Our Trip to the League of Women Voters Maryland State Convention

By Brielle Rozmus ’19 and Nailah Russell ’18

In case you missed the previous post:
Democracy in Action | Students Study League of Women Voters of Frederick County

Dr. Zaki’s research project on the League of Women Voters of Frederick County, Maryland has taken us to places we never could have imagined. We have traveled to dusty archives in multiple libraries, and to League members’ homes to interview them on their participation. The one place we never expected to go when we signed onto this project was the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the historic Chestertown, Kent County. But, that’s where we ended up for a beautiful weekend in June observing and participating in the League of Women Voters of Maryland’s State Convention. The weekend was full of adventures for our trio, from first rides over the Bay Bridge to becoming voting delegates representing Frederick County’s League.

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The team gathers for their second breakfast.
A room in the lab where people are working on their notebooks and drawing pottery.
A student from the University of Washington teaches a group of British students about making and drawing pottery.

By Jennifer Ross, Ph.D., Professor of Art and Archaeology

In case you missed the previous post: 
Part One: Another Year, Another Dig: Archaeology Professor Jennifer Ross Writes from Turkey

Our archaeological team here at Çadır Höyük, in central Turkey, has now reached its maximum number of people, though we’re still early in our digging season. There are about 30 of us, speaking a number of different languages with a variety of accents.

As anyone who has been on an archaeological project knows, one of the most important elements of the work is food. We are lucky to have a wonderful support staff, including a glorious cook who manages two of our four daily meals, and her husband, our driver, who brings a third out to site every morning at 9 a.m. (We’re on our own for our 5 a.m. breakfast.) Here you see part of our crew at “second breakfast” on site.

Good teamwork is central to good archaeology; while archaeological history is filled with stories of “heroic” Indiana Jones-like figures, like Heinrich Schliemann and Giovanni Belzoni, who capitalized on their own exploits, today’s archaeology is much more interdisciplinary and interdependent. A team like ours includes students new to archaeology, graduate students working on Masters degrees and PhDs, paleobotanists, zooarchaeologists, conservators, and experts in ancient metallurgy, and professors who are knowledgable in a wide range of historical periods and questions.

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GIS Expert Contributes to DC Policy Center

Randy Smith, a lecturer at Hood College, is a senior fellow at the D.C. Policy Center (DCPC) where he produces interactive maps that illuminate emerging patterns of how the city functions.

As the geographic information systems specialist in the Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies (CCWS) at Hood, Smith compiles data using R, a programming language for statistical computing and graphics, and then he creates interactive maps using ArcGIS to present the data in a visually easy-to-understand way.

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The mound at Çadır Höyük.
View from the mound.
View from the mound
Laurel Hackley, daughter of Mary Jean Hughes '08, instructing a pair of Turkish college students about digging.

By Jennifer Ross, Ph.D., Professor of Art and Archaeology

I’ve just arrived in Turkey for the 20th time in 21 years, meaning I’ve been coming here to dig and research since before most of my current students were born. I’ve also been bringing Hood students here since 2001. This year, I don’t have any students with me, but there are a lot of Hood archaeologists and archaeology alums digging around the world this summer. Workmen ask me about prior students who came in past years, and one of our core team members is the daughter of Mary Jean Hughes (Class of 2008, and staff member in Art and Archaeology and the Honors Program), so the Hood connection remains strong.

I’ve been digging at Çadır Höyük (CHA-dr HOO-yook) since 2003, with a team of American, Canadian, European and Turkish archaeologists from a variety of universities. We live in the village of Peyniryemez (literally, “We do not eat cheese,” which is not true), which feels like my second home. At my desk at the moment, I can hear the bells on the sheep and goats walking down the road in front of our house, while sounds of vegetable-chopping come from the kitchen behind me. Soon I’ll smell something wonderful cooking, which the team will come back together to eat around 1:30 p.m., at the end of the digging day. (The afternoon is devoted to work in the lab.)

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown Selected to Minority Leadership Program

By Kevin Brown, Hood MBA candidate

This spring, I was selected to participate in the Frederick County Future Minority Business Leaders Program. The program has been very exciting, informative and inspiring. It is an eight-month program that meets for two hours once a month. Each meeting, we have a topic of discussion, and we have multiple experts come in for each topic.

The first meeting, the speaker was Rick Weldon, the vice president of operations for the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. He spoke about the importance of having a well-developed elevator pitch. When he finished his presentation, he helped the class develop and perfect their own elevator pitches and even made himself available by email to continue to help us.

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Democracy in Action | Students Study League of Women Voters of Frederick County

Some students are getting a jump on their future this summer as participants in Hood’s Summer Research Institute. The SRI is a competitive program which allows selected students to work one-on-one with a faculty adviser on a research project. Students are provided free housing and a stipend while they conduct research in the laboratory or in the field for eight weeks. Pictured: Students Brielle Rozmus ’19 and Nailah Russell ’18 (standing) and Hoda Zaki, Ph.D., Virginia E. Lewis Professor of Political Science, Director of African American Studies, and Coordinator of the Nonprofit and Civic Engagement Studies minor (far left) with a panel of former and current presidents of the Frederick chapter of the League of Women Voters.

