May 23, 2017

Have a Question? Ask UMW Librarians

UMW Libraries is experimenting with new ways to communicate with students and support them throughout the semester. A text messaging option is available to students and faculty by sending a message to 540-657-3337. Librarians can respond to your questions and send answers directly to your Smartphone. Librarians are also using Bomgar to provide remote assistance for more advanced problems involving library databases and other online research tools. Bomgar’s screensharing and communication features allow librarians to walk students through more challenging online problems without having to physically visit the library.

McClurken Named Special Advisor to the President

To Members of the UMW Community, 

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jeffrey W. McClurken to the position of Special Advisor to the President, effective July 25, 2017.  Dr. McClurken is Professor of History and American Studies and also currently serves as Special Assistant to the Provost for Teaching, Technology, and Innovation.  He was selected through an internal search process that invited applications from full-time UMW teaching faculty. 

Jeff received his B.A. from Mary Washington College in 1994 and subsequently earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University.  He began teaching at Mary Washington in 1999.  In 2012, Professor McClurken received UMW’s J. Christopher “Topher” Bill service award in recognition of outstanding faculty service.  He received the 2014 Outstanding Faculty Award in the area of Teaching with Technology from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. 

Professor McClurken has served UMW in a variety of capacities.  Among these, he has been chair of the Department of History and American Studies, a member of the Alumni Board, and chair of the President’s Technology Advisory Council.  In his current role as Special Assistant to the Provost, he oversees the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies, the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation, the Digital Knowledge Center, and the operations of the Hurley Convergence Center. 

Jeff is an accomplished scholar, with numerous publications and extensive professional activity to his credit.  He is a nationally recognized leader in the field of digital humanities and a frequent presenter at digital learning conferences and workshops throughout the country. 

In his new role as Special Advisor to the President, Dr. McClurken will report to me and will serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet.  Among his duties, he will provide advice and counsel on the strategic direction of the University, serve as Clerk and liaison to the Board of Visitors, and represent the University to the external community.  Jeff will also continue to teach each year and will maintain a role in strategic oversight of digital learning initiatives. 

I appreciate Jeff’s continuing commitment to the University of Mary Washington and look forward to working with him in this new capacity. 

Troy D. Paino, J.D., Ph.D.




Class of 2017 Shows Pride through Senior Class Gift

SCG AnnouncementMembers of the Class of 2017 showed their love for Mary Washington by giving back to, what is now, their alma mater. In total, 139 graduating seniors gave more than $7,000 to support various initiatives across the University. News of the total amount raised for the traditional Senior Class Gift was met with cheers when it was announced at Commencement rehearsal.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, members of other classes also stepped up to show their pride. In total, 274 “non-seniors” contributed $6,700 to UMW. The Offices of Advancement and Alumni Relations are proud UMW students are learning about the essential role of philanthropy – both from past donors and future alumni.

Visit to learn more about giving at UMW.

Stay Active this Summer!

The Department of Campus Recreation is thrilled to offer a variety of programs to keep the Mary Washington community active, engaged, and productive this summer.

The Fitness Center and Goolrick pool will be open during peak times beginning May 16. Program offerings include a faculty/staff kickball league, a faculty/staff campus-wide walking challenge called “Mary Wash Moves,” personal training, private swim lessons, and a new group fitness class schedule. Details can be found on the Campus Recreation website.

If you have questions after viewing the website, please contact Assistant Director for Fitness and Wellness Brittanie Haas at

Alumna Donates $1 Million for Comprehensive Scholarship

A member of the 1908 Society at the University of Mary Washington has donated $1 million to create a new Alvey Scholarship for exceptional students from states other than Virginia.

The donor, who asked that her name and class year remain anonymous, wishes to enhance opportunities for out-of-state students to pursue their educational goals while residing on campus and benefiting from the true Mary Washington experience.

Established in 2004, the endowed Alvey Scholars program at Mary Washington provides comprehensive, merit scholarships to students with outstanding academic credentials, thus enabling Mary Washington to compete for and attract the best and brightest students from across the country. Candidates for these scholarships are selected from freshmen accepted to the University through the honors admission program; each Alvey scholarship is renewable up to four years if student recipients continue to meet award criteria.

“This $1 million gift is a great example of the dedication and loyalty our alumni have to their alma mater,” said UMW President Troy D. Paino. “This donor’s personal journey in a career made possible by a degree from Mary Washington is now helping the University create infinite opportunities and possibilities for students that will continue generation after generation.”

