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2010 News Releases

Four Longwood students present research at statewide graduate student research forum

March 13, 2010

Four current or former Longwood University graduate students presented research at the Fifth Annual Graduate Student Research Forum, sponsored by the Virginia Council of Graduate Schools (VCGS) and held March 4 in Richmond.

Longwood participants were Acey Holmes of Midlothian and Randy Sherrod of Farmville, who are currently pursuing master's degrees, and Kendra Silva Aylor of Charlottesville and Melissa Ridley Elmes of South Boston, who received master's degrees in May 2009. The presentations by Aylor and Elmes were related to their master's theses, Holmes' presentation was part of a project with her adviser, and Sherrod's presentation evolved from a class project.

Holmes, pursuing an M.S. in communication sciences & disorders, did a presentation on "Prevalence of Speech Language Impairment and Hearing Impairment Services in Virginia and Nationwide." Holmes, who expects to graduate in 2011, has worked in this field as an early interventionist and teacher of the deaf, as well as for a cochlear implant manufacturer. Her research partner was Dr. Lissa Power-deFur, associate professor and director of the Center for Communication, Literacy and Learning, who is her adviser.

Sherrod, a former Longwood employee who now is the internal audit manager for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, presented "The Effect of Various Exterior Siding Types on Home Sale Prices," related to a real estate ethics course he took in summer 2009 under Dr. Bennie Waller, associate professor of CIMS/finance and chair of the Department of Accounting, Economics, Finance and Real Estate. Sherrod, Longwood's controller from November 2005 to July 2009, is working on an M.B.A. in business administration/general business, which he expects to finish in 2011. His adviser is Abbey O'Connor, interim assistant dean and director of the MBA Program and senior lecturer in management.

Aylor, a music teacher at Woodbrook Elementary in Albemarle County, did a presentation on "Making the Grade: Authentic Assessment Through Music Portfolios." She earned an M.S. in education with a curriculum & instruction specialist in music concentration. Her adviser and thesis director was Dr. Patricia Lust, professor of music and graduate music program coordinator.

Elmes, who teaches literature and art history at Carlbrook School, a secondary-level boarding school in Halifax, presented "King of the Who? Collective Unconscious and the Crafting of National Identity in Medieval Arthurian Texts." She earned an M.A. in English with a focus on medieval literature and also attended Longwood as an undergraduate in 1992-94. Her thesis director and adviser was Dr. Larissa "Kat" Tracy, assistant professor of medieval literature and graduate English program coordinator.

Elmes and Aylor have bachelor's degrees from the College of William & Mary; Sherrod from Radford University; and Holmes from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Longwood is one of 13 public colleges and universities that are members of VCGS. More than 60 graduate students presented research at this year's forum, which showcases graduate student research and scholarship from across Virginia.