Hurley Nominees 2023

Nominee: Susan Worrell
Classification: AP Faculty
Position: Executive Director of Events
Department: Events and Conferencing
Nominated by:
Linda Catullo
Meritorious Service Susan has done so much for UMW it is difficult put it all in a short paragraph. She embodies what it means to be an Eagle. Susan has made sure that every event from Commencement to the Faculty Staff Holiday Party is planned to perfection. She is masterful at pivoting if she is thrown a curve ball. If Susan is involved you know the event will be well thought out to the last detail, it will be creative, it will be on point, and everyone working on the event will work hard but have fun. Susan has been asked to step in to various rolls to help re-organize departments and elevate those departments. She is the consummate professional and a mentor to so many over the years.
Strength of Character Working with Susan, you see her strength of character everyday. She is supportive to those who work for her but tough when she needs to be. She inspires those around her to work their hardest and give their best by leading by example. She expects a lot but she gives just as much. Susan also cares about those who work for her. She is supportive if you ever need anything.  What Susan expects is for you to do your job, do it well, and always be honest. You do that, and she will bend over backwards to help you if you ever need anything.
Dedication to University’s Mission Susan knows more about UMW and the mission than most. She encompasses our values of accountability, by promoting a culture of taking responsibility for your actions among her staff, scholarship by engaging her staff in seeking knowledge, personal and institutional Integrity by being honorable in everything she does, inclusive excellence by always being equitable, respect and civility by fostering an environment by valuing the inherent worth in everyone’s different abilities and contributions, and engagement – she promotes being an engaged member of the community to her staff and models these values herself.


Nominee: Benjamin Kjar
Classification: A/P Faculty
Position: Director Enterprise App Services
Department: IT
Nominated by:
James Rawlings
Meritorious Service When you hear, “Director of Enterprise Application Services”, some may think “Banner”. But, Banner is such a small part of all the applications that Ben effectively deals with on a daily basis. He has that rare ability to not only understand how all the applications connect and communicate, but also the ability to explain it to any audience on their level. He is pragmatic, professional, and not only a manager, but an exceptional leader.
Strength of Character He (Ben) is always clear to his team of what just fell on his plate, will be portioned off to our plates. Although, some may complain of the workload, myself included, somehow (voodoo?) he has a calming influence and usually refocuses the team to work toward our outlined goals. Steadfast. Resolute. Fair.
Dedication to University’s Mission I’ll be honest. Reading the University’s Mission Statement I could not figure out how Ben relates, only, except that he is the embodiment of our mission statement.

Nominee: AJ Newell
Classification: AP Faculty
Position: Director of Design Services
Department: University Communications
Nominated by:
Amy Jessee
Meritorious Service AJ Newell has been the creative force behind the University of Mary Washington’s brand for nearly two decades, demonstrating exceptional service to the University through to the details of each design. It’s through her creative skillset and lens that we’ve developed an annual advertising campaign, grounded in research and audience analysis and adapted each year to continue our story. She has brought the brand to life, both building it from the page and pushing it into digital forms, shaping our University message and focusing on the people at the heart of it. Her work continues to evolve, always aiming for an audience, considering the competitive market, and staying true to UMW.
Strength of Character She leads a talent team in graphic design, art direction and production management, and is skilled at working with campus partners and print vendors, eager to share resources and expertise. Her attention to detail extends to every letter of her work, as typography is her specialty, and there’s been no job too big or too small for the Creative Services team during her tenure. She’s produced multipage publications, including the admissions viewbook which for many is their first view of campus, to the letterhead and business cards that serve as the staples for all departments on campus. She’s created works larger than life, such as billboards, and cared about the smallest details such as the spacing between the letters in our logo. We’ll have a major space to fill with her retirement in 2024, but we’ll continue to appreciate her work for many years to come. In some cases, it’s engraved in stone.
Dedication to University’s Mission In short, AJ’s work has defined what many see as the University of Mary Washington today, and we are grateful for her dedicated service


Nominee: Mark Thaden
Classification: A/P Faculty
Position: Executive Director of Alumni Engagement & Advancement Communications
Department: Advancement & Alumni Engagement
Nominated by:
Angela McCormick
Meritorious Service Mark is one of UMW’s most dedicated alumni and employees. He has the unenviable challenge of trying to keep 45,000 alumni of different backgrounds, beliefs, and perspectives happy–and he does it with grace, kindness, and compassion. Mark demonstrates dedication to all constituents–conducting extensive virtual meeting sessions with older alumni to help them learn how to Zoom, speaking to incoming freshmen about Mary Wash traditions and at class meetings, ensuring there is an alumni  presence at events like the career fair, helping to brainstorm giving initiatives, and always making time to answer when alumni  call to share memories. It is fair to say that many alumni from Mary Washington’s all-female era were wary when a man was hired to lead the alumni office. But he undoubtedly has won them over with his kindness and his willingness to go above and beyond for them.
Strength of Character Mark is an excellent, team-focused leader with a strong work ethic. He values his staff and is understanding and flexible. He always is available to help–no job or task is beneath him. This is the best team environment I’ve ever worked in, and that starts at the top.
Dedication to University’s Mission Mark wants alumni to come back to campus and stay engaged because he loves Mary Washington. But he also knows that alumni engagement is crucial to advancing the UMW mission. Happy alumni are alumni who refer future students…who  advertise for UMW by wearing a sweatshirt or putting a bumper sticker on their car…who volunteer their time to mentor current students or offer internships…and who give, ensuring that Mary Washington can continue making the impact it does on our students and society. In his roughly 12 years here, Mark has revamped the entire Alumni Engagement operation to make alumni  events more fun, more interesting, and better-attended. Reunion Weekend is the best example–under his leadership, it has transformed from a small weekend gathering to a four-day extravaganza of roughly 80 events and activities. He loves to see alumni reminiscing and reconnecting with each other and with campus, and that supports the University mission.


