September 26, 2023

Jenkins to Facilitate Virginia Talent + Opportunity Workshop

Antoinette Carter Jenkins

The Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce is holding two workshops: Virginia Talent + Opportunity Partnership (V-Top) Workshop: Developing Our Workforce Through Internships. The workshops will be held on Oct. 4, 2023, at Germanna Community College. They will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dr. Antoinette Carter Jenkins, director of UMW’s Center for Career and Professional Development, will be the facilitator. Read more.


Moon Discusses Race-based Discrimination in Alexandria

Professor of History and American Studies Krystyn Moon

 The large lecture hall at the Holiday Inn down the street from Wegman’s in Carlyle began filling up well before the start time Tuesday evening August 29. Hundreds of Alexandria residents on both sides of this heated debate turned out for a three-hour information session, as they heard from housing experts on the plight of housing in the city of Alexandria.

Many more watched the panel session from home. The room was packed with several more people standing in the back. “We are here to educate, inform, and update you on the most recent data, and to hear from you,” began Nancy Wilson, assistant director, City Planning and Zoning.

Krystyn Moon, professor of History and American Studies at University of Mary Washington discussed race-based discrimination and mortgages in Alexandria and the history of redlining in our city. Read more.


Liss Elaborates on Correlation on Location of Residence to Happiness

Professor of Psychological Science and Department Chair Miriam Liss

The state of Indiana falls in the bottom 20th percentile on a new ranking for the happiest states to live in by personal financial website WalletHub.

The results released Tuesday cite that more than 75% of Americans who have experienced price increases where they live report feeling “very” or “moderately” stressed.

In addition, only 50% of Americans feel “very satisfied” with the way their personal life is going.

University of Mary Washington Professor of Psychology Dr. Miriam Liss said she considers one’s autonomy to be the leading indicator in being happy where you live. Liss pointed to affordable housing for what policymakers can do to attact and retain new residents. Read more.

Lewis Receives Third Annual Board of Visitors Faculty Leadership Award

Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences Lynn Lewis

The University of Mary Washington recognized professors in late August at the Fall 2023 Faculty Meeting.

Professors of biology, education, environmental science, math and sociology were praised for their commitment to their fields, support of students and contributions to UMW and the surrounding community.

Professor of Biology Lynn Lewis received the third annual Board of Visitors (BOV) Faculty Leadership Award, which is designated for a faculty member who advances UMW’s mission by spearheading a major institutional initiative or program. Read more.

Rucker is Recruited as Interim Dean of Students at UVA

C. Rucker

Cedric Rucker

In the heat of the Central Virginia summer, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan delivered a proposal. The University’s dean of students and vice president for student affairs had departed and Ryan was considering a pair of candidates to step in temporarily.

The first was Dr. Christopher Holstege, a father of six and longtime medical faculty member who was once a guest on Ryan’s podcast because he holds four job titles at the University. One of them is executive director of Student Health and Wellness, and he is a longtime member of the Student Affairs leadership team.

The second was Cedric Bernard Rucker, who earned an advanced degree from UVA before moving to the University of Mary Washington. He had already delayed retirement – and a deployment with the Peace Corps – to return to Charlottesville to fill a gap in the Office of African-American Affairs. Read more.

Rankings Affirm UMW’s Best Attributes in Affordability, Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement

Once again, UMW
Once again, UMW is getting great recognition in rankings publications.

The University of Mary Washington is once again among the top 100 schools, earning regional accolades, recognition for its liberal arts and sciences mission, and top marks from students via annual surveys.

Washington Monthly, known for guiding students and families toward institutions that contribute to the common good, included Mary Washington in rankings released this month, September 2023. UMW ranks 78th of 199 institutions in the Best Liberal Arts Colleges listing, which rates schools on contributions to social mobility, research and providing opportunities for public service. Read more.

UMW to Host Virginia Senate and House of Delegates Debates

Joshua Cole (D) and Lee Peters III (R) for Virginia’s 65th District House of Delegates. Tara Durant (R), Monica Gary (I), and Joel Griffin (D) for the District 27 Virginia State Senate.

The University of Mary Washington will host two public debates next month between candidates for local elected office.

