October 30, 2020

Landphair Pens Column on John Lewis in Richmond Times-Dispatch

Vice President of Student Affairs Juliette Landphair

Vice President of Student Affairs Juliette Landphair

Vice President of Student Affairs Juliette Landphair, who is the Farmer Legacy 2020 co-chair, penned a column in The Richmond Times-Dispatch on the late Rep. John Lewis’ legacy and the impact that he and Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. have had on the University of Mary Washington and its students.

Sixty years ago, much like today, many American young adults were on fire to dismantle racial discrimination. U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who recently passed away as an international icon for civil rights and public service, was one of them. Born in 1940 into a tenant farming family in Pike County, Ala., where half of their cotton crop’s earnings went to the white landowner, Lewis grew up in a poor, rural part of the nation completely alien from stereotypical recollections of 1950s consumerism and suburbanization. As historian Dr. Andrew Lewis recalls, John Lewis’ childhood “conjures up a world that the twentieth century seemed to have passed by.”

While in college at American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tenn., Lewis became active in civil rights protest. Over a few critical months in late 1959 and early 1960, he and other young activists, including the extraordinary (and not enough remembered) Diane Nash, attended workshops on nonviolence and its philosophical roots, taught by the minister James Lawson. Principles such as the power of the collective and the redemptive community settled into Lewis’ conscience and remained the rest of his life; he later described “crossing over” into a lifelong commitment to the movement in 1960 while participating in the Nashville sit-ins.

At my institution, the University of Mary Washington (UMW), Lewis figures prominently in our story. We like to think it is a special bond, but of course, Lewis made all admirers feel important. In 1961, Dr. James Farmer, leader of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), who later became a Mary Washington College professor, helped recruit the 21-year-old Lewis to join 12 others on the Freedom Rides. They would travel on two buses through several Southern states challenging interstate transportation facilities. During the Rides, Lewis was attacked by angry whites in South Carolina and Alabama.

More recently, Lewis agreed to serve as honorary chair of Farmer Legacy 2020, UMW’s yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of his friend Dr. Farmer’s birth. This past November, in his official acceptance of his chairperson role, Lewis met with a small UMW delegation in his Capitol Hill office for nearly an hour. I was fortunate to be among the attendees. With his celebrated warmth and humility, he spent nearly an hour with us, asking about UMW and our lives, and sharing stories. He especially was attentive to Jason Ford, our Student Government Association president who, as a black man himself, knew he was in the presence of a giant on whose shoulders he stood. Read more.

Coffman Discusses Inequity in U.S. School Districts on WalletHub.com

Professor of Education Teresa Coffman

Professor of Education Teresa Coffman

College of Education Professor Teresa Coffman was recently interviewed for a WalletHub.com article on “States with the Most and Least Equitable School Districts.” The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the discrepancies that already existed between more affluent schools districts, which tend to receive a greater amount of funding per students, and those that are less affluent, the article states. Coffman was one of six professors from universities across the country to share their expertise.

Dr. Coffman: It has become common knowledge, and unfortunately an almost accepted practice, that many of our nation’s teachers pay for their classroom supplies out of their own pockets because of the inequity in funding. This means that particular groups of students are left behind, even before the instructional day begins in a school. Currently, the coronavirus pandemic and the need for schools to move to virtual learning due to the contagious nature of this disease has placed a spotlight on the inequities in opportunity within communities and funding for schools. Even beyond funding, this has resulted in varying questions relating to the purpose of our public schools as it relates to the needs of our country and all who live in its jurisdiction by many state leaders, parents, and community members. Read more.

Broome Talks ‘Education Innovation’ on With Good Reason Radio

College of Education Professor John Broome created the Higher Ed Learning Collective to help faculty members around the world adjust to teaching online. The Facebook group now boasts over 30,000 members in more than 100 countries. Photo by Kristi Meacham.

College of Education Professor John Broome created the Higher Ed Learning Collective to help faculty members around the world adjust to teaching online. The Facebook group now boasts over 30,000 members in more than 100 countries. Photo by Kristi Meacham.

