December 2, 2022

Professors Receive Top Faculty Awards

The University of Mary Washington bestowed honors on two professors at the general faculty meeting on Wednesday, April 20.

Professor of English Chris Foss received the 2022 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award.

Professor of English Chris Foss received the 2022 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award.

Chemistry Professor and Honors Program Director Kelli Slunt received the second annual Board of Visitors (BOV) Faculty Leadership Award, and Professor of English Chris Foss received the 2022 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award.

Established a decade ago as a gift from the estate of Shirley Van Epps Waple ’52, the Waple Award recognizes a faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to their scholarly or creative area of expertise. The recipient must have been a full-time faculty member for at least seven years.Foss, who has been at Mary Washington for 23 years, is the author of numerous scholarly publications and academic conference papers. His particular emphases within his specialty area are British Romantic and Victorian literature. Award presenter Kyle Schultz, associate professor in the College of Education, noted that for the past 16 years, Foss has also become internationally known as an expert in the field of disability studies.

A member of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies’ editorial board, Foss has been instrumental in establishing UMW’s disability-friendly environment and has served as a key advocate for the establishment of a disability studies minor.

Chemistry Professor and Honors Program Director Kelli Slunt received the second annual Board of Visitors (BOV) Faculty Leadership Award.

Chemistry Professor and Honors Program Director Kelli Slunt received the second annual Board of Visitors (BOV) Faculty Leadership Award.

Established in 2020 by the UMW Board of Visitors, the BOV Leadership Award is designated for a faculty member who advances the mission of UMW by spearheading a major institutional initiative or program. On the 10th anniversary of UMW’s Honors Program, it was fitting that Slunt receive the award, said presenters BOV Vice Rector Devon Cushman ’93 and Marty Abbott ’72, chair of the BOV’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee.

A 1991 graduate of Mary Washington, Slunt has become the face of the Honors Program, molding it into a significant recruitment and retention tool. According to her nominators, she always puts students first. Cushman said of the program’s inaugural director, “Kelli Slunt makes sure the Honors Program matters.” Read the story on the UMW news site.

Professors Receive Top Faculty Awards

The University of Mary Washington bestowed honors on two professors at the general faculty meeting on Wednesday, April 20. Chemistry Professor and Honors Program Director Kelli Slunt received the second annual Board of Visitors (BOV) Faculty Leadership Award, and Professor of English Chris Foss received the 2022 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award. Established a decade […]

Trailblazing Lawyer to Deliver UMW Commencement Speech

Sheila Shadmand ’95 will be UMW’s 2022 Commencement speaker. Through her prominent and celebrated work in the field of law, Shadmand has been a trailblazer for women in the Middle East.

Sheila Shadmand ’95 will be UMW’s 2022 Commencement speaker. Through her prominent and celebrated work in the field of law, Shadmand has been a trailblazer for women in the Middle East.

The University of Mary Washington will return to its Commencement traditions with the 2022 ceremony being held for the first time in two years on Ball Circle. This UMW Commencement, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7, will be the first to include both undergraduate and graduate students.

The speaker will be Sheila Shadmand, a 1995 graduate of Mary Washington who received her juris doctorate in 1998 from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Shadmand, a partner at Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, has been a trailblazer for women in the Middle East. She became the first female head of an international law firm in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2012 and in Saudi Arabia in 2020. Fluent in French and Farsi, she is currently in charge of Jones Day’s Middle East and Africa region. Read more.

UMW’s ‘Bee’ Leaves Audiences Spellbound – Closes This Weekend!

William G. Pineda Jr. ’22 appears as William Barfée in UMW Theatre’s production of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.’ The play runs in duPont Hall’s Klein Theatre through April 16. Photo by Geoff Greene.

William G. Pineda Jr. ’22 appears as William Barfée in UMW Theatre’s production of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.’ The play runs in duPont Hall’s Klein Theatre through April 16. Photo by Geoff Greene.

U-n-e-x-p-e-c-t-e-d. Unexpected.

Definition: unforeseen; surprising. Used in a sentence: University of Mary Washington Theatre’s season-closer, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, is filled with UNEXPECTED and fun twists.

In a battle of spelling prowess, this musical spells out what it’s like to be kids uncomfortable in their own skin and conveys the challenges of growing up.

Be p-r-e-p-a-r-e-d! Audience volunteers are called onstage to participate. At the opening night performance yesterday, several parents of the actors became part of the show, along with Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker.

The non-actors make for some hilarious moments, as does a slow-motion scene and other surprises. In another twist, two staff members – and UMW alums – in the Department of Theatre and Dance played key (adult) roles as “guest artists”: Jon Reynolds ’07, marketing director; and Taryn Snyder ’15, assistant to the department chair, Gregg Stull. Read more.

