WC Students Shadow Environmental Educators at Shore Organizations in New Collaboration

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Few sixth-graders can resist the opportunity to go mudlarking in a marsh, but what about when they get stuck? Or fall in?

Then it’s up to the teacher to help—or, in this case, Abby Frey, who is shadowing the teacher, because Devin Herlihy, a seasonal educator at Pickering Creek Audubon Center just outside of Easton, has her hands pretty full with the rest of the class that’s happily wading through the wetland in search of frogs, tadpoles, crayfish, dragonfly larvae, and myriad other wonders of springtime.

Helping a youngster up from the mud is all part of the experience of shadowing environmental educators, which Frey, along with about ten other Washington College students, are doing this spring throughout the upper Eastern Shore. It’s part of a one-credit course that helps them get a feel for what being an environmental educator might be like as a career.

Abby Frey oversees students in a marsh at Pickering Creek Audubon Center while educator Devin Herlihy (right) points directions to a student.

“It’s opened my eyes to the different ways environmental education works,” says Frey, an environmental studies major with a minor in public health. She has shadowed school groups in various settings, participated in public outreach events including public paddles (her first time in a canoe) and the center’s annual plant-and-seed swap, and even gotten a feel for the kind of office organization needed to operate a place like Pickering Creek, a 400-acre waterfront property whose owners donated it to Chesapeake Audubon Society in 1982. “It’s been interesting to see the different age groups. These are sixth-graders today. The last time it was high-schoolers, and the vibe was different.

“Some of the people at the canoe event were older and had no experience in canoes,” she says. “So the whole thing changes with the age group, which makes it interesting.”

This spring is the second semester for this new class, which came about when Brian Scott and Leslie Sherman, co-chairs of the Department of Environmental Science and Studies, approached Erin Counihan, coordinator of the College’s secondary education program and a National Geographic Certified Educator, with an idea. Many of their graduates were landing jobs involving educating the public, and they wondered if there was a way to collaborate with the Department of Education to help prepare students for what sorts of opportunities are out there.

Counihan said that such a course already existed in the secondary education program, in which students logged 20 hours during the semester observing teachers in the classroom, then journaled and reflected on what they’d learned. She simply had to tailor it to environmental education.

She contacted several local environmental education organizations, including the Sultana Education Foundation, Echo Hill Outdoor School, Pickering Creek, Adkins Arboretum, Sassafras Environmental Education Center, Shore Rivers, and Tuckahoe State Park. All were excited to participate.

“If I find out a student has a passion for trees and wants to be a botanist, I will try to get them to go to Adkins Arboretum. Or if one has a broad passion to teach kids about the environment, I might send them to Sassafras or Echo Hill,” Counihan says. “They are asked to complete 20 hours, but once they get to their site they can determine what that looks like.” Some of them will shadow for a few Saturdays, while others go during the week when there might be an interesting opportunity, for instance when Shore Rivers goes to Talbot County schools.

Abby Frey pours water from her boots after wading in to help a student.

Emily Rugg, a double major in international studies and French studies, spent the spring shadowing the rangers at Tuckahoe State Park. Watching them interact with the public has completely changed her thinking about environmental education. A great example, she says, was shadowing the ranger one evening as she walked through the campground with one of the park’s barred owls. Everyone was captivated by the owl, and at each site, the ranger told the story of how this owl was blinded after being hit by a car. It had swooped down to catch a mouse that was eating an apple core someone had tossed from a car window.

“The way she was able to integrate that into every conversation we had with people who ranged from children and families and young adults and then older people, it was totally diverse, and everybody had the same reaction,” Rugg says. “One of the last people that we spoke to was a dad and his young son, he must have been four or five years old, and after we did this he literally turns to him and says, ‘All right! No more throwing banana peels out the window!’ ’’

Shadowing the rangers at Tuckahoe has shown her that environmental education happens in far more diverse places and ways than in a traditional classroom.

“This course has also made me realize any field I go into there’s going to be people willing to learn and people who need to learn, and I’m going to be in a positon of an educator, especially talking about environmental policy,” Rugg says. “I think that’s what’s so cool about this course, you’ve got such a diversity of host institutions and groups … it reinforces that idea that being able to be a successful educator, especially in the field of environmental science, will be beneficial no matter what career path you end up taking.”

