WC Announces New Partnership with Johns Hopkins University’s MSN


Washington College students who want to pursue a degree in nursing have a new option thanks to a strategic partnership with Johns Hopkins University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Entry into Nursing Program. With an emphasis on emerging areas of need and health care leadership, the program offers students an accelerated path to a wide array of patient-care careers.

“This Johns Hopkins program is designed for students who have majored in a non-nursing discipline as an undergraduate and decide to pursue nursing after they complete their undergraduate degree,” says Patrice DiQuinzio, Dean and Provost of the College. “Given that this program focuses on leadership and is inclusive of the humanities and public health, it’s a wonderful fit for Washington College and our students.”

The five-semester Entry Into Nursing Program“prepares students to be top patient-care nurses who have unlimited choices after graduation by emphasizing leadership, global impact, quality and safety, evidence-based practice, and inter-professional education,” says Cathy Wilson, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Director of Admissions. Students “will learn from a framework that integrates the humanities, public health, and physical and organizational sciences into nursing practice.” Students graduate with a master of science in nursing and are prepared to take the nursing licensing exam to become an RN, or to continue studies toward an advanced degree.

The new partnership complements Washington College’s current nursing program, which offers a dual-degree option with the University of Maryland School of Nursing, through which students spend three years at WC, then two years at UMD, earning a bachelor’s degree from WC and a BS in nursing from UMD in five years. Students may also complete a traditional four-year bachelor’s degree in a major of their choice while completing their pre-nursing prerequisite courses.

For the Johns Hopkins MSN Entry Into Nursing program, WC students don’t need to major in biology or psychology as they do in the dual-degree bachelor’s program with UMD, but they must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and have completed several specific courses with a B or better to be considered for admission. Johns Hopkins will provide the College with an advisor to meet with interested WC students to help them during the admissions process, and scholarships and financial aid are available.

“Not everybody knows they want to get into nursing until later in their undergraduate career,” says Jodi Olson, Director of Pre-Health Professions Programs, who helped shepherd the new partnership. “This program gives those students an excellent post-graduate option.”

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.

Washington College to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 21


Students and faculty at Washington College have planned a series of events that will take place throughout campus on Monday, January 21 to honor the great American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A concert by the Grammy-nominated M.S.G. Acoustic Blues Trio caps off a day of community service and learning led by the college’s Black Student Union.

The M.S.G. Acoustic Blues Trio concert will take place at 5:30 pm in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall. The trio offers an evening of classics for the community to sing along to – acoustic blues, roots, spiritual music, and house-party tunes that are both uplifting and heart-wrenching, performed in the legendary Piedmont style. The band includes the accomplished harmonica player Jackie Merritt, Miles Spicer on guitar, and lead vocalist and percussionist Rosa Gibbs. Sponsored by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the concert is free and open to the public.

The Martin Luther King Day of Service and Learning kicks off with an “MLK Read-In” at 2:00 p.m. on Martha Washington Square (in the case of inclement weather, the location will be Gibson Center for the Arts). Washington College students, staff, and faculty will recite some of King’s most famous readings and speeches, including the I Have A Dream speech. Local students and community members are invited to join in with their own selected readings, poetry, and reflections on what Martin Luther King, Jr. means to them. Participating students and community members will be given priority to share their thoughts and readings at the speak-in.

From 4:00 – 5:00 pm volunteers will gather in The Egg in Hodson Hall to pack supplies for the Caring for Kids Backpack Program. This program provides lunches to qualifying elementary and middle school programs throughout the weekends when they do not have the support of school lunches.

“I have never looked at MLK Day as a day off, but instead as a day of serving those around me…our vision is to allow the community and students to have a day where they can serve each other in a meaningful way that would honor MLK and his service to the nation,” says Paris Mercier, president of Washington College’s Black Student Union.

This year’s campus event celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. coincides with the return of Washington College students from winter break. It offers an ideal opportunity for the community to come together in a meaningful way to renew their own commitment to King’s work in civil rights, social justice, and economic equality.

