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Dogs, Exploring, Plays, and Stress – Reading Clinic Part 2

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, Reading Specialization, Uncategorized | No Comments

Miss the first blog in the series? Read about how clinic started, from meeting the kids to being observed in one day, and the difference between confidence and overconfidence in Part One!

 

20180719_101828 editGetting ready for the second week of clinic, I felt a strange combination of nervous and confident. I’d survived the first week without any major disasters and felt like I’d been teaching my three students for a month. The next week, I still had three students, but it wasn’t the same three. After all, this is the summer. Clinicians want to have summer break, and students and their families do too. That means vacations and trips, which all my students went on. In fact, I ended up having all four of my students for the entire day just two days out of the entire session. After going through introductions all over again on Monday, we got right back into it. We explored the beautiful campus - after all, as we told them, they were coming to classes at the college and were college students now - and still got plenty of work done!

 

20180711_101631 (1)One of the things that I love about teaching elementary students is that they (mostly) want to please and learn. My group were all motivated learners who tried hard to do their best and enjoyed reading. I’m pretty sure that if I asked them to sit down and read a phone book, they would! Of course, we tried to have a little more fun than that. One of everyone’s favorite things is reading to the dogs. I wish I could take credit for it, but they do it every year. Dogs from Wags For Hope come weekly so that the students can read to them. Even shy and hesitant readers will read to dogs! My students told me all about Dixie, the cocker spaniel who would wriggle over next to you while you read, and Thor, the Bernese Mountain Dog who lived to listen and drool. The dogs also serve an important purpose for the teachers – while we sent one or two of our students at a time , they each got to read to the dogs for 15 minutes , we could work with or assess our remaining students.

 

For me, one of the toughest parts of clinic was balancing the learning and the fun. After all, I only had three weeks to help these kids, but this is three weeks out of their summer, so they needed to enjoy it too! They were engaged by some work with biographies – yes, biographies can be a lot of fun! When we read about Helen Keller, they created braille messages using a pencil to poke through paper. Then, they each got to pick a person to research from a list of books at their level. One of the coolest moments I had in clinic was watching their discussion when they, without any suggestions from me, each decided to pick someone that they had never heard of. They ended up researching Bessie Coleman, Maria Tallchief, and Ramses the Great and then taught everyone about them. They also had a great time working on a reader’s theater play for The Cheetah and the Sloth (it’s a version of The Tortoise and the Hare) and deciding how dramatically to act it out!20180718_112217 (1)

 

Of course, while all this fun and learning was going on for the students, the clinicians were learning too. We were observed again the second week, this time doing one of our reading lessons. For once, the lesson I was observed on went well. Probably the toughest thing was the last week – not only were we observed during a writing lesson, we had to observe each other AND get observed coaching each other. We were learning lots of things about the teaching, but the concept of coaching was new. We’d done it once before in class, when our teacher gave us (purposefully) awful lessons to teach to each other, then we took turns coaching each other. This time, though, we had to give each other feedback on lessons that we had designed and cared about. Luckily, mine went well, I was able to give the other clinician ideas while staying positive. But I wondered…what would happen in a school situation, with a teacher who didn’t really want my feedback?

 

Finally, the third week was over. I couldn’t believe I was done with the elementary clinic – I felt like I had been teaching these kids forever, and I wasn’t ready to turn them over to another teacher. We had a great last day, reading a book about the history of chocolate and making mug brownies in the microwave (messy, but fun), before their parents came in to visit and the students got to share all the things that they had learned. It was so great to see their growth in just three weeks, but I knew I would miss them. Plus, now I was switching to the secondary clinic. If teaching in the elementary clinic, which is where I am comfortable, was tough, how would it be teaching students who are little adults?

 

I wasn’t ready for secondary, are you? Hear about a whole new program, system, and students, coming soon!

Classes start soon! Register today. Learn more about our programs designed for educators:

Curriculum and Instruction, M.S.

Multidisciplinary Studies, M.S.

Reading Specialization, M.S.

