Enactus Wins Regional Awards

The Enactus club at Hood College traveled to Washington, D.C., to compete in its first regional competition March 29, where it presented what they have named the Backet, a cross-functional piece of apparel for homeless people that combines a backpack and a winter jacket.

Enactus is a student club committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. The 16-member Hood group was named a regional champion and earned the rookie of the year award. They will present their project at the national competition May 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo.

“It is an extreme accomplishment for a first-year presenting team to advance to the national competition,” remarked Merry Tucker, regional program manager for Enactus.

The Backet originated when Hood Enactus member and Backet project manager Haroon Pasha went on a pilgrimage during which he experienced homelessness. He said it inspired him to take action and develop a product to help and empower the homeless community through Enactus. Pasha is a senior majoring in business administration with a concentration in information systems and a minor in economics.

“I never could have expected to be a part of something as dynamic as the Backet project,” said Pasha. “I just had an idea that I felt very passionate about, and I knew it had to be made a reality. The credit goes to the entire team, and how well we were able to work together and be flexible with our schedules.”

The Backet is intended to combat the two most pressing needs of homeless people—the need to keep ownership of and proximity to their belongings and the need to adapt to varying weather conditions—according to David Gurzick, Ph.D., assistant professor of management at Hood who is a Sam Walton fellow, a designation Enactus gives to faculty coordinators. The Hood team has been evolving the prototype through design teams incorporating experts in apparel manufacturing, community action efforts, business entrepreneurship and homelessness.

Pasha was on the six-member presentation team with Connor Asman, Ana Filipovic and Nigol Keurkunian, Kyle Shields and Alex Smith.

“I knew the presentation would go flawlessly,” said Asman. “Not because it was not difficult—it was, we had a live product demonstration and two videos plus an intense script to memorize. But because I knew I had the absolute best presenters at Hood on my team representing the most passionate team I’ve ever seen.”

As a result of the presentation, Asman also got a paid summer internship working with Sam’s Club where he will focus on how to improve current operations.

The other members of the Backet project were Suvana Batajoo, Joe Hutchins, Destani Jameson, Scott Johnson, Sam Kebede, Gray Kline, Jonathan Knehans, Rowela Silvestre, Ivana Soce and Nathan Temple.

“It has been an exciting time this year working with the Hood Enactus team and watching them grow and develop as entrepreneurs,” said Gurzick. “The students have matured in their thinking, developed in their resourcefulness and taken ownership of this project and its outcomes. They are enterprising and have surpassed every expectation that I had for the depth of student commitment to a project.”

Organizations outside the College assisted the project as well. The Religious Coalition for Human Needs, the Alan P. Linton Jr. Emergency Shelter, 2nd Street and Hope and the Frederick Community Action Agency are nonprofits that helped the team. Also, Tracy McGuirk ’82, a Hood alumna and owner of Tracy Lin Creations in Frederick, was the tailor for the project and helped the Enactus group create the Backet.

Phase 1 of the Backet project—the research and development phase—is coming to its completion. Phase 2 will consist of testing and fundraising and is scheduled to begin this summer with the help of Hood and the project’s community partners.

“The Backet has come so far in just a few months, and I am very excited to see what lies ahead for the Backet project in the near future,” said Pasha.

Enactus is a global organization of student, academic and business leaders that draws its name from the words “entrepreneurial,” “action” and “us.” It is an international nonprofit dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action, creating a better world for everyone.

“The Enactus model is one of social entrepreneurship—identifying real-world problems and then taking action to develop sustainable means of resolution,” said Gurzick. “In a very short time, the Hood College team has taken this model to heart and set the stage for some very big expectations.”

To donate to the Backet project, visit https://secure.hood.edu/online_payments/TeamBacket.aspx.


Thanatology Degree Among the Best in US

The Master of Arts in thanatology is one of the few and best in the United States and the only one of its type available in Maryland. Both the certificate and master’s degree course work specifically prepare individuals to work with the terminally ill and the bereaved and to provide death education.

