May 28, 2020

UMW Professors Find Creative Ways to Teach Through COVID-19

Teaching at Mary Washington looks a bit different lately. Andi Smith films YouTube videos with her children to demonstrate architectural principles. Zach Whalen uses cartoons to teach a digital studies lesson. Smita Jain Oxford holds Zoom office hours for business majors on her daily jog. When the University moved to virtual classes last month due […]

UMW Professor’s Online Initiative Attracts Tens of Thousands

The University of Mary Washington is among countless educational institutions worldwide that have switched to virtual classes due to the coronavirus threat, or COVID-19. Suddenly, students are at home, and so are their teachers. The transition has been daunting for many professors, especially those who have never taught online. But one UMW faculty member saw […]

Professor Wins Grant to Pen Open Education Textbook

It’s a dilemma faced by many students on financial aid. Funds often don’t hit accounts until a few weeks into the semester, so students can’t purchase textbooks, and they risk falling behind. Melissa Wells, an assistant professor in UMW’s College of Education (COE), knows this scenario all too well. That’s why she’s designing an Open […]

Teacher of the Year Shares Mission of Equity at UMW

Rodney Robinson was inspired to become a teacher because of his mother. Growing up in rural Virginia, segregation and poverty hindered her own education, but it didn’t stop her from finding her calling teaching young children in her home daycare. “She always taught us that every child deserves the proper amount of love to get […]

Graduate Student Masters the Art of Teaching

Kendrick Keener was in third grade when his career path was illuminated. He and his fellow students had created placemats featuring leaves they had collected. “My teacher made a really big deal about my artwork,” said Keener, whose placemat earned a front and center spot on the bulletin board. “She saw that even at that […]

Teachers: Finding Their Voices, Saving the Republic

Princess Moss flashed on the screen a 36-year-old photo that depicted her as a first-year teacher standing in the classroom next to a boy named Chris. “I love teaching!” she exclaimed to the room full of educators and would-be teachers as she explained she was imparting a concept to Chris. “I’m thrilled seeing students excel…seeing […]

Richmond Mayor Recruits Top Teachers at UMW

Growing up, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s family had only one car and no way of picking him up after school. But when he told his third-grade teacher he wouldn’t be able to join the social studies club, she arranged a ride for him. “Moments like that along the way, when teachers did things they didn’t […]

‘Relentless Principal’ Urges Educators to Break Rules

Pop quiz: What kind of educator blasts music, dances on chairs and encourages students to skip class. Answer: Hamish Brewer, a.k.a. “The Relentless Principal” “I’m about breaking rules in a good sense,” said Brewer, whose unorthodox leadership approach earned him the commanding title, along with national recognition as an “educational disruptor” who transforms struggling schools. […]

McCall, Hydorn and Clayton Receive Grant

Dr. Venitta McCall, professor of the College of Education, Dr. Debra Hydorn, professor of mathematics and Dr. Courtney Clayton, assistant professor of the College of Education have received a $35,600 grant from the Virginia Department of Education. The purpose of the grant is to train 30 teachers from critical teacher shortage areas in Spotsylvania County, Stafford County and Fredericskburg City to become Clinical Faculty members for the College of Education.

Selected teachers will be trained in effective mentoring practices, in best practices for instructing English Language Learners and in using learning analytics – the appropriate collection, use and analysis of data to facilitate instructional improvement. Research has shown that having highly skilled Clinical Faculty is a key component in enhancing teacher retention.

Gift Supports New Makerspace Program

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Left to Right: UMW Professor of Education George Meadows, Interim Dean of the UMW College of Education Nina Mikhalevsky, Dominion External Affairs Manager James Beazley, and UMW Vice President for Advancement and University Relations Torre Meringolo

The University of Mary Washington received a $15,000 gift to support its “E3 Makerspace Network.” Awarded by the Dominion Foundation, the funds will help create a collaborative network with two UMW colleges, the Friends of the Rappahannock, and the England Run Branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library system.

UMW Professor of Education George Meadows says the new network will sustain and expand makerspace technology and the engineering/design process to provide creative approaches to teaching about energy and the environment as well as researching and developing technological solutions to environmental problems.

“UMW students from the College of Education and students enrolled in science disciplines within the College of Arts and Sciences can now do some exciting things with real world technology and applications,” says Meadows. “The fact that we will be collaborating with area organizations to solve problems and share solutions makes for a great teaching environment.”

Out of nearly 400 applications for the 2015-16 academic year, the Dominion Foundation awarded grants totaling $1.5 million to more than 140 schools and educational institutions in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Dominion Foundation grants are funded by shareholder dollars and support nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, promote education and encourage community vitality.

Gifts count toward the $50-million Mary Washington First Campaign, which began July 1, 2011. As of Sept. 15, 2015, Mary Washington alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff, and businesses have committed $41 million in gifts and pledges. The Campaign is scheduled to conclude June 30, 2016. Visit http://umw.edu/marywashingtonfirst or call 540-654-2059 for more information.