May 28, 2020

UMW Opens ‘COVID-19 in Context’ Course to Community

Those who think they’ve heard everything that can be said about COVID-19 can guess again.

UMW faculty will share their perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic in a free eight-week online summer course open to incoming and current students, faculty, alumni, staff and the broader community.

UMW faculty will share their perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic in a free eight-week online summer course open to incoming and current students, faculty, alumni, staff and the broader community.

Experts at the University of Mary Washington are sharing their perspectives through COVID-19 in Context, an eight-week online summer course starting June 1 that will be open free of charge to not only UMW students, faculty, alumni and staff, but also the broader community. The 16 classes will be delivered right to cell phones, tablets and computers via Zoom. All participants need is Internet access.

Each session will look at the coronavirus pandemic from a different angle – the effect on climate change, the history of pandemics, the potential impact on our upcoming presidential election, the chemistry of disinfectants, and even how COVID-19 has influenced the fine and performing arts.

Each Monday and Wednesday through July 22, at 4 p.m., faculty from varied disciplines across the University, from psychology and communication to geography and economics, will broadcast a 30-minute lecture followed by an interactive Q&A session. The inaugural class, on June 1, will be a biologist’s look at the virus itself. Read more.

Through Pandemic, Research Remains Top Priority at UMW

Held annually on campus, UMW’s Research and Creativity Day went virtual this year, due to COVID-19. The event allows students to share projects they’ve worked on all year.

Held annually on campus, UMW’s Research and Creativity Day went virtual this year, due to COVID-19. The event allows students to share projects they’ve worked on all year.

They put in the hours – late-night study sessions, one-on-one meetings with faculty members, conferences, presentations and projects. All year long, students have been working hard on one of the University of Mary Washington’s top priorities: undergraduate research.

A pandemic wasn’t about to stop the 14th annual showcase that highlights all of their efforts. Filled with posters in the form of PDF images and oral synopses on video, the UMW Research and Creativity Day Virtual Symposium covers everything from math and science to the performing and visual arts. The online event will be open tomorrow through Friday for questions and comments, and for all-around marveling over UMW students’ ingenuity and drive.

“It’s a time for all of us to pause to celebrate our students’ hard work, their creativity, and the knowledge they’ve produced,” said Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Betsy Lewis. “When it was clear we wouldn’t be able to do this face-to-face on campus this year, I really wanted to find a way to replicate that sense of community and celebration.” Read more.

UMW to Hold 14th Annual Research & Creativity Symposium Virtually, April 23-24

Over the past academic year our students have been hard at work on their individual or team research and creative projects. Some of them have completed these projects as part of a course, as a capstone project, or even to achieve departmental honors recognition. Given the limitations placed on us by the current COVID-19 crisis, the University has created a virtual site for students at the University of Mary Washington to showcase their work, and for the UMW community to give them feedback and encouragement. Please visit http://umwrcd.net/ for the online application and for a list of presentations and presenters.

Applications are through the Google form on this website under the tab Applications. Student submissions will be due by midnight April 17, 2020. The Virtual Symposium will begin, here on this site, on April 23, 2020 and continue through midnight April 24, 2020.

UMW to Offer Japanese Language Courses

Japanese Minister of Public Affairs Takehiro Shimada (second from the left) and Takeshi Yoshida of the Japan Foundation (far right) visited UMW today to celebrate the announcement of the University’s new Japanese language program, funded by a grant from the Japan Foundation. From L-R: Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Betsy Lewis, Mr. Shimada, Provost Nina Mikhalevsky, Center of International Education Director Jose Sainz, Professor Steve Rabson, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger and Mr. Yoshida. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

Japanese Minister of Public Affairs Takehiro Shimada (second from the left) and Takeshi Yoshida of the Japan Foundation (far right) visited UMW today to celebrate the announcement of the University’s new Japanese language program, funded by a grant from the Japan Foundation. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

Spending a semester in Japan, UMW senior Kaitlin Viloria was in a shop when a young woman asked her a question. The woman spoke no English and Viloria’s Japanese was limited, but they still managed to strike up a conversation.

Viloria wishes she was more proficient, she said, “but in that moment, I was proud of my ability to overcome the language barrier.”

Future Mary Washington students who travel to Japan will be able to communicate with confidence, thanks to the Japanese language courses UMW will offer starting this fall. Earlier today, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger and Center for International Education Director Jose Sainz joined guests from the Japanese Embassy, faculty, administrators and city officials at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center to announce the new program. Japanese Minister of Public Affairs Takehiro Shimada gave a talk after the ceremony. Read more.

UMW Pathway Provides Grad-Level Engineering Opportunities

Thanks to a new pathway program with George Mason University, UMW students will now have the opportunity to enroll in pre-master’s courses in Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering. Photo by Ron Aira/George Mason University.

