• MU Closed, Wed., February 20, due to inclement weatherupdated 02/19 at 05:06 PM EST
Home Issue 7 - Spring 2017

Issue 7 - Spring 2017

Marymount Momentum

The 2016 -17 academic year is closing out strong, and I am pleased to share with you highlights of our progress in vital areas of our University life.


ROKERTHON 2017 - Does Al Have the Heart of a Saint?   #SaintAl

Marymount has officially invited the Today Show’s Al Roker to Marymount for Rokerthon 3. For the past two years, Roker has traveled the country for Rokerthon, breaking world records while doing live weather forecasts. This year, colleges are challenged to come up with a Guinness Book record-breaking on-campus event to entice Al to campus. 

Most schools compete in sheer numbers – the world’s biggest arena curling lesson, the largest human “school letter” on a football field, the longest conga line on ice or dance flash mob while holding cake, etc. Marymount may not be mighty in size, but we certainly are mighty in the epic spirit of service. Students and faculty enthusiastically jumped at the chance to show off the Saints’ heart for service and vie for a Rokerthon campus visit. Dr. Skye Donovan and her intrepid GoBabyGo! “pit crews” are featured in a one-minute video to enter Marymount into the 2017 competition. 

Dr. Donovan and the crews challenged Al to “brake” his tour at the Marymount GoBabyGo! Garage to see just how many toy ride-on cars our teams could customize in one day for children with mobility issues. Click here to watch the video and share it on social media. 

If Marymount is chosen, the Guinness Book of World Records event with Al’s on-campus broadcast will be held later this year. We couldn’t be more pleased at the attention this Rokerthon entry has already brought to Marymount’s mission to serve others.



Every ten years, Marymount goes through an extensive review by our regional accreditor, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Happily, we are midway through the two-part process, which first includes a comprehensive documentation of Marymount’s compliance with more than 90 standards of the association. The narratives and documentation compilation for the Compliance Certification Report, which is due in September, is moving along, according to its team members. They want MU faculty and staff to know how much they appreciate your cooperation, collaboration and patience with this exhaustive process. 

QEPEmpowering Students for Service 

Part two of the reaffirmation, the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), is the development of a five-year, forward-looking plan to improve the student experience and there are some exciting updates to report. The focus of our QEP has emerged from our Common Ground pillar of service to others and is designed to empower students to participate in service and become engaged citizens prepared to work effectively with their communities to advance the needs of society.

Toward that goal, our QEP establishes a new Marymount University center for service, a campus hub that collects and disseminates information on all service opportunities; provides training, professional development, and technical assistance; promotes the development of and student participation in effective service learning opportunities (with a comprehensive database that supports sustainable service programming and assessment); and celebrates and recognizes service activities. 

As announced in an earlier email this month, the Marymount campus community has chosen the name for the new service center. One hundred and fifty names were submitted and vetted, out of which three were chosen for the final campus-wide vote. Submitted by Jennifer Webb in Graduate Admissions, the name Saints’ Center for Service was selected. Congratulations, Jennifer, on proposing our winning name! The student-design logo competition is underway, and the QEP team will again be soliciting your input to choose the logo that will help brand our new center.

Over the next few months, ongoing campus events for faculty, staff and students will solicit feedback, activities, ideas and ways to more fully engage the entire campus as we develop the new center. We will be hosting a Coffee and Conversations for community partners on Thursday, March 23. Please email for more information.  
Developing the discipline – and in fact, lifestyle – of service to others is a hallmark of a Marymount education. The new Saints’ Center for Service that has emerged from this accreditation reaffirmation process will only enhance that mission by shaping a campus environment that values and supports student participation in meaningful and lifelong service.

Key dates on the SACS timeline include:

  • June 2017: Campus Visit with SACSCOC Vice President
  • July 2017: Provost William Ehmann attends SACSCOC conference focusing on the QEP
  • September 11, 2017: Submission of SACSCOC compliance report
  • January 2018: Submission of Quality Enhancement Plan: Empowering Students for Service
  • February 27-March 1, 2018: Host SACSCOC Site Visit


Welcome! Dr. William Ehmann and Dr. Marianne Ward-Peradoza.
Thank you! Dr. Rita Wong and Dean James Ryerson. 


The summer will bring two new colleagues to our campus.  Our new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management, Dr. William Ehmann, will join us June 1, and our new Dean of the School of Business Administration, Dr. Marianne Ward-Peradoza, will join us July 1. 

We are excited to welcome Dr. Ehmann to Marymount and back to the D.C. area, where he spent time at the beginning of his career.  In addition to his outstanding academic background and work as an administrator, he has a proven track record in mentoring underrepresented populations in STEM fields and is dedicated to the mission of Catholic higher education. He has served as interim associate provost at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York, since July after having served as associate provost there from 2009-2012. During that time he led academic program development and planning and was responsible for a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education that focused on retention and success for Hispanic graduate students.

Our faculty, staff and students owe a huge debt of gratitude to Interim Provost Dr. Rita Wong. Dr. Wong enthusiastically accepted the challenge of this critical administrative position last spring and has served Marymount’s academic concerns with grace, wisdom and a steady hand.  We are so very thankful for her service during this transition. Dr. Wong came to Marymount in 1995 as the founding chair of our physical therapy program. She continued in a departmental leadership role until 2013 when she became the Assistant Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, then Associate Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies before her appointment in the spring of 2016 to Interim Provost and Vice President. 

We are thrilled that Dr. Ward-Peradoza is joining the Marymount family this summer to lead our School of Business Administration. She brings a keen understanding of Catholic education, a global perspective and a wealth of other administrative experience that well prepares her to pilot a new era in our SBA program at the state-of-the-art Ballston Center. During her 16 years at Loyola University Maryland, she served in many leadership roles: Associate Dean-Academic for the Sellinger School of Business and Management since 2014, and prior to that, chair of the Department of Economics and director of the global studies program.

Dr. Ward-Peradoza will be taking the baton from our longtime and worthy SBA professor and dean Jim Ryerson. Professor Ryerson, who became dean of the school in 2007, has asked to return to the classroom, the place where he began his journey with Marymount 35 years ago. A decade later, in 1992, he was there when the SBA moved into the renovated Blue Goose. As dean for this past decade, he has wisely shepherded the process of transition from the Blue Goose to 4040 Fairfax and to the planning and build-out of our world-class facilities in the new Ballston development. Professor Ryerson has rightly stated that Marymount’s “entrepreneurial genius for reinvention is a powerful attractor to the business major” as we have evolved to meet the emerging needs of academic delivery for the 21st century learner. We thank him for his years of devoted service and look forward to his jumping back into the classroom. For a more in-depth interview with Professor Ryerson that covers his 35 year career perspective of Marymount, click here.

Our students tell us that it is the caliber of educators at Marymount and their opportunities to be taught, inspired and mentored by such committed teachers that stand out as primary reasons they choose Marymount over other institutions on the higher education landscape. On behalf of our MU family, I want to express my profound gratitude, respect and appreciation for the personal and professional excellence these educator-administrators have brought every day to our campus community. Their seasoned expertise, enthusiasm, friendship and generous spirit of collaboration help make serving our student community a pleasure and a privilege for all of us.