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!

Melissa Caples, Senior History major with a concentration in Public History

Scene at Hood: Take 16

Public history is a career path that focuses on interpreting history for the public in museums, national parks and places like that. It’s pretty much anything outside of academic history.”

“I’ve always been interested in history, and family history research has always been a hobby for me. I’ve traced my family back into the 1600s. When I heard that Hood offered a concentration in public history, I thought that was great.”

“This is the fourth year of my internship with the Historical Society of Frederick County. I work with the curator, and when objects are donated, I research them, catalog them in a database and help set up exhibits. I also do a little bit of interpretation, mostly at big events. And I write articles. I really enjoy it, and I love my internship.”

“My favorite classes here have been Historic Preservation, where we’ve researched old houses, archives and manuscripts, and next semester I’m taking Historic Documentaries and Material Cultures.”

“I’m the president and treasurer of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Hood. I’m the treasurer of Mortar Board, the senior honor society, and I’m the treasurer of the Archaeology and Ancient History Club. I’m also the president of the Smith Hall House Council.”

“I would like to be a museum curator, and I’m working on applying to grad schools right now.”

~Melissa Caples, senior history major with a concentration in public history

Dr. Didier Course, Professor of French

Scene at Hood: Take 15

I grew up in France and I’ve been at Hood for 17 years. The students are a lively group, and they want to learn. The foreign language department is a wonderful place to work. My colleagues are extraordinary, and there is a great vibe in the department. We read books, we write books and we like to talk about them! We are friends and colleagues.”

“I always liked teaching. I discovered the profession when I was 23, and I enjoyed it so much! At that time I was working in a high school in France. I liked being part of the process to become, and to help others become better human beings.

“I needed to learn to speak English to improve what I was doing in France. I came to the USA for a year, to the University of Wisconsin. At that time I was working on a graduate project and I learned, completely by accident, that one of the best specialists for this lived in Pittsburgh. Then, I went to grad school there. Life sometimes takes you in a direction that you do not expect, and this was a good one.

“I looked at a survey, and for Americans in general, their worst memories of education are math classes and foreign language classes. I understand that, because I went through that, too. When you learn a foreign language, you go back in life. You go back to a point where you are a child. You have to learn basic grammar and basic ideas. You may be an adult, but you have to go back like you were four or five years old. It can be so frustrating. Then, you go back to learning to say something like, ‘I like bread!’

“When I’m not teaching, I’m traveling. That’s my big passion. For me, I want to see as many countries as possible. Traveling for me is a source of inspiration. Also, let’s face it, I’m a geek. I love visiting libraries. I’m a happy man as soon as I’m in a library.

“I had a class do an assignment where I put them in groups, and they had to role play. One student played a young artist and another played an art dealer. The artist had to show the dealer how talented he or she was, and try to make a sale. One of the students did this caricature of me!”

~Didier Course, Ph.D., professor of French

Lloyd Thompson-Taylor, Senior English major

Scene at Hood: Take 14

I have loved my time at Hood. This College has allowed me to grow into the person I am today. I’ve gotten all of the tools I think I’ll need to succeed in life.

“One of my favorite professors of all time has to be Professor Amy Gottfried. I really love her because she is great at letting students come to their own conclusions, she good at kind of letting us work our own processes and thoughts out, and letting us be free to explore what we want. I also just like to sit in her office and talk to her about life.

“I am the editor of Wysteria, the Hood literary magazine, and I’m copy editor for the Blue and Grey, which is the student newspaper. I’ve also been a part of musical theater and the choir.

“I’d like to teach one day at a college, or to be on the administrative side. I definitely want to work at a college.”

~Lloyd Thompson-Taylor, senior, English major