Thanks to a new pathway program with George Mason University, UMW students will now have the opportunity to enroll in pre-master’s courses in Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering. Photo by Ron Aira/George Mason University.

Engineers share a lot in common with superheros.

The latter leap tall buildings in a single bound, fight evil-doers and travel faster than a speeding bullet. The former design sustainable and safe infrastructure, combat cyber-crime and create signals that move at lightning speed.

UMW students aren’t caped crusaders, but they need to be prepared to tackle and solve complex problems plaguing our society. Starting in fall 2020, a new agreement with George Mason University will help them do that. Mary Washington undergraduates will have the opportunity to take graduate-level courses in Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering (VSE) during their senior year. Students can earn up to nine credits that will be applied to their bachelor’s degree at UMW and potentially later be used toward a master’s degree in engineering at Mason. Read more. 

Betsy Lewis Appointed Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences

Modern Languages and Literatures Professor and Chair Betsy Lewis was appointed Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences.

Modern Languages and Literatures Professor and Chair Betsy Lewis was appointed Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences.

A Message from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Betsy Lewis as the Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences.

In her new role, Dr. Lewis will take over much of the work associated with support of our undergraduate research programs, including management of URES 197, the undergraduate research grant budget, and the annual Research & Creativity Day event. In addition, Dr. Lewis will support the college on more enhanced assessment of our activities in these areas, and will focus on better communication and promotion of student accomplishments by building a healthy relationship with University Relations and the Advancement offices.

Author of two books and more than 20 articles, Dr. Lewis earned her Ph.D. in Spanish literature from the University of Virginia and has spoken at dozens of conferences and universities around the world on topics ranging from gender in 18th-century literature to digital pedagogy. At UMW, she has been active in a variety of leadership and service roles, establishing important relationships with offices around campus. She is currently serving her sixth year as chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

I would like to thank the search committee of Brooks Kuykendall, Lynn Lewis, and Margaret Ray, chaired by Associate Dean Grant Woodwell, for their valuable recommendations and insights during this process.

I personally look forward with eager anticipation to having Betsy as a colleague and partner in the work of the Dean’s office. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Betsy Lewis into her new position as Assistant Dean of CAS. She will formally assume this role in January 2020.

Sincerely,

Dr. Keith E. Mellinger, Dean
College of Arts and Sciences

 

 

Smithsonian Partnership Lets Students Explore Endangered Species

Thanks to a new partnership with the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, Mary Washington students will soon have the opportunity to study clouded leopards and other endangered species with Smithsonian scientists. Photo by Evan Cantwell/George Mason University.

Thanks to a new partnership with the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, Mary Washington students will soon have the opportunity to study clouded leopards and other endangered species with Smithsonian scientists. Photo by Evan Cantwell/George Mason University.

Imagine getting up close and personal with the world’s most endangered species – and then having the chance to save them.

Thanks to a partnership with the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC), Mary Washington students will soon have that experience. They’ll spend a semester working directly with these animals and learning from Smithsonian scientists and George Mason University professors at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The agreement comes just as UMW’s biology department introduces a new major in conservation biology. Read more. 

2019 Graduate Emily MacIndoe’s Research Published in Mathematics Journal

A research article “Analytical Solutions of the Susceptible-Infected-Virus (SIV) Model” by Emily MacIndoe (’19) has been published in SIAM Undergraduate Research Online Journal. McIndoe’s research was completed as part of her honors requirement in the spring of 2019, and she was advised by Associate Professor of Mathematics Jangwoon “Leo” Lee. “It is highly unusual for a student to publish a paper in mathematics,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger, who praised MacIndoe’s work and wished her “a hearty congratulations.” McIndoe’s paper is accessible through the following link on the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics website: https://www.siam.org/Publications/SIURO/Volume-12.

Abstract: The Susceptible-Infected-Virus (SIV) model is a compartmental model to describe within-host dynamics of a viral infection. We apply the SIV model to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); in particular, we present analytical solutions to two versions of the model. The first version includes only terms related to the susceptible cell-virus particle interaction and virus production, while the second includes those terms in addition to the infected cell death rate. An analytical solution, although more challenging and time-consuming than numerical methods, has the advantage of giving exact, rather than approximate, results. These results contribute to our understanding of virus dynamics and could be used to develop better treatment options. The approach used to solve each model involved first isolating one of the dependent variables, that is, deriving an equation that involves only one of the variables and its derivatives. Next, various substitutions were used to bring the equation to a more easily solvable form. For the first model, an exact solution is obtained in the form of an implicit equation. For the second model, we give an analytical solution generated by an iterative method.

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