July 20, 2024

Student Affairs ‘Rising Star’ Award Goes to Recent UMW Grad

Recent UMW graduate Jaylyn Long ’24 poses in Orlando after accepting the Undergraduate Rising Star Award she received from NASPA last month. The award recognizes Long’s contributions during her time at Mary Washington to the field of student engagement in higher education.

Recent UMW graduate Jaylyn Long ’24 poses in Orlando after accepting the Undergraduate Rising Star Award she received from NASPA last month. The award recognizes Long’s contributions during her time at Mary Washington to the field of student engagement in higher education.

Jaylyn Long ’24 thought she’d made it to her most magical Mary Washington moment this past May – graduation! But Dean of Students Melissa Jones had a secret to share. As she straightened the soon-to-be grad’s regalia on that sunny Saturday morning, she asked a question: “Have you checked your email?”

“I was thinking, ‘no, of course not, I’m graduating,’ ” said Long, last year’s SGA president and Class of 2024 vice president, who spent her college career digging deeper and deeper into student affairs. Now, as she peered at her phone, just before crossing the stage at Commencement, she saw a message that brought her to tears. She’d won the Undergraduate Rising Star Award from NASPA, the national organization for the field of student affairs in higher education. Better yet, the people behind it were the Mary Washington administrators she most admired.

“This award is a reflection of the mentorship that these three phenomenal women have poured into me as a student leader,” Long said of Jones, Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair and Associate Provost for Equity and Inclusion Shavonne Shorter, who each penned a nomination letter to NASPA on Long’s behalf. “I felt like all the work I had done over my four years at Mary Wash was truly complete.”

She picked up the prize in person last month at the NASPA Region III Summer Symposium in Orlando. It gave her, she said, access to pros in the field, networking opportunities and inspiration. She’ll head to Boston College this fall to pursue a master’s degree in higher education administration. Read more.

Governor Appoints Three New Members to UMW Board of Visitors

The Virginia Governor’s Office announced Friday the appointment of three new members of the University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors.

Each board member will serve a four-year term. They succeed Charles Reed ’11, Robert Strassheim ’96, and Princess Moss ’83 on the UMW Board of Visitors. Read more.

Orientation Reminders and Parking Info, Through June 26

The following message is from Student Affairs and Administration and Finance:

UMW Faculty and Staff,

During the month of June, UMW will welcome incoming students and their families to campus for Orientation. For more information and schedules, visit the New Student Programs website.

Orientation is a vital experience designed to help students and their families feel welcomed, involved and connected to the University. Your support in this mission is greatly appreciated, and you are invited to volunteer to welcome our newest students to campus. Volunteer sign-up is still open online. Please wear your UMW clothing and nametag, and we’ll provide an “ask me anything” button.

Parking lots will be reserved for Orientation as follows:

  • June 13, 17, 20 & 24: George Washington, Marshall, Double Drive and Jefferson Square lots
  • June 14, 18, 21 & 25: George Washington, Marshall, Double Drive, Jefferson Square, Thornton and Pizza Hut lots. While guest vehicles will remain in George Washington until the conclusion of Orientation, spaces that remain open on these dates may be used by UMW faculty and staff.
  • June 26: George Washington lot. While guest vehicles will remain in George Washington until the conclusion of Orientation, spaces that remain open after 10 a.m. may be used by UMW faculty and staff.

Parking for faculty and staff will remain available in all other designated and unreserved faculty and staff lots.

As a reminder:

  • Accessible parking spaces are available in all open lots to any vehicles with DMV-issued accessible placards or license plates.
  • The UMW Police Department provides escorts when needed and may be reached at ext. 1025. Please visit the Safety Escort webpage for more information.

For a calendar view of lot reservations visit the Parking Lot Reservations Calendar webpage.

Reunion Invite and Parking Info for May 30-June 2

Staff and faculty,

You’re invited to join in the Reunion celebration May 30 – June 2, with class sessions, area tours and exhibits, and a Saturday picnic. The activities start on Thursday, May 30, as we welcome alumni returning for their 50th reunion (or more!). Friday includes several Alumni College classes followed by class gatherings, and Saturday is a family-friendly, food-filled day. Be our guest for the Reunion Picnic on Saturday, June 1, with free tickets (up to four) available for faculty/staff. Pick up your tickets with your OneCard ID at the registration area just inside the entrance of the Cedric Rucker University Center beginning Thursday, May 30.