The 2019 Sophie Kerr Prize will Go to One of Six WC Seniors

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Six Washington College seniors today were named finalists for the 52nd annual Sophie Kerr Prize, at $63,912 the nation’s largest literary award for college undergraduates. Representing the liberal arts and sciences in majors and minors from political science and music to English and Hispanic studies, the finalists were chosen from a group of graduating seniors who submitted portfolios that included fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and music.

The winner will be announced this Friday, May 17, by Sarah Blackman ’02, a poet, fiction, and creative non-fiction author, and College President Kurt Landgraf. All of the finalists will read from their work at the event, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in Hotchkiss Recital Hall, Gibson Center for the Arts, and is free and open to the public. It will also be livestreamed at https://www.washcoll.edu/offices/digital-media-services/live/ .

“It’s an incredible honor to read such terrific, polished work from so many different kinds of writers,” says James Allen Hall, Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House and associate professor of English. “The finalists are so impressive. One already has published a book of poetry with another coming out soon. A few are going on to graduate school (creative writing, political science, library science), and others are pursuing professional and artistic lives that are sure to yield incredible work. Sophie’s will guides us to choose finalists who have ‘promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavors,’ and it is certainly easy to imagine the literary lives ahead for these six.”

“The committee was impressed by the strength and diversity of the writing submitted this year, both in the range of genres as well as the multidisciplinary interests of the students,” says Sean Meehan, chair of the Department of English and the Sophie Kerr Committee. “Majors and minors include biology, chemistry, creative writing, English, environmental science, history, international studies, and philosophy, among others.

“About the six finalists, the committee kept returning to an apt phrase in our deliberations: the integrity of the work. We delighted in the achievement of individual works within each portfolio, but at the same time, we marveled at the coherence of the work as a whole. The writers tell a story in their work that speaks to a remarkable promise for their future endeavors, a key criterion of the prize.”

The 2019 Sophie Kerr Prize finalists are (L to R) Emma Hoey, Erin Caine, Shannon Moran, Shannon Neal, Mai Nguyen Do, and Charlotte Lindsay.

The finalists are:

Erin Caine is an English major and creative writing minor from Owings, Maryland. She is the lifestyle editor for The Elm and a recipient of the Sophie Kerr Gift in English Literature scholarship. Additionally, she has served as dramaturg for Washington College’s theater productions of Major Barbara and These Shining Lives. Caine’s writing portfolio is a collection of short stories, short plays, and excerpts from larger pieces of her fiction that emphasize, among other themes, queer identity, the weight of memory, and the pursuit of a more genuine self. After graduation, she plans to continue to work in theater and write fiction.

Mai Nguyen Do is a Santa Clarita, California, native majoring in political science, and she is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. Her portfolio includes historically rooted and speculatively driven work centered on her experience as a daughter of Vietnamese refugees. After graduation, she will be continuing her work in electoral and legislative research with Courage Campaign and will be pursuing a doctoral degree in political science at the University of California, Riverside.

Emma Hoey is an English and music double major from Baltimore County, Maryland. The poetry in her portfolio focuses on sonic aestheticism and experiences of impaired cognition. After graduation, she will return to Baltimore city in the interest of beginning a career in live music performance.

Charlotte Lindsay, an English major and New Jersey expat, was the prose editor of The Collegian and a member of Sigma Tau Delta. Her portfolio includes samples from her Senior Capstone Experience (SCE) on alternative literature, but is mostly centered on her poetry, which focuses on grief, gender, and formal invention. After graduation she is attending Rutgers Newark’s MFA program for poetry.

Shannon Moran, an English major from Baltimore with creative writing and music minors, was the poetry editor for The Collegian, the blog and social media editor for The Elm, a member of WACappella, and a sister of Alpha Omicron Pi. Moran’s portfolio contains poetry, her SCE, and an excerpt of a screenplay. She often writes about the body and its relationship to familial and romantic relationships.

Shannon Neal is an English major from Frederick, Maryland, with minors in Hispanic studies, creative writing, and gender studies. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Tau Delta. She interned at the LGBT Community Center National History Archive in New York City and the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She was a poetry screener for Cherry Tree, and her portfolio consists of poems, prose poems, and a prose excerpt from her SCE, many of them centered around trauma, gender, and sexuality. After graduation Neal is interning at the National Portrait Gallery.

