First Friday: Historical Society of Kent County Presents the “Old Chester River Bridge” 

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Bayly Ellen Janson-La Palme shares her research on the history ice cream in Chestertown at a previous First Friday Lecture.

Join us at the Bordley History Center (301 High Street), on November 3rd at 4 pm, to hear Dr. Bayly Janson-La Palme speak about the history of the “Old Chester River Bridge.” The history of the bridge contains many “ups & downs” and perils along the way. A toll ferry connected Chestertown and what is today Kingstown beginning in 1800.  The crossing was slow — up to an hour — and sometimes dangerous. Work on replacing the ferry with a bridge across the Chester began in 1805; however, the bridge was not fully operational until 1821. To hear the whole story of our beautiful bridge and its predecessors stop in for our First Friday lecture (and enjoy some wine while you are here!)

For more information, visit the Historical Society of Kent County’s website or call 410-778-3499

The current Chester River Bridge at Chestertown on Rt 213. Note the small guard house where the bridgekeeper used to raise the draw bridge.  It is not the first bridge across the Chester at this location.

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School Board to Meet With Facilities Planning Committee

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The Kent County Board of Education is holding a work session with the Facilities Strategic Planning Committee on Monday, November 13 from 4 to 6 p.m.  The meeting will be held at the Kent County Board of Education Administration Building, 5608 Boundary Avenue, Rock Hall.

The regular November monthly Board of Education meeting is also scheduled for November 13, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. There will be a closed session meeting from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Gunston Sends Balloon into Near Space

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On Friday, Oct. 20, the Gunston Science and Engineering Club launched our fifth mission to “near space”—the region above where aircraft fly, but below the orbits of satellites. The payload included cameras, tracking devices, and instrumentation to measure temperature and pressure. A weather balloon was used to carry the payload to the stratosphere. The balloon then burst as expected and the payload returned gently to Earth by parachute. The balloon was launched from the Gunston campus and landed near Laurel, DE a little more than 2 hours later.

Balloon looking down on launch team

The balloon reached an altitude of 19.44 miles, a record high altitude from past missions. The lowest pressure measured was less than 1% of the barometric pressure at the Earth’s surface. Preliminary results indicate that the science payload detected the tropopause with a temperature around -70 degrees Fahrenheit. The balloon was approximately 6 ft in diameter when launched and 20+ ft in diameter when it burst.

Dr. Mariah Goodall and Mr. Tom Chafey led two chase cars that beat the payload to its landing site, enabling them to observed the payload descending on its parachute—another Gunston first. Mr. Dale Wegner, father of Gunston alumni Jay Wegner, set up the tracking for the chase cars and several tracking stations for students who were not part of the chase.

The science and engineering club is led by Alli Webb ‘18 President, Jack Morrison ‘18 Vice President, and Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 Secretary. The Mission Commander for the balloon launch is Brynne Kneeland ‘19. In total, 21 students assisted in preparing the payload, launching the balloon, and recovering the balloon. They divided up into seven teams for different jobs: launch, payload, imaging, science, trajectory, tracking, and recovery. The club mentors are Dr. Ken Wilson and Dr. Mariah Goodall.

Mid-Shore STEM Festival

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The inaugural Mid-Shore STEM Festival will be held on Saturday, November 4th at the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center, on the Chesapeake College campus in Wye Mills. The event will be held rain or shine from 10 am – 2 pm and is free and open to the public.

The Mid-Shore STEM Festival is being hosted by the University of Maryland Extension 4-H Program and is focused on providing hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math learning for youth of all ages and their families. Activities will include: interactive displays and activities, tours, and demonstrations. Youth can learn about DNA, soil, plants, agriculture, food science, environmental science, robotics, insects, and much more. Also, there will be tours of Chesapeake College and a special K-9 demonstration from 12:30-1:00 that you do not want to miss! And, lunch and refreshments will be available for purchase.

Bring your kids to participate during the Maryland Science Festival here on the mid-shore on November 4th for a fun science-filled day! For more information, please contact Navonne Owen, Dorchester County 4-H, at nowen@umd.edu or (410) 228-8800. This is an equal opportunity and equal access program.

Halloween at Lit House — All About Witches

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Cristina Casado Presa

Washington College’s very own Cristina Casado Presa will be at the Rose O’Neill Literary House for a faculty tea and talk on Tuesday, October 31, as part of the fall Literary House Series. The event at the Lit House will be at 4:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Cristina Casado Presa is an associate professor of Spanish, chair of the Modern Languages Department, and director of the Gender Studies Program at Washington College, where she teaches all levels of Spanish. She also teaches courses on the contemporary literature of Spain; representations of the Spanish Civil War; female writers after Franco’s death; contemporary Spanish theater; and witches, ghosts, and vampires. She is an expert in 20th- and 21st-century literature and culture of Spain and focuses her research on women writers and representations of witchcraft in literature and culture.

