July 14, 2024

Christina Eggenberger: At Your Service

Christina Eggenberger puts these items on her list of Spring Break travel must-haves: A tool belt and work gloves.

The university’s director of service is spending her week with a group of students in Tucker, Georgia, an old railroad town just outside Atlanta with a population of less than 2,000. While others dip their toes in tropical waters, explore a European city or just sleep in, these students are working eight hours a day on a house for Habitat for Humanity.

For more than two decades, UMW students have taken part in Alternative Service Breaks, a civic engagement opportunity offered by the Center for Honor, Leadership and Service.

Eggenberger arrived here 11 years ago, drawn by the university’s small size, its absence of Greek life and the uniqueness of the service position.

Q: How did you become interested in service work?
A: My dad reminded me the other day that in second grade I organized a playground clean-up for Earth Day. So that shows I’ve always been service-minded.

Q: What’s your favorite part about Alternative Service Breaks?
A: I get to be out of the office for a week and go out and get my hands dirty. I also get to learn new things. Last year, I learned how to tile a bathroom floor.

Q: What are the trips like?
A: Students immerse themselves in the experience. They don’t have to go to class or do homework. It’s getting up and building, 9 to 5. It’s a lot of group togetherness. You make friends quick. We clean up, make dinner and play games at night.

Q: Do you have a favorite project?
A: Whenever you have the chance to frame the entire house. When you walk up, it’s a concrete slab. When you leave, you see the shape of the house. You get a sense that someone is going to live in the house and make a life there. That’s always impactful.

Q: Any touching stories?
A: A lady who was going to live in a house we were working on brought us lunch. She was very grateful for our help. Usually, we don’t get a chance to meet the homeowners. When we do, it’s a bonus.

Q: How willing are UMW students to give up their own time for Alternative Service Breaks?
A: We always fill the trips. The cost of the trip – $250 – is sometimes a barrier. We do offer first-time participants a $100 scholarship.

Q: Are there any mantras you tell yourself every day?
A: Small things can make a big impact on people’s lives.

Fitbit Challenge and Other SAC News


Thanks to all who were at Home Team Grill for the mixer last week! Your SAC members hope you had a great time.

UMW’s SAC is coordinating with a local school again this year to provide much-needed school supplies. Collection boxes will be available soon. Get ready!

Get your walking shoes and workout gear ready! Another Fitbit Challenge is coming soon. Stay tuned for details from HR and SAC!

The UMW Center for Honor, Leadership and Service is spearheading the effort to get together a UMW team for the Rappahannock United Way Day of Action, Friday, Sept. 23. Sign up to be part of an amazing one-day volunteer event that will change our community! Hundreds of volunteers from local businesses will come together to take on projects around the Fredericksburg region. Volunteers will be matched with nonprofit organizations throughout the community to help complete vital projects. Don’t forget – you may be able to use part of your 16 hours of Community Service leave to participate in this event! For more information about the Day of Action, go to the Rappahannock United Way Day of Action website. Click HERE to register to be part of the UMW team for the Day of Action. The deadline to register to be a Day of Action volunteer is Aug. 10. For more information, contact Christina Eggenberger at the Center for Honor, Leadership and Service.

Look for information about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) changes. HR will be hosting open sessions to discuss the changes and answer your questions.

SAC’s next meeting is Thursday, July 21, at the Stafford campus. Paul Messplay, Executive Director of Budget and Financial Analysis will present the 2016-17 operating budget, discuss new fiscal year project and changes, and field questions.  Meetings are open to any UMW faculty or staff member who’d like to attend.  For more information, visit http://sac.umwblogs.org/

Don’t forget to nominate your co-workers, supervisor or employees for the Excellent Eagle Employee award. To recognize someone for excellent work, simply send an email to eenominations@umw.edu with Excellent Eagle Employee in the subject line. Be sure to provide the person’s name, department and work location with the most convenient parking lot, and the reason they should be recognized.

Click here to submit ideas, comments, questions, suggestions or issues you’d like SAC to address. If you wish to remain anonymous, please put “Anonymous” for the name and leave out the email address.

Center for Honor, Leadership & Service Featured in Intl. Leadership Magazine

The Center for Honor, Leadership and Service was featured in the flagship publication of The International Leadership Association (ILA). ILA periodically highlights signature programs and UMW’s CHLS staff provided an article focusing on the Horizons program, COAR and the Honor Council.  The article, which describes the Center’s mission, programs and impact, is in the current edition of the ILA Member Connector magazine.  The magazine reaches leadership educators and practitioners in higher education, business and government around the globe.

