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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NASA DEVELOP and other adventures

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

TomlinCasaRosaJared Tomlin, a Hood College Environmental Biology student, was a self-taught graphic and web designer before entering school as a non-traditional student. He wanted to spend more time in nature and hopefully make a positive impact on the world, which changed his focus from technology to environmental science. He graduated from Shephard University in 2014 with a BS in Environmental Studies and received multiple scholarships and grants, before joining Hood’s Graduate School and continuing his pursuit of knowledge.

Jared learned about the NASA DEVELOP program by attending Hood’s Career and Internship Fair. After a lengthy application process he was accepted and began work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in summer, 2016. During the 10 week program, Jared’s team collaborated with United States Geologic Service and National Park Service ecologists at the Badlands National Park to identify invasive cheatgrass, and managed to present the findings at the Department of the Interior and NASA Headquarters at the Annual Earth and Science Application Showcase. He was also awarded the Science Systems and Applications Inc. (SSAI) scholarship, and was accepted for another term at Goddard in the summer of 2017, as a team leader. Jared then assisted in identifying areas of low resilience in the country of Niger, in collaboration with global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps. More information about their efforts can be found in this video: https://youtu.be/yQokSfq7hOw. Jared was also selected to attend the NASA Disaster Risk Reduction Across the Americas Summit in Buenos Aires, where he represented Cloud to Street, a private company that uses Google Earth Engine, cloud computing, and machine learning to identify historical floods at a scale not previously possible.

For all students looking to pursue a career with NASA, Jared suggests looking into DEVELOP. There are many opportunities for many different fields and interests, from earth science to program management to information technology, and even graphic design. Jared suggests following up and asking questions, to set yourself apart from someone who simply applies for the position.
Jared recalls that his arrival to Hood was accompanied with the expectation to accomplish great things, above and beyond a master’s degree. “What has stuck out the most to me during my time here was how the faculty encourages students to go and make their own path in the industry and foster relationships.” Jared also learned that developing a network is crucial in being successful in the community, as transition from the classroom into the field can be both challenging and exciting pursuit. “Hood has prepared me to meet that challenge and giving me the background to continue to grow.”

Organizing and Celebrating Saudi Arabia National Day

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, International Students | No Comments

IMG_20170923_184031468 The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia hosted a celebration of Saudi Arabia’s 87th National Day on September 28th. The celebration was held at the National Building Museum, which was completely decorated in green for the occasion. Mohammed Alyahyawi, a Hood College Graduate Student in Computer Science, was part of the organizing team. Mohammed heard of the event and was interested, so he sent his CV to the Embassy and was invited to assist in organizing the notable gathering.
According to Mohammed, the event hosted over 5000 people and was a representation of Saudi food, drinks, dances and traditions, presented for people of all nationalities. Guests also enjoyed a virtual reality boot, which offered a visual experience and hands-on look into Saudi society. The government’s Vision 2030 project was also presented along with the Kingdom’s potential future plans.

A Path to English Proficiency for International Students

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, International Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

qweryuuOne of the best ways for Hood College’s international students to perfect their English, besides conversing with their friends and colleagues, is to enroll in EAP 500; Advanced English for Academic Purposes. Professor Donald Wright, who is teaching the course during the fall, 2017 semester, says: “It is a course of English as a second language, in which students learn reading, writing and oral language skills; many international students tend to be more advanced at listening and speaking so the course focuses more on grammar and proper writing for future professional success.” Wright emphasizes that the course is designed so students can discuss different areas of interest that may be useful for them in various fields. The class is divided into several topics, including creating and writing a CV and cover letter, practicing reported speech in an essay about a faculty member, discussing controversial topics and using persuasive speech.

IMG_20171016_145123485 While the class is designed solely for international students, not all are required to take it. It is offered for those who want to strengthen their language skills, and students in a variety of academic programs are mixed together. Dr. Wright believes this class is useful for most international students as the writing assignments are meaningful since they deal with current events and are based in American culture.Like many other classes at Hood, this class reaches beyond the walls of the classroom, as Dr. Wright and the class recently visited the Museum of Civil War Medicine in downtown Frederick. “To coordinate with the field trip we are talking about medical innovations.” The students will then write a proposal outlining the problems of the opioid addiction in the US today and present hypothetical solutions, enabling them to connect theoretical knowledge with their field experience.”

Hood Hosts Student-Led Humanities Conference

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, Humanities | No Comments

Humanities 1September 16th saw Hood College hosting its first ever student-led Humanities conference! “Discovering the Humanities” featured undergraduate and graduate students from Hood and other area colleges and universities. According to Dr. Corey Campion, director of Hood’s MA Program in Humanities, “the main goal was to showcase the exciting work students do in the Humanities at the undergrad and grad level at Hood and area schools”.  The presentations were varied, and topics ranged from literature, art, and gender, to popular culture, and world and local history. Where else would you find a presentation about “Applying and Comparing Baroque Features in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and TV Show Lost”, followed by “The Re-Imagined, Re-Defined, and Re-Created Roles of Carroll Creek” and “The Avant-Garde: Theory and Nature of Alienation”?

University of Pennsylvania Professor Bethany Wiggin, founder of the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities, gave the keynote focusing on the Humanities in higher education as well as the importance of working across disciplines as scholars. Hood English Professor Aaron Angello called Wiggin’s talk “rousing.”

