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...]

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...]

Coloring Outside the Lines

Photo by Leigh Williams '14

A bin of orange bouncy balls caught Sidney Mullis’ eye during a routine trip to Wal-Mart.  The University of Mary Washington studio art major snapped up a plastic ball and pondered the creative possibilities. She transformed the cheap childhood toy into wearable art that she later filmed for a performance art piece called “Straight.” The coming-of-age work earned her the Melchers Gray Purchase Award  at UMW’s annual student art exhibition in April, ensuring the work a place in UMW’s permanent art collection. Mullis, already an accomplished artist as a 2014 graduate, often traverses the line between art and theatre in her work. She isn’t afraid to take risks, and admits she doesn’t fit neatly into conventional categories. “I don’t really know where I sit in between the two [disciplines], and I’m actually happy about that,” she said. “I think there is something more interesting to me when I don’t know. I think that goes into my working process, too.” With “Straight” and … [Read more...]

Finally, the Right Fit

Cedric Rucker adjusts mortarboard on Mollie Welty '14

Simpson Library boasted new CD-ROMS. The Battlefield Athletic Complex had just been completed. And acid wash jeans and shoulder pads ruled Campus Walk. It was 1989 when a photographer captured an image a family would cherish forever. The picture – of Lisa Welty Pagliocchini ’89 trying her mortarboard on her 2-year-old niece, Mollie Elizabeth Welty – ran with Commencement Day coverage in Today, now University of Mary Washington Magazine. Welty’s mother’s been “nutsy” about the photo ever since, stashing away the magazine for all of these years. Watching her daughter, now 26, turn the tassel on her own mortarboard on Saturday, May 10, brought the family full circle. “Hindsight is always 20-20,” said Welty, who would have to leave home and come back to truly appreciate UMW. “It was the right school all along, I just didn’t know it.” If she had, she might not have schlepped all her stuff from Woodbridge to West Virginia, even with a full ride to row on the university team. … [Read more...]

A Living Legacy

(from left): Jack Hylan, Julia Wood, Candice Roland and Leah Tams

History lurks just under the surface at the University of Mary Washington. Every brick, every tree, every bench on Campus Walk could tell a story from the university’s 106-year history. A group of UMW students hears echoes of those stories – and has found their place in them – thanks to an innovative history course. Century America is a small, private, online course, taught by Professors Jeffrey McClurken from UMW and Ellen Holmes Pearson from the University of North Carolina Asheville, who instruct students from nine different public liberal arts colleges. The course, funded by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) and the Teagle Foundation, invites each participating school to discover what life was like at their institution 100 years ago and to share those stories as part of a digital exhibition. “I already loved Mary Washington history, but it has given me a greater appreciation for the school now that I have an understanding of its legacy and this whole … [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...]

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...]

Family Ties

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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...]

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...]