Grant Supports Eagles in Recovery

The University of Mary Washington has received a $50,000 grant for a unique program that helps students in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse and addiction. UMW’s Eagles in Recovery program is benefiting from the “Expanding Collegiate Recovery in Virginia” grant, awarded this summer by the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Though a number of colleges claim substance-free housing, the Eagles in Recovery program puts UMW among only a handful in Virginia – and relatively few across the country – to offer support services for students recovering from substance addiction. The program offers weekly meetings, support groups, and a dedicated safe space called the “clubhouse” where those in recovery can escape the pressures of college life. Funds from the grant will allow administrators to maintain and expand meetings and resources. … [Read more...]

Binkley to Lead Professional Development Center

Paul Binkley has been named executive director of UMW’s Center for Career and Professional Development, fulfilling one of the university’s key strategic goals. His hiring solidifies the university’s commitment to meeting state workforce needs and reinforces its conviction that a liberal arts education is the essence of career and life readiness. Binkley, co-author of Students’ Federal Career Guide, has more than 20 years’ experience in career services, student affairs, international development, and higher education management. Most recently, he directed the student career development team at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a Ph.D. in higher education management from The George Washington University, a master’s degree in international affairs from the University of Kentucky, and a certificate in human performance improvement. … [Read more...]

2019-20 UMW Theatre Season Thrills Fans

UMW Theatre opened its season in September with The Complete Works of Shakespeare, a comic recap of the Bard of Avon’s entire canon. Fun Home, a dazzling, funny musical about growing up, follows in Klein Theatre Nov. 7-24. The season continues in 2020: Feb. 13-23 – Ordinary Days, a musical look at four young New Yorkers navigating the city where ordinary days, weeks, months, and years add up to remarkable lives. April 9-19 – Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare’s romantic comedy built on mistaken identities, misdirected insults, devious fakery, and bumbling antics. Learn more at or by calling 540-654-1111. Purchase tickets at … [Read more...]

UMW Students to Study Endangered Species With Smithsonian

By Jill Laiacona ’04 Thanks to a partnership with the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC), UMW students will soon be able to study the world’s most endangered species. They’ll spend a semester working directly with these animals and learning from Smithsonian scientists and George Mason University professors at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. The agreement comes just as UMW’s biology department introduces a major in conservation biology. “We’ve always had a cadre of students who are passionate about conservation and sustainability,” said Professor Alan Griffith, who teaches conservation biology. Starting in fall 2020, SMSC will make six of its 40 seats available to Mary Washington students, who will choose from such topics as biodiversity, animal behavior and reproduction, ecology, genetics, migration, and conservation sustainability. The interactive, hands-on courses will let students delve into field research, and the 16 … [Read more...]

Joey Peppersack Wins Big in Peru

Eagles swimmer Joey Peppersack ’21 won a silver medal in men’s 100-meter backstroke at the Parapan American Games this summer in Lima, Peru. Peppersack is a seasoned national and international competitor, having broken the American Paralympic record in the 100-yard medley in 2018 and won two gold medals and a bronze at the Para World Series in Berlin in 2017. Also at the Parapan Games, UMW men’s swimming assistant coach Zach Shattuck won a silver and three bronze medals in four events – 100-meter breaststroke, 50-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley, and men’s relay. Peppersack and Shattuck swam for Team USA, coached by UMW swim coach Justin Anderson ’10. Team USA took 62 swimming medals at the games, in which 33 countries competed. … [Read more...]

Athletics Names Newest Hall of Famers

The Athletic Hall of Fame will induct Coach Dana Hall, the 2002 Final Four women’s lacrosse team she coached, and several individual athletes in February. Basketball standouts Patricia Long ’84 and Justin Baker ’07, baseball All American Eric Fitzgerald ’08, and tennis All American Kevin Loden ’03 round out the 24th Hall of Fame class. Long was a women’s basketball superstar, becoming the first player to record 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Baker finished in the top five in program history in points, assists, and rebounds. Fitzgerald still holds UMW’s career records for hits, doubles, runs scored, and runs batted in. Loden helped men’s tennis evolve into a national power in the early 2000s, including the program’s first appearance in the Elite Eight. Hall led the field hockey and lacrosse programs for more than two decades. Her field hockey teams achieved 277 wins from 1990-2010, and the 1993 team advanced to the national championship game. In lacrosse, Hall’s … [Read more...]

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...]

UMW Welcomes New Coaches

Kelly Swiney has been named head baseball coach, just the third coach in Mary Washington baseball history. Swiney comes to UMW from coaching positions in Pennsylvania. He coached for two seasons at Westminster College and, before that, for nine seasons at his alma mater, Allegheny College. UMW Athletics also recently hired Scott Gerseny to coach women’s soccer and Alex Hinsey to coach volleyball. Both most recently coached in Pennsylvania: Gerseny at Washington & Jefferson College and Hinsey at Elizabethtown College. Associate Professor of Psychology Dave Kolar was appointed women’s golf coach, and Visiting Instructor of Business Dan Wolfe ’84 was named to coach men’s golf. … [Read more...]

Eagles Sweep Top CAC Awards

Mary Washington 2018-19 athletics teams swept the Capital Athletic Conference awards, winning the Richard C. Cook All-Sports Award, the Women’s Commissioner’s Award, and the Men’s Commissioner’s Award. With eight team championships and seven additional top-three finishes, the Eagles amassed 156.5 points in the all-sports standings to edge second-place Christopher Newport University by 7.5 points. Maryland’s Salisbury University came in third. It was the 13th CAC all-sports trophy for the Eagles and first since the 2012-13 season. The Eagles’ eight conference titles were in men’s soccer; men’s and women’s swimming; men’s and women’s tennis; men’s and women’s outdoor track and field; and volleyball. President Troy Paino, Interim Athletic Director Patrick Catullo ’95, and Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair accepted the awards at a conference meeting at UMW last spring. “What an honor for UMW Athletics,” Catullo said. “Knowing how hard our student-athletes, coaches, … [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...]