August 4, 2021

Urban Forester Finds Love of Nature at UMW

Sarah Hagan, an urban forester in Lynchburg, Virginia, discovered her passion for science while studying biology at UMW.

Sarah Hagan, an urban forester in Lynchburg, Virginia, discovered her passion for science while studying biology at UMW.

The 11,000 to 12,000 trees shading the streets and parks of Lynchburg, Virginia, are a lot to keep up with. But Sarah Hagan, a 2011 University of Mary Washington graduate, has charge of them all, from roots to crowns.

As Lynchburg’s urban forester, Hagan oversees trees individually but also as an interdependent whole – the urban canopy that keeps the city healthy, vibrant and beautiful. It’s an ever-changing responsibility, varying with each season, storm, dry spell and pest. And it’s an especially pertinent position today, during National Forest Week, a celebration of America’s 193-million-acre system. Read more.

Join the discussion: Become a 2021 Common Experience facilitator

Dear Colleagues:

The UMW Common Experience is one of the first opportunities for incoming first-year students to interact with members of the greater UMW community. The Common Experience is both academic and social in that incoming students have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with each other, returning students, faculty, staff and community members. The Common Experience 2021 is built around Living on Auto-Pilot, an episode from PBS’s Hacking Your Mind series. This documentary illustrates the many ways our “auto-pilot” mental processes can cause us to respond automatically or with bias, and offers suggestions for engaging our “slow-thinking” system to make more reasoned, less biased decisions. We rely on our auto-pilot systems to make quick decisions, but these systems can be duped by advertisers. And, auto-pilot thinking is influenced by implicit biases, which can lead to biased actions. We’ll use this documentary and implicit bias tests to launch a discussion with students about these critical topics.

First-year students will kick off their academic experiences in FSEM sections along with one or two community members in the Common Experience 2021 discussion. Please join the Common Experience discussion with our incoming students during New Student Arrival. Question prompts, additional information, and training will be provided in advance to help guide discussion. Date and format is still to be determined but we are hopeful for an in-person experience on Friday morning, August 20.

If you would like to volunteer to guide a discussion group as a co-facilitator, please click here to indicate your interest. Questions can be sent to awynn@umw.edu.

Thank you,

April Wynn – Faculty Director of the First Year Experience

The Common Experience 2021 Committee

 

If the hyperlink above does not work, please copy this address into your browser to volunteer: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=E8mlZpm3iEqGBkHQQRdiZ9IPgJO2Z_5Mkib29wrbetNUQ1ZCU1ZLSkQ4UU5TQ1lISE5HUjM4REIyQS4u

UMW emerging leader program looking for faculty/staff/student facilitators

From the Office of Student Activities and Engagement (SAE)

Dear Colleagues:

This year, UMW welcomes the first cohort of the new Presidential Emerging Leaders Program (PELP). The PELP program is designed to grow and develop students’ life and professional skills. We are looking for faculty, staff, students, and community members to facilitate discussions about leadership and leadership development. These interactive bi-weekly meetings are scheduled for Tuesday evenings throughout the academic year.

If you are interested in facilitating or suggesting a facilitator, please fill out this form. The PELP committee may not schedule every interested individual to facilitate; still, as the program grows, we will need support in other ways, such as participating in panel discussions and sharing advice with PELP students across the many facets of their experience.

Link to the facilitator interest form: https://umw.presence.io/form/pelp-facilitation-interest-facilitator-suggestion-form.

Young Alumna Wins County-Wide Elementary Teacher Award

UMW alumna Amelia Carr recently received the 2021 New Elementary Teacher award from Fairfax County Public Schools. Carr earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 2019 and a master’s degree in elementary education from UMW’s College of Education last year.

UMW alumna Amelia Carr recently received the 2021 New Elementary Teacher award from Fairfax County Public Schools. Carr earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 2019 and a master’s degree in elementary education from UMW’s College of Education last year.

When Amelia Carr taught her kindergartners to recognize words by sight, she got a little help from her siblings. In a YouTube video, the trio belts out Sister Sledge’s ’70s anthem We Are Family, with Carr demonstrating on a whiteboard how to write the word “we.”

For her ingenuity, passion and knack for making learning fun, the University of Mary Washington alumna was recently named Fairfax County Public Schools’ 2021 Outstanding New Elementary Teacher.

In her classroom at Bucknell Elementary, a Title I school near her hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, Carr puts into practice the lessons she learned at UMW. Navigating a worldwide pandemic and teaching online was challenging, she said, but also a confidence and creativity builder. “I wanted to make my instruction as engaging as possible,” she said of virtual learning, which lasted through late February for most of her students. Read more.

LGBTQ Oral History Project Highlights Alumni Pride

In 2019, UMW history students interviewed members of Mary Washington’s LGBTQ Alumni Affinity Group as part of Associate Professor Erin Devlin’s Oral History seminar. Today, UMW Libraries’ archiving team has made those interviews available for anyone to access, just in time for Pride Month. Photo courtesy of UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives.

