Dinking Ceremony

Opening Convocation 2016

Hood College marked the start of its 124th academic year with its annual Convocation ceremony Monday morning in the Hodson Outdoor Theater on campus.

The morning began with the traditional dinking ceremony during which the incoming class received their dinks, blue for their class color. The students and faculty then processed into the Hodson Outdoor Theater.

Bill Brown, vice president for enrollment management, introduced the incoming class to the campus community; President Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D., and Logan Samuels, president of the Student Government Association, welcomed new and returning students to campus; Debbie Ricker, Ph.D., new provost and vice president for academic affairs, recognized outstanding student achievements; Karen Hoffman, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy and chair of the department of philosophy and religious studies, delivered the keynote address; and Joy Miller Beveridge ’82 shared greetings from alumni and her fond memories of her time as a student.

Hoffman told the students: “My hope is not just that you look back on today as the start of an exciting new academic year, but that you look back on all your college years as the start of a life-long love of learning, a passionate engagement with the world and the beings that inhabit it, a compassionate commitment to improving the lives of others, and a deeper understanding of who you are, who you want to become and how you can make a difference.”

This year’s group of new students includes 221 new first-year students and 103 new transfer students. Members of the Class of 2020 come from 15 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries. There are 259 new graduate students. Hood’s total student population is 2,106.

The graduate school will begin two new programs this fall, a Master of Science in bioinformatics and a doctoral program that includes a Doctorate of Organizational Leadership and a Doctorate of Business Administration.

“Students, you are the focus of everything we do at Hood,” President Chapdelaine said. “You are our raison d’être—our reason for being. We are all committed to helping you not only to succeed, but to exceed: to discover and realize capacities, goals and dreams you may not yet even yet know you have.”

During the summer, first-year students read Paige Rawl’s book “Positive: A Memoir” for small-group discussions about the themes, issues and conflicts raised in the book. Specially trained Hood faculty, staff and students co-facilitate these discussions. Rawl was born HIV-positive, and her book discusses the bullying she received throughout her childhood because of that diagnosis and how she overcame that bullying. Rawl will visit campus Oct. 19 for a public lecture and book signing.

Samuels reflected on the book and told students to remember: “You have the power to make a difference. There is always someone cheering you on. You have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. If you come across a new challenge, do not give up, but instead, vow to learn more. You’ve got a lot of light within you.”

For photos from Convocation, visit photos.hood.edu/Convocation-2016.

MSL Photo

MSL Annual Session 2016

The Hood College delegation of the Maryland Student Legislature traveled to Annapolis to participate in the 27th Annual Session April 29-May 1 in which eight higher education institutions simulated Maryland government processes.

The MSL is a nonprofit that allows college and university students opportunities to experience Maryland state government and legislative processes and gather to write and debate public policy. Each year during its annual session, members experience the legislative process of the actual house of delegates and senate chambers. The MSL includes delegations from Hood College; McDaniel College; Mount St. Mary’s University; St. Mary’s College of Maryland; St. John’s College; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Maryland, College Park; and Washington College.

Hood rising senior Dylan Wood and rising junior Tyler Graham were elected by their peers to serve as the governor and lieutenant governor of the statewide MSL convening next academic year. The race was highly contested, with the other ticket for governor and lieutenant governor being Wood’s twin brother Derrick Wood and Gabrielle Cavalier.

“The governor’s election was especially exciting this year with brother running against brother,” said Professor Carin Robinson, the Hood MSL adviser.

In addition to the election, Graham received the award for best delegate.

“Tyler Graham has a deep respect for the legislative process, and his contribution is impressive seeing that he is only a sophomore,” said Robinson. “Last year, as a freshman, he won an award for legislative writing. It is not surprising his peers recognized his ability to debate and speak on behalf of his policy positions.”

During the weekend’s activities, Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford addressed the participants from eight schools, and there was a session with an alumni panel that featured Hood Class of 2015 graduate Caitlin Battey who is now with the McCain Institute.

