About Marty Morrison

Global Goodwill


Nabil Al-Tikriti doesn’t just teach about the Middle East, he lives it. Aboard the Bourbon Argos rescue ship this month, the University of Mary Washington professor has seen the desperation of Eritrean, Bangladeshi, Palestinia, and Syrian refugees and migrants making the perilous Mediterranean crossing from North Africa to Greece and Italy.  As a relief worker in Somalia, he witnessed how famine ravaged millions in the country during the ’90s. As an official observer, he experienced the emotional 2014 presidential election in Ukraine in the aftermath of the country’s violent revolution. “I feel I can lecture more effectively about countries I’ve worked in,” said Al-Tikriti, associate professor of history and American studies who has taught at UMW since 2004. “You can learn a lot quite quickly when you’re there.” An Iraqi American and consummate New Orleanian, Al-Tikriti has traveled to more than 50 countries as professor, election observer and relief worker. “I guess you … [Read more...]

Patient Care

Mary Loyd_HP

Mary Loyd examined Beverly Howell a final time before the patient’s discharge from the Stafford radiation oncology center. Before leaving the center, Howell wrapped her arms around the registered nurse in a warm hug. “You’re my scarecrow,” she told Loyd as she returned her embrace. “Remember what Dorothy told the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz? I’m going to miss you the most.” Loyd takes her role as the beloved scarecrow to heart with all her patients. That’s why the 30-year veteran joined the University of Mary Washington’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing-Completion Program last fall. She knows that the all-important degree will bolster her arsenal of nursing skills and help her reach her career goal as a patient care navigator. “When patients come in for treatment, they’re scared,” said Loyd, who is part of a collaborative team of doctors, nurses and radiation therapists at the Stafford oncology center operated by Mary Washington Healthcare (MWH). “They need encouragement. … [Read more...]

Illuminating a New Year

UMW Eagle Gathering, 8/24/2014

[Read more...]

Cultivating a Career

Drew Miller '14 is climbing the corporate ladder at Best Buy.

A business leadership course at the University of Mary Washington so inspired Drew Miller last summer that he took matters into his own hands. The 22-year-old business administration major emailed the chief financial officer of Best Buy stores for advice on how to climb the corporate ladder of the company where he has worked since high school. Not only did the CFO personally impart some sage career advice, she asked to continue the conversation by phone. She was so impressed by his initiative and his credentials that she offered him a job. In June, less than a month after earning his undergraduate degree, Miller packed his bags, left Fredericksburg where he grew up and drove nearly 1,000 miles to join Best Buy’s corporate headquarters in Richfield, Minnesota. “I knew I wanted to be part of something bigger than the store level, but I never dreamed I’d be working in the corporate office,” said Miller, who now works as a financial analyst with the international consumer … [Read more...]

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


[Read more...]

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

[Read more...]