Standing Up Against Sexism

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Ask Chris Kilmartin what his ideal stage would be, and he may divulge a secret wish to appear on “The Daily Show” trading barbs with political funny guy Jon Stewart. Still, Kilmartin, a part-time stand-up comedian and full-time University of Mary Washington psychology professor, says he is just as happy making an impact in the classroom and on the national stage—shattering stereotypes about gender psychology and bringing attention to the serious issue of sexual violence. A 20-year-plus UMW veteran, he’s the author of “The Masculine Self,” and co-author of “The Pain Behind the Mask: Overcoming Masculine Depression,” which have been translated for overseas markets. And he’s touring the country with his revived solo show, “Crimes Against Nature,” a humorous, compelling and personal look at the pressures, absurdities and contradictions of masculinity.   Kilmartin has made a career of navigating difficult topics in a way that makes the taboo approachable and opens … [Read more...]

Munching the Numbers

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Debra Schleef’s students got a sweet assignment this fall. And, if you don’t think learning about univariate statistics sounds sweet, think again. Chocolate changes everything. “I’m pumped to get started on this,” said senior sociology major Lauren Boyle, who tore into a bag of M&M’s in a late-morning lab in Monroe 114. Each October Schleef, professor of sociology, turns her Quantitative Research Methods and Analysis course into the tastier “Candy Lab.” M&M’s add color to the curriculum and whet students’ appetites for concepts, like random probability sampling, that might otherwise seem tedious. Working in pairs, Boyle and her classmates ripped open bags of the button-shaped morsels and set aside 50 pieces. Schleef let them slurp up the extras – with one caveat. “Randomly eat them,” she said. “Don’t eat only one color, or you’ll ruin the results.” They counted the green, red, yellow, brown, orange, and blue M&M’s in their bags, while Schleef drew … [Read more...]

Cataloging Clues

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Paul Murphy spends his days discovering clues to America’s past. Surrounded by a magnifying glass, latex gloves and a hand-held dusting brush, the University of Mary Washington historic preservation major sorts through a box of seemingly innocuous objects to identify and catalog bits of history. He spies a small sherd of ceramic, perhaps part of a bowl or plate once used by Native Americans; a triangular chipped rock, probably a prehistoric spear or an arrow; and a smooth piece of stone, likely used by hunters to skin animals. “It’s not like being a historian where you read what somebody else wrote and then write your ideas about it,” said Murphy. “It’s something new. You’ve found it, you’ve excavated it, and you interpret it to study how other people lived.” Murphy is one of 11 veterans working at The Veterans Curation Program in Alexandria – an employment and training program for wounded, disabled and recently separated veterans who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan … [Read more...]

The Color of Science

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Isabelle Malouf was so into science she wore it to prom. The gown that she made with organza and sequins had a bubble-type skirt that resembled a bacteriophage. A dress and a virus, it was part of the Daring Night Attire – or DNA – collection she created for a high school design class. “It was fun taking something like that and making it pretty,” said Malouf, a University of Mary Washington senior. “A lot of molecular biology stuff is gorgeous.” These days, rather than fashion, she channels her passion for science into zebrafish. Through them, she’s studying an herbicide that’s been linked to cancer. Her research, along with her hair color – she changes it weekly –make Malouf a standout on campus. And, as a face in UMW’s new branded photos, she hopes to make science seem more accessible, especially for women. “Girls aren’t expected to be good at science,” said Malouf, a biology major with a chemistry minor. Growing up in Boston, she learned to expect the unexpected, … [Read more...]

Cross-Country Chronicles

Adam Burns

Stickers plastered to the frame of Adam Hunter’s bike tell the tales of his freewheeling cross-country adventures. Ask Hunter about the white Montana decal that declares "I am an Adventure Cyclist," and he'll tell you about being mesmerized by the expansive blue sky while biking across the nation's fourth largest state. The green heart surrounded by an Oregon-shaped border reminds him of stopping to look back at Washington as he crossed the state line after a two-week visit, and the tan bison-pictured Yellowstone National Park sticker reminds him of the steepest part of his journey in Wyoming where he pedaled from an elevation of 3,500 to 9,000 feet. After flying from Virginia to California, the University of Mary Washington senior began his journey with UMW alum Chris Marino ’11 in Santa Cruz by dipping the two tires of his Raleigh Sojourn classic touring bike into the Pacific. He then traveled 4,200 miles east to Virginia Beach where he culminated his adventure by … [Read more...]

Learning Lab Redefined

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There is a new student in Professor Woodrow Richardson’s Tuesday afternoon principles of management class. Meet Farrah, a Labrador and golden retriever mix and service dog in training. Farrah is one of two dogs in the University of Mary Washington’s chapter of Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), founded by UMW juniors Rebekah Selbrede and Abigail Hannell. Selbrede and Hannell started the program in the fall 2014 semester after a year of planning that culminated with an overnight trip to New York to pick up Dragon and Farrah in June. Having grown up with dogs, both girls were eager to put their love of animals towards a meaningful cause. As service dogs in training, Dragon and Farrah will eventually be paired with someone in need of help with a physical or hearing disability. Both students were quick to admit that it’s not quite the same as having a pet. “It’s like having a child,” said Selbrede. “It’s a big responsibility to train these dogs.” Over the next year … [Read more...]

Spring Training

Crawford’s experience helped her to learn what it would be like to work on the business side of sports. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Dancing the Macarena with a giant squirrel named Nutzy on top of a dugout wasn’t exactly what Kayla Crawford had in mind when she signed up for her summer internship. Nevertheless, it turned out to be the best part of the University of Mary Washington senior’s summer as she interned with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, a minor league baseball team. Crawford, along with 30 other interns from throughout the region, learned about marketing, sales techniques, customer relations and how to interact with coworkers and supervisors, all while having a great time. “It’s a really fun environment, very lively, a lot of people,” said the business major. “I like being interactive with people and I like being on the field; you feel special and important. You’re in charge of creating that fun.” Crawford is among more than 100 UMW students who completed internships for credit this summer for organizations ranging from Mary Washington Healthcare to the Edgar Allen Poe Museum. Each year, … [Read more...]

Marvels of Morocco

Alyssa Brown '14 was among 15 UMW students visiting Morocco this summer.

Alyssa Brown played up her limited funds to score a tunic in Rabat. Andrew Broedel shared an American cigarette to seal a deal on a turban in the Sahara. … [Read more...]

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...]

Routing a Course

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