UMW Students Spend Spring Break with Habitat for Humanity

Turning a concrete slab into a full-fledged structure with trusses might not illustrate the typical college spring break – unless you were one of 45 University of Mary Washington students and staff advisers who donated their time to rebuilding and rehabilitating houses last week.   UMW’s student-run Community Outreach and Resources (COAR) team organized three alternative spring break trips in Mobile, Ala., Maryville, Tenn. and Palm Bay, Fla., Feb. 28 through March 8. At each location, the students collaborated with Habitat for Humanity to help eliminate substandard housing. Click to view slideshow. Kelly Bryant, a senior psychology major, co-led the trip to Alabama this year for her third alternative spring break trip. “It is such a cool experience to learn how to hammer, square a house and put up roof trusses, all in the pursuit of giving someone a better life,” said Bryant. “It makes me so happy and proud to know that with my one short week I have made a lasting difference in someone’s life.” For some students, one trip is all it takes to change their perception of spring break. “After working with Habitat for Humanity last year, I couldn’t imagine spending my break any other way,” said sophomore and international affairs major Caitriona Cobb. “The feeling you get after volunteering is irreplaceable. The trip is such genuine fun and I was fortunate to get the opportunity to co-lead the trip with two of my best friends.” Alternative Spring Break is part of Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge, which calls students to aid impoverished communities.  In the past 26 years, approximately 230,100 students have participated in the program nationwide.  UMW has been involved in the program for at least 18 years, according to Christina Eggenberger, director of service in the Center for Honor, Leadership and Service. “We have a couple seniors on the trips that have gone on Alternative Spring Break every year,” said Eggenberger. “For them, college spring break means building homes with Habitat for Humanity.”

UMW Student Athletes Team with Local Children’s Program

The University of Mary Washington basketball game didn’t start until the afternoon, but by 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14, the action at the Anderson Center had already started. The basketball stadium was filled with shouts of laughter, as children and college students alike raced up and down the court in relay races, shooting basketballs and giving out high fives. A grant has partnered UMW Athletics and UMW Center for Honor, Leadership and Service with Stafford Junction, a nonprofit, faith-based enrichment program that works to empower children and their families residing in Stafford County. The grant provides youth from Stafford Junction the opportunity to visit and interact with UMW student athletes to engage in physical activity and skill building. The UMW Women's Basketball team works with children from Stafford Junction to teach them about healthy living and college life. IMG_1259 IMG_1294 The UMW Men's Basketball team also participated in the day's events, teaching children about basketball. IMG_1771 IMG_1363 “We are thrilled and feel blessed to be partnered with the University,” said Gladys Castellanos, Stafford Junction program director. “We are always happy to see that the kids enjoy their time there.” Each month during the school year, children from Stafford Junction visit a different UMW sports team and spent time with student athletes, experiencing some of college life and learning about staying active and healthy. On Saturday, the men’s and women’s basketball teams visited with Stafford Junction before a game against Penn State Harrisburg. The children saw how the team prepares for the game and discovered what it’s like being a student athlete. “The kids look up to them, and they send a positive message to kids in the community,” said Philip Pierce, director of athletic development and promotions. “It makes you feel like sports aren’t just about wins and losses. Student athletes have the ability to change lives and put smiles on kids’ faces” So far, Stafford Junction has met with the UMW swimming, soccer, baseball and basketball teams. “At UMW we pride ourselves on being a Fredericksburg team. It’s always nice to give back to the community.” said Senior Biology Major Claire Haeuptle, as she takes a break from leading a dribbling game. “It shows the kids we take pride in not only our athletics, but also our academics.” Before the big game started, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Marcus Kahn sat the team and kids down together for a pre-game pep talk. “Don’t ever let anybody else tell you what you can or cannot do,” said Kahn, encouraging the kids to take lessons they learned back to their schools, friends and communities. “Stay active, confident and positive every day. Don’t let people put boundaries on you.”  

