June 20, 2021

Take the Vaccine Survey, You Could Win!

Dear Colleagues:

Want a chance at a reserved parking space for the semester? Or, how about $250 in University Center meals, Bookstore items, or professional development funds?

All you have to do is report your vaccine status by responding to the survey – whether that means uploading a photo of your vaccination card or conveying your intention to not be vaccinated. We need to know your status.

As you are aware, in order to protect the health of our campus community, Mary Washington expects you to be vaccinated before the fall semester or to opt for weekly COVID testing. Widespread vaccination is the best way for us to return to a pre-pandemic UMW experience.

Many of you likely have already completed the vaccine process; all you need to do is upload a photo of your vaccine card. Be sure and click through to the end of the survey where it asks for documentation. This is easiest if you take a picture with your phone, then access the survey via your mobile device. If you have trouble, email COVIDVaccination@umw.edu.

To thank employees for submitting their vaccine records – and, to encourage you to get your information in ASAP – we will hold a weekly drawing to award the winner’s choice of:

  • A reserved parking spot for the fall semester
  • $250 in University Center dining, professional development, or a UMW Bookstore shopping spree

Three names will be drawn each week. If you have already submitted your proof of vaccination and have stopped getting the daily attestation emails – thank you! You will automatically be entered.

Here’s how it will work:

Each Tuesday, beginning June 29, a Human Resources representative will draw a name from the total pool of employee survey submissions. You must have your information in the system by the preceding Tuesday. For the first drawing, make sure you have submitted your vaccine status by Tuesday, June 22.

Each Tuesday from June 29 until August 3, we will pick three winners. You are eligible even if your name has already been drawn. So, the earlier you complete your survey, the more drawings you will enjoy a chance to win.  Any questions? Email COVIDVaccination@umw.edu.

Get vaccinated. Submit your information. Good luck.

Kinsley, Rycroft to Publish Book on Inequality in America

Inequality in AmericaOn June 30, College of Business Senior Lecturer Kimberley Kinsley and Professor of Economics Robert Rycroft will have a book published, Inequality in America: Causes and Consequences, Santa Barbara, CA:ABC-CLIO.  https://products.abc-clio.com/ABC-CLIOCorporate/product.aspx?pc=A5815C. It is an edited book consisting of 35 essays written by 50 authors, with substantial contributions from Kinsley and Rycroft. Kinsley wrote a chapter about civil justice. Rycroft, along with Lauren DiRago-Duncan ’15, now a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kentucky, wrote a chapter on labor markets. Both Kinsley and Rycroft wrote the preface and a chapter on wealth inequality. In addition, Assistant Professor of Education Christy Irish, along with Allison Ward Parsons from George Mason University’s College of Education and Human Development, wrote a chapter on education reform policies. President Troy Paino wrote the introduction.

Update from the Future of Work Planning Group

Greetings UMW Community,

Over the past 15 months, COVID has restructured our work environment in significant ways. UMW saw faculty and staff move expeditiously to remote teaching and working, while essential staff maintained the physical operation of the University while implementing numerous new COVID protocols.

As COVID restrictions are lifted and we move toward a post-pandemic community, many employees are wondering what UMW’s future work environment will look like and how it will impact our image as a vibrant, engaged, and diverse traditional residential university.

President Paino has appointed the faculty and staff listed below to the Future of Work Planning Group and charged us with drafting a plan for the future of work at UMW consistent with our educational mission and ASPIRE values, as well as DHRM policies.

The Future of Work Planning group will be asking for information about your personal experiences in your pre-COVID and current work environment and how you envision the future. Your input is critical to the work of this group to shape the new normal of working at UMW. Please take a few minutes to respond to the upcoming survey that will help guide the committee’s work over the coming months. For more details on the current and ongoing work of the committee, see the Future of Work at UMW Planning Group website.

Just as our future ways of working will evolve over time, so will the focus of this committee. It will change and develop as we learn and gain valuable input from all areas of the UMW community. We look forward to your contributions and feedback in this effort.



