Washington College President & Faculty Condemn Violence and Hate in Charlottesville

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Casey Academic Center at Washington College, Chestertown, MD.

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Washington College President Kurt Landgraf and the College’s Faculty Council today condemned the violence and hate that led to three deaths last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, reaffirming the College’s foundational commitment to supporting an education and campus community premised on thoughtful dialogue and moral courage.

“For centuries, race and intolerance have been complicated elements in defining who we are as a nation. Now, the world has witnessed the events in Charlottesville, and it’s time for all of us to speak out, loud and clear: ‘This is not who we are,’” Landgraf said.

“I am disgusted by the violence and hate that we have seen and continue to endure. There is no place for this in our country. No matter your political views, all of us could agree that these actions threaten the foundational values of this great country and who we are as a people. Our history demonstrates there is power behind nonviolence, progress in rational dialogue, and mutual understanding in compassion.

President Kurt M. Landgraf of Washington College with students.

“Washington College will not tolerate this movement of anger and hate—on campus or in the community. As the first college in a new nation, we have an important role to play in educating our students that their future role as thoughtful citizens and leaders of this country requires courage and a moral compass. We can begin by making clear that today, silence is not an option when faced with intolerance, racism, hate, and violence.”

The Faculty Council, chaired by Clayton Black, associate professor of history, said: “In light of the incidents at the University of Virginia on August 10-12, 2017, we, the faculty of Washington College, reaffirm our adherence to the values of integrity, determination, curiosity, civility, leadership, and moral courage expressed in our Mission Statement. We condemn all efforts to masquerade bigotry and prejudice as merely expressions of ‘free speech’ and commit ourselves and our institution to acting as a force for securing and furthering the equality of all peoples, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, religion, physical ability, or class.

“As scholars, we accept that the free and open exchange of ideas from multiple perspectives is the surest means of achieving truthful propositions.  Tolerance of alternative views is a precondition for such an exchange, and Washington College will always be a place where ideas are challenged and debated.  We affirm the equality of all peoples; but we reject the equality of all ideas or ideologies as simply different-but-equal ‘points of view’ when they promote discrimination, exclusivity, or intolerance. Obscurantism and appeals to prejudice are not welcome at Washington College.”

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 the Washington College website.

College’s Innovative Food Lab to Occupy Blue Heron Space

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In an effort to integrate Washington College’s innovative new Eastern Shore Food Lab directly with the local Chestertown community, the college announced on August 15 that the Food Lab will be based downtown in the building that presently houses the Blue Heron Café.

Larry Culp, chair of the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors, purchased the building from Blue Heron owner Paul Hanley, who has operated the popular eatery since 1997. The Blue Heron Café will continue to serve customers through October, after which the space will undergo renovation in preparation for the opening next year of the Eastern Shore Food Lab at Washington College (ESFL).

“Washington College is committed to providing our undergraduates with an education they can’t get anywhere else. The Eastern Shore Food Lab embodies this goal, a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary centerpiece of broader programming that will change the way we think about food, from access to diet and health,” College President Kurt Landgraf said. “Community involvement is key to the lab’s mission, and basing it in this terrific property in the heart of downtown Chestertown will spark that. We are deeply grateful for Larry Culp’s foresight in understanding the key nature of this relationship, and his continued extraordinary commitment to Washington College.”

Anthropology Professor Bill Schindler, shown here teaching students about foraging for foods from trees and plants  on campus,is director of the ESFL

“One of the Food Lab’s fundamental missions is to engage the community as we address this region’s food resources, traditions, and history, with an eye toward how we can make positive changes in the future,” said Bill Schindler, the inaugural director of the lab, chair of the college’s Department of Anthropology, and an international expert in the intersection of primitive foodways, technologies, and contemporary innovations in food systems. “Not only will it enable our students and local residents work together, I fully expect the ESFL to draw experts from all over the world to Chestertown to participate in this hub of innovation as we create food system solutions that are environmentally and culturally sustainable.”

Hanley, who announced the upcoming transition to his staff over the weekend, said it was a bittersweet decision to sell the Blue Heron, although “I’m looking forward to watching the exciting new changes that are ahead for the café.”

