April 14, 2021

Cooperman Wins Teaching Innovation Award

Professor of Political Science Rosalyn Cooperman

Professor of Political Science Rosalyn Cooperman

The Gender and Political Psychology Network has named Rosalyn Cooperman, Professor of Political Science at University of Mary Washington, as a recipient of its 2020 Teaching Innovation Award for her work in the classroom to empower and inspire students.

Henry Mills Named as 2021 Goldwater Scholar

Henry Mills 2021 Goldwater Scholar

Henry Mills 2021 Goldwater Scholar

William “Henry” Mills was recently selected as a 2021 Barry Goldwater Scholar. Henry transferred to UMW in Fall 2018.  The Goldwater Scholarship Foundation awarded 410 scholarships from a pool of 1256 students nominated by 438 institutions. Henry’s application highlights his research with Dr. Varun Makhija and their collaborators at Stanford Linear Accelerator National Laboratory and the National Research Council of Canada. These scientists are investigating the rotational dynamics of water molecules to better understand natural phenomena such as vision and photosynthesis.  Henry is working with lasers and computers to visualize (or take pictures of) the molecules. His research has been submitted for publication in Physical Review A. The Department of Chemistry and Physics wish to congratulate Henry Mills and his mentor Dr. Varun Makhija on his recognition as a Goldwater Scholar.

Barrenechea Presents at American Comparative Literature Association

Professor of English Antonio Barrenechea

Professor of English Antonio Barrenechea

Antonio Barrenechea, Professor of English, recently presented the paper “A Hemispheric World of Differences: Luis Alberto Sánchez and Stanley T. Williams” at the meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, which took place virtually this year.

Brief Vaccination Survey and Form to Register for Vaccination

If you are willing to voluntarily share the news of your vaccination with the University, please complete this brief survey. It’s important for us to have an idea of how many folks in our community have been vaccinated.

If you haven’t been vaccinated, please fill out this form to get vaccinated even if you have already registered at vaccinate.virginia.gov, but not if you have already been scheduled for or have received one or two doses of the COVID vaccine. We will submit this to RAHD and you will be contacted to schedule your appointment.

Some things to point out:

    • Not all of us are on computers all day. Supervisors of employees who have limited online access should collect names, phone numbers, and email addresses of all who want to be vaccinated.
    • Access to the vaccine is because of your employment at UMW, so even if you live in another health district, you can come to Fredericksburg to get vaccinated.
    • Encourage your current student workers to complete the form. Our rough estimate is that about half of our student workers have already gotten at least one shot.
    • As more students start becoming eligible for the vaccine, they might end up scheduling it during finals week. Please remind student to mark their final exam time slots on their calendars now so that they do not encounter a scheduling conflict.
    • Please check your spam/junk folders and take calls from unknown contacts on the phone number you submitted. Be aware that you may need to be prepared to go and get the shot the day you are notified. The vaccine supply is being distributed as soon as it arrives, and at least some of the sites are only scheduling 24 hours out.


Plans for 2020 and 2021 Commencements

A message from the Provost.

Dear Colleagues,

Today, the University of Mary Washington is making the announcement that our 2020 and 2021 Commencements will take place in person over as many as four days: Thursday, May 6, and Friday, May 7, for the Class of 2020, and Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9, for the Class of 2021.

To accommodate the expected numbers and to comply with the Governor’s updated health and safety guidelines, instead of a single ceremony on Ball Circle, we will need to provide multiple smaller ceremonies in a new location. The only feasible on-campus venue is the recreation field next to Route 1; this the site that will allow for the most graduates and guests and provide readily accessible garage parking with minimal interruption to campus. The format of each ceremony will be modified and shortened, and the platform party will be reduced to the smallest representation possible – again, to ensure more space for graduates and guests. We hope to have a faculty representative on the stage for each of the ceremonies; otherwise, only those faculty and staff who happen to be family members of graduates or those specifically supporting the logistics of the event will be in attendance. It will be a priority to limit  the number of individuals in attendance at each ceremony, as well as those moving around on the campus, in order to observe our COVID protocols and to avoid impact on final exams.

Because the major activity, parking, and visitor flow will be along Sunken Road, Route 1, and the parking garage, we hope to avoid undue noise or disruption while students are taking their final exams. Residence Life is working on plans for move-out that should also lessen impact on student finals. Before the event, additional information will be shared about alternative parking for those who would normally utilize the garage during this time.

While you are strongly advised to plan to be away from campus those four days doing your end-of-semester work remotely, and we continue to encourage departments, programs, and Colleges to conduct end-of-semester student activities virtually, we will be in critical need of volunteers. Please watch for the email call for volunteers; your service will be welcomed and appreciated.

Although a number of Commencement plans had been developed, this new opportunity to hold an in-person event on campus is by far the most meaningful option for students and their families. It is also the most intensive and challenging. Thus, many details clearly need to be resolved, and we appreciate your patience. Please refer to the Commencement website for periodic updates.


Nina Mikhalevsky



Tuition Reimbursement Enrollment

The following message is from the Office of Human Resources.

Dear Colleagues:

Open Enrollment for Tuition Reimbursement for courses starting July 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021 has begun and will end on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (courses outside of UMW) The complete policy and procedures are posted online but some important and key provisions are listed below. You may contact Denise Frye at dfrye2@umw.edu with any questions.

Program Purpose:

Eligible employees enrolled in a degree seeking program at other accredited institutions of higher education will be provided with tuition reimbursement up to a specified amount for courses after completion of the course and submission of proof of grade.


This policy applies to classified, wage, administrative professional faculty, and other non-faculty part-time employees. Graduate Assistants who are required to be enrolled in UMW graduate programs are not eligible for this program. Eligible employees must be continuously employed by the University for a minimum of one year prior to their application for reimbursement and job performance must be satisfactory or at the “contributor” level. Tuition up to the approved amount will be reimbursed upon receipt of proof of completion of approved courses. Employees who receive tuition reimbursement must remain employed at the University of Mary Washington during the term of the courses taken and for one year after receipt of tuition reimbursement for those courses(s) or be subject to terms for repayment as described in the written agreement.

Important Information to Know:

  • The open enrollment period is for courses taken July 1 2021 – December 2021 (The open enrollment period for courses taken January 1 to June 30 will be in October 1 – October 21)
  • The program’s funding will be limited to $50,000 per calendar year; $25,000 will be budgeted for each period  January-June and July-December.
  • Each eligible employee may receive up to $2,500 in assistance each period. The amount of assistance will vary depending on the number of requests and the  available funds for that period i.e.  where $25,00.00 is available, 20 requests may each be awarded  $1,250.
  • A Tuition Reimbursement Request form is required to be submitted to Human Resources during open enrollment for courses starting July 1 2021- December 2021. (Link to the form is on page 3 of the policy and forms may be scanned)
  • The Finance office will notify the employee the Tuition Reimbursement Request Form has been approved within 2 weeks of the open enrollment timeframe closing and request the following:
  1. a) Proof of enrollment  in a degree granting program
  2. b) Schedule of the institution’s fees
  3. c) Proof of payment
  • The assistance awarded will then be reimbursed to the employee upon submission of evidence of course completion with a minimum grade of “C” or “PASS” if a Pass/Fail course.  Submission of grade must be within 30 days of semester end.  The employee will receive reimbursement within 10 business days of grade submission to the Finance Office.


Thank you,

Denise M. Frye
Benefits Manager
Office of Human Resources
University of Mary Washington

Banner maintenance this week

Banner Downtime:

Starts: 6:00 PM, Friday, 4/9
Ends: 6:00 AM, Saturday, 4/10

Impact To You: Banner SSB (Self-Service Banner for students, faculty, and staff), Banner 9 (for administrators) and Reporting (for administrators) will be unavailable during this time while scheduled maintenance is performed. This means that actions like registration and student payments through Banner via EaglePay must wait until the maintenance is complete and the system is returned to active status.

Updates: If needed, will be posted to our UMW System Status page http://status.umw.edu and our Twitter account https://twitter.com/umwIT

Thanks for your patience as this work is completed. Please contact the IT Help Desk if you have any questions or concerns.


Phone: 540-654-2255
In Person: HCC Room 112
Email: helpdesk@umw.edu
Website: http://technology.umw.edu/helpdesk


Announcement of Campus Display Project Manager

A Message from the Chief of Staff:


I’m happy to announce the selection of Professor of Art Carole Garmon as the inaugural Campus Display Project Manager. As I indicated when I announced the call for applications, this special assignment will support efforts of the University to encourage members of our community to propose and create long term and permanent public art and public history installations and exhibits. Such displays will reflect Mary Washington’s history, current community, and vision for the future.

I’ve included the position description below; in short, Carole will serve as manager and facilitator for a variety of projects, starting with the Dr. Venus Jones display (initiated by Biology Professor Andrew Dolby and with a committee), and working with the Standing Campus Environment Committee, the Office of the President, and the Vice President for Equity and Access, as well as people who have ideas for new installations and exhibits.

