April 4, 2020

Emergency notification to all members of the UMW community

The following message is from the Office of Public Safety.

The welfare and safety of our community during this time is the University of Mary Washington’s primary concern. We are writing to inform you that the University learned this morning of a member of our community testing positive for COVID-19. This person worked in Lee Hall and has not been present on campus since March 17.

Upon learning of this staff member’s diagnosis, we immediately notified public health authorities and consulted with epidemiology and infection prevention experts. In coordination with the Virginia Department of Health, we have begun tracing any possibility of or potential exposure to students and staff, based on the timeline of this incident. Those who had been in direct contact with this individual have been contacted and offered additional guidance. Also, in an abundance of caution, we are closing Lee Hall at the end of business today for thorough cleaning.

We are relieved to report that this patient showed mild symptoms, did not require hospitalization, and is recuperating at home.

We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to take seriously CDC- and state-issued health guidelines regarding COVID-19. These guidelines are designed not only to ensure your own well-being, but the well-being of others:

  • Engage in social distancing. Do not go to work or school. Keep at least 6 feet from other individuals.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Watch for cough, troubled breathing, or other signs of respiratory infection.
  • Monitor temperature for a fever above 100.4 degrees F.
  • If you develop a cough, fever, and/or difficulty breathing, call a healthcare provider or dial 911. You may also call the Virginia Health Department at 877-ASK-VDH3.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, please inform your supervisor and/or Human Resources. All such communications are strictly confidential.

Our thoughts are with each of you. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Emergency Management Director Mike Muckinhaupt at mmuckinh@umw.edu or 540-654-2108.


Stay safe,

Mike Muckinhaupt                                                                           Mike Hall
Director of Emergency Management and Safety                       Chief of University Police


Johnson-Young Publishes Manuscript on Firearms Safety

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Johnson-Young

Elizabeth Johnson-Young, Assistant Professor of Communication, recently had her co-authored manuscript “Understanding Pediatric Residents’ Communication Decisions Regarding Anticipatory Guidance About Firearms” published in Journal of Health Communication. It is now available on their website and will appear in the next print version. The study was co-authored with emergency pediatricians and investigates decisions of pediatricians to counsel on firearm safety during well-child visits, as recommended by organizations, such as the AAP. Using concepts from the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Health Belief Model, ordinary least squares regression testing and a path analysis demonstrated the impact of several variables on the prioritization of firearm counseling, including pediatrician sex, perceptions of parental viewpoints on, self-efficacy, perceptions of training, and comfort discussing firearms. Future plans include further study, as well as training material for residential programs. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10810730.2020.1745961.

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s latest column deals with the ‘new normal’ of staying home. Read LIVING AND WORKING IN A NEW, VIRTUAL REALITY.


While watching television one night, I saw a commercial for home grocery delivery.

“Soon, we won’t have to leave our house for any reason,” I said to my husband.

We can get our entertainment at home, and professional development and education through our computers. While going to the gym is nice, some of us have home gyms or use videos or online exercise classes. I can download books through free services from my public library or have a subscription service provide me with everything I want to read. Our news is delivered online. I can use TeleMed for many medical needs.

Then there’s food delivery. In addition to the tried-and-true pizza delivery options, we now have companies like GrubHub and DoorDash. Retailers allow you to order online and have products delivered to your door. Need some clothing? It’s just a click away. You can stay home and enjoy your worship service online or on television, too. Some organizations have allowed employees to telework, at least occasionally, for years. And now you can get your groceries delivered? Why would I ever need to leave home?

Fast forward a couple of months, and we are living this reality. I certainly never expected to have to stay home, but we’re doing it. Read more.

Larus Comments on Presidents Suspending Constitutional Rights During Crises

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Larus

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Larus

Elizabeth Larus, professor of political science and international affairs, contributed to an article entitled, “Can President Trump suspend constitutional rights of Americans due to the coronavirus crisis? Experts say unlikely,” on MEAWW.com.

“There has been talk of suspending the Constitution during times of crisis, such as President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s extraordinary wartime powers, such as the internment of Americans of Japanese descent,” Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Department of Political Science, University of Mary Washington told MEA WorldWide (MEAWW).

“Americans have (sometimes grudgingly, sometimes willingly) acquiesced to enhanced executive power during times of national crisis, with the understanding that things ‘get back to normal’ once the crisis has passed. This, in fact, happened during WWII. However, that was when Americans had faith in our government. Americans no longer have that level of trust in the federal government,” she said. Read more.

Baker Interviewed about Center for Economic Development in The Free Lance-Star

As head of UMW's Small Business Development Center, Brian Baker helps entrepreneurs bring their businesses to fruition and contributes to the economic wellbeing of the Fredericksburg region. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

As head of UMW’s Small Business Development Center, Brian Baker helps entrepreneurs bring their businesses to fruition and contributes to the economic wellbeing of the Fredericksburg region. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Brian Baker, executive director of UMW’s Center for Economic Development and Small Business Development Center, was interviewed for an article in The Free Lance-Star on how he and his team are helping local businesses navigate the pandemic.

