The Graduate School at Hood College

Graduate Alumni Highlight — Harry Hanna ’07

Harry Hanna, one of many exceptional adjunct professors in Hood College’s education programs, has multiple connections to Hood, from being caught by college security toilet papering cars on campus in his much younger days, to marrying a Hood graduate, to working at a summer program hosted at Hood and staying in the dorms before men were allowed to live on campus. He later earned his M.S. in Educational Leadership from Hood, and now teaches as an adjunct professor.

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My Hood Experience – from Undergraduate to Faculty

Posted by | Biomedical Science, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

Jose-S-in-lab-560x359 (1)Jose Sanchez Hernandez, a 2012 Hood graduate (B.S., Chemistry) is currently enrolled in Hood’s Biomedical Science thesis-track program. While embarking on his graduate journey, Jose looks back on fond memories of his undergraduate time. Moments that stick out the most include participating in the alternative spring breaks, running his first half marathon in Annapolis, MD, attending his first BioBeers event, and most importantly, meeting his wife Stephanie E. Perkins (class of 2013) in Dr. Bennett’s Instrumental Methods of Analysis course. “If you guessed that our wedding was chemistry themed, you are right!”, says Jose.

After graduation from Hood, Jose worked for three years in Texas as a science teacher in the Dallas Independent School District, where he taught high school chemistry, physics, and AP Physics. More recently, he spent a year working as a graduate research assistant for the biology department at Hood College and taught BIOL 110, Food and Nutrition.

Jose was also awarded a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) by the National Institutes of Health to complete a fellowship during the fall of 2017 with the human papillomavirus (HPV) serology lab (HSL) at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. During the fellowship, Jose was optimizing in-vitro assays to help in the development of standardized HPV serology assays to be used in vaccine trials world-wide. Currently, he is employed by Leidos Biomedical Inc. as a protein expression associate. His job involves molecular cloning, microbial fermentation, and protein purification to help support the many goals of the RAS initiative at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.

If Jose could go back to the beginning of his graduate journey, he would have started utilizing Hood’s Health and Wellness Center sooner, as every Hood College student has a free access to counseling. Jose says that the graduate school required giving up a lot of time to classes, teaching, and especially research, which in the end resulted in developing his coping mechanisms. They allowed him to remain mindful and focused on the present despite being under enormous stress. “Additionally, I would have started making more use of the Meditation Room in the Chapel Basement to help manage stress on a weekly basis instead of only during finals. I am eternally grateful for these resources and I am sure that using them sooner would have greatly helped me navigate my first year of graduate school more purposefully.”


Who Teaches the Teachers?

Posted by | Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Graduate School Highlights, Multidisciplinary Studies in Education, Reading Specialization, STEM Education, Uncategorized | No Comments


Hanna editHarry Hanna, one of many exceptional adjunct professors in Hood College’s education programs, has multiple connections to Hood, from being caught by college security toilet papering cars on campus in his much younger days, to marrying a Hood graduate, to working at a summer program hosted at Hood and staying in the dorms before men were allowed to live on campus. He later earned his M.S. in Educational Leadership from Hood, and now teaches as an adjunct professor.


As a young man in California, he worked various jobs while finishing high school and then attended community college while working. At 20, he joined the United States Army, and after basic training in Kentucky and advanced training as a medic in Texas, was assigned to Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD, where he first heard about Hood College. Hanna explains; “at the time, Hood was primarily a women’s college and someone at Fort Detrick told me that I was going to love the post and that there was a women’s college a mile from the base.” While stationed at Detrick, he took classes at Frederick Community College and finished his A.A. degree while working in the Virology Division at the United States Army Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). He became friends with some of the Hood College students who were interning at the base and learned more about the college and its programs.


After finishing his enlistment, Harry decided to pursue a degree in elementary education at Towson University, where he became the first member of his family to graduate from college. At the same time, he continued to make friends with Hood students, and ending up dating Hood student Barbara Wood, ’97, whom he married a year after she graduated. They moved to California for a few years where Harry taught middle school and Barbara elementary. In 2002, they returned to Frederick and both began working for Frederick County Public Schools at Twin Ridge Elementary. They’ve now been married for almost 20 years, have four wonderful children, and still get together with her best friend from Hood at least once a year!


Harry has worked for FCPS in various positions, and then finally made it to Hood as student, earning his Master’s in Educational Leadership in 2007. While working at Centerville Elementary as a Technology Staff Developer and Reading Intervention Teacher, he was recruited by a Hood adjunct to teach EDUC 502, Technology for Literacy, Leadership and Learning, a core course for the Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Reading Specialization, and STEM certificate graduate programs. The course looks at instructional technology and “discusses how technology fits within the modern and traditional classrooms.” He has taught many graduate students, who describe him as “motivating.” One current student explains that his class gave her “not just real things I can use, but the ways and means and comfort to use them”.


See a clip of Harry teaching a class HERE


Why Hood? Harry explains; “I truly have been blessed by Hood in many ways and I have spent the better part of a decade now teaching teachers how to incorporate technology in their classrooms, whether they are educators in Maryland, West Virginia or even Saudi Arabia, (where two current students are from). I love teaching this course because the content is dynamic since the changes in technology keep it fresh and engaging. We ask our students to take risks when it comes to incorporating technology in their teaching, and we can model it ourselves. I always hope that my students take away from the course a shift in mindset in the way they look and view technology. It is a tool to help students be successful, to think critically and not just be consumers of technology and information, but creators of it. I really want teachers to know that, even if they aren’t totally comfortable with a particular program, app or piece of technology, that it is OK if students might know more about it than they do. Teachers shouldn’t use technology just for technology’s sake, but to develop those higher order thinking skills through creativity, collaboration, content creation and connection. These are some of my goals for my graduate students.  Hood has been a big part of my life and I am #Hoodproud!”

Protect Yourself in 2018 with These Cyber Tips

Posted by | Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Graduate School Highlights, Information Technology, Management of Information Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

17_CyberSecurity_Tshirt-1Each time we use our computer or device while on campus, we become a node on the College’s computer network. Being called a “node” may sound impersonal, but in reality it is an automatic assignment of personal responsibility. When it comes to computer security, a network is only as secure as its weakest link. This means that each one of us, (each node) must exercise a great deal of responsibility when using network resources and while connected on the campus network. Here are four common cases that may compromise your personal security and impact campus network security:

#1 Never Respond to Emails Asking for Personal Information
No colleague, friend, IT support professional or vendor with whom you interact should ever ask via email for account information, credit card numbers or passwords. Under no circumstance should you ever respond to such information requests via email.

#2 Never Respond to Calls about Tech Support You Did Not Initiate
A common new scam is receiving a call from a “Helpdesk” or “Microsoft Tech Support” about your computer. Legitimate technical support organizations respond to inquiries by their users, they don’t proactively call their users to “fix” unreported problems.

#3 Ransomware
Ransomware is a special type of malware. Be suspicious of any emails trying to trick you into opening infected attachments or clicking on malicious links. Common sense is your best defense. In addition, backups are often the only way you can recover from ransomware.

#4 Scam Alert: Your Trusted Friends Can Hack Your Facebook Account
If you receive a message from any of your Facebook Friends asking for urgent help to recover their Facebook account, because you are one of their ‘Trusted Contacts,’ don’t blindly believe it. Researchers have detected a new Facebook phishing scam that can trick even an experienced technical user into falling victim to the scam, helping an attacker gain access to your Facebook account.

Any of the above may compromise your system or device (e.g. tablet, phone) or allow scammers to obtain your personal information. More importantly, any of these will make you the “weakest link” in the College’s network, putting everyone else in danger of further exploitation. Computer security is, unfortunately, one more thing we must be vigilant about. But with some common sense you can keep yourself safe and contribute to keeping the campus computing environment safe for all of us.


By Eddie F. Hamad M.S.’18 (Cybersecurity), CISSP, CEH and George Dimitoglou, Ph.D., Program Director, Cybersecurity

How a Hood graduate degree can help you get a high-paying job

Posted by | Accounting, Bioinformatics, Biomedical Science, Business Administration, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Financial Management, Graduate School Highlights, Information Technology, Management of Information Technology, Professional Development Institute, Uncategorized | No Comments

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According to job and recruiting marketplace Glassdoor, nearly seven of ten people (68%) report that compensation is among the “leading considerations” when choosing where to work. In “25 Highest Paying Jobs in America in 2017,” physicians, software engineers and managers are among the highlighted highest paid jobs. “This report reinforces that high pay continues to be tied to in-demand skills, higher education and working in jobs that are protected from competition or automation. This is why we see several jobs within the technology and healthcare industries,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s Chief Economist. Therefore, one of the crucial and initial steps to take if looking into such highly paid valued positions, is to obtain the needed education for executing them.

Whether one is looking into changing a career to IT or software architecture, getting a promotion to Software Engineer Manager or starting work in the ever-growing fields of Cybersecurity or Biomedicine, the Graduate School at Hood College is here to for those seeking advancement.