Some of her publications on those subjects are “The Witch as a Power Paradigm in Two Contemporary Spanish Dramas” published in Monographic Review; “Silence as a Conflict in a Drama by Pilar Pombo” published in Letras Femeninas; and “Mother-Daughter Relationships in Contemporary Spanish Theater” in the volume The Changing Spanish Family: Essays on New Views in Literature, Cinema and Theater (McFarland, 2011). Currently she is working on a book project dedicated to the figure of the witch in contemporary Spanish literature.

For more information on these events or the Literary House, visit the website at www.washcoll.edu/centers/lithouse, or view the annual Literary Events Calendar brochure here: www.washcoll.edu/live/files/7406-2017-2018.

State Highway Office Awards Washington College GIS Program

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The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Maryland Highway Safety Office has awarded Washington College’s GIS Program a grant of $494,000 to continue its work helping minimize fatal and serious injury crashes on Maryland’s roadways. This is the fifth consecutive year the GIS Program has won the grant.

“The grant renewal is part of $11.7 million in federal highway safety funds that are distributed to various agencies and organizations throughout Maryland to assist the mission towards zero deaths,” says GIS Program Director Erica McMaster. The funds will support hiring an additional GIS statistical data analyst and will broaden the opportunities for College students who work in the lab.

“The GIS team has expanded and improved its support to the Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO) and local law enforcement,” McMaster says. The new analyst will be responsible for quality checking the datasets and running statistical methods on the data to report the findings to MHSO and Maryland’s Traffic Records Coordinating Council.

Six staff members and about 20 student interns are currently funded under the MHSO grant. Their work includes supporting the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP)in six emphasis areas: impaired driving, aggressive driving, occupant protection, distracted driving, pedestrian/bicyclists, and highway infrastructure. Also, as law enforcement has quickly expanded its use of the Risk Analysis Vehicle and Environmental Networks, GIS staff travel statewide to train officers and agencies in how to use the web application, which maps hotspots and one-mile road segments for crashes and citations for each of the SHSP emphasis areas.

Along with affirming the GIS Program’s work, the renewed funding will give student interns greater opportunities to gain training and attend professional conferences that can expand their network of professional connections and help lead to a career after college.

For more information about Washington College’s GIS Program, visit https://www.washcoll.edu/centers/ces/gis/.

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 Dual-Degree Partnership with Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment

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Environmental science and environmental studies students at Washington College will now have the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years, thanks to a new partnership between Washington College and Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

The agreement, known as dual-degree, allows qualified students to leave Washington College after their third year and enroll at Duke, where they can study for a master’s degree in either environmental management or forestry. After successfully completing their first year at Duke, they will be awarded their bachelor’s degree from WC. The new dual-degree program joins others at the College, including one in engineering with Columbia University, and in nursing and pharmacy with the University of Maryland.

Washington College students get hands-on with Chesapeake blue crabs.

“To me, in environmental science and studies, it’s about creating more opportunities for students,” says Charlie Kehm, chair of the Department of Physics and McLain Associate Professor of Physics and Environmental Science and Studies, who oversaw the development of the dual-degree program with Duke. “I love that they can come into Washington College and see themselves at the end of this really cool path. Parents like that too, because they want to know what’s the next step. So, I think these opportunities are really powerful in that way, because if nothing else, they give you some imagination to see what the possibilities are.”

Patrice DiQuinzio, Provost and Dean of the College, says the new arrangement illustrates the College’s determination to provide distinctive opportunities to its students, and it continues to build upon the College’s growing and energetic environmental program.

“Environmental science and studies is increasingly one of our most popular majors, and this will only enhance what is already a strong, exciting program,” DiQuinzio says. “It also lends force to the power and breadth of the liberal arts, which form the foundation of all we do here.”

Although the program takes effect immediately for incoming freshman in 2019, current freshmen and sophomores are also eligible to work toward the dual-degree. Leslie Sherman, co-chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Studies and W. Alton Jones Associate Professor of Chemistry, says the department will work to help current students attain needed requirements, as well as support incoming students to ensure they stay on track.

“I had envisioned environmental science students wanting to do the forestry program, because we don’t have forestry here,” Sherman says. “But our science students want to do environmental management too, which is exciting. This opens a clear pathway to this wonderful program at a fantastic school. And students who wish to finish their four years at Washington College and then seek graduate admission to Duke will also be able to take advantage of this relationship.”

The Nicholas School of the Environment is internationally known for not only its forestry and environmental management elements but also the Duke University Marine Lab. Two recent Washington College graduates, Anna Windle ’16 and Kelly Dobroski ’16, are currently enrolled at the Nicholas School in the environmental management master’s program, and Sherman is planning for them to return to campus to talk with interested undergraduates. Windle, studying coastal environmental management, in September won a highly competitive NOAA/North Carolina Sea Grant fellowship to assess oyster reef health.

For more information about Washington College’s Environmental Science and Studies program, visit https://www.washcoll.edu/departments/environmental-science-and-studies/

For more information about Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, see https://nicholas.duke.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.

From High School Cheerleader to Shock Trauma Patient, Ashley Ricciuti Beats the Odds

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One of the students receiving a CHF scholarship is Ashley Ricciuti of Preston, MD.  Ashley is in her second year at Chesapeake College.  Even before she graduates with a degree in nursing, Ashley is the embodiment of a very unique success.

