June 17, 2024

UMW Dedicates Hurley Convergence Center

The University of Mary Washington dedicated the Hurley Convergence Center in honor of President Richard V. Hurley on Friday, April 15. The ceremony also featured the unveiling of President Hurley’s official presidential portrait. Previously known as the Information and Technology Convergence Center, the Hurley Convergence Center features a rich array of digital technology resources, flexible […]

Students to Celebrate Research and Creativity, April 24

Do polymers provide a cure for cancer? Should college be free? Is recycling plastic environmentally friendly? Art 15 (2)These quandaries are a sampling of issues that nearly 400 students from the University of Mary Washington will tackle at the Undergraduate Student Research and Creativity Day Symposium on Friday, April 24. The event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on students’ last day of class, will be located at the Information and Technology Convergence Center (ITCC), with related activities taking place in other academic buildings. The Ridderhof and duPont galleries displaying student artwork will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The symposium, now in its ninth year, represents students from 20 major disciplines, including natural sciences, humanities, modern and ancient languages, social sciences, visual and performing arts, mathematics and computer science. Students will present their works to other UMW students, faculty and the community. According to Grant Woodwell, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, the symposium gives students the outlet to present their semester-long research in a creative way. “The day helps to highlight the best that we have to offer as an institution of liberal arts and sciences,” said Woodwell. “We are justly proud of the many students who engage in independent learning activities and have had the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor.” The Research and Creativity Day Symposium, which began in 2007, has changed locations over the years, most recently taking place at Jepson Hall in 2014. The ITCC will serve as home to the symposium this year, and is projected to be a permanent location for the event in the future. Woodwell, who also organized the event, is excited to bring students’ research to life utilizing the ITCC’s space and resources. “We are looking forward to a spacious display of posters distributed throughout the ITCC,” said Woodwell. “The space will allow better interaction between the student authors and their visitors.”

For more information on the Research and Creativity Day Symposium, visit the event’s website or contact Woodwell at gwoodwel@umw.edu.

UMW Converges Time and Technology in 80’s Exhibit

The University of Mary Washington is converging time and technology with its interactive “Console Living Room” exhibit, a collection of 1980’s technology on display through May 2015. Featuring more than 100 video games, movies and technologies, the exhibit is arranged within a 1980’s living room set-up. Located on the fourth floor of the Information and Technology Convergence Center (ITCC), the interactive exhibit is a space for all visitors to play with the games. Click to view slideshow. The exhibit illustrates the evolution of technology. Today most people play games on mobile phones or high end, specialized devices, but it wasn’t always that way. In the 1970’s and early 1980’s, video games were flourishing in the public spaces of video arcades, but the mass production of home media consoles led to gaming as a home family activity. “The consoles in this exhibit are a piece of our shared digital history,” said Jim Groom, executive director of teaching and learning technologies. “They’re a pre-cursor to the technology we take for granted now.” Situated in the ITCC, the site highlights the history and evolution of technology by contrasting original video games and movies on vinyl with the building’s state-of-the-art structure. “This building, the Convergence Center, is about converging information technology for the future,” said Zach Whalen, associate professor of English. “But historically, new media converged within the technological ecosystems of living rooms everywhere.” According to Groom, there is a story in the technology that is no longer around today. “A lot of this is forgotten technology,” said Groom. “Take, for example, RCA’s Selecta-A-Vision videodiscs.” He points to a bunch of over-sized vinyl video platters against the paneled walls that resemble floppy discs. “That failed format captures a bizarre hybrid of analog and digital that represents a transitional moment in consumer technology in the 80s.” The exhibit’s collection includes well-known video games like Space Invaders, Pitfall and the original Super Mario Brothers. Among the video collection are movies both on VHS and videodisc, such as the copy of Footloose vinyl videodiscs from 1984. Other institutions also have created exhibits featuring older technologies including the University of Colorado Boulder, which has a media archeology lab. For Whalen, the ability to interact with the exhibit was key to the design. “Accessibility was a key factor in designing the exhibit,” said Whalen. “We want students to be able to play the games and appreciate how far technology has come.” For more information about the exhibit or donations to the collection, visit http://www.consolelivingroom.net/. Join the conversation on Twitter with #UMWConsole.

UMW to Host 2015 NACC Conference

The University of Mary Washington will host the 2015 National Association of Communication Centers Conference on April 17-18, giving professionals across the country the opportunity to share in research and discussion about communications centers.   Information and Technology Convergence Center The two-day session will take place at UMW’s  Information and Technology Convergence Center. The NACC conference, now in its 14th year, focuses on management and utilization of communication centers. The conference will feature more than 90 presenters from 25 different colleges and universities. More than 100 are expected to attend, including faculty, staff, and student consultants from communication centers. With the theme “Come Together at the Center,” keynote speaker Lauren Bell will discuss how communication centers can interact with other academic services and give tips on how to improve communication centers for students. Bell is a political science professor and dean of academic affairs at Randolph-Macon College. The conference will be a win-win for UMW and other colleges, according to Anand Rao, associate professor of communication, director of UMW’s Speaking Intensive Program and the Speaking Center, and planner for the 2015 conference. “Hosting the conference is a wonderful opportunity for the UMW Speaking Center consultants to engage and learn from colleagues from across the country,” said Rao. Registration information, directions and hotel reservations can be found on the conference website. For additional questions about the conference, contact Rao at arao@umw.edu.

