August 1, 2014

FREE Richmond Flying Squirrels Baseball Tickets

Human Resources has 200 tickets to give away to UMW faculty and staff on a first-come, first-served basis to see the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Our own Ken Tyler, athletics director, will throw out the first pitch for Fredericksburg Community Night at the  baseball game.

The first pitch will take place around 6:30 p.m. and the game starts at 7:10 p.m. We’d love to have a large contingency of UMW constituents there, wearing UMW gear, to cheer him on. Get your tickets today at the HR front desk in the Fairfax House.

Science Symposium Highlights Student Research

Ryan Barlow spent much of his free time this semester waiting for clear nights. When one finally arrived, he’d haul his equipment – including a telescope, camera, spectrograph, motorized mount and filters – outdoors and set up outside of the Jepson Science Center at the University of Mary Washington to take photos of nebulae and galaxies.

Barlow, along with 27 other students, presented his findings at the annual Summer Science Institute Research Symposium on July 23. For many, this was the culmination of many hours of hard work and research, and an opportunity to share the fruits of their labor.

More than 20 UMW STEM students came together to present research at the annual Summer Science Institute July 23. Ryan Barlow, middle, explains his research on astrophotography. From left: Ben Kisila, associate professor of earth and environmental science, works with Luci Coleman to conduct research on the Chesapeake Bay.

“This is their first taste of what it’s like to be on a research team and to be with other people who are just doing research,” said Deborah Zies, associate professor of biology and co-director of the Summer Science Institute. “It’s a great opportunity for faculty and students to get started on a project and work.”

The daylong event is one of the few to bring together biology, chemistry, earth and environmental science, math, computer science and physics students to present their original research projects to faculty, families and peers.

Students presented on a wide-range of research, from chemical signals in crayfish interactions to astrophotography to the downfall of antibiotics.

“It’s a high-impact learning experience,” said Nicole Crowder, assistant professor of chemistry and co-director of the Summer Science Institute. “I hope that this program exposes students to what it’s really like to be a scientist. Students take the knowledge that they’ve been gaining in the classroom and really apply it.”

John Meadows restored a Mach-Zehnder to conduct research on slow light. Ruth Catlett, right, explains her research in parallel computing education.

At the end of the symposium, the following students received awards for their research presentations:

First-place Oral Presentation: Jerome Mueller, “Developing a Tetra Interpreter,” Faculty Advisor: Ian Finlayson, assistant professor, computer science

Second-place Oral Presentation: Amy Jayas, “The Best Dam Project Ever,” Faculty Advisor: Alan B. Griffith, associate professor, biology

First-place Poster Presentation: Shehan Rajapakse, “Designing the Tetra IDE,” Faculty Advisor: Ian Finlayson, assistant professor, computer science

Second-place Poster Presentation: Kevin Speray, “Qualifying the Efficacy of Aeschynomene virginica as an Indicator Species for Sea-Level Rise,” Faculty Advisor: Alan B. Griffith, associate professor, biology

Cultivating a Career

A business leadership course at the University of Mary Washington so inspired Drew Miller last summer that he took matters into his own hands.

“Always…Patsy Cline” Returns to Klein Theatre

Two Fredericksburg area students will give encore performances when the University of Mary Washington Department of Theatre & Dance brings back the production of “Always. . . Patsy Cline” beginning Wednesday, July 9 at Klein Theatre.

Patsy-Cline-Taryn Snyder

Taryn Snyder plays Patsy Cline.

“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.”

Senior theatre major Taryn Snyder, who grew up in Fredericksburg before moving to Rochester, N.Y., plays the role of Patsy, while the role of Louise Seger is played by fellow senior theatre major Emily Burke, who graduated from James Monroe High School.

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.

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

“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.”

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.”

Emily Burke plays Louise Seger.

Emily Burke plays Louise Seger.

“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.

Tickets are $40 for standard admission, $35 for students, senior citizens, UMW alumni, and the military and $25 for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit

Tickets Available July 9 for Dancing with Fredericksburg Stars

Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, July 9, for the second annual Dancing with the Fredericksburg Stars fundraiser at the University of Mary Washington.

Taking place Saturday, October 11, the competition is modeled after the popular ABC television series Dancing with the Stars, now in its 17th season. In the Fredericksburg version, 10 regional “stars” are paired with professional dancers from Strictly Ballroom Dance Studio in Fredericksburg to compete for the top award, the Mirror Ball Trophy. The audience will vote for the People’s Choice Award.

A portion of the proceeds from the performance will be used to endow the UMW Performing Arts in the Community Scholarship for regional students who excel in music, theatre or dance. Last year’s inaugural event grossed approximately $65,000.2041-K-Pearlman-Photography

Performers will include Theresa Crawley, a local dentist and member of the UMW Board of Visitors; Lisa Crittenden, executive director of the Hope House; Janel Donohue, president of Rappahannock United Way; John Fick president and CEO of J.F. Fick Inc.; Regis Keddie II, senior vice president of investments at Davenport and Co.; Rose Hurley, wife of University President Richard V. Hurley; John Moss Jr., attorney with Rinehart, Butler, Hodge, Moss & Bryant, PLC; Florence Ridderhof, a community volunteer and patron of the arts; John Wack, president of Eastern Sports Management and owner of the Fredericksburg Field House; and Joe Wilson, owner of Perma Treat Pest Control and a member of the UMW Board of Visitors.

