September 24, 2022

Three professors win Colleague-Chosen Awards (71bait.com; premiere.news; salsabil.online)

Three Professors Receive Colleague-Chosen Awards

University of Mary Washington professors bestowed prestigious awards on three of their colleagues at the Fall 2022 Faculty Address earlier this month. Professors of English, German and physics were praised for their commitment to their fields, the art of teaching and the importance of service.

Maya Mathur

Maya Mathur, Associate Professor of English

Associate Professor of English Maya Mathur

Professor of English Maya Mathur received the Grellet C. Simpson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The honor recognizes full-time faculty members, who – like Simpson, UMW’s fourth president – place an emphasis on quality teaching and the liberal arts.

Since earning the rank of associate professor six years ago, Mathur has created six courses, including sought-after first-year seminars Shakespeare and Popular Culture and From Cinderella to Harry Potter: Fairy Tales and Fantasy Literature. Tailored to the interests of 21st-century students, Mathur’s courses blend canon with modern topics, prompting exploration of class, race, gender and power within texts.

“The enthusiasm and engagement my students bring to class both enhance my understanding of literary texts and help me develop new ways to analyze it,” said Mathur, whose meticulously constructed Canvas pages and use of engaging applications like Padlet and Flipgrid stand out.

She shares innovative ideas and has worked with the Center for Teaching to co-sponsor workshops, including one focused on race in the classroom. “Many faculty and students are eager to address race,” said a nominator. “Professor Mathur is leading the way in guiding us to do so.”

Marcel Rotter

Associate Professor of German Marcel Rotter

Associate Professor of German Marcel Rotter

Associate Professor of German Marcel Rotter received the J. Christopher “Topher” Bill Outstanding Faculty Service Award for those who have taught at UMW at least seven years and held significant service roles in their departments, colleges and community. The award was established in 2003 in honor of longtime UMW psychology professor Topher Bill.

Rotter, who chairs the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, works to promote and improve German language instruction at Mary Washington and in Virginia, organizing continuing education events for teachers and cultural immersion experiences for students. “His work cultivates key relationships and promotes UMW as a cultural hub and an institution with a global mindset,” said a nominator.

In 18 years at Mary Washington, Rotter also has served as chair of the University Faculty Council, leading a revision of the general education curriculum, and as treasurer for the Faculty Senate of Virginia, all while keeping students top of mind.

“Many of our students have never left Virginia, let alone the U.S.” said Rotter, who also is VP for the Society of German American Studies. “My colleagues from around the world and I are here to show them what’s out there.”

Varun Makhija

Assistant Professor of Physics Varun Makhija

Assistant Professor of Physics Varun Makhija

Assistant Professor of Physics Varun Makhija won the Alumni Association Outstanding Young Faculty Award, for those who’ve taught full time at Mary Washington for two to five years.

At the end of his first semester at Mary Washington in fall 2019, Makhija found himself the sole physics professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics. And so, in three years, he taught 21 of the 24 physics offerings in the course catalog; supervised 19 students in individual studies, internships and Summer Science Institute research; and reinvigorated UMW’s chapter of the Society for Physics Students, which won awards in 2020 and 2021.

Makhija is “the glue,” said nominators, “that has, through sheer enthusiasm and love for teaching and physics,” held the program together.

At Mary Washington, he has worked to connect the campus physics community with scholars in the field and published six papers in leading journals, often with undergraduate co-authors.

“The primary motivation for me has been our students,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot from them, and I’ve tried my best to provide an environment in which they can do things they’re passionate about, and then go to the places they want to go after UMW.”

Thanks to Associate Professor of Mathematics Education Kyle Schultz, who provided a transcript of his awards presentation, and to the members of last year’s Committee for Sabbaticals, Fellowships and Faculty Awards.

Mathur Presents Paper at World Shakespeare Congress

Professor of English Maya Mathur

Professor of English Maya Mathur

Professor of English Maya Mathur presented the paper, “Eat the Rich: Race, Class, and Caste in Bornila Chatterjee’s The Hungry,” at the World Shakespeare Congress, which was held virtually from July 19-24, 2021. Her paper examined the connection between racial difference in William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and class and caste tension in Bornila Chatterjee’s The Hungry, a film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play.