 

Sarah Blackman, a former Sophie Kerr Prize winner, graduated from Washington College in 2002 with a degree in English and earned her MFA from the University of Alabama in 2007 with concentrations in fiction and poetry. She is director of creative writing at the Fine Arts Center and College, an arts-dedicated public high school in Greenville, South Carolina. Her poetry and prose has been published in numerous journals and magazines, and her story collection Mother Box, published by FC2 in 2013, was the winner of the 2012 Ronald Sukenick/American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize. Her most recent publication, the novel Hex, was published by FC2 in April, 2016.

About the Sophie Kerr Prize and Legacy
Eastern Shore native Sophie Kerr published 23 novels, hundreds of short stories, and even a cookbook. When she died at 85 years old, she bequeathed the College a half-million-dollar trust fund, requiring that half of the annual earnings go to a graduating senior who shows the most promise for future literary endeavor. The other half funds student scholarships, visiting writers and scholars, and library books. Through this remarkable gift, Washington College has been able to host some of the nation’s most gifted writers, as well as provide its students with extraordinary opportunities to explore their creative potential in writing and literature. Learn more at http://www.washcoll.edu/departments/english/sophie-kerr-legacy/.

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 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.

Echo Hill Outdoor School’s Summer EXPLORE Programs Turn 40

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This summer marks the 40th anniversary of Echo Hill Outdoor School’s summer EXPLORE programs. Since 1979, over 34,000 children have experienced the magic of the Chester River through EHOS’ immersive on-the-water canoe, skipjack and buyboat trips, as well as land-based programming.

40 years ago, EXPLORE started as an extension of EHOS’ existing school programming—a way to continue involving children in freeform nature experiences year-round. The first summer offered participants a chance to canoe and camp on the Chester River, and by 1983, the program was successful enough to expand to on-board camping experiences with two classic Bay workboats, the Annie D and the Bernice J. By 1988, the skipjack Elsworth replaced the aging Bernice J,  and since then, the EXPLORE programs have operated with the same recipe every summer—take a group of children, add the Chester River and a fleet of workboats or canoes, mix in a healthy dose of swimming, fishing, and exploring, and you’ve got an unforgettable summer experience.

Captain Andrew McCown, Associate Director of Echo Hill Outdoor School, has been working the summer EXPLORE programs since he started the program in 1979, and is a strong believer in the power of a ‘Huck Finn’ learning experience.

“After 40 years, my takeaway is that we’re fortunate to have a river that looks the way it does, that in the middle of the week with a group of kids it can feel the way it did 100 years ago,” says McCown. “On EXPLORE programs, we learn about the stars by sleeping under them, learn about fish by catching and preparing them, eat crabs when we’re hungry and sail when the wind is right. Every EXPLORE student really gets to experience the Land of Pleasant Living.”

This summer’s 40th EXPLORE session still has availability for interested participants. Children can enjoy a three-day camping trip, four- and five-day canoe trips, or five-day skipjack and buyboat trips. Parents or guardians can find out more by visiting http://www.ehos.org/camps/ or by calling 410-348-5880.

Echo Hill Outdoor School was established in 1972 in Kent County, Maryland. Today, more than 6,700 students and teachers from public and private schools annually visit EHOS School in our residential outdoor education programs, adventure programs, camps and day programs from March through mid-December. For more information, go to ehos.org or call 410-348-5880.

 

Gunston Team Excels at National Academic Quiz Championships

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L-R: Andrew Amygdalos, Henry Shifrin, Sam Umidi, Annie Bamford, Headmaster John Lewis, Phin Howell, Zack Anderson, and Aeropl Bai.

For the third straight year, Gunston’s Academic Quiz Bowl Team qualified for the NAQT National Academic Team Championships in Chicago, Illinois. Competing against the top 72 teams in the country, Gunston finished 39th, missing the playoff round by a single game. The team participated in 10 competitive rounds, answering questions from all areas of knowledge, including history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, popular culture, sports, and more. Many former NAQT competitors become Jeopardy! champions, and before the tournament began, the Gunston team had the chance to scrimmage against former Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions competitor Ben Ingram.

Gunston was led by junior Andrew Amygdalos (Dover), who was the 29th overall scorer (top 8%) out of nearly 350 competitors. Also competing were Annie Bamford (Chestertown), Phineas Howell (Chestertown), Henry Shifrin (Chestertown), Aeropl Bai (Easton), Zack Anderson (Easton), and Samuel Umidi (Annapolis). “The competition at this tournament was incredibly tough,” shared Gunston Headmaster and coach, John Lewis. “The team excelled this year, and I expect we’ll be back once again next year.”

