May 24, 2022

Rycroft and Kinsley Bring Home Book Awards

Inequality in America: Causes and Consequences, edited by Professor of Economics Robert S. Rycroft and College of Business Senior Lecturer Kimberley Kinsley, received both the 2022 IPPY Award Bronze in the Current Events II (Social Issues/Humanitarian) category and the Library Journal Best Reference of 2021 Award.

In addition, a paper they edited won the 2022 Albers Faculty Student Research Collaboration Award from Seattle University.

Inequality in America: Causes and Consequences consists of 35 essays written by 50 authors. Three essays were written by Rycroft, Kinsley and College of Education Assistant Professor Christy Irish. One was written by UMW alum Lauren DiRago-Duncan. The book’s introduction was written by UMW President Troy Paino.

Commencement is Right Around the Corner

With final exams wrapping up tomorrow and the academic year winding down, we’re counting the hours to the big day.

On Saturday, May 7 – after postponed dates, changing locations, social distancing and other turmoil caused by COVID for the past couple years – Commencement is back on Ball Circle!

More than 5,000 folding chairs will be set up on the site, the center of campus life, for UMW’s 111th Commencement, which celebrates finishing students from both undergraduate and graduate programs in a single ceremony.

Sheila Shadmand ’95, a partner at Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, and a trailblazer for women in the Middle East, will be the speaker. Among her achievements, Shadmand received a juris doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1998, UMW’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2010, and a spot in Global Investigations Review’s top 100 “Women in Investigations” last year.

The Commencement field opens Saturday morning at 7. Graduates begin arriving at 8. And at 9, it’s showtime! The moment the entire UMW community works and waits for all year. Time to celebrate the Class of 2022! Time for our Eagles to fly!

Learn more about the May 7 festivities by visiting the Commencement website.

At this time, masks are optional in all outdoor spaces on UMW’s campuses. During Commencement exercises, the choice to wear a mask is up to each individual based on their own assessment of the environment and comfort.

Anna Billingsley: Just Write

Anna Billingsley was fresh out of graduate school when she got the call that would shape her career. The reporter who phoned from the Evening Herald was writing a story on her mother, a longtime educator who had just passed away.

Associate Vice President for University Relations Anna Billingsley

Associate Vice President for University Relations Anna Billingsley

“It was a strange sensation, the whole process of being interviewed,” Billingsley said. “I just remember thinking, ‘they are not asking the right questions.’ ”

After that, the writing was on the wall.

She’d spend the next several years working at newspapers in South Carolina, Norfolk, Richmond and Fredericksburg, finding the words to tell others’ stories the way she thought they ought to be told. But, sensing the future of daily print, she turned to the classroom, teaching journalism at the University of Richmond and Mary Washington.

A full-time administrator at UMW since 2004, Billingsley – who holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of William & Mary and a master’s in journalism from American University – now serves as associate vice president for University Relations. As head of marketing, publications, media and public relations, design services and web, her duties are dizzying. But one in particular – sending campus reminders and updates – has made her a star in the eyes of the students.

“You are more than your emails; you are an icon!” one student wrote on a banner for Billingsley, who will retire next week.

Said another: “My inbox won’t be the same without you.”

And another: “Thanks, Queen!”

Q: What do you love about working at UMW?
A: I tell people that I’m in the ideal location. There’s a post office, library, cafeteria and exercise facility all within walking distance That could be on any college campus, but there’s something special about UMW that I can’t really pinpoint.

Q: What’s a typical day like on the job?
A: What a crazy question! I might communicate with administration about messages that need to go out, talk to Chief Hall about potential controversies on campus, handle Freedom of Information Act requests. I never know what to expect. That’s why I love my job. It’s just always, always, always moving.

Q: What’s it like to be the main messenger for thousands of people across campus?
A: At first it was daunting, and I would really hesitate before I hit SEND. Now it’s just part of my routine. Of course, I’ve made mistakes, and that can be humiliating. I just take the good with the bad.

Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker, who will retire in June, stands with Associate Vice President for University Relations Anna Billingsley, who will retire next week. Faculty and staff celebrated Billingsley's retirement this week.

Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker, who will retire in June, stands with Associate Vice President for University Relations Anna Billingsley, who will retire next week. Faculty and staff celebrated Billingsley’s retirement this week.