For advancement in jobs mentioned in the Glassdoor research, such as Pharmacy Manager, Information System Manager, Financial Planning and Analysis Manager, Hood’s Graduate School offers degrees in Business (Accounting, MBA, Financial Management), Computer Science (Computer Science, IT, Management of Information Systems and Cybersecurity) and Bioinformatics, Biomedical Science and Geographic Information Systems, all designed to deepen intellectual understanding and to broaden competencies for career advancement. The Graduate School is also providing graduate-level courses for non-degree-seeking individuals who wish to pursue continuing education for career growth or personal interest or to sample a particular program.

Take a first step towards your dream job at the Hood College Graduate School. Contact us at gofurther@hood.edu.

The full list of Glassdoor’s highest paying jobs can be found at http://bit.ly/2EvThqd

Celebrating Women in Math at Kovalevsky Day

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, Mathematics Education and Leadership | No Comments










At Hood College, we know that math isn’t just for men! We want girls to understand that math can be a fun, relevant, and attainable career. This fall, the college invited girls from nine local high schools for Sonia Kovalevsky Day, in honor of the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics. Begun in 1985 by the Association for Women in Mathematics and celebrated at colleges throughout the country, 2017 was Hood’s 14th year participating. Students attended several workshops, such as “How to be Instagram Famous!” where they examined the algorithms that run the social media site, and “Barbie Bungee”, where they calculated and tester the right amount of bungee to drop Barbie off of a balcony. They also played “The Game of Criss Cross” and used math to understand the patterns of the game. After lunch and a presentation about Kovalevsky from Hood student Kara Conway, they heard from a career panel of women who are actively working in the mathematics field, including several Hood alumnae.

Kovalevsky BarbieDr. Christy Danko Graybeal, Associate Professor at Hood and Director of the Mathematics Education and Mathematics Instructional Leadership graduate programs, has participated in this event for several years and led the “Barbie Bungee” workshop. She explains “I look forward to this each year. It’s a great way to show students that learning math can be fun and hopefully inspires some high school girls to pursue degrees in mathematics in college.” As founding president of the Association of Maryland Mathematics Teacher Educators and the College Level Representative on the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics, as well as editor of that organization’s journal, Dr. Graybeal wants other women to understand math as relevant to them. Hood President Andrea Chapdelaine welcomed the students to campus, and other Hood faculty took part as well, such as Associate Professor of Management David Gurzick, who led the Instagram workshop, and Assistant Professor of Mathematics Jill Tyess, leader of “Criss Cross.”

Teachers at the participating high schools appreciate the opportunities events like this can lead to. Allie Blickenstaff, a Hood M.S. in Mathematics Education graduate, brings her students to Kovalevsky Day almost every year. “It is a great experience for girls to see other ways math can be used, both in careers and in other domains of math that they may not be introduced to at the high school level.  It’s a fun day for my students to meet other girls interested in mathematics and explore other ways they can apply their knowledge and problem-solving skills. The career panel always gives great advice on programs of study in college, seeking out career opportunities, and on how math can be used in various jobs that the students may not already know.”

The Perks of a Hood Biomedical Science Master’s Degree

Posted by | Biomedical Science, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments


Hood College’s Biomedical Science (BMS) Master’s degree program was created in the mid-1970s to provide educational support to research technicians employed at the cancer biology and infectious disease research laboratories at Ft. Detrick.  Within a few years, other biotechnology and biomedical research facilities such as Southern, Lonza, DynPort Vaccine Co, Astra-Zeneca-Medimmune and  ImQuest BioSciences opened in Frederick County, along with the contractual support for the National Institutes of Health programs, SAIC and currently, Leidos. The region extending from Washington DC and Baltimore to Frederick began to carve out space as a technology and biomedical rich corridor.

“Hood College has long supported emerging graduate education for disciplines needed to support the growing work force,” said Dr. Ann L. Boyd, BMS Program Director. Dr. Boyd was a research scientist at Ft. Detrick in cancer biology until she became a full time member of the Hood Faculty in 1982, making teaching her first priority ahead of research. She emphasizes that BMS courses are taught in the evening so working professionals can receive quality continuing education. “I am only one of six faculty who teach in the BMS program. Each of the professors – Dr. Rachel Beyer, Dr. Ricky Hirschhorn, Dr. Georgette Jones, Dr. Craig Laufer and Dr. Oney Smith – has a research background, and teach courses in their respective areas of expertise.”

For thirty years, students took one or two courses a semester and finished the M.S. with a thesis project, very often at their place of employment with support from Hood faculty. As technology labs expanded and technical positions had more restrictions on proprietary information, the option of a published thesis was hard to fulfill and the faculty devised a non-thesis track which included more laboratory course work and required students to create a scientific study, to present and defend it to a committee of three faculty. This is how faculty can respond flexibly to the changing demographics of our students and their employers. It is also necessary to modify course content to reflect the changing mission of laboratories and the research agenda.

How Hood’s Computer Science degree can help in building your career

Posted by | Computer Science, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMatt Roberts graduated from Hood College in 2012, receiving a degree in Computer Science. Matt’s experience at Hood began in 2006 in the Computer Science Graduate department. He recalls Dr. George Dimitoglou setting up a special one-on-one class specifically aimed to help him train for a Java Certification, as he was lacking in programming experience. At the same time, Dr. Ahmed Salem took on the task of running the specialized class, which included mentoring and preparing Matt for the Java Certification exam. “With a few classes under my belt and a shiny new Java certification I was able to land a new Software Engineering position with General Dynamics as a contractor for the US Coast Guard (USCG) in Martinsburg, WV.”

After graduating, Matt got a job as a contracted Senior Software Engineer with CACI International, a multinational IT company, at Ft. Detrick, MD. He is currently working as a Lead Software Engineer, which consists of leading a large team of developers to rebuild a legacy application and essentially turn it into an Amazon-like web service for the Department of Defense. One of his most notable career accomplishments was the opportunity to represent the US Coast Guard as the technical lead during the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) meetings in London. The LRIT meetings were used to assist other countries with tracking vessels and navigating hazardous seas that could contain potential pirates or terrorists. During the meetings the technical representatives from each country gathered to discuss issues they were attempting to overcome while tracking vessels using the global LRIT system. “Since the USCG was the creator of the LRIT system, many of the technical questions fell into my lap to answer. To this day I’m proud to say I was able to work with and help each country to overcome their technical challenges.”

What would Matt like to share with our current students? “Talk with your advisors, be honest with them, they are there to help. The advisors at Hood bent over backwards to create specialized paths for to help me reach my goals. I’m sure they would do the same for you.”


What Makes a Doctoral Candidate?

Posted by | Doctorates, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

doctoral cohortLooking at the second cohort in Hood College’s Doctoral Program, it is clear that the one thing the candidates have in common is their drive and academic motivation. The program, in its second year, offers candidates the opportunity to earn a Doctorate of Organizational Leadership (DOL) or Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA). This year’s cohort has participants of varied ages, careers, and backgrounds, all with very different reasons for entering the program.

Ebony-Nicole Kelly is an instructional specialist and National Board Certified Teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools who has taught internationally in Istanbul, Turkey. A single mother, she wants to be an example for her son and hopes to use her degree as a springboard to a career in international consultancy, specializing in cultural competency. She loves the setup of the program, with a cohort who will stay together and has great leadership.

Gayle Bach-Watson, a pastor at a church in West Virginia, wants to gain more skills to help with the leadership of her church. After a cancer diagnosis in 2015, she re-evaluated and decided that the DOL program was the way to help her expand her resources and goals.

Philip Brown is a native of England and spent 11 years in the British Royal Navy. He moved to the US in 2005 to become the CEO of Phoenix Mecano after working for the company in England. With a fulfilling career, he wants to use the program to help other businesses and contribute to the community. Earning a DBA has been a long-time goal, and when he saw a brochure for Hood’s program he decided to go for it. With several children in college, he is enjoying being back in school as well. As he explains, “Education doesn’t stop when you’re 22!”

Essence Jones has two degrees from Hood (BA, Sociology & Psychology, ’04, and MA, Human Behavior, ’07). She works with at-risk youths and adults who are struggling and wants to continue to help them. She makes the commute from Washington D.C. to Hood because of its family feel and that she knows that the staff care and have a personal investment in the students. She says that the “friendship and education that I’ve gotten here, I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else.”

Kathie Dao is a Human Resources manager. When Hood presented at her company to promote the start of the program, she decided that it was a great opportunity. She wants to learn to “be that change agent.”

Ebony-Nicole, Gayle, Philip, Essence, and Kathie are just a few of the nineteen talented members of our second cohort. Others work for the military, higher education, non-profit organizations, and more! To learn about these and the other participants, read their Doctoral Biographies on the Hood website!


One Man, Many Roles

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

Keith HarrisHood College is a small school and a tight-knit community. We pride ourselves on that, and love that we have members of the community who fill many roles. One such person is Dr. Keith Harris, who has been a student, professor, mentor, supporter, and even the sponsor of an award her at Hood. Outside of the college, he has worked in education for 26 years, including teaching and leadership positions in public school, higher education, and community settings. With such a breadth and depth of experience, he has brought so much to us!

