July 2, 2022

Beloved UMW Tradition ‘Devil-Goat Day’ is Back!

UMW held its first in-person Devil-Goat Day since the pandemic. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

UMW held its first in-person Devil-Goat Day since the pandemic. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

A uniquely UMW tradition brought an electric vibe to campus yesterday, with the revival of Devil-Goat Day.

“It’s the first time back since the pandemic,” said senior Carleigh Rahn. “There’s a new energy.”

Music was pumping on Jefferson Square, where a sea of students dressed in red (Devils, who graduate in odd years) and green (Goats, who graduate in even years) gathered for a high-energy, full-spirit competition that dates back to the 1920s. The event, which had been held virtually for the past two years due to COVID, returned in-person. And students were ready!

“Seeing everyone out here, it’s just so euphoric,” said senior Arianna Rodriguez, whose class hadn’t been able to gather for the end-of-the-academic-year ritual since 2019. Read more. 

Marketing Assignment Puts Immersive Learning on the Menu

The first episode of the ‘Shelby’s Sweets’ podcast, created by UMW student Shelby De Jong, features a tutorial on making mini-pumpkin pies. The YouTube video is part of a Podcast Kitchen assignment, giving marketing students real-world experience and a creation they can share with potential employers.

The first episode of the ‘Shelby’s Sweets’ podcast, created by UMW student Shelby De Jong, features a tutorial on making mini-pumpkin pies. The YouTube video is part of a Podcast Kitchen assignment, giving marketing students real-world experience and a creation they can share with potential employers.

Something’s been cooking at the University of Mary Washington.

The Podclass Kitchen experience has marketing students whipping up their own online culinary productions and walking away with an appetite for more.

“It was basically like starting our own business, and we did it hands-on,” said UMW junior Florina Aliu, who launched Cook Boss on YouTube. The first episode walks viewers through the creation of a Margherita pizza made with stone-fired flatbread and her mother’s homemade mozzarella. “I learned a lot more actually doing it than just reading about it.”

The Podclass Kitchen curriculum management system takes students from theory to practice, as they complete a series of lessons on brand identity, marketing strategy and content creation. The final dish? A short video that’s the start of an actual podcast on the trendy topic of cooking, and a polished product they can share with prospective employers.

“It gives them direct experience with social media promotion,” said College of Business Professor Lance Gentry, who recently incorporated the educational interface into his Principles of Marketing course. “Some of them are really getting into it with professional quality output.” Read more. 

Professors Receive Top Faculty Awards

The University of Mary Washington bestowed honors on two professors at the general faculty meeting on Wednesday, April 20.

Professor of English Chris Foss received the 2022 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award.

Professor of English Chris Foss received the 2022 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award.

Chemistry Professor and Honors Program Director Kelli Slunt received the second annual Board of Visitors (BOV) Faculty Leadership Award, and Professor of English Chris Foss received the 2022 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award.

Established a decade ago as a gift from the estate of Shirley Van Epps Waple ’52, the Waple Award recognizes a faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to their scholarly or creative area of expertise. The recipient must have been a full-time faculty member for at least seven years.Foss, who has been at Mary Washington for 23 years, is the author of numerous scholarly publications and academic conference papers. His particular emphases within his specialty area are British Romantic and Victorian literature. Award presenter Kyle Schultz, associate professor in the College of Education, noted that for the past 16 years, Foss has also become internationally known as an expert in the field of disability studies.

A member of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies’ editorial board, Foss has been instrumental in establishing UMW’s disability-friendly environment and has served as a key advocate for the establishment of a disability studies minor.

Chemistry Professor and Honors Program Director Kelli Slunt received the second annual Board of Visitors (BOV) Faculty Leadership Award.

Chemistry Professor and Honors Program Director Kelli Slunt received the second annual Board of Visitors (BOV) Faculty Leadership Award.

Established in 2020 by the UMW Board of Visitors, the BOV Leadership Award is designated for a faculty member who advances the mission of UMW by spearheading a major institutional initiative or program. On the 10th anniversary of UMW’s Honors Program, it was fitting that Slunt receive the award, said presenters BOV Vice Rector Devon Cushman ’93 and Marty Abbott ’72, chair of the BOV’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee.

A 1991 graduate of Mary Washington, Slunt has become the face of the Honors Program, molding it into a significant recruitment and retention tool. According to her nominators, she always puts students first. Cushman said of the program’s inaugural director, “Kelli Slunt makes sure the Honors Program matters.” Read the story on the UMW news site.

Eagle Awards Celebrate Campus Leaders, Dean Rucker

Senior Brianna Reaves received the Grace Mann Launch Award at the recent Eagle Awards ceremony, while Dean Cedric Rucker received the new Eagle Beyond Compare Award. Photo by Kayla Zegada.

Senior Brianna Reaves received the Grace Mann Launch Award at the recent Eagle Awards ceremony, while Dean Cedric Rucker received the new Eagle Beyond Compare Award. Photo by Kayla Zegada.

