The Hood College delegation of the Maryland Student Legislature traveled to Annapolis to participate in the 27th Annual Session April 29-May 1 in which eight higher education institutions simulated Maryland government processes.
The MSL is a nonprofit that allows college and university students opportunities to experience Maryland state government and legislative processes and gather to write and debate public policy. Each year during its annual session, members experience the legislative process of the actual house of delegates and senate chambers. The MSL includes delegations from Hood College; McDaniel College; Mount St. Mary’s University; St. Mary’s College of Maryland; St. John’s College; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Maryland, College Park; and Washington College.
Hood rising senior Dylan Wood and rising junior Tyler Graham were elected by their peers to serve as the governor and lieutenant governor of the statewide MSL convening next academic year. The race was highly contested, with the other ticket for governor and lieutenant governor being Wood’s twin brother Derrick Wood and Gabrielle Cavalier.
“The governor’s election was especially exciting this year with brother running against brother,” said Professor Carin Robinson, the Hood MSL adviser.
In addition to the election, Graham received the award for best delegate.
“Tyler Graham has a deep respect for the legislative process, and his contribution is impressive seeing that he is only a sophomore,” said Robinson. “Last year, as a freshman, he won an award for legislative writing. It is not surprising his peers recognized his ability to debate and speak on behalf of his policy positions.”
During the weekend’s activities, Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford addressed the participants from eight schools, and there was a session with an alumni panel that featured Hood Class of 2015 graduate Caitlin Battey who is now with the McCain Institute.
Graduating seniors who have been involved with the MSL for three or four years were recognized for their commitment to the organization. Melissa Lopez, Elliot Tombs and Emma Ward were recognized from Hood. The other members of the Hood contingent included Gabrielle Cavalier, Paula Del Valle Torres, Andrew Drum, Nick Fisher, Samuel Kebede, Brice McAndrew, Cooper Muff, Brielle Rozmus and Derrick Wood.
“I am so proud of the Hood delegation,” said Robinson. “All year they have had a consistent presence at statewide events and routinely amaze me with their professionalism and public-speaking abilities. Our graduates routinely say MSL is one of their favorite college experiences. The access it provides to state legislators and their staff is unparalleled. I see timid freshman join the group and see them transform to engaging, confident public speakers by the time they graduate. … The MSL experience encourages students to pursue careers not only in law and politics, but in public service in general, whether it be elected office or nonprofit work.”