Graduate School Highlights

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

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

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…


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

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

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

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

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

Hood College Graduate School student receives Boren Fellowship award

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

Nicole EaselyNicole Easley, a student in Hood College Graduate School’s Masters in Biomedical Science program recently received the National Security Education Program’s Boren Fellowship Award. Nicole will travel to Brazil to learn Portuguese while simultaneously conducting infectious disease research. Nicole says she owes this accomplishment wholly to Hood College. Read her story below.

I’m a native of Denver, Colorado but grew up in Montgomery County, MD. I graduated from Colorado State University in 2006 with a BS in Microbiology. As an undergraduate, I did a work-study in a tuberculosis research lab in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology. I was able to get summer research fellowships through the American Society of Microbiology, Leadership Alliance, and the Ronald E. McNair Fellowship.

After completing my undergraduate degree, I moved back to the DC area and worked at the National Institutes of Health in the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases for Dr. Susan Buchanan in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology doing structural biology research and x-ray crystallography. My research there contributed to two publications in the top-tier science journal Nature and one in the Journal of Molecular Biology.

After teaching English in Brazil, I returned to the States and began Hood’s Biomedical Science Program in spring 2015, and worked as a Lab Technician for an Immunohistochemistry Lab at Covance. My second year at Hood I took a full-time course load since I knew that I wanted to study abroad for one year before I finished the Master’s program.

In January 2016 I applied for the Boren Fellowship Award. The fellowship provides funding for U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, if the student commits to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

My proposal was for a program proposal tied to US national security. Specifically, going to Brazil to learn Portuguese and researching infectious disease research as Ebola and Zika viruses are threats to US national security, as threats to public health and the economy. I utilized the contacts I made through my career, networks I made while in Brazil as an English teacher, and the BMS faculty at Hood College to help design a research proposal.

I was accepted in February and had to start my program in Brazil by March 15th. The BMS faculty at Hood has been most helpful in allowing me to accept this fellowship award in the middle of the semester.

For big opportunities like this, don’t psyche yourself out before you get started. Go for it! Talk to the faculty in your program ask them for recommendations, referrals and research project ideas. Look at the topic you’d like to research and understand the current events and how it applies to national security. Networking is key. Start the application process early. Make your application stand out from the thousands that apply.

Hood College is the reason I got this fellowship. I’m so thankful I chose the Masters in Biomedical Science program at Hood.

Hood college graduate school students featured in ceramic arts exhibit

Posted by | Ceramics, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

Students from Hood College Graduate School programs in ceramic arts are featured in an exhibit on campus.

“Collectors’ Voices in Ceramic Art: A Leading Edge Exhibition,” runs from March 2-April 2 in the Whitaker Campus Center Gallery. Collectors have loaned pieces of their personal collections to Hood for a show that features historical and contemporary ceramics from 19 major regional collectors, many affiliated with the James Renwick Alliance, a nonprofit organization that celebrates America’s craft artists. The pieces are from around the globe.

Ceramic arts graduate students were paired with a collector and researched the collected ceramic artwork and interviewed the collectors, researching the history of the work and the stories surrounding the acquisition of the pieces. During the exhibition, two presentations, “History and Legacy: A Conversation with Collectors,” will feature the students and the collectors as they present their research. The presentations will take place March 11 and March 25 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center Commons.

The Whitaker Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The opening reception is March 5 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Whitaker Commons. The project is co-sponsored by the Hood College Humanities Council’s 2016-17 NEH colloquium series, “Narrative at the Edge of the World,” and the Ceramic Arts graduate program. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jenna Gianni at or 301-696-3285.



Hood College Graduate School Student set to present at graduate student conference

Posted by | Bioinformatics, Graduate School Highlights | No Comments

Suraj Pant

Suraj Pant, a student in Hood College’s Master’s program in Bioinformatics, will be presenting his research at the 11th Annual Graduate Student Conference at the University of Rhode Island. The conference is scheduled for April 8, 2017. Suraj, an international student from Nepal, holds a Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) degree from Pokhara University, Nepal. As part of the degree requirements, he carried out research on the knowledge and practice of meat hygiene among the slaughter house workers in the Pokhara sub-metropolitan of Nepal.

He will be presenting the findings of that research at the conference. Suraj credits his academic advisor and program director of the Master’s program in Bioinformatics, Dr. Miranda Darby, with helping him ensure a successful abstract submission.

Greater Maryland Graduate Women in Science (GM-GWIS) Spring 2017 Travel Award

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

PictureGreater Maryland Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) is the local chapter of an international organization dedicated to empowering women in science. 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.”

GM-GWIS is granting a “Travel Award” for GM-GWIS members for their participation to the DC Science Writers Association (DCSWA) Professional Development Day (PDD) on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

Professional Development Day has been DCSWA’s signature event since 2006. Each year,
100 to 150 science reporters, editors, radio and video producers, freelancers, and students gather for a fun and exciting day of networking and skill-building. This year, PDD will include six panel sessions, three interactive workshops, a plenary speaker, breakfast and lunch, all-day resume coaching, and an invitation to socialize with your colleagues following the event. See the day’s agenda at

Benefits of the conference and award include: A great day of fun, learning, and networking opportunities, and the honor of placing the award on your resume.

The Travel Award will cover the registration fee and provide an additional $10 stipend for travel expenses such as gas or Metro, as breakfast and lunch are included in the registration fee. Up to two (2) awards may be made this year. Awardees must register and attend the meeting, and then submit receipts to GM-GWIS following the event to be reimbursed immediately. All graduate students who are GM-GWIS members are eligible. To register for professional Development Day, visit

Application Process: Applicants will submit an essay of 300-500 words that explains how they might benefit from attending this event. Applications are due by Wednesday, March 22; send your essay to; include name address, phone number, graduate school and major. If you do not receive next day e-mail confirmation of your submission, call: 301-304-0140. Awards will be announced on or before Sunday, March 26.

Applicants are encouraged to review the meeting agenda and the DCSWA website before completing their essay. Applicants do not need to be majoring in journalism or science writing. Science writing is a major part of many careers, and the information and networking opportunities of this meeting should benefit many types of STEM professions.

Application and Essay evaluation criteria:
1) Applicant is a graduate student and GM-GWIS member.
2) Essay quality:
• Writing, including grammar, structure, and use of support when needed
• Content convinces reviewer of applicant’s interest in the content of the meeting, and how it might benefit the applicant whatever her future career choice
3) Applications and essays will be evaluated by a panel of 3 or more members of the GM-GWIS Executive Committee.

* Awards may not be made if there are no applications that meet the guidelines proposed here, or if an awardee registers but does not attend the event.