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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New Mixed-Gender Housing Options Set for Fall

By Mary Milligan ’17

For the 2017-18 school year, upperclassmen will have the opportunity to choose to live with a resident of the opposite sex.

This was not the first time this has been brought into discussion at Hood. Last year as first-year housing was being implemented, students living at the Sunset Apartments would have the option to share an apartment with people of the opposite gender. However, no one took advantage of the opportunity.

Hood’s Student Government Association was asked by Matt Troutman, director of residence life and student conduct, to talk to students about what they thought. Overall, throughout surveys and conversations, they believed students saw it as positive.

A resolution written by SGA former president Logan Samuels ’17, former vice president Molly Masterson ’17  and former speaker of the senate Guillermo Sobalvarro ’17, and co-sponsored by Katie Mann ’17, a representative of residents, was presented to Troutman and Dean Olivia White, and sent to President Chapdelaine.

Samuels said, “I chose to support the resolution as SGA president because I believe the decision truly reflects the student voice.”

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Following Her Mother’s Educational Footsteps

Twenty-eight of our Class of 2017 graduates are legacies, students who have followed in their relatives’ footsteps in choosing to attend Hood.

For biology major Breana Tyeryar ’17 May 20 technically marked the second time she crossed Hood’s Commencement stage. She was born just a few weeks before her mother graduated 22 years ago.

“I feel like I have grown and accomplished so much in four years and I am proud to carry on the family tradition of attending Hood and becoming an alumna,” Breana said.

This year, President Chapdelaine started a new tradition by inviting legacies’ relatives to greet their students as they come off the stage after they receive their diploma.

When Breana walked across the stage, she was greeted by her proud mother, Misty Tyeryar, who graduated from Hood in 1995 with a major in business administration and concentration in human resources.

“I am so proud that she is graduating from my alma mater. Words cannot describe how swollen with pride I am,” Misty said. “It is extremely special since she is graduating on the exact same date that I graduated 22 years earlier.”

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The Best of Social Media: Commencement 2017

To the Hood College Class of 2017, we are so #HoodProud! We hope you’ll forever look back fondly at this incredible start of a new chapter in your lives. To quote President Chapdelaine, “be well, be safe and above all, be happy” as you begin your next adventure.

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Cherian Thomas’ Commencement Address Transcript

At the May 20 Graduate School Commencement ceremony, Cherian Thomas, MBA’12, founder and CEO of Spotluck, Inc., told the story of his start out of college and how he came to start his company. He urged the 230 graduates to surround themselves with the right people—people to mentor, complement, and support them—and they will find success.

“It’s not about finding the right job; it’s about finding the right people,” he said. “Find your missing pieces. Find those key people. Find that mentor and ride their coattails as far as you can. Find or be found. If you’re not starting a business, be a complement to someone who is. Find those who have supported you and right after this speech, and thank them. Your accomplishment today is just as exciting for them as it is for you.”

Following is a full transcript of Thomas’ remarks. Watch the video. Check out the selfie at the 1:24 mark!

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Betsy McCain McAlpine ’51 Awarded Honorary Degree

Betsy McCain McAlpine ’51 received the first honorary degree of the day at our May 20 Commencement. As the granddaughter of Hood’s founder, Joseph Henry Apple, McAlpine has been involved with the College since her birth. Over the course of her lifetime, McAlpine’s support of and dedication to Hood College has been immeasurable.

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Krishanti Vignarajah

Krishanti Vignarajah’s Commencement Address Transcript: “The Progress, Plight & Promise of Women in America”

At the May 20 undergraduate Commencement ceremony, Kristhanti Vignarajah, First Lady Michelle Obama’s former policy director, congratulated Hood’s 282 graduates and asked for their help in promoting gender equity as they head out into the world to make a difference, delivering “a call to action on behalf of a generation that desperately needs you.”

“Today, I want to talk with you about the historic progress and modern plight of women in this country, about the journey that remains from citizenship to leadership, from having a seat at table to being at the head of it,” she said.

“To the men in the audience, this movement is about the mothers who brought you into this world, the daughters you will one day help bring into the world, and the women who are or will become your partners and best friends in everything you do. I don’t say this simply because the fate of women impacts the future of men, but because we need your help. Achieving true equality may be the one thing women cannot do alone.”

Following is a full transcript of Vignarajah’s remarks. Watch the video.

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The Best Decision I Ever Made

By Kaylene Wright ’17

Applying to Hood College was an impulse decision.

I was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado. Usually when I tell people this, I get an instant reaction of, “how did you find Hood?” or “why are you all the way over here?”

When time came around to apply to colleges, I was all set in applying to in-state schools. One day in late October of my senior year, one student’s statement about going out-of-state to “gain a new perspective” lit a lightbulb in my head.  That day, I used an online college compatibility tool to look at schools close to Washington, DC. I am graduating with a degree in Political Science and Communication Arts, so this area interested me quite a bit.

Hood College came up as a 100% match and I visited that November, along with other colleges in DC. The moment I stepped onto campus, I knew it was the school for me.

Choosing Hood College was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve received an engaging and personalized education with wonderful professors that I know care about me – both as a student, and as a person.

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