October 1, 2022

REMINDER: Safe Zone Presents Fall Semester Events

UMW's Safe Zone is set to offer an array of educational events this semester.

UMW’s Safe Zone is set to offer an array of educational events this semester.

The UMW Safe Zone program offers workshops and events that are designed to educate members of the University community about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ+) issues to increase the safety and inclusion of all campus citizens.

We offer an array of programs every semester, and our fall programming will continue with six events held in October and November.

We will have two campus-wide celebrations in October, and you can find us in the lobby of the Cedric Rucker University Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on each of these days to participate.

  • On Thursday, October 6, we’ll celebrate National Coming Out Day (the actual day is Tuesday, October 11, during our fall break)
    • Stop by to sign our banner and declare your support for members of the LGBTQ+ community.  We’ll be handing out both resources and swag, so make sure you visit!
  • On Wednesday, October 19, we’ll celebrate International Pronouns Day
    • Come by our table to make your own pronoun button and learn simple things you can do to highlight the importance of using pronouns correctly and providing people opportunities to share theirs with others.

We are also offering more trainings, workshops and discussions in October and November.

  • We will be offering a second basic training on Thursday, October 20, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. (in-person).
    • This training focuses on terminology, issues related to privilege, increasing awareness and sensitivity, and how to support the LGBTQ+ population on campus.
  • We will be offering an advanced training for those who have already completed the basic training on Wednesday, November 9, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. (in-person).
    • This training builds on the basic training and covers more complex topics, including bystander intervention.
  • We will be offering our Identity and Intersectionality workshop on Thursday, October 27, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. (in-person).
    • This is an interactive discussion- and activity-based workshop that digs deeper into what it means to be part of a socially marginalized group through discussion of privilege, power, oppression, prejudice, diversity, cultural competency, intersectionality and allyship. All participants are welcome, but this is most appropriate for those who have attended at least one Safe Zone training prior to this workshop.
  • Our book club continues this fall. This semester, we’ll be reading Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene A. Carruthers.  Free books will be provided to the first 12 participants to register.  The book club discussion will take place on Thursday, November 10, from 6 to 5:30 p.m. (in person on campus).

Registration is required for trainings, workshops and book group discussions. If you would like to attend one or all of these events, please email Mindy Erchull at merchull@umw.edu. Space is limited for each event, so register early to secure your spot!

If your office, department, class, club or a group of students you know would like to schedule a training, please email Mindy to talk about content and scheduling.

If you would like more information about Safe Zone at UMW, to see the list of allies on our campus, or to  access LGBTQ+ inclusion resources, please visit our website. Also, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on our activities.

Safe Zone Information and Reminders

Safe Zone – a group of faculty, staff and students who work together to make UMW an inclusive and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ members of our community – announces new name-change processes for students that includes EagleOne cards and working in Canvas. Visit the “Student Name on University Documents” page for more information.

The semester’s first Safe Zone training is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 3:30pm. The session will cover basic training focused on terminology, issues related to privilege, increasing awareness and sensitivity, and how to support the LGBTQ+ population on campus. Sign up on a first-come-first-served basis by emailing me Professor of Psychological Science and Acting Safe Zone Director Mindy Erchull at merchull@umw.edu.

Watch for notices of other trainings and events throughout the semester, and follow Safe Zone on Facebook and Instagram.

Liss, Erchull Discuss Selfie Behaviors on ‘With Good Reason’

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professors of Psychological Science Miriam Liss and Mindy Erchull will discuss their research on selfie behaviors and self-esteem on “With Good Reason” show on Saturday, May 1 through Friday, May 7. With Good Reason airs Sundays at 2 p.m. on Fredericksburg’s Radio IQ 88.3 Digital and at various times throughout the week on stations across Virginia and the United States. Check the website for show times.

