Alumni Advisory Board

The CAS Alumni Advisory Board was created in 2013, by Dean Richard Finkelstein, who recognized an opportunity to leverage the University’s Freshman Hall (Virginia) President; Student Government President network of alumni as a valuable resource with which to expand and articulate the value of a University of Mary Washington education and degree, in terms of reputation, student opportunities, career choices, and personal happiness and fulfillment after graduation. Thus, the CAS Advisory Board was established from UMW / MWC alumni who had achieved high levels of personal and professional achievement within industry, government and academia. These individuals continue to meet quarterly with the goal of looking at existing and envisioned programs within the College of Arts and Sciences, applying real-world perspective and experience, and providing advisory services with regard to how and where the College could improve and effectively articulate the superior value of the College.

Meet the Alumni Board Members:


Kenneth F. Allwine, ’07, ’12

Fredericksburg, VA

at UMW: Majored in Computer Sciences, Masters in Information Systems

Crew Team at UMW, After graduation assistant coach of UMW Crew, current Adjunct Professor of Computer Science

Current Position: Director of Technology, Tech Wizards

“My time at UMW allowed me to make lifetime friends, prepared me for a career in Computer Science, and facilitated meeting my wife, so I couldn’t have asked for a better experience! UMW’s liberal arts education prepared me for a career where I feel prepared to accomplish any task, and allows me to be successful at whatever endeavor I tackle, including manage multiple projects primarily utilizing virtual reality and video game engines to create training applications for the navy, and coming back to UMW to teach computer science as an adjunct. The professors I had, especially in Computer Science, Art, and Speech, were invaluable!”

Alexander Clegg, ’17

Fredericksburg, VA

at UMW: Majored in Communication and Digital Studies

Activities: Men’s Rugby, Student Government Association, Honor Council, Center for International Education Peer Advisor

Current Position: Client Advisor at Forest Capital Management

“Who knew such a small institution could provide students as robust an experience as Mary Washington does. I credit UMW for everything I’ve done in my life post graduation. Socially, not only did I find my wife here, but I made lifelong friends and acquaintances who would later stand in my wedding and support me in my career endeavors. Academically, like others, my major did not define my career path. The liberal arts education I received at Mary Washington gave me the ability to critically think and problem solve, which is transferable to any profession. The distinct faculty and staff supported me and my peers better than I could have asked for, and forthat I’m forever thankful. My time at Mary Washington gave me the confidence, skills, and connections that have helped me succeed to this day.Small schools like UMW are not for everyone, but it was absolutely the right choice for me.

Karen Laino GiannuzziKaren Laino Giannuzzi, ’71

York, PA

at UMW: Majored in German

2016 recipient of the UMW Distinguished Alumnus Award

Positions: Retired US Navy Captain, former Head of National Security Agency Senate Liason Team,  Director of intelligence programs for the National Security Council under National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice,  Chair of the Advisory Committee on Special Intelligence, and Director of intelligence for the international military staff at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

“I attended Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia during a tumultuous time in the nation from the Vietnam War to the resignation of the President of the United States to great protests pro and con about the war. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated. Demonstrations abounded on campus but through it all, we learned to be independent thinkers, channeling our liberal arts education to be able to assess, discern and be independent of thought but always upholding our moral integrity, honor and the ability to think independently. The atmosphere on campus as well as the proximity to Richmond, VA and Washington D.C. provided a path to independent thinking. Professors encouraged free speech and debate. My many achievements and abilities to think “out of the box” in various situations years later were a result of what I learned at Mary Washington. I have lived and worked in several countries and have visited over 170 countries. That was the adventurous spirit I learned from so many classes and professors.”

Barbara Halliday, ’71

Hayward, CA

at UMW: Majored in American Studies

Editor of student newspaper

Current Position: Mayor of Hayward, California

“Being a reporter and editor on the college newspaper, then called The Bullet, gave me the confidence I needed to find a real reporting job after graduation. That experience opened my eyes to the important role local government plays in all our lives and eventually led to my 18-year career as a local elected official in California.”

Susan Leavitt, ’83

Washington, DC

at UMW: Majored in Economics, Minor in French Literature

Honor Committee, played Field Hockey and Lacrosse

Current Position: McEnearney Associates, Inc.

“Professor to student ratio is so low …. my professors remembered me and wrote Grad school recommendations 15 years after graduation.  My major had little to do with my career path – I left school and went to NYC to work on Wall Street. Mary Washington gave me the confidence, communication skills, and determination to make my path in finance.   I created a position for myself on Wall Street by soliciting the US based foreign banks using my language skills and cultural knowledge to secure their confidence.  Wall Street evolved into a career in real estate – which is using my same skills set of communication, the ability to weigh risks and probable outcomes, and a firm grasp of pricing analysis. I credit Mary Washington College with preparing me for the business world.”

