January 23, 2022

Geography Grad Earns EPA ‘Rising Star’ Award

Growing up, Kaitlin Kean spent mornings before school in her father’s office, poring over maps and watching him collect data as a land surveyor. “That’s where I first learned about the field and that it was something I wanted to pursue,” said Kean, who now claims her own office where she wields sought-after expertise in […]

Farnsworth, Hanna and Seltzer Present Research Paper on Virginia Politics

Professor of Political Science Stephen Farnsworth

Professor of Political Science Stephen Farnsworth

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of Political Science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, Stephen P. Hanna, professor of Geography, and Kate Seltzer, a 2021 graduate of UMW with degrees in Political Science and in Communication and Digital Studies, are coauthors of a research paper entitled, “Declining Rural Influence in Virginia Politics: Comparing Mark Warner’s 2001 and 2020 Elections,” which was presented recently at the Northeastern Political Science Association [online].

Farnsworth and Hanna also penned an editorial with UMW political science major Cassandra Atkinson for The Free Lance-Star: Youngkin proves the political virtues of vanilla.

Dr. Farnsworth also commented on the following news stories:

How critical race theory went from conservative battle cry to mainstream powder keg (Yahoo)

Youngkin tests activists’ patience as he pushes abortion and guns aside (The Washington Post; WV News)

Stafford County’s local government went from red to purple. Is it the next phase of N. Va.’s ‘blue wave’? (The Washington Post)

What could Glenn Youngkin as governor actually do to alter admissions at TJ? (The Washington Post; msn.com)

Opinion: In Virginia, dial ‘C’ for ‘crisis’ (The Washington Post)

Democrats face tumultuous process to get massive social spending package passed (Fox News)

2021 Political Roundtable: Surfing Va.’s red wave (Virginia Business)

Will The Tea Party Of 2022 Emerge From The Debate Over Schools? Virginia Election Offers GOP Template For Midterms (Virginia Patch)

VIRGINIA — Youngkin Pledged More Parental Control of Education, But Changes May Prove Difficult (T74)

Steve Bannon Indicted by Grand Jury (CTV News)

Edwards vows to stay on (Cardinal News)

Three Amigos Summit: US Protectionism at Centre (CP24)

Trudeau in Washington (CTV News)

 

Hanna’s Plantation Museum Research Featured in Northern Virginia Magazine

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Steve Hanna’s work to encourage Virginia presidential plantation museums to recognize and share the stories of enslaved people was featured in an article in Northern Virginia Magazine.

Do plantation museums do justice to the memory of the enslaved? Local professor Stephen Hanna wanted to find out, so in 2014 he joined a team of researchers associated with TourismRESET, a world-wide network of scholars who study and challenge social inequity in tourism.

Hanna, who teaches geography at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, received a grant from the National Science Foundation, enabling him to lead undergraduate students through multi-year research on how narratives and exhibits about enslaved populations and slavery were presented or absent at 15 different plantation sites. The goal was to present their findings to museum managers and thus facilitate more historically accurate and meaningful tours. His team is in the final stages of publishing a book summarizing their data and findings, to be released in March 2022. Read more.

UMW Student Lands Competitive Library of Congress Fellowship

History has been a part of Matthew Bova’s life for as long as he can remember. In fact, even longer. The UMW junior’s parents met when they were both historical interpreters at Claude Moore Colonial Farm. “I feel fortunate to have grown up in an area so rich in history,” said Bova, an Arlington, Virginia, […]

Connections Steer Geography Grad Toward New Tech Job

In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, 2020 grad James Fendley secured a job – a month before earning his degree – at a D.C.-based data analytics firm owned by Jonathan Steenberg ’14.

In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, 2020 grad James Fendley secured a job – a month before earning his degree – at a D.C.-based data analytics firm owned by Jonathan Steenberg ’14.

For his first virtual interview, James Fendley paired a freshly pressed shirt and tie with basketball shorts and asked his family for an hour of quiet. But the best preparation came from UMW’s Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD).

Throughout his final semester, the 2020 University of Mary Washington graduate scheduled regular phone calls with the Center’s career counselors, who are charged with guiding students and recent grads toward employment, even during COVID-19.

“With each appointment, my résumé improved,” Fendley said. “Seeing my progress kept me motivated and helped me stay on track.”

His perseverance paid off. A month before he earned his degree, Fendley secured a job at a D.C.-based data analytics firm owned by 2014 alum Jonathan Steenberg. They’re two in a long line of UMW geography majors hired right out of college, thanks to solid programs, strong connections between faculty and students, and an active alumni network. Often landing employment in D.C.’s tech corridor, graduates of the program are the highest paid in the nation for the field, according to College Factual, which also recently ranked Mary Washington’s geography department No. 1 in the Southeast. Read more.

Connections Steer Geography Grad Toward New Job

For his first virtual interview, James Fendley paired a freshly pressed shirt and tie with basketball shorts and asked his family for an hour of quiet. But the best preparation came from UMW’s Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). Throughout his final semester, the 2020 University of Mary Washington graduate scheduled regular phone calls […]

Hanna’s Journal Article Wins ‘Public Memory’ Award

UMW Professor of Geography Steve Hanna, seen here during a 2018 interview for ‘With Good Reason’ radio, was the lead author on a journal article that won the prestigious Zumkehr Prize for Scholarship in Public Memory. Hanna’s research involves ‘narrative mapping’ applied at Southern plantation museums to determine how the South tells its story about slavery. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

UMW Professor of Geography Steve Hanna, seen here during a 2018 interview for ‘With Good Reason’ radio, was the lead author on a journal article that won the prestigious Zumkehr Prize for Scholarship in Public Memory. Hanna’s research involves ‘narrative mapping’ applied at Southern plantation museums to determine how the South tells its story about slavery. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

As visitors to Southern plantation homes know, the information they receive depends on docents and the questions they’re asked, and by where on the site the group is congregated. In the parlor, for instance, tour-takers might hear about the residents’ family history and the placement of furniture. Outside, they will likely learn more about crops and, perhaps, the lives of enslaved people who labored in the fields.

