Meet the Assistant Director

Meet the Assistant Director2021-09-28T13:41:27+00:00

About the Assistant Director

(L-R) Dorothy Carroll Vetterl (’18), Dr. Ed Hally, Dr. Sandra Via, Victoria Meza Miller (’18)

As a student, I always enjoyed the added challenge and interesting topics of honors courses. These courses allowed me to do independent research, collaborate with classmates of similar interests and backgrounds, and explore different ways of thinking. My teachers generally allowed more leeway for creative (and even weird) projects in class, such as the time I designed and wore a customizable fruit fly costume to demonstrate different mutations in an honors-based science class. In many ways, these courses helped define me as the person I am today.

When I started teaching at Ferrum in 2008, one of my top priorities was to find a way to teach in the Boone Honors Program. In my mind, Ferrum had the right idea for an honors curriculum – the courses were collaborative, usually team-taught, and they crossed disciplinary boundaries in unique ways. Initially, I took over an older honors course developed by my predecessor in the political science department: Freedom. I introduced a virtual reality project in which students used programs like Second Life and Minecraft to design their own perfect conception of what freedom meant to them. In 2011, I became the semi-regular instructor for the Cornerstone Seminar on Leadership (HON 100). It was exhilarating to be the first professor many incoming honors students got to know when arriving at Ferrum. I introduced a heavy focus on games and simulations as a way for students to reflect on leadership within the course, including the infamous “trapped” blindfold maze. I’ve since taught the course eight times. In 2017, I developed a course on political satire in collaboration with Prof. John Carey. In the course, we look at satire ranging from ancient Inuit songs of derision (essentially rap battles) through modern late night talk show monologues. In this class, students create their own satirical work in speech or video form and present it to the class in the final week of the semester.

As Assistant Director, I’ll be assessing program outcomes, advising students, and helping the Director to envision future directions for the program. It’s my goal to encourage faculty to create more courses for the program, especially ones that may work well with the revised general education curriculum. I’m excited to take a greater role in the program and look forward to working with our students and faculty.

I live in Roanoke with my wife, daughter, and two cats. In my spare time, I enjoy role-playing games and reading. I’m an “expert amateur” costume and mask maker and generally start each year’s Halloween costume in May.

Edmund Hally, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science, director of the Quality Enhancement Plan, and Assistant Director of the Boone Honors Program