Humanities

Passing the Torch: Advice From Graduated Students to New Ones

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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!”

Outstanding Humanities Student Tara Scibelli

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ScibelliEvery year, faculty in each of Hood College’s graduate programs honor a particularly outstanding student to honor. This year’s recipient of the Lisa Ann Sullivan Outstanding Humanities Student is Tara Scibelli. Thanks to Lisa Ann Sullivan for funding this award.

Tara’s three years at Hood have been exciting and varied. She traveled internationally to view works of art and historical sites she learned about in the program, and her thesis, a series of poems on contemporary topics entitled The Fact of Whiteness: Female, showcased her creative writing. With graduation, Tara plans to enjoy her grandson – who inspired some of her poetry – and to continue with her writing.

Before coming to Hood, Tara worked for a conservation non-profit as well as an organization which advocated for keeping the arts in Maryland’s public school systems. Her daughter, Ariel Grove, graduated from Hood in 2012, making Tara a ‘reverse legacy.’ For Tara, the best part of being in the Humanities program was “discussing the readings in class, and especially hearing the points of view of the international students.” While she thought that all the professors were ‘excellent,’ her favorite was Dr. Corey Campion, who “showed genuine concern for all the students in the program and was also an excellent lecturer.” We congratulate her on her outstanding work and wish all the best in her future endeavors!

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!

Humanities – Yes, You Can Get a Job From That!

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payday“But can you really get a job with that?” It’s a difficult question for students to hear. According to Shocker: Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy by Scott Jaschik, for those pursuing degrees in Humanities, the answer is “yes.” Examining results from a recent study using Census data and Gallup Polls, Jaschik explains that  95.7% of those surveyed with a bachelor’s degree in Humanities were employed, as well as 97% of those with a Master’s. 87% of people with a bachelor’s in Humanities were happy with their employment, while 90% of advanced degree holders consider themselves happy. The data “challenges the myth of the underemployed, unhappy humanities graduate.” This is “comparable to graduates from almost any other field.” Dr. Corey Campion, Program Director of Hood College’s M. A. in Humanities, explains that “unlike specialized training which aims to secure jobs in a particular field, the humanities provide training in writing, analysis, and critical thinking – skills which, according to the recent World Economic Forum (2016) study, are now more than ever in demand from employers in a broad range of fields.”

Getting a degree in the Humanities doesn’t mean that you will make less money. Summarizing the data, Jaschik states “the report doesn’t contest that those who majored in engineering or natural sciences earn more, on average, than do humanities graduates. But it shows humanities grads to be gainfully employed and holding positions of authority, and finds that when it comes to measures of career satisfaction, humanities grads are as satisfied as those who majored in STEM.” While acknowledging that starting salaries for Humanities graduates are lower than for those in fields like engineering, pay gaps narrow over time.

Humanities graphSo, if you are interested in degrees in Humanities and similar fields? Go for it!

Read both Jachik’s complete article and the summarized study.

Looking to the Future of the Humanities

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DSC_9453-croppedFor Dr. Corey Campion, teaching is a “passion and privilege” and interdisciplinary learning is key. As the head of Hood College’s Master of Arts in Humanities program, he feels strongly about the role of the humanities in higher education. In fact, he feels so strongly that he has just published “Whither the Humanities – Reinventing the Relevance of an Essential and Embattled Field.” Published in the journal Arts & Humanities in Higher Education, the article looks at some of the struggles of many humanities programs along with why they are still incredibly valuable along with ways to help strengthen them.

Dr. Campion himself has a diverse background which he carries into his teaching and writing. In his own education, he trained as a student of language and culture before turning to foreign affairs and then history in graduate school. He says “along the way, I have enjoyed drawing on my training in various fields to explore a variety of topics from European history, to the history of food, the meaning of vacations, and the current crisis in honeybee populations.” He lives what he teaches, from sharing his experiences living in France and Germany (he speaks French, German, and Spanish) to being a beekeeper with his own apiary. He gives his students real background to their theoretical knowledge. He wants those students to know “how interdisciplinary work can enhance their own learning in a given discipline and to understand better the world in which they live”.

In his article, Campion explains his thoughts on many current humanities programs, and lays out many of the struggles that humanities programs in higher education are experiencing. These include the perceptions of many people that the humanities are “nice, but not necessary” since they don’t teach specific skills aimed at a certain career as a math or science degree might. Humanities teaches not only analytical and critical thinking skills, but empathy and communication, which are key for many careers. Campion believes that one of the stumbling blocks for these programs is stagnation – that many are still doing things the same way, and may be “committed to teaching models that support faculty rather than student needs.” For many graduate students, whose careers may not be in academia, but in other fields where an understanding of people as well as content is key, an interdisciplinary approach which teaches how to be a humanist along with the content may be the best approach.

Campion’s article sets out his ideas for how humanities programs can best serve colleges, students, and communities. “While humanities faculty should not abandon their traditional mission to attain and impart a deeper understanding of the human condition through the study of history, literature, and art, they should also establish their classrooms as a place where all students engage those questions of politics, economics, medicine, and the environment that are so relevant to contemporary society.” He sees the opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching and learning at Hood as “exciting, and I share the College’s convictions with respect to the value of the liberal arts in the twenty-first century.” The college is also excited about his contributions to Hood and the higher education community at large!

