Academic Centers and Programs

Center for Economic Education

The UMW Center for Economic Education was established in 2011 as part of the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE). The VCEE works in partnership with colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia through a statewide network of university-based centers for economic education. The mission of the UMW Center for Economic Education is to build ongoing partnerships with the region’s school division and their teachers, provide professional development workshops for teaches, and provide creative, hands-on lesson plans, curriculum and programs for students. These efforts are with the goal of effectively infusing economic and financial education in grades K-12 to promote economic and financial literacy.

Center for Economic Research

UMW established the Center for Economic Research in partnership with the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance and the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. The center was strategically created as a part of UMW’s Department of Economics to capitalize on access to highly regarded faculty and opportunities for student engagement. Through internships and employment opportunities, the center will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students to assist the center’s faculty in the research and preparation of reports on the regional economy.

Center for Historic Preservation

Established in 1979 through a Commonwealth of Virginia Grant for Excellence, the Center for Historic Preservation has a dual mission, to support the historic preservation program and to encourage preservation activities through public outreach programs. The Center enhances students’ opportunities for employment, research, internships, and public involvement in preservation by sponsoring lectures, workshops, and conferences, and by conducting research and service projects in the Fredericksburg region. Preservation organizations, government agencies, and citizens are the beneficiaries of the Center’s second charge-the support of preservation activities through public programs and cultural resource management services. Since 1989 the Center annually awards the nationally competitive Historic Preservation Book Prize to the book that a professional jury deems to have made the most significant contribution to the intellectual vitality of historic preservation in America. Through its website, the Center hosts the Virginia Local Preservation Reference Collection and the newly establish Historic Buildings of Fredericksburg database.

Center for International Education

The mission of the Center for International Education (CIE) is to build an internationally minded UMW community in order to prepare UMW students to be globally competent citizens. The Center values diversity and offers an environment that fosters cross-cultural understanding and international cooperation and engagement through transformational programs and experiences. CIE provides support to students interested in study abroad opportunities and serves the needs of international students. CIE oversees the numerous Faculty-Led programs abroad and UMW Approved education abroad programs. Faculty-Led Programs are conducted by UMW professors during the breaks from the regular academic calendar (winter and spring breaks) or during summer sessions. Students can study, intern, research or volunteer abroad through UMW’s Approved Programs for a summer, semester, or year. Students can plan one program or multiple as an undergraduate and earn academic credit that counts toward graduation requirements.

CIE guides international students, both degree-seeking and exchange, through the process of obtaining their visas and how to maintain status. In addition, CIE organizes and leads an international student orientation held at the beginning of each semester to help ease the transition to studying and living in the United States.

Center for Leadership and Media Studies

The Center for Leadership and Media Studies supports the study of political leadership and of the mass media’s roles in international, national and Virginia politics. In conjunction with the Department of Political Science and International affairs, the Center’s programs are designed to give students a wide range of academic experiences and professional opportunities by conducting public opinion research and by bringing members of the university community into contact with political figures and media practitioners at the international, national, state, and local levels.

Center for Spatial Analysis and Research (CeSAR)

The Center for Spatial Analysis and Research (CeSAR) at UMW is an interdisciplinary research center focused on education, research, and application development in the field of geographic information science (GISc). The Center provides customized educational programs, innovative solutions, and access to students and intellectual capital at UMW.

CeSAR professionals encompass a wide variety of academic disciplines and broader GIS experience. To support its mission, CeSAR provides state-of-the-art technology and facilities. The Center serves as a leader and catalyst for the advancement of geospatial thinking and analysis for academic institutions, private industry, and the public sector.

The Center seeks to raise the visibility of existing activity, to encourage linkages and to stimulate new research and education at UMW in the rapidly developing field of GISc. It accomplishes this mission by serving research, education, and administration with computer infrastructure support; shared hardware resources; distribution of site licensed software; specialized instructional classes and seminars; data development, repository and access; consulting services; programming support; community building; and outreach.

Leidecker Center for Asian Studies

The Leidecker Center for Asian Studies supports interdisciplinary study of Asia, drawing on the expertise of faculty from across the campus. The Center sponsors an annual series, seminars, and conferences. In coordination with the resources of the Center for International Education, the Center also promotes academic and cultural exchange as well as awareness of Asia and its place in the world. In addition to promoting the academic study of Asia, the Center sponsors public workshops allowing direct familiarity with various aspects of Asian cultures. The Center was established by the College’s Board of Visitors in 1998 in honor of Professor Emeritus Kurt Leidecker (1902-1991), a professor of philosophy at Mary Washington College from 1948 until his retirement in 1973 and a specialist in Buddhism, who first developed a program in Asian Studies at the College.

Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation

Through the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation, UMW works to promote and sustain excellence in teaching, explore and develop innovative pedagogy and curriculum, and advance student learning. The Center is more than a place; it is a community of faculty, staff and students passionate about learning, a focal point for conversations about and taking action to enhance teaching and learning. The Center seeks to promote a culture of teaching innovation and teaching excellence through scholarly inquiry. A culture of teaching innovation and excellence goes beyond knowledge of pedagogy and course design. For faculty, a culture of excellence embodies knowledge and the application of best practices to one’s teaching. For students, it involves the willingness to open up to the challenges of engagement and genuine learning. Through a variety of means, the Center works to support faculty who are interested in scholarly inquiry and in developing teaching strategies to support meaningful learning, implementing meaningful approaches to student assessment, or exploring emerging academic technologies or other instructional and creative resources.

Speaking Center - Fredericksburg Campus

The Speaking Center supports the Speaking Intensive Program by providing free consultations to students interested in developing oral communication skills. The Center houses a collection of instructional resources (books, handouts, videotapes, and equipment) that address a variety of topics ranging from public speaking anxiety to constructing effective visual aids. Consultants are available to video record practice presentations and to provide feedback. The Center adheres strictly to the Honor Code: consultants will not compose any portion of a presentation for a student, nor will they do research for a student’s presentations. Consultants also are prepared to offer advice on special types of oral communication activities such as speeches, group presentations, debates, or interviews.

The Writing Center - Fredericksburg Campus

The Writing Center is open to all Mary Washington students. Operating within the Honor Code, the Writing Center offers free tutorial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of major or concentration, both for course assignments and for personal writing needs. The Writing Center works with student writers at every skill level to improve their writing performance. Staffed by a faculty director and well-trained student tutors, the Center provides advice in getting started on papers, developing ideas, achieving unity and coherence, reviewing troublesome parts of papers, learning writing styles such as APA and MLA, understanding and correcting recurring grammatical and punctuation errors, and overcoming writer’s block. The Writing Center welcomes students writing research papers, short essays, letters of application, and laboratory reports. The Center also provides access to various writing guides.

University Galleries

The Ridderhof Martin Gallery is a high-quality art museum facility. It displays traveling exhibitions from museums around the country, bringing to the University the art of the past and present from many cultures. Other exhibitions draw from the permanent collection for themes such as “The Artist Looks at Sister Artists” and “Art and 20th-Century War.” The duPont Gallery features painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and textiles by art faculty and students as well as other contemporary artists.

The Galleries’ permanent collection of some 6,000 artworks is strongest in mid-20th century art and Asian art. The Galleries also house much of the life’s work, as well as the personal papers, of New York surrealist Margaret Sutton and Los Angeles figurative expressionist Phyllis Ridderhof Martin. Professors in art history and other fields often assign class projects and research in the Galleries. Students study the works on view and in storage, and delve into the computerized records and paper files. Students also participate in cataloging the collection and organizing and installing exhibitions.

Debate Program

Debate at UMW is a co-curricular activity that supports the College’s mission of providing undergraduates with a broad liberal education as preparation for citizenship and career. As an educational enterprise, debate has been central to the pursuit of excellence in liberal learning for more than twenty-five hundred years. A debate education hones the skills of civic engagement and democratic participation, by enhancing communication skills, generating critical thought and reflection on the significant public issues of the day, and promoting in-depth study and rigorous research on a wide variety of complex subjects. The Debate Program at UMW provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to enhance their educational experience by participating in a wide variety of debating activities including intercollegiate debate competitions and public debate exhibitions.

Teaching and Learning Technologies

DTLT research informs projects at the University and allows the division to serve as a conduit between faculty and students at UMW and external academic, research, and technical communities which are also engaged in the exploration and innovative use of digital technologies. In collaboration with the University’s Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning, DTLT also offers professional development opportunities to faculty and staff. The division serves as an organizational contact for several academic technology consortiums and centers, including the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), the New Media Consortium (NMC), and the National Institute for Teaching and Liberal Education (NITLE). DTLT publicizes opportunities offered by these organizations to faculty at UMW and supports faculty participation in academic technology conferences, workshops, and seminars. We invite you to contact someone in DTLT and begin your own exploration!