Rate This! UMW Scores Big

UMW is making the grade in higher education. Take a look at where Mary Washington stands in the most recent major selective guide publications: Affordable Colleges Online in July rated UMW 44th on its “Affordable Colleges With High Returns” list and 20th on its “Cheap Colleges With High Starting Salaries for Graduates” list. Ratings were based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Data System, Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, and Payscale.com. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education named UMW among the top 100 minority-degree producers for 2013. For management information systems master’s degrees, UMW ranked eighth for Hispanics, 23rd for all minority groups, and 24th for African Americans. Rankings are based on U.S. Department of Education reports submitted by institutions. EducatedQuest.com, a college guide website that aims to deliver more detailed profiles than other publications, named UMW in August to … [Read more...]

Freshman Files

The University of Mary Washington welcomed 954 first-time freshmen to its bachelor of arts and bachelor of science programs this fall. The new students came from Virginia and 24 other states, including Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Connecticut. Twenty-two percent of the newcomers identified themselves as African American, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, or multiracial. The middle 50 percent of the 954 entering freshmen – meaning 25 percent scored higher and 25 percent scored lower – earned an average high school GPA of 3.53. Mean SAT scores ranged from 1020 to 1200, and mean ACT composite scores ranged from 22 to 26. … [Read more...]


When C-SPAN wanted to feature Fredericksburg in its 2013 Cities Tour, its film crew found a lot to talk about at the University of Mary Washington. C-SPAN visited two UMW authors, the UMW James Farmer Collection, and the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library for part of its weekend-long broadcasts in late September. You can still see the broadcasts online at c-span.org/LocalContent/Fredericksburg. Videos from UMW: Timothy O’Donnell, professor of communications, talked to C-SPAN about UMW’s James Farmer Collection, housed in the Simpson Library archive. The video includes O’Donnell’s narrative about Farmer’s life as a major player in the struggle for civil rights, and footage of the late professor of history’s lectures to Mary Washington students. In the classroom scenes, Farmer − who had been scheduled to speak at the 1963 March on Washington − recalls watching the march on TV from a Louisiana jail cell where he and others were locked up for civil disobedience. Jeffrey … [Read more...]

UMW Leads in Digital Education

Rather than fear the future of higher education in the digital age, the University of Mary Washington is shaping it. A leader in digital learning and teaching, UMW hosted OpenVA − the Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference − in October and brought together Virginia’s leaders in higher education with some of the country’s most innovative thinkers. To open the two-day event, President Richard V. Hurley and UMW’s Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies (DTLT) invited Virginia university presidents, administrators, faculty, and other decision makers. Members of the UMW Board of Visitors, administration, faculty, staff, and students listened as innovators presented ideas, then led discussion of what's next for Virginia education. These opening sessions, titled Minding the Future, were sponsored by UMW and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The following day, nearly 40 Virginia educators and technologists presented ways they use or envision using … [Read more...]

Prof’s Philosophy? Service

UMW Professor of Philosophy Craig Vasey, chair of the Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion, received the J. Christopher Bill Outstanding Faculty Service Award in August. The award, named for a late psychology professor who served UMW for nearly three decades, recognizes a longtime member of the teaching faculty who has been heavily and consistently involved in a variety of service roles, including to a department, the University, and the community. An expert on race theory, contemporary French philosophy, and feminist philosophy, Vasey played a key role in establishing UMW’s women and gender curriculum. He has led the commemoration of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom and served on the James Farmer Visiting Professorship Committee and the Steering Committee for the UMW Strategic Plan. In the community, Vasey helped found the Maury Neighborhoods Association and is the Fredericksburg Sister City Association’s director of cultural events. He represents … [Read more...]

UMW Survey Draws National Attention

An opinion survey conducted for the Center for Leadership and Media Studies brought nationwide attention to the University of Mary Washington this fall as Virginia prepared to elect a new governor. The surveys show that Virginia, once solidly Republican, is decidedly a “purple” state, said Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Stephen Farnsworth, who designed the survey questions with input from his UMW students. National media paid attention not only because Virginia was one of just two states this fall with a governor’s race, but also because “Virginia is America in miniature,” Farnsworth said. “We have our liberal Northeast in Northern Virginia. We have our Sun Coast in Virginia Beach. We have our industrial heartland in Hampton Roads, and we have our agricultural and Southern Christian conservatives west and southwest of Interstate 95.” The survey found that likely voters favored Democrat Terry McAuliffe over Republican Ken Cuccinelli for governor, and … [Read more...]

Microlending Hero Honors Econ Students

Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, whom the The Washington Post called “the founding father of microlending,” met with Professor of Economics Shawn Humphrey and past and present students to honor the UMW team for their work in microfinance. They are shown here at the international conference of RESULTS, an organization dedicated to ending poverty. The UMW professor and his students have mobilized a microfinance movement through their Month of Microfinance initiative and established La Ceiba, a student-run microfinance institution, in Honduras. Yunus, a native of Bangladesh, has been recognized for his work on microlending with more than 100 international awards, including the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2006, the Norwegian Nobel Committee recognized Yunus’ “efforts to create economic and social development from below.” … [Read more...]

UMW Boosts Job Prospects in the ´Burg

Fredericksburg is one of the best places in Virginia to get a job, and UMW helps make it that way. That’s according to financial literacy and consumer advocacy website NerdWallet.com, in its recently published “Best Places in Virginia for Job Seekers.” The NerdWallet study ranked Fredericksburg No. 7 based on a study that analyzed population growth, median household income, and local unemployment rate. “The University of Mary Washington focuses on developing the region’s economy with a Small Business Development Center to help local businesses grow and prosper and a UMW Entrepreneurs Club to encourage students to start and grow businesses,” said Annie Wang, analyst with NerdScholar, a NerdWallet subsidiary. … [Read more...]

Reinstating The Plan

A decade after breaking up, The Dismemberment Plan is back with a new album, a cross-country tour, and a recent appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Uncanney Valley – its cover photo shot at a Fredericksburg show – was released Oct. 15. The indie-rock band includes two UMW English majors, bassist Eric Axelson ’94 and lead guitarist Jason Caddell ’93, who met on the steps of Westmoreland Hall, as well as drummer Joe Easley and frontman Travis Morrison. Formed in 1993, The Plan picked up speed with their eclectic style, boundless energy, and fervent fan base. They spent a decade building momentum, touring with Pearl Jam, co-headlining with Death Cab for Cutie, and releasing four studio albums. Since The Plan’s 2003 breakup, they’ve performed periodic reunion shows, but this fall's release is their first album in 12 years. Rolling Stone previewed Uncanney Valley (the misspelling is intentional) in July, NPR streamed it in advance of its release date, and The Plan … [Read more...]

Learning in the Now

When Zakaria Kronemer strolls down Campus Walk, the UMW junior isn’t thinking about his upcoming exam or the conversation he just had. Instead, he focuses on his feet as each step pounds the brick walkway. He feels the air touching his hand as the wind blows and concentrates on his muscles as they work to move his legs. Kronemer practices living in the moment. It’s a lesson that he learned last summer as one of 40 students from around the world studying the Buddhist practices of meditation and tai chi in the mountains of eastern China at the Shengshou Temple. Back at UMW this fall, he found that his outlook on life had changed. Most significantly, the philosophy major has adjusted his view of everyday tasks. “Everything in the monastic life is a contemplative process,” said Kronemer, who traveled to China after receiving a scholarship from the Woodenfish Project, which educates emerging scholars on Chinese Buddhism. “That’s something that I’ve been trying to incorporate into … [Read more...]