The University of Mary Washington Center for Economic Development has taken the pulse of area businesses suffering from the impact of COVID-19 and pivoted to provide help.

It’s creating free, 30-minute online classes and brief podcasts on topics that are causing owners the most pain at a time when many are having to shut their doors, and providing consultation online in keeping with new social distancing requirements.

“We haven’t had this kind of challenge since [Hurricane] Isabel, and all the processes have changed,” said Brian Baker, the center’s executive director for economic development.

He said his office, which includes the UMW Small Business Center, has been getting four times as many calls as normal. He and his staff decided to survey businesses in Planning Districts 16, 17 and 18 to see how prepared they were and what problems they were facing. Read more.



UMW, Other VA Campuses Collaborate on Virtual ‘Take Back the Net’ Event, April 7

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and many institutions of higher education across the nation take this opportunity to raise awareness and publicly advocate on behalf of survivors of sexual violence. Universities and colleges across the state of Virginia have historically hosted events locally, but many of these important events have been canceled due to the new social distancing safety measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Virginia Campus Taskforce (including University of Mary Washington, along with Old Dominion University, Radford University, University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech, and William and Mary) will host a #TakeBacktheNet virtual event to empower survivors of sexual violence and their allies to share stories and support one another through Zoom. This virtual event will be on April 7, 2020 from 7 – 9 pm. The goal of this event is to bring survivors across the state together in a new and innovative way and to help students move from victim to survivor to thriver; taking control over their lived experiences. Beyond this #TakeBacktheNet survivor speak out, universities this April will continue to lead a wide range of initiatives to prevent sexual assault. These include social media campaigns, educational programming, and various forms of advocacy. SAAM is organized nationally by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC).


WHO: University of Mary Washington

WHEN: April 7, 2020 from 7-9pm EST

WHERE (the webinar): https://cwm.zoom.us/j/652981691

SURVIVIOR SHARING REGISTRATION: tinyurl.com/takebackthenet

CONTACT: Talley Center for Counseling Services (Eve Kagan (ekagan@umw.edu) and Melissa Palguta (mpalguta@umw.edu) or Center for Prevention and Education (Marissa Miller (mmille23@umw.edu))

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The following message is from UMW’s Center for Prevention and Education:

Across the nation, April is celebrated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This is a time for raising awareness of sexual assault and gender-based violence, as well as celebrating the strength of survivors, passion of advocates, and compassion of allies.

In these unprecedented times, we are all adjusting our schedules and modifying routines because of COVID-19. For us, that included cancelling all April SAAM scheduled in-person programming organized by our student organizations, faculty, staff, and off-campus partners. As we are adapting to social distancing, the Center for Prevention and Education (CPE) is moving forward with virtual programming for April. It is important to reiterate our commitment to survivors, advocates, allies, and the educational components of SAAM. We look forward to hosting online events, collaborations, engaging more with our community through social media, and shining a spotlight on others that were part of the SAAM planning for April 2020.

We hope you will join us on Instagram and Facebook to support our virtual 2020 SAAM efforts. Our SAAM 2020 webpage includes information on upcoming virtual programs, content you can share through social media, SAAM coloring pages, giveaways, and much more.

Finally, to share a little home away from home and as thank you in advance for supporting our vision, the grand prize giveaway for engaging with us on social media will be one University of Mary Washington diploma frame.  Please visit our SAAM 2020 webpage or Instagram profile for additional information.

Stay healthy, practice self-care, and reach out if you need support.

Marissa Miller
Center for Prevention and Education

Benedict Interviewed in Forbes about Feeding On-Campus Students During a Pandemic

UMW Dining Marketing Coordinator Rose Benedict was recently interviewed by Forbes in an article entitled, “Will Coronavirus Improve Customer Service?” Benedict spoke about the ways UMW Dining is accommodating self-quarantined students, as well as those not in quarantine, living on campus during the pandemic:

 For example, the University of Mary Washington’s dining service has completely rethought the way it feeds students. The dining team now delivers food directly to self-quarantined students in the dorms. “We’re still on the line at lunch time and dinner time to serve the students who are still residing on campus, and who are not self-quarantined,” says Rose Benedict, a unit marketing coordinator at the University of Mary Washington Dining Services. “But since we are following the social distancing protocols, students are not permitted to eat in our dining room and must get all of their meals to go.” Read more.

Postponed: Mary Washington Reunion Weekend

The annual highlight of our work in Alumni Relations is Reunion Weekend. Each year, approximately 1,000 alumni and family members return to renew old friendships, create new ones, and retell—and sometimes even recreate—their favorite Mary Washington memories. It is a time-honored tradition.

Unfortunately, like so many long-awaited celebrations, it is now being affected by COVID-19. On Monday, Virginia’s governor announced a stay-at-home order through June 10. This means it is not only advisable, but mandatory, that we postpone Reunion Weekend. While this decision saddens all of us, festivities should always be secondary to safety, and the health and well-being of our Mary Washington family is our highest priority.

