Exploring Education

Environmental science student Katy Chase works with Professor George Meadows to create several portable environmental education kits. Photo by Bob Martin.

Katy Chase has bug viewers, digital microscopes, binoculars and GPS navigation systems at her disposal when she shares her knowledge about environmental science with the community. Using two recently purchased environmental science kits, Chase is one of 15 University of Mary Washington students teaching local families at the England Run Library as part of a partnership with UMW. She aims to ignite in them a similar passion and appreciation for science that she holds dear. “In schools teachers might be a little afraid of science and kids aren’t always exposed to different tools and materials related to the sciences. They learn a lot from textbooks,” said the environmental science and Master of Science in elementary education student. She’s already spread her love for science to Brazil, where as an intern, she taught environmental science in public schools. After she graduates, Chase plans to continue in the classroom, either home or abroad. Using the kits, Chase creates … [Read more...]

Speaking from the Heart

homepage_Tom-Pacheco

As a preteen at St. Ursula School, Tom Pacheco took the stage in front of his classmates, took a deep breath, and asked them for their vote for student government. After his very first speech, he was hooked on public speaking. Years later, Pacheco ’14 found a way to share his knack for oration at the University of Mary Washington. “Public speaking is something that people are extremely afraid of and I’ve never felt that, but it’s an incredible experience being able to help someone work through it,” said Pacheco, who worked at the UMW Speaking Center for four years. “I feel that I have these communications skills and I want to do something with them. I want to give back to the community in some way.” He joined the debate team in high school and found a passion for speaking and learning. That passion led him to UMW. At UMW, debate permeated every aspect of his life. A philosophy and political science double major, Pacheco traveled throughout the United States as part of the … [Read more...]

Better Business

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Matt Ernst had a taste for entrepreneurial adventures long before he came to the University of Mary Washington. The 1994 business administration graduate began his first startup –a lawn care company – at the age of 15. “There’s no time like the present,” said Ernst. “If you don’t pursue your dream when you have it right there in front of you, you never know if that moment might come again.” Ernst has seized many moments since his first startup as a teenager. Most recently, he founded Walnut Grove Holdings LLC, an investment company that focuses on early-stage technology companies. “I’m learning how to invest, what not to invest in, to trust my gut like I always did, to seek mentors, to be a sponge, to continue learning and to get out there and be present,” said Ernst, who is focusing on investing in companies with honest, hardworking people. As the eighth of nine children, Ernst learned at a young age about group dynamics, teamwork and to be resilient in the face of … [Read more...]

Creative Critics

Rappahannock-Review

A small circle of University of Mary Washington students scrutinized the printed sheets of poetry resting on their laps. Lost in their lively deliberation the amateur literary critics seemed oblivious to the bitter cold outside the Combs Hall window. “I really want to like this poem,” said senior Abbey Doherty. “I think I love what it’s pursuing.” “I just love the way the poet used the pomegranate,” fellow student Greg Chandler said from across the circle. “I can see this.” “This isn’t the typical divorce poem,” Visiting Assistant Professor of English Elizabeth Wade explained to the group after further discussion. “OK, let’s vote.” The group readied for the ballot—five thumbs up; one down—signaling acceptance in the Rappahannock Review, a new online literary journal created and published by UMW students. With 138 submissions just in the month of February, the Rappahannock Review is a burgeoning publication with plans to publish at least two issues a year and includes … [Read more...]

Letters from Laramie

Shayla-Roland

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Teaching Tactics

Lauren Puglia

Lauren Puglia remembers teaching her stuffed animals as a first-grader in her basement using a toy easel. Today, she’s living that childhood fantasy as a multiple disabilities teacher while taking classes for her master’s degree in education at the University of Mary Washington. … [Read more...]

Raising the Rails

Photographer

Maxime Devilliers loves the Virginia Railway Express. The University of Mary Washington senior relishes the views of the river, the clean train, the friendly atmosphere and the cheap fare. But there is a big problem that prevents him from riding. … [Read more...]

Immersed in Guyana

cuccinelli airplane

Artifacts from the indigenous Amazonian people known as the Waiwai surround Anthropology Professor Laura Mentore as she pores over her latest research—cultural perceptions of water in light of climate change—in her office at the University of Mary Washington. Each artifact from the villagers in the tiny South American country of Guyana has a story. The shaman’s basket contains a deer bone flute and other instruments used to heal community members; the 7-foot longbow attests to the Waiwai’s claim of making the longest bows of all the indigenous groups of Guyana; then there is the matapi, a long woven instrument that looks like a giant Chinese finger trap, which is used by women to process cassava—the main staple crop of most indigenous peoples of Amazonia. Mentore’s roots run deep in Guyana. Her husband, George, a professor at the University of Virginia, is originally from a coastal town in the South American country and her two children, Kamina, 6, and Elka, 2, have traditional … [Read more...]

Taking Flight at UMW

Glen-Ackermann-MBA-student

Call Glen Ackermann the consummate adventurer. Whether he’s competing in obstacle races or flying half-way around the world, Ackermann lives daringly. His latest venture: seeking a master of business administration at the University of Mary Washington. “I wanted to keep my mind fresh and active and an MBA is a great thing to have,” said 54-year-old Ackermann, who began taking classes last semester. During the day, the retired Navy pilot works as a program executive for Northrup Grumman where he travels to Japan every six weeks to meet with potential clients. When he’s not in Japan, he manages a team in the United States in offices from New York to D.C. This year alone, he has racked up 150,716 miles with United Airlines and that doesn’t include his regular flights to New York. There is never a typical day for Ackermann, and he likes it that way as evidenced in his choice of extra-curricular activities. He enjoys competing in Spartan races, eight-mile obstacle course … [Read more...]

Mindful Lessons

Zachariah-Kronemer

When Zakaria Kronemer strolls down campus walk at the University of Mary Washington, he isn’t thinking about his upcoming exam or the conversation he just had. Instead, he focuses on his feet as each step pounds the brick walkway. He feels the air touching his hand as the wind blows and concentrates on his muscles as they work to move his legs. Kronemer lives in the moment. It’s a lesson that he learned this summer as one of 40 students from around the world studying the Buddhist practices of meditation and T’ai Chi in the mountains of eastern China at the Shengshou Temple. After returning to UMW this semester, the junior philosophy major’s outlook on life has changed. Most significantly, he’s adjusted his outlook on the everyday mundane tasks. “Everything in the monastic life is a contemplative process,” said Kronemer, who traveled to China after receiving a scholarship from the Woodenfish Project aimed at educating emerging scholars on Chinese Buddhism. “That’s something … [Read more...]