Hollins University Reviews

  • 11 Reviews
  • Roanoke (VA)
  • Annual Tuition: $39,035
100% of 11 students said this degree improved their career prospects
91% of 11 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

Kalyn McCabe
  • Reviewed: 8/5/2014
  • Degree: Performing Arts
  • Graduation Year: 2013
"Hollins University is an all-girls private university located about 20 minutes north of Roanoke itself. It's a super small campus (You can literally walk around the whole campus in 33 minutes. Trust me, I've timed.) and at the eastern edge of the campus you'll find the theatre, where I got my bachelor of arts in - you can guess it - theatre! The theatre department is run by Ernie Zulia, a rather portly man with a fire for theatre. He is a rather... eccentric man, likes to pull you in for what seems like a 5 minute conversation, but turns out to be that 90 minutes flew by, and directs solid plays. I would send out a word of caution though, he tends to cast the same people in principle roles and rarely departs from them. Though, other than that he means well and happy-spirited. The technical director is John Forsman, He's extremely knowledgeable in all things technical theatre. You'll learn a lot from him if you're into all technical sides of theatre. The acting teachers are Melody Zobel and Shelbie Fouts. Melody is definitely a character. Really loud and jovial. You either love her or you don't. I personally haven't taken a class with Shelbie, so I can't form an opinion on her. But she performed a one-woman play for us, and she was a fabulous actress. As for the history of theatre classes, those are run by Todd Ristau, who is a really great teacher. (You'll get the three act structure drilled into your mind like a jackhammer on concrete... but less violently, of course!) He also runs a super late night theatre variety show called "No Shame". It's hosted wherever there is a stage and a light to illuminate it, and you can perform pieces up to 5 minutes long. Anything of your choosing! All for $5 a person. Pretty cool. The last of the theatre staff is Amanda Quivey. I personally LOVE this woman. She teaches all the costuming/makeup courses at the theatre. She always has a smile on her face and a very sweet demeanor, but don't let that fool you. She is tough as a professor and expects better from you if she knows you can do so. She will teach you how to sew, apply makeup, and look the part. She is a fabulous professor. So, onto the theatre specific courses, They are great as classes go. They challenge you, make you want to tear your hair out, but they will teach you all you want to know about the theatre. But if you're coming here specifically for acting, look elsewhere. Most of the stuff I learned about acting was on my own. I would choose Hollins if I wanted to learn technical aspects of theatre. But be careful, theatre WILL eat up your free time, especially if you're in a play. Good luck trying to get your soul back after you've sold it to Ernie for a semester. As for the campus itself, everything is close together, you can travel anywhere (from Tinker to the Library, the Library to Moody) within 10 minutes of each other. Tinker is the freshman dorm, and as such, it is the only dorm that has A/C. All of our dorms that were originally built in the Civil War era don't have A/C. They do have heaters though, which do have a tendency to make loud noises and clank. But in the winter, they are so nice to have. Moody is the dining hall. The food there is alright. It's edible. Just isn't great. But you do have an alternative - the Ratskeller, or the Rat - down in the basement of Moody, which offers fresh, hot meals for Hollins dollars ($100 per semester, or more, depending on your meal plan) You HAVE to participate in Moody's food plan, unless you have a severe food allergy/super restricted diet which you have to get a doctor's note to opt out of. I've heard of girls fighting tooth and nail to opt out of it. There's also Jazzman's, our version of Starbucks. I love Jazzman's. Nice coffee fix for a morning. Overall, Hollins is a solid institution of learning. We're most well known for our English Creative Writing curriculum. You know the children's book, "Good Night Moon"? Yeah, that was written by a Hollins Alumni. Just to give a perspective on that program here. We have small class sizes, really learned professors, and a caring environment. Hollins will lift your eyes up to the hills and beyond."