April 30, 2017

UMW Chief of Staff Honored for Admissions Ethics

Martin A. Wilder Jr., chief of staff at the University of Mary Washington, has been recognized by the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC). Wilder received the John A. “Jack” Blackburn Award for Ethics in College Admissions for his achievements in promoting high ethical standards and integrity, and ensuring equity in access to higher education.

Since coming to work at Mary Washington in 1979, Wilder has spent decades in the college admissions profession, holding vice presidential positions in enrollment and communications, enrollment management, admissions and financial aid, and serving as associate dean of admissions. He’s filled the role of chief of staff under UMW presidents Richard V. Hurley and Troy D. Paino.

“He was the one who, for so many years, folks would turn to for advice when encountering difficult situations in the admissions process,” said PCACAC Past Presidents’ Committee Chair Mike Carter, director of college counseling at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School. “The people Marty mentored and guided now represent some of the top voices for ethical college admissions not only in our region, but nationally.”

The Blackburn Award illustrates PCACAC’s mission of supporting and advancing college admissions professionals as they guide their institutions, students and families in an ethical manner. Named for the late John A. “Jack” Blackburn, longtime University of Virginia dean of admissions, the award was established in 2010 to recognize those who exemplify Blackburn’s commitment to ethics, integrity and the promotion of equity in the college admissions process.

The honor is particularly poignant for Wilder, who considered Blackburn a close friend and colleague, and also a role model who represented the University of Virginia, where Wilder earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He also earned his doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at U.Va.

He was “a terrific guy,” Wilder said of Blackburn, “just a wonderful, wonderful person.”

For being such a competitive business, college admissions employs some incredibly collegial professionals, said Wilder, who served as PCACAC’s president from 1989 to 1990, during the association’s 25th year. He also received its 1993 Richard L. Apperson Award for extraordinary service to students and the college counseling profession.

“Even though we may be competing for students,” Wilder said, “we’re also very much attuned to the whole idea of what this is about – a student-centered process.”

During his tenure as PCACAC’s president, Carter said, Wilder “helped propel our association to be one of the strongest affiliates of our national organization” – the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

UMW Coordinator of Community Events Ali Hieber presented Wilder with the Blackburn Award at PCACAC’s 52nd annual conference in Williamsburg on Sunday, April 23. “In his numerous roles throughout his career,” Hieber said, “Marty has demonstrated the highest commitment to our professional standards through tremendous sustained active involvement in both PCACAC and NACAC.”

In addition to student recruitment, admissions and enrollment functions at Mary Washington, Wilder, who has announced his September retirement, has provided leadership in external relations, communications, marketing and student services.

“It’s very humbling and a wonderful honor,” he said of receiving the Blackburn Award. “Jack is someone I respected and loved as a colleague and friend for so many years.”

Faculty/Staff Appreciation Sale

The UMW Bookstore will be offering 15% off  a single apparel, insignia, or gift item the week of finals (May 1-6).

Sheckels Receives Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award

Marie Sheckels, professor of education and interim dean of the College of Education at the University of Mary Washington, was named the recipient of the 2017 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award at a general faculty meeting on Wednesday, April 26.

Established in honor of Shirley Van Epps Waple, a 1952 graduate of the University, the nomination-based award recognizes faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to their scholarly or creative area of expertise. The winner must have been a full-time faculty member for at least seven years.

During her more than 35 years of service to the University, Sheckels has risen from lecturer to the rank of professor. She has assumed a variety of leadership roles, serving as Department Chair on two different occasions, Elementary Education Program Director, Secondary Mathematics Program Director and Graduate Coordinator for Elementary Education.

Sheckels “has proven to be a consummate leader, scholar, educator and colleague whose service, scholarship and teaching has served as a model for other faculty,” said Teresa Coffman, chair of the University committee on Sabbaticals, Fellowships, and Faculty Awards and Professor of Education.

Sheckels has co-led, authored and conducted primary research in 28 internal and external grants-to-date. She has been responsible for organizing, co-authoring, managing and leading 21 external grants that have exceeded $1 million in total monies received for the University, as well as seven internally funded grants that have totaled almost $80,000.

Sheckels received her doctorate in mathematics education from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in mathematics from Penn State and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from St. Mary’s College.

A member of the Mathematical Association of America and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics,  Sheckels is an expert in mathematics education. She and her colleagues have received grants from the National Science Foundation, the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.


UMW Interim Dean Receives Faculty Achievement Award

Marie Sheckels, professor of education and interim dean of the College of Education at the University of Mary Washington, was named the recipient of the 2017 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award at a general faculty meeting on Wednesday, April 26. Established in honor of Shirley Van Epps Waple, a 1952 graduate of the University, the […]

2017 Health & Flexible Benefits Open Enrollment May 1-15

It’s time for Open Enrollment!  This is your opportunity each year to make changes to your health care or flexible spending accounts (FSAs).  Have no health plan coverage changes and not enrolling in an FSA? Nothing is required.

Make your decisions with care. See the Spotlight newsletter for more information.

EmployeeDirect for health benefits is under construction, so you must submit an Enrollment Form for Employees to your Benefits Administrator this year for enrollment or changes.  Instructions are in Spotlight.   Remember, the deadline to enroll or make changes is the close of business on Monday, May 15, 2017.

You can view an enrollment form and other Open Enrollment materials on the DHRM website at www.dhrm.virginia.gov

Questions?  Contact your Benefits Administrator or send an email to openenrollment@dhrm.virginia.gov

“Focus on Your Future” Workshop May 10

MetLife will be in Lee Hall, Room 412, on May 10 for a workshop called “Focus on your Future.” This workshop will aid in starting or planning for a comfortable retirement. For additional information, please contact Geoffrey Marsh at gmarsh@financialguide.com

Don’t Miss Your Chance for Swim Lessons!

With summer quickly approaching, swim lessons are in hot demand. Don’t miss the exciting opportunity to participate in swim lessons at UMW Monday through Friday May 1-12.  For more information on the classes and to register, follow this link


For any additional questions, contact Kelly Shannon at kshannon@umw.edu

Hope to see you there!

UMW Student Wins Prestigious Essay Award

UMW senior Corey Bolyard won a prestigious award for her research paper presented at the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference this month in Annapolis, Maryland. Titled “Rising in the Storm: India’s Bid for Global Power in a Multipolar System During Development,” the paper was presented during the “Crouching Tiger, Rising Power” roundtable on India. The […]

UMW Students Win Art Awards

The University of Mary Washington Department of Art and Art History announced its student awards at the opening reception of the Annual Student Art Exhibition at the duPont Gallery on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Emily Dabbs received the Melchers Gray Purchase Award for “Trophy Nights.” The work will become part of the university’s permanent collection. […]

Liss and Students’ Research Paper Accepted for Publication

Professor of Psychology Miriam Liss and four students from her research seminar had a paper accepted for publication by the journal Personality and Individual Differences. The paper is titled “How Extraversion, Neuroticism, Attachment Style and Fear of Missing Out Predicted Social Media Use and Addiction.”

Liss and her students found that fear of missing out was a powerful predictor of social media addiction.