August 3, 2020

Farnsworth Lectures on U.S. Voter Suppression

Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently discussed his research on national and state-level efforts to suppress voter turnout in advance of the 2020 elections during an online discussion with NextGen activists.

A link to the conversation is available here: https://www.facebook.com/NextGenNorthCarolina/videos/588951375095206

Dr. Farnsworth also offered comments in the following regional and national news stories:

Large Virginia county ends immigration enforcement agreement (The Washington Post)

Gutzman Considering Bid to Become Virginia’s First Hispanic Lt. Governor (NPR)

Trump Holds Rally in Phoenix (CTV News Channel)

This is a ‘failure of political leadership’ (CTV News Channel)

UMW Community Works with City on Freedom Rides Historical Marker

Last fall, UMW students and city residents retraced the route of the Freedom Rides, the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel, organized by James Farmer. Members of the UMW community are working with the City to establish a historic marker on the site of the old bus station in Fredericksburg, the Freedom Riders' first stop on their 1961 trip. Photo by Lynda Allen.

Last fall, UMW students and city residents retraced the route of the Freedom Rides, the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel, organized by James Farmer. Members of the UMW community are working with the City to establish a historic marker on the site of the old bus station in Fredericksburg, the Freedom Riders’ first stop on their 1961 trip. Photo by Lynda Allen.

James Farmer Multicultural Center Assistant Director Chris Williams, Assistant Professor of History Erin Devlin and Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Christine Henry were interviewed in The Free Lance-Star about their efforts to work with the City of Fredericksburg to establish a Virginia state historical marker at the site of the old bus station where the Freedom Riders stopped first in their quest to desegregate interstate transportation in 1961. The station formerly stood on the corner of Princess Anne and Wolfe streets, near where the fire station is now.

Some of the riders were arrested in North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi. In Anniston, Ala., a mob of Ku Klux Klan members slashed the bus’s tires as it attempted to leave the terminal, and later threw a firebomb at it.

UMW students and staff and community members visited the field where the bombing occurred last fall, as part of a trip recreating the journey of the Freedom Riders.

“To our surprise, there was no marker out there. No historical marker saying that right here, the original 13 Freedom Riders were fire-bombed,” said Chris Williams, assistant director of UMW’s James Farmer Multicultural Center, which organized the trip. “I was enraged and so were the students.”

Back home in Fredericksburg, Williams was still thinking about ways the story of the Freedom Riders and James Farmer could be told better—and that led to the idea of placing a highway marker at the site of the old bus station.

Williams, Devlin and Henry, in partnership with the City of Fredericksburg, have started the process of applying for the marker from the state Department of Historical Resources. Read more.

Mellinger, Rao Interviewed by University Business

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger and Anand Rao, Professor of Communication and Director of the Speaking Intensive Program and Speaking Center at UMW, were recently interviewed by University Business about UMW’s new “COVID-19 in Context Course,” being taught over Zoom by over 40 faculty members to thousands of participants worldwide.

In just two days, enough professors from the University of Mary Washington agreed to donate their time to help launch a free coronavirus course in five weeks for students and the community this summer.

The popularity of the then-upcoming COVID-19 in Context online course, now still in session, rapidly grew after a faculty member was inspired by another school’s offering to pitch the idea to leaders at the Virginia public university. Soon, nearly 2,000 people enrolled in the free COVID-19 course, including more than 800 students. “It was a logistical nightmare,” says Keith Mellinger, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We had to ensure our more than 40 faculty members were on the same page and learn how to work with numerous departments that are typically not part of course development since we would be reaching such a large audience.” Read more.

 

Greenlaw Comments on Open Educational Resource Tools

Professor of Economics Steven Greenlaw

Professor of Economics Steven Greenlaw

Professor of Economics Steve Greenlaw was recently interviewed in an article on Ed Surge entitled, “‘Better Every Semester’: How Faculty Use Open Educational Resources to Improve Courses.”

In addition to providing students with text and video content, courseware tools also have built-in nudges and assessments—sometimes personalized—that generate instant feedback about whether students are mastering the assigned material.

That data allows an entity like Lumen to “crunch the numbers and figure out where the problems are” with courseware texts and tests, then fix those problems, says Steve Greenlaw, a professor of economics at the University of Mary Washington, who has helped to produce OER resources for Lumen and for OpenStax, a nonprofit OER publisher, and who uses Lumen courseware with his own classes. 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 weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses how to enforce regulations in a company when it comes to employees with differing abilities. Read APPLYING RULES.

 

I heard a story that broke my heart. A young man on the autism spectrum has a job in a well-known organization. He made a snack purchase on the honor system at his office break room. When he scanned the item, he hit the wrong button and ended up canceling the transaction instead of charging it. But he didn’t realize what he had done and ate the item.

Later, he was confronted about stealing the $5 item. It’s my understanding that he didn’t explain what happened well, and was placed on suspension for a week. He thought he was going to lose his job, including his important benefits.

