May 28, 2020

College of Business Congratulates Class of 2020

UMW’s College of Business created a YouTube video to congratulate the Class of 2020, and specifically COB graduates, on completing their degrees. Compiled by Assistant Professor of Management Alexandra Dunn, the video features COB Dean Lynne Richardson, President Troy Paino and faculty from across the college.

McMillan Elected President of Archaeological Conference

Lauren McMillan

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Lauren McMillan

Lauren McMillan, assistant professor of historic preservation, was recently elected president of the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference. She will serve as the president-elect until March 2021, at which time she will transition into the president position. The Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference facilitates a yearly conference and professional journal for archaeologists working the Mid-Atlantic region. McMillan has been a member of this conference since 2007, while a student at UMW, and has previously served as the program chair, social media chair, and as a student paper judge.

UMW Libraries’ Collection Captures COVID-19 History

Reference Librarian Peter Catlin planned to get married in Virginia Beach in May. But the state’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order canceling public gatherings put a kink in his wedding plans. Instead, after many attempts, the couple got special permission from Fredericksburg’s clerk of circuit court, who married them on the sidewalk outside the city courthouse. The […]

A Message from the President

A message from the President. 

To faculty and staff:

While the conclusion of our spring semester was one none of us could have imagined in January, through the talent of our faculty and staff, resilience of our students, and hard work of all, we were able to bring our academic year to a successful conclusion. This semester was a testament to the vital role each person plays in providing a university of this quality and a mission of this significance. As we return to work following Employee Appreciation Day, I want to extend my and my cabinet’s deepest gratitude to every one of you. I hope yesterday served as a reminder that you are valued as a person and professional.

The virtual celebration of graduates this past weekend provided a joyful reflection, as well as a vantage point of what it means to be an Eagle over a lifetime. I encourage you to watch it and be reminded of how timeless our work is. To me, the video also points to how nimbly and agilely the whole campus responded when put to the test. I believe we can face the future with a sense of confidence in ourselves and each other, as well as our collective ability to navigate well if pressed into a new path.

As we look to the summer, we realize that this season will be different than any we’ve experienced. With online summer school and virtual orientation, faculty and staff are being asked to again find new ways to do their work. Success will demand our best effort, as it is critical that students’ experiences lead them to a deeper relationship with the University and commitment to return in the fall.

Students will have every right to expect us to prepare for multiple contingencies and to enhance our offerings, whatever form they may take. This spring we had to react, but now we can proactively plan for myriad possibilities. To that end, I have assembled a Task Force charged with the responsibility of considering all the options before us in terms of reopening. The Task Force is comprised of seven subgroups that have begun to examine operational issues in areas that touch every member of the University community: Public Health, Work Life, Academics, Student Life, Residence Life, Dining, and Technology.

As you may imagine, comprehensive planning in the face of so much uncertainty is enormously complex. The subgroups will look at issues both broadly and in specificity. However, each one of you understands your role in a way that no one else can. I ask you to think deeply about the issues that may not be obvious to others. If ever there was a time for anticipatory planning and thinking ahead, this is it.

I ask each supervisor to ensure that every employee not only learn about this communication, but that all be informed about the issues that will be shared in the months to come. For employees without direct access to digital communications, managers should help ensure a means of regular communication to and from them.

It is our hope to have most twelve-month employees return to campus as soon as possible. The task force subgroups will be working on this plan; however, the earliest that I anticipate a gradual, tiered return to be possible will be once the state begins Phase II of the Governor’s plan to reopen Virginia. Until then and perhaps beyond, the University will provide weekly updates about our planning and decision making. Some communications will be related to the task force and the subgroups, while others may be more general updates. In the first weekly update later this week, task force members Jeff McClurken and Tim O’Donnell will share a more detailed overview of the purpose of each subgroup.

The University is also providing weekly livestream opportunities for various groups through the month of May. This week, I will participate in the UFC meeting on May 13. On May 20, enrollment management staff will share a fall recruitment update, and on May 27, you can learn more about virtual orientation. The May 20 and 27 events will be broadcast through Zoom and YouTube, and they are open to all employees. My Cabinet and I are committed to communicating frequently and transparently so that you are aware of and understand the state of the University.

Financial matters are among your most frequently expressed concerns. This past Friday, the Board of Visitors met virtually to address University business. Citing the rising unemployment rate and financial uncertainties for families, the Board unanimously approved a tuition and dining cost freeze.  Housing will increase by 2% and the Auxiliary Comprehensive Fee will be raised by 8%. The total increase of $498 for a full-time, undergraduate student living on-campus and subscribing to a meal plan reflects a 2.1% for in-state students and 1.2% increase for out-of-state students.