University of Mary Washington senior Brianna Reaves was presented with the Grace Mann Launch Award during the annual Eagle Awards last Thursday. Held in person for the first time since the pandemic, the event honored more than a dozen campus leaders in the University Center’s Chandler Ballroom. A newly established award was presented to Cedric Rucker, associate vice president and dean of Student Life, who will retire this June.

“Every class is amazing, but looking out at the students gathered here tonight – you’ve led our community through one of the most difficult times in its history,” UMW President Troy Paino said. “You embody the Mary Washington spirit.”

Rucker, visibly emotional throughout the ceremony, presented Reaves with the $6,900 award. “With tireless initiative, integrity, institutional investment … her leadership is deeply respected across all sectors of the University community,” said Rucker, acknowledging Reaves’ achievement as the first Black female student to become UMW Student Government Association president.

Grace Mann was a UMW leader and social justice activist who died seven years ago during her junior year. Her parents established an endowment for an annual financial award to be presented to a graduating senior who exemplifies Mann’s commitment to social justice, equality and advocacy.

Reaves, a sociology major and social justice minor, began her Mary Washington experience by becoming elected class president during her freshman and sophomore years. After participating in a 2018 Social Justice Fall Break Trip through the James Farmer Multicultural Center (JFMC), she made it her mission to make UMW a more inclusive and welcoming community. Read more. 

Supporting STEM: Innovation Challenge @ Dahlgren Targets Critical Area Need

Washington & Lee High School Assistant Principal Wilfredo Hernandez (left) and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division’s Director of Academic Engagement Michael Clark discuss the parameters of the Innovation Challenge @ Dahlgren. Washington & Lee High School in Montross was the first to accept the challenge, designed to highlight the importance of STEM education.

Washington & Lee High School Assistant Principal Wilfredo Hernandez (left) and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division’s Director of Academic Engagement Michael Clark discuss the parameters of the Innovation Challenge @ Dahlgren. Washington & Lee High School in Montross was the first to accept the challenge, designed to highlight the importance of STEM education.

“STEM” learning – science, technology, engineering and math – has been a priority for decades. But fewer young people in the U.S. are pursuing these subjects, and that puts the nation at risk.

The Innovation Challenge @ Dahlgren represents a powerful partnership set to take aim at this critical need in the Fredericksburg region. The robotics-style competition pits teams of high-schoolers against one another in a race of Python coding, sensor integration, navigation, detection, and command and control. Its début on Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, features students from public, private and governor’s schools – from Richmond to Stafford and throughout the Northern Neck – and puts a spotlight on the need for STEM programs.

Held at the University of Mary Washington’s Dahlgren Campus, the event is presented by UMW; the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division (NSWC); MITRE Corporation; and the Fredericksburg Regional Military Affairs Council.

“This collaborative effort offers an amazing hands-on learning experience for area high school students, demonstrating UMW’s commitment to the regional economy and development of talent for in-demand STEM jobs,” said Mary Washington President Troy Paino.

Future leaders in everything from software development and artificial intelligence to the environment and pharmaceuticals will gather for the two-day competition. Their mission? Establish communication with a tiny robot on wheels, program it to maneuver a mat – navigating through the “sea” and around “land masses” – then detect, acquire and act on a target . Winners will split a cash prize of $5,000. Read more.

UMW Galleries Presents THREE New Exhibitions

Timmerman Daugherty, "In Shining Armor," 2016. Ceramic mosaic, beaded fabric, sequins, found objects. UMW Permanent Collection.

Timmerman Daugherty, “In Shining Armor,” 2016. Ceramic mosaic, beaded fabric, sequins, found objects. UMW Permanent Collection.

The University of Mary Washington Galleries is pleased to present our last three shows of the Spring 2022 season!
The Annual Student Art Exhibition, currently featured in the duPont Gallery; the Intern Curated Exhibition: Women by Women, currently featured in the Ridderhof Martin Gallery; and the Senior Exhibition, currently featured on the first floor of the University Center.

Hours & Admission:
All three of these exhibitions are currently open. The Annual Student Art Exhibition and the Intern Curated Exhibition are open Tuesday through Friday, from 10am to 4pm, also Saturday and Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The last day to view these shows is Sunday. The Senior Exhibition is open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The last day to view this show is Thursday the 28th.  Admission is always free.

Contact Us:
If you have any questions, please call (540) 654-1013, or email us at gallery@umw.edu. The attached images are from the Intern Curated Exhibition: Women by Women, which will be on display until September. If you would like to schedule a private tour outside of regular gallery hours, please email Rachel at rbailey@umw.edu.

Featured Artwork: 
Timmerman Daugherty, “In Shining Armor,” 2016. Ceramic mosaic, beaded fabric, sequins, found objects. UMW Permanent Collection.

Annual Student Art Exhibition 2022 Award Winners:
Jenell Poling, “Egg” won an Award of Excellence.
Emma Bower, “Obstructive Obsessions”  won an Award of Excellence.
Paula Zuleta, “Escape”  won an Award of Excellence.
Shanna Aberle, “Coopered Door Stand”  won an Award of Excellence.
Colleen Cragun, “The ZuZu Channel”  won the Ann Elizabeth Collins ’73 Memorial Art Award.
Jasper Drilling, “Hiding” won the Emil Schnellock Award for Excellence in Painting.
Emily Warren, “Two Hearts” won the Melchers-Gray Purchase Award in Studio Art.
Sophia Maldonado won the Melchers Award for Excellence in Art History.
Maya Kirkpatrick won the Art History Award for Outstanding Research.