Hood’s unique, interdisciplinary approach affords a combination of theory, research and practical skills that can be used in a broad range of occupations and organizations. Students examine the interplay among the physical, psychological, interpersonal and spiritual needs of the living and the dying across the lifespan.

Both the certificate and master’s degree programs are for those working in the funeral industry, hospice, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care environments. They also appeal to graduate students embarking on new careers and to psychologists, social workers, counselors and teachers who want to expand into this area. Content conforms to Association for Death Education and Counseling certification benchmarks, a credential that can further validate career professionalism and commitment.

The 12-credit certificate program is intended for professionals in the thanatology field and those already licensed or certified in human service fields. Many students complete the certificate requirements first, then pursue the in-depth 39-credit master’s degree program.

A further training specialty is available with the 12-credit gerontology certificate, for individuals who want to work in the field of aging and health care, and in areas such as retirement and estate planning, human resources, marketing, public relations, ministry, grant writing and public policy involving aging adults.

For thanatology admission requirements and additional information, visit www.hood.edu/THAN.

Human Sciences

Human Sciences Degree Revamped for Today’s Society

The Master of Arts in human sciences was the first program the Hood College Graduate School offered when it opened in 1971. The program today delivers a relevant and versatile approach to the study of human nature as it relates to contemporary society.

This program can provide existing career enhancement as well as a stimulating path for lifelong learners. Extending liberal arts to the graduate level, the human sciences master’s degree challenges students to develop a deeper understanding and broader perspective of the human experience and the world. Faculty scholars and adjunct instructors strengthen the unique interdisciplinary curriculum with extensive research, professional experience and teaching expertise.

With its intense focus on critical thinking, research, analysis, problem solving and communication skills, the program has ready application in many facets of career, community and personal life. The degree can provide career enhancement opportunities in fields such as education, community health, government, community service, human resources, the juvenile justice system, community organizing and the media.

Students may choose from two paths to the master’s degree—30 credits plus a comprehensive exam or 36 credits including a thesis. A wide variety of electives accommodate multiple interests and goals.

Evening and accelerated weekend classes and summer sessions mean even part-time students can complete the degree in less than two years.

For admission requirements and additional information, visit www.hood.edu/HS.

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.


New Chief Academic Officer Selected

Debbie Ricker, a lifelong academic and biology professor, has been selected to be Hood College’s chief academic officer beginning July 1.

As provost and vice president for academic affairs, Ricker, Ph.D., will oversee Hood’s 33 undergraduate and 14 master’s degree programs as well as the College’s 120 regular and 130 adjunct faculty members. She will also oversee academic departments and offices, including the graduate school, registrar, career center, study abroad, library, institutional research and center for academic achievement and retention. Hood College enrolls 1,212 undergraduate students and 975 graduate students.

Ricker is currently dean of academic services at York College of Pennsylvania. She oversees academic advising, career development, professional excellence, disability support services, study abroad and global education and community education. She serves as an advocate for more than 200 faculty advisers and supervises 20 staff members. She served in several administrative capacities at York beginning in 1996, and she began her current role in 2010. York has 172 full-time faculty members and enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate students and 200 graduate students.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Ricker to the Hood community,” said Hood College President Andrea Chapdelaine. “Her excellent credentials, enthusiasm for our academic mission and passion for students will serve Hood well as we build our next strategic plan to further strengthen our academic offerings, student academic achievement and support for our faculty as teacher-scholars.”

Ricker succeeds Edgar Schick, who served as Hood’s interim provost from August 2014 to February 2016. Schick came to Hood after Kate Conway-Turner was appointed president at the State University of New York-Buffalo State in July 2014.

“I knew that Hood College was a special place from the first moment I stepped on campus,” Ricker said. “I am truly honored to have been chosen to serve as the provost and vice president for academic affairs, and I look forward to working in close partnership with President Chapdelaine, the faculty, staff and students to advance the academic mission of the institution.