These rates were set in March, prior to the impact of COVID-19. The University is working to more closely align room and board charges to the full cost of delivery for these services, while still ensuring its affordability and student success. Although this rate increase will be insufficient to meet the larger costs of operating in a COVID-19 environment and to balance UMW’s 2020-21 budget, the modest financial adjustment may help more students enroll this fall.

As I shared previously, we intend to have students on campus in August, assuming that we can do so in a way that is prudent and meets state guidelines. The Task Force groups are working to identify potential issues and establish protocols to allow us to return to on-campus, in-person classes, as well as the alternatives we must consider, from hybrid models to virtual ones. We know we won’t get every decision right nor be able to address every concern, but we will try to anticipate and plan for the ones that are most crucial. We’ll endeavor to prepare and be ready to pivot as needed.

Finally, I thank you again for all you do to make Mary Washington such an extraordinary University. Like a UMW education, the impact of its employees is greater even than the sum of its parts. It’s a powerful equation, and I am humbled to lead this University and community.

 

My best to all,

Troy

A Message from the Task Force

Good afternoon,

This is the first of weekly communications with the campus community from the Task Force that President Paino has initiated to answer questions about what resuming face-to-face education in the fall might look like.

As we’ve gotten beyond the initial discussion of the overarching issues, President Paino has added to the Task Force to include representatives from the University Faculty Council (UFC) and the Staff Advisory Council (SAC), as well as a number of other units and areas of expertise. The Task Force has divided its efforts into seven subgroups: Public Health, Academics, Student Life, Residential Life, Dining, Work Life, and Technology. Each of these subgroups has membership beyond the core Task Force and is focused on the many different issues that we must work on in order to be prepared to open. Subgroup topics covered include, but are not limited to, the following:

Public Health: alignment with federal and state guidelines; testing, contact tracing, isolation capabilities; sufficiency of personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as policies and legal analysis of PPE requirements; regional preparedness including the adequacy of area health care facilities and relationship building with partners.

Academics: faculty development and support for remote/online instruction; governance and approval of remote/online instruction; planning for a variety of alternative ways to provide instruction; analysis of classroom limits and social distancing requirements; sufficiency of academic support services and resources; academic policies and procedures; guidance and plans for remote/online laboratory, studio, and experiential classes; cleaning of academic facilities; classroom policies.

Student Life: protocols for remote/online student support services; planning for behavioral issues; redevelopment of co-curricular events and activities in accordance with social distancing; alterations to the campus infrastructure to reduce large gatherings; athletic team competition; fitness facilities.

Residential Life: adequacy of isolation spaces; evaluation of reasonable student density and placement within residence halls; policies and procedures to support social distancing in residential spaces; move-in plans; staff training; closure and cleaning protocols.

Dining: design and implementation of plans to promote social distancing in dining facilities; development of plans for quick pick-up, delivery and takeout; processes to ensure delivery of meals to students in isolation; policies and procedures around personal protective equipment (PPE) for Sodexo workers and patrons.

Work Life: adequacy of the University’s infectious disease preparedness and response plans; implementation of infection prevention measures; policies for prompt identification and isolation of sick employees; development, implementation, and communication about workplace flexibilities and protections, including PPE; implementation of workplace protocols to encourage safe practices.

Technology: assessment and remediation of gaps in student and faculty access to computers, internet access, and specialized software (especially focused on addressing the digital divide and the equity imperative); adequacy of telecommunications and infrastructure to continue to support remote instruction and work.

See the membership lists and chairs below for the Task Force and these subgroups. We encourage you to contact members of the subgroups to share your ideas and suggestions.

Currently the Task Force is raising and beginning to answer questions about all the areas that we would need to address to be ready for the fall. The work is framed in four primary scenarios:  1) reopening campus, 2) monitoring the health conditions to detect infection, 3) containment to prevent the spread of disease if/when detected, and 4) return to remote operations if that becomes necessary. The Task Force is also identifying the needed resources to improve our readiness in all of these areas (for example, how much PPE and how many masks we would need to acquire and how). Again, the prevailing goal is to move forward on fulfilling our educational mission while addressing the safety needs of staff, faculty, and students.

The work of the Task Force is influenced by research and guidance from a variety of agencies, offices, and organizations, including Governor Northam’s “Forward Virginia” plan, the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins, the Harvard/Rockefeller Foundation “Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience,” theOccupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American College Health Association (ACHA) and the Report of the Higher Education Subcommittee to Reopen Connecticut, among others. The Task Force is also looking forward to further guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). 

As President Paino announced in his email two days ago, in addition to a weekly email from the Task Force, you can expect to see a number of interactive sessions going forward, including the UFC meeting yesterday and more Zoom/YouTube Q&A sessions with campus leaders. We will also be setting up a web page for the Task Force with a place where you can submit your ideas and suggestions.

Our hope is to provide information to you regularly, quickly, and transparently as the Task Force and its subgroups examine complex issues and identify solutions to allow the University to move forward safely and successfully.

