August 16, 2022

UMW Alum Shines on Jeopardy!

UMW alum Becca Arm ’16 walked away from a recent episode of the long-running TV game show Jeopardy! with $27,500 and a second-place finish.

Now employed as a library assistant, Arm served as a special collections student assistant in the Simpson Library during her time at UMW.

UMW alum Becca Arm ’16 walked away from a recent episode of the long-running TV game show Jeopardy! with $27,500 and a second-place finish.
UMW alum Becca Arm ’16 walked away from a recent episode of the long-running TV game show Jeopardy! with $27,500 and a second-place finish. Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions Inc.

“She was a wonderful library assistant, very detail-oriented and a very good writer,” said UMW Head of Special Collections Carolyn Parsons. “We’re excited to see that she’s gone into the library profession.”

Arm was a fierce contestant on Jeopardy!, leading her competitors – a management consultant and the returning champion, an ESL teacher – for most of the game.

She tore through categories like “1817,” “design & architecture” and “children’s books” in the show’s first round, finishing in the lead with $9,000. In the second round, she muscled through topics including “similes,” “entertaining fruits & vegetables” and “Biblical pairs,” maintaining the lead with $22,200. Arm also snagged one Daily Double in each of the game’s first two segments.

In Final Jeopardy, she questioned the answer – “His First novel, from 1920, incorporated some of his pieces from The Nassau, a Princeton literary magazine” – correctly (F. Scott Fitzgerald) but wagered only $5,300, which left her just short of winning the game.

Arm, who lives in Herndon, Virginia, majored in art history and was a scholarship recipient at Mary Washington. She is interested in onomastics, the study of names, she told the show’s host, Alex Trebek, who admitted to being unfamiliar with the topic.

“It can be any kind of name, but I’m interested in personal names, given names. I like to watch what’s in the media, what’s going on in the news, see what’s going to become popular as a baby name,” Arm told Trebek. “It’s kind of fun.”

A Good Run

Before he runs his annual 5K, UMW junior Kyle Pfohl will hydrate and stretch, just like he’s done for the past several years. This time, though, one thing will be missing – the reason the race exists to begin with, his mother.

Junior Kyle Pfhol, who's organizing a Father's Day run to benefit local cancer patients, warms up before a practice with track teammate Chris Markham '17. Photo by Norm Shafer.
Junior Kyle Pfhol, who’s organizing a Father’s Day run to benefit local cancer patients, warms up before a practice with track teammate Chris Markham ’17. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Annette Pfohl passed away last November after a decade-plus battle with breast cancer. But long before that, Kyle, a cross country runner, just like she was, had established an event to honor her fight. He was still in high school when he started the Battling Cancer Race, the first to exclusively benefit oncology patients in the Fredericksburg area.

In its sixth year, the Father’s Day 5K event has raised tens of thousands of dollars. Now, Pfohl, a transfer student who finished his first year at Mary Washington, hopes his new school – and the tight-knit community that comes with it – will take his fundraising efforts to the finish line.

“One of the biggest things my mom said is ‘never give up’ and ‘never let cancer run your life, you have to be in charge of it,’ ” said Pfohl, a Fredericksburg native who, at UMW, majors in communications and digital studies, and runs track and cross country.

Running was a bond shared by the two, who liked to talk about how the activity can bring about change “one step at a time.” And it did. Less than a week before the biggest race of his life – the NCAA Southeast Regional meet – she passed away.

“In the back of my mind, I was thinking about it … and it was hard to concentrate,” said Pfohl, who pushed through his grief to make the trip to Rome, Georgia, with his UMW cross country teammates. “I literally broke down after the race because I knew I could have done better, but under the circumstances, I think my mom would’ve been proud.”

The annual Battling Cancer 5K, organized by UMW junior Kyle Pfohl, has raised more than $84,000 to date.
The annual Battling Cancer 5K, organized by UMW junior Kyle Pfohl, has raised more than $84,000 to date.

Kyle was just 10 years old in 2005, when his mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer that began in one breast and reappeared throughout her body. During her decade-plus battle with the disease, she endured chemotherapy, radiation and multiple surgeries but kept coming to work, day after day, teaching fifth grade in Woodbridge, Virginia.