Dr. Harris’ connection to Hood came before he even started here. His wife, Sylvia Freeman-Harris, ’90, sister Lisa Harris-Watts, ’93 and several friends all attended Hood. He came to Hood for his Masters of Science in Educational Leadership because of the quality of the staff. As he explains, “at the time I enrolled, the graduate program was run by two recently retired Maryland Superintendents.  If anyone knew what leaders needed to know and be able to do as administrators, these superintendents, both from high performing school districts, would. Several other professors also made learning practical and relevant to the work I would eventually have to do.” Several years after attaining his degree, he returned to Hood as a professor.

Keith also helped develop several of our graduate programs, including the cohort concept for the Educational Leadership program. He describes working to create the cohort –  a rigorous, accelerated program for receiving the M.S. or certificate in Educational Leadership –  as “one of the highlights” of his career at Hood. He also was one of the original forces working to start our doctoral program. He states that “I recognized that there was no program easily accessible for the many students who would like to have taken advantage of a doctoral program. I also recalled my experience of having to travel to Virginia every week to take my doctoral classes, and travel to different parts of the United States during the summers for three years in order to complete other requirements. Surely, Hood could create as quality a program as many of the other institutions offering degrees throughout Maryland, DC and Virginia. Years later, more conversations were had and other Hood staff took the lead in making this a reality.”   Another proud moment for Dr. Harris was in 2014, when he was selected as the Hood College Graduate School Commencement Speaker and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree. He reflects, “anyone with the mental capacity and effort can earn a degree, but not everyone is honored with one.  I continue to be humbled by this honor.”

Currently, Dr. Harris works for Frederick County Public Schools as the Executive Director of Accelerating Achievement and Equity, overseeing several departments. He also is an executive and teaching pastor for his church. Due to his professional and community engagements, he is no longer able to teach classes at Hood, but is still a part of our community. He works with doctoral candidates and sponsors the Keith R Harris Outstanding Educational Leadership Award, which is given to a selected graduating student during the graduation ceremonies each year. “I am grateful for the investment Hood has put in me.  And as long as I am able, I will continue to return the investment into the students at Hood.”

The Role of an Artist and Teacher

Posted by | Ceramics, Graduate School Highlights, Uncategorized | No Comments

MullerA great strength of Hood College lies in its faculty. With professors who are knowledgeable and experienced in their fields, students get more than just basic information. One such accomplished professor is Kristin Müller, adjunct instructor in the Ceramics program. Müller has lived around the globe, worked as a professor and a curator, helped start a group that works to promote craft schools, and is the author of several books. A Master of Fine Arts graduate from Hood in 2014, she became an instructor after graduation. As she explains, “I thoroughly enjoy my teaching at Hood because the students are committed, intelligent and talented and the new facilities are world class”.

Müller was born in Panama and moved back and forth between the United States, Argentina, and Chile. After completing high school in Chile and Connecticut, she got her undergraduate degree in studio arts from Southern Connecticut State University, where one of her professors, Ruth Crespi, was a Hood alumna. Crespi introduced her Joyce Michaud, who had just developed the Hood Ceramics program from a certificate program to the MFA. Müller was able to complete the MFA while working several jobs as a single mother.

As an instructor, Müller explains her philosophy as “(being) committed to nurturing every student’s potential…The most rewarding is helping individuals to connect their own specific human experience to their work, beyond the body knowledge they develop through the process of making works in clay. I have a deep interest in facilitating people to connect to their ‘inner voice’ as it relates to our greater human experience, to develop their body of work while developing their critical thinking”

Müller specializes in wood fired ceramics and maintains a studio with an Anagama hybrid kiln in Pennsylvania. She exhibits her work nationally and is the Executive Director of Peters Valley School of Craft in Layton, New Jersey. Prior to her tenure at Peters Valley she taught ceramics at two colleges, was education director of Brookfield Craft Center and also served as curator and ceramics instructor of the Bignell Exhibition Gallery. Kristin is also a writer who contributes to ceramics and fine craft publications and blogs. She authored “The Potter’s Studio Handbook: A Guide to Hand Built and Wheel-Thrown Ceramics” (2007) and is co-author of both “The Potter’s Complete Studio Handbook: The Essential, Start-to-Finish Guide for Ceramic Artists” with Jeff Zamek (2011), and most recently “Making Good: An Inspirational Guide to Being an Artist Craftsman,” with Hood Studio Arts Manager Jacklyn Scott and Tommy Simpson

. We are proud to have such an experienced instructor in our program!