Family Ties

Sam_basketball_GM

University of Mary Washington senior captain Sam Partonen has enjoyed personal and team success as a member of the women’s basketball team. During her three years at UMW, she earned a first team title on the All-Capital Athletic Conference women's basketball team in both 2012 and 2013, and she joined her teammates among the Elite 8 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Women's Basketball Tournament, also in 2012. In fact, her coach and teammates agree that she’s the thread that ties the team together. Coach Deena Applebury called Partonen a “key contributing factor” in all the success of their team. Aby Diop agrees that Partonen is a great influence to the team through her positivity and willingness to help her teammates, on and off the court. “Specifically on the court, Sam is a phenomenal player who works hard every second she is on the court,” said Diop, a senior forward. “As a captain and leader she is always motivating us and leading … [Read more...]

Surgeon Scholar

Photographer

[Read more...]

Chronicles of Courage

Photographer

Seven years have passed since Retired Marine Sergeant Kenny Lyon sat down with CBS’s Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes.” With a wire holding his jaw together, Lyon vowed that he would fight to regain everything back that he lost in a mortar attack on May 1, 2006, while serving in Iraq. Today, Lyon is well on his way. He loves to entertain friends, race cars and is in his first year of classes at the University of Mary Washington. Thanks to his classmates at UMW, his miraculous story of recovery will become a part of American history through the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project. The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center, a research center of the Library of Congress, collects and preserves personal stories from veterans so future generations can learn about the realities of war. Lyon is one of 24 veterans who were interviewed by UMW students to have their personal stories of service recorded in history. Every fall since the creation of the project … [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...]

A Second Chance

Nicole Dobson (center) is president of UMW's Students With Disabilities and Their Allies (SDATA).

Nicole Dobson never saw the truck that changed her life. She was asleep in the backseat when the 18-wheeler slammed into her parents’ minivan, sending it toppling head over tail and tossing Dobson 30 feet from the car. When she woke up three weeks later, the vibrant eighth-grade field hockey player was gone. “I went to sleep perfectly normal that one day,” said Dobson, who broke 13 bones, punctured a lung, and suffered a traumatic brain injury in the crash. “I just remember coming to terms with my ruined physical and mental states.” As she pushed through therapy, learning to walk, talk – and think – all over again, she made a decision. She would weave into her future the accident that had nearly stolen it away. Now a Mary Washington junior, Dobson hopes to use her experience to help others deal with their own disabilities – through a career in speech-language pathology and as president of UMW’s Students With Disabilities and Their Allies (SDATA). “Having almost lost life … [Read more...]

Stage Presence

Nicholas McGovern '14 plays Melchior in "Spring Awakening."
Photo by Geoff Greene.

Nicholas McGovern ’14 never planned to major in theater at the University of Mary Washington. He never considered auditioning for a play and had no idea he had the talent to make it on stage. He didn’t realize that he could sing, let alone belt out a tune in front of hundreds or be accepted into a competitive summer acting school.  He never dreamed he would play a lead in the musical “Spring Awakening” at Klein Theatre. But, in a space of a year, it all happened. And it all started with baseball. Growing up in Springfield, Va., McGovern was surrounded by his sports-loving family. Between McGovern and his cousins, they covered all ranges of sports from ice hockey and lacrosse to cheerleading and collegiate sailing. McGovern swam, played football and baseball, for which he was recruited to play on the varsity team at UMW. Although he declared a major in business, McGovern took a theater class during his freshmen year to fill a general education requirement. In that … [Read more...]

Inside the Beltway

Photographer

Senior Evan Lauderdale gazes through a glass partition at two co-hosts, poised in front of microphones and computers in a Sirius XM recording studio. Six large television screens cover the wall, tuned to news organizations from around the world. The red light above the studio door beams red, signaling the show is live. “This is the Politics Powered by Twitter show; this is Evan,” Lauderdale greets the show’s first radio caller. “Are you ready to go on the air?” Lauderdale, a business administration and political science double major, is an intern for the “Politics Powered by Twitter” program on the POTUS channel – the ‘P’ stands for politics, not president – which airs from 2 to 3 p.m. each weekday. He’s one of several University of Mary Washington students who are interning in Washington, D.C., this semester, in positions from Capitol Hill to government agencies to media organizations. Lauderdale also helps hosts with their blogs and social media content and edits … [Read more...]

Breaking New Ground

Ana 2_cropgm

Heading into her senior year, University of Mary Washington classics major Ana Tkabladze had already experienced four archeological digs, including in Spain, Portugal and the Republic of Georgia. But her fieldwork this summer will be hard to top, even for the most seasoned archaeologist. As an intern working with an international team of scientists, Tkabladze witnessed a groundbreaking discovery that may rewrite evolutionary history. “I was at a field school in Dmanisi, Georgia,” said Tkabladze, who has concentration in classical archeology. “It’s a paleolithic site that proves that the first humans out of Africa settled into Georgia.” The discovery of a 1.8 million-year-old hominid skull at the site made international news, including in The New York Times. When Tkabladze was on-site from July to August, researchers were analyzing the skeletal remains. “When my field school started last summer, I was aware that the fifth skull was uncovered on the site and I knew it was … [Read more...]

Digital Native

Caitlin Murphy '12 works at PBS in Washington, D.C.

Caitlin Murphy ’12 knew she was prepared for a job that combined her history and digital studies degrees and thought a position at PBS would be the perfect fit. Not long after she submitted her application, Murphy got a call from the internationally renowned public broadcasting network. They had reviewed her resume and delved into her online portfolio, which she developed while a student at the University of Mary Washington, and it wasn’t long before she had the job. “When I applied for the position, they said my online portfolio was one of the main reasons they had contacted me,” Murphy said. “It really helped me get a foot in the door. I don’t think I would have gotten called if I hadn’t had the portfolio I did.” Murphy is a program associate at the PBS headquarters just outside Washington, D.C. She screens upcoming programs, like “Masterpiece Theatre” or “Foyle’s War,” to make sure they meet PBS’ standards. The position requires an eye for detail and the ability to … [Read more...]

Research Rocks

(from left): David Phillips '14, Carter Moore '14, and Chiara Tornabene '14 are working on research projects with Professor Neil Tibert (standing, left) and Professor Jodie Hayob.
Photo by Kimmie Barkley '14

Faculty and students at the University of Mary Washington are breaking ground, literally, at historically significant geological sites. This past July, Associate Professor of Geology Neil Tibert and Professor of Geology Jodie Hayob ventured with students to the Atlantic Canadian province of Nova Scotia for data collection and study on two different research projects. Tibert’s work focuses on sedimentary rocks that contain microfossils providing insight into the evolution of coastal and lake ecosystems of eastern North America, while Hayob is studying volcanic rocks that formed when the Atlantic Ocean was rifting open. “The world changed significantly at this time,” Tibert said. Tibert has roots in Nova Scotia dating back to childhood. He completed undergraduate and graduate programs at Dalhousie University in Halifax, in pursuit of research that two of his students are now tracking two decades later. Senior geology and classics major and Italian international student … [Read more...]