“I found Annette to be one of the most courageous women I have ever met,” said volunteer UMW cross country coach Chris Sloane, who’s been Pfohl’s personal coach since 2015. “Her strength and resilience pass down to Kyle.”

Launched in 2012, with the help of Pfohl’s father and older brother, the Battling Cancer Race raised more than $14,000 in its first year for the Mary Washington Healthcare Regional Cancer Center. The event has continued to grow, attracting hundreds of runners, vendors and advertisers, and raising more than $84,000 to date.

“The Fredericksburg cancer center is huge and people need to know you can get treated here,” Pfohl said. “You don’t have to fight the traffic to D.C. or Richmond. You can stay home.”

The annual Battling Cancer 5K, organized by UMW junior Kyle Pfohl, has raised more than $84,000 to date.
The annual Battling Cancer 5K, organized by UMW junior Kyle Pfohl, has raised more than $84,000 to date.

In the future, he plans to add a pre-event fair-type expo, with food vendors and health care professionals onsite. The family would like to create its own nonprofit to benefit cancer treatment in Fredericksburg. And, with the help of his new UMW family, Pfohl hopes to top $100,000 this year.

“Mary Washington is always big about building community, and I want to use this race to give back and represent the UMW community while helping the local area,” he said. “As my mom put it, ‘never giving up hope is what makes life move on.’ ”

Held on Father’s Day, the Battling Cancer Race is scheduled this year for Sunday, June 18. It begins and ends at the Carl D. Silver Health Center/Moss Free Clinic parking lot in Fredericksburg. Visit battlingcancerrace.com for more information.

Birds of a Feather: Eagle grads flock together

There was definitely something in the water at the University of Mary Washington’s undergraduate commencement ceremony last month.  
Theater major Morgan “Mo” Gresham crossed the Ball Circle stage with a memory of her grandmother, Barbara Hitchings Gresham ’57, who passed away last May, glued to her cap. Photo by Norm Shafer.
Theater major Morgan “Mo” Gresham crossed the Ball Circle stage with a memory of her grandmother, Barbara Hitchings Gresham ’57, who passed away last May, glued to her cap. Photo by Norm Shafer.
Grandmothers and grandchildren, husbands and wives, even big groups of siblings and cousins – all UMW grads – braved the rain and damp weather to prove Eagle spirit really does run in the family. UMW’s 106th commencement ceremony showcased a large legacy of love for a small liberal arts and sciences school. Theater major Morgan “Mo” Gresham crossed the Ball Circle stage with a memory of her grandmother, who passed away last May, glued to her cap. She’d covered her mortarboard in a dainty blue and white floral fabric that looked like something her “memaw,” Barbara Hitchings Gresham ’57, would have worn, she said. “One of the big reasons Mo selected UMW was to share in the legacy her grandmother established,” Morgan’s father, Donald Gresham, said of his mother, who would’ve celebrated the 60th anniversary of her own graduation on Saturday. Tor and Shannon Smalling showed up for the couples. They waited side-by-side, as they have through their 17-year marriage, to receive their perspective BLS degrees. “We have done many things together over the years,” Shannon said, including a somewhat challenging stint as lab partners in a UMW astronomy class, “but this is one of the most monumental.”
Martha Fuechsel ’16, M.Ed. ’17, received a master’s degree the night before her sister, Melanie Fuechsel ’17, a historic preservation and geospatial analysis double major, earned a bachelor’s.
Martha Fuechsel ’16, M.Ed. ’17, received a master’s degree the night before her sister, Melanie Fuechsel ’17, a historic preservation and geospatial analysis double major, earned a bachelor’s.
Glenn Gatzke ’12 was there to see sister Gabrielle Gatzke ’17 receive her bachelor’s degree. He braved the rain with wife Rachel Gatzke ’12 and 16-month-old daughter Jillian. But Glenn’s Mary Washington ties don’t stop there. His brother, Keith Gatzke ’13, also graduated from UMW, as did sister-in-law Tracy Frelk ’13 and cousins Rick Westerman ’13 and Cory Yeago ’11. “I think they saw how plugged in I got,” Glenn Gatzke said of the siblings, in-laws and cousins who followed him to Mary Washington. “Not only on campus but in Fredericksburg in general.” Martha Fuechsel ’16, M.Ed. ’17, received a master’s degree the night before her sister, Melanie Fuechsel ’17, a historic preservation and geospatial analysis double major, earned a bachelor’s. “Being able to walk alongside each other as sisters and Eagles is something rare and special for two sisters to do,” Martha Fuechsel said. Sociology major Alex Smith followed in the footsteps of his grandmother, Hellen Hope Harrison Mitchell ’47, who 70 years before her grandson crossed the Ball Circle stage, earned a degree in home economics. “She’s my favorite person ever,” Smith said of his grandmother, who could not make the trip from her Prince George County, Virginia, home.
Morgan James ’17 of San Leandro, California, now shares an alma mater with her grandmother, Christine Harper Hovis '55. Photo by Norm Shafer.
Morgan James ’17 of San Leandro, California, now shares an alma mater with her grandmother, Christine Harper Hovis ’55. Photo by Norm Shafer.
Morgan James ’17 of San Leandro, California, double majored in German and environmental affairs. Growing up, she knew Mary Washington as the alma mater of her grandmother, Christine Harper Hovis, who finished back in 1955. It was a different world back then, Hovis said Saturday after commencement, while the family waited for Morgan’s brother, Harper James ’19, to finish his job ushering for the event. From an all-women’s school when Hovis was a student to the UMW her granddaughter found when she visited with family in the fall of 2012, so much had changed. But, Morgan said, the Mary Washington magic remained. “I fell head over heels for this campus, this community, and this school.”