The ESFL will be an interdisciplinary research, teaching, and production laboratory dedicated to studying and experimenting with sustainable food systems, using the Eastern Shore food-shed as its primary context. By researching the resources unique to the region based on weather, climate, soil chemistry, and microbial biology—and fusing ancient and historic foodways with modern technologies—faculty, students, community members, and collaborative researchers will re-envision our food system, from how we define food to how we grow it and prepare it.

The ESFL received a huge boost early this year when the Maryland Department of Commerce, as part of its Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative, granted $944,000 to match gifts of $1 million from donors to create an endowed chair in sustainable food systems for the lab.

Schindler, the inaugural chair, is spending the coming academic year on sabbatical as a visiting professor at the School of Archaeology, University College Dublin (UCD), working on a project called “Food Evolutions” in partnership with UCD and Odaios Foods. He is conducting research and training with experts from around the world to deepen his understanding of strategies to transform ingredients such as wild foraged plants, ancient grains, and offal into nutrient-dense foods. Through this research, Schindler will position the Eastern Shore Food Lab at Washington College as an international center that works to transform food systems and improve diet, health, and human and environmental relationships.

In addition to the downtown base, students will work out of Cromwell Hall, the new academic building dedicated to the departments of Environmental Science and Studies and Anthropology. The lab will also utilize the thousands of acres at Chino Farms to create a one-of-a-kind wild food laboratory—an outdoor classroom and laboratory dedicated to experimenting with and pushing the limits of wild food resources, from wild plants, insects, and animals to microflora.

For more information about the Eastern Shore Food Lab at Washington College, visit www.washcoll.edu/ESFL .

 

 

 

 

Starr Center’s Goodheart Earns National Endowment for the Humanities Award

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Adam Goodheart works in the Library of Congress on his new book, 1865: The Rebirth of a Nation.

Adam Goodheart, director of Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, has earned a prestigious Public Scholar Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities to research and write the sequel to his best-selling 1861: The Civil War Awakening.

The NEH grant, in the words of its mission statement, supports “scholarship that will be of broad interest and have lasting impact.” It rewards writers who can bridge the gap between academia and popular nonfiction to shed light on a broad range of topics: from diabetes and species extinction to the French Revolution and—in Goodheart’s case—the Civil War. Scholars must have already published a major book to apply, and the acceptance rate is slender, only about 5 percent.

Goodheart, whose 1861: The Civil War Awakening was a New York Times bestseller, is working on its sequel, 1865: The Rebirth of a Nation. He is returning to the same deeply researched narrative techniques for which the Times praised 1861, saying, “Goodheart excels at creating emotional empathy with his characters, encouraging us to experience the crisis as they did, in real time, without the benefit of historical hindsight. He lets the players speak for themselves and make the best case for their own motives and beliefs.”

1861 was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in history, and the audiobook, published by Audible, won the Audie Award in history. President Barack Obama invited Goodheart to an Oval Office ceremony to recognize his role in having Fort Monroe, where part of 1861 is set, declared a National Monument.

“As with 1861, I’m working to evoke the lived experience of a moment in history, through vivid depictions of individual people and places,” Goodheart says. “Doing it successfully requires immersing myself in the primary sources, which is something I love to do. For instance, a few weeks ago I was at the National Archives, delving into the thousands of letters that families wrote to the federal government seeking information on loved ones who hadn’t come back from the Civil War. Reading some of them was an emotional experience, even 150 years later. Those little known but powerful human stories interest me more than troop movements and battle strategies.”

Goodheart has been able to take a part-time leave from his Starr Center duties to pursue the research and perform the writing. The book is to be published in hardcover by Alfred A. Knopf and as a Vintage paperback.

“I’m honored to be supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities,” Goodheart says, adding that he hopes Congress will continue to fund the NEH and its sister institution, the National Endowment for the Arts, both of which are zeroed out in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. “If he succeeds,” Goodheart says, “it will be a disaster for the intellectual and cultural life of our country.”

 

 

Science Programs for Homeschool Students Begin Sept. 5 at Adkins Arboretum

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Homeschool students of all ages can get down and dirty with science this fall at Adkins Arboretum!