The process of capturing and interpreting these variations is called “narrative mapping,” said UMW Geography Professor Stephen Hanna, whose research with colleagues at other universities aims to determine – and eventually change – how the South tells its story of slavery.

Hanna and his co-researchers applied the process to 170 tours at 15 different plantation museums. The results from two of those antebellum sites, Louisiana’s Laura Plantation and Virginia’s Berkeley Plantation, formed an article, published in the Journal of Heritage Tourism that won the prestigious Zumkehr Prize for Scholarship in Public Memory.

The honor would not have been possible, Hanna said, without years’ worth of help from Mary Washington students.

“They contributed their ideas, hard work and energy to the project” from 2014 to 2017, said Hanna, who served as the article’s lead author and who, as the team’s only cartographer, designed the method for graphically presenting the results. “My work with the students has become my favorite memories of my time at UMW.” Read more.

Gallagher Receives Topher Bill Service Award

Jackie Gallagher, associate professor of geography, is this year's Topher Bill Service Award recipient.

Jackie Gallagher, associate professor of geography, is this year’s Topher Bill Service Award recipient.

Jackie Gallagher, associate professor of geography at the University of Mary Washington, has been recognized with the J. Christopher (Topher) Bill Outstanding Faculty Service Award for her contributions to UMW and her involvement and leadership in the greater community. The award was presented at the University’s opening faculty meeting on Monday, August 19.

Announcing the award, Parrish Waters, chair of the Sabbaticals, Fellowships and Faculty Awards Committee and assistant professor of biology, said Gallagher has shown a remarkable dedication to UMW students and faculty as well as the Fredericksburg community.

“[Dr. Gallagher] has worked for years to establish meaningful relationships with local K-12 schools that introduce students and educators to the tools and curriculum of her discipline and foster intellectual excitement for this material. Her engagement in community service extends beyond the classroom, as she applies her scientific knowledge of water, weather and climate to improve and enhance local natural resources.” Read more. 

Geography Department goes “All In” in Fountain for Giving Day

When the University of Mary Washington announced that the theme of 2019’s Giving Day was “All In,” the Department of Geography took that literally. On Wednesday, April 24, geography professors went “all in” the Palmieri Fountain in front of Monroe Hall to celebrate the more than $23,000 the department raised during the annual event, held […]

Geography Department goes “All In” in Fountain for Giving Day

When the University of Mary Washington announced that the theme of 2019’s Giving Day was “All In,” the Department of Geography took that literally. On Wednesday, April 24, geography professors went “all in” the fountain in front of Monroe Hall to celebrate the more than $23,000 the department raised during the annual event, held this year on March 19.

Department of Geography professors went "all in" into the fountain in front of Monroe Hall on April 24 to thank their Giving Day donors.

Department of Geography professors went “all in” into the fountain in front of Monroe Hall on April 24 to thank their Giving Day donors.

The professors who took the plunge were Dawn Bowen, Stephen Hanna, Joe Nicholas, Marco Millones Mayer, Caitie Finlayson, Melina Patterson and Jacqueline Gallagher. Their former colleague, Professor Emeritus Donald Rallis, who now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, jumped into a fish pond there in solidarity.

Gallagher said that getting into the cool water on a warm spring day was a shock, but she was glad that she and her colleagues had the opportunity to put the “fun” in fundraiser.

“We are a fairly small department with about 90 majors, so to be able to raise this much in one day is huge,” said Gallagher, who is chair of the department, which was ranked by College Factual as No. 1 in Virginia and in the entire southeastern region, and No. 10 nationally by College Factual. “We work really hard to foster a sense of community and a strong connection with our students. And we work to keep that bond with our alumni and their families.

The funds raised will go toward the department’s Geography Alumni Scholarship, which is named in honor of Professor Marshall Bowen, and late Professors Samuel T. Emory, James Gouger and Richard Palmieri.

Founded in 1959 by Emory (the namesake of Sammy T’s restaurant in downtown Fredericksburg), the geography department celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and has a number of special events planned. On April 13, the professors gathered with 135 current and former students and their families at Brock’s Riverside Grill for the Geography Honor Society (Gamma Theta Upsilon) induction and annual awards presentation. The event usually draws a crowd of about 50 in a normal year.

The department will also host the Jeff Rountree Geography Challenge, an ongoing fundraiser that is separate from the Giving Day challenge. The 1991 graduate and CEO of the UMW Foundation – who majored in geography – will give $4,000 to the Rountree Endowment when 60 gifts are made to the Geography Alumni Scholarship. The Rountree Endowment is used to help students pay for equipment, data or travel to do research or present at conferences. It helps both graduate and undergraduate students in geography and geospatial analysis.

For more information about the Department of Geography, or to give to the Jeff Rountree Geography Challenge, please visit the Online Giving website or call (540) 654-1037.