December 6, 2023

UMW Places Fourth in International “RecycleMania”

The University of Mary Washington finished fourth nationally and, for the second consecutive year, placed first in Virginia in the annual RecyleMania competition. The top-10 finish came among 330 schools in the “per capita” category that measures the percentage of recyclables per person.

Students and faculty  used 2-liter plastic bottles to create a community garden greenhouse. Photo courtesy of the UMW Ecology Club.

Students and faculty used 2-liter plastic bottles to create a community garden greenhouse. Photo courtesy of the UMW Ecology Club.

The annual eight-week RecycleMania Tournament raises awareness of the importance of recycling and waste reduction at colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada with a competition based on how much recycling, trash and food waste schools collect. A total of 461 schools participated this year, representing more than 5.3 million students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

UMW also participated in the “gorilla” category, which measures the gross weight of combined recyclables, and ranked 74th out of 336 schools with 244,944 total pounds recycled.

UMW’s recycling efforts resulted in a greenhouse gas reduction of 343 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, or 67 cars removed from the road, or the energy consumption of 30 households, according to UMW Director of Landscape and Grounds Joni Wilson.

“UMW students, faculty and staff should be very proud of their part,” Wilson said. “It takes a lot of work from volunteers and staff to not only collect the 244,944 pounds of recycling but to report and track the statistics as well.”

The complete results for all 11 categories can be found on, including a breakdown of how schools performed by athletic conference, institution size and state.

UMW Women’s Rugby Team Headed to Nationals

The University of Mary Washington women’s rugby team will soon cap off a highly successful 2013-2014 season by competing in the USA Rugby National Championship at Penn State University on April 26 and 27. The UMW women's rugby team is headed to the national championships. The Eagles received an automatic bid to nationals after their Division II Women’s Capital Collegiate Rugby Conference win in November. Under the leadership of coaches Kris Kabza and Bill Lucas, this marks the team’s eighth appearance at the event, more than any other Division II women’s rugby team in the country. UMW will enter the Round of 16 at the national championships, with a chance to advance to the Round of 4 at Stanford University in May. At Penn State, UMW will face the Kent State University on Saturday, April 26 and Appalachian State or American University on Sunday, April 27. The team has a long history of success before the recent establishment of the Capital Conference. Between 1998 and 2012, UMW finished in first place 13 times and finished second twice in the Virginia Rugby Union Division II league. From 1998 to 2010, UMW won five championships in the Mid-Atlantic Territorial Championships. Only one other team comes close with four wins. UMW women’s rugby, a club sport since 1985, competes in both the spring and fall. For more information about the team, visit

Education Students Share Research and Hear from Expert, April 26

Marty Abbott ‘72, executive director for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), will serve as the keynote speaker at the University of Mary Washington’s fourth annual Educator-In-Residence event on Saturday, April 26. Abbott will speak at 12:45 p.m. at the north building of UMW’s Stafford campus. martyabbott (2)Prior to the lecture, graduating students from the College of Education will present their research projects from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Abbott’s speech will be followed by recognition of the College of Education graduates at 1:20 p.m. The lecture and presentations are free and open to the public. The recipient of UMW’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2004, Abbott began her career in Fairfax County Public Schools as a language teacher, foreign language coordinator and director of high school instruction. She currently leads ACTFL’s national public awareness campaign, “Lead with Languages!” which will launch in 2014. Abbott has held many roles in national organizations, including president of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, chair of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and President of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia. Her work helped develop student standards, beginning teacher standards and performance assessments in foreign languages. Abbott received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in Latin from Mary Washington and a master’s degree in Spanish linguistics from Georgetown University. For a full list of student presentations, visit

Student to Spend 10 Months in Germany


Michael Crawford (left) is pictured here with his thesis advisor Stephen Davies, associate professor of computer science.

University of Mary Washington senior Michael Crawford will travel to Leipzig, Germany later this year thanks to a competitive scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Services, known as DAAD. Crawford will work alongside scientists to study how cow grazing affects plant biodiversity of grasslands.

