October 30, 2020

Podcasts on UMW Activism Spell ‘Good Trouble’ for Students

As part of this year’s Common Experience, first-year students are listening to “Good Trouble: UMW,” an 18-episode podcast that chronicles the long history of student activism at Mary Washington. Logo by Peter Morelewicz at Print Jazz.

As part of this year’s Common Experience, first-year students are listening to “Good Trouble: UMW,” an 18-episode podcast that chronicles the long history of student activism at Mary Washington. Logo by Peter Morelewicz at Print Jazz.

Eliza Vegas marched in her first protest this summer for Black Lives Matter. The University of Mary Washington is inspiring her to do more.

“An overwhelming sense of home and community brought me here,” said Vegas, a Mary Washington first-year student who learned of the University’s long history of student activism when she listened to a new podcast on the topic. “Now I have a deeper appreciation for my new school.”

Since 2015, incoming students have read and discussed written works with the UMW community as part of the Common Experience. This year, instead of a book, they’re exploring four timely and topical podcasts about COVID-19 and civil rights, connecting events of the past to the present. They’re also listening to “Good Trouble: UMW,” a new podcast named for the late Congressman John Lewis’ lifelong philosophy, which he shared in his 2011 Commencement address at Mary Washington.

The 18-episode podcast series chronicles Mary Washington student activism throughout the decades, relating back to Lewis’ directive to get in “good trouble, necessary trouble.” Read more.

Common Read 2020 – Civility and Political Action – seeking nominations

Dear UMW Community:

The UMW Common Read is one of the first experiences for incoming first-year students to interact with members of the greater UMW Community. The Common Read is both an academic and social experience where incoming students have the opportunity to engage critically with each other, returning students, faculty, staff, and community members. The Common Read Committee has selected Civility and Political Action as the theme for the 2020 Common Read.

As President Paino mentioned a few weeks ago, “2020 will be a particularly significant year” both for our campus and nationally. We are soliciting suggestions from the UMW community that will embody the Farmer Legacy 2020 and our commitment to our Community Values (ASPIRE). Please review the tips below and nominate your selection(s) by Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

Here are a few tips as you consider your nomination(s):

  • Non-partisan
  • Multi-disciplinary perspectives
  • Appropriate level for first-year students
  • Relevant to today
  • Likely to generate rich discussions
  • Not limited to texts – common experiences, music, videos, podcasts, or hybrid experiences can be nominated as well
  • 2020 milestones:

o   the 100th anniversary of Dr. James Farmer’s birth

o   the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment ratification (women’s suffrage)

o   the 30th anniversary of the James Farmer Multicultural Center

o   the 30th year of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

o   the 10th anniversary of UMW’s Women’s and Gender Studies program

o   National election in November

  • Past UMW Common Read works:

o   The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

o   Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County by Kristen Green

o   Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

o   Dear Evan Hansen (musical) by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson

o   Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

For questions about UMW Common Read, please contact April Wynn, Faculty Director of the First Year Experience at awynn@umw.edu.

 

Thank You to the Co-Facilitators of the Common Read 2019!

Book cover of Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

The Common Read Committee would like to extend a big thank you to this year’s Common Read discussion facilitators! The Common Read couldn’t have happened without your time, effort, and willingness to engage over 900 incoming Eagles! Sixty-four freshman seminar sections discussed Tara Westover’s Educated: A Memoir, facilitated by approximately 140 upper-class students, faculty, staff, and members of the UMW community. As the first academic experience, first-year students had a voice in the discussion of themes in the book, including family, class, gender expression, and education (of course!). We are deeply grateful to everyone who made this a successful campus-wide discussion!

Join the Discussion – Become a 2019 Common Read Facilitator

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover.

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover.

The UMW Common Read is one of the first experiences for incoming first-year students to interact with members of the greater UMW Community. The Common Read is both an academic and social experience where incoming students have the opportunity to engage critically with each other, returning students, faculty, staff and community members. The 2019-2020 Common Read is Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. This book features a young woman who leaves all she knows in search of an education and how her identity is shaped by her own decisions and the actions of her family.

Please join the Common Read discussion with our incoming students on Friday, Aug. 23, at 9 a.m. First-year students will kick off their academic experiences in FSEM sections along with one or two community members. Question prompts and additional information will be provided in advance to help guide discussion. We hope that you will help shape the discussion as we welcome the 2019-2020 incoming students to UMW.

If you would like to volunteer to guide a discussion group as a co-facilitator, please indicate your interest and need for a copy of the book. Please let us know if you have any questions.

If the hyperlink above does not work please copy this address into your browser to volunteer: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfLemkstAR_HgZNFk53FACV6AmXaZhH4S84SXLMhIQbItjaHw/viewform.

For more information, contact April Wynn, Faculty Director of the First-Year Experience, at awynn@umw.edu.

Wynn Named Faculty Director of the First Year Experience

Dr. April Wynn has accepted the position of Faculty Director of the First Year Experience.  Dr. Wynn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the MWCF Herbarium Coordinator, having joined the UMW faculty in 2015.  She is the chair of the First-Year Seminar Committee and serves as a Faculty Fellow in the Office of Academic Services.

Dr. April Wynn was named Faculty Director of the First Year Experience at the University of Mary Washington.

Dr. April Wynn was named Faculty Director of the First Year Experience.

She received her Ph.D. in Genetics from North Carolina State University (2013) and has an M.S. in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Texas A&M University (2006), and a B.S. in Natural Science from McMurry University (2004). Previously, she served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Dr. Wynn’s passion for working with First-Year students has been a consistent thread throughout her career and professional development. Prior to her graduate work in genetics, she served as a first-year student Resident Hall Director at Boston College, where she oversaw the Honors Living Learning Community. Preceding that, she oversaw the Peer Diversity Educators and trained and supervised Resident Assistants at Texas A&M University.

In this position, Dr. Wynn will work closely with the faculty, deans, and department chairs, as well as the Offices of Residence Life, Academic Services, Orientation, and Student Involvement as UMW strives to institutionalize and sustain elements of the Quality Enhancement Plan, and further develop the experiences of our first-year students.