February 25, 2018

Exposure to Influential Professor Inspires Alumna

Story by Donna Harter. Chemist. Researcher. Entrepreneur. Benefactor. Catalyst. Mother. Grandmother. Dr. Marilyn Shull Black ’69 has taken on many roles since her undergraduate days at Mary Washington, but it’s the last two that have had the greatest influence on her career. “I love children, and I love being a mother and grandmother,” Black said. […]

UMW Remains Firmly Planted as “Tree Campus USA”

The Arbor Day Foundation this month named the University of Mary Washington a 2017 Tree Campus USA. This marks the third consecutive year UMW has earned the recognition, awarded to colleges and universities that promote healthy trees and engage their communities in the spirit of conservation. Only six Virginia schools made the cut, meeting the five core […]

Jose Sainz: All Over the Map

Spring Break is no time to relax at UMW’s Center for International Education. With so many students – and faculty – voyaging abroad in just more than a week, it’s all-hands-on-deck for CIE director Jose Sainz and his team.

Established in 2011, the center is a hub for all education abroad programs – seven of which will take place over Spring Break. CIE will be manning the emergency phone and staying connected to its global partners to make sure everything runs smoothly.

More than one in four UMW students will participate in overseas travel for credit by the time they collect their degrees. That’s due in large part to CIE’s efforts to make sure there is something for everyone – from low-cost exchange programs and short faculty-led trips to semester-long studies to far-flung locales.

CIE is currently celebrating its first Education Abroad Awareness Week in the hope of bringing even more students on board through socials, teas and other events.

“I’d love to have a money tree to provide funding for every UMW student to have an international experience by the time they graduate,” Sainz said. “Emphasis on every.”

Q: How did you end up in this line of work?
A: I am a product of study abroad. I took a year off after high school and spent it as an exchange student in the Midwest. Such a transformative experience still is a very important part of who I am.

Q: What’s your favorite part of the job?
A: Working with students for sure. That was the No. 1 reason I applied to UMW to begin with. Students never stop amazing me, especially when they are able to do something they never thought was possible. Also, I’m very proud of my team – study abroad coordinators Sarah Moran and Sarah Polensky and international student advisor Ann Witkowski. They are all extremely talented and enthusiastic and very dedicated to our students.

Q: What’s the most challenging?
A: It’s always the risk management. Anytime there is a world event, from an earthquake to a terrorist attack, I ask, “Do we have students there now?” We are prepared to support our students, but it is never easy.

Q: What are the benefits of studying abroad?
A: It enhances your global awareness and your academic learning. It develops your leadership skills. It provides personal and professional growth.

Q: What do you say to students who think they can’t afford it?
A: We tell our students they need to be educated consumers. Most programs are fairly in line with what a typical, in-state student would pay for a semester at UMW. Cost is a concern but not a barrier.

Q: Where do UMW students most commonly study abroad? What’s less common?
A: UMW mirrors national trends: United Kingdom followed by Spain, France and Italy. Less traveled are Russia, India or Cambodia, and we hope to launch a program for incoming first-year students to Tanzania.

Q: What’s your favorite place in the world?
A: The green and rugged northern coast of Spain, but I may be biased. Ireland would be second, maybe because the landscapes are so similar.

Q: Is there a motto you live by?
A: Things are never as bad as they look. There’s always a ray of sunshine somewhere. You’ve just got to look for it.

UMW Again Named Top Peace Corps Producer

The University of Mary Washington has once again been named among the nation’s top contributors to the Peace Corps. With 14 alumni currently serving around the world, UMW placed fourth among small schools on the 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list, officially released this morning. Securing the ranking is a long-standing tradition for Mary […]

UMW to Hold Second Annual Giving Day

The University of Mary Washington will hold its second annual giving day on Tuesday, March 20. During Mary Wash Giving Day, donors can make gifts at givingday.umw.edu from midnight through 11:59 p.m. Gifts received during this time will celebrate the UMW spirit of giving back and help fill the gap—since funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia […]

UMW to Hold Second Annual Giving Day

The University of Mary Washington will hold its second annual giving day on Tuesday, March 20. During Mary Wash Giving Day, donors can make gifts at givingday.umw.edu from midnight through 11:59 p.m. Gifts received during this time will celebrate the UMW spirit of giving back and help fill the gap—since funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia […]

45 Little Known Facts About America’s 45 Presidents

When Associate Professor of English Colin Rafferty moved to Virginia a decade ago, he found himself  suddenly surrounded by presidential history. He felt he had a lot of catching up to do. “There were about 44 months until the next presidential election [and] there had been 44 presidents,” Rafferty, who grew up in Kansas, told […]

JoAnna Raucci: Constituting Change

If you’ve attended a James Farmer Multicultural event, you’ve likely seen JoAnna Raucci. She’s in constant motion, carrying tables and grabbing bottled water for performers – whatever it takes to make sure the events she helps plan run smoothly. That’s certainly true during February, when Raucci and her staff organize UMW’s celebration of Black History Month, including this evening’s Black Minds Matter event, a discussion of mental health in the black community. [Read more…]

Matrimony 101: Alums Found Love at UMW

They met their match on a late summer morning, inside a classroom on the basement floor of Combs Hall during the first day of English 101. She’d come from a small town in Massachusetts, a math major in search of warmer weather. He was from Richmond, studying historic preservation. Their eyes met. This is how […]

UMW Ranked Among Nation’s Best for Low Debt, Superior Academics

The University of Mary Washington has been recognized again as one of the best schools in the nation for affordable student loan debt and superior academics, according to two recent studies. In surveys by LendEDU, UMW ranked 16th of 100 small public colleges for the least average debt per borrower.  A marketplace resource for student […]