Kent School to Offer Summer Programs for Children


Kent School will offer several summer programs for children from age 3 to 12.  For the youngest children, ages 3 to 5, Kent School is offering two week-long sessions of Little Camp. Little Camp is led by Kent School teachers, Julia Gross and Karen Schauber. The first session of Little Camp, Seuss on the Loose will be held June 18 – June 22. Campers will explore everything Seuss through art, literature, science and physical activity.  The second session, Beach Party, will run June 25 – June 29. In Beach Party campers will create, imagine, read about and investigate who and what can be found during a trip to the seashore. The camp day runs from 9:00 a to 4:00 pm. Extended day is available starting at 8:00 am. and is also available until 5:00 pm. The camp fee is $185 per week. Extended day care is $10 per hour. Visit for more information. Call 410-778-4100 ext. 110 to request a brochure or email

In addition to Little Camp, Kent School will also host YMCA summer programs for the second consecutive year. The YMCA will offer week-long Preschool camps for children ages 3 and a half to age 5 starting the week of June 18 and concluding the week of August 13. Themes will include Paw Patrol, Storybook Station, Petite Picasso and much more. Specialty camps, for children ages 5 – 12 will include sessions for children who want to cook, build, create and explore with session like Mad Scientist, Glee Camp, Nerf Madness, Sweet Shop and many other terrific choices. The full catalog of YMCA camp offerings will be available soon. Visit the YMCA of the Chesapeake website for more information at

Nancy Mugele, Head of School at Kent School said, “We are looking forward to having a busy summer with dozens of children enjoying our beautiful campus. In addition to Little Camp and the YMCA summer programs, Kent School will also be hosting Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne for six weeks.” Mugele continued, “It is a pleasure and an honor to host these wonderful programs that will keep children actively engaged in learning and fun during the summer months.”

For more information about Kent School visit Kent School, located in historic Chestertown, MD is an independent day school serving children from Preschool through Grade 8. The 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.

Laura Johnson Steps Up Into Role as Vice President of Finance


Washington College President Kurt Landgraf announced today that Laura Johnson, who has served as Washington College’s chief budget officer for the past four years, will be promoted to Vice President of Finance.

Johnson, who before joining Washington College was the senior global financial analyst with the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Delaware, succeeds Rahel Rosner, who has accepted a position with St. Paul’s School in Baltimore.

“I am honored to continue to serve Washington College and excited for the opportunity to partner with Kurt, faculty, and senior leadership to ensure the sustainability of our future,” Johnson says. “We have some of the most talented and dedicated students, faculty, and staff and a board that is generous and insightful.  I look forward to the relationship with the community of Chestertown and to the exciting challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

In announcing the transition, Landgraf applauded the work of the Finance and Administration team, which is managing capital projects in various stages of development, from the construction of the Hodson Boathouse and Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall, to the upcoming renovation of the Cullen residential hall, the completion of a full facilities condition assessment, and a master plan update.

Less visible, he said, has been the team’s work on financial sustainability, budget modeling, and projections—areas of primary focus for Johnson. She has been the main liaison between both the Provost’s Office and the Office of Finance and the academic and administrative departments for matters related to resource allocation, financial planning, and approval of actions related to employees, major purchases, and capital projects. She serves on the Finance and Benefits Committee, the Planning Committee, the Donor Relations & Stewardship Committee, and as an adviser for the Washington College Veterans Association, helping lead the annual holiday drive to gather and send supplies and gifts to those deployed in the active military.

“Laura Johnson is an incredibly talented financial officer who has proven to be up to the challenge of maximizing the College’s resources,” says Landgraf. “She’s also totally committed to the welfare of this institution. I am delighted to be able to tap one of most our talented and committed employees for a position of greater responsibility.”

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

Schooner Sultana Offers Sunday Sails During 2018 Tea Party Festival


Visit the historic port of Chestertown, Maryland this weekend to sail on the schooner SULTANA during the Chestertown Tea Party Festival. This annual event—commemorating Chestertown’s colonial protest of British tea taxes in 1774—offers the best of small-town Chesapeake life with food, music, craft vendors and entertainment. During the festival, the schooner SULTANA will be in port for a host of public sails. Although Saturday sails are fully booked, tickets are still available for sails on Sunday, providing participants with a unique perspective on the festival’s waterfront events.