“Hood College has earned an outstanding reputation among its peers for the caliber of its academic programs, the significance of its traditions, its responsiveness to change in an ever-evolving world and, above all, its commitment to transforming lives,” she said. “I am very proud to join the Hood family and look forward to developing new campus and community partnerships in the months ahead.”

A native of Mars Hill, N.C., Ricker earned her doctorate in reproductive biology from The Johns Hopkins University. She earned her master’s degree in biological science from East Tennessee State University and her bachelor’s degree in biological science from Mars Hill University in North Carolina. She also completed the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management program.


Counseling Master’s Degree Accepting Applications

Hood’s Master of Science in counseling program, with specialties in clinical mental health counseling and school counseling, began in the fall 2015.

The program offers tailored and relevant course work for those pursuing a career in the caring professions. It is designed to meet Maryland licensure requirements and Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accreditation standards.

Faculty members in the counseling program are subject-matter experts whose scholarly and real-world experiences ensure that instruction is grounded in academic knowledge and practical application. Small classes mean close communication with instructors, rich discussion among students and the kind of meaningful experiences that result from a community-based learning environment. Instructional domains include foundations; counseling, prevention and intervention; diversity and advocacy; assessment; research and evaluation; diagnosis; collaboration and consultation; and leadership.

The clinical mental health counseling specialty provides a clear path to licensure required to practice counseling professionally in Maryland and neighboring states. The program is intended to prepare individuals to work in community mental health programs, hospitals, substance abuse clinics, at-risk youth programs, social services agencies, private counseling practices and similar settings.

The school counseling specialty offers a path to certification as a pre-K through 12th-grade school counselor. In addition, courses can be planned to fulfill requirements for professional counseling licensure. The program prepares individuals to provide meaningful student counseling services and contribute significantly to education teams in elementary, middle and secondary schools.

The 60-credit curriculum for both specialties includes nine core courses and four specialty courses. The program requires a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship in chosen specialization.

Further training specialties are possible with the 12-credit gerontology and thanatology certificates. The gerontology certificate is for individuals who want to work in the field of aging and health care, and in areas such as human resources, ministry, grant writing and public policy involving aging adults.

The thanatology certificate is for individuals who want to work with the terminally ill and bereaved in settings such as hospice, hospitals, nursing homes, other health care environments and the funeral industry; to provide death education to other mental health service providers; and to provide student crisis response and grief or bereavement counseling. The program conforms to Association for Death Education and Counseling certification benchmarks.

For admission requirements and additional information, visit www.hood.edu/Counseling.

Lydia Emory

Senior Awarded Fulbright Scholarship

Senior Lydia Emory has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Spain to teach abroad next academic year. A Spanish and global studies major with a focus in global cultures and society, she will join more than 100,000 Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumni who have been awarded grants since the program began in 1948.

“I wanted to do it so badly,” said Emory. “I am still shocked I got it.”

The Fulbright program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Congress and the Department of State and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of more than 160 countries worldwide. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Emory will be in Madrid, beginning in August, for 10 months. She will be teaching the equivalent of middle or high school as an English teaching assistant in math, science or English classes. The Fulbright program emphasizes community service, and she will be helping students gain international awareness during a three-month Model United Nations camp. While in Spain, she will also be looking for other opportunities to work, travel and eventually aim for a job at the U.S. Department of State.

Emory studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea, and in Sevilla, Spain, during her time at Hood. She also studied in Slovakia while attending Fairfield High School in Adams County, Pa., where she graduated in 2012. She believes that her experiences abroad thus far in her life played a key role in her being awarded the grant.

“I have been lucky to have the opportunities to travel abroad,” she said. “That international experience really shaped and formed me.”

While at Hood, Emory has served as the president of the student international club; as a Blazer Ambassador in the admission office; as the head resident assistant; as an orientation assistant; and as a member of the Hood College Rotaract Club.

