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Alumni Spotlight

From Longwood to Carnegie-Mellon, Duke, Costa Rica, and next...?

Stephanie Skipp Stephanie Skipp, '12, in the Ruffner Rotunda

Stephanie Skipp (2012) is a former honors history major working on her dissertation at Carnegie-Mellon University in Latin American history.  She is currently doing research on a grant at Duke University on the Organization for Tropical Studies, which is a consortium of universities that runs field stations for biological research in Costa Rica.  After that, she heads back to Costa Rica next year for more research.  One reason why Stephanie is working with a nonprofit educational organization is to gain experience she can use in potential employment outside academia. She thanks the department at Longwood for helping to prepare her for the rigors of graduate school.


Bandon Walker, '02, completed his PhD at the University of Nottingham

Brandon Walker

Brandon Walker (2002) finished his Ph.D at the University of Nottingham in the UK in 2014, and has a forthcoming book entitled Memory, Mission, and Identity: Orality and the Apostolic Miracle Tradition.  He has lectured at Oxford Universityon the topic, and has had several articles accepted for publication.  Before that, Brandon spent six years as a theological educator in Africa.  He is now in Virginia Beach working at the public library there, and is looking for an academic position in the US.  While at Longwood, Brandon did a senior honor’s research project with Dr. Fergeson, and took advantage of the dual enrollment program with Hampden-Sydney to take classes in Hebrew, Greek and the history of religion.  He credits his time in the history department with preparing him for graduate school, and wishes to thank all the teachers who helped him grow as a scholar.


Jon Mikolashek Publishes Study of Gen. Mark Clark

Mikolashek Book - Mark Clark Available from Casemate Publications

Jon Mikolashek, a 2002 Longwood graduate in History, has just published a book on General Mark W. Clark in March 2013.  Less well-known than some of America's other World War II generals, Clark participated at great personal risk in Operation Torch in North Africa, was put in charge of the U.S. Fifth Army, and led them throughout the invasions of Sicily and mainland Italy, eventually securing the liberation of Rome.

Mikolashek now teaches at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, plus a number of online offerings.  He went on to James Madison University for his master's degree, and then earned his PhD from Florida State University in 2007. His educational and publishing background includes the American experience in World War II, World War I, and the War on Terror.

He previously worked for the United States Army Center of Military History, Contemporary Studies Branch, researching and writing on the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Jaime Alvis: from Student Leadership to The Century Council

Jaime Alvis

Jaime Alvis graduated from Longwood University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. At Longwood, she served as the Chair of Judicial Board, participated in the Camerata and Chamber Singers, and worked with the Center for Volunteer-Service Learning. Moreover, she was selected to be a member of the prestigious Governor’s Fellows Program, in addition to working for the Dick Gephardt for President campaign. After graduating from Longwood, Jaime worked for then-Governor Mark Warner. She moved on to complete a master’s degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University in Washington, D.C. Her distinguished performance in graduate school was recognized by faculty members when they awarded her the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Prize. Currently, Jaime is the Director of Government Relations and Traffic Safety at The Century Council in Arlington, Virginia.


Laura Espinalt, 2010 Graduate, Enters UN Program in Geneva

Espinalt Picture

Laura Simon Espinalt, class of 2010, recently accepted a position with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research in Geneva, Switzerland. At the UN, she will join a traineeship program that focuses on peace, security, and diplomacy.

Before obtaining this position, Laura was a graduate student at the London School of Economics and Politics where she studied international relations.

At Longwood, Laura majored in political science and economics, completed a Senior Honors research project, and played on the tennis team.


We Want to Hear from You!

We spent four intense years together here at Longwood (okay, it was five or six for those of you who couldn't get enough of Farmville...), and we still want to stay in touch.  Let us know about your successes so we can brag on you, here or on our department's facebook page.