Welcome from the Dean

 |  Fall 2016

aprilboultonTo all of our new and returning graduate students, welcome to the 2016-2017 academic year! This is the inaugural issue of the Graduate School’s online newsletter, which will be produced at the start of each new semester, in September, February and June. In this issue, you will find stories about notable alumni, exciting new programs (including our first doctoral degrees) and a number of updates on new opportunities and events geