WC Names Greg Farley First Director of Sustainability

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Washington College’s first director of sustainability, Greg Farley, didn’t start his career as what he calls the “we-need-to-recycle-that-please-turn-off-your-lights guy.” But, it wasn’t a long stretch from his work as a biology teacher at Chesapeake College. The science, he says, “demands that you do something.”

So Farley has been doing something—helping Chesapeake College become a regional leader in renewable energy use, stormwater management, and resource conservation—and now he’s bringing that something to Washington College. Earlier this month, he assumed a newly created position as director of sustainability, in which he will work closely with operations and administration to help the College align environmental and financial sustainability as it continues to move forward.

“The climate change science is devastatingly clear,” Farley says. “So the science drives what I want to do, which is try and fix it before it’s too late.”

Farley grew up south of Boston but calls himself a “fully naturalized southerner,” having earned his undergrad degree at Duke University and his masters at Florida State University. He studied invertebrate zoology, evolutionary biology, and marine science, and in 2003, Chesapeake College hired him as a junior faculty member teaching biology. That’s where he started noticing problems he thought he could help solve.

“We were generating about 31,000 plastic bottles every month from vending machines and other sources like the cafeteria and bookstore,” Farley says. “And we were taking them to the trash. So, I assigned some students an honors recycling project—go fix that—and that got some people’s attention, and it got the institution thinking about some things. So that kind of grew into my avocation, instead of just my teaching position.”

That avocation came into full flower after a sabbatical leave in 2011, when he studied at the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui, part of the University of Hawai’i Maui College. He became the director of Chesapeake College’s Center for Leadership in Environmental Education, where he worked to bring the concepts and actions of sustainability into the classroom, across the campus, and throughout the larger community. Using a variety of methods, the college trimmed energy use by about 30 percent. Then, under a PPA (power purchase agreement) with Solar City, the college developed a two-megawatt solar array that, in its first year of operation, saved $85,000.

“On a good sunny day, we can run the entire campus off solar,” he says.

At Washington College, Farley’s initial focus will be generating cost savings from energy reduction and using alternative energy sources. At the same time, he hopes to raise energy consciousness so that it’s an ingrained part of campus culture as staff, faculty, and students become more aware of how their everyday actions can help conserve energy, lower costs, and ultimately benefit the bottom line and the environment. For instance, he says, along with obvious things like turning out the lights when you leave a room, unplugging computer and phone chargers from the walls when they’re not in use can dramatically cut “vampire” load, which can be up to 20 percent of a building’s energy use.

Farley was excited to learn that the College has already switched to LED lighting, a project that is saving 1.2 million kilowatt hours annually. Along with material savings—LED lamps last as much as 10 times longer than fluorescent ones for, example—the dollar savings is $145,000.00 per year, says Reid Raudenbush, construction project manager. A $200,000 Delmarva Power rebate helped ameliorate some of $1 million cost for the project, which should take about six years to reach the return on the investment.

The College’s geothermal system is also extremely energy-efficient. Using the earth’s constant 55-degree temperature, fluid pumped through 300-foot-deep wells is heated or cooled, then used to heat or cool buildings. Geothermal fields serve William Smith Hall, the Miller Library, Cromwell Hall, the Hodson Dining Hall, and Chester, Sassafras, and Corsica residence halls, Raudenbush says. The new Hodson Boathouse and the Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall will be geothermal, and the Cullen residence hall is being designed for geothermal as well.

Farley says he hopes ultimately to make Washington College one of the greenest in the country.

“We need to make that obvious to consumers, that this is part of the College’s mission, and just the simple act of doing that can make the rest of the institution understand, hey, this is important. This is a part of our culture. . . Once you make inroads into the conversation,” he says, “it’s not hard to envision that’s something we could do.”