In Animals of the Arboretum, an eight-session program for students ages 7 to 10, budding scientists will explore the Arboretum’s wetland, forest, stream and meadow habitats to study the native animals of Maryland. From squirrels to skins, foxes to finches, this program uses a hands-on approach to develop key scientific skills, including observation, experimentation and documentation. Scientific equipment will be part of the learning process. Animals of the Arboretum meets every other Tuesday, Sept. 5 to Dec. 12, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

In Forestkeepers, for ages 11 and up, students will learn how forestry—the science of planting, managing and caring for forests—is critical to the preservation of healthy forest ecosystems. Homeschoolers will develop their science skills as they explore the field of forestry through hands-on outdoor experiences. Forestkeepers meets every other Tuesday, Sept. 12 to Dec. 19, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Advance registration is required for both programs. Visit adkinsarboretum.org for more information or to register your student, or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0. 

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Kent County Back to School Fair August 7

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On Monday, August 7, from 2 to 5 p.m., Kent County Public Schools will hold a Back to School Fair at the Kent County Community Center 11041 Worton Rd, Worton. The fair is open to all students and their families at the county’s five public schools, and will help students prepare for the new school year.

Families will be able to meet and greet staff from each of the county’s schools. Staff will assist with registration for new students and provide information for signing up for support services, such as free and reduced lunches. Teachers will be on hand with information about the KCPS universal Pre-K program, technology resources, family support services, wellness programs, KCPS School Health services, extracurricular activities, the arts and more.  Representatives of each school’s PTA will also be on hand.

In addition to meeting school personnel, students and their families will be able to meet with partner organizations that provide support to the schools. Representatives of after school programs, Alphabest and Parks & Recreation, will be on hand to walk families through registering for before and after care. Representatives of Reliable Transportation will be participating as well. Families can board one of their school buses and meet some of the drivers set to transport children in the Fall. Other organizations appearing at some 40 tables include Support Our Schools, KidSPOT, Chestertown Police Department, Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Kent County Public Library, Kent County Health Department, Judy Center, Character Counts, Kent Family Center, Kent County Department of Social Services, Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance, Washington College, Boy Scouts, Shore Up!, Kent County Behavioral Health, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Environmental Education and SEEC, Chestertown Elks, Recovery in Motion, along with Discovery Education.

KCHS-FM Radio will be providing music for the event. The event will be a fun, informative way for families to get ready for the school year.

Each county school will hold an open house August 31, when students will be able to meet their teachers and visit their new classrooms. More information will be sent  to students about that event.

For more information contact the Kent County Board of Education at 410-778-1595 or visit www.kcpssos.com/events.

Hands-on Archaeology for Washington College Students

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Washington College students work with scientists at an Indian archaeological site  near the Patuxent River

Just about every little kid loves digging in the dirt. For anthropology major Barbara MacGuigan, it’s a passion she has yet to outgrow, and her experience this summer as part of a new archaeological collaboration between Washington College and the Lost Towns Project is only feeding that fire.

Barbara MacGuigan

“I like finding things, and the stories the artifacts can tell, and what they tell us about the people who owned them and made them. That’s really the big reason I got into archaeology,” she says. “A lot of stories get lost, and I’d like to see if we can find them again, try and piece things together and try to understand them better so we can relate to each other as humans and try not to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

MacGuigan, a rising junior, and Shannon Lawn, a rising senior who is also an anthropology major, are spending four weeks at River Farm on Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, an area of the Patuxent River about 45 miles upstream from the Chesapeake Bay. Under the guidance of Julie Markin, assistant professor of anthropology, the two are helping excavate a site where Native Americans lived as many as 12,000 years ago, and which now is being threatened by higher tides and sea level rise.

Shannon Lawn examines an artifact

The site, under excavation through a collaboration of the Lost Towns Project, Anne Arundel County, the Archaeological Society of Maryland, and now Washington College, is part of a larger region of historical and archaeological significance, says Stephanie Sperling, River Farm field director.

“This is a 1,300-foot-long flood plain, and this site is continuous with Native American occupation and colonial occupation as well,” Sperling said.