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Entertain Us

More and more often, celebrities are home-grown in front of a ring light and iPhone. As viewers keep scrolling past these insta-celebs, they’re starting to see themselves differently. Miriam Liss and Mindy Erchull (University of Mary Washington) say we compare ourselves to what we see despite knowing all that glitters isn’t gold. And: Have you been running to Twitter to cope with the crazy news cycle over the past year? John Brummette (Radford University) says it’s a common coping mechanism.

Later in the show: Long before social media, there was cancel culture. Carolyn Eastman (University of Virginia) reminds us of Mr. O, the first “cancelled” celebrity you’ve probably never heard of. Plus: Matthew Turner (Radford University) says that all comedy is an inside joke, but some jokes span generations.

Audio files of the full program and its companion news feature will be posted the week of the show to our website: https://www.withgoodreasonradio.org.

Fall Safe Zone Book Club

We still have some room in our Fall Book Club. We will meet twice to discuss this semester’s book: Born Both: An Intersex Life by Hida Viloria. We will meet (over Zoom) on Tuesday, October 20th and Tuesday, October 27th from 4-5:30 p.m. Registration is required, and we still have books to give to participants. Please join us!

We also still have a few seats left in our Advanced Safe Zone workshop on Thursday, October 22nd from 1-3:30 p.m. (via Zoom). The advanced training is for faculty and staff who have already completed the basic training and covers more complex topics, including bystander intervention. Registration is required.

If you would like to register for either of these events, please email Mindy Erchull at merchull@umw.edu.

If you would like more information about Safe Zone, to see the list of allies on our campus, or access LGBTQ+ inclusion resources, please visit the website at bit.ly/UMWsafezone.

Fall Safe Zone Events

BE YOU: UMW Safe Zone logoSafe Zone is excited to announce several upcoming programs, including our Fall Book Club. The UMW Safe Zone program offers programs that are designed to educate members of the University community about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ+) issues to increase the safety and inclusion of all campus citizens. All of our programs are free and open to all faculty and staff.

We will be offering a Basic Safe Zone workshop on Wednesday, October 7th from 9-11:30 a.m. (via Zoom). This training focuses on terminology, issues related to privilege, increasing awareness and sensitivity, and how to support the LGBTQ+ population on campus. This is an opportunity for any faculty or staff member to become a Safe Zone ally. Space is limited and registration is required. All participants get cool Safe Zone swag!

We will be offering an Advanced Safe Zone workshop on Thursday, October 22nd from 1-3:30 p.m. (via Zoom). The advanced training is for faculty and staff who have already completed the basic training and covers more complex topics, including bystander intervention. Space is limited and registration is required. All participants get cool Safe Zone swag!

We will be offering our Fall Book Club as a two-part program on Tuesday, October 20th from 4-5:30 p.m. and Tuesday, October 27th from 4-5:30 p.m. Meetings will happen through Zoom. We will be reading Born Both: An Intersex Life by Hida Viloria. The first 14 people to register get a free book! Plus, all participants get cool Safe Zone swag. Space is limited and registration is required.

If you would like to register for any of these events, please email Mindy Erchull at merchull@umw.edu.

If you would like more information about Safe Zone, to see the list of allies on our campus, or access LGBTQ+ inclusion resources, please visit the website at bit.ly/UMWsafezone.

Erchull, Liss Win Award for ‘Psychology of Women and Gender’ Textbook

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Professors of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull and Miriam Liss, along with co-author Kate Richmond, won the 2020 Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology for their textbook published last year by Norton: Psychology of Women and Gender.

The Distinguished Publication Award is given in recognition of significant and substantial contributions of research and theory that advance our understanding of the psychology of women and promote achievement of the goals of the Association for Women in Psychology (AWP). Every year since 1977, AWP has given one or more awards for books and/or articles published the prior year that make a significant contribution to feminist psychology. The book by Erchull, Liss and Richmond is the most recent in a body of distinguished publications to merit such an honor. The authors have also been invited to present an award address at the 2021 virtual AWP conference. Learn more about the award here:  https://www.awpsych.org/distinguished_publication.php.