Graduating seniors who have been involved with the MSL for three or four years were recognized for their commitment to the organization. Melissa Lopez, Elliot Tombs and Emma Ward were recognized from Hood. The other members of the Hood contingent included Gabrielle Cavalier, Paula Del Valle Torres, Andrew Drum, Nick Fisher, Samuel Kebede, Brice McAndrew, Cooper Muff, Brielle Rozmus and Derrick Wood.

“I am so proud of the Hood delegation,” said Robinson. “All year they have had a consistent presence at statewide events and routinely amaze me with their professionalism and public-speaking abilities. Our graduates routinely say MSL is one of their favorite college experiences. The access it provides to state legislators and their staff is unparalleled. I see timid freshman join the group and see them transform to engaging, confident public speakers by the time they graduate. … The MSL experience encourages students to pursue careers not only in law and politics, but in public service in general, whether it be elected office or nonprofit work.”

Commencement 2016

Commencement 2016

The 119th Hood College Commencement exercises took place May 14. The day saw 317 undergraduate students and 263 graduate students celebrate the years of hard work they committed to earning their degrees.

Wil Haygood, an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author, was the featured speaker during the 10 a.m. undergraduate ceremony, and Hood Class of 1978 alumna Deborah A. Bonanni, a former National Security Agency chief of staff, delivered the Commencement address during the 3 p.m. Graduate School ceremony.

This was the first Hood Commencement for President Andrea Chapdelaine, who told the graduating seniors at the morning ceremony, “I am so very proud of you and will miss your presence on campus. Be well, be safe and above all, be happy!”

Haygood is the Boadway Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film at Miami University of Ohio. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist while writing as a national and foreign correspondent at the Boston Globe. He then joined the Washington Post in 2002, where in 2008 he wrote, “A Butler Well Served by this Election,” a story about Eugene Allen, a butler who worked for eight U.S. presidents, from Truman through Reagan, over 34 years. The story was the basis for the award-winning film “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” Haygood was an associate producer of the film. He also wrote the New York Times bestseller “The Butler: A Witness to History” about how the story and film came to be.

“When you stand for something, Hood Blazers, magical things happen,” Haygood told the undergraduates. “Blazers, go today, and make your magic.”

The undergraduate class included students from 18 states, Washington, D.C. and 15 countries. Twenty-three students studied abroad, and 131 completed internships.

Class of 2016 President Maya Gonzalez addressed her fellow classmates, saying, “we all had different paths that led us to Hood and after today, we will separate once again. Whether you are traveling abroad for work or play, starting a new pursuit of education or employment, or spending some time at home, I have confidence in my fellow graduates that we will continue to grow and face life’s obstacles with heart, and hand, and mind.”

After students received their diplomas, President Chapdelaine awarded a presidential excellence award to John George, Ph.D., who retired after three decades of exceptional and inspiring teaching and mentoring as a faculty member in the education department at Hood.

The afternoon ceremony marked the 43rd graduating class from the Graduate School. Graduates came from 10 states, the District of Columbia and 13 foreign countries. They earned bachelor’s degrees from 85 national and 28 international institutions. Thirty-nine were Hood alumni.

Bonanni is the vice president for strategic relations at Intelligent Decisions, Inc. and a member of the Hood College Board of Associates and Graduate School Advisory Council. She retired from public service in January 2013. From 2006 to 2013 she served as the chief of staff of the NSA. Bonanni received the Exceptional Civilian Service Award, the NSA’s highest honorary award, as well as the national Distinguished Service Medal from the director of national intelligence. She is the recipient of three presidential rank awards including one at the distinguished executive level. A cancer survivor and enthusiastic mentor, Bonanni is devoted to assisting a new generation of leaders to manage successful organizations.

Bonanni told the graduating class, “Today, I ask you one thing to do for me. Celebrate this amazing day. Really feel it. Look around you—look at your friends and your family. Revel in your accomplishments. Bask in your significant accomplishment. You deserve it.”

During the graduate ceremony, President Chapdelaine presented the Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teacher award to Mike Franklin, a health and physical education teacher at Catoctin High School. This award is made possible through a gift from the estate of Sam Eig, a longtime supporter of Hood College, whose daughter-in-law, Jackie, served on Hood’s faculty for a number of years. Mike has been an inspiring teacher with Frederick County Public Schools for his entire 20-year career.

For detailed information, visit www.hood.edu/commencement.

Watch Wil Haygood’s speech below.

Watch Deborah A. Bonanni’s speech below.

Florence Reed

Environmental Activist Visits Campus

Florence Reed, an international environmental activist, visited Hood College Feb. 29-March 4 to advocate for sustainable farming and share her experiences with farmers in Central America.

Reed is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and president and founder of Sustainable Harvest International, a nonprofit that provides farming families in Central America with the training and tools to preserve the planet’s tropical forests while helping them overcome poverty.

She visited classrooms throughout the week and gave a community talk March 1. Her lecture, entitled “Organic Farming to Feed the World,” provided an overview of how common farming practices are contributing to environmental and social decay, including poverty, hunger, malnutrition, illness, deforestation, loss of biodiversity and climate change. Reed also discussed the importance of a global shift to sustainable farming practices and success stories from amongst the 2,000 Central-American farms that have participated in Sustainable Harvest’s extension program. She talked about long-term, integrative approaches that link ecosystem health, human health, societal health and a healthy planet. She concluded her talk with suggestions on how people can take action on these issues, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Reed became a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow because Roger Bowen’s wife heard her give a Pecha Kucha presentation in Maine and suggested he consider her as a fellow. Roger Bowen is the program director of the visiting fellows. He thought Reed was a good fit and asked her to spend time on college campuses sharing information about the work that Sustainable Harvest International does and why they do it.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program is part of the Council of Independent Colleges. It brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the U.S. for substantive dialogue with students and faculty members. Through a weeklong residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures and informal discussions, the fellows create better understanding and new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds. There are 115 fellows around the U.S.; Reed was the first to visit Hood.

Reed lives in Surry, Maine, with her husband, Bruce Maanum, and their son, Clay, in a home they built with primarily local materials. They grow much of their own food and are close to reaching their goal of being fossil fuel independent.

For more information on Sustainable Harvest International, visit www.sustainableharvest.org.

Watch an interview of Florence Reed below.

Majora Carter

Martin Luther King Jr. Honored with Day of Speakers, Events

A full day of events honored and celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 18.

Majora Carter and Sonia Sanchez headlined the day as the featured speakers. There was also a “Wright for Rights” campaign, and several documentaries were shown about the Civil Rights Movement.

Carter is an urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation and successful implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies and job training and placement systems. Carter has continually set new standards of excellence with projects in her South Bronx community, while expanding her reach through philanthropic pursuits and business interests that have all pointed toward greater self-esteem and economic potential for low-income people everywhere.

Her list of awards and honorary degrees includes accolades from groups as diverse as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, Goldman Sachs and a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. Carter is a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council and the Andrew Goodman Foundation.

Her talk, “Department of Home(town) Security,” was sponsored by the Hanson Lecture Series. She spoke to a packed auditorium of students, faculty, staff and community members about growing up in a poor neighborhood and how she came to transform her own community and many others by thinking outside the box.

Sanchez is a poet, playwright and activist who was one of the most important writers of the Black Arts Movement. She is a national and international lecturer on Black culture and literature, women’s liberation, peace and racial justice. She has lectured at more than 500 universities and colleges in the United States and has traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada, Cuba, England, Europe, Nicaragua, Norway and the People’s Republic of China.

