December 18, 2014

UMW Rated Among Nation’s Best Values by Kiplinger Magazine

The University of Mary Washington is listed among Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s “100 Best Values in Public College” for 2015.

Monroe Hall

Monroe Hall

The university ranks sixth among Virginia’s best values and 92nd out of 100 four-year public institutions nationwide. The ranking cites four-year schools that provide a quality education at an affordable price, according to the February 2015 issue of Kiplinger’s. The list is available online at kiplinger.com/links/college.

“We salute this year’s top schools,” says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Balancing top-quality education with affordable cost is a challenge for families in today’s economy, which is why Kiplinger’s rankings are such a valuable resource. The schools on the 2015 list offer students the best of both worlds.”

Kiplinger’s assesses quality according to a number of measurable standards, including the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation.

Other Virginia schools on the in-state “best value” list include the University of Virginia (2), the College of William and Mary (7), James Madison University (21), Virginia Tech (26) and Christopher Newport University (89).

UMW has consistently appeared on the list since 2006, and continuously ranks high in selective college guidebooks.

UMW Rated Among Nation’s Best Values by Kiplinger Magazine

The University of Mary Washington is listed among Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s “100 Best Values in Public College” for 2015.

Monroe Hall

Monroe Hall

The university ranks sixth among Virginia’s best values and 92nd out of 100 four-year public institutions nationwide. The ranking cites four-year schools that provide a quality education at an affordable price, according to the February 2015 issue of Kiplinger’s. The list is available online at kiplinger.com/links/college.

“We salute this year’s top schools,” says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Balancing top-quality education with affordable cost is a challenge for families in today’s economy, which is why Kiplinger’s rankings are such a valuable resource. The schools on the 2015 list offer students the best of both worlds.”

Kiplinger’s assesses quality according to a number of measurable standards, including the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation.

Other Virginia schools on the in-state “best value” list include the University of Virginia (2), the College of William and Mary (7), James Madison University (21), Virginia Tech (26) and Christopher Newport University (89).

UMW has consistently appeared on the list since 2006, and continuously ranks high in selective college guidebooks.

Revealing Moments

Joanna Pinneo ’76 loved the month she spent in Spain her sophomore year, immersing herself in Spanish culture and studying the works of the masters at Madrid’s Prado museum.

She wasn’t nearly as crazy, however, about the images she captured with her point-and-shoot camera, especially after seeing the photographs her boyfriend took with his own more-expensive device. So Pinneo, who majored in art history and psychology, returned to campus, wrote an A paper on Diego Velazquez’s 17th-century masterpieces, and bought herself a new camera

Parliamentary Predictions

The European Parliament always intrigued Girard Bucello, but the University of Mary Washington junior never thought he’d be on the frontlines in Switzerland assisting with inaugural research about the European Union’s governing body.

This fall, he’s spending the semester studying at the University of Geneva involved in cutting-edge research about the voting patterns of the organization of 28 countries. The topic has been virtually unaddressed since the Parliament has been in existence for only 50 years.

UMW Philharmonic Hosts Holiday Pops Concert, Dec. 5

The University of Mary Washington Philharmonic will host its annual Holiday Pops Concert, “Home for the Holidays,” tonight, Friday, Dec. 5. UMW Philharmonic Holiday Pops Concert Orchestra The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium, located in George Washington Hall on the university’s Fredericksburg campus. Tickets are $10 per person, and admission is free to children under eight years old. Show highlights include a live performance of “Frozen” and the original John Williams score to the film “Home Alone.” Mary Katherine Greenlaw, mayor of Fredericksburg, will narrate a stirring rendition of “Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus.” Finally, a special troupe of Highland dancers from Baffa Academy of Irish Dance in Stafford and Richmond will perform two numbers from Celtic Woman. The orchestra is welcoming back UMW faculty baritone In Dal Choi, who will sing “Ave Maria” and “O Holy Night.” Before joining the UMW faculty, Choi was a music director of the James Madison University Chorus. Past holiday concerts have featured some of the Philharmonic’s best efforts including last year’s Beethoven’s Ninth, a Polar Express segment in 2012 that actually had a train rolling through the auditorium, and “A Fiddler’s Holiday” in 2011 that became a national PBS pledge show. For more information or to purchase tickets for the Holiday Pops Concert, call (540) 654-1324 or visit philharmonic.umw.edu.

UMW Philharmonic Receives National Endowment

The University of Mary Washington Philharmonic has received a $2,850 grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts that will bring the Richmond Ballet to Fredericksburg after more than 20 years.

Richmond Ballet dancers in Ancient Airs and Dances by Stoner Winslett. Richmond Ballet. All rights reserved.

Richmond Ballet dancers in Ancient Airs and Dances by Stoner Winslett. Richmond Ballet. All rights reserved.

A joint concert featuring Richmond’s professional ballet company and the UMW Philharmonic will be held April 24, 2015. The event will feature the ballet’s performance of “Ancient Airs and Dances,” by Respighi at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium on the Fredericksburg campus.