Trailblazing Lawyer to Deliver UMW Commencement Speech

The University of Mary Washington will return to its Commencement traditions with the 2022 ceremony being held for the first time in two years on Ball Circle. This UMW Commencement, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7, will be the first to include both undergraduate and graduate students. The speaker will be Sheila Shadmand, a […]

Multicultural Fair’s Return Brings Fun and Funnel Cakes to Campus

The Multicultural Fair is back! After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, the colorful, festive, crowd-pleasing event returned to the University of Mary Washington’s Fredericksburg campus Saturday. The nexus may have shifted from Ball Circle – sacred site of Commencement, and current incubator to baby grasses – to Jefferson Square, but the familiar sounds and […]

UMW’s ‘Bee’ Leaves Audiences Spellbound

U-n-e-x-p-e-c-t-e-d. Unexpected. Definition: unforeseen; surprising. Used in a sentence: University of Mary Washington Theatre’s season-closer, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, is filled with UNEXPECTED and fun twists. In a battle of spelling prowess, this musical spells out what it’s like to be kids uncomfortable in their own skin and conveys the challenges of […]

UMW Zaps in on Esports, Betting it’s a Winner

Freshman Chris Goodwin, a competitive gamer, will be one of the first students to try out for UMW’s growing esports program, which was unveiled last month. Short for “electronic sports,” esports involves teams competing against each other in video game tournaments both face-to-face and virtually.

Freshman Chris Goodwin, a competitive gamer, will be one of the first students to try out for UMW’s growing esports program, which was unveiled last month. Short for “electronic sports,” esports involves teams competing against each other in video game tournaments both face-to-face and virtually.

University of Mary Washington students are used to going ballistic over an at-the-buzzer 3-pointer or a fast-as-lightning volleyball spike in a brightly illuminated Anderson Center. But how do offense and defense play out in a dimly lit room with video consoles – and mashing and peeling and speed-boosts?

Get ready, UMW. Esports is on the way, and it’s revolutionizing preconceived notions about collegiate athletics. The cyber sport joins Mary Washington’s 19 NCAA sponsored sports and two team sports, as a third team sport. And it’s open to everyone, regardless of physical prowess.

“There’s a real sense of community around esports … an inclusive nature about it,” said UMW Assistant Athletic Director Caitlin Moore, who played a critical role in the development of Mary Washington’s esports program, unveiled last month. “Esports is not going away,” she said. “It will only grow.”

Having expanded globally over the last decade, esports, short for “electronic sports,” involves teams competing against each other in video game tournaments both face-to-face and virtually. Statistics show that video gaming is a bigger business than ever, eclipsing movies and music combined, with revenue around $60 billion worldwide and burgeoning. Read more.

UMW Zaps in on Esports, Betting it’s a Winner

Mary Washington students are used to going ballistic over an at-the-buzzer 3-pointer or a fast-as-lightning volleyball spike in a brightly illuminated Anderson Center. But how do offense and defense play out in a dimly lit room with video consoles – and mashing and peeling and speed-boosts? Get ready, UMW. Esports is on the way, and […]

Mary Wash Debate Team Zooms to National Victory

UMW students Avery Dover (left), a freshman from Wichita, Kansas, and Ainsley Rucker, a junior from Winchester, Virginia, finished first last week in the American Debate Association’s Fall Championship Tournament.

UMW students Avery Dover (left), a freshman from Wichita, Kansas, and Ainsley Rucker, a junior from Winchester, Virginia, finished first last week in the American Debate Association’s Fall Championship Tournament.

University of Mary Washington students have made it convincingly clear: They know how to debate.

In keeping with a longstanding winning tradition, the UMW Debate Team last week wrapped up back-to-back weekends of competitions with a first-place finish at the American Debate Association’s Fall Championship Tournament, proving they’ve adapted successfully to an online format.

Ainsley Rucker and Avery Dover were undefeated throughout the preliminary rounds and entered the elimination rounds as top seeds. They also each received individual speaking recognitions – Rucker, a junior from Winchester, earned second place, and Dover, a freshman from Wichita, Kansas, was the top speaker. The tournament, held via Zoom, attracted teams from states across the country, including California, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts. The pair debated teams from University of Houston, Missouri State University, University of Minnesota and Samford University.

The tournament’s topic was antitrust reform, and UMW’s team successfully argued both sides of the issue. In the finals, Rucker and Dover effectively advocated for antitrust reforms regarding patents, winning a 3-0 decision over a team from Liberty University. This was their second tournament win and final round against Liberty in November. The duo recently competed in that school’s debate tournament, besting teams from James Madison University in the semifinals, and Liberty in the finals. Read more.