UMW Presents Top Faculty Awards

UMW bestowed honors on several professors at the general faculty meeting in August. Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss received the 2020 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award. Established in honor of Shirley Van Epps Waple ’52, the nomination-based award recognizes instructors who have made significant contributions to their scholarly or creative area of expertise. The recipient must be a full-time faculty member for at least seven years. “Exemplifying the UMW teacher-scholar model,” Liss has coauthored published research with more than 40 students in her two decades at Mary Washington, presented at numerous professional conferences and written several books, said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger, who presented the award. “In the words of her department chair, Liss’s ‘ongoing record of stellar and consistent professional activity places her in the very top tier of our talented faculty.’” Professor of History and American Studies Allyson … [Read more...]

Great Lives, Presidential Edition, Online Now

With large in-person gatherings  prohibited on campus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Lives program this fall offered a series of recorded lectures focusing on several notable presidents. The approach seemed appropriate in this presidential election year. UMW Professor Emeritus of History William B. Crawley, the founding director of the Great Lives series, delivered the lectures, all of which are available online. Crawley has been a part of the Mary Washington faculty for 50 years, during which he has won numerous awards for teaching excellence, focusing largely on political history. The lectures were posted throughout the fall semester and will be available in the Great Lives archives. Find the following lectures online: Thomas Jefferson: Paragon of Democracy or Racist Hypocrite? Theodore Roosevelt: The Patrician Progressive and the Bully Pulpit  Woodrow Wilson: Self-Righteous Idealist or Far-Sighted Visionary? Franklin D. Roosevelt: Savior or Spoiler of … [Read more...]

Iconic Building Is Now James Farmer Hall

The Board of Visitors voted in July to change the name of Trinkle Hall to James Farmer Hall. With this action, the board memorialized a beloved member of the Mary Washington community who spent most of his career fighting injustices. “I commend the action of the board today,” said Rector Heather Crislip. “We are talking about one of the most beautiful and iconic buildings on campus, and its name should reflect our community and our values.” The action was precipitated by the exhaustive work of UMW’s Campus Environment Presidential Ad Hoc Committee. That group was charged in 2017 with evaluating campus art, monuments, and other representations of the university’s history and community in order to help make Mary Washington a welcoming environment for all. In its subsequent 74-page report  presented to the board in November 2019, the committee’s research revealed that certain works of art and artifacts present a one-dimensional interpretation of UMW’s history. The board … [Read more...]

UMW’s the Tops

University of Mary Washington got a nod in two recent college and university ratings. Washington Monthly’s annual College Guide and Rankings placed UMW 24th among Top Master’s Universities and 21st in the Best Bang for the Buck Southeast Colleges category. And UMW is among the best in the country, according to Princeton Review’s The Best 386 Colleges guide. The 2021 edition of the rankings publication, released in August, lists UMW among the top 13 percent of the thousands of four-year colleges and universities in the nation. Other rankings include: Top Producer of Student Fulbright Awards, 2020. UMW ranked seventh in the nation among small colleges and universities with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates, by U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Fiske Guide to Colleges, 2021. This guide features more than 300 of the “best and most interesting” public and private colleges and universities in the nation, as well as Canada, Great Britain, and … [Read more...]

New Hillel Center Is a Hub

Though the nearly 10,000-square-foot Maxine and Carl D. Silver Hillel Center at UMW was ready to open last spring, like so many things these days, its opening was delayed by the pandemic. In late October, the newly constructed red-brick building on College Avenue finally got a socially distanced, soft opening. In a small ceremony, donor Larry Silver, who grew up just blocks from campus, said that his parents loved Fredericksburg and the university. “This is a great way to honor them,” he said. President Troy Paino looks forward to a full-fledged opening of the center, he said, an “intellectual, social, and cultural hub” for students and the broader Jewish community. Center director Rabbi Menachem Sherman has plans for programming to be held in its meeting rooms and large gathering space, but for now, the center can host groups of no more than 10 and everybody has to keep a distance of at least six feet to adhere to COVID safety guidelines. As students have returned to campus … [Read more...]

