September 24, 2023

Szulczewski Pens Opinion Piece in ‘The Free Lance-Star’

Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Melanie Szulczewski

Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Melanie Szulczewski

Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Melanie Szulczewski wrote a comment piece for The Free Lance-Star entitled “Orange officials must heed science, safety before signing off on Wilderness Crossing.” The article was published in advance of an Orange County Planning Commission public hearing on the proposed Wilderness Crossing development on 2,600 acres of land where a number of unreclaimed mining sites remain, leftover from Virginia’s gold mining era, during the 1800s through the 1930s. Read the article.

Szulczewski also receive – along with UMW colleagues Associate Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds, Professor of Sociology Kristin Marsh, University Health Center Director Dr. Nancy Wang – participated in a panel discussion following a free showing of My So-Called Selfish Life, a documentary that examines reproductive rights and the choice to be childfree, hosted by the University of Mary Washington and the Center for Biological Diversity. Read more in a Free Lance-Star article.

Soils, Culture and People (News

UMW Environmental Science Professor Receives Fulbright Scholarship (World News.Com)

UMW Environmental Science Professor Receives Fulbright Scholarship

Melanie Szulczewski, associate professor of Earth and environmental Sciences at the University of Mary Washington, has been selected to receive a prestigious 2015-2016 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant. Szulczewski will use the grant to conduct research at the University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland.   Melanie Szulczewski, associate professor of Earth and environmental Sciences Szulczewski is one of two professors at UMW to receive the Fulbright Scholarship this year. Julius Esunge, assistant professor of mathematics, will be traveling to Buea, Cameroon to construct and compare predictive models for healthcare costs and to teach classes at the University of Buea. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau. The scholarship program gives professors the opportunity to conduct research and network with other professors from around the world. While in Poland, Szulczewski will study ecosystem restoration on former mining sites with Marcin Pietrzykowski, professor and researcher of forest ecology at the University of Agriculture in Krakow. Pietrzykowski previously received a Fulbright Scholarship to work at Virginia Tech in the 2013-2014 academic year. “This opportunity to work with him will enhance my field and analytical skills,” said Szulczewski. “It will benefit both of our research groups and add to the knowledge base for rehabilitating thousands of contaminated mining sites worldwide.” Szulczewski, an environmental scientist who specializes in soil chemistry, came to UMW in 2008. Prior to teaching at UMW, Szulczewski received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and French literature from Cornell University. Szulczewski also received both a master’s degree in soil science and a doctorate in soil science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Honors Students Explore Washington, D.C. Architecture

group of students posed in front of Union Station.

Honors scholars in front of Union Station during the fall 14 field trip.

In August, incoming UMW Honors Scholars participated in a common reading experience, reading the book “The Devil in the White City” by Eric Larson. To expand on the theme of the planning and architecture of the Chicago’s World’s Fair, Andrea Smith, Department of Historic Preservation, led the fall field for the honors program on Saturday Oct. 4. Twenty six honors students, Professor of Economics Steve Greenlaw, Professor of Chemistry Kelli Slunt, and Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Melanie Szulczewski enjoyed learning about the urban planning and contributions of Daniel Burnham (one of the main characters in “The Devil in the White City”) while exploring Union Station, The National Mall, and the National Building Museum.

UMW Eco Rep Starts Petition to Expand VRE Service

Max Devilliers, a UMW senior and an Eco Rep in the UMW Sustainability Office, has written a petition to request Virginia’s commuter train, the VRE, to offer weekend and counter rush hour service. It is posted it to the website MoveOn and has already received 50 signatures.

Scarce parking, expensive parking lots, high gas prices, and congestion on Interstate 95 are multiple reasons to avoid driving and instead encourage us to take the train. Currently, however, the VRE does not offer weekend or offpeak train service.

Many faculty and staff could benefit from additional VRE train service, whether for commuting, going to meetings in D.C., or attending special events there.

If you would like to support this petition to VRE, you can sign it here.

UMW Awards Top Honors at Commencement Ceremonies

The University of Mary Washington presented its top honors during commencement ceremonies Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11. Courtney A. Lynn of Virginia Beach received the Colgate W. Darden Jr. Award, which is presented to the student with the highest grade-point average (GPA) in the four-year undergraduate program. She finished with a 3.99 GPA. Joella Killian, professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, was presented the Grellet C. Simpson Award, the institution’s most prestigious annual award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. The recipient is routinely a senior member of the faculty. Melanie D. Szulczewski, assistant professor of environmental science in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the UMW Alumni Association Outstanding Young Faculty Member Award, which is presented annually to an exceptional member of the faculty who has served the institution for at least two years but no more than five years. Daniel J. Hubbard, associate professor in the Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems in the College of Business, received the Mary W. Pinschmidt Award. The winner is selected by the graduating class as the faculty member “whom they will most likely remember as the one who had the greatest impact on their lives.”

