Arabic Class Leads to Career in International Affairs

By Lindley Estes ’12 International affairs major Caitriona Cobb ’17 landed her “ideal job” as Africa content manager for Tesla Government Inc. in May. Her work involves research and writing for the contracting company – no relation to the famous car maker – that helps government clients manage and share information. The Washington, D.C., resident said that in focusing on such a large continent, there’s “always something new to learn.” And each day she builds on her Mary Washington education. Cobb’s interest in international affairs started at UMW, and it started by accident, thanks in part to her open mind. In high school, she had studied Spanish and wanted to learn Latin. But when the first-year student first signed up for classes, the ancient language was full. Arabic fit into her busy schedule, so she went for it. “I was just flexible and open to the experience,” she said. And that led to more learning. “You can’t study language without a taste of culture.” Her … [Read more...]

Retirement Is Sunny for Health Pioneer

By Edie Gross After enduring four decades of gray, cold winters in Washington state, Catherine “Cathe” Cantwell Luria ’66 is soaking up the sun at her home in Ajijic, Mexico. Luria, a retired nurse practitioner, and her husband, retired physician Eric Luria, visited friends in Ajijic several winters before deciding in fall 2016 to move to this idyllic community on Mexico’s Lago de Chapala. “It’s a beautiful small community, and the weather is fantastic,” Luria said. She doesn’t miss the gray skies and rain that characterized nine months of the year in her old home of Gig Harbor, Washington. “Here, it’s sunny most days. It’s just a gorgeous setting.” Since arriving in Ajijic (pronounced ah-hee-HEEK), Luria has enjoyed voice lessons, Spanish classes, and singing with a community chorus. She’s also supported the Lake Chapala chapter of Days for Girls, an international nonprofit that distributes environmentally friendly menstruation supplies for girls and educates women and men … [Read more...]

Heart Research Has Roots at Mary Washington

By Daryl Lease ’85 As head of a lab bearing his name at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Anthony Cammarato ’95 leads pioneering research in heart disease. But as a first-year at Mary Washington, he wasn’t sure how he was going to make it to graduation. “I think I was quite poorly prepared for college,” Cammarato said. He’d attended a small high school in rural Delaware, which at that time “was not overly challenging.” As a result, he struggled in his early classes at Mary Washington and sensed he was well behind his peers. His interest in science drew him to the biology department, where professors Janet Nicodemus-Hughes ’87, Rosemary Barra, Werner Wieland, and Steven Fuller were eager to help him adjust. Barra is still teaching, Nicodemus has since passed away, and Wieland and Fuller have retired with emeritus status. “Those four really helped me figure out how to learn,” he said. “They helped hone my skills and get me up to speed. By the end of my second … [Read more...]

Scientist Connects Babies’ Motor, Cognitive Skills

By Vicki L. Friedman Regina “Reggie” Tambellini Harbourne ’76 stops short of calling herself a pioneer. The assistant professor at Duquesne University is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow, the highest honor bestowed by the American Physical Therapy Association.It’s an accolade that reflects her forward-thinking research tying an infant’s motor skills to cognitive abilities. “If we advance motor, we advance cognitive,” said Harbourne, director of the Infant Development Lab at Duquesne, which investigates how babies learn to use their bodies and minds together. “I call myself the queen of sitting because I’ve done so much research on infants learning how to sit.” The science enthusiast followed a STEM path before it was a mainstream choice for women. She entered Mary Washington in 1972 as a pre-physical therapy major, racking up the necessary prerequisite science credits for admission to the Medical College of Virginia, where she finished her bachelor’s degree. She earned a … [Read more...]

Historian Unearths Unlikely Stories

By Emily Freehling Growing up in Dinwiddie County, Emmanuel Dabney ’08 couldn’t have avoided Civil War battlefields if he’d tried. “I literally grew up a mile away from part of the Petersburg National Battlefield,” he said. Dabney, who works for the National Park Service as museum curator at Petersburg National Battlefield, traces his fascination with Civil War history to fourth grade. “It hooked me, and it has not let go,” he said. A high school guidance counselor recommended Mary Washington, and after two years at Richard Bland College in Petersburg, Dabney transferred to UMW as a historic preservation major. These days, Dabney says his fellow preservation majors are an invaluable network for troubleshooting professional problems and questions. “I feel like we are all able to provide each other support,” he said. After graduation, Dabney earned a master’s degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Then he returned to the Civil War … [Read more...]