July 2, 2020

Doctor Supports Veterans, the Underserved

1999 Mary Washington alumnus Dr. Anthony D. Jones’ military-focused medical career has also allowed him to volunteer his services to those with HIV and other underserved patients. Photo by Clement Britt

1999 Mary Washington alumnus Dr. Anthony D. Jones’ military-focused medical career has also allowed him to volunteer his services to those with HIV and other underserved patients. Photo by Clement Britt.

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 a path of serving the underserved.

“Back then, having HIV was more or less a death sentence,” Jones recalled. “The physicians at the clinic showed a whole lot of compassion taking care of HIV patients. That left a good impression on me.”

Today, the physician is chief medical officer of the Military Entrance Processing Station at Fort Lee, Virginia, and works for Veterans Evaluation Services in Richmond, where he conducts compensation exams for veterans, and recently assisted in daily COVID-19 briefings for a division in the Department of Defense.

He also volunteered at a Virginia Department of Health men’s clinic focused on sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Through the nonprofit Minority Health Consortium, he has provided HIV testing and assisted with care coordination for newly diagnosed HIV patients. Read more.

Read ‘THE FEATHER THIEF’ with the Mother of All Book Clubs

Looking for a way to stay connected to other alumni? We are beginning the third round of reading in our online literary group–the Mother of All Book Clubs!

Alumni read and discuss via a private Facebook group, so only approved members can see posts or participate in the discussion. This is informal and low-pressure–read along with us and chime in on the discussion as much or as little as you like.

Our next selection is The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, by Kirk Wallace Johnson. The Feather Thief is the colorful tale of a bizarre crime; it promises to read like a classic thriller made more fascinating by the fact that it’s nonfiction.

From a review in The New York Times: “In June 2009, Edwin Rist, a 20-year-old American flutist studying at the Royal Academy of Music, smashed a window at the Museum of Natural History in Tring, near London, and pulled off one of the more bizarre robberies of recent decades. Under the nose of a hapless security guard, Rist ransacked storage drawers and absconded with the preserved skins of 299 tropical birds, including specimens collected by the legendary naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in the mid-19th century.” Why did he commit the crime, and what happened afterward?

Pick up a copy of the book and start reading–we will begin posting discussion questions on Monday, July 13. You might have a small-business bookseller you like to support, or you might want to try your local library system, as many offer ebook rentals. But if you need the book shipped, below are some links to larger online providers.

We look forward to reading with you!

 

All the best,
The Alumni Relations Team

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Target

UMW Goes Online for New Student Orientation

Thirty student orientation leaders, along with Mary Washington faculty and staff, will shepherd first-years and transfer students through UMW’s first-ever virtual orientation.

Thirty student orientation leaders, along with Mary Washington faculty and staff, will shepherd first-years and transfer students through UMW’s first-ever virtual 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 tools to make that happen. I want every new student to feel the sense of belonging that I’ve felt since that day.”

Hardy’s among the 30 student orientation leaders who will shepherd hundreds of new Eagles through the University of Mary Washington’s 2020 orientation. Unlike her own orientation, though, she is connecting with incoming students via a computer screen.

Freshman orientation, pandemic style. Like other universities, UMW has had to shift from its traditional model of having new students experience life on campus to exploring their new home via Zoom. Today marks the first of nine one-day virtual sessions geared toward freshmen, while transfers had their pick of three events that began earlier this summer.

But that’s only the beginning – a series of online engagements with UMW faculty, staff and current students will guide incoming students throughout the summer and prepare them to step onto campus in the fall. Read more.

March and Resolution Demonstrate Mary Washington’s Stance

Several hundred University of Mary Washington students, faculty and staff marched from Campus Walk to Market Square in Fredericksburg last week in support of racial equality and Black Lives Matter. Photo courtesy of Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker.

Several hundred University of Mary Washington students, faculty and staff marched from Campus Walk to Market Square in Fredericksburg last week in support of racial equality and Black Lives Matter. Photo courtesy of Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker.

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 held his knee on George Floyd’s neck, ultimately terminating his life.

Unimaginable, is the way Ford, incoming president of the UMW Student Government Association (SGA), described it. The UMW Board of Visitors, in a meeting yesterday, shared that sentiment in a resolution stating that on May 25 “for eight minutes and forty-six seconds an officer knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck, as Mr. Floyd called out for his life saying, ‘I can’t breathe.’”

Further, stated the Board resolution, “around the world people from all nationalities, ethnic and racial backgrounds, and walks of life have assembled to protest, march and rally to mourn Mr. Floyd’s death and express their outrage with the social injustice of systemic racism that has led to the deaths of George Perry Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and so many more.”

