Learning to Walk

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Melissa Peters and Jenniffer Powers were tired, hungry, and mentally exhausted after a day of walking more than a dozen miles in an unfamiliar terrain. When they arrived at the town they thought would be their resting place for the night, they were told all of the rooms in the village were full. They would have to press on until they reached the next town. The students, both seniors at the University of Mary Washington, were in the midst of a 500-mile walk in Spain known as the Camino de Santiago. Often a religious pilgrimage, the walk draws thousands of tourists from around the world each year. For Peters and Powers, the Camino, as it is often called, was a journey of faith and an exercise in simplicity. “Your faith is strengthened every day because you realize everything is out of your control,” Peters, a psychology major, said. “You have the backpack on your back and the boots on your feet.” It took the pair 34 days to walk the Camino this summer, carrying all of their … [Read more...]

The Road to Washington

Nicole Foltz '05 is a counsel for the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

Each morning before 8 a.m., Nicole Foltz passes through the staff entrance of the Cannon Office Building – often with coffee, briefcase, and newspaper in hand – and up two flights of stairs to her office at the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee. Foltz, a 2005 graduate of the University of Mary Washington and a legal counsel for the committee, was recently named one of the National Journal’s 25 Under 35 Most Influential Women in D.C. for 2013. The call from the magazine informing her of the accolade came as a complete surprise, said the Mansfield, Ohio native. “My job is very nerdy,” she said. “I’m completely flattered and honored to even be considered for [the list].” As part of the House budget committee, chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan, she drafts legislation and monitors bills for how they will affect the budget and the deficit. “There really is no typical day for me,” Foltz said. “Sometimes I’m meeting with different [House] member offices to brief them on … [Read more...]

All in the Family

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A Helping Hand

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A golf cart pulled up to the front of Randolph Hall, loaded down with the makings of a college bedroom and a new life at the University of Mary Washington. Within seconds, volunteers, including senior Paige Gaddy, swarmed the vehicle, snapped up boxes, welcomed the new students, and quickly put anxious parents at ease. “It was nice to see the smiles on the faces of incoming students and their parents as they were surprised that they were receiving so much help,” Gaddy said. “Not only is it a positive experience for incoming freshmen and their parents, but also the move-in crew. I was surprised at how much volunteering for move-in got me excited and ready for the year to begin.” She was on the other side of the equation just a year ago. She transferred to UMW in 2012 after receiving an associate’s degree from Tidewater Community College. Gaddy was one of 150 upperclassmen who woke up early on Friday to move their newest classmates, both transfers and first-time freshmen, … [Read more...]

Beaming Brightly

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Building Global Leaders

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  In a small village in Tanzania, Mama Anna teaches local children from a makeshift classroom in her home. She greets everyone in the village by name and always looks for ways to help others, even in the face of her positive HIV diagnosis. “As a leader, she is innovative, compassionate and committed,” said Meagan Holbrook, a 2013 graduate of the University of Mary Washington. “Those three traits enable her to do great things in her community and allow others to benefit from her talents.” Holbrook and eight UMW students traveled to Tanzania in July as part of a faculty-led study abroad program. The 14-day trip, led by Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Searcy, was the culmination of last semester’s “Cultural Leadership in Tanzania” leadership seminar course. “I think in America sometimes we lose sight of what community means and what family means,” Holbrook said. “In Tanzania, even when people may not have had the time or the resources, they welcomed us into … [Read more...]

In Search of Turtles

Senior Bryan Finch measures a turtle he found near the Fredericksburg Canal.

An uncommon turtle discovery has sparked detective work between a University of Mary Washington professor and his students that will help shed light on the species in the Fredericksburg region. More than two years ago, Professor of Biology Werner Wieland asked students in one of his classes to bring in a local animal. Much to Wieland’s surprise, one student brought in a species of turtle – a yellow-bellied slider – that is not known to occur in the Fredericksburg area. The find brought up questions for Wieland— was this turtle an isolated case or is there a bigger population established? With the help of seniors Yoshi Takeda and Bryan Finch, Wieland has spent the last two summers finding out. Wieland’s project is one of dozens funded through UMW’s Summer Science Institute, a 10-week undergraduate research program started in 1999. The students and professors will present their work at an all-day symposium on Wednesday, July 24. This summer, Wieland and his students … [Read more...]

Welcome Home

Orientation leader Radwan Jarrar (far right) joins other OLs on the steps of George Washington Hall during Orientation.

When a family walked toward Randolph Hall early on a Wednesday morning, luggage in hand, Radwan Jarrar was ready and waiting. “Good morning! Welcome to Mary Washington, your new home,” he said. Jarrar, a senior at the University of Mary Washington, is one of 35 orientation leaders, known as OLs, tasked with easing the transition to college life for nearly 900 new students. “I want to have them interact as much as they can and feel comfortable coming to me with questions,” he said. “That’s the foundation of being an OL to begin with.” This year, orientation at UMW took a different format than past years. Incoming students and their parents spent two days on campus at the end of June, learning about campus resources, becoming acquainted with student life and traditions and meeting faculty and administrators. Students also registered for their first semester of classes and met with academic advisers. “This orientation was created to establish an early connection to … [Read more...]

From UMW to the World

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Teaching by Example

Tally Botzer, who graduates with a M.Ed. this May, taught at Swansboro Elementary School in Richmond.

Kathy Paschall hoisted herself onto a tabletop in the back of the classroom and pointed to a makeshift solar system taped to the wall. “Why do they call Venus Earth’s twin?” she asked, pointing at one of the planets. “Because they are about the same size!” one of the high school students answered confidently. Less than a mile down the road from Paschall’s earth science class at George Wythe High School, Tally Botzer gathered a group of third graders at Swansboro Elementary to read a story about Helen Keller. Paschall, a student in the University of Mary Washington’s master’s in education program, and Botzer, who received her M.Ed. from UMW in May, worked in Richmond City schools during the spring semester as part of the Ukrop’s Fellowship Program. As the first two fellows in the program, the graduate students spent each day in the classroom, honing their teaching skills and gaining valuable experience. The fellowship, supported by Ukrop’s Endowment Fund of the … [Read more...]