November 23, 2017

Elizabeth Johnson-Young Wins National Communication Association Award

Elizabeth Johnson-Young, assistant professor of communication, was recently awarded the prize for the Top Student Paper in the Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association. The paper, “Predicting Intentions to Breastfeed for Three Months, Six Months, and One Year Using the Theory of Planned Behavior and Body Satisfaction,” was written and submitted while completing her doctoral studies in the spring of 2015 and was presented at the organization’s national conference in Las Vegas in November.


Johnson-Young’s research surveyed pregnant women regarding their intentions to breastfeed their babies for three recommended periods of time. Findings demonstrated the strength of the theory of planned behavior constructs in predicting these intentions, as well as a possible boomerang effect of perceived subjective norms, which might also be conceptualized as perceived social pressure. Including body satisfaction prior to and during pregnancy also appeared to be a significant moderator of these intentions, providing a new way to understand both theoretical influences and practical considerations for this specific population in making health decisions.

Scanlon Presents on Women Modernist Poets

Mara Scanlon, professor of English, presented a paper entitled “Charlotte Mew, H.D., and the Magdalen: ‘what she did everyone knows'” at the H.D. and Feminist Poetics Conference in Bethlehem, PA, H.D.’s birthplace.

The paper examined the Magdalen figures in two poems, not only analyzing the representations of their sexual bodies and the visions they enable for male prophets, but also situating the publications in their wartime contexts, in which the crucified Christ becomes a figure for wounded or sacrificial soldiers.

Accompanying Dr. Scanlon to the conference to further their own research on poet Hilda Doolittle, known as H.D., were three senior English majors: Bailey Meeks, Shannon Birch, and Christina Cox.

Main Course

Summer session feeds students’ passion for writing

Rochelle Featured in Radio Segment

Warren Rochelle, professor of English, was the featured writer on The Rainbow Minutes, a feature of WRIR, 97.3. His topic was Gay Science Fiction and Fantasy. Check out for more information.

Rochelle Publishes Short Story

Professor of English Warren Rochelle’s short story, “Happily Ever After,” was published in Quantum Fairy Tales 9 (Fall 2014). The issue can be accessed at:


Lorentzen Gives Talk at Victorians Institute

Eric Lorentzen, associate professor of English, presented a talk at this year’s Victorians Institute conference, held in Charlotte, Oct. 23-25.  The theme of the 43rd annual conference was “The Mysteries at Our Own Doors,” and his talk was entitled “‘The Narrative of the Tombstone': Teaching English 251S — British Victorian Detective and Sensation Novel.”  In this talk, he was able to share, with Victorian colleagues from across the country, the pedagogical philosophies and praxes that he has employed in his course for the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, as well as an argument about the goals and objectives of this course and genre.  He also connected the talk to a summer course here at the University of Mary Washington in which he and his students pursue the study of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Cross-Country Chronicles

Adam Hunter pedaled from California to Virginia, blogging about his experiences along the way.

Cross-Country Chronicles

Adam Hunter pedaled from California to Virginia, blogging about his experiences along the way.

English Alum Nominated for Emmy

UMW Alumnus Alexander Cardia ’07 is among the nominees for the 35th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards announced by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Cardia is nominated in the category of Outstanding Graphic Design & Art Direction, he was nominated for his animation and design work on Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, produced by PBS. For a full list of nominees, visit:




UMW Alum Brings Destination Imagination to Spotsylvania

University of Mary Washington alumna Anne Roberts started and coordinated the first-ever  Destination Imagination teams at Thornburg Middle School with one of the teams ranking in an international competition.

“My students loved DI and I loved the chance to teach more open-ended, creative, and problem-oriented learning with my 19 students who competed this past year,” said Roberts, who received an M.Ed. in 2014 and a bachelor’s degree in linguistics  in 2010. “I even started incorporating some of the instant challenges into my curriculum.”

Destination Imagination inspires and equips students to become leaders and innovators through academic tournaments around the world. Students form teams in categories — including, fine arts, improv, technical/robotics, structural, service-learning, early learning, and science — and compete in regional, state and international competitions.

Roberts started three teams: a robotics/technical team, an improv team and a fine arts team. Each team, consisting of sixth through eighth graders, practiced a challenge throughout the year and then entered competitions. All three teams placed in a regional competition and two traveled to the state competition at James Madison University. The fine arts team ranked 18th at the international competition at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

“To get to the regional competition, it took a lot of fundraising,” said Roberts. “We were recognized by our school and the Spotsylvania School Board on June 23rd for our efforts. We raised 100 percent of the funds for the global competition, which totaled over $7,500.”

For more information on the Destination Imagination teams, check out their website: