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.


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!


Spanish House Challenge

Who inspires you? The Spanish House residents are on a quest to find out just that with a new initiative that is a win-win for everyone.

7thARTStreet, a drive to gather original artwork that will be hung in the Spanish House, is open to the entire campus community. The Spanish House residents are challenging students, faculty and staff to engage their creative genes, pull out their dusty art supplies and let their arty side take over!

All artwork must be submitted by April 7 and adhere to three specifications:

  • Inspired by a Spanish or Latin American artist (like the Picasso pictured above)
  • Size: 6” x 6”
  • Any text appearing in the piece must be in Spanish (translation assistance is available!)

The submitted artwork will then be showcased at the Spanish House’s traditional end-of-the-semester cultural event and reception in April before being permanently displayed in the residence.

And everyone benefits. Faculty, staff and students have an opportunity to express their creative side, the Spanish House will have new artwork to display and the campus community will learn more about Spanish and Latin American culture. And the best part is, you don’t have to be an artist to participate—if you dig deep enough, you can find a creative spark!

To participate, send an email to 7thartstreet@gmail.com indicating your intent to submit one or more pieces of art and the name of the artist who served as inspiration.


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.


Taking Care of Business During Winter Break

During winter break, Amanda Wobbleton ’14 has been carefully nurturing the plants that are part of her departmental honors research project.

Under the direction of Eric Kindahl, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, Amanda is looking at the nutrient uptake kinetics of two species of emergent plants. Mycorrhizae fungi, which colonize the roots and better enable plants to take in crucial nutrients, were introduced to some of the plants and not others. Later, once the fungi colonize the root system, she will feed the plants using nitrogen-rich water and measure how well they take in the nitrogen.

Knowing which plant species readily absorb nitrogen from the water will help environmental biologists select the most appropriate plants for wetland restoration.

Amanda will present her research and findings during departmental honors presentations in April.


Winter Break Doesn’t Always Mean Idle Time

Some college students spend their long winter break meeting up with friends, traveling or catching up on much-needed sleep. Others, like Tom Marino ’15, pursue a more academic endeavor.

Under the direction of Hood ecologist April Boulton, Ph.D., Tom is investigating how planting wildflower borders can attract bees and other beneficial insects in agricultural settings. As part of a four-member student team, their goal is to examine how such native flowers can increase beneficial insects—both pollinators and predators, alike. Using a combination of sticky traps, sweep nets and field observations, they collected insect specimens this past summer as part of the Hood Summer Research Institute. Surveys were conducted in both experimental (flower border) and control (no flower border) fields on a soybean farm in Frederick County, Md. Tom is identifying the remaining summer traps (pictured above), but the preliminary results indicate that native pollinators and insect predators were significantly more abundant and diverse in the experimental plot. In addition, they have unanticipated evidence that such insects significantly increased the soybean yield and quality in the experimental plot when compared to the control plot.

Tom is one of more than 30 Hood students who are spending their winter break conducting research, participating in internships or volunteering in their communities and beyond.

Kristen Squires, Sophomore Archaeology and Religion major, minoring in Women’s Studies

Scene at Hood: Take 19

I always knew I wanted to be an archaeology major and that’s what I came to Hood for. Then, I took an introduction to religion class, and I fell in love with that subject too. Then, I took a women’s studies class, and I felt like it was awesome.

“My biggest challenge at Hood? Not having the time and schedule to allow me to take all of the classes I want. There’s just not enough time in the day.

“I’m involved in the Equal Sex organization. We sponsor activities to promote equality.

“I know I want to be an archaeologist. I want to get my doctorate somewhere down the line.”

~Kristen Squires ’16, archaeology and religion major, minoring in women’s studies

John George Ed. D., Hood College, Associate Professor of Education

Scene at Hood: Take 18

I have been captivated with butterflies since a Virgin Island Caribbean cruise in 1994. Each year I count in upper Montgomery County for the Audubon Naturalist Society. The field notes from my experiences, along with those of others from across the U.S., are published annually by the North American Butterfly Association. I have also visited hibernating monarchs in three areas in the Michoachan Mountains west of Mexico City, and written reports of butterfly sightings in China, Brazil and locally. I post pictures of butterflies in every class I teach—students occasionally ask if any of this ‘hidden curriculum’ will appear on a test!

“I have been invited into kindergarten through middle school classrooms in Frederick County, to Frederick’s Torch Club and to several Hood classes to discuss Monarch migrations.”

In addition to his passion for butterflies, Professor George loves horseback riding, attending the opera and international travel. It seems he also has a knack for decorating, as his office is one of the nicest on campus.

“Well, I practically live here by day, on many evenings and on weekends. I’ve tried to make it a little home for me and for my 32 advisees that come here. The necktie I’m wearing was chosen by a seven year old family friend. He’s now a lawyer.”

~John George, Ed. D., associate professor of education

James Baker, Business and Management major

Scene at Hood: Take 17

I live in Meyran Hall. I have a sink in my room, and that’s the best thing ever!

“I’m from Washington, D.C. I went to a college fair, and saw a table set up for Hood College. I had never heard of Hood, and asked the representative where Hood was. She said it was in Frederick, Md., and I said, ‘Where is Frederick?’

“The Hood College admissions person was very nice. I thought, ‘OK, I will try this out.’ My mother and I visited the campus. She kept saying, ‘This is so n-i-i-i-ce! It’s just s-o-o n-i-i-i-i-c-e!’

“At the time, the other schools I was looking at didn’t have swim teams, and Hood did, so that capped it!

“I came here as a psychology major, but after three classes, I knew that wasn’t going to work for me. I looked at myself and thought about what I can do best. Business and management really touch on my skills. I found out about a lot of internship possibilities for jobs that I didn’t even know existed. Things have skyrocketed from there.

“I plan on going to graduate school and concentrating on urban development, but I’m staying at Hood for an extra semester to study abroad.

~James Baker ’15, business and management major


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!