In 2019, UMW history students interviewed members of Mary Washington’s LGBTQ Alumni Affinity Group as part of Associate Professor Erin Devlin’s Oral History seminar. Today, UMW Libraries’ archiving team has made those interviews available for anyone to access, just in time for Pride Month. Photo courtesy of UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives.

Recruited to play field hockey at the University of Mary Washington, Chrissy Bowdren ’11, then a freshman, left practice to get her picture taken for her EagleOne card. Sweating in her uniform, she saw a familiar face in line. She teased her new teammate, Nicole, for being freshly showered and made up, but it was the start of their friendship. And something more.

“We were just kind of inseparable ever since,” she told Shawnya Peterson ’19. “We just got married two years ago.” Peterson, a UMW senior at the time of the conversation, was interviewing Bowdren for her history class.

Today, for the first time, Bowdren’s story and others told by Mary Washington’s LGBTQ alumni, will be available for anyone to hear, as part of UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives. Released during Pride Month, these interviews were conducted in 2019 by students in Associate Professor Erin Devlin’s Oral History seminar, with help from the Office of Alumni Relations. The recordings, transcribed by the students, show how these alums discovered themselves and learned to feel pride at Mary Washington, while shaping queer culture on campus for generations to come.

“Oral history is a powerful tool for amplifying the voices of individuals, especially those who have been marginalized,” Devlin said. “This collection will benefit all of us as we work to more fully capture the diversity of experiences at UMW.” Read more.

Updates on the Chief Diversity Officer and the future of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Dear Colleagues,

During the closing weeks of the spring semester a workgroup consisting of faculty and staff researched, discussed, and developed recommendations for UMW’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan as part of UMW’s commitment to the One Virginia Inclusive Excellence Framework mandated by HB 1993 and further elucidated through specific responsibilities and guidance for higher education. This workgroup’s efforts included developing a structure for a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC); preparing a timeline for the development of a five-year strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion; and creating a vision for the future of the Chief Diversity Officer position following Sabrina Johnson’s retirement. The workgroup’s insights, produced under a tight deadline, were excellent and I am grateful for their contribution. Please join me in thanking Chris Foss, Malcolm Holmes, Sabrina Johnson, Jessica Machado, Leslie Martin, Cedric Rucker, Marion Sanford, Debra Schleef, Beth Williams, Sharon Williams, Melissa Yakabouski, and Kimberly Young for their participation.

While our obligations under One Virginia are substantial, our most immediate task is to conduct a national search for our next Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). On this topic, the workgroup noted that different institutions have taken different approaches to this position, however it is typical for the CDO to report to the Provost or the President. Given our strategic objectives and the work that we need to do, our next chief diversity officer will report directly to the Provost. While the CDO will work closely with me and the Cabinet and will be a part of my senior leadership team, I fully expect them to be engaged at the core of our mission, working closely with the Provost, the deans, the Provost’s Academic Affairs Council and our colleges and academic departments.

Given the importance of this position and the competitive market for qualified applicants we will be using a search firm to conduct a national search. We have secured a list of firms that have recent successful experiences conducting searches for DEI professionals and hope to have that process complete soon so that the search may proceed expeditiously.

The search will be co-chaired by Rita Dunston (Registrar) and Anand Rao (Professor of Communication and Chair of the Department of Communication and Digital Studies).

Other members of the search committee will be:

  • Pete Kelly, Dean College of Education
  • Andrew Dolby, Professor of Biology and Past Chair of the University Faculty Council
  • Tyler Frankel, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Science
  • Chris Foss, Professor of English
  • Chris Garcia, Associate Professor of Business
  • Surupa Gupta, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Program Director of Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Leslie Martin, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Community Engagement
  • Cedric Rucker, Dean of Student Life
  • Marion Sanford, Director of the James Farmer Multicultural Center
  • Justin Wilkes, Director of the Student Transition Program and Chair of the University Staff Council
  • Beth Williams, Executive Director of Human Resources

The creation of this position description also provides an opportunity to develop the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, its resourcing, and what we need to put in place to set it up for success moving forward. One of the key items highlighted by the workgroup is the imperative to ensure appropriate coverage for important compliance areas with an equally strong and well-supported programmatic component to support DEI education, training, and programming. I expect that we will have an office that is capable of doing this important work in a way that meets our collective aspirations.

As the search process unfolds, we will provide updates as warranted including opportunities for members of the UMW community to participate in the search. If you have any questions or feedback, please share it with me, tpaino@umw.edu.

Troy D. Paino, J.D., Ph.D.

President

 

Vaccine incentive winners for week No. 1

The following message is from the Office of Human Resources.

We had our first drawing yesterday for winners among vaccinated employees! The three winners, all of whom have been notified, were Smita O., Miriam L., and Tracy C. Congratulations!

Remember to upload your vaccination card if you have not done so already. All employees who submit their information for the first time by next Tuesday will be eligible for the drawing on Tuesday, July 13. Prizes include a reserved parking space for the semester or $250 in University Center meals, Bookstore items or professional development funds. Those who uploaded their cards by the end of the day yesterday will be in the pool for the July 6 drawing.

Here is where to convey your information: HR Faculty Staff Vaccine Information. And, if you have been vaccinated but misplaced your card, go here.