Crawford will work from October 2014 until July 2015 at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in the Department of Ecological Modelling for a scientist named Volker Grimm.

In working for Grimm, Crawford will work to simplify an existing ecological simulation that details how certain plants grow or do not grow in conjunction with cow grazing.

“To illustrate, a slow growing plant that tastes very good to cows will, in aggregate, perform poorly versus plants that grow quickly and taste bad. After some time, it will go extinct,” said Crawford.

While graduate student Felix May showed how the model correctly reproduces reality, Crawford’s job will be to tease out what sub-processes enable it to do so.

“By doing so, we’ll be able to better see the grand design driving this environment and, furthermore, perhaps, take what we learned and apply it to different areas,” Crawford said.

DAAD is the largest German support organization in the field of international academic cooperation, and is a private, federally and state funded, self-governing national agency of the institutions of higher education in Germany. The scholarship is a similar award to a Fulbright scholarship, but is only for Germany.

The organization awards competitive, merit-based grants for use toward study and research in Germany at any of the accredited German institutions of higher education.

‘All In’ the Game

Coach Caitlin Moore '08 motivates the women's lacrosse team to succeed.

UMW Theatre Closes 2013-14 Season with Production of “Lysistrata”

The University of Mary Washington Department of Theatre & Dance will debut “Lysistrata” as its final show of the 2013-2014 season. Performances will be April 10-12 and April 16-19 at 8 p.m., and April 13 and 19 at 2 p.m. in duPont Hall’s Klein Theatre.

UMW's production of "Lysistrata" opens Thursday, April 10. Photo by Geoff Greene.

UMW’s production of “Lysistrata” opens Thursday, April 10. Photo by Geoff Greene.

“Lysistrata,” written by Aristophanes and translated by Dudley Fitts, is a comedy set in ancient Greece, where there seems to be no end to the Peloponnesian War. The main character, Lysistrata, convinces the women of Sparta and Athens to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands until they negotiate peace. Comedy and ancient ideals come to a head as Aristophanes explores the effects of war and the lengths many will go to end it.

The anti-war play, first staged in 411 B.C. during the Festival of Dionysus, has been produced all over the world. This production is a sophisticated and timeless play that explores ageless ideas with suggestive language and sexual imagery.

“Lysistrata” is directed by Helen Housley, associate professor of theatre. Scenic and lighting designs are by student designers Sidney Mullis and Christopher Stull, respectively. Costume design is by Associate Professor Kevin McCluskey, and sound design is by guest artist, Anthony Angelini.

Tickets are $18 for standard admission and $16 for students, senior citizens, alumni and military. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit

UMW Observes National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The University of Mary Washington will observe National Sexual Assault Awareness Month with two free public events in April, the “Where’s the Line?” campaign presentation and Take Back the Night. Take Back the Night at UMW. Photo courtesy of the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault. The “Where’s the Line?” presentation will be held Wednesday, April 2 at 6 p.m. in the Anderson Center, with a welcome from President Richard V. Hurley. Attendees will have the opportunity to assemble care kits for sexual assault victims at local hospitals. “Where’s the Line?” is sponsored by Fear 2 Freedom, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those wounded by sexual abuse. Take Back the Night will be held Wednesday, April 16 beginning in front of Lee Hall at 6 p.m. The annual event, co-hosted by UMW and the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault, encourages people to speak out and take a stand against sexual violence. The rain date is Wednesday, April 23. Take Back the Night takes place nationwide and has been operating for more than 35 years. More information about Take Back the Night and the Take Back the Night Foundation can be found at Both “Where’s the Line?” and Take Back the Night at UMW are presented by the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services and the Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Responsibility.

UMW Philharmonic Performs Sold-Out Show with Itzhak Perlman

Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman performed with The University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra at a sold-out concert at Dodd Auditorium on Saturday, March 29,. The concert was part of the Philharmonic’s annual William M. Anderson Celebrity Series.

