On Campus

Classroom Named in Farmer’s Honor

We still have “mountains to climb and rivers to cross” in the struggle for civil rights, Georgia Sen. Nan Grogan Orrock ’65 told a crowd gathered in Monroe Hall in November. Her speech, the centerpiece of the James L. Farmer Lecture Hall dedication, highlighted the power of “ordinary people” like the late James Farmer to forward the journey toward justice for all. Farmer, who founded the Congress of Racial Equality, taught history at Mary Washington for more than a decade. One of America’s top civil rights leaders, he shared his experiences with thousands of UMW students, his resonant voice filling Monroe 104, the auditorium that now bears his name. “It is indeed right and appropriate that we recognize James Farmer in this room in which he touched so many students,” said Jeffrey W. McClurken ’94, professor and chair of history and American studies, who was one of those students. Farmer organized the 1961 Freedom Rides that led to desegregated interstate travel. He had a … [Read more...]

Historian Tops in Technology

Jeffrey W. McClurken ’94, UMW professor and chair of history and American studies, was one of 12 professors named among Virginia’s 2014 Outstanding Faculty. The awards are the state’s highest honor for faculty at its public and private colleges and universities. Chosen by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and Dominion Resources, they recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research, and public service. “I love seeing what students can do if you push them out of their comfort zone. … I love my job.” – Jeffrey W. McClurken ’94 McClurken, a leading advocate for integrating technology into teaching, is this year’s “teaching with technology” recipient. He brings such tools as WordPress, Omeka, Facebook, Twitter, and wikis to the classroom. “I love seeing what students can do if you push them out of their comfort zone while also providing them with support and opportunities to approach, both creatively and rigorously, the study of history,” he … [Read more...]

Recycling Rules!

UMW joined more than 450 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada for RecycleMania 2014. The annual eight-week competition encourages students to reduce waste and keep recyclables out of landfills. In its 14th year, RecycleMania runs in February and March - right alongside the NCAA basketball tournament. UMW is in the “per capita classic” category, in which schools compete to see which can collect the largest weight of recyclables on a per-person basis. At UMW Magazine press time, Mary Washington had led Virginia each week, reporting 27 pounds of waste recycled per person in week four and nearly 140,000 pounds overall. Last year UMW took first place in Virginia and 12th overall, processing more than 200,000 pounds − 37.544 per person − of recyclables. Overall, last year’s Recyclemania recovered 91 million pounds of recyclables and prevented the release of more than 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. RecycleManiacs - volunteers - visit residence halls to … [Read more...]

Speaking Center Among Nation’s Best

The UMW Speaking Center is one of only eight certified communication centers in the U.S. It received certification from the National Association of Communication Centers in January, joining such institutions as the universities of Pennsylvania, North Carolina at Greensboro, and Southern Mississippi. The UMW Speaking Center helps students develop and polish oral communication skills, supporting objectives of a liberal arts education and of the UMW Speaking Intensive Program. Consultants are undergraduates trained to provide peer tutoring and consultations. The national certification is based on a review of how tutors and consultants are trained. “The center’s training program was revamped this past fall and now provides broad support and communication training for new consultants,” said Anand Rao, associate professor of communication and director of the Speaking Center. The center does more than just work on public speaking assignments – the center’s consultants run workshops and … [Read more...]

CEO Talks Business

The founder of a firm sought after by Fortune 500 companies brought his financial wisdom to campus in February. Matt Ernst ’94, who established the business and IT consulting firm Amentra, was this year’s Executive-in-Residence. Now chairman of Walnut Grove Holdings, a Richmond-based investment corporation focused on early-stage technology companies, Ernst shared lessons in leadership and risk-taking. Six years after earning a business administration degree at Mary Washington, Ernst founded Amentra - now part of the worldwide open-source technology provider  Red Hat - which used a unique mentoring model to help businesses upgrade operating systems and train staff. Amentra made the 2005 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list, and as its CEO, Ernst was named the 2007 EY Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2008, Amentra had more than 140 employees and offices in four major U.S. cities when Ernst sold it to Red Hat. The entrepreneur led presentations and discussions for students, staff, … [Read more...]

