July 13, 2020

Update on UMW’s Police Community Advisory Panel

A message from the Office of the President.

To the campus community:

As a follow up to my recent email about formation of a Police Community Advisory Panel (CAP), I wanted to remind you of this group’s charge and to announce the committee’s membership. As part of my commitment to a complete and open accounting of the events surrounding the May 31 Fredericksburg community protests, I pledged to create an independent panel to fully examine the actions of our police. I have asked members of the CAP to thoroughly review the incident and to make recommendations as to how our police can better align with UMW’s community values.

Here are the members:

Maya Jenkins
Salem Smith

Danny Tweedy

Arin Doerfler

Community Members
Pamela Jones
Claire Cole Curcio

BOV Members
Rhonda VanLowe
Allida Black

Marc Tate ‘92
Zaya Ahmed ‘18

Ex Officio
Davis McCrory, Internal Auditor

I am grateful for the willingness of each member to serve and undertake this important task, and I will keep you updated as their work progresses.

President Troy Paino


2020 Holiday Calendar Updates

A message from the Office of Human Resources:


Dear Colleagues:

In addition to the recent commemoration of Juneteenth, there have been a few other changes to the 2020 UMW holidays. The updated calendar can be viewed here and the changes are summarized below:

  • Due to the changes in the academic calendar necessitated by COVID-19, Sept. 7, 2020 (Labor Day), will now be a work day. This holiday has been moved to Tuesday, Nov. 24, the week of Thanksgiving.
  • The Commonwealth has added Election Day 2020 (Nov. 3) to the state holiday calendar. UMW will be open on Election Day and has moved this holiday to Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, so we will be off the entire week of Thanksgiving. UMW urges all employees to exercise their right to vote and expects managers to be flexible in allowing employees the time to do so.

Other news:

  • After careful reconsideration, the Cabinet has decided to reinstate the Tuition Waiver Program for employees taking UMW classes! Please follow the link provided to view the policy and access the request form. Tuition waiver request forms should be returned to Denise Frye, dfrye@umw.edu, before classes start.

We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we all work to navigate the changes and challenges 2020 continues to bring.

Thank you,

Beth Williams
Executive Director for Human Resources
University of Mary Washington

Distribution of Faculty, Staff, and Contractor 2020–2021 Decals

The following message is from UMW Parking Management.

To all UMW faculty and staff:

Current faculty, staff, and contractor parking decals were set to expire July 1, 2020. However, Parking Management has extended the decal period through August 31, 2020. Faculty, staff and contractor vehicles with decals that expire on July 1 may be parked on campus until September 1, 2020 without receipt of a citation for an expired decal.

New decals will be available for order beginning July 6, 2020. To order new decals, please follow the steps below before August 1, 2020 in order to receive your new decal(s) prior to the  September 1 expiration date.

Please note that there is no charge for the 2020-2021 decals.

The new decals were ordered with a one-year expiration, taking into consideration UMW’s branding initiative, and will expire August 1, 2021.

To order parking decals:

Log in to Banner SSB, select personal information, then log into the Parking Management System (NuPark) using your UMW credentials.

  • Under “Registered Vehicles”, select “Buy Permit” and complete required information.

To update vehicle information within NuPark:

If you have purchased a new vehicle or need to remove an existing vehicle, please log in to NuPark following the instructions above. Then:

  • Select “Edit,” “Remove,” or “Add New Vehicle” and complete required information.

New decals ordered by August 1, 2020 will be delivered through campus mail.

Please direct questions and concerns to Parking Management by email at: parking@umw.edu or jelliot3@umw.edu;or by phone at  540-654-1129.

Lorentzen Takes Part in Global Virtual Dickens Conference and Roundtable

Eric Lorentzen, Associate Professor of English

Eric Lorentzen, Professor of English

Eric G. Lorentzen, Professor of English, was one of six international Dickens scholars who took part in a timely roundtable presentation and discussion on Dickens and Contagion. The roundtable was part of a virtual global conference which took place on June 9, which was the 150th anniversary of the Victorian writer’s death. #Dickens150 featured Dickens scholars from 10 different countries, and linked many participants around the world through synchronous time zone presentations that stretched from the London morning until evening in America. The specific roundtable on Dickens and Contagion, along with a few other selected parts of the conference, was filmed live, and will be forthcoming for global viewing on the #Dickens150 YouTube channel soon.

Larus Offers Comments on Indus News on International Law and South China Sea Disputes

Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, offered comments June 29 on Indus News on disputes in the South China Sea. Professor Larus indicated that a late June statement by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) affirming that international law should be the basis for determining sovereignty and entitlements in the South China Sea is a rebuke of China’s claim to the vast waters on historical grounds. Dr. Larus indicated that previous statements on the South China Sea either were retracted or did not name China, and that the June 2020 statement was a rare instance of unity among Southeast Asian nations in the face of Chinese aggression.