Q: What do you make of students’ infatuation with you?
A: I don’t really know why that’s happened. It mystifies me. I’m just the messenger, but sometimes I try to interject personality into the text. I think the students think, ‘Gosh, there’s an administrator who has a sense of humor.’

Q: What’s most fulfilling about your job?
A: When I hear from parents or students, or faculty or staff members, who say ‘thank you.’ Realizing I’m in a position to help people.

Q: What’s most challenging?
A: Trying to craft messages that express or convey sensitive issues.

Q: What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
A: I have a passion for writing obituaries. I have a side business called The Last Word. I even have business cards.

Q: Any mottos you live by?
A: Just write!

Computer Science Pathway Program Celebrated

From left to right, UMW students Steven Deverteuil, Arsalan Ahmad, Meghan Cooke, Dylan Meyers and Suad Parvez gathered in Farmer Hall Tuesday for an event recognizing students either accepted to or interested in a master of engineering in computer science pathway agreement between UMW and Virginia Tech.

From left to right, UMW students Steven Deverteuil, Arsalan Ahmad, Meghan Cooke,
Dylan Meyers and Suad Parvez gathered in Farmer Hall Tuesday for an event recognizing students either accepted to or interested in a master of engineering in computer science pathway agreement between UMW and Virginia Tech.

Dannette Beane, assistant vice provost of enrollment management for strategic initiatives at Virginia Tech, visited UMW’s Computer Science department on Tuesday, March 29, to recognize students accepted to or interested in a partnership program in computer science and applications.

Part of Virginia’s Tech Talent Pipeline, the “4+1 pathway” pairs foundational and dual-credit coursework, preparing UMW students for early admission to grad school and the possibility of earning a master’s degree from Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering in less than two years. As many as six Mary Washington credits count also toward the master’s degree.

Senior Stephen Deverteuil, the first UMW student admitted to the computer science pathway program, joined fellow students Arsalan Ahmad, Meghan Cooke, Dylan Meyer and Suad Parvez for the event. UMW College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger and Assistant Dean Betsy Lewis, as well as Computer Science Chair Karen Anewalt, also attended.

From left to right, Virginia Tech's Dannette Beane, UMW senior Steven DeVerteuil, UMW College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger, UMW senior Meghan Cooke and UMW Department of Computer Science Chair Karen Anewalt.

From left to right, Virginia Tech’s Dannette Beane, UMW senior Steven DeVerteuil, UMW College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger, UMW senior Meghan Cooke and UMW Department of Computer Science Chair Karen Anewalt.

The group gathered in Farmer Hall to pose for photos wearing Virginia Tech T-shirts!

Shavonne Shorter: Representation Matters

Shavonne Shorter had big plans for her career.

“Originally I wanted to be Oprah,” said Shorter, whose college advisor suggested she have a Plan B, just in case.

In her new position at UMW, Shavonne Shorter is working to build the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The essence of her job, she said, "just feels like the right thing to do."

In her new position at UMW, Shavonne Shorter is working to build the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The essence of her job, she said, “is just about doing the right thing.”

That alternate route – maybe a little less glitzy but still just as lofty – began to shore up at Frostburg State University, where a fellow Black student delivered an orientation address with such verve, Shorter needed to know what courses she was taking. The answer – communication studies – was like looking into a mirror.

“I saw myself in her,” Shorter said. “That day I found my major.”

She went at it full tilt, earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in the area of communication, all of which she brought to her George Washington Hall office early this year. As UMW’s new associate provost for equity and inclusion, and chief diversity officer, she hit the ground running, immersing herself in campus culture, drilling down on strategic goals, and meeting with students, faculty and staff.

“My job is to work with everyone,” said Shorter, who’s committed to strengthening Mary Washington’s ASPIRE values and forming affinity groups. “It’s an all-encompassing role.”

So was the role she played throughout her own education, earning a spot at Frostburg in the McNair Scholars Program, preparing underrepresented students for doctoral studies. “If being a communication major changed my life,” Shorter said, “McNair changed my world.”

The wealth of experience she gained led to a Ph.D. from Purdue University and an associate professorship at Bloomsburg University, where she taught communication and landed the title of special assistant to the president for diversity, equity and inclusion.