WC Launches Piano Festival, Invites Students to Apply

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Washington College this spring is holding its first Piano Festival, an event in which participants of all ages can further develop their talents through workshops, performances, lessons, and competitions. The Piano Festival is set for April 21, although the Department of Music is seeking participants to apply by March 1. The event is geared toward high school and college students.

The featured guest artist, Lydia Artymiw, Distinguished McKnight Professor of Piano at the University of Minnesota, will teach a master class and present a concert at 7:30p.m. in Decker Theatre in the Gibson Center for the Arts as part of the Washington College Premier Artists Series. For more information, or to purchase tickets in advance, see the Washington College Concert Series at https://www.washcoll.edu/about/campus/gibson-center-for-the-arts/concert-series/.

The Washington College Piano Festival is an immersive educational experience, geared to advancing participants’ skills and talents while also having a lot of fun and meeting other pianists. The festival kicks off with a piano competition in Hotchkiss Recital Hall in which students perform a single piano piece for a panel of Washington College faculty judges. Up to $500 in cash prizes will be awarded to winners, and they will also be featured in the festival’s student concert later that day.

Other events include an informational workshop providing an overview of Washington College’s Department of Music and a Q&A about practice techniques and possible careers in music. Students will have the opportunity to meet and have piano lessons with Washington College’s piano faculty, Matthew Brower and Woobin Park.

Students’ families are welcome to stay during the event and to observe.

To apply, students must submit a completed application, found on the Washington College Music Department Events webpage https://www.washcoll.edu/live/events/19705-washington-college-piano-festival, along with a recording of a single piece and a $25 application fee by the March1 deadline. Applicants will be notified by March 15 if they have been accepted and will not have to pay an additional fee to participate in the festival.

For more information, call 410-778-7839 or email concertseries@washcoll.edu.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

WC Admissions Won’t Penalize High School Students Who Protest Gun Violence

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Washington College today joined dozens of colleges and universities around the country to ensure high school students who protest peacefully against gun violence that their admissions status won’t be affected if they are suspended or otherwise disciplined for their actions.

After the tragic killings of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on February 14, high school students around the country have rallied behind the #NeverAgain movement in an effort to force state and federal lawmakers to pass safer gun laws. Some high schools have suspended or otherwise disciplined students for walking out of class as part of their protest—all at the moment when many high school seniors are seeking admission to college or have already been admitted.

Typically, college admissions officers would look at a disciplinary action like suspension as a mark against a student, but dozens of higher-education institutions, from MIT to Yale and now Washington College, have stated that they will not rescind admissions decisions for these students.

“Washington College was founded on the principles of moral courage, civic engagement, and commitment to action. I applaud these students’ willingness to put their futures in jeopardy in order to stand up for what they believe in,” says Lorna Hunter, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “These are the students who will build upon our strong foundation and carry on the Washington College name for generations to come. We will not penalize them or rescind their admissions status due to any disciplinary action they incur for seizing this moment to peacefully effect change in their world.”

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Seven Books Named as Finalists for the 2018 George Washington Prize

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Seven books published in 2017 by the country’s most prominent historians have been named finalists for the George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the past year’s best-written works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history.

“Understanding the first chapter of our national story is more essential today than ever,” said Adam Goodheart, director of Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, one of the prize’s three cosponsors. “These books reconnect us with ideas that made the United States a beacon for democratic movements around the world.”

Created in 2005 by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and Washington College, the $50,000 George Washington Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most notable literary awards.

The finalists’ books combine depth of scholarship and broad expanse of inquiry with vivid prose that exposes the complexities of our founding narrative. Written to engage a wide public audience, the books provide a “go-to” reading list for anyone interested in learning more about George Washington, his contemporaries, and the founding of the United States of America.

The 2018 George Washington Prize finalists are:

S. Max Edelson, The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence (Harvard University Press)
Kevin J. Hayes, George Washington: A Life in Books (Oxford University Press)
Eric Hinderaker, Boston’s Massacre (Harvard University Press)
Jon Kukla, Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty (Simon & Schuster)
James E. Lewis, Jr., The Burr Conspiracy Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis (Princeton University Press)
Jennifer Van Horn, The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture)
Douglas L. Winiarski, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England (University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture)

The winner of the 2018 prize will be announced, and all finalists recognized, at a black-tie gala on May 23, 2018 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

More information about the George Washington Prize is available at https://www.washcoll.edu/centers/starr/george-washington-book-prize.php

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES

S. MAX EDELSON is associate professor of history at the University of Virginia and the author of Plantation Enterprise in Colonial South Carolina (Harvard University Press). He was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Implementation Grant to develop MapScholar, a dynamic visualization tool for historic maps.

KEVIN J. HAYES, Professor Emeritus at the University of Central Oklahoma, is the author of several books including The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson (Oxford University Press) and A Journey through American Literature (Oxford University Press). He is the recipient of the Virginia Library History Award presented by the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Center for the Book.

ERIC HINDERAKER is professor of history at the University of Utah and author of The Two Hendricks: Unraveling a Mohawk Mystery, which won the Dixon Ryan Fox Prize by the New York State Historical Society and the Herbert H. Lehman Prize by the New York Academy of History.

JON KUKLA is the author of Mr. Jefferson’s Women and A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America, as well as many scholarly articles and reviews. He has served as the executive director of the Historic New Orleans Collection and of Red Hill-The Patrick Henry National Memorial in Charlotte County, Virginia.

JAMES E. LEWIS, JR., is professor of history at Kalamazoo College. His books include The Louisiana Purchase: Jefferson’s Noble Bargain? and John Quincy Adams: Policymaker for the Union.

JENNIFER VAN HORN is assistant professor of art history and history at the University of Delaware and specializes in early American visual and material culture.

DOUGLAS L. WINIARSKI is an associate professor of Religious Studies and American Studies at the University of Richmond, where he teaches a wide range of courses on the history of religion in early America.

ABOUT THE SPONSORS OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON PRIZE

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Founded in 1994 by visionaries and lifelong proponents of American History education Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K-12 education. With a focus on primary sources, the Gilder Lehrman Institute illuminates the stories, people and moments that inspire students of all ages and backgrounds to learn and understand more about history. Through a diverse portfolio of education programs, including the acclaimed Hamilton Education Program, the Gilder Lehrman Institute provides opportunities for nearly two million students, 30,000 teachers and 16,000 schools worldwide. Learn more at gilderlehrman.org

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Since 1860, more than 85 million visitors have made George Washington’s Mount Vernon the most popular historic home in America.  Through thought-provoking tours, entertaining events, and stimulating educational programs on the estate and in classrooms across the nation, Mount Vernon strives to preserve George Washington’s place in history as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen.” Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, America’s oldest national preservation organization, founded in 1853.  In 2013, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association opened the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, which safeguards original books and manuscripts and serves as a center for research, scholarship, and leadership development. www.mountvernon.org

Washington College was founded in 1782, the first institution of higher learning established in the new republic. George Washington was not only a principal donor to the college, but also a member of its original governing board. He received an honorary degree from the college in June 1789, two months after assuming the presidency. The college’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, which administers the George Washington Prize, explores the American experience in all its diversity and complexity, seeks creative approaches to illuminating the past, and inspires thoughtful conversation informed by history.

For more information: www.washcoll.edu.

Erica Dunbar to Speak at Washington College February 27

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Erica Armstrong Dunbar, the Charles & Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University, will visit Washington College on Tuesday, February 27, to discuss her book Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge. A finalist for the National Book Award, Never Caught tells the story of how one young woman risked everything to achieve her freedom from the nation’s founding father, George Washington.

The event at 4:30 p.m. at Litrenta Lecture Hall in the Toll Science Center is part of the Department of History’s Guy Goodfellow lecture series and is co-sponsored by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the William James Forum. It is free and open to the public, and a book signing will follow in the McClain Atrium.

