Apr 282016

Travis McDonald speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

On March 31, 2016, Travis McDonald presented the fourth and final part of our Thursday series entitled Jefferson’s Legacies.

Travis McDonald is an architectural historian who has directed the restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s villa retreat Poplar Forest since 1989. The restoration has been acknowledged as one of the most authentic such projects in the United States. Mr. McDonald has written and lectured extensively on Jefferson, Poplar Forest and early Virginia architecture. He formally worked for the chief historical architect of the National Park Service for the Colonial Williamsburg foundation and has directed museum restorations in Virginia for more than thirty years. Travis received his graduate degree in architectural history from the University of Virginia School of Architecture. In 2011, he was awarded the highest award, The Architecture Medal for Virginia Service by the Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for his work on Poplar Forest.

Mr. McDonald serves on many historic preservation advisory boards including that for Thomas Jefferson’s buildings at the University of Virginia.

The lecture series was organized by award-winning historian and Charlottesville-based author, lecturer, and cartographer Rick Britton in conjunction with the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Click here to listen to all four parts of this series.

Apr 212016

Rick Britton speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

On March 10, 2016, Rick Britton presented the third lecture in our four part CPN Thursday series entitled Jefferson’s Legacies.

The story of the founding of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation is full of many odd twists and turns. Following his death, the Jefferson estate fell into the hands of private owners. In this podcast, you will learn how the United States third president’s home, Monticello, came to be a public place in honor of its most famous resident.

Rick Britton is a historian of the Old Dominion who specializes in 18th- and 19th-century Virginia history. Two of his main areas of expertise are the American Civil War and the life and times of our third president, Thomas Jefferson. Along with his writing, Rick conducts tours of Civil War battlefields, teaches classes on the history of central Virginia, organizes history programming for the Senior Center in Charlottesville, illustrates maps for history books, and lectures all across Virginia on a wide range of topics. With over 200 published articles and essays under his belt, he’s the author of Albemarle & Charlottesville: An Illustrated History and Jefferson: A Monticello Sampler for which he was awarded a medal for non-fiction at New York City’s Book Expo, the nation’s largest book convention. His newest book, Virginia Vignettes (Vol. 1) – Famous Characters & Events in Central Virginia History, is the first of a new series featuring some of the men and women who figure large in 18th- and 19th-century American history.

The lecture was presented by Rick Britton as a part of this series and was held in conjunction with the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Click here to listen to all four parts of this series.

Apr 142016

Beth Sawyer speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

On March 3, 2016, Beth Sawyer presented the second lecture in a our four part CPN Thursday series entitled Jefferson’s Legacies.

In this podcast you will learn about more than just the famous Jefferson home at Monticello. Jefferson’s time “on the mountain” left a rich archaeological legacy which is still being investigated today.

Beth Sawyer is an archaeological analyst at Monticello and works in the archaeology lab processing artifacts and performing analysis as well as working with public programs. A graduate of William and Mary University, she volunteered with the Fairfield Foundation in Tidewater, and interned with Montpelier before joining the Monticello team. For the past ten years she has been engaged with every aspect of the archaeology department including field work, artifact processing, museum exhibits, public archaeology programs and the current mountain top restoration project. Her varied research interests include plantation archaeology and ceramic analysis, but she most enjoys sharing her findings and engaging with the public.

The lecture series was organized by award-winning historian and Charlottesville-based author, lecturer, and cartographer Rick Britton in conjunction with the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Click here to listen to all four parts of this series.

Apr 132016

Ashley Deeks and Frederick Hitz speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

The FISA Court (or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court) was established by act of Congress in 1978 to oversee requests for surveillance warrants involving suspected foreign spies within the United States by federal law-enforcement and intelligence agencies, principally the FBI and the National Security Agency.

Senior Fellows at the Law School’s Center for National Security Law, Ashley Deeks and Fred Hitz discuss the FISA Court and its pros and cons.

Ashley Deeks is an associate professor at the University of Virginia Law School. Prior to joining the Law School’s faculty she was the assistant legal adviser for political-military affairs in the Legal Adviser’s Office at the Department of State where, among many other duties, she advised on intelligence issues. She has also served as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ms. Deeks is a cum laude graduate of Williams College and an honors graduate of the University of Chicago Law School.

