A Rollins Year in Photos

From a field study to Cuba and high-profile internships here in Orlando to fun new classes and prestigious scholarships, 2018-19 was a banner year at Rollins.

Photos by Scott Cook

Unearthing ancient mysteries 20 miles from campus. Analyzing human cells at a premier research center. Building a tiny house on the shores of Lake Virginia. These are just a few of the tangible, meaningful ways the Roillins community put the liberal arts into action this past year. Before we start what is sure to be another exciting and productive year here at Rollins, let’s look back at some of our favorite moments from 2018-19.

As part of Rollins’ Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program, Samuel Hanna ’21 and James Hoelle ’21 partnered with physics professor Ashley Cannaday to build a customizable microscope that could aid in earlier detection of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. 

First-year students celebrated the beginning of their educational journey at Rollins during Candlewish in the Knowles Memorial Chapel.

Art history major Cameron Robinson ’19 interned for the second summer in a row at Snap! Space in downtown Orlando, where she worked alongside gallery owner Patrick Kahn to curate an exhibition of local artists. 

First-year students like Donayja Gates ’22 participated in SPARC Day, Rollins’ annual day of service during orientation. In the 13 years since the annual day of service was established, more than 9,000 Tars have contributed more than 37,000 hours of service to an average of 24 community organizations each year.

As part of Winter Park Institute’s 2018-19 season, renowned law professor and philosopher Martha Nussbaum presented “Fear and Anger: Democracy in Peril.”

Photo by Bill Doster

In The Art and Science of Cell Death, students analyzed how and why human cells are “programmed” to die while concurrently exploring the idea and symbolism of death by creating computer-generated sculptures inspired by cells they genetically engineered.

Photo by Bill Doster

In theatre professor Marianne DiQuattro’s community engagement course, Create With Me: Theater for People with Special Needs, students partnered with the nonprofit Opportunity, Community, Ability (OCA) to cultivate positive social change by engaging with adults who have autism and other developmental disabilities.

Biochemistry/molecular biology major Laura Tao ’19 was one of 11 students selected for the Rollins Professional Fellows, a new funded internship program aimed at delivering the best in hands-on experience. 

Focused on integrating experiences both in and outside the classroom, Rollins’ Living Learning Communities (LLC) encourage holistic learning and community building. Art history professor Mackenzie Moon Ryan is Rollins’ sole faculty-in-residence, driven by helping new students transition and become successful beyond their first semester.

Students like Skylar Knight ’19 and organizations like the Democracy Project are the reason Rollins was recognized as a national leader in engaging students in democracy for a third consecutive year. The College was just one of 124 universities to be named a voter-friendly campus in 2019 by Campus Vote Project and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

This past February, Cristina Toppin ’21 became the first Tar to participate in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Public Policy Leadership Conference.

National Book Awards finalist Jennifer Clement closed out the 2019 season of Winter With the Writers, Rollins’ annual literary festival that directly engages undergrads and professional authors in discussions about the students’ original works through round-table-style master classes.

Photo by Curtis Shaffer

A favorite spot for a study break is on Rollins’ very own beach on the shores of Lake Virginia. 

Photo by Zach Stovall

Carla Daza ’20—a double major in computer science and math—earned a spot in Public Policy and International Affairs’ highly selective Junior Summer Institute, a program ultimately designed to prepare students for roles serving the public good.

Photo by Zach Stovall

During anthropology professor Rachel Newcomb’s Intersession course, Food & Immigrant Cultures in Central Florida, Rollins students learned that just like there’s more to a recipe than a list of ingredients, there’s more to a population than statistics.

As a member of Rollins’ Bonner Leaders Program—a cohort-based community service program that pairs undergrads with local nonprofits—Marissa Cobuzio ’19 worked with Canine Companions for Independence to get Rollins approved as a service-dog-raising campus.

Photo by Patricia Tomé

Over this past spring break, several Rollins students ditched the beach to embark on one-of-a-kind faculty-led field studies to Cuba, Italy, and Japan. Each field study was tied to a course designed around experiential learning—from business to arts and literature to politics—and focused on deep cultural immersion.

Gary Gorman, a painter in Rollins’ facilities management department, represented the U.S. in the aquathlon at the 2019 ITU Multisport World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain, last spring.

Through the Pathways to Diversity grant, Rollins students in history professor Claire Strom’s Researching American History course explored the history of diversity and inclusion at Rollins.

A proven leader both on and off the court, Jakobi Bonner ’20—a guard on the Rollins men’s basketball team—was one of just three student-athletes in the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) to be selected to participate in the prestigious NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum. 

Hammers in hand, Rollins students in art professor Joshua Almond’s Applied Design Solutions course explored big concepts like sustainability, affordable housing, and climate change by building a tiny house.

It was another Alumni Weekend for the books this past spring when Tars from near and far gathered together in the spirit of our most beloved alumnus, Fred Rogers ’51.

Tamer Elkhouly ’19 used the experience he developed through a district manager internship at ALDI to secure a spot in Raytheon’s Contracts Leadership Development Program a full six months before graduation.

Fox Day was once again the best day of the year.

As Microsoft’s director of civic engagement in Miami, Lucas Hernandez ’13 is empowering community leaders to find answers to some of the nation’s most daunting civic challenges. 

At the Raise the Roof event on campus, Rollins announced that Trustee Kathleen W. Rollins ’75 has generously committed $10 million to the major renovation of Mills Memorial Hall. To celebrate, the Rollins community came together and signed the roof tiles that will soon sit atop the new building, which will now be known as Kathleen W. Rollins Hall. Check out 21 reasons we can’t wait for the new Rollins Hall

Women’s rower and double major in psychology and Spanish Lizzie Berry ’19 was named the 2018-19 Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

This past spring, international business major Nuh Elalaoui ’21 became the first Rollins student to be awarded the Cultural Vistas Fellowship, a summer international internship program designed for underrepresented U.S. college students. He points to classes like International Operations with business professor Serina Haddad as key factors in his success.

Ari Schubot ’19 was one of six senior studio art majors selected to exhibit their original works in Cease & Desist at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum as the final project for their senior semester. 

Computer science major Hannah Holman ’18 is putting the 21st-century skills she learned at Rollins to work as a software engineer at EA Sports in Orlando.

Mother-daughter tennis duo Felicia Hutnick ’79 and Teresa Kaiser ’19 have become the USTA’s top-ranked mother-daughter doubles team, winning four national titles since 2016. 

Lauren Neldner ’20 earned a 2019 Goldwater Scholarship, the country’s most prestigious undergraduate science scholarship. The physics major plans to pursue a PhD in either geophysics or structural engineering after graduating from Rollins.

Nico Khazzam ’18 was one of six Rollins students and graduates who earned a 2019-20 Fulbright Scholarship.

Launched this past fall and followed by a second iteration in the spring, the new Career Champions mentorship program is proliferating powerful partnerships between Rollins alumni and students.

Shannon Burrows ’19, who partnered with English professor Matthew Forsythe via Rollins’ Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program, was named the 2019 Holt Outstanding Senior.

Gabbie Buendia ’19 landed on the front page of the Orlando Sentinel this past May when she fulfilled her “double dream” of graduating as valedictorian and becoming a citizen of the United States.

Students in Rollins’ College of Liberal Arts, Crummer Graduate School of Business, and Hamilton Holt School graduated in a trio of commencement ceremonies.

Want to see more? Schedule a visit and come see Rollins for yourself.