The Future of Work Planning Group

Julie Smith, AVP for Administration and Finance (Co-Chair)
Beth Williams, Director, Human Resources (Co-Chair)
Maureen Aylward, Donor Relations and Stewardship Associate, Advancement
Teresa Coffman, Professor, College of Education
Michelle Crow-Dolby, Education & Communications Manager, Gari Melchers Home & Studio
Tracey Funtanilla, Senior Accountant, Finance
John Hughey, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Residence Life & Housing
Kunle Lawson, Lecturer, Athletics
Angie Lynch, Enrollment Services Specialist, Registrar
Sharon Neville, Assistant Building Attendant Manager, Facilities
Carolyn Parsons, Head of Special Collections & University Archives, Simpson Library
Michelle Pickham, Senior Contract Officer, Procurement Services
Jerry Slezak, Director, Digital Learning Support
Gregg Stull, Professor of Theatre and Chair, Theatre & Dance
Chris Williams, Assistant Director, James Farmer Multicultural Center

Action Requested: Future of Work Employee Survey

Greetings UMW Employee,

As indicated in an email earlier this week, the Future of Work Planning Group is inviting you to participate in the Future of Work Employee Survey. In this survey, we ask questions to capture your thoughts and feelings regarding your experiences related to your pre-COVID and current work environments. Also included in the survey are opportunities to express thoughts for the future of work at UMW. It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. All data from the survey will be used to inform the ongoing work of the Future of Work Planning Group. 

Your participation in this survey is entirely voluntary, and the survey is designed to be intentionally anonymous. We hope you feel comfortable answering a few background questions to put some context to your responses. No personally identifiable information is captured. If, in any of your responses, you give any identifying information, that information will not be shared beyond the Future of Work Planning Group. If you have any questions at any time about the survey or the process, you may contact the Future of Work Planning Group Co-Chairs, Beth Williams and Julie Smith.

The survey will close at 5 p.m. on June 28, 2021. 

Thank you very much for your time and participation!

Take the Survey

Or copy and paste the following link into your browser: http://umw.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cSV0b0JYSXKp3fw


The Future of Work Planning Group

Because of You

Learn about the background, challenges, and aspirations of three incredible UMW students in Because of You. This custom video highlights how the lives of three scholarship recipients – Bailey Johnson ’21, Justin Daniels ’23, and Courtney Burrows B.A. ’17 M.Ed. ’18 – have been impacted by the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends. These inspiring and heartwarming stories affirm the transformative power of philanthropy on UMW students and the Mary Washington community.



Goldman Discusses Cultural Appropriation and the Kardashians with BBC.com

Assistant Professor of Communication Adria Goldman

Assistant Professor of Communication Adria Goldman

Assistant Professor of Communication and Digital Studies Adria Goldman was interviewed by BBC.com about the Kardashian family appropriating Black culture. The article, which ran in advance of the series finale of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, said this:

“The Kardashians are viewed as both white and non-white,” says Adria Y Goldman, assistant professor of communication at the University of Mary Washington.

“The Kardashians’ continued popularity and success despite criticisms, show that on some level there is an acceptance of cultural appropriation, a lack of understanding of cultural appropriation, or a combination of the two.”

But while these relationships are presented on the show as uncomplicated, in a wider context things aren’t as straightforward. Prof Goldman says the relationship between Kim and Kanye (now seemingly on the rocks) contributes to her “racial ambiguity” and debates about her appropriation of black culture.

“Her association with Kanye and their children contribute to her position at the intersection of whiteness and blackness,” she says. “Some may argue Kim’s children with Kanye give her access to black culture. However, some may also view Kim’s familial connection as increasing the need for cultural sensitivity, understanding, and appreciation – as opposed to appropriation.” Read more.

Gupta Pens Article on Protests by India’s Farmers

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Surupa Gupta

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Surupa Gupta

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Surupa Gupta penned an article for Inkstick Media entitled, “How India’s Farmers are Trying to make Modi Listen.”

For almost seven months now, Indian farmers have been protesting three laws that the Indian parliament passed in September 2020. They have blocked highways, organized a nationwide strike, and have continued with the protests through the current, deadly COVID-19 crisis.

Farmers’ protests are not uncommon in India. In 2018, over 40,000 farmers marched over a hundred miles to Mumbai in Maharashtra to demand better support for farmers from the state government. The current protests, however, have been remarkable for many reasons: The protests have occasionally become violent and have attracted widespread international attention from lawmakers and celebrities alike. After an initial offer to negotiate, the federal government, against whose laws the farmers are protesting, reacted by arresting a young climate activist and with a crackdown against protestors. Read more.

Governor Announces UMW Board of Visitors Appointments

(From left to right: Allida Black, Devon Cushman, Pat McGinnis and Robert Strassheim.)

The Virginia Governor’s Office announced on Friday the appointment of Robert J. Strassheim ’96 of Keswick, Virginia, to the University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors (BOV). In addition, BOV Vice Rector Devon Williams Cushman ’93 of Richmond, as well as members Allida M. Black of Arlington and Patricia “Pat” Gwaltney McGinnis ’69 of Washington, D.C., have been reappointed to subsequent four-year terms on the board.