 

Jeff McClurken, Chief of Staff

Tim O’Donnell, Associate Provost

 

Task Force Membership

Troy Paino (chair)
Lisa Bowling
Audrey Burges
Andrew Dolby
Dave Fleming
Sabrina Johnson
Pete Kelly
Juliette Landphair
Lynn Lewis
Jeff McClurken
Keith Mellinger
Nina Mikhalevsky
Mike Muckinhaupt
Tim O’Donnell
Christy Pack
Anand Rao
Lynne Richardson
Jerry Slezak
Debra Schleef
Stuart Sullivan
Nancy Wang
Beth Williams
Kimberly Young

 

Public Health Subgroup

Jeff McClurken (co-chair)
Mike Muckinhaupt (co-chair)
Anna Billingsley
Lisa Bowling
Patrick Catullo
Dave Fleming
Melissa Jones
Juliette Landphair
Sue Lafayette
Lynn Lewis
Paul Messplay
Nina Mikhalevsky
Tim O’Donnell
Chris Porter
Stuart Sullivan
Nancy Wang
Beth Williams
Susan Worrell

 

Academics Subgroup

Nina Mikhalevsky (chair)
Andrew Dolby
Pete Kelly
Jeff McClurken
Keith Mellinger
John Morello
Tim O’Donnell
Anand Rao
Lynne Richardson
Debra Schleef
Kimberly Young

 

Student Life Subgroup

Juliette Landphair (chair)
Dave Fleming
Melissa Jones
Brittanie Naff
Cedric Rucker
Kelly Shannon
Nancy Wang
Tev Zukor

 

Residence Life Subgroup

Dave Fleming (chair)
Nolan Akau
Matt Brooks
Megan Brown
Cece Burkett
Michelle Brooks
Lee Roy Johnson
Jessica Machado
Mike Muckinhaupt
Hunter Rauscher
Stuart Sullivan
Mary Taylor
Nancy Wang

 

Dining Subgroup

Juliette Landphair (chair)
Dave Fleming
Mike Greenfield
Roy Platt
Chris Porter
Cedric Rucker

 

Work Life Subgroup

Beth Williams (co-chair)
Christy Pack (co-chair)
Rosemary Arneson
Terri Arthur
Mike Hubbard
Sabrina Johnson
Melva Kishpaugh
Mike Muckinhaupt
Michelle Pickham
Stuart Sullivan

 

Technology Subgroup

Jerry Slezak (chair)
Hall Cheshire
Jeff McClurken
Keith Mellinger
Tim O’Donnell
Anand Rao
Debra Schleef

Be Aware of Phishing Scams

The following message is from UMW’s Office of IT Security.

Don’t Fall for That Phish!

Email is an essential part of our everyday communications. It also is one of the most common methods that hackers use to attempt to gain access to sensitive information. More than 90% of data breaches start with a phishing attack. Phishing uses fraudulent email messages designed to impersonate a legitimate person or organization.

Please be aware of new phishing scams attempting to take advantage of COVID-19 uncertainty. Our peer institutions have reported an increase in phony messages using COVID-19 themes to grab attention. They will try to scam you, or launch phishing attacks that attempt to get you to click on malicious links or open infected email attachments. Scammers also use phishing emails to get access to your computer or network then they install programs like ransomware that can lock you out of important files on your computer. Some attackers go to great lengths to make their scam emails look legitimate by including the logo of UMW or other businesses.

Here are some of the most common indicators that the phone call or email you received is probably a scam or attack:

  • Any messages that communicate a tremendous sense of urgency. The bad guys are trying to rush you into making a mistake.
  • Any message that pressures you into bypassing or ignoring our security policies and procedures.
  • Any message that promotes miracle cures, such as vaccines or medicine that will protect you. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be very suspicious of any phone call or message that pretends to be an official or government organization urging you to take immediate action.
  • Be suspicious of emails offering part-time or work from home opportunities.

If you’re unsure if an email is legitimate, or if you know for certain it isn’t, DO NOT RESPOND to it or click on any links in it. Please report it directly to Information Security at it-abuse@umw.edu. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding a suspicious email, feel free to send an email to HelpDesk@umw.edu.

Thank you for helping spread the word. We appreciate your attention to this matter, and for all you do to keep UMW secure.

UMW Libraries’ Collection Captures COVID-19 History

UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives team is collecting and digitizing a variety of COVID-19 related materials, from diaries to photos to social media posts. Anna Billingsley, associate vice president for University Relations, submitted a screenshot of her personal blog, “Coronavirus Captivity,” chronicling her experiences working remotely and living during the pandemic.

UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives team is collecting and digitizing a variety of COVID-19 related materials, from diaries to photos to social media posts. Anna Billingsley, associate vice president for University Relations, submitted a screenshot of her personal blog, “Coronavirus Captivity,” chronicling her experiences working remotely and living during the pandemic.

Reference Librarian Peter Catlin was set to get married in Virginia Beach in May. But the state’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order canceling public gatherings put a kink in his wedding plans. Instead, after many attempts, the couple got special permission from Fredericksburg’s clerk of circuit court, who married them on the sidewalk outside the city courthouse.

The nuptials marked the beginning of a life together and, when Catlin typed up his story, something else – a special UMW Libraries initiative named Call to Contribute. “It was a very cool start to the project,” said Records Coordinator Sarah Appleby ’06.

The University’s archiving team likes to dig deep in the past, but its mission is also to gather current experiences so future historians can better understand today. To do that, they are asking the UMW community to help create a record of what lives look like in these days of quarantine, remote learning, hand-sewn masks and Zoom meetings.

“We see history happening, and we have to do something to make sure that doesn’t just go away,” Appleby said of the effort.

The team – Carolyn Parsons ’83, head of Special Collections and University Archives; Angie Kemp ’11, digital resources librarian; and Appleby – will collect and digitize a variety of COVID-19 related materials, from diaries and blogs to artwork and photography. They encourage anyone affiliated with Mary Washington to contribute. Read more.

Read ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ with the Mother of All Book Clubs

Looking for a way to stay connected to other alumni during this challenging time? We are beginning the second round of reading in our online literary group–the Mother of All Book Clubs!

Alumni read and discuss via a private Facebook group, so only approved members can see posts or participate in the discussion. This is informal and low-pressure–read along with us and chime in on the discussion as much or as little as you like.

Our next selection is Dear Evan Hansen, by Steven Levenson. “A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed could be his. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to belong. Deeply personal and profoundly universal, Dear Evan Hansen is a groundbreaking American musical about truth, fiction, and the price we’re willing to pay for the possibility to connect.”

Dear Evan Hansen was UMW’s Common Read experience for 2017 and is an ongoing Broadway hit. This book should prompt some good discussions about ethics, mental health, and the impact of social media on our society and relationships. It also is uplifting and warm, with an award-winning soundtrack. Recently, the UMW Theatre department adapted a song from the soundtrack and released it on social media, where it received praise on the show’s social media as well.

Please note that we are reading the actual screenplay of the Broadway production. There are other publications, including a novelization, by the same name. Use the links here and confirm the author to ensure you obtain the correct text.

Pick up a copy of the book and start reading–we will begin posting discussion questions on Monday, May 25. You might have a small-business bookseller you like to support, or you might want to try your local library system, as many offer ebook rentals. But if you need the book shipped, below are some links to larger online providers.

We look forward to reading with you!

All the best,
The Alumni Relations Team

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Target

Join Us for a Virtual Shabbat Service and Happy Hour

All alumni are invited to join the Jewish Alumni Affinity Group for Shabbat service and happy hour!

People of all faiths are invited to join us for a virtual Shabbat service and happy hour on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.

We will have the Shabbat service at 6:00 p.m., followed by a happy hour where we we can meet and chat with each other. This event will occur on the holiday Shavuot, celebrating the Torah being given to the Jews on Mount Sinai. One of the themes of Shavuot is “milk and honey,” with the associated tradition of eating dairy products like cheese blintzes or cheesecake. If you have a knack for baking, feel free to bake a tasty dessert and show it off to everyone!

Friday, May 29
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Online

As always, people of all faiths and religions are invited to join; feel free to share this event with other alumni! If you are not already receiving communications re: the Jewish Alumni Affinity Group, and would like to, opt in here.

Register here. On the day before the event, you will receive the link to the Zoom meeting. We hope to see you online!

UMW Faculty Teach “Chemistry in the Kitchen”

Join us online for virtual programming from UMW Alumni and UMW’s chemistry faculty

UMW chemistry professors will present “Chemistry in the Kitchen” in three Lunchtime Learning sessions. These sessions will feature chemistry experiments that you can do yourself at home in your kitchen. Watch and enjoy, or conduct your own experiments along with us–we will send a supply list ahead of time so you can join in, if desired.

Each session will focus on a different topic:

Tuesday: Intermolecular Interactions with Dr. Leanna Giancarlo

Wednesday: Polymers with Dr. Kelli Slunt

Thursday: Sustainability with Dr. Janet Asper

Tuesday-Thursday, June 2-4

12:00-1:00 p.m. each day

Online

These experiments are designed for children in fourth-eighth grades, but likely will be entertaining for children outside that range as well.

Join us for one, two, or all three sessions–just pick which you want in the registration form. After you register, you will receive a confirmation email that includes a link to the Zoom sessions. You also will be sent a supply list in advance of the program.

We look forward to seeing you online!