The reading is part of WC’s celebration of Black History Month, and it is especially resonant at the College where George Washington gave the use of his name, helped finance its creation, and served on its Board of Visitors and Governors. Students studying the College’s slave past in a course taught by Carol Wilson, the Arthur A. and Elizabeth R. Knapp Professor of American History, have read an earlier version of Dunbar’s work.

“Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, she was denied freedom,” notes a description of the book from its publisher Simon & Schuster. “So, when the opportunity presented itself one clear and pleasant spring day in Philadelphia, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. At just twenty-two-years-old, Ona became the subject of an intense manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts to recapture his property.”

USA Today calls Never Caught “A crisp and compulsively readable feat of research and storytelling.”

Dunbar, who is also the Director of the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia, studies the lives of women of African descent who called America their home during the 18th and 19th centuries. She is a social historian, a scholar of urban history, women’s history, and Philadelphia history. She received her BA in history and what was then called Afro American studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and earned her master’s and PhD from Columbia University.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Washington College is Helping MSCFV Better Target Its Mission

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A collaboration among a Washington College sociology professor, the College’s GIS Lab, and the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence (MSCFV) is helping provide resources to women in crisis and creating strategies to reach more victims in the community.

Rachel Durso, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Black Studies at Washington College, teamed up with Jeanne Yeager, Executive Director of MSCFV, and Erica McMaster, Director of the GIS program, along with four GIS student interns and an analyst, to use the power of data collection and analysis to help the MSCFV in its mission. Their collaboration supported a $1 million Victims of Crime Act grant intended to enhance services such as crisis intervention, counseling, emergency transportation to court, temporary housing, criminal justice support, and advocacy.

Durso, a criminologist who had previously examined gender violence as a doctoral student at Ohio State University, was drawn into the project through the College’s GIS program and her meetings with Yeager.

“I was really impressed by MSCFV’s mission and the fact that [a single office] served the five rural counties of Kent, Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Queen Anne’s counties. It seemed like something I could do to use my expertise to make a real difference in our community,” Durso says. “You can imagine that if somebody needs help and she lives in an isolated area of Dorchester County, it’s really difficult to receive services.”

Last summer, Durso interviewed MSCFV clients to collect data sources that could inform the non-profit’s strategies to increase access to services. Accompanied by her research assistant, WC senior Kaitlynn Ecker, Durso spoke with survivors of domestic violence, both English- and Spanish-speaking, to better understand their needs.

“I would read through the interviews and identify the themes that kept coming up,” Durso says. Framing those recurring themes—poverty, transportation, communication—were the concepts of social cohesion and isolation. Durso found that, for victims of domestic violence, living in a rural community “where everyone knows your business” can put them at a disadvantage.

“In a lot of criminological literature, we see the idea that living in a small town can deter crime,” Durso notes. “If a neighborhood is tightly bonded, you can expect that people watch out for each other. But what has not been thoroughly explored is the idea that social cohesion is not great for [victims of] domestic violence. Because domestic violence is often seen as a private, even shameful matter, it can prevent people from seeking help.”

Durso’s interviews revealed how important social media can be for women physically secluded from the outside world by helping them communicate with others who have had similar experiences. GIS responded by mapping broadband Internet access, 4G mobile data networks, Internet pricing, and what types of Internet services are available in areas that MSCFV serves. Durso also began looking at MSCFV’s web and social media presence, running analytics to determine how to expand the agency’s visibility and engagement within the community.

Also, by mapping where MSCFV clients were coming from, Durso and the GIS team were able to generate a macro view of what’s going on in the region and make the case to open an additional office in Cambridge.

With more data on social cohesion and isolation, social media, access to resources, and particular barriers to resources, MSCFV can better understand where they need to target resources, and where other grant money might be directed. One of Durso’s recommendations to MSCFV was to hire a social media director. As a result, MSCFV hired a consultant who has created a social media policy and posting schedule, and is working on revitalizing MSCFV’s platforms.

