The University of Mary Washington has been selected as one of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s top schools of 2013 by Virginia Living, the most widely read lifestyle magazine in the state. UMW is listed among 150 of Virginia’s most innovative educational programs in the magazine’s State of Education supplement in the October issue.
The list recognizes schools for excellence and innovation in five categories, including arts and humanities, science, math, and technology, co-ops and partnerships, athletics, and capital improvements. UMW appears in the science, math and technology category for its Domain of One’s Own initiative, the capital improvements category for the new Information and Technology Convergence center, and the co-ops and partnerships category for its partnership with the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
UMW’s Domain of One’s Own project is unprecedented in higher education. Starting this fall, the university provides each incoming student with the opportunity to claim his or her own personal web domain name and web hosting account. Under the guidance of UMW’s Department of Division of Learning and Technologies, students are able to define and control their online presence, managing coursework, developing e-portfolios and setting up databases that remain with them long after they graduate. UMW successfully piloted the program during the 2012-13 academic year, offering it to 400 students and faculty. Other institutions have taken an interest and are planning to emulate the project.
One of the biggest construction projects at UMW is a $39 million Information & Technology Convergence Center, which will serve as an “academic commons” building. The center will be a place where technology, information and teaching resources merge in a modern, energetic and vibrant environment. The four-story building, expected to open by fall 2014, will connect to Simpson Library and will contain a data center, classrooms, offices, a digital theater, media labs, a café and countless collaboration areas.
UMW and the Naval Surface Warfare Center have had a long, rich history of working together, starting in World War II and continuing through the present day. Among other initiatives, NSWC provides the Fredericksburg campus with a high-resonance nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, which is used cooperatively by the chemistry department and NSWC scientists. In addition, the Navy facility sponsors internships to computer science students, and supports STEM teacher training at UMW. UMW’s Dahlgren Campus Center for Education and Research, opened in 2012, serves as an educational off-site location for NSWC and other base commands.
The magazine will be available in bookstores on Friday, Sept. 6. More information about the State of Education list is available at http://www.virginialiving.com/.