January 27, 2021

Rycroft Discusses How Virus-Linked Recession Affects Women, Minorities

Professor of Economics Robert Rycroft

Professor of Economics Robert Rycroft

Professor of Economics Robert Rycroft recently discussed with Courthouse News the effect the recession, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has had on women and minorities.

Pew reported Thursday that women, particularly Hispanic women, fared much worse in the coronavirus recession than during the Great Recession of 2007-09. Conversely, African-American men, who saw a peak unemployment of 21.2% during the Great Recession, have seen only a 15.8% top unemployment rate this time around. 

“The disparities have a lot to do with the different mix of occupations,” said Robert Rycroft, an economics professor at the University of Mary Washington. Rycroft noted that in previous recessions manufacturing and construction suffered more than the service sector. “Some jobs were very susceptible to the effects of the virus,” Rycroft said. Read more.

Virus-Linked Recession Has Been Most Brutal for Women, Minorities (Courthouse News Service)

New Amazon headquarters will impact Fredericksburg region, but experts differ on how much (The Free Lance-Star)

UMW professor wins Independent Publisher Book Award (The Free Lance-Star)

6 Ways Big-Picture Economic Trends Affect Your Budget (Forbes.Com)

UMW Philanthropy Class Promotes Social Justice through Grants

Students in a University of Mary Washington philanthropy class awarded more than $10,000 in grant money to three local nonprofit organizations that promote social justice through community development. Students Josh Bollinger, Lauren DiRago-Duncan  and Dorothy Stanton presented the awards to Best Buddies, Sunrise For All and Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault in an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at the university’s Jepson Alumni Executive Center. UMW Students awarded more than $10,000 in grant money to three local nonprofit organizations as the culmination to their semester-long philanthropy class. “We chose these three organizations because their programs most closely matched our mission,” said DiRago-Duncan. “They are programs that wish to help people by addressing the initial problem in order to prevent the negative outcome. They also combine many different areas of interest rather than just focusing on one.” This is the ninth year of the class led by Robert Rycroft, professor of economics. The class of 23 students received 43 applications for grants. The program is funded by philanthropist Doris Buffett’s Learning by Giving Foundation and students organized a 4K campus run to raise additional funds. Best Buddies, which operates a chapter at UMW, received $5,245.52 to further its mission to develop one-on-one friendships between students and Fredericksburg citizens with disabilities to develop essential life and social skills. The UMW Chapter of Best Buddies received $5,245.52 to further their cause. “This grant will allow us to strengthen our chapter at the University of Mary Washington,” said Karen Glasser, director of state operations and programs. “Best Buddies will recruit and match at least 40 adults in one-to-one friendship that typically would not occur, and an additional 20 students will participate in Best Buddies as associate members, for a total of 60 participants.” Sunrise For All, an organization that provides life-improving equine therapy to economically-challenged adults with disabilities, received $3,200. “The grant allows the organization to offer new and innovative programs to adults with disabilities,” said Kathleen Smith, Sunrise For All board member. “The new program will combine therapeutic horseback riding and recreation sessions with interaction/workplace sessions involving grooming, feeding, barn maintenance for eight adults with disabilities, ages 17 to 35. The organization is very grateful to be given the opportunity to provide new services to additional clients in our community!” Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault received $1,667 to purchase computer equipment. “This grant is not only a chance for us to expand the quality and impact of our community outreach, but it is truly a sign of goodwill from our community” said Bebe Santa-Wood, development associate with RCASA. “Receiving this grant helps remind us of the importance of working together in fighting sexual violence and improving the lives of individuals in our community.” Under Rycroft’s guidance, the philanthropy class has awarded more than $90,000 in grant money over the past nine years. “I want students to appreciate the size and significance of the nonprofit sector, to know what some of the contemporary issues are surrounding nonprofits and philanthropy, to experience the difficulties associated with making decisions about allocating scarce funds to competing vital needs, to learn to work together in a common enterprise, to think about the possibility of a career in the nonprofit sector, and to experience the joy that comes from helping others,” said Rycroft. This year, students began the semester by forming a foundation called the University of Mary Washington Philanthropic Society. They chose to award the money, provided by the Learning by Giving Foundation, to organizations based on their mission to foster community development by soliciting grant nominations, reviewing applications and determining grant recipients. For more information about the UMW philanthropy course, contact Rycroft at (540) 654-1500 or rrycroft@umw.edu.

UMW Philanthropy Class Accepting Grant Applications

University of Mary Washington students enrolled in a philanthropy class are seeking applicants for $10,000 in grant money to be awarded to local nonprofit organizations.

Each fall, UMW’s philanthropy course awards a total of $10,000 to area nonprofit agencies.

The students have formed a foundation called the University of Mary Washington Philanthropic Society (UMWPS), and hope to fund programs that promote social justice through community development, including, but not limited to, career training, educational programs, and health services according to their mission statement.

The class will award a total of $10,000 to one or more nonprofits on Wednesday, December 4. The deadline for electronic applications is Friday, November 1 and the deadline for paper applications is Monday, October 28.

Eligible applicants must come from the City of Fredericksburg; the counties of Spotsylvania, Orange, King George, Stafford, Caroline, Culpeper and Prince William; the Middle Peninsula or the Northern Neck region. This year, the primary interest of the Economics of Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector class is in projects that foster community development, and they are willing to consider a wide variety of alternatives..

Since 2005, classes under the instruction of Robert Rycroft, professor of economics, have provided grant money to local nonprofit organizations. The funding comes from philanthropist Doris Buffett’s Learning by Giving Foundation.

The Learning by Giving Program has supported similar undergraduate courses in philanthropy at institutions across the country. The success of the program led to the recent creation of the Learning by Giving Foundation.

Robert Rycroft Attended Philanthropy Symposium

Professor and Chair of Economics Robert Rycroft attended the Philanthropy Educators Symposium on Wednesday, June 19. The symposium was sponsored by the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Doris Buffett’s Learning by Giving Foundation, and Giving 2.0 and was held at the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center on the campus of Stanford University.

The symposium brought together educators who teach experiential philanthropy courses much like the Economics of Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector course at UMW. The educators were able to discuss issues and problems associated with teaching those types of courses. Experiential philanthropy courses are found at fewer than 5 percent of the colleges and universities in the United States, however symposium organizer and keynote speaker Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen called for similar courses to  become required at all colleges and universities by 2030.

UMW Faculty & Alumni Contribute to Rycroft’s Book

Robert Rycroft

Robert Rycroft

Professor and Chair of Economics Robert Rycroft’s book, The Economics of Inequality, Poverty and Discrimination in the 21st Century, has been published.

The interdisciplinary book consists of 32 chapters in two volumes. Four chapters are written by UMW faculty members, including Rycroft, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Kristin Marsh, Associate Professor of Economics Shawn Humphrey and Associate Dean for Operations and Outreach in the College of Business Kimberly Kinsley. UMW alumni Christine Exley ’09 and Matthew Parrett ’98 also wrote chapters.



Robert Rycroft Speaks at Workshop

Rycroft, Robert06Robert Rycroft, professor of economics, will speak at “The Changing Face of Philanthropy” workshop on Thursday, Jan. 24. The workshop, presented by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Hampton Roads, will explore new fundraising techniques and strategies as well as ways to engage the newest generation of philanthropists. The workshop will take place at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach from 10 a.m. to noon and at the Downing Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News from 3 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.culturalli.org/changefacephil.html.