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 writingthewrong.webs.com.

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

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 https://secure.hood.edu/online_payments/TeamBacket.aspx.

RCConservancy

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. 

 

Dasch_8451

Alumnus Gives Back to the Community

Thomas Dasch ’04 stopped by campus yesterday. For the last eight years he has worked as an intake coordinator and lead counselor for Frederick Institute, a methadone treatment program serving those who suffer from addictions. He is often the first point of contact for people who are seeking help from the facility. He recently coordinated an open house for more than 100 doctors and treatment providers to learn more about the facility and the care it provides. In addition, he dedicates himself to sharing his expertise about addiction with the community through the Overdose Prevention Workgroup, which is focused on reducing the rates of overdose deaths in Frederick County.

Thomas has found a great way to give back to his community, something we know is not only part of who he is but also influenced by his experiences at Hood!

Ferrier_Class

Giving Back to Frederick

While we all talk about giving back to our communities, Professor Drew Ferrier has gone to great lengths to do so. For years he has directed his research on the ecology of aquatic systems from the Chesapeake Bay to South Florida and the Caribbean. He regularly gives students and his classes opportunities to assist him, including a study last year to help Frederick city combat the persistent algae in Carroll Creek.

Now Professor Ferrier has taken giving back one step further. He was instrumental in launching Hood’s Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies in March, which focuses on understanding the origin and possible solutions to environmental and social issues that affect the coastlines and watersheds of our region. The center also trains local K-12 science teachers in the latest environmental initiatives to bring to their classrooms. Recently, the center was awarded a very prestigious $35,000 grant from the Dominion Higher Education Partnership that in part will allow 55 students to participate in expanded classroom instruction on geographic information system technology and two field and research opportunities designed to assist in efforts to improve the quality of water in Frederick.

Professor Ferrier is just one of many faculty, staff and students who strive to make Frederick a better place to live.

SONY DSC

A Day Without Shoes: Taking Things for Granted

For a number of years, Hood College students have participated in One Day Without Shoes, an event designed to create awareness about world poverty and the things we take for granted—shoes and sight. Toms, an organization committed to helping those in need, and its eight international organization partners team up each year for this fun, yet meaningful event. And throughout the year, with every shoe or eyewear product purchased from Toms, the organization donates a like item to individuals who can’t afford them.

Hood students joined thousands of students on campuses across the country who are concerned about world poverty. Even though the music was blasting on the Whitaker Campus Center patio, the mission was serious. The pile of donated shoes, which grew throughout the afternoon, made a clear statement: Hood students care and are committed to service and helping those less fortunate.

Students in Tim Jacobsen’s photojournalism class recorded the day’s events, which can be viewed on YouTube.

DSC_3663_blog

Students Dig a Gorgeous Day

So what does one do when the sky is blue, the temperature hits 75 degrees and the shorts are begging to be pulled out of storage? Plant flowers, of course! Students gathered one warm afternoon before exams to help enhance the already beautiful campus with colorful annuals. Organized by the facilities department, the activity attracted a number of students, including senior Elaheh Eghbal and sophomore Travis Gilbert, who gladly volunteered to take a break from their studies to dig in the dirt, spread around some mulch and plant red petunias around the Pergola on the residential quad. Even President Volpe, known to never let an opportunity to work side by side with students pass him by, joined in the fun and got his hands dirty.

By the time commencement rolls around in a few days, the beds will be in full bloom, adding a spectacular display of color to the center of campus.

Cha_2

Alternative Spring Break Trips

Students have just returned from spring break and many, along with Hood faculty, staff and alumni, spent their time making a difference for hundreds of people in Alabama, Frederick and Haiti.

In Haiti, five students were joined by Michael Coon, assistant professor of economics; Provost Kate Conway-Turner and her daughter Jameela; and Frederick dentist and 1981 alumnus Peter Cha and his wife, Sandy, a dental hygienist, who provided much needed dental services to 94 Haitians, many of whom had never been to a dentist! Read the Frederick News Post’s story about how the Chas have made a difference for people in need in Haiti and in other communities.

Hood students—Drake Halpern, Elaheh Eghbal, Jessica Morales, Greg Eyler and Fabiola Jean-Louis—spent the week learning about this complex and struggling country, and engaged in service projects to aid the residents of Borgne, a mountainous community in the northern part of the island nation where the majority of families are scattered in clusters within the mountains that surround the city.  They painted a mural for an elementary classroom, engaged in an enrichment project for children in an early education program, traveled into the mountains to help set up a mobile clinic and visited a number of sites to observe how residents cope with poor roads, few jobs, inadequate fresh water, no electricity and a host of social issues.

An eye-opening experience, to be sure.