Congratulations to the New Waple Professorship Winners!

Thanks to an extraordinary gift to honor an alumna’s legacy, UMW has the opportunity to award Shirley Van Epps Waple Professorships to several outstanding faculty.  The first Waple Awards were made in the spring of 2013, and the second group of new Waple Professors has recently received their award letters. The full list of Waple Professors follows – please join me in congratulating this outstanding group of faculty on their important accomplishment.

This year’s Waple Professorship winners are:

Eric Gable, Professor of Anthropology, for his project “About an Art Museum”

James Goehring, Professor of Religion, for his project titled “Creative Origins: An Archaeology of Upper Egyptian Monasticism”

Stephen Hanna, Professor of Geography, for his project on “Transformation of Racialized American Southern Heritage Landscapes”

Bradley Hansen, Professor of Economics, for his project on “Shadow Banking and Financial Regulation: The Case of the New York City Trust Companies”

Deborah Zies, Associate Professor of Biology, for her “Investigation of the role of RAI1 in Smith-Magenis Syndrome, the regulation of the CLOCK and the maintenance of normal circadian rhythm”

The first Waple Professorships, announced last April, were awarded to:

Dave Henderson, Assistant Professor of Accounting, for his study of the adoption, development and control of Accounting Information Systems.

George Meadows, Professor of Education, for his project on the advancement of STEM education in schools through the adoption of MakerKits.

Allyson Poska, Professor of History, for her study of Gendered Crossings: Transatlantic Migration in the Spanish Empire.

Each Waple Professorship carries an award of $15,000 per year for two years. Following guidelines established by each college, the winner deploys the funds as required to support the research project. Funds may be used for research expenses, as a stipend, or to “buy out” a teaching assignment in order to have the necessary time to devote to the project. Three new professorships will be awarded next April for awards that will commence in the 2015-16 academic year. (The next round of awards will replace the first group of winners who spent the 2013-14 and 2014-15 years as Waple Professors.)

The Waple Professorships recognize excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship within various departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, and the College of Education. The Professorships serve a vital role by enabling UMW to attract, retain, and acknowledge outstanding faculty who are distinguished in their respective fields.

Shirley Van Epps Waple ’52 passed away in September 2010. In her memory, the University received a $2.5 million gift from her estate to establish the several endowed professorships. The Waple bequest is one of the largest single gifts to support academics at the University. 
 The terms of the gift require that two of the Professorships be awarded to faculty in business and economics.

Mrs. Waple was an active contributor to UMW in a variety of ways. She was a scholarship donor, a donor to the Jepson Alumni Executive Center, and a long-time member of the UMW Heritage Society.
Throughout her life, she followed the lessons learned from her liberal arts classes generally and her psychology major in particular. By combining a practical attitude and business acumen, she co-founded, operated, and served as president of the Professional Adjustment Bureau, Inc. of Troy. She was active in numerous professional associations and generously volunteered in various capacities within several arts and historical organizations.

Following an open call for applications (which were due this year in early February), the Dean reviewed her/his college’s applications and made preliminary recommendations to the group of the three College Deans, the Provost, and the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.  That group made the final decisions for awards.  The process allows for the Dean to involve any persons or groups in the review of the applications from their college (a faculty group, an associate dean, etc.) in preparation of the preliminary recommendations to be sent to the final decision making group.

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