Learning to Change Lives

Laura Dick ’13 left high school with the credentials of a scholar and her choice of colleges. She was looking to study international development, maybe at Swarthmore or Haverford College. Then the St. Louis native heard of Mary Washington and its Alvey Scholarship for out-of-state students. Its full tuition, fees, room, and board turned her head. "It wasn’t just about awareness – it was about engaging with the world." – Laura Dick Dick visited campus and met Christine Exley ’09, who was also passionate about development. Exley was a Washington Scholar, the in-state equivalent of an Alvey. She had studied with Shawn Humphrey, associate professor of economics, and was about to graduate in math and economics. While Exley was an undergrad, she and Humphrey had started La Ceiba microfinance institution and the $2 Challenge. Exley showed Dick around the economics department and introduced her to the faculty. “She really loved the school,” Dick said of Exley, who now is finishing a Ph.D. … [Read more...]

Teaching to Learn

Assistant Professor of Accounting Dave Henderson ’95 wants his students to learn about accounting practices and information systems. But the Shirley Van Epps Waple Professor seeks to impart a more profound lesson, one that will see the undergraduates through every facet of their lives. He helps them learn to keep learning. That’s a skill Henderson believes UMW is uniquely poised to impart. He’s his own case study. As a Mary Washington undergraduate, Henderson envisioned using his economics and business double major to ascend the ranks of the corporate world. But his liberal arts classes challenged him to learn in unexpected ways – to figure out how to identify a location by one photograph, for example, or to recognize a composer by just a few bars of music. That ability to learn from seemingly unconnected sources helped Henderson shape a career in financial analysis, accounting, and information systems. Ultimately, it gave him the flexibility to trade corporate-world … [Read more...]

Way to Go, Admissions Pro!

Jenifer L. Blair ’82, a former dean of undergraduate admissions at UMW, recently received the highest honor presented to a member of the Potomac & Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC). She received PCACAC’s Richard L. Apperson Award, given to a member whose career embodies the ideals of the association – providing extraordinary service to students, to the organization, and to the college counseling profession. The award was presented April 28 at the organization’s spring conference in Richmond. Blair earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Mary Washington and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Virginia. She is vice president for enrollment services at Richard Bland College of William & Mary in Petersburg, and she serves on the Executive Committee of the UMW Alumni Association Board of Directors as the vice president of Reunion Weekend. … [Read more...]