January 22, 2020

Teacher of the Year Shares Mission of Equity at UMW

Rodney Robinson, the 2019 National Teacher of the Year, will speak to aspiring educators from UMW’s College of Education and the local community on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium.

Rodney Robinson, the 2019 National Teacher of the Year, will speak to aspiring educators from UMW’s College of Education and the local community on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium.

Rodney Robinson was inspired to become a teacher because of his mother. Growing up in rural Virginia, segregation and poverty hindered her own education, but it didn’t stop her from finding her calling teaching young children in her home daycare.

“She always taught us that every child deserves the proper amount of love to get where he or she needs,” Robinson said.

Named 2019 National Teacher of the Year, he will share his teaching philosophies, and his support of economic and cultural equity in the classroom, with aspiring educators from UMW’s College of Education and the local community. The talk will take place next Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium.

Robinson said he took his mother’s lesson, which he shared recently with his alma mater, Virginia State University (VSU), to heart. Since 2015, he’s taught history at a juvenile detention center in Richmond, believing that access to a quality education and empathetic teachers can be keys to success for these students.

“Mr. Robinson is making a positive difference in the lives of students who need it the most,” said Pete Kelly, Dean of UMW’s College of Education. “As the National Teacher of the Year, he has an important story to tell, and I encourage everyone to come hear him speak.” Read more.

Mindfulness Course & Jump Start Program Begins Soon

Introduction to Mindfulness & Meditation Course

Learn the practice of mindfulness in a 7-week, non-credit course led by Bill Brooks, a certified meditation teacher through the Meditation Teacher Training Institute. This experience is $15 and participants who attend six or more sessions will receive that money back in the form of a UMW bookstore gift card. Our lives are often overly stimulated. What would happen if we gave ourselves a few minutes each day to stop, and be fully silent and still – to meditate? Research has shown that the practice of mindful meditation can lead to a calm and focused mind. Such a practice helps to reduce stress, enhances self-awareness, and offers a greater sense of inner peace and connectedness with life. This 7-week introductory course is being offered to UMW faculty, staff, and students. It will answer the basic question: What are we doing when we meditate? You will learn about meditation through instruction, discussion and guided practice. Specific training will be provided on obstacles to meditation and how to work with them. Upon completion of this course, you will have the tools and experience needed to continue an independent practice of mindfulness meditation.

Spring 2020: Mondays *New day of the week, different from previous semesters!
February 10 – March 30 (Excluding Spring Break on March 2)
Leidecker Center, Trinkle B-39
Cost: $15 (but get that money back if you attend 6+ sessions!)
Sign up on our registration site under “Courses”.


Jump Start Program

For Your Information: A new collaborative program between Campus Recreation, the Talley Center for Counseling Services, the Student Health Center, and the President’s Council on Wellness is beginning January 27. This is a student-focused program. Learn more about the Jump Start Program in case you know a student who may benefit from this program:

This 5-week program is designed to provide students a slow, guided introduction to fitness facilities and programs at UMW. Students will have the opportunity to be introduced to exercise in a less intimidating way by a peer who works for Campus Rec, socialize with others, and get assimilated in a new environment with other UMW students who have similar levels of exercise-familiarity. The group is limited at 12 people, so please register when you are ready to commit.

Students from the Talley Center and Health Center can be referred to the Jump Start Program by their clinician. Otherwise, the program is available for any UMW student to join for $15 per 5-week session. Students can sign up at campusrec.umw.edu under “Courses” or at the Fitness Center front desk.

Once a week, for five weeks, students will meet with their Jump Start Program leaders (two Campus Recreation fitness instructors, Brenna and Sasha) who will spend 60 minutes doing an activity, learning a lesson and having a discussion surrounding the topic of the week. Each lesson will include a worksheet with fitness education.

PCOW: January 29th Sleep Event

The President’s Council on Wellness (PCOW) is sponsoring a Faculty and Staff CommonHealth of Virginia event this month called, Getting Your ZZZs on Wednesday, January 29th from 11am to Noon in the UC Capital Room 314.

A goodnight’s rest can be determined by many different aspects and circumstances. The CommonHealth program (which is a free-state employee wellness program) mentions that “Our bodies have a powerful internal drive to sleep, and sleep is critical to our heart health and well-being.  Not only does sleep give our hearts a break by reducing heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones, it also boosts learning, memory, and our immune system. NIH (National Institute of Health) recommends 7-8 hours of sleep daily for adults, and studies suggest that sleep is just as important for survival as eating, drinking, and breathing.” Come join us as we find out tips for good sleep hygiene, getting the best night’s sleep, and what signs might show up for sleeping disorders. If you have any questions, please contact us at wellness@umw.edu.

