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.
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.
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.
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!