Scanning Through History

Joe Romero_HP

It’s the ultimate combination of old and new. Decked out in full body armor as a gladiator from the ancient Roman Empire, Senior Harry Rol clamps on his helmet and steps onto a 3-D printing scanner in the University of Mary Washington’s 21st century classroom known as the ThinkLab. “You really look the part,” said Associate Professor of Classics Joe Romero, as Rol strikes a pose, knees bent with shield and sword at the ready. Rol, a classics and computer science major, is one of 10 students in UMW’s inaugural course known simply as 3-D Pompeii. The class combines the study of ancient history with cutting edge 3-D printing technology. Students design their own historically accurate replicas and print three- dimensional miniature models. As a final project, the class will create and print a 3-D version of the ancient city of Pompeii before it was buried in volcanic ash in 79 A.D. The unique classroom brings together students from the varied disciplines of computer … [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...]

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...]

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...]

Mindful Lessons

Zachariah-Kronemer

When Zakaria Kronemer strolls down campus walk at the University of Mary Washington, he isn’t thinking about his upcoming exam or the conversation he just had. Instead, he focuses on his feet as each step pounds the brick walkway. He feels the air touching his hand as the wind blows and concentrates on his muscles as they work to move his legs. Kronemer lives in the moment. It’s a lesson that he learned this summer as one of 40 students from around the world studying the Buddhist practices of meditation and T’ai Chi in the mountains of eastern China at the Shengshou Temple. After returning to UMW this semester, the junior philosophy major’s outlook on life has changed. Most significantly, he’s adjusted his outlook on the everyday mundane tasks. “Everything in the monastic life is a contemplative process,” said Kronemer, who traveled to China after receiving a scholarship from the Woodenfish Project aimed at educating emerging scholars on Chinese Buddhism. “That’s something … [Read more...]

Uncovering the Past

Ana 2_cropgm

Growing up in the Republic of Georgia, Ana Tkabladze was surrounded by remnants and relics of the ancient world. She dreamed of someday learning about the sites and making her own discoveries. Now a junior at the University of Mary Washington, Tkabladze, a classics major with a concentration in classical archeology, is already leaving her mark. This summer, she spent three weeks on the Spanish island of Menorca and in Portugal as part of a team excavating and analyzing thousand-year-old artifacts. “I’m basically helping real archeologists find out about that era,” she said. “That’ll go in history later which is pretty exciting.” Tkabladze is one of several UMW students who received an undergraduate research grant for the summer, a time when many students study abroad, intern or work on research. In fact, two to three students in the classics, philosophy and religion department go on excavations each year, either through undergraduate research grants like Tkabladze or as … [Read more...]

UMW Alumna’s Research is “Eye-Opening” Experience

Shirin Afsous (right) is assisting Leila Asadi with human rights research

For Shirin Afsous, the problem of sex trafficking in the Middle East hits home. The 2012 graduate of the University of Mary Washington was born in Iran and grew up making occasional visits to the country with her family. When Afsous learned that human rights activist Leila Asadi wanted help with research on gender and sexuality issues, Afsous jumped at the opportunity. Asadi is visiting professor at UMW this semester, where she’s continuing the research she began in the Middle East. Although hundreds of UMW students study abroad every year, undergraduate research like Afsous’ work with Asadi provides a way for students to make global connections without ever leaving the Fredericksburg campus. In Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, Afsous explained, research has shown that, in some cases, girls as young as 12 years old are engaged in prostitution rings. Some girls may see it as their only way out of poverty. Asadi, herself, fled Iran after one of her friends was … [Read more...]