Faculty, Administrators Rise to the Top

NASPA, the leading association for the student affairs profession, honored Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker ’81 with its Region III Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award during a ceremony in June. Rucker, who also is UMW’s associate vice president of student affairs, has worked to build strong organizations for underrepresented students. The award recognizes Rucker’s commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion, and signifies that fellow student affairs professionals value his contributions. Professor of Education Marie Sheckels was named the recipient of the 2017 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award last April. Sheckels has held several leadership positions during her 35 years at UMW, in which time she rose from lecturer to professor. Established in honor of Shirley Van Epps Waple ’52, the award recognizes faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to their scholarly or creative area. The Association for Psychological Science (APS) named Laura C. Wilson, … [Read more...]

Cushman, McGinnis Named to BOV

In June, the Virginia Governor’s Office announced the appointment of Devon Williams Cushman ’93 of Richmond and Patricia “Pat” Gwaltney McGinnis ’69 of Washington, D.C., to the University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors. They will serve four-year terms, which expire June 30, 2021. They succeed Kenneth J. Lopez ’92 and Lisa D. Taylor ’85. Cushman has served as senior counsel at Capital One in Richmond since 2012. From 2005 to 2012, she worked as an attorney for Hirschler Fleischer. Law & Politics named her a Virginia Rising Star in business litigation, and Virginia Business recognized her as Legal Elite among lawyers under 40. She was an attorney for Morris & Morris P.C. from 2003 to 2005. Before building her law career, Cushman was an account executive for GMMB, a public relations and communications agency in Washington, D.C., where she worked with Fortune 500 companies. Cushman has taught advanced trial practice at the University of Richmond School of Law, where she … [Read more...]

Best Place to Study Geography? Right Here!

Students, professors, and alumni of UMW don’t need a map to find the best geography program in the southeastern United States. It’s right here in Fredericksburg. Now, the higher education data analytics and research company College Factual has pinpointed it as well. College Factual has teamed with USA Today to name the University of Mary Washington the region’s No. 1 geography program for 2018. Three other Virginia universities made the list: Virginia Tech at No. 2, George Mason University at No. 6, and James Madison University at No. 7. Others in the Top Ten are the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; UNC at Charlotte; Florida State University; the University of Georgia; the University of Florida; and the University of Tennessee. … [Read more...]

Mary Wash Has Lots to Brag About!

The honors keep rolling in, recognizing the University of Mary Washington for its excellence. ⎢The Princeton Review featured UMW among the top in the nation in its 2018 issue of “The Best 382 Colleges.” ⎢Money Magazine recognized UMW among the nation’s top colleges and ranked it ninth among Virginia public institutions. ⎢The Fiske Guide to Colleges recognized UMW as a “best buy” for the eighth time in as many years. Mary Washington is among 21 public and 26 private institutions recognized for delivering outstanding academics and the most reasonable prices. ⎢USA Today not only named UMW among the best schools in the nation, it also placed UMW at the No. 10 spot in its list of the “Top Ten in Virginia.” ⎢Zippia, a website dedicated to helping recent college graduates with their careers, placed UMW among Virginia’s top 10 colleges and universities for business programs. ⎢LendEDU rated UMW among the nation’s best for low debt and for value. In a ranking of 1,161 colleges and … [Read more...]

Visiting Prof: Science of Phone Addiction, Distraction

Natalie Kerr ’95, a professor of psychology at James Madison University, visited UMW as the 2017 Graduate-in-Residence in the Department of Psychological Science. Kerr gave a lecture, From the Bedroom to the Highway: The Science of Smartphone Addiction and Distraction, and she presented her research to cognitive and developmental psychology classes. She also met with students who are interested in pursuing graduate school or careers in related fields. After Mary Washington, she earned a master of arts in experimental psychology from Hollins University and a doctorate in social psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She returned to UMW for a year as a visiting assistant professor before joining the faculty at JMU. The JMU Department of Psychology honored Kerr with its Outstanding New Faculty Award and an Innovation in Teaching Award. … [Read more...]