“This work,” she said of her career path, “is just about doing the right thing, working toward equity for everyone.”

Q: How does your communication background complement diversity, equity and inclusion?
A: Communication is the building block of life. If you hone it early, you can develop your voice so that nobody else has to speak for you. It allows you to be your authentic self.

Q: What have you learned about UMW students?
A: They’re phenomenal. Their passion for social justice is amazing; it’s on a whole new level. I love working with them.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Seeing people accomplish their dreams, whatever that looks like to them. When a student gets an A on an assignment that we worked on that was hard for them. Supporting a professional who gets a promotion. Seeing people happy and fulfilled.

Q: What’s most challenging?
A: Finding the hours you need in a day. There’s so much opportunity and finite time. True change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and a collective effort. 

Q: What’s meaningful in your office?
A: My communication books from when I taught at Bloomsburg, my Black Graduate Student Association award from Purdue, my debate timers from my days as coach. It’s important to me to have reminders of where I’ve been, to reflect on the path I’ve taken.

Q: What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
A: I’m a diehard Baltimore Ravens fan. It’s a family tradition. 

Q: Mottos you live by?
A: My great-grandmother said that when you treat people well, it comes back to you. That’s how I want to live my life, helping folks in whatever they’re going through – personally, professionally, spiritually and more.

Learn about ways you can add your voice to the conversation by visiting Greetings from your Chief Diversity Officer in today’s EagleEye.

Conversations With President Paino

Dear UMW Faculty and Staff,

President Paino invites you to join him for Conversations with President Paino, formerly known as Coffee with the President.  These sessions will offer informal opportunities to share insights and engage in candid discussions that are aligned with our community values and in support of making University of Mary Washington the best it can be.  Occasionally, the sessions may focus on a particular issue facing us or may include other leaders who represent areas critical to institutional progress.

Sessions will be offered at the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday, February 23              10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Monday, March 21                         1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Monday, April 11                            3-4 p.m.

Thank you.

Office of the President

Rose Benedict: Full Course Load

Dreams of lighting up Broadway on hold, Rose Benedict dabbled in TV production and the congressional legislature before settling in as a stay-at-home mom. It was her faith, she said, that steered her career path and led her – after the girls were grown – to Mary Washington and the business of marketing meals. But not immediately.

“Interestingly, they didn’t pick me,” Benedict said of her first vie for a job with UMW Catering. Her phone did finally ring … when the new hire didn’t show up.

One of UMW Dining Market Manager Rose Benedict’s main goals is to make sure students know the full spectrum of culinary options available to them. Photo by Lauryn Taylor.

Just desserts.

With UMW food management provider Sodexo for nearly two decades – in Seacobeck’s faculty/staff dining and the Underground’s Naturally Woodstock – she kept coming back to planning promotions. “I realized it was kind of my baby,” said Benedict, now marketing manager for all of University Dining.

That means grabbing students’ attention – whiteboards, QR codes, whatever it takes – and teaming with campus constituents to tie special events together with tastebuds. February means African, Caribbean, Southern soul food and Mardi Gras meals for Black History Month, and a surf-and-turf Valentine’s Day dinner that sold out in a hurry.

Benedict doles out the delicious details, herself, at the Dining Concierge Desk in the UC. And why not? She has an answer – or flyer – for everything. What is UMW’s Hen House? The area’s first “ghost kitchen,” operating completely online. Swipe Out Hunger? A campaign targeting food insecurity by serving thousands of meals to Mary Washington students. Choose to Re-use? A sustainability plan offering reusable food-storage boxes and totes.

Ah, but what about ambiance?

“The biggest thing I want students to know is that our team is absolutely dedicated to bringing the best food and customer experience to everyone here,” Benedict said.

Try doing that amid a global pandemic.

Sodexo didn’t skip a beat, she said, transforming the Top of the UC into a socially distanced Yellow Brick Road, with strategically placed arrows mapping a route from the salad bar to Simple Servings to Campus Grill, and so on.

Now, with the arrows removed, UMW Dining is back in almost full swing, Benedict said: “I’m so excited for the things we’re doing.”