Mathematics Instructional Leadership, M.S.

 

Mir Abdul Wasay – Graduate Student Association President graduating

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, GSA, International Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

20180519_144007Mir Abdul Wasay served as the officially elected president of the Hood College Graduate Student Association (GSA) during the 2017-2018 academic year. With the help of GSA members, Mir organized a variety of cultural, professional and fun activities on campus and in the community. Events included: an educational and interactive panel for spouses, and an evening at a local bowling alley. “The most fun thing about GSA is the GSA itself – meeting so many new and interesting people was very special to me,” says Mir. He believes that GSA allowed him not only to learn more about American culture but many other cultures around the world, as active GSA members are from Asia, Africa and Europe as well as the US. The association is open to all graduate students, who can provide input or simply enjoy the activities and meet new people on campus.

When asked Why Hood?, Mir says that the small community, campus and the Information Technology program itself attracted him to the college. He was never a fan of “urban jungles” and Hood was exactly what he had in mind when coming from India to further his education. “Hood’s IT Program is comprehensive and consists of a variety of topics, such as system engineering, management, and cybersecurity, and you are able to focus on what you like best.” Mir says the small student-teacher ratio makes one feel connected to the professors, which may not be easy at bigger schools.

During his two years at Hood, Mir was also involved with Hood TV broadcasting, volunteered for Frederick Fire and Rescue and was an active member of Hood’s Cybersecurity Club.

After graduating in July, Mir is planning to work on his startup company, which he began at Hood. “The idea is to simplify network security solutions and make them available and affordable by applying open source technologies.” Mir will utilize the opportunity of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for the next 3 years, and will work on developing his security solutions business. For the longer run, Mir says he would like to stay in the US, but the world is big and he is not sure where he may end up.

Hood’s Third Annual Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

Posted by | Curriculum and Instruction, Environmental Biology, Graduate School Highlights, International Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

IMG_6897Kelly Cunningham, a Master of Science candidate in Environmental Biology, is Hood College’s 2018 Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition winner. Kelly’s thesis is entitled Identifying Locations in the Greater Washington D.C. Area Most at Risk from Future Development, on the risk to the environment of development in our local area. Kelly presented a technical problem in a non-technical way and was awarded the $600 first-place prize from Hood’s Graduate School.

Members of the audience selected two People’s Choice winners, each of whom was awarded $200. Winners were Kamal Saran Rangavajhula, an M.S Candidate in Management of Information Systems (MIS), presented his semester-long research Detection of Unauthorized Usage of User Accounts through Mouse Dynamics. Kemal conducted this research with the help of professors Dr. Carol Jim and Dr. Ahmed Salem. Jessica McClain, an M.S candidate in Curriculum and Instruction, won with The Effects of Metacognitive Reading Strategies on French L2 Vocabulary Acquisition.

Internationally recognized and valued by employers, the 3MT competition is a way for graduate students to relay their capstone, advanced project, thesis or internship to a non-technical audience. 14 Hood Graduate students gained valuable experience in developing academic, presentation and communication skills. Applicants from seven Master’s Programs — MBA, Environmental Biology, Biomedical Science, Bioinformatics, Curriculum and Instruction, Management Information Systems, and Thanatology, and two 2 Doctoral programs — Doctorate of Organizational Leadership and Doctorate in Business Administration participated. This was Hood’s third year of 3MT sponsorship and The Graduate School hopes to continue this fun and educational tradition in years to come.
Congratulations once again to our winners!

