February 20, 2019

About Marty Morrison

Community Message from President Paino

A Message from the President

Dear Mary Washington Community,

President Paino

President Paino

In an effort to enhance communication on campus, I am beginning a regular Message from the President that will explore issues of importance at the University.

As recent revelations about state leaders suggest, the Commonwealth and country still have a lot of work to do in confronting its painful past regarding race. UMW must not be afraid to deal with this issue as it relates to our past, present, and future.

Shortly after my arrival at UMW in 2016, I established the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. The committee, made up of faculty, staff, and students, was charged with gauging the campus climate, developing more effective reporting mechanisms for bias incidents, and determining the means by which the University could recruit and retain a diverse student body, as well as a more diverse faculty and staff.

Amid the work of this task force, the university community developed a Strategic Vision for Mary Washington that included the goal of creating a diverse and inclusive community as a critical and necessary component of our commitment to academic excellence. The recommendations of the task force provided a road map toward meeting this goal.

Over the last year and a half, we have made great strides to implement these recommendations. One of the most tangible results has been the thoughtful revision of UMW’s Statement of Community Values as well as its Statement of Guiding Principles on Diversity and Inclusion. Again, this sensitive and time-consuming work was developed by our own community members – a group of committed students, faculty, and staff. As a result of their outstanding work, I can now proudly say that the University of Mary Washington ASPIREs to the following values:

Personal and institutional integrity
Inclusive excellence
Respect and civility

Another recommendation of the task force was to ensure that the campus environment reflects our commitment to diversity. Toward that end, I commissioned at the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year a Campus Environment Presidential Ad Hoc Committee to ensure that the physical environment on our campuses better celebrates the diversity and values of our UMW community.

This campus environment committee, chaired by Associate Professor of Historic Preservation Michael Spencer, undertook a highly deliberative, measured, and deeply considered approach as they reviewed displays and representations. The project employed scholarly methodology to critically assess what was of concern, to whom, and how to address the issues while preserving the history of UMW. In November, Dr. Spencer presented a preliminary report to the Board of Visitors (BOV), and yesterday the committee approved a set of recommendations for the BOV and University to consider.

The committee will first disseminate its report that includes implementation goals for 2019, as well as goals to achieve during the next five years. After the release of its recommendations, the committee will hold focus groups this semester to gather more data to allow for an efficient and impactful prioritization of the issues to be addressed. The committee will then hold public forums during the fall of 2019 to discuss the recommendations as well as solicit community feedback.

Some of the goals in the report are uncontroversial and should readily gain community consensus. Implementation can begin on those in short order. Others might spark debate that cuts to the core of who we are as a learning community. These are important and necessary conversations that must occur, and I look forward to listening to all of your voices. These recommendations are an opportunity to better promote the contributions of our increasingly diverse community and create a fully welcoming environment for all students, faculty, and staff.

The work ahead of us will not erase our history, as painful as parts of it might be, but we will face it directly and own it. As a historian and an educator, I know that we must understand the past in all of its nuance and complexity to learn and move forward.

I cannot thank the members of the UMW community enough for your tireless contributions to improving our campus environment, speaking up about injustices, and engaging in courageous conversations. As a liberal arts institution, UMW’s role is to grapple with complex societal issues.

In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” We are all in this together.




Faculty, Staff Start Food, Clothing Closet to Help Students in Need

As most of you know, food scarcity is becoming a nationwide issue on college campuses. In an effort to assist our students making it to graduation without too many obstacles along the way, a group of faculty and staff have come together to create a food, clothing, and supply closet. For now, it is located in the back hallway of the Writing and Speaking Center suite in the HCC, Room 429. It is unlocked and available to students from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through the weekdays, 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and 6 to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

We will start advertising it to all students soon, but we want to get some items in the pantry first. Now more than ever, we know your time and money are limited, but if you have gently-used clothing you would like to donate, we will be happy to pick it up from your office. If you are at Costco, Sam’s, or running errands and would like to throw an item or two in your basket for the students, we have created a constantly updating wish list:


Most importantly, if you know of a UMW student who is struggling with food, personal care items, clothing for internships, interviews, or just needs some season-appropriate clothing, please send them our way. If you would like to be more involved on the committee, please let me know and we can add you to the emails. If you need to reach out to any of us, currently the committee is: C.J. Porter, Leslie Martin, Laura Wilson, James Pape, Pam Lowery, Rita Thompson, and Gwen Hale. We thank you for all that you do for our students. If you have more questions, contact Gwen Hale at ghale@umw.edu.


Cast Gets Just Desserts in UMW’s ‘God of Carnage’

UMW's God of Carnage runs through Feb. 24.