View the full schedule of events online, and note that some of the events, such as the Alumni College, are also free, but some may require a small fee.

Please note the following parking changes during Reunion weekend from May 30, 2024 through June 2, 2024:

  • The Fairfax lot will be reserved on Thursday, May 30, 2024 from 8:00 a.m. through June 2 at 2:00 p.m. for Reunion Overnight Guests.
  • The George Washington lot will be reserved starting at 1:30 p.m. on May 30 through June 2 at 2:00 p.m. for Reunion Guests.  Guests will also be welcomed to use the Thornton Street lot.
  • There will also be reserved spaces throughout various lots.

For a calendar view of lot reservations visit the Parking Lot Reservations Calendar webpage. Please contact Parking Management with any parking related questions: parking@umw.edu, 540/654-1129.

For more information about Reunion, visit the website or contact alumni@umw.edu.

Thank you in advance for helping us welcome back our alumni and friends.

UMW’s Devil-Goat Day Back on Ball Circle in 2024

Giant inflatables, like this two-lane bungee race, were part of the fun at this year’s Devil-Goat Day at the University of Mary Washington. The annual late-April competition pits Devils, who graduate in odd years, against Goats, who graduate in even years, on a quest to collect the most points for participation and wins. Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce.

Giant inflatables, like this two-lane bungee race, were part of the fun at this year’s Devil-Goat Day at the University of Mary Washington. The annual late-April competition pits Devils, who graduate in odd years, against Goats, who graduate in even years, on a quest to collect the most points for participation and wins. Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce.

With Reunion Weekend ahead at the University of Mary Washington, and hundreds of alumni set to return to their alma mater, nostalgia is in the air. And nothing says nostalgia at UMW like Devil-Goat Day, a unique tradition that’s unfolded on the Fredericksburg campus for nearly a century.

Way back in 1926, Mary Washington’s junior class, led by Professor of Education Eileen Kramer Dodd, claimed the goat as its symbol, according to University of Mary Washington, A Centennial History by Professor Emeritus William B. Crawley. Not to be outdone, the seniors chose their own symbol – a devil – and the good-natured rivalry began.

Much like UMW’s student body, the tradition has evolved through the years, eventually becoming an afternoon of field day-type events with wheelbarrow races and limbo contests. Additions in the 1990s included a pie-eating competition, a Velcro wall climb and tug-of-war battles. Now filled with inflatables and carnival-style games, the uniquely UMW tradition returned to Ball Circle this year, bringing the center of campus to life and delivering a well-deserved respite for students preparing for final exams. Read more.

Perfect Day and Perfect 4.0 for Five UMW Grads, and Faculty Pinschmidt Award Winner

As nearly 1,000 Class of 2024 graduates crossed the stage at the University of Mary Washington’s Commencement to the applause of hundreds of faculty and staff and thousands of family and friends, five students and one faculty member received top-of-class honors.

Graduates Anna Blake, Anna Czernia, Hannah Lee, Harmony Peura and Abigail Swanson earned the Colgate W. Darden Jr. Award for Academic Achievement for completing their degrees with the highest grade-point average in the undergraduate program. All five – the greatest number of grads earning this achievement in recent history – finished with a perfect 4.0 GPA, graduating summa cum laude, the highest academic distinction, and earning additional honors through their programs.

In addition, Assistant Professor of Psychological Science Marcus Leppanen was recognized with the Mary W. Pinschmidt Award for having had the greatest impact on the lives of the members of the Class of 2024. Read more.

First-Class UMW Grads Earn Teacher of the Year Honors

Seacobeck Hall is home to UMW’s College of Education, which fosters future educators. Several recent College of Education graduates received ‘Teacher of the Year’ awards this year. Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce.

Seacobeck Hall is home to UMW’s College of Education, which fosters future educators. Several recent College of Education graduates received ‘Teacher of the Year’ awards this year. Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce.

Carleigh Rahn ’22 turned her classroom into an “escape room” to prepare for a unit on exploration. Mallory Karnei ’22 used the SkyView Lite app to help students learn about planets. Ivelisse Maddalena ’22 assigned a drawing activity to illustrate the concept that anyone can be a scientist.

What do these three local educators have in common? They all are recent University of Mary Washington graduates, and they all are recipients of this year’s “top teacher” awards in Fredericksburg, and Spotsylvania and Stafford counties, respectively.

During National Teacher Appreciation Week, Mary Washington celebrates teachers making a difference in their classrooms and in their communities throughout school districts near and far.