For more information contact Starr Center Deputy Director Patrick Nugent at pungent2@washcoll.edu or 410-810-7157.

WC Earns $1 Million State Grant to Expand its GIS Program


Washington College has won a $1 million grant from the Department of Commerce’s Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund (MEIF) to establish an endowed directorship for the College’s GIS Program, broadening student avenues for study and professional experience in the growing geographic information systems field, as well as expanding economic development opportunities and encouraging investment in business development and pilot projects.

Matched by a $1 million grant from The Hodson Trust, this grant marks the third time in three years the College has earned funding through MEIF, a program designed to spur basic and applied research in scientific and technical fields. Washington College is the only undergraduate private liberal arts college to receive an award three years in a row, joining Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland at College Park and at Baltimore.

“I’m thrilled and proud that for the third year running, Washington College has earned the support of the Maryland Department of Commerce for this terrific grant. Our outstanding GIS program is among our strongest for offering students real-world experience within the liberal arts framework, and this will only enhance that to create more opportunities,” said College President Kurt Landgraf. “I especially want to thank The Hodson Trust for providing the necessary match to make this possible. Once again, the Trust’s support and confidence have made a critical difference in the education that we provide to students.”

Since 2003, the College’s GIS Lab, overseen by the Center for Environment & Society (CES), has been training student interns in GIS technologies and analyses while executing funded projects across the country, preparing a new generation of GIS specialists who manage projects and work with clients in a professional setting.

The new grant will enable the College to grow the GIS program and extend it more widely throughout the liberal arts curriculum, as well as broaden collaborations with faculty research and teaching, says CES Director John Seidel, who helped inaugurate the GIS program. It will also allow the College to consider an academic program in geospatial technologies in conjunction with the GIS Lab.

“This will expand our ability to engage in interdisciplinary research in our fields of study, as well as provide community level and business support in incorporating geospatial analysis and technology to solve problems,” Seidel says.

The endowed position will enable the program to move beyond its dependence on funded projects, giving it greater flexibility to work with non-profits and encouraging investment in business development opportunities and pilot projects. “We are very excited about the strong economic development potential that the expansion of our GIS program will bring to Maryland,” Seidel says, “as well as the hands-on, collaborative experiences that it will provide for Washington College students and faculty.”

The other grant winners were Maryland Institute College of Art, Towson University, and UMD College Park. In 2017, the state awarded Washington College $944,000, matched by $1 million from private donors, to create an endowed chair for the College’s new Eastern Shore Food Lab. And, in 2016, the state granted $1 million to match private funds to create an endowed position in the Center for Environment & Society (CES) aimed at creating entrepreneurial opportunities for students in the sciences.

Learn more about GIS at WC here: 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 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.

Washington College Donates $43K to United Way of Kent County


Washington College will donate $43,130 to United Way of Kent County this year, a sum made possible through payroll deductions and donations from 89 participating staff and faculty and a match from College President Kurt Landgraf.

“I want to thank all of the staff and faculty who have stepped up to donate even a small amount, and in the coming year I hope we can top 100 employees who are donating,” Landgraf said. “I know that it’s not always easy to choose how you’re going to give back to your community, but I can’t think of a better organization to support. United Way can lift up whole segments of our community’s population that need help the most, and that in turn helps us all.”

Landgraf also specially thanked Adam Goodheart, the Director of the College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, who on his own made a substantial one-time gift. Including that gift, staff and faculty raised $18,130, which Landgraf “matched” with a donation of $25,000.

Members of Washington College’s staff and faculty stand in Martha Washington Square to celebrate the United Way contribution this year.

“If United Way of Kent County can meet its $220,000 campaign goal, Washington College will have accounted for 20 percent of that total,” said Sarah Feyerherm, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and a member of United Way of Kent County’s Board of Directors. “Combined with all of the ways members of the College community support the United Way in other capacities, this really illustrates the College’s commitment to the greater community.”

Landgraf energized the College’s giving to United Way last year, when he asked employees to consider signing up for a payroll deduction and pledged to match whatever they raised. The total donation in 2017 was $28,154, which included $14,154 from staff and faculty, and $14,000 from Landgraf.

