The Hood College Graduate School

Never Giving Up On the Dream of a Degree

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TraciPic1Traci Holland, Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies, came to Hood College in 2002.  She began as Administrative Assistant to the Graduate Dean, then moved to the undergraduate admission office, where she managed the inquiry and application files for thousands of prospective students.  While working full-time, Traci completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2007, often working or attending classes late into the evenings.  She is the first person in her family to earn a college degree.

In 2007, Traci moved back to the Graduate School as a Records Specialist, managing graduate student records from inquiry through to graduation.  Under the mentorship of then-Graduate School Dean Dr. Kathleen Bands, she streamlined processes, developed marketing and recruitment plans for every graduate program and oversaw general operations of the office, becoming Coordinator of Graduate Admissions in 2008. She earned her Master of Arts program in Human Sciences in 2010, winning the program’s Outstanding Student Award. Along with the degree came a promotion to Director of Graduate Admissions.  When the Registrar functions of graduate admissions were moved to the Registrar’s office in January 2015, Traci moved with them.  She continues to update processes between undergraduate and graduate student records management and is the go-to person for approximately 1000 graduate students.

In May 2016, Traci led her colleagues in establishing by-laws for the newly formed Staff Council.  In November, she was elected to represent the Academic Affairs Division on the Staff Council Board, and further elected as the council’s Vice-Chair.  As Vice-Chair, Traci heads the standing Nominating Committee of the Staff Council and represents staff issues as a voting member of the College’s Planning, Budgeting and Assessment Committee.  December saw Traci heading the holiday party planning committee and beginning the tradition of pairing a local charity with the event. Hood faculty and staff donated a truckload of food, clothing, toiletries, and various other sundries to the Frederick Rescue Mission.

In May 2017, the Graduate School honored Traci with the “Excellence in Service – Outstanding Staff Award for her efforts and performance supporting the Graduate School. She was nominated by a unanimous vote of the Graduate School staff, and Graduate Dean Dr. April Boulton said, “Given Traci’s long tenure in the Grad School prior to her move to the Registrar’s Office, we have turned to her again and again and again.  She has often been our “go to” on historical process, standard operating procedures, and so much more—she undeniably deserved the award.”

Traci knew when she began working at Hood that she was on the right career path.  “Having an education has always been so important to me.  I worked on my bachelor’s degree in bits and pieces from 1990 to 2007, never giving up on that dream.  It is a blessing every day that I can observe our students pursue that same dream.  I have been through many of the challenges and struggles that they have which allows me to be empathetic and supportive.  Commencement day is the proudest day for me as I watch those same students, who came to me nervous and uncertain, bounce across that stage with a profound sense of accomplishment.”

Hood – A Place That Nurtured My Calling and Passion

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

Lura_Hanks_WebHaving earned her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Hood College, Lura Hanks, a candidate in Hood’s initial Doctorate of Organizational Leadership (DOL) cohort, is on her way to becoming one of the college’s first “three degree” recipients.

Lura is currently Supervisor of Language Arts and Social Studies for Washington County (MD) Public Schools.  She provides professional development, curriculum design and resources to 48 schools, serving staff and students from PreK through 12th grade. She started her teaching career with Frederick County Public Schools at Middletown Elementary School before becoming an FCPS Teacher Specialist for English/Language Arts and Social Studies. Following Assistant Principal positions at Thurmont Primary and Elementary and Spring Ridge Elementary, she received her first Principal position at Mercersburg Elementary in the Tuscarora School District in Pennsylvania.  Lura returned to Maryland in 2013 to become Principal at Winter Street Elementary in Hagerstown before assuming her current position in 2015.  She has also served as a School Board Director in the Greencastle- Antrim (PA) School District.

Lura has been involved in a variety of projects to support technology initiatives and enrich students’ experiences at the elementary level, including the development of a program for students in grades 3-5 to demonstrate proficiency on grade level standards, work ethic and motivation, as well as exemplary character and behavior.  The program enabled students to enhance their general education through integrated studies in math, English, Science and Social Studies.

“Hood College has provided the foundation necessary for me to excel in the educational field.  With my own passion and drive to succeed, Hood continues to provide exceptional mentors and instructors that inspire, expect and support my own professional learning.  Through a liberal arts approach, Hood has enabled me to view the world from a global perspective and transfer those experiences to better prepare young students for the world they will lead.  Each experience at Hood has equipped me with the skills and knowledge to advance professionally with confidence and passion. 

As an educator, my goal is always to have the greatest impact in preparing our nation’s youth for success in the world we have created for them.  My hope is to inspire, expect and support success for as many children as I can influence.  Hood has nurtured my calling and I will continue to work for the health and wealth of our communities through advanced literacy competence and citizenship development in our future caretakers.”

Originally from Massachusetts, Lura is married to David Hanks, Assistant Principal at Northern Middle School in Hagerstown, and mother of Nathan (10) and Natalie (9).

Effective Leadership Makes the Difference

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

Roger's PhotoRoger Stenersen, Program Director for Hood College’s Educational Leadership Program, has devoted his life to education and teacher preparation.  A Baltimore County native, Roger attended St. Paul’s School in Broolandville and earned his Bachelor of Arts in History of English Literature and teacher certification at Washington College. He completed his Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision at Salisbury State University.  He also took additional graduate coursework in the University of Maryland’s field doctoral program partnership with Washington County Public Schools.

Following graduation from Washington, Roger taught at the high school in Kent County, MD, where he also coached lacrosse and wrestling.  In 1978 he moved to Washington County, where he worked in school-based administration for twenty-six years.  His professional roles included assistant principal appointments in three middle schools and principal appointments in four.  Following his retirement, he was an instructor in Towson University’s Department of Instructional Leadership and Professional Development where he taught courses in Leadership Theory and Practice, Leadership of the Schools, Supervision, and Group Dynamics. He has also supervised dozens of educational leadership interns in Baltimore, Carroll, Prince George’s, Montgomery, Washington and Frederick counties.

An area of special interest to Roger is the professional development of school leaders, and he has earned NAESP certification as a mentor to beginning principals.  One of four members of the team which developed Hood’s new Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership, he sees this as a wonderful opportunity – not just for school personnel, but for all community leaders – to take their leadership to the next level and benefit the greater Frederick region.

 

From Insect Ecology to Academic Leadership – Hood College’s Graduate Dean

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

aprilheadDr. April M. Boulton, Interim Dean of Hood College’s Graduate School and Associate Professor of Biology, came to the college in 2006 as an instructor.  She became Director of the Environmental Biology (ENV) master’s program and assistant professor of biology in 2009.  She was then appointed as the Associate Dean of the Graduate School in May 2015 and was promoted to Associate Professor of Biology March 2016.  Dr. Boulton was named Interim Dean of the Graduate School in June, 2016 and will continue in that role through the 2017-18 academic year as well.  As Interim Dean, Dr. Boulton oversees all admissions and enrollment operations in the Graduate School, in addition to many support services for current graduate students from new-student orientation and international internships to career education and the annual Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

Prior to her dean appointment, she enjoyed teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses for the biology department and ENV program with a focus on climate change and insect ecology.  Dr. Boulton received her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, her master’s in Animal Behavior from Bucknell University, and her bachelor’s degree (liberally trained with a double major in psychology and classics) from Centre College where she graduated cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.aprilpic2

An insect ecologist by training, she has published in several peer-reviewed scientific journals and was awarded a research grant by the USDA to investigate control measures for the small-hive beetle, a pest of the commercial honeybee.  Dr. Boulton was instrumental in the passage of the Maryland Pollinator Protection Act, which also resulted in her appearance on Kojo Nmandi’s WAMU radio show and an article in the Washington Post.

Dr. Boulton is a founding member of the Graduate Women in Science (GWIS), Greater Maryland Chapter and serves on the Board of Directors of the Fort Detrick Alliance.

Charting the Labyrinth: Hood Graduate Student to Present at Conference

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, Thanatology | No Comments

Kailipic6Kaili van Waveren, a Master’s candidate in Hood College’s Thanatology program, will present research at the 11th Annual Graduate Student Conference: Beyond Disciplines: Understanding the World Around Us at the University of Rhode Island in April.  She is one of several Hood students presenting.

Kaili’s specific area of interest is suicidology.  In “Charting the Labyrinth: An Exploration of Suicide Among 5-to 24-year-olds in America.” she uses her educational background to research and write about suicide from an epidemiological and cultural perspective, with a focus on child and preadolescent suicidality.  She hopes that this research will provide the scaffolding for the future research she plans to undertake and that this conference will be the first of many in her future.

Kaili received her undergraduate degree – with a double major in writing and anthropology – from Johns Hopkins University.

Educational Leadership Certificate Preparation – Discovering Your Own Leadership Skills

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

Emily Quinlanpic1Emily E. Quinlan, already armed with a Hood College Master’s degree in special education, also earned a certificate in Educational Leadership from Hood, which puts her on the path toward an administrative career in education.  Emily is an Instructional Coordinator for Elementary Special Education for Frederick County Public Schools. She delivers consultative and direct services to students with disabilities and their instructional staffs at the district’s 36 elementary schools. Additionally, she mentors teachers, conducts observations, monitors instructional programming and – as well as provides professional development. Prior to her current position, Emily was an FCPS Teacher Specialist and Coordinator for Secondary Schools.

Emily credits Hood’s curriculum and faculty for equipping her with effective mentoring, collaboration and professional development strategies for working with teachers of varying experience levels as well as administrators in schools with diverse needs. “(The Educational Leadership Certificate Program) is great for discovering your own leadership skills and qualities while learning how to build positive relationships with other educators.” The educational leadership program at Hood provides insight into the intricacies of school-based and systemic needs and how leadership roles impact those needs. The lessons and rigor of the leadership program have allowed Emily to adapt to new leadership roles, support schools based on their individual needs, and work to build teacher-leaders throughout the county.

Hood College – Part of My Life – From Undergraduate to Doctorate

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

AP photo1Hood College alumnus Joshua Work has earned his undergraduate degree in History (along with a Maryland Teaching Certificate), and his Master’s in Educational Leadership from the school.  A Doctorate of Organizational Leadership (DOL) candidate, Josh is on his way to becoming one of Hood’s first “Three Degree” graduates.  Josh, his wife Casey and three children Ava, Kai, and Chad live in Frederick.

He is currently an Assistant Principal for Frederick County Public Schools, and works at Middletown Middle School, as part of a leadership team that implements and coordinates the school program for 835 students and 70 staff, using rigor and working within a culture of cooperation, organization, determination and excellence.  All of this to promote a positive school culture that fosters the social development and student achievement.

Joshua grew up in Frederick County and graduated from Walkersville High School in 2005. While at Walkersville he interned at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at Ft. Detrick. He applied to Hood for his undergraduate degree, he says, because “I knew that Hood was an excellent school with a distinguished reputation. Since I was still local, I was able to retain my internship position throughout my undergraduate degree at NCI.

While in pursuit of his undergraduate degree, Joshua enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR). After completing boot camp and his military occupational specialty school, he returned to Hood to complete his degree. He remained at Hood, NCI, and his USMC reserve unit until his graduation in May, 2009.  Following graduation, he was deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and served as a Fire Direction Center chief and vehicle commander for a light armored mortar vehicle.

Joshua returned to the States in May, 2010 and was hired to teach social studies for FCPS.  While teaching, he earned his M.S. in Educational Leadership.

“Hood has become a part of my life. I met my wife there during undergrad and we got married during our senior year. Beyond the well-rounded liberal arts curriculum, I believe what makes Hood so wonderful is the staff and faculty that have been supportive over the years. I have been fortunate to develop great relationships with Mr. (Roger) Stenersen, Dr. (Jennifer) Cuddapah, and Dr. (Kathleen) Bands and value them all as lifelong mentors. I am humbled by all of time and effort that my professors have provided to me from my undergraduate to the Doctorate. One way to honor their tutelage is to successfully complete the doctoral program with Hood’s inaugural doctoral cohort. One day I hope to return to Hood and support graduates in any capacity that I can.”

Grad Ambassadors Share Successes at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) in Annapolis

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PhotoAnnapolis1At the start of the 2016-17 year, the Hood College Graduate School proposed a new student-run marketing program, dubbed Graduate Student Ambassadors.  The ambassadors would assist the Graduate School staff by representing Hood at a variety of events, managing Graduate School social media accounts, and posting graduate highlights on a variety of platforms.  Close to 20 applications were received for this new position, and the top two applicants were offered an ambassador role, namely Oluwadamilola “Dami” Okuneye and Arzu Ozcan.

Both Arzu & Dami have become invaluable members of the graduate school team.  Dami is a native of Nigeria and will complete his Master of Science in Information Technology in May.  Arzu, a native of Turkey, completes her MBA studies this spring as well.

