Graduate School Highlights

Hood Alum shares career success

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

Photo2Yashraj Sinha is a recent alumnus of Hood’s Masters in Computer Science program.  An international student from India, Yashraj completed an internship with Cisco Inc. last summer, an experience which he credits as being instrumental in landing a fulltime position after graduation. We caught up with Yashraj and he shared the highlights of his Hood experience with us. The full text of our chat is below.

How would you describe your time at Hood and in Frederick in general?

It has been one of my best experiences in life so far. Coming to Hood was the first time I traveled outside my country. I also experienced snow for the first time in Frederick.

How did the Graduate School help you? What resources did it provide you?

The Graduate School was supportive at all stages of my learning by providing me with the flexibility in coursework and allowing me to undergo an independent study in order to explore the field of study I was interested in.

What informed the decision to do an independent study?

I was interested in developing a software which could perform diagnosis of hardware. And this was made possible by the help of my supervisor, Dr. Xinlian Liu.

What did you achieve from the independent study?

It was a great experience learning and exploring new areas. It also contributed towards securing my new job.

How did you become a part of Hood’s Computer Science Advisory Board?

My prior industry experience at leading global organizations like Bosch and Cisco afforded me with the opportunity to contribute to serve as a graduate student representative on the advisory board. I was given the chance to present my ideas to industry leaders. And this ultimately helped in landing a summer internship.

How did your internship experience contribute to your job search success?

Having internship experience in a US organization is a major boost to your profile since it sends the message that one understands the American work culture. Thus, it separates you from the crowd of fresh graduates.

What is the new position?

I received offers from a number of leading organizations, but I am joining Cisco Systems.

What career/job search tips will you offer to international graduate students?

It’s a numbers game. Apply to as many open positions as possible. The more positions you apply to, the greater your chance to succeed. Until you are getting at least three responses daily (either rejects or interview calls), you should keep applying for jobs. Focus on applying at the career portals of your target companies and the popular job boards. Invest sufficient time to prepare your resume and cover letter and strive to perform better at each interview.

Hood College hosts Humanities Conference

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, Humanities | No Comments

This fall, Hood College will host its first-ever student research conference in humanities.  The conference, “Discovering Humanities at Hood”, is designed to highlight the exciting work of students in humanities-related programs.  The conference is set for September 16th.

Dr. Corey Campion, director of the MA in Humanities program and co-organizer of the conference says, “The conference has two objectives. First, and most importantly, we wanted to give students a chance to share and receive feedback on their work in the humanities in a conference setting without the expense of a regular academic conference.  For many of our undergraduate and graduate students, attending an academic conference is not an option for a variety of reasons, from work schedules to financial concerns.  Not wanting our students to miss out on the rich intellectual exchange that can take place at such conferences, we decided to host one here at Hood. Second, we want the conference to serve as a celebration of the humanities and the students and faculty in this discipline.”

Student participants will have the opportunity to present their research to a panel and obtain feedback on their work. They will also hear about work done by their colleagues and have the chance to connect and network with others in the humanities. Plans are also underway for an exhibit of visual art projects.

Participation at the conference is open to any student who has written a paper for a humanities course at Hood or other area schools.  Submissions must be emailed to angello@hood.edu and are due by 5pm on May 5, 2017.

For more information contact Dr. Corey Campion at 301-696-3227 or campion@hood.edu.

A Hood student and her independent research experience

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

Marie Ott

Marie Ott-Smith, a Master of Science candidate in Environmental Biology at Hood, is working on an independent research project in partnership with Dr. Drew Ferrier. Her research is focused on the effects of road salt runoff on a local ecosystem. We recently caught up with Marie and the full text of our chat is below.

Background

I majored in Biology at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania and graduated in 2010. I was hired the same year at an environmental consulting firm performing Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) for Real Estate and Telecommunications and I have been with them since as a Project Scientist. My interests have always centered on marine and freshwater aquatic environments and the biota that inhabit them.

Why did you choose Hood?

I chose Hood because the programs here are geared towards working professionals. Considering I work full time from home in Harrisburg, PA (a little under 1.5 hours away) while also traveling via airplane at least once a week from the Baltimore airport, I needed a flexible program. The long drive for class and my research have been totally worth it.