Itzhak Perlman. Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco.

Itzhak Perlman. Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco.

The UMW Philharmonic, conducted by Kevin Bartram, is comprised of both UMW students and community musicians. Since 2004, the orchestra has performed with famous artists such as Marvin Hamlisch, Judy Collins, Kenny Rogers, flutist Sir James Galway and the Canadian Brass.

“We’ve been looking forward to this concert all year,” said Bartram.

Perlman, a violin virtuoso, enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. He is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond to his artistry and his irrepressible joy for making music.

Perlman performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Philharmonic. Perlman has performed the work hundreds of times, but admits, “I could play that forever and never get tired of it. It’s an amazing piece,” he said.

Perlman has been honored with four Emmy Awards, most recently for the PBS documentary, “Fiddling for the Future,” a film about Perlman’s work as a teacher and conductor for the Perlman Music Program. During the 78th Annual Academy Awards in 2006, he performed a live medley from the five film scores nominated in the category of Best Original Score for a worldwide audience. Perlman also collaborated with film composer John Williams in Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film “Schindler’s List” in which he performed the violin solos.

In 2008, Itzhak Perlman was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in the recording arts. His recordings regularly appear on the best-seller charts and have earned him 15 Grammy Awards. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan honored Perlman with a Medal of Liberty and in 2000 President Bill Clinton awarded Perlman the National Medal of Arts.

The UMW Philharmonic achieved national acclaim in 2009 with the American Prize, an award given to the top nine collegiate orchestras in the nation. In 2012, the group was featured on a national PBS fundraising show, “A Fiddler’s Holiday.”

For information about the concert or to become a Friend of the Philharmonic, contact 540-654-1324 or email

Cultivating Collaboration

Living-learning communities are a unique way for first-year students to become involved on campus.

RecycleMania Returns to UMW, Through March 29

Beginning this week through March 29, the University of Mary Washington will join colleges and universities across the country in RecycleMania, an annual eight-week competition to reduce, reuse and recycle on-campus waste. More than 450 schools will participate this year, representing all 50 states and three Canadian provinces.

Director of Landscape and Grounds Joni Wilson shows off a recycled bike. The bike is making its debut on campus as part of RecycleMania.

Director of Landscape and Grounds Joni Wilson shows off a recycled bike. The bike is making its debut on campus as part of RecycleMania. Photo courtesy of Andrea Livi-Smith.

This year is UMW’s sixth time in the Per Capita Classic Competition category, which measures the percentage of recycled materials per person.

In 2013, UMW ranked first place within Virginia, and 12th overall in the competition category.

To earn first place, UMW recycled 37.544 pounds of materials per person over eight weeks, which is equivalent to more than 200,000 pounds of recyclables kept out of landfills. The 182 metric tons of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere through recycling equaled the equivalent of taking 97 cars off the road.

“RecycleMania is a fun way to bring attention to campus recycling,” said Joni Wilson, director of landscape and grounds.

Throughout the competition, self-proclaimed “RecycleManiacs” will visit residence halls to collect recyclables and will recognize students and faculty for their recycling efforts on campus. On Thursday, March 6, UMW will hold its annual Shred Event starting at 10 a.m. in the William Street parking lot. Faculty, staff, students and members of the Fredericksburg community are invited to shred their confidential documents for free.

On March 11, students and faculty will use 2-liter plastic bottles to continue a community garden greenhouse. Photo courtesy of the UMW Ecology Club.

On March 11, students and faculty will use 2-liter plastic bottles to continue a community garden greenhouse. Photo courtesy of the UMW Ecology Club.

On Tuesday, March 11, UMW will use recycled bottle caps to create an 8-by-4-foot mosaic and plastic 2-liter bottles to create a community garden greenhouse on Ball Circle.

UMW’s year-round recycling categories of cardboard, mixed paper and co-mingled glass, aluminum and plastics will remain the same during the competition. Statistics and weekly recycling data will be published throughout the competition at