The interviews informed what other resources could be mapped: hospitals, rehab centers, public transportation, daycare providers, police jurisdictions, public libraries with computers, and access to affordable housing, as well as MSCFV’s clients themselves.

“The partnership with Washington College, through Professor Durso and the GIS team, has helped the agency grow and expand in ways that directly respond to the specific needs of rural victims of domestic violence,” says Yeager. “It has been a tremendous experience for MSCFV.”

Beyond collecting and analyzing the data to inform policy, Durso says the project offered something just as important: validation to battered women who have silently borne horrific cruelty. “When we asked our clients what MSCFV service they are most grateful for, a great majority said they appreciated the chance to tell their stories. For many, it was the first time they had shared their story. Someone believed them.”

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

WC Researchers Present at St. Michaels Library February 17

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Alisha Knight

The collaborative research of Washington College’s GIS Lab and an English professor seeking answers about the one of the country’s earliest and most influential African American publishing companies will be the topic of a talk at the Talbot County Free Library in St. Michaels, Maryland.

“Putting Them on the Map: Tracing African American Book History through GIS Technology” takes place on Saturday, February 17 at 2 p.m., as part of the library’s celebration of Black History Month. The event will be held at the library’s St. Michael’s branch.

Alisha Knight, Associate Professor of English and American Studies, will join Washington College junior Julia Portmann and GIS Development Manager Luis Machado to discuss Knight’s research into the Colored Co-Operative Publishing Company. Their collaboration resulted in a Story Maps project called “Putting Them on the Map” — a digital humanities project using data analytics to create a data visualization of the Colored Co-operative’s network of subscription agents.

Knight and her team will explain the connection between African American book publishing and geographic technologies as they share the story of the turn-of-the-century, black-owned publishing company’s efforts to become the mouthpiece and inspiration to African Americans throughout the world.

A unique and influential business that briefly flourished in the early 1900s, the Colored Co-operative promoted “the higher culture of Religion, Literature, Science, Music and Art of the Negro, universally.” It employed over time some 240 agents who sold the Colored American Magazine as far west as Seattle and as far south as San Antonio, Texas.

The Story Maps project “Putting Them on the Map” can be accessed from Knight’s faculty page.  It’s also accessible from the Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins Society website.

For information about the Talbot County Free Library, see http://www.tcfl.org/

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

WC Announces New Partnership With Georgetown University Medical Center

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Mindy Reynolds (left) co-chair of the Department of Biology and associate professor of biology, works with a student.

Washington College students who are interested in pursuing a master’s degree in a range of biomedical science and research disciplines have a new opportunity thanks to a strategic partnership the College has developed with Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The new partnership enables qualified WC graduates to receive a 15 percent tuition discount for any master’s programs offered through Biomedical Graduate Education (excluding online programs).

“For pre-med students, this partnership provides an opportunity for additional training before applying to medical school,” says Mindy Reynolds, co-chair of the Department of Biology and associate professor of biology, who helped develop the partnership. “But the breadth of the programs also enables our students to launch a career in health-related and biomedical science and research. For instance, earning a master’s in bioinformatics would prepare a student to do high-level data analysis in a research lab.”

“We are thrilled to officially partner with Washington College and offer their students the opportunity to further their studies on our campus,” says Barbara Bayer, Senior Associate Dean of Biomedical Graduate Education and chair and professor of neuroscience. “Over the past few years, WC alums have successfully graduated from our various MS programs in areas such as Biotechnology and Health Physics, and gone on to start their careers in the metropolitan DC area. I am delighted that our institutions have come together to create a pipeline for bright and talented WC graduates to study biomedical sciences at Georgetown University.”