United Way of Kent County raises and distributes funding to multiple organizations, with a focus on improving the health, education,and financial stability of Kent County residents. In addition to the College’s donations through the workplace campaign, the College has directly supported or provided resources for many United Way member organizations including Character Counts! Kent County, the Kent Center, St. Martin’s Ministries, the Community Food Pantry, Camp Fairlee/Easter Seals, Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council, Kent Forward, For All Seasons, Echo Hill Outdoor School, and the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence.

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.

For the Joy of it All: WC-ALL Annonces Spring Courses


Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning (WC-ALL) is a peer-led, self-supported, autonomous department of Washington College that was created for adults of any age who seek intellectual stimulation without the requirements for academic credit. For the Spring of 1019, the theme will be,”for the joy of it”

Each semester the Academy offers 2 6-week sessions with 12-15 courses each session. Eastern Shore residents become members and register for as many courses as they wish for one all-inclusive fee. The instructors are community members who bring with them knowledge, skill, and passion about a particular subject or life experience which they take joy in sharing with others.

Showcase is Tuesday, January 15 at 4:00 PM at the Hotchkiss Recital Hall on the Washington College Campus. Learn about each course and meet instructors. Web or mail-in Registration may also be done there or any time until Friday, January 18.

For more information, visit our website at www.washcoll/edu/offices/wc-all.

Session 1 (January 27 – March 8)

Sunday at the Movies: WC-ALL Premieres, Part III – Nancy Hartman (Sunday)
Basic Introduction to the US Constitution, Part I – Conway Gregory (Monday)
Windows 10 Revisited – Dick Lance (Monday)
God, Angels, and Demons: Studying the Unseen World – Mel Brindley (Monday)
Astronomy for Fun – Dennis Herrmann (Tuesday)
Prisoners of Geography – Warren Beaven (Tuesday)
Mythbusting GMOs – Joe Maloney (Tuesday)
The Strange Nature of Money – George “Doc” Smith (Wednesday)
Silent Cinema 2 – John Wieczoreck (Wednesday)
History of the Digital Computer – Chris Gordon (Wednesday)
Basic Spanish III – George Shivers (Thursday)
Building the Pyramids – Bob Moores (Thursday)
Intellectual Property for Everyone – James Astrachan (Friday)
Moral Issues from “The Stone” – Colleen Sundstrom (Friday)
Read a Play/See a Play: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” – J. Austin/J. Kohl (Friday)

Session 2 (March 17 – April 26)

Sunday at the Movies: WC-ALL Premieres, Part IV – Nancy Hartman (Sunday)
Basic Introduction to the US Constitution, Part II – Conway Gregory (Monday)
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge: Yesterday & Today – Simon Kenyon (Monday)
Examining “Hamilton: An American Musical” – Maria Wood (Monday)
Enjoying the Poetry of John Keats – Jim Campbell (Tuesday)
A Brief History of Education in America – Wendy Costa (Tuesday)
Let’s Get to Know Some of Maryland’s Native Trees! – Agnes Kedmenecz (Tuesday)
It’s Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile – David Keating (Wednesday)
Art in Series – Beverly Smith (Wednesday)
The Road from Astrophysics to Cosmology – Satinder Sidhu (Wednesday)
Basic Spanish IV – George Shivers (Thursday)
Food & Healing Through the Seasons – K. Lamoreaux/D. Mizeur (Thursday)
Great Decisions 2019 – David White (Thursday)
Gun Control & the Second Amendment – James Astrachan (Friday)
The Art of the America’s Cup – Hanson Robbins (Friday)
Global Warming is Speeding Up – Ben Orrick (Friday)

The full catalog and registration information are available here or call 410-778-7221.


