March 1, 2021

Bales Pens Editorial on Horatio Alger for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales

Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales

UMW Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales penned an editorial in The Free Lance-Star on children’s novelist Horatio Alger that ran in advance of his “Great Lives” lecture on Feb. 16. View the lecture here.

NO AUTHOR of children’s books during the last 30 years of the 19th century was more popular than Horatio Alger Jr. (1832–1899). In subsequent decades, his stereotypical “rags-to-riches” narratives became so familiar that in our own times, the term “Horatio Alger story” has come to be commonly used as shorthand for a person who, through diligence and hard work, rises from poverty to achieve notable success.

The author himself was born in 1832 in Revere, Mass., the son of a Harvard-educated Unitarian minister. Intending to follow in his father’s footsteps, Horatio Jr. graduated from Harvard in 1852.

The several years after graduation, however, were marked by Alger’s indecisive search for a career. Although he was preparing for the ministry, he had a longing to write. His first works, mostly short stories and poems, were aimed at adults. Read more.

Merrill Pens Editorial on Goethe for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Professor Emeritus of German Sammy Merrill

Professor Emeritus of German Sammy Merrill

Professor Emeritus of German Sammy Merrill penned an editorial in The Free Lance-Star on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in advance of his “Great Lives” lecture on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Watch here.

JOHANN Wolfgang Goethe was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on August 28, 1749. His long life of 82 years was defined by accomplishments that are surprising to those who know him only as the author of that most German of literary works: “Faust.”

Indeed, this dramatic poem—in which a man is so disillusioned with the scholarly life that he turns in despair to the devil himself as an alternative way to meaningfulness—is considered by most critics his magnum opus. Many even regard Goethe as the “German Shakespeare” because of this and other significant plays, some of them path-breaking in world literature. Read more.

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s recent column in The Free Lance-Star is entitled, “Start the easy way or the hard way?”

DO YOU make lists of things that you need to get done every day? Or perhaps your time frame is weekly or longer. Most time management gurus will tell you that a ‘to-do’ list is a good way to help you maximize how you spend your day.

I’m a big fan of to-do lists. Most mornings, I generate a list of items that must be done that day. Occasionally, the list will include items that are longer term, but that need to be started soon.

Some people organize their list. Maybe they order the items by importance. Others create a list based on how much time each item will take to complete.

My list is created as I think of things to add. I do not take the time to organize it in any coherent fashion. It’s more a stream of consciousness list. I typically begin the list as soon as I get out of the shower, as I’ve usually thought of three to five things while I’m in there. Then I add to the list throughout the morning.

How do you “work” your list? Do you start with the easiest items to complete or do you tackle the hardest one first?

There is value in each method. Read more.

Williams Featured on WJLA Story on Dr. Farmer’s Legacy

UMW James Farmer Multicultural Center Assistant Director Chris Williams. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

UMW James Farmer Multicultural Center Assistant Director Chris Williams. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

James Farmer Multicultural Center Assistant Director Chris Williams was featured in a WJLA story about how he and the staff and students involved with the JFMC carry on the legacy of Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. Watch here.

Konieczny Publishes in International Journal of Group Theory

Professor of Mathematics Janusz Konieczny

Professor of Mathematics Janusz Konieczny

Janusz Konieczny, professor of mathematics, published a research article, Maximal abelian subgroups of the finite symmetric group, in the International Journal of Group Theory.

UMW Faculty Learning Community Publishes Online

Eleven UMW faculty from a variety of disciplines worked together in 2020 as the Advocacy, Deliberation, and Civic Engagement Learning Community. The group was led by Leslie Martin and Anand Rao, representing the Center for Community Engagement and the Speaking Intensive Program. The goal of the group was for the participants to work together to develop course materials that incorporate advocacy and deliberation activities to support civic learning in their courses. Modeled after a similar initiative at VCU, the UMW faculty learning community met through the Spring 2020 semester to study the ways that advocacy, deliberation, and debate, could be used in class, and the faculty then developed materials, including activities, assignments, and rubrics, for use in college classes. The materials were collected and were recently published online through UMW Eagle Scholar. The publication is titled “Supporting Advocacy, Deliberation, and Civic Learning in the Classroom,” and includes contributions from the following faculty: Leslie Martin (Sociology), Anand Rao (Communication), Adrienne Brovero (Communication, UMW Debate), Gonzalo Campos-Dintrans (Spanish, FSEM), Steve Greenlaw (Economics, FSEM), Pamela Grothe (Environmental Sciences), Jason Hayob-Matzke (Philosophy), Jodie Hayob-Matzke (Environmental Sciences), Christine Henry (Historic Preservation), Joseph Romero (Classics), and Andrea Livi Smith (Historic Preservation).