Hood’s Dr. Ryan Safner on Frederick City’s Strategic Opportunities Advisory Team

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

View More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/er-wedding-1Dr. Ryan Safner, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at Hood, has been named to the City of Frederick’s Strategic Opportunities Advisory Team (SOAT). Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor has tasked the SOAT with creating and delivering a report to identify the current strengths and challenges facing the City, which will then be incorporated into the city’s strategic plan. The SOAT covers five targeted areas: Civic Engagement, 21st Century Technology and Communication, Economic Resilience, Expanding Opportunity, and City Operations and Organization. Safner is a member of the Economic Resilience workgroup, and writes below…

Since February, our Economic Resilience workgroup has met once per month, and will continue to do so through June. Each meeting is a discrete step towards producing a final report to be delivered to the Mayor by June 30 describing the “strengths, aspirations, opportunities, and results (SOAR)” of the City’s economic resilience. Our current vision is to produce a report or presentation with a simple “scorecard” to summarize how resilient Frederick is across several different aspects. We aim to track both the performance of the city over time, as well as benchmark it against other similar cities, to the extent that the relevant data is available.

Just what is economic resilience? While difficult to define abstractly, it is easy to toss out many attributes or examples of something being “resilient.” We have divided into subgroups, each trying to focus on exploring a particular category of economic resilience and searching for relevant data to measure and report as part of our analysis. My subgroup is analyzing resilience with respect to the quality of the city of Frederick’s governance, transparency, and relationship between the City and its citizens. At our next meeting we will be presenting our ideas to the wider group about how to provide some metrics and data on this admittedly difficult-to-quantify concept.

This is my first experience with local city government, so I have been learning a lot about how the City of Frederick operates, as well as getting to know some of the personalities in the city government and local community. As someone who works and spends a lot of time in Frederick, I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know more about the city and trying to do my small part in ensuring it remains a great place to live and work.

For more information on Frederick’s SOAT, visit https://www.cityoffrederick.com/1081/Mayors-Strategic-Opportunities-Advisory.

 

“UnSeen” Field trip to the National Portrait Gallery

Posted by | Graduate School Highlights, International Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

IMG_20180412_135650372EAP 500; Advanced English for Academic Purposes, is one of the most important base classes designed solely for the international students at Hood College. Taught by Dr. Donald Wright, Associate Professor of French and Arabic, Director of Middle Eastern Studies and Chair of Global Languages and Cultures Department, the course has been developed to strengthen English language skills of international students, who come to Hood with varied language and career backgrounds. Dr. Wright believes this class is useful for most international students, and he has created meaningful writing assignments that deal with current events and are based in American culture.

IMG_20180412_133356866Like many classes at Hood, EAP 500 reaches beyond the walls of the classroom, as Dr. Wright and the class recently visited The National Portrait Gallery. They toured and viewed the exhibit UnSeen, which “highlights the work of two leading contemporary artists who grapple with the under- and misrepresentation of certain minorities in portraiture and American history.” Each student had to select a portrait from the exhibit, explain why they picked it, how it spoke to them and what it’s historical or cultural significance was. Back in class, students will continue their discussion about the portraits and will write the biographies of the subjects as part of their assignment. Dr. Wright thought the field trip and exhibition were fantastic and would recommend it to everyone. “We were lucky, we only set off the alarm once and got into an argument a two or three times maybe (about actual ideas – which is a good thing of course)”, he added jokingly.

IMG_20180412_134849194The class and these kind of entertaining field trips are a few of the many opportunities offered to our international students. All are designed to get to know American culture better, while learning and strengthening their English proficiency. And the fun they get by doing it is a bonus!

We Digitized Our Lives, We Just Forgot to Secure Them

Posted by | Cybersecurity, Graduate School Highlights, Uncategorized | No Comments

Screen-Shot-2018-04-06-at-3.47.48-PM-560x306

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are a connected, digital society that depends heavily on networks, databases and other digital systems to operate. Almost every aspect of our lives, from the most basic tasks at the workplace to our personal communication and social interactions, to the way we shop and the tools we use to study and learn, depends on some form of electronic interaction or data exchange. These digital environments are practical, useful and fast, but in our excitement to use, leverage and widely deploy them, we have forgotten to secure them.

