February 25, 2024

Let’s Chat About ChatGPT: UMW Faculty Perspectives on Emerging AI Technology

When you ask how UMW is using ChatGPT in the classroom, you’ll hear a variety of responses. Some students and faculty have yet to hear of the emerging AI technology. Some know it well and make use of it for their assignments whether instructors know it or not. Some say they’re being encouraged by their […]

Finlayson’s Human Geography Expertise Featured in ‘Tasting Table’

Associate Professor of Geography Caitie Finlayson

Associate Professor of Geography Caitie Finlayson

UMW Associate Professor of Geography Caitlin Finlayson was featured in an article titled “Cracker Barrel Is Finally Regaining The Older Customers It Relies On,” which ran in the publication Tasting TableThe chain’s stores “cultivate a strong sense of place through careful theming, generating a distinct sense of rural America and nostalgia for home,” University of Mary Washington researchers Meredith Gregory ’18 and Caitlin Finlayson observe in Advances in Hospitality and Tourism Research. Read more.

Cracker Barrel Is Finally Regaining The Older Customers It Relies On (Tasting Table)

Center for Teaching Announcement

A message from the Provost.

To all faculty and staff:

As we end the academic year and head into summer activity, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the significant work of the Center for Teaching and announce some changes. As you are aware, the Center for Teaching (along with Digital Learning Support) played a critical role in supporting our efforts to transition to remote instruction this past spring. The Center for Teaching is now fully engaged in summer faculty development and preparations for fall.

It is important to recognize that the foundation for this effort owes much to the leadership of Dr. Caitie Finlayson who served on special assignment as the Faculty Program Director during the past two years. Caitie’s task was to work with faculty to plan and develop a Center for Teaching responsive to the needs and interests of our diverse faculty. Thanks to her efforts, the Center has a clear direction, offers a variety of programs and resources, and works collaboratively with other areas to provide faculty development and support.

As part of this effort, Caitie also led the national search for a full-time administrator for the Center, which brought us one of our own: Dr. Victoria Russell. I am pleased to share that Victoria will now continue on in an expanded role as the Director of the Teaching Center.

This summer, Caitie has elected to conclude her special assignment having successfully completed the task of designing and launching the Center for Teaching. I know you join me in thanking Caitie for her outstanding service and leadership to the University over the past two years, and in welcoming Victoria to her additional responsibilities.

We are also pleased to announce that Dr. Elizabeth Johnson-Young has accepted a position as a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Teaching. Elizabeth will be joining our current Faculty Fellow, Dr. Melissa Wells, in providing teaching support through consultations and program initiatives. Elizabeth brings experience in digital and online practices, as well as an interdisciplinary understanding of effective teaching, that will strengthen the Center’s continued growth and collaboration with our Digital Learning Support colleagues.


Nina Mikhalevsky

Professor Wins Grant to Pen Open Education Textbook

It’s a dilemma faced by many students on financial aid. Funds often don’t hit accounts until a few weeks into the semester, so students can’t purchase textbooks, and they risk falling behind. Melissa Wells, an assistant professor in UMW’s College of Education (COE), knows this scenario all too well. That’s why she’s designing an Open […]

City Council holds special work session on controversial school enrollment figures (The Free Lance-Star)

Caitie Finlayson Publishes Article on “Ugly” Fruits and Veggies

Caitie Finlayson, assistant professor in the Department of Geography, recently published a research article in Fennia, a peer-reviewed, open access journal published by the Geographical Society of Finland since 1889. The article developed out of a research project that was supported by a Jepson Fellowship and examined consumer perceptions of fresh produce quality – essentially how we view “ugly” or imperfect foods and how this view is dependent upon geography.

She previously presented the paper at a national geography conference in a special session on food geographies and was invited by the session organizer to submit the manuscript to Fennia. The journal is indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals and the article is available free and openly under the Creative Commons license.

How Teaching Centers Can Get Professors to Buy Into Their Work (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Finlayson Publishes Cover Photograph in Southeastern Geographer

Caitie Finlayson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, published the cover photograph and cover art essay in the Southeastern Geographer, Volume 56, Number 2, which is available through Project Muse (https://muse.jhu.edu/article/622279). The photograph of Providence Canyon in Stewart County, Ga., was taken last fall as UMW geography students and faculty traveled to the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers in Pensacola, Fla.