Frederick P. Hitz is an adjunct professor at the Law School and the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. For more than 30 years, while ostensibly being a lawyer in a buttoned-down private practice, he served in various capacities at the Central Intelligence Agency, both in line positions such as deputy director for Europe in the Directorate of Operations and in staff positions like Inspector General. He has written extensively on espionage and intelligence issues. His publications include “The Great Game: the Myth and Reality of Espionage” and “Why Spy? Espionage in an Era of Uncertainty.”  Mr. Hitz is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Deeks and Hitz spoke at the Wednesday April 13, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Terry Cooper.

Apr 072016

Peggy Cornett speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

On February 18, 2016, Peggy Cornett presented the first lecture in a new four part CPN Thursday series entitled Jefferson’s Legacies.

Third president of the United States Thomas Jefferson had many interests including a love of botany. Monticello Curator of Plants Peggy Cornett talks about Jefferson’s interest in botany the effects of which can still be seen today.

Peggy Cornett has worked at Monticello since 1983. Shebegan as an associate director of gardens and grounds and from 1992 to 2009 she served as director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants. Before Ms. Cornett assumed her current position, Curator of Plants, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in English and botany and a master’s degree in public garden administration from the Longwood Graduate program at the University of Delaware.

Ms. Cornett has lectured widely on garden history topics throughout the United States as well as at the American Museum in Bath England, and for the Bermuda Rose society in Hamilton Bermuda. Peggy writes articles for gardening magazines, professional journals, including the American Public Garden Association, and she wrote, produced and edited Twinleaf, the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants annual journal and catalog. Since 1990 she has edited and produced Magnolia, the quarterly publication of the Southern Garden History Society.

The lecture series was organized by award-winning historian and Charlottesville-based author, lecturer, and cartographer Rick Britton in conjunction with the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Click here to listen to all four parts of this series.

Mar 092016

Peter van der Linde speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

After 14 years at sea as a Merchant Marine Captain, in 1986 Peter van der Linde returned to Charlottesville and spent the next 30 years building homes. After creating a roll-off container rental business to supplement his own hauling needs as a contractor, he began to take a closer look at what was being thrown away. He knew he could do better than letting good building material go into a landfill. After much research van der Linde Recycling was born with the installation of the largest construction and demolition (C&D) separator that had been installed up to that time. The 70,000 sq. ft. C&D processing facility opened its doors in December of 2008, concurrent with the economic meltdown. Construction waste stopped. The timing couldn’t have been worse.

For those first several months, Pete scrambled to bring in sufficient material to keep the operation going. Almost immediately, he began the construction of another facility to receive co-mingled recyclables and Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) as an additional source of supply to meet his company’s needs. He also went into concrete crushing and wood grinding creating two new products: gravel and mulch. The diversification helped them while the C&D waste stream began to recover.

A year later, in Nov. 2009, the MSW facility opened. With ongoing awareness on the part of surrounding businesses and communities looking for a safe and reliable place to recycle their C&D and MSW, van der Linde was able to continue without interruption. Today they have a 50-50 intake of material, half C&D and half MSW. Right now they are averaging about 800 tons per day, 400 tons of each.

Never satisfied, Peter decided to invest an additional 6 million dollars into expanding the capabilities of the MSW facility. This included developing proprietary processes, adding additional mechanization to the sorting process and installing additional balers to increase our product marketability. He was recently a featured cover story in WHEN magazine because of the innovations he is making toward recycling.

Mr. van der Linde and van der Linde Recycling senior manager Andy Johnson spoke at the Wednesday March 9, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Past President Bob McGrath.

Feb 102016

Dr. Ann Macheras speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Richmond Federal Reserve Bank Vice President Ann Battle Macheras discusses the Charlottesville economy, the national economy and monetary policy. Dr. Macheras oversees Regional Research and Economic Education at the Richmond Bank’s Research Department. In addition, her research interests include regional industry specialization and determinants of growth at the regional level.