Garnet Fourth-Graders Open Exhibit Dec. 4-9 at WC’s Kohl Gallery


A whole new kind of exhibit opened at Washington College’s Kohl Gallery this week, when local fourth-graders invited their families to see their work on display in Gibson Center for the Arts. The exhibit, “Artworks by Fourth Grade Students at Henry Highland Garnet Elementary, inspired by the collage works of Jo Smail,” will be up Dec. 4-9 in conjunction with the final week of “Clippings, Voids & Banana Curry,” featuring work by Smail, who teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

At the exhibit opening on Tuesday, Dec. 4, students and their families joined Julie Wills, assistant professor of studio art and Kohl Gallery’s interim director, Benjamin Tilghman, assistant professor of art history, and Sara Clarke-Vivier, assistant professor of education, for a reception and showing. Students excitedly pointed out their work for their moms, dads, and siblings, posing for photos and snacking on cookies and veggies.

“This is really exciting,” Tony Hicks, whose daughter Seiauna Thompson showed her work to her family. “It’s awesome.”

Seiauna Thompson shows her work to her father, Tony Hicks, while her little sister Takayla Hicks, watches.

The exhibit is the result of a collaboration between Clarke-Vivier, Tilghman, and Garnet teachers that began last year, when two classes from the second and third grades came to Kohl Gallery to create art in response to an exhibition of works inspired by Islamic art. This year, the entire fourth-grade art class—45 students—studied Smail’s collage art, which addresses the racism and social violence she witnessed as a child in South Africa through collages that combine family recipes with newspaper clippings and other material.

Students learned about Smail’s art in class, then traveled to the Kohl Gallery to see it in person and engage in a conversation facilitated by Tilghman. Then, Clarke-Vivier and several Washington College students, some of them majoring in art or education, helped the students create their collages using their own family recipes, assorted newspaper clippings from the present day, and other materials.

Clarke-Vivier and Tilghman, whose children attend Garnet, came up with the concept to help to bring more art into the lives of local kids, and to bring them to the campus and introduce them to the Kohl Gallery—for some, one of their first art museum experiences. Clarke-Vivier also wants to give her students a hands-on opportunity to see the challenges and rewards of teaching in an informal education environment, such as a museum. And together, as parents and as College faculty members, they wanted to show direct support for Kent County schools.

“We want them to know that both art and the College are available to them, and they are there for everyone, and they can have both those experiences here,” Clarke-Vivier says. “We reinforce to students that it’s free and it’s open and they can bring their families back.”

WC students Noah Smith ’22, Holly Shaffer ’21 and Anna Watts ’19 (center) help the fourth-graders with their collages.

Both professors have backgrounds in museum-related work. Clarke-Vivier’s research relates to school-museum partnerships for learning (some of this research led her to help create a new cultural museum in Belize.) Tilghman worked at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore for four years, and worked in children’s museums throughout high school—a touchstone for his understanding of museums as welcoming, joyful places.

“That has always been a part of how I think about museums, that it’s not just a repository for old beautiful things you can’t touch, but that it should be flexible and lively,” he says. He and Wills hope projects like this will broaden the purpose and popularity of Kohl Gallery.

“One of the barriers to entry to museums is people think they are stuffy places,” Clarke-Vivier says. “We want [students] to know they can talk, and ask questions, and interact, it’s not like a library where they have to be quiet. And those preconditions allow for pleasurable learning experiences related to art. That’s really important too, to helping people feel like it’s something for them.”

Clarke-Vivier says the project is already yielding results that she and Tilghman had hoped in terms of forming new bonds between the College and Garnet.

“Now when I walk to Garnet there are kids who are like, ‘Dr. C-V, from the art museum! Hey, remember me?’ They’ve made a connection with us as part of the people they know in their existing community at Garnet, but also transition people between the College and the school,” she says. “I think there’s something really important about that in terms of creating this sense of accessibility.”

Washington College’s Phi Delta Theta Raises $10K for ALS Research


Brothers from Washington College’s Phi Delta Theta today presented a check for $10,000 to representatives of the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins, matching for the second year in a row the highest donation the fraternity has raised with its annual crab feast.

“I’m so proud of these young men, whose hearts are so clearly in the right place,” said College President Kurt Landgraf, who took part in the presentation. “The effort and commitment they put into this event is substantial, and their support of this cause is something to celebrate.”