DMV Connect Spring Dates

Upcoming DMV Connect:
Staff from the DMV will be coming to campus on Saturday, February 1 from 8am-12pm in the UC Colonnade Room. They’ll be offering many of the services available at the DMV without the wait! Additional upcoming DMV Connect dates include Thursday, February 20 and Monday, April 13, both from 10am-3pm in the UC Colonnade Room.

DMV Connect services include:

  • Drivers’ licenses — reminder, an upgrade to the REAL ID Drivers’ License will be required to fly domestic starting 10/1/2020
  • Identification cards (adult & child)
  • Disabled parking placards
  • Vehicle titles
  • Address changes
  • and more!

Al-Tikriti Delivers Iraq Lecture at the Foreign Service Institute

Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History Nabil Al-Tikriti

On Wednesday, January 8, Middle East History Professor Nabil Al-Tikriti delivered a lecture entitled “US-Iraqi Relations since 1979” at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, VA. This lecture was delivered as part of the “Iraq Familiarization Course,” targeted at State Department professionals and contractors scheduled to serve in Iraq.

Tuttle Presents at APPLE Training Institute in Charlottesville

Ray Tuttle, Director of UMW's Office of Student Conduct and Responsibility

Ray Tuttle, Director of UMW’s Office of Student Conduct and Responsibility

Ray Tuttle, Director of UMW’s Office of Student Conduct and Responsibility (OSCAR), presented to an audience of student athletes and athletics professionals at the APPLE Training Institute in Charlottesville on January 18, 2020. The title of his presentation was “Engaging Campus Partners: Fostering Relationships for Success.” Tuttle’s presentation addressed how departments of athletics can create and maintain relationships with other offices on their campus, and why these relationships are mutually beneficial.

The annual training institute, organized by the University of Virginia’s Gordie Center and funded by the NCAA, welcomes colleges and universities across the country, and assists their student athletes, athletics staff, and administrators in preventing substance misuse and in promoting healthy behaviors and attitudes within their departments.

Admitted Student Phone-a-thon: Volunteers Welcome

The Office of Financial Aid mailed more than 1,000 financial aid awards to admitted first year and transfer students this month. Please join us as we personally reach out to students to confirm its receipt and remind them of the next steps toward enrollment. This is an important outreach effort that will help with the success of the university’s enrollment goal for Fall 2020.

5-7 PM
Monday, January 27th
Tuesday, January 28th
Thursday, January 30th

  • Calling from Lee Hall Fourth Floor – Admissions Operations Suite
  • Pizza and drinks will be provided each evening.
  • Contact Melissa Yakabouski at myak@umw.edu to volunteer.

Larus Comments on CNBC on Taiwan Presidential Elections

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, offered commentary January 10 on CNBC Asia’s Capital Connection on the 2020 Taiwan presidential election. Professor Larus indicated that incumbent Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen benefited from the Hong Kong protests and that she would likely be reelected. Dr. Larus projected that a second Tsai administration will continue to diversify Taiwan’s economy and distance itself from China, and that Beijing will put more heat on Taipei, bringing the U.S. into play.

Capital Connection is a television business news program aired every weekday on various CNBC channels around the world. It is broadcast live from Singapore. Access the commentary at:



PCOW Welcome Back and The New Wash Post

The President’s Council on Wellness (PCOW) would like to welcome everyone back from Winter Break and to the first week of classes at UMW. What does this New Year hold for you and what choices are you making to living well? Share it with us on our Facebook page: UMW Wellness or Instagram: umw_wellness.

New year — a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours.” Alex Morritt

The January/February edition of our PCOW newsletter called the Wash Post is being put across campus on bulletin boards and in campus bathrooms. This bimonthly theme of the Wash Post is “Winter is Here.” How can we cope with S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder), embrace more HYGGE (quality of coziness), and getting optimal amount of sleep? For fun facts, strategies, and tips, check out the Wellness Website for the Wash Post, Volume 12.

Al-Tikriti Discusses Potential Azerbaijan Exchange Program and Collaborations

Prof. Al-Tikriti in Baku

On Wednesday, 18 December, Middle East History Professor Nabil Al-Tikriti discussed potential future student exchanges and program collaborations between the University of Mary Washington and ADA University of Baku, Azerbaijan. Prof. Al-Tikriti thanks Dr. Jose Sainz, Fariz Ismailzade, Gulnur Ismayil, and Milana Ibrahimova for assisting with this initiative.