The Regional Research group provides analysis and research on regional economic conditions in the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which includes North and South Carolina, Virginia, most of West Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The Economic Education group works with teachers, students, and the general public to share knowledge and enhance understanding about the economy and the role of the Fed.

Dr. Macheras joined the Richmond Bank as vice president of the Research Department in February 2009. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve Bank, she served as senior economist for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and also held positions in banking, consulting, and academics. She currently serves on the Joint Advisory Board of Economists for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Dr. Macheras completed her Ph.D. in economics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Dr. Macheras spoke at the Wednesday February 10, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Board Member Nancy Hunt.

Jan 132016

Richard Shannon speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

In this podcast, Richard Shannon, MD talks about the importance of quality in health care, the Be Safe program at the University of Virginia and its impact on patients and health care professionals as well as his thoughts on how health care quality can be improved.

Richard P. Shannon, MD is the executive vice president for health affairs at the University of Virginia. He is responsible for aligning the key components of the UVa Health System to achieve the goal of becoming a top-decile academic medical center.

Prior to joining the UVa Health System, Dr. Shannon served as the Frank Wister Thomas Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Univ. of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Prior to his appointment at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, Dr. Shannon served as chair of the Department of Medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Shannon received his BA from Princeton, and MD from the Univ. of Connecticut School of Medicine. He did his training in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital, his cardiovascular training at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was a professor of Medicine at Harvard and Drexel. Both Harvard and Drexel have honored him with numerous teaching awards. Dr. Shannon’s investigative interests are in the area of myocardial metabolism and heart failure, specifically the role of energetics in the progression of heart failure. Dr. Shannon’s lab was the first to discover the beneficial CV actions of incretins which formed the basis for Ventrigen, LLC, a company designed to develop incretins for the use in treating heart failure.

Dr. Shannon’s pioneering work in patient safety is chronicled in the chapter – “First, Do No Harm,” Charles Kenney’s book, The Best Practice: How the New Quality Movement is Transforming Medicine. Dr. Shannon’s innovative work also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, on CNN and CNBC news segments and ABC’s “20/20,” and the PBS report entitled “Remaking American Medicine.”

Dr. Shannon is an elected member of several honorary organizations, editorial boards, and boards of directors including the following: American Board of Internal Medicine, Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and UVa’s Physicians Group.

Dr. Shannon spoke at the Wednesday January 13, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.

Dec 092015

Jesse Rutledge

Jesse Rutledge talked about how Virginia and other states select their state-court judges and the advantages and disadvantages of each method. In this podcast, you will learn how many states let the people pick their judges through popular elections and what the US Supreme Court had to say about freedom of speech when judges must also be “candidates” like other politicians.

Is there a way to get the politics out of how judges are chosen?

Jesse Rutledge is vice president for external affairs at the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) in Williamsburg, Virginia. At NCSC he oversees the organization’s communications, marketing, information services, associations, conferences, and private development efforts. Prior to joining NCSC, he served as deputy director at the Justice at Stake Campaign in Washington, D.C. where his work focused on documenting special interest threats to the courts and developing public education campaigns to combat those threats. His commentary has appeared in state and national media, including the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Roll Call, and on National Public Radio and BBC Radio. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in political science.

Mr. Rutledge spoke at the Wednesday December 9, 2015 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Terry Cooper.

Nov 132015

Dahlia Lithwick speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

In this podcast, Slate Magazine senior editor Dahlia Lithwick recaps highlights from the Supreme Court’s last term, previews the new term, and talks about current big themes.

Dahlia Lithwick is a senior editor at Slate Magzine, and in that capacity, writes the Supreme Court Dispatches and Jurisprudence columns. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Commentary, among other places. She won a 2013 National Magazine Award for her columns on the Affordable Care Act.

Lithwick has been twice awarded an Online Journalism Award for her legal commentary and was the first online journalist invited to be on the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press. Ms. Lithwick has testified before Congress about access to justice in the era of the Roberts Court. She has appeared on CNN, ABC, The Colbert Report, and is a frequent guest on The Rachel Maddow Show. Ms. Lithwick earned her BA from Yale University and her JD degree from Stanford University. She is currently working on a book about the four women justices of the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Lithwick spoke at the Friday November 13, 2015 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV President Bob McGrath.

