Dr. Miriam Liss, Psychology Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences has been awarded a Box of Awesome for her December submission. If you see Miriam be sure to congratulate her and ask her what was in her ‘Box of Awesome.’

Digital Scholars Institute Pilot Project Begins!

Innovative Digital Pedagogy Fellowship Award Applications Due March 27, 2014.

Innovative Digital Pedagogy Fellowship Awards Winners! Dr. Elizabeth Lewis (College of Arts and Sciences, Modern and Foreign Languages), Dr. Andrea Livi Smith (College of Arts and Sciences, Historic Preservation)! Dr. Janine Davis (College of Education, Curriculum & Instruction), Dr. Mark Snyder(College of Arts and Sciences, Music Department) and Dr. Susan Fernsebner (College of Arts and Sciences, History and American Studies) received an honorarium.

Domain of One’s Own: UMW Faculty-centered Initiative Call for Participation is now closed. 18 faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, and College of Education have joined the Spring 2014 University-wide Initiative.

Faculty Grants to support teaching and learning are now open.  Consider applying today!  

 LEVEL UP! Augmented Reality Faculty Game Camp is scheduled for May 12-13, 2014.  


Learn about and discuss emergent topics, important questions, scholarly work, and teaching and learning pedagogy.


Apply for a professional grant to attend the Lilly Conference on College & University Teaching. May 29 – June 1, 2014 at Bethesda, Maryland.

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Teaching Professor Conference (May 30-June 1, 2014, Boston). Apply for a Professional Grant and Attend!

Dr. Karen Anewalt, Professor in the Computer Science Department has been awared a Box of Awesome for her submission.

She used a game-oriented activity in her CPSC 330 course to reinforce key aspects of the Agile Software Process. The game is called “The Marshmallow Challenge” and was popularized by Tim Wujec in his TED2010 talk and can be adapted to teach important lessons about any group project activity and is applicable to courses in many disciplines.

In the game, a group of participants is given 20 sticks of spaghetti, 1 yard of masking tape, 1 yard of string, scissors and 1 marshmallow. Each group is challenged to build the tallest possible structure measured from the tabletop to the top of the marshmallow in 20 minutes.

After the activity students reflected on the lessons learned from the challenge and how those lessons relate to course content. Students mentioned the importance of communication, frequent prototyping, thinking outside the box, and understanding the constraints of materials. Consideration of these same issues is vital to the success of software projects.


Jepson Fellows Share Their Scholarship

Drs. Surupa Gupta and Jess Rigelhaupt both Jepson Fellows shared their scholarship on February 11, 2013!  Thanks to all who attended to make this evening an engaging forum for learning about your scholarship.

“Global markets, national strategy and regional resistance: The politics of farm sector marketing reforms in India”

Surupa Gupta will present on the main arguments and findings from her book manuscript on the politics of agricultural marketing reforms in India during the last decade. Initiation of liberal economic reforms in 1991 and the proposed negotiations of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture in 2001 provided the twin catalysts for agricultural marketing reforms proposed in 2003. Although globalization played a central role in the formulation and initiation of the marketing reforms in the farm sector, the adoption and implementation of new policy are best explained by focusing on domestic politics within India. This project analyzes three central forces that have shaped the progress of reforms in this area. It begins by describing the liberal economic ideas that shaped the discourse on agricultural marketing reforms. The political discourse was dominated by the federal government and agricultural economists. It then focuses on state-level institutions within India’s federal system that played a central role in deciding which policies would be adopted. Finally, it explains how the interests of various actors – the federal government, state governments, businesses and farmers’ groups – have shaped the complex web of farm sector marketing policies that exist in India today.

Centering the Left: Civil Rights, Labor, and Progressive Politics

Jess Rigelhaupt will present the central arguments and key findings from his book manuscript, which is tentatively titled, Centering the Left: Civil Rights, Labor, and Progressive Politics. The San Francisco Bay Area’s progressive politics and culture are rooted in left-labor-civil rights coalitions, which began to emerge in the 1930s and solidified during World War II.  This historical study helps to explain how progressive politics became a defining characteristic of Northern California life by documenting the history of left-labor- civil rights coalition building in the San Francisco Bay Area from the 1930s to the 1970s.  The story examines how the left shifted to center and became part of the political mainstream. The left-labor-civil rights alliances in the Bay Area survived the McCarthy era and reentered electoral politics during the Vietnam War.  Thus, the region’s liberal politics involve far more than ideological beliefs and they are deeply rooted in social movements growing out of progressive coalitions from the 1940s.  This book helps to illuminate how electoral strategies that drew on left-labor-civil rights alliances became a key component for progressive, center-left politics that are now defining features of Northern California politics and culture.

‘Box of Awesome’ Winner Announced

Dr. Caitlin Finlayson, Adjunct Instructor in the Geography Department has been awarded a Box of Awesome for her submission.

She had her World Geography class complete a group project which required them to be travel agents and present a vacation-style trip to a particular region of the world to their classmates. In a survey course, it’s difficult to study particular places in-depth, so this project allowed my students to be the researchers and to really get to know a particular region of the world that they selected. My students were so creative they created:  Eco tours of rain forests, a cruise around the islands of Southeast Asia, one group pretended to have just come back from a study abroad trip to Brazil and shared their culinary exploration with the class, and other groups shared food from their chosen region. One student even mentioned that he was so impressed by the scenery of South Africa that he wants to travel there soon.

I was so excited to see my students really embrace this project and be able to share their research. My motto has always been: “Anyone can be a geographer, you just have to be curious about the world around you,” and through this project, they were definitely able to become geographers themselves!

Be sure to congratulate Caitlin when you see her and find out what was in her ‘Box of Awesome!

Box of Awesome Winner Announced

Dr. Ian Finlayson, Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department has been awarded a Box of Awesome for his submission.

Students in his CPSC 110 class were involved in writing AI (Artificial Intelligence) for the game Connect Four.  Students practiced playing Connect Four against their AI as they wrote programming. Students then entered a class bracket tournament where each of their AI programs competed against each other. The winners of the tournament, who clearly had put forth a lot of effort received prizes.

Be sure to congratulate Ian when you see him and find out what was in his ‘Box of Awesome!