Mary MacPherson, ’71

Reston, VA

at UMW: Majored in American Studies

President (Virginia Hall), played Lacrosse

2011 Recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award

Current Position: President M2Works LLC and President & CEO, Slovak-American Foundation

“Even decades later, my memories of Mary Washington often emerge, especially now in turbulent political times where our voices are so important.  American Studies was the ultimate liberal arts major and provided me the broadest possible perspective and lens into our global world.  I have had the opportunity to travel and work in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Eastern Europe as well as the US, and know that a good part of my interest in new adventures came from the approach to learning and exploring that I embraced at Mary Wash. I love being involved with the CAS alumni board and it has reconnected me to the campus and new and old friends. So honored to have received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2011.”

Kathleen O’Neill, ’70

Arlington, VA

at UMW: Majored in American Studies

Freshman Hall (Virginia) President; Student Government President

Current Position: Discerning Ways LLC Principal
Legal Career in Airline / Travel Industry approachable

“The breadth of experiences open to women at that time at Mary Washington was of great importance (the college did not become co-educational until after I graduated). Whether it was editing the school newspaper, writing for the literary magazine, sports or student government—all doors were open. Without those opportunities, my goals would have been smaller and, perhaps, my efforts reduced.
The academic curriculum was of high quality, with engaged and supportive faculty members, and it remains a hallmark. This provided me with both the knowledge and the skills – interpersonal, organizational, verbal and writing– necessary for my professional career and my personal growth. I am a firm believer in the value of a small, liberal arts education. UMW continues to exemplify the best of such programs.
Finally, when looking back, I am filled with thankfulness, knowing that the friendships made back then continue to be among the most important in my life.”

Phyllis Quinn '77Phyllis Quinn, ’77

San Francisco, CA

at UMW: Majored in Chemistry

Chair, Judicial committee

MWC basketball and swim teams

Inducted into the UMW Athletic Hall of Fame, 2017

Positions: Forensic chemist, Richmond, VA. Naval Investigative Service Laboratory, Honolulu, Hawaii. DEA laboratory, San Francisco.

“My Freshman year, I thought I would like to major in Physical Therapy. But I was better in Chemistry than Biology. I had taken an advance Chemistry class in high school, so that put me on the path. My junior and senior years, Doctor Mahoney got me interested in Forensic Chemistry. I attended the Masters program at University of Pittsburgh and got my first job as a Forensic chemist in Richmond Virginia. I moved to Honolulu Hawaii to work at the Naval Investigative Service Laboratory and then spent the remainder of my career at the DEA laboratory in San Francisco. My mother is from the Northern California area, so many of my family is only a few hours away.

I wanted to get involved at Mary Washington, so I was on the Judicial committee and my senior year I was the Chair of this committee. This was a great experience for me since I had to work with other students and the administration to enforce the code of conduct fairly to all involved. I love sports of all types, so I played basketball at Mary Washington for one year. I was a lifeguard at Mary Washington for four years, so I also swam on the swim team.

After college, I continued to swim wherever I was living. I have been competing as a swimmer my whole life. In San Francisco, I have been a volunteer for swimming organizations as well as for my swim clubs. I have traveled the world, competing and meeting many great people.

Mary Washington gave a career, lifelong friends and a passion to be involved.”

Julia Seder, ’71

Lancaster, VA

at UMW: Majored in English

Campus Tour Guide and Freshman Counselor

Current Position:  Retired

“Attending Mary Washing exposed me to so many diverse individuals, cultures and lived experiences that I previously didn’t have knowledge of. The small class sizes allowed me to develop meaningful relationships with my professors, several of whom I’m still in touch with. I was also able to find my voice and become a more confident leader through my involvement in student groups. I think anyone is able to find and elevate their passion at UMW!”

Stacy Whitehouse, ’11

Sterling, DC

at UMW: Majored in Political Science

Resident Assistant, Honor Council, Circle K International, Finance Committee, Inter-Club Association

Current Position:  Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement, Advance CTE

“Attending Mary Washing exposed me to so many diverse individuals, cultures and lived experiences that I previously didn’t have knowledge of. The small class sizes allowed me to develop meaningful relationships with my professors, several of whom I’m still in touch with. I was also able to find my voice and become a more confident leader through my involvement in student groups. I think anyone is able to find and elevate their passion at UMW!”

Catherine E. Woteki, ’69

Washington, DC

at UMW: Majored in Biology and Chemistry

Class Treasurer

Current Position: Iowa State University

List of favorites at UMW:
Spot: The lab!
Classes: Biology, Chemistry, and Drama

“Why a student should come to Mary Washington: A great education!”


Alumni Board Recognition 

Former Board Members