Q: What’s most rewarding about your job?
A: Absolutely when I can help a student.

Q: Most challenging?
A: Making sure students understand what’s available to them – when we have to close, when the water’s shut off, when we have a free food sampling. And hiring – across the food service industry, the pandemic has been devastating.

Q: What’s your fave UMW Dining food station?
A: Chef’s Fair. I’m a sucker for the mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, meat loaf and candied carrots.

Q: With your work centered on food, what do you do for dinner at home?
A: I really don’t cook. I keep the microwave business alive.

Q: What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
A: I sang a solo at the First Lady’s Luncheon for Rosalyn Carter.

Q: Any mottos you live by?
A: “Before you speak, ask yourself three questions. Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” I don’t always live up to it, but it’s a standard I aspire to.

Cedric Rucker: His Majesty the Dean

A groggy haze hung over Marye’s Heights when Dorm Mother Mrs. Fee, still in her bathrobe, opened the door to Madison Hall. She slid on her glasses to sum up the freshman who stood on the porch, the first in his class to arrive, well before Move-In began: “Eager.”

Beloved longtime UMW Dean of Students Cedric Rucker, known for fastidiously helping soon-to-be grads with their regular year after year at Commencement, will retire in June.

Beloved longtime UMW Dean of Students Cedric Rucker, known for fastidiously helping soon-to-be grads with their regalia year after year at Commencement, will retire in June.

More than four decades later, Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker is still proving her right. As a student, he wove himself into Mary Washington’s fabric as its first residential African-American male. As a faculty member since the late 1980s, he’s brought direction to students, inclusiveness to the classroom and energy to campus.

“Mary Washington is a part of me,” said Rucker, who’s known for handing out Halloween candy as Winnie the Pooh and lovingly aligning Commencement regalia for soon-to-be grads. “Relationships have been integral to my ability to not only be successful but to enjoy the journey.”

And what a journey it’s been.

Arriving from his hometown of Richmond just as higher education began admitting more students of color, Rucker found few faces like his on campus. Rather than throw in the towel, he threw himself into college life, campaigning his heart out for class council publicity chair.

“I lost the race, but I met the entire first-year class,” said Rucker, who joined the anthropology club, worked in the library, deejayed at WWMC radio station, and joined water balloon fights, toga parties … and panty raids. “All these doors opened, and Mary Washington just felt like mine.”

He majored in sociology – a subject he’d go on to teach – and, as a junior, enrolled in a graduate program promoting diversity at the University of Virginia, where he later earned a master’s degree, started work on a Ph.D. and took a job in Admissions.

Rucker arrived as a student at Mary Washington in 1977. After a stint working in Admissions for UVA, where he received a master's degree, he returned to his first alma mater.

Rucker arrived as a student at Mary Washington in 1977. After a stint working in Admissions for UVA, where he received a master’s degree, he returned to his first alma mater.

Then, a life-changing event – the murder of his partner – shattered his world, shuffled his priorities, and led him to travel, volunteerism … and, in a way, back to Double Drive. “Life is too short,” he said. “You can think about accomplishments, but you also have to think about happiness.”

Through 33 years as Mary Washington’s dean of student activities and student life, he’s organized Orientation, ruled over Residence Life, kick-started the curriculum and collected a bevy of community honors – all in his signature bowties and over-the-shoulder sweaters. All while putting students first.

“I never wanted to be the dean that sat behind a desk and pushed out edicts,” said Rucker, who plans to retire in June and join the Peace Corps. “I always wanted to be immersed in the student experience.”

Q: What’s a typical day on the job?
A: There is no typical day. It’s the rhythm of a university campus. Most important is being flexible and agile enough to address university issues as they come forward. Students in crisis take precedence.

Q: What’s most rewarding about your work?
A: The people of this community. Our faculty and staff are committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for those who call this campus their home. Our students are amazing, creative, innovative. They push back. They’re committed to making sure this institution represents them.

Q: Most challenging?
A: Time. There are so many things I’d like to do, programs I’d like to attend, sporting events, lectures, exhibitions. Students like it when you show up for them, when you’re there to celebrate them. But you can’t do it all. I invest whatever time I can and try to be present.

