Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning is vital to the student experience and our students achieve this by studying abroad, conducting research, completing an internship or engaging in service learning. A large part of your education at Mary Wash is outside the classroom. You may travel with faculty over break, conduct research and present your findings at national conferences, obtain an internship with the FBI or NFL, or volunteer in local clinics or schools. You’ll leave Mary Washington with real world experiences, preparing you for life after graduation.

There are a lot of hands on learning opportunities for students at Mary Washington.

So as an example, in my ecotoxicology course, they learn different techniques that are used by the EPA and different organizations to test the effects of chemicals on wildlife. And then for the second half of the class, they actually are able to apply that as part of an independent investigation for the course.

One research student, she traveled with me over spring break to Christmas Island in the central tropical Pacific. And we took a meter long core out of this fossil coral boulder that's been exposed on the land. And she is currently working that sample up now, looking at the geochemistry in the sample, collaborating with other universities, such as Georgia Tech in Atlanta, and ultimately, will publish this as a first authored paper in a peer reviewed journal.

In historic preservation, we teach students how to draft, for instance, with things like AutoCAD and SketchUp. We teach them how to map. When they measure buildings, we teach them how to go out on actual buildings out in the community to document them. Same with archival work-- there's lots of research opportunities working with faculty, but also working independently from faculty.

Myself, I was able to start my own research project where the end goal is basically to cure (sic) a otherwise incurable type of brain cancer. I actually have had the opportunity to go all across the country presenting my research. I've been to Boston. I've been to Mississippi. I've been all over Virginia.

Students get to be introduced to the professional world in a way that really lets them shine. But also have them feel protected, that they're going with faculty that they know and trust.