Senior Madeline Killian isn’t just hitting the books to study female scientists in 18th century Spain. In December she will travel to Madrid to delve into discoveries made by Junta de Damas de Honor y Mérito, the country’s first civic organization for women.

Madeline Killian in Spain
Senior Madeline Killian, seen here on a previous study-abroad trip to Spain, received funds from UMW’s Beyond the Classroom Endowment to travel to Madrid this winter to conduct research on Spain’s first civic organization for women.

“They conducted groundbreaking medical experiments to improve infant health, and the group still exists today,” Madeline says. A physics and Spanish major at the University of Mary Washington, she plans to write her thesis on the topic.

This unique opportunity to explore Spain’s national archives and historical sites – and many other high-impact learning experiences for students – were made possible by UMW’s Beyond the Classroom Endowment (BTC). Established two years ago, the initiative supports student experiential learning, including independent research, internships, travel to academic conferences, and study abroad.

“We wanted to create a fund that allows us to direct the money where it is most needed,” said College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Dean Keith Mellinger. When the cost of student research proposals in fall 2019 totaled twice the budget, he realized “this was the catalyst to finding other ways to fund these projects.”

Gifts to BTC throughout this November, when UMW celebrates undergraduate research, will help unlock a $10,000 gift from 1977 alums Phyllis Quinn and Beth Craig. A Giving Tuesday challenge on Nov. 29 will also help unlock an additional $10,000 from UMW’s CAS Alumni Advisory Board. Read the whole story at UMW Giving.