Learning Lab Redefined

Service Dog 1

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...]

A Bigger Impact

Laura Allan's journey to DC Teaching Fellows started with her volunteer work with organizations like Relay for Life and Stafford Junction

The night before graduation, Laura Allan got a life-changing phone call. Allan, a 2012 UMW graduate, had been accepted to the competitive DC Teaching Fellows program. Less than one month later, she arrived in Washington, D.C., to start an intensive eight-week training session. DC Teaching Fellows, a partnership between District of Columbia Public Schools and TNTP, a national nonprofit organization, trains professionals and recent college grads to serve high-need students throughout the D.C. area. The program is catered to people who have taken a nontraditional route to education, like Allan, who focused her undergraduate work on sociology. UMW, recognized on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past three years, is known for its service-minded students and alumni. The Peace Corps ranks UMW No. 1 in the nation among small universities for alumni now serving as Peace Corps volunteers. But many recent graduates, like Allan, choose to volunteer … [Read more...]