The spree continues

Last year, the national fast food restaurant chain, Arby’s, acknowledged that malware installed on payment systems inside specific corporate stores might have compromised more than 355,000 credit and debit card numbers. A few months later, personal information and the medical diagnoses of at least 7,000 patients at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center in New York had leaked. By the end of the summer, Kmart and Verizon had revealed malware infections and data leaks, all leading to the Equifax compromise, a breach potentially affecting up to 143 million customers. Even Uber suffered a data breach allegedly exposing personal information of 57 million users and drivers. Even companies in cybersecurity can be affected. Take Deloitte for example, a company once named by Gartner Research as the “best cybersecurity consultant in the world,” which had its email system hacked. The naive justification of all these compromises can be attributed to profit-driven “corporate irresponsibility”—companies and organizations minding their bottom lines rather than exercising care about securing their data.

Not my problem

Terms like breach, data leak, attack, hack, exploit and malware have become common in our vernacular, and they are immediately associated with malicious intent. For most individuals, cybersecurity incidents remain distant acts of socially awkward—but brilliant—teenagers or nefarious hackers in far-away countries. That’s until someone’s financial or health records become available on the Internet.

Companies on the other hand are aware of the impact of breaches, but for many, they are only identified as risks that are hedged against with the cost of actively protecting digital assets and that of inaction. For small businesses, a hacking attack may be detrimental, with 60 percent of small companies being unable to sustain more than six months after a compromise. For large organizations, cybersecurity insurance policies give a sense of safety from financial risk, yet there is no policy that could ever recover the reputational cost and loss of trust.

Cybersecurity compromises are not always the product of malicious intent and unauthorized access. Data breaches are also caused by unintentional omissions, software errors, poor maintenance of systems and software operator negligence or misplaced trust in careless third parties. In all cases and at all levels, dealing with cybersecurity incidents, whether malicious or inadvertent, will not be reduced until all stakeholders, from organizations to individuals, assume their share of responsibility.

The hunt for cybersecurity talent

The need for qualified cybersecurity staff has become a mainstay discussion. Cybersecurity professionals are expected to have specific, technical, specialized skills that match each organization’s technology mix. The result has been the springing up of an entire industry of cybersecurity certifications that existing information technology professionals flock to obtain. These are good options to meet current demand, but their value is often as short-lived as the product or technology they are based on.

Unlike other fields, specific technology skills are required in cybersecurity, but they are not sufficient to succeed. The field is highly technical and requires professionals to continuously cross the lines between computer science, information technology and mathematics. It also requires many important skills such as problem solving and critical thinking. These skills can’t be obtained by a weeklong vendor training or series or set of professional certifications. These are skills that are cultivated with formal education, enriched with technical training and further enhanced with on-the-job work experience.

For information on our cybersecurity program, click here.

 

By George Dimitoglou, D.Sc., Associate Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Computer Security and Information Assurance

Cotton Speaker Series Launches the Cybersecurity Master’s Degree at Hood

Posted by | Cybersecurity, Graduate School Highlights, GSA, Information Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

29261699_10155019431981261_2321211411516096512_oOn April 5th, Hood College will present the first lecture in the John C. and Janet Hobbs Cotton Cybersecurity Endowed Lecture Series. Janet Hobbs Cotton ’59 and husband, John Cotton have provided the college’s new cybersecurity master’s program with a generous gift by establishing the lecture series, which will bring nationally and internationally recognized leaders in cybersecurity to campus.

“My husband and I believe that funding a cybersecurity lecture series will be a unique way to promote Hood as it moves forward with the master’s program in this field,” said Janet. “It will give students a more in-depth understanding of the climate surrounding cybersecurity problems in the world. Members of the Washington, Baltimore and Frederick communities will be encouraged to participate and become more aware of the issues our society faces today.”

The first lecture, slated for 7 p.m. in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall, will feature retired four-star general Keith Alexander and mark the official launch of Hood’s Cybersecurity Master’s Program. The importance of establishing a new cybersecurity program is especially emphasized in this time of “the global cybercrime epidemic”, predicted to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021 and creating an unprecedented shortage of cybersecurity workers, according to Cybersecurity Business Report.