Oct 172015

Elaine Cheng and Eric Rzeszut Speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Individuals ranging from youthful pranksters to international cyber criminals continuously threaten our personal, organizational, and indeed, the security of our nation. This podcast addresses the current status of internet security at all levels including what you can do to better protect yourself in the digital age.

Elaine Cheng

Elaine Cheng, managing director and chief information officer at CFA Institute, oversees all aspects of information technology globally for the organization. Her primary focus is to provide and support organization-wide IT, including infrastructure and architecture, applications development, business process re-engineering, networks, and computer operations. She is also accountable for the future vision and strategy of technology and systems at CFA Institute. Prior to joining CFA Institute, Ms. Cheng worked for M&T Bank in Buffalo, New York, as Group Vice President of Technology Business Services. In this position, she led development planning for major IT investments, managed technology relationships with retail, commercial and internal business units, and overhauled the project management process. She served as vice president of retail operations at the bank prior to this position. Ms. Cheng earned her BA from Vassar College and her MBA from the University of Rochester, both in New York.

Eric Rzeszut

Eric Rzeszut is the help desk manager at UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce, and was previously an IT manager at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) with nearly two decades of information technology and information security experience. Eric is also co-author of the book 10 Don’ts on Your Digital Devices, a guide to data security and digital privacy for nontechnical users published by APress in 2014.

Ms. Cheng and Mr Rzeszut spoke at the Wednesday, October 14, 2015 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Rich DeMong.

Sep 162015

Six Indigenous Australian writers and two Indigenous American writers read from and discussed their work in an event titled First People: Indigenous Writers from Australia and North America on September 8, 2015 at the Harrison Institute Auditorium.

Each writer spent seven minutes reading from a work of their choice. Karenne Wood (Monacan) led a discussion about Indigenous identity and writing. Questions were also taken from the audience. The speakers were introduced by Kluge-Ruhe director Margo Smith.

Writers speaking at the Harrison Institute Auditorium on September 8, 2015.

The program was intended to inspire writers at U.Va. and in the community by introducing them to emerging and established Indigenous authors, while also creating a visible platform for Indigenous voices to be shared and heard in our community, where these voices are often considered invisible and are sometimes intentionally silenced. “As always, we are excited to provide the opportunity for public dialogue about the politics of Indigenous identities and how these inform the study of human culture. Usually visual art is the platform for this conversation at Kluge-Ruhe, but we are committed to supporting all kinds of Indigenous creativity, and are grateful for the chance to showcase the compelling and relevant works of these writers ,” said Education and Program Coordinator Lauren Maupin.

Indigenous Australian writers Bruce Pascoe, Jared Thomas, Dub Leffler, Jeanine Leane, Ellen Van Neervan, and Cathy Craigie are members of the First Nations Australian Writers Network, an organization that acts as an advocacy and resources service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers. Already in the United States for the 2015 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection invited them to Charlottesville to participate in the panel reading and discussion.

Kluge-Ruhe reached out to the Mary and David Harrison Institute as a partnering host for this program, as well as Karenne Wood (Monacan) of the Virginia Indian Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Wood, being a published poet herself, agreed to participate and moderate the panel. Poet Deborah Miranda (Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen), who has won numerous writing awards and teaches at Washington and Lee, also participated.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to hear from Indigenous writers on both sides of the globe, to compare our historical and contemporary experiences, and to talk about how we use writing to challenge people’s perceptions,” said Karenne Wood.

The program was sponsored by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of U.Va., the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the First Nations Australian Writers Network, the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature and Culture and the Australia Council for the Arts.

More information about each writer follows.

Karenne Wood is an enrolled member of the Monacan Indian Nation and serves on the Monacan Tribal Council. She is currently a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Virginia, working to reclaim indigenous languages and revitalize cultural practices. She recently edited The Virginia Indian Heritage Trail, published by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, led the “Beyond Jamestown” Teachers’ Institute, and curated the “Beyond Jamestown: Virginia Indians Past and Present” exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Natural History. She was previously the Repatriation Director for the Association on American Indian Affairs, coordinating the return of sacred objects to Native communities. She has also worked at the National Museum of the American Indian as a researcher, and she directed a tribal history project with the Monacan Nation for six years. Wood held a gubernatorial appointment as Chair of the Virginia Council on Indians for four years, and she has served on the National Congress of American Indians’ Repatriation Commission.

