About Marty Morrison

Legal Eagles

UMW Mock Trial rehearsal

A murder was committed at RacheterWorld Amusement Park, and ride operator Whit Bowman faced prosecution for murder, robbery and theft. A member of Bowman’s defense team, University of Mary Washington senior Colin Spangler insisted that Bowman was merely a victim of convenience while the real culprit got away. “The prosecution cannot offer you proof (of Bowman’s guilt) because it simply does not exist,” Spangler pleaded in his closing argument of the fictional trial held at the U.S. District Courthouse in Washington, D.C. “Today it is your opportunity to tell the prosecution that someone is not better than no one when that someone, Whit Bowman, is innocent. Find Whit Bowman not guilty of all three charges.” Spangler is among nine members of the UMW Mock Trial Team who argued both for and against Bowman’s innocence in March at the Opening Round Championship  tournament sponsored by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). The competition enables students to participate in … [Read more...]

Seeds of Promise

Andrew Shipman '13 worked at Foode in downtown Fredericksburg while a student at UMW.

Life often takes an unconventional route. Just ask Andrew Shipman who graduated in May from the University of Mary Washington in American studies. As valedictorian of Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Shipman entered the Fredericksburg campus in 2006 full of determination, but within two years grew discouraged and stepped away from the classroom. He took jobs prepping food in Fredericksburg restaurants where he discovered a fascination for food. He cultivated his passion for cuisine at Veritas Vineyard  & Winery  near Charlottesville studying under classically trained chef Jonathan Burroughs. Already he distinguished sharp differences in local and non-local flavors as a teenager, which he learned while helping his father load and drive trucks at Standard Produce in Charlottesville. But he soon found himself ready for a new challenge. With a couple of years of real-world experience behind him, Shipman returned to UMW in 2010 with a new appreciation for … [Read more...]

Conversation and Culture

Maysoon Fayez Al-Sayed Ahmad (center) works with students during her weekly Conversation Hours.

Maysoon Fayez Al-Sayed Ahmad knows all too well that conversation is key to mastering another language. That’s why most Wednesday afternoons during the spring and fall sessions the UMW visiting professor holds a “Conversation Hour” outside of class for her students learning Arabic and for native-born students from Saudi Arabia to learn English. The UMW students range from the first to fourth-year of language experience, while the Arabic-speaking residents are enrolled at the ELS Language Center, located just across the pedestrian bridge in Eagle Village Center. The center, which opened a year ago, partners with UMW to bring international students to the Fredericksburg area to study English. Before the center opened, Al-Sayed Ahmad, a native of Jordan, held the conversation sessions with just her students, as do other faculty members in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages. Then, her students concentrated on their language weaknesses, sought extra help for tests and … [Read more...]

Congrats, Class of 2013

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Around the Globe in a Semester

Jennifer Greenwood (right) and Vidya Dwarakanath (left) are among more than 100 students in Donald Rallis' online regional world geography course.

Jennifer Greenwood is traveling the globe. Since January, the UMW freshman has visited a medieval cathedral in Worcester, England; interviewed a French student at Sorbonne University in Paris; and surveyed a lush tea plantation outside Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali. Before the semester’s end, she will have journeyed to more than 15 cities in 11 countries—all without ever leaving the Fredericksburg campus. She is one of 115 University of Mary Washington students touring the world with Associate Professor of Geography Donald Rallis through an online regional world geography course. “It’s like I’m there with Dr. Rallis,” said Greenwood, who plans to major in geography because of Rallis’ class.  “It’s amazing to be able to interact with someone who is across the globe. I’m able to connect on a personal level. I’m learning while he’s learning.” The ambitious course is the first of its kind at the university, and, to Rallis’ knowledge, may be unique throughout academia. The … [Read more...]

Baby, It’s Cold Inside

Baby It's Cold

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Pursuing Preservation

Michael Spencer demonstrates use of the borescope to Jen Sustar, Krysha Snyder, Linda Eckley and Victoria Leonard.

Aaron Caine has a new appreciation for the old white clapboard cottage a stone’s throw from the stately Belmont mansion in Stafford County. “I can’t believe I never noticed this house,” said Caine, a senior historic preservation major at the University of Mary Washington who grew up in the area.  “I’ve driven by here many times and never realized that it was here.” Assistant Professor Michael Spencer understands the oversight. The tenant house is dwarfed by Belmont, the impressive Georgian estate on the hillside once owned by 19th century artist Gari Melchers. Very little archival information is available about the Falmouth cottage referred to in historical documents only as “the house across the road.” The building, which is part of the Melchers estate administered by UMW, makes an ideal study for Caine and the seven students in Spencer’s “building forensics” class who have spent the semester building on previous research and documentation skills, honing old and new … [Read more...]

Game On

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Beaming Brightly

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A Class Act

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On a mild Friday night in early October, Professor of Theatre Gregg Stull watched with keen eyes as a group of students worked through a scene of Steven Sondheim’s “Into the Woods,” which opened in Klein Theatre Thursday, Nov. 1. The musical is a coming-of-age story featuring the fairytale characters most anyone will remember from childhood: Cinderella, the Baker and the Baker’s wife, Jack who traded his cow for some magic beans. But life is not a fairytale; a vengeful giant is on the loose and has already claimed a number of victims. Stull, the chair of the department and the director of the play, rose from his seat during a particularly poignant scene between a widowed Baker and Cinderella. But Stull wasn’t sure the pair was quite conveying that. He posed a couple of questions, told them to try again. He returned to his seat. “Good, good, good,” Stull said. It is a historic theater season at the University of Mary Washington. One hundred years ago, on Dec. 16, 1912, … [Read more...]