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Hood?

Honestly, it’s just nice to be back in a classroom enhancing the knowledge i acquired during my undergraduate education. The variety of class topics I had to choose from made it exciting to see what was going to be available each semester.

Why did you decide on an independent research project?

I chose the independent research track for the hands on experience that I can use in my current job and future career.

What is your independent research focused on?

In 2015, I partnered with Dr. Drew Ferrier and began my Independent Research Project (ENV 579) which focuses on how road salt runoff affects a local ecosystem. I grew algae in Carroll Creek in Baker Park near the Hood campus. In the lab I then exposed the algae to different salinities to determine how the stress affects their photosynthetic ability using a tool called Pam Fluorometry.

Any advice for future graduate students about Hood and about the Environmental Biology program?

Take as many classes as you can to experience all that this program has to offer. Also, do not get disappointed if it takes you longer to complete your program than you envisioned. What is most important is that you will eventually finish. There is no timeline for learning- anyone can enhance their knowledge at any stage of their life.

Hood MBA Candidate Hits a “Hole-In One”!

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

Alyssapic2Hood College is excited to share another Blazer success story: Alyssa Eshleman, with two undergraduate degrees from Hood under her belt and nearing completion of her MBA, is the new Assistant General Manager at the Maryland National Golf Club.

Alyssa’s hard work is paying off.  She began her journey at Maryland National five years ago as a part-time server and beverage cart attendant.  Following graduation in 2013 she was promoted to Restaurant Manager on Duty.  Her climb continued as she became Assistant Food & Beverage Director, Director of Sales & Marketing, Food & Beverage Director, and now Assistant General Manager. At each step in her climb, she’s faced new challenges, but her strong work ethic and willingness to learn have always given her the tools to overcome anything thrown her way.

In her current role as the Assistant General Manager, Alyssa maintains a staff of 14-50 workers, organizes budgets and goals for multiple departments, oversees the business’ daily operations, and works to train and develop new team members. Furthermore, Alyssa continues as the Director of Sales & Marketing, where she develops and implements annual sales and marketing plans aimed at growing the Maryland National brand.  She also serves as the “face of the operation”  meeting with new and potential customers both on-site and at networking events.

Moving ahead, Alyssa looks forward to graduating with her master’s in the spring, after which she’ll shift her focus towards growing her hands-on experience and eventually opening her own business in the hospitality industry.  She says “Hood College, its exceptional faculty, and its challenging curriculum are all very much the reasons behind my success. I’ve learned so much about what it takes to be successful – hard work, strong communication, and a lot of dedication – and I wouldn’t be where I am today without such key life lessons throughout my education.”

Work isn’t all that Alyssa is about.  “I coach a 16 travel volleyball team out of Charles Town, WV. I’ve been with Potomac Elite Volleyball Club since its inception in 2010 and have loved watching the girls grow as athletes and young women. I’m always amazed by the influence we as coaches have over these ladies, and I hope to make a positive impact on each of them, as I encourage them to push themselves on and off the court, to be not only good athletes but also good people, and to work hard in everything they do.

Representing Maryland National, Alyssa is part of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, Restaurant Association of Maryland, and the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce.

Hood Faculty and Alums “Making Good”

Posted by | Ceramics, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

making-good-cover
Two members of the Hood community – Jacklyn Scott and Kristin Müller – are among four co-authors of a forthcoming book- “Making Good: An Inspirational Guide to Being an Artist Craftsman”. The book will be released on April 28th.

Jacklyn is completing her degree in the MFA in Ceramic Arts program and also works as Hood’s studio arts manager while Kristin is a Hood alumna (MFA, 2008) and adjunct faculty in Ceramic Arts.  Their co-authors are Tommy Simpson and Stuart Kestenbaum.

The book is a collection of interviews with forty one artists accompanied by more than 260 photos showing the artists, their work spaces, and their creations. According to Jacklyn, one of the authors’ main goals was that “the book serve as a primer for inspiration to motivate young, middle aged and senior individuals who may be looking for guidance and ways to respond to their inner voice, to take risks and take action with their artistic practice.”

The full text of our chat with Jacklyn is below.

