Ambassador for Freedom

Alumnus Fights to End Human Trafficking

By Edie Gross All of the women who testified in United States v. Campbell had come to America with dreams of a better future only to be trafficked by Alex “Cowboy” Campbell, a violent sex trafficker who branded his victims so they’d never forget they belonged to him. For several weeks in January 2012, the women, all from Eastern Europe and in their early 20s, took the witness stand in a federal courtroom in Chicago. They shared in excruciating detail how Campbell offered them affection, housing, and help with immigration before seizing their passports and forcing them into prostitution. One by one, the women described how Campbell branded and beat them, extinguished cigarettes on their skin, videotaped them in compromising positions, and threatened to share the videos with their families back home. John Cotton Richmond ’93 had spent the better part of a decade pursuing justice for human trafficking victims in the U.S. and abroad, so he’d heard stories like these before. The … [Read more...]

Expanded Jepson Open for Excellence

Science Center Is Bigger and Better Than Ever

By Emily Freehling Photos by Adam Ewing and Suzanne Carr Rossi ’00 Where a surface parking lot once greeted drivers and pedestrians on College Avenue, a three-story wall of windows now opens like a proscenium stage. But it’s not Shakespeare on display here; these floor-to-ceiling glass expanses give passersby a view of geology labs, physics classrooms, mapping courses, and other examples of science in action at the University of Mary Washington. This is the 40,000-square-foot expansion wing of the Jepson Science Center, part of a nearly $28 million project that also included renovations to 30,000 square feet of the original science center. Project Manager Leslie Johnson said nearly all of the project cost was covered with funds allocated by the Virginia General Assembly. As the academic year opened Aug. 26, science faculty busily unloaded materials from storage and set furniture in place so classes could begin in the new space. All had roughly the same exclamation when … [Read more...]

Antarctic Adventure

Sisters’ Brave Choices Open Path of Possibilities

By Emily Freehling The view from the captain’s bridge of the Ushuaia wasn’t encouraging. The ship swayed in a sea of building-sized waves capped with angry froth. After every three or four swells, a three-story tower of water crashed over the bridge of the ship, a decommissioned government vessel. At that moment in January 2019, it was carrying 80 women through the Drake Passage, a 500-mile stretch of some of the roughest seas on the planet. The international delegation had to cross the tumultuous waters to make their way from the tip of South America to their destination – the Antarctic Peninsula. Showing video she had shot during the turbulent two-day stretch of her time aboard the Ushuaia, Christina Devorshak ’91 told a group of University of Mary Washington students that traversing the “Drake Shake,” as the passage is sometimes known, was a harrowing but necessary part of her experience in Antarctica. “You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable to get to a really … [Read more...]