July 15, 2018

Beth Williams Named Executive Director of Human Resources

Beth Williams will be joining the University of Mary Washington as Executive Director of Human Resources.

Beth, a Mary Washington College psychology graduate, currently serves as Vice President for Human Resources at Hilldrup, a 600-employee organization with locations in multiple states. She has previously served in Human Resources roles at Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, CVS/Pharmacy’s Fredericksburg Distribution Center and several defense contractors in the Northern Virginia area.

Active in the local community, Beth serves as a board member for Rappahannock United Way and is a past chair of Workforce NOW. A Leadership Fredericksburg graduate, she has served as a mentor for several Leadership Fredericksburg participants. Beth was named a Top 10 of the Next Gen by the Next Generation of Business Leaders in 2012. She holds a coaching certification from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.

Her start date is July 10, 2018.

UMW Grad Named to Governor’s Fellows Program

Chris Cassingham has been named to the Virginia Governor's Fellows Program.

Chris Cassingham ’18  has been named to the Virginia Governor’s Fellows Program.

When Chris Cassingham collected his political science degree from the University of Mary Washington, earlier this month, he already knew what was next.

The swimmer from Plano, Texas, had learned just days before that he’d earned one of just 23 coveted spots in the 2018 Governor’s Fellows Program, selected among rising college seniors and graduates from around the country.

Beginning Monday, Cassingham will go to work in the Office of the Governor, what he calls “real-world, on-the-job experience” in the highest levels of state government.

He’s ready.

Read more.

Reunion Weekend Festivities Begin Friday

The University of Mary Washington will host hundreds of alumni during Reunion Weekend 2018, June 1-3.

Chock full of food and fun, tours, art exhibits, learning opportunities, photo opps, and most importantly, a chance to catch up with old friends, the three-day affair will welcome Mary Washington grads from as long ago as the 1940s back to campus.

More than 800 alumni and guests are expected to attend the event, joining campus walking tours, perusing UMW’s museums and art galleries, exploring downtown Fredericksburg – including a trolley ride to Carl’s Ice Cream – and taking a walk down Memory Lane.

“Alumni have the option of attending over 60 educational, social and cultural events throughout the weekend,” said Executive Director of Alumni Relations Mark Thaden. “There is something for everyone.”

Academic departments will host open houses, and the ever-popular Alumni College sessions will give guests a chance to gather in their old classrooms and learn about new subjects like Makerspace, social media and the field of digital history. Other topics include understanding your sleep identity, learning techniques for persuasive speaking, and delving inside the minds of artistic geniuses and the world of contemporary musical theatre.

From sunrise yoga to farewell brunch, groups of Mary Washington graduates will explore their old stomping grounds at the height of spring, catching up on new campus construction and learning about plans for the University’s future from President Troy Paino.

Paino and wife Kelly also will host a welcome reception with live music on the Brompton lawn.

Alumni will revisit their glory days while indulging their taste buds during a Virginia wine and beer tasting, a reunion picnic with tent decorations and nostalgic Mary Washington memorabilia, and an all-class party with heavy hors d’oeuvres, live band and full bar.

Book signings with former faculty and students; children’s events, including a moon bounce, face painting and a family matinee round out the event, along with a dedication ceremony revealing the three million-dollar restoration of the Heslep Amphitheatre.

“We are excited to host what is expected to be a record number of alumni and guests on campus for Reunion Weekend 2018,” Thaden said. “It’s a special time for everyone to re-connect with Mary Washington.”

Heslep Amphitheatre, Morris Stage Dedication Saturday

The dedication of the Heslep Amphitheatre and Morris Stage will take place Saturday, June 2, at 2:30 p.m., during UMW’s Reunion Weekend.

Built in the early 1900s off Sunken Road, behind Lee and Trinkle halls, the Amphitheatre has long been a favorite campus site, at varying times throughout history home to commencement exercises, outdoor study sessions, plays, concerts, even weddings.

The June 2 dedication marks the end of a meticulous renovation project to return the Amphitheatre to its historical glory and sustain its park-like setting, while increasing accessibility, upgrading infrastructure and enhancing flexibility.

Thanks to generous campaign gifts, the Heslep Amphitheatre has been named for Donald B. and Josephine McPherson Heslep, a 1956 Mary Washington graduate, and the Morris Stage for Marceline “Marcy” Weatherly Morris and Elmer “Juney” Morris Jr., both 1950 grads.

Underground’s Turkey Pub Club Gets National Recognition

A search by Food Management magazine for America’s best sandwiches landed the Underground’s mouth-watering Turkey Pub Club in the national spotlight.

Campus and dining operations from around the country submitted sandwich entries. UMW’s Turkey Pub Club got prominent feature in the magazine this week.

Here’s what the article had to say about the sandwich:

“Heating things up has also worked well for the turkey pub club at the University of Mary Washington’s (UMW) retail location, the Underground. This sandwich has been the Underground’s top seller for seven years, accounting for about 40 percent of all sandwich sales there, with layers or roasted turkey, cheddar cheese and crispy bacon wrapped in naan and toasted until it’s GBD (golden brown and delicious).”