Hall of Famer and former Washington Redskin Darrell Green will host the event, and a panel of judges will offer commentary following each dance. This year’s judges include: Gaye Adegbalola, Fredericksburg resident and international jazz musician; Corey Von Ginkel, member of the National Dance Council of America; and Susan Spears, president of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and a contestant in last year’s event.

Tickets are available at for $85, plus a $5 processing fee, of which $75 is tax deductible. Seats are selected and reserved at the time of purchase. For more information, contact (540) 654-1065.

Tickets on Sale for Local Dancing Competition, July 9

Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, July 9, for the second annual Dancing with the Fredericksburg Stars.

Visit for tickets.

Check out this press release for more information.

Lights, Camera, Passion

The job Dan Wolfe ’84 landed after graduation brought a paycheck, but it also brought nightmares. In them, 20 years had passed; he was in his late 40s, still scuffing along in car insurance.

James Monroe Museum to Join National Sing-Along, June 14

On Saturday, June 14, the James Monroe Museum will join the largest group sing-along of the national anthem in history, as part of the National Museum of American History’s “Raise It Up! Anthem for America” celebration.

The James Monroe Museum will hold a "Raise it Up!" party on Flag Day. Photo from iStock.

The James Monroe Museum will hold a “Raise it Up!” party on Flag Day.
Photo from iStock.

“Raise It Up!” parties will be held across the country at 4 p.m. that day to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the American flag. The James Monroe Museum is currently the only gathering place in the Fredericksburg area for the event.

At the museum, participants will perform the Star Spangled Banner on kazoos. Participants will gather at 3:45 p.m. to receive their free kazoos, and the sing-along will begin at 4 p.m. An ice cream social will follow the sing-along.

Reservations are recommended at or (540) 654-1123. For more information about the celebration or to find a full list of sing-along locations, visit

The James Monroe Museum is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by the University of Mary Washington. Founded in 1927, it is the nation’s largest repository of artifacts and documents related to the fifth President of the United States. For hours of operation, directions, and other information, call (540) 654-1043, or visit

Governor Announces Appointments to UMW Board of Visitors

The Virginia Governor’s Office today announced the appointment of former Virginia Senator Edd Houck and Fred Rankin, president and chief executive officer of Mary Washington Healthcare, to the Board of Visitors at the University of Mary Washington. Houck and Rankin will serve four-year terms, which expire June 30, 2018. They succeed Joseph Wilson and Xavier Richardson, whose terms will end on June 30, 2014. Holly Cuellar ’89, current rector of the board, has been reappointed for an additional four-year term, which will extend through June 30, 2018.

Holly T. Cuellar

Holly T. Cuellar

Holly Cuellar

Cuellar, a 1989 graduate of Mary Washington, has served on the UMW Board of Visitors since 2010, and as rector since 2013. Currently a resident of the San Diego area, she is membership director for The IABM, a trade association that represents the broadcast supply industry. Cuellar previously served in the Office of the Virginia Attorney General as deputy scheduler and as the Hampton Roads community outreach coordinator, maintaining and supporting the Class Action program for Virginia school children.  She also served on the City of Virginia Beach’s Gang Task Force, was a regional manager for the Keeping Virginia Safe and Strong programs, and helped develop programs to promote internet safety and senior advocacy.

Edd Houck Photo courtesy of Edd Houck

Edd Houck
Photo courtesy of Edd Houck

Edd Houck

A longtime legislator and educator, Houck represented the 17th District in the Virginia Senate from 1984 to 2012. In addition to his legislative duties, Houck worked in the public schools for 34 years, including as a middle school science teacher, guidance counselor, assistant principal, and the director of student services for Fredericksburg City Public Schools. He retired in 2007. He then served until last year as director of community and corporate programs for Mary Washington Healthcare.

Houck received a bachelor’s in education from Concord College (Athens, W.Va.), and a master’s in education from the University of Virginia.

Fred Rankin

Fred Rankin

Fred Rankin

Rankin has served as president and CEO of Mary Washington Healthcare since 1995. Mary Washington Healthcare is a private not-for-profit regional system of healthcare facilities and wellness centers, including Mary Washington Hospital and Stafford Hospital, which serves the greater Rappahannock region.

Rankin is a past president of the Rappahannock Area United Way and continues to serve on the United Way’s Board of Directors. He also has served on the Board of Directors of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of Directors of the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, a public-private partnership. He co-chairs, along with UMW President Richard V. Hurley, an ongoing regional economic development initiative. Rankin also is a member of the UMW Foundation Board of Directors.

Rankin received a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health.

Speaking from the Heart

As a preteen at St. Ursula School, Tom Pacheco took the stage in front of his classmates, took a deep breath, and asked them for their vote for student government. After his very first speech, he was hooked on public speaking.