Happy Birthday From Politico

When Politico featured Kenny Cunningham ’12 in its “Birthday of the Day” feature last October, he was a director at Prism Group, an influential public affairs firm in Washington D.C. In October, he launched his own firm, Cunningham Communications, where he helps clients enhance and amplify their message or brand through the media. He is also executive director of the national network Maverick PAC, “an organization focused on shaping the future of the Republican Party.” Cunningham told Politico that politics is in his blood: He grew up watching his dad work on Capitol Hill as chief of staff to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. While pursuing a political science degree at UMW, the younger Cunningham interned in Grassley’s office. He worked for political campaigns before joining Maverick. … [Read more...]

Geography Grad Monitors Pipeline

Ben Cunningham ’16 is using his UMW geography major and GIS certificate to help protect land in Nelson County, Virginia, and beyond. The GIS analyst and community organizer uses drones, photos, videos, and maps to track the progress of the proposed 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline to uphold and enforce environmental regulations. The underground natural gas pipeline would go from West Virginia through Virginia to North Carolina. The project is under indefinite suspension due to a federal appeals court’s rescinding of key environmental permits. As Virginia field coordinator for the pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative (CSI) program, Cunningham takes footage and plots it in an online mapping system, or GIS. He’s also training resident volunteers to use the tools to monitor and report pipeline progress and compliance. Cunningham began the work while at UMW as an intern with the environmental group Alleghany- Blue Ridge Alliance, which sponsors the CSI. … [Read more...]

Ultimate Alumni Go National

Ultimate Frisbee athletes with Mary Washington connections made a great showing at last fall’s Ultimate Frisbee Club National Championships in San Diego, California. Jenny Fey ’07; Kyle Khalifa ’15; Christine Valvo ’15, M.S. ’16; and Zachary Norrbom ’17, M.Ed. ’18 competed as part of the mixed-gender team Space Heater Ultimate, which placed third in the national competition. Austin Bartenstein ’11 and Joseph Richards ’19 competed with the men’s team Washington DC Truck Stop, which placed fifth. … [Read more...]

Actor in Network on Broadway

Actor Eric Chayefsky ’12 opened on Broadway in Network, starring Bryan Cranston, in December 2018. The critically acclaimed adaptation, which runs through June 8 at the Belasco Theatre, is based on the iconic 1976 film written by Paddy Chayefsky, Eric’s great-uncle. Eric Chayefsky plays “ELA member.” After graduating with a theater degree, Chayefsky pursued acting in his hometown, New York City. He played Cornwall in an off-off-Broadway production of King Lear, and he’s been part of multiple productions at the American Theatre of Actors. Most recently, he played the lead in a short film that won Best Ensemble Cast at the 2018 DC 48Hour Film Project. … [Read more...]

Anything Goes!

Wasn’t that Thomas Adrian Simpson ’81 in Anything Goes at D.C.’s Arena Stage? Indeed, fans who joined UMW Theatre on an excursion in December saw the 30-year acting veteran return to Arena. The D.C.-stage regular counts among his credits Sweeney Todd at The Olney Theatre Center, Crazy for You! and Jesus Christ Superstar at Signature Theatre, Chess at the Kennedy Center, and performances at Ford’s Theatre and The Shakespeare Theatre. Simpson’s TV credits include House of Cards and America’s Most Wanted. After graduating with a degree in math and physics from Mary Washington, Simpson studied at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. … [Read more...]

Giving Day Again Breaks Records

The UMW family, across the country and around the world, came together to make history on Mary Wash Giving Day, March 19. During the 24-hour online fundraising marathon, donors in 45 states and nine countries made 4,000-plus gifts totaling more than $600,000 to benefit students and programs across the university, including the arts, academics, athletics, student life, and scholarships. Each gift helps to ensure a strong future for Mary Washington and its students, continuing a tradition of dynamic donor support for the 111-year-old institution. Donors exceeded the day’s lofty goal of 3,500 gifts and topped last year’s results, breaking the record for the largest day of giving in UMW history. On Giving Day in March 2018, supporters made 2,987 gifts totaling $449,631. Challenges and matches, unlocking extra funding when milestones were met throughout the day – themed “All In” – also grew this year. Challenges sponsored by alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends of the … [Read more...]

UMW, Germanna Seal Transfer Deal

UMW has long welcomed transfer students from nearby Germanna Community College, but a new agreement enhances the relationship between the two institutions and gives the transfer students a better chance of success. President Troy D. Paino and GCC President Janet Gullickson signed the Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement in February. The agreement creates curricular pathways that will smooth the transition from two- to four-year programs, making it easier for transfer students to graduate on time. The enhanced transfer pathway is similar to an agreement forged between Northern Virginia Community College and Mary Washington last June. Presidents Paino and Gullickson said the agreement also will enable students transferring from Germanna to UMW to earn bachelor’s degrees sooner, with less student debt. The collaboration will bring the degrees into reach for a broader group of students. “It’s imperative that we bring together students from varied backgrounds and diverse … [Read more...]

Cybersecurity Grant Benefits Region

UMW will launch a new cybersecurity certification program – the only one of its kind in the Fredericksburg region – thanks to a $110,000 grant recently announced by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. Slated to begin in the spring of 2020, the program will target the area’s shortage of certified cybersecurity professionals, helping to fill existing positions and to create entrepreneurial opportunities. It will enable UMW to offer a 12-week, 40-hour noncredit program to prepare certified information systems security professionals for successful CISSP exam completion. The UMW grant was part of more than $6.7 million in funding announced by Gov. Northam for seven regional projects in support of entrepreneurship, workforce, and talent-development initiatives. … [Read more...]

College of Business Achieves AACSB Accreditation

The College of Business has joined elite company with its accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. Mary Washington is one of only five U.S. schools to receive accreditation in 2018. Just 5 percent of the world’s business degree-granting institutions achieve the status. UMW set a goal for AACSB accreditation soon after establishing its College of Business in 2010. Led by Dean Lynne Richardson and Associate Dean Ken Machande, the college strategically shaped its curriculum, programs, and faculty to meet the 15 international standards required for accreditation. Before receiving AACSB accreditation, institutions undergo a rigorous peer review process to ensure that they provide students a first-rate, future-focused business education. “This distinction is testimony to the diligent efforts over a number of years on the part of dozens of people across campus, most especially the College of Business faculty and staff,” said … [Read more...]

Peace Corps Names UMW in U.S. Top 15

With 10 alumni volunteering around the world, UMW is once again a Peace Corps top-producing institution. Mary Washington took the 15th spot among U.S. schools with fewer than 5,000 students. The distinction marks the 11th consecutive year UMW has made the Top 25. More than 260 Mary Washington alumni have served the Peace Corps since its 1961 inception. “There is a longstanding tradition of Mary Washington students involving themselves in public service and in their local communities,” said Center for International Studies Director José Sainz, who helped launch UMW’s Peace Corps Prep program in fall 2017. “Serving in the Peace Corps is the next logical pathway for those who seek to make a difference in the world.” … [Read more...]