 

Humanities 2The conference emphasized the student presenters themselves. Sarah Holsapple, a Hood Humanities graduate student, explained “There were several students from other schools who also participated, and it was a rare opportunity to talk about our research together and share our ideas with peers”. Her presentation, in the Modern American section of the conference, combined politics, philosophy, music, and culture when critiquing the avant-garde movement in music. Hood student  Asmaa Aaouinti-Haris presented in the Popular Culture section about Re-defining Black Masculinities in Beyonce’s Lemonade.” She also commented on the social and communal worth of the conference, saying “it was my first conference and I was excited and grateful to be able to share my research with classmates, professors and people from other universities. I loved the way in which the conference was organized. The atmosphere was perfect!”

 

Campion hopes this will be the start of a tradition. He looks forward to next year, saying “the presentations were excellent and showed an impressive level of rigor. It was a great event that gave us a chance to celebrate the humanities which are so central to the liberal arts tradition here at Hood. We’re excited about next year’s conference!” The date is already set for September 15, 2018.

 

See photos and the full schedule of this years’ conference.

Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn

Posted by | Educational Leadership, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

HendersonFor Raythorne “RJ” Henderson, continuing his education was an obvious choice. An enthusiastic and innovative teacher who motivates his students through ideas like naming their groups after colleges, he decided on the Educational Leadership program at The Graduate School at Hood College, where he became part of a community which helped him professionally and personally. He credits Hood with helping him “gain a global perspective of the type of work in which administrators engage”.

 

In March of 2017, near the end of his program, RJ was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease, causing kidney failure. Although hospitalized for several weeks and in need of rest and dialysis, he was able to graduate that May. He credits his professors and cohort members with helping him and making accommodations so that he was able to finish on schedule. He currently has a living donor and will receive a transplant on October 31, 2017.

 

RJ graduated from Frederick High School in 2004 and received his B.A. in Elementary Education from Salisbury University. After four years of teaching in Wicomico County, he returned to Frederick to teach at Hillcrest Elementary. After several years, he made the move to Montgomery County, where he currently teaches, for family and career growth.

 

While teaching in Frederick, he started coursework on campus at Hood, but shifted to the Hood/MCPS Cohort Program when he moved to Montgomery County. This program allows teachers to take Hood Ed Leadership classes hosted locally in MCPS facilities. He explains that “the cohort was an excellent experience as I was able to move from one course to another with the same group of colleagues.  We were constantly in contact with one another and built meaningful relationships.  It was great to gain the insight and hear the perspective of other professionals, some in positions other than classroom teachers. Travel time was also cut significantly. [However] there’s just something special about taking a class on campus. The best way I can describe it is that it’s like reading the e-version of a book versus the hard copy.  They each have their advantages and it’s simply a personal preference.”

 

RJ is hoping for a position as an Assistant Principal next year, and believes that his classes at Hood allowed “networking with other future administrators, and learning from some of the best educators in the country.  It was extremely beneficial to learn from those who are involved in the work on a daily basis”. We are #HoodProud of RJ and hope to hear about Principal Henderson soon!

 

Hood also offers the Educational Leadership Cohort Program for teachers in Washington County, MD and Berkeley County, WV. For more information click the above link or email gofurther@hood.edu.

 

A Hood Legacy

Posted by | Ceramics, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

scottFor Jackie Scott, coming to Hood College for her MFA in Ceramics was following a family tradition.  “My mother is a Hood alum and I was aware of the amazing education and facilities here. I knew that Joyce Michaud had a strong program and that she could teach me technical skills that others could not.” Jackie’s mother got her MFA from Hood in 2014 and Jackie is currently working on her own degree, which included a personal exhibition at Hood last summer. She also works as the school’s Studio Arts Manager.

 

Growing up, Jackie volunteered at a craft school in exchange for classes and has since worked in sculpture, printmaking, glass, wood, metal, and clay. She earned her B.A. in Studio Arts from Temple University in 2014, and shares a studio with her mother, who provides lots of “consistent feedback”.  scott work

 

Jackie praises the Hood community, where “students are motivated and excited about learning.” She appreciates how students work together and share information, leading to great discussions and practical applications. As a Hood student, she is grateful for important experiences, such as getting to attend the National Clay Conference yearly, building a ceramic 3D printer and working with artists from around the world.

 

Adventurous Internship in Guam

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

charlieCharlie Cheul – Woo Kwak, an Environmental Biology student at Hood College, has returned from a summer internship in Guam, spent surveying the Guam National Wildlife Refuge. This competitive internship is known as USFWS-DFP US Fish and Wildlife Service – Directorate Fellowship Program (USFWS-DEP), and Charlie first heard about it from Graduate School Dean Dr. April Boulton. He went through the long process of applying for a federal position, succeeded and headed off to Guam.

Charlie’s internship consisted largely of surveying the closed side of the Guam National Wildlife Refuge, which had never been comprehensively explored and surveyed. What made it even more adventurous is the fact that there was no data on what could be out there. At times, Charlie was the first person who ever set foot at that part of the Refuge. He successfully recorded over 170 survey plots on soil, dominant species, canopy cover, ungulate damage and target plant species. Charlie also put over 1000 trees on a final map. His most memorable experience was when he first created a map using ArcMap with his field data. About a month and a half into the project, he put about one quarter of the data points into the mapping software, creating a visual representation of everything that was in the thick of the jungle. “This was the first time I had ever taken on a professional project from start to finish – from field data to map – from ground-truthing to presentation.

Fun moments were not scarce. Charlie found an ancient pictograph of the indigenous Chamorro people drawn on a cave wall.  As no one had seen that relic before Charlie, he was excited to share that news to everyone, including the archaeologists on the island!  “As a ‘bonus,’ I walked over an unexploded grenade from WWII.  It didn’t explode when I stepped over it!! When asked to provide advice to our current students, Charlie emphasized the importance of persistence. “I would advise that they apply to as many internship or practicum as possible.  I applied to total of 16 positions and received 15 rejection letters prior to getting the one acceptance!”

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.