“I am extremely proud of the many teaching accolades and awards our graduates from the College of Education receive early in their teaching careers,” UMW College of Education Dean Pete Kelly said of this year’s honorees. “Our students are bright and deeply committed to becoming excellent teachers.” Read more.

Rays of Sun and Success: UMW Graduates Class of 2024

Members of the Class of 2024 also celebrated a unique four years. As the first class to arrive at UMW during the pandemic, many had missed experiencing in-person high school graduations.

Members of the Class of 2024 also celebrated a unique four years. As the first class to arrive at UMW during the pandemic, many had missed experiencing in-person high school graduations.

From the front steps of the Cedric Rucker University Center to the Lee Hall terrace and around the rim of Ball Circle, proud family and friends cheered their hearts out Saturday morning for the University of Mary Washington’s 2024 graduates.

Nearly 1,000 students from UMW’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education received bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University’s 113th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11. Puffy clouds dotted a bright blue, sun-filled sky as the ceremony unfolded all morning long.

The culminating moment of years’ worth of work was “exciting” and “awesome,” said Veronica Namulondo, who left home in Uganda to earn an MBA at Mary Washington.

Tayin Drea Rivera-Dorazio, a transfer student from Richmond, Virginia, predicted the emotional impact of earning a degree in communication and digital studies would come to him in waves throughout the day. Read more.

Research and Creativity Symposium Showcases Array of Student Endeavors

Environmental science major Summer Orledge presents her research on contaminants in the James River near a coal ash repository during UMW’s 18th annual Research and Creativity Day. More than 400 students from across disciplines shared their work from the past academic year at the annual event. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Environmental science major Summer Orledge presents her research on contaminants in the James River near a coal ash repository during UMW’s 18th annual Research and Creativity Day. More than 400 students from across disciplines shared their work from the past academic year at the annual event. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Scientific studies, artistic compilations and ingenious creations came to life across campus last week for the University of Mary Washington’s 18th annual Research and Creativity Symposium.

Junior Summer Orledge studied pollution in local waters. Sophomore Donald Glander used solenoids to create an “electric piano-guitar.” First-year physics and computer science major Ryan Lawrence tapped into multi-wavelength astronomy to predict the formation of future stars.

“It’s really amazing to see the variety of projects out there,” said College of Arts and Sciences Assistant Dean Betsy Lewis, who coordinates the event, held each year on the last day of class. “We’ve got projects from practically every major and department on campus.”

More than 400 students from the College of Arts and Sciences – and from the College of Business and the College of Education – presented the results of the scholarly research and creative endeavors they’ve been cultivating, alongside faculty mentors, throughout the past academic year. A morning filled with oral presentations was followed by a poster session in the Hurley Convergence Center Digital Auditorium, where researchers showed off their studies on glossy panels, sharing their work with fellow students, professors, even the public. Read more.

Case Competition Scoops Up a ‘Sweet’ Deal for Mary Wash Business Students

From left to right: Craig Schneibolk, UMW students Jenna Diehl and Brian Gaydos, and Andrew Blate ’04 pose with the winning check at the end of last week’s Case Competition for business students. Diehl and Gaydos won the competition, judged by Schneibolk and Blate, who sponsor it, along with two other UMW alumni. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

From left to right: Craig Schneibolk, UMW students Jenna Diehl and Brian Gaydos, and Andrew Blate ’04 pose with the winning check at the end of last week’s Case Competition for business students. Diehl and Gaydos won the competition, judged by Schneibolk and Blate, who sponsor it, along with two other UMW alumni. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

A University of Mary Washington capstone experience offered a sweet treat to business students this semester.

Teams from the 400-level Strategic Management course came together to analyze a business scenario involving a four-way merger that produced Canadian ice cream company Top Glaciers. They presented their findings – including proposals for how to increase profits – last week at the annual Endowed Live Case Competition. The Shark Tank-like event, held in Woodard Hall, features real business professionals as judges, real cash prizes for winners and scoops of real-world experience.

“An event like this simulates real-world scenarios and allows students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom throughout their academic careers,” said College of Business Dean Filiz Tabak. “It helps them develop practical skills such as presenting in front of experienced judges, problem-solving, critical thinking, leadership and team building. These are invaluable skills for career success in the business world.”

Sprinkled on top, the winners – seniors Jenna Diehl and Brian Gaydos, who put forth a partnership and co-packaging plan – walked away with prize money of $3,500. Second place received $1,000; third place took $500. Read more.