Maryland Funds Washington College’s Natural Land Project

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Washington College’s Natural Lands Project (NLP), which is providing Eastern Shore landowners an innovative option for restoring wildlife habitat and improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, has earned a state grant of more than $535,000 to transform 200 acres of the Conquest Beach Preserve in Queen Anne’s County.

Partnering with Queen Anne’s County Department of Parks and Recreation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, the NLP will create 125 acres of meadows, 38 acres of wetlands, and 38 acres of forest within the preserve, which lies between the Corsica and Chester rivers. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Natural Filters Program is providing $536,319 for the project, bringing to nearly $2 million to date total federal and state funding for NLP projects, says Dan Small, a field ecologist and coordinator of the NLP, which is managed by the College’s Center for Environment & Society (CES).

“This is the second project we have done on public land. The first was an 83-acre grassland we completed last year at the Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area,” Small says. “Working on public land is especially exciting because it gives us the ability to create large projects, which are really important for grassland birds, and also an opportunity to educate the public about the importance of these habitats for the wildlife that depends on them.

“The Conquest Preserve’s location between two rivers is also significant,” Small says. “While we’re going to be creating habitat to support native species like bobwhite quail, we’re also going to see fantastic benefits to water quality thanks to the buffering and filtering capacity of these habitats.”

A monarch butterfly in an NLP meadow in Betterton, Maryland

CES estimates that the new project at Conquest will remove nearly 43,000 pounds of sediment and 1,100 pounds of nitrogen from both watersheds annually. It will also provide critical habitat for pollinators and bird species including a variety of waterfowl and potentially the black rail, an elusive marsh bird that is in danger of extirpation in Maryland.

Conquest Preserve has 3.2 miles of waterfront along the Chester River and is a popular spot among local birders and boaters. The NLP project is inland of the beach area and will include broad meadows planted in native warm-season grasses and flowers to support pollinator and bird populations, as well as areas of native trees and shrubs. Public walking paths will be incorporated throughout.

“The ability to work in partnership with Washington College and its exceptional staff to achieve the objectives of the county’s master plan for Conquest Preserve is the best case in trying to balance the recreational needs of our community with the protection of natural resources and sensitive lands,” says Nancy E. Scozzari, Chief of Parks and Resource Planning for the county Department of Parks and Recreation. “This project development will provide acres of habitat, ensure protection of natural resources, and provide the public passive recreational opportunities unlike those found elsewhere in Queen Anne’s County.”

Originating from the wildlife and habitat management on Washington College’s 4,700-acre River and Field Campus to help restore bobwhite quail to the region, the Natural Lands Project was launched in 2015. The project has steadily gained momentum as landowners and public entities have seen the benefits of taking marginal cropland and converting it to wildlife habitat. Since its inception, the NLP has created 540 acres of upland meadows and 49 acres of wetlands on 36 private properties in Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties. On public land, so far the NLP has received funding to create 208 acres of upland meadows, 38 acres of wetlands, and 83 acres of trees and forestation.

In total, CES estimates that when this latest project is completed, all of the NLP sites combined will remove annually 12,042 pounds of nitrogen, 619 pounds of phosphorous, and 228,696 pounds of sediment from the Bay’s tributaries.

Collaborators with Washington College on these projects include ShoreRivers, Maryland State Parks, the Queen Anne’s County Department of Parks and Recreation, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Ducks Unlimited, Tall Timbers Research Station, the state Department of Natural Resources, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

WC-ALL’s 2019 George Award Winner

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John T. Ames

At the May Annual Meeting of the Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning, John T. Ames was presented with the George Award, given each year to an instructor who has made notable contributions to the organization.

The official citation, written by WC-ALL’s Advisory Council Chair, David White, states that “WC-ALL acknowledges with enormous gratitude the unique and wide-ranging contributions of John T. Ames, who in 11 years of service to WC-ALL, taught 15 classes over 15 semesters, on wide-ranging topics in history, religion, and politics. John has also organized and led two successful trips to the British Isles and Central Europe and serves on the WC-ALL Advisory Council.” On hand to present the award to John Ames was last year’s George Award winner, Charlotte Hawes.

In other business at the meeting, Advisory Council members were elected. Ronnie Edelman, David Turner, and Anna Wolgast will begin their first terms, and Jonathan Chace, Hanson Robbins, and Ed Minch will begin second terms. Departing Council members Paul Heckles, Dan Premo, and Connie Schroth were thanked for their invaluable years of service as they rotate off the Council.