Work has already begun to reschedule Reunion. Despite the number of University events that must be deferred to the fall, we were able to secure Labor Day weekend (Saturday, September 5-Monday, September 7) for the event.

This event is so important, it was given a choice time in the hopes that it will be most convenient and manageable for alumni. Most of the Reunion events will occur as originally proposed. However, some planned offerings cannot occur in the fall—for example, on-campus housing will not be possible, as students will occupy the residence halls. While Reunion 2020 will look different than in previous years, this postponement will be an opportunity to start new traditions. We will find creative solutions and demonstrate that COVID-19 cannot break our Mary Washington bond.

Once we are able to determine the scope of the new Reunion, we will communicate with you and will re-open online registration. In the meantime, we will begin issuing refunds for registrations and campus housing reservations already completed.

We know the disappointment many of you will feel about this postponement–because we are feeling it ourselves! But we are so hopeful that you all will be able to join us in September. We are eager to celebrate Reunion Weekend 2020 with our Mary Washington family.



The Alumni Relations Team

Relaxation and Fitness Resources While at Home

Campus Recreation is here to help you stay active, connected, and happy while social distancing.

Movement, whether it be in the comfort of our homes or elsewhere, can improve mood, boost creativity and focus, lower stress levels, improve muscle and bone strength, improve blood pressure, and decrease the risk of chronic health conditions. In order to take the best care of yourself during this period of social distancing, it is encouraged to continue or establish a daily routine that includes movement, relaxation, socialization, and fresh air.

Ways To Stay Active At Home

Campus Rec On-Demand Virtual Fitness Classes

We have compiled UMW fitness instructors’ favorite YouTube workout videos into playlists that you can access any time. Simply visit the UMW Campus Rec YouTube page “playlists” section when you are ready for a sweat session. These videos are especially helpful when unsure where to start or what to do to exercise at home.

SHiNE Dance Fitness Online

Tiffany, our wonderful SHiNE Dance Fitness instructor, has gotten the hook-up for her UMW SHiNE participants to take free virtual SHiNE Dance Fitness classes for two months! If you have checked into a SHiNE Dance Fitness class at UMW in the 2019-2020 academic year, you should have received an email from Brittanie Naff on March 16th with details on how to get this deal.

Instagram Live Fitness Classes

Tune in to live workout classes presented by our UMW fitness instructors on the @UMWCampusRec Instagram throughout each week. The schedule changes from week-to-week and each workout will only last about 15 minutes. No, you can not be seen while working out. Our instructors will be on screen guiding you through workouts and there is a chat feature where you can interact with others via text, or send *hearts* to your instructor, on your water breaks only, of course. See our Instagram feed for the most recent schedule!

Les Mills On-Demand Fitness Videos

Our friends at Les Mills have given UMW Eagles free access to their workout classes, like BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT, GRIT, SH’BAM, and more! Just visit this link to start experiencing these great workouts while this offer lasts. No sign-up required!

At-Home Workout Plans Designed by UMW Fitness Instructors

Don’t want to follow a video but still want some workout structure? Our fitness instructors have created at-home workout plans for you to do whenever you would like. Just visit the “Workouts” highlight on the @UMWCampusRec Instagram to see what great workouts they have created for you.

Matrix Learning Center bodyweight exercises

Sometimes we are reading a workout plan and see the names of fitness moves only to think, “What the heck is a ‘bear crawl’?!” Thankfully our cardio equipment partner, Matrix Fitness, is here to help. Matrix has given UMW Eagles access to a library of videos demonstrating a variety of the most popular bodyweight exercises. Check them out here! No sign-up required.

Ways To Relax

Mindfulness Conference Calls with Bill Brooks

Mindfulness is great for relieving stress and improving mental health. On our free weekly meditation calls, you won’t be asked to speak, but simply to listen and relax as Bill guides everyone on the line through some mindfulness practices to start your weekend off on the right foot. Give it a try! What have you got to lose?

    • 30 minutes of LIVE guided meditation with Bill Brooks, UMW Yoga & Mindfulness Instructor
    • Fridays from 12:15-12:45 pm beginning March 27, 2020
    • It’s easy to participate. Just dial 425.436.6352 and enter the access code 155679

Ways To Stay Social At Home

Use chatting platforms like UMW’s Office 365 Microsoft Teams, Facetime, Skype, or Zoom to instant message and video call friends regularly! Drink a morning cup of coffee “together,” set up a virtual lunch chat, make a point to check in regularly with a person or group of people at the same time each day, or any other ideas you may have. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social disengagement.

Ways To Get Fresh Air

  • Open the window to your work space for the sounds of nature, the warmth of the sun, and for a *literal* breath of fresh air.
  • Do some work on a stoop, deck, patio, or porch.
  • Go for a walk in the morning, between projects, or at the end of the day to soak up the vitamin D and get your blood flowing.