December 1, 2020

Ryan Hastings: Military Man

Staff Sgt. Ryan Hastings served for 20 years with the U.S. Army before becoming UMW's veterans liaison in 2019.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Hastings served for 20 years with the U.S. Army before becoming UMW’s veterans liaison in 2019.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Hastings began the year on a mission. He wanted to purchase lapel pins for faculty and staff to show solidarity with veterans and students from military families, who make up a sizeable chunk of the University of Mary Washington community. He shored up support from the Staff Advisory Council, the Office of the President and UMW’s Veterans Resource Center and found a local veteran-owned business to produce the pins.

Then came COVID-19. Everything was put on hold, that is, until Hastings decided to pay out of his own pocket for the pins, he said, “in a small act of defiance against the pandemic.”

This kind of commitment to those who have served is what led to Hastings – a 20-year U.S. Army veteran – becoming UMW’s Veterans Liaison in 2019. He previously earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree in History and Communication from UMW and a post-baccalaureate degree in Leadership and Management Studies.

“As a student, I found it difficult to relate to many of my younger classmates,” said Hastings, adding that veterans tend to be older and married with children. Based in the Registrar’s Office on the Stafford Campus, he draws from personal experience to help the graduate students seeking their MBA or Master in Education, as well as the undergrad students using the V.A. Vocational Readiness and Employment education benefits to acclimate to life at UMW, often coordinating with other departments across the University.

After arranging tutoring for one student, Hastings shared how UMW’s Office of Disability Resources had helped him in college. He also brought him to the Veterans Resource Center on the University Center’s first floor, where veterans and military-connected students can study, relax and connect with other former service members.

“If you’re a veteran looking to recapture the camaraderie you had in the military,” he said, “I encourage you to give it a try.”

Q: What motivated you to join the military?
A: I grew up in a musical family, so I wanted to serve in one of the military bands stationed near Washington, D.C. After an intense audition process, I was fortunate to earn a spot with the U.S. Army Fife and Drum Corps and serve as a bugler at Fort Myer in Arlington for 20 years.

Q: What do you remember about your time in the military?
A: Marching in five inauguration ceremonies for Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama and performing at the opening of the D-Day Museum in New Orleans, where I met Tom Hanks. But I’m also haunted by the memories of the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon. Many of us saw it happen and were later tasked with removing the remains.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Engaging with UMW’s veteran community and helping them make their academic goals a reality.

Q: The most challenging?
A: Working with a student who just transitioned out of the military. There are a few required steps to set up education benefits through the Veterans Affairs office, which moves at a glacial pace.

Q: How has life changed for you now that you’re a veteran?
A: I’ve enjoyed using the word “no” a lot. I wasn’t able to say it very much between 1995 and 2015.

Stafford Campus will close as of March 26

Effective this Thursday, March 26, UMW’s Stafford Campus will close, and all staff and faculty will be teleworking until May 15. Staff and faculty will have access with their ID cards to enter the South Building if necessary; similarly, Stafford County Public School personnel will be able to access the Gates Hudson Building if necessary during normal operating hours.

Veteran-Owned Small Business Showcase

The University of Mary Washington hosted the Veteran Owned Small Business Showcase at the Stafford campus May 14.

During the event, veteran small business owners came together to showcase their offerings to a variety of businesses in the private and public sector.

President Richard Hurley also announced the Veterans Endowment, a fund that will support the advancement of veterans and their families through education at UMW.

“This fund will benefit honorably discharged service men and women, active duty service men and women and their immediate families,” said Hurley.

The event and the endowment were made possible by the Veteran Owned Business Executive Roundtable. The Veteran Owned Business Executive Roundtable is a program of the UMW Center for Economic Development established in July 2013 to support personal, professional and business growth for regional veteran owned small business executives.

 

UMW Community Makes Blood Drives a Success

Giving blood at the Stafford campus is becoming second nature for the UMW community.

Since 2011, Kevin Caffrey, senior associate registrar, has worked with the American Red Cross to plan and host six blood drives at the Stafford campus, collecting a total of 108 pints of blood.

During the most recent drive on April 10, the Red Cross collected 18 pints.

“We had about 25 people show up to donate – including staff and faculty from Graduate Admissions, Student Accounts, the Writing Center, Facilities and Services, and the College of Business. We also had students from both the College of Education and College of Business stop by to donate, as well as members of the local community and family of staff,” said Caffrey. “Everyone needs blood and donors and supporters make all the difference.”

Stay tuned for details on the next drive.

 

3rd Annual EdTech Conference

Thank you to the College of Education faculty and staff, UMW employees and administrators, and the Conference committee, including K12 school officials, for another successful EdTech conference held Friday, March 15, 2013 at the University of Mary Washington. A special thanks goes to Tember Smith and Terry Luttrell for their continued efforts and special talents of organization to ensure our success.

Two Generations

Two generations of teachers
join the EdTech Conference

To begin the day, the Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Mary Gendernalik-Cooper welcomed over 150 K12 teachers, principals, superintendents, technology directors, parents, and university professors and students from UMW and around Virginia to the 3rd annual EdTech Conference on the Stafford Campus.

Our distinguished speakers presented the latest in cutting edge learning technologies and good teaching methods.

Jean Weller, Instructional Technologist for the VDOE Office of Educational Technology

Jean Weller, Instructional Technologist for the VDOE Office of Educational Technology

 

The keynote speaker, Jean Weller, instructional technologist for the Virginia Department of Education Office of Educational Technology introduced the attendees to quality resources  supported by the VDOE which can be easily found on their Web site as well as the many technology initiatives supported by the Virginia Department of Education that all Virginia teachers should be aware of.

Following the keynote speaker, the Conference shifted into seven back-to-back concurrent sessions that included K12 teachers, graduate students, instructional resource teachers, and the Director of Academic Technologies for Stafford schools.

The concurrent sessions highlighted best practices, both in instruction and across the school itself.

Dr. George Meadows and Tim Owen 3D Printing at UMW

Dr. George Meadows and Tim Owens
3D Printing at UMW

Dr. George Meadows and Tim Owens brought the group back together to provide the attendees with a taste of 3D printing at UMW and how these interactive tools are being used to teach students creative and design thinking.

In our final session, Tracey Lewis provided attendees with a look at social media throughout our society and discussed implications of use in K12. Her workshop centered on schools taking responsibility to help students learn proper and safe use of social media tools while providing them to students in an instructional manner.
To wrap up the day, a raffle sharing both electronic gifts and University items such as College of Education mugs,  t-shirts, and the prized 3D vase helped place a warm smile on everyone’s face as they were leaving the building.

Another successful year and we hope to see everyone again next year!

Tracey Lewis

Tracey Lewis
Social Media and our Kids

Sincerely,

Teresa Coffman and Tamie Pratt-Fartro

EdTech Conference Coordinators