UMW Awards Emeritus Status at May 12 Commencement

Four longtime professors and a veteran administrator were awarded emeritus status at the University of Mary Washington’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12.

Ernest Ackermann was named Professor Emeritus of Computer Science; Edward Hegmann was named Director of Athletics and Professor of Athletics, Health, and Physical Education Emeritus; David MacEwen was named Professor Emeritus of Psychology; Stephen Watkins was named Professor Emeritus of English; and Marsha Zaidman was named Associate Professor Emerita of Computer Science.

The title of emeritus is bestowed on faculty members who have served the university for at least 15 years and who have attained the rank of professor or associate professor.

Ernest Ackermann

Ernest Ackermann joined the UMW faculty in 1980 as the university’s first professor of computer science. He was instrumental in establishing the university’s online presence and developing the computer science curriculum, and served as chair of the computer science department.

Ernest Ackermann

Ackermann has presented numerous workshops on the use of the Internet to students, faculty and other professional organizations. His tutorials and Web pages are referenced in websites around the world, and he has written several books on Unix, the Internet and the World Wide Web. His textbooks are used by several hundred schools, colleges and universities.

In his 32 years at Mary Washington, Ackermann has served as chair of the University Faculty Council, faculty representative to the Board of Visitors and president of the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate. He received the J. Christopher Bill Outstanding Faculty Service Award in 2011 for his contributions to the university as well as involvement and leadership in the community.

Ackermann earned a bachelor’s degree from Montclair State College and master’s and doctoral degrees from Pennsylvania State University.

Edward Hegmann

Longtime UMW Athletic Director Edward Hegmann has been at the helm of athletics at Mary Washington for 36 years. Since 1976, he has overseen the expansion of the program at UMW from six sports to 23, acted as a major catalyst in the development of the facilities at UMW and watched 22 of the school’s 23 programs advance to national championship competition.

Edward Hegmann

Hegmann directed the women’s tennis team for 23 years and led the Eagles to three national championships, including the AIAW national title in 1982 and the NCAA Division III titles in 1988 and 1991. He gained eight Capital Athletic Conference Coach of the Year awards and captured nine straight CAC championships after the league was formed in 1990 through his retirement as coach in 1999. He was named the NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year in 1988 and again in 1999.  In 1999, he was inducted into the MWC/UMW Athletic Hall of Fame, and in 2010 he was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women’s Collegiate Tennis National Hall of Fame.

Hegmann was integral to the planning for several campus athletic facilities, including the Battleground Athletic Complex, the UMW Indoor Tennis Center, the 150,000-square-foot Fitness Center and the newly opened William M. Anderson Center.

Hegmann earned a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University, a master’s degree from Springfield College and a doctorate from Temple University.

David MacEwen

David MacEwen

For 42 years, David MacEwen has been an essential part of Mary Washington’s psychology department. He served as chair of the department, ran the department’s animal lab and served on countless departmental and campus committees.

Since 1969, he has published countless psychology research projects and advised hundreds of undergraduate students. He also has directed numerous students in independent research projects and encouraged them to present at professional conferences, including the Virginia Psychological Association’s annual conference. For his own research, MacEwen recently was awarded a grant for online course development.

MacEwen earned a bachelor’s degree from La Verne College, a master’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and a doctorate from Arizona State University.

Stephen Watkins

For more than 20 years, Watkins has taught courses in journalism, creative writing and Vietnam War literature at UMW. He was named to the Princeton Review’s inaugural list of “300 Best Professors” in 2012, cited for his passion for interesting stories.

Stephen Watkins

A widely published author, Watkins’ most recent young adult novel “What Comes After” is one of Bank Street’s 2012 Best Books of the Year and is a finalist for the 2012-2013 Georgia Peach Book Award. He also is the author of “Down Sand Mountain,” winner of the 2009 Golden Kite Award for Fiction from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. His young adult novel “Juvie” is scheduled for publication in fall 2013.

A winner of a 2011-2012 Artist Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Watkins received critical acclaim for his short story collection “My Chaos Theory” and his non-fiction book “The Black O: Racism and Redemption in an American Corporate Empire.”

Watkins has taught yoga at a local YMCA and has volunteered as an investigator for abused and neglected children through CASA, a national child advocacy organization.

Watkins received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Florida State University.

Marsha Zaidman

 An expert in computer science education, Marsha Zaidman joined UMW as one of the first computer science faculty members.  She served as chair of the department for 12 years, and in that time, developed curriculum, mentored faculty and developed the Computer Science Alumni Scholarship. Most recently, she spearheaded the creation of a new geographic information science concentration within the computer science major.

Marsha Zaidman

Zaidman served on many campus committees, including the Academic Affairs Committee and the Committee for Academic Standing. She also served as the faculty advisor to Hillel, the UMW Jewish Student Association.

She was the first recipient of the Commonwealth Girl Scout Council Women of Distinction Award in 2001 and three-time recipient of the Student Academic Affairs Council outstanding professor award.

Zaidman earned a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and a master’s degree from George Washington University.

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News release prepared by: Brynn Boyer         

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.


  1. […] For full bios of each professor, read the announcement from Tuesday, May 8. […]