet, continued to study her art, developed a modern dance program, founded the Charlotte, North Carolina, studio Iron Butterfly Pilates and is also well into raising a young son and daughter.

This month, she’s at the center of Charlotte Parent’s periodic profile column, “Parent to Know.”

Across 14 questions, Obleada weighs in on work, her kids, her partnerships with her husband and friends and the highs and lows of being a mom in the 2020s.

Among other topics, she also offers expert advice on how mothers can make the most of their 24 hours when demands for time are at a premium.

“Prioritizing small increments of time is a great way to start,” Obleada explains. “Getting up 10 minutes early to have coffee and quiet time while the house is still, taking a 20-minute walk during lunch [and] doing a 30-minute virtual fitness class are all great ways to begin carving out time for yourself.

“It may be challenging at first, but finding these bits of time for yourself will help you have more to give to others throughout your day.”

Jun 23, 2023
Neil Harvey