You can meet Westover Honors alumni on Wall Street, in Washington, D.C., and in many walks of life. Here are just a few of our alumni who exemplify the experience of Westover Honors.
Sarah Turner ’12
Sarah graduated with a history major and minors in gender and museum studies. After Lynchburg, Sarah earned her arts management master’s degree at the University of Oregon. Today, she is the associate director of Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, Oregon.
As a Westover student, Sarah gained hands-on experience working in the University of Lynchburg’s Daura Gallery under the supervision of Dr. Barbara Rothermel. That experience, coupled with her study abroad course on the life of Winston Churchill, gave her a solid foundation for her future growth as a person and a professional.
“I am an advocate for the arts because they brings people together, especially in such trying times as now,” Sarah says. “It is important to share our stories, be in the same room, and learn from each other. For me, art is the best way to accomplish this. In my current position, I work to support artists through intentional community building programming to develop their practice through digital and video art.”
Sarah says her Westover thesis prepared her for the world of work. “Westover gave me the chance to dive deeper and spend more time on the thesis project, which I’m very grateful for,” she says. “In my job now, there are several research projects that I spend multiple months, and sometimes years developing. This gave me the groundwork to be prepared for my work now.”
When asked what advice she would give future Westover Fellows, Sarah says, “Follow your interests — and do not “self-brand” yourself too soon. There are so many career options in the world, and my job literally did not exist before I started there. Do not be afraid to move, take big risks, or patch a bunch of odd jobs together for a while. Let your interests take the lead!”
Anthony “Tony” Weinkopff ’09
Tony majored in biomedical science and completed a minor in business administration. Meanwhile, he was actively involved in Greek life, was a connection leader, an academic tutor for three different courses in the PASS program, and even served as a residence assistant.
After graduation, Tony taught biology and chemistry at a private school and developed a deep love for education. An entrepreneur in the truest sense, he co-founded Embrace Tutoring and Educational Services, which provides “enriching learning experiences for students and families by matching them with talented and experience teaching professionals.”
As an entrepreneur, Tony utilizes the entire skill set he developed as a Westover Fellow. He says that his thesis project was critical in helping him develop the skills that allow him to succeed in the ever-changing world of work.
Community is central to the Westover experience, And Tony has many memories of his time in Westover Honors. “I remember always feeling like I was part of a community. From classes to intramurals to attending senior thesis presentations, we were connected,” he says. “I recognized early on that by becoming a Westover Honors student, I would take the road less traveled, improve my life skills, and be surrounded by peers and faculty who would expect more of me than I expected of myself.”
Leigh Mackintosh, ’07
Leigh received her BA in music while also completing a minor in theatre. She performed in the orchestra and was often performing on stage or working behind the scenes of the theatre.
Upon graduation, she received a Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship to complete her Master of Divinity at Yale University. Now she serves as associate rector at the historic St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan.
Leigh’s Westover thesis was original, creative, academic, and truly interdisciplinary, combining her musical talent with her literary criticism and her interest in Frankenstein. “It gave me the freedom to delve into the diverse disciplines of romantic literature, playwriting, music composition, and theatre,” she says. “Exploring the spiritual themes of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and writing/producing an original musical adaptation based on this research gave me the opportunity to fully flesh out my own artistic and intellectual gifts.”
Leigh enjoyed the emphasis on creativity, ingenuity, and interdisciplinary study in Westover. “As a Westover Fellow, I learned that study and scholarship are more than mere academic tools used to inform our lives today. These are invitations into the journey of life-long learning — one where wisdom and experience become doorways into deeper exploration and interconnection.
“This holistic, interdisciplinary approach to learning and being in the world continues to inform my own life and vocation as a priest, teacher, and preacher. Because of my Westover experience, I have a deeper appreciation for life’s diversity, greater interest in cultural differences, and a desire to seek the underlying common truths that bind us together.”