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Wolfe brings cultural, law experience to American Culture Program

Noel Wolfe

Noel Wolfe

As the new Ainsworth Visiting Professor of American Culture, Noel Wolfe is helping develop yet another exciting curriculum for one of Randolph’s most unique programs.

This year, Wolfe will teach courses and lead discussions following the American Culture Program’s theme of “Drugs in America.” For the program, students will examine both legal and illegal drug use in America, and will discuss a range of topics like drug use and selling, drug paraphernalia, and drugs in popular culture. The program will also include a trip to either Denver, Colorado or New York City in the spring.

“I have not come across any other school that offers this kind of experience,” Wolfe said. “In many ways, the American Culture Program embodies the liberal arts mindset that Randolph is trying to encourage. We’re talking about immersing yourself for a full semester of looking at our lived experience through a specific theme, but also through all these different lenses.”

Earning her bachelor’s degree at Franklin & Marshall, another small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, Wolfe enjoys the campus and classroom setting at Randolph. She attended Tulane University Law School, and after a 10-year career as a lawyer earned her Ph.D. at Fordham University. Her dissertation was inspired by her work on Fordham’s Bronx African American History Project.

This fall, Wolfe is using her background in law and expertise on race and gender to teach African American History, African Americans in Law, and a Black Music and Activism first-year seminar. She has been impressed from the onset by Randolph’s close community as well as her students’ interest and engagement in all classes.

“The Honor Code, to me, is one of the most impressive things, and it’s not like anywhere else that I’ve been,” Wolfe said. “I’ve never taught anywhere where students hold up the idea of an honor code. I think the trust between students and faculty goes both ways, and it’s fantastic.”

Outside of the classroom and her cultural research, Wolfe has enjoyed exploring Lynchburg’s many family and outdoor attractions. A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native, she is a lifelong fan of the city’s professional sports teams and enjoys both watching and playing various sports. She and her partner, Katie Stewart, have two children, Tate, 4, and Carmen, 2.

Students can apply for the American Culture Program at https://www.randolphcollege.edu/americanculture/apply/. Applications for the next session are due November 7. The program is also hosting information sessions October 13 at 12:30 p.m. and October 26 at 5:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the Alcove Conference Room.


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