February 26, 2024

Author Discovers Founding Friendships

Friendships between men and women are usually regarded with suspicion, but Cassandra Good, associate editor of the Papers of James Monroe at the University of Mary Washington, discovered instances of genuine friendships between men and women hidden away in an unexpected time in history. Cassandra Good  Photo by Julia Davis '15 Good’s recently published book, Founding Friendships: Friendships between Men and Women in the Early American Republic,” draws on diaries, portraits and letters between men and women who lived in the early stages of the United States’ history and explores their relationships. Some of the relationships include familiar names: Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson wrote letters back and forth. George Washington corresponded with a woman named Elizabeth Powel, also through letters. Good spent nearly a decade researching friendships between men and women from 1780 to 1830. She traveled to about two dozen archives and museums all over the east coast and read letters written by men and women to each other among other documents. Some prohibitions existed against writing letters to unrelated members of the opposite sex during the late 1700s and early 1800s, but Good found substantial material. Friendships between elite men and women, such as the one between Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson, had political, social and personal benefits that were not romantic in nature, an idea that Good conveys in her book. “I argue that elite men and women in the early American republic formed loving friendships that exemplified the key values of that period: equality, virtue, freedom and choice. These friendships were building blocks of new American systems of politics, gender, and power,” said Good, whose book was published by Oxford University Press. Good aims to show that relationships between men and women are not always limited to marriage or romance. Friendship between men and women is not only possible, but it can be healthy, she said. “The idea of companionate marriage—that a husband and wife should be friends—started in the period I write about, and with that arose the idea that marriage should be the central place for adults to fulfill emotional needs. I think both then and now we put too much weight on marriage as the pinnacle of fulfillment,” said Good. “I hope readers will consider how it takes many different relationships and types of love to support us and make us happy.”

Princeton Review Rates UMW Among Nation’s Best Values

The University of Mary Washington has been ranked among the nation’s best value colleges by Princeton Review.   "Photographer"UMW is listed in The Princeton Review’s Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get In – 2015 Edition, which went on sale Tuesday, Feb. 3. The university has been recognized as a Best Southeastern College and one of Princeton Review’s Best 379 Colleges. The Princeton Review is a New York City-based education services company that annually publishes guidebooks ranking colleges, business and law schools. Colleges That Pay You Back is an expansion of Princeton Review’s former Best Value Colleges and selects schools based on a unique “Return-on-Education” rating that measures 40 weighted data points covering the areas of academics, affordability and career prospects. The rating was based on data collected in 2013-14 from more than 650 college administrator and student surveys and responses conducted by PayScale.com through April 2014 of alumni of the same schools. “We salute and highly recommend all of our Colleges That Pay You Back schools,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president, publisher and lead author of the book. “They stand out for their excellent academics, impressive career preparation services, and affordability to students with need – via comparatively low sticker prices, generous financial aid, or both. Plus their students graduate with great career prospects.” In addition, UMW has been ranked third in the state and 140th nationally by the Social Mobility Index as a school providing pathways for social and economic mobility. The index ranks schools based on their “policy towards increasing access to higher education” with consideration for tuition and economic background of the student body, graduation rate, early career salary and endowment. For a full listing of Princeton’s Colleges that Pay Back, visit www.princetonreview.com/colleges-pay-you-back.