Amphitheater to Be Restored

The University of Mary Washington amphitheater, a much-loved feature of the Fredericksburg campus, is preparing for its second act, thanks in large part to a $1 million challenge gift from Robert S. and Alice Andrews Jepson ’64. “I can’t wait to get back to see all the things that have happened since I was there and to take time to walk through the amphitheater,” Alice Jepson said. “When President Hurley told us that students still love the amphitheater, we decided our money would be well invested in helping to restore this area of campus that holds so many special memories for alumni and students alike.” Built of inexpensive materials in 1913 and more sturdily rebuilt in the 1920s, the amphitheater – in a grove of trees near Sunken Road – has been home to many Mary Washington traditions. The amphitheater hosted commencement ceremonies from the 1930s until 1958, Devil-Goat Day through the 1970s, May Day celebrations, and numerous concerts and theater productions. When the weather … [Read more...]

UMW Top Fulbright Producer

Three UMW graduates received Fulbright grants in 2013, and that caught the attention of The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Fulbright scholars, Aubrey Elliott ’12, M.Ed. ’13; Peter Hawes ’12; and Michaela Sands ’12, M.Ed. ’13, all left the U.S. to teach English. Thanks to them, Mary Washington was among The Chronicle’s 2013-14 list of top producers of U.S. Fulbright scholars. Elliott is in Turkey, Hawes in Nepal, and Sands in Thailand. The Chronicle included Mary Washington among the top producers in schools with master’s programs. UMW was one of only two four-year public Virginia institutions to make the list in any category, with the College of William & Mary included among research institutions. “These awards confirm that UMW continues to excel at preparing students for the new global realities of the 21st century,” UMW Provost Jonathan Levin said of the news. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. … [Read more...]

Homes for the Holidays

The University of Mary Washington community raised about $5,500 last fall to help provide permanent housing for Fredericksburg-area homeless families. UMW’s efforts, spearheaded by Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Leslie Martin, were part of a statewide initiative to get 740 Virginia families housed in 100 days. Martin asked UMW faculty, staff,  and students to donate to the “Home for the Holidays” campaign of the Central Virginia Housing Coalition (CVHC), which coordinated the Fredericksburg region’s initiative. With the funds it collected from groups like UMW, CVHC placed 58 Fredericksburg-area families in permanent housing in time for the holidays. For each $3,500 raised, CVHC covers a first month’s rent, a security deposit, and utility deposits for one area family. Agencies that work with the homeless, including the Thurman Brisben Center and Hope House, provide services aimed at keeping families in the homes. The money donated by the UMW community helped one … [Read more...]

Teaching What She Learns

As a first-grader, Lauren Puglia lined up stuffed animals in front of a toy easel in a pretend classroom in her basement. Today, the multiple-disabilities teacher is living her childhood fantasy of teaching, while pursuing a master’s degree in education at UMW. A wooden easel with a white dry erase board sits at the front of Puglia’s Mountain View High School classroom in Stafford County, Va. Colorful pictures, ABCs, and crafts adorn the room where she works with four teenagers. She is equipped to teach students with a variety of disabilities - autism, Angelman syndrome, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and more. “My goal is for my students to be as independent as possible when they leave Mountain View,” Puglia said. “I want to give them the social skills that they need to be productive members of society and make them feel like they are part of a community.” When Puglia took the teaching position two years ago, she started the Buddy Club to match students from the … [Read more...]

Great Lives at UMW

The 2014 Chappell Great Lives Series continues with lectures covering a wide range of figures, from Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald to Spartacus. The final program on April 22 features Reeve Lindbergh, daughter of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who will discuss her parents, based on her family memoir, Under a Wing. March 27: Titans of the Gilded Age: Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan by historian and biographer H.W. Brands of University of Texas, Austin April 1: Henry VIII by British historian Jeremy Black of University of Exeter April 8: Shakespeare by Lois Potter: The Life of William Shakespeare: A Critical Biography April 10: Spartacus by Barry Strauss of Cornell University: The Spartacus War April 15: Machiavelli by Miles Unger: Machiavelli: A Biography April 17 Simon Bolivar by Marie Arana: Bolivar: American Liberator April 22 Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh by Reeve Lindbergh, daughter of Charles and Anne Lindbergh: Under a Wing: A Memoir All lectures are … [Read more...]