Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior (Previously Human Sciences)

Outstanding Student- Human Behavior

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 Lauretta came to Hood after a 24-year business career, most recently as Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations for Avemco Insurance, one of the country’s leading aircraft insurers. She entered the Human Sciences MA program in fall 2015 and excelled in its fast paced and demanding courses. With great determination and personal sacrifice, Lauretta completed her course work in just seventeen months. Developing an affinity for the courses with a social psychology focus, she intends to apply the knowledge in her work and volunteer endeavors.   The National Association of Flight Instructors recently recruited Lauretta as their Director of Marketing & Communications, where she hopes to leverage her education and aviation safety experience to help reduce the fatal accident rate in aviation through engagement with flight instructors and the aviation community.

Hood College Graduate School’s Human Sciences program undergoes name change

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In 1971, Hood College’s Graduate School began with one program, the Master of Arts in Human Sciences. The program has had a variety of concentrations throughout the past 40+ years, including education, environmental biology, public affairs, nursing, counseling, special education, and management. To reflect its housing within the Psychology & Counseling Department, as well as the interdisciplinary approach of the curriculum, the program has been renamed “Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior”.

Many of Hood’s current graduate programs started out as tracks of the degree, as it was initially developed for the human service occupations.

According to Dr. Jason Trent, Director of the program, “The decision to change the name of the program came after careful consideration by faculty of the Psychology & Counseling department in order to better reflect its current curriculum and focus.  Not only will this better reflect what the program has emphasized for the past several years, but it is also more descriptive. A variety of people have asked, ‘What is Human Sciences?’, and we believe this ambiguity may hinder the success of our students after graduating. Changing the name to Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior will make it clearer to potential students and to potential employers of former students as to what this degree offers.”

Visit the Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior program website for more information.

Hood Student Advocates for Victims and Witnesses

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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.”

Internationally Known Thanatologist to Speak at Hood College

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Dr. Neimeyer

Dr. Neimeyer

Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D., will be the featured speaker for the Friday, April 1, 2016 program of the Dana G. Cable Memorial Thanatology Lecture Series. The internationally respected thanatologist will also conduct a workshop on Saturday, April 2, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. His topic will be contemporary understandings of grieving as a meaning-making process and what it implies for individuals and families.

Both events are open to the public and free of charge. The lecture will be held in Rosenstock Hall’s Hodson Auditorium. To register for the workshop, which will take place at Hodson Science and Technology Center, Room 131, email psychologyrsvp@hood.edu.

Dr. Neimeyer is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Since completing his doctoral training at the University of Nebraska in 1982, he has published 30 books, including Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved and Grief and the Expressive Arts:  Practices for Creating Meaning (with Barbara Thompson). Dr. Neimeyer serves as Editor of the journal Death Studies and has authored nearly 500 articles and book chapters.

Find out more about Hood’s thanatology certificate and master’s degree programs.

Thanatology Program Holds Death Cafe

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Recently, the Graduate School at Hood College’s Thanatology program hosted a Death Cafe for the greater Frederick community. The Saturday event–attended by 41 individuals ranging from hospice volunteers, a physician, and a death doula–spent the morning enjoying refreshments while discussing death. The objective was to increase awareness of death with a view of helping people make the most of their finite lives.

The group talked about right to die legislation, death anxiety, young individuals’ changing views of death and other death-related topics. Facilitators included thanatology program graduates Bunny O’Dell and Elsie Weinstein and current students Emily Fair, Paula Grant and Beverly Rollins.

Find out more about Hood’s thanatology certificate and master’s degree programs.

Thomas Receives Outstanding Graduate Student Award

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Gail Thomas, center, with Human Sciences program director Elizabeth MacDougall and Hood President Ronald Volpe

As a senior study director with Westat, one of America’s oldest social science research organizations managing and conducting process and outcome data collection for studies involving at-risk youth, clergy and the elderly, Gail Thomas wanted to know more. So the 15-year Westat veteran came to Hood’s Graduate School to deepen her understanding of human behavior and gerontology.

When she graduated with a master’s in Human Sciences in May 2015, Gail was honored with the Outstanding Human Sciences Student Award for 2015. This monetary award, established by Craig D. Lebo in 2011, is given annually to the top graduate student in the program, based on criteria such as academic achievement, leadership ability, teamwork skills, and contribution to the program. ​

Since 2008, Gail has collaborated with the Divinity School of Duke University to conduct the Clergy Health Initiative Longitudinal Study, which seeks to assess, track and improve the physical, spiritual and emotional health of United Methodist Church clergy in North Carolina. In 2013, she was project director for the Congregational Decision-Making About Clergy Compensation Study for Duke University’s School of Sociology and the Lilly Endowment. In spring 2015, Gail was a task leader for the Association of American Universities’ Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, which was administered to 27 participating research colleges and universities.

Currently, Gail is exploring the potential role for clergy as sentinels of elder abuse.  

Author of “Motherless Daughters” to Speak at Hood March 2

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Hope EdelmanHope Edelman, the acclaimed author of Motherless Daughters and Motherless Mothers, will be the guest lecturer for this year’s Dana G. Cable Memorial Thanatology Lecture Series at Hood College.  Ms. Edelman’s topic is “Motherless Daughters: Twenty Years Later.”

The lecture will be held Monday, March 2, 7 pm, in Hodson Auditorium at Rosenstock Hall on Hood’s campus. A Q&A session will follow Ms. Edelman’s remarks. Admission is free.

A sought-after speaker, Hope Edelman presents around the world and has appeared on television programs such as TodayGood Morning America, CNN and Good Morning Australia. She has written six books and has been published in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles TimesThe Huffington Post, Glamour, Child, and Real Simple, among other publications

The lecture series is named in honor of Dana Cable, former professor of psychology at Hood who passed away in 2010.

Reception for All New Students: August 20

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All students who are new to the Hood Graduate School for the Fall 2014 semester are invited to an orientation on Wednesday, August 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The informal welcome reception, to be held at Whitaker Campus Center, will provide an opportunity to meet faculty, staff and fellow students.

The agenda includes a campus tour, introduction to the bookstore and Apple computer lab, a welcome from Graduate School Dean Dr. Maria Green Cowles, and dinner with the program directors. Get the complete agenda and then RSVP here 

Thanatology Students and Adjunct Hold Death Cafe

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Kriste Kidd

Kriste Kidd
Photo by Graham Cullen
Frederick News-Post

Kriste Kidd, a hospice worker and student in the thanatology master’s program at Hood College, worked with her colleagues to bring Frederick its first Death Cafe on June 7. The informal discussion group covered everything from last wills and estate planning to healthy ways to deal with grief.

Kriste stated that the Death Cafe concept started in England and has now arrived in the United States. “Death is the most important conversation that America’s not having.”

Two other thanatology students, Bunny O’Dell and Chad Harris, as well as adjunct professor Cheryl Parrott joined Kriste in planning and facilitating the informational event. Read more here

 

 

Thanatology Program Makes the News

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The Frederick News-Post featured several graduates, current students and faculty of the Graduate School’s Thanatology program in its April/May edition of Real Frederick. The in-depth story covered the experiences and unique viewpoints of Kriste Hartman Kidd, Jacqui Kreh, Kathleen Hall, Bunny O’Dell and professor Terry Martin.  It also recognizes Dr. Dana Cable for offering one of the first classes in the thanatology field at Hood. Read the full story.