UMW Professor Documents Local Hospital History

The storied past of Mary Washington Healthcare has been preserved online, thanks to efforts of University of Mary Washington Professor Jess Rigelhaupt. The associate professor of history and American studies received a $25,000 grant from Mary Washington Healthcare to record oral history interviews and develop a website that covers the history of the 115-year old organization. The website mwhchistory.com, which launched this month, currently includes more than 35 hours of interviews with longtime administrators, board members, physicians, and nurses with a wealth of knowledge about the local hospital system for the past 30 years. The project is ongoing and will record over 80 hours of interviews with over 40 people when it is completed. Click here to view the embedded video. “We began as an eight-room hospital, and have evolved into a not-for-profit regional system of two hospitals and 28 healthcare facilities and wellness services,” said recently retired President and CEO of Mary Washington Healthcare Fred M. Rankin III, who was interviewed for the project. “Hearing personal accounts from many who have been part of Mary Washington Healthcare’s journey through the last 20-plus years is an important part of telling the story.” For the past two years, Rigelhaupt worked with UMW students to record interviews and edit video footage all with the goal of providing a more traditional history of the organization through the art of storytelling. “An important goal is to have a highly accessible repository that documents the growth and expansion of Mary Washington Healthcare through the voices of the people who contributed to it,” said Rigelhaupt. “To record how they experienced what they saw, what they did and how they reflect back on it and how they’ve made meaning out of and understand the growth of the organization and the challenges that were faced.” Jess Rigelhaupt  Photo by Norm Shafer The largest private employer in Fredericksburg, Mary Washington Healthcare has certainly seen its fair share of growth, especially since the new hospital opened in 1993. The website includes firsthand accounts of change from a variety of employees, including Diane Brothers, who began working as a nurse at the hospital in 1986 and is now a nursing supervisor and clinical ethics specialist, and Xavier R. Richardson, who joined MWHC in 1997 and currently serves as the executive vice president of Corporate Development and Community Affairs. “The Mary Washington Healthcare oral history website, hosted and presented by the University of Mary Washington, is a natural partnership which provides historical information, and new insights for public policy, healthcare, and regional development,” said Michael McDermott, M.D., president and CEO, Mary Washington Healthcare. Rigelhaupt agrees. “The project represents collaboration between the campus and the community,” he said. “As an institution for research and knowledge production, the University and this research project worked with and produced new knowledge about a pillar of the community.”    

UMW Psychologists Discuss Balance on Public Radio Show

University of Mary Washington psychologists Miriam Liss and Holly Schiffrin say that finding happiness in life doesn’t come from having more material possessions. Miriam Liss and Holly Schiffrin “There’s really no way to be all in at work, all in as a parent, all in as a partner or spouse and all in in other social roles like volunteering,” said Liss who coauthors the recently released book Balancing the Big Stuff: Finding Happiness in Work, Family and Lifewith her colleague. “You have to find out what works for you to give balance in life.” Liss and Schiffrin explore how to achieve this balance in an upcoming interview on Virginia’s Public Radio Program With Good Reason, which airs Jan. 24 through Jan. 30. In the radio show, they discuss how to avoid working or parenting in excess, how to focus on what is intrinsically motivating, and how to work toward gender equality in the home and workplace in order to give concrete steps toward reaching harmony among our roles in life. With Good Reason is a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The show airs weekly in Fredericksburg on Sundays from 1-2 p.m. on Radio IQ 88.3 Digital. The show also airs broadcast on public radio stations in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington D.C. To listen from outside of the Fredericksburg area, a complete list of air times and links to corresponding radio stations can be found at http://withgoodreasonradio.org/when-to-listen.  Audio files of the full program and its companion news feature are available online at http://withgoodreasonradio.org/2015/01/where-did-you-come-from. Liss and Schiffrin are international experts on the subjects of happiness, gender issues and intensive and helicopter parenting. Liss is the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV). Schiffrin is president of the Virginia Academic and Applied Psychologist Academy of the Virginia Psychological Association. Balancing work and family also is personal for Liss and Schiffrin. While maintaining full teaching and research loads, they also are raising young children.

‘Little Rock Nine’ Member to Speak at UMW, Jan. 21

Ernest Green, one of nine students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, will give the keynote address as the University of Mary Washington celebrates the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wednesday, Jan. 21.   Ernest Green, member of the Little Rock Nine Green will discuss his life and experiences as one of the Little Rock Nine, in addition to its impact on the civil rights movement and society today. The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. The event is open to the public free of charge. As a member of the Little Rock Nine, Green became the first African-American student to graduate Little Rock High School. In 1999, Green, along with other members of the Little Rock Nine, received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor awarded to a civilian. Presented by then-President Bill Clinton, the award recognized Green’s bravery during integration at the Arkansas public school. UMW also will participate in MLK Jr. Kids Day on Sunday, January 18. The annual community celebration includes games and crafts for children from 3-4 p.m. at James Monroe High School. Additional information about the event is available by contacting UMW’s Center for Honor, Leadership and Service at (540) 654-2272. For more information about the keynote address, please contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at (540) 654-1044 or via email at umwjfmc@gmail.com.