The resolution, which passed unanimously, resolved that the Board supports the family of George Floyd and “stands with the thousands in our country and around the world, including members of the Mary Washington community, who have engaged in peaceful protests to affirm that Black Lives Matter, and to call for an end to the social injustice and systemic racism that permeates the fabric of our country.”

Ford said he and the SGA Cabinet “felt moved to do something during this very difficult time.” How crazy, he said, that in the midst of a deadly pandemic, “we have to go out and fight for our lives.”

Last Friday’s hastily organized march drew students, faculty, staff and administrators, many carrying signs. President Troy Paino and his family joined in. Ford said he was overwhelmed by the turnout. What that level of participation, even in a time of social distancing, says to him is: “Mary Washington is on the right side in terms of race relations.”

The Board resolution reinforced that sense for Ford. Also impressive, he added, is the step taken by President Paino and his wife Kelly to initiate with a $5,000 challenge gift a scholarship in memory of George Floyd. The scholarship, which has a goal of $100,000, is designed to promote the development of leadership skills for students committed to addressing societal issues disproportionately affecting black and underrepresented communities.

Ford said the SGA has called upon various campus groups to create a video and will plan other events later in the summer and after students arrive on campus. “We want to reaffirm that everyone has a place at Mary Washington.”

Vice President of Student Affairs Juliette Landphair, who participated in the march, praised the activism and initiative of the SGA. “It was a powerful reflection of our community values and the energy of our students.” She added, “As Dr. James Farmer once expressed, ‘freedom and equality are inherent rights in the United States; therefore, I encourage young people to take on the task by standing up and speaking out on behalf of people denied those rights.’”

Memorializing George Floyd: UMW Board Passes Resolution, President Seeds Scholarship

In its June 10 meeting, the Board of Visitors of the University of Mary Washington unanimously passed a resolution declaring solidarity with the family of George Floyd and the scores of protesters who are making their voices heard. “We stand with the thousands in our country and around the world, including members of the Mary Washington community, who have engaged in peaceful protests to affirm that Black Lives Matter, and to call for an end to the social injustice and systemic racism that permeate the fabric of our country,” the resolution stated.

UMW’s Board of Visitors passed a resolution declaring solidarity with the family of George Floyd and those engaged in peaceful protests to affirm that Black Lives Matter.

UMW’s Board of Visitors passed a resolution declaring solidarity with the family of George Floyd and those engaged in peaceful protests to affirm that Black Lives Matter.

In addition to the Board action, President Troy D. Paino announced that he and his wife Kelly Paino will seed a new scholarship in the memory of George Floyd. The scholarship will promote the development of leadership skills for students committed to addressing societal issues disproportionately affecting black and underrepresented communities. Their initial gift of $5,000 will serve as a challenge to members of the University community to financially assist Mary Washington students who are emerging leaders dedicated to driving action around social issues. The Painos’ challenge was quickly matched by Board member Allida Black and her wife Judy Beck, who will issue their own $5,000 challenge for the fund. The scholarships goal is $100,000.

The resolution was the first priority on the agenda during the Board’s regular meeting. Members also recommitted themselves to the University’s Statement of Values and adherence to policies and practices that promote equity, fairness, access and an inclusive environment of mutual respect for all members of the Mary Washington community. Further, they stated their dedication to “rooting out any practice within our community that stems from implicit bias, or systemic racism.”

The resolution, submitted by Board member Rhonda VanLowe, comes on the heels of a number of steps the University has taken over the last several years to ensure that UMW is fully welcoming and inclusive. Following the adoption in 2017 of the strategic vision drafted by President Paino, UMW organically developed a community values statement known as ASPIRE. The University established the new role of Vice President for Equity and Access and focused on hiring more diverse employees, as well as created additional campus-wide opportunities for dialogue around, awareness of, and training about racism, implicit bias and microaggressions.

The James Farmer Multicultural Center (JFMC) continues to serve as a resource for programming and center of support for all students. Additionally, the JFMC offers opportunities for experiential learning such as a social justice leadership summit and the fall 2018 and 2019 social justice trips that followed the path of the original Freedom Rides. In 2020, the University launched a year-long celebration marking the 100th anniversary of James Farmer’s birth and helping preserve the legacy of the civil rights icon and former Mary Washington professor.

Governor Announces UMW Board of Visitors Appointments

The Virginia Governor’s Office today announced the appointment of Charles S. Reed Jr. ’11 of Sterling to the University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors. In addition, Sharon Bulova of Fairfax and Edward B. Hontz of Stafford have been reappointed to second terms on the board. The appointees will serve four-year terms, which will expire June 30, 2024. Reed succeeds Deidre Powell White, who has moved out of state.

