July 13, 2020

Student Publication Spreads Positivity During Pandemic

Abruptly, in mid-March – as the coronavirus pandemic began its rampage – Cosette Veeder-Shave ’22 had to leave Mary Washington and return to her home in New York. She could no longer physically be with her professors or her classmates; she just saw tiny images of them on her computer screen as she continued her […]

UMW Plans Return to a Reimagined Campus

Like so many things in the wake of COVID-19, a definition in the Urban Dictionary will need to change. “Bench sitting”in that publication is currently defined as: “Leisure activity unique to University of Mary Washington, where one or more students observe the activities and/or listen to the conversations of others while sitting on a Campus Walk […]

Paige Shiplett: Business as Usual

Local small businesses thrive thanks to countless tourists and residents who enjoy Fredericksburg’s charm and hospitality. But when COVID-19 came to town, many downtown shops were forced to shutter their storefronts and endure a decline in sales.

Paige Shiplett, finance and marketing coordinator for UMW's Center for Economic Development. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

Paige Shiplett, finance and marketing coordinator for UMW’s Center for Economic Development. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

Enter the UMW Center for Economic Development (CED) which swiftly switched its popular seminars to free webinars by speakers who donated their time and expertise. A slew of regional entrepreneurs who participated in two virtual series – overcoming business challenges and best practices for going online – said they were thrilled to have their needs addressed.

“Some were unaware of our resources before the crisis, and told us they are so grateful to have found us,” Paige Shiplett said. As finance and marketing coordinator for the CED, which houses the Small Business Development Center and a host of programs, she helped publicize these timely events.

Hailing from Cincinnati, Shiplett majored in marketing at Kent State University. Just a few years later, she’d find herself in the market for a new job. “When I moved here, I fell in love with Fredericksburg and Mary Washington,” said Shiplett, who vowed to work at UMW one day.

She soon got her chance. For the past two years, she’s put her degree to good use, managing the Center’s website, purchasing, and budget and reconciliation reports, and promoting innovative events and programs like StartUpUMW, which will be offered both virtually and in-person this fall.

“Real world learning and extracurricular activities are so important,” she said, “and even students doing the program online can learn about entrepreneurship or begin the steps to launch their business.”

Serving as her office’s point of contact during the pandemic, Shiplett often gets calls from local business owners who want to know how they can stay afloat. The Center is here to help, she tells them, whether it’s scheduling an online appointment with a consultant or walking them through applying for a loan.

In other words, she said, in these unusual times, it’s still business as usual.

 

Q: What’s a typical day like for you working at home?
A: I often get calls from small business owners sharing their hardships, especially when the quarantine first started. I began playing upbeat music as I worked to keep my mind at ease.

Q: What do you miss most about being at UMW?
A: Getting exercise by walking across campus, seeing familiar faces and updates to renovated buildings, and chatting with Mary Bullock in the cashier’s office as she writes my deposit.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: I love wearing multiple hats, which means I’m never bored.

Q: The most challenging?
A: Right now, working remotely is hard because I am a people person. I miss interactions with clients and co-workers, so sometimes it can be hard stay my “cheerful self.” Cue upbeat music again!

Q: What are you doing in your free time?
A: I’ve refurbished my nightstands and taught my dog a new trick, and I’m now learning Adobe Illustrator.

Q: What would surprise people to learn about you?
A: One of my goals in 2018 was to write more letters, so I began writing to my grandma. The first time, she texted me back instead, but we ended up writing to each other for a year.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” – The Office, Season 9, Episode 23.

Alumnus Earns Competitive Fellowship to Teach Constitution

Persistence paid off for UMW graduate Sam Ulmschneider. The global studies and history teacher was recently named Virginia’s 2020 recipient of the James Madison Fellowship – on his fourth attempt to earn the award. The $24,000 prize is given to just one recipient per state each year to promote outstanding teaching of the U.S. Constitution […]

Doctor Supports Veterans, the Underserved

This story, written by Daryl Lease ’85, originally appeared in the University of Mary Washington Magazine’s spring/summer 2020 issue. As a pre-med student at Mary Washington, Anthony D. Jones ’99 volunteered at the nearby Lloyd Moss Free Clinic, shadowing doctors as they provided care to low-income residents, including patients with HIV/AIDS. The experience helped set him on […]

Britni Greenleaf: Virtual Orientation

Britni Greenleaf knows what it’s like to be the new kid on campus. She didn’t know a single soul at the University of Mary Washington when she was hired two summers ago.