UMW Professor Receives Outstanding Faculty Award

Liss-Video-8University of Mary Washington Professor of Psychology Miriam Liss is the recipient of a prestigious 2015 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV). The awards are the commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities, recognizing superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. This year, 13 faculty members were selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates. In February, the recipients will attend a ceremony and luncheon in Richmond and also will be introduced on the floor of the General Assembly. Liss, who joined the UMW faculty in 2001, is a clinical psychologist and has conducted research on parenting, division of labor and work-family balance. The co-author of “Balancing the Big Stuff: Finding Happiness in Work, Family and Life,” Liss also has published articles about autism and developmental disorders, as well as sensory processing sensitivity, self-injurious behaviors, feminist identity and body image. She has developed a collaborative program between UMW and the New England Center for Children (NECC) where students can spend a semester at NECC outside of Boston, performing applied behavioral analysis in a school setting and taking classes for UMW elective credit. Her articles have been published in numerous journals including the Sex Roles, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, and Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines. She also regularly presents at national conferences. Liss has been interviewed for her work on intensive and attachment parenting for the Washington Post, MSNBC.com and Live Science. Liss’s honors include election into Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi, where she was selected as the regional faculty advisor winner and supervised the chapter winning the National Chapter Award in 2006. She received the UMW Outstanding Young Faculty Member Award in 2005 and was a finalist in the SCHEV state award in 2006 and 2009. She also was named one of Princeton Review’s Best 300 Professors. Liss received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, in addition to a doctorate and master’s degree in clinical psychology from the University of Connecticut. The General Assembly and Governor created the Outstanding Faculty Award program in 1986. Since the first awards in 1987, more than 300 Virginia faculty members have received this high honor. Professor of History Jeffrey McClurken was the 2014 recipient of the award.

UMW Professor Named Innovative Educator of the Year

Professor Teresa Coffman uses new technologies to teach her education graduate students. Teresa Coffman, University of Mary Washington professor of education, was recently named the 2014 Innovative Educator of the Year by the Virginia Society for Technology and Education. The VSTE created the award as a way to give recognition to teachers who implement and encourage “innovative educational practices –especially those that champion the smart integration of technology.” “Dr. Coffman consistently demonstrates her professional commitment to and passion for innovative teaching that is grounded in compelling research,” said Mary Gendernalik-Cooper, dean of the College of Education. “She brings these qualities to bear with her students in ways that encourage them to think differently about who they are becoming as educators, and how their uses of technologies will shape transformational learning experiences for their own students.” 11-2014-Intern-Google-Glass-(3) Coffman’s areas of expertise and scholarly research include educational theory, pedagogy, technology in instruction, and teacher preparation. She is also the author of “Using Inquiry in the Classroom: Developing Creative Thinkers and Information Literate Students” and “Engaging Students through Inquiry-oriented Learning and Technology.” Coffman’s most recent venture into technology is researching how Google glass can be utilized in the classroom. “I’m examining how we can improve upon our practice as educators and learners by using technology,” said Coffman. She explains how asking questions in class quickly escalates with the curiosity of students and the technology is so easy that students say, “OK glass, tell me how this works.” Coffman sees the future of education integrated with technology, “Teaching needs to be more transformational. We need to extend beyond the creativity into innovative thought that can help us solve real world problems.”

Book Donation is Music to UMW’s Ears

A definitive book of Russian music has been donated to the University of Mary Washington. The work “The Beauty of Belaieff,” which includes over 100 full color plates of first editions of Russian music and individual biographies, is now available in Simpson Library. UMW Piano Instructor Andrew Kraus holding “The Beauty of Belaieff.” “It will be a wonderful resource for our students and faculty to use when researching Russian music history and its composers,” said Special Collections Librarian Carolyn Parsons. “The volume is not only an excellent work on the history of Belaieff’s Russian music publishing house, but it is also a beautiful book with 144 color reproductions showcasing the works of many Russian composers of the late 19th and early 20th century.” The book donation is the product of a friendship between UMW Piano Instructor Andrew Kraus and Gillian Davis, the widow of the book’s author Richard Beattie Davis, who was an avid collector of first and early editions of Western and Russian music, including the works of Adolph Von Henselt. The friendship developed after Davis discovered that Kraus is one of a few pianists in the world who play Adolph Von Henselt’s music. Henselt, a German who worked in Russia in the 1800s, is known as a founder of the Russian school of pianism. “I’m thrilled to get [this book] for UMW and to have it in the library,” said Kraus. “Not every library will have it, and it could be used as a spring board for other artistic events.” Kraus plans to play a concert in the spring, “Henselt in Context” to commemorate the donation. Click here to view the embedded video.

