Highlights

The Graduate School at Hood College
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Graduate Alumni Highlight — Kathleen Berst

Kathleen Berst, a 2017 graduate of Hood College’s MBA program, has been awarded the “Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award,” the highest award given to career civilian employees of the US Department of Defense. It is given to “those employees whose careers reflect exceptional devotion to duty and whose contributions are of a significant value when it comes to the efficiency, economy or other improvements in Department of Defense (DoD).”

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Creating Community Leaders

Posted by | Business Administration, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

hood 1Kevin Brown and Marlon Ramirez, students in Hood College’s MBA program, have completed The Frederick County Future Minority Business Leaders Program. An initiative of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, the program is designed to help cultivate and grow future minority business leaders and business owners within Frederick County. Although full time students and not business owners, Marlon and Kevin applied and were accepted due to the fact that they plan on owning a business in the future and reflect strong leadership qualities. Participants spend two hours one Friday per month at the Office of Economic Development.
The program’s career and business lessons are taught by local minority leaders and business professionals and are specifically geared towards business owners or those who have aspirations to become one. Among the key messages is the importance of “networking.” “The program exposes you to very successful and important individuals.  In addition, the background of my classmates is outstanding, which also allows each student to learn from one another,” said Marlon. Some of the other valuable lessons focus on how to market yourself, and perfect time management.

Kevin emphasized that his Hood experience had a significant impact as it has prepared him for all the marketing and management topics of the program. Marlon added: “Without a doubt, the courses I have taken in my MBA studies have assisted me in understanding this program better.  There have been many topics discussed in class that have been brought up during this program.”

Both students strongly encourage members of the minority community at Hood to apply for this program if they are interested in learning more about starting and developing a business or working with like-minded business professionals.

 

From Student to Mentor: Justine Freimanis Continues At Hood

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, Reading Specialization | No Comments

JustineJustine Freimanis has experienced Hood College as an undergraduate student, graduate student, and teacher. In 1997, she received her undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood Education and Psychology. She immediately got a job teaching in Frederick County Public Schools, where she has now been for 20 years! In 2004, she earned came back to Hood for her graduate degree, an MS in Reading Specialization. As of 2017, she is the literacy specialist at Monocacy Elementary School, where she is also the Professional Development School (PDS) coordinator. This role has her organizing students from Hood and other programs, such as Frederick Community College, who come to Monocacy for their student teaching internships. Even with this, Justine’s work at Hood isn’t quite done. She is taking classes in the Educational Leadership program, working toward her administrative certification. Beyond taking classes, she is also helping future literacy specialists as a mentor teacher in the 2017 Reading Clinic, where participants in the Reading Specialization graduate program apply their skills working with elementary and Secondary students. Ellen Koitz, head of the Reading Specialization program, is pleased to have an outstanding graduate back to help teach future literacy specialists.

Justine attributes her continued affiliation with both Hood and FCPS to how the two work well together. She explains that “professors and staff at Hood work really hard to communicate with the school system, keep the focus consistent, and give the students an understanding of what is really going on with education in the real world”. She also states that she has had great experiences here with staff and peers. Hood is happy to have her back!

From Illinois…to Pennsylvania…To Hood

Posted by | Environmental Biology, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

Derrion May Summer 2017

Derrion May is a first-semester student in Hood College’s Environmental Biology Master’s program. A native of Illinois, he graduated from Waynesburg University in Waynesburg, PA with a degree in general biology. The ocean has been a passion of his since the age of 12 when he became fascinated with the different species found underneath waves.

With experience in a marine biology lab as well as a summer internship at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, where his senior research project focused on investigating stingray mucus for novel antibiotics, Derrion recently started a full-time position as a Study Support Associate with Charles Rivers Laboratories, where he’ll be working with notable researchers on zebrafish and other aquatic species at their research campus in Ashburn, Virginia.

Derrion always wanted to pursue a graduate degree, but wasn’t sure about the most suitable time. During his final semester, he started looking into graduate programs and what they offered, and realized that Hood was a perfect fit. “I liked the possibility of being able to work as a science professional while still being able to pursue a graduate degree.”

Hood’s new Graduate Housing was a fit as well. “I thought that living on campus would be a good opportunity to be a part of a new community, while only being a short walk away from my classes.” His decision has brought him into contact with new acquaintances and students with different backgrounds as well as providing the opportunity to become more familiar with the area.

Derrion emphasizes how important the help from the entire graduate school was as he transitioned from a student struggling to finish his last undergraduate class this past summer to becoming a science professional. He looks forward to more exciting moments and unique opportunities as he pursues his graduate degree at Hood.

More Than Just Molding Clay!

