August 15, 2020

Faculty Members Receive Emeritus Status

The 2020-21 school year will start with five noticeable voids as long-serving faculty leave the University of Mary Washington with emeritus status. The College of Education will say goodbye to professors George R. Meadows and Leslie Jo Tyler, the Department of Theatre and Dance will do the same with Professor Helen M. Housley, and two Jacks – Kramer and Bales – are departing the College of Arts and Sciences.

Professor of Education Emeritus George Meadows

Professor Emeritus of Education George Meadows

George Meadows came to Mary Washington in 1997 not only with an Ed.D. from West Virginia University, but also with a wealth of teaching experience. After earning degrees in geology – a bachelor’s from Marshall University and a master’s from Emory University – the West Virginia native served more than two years with the Peace Corps as a lecturer in geology at the National University of Malaysia, where he taught in the local language.

Meadows was an early adapter to technology. Known today for his instructional technology skills, he was already teaching online in the 1990s when he was research instructor for a National Science Foundation-funded project to support K-12 science teachers across a large geographic area. At Mary Washington, he was as likely to help faculty as students on use of technology, said longtime colleague Professor of Education Marie Sheckels.

She said that Meadows’ students loved his classes and appreciated the opportunities he gave them to explore new technologies, instructional equipment and hands-on material. She said his career demonstrated “he is a generous person who enjoys sharing his knowledge, expertise and excitement for learning with others.”

Meadows has focused in recent years on community outreach in the development of technology and makerspaces in local schools and libraries. He volunteers to support environmental education and STEM studies for the Fredericksburg area’s diverse, low-income children, and he plans to continue both in retirement.

Professor Emeritus of Education Leslie Jo Tyler

Professor Emeritus of Education Leslie Jo Tyler

Leslie Jo Tyler was hired in 1999 for a new master of education post-baccalaureate program in what was then the Mary Washington College of Graduate and Professional Studies. She “single-handedly directed the development” of UMW’s program to prepare classroom teachers to support English language learners – just when the need was taking off in the Fredericksburg area, according to Professor of Education Jane L. Huffman in a tribute to her colleague.

A linguist with a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, a master of education from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Florida, Tyler taught linguistics, sociolinguistics, cross-cultural communication, phonetics, phonology and other courses.

Huffman said that Tyler’s students recognized her demanding standards, just as they recognized her excellence. She became known for hosting annual gatherings so graduates and area professionals could get to know one another and share knowledge and best practices.

“Jo embodies the standards of quality, principles of innovation, and collaboration that are at the core of our programs,” Huffman said.

Professor Emeritus of Theatre Helen Housley

Professor Emeritus of Theatre Helen Housley

In her two decades at Mary Washington, Helen Housley directed 29 productions and was the department’s primary vocal instructor and coach. She taught an impressive variety of theater courses and stepped forward to develop a first-year seminar, which she taught every fall since its inception, according to Gregg Stull, department chair and professor of theater. An example of Housley’s devotion to her craft is that she volunteered over the years to watch thousands of high-schoolers audition for UMW Theatre.

An expert in the Lessac technique of voice, speech and movement training, Housley holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, a master of arts from Western Illinois University, and a bachelor of arts from St. Mary’s College.

In a tribute to Housley, Stull said the department in 2019 scheduled Much Ado About Nothing just so his colleague could direct her favorite Shakespeare comedy before retiring. Rehearsals were under way when the pandemic hit, and the production seemed doomed.

But Housley’s show went on. She innovated and directed the performance via Zoom. More than 1,500 people in 37 states and five countries watched a livestream of the performance, and thousands more saw it on YouTube.

“I never would have imagined when we left campus on March 12 that this semester, in all of its uncertainty, would reveal to me, yet again, Helen’s gifts as a teacher, director and colleague. But it has,” Stull said. “Helen ends her career at UMW in the same way she has lived it for the last 20 years – by giving tirelessly to our department and selflessly to our students, demanding as much from all of us as she does from herself. Such is her hallmark of excellence.”

Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jack Kramer

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Affairs Jack Kramer

Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jack Kramer is retiring with numerous distinctions after half a century at Mary Washington. During his long tenure, Kramer served as visiting professor of strategy and policy at the United States Naval War College, research fellow for the Russian Research Center at Harvard University, senior fellow for the National Defense University, and Fulbright-Hayes Fellow in the former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

After earning an undergraduate degree at LaSalle College and a master’s at the University of Virginia, Kramer received a doctorate in political science and Soviet area studies from U.Va., where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a DuPont Fellow and a University Fellow. In 2002, the Virginia Social Science Association named him the “Outstanding Political Scientist of Virginia,” and UMW awarded its 2006 Grellet C. Simpson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching to Kramer. He wrote The Energy Gap in Eastern Europe (D.C. Heath, 1990) and numerous articles and professional papers on political life in Communist and Post-Communist polities in Europe. In addition, he was the longtime co-leader of Mary Washington’s unique study-abroad program called European Capitals.

“I’m a happy camper,” Kramer declared on the eve of his retirement. “I’ve had a good run [having] been blessed with many fine colleagues and wonderful students and been paid to teach and write about a subject I still find fascinating and gripping.”

His colleague and current department chair, Professor Elizabeth Freund Larus, said Kramer, longtime chair, “has been the cornerstone of the department … building a collegial environment in which we all appreciate what each of us contributes to the department and the discipline.”

Kramer added: “I had never heard of Mary Washington – or Fredericksburg, for that matter – before I came here; I took the job because we were dead broke and desperately needed money.”

He used that experience as a life lesson for his students, many of whom have gone on to fill high-ranking government positions. “It’s good to plan,” Kramer said, “but don’t obsess about it.” He added, “Life works in funny ways and much of what happens in it is purely serendipitous so be open and receptive to unanticipated opportunities and seize the moment to exploit them.”

Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales

Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales

After four decades at Mary Washington, Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales has retired from the University of Mary Washington. But the meticulous researcher and expert on the history of baseball won’t quit studying and writing about his beloved Chicago Cubs.

“What am I going to do without Jack?” asked University Librarian Rosemary Arneson, his friend and colleague. Bales has led about 100 research sessions for students annually, she said, and his Citing Sources is UMW Libraries’ most popular guide, with over 6,000 hits. Faculty depend on him for support, too, including some of his former students who now teach at their alma mater.

“He is happiest when he is in the library early on a Saturday morning, poring over the microfilm of early Chicago newspapers, and he loves nothing else so much as a good footnote,” Arneson said in a tribute to Bales.

The Positivity Post, a UMW student-led weekly newsletter designed to spread good news during the gloomy COVID-19 days, recently described Bales as a UMW “institution.” The article went on to say that Writing Center director Gwen Hale once hailed Jack Bales as “the Mick Jagger of librarians.” A student countered, according to the article, ‘‘Mick Jagger is the Jack Bales of rock and roll!”

In 2019, Bales released Before They Were the Cubs: The Early Years of Chicago’s First Professional Baseball Team, published by McFarland & Co. A book about the life of Violet Popovich, the woman who shot Cub Billy Jurges, will be published later this year by The History Press. Bales’ books include literary studies on American authors Horatio Alger Jr., Kenneth Roberts (Northwest Passage), and Esther Forbes (Johnny Tremain).

In addition, he’s written extensively about the late Southern author Willie Morris, who is best known for his award-winning North Toward Home and the memoir My Dog Skip, which was made into a popular film. Morris and Bales became friends, leading to Morris’ memorable guest lectures at Mary Washington in 1998, during which he captivated students, faculty and community members.

“Jack is much more than a great teacher and researcher,” Arneson said. “He is a generous colleague, always willing to take an extra shift on the reference desk or to offer words of praise. We will all miss him greatly. And we hope he doesn’t have to wait another 100 years to see the Cubs win the World Series again.”

