October 13, 2015

UMW Student, Alumna Earn National Recognition for Historic Preservation Prize

A current student and alumna of the University of Mary Washington have received recognition by the National Park Service for their documentation of historic buildings. Senior Teresa Boegler received an honorable mention for the 2015 Leicester B. Holland Prize from the National Park Service’s Heritage Documentation Program for her drawing of the St. James House, […]

Market Research Executive Named UMW Psychology Graduate-In-Residence

Alison Stewart Brown, director of Global Consumer and Partner Insights with Starbucks Coffee Company, has been named the 2015 “Graduate-in-Residence” by the University of Mary Washington’s Department of Psychological Science. As part of her role, Brown will give a lecture “It’s All About Connections: Consumer Perceptions & Brands” on Thursday, Oct. 1. The free, public […]

UMW Establishes Center for Economic Research

The University of Mary Washington has established the Center for Economic Research in partnership with the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance and the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce.

From left: Curry Roberts, President of the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance; Susan Spears, President and CEO of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce; and Richard Hurley, President of the University of Mary Washington

From left: Curry Roberts, President of the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance; Susan Spears, President and CEO of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce; and Richard Hurley, President of the University of Mary Washington

A local source for regional economic analysis and expertise, the center was strategically created as a part of UMW’s Department of Economics to capitalize on access to highly regarded faculty and opportunities for student engagement. Through internships and employment opportunities, the center will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students to assist the center’s faculty in the research and preparation of reports on the regional economy.

“The center will produce reports generated by faculty experts who actually live and work in the region,” said UMW President Richard Hurley. “This allows for a better understanding of the nuances of the data collected and thereby enhances the validity and usefulness of the information.”

Tim Schilling will lead the center as the newly appointed director. Previously an adjunct professor of economics at UMW, Schilling has taught economics at a number of educational institutions. He also has served as the associate director for programs at the Powell Center for Economic Literacy in Richmond and as director of economic literacy programs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for 16 years. Schilling has a master’s degree in economic history from Central Michigan University in history.

The center will appoint an advisory board to assist in prioritizing the region’s needs for research and reports. The board will be comprised of UMW faculty in addition to representatives from the Alliance and the Chamber.

“This type of collaboration demonstrates that we are serious about our region’s competitiveness,” said Curry Roberts, president of the Alliance. “As Virginia’s rapidly emerging fourth metropolitan area in the Urban Crescent, the Fredericksburg region faces stiff competition for economic development projects.  UMW is a phenomenal asset for our area and can clearly assist us with timely, accurate and unbiased information we critically need.”

During its first year, the economic research center plans to complete a study on the nearly 70,000 commuters who live in the Fredericksburg region in order to better inform regional business decisions. The center also will establish the framework for the completion of semi-annual regional economic reports, with the first report expected to be disseminated in the spring of 2016.

“It is imperative that we gain a better understanding of our current population’s job trends and capabilities so we can create even better local employment opportunities, said Susan Spears, Chamber president and CEO. She noted that the region has grown more than 400 percent since 1970 and is projected to nearly double again by 2040. “More than 40 percent of our workforce leaves the region daily, she said. “The time is right for this partnership. Together, we will strengthen our business base and add to our community’s overall quality of life.”

The establishment of the center within the College of Arts and Sciences is made possible through major gifts from the Alliance and the Chamber with support from UMW. The college is one of seven priorities of the $50-million Mary Washington First Campaign which is expected to conclude June 30, 2016. For more information on ways to support the sustainability of the center, go to marywashingtonfirst.umw.edu or call 540-654-1024.

For more information about the center, contact Tim Schilling at (540) 654-1515 or tschilli@umw.edu.

Students to Celebrate Research and Creativity, April 24

Do polymers provide a cure for cancer? Should college be free? Is recycling plastic environmentally friendly?

Art 15 (2)These quandaries are a sampling of issues that nearly 400 students from the University of Mary Washington will tackle at the Undergraduate Student Research and Creativity Day Symposium on Friday, April 24.

The event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on students’ last day of class, will be located at the Information and Technology Convergence Center (ITCC), with related activities taking place in other academic buildings. The Ridderhof and duPont galleries displaying student artwork will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The symposium, now in its ninth year, represents students from 20 major disciplines, including natural sciences, humanities, modern and ancient languages, social sciences, visual and performing arts, mathematics and computer science. Students will present their works to other UMW students, faculty and the community.

According to Grant Woodwell, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, the symposium gives students the outlet to present their semester-long research in a creative way.

“The day helps to highlight the best that we have to offer as an institution of liberal arts and sciences,” said Woodwell. “We are justly proud of the many students who engage in independent learning activities and have had the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor.”

The Research and Creativity Day Symposium, which began in 2007, has changed locations over the years, most recently taking place at Jepson Hall in 2014. The ITCC will serve as home to the symposium this year, and is projected to be a permanent location for the event in the future.

Woodwell, who also organized the event, is excited to bring students’ research to life utilizing the ITCC’s space and resources.

