UMW a Leading Producer of Fulbright Students

With three alumni receiving prestigious Fulbright grants for 2018-19, Mary Washington is Virginia’s top producer of Fulbright U.S. Students among institutions that grant master’s degrees. It’s also one of the top producers nationwide. The “top producer” honor recognizes the success of current students and alumni in receiving grants for study, teaching, and research in foreign countries. Last spring, three Mary Washington alumni were awarded English teaching assistant grants through the Fulbright program. Molly Bernhard ’14 spent the 2018-19 academic year in Bulgaria; Destiny Williams ’18 was in Taiwan; and Molly Garthwaite ’17, M.Ed. ’18 was in India. The awards highlight Mary Washington’s continued success in student Fulbright awards, bringing the total to 22 scholarships since 2006. UMW also was named a top producer of student Fulbright awards in 2013-14 and 2016-17. … [Read more...]

Fulbright Recognizes Larus, Farnsworth

Political science professors Elizabeth Freund Larus and Stephen J. Farnsworth are the latest faculty to receive U.S. Fulbright grants to research and teach abroad. Larus has been named a Fulbright Scholar and will conduct field research throughout Eastern Europe during spring semester 2020. Hosted by the Marie Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin, Poland, she will research the impact of the new Silk Road – China’s Belt and Road Initiative – on the European Union. Farnsworth, a previous Fulbright award recipient, has been named a Fulbright Specialist and will spend this summer teaching American government to students of Methodist College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As the U.S. approaches the 2020 presidential election, Farnsworth said, “now is a great time to be talking with Malaysian students about American government and politics.” In all, UMW faculty have received 12 Fulbright grants since 2007. … [Read more...]

McMillan a VMFA Fellow

Jon McMillan, associate professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History, has received a prestigious Virginia Museum of Fine Arts fellowship for 2019-20. McMillan, a ceramic artist who has taught at Mary Washington since 2011, was among 12 professional artists selected. The statewide honor includes a monetary award and opportunities for fellowship recipients to exhibit their work at VMFA. Because the fellowship coincides with McMillan’s fall 2019 sabbatical, he may use some of the award to fund an artist residency. … [Read more...]

Chemical Society Honors Sharpless

Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry Charlie Sharpless received the Distinguished Research Award from the Virginia section of the American Chemical Society at a March ceremony in Richmond. The award recognizes Sharpless’ two decades of research in environmental aquatic photochemistry, exploring the chemical reactions that happen when sunlight is absorbed by dissolved organic matter in lakes, rivers, and coastal marine systems. Among other things, he’s studied the effects of sunlight on pharmaceutical compounds in a river downstream from a wastewater plant and on oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Sharpless frequently involves his students in the research, providing mentorship and practical experience. … [Read more...]

Nguyen’s Fellowship Combines Physics and Policy

Associate Professor of Physics Hai Nguyen is undertaking a yearlong fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as a science advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C. As an AAAS fellow, Nguyen breaks complex concepts into digestible information for military leaders, consultants, and lawmakers. In return, he’s getting a firsthand look at how national policy is made and making high-powered contacts that will ultimately benefit his students. One immediate effect will be to enhance his freshman seminar, Physics for Future Presidents and World Leaders. “There’s a lot to learn, and it’s sometimes overwhelming,” Nguyen said of his work in Washington. “But I can see that there’s a critical need for more scientists and engineers to step out of their comfort zone and come out of school more suited to serve in this capacity.” … [Read more...]

Accolades for UMW

UMW an Overall Best College Factual, a leading source for helping students find the schools that are the best fit for them, places Mary Washington among the top 10 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities on its “Best for the Money Without Aid” list and in the top 15 percent on its “Overall Best” list of higher education institutions in the Southeast region. A Great Choice for Nurses The independent online guide Top RN to BSN, which identifies the best higher education and career options for current and prospective nurses, lauds Mary Washington’s nursing degree-completion program for quality, affordability, and job-market reputation. The recognition “tells students that they can trust UMW’s program to provide not only an education but an entry to a rewarding career,” said Top RN to BSN Media Manager Gail Harris. One of the Nation’s Best Colleges of Distinction, a resource for students, parents, and guidance counselors, has recognized Mary Washington among the … [Read more...]

Amphitheater Gets Preservation Award

The newly renovated Heslep Amphitheatre has earned UMW the highest accolade bestowed by Historic Fredericksburg Foundation Inc. HFFI’s E. Boyd Graves Award – named for a Mary Washington professor who was a founding member of the preservation organization – recognizes projects “deemed to contribute to the understanding, appreciation, and protection of the history of the Fredericksburg, Virginia, region.” Dating to Mary Washington’s earliest years, the amphitheater had fallen into disrepair by the 2000s. But three major donors and many other enthusiastic alumni contributed to make the renovation possible. The amphitheater is named for Donald B. and Josephine McPherson Heslep ’56, longtime supporters of UMW initiatives. Its Morris Stage was named for former May Queen Marceline “Marcy” Weatherly Morris and Elmer “Juney” Morris Jr., 1950 graduates. Robert S. Jr. and Alice Andrews Jepson ’64 were also major contributors. … [Read more...]

Debaters Beat Harvard

Dynamic debate duo Parker Coon ’19 and Gabriel Lewis ’19 outperformed top contenders at the 73rd National Debate Tournament in March. In the final policy debate tournament of their UMW careers, the pair bested the Harvard University team ranked second coming into the competition. … [Read more...]

National Rankings Highlight Spring Athletics

Jeffrey Leckrone ’19 finished fourth in 200-yard breaststroke at the NCAA Division III Swimming Championships in Greensboro, N.C., in March. He set a lifetime best and broke Capital Athletic Conference and UMW records with a time of 1:58.89. Leckrone also finished sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke and earned All-America honors in both events. Leckrone’s top performance was just one highlight of an impressive spring for UMW athletics. Also of note: Women’s lacrosse was ranked in the top 5 in the coaches’ poll all season, holding the No. 5 spot as the magazine went to press. Men’s and women’s tennis both stayed in the top 20 national rankings all season, holding the No. 16 (men’s) and No. 12 (women’s) spots at press time. Men’s and women’s swimming and UMW volleyball also were ranked or received votes in the coaches’ polls of their sports. UMW Rugby has signed to join the ranks of D1A by becoming an affiliate member of the Rugby East Conference starting this fall. UMW … [Read more...]

Give It Your Best Shot!

Edward Alvey Jr. and a group of students conferred over a globe in what was then Trinkle Library in this photo from 1963. “Dean Alvey,” as he was known by students and faculty, came to Mary Washington in 1934 to teach and serve as dean of education; he was named dean and professor emeritus in 1984. When he died in 1999, The Free Lance-Star wrote that he was a “guiding force” at Mary Washington. He is perhaps best known today for his History of Mary Washington College, 1908-1972. Can you help us identify the students with Dean Alvey? If you have any stories about the photo, we’d like to hear those, too. Go online to and click on “Get the Picture” to leave a comment. Or send an email with “Get the Picture” in the subject line to You may also write to: UMW Magazine – Get the Picture 1301 College Ave. Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5300 … [Read more...]