On Campus

Alumna Reappointed to BOV

Gov. Ralph S. Northam has reappointed Princess R. Moss ’83 to the UMW Board of Visitors. Moss, who served on the BOV from 2007 to 2011, is vice president of the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional teaching organization. Moss succeeds Sharon Bulova in a four-year term that expires June 30, 2024. With an undergraduate degree in music education, Moss taught elementary school for 21 years. She was elected NEA vice president in August 2020 with the stated goal of providing safe learning spaces for all students and addressing public school inequities that were exposed by the pandemic. Moss, who earned a master’s degree in secondary administration and supervision from the University of Virginia, served two terms as president of the Virginia Education Association (VEA) and more than a decade on the boards of directors for NEA and VEA. … [Read more...]

UMW Listed Green

UMW has earned a listing among the nation’s most environmentally conscious schools. The ranking appears in the 2021 edition of The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges. It profiled 416 U.S. schools demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, based on student academic offerings and career preparation, campus policies, initiatives, and activities. “We strongly recommend the University of Mary Washington to students who want to study and live at a green college,” said Rob Franek, Princeton Review editor-in-chief. By summer, the University of Mary Washington plans to employ a full-time sustainability coordinator. … [Read more...]

UMW Pulls Together on Giving Day

Students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends gave Mary Washington a much-appreciated boost on Giving Day, held April 13. Generous donors joined forces online to strengthen the UMW experience, shaping the next generation of leaders, creators, and problem-solvers. Thank you! … [Read more...]

Eagles’ Best Friends

April 13, the Alumni Association provided bandannas for more than 200 UMW fur babies and asked alumni to tag social media posts of four-legged family members with #MaryWashDay and #UMWAlumni. Besides immense cuteness, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter were filled with animal lovers showing their support for their alma mater! … [Read more...]

NAACP Recognizes Student Leader

Brianna Simone Reaves ’22 was named a “Captain of the Community” by the NAACP Culpeper Branch in January.  The Rev. Uzziah A. Harris, branch president, said Reaves is an exceptional advocate for racial justice, according to the group’s website. He noted that the Culpeper native co-organized a 2020 march there protesting police brutality across the nation. The peaceful event drew more than 800 people.  “Brianna has a voice that cannot be quieted,” Harris said.  Reaves worked with others to establish the first NAACP UMW branch in hopes that the group could help students connect campus and national issues. She was elected president of the Student Government Association for 2021-22.  The sociology major and social justice minor is passionate about the James Farmer Multicultural Center, where she works as a diversity peer educator. She served as vice president of the NAACP Virginia State Conference Youth and College Division and is a member of UMW Mortar Board. … [Read more...]

Senior Wins National Research Award

William “Henry” Mills ’22 was selected as a 2021 Barry Goldwater Scholar. The physics and math major is among 410 scholars selected from more than 1,250 applicants in natural science, engineering, and mathematics. He will receive as much as $7,500 for his senior year.  The Richmond native has been conducting research with his advisor, Assistant Professor of Physics Varun Makhija, since fall 2019. Chemistry professors Kelli Slunt ’91 and Leanna Giancarlo recommended that Mills apply for the highly regarded, selective scholarship.  Mills, who plans to pursue a Ph.D., worked with scientists at Stanford University, Stony Brook University, and the National Research Council to take a freeze-frame photograph of a water molecule, Makhija said.  “The water molecules in your glass of water are in vigorous, random motion. To take a still photograph of this molecule, we need a really short flash of laser light. So short that the molecule’s motion is imperceptible during the flash,” Makhija … [Read more...]

Fellowship Sends Alum to Grad School

Nehemia Abel ’20 secured a highly competitive Payne Fellowship, sponsored by USAID, the U.S. Agency for International Development. Only 15 of the fellowships, which cover most of the cost of graduate school, were awarded for 2021.  The fellowship seeks outstanding individuals interested in careers in the foreign service of USAID. It enables them to work “on the front lines of some of the most pressing global challenges of our times,” according to the fellowship website.  Abel left the east African nation of Burundi with help from USAID, and he wants to return the gift. “I would like to give back by assisting others living in crisis situations globally,” he said.  The UMW marketing graduate will pursue a master’s degree in international development from Georgetown University, which he chose after also being accepted by Columbia, Johns Hopkins, George Washington, Howard, and American universities. The Payne Fellowship provides up to $96,000 in benefits over two years for graduate … [Read more...]

Fulbright Recipients Forge Ahead

Mary Washington had two Fulbright recipients this year – Hannah Rothwell ’19, who is teaching in Uzbekistan, and Lauren Closs ’20, whose research in Norway was put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Rothwell, an economics and international affairs graduate, had applied for a Fulbright but was listed as a backup. Disappointed, she moved on to an internship in D.C. She was in a meeting there last winter when she received an unexpected text: Call the U.S. embassy in Uzbekistan immediately. She was needed at the Ferghana State University as soon as possible, she learned, to teach English through the Fulbright program.  Rothwell had to test negative for COVID before leaving the U.S., undergo another test in Uzbekistan, and then quarantine in a hotel before beginning her assignment at the university’s English Pedagogical Department.  Biology graduate Closs had planned to fly to Norway late last summer, but the country’s strict no-visitor rules delayed her entry. It was to be her second … [Read more...]

Pomp in Unusual Circumstances

Like most everything else during the pandemic, commencement looked different this year. Instead of one ceremony on Ball Circle, UMW hosted nine ceremonies May 6 to 9 on the fenced campus recreation field adjacent to U.S. 1.  The platform typically is packed with faculty, administrators, Board of Visitors members, and an honored speaker, but this year only seven people took the stage: President Troy D. Paino, Provost Nina Mikhalevsky, one student, one faculty member, a representative of the alumni association, a board member, and the official reader of names.  There was plenty of pageantry despite the social distancing. Candidates processed to Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance recorded by the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra and recessed to the steady tones of one or two members of the Eagle Pipe Band.  Each touch-free ceremony – no handshakes or exchange of diplomas – was limited to 150 graduates. The field’s 111,000 square feet were precisely measured and marked to accommodate graduates and … [Read more...]

Grad’s Autism Research Gets Attention

Physics graduate Shannon Brindle ’21 devoted her undergraduate research to developing an imaging analysis technique for faster diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. And Physics, an online magazine from the American Physical Society, took notice.  She and Clark Saben ’24 worked with Rasha Makkia, UMW visiting assistant professor of physics. Brindle aspires to develop a “computational technique that can simultaneously extract multiple structures from 3D magnetic resonance imaging brain scans, something not possible with other methods,” the magazine reported after Brindle presented her findings at the March meeting of the American Physical Society.  If successful, Brindle’s image analysis technique could allow clinicians to start therapies more quickly than is currently possible.  As an undergraduate, Brindle didn’t have access to unlimited scans, so she tested her method on images of three 8-year-old boys, two diagnosed with autism and one not. While it’s too early to say if her … [Read more...]