“Lydia is an exceptionally motivated student and creative thinker,” said Scott Pincikowski, Hood College Fulbright adviser. “She has made it one of her life’s goals to be actively engaged in the global community. Lydia represents the best of Hood’s liberal arts tradition. Hood College offers rigorous programs in global studies and foreign languages that enable top students like Lydia to receive competitive and prestigious grants like Fulbright. Lydia was chosen from hundreds of applicants from around the country, including students from top-tier universities.”

Previous Fulbright Scholars from Hood College include Jeanne Schmidt Whitehair ’55, Janet Halsted Jackson ’56,
Mara Eksteins Garcia-Bunuel ’57, Charlotte A. Moran ’57,
 Beverly A. Heckart ’59, Amie Godman Tannenbaum ’63, Cherilyn Widell ’75, Heather Mathews ’94, Summer Arrigo-Nelson ’98 and Shannon K. Williams ’07.


Bioinformatics M.S. to Begin in the Fall

The Graduate School at Hood College will offer a Master of Science in bioinformatics beginning in the fall 2016.

With the advent of “big data,” bioinformatics has become one of the major growth opportunities in the life sciences. This degree addresses the core subject areas and skill sets identified by the International Society for Computational Biology as essential for bioinformaticians. Regional employers have expressed a desire for a local graduate level master’s program in bioinformatics. These employers include the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, the Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center at Fort Detrick and other nearby biomedical and biotechnology companies. Representatives from each of these entities were key in the development of the master’s degree. These professional connections are instrumental in maintaining relevant partnerships that provide practical learning opportunities.

Under the program’s dual-gateway format, candidates who have strong biological backgrounds begin by enrolling in a gateway foundation course in computer science, and candidates who have strong computational backgrounds, but lack the understanding of life science and “-omics” projects, enroll first in a foundation course that introduces the basics of cell biology and genome science.

Students will benefit from small classes taught by faculty who are highly qualified in computer science, biology and bioinformatics and have experience with top research and development and biotechnology firms and federal and private laboratories. A team-based research project, linked where possible with local research labs and companies, culminates the program. Students are required to develop the research questions; collect and analyze the primary data; coalesce and synthesize the material into a final product; and report their findings back to the partner institution.

Applicants for the bioinformatics degree program should have a bachelor’s degree in biology or computer science. Students currently in the bioinformatics certificate program, or who will have completed it, can continue on toward the master’s degree. Hood has offered the bioinformatics certificate program since fall 2015.

With the addition of the Master of Science in bioinformatics, the Hood College Graduate School now offers two doctoral degrees, 16 master’s degrees, and 12 certificate and certification programs. The College has been offering graduate degrees since 1971.

For admission requirements and other information, visit www.hood.edu/BioinformaticsMS.


First Doctoral Program to Begin in the Fall

Hood College will offer its first doctoral degrees in the fall 2016, and the program is now accepting applications.

Developed in consultation with regional business, government, education and nonprofit constituencies, the doctoral program in organizational leadership is a three-year, 60-credit program that leads to one of two degrees—the doctorate of organizational leadership (DOL) and the doctorate of business administration (DBA) in organizational leadership. This program is designed to prepare leaders in business, education, the nonprofit sector and government to meet the personal and professional challenges of the future.

Through an integrated curriculum that explores values and leadership philosophy, students are equipped for lives of responsibility, leadership and service. Participants are encouraged to be lifelong learners who engage in self-assessment, reflection and evaluation. Unlike other doctoral programs available in Maryland, it offers practicing professionals a choice of two avenues to advance their leadership capacity through a terminal degree.

The DPOL is geared toward mid-career professionals who hold leadership positions within their organizations or have a strong desire to ascend to that level. They have earned a master’s degree and have at least eight to 10 years of progressively responsible experience in their career fields.

The program is expected to start with 18 students in the first year and grow to a total of about 50 enrolled students in three years. DOL and DBA candidates advance together, as a cohort, through core leadership, research, specialization and capstone tiers. They differentiate their degree pursuits in the specialization tier.