Robert J. Strassheim

Robert J. Strassheim

“I’m honored by this appointment, and in this capacity, I look forward to continuing to advocate for all of Mary Washington’s stakeholders,” said Strassheim, who will finish out the remaining three years of Edward B. Hontz’ term.

Robert Strassheim, a certified project management professional, serves as vice president of business operations for Dickinson + Associates Inc., a midsize software consulting company headquartered in Chicago. He has also held various leadership positions at Electronic Data Systems Inc., working for the Department of the Navy.

In addition, Strassheim has served as a part-time lecturer in UMW’s College of Business (COB) for more than two decades, teaching courses in marketing, management, corporate financial management, retail management and introduction to business, as well as a senior seminar in international business.

Strassheim earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mary Washington, graduating with academic honors. He also holds an MBA and graduate certificate in international business from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, ranking third in his class.

At UMW, he is the current chair of COB’s Alumni Advisory Board and previously served as a Capital Campaign cabinet member. He is the recipient of the 2017 COB Distinguished Business Alumnus Achievement Award and the 2021 Frances Liebenow Armstrong ’36 Service Award.

Devon W. Cushman

Devon W. Cushman

Returning Vice Rector Devon Cushman has worn many hats during her career: litigation attorney, law professor, general counsel and – most recently – entrepreneur. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Mary Washington and earning her J.D. from the University of Richmond School of Law, she worked as a litigator at Morris & Morris (now McCandlish Holton) and Hirschler Fleischer, where she was recognized by Virginia Business as “Legal Elite” and by Virginia Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star.”

Cushman also has served as an adjunct professor at Richmond Law and as assistant general counsel at Capital One, where she partnered with the policy affairs team to advance the company’s legislative agenda. Cushman recently founded a design company called Dutch Door. In addition, she supports the greater Richmond community as a pro bono attorney.

Allida Black is a distinguished scholar and human rights advocate who serves as managing director of Allenswood Group, LLC, an organization founded to empower individuals and strengthen democracy through civic engagement, grassroots activism and education.

She is historian and advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and a distinguished visiting scholar at the Miller Center for Public Affairs. Prior to this, she served as a research professor of history and international affairs at The George Washington University (GWU). She is founding editor and editorial advisory board chair for the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project. Black also served as executive editor of fdr4freedoms Digital Resource, an online education and advocacy program dedicated to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. She has been an advisor to documentaries on PBS, The History Channel, A&E and The Discovery Channel, and has authored seven books and multiple articles on women, politics and human rights policy.

Allida M. Black

Allida M. Black

Black is a current trustee for the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Foundation and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. She is the recipient of GWU’s Millennium Medal, the 2001 Person of Vision Award from the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women and the James A. Jordan Award from Penn State University. In 2013, she received the Interactive Media Council’s “Best in Class” award and an Independent Publisher Book Award silver medal. She is a member of the Leadership Council of the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Survivors of Torture.

Black earned a doctorate in history from GWU, a bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory University and a certificate in international humanitarian law from the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Patricia Gwaltney McGinnis

Patricia Gwaltney McGinnis

Pat McGinnis is a public policy consultant and part-time artist in Washington, D.C.  She has held positions in government, business, the nonprofit sector and academia. In government, she served as advisor to the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs in the Obama administration. She has also been on the Senate Budget Committee staff, the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Health and Human Services, and the Office of Management and Budget, where she led the effort to create the U.S. Department of Education during the Carter administration.

McGinnis was president and CEO of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Council for Excellence in Government, an organization of business leaders who previously served in government. Founder and principal of public strategy firm FMR Group, McGinnis was a senior associate at international management consulting firm Cresap, McCormick and Paget.

McGinnis has also served as part-time faculty at the University of Maryland, Georgetown University and most recently The George Washington University, where she was Distinguished Professor of Practice at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. Currently, McGinnis is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the board of the Congressional Management Foundation.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Mary Washington and a master’s degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Stull’s Great Lives Lecture on Lillian Hellman Airs on C-SPAN

Professor of Theatre and Chair of Theatre and Dance Gregg Stull

Professor of Theatre and Chair of Theatre and Dance Gregg Stull

Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance Gregg Stull’s Great Lives lecture on playwright Lillian Hellman recently aired on C-SPAN. Watch here.

Governor Announces UMW Board of Visitors Appointments

The Virginia Governor’s Office announced on Friday the appointment of Robert J. Strassheim ’96 of Keswick, Virginia, to the University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors (BOV). In addition, BOV Vice Rector Devon Williams Cushman ’93 of Richmond, as well as members Allida M. Black of Arlington and Patricia “Pat” Gwaltney McGinnis ’69 of Washington, […]