“We can’t thank Phi Delta Theta enough for their generous donation,” said Emily Baxi, Director of the Robert Packard Center. “Their energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to finding a cure for ALS is inspiring. We look forward to partnering with Phi Delta Theta and taking part in many future crab feasts.”

Photo: Members of WC’s Phi Delta Theta present an honorary check to Heather Culp ’00 of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Also attending the presentation are College President Kurt Landgraf, and (L to R upper right) Sarah Feyerherm, Dean of Students, and Gina Scalise and Laura Renaud of the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research.

Phi Delta Theta has been hosting its annual crab feast fundraiser for 28 years, raising money to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a motor neuron disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Two years ago, the fraternity began partnering with the Packard Center, which is the only international scientific operation dedicated solely to curing ALS. The Center is unique in its approach to fighting ALS, in that it combines and facilitates scientific collaboration and ALS research with fundraising for the development of new treatments and with a goal of finding a cure to the disease.

“We saw an opportunity to have an impact with an organization that we could have a more personal relationship with, and is nearby,” says Phi Delta Theta’s Jacob Yollof ’19. To date, the fraternity has raised $22,290 for the Packard Center.

As Phi Delta Theta’s biggest fundraiser, everyone in the fraternity pitches in to help make the event a success. Between 250 to 350 people come out during Fall Family Weekend to crack crabs and socialize on the waterfront at Lelia Hynson Pavilion.

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’s Caring for Kids Club Helps Local Youngsters Who Need Extra Food


It’s Wednesday evening, and the Student Events Board resource room looks a little like a grocery store stockroom as about half a dozen students pull foodstuffs from cardboard boxes, stacking them neatly on the tables in the center of the room and counting as they go.

Sophomores Zachary Blackwell and Hanna Flowers count out cans of food.

Chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, ravioli, fruit cups, juice boxes, milk boxes, cereal, macaroni and cheese—all get stacked and counted. And then begins the coordinated ballet of bagging, as the students circle the table over and over, filling small back plastic bags with one of each item.

“It’s a pretty whirlwind kind of a thing,” says sophomore Hanna Flowers of the weekly job of the College’s Caring for Kids Club. “You just come in and get stuff done.”

On Friday morning, two of the club’s representatives will deliver the bags to Maureen Ranville, the guidance counselor at Garnett Elementary School, who will then distribute the packages to students from pre-K through fifth grade who qualify for the Weekend Backpack Program.

“Right now we have 65 students on the program,” Ranville says. “They are free- and reduced-lunch students or students who are homeless … who have a need for extra food on the weekends.”

: Sophomores Jada Aristilde and Hanna Flowers share a laugh as they fill food bags

For senior Courtney Vicisko, a biology major and French minor who is co-president of Caring for Kids, it’s something that she’d never even thought about until she joined the club as a freshman. Now, she says, “It’s become something I care so much about.”

“It really puts things into perspective for people,” she says. “It’s really hard to wrap your head around the idea that this could even be a problem, that there are kids in Chestertown without enough food to eat.”

Ranville says there’s definitely a need. Garnett has 370 students, and although 65 are signed up for the program this fall, that number is frequently higher. The limit the school can manage, she says, is 75.

“Most of the kids’ parents receive assistance for food stamps or food assistance, but this just helps give them extra for the weekend,” she says.

The club coordinates with the Maryland Food Pantry, which provides the food. The students meet to pack that week’s delivery, also stockpiling bags for the weeks when they are gone over winter break. Sometimes, the WC students throw a little something special into the bags, like cookies or notes.

“It may seem like a small thing,” Vicisko says of the backpack program, “but it’s a huge deal to the people it’s helping.”

Italian Culinary Institute Master Chef at WC’s Eastern Shore Food Lab


Bringing traditional nose-to-tail cooking techniques from Calabria, Italy, to local residents and Washington College students, Italian Culinary Institute Master Chef John Nocita opened the College’s Eastern Shore Food Lab today with two delectable presentations focused on preparing ancestral meals while leaving nothing to waste.