SULTANA’s two-hour public sails are a great way to sail the Chester River onboard a traditional schooner. Passengers are encouraged to help raise the sails, steer using SULTANA’s seven-foot long tiller, and explore the authentically reproduced crew’s quarters below-decks.

On Sunday, May 27th, the schooner will depart from the town dock at 10:00am, returning to port at 12pm in time to take full advantage of the ongoing Tea Party festivities in Wilmer Park. The second sail departs at 1pm and returns at 3:00pm, giving participants a view of the action at the annual Tea Party Raft Race.

Advance reservations are recommended for all sails and can be completed online or by contacting the Sultana Education Foundation office at 410-778-5954. Online registration is available until midnight of the preceding day of the program. If available, tickets may be purchased at the dock before the sail. For more information or reservations, please visit


Young Environmental Stewards Summer Conference at Washington College


Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society (CES) announces the launch of a new summer conference for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. July 17 through the July 21st, the Young Environmental Stewards Conference (YES) will introduce students to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed through kayaking, wildlife habitat research, marine research and more.

Easy access to the Chester River is one of the things that makes Washington College truly unique. At the YES Conference, participants will have the opportunity to get out on the river with like-minded students and explore environmental science in an up close and personal format.

CES is one of Washington College’s Signature Centers. It is designed to promote the integration of environmental issues, social values, and getting your hands dirty within the field experiences. We live in a world with increasing environmental and related social problems that are rapidly reaching crisis levels. As we work toward finding solutions, we need to train a new generation of creative, solution-oriented leaders. The Center for Environment & Society prepares students – the next generation of leaders – to help solve the most pressing environmental problems of the 21st Century through innovative curriculum, real world experience, training in cutting edge technologies, and new ways of thinking.

At the YES Conference, participants will have an opportunity to explore a 4,700-acre living laboratory at Washington College’s River and Field Campus (RAFC). They will see examples of the pristine ecosystems including some that are geographically exclusive. Students will spend time on the college’sour research vessel, the Callinectes and learn how intricately land and water are connected. In addition, participants will come away with an overview of the many different facets of CES by exploring special topics such as archaeology, geographic information systems, and food production.

The cost of the conference is $700, and covers all costs associated with the program including, overnight accommodations and all meals during the conference. To register please visit: Registration will close on June 15th.

For more information on the content of the program, or questions in general, please feel free to contact Jamie Frees at

To learn more about the Center for Environment & Society or for more information on this event, please visit

Collaborative Marketing Campaign With BuzzFeed Wins International Communications Awards


The College Relations and Marketing team at Washington College has won two Awards of Distinction in the 24th Annual Communicator Awards for its collaborative campaign with BuzzFeed to increase WC’s awareness among college-bound teens. Judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals.

Washington College earned Awards of Distinction in marketing effectiveness for content marketing, and in digital/online advertising and marketing for its native advertising through the BuzzFeed campaign. Other winners included Acura, Fiat Chrysler Jeep, Whirlpool, Bank of America, Citi, FedEx, and Pepsi. The international competition is judged by AIVA, a group of 600-plus leading professionals in media, advertising, and marketing, including Starbucks, Condé Nast, Time, Inc., Yahoo!, and Disney.

The strategic campaign with BuzzFeed, a leading independent digital media company known to capture the 13- to 17-year-old market through its powerful distribution channels on social media, represents the first time the College has attempted to generate awareness on this scale.

“The goal was to reach high school students when they are most engaged–on their phones and on social media–with relatable sponsored content they care about to engage and share with their friends on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram,” says Rolando Irizarry, Washington College vice president of communications and marketing. “The native content we strategically created within the BuzzFeed format authentically speaks to the unique values of Washington College and shares the college life experience while living on the Eastern Shore and in Chestertown. By doing this, we were able to generate mass awareness, spark interest, and drive students to look into Washington College as an option.”