The Sky’s the Limit

Meet the University of Mary Washington’s undergraduate Class of 2017: 1,035 graduates boasting five types of degrees in countless areas of study. With freshly-minted diplomas in hand, where will our world-ready graduates go?

UMW’s Office of Career and Professional Development asked just that in its 2017 Exit Survey, which addressed post-graduation plans for the class of 2017. Here’s what we learned from the 727 responses:

More than half of the class know the next stop on their journey.

When the survey was taken several months ago, 18% of graduates had enrolled in a graduate program and 38% of graduates were already employed. Beyond that, another 15% had committed to military careers or volunteer service.

While master’s degrees top the list for higher education, students are also pursuing Ph.Ds, and J.Ds.

Although almost 80% of those headed to graduate school intend to receive a master’s we also have potential future lawyers and perhaps even professors in the mix.

The majority of students headed for graduate school are pursuing a degree in education.

True to our institution’s founding as a teacher’s preparatory school, a full 48% of our students pursuing continuing education reported that they are seeking a degree in education.

Grad Survey

 

 

Cap-tivating Stories

As the Class of 2017 marched onto Ball Circle for the University of Mary Washington’s 106th commencement ceremony, so did a parade of brightly decorated and eye-catching caps. More than just glue and fabric, the colorful decorations told the stories of the 1,035 soon-to-be alumni.

Courtney Burrows '17 Courtney Burrows '17

For first-generation student Courtney Burrows, commencement was a significant moment – and her decorated cap provided the perfect way to share the meaning of the day. Topped with bright blue flowers, her cap boasts the words, “Nevertheless she persisted.”

“My mom is also in school while working full time and we’ve been through a lot together,” said the history major who will stay at UMW to finish her master’s in education next year. “This phrase is something that means a lot to both of us.”

Brittany Olenslager '17 Brittany Olenslager '17

Name: Brittany Olenslager
HometownCulpeper, Virginia
Major: Environmental Science, Natural Track
Post-graduation: Hoping to work with the Culpeper Soil and Water District as a field technician

True to her academic career, Brittany Olenslager reflected her passion for the environment and love of the sciences while looking to the future.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart – this is one of my favorite Confucius quotes. I wanted something inspiring that looked to the future. The main goal of environmental scientists is to help the environment so I reflected that too.”