Farnsworth Comments in the Regional and National News

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, has been quoted in several regional and national news stories:

NY Attorney General Sues to Dissolve NRA (CTV News Channel) 

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger vs. Delegate Nick Freitas – Edition #1 (Virginia Seven Newsletter) 

Trump, Trade and Tariff’s on the Drive with Jock Wilson 9 (CHQR segment on US- Canada Trade)

With Tactics Honed On Climate Change, Ken Cuccinelli Turned to the Portland Streets (Inside Climate News)

Donald Trump v. COVID-19 (CTV News Channel)

Hogan Passes Torch to Cuomo, Reflects on Role of Governors and Trump in the Pandemic (Maryland Matters)

Poll Shows Growing Distrust of Media Among Americans (Courthouse News Service) 

Manhattan D.A. Trump Investigation (CTV News Channel)

Mail-In Voting / COVID And Inequality (WHRO public radio Hear/Say)

Stalemate Over Unemployment Insurance (CTV News Channel)

Trump Pushes for Election Day Delay (CTV News Channel) 

Trump suggested election delay to distract US from worst slump in economy, says Internet: ‘A complete failure’ (MEAWW) 

‘President Pelosi’ trends after Trump suggests delaying 2020 elections, House Speaker would be ‘next in line’ (MEAWW) 

Trump suggests delaying 2020 elections, claims mail-in voting amid pandemic will be ‘incorrect and fraudulent’ (MEAWW) 

Obama slams Trump for pushing ‘nativist, racist, sexist’ fears during private meetings with party donors: Report (MEAWW) 

Farnsworth Lectures on Presidential Communication

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently delivered an online lecture, “Presidential Communication and Character,” for the Character Assassination and Reputation Politics Research Lab at George Mason University. The talk focused on Professor Farnsworth’s recent book, “Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management from Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump.”

Information on the book is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Presidential-Communication-Character-Stephen-Farnsworth/dp/1138212237

Farnsworth has also commented on several regional and national news stories:

Trump suggests delaying 2020 elections, claims mail-in voting amid pandemic will be ‘incorrect and fraudulent’ (MEAWW) 

Trump’s COVID-19 Response (CTV News Channel)

U.S. Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Dies (CTV News Channel)

Election Update (cp24.com) 

100 Days Until U.S. Presidential Election (CTV News Channel) 

Pandemic and Polling (cp24.com)

Tell-All Book by Trump’s Niece (CTV News Channel)

U.S. election swing states: Virginia is for… Democrats? (New Statesman)

Cooperman Publishes Article on Republican Women

Associate Professor of Political Science Rosalyn Cooperman

Associate Professor of Political Science Rosalyn Cooperman

Associate Professor of Political Science Rosalyn Cooperman contributed an article to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) Election Watch Project, entitled, “Is 2020 the Year of the Republican Woman? Women’s PAC support for Republican Women Candidates Suggests Otherwise.”

Women’s gains to Congress in the 2018 midterm elections were party specific. That year nearly three dozen new Democratic women, and just one Republican woman, were elected to the U.S. House. As Republican women’s membership in the House shrunk to 13, Representative Elise Stefanik (NY-21) promised to “play in primaries” to increase the number of Republican women running for Congress in 2020. Since then, much has been written about whether 2020 would be the year of the Republican woman as it had been for Democratic women in 2018. To be sure, the increased number of Republican women House candidates on the ballot this cycle bodes well for those within and outside of the party working to recruit and elect more Republican women. After all, women can’t win if they don’t run. Many of these candidates also hold credentials including distinguished military service, community activism, and previous officeholding that enhance their standing. A closer examination of the most competitive House elections along with existing campaign finance networks available to these women, however, reveals a more nuanced evaluation of Republican women running for Congress in 2020. While more Republican women are running for the House this year than in previous cycles, they are hampered by their status as challengers – further complicated for some by a late primary schedule – and the patchy campaign finance network available specifically to them to aid their fundraising efforts. Together, these challenges present significant roadblocks for Republican women candidates and the efforts to grow their ranks. Read more.

Larus Comments on Indus News on Chinese Sanctioning of U.S. Officials

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Elizabeth Freund Larus, Chairman of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, commented on Indus News on China’s sanctioning of U.S. officials. Larus indicated that China imposed sanctions on U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, and U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback in retaliation for their support of the newly passed Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, and for their criticism of Chinese human rights abuses in Hong Kong and in Muslim-majority populated Xinjiang Province. Larus also indicated that the U.S. Congress compelled President Trump to invoke the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act against four Chinese officials last week for their role in abusing human rights in Xinjiang.

