What Have We Been Up To?

Summer 2020 has caused many of us to change our plans, find new hobbies or interests to fill our time, and explore new and creative ways to connect virtually. Here’s what some of our students and faculty have been up to this summer!

Kaillee Philleo enjoying this summer.

Kaillee Philleo, a senior double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology, spent her summer learning to play the guitar. “I have always enjoyed picking up new instruments and have had a guitar for a few years. While I could always play some basic chords, this summer Fender was offering a free 3-month subscription to their online guitar lessons,” Philleo said. With some extra time on her hands, she “took advantage of this and decided to learn some songs and more difficult chords and other tips and tricks to better my guitar playing!” When asked if she has plans to perform using her new skill, she said “I am just doing it for fun!”

Maggie Lewis, “all smiles and super stoked to get to spend my day doing what I love.”

Maggie Lewis, a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in German language and culture, worked as a Recovery Advocate at a residential facility in her hometown. She said she got the position by being in the right place at the right time. “I was dropping coffee off at my mom’s work and one of her clients was the Clinical Director of the facility I worked at. After a quick conversation about all things mental health I ended up with the best job I could have for the summer.” As a Recovery Advocate, “my role is to help supervise clients outside of their therapy sessions, take behavioral notes for therapists and insurance companies, and ensure that all clients feel safe and secure in their stay with us,” she explained. Her favorite part was knowing that each day she made a positive difference in someone’s life. She gave a recommendation for Dr. Hilton’s Abnormal Psychology class. “[It] prepared me beyond belief to tackle a job in this field. If you get the chance to take it, you definitely should.”

Dr. Andreea Mihalache-O’Keef (bottom row, center) on a Zoom call.

Dr. Andreea Mihalache-O’Keef, one of our International Relations professors, kept busy this summer co-organizing a half-day workshop on studying political risks for business as part of the Academy of International Business meeting, which was held virtually. “Our workshop had participants from many countries on several continents and led to great discussion about global business.” She especially loved this experience because she got to work with several Roanoke students, namely Ale Carino, Gastón Ocampo, Owen Gold, Jenny Engl, and Brooke Axelrod. “Working with all of them truly fills my heart with joy and makes this a very special project to me,” she said. Dr. O’Keef also worked with a local breastfeeding and infant nutrition advocacy group to organize virtual events for World Breastfeeding Week. She spent her free time gardening and riding a scooter alongside her daughter. She wrapped up by saying, “I am impressed and humbled by the resilience, creativity, activism, and kindness so many of the PA students and faculty have shown through the crises of this spring and summer. I love our community and love to see it grow stronger!”

Stay tuned to hear more about what our department has been doing this summer!

Casey Wilson
Contributing Writer