Chris Markham '17 Chris Markham '17

Name: Chris Markham
Hometown: Fluvanna, Virginia
Major: Journalism
Post-graduation: Pursuing a career in journalism

For journalism major and athlete Chris Markham, his cap was a way to look back on each area of his life at Mary Washington – writing for the Blue & Gray Press student newspaper, running track & field and running on the cross country team.

“My cap has my last race numbers for both track and cross country,” said Markham. “And it has the last story I wrote for the Blue & Gray Press.”

Megan Joslin '17 Megan Joslin '17 Megan Joslin '17

Name: Megan Joslin 
Hometown: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Major: History with a minor in education
Post-graduation: Pursuing a master’s degree in education at UMW

History major Megan Joslin took a quote from author Shel Silverstein to reflect a hope that she has for all students and added a shout-out to her mom and dad.

“The quote speaks to the hope that you can do anything if you try,” said Joslin. “My parents have been especially supportive so I added a thank you message to the bow.”

Ultimate Frisbee cap Robby Pratt '17 (left) and Zachary Norrbom '17 (right) Robby Pratt '17 (left) and Zachary Norrbom '17 (right)

Name: Zachary Norrbom
Hometown: Arlington, Virginia
Major: Studio art with a minor in education
Post-graduation: Pursuing a master’s degree in education at UMW

Ultimate Frisbee captain Zachary Norrbom teamed up with co-captain Robby Pratt to recognize the team that has made all the difference to their time at Mary Washington.

“Ultimate Frisbee is the best nonofficial sport there is,” said Norrbom. “Under the Frisbee, I have my number and “MOG” for “Mother of George,” the name of our team. I’ve been captain for two years now and will be returning next year as captain so this team means a lot to me.”

And under the regalia? The duo couldn’t help but sport their ‘lucky onesies.’

“We won a pumpkin carving contest our sophomore year and used the money to buy these onesies,” said Norrbom. “Then we wore them in our next Ultimate Frisbee game and won and they’ve been lucky ever since.”

What’s the story behind your cap? Share on social with #UMW17.

UMW Faculty Members to Receive Emeritus Status

Five longtime professors and faculty members will be awarded emeritus status during the University of Mary Washington’s graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13.

Manning Collier will be named Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematics during the University of Mary Washington's undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, 2017.
Manning Collier will be named Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematics during the University of Mary Washington’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Friday’s graduate ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. Saturday’s undergraduate ceremony begins at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle on the university’s Fredericksburg campus.

Manning Collier will be named Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematics; Steve Hampton will be named Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychology; Mary Rigsby will be named Professor Emerita of English; Douglas Sanford will be named Professor Emeritus of Historic Preservation; and David Berreth will be named Director Emeritus of the Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont.

The title emeritus is bestowed on faculty members and administrators who have served the university for at least 15 years and who have attained the rank of professor or associate professor.

During his 35 years at UMW, Associate Professor of Mathematics Manning Collier has taught more than 300 courses, from Linear Algebra to Real and Complex Analysis. Collier served the university extensively as department chair and as a member of the Bachelor of Liberal Studies Committee, the Promotion and Tenure Committee and the Campus Academic Resources Committee.

An expert in general mathematics and functional analysis, Collier is currently working on a book project, Analysis of Metric Spaces. He received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.

Steve Hampton will be named Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychology during the University of Mary Washington's undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, 2017.
Steve Hampton will be named Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychology during UMW’s 2017 undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Associate Professor of Psychology Steve Hampton was welcomed to the Mary Washington faculty in 1980, the seventh faculty member to join the psychology department. He taught a wide range of subjects, including General Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Human Sexuality. During his 37-year tenure at UMW, Hampton was awarded the Richard Palmieri Outstanding Professor Award by the Class of 1996. He won the Grellet C. Simpson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2002.

Hampton has studied a variety of cognitive phenomena, including eyewitness testimony, face perception and methods of learning. He earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Northern Illinois University.

Mary Rigsby will be named Professor Emerita of English during the University of Mary Washington's undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, 2017.
Mary Rigsby will be named Professor Emerita of English during UMW’s 2017 undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Professor of English Mary Rigsby arrived at Mary Washington in 1992. During her 25-year tenure, she taught an array of classes, including Introduction to Women’s Studies, and multiple courses in American literature and advanced writing. Her areas of expertise include writing pedagogy and literary theory with a specialty in feminist theory. She has published many articles on 19th-century women writers.

