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RC CLEI Promotes More Than Entrepreneurship


Written by Bradley Bommarito

Last Tuesday, the Roanoke College Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurial Innovation launched its Fall 2019 speaker series. Dr. Hal Irvin, the Associate Vice President for Health Sciences and Technology Outreach at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech, and Dr. Sarah Snider, a postdoctoral researcher at the center and entrepreneur, spoke to a group of students and faculty in West Hall about some ongoing projects at the center as well as opportunities for local students to get involved. 

“The CLEI speaker series is a monthly opportunity for interested students – regardless of discipline – to come and hear directly from people involved in entrepreneurship, community leadership, and business innovation,” said Mr. Steve Baker, CLEI director and business professor.

Irvin started off the lunch by discussing his unique role as an ambassador between the business world and the academic community. He explained his affiliation with RAMP, a partnership between Virginia Western Community College, Roanoke City, and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. Snider finished out the second half of the lunch, detailing her role as both a graduate student and start-up CEO. She presented about a newly developed diagnostic app for the detection and treatment of alcohol use disorder.

“Students who wish to become directly involved in these opportunities should get involved in research at the undergrad level,” said Irvin.

According to their website, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC makes transformative scientific advances that address the fundamental processes of human and animal health and disease. The institute trains the next generation of leading biomedical scientists while also facilitating discovery-based medical education. By sustaining and continuing to strengthen the Virginia Tech/ Carilion strategic partnership, the institute aims to develop one of the nation’s premier biomedical research environments in Roanoke, Virginia.

“Drs. Irvin and Snider were able to describe and explain complicated processes, such as funding a biotechnology startup, in a manner that was aspiring and encouraging to students. We also learned that BEAM Diagnostics currently has an opening for a research assistant, an appropriate entry for an interested RC student.  I think our two guests represent the product of hard work and commitment to one’s craft,” said Baker.

Snider is the CEO of the start-up company Beam Diagnostics, located in Roanoke, Va. According to their website, Beam Diagnostics aims to integrate cutting-edge research in behavioral economics with advanced technology to improve the lives of numerous individuals suffering from alcohol and other substance use problems. 

Future speakers in the CLEI lunch program include health care administrators, government officials, and business leaders. Mr. Baker urges students to engage with some of the upcoming CLEI programming.

“On Oct. 22, we will partner with Pi Lambda Phi fraternity to welcome Mrs. Nancy Agee, the CEO of Carilion, to the annual CLEI/PLP Speaker Series presentation at 7:30 p.m.  We hope everyone comes out to hear this local legend talk about her experiences transitioning from being a nurse to head of one of the state’s largest healthcare systems. On Nov. 16, all students are invited to compete and win money at the 2nd Annual Salem Civic Challenge. This unique event asks teams of students to solve a real-life problem proffered by the City of Salem, and the winning groups will win some cash. Otherwise stay tuned to the RC events calendars, your emails, and campus bulletin boards for more information about CLEI events this year,” said Baker.

“Look Mom I Can Fly” Soars into Netflix


Written by Alexandra Gautier

Not many artists in today’s music industry can say that an album has been a culmination of two decades work – but Travis Scott claims exactly that about his album AstroWorld in his Netflix documentary “Look Mom, I Can Fly.” “Astro[World] has been a concept I’ve been working on since I was six years old,” said Scott. This documentary gives fans a front row seat to his personal journey in creating the album, his private life in the spotlight, and life before the fame.

Fans who couldn’t attend his over-the-top performances (containing smoke, lights, stage diving and a golden bird suspended in the air above the stage) will be consoled to catch a glimpse of his various sets, as the documentary includes snippets from his tour.

There are many fan testimonies to how the rapper, affectionately known as La Flame, personally affected their lives in a positive way. One such fan said “throughout high school… I was super depressed and I had no one to turn to and he was the first person to let me know that I wasn’t alone.” The individual later credits La Flame for saving his life. 

Further, this documentary will stand out to viewers because it unveils his highest highs, such as the birth of his daughter Stormi Webster, and his lowest lows, like losing the Grammy for Best Rap Album to Cardi B. Often celebrities prefer to only display the best moments of their lives, but Scott does not shy away from bearing his soul in this documentary, as he does in his music.

RC Students Explore Clubs and Activities


Written by Robby Mangum

On Friday, August 30, Roanoke College held its biyearly activities fair. Representatives from every type of on-campus organization (including Greek life, activity clubs, and religious groups) attended the activities fair in an attempt to attract new members, especially among the freshman class. In addition, external organizations such as the Salem Police Department and United States Marine Corps were present.

Many freshmen braved the heat and sun to attend the activity fair. Freshman Jarod Le said that he signed up for several clubs, including economics and math club, since he was getting “quite bored” of his dorm.

Freshman Ava Glover said that she joined a ‘naturally curly hair club.’ 

“They offer tips on maintaining curly hair, which can be hard, and it’s just hard to say ‘no’ to,” said Glover.

