The first months of 2014 have been a busy time at Marymount, with snow and cold taken in stride. The Ballston Center redevelopment process has been moving forward. With Arlington County Board approval of project plans, Marymount has leased space at 4040 N. Fairfax Drive. We have a 13-year lease for part of the first floor and all of the second floor for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Occupancy will be after July 1 and before the fall 2014 semester begins. In addition, Marymount has the option to lease additional floors for swing space. If all comes together as planned, we anticipate breaking ground for the Ballston redevelopment next winter and would sign a three-year lease for the swing space with a start date of January 1, 2015.
I’m pleased to report that we will soon have three new key administrators joining the university. Al Diaz will join us June 1 as treasurer and vice president for financial affairs. He is currently treasurer and executive vice president for business and finance at Purdue University. Dr. Jeanne Matthews has accepted the position of dean of the Malek School of Health Professions beginning July 1. She has over 30 years of experience in higher education and most recently served as chair of Georgetown University’s Department of Nursing. And, Dr. Linda McMurdock, currently the vice president of student development at sister school, Loyola Marymount University, will join us as vice president for student development.
I would now like to share with you a sampling of the exciting things taking place at our university.
Our Catholic Identity
In February, Marymount hosted more than 20 seminarians from Mt. Saint Mary’s Seminary for three days. They met informally with students, faculty, and staff and joined us for Masses and a Campus Ministry Food for the Soul dinner, where they talked about the importance of friendship and finding joy in one’s vocation. A Eucharistic Procession was a highlight of the visit.
On February 26, we celebrated Founders Day in honor of our university’s founding order, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. The guest speaker was Sister Gabrielle Corbally, RSHM, who is celebrating her 60th jubilee. She gave an enlightening overview of the life and mission of Father Jean Gailhac, who founded the RSHM, along with Mother St. Jean. His commitment to social justice and access to quality health care and education continues to inspire us. The RSHM traditions and values form Marymount’s strong foundation, and it’s important that we keep them in mind as we move forward.
On March 2, Bishop Paul S. Loverde presided over the 11 a.m. Mass and the solemn Rite of Dedication of the new altar in the recently renovated Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel. It was a truly beautiful service. The stained-glass windows for the Chapel will be installed in late spring or early summer, and we look forward to having the dedication of the fully renovated Chapel during the Mass of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the fall semester.
A Marymount trip to the Holy Land, “In the Footsteps of Jesus,” will take place May 25 to June 3. The itinerary includes Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, Ein Karem, Bethlehem, and Emmaus. We expect a cross-section of the Marymount community – students, alumni, faculty, and staff – to make this faith journey together.
Ethics Awareness Week
At Marymount, the discussion of ethical concerns related to coursework is ongoing. However, Ethics Awareness Week, organized by the university’s Center for Ethical Concerns, gives students, faculty, and staff a chance to focus on ethical dilemmas related to a specific theme. This year, it was Crossing Boundaries. The first week of February, the MU community tackled ethical dilemmas arising when people with competing interests interact. Students presented their research on topics including the privacy of health records, medical ethics, and town-gown issues. They also discussed immigration concerns and the death penalty. A highlight of the week was the GEICO Ethics Lecture, given by Dr. Peter C. Phan, Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University, who was also presented with the Marymount University Ethics Award in recognition of his scholarly and personal contributions to interreligious dialogue and his work to make Catholic teachings accessible worldwide.
The Marymount CyberSaints, four students in the university’s undergraduate and graduate information technology/cybersecurity programs, recently competed in the Atlantic Council’s Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge and won the award for the “Most Creative Policy Response Alternative.” Their competitors included teams from MIT, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown.
Marymount’s School of Business Administration was again included in the Military Times’ list of Best for Vets: Business Schools 2014. It is one of 64 universities, and the only non-profit in the DC region, to receive this recognition.
Marymount continually looks for ways to enhance student learning through partnerships with community organizations. An example is the Education Department’s ongoing partnership with Ft. Belvoir Elementary School, focused on hands-on math and science learning. The Association of Teacher Educators in Virginia has just recognized the collaboration with a 2014 School/University Partnership Award. As part of the partnership, Marymount arranged for the school children to have radio contact with astronaut Koichi Wakata on the International Space Station. Dr. Eric Bubar, assistant professor of physics, Dr. Usha Rajdev, professor of education, and a number of education students helped prepare the children and assisted on February 19, when the contact took place. NASA only awards about 30 such contacts in the United States each year.