“When we talk about no waste, it’s because traditional people could not afford to waste,” Nocita told some 50 people at the hours-long morning presentation. (He would follow it up with a second presentation to a packed house later in the afternoon.) “Living in a war-ravaged country [post World War II], not knowing if you’re going to find food, it’s one reason we don’t waste anything. And it’s not just a matter of being conscious of not throwing things away; it’s our creativity. We love to cook!”

Close-up of John Nocita speaking at the Eastern Shore Food Lab.

Nocita was the first chef to visit the brand-new Eastern Shore Food Lab (ESFL), an innovative, one-of-a-kind teaching, learning, and production space, led by Bill Schindler, associate professor of anthropology and a world expert on primitive technologies and ancient foodways. Drawing international chefs and food innovators to rethink our food systems by using ancestral food knowledge and technologies, the ESFL aims to create food for today’s palate that is more nutritious, meaningful, and sustainable. Schindler calls this “learning to eat like humans again.”

Schindler met Nocita two years ago when he traveled to Italy to take one of Nocita’s classes in charcuterie, and the two worked together again last year as Schindler was in Europe gathering information for the ESFL as part of his Food Evolutions project. As soon as he met Nocita, Schindler says, “I knew right away I had found a mentor … this was the information, the techniques, and the approach I wanted to bring back here.”

“John is always looking for understanding into traditional foodways,” Schindler said. “Our approach is the same, even though our backgrounds are very different.” He said that as soon as Nocita heard that the lab was ready to open, he offered to be its first guest chef.

“This is a beautiful town,” Nocita told the audience. “For us in Italy, it really personifies what we think about America. It seems a little more in touch with the earth and nature than some of the big cities.”

The pair and members of the ESFL team—which included Assistant Director Shane Brill, student intern Melia Greene, administrative coordinator Eden Kloetzli, students from Schindler’s Food, People, and the Planet class, and Schindler’s son Billy and wife Christina—had butchered a pig from Kent County’s Langenfelder Farm and created a series of dishes from every part. Nocita started with “bollito,” boiled meat served over stale focaccia with a sauce made of parsley, olive oil, lemon, and salt.

“It’s the worst cuts of the meat,” Nocita explained. “It’s peasant food. People did not have a lot of money, and the best cuts of meat went to wealthy people.” Students served the flavorful, tender dish in small bowls to the visitors as Nocita answered questions. He followed with a variety of other dishes, including seared tenderloin and a dish made with boiled nerves, fat, and parts of the head.

Nocita said the trendy buzzwords around food—local, sustainable, fresh, in-season, for example—are not trends in Italy.

“It’s what we live every day. In Italy, we are blessed with terrible distribution … we’re able to retain our regional identity,” something he says it seems much of the U.S. has lost as food has become more culturally homogenized. “When we identify with our cuisine, we identify with ourselves.”

John Nocita addresses the Eastern Shore Food Lab’s first audience.

Between courses, Schindler answered questions about the food lab, which he has been conceptualizing for about eight years. The fundamental goal, he says, is to reconnect people to their food. Although some of the lab’s work will be focused on more cutting-edge foods like insects as sustainable sources of protein, he initially wants to connect people to what they are already eating every day.

“You should know what you are eating, but the reality is, how many of us have eaten a hot dog? How many of us have actually made a hot dog? From scratch? From choosing the pig?”

While ultimately working for global food system change, the ESFL will be grounded in the local, propelled by the notion that environmental and cultural sustainability should be at the forefront in our approach to food. By researching the resources unique to the region based on weather, climate, soil chemistry, and microbial biology, and fusing ancient and historic foodways with modern technologies and methods, faculty, students, community members, and collaborative researchers will re-envision our food system, from how we define food to how we grow it and prepare it.

Marguerite Miller, who had taken a class with Nocita in Italy, drove from Washington, D.C., to attend the morning event. Nocita had told her about Schindler, knowing D.C. wasn’t far from Chestertown.

“I went to Italy to learn to make artisan cheese,” she said. “He said, ‘You gotta meet Bill,’ so here I am.’’

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.