Clinical Counseling

Passing the Torch: Advice From Graduated Students to New Ones

Posted by | Clinical Counseling, Environmental Biology, Graduate School Highlights, Humanities, Information Technology, Reading Specialization | No Comments

D7R_3305As we near the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic school year, the Graduate School at Hood College is excited to welcome all new and returning students! For many, this is their first experience with graduate school. As this is a different experience from undergraduate work, we asked some of our recent graduates for their advice for incoming students.
Lois Johnson-Mead, a recent M.S. in Environmental Biology graduate, thinks that “graduate school is a chance to push boundaries and look inside yourself to find out what you want to explore. I encourage students to try different classes, stretch beyond their normal expectations, join in on events, lectures, and symposiums that can stretch your thinking and potential. Hood College asked me to examine how I think, what I care about, and to discover so much more than I expected. I hope all new graduate students, especially international students, give themselves the chance to embrace those opportunities; after all that’s the Hood Way!”


Merrideth Wile, a graduate of the M.S. in Counseling program, said simply to “pace yourself, and enjoy the process.” Work through classes at the schedule that it right for you and try to get the most out of it.


When asked about what incoming students should know, Tara Scibelli, who earned her M.A. in Humanities, said to “do all the assigned readings to get the most out of your classes.” Everyone gets busy, but the more that you do for the class, the more that you will gain.


Mia Zimnick, another Environmental Biology graduate, explains you should “prioritize your education. It may be easy to get caught up in life outside of school, but while you’re in the program, try to make it your main focus. This includes reaching out to your professors when you need help, forming study groups with your fellow students, and spending a few weekends in the lab. It’ll all be worth it when you’re done.”


Megan Ramsburg, who graduated with an M.S. in Reading Specialization thinks that “it is important to know that you can approach your professors. They are here to help you and can be very accommodating to your needs. Ultimately, they all want to see you succeed in your program.”


Mir Abdul Wasay, the outgoing Graduate Student Association president who completed his M.S. in Information Technology stated, “I personally believe that education neither starts nor ends in the classroom.”


Finally, Environmental Biology graduate Kevin Stanfield advises to “immerse yourself in the experience. You may have recurring dreams about the effects of climate change on an obscure species of owl, but it makes learning easier!”

Working Towards the Right Career

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ACAHood College likes to celebrate the life experiences that our graduate students bring to the table, whether in a program that follows their undergraduate degree, or applying their undergraduate skills to expand in an entirely different area. One such student is Addie Roop, who earned her B.A. in English from Hood and explored other options and interests after graduation. She worked as an IT recruiter, began a career as a personal trainer, and was an assistant volleyball coach at Hood. Addie explains “what I learned from all of these occupations was that I really wanted to help people, whether it was with their jobs or relationships or just finding themselves and helping them build confidence.”


When Addie got the opportunity to be a graduate assistant coach and pursue her M. S. in Counseling, it was a “no brainer.” She remembered all her great experiences as an undergraduate and coach, where “the staff and community are so helpful and make you feel at home…They make it clear that they want you to be your best and it’s exciting to learn from people who love what they do.” With her realization about wanting to help people, Addie knew that the recently started school counseling program would be a great fit. She entered into the program “excited to make an impact on all the kids and families that I’ll be working with. A lot of times kids don’t think they have an adult that accepts or understands them or takes them seriously, so I really wanted to get into school counseling because I believe everyone is worth knowing and worth my time, especially kids who might not have their own voice yet.”


As a graduate student, Addie is excelling. She recently received recognition at an American Counseling Association conference in Atlanta, where she put her English degree to use, entering an essay competition for future school counselor graduate students. Outside of the classroom, Addie calls herself “an avid dabbler,” trying anything sport and outdoor related, the guitar, singing, drawing, and writing poems. She explains that “I’m not exceptionally great at any of them but that’s not always the point.”


Graduate School Honors Outstanding Faculty

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BoydIf you ask Hood College Graduate students what their favorite thing is about Hood, many speak of their professors. Faculty who understand both the academic background and practical application of their content area form the backbone of the college. Each year the Graduate School asks students for nominations of outstanding professors. This year’s recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award is Dr. Ann Boyd while Dr. Laura Jones was honored with the Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award.

Dr. Ann Boyd is a professor of Biology, who came to Hood in 1982. She was the Program Director for Biomedical Science from 1982-1993 and was the Dean of the Graduate School from 1993-2002. Prior to Hood, she was a research scientist for the National Cancer Institute and has worked as a consultant for Glaxo, BioFisher, and SAIC. She is on the ethics review boards for several organizations and serves as a grant reviewer for others.


Student nominations said that Dr. Boyd “creates meetings to solve educational issues. She gives advice to me like my closest relative and gives me more ways to improve my weaknesses. She found a place to do my internship to improve my skills.” She also “keeps the class entertaining, yet very informative. She gives one on one help during office hours, is always available for questions, and teaches life lessons in addition to teaching to course.”


