July 23, 2024

Summer Humanities Institute Preps Students for Life After Mary Wash

[caption id="attachment_239694" align="alignright" width="300"]From left to right: UMW students Stephen McClanahan, Rob Willcox and Katie Reif adjust lighting and camera equipment. With their mentor, Assistant Professor of Communication and Digital Studies J.D. Swerzenski, the trio conducted interviews, scouted locations, got familiar with equipment and the editing process, and honed other skills. The five-week filmmaking session was part of UMW’s Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Summer Institute. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi. From left to right: UMW students Stephen McClanahan, Rob Willcox and Katie Reif adjust lighting and camera equipment. With their mentor, Assistant Professor of Communication and Digital Studies J.D. Swerzenski, the trio conducted interviews, scouted locations, got familiar with equipment and the editing process, and honed other skills. The five-week filmmaking session was part of UMW’s Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Summer Institute. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.[/caption] University of Mary Washington senior Stephen McClanahan spent five weeks this summer practicing filmmaking. A psychology major, he saw the session as the next step in carving out the career he’s hoping to build. “It’s an incredible opportunity to have access to this technology the university offers while also getting hands-on experience with filming and editing footage,” said Rob Willcox, an anthropology and theatre major who also took part in the video project. Led by Assistant Professor of Communication and Digital Studies J.D. Swerzenski, the summer filmmaking course – packed with interviews, location scouting, lighting set-up, editing and more – was part of UMW’s Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Summer Institute (AHSSSI). The collection of immersive hands-on learning experiences, designed to give students real-world expertise they can add to their résumés, also included psychology, environmental sociology and 3-D design work, all done side-by-side with faculty mentors. “Lots of universities offer research opportunities to students, only to have them end up doing menial work. That isn’t what happened this summer,” Tobias Conner, a senior psychology major who plans to pursue a Ph.D., said of AHSSSI, for which students receive free room and board, as well as a paycheck. “We were doing real research every step of the way, from researching our primary sources in week one, to building the study, running participants, and assessing data by the end.” Read more.

Bonds Pens Climate-Centered Opinion Piece

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds co-wrote an opinion piece for the FXBG Advance titled “Fredericksburg’s Climate Commitment Is Too Important to Miss.” The article begins: In 2019, the City of Fredericksburg made a pledge to its residents that it would power all municipal operations—city works, parks and recreation, schools, and (where possible) police and emergency response—with 100% renewable energy by 2035. Read more.

Williams: Can the Blue Zones Project cure what ails Hopewell? (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Williams: Can the Blue Zones Project cure what ails Hopewell? (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Screening set for film about childfree choice (The Free Lance-Star)

Bonds Quoted in ‘Environmental Health News’

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds contributed to an article titled “Can ‘Blue Zones’ be a solution to environmental injustice?” in Environmental Health News.“When we say environmental racism people think about Hurricane Katrina or Cancer Alley in Louisiana,” Bonds told EHN. “However, environmental injustice and racism is all around us.” Read more.

Can “Blue Zones” be a solution to environmental injustice? (Environmental Health News)

New community garden grows in Bragg Hill neighborhood (The Free Lance-Star)

Bonds Pens Op-Ed in ‘The Free Lance Star’

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds

Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds, who is a founding member of Fossil Free Fredericksburg, penned an op-ed for The Free Lance-Star entitled Commentary: Acting on climate change has benefits beyond carbon emission reduction. 

In December 2019, Fredericksburg’s city council made commitments to power all city operations with 100% renewable energy by 2035, and to shift away from fossil fuel-derived energy across the city by 2050.

Fredericksburg and its public schools have taken some important steps to achieve these goals.

For instance, the city has hired a new sustainability coordinator to help lead this effort. Further, both the city and Fredericksburg Public Schools are working with an energy service company to increase efficiency and eliminate energy waste. The city is also replacing some of the conventional vehicles in its fleet with hybrids, and is conducting a strategic assessment to explore cost effective ways to replace vehicles at the end of their use cycle with electric cars and trucks. The city is also partnering with the Local Energy Alliance Program to run a Solarize campaign, which makes adding solar panels on rooftops easier and more affordable for homeowners. In another exciting development, Fredericksburg Public Schools is purchasing ten new electric school buses. Read more.

Human Rights Coalition Formed by Inmates at Rappahannock Jail (90.3 WCPN)