UMW faculty and students frequently go beyond the classroom in their work, from undergraduate research projects that tackle food waste to service-learning that leads to history-preserving trails. They take on challenges in the lab with new recipes and solutions, find perspective in art and music with mathematical precision, and dream up a makerspace and imaginarium fitting for 21st-century educators.
That’s just a few of the projects and pursuits that made headlines in 2022-23, airing on With Good Reason, a public radio program produced by Virginia Humanities to make academic research accessible to and entertaining for the general public. Throughout the past 14 months, With Good Reason has featured UMW faculty experts in 10 separate shows, covering topics that provide more than food for thought (although food is a frequent theme).
Read more below, or listen in Fredericksburg on Sundays at 2 p.m. on Radio IQ/WVTF and on Saturday mornings on WAMU in Washington, D.C. The show is also available anytime online at withgoodreasonradio.org and as a podcast via iTunes.
- Seeing Isn’t Believing, Sept. 15, 2023: Photoshop recently unveiled a new function that integrates generative AI, a cutting-edge technology that can produce images from text. J.D. Swerzenski says we’ve reached a point where photo manipulation has never been so easy.
- Music For Life, May 26, 2023: Imagine you’re looking at a piece of art like a painting or a sculpture. You can probably describe it in some basic ways using math – it’s 30 inches long, it’s twice as tall as it is deep, that sort of thing. Musician Robert Wells says we can do the same thing with music.
- Food For Thought, April 14, 2023: The College of Education at the University of Mary Washington recently unveiled the STREAM Initiative – a hub for teachers and students that boasts a makerspace and an imaginarium. Kristina Peck and Kevin Good helped design the STREAM Initiative to inspire teachers and spark students’ passion.
- My Pandemic Valentine, Feb. 10, 2023: Studies show that the more we look at screens, the less we feel our body. Scary, right? In our virtual world, we are becoming increasingly out of touch. Two days after Sushma Subramanian got engaged, she moved to Virginia to teach at UMW, leaving her fiancé behind. She tells us about the app that got them talking – and touching – across the distance.
- The Visitors’ Center, Jan. 20, 2023: Lauren McMillan and her UMW students are working with the Patawomeck and Rappahannock Tribes to develop the Virginia Indian Trail in King George County.
- The Wide World of Video Games, Dec. 30, 2022: Arcades defined pop culture in the 1980s and ’90s. But today, they’re almost extinct. Zach Whalen charts the rise and fall of one of America’s most nostalgic institutions: the arcade.
- Food is Family, Nov. 25, 2022: Ever tried to drink a bottle of hot sauce? That’s what Ray Parrish (Maltese Brewing Company) says his new Signal One beer tastes like. He’s teamed up with chemistry professor Sarah Smith and her student, Val Ebenki, to attempt to create the world’s spiciest beer.
- We the Wasteful, Sept. 2, 2022: After Kashef Majid watched the documentary Just Eat It: A Food Waste Movie, he and his students started documenting expired products at the Fredericksburg Food Co-op. A professor of marketing, Majid thinks that food insecurity can be solved in America by reassessing our massive food waste.
- Set the Stage, Aug. 5, 2022: Some industries came to a slow crawl at the dawning of the pandemic. Gregg Stull says that the curtains closed immediately for theaters across the country and the hit to the theatre world was extraordinary and unprecedented.
- Beyond the Book, July 22, 2022: Mara Scanlon took her class of self-proclaimed “Whitmaniacs” to the Walt Whitman house in Camden, New Jersey. She says her students were awestruck by being in the intimate spaces where Whitman lived and breathed … including his bathroom.
Media who want to connect with UMW faculty, and faculty who are interested in sharing their expertise on With Good Reason can contact Director of UMW Media and Public Relations Lisa Chinn Marvashti, who also chairs the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium, at email@example.com.