Kent School Students Present Into the Woods, Jr.

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Members of Kent School’s class of 2019 will bring the stage to life with their performance of Into the Woods, Jr. Two Performances are scheduled, Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the M.V. “Mike” Williams Gymnasium. Admission to the performance is free and the public is invited to attend.

Into the Woods, Jr. weaves stories from the Brothers Grimm in to a magical journey. A red cape, a strand of golden hair, a golden shoe, and a white cow are the four items that send a baker and his wife, a childless couple,through the woods on a magical journey to reverse an evil spell. They wish for a child and are sent by an evil witch on the scavenger hunt. Little Redriding Hood, Jack and the Bean Stalk, Rapunzel, and Cinderella soon join the mix, in this magical tale of love and adventure.

Into the Woods, Jr is based on the book by James Lupine. It was originally directed on Broadway by Mr. Lupine, with music and lyrics by Steven Sondheim.

The Kent School cast in order of appearance is

Baker – Noah Macielag
Baker’s Wife – Lane Parkhurst
Cinderella – Merritt Connor
Granny – Molly Starkey
Jack – Julia McClary
Jack’s Mother – Isabelle Requena
Mystery Man – Frank Cantera
Narrators – Ensemble
Cinderella’s Prince – Kolby Brice
Rapunzel’s Price – Aiden Lafferty
Rapunzel – Molly Starkey
Red Ridinghood – Julia Reed
Stepmother – Ella MacGlashan
Stepsisters – Kolby Brice and Aiden Lafferty
Steward – Frank Cantera
Witch – Tait Tavolacci
Wolf – Jake Leaverton

The Kent School production is directed by Jim Landskroener. Musical direction is by Music Teacher, Matthew Wirtz ‘99. Sets are designed by Art Teacher, Pat Parkhurst ’84, and created by the Class of 2020. Choreography is by Brittany Hester, Communications Manager at Kent School.

Nancy Mugele, Head of School said, “As Kent School celebrates its 50th anniversary, it is a joy to be a part of long-standing traditions like the Eighth Grade Musical. Generations of Kent School graduates remember their play and the role or roles they played. I am so looking forward to seeing the Class of 2019 on stage this weekend.”

Kent School, located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown, is an independent school serving boys and girls in Preschool through Grade Eight. Kent School is celebrating fifty years of excellence in education in an unparalleled learning environment. Kent School’s mission is to guide our students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. Our school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world. For more information on Kent School’s commitment to the Arts and the Spring Arts Celebration visit www.kentschool.org.

Benedictine’s Spring Benefit: A Night at the Races Raises $200,000

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Family, friends and generous supporters of Benedictine helped to raise just over $200,000 at this year’s Spring Benefit: A Night at the Races, held at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, Md., May 3-4. This annual event generates vital support for Benedictine’s mission to help children and adults with developmental disabilities achieve their greatest potential.

The evening of philanthropy included a sophisticated Southern hospitality dinner prepared by Chef Daniel, live viewing of the races, and an exhilarating live auction. Guests raised their bid paddles for a chance to win luxury get-a-ways, one-of-a-kind experiences and collectable memorabilia with the help of guest auctioneer George Wooden, a retired Maryland State Trooper and founder of BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising.

L-R: Emily Ray of Cordova, Benedictine Foundation Director, Barry Smale, and Devon Harvey of Easton.

Over 200 guests, many arriving in iconic Derby fashion, gathered in support of Benedictine’s programs and services including special guests: Senator Steve Arentz and his wife Biana, Caroline County Commissioner Dan Franklin and his wife and Benedictine Assistant Principal, Stephanie, and Ridgely Town Council Member Anthony Casey and his wife Amy, along with State Delegate Johnny Mautz and State Senator Addie Eckardt.

For the first time, the event was co-chaired by siblings of students at Benedictine  Mia Marinucci of Chester, Md., a settlement agent at Liberty Title, and Matt Hoffman of Washington, D.C., Vice President of Innovation at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

“Watching the Derby tonight I couldn’t help but think that we are gathered here in the spirit of Benedictine choosing to run a race for those who cannot do it alone,” said Marinucci. “Since Benedictine has been a part of my family, we have crossed many finish lines and I couldn’t be more proud of the outgoing and compassionate person my big brother Dominic has become while at Benedictine.”