JonesDr. Laura Jones is no stranger to awards. In 2016 she was invited to a celebration at the White House after being named the Maryland School Counselor Association’s “Counselor of the Year” and was recognized as their 2018 Counselor Educator of the Year for her work with Hood students. Dr. Jones just completed her 23rd year as an Elementary School Counselor, and with a doctoral dissertation on the psychological benefits of laughter, she works to incorporate joy in the lives of both her elementary and graduate students.


When nominating Dr. Jones, students said that she is a “role model for us in the counseling programs.” One student said that “after an extremely disheartening and challenging semester, Dr. Jones has re-instilled my conviction to keep moving forward to reach the goal of clinical mental health counselor. She taps into her student’s strengths and encourages them despite their feelings of trepidation.”  Others said that “Dr. Jones mentors us by showing examples of how she handles difficult situations,” and that “Hood is so lucky to have Dr. Jones on staff. She is a terrific mentor to her students.”

What Will You Remember?

Posted by | Clinical Counseling, Environmental Biology, Graduate School Highlights, GSA, Information Technology, Reading Specialization | No Comments

D7R_3305It’s time to celebrate those completing their Hood College Graduate School degrees! We wanted to know what they celebrated about Hood. Throughout their time here, what was their favorite memory? From their professors to experiences that will help them in their fields and the friends that they made, all of the graduates had great memories to share…


Kevin Stanfield, who is receiving his M.S. in Environmental Biology, enjoys remembering the antics of some of his favorite professors, like “watching Dr. (Eric) Annis describe an ecological niche considering n variables in an n-dimensional hyperspace using interpretive dance” and how “Dr. (Eric) Kindahl can deliver riveting two-hour lectures without saying ‘um’ or ‘ah’ or misspeaking even if you intentionally try to derail him.”


M. S. in Reading Specialization recipients Megan Ramsburg and Emily Sikora talked about the reading clinic as their favorite memory. Megan said “this might sound silly, but Summer Reading Clinic may be my favorite (and hardest) memory of the program. It is amazing how much we were able to help these struggling readers in only 6 weeks. Plus, I enjoyed my time with the other clinicians immensely. They really made this experience my favorite memory. We became a family who were able to provide emotional, instructional, and motivational support to each other on a constant basis. The experience truly tested us in so many ways and yet, provided us with the skills and confidence in ourselves that we (some days) didn’t know we had.” Emily agrees, saying “I was able to see how the application of the skills that I learned had an impact on the students I was working with. During this time, I also developed a close friendship with the other clinicians. We supported each other to analyze the data and provide prescriptive instruction to the students.”


For M. S. in Counseling graduate Merrideth Wile, her favorite memory is all about her relationship with her fellow students. She explains “this is not a specific memory, but I cherish the friends I’ve made.” Mia Zimnik, another Environmental Biology graduate, agrees when she said “after my first round of finals myself and the rest of my cohort went out downtown to celebrate. We were all so happy to be done with our first exams of grad school, so proud of ourselves, and were all feeling very relieved! We continued this tradition up until this past round of finals, and it really helped get us through the exams.”


Mir Abdul Wasay, who will receive his M.S. in Information Technology and is the outgoing president of Graduate Student Association (GSA), said that “I’m going to miss the GSA events. They are sweet memories for rest of my life and I will not forget trip to New York with some amazing friends and colleagues.”


Lois Johnson-Mead, who is also a graduate in the Environmental Biology program, chose a memory that connected her learning with hands-on experience and a chance to practice her skills. She explains that being “invited to travel down the Potomac River to assess the health of the Chesapeake Bay oyster population on a historic buyboat for a marine ecology course was one of the favorite, all-encompassing memories I have as an ENV graduate student. Being a part of a discovery team showed me the potential of my graduate degree and connected me with real world issues and possible solutions.”


Stay tuned to hear about our graduate’s future plans!

Hood Graduates Appreciate Their Teachers!

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The academic year is almost over, so what do the graduates of Hood College’s Graduate School think? For Teacher Appreciation Week, we wanted to know who their favorite professor at Hood was and why. While everyone said that they loved all their professors, they were each able to pick one that stood out.


laurajones2For Merrideth Wile, who will be receiving her M.S. in Counseling, “all of the counseling staff are wonderful, but Dr. Laura Jones is an exceptional teacher and working counselor. Everything she does from the minute you walk into class until you leave models interventions you can use with students.” Dr. Jones is a school counselor in Frederick County Public Schools, was the Maryland School Counselor Association’s 2016 Counselor of the Year - for which she was invited to a celebration at the White House! - and 2018 Counselor Educator of the Year for her work with Hood College students.


