February 26, 2024

Srivastava Recalls Fulbright Specialist Assignment

Mukesh Srivastava, professor of management information systems and director of the Center for Business Research, writes about his experience as a Fulbright Specialist in Mauritius.

My mission in undertaking the Fulbright Specialist assignment in Mauritius as an expert attached to the University of Mauritius was to establish Intellectual Property Rights Policy framework at the University. I also strategically developed functions, processes and organizational structure in collaboration with six Colleges (called Faculties at UoM), Deans and Academic Staff, Director of Legal Affairs, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academia), Pro-Vice Chancellor (Planning and Resources), Vice-Chancellor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (International Trade Division), Tertiary Education Commission (Equivalent of SCHEV) and Mauritius Research Council (Research Funding Body). At the Onset, it appeared to be a challenging task, in the sense that I had not experienced  an opportunity like this before at any university or in my two prior Fulbright Specialist assignments in Tunis, Tunisia and Hanoi, Vietnam, where I developed curricula, delivered seminars and taught MBA level courses in information systems strategy.  The experience of having a critical organizational development process at the University of Mary Washington from 2009 to 2012 while the College of Business as an entity was being formed, was very useful to resolve competing interests and conflicts.

I met with a number of academic and clinical faculty/staff from various colleges, research centers, and reviewed Intellectual Property issues arising out of lopsided ownership of research, in general.  A very high quality of research is being produced in the innovation domain in various Colleges (Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Bioscience, Faculty of Communication, Information and Digital Technologies, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Law and Management) of the University of Mauritius.  In many instances, those innovative research and scholarship products could be meaningfully converted into Intellectual Property in the form of Patents, Design Rights, Trade-secrets and IP Assets. Of particular interest was learning about the absence of functions, processes and organizational structure for Management of Intellectual Property and Commercialization of Innovation.  Although, an Incubator had been established recently, and corporate commercialization center was in existence.

This scenario presented opportunities to formulate Intellectual Property Policy in consultation with the Legal Affairs regarding equitable ownership of IP Rights between the inventor(s) and the university based on inputs from various stakeholders of the university to strategically align the IP Management Policies with the national priorities for an innovation-driven future and knowledge economy.

During this assignment, I had the pleasure of discussing scope of IPR policy awareness in Africa and enforcement issues with Ambassador David Reimer at the US Embassy in Port Louis.  Indeed, it was a pleasant and stimulating discussion regarding the need for American innovation and intellectual property footprint in Africa.

One day, I found myself talking with a journalist from ‘Le Défi Quotidien’, who had gotten a wind of my work on IP and Technology Transfer at University of Mauritius through the US Embassy.  I presented my work at a great forum on Innovation-Driven Future: Intellectual Property Management in Knowledge Economy organized by the University of Mauritius.  Approximately 100 plus persons were attendance from ministries (trade, foreign affairs, technology and industry) US Embassy, Foreign Universities based in Mauritius, and of course Senior Administrators (Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academia), Deans, Faculty and other invitees from Tertiary Education Commission and Mauritius Research Council.  My talk was received greatly, and very positive comments were made.  A few days later, I was on Mauritius Board Casting Channel and Clips of my interview were broadcast.

Ongoing ties

Working as Fulbright Specialist has allowed me to interact with colleagues and students abroad.  Also, working in the US as an US academician has provided me opportunities to leverage my expertise and skills for engagement at a Global level and to create a high value impact.  As a result of my Fulbright Specialist engagement in the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer field, I intend to conduct workshops on IP Management and Commercialization in Mauritius during December 2018, and the African Region in 2019.


Pop-Up Startup: Classics Major Opens LGBTQ+ Bookstore

Andy Unger would use his college years to lay the groundwork for the LGBTQ+ bookstore he longed to open. But buying inventory and finding a space in which to sell it – the classics major figured all that would have to wait until after he graduated. Except it didn’t. Unger is spending his senior year […]

Open Enrollment for Tuiton Reimbursement Oct. 1-22

Open Enrollment period for Tuition Reimbursement for courses starting January through June 2019 is begins Oct. 1 and ends Oct. 22. The policy applies to classified, wage, administrative professional faculty, and other non-faculty part time employees enrolled in a degree-seeking program at other accredited institutions of higher education.

Those eligible will be provided with tuition reimbursement up to a specified amount after completing the course and submitting of proof of grade. (Eligible employees must be continuously employed by the University for a minimum of one year prior to their application and job performance must be satisfactory.)

Participants must submit a Tuition Reimbursement Request form to Office of Human Resources during the open enrollment period of Oct. 1 to Oct. 22, 2018 for courses starting January through June 2019.

