Leadership Program Gives UMW Students a Taste of Political World

Sean Simons, Meghan Hobbs and Brendan Oudekerk are among 18 college students and recent graduates chosen for the Sorensen Institute's College Leaders Program

At the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership’s College Leaders Program, party lines are set aside. Participants are not allowed to disclose their political affiliations to each other. “It bonds everybody together,” Brendan Oudekerk said. “It is really refreshing to get along with everybody…and know we are working toward common goals. Each person brings different qualities to the table.” Oudekerk, a 2012 graduate of the University of Mary Washington, and UMW seniors Meghan Hobbs and Sean Simons are among 18 college students or recent graduates who were selected for the four-week-long summer program held at the University of Virginia. The College Leaders Program, now in its eighth year, brings together youth leaders from across Virginia with a focus on ethics, bipartisanship, public policy and civic engagement. The Sorensen Institute was founded as the Virginia Institute of Political Leadership in 1993 in hopes it would identify and bring together Virginia’s emerging … [Read more...]

Commonwealth Governor’s School Wins UMW’s High School Calculus Tournament

Calculus tournament 2012

Commonwealth Governor’s School in Spotsylvania County claimed first place in the Sixth Annual University of Mary Washington High School Calculus Tournament. The Jeopardy-style tournament, held Saturday,  March 31 on the Fredericksburg campus, featured 38 students from seven regional high schools. The winning team included Adam Maung, Morgan Locks, Joshua Carlson and Mason Poffenbarger. Chuck Conran, a student from Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, earned the top individual score of the tournament. The team from Paul VI placed second overall. More than $1,000 worth of prizes was awarded to the student winners as well as the schools represented by the top two teams. This year, the event was sponsored by GEICO, SimVentions Corporation, HDT Global and Texas Instruments.  Twelve UMW students helped run the competition. … [Read more...]

UMW Political Science Students Collaborate on Book Project

(From left) Ian Huff, Assistant Professor of Political Science Chad Murphy, Chris Blough and Eric Stortz in Monroe Hall

As a political science and pre-law philosophy double major, Michael Behrens figured he would spend much of his senior year writing extensive research papers. He never expected to collaborate with his professor on writing a book. Behrens and three fellow seniors -- Chris Blough, Ian Huff and Eric Stortz -- have teamed up with Assistant Professor of Political Science Chad Murphy to research and write chapters for a book on presidential rhetoric. The project is one of more than dozen research initiatives in the university’s innovative undergraduate research program. This semester’s undergraduate projects delve into such issues as women in Islam; statistical consulting for after-school programs; stress, guilt and eating; the effects of Atrazine in zebra fish; and the effects of exercise and estrogen on mouse hearts. Still Behrens isn’t surprised to be part of such a challenging project at UMW. “That’s just the environment that the school’s attitude cultivates,” he said. “If … [Read more...]

Where Great Minds Get Creative

Colin Rafferty, professor of English

Fourteen students recently sat in a circle in a University of Mary Washington classroom, framed by the view of falling leaves outside the large window. Some students rested their hands on laptops, others opted for the traditional stacks of papers and books. A handful of reusable water bottles and half-empty coffee cups decorated the otherwise sparse table. With the precision of scientists and the careful eye of artists, the group spent nearly an hour dissecting the original work of two students in the class. The professor sat in the circle with the students, guiding the discussion at forks in the road, careful not to dictate the direction. Once the critique drew to a close, applause erupted, as if to pay homage to the artistic endeavor. The scene offered a glimpse into the intricate creative writing process where tone, structure and narrative reign. “We never get to see writers in the act of writing, the way we can with actors or musicians or dancers,” said Colin … [Read more...]

UMW Announces Nomination Process for James Farmer Lecture


The University of Mary Washington has announced important changes to the James Farmer Lecture, a program that has honored the legacy of former UMW professor James Farmer for the past decade. The popular address will be continued as an annual lecture presented by a leader in the areas of civil rights and social justice. As a way to recognize the role Farmer played in enriching the intellectual life of Mary Washington, the lecture will be held every fall on the Fredericksburg campus starting next year. In addition, nominations will be open to the community. The lecturer chosen will be a person whose work exemplifies Farmer’s qualities and traits through his or her contributions to civil rights and social justice as an activist, scholar, public official or professional. “As an organizer, activist, and scholar, Dr. Farmer understood the importance of community engagement and believed in the power of individuals to transform their communities in positive and meaningful ways,” said … [Read more...]

UMW Student Wins Scholarship From Geospatial Intelligence Foundation

University of Mary Washington senior Morgan Lamon is one of only five undergraduate students selected to the 2011 U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) Scholarship Program.

Fredericksburg, Va. – University of Mary Washington senior Morgan Lamon is one of only five undergraduate students selected to the 2011 U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) Scholarship Program. Lamon, who received a $5,000 USGIF scholarship, joins 19 other winners from high schools, undergraduate programs and graduate programs across the country. USGIF is a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence field. Scholarship recipients were chosen based on their academic and professional excellence in a field related to geospatial intelligence. Qualified candidates were selected by USGIF’s scholarship subcommittee. Lamon, a geography major with a certificate in GIS, is a member of the varsity softball team. This spring, she was named to the 2011 All-Capital Athletic Conference Softball Team. Lamon, daughter of Bob Lamon and Hannah Cafferty, is a 2008 graduate of Oakton High School. The University of Mary Washington is a premier, … [Read more...]