How did you get the idea to do a collection of interviews instead of a full-length book?

We wanted to feature the stories of various artists in different craft-mediums to cover a wide range of experiences. Someone who grew up knowing they were going to be an artist will have a very different experience than someone who went to school to be a doctor and then changed directions mid-career to become an artist. We wanted to represent as many of these instances to make sure the book is relatable. The concept of the book is simple, to present forty one makers/artists who have pursued their passion of making art and making a living with illustrations and personal narrative about how they have made their way in the art world.  We prompted the featured artists to address specific opportunities and challenges that have shaped their careers asking them to specify pivotal moments, influential people and opportunities that spurred them on.

What goals did you have for this guide when you set out to write it and did you achieve them?

Our hope is that the book will serve as a primer for inspiration to motivate young, to middle aged and senior individuals who may be looking for guidance and ways to respond to their inner voice, to take risks and take action with their artistic practice. The book is visually engaging, a sort of window into the lives of makers, their practice and the interesting ways in which their creative practice takes form and reaches others.

How did you meet your co-authors?

Kristin Muller is my mother and I met Tommy Simpson when I was very young and he was collaborating with my mother in the clay studio. Now, we are colleagues in the art world. He is a force of nature, moving through various media including clay, rugs, wood, and printmaking.

What key message did you set out to pass across by writing this book?

We hope that our readers will find inspiration to set forth on their own creative journeys and to take risks in their own practices.

How long did it take and how were you able to balance this alongside work and other commitments?

I am working towards my MFA in Ceramic Arts, but thankfully the program is mostly weekend intensive. So after work, if I wasn’t in the clay studio, I was camped out at Starbucks over-caffeinating myself. I also drove home 8 hours every weekend so Kristin and I could meet with artists to interview them, or have conference calls with those that were further away.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The hardest part of the writing the book was trying to capture the spirit of the artist in a few succinct paragraphs. Some of the artists gave us hours of content, and others we needed to probe a bit more for the interesting tidbits of their history and process.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Gosh, I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to talk to these forty one artists who have so much wisdom and charisma!

Any memorable moments while writing the book?

I met so many talented artists in the process.

Who are your target audience?

Our target audience are those who are just beginning their careers in art, looking to transition into being an artist mid-career, artists who need a push.

Any plans for a sequel?

Not yet… but we have talked about putting together an exhibition of work from the artists involved in the book.
Click to order Making Good: An Inspirational Guide to Being an Artist Craftsman on Amazon.com

Hood MBA Graduate – Human Resources Director at Shelter House, Inc.

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

PictureStephanieStephanie A. White, an alumna of Hood’s MBA program with a concentration in Human Resources Management, works as the Human Resources Director at Shelter House, Inc.  Established in 1981, Shelter House is a community-based nonprofit organization that focuses on providing services to homeless families and victims of domestic violence in Fairfax County, VA.

In addition to working for an organization whose vision is to prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence in Fairfax County, Stephanie volunteers with several organizations. She is an active member and past officer of the Frederick County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc.,   where she serves on the International Awareness and Involvement Committee. She chairs the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Program where her primary role is to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS and testing among college students. Stephanie also spends time working in the Habitat for Humanity Montgomery County Restore.

Stephanie is passionate about serving others, particularly helping youth to realize their potential. Since graduating college, she has committed time and resources to youth initiatives in the DMV area. She is a positive example for young girls in the community and at her church, where she is a mentor, teacher and volunteer. She values learning and utilizes her knowledge, skills and abilities to empower young girls and college-age students to exceed expectations. She is often invited to speak with youth and recently spoke at her alma mater, Johnson C. Smith University, about the importance of furthering your education after college.

In 2016, White was a nominee for WKYS-FM Radio’s “30 Under 30,” a list of up-and-comers in the African-American community of Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland.  The honorees are nominated by their peers in the community and selected by the station for recognition.