Among her many accomplishments, Rigsby has served as an editorial consultant for Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature and LEGACY: A Journal of American Women Writers. At UMW, she was director of the Teaching Innovation Program, and served on the Writing Intensive Program and Quality Enhancement Plan. She was president of the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate from 2008 to 2010. Rigsby received her Ph.D. in English from Temple University.

Douglas Sanford will be named Professor Emeritus of Historic Preservation during the University of Mary Washington's undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, 2017.
Douglas Sanford will be named Professor Emeritus of Historic Preservation during UMW’s 2017 undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Professor of Historic Preservation Douglas Sanford came to Mary Washington as an adjunct professor in 1987, teaching historical archeology. Sanford developed the department’s archeological field school at Stratford Hall Plantation, which focused on the domestic sites of enslaved African Americans and landscape of the plantation. He has conducted archaeological research across Virginia, including at the Yorktown Battlefield and Monticello, and in the Northern Neck area, as well as in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Brazil.

He served as director for UMW’s Center for Historic Preservation as well as chair of the department for Historic Preservation and was appointed the Prince B. Woodard Chair in Historic Preservation in 2011. Sanford received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Virginia.

David Berreth will be named Director Emeritus of the Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont during the University of Mary Washington's undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, 2017.
David Berreth will be named Director Emeritus of the Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont during UMW’s 2017 undergraduate commencement ceremony.

David Berreth, director of Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont, has served Mary Washington, which administers the historic site for the commonwealth, for 27 years. During that time, with the university’s support, Belmont has expanded facilities and staff through private and public fundraising. Major building projects include the 1995 conversion of the carriage house into a visitor center and museum shop, the 2000 restoration of the original studio and galleries, and the addition of a pavilion to accommodate public events and a collection storage facility in 2006.

In 1992, Berreth established the Friends of Belmont, a group of almost 400 donors who provide regular funding for operations and special projects, including historic preservation initiatives often carried out by UMW students.

Healing Through Horses

On a warm spring evening, UMW sophomores Elizabeth Finto and Hannah Backe dress down for a night away from the library. Trading books for bridles, the girls head to nearby Hazelwild Farm, where they prepare to saddle up Penny, Marlin and Barney, three horses with big hearts and an even bigger purpose.

UMW students participate in the therapeutic horseback riding program at Hazelwild Farm. Photo by Reza A. Marvashti. UMW students participate in the therapeutic horseback riding program at Hazelwild Farm. Photo by Reza A. Marvashti. UMW students participate in the therapeutic horseback riding program at Hazelwild Farm. Photo by Reza A. Marvashti. UMW students participate in the therapeutic horseback riding program at Hazelwild Farm. Photo by Reza A. Marvashti. UMW students participate in the therapeutic horseback riding program at Hazelwild Farm. Photo by Reza A. Marvashti. UMW students participate in the therapeutic horseback riding program at Hazelwild Farm. Photo by Reza A. Marvashti.

Host to Mary Washington’s varsity equestrian team, the only program of its type in Virginia, the Spotsylvania County farm offers another uniquely UMW opportunity – therapeutic horseback riding. Focused on rehabilitating riders of all ages with physical and mental disabilities, the Tuesday night lessons give students a chance to get involved and make a difference. And it’s often hard to tell who benefits more.

“The riders are teaching us to see the beauty in things, sing when we want to sing or do something random and throw societal norms out the window,” said Backe, an anthropology and international affairs major.

Open to UMW students through COAR, Community Outreach and Resources, the weekly riding lessons place student volunteers in one of two jobs: leaders, who guide horses around the ring, or side walkers, who walk beside mounted riders to provide balance, direction and comfort.

“Therapeutic riding at Hazelwild Farm has been going on for 10-plus years,” said sophomore Linnea Harding-Scudder, COAR leader for the therapeutic riding program. “We have riders in their 20s who’ve been coming since they were 8 or 9.”