Among the honors she has received are the Robert Creeley Award, the Frost Medal, the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities, a National Endowment for the Arts Award and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

Her lecture, “Push-ups for Peace: Remembering Brother Martin,” was sponsored by the Office of the Provost, and she held a book signing following the talk. She performed several of her poems and shared with the audience stories of her family and students, and the struggle for peace.

The “Write for Rights” campaign, co-sponsored by Rev. Beth O’Malley and Amnesty International, helped Hood community members write letters to support prisoners of conscience around the world. This is an annual, global campaign led by AI involving hundreds of thousands of people writing letters and sending them to government officials.

The special program not only ignited discussion among Hood students, faculty, staff and the greater community about Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, the speakers also challenged everyone to think creatively, be kind and always do our part to fulfill King’s dream.

Watch Sonia Sanchez read a poem she wrote for Martin Luther King Jr.

Watch an interview with Sonia Sanchez.

Watch an interview with Majora Carter.

Hood College MSL

Hood Delegation Wins Awards

Hood College’s delegation of the Maryland Student Legislature won the most outstanding delegation for the third time in six years at the 26th Annual Session May 1-3 in Annapolis, Md.

Kristen Geatz, Tyler Graham and Caitlin Battey stood out for Hood, each winning individual awards. Geatz, Hood’s delegation chairwoman, earned the William Troy Simmons award for distinguished career of service. She has held leadership roles in Hood’s delegation for three consecutive years, one as vice chair and two as chair. Graham received the award for most outstanding act, and Battey received the award for most outstanding senator. The MSL board of directors selects the recipient for the distinguished career of service award; student peers vote on the other awards.

Hood students Sharifa Clark, Helena Hammond, Samuel Kebede, Melissa Lopez, Brice McAndrew, Ayomide Sekiteri, Elliot Tombs, Emma Ward, Derrick Wood and Dylan Wood also participated in the events.

The MSL is a nonprofit that allows college and university students opportunities to experience Maryland state government and legislative processes and gather to write and debate public policy. Each year during its annual session, members experience the legislative process of the actual House of Delegates and senate chambers.

The MSL includes delegations from Frederick Community College; Hood College; McDaniel College; Mount St. Mary’s University; St. Mary’s College of Maryland; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Maryland, College Park; and Washington College.

Photo of the Hood delegation: From left—Brice McAndrew, Ayomide Sekiteri, Kristen Geatz, Elliot Tombs, Samuel Kebede, Melissa Lopez, Tyler Graham, Helena Hammond, Sharifa Clark, Emma Ward, Dylan Wood, Derrick Wood.

Commencement 2015

Commencement 2015

Hood’s undergraduate and graduate Commencement ceremonies took place May 16. The morning’s 118th undergraduate ceremony saw 352 students earn bachelor’s degrees in front of the College’s largest-ever undergraduate Commencement audience. The afternoon’s 42nd graduate ceremony included 239 graduates.

These Commencement exercises were President Ronald J. Volpe’s 14th and final at Hood. He received an honorary degree at the undergraduate ceremony and the status of president emeritus at the graduate ceremony. President Volpe has awarded 6,705 academic degrees at Hood.

Frederick Mayor Randy McClement, the undergraduate ceremony speaker, received an honorary degree. Currently serving his second term as mayor, McClement has been an active member of the Frederick community for more than a decade. He has served on a number of boards and commissions that have given him an impressive breadth and depth of knowledge about the city of Frederick.

Thomas Geisbert, a 1988 Hood graduate whose recent research into the Ebola virus has earned him international notoriety, was the graduate ceremony speaker and also received an honorary degree. Geisbert is a professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the Galveston National Laboratory. He earned his doctorate in molecular pathobiology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., and he was one of the Ebola fighters named collectively as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2014.

Members of the undergraduate Class of 2015 hailed from 16 states, the District of Columbia and six countries. One hundred twenty-nine completed internships. Many will continue their education, while others will begin their careers.

