Standing Up Against Sexism

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Ask Chris Kilmartin what his ideal stage would be, and he may divulge a secret wish to appear on “The Daily Show” trading barbs with political funny guy Jon Stewart. Still, Kilmartin, a part-time stand-up comedian and full-time University of Mary Washington psychology professor, says he is just as happy making an impact in the classroom and on the national stage—shattering stereotypes about gender psychology and bringing attention to the serious issue of sexual violence. A 20-year-plus UMW veteran, he’s the author of “The Masculine Self,” and co-author of “The Pain Behind the Mask: Overcoming Masculine Depression,” which have been translated for overseas markets. And he’s touring the country with his revived solo show, “Crimes Against Nature,” a humorous, compelling and personal look at the pressures, absurdities and contradictions of masculinity.   Kilmartin has made a career of navigating difficult topics in a way that makes the taboo approachable and opens … [Read more...]

Learning Lab Redefined

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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...]

She’s Psyched (and Her Students are Too)

Miriam Liss, associate professor of psychology, leads her classes in role play exercises

Saying Miriam Liss likes psychology would be an understatement. Liss, a licensed clinical psychologist and one of the Princeton Review’s 300 Best Professors, is known for her energy in the classroom and her ability to engage with students. “I love getting students up out of their seats and getting them engaged with the material,” she said. For example, in her personality class she has students role play Erikson’s stages. “Students may forget a lecture about Erikson, but they will never forget the interpretative dance used to illustrate autonomy versus shame and doubt,” she said. In addition to her work in the classroom, Liss is passionate about the independent research projects of her students. She has published more than 10 articles with student co-authors in peer-reviewed journals and has presented with numerous students at national conferences. “Students can get such a unique experience with our faculty,” she said of UMW’s emphasis on undergraduate … [Read more...]