September 27, 2021

Governor Announces UMW Board of Visitors Appointments

(From left to right: Allida Black, Devon Cushman, Pat McGinnis and Robert Strassheim.)

The Virginia Governor’s Office announced on Friday the appointment of Robert J. Strassheim ’96 of Keswick, Virginia, to the University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors (BOV). In addition, BOV Vice Rector Devon Williams Cushman ’93 of Richmond, as well as members Allida M. Black of Arlington and Patricia “Pat” Gwaltney McGinnis ’69 of Washington, D.C., have been reappointed to subsequent four-year terms on the board.

Robert J. Strassheim

Robert J. Strassheim

“I’m honored by this appointment, and in this capacity, I look forward to continuing to advocate for all of Mary Washington’s stakeholders,” said Strassheim, who will finish out the remaining three years of Edward B. Hontz’ term.

Robert Strassheim, a certified project management professional, serves as vice president of business operations for Dickinson + Associates Inc., a midsize software consulting company headquartered in Chicago. He has also held various leadership positions at Electronic Data Systems Inc., working for the Department of the Navy.

In addition, Strassheim has served as a part-time lecturer in UMW’s College of Business (COB) for more than two decades, teaching courses in marketing, management, corporate financial management, retail management and introduction to business, as well as a senior seminar in international business.

Strassheim earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mary Washington, graduating with academic honors. He also holds an MBA and graduate certificate in international business from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, ranking third in his class.

At UMW, he is the current chair of COB’s Alumni Advisory Board and previously served as a Capital Campaign cabinet member. He is the recipient of the 2017 COB Distinguished Business Alumnus Achievement Award and the 2021 Frances Liebenow Armstrong ’36 Service Award.

Devon W. Cushman

Devon W. Cushman

Returning Vice Rector Devon Cushman has worn many hats during her career: litigation attorney, law professor, general counsel and – most recently – entrepreneur. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Mary Washington and earning her J.D. from the University of Richmond School of Law, she worked as a litigator at Morris & Morris (now McCandlish Holton) and Hirschler Fleischer, where she was recognized by Virginia Business as “Legal Elite” and by Virginia Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star.”

Cushman also has served as an adjunct professor at Richmond Law and as assistant general counsel at Capital One, where she partnered with the policy affairs team to advance the company’s legislative agenda. Cushman recently founded a design company called Dutch Door. In addition, she supports the greater Richmond community as a pro bono attorney.

Allida Black is a distinguished scholar and human rights advocate who serves as managing director of Allenswood Group, LLC, an organization founded to empower individuals and strengthen democracy through civic engagement, grassroots activism and education.

She is historian and advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and a distinguished visiting scholar at the Miller Center for Public Affairs. Prior to this, she served as a research professor of history and international affairs at The George Washington University (GWU). She is founding editor and editorial advisory board chair for the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project. Black also served as executive editor of fdr4freedoms Digital Resource, an online education and advocacy program dedicated to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. She has been an advisor to documentaries on PBS, The History Channel, A&E and The Discovery Channel, and has authored seven books and multiple articles on women, politics and human rights policy.

Allida M. Black

Allida M. Black

Black is a current trustee for the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Foundation and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. She is the recipient of GWU’s Millennium Medal, the 2001 Person of Vision Award from the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women and the James A. Jordan Award from Penn State University. In 2013, she received the Interactive Media Council’s “Best in Class” award and an Independent Publisher Book Award silver medal. She is a member of the Leadership Council of the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Survivors of Torture.

Black earned a doctorate in history from GWU, a bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory University and a certificate in international humanitarian law from the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Patricia Gwaltney McGinnis

Patricia Gwaltney McGinnis

Pat McGinnis is a public policy consultant and part-time artist in Washington, D.C.  She has held positions in government, business, the nonprofit sector and academia. In government, she served as advisor to the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs in the Obama administration. She has also been on the Senate Budget Committee staff, the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Health and Human Services, and the Office of Management and Budget, where she led the effort to create the U.S. Department of Education during the Carter administration.

McGinnis was president and CEO of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Council for Excellence in Government, an organization of business leaders who previously served in government. Founder and principal of public strategy firm FMR Group, McGinnis was a senior associate at international management consulting firm Cresap, McCormick and Paget.

