The Graduate School

Outstanding Student- Information Technology

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i-Xp3pR9p-L Jeff Blake’s time at Hood College has been productive as he has tailored his educational needs to his future assignments within the U.S. Army.  Jeff enjoys tutoring his fellow students and encourages them to excel in areas of weakness.  In addition, Jeff served as an adjunct professor for the Hood ROTC program and volunteered his time on a regular basis as a teacher assistant within the Computer Science Suite.  Jeff’s current assignment is as the Information Integration officer for the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command G6 Communications Division.  His performance in the IT program has been truly exemplary—he has continually been a leader among his peers—in and out of the classroom.

Outstanding Student- Computer Science

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i-H22VFMb-L As an undergraduate at Hood College, James Scott McLemore became interested in artificial intelligence.  He created a set of C++ algorithms for controlling an autonomous robot’s mobility and navigation, which ended up winning first place at the Virtual Manufacturing and Automation Challenge in the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.   In the past few years, Scott focused on machine learning and information systems, which he put to use while working at Zeta Associates, Inc.

Outside of work and education, Scott is an avid gamer and enjoys hobbies utilizing logic and strategy. One such hobby is competing in tabletop war games where he has ranked in the top 10 in the United States.

Outstanding Student- Environmental Biology

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

Curtis Rogeri-jpCrsC6-Ls is the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Environmental Biology Student award.  While enrolled in Hood College’s ENV Master’s program, Curtis was given the opportunity to work on a USDA-APHIS grant analyzing the effects of insect growth regulators on a honeybee pest, the small hive beetle. He presented his findings at both the Mid-Atlantic Ecological Society of America regional meeting, and at the National ESA meeting, as well as to a group of notable Korean visiting scientists.  As a direct result of his academic work at Hood, Curtis is employed by the USDA Bee Research Lab to assist in researching honeybee physiology, nutrition, and the various pests that continue to plague them.  He is working on preparing the findings of his thesis on small hive beetles for publication and hopes to get at least two journal articles out of the endeavor.


Outstanding Student- Biomedical Science

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

Bagni Elizabeth “Lizzy” Terrell began the Hood College Master’s in Biomedical Science program in the fall of 2013 and is a truly exemplary student and classroom leader. When speaking of Lizzy’s work on her thesis project, her NCI mentor, Dr. Susan Morrison states:  “Lizzy Terrell is one of the most talented young scientists that I have had the privilege to work with.  She is bright, articulate, and sets high standards for herself both in the quality of her work and in her thinking about scientific problems.  She embarks on a research career with outstanding potential.”  The BMS Faculty at Hood concur and look forward to reading the great scientific advances Lizzy will make throughout her career.  Lizzy also the won Hood’s Three-Minute Thesis Competition.


Become a (Better) Leader with Hood’s Doctoral Program!

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

bandsDid you know that Hood has a doctoral program in Organizational Leadership? Learn all about it directly from Kathleen Bands, the director of the program, on our brand new YouTube channel!

Meet Kathleen Bands

Hear her describe the program, which offers degree options in educational leadership (D.O.L.) and business administration (D.B.A.). Working with a cohort of peers from various backgrounds, doctoral candidates learn from coursework and practical experience that will help as they pursue their individual goals. Current students include school principals, researchers, human resources directors, and project managers. Several have undergraduate and/or graduate degrees from Hood, and aim to become the colleges’ first “Three Degree” graduates! Learn more about Dr. Bands and the program in the above video, as well as on our website (Hood Graduate School Doctoral Program).

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Graduate School’s brand new YouTube channel!

About the GSA

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PURPOSE: The objectives of the GSA shall be to:

a. Promote better communication among graduate students, the faculty, and the administration.
b. Provide Graduate students with an official and representative forum in which to raise Graduate student concerns.
c. Provide funding for the purposes of Graduate student societies, research projects, and educational conferences.
d. Provide activities and services which will assist students in their graduate and post-graduate work.
e. Provide social and networking opportunities for Graduate students.
f. Strengthen the Hood community and bridge the relationships between the College and its Graduates.


All students enrolled in graduate studies or students presenting a statement by their department(s) certifying them to be graduate students shall automatically be eligible to become members of the Graduate Student Association.
a. Active membership of the Graduate Student Association shall be chosen without discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, age, religion, color, political affiliation or ideology, or national or ethnic origin
b. Active membership requires that the members be a full or part time Graduate Student at Hood College.
c. Full and Part-time Graduate students retain full privileges within the Graduate Student Association with the right to hold office and vote.
d. The Graduate Student Association recognizes various Graduate Societies.
e. The Graduate School at Hood College recognizes various academic disciplines.

Types of Events:

Café B4 Class: Get a coffee and a snack before your class. Feel free to mingle with us and other graduate students or dash to your next class!
Mixers: Meet grad students in other departments or even someone who is in your class that you haven’t met yet! Mixers are great for meeting new friends and networking.

