Graduate School Highlights

June 16 Open House for Prospective Students

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The Graduate School at Hood College will hold two open house sessions for prospective students on Tuesday, June 16. The informal gatherings, both with the same agenda, are set for noon until 1 p.m. and 4:30-6 p.m., at the Whitaker Campus Center on Hood’s campus.

Attendees will have the opportunity talk casually with faculty and staff about their professional aspirations and learn about Hood’s 18 master’s and 12 certificate programs. Areas of study include arts and humanities, biomedical and environmental sciences, business, counseling and care, computer science and information technology and education.

New for fall 2015 are: a Master’s program in Counseling with a Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling specialty; and certificates in Bioinformatics, Accounting, Financial Management and Organizational Management.

Open house attendees are encouraged to bring their résumés and transcripts and apply for on-the-spot admission.

Interested individuals may RSVP online at, or by contacting the Graduate School office at 301-696-3600 or Walk-ins are welcome.

239 Master’s Degrees Conferred at Commencement

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Commencement 2015In its 42nd year of awarding master’s degrees, the Graduate School awarded 48 master of business administration degrees, 163 master of science degrees, 27 master of arts degrees and one master of fine arts degree. Commencement took place Saturday, May 16, at the Ronald J. Volpe Athletic Center on Hood’s campus.

Thomas W. Geisbert, professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the Galveston National Laboratory, gave the Commencement address. Geisbert was one of the Ebola fighters named collectively as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2014.

Read the news story, which covers the undergraduate and graduate commencements, here. Enjoy more photos of the afternoon’s ceremonies here.

Kentucky Arts Council Commissions MFA Student

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by Matt Gaddie

by Matt Gaddie

Matthew Gaddie, who will complete his MFA in ceramics from Hood College in spring 2016, has been commissioned by the Kentucky Arts Council to design and create the 2016 Governor’s Awards in the Arts. The Governor’s Awards are the Commonwealth’s most prestigious arts awards honoring Kentucky individuals, businesses and organizations that make significant contributions to the arts in the state.  

The commission was awarded based on a series of large ceramic platters Matthew  created in 2014. Each of the 10 new pieces will have an individual color palette, but will reflect the unique aesthetic for which the artist has become nationally recognized. The wood fired platters will reflect quiet moments of time on the rural landscapes of Kentucky.

“Ebola Fighter” to Speak at Graduate School Commencement

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Dr. Thomas Geisbert

Dr. Thomas Geisbert

The Graduate School of Hood College is honored to have Dr. Thomas W. Geisbert deliver the keynote address at its 2015 Commencement on May 16.  Dr. Geisbert was one of several “Ebola fighters” spotlighted by Time magazine in its 2014″Person of the Year” selection. 

As a researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, Geisbert co-discovered the reston species of Ebola virus in 1989. This work was the subject of many articles in scientific literature and in the popular press as well as Richard Preston’s best-selling novel “The Hot Zone.” He is now a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the Galveston National Laboratory.

Chassier Published in Prestigious Journal

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Gosling, Obvara Technique by Janice Chassier

Gosling, Obvara Technique
by Janice Chassier

The May issue of the prestigious Ceramic Arts and Perception Technical journal features an article by 2014 M.A. graduate and ceramic artist Janice Chassier. Titled “Obvara,”  the article explores the eponymous Eastern European firing technique that originated in the Baltic Region. The pottery style is known for multiple rounded patches of earth tones like ochre, brown and black that resemble eyes.

Janice concludes the article by stating, “There is magic in the eyes of Obvara; it has special powers. Artists around the world are using this ancient technique in new ways to ignite their personal statements.” As shown in the photo here, Janice uses the process in her distinctive waterfowl creations.


Gianni and Davis Exhibiting at Hood

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Jenna Gianni, Artist

Jenna Gianni, Artist

Marcus Davis, Artist

Marcus Davis, Artist

Two students in the ceramic arts program at Hood College Graduate School are exhibiting their work at the Whitaker Campus Center May 15-30. Opening receptions for both ceramic arts are May 17, 3-5 p.m., with artist talks at 3:30 p.m.

Jenna Gianni’s show, “Layers of Change,” features work that is both functional and sculptural.  As she continues to grow as an artist, Jenna finds inspiration in her frequent travels, love of art history, and an appreciation for the beauty and elegance of nature. Jenna is currently pursuing an M.A. in Ceramic Arts at Hood College in Frederick, MD, where she also works as Graduate Studio Technician and Gallery Assistant. In addition to her work at Hood, she is a member of the Potters’ Guild of Frederick where her work is on display year round.