According to Rose Benedict, marketing manager for University of Mary Washington Dining Services:

“’When we were considering making some menu changes at the Underground, we did a survey to see what new foods students wanted added and which existing menu items they wanted to keep. Every student responding to the survey listed this sandwich as the one that must be included on any new menu.”

UMW Student Hashtag #IfIdieInASchoolShooting Goes Viral

In case you missed it, a hashtag started by a rising sophomore at UMW went viral — and landed the student, Andrew Schneidawind, a mention in almost every major news outlet in the nation, including an interview on CNN’s headline news.

Here’s the story, which first ran on UMW’s home page:

UMW Student’s Tweet Heard Around the World

On Sunday afternoon, May 20, 18-year-old Andrew Schneidawind sat in his Arlington, Virginia, bedroom and looked at the two computer monitors in front of him.

Two days had passed since a Texas high school student opened fire on classmates, killing 10 and wounding more than a dozen, the latest in a string of mass shootings in America.

What, Schneidawind wondered, could he do to make a difference? He stared at his Twitter account. It would need to be provocative, he thought, if it was going to catch on. Then it came to him.

“I’m gonna try and get a hashtag trending called #IfIdieInASchoolShooting,” he typed. “If you wanna join, feel free.”

Then Schneidawind, who’d just finished his freshman year at the University of Mary Washington, typed out the things he’d never get to do if it happened to him.

“IfIdieInASchoolShooting, I will never be able to finish my animated TV series, I’ll never be able to see my sister again, and I will have to become a martyr. #NeverAgain,” he wrote to 150 followers. He settled in to wait.

He didn’t have to wait long. Over the next three hours, Schneidawind watched nervously as the hashtag took off. Over the next three days, he was fielding interview requests from Teen Vogue to The Washington Post, and the hashtag had been used more than 50,000 times.

“I was just a small, aspiring activist,” Schneidawind told UMW four days later as he prepared for an afternoon interview on CNN.

“Now I’m always going to be known as the guy who started #IfIdieInASchoolShooting.”

Sandy Hook to Parkland

Schneidawind is not happy about that. To be known for a hashtag about dying in a school shooting is to acknowledge that people die in school shootings. Even if the statistical odds are exceedingly rare.

As he watched the likes on his Twitter post climb into the thousands, as he stepped into a Dunkin’ Donuts near the construction site in Arlington where he works a summer job to take phone call after phone call, his initial excitement waned.

“It hits you. You had to make [the hashtag] because of this problem. I wasn’t regretting it. But I wasn’t ever really happy I started it,” the communications and digital studies major said.

He can recall the deadliest mass shootings since Sandy Hook Elementary School, when a gunman killed 26, 20 of them children, in 2012.

Schneidawind was 12.

“I remember it all.”

He remembers the proposed gun legislation that later failed, including a bill that would have reinstated an expired 1994 assault weapons ban. He remembers the mass shootings that followed – Charleston, Orlando, Las Vegas. He watched it unfold on TV and computer screens.

When 17 people died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February, Schneidawind had had enough of watching.

“I went to Florida. It was important to me.”

He stayed for two days. “I always knew it was real. When I did see it, it was more real than I ever expected.”

Making waves

Three months later, there had been another school shooting – this time in Texas.

Even though he had followed the news of mass shootings in America since he was 12, Andrew Schneidawind said the February shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead changed him.

“It planted a seed. That seed has grown.”

Which is how he found himself sitting in front of his computer days after wrapping up his first year at Mary Washington, which he’d chosen for its proximity to home, for the prettiness of the campus and the pleasantness of the people.

“I was just a small puddle in the ocean,” he said.

Now he was making waves.

UMW Psi Chi Chapter Named Best in Organization

Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, has recognized the UMW Psi Chi chapter as the best in the organization.

The annual Ruth Hubbard Cousins Chapter Award, which includes a $3,000 prize, selects one chapter that best demonstrates Psi Chi’s mission to recognize and promote excellence in the science and application of psychology.

UMW Psi Chi officers, left to right: Aimee Silverman ’18, Jamie Carey ’18, Taylor Presley ’18, Megan Jensen ’18, Sophia Lamp ’18 and
Erin Shaw ’19.

“This award highlights the University of Mary Washington Psi Chi Chapter as exemplary amongst other Psi Chi chapters,” said Paige Anctil, awards and grants officer for the Psi Chi Central Office.
Psi Chi has over 1,100 chapters worldwide, Anctil said. But only a small fraction of those even quality for the award, making eligibility an achievement unto itself.

“Our chapter has always strived to provide the best opportunities for our members as well as students within the entire department of psychological science,” said Sophia Lamp, chapter co-president. “Each year, this involves organizing informative panels about life after graduation, planning service projects both on campus and in our broader community, and hosting collaborative social events.”

These include workshops on resume and personal statement writing, GRE preparation and career and graduate school forums. The chapter also organizes Mental Health Awareness Week in an effort to educate the campus about mental illness and help end the stigma surrounding it.

