Alternative Spring Break

Students, faculty and staff once again took devoted their spring breaks to community service. Five students, accompanied by faculty and staff chaperones, returned for the sixth year to the Franklinton Center at Bricks in Whitakers, N.C., a former slave plantation that once served as a junior college for freed slaves. Today it functions as a justice advocacy center run by the United Church of Christ.

There students learned about the history and lasting effects of slavery in the U.S., worked with local school children on reading and math literacy skills and visited other community organizations in the area. The College’s math club supported this trip by organizing a school supplies drive for schools in North Carolina.

Twenty-four other students volunteered at organizations in Frederick, Baltimore and the Washington, D.C., area. They removed invasive species from Rock Creek in Bethesda, Md.; worked with the fair trade craft market SERRV and the Brethren Disaster Relief Center in New Windsor, Md.; learned about sexual trafficking with the staff at Samaritan Women in Baltimore; worked at Frederick Community Action Agency’s food bank and soup kitchen; and assisted the 4-H Therapeutic Riding Center in Thurmont, Md., prepare for their spring classes.

“I learned a lot during this trip,” said Shanayah Braithwaite, a second-time participant in the ASB Frederick initiative. “Community service allows you to help people and appreciate everyday things that we easily overlook, like having clean waterways and feeling safe in your surroundings.”

Pictured: Hood volunteers assisted the Rock Creek Conservancy invasive species removal team. 



High school girls attend Sonia Kovalevsky Day event

Every other year Hood’s math department hosts Sonia Kovalevsky Day for area high school girls. Named for the first woman to earn a doctorate in mathematics, the event gives students an opportunity to participate in workshops, learn about careers in mathematics fields and meet Hood math students.

This year the girls could choose from four workshops: Optimization, or using math to find the best solution to real-world situations; game theory and behavior modeling, or using economics and math to predict how individuals will behave in specific situations; cryptography and cryptanalysis, or how math is used to break and make codes and ciphers; and building 3-D objects called Platonic solids, observing their mathematical properties and searching for patterns associated with them.

The students also met with three Hood alumnae and a mathematician from the National Security Agency to learn about careers in mathematics and hear testimonies about how Hood prepared them for their careers.

The program was facilitated by Hood math and economics professors and student volunteers, and made possible through the generous support of PNC Bank and Frederick County Public Schools.


Pictured, above: High school students built triangular solids out of Tinkertoys, dipped them in a soapy solution, made predictions about what the bubbles created by the structures would look like and then observed if their predictions were true.


What’s in a Label?

Students in Professor Jones’ Biology of Food and Nutrition class learn firsthand about nutrition labeling on packaged foods, and how to calculate and measure proteins, complex and simple carbohydrates found in everyday foods. The abstract concepts learned in the lectures—what proteins are actually doing, for example—become clear in the lab when students can actually see the proteins working. Students use this information to optimize bread and yogurt recipes by adjusting a variable—an ingredient or the fermentation process—to create a better product.

Pictured: Meagan Huyett ’18 and Tyler Shuck ’17.


Well-deserved award for Dean White

Dean Olivia White was honored Jan. 10 by the Frederick Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs with the very prestigious Ellen Nickens Visionary Award.

While Olivia has been a longtime volunteer in the Frederick community, is active in many service organizations and sits on a number of local boards, Dean White is most widely known for her visionary leadership. Most recently she co-chaired the Realizing the Dream initiative, Hood College’s yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act that featured guest lecturers, performances, documentaries and a conference on contemporary civil rights issues. She chaired the initiative’s culminating event, the very successful March on Frederick, which attracted more than 1,200 participants and featured national civil rights activist Julian Bond as the keynote speaker.

Dean White also received high praise for her leadership role in bringing to Frederick in March 2004 a four-day international conference that commemorated the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. The conference attracted distinguished authors, entertainers and other individuals such as Dorothy Height, Julian Bond, Peter Irons, Cheryl Brown Henderson, Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, Genna Rae McNeill, nationally acclaimed Sweet Honey in the Rock and the Morgan State University Choir.

We applaud her accomplishments and dedication to the Frederick and Hood communities. We are proud to call her a member of the Hood College team.

Congratulations, Olivia!


Giving Tuesday extended

If you’re a student at Hood College, you know that giving back happens all the time, not just on Giving Tuesday. This fall, students in April Boulton’s ENSP 101 Environmental Problems class collaborated with the City of Frederick to determine which roads and intersections would most benefit from bike lanes and wider pedestrian crosswalks. Students collected data from more than half of the nearly dozen intersections throughout the city that were identified as possible candidates for alternative transportation modes and presented that information to the City Council.

This was a win-win situation for everyone: Students were able to apply theory to practice, the City got a low- to no-cost bank of data from which the council members could make an informed decision and students were able to give back to the local community in a meaningful way.