With disabilities ranging from generalized anxiety and autism, to cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects body movement and muscle coordination, the riders who come to Hazelwild often are looking to work on balance, control and self-confidence.

“[Maintaining a sense of] control is a big concern for people who struggle with disabilities, and horseback riding gives them that,” Backe said. “It also builds strength in core muscles while not putting too much stress on the body.”

Finto, a communications and digital studies major, said the weekly program gives her a sense of success and makes her feel proud.

Finto, who hails from Richmond, and Backe, who’s from Charlottesville, met in high school when they signed up for the same summer camp. They reignited their friendship as UMW freshmen, when they discovered they were neighbors in Virginia Hall. When they decided to volunteer together with therapeutic horseback riding, they never imagined they would fall in love with the program the way that they have.

Volunteers can spend hours each night, grooming and tacking the horses, working with riders, and cleaning up after everyone else has gone home. The horses do their part, too, helping riders with stability, strength, flexibility, motor skills, cognitive ability and more.

“The paring between child and horse is based on what the child needs,” said Backe. “Horses can sense your demeanor and how you’re feeling, and they will respond to it.”

One in particular, named Penny for the brown star-shaped mark on her forehead, is a favorite among riders. Her gentle and steady spirit is perfect for those who struggle with balance.

“A therapeutic horse has patience like no other and goes a step above and beyond to take care of its therapeutic rider,” said senior Catie Morton, weekly volunteer and UMW equestrian team captain. “I feel lucky to be part of such a wonderful program full of amazing volunteers, incredible horses and the coolest, sweetest kids I know.”

Positive Buzz

With spring finally popping up at the University of Mary Washington, so are the bold buds and blooms of our native plants – purple phlox, golden coneflowers, blue false indigo. Campus is bursting with bright colors made even more vivid by the hard work of a student determined to have her voice heard.

Senior biology and environmental sciences major Maggie Magliato poses with a sign from the pollinator walk she created on campus. Photo by Norm Shafer.
Senior biology and environmental sciences major Maggie Magliato poses with a sign from the pollinator walk she created on campus. Photo by Norm Shafer.

“Pollinators are in decline, and that’s a big topic in the environmental science and conservation world right now,” said UMW senior Maggie Magliato, who is raising awareness on the Fredericksburg campus.

This spring, for the first time ever, a bumblebee was added to the United States list of endangered species. The rusty patched bumblebee, whose population has plummeted nearly 90 percent since the late 1990s, according to a recent  National Geographic article, is facing extinction. The dominant cause for the decline is habitat loss.

Magliato, a biology and environmental studies major, has brought the battle to empower the pollinators to UMW. On April 20, just in time for Mary Washington’s Earth Day celebration, she launched the “pollinator walk.” The interactive experience – five colorful signs strategically placed along Campus Walk – gives students, faculty, staff and the entire community the opportunity to learn about the process of pollination and the importance of native plants.

The continuing decline of pollinators – like the rusty patched bumblebee and other animals, including birds, butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles and bats that cause plants to make fruits and seeds – is due in part to urban development. Using insecticides and mowing down fields instead of letting them flourish can lead to habitat loss.

As such, three of the five signs on Magliato’s pollinator walk designate “no mow zones,” where the grass stays tall at all times. The remaining two signs highlight the importance of pollinators, our native eco systems and how we can help.

UMW senior Maggie Magliato created the pollinator walk, a series of five signs along Campus Walk. UMW senior Maggie Magliato created the pollinator walk, a series of five signs along Campus Walk. UMW senior Maggie Magliato created the pollinator walk, a series of five signs along Campus Walk.

“Species are going extinct every day due to human impact,” Magliato said. “I strive to prevent that as much as possible by educating people and making a difference.”

During her time at Mary Washington, Magliato earned two grants – a “Go Green” grant from the food services and facilities management company Sodexo and an Innovation in Environmental Stewardship Award from the natural resource and environmental consulting firm Marstel-Day – that would make her dreams grow.

“I want to be active in protecting the world we live in, and that includes our campus,” said Magliato. “Applying for those grants was a way to leave my footprint behind.”