Dr. Lisa Jackson-Cherry, chair of Marymount’s Department of Counseling, has received a Governor's Citation from Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, in recognition of her years of service to the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.
144 Marymount University undergraduate students have been selected as national outstanding campus leaders and are included in the 2014 edition of Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges. This is up from 114 last year.
Marymount interior design students Katie Scheer, Tan Nguyen, Livi Pejo, Felipe Bravo, and Michelle Bendit earned second place in the Interior Design Educator Council’s 2014 Video Competition. Their video explains the design process and documents how an interior design education translates into working in the field.
New Intelligence Studies Concentration
Marymount’s M.A. in Forensic and Legal Psychology now has an Intelligence Studies concentration option, which provides the knowledge and skills to be competitive for analytic jobs in the intelligence community. Recognizing the growing importance of forensic psychology in intelligence analysis, Marymount is stepping in to fill the need for trained professionals who can quickly be productive in the field. Read more
Marymount has been taking full advantage of resources in the DC region by bringing in prominent speakers in a variety of disciplines. They include Philip Rosenfelt, the deputy general counsel for Program Service in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Education; Loretta Abrams, senior vice president for Corporate Sustainability at HSBC; Dr. Peter Donaldson, professor of literature and Ford Foundation professor in the humanities at MIT; historian Dr. Jennifer Davis, who gave the Leverett Memorial Lecture about the ninth century invention of Europe; Stanley Plumly, Maryland Poet Laureate; Jhane Barnes, Marymount's 2014 Designer of the Year; and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford.
Members of the School of Business Administration’s Board of Visitors have also been generously sharing their knowledge of such topics as networking, the importance of communication, work/life balance, and career lessons learned.
In addition, a student-organized event, titled “The Middle East Dawn,” brings Dr. Marwan Muasher to campus; he’s vice president for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he oversees research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East.
Marymount partnered with PrestoSports on a new athletics website: www.MarymountSaints.com. The site includes updated biographies of student-athletes; a live stats platform; an interactive calendar for schedules and results; archived season information; and a registration page to receive team updates by email and text.
This spring is the inaugural season for the Saints new baseball and men’s volleyball teams, and both are growing stronger as the season progresses. The women’s basketball team advanced to its 15th straight CAC semi-final, and the men’s basketball team made it to the first round of the CAC tournament for the first time since 2010. In lacrosse, both teams have had a great start, with winning seasons well underway.
Senior basketball standout Katelyn Fischer was named to the 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-America ® Division III Women's Basketball Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Katelyn, who was also a First Team Academic All-American in 2012-13, was the only repeat performer selected this season. She was also named First Team All-Capital Athletic Conference and Honorable Mention All-America by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for the third straight season. In addition, Katelyn was named Women's DIII News Third Team All-America, and she is the recipient of the prestigious Jostens Trophy, which is awarded by the Rotary Club of Salem, Virginia.
Dr. Stephen Davies, a professor at the University of Mary Washington, took the time to congratulate Katelyn after Marymount’s win over UMW. I’d like to share what he wrote: “You have simply been one of the most amazing basketball players I've seen in my eight years of watching D3 hoops, not only for your shots and assists, but also for your leadership on the court … I also appreciate the sportsmanship you've consistently shown, in showing respect not only to your opponents but also to the fans and the refs. Finally, the work you do off the court for the community has been outstanding and is reflective of a truly strong and mature character. You're a credit to the CAC and the NCAA, and have gone the extra mile in helping make D3 sports the great institution it is.” Katelyn truly epitomizes what it means to be a Marymount Saint.
To follow the Common Ground billboard spots that ran on cable television through mid-January, we are working on 30-second spots that feature alumni, with an “outcome” message. The spots will air through Comcast on an expanded range of channels, tentatively scheduled to run in May and June.
As the weather warms finally warms, even more exciting events are taking place, including the Student Research Conference; the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament; International Banquet; and Portfolio in Motion. And, another Commencement is just around the corner!