February 27, 2024

UMW Geography Professor Awarded National Grant

University of Mary Washington professor Stephen Hanna is the recipient of a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct fieldwork at plantation museums in the American South. Hanna is professor of geography at UMW, and is an expert on commemorative landscapes, cartography, and critical applications of GIS.

Hanna and his research partners will conduct fieldwork at plantations, like the Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana. Photo by Arnold Modlin (Norfolk State).

Hanna and his research partners will conduct fieldwork at plantations, like the Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana. Photo by Arnold Modlin (Norfolk State).

The NSF grant, totaling $445,423 over three years, will support the project “Transformation of Racialized American Southern Heritage Landscape.”  Hanna is co-principal investigator for the project with David Butler (University of Southern Mississippi), Derek Alderman (University of Tennessee), Perry Carter (Texas Tech University), Amy Potter (Armstrong Atlantic State University), and Arnold Modlin (Norfolk State University).

The grant, supplemented by Hanna’s Waple Professorship, will allow Hanna and three UMW undergraduate students to join faculty and graduate students from the other universities to conduct fieldwork at plantation museums in Louisiana, coastal South Carolina and Georgia, and Virginia’s James River region.

Stephen Hanna

Stephen Hanna

During the fieldwork, students and faculty will survey and interview plantation visitors, tour guides, and owners, and will conduct participant observations of the tours. Based on pilot research already conducted at four plantation museums in Louisiana, the researchers aim to determine how and to what extent narratives of the enslaved are incorporated in the landscapes and narrations of these museums. They will document visitors’ experiences to show how the role of slavery in the region’s and country’s history are presented at these sites.

Throughout the project, Hanna will teach UMW students to transcribe, code and analyze qualitative data. Students will map the plantation sites and create a website, hosted by UMW, to disseminate the project’s results.

UMW Philharmonic Launches New Children’s Concert Series

The University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra is launching a new major concert series for children, the “Fiddlestix Summer Concert Series.” The series will bring world-class children’s entertainment to Fredericksburg each summer as a part of Fiddlestix, the Philharmonic’s outreach program dedicated to enriching the musical lives and education of children.

The Fiddlestix Summer Concert Series will kick off with a performance by the Laurie Berkner Band.

The Fiddlestix Summer Concert Series will kick off with a performance by the Laurie Berkner Band.

The series will kick off on Saturday, August 9 in the William M. Anderson Center with a performance by the Laurie Berkner Band.  The Laurie Berkner Band has become one of the leading groups in the world of children’s entertainment. Tickets for the Laurie Berkner Band concert will go on sale at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 26 at philharmonic.umw.edu.

“With young children of my own, I have been frustrated with having to travel long distances for great kid’s entertainment,” said Kevin Bartram, director of the Philharmonic. “Since the Philharmonic has experience with concert production with our annual Celebrity Series, we wanted to offer similar opportunities for area children and their families.”

Critics widely acknowledge the band’s major contribution toward launching what is now dubbed the progressive “kiddie rock” movement. Laurie Berkner was the first recording artist ever to perform in music videos on Nick Jr., and appeared regularly on the network’s series “Jack’s Big Music Show.”  Her latest television project is a new short-form animated musical preschool series, “Sing It, Laurie!” which debuted in the spring of 2103 on 24-hour preschool television channel, Sprout.  “Sing It, Laurie!” stars Berkner’s voice and features her original music written for the series.

The series will continue in the summer of 2015 with concerts by Nickelodeon’s The Fresh Beat Band and Disney’s Imagination Movers, as well as events for older children from middle school through high school.

The UMW Philharmonic is partnering with Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine to promote the series. The concert promoters are currently seeking corporate sponsors as well as dedicated volunteers who are able to assist with production.

The UMW Philharmonic, conducted by Dr. Kevin Bartram, is comprised of both UMW students as well as talented community musicians. The group achieved national acclaim in 2009 with the American Prize, an award given to the top nine collegiate orchestras in the nation. In 2012, the group was featured on a national PBS fundraising show, “A Fiddler’s Holiday.”

For more information about the Fiddlestix Summer Concert Series, contact (540) 654-1324 or email philharmonic@umw.edu.

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 auphaus@umw.edu or (540) 654-1123. For more information about the celebration or to find a full list of sing-along locations, visit http://anthemforamerica.smithsonian.com/.

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 www.jamesmonroemuseum.org.

No Players’ Unions in This League (The Huffington Post)

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.

UMW Department of Theatre & Dance Brings Back “Always…Patsy Cline”

In response to overwhelming and unprecedented demand, the University of Mary Washington Department of Theatre & Dance is bringing “Always…Patsy Cline” by Ted Swindley back to Klein Theatre. 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. Tickets are $40 for standard admission, $35 for students, senior citizens, UMW alumni, and the military and $25 for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are on sale at umw.tix.com.

Photo by Geoff Greene.

Photo by Geoff Greene.

“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.”

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

“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.”

Taryn  Snyder as Patsy Cline. Photo by Geoff Greene.

Taryn Snyder as Patsy Cline.
Photo by Geoff Greene.

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.”

“Always…Patsy Cline” features two local students in the roles of Patsy Cline and her friend and fan, Louise Seger. Senior theatre major Taryn Snyder, who grew up in Fredericksburg before moving to Rochester, N.Y., to attend high school, plays the role of Patsy. Fellow senior theatre major Emily Burke, who graduated from James Monroe High School, plays Louise. Burke is the recipient of the Susan Mulholland Breedin ’86 Scholarship and Snyder received the Debby C. Klein Scholarship for 2013-14. Both students are members of Alpha Psi Omega, the national collegiate theatre honorary fraternity.

“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. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit umw.tix.com.

An E-Portfolio with No Limits (Campus Technology)

Judge Keeps Corruption Charges Against Ex-Virginia Governor, Wife (Reuters)

USILA Names Dick to All-American Team (The Free Lance-Star)

UMW Joins Coalition to Double Study Abroad Participation

The University of Mary Washington has pledged to join the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. The initiative also is focused on increasing the diversity of the students who study abroad, ensuring quality, and removing barriers to participation. UMW has committed to increasing the number of students who study abroad by 30 percent over the next five years.

More than 300 UMW students study abroad each year through various programs, like this faculty-led trip to the Galapagos Islands.  Photo by Professor Andrew Dolby.

More than 300 UMW students study abroad each year through various programs, like this faculty-led trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Photo by Professor Andrew Dolby.

As part of its commitment, the university hopes to create new study abroad initiatives and scholarships, provide increased support for students, and help students engage internationally through service learning, research, or internships.

“UMW recognizes the importance of preparing students to be global citizens able to function in the international marketplace,” said President Richard V. Hurley.

UMW emphasizes the importance of global awareness and believes that a study abroad experience enhances a student’s global outlook and overall education. Currently, more than 300 students take part in a study abroad program each year in dozens of countries around the world.

IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative now has more than 300 commitment partners, including colleges and universities of all sizes and types across the country, as well as study abroad organizations, foreign governments, and associations.

study abroad logoGeneration Study Abroad will engage educators at all levels and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to drive meaningful, innovative action to increase the number of U.S. students who have the opportunity to gain international experience through academic study abroad programs, as well as internships, service learning and non-credit educational experiences. Building on its nearly 100-year commitment to study abroad, IIE has committed $2 million of its own funds to this initiative over the next five years.

To learn more about study abroad opportunities at UMW, visit the Center for International Education located in Lee Hall or visit http://international.umw.edu.

For more information on IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, and a complete list of commitment partners, visit www.iie.org/generationstudyabroad.