UMW’s God of Carnage runs through Feb. 24.

Mary Washington theatre students are cooking up something special for their new production, God of Carnage. The comedic commentary on the modern-day strains of remaining civil amid controversy runs Feb. 14 to 24 in UMW’s Klein Theatre.

Two pairs of well-to-do parents sort through a playground altercation between their sons in the show, set entirely in the New York apartment of Michael and Veronica Novak, collectors of African art. Valued sculpture and masks mingle with thick stacks of books, sleek furniture and animal-print pillows in the posh, upscale apartment. But if one of the props looks good enough to eat, it’s because it is. Cast members gather in an off-campus kitchen to create the delicious clafoutis they nibble onstage.

Feigning ingesting a faux version of the dessert just wouldn’t do, said Director of Marketing and Audience Services Jon Reynolds. “In professional theatre, real food is consumed all the time. For the sake of authenticity, we replicate that practice here at UMW.”  Read more.

UMW Named Top Producer of Fulbright U.S. Students

Once again, the University of Mary Washington has been named to the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Students. The top Fulbright producers are listed in the February 11 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Each year the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces the top producing institutions for the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

Last spring, three Mary Washington alumni were awarded English teaching assistant grants through the Fulbright program. Currently, Molly Bernhard ’14 is spending the 2018-19 academic year in Bulgaria; Destiny Williams ’18 is in Taiwan; and Molly Garthwaite ’17, M.Ed. ’18 is in India.  Read more.

Farnsworth Provides Current Commentary

Stephen Farnsworth

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of Political Science

Political Science Professor Stephen Farnsworth has continued to provide daily commentary in regional and national media on breaking news items. View a few of the current articles: Update: Plan To Impeach Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Slows Down in WMAL; Virginia Scandals Could Rewrite the Political Playbook in Governing and Virginia Democrats back off plans to impeach lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax after TWO women accuse him of rape in Daily Mail.


Gupta Delivers Talk on Trade

Surupa Gupta

Surupa Gupta, associate professor of Political Science and International Affairs

Surupa Gupta, associate professor of Political Science and International Affairs, was invited to speak at the annual international and area studies conference “Ascending India: Reflections on Global and Regional Dimensions.” The conference, on Jan. 30-Feb. 1, was held at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India’s premier liberal arts university in New Delhi. Dr. Gupta served as a member of the panel who delivered the talk “Emerging challenges at the WTO: What role can India play.”  The panel was hosted by The Centre for World Trade Organization (WTO) Studies at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.

Dr. Gupta also engaged in discussions with the Centre faculty, all of whom are economists and lawyers, on how  theoretical insights from international relations and international political economy can sharpen India’s trade negotiation strategy.





MyUMW Transition Training

As UMW’s contract with OrgSync (the software that runs MyUMW) will be ending in March, the Office of Student Activities and Engagement will be offering two sessions to demonstrate how to save forms, form submissions, files, or anything else from portals on MyUMW. Staff will also be available to answer questions pertaining to OrgSync or the transition to the new software.

Upcoming training sessions will be held on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, February 19 at 12 p.m. in the Colonnade Room in the University Center
  • Wednesday, February 20 at 4 p.m. in the Colonnade Room in the University Center

Once the new software is in place, additional training sessions will be offered.

Questions about this can be sent to ssutphin@umw.edu.

Causarano Receives Online Teaching Award

Penny Causarano

Penny Causarano, adjunct professor of Chinese

Penny Causarano, adjunct professor of Chinese, has received an award for excellence in online language teaching. The recognition was one of two annual awards given by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Distance Learning Special Interest Group (ACTFL DL SIG) in conjunction with the Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO), an organization devoted to research and development of technology. In addition to teaching Chinese at UMW, Causarano is a curriculum resource teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools.

For more about the award, visit ACTFL newsletter and CALICO.




Don’t Miss COAR’s Annual Variety Show on Friday

The Annual Variety Show will be held on Friday, Feb 15, in Dodd Auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m.. This event, sponsored by UMW’s Community Outreach and Resources (COAR), is a fundraiser for Mary Washington’s Alternative Service Break trips. It’s also a great opportunity to see a variety of talented acts, bid in the silent auction, and learn more about the University’s excellent Alternative Service Break programs operated in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Student groups, such as Bella Acapella and One Note Stand, will perform, as will community dance/theater groups.

Tickets are $3 for students, $5 for non-students, and $10 for families of 3 or more. Raffle tickets for prizes are $1 each, and there will also be a silent auction.

UMW Named Top Producer of Fulbright U.S. Students

Once again, the University of Mary Washington has been named to the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Students. The top Fulbright producers are listed in the February 11 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Each year the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural […]