Four Shepherd students took part in the first Dinner With Strangers for the academic year, attending a dinner hosted by Rob and Mary Logan Hoxton of Shepherdstown. Dinner With Strangers gives students the opportunity to get to know community members willing to host a meal in their homes and who work in a profession aligned with the students’ area of study.
Rob Hoxton is managing director at United Capital Northern Shenandoah Valley, a financial management company that has offices in Shepherdstown and Winchester, Virginia. He is also an adjunct professor in business administration, and his company supports the Shepherd University Financial Planning Program through scholarships.
“We really enjoyed interacting with the students,” Hoxton said. “I think it’s important for students to establish strong contacts in the community for future employment and maybe other opportunities.”
The Hoxtons invited Shepherd alumni Eric and Joy Lewis to join four students from the Financial Planning Program for dinner. Eric Lewis is a partner with Ours, Lawyer, Lewis & Company, PLLC, and chair of Shepherd’s Board of Governors. Joy Lewis is manager of business retention and expansion at the West Virginia Department of Commerce.
Students who attended were Charles Ransom, an economics major from Shepherdstown; Ariana Nieves, a business administration major from Charles Town; Heather Thompson, an accounting major from Martinsburg; and Stephen Curran, an accounting major from Galena, Maryland.
“I found the dinner with strangers to be very interesting and insightful,” Thompson said. “I am a double major—accounting and business administration, with a concentration in financial planning. It was great to talk to both Mr. Hoxton and Mr. Lewis, especially since they both work in the fields that I am interested in. Both the Hoxtons and the Lewises are very helpful and genuinely kind people. It was an honor to have dinner with them and learn more about them.”
“I thought the environment and the company were very welcoming,” Nieves said. “We all had a great time, sharing stories from the past and talking about our futures. The Hoxtons and the Lewises both had some great advice and shared some life experiences with us that I will remember when I graduate from Shepherd in May and start my career. I would love to be in their position one day and maybe host a dinner of my own. I love that they care about us and want to be involved in our success.”