I know many of us are looking forward to working with Carole in this important work.


Special Assignment:
Campus Display Project Manager

To ensure that the University of Mary Washington’s campuses help the institution fulfill its ASPIRE values by providing all members of our community with a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment, UMW is initiating a program to encourage members of our community to propose and create long term and permanent public art and public history installations and exhibits that reflect the university’s history, current community, and vision for the future.

A 12-month special assignment position for a Campus Display Project Manager is needed to support this program. This position is open to a faculty or staff member who has skills in project management and experience with public art and/or museum displays. Tasks will involve guiding a major new display project dedicated to Dr. Venus Jones from initial proposal to installation. In addition, the Campus Display Project Manager position will work with the standing Campus Environment Committee and the Vice President for Equity and Access to outline plans for other new campus display projects over the next three years. Finally, the person filling this role will be expected to help define the future role of the Campus Display Project Manager as UMW continues to install new public art and history displays.

The Campus Display Project Manager will report to the Office of the President and would be expected to work in partnership with the Standing Campus Environment Committee as it encourages and reviews proposals for new displays as part of its charge to promote an inclusive and welcoming environment on UMW’s campuses.


Assigned Tasks;

  1. Oversee the development and installation of a display about Dr. Venus Jones in Jepson Hall.  This includes:
    1. Meeting with the existing Jepson Hall committee planning the installation to review the current state of the project
    2. Meeting with faculty involved in the project’s design and the chair of the Campus Environment Committee
    3. Coordinating actions among stakeholders involved in the project
    4. Identifying vendors to provide professional design and installation services
    5. Estimating costs of materials, design, and installation
    6. Working with Jepson Hall committee, President’s Office, and other stakeholders to identify funding sources
  2. Creating three year plan for public art and history displays reflecting UMW’s diverse history, communities, and future vision. This includes:
    1. Working with the Campus Environment Committee and the UMW community to identify and prioritize themes for displays on UMW’s three campuses.
    2. Identifying spaces for new long term and permanent public art and history displays
  1. Defining the future role and status of the Campus Display Project Manager position including:
    1. Working with the Campus Environment Committee and the President’s Office to define tasks.
    2. Consulting with UMW’s museums, galleries, and other relevant offices to determine if the position should remain a special assignment or be converted to a separate full or part time position

Bales Continues Research and Writing in Retirement

Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales

Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales

Jack Bales, Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus, has been keeping busy since he retired last August after more than 40 years at the UMW Library. His article, “‘He will do just what is best, no doubt’: William Hulbert’s Calculated Dismantling of the Chicago Base Ball Association,” was published in Base Ball 12: New Research on the Early Game (2021). Using original documents and primary sources such as the baseball club’s 1876 corporate charter, newspaper articles, and Hulbert’s letters and business records, the author details how the baseball club president shut down the Chicago Base Ball Association and, in so doing, disenfranchised many of its investors so he could form the new Chicago Ball Club. Base Ball is an annual peer-reviewed book series that promotes the study of the sport’s early history by publishing original research and analysis. Bales will discuss his work at the eleventh annual Frederick Ivor-Campbell Nineteenth Century Base Ball Conference, to be held virtually from April 22–24. He will also participate in a panel discussion on Chicago baseball executive and National League President William Hulbert.

Bales’s latest book, The Chicago Cub Shot for Love: A Showgirl’s Crime of Passion and the 1932 World Series, is scheduled for publication on June 21 by The History Press of Charleston, South Carolina. Using books, newspaper articles, memoirs, interviews, court records, archival documents, and never-before-published photographs, the author traces the story of how a young Chicago woman unwittingly set in motion events that indirectly changed baseball history.

Bales spoke on the nineteenth-century children’s author Horatio Alger, Jr. in February for UMW’s William B. Crawley Great Lives Lecture Series. He has published many works on Alger over the years and will host the convention of the Horatio Alger Society, a book collectors’ organization, here in Fredericksburg from June 3–6.

Mathur Co-Leads Workshop on Intersectionality and Inclusion

Professor of English Maya Mathur

Professor of English Maya Mathur

Professor of English Maya Mathur co-led the workshop, “Intersectionality and Inclusion in the Early Modern Classroom,” with Elisa Oh of Howard University. The workshop took place during the annual conference of the Shakespeare Association of America, which was held virtually from 30 March to 4 April 2021. The workshop drew on Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality to examine how the overlapping axes of our identities and those of our students shape our pedagogy.