Stephanie is grateful about pursuing her MBA degree from Hood.  She says “The knowledge obtained in Hood’s MBA Program helped strengthen my educational and work related experience allowing me to secure my current role as HR Director at Shelter House, Inc. My concentration in HR Management helped prepare me for real-life situations, which I would encounter at work. The knowledge learned in courses taught by Professor Carol Wuenschel and Dr. Anita Jose created a framework for processing ideas and gaining more understanding through research.  All the staff in the MBA program played a critical role in my seeking a management role after graduation. Completing this program gave me the assurance to enroll in a Doctorate in Education program with a concentration in Organizational Leadership at Argosy University. Furthering my education and work experience has been a great journey thus far, and I look forward to continuing it!

Hood’s New Master of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies – Courses from Three Graduate Education Programs Coming Together to Shape One Degree

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

Stem2A1890For the first time Hood College is offering a Master of Science degree in Education, Multidisciplinary Studies. This new program will enable educators to build a substantial content base and add leadership skills and specialized reading training to enhance career opportunities.

Multidisciplinary Studies is designed primarily for certified classroom teachers and support staff who want to design a personalized program to meet their individual instructional and professional needs. An integral part of this program is the ability to choose course work from other content areas outside the field of education. The curriculum includes four professional core courses, one course from each of the three existing education graduate programs – Reading Specialization, Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership – as well as four elective courses, and a capstone research project. This action research project provides the opportunity to explore and address specific instructional issues in an action research framework, bridging the interdisciplinary coursework that has been completed. A candidate may finish the program in as little as three years, with seven years the maximum allowable time. Candidates must apply to the Graduate School and meet with the program’s director to complete an oral interview and writing sample.

For more information contact Paulette Shockey, Program director, at 301-696-3467 or shockey@hood.edu or visit http://www.hood.edu/Graduate-School/Programs/Multidisciplinary-Studies.html

Graduate Women in Science Establishes Local Chapter at Hood College

Posted by | Bioinformatics, Biomedical Science, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Environmental Biology, Graduate School Highlights, Information Technology, Management of Information Technology, Mathematics Education and Leadership | No Comments

Picture

FREDERICK, Md. — An international organization dedicated to empowering women in science is launching its 25th United States chapter Jan. 23.

The Greater Maryland Chapter of Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) will launch at 6 p.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center Commons at Hood College. The event begins with an informal mixer followed by a lecture by featured speaker Col. Andrea Stahl, deputy commander of USAMRIID at Fort Detrick. Afterward, there will be a business meeting to discuss upcoming events for this new chapter.

The GWIS mission is “to build a global community to inspire, support, recognize and empower women in science. The organization strives to build a powerful international network of women scientists, mentor the leaders of today so that they can inspire the leaders of tomorrow and empower women scientists to excel in their careers.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information about GWIS, visit www.gwis.org. For more information about the launch event, contact April Boulton, Dean of Hood College’s Graduate School and Associate Professor of Biology, and co-founding member of the new chapter, at 301-696-3600 or boulton@hood.edu.

Hood Student Advocates for Victims and Witnesses

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, Human Sciences | No Comments

WalterHood13Walter Hood, a Master’s candidate in Hood College’s Human Sciences program, serves as a victim/witness coordinator with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office.  In the position for about a year, he primarily works in the District Court as one of six people responsible for acclimating witnesses to the legal system and assuring they are comfortable throughout their contact with the courts.

Hood and his colleagues prepare witnesses for trial, often walking them through what questions they can expect to hear on the stand. He coaches them to always tell the truth, and goes over relevant reports with them to refresh their memories.

“In district court, our prosecutors are extremely busy,” Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said. “Without people like Walter, we wouldn’t really be able to give that personal contact that I feel is extremely important to victims and witnesses of crime.”

For Hood, a Montgomery County resident, the position is an ideal way to blend his interest in law and his love of working with people. He got his start in the legal field at a bankruptcy firm in Bethesda, but he didn’t like working on behalf of big banks. “They didn’t put value on people,” he said. He considered going to law school, but decided against it after many of the lawyers at the firm said, if they had the chance to do it over again, they would not go back to law school.

Hood’s background is not typical for the position, Smith said. Most victim/witness coordinators have a background in criminal justice, not civil businesses cases. Hood’s people skills were impressive, though. “When we hired Walter, he wasn’t your prototypical victim witness coordinator,” Smith said. “We took a gamble on it, and it has worked out tremendously.”

Hood said “I applied for the victim/witness coordinator position because it would let me work more closely with people while still being a part of the court system.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Mike Moore said Hood’s people skills have served him well over the past few weeks as he trained to assist Moore on the domestic violence docket. Hood helped convince a victim of domestic violence to testify against her abuser, which can be a challenge.  Walter has also had to help people in unexpected ways. He recently led a woman with visual impairment around the courthouse by the hand and called her a taxi to make sure she made it back home safely.

Working with people in stressful situations can be emotional. Hood is often moved by drug cases, where he has seen how addiction can affect an entire family. “It can be pretty tough to watch a mother and a father crying in court … because this one family member is deciding to use drugs.”

Walter Hood loves what he is doing and the energy follows him. He says “The master’s program at Hood College really helped me identify and sharpen the strategic tools that I need to be successful in my day-to-day work. The Human Sciences Master’s program is extremely relevant when it comes to understanding and working with people, especially those in crisis situations, so it is a huge advantage to be able to incorporate the valuable information from the classroom and bring it to the workplace.”

TarlSpangler

Hood Biomedical Sciences student shares his field project experience

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

Tarl Spangler, a Master of Science candidate in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Regulatory Compliance works as a Scientist in the BioDefense Division of Emergent BioSolutions Inc. Here’s what he has to say about his experience at Hood.

Background 

I am a currently enrolled at Hood College for a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in the Regulatory Compliance (graduating in Fall 2016).

I have worked in the biotech field since graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Biology (Frostburg State University, 1997). My main field of expertise is vaccinology. I serve as a Study Director with a group working on next generation anthrax vaccines.

My career goals include applying my newly acquired knowledge of regulatory compliance within my current career path. I hope to transition into Regulatory Affairs after obtaining my Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC).

Why Hood College?

My decision to attend Hood College was multifaceted. I had familiarity with Hood College from when I took a pre-college topics biology class from Frederick High School. My biology teacher at the time encouraged me to take a class that was offered at Hood College to high school students. I also live in Frederick, MD; therefore, the proximity of the school to my home was appealing. Finally, Hood College had a program that was catered to exactly what I was looking for in a Master’s program (Regulatory Compliance)! And, the fact that Hood College just finished building an impressive sciences building (Hodson) was nothing to sneeze at either.

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Hood?

Life is all about the relationships you build. The people who come into your life and leave an impression upon you are who nurture you into the person you choose to become. I have enjoyed the relationships that I have made with my peers the most. Students and professors alike!

Why did you decide to do a field project?

I felt that a field work project was the more difficult way to graduate over taking a test at the end. I wanted to challenge myself. I also wanted to make a meaningful impact to my field through my field work project and have something to show for it… have something to be proud of.

What was your field work project about? What were the highlights of that experience?

My field work project was entitled “Methodology for Justifying the Reduction in the Use of Laboratory Animals Needed for Release and Stability Testing Purposes”. I used computer simulation techniques to suggest a 25% reduction in the number of animals required to calculate release and stability indicating relative potency values for anthrax vaccines. This required long hours after work in front of the computer learning how to write simulation programs using statistical analysis software (SAS®) with my friend, and biostatistician, Dr. Sweeney, who also served on my reading committee. The biggest highlight was my successful oral defense and approval of my project!

What advice would you give future graduate students about Hood and about your program?

My bits of advice for students who are choosing to take the thesis/field work project path toward graduation would be:

  1. Start thinking about your theism/field work project topic when you begin your program!
  2. Use the information you get from your classes to find a topic you are “passionate” about. THIS is majorly important!

Don’t wait until the end of the program to come up with your topic. Although I am graduating, I waited late in the game to decide upon my field work project topic. The final class in the thesis/field work project path toward graduation is BMS 580/585. This class helps you develop your topic into a “pre-proposal” which is required to be submitted to the graduate school. I did not have my topic locked down at this point. The topic I chose during the class, I ended up not being passionate about. It was not until halfway through the class that I realized that fact and I had to develop a new topic rather quickly. This experience made me wish I had started working on my project MUCH earlier!

It’s NEVER too early to start on your topic. Bounce your ideas off of your peers and professors. This is also a great way to start finding professors who could possibly serve on your reading committee.