McGinnis has also served as part-time faculty at the University of Maryland, Georgetown University and most recently The George Washington University, where she was Distinguished Professor of Practice at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. Currently, McGinnis is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the board of the Congressional Management Foundation.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Mary Washington and a master’s degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Governor Announces UMW Board of Visitors Appointments

The Virginia Governor’s Office announced on Friday the appointment of Robert J. Strassheim ’96 of Keswick, Virginia, to the University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors (BOV). In addition, BOV Vice Rector Devon Williams Cushman ’93 of Richmond, as well as members Allida M. Black of Arlington and Patricia “Pat” Gwaltney McGinnis ’69 of Washington, […]

Professors Receive Top Faculty Honors

The University of Mary Washington bestowed awards on two professors at the general faculty meeting on Wednesday, April 28. Professor of Biological Science Andrew Dolby received the inaugural Board of Visitors (BOV) Faculty Leadership Award, presented by Board of Visitors Vice Rector Devon Cushman ’93. Professor of Mathematics Janusz Konieczny received the 2021 Waple Faculty […]

Alumna Reappointed to UMW Board of Visitors

Princess R. Moss

Princess R. Moss

Princess R. Moss, an education executive and 1983 Mary Washington graduate, has been reappointed to University of Mary Washington’s Board of Visitors. Moss, who previously served on the BOV from 2007 to 2011, is vice president of the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional organization, representing three million teachers across the country.

She takes over a four-year BOV term set to expire June 30, 2024, succeeding Sharon Bulova of Fairfax, who has been appointed to Gov. Northam’s new committee on passenger rail.

An advocate for the arts in schools, Moss taught in the classroom for 21 years as an elementary school music teacher, while simultaneously championing children and public education at the local, state and national levels. For nearly four decades, she has supported the NEA’s mission to ensure that students receive well-rounded educations. Read more.

 

Alumna Reappointed to UMW Board of Visitors

Princess R. Moss, an education executive and 1983 Mary Washington graduate, has been reappointed to University of Mary Washington’s Board of Visitors. Moss, who previously served on the BOV from 2007 to 2011, is vice president of the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional organization, representing three million teachers across the country. She […]

Notice of UMW Board of Visitors Electronic Meeting

The University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors will hold an electronic meeting on Friday, September 18, 2020, beginning at 8:30 a.m. A lunch break will be taken at approximately noon. This is a scheduled quarterly Board meeting to discuss and take action on University affairs and Board operations.

Members of the public may witness this meeting by connecting to: https://youtu.be/tbaNo4OmB-A (via PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android) until the electronic communication concludes at the end of the meeting. In the event of an interruption in the feed broadcasting this electronic meeting, the public may notify the host by dialing (540) 654-1671. 

This is an open meeting. No public comment will be taken. The meeting agenda can be accessed online at http://www.boarddocs.com/va/umw/Board.nsf (public site) or by calling the Office of the President at (540) 654-1301.

UMW Chooses New Name for Building: James Farmer Hall

The University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors today voted to change the name of Trinkle Hall to James Farmer Hall. With this action, the Board memorialized a beloved member of the Mary Washington community who spent most of his career fighting injustices.

University of Mary Washington’s Board of Visitors voted to change the name of Trinkle Hall to James Farmer Hall. Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., one of the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement, spent his final years as a professor of history at Mary Washington. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

University of Mary Washington’s Board of Visitors voted to change the name of Trinkle Hall to James Farmer Hall. Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., one of the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement, spent his final years as a professor of history at Mary Washington. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

“I commend the action of the Board today,” said Rector Heather Crislip. “We are talking about one of the most beautiful and iconic buildings on campus, and its name should reflect our community and our values.”

The vote to change the name of this building comes at a pivotal time in our nation’s history. Today’s action was precipitated by the exhaustive work of UMW’s Campus Environment Presidential Ad Hoc Committee. That group was charged in 2017 with evaluating campus art, monuments, and other representations of the University’s history and community in order to ensure that Mary Washington is a welcoming environment for all.

In its subsequent 74-page report presented to the Board in November 2019, the committee’s research revealed that certain works of art and artifacts present a one-dimensional interpretation of UMW’s history. The Board unanimously voted to endorse all 17 of the committee’s recommendations for addressing the issues, with the greatest urgency placed upon identifying a new name for Trinkle Hall, named for a former governor of Virginia who was an active proponent of eugenics and segregation. The board further directed that the new name provide an opportunity for celebration, positive growth, and affirmative identity of the campus.

Earlier this year, a Naming Committee of UMW alumni, faculty, staff, and students solicited nominations for consideration. The committee then narrowed the field by tallying the top five nominees, surveyed the community regarding these nominees, and conveyed the results to President Troy Paino, who voiced his support of the committee’s recommendation to the Board. 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.