Nominee: Amanda Hart
Classification: A/P Faculty
Position: Senior Asst. Director of Admissions
Department: Admissions
Nominated by:
Emily Burke
Meritorious Service Amanda is responsible for approximately 20% of our class yield every year. She is a wealth of knowledge and is never shy to step up and offer help to anyone who needs it. If you have a question, Amanda will use her own time to research and learn. Amanda is an amazing friend to everyone who knows her, and a huge advocate for the students that UMW is home to. She is especially passionate about first in family students, as well as advocating for all of higher education to be more accessible and equitable. I have never seen anyone work like Amanda and the university is truly so lucky to have someone who cares so deeply for its’ students and the place they call home
Strength of Character Amanda cares very deeply about things. In Admissions, getting told ‘no’ is a hard part of the job, and having to tell people ‘no’ is even harder. Amanda is truly driven from a place of advocacy for each student– offered admission or not. She remembers students by name years after they matriculated to UMW, and she is a cheerleader for every student she comes into contact with– looking to mentor them, be a safe person to vent to or give advice on their academic and professional journey.
Dedication to University’s Mission More than anything, I think Amanda is driven by the pursuit of knowledge. A scholar at heart, she seeks to better the world and the people around her by actively learning together. She is never afraid to learn something new, change her perspective and share what she has with everyone around her. To her, the journey of learning is not exclusive to the students, but critical to her purpose as a global citizen, a member of UMW faculty and a friend.


Nominee: Charles Tate
Classification: A/P Faculty
Position: Director of Transfer Advising
Department: Academic Services
Nominated by:
Kevin Caffrey
Meritorious Service Charles Tate has been with UMW for well over 15 years and in that time he has always shown exemplary character and a passion for supporting our students, staff, and faculty, Specifically, he is dedicated to assisting non-traditional transfer students to achieve their goals when applying to and entering UMW. Traditionally at many institutions of higher education, this population does not receive the attention and care needed to thrive. Therefore, it’s integral that UMW has someone like Charles in this position to serve not only the needs of non-traditional students in the UMW community, but also the needs of the Fredericksburg
region as well.
Strength of Character Beyond advocating for the needs of students, Charles also is one of UMW’s greatest advocates for staff and administrators. He has been elected not once but TWICE to serve as the President of the University Staff Council (USC). The time and commitment he has spent as a member as well as twice-elected President of the USC is immeasurable. Tangible policy
changes that have improved the work lives of employees are a direct result of his dedication to this council.
Dedication to University’s Mission Without staff like Charles Tate advocating for employees and supporting students and faculty, it is impossible for a university to create a culture and leaning environment that allows for meaningful connections to be made. I hope you will consider acknowledging him with this award because he truly represents the values of honor, integrity, and leadership that UMW aspires to maintain.


Nominee: Angie Kemp
Classification: A/P Faculty
Position: Head of Special Collections and Digital Scholarship
Department: Simpson Library
Nominated by:
Sarah Appleby
Meritorious Service The value of Angie’s voice, expertise, and insight is evident in the sheer number of campus committees on which she’s asked to serve. She’s been a key member of the Digital Intensive Committee since its formation, lent her perspective to a strategic planning group, served on the library’s SACS reaccreditation committee, and provided valuable input and advocacy as a member of the University Library search committee. Within the library, Angie offers thoughtful and impactful contributions to our internal marketing and scholarly communications committees. I think you could ask anyone who’s been fortunate enough to work with her and you’d realize that she’s truly an asset when it comes to communicating and making connections across campus for the benefit of everyone.
Strength of Character Angie cares deeply about her students and colleagues and their right to privacy. So much of her work centers around ethical archiving, and she always keeps the wellbeing of collection subjects and participants at the forefront of her mind. She’s worked on developing policies, guidance, and documentation to assist faculty, staff, and students with making responsible decisions about their log-term digital footprint. She is also a kind and respectful leader who truly listens and advocates for her positions thoughtfully and with great care. She is constantly willing to help in any way she can and is always thinking of others.
Dedication to University’s Mission Angie regularly advances the mission of UMW by inspiring students to make positive changes in the world. She is an outstanding instructor and student aide supervisor, and her care and attention to crafting compelling classes and student projects with Special Collections materials has directly led several of her students into cultural heritage, preservation, and library careers. She’s dedicated to UMW’s commitment to its ASPIRE values, in particular “inclusive excellence,” assisting with initiatives such as the Venus Jones mural and oral history project and the Fredericksburg Civil Rights Trail that help amplify important diverse perspectives in the institution’s history. She works hard toward ensuring that we tell UMW’s whole rich and complex story so that all the members of our community can understand where we come from and where we go from here. She respects and values each voice in our collections and in our community and carefully stewards the story they tell.