Bruce Pascoe is of Bunurong, Yuin, Tasmanian heritage. His books include Shark, Ruby-eyed Coucal, Ocean, Earth and Nightjar. His novel, Bloke, was published by Penguin in 2009. The children’s novel, The Chainsaw File, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. Fog a Dox was published in 2012 by Magabala and won the Prime Minister’s Award for Young Adult Literature in 2013. Dark Emu was published by Magabala in 2014 and was shortlisted in the Western Australia and Queensland Literary Awards. In 2014 he attended the Australian New Zealand Literary Festival in London and in 2015 will visit festivals in Scotland, Mongolia and the USA.

Jared Thomas is a Nukunu man of the Southern Flinders Ranges and an author of young adult fiction. His debut novel Sweet Guy was short listed for three major Australian literature awards and his children’s novel Dallas Davis, the Scientist and the City Kids is published in the Oxford University Press Yarning Strong series. Calypso Summer won the 2013 State Library of Queensland black&write! Fellowship and was included in iTunes best books of April 2014. Leading Indigenous publisher Magabala Books will release Songs that Sound like Blood in 2015.

Dub Leffler is descended from the Bigambul people who survived the fourteen year Bigambul war of the 1840s in Australia. He is an accomplished author and illustrator with over eighteen feature titles to his name and has collaborated with such luminaries as Colin Thompson, Shaun Tan and Banksy. He is Australia’s premiere Indigenous illustrator of children’s literature. Dub’s book, Once There Was a Boy, which he both wrote and illustrated, was one of the biggest children’s books of 2011 in Australia.

Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri woman from southwest New South Wales with a Ph.D. in Literature and Aboriginal representation. She currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship at the Australian National University. In 2010, Jeanine’s first volume of poetry, Dark Secrets After Dreaming: AD 1887-1961 won the Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry from the Australian Poets’ Union and her manuscript, Purple Threads won the David Unaipon Award at the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. Jeanine is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery grant (2011) for her project Reading the Nation: A critical study of Aboriginal/Settler representation in the contemporary Australian Literary Landscape and a Discovery Indigenous Award (2013) for her new project The David Unaipon Award: Shaping the literary and cultural history of Aboriginal writing in Australia.

Ellen Van Neervan is a Yugambeh woman from South-East Queensland, Australia. She is the author of the award-winning Heat and Light (UQP, 2014). Divided into three sections, it is inspired by the intersection of familial history, location and identity. Ellen has been awarded a Queensland Writers Fellowship to pursue her next project in 2015, a novel about Aboriginal relationships with mega fauna. She lives in Brisbane where she works as the senior editor of the black&write! project at the State Library of Queensland, which aims to support and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and editors.

Cathy Craigie is a Gamilaroi and Anaiwon woman from northern New South Wales. She has worked in Aboriginal Affairs for over thirty years. She was one of the original founders of Koori Radio/Gadigal Information Service and has worked in senior positions with the Australia Council and the New South Wales Department of Aboriginal Affairs. Cathy has held a variety of key positions in other Aboriginal arts, health and housing organizations at national and international levels. She is also an aspiring writer and has written several plays and stories. Cathy was Festival Curator, Guwanyi (to tell) the National Aboriginal Writers’ Festival held at the New South Wales Writers Centre.

Deborah Miranda is a Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen woman of California. She was born in Los Angeles to an Esselen/Chumash father and a mother of French ancestry. She grew up in Washington State, earning a BS in teaching moderate special-needs children from Wheelock College in 1983 and an MA and PhD in English from the University of Washington. Miranda is a poet and her collections of poetry include Indian Cartography: Poems (1999), winner of the Diane Decorah Memorial First Book Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas; and The Zen of La Llorona (2005), nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Miranda also received the 2000 Writer of the Year Award for Poetry from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Her mixed-genre collection Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir (2013) won a Gold Medal from the Independent Publisher’s Association and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan Award.