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Swimming with Sea Lions and Discovering Darwin: Hood College Galapagos Trip 2018

By Shannon Kundey, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology

As a high school student, traveling to St. Petersburg, Russia inspired a lifelong thirst for travel. Although we were only there for three weeks, the trip instilled both a love of travel and an appreciation of learning through travel. As a professor, I seek to instill both my love of exploring new places and acquiring knowledge through travel in my students.

Today at Hood, I study how nonhuman animals think similarly to and differently from humans. For instance, a current study in our lab examines how salamanders navigate from one place to another. Can salamanders, like humans, use visual cues to move to a distant location? The assumption of an evolutionary link among humans and nonhuman animals underlies this work.

Although we, as humans, tend to ignore that we are animals and subject to evolution as we go about our daily lives, our bodies, including our brains and our capacity to think, have been shaped by evolutionary forces. What better place to explore evolution than in the location, the Galapagos Islands, that so influenced Charles Darwin in the formulation of his ideas regarding natural selection? Evolution comes alive for students in the Galapagos! While discussing evolution in the classroom is often powerful, visiting the strange and varied landscapes of the Galapagos has the unique ability to inspire students to understand and delve into tough questions involving evolution while gaining an appreciation of the islands’ importance historically, ecologically and economically.

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Q&A with Professor Bertazzoni

What inspired your move from the newsroom to the classroom at Hood?

The short answer is serendipity. I had worked for several years at The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, and one of my co-workers for a time was (now retired) Professor Al Weinberg. He came to visit the newsroom one day, and I asked him how he liked teaching at Hood. He raved about it, and so I asked him if any jobs would be open at Hood anytime soon. As it turned out, a position was open for the fall. I applied and got it and in 30 years, I have not looked back. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Hood.

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Hood College’s Alternative Spring Break program took students and community members on civic engagement trips locally and in Florida.

The local “Know Your Neighbors” program included 15 Hood members who participated in service trips to the Frederick County 4H Therapeutic Horseback Riding Center in Thurmont; Earl’s Place Shelter in Baltimore; and 2nd Street and Hope Community Meal Center, the Sustainable Garden, and the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs in Frederick.

The Florida program saw seven students volunteer with Habitat Humanity in Key West. They helped rebuild a house from the bottom up that had been destroyed by Hurricane Irma.

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Senior Natalie Yeagley Named Most Outstanding Honors Student

Natalie Yeagley, a graduating senior with a double major in art and archaeology and history, won the 2018 Maryland Portz Award for Outstanding Maryland Honors Student.

The Portz Award is given at the annual Maryland Collegiate Honors Council Conference each year, and it recognizes the top honors student from a four-year school and from a two-year school in Maryland.

“Winning the Portz Award was an incredible honor,” said Yeagley. “It is the best kind of acknowledgement of all the work I had done and an affirmation that I am on the right path to realize my future academic goals. I also realize now how lucky I have been to be surrounded by friends and professors who believe in my ability, even when I do not, and who work hard to ensure I am able to grow as a student and as an individual. I cannot overemphasize the role these people have played in my accomplishments.”

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Hood Traditions | Liberation

By Meg DePanise ’15

Twenty-eight years after the first “Liberation of the Black Mind” conference, Liberation remains one of the most vital celebrations on Hood’s campus.

The student-run operation, which features educational, cultural and social events, has traditionally been devoted to providing a forum for introducing current issues, efforts and accomplishments of black America while promoting unity, knowledge and intellectual power.

The idea of “liberation” has evolved and taken on many different meanings for individuals of all backgrounds, as has the Liberation event itself.

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WYPR Broadcasts Live from Hood

By Lindsay Tubbs ’18

On March 27, Hood hosted a local National Public Radio (NPR) station—Baltimore’s 88.1 WYPR—for a live broadcast of “Midday with Tom Hall”. To me, this was particularly exciting, as I am a big fan of WYPR, and “Midday” specifically! I always find myself listening to it between classes, and have had the opportunity to be featured twice on the show as a call-in listener. So when my supervisor in Hood’s Office of Marketing and Communications told me that she would introduce me to Tom Hall at the event, I was thrilled!

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STEM-powering Our Future

By Meg DePanise ’15

In our increasingly digital world, it is important to graduate more students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math. Our nation’s competitiveness depends on the genius and dedication of tomorrow’s scientists, engineers and innovators. Yet today, less than 40 percent of American students pursue STEM fields, and there’s an insufficient pipeline of teachers skilled in those subjects. At Hood, we’re giving STEM students the hands-on experience and liberal arts training they need to fill 21st-century jobs. And with a $1.45 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program,* we are empowering future teachers to spread their excitement for STEM.

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We Digitized Our Lives, We Just Forgot to Secure Them

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

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.

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Leading the Way at Tuscarora High

Patricia M. Crowell ’04, M.S.’08 is in her 14th year as a STEM educator. Thirteen of those have been spent at Tuscarora High School, where she teaches primarily 10th grade biology.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s in environmental biology at Hood.

“STEM education is vital to the future of our country as it teaches children important skills that could be useful in any career path, even when we are trying to prepare students for careers that might not yet exist,” Crowell said.

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Partnerships = Opportunity

By Meg DePanise ’15

Experiential learning is a hallmark of a Hood education, and for budding scientists and technologists there is no shortage of opportunities. Located in a hive of top R&D firms, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and nearby federal and private laboratories, Hood is well connected to the best. No company has been more connected with Hood than Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. Together, Hood and Leidos Biomed are turning connection into opportunity and launching initiatives that will benefit Hood students and faculty, Leidos Biomed employees, and the larger Frederick community.

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