Lois Johnson-Mead graduated with an M.S. in Environmental Biology last fall. As she explains, “I loved all my ENV professors; each one was devoted to a specialized ecological area, yet they all wanted their students to be in love with their specialty! I had the chance to learn from a variety of professors, to become a mini-expert in their field, and to grasp essentials concepts or as Dr. Eric Annis would say ‘make sure you were picking up what he was puttin’ down!’ How can you pick a favorite from a gaggle of favorites?” Hood’s Environmental Biology Program has an amazing group of professors, with 94% holding their Ph.D. All have a plethora of expertise in their field as well as practical experiences from involvement with groups from the National Cancer Institute to the National Park Service and the USDA.  Eric Annis


Tara Scibelli, graduating with an M.A. in Humanities, mentioned Dr. Corey Campion “because he showed genuine concern for all the students in the program and was also an excellent lecturer.” Dr. Campion, Humanities Program Director, is a scholar of modern European history. He teaches a variety of courses on modern Germany and the history of the modern West and maintains an interest in the study of French and German language, culture, and politics.  DSC_9453-cropped


Stay tuned for more thoughts from our new graduates!

From Crisis to Classroom

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DaileyWhen Dr. Stephanie Dailey came to Hood College as an Assistant Professor, she brought with her a wealth of experience and knowledge. Beyond her extensive academic experience, she has chaired several Presidential Task Forces and committees for the American Counseling Association (ACA), serves as the ACA liaison to the American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Partners, and is an expert on disaster mental health and ethics for counselors. In fact, when teaching this semester, she found herself cited in the updated version of the textbook her class was using.

Stephanie started as community crisis mental health counselor, working mostly with adults diagnosed with severe mental illness and complex trauma. Her interest in the ethical boundaries for counselors started when she “found that ethics codes didn’t cover many situations.” She currently specializes in crisis/trauma and disaster mental health. As the liaison between the ACA and the Red Cross, she works to find counselors for people impacted by large-scale disasters. She is the former co-chair of the ACA ethics committee and past president of the Association of Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Issues in Counseling(ASERIC) and co-chaired their ethics committee. Stephanie is also the main author of the DSM-5 Learning Companion for Counselors. She has done research on shelter in place, crisis intervention and ethics, and is currently researching trauma and the Boston Bombing. On average, she presents at five conferences a year, mostly on ethical issues in and for counseling.

Dr. Dailey started her higher education journey at Argosy University, where she earned her Ed.D (Doctor of Education) in Counseling in 2011 and served as Director of Training in the counseling program for six years. As a professor, she likes to “build on what students know is language and experiences, using examples and learning styles that make sense for them.” She tries to gauge their response and structure her teaching based on the students in the class.

Dailey started at Hood this past August but already loves the small liberal arts feel and community. “I feel like even though I may not know everyone yet, I recognize people and this is a community. I have two small children and this is such a family friendly place. I feel like they will grow up here and I love that. Dailey was initially attracted to Hood because of “the growing program. This [counseling] program has truly been set up very well to succeed.” As she spends more time here, she has realized that Hood has “great administrative support. Students are fantastic and excited to be here. Hood is definitely a teaching institution.”

From Thanatology to Counseling and Beyond

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WeinsteinElsie Weinstein was thrilled when Hood College developed its Counseling program, which she enrolled in as part of the first class in 2015. Born in Miami, Florida, Elsie has lived everywhere from Laramie, Wyoming to Richmond, Atlanta, New York City, and the Greek island of Corfu. She was accepted to Hood out of high school – she still has her original acceptance letter – but circumstances prevented her from attending. For most of her career, she worked as a paralegal for several law firms in Montgomery County. She was also active with the Maryland Land Title Association, helping to develop ongoing continuing education classes within the residential real estate world. She noticed that much of her energies were going towards counseling others, something that she had always been interested in, but hadn’t wanted to pursue due to policy and politics.

In 2013, Elsie got earned her Master of Arts degree in Thanatology at Hood and then came back for her counseling degree. She currently works for the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County. Elsie loves to travel and take photographs. She maintains a small side business, making note cards and matted prints of her photography and being hired to document small events; sometimes earning enough to pay those expenses. She looks forward to being able to apply what she is learning at Hood in a private practice. She plans to use her degrees in Thanatology and Counseling to help people dealing with grief and to help them move forward in a life that changes drastically from what one knows and believes. Elsie is a three-time cancer survivor and has volunteered for the American Cancer Society, Montgomery Hospice, Frederick County Hospice, and 4H Therapeutic Riding Center in Thurmont. She recently attended the American Counseling Association conference in San Francisco as a volunteer representing Hood College.

With two graduate degrees from Hood, we know great things lie ahead!

Outstanding Student- Counseling

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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.

Alums Forge Careers in Thanatology Field

Posted by | Clinical Counseling, Gerontology, Graduate School Highlights, Thanatology | No Comments
Lynne Tobin

Lynne Tobin

Andrea Warnick

Thanatology students Lynne Tobin and Andrea Warnick left Hood with a commitment to making a difference in how people think, feel and communicate about death and dying.

Today, Lynne is a private-practice  licensed professional counselor based in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. She works with individuals and families during “end-of-life” journeys, facilitates group discussions and advocates for patient-directed care in the state legislature.

Andrea, who holds a master’s in Thanatology and is also an R.N., specializes is helping children who are experiencing the illness or death of a loved one. Based in Toronto, Canada, she counsels in person as well as via webinars, phone and Skype and is also a sought-after speaker.

Learn more about these alums.