October 25, 2014

Munching the Numbers

Debra Schleef’s students got a sweet assignment this fall.

And, if you don’t think learning about univariate statistics sounds sweet, think again. Chocolate changes everything.

UMW Galleries to Host New Exhibits

The University of Mary Washington Galleries will host two exhibits starting Thursday, Oct. 23: “American Abstract Artists: 75th Anniversary Print Portfolio” in the Ridderhof Martin Gallery and “Antediluvian” in the duPont Gallery.

Quanta, by David Row, 2012

Quanta, by David Row, 2012

An opening reception at each gallery will be held on Thursday, Oct. 23, from 5 to 7 p.m.  The exhibitions will run through Sunday, Dec. 7. Admission is free and open to the public.

“American Abstract Artists: 75th Anniversary Print Portfolio” is an exhibition of 48 archival digital prints. Founded in 1936, the American Abstract Artists (AAA) fosters the understanding of abstract and non-objective art by organizing exhibitions, producing print portfolios and catalogs as well as providing a forum for discussion through symposia, panels and the American Abstract Artists Journal. For the first time in its long history, the AAA portfolio was printed digitally rather than using traditional forms of lithography or transferring image to plate.

DuPont Gallery will exhibit “Antediluvian,” an installation by Canadian artist Mia Feuer. The exhibit will display the preliminary materials that went into Feuer’s latest project, which was canceled by community protestors due to environmental concerns. The project was a temporary solar-powered gas station that would have floated in the river near Heritage Island in Washington, D.C. Materials on display will include drawings, projections and recorded lectures on environmental issues. Mia Feuer will give a lecture at the closing ceremony of the exhibition.

Ridderhof Martin and duPont galleries are located on the Fredericksburg campus near the intersection of College Avenue and Thornton Street. They are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (540) 654-1013 or visit http://www.umwgalleries.org/.

Movie Executive Shares Expertise As UMW’s Executive-in-Residence

NBC Universal executive Daniel R. Wolfe urged local community leaders and students at the University of Mary Washington to strive for innovation in their businesses and their careers. Wolfe, a 1984 alumnus and executive vice president of NBC Universal’s Worldwide Creative Operations, spent two days this week at UMW as the 2014-14 Executive-in-Residence.

Dan Wolfe '84 talks with UMW students.

Dan Wolfe ’84 talks with UMW students.

“Maintaining the status quo is not a strategy,” said Wolfe, sharing his motto for business and a concept he strives to live by. According to Wolfe, businesses can either hold onto their success model until it becomes irrelevant, or continuously look to change and innovate.

What is the secret to innovation? Wolfe encourages business leaders to look to their consumers for answers.

“The biggest thing is – are we listening to our consumer?” asked Wolfe. “The ability to ask questions, the ability to let your guard down and say ‘let me ask what would be a better way to do this’ is so important for any business and for any individual to keep growing,” said Wolfe.

After graduating from UMW, Wolfe said he moved back home to Virginia Beach with his parents. A few years later, his college roommate, a movie fanatic, died in a car accident. The incident got Wolfe thinking about his passions and purpose, and he ended up moving to Boston for grad school before heading out to Los Angeles.

With all his success, Wolfe still credits his time as Mary Washington for the balance he is able to keep in the Hollywood industry.

College is “really where you build your foundation,” he said. “And I think that’s what’s really served me well.”

Cataloging Clues

Paul Murphy spends his days discovering clues to America’s past.

Surrounded by a magnifying glass, latex gloves and a hand-held dusting brush, the University of Mary Washington historic preservation major sorts through a box of seemingly innocuous objects to identify and catalogue bits of history.

UMW Hosts Second Annual Dancing with the Fredericksburg Stars

The University of Mary Washington’s second annual Dancing with the Fredericksburg Stars, held on Saturday, Oct. 11, raised more than $75,000 to endow a UMW Performing Arts in the Community Scholarship for regional students who excel in music, theatre or dance.

Click to view slideshow.

The evening featured 10 leaders from the Fredericksburg community performing ballroom dances with professional dancers from Strictly Ballroom Dance Studio of Fredericksburg. A panel of judges provided comments and presented the top awards.