With the funds from the grants, Magliato’s original idea of planting a pollinator garden on the Mary Washington campus blossomed into a plan to create an active learning experience.

“We thought we could enact more change and benefits through teaching people,” Magliato said. “We wanted to highlight the native plants that we already have established on campus and tell people how they can also help.”

Joni Wilson, UMW’s longtime director of landscape and grounds, was excited to have a hand in the pollinator walk project and an opportunity to embrace student involvement.

“Working with Maggie I learned even more,” Wilson said. “I never cease to be impressed with the students’ knowledge, commitment and willingness to work hard to improve not only UMW, but their world.”

Designed to be experienced individually or together, the signs that make up the pollinator walk turned out to be everything Magliato imagined. She hopes one day she’ll return to campus to find her project expanded by other Mary Washington students with similar passions.

“It’s really cool knowing that I will be leaving this project as my legacy here at Mary Washington,” Magliato said. “Knowing that I’ll be able to come back and see that it inspired more environmentalists to attend this school is a great feeling.”

The Art of Curating

In the 1920s, Margaret Sutton was a small-town art student at Mary Washington, poised to graduate and move to New York City to pursue her dreams of being an artist. Ninety years later, her nearly 3,000 pieces of artwork make up almost half of UMW’s permanent collection.

Donated to the university following her death in 1990, Sutton’s expansive collection had only ever been publicly exhibited once before. Then this spring, a collaboration between the UMW Galleries and Department of Art and Art History provided the setting for the first-ever fully student-curated art exhibit – and Sutton’s return to the spotlight.

Open through June 29 in the Ridderhof Martin Gallery, Margaret Sutton: Life + Works introduces 30 student-selected pieces featuring a range of penciled cathedral drawings, bold watercolors and flowing musical interpretations. Researched, designed and planned by those in the Laboratory in Museum Studies course, the exhibit represents a unique approach that puts today’s students front and center as curators.

Margaret Sutton, student curated art show opening, Tuesday April 19, 2017. (Photo by Norm Shafer). Margaret Sutton, student curated art show opening, Tuesday April 19. Margaret Sutton, student curated art show opening, Tuesday April 19. Margaret Sutton, student curated art show opening, Tuesday April 19. Margaret Sutton, student curated art show opening, Tuesday April 19. Margaret Sutton, student curated art show opening, Tuesday April 19.

Part of the museum studies minor, the laboratory course provides a hands-on approach to the theoretical aspects of exhibit curation, including preparation, installation design and marketing. Each student was responsible for selecting and researching three of Sutton’s works and creating complimentary art labels, then they designed the physical layout of the exhibit and assisted with promotion.

Sutton, who majored in studio art at Mary Washington, moved after graduation to the big city, where she met fellow artist Alfred Levitt and his wife, Gertrude. The three lived together in a Greenwich Village apartment until Gertrude’s 1983 death. Sutton continued to live with Levitt until her own death.

“Margaret Sutton is a bit of a mystery,” said Elizabeth O’Meara, a sophomore and historic preservation major. “She kept many of her paintings under her bed and unlabeled, so we’ve had to research and put facts together to learn about the pieces.”

Leading the way through the intensive creative process was Professor of Art and Art History Marjorie Och. After a full semester of research, it was up to the class to fit their selected works together into the gallery and bring the Sutton exhibit to life.

“We have an empty space and we need to fill in the gaps,” said Och, referencing the bare gallery walls surrounding her class one week before the opening reception. “What will our audience see first? How can we draw people into her life and work?”

The class eagerly jumped in, voicing their ideas on the design and layout of the exhibit. As the student co-curators made decisions, Associate Professor of Studio Art and Gallery Specialist Rosemary Jesionowski, also a gallery specialist, guided them through the process of arranging the works. Two students donning blue latex gloves worked with precision, holding artwork from the side to provide support and always securing a new space for each piece before picking it up.

Students in the Laboratory in Museum Studies course discuss the layout and design of the exhibit. Students in the Laboratory in Museum Studies course discuss the layout and design of the exhibit. Students in the Laboratory in Museum Studies course discuss the layout and design of the exhibit. Students in the Laboratory in Museum Studies course discuss the layout and design of the exhibit. Students in the Laboratory in Museum Studies course discuss the layout and design of the exhibit.