I first became aware of the situation while he was on suspension. A relative of his had shared the story and was concerned about what might happen. While I certainly had no way of knowing why he was suspended for a week over such a transgression, I was confident that he would not lose his job over it. The relative indicated he had worked there for 2½ years, had never been late, had never called in sick and volunteered to work late. He had even won a productivity award in a previous month. Read more.

 

Larus Comments on Taiwan Recall Vote, U.S.-China Relations

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, commented on Taiwan and U.S. politics on Squawk Box Asia, CNBC Asia, on June 9, 2020. Overblown promises, an ambitious presidential bid, efforts to move Taiwan closer to China, and the HK protests all contributed to the historic recall of Han Kuo-yu, mayor of Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s critical industrial city. Regarding the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Larus claimed that a Democratic administration may not be much kinder to China than the Trump administration.

View part of the interview at  athttps://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/06/09/china-should-not-expect-an-easier-relationship-with-biden-professor.html

Rotter, Hansen-Glucklich Pen FLS Letter to the Editor on Protest Cartoon

Assistant Professor of German Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich

Assistant Professor of German Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich

Associate Professor of German Marcel Rotter

Associate Professor of German Marcel Rotter

Associate German Professor Marcel Rotter and Assistant German Professor Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich penned a Letter to the Editor of The Free Lance-Star on an editorial cartoon that compared anti-racist protests to the infamous German pogroms known as “Kristallnacht”—or “Night of Broken Glass.” Read more.

 

Protests cannot be compared to Kristallnacht

It was with great dismay that we saw the June 3 editorial cartoon in The Free Lance–Star, a comparison of the infamous pogrom of Nov. 9, 1938, in Germany (often referred to as “Kristallnacht”—or “Night of Broken Glass”) with the anti-racist street protests of June 2020.

By its very definition, an editorial cartoon sheds light on a societal issue poignantly, quickly, and without the need for a long explanation. We were struggling to find an interpretation that would not be racist.

Do you really believe that protesters and looters are the same group of people?

This cartoon betrays at best an ignorance of history, and at worst a total lack of compassion for the plight of victims of racism in this country.

Marcel P. Rotter
Associate Professor of German

Jennifer Hansen–Glucklich
Assistant Professor of German

University of Mary Washington

Rycroft Discusses How Virus-Linked Recession Affects Women, Minorities

Professor of Economics Robert Rycroft

Professor of Economics Robert Rycroft

Professor of Economics Robert Rycroft recently discussed with Courthouse News the effect the recession, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has had on women and minorities.

Pew reported Thursday that women, particularly Hispanic women, fared much worse in the coronavirus recession than during the Great Recession of 2007-09. Conversely, African-American men, who saw a peak unemployment of 21.2% during the Great Recession, have seen only a 15.8% top unemployment rate this time around. 

“The disparities have a lot to do with the different mix of occupations,” said Robert Rycroft, an economics professor at the University of Mary Washington. Rycroft noted that in previous recessions manufacturing and construction suffered more than the service sector. “Some jobs were very susceptible to the effects of the virus,” Rycroft said. Read more.

Stommel Interviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, a senior lecturer of Digital Studies, was recently interviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education for an article entitled, “How Your Syllabus Can Cater to Every Student.”

Imagine, for instance, an online course in which some students crave real-time interaction, and others are unable to participate. As Jesse Stommel, a senior lecturer and digital-learning fellow at the University of Mary Washington, in Virginia, said when I was working on our recent report on preparing for an online fall, a professor could give students the option of attending a discussion in Zoom — or writing a reflection, or posting to a discussion board. In addition to providing access, Stommel said, such choices can lead to better discussions since students get to pick a format that appeals to them. Read more.

Farnsworth Comments in the Regional and National News

Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, has been quoted in several regional and national news stories:

G.O.P. Congressman Faces Primary After Officiating Same-Sex Wedding (The New York Times)

Rep. Riggleman ousted in Virginia GOP convention after presiding over same-sex marriage (The Hour; The Washington Post)

Republican congressman’s gay wedding role draws challenge at parking lot convention (Reuters)

Biden wants the media to cover more of his events, and Trump does too (CNY Central; mycbs4.com; abc6onyourside.com)

New Charges Against Police in Floyd Case (CTV News Channel)

Trump Eyes Executive Order on Policing (CTV News Channel)

U.S. Racial and Political Divisions (CTV News Channel)

Trump Changes Rally from ‘Juneteenth’ (CTV News Channel)

Virginia Governor Orders Removal of Confederate Statue Amid Protests (Courthouse News Service)

Rep. Harris’ Loyalty to Trump Appears Unbreakable (Maryland Matters.org)

Democratic candidates label Good, who defeated Riggleman, ‘extremist’ (Nelson County Times)

Mornings on the Mall (WMAL)