Recently, Dami and Arzu represented Hood at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Annual meeting in Annapolis.  They presented a poster that graphically demonstrated the impact made by their efforts to increase the Graduate School’s social media presence.

Arzu and Dami share their thoughts on attending the conference, their work as ambassadors, and the impact of social media…

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Arzu:  There was a great deal of interest in our poster.  Attendees took notes about our model and took pictures to share with their committees to start similar “ambassador” programs in their institutions.  They were inspired by the rapid impact of the “ambassador program” on increasing the Graduate School presence on social media.

Dami:  April’s (Boulton, Hood’s Dean of the Graduate School) decision to register us for the conference was really great. Several people who stopped by our poster to chat seemed to get more interested when we introduced ourselves as ‘the ambassadors’.  Many participants asked for suggestions on how they could use their social media platforms more effectively seeing we are increasingly doing that well here.

Arzu:  It was an honor to be selected to represent Hood College at the conference with a real success story.  The conference was a great opportunity for networking, and I enjoyed having a chance to review the success stories presented by other institutions and to meet and share experiences with graduate deans.  Plus, Annapolis is a nice city!

Dami: I enjoyed the data presentation experience and networking at this event.  I feel fortunate that I was able to visit the historic city of Annapolis as well.

Hood College MBA and College Basketball – Saving the Best for Last

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ScottBolenScott Bolen, a Hood College MBA candidate with a concentration in accounting, has a part-time job that’s a bit unusual…varsity basketball player.

Bolen, a 6’4” guard, was voted to the All-Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth Second Team by the league’s coaches. It marks the eighth straight season that the Blazers have produced at least one all-conference selection. He also picked up two tournament MVP trophies during the season.

Bolen led Hood in scoring (15 points per game), 3-point field goal percentage (.395), free throw percentage (.804), steals (40) and blocked shots (13). He was second on the Blazers in rebounds (6.2), and his average of more than two assists per game was good for third on the team.

Bolen saved the best for last with a 39-point outing in the Blazers final game of the season, a 97-94 win over Arcadia on February 18th. It was the third-highest single game total in school history and the second most in the MAC Commonwealth this season.

Chad Dickman, Hood’s Men’s Basketball Coach, is very proud of Scott. He says “Scott is a determined player and student that strives to be the best at whatever he does.  He has a strong work ethic and is a very intelligent individual.  He has great time management and has done a great job balancing all the responsibilities on his plate at Hood, despite commuting from 40+ minutes away.”

Before coming to Hood, Scott played two years of basketball at Messiah College, earning his undergraduate degree in accounting and graduating in three years with a 3.5 GPA, and making the Dean’s List the last two semesters.  His work ethic showed then.  “During that time I worked for Southern Management as a summer associate. I helped with resident services, leasing, front desk duties, and did special tasks for the property managers.”

Before he enrolled as a full-time student in the MBA program at Hood in fall of 2015, he started the internship program at PWC as a core auditor.  He played two years of basketball for the Blazers.  When his 2015-16 season ended with a broken arm suffered just five games into the season, he remained on the team and continued his master’s program.  Maintaining a 3.7 GPA, Scott returned to PWC in the summer of 2016 and is looking forward to completing his MBA in the spring of 2017.

Hood College’s Wellness Center Providing Counseling Services

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Wellnesspic1Located at the corner of the Whitaker parking lot, Hood College’s Wellness Center, housing both Health Services and Counseling Services, is designed to support the physical and mental health and wellness of Hood students.

Delores Grigsby, Director of Counseling Services, is a licensed clinical social worker who supports students in realizing maximum benefit from both their academic and their out-of-class learning experiences.  Services provided include brief, supportive counseling; crisis management based on counselor availability; psychiatric consultation; self-help brochures and a lending library; consulting and referral services; and wellness programming to increase self-knowledge and teach skills that will enhance emotional well-being throughout life.

A consulting psychiatrist is available weekly for psychiatric evaluations and medication concerns after an initial meeting with the staff counselor. All currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students are eligible for services.

The Counseling Center is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, during regular business hours when classes are in session. The Center is closed during mid-semester, winter and summer breaks. Students are seen by appointment or as walk-ins at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., but are encouraged to schedule an appointment.

For further information please visit

https://www.hood.edu/Campus-Life/Counseling-Center/Counseling-Center.html?terms=counseling%20center