March 1, 2024

Livestream Session Addressed Return-to-Campus Culture

Faculty and staff attended a live Q&A webinar via Zoom yesterday, as the state entered Phase 3 of the governor’s “Forward Virginia” reopening plan. Called “Commitment to Community,” the session focused on how the University will help students prepare for and commit to behavioral and social expectations and requirements when they return to campus next month.

UMW Chief of Staff Jeff McClurken moderated the livestream event, which featured panelists Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair, Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker, Assistant Dean for Residence Life and Housing David Fleming, and University Physician and Director of the Student Health Center Nancy Wang.

“We know how much our students want to come back to campus,” Landphair said. “They want to resume their holistic Mary Washington experience as much as possible.”

Landphair explained that establishing a culture of compliance – an environment that encourages adherence to sound public health principles and a purposeful intent to prevent the spread of disease – is a “gating requirement,” or prerequisite to re-opening. In that vein, UMW’s Return to Campus Plan will be submitted to SCHEV for approval and shared with campus on Monday, July 6.

The plan, panelists said, focuses on moving forward the core mission of Mary Washington and builds on existing codes of conduct, as well as the University’s statement of community values, known as ASPIRE.

“We don’t want to see a situation where individuals feel stigmatized in any way,” said Rucker, who has spent the past several weeks speaking with incoming students. “That’s why ASPIRE is also important. We want to celebrate everyone but also make sure that everyone is committed to ensuring that the academic process moves forward as smoothly as possible.”

Students, faculty and staff will be asked to complete training modules focused on “MMDC” – monitoring, masking, distancing and cleaning – and all individuals must pledge to uphold the guidelines.

Among their many questions, employees who tuned in to the hourlong session asked how faculty and staff will be expected to enforce behavioral guidelines, how claimed health exemptions to regulations will be handled and how the University is collaborating with city officials.

The Return to Campus Plan will address many of yesterday’s topics of concern, such as quarantine and isolation, testing and tracing, and communication of positive cases, McClurken said. If questions still exist after reading the document, he encouraged employees to restate them at next week’s livestream Q&A event on Wednesday, July 8, at 3 p.m., via Zoom or YouTube.

Watch yesterday’s Q&A below.



Nancy Wang: Flu Fighter

University Physician Nancy Wang keeps the Student Health Center running smoothly, treats those who are sick or injured, and dispenses health-related information to the campus community.

University Physician Nancy Wang keeps the Student Health Center running smoothly, treats those who are sick or injured, and dispenses health-related information to the campus community.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or inside your elbow. Get your yearly flu vaccination.

This simple advice for fighting germs has become an oft-repeated mantra for University Physician Nancy Wang, especially in the winter. Since coming to UMW in 2018, she has kept the Student Health Center running smoothly, and she and her staff are always ready to treat those who become sick or injured.

“Our services are confidential,” said Wang, who previously worked in primary care practices in the greater Fredericksburg area. “And visiting us is a lot cheaper than an urgent care.”

At the health center, students can be screened for strep, flu, mono and other illnesses for a nominal fee, and tested for HIV and STIs for free. They can also obtain contraceptives and common antibiotics, and access over-the-counter medications through the self-care center. Wang and her team also provide mental health consultations and offer suicide awareness and first aid trainings for faculty and staff. If students need advice after hours, a nurse is always a phone call away.

She also dispenses information to the campus community on health-related issues, such as the Coronavirus outbreak, which she’s tracking. UMW faculty and students frequently travel abroad, so she understands the concern, but said everyone should use the aforementioned preventative measures.

“Right now, one is more likely to get the flu or other respiratory diseases,” she said, adding that eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, decreasing stress, and limiting or ceasing smoking or vaping are other ways to achieve optimal health and wellness.

Viewing herself as a work in progress, Wang enjoys yoga and walking around UMW’s beautiful campus for exercise. Sleep is a personal priority, she said, as is eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat.

“But I think it’s perfectly fine to indulge sometimes,” she said, “as long as you enjoy it with all five senses and without distraction.”


Q: Does the health center have any upcoming programs?
A: We are co-sponsoring an event called Southern Smash on Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. to educate students about eating disorders, healthy body image and self-love. We’ll smash scales and learn to let go of those thoughts and numbers that weigh us down.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
A: Assisting students with developing lifelong healthy habits and helping them feel well so they can participate in academics and activities. But we’re often correcting the perception that all respiratory illnesses can be cured by antibiotics. The health center offers them when needed, but viruses don’t respond to them, and most respiratory illnesses are viral. Antibiotic resistance is going to be a major problem in the future, so we have to be good stewards of these medications.

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I’m a Star Trek and Star Wars fan.

Q: What’s the most inspiring book you’ve read lately?
A: The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down and Love for Imperfect Things, by Haemin Sunim. His views on life are inspirational for the times we are in now.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: Go outside and be in nature.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

The Student Health Center plans to bring to UMW – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) on January 6 and 7.  This two-day interactive practice dominated course will help recognize risk for suicide, intervene to prevent immediate harm, and link persons at risk to the next level of care. It is free, and you can bring your lunch. We hope in addition to student affairs staff, faculty/staff might be interested in joining. The training can accommodate about 30 people in total, and will be in the UC’s Colonnade Room A&B. Please let Dr. Nancy Wang ( know if you are interested in attending.



Flu Vaccines Available on Campus

Flu season is coming and the Student Health Center is collaborating with Giant pharmacy to administer flu shots to UMW, faculty, staff and students. You’ll just need your health insurance card or a photo of it on your phone. Giant also accepts cash, checks and credit cards.

Flu shots will be offered in the lobby of the UC from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the following days:

  • Oct. 9th
  • Oct. 24
  • Oct. 25

Be wise and immunize!