Loving Life in Community

By Kristin Davis In the decade after Alyssa Martin ’96 graduated from Mary Washington College with a degree in economics and Spanish, life took a series of unexpected turns. She left graduate school after a semester, moved to Colorado, and worked odd jobs before becoming a certified professional midwife. She loved her calling, but not the toll it took. She worked all the time just to pay the bills, and it was nearly impossible to schedule time off. By 2006, she felt unfulfilled and disillusioned. “I knew that wasn’t sustainable or how I wanted to live in the world,” Martin said. “I wondered if there was a way for me to find more balance in life.” The answer was in a magazine article about a place called Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, a 280-acre commune in Rutledge, Missouri, devoted to sustainable living. Members live independently but agree to community rules, like building their homes using alternative techniques and powering them with renewable energy. They grow their food and own … [Read more...]

Photographer Captures Life

By Laura Moyer At first, artist Mary Jane Condon Bohlen ’94 had to find fellow breast cancer survivors who’d let her photograph them – chest scars exposed – for her book about life after diagnosis. But as word of the project circulated, women started asking to be included. They were proud of their resilient bodies and eager to share stories about how surviving breast cancer changed them inside and out. The result is Bosom Buddies, a book of powerful photographs, essays, and poems celebrating determination and grace. Bohlen is donating half the proceeds of the recently self-published book to the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She’s been involved with the center since 2008, when she and husband Bob moved back to her native New England after almost 30 years in the Fredericksburg area. The move north happened soon after Bohlen’s second breast cancer diagnosis.  She wanted to be closer to family, and the diagnosis, 16 years after her first … [Read more...]

Sign of Segregation

A historic sign procured by a UMW museum studies class holds a prominent place on the National Mall. Since the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opened there in September, thousands of visitors have walked past a worn wooden sign from an Alabama bus station. One of 3,000 objects on display, it reads “Waiting Room (interstate and white intrastate passengers).” UMW donated the 1950s-era artifact in honor of the late James Farmer, a UMW distinguished professor and architect of the Freedom Rides that helped to desegregate interstate transportation. During the university’s 2011 semester-long tribute to Farmer and the 50th anniversary of the Rides, a UMW museum studies class purchased the sign on eBay to include in an exhibit students created. The class, taught by former instructor Elisabeth Sommer, researched the Freedom Rides, collected old recruiting posters and magazines, and created life-size photo displays for an exhibit that told the … [Read more...]

Book Report

Books by UMW alumni  The Inequality Equalizer: Want It, Claim It, Own It – and Maximize Your Career Success By Jena Efird Abernathy ’84 with Kelli Christiansen Abernathy illustrates how everyday experiences can affect the career objectives of business professionals. – Ankerwycke Books, the American Bar Association, June 2016 The Golden Apple: Redefining Work-Life Balance for a Diverse Workforce By Mason Donovan ’91 Donovan lays out steps corporate leaders can take to create a healthy culture of work-life balance. – Bibliomotion Inc., September 2016 The Politics of Staying Put By Carolyn Gallaher ’91, associate professor in the School of International Service at American University Gallaher assesses a Washington, D.C., law that allows tenants to purchase apartment buildings that otherwise might be sold for condo conversion. – Temple University Press, March 2016 Coalition Challenges in Afghanistan: The Politics of Alliance Edited by Gale A. Mattox ’72, … [Read more...]

Darden Winner Is Top Scholar-Athlete

The Capital Athletic Conference named UMW field hockey player Haley Kane ’16 its top female scholar-athlete for 2015-16. Kane led UMW’s Division III field hockey team through four seasons, three as captain. She was twice named scholar-athlete of the year by UMW and by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. A psychology major from Fredericksburg, Kane maintained a 4.0 grade-point average and was one of three 2016 winners of the Colgate W. Darden Jr. Award, given to the senior with the highest GPA. “I hold myself to really high standards,” Kane told an interviewer last spring. “I wanted to fully experience what a liberal arts school could offer. I wanted to take hold of everything, and I think I did a pretty good job.” The CAC award is given to senior student-athletes who have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA, demonstrate athletic success, and contribute to their program.  Kane is the fifth UMW recipient since the award’s inception in 1992. … [Read more...]