Subramanian on With Good Reason

Assistant Professor of Communication Sushma Subramanian

Assistant Professor of Communication Sushma Subramanian

Sushma Subramanian, assistant professor of journalism, appeared on a special Valentine’s Day episode of With Good Reason to talk about her new book on the sense of touch, which was released this week

Al-Tikriti Co-Develops & Co-Edits Middle East Report (MERIP) Issue: “Health and the Body Politic”

In December 2020, Middle East Report [MERIP] Issue #297, “Health and the Body Politic,” was officially published. UMW Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History Nabil Al-Tikriti joined the team of developers and editors who invited contributors and edited content for the issue, available online here:

The Issue Development Team (IDT) consisted of Profs. Omar Dewachi of Rutgers, Nabil Al-Tikriti, Kevan Harris of  UCLA, and Assistant Dean Graham Cornwell of George Washington University. Michelle Woodward is MERIP’s Managing Editor.

Press Release: “Health and health care have become increasingly ungoverned over the past few decades, in tandem with a broader breakdown of the body politic. Health care workers are finding it increasingly difficult to work in settings of violent conflict and insecurity, rapidly declining health care systems, pervasive corruption and widespread economic mismanagement—all amidst the waning capacity of states to improve the health and wellbeing of their populace. While the Middle East region trains a lot of doctors, few end up staying. The winter issue of Middle East Report explores the interactions of the body politic with health and medicine and examines the entanglements of physical bodies in the institutional and political processes that govern them. The articles in this issue explore a range of different landscapes and ecologies of politics and health care, bringing the questions and problems of health and illness into the analysis of geopolitics and political economy.”

In addition to participating on the IDT, Al-Tikriti also joined Omar Dewachi in an interview of Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah, a prominent activist and doctor who has worked for over 25 years in conflict medicine throughout the Middle East and Europe, much of it with MSF/Doctors without Borders.

Other contributions to the issue included: Mac Skelton, “The Long Shadow of Iraq’s Cancer Epidemic and COVID-19,” Nihal Kayali, “Syrian Refugees Navigate Turkey’s Shifting Health Care Terrain,” Jennifer Derr, “Hepatitis C, COVID-19 and the Egyptian Regime’s Approach to Health Care,” Osama Tanous, “The Dilemmas of Practicing Humanitarian Medicine in Gaza,” Nora Chalati, “Illness as Metaphor and Reality in Syria,” and Aula Abbara, “COVID-19 Exposes Weaknesses in Syria’s Fragmented and War-Torn Health System.”

Middle East Report is published by the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), a progressive, independent organization. Since 1971 MERIP has provided critical analysis of the Middle East, focusing on political economy, popular struggles and the implications of U.S. foreign policy for the region.

Larus Commments in Vietnam Press on Biden Foreign Policy Challenges

Professor and Chairman of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Professor and Chairman of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Elizabeth Larus, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, commented in the Vietnam press on President Biden’s foreign policy challenges. Professor Larus indicated that Biden will need to overcome the skepticism of Congressional Republicans in formulating his foreign policy. Although foreign policy making is historically the domain of the executive branch, Congress undeniably has a role as well. Access her comments at

Subramanian Published in Elle Magazine – “Your Husband Cheated. Should You Be Able to Sue His Mistress?”

Elle Magazine – Feb 4, 2021

Sushma Subramanian, assistant professor of journalism, published a story in Elle Magazine’s February issue covering a North Carolina case involving “alienation of affection,” a legal term used to describe the breakup of a marriage by a third party. It asks questions such as: Is marriage a contract just like any other, or is it mostly an emotional affair? Read more here: