Hood Students Attend the March for Our Lives

By Britnee Reece ’18, station manager for Blazer Radio

Hood College reflects a community, an educational institution, which means we as a student body must have a sense of urgency to keep our family-like environment safe. Our nation’s school systems are no longer a secure and protected environment; mass shootings in the United States have become something that we as a country have become so oddly numb to. “Thoughts and prayers” will not make the changes needed. The mass shooting, which occurred in Florida early February of this year, took place in my home county, Broward County. I knew the high school and I knew people, who had attended there years ago. It truly “hit home” for me. Those students, who had just witnessed friends die and heard gun shots fire in a place they used to feel at home, were strong. They spoke up. They gave me strength. They sparked a movement.

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Hour of Code Week_2

Hood College Takes Computer Science Education Week to FCPS

To celebrate Computer Science Education Week, Hood College computer science faculty, along with undergraduate and graduate students, visited schools in the Frederick County Public School District to work with teachers and students during several Hour of Code school events Dec. 4-10.

They taught more than 600 students in 23 classes, which included business, foundations of technology, introduction to computer science, Microsoft certification and AP computer science. The lessons served three purposes: expose students to coding to demystify the idea that coding is difficult or scary; teach computational thinking, or composing problems and forming step-by-step solutions; and help try to decrease the gender gap in computer science.

Brunswick High School, Governor Thomas Johnson High School, Governor Thomas Johnson Middle School, Middletown High School, Oakdale High School and Walkersville High School welcomed Hood into their classrooms.

Hood computer science faculty members Carol Jim, William Crum, Ahmed Salem, Aijuan Dong, John Boon, Khalid Lateef and George Dimitoglou, along with undergraduate students Mickayla Bachar ’19, Karen Canas ’18 and Brandon Ubiera ’19 and graduate students Jeff Larson and Abdul Mir participated in the instruction.

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By Connie Ray, Growing for a Healthy Future Project Coordinator, Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic AmeriCorps VISTA, Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies

If you were to visit the Religious Coalition for Human Needs (RCEHN) on DeGrange Street two weeks ago, you’d have found a large, empty lot behind the main building. If you visit it today, however, you will find two large, raised garden beds, 4 feet wide, 8 feet long, and 3 feet high.

These are not your average, run-of-the-mill garden beds, either. These are the realization of an innovative design that directly irrigates the gardens from rooftop runoff that would otherwise run into local streams and pollute our water supply. Instead, the building’s runoff will now be used to grow vegetables for residents of the homeless shelter.

These beds were constructed on Wednesday, Sept. 20 (in 86-degree heat, no less) thanks to the efforts of 16 dedicated volunteers, including six Hood College students, five Aramark employee volunteers, a regular volunteer at the Religious Coalition, three staff/faculty from Hood College, and a Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic AmeriCorps VISTA.

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We believe in the power of kindness!

To support the new strategic plan’s pillar of Strengthening the Hood Community, we’re making an effort to practice more random acts of kindness.

Here’s one submitted by Jamie Shopland of the Class of 2012.

On Wednesday, 8/23, I stopped at Bebe by the mall for a pedicure. I got to chatting with my pedicure technician and she said she was having difficulty finding a piano instructor for her 5-year-old daughter. I texted a friend whose kids had lessons when they were younger in hopes she’d have a recommendation. She replied that their instructor had retired, but suggested contacting Hood. While I was in the chair, I Googled ‘Hood College piano lessons’ and sure enough, the top search result was to Hood College’s Preparatory Music Division! I had no idea my alma mater offered private lessons. Still in the chair, I pulled a random piece of paper and pen out of my purse to write down contact information for Ms. Lester. As we were walking to the front of the salon, I handed her the contact information I had jotted down and told her to give it a try. She smiled broadly, thanked me, and said I was so nice. As I checked out, she thanked me again and I told her I hoped it worked out.

—Jamie ’12

Help us get to 125…or more. Submit a random act of kindness online and we’ll compile a list.