Other events organized by UMW Psi Chi give students the opportunity to present research to an audience beyond their own class. Past service projects include writing holiday cards to troops in Iraq and collecting donations of both money and goods to contribute to a foundation started in honor of a child who lost her fight against cancer.

“This award will allow our chapter to continue to thrive, foster the growth of future psychologists, and open new avenues enabling even more positive contributions to our department, university, and community,” said Lamp.

Past winners of the Ruth Hubbard Cousins Award, named for a long-time Psi Chi secretary and executive director, include Central Connecticut State University and Temple University in Philadelphia.

“The University of Mary Washington Psi Chi chapter is honored beyond words for its selection as the Ruth Hubbard Cousins Chapter Award recipient for 2017-2018 and for being recognized as an exceptional role model for current and future chapters,” said Mindy Erchull, faculty advisor and psychological science professor.

Jason Sellers Named FOR Volunteer of the Year

Jason Sellers, left, was named Friends of the Rappahannock Volunteer of the Year.

Jason Sellers, left, was named Friends of the Rappahannock Volunteer of the Year.

Dr. Jason Sellers, assistant professor of history and American studies at the University of Mary Washington, is the 2018 Volunteer of the Year for Fredericksburg-based Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR).

For the past two years, Sellers has served as faculty adviser for Life Along the Rappahannock, a collaborative oral history project between FOR and UMW. To date, Life Along the Rappahannock has completed six interviews and employed four UMW interns who logged hundreds of hours of service. Sellers supports FOR’s outreach events, interpretive trips, and buildings and grounds projects.

UMW Libraries Launch Assignment Bank

The UMW Libraries are excited to announce the launch of a new website for instructors: the UMW Assignment Bank. The site is available now at http://umwassignmentbank.net.

The UMW Assignment Bank is an online repository of course assignments. Its purpose is to help instructors share innovative assignment designs with each other. In the Assignment Bank you’ll find examples of assignments that your colleagues are using in their courses. You can use these assignments to inspire your own designs. Some assignments are available under Creative Commons licenses, so you can reuse them in your own courses.

All UMW instructors are welcome to contribute their assignments. Contributing to the Assignment Bank doesn’t just help your colleagues — it’s an opportunity for you to be recognized for your own innovative work. To upload an assignment that you’ve designed, go to the Assignment Bank and click Contribute an Item.

The UMW Libraries would like to thank Liane Houghtalin, Kristen Marsh, Leslie Martin, Marie McAllister, Woody Richardson, Mara Scanlon, and David Stahlman, for being the first contributors to the Assignment Bank.

The site was built by UMW librarians Peter Catlin, Katherine Perdue, and Angie White. For a detailed account of the site’s origins, see this blog post on the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies blog.

Words to Live By: Alum Gifts Glover Scholarship

A Mary Washington alumna recently sent a very special thank you message to one of her former professors. It wasn’t a Hallmark card, nor did it have photos of flowers or cute little puppies. The expression of appreciation to her beloved professor was in the form of resolutions establishing two endowments in the name of Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English Donald E. Glover.

Dr. Glover retired from Mary Washington in 1998 after 37 years of service. When Dr. Gary Richards – current chair of the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication – visited Dr. Glover at his home, the former professor was surprised and extremely honored. Dr. Richards explained the purpose of the two endowments and told him of the significant estate gift that was behind the naming honor.

The donor, an alumna from the Class of 1971, wishes to remain anonymous in her giving, but she wanted to let her professor know how important his teaching was to her during those formative years. She recalls that Dr. Glover was light on lectures, yet strategically led his students to understand and appreciate works of literature by asking questions to stimulate critical thinking and discussion. She says students learned for themselves as they came to realize the full meaning and importance of what they had read. She also credits Dr. Glover for her love of the sometimes challenging, but always rewarding, Henry James.

During his tenure, Dr. Glover was a widely respected member of the faculty. He began teaching English at Mary Washington in 1961 and served as department chair from 1970-73. He also was the founding director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program and was instrumental in establishing Mary Washington’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1976, Dr. Glover became the fifth recipient of the Simpson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; in 1988, he was named one of Mary Washington’s first Distinguished Professors.

The Donald E. Glover Scholarship in English will help encourage and inspire students to develop a love for literature and critical thinking. The intention behind the Donald E. Glover Faculty Award in English is to reward, preserve, and enhance what the donor sees as one of Mary Washington’s most distinguishing characteristics: quality of faculty and the exceptional educational experience they provide. Overall, she hopes the English faculty can follow in Dr. Glover’s footsteps, while having a positive and lasting impact on students’ lives.

The UMW Office of Gift Planning respects and honors requests for anonymity. If you have any questions about estate planning or the giving process, please call Jan Clarke at 540-654-2064 or Michele Collins at 540-654-2067.

To read the rest of the Heritage Newsletter featuring articles about James C. Llewellyn ’87, Carolyn Eldred ’66 and Martha Keegan ’18, visit this link.