Parliamentary Predictions

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The European Parliament always intrigued Girard Bucello, but the University of Mary Washington junior never thought he’d be on the frontlines in Switzerland assisting with inaugural research about the European Union’s governing body. This fall, he’s spending the semester studying at the University of Geneva involved in cutting-edge research about the voting patterns of the organization of 28 countries. The topic has been virtually unaddressed since the Parliament has been in existence for only 50 years. “Ultimately, we want to understand how the European Parliament works, but since it’s such a new government body, there’s not a lot of data. That’s where we come in,” Bucello said. “Looking at how [members] cast their votes lets us predict what the outcome of any particular vote might be, but it also tells us a lot about what the European Union itself is going to look like in five or 10 years. It’s very interesting to be involved in a field of research where there’s actually not a … [Read more...]

Overseas Adventures

Bethany Farrell (left) is a Peace Corps volunteer in Bejaad, Morocco

Before Bethany Farrell was old enough to have a driver’s license or board a plane alone, she dreamed of discovering new cultures, helping others and traveling beyond her Williamsburg, Va., home. “When I ended up at [University of] Mary Washington, I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of people at Mary Washington choose the same path,” Farrell, a 2011 UMW graduate, said. Community service and a strong sense of civic responsibility are integral to the fabric of UMW. In fact, UMW ranks among the nation's top small universities for alumni serving in the Peace Coprs. Farrell, one of 21 alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps, is in the midst of a 22-month stint in Morocco as a youth development volunteer. While at Mary Washington, Farrell felt her dream grow and develop, both through her work as a theatre and political science double major and through experiences overseas. As a junior, she left the U.S. for the first time as part of the European Capitals summer study … [Read more...]

Global Reach

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U.S. Ambassador Rose McCartney Likins ’81 has lived all over the world, but still calls the University of Mary Washington “home.”  More than three decades after she graduated, Likins returned to her alma mater to share her experiences as the U.S. Ambassador to Peru with the next generation of international relations students. In a classroom in Monroe Hall where she might have sat as an undergraduate student in the late 1970s, Likins used examples from her extensive career in public service to illustrate concepts in class, from macroeconomic policy to free trade agreements. A former international relations student herself, she could relate to the students around the table. Back then, Likins never could have imagined that decades later she’d be back at Mary Washington as a public policy expert. “It’s such an honor to represent the U.S. abroad,” she said. Likins has served as U.S. ambassador to Peru since August 2010. She was U.S. ambassador to El Salvador from August 2000 to … [Read more...]

Positioned for Politics

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Opportunities abound for politically minded students at the University of Mary Washington. Stephen Farnsworth, director of the university’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, said UMW—situated halfway between the nation’s and the commonwealth’s capitals—stands at the intersection of local, state and federal government. “With the center, we are able to take advantage of our location,” said Farnsworth, who is professor of political science. “We are in a great position – students can be a part of political matters that interest them.” Students are able to intern during the academic year in either Richmond or D.C., without having to take a semester off. In fact, several UMW students are interning with presidential and senatorial campaigns this fall. Those experiences often lead to jobs in politics after graduation. “Over the past dozen years, many Mary Washington students have graduated and gone on to work for presidential campaigns, state senators and members of … [Read more...]