September 25, 2016

Hanna and Students Publish Article in Southeastern Geographer

Meredith Stone (UMW 2015), Ian Spangler (UMW 2016), Xavier Griffin (UMW 2016) and Stephen Hanna’s article, “Searching for the enslaved in the ‘Cradle of Democracy': Virginia’s James River plantation websites and the reproduction of local histories,” was published in the Southeastern Geographer, Volume 56, Issue 2, and is available through Project Muse (

Meredith, Ian and Xavier were research assistants funded by Dr. Hanna’s Waple Professorship and National Science Foundation grant to examine how the enslaved are incorporated into the histories represented at plantation museums.  This article presents some of their preliminary findings.

Hirshberg Presents Paper at International Conference

Dan Hirshberg, assistant professor of religion, presented new research at the International Association for Tibetan Studies conference, held at the University of Bergen (Norway), June 19–25, 2016. His paper traced the introduction and evolution of the many names of Padmasambhava, an eighth-century tantrika credited with establishing Buddhism in Tibet, which became signposts in the retelling of his biography as well as the foci of countless ritual and devotional liturgies.

Rabson Co-edits Anthology of Japanese Literature in Translation

Steve Rabson, Adjunct Instructor at the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies, has published Islands of Protest: Japanese Literature from Okinawa, co-edited with Davinder Bhowmik, from University of Hawaii Press. The anthology presents English translations of fiction, poetry and drama written from the perspectives of an oppressed minority in Japan.

UMW Student Receives Innovation Award

University of Mary Washington student Maggie Magliato recently received Marstel-Day’s Innovation in Environmental Stewardship Award. Marstel-Day, an international environmental consulting firm, presented Magliato with a $2,500 cash award at the firm’s annual Green Gala. Magliato will work on her environmental project with the guidance of an advisor from Marstel-Day and will present her findings at the […]

McCall, Hydorn and Clayton Receive Grant

Dr. Venitta McCall, professor of the College of Education, Dr. Debra Hydorn, professor of mathematics and Dr. Courtney Clayton, assistant professor of the College of Education have received a $35,600 grant from the Virginia Department of Education. The purpose of the grant is to train 30 teachers from critical teacher shortage areas in Spotsylvania County, Stafford County and Fredericskburg City to become Clinical Faculty members for the College of Education.

Selected teachers will be trained in effective mentoring practices, in best practices for instructing English Language Learners and in using learning analytics – the appropriate collection, use and analysis of data to facilitate instructional improvement. Research has shown that having highly skilled Clinical Faculty is a key component in enhancing teacher retention.

Scanlon Presents on Women Modernist Poets

Mara Scanlon, professor of English, presented a paper entitled “Charlotte Mew, H.D., and the Magdalen: ‘what she did everyone knows'” at the H.D. and Feminist Poetics Conference in Bethlehem, PA, H.D.’s birthplace.

The paper examined the Magdalen figures in two poems, not only analyzing the representations of their sexual bodies and the visions they enable for male prophets, but also situating the publications in their wartime contexts, in which the crucified Christ becomes a figure for wounded or sacrificial soldiers.

Accompanying Dr. Scanlon to the conference to further their own research on poet Hilda Doolittle, known as H.D., were three senior English majors: Bailey Meeks, Shannon Birch, and Christina Cox.

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 Anthropology Professor Featured on With Good Reason

University of Mary Washington Assistant Professor of Anthropology Laura Mentore will be featured on the With Good Reason public radio program that airs beginning Saturday, August 15.   Laura Mentore, Assistant Professor of Anthropology In the show, “It’s a Jungle Out There,” Mentore discusses her research with the Waiwai, an indigenous people of Guyana, and how she discovered the path of a special songbird from the rainforest to New York City. Mentore has been conducting ethnographic research with the Waiwai and Makushi people of Guyana since 2002, focusing on their perceptions of the environment and emerging relations with urban Guyanese as well as conservation and development NGOs in the region. One thread in her research began upon observing the Waiwai trapping and selling a particular species of seed-finch, which she discovered was being transported to urban areas in coastal Guyana and smuggled into Guyanese diasporic communities in New York. She found that they are key players in a favorite pastime among coastal Guyanese men, a singing competition between birds known as ‘birdsport. “Birdsport is far more than recreational,” said Mentore, whose research sheds light on the complex economic and environmental connections between indigenous communities and urban centers in 21st century Amazonia. “For the men of all backgrounds who participate, it provides an alternative means of social achievement in one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere.” With Good Reason is a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The show airs weekly in Fredericksburg on Sundays from 1-2 p.m. on Radio IQ 88.3 Digital. To listen from outside of the Fredericksburg area, a complete list of air times and links to corresponding radio stations can be found at  Audio files of the full program and its companion news feature will be available online at Mentore is an expert in environmental transitions and critical development theory, with regional specializations in  Amazonia and the Caribbean. Since joining UMW in 2010, Mentore has launched a summer study abroad course in Guyana called Ethnographic Field Methods. She also teaches anthropology courses relating to economics, food, medicine and gender, in addition to classes on Amazonian societies, environment and development narratives and ethnography. Mentore has been published in The Social Life of Achievement, Anthropology and Humanism and the Journal of Cultural Geography. She is currently waiting publication for her paper titled “The Force of the Imaginary: At Play in the Field of Conservation Economics and Amerindian Sociality.” Mentore is a member of the American Anthropological Association, the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America Society and the Society for Humanistic Anthropology. She is also a board member for the journal Environment and Society. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and her doctoral degree from Cambridge University.

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 or call 540-654-1024.

For more information about the center, contact Tim Schilling at (540) 654-1515 or