Stafford Economic Development: “University of Mary Washington’s Continuing & Professional Studies Department is launching a series of 1-day seminars to build leadership and business skills in the Fredericksburg region.”

“The Stafford EDA has invested over 50 seats to the Business Acumen Series to support the Stafford Business Community with educational resources. You may be eligible to attend these educational sessions on behalf of the Stafford EDA.”

“The Business Acumen Series (BAS) will combine university knowledge and the practical application of innovative tools to drive your organization’s mission and deliver results. Come and be a part of these exclusive events!”

“Location – University Hall, Stafford Campus, 125 University Blvd, Fredericksburg. Time – 9 AM to 3 PM. Cost – $275 per person, group rates available.”

“Courses Offered: Meetings that Work – June 15th, 2023. Negotiating Solutions – August 17th, 2023, Organizational Influence: Getting Things Done – September 19th, 2023, Building a Culture of Innovation – October 12th, 2023, Executive Presence & Credibility – November 14th, 2023, Skills for the Adaptive Leader – January 23rd, 2024.”

“If you are a Stafford business, a limited supply of seats are available to you at no cost. We encourage you to apply to these sessions for the opportunity to be selected in this Stafford EDA provided educational resource.”


[Photo: Leadership Fredericksburg]
On May 19, 2023, the Chamber’s Leadership Fredericksburg program graduated its sixteenth class at the University of Mary Washington Stafford Campus, 121 University Boulevard.

The 2023 program was sponsored by Mary Washington Healthcare, Atlantic Builders, Ltd., Atlantic Union Bank., Flatter, Inc., LifeCare Medical Transports, Germanna Community College, SimVentions, and Stafford County.

At the ceremony, 2014 Leadership graduate, Joe DiStefano, was the keynote speaker sharing five lessons he learned as a leader. The 2023 Class President, Monica Hailey with Atlantic Builders, also shared a message recounting the 2023 class’s experiences.

This years class was led by six faculty: Dr. David Corderman (Academy Leadership Associates), Dr. J.R. Flatter (Flatter, Inc.), Susan Spears (FRCC), Janel Donohue (Rappahannock United Way), Cory McGookin (Sapient Training, Coaching, & Consulting), and Kimberly Young (University of Mary Washington).

Over the nine months, the class met in different business locations where they learned leadership content and took assessments. They also met with community, business, nonprofit, and educational leaders. Each fellow was paired with a trained mentor who supported them throughout the program.

Leadership Fredericksburg 2023 Fellows:

  • Michelle Allen, RN Case Management Director – Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center
  • George Barnick, President – Fredericksburg Technology
  • Latasha Brooks, CEO – A&B Creative Events
  • Frank A. Cirioni, Dean of Student Development – Germanna Community College
  • Shannon Eubanks, Community Engagement Manager – Stafford County
  • Matt Fox, Deputy Fire Chief – City of Fredericksburg Fire Department
  • Margo Frazier, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking – Atlantic Union Bank
  • Geoffrey Greene, Project Manager II, SimVentions, Inc.
  • Monica Hailey, Permits Coordinator – Atlantic Builders
  • Abigail Hamilton, Program Manager, Performance Improvement – Mary Washington Healthcare
  • Mahogany Hart, Director, Health Link Call Center – Mary Washington Healthcare
  • Diana Hill, Owner – USA Allstars
  • Tameaka Hood, Controller  – Flatter, Inc.
  • Melodie Jennings, Program Director – Healthy Families Rappahannock Area
  • Jacque Kobuchi, General Manager – Molly Maid of Stafford/Fredericksburg
  • Josh McDonald, Metering Foreman – Rappahannock Electric Cooperative
  • Tracy McPeck, Adult Services Coordinator – Central Rappahannock Regional Library
  • Johnny Puckett, Owner – Rogers Ford Farm Winery
  • Kathy Roscoe, Business Lender – Topside Federal Credit Union
  • Judy Steadman, Housing Stabilization Navigator/Case Manager – Micah Ecumenical Ministries
  • John Stroffolino, Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences – Germanna Community College
  • Jeremy Vaughn, Development Officer – University of Mary Washington
  • Jessica Weber, Comprehensive One-Stop Manager – Rappahannock Goodwill Industries
  • Donnie Williams, Director of Operations – HDT Expeditionary System

Applications for the 2024 class are available now at the Chamber’s website online. The deadline is Monday, July 17, 2023.

University of Mary Washington [Photo: Univesity of Mary Washington Facebook page]

More than 1,000 students from UMW’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education received bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University’s 112th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6.

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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R)

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) announced the first thirteen approved planning grants to develop innovative lab schools in Virginia.

A Lab School is a public, nonsectarian, nonreligious school established by a public institution of higher education, public higher education center, institute, authority or other eligible institution of higher education. Lab Schools are designed to stimulate the development of innovative education programs for preschool through grade 12 students.

During the 2022 Special Session the General Assembly awarded $100 million from the Department of Education to support the Virginia College Partnership Laboratory School program.

The award will restore excellence in education by providing:

  • $5 million for planning grants of up to $200,000 to support design of new lab schools;
  • $20 million for initial start-up grants of up to $1 million to make one-time purchases necessary to launch a lab school; and
  • $75 million for per-pupil operating funds to support ongoing expenses for operation and maintenance of a lab school.

George Mason and Mary Washington Universities in our area were two of 13 schools awarded planning grants:

University of Mary Washington

The University of Mary Washington proposes a computer and data science high school focused on preparing students for college, career opportunities, and the teaching profession. They are considering an extended school year, work-based learning opportunities, and innovative instructional approaches.