Markin was looking for a way to engage students with her research and expand the kinds of archaeological internships available when she approached Sperling with the possibility of a long-term research collaboration. Sperling said the new partnership with Markin at Washington College will help accelerate a long-term research plan to understand the cultural landscape through the years. “Their students, resources, and academic abilities will help us understand the site in a completely different way,” Sperling said.

According to Markin, “As the employment market has become more competitive, working on a professional excavation provides our anthropology graduates the skills that will make them more marketable and gives them a leg up in terms of archaeological networking.”

For MacGuigan and Lawn, it’s an excellent opportunity to literally get their hands dirty, applying what they learn in the classroom with field techniques. Lawn says she has learned how to use a magnetometer to discern subterranean abnormalities, how to survey and lay out grids, how to open a unit—a 5-by-5 foot square which is systematically excavated—how to collect artifacts, use screens to find them, and properly identify features such as soil layer changes that are clues to the past.

Barbara MacGuigan and Julie Markin at the site

“It’s not the stereotypical internship experience you would expect,” Lawn said. “It’s more like an expanded classroom where everyone is trying to help you because they know it’s beneficial to the dig and it’s beneficial to you as a person and an archaeologist to move forward.”

Markin said the collaboration at River Farm gives the students invaluable perspective that classroom learning simply can’t provide.

“They can actually see the field methods and theories learned in a traditional classroom out here by being engaged in archaeology and developing their own research questions, and thinking ‘How can I answer this with a shovel, a window screen, and a few Sharpies?’ ’’ she said. “You don’t get that without being in the field. They have a much better appreciation of what archaeology is, and a better grasp of what they can do with that information and communicate it to the public.”

Working at the River Farm site also affords Markin a greater opportunity to explore questions about how food production moves from small-scale, household systems to intensive, large-scale systems that support chiefs and a growing elite class.

“What historical accounts of American Indian societies in the early 17th-century mid-Atlantic tell us is that not every social group inevitably moves in this direction,” Markin said. “So what we try to piece together from the archaeological record is the constellation of factors —environmental, social, religious—that come together to set a society on this path to inequality.”

WC Receives $1 Million Gift to Support Study of Classical World

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Andrea Trisciuzzi, vice president for college advancement, accepts two checks totaling over $1 million from William Creager, executor of the estate of a couple who made the gift anonymously to Washington College.

A couple who visited Chestertown regularly for over 30 years has bequeathed more than $1 million to Washington College as an endowment for the study of the Classical world. The couple, who chose to remain anonymous for their gift, were not College alumni, although they were members of The 1782 Society, the College’s leadership giving society, and often attended events on campus.

“They enjoyed Chestertown and the influence the College had on the quality of life here,” says a local resident, also choosing anonymity, who was friends with the pair for some 50 years. “They particularly enjoyed the Washington College Concert Series every year.”

The donors intend for the bequest to encourage development of new academic opportunities and to sustain the work of faculty members already involved in areas of study related to the Classical world. The funds could support the hiring of instructors; library materials; new and existing courses in the literature, history, art, philosophy, or religion (including the study of mythology) of the Classical world; faculty research; and honoraria and expenses for visiting lecturers.

“The study of the Classical world has always been a key component of a liberal arts education,” says Patrice DiQuinzio, Provost and Dean of the College, “and we are thrilled to have this fund to support the work of Washington College faculty who teach courses related to that era.”

“This is truly a remarkable and generous gift,” says College President Kurt M. Landgraf. “It’s clear that Washington College connects with people in sometimes unexpected ways that remind us why we do what we do. The relationship between the College and the town of Chestertown is strong, with powerful potential. This couple saw a local opportunity to affect generations to come, in a meaningful way, and we are deeply grateful.”

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.

Lorna Hunter to Lead WC’s Enrollment Team

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Lorna J. Hunter

Washington College today announced that Lorna J. Hunter will become the College’s new vice president of enrollment management. Hunter, who for the past four years has held that position at The College of Idaho, will begin at Washington College on August 15.

“Lorna Hunter has a proven record of enrollment success, and she understands Washington College’s student-focused approach,” said college President Kurt M. Landgraf. “I am thrilled to welcome her to our community. Her array of skills and the range of experience she brings to the critical job of leading our enrollment, admissions, and financial aid teams are just outstanding.”

Hunter’s experience in admissions, enrollment, and financial aid spans institutions ranging from the Ivy League to public universities. She has been at The College of Idaho—that state’s oldest private liberal arts college, with a student body of 1,000—since 2013, where she pursued a personalized, student-centric strategy in enrollment. She worked with offices across the campus to develop new ways to draw more international and out-of-state students and student athletes, and to engage faculty and alumni to help educate prospective students about the school.

Previously, she served 11 years as vice president for enrollment management for Bryant University in Smithfield, R. I., where she grew applications by 48 percent, attained a 29 percent increase in the entering class, and increased enrollment of students of color by 10 percent. During her five years as dean of admission and financial aid at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., she achieved a 25 percent increase in applications to the College of Arts and Sciences and increased applications overall by 31 percent.

At Dartmouth College, where she served eight years as associate director of admissions and director of minority recruitment, Hunter helped attain gender parity in the Class of 1999, 24 years after the school initiated co-education. She also served three years as assistant director of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, where she developed and implemented programs to enroll students of color. Throughout, she has helped develop marketing and communications plans to complement enrollment strategies.

“Successful enrollment management is always a team effort, involving the entire institution, and I’m excited to join the team at Washington College,” Hunter said. “In our world today, where data are created at astronomical rates, a liberal arts and sciences education is growing even more valuable. Having the capacity to know what is important, to critically decipher information, to have the ability to learn new things because you have learned how to learn—these are the keys to citizen leadership and employability.”

Hunter in 1978 earned a BS in rehabilitation counseling and education at Penn State University, in 2007 an MA in adult education with a concentration in effective team leadership and team dynamics from the University of Rhode Island, a post-master’s certificate in enrollment management from Capella University in September 2012, and a PhD in higher education from UMass Boston in 2015. For her dissertation, she wrote “The Untold Story of the GI Bill: The Experiences of African American Veterans With Attaining Educational Benefits Through the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944.”

Wye River Upper School Welcomes New Board Members

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Wye River Upper School (WRUS) is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to their Board of Trustees – Dr. Clayton A. Railey, III and Mrs. Darby Hewes. Both members joined the WRUS Board on July 1, 2017. Their diverse experiences in a variety of educational settings brings new knowledge and perspective to the team.  

Railey currently serves as Vice President for Workforce and Academic Programs at the Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD. His professional background encompasses many areas including teaching, conflict resolution, museum studies, school administration, theology, and counseling. He has spent years in academia earning several degrees, teaching undergrads, and learning many languages. Most notably he obtained a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University.

Hewes brings strengths in graphic and fine arts, business management, and teaching. Over the years, she has studied fine arts, architecture, graphics, and education. She earned a B.A. from University of Florida, and a B.F.A. from Washington College. She has also taught photography at Washington College and currently specializes in developing marketing materials for various non-profits. Hewes serves on several boards throughout Kent County. Her past work experience in construction management and engineering also adds an important skill set as Wye River continues to maintain and care for their newly renovated building in Centreville.

“Our Board is fortunate to be welcoming these two talented individuals with extensive and relevant backgrounds. Their combined experience encompasses education, the arts, school administration, and marketing – just to name a few. I could not be more delighted to have their help as we continue to enhance and grow the Wye River program,” said Board Chair, Alexa Seip.

Wye River Upper School serves bright high school students with learning differences such as ADHD and dyslexia. Darby Hewes has been getting to the school over the past few years and she explains, “WRUS is a unique environment where students with learning challenges find their frustration turn into excitement and motivation. Strength based learning with an emphasis on areas of organization, time management and self-monitoring prepare students to succeed in college and future careers.  WRUS is one of these unique places where teens can explore their passions, create goals and build a solid educational foundation for their future.”

The School is located in Centreville, MD, and WRUS students come from several surrounding counties. Transportation is provided to both Eastern and Western Shores. For more information, call (410) 758-2922 or visit http://wyeriverupperschool.org.