With Brookhaven College talent bursting at the seams, it’s no surprise that two more students have received well-deserved recognition for their artistic abilities. Brandy Walthall and Jeff Wheeler are the award recipients from two different competitions of the 2011-2012 League for Innovation in the Community College.
Brandy Walthall was awarded third place in the Student Literary Competition for her poem “Black Skin.” She created the piece for her creative writing class taught by Rhonda Bitner, the Brookhaven college professor she credits as most inspirational.
Brandy says writing has always come very easily and naturally to her, as she writes pieces every day. She is on track to graduate in the spring with her associate’s degree.
The national competition included 56 literary works from students at League board member colleges. The pieces were judged by a group of published writers, and the winners received cash prizes.
A Certificate of National Merit was awarded to Jeff for his entry “Celestial Tumor” in the Student Art Competition. The sculptural piece is a mixture of ceramic, wood and fiber. The inspiration for the piece was Randy Pausch’s book, "The Last Lecture," which was the selected reading for the college's 2010-2011 Open Book Project initiative.
“What strikes me is the dichotomy that comes from a talented, youthful guy with a fatal flaw like cancer,” Jeff said. “I tried to capture the beauty and deep thinking that he talks about life with and the threat that comes from a cancerous tumor.”
Jeff also had with him Du Chao, School of the Arts professor. Jeff thinks of Du as his most inspirational teacher at Brookhaven College and created the sculpture for Du's ceramics class.
The sculpture was one of just a few that were selected to be entered into a competition at Mountain View College, and one of five that were sent to Phoenix for evaluation by the League for Innovation. Jeff’s work will also be published in the League’s Student Art Competition publication.
Congratulations to these students! For more information about the League for Innovation in the Community College, visit the organization's website.