March 5, 2015

UMW Organizes Fifth Annual EdTech Conference

The University of Mary Washington’s College of Education will merge cutting-edge technology, teaching, engaging speakers and hands-on activities during its fifth annual EdTech Conference, taking place Friday, March 20 at the Stafford campus.

Teresa-Coffman_featuredWith a theme of “Learning, Innovation and Technology,” the 2015  conference will offer educators and those interested in education a close look at current technology and its impact in the classroom. The conference will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the North Building on the Stafford campus. Registration closes March 16 and the $50 fee includes all presentations and a catered lunch.

Keynote speaker Judi Harris will open the conference with a presentation that demonstrates how to balance technology integration with a well-developed teaching curriculum. Harris is a professor and the Pavey Family Chair in Educational Technology in the School of Education at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg.

EdTech also will have interactive workshops on engaging game-based strategies in the classroom. Attendees will explore innovative teaching models, discover emerging technologies and work through game-based curriculum design.

For additional information and registration, visit

UMW To Celebrate Health, Community with Fair

The University of Mary Washington’s Dining Services will host a health and wellness fair for students, faculty and members of the community on Wednesday, March 25.

Health and Wellness Fair 2014The annual event, which began in 2011, focuses on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

The fair will feature exhibits, health screenings, free samples and door prizes from local health care businesses, including health care professionals, massage therapists, counselors, spas, dance classes and food and beverage companies.

The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in Seacobeck Hall. Table space for exhibits is available on a first-come, first-served basis. An all-you-can-eat dinner buffet will be offered for $11.15 plus tax.

Rose Benedict, UMW Dining’s marketing coordinator, says that the health and wellness fair provides necessary healthcare options for the UMW student body and the Fredericksburg community.

“Students know they can go to the UMW Health Center for acute health issues, but they don’t have ready information about local healthcare providers if they need care for chronic conditions,” said Benedict, who has organized the fair since its first year.  Although the health fair began as a student-centered event, it has become a popular community happening.

To sign up for table space, complete the registration form on the campus dining website,, by March 15. For additional information about the event, contact UMW Dining Services Marketing Coordinator Rose Benedict at (540) 654-2169.

UMW Opens Digital Auditorium

The University of Mary Washington will mark the opening of its digital auditorium in the Information Technology Convergence Center (ITCC) with a day of presentations, performances and film screenings on Saturday, March 14.

The digital auditorium in the Information Technology Convergence Center.

The digital auditorium in the Information Technology Convergence Center.

The full day of events will feature an address by UMW President Richard V. Hurley, a complimentary breakfast, film screening and a variety of musical and theatrical performances including:

  • Fall Line Bluegrass Band, 1:15 p.m.
  • BellACapella, 2 p.m.
  • Alter Egos Step Team, 3 p.m.
  • One Note Stand, 4 p.m.
  • Undeniably Adjacent Improv, 5 p.m.
  • Eagle Bhangra, 6 p.m.
  • Save the Arcadian, 10 p.m.

Events begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at midnight. All food and events are free and open to the public.

The Digital Auditorium is a two-story space for up to 130 guests used for entertainment, classes, lectures, training and performances. The auditorium includes three screens and a full, theater-style lighting system. The space can also be combined with an adjacent lobby and the Convergence Garden to host distinctive events.

For more information about the event, contact Cartland Berge, ITCC building and digital auditorium manager, at or (540) 654-5991.

Patient Care

Mary Loyd examined Beverly Howell a final time before the patient’s discharge from the Stafford radiation oncology center. Before leaving the center, Howell wrapped her arms around the registered nurse in a warm hug.

“You’re my scarecrow,” she told Loyd as she returned her embrace. “Remember what Dorothy told the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz? I’m going to miss you the most.”

Chefs’ Fare Returns to UMW

The University of Mary Washington Dining Services will host its annual Chefs’ Fare on Wednesday, Feb. 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. in Seacobeck Hall on the Fredericksburg campus. The event marks the first of six culinary contests leading to the awarding of the 2015 District Chefs’ Fare.