List of Upcoming Events:

Café B4 Class March 8th 5 – 6:30pm Whitaker Atrium
Career and Internship Fair March 21st 3:30 – 6:30pm BB&T
Café B4 Class March 22nd 5 – 6:30pm Whitaker Atrium
GSA Mixer March 23rd 7:45 – 9:30pm Hodson Atrium
First Saturday in Downtown Frederick April 1st 3 – 7pm Meet in Whitaker Atrium
Café B4 Class April 5th 5 – 6:30pm Whitaker Atrium
Café B4 Class April 19th 5 – 6:30pm Whitaker Atrium
Café B4 Class May 3rd 5 – 6:30pm Whitaker Atrium

Get on the GSA member list:

Getting Involved:

We know graduate students can be very busy, from family life to working full time jobs, so you can be as involved as you’d like. If you would like to help us plan events or if you only have time to help spread the word of upcoming events and activities to your fellow classmates we would love to have you join. If you want more information about the GSA or you wish to join the GSA please email

GSA Bios

Jorden – Social Media Outreach Coordinator
I am currently in my second semester at Hood College in the Biomedical Sciences program. I currently work full time in cancer research. I grew up in Iowa and moved to Maryland after I graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in genetics. My favorite thing about Hood is the smaller class sizes. Having gone to a state school my classes were very large and I find that the smaller class size of Hood allows me the opportunity to get more involved in my classes. In my free time I love to travel, learn about new cultures, read, and try new foods.

Lois Johnson-Mead
Lois Johnson-MeadI am in my final semester at Hood College pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Biology. I have really enjoyed my science program at Hood: it has pushed me to think in new ways, is very flexible, allows me to acquire relevant skills, and is a friendly intimate community. I have been an educator and senior administrator with experience in science instruction, professional development, and research. In 2015, I was given a chance to combine my science knowledge with education when I was selected for the Fish and Wildlife Service Directorate Fellow Program (DFP). I had skills in GIS I acquired at Hood which with my education background which benefitted me tremendously. As a DFP, I conducted risk assessments of invasive aquatic species and assisted on a marketing initiative to create a social media platform targeting educational audiences. I am working towards graduation in the Fall of 2017 after conducting an independent internship project on prey delivery for a breeding bald eagle pair. I am ready to start a new phase of life combining education and conservation. When I am not romping through the trails of MD state parks with my family and dog, Thor, you can find me organic gardening or searching for new places to get a good slice of pizza!


Bioinformatics Program Director Named

Posted by | Bioinformatics, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

The Hood College bioinformatics master’s program is pleased to introduce a new program director who has more than a decade of experience in conducting research, teaching and directing educational programs.

Miranda Darby, Ph.D., is an expert in molecular biology and computing. She comes to Hood after working since September 2012 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she developed and implemented bioinformatics tools to study the genome. Prior to that, she completed thesis research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, examining the mechanisms that regulate gene transcription.

Keep reading.


Alumna Working on Anti-Cancer Therapies

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

Lung cancer is the deadliest form of the disease, claiming approximately 158,000 American lives and accounting for around 27 percent of all cancer deaths. One Hood College alumna is researching drug therapies to fight it.

Bhairavi (Vivi) Tolani is working with a three-person group studying anti-cancer targeted therapies for lung cancer. They are trying to find ways to shut down the rapid growth of the cancerous cells through a variety of drug combinations.

Keep reading.

Fall 2016 Computer Science and Information Technology Department Events

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

This fall, the Computer Science and Information Technology Department at Hood will be co-hosting a number of exciting events here on campus. All students, faculty and staff are welcome.

Python Frederick- 2nd Wednesday Talk – Jupyter Notebook
Whitaker Commons
Thursday, September 14
6:30 p.m.

Python Frederick has a talk the second Wednesday of each month. This month:
Jupyter Notebooks ( are helpful tools for anyone working with data. Popular with scientists of all types, Jupyter Notebooks let you work with Python right from your web browser! You can easily graph data and share your findings with others.
You’ll learn how to use Jupyter Notebooks so you can learn to supercharge any research you’re involved in.

Python Frederick – 3rd Saturday Open Workshop – Python Serverless Microframework for AWS
Coblentz Hall Seminar Room
Saturday, September 17
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Python Frederick has an open workshop the 3rd Saturday of each month. You can work on a common project selected for the day or bring your own project and enlist the help of others.

Hack Frederick Hackathon
Coblentz Hall Seminar Room
Saturday, October 8
10:00 a.m.

Registration is required to attend this event. Additional information is available at Interested students should contact Dr. George Dimitoglou at to form teams.

Python Frederick- 2nd Wednesday Talk – pygame
Whitaker Commons
Wednesday, October 12
6:30 p.m.

Python Frederick’s Second Wednesday talk for October will talk gaming!  We’ll discuss pygame, a Python library for making video games, with the Frederick Game Development meetup.

MBA Student Assists with Cancer Cure

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

MJ Swicegood

Martha “MJ” Swicegood, Hood MBA candidate, has recently worked on manufacturing the cancer drug Keytruda, which has helped save the lives of many people, including former President Jimmy Carter.

MJ explains “Cancer cells are basically your own cells, so your immune system isn’t aware that they’re an issue.  Keytruda is an immunological drug that helps the human body understand that cancer cells are what you want to attack.  The drug comes in, attaches to a receptor on the cancer, and acts like a flag so your body comes in and attacks it.  Instead of working like chemotherapy, which is very detrimental to your body, Keytruda works with your immune system and knocks the cancer out without the danger of radiation. “

Former President Carter says Keytruda helped stall advanced melanoma that had spread to his brain, while oncologists tell us it has helped about 40 percent of similar patients survive for as long as three years post-diagnosis.  Keytruda takes a new approach to treating cancer by stopping tumor cells from cloaking themselves against the normal, healthy immune system response.

Swicegood is working at a vaccine pilot plant now, where she helps manufacturing vaccines that go to topical studies all over the world, which may lead to new researches for new drugs to cure many others.

For further information about Keytruda please refer to