Marcus Davis explores separation and loneliness in his “What is Hidden” exhibit. The child of artistic parents, Marcus was immersed in the arts and craftsmanship from an early age.     When Marcus was in his early teens he lost both parents. In searching for a sense of identity, he discovered a family history with the Quakers and a relationship to the the 18th century Quaker slipware potters in North Carolina’s Piedmont area. This story inspired him to pursue his work as a ceramic artist.  Currently Marcus is a MFA candidate at Hood.

Teacher of the Year Holds Two Master’s from Hood

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PortnerAmandaTOYAmanda Portner has just been named Frederick County Teacher of the Year! The school system’s most prestigious award recognizes outstanding members of the teaching profession.

An alum of two Hood graduate programs — Curriculum and Instruction in 2004 and Educational Leadership in 2009 — Amanda is currently the literacy specialist at Thurmont Middle School. Among numerous leadership roles, she serves as an FCPS curriculum writer and teacher trainer and co-directs the Maryland Writing Project for Frederick, plus she’s taught English for the FCPS Virtual School.

Find out more about Amanda and her most recent achievement on the FCPS website.

Grad Student Summer Intern with Fish and Wildlife Service

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Lois Johnson-Mead

Lois Johnson-Mead

Environmental Biology master’s student Lois Johnson-Mead (’16) was recently awarded a highly competitive paid summer internship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Among other responsibilities as a resource assistant fellow with the FWS Aquatic Invasive Species Division, Lois will conduct and review risk assessments and screening of aquatic species that may need to be addressed through an FWS partnership with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Lois is currently the professional development coordinator at the Hill School in Middleburg VA, where she has been a science teacher and department chair since 2005. In addition, she is a substitute teacher with Frederick County Public Schools, where her science education and classroom experience supports the county’s education program. She holds a B.S. from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Originally from Philadelphia, Lois now lives with her husband in Point of Rocks, MD.

20th Century American Ceramic Art Lecture, April 17

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Undercurrents CA crop

“Scarab Vase” by Adelaide Robineau

Cameron Petke, ceramic artist and teacher with an MFA in Ceramics from Hood College (’09), will discuss the historical influences of 20th century American ceramic art (1900-1945)  at Hood College on Friday, April 17.

Petke’s presentation is part of Hood’s “Undercurrents of Expression” Ceramic Art History Lecture Series, which he directs. The series explores great art and artists in the context of the Industrial Revolution, the Arts and Crafts movement, World War II and other global undercurrents that drove American studio ceramics. The series hosts curators, archaeologists and art historians from the Smithsonian, the Walters Museum, and some of the area’s top universities. Petke

The April 17 lecture will be held at Hodson Science Center, Room 131, 7 – 9 pm. Admission is $5.  For more information about the lecture, contact Lisa York, Hood is located at 401 Rosemont Avenue, Frederick, MD.


Renowned Potter Coll Minogue: Visiting Artist Lecturer April 8

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coll minogueRenowned potter Coll Minogue will be on the Hood College campus Wednesday, April 8 to present “Women Woodfire Studio Potters and Ceramic Artists — the Pioneers in the 20th Century.”  The lecture, free and open to the public, will be held at the Hodson Annex Ceramic Center, Room 143, 7-9 p.m.

A professional potter since 1982, Coll has taught ceramics at third level, working in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Her articles have been published in ceramics journals including Ceramics Art and Perception, Ceramics Technical, Pottery in Australia and Ceramic Review. Her first book, Impressed and Incised Ceramics, was published in 1996 by A & C Black, with the second edition published in 2002 and a German edition in 2004. In 2008, The Crowood Press published her book Slab-built Ceramics.

In 2001, Coll co-curated the exhibition ‘Impressed and Incised Ceramics’ at Aberdeen Museum and Art Gallery, Aberdeen, Scotland. During the 3rd World Ceramic Biennale 2005 Korea, she was one of 14 participants in the International Workshop on wood-fired kilns held at the Joseon Royal Kiln Museum in Gwangju. In 2007, Coll participated in the 2nd Foshan International Woodfire Conference, China.

Contact Jacklyn Scott for more information, 301-696-3456.