Charlie Kehm, chair of the Department of Physics who has been leading Washington College’s efforts to develop partnerships with institutions offering post-graduate options for students in the Division of Natural Sciences, says GU’s master’s programs provide excellent opportunities for students who are interested in the science and technology side of emerging social health issues. These include programs in Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases; Biostatistics; Bioinformatics; Biomedical Science Policy & Advocacy; Biotechnology; Complementary & Alternative Medicine; Integrative Neuroscience; and Systems Medicine.

But there are also programs focused on areas more related to the basic sciences and those interested in pursuing medical school, including Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Microbiology & Immunology; Pharmacology; Physiology, the Special Master’s in Physiology; and Tumor Biology.

“We’re very excited about this new partnership with Georgetown because of the diverse possibilities it offers our graduates,” Kehm says. “And, we know that the faculty in these programs work very hard to open doors for their students through their extensive network of contacts and partners in the Washington, D.C., area.”

Washington College students who complete their four years of undergraduate work still must go through the regular application process for the master’s programs at Biomedical Graduate Education. If accepted and enrolled, they will receive a 15 percent tuition discount.

Kehm says he hopes this will be only the beginning of what could become an arrangement similar to dual-degree programs Washington College has developed which enable students to fast-track their way to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Just last fall, the College announced a new dual-degree program for environmental science and studies students at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and other similar programs include one in engineering with Columbia University, and in nursing and pharmacy with the University of Maryland.

For more information about the master’s programs offered by Biomedical Graduate Education at Georgetown University Medical Center, visit https://biomedicalprograms.georgetown.edu/. For more information about how to apply, visit https://biomedicalprograms.georgetown.edu/academics/partnerships.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

WC Moves Up in Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education Rankings

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Following a trajectory it has been traveling in similar higher education statistics, Washington College has elevated three points in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings for 2018. The latest rankings, which compare the college alongside all other universities and colleges in the country, list the College at 205, compared with 208 in last year’s ranking. Among liberal arts colleges in the survey, Washington College ranked 75th in the country.

“Moving up at all in these rankings is a difficult task; moving up three points is a terrific achievement,” says Washington College President Kurt Landgraf. “What’s especially gratifying about our performance in this Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education list is that when you break out only liberal arts colleges, we are ranked 75th in the country. That’s an excellent standing, particularly for this survey which relies on real data and student input. We should be extremely proud of what this says about Washington College.”

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings make an effort to quantify how colleges and universities provide a powerful learning environment to students, putting the emphasis on student success. One of the ranking’s most valuable tools is a survey of more than 100,000 current students that examines their opinions on their interaction with teachers, satisfaction with their education, and how engaging their academics and studies are.

Among the survey’s questions were whether students would choose Washington College again, if the College provides an environment where they feel surrounded by exceptional students who inspire and motivate them, and if the College is effective in helping them obtain valuable internships that help them on a career path. On a scale of 0 to 10, 10 representing strongest agreement, students answered between 7.7 and 8.1 for each of these questions.

In specific categories, Washington College ranked 149th in “resources,” which addresses variables including how much the College spends on students and student-to-faculty ratio, and 200th in “outcomes,”which takes into account statistics including graduation rate, salary after graduation, average debt, and the default rate.

“The ranking includes clear performance indicators designed to answer the questions that matter most to students and their families when making one of the most important decisions of their lives—who to trust with their education,” the authors said in describing the survey’s methodology. “These questions include: does the college have sufficient resources to teach me properly? Will I be engaged and challenged by my teacher and classmates? Does the college have a good academic reputation? What type of campus community is there? How likely am I to graduate, pay off my loans and get a good job?”

Washington College’s elevation in the 2018 rankings jibes with its steady climb in other well-known annual examinations of higher education performance. In U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings for 2018, WC is listed 96th among liberal arts colleges across the nation in the 2018 report, up from 99th in 2017, 100th in 2016, and 105th in 2015. And in 2016, for the first time, the College was included in the annual Top 300 Best College Values by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, ranking 232nd among the top 300 institutions out of 1,200 surveyed and 91st among the top 100 liberal arts colleges nationally.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.