Posted by | Ceramics, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

Participants in Hood College’s Graduate Ceramics Arts programs have several degree options, but all students are working with both theory and practice in ceramics. Whether they are working towards a Ceramic Arts Certificate, Masters of Arts (M.A.), or Masters of Fine Arts (MFA), students develop their own style and point of view. Several exhibited over the summer, each showing different techniques.

IMG_0196 smallJanet Greer earned an M.A. this summer, and created an exhibition called “Mudpies and Monsters”. A grandmother, Greer chose to feature ideas from her imagination and from the work of six of her grandchildren. She created both functional and decorative pieces using mostly porcelain clay in electric, wood, soda, and Raku firings.

IMG_0250 small“Surviving Fire” by Ryan McGlone showed ceramic canteens faced with images of war. An art teacher who works with disabled children, McGlone chose to “show the survival and emotion of war in the mind, heart, and soul” in this exhibition, moving to a more serious and emotional perspective.

MFA recipient Joseph Delphia’s exhibition was titled “A Tactile Vision.” Joe is a functional artist and ceramics teacher who “hopes that his pots become objects that spend more time in a hand than on a shelf”. His work is fired in a wood-burning kiln, which creates color and texture through marks of the ash and flame.

Dawn Lovell’s exhibition was titled “Glazes, You Rock!”. As the title suggests, Lovell used a variety of glazes to create pieces with different textures and colors to show a variety of natural-looking works.

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Why the Humanities?

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, Humanities | No Comments

DebarbaThe Graduate School at Hood College takes pride in its diversity…of people and programs. One such program is the Master of Arts in Humanities. Many students credit the program’s interdisciplinary focus for their increase in both analytical and big-picture thinking. One such student is Robert DeBarba, who started the program in fall of 2016.

A 2015 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in History, Robert stayed in Maryland and began work as a government contractor. When looking to continue his education, he chose the Hood Humanities program because he “really liked how the Humanities program was tailored to personal interests of study and offered a well-rounded variety of coursework.” A year into the program, he credits it with helping advance his career due to his increased ability to analyze, interpret, and articulate abstract concepts. He describes the program as a ‘skill set’ degree that has provided him with a unique combination of analytical tools in a very technical field. After receiving his Master’s, Robert intends to continue his education with a Ph.D. and would like to become a teacher.

Hood Alum receives Department of Defense’s highest civilian award

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BerstAward2 (1) Kathleen Berst, a 2017 graduate of Hood College’s MBA program, has been awarded the “Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award,” the highest award given to career civilian employees of the US Department of Defense. It is given to “those employees whose careers reflect exceptional devotion to duty and whose contributions are of a significant value when it comes to the efficiency, economy or other improvements in Department of Defense (DoD).” Kathleen received the award for leading the Medical Countermeasures Test and Evaluation Facility, and ultimately for her recommendation that it be terminated. This challenging recommendation and her efforts resulted in over one billion dollars of savings and cost avoidance for the DoD. Kathleen was recognized at the Pentagon Annual Award Ceremony, and her importance can especially be seen in the words of Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, “You bring honor to the tradition of the civilian workforce and public service. Your dedication strengthens our country’s security and prosperity.”

Her professional journey took Kathleen from a biologist in army labs to being an Assistant Vaccine Manager in the Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program (JVAP), and ultimately to Project Manager for the Medical Countermeasure Test and Evaluation Facility and her current role as Deputy Commander of Acquisition for the US Army Medical Material Development Activity (USAMMDA). While a biologist, Kathleen realized she did not want to work in a lab for the rest of her life, and that earning her MBA would allow her to continue using her scientific knowledge in another setting. She started her MBA in 2000, and the experience was impactful on her and her career. “Just starting my MBA courses changed everything. The more I learned in my courses, the more questions I asked at work.” This helped make additional connections, which eventually resulted in Kathleen’s first management role in 2001. “Most of what I was learning in my MBA courses was directly applicable to my new job.  It was perfect! I was flying through my program and advancing at work.

Kathleen’s story does have a twist. Two classes before wrapping up her program, she found out she was pregnant with her first child. Due to complications and a new work position, she delayed degree completion. Soon enough, Kathleen changed positions and saw how her MBA knowledge was contributing to her career. “My career was blossoming because of what I had learned in my MBA program but my successful career had become a giant barrier that was preventing me from completing my MBA!” After speaking at Hood’s “Project Management” class in 2015, Kathleen’s desire to finish her MBA was revived. With the assistance of Dr. David Gurzick, she reenrolled and completed in 2017.

