Notable and Quotable

Paxton’s New TV Show Tackles Downsizing

Matt Paxton ’97 helps downsizers and their families rediscover misplaced treasures in Legacy List With Matt Paxton, which premiered on public television in January. In it, downsizers create “legacy lists” of items they know exist somewhere in a house but that they can’t find. Paxton and a team of experts save those items before moving day. Each episode tells a different family’s story, interspersed with information about the items. said Paxton’s show is a cross between Antiques Roadshow and Finding Your Roots. Paxton hosted A&E’s Hoarders and understands the complicated relationships people have with possessions and one another. Legacy List takes a lighter look at what items are truly important, sometimes monetarily but always personally. … [Read more...]

Theater Alum Wins Scholarship

At New York’s Plaza hotel last November, Leslie Odom Jr. of Hamilton fame announced the six winners of the coveted Princess Grace Award in theater. Among them was Alicia Austin ’16. The scholarship will support Austin’s final year of graduate theater design studies at the Yale School of Drama. Yale nominated Austin for the honor, which provides professional support throughout the recipient’s career. The dozens of past recipients include actor and singer Odom, playwright Tony Kushner, Tony-award-winning theater director Anna D. Shapiro, and film director Jon M. Chu. The Princess Grace Foundation-USA identifies and assists emerging artists by awarding scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships.   … [Read more...]

Becker Is a Facebook Superadmin

Dee Dee Weinstein Becker ’86, a Virginia Beach, Virginia-based marketing and PR specialist who owns consulting firm Becker Communications, has been named a Facebook “power administrator.” The designation grew from Becker’s experience as a Virginia Tech Hokie mom; her daughter is a 2018 graduate. Becker is lead admin for the group Virginia Tech Parents (16,500 members), moderator of Grown and Flown Parents (136,000 parents), and creator/admin of University Parent Group Admins (more than 300 admins representing more than 180 university parent groups). Facebook has twice invited her to speak on panels at communicators’ summits, one at its Menlo Park, California, headquarters and another in New York City. A psychology major in her Mary Washington days, Becker keeps in touch with classmates on the private Facebook group Our Mary Washington College Friends.   … [Read more...]

Artist’s Solo New York Exhibit Defies Conventions

Visual artist Taylor Anton White ’18 had his first solo New York show earlier this year, with the exhibit Free_Hotdog.pdf running January through March at Monica King Contemporary in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. White’s works are “mixed-media compositions in the artist’s signature exuberant and multifaceted style,” the gallery said in a press release. In naming the exhibit an “editors pick,” Artnet News described White’s works as straddling “the disparate modes of communication that we rely on, with a healthy dose of humor that is just as cerebral as it is visually enticing.” White is an Iraq War veteran who served nine years in the Marine Corps before earning a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in studio art at Mary Washington. He lives and works in Richmond, Virginia. … [Read more...]

Award Recognizes Baker’s Entrepreneurial Guidance, Leadership

Business has always been good to Brian Baker ’84, MBA ’89 – whether he was running his own company or helping fledgling entrepreneurs to succeed as executive director of UMW’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). His longtime commitment to the area’s business development recently earned him the Prince Woodard Leadership Award from the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. In nearly 20 years guiding the SBDC, Baker has helped launch more than 550 small businesses, creating or retaining almost 8,000 jobs. Under his leadership, Mary Washington’s SBDC ranks among Virginia’s five top small business development organizations. … [Read more...]

Producer’s Puppy Bowl Is a Wagging Success

Dog-lovers who enjoyed watching Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XVI might only have had eyes for the cute competitors who wagged their way through the canine version of the Super Bowl. But they also were unwittingly appreciating the work of Jordan Kyler ’15 – an associate producer for the show, working with colleagues on the booking, scheduling, coordinating, and problem-solving that happens behind the scenes. The studio arts major also is a contract associate producer on National Geographic’s Secrets of the Zoo. With a master’s degree in photographic and electronic media, Kyler has worked in television production for three years. … [Read more...]

Scientist Leads Bio Materials Repository

Raymond D. Stapleton Jr. ’92 has been named president and chief operating officer of ATCC, the world’s premier biological materials resource and standards organization. Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, ATCC is a nonprofit repository and distributor of materials such as cell lines, molecular genomics tools, microorganisms, and bioproducts, for use in research, academics, and industry. ATCC provides research and development standards to help scientists ensure safety and quality, conducts independent research, and more. Before joining ATCC, Stapleton had more than 20 years’ experience at Iovance Biotherapeutics, Synthetic Biologics, and Merck and Company. Stapleton majored in biology at Mary Washington and earned a Ph.D. in microbial ecology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. A member of the American Society for Microbiology, he has served as a peer reviewer for scientific journals and has coauthored 17 peer-reviewed manuscripts. … [Read more...]

Kerri Barile’s Entrepreneurship Celebrated

Historic preservation consultant Kerri S. Barile ’94 has been recognized as a 2020 Enterprising Woman of the Year, an honor for female entrepreneurs who also support their communities. Enterprising Women magazine was to have celebrated Barile and the other winners at a March ceremony in Clearwater Beach, Florida; the event was postponed to a later date. Barile co-founded Dovetail Cultural Resource Group in 2005. The firm now employs nearly 50 preservation professionals in offices in Fredericksburg and Wilmington, Delaware. Many of Dovetail’s employees are UMW graduates. In 2019, Barile’s firm generously established an endowed scholarship in historic preservation at UMW. It also gives 10 percent of its annual profits to charitable organizations. Read more about Barile and Dovetail in this feature from the spring/summer 2019. … [Read more...]

Museum Communicator Named a Top Richmonder Under 40

As director of communications for the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia, Eric Steigleder ’10 helps area residents better understand the region, its history, and one another. Through its museum exhibitions, well-tended collections, history tours, and public programs, the Valentine brings people together for conversations that aren’t always easy. “From a history perspective it can be difficult enough to talk about some of these complicated stories,” Steigleder told Richmond’s Style Magazine last year. “But it’s even more important to talk about them in a way that helps us address the issues of today.” The magazine recognized Steigleder – who majored in history at Mary Washington – as one of its Top 40 Under 40 in 2019. … [Read more...]