Check out the video!

Photo: Mark Buchholz ’18 confers with Professor April Boulton.


Apple recognizes Hood’s innovative use of technology

Hood College is leading the pack again! The College was recently named an Apple Distinguished School for 2014-2016 for its innovative use of iPads and the application of technology in nearly every discipline.

So how did this come about? When Apple first introduced the iPad, Hood administrators, faculty and students quickly realized that this new technology had the potential to change the academic landscape. Hood wasted little time in launching a two-year pilot program; incoming first-year undergraduate students and a few faculty members explored the ways the iPad could benefit teaching and learning.

The program’s success led to its expansion and the iPad has been embraced campus wide; iPads are now distributed to every undergraduate student and faculty member. Since the end of the trial period, the iPad has been an integral part of daily learning in and outside of the classroom. From education professors demonstrating how to help children master reading skills to calculus students determining the velocity of a raindrop to business majors learning the intricacies of social media to English faculty demonstrating the structure and musicality of a sonnet, the iPad has transformed how faculty in every discipline teach and how students read their textbooks, solve problems, work together and learn.

Thanks to generous funding from an alumna and a foundation, and the vision of the campus community, Hood is in the forefront of innovative learning!


“Messiah” is a seasonal favorite

You know the holiday season is just around the corner when Hood College Choir performs Handel’s Messiah. This year, choir alumni will join current choir members Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. for the 67th annual performances of the famous oratorio. It’s a must-see event!

As in previous years, the concert will feature four soloists: Lisa Dodson, soprano; Katelyn Jackman, mezzo soprano; Leroy smith, tenor; and Nathan Wyatt, bass. Lynn Staininger, director of choral activities at Hood, will conduct the concert. And a number of Hood faculty will perform with the orchestra, including Wayne L. Wold, associate professor of music and College organist; William D. Powell III, instructor of piano; Anna Claire Ayoub, instructor of bassoon; Ed Stanley, oboe instructor; Alison Bazala, cello instructor; and bassist Lynn Fleming, instructor of string bass.

Order tickets in advance at www.hood.edu.messiah or by calling 301-696-3130. If available, tickets will be sold at the door, but getting them in advance is always recommended for this popular event!




Frederick, Md.–A mini-D.C.

Many of us here on campus have experienced the awesomeness of downtown Frederick. But for Hood students or for the locals it wasn’t always the go-to place to hang out. In recent years, thanks to revitalization efforts by the city’s leaders, new shops, restaurants, bars and art venues have not only opened for business but they are thriving.  People are flocking to live within walking distance of the flourishing night life and cultural scene. In an October 31 article that appeared in the Washington Post, a reporter wrote about this trend in Frederick and in small cities across the U.S. Read about what is being called the mini-boom.


An Opportunity of a Lifetime

Frederick artist Cameron Petke, MFA ’10 is known for his wheel-thrown ceramic temple bells as well as handcrafted tableware and interior design pieces. An outstanding artist, he was selected as one of 50 finalists in the ceramics category for the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Award. He, along with nearly 5,000 others across the country, was nominated earlier this month for the award, which celebrates craftspeople working in their communities.

Here’s where you can help. Online voting from now until Oct. 13 will determine which 10 artists will be featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine and attend a media event with Martha Stewart in New York City in November. To vote and to see his artist profile, visit www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/95707/crafts/baked-clay-studio.

Check out what he’s up to in his studio when he’s not teaching at a Frederick-area high school, Hood College or Loyola University at www.bakedclaystudio.com.

March Graphic_t-shirt

March on Frederick

Hood College, in close collaboration with numerous Frederick community partners, is organizing a March on Frederick, which will be held Sept. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The march, a tribute to the historic 1963 March on Washington, will bring together students, faculty, staff, community members and visitors to reflect on the civil rights progress made within the Frederick community in the last 50 years.

The march will begin at Harry Grove Stadium at 9:30 a.m. Participants will walk past many of the sites related to Frederick’s African American history and conclude at the College’s Alumnae Hall, where local, state and national civil rights activists, including former NAACP leader Julian Bond, will address the crowd.

As part of the annual ay to serve initiative, volunteers will be collecting nonperishable food items to support local food banks.

Participants are encouraged to register for the march at civil-rights.hood.edu/register.

Hood’s yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act has been marked by lectures, performances and films. Renowned authors, attorneys and activists such as Will Haygood, Shirley Sherrod, Fred Gray, Rep. Elijah Cummings and Ysaye Barnwell, who have celebrated the African American culture and devoted their careers to advocating for social justice and racial equality, came to campus to meet with students and give public talks. A four-part film series, featuring documentaries that focus on the struggles African Americans have faced long after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, is also part of this initiative.

To learn more about the yearlong celebration and other march-related events, visit civilrights.hood.edu or read the press release.