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Hood Joins Team One Love for Sexual Assault Awareness

by Zac Kauffman ’17, a Law and Society and Business Administration major with a concentration in Human Resources and a Hood College lacrosse player

As you know, April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, and in this month, it is important for us to take a moment to reflect and have a conversation about sexual assault and domestic violence. Sexual assault and domestic violence are serious issues that affect many people we know and love. The damage victims experience is long-lasting. Too often we forget that the harm is not limited just to the individuals, but reverberates throughout our society. Despite the horrible impact of sexual assault and domestic violence, communities are seldom united in their attempt to address and combat these problems.

Many of the problems we have unifying an approach to sexual assault and domestic violence comes from how we communicate about it, and it starts with our perspectives and labeling of the issues. It is unfortunate that sexual assault and domestic violence are often labeled as “women’s issues” when they are anything but. Dubbing sexual assault and domestic violence as “women’s issues” shifts the responsibility for action away from men, making it seem as though these issues do not apply to men. It is imperative that we look at sexual assault and domestic violence as a societal matter. We cannot be reliant on a few good men to help aid in the fight while the rest remain unresponsive and silent. We cannot view sexual assault and domestic violence as a “women’s issue.” Men should and must help to focus efforts and attention on these issues in order to create an effective alliance against these heinous abuses within our society. As the great Martin Luther King Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Without the participation of all members of our society, we aren’t able to completely combat these issues. We must band together.

For this Sexual Assault Awareness month, members of the Hood College community, both men and women, are coming together to face the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence. The Women’s Lacrosse team, the Men’s Lacrosse team and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee are uniting to promote the One Love Foundation. The One Love Foundation, founded in honor of Yeardley Love, raises awareness about unhealthy relationships, and works to “help activate communities to change the statistics around relationship violence.” The foundation advocates awareness and activism through an event called Yards for Yeardley, where the members of the community are invited to walk one million yards in a week. We are trying to reach this goal between April 17 to April 21 on the Thomas Athletic Field, and all are welcome. Information tables on the One Love Foundation and Yards for Yeardley will be set up in the Whitaker Campus Center Monday, April 17, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and in Coblentz Dining Hall. Additionally, the Women’s and Men’s Lacrosse teams will play dedication games on April 13 and April 22. We hope to see you there!

One Love Committee left to right: Christina Murphy ’17, Zac Kauffman ’17, Samantha Bauer ’19, Larissa Pena ’20, Danny Capps ’18, Samy Brandt ’20


Enactus Awarded Volpe Scholarship for Backet Project

Hood College Enactus has been awarded a prestigious Volpe Scholar award to continue its work with the Backet, a cross-functional piece of apparel for homeless people that combines a backpack and a winter jacket. The Volpe Scholarship provides funds for exceptional students to take part in unique, experiential learning opportunities.

The group earned regional and national recognition in 2016 for creating the Backet, and the students have now developed a business model that includes hiring and paying the homeless to manufacture the product. Enactus president Joe Hutchins ’18 applied for a Volpe Scholarship on behalf of the group and was awarded $5,000 to purchase the materials needed to produce the Backet.

“Without the scholarship, we would not have been able to purchase all of the materials necessary to actually produce the Backet and pay the homeless individuals at the same time,” Hutchins said.

The scholarship money has greatly reduced the need for fundraising, and it covered the costs of Backet production. It has allowed Enactus to focus on developing the product and production process to ensure the homeless individuals are helped to the fullest extent.

The next steps for the project include further production of the current model, developing a prototype of a higher-end model and creating a marketing campaign for the product.

“The development of the higher-end model will allow for sustainability to be achieved if we can get sales under way in local boutiques and through e-commerce,” Hutchins said.

For more information on the Backet and the awards Enactus has earned during its development, visit and

Pictured: Joe Hutchins at the National Exposition in St. Louis, Mo.

Writing the Wrong

Writing the Wrong Initiative Focuses On Advancement of Women

Molly Masterson ’17 and Logan Samuels ’17 launched an initiative called “Writing the Wrong” in the summer 2015, focused on women’s equality, advancement and empowerment, as well as the encouragement of leadership, all in the hopes of attaining peace over prejudice.

They were able to start the program thanks to a Davis Projects for Peace grant, which is awarded to college students who want to create and execute their ideas for building peace and understanding throughout the world. This summer, they were able to continue the program with money they were awarded through a Volpe Scholarship, a prestigious Hood College scholarship that provides funds for exceptional students to take part in unique, experiential learning opportunities.

Masterson, an archaeology and Spanish double major, and Samuels, a communication arts and English double major with a leadership minor, wanted to combine their academic interests and skills to help Spanish-speaking girls learn new English speaking and writing skills. They considered taking their program abroad but decided there was a need in the local community. The pair delved into local English Language Learner programs and used the money from the Davis Projects for Peace grant to implement a five-week after-school program at Frederick High School for immigrant girls from Latin-American countries with a basic to limited understanding of the English language.

“We knew that we wanted to work with young women as we are both passionate about women’s rights, equality and leadership, and we wanted to instill that in a younger generation,” said Samuels.

The goal of the project was to provide an outlet that allowed the girls to express the difficulties they have faced in a healthy and creative way to find peace in their new lives. Masterson and Samuels led the production of a literary journal titled “Palabras de Amor para Zarpar,” or “Words of Love to Set Sail,” which included contemporary issues, editorials, future objectives and goals, prose, artwork and photographs by the girls. The participants learned the fundamentals behind creating a piece of literary work and the important steps of peer revision, and they increased their writing abilities. They also gained knowledge of the cultural and gender intolerances that their societies still face and ways in which they can combat them.

“From there, we got such positive feedback from the participants and the community that we decided to reach more students and focus on a new crowd of girls,” said Masterson.

With the money from the Volpe Scholars award, Masterson and Samuels led a five-week program for middle school girls at West Frederick and Monocacy middle schools that culminated in a published newspaper, called “Writing the Wrong: La Ilumninación,” or “Writing the Wrong: Enlightenment.” The students learned about current events and issues that have an impact on their daily lives, and they learned journalism skills including writing development and editing. They were split into beat groups of global news, local news, editorial and lifestyle. The program also included two field trips: one to visit the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to put the goals of the project in perspective, and one to Hood’s campus to get exposure to the world of higher education.

“Professionally, this project has prepared us for anything,” said Samuels. “We have learned to juggle the unexpected and are able to adjust a syllabus, our schedule or even our mentality to a completely new situation. We have now worked with around 20 students and have been introduced to so many different backgrounds, stories and abilities and have learned how to work with each one as an individual and cater to their needs.”

Through this program, Masterson and Samuels have learned a lot from their students and have become even more motivated to continue their service.

“Both of our academic backgrounds have provided us with the tools to communicate with the girls in both English and Spanish,” said Masterson. “More than that, we have been able to connect with these girls in a way unlike any other and have learned lessons from the students. We have shared our values, aspirations and goals with them and have increased their confidence in themselves and their writing. These girls have taught us how lucky we are and that we have so many opportunities that others do not possess. They have humbled us and inspired us to be better and do more outside of our own personal wants and needs.”

Masterson and Samuels are now trying to establish Writing the Wrong as a nonprofit and find new leaders to carry on the programs. They also hope to start several initiatives focused on education, women’s empowerment and leadership to help past and future members of their program pursue education or projects.

For more information on Writing the Wrong and to see online versions of the program publications, visit

Pictured above: Masterson and Samuels with their students at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Chloe Scott

2016 Graduate Wins Circle of Excellence Scholarship

Chloe Scott has earned an exclusive scholarship for her excellent academic record and her impact in the community through leadership, service and mentoring.

Scott graduated May 14 with a major in communication arts with a concentration in public relations and a minor in Spanish.

She was nominated for The Daily’s Record’s Circle of Excellence Scholarship by Olivia White, Hood College dean of students and vice president for student life. Scott was the first person at Hood College to be selected by The Daily Record’s Circle of Excellence to earn this award, which comes with a $3,000 scholarship. She will use the money either to help pay for her first semester of law school or student loans.