Returning this year as the 2014 District Chefs’ Fare winner, UMW’s culinary team will face chefs from five other area universities, including the College of William and Mary. In an Olympic-themed culinary competition, each chef will prepare small meals that reflect the cuisine of countries that participate in the Olympic games. Guests will taste the dishes of each chef and vote for their favorite meal to determine the winning culinary team. The Chefs’ Fare is open to the public at a cost of $11.15 plus tax.

After all six competitions are completed,  an overall  2015 District Chefs’ Fare winner will be named based upon the number of contest wins and the quality of the Chefs’ Fares hosted by each university. Last year UMW’s culinary team received a “knife in the stone” trophy, currently on display in the Dome Room at Seacobeck Hall.

For additional information about the event, contact UMW Dining Services Marketing Coordinator Rose Benedict at (540) 654-2169.

UMW Hosts Shred Event for RecycleMania 2015

Demonstrating a continuous commitment to sustainability, the University of Mary Washington will host a community shred event for confidential document disposal as part of RecycleMania 2015 on Tuesday, March 3.

12_bell tower (4)The recycling event is open to local businesses and area residents in addition to UMW faculty, staff and students. Community members may deliver their materials to the William Street parking lot on Tuesday, March 3 beginning at 10 a.m. Materials will be accepted until 1 p.m. or when shredding capacity has been reached. There is a five box limit per vehicle.

The shred event is a part of UMW’s participation in RecycleMania 2015, an annual eight-week tournament during which colleges and universities across the country compete to reduce, reuse and recycle on-campus waste. More than 390 schools will participate this year, representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

“You can make a difference with small actions,” said Joni Wilson, director of landscape and grounds. “The significance of waste reduction is often overlooked, but when you see statistics like ‘one-third of food produced for consumption is wasted each year,’ you see how it’s an important effort.”

UMW currently ranks sixth in the international per capita competition with 6.27 pounds of recycled material per person, placing first in Virginia for the past two years. In 2014, UMW finished fourth nationally, collecting 244,944 total pounds of recycled material that placed the school 74th out of 336 schools for the gross weight of recyclables.

For more information about the shred event and UMW’s sustainability efforts, visit or contact Joni Wilson at

A Thirst for Theatre

Austin Bouchard had no clue about a major or a career path when he auditioned for a University of Mary Washington theatre production before stepping foot on the Fredericksburg campus his freshman year. Now four years later, not only has the senior theatre major found direction as an actor, he’s directing his first full-length theatre production.

It all began with that first audition.

All In

Christian Hughes flings Eagle gear into the crowd on Ball Circle and adlibs a joke into the mike. The UMW junior’s perfectly comfortable onstage as a Family Weekend emcee, with no memorized material. Just confidence.

That’s all he brought with him to college – no pictures, no posters, no high school pals. He saw Mary Washington as a place to start fresh and try different things. Determined to soak it all in, he joined many of the University’s more than 120 student organizations, finding new friends, new interests, and a new sense of self.

UMW to Host Virginia Power Shift

The University of Mary Washington will host Virginia Power Shift, a statewide student conference on environmental, social, economic and educational justice Friday, Feb. 13 to Sunday, Feb. 15.

The student-organized conference features 38 programs, including workshops, panels and training sessions to build student action on pressing issues facing college campuses and communities. More than 300 students expect to attend.

“Virginia Power Shift is about empowerment and giving the students of our state the education, tools and motivation that they need to take action,” said Zakaria Kronemer, a UMW senior and member of the Virginia Power Shift planning committee.

This year will be the first year that Mary Washington has hosted the conference, which reflects the growing leadership role of UMW students in Virginia activist issues.

“Students have been at the forefront of every great social movement within history.” Kronemer said. “I see this conference as a spark for bold action within Virginia– a state that truly needs the progressive voice of the students.”

Joni Wilson, director of landscape and grounds at UMW, said the value of the conference in addressing the larger scope of environmental and social issues.

“This conference shifts the sustainability focus past just environmental issues,” said Wilson. “All environmental issues have very big social impacts.”

For more information and registration, visit

A Win for Wesley

It was a bittersweet moment.

As the Fredericksburg campus at the University of Mary Washington sweltered under the August heat, senior Tyler Carey met Wesley Berry, a 19-year-old boy with cancer, for the first time.