Louis A. Martinette, associate professor in the Department of Management and Marketing in the College of Business, was recognized with the Graduate Faculty Award. The honor recognizes an exceptional full-time faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in graduate teaching and professional leadership in a graduate program. The person selected must have served in a full-time position at the university for at least two years.

Courtney Lynn

Lynn is a psychology major who received a Bachelor of Science degree. A statistics tutor for two years, the Department of Psychology named her as the department’s outstanding senior. She has served as co-president of UMW’s chapter of Psi Chi, the international psychology society. Lynn has been named to the President’s List for six semesters and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board national honor societies that recognize students for scholarship, leadership and service. Her research on children’s stress culminated in an honors thesis titled, “The Effect of Physical Activity on the Heart Rate Recovery of Children Under Stress.”  This fall, she will enter the Ph.D. program in School Psychology at the University of South Florida.

Joella Killian

Killian has taught at UMW for 29 years, joining the faculty in 1984. Students admire her for the thoughtful and tireless ways she approaches teaching. They view Killian as a role model and mentor. “They freely share their academic and personal challenges with her and actively seek her advice and support,” Interim Provost Ian Newbould said.  “The many long-lasting relationships she maintains with her former students serve as testimony to the positive impact she has had on them.” Killian earned a doctorate in entomology from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She received a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A member of the Entomological Society of America and the scientific research society Sigma Xi, she is an expert in tree fruit entomology.

Melanie Szulczewski

A member of the faculty for the past five years, Szulczewski is recognized for her interactive ways of engaging students and her innovative teaching methods. “She works at helping students understand the complex scientific phenomena involved in the subjects she teaches,” Newbould said.  “Students praise her as energetic, passionate and enthusiastic.” Szulczewski spearheaded groundbreaking programs for the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, including a global inquiry course, the department’s first fully online course; its first field study course to be offered outside of Virginia and its first international course. She also initiated the development of the interdisciplinary environmental sustainability minor, a pioneering program that brings together courses from eight different departments.  In just two years, the minor has more than 35 students from 16 different majors. Szulczewski earned both a doctorate and a master’s degree in soil science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and French literature from Cornell University.  An authoritative source on environmental issues, climate change and solar cooking, Szulczewski has presented her research at conferences such as the American Chemical Society, the Soil Science Society of America and the International Solid Waste Technology and Management Conference.

Louis Martinette

A member of the UMW faculty since 2004, Martinette is an exemplary teacher who is well-respected by his students and colleagues, according to Newbould.  Martinette earned a doctorate in business administration from Nova Southeastern University, a master’s degree from Golden Gate University, and a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University. Before coming to UMW, he had an extensive career in the private sector. Martinette founded and served as president for 12 years of a marketing and consulting company that developed strategic business plans for major corporations, including Chesapeake Forest Products Company and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates. He also served as vice president of marketing of MicroMagnetic, a major distributor of computer supplies and accessories, and worked as a marketing manager for the 3M Company. His business experience provided him practical insights that he imparts to his students, Newbould said. Under his guidance, his MBA students helped a business leader develop a strategic plan for the next stage of his firm’s growth.       “Students saw firsthand how the task of developing a marketing strategy requires keen awareness of numerous market factors and sound, critical thinking,” Newbould said. Martinette has received professional awards, including the Silver Patrick Henry Medallion for Patriotic Achievement from the Military Order of the World Wars, an Outstanding Service Award from Averett University and the Associate Service Award from the Home Builders Association of Richmond. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Global Management Studies, and he is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity and the American Marketing Association.

Daniel Hubbard

Hubbard is a registered certified public accountant who received a doctorate in accounting from Virginia Tech. He earned an A.B. from Georgia State University, a master’s from Middlebury College and a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. Student Government Association Treasurer Amanda Buckner, who presented the award, described Hubbard as a role model and guiding light to students.  “His door is always open and a warm smile is always waiting,” Buckner said.  “One student said ‘he has helped me immensely through college and the hardships I endured. Without his help I would not have been able to do the things I did in college.’” His popularity also is apparent by his inclusion in the Princeton Review’s 2012 list of “Best 300 Professors.” The publication, which featured seven UMW professors, recognized 300 challenging and inspiring teaching faculty from 122 public and private colleges.

Melanie Szulczewki Presents at ACS National Meeting

Melanie Szulczewski, assistant professor of environmental science, presented “Examination of the Diverse Environmental Impacts of Long-Term Acid Mine Drainage on a Virginia Stream Ecosystem” in the environmental chemistry division at the 244th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. The national meeting was held in Philadelphia, Penn., August 19 to 23.