Terrie Crawley, a local dentist and member of the UMW Board of Visitors, earned the 2014 “Best-in-Show” as well as “Best Posture” for her rumba.

Florence Ridderhof, who danced a tango, received the People’s Choice Award, presented at a champagne reception following the show. Ridderhof also received honors for the “Most Dramatic” performance.

Other winners announced by the judges were:

  • Lisa Crittenden, executive director of Loisann’s Hope House, “Most Amazing Moves” for the jive
  • Janel Donohue, president of Rappahannock United Way, “Fanciest Footwork” for the cha cha
  • Debby Girvan, president of Flair Communication, “Most Graceful” for the foxtrot
  • John Fick president and CEO of J.F. Fick Inc., “Most Flair” for the hustle
  • Regis Keddie II, senior vice president of investments at Davenport and Co., “Most Entertaining” for the swing
  • John Moss Jr., attorney with Rinehart, Butler, Hodge, Moss & Bryant, PLC, “Best Rhythm” for the peabody
  • John Wack, president of Eastern Sports Management and owner of the Fredericksburg Field House, “Best Costume” for the Viennese waltz
  • Joe Wilson, owner of Perma Treat Pest Control and a member of the UMW Board of Visitors, “Most Engaging” for the Texas two step

Darrell Green, Hall of Famer and former Washington Redskin, hosted the evening. Judges included Rosendo Fumero, a professional ballroom dancer and a former U.S. champion in the American Style Smooth open division; Susan Spears, president of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce; and Melanie Kay-Wyant, principal at Walker Grant Middle School. Both Spears and Kay-Wyant competed in last year’s event.

UMW Presents Harp Concert

The University of Mary Washington will present “Around the World in 80 Minutes,” a music concert featuring harpist Grace Bauson on Friday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in Pollard Recital Hall.

Grace Bauson

Grace Bauson

Bauson will guide the audience on a journey of harp music from around the world, including works inspired by Spanish guitars, Asian poetry, the vistas of Antarctica and more. The concert is free and open to the public.

A harp professor in UMW’s Department of Music, Bauson has performed with the American Youth Harp Ensemble in venues including Carnegie Hall, the White House, and the Kennedy Center. She also has been a featured soloist in concerto performances at the Chautauqua Music Festival and with the Kokomo and Ball State symphony orchestras. Her students have performed in numerous national and international tours with the American Youth Harp Ensemble.

Bauson’s instructors have included Elizabeth Richter, Judy Loman, Adelheid Blovsky-Miller and Lucile Lawrence. She holds a doctorate in music from Ball State University.

For more information, call (540) 654-1012 or visit cas.umw.edu/music.

UMW Commemorates 25th Anniversary of Berlin Wall

The University of Mary Washington will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with “Fall of the Wall Campus Weeks” starting Monday, Oct. 13.

Berlin WallCampus Weeks, coordinated by UMW’s German Program in cooperation with the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., will continue through Thursday, Nov. 6. All events, with the exception of the German Gala on Nov. 6, are free and open to the public.

The program will open with the building and painting of a wall in memory of the assembly of the Berlin Wall by the German Democratic Republic in 1961. Construction will begin on Monday, Oct. 13 on Campus Walk in front of Ball Circle and concludes on Thursday, Oct. 16 with a ceremony at 4 p.m.

Other program events include:

  • Film Screening of Sonnenallee, Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. in Combs Hall, Room 139
  • German Game Night, Monday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 412
  • Film Screening of Nikolaikirche, Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in Combs Hall, Room 139
  • Panel Discussion, “Living (with)out Walls: The Korean, Palestinian, and Mexican Experience,” Thursday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411
  • Reading and discussion with German author Martin Jankowski, Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 412
  • Halloween Celebration and Film Screening of We are the Night, Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in Combs Hall, Room 237
  • Film screening of Berlin is in Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in Combs Hall, Room 237
  • German Gala, Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Faculty Staff Dining Room at Seacobeck Hall

Campus Weeks will conclude with the destruction of the wall on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. on Campus Walk in front of Ball Circle. The community is invited to participate and take home a piece of the wall as a reminder of the occasion.

For more information, contact Marcel Rotter at (540) 654-1996 or mrotter@umw.edu.