Known for his astute attention to every facet of student life, Rucker has traveled the world and amassed an extensive array of Mary Washington memorabilia. Upon retirement, he plans a stint in the Peace Corps.

Known for his astute attention to every facet of student life, Rucker has traveled the world and amassed an extensive array of Mary Washington memorabilia. Upon retirement, he plans a stint in the Peace Corps.

Q: How has your job changed through the decades?
A: The complexities of the institution have changed. Mental health issues have significantly impacted what we do. There are homeless students, students struggling to cover the cost of their education, students needing community resources. I spend a lot of time helping students begin conversations with faculty, navigate the institution, and finding those things that will allow them to actualize their dreams, desires and aspirations.

Q: What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
A: I’m an introvert who knows how to behave as an extrovert.

Q: Any mottos you live by?
A: For me, it’s always been the golden rule. I learned that as a kid.

Q: After so long at UMW, how do you want to be remembered?
A: People will have different things they remember. I hope any reflection is an honest one, and I hope it’s something that for that person is positive.

In honor of Dean Rucker’s upcoming retirement, the UMW Alumni Association will offer a dollar-for-dollar match – up to $5,000 – for gifts made April 5 during Giving Day to the newly formed Cedric B. Rucker ’81 S.O.S. (support our students) Fund. The endowment will be used to support students with unexpected and life-altering emergencies.

Paino Calls for Commitment at ‘Critical Juncture’

UMW President Troy Paino welcomed faculty and staff to Spring 2022 – a fifth semester of teaching and learning amid a global pandemic – yesterday in a livestreamed all-University address.

“In light of what we’ve gone through over the past two years, we’re at a critical juncture,” he said. “I’m calling for the University community to come together.”

UMW President Troy D. Paino

UMW President Troy D. Paino

Paino asked all employees – even outside of Admissions – to consider student recruitment and retention an essential part of their job, as colleges across the country struggle to yield incoming classes. Part news bulletin, part pep talk, the presentation praised resilience across campus in the face of an incorrigible COVID-19 and a damaging winter storm that pounded the area last week. The 35-minute address also looked toward the future, touching on planned capital projects, new leadership and ambitious initiatives.

But the present – today’s return to in-person classes – was key. The ability to stick with that plan was made possible, Paino said, thanks to a vaccination rate of more than 95 percent among the UMW community, and just six percent positivity among students, compared with more than 40 percent in the region, as the Omicron variant surges.

“The bottom line is that working and living in this community, which is almost totally vaccinated, makes this campus one of the safest places to be here in the Fredericksburg area,” he said.

Paino encouraged University personnel to stay strong and aware, to practice self-care and to consider at-risk individuals. He also urged the campus community to be cognizant of the contributions of healthcare partners, including the CDC, Virginia Department of Health, Rappahannock Area Health District and colleagues throughout the commonwealth.

Much of the talk focused on the University-wide need to connect with prospective students. “It’s the small things,” Paino said. “It’s the way we answer the phone, the way we interact with people on campus.” Related initiatives, he said, include the newly created Recruitment and Retention Council, the launch of a new brand and a push to engage students earlier in their high school careers.

Turning to the topic of construction, Paino said, activity continues on campus despite supply chain and inflation issues. He cited the recent demolition of Alvey; renovation of Seacobeck, which re-opened today; and the ongoing underground utilities project on Ball Circle.

After an extensive renovation, longtime dining area Seacobeck Hall has officially taken on its new role as home to the College of Education. More capital projects are in the works, President Paino announced during the Spring 2022 All-University Address.

After an extensive renovation, longtime dining area Seacobeck Hall has officially taken on its new role as home to the College of Education. More capital projects are in the works, President Paino announced during the Spring 2022 All-University Address.

More such work is on the way, he said, with a new legislative session and state administration. Preliminary funding will support the museums operated by UMW, the Office of Disability Resources and a proposed salary increase. In addition, funding will be available to plan for the construction of a new theatre and the renovation of duPont, Melchers and Pollard halls, along with Simpson Library.

Paino welcomed Chief Diversity Officer Shavonne Shorter and Director of Emergency Management and Safety Brandy Ellard, and announced the launch of a national search for a vice president for advancement.

