Isabel Duartes, Hood College Junior Double Major in History and Interdepartmental Gender and Sexuality Studies

Scene at Hood: Take Five

I started here as a freshman. I transferred out because I had a little trouble adjusting to college. But I missed Hood so much I transferred back in. My adviser, Professor Ann Derbes, emailed me three times during the semester I was gone, asking me if I wanted to come back. I’m so glad I did!”

~Isabel Duartes, junior, double major in history and interdepartmental gender and sexuality studies

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Commencement: 116 Years and Going Strong

The tent went up Wednesday in preparation for the May 19 Commencement exercises. The day dawned cloudy—and remained that way—but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the 317 undergraduates and 212 master’s degree candidates who received their diplomas during two ceremonies held on the residential quad.

Graduating seniors were excited that Antonio Mendez, artist, author and former Central Intelligence Agency officer, delivered the Commencement address during the 10 a.m. ceremony. A few weeks earlier they were treated to a showing of the Oscar award-winning film Argo, so they were well informed about his single-handed rescue of six American diplomats from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis.

Retired Army Col. Zygmunt Dembek, M.S. ’82, senior scientist for the Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine’s Cooperative Biological Engagement Program at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., spoke at the 3 p.m. graduate school ceremony. Throughout his very impressive career, Zygmunt has worked to protect and prepare the citizens of the nation and the world against bioterrorism and the outbreak of disease.

They, along with chair of the board of trustees Cheryl Brown Dreiling ’69, one of the longest serving members of the board—her tenure has spanned the terms of three presidents—received honorary degrees.

Former trustee Charlie Nicodemus, LHD ’05, and his wife, Kathryn, LHD ’05, were each recognized at the undergraduate ceremony with the Hood College Presidential Medal of Excellence for their generosity and commitment to the College.

 Oh the Places You’ll Go with your Hood degrees: as you start or look to expand your careers, or seek more advanced degrees at graduate schools throughout the world, we at Hood are quite certain your successes will know no bounds!

View all the photos from Commencement.

Pictured: Graduating seniors Bridgitte McColligan and Will Lane.

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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.

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Scene at Hood: Take Four

There’s a cartoon called Adventure Time. It’s designed for small children, but I recently read that something like 80 percent of those who watch it are over 16. I love the style of the cartoon, so I painted scenes from it on these shoes. I’m actually painting a pair for my sister, who is getting married in June, as a wedding gift. I’m going to put a cartoon version of her one shoe and a cartoon of her fiancé on the other.”

~Lew Dean, first-year, studio art and mathematics double major

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The Commuter Connection

Commuters flocked to the Whitaker Campus Center patio for the annual Spring Commuter Celebration last week, taking full advantage of the beautiful weather to get together for some good food and fun. There were lawn games, raffles for gift cards to local eateries and businesses, pizza and more. Students could purchase commuter student-designed T-shirts and tie dye them to create unique pieces of wearable art.

These events are a great way for commuter students to get to know the commuter council officers as well as each other, and to just hang out. In addition to Commuter Celebrations held at the beginning of the fall and at the end of the spring semesters, a holiday party is scheduled each December and themed booths, designed to cater to commuters and their interests, are set up around campus each month.

Commuter students such as seniors Ashley Ortiz and Jessica Manuel (pictured above) are an integral part of the Hood community. They bring a diverse perspective to the social, cultural and academic life on campus. We celebrate the eclectic mix that is Hood College.

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Natalie Hernandez. Hood College Sophomore Communications Major

Scene at Hood: Take Three

I’m really enjoying my second year here. I’m making more friends, and I’m really more involved in things. I chose communication arts as a major because there are so many fields I can go into. I want to concentrate on digital media, and I’m really into advertising and design.”

~Natalie Hernandez, sophomore, communication arts major

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Honors Convocation

It’s an annual tradition for the campus community to gather together in the spring to celebrate student, faculty and staff achievements during the past year. Yesterday, in Coffman Chapel, 107 students were honored for excellence, some earning awards in several categories. Six staff members were recognized by their peers and students for service and leadership. Oney Smith, associate professor of biology, walked away with three awards—outstanding contributions to his profession and the College through scholarship and service, exceptional advising and inspirational teaching—well deserved! In all, 93 prizes were awarded to 114 people.

Stephanie Taylor (above, with President Volpe), a senior from Huntingtown, Md., was a recipient of The Biology Faculty Award. She has distinguished herself as a researcher extraordinaire—she completed a bioinformatics internship in parasite genomics at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md., and conducted research on genotyping patients with chronic kidney disease at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research at Fort Detrick. Wow!

We applaud Hood students, faculty and staff for their accomplishments.

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Trevor Baldwin, Hood College Junior Economics Major

Scene at Hood: Take Two

When I first looked at colleges, I was looking for the biggest parties, the biggest sports events and things. Hood has elements of that, but what really sets it apart is the kind of help you get from the professors, and the relationships you develop are way more profound than you’re going to find at really big schools.”

~Trevor Baldwin, junior, economics major

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The Stage was Alive with Avenue Q

Each of the four Avenue Q performances this past weekend played to sold-out crowds. Kudos to senior Ashley Birdsell, director and choreographer, and to all the actors, stage managers, set designers and builders, technicians and musicians!

Clearly, the cast members enjoyed themselves on stage Saturday night—the singing and somewhat bawdy dialog and lyrics were delivered with panache. The set was simple yet realistic and the stage direction was flawless. It is a story to which nearly everyone can relate.

Avenue Q, raunchy though it may be, is a show with heart,” wrote Birdsell in the show’s playbill. “We connect to these puppets on multiple levels: first and foremost there is pure nostalgia for our bygone Sesame Street days. But as we ready ourselves to face life after Hood, we empathize with Princeton, who is just trying to find his purpose in life. We connect with Kate, who maintains her sense of self while looking for love; and Rod, who is trying to make peace with who he really is.”

Co-founded by Birdsell and senior Billy Lewis in 2010, the troupe has known a number of successes—Spelling Bee, Making Noise and Broadway 101. A primarily student-run company, HCSMT relies on the support of faculty and staff, the SGA and donations from theater-goers.

Check out HCSMT’s next production; you won’t be disappointed.

Pictured: Senior Jahtay Teh and Princeton had lead roles in HCSMT’s production of Avenue Q

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The Peeps Have It

Once again, the Hood community entered the Peeps Contest with enthusiasm and finesse. The competition challenged individuals or groups to create a diorama that illustrated an expression or saying, a movie or play, a book or any other topic of choice by using marshmallow peeps. Clearly, Hood students are very clever and creative!

While The Avengers garnered the most votes, scenes from The Lion King, Pulp Fiction, Stand and Deliver, Alien and Willy Wonka had a respectable showing. Seniors Krysta Wagner and Heidi Gunzelman took top honors; even the math department submitted an entry. They’re now on display on the second floor of the Whitaker Campus Center.

The big question is, how many more peeps were eaten than made it into the dioramas?

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