 

UMW Raises Awareness of Dating Violence

The University of Mary Washington is raising awareness of dating violence on college campuses through the Red Flag Campaign, a student-run movement that helps students recognize and respond to ‘red flags’ associated with dating violence.

red flag campaignThe campaign’s central feature is a poster series depicting situations in which students should say something if they see a “red flag” in a relationship of a friend, acquaintance, neighbor or even in their own relationships. Throughout the month of October, students are placing the posters and red flags on the Fredericksburg campus.

The Student Anti-Violence Educators, or SAVE, a student-run organization at UMW, coordinates the campaign in conjunction with UMW’s Office of Judicial Affairs and UMW’s wellness team, as part of the Healthy Campus 2020 initiative. Other UMW organizations participating in the campaign include Empowerhouse, Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault, and the university’s Talley Center for Counseling Services.

“This month, SAVE is working with the Red Flag Campaign to create a more developed understanding and awareness of relationship violence within our community,” said sophomore Theresa Buczek, president of SAVE. “This includes breaking down myths and stereotypes that heterosexual white women are the only victims of assault. Relationship violence can affect anyone.”

In addition to the red flags and the posters, SAVE members will chalk messages about healthy relationships on Campus Walk, and will paint the Spirit Rock red. In addition, SAVE will host a healthy relationship photo shoot on Friday, Oct. 17 to highlight the model relationships of couples from the UMW community. The campaign will conclude on Thursday, Oct. 30 with an open mic night and candlelight vigil for survivors of relationship violence and supporters of the Red Flag Campaign.

The Red Flag Campaign is held on college campuses across the country. UMW has participated since the beginning of the campaign eight years ago and has been chosen to be a partner school for the past several years because of its strong work on the campaign.

For more information, contact the Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Responsibility at (540) 654-1200.

UMW Survey Shows Support for McDonnell Prison Term

Sixty percent of Virginians said that former Gov. Bob McDonnell should be sentenced to prison for his role in a corruption scandal, according to a new survey sponsored by the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

McDonnell

Former Governor Bob McDonnell

Only 28 percent of the 1,000 state residents surveyed Oct. 1 through Oct. 6 said that the former governor, who was convicted over his financial dealings with Jonnie Williams and Star Scientific, should not be jailed. Another 12 percent said they did not know or declined to answer. If those who did not express an opinion are excluded, then two-thirds of survey respondents believed the former governor should be sent to prison.

When asked how long the former governor should be jailed, only two percent of those who believed he should be sent to prison said that he should serve less than one year. A total of 46 percent of those who believed McDonnell should go to jail said the term should be between one and five years, while another 16 percent said the sentence should be between six and 10 years. An additional eight percent favored 11 to 25 years, three percent said more than 25 years and two percent said that the former governor should be in prison for the rest of his life.

“The strong public support for prison time demonstrates the extent to which the public is furious with ethical misconduct in Richmond,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at UMW and director of the university’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “These results demonstrate the depth of voter anger with politicians who are thought to take better care of the well-connected than of ordinary citizens. Lawmakers ignore this resentment at their peril.”

A federal judge is expected to sentence the former governor in January.

Of those who expressed an opinion, 71 percent of women and 64 percent of men in the survey said the former governor should be sent to prison.

Among Republicans, 57 percent of those who expressed an opinion said McDonnell should go to jail, as compared to 70 percent of independents and 75 percent of Democrats.

A majority of voters in all sections of the state thought the former governor should be sent to prison. The lowest percentage among the state’s five regions was found in south central Virginia, where 59 percent of those expressing an opinion said the governor should go to jail. The South Central Virginia region includes Richmond.

The highest share of residents favoring prison time for the former governor was found in Northern Virginia where just over 75 percent who expressed an opinion said the governor should be put behind bars.

Latino Americans who expressed an opinion were more inclined than either African-Americans or whites to say that governor should be jailed, by a margin of 78 percent to 68 percent and 65 percent respectively.

Fifty one percent of respondents who identified themselves as part of the Tea Party movement believed the former governor should not go to jail, as compared to nearly 70 percent of those who did not identify with the movement. Nine percent of those surveyed said they considered themselves part of the Tea Party movement.