 

Mathur Co-Leads Workshop on Intersectionality and Inclusion

Professor of English Maya Mathur

Professor of English Maya Mathur

Professor of English Maya Mathur co-led the workshop, “Intersectionality and Inclusion in the Early Modern Classroom,” with Elisa Oh of Howard University. The workshop took place during the annual conference of the Shakespeare Association of America, which was held virtually from 30 March to 4 April 2021. The workshop drew on Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality to examine how the overlapping axes of our identities and those of our students shape our pedagogy.

Mathur Publishes Entry in the Encyclopedia of Global Shakespeare

Professor of English Maya Mathur

Professor of English Maya Mathur

Professor of English Maya Mathur contributed the encyclopedia entry, “Twelfth Night (Dir. Tim Supple, UK, 2003),” to the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Shakespeare, edited by Alexa Alice Joubin and published online by Palgrave Macmillan in 2020. The entry examines the role of immigration in the production history and reception of Tim Supple’s Twelfth Night, a television adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play that was first broadcast in 2003 by the British television channel, ITV.

Mathur Publishes Book Chapter

Professor of English Maya Mathur

Professor of English Maya Mathur

Maya Mathur, Professor of English in the Department of English and Linguistics, published a book chapter entitled “Identities” in the volume, A Cultural History of Comedy in the Early Modern Age. The volume was published by Bloomsbury Academic. The chapter examines the literary origins of early modern comic characters and considers how their portrayal is informed by the sexual, economic, and religious mores of their time.

Mathur Presents Research on Shakespeare and Indian Cinema at Queen’s University, Belfast

Maya Mathur, Professor of English

Maya Mathur, Professor of English

Maya Mathur, professor of English, presented the paper, “Desiring Violas in Tim Supple’s Twelfth Night and Atul Kumar’s Piya Behrupiya,” at the conference, Women and Indian Shakespeares: Exploring Cinema, Translation, Performance. The conference was held at Queen’s University, Belfast, from 29 October – 1 November, 2019, and is the first gathering of international scholars to focus exclusively on representations of Shakespeare by Indian writers, translators, and directors from the nineteenth century to the present.

Mathur Presents on Shakespeare at MLA Conference

Maya Mathur, Associate Professor of English

Maya Mathur, Associate Professor of English

Maya Mathur, Associate Professor of English, presented the paper “Twelfth Night in Tragic and Comic Registers” for a panel on “Shakespeare and South Asian Cinema” at the 50th Annual Northeastern Modern Language Association Conference in Washington, DC. Her paper examined two cinematic adaptations of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (1601), Tim Supple’s Twelfth Night (2003) and Atul Kumar’s Piya Behrupiya (2012), that are set partially or wholly on the Indian subcontinent. In the paper, she considers the changes that both directors make to Shakespeare’s play in order to address local contexts and concerns.

 

Mathur Contributes Essay to Shakespeare Collection

Maya Mathur, Associate Professor of English and Associate Chair of the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, recently had her essay “‘I Know Thee Not, Old Man’: Using Film and Television to Teach 1 and 2 Henry IV” published in the Modern Language Association Series Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare’s English History Plays, edited by Laurie Ellinghausen.

UMW Hosts Eighteenth-Century Conference

The 47th Annual Conference of the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies met at UMW on Oct. 27-29. Marie McAllister (ELC) served as 2016 Conference Chair. Program Committee members were Ben LaBreche (ELC), Betsy Lewis (MLL), Will Mackintosh (HIST), and Maya Mathur (ELC). Marie Wellington (MLL) and Richard Hansen (emeritus, ELC) served as registration volunteers. The nearly one hundred attendees hailed from institutions in Virginia and neighboring states, and from schools across the country. Events included a keynote address by Catherine Ingrassia of VCU and walking tours of Historic Fredericksburg. LaBreche and Mackintosh also presented their scholarly work at the conference, and Wellington served on the Molin Prize Committee.

The conference was supported by the Wendy Shadwell ’63 Program Endowment in British Literature, the CAS Dean’s Office, and the ELC, HISP, HIST, and MLL Departments. Special thanks to our student aides and to the many wonderful staff members from Events, Setup, Catering, Copy Center, Admissions, University Center, Parking, CAS, ELC, HISP, HIST, and MLL who contributed their knowledge and assistance.