RC has over 100 clubs and student organizations, covering every interest from journalism to beekeeping. Information about clubs can be found online on ClubHub, a website on which every Roanoke student has an account. From ClubHub, students can look at club rosters, messages, and information. It’s a great system for keeping up with student organizations.

RC prides itself on offering a student group for everyone. If there’s a club you’d like to bring to campus, you can get involved yourself and take the initiative to make it happen! All it takes is six like-minded individuals, one faculty sponsor, and Student Government Association (SGA) approval of the club constitution. Contact Ms. Dani Moore, assistant director of student activities, or any officer of SGA for more information. The RC Student Activities Office is located in the Colket Atrium near the WRKE radio studio.

In Review: Summer’s Biggest Blockbusters


Written by Charissa Roberson

Summer 2019 was a great one for the movies.  The following is a recap of some of the biggest films to hit the big screen over break:  

First up, the superhero event that shattered box office records and managed incredibly to live up to its hype—Avengers: Endgame.  Technically, the movie came out in April, but Endgame was so popular that it remained in theaters well into the summer.  In May, the Disney remake Aladdin swept theaters, scoring mixed reviews, but an overall positive reception (after all, the original classic is tough to beat).  

Then, Pixar struck with Toy Story 4 debunking the age-old adage that sequels are never better than their predecessors.  Colorful characters, lovely animation, and a charming storyline made the toys’ fourth on-screen appearance one to remember.  Not to be out-done, the newest Spider-Man swung in at the start of July. Far From Home served up a delightful mix of web-slinging action, hilarious comedy, and sweet romance – the perfect summer blockbuster. The long-awaited Lion King remake arrived next.  Jon Favreau (Spider-Man’s very own Happy Hogan) brought the animated original to life with dedication and stunning visuals.  

If you didn’t catch these movies in theaters, don’t worry! As the fall semester begins and these films make their way to DVD and streaming services, you’ll have some great flicks for your next dorm movie night.

RC Upgrades the Student Experience


Written by Bradley Bommarito

There’s no doubt that the summer is an exciting time for students. For four months out of the year, we have the chance to catch up on sleep, restore our checking accounts, and reunite with old friends. While we’re recuperating from the previous semester, however, a sizeable proportion of the RC faculty and staff remains hard at work to repair, maintain, and upgrade the physical spaces that define our student experience.

The employees of Commons and Cavern have accomplished an extensive list of updates in just a few short months. According to Mr. Tim Tenon, the general manager of RC Dining Services, some of the most prominent changes have taken place in Cavern. The menu has been expanded to include burritos as an option, and the space was repainted and redecorated. Many of the chairs in both Commons and Cavern have been reupholstered, and the layout of the fountain beverage machines in Commons has been reorganized. Additionally, Dining Services is testing a new expansion to Friday on the Quad (FOTQ) options.

“We are trying some experimental changes to FOTQ’s this fall based on feedback from students. Two meals will be served in the Commons, with take-out options available for those wishing to continue to eat outside and enjoy the FOTQ activities. Meal swipes or payment will be required for Commons meal options,” said Tenon.

Those who haven’t checked out Rooney’s Brews on the ground floor of Fintel Library are missing out on an expanded menu new daily specials. Nitro brew coffee is now available. Connoisseurs of sparkling water beverages such as myself should rejoice- a Bubly sprakling water machine will soon be available in Commons, in addition to fresh infused ice water dispensers.

Other changes are being considered and may be tested or implemented in the near future. A brown bag breakfast option (that will be a meal exchange item) may be trialed at Rooney’s Brews. Discussions with a third-party vendor regarding the availability of fresh sushi in Cavern on certain days are in progress. Management will be evaluating the sustainability of Dining Services operations and food waste outputs. They will also be working with a dietician in order to improve food options for those with special dietary needs.

According to Mr. Michael Vaught, RC manager of plant operations, one change that students that may notice are the addition of large umbrellas around campus- three of them are located on the Pierro Plaza and three more are on the Sutton Terrace. The Olin Hall galleries were updated with new paint and carpeting. A new sidewalk was constructed on Market St. in front of the Bast Center. Additionally, a few residential halls were extensively renovated.

“In Marion Hall, we replaced all the lighting with LED fixtures and replaced all the ceiling tiles. We installed new carpet in the hallways and common areas and replaced the tile floors, vanities, and sinks in the residential rooms,” said Vaught.

RC Building and Grounds also installed new carpet and tile on the ground floor of Chalmers. The Bast 238 classroom was completely renovated, with brand new walls, ceiling, LED lighting, carpet, and paint.

Last Monday was Labor Day, a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September that honors the American labor movement and the power of collective action by laborers, who are essential for the workings of society. RC’s dedicated faculty and staff consistently work to improve our campus, completing jobs that are invisible to many of us. On behalf of The Brackety-Ack and the RC student body, I would like to thank the employees who make the student experience at RC possible.