Charles S. Reed Jr.
Charles S. Reed Jr.

A member of UMW’s James Farmer Legacy Council, Charles S. Reed Jr. first became familiar with the late civil rights leader and former Mary Washington history professor when he took a first-year seminar on Dr. Farmer’s life and legacy. The class propelled Reed to numerous leadership positions at Mary Washington, including president of the Black Student Association, vice president of Brothers of a New Direction and treasurer of the campus finance committee, as well as a role on UMW’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Community Values. As a student, he received the Citizenship Award for Diversity Leadership, the James Harvey Dodd Scholarship in Business Administration and the Emerging Leaders Diversity Scholarship.

In May 2011, Reed represented the Commonwealth of Virginia as part of PBS’s 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1961 Freedom Rides. Selected from nearly 1,000 applicants, he was one of 40 college students nationwide to earn a seat on the bus, joining several of the original Freedom Riders to travel the same route they took half a century earlier. Though he missed his own commencement ceremony for the trip, Reed called the 10-day experience “life-changing.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Reed spent three years as a client financial management analyst for Accenture. Since 2014, he’s worked for KPMG International, a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services. As a manager in the organization’s federal advisory practice, he develops business and financial strategies to support federal clients.

In 2017, Reed received the Young Business Alumni Award, which recognizes UMW’s College of Business graduates who have distinguished themselves in their professional achievements, outstanding service and exceptional contributions to their field.

Sharon Bulova
Sharon Bulova

Sharon Bulova held the position of chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for the last decade, before retiring in 2019. Previously, she served as supervisor of the Braddock District in Fairfax County and led the board’s budget committee. Bulova also served as chairman of the Council of Government’s (COG) “Greater Washington 2050 Coalition,” an effort that culminated in the adoption of the Region Forward Regional Compact planning initiative signed by all 21 of the COG’s jurisdictions.

In addition, Bulova helped establish the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter rail system, and has served on the VRE operations board since its inception. The 2009 recipient of COG’s Elizabeth & David Scull Metropolitan Public Service Award, Bulova also earned the Virginia Transit Association’s 2012 Local Public Official of the Year award.

Bulova’s daughter, Karin Bulova Johansson, graduated from Mary Washington in 1991.

Edward B. “Ted” Hontz
Edward B. “Ted” Hontz

Edward B. “Ted” Hontz, a former Navy captain, is the vice president of Basic Commerce and Industries, Inc., in charge of the company’s Navy programs in Dahlgren, Virginia.

During his career with the Navy, Hontz served a year in Vietnam and participated in numerous military operations. He also served various in on-shore duties, including as commanding officer of the AEGIS Training Center in 1995.

Active in the Fredericksburg area, Hontz was a member of the Stafford County Economic Development Authority and the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce board of directors. In 2015, he became a citizen member of the Mary Washington Healthcare board of trustees. A founding member of the Fredericksburg Military Affairs Council (MAC) in 2006, he served on its board of directors until 2012. While chairman, he took a lead role in promoting the establishment of UMW’s Dahlgren Campus, Center for Education and Research.

Hontz also is recipient of the 2015 Prince B. Woodard leadership award given by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. He also led the effort to establish a UMW student leadership cash award supported by an endowment funded by previous Prince B. Woodard award recipients.

Free UMW Course Turns COVID-19 Inside Out

Communications Professor and Chair Anand Rao, who is facilitating the eight-week “COVID-19 in Context” series with Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger, taught Monday’s course on how messaging about the pandemic impacts policies, along with Assistant Communications Professor Elizabeth Johnson-Young.

Communications Professor and Chair Anand Rao, who is facilitating the eight-week “COVID-19 in Context” series with Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger, taught Monday’s course on how messaging about the pandemic impacts policies, along with Assistant Communications Professor Elizabeth Johnson-Young.

Political leaders and health experts who communicate the impact of COVID-19 to the public are just like anyone else. Some hit the mark. Some don’t. Understandable terms, relatable ideas and the confident presentation of useful information are key to delivering a successful message, said UMW Professor of Communication Anand Rao.

And competent public discourse during pandemic-scale events, he said, can mean the difference between life and death.

The lesson, delivered Monday, was part of UMW’s COVID-19 in Context, a series of biweekly lectures that turn the virus holding the world captive inside out, examining everything from its economic impact to its influence on art. Created for current and incoming students who can receive academic credit, and offered for free to all, it’s quickly become UMW’s largest course ever. More than 1,900 registered participants are in 39 states, plus Washington, D.C., and countries across the globe, including Canada, England, France, Switzerland, Japan and Ghana.