Coordinator of New Student Programs Britni Greenleaf.

Coordinator of New Student Programs Britni Greenleaf.

That made her a perfect fit for her job as coordinator of New Student Programs. In that role, she welcomes Eagles to the UMW community, planning First-Year Seminar Peer Mentoring, NEST early arrival, and freshman and transfer student Orientation programs, like the one for first-years that started today.

When the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered campus this spring, Greenleaf and her team were still tasked with planning the events, which for many, commemorate their first concentrated interaction with UMW classmates. But it all had to be done virtually.

“A large-scale program like this usually takes a year to prepare. We had to do it in two months,” said Greenleaf, who earned a master’s degree in counseling and college student personnel from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. Hailing the preparations as a “team effort,” Greenleaf praised her UMW colleagues and student leaders who have worked tirelessly to make online Orientation happen.

Held over Zoom, the one-day online experience gives new students the chance to connect with peers, learn how to use Canvas and UMW email, and ask questions about their schedules and potential majors. They’ll meet President Troy Paino, become acquainted with the University’s value system, ASPIRE, and watch “UMW Live,” featuring prerecorded skits – written by and for students – about campus life and resources.

And hopefully, Greenleaf said, even online, participants will begin to feel like Mary Washington is home. Mindful that these freshmen missed out on traditional high school experiences like prom and graduation, she and her staff have added “touchpoints” to allow for student engagement all summer.

“They haven’t had some of their ‘lasts’ in closing one chapter and opening another but are still excited to become a part of our community,” Greenleaf said. “The best thing we can do is connect with them virtually until we can show them the spirit of UMW in person in August.”

 

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Watching students come to UMW, get involved, take on leadership roles and eventually graduate.

Q: The most challenging?
A: Transitioning to the job as a young professional and making programs work with limited resources.

Q: What do you miss most about the UMW campus?
A: Waving to people on Campus Walk while golf carting with Associate Dean Melissa Jones. Random conversations with my students. Hanging out with Mr. Russell, a custodian in the UC and one of my favorite people on campus. Visiting my friends in Campus Rec and Student Activities and Engagement. Seeing students benching on Ball Circle.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t working?
A: I recently became a registered yoga instructor through the Yoga Foundation of Fredericksburg. I also love to read, journal, run and spend time outdoors.

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I’m a first-generation college student from a working class family in rural Pennsylvania. I used to spend my summers driving a dump truck at a paper mill to pay for college.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: “You don’t always have to know what to say or what to do, but continue to show up. #blacklivesmatter

UMW Goes Online for New Student Orientation

When Shannon Hardy misplaced her bookbag at her UMW orientation, it felt like a disaster. But the help and reassurance she got from her orientation leaders reinforced that she made the right college choice. “That’s just how Mary Wash is,” said Hardy, a rising junior. “Everyone here wants you to succeed and gives you the […]

Alumna, COO Scales Cybersecurity Career

Throughout her four-year college career, Megan Carter Shepherd ’94 broke records with the Mary Washington swim team, winning championships and earning a top spot in the Capital Athletic Conference. But Goolrick Pool wasn’t the only place she made a splash. Double majoring in math and computer science, Shepherd dove into numbers, equations and formulas – […]

Alumna, COO Scales Cybersecurity Career

Throughout her four-year college career, Megan Carter Shepherd ’94 broke records with the Mary Washington swim team, winning championships and earning a top spot in the Capital Athletic Conference. But Goolrick Pool wasn’t the only place she made a splash. Double majoring in math and computer science, Shepherd dove into numbers, equations and formulas – […]

March and Resolution Demonstrate Mary Washington’s Stance

Eight minutes and 46 seconds. After walking from the University of Mary Washington campus to downtown Fredericksburg’s Market Square, a contingent of several hundred UMW protesters became silent as march organizer Kyree Ford ’21 set the timer on his iPhone. He directed the marchers to quietly observe the length of time a Minneapolis police officer […]