The four-month campaign resulted in 83 million impressions, with close to one million viewers who clicked on the BuzzFeed posts. As a result, compared to the same period last year,the College’s Facebook page saw a 77 percent page view increase, the College website’s homepage views increased 94 percent, and overall page views increased 32 percent site-wide.

The most popular post was “Pull An All-Nighter And We’ll Tell You What Grade You Got.” High school students easily understand the “all-nighter” idea, and the BuzzFeed audience loves taking these fun quizzes and sharing the results. This post also drove the highest number of click-outs to Washington College’s web site, generating more awareness of the College.

“The sophisticated approach to this campaign called for long hours with BuzzFeed and the creative brain power from the CRM team,” Irizarry says. “I’m so proud of them and what we’ve been able to accomplish with this campaign.”

The Communications Awards closely follows CRM winning five honors—three platinum and two gold—in the 2018 Hermes Creative Awards, showcasing its work across multiple disciplines and platforms, from the Washington College Magazine to the BuzzFeed campaign to support enrollment efforts.

Click here to view the award-winning Washington College BuzzFeed page:

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

Washington College Hosts Special Olympics Bocce Tournament Tuesday; Volunteer Opportunity


Chestertown’s status as a bocce town is about to take another step forward. This coming Tuesday, May 22, approximately 300 student-athletes and 40 coaches are scheduled to compete in the 2018 State Outdoor Bocce Tournament, a Special Olympics event to be held at Washington College. 

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competitions –just like the Olympics.  Participation is open to anyone eight years of age or older with intellectual disabilities.  

And helping to set up and run the tournament will be local volunteers – possibly including you!

Locally, there will be teams coming from Kent County High School, Queen Anne’s High School, and Kent Island High School.  They will be competing with teams from all over Maryland including teams from Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties.  The opening ceremony is at 10:30 Tuesday morning and the games commence at 11:15-am, ending about 3:30 pm.  An award ceremony will follow.

Jack Brosius, a resident of Chester Harbor and a long-time Special Olympics coach, said that this was an especially good opportunity for anyone who would be interested in learning how to set up a truly portable Bocce court.  It can be done in jig time with just a little training and enough hands.  Of course, everyone –volunteer or not– is welcome to come watch the games and cheer for Maryland’s Special Olympians. You do not need to have experience in the sport to volunteer. 

Washington College president Kurt Landgraf, a strong supporter of Special Olympics, will be a speaker at the opening ceremonies. The Maryland state Special Olympics office is coordinating the event.

Jeff Abel, the volunteer coordinator for Special Olympics MD, issued a call for volunteers to help set up and run the tournament. He noted that so far “Numbers look pretty good, but we could always use some additional hands if they are available.” Help is needed  on Monday, May 21 (set up) and Tuesday, May 22 (event day).  All volunteers will receive a free t-shirt and lunch– this is in addition to that good feeling of knowing you’ve helped a worthy cause plus the fun of watching these wonderful athletes compete.  

Set up will run from roughly11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday. The main job is getting the bocce courts down, which goes pretty quickly with enough hands, Abel said.

Anyone interested can contact, or call/text 410-206-0453. Online registration is available at”


9:00 – 9:30 a.m. —Volunteer Registration

9 – 10 a.m. Schools Arrive
a.m —Opening Ceremony
11:15 a.m. – Competition Begins; Lunch is available
p.m*. – Award Ceremonies
p.m.* – Departure

* – tentative time; awards based on win/loss record

The event will be held at Roy Kirby Jr. Stadium at Washington College. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved to Wednesday, May 23.

The mission of Special Olympics is “to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for persons eight years of age and older with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.” Through the use of sports, the organization is working to create “a world where opportunity is not limited by disability.

Special Olympics Maryland offers many other great events throughout the year where people can volunteer or just come out to watch!

English Major Caroline Harvey Wins Washington College 2018 Sophie Kerr Prize


Caroline Harvey, an English major and creative writing minor from Arlington, Virginia, whose writing frequently examines otherness through the perspective of the insect world, has won the 2018 Sophie Kerr Prize. National Public Radio book critic and author Maureen Corrigan announced the winner of the nation’s largest undergraduate prize, this year valued at $63,711, at Washington College this evening.

Harvey, who served as editor-in-chief of The Collegian and managing editor of the Washington College Review, submitted a portfolio that included poetry, nonfiction, and academic scholarship from her thesis, entitled “Poetics of Otherness: The Marginalized Experience Through the Insect Lens.” She attributes her fascination with the insect world to her early reading of Jurassic Park, which propelled her interest in connecting science and writing.

“Caroline’s work is gorgeously detailed and specific. As a poet and academic writer, she takes as her subject matter things that others may find distasteful and difficult and finds the beauty in them. As an editor, she has worked to facilitate of the writing of others and to build a dynamic and supportive literary community on campus,” says Professor Kathryn Moncrief, Chair of the English department and Sophie Kerr Curator.

“I had the distinct pleasure of directing Caroline’s thesis, which incorporated complex literary and identity theory with contemporary poetry in order to posit that Otherness can be owned and deployed in subversive and empowering ways,” says James Hall, Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House. “Her own poems find new metaphors to think in striking ways about gender, faith, and representation. Caroline uses traditional forms like sonnets and villanelles to subvert patriarchal assumptions about who has the right to speak. Reading Caroline Harvey’s work, I’m reminded of what Wallace Stevens said about how every poet has to reinvent the language for herself.”

At the announcement, Harvey thanked her family, friends, staff of the Rose O’Neill Literary House, and her professors, especially James Allen Hall, from whom she took her first undergraduate class and who advised her senior thesis. She also thanked her former professor, Jeanne Dubrow.

“She was the first person to sit me down and call me ‘poet,’ and that was so important,” Harvey said. “And finally, I have to thank my cohort. Everyone I grew up with in this community, everyone who wrote with me, who read with me, and especially Rhea, and Brooke, and Mallory, and Casey [fellow Sophie Kerr Prize finalists], all of whom came together in this moment. There’s so much about this place that I love, and so much I would like to change. But the one thing that I hold on to at all times is the people—the wonderful people who helped me get where I am.”

A member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the leadership honor society, and Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society, Harvey plans to take a gap year before pursuing an MFA in poetry and a PhD in English.

Harvey was among five finalists chosen from a number of student portfolios, encompassing essay, poetry, non-fiction, journalism, academic scholarship, and print projects. Although the Sophie Kerr Prize is not limited to English majors, this year’s finalists were all majors in English with one who double majored in political science. Several were creative writing minors, and all represented multiple honors societies and campus leadership activities. Several have worked on College publications including the student newspaper, The Elm, the student review, The Collegian, and Cherry Tree, the College’s national literary journal.

“It is always a privilege to read these portfolios. They illuminate the best of the literary culture and the commitment to writing that is the heart and soul of this College,” Moncrief says. “These students and their outstanding work highlight their diverse interests and approaches, their promise in the field of literary endeavor, their dedication to craft, and their shared passion for the written word.”

Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s to hold Brunch & Auction on May 20


Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s—a summer academic and cultural enrichment program for students with limited economic means—will hold a Brunch Munch & Be Giving Event this Sunday, May 20th from 11am to 1pm at The Bank, 211 High Street in Chestertown. Proceeds from the brunch and silent auction will support Horizons’ critical summer program for bright children with limited economic means. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased by contacting

“Our Brunch Munch & Be Giving event, which features food from Magnolia Catering, live music, and a silent auction, will help us to raise awareness and donations, so we can expand the number of at-risk children we serve,” explains Horizons Executive Director, Bob Parks. “Over the summer, children with limited economic means tread water at best or even fall behind. They suffer an achievement gap that’s hard to recover from. The Horizons summer program changes this downward trajectory, and ultimately changes lives.”

To learn more about Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s, please visit our website at: For tickets to this Sunday’s Brunch Munch & Be Giving event, please email

Top Grad is Pursuing American Dream through Education


Sofiah Ali’s immigrant journey began in the Philippines and is the reason behind her success.