University of Mary Washington Associate Professor of Education John Broome will be featured on the With Good Reason public radio show. The episode, “Education Innovation,” will air daily beginning tomorrow, Aug. 15, continuing through Aug. 21. When COVID-19 shuttered college campuses worldwide, Broome quickly made a Facebook group for professors to support and teach each other. Now an international resource, more than 30,000 professors are working together to prepare each other to teach this fall. With Good Reason airs Sundays at 2 p.m. on Fredericksburg’s Radio IQ 88.3 Digital and at various times throughout the week on stations across Virginia and the United States. Check the website for show times.

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 weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses TREATING PEOPLE WITH RESPECT.

 

Once upon a time, there was an organization. This organization welcomed a new head person. This person had come from a similar organization where he had years of experience as the head guy.

Months into the new person’s tenure, a beloved manager was visited by the new boss—she was not doing things as he expected. Even though she was an expert, he wanted to tell her how to do her job. She pushed back a bit. At the next staff meeting, with all of the managers in attendance, he demeaned her in front of her peers.

Appropriately, she went to him privately after the meeting and expressed her distress at being berated in front of her colleagues. He was dismissive of her remarks. She soon resigned.

People in the company took sides. There were those who thought he was well within his rights to have both told her what to do and, when she wasn’t willing to roll over, talk about her to her colleagues. Others were appalled at his behavior. Certainly, they agreed, he could express his desires about how she did her job, but they could not believe he made derogatory remarks about her in front of her peers.

Many in the latter group went to the employee who resigned and asked her to reconsider. She would not. A schism formed within the organization.

What went wrong? Read more.

Farnsworth Comments in the Regional and National News

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, has been quoted in several regional and national news stories:

NY Attorney General Sues to Dissolve NRA (CTV News Channel) 

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger vs. Delegate Nick Freitas – Edition #1 (Virginia Seven Newsletter) 

Trump, Trade and Tariff’s on the Drive with Jock Wilson 9 (CHQR segment on US- Canada Trade)

With Tactics Honed On Climate Change, Ken Cuccinelli Turned to the Portland Streets (Inside Climate News)

Donald Trump v. COVID-19 (CTV News Channel)

Hogan Passes Torch to Cuomo, Reflects on Role of Governors and Trump in the Pandemic (Maryland Matters)

Poll Shows Growing Distrust of Media Among Americans (Courthouse News Service) 

Manhattan D.A. Trump Investigation (CTV News Channel)

Mail-In Voting / COVID And Inequality (WHRO public radio Hear/Say)

Stalemate Over Unemployment Insurance (CTV News Channel)

Trump Pushes for Election Day Delay (CTV News Channel) 

Trump suggested election delay to distract US from worst slump in economy, says Internet: ‘A complete failure’ (MEAWW) 

‘President Pelosi’ trends after Trump suggests delaying 2020 elections, House Speaker would be ‘next in line’ (MEAWW) 

Trump suggests delaying 2020 elections, claims mail-in voting amid pandemic will be ‘incorrect and fraudulent’ (MEAWW) 

Obama slams Trump for pushing ‘nativist, racist, sexist’ fears during private meetings with party donors: Report (MEAWW) 

Virtual Honor Convocation 2020

All faculty and staff are encouraged to watch this year’s virtual Honor Convocation, which will be viewed by all incoming students at 4:00 p.m., Friday, August 21 through Zoom:  https://umw-sso.zoom.us/j/93389264525.  UMW’s annual celebration of honor can also be viewed at any time by visiting: https://academics.umw.edu/academicintegrity/honor-convocation-2020/

Buster-Williams’ Research Project featured in Richmond Times-Dispatch

Vice President for Enrollment Management Kimberley Buster-Williams

Vice President for Enrollment Management Kimberley Buster-Williams

Vice President for Enrollment Management Kimberley Buster-Williams was featured in an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Sunday, July 26, 2020. The feature story discussed the discovery of her grandmother’s connection to a national social organization.