Let us know what events your department is hosting!

Eagle Takeoff is also known as “Welcome Week” but instead of just one week, it’s the full schedule of everything going on around campus the first 6 weeks of the semester. From the Eagle Resource Fair on Move-in Day, to Family Weekend the first weekend in October, we want to include all events that are open to all students in an electronic and printed calendar.

Please submit your event(s) to this form: https://umw.presence.io/form/eagle-takeoff-event-submissions

And remember, if your department/organization has a portal in myUMW (Presence), you are always encourage to submit any and all events to the campus-wide events calendar through this form: https://umw.presence.io/form/event-registration

If you would like your event(s) to be included on a printed calendar, please submit either of these forms by Friday, July 23.

Thank you for helping to make our students return to campus better than ever!

Email Sandrine Sutphin at ssutphin@umw.edu if you have any questions.

5% Pay Increase

Dear Colleagues,

As you are aware, the governor approved the state budget which included a 5% base salary adjustment for classified employees effective June 10, 2021. Although the bill did have a provision that allows for the exemption of certain higher education employees, UMW is committed to giving each and every eligible employee, whether faculty or staff, this 5% pay increase.

All UMW classified staff, A/P faculty, full-time teaching faculty, adjunct faculty and wage staff are eligible to receive a pay increase as described below:

Classified staff

  • All classified employees who were employed in salaried positions as of March 10, 2021, and who received a rating of “Contributor” or “Extraordinary Contributor” (or the equivalent) on their last performance evaluation or more recent interim evaluation are eligible to receive the 5% base salary adjustment effective June 10, 2021.
  • Pay increases for classified employees will appear in the paychecks beginning July 1, 2021.

A/P faculty

  • All A/P Faculty employees who were employed in salaried positions as of March 10, 2021, and who received a rating of “Contributor” or “Extraordinary Contributor” (or the equivalent) on their last performance evaluation or more recent interim evaluation are eligible to receive the 5% base salary adjustment effective June 10, 2021.
  • Pay increases for A/P faculty will appear in the paychecks beginning July 1, 2021.
  • The amount of the increase will be prorated for part-time and quasi salaried staff who are working fewer than twelve months per year or less than 100% full time (40 hours per week or equivalent) on June 10, 2021.

Full-time teaching faculty

  • All full-time Teaching Faculty who were employed as of March 10, 2021, and who received a satisfactory rating (or the equivalent) on their last annual performance review will receive the 5% base salary adjustment effective August 16, 2021.
  • Pay increases will appear in the paychecks beginning September 1, 2021.

Wage staff

  • All wage employees who were employed in positions as of March 10, 2021 and remain employed on June 7, 2021 will receive the 5% pay increase effective June 21, 2021.
  • Pay increases for wage employees appear in the paychecks beginning July 16, 2021.

Adjunct Faculty

  • The scale used to compensate adjunct faculty has been increased. Revised adjunct pay steps, representing a 5% increase in compensation per credit hour taught, will be in effect starting in fall 2021.

Deferred Compensation

Part or all of the salary increase may be deferred, subject to relevant plan guidelines and limitations. Please see FAQ’s for detailed guidance to enroll in or change contribution amounts for the 403b Pre-tax Annuity.

Please review the FAQ’s and if you still have questions, please contact Terri Arthur, tlockhar@umw.edu in Human Resources.

Thank you,

 

Beth Williams
Executive Director for Human Resources
University of Mary Washington
(540) 654-1294
bwilli22@umw.edu
1301 College Avenue
George Washington Hall, Room 203
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

A message from the Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear UMW Community,

On May 13, 2021, President Paino released his response to the report and recommendations of the UMW Police Advisory Committee, which met throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

Dr. Paino’s recommendations included an evaluation of the University’s mental health crisis response. Here is the specific recommendation:

Restructure mental health crisis response. Dr. Juliette Landphair, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dr. Tev Zukor, Director of the Talley Counseling Center, will form a working group that includes University Police, those on staff responsible for mental health crisis response, and interested students, to develop a timeline and plan for reform that might include:

  • 24/7 availability of clinical professionals for student support
  • Changes in UMW Police protocols during a mental health crisis
  • More Residence Life staff training and communication responsibilities to proactively inform students about student support options

The working group has been established and includes the members below. In addition to gathering feedback from the community, we will be reviewing relevant data, including Campus Police Surveys, and University policies and protocols around crisis response.

We look forward to reporting out the results of our work in the fall. In the meantime, do not hesitate to email me or Dr. Zukor with any questions or insights.

Sincerely,

Juliette Landphair, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

 

Mental Health Crisis Response Working Group

Co-Chairs

  • Dr. Juliette Landphair, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Dr. Tev Zukor, Director of Talley Center

Members

  • Megan Brown, Area Coordinator for Residence Life and Housing
  • Alexandra Diviney, Class of 2022
  • Lt. Bill Gill, UMW Police
  • Vivian Hyatt, Class of 2022
  • Sgt. Tegan Lewis, UMW Police
  • Marissa Miller, Director of Prevention and Education