Commencement 2016 Recognizes Grads, Faculty

In ceremonies May 6 and 7, 2016, the University of Mary Washington awarded 1,200 degrees – 164 graduate and 1,036 undergraduate. Three Virginia students, Katherine L. Coleman of Montpelier, Haley A. Kane of Fredericksburg, and Christopher J. Lloyd of Burke, shared the Colgate W. Darden Jr. award for the highest grade-point average over four years of undergraduate study. Each had a perfect 4.0. UMW’s ninth president, Richard V. Hurley, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree as he presided over his last commencement before retiring. He also was awarded the title of president emeritus. Martin A. Wilder, UMW’s chief of staff, was presented the Washington Medallion, which recognizes an individual who has served Mary Washington with exceptional dedication. Other noteworthy honors were: Grellet C. Simpson Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching – Marie McAllister, professor of English, linguistics, and communication UMW Alumni Association Outstanding … [Read more...]

UMW Welcomes BOV Members

Gov. Terry McAuliffe named new members to the UMW Board of Visitors to succeed Tara C. Corrigall ’82, Theresa Young Crawley ’77, and Mark S. Ingrao ’81. The new members, serving four-year terms that expire June 30, 2020, are: Sharon Bulova Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors since 2009, Bulova helped establish the Virginia Railway Express commuter rail system and has served on the VRE operations board since its inception. Before 2009, Bulova was supervisor for Fairfax County’s Braddock District and chair of the board’s budget committee.   Edward B. Hontz Hontz, vice president of Basic Commerce and Industries Inc., oversees the company’s Navy programs in Dahlgren, Virginia. A retired Navy captain, Hontz served in Vietnam and was commanding officer of the AEGIS Training and Readiness Center in 1995. He promoted the establishment of UMW’s Dahlgren Campus and received the 2015 Prince B. Woodard leadership award from the Fredericksburg Regional … [Read more...]

American Icons Come to Dodd Stage

Legendary performer Tony Bennett and actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth will appear with the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2016-17 season. Bennett will give a holiday concert Dec. 9. Chenoweth, winner of Emmy and Tony awards, will perform March 18, 2017.  For tickets or more information, visit philharmonic.umw.edu. … [Read more...]

Fulbright Awards Grants to Alumni

Five recent University of Mary Washington alumni planned to travel, teach, and explore new cultures thanks to prestigious Fulbright grants announced last spring. They are Anna Boland and Luci Coleman from the Class of 2016 and Lauren Bortfeld, Lisa Johnson, and Cara Wimberley from the Class of 2015. Three other alumni, Shirley Martey ’16, Alexandra Hoenscheid ’16, and Ellen Rives Kuhar ’15, were named Fulbright finalists. Boland, a native of Leesburg, Virginia, is teaching English in Niedersachsen, Germany. She majored in German and minored in business administration at UMW, and she studied in Göttingen, a university town in Niedersachsen, during spring 2015. Coleman, a native of Montpelier, Virginia, is researching specialized shrubland freshwater ecosystems at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. A double major in biology and environmental geology with a GIS certificate, Coleman made two trips abroad through UMW and delivered more than 400 sustainable … [Read more...]

Inauguration: Save the Date

Dr. Troy Paino will be installed as UMW’s 10th president in an invitation-only ceremony at 4:15 p.m. Friday, April 21, 2017, in Dodd Auditorium. In keeping with UMW’s commitment to sustainability, no printed invitations will be mailed. To receive an invitation, please go to umw.edu/inauguration and enter your email address or call 540/654-1087. … [Read more...]