Her message to all is to “GET STARTED, ASK FOR HELP, AND KEEP LEARNING!” While many people are afraid to start or are terrified of failure, the solution is to “just move”. She emphasizes that asking for help is one of the best ways of figuring your career choices. “Most people will be willing to share what worked and what didn’t work. I have a handful of mentors and coaches with different strengths, so I look to them for guidance in different aspects of life and work.”

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Become a Reading Specialist By Doing It!

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, Reading Specialization | No Comments

In the Hood College Master’s in Reading Specialization program, two of the final steps are EDUC 524 and 525, Advanced Clinical Reading Experiences. Familiarly known as ‘clinic’, these two classes come together as a rigorous six-week summer program where participants act as reading specialists. It is an intense time, with the participants doing everything from assessing their students, creating plans to teach them based on their needs, and even observing and coaching each other. Program director Ellen Koitz explains that it is a chance for graduate students to apply the skills they’ve learned throughout the program, as well as for local elementary and secondary students to really learn over the summer. Hood’s emphasis on hands-on application and real-life experience shines, as participants create and follow through with plans tailored to real students and peers. Megan Ramsburg, a teacher at FCPS’ Whittier Elementary School, explains that “if I start a career as a literacy specialist, I now already have some experience with what it will be like”.

Something that sets Hood’s program apart is the focus on a variety of ages. The certification gained through the program is for K-12, so participants work with both elementary and secondary students. This means that elementary school teachers will work with high school students, and vice versa. For three weeks, participants work with elementary students, all of whom are identified as reading at least a year below their grade levels. For the three weeks with secondary students, the focus is on content area reading and study skills. 2017 participant Rachel Crane, a teacher for Washington County Public Schools states, “you get experience with a variety of age groups and needs that it’s almost impossible to get in your regular career”.

Another advantage to the program is timing. With clinic occurring during the summer, students don’t need to take a leave of absence from their regular jobs or try to cram hours in around other teaching. Clinic participants are either ready to graduate or need just one more class, and once their program portfolios are submitted they will gain their certification. While the group agrees that they are ready to be done and graduate, they also praise the program for pushing them and preparing them for a variety of situations and career choices.

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Outstanding Student- Thanatology

Posted by | Thanatology, Uncategorized | No Comments

i-R525fd4-LBeverly entered Hood’s Thanatology program in 2011 as she approached her retirement from the U.S. government.  She retired in 2013 after more than 32 years of service at the Social Security Administration.  Since retiring, Beverly has become an ardent volunteer for Montgomery Hospice, the Association for Death Education and Counseling, and others.  While working toward her Thanatology degree, she served as graduate assistant to the program chair for two years.  In and out of the classroom, Beverly has been a peer leader in the program and is the clear choice for this year’s Outstanding Thanatology Student Award.

Ceramics Program Intensive Summer Seminars

Posted by | Ceramics, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

Hood College Ceramics students haven’t just been relaxing this summer! They have had the option of taking several short but intensive seminar classes. Two of these 5-day classes included Throwing Large Forms (ARTS 509) and Salt/Soda Surfaces and Firing (ARTS 599MM).

Taught by visiting artist Kevin Crowe, Throwing Large Farms explored creating large-scale pots using “method…not machismo”, as explained by the instructor. Requiring throwing skills, imagination, and sense of humor, participants were able to explore using techniques to create pieces on a grand scale!

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Salt/Soda Surfaces and Firing, taught by visiting artist Cathi Jefferson, gave students the uncommon opportunity to explore ways to create variations in the surfaces and firing of their work using these techniques. Experimenting, they were able to create beautiful effects in a variety of ways!    

Photographs by Steven Luttrell and Emily Bernstein

Outstanding Student- Counseling

Posted by | Clinical Counseling, School Counseling, Uncategorized | No Comments

i-R7Tdn3g-L Meghan Davis is the recipient of our newest award, the Parrot-Anderson Outstanding Student Award for Counseling. She came to Hood in 2014 as a student in the Thanatology Master’s Program. She found a passion for supporting families struggling with death through her volunteerism with her local hospice and her own personal experience as a caregiver for a family friend. In 2015, she became dually enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program where she developed her enthusiasm for helping others.  Meghan added her insight and charisma to the classroom, always asking thoughtful questions. She particularly enjoys blending her knowledge of death and dying to the different theoretical concepts of counseling, which often directed her topics for research.

As the first counseling student from Hood College to intern for Linganore Counseling and Wellness, Meghan served as an ambassador for the school, paving the way for future counseling students to work with clients in a local private practice setting. Her experience at Linganore and in the Hood Counseling program has served to confirm her drive and clinical abilities to assist those in the community. She hopes to work with the bereaved and their families in either a hospice or private practice setting.