More specifically, a shortage of 3.5 million cybersecurity workers is being predicted by 2021, with a cybersecurity unemployment rate of 0 percent (zero!) in 2016. This astonishing figure is predicted to stay constant till 2021, as there are currently two job openings for every one qualified professional. This lack of cybersecurity talent is obvious in both the US and abroad. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) recently predicted that India alone will require one million cybersecurity experts due to its expanding economy. Despite having the largest IT talent pool in the world, it is highly unlikely that India will be able to produce an adequate number of professionals to meet the demand.

Upper level management positions related to this field are also in a pattern of steady growth. Approximately 65 percent of large U.S. companies have a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) position, up from 50 percent in 2016, according to ISACA, an independent, nonprofit, global association. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that all large companies in the world will have a CISO position by 2021. With all these astonishing predictions and numbers being generated in the last several years, the Hood Graduate School is proud to continue its leadership in the field with the establishment of the new Cybersecurity Masters of Science Program.

 

For more information about the John C. and Janet Hobbs Cotton Cybersecurity Endowed Lecture Series, please click here.

How a “Whim” Led to a Job and Degree

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YountWhitney Yount is a native of Frederick, and after earning her degree in Strategic Communication and Marketing from High Point University in North Carolina, she wasn’t planning on coming back. She applied for – and received – a position as an Admissions Counselor at Hood College “on a whim,” but quickly fell in love with the Hood community. She knew that she wanted a job that was “education-adjacent,” working with education but not actually teaching. She feels that Hood chose her, and not the other way around.

Whitney loved her undergraduate time at High Point, but wishes the school had emphasized community and traditions more. “Luckily, Hood has those things!” Hood’s small size gives “a lot of great opportunities to get involved – as a student and a staff member. I feel like I’ve really been able to pursue my interests and do things that wouldn’t be possible if I was at a larger school.”

While working here, Whitney decided to work toward a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior (ISHB). She explains, “The ISHB program focuses primarily on Psychology, but in the interest of being well-rounded, students are required to take a few outside classes. I took Economics and Statistics for my ‘outside’ classes because they’re both subjects that I wasn’t able to take during undergrad, but I feel like they’re important to know.” She is thrilled to be getting her degree in something that interests her and will help her career, as “I think coming out of a program that focused so heavily on human behavior and interaction will help me in any career path that I pursue, particularly because I feel like even if I eventually change careers, I’ll definitely still be working where interacting with people is an essential part of my job.” That blend of psychology and business options in one degree is what intrigued Whitney and others in the program. We are thrilled that Whitney is both student and staff at Hood, and can’t wait to see what her future holds!

Who Teaches the Teachers?

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

 

Hanna editHarry Hanna, one of many exceptional adjunct professors in Hood College’s education programs, has multiple connections to Hood, from being caught by college security toilet papering cars on campus in his much younger days, to marrying a Hood graduate, to working at a summer program hosted at Hood and staying in the dorms before men were allowed to live on campus. He later earned his M.S. in Educational Leadership from Hood, and now teaches as an adjunct professor.

 

As a young man in California, he worked various jobs while finishing high school and then attended community college while working. At 20, he joined the United States Army, and after basic training in Kentucky and advanced training as a medic in Texas, was assigned to Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD, where he first heard about Hood College. Hanna explains; “at the time, Hood was primarily a women’s college and someone at Fort Detrick told me that I was going to love the post and that there was a women’s college a mile from the base.” While stationed at Detrick, he took classes at Frederick Community College and finished his A.A. degree while working in the Virology Division at the United States Army Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). He became friends with some of the Hood College students who were interning at the base and learned more about the college and its programs.

 

After finishing his enlistment, Harry decided to pursue a degree in elementary education at Towson University, where he became the first member of his family to graduate from college. At the same time, he continued to make friends with Hood students, and ending up dating Hood student Barbara Wood, ’97, whom he married a year after she graduated. They moved to California for a few years where Harry taught middle school and Barbara elementary. In 2002, they returned to Frederick and both began working for Frederick County Public Schools at Twin Ridge Elementary. They’ve now been married for almost 20 years, have four wonderful children, and still get together with her best friend from Hood at least once a year!