Professors Pool Resources to Focus on ‘Compelling Courses’

Assistant Professor of Biology April Wynn is among the dozens of UMW professors participating this summer in Compelling Courses, a faculty learning community to help instructors design engaging courses.

Assistant Professor of Biology April Wynn is among the dozens of UMW professors participating this summer in Compelling Courses, a faculty learning community to help instructors design engaging courses.

To teach mitosis, April Wynn has students in her class act out the process, portraying chromosomes that divide into nuclei. The assistant professor of biological sciences hopes to replicate lively exercises like this – but virtually – in the fall.

“My goal is to promote the same level of engagement, energy and enthusiasm in an online space,” said Wynn, who, as faculty director of the University of Mary Washington’s First-Year Experience, is helping other instructors do the same for their classes.

Professors often spend their breaks on scholarly research, but Wynn is among dozens of UMW faculty members who went back to school this summer. Through a new faculty learning community called Compelling Courses, representatives from nearly every academic department have been teaching each other how to deliver dynamic online lessons and incorporate the best of the UMW experience into distance learning.

In March of this year, UMW professors – the majority of whom had never taught online – abruptly had to shift to a new method of teaching. The succeeding months have given these instructors time to tinker with and tweak tools so that they are fully prepared to teach virtually if necessary. Many, like Wynn, have found that this modality can even offer benefits.

“We believe teaching can be excellent regardless of medium,” said Professor of Economics Steve Greenlaw, who launched the group with Professor of Communication Anand Rao. “It all depends on how you design the course.” Read more.

Help Us Celebrate National Coming Out Day

Stand is Solidarity with the LGBTQ+ Sunday, October 11 is National Coming Out DayHelp us celebrate National Coming Out Day in a socially distanced way!

In a time when we can’t all be as present with each other physically as we might want, it’s more important than ever to show support for those around us.

National Coming Out Day is on Sunday, October 11th. In celebration of this event and to show support for members of the LGBTQ+ community at UMW, Safe Zone has organized a virtual wall where you can leave messages of support.

We ask that between Friday, October 9th and Monday, October 12th you visit our virtual wall and leave 1 or more messages of support and solidarity.

Please help us spread the word!

Liss, Erchull Study on Selfies and Self-Objectification Featured on WVTF

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professors of Psychological Science Miriam Liss and Mindy Erchull’s recent study into selfies and self-objectification among young women was recently featured on WVTF 88.3 Radio IQ.

YouTube is loaded with videos advising young women on how to take a good selfie.

“You just have to find your good side. Like this is my good side, but this side is a no!” says one.

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Which is why psychology professor Miriam Liss chose to take a closer look. She and her colleague Mindy Erchull studied 165 female students at their school – the University of Mary Washington. They found some girls took as many as 30 selfies before posting one.

“They’re thinking ‘How does my body look? Is my tummy looking big, are my arms flabby, does my nose look too big?’” she explains. “We’re often putting ourselves in a state of self-objectification.”

And that could lead to serious psychological problems: eating disorders, depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, a loss of a sense of flow, which is the ability to be in the moment and enjoy what you’re doing. Read more.

Liss, Erchull Study Highlighted in Psychology Journal

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Psychological Science Professors Miriam Liss and Mindy Erchull’s research on selfie behaviors, self-objectification and depressive behaviors in women was recently published in the psychology journal, Sex Roles. Women are given the message that they are valued for their physical attractiveness above other qualities, and the study examines how self-objectification interplays with online behaviors.

“I have been collaborating with Mindy Erchull on issues related to objectification theory for several years. I had also begun to be interested in the effects of social media on people’s experiences and had recently taught a senior seminar on the topic,” said Liss, the study’s lead author.

“[We] became interested in how objectification relates to experiences with social media — particularly Instagram, which is a platform that is based on posting visual images. Other studies on the topic had largely looked at how feelings of self-objectification can be a consequence of social media. We wanted to look at how self-objectification can change how one behaves when taking and posting selfies.” Read more.