Professor Larus’s commentary begins 20 minutes into the program.

Powers Publishes Article on Animal Studies, Secularization Theory and Contemporary Québécois Literature

Professor of French Scott Powers

Professor of French Scott Powers

Professor of French Scott Powers’ essay, published in June 2020 in the journal Québec Studies, and entitled “Secularity, the Animal Other, and the ‘Fragilized’ Text in the works of Jean-François Beauchemin,” draws on secularization theory and animal studies to examine the works of Jean-François Beauchemin as unresolved negotiations between the religious and the secular.

Barry Publishes Article in Journal of Orthodox Christian Studies

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry recently published a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Christian Orthodoxy. The article, We Didn’t Start the Fire: The Alexandrian legacy within orthodox memory,” is free and available to the public.

An abstract of the article includes the following:

If we think about the past and the way Christians constructed the signs and symbols of persecution, invariably something—or, someone—is on fire. In this article, I argue that the destruction of two significant Alexandrian holy sites, the Great Alexandrian Church and the Serapeum, tells us a great deal about how fifth-century ecclesiastical historians crafted episcopal legitimacy by using familiar tropes that signaled to their readers that a Christian persecution was underway. I conclude that how a bishop played with fire made all the difference in the story of Christian orthodoxy.

Bonds, Students Speak at City Council Meeting on Highway Renaming

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds and his students recently spoke at a Fredericksburg City Council meeting to discuss renaming the stretch of Route 1 that runs by the University of Mary Washington, according to an article in The Free Lance-Star.

The name, due to its associations with the Confederacy and slavery, has come under fire in several other localities in recent years. In 2016, UMW Assistant Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds and two students in his political sociology class asked City Council during one of its meetings to rename the highway because of Davis’ role in the Civil War and the fact that he’d owned more than 100 slaves during his lifetime.

The request evolved out of his desire for the students to do a community involvement project that would help them develop democracy skills and not simply vote in an election and then tune out. The class overwhelming voted on this project, and researched Davis and the history of the naming of the highway after him. Read more.

Farnsworth Lectures on U.S. Voter Suppression

Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently discussed his research on national and state-level efforts to suppress voter turnout in advance of the 2020 elections during an online discussion with NextGen activists.

A link to the conversation is available here: https://www.facebook.com/NextGenNorthCarolina/videos/588951375095206

Dr. Farnsworth also offered comments in the following regional and national news stories:

Large Virginia county ends immigration enforcement agreement (The Washington Post)

Gutzman Considering Bid to Become Virginia’s First Hispanic Lt. Governor (NPR)

Trump Holds Rally in Phoenix (CTV News Channel)

This is a ‘failure of political leadership’ (CTV News Channel)

UMW Community Works with City on Freedom Rides Historical Marker

Last fall, UMW students and city residents retraced the route of the Freedom Rides, the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel, organized by James Farmer. Members of the UMW community are working with the City to establish a historic marker on the site of the old bus station in Fredericksburg, the Freedom Riders' first stop on their 1961 trip. Photo by Lynda Allen.

Last fall, UMW students and city residents retraced the route of the Freedom Rides, the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel, organized by James Farmer. Members of the UMW community are working with the City to establish a historic marker on the site of the old bus station in Fredericksburg, the Freedom Riders’ first stop on their 1961 trip. Photo by Lynda Allen.

James Farmer Multicultural Center Assistant Director Chris Williams, Assistant Professor of History Erin Devlin and Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Christine Henry were interviewed in The Free Lance-Star about their efforts to work with the City of Fredericksburg to establish a Virginia state historical marker at the site of the old bus station where the Freedom Riders stopped first in their quest to desegregate interstate transportation in 1961. The station formerly stood on the corner of Princess Anne and Wolfe streets, near where the fire station is now.

Some of the riders were arrested in North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi. In Anniston, Ala., a mob of Ku Klux Klan members slashed the bus’s tires as it attempted to leave the terminal, and later threw a firebomb at it.

UMW students and staff and community members visited the field where the bombing occurred last fall, as part of a trip recreating the journey of the Freedom Riders.

“To our surprise, there was no marker out there. No historical marker saying that right here, the original 13 Freedom Riders were fire-bombed,” said Chris Williams, assistant director of UMW’s James Farmer Multicultural Center, which organized the trip. “I was enraged and so were the students.”

Back home in Fredericksburg, Williams was still thinking about ways the story of the Freedom Riders and James Farmer could be told better—and that led to the idea of placing a highway marker at the site of the old bus station.

Williams, Devlin and Henry, in partnership with the City of Fredericksburg, have started the process of applying for the marker from the state Department of Historical Resources. Read more.