Scott was recognized for this award at a ceremony at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore April 18. She was also recently awarded the Shirley Snowden “Inspiring to Achieve” Award by the Frederick Club of The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club and the 2016 Rising Star Award by the Asian American Center of Frederick County. At Hood’s Honors Convocation, she was awarded the Alyce Weinberg Honor Scholarship for her academic work in English and communications and the Mary Ann Kerins Humanitarian Award for her leadership, passion and commitment to the community. She was also awarded the Dr. Dorothy I. Height Award for Leadership and Service by the Frederick County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

“This year, I’ve been blessed with a lot of recognition opportunities,” said Scott. “It means a lot to me. I utilize these recognitions and awards as my funnel of energy to inspire young ladies who go to the schools that I have attended and let them know that you can be an A and B student, pay attention to your community, have good rapport with professionals, and you can get endless opportunities. You can do it.”

Scott said her mother, father and grandmother are her role models. They pushed her to get involved and build a rapport with people who could further her success. Their advice stuck with her in high school and college and helped her succeed.

Her first interest in Hood College came after she won an outstanding student leadership award for her work as a student youth leader in 2012 at the Frederick County Commission for Women’s annual leadership alliance dinner. At the ceremony, she met White, then-president Ron Volpe and Professor Kathleen Bands. They learned about her volunteerism and activity in the community and began recruiting her to Hood.

She later decided to attend Hood with interests in political science, sports, law and society, gender and law and Spanish. She pursued communications because of its interdisciplinary nature.

Scott has stayed actively involved in the Frederick County Commission for Women where she is now the organization’s youngest commissioner. In that role, she initiated a pilot leadership program for young kids at Frederick High School called SheLEADS for education, adversity and diverse voices in service.

“It focuses on getting young ladies to hone in on their potentials and recognize that there are opportunities, whether civically or academically,” she said.

A Frederick native and a product of the Frederick County public school system, Scott says she feels a sense of responsibility to stay involved and represent for Frederick.

She was involved in several organizations at Hood. She spent time as vice president of the service association, the Ionic Society and Last Train of Thought, a campus organization that encourages open dialogue and community service. She was also a founder of SAS, Sisters Aspiring to Success, a sisterhood that recognizes and unites female leaders on campus.

She is involved in several community organizations as well. She planned a public forum on human trafficking called “Out of Sight, Out of Mind: A Perspective on Human Trafficking.” She also collaborated with several community organizations, including Hood College, the FCCFW and the Frederick County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta on the presentation of “In Plain Sight: Opening our Eyes, Hearts and Minds to Human Trafficking.” These programs helped raise awareness on an important issue, attracted a diverse audience and created opportunities for dialogue. Since the forum, FCCFW has added a link to human trafficking resources to its official website.

Scott also lived in Washington, D.C, during the spring 2015, working as a legislative intern on Capitol Hill for Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano, which further sparked her interest in political science and law.

“Throughout Chloe’s college career, she has assumed roles of increasing responsibilities both on and off campus,” said White. “Her commitment to identifying and developing creative resolutions to social issues has distinguished her as a citizen of great promise. … She is smart, professional, honest, trustworthy, responsible, sensitive and respectful of others. She is a team player, exercises mature judgment in her decision making, and she has a sense of humor. She has great communication and interpersonal skills.”


Enactus Wins Regional Awards

The Enactus club at Hood College traveled to Washington, D.C., to compete in its first regional competition March 29, where it presented what they have named the Backet, a cross-functional piece of apparel for homeless people that combines a backpack and a winter jacket.

Enactus is a student club committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. The 16-member Hood group was named a regional champion and earned the rookie of the year award. They will present their project at the national competition May 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo.

“It is an extreme accomplishment for a first-year presenting team to advance to the national competition,” remarked Merry Tucker, regional program manager for Enactus.

The Backet originated when Hood Enactus member and Backet project manager Haroon Pasha went on a pilgrimage during which he experienced homelessness. He said it inspired him to take action and develop a product to help and empower the homeless community through Enactus. Pasha is a senior majoring in business administration with a concentration in information systems and a minor in economics.

“I never could have expected to be a part of something as dynamic as the Backet project,” said Pasha. “I just had an idea that I felt very passionate about, and I knew it had to be made a reality. The credit goes to the entire team, and how well we were able to work together and be flexible with our schedules.”

