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Apple recognizes Hood’s innovative use of technology

Hood College is leading the pack again! The College was recently named an Apple Distinguished School for 2014-2016 for its innovative use of iPads and the application of technology in nearly every discipline.

So how did this come about? When Apple first introduced the iPad, Hood administrators, faculty and students quickly realized that this new technology had the potential to change the academic landscape. Hood wasted little time in launching a two-year pilot program;  incoming first-year undergraduate students and a few faculty explored the ways the iPad could benefit teaching and learning.

The program’s success led to its expansion and the iPad has been embraced campus wide; iPads are now distributed to every undergraduate student and faculty member. Since the end of the trial period, the iPad has been an integral part of daily learning in and outside of the classroom. From education professors demonstrating how to help children master reading skills to calculus students determining the velocity of a raindrop to business majors learning the intricacies of social media to English faculty demonstrating the structure and musicality of a sonnet, the iPad has transformed how faculty in every discipline teach and how students read their textbooks, solve problems, work together and learn.

Thanks to generous funding from an alumna and a foundation, and the vision of the campus community, Hood is in the forefront of innovative learning!

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“Messiah” is a seasonal favorite

You know the holiday season is just around the corner when Hood College Choir performs Handel’s Messiah. This year, choir alumni will join current choir members Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. for the 67th annual performances of the famous oratorio. It’s a must-see event!

As in previous years, the concert will feature four soloists: Lisa Dodson, soprano; Katelyn Jackman, mezzo soprano; Leroy smith, tenor; and Nathan Wyatt, bass. Lynn Staininger, director of choral activities at Hood, will conduct the concert. And a number of Hood faculty will perform with the orchestra, including Wayne L. Wold, associate professor of music and College organist; William D. Powell III, instructor of piano; Anna Claire Ayoub, instructor of bassoon; Ed Stanley, oboe instructor; Alison Bazala, cello instructor; and bassist Lynn Fleming, instructor of string bass.

Order tickets in advance at www.hood.edu.messiah or by calling 301-696-3130. If available, tickets will be sold at the door, but getting them in advance is always recommended for this popular event!

 

 

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Frederick, Md.–A mini-D.C.

Many of us here on campus have experienced the awesomeness of downtown Frederick. But for Hood students or for the locals it wasn’t always the go-to place to hang out. In recent years, thanks to revitalization efforts by the city’s leaders, new shops, restaurants, bars and art venues have not only opened for business but they are thriving.  People are flocking to live within walking distance of the flourishing night life and cultural scene. In an October 31 article that appeared in the Washington Post, a reporter wrote about this trend in Frederick and in small cities across the U.S. Read about what is being called the mini-boom.

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An Opportunity of a Lifetime

Frederick artist Cameron Petke, MFA ’10 is known for his wheel-thrown ceramic temple bells as well as handcrafted tableware and interior design pieces. An outstanding artist, he was selected as one of 50 finalists in the ceramics category for the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Award. He, along with nearly 5,000 others across the country, was nominated earlier this month for the award, which celebrates craftspeople working in their communities.

Here’s where you can help. Online voting from now until Oct. 13 will determine which 10 artists will be featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine and attend a media event with Martha Stewart in New York City in November. To vote and to see his artist profile, visit www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/95707/crafts/baked-clay-studio.

Check out what he’s up to in his studio when he’s not teaching at a Frederick-area high school, Hood College or Loyola University at www.bakedclaystudio.com.

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March on Frederick

Hood College, in close collaboration with numerous Frederick community partners, is organizing a March on Frederick, which will be held Sept. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The march, a tribute to the historic 1963 March on Washington, will bring together students, faculty, staff, community members and visitors to reflect on the civil rights progress made within the Frederick community in the last 50 years.

The march will begin at Harry Grove Stadium at 9:30 a.m. Participants will walk past many of the sites related to Frederick’s African American history and conclude at the College’s Alumnae Hall, where local, state and national civil rights activists, including former NAACP leader Julian Bond, will address the crowd.