“We have been floored by the response,” said Rao, who presented Monday’s course – “Communicating COVID-19: How We Talk About a Pandemic Changes What We Do” – with assistant professor Elizabeth Johnson-Young live via Zoom.

Nearly 40 faculty members from across the university – from fine arts and humanities to the sciences and social sciences – joined forces, along with guest speakers, agreeing to share their expertise on all facets of the pandemic. Beginning last week with a biological exploration of the virus and a look at how it affects public policy, 16 hourlong sessions take place on Mondays and Wednesdays through July 22. Read more.

Alumna, COO Scales Cybersecurity Career

Megan Carter Shepherd ’94 double majored in math and computer science while also breaking records for the Mary Washington swim team. She’s now the COO of SimVentions, an engineering services company in Stafford.

Megan Carter Shepherd ’94 double majored in math and computer science while also breaking records for the Mary Washington swim team. She’s now the COO of SimVentions, an engineering services company in Stafford.

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.

“Cybersecurity wasn’t even something that was discussed when I first graduated,” Shepherd said of her field, which employs only about 20 percent women, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. “Now it’s at the forefront of everything.”

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 – expertise she relies on in her new role as chief operating officer of SimVentions. The Stafford-based engineering services company counts the Navy, Marine Corps and NSWC Dahlgren as customers. Protecting clients’ data, assets and information is more important than ever, she said, since many organizations have shifted to telework due to COVID-19.

She encourages those beginning their careers to secure a cybersecurity certification, like the one UMW introduced last fall. She also recommends finding a mentor and establishing relationships with professors like the ones she found at Mary Washington. Read more.

Connections Steer Geography Grad Toward New Tech Job

In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, 2020 grad James Fendley secured a job – a month before earning his degree – at a D.C.-based data analytics firm owned by Jonathan Steenberg ’14.

In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, 2020 grad James Fendley secured a job – a month before earning his degree – at a D.C.-based data analytics firm owned by Jonathan Steenberg ’14.

For his first virtual interview, James Fendley paired a freshly pressed shirt and tie with basketball shorts and asked his family for an hour of quiet. But the best preparation came from UMW’s Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD).

Throughout his final semester, the 2020 University of Mary Washington graduate scheduled regular phone calls with the Center’s career counselors, who are charged with guiding students and recent grads toward employment, even during COVID-19.

“With each appointment, my résumé improved,” Fendley said. “Seeing my progress kept me motivated and helped me stay on track.”

His perseverance paid off. A month before he earned his degree, Fendley secured a job at a D.C.-based data analytics firm owned by 2014 alum Jonathan Steenberg. They’re two in a long line of UMW geography majors hired right out of college, thanks to solid programs, strong connections between faculty and students, and an active alumni network. Often landing employment in D.C.’s tech corridor, graduates of the program are the highest paid in the nation for the field, according to College Factual, which also recently ranked Mary Washington’s geography department No. 1 in the Southeast. Read more.

Virtual Town Hall Addresses Campus ‘Hurt’

UMW President Troy Paino addressed an audience of concerned students yesterday afternoon during a virtual town hall meeting.

The event – planned for an hour but extended by 15 minutes to allow more students to speak – was called in light of protests taking place throughout the country and in the Fredericksburg area since the May 25 murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

“I just wanted to let you all know that my mind and my heart have been with you over the past week and a half, and really since we left each other back in March,” Paino said at the start of the session, hosted live via Zoom.

While a number of faculty and staff members expressed interest in participating, President Paino wanted to have an exclusive conversation with students. Their concerns centered on the presence of UMW Police Sunday night during a protest when city police used tear gas to displace protesters. Other topics included the university’s stance on systemic racism and on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Black lives do matter,” said Vice President for Equity and Access Sabrina Johnson, who joined Paino yesterday as a panelist, along with UMW Police Chief Mike Hall. “I want to mention the names our leaders mention: Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd. I want their names to be in this space during this very important discussion.”

Just hours before Floyd’s first memorial service was set to be begin in Minneapolis, students took their turns onscreen to pose questions to Paino, who told them that he has lined up discussions with Fredericksburg officials, including the police chief, city manager and mayor. The university is committed to working through what happened, he said, and to maintaining transparency in communicating those findings.

Paino pledged that UMW will continue its efforts to recruit a more diverse faculty and to live by its code of community values, also known as ASPIRE. He acknowledged his intent to join in solidarity with students who planned a peaceful walk from Mary Washington to Fredericksburg’s Market Square this afternoon. The march, officially announced in a UMW email today from Student Government Association President Kyree Ford,was meant to support students of color and “to show the campus community that black lives matter and hate has no home at Mary Washington.”