“We are looking forward to a spacious display of posters distributed throughout the ITCC,” said Woodwell. “The space will allow better interaction between the student authors and their visitors.”

For more information on the Research and Creativity Day Symposium, visit the event’s website or contact Woodwell at gwoodwel@umw.edu.

Journalists to Discuss Middle East Affairs at UMW

Journalists Jennifer Griffin of Fox News and Greg Myre of National Public Radio will speak at the University of Mary Washington on Thursday, April 9 about current developments and the state of affairs in the Middle East.

Journalists Jennifer Griffin of Fox News and Greg Myre of National Public Radio

Journalists Jennifer Griffin of Fox News and Greg Myre of National Public Radio

The presentation, What’s Coming Next in the Middle East, will be held at 7 p.m. in the Rappahannock Grand Ballroom at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center, 1119 Hanover St. The event is free and open to the public.

The married couple will focus on the effects of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, in addition to discussing Afghanistan, Libya, the Israeli election and how developments in the region could impact the future of the Middle East.

Griffin and Myre met in 1989 while covering a rally staged by Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress at a soccer stadium in Soweto, South Africa. They would later report on Mandela’s release from prison and cover the last years of the apartheid.

The two began to cover Afghanistan in the early ‘90s, and were some of the first people to interview members of the Taliban in Kabul. They had traveled to more than 50 countries and reported on a dozen wars before moving to Washington, D.C. in 2007.

Griffin is currently the national security correspondent for Fox based at the Pentagon. Just last month, Griffin was given the journalism award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for her distinguished coverage of the military.

Myre is the international editor for NPR.org, covering global affairs and working closely with NPR’s 20 foreign correspondents around the world. Before joining NPR in 2008, he was a foreign correspondent with the New York Times and The Associated Press for 20 years.

Griffin and Myre will be selling and signing copies of their book, “This Burning Land.”

The lecture is sponsored by Ron Rosner, founder of the Rosner Automotive Group. For more information about the lecture, contact the College of Arts and Sciences at (540) 654-1052.

UMW Department of Theatre & Dance Brings Back “Always…Patsy Cline”

In response to overwhelming and unprecedented demand, the University of Mary Washington Department of Theatre & Dance is bringing “Always…Patsy Cline” by Ted Swindley back to Klein Theatre. Performances will be July 9-12, July 16-19, and July 23-26 at 7:30 p.m., and July 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $40 for standard admission, $35 for students, senior citizens, UMW alumni, and the military and $25 for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are on sale at umw.tix.com.

Photo by Geoff Greene.

Photo by Geoff Greene.

“Never in the history of our program have we experienced such a demand for tickets,” said Director Gregg Stull, chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance and the Department of Music. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this thrilling production to the greater Fredericksburg community this summer.”

UMW’s original production ran in Klein Theatre for three sold-out weeks in February.

“Always…Patsy Cline” is based on the true story of Louise Seger, a fan of Patsy Cline, who gets the chance to meet Cline when she comes to her hometown for a show. Louise and Patsy become fast friends, bonding after the show over the troubles of life. Their friendship grew through a series of letters and phone calls that continued until Cline’s untimely death. The musical features many of Patsy Cline’s hits, including “Crazy,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” and “I Fall to Pieces.”

Taryn  Snyder as Patsy Cline. Photo by Geoff Greene.

Taryn Snyder as Patsy Cline.
Photo by Geoff Greene.

Virginia Patterson Hensley, known as Patsy Cline, was a country singer from Winchester, Va., who crossed over in the 1960’s from country and western into the pop-music charts. She died at the age of 30 in a plane crash in 1963. Ten years later, Cline became the first female solo artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her plaque in the Hall of Fame reads: “Her heritage of timeless recordings is testimony to her artistic capacity.”

“Always…Patsy Cline” features two local students in the roles of Patsy Cline and her friend and fan, Louise Seger. Senior theatre major Taryn Snyder, who grew up in Fredericksburg before moving to Rochester, N.Y., to attend high school, plays the role of Patsy. Fellow senior theatre major Emily Burke, who graduated from James Monroe High School, plays Louise. Burke is the recipient of the Susan Mulholland Breedin ’86 Scholarship and Snyder received the Debby C. Klein Scholarship for 2013-14. Both students are members of Alpha Psi Omega, the national collegiate theatre honorary fraternity.

“Always…Patsy Cline” is directed by Stull, with musical direction by Christopher Wingert. Scenic design is by associate professor Julie Hodge and costume design is by associate professor Kevin McCluskey. Lighting and sound designs are by guest artists Catherine Girardi and Anthony Angelini. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit umw.tix.com.

UMW’s M.S. in Geospatial Analysis Program Begins This Fall

Students interested in the University of Mary Washington’s new Master of Science in geospatial analysis program will have an opportunity to meet with faculty and tour the facilities at an open house on Wednesday, May 14. The open house will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Monroe Hall, Room 346.

Professor Brian Rizzo (right) works with students in UMW's GIS lab.

Professor Brian Rizzo (right) works with students in UMW’s GIS lab.