Dean Rucker Day! Save the Date: April 20, 2022

Cedric Rucker, associate vice president and dean of Student Life

Cedric Rucker, associate vice president and dean of Student Life

Dear UMW Community:

In honor of Dean Cedric Rucker, who is retiring from the University of Mary Washington after thirty-three years of service this June, the University will be hosting Dean Rucker Day on Wednesday, April 20, on the second floor of the University Center from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

Please come congratulate and thank Dean Rucker for representing the best of Mary Washington with his deep institutional pride, tireless cheer, and decades of service to his alma mater. There will be no official program; there will be, however, bowtie cookies, a photo booth, and most important of all, Dean Rucker himself on hand to receive our warm wishes. In addition, the dean’s favorite dishes will be offered at the Top of the UC as part of the regular lunch offering ($6.00 for faculty and staff members without a meal plan).

The entire community is welcome and encouraged to attend as calendars permit. Feel free to wear a bowtie, popped collar, and sweater-around-the-shoulders in honor of our beloved Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life.

Sincerely,

Juliette Landphair, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
University of Mary Washington

UMW Dedicates Mural Honoring First African-American Alumna

UMW senior Timbila Kabre was among the students and faculty who helped create the mural honoring Dr. Venus Jones, the first African-American woman to graduate from Mary Washington. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

UMW senior Timbila Kabre was among the students and faculty who helped create the mural honoring Dr. Venus Jones, the first African-American woman to graduate from Mary Washington. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Dr. Venus Romance Jones. It’s no wonder University of Mary Washington senior Timbila Kabre said she had “fallen in love” while researching the late physician bearing that name, who in 1968, became the first African-American woman to graduate from Mary Washington.

“Dr. Jones’ hard work, passion and love for others … is absolutely inspiring,” she said at the unveiling of a new mural honoring Jones – which Kabre and her classmates helped design – in UMW’s Jepson Science Center. Mary Washington students, faculty, staff, alums, administrators, President Troy Paino, Board of Visitors members, and Jones’ friends and family gathered together last Friday to dedicate the long-awaited exhibit. The mural’s timeline, and an accompanying digital site, traces Jones’ life and barrier-breaking career as a neurologist, along with other trailblazing Black women in medicine.

The project advances UMW’s initiative to create a more inclusive environment, said Professor of Biological Sciences Andrew Dolby, who spearheaded the effort. Disciplines across the University – visual arts, public and digital history, and the sciences – worked in collaboration, he said, getting input from the Campus Environment Committee and the Jones family.

“This is exactly what we talk about in terms of preparing our students with experiential learning opportunities for the 21st century,” Paino said in his remarks. “Your work will live on in our community, just like Dr. Jones’ legacy.” Read more.

Trailblazing Lawyer to Deliver UMW Commencement Speech

Sheila Shadmand ’95 will be UMW’s 2022 Commencement speaker. Through her prominent and celebrated work in the field of law, Shadmand has been a trailblazer for women in the Middle East.

Sheila Shadmand ’95 will be UMW’s 2022 Commencement speaker. Through her prominent and celebrated work in the field of law, Shadmand has been a trailblazer for women in the Middle East.

The University of Mary Washington will return to its Commencement traditions with the 2022 ceremony being held for the first time in two years on Ball Circle. This UMW Commencement, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7, will be the first to include both undergraduate and graduate students.

The speaker will be Sheila Shadmand, a 1995 graduate of Mary Washington who received her juris doctorate in 1998 from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Shadmand, a partner at Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, has been a trailblazer for women in the Middle East. She became the first female head of an international law firm in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2012 and in Saudi Arabia in 2020. Fluent in French and Farsi, she is currently in charge of Jones Day’s Middle East and Africa region. Read more.

Multicultural Fair’s Return Brings Fun and Funnel Cakes to Campus

Saturday’s 32nd annual Multicultural Fair – held for the first time in three years, under finicky skies – brought throngs of visitors to campus. The event is sponsored by UMW’s James Farmer Multicultural Center. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Saturday’s 32nd annual Multicultural Fair – held for the first time in three years, under finicky skies – brought throngs of visitors to campus. The event is sponsored by UMW’s James Farmer Multicultural Center. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

The Multicultural Fair is back! After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, the colorful, festive, crowd-pleasing event returned to the University of Mary Washington’s Fredericksburg campus Saturday. The nexus may have shifted from Ball Circle – sacred site of Commencement, and current incubator to baby grasses – to Jefferson Square, but the familiar sounds and scents wafted down Campus Walk, which was filled with people, dogs and vendors.

The sun peeped from behind the clouds every now and then, and random raindrops fell, but none of the activities were dimmed.

“It was great to host the Multicultural Fair in person again,” said Marion Sanford, director of the James Farmer Multicultural Center, sponsor for 32 years of this annual spring event. “It was wonderful to have the amazing vendors and dynamic performances throughout the day.” Read more.