The Benefit weekend kicked off with a Board meeting Friday morning. The leadership team also participated in Fun Day on the School’s campus in Ridgely by engaging with students during the pirate-themed day of activities.

During Friday evening’s Welcome Reception, the Board of Directors President, Thomas Collamore presented the Sister Jeannette Award to Teacher Tarra Gourdine. The Award, established in 2012 in honor of Sister Jeannette Murray who served at Benedictine for over 30 years, represents the values and vision of the Benedictine community.  Since 1997 Gourdine has served many roles at Benedictine from: a one-on-one aide, to an assistant in the speech department, a Case Manager, Direct Support Professional; Communications Assistant; and today as a Teacher.

L-R: Benedictine Board of Director Thomas Collamore, State Senator Addie Eckardt, Sister Jeannette Award recipient Tarra Gourdine, and State Delegate Johnny Mautz.

Saturday’s Southern hospitality gala included the presentation of Benedictine’s Cornerstone Award to Senator Thomas V.  Mike Miller, Jr.  Cornerstone recipients are recognized for extraordinary support of Benedictine. Although Senator Miller wasn’t able to join the festivities, his long-standing support of Benedictine exemplifies the guiding principles of this award.

“Many years ago Sister Jeannette developed a close relationship with Senator Miller. The Senator was always willing to assist Benedictine with special projects by supporting state grants that included the well water system, the swimming pool, and numerous campus renovations, including assisting in the construction of many of our group homes,” said Board President, Charley Mills. “Over the past 30 years those state grants have totaled more than $5 million, and while I can mention other important individuals in Annapolis who have helped Benedictine over the years, Senator Mike Miller is the one politician who has been there for Benedictine year in and year out.”

About Spring Benefit:

For more than 40 years, Benedictine has hosted this annual night of hospitality and philanthropy to raise funds for the organization’s programs and services in support of children and adults with developmental disabilities and autism. As the hallmark fundraising event for the Benedictine Foundation, the gala generates revenue for specific projects including vocational training programs and support for the education and care of individuals served every day, 365 days a year. In total, Spring Benefit has raised nearly $10 million for Benedictine. The Foundation looks forward to next year’s 2020 Spring Benefit celebrating the organization’s 60th anniversary.

Megan (Moore) Dunne ’04 to be Inducted into Gunston’s Hall of Fame

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Megan Dunne

On Tuesday, May 14, The Gunston School will host its annual Spring Sports Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. At this year’s event Megan (Moore) Dunne ’04 will be inducted into Gunston’s Hall of Fame for her remarkable achievements in lacrosse, field hockey, and basketball. “Megan was a true triple threat and the definition of scholar-athlete,” said former athletic director and field hockey coach Anita Gruss. “There is no one more deserving of this award.”

“Gunston has always been a special place for me, and it’s truly an honor to be joining the Athletic Hall of Fame. I’m grateful for all of the support and encouragement I had from so many wonderful coaches and teammates while there. For a small school, our teams had a lot of success, and I attribute that to all of the people who have made Gunston what it is and who I was lucky enough to be surrounded by,” said Dunne.

During her high school career, Dunne was a four-time 1st Team ESIAC All-Conference Lacrosse Player, Team Captain, and MVP; 1st Team ESIAC All-Conference in Field Hockey; and in Basketball secured 1st Team ESIAC All-Conference two times, 2nd Team ESIAC All-Conference one time, Team Captain, and Team MVP. She was a recipient of the Gunston School Athletics Award and awarded the 12-Star Award, which was earned by participating in all 12 athletics seasons of her high school career.

“Megan’s excellence as an athlete was evident in every lacrosse game she played at Gunston,” said former coach Robert Fredland. “She was a scoring leader in each of her four seasons and recognized as the best by her peers and her opponents—selected as Most Valuable Player by her teammates and ESIAC Player of the year by conference coaches. And, although statistics and accolades are often used to measure success, Megan’s true greatness was revealed in her leadership both on and off the field. She proved, time and again, in every aspect of her life here at Gunston that she was truly an exceptional individual.”

