Top Job: Equity, Access, and Diversity

Building on a key priority of his administration, President Troy Paino has named Sabrina Johnson to the new Cabinet-level position of vice president for equity and access. She also is the university’s chief diversity officer. Creating a more diverse and inclusive university community is one of the university’s top priorities. Others are promoting a culture of service and community, reimagining the liberal arts for the digital age, and immersing students in applied and impactful learning experiences. “Sabrina Johnson will provide leadership in advancing diversity and inclusion as essential components of the university’s mission,” Paino said in announcing the appointment. “We look forward to having her help define UMW’s commitment to developing and sustaining an equitable, inclusive, and supportive working and learning environment for all.” In her new role, Johnson provides strategic and visible leadership for these initiatives. She has been at Mary Washington for more than two … [Read more...]

Mellinger Is Dean of Arts and Sciences

Professor of Mathematics Keith Mellinger has been named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences after serving as interim dean since last June. In 2013, Mellinger was appointed director of the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan, a critical component of the university’s reaccreditation efforts. He also was key to the development and success of the university’s First-Year Experience. Mellinger was chair of the Department of Mathematics for six years. In 2008, he was recognized with the UMW Alumni Association Outstanding Young Faculty Member Award. He’s also an avid musician, active in the local music scene. In announcing Mellinger’s appointment as dean, Provost Nina Mikhalevsky wrote that he “brings the necessary experience, skills, knowledge, and genuine commitment to our students and faculty, to provide the kind of leadership of the College of Arts and Sciences that will enable us to address our current challenges, strengthen and enhance our academic programs, and ensure … [Read more...]

Waple Professors honored

Six UMW faculty members have been named Waple Professors, recognizing their contributions to the university and earning research funding for two years. The award is named for Shirley Van Epps Waple ’52 and honors excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship. The recipients of the 2018-2020 Waple Professorships are: … [Read more...]

Geographer Named Fellow for Work in Critical Cartography

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna has been chosen as an inaugural fellow of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). The lifetime fellowship honors geographers who have made significant contributions to the discipline and can serve as a body of advisers for the AAG and mentors for early and mid-career faculty. Hanna is noted for his work in critical cartography, drawing attention to the ways a map’s meaning changes through use. His research on tourism has changed the way slavery is interpreted for tourists who visit Virginia’s plantation museums. The AAG also has appointed Hanna to a four-year term as cartography editor for its three journals, Annals, Professional Geographer, and GeoHumanities. … [Read more...]

Pineda Debuts Novel at UMW

Assistant Professor of English Jon Pineda gave the Mary Washington community the first look at his new novel, Let’s No One Get Hurt, before embarking on a multistate book tour. Pineda promoted the book at a UMW event March 20, the day it was released by MacMillan Publishing imprint Farar, Straus, and Giroux. Let’s No One Get Hurt is Pineda’s sixth novel. A collection of his poems, Little Anodynes, won the 2016 Library of Virginia Literary Award for Poetry. … [Read more...]

Prof Explores Twitter Presidency

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science, will sign his newly released Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management From Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump at UMW Reunion Weekend, June 1-3. The book delves into the difficulty presidents have in controlling their messages despite a seemingly endless array of new media outlets and the advantages of the office. The book also looks at the media strategies of candidates during the 2016 presidential campaign. … [Read more...]

Giving Day Rings Up Record Donations

Generous alumni helped make Mary Wash Giving Day a ringing success, donating $449,631 in a 24-hour online campaign March 20. Donors – more than 700 of whom were first-time givers to Mary Washington – blasted past the day’s goal of 1,908 gifts in honor of the university’s 1908 founding. By day’s end, they’d made 2,987 gifts. The event allowed alumni, parents, and friends to contribute to all things Mary Wash. Donors dug deep to support UMW athletics; theatre; the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education, and Business; UMW Galleries; the Gari Melchers Home and Studio; the James Monroe Museum; Campus Recreation; the Fund for Mary Washington; and more. The University Center, serving as the on-campus Giving Day headquarters, bustled with activity. Social media lit up all day long, as UMW supporters created, shared, and liked posts about the event. President Troy Paino rallied support in Paino’s Day Out, a video on the theme “What can you do in a day?” The film drew 449 shares and more … [Read more...]

Here’s to Mary Washington!

SMALL RISK, BIG REWARD Mary Washington is among the top in the U.S. in LendEDU’s College Risk Reward Index, which considers student debt in relation to average early-career pay for graduates. In Virginia, the only public institutions near the top of the list were the University of Virginia, the College of William & Mary, U.Va.’s College at Wise, and UMW. ENGLISH ACCOLADE UMW is a top destination for English majors in the eyes of, which considers tuition, graduation rates, and program prominence. Ten schools nationwide made the 2018 list – and UMW took the No. 3 spot. SMART CHOICE Guide service College Factual rates UMW’s liberal arts and general studies program among the top in the nation – 47th of 352 ranked institutions. Geography and cartography came in first in Virginia and 12th nationwide. English ranked in the top five programs in Virginia and 83rd of 625 programs nationwide. … [Read more...]

Alum Directs James Monroe and Gari Melchers Museums

Scott Harris ’83 has been named executive director of university museums, overseeing the James Monroe Museum, the Gari Melchers Home and Studio, and the Papers of James Monroe. In his new role, Harris provides strategic direction and oversight for all aspects of both museums. Day-to-day operations at the Melchers Home and Studio continue to be the purview of Joanna Catron, assistant director and curator. Jarod Kearney is assistant director and curator of the James Monroe Museum. As executive director, Harris also oversees the ongoing work on the Papers of James Monroe, edited by Daniel Preston. That project recently received a three-year, $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to produce two volumes of Monroe’s selected correspondence and public documents, covering April 1814 to March 1821. … [Read more...]

RVA Mayor Recruits Student Teachers

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is determined to recruit excellent teachers for his city’s public schools, and he brought his quest to the College of Education during a daylong visit in December. Stoney told the students his own life was shaped by exceptional teachers who went beyond their job descriptions to help him get the most from school as he grew up in a single-parent home in Hampton Roads. An honor roll student, he became secretary of the commonwealth at age 32 and Richmond’s youngest mayor at age 35. That wouldn’t have happened, he said, “if it weren’t for great teachers.” Stoney told the students Richmond planned to hire 360 teachers for the next school year, and he said the main trait he looks for in a teacher is passion. He said Richmond is a great place to live, with half of its population ages 20 to 45. Board of Visitors member Heather Mullins Crislip ’95, whose children attend Richmond schools, joined Stoney for the afternoon visit and also urged UMW … [Read more...]