Students Head ‘Into the Streets’ to Build Community

A group of mask-wearing students gathered in September – carefully distanced – to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty, and do outdoor service projects for Into the Streets. The autumn tradition is hosted by COAR (Community Outreach and Resources), the mission of which is to provide support for community engagement, volunteerism, and service. “At a time when we are all unable to do many of the things that give us joy, satisfaction, and focus,” said Leslie Martin, faculty director of the Center for Community Engagement, “volunteering reminds us that we are all still connected and able to work together for the betterment of our shared community.” The center, which opened last year, helps build and strengthen bridges between Mary Washington and organizations in the Fredericksburg area. Several of its community partners are navigating budget cuts and layoffs as a result of the pandemic, so this fall they needed help more than ever. Nearly 30 students participated, fewer … [Read more...]

#StayHomecoming Is a Virtual Hit

Like so many UMW traditions, Homecoming 2020, Oct. 19-24, was a very different event this year. It even got its own hashtag, #StayHomecoming, with all events online. Participants joined fellow alumni and Eagles #BackInTheBurg, virtually, for the following events: College of Education/Alumni Educators affinity group College of Business young alumni networking Between Two Ficuses young alumni video series kickoff Kahoot! Trivia with UMW Alumni (Mary Wash theme!) MaryWash memorabilia with Dean Rucker Fredericksburg network virtual beer tasting with Adventure Brewing Bartending and tailgate food tips Throughout the week, the Alumni Association put out social media initiatives, including contests for some big prizes. Those on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter did not miss out! … [Read more...]

Orientation Moves Online

UMW is known for making new students feel part of the community, but with the pandemic, UMW 2020 orientation leaders met the challenge of greeting new students online. First-years explored their new home via Zoom in a series of nine one-day virtual sessions, while transfers got to choose one of three events. Each official orientation session welcomed more than 100 people. All on Zoom, they met President Troy Paino, were introduced to UMW’s values of ASPIRE, and learned how to access and use Canvas and UMW email. They discovered uniquely UMW entities like the First-Year Experience, the Common Experience, and the Honor Code, and they watched a video called Designing Your Life. New students got to know their peers better in small breakout groups, while a large panel discussion gave them the chance to pose questions to current students about subjects like dining, housing, service community engagement, clubs, extracurricular activities, and more. They engaged in a variety of virtual … [Read more...]

Social Justice Summit Spurs Students to Action

The James Farmer Multicultural Center hosted a virtual Social Justice and Leadership Summit in October. The fourth such summit, and the first held on Zoom, brought together UMW students, local high school and community college students, UMW faculty, and guest speakers to the gathering themed “No Justice Without Action.” The summit website said it gave participants “the chance to build coalitions across cultural barriers, strengthen advocacy, and promote a more equitable culture and climate at UMW and in American society.” Investigative journalist and bestselling author Greg Palast and UMW Disability Resources Director Jessica Machado delivered keynote addresses. Palast has broken front-page stories for BBC Television Newsnight, The Guardian, Nation Magazine, and Rolling Stone Magazine. Drawing on decades of reporting on voter suppression, he spoke on the role young people could play in the November election, including serving as poll workers. In recognition of UMW’s observance … [Read more...]

UMW Joins City to Keep Community Healthy

In August, well before UMW brought students back, a COVID-19 Joint Task Force made of Fredericksburg officials and university administrators began meeting weekly to ensure health-guideline compliance on and off campus. The university delayed in-person classes until Sept. 14, three weeks later than scheduled, because of the pandemic. When students showed up, UMW enforced a strict “MMDC policy” – monitor, mask, distance, and clean – with reminders and precautionary measures posted outside and in buildings. The COVID-19 Joint Task Force acts as a bridge between the city and UMW, combining personnel in an effort to share community observances and avert issues before they arise. It includes Fredericksburg’s Fire Chief Michael Jones, Police Chief Brian Layton, and The COVID-19 Joint Task ForceDirector of Economic Development Bill Freehling, along with UMW’s Chief of Police Mike Hall, Assistant Director of Athletics Caitlin Moore, and Director of Transfer and Off-Campus Student Services … [Read more...]