As part of the annual ay to serve initiative, volunteers will be collecting nonperishable food items to support local food banks.

Participants are encouraged to register for the march at civil-rights.hood.edu/register.

Hood’s yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act has been marked by lectures, performances and films. Renowned authors, attorneys and activists such as Will Haygood, Shirley Sherrod, Fred Gray, Rep. Elijah Cummings and Ysaye Barnwell, who have celebrated the African American culture and devoted their careers to advocating for social justice and racial equality, came to campus to meet with students and give public talks. A four-part film series, featuring documentaries that focus on the struggles African Americans have faced long after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, is also part of this initiative.

To learn more about the yearlong celebration and other march-related events, visit civilrights.hood.edu or read the press release.

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A New Year Begins

The arrival of first-year students yesterday signaled the start of a new year. Residential students checked in and, with keycards in hand, headed to their new living spaces with families and friends in tow. A quick tour of the residence halls revealed an overabundance of “stuff” spilling out of the rooms and into the hallways. Roommates greeted each other, some for the first time, and family members pitched in to help students get settled. Many had their TVs and computers set up and their posters hung long before the first suitcase or box was emptied.

The afternoon was packed with events: The opening session, orientation group meetings, a student life overview, academic advising meetings, a picnic dinner and the  traditional class photo on the Chapel steps. In the evening there were residence hall and commuter student meetings, fun orientation activities and an ice cream extravaganza.

Students will spend today and the weekend getting to know Frederick, the campus and each other. Returning residential students will arrive Saturday and Sunday, and then the entire campus community will gather Monday in the Hodson Outdoor Theater for Convocation, the ceremony that officially opens the academic year.

Check out photos of move-in and the day’s other activities on SmugMug.

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Summer Research: The Treasured Wisdom Initiative, a Gerontology Study

Summer Research Institute student Caitlin Presley ’15 worked with Hood professor of psychology Professor Wanda Ruffin this summer on the Treasured Wisdom Initiative, a qualitative gerontology study.

It is well known in the field of gerontology that African Americans are more likely to die younger than Caucasians. When African Americans reach 85 years old, also known in psychology as the oldest-old, the trend reverses and African Americans are seen to outlive their Caucasian counterparts.

“I had taken Social Gerontology and Psychology of Aging with Professor MacDougall, so I knew about the basic trends of older African Americans and the psychology of aging. I was then recommended to Professor Ruffin by two professors in the department,” said Caitlin, a psychology major.

Professor Ruffin and Caitlin believe that the life stories and wisdom of the oldest-old African Americans are an untapped potential in the gerontology field. The Treasured Wisdom Initiative hopes to begin to understand the factors that contribute to the resiliency in these African American seniors.

“This research experience helped in two ways, not only did it give me a research experience to put on my CV, it also allowed me to work on the interviewing skills needed in many fields of psychology,” said Caitlin. “Even though I want to work in school psychology, it is important to be able to communicate and converse with people of all ages, while still getting the information you need.”

Some students involved in SRI this summer also had the opportunity to travel. Research led students and their supervisors across the United States and abroad.

“The most valuable aspect of my research experience was traveling to Mississippi,” said Caitlin. “I haven’t spent much time out of the state of Maryland and it was interesting to not only see the difference in cultures, but also the similarities of African Americans’ experiences from different regions. And outside of research, it was thought-provoking to see and hear about Gulfport, Mississippi, post-Hurricane Katrina.”

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Students Engage in Summer Research

Each year faculty can apply for research grants that are supported through a number of funds.

The Summer Research Institute, an eight-week program that began in 1996, was initially supported by donations from an anonymous alum. In more recent years Life Technologies Foundation, formerly Invitrogen, funded the science-based research projects, and the Hodson Trust has directed funds toward this collaborative initiative as well. SRI, which provides students with a $2,000 stipend and free on-campus housing, allows students to work one-on-one with a faculty adviser on cutting-edge research.