The 1908 Society at Mary Washington recognizes nearly 8,000 living alumni from classes that already have celebrated 50th reunions. In June 2017, members of the Class of 1967 will be inducted into this society, named to commemorate the year of the University’s founding.

For more information, contact Donna Raab, executive director of campaign initiatives, at or 540-654-2059.

SAC News

VPSW Thank you: A special thank you to all those that made Virginia Public Service Week possible. Thank you for all that you do.


May S.A.C. Meeting: Our May meeting will be held this Thursday, May 18th 1:00PM in Monroe 240.  We will have two guest speakers this month — Rick Pearce, VP for Administration and Finance, will bring us the latest budget news and BOV information.  Sandra Fritton, Director of Disability Resources, will give an overview of the Office of Disability Resources and accessibility issues on campus, and discuss tools and tips we can use to help disabled students and guests.  There will also be an opportunity for discussion and to ask any questions you may have for either speaker. You do not have to be a member of the S.A.C to attend monthly meetings – all are welcome!


Dr. Jeffrey W. McClurken appointed Special Advisor to the President: Dr. Jeffrey W. McClurken was announced as the new Special Advisor to the President, effective July 25, 2017.  Dr. McClurken is Professor of History and American Studies and also currently serves as Special Assistant to the Provost for Teaching, Technology and Innovation. He was selected through an internal search process that invited applications from full-time UMW teaching faculty. In his new role, Dr. McClurken will report to the President and will serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet. Among his duties, he will provide advice and counsel on the strategic direction of the University, serve as Clerk and liaison to the Board of Visitors, and represent the University to the external community. Dr. McClurken will also continue to teach each year and will maintain a role in strategic oversight of digital learning initiatives.


Leadership UMW 2017-2018 – Apply Now!  Applications are now being accepted for Leadership UMW 2017-18. Take this  opportunity to assess and build your leadership capacity with a cohort of faculty and staff from across the university, understand yourself and others through self and multi-rater feedback assessments, group interaction and mentorship relations, learn strategies to motivate and improve individual and team performance, develop individual development plans, and learn the inner workings of UMW as an academic institution and as a business. Information about  the curriculum, participants, mentors and more can be found at   The application form is due May 19, 2017.  For questions about the application process or the program, contact Sabrina Johnson at or Golda Eldridge at


Upcoming Summer Construction Projects:  Please be aware of upcoming summer construction projects on campus.  For detailed information, go to


Excellent Eagle Employee Program: Nominate your co-workers, supervisor or employees for the Excellent Eagle Employee award. It’s easy! Just complete the Excellent Eagle Employee nomination form on our website. Take some time to nominate someone today! Winners get reserved parking on campus for the month.


#1 F.A.N. (Fantastic Action Noticed) In addition to the Excellent Eagle program, you can also recognize a colleague using HR’s #1 F.A.N. program. Did you experience exceptional customer service or awesome collaboration? If so, nominate the person or people involved in that experience. Complete the #1 F.A.N. form on the HR website, and your colleague will be able to choose a UMW spirit item as a token of appreciation.


Newsletter, Social Media and Other Information: You’ll find important information in SAC’s monthly newsletter. Check it out and find other information on our website, including a list of our new members. If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow us @UMW_S.A.C.

Reunion Weekend is June 2-4

Each year the Office of Alumni Relations hosts Reunion Weekend on the Mary Washington campus. Nearly 800 alumni and guests are expected to come back to campus and participate in dozens of intellectual, cultural, and social activities. While alumni from all classes are welcome at Reunion Weekend, classes ending in twos and sevens from 1947–2007 are invited back to campus this year to celebrate their milestone reunions. This very special Reunion Weekend will be held June 2-4, 2017.

We would like to extend the invitation for the entire campus community to participate in the various events throughout the weekend in order to connect with former students.  The Reunion Weekend schedule and registration link is listed online at Registration closes on May 29.  If you are interested in seeing who is currently signed up to attend, visit the registration page and click “Attendee List.”  Click the column header labeled “Preferred Class Year” to sort the list by class year.

We hope to see you there!

UMW Chief of Staff Honored for Admissions Ethics

Martin A. Wilder Jr., chief of staff at the University of Mary Washington, has been recognized by the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC). Wilder received the John A. “Jack” Blackburn Award for Ethics in College Admissions for his achievements in promoting high ethical standards and integrity, and ensuring equity in access to higher education.