 

Harry has worked for FCPS in various positions, and then finally made it to Hood as student, earning his Master’s in Educational Leadership in 2007. While working at Centerville Elementary as a Technology Staff Developer and Reading Intervention Teacher, he was recruited by a Hood adjunct to teach EDUC 502, Technology for Literacy, Leadership and Learning, a core course for the Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Reading Specialization, and STEM certificate graduate programs. The course looks at instructional technology and “discusses how technology fits within the modern and traditional classrooms.” He has taught many graduate students, who describe him as “motivating.” One current student explains that his class gave her “not just real things I can use, but the ways and means and comfort to use them”.

 

See a clip of Harry teaching a class HERE

 

Why Hood? Harry explains; “I truly have been blessed by Hood in many ways and I have spent the better part of a decade now teaching teachers how to incorporate technology in their classrooms, whether they are educators in Maryland, West Virginia or even Saudi Arabia, (where two current students are from). I love teaching this course because the content is dynamic since the changes in technology keep it fresh and engaging. We ask our students to take risks when it comes to incorporating technology in their teaching, and we can model it ourselves. I always hope that my students take away from the course a shift in mindset in the way they look and view technology. It is a tool to help students be successful, to think critically and not just be consumers of technology and information, but creators of it. I really want teachers to know that, even if they aren’t totally comfortable with a particular program, app or piece of technology, that it is OK if students might know more about it than they do. Teachers shouldn’t use technology just for technology’s sake, but to develop those higher order thinking skills through creativity, collaboration, content creation and connection. These are some of my goals for my graduate students.  Hood has been a big part of my life and I am #Hoodproud!”

Protect Yourself in 2018 with These Cyber Tips

Posted by | Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Graduate School Highlights, Information Technology, Management of Information Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

17_CyberSecurity_Tshirt-1Each time we use our computer or device while on campus, we become a node on the College’s computer network. Being called a “node” may sound impersonal, but in reality it is an automatic assignment of personal responsibility. When it comes to computer security, a network is only as secure as its weakest link. This means that each one of us, (each node) must exercise a great deal of responsibility when using network resources and while connected on the campus network. Here are four common cases that may compromise your personal security and impact campus network security:

#1 Never Respond to Emails Asking for Personal Information
No colleague, friend, IT support professional or vendor with whom you interact should ever ask via email for account information, credit card numbers or passwords. Under no circumstance should you ever respond to such information requests via email.

#2 Never Respond to Calls about Tech Support You Did Not Initiate
A common new scam is receiving a call from a “Helpdesk” or “Microsoft Tech Support” about your computer. Legitimate technical support organizations respond to inquiries by their users, they don’t proactively call their users to “fix” unreported problems.

#3 Ransomware
Ransomware is a special type of malware. Be suspicious of any emails trying to trick you into opening infected attachments or clicking on malicious links. Common sense is your best defense. In addition, backups are often the only way you can recover from ransomware.

#4 Scam Alert: Your Trusted Friends Can Hack Your Facebook Account
If you receive a message from any of your Facebook Friends asking for urgent help to recover their Facebook account, because you are one of their ‘Trusted Contacts,’ don’t blindly believe it. Researchers have detected a new Facebook phishing scam that can trick even an experienced technical user into falling victim to the scam, helping an attacker gain access to your Facebook account.

Any of the above may compromise your system or device (e.g. tablet, phone) or allow scammers to obtain your personal information. More importantly, any of these will make you the “weakest link” in the College’s network, putting everyone else in danger of further exploitation. Computer security is, unfortunately, one more thing we must be vigilant about. But with some common sense you can keep yourself safe and contribute to keeping the campus computing environment safe for all of us.

 

By Eddie F. Hamad M.S.’18 (Cybersecurity), CISSP, CEH and George Dimitoglou, Ph.D., Program Director, Cybersecurity