Students benefit greatly from participating in these programs. They gain real-world experience by collaborating closely with experts in a research-based environment. Meet some of the students who participated in summer research and read what they have to say about their experiences.

This year Tim Hulyk ’15 and Samantha Norris ’15 (pictured above) were two of the 30 students assisting 16 faculty who were awarded research grants under the SRI program.

Students like Samantha and Tim gained valuable skills and experience from their research this summer. Both students worked under the direction of Hood chemistry professor Prof. Kevin Bennett studying ways to improve our understanding of chemicals that we use every day like over the counter medications and plastics.

Samantha and Tim gained vital laboratory experience that they will be able to apply through the course of the rest of their college career and that will set them apart in the job market. They used a Noble prize-winning technique referred to as electrospray ionization.  Their work has led to a better understanding of the chemical principles behind electrospray ionization, which are key to better analysis of plastics and pharmaceuticals.

“This research experience will help my career path because graduate schools look for applicants to have some research experience, and having two summers will look very good on my application. Also it provided me with the chance to witness things not work, and be able to use some problem solving skills to figure out how to fix it,” Tim, a chemistry major, said.

In addition to learning how to conduct research, students learn about data analysis and presentation. SRI students present a poster to the Hood community at the end of their research, enabling the entire campus to learn about what their peers have been working on over the summer.

“This research position allowed me to become more comfortable with laboratory work and with producing a final presentation based on my research. Those two aspects will aid me with future laboratory-based classes and with presentation heavy classes like CHEM 470. The experience is also beneficial to my future career goals as it will enable me to present my research in two renowned poster sessions at UMBC and possibly the ACS Conference,” Samantha, a biochemistry major, said.

Summer research provides students with an unique opportunity to collaborate with their professors and classmates in a setting more typical of a work environment than a classroom one.

“The most valuable aspect of the research experience was getting to know the other SRI chemistry students a little better. You spend so much time together over the course of the eight weeks in lab that it’s very easy to start to build better friendships with the other students and I think that more than anything has made this an enjoyable experience,” Tim said.

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Frederick Makes Top 100 List

Frederick is one of the top 100 best towns in which to live according to Livability.com’s 2014 survey.

Although big cities usually comprise top 100 lists, Livability chose to focus on small- and mid-sized cities (it’s time to share the limelight, Pittsburgh!) and what makes them a great place to live and work. The website drew information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, leading private-sector sources and nonprofits, and partnered with a research team at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Selected from more than 1,700 small and medium cities from across the country, Frederick was ranked in the top half of the 100 cities that were honored with the title of “Best Places to Live.”

Ipsos Public Affairs, one of the leading global market research firms, conducted the exclusive survey and scored cities based on eight different criteria—amenities, demographics, economics, education, health care, housing, social and civic capital, and transportation and infrastructure.

While it’s been obvious to us for a long time that Frederick has all that to offer and more, we are grateful that others recognize it as well! Congratulations to our great city and all its residents!

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Winter Heroes

While everyone on the Hood campus is essential, there are times when one segment of the population is more essential than others. Never has that been more evident than this winter when our facilities and dining staffs were called upon to deal with a record amount of snow and the complications caused by cancellations and delays.

A special thank-you breakfast was held March 21 for the folks who cleared the sidewalks and parking lots more often this year than in they did in the previous five years combined—to date, 45 staff put in a total of 1,075 man hours in snow removal efforts—and for the dedicated dining services staff who, despite the often treacherous road conditions, reported to work to feed the hungry students who live on campus.

President Volpe and the senior staff were there to greet the diners, and President Volpe and Jason Schultz, dining services operations manager, manned the buffet line.

Hood is grateful for such dedicated community members!

Photo: President Volpe greets Ken Holz, HVAC senior technician who has worked at Hood for more than two years.

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