Melding together all the aspects of curation – research, storytelling, design, installation and promotion – was important, said sophomore studio art major Amber Tranter.

“Being able to have this kind of hands-on experience solidified my decision to pursue museum studies.”

Margaret Sutton: Life + Work will be on display in UMW’s Ridderhof Martin Gallery through Thursday, June 29. The gallery is located on College Avenue at the Fredericksburg Campus and is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed during University holidays and breaks. Free parking for gallery visitors is designated in the lot on College Avenue at Thornton Street. For directions and gallery information, call 540-654-1013 or visit http://www.umwgalleries.org.

The New Guy Top 10

Top 10 things prospective University of Mary Washington students will learn from watching the recently released YouTube series The New Guy:

  1. UMW mascot Sammy D. Eagle has great dance moves.

    UMW mascot Sammy D. Eagle takes to the court at the Anderson Center during a recent basketball game against CNU. Photo by Norm Shafer.
    UMW mascot Sammy D. Eagle takes to the court at the Anderson Center during a recent basketball game against CNU. Photo by Norm Shafer.

From basketball to golf, UMW’s 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports, along with a lineup of intramural and club teams, offer something for everyone. Cheered on by Sammy, UMW DIII players consistently advance to the national level.

  1. Mary Wash horses get police escorts.

Mary Washington’s varsity intercollegiate riding team, housed at nearby Hazelwild Farm, packs in the horsepower. One of just 25 Virginia schools listed with the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association, the team has long been a national contender.

  1. Frisbee lives.

Dotted with Adirondack chairs, UMW’s Ball Circle is a sidewalk-encircled sanctuary of sunshine and grass, and a hub of student activity. The space is home to Commencement and a host of uniquely UMW activities, and a place where a friendly game of Frisbee is never too far away.

  1. University presidents like ice cream.

    UMW President Troy D. Paino shares ice cream from Carl's with a four-legged friend. Photo by Norm Shafer.
    UMW President Troy D. Paino shares ice cream from Carl’s with a four-legged friend. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Nostalgic and delicious, Carl’s ice cream is a local institution with a national reputation. Opened in an abandoned gas station in 1947, it’s been on the National Historic Register since 2005 and touted on major media outlets like CBS News and PBS.

  1. Amtrak delivers.

An hour north of Richmond, Virginia, and an hour south of Washington, D.C., UMW is strategically located between state and national capitals. Amtrak makes accessing D.C. offerings – politics and power, art and museums, and some of the most prestigious internships in the United States – even easier.

  1. The CEO of Rolls-Royce North America is a UMW grad.

Many of UMW’s nearly 40,000 living alums have gone on to reach incredible heights in their fields. Meet Rolls-Royce North America CEO Marion Blakey ’70 and VP for government relations at Owens Illinois, the world’s largest glass manufacturer, Dan Steen ’84.

  1. UMW’s people are “people people.”

    UMW President Troy D. Pain stars in the recently released YouTube series "The New Guy."
    UMW President Troy D. Pain stars in the recently released YouTube series “The New Guy.”

It’s a tight-knit group of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. “As a student, you want someplace where … you can take your academics seriously,” Paino said in the series. “But also, it’s a place where you feel like you can be yourself.”

  1. The Rappahannock River is a great place to paddleboard.

The longest free-flowing river in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Rappahannock runs adjacent to campus. It’s home to UMW’s club rowing crew and a great place to tube, canoe, kayak and paddleboard.

  1. Mary Washington might have played golf.

Home to one of the nation’s oldest and most respected historic preservation programs, UMW – and its location near many museums and historic sites, including The Mary Washington House (where Paino finds an interesting piece of sporting equipment) – offers students unique opportunities for hands-on learning, research and valuable internships.

  1. George Washington grew up in Fredericksburg.

More than 300 years of social evolution folded neatly into 11 square miles, Fredericksburg, Virginia, is a small city with big opportunity, offering a presidential past, Civil War battlefields and Colonial charm alongside savvy restaurants and iconic eateries.