Paula Miller Dennis, a nursing major from Hagerstown, Md., and Alisha Marie Dunkle, an early childhood education major from Watertown, N.Y., were awarded the Hood College Academic Achievement Prize for the highest academic records in the Class of 2015.

Senior Class President Jada Burton asked that the 2015 class “please continue to take care of each other” and recognized that Hood students made lifelong friends and learned important life lessons in addition to their academics.

During the undergraduate ceremony, President Volpe awarded presidential excellence awards to Purnima Bhatt, Gary Gillard and Al Weinberg, who all retired after a combined 91 years of service.

During the graduate ceremony, Tony Miller, a social studies teacher at Linganore High, was presented with the annual Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teacher Award. Given jointly by Hood and Frederick County Public Schools, the award acknowledged his passion for teaching in the classroom as well as on the field as a lacrosse, softball and field hockey coach. Miller has taught at Linganore High since 1979. He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies from Shepherd College in 1979 and completed his master’s degree in secondary education curriculum and instruction at Hood in 1987. He has also earned 30 credits beyond his master’s degree at Hood.

For full Commencement coverage, visit Hood’s Commencement webpage. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!

Pictured: Class of 2015 graduates Meg DePanise and Zari DeMesme

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A Day With Wil Haygood

Hood’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act continued March 19 when journalist and author Wil Haygood spent the day on campus. Haygood was catapulted into fame last year when a film based on his book, The Butler, was released. The critically acclaimed movie earned Critics Choice, People’s Choice and Screen Actors Guild award nominations, among others.

Haygood spent time in the classroom, meeting with student organization groups and dining with key faculty, students and staff before delivering an outstanding lecture before a very enthusiastic crowd. He spoke with humor and passion about his inspiration for The Butler, his connections and the process that led to its publication, and a bit about the perks of hanging around celebrities on the movie set.

He had wonderful things to say about College and the Hood community, and seemed genuinely honored to be a part of this celebration. Haygood is welcome to make a return visit any time!

Cummings_9393

Celebrating 50 Years of Civil Rights Legislation

Hood College launched its celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act with a lecture Jan. 29 by U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, representative for Maryland’s 7th congressional district. The prominent and long-serving congressman spoke passionately about growing up in Baltimore during a time when the nation was struggling to eliminate segregation and its manifestations. He credited his teachers, librarians, parents, grandfather and other mentors for believing in him and inspiring him to “Realize the Dream.” Throughout his career he has worked to pay it forward by empowering the people he represents to be the best they can be.

The yearlong celebration of the landmark legislation includes films, discussions, workshops and lectures by noted public figures.

Homecoming_TP_Oct13

Homecoming

The campus was alive with students, alumni and families during Hood’s first Homecoming/Fall Family Weekend event Oct. 4-6. It was great to see so many alumni and families on campus and the weather couldn’t have been better.

There were a ton of activities—it was so hard to choose! Friday opened with campus tours, and a selection of mini-classes led by Professors Flora, Latkovski, Gurzick and Farrell. A happy hour, dinner and skit/comedy show followed, and later that night students kicked back with a taco bar, DJ and other activities.

Saturday events included College volunteer and update sessions, a homecoming festival and tailgate on the quad, men’s and women’s soccer games, an evening performance showcase and dessert reception. Many families and alumni headed to downtown Frederick for First Saturday, a monthly event where stores stay open late, bands showcase their talents and kid- and family-friendly activities—including a free photo booth hosted by Hood College—kept everyone entertained!

For anyone eager to wake up early, the cross country team hosted a 5K run Sunday morning, followed by a brunch in Coblentz Dining Hall.

Whew! Quite a lot to pack into one weekend, but everyone enjoyed themselves. We’re already starting to plan for next year!

Homecoming photos are posted on SmugMug. Enjoy!

Pictured: Jayteh Teh ’13, along with and other alumni, families and students, attended a soccer game during Homecoming weekend.