‘Little Rock Nine’ Member to Speak at UMW, Jan. 21

Ernest Green, one of nine students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, will give the keynote address as the University of Mary Washington celebrates the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wednesday, Jan. 21.   Ernest Green, member of the Little Rock Nine Green will discuss his life and experiences as one of the Little Rock Nine, in addition to its impact on the civil rights movement and society today. The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. The event is open to the public free of charge. As a member of the Little Rock Nine, Green became the first African-American student to graduate Little Rock High School. In 1999, Green, along with other members of the Little Rock Nine, received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor awarded to a civilian. Presented by then-President Bill Clinton, the award recognized Green’s bravery during integration at the Arkansas public school. UMW also will participate in MLK Jr. Kids Day on Sunday, January 18. The annual community celebration includes games and crafts for children from 3-4 p.m. at James Monroe High School. Additional information about the event is available by contacting UMW’s Center for Honor, Leadership and Service at (540) 654-2272. For more information about the keynote address, please contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at (540) 654-1044 or via email at umwjfmc@gmail.com.

Learning Lab Redefined

There is a new student in Professor Woodrow Richardson’s Tuesday afternoon principles of management class.

UMW to Host Lecture in Observation of Constitution Day

The University of Mary Washington will commemorate Constitution Day, Wed., Sept. 17, with a public lecture by Doug Smith, executive director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier. Washington DCThe lecture, “Does Our Constitution Still Work?,” will be held on Tues., Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. in the Underground in Lee Hall.  Smith will speak about current support and criticism of the U. S. Constitution among citizens and lead an interactive conversation about citizen engagement. In addition, the University will erect chalkboards on Campus Walk between Lee Hall and Trinkle Hall to elicit student reflection on the contemporary significance of the Constitution.  The chalkboards will have two prompts asking members of the university community to reflect in writing on the ways in which the Constitution impacts their lives and what they think about the Constitution that ought to be amended. Constitution Day, sometimes referred to as Citizenship Day, commemorates the September 17, 1787, signing of the Constitution by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. The national observance of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution originates from legislation adopted by Congress in 2004 that requires all publicly funded educational institutions to provide educational programming related to the Constitution on that day. UMW’s Constitution Day programming is a joint effort of the Center for Honor, Leadership and Service, the Department of Art and Art History and the Office of the Provost. For more information, please contact the Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service at (540) 654-1364.

College Hunks Founder to Give Honor Celebration Lecture

Nick Friedman, president of College Hunks Hauling Junk, will give the keynote address for the University of Mary Washington’s second annual Honor Celebration on Wednesday, September 10, in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. The 7 p.m. event is free and open to the public.   Nick Friedman Honor Celebration is a series of events designed to highlight UMW’s Honor System. The celebration gives students the opportunity to consider their own values in a real-world context and illustrates the university’s commitment to integrity in education. Friedman’s lecture will focus on entrepreneurship and integrity.  Friedman founded College Hunks Hauling Junk, which is the largest and fastest growing U.S.-based junk removal and moving franchise. Friedman was recently named among the “Top 30 Entrepreneurs in America Under 30” by INC Magazine and the “Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35” by Bisnow.com. He also is an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist. The event is co-sponsored by UMW’s Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service, the Athletic Department, and the College of Business. For more information, contact the Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service at (540) 654-1364.

UMW Students Spend Fall Break with Habitat for Humanity

A group of University of Mary Washington students spent their Fall Break giving back to the community through an Alternative Fall Break trip on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The four-day trip, organized through the office of Community Outreach and Resources (COAR) and Habitat for Humanity, brought the students to the small town of Exmore, just three hours from Fredericksburg. A  student sands wood as part of a Habitat for Humanity project in Exmore, Va. For the first three days, the students worked on a house in the last stages of construction, sanding, painting, and putting the final touches on the home with the help of other volunteers and the future homeowners themselves. “[The 10-year-old son of one of the residents] was very proud of seeing his own home being built,” said sophomore Maura Slocum. “It was very rewarding to have him and the homeowner right there with us.” On the last day in Exmore, the students, along with Director of Service Christina Eggenberger, helped with the demolition of a house that was in unlivable condition. The land will become the site for a new Habitat home in the future. “You get to see that the work you are doing is building towards someone else’s life,” said Madeline Moravitz, a junior COAR staff member. On the last day of the trip, students demolished a house to create a site for a new Habitat for Humanity home. COAR, part of the Center for Honor, Leadership and Service, takes service trips each year during both Fall Break and Spring Break. In 2014, students will travel to Lucedale, Miss., Smyrna, Fla., and Bluffton, S.C. for Spring Break. For more information or to register for one of the trips, contact coarumw@gmail.com. “It is incredibly heartwarming that students are really interested in dedicating their time on their break to providing affordable housing to others,” Moravitz said.