Nikola Nikolic

Professor Emeritus of Physics

Nikola “Nick” Nikolic, professor emeritus of physics, passed away June 14. He is survived by his wife, Jean, and his adult children, Carolina and Nikola. What follows is excerpted from a eulogy offered by Nikolic’s longtime colleague and friend Bulent Atalay, UMW professor emeritus of physics. When Nick Nikolic passed away, he was 84, and he had spent exactly half his life in Fredericksburg, 33 of those [from 1969 to 2002] as a professor of physics at Mary Washington. He was a brilliant physicist, and his undergraduate academic record at the University of Belgrade has never been surpassed. Physicist Charlie Townes, who later received a Nobel Prize in physics for the invention of the laser, invited Nick to Columbia University to pursue a doctorate in physics, and he accepted. A native of Belgrade, Nick never returned to the country of his birth. The former Yugoslavia’s loss would be America’s gain. Among physicists, Nick saw Newton as the king. He was not impressed … [Read more...]

Students From Across Disciplines Present Research

Biology major Cole Eskridge ’12 presented a project at this year’s Student Research and Creativity Day that got its start at last year’s Summer Science Institute. The two events, designed to foster UMW’s ongoing emphasis on undergraduate student research, worked in tandem to produce Eskridge’s worm-related work, “Phylogenetic Analysis and Diversity of Free-Living Terrestrial Nematodes in Virginia.” Spotlighting undergraduate research across disciplines – from the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) to art and the humanities – this pair of programs showcases the hard work and long hours students pour into an array of projects each semester. Presentations allow participants to share their methods and findings and to answer questions posed by their peers. More than 100 undergraduates from each discipline the University offers took part in April’s sixth annual UMW Student Research and Creativity Symposium. Topics included such areas as soil erosion, wind … [Read more...]

By Degrees

UMW Graduates Class of 2012 in 101st Commencement

A beautiful May morning on Ball Circle can bring commencement memories to many Mary Washington alumni and put a spring in the step of the day’s class of graduates. Saturday, May 12, was such a day for the Class of 2012, with proud families looking on, beloved faculty on the dais, and President Richard V. Hurley shaking the hand of each scholar as he awarded the diplomas. This year, the man who coined the term “Millennial Generation” spoke at Saturday morning’s undergraduate commencement ceremony. Historian and best-selling author Neil Howe talked about the vast differences between the robed graduates and their parents. Considered an expert on the generations, he told the Millennial Generation graduates that they’ll never be like their Baby Boomer and Gen X parents – and that they are and will be equipped with everything they’ll need to cope with the challenges that surely will arise in their lifetimes. The author of Millennials Rising told the graduates, “That is [your] … [Read more...]