UMW Opens Digital Auditorium

The University of Mary Washington will mark the opening of its digital auditorium in the Information Technology Convergence Center (ITCC) with a day of presentations, performances and film screenings on Saturday, March 14.   The digital auditorium in the Information Technology Convergence Center. The full day of events will feature an address by UMW President Richard V. Hurley, a complimentary breakfast, film screening and a variety of musical and theatrical performances including:
  • Fall Line Bluegrass Band, 1:15 p.m.
  • BellACapella, 2 p.m.
  • Alter Egos Step Team, 3 p.m.
  • One Note Stand, 4 p.m.
  • Undeniably Adjacent Improv, 5 p.m.
  • Eagle Bhangra, 6 p.m.
  • Save the Arcadian, 10 p.m.
Events begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at midnight. All food and events are free and open to the public. The Digital Auditorium is a two-story space for up to 130 guests used for entertainment, classes, lectures, training and performances. The auditorium includes three screens and a full, theater-style lighting system. The space can also be combined with an adjacent lobby and the Convergence Garden to host distinctive events. For more information about the event, contact Cartland Berge, ITCC building and digital auditorium manager, at reberge@umw.edu or (540) 654-5991.

UMW Dedicates Technology Convergence Center

The University of Mary Washington formally dedicated its Information and Technology Convergence Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 18. New ITCCThe four-story center, adjacent to Simpson Library and straddling Campus Walk, opened to students in August. The 77,000 square-foot structure features open, flexible classrooms and collaboration spaces, communal furniture and multiple student work centers. “Yes, it is a technology-enabled building that supports our digital spaces, but it does so to further enhance personal connections,” said Jeffrey W. McClurken, special assistant to the provost for technology, teaching, and innovation. “These form the center of knowledge creation and are at the core of the deeply collaborative experience of learning.” “It is also a manifestation of UMW’s leadership in the field of digitally enabled creativity,” added McClurken, who oversees the Convergence Center. Information and Technology Convergence Center The center features a digital auditorium, a digital gallery, a data center, audio/video production spaces and the new Digital Knowledge Center. Also, the university’s Speaking and Writing centers, the Division of Information and Technologies, and the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies have relocated to the building. Calling the building a “game changer,” Board of Visitors Rector Holly T. Cuellar said she’s delighted to see the Convergence Center full of students and buzzing with activity. “Not only will this space enhance the experience of UMW students, it will grab the attention of prospective students in unprecedented ways,” Cuellar said.  “With access to technological innovations like the ones offered in this building, our students will be well-prepared for any type of career and will become skilled, adaptable producers and consumers of digital resources.” The $40 million building is designed for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification requirements, meaning the building meets stringent requirements for green design, construction and operations.    

Virginia Living Magazine Names UMW Among Most Innovative Schools

The University of Mary Washington has been selected as one of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s top schools of 2013 by Virginia Living, the most widely read lifestyle magazine in the state. UMW is listed among 150 of Virginia’s most innovative educational programs in the magazine’s State of Education supplement in the October issue. BADGE_final_VaLivingThe list recognizes schools for excellence and innovation in five categories, including arts and humanities, science, math, and technology, co-ops and partnerships, athletics, and capital improvements. UMW appears in the science, math and technology category for its Domain of One’s Own initiative, the capital improvements category for the new Information and Technology Convergence center, and the co-ops and partnerships category for its partnership with the Naval Surface Warfare Center. UMW’s Domain of One’s Own project is unprecedented in higher education. Starting this fall, the university provides each incoming student with the opportunity to claim his or her own personal web domain name and web hosting account. Under the guidance of UMW’s Department of Division of Learning and Technologies, students are able to define and control their online presence, managing coursework, developing e-portfolios and setting up databases that remain with them long after they graduate. UMW successfully piloted the program during the 2012-13 academic year, offering it to 400 students and faculty. Other institutions have taken an interest and are planning to emulate the project. The Convergence Center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014. One of the biggest construction projects at UMW is a $39 million Information & Technology Convergence Center, which will serve as an “academic commons” building. The center will be a place where technology, information and teaching resources merge in a modern, energetic and vibrant environment. The four-story building, expected to open by fall 2014, will connect to Simpson Library and will contain a data center, classrooms, offices, a digital theater, media labs, a café and countless collaboration areas. UMW and the Naval Surface Warfare Center have had a long, rich history of working together, starting in World War II and continuing through the present day. Among other initiatives, NSWC provides the Fredericksburg campus with a high-resonance nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, which is used cooperatively by the chemistry department and NSWC scientists. In addition, the Navy facility sponsors internships to computer science students, and supports STEM teacher training at UMW. UMW’s Dahlgren Campus Center for Education and Research, opened in 2012, serves as an educational off-site location for NSWC and other base commands. The magazine will be available in bookstores on Friday, Sept. 6. More information about the State of Education list is available at http://www.virginialiving.com/.

Update on Convergence Center Construction

Groundbreaking for the Information and Technology Convergence Center is expected to begin after Commencement activities. On Monday, May 14, Facilities Services will close Campus Walk and route all handicapped and pedestrian traffic onto College Avenue until mid-June.  At that time, handicapped traffic will remain on College Avenue, but a pedestrian bypass around the construction site will be routed through the Simpson Parking Lot.  This detour configuration will remain in effect for the duration of the project.

Currently, Facilities Services is installing utilities to support the center.  This work is centered primarily in the Simpson access road between the Jepson Science Center and the Simpson Library. Along with closure of Campus Walk, the bridge in front of Arrington Hall will be closed to prepare for the relocation of city water, sewer and fire mains. This area and the entire construction site will remain fenced for the duration of the project.

Construction on the Convergence Center will commence in late June or early July with an anticipated completion date of spring 2014.  Access to Simpson Library will be via the Campus Walk entrance from Woodard Campus Center.

For more information, contact Len Shelton, associate director of capital planning and construction, at lshelton@umw.edu.  Or visit the Convergence Center project website at provost.umw.edu/convergence-center/.