Hood Hosts Student-Led Humanities Conference

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Humanities 1September 16th saw Hood College hosting its first ever student-led Humanities conference! “Discovering the Humanities” featured undergraduate and graduate students from Hood and other area colleges and universities. According to Dr. Corey Campion, director of Hood’s MA Program in Humanities, “the main goal was to showcase the exciting work students do in the Humanities at the undergrad and grad level at Hood and area schools”.  The presentations were varied, and topics ranged from literature, art, and gender, to popular culture, and world and local history. Where else would you find a presentation about “Applying and Comparing Baroque Features in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and TV Show Lost”, followed by “The Re-Imagined, Re-Defined, and Re-Created Roles of Carroll Creek” and “The Avant-Garde: Theory and Nature of Alienation”?

University of Pennsylvania Professor Bethany Wiggin, founder of the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities, gave the keynote focusing on the Humanities in higher education as well as the importance of working across disciplines as scholars. Hood English Professor Aaron Angello called Wiggin’s talk “rousing.”

 

Humanities 2The conference emphasized the student presenters themselves. Sarah Holsapple, a Hood Humanities graduate student, explained “There were several students from other schools who also participated, and it was a rare opportunity to talk about our research together and share our ideas with peers”. Her presentation, in the Modern American section of the conference, combined politics, philosophy, music, and culture when critiquing the avant-garde movement in music. Hood student  Asmaa Aaouinti-Haris presented in the Popular Culture section about Re-defining Black Masculinities in Beyonce’s Lemonade.” She also commented on the social and communal worth of the conference, saying “it was my first conference and I was excited and grateful to be able to share my research with classmates, professors and people from other universities. I loved the way in which the conference was organized. The atmosphere was perfect!”

 

Campion hopes this will be the start of a tradition. He looks forward to next year, saying “the presentations were excellent and showed an impressive level of rigor. It was a great event that gave us a chance to celebrate the humanities which are so central to the liberal arts tradition here at Hood. We’re excited about next year’s conference!” The date is already set for September 15, 2018.

 

See photos and the full schedule of this years’ conference.

Why the Humanities?

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DebarbaThe Graduate School at Hood College takes pride in its diversity…of people and programs. One such program is the Master of Arts in Humanities. Many students credit the program’s interdisciplinary focus for their increase in both analytical and big-picture thinking. One such student is Robert DeBarba, who started the program in fall of 2016.

A 2015 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in History, Robert stayed in Maryland and began work as a government contractor. When looking to continue his education, he chose the Hood Humanities program because he “really liked how the Humanities program was tailored to personal interests of study and offered a well-rounded variety of coursework.” A year into the program, he credits it with helping advance his career due to his increased ability to analyze, interpret, and articulate abstract concepts. He describes the program as a ‘skill set’ degree that has provided him with a unique combination of analytical tools in a very technical field. After receiving his Master’s, Robert intends to continue his education with a Ph.D. and would like to become a teacher.

Outstanding Student- Humanities

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i-7WvP3JX-L  Maura Page is the Event and Recruitment Coordinator in Hood College’s Center for Career Development and Experiential Education.  In addition, Maura has been a Hood History Museum docent since fall of 2010 and has participated in multiple Frederick Historic Sites Consortium events, including the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium – Master Docent Series.

As a graduate student Maura brought a passion for learning that often shaped class discussions and inspired her peers to consider topics from new perspectives—Maura is well deserving of this year’s outstanding humanities student award.  Maura competed in and won a People’s Choice Award in Hood’s our Three-Minute Thesis competition for her talk entitled, “Domestic Servitude: bonds with no common ground; racialized economic relationships in Jim Crow era films.”

Hood College hosts Humanities Conference

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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.

Student makes career switch to teaching

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Patrick CassidyPatrick Cassidy, a Hood College Master of Arts in Humanities candidate with a concentration in Geography, is a General Science Teacher of 7th graders at Wynn Middle School in Tewksbury, MA. Patrick graduated from The Catholic University of America where he majored in Interdisciplinary Studies. Prior to his career switch to teaching, he worked as an officer with the United States Capitol Police. Here’s what he has to say about his time at Hood and career motivations.

Why did you choose Hood?

I chose Hood because I enjoy interdisciplinary studies and the Humanities program embraces such an approach.  I took several courses in undergrad in which I was introduced to the Humanities and I was hooked.  Also, Hood is cost effective for graduate students and is in a great location.

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Hood?

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with other Hood students and with faculty members.  One of the things I miss, now that I am not in the classroom at Hood, is the classroom discussions and conversations with fellow students.

What’s your thesis topic?

My thesis topic is the legacy of exploration in the 20th Century.  I am looking at the long-lasting resonance of exploration and how such achievements become the crowning achievements for the nations represented by the explorers.  I am questioning what it is about exploration that makes it so captivating to an audience.

How has your experience at Hood contributed towards the change in career path?

My experiences at Hood helped me develop an appreciation for the impact which great teaching can have.  Also, my classes at Hood were eye-opening concerning environmental science.  Discovering new and interesting topics and issues in environmental science promoted a desire to enlighten other students in these areas.  This line of thought eventually led to my career change.

What do you love most about being a science teacher?

Opening students’ eyes to the world around them.  I have found the greatest satisfaction when students begin making observations about their surroundings.  They are getting their heads out of their cell phones and seeing some of the things we are discussing in the classroom at work in their daily lives. Admittedly, this does not happen all the time, but when it does, it’s rewarding.