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...]

Building Global Leaders

Tanzania_Homepage

  In a small village in Tanzania, Mama Anna teaches local children from a makeshift classroom in her home. She greets everyone in the village by name and always looks for ways to help others, even in the face of her positive HIV diagnosis. “As a leader, she is innovative, compassionate and committed,” said Meagan Holbrook, a 2013 graduate of the University of Mary Washington. “Those three traits enable her to do great things in her community and allow others to benefit from her talents.” Holbrook and eight UMW students traveled to Tanzania in July as part of a faculty-led study abroad program. The 14-day trip, led by Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Searcy, was the culmination of last semester’s “Cultural Leadership in Tanzania” leadership seminar course. “I think in America sometimes we lose sight of what community means and what family means,” Holbrook said. “In Tanzania, even when people may not have had the time or the resources, they welcomed us into … [Read more...]

Welcome Home

Orientation leader Radwan Jarrar (far right) joins other OLs on the steps of George Washington Hall during Orientation.

When a family walked toward Randolph Hall early on a Wednesday morning, luggage in hand, Radwan Jarrar was ready and waiting. “Good morning! Welcome to Mary Washington, your new home,” he said. Jarrar, a senior at the University of Mary Washington, is one of 35 orientation leaders, known as OLs, tasked with easing the transition to college life for nearly 900 new students. “I want to have them interact as much as they can and feel comfortable coming to me with questions,” he said. “That’s the foundation of being an OL to begin with.” This year, orientation at UMW took a different format than past years. Incoming students and their parents spent two days on campus at the end of June, learning about campus resources, becoming acquainted with student life and traditions and meeting faculty and administrators. Students also registered for their first semester of classes and met with academic advisers. “This orientation was created to establish an early connection to … [Read more...]

Fostering Leadership

A history and political science major, Jeremy Thompson is often in Monroe Hall

For senior Jeremy Thompson, balancing life as head of one of the University of Mary Washington’s largest student organizations with the demands of a double major comes naturally. A history and political science major, Thompson is known across campus, not only as president of the Student Government Association (SGA), but as a Washington Guide, stage production manager for Dodd Auditorium and a mentor to first-year students through the RISE Peer Mentoring Program. “It’s an honor,” Thompson said of his SGA position. “We deal with so many issues on a daily basis. Our goal is to make student life better. At the end of the day, it’s a pretty nice thing to be able to tell the President and the Board [of Visitors], ‘this is what the students want or don’t want.’” To make sure he knows the pulse of student life, Thompson holds office hours each week to hear student concerns and feedback. Every month, he has lunch with President Richard V. Hurley and invites other students to join … [Read more...]