Megan was equally outstanding in basketball. In her senior year, Megan scored over 200 points, grabbed over 200 rebounds, made over 50 blocks and 50 steals. “It was one of the best seasons in Gunston Girls Basketball history,” said her coach Mike Clemens. “Megan was instrumental in our team ending up with a winning record, where we beat Salisbury Christian, Salisbury School and Saints Peter and Paul.”

After graduation, Megan attended Gettysburg College, where she continued her legacy as a standout lacrosse player. She was an integral part of a Gettysburg Bullets squad that won two Centennial Conference Championships, made two NCAA Final Four appearances and four tournament appearances. In 2006, she helped lead the Bullets to a 21-1 record, falling only to The College of New Jersey in the National Title game. Megan was a three-time All-Centennial Conference mid-fielder, earning IWLCA All-American honors in her senior season. She was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team for her performances in the Final Four in 2006 and 2007 and served as a senior captain in 2008.

Dunne continued to pursue her love of lacrosse in coaching positions at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia and lastly as Emerson College’s Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach in Boston. While at W & L, Dunne helped lead the Generals to a No. 11 national ranking and the NCAA Regional Semi-Finals in 2011. She oversaw an offense that posted 15.35 goals per game in 2011 and 13.32 in 2010, bolstering the Generals to winning back to back Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships and making two NCAA appearances.

Megan left coaching in 2014 to pursue other career outlets and her love of writing. Dunne made her way into marketing and advertising, starting as a copywriter at Manhattan ad agency Vayner Media. Today, she is the Creative Director for Beacon Digital, a marketing agency that helps brands reach audiences across all channels, including websites, print, social media, and emerging tech platforms. Dunne now resides in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with her husband, B.J., the Men’s Basketball Head Coach at Gettysburg College, where she enjoys supporting the Bullets and helping grow the game of lacrosse in the Gettysburg area.

Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice at WC Commencement

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Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr.

Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., whom Business Insider has called “one of the most influential behind-the-scenes figures in American business,” will be the speaker at Washington College’s 286th Commencement on May 19th. Strine, who became chief justice of Delaware’s highest court in 2014, will receive the honorary degree Doctor of Laws.

Known for his forthright outspokenness and rapier wit, Strine is “about the closest thing to a celebrity in the buttoned-up world of corporate law,” according to The Wall Street Journal. His opinions “are considered among the most influential rulings in corporate law,” says The New York Times.

Before becoming the eighth chief justice of Delaware’s Supreme Court, Strine, at 34 years old, was one of the youngest judges ever to sit on the Delaware Court of Chancery, becoming Vice Chancellor since 1998. In each of these positions, he has issued some of the most influential decisions affecting corporate law in the nation, because more than half of publicly traded U.S. companies—among them 66.8 percent of the Fortune 500—are incorporated in Delaware.

As chief justice, Strine has emphasized the need to address persistent racial inequality and to provide more equitable access to justice for all Delawareans, regardless of wealth. Among his many decisions as chief justice, Strine authored the decision striking down Delaware’s death penalty statute because it denied defendants the right to have their fate determined by a jury.

Strine holds long-standing teaching positions at Harvard and University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches classes in corporate law addressing, among other topics, mergers and acquisitions, the role of independent directors, valuation, and corporate law theories. He also serves as a Senior Fellow of the Harvard Program on Corporate Governance, as well as acting as an advisor to Penn’s Institute for Law & Economics.

He speaks and writes frequently on the subject of corporate law, and his articles have been published in The University of Chicago Law ReviewColumbia Law ReviewHarvard Law Review, and Stanford Law Review, among others. Before joining the court, Strine served as counsel and policy director to former Delaware Governor Thomas R. Carper, who awarded him the Order of the First State in 2000. In 2006, he was selected as a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Washington College’s 286th Commencement will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. on the campus green, weather permitting. If outdoors, it is free and open to the public. If inclement weather drives the ceremony into the Johnson Fitness Center Field House, admittance is by ticket only. Each graduate is given nine tickets to distribute to family and friends.

Barry Glassman ’84, County Executive of Harford County, Maryland, and Carolyn Choate-Turnbull ’80 P’15, a retired television producer and breast cancer survivor, activist, and advocate, will receive Alumni Citations for Excellence in their fields during Commencement ceremonies.

The event will also be livestreamed here: https://www.washcoll.edu/offices/digital-media-services/live/

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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