By Brielle Rozmus ’19 and Nailah Russell ’18

This summer, we’ve joined Dr. Zaki in her research on the League of Women Voters of Frederick County. Our objective is to understand the impact this organization has had on Frederick politics and civic life, and its connections to Hood College.  We’re using a number of different techniques to do so. We’ve reviewed literature, including a Ph.D. dissertation, to give us the historical and theoretical contexts necessary to understand the League’s influence. In addition to our own Hood archives, we’ve visited the Maryland Room at the Public Library, the Historical Society of Frederick, and plan to visit the University of Maryland archives. We’ve also stepped outside of the library to interview important County politicians. Recently, we spent the weekend in Chestertown, Maryland as delegates observing the League of Women Voters of Maryland. They decided on which policy issues to take action and discussed the current political climate with vigor. Some days later, we attended a heated Frederick town hall meeting at which the County Sheriff and ICE officials discussed the controversial 287(g) program. We witnessed the Frederick League president alert officials to her plans of researching and acting on local immigration policy.

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Students Use DNA to Learn about Local Freshwater Toxins

Some students are getting a jump on their future this summer as participants in Hood‘s Summer Research Institute. The SRI is a competitive program which allows selected students to work one-on-one with a faculty adviser on a research project. Students are provided free housing and a stipend while they conduct research in the laboratory or in the field for eight weeks. Pictured: Students Brianna Fragata ’18 (left) and Jessica Roderick ’19 (right). 

By Susan Carney, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology

When it comes time to plan summer research, it seems that nearly anything goes in my lab. My area of expertise is molecular ecology, which means that I use genetics as a tool for addressing broad-scale (usually population-level) questions. Because DNA is DNA, the methods are (mostly) the same regardless of what organisms are being studied. In previous summers, I’ve had students use genetic methods to investigate crayfish distributions, sea anemone salinity stress, cownose ray population genetics and to identify the sources of host-specific fecal bacteria in freshwater systems. From discussions with colleagues in the Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies, it became apparent that they had some questions about toxic freshwater algae that lent themselves to genetics projects. So, I recruited two students eager to learn genetic methods and, with support from the Summer Research Institute, we entered new territory.

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Anne Lessard

Christine P. Tischer Scholar Presented at Regional Conference

Anne Lessard ’17 was a Hood Christine P. Tischer Scholar and presented her Departmental Honors paper at the Northeast Regional Honors Council Conference in Pittsburgh in April.

Her paper, titled “Crossing Cultural Barriers: The Impact of Studying Abroad on the Personalities of College Students,” explored personality changes in college students. She looked specifically at study abroad programs to see if there were differences or similarities between students who studied abroad, were planning to study abroad or did not plan to study abroad. She conducted a survey sent to college students across the country and found that students’ perceptions of the study abroad experience seemed to influence how they rated their personality traits.

“I had the opportunity to speak with some very brilliant students across the country who had conducted research in many different areas of study,” said Lessard. “While talking with other students, I could feel their passion radiating from their poster boards. I also met many undergraduate and graduate professors who were both intrigued by my topic and offered guidance in further areas of study.”

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Lynn Staininger

Lynn Staininger Wins Outstanding Music Educator Award

Original Story by the Choral Arts Society of Frederick

Lynn Staininger, director of choral activities and music instructor at Hood College, was presented with the 2017 Outstanding Music Educator Award at the Maryland Music Educators Association’s (MMEA) 75th Anniversary and Awards Celebration on April 22 at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Maryland. She is also the music director for the Choral Arts Society of Frederick (CASF).

MMEA is a professional not-for-profit association whose mission is to advance music education in Maryland schools. The Outstanding Music Educator is an annual award given to teachers who build incredible music programs for their schools and communities, serve as music advocates, and act as mentors who strive to instill a love and joy of music in others.

Staininger’s students, colleagues and counterparts recommended her for the award. Nancy Roblin, founder and director emerita of the Frederick Chorale, stated in her recommendation of Staininger, “Lynn is SIMPLY OUTSTANDING as a music teacher, choral director and performer. She brings to her teaching a truly amazing spectrum of musical skills.

“She is one of the few music teachers I’ve known who has both a strong classical music background and strong jazz/pop/contemporary background,” Roblin continued. “More importantly, she has the personality and teaching skills needed to blend all these styles into eclectic and very exciting programs with her choruses. I think this is what is required these days to engage young people raised on rock. It is a rare set of abilities, and Lynn has it!”

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Elizabeth Knapp

Elizabeth Knapp Receives State Arts Grant

Elizabeth Knapp, Ph.D., associate professor of English, recently received a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award of $1,000 for artist excellence in poetry. Awardees are chosen, based solely on artistic merit, by an out-of-state jury of discipline-specific experts.

“In the wake of President Trump’s announcement of his plan to cut the NEA and NEH from the federal budget, I am especially grateful to the Maryland State Arts Council for an Individual Artist Award in Poetry,” said Knapp. “Now more than ever, national and state arts and humanities organizations are vital to the moral, intellectual, and cultural fabric of our society. As the writer Jeanette Winterson said, ‘If art, all art, is concerned with truth, then a society in denial will not have much use for it.’ In the current moral and spiritual vacuum of American political life, we need art and literature to guide us back to a shared vision of humanity, one that embraces rather than excludes, one that builds bridges of understanding and acceptance rather than walls of fear and ignorance.”

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