Geospatial analysis encompasses geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and global positioning systems (GPS) to organize, analyze and display spatial information. UMW will be one of only two institutions in Virginia to offer an advanced degree focused solely on geospatial analysis.

The M.S. in geospatial analysis will be an intensive 12-month program designed for both recent graduates and working professionals. The graduate degree was approved by the Board of Visitors and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in 2013. A complete course outline is available at http://cas.umw.edu/gis/masters/.

UMW’s program will require 30-course credits, which will be available through evening classes and can be taken by both full-time and part-time students. Applications for the program have a recommended filing date of June 1. For more information, contact Brian Rizzo, director of GIS programs, at rizzo@umw.edu or Steve Hanna, chair of the Department of Geography, at shanna@umw.edu.

Students Presented Work at Research and Creativity Symposium

Hundreds of University of Mary Washington students presented their research as part of the annual Undergraduate Student Research and Creativity Symposium on Friday, April 25. The event, in its eighth year at UMW, celebrates excellence in undergraduate student research by giving students the opportunity to share their work with faculty, their peers and the public.

Students discuss their research in Jepson Hall as part of the ninth Research and Creativity Symposium.

Students discuss their research in Jepson Hall as part of the ninth Research and Creativity Symposium.

The presentations represented various disciplines, including the sciences, history, humanities, mathematics, social sciences and the arts.

Many student oral and poster presentations took place in Jepson Hall, filling the building with students, faculty and family members. Presentation topics ranged from biodegradable polymers and erosion in the Chesapeake Bay to food security and advertising.

“It’s fun learning about the real life applications of the chemistry we’ve been learning,” said Rachel Thomas, a sophomore biology major and chemistry minor who presented on alternative methods for closing wounds. “You learn more as you go, and people ask questions to really help you think about your research.”

An art student shares her work.

An art student shares her work.

Student performed original music and scenes from plays in duPont Hall, with art and art history presentations and works in Melchers.

In conjunction with the symposium, additional presentations took place across campus in the areas of English, math, history and geography.

“We hope that our research will help inspire future UMW students,” said David Chambers, a senior geography major who co-presented with junior Ray Humiston on the results of their field work on deforestation in Guatemala.

The symposium kicked-off on Thursday, April 24 with the keynote lecture “Structural Color – Origin and Evolution,” by Hui Cao, professor of applied physics and physics at Yale University.

The Undergraduate Student Research and Creativity Symposium is funded by the Class of 1959 Endowment. For a full list of student presentations, visit http://cas.umw.edu/student-research-and-creativity-symposium/.

National Geographic Photographer Visits UMW, May 8

Noted National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths will present “A Camera, Two Kids and a Camel” at the University of Mary Washington on Thursday, May 8. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Jepson Alumni Executive Center and will be followed by a book signing and Q&A session.

National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths  will present a lecture on Thursday, May 8. ©National Geographic Live. Photo by Mark Thiessen.

National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths will present a lecture on Thursday, May 8.
©National Geographic Live. Photo by Mark Thiessen.

During her visit to campus, Griffiths also will meet with UMW photography and journalism students.

In 2008 Griffiths published “A Camera, Two Kids and a Camel,” a photo memoir about balance and the joy of creating a meaningful life. In 2010, she published “Simply Beautiful Photographs,” which was named the top photo/art book of the year by Amazon and by Barnes and Noble.

She has photographed in nearly 150 countries in her career at National Geographic and her work has appeared in dozens of magazine and book projects. Griffiths has received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, the Associated Press, the National Organization of Women, The University of Minnesota and the White House News Photographers Association.

In addition to her photography work, Griffiths is the executive director of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of photographers who document the programs that are empowering women and girls throughout the developing world.

For more information about the lecture, contact Carole Garmon, chair of the Department of Art and Art History, at cgarmon@umw.edu.

UMW Sophomore Receives Barry Goldwater Honorable Mention

University of Mary Washington sophomore Juliana Laszakovits is the recipient of an honorable mention from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Juliana Laszakovits

Juliana Laszakovits
Photo by Leigh Williams ’14

Her work focuses on understanding how dead plant life, known as dissolved organic matter, and pharmaceuticals and personal care products, known as PPCP’s, degrade. An accurate estimation of how quickly PPCP naturally degrade will provide a better estimate of the actual concentrations of pharmaceuticals entering the environment. During her research process, Laszakovits, a chemistry major, collaborated with research groups from Ohio State University and the University of Connecticut. Charles Sharpless, UMW associate professor of chemistry, will present their research findings at the Gordon Research Conference this summer.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship Program, established by Congress in 1986 to honor longtime Senator Barry Goldwater, is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. It aims to foster and encourage excellence in the STEM disciples and to education and train new generations of U.S. leaders.

This year, the Goldwater Foundation awarded 283 scholarships from more than 1,100 STEM students across the country. In addition to the scholarships, the foundation also recognized several students from each state with the honorable mention distinction.

Laszakovits, a member of the UMW Honor’s Program, has been named to the Dean’s List. In August, she will attend the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education to present findings on the effectiveness of Peer Assisted Study Sessions at UMW.