UMW Theatre Continues Season with “Sunday in the Park with George”

The University of Mary Washington Theatre will continue its 2014-15 season beginning Nov. 6 with the Tony Award-winning musical “Sunday in the Park with George,” featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and based on the book by James Lapine. Performances will take place Nov. 6-8, Nov. 13-15, and Nov. 20-22 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 2 p.m. in Klein Theatre, located in duPont Hall on the Fredericksburg campus. Tickets are $24 for standard admission and $20 for students, senior citizens and military. “Sunday in the Park with George”is inspired by the Georges Seurat painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” The first act is set in 1884 and focuses on the artist and the time leading up to the completion of his masterpiece as he struggles with himself and his relationship with his lover, Dot. The second act continues a century later with Seurat’s great-grandson George, who also is an artist. George, seeking new inspirations, returns to the island where the painting was created to discover the deeper meanings behind his and his ancestor’s art. Sunday in the Park with George  Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim  Book by James Lapine “Sunday in the Park with George”originally opened in 1983 at Playwrights Horizons in New York where it ran for 25 performances, with the second act premiering during the last three performances. The following year, the show transferred to the Booth Theatre on Broadway where it ran for 604 performances. Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin starred in both the off-Broadway and Broadway productions, playing Dot and George respectively. The show is one of eight to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and also was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning two for scenic and lighting design. The show also proceeded to win eight Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical. The university’s performance of “Sunday in the Park with George” is directed by Gregg Stull, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance and Department of Music, with musical direction by Christopher Wingert. Scenic design is by associate professor Julie Hodge and costume design is by associate professor Kevin McCluskey. Lighting and projection designs are by guest designers Jason Arnold and Clint Allen, respectively. Sound design is by student designer Reid Moffatt. For further information and to purchase tickets, contact the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit umw.tix.com.

UMW Hosts Second Annual Dancing with the Fredericksburg Stars

The University of Mary Washington’s second annual Dancing with the Fredericksburg Stars, held on Saturday, Oct. 11, raised more than $75,000 to endow a UMW Performing Arts in the Community Scholarship for regional students who excel in music, theatre or dance.   Click to view slideshow. The evening featured 10 leaders from the Fredericksburg community performing ballroom dances with professional dancers from Strictly Ballroom Dance Studio of Fredericksburg. A panel of judges provided comments and presented the top awards. Terrie Crawley, a local dentist and member of the UMW Board of Visitors, earned the 2014 “Best-in-Show” as well as “Best Posture” for her rumba. Florence Ridderhof, who danced a tango, received the People’s Choice Award, presented at a champagne reception following the show. Ridderhof also received honors for the “Most Dramatic” performance. Other winners announced by the judges were:
  • Lisa Crittenden, executive director of Loisann’s Hope House, “Most Amazing Moves” for the jive
  • Janel Donohue, president of Rappahannock United Way, “Fanciest Footwork” for the cha cha
  • Debby Girvan, president of Flair Communication, “Most Graceful” for the foxtrot
  • John Fick president and CEO of J.F. Fick Inc., “Most Flair” for the hustle
  • Regis Keddie II, senior vice president of investments at Davenport and Co., “Most Entertaining” for the swing
  • John Moss Jr., attorney with Rinehart, Butler, Hodge, Moss & Bryant, PLC, “Best Rhythm” for the peabody
  • John Wack, president of Eastern Sports Management and owner of the Fredericksburg Field House, “Best Costume” for the Viennese waltz
  • Joe Wilson, owner of Perma Treat Pest Control and a member of the UMW Board of Visitors, “Most Engaging” for the Texas two step
Darrell Green, Hall of Famer and former Washington Redskin, hosted the evening. Judges included Rosendo Fumero, a professional ballroom dancer and a former U.S. champion in the American Style Smooth open division; Susan Spears, president of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce; and Melanie Kay-Wyant, principal at Walker Grant Middle School. Both Spears and Kay-Wyant competed in last year’s event.