Cabot Creamery Exec Credits Mary Washington

Roberta Pilk MacDonald ’72, senior vice president of marketing for Cabot Creamery, returned to Mary Washington in October to speak about leadership. As this year’s College of Business Executive in Residence, she told students, faculty, and regional business leaders that her college experiences gave her the tools to launch her successful marketing career. “I couldn’t have done it without Mary Washington,” she said. “It was the most spectacular educational experience I’ve ever had. My mind cracked open at UMW so that all my curiosity and energy was stimulated.” The dramatic arts major now has almost 40 years of marketing experience – including 28 at Cabot. A Mary Washington student leader, she served as class council president in 1970. She has provided marketing services for the San Francisco Opera, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, American Express, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and other entities. – Ester Salguero ’18 … [Read more...]

Partnership Means Faster Path to Pharmacy Degree

University of Mary Washington students now have an accelerated path to a pharmacy career, thanks to a formal agreement with Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. In August, both schools signed a memorandum of understanding that makes it possible for qualified students to earn a baccalaureate degree through UMW and a doctor of pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy in seven rather than the usual eight years. Among the prerequisites to apply for admission to the program, students must complete at least 63 academic credits, maintain at least a cumulative 3.0 grade-point average, and score in the 50th percentile on the Pharmacy College Admission Test. “This agreement provides highly motivated students an opportunity to earn the pharmacy doctorate more quickly, decreasing the cost and potential student loan debt,” said Deborah O’Dell, professor of biology, who helped initiate the partnership. “The accelerated dual-degree program also … [Read more...]

Class of 2021

By the Numbers: Move-in day Aug. 23, 2017 ••• First-time freshmen 970 ••• Females/males 65 percent/35 percent ••• Identify as ethnically diverse 28 percent ••• From Virginia 88 percent ••• Number of states represented 26 ••• Foreign countries represented include Argentina, Australia, Nepal, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Smartphones Rule Over the summer, incoming first-year students were surveyed about the technology they planned to bring to campus. Most who responded said they would bring two key items – a smartphone and a laptop computer. Of 729 responses, all but two students said they planned to bring a smartphone. Among them, 82 percent were iPhones and the rest Android and Windows phones. Laptops? Of 748 respondents, 56 percent planned to bring Windows laptops, 39 percent Macs, and 2 percent Linux or Android laptops. Three percent would bring no laptop. Desktop computers are decidedly unpopular with freshmen. Of 432 who responded, only 30 … [Read more...]

UMW Graduates 1,190 in 106th Commencement

The University of Mary Washington graduated 1,190 students during its 106th commencement in an undergraduate ceremony on May 13 and a graduate ceremony on May 12. Edward Ayers, historian and onetime University of Richmond president, addressed undergraduates Saturday morning on Ball Circle and encouraged them to capitalize on an uncertain future, reminding them that there have been many tumultuous times in American history. Rachelle Serena Dambrose ’17, whose GPA was 3.9, received the Colgate W. Darden Jr. Award for finishing with the highest grade-point average in the four-year undergraduate program. At the graduate commencement on Friday night in Dodd Auditorium, Navy Deputy Assistant Secretary John D. Burrow challenged the 155 master’s degree recipients to step up as much-needed leaders. Four longtime professors and an administrator were awarded emeritus status at commencement: Manning Collier, associate professor emeritus of mathematics, served for 35 years. Steve Hampton, … [Read more...]

Theater’s It!

UMW Theatre began its 2017-2018 season less than a month after the start of fall classes with Christopher Durang’s comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike followed by the perennial favorite Little Shop of Horrors, Nov. 2 through 19. The season continues spring semester with: Feb 15-25 • Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl. A provocative and meditative comedy reveals technology as a catalyst for connecting or isolating us. When Jean answers a persistently ringing phone in a cafe, she becomes entangled in a dead man’s life. April 12-22 • Medea by Euripides. This powerful play first performed in 431 B.C. reveals the capacity in all of us to do the unthinkable. A gritty, visceral translation by Robinson Jeffers captures the essence of Medea’s rage, jealousy, and pride. Broadway Weekend, May 18-20, 2018 Producing Director and Professor Gregg Stull will lead patrons on a weekend of Broadway theater, seeing three of the season’s hottest hits. Patrons get to relax and enjoy the … [Read more...]