UMW English Professor’s Novel Lauded as “Best Book of 2012″

Watkins, Stephen06

University of Mary Washington Professor of English Steve Watkins’ 2011 young adult novel “What Comes After” has been named to Bank Street’s list of 2012 Best Books of the Year. “What Comes After” is one of 46 books in the category for children older than 14-years-old. The Bank Street College of Education chose the books for the annual list based on several criteria, including literary quality and the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers. Bank Street is a private institution composed of children’s programs, a graduate school and a research and policy initiative. Watkins’ novel also is a finalist for the 2012-2013 Georgia Peach Book Award, given by the Georgia Library Media Association, Georgia Library Association, Georgia Public Library Service and the Georgia Education Association. Watkins is one of 20 nominees in the teen readers category. Teens will read and rate the books to determine the winner of the award, which will be announced in April 2013. “What … [Read more...]

Seven UMW Professors Named to Princeton Review’s “Best 300″ List

Best Professors 2012_web1

Seven University of Mary Washington professors have been named to the Princeton Review’s inaugural publication of “Best 300 Professors.” The list of best professors, announced Tuesday, April 3, features 300 teaching faculty members from 122 public and private colleges and universities. Profiled in the publication are Beverly Almond, adjunct professor of English; Dan Hubbard, associate professor and chair of accounting and management information systems; Miriam Liss, associate professor of psychology; Jeffrey McClurken, associate professor and chair of history; Warren Rochelle, professor of English; Gregg Stull, professor and chair of theatre; and Steve Watkins, professor of English. The Princeton Review partnered with MTV to choose “challenging and inspiring” educators from across the U.S. The publication is available in bookstores. “We are thrilled to have seven professors recognized among the top in the nation,” said President Richard V. Hurley. “Our more than 350 talented … [Read more...]

UMW English Professor Receives Fellowship From Virginia Commission for the Arts

Watkins Stephen06

Steve Watkins, professor of English at the University of Mary Washington, is a recipient of a 2011-2012 Artist Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. The Virginia Commission of the Arts awards fellowships annually to artists residing in Virginia in recognition of creative excellence and to support their pursuit of artistic excellence. Watkins is one of four Virginia artists honored in the field of fiction. Each artist will receive a fellowship of $5,000. Watkins 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, as well as “What Comes After,” a young adult novel published in 2011. His young adult novel “Juvie” is scheduled for publication in fall 2013. Watkins also is the author of a short story collection, “My Chaos Theory,” a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize and an honorable mention for the Library of Virginia Fiction Award. His non-fiction book “The Black O: … [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...]