Examples of Successful Partnerships
Faculty, staff, and students have been honored to work with a range of community groups in the greater Fredericksburg area for many years now. The following projects represent examples of successful partnerships that have helped accomplish community goals.
1. UMW Students Volunteer at Loisann’s Hope House:
COAR is a UMW student-run service organization that helps students find volunteer projects. For many years, COAR has sent students on a weekly basis to Loisann’s Hope House, an organization that works to move families out of homelessness. Students spend time with youth at Hope House, playing board games or helping with homework. This partnership has worked well for both Loisann’s Hope House and the student volunteers, who have learned more about the greater Fredericksburg community.
2. Historic Preservation Students work with James Monroe Museum:
Students from a Historic Preservation class recently worked with the James Monroe Museum to research, compose, and install a new exhibit. This hands-on, real world learning experience was helpful for students and the museum benefited from updated exhibits and materials.
3. Psychology Students Intern with Capital Caring:
For several semesters, UMW psychology majors have interned with Capital Caring, a hospice and palliative care facility in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Interns visit the center each week, comforting people in the final stages of life and helping survivors cope with their grief. Students are trained – exploring perspectives on dying, hospice care principles and resources for dealing with grief – before coming face-to-face with patients and families.
4. Sociology Students Conduct Research on Community Issues:
UMW Professor Leslie Martin works with her Public Sociology class to give students an opportunity to collaborate with community partners to conduct needed research projects. At the end of the semester, students present their work to their community partners.
5. Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor Works on Water Quality Management:
In Spring 2019, Earth and Environmental Sciences professor Ben Kisila started working on a project with researchers from Virginia Tech to investigate water quality issues tied to rapid growth and development in the Fredericksburg region. The project will work to estimate the mass of pollutants from the City of Fredericksburg’s stormwater system during storm events, working from five sites linked to five different forms of land use: residential, high-density residential, commercial, industrial, and parks. This work marks a comprehensive research effort to revisit pollutant loads developed in a national study nearly 40 years ago – values that still guide state and federal storm water management programs today. With updated water-quality data and recommendations for monitoring and management, the Fredericksburg region and others across Virginia can be better equipped to plan for pollution reduction in their watersheds.
6. Marketing Students Work with Local Businesses:
UMW professor Dr. Kashef Majid and his Marketing students work with a broad range of Fredericksburg-area businesses to develop creative marketing strategies. A recent class collaborated with Fredericksburg Economic Development and Tourism (EDT) to create marketing materials designed to attract new international visitors to the City of Fredericksburg. This partnership included EDT staff lecturing at UMW to explain existing domestic and international tourism efforts and basic tourism marketing principals. Students then worked with Dr. Majid to produce electronic ads. Dr. Majid’s classes also conducted focus groups with several local businesses, including a new restaurant, The Falafal Joint. The students provided advice on menu items and how to overcome a lack of knowledge about Mediterranean food. A year later, the restaurant has seen success in terms of increased awareness and popularity.