Tara Durant (R), Monica Gary (I), and Joel Griffin (D) will vie for the District 27 Virginia State Senate seat on Wednesday, Sept. 27. The debate will take place at 7 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. On Wednesday, Sept. 13, in the Weatherly Wing of UMW’s Seacobeck Hall, Joshua Cole (D) faced off against Lee Peters III (R) for Virginia’s 65th District House of Delegates seat.

“I am delighted that the local candidates have agreed to participate in this important community service,” said Professor of Political Science and Center for Leadership and Media Studies Director Stephen Farnsworth, who will moderate the hourlong debates. “Candidates standing side by side to discuss current policy challenges provides vital opportunities for voters to compare the alternatives offered on the ballot.” Read more.

UMW Welcomes New Year, New Students, New Offerings

The fall 2023 semester is underway – in a big way – at the University of Mary Washington, with lots of new students on campus and plenty of fresh opportunities on tap for the 2023-24 academic year.

Of the more than 1,000 new students in the incoming class, 260 transferred to Mary Washington from other schools. New students hail from Virginia and 21 other states like Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas, and from Washington, D.C. They also come from as far away as Austria, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Japan and the UK.

As they settle into classes, they’ll begin to explore Fredericksburg, pursue internships and service projects, study abroad and complete undergraduate research. These types of hands-on experiences are expanding with enhanced funding in the sciences, thanks to a $30 million gift – the largest in University history – from alumna Irene Piscopo Rodgers ’59, and continued contributions to the Beyond the Classroom endowment. Read more.

UMW Employee Awards

The following message is from the Office of Human Resources: 


Each year, through the presentation of three awards, the University of Mary Washington recognizes employees who provide exemplary service to the University. These employees are nominated by other members of the University community. This year’s award winners will be announced at the Fall Luncheon – save the date for Tuesday, Oct. 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Cedric Rucker University Center, Chandler Ballroom. The deadline for submitting nominations is 5 p.m. on Monday, September 25, 2023 with the form linked for each award below.


Richard V. and Rosemary A. Hurley Presidential Commendation: The intent of this award is to honor Mr. and Mrs. Hurley, who consistently demonstrated a desire to recognize and reward outstanding service of University employees, and who had led by example in their work at Mary Washington. The benefactors of the award are Elmer and Marceline Weatherly Morris, Class of 1950. Eligibility for this award is open to UMW employees, with preference for administrative/professional faculty members.


Charles Coleman Memorial Service Award: Charles Coleman was an employee of 29 years who demonstrated pride, dedication and loyalty throughout his many years of service. This award was established in honor of his memory and exemplary service and has been recently endowed by President Paino, Cabinet, and campus leadership. All classified and hourly employees with at least five years of continuous employment are eligible for the award; all employees are invited to nominate any of their colleagues who meet the eligibility requirement.


University Staff Council’s Larry Atkins Staff Awards: The University Staff Council recognizes UMW employees who are the unsung heroes of our offices. Larry Atkins was one of the first employees to receive the U.S.C.  “We Couldn’t Do it Without You Award,” which has since been renamed in his memory. Any administrative faculty, wage and/or classified employee may be nominated. Three UMW employees will be selected (one from each of the above classifications).


See the list of all past award recipients.


For questions on nomination processes, please contact Sarah Appleby about the Atkins award or Pam Lowery regarding the Coleman and Hurley awards.


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UMW President Named to Virginia 500 ‘Power List’

UMW President Troy Paino

Virginia Business magazine has announced the Virginia 500: The 2023-24 Power List, naming University of Mary Washington President Troy Paino among the commonwealth’s most powerful and influential leaders in business, government, politics and education this year.

“When I give my elevator speech about the Virginia 500, it usually starts this way: It’s like the Fortune 500, but instead of companies, it’s about people,” Virginia Business Editor Richard Foster said in his opening letter. “There is an aspirational joy to reading about the career journeys of the leaders in these pages.”

Paino’s career journey has included the presidential role at two of the nation’s top public liberal arts and sciences universities. He joined the University of Mary Washington in 2016 after serving as president of Truman State University in Missouri. This year proved to be a “big year for Paino and the public liberal arts university he oversees,” once again earning recognition by Virginia Business. Read more.