The DPOL is founded on the four pillars of leadership excellence: mindfulness, resource stewardship, systems thinking and community commitment. Doctoral candidates learn to guide their organizations and their communities through the challenges of the 21st century and to make decisions based not only on financial performance but also on social and environmental criteria. Doctoral course work prepares them to use benchmarking and evidence-based research to improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

The program goals are to:

  • Develop leaders who are well versed in the triple-bottom-line sustainability paradigm—economic, social and environmental;
  • Equip leaders with the skills and competencies to initiate and manage change in today’s competitive environment;
  • Educate and train leaders to employ pedagogical, empirical and research skills to initiate, conduct and evaluate independent research;
  • Provide a forum for area professionals to network and collaborate with others who share their interests in leadership, service and development of communities;
  • Enable candidates to customize their studies based on work context, educational background and career aspirations; and
  • Advance frontiers of theoretical knowledge and practical application in leadership.

The degrees will complement Hood’s 16 master’s degrees and 12 post-baccalaureate certificate and certification programs. The College has been offering graduate degrees since 1971.

For admission requirements and additional information, visit www.hood.edu/DPOL.

Prettany Overman

Hood Alumna Enjoys International Internship

Prettany Overman studied abroad as an undergraduate student in Munich, Germany, with the Junior Year in Munich program. Originally from Abingdon, Md., she graduated from Hood College with a major in German and a minor in political science in May 2015.

Now she is back in Germany for a yearlong internship. She pursued the internship because she wanted to spend another year in Germany, gain valuable work experience and give back to the country and its people.

“(My year abroad) was honestly the best year of my life, and I wanted to experience another year as amazing and eye-opening as that one,” she said. “My study-abroad year in Munich gave me so much confidence and taught me so many new perspectives that I didn’t want to end my experiences with Germany without giving something back.”

She is volunteering for one year, September 2015-September 2016, through Action Reconciliation Service for Peace in Berlin and Oranienburg, Germany. On Mondays, she works with the Jewish community in Berlin and spends the day visiting two Holocaust survivors. Tuesday through Friday, she works in Oranienburg in the Sachsenhausen memorial and museum. There, she gives tours in German and in English, translating German to English and English to German. She organizes and runs study day trips, and she works on her own research, which currently involves American prisoners of Sachsenhausen.

“I knew I would enjoy having another year abroad, but I wasn’t sure about how much I would enjoy doing the work that I am doing,” said Overman. “To be honest, I was worried that I wouldn’t be strong enough to handle the subject matter or the unique encounters with survivors and their families. In that sense, I have been challenged in a way that I didn’t know I could be. While I have learned so much about others and their lives and work, I have learned so much more about myself.”

The week of Jan. 22-27 was a special experience for Overman as she was invited to participate in the 2016 German Bundestag Youth Encounter and International Holocaust Remembrance Day when all victims of National Socialism are commemorated. During this program, she traveled and worked with other young people whose line of study and work focused on the period of National Socialism in Germany. Their main subject of focus was forced labor. They visited Mittelbau-Dora, a former concentration camp in Nordhausen, and they spent time in Berlin. While in Berlin, they worked within the Reichstag—the German equivalent of the White House—and other vital buildings where members of the German Parliament work. The highlights included talking with a former forced laborer; participating in the Hour of Remembrance in the assembly room for the German Parliament; and participating in a podium discussion with the president of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, and Holocaust survivor Ruth Klüger. During the Hour of Remembrance, Overman sat in the same room with Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, and other members of the German Parliament, as they reflected on the victims of National Socialism from all over the world.

“When I was younger, I used to think that I couldn’t have an impact on history,” said Overman. “I felt so separated from the events that took place before me. Through my service, I have learned that even as a young person, I can have an impact and be an active participant in history. I can influence how experiences and stories are shared in the future. I hope that I can play a role in how future generations look at National Socialism, the Holocaust, racism, hatred and intolerance. The story won’t stop with me.”