WC-ALL is preparing for fall semester with course catalogs and registration information due for release in late July. For more information, look for WC-ALL’s table at the Chestertown Farmers’ Market and at Legacy Day during the first part of August. You can follow WC-ALL on Facebook and visit the website at www.washcoll.edu/offices/wc-all.

Washington College to Offer New Program WC Adventures

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Come explore with Washington College! One of the greatest things about WC is the out-of-the-classroom learning experiences. But why should the students have all of the fun? Washington College has started a new program offering experiential learning and travel experiences for the community. Sessions for 2019 include trips to Cuba and Germany/Austria and a mini local session that includes sailing on the Sultana and experiencing the Eastern Shore Food Lab. Programming for 2020 is in the works with trips to Costa Rica and Northern Ireland already confirmed.

WC Adventures programs are open to the entire Washington College community (alumni, parents, friends, staff/faculty, spouses, kids, neighbors, community members…but maybe not your pet turtle).

Find an upcoming program that sparks your interest and join WC on an adventure!

Click here for more information about WC Adventures.

Cristina Jiménez Headlines New “Crossing Cultures” Series on April 16 at WC

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Photo credit: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Cristina Jiménez—immigration reform advocate, MacArthur Foundation “genius award” Fellow, and founder and CEO of the nation’s largest immigrant youth-led organization—will speak at Washington College on Tuesday, April 16. She will share the powerful story of her own journey, from arriving in the US at age 13 as an undocumented immigrant from Ecuador, to her current role in the forefront of the global conversation on immigration. In 2018, Time magazine named Jiménez one of the “100 most influential people” in the world.

The program begins at 5:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall.  Hosted by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the event is free and open to the public. This event is the inaugural program in the Starr Center’s series “Crossing Cultures,” an initiative that seeks to foster informed dialogue on immigration, migration, intercultural exchange, and their impact on American life.

“At a moment when discussions of immigration and migration are dominated by soundbites, half-truths, and social-media hits, it’s more essential than ever to seek informed perspectives and engage in thoughtful civic conversation,” said Adam Goodheart, the Starr Center’s Hodson Trust-Griswold Director. “We’re excited to welcome Cristina Jiménez as the first of a diverse array of guests in the timely new Crossing Cultures series.”

Cristina Jiménez is the co-founder and executive director of the United We Dream (UWD). She has organized immigrant youth and workers for the passage of pro-immigrant policies at the local and national levels for over a decade. As undocumented immigrants, she and her family experienced poverty, abuse by police, wage theft from employers, and fear of deportation.

Her story is similar to those of United We Dream members across the country who struggle every day to overcome the forces of racism, xenophobia, and misogyny, and who ultimately learn to thrive. Jiménez will discuss how those closest to the pain are closest to the solution and how immigrant youth have transformed politics to create an empowered generation.

From a young age, Jiménez made a decision to fight back against unjust practices that plagued people of color and the immigrant community. As an adult, she was instrumental in organizing the successful national campaign that led to the creation and implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program (DACA). Under Jiménez’s leadership, United We Dream has grown to a powerful network of 48 affiliates in 26 states and over 400,000 members.

Jiménez has received several high-profile awards and honors, including Forbes’s “30 under 30 in Law and Policy;” and “40 under 40 Young Leaders Who are Solving Problems of Today and Tomorrow” by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Prior to her work at UWD, Jiménez co-founded the New York State Youth Leadership Council, and the Dream Mentorship Program at Queens College. She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration and Public Policy from the School of Public of Affairs at Baruch College, CUNY.

Established in 2000, Washington College’s Starr Center explores the American experience in all its diversity and complexity, seeks creative approaches to illuminating the past, and inspires thoughtful conversation informed by history. Jiménez’s talk is cosponsored by the Department of History, Program in American Studies, Department of Modern Languages, Hispanic Studies, Black Studies, Department of Education, Cleopatra’s Sisters, Día de Futbol, the Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology, and the Office of Intercultural Affairs.

 

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 39 states and territories and 25 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.

Gene Demby to Speak at Washington College on April 17

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American journalist and blogger Gene Demby will speak on Wednesday, April 17, at the Rose O’Neill Literary House. The event, which is part of the annual Sophie Kerr Lecture Series, will start at 4:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Demby is the lead blogger for NPR’s Code Switch team where he covers issues on race, ethnicity, and culture. He is also cohost of the weekly Code Switch podcast. Before coming to NPR, he served as the managing editor for Huffington Post’s BlackVoices following its launch. He later covered politics.

Prior to that role he spent six years in various positions at The New York Times. While working for the Times in 2007, he started a blog about race, culture, politics, and media called “PostBourgie,” which won the 2009 Black Weblog Award for Best News/Politics Site.

For more information on this and other English Department and Sophie Kerr events, visit the website at www.washcoll.edu/departments/english/events.php, or view our annual Literary Events Calendar brochure here: www.washcoll.edu/live/files/8293-2018-19-literary-events-brochure.

 

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 39 states and territories and 25 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.

Award-Winning Author Diana Butler Bass at Washington College April 10

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Theologian and author Diana Butler Bass, whose book Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks was recognized this year as the top non-fiction book in national secular media by the esteemed 70-year-old Wilbur Awards, will speak at Washington College on “Politics of Gratitude: The Subversive Vision of the New Testament in the Age of Trump.”

Sponsored by the College’s Institute of Religion Politics and Culture and Political Science Department, the talk on April 10 in Hynson Lounge begins at 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the award-winning author of ten books, including Grounded: Finding God in the World —A Spiritual Revolution (HarperOne, 2015), Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (HarperOne, 2012) and Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith (HarperOne, 2006).

Her latest book, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks (HarperOne, 2018), won the 2019 Religion Communicators Council’s Wilbur Award for the best book in non-fiction secular media (the fiction award was won by Mitch Albom for The Next Person You Meet in Heaven). Conferred since 1949, the Wilbur Awards honor excellence in secular media—print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures—for communicating religious issues, values, and themes. Previous winners include Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, and films like “Chocolat” and “Hidden Figures.”

Along with her books, Bass’s bylines include The Washington PostThe New York Times Syndicate, and The Huffington Post. She has commented widely on religion, politics, and culture in the media including USA TODAYTimeNewsweek, CBS, CNN, FOX, PBS, NPR, Sirius XM, and CBC. In addition to the Wilbur, she has won other numerous grants and awards including the Nautilus Gold Medal, the Book of the Year from Religion News Service, and the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History.

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 39 states and territories and 25 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.

Revolutionary War Scholar Patrick Spero at Washington College April 4

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Historian Patrick Spero, whose study of the 18th-century frontier is bringing a new perspective to the roots of the American Revolution, will give a talk on April 4 about the forgotten story of a band of rebels, known as the Black Boys, whose protests helped ignite the battle for American independence.

Spero, librarian and director of the American Philosophical Society Library in Philadelphia, will discuss his new book, Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765 -1776, at the Toll Science Center’s Litrenta Hall. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by a book signing. Sponsored by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the event is free and open to the public.

Publishers’ Weekly starred review praises Frontier Rebels: “[Spero delves] deeply into previously underutilized sources. .  . Spero’s thoughtful work is an important contribution to ongoing reassessments of the nature and meaning of the American founding.”

While the familiar narrative of the origins of the American Revolution focuses on taxation and the colonies along the eastern seaboard, in the west frontiersmen clashed with the British Empire over Indian relations. When Britain launched an expedition into the American interior to open trade with the Indian warrior Pontiac, the Black Boys led an uprising to stop it. Spero asserts that suspicion and distrust of both Natives and imperial aims fueled the flames of rebellion on the frontier years before the Declaration of Independence.

As a scholar of early American history, Spero has published books, essays and reviews on the American Revolution, including Frontier Country: The Politics of War in Early Pennsylvania (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), and the edited anthology The American Revolution Reborn: New Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). Prior to his appointment at the American Philosophical Society, Spero served on the faculty at Williams College.

Spero has been involved in a number of public history initiatives throughout his career, including serving as historian at the David Library of the American Revolution, leading teacher workshops for the Gilder-Lehrman Institute and National Endowment for the Humanities, lecturing about political leadership to business professionals and special groups, consulting on exhibits and other projects, and serving on various boards.

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 39 states and territories and 25 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.

Joe Trippi, Democratic Campaign Strategist, at Washington College March 28

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Master political strategist and MSNBC commentator Joe Trippi will visit Washington College on Thursday, March 28, 2019 for an open discussion/Q&A on politics and current events. Heralded on the cover of The New Republic as the person who “reinvented campaigning,” Trippi has been at the forefront of progressive politics for nearly 30 years.

The event, sponsored by Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience as part of the Harwood Series in American Journalism, is free and open to the public. It begins at 4:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall. A conversational format will permit audience members to join a lively discussion with Trippi, covering everything from ongoing investigations of the Trump administration, to the fast-developing field of contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Trippi is best known for his work on the campaigns of Democratic presidential candidates, including Barack Obama, Howard Dean, and Edward Kennedy, as well as in Senate and congressional races, including Alabama senator Doug Jones’s dramatic upset of Republican candidate Roy Moore. According to The Atlantic, Trippi’s influence on Democratic Party politics has been profound and lasting, especially his strategy of pursuing small-dollar online donations: “Every single campaign uses Trippi-patented tactics to raise money.” He frequently appears as a commentator on MSNBC, CBS, and Fox News, and has over 800,000 Twitter followers.

Washington College’s Harwood Lecture Series in American Journalism was established to honor the distinguished career of the late Washington Post columnist and ombudsman Richard Harwood, who served as a trustee of the College, as well as a teacher and mentor of undergraduate journalists. Speakers in the series have included many leading figures in politics and the press. Additional cosponsorship assistance comes from the Department of Political Science, the Washington College Democrats, and the Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs. The Starr Center, established at Washington College in 2000, explores the American experience in all its diversity and complexity, seeks creative approaches to illuminating the past, and inspires thoughtful conversation informed by history.

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 39 states and territories and 25 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 Department of Theatre Announces Spring 2019 Performances

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The Washington College Theatre Department is pleased to present its Spring 2019 schedule of performances, including Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Flick, and The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias.

Unless otherwise noted, all performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in Tawes Theater in the Gibson Center for the Arts. Tickets are available at the door, and for reservations, which are suggested, please visit the department’s eventbrite page.

“Our students routinely seek plays that challenge, delight, frustrate and provoke themselves, each other, and audiences,” says Chair and Theatre Associate Professor Michele Volansky. “I am so pleased at the ways that they choose to present their points of view and put their classroom learning to practice in these senior capstone experience projects. We hope that the Chestertown and Washington College community shares our excitement at the spring line-up.”

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde by Moises Kaufman is a senior thesis directed by Jacqueline Glenn on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. In April 1895, Oscar Wilde brought a libel suit against the Marques of Queensberry, the father of his youthful lover, who had publicly maligned him as a sodomite. In doing so, England’s reigning man of letters set in motion a series of events that would culminate in his ruin and imprisonment. For within a year the bewildered Wilde himself was on trial for acts of “gross indecency” and, implicitly—for a vision of art that outraged Victorian propriety. Expertly interweaving courtroom testimony with excerpts from Wilde’s writings and the words of his contemporaries, Gross Indecency unveils its subject in all his genius and human frailty, his age in all its complacency and repression.  The Honorary Producers are Mike and Carin (Janet) Golze ’09.

The Flick by Annie Baker is a combined directing and acting senior thesis, directed by John Leslie and featuring Patrick Huff, taking place Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 in Norman James Theatre of William Smith Hall. The Flick takes place in a seen-better-days movie theater, one of the last which continues to use a 35-millimeter film projector. The story focuses on the employees whose job is to sweep up other people’s trash after the movie ends and follows as they grapple to understand themselves and each other. Annie Baker’s play challenges the audience to consider how silence is louder than words, the uniting power of movies, and how moments of theater can be found in everyday activities.

The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias by Michael Yates Crowley is a senior thesis directed by Elizabeth Clemens and will be presented on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13. As described by The Playwrights Realm, “When Grace B. Matthias is raped, her world spirals into chaos. Between navigating emotionally unstable guidance counselors, overbearing lawyers, an angry championship football team, and useless Wikipedia answers, Grace tries to make sense of her world anew. A complex collision of satire and dark comedy, The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias fearlessly explores rape culture in America.” The honorary producers are John Beck ’05 and Carol Landis ’06.

For questions, please email Michele Volansky at mvolansky2@washcoll.edu. The Gibson Center for the Arts is located on the Washington College campus, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown. For more information: http://drama.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 39 states and territories and 25 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.

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