“We are excited to be collaborating with the Philharmonic,” said Brett Bonda, managing director of the ballet. “I recall dancing with the ballet in Dodd Auditorium in the early 90’s. It will be great to be back because I know that Fredericksburg is a terrific arts town.”

The collaboration will result in multiple performances in the coming years. The UMW Philharmonic has already traveled to Richmond to attend a ballet performance and will return again in December for a special performance of the Nutcracker and in April for rehearsals with the ballet.

In 1984, Richmond Ballet became the first professional ballet company in Virginia and was designated the State Ballet of Virginia in 1990, by then Gov. Douglas Wilder. The UMW Philharmonic, in its 44th season, is comprised of both UMW students as well as talented community musicians. The orchestra, under the direction of Kevin Bartram, achieved national acclaim in 2009 with the American Prize, an award given to the top nine collegiate orchestras in the nation.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit philharmonic.umw.edu or call (540) 654-1324.

UMW Professor Named Innovative Educator of the Year

Professor Teresa Coffman uses new technologies to teach her education graduate students.

Professor Teresa Coffman uses new technologies to teach her education graduate students.

Teresa Coffman, University of Mary Washington professor of education, was recently named the 2014 Innovative Educator of the Year by the Virginia Society for Technology and Education.

The VSTE created the award as a way to give recognition to teachers who implement and encourage “innovative educational practices –especially those that champion the smart integration of technology.”

“Dr. Coffman consistently demonstrates her professional commitment to and passion for innovative teaching that is grounded in compelling research,” said Mary Gendernalik-Cooper, dean of the College of Education. “She brings these qualities to bear with her students in ways that encourage them to think differently about who they are becoming as educators, and how their uses of technologies will shape transformational learning experiences for their own students.”

11-2014-Intern-Google-Glass-(3)

Coffman’s most recent venture into technology is researching how Google glass can be utilized in the classroom.

Coffman’s areas of expertise and scholarly research include educational theory, pedagogy, technology in instruction, and teacher preparation. She is also the author of “Using Inquiry in the Classroom: Developing Creative Thinkers and Information Literate Students” and “Engaging Students through Inquiry-oriented Learning and Technology.”

Coffman’s most recent venture into technology is researching how Google glass can be utilized in the classroom.

“I’m examining how we can improve upon our practice as educators and learners by using technology,” said Coffman. She explains how asking questions in class quickly escalates with the curiosity of students and the technology is so easy that students say, “OK glass, tell me how this works.”

Coffman sees the future of education integrated with technology, “Teaching needs to be more transformational. We need to extend beyond the creativity into innovative thought that can help us solve real world problems.”

UMW Breaks Food Donation Record

The University of Mary Washington collected 4,729 pounds of food in its 2014 STOP Hunger Food Drive, breaking last year’s record of 3,500 pounds of donated food. The food drive donations are given to the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank to help feed the local community.

UMW Dining Services collects food donations

UMW Dining Services collects food donations

UMW Dining Services, Sodexo, has sponsored the STOP Hunger Food drive every November since 2005. As part of Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow commitments, the Stop Hunger program mobilizes Sodexo’s employees, consumers, clients and suppliers to join forces to end hunger.

As part of the food drive, UMW’s Department of Athletics collected 3,242 pounds, a new record for the department. The softball team alone contributed over 1,100 pounds, the largest contribution from any UMW organization this year.

UMW Athletics has been a partner sponsor since 2008 and also participates in a conference-wide food collection competition to see which university’s student-athletes can collect the most pounds of food in a one week time period.

Collection bins were placed in all campus dining facilities, the Simpson Library and the UMW Bookstore. The bookstore supported the drive by giving discounts to customers who make food donations in the store. UMW Dining Services also sold discounted canned food items during the drive, and coordinated a curb-side collection outside Seacobeck Hall. Student-athletes solicited donations at local food stores and from neighborhood residents, in addition to weighing the donations and loading them into trucks for transportation to the food bank.

Taking on Twitter

Is it a human or a Twitter bot?

Researchers from the University of Mary Washington and the Naval Surface Warfare Center want to know for sure.

UMW computer science majors Bryan Holster and Chris Zimmerman, under the guidance of Professor Stephen Davies, have teamed with scientists at the center’s Dahlgren division to get to the bottom of this sometimes perplexing social media mystery. The partnership is one of several ongoing collaborations between the University and the Naval Surface Warfare Center.

UMW to Host Pianist Michael Feinstein

Legendary crooner and pianist Michael Feinstein will perform for the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic’s annual Celebrity Concert Series on Saturday, March 14 in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. Tickets are now on sale.

Michael Feinstein

Michael Feinstein

A multiplatinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer, Feinstein is one of the premier interpreters of American standards. Performing more than 200 shows a year, his most notable concerts have included Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House and Buckingham Palace.

The Celebrity Series was established in 2002 as a vehicle for attracting major artists to UMW to perform with the orchestra. Past artists in the series have included Marvin Hamlisch, Kenny Rogers, Sir James Galway, and Itzhak Perlman.

The Philharmonic will celebrate Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday with Feinstein by performing a Sinatra show.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit philharmonic.umw.edu or call 540-654-1324.