May 28, 2017

Research and Creativity Day Celebrates Student Achievements

Where can you learn about homelessness in Virginia, discover the most popular shows on TV and see a sustainable fashion show all in one place? Research and Creativity Day is a culmination of a year’s worth of work by University of Mary Washington students. The 11th annual event, set for Friday, April 28, is a […]

UMW ‘Hacks’ Up Against Competition

The University of Mary Washington’s longstanding Devil-Goat rivalry extended to a recent hack-a-thon. UMW students broke into two groups – Devils and Goats – at the HackU 5 competition in Norfolk, Virginia. The fifth annual sprint-like event, hosted by Norfolk-based media and information services company Dominion Enterprises, pitted 12 teams of Virginia college students against […]

Planting Flowers and Goodwill

Saturday’s 70-degree weather made it a great day for being outdoors. Nearly 70 University of Mary Washington students discovered that it also was a perfect day for helping their neighbors. The students fanned out into the surrounding College Heights and College Terrace areas for UMW’s fifth annual Good Neighbor Day, sponsored by Community Outreach and […]

Annual Multicultural Fair Set for Saturday

The University of Mary Washington will host its annual celebration of culture and diversity with thousands expected to line Campus Walk on Saturday, April 1. The 27th annual Multicultural Fair, organized by the University’s James Farmer Multicultural Center, will offer an array of international arts and crafts. Ethnic performers, craft vendors and international cuisine will […]

UMW Students Build a Better Spring Break

Seble Girmay wasn’t sure what to expect when she signed up for the University of Mary Washington’s alternative spring break adventure as a freshman. Four years later, she’s a seasoned team leader with a purpose-filled direction. “My experience with Habitat for Humanity has shown me that what I want to do with my life is […]

UMW Students Build a Better Spring Break

Seble Girmay wasn’t sure what to expect when she signed up for the University of Mary Washington’s alternative spring break adventure as a freshman. Four years later, she’s a seasoned team leader with a purpose-filled direction. “My experience with Habitat for Humanity has shown me that what I want to do with my life is […]

Lending a Hand

When University of Mary Washington senior Rebecca Kalinich was in the hospital last spring for surgery, career planning was not on her agenda.

Yet a newspaper article about the issues associated with prosthetic limbs in underdeveloped countries caught her attention – and planted a seed that changed her future.

A year later, Kalinich is graduating from UMW with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a future in artificial limb design. This fall, she will volunteer with Walter Reed military hospital in Bethesda, Md., designing and assembling prosthetic arms and legs to gain experience for graduate school.

Rebecca Kalinich shares her limb diagrams.
Rebecca Kalinich shares her limb diagrams.

After her time in the hospital, Kalinich continued to hear stories about issues with artificial limbs and develop her desire to design them. She was especially moved by accounts of runners whose prosthetic legs would frequently break, keeping them from being able to compete.

“That just shouldn’t happen,” said Kalinich, who is an avid runner. “They’re trying this hard to have a normal life again and that should be possible.”

When she returned to UMW for her senior year, she had a new focus for her studies. Luckily, though, her newfound career goal didn’t leave her scrambling to change her academic course.

“I’ve always wanted to be in the health sciences because I’ve been around sports my whole life,” said Kalinich, who already was majoring in biology. Since she was 5, she’d been involved in gymnastics, soccer and diving, while her parents, who are both scientists, have influenced her to combine her passions for sports and science.

With a father who worked on a military base and a grandfather who served in the Army, working with veterans was a natural fit for her first job out of college.

“It’s a good way to help them out when they return from duty,” said Kalinich, whose dream job is with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, helping veteran amputees learn to maneuver their new limbs and move on with their lives.

One day, she’d like to see active duty military members using prosthetic limbs that she designed.

“You see what military members can go through after serving our country, and I just want to help them,” said Kalinich.

“What better way than to use my career for their benefit.”

Annual Research and Creativity Day Set for April 22

All semester, students from a variety of disciplines have been working toward showing off their finished products at the end of the year. On April 22, they will get their chance at this year’s Research and Creativity Day. UMW’s Research and Creativity Day is an annual event that serves as a day of celebration for […]

UMW Awards Historic Preservation Book Prize

The University of Mary Washington’s Center for Historic Preservation has awarded the 2016 Historic Preservation Book Prize to Barbara Miller Lane for Houses for a New World: Builders and Buyers in American Suburbs, 1945-1965. The Center annually awards a prize to an author whose book has the most potential for having a positive impact on […]

Belmont Portrayed Award Winners Announced

Gari Melchers Home and Studio has announced the People’s Choice cash award winners for the current “Belmont Portrayed” exhibition, which features art depicting the Belmont grounds and buildings, in celebration of the museum’s 40th anniversary. Elena Broach of Fredericksburg earned the first-place award of $1,000 for her piece, “Eleven Steps.” In second place was Jenna […]