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...]

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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