Since coming to work at Mary Washington in 1979, Wilder has spent decades in the college admissions profession, holding vice presidential positions in enrollment and communications, enrollment management, admissions and financial aid, and serving as associate dean of admissions. He’s filled the role of chief of staff under UMW presidents Richard V. Hurley and Troy D. Paino.

“He was the one who, for so many years, folks would turn to for advice when encountering difficult situations in the admissions process,” said PCACAC Past Presidents’ Committee Chair Mike Carter, director of college counseling at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School. “The people Marty mentored and guided now represent some of the top voices for ethical college admissions not only in our region, but nationally.”

The Blackburn Award illustrates PCACAC’s mission of supporting and advancing college admissions professionals as they guide their institutions, students and families in an ethical manner. Named for the late John A. “Jack” Blackburn, longtime University of Virginia dean of admissions, the award was established in 2010 to recognize those who exemplify Blackburn’s commitment to ethics, integrity and the promotion of equity in the college admissions process.

The honor is particularly poignant for Wilder, who considered Blackburn a close friend and colleague, and also a role model who represented the University of Virginia, where Wilder earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He also earned his doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at U.Va.

He was “a terrific guy,” Wilder said of Blackburn, “just a wonderful, wonderful person.”

For being such a competitive business, college admissions employs some incredibly collegial professionals, said Wilder, who served as PCACAC’s president from 1989 to 1990, during the association’s 25th year. He also received its 1993 Richard L. Apperson Award for extraordinary service to students and the college counseling profession.

“Even though we may be competing for students,” Wilder said, “we’re also very much attuned to the whole idea of what this is about – a student-centered process.”

During his tenure as PCACAC’s president, Carter said, Wilder “helped propel our association to be one of the strongest affiliates of our national organization” – the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

UMW Coordinator of Community Events Ali Hieber presented Wilder with the Blackburn Award at PCACAC’s 52nd annual conference in Williamsburg on Sunday, April 23. “In his numerous roles throughout his career,” Hieber said, “Marty has demonstrated the highest commitment to our professional standards through tremendous sustained active involvement in both PCACAC and NACAC.”

In addition to student recruitment, admissions and enrollment functions at Mary Washington, Wilder, who has announced his September retirement, has provided leadership in external relations, communications, marketing and student services.

“It’s very humbling and a wonderful honor,” he said of receiving the Blackburn Award. “Jack is someone I respected and loved as a colleague and friend for so many years.”

Sheckels Receives Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award

Marie Sheckels, professor of education and interim dean of the College of Education at the University of Mary Washington, was named the recipient of the 2017 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award at a general faculty meeting on Wednesday, April 26.

Established in honor of Shirley Van Epps Waple, a 1952 graduate of the University, the nomination-based award recognizes faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to their scholarly or creative area of expertise. The winner must have been a full-time faculty member for at least seven years.

During her more than 35 years of service to the University, Sheckels has risen from lecturer to the rank of professor. She has assumed a variety of leadership roles, serving as Department Chair on two different occasions, Elementary Education Program Director, Secondary Mathematics Program Director and Graduate Coordinator for Elementary Education.

Sheckels “has proven to be a consummate leader, scholar, educator and colleague whose service, scholarship and teaching has served as a model for other faculty,” said Teresa Coffman, chair of the University committee on Sabbaticals, Fellowships, and Faculty Awards and Professor of Education.

Sheckels has co-led, authored and conducted primary research in 28 internal and external grants-to-date. She has been responsible for organizing, co-authoring, managing and leading 21 external grants that have exceeded $1 million in total monies received for the University, as well as seven internally funded grants that have totaled almost $80,000.

Sheckels received her doctorate in mathematics education from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in mathematics from Penn State and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from St. Mary’s College.

A member of the Mathematical Association of America and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics,  Sheckels is an expert in mathematics education. She and her colleagues have received grants from the National Science Foundation, the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.


2017 Health & Flexible Benefits Open Enrollment May 1-15

It’s time for Open Enrollment!  This is your opportunity each year to make changes to your health care or flexible spending accounts (FSAs).  Have no health plan coverage changes and not enrolling in an FSA? Nothing is required.

Make your decisions with care. See the Spotlight newsletter for more information.

EmployeeDirect for health benefits is under construction, so you must submit an Enrollment Form for Employees to your Benefits Administrator this year for enrollment or changes.  Instructions are in Spotlight.   Remember, the deadline to enroll or make changes is the close of business on Monday, May 15, 2017.

You can view an enrollment form and other Open Enrollment materials on the DHRM website at

Questions?  Contact your Benefits Administrator or send an email to