George Mason University

George Mason University proposes an Accelerated College Pathways Academy focused on IT, expanding Mason’s tech talent degree programs, and having students graduate with an Associate’s degree along with their high school diploma.


Mary Washington Healthcare will donate $100,000 to help students stay active and healthy.

Mary Washington University (no relation) will use the funds for its Campus Recreation (CREC) over the next five years.

“Mary Washington Healthcare exists to improve the health of all people in the region,” said MWHC Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Eric Fletcher. “Part of that commitment is to promote wellness, so partnering with UMW in these efforts is a natural connection. We hope our sponsorship helps students, faculty, and staff stay healthy and enjoy life to the fullest.”

A portion of the funds will go toward campus events encouraging wellness, exercises and outdoor activities, like last week’s Big Ash Bonfire, Campout with Residence Life, and November’s Largest Gratitude Meditation.

Campus Recreation Kelly Shannon said the sponsorship would mainly help expand operating hours for the fitness center.

More than 70% of the student body takes group classes, works out, or participates in other activities such as intramural or club sports, she said.

“MWHC’s sponsorship is helping us better serve our mission of promoting student success, learning, and personal wellness,” said Shannon.

Mary Washington Healthcare operates Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, across from the University, and Stafford Hospital in Stafford County.

About 4,000 undergraduate students attend classes at the University of Mary Washington. A little over half live in one of 14 dorms on campus.


Picture courtesy of HGA Architects and Engineers

The University of Mary Washington President Troy Paino unveiled conceptual drawings for a new building for the school’s theater arts program.

The presentation plans to construct a two-story, 63,000-square-foot building on the school’s campus on the corner of Sunken Road and William Street. The new theater building will replace two current dormitory buildings, William and Russell halls, and have a path leading from the University’s bell tower on campus and another from the Sunken and William crossroad in front of the campus leading to the building’s second level.

Plans for the new building were developed by Virginia-based Commonwealth Architects and Minnesota-based HGA Architects and Engineers.

The new building is designed to have two small theaters on each level, one with 300 seats and the other with 150 seats. The theaters are intended to hold classes but can also be used for performances. The building will also have two studios for the school’s dance program, faculty offices, and storage space.

The University of Mary Washington will receive $117 million in state funding from the Virginia State budget for the project’s Fiscal Year 2022-2023.

In addition to the new theater arts building, some of the funding will also go to renovate three other dormitories, namely Melchers, DuPont, and Pollard. All three halls have been operating on the campus since they were built in the 1950s and need renovations.

“The halls are incompatible with the needs of the 21st century,” said Paino. “Those halls hold programs that are important to attract the next generation of students, programs that have been successful in career development and community outreach.”

Paino explained some of the reasons for the hall’s renovations, including improving accessibility for physically disabled students. The two halls that will be demolished to make way for the new theater arts building, William and Russell, were also in line for renovations but would have to wait 20 years before the funding was available.

The university president also explained that the University was unable to take on the debt capacity necessary to renovate the two buildings, which made the decision to replace them with the new theater building more tenable.

An event to celebrate the closing of William and Russell Halls is already in the planning stages in 2023. Mary Washington is currently exploring ways to honor the building and its namesakes, such as a cookout event, and physical and virtual tours of the halls before their demolition were also mentioned as possibilities.

The next step in the process for the building will be a presentation made to the school’s Board of Visitors Executive Committee and then another with the Town and Gown Committee later in the month. Members of the committee will include university administration, students, representatives of neighborhood associations, and city government officials.

The University is also planning a presentation for Fredericksburg’s Art and Architectural Review Board and is currently preparing an environmental impact report to share with city officials.


University of Mary Washington [Photo: Univesity of Mary Washington Facebook page]
The University of Mary Washington and Germanna Community College signed an agreement that creates a fast track to earning college business degrees in the Fredericksburg region.

The pathway program allows students to complete an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree online in about two-and-a-half years, saving time and money.

The ultra-accelerated route provided by the two schools starts with Germanna’s “College Everywhere” program, which allows students to earn a two-year associate’s degree remotely in just 12 months. Those who transfer to UMW can then finish the major in business administration, also online, within an additional 18 months.

UMW will offer online accelerated Business classes this fall. Students meet the admission requirements stated in the agreement, a minimum GPA of 2.75 and a Business Admin degree completion. They will be offered guaranteed admission.

UMW is scheduling at least one section of all the required core courses and selecting electives to run in a compressed, eight-week online format.

Students used to take two classes at a time every five weeks at Germanna and would take two classes at a time every eight weeks at UMW, plus a single 16-week course.

Completing at UMW takes four semesters, including summer, for someone coming in with the full 60-credit Business Administration degree.

If a student finishes their Associates in the spring, they can take UMW classes that summer, fall, spring, and finish the next summer. In some cases, the completion time is slightly under 18 months. The classes are the same, taught by the same faculty with the same content. The degree is the same AACSB-accredited B.S. in Business Administration.

“We encourage all students to complete their associate’s degree from Germanna first. This will save them time and money,” said Germanna spokesman Micheal Zitz. “The fast-track business program is available to all Business Administration majors at UMW. However, without the completed associate degree, there may not be the same guarantee to finish at UMW in 18 months.”

Germanna Community College serves as the community college for the Fredericksburg region. The school has five campuses and a virtual option.


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