Dr. Larus’s comments begin 23 minutes into the program at
https://youtu.be/UMSN-zwvtxU

Farnsworth Lectures on Free Speech to Malaysian Students

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of UMW's Center for Leadership and Media Studies

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of UMW’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently delivered an online lecture, “The Right to Speak: The First Amendment in the 21st Century,” to mark U.S. Independence Day with the students and faculty at Methodist College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Dr. Farnsworth was a Fulbright Specialist at the Malaysian college during the summer of 2019.

Farnsworth also commented in the following regional and national news stories:

For now, McAuliffe is on the sidelines of Virginia’s 2021 governor race. Some wish he’d stay there. (Prince William Times)

Florida COVID-19 Deaths Reach Record Highs (CTV News Channel)

America’s Top Doctor Sends Grim Warning (CTV News Channel)

President Trump and the Latest Russian Scandal (Viewpoints, CJAD Radio Montreal)

Experts See ‘Deep Trouble’ for Trump Overcoming Plummet in the Polls (Courthouse News Service; Missoula Current)

Trump Calls Russian Bounty Scandal a “Hoax” (CTV News Channel)

Larus Offers Comments on Indus News on International Law and South China Sea Disputes

Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, offered comments June 29 on Indus News on disputes in the South China Sea. Professor Larus indicated that a late June statement by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) affirming that international law should be the basis for determining sovereignty and entitlements in the South China Sea is a rebuke of China’s claim to the vast waters on historical grounds. Dr. Larus indicated that previous statements on the South China Sea either were retracted or did not name China, and that the June 2020 statement was a rare instance of unity among Southeast Asian nations in the face of Chinese aggression.

Professor Larus’s commentary begins 20 minutes into the program.

Farnsworth Lectures on U.S. Voter Suppression

Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently discussed his research on national and state-level efforts to suppress voter turnout in advance of the 2020 elections during an online discussion with NextGen activists.

A link to the conversation is available here: https://www.facebook.com/NextGenNorthCarolina/videos/588951375095206

Dr. Farnsworth also offered comments in the following regional and national news stories:

Large Virginia county ends immigration enforcement agreement (The Washington Post)

Gutzman Considering Bid to Become Virginia’s First Hispanic Lt. Governor (NPR)

Trump Holds Rally in Phoenix (CTV News Channel)

This is a ‘failure of political leadership’ (CTV News Channel)

Larus Comments on Taiwan Recall Vote, U.S.-China Relations

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Elizabeth Freund Larus

Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, commented on Taiwan and U.S. politics on Squawk Box Asia, CNBC Asia, on June 9, 2020. Overblown promises, an ambitious presidential bid, efforts to move Taiwan closer to China, and the HK protests all contributed to the historic recall of Han Kuo-yu, mayor of Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s critical industrial city. Regarding the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Larus claimed that a Democratic administration may not be much kinder to China than the Trump administration.

View part of the interview at  athttps://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/06/09/china-should-not-expect-an-easier-relationship-with-biden-professor.html

Farnsworth Comments in the Regional and National News

Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, has been quoted in several regional and national news stories:

G.O.P. Congressman Faces Primary After Officiating Same-Sex Wedding (The New York Times)

Rep. Riggleman ousted in Virginia GOP convention after presiding over same-sex marriage (The Hour; The Washington Post)

Republican congressman’s gay wedding role draws challenge at parking lot convention (Reuters)

Biden wants the media to cover more of his events, and Trump does too (CNY Central; mycbs4.com; abc6onyourside.com)

New Charges Against Police in Floyd Case (CTV News Channel)

Trump Eyes Executive Order on Policing (CTV News Channel)

U.S. Racial and Political Divisions (CTV News Channel)

Trump Changes Rally from ‘Juneteenth’ (CTV News Channel)

Virginia Governor Orders Removal of Confederate Statue Amid Protests (Courthouse News Service)

Rep. Harris’ Loyalty to Trump Appears Unbreakable (Maryland Matters.org)

Democratic candidates label Good, who defeated Riggleman, ‘extremist’ (Nelson County Times)

Mornings on the Mall (WMAL)