The Backet is intended to combat the two most pressing needs of homeless people—the need to keep ownership of and proximity to their belongings and the need to adapt to varying weather conditions—according to David Gurzick, Ph.D., assistant professor of management at Hood who is a Sam Walton fellow, a designation Enactus gives to faculty coordinators. The Hood team has been evolving the prototype through design teams incorporating experts in apparel manufacturing, community action efforts, business entrepreneurship and homelessness.

Pasha was on the six-member presentation team with Connor Asman, Ana Filipovic and Nigol Keurkunian, Kyle Shields and Alex Smith.

“I knew the presentation would go flawlessly,” said Asman. “Not because it was not difficult—it was, we had a live product demonstration and two videos plus an intense script to memorize. But because I knew I had the absolute best presenters at Hood on my team representing the most passionate team I’ve ever seen.”

As a result of the presentation, Asman also got a paid summer internship working with Sam’s Club where he will focus on how to improve current operations.

The other members of the Backet project were Suvana Batajoo, Joe Hutchins, Destani Jameson, Scott Johnson, Sam Kebede, Gray Kline, Jonathan Knehans, Rowela Silvestre, Ivana Soce and Nathan Temple.

“It has been an exciting time this year working with the Hood Enactus team and watching them grow and develop as entrepreneurs,” said Gurzick. “The students have matured in their thinking, developed in their resourcefulness and taken ownership of this project and its outcomes. They are enterprising and have surpassed every expectation that I had for the depth of student commitment to a project.”

Organizations outside the College assisted the project as well. The Religious Coalition for Human Needs, the Alan P. Linton Jr. Emergency Shelter, 2nd Street and Hope and the Frederick Community Action Agency are nonprofits that helped the team. Also, Tracy McGuirk ’82, a Hood alumna and owner of Tracy Lin Creations in Frederick, was the tailor for the project and helped the Enactus group create the Backet.

Phase 1 of the Backet project—the research and development phase—is coming to its completion. Phase 2 will consist of testing and fundraising and is scheduled to begin this summer with the help of Hood and the project’s community partners.

“The Backet has come so far in just a few months, and I am very excited to see what lies ahead for the Backet project in the near future,” said Pasha.

Enactus is a global organization of student, academic and business leaders that draws its name from the words “entrepreneurial,” “action” and “us.” It is an international nonprofit dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action, creating a better world for everyone.

“The Enactus model is one of social entrepreneurship—identifying real-world problems and then taking action to develop sustainable means of resolution,” said Gurzick. “In a very short time, the Hood College team has taken this model to heart and set the stage for some very big expectations.”

To donate to the Backet project, visit


Alternative Spring Break

Students, faculty and staff once again took devoted their spring breaks to community service. Five students, accompanied by faculty and staff chaperones, returned for the sixth year to the Franklinton Center at Bricks in Whitakers, N.C., a former slave plantation that once served as a junior college for freed slaves. Today it functions as a justice advocacy center run by the United Church of Christ.

There students learned about the history and lasting effects of slavery in the U.S., worked with local school children on reading and math literacy skills and visited other community organizations in the area. The College’s math club supported this trip by organizing a school supplies drive for schools in North Carolina.

Twenty-four other students volunteered at organizations in Frederick, Baltimore and the Washington, D.C., area. They removed invasive species from Rock Creek in Bethesda, Md.; worked with the fair trade craft market SERRV and the Brethren Disaster Relief Center in New Windsor, Md.; learned about sexual trafficking with the staff at Samaritan Women in Baltimore; worked at Frederick Community Action Agency’s food bank and soup kitchen; and assisted the 4-H Therapeutic Riding Center in Thurmont, Md., prepare for their spring classes.

“I learned a lot during this trip,” said Shanayah Braithwaite, a second-time participant in the ASB Frederick initiative. “Community service allows you to help people and appreciate everyday things that we easily overlook, like having clean waterways and feeling safe in your surroundings.”

Pictured: Hood volunteers assisted the Rock Creek Conservancy invasive species removal team.