In her senior year at Colonel Richardson High School, Ashley’s Goal, as quoted in her yearbook, was to become a nurse at Shock Trauma.  Ashley graduated on May 25, 2016.  On June 4th, she was in a catastrophic car accident and was flown to Shock Trauma by helicopter.  With multiple life threatening injuries, she had a head concussion, was put in a medically induced coma, and underwent two heart surgeries.Surgery requiring two rods, a steel plate and several pins to reconstruct her pelvis was also necessary. Because of a collapsed lung she was put on a ventilator as well.

When she and two friends were driving that night, a police car passed them.  Minutes later, they were hit by another car and that policeman heard the crash and rushed back to the scene.  He called paramedics to get the other girls on gurneys and to cut Ashley out of the car.  Although the two friends had very serious injuries, only Ashley’s was life threatening.  As fate would have it, a helicopter had just landed in Easton and was able to arrive on the scene shortly after getting the call.

Ashley was at Shock Trauma for a week and then transferred to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital for an additional two months.  She then returned home and underwent very intensive outpatient rehab for three months.  In spite of extreme obstacles, Ashley entered Chesapeake College in September of 2016.

Although focusing and concentrating were extremely hard during that first semester, Ashley was determined to push through.  She said, “Through this entire ordeal, my mom and grandmother have been my biggest cheerleaders.”

From a near-death experience, to a successful and dedicated college student, CHF considers Ashley Ricciuti a shining star and so deserving of the full scholarship she is currently receiving.

Emphasizing the word huge, Ashley said, “It’s been a HUGE gift that I was able to receive the CHF grant.”Along with the enormous stress and costs related to the accident, Ashley needed to buy another car to get back and forth to college.  She stated again that she and her family are so grateful that her tuition was covered,thus removing the major stress of incurring additional debt.

The Children’s Home Foundation (a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton) is a non-profit, outreach organization that provides scholarships to residents throughout the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Their scholarship recipients include recent high school grads as well as non-traditional students who are seeking a two year technical or career degree.  In the case of a nursing degree, the scholarships may be granted for a three-year program.  In addition, camperships are given to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a camp.

CHF shares this inspirational story as it kicks off its annual Thanksgiving Appeal.

Submitted by Suze Chaffinch
CHF Boardmember

Please go to www.childrenshomefoundation.org to contribute.

Chesapeake College Commits to Solar Energy but Wind Turbine to Come Down

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Solar Canopy on Parking Lot at Chesapeake College

Based on the success of its solar energy program over the past year, Chesapeake College is decommissioning its wind turbine on the nacortheast corner of its campus at Rt. 50 and plans to invest future resources in renewable energy produced by the sun.

Since installing a six-acre solar array and photovoltaic parking canopy on the south side of its property in 2016, Chesapeake has produced enough power in one year to offset approximately 45 percent of the college’s energy demand.

“Solar energy has propelled our renewable energy production,” said Dr. Stuart Bounds, Chesapeake’s Interim President.  “In the first year, the array produced 2.25 million kilowatts of electricity at a cost of $106,000. This represents a savings of $85,000 off of grid prices. We anticipate similar savings on utility bills over the next 19 years, which doesn’t include any additional solar installations constructed.”

Chesapeake is also incorporating solar energy into its curriculum. This fall, the college is offering workforce classes in solar photovoltaic electricity and electric vehicle technology.

“Our vision is for the college to be a living laboratory for studying renewable energy and sustainability,” Bounds said.

Chesapeake’s wind turbine, installed in 2011, marked the beginning of the college’s sustainability efforts and energy-savings measures on campus that now include solar energy.

In February, the turbine’s generator suffered catastrophic failure. Most likely caused by a power surge, repair estimates are between $20,000 and $25,000.

“The turbine was a catalyst in creating a culture of energy conservation at Chesapeake,” Bounds said.  “But we determined that the repair cost was too expensive and our resources could more effectively be invested in solar power, which will result in greater energy savings on campus.”

Being dismantled and removed from campus this week, the turbine will be sold on the secondary market, according to Bounds.

This year, Chesapeake has continued expansion of its solar energy program working with Pepco Holdings and Delmarva Power on a first-in-the-nation collaboration.

In July, the first phase of a 2MW utility-scale battery project was installed to provide ongoing electrical storage for the college.  The cutting-edge project integrates the college’s solar array with the campus and regional electrical grids.  The battery will also serve the regional grid by regulating voltage and frequency and smoothing out power fluctuations caused by renewable energy generation.

Other recent sustainability efforts at Chesapeake include installing electrical vehicle charging stations; working with Midshore River Keepers on stormwater infrastructure to improve the quality of the Wye East River and installing an on-campus recycling center with regular pick-ups.

Chesapeake has received significant recognition in 2017 for its commitment to sustainability. The Health Professions and Athletic Center (HPAC) earned LEED Platinum certification, and Chesapeake became the first community college in the U.S. to receive a Better Building Challenge Achievers Award from the U.S. Department of Energy.