The survey was conducted on the UMW center’s behalf by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

For the full survey, see the Topline.

Contact:  Stephen J. Farnsworth at (703) 380-3025 or sfarnswo@umw.edu

The Fall 2014 Virginia Survey, sponsored by University of Mary Washington (UMW), obtained telephone interviews with a representative sample of 1,000 adults living in Virginia. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (500) and cell phone (500, including 247 without a landline phone). The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from October 1 to 6, 2014. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 3.5 percentage points. 

UMW Survey Reveals Qualms about U.S. Ebola Preparedness

A majority of Virginians believe that the U.S. health system is unprepared to deal with an Ebola disease outbreak in this country, according to a new survey of state residents sponsored by the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

iStock_000045684788LargeThirty percent of the 1,000 state residents surveyed Oct. 1 through Oct. 6 said that the government was very unprepared to handle an outbreak, while another 29 percent said the government was somewhat unprepared. Only 13 percent believed the government was very prepared, with another 22 percent saying the U.S. was somewhat prepared.

This year’s Ebola outbreak so far has killed more than 3,800 people in Africa, according to the World Health Organization. On Wednesday, Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person to die in the U.S. of Ebola, which he acquired before leaving Liberia for a visit to Texas.

These results were part of a broad pattern of negative evaluations of the U.S. government by Virginians. Only 28 percent of those surveyed said the U.S. was generally headed in the right direction, with 59 percent saying that things were headed in the wrong direction. Only 15 percent of those surveyed approved of the job Congress was doing, and only 43 percent approved of President Obama’s performance in office.

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for the complete survey sample.

“If things get worse with Ebola in this country, the public’s negativity about the federal government may be a key factor standing in the way of believing federal authorities,” said  Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science at UMW and director of the university’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “Gridlock, deep partisanship and continuing negative economic evaluations combine to create a populace inclined to doubt the federal government.”
With respect to other policy questions, support for the legalization of gay marriage in Virginia stood at 50 percent, as compared to 42 percent opposed, with the rest undecided or unwilling to answer the question.

In a March 2013 UMW survey, 45 percent favored gay marriage and 46 percent opposed. This month’s survey was conducted before the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to leave in place a federal appeals court ruling that cleared the way for gay couples to marry in the Old Dominion.

In 2006, the commonwealth’s voters approved an amendment to the Virginia Constitution to ban gay marriage by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin, a sharp contrast from the results of the 2013 and 2014 surveys of state residents.

“Rarely does public opinion shift on a social issue as rapidly as it has for gay marriage,” Farnsworth said. “While opposition to gay marriage remains substantial, the rapid erosion of that disapproval among Virginians in the years since the 2006 constitutional amendment is astonishing.”

The survey, which was conducted on the center’s behalf by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, also found significant support for Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s proposal to expand Medicaid for uninsured state residents. The Medicaid expansion plan has been rejected repeatedly by the state legislature, but was supported by a 64 percent to 29 percent margin of state residents in the survey.

In a September 2013 UMW survey, 59 percent supported Medicaid expansion while 31 percent opposed it.

“The governor’s full court press for Medicaid expansion may have moved public opinion slightly, but support for Medicaid expansion was substantial before the start of his term,” Farnsworth said. “What is particularly clear from this survey is that the legislators have not been successful in convincing Virginians that Medicaid expansion is a bad policy idea.”

Overall, 44 percent approve of the governor’s performance in office, as compared to 31 percent who disapprove. In March 2013, shortly before news of former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s corruption scandal emerged, support for the former governor was somewhat higher, with 53 percent supporting the Republican and 27 percent disapproving of his performance in office.

The current governor remains more popular than members of the Virginia legislature, with 45 percent disapproving of the performance of the House of Delegates and the Senate, while 41 percent approve.

For the full survey, see the Topline.

Contact:  Stephen J. Farnsworth at (703) 380-3025) or sfarnswo@umw.edu

The Fall 2014 Virginia Survey, sponsored by University of Mary Washington (UMW), obtained telephone interviews with a representative sample of 1,000 adults living in Virginia. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (500) and cell phone (500, including 247 without a landline phone). The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from October 1 to 6, 2014. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 3.5 percentage points.