The complete policy and procedures are posted at https://adminfinance.umw.edu/hr/benefits/benefits-forms/tuition-assistance/.  You may also contact Denise Frye (dfrye2@umw.edu) with any questions.

Academic and Administrative Fire Drills Begin Monday

The Fire Safety office plans to conduct fire drills in administrative and academic buildings beginning the week of October 5th.

The schedule is listed below, showing buildings, and which week they are tentatively scheduled. The exact date and time will not be posted.

Please review the UMW Administrative and Academic Building Fire Drill Guidelines so everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities.

The drills are in accordance with fire safety guidelines.

For questions, please contact Campus Fire Safety Officer Mike Muckinhaupt at mmuckinh@umw.edu or 654-2108.

Week of Oct 1 – Oct 5: Brent, Fairfax, Tyler, Hamlet, Alumni Center, Tennis Center, and Ridderhoff/Martin

Week of Oct 8 – Oct 12: Stafford N/S, Belmont, Jepson Science, Anderson/Goolrick/Fitness Center, HCC/Simpson

Week of Oct 15 – Oct 19: Pollard/Melchers/Dupont, Woodard, Lee, Trinkle, JMLO

Please note that not all buildings are scheduled during the Fall Semester. Buildings not listed will have their fire drills conducted during the Spring Semester.

ORPHE Open Enrollment begins October 1

October 1 begins Open Enrollment for employees who participate in the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE).  During this period, which ends on October 31, ORPHE participants have an opportunity to change providers (DCP, Fidelity Investments and TIAA) and it will be effective on your January 16, 2019 pay.

You may refer to the ORPHE website at www.orphe.varetire.org for additional information or to register for a webinar.   You  may also contact Denise Frye at dfrye2@umw.edu with questions.


UMW ‘Read Out’ Event Shines Light on Banned Books

Kit Lewers ’19 was in third grade when her Georgia school district banned Harry Potter. Just like that, a series of blockbuster children’s books disappeared from the library shelves, leaving Lewers to wonder why something so beloved was off-limits. But it didn’t stop her from devouring stories. Or from growing up to become an English […]

Facilitators Needed for Bystander Intervention

Our next Step Up! Bystander Intervention Facilitator Training will be Tuesday, Oct. 16 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in UC 315.

Step Up! Bystander Intervention teaches students and community members to participate in creating a safer community for us all by taking responsibility for their actions and the actions of their fellow Eagles. The Office of Title IX and Center for Prevention and Education is pleased to be able to offer Step Up! Bystander Intervention training to the student body this year – but we need your help to grow!

Do you need to be an expert in this field? No – you simply need to have enthusiasm and a commitment to community. After completing an hour and a half-long facilitator training session, you will be a certified facilitator and will be able to host your own Step Up! workshops throughout the year. Learn more at: https://diversity.umw.edu/itsonus/

Please RSVP to DeAnna Absher at dabsher@umw.edu at your earliest convenience and include your t-shirt size!


Jennifer Barry Quoted in Daily Beast Article

Assistant Professor of Religion Jennifer Barry was recently interviewed and quoted in the online news and opinion site the Daily Beast. The article is titled, “Egeria, One of Christianity’s First Female Pilgrims, Was a Badass” and written by Candida Moss (the Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology at the University of Birmingham, UK).

The article, written for a public audience, draws attention to a famous early Christian pilgrim whose work is one of the rare occasions of a woman writing and reflecting on her travels in the ancient world (4th c. CE).

Barry frequently teaches on Egeria and other notable early Christian women in her courses and was sought out by Dr. Moss for her expertise and interest in the study of gender and religion.

Safe Zone Book Club: Call for Participation

Safe Zone, UMW’s LGBTQ+ education and advocacy program, is excited to announce that we will be offering a book club in early November! We will be reading Audre Lorde’s “Sister Outsider” and meeting two separate times to discuss the book. This program is open to all faculty and staff. Registration is required and space is limited. To register, please email Laura Wilson, lwilson5@umw.edu. The books will be provided for free to all participants who register. The sessions will be on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 8 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Last year’s book club was a lot of fun and led to some very interesting conversations about inclusion in our campus community. It’s also a great opportunity to meet and interact with people from across campus. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Laura Wilson, lwilson5@umw.edu.

October Blood Drive Announced

The UMW Red Cross Student Organization welcomes faculty and staff donors at our monthly blood drives on the Fredericksburg campus, co-sponsored by Mother’s Rugby. Here are the details of our October drive:

Location: Fredericksburg Campus Hurley Convergence Center, Digital Auditorium

Date: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018

Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To donate, sign up online at redcrossblood.org/give, search zip code 22401, and select the UMW drive. Please email umw.redcrossclub@gmail.com with any questions or comments.