Running With Purpose

Students in Corey Hewson's class started at varying skill levels, but will end the semester with at least one half marathon.

Emily Wanger’s post-run routine is always the same: a phone call to her mother with the distance she ran that day.  The first time she called, it was one mile. Now, it is seven or more. The calls provide both advice and motivation for the University of Mary Washington freshman. “She always gives me some type of motivation or tips to improve,” Wanger said. Wanger is one of 22 students in Corey Hewson’s “Training for the Half Marathon” course at UMW. Like Wanger, most of the students in the course claimed little running experience at the start of the semester. By semester’s end they will tackle the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in downtown Fredericksburg. For Hewson, coach of the UMW women’s soccer team, the class is more than a workout session. It’s a way for students to learn healthy living skills. “Mary Washington promotes lifelong learning,” Hewson said. “This is a part of it.” Students in the class run as a group twice a week, with Hewson alongside them. … [Read more...]

Light the Night

UMW's Relay for Life raised more than $46,000 for cancer research.

More than 400 faculty, staff, students and community members came together on Saturday, April 6 for the University of Mary Washington’s annual Relay for Life. The all-night event, aimed to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and to celebrate cancer survivors, raised more than $46,000. “UMW's Relay for Life 2013 was more than just a magnificent night of celebration, remembrance and fighting back against cancer,” said junior Katie Sue Van Valkenburg, a member of the student Relay for Life planning committee. “Relay for Life represents a full year of dedication to helping such a worthy cause.” Relay for Life, a movement of the American Cancer Society, has raised more than $4 billion in its 28-year history and includes community fundraising walks in more than 20 countries. UMW’s Relay for Life team is accepting donations toward its goal of $54,000 at www.relayforlife.org/umwva. … [Read more...]

Reinventing Ramen

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Good Neighbors

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Chemistry Connections

Nicole Crowder, assistant professor of chemistry, works with Karmel James '13 on a research project.

When Assistant Professor of Chemistry Nicole Crowder attends national conferences, her peers often mistake her University of Mary Washington students for master’s or Ph.D. students. “They are shocked at the caliber of our undergraduate students,” Crowder said. Senior Karmel James and junior Eric Johnson, chemistry majors and seasoned conference presenters, are two such students. Both James and Johnson are working with Crowder this semester through UMW’s undergraduate research program. Their projects aim to reduce carbon dioxide through manipulating various substances. Johnson is exploring “click chemistry,” while James is using a different method. “It’s about taking something that is viewed as a waste gas and turning it into something useful,” Crowder said. Research like Johnson and James’ can have large potential implications, from turning carbon dioxide into alternate fuel sources to finding ways to remove the gas from the atmosphere. Both students will present … [Read more...]

Making Memories

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History Lessons

Jeff McClurken, associate professor and department chair of history and American studies, is an expert on American history, the Civil War and digital history. He makes connections between the old and the new and blends history and technology in his teaching.

Students rule in Jeffrey McClurken’s history classes. His creative and tech-savvy charges have a say in everything from the syllabus to assignments and provide insight on the new and innovative courses taught by the associate professor and chair in the Department of History and American Studies. McClurken, an expert in Civil War history and a sought-after presenter on digital learning, says the experience is just as beneficial for him as it is for the students. “I am inspired by and driven by those interactions with students,” said McClurken. That’s just what happened in a seminar two years ago. When students questioned the technology behind communications and how the Internet affects the way they think and learn, McClurken put them to work designing a History of the Information Age course. They co-wrote the course syllabus with McClurken, even providing input on assignments and topic areas to cover. “We not only learned the content, we also learned how to create … [Read more...]

Overseas Adventures

Bethany Farrell (left) is a Peace Corps volunteer in Bejaad, Morocco

Before Bethany Farrell was old enough to have a driver’s license or board a plane alone, she dreamed of discovering new cultures, helping others and traveling beyond her Williamsburg, Va., home. “When I ended up at [University of] Mary Washington, I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of people at Mary Washington choose the same path,” Farrell, a 2011 UMW graduate, said. Community service and a strong sense of civic responsibility are integral to the fabric of UMW. In fact, UMW ranks among the nation's top small universities for alumni serving in the Peace Coprs. Farrell, one of 21 alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps, is in the midst of a 22-month stint in Morocco as a youth development volunteer. While at Mary Washington, Farrell felt her dream grow and develop, both through her work as a theatre and political science double major and through experiences overseas. As a junior, she left the U.S. for the first time as part of the European Capitals summer study … [Read more...]

Record Breaker

Senior Lisa Charney led the UMW field hockey team to the NCAA

As a high school senior in Fairfax, Va., Lisa Charney fell just shy of a field hockey championship round. Four years later, Charney got her chance to compete on a national stage, this time as co-captain of the University of Mary Washington’s top-ranked field hockey team. Along the way, the senior psychology major racked up regional and national awards and set new UMW records. “Being able to go this far senior year of college was absolutely amazing,” Charney said. “To do it with such an amazing team was an experience I‘ll never forget.” UMW’s team reached the semifinal round of the NCAA Division III championships, after a season for the record books. Ranked in the top three nationwide, the Eagles finished the season with a 20-2 record and with players like Charney receiving accolades. Charney, who set a UMW season record with 25 goals, was named Player of the Year for the 2012 Field Hockey College Division All-State Team. She earned National Field Hockey Coaches … [Read more...]

Fostering Leadership

A history and political science major, Jeremy Thompson is often in Monroe Hall

For senior Jeremy Thompson, balancing life as head of one of the University of Mary Washington’s largest student organizations with the demands of a double major comes naturally. A history and political science major, Thompson is known across campus, not only as president of the Student Government Association (SGA), but as a Washington Guide, stage production manager for Dodd Auditorium and a mentor to first-year students through the RISE Peer Mentoring Program. “It’s an honor,” Thompson said of his SGA position. “We deal with so many issues on a daily basis. Our goal is to make student life better. At the end of the day, it’s a pretty nice thing to be able to tell the President and the Board [of Visitors], ‘this is what the students want or don’t want.’” To make sure he knows the pulse of student life, Thompson holds office hours each week to hear student concerns and feedback. Every month, he has lunch with President Richard V. Hurley and invites other students to join … [Read more...]