March 19, 2019

Farnsworth Receives Fulbright Grant to Malaysia

Stephen Farnsworth

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of Political Science

Political Science Professor Stephen J. Farnsworth has received a prestigious 2019-20 U.S. Fulbright grant. He has been named a Fulbright Specialist and will spend much of the upcoming summer teaching American government at Methodist College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“With the fascinating Trump presidency well underway and with the 2020 presidential election season getting started, now is a great time to be talking with Malaysian students about American government and politics,” said Farnsworth.

This grant is the second Fulbright award for Farnsworth, who is director of UMW’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. During the 2006-2007 academic year, he was a Canada-U.S. Research Chair in Public Policy at McGill University in Montreal where he collaborated on several research articles on Canadian and U.S. politics. He also began work on The Global President: International Media and the U.S. Government, one of the six books he has authored or co-authored.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program. The scholarship program gives professors a unique opportunity as ambassadors of American higher education, pursuing research and teaching opportunities around the world. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program sends American scholars, artists, faculty and professionals abroad to lecture and/or conduct research for up to a year. The Fulbright Specialist Program provides short-term opportunities for overseas universities to collaborate with U.S.-based scholars on education projects.

For more information about Farnsworth and the recognition, visit

COE Partners to Debut ‘Intelligent Lives’ Documentary

The award-winning documentary Intelligent Lives will premiere on the Fredericksburg campus Thursday, March 7, from noon to 3:30 p.m. in the Hurley Convergence Center Digital Auditorium. A panel discussion will follow the film, which stars three pioneering young adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce.

The documentary is co-hosted by UMW’s College of Education and Gladys H. Oberle School in Fredericksburg. Admission is free, but registration is requested at

“Intelligent Lives is a film to help us better understand the value and potential of the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by challenging our assumptions about intelligence, said COB Dean Peter Kelly. “I am grateful to partner with the Gladys H. Oberle School to share this important learning experience with students, teachers, and educators in the area.”

Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S.

“People with intellectual disabilities are the most segregated of all Americans,” said Dan Habib, a New Hampshire-based filmmaker who is the documentary’s producer, director and cinematographer. “Only 17 percent of students with intellectual disabilities are included in regular education. Just 40 percent will graduate from high school. And of the 6.5 million Americans with intellectual disability, barely 15 percent are employed.”

C-SPAN to Broadcast Great Lives Lecture, March 2

Don’t despair if you missed the Feb. 5 Great Lives lecture about Benedict Arnold at Dodd Auditorium. C-SPAN will air the show on Saturday, March 2, on C-SPAN3. The segment also can be seen online at The lecture was presented by George Washington Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm, author of The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life.

C-SPAN also plans to be on the Fredericksburg campus next month to cover the upcoming lectures:  Radium Girls, presented by New York bestselling author Kate Moore on Thursday, March 14, and Rocket Girls, presented by science writer and author Nathalia Holt on Tuesday, March 19.

UMW Political Science Faculty Receive Prestigious Fulbright Awards

University of Mary Washington Political Science Professors Elizabeth Freund Larus and Stephen J. Farnsworth are go-to pundits in national and international media in their respective fields. Soon they’ll take their expertise and research abroad through prestigious 2019-20 U.S. Fulbright grants. Larus has been named a Fulbright Scholar who will conduct field research throughout Poland and […]

UMW, Germanna Sign Enhanced Transfer Agreement

Germanna Community College students who transfer to the University of Mary Washington will have a better chance of succeeding thanks to a new agreement between the two schools. UMW President Troy D. Paino and GCC President Janet Gullickson made the Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement official today, Friday, Feb. 22, at a signing ceremony at Germanna’s […]

Farnsworth Comments in National Media

Stephen Farnsworth

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of Political Science

Political Science Professor Stephen Farnsworth continues to provide daily commentary in regional and national media on breaking news items. View a few of his current interviews: Trump’s Legal Battle Ahead on CTV News Channel; Virginia voters on Tuesday may provide insight into scandals’ election impact  in The Washington Post; and Despite Scandals, Virginia Politicians Refuse to Resign. Now What? in Governing.

Brompton Gets Big Date on ‘The Bachelor’

The Bachelor filmed its 23rd season in exotic locales like Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. But directors of the hit ABC reality series deemed UMW’s Brompton, where part of next week’s show was shot, one of the season’s most beautiful sites.

UMW’s historic Brompton, home to President Paino and wife Kelly, was among Fredericksburg sites filmed for the Feb. 25 episode of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”

Brompton, home to President Paino and wife Kelly, was among Fredericksburg sites filmed for the Feb. 25 episode of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”

Captured last October in a cloud of secrecy, the annual “hometowns” episode brought Fredericksburg native Caelynn Miller-Keyes, one of four finalists chosen by this year’s bachelor, Colton Underwood, back to her old stomping grounds. The visit included downtown shopping, ice cream at Carl’s and a stop at UMW’s historic Brompton, home to President Troy Paino and wife Kelly. The two-hour episode airs Monday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. Read more.

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


UMW 2019 Supplier Expo, March 6

Make plans now to attend Procurement Services’ 2019 Annual UMW Supplier Expo! This event is an opportunity for both buyers and vendors to strengthen preexisting connections, and to make new contacts for an array of goods and services. Speak with a range of businesses that can assist your departmental needs, or put a face to an email often in your inbox, all while taking advantage of this opportunity to network with motivated and professional businesses.

  • When: 10AM-2PM, Wednesday March 6th, 2019
  • Where: University Center’s Chandler Ballroom, 1301 College Ave.


This event is open to the entire UMW community, as well as buyers and guests from other localities and state agencies. Pre-registration is not required for attendees. We are thrilled to be hosting this event and we look forward to seeing you there!

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.