Ms. Ali, a Stevensville resident, is a biology major and aspiring medical researcher. Tonight, she will be honored with the John T. Harrison Award, the highest student honor at Chesapeake College.

A first-generation college student, Ms. Ali will receive her associate’s degree along with 300 other graduates and will deliver her acceptance speech to them. President and CEO of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Ken Kozel will deliver the commencement address.

A 2016 graduate of Kent Island High School, Ms. Ali has a cumulative 4.0 Grade Point Average. Since enrolling at Chesapeake, she has been on the Dean’s List every semester.  As an Honors Program student, Ms. Ali completed four Honors Contract projects during her time at Chesapeake.

Ms. Ali, 20, was a semi-finalist for the prestigious national Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarship this year and was a 2017 nominee for the NCHC Portz Award. She is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and participated in recruitment drive that significantly boosted membership.

This record of success if part of a long journey that began more than 15 years ago.

Parents Farzand and Aileen Ali, brought Ms. Ali and her sister Shavanah to Maryland as very young children. This is the only home that Ms. Ali has ever known.

“I don’t remember living in the Philippines, so the United States is what I know. I’ve always had a great sense of pride in my background and where I came from. But when I was younger, because of the influences of my peers, I felt the need to quickly assimilate with those around me,” Ms. Ali said. “I tried to hide something that was an integral part of my identity, I was embarrassed of who I was and the differences I had compared to everyone else. As a result, I began to feel detached from my parents and my culture because of who I was trying to be. Now that I’m older, I realize how silly that was. My differences are what sets me apart from those around me.”

Faculty and staff at Chesapeake say that Ms. Ali’s dedication and drive set her apart.

Ms. Ali works a full schedule at Ledo Pizza on Kent Island while she maintains her perfect GPA at Chesapeake. This semester, she is taking 21 credits. She also volunteers her time with Youthline Eastern Shore Crisis Center.

She was the first-place winner in the Spring 2017 Honors Poster Exhibition and earned a trip to the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Atlanta last fall.

On the honors trip, Ms. Ali had the opportunity to visit the Centers for Disease Control. Ms. Ali said she was inspired by both the history and mission of CDC. She hopes to conduct medical research in the future that can be used to improve lives around the globe.

Chesapeake faculty cited, among many attributes, Ms. Ali’s extraordinary work ethic when recommending her for the Harrison Award.

“My mother and father always wanted me to achieve the American Dream. Like millions of other immigrant parents, they left their home country to establish a new life—a better life—for my sister and me. They had sacrificed everything they’d ever known—their language, family, friends, and jobs—in hopes that the new life they sought out for us would open doors to opportunities they never had. From the moment I entered Pre-K until now, I made sure I worked hard in all of my endeavors so that everything they had to give up on would one day be worth it,” Ms. Ali said. “I felt the need to prove myself and work twice as hard. I was not going to hold myself back from living a life without purpose. The tears I once shed out of hopelessness have been replaced with hope and motivation for my life-long ambitions.”

In nominating his student for the Harrison Award, Phi Theta Kappa faculty advisor Jeremy Crowe described Ms. Ali as one of Chesapeake’s great assets.

“Sofiah is an excellent student, an excellent human being and she will bring prestige to this college as an alumna. She is the daughter of immigrants who instilled in Sofiah the importance of hard work, perseverance and kindness. Her Pakistani and Filipino heritage brings diversity to our campus, and you won’t meet a friendlier student Skipjack,” said Associate Professor Jeremy Crowe.

Ms. Ali said that she hopes her Commencement will be as rewarding for her parents as it is for her.

 “I’m eternally grateful for their decision and everything that they had to sacrifice. Although at times, the obstacles we would be presented with are enough to lose hope, I will never forget the things they had to give up on just for the sake of my sister and me. All of their blood, sweat, and tears will one day be exchanged for a better life when my sister and I will be able to one day take care of them the way they did for us,” she said.

Ms. Ali will pursue a bachelor’s degree this fall at either the University of Maryland or Tufts University. She plans to major in molecular biology with the goal of earning a doctorate and becoming a medical researcher.