 

Kimberley Buster-Williams celebrated a joyous Christmas Day with her family in December, but it would be an unwrapped box she opened a day later that would turn out to be the most beloved of gifts.

Buster-Williams, of Fredericksburg, stumbled onto an unknown family legacy when she began looking through family pictures and documents last December that had belonged to her grandmother, Mary Hewlett Brown. The family matriarch and native Richmonder died in late January at age 98. Those who knew her called her Lollie.

Those she held closest in her heart called her “Mama Lollie.”

Buster-Williams intended to use the box of photos and documents to gather information for the obituary she would eventually write for Mama Lollie. That day after Christmas, however, as Buster-Williams began sifting through the contents of the box, she found a folder labeled “Epicureans,” an organization she’d only ever heard of in passing.

She was intrigued.

Earlier this year, with those same documents spread out on a table before her, Buster-Williams said she was curious back in December about what she found. There was a 1944 photo of 11 young, well-dressed Black women surrounding a table with what appeared to be cut-out letters that spelled “EPICUREANS.” Her grandmother was there, in the midst of the group. Read more.

McMillan Publishes Book Chapter

Lauren McMillan

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Lauren McMillan

Lauren McMillan, assistant professor in the Department of Historic Preservation, published a book chapter entitled “Diamonds and Triangles: Two Locally-Made Pipes from the 17th-century Chesapeake” in the book Artifacts that Enlighten: The Ordinary and the Unexpected. The chapter examines the multi-racial and ethnic influences of clay tobacco pipe making in colonial Virginia.

Farnsworth Lectures on Presidential Communication

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently delivered an online lecture, “Presidential Communication and Character,” for the Character Assassination and Reputation Politics Research Lab at George Mason University. The talk focused on Professor Farnsworth’s recent book, “Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management from Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump.”

Information on the book is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Presidential-Communication-Character-Stephen-Farnsworth/dp/1138212237

Farnsworth has also commented on several regional and national news stories:

Trump suggests delaying 2020 elections, claims mail-in voting amid pandemic will be ‘incorrect and fraudulent’ (MEAWW) 

Trump’s COVID-19 Response (CTV News Channel)

U.S. Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Dies (CTV News Channel)

Election Update (cp24.com) 

100 Days Until U.S. Presidential Election (CTV News Channel) 

Pandemic and Polling (cp24.com)

Tell-All Book by Trump’s Niece (CTV News Channel)

U.S. election swing states: Virginia is for… Democrats? (New Statesman)

Cooperman Publishes Article on Republican Women

Associate Professor of Political Science Rosalyn Cooperman

Associate Professor of Political Science Rosalyn Cooperman

Associate Professor of Political Science Rosalyn Cooperman contributed an article to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) Election Watch Project, entitled, “Is 2020 the Year of the Republican Woman? Women’s PAC support for Republican Women Candidates Suggests Otherwise.”

Women’s gains to Congress in the 2018 midterm elections were party specific. That year nearly three dozen new Democratic women, and just one Republican woman, were elected to the U.S. House. As Republican women’s membership in the House shrunk to 13, Representative Elise Stefanik (NY-21) promised to “play in primaries” to increase the number of Republican women running for Congress in 2020. Since then, much has been written about whether 2020 would be the year of the Republican woman as it had been for Democratic women in 2018. To be sure, the increased number of Republican women House candidates on the ballot this cycle bodes well for those within and outside of the party working to recruit and elect more Republican women. After all, women can’t win if they don’t run. Many of these candidates also hold credentials including distinguished military service, community activism, and previous officeholding that enhance their standing. A closer examination of the most competitive House elections along with existing campaign finance networks available to these women, however, reveals a more nuanced evaluation of Republican women running for Congress in 2020. While more Republican women are running for the House this year than in previous cycles, they are hampered by their status as challengers – further complicated for some by a late primary schedule – and the patchy campaign finance network available specifically to them to aid their fundraising efforts. Together, these challenges present significant roadblocks for Republican women candidates and the efforts to grow their ranks. Read more.