Leadership will guide the need to reassess Mary Washington’s strategic vision, Paino said. He asked the entire University community to join in the effort of examining the four current pillars – civic engagement, immersive learning, creation of a diverse and inclusive community, and adaptation of the liberal arts to a digital world – in light of lessons learned over the past two years.

“How do we respond to this moment?” he said. “And this is a moment, let’s make no mistake about it, that we have to respond to.”

On what would have been the 102nd birthday of former Mary Washington faculty member and civil rights icon James L. Farmer Jr., Paino stressed the need to work together to help shape the next generation of engaged citizens, inspire social mobility and demonstrate a commitment to truth.

“Is it challenging work? Is it huge work? Is it hard work? No doubt,” he said. “But I feel grateful that we have a sense of purpose here at this critically important time for our democracy. Thank you for all the work you do.”

Rosemary Arneson: Natural Resource

When UMW Librarian Rosemary Arneson tapped into her field, it was a study of card catalogs, microfiche and encyclopedias. The library at Emory University, where she earned a master’s degree in librarianship, did house a pair of clunky computers but special permission was needed to use them.

Arneson is proud to keep the original Mary Washington College spinning wheel in her office in Simpson Library. “It’s a beautiful great wheel,” she said, “and to me, it’s a reminder of where we came from as an institution.”

Arneson is proud to keep the original Mary Washington College spinning wheel in her office in Simpson Library. “It’s a beautiful great wheel,” she said, “and to me, it’s a reminder of where we came from as an institution.”

Now, wi-fi transports a dizzying array of data to screens on our desktops and laptops, tablets and iPads, Smartphones and iPhones, Androids and more.

“I have never been bored,” said Arneson, who insists the core of her calling remains. “Library work is, and always has been, about connecting our users with content. We’re still here helping people find the information they need.”

At least for a couple more weeks. She’s retiring this month.

Her last day’s a Thursday, which could prove routine – catching up with library staff, a meeting or two, and maybe, just maybe, her favorite, working the Reference Desk and connecting with students.

Friday, all bets are off. After 10 years at the helm of UMW’s Simpson Library, Arneson will fly off to Paris! Bon voyage!

Q: What brought you to Mary Washington?
A: I knew UMW from working at James Madison University in the early ’80s, and I’d met [University Librarian Emeritus] Roy Strohl at meetings over the years. I was ready to move on from my last job at the University of Montevallo in Alabama when I saw the UMW post.

Q: How do you feel about the changing library landscape?
A: Moving from card catalogs to online systems, paper indexes to full text databases, and collections that are more electronic than physical kept me learning new things all the time.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: The staff and students I get to work with – a wonderful, dedicated group of folks. I know they’ll keep working to improve the library and its services. Over the years, I’ve hired several librarians fresh out of school and worked with students who went on to careers in libraries and archives. They all make me proud.

A stint at the Talking Book Center – part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled – in a regional public library in Georgia got Arneson hooked on the field. A member of the American Library Association, she also has held positions at Virginia State University, Fairfield University in Connecticut and Queens College in North Carolina.

A stint at the Talking Book Center – part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled – in a regional public library in Georgia got Arneson hooked on the field. A member of the American Library Association, she also has held positions at Virginia State University, Fairfield University in Connecticut and Queens College in North Carolina.

Q: Most challenging?
A: Part of being the university librarian is that I manage the budget; there’s never enough money to do all the things we want to do.

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I didn’t set out to become a librarian. I had a brief career in commercial television as the first female camera operator in Columbus, Georgia. I’m the reason camera people no longer have to wear ties. 

Q: What’s your motto?
A: I can’t do everything, but I can do something, so what can I do to make things better?

Q: What are you reading?
A: The Rusalka Wheel in Brooks Mencher’s Yarn Woman series, centered on a textile forensic analyst. This book involves a spinning wheel from Eastern Europe that turns up in an antiques shop in San Francisco’s Chinatown. 

Q: What else do you do in your free time?
A: Anything with yarn. Mostly, I knit. I usually have two or three projects on the needles at a time. (Right now, the second of a pair of socks, the first of a pair of mittens, and a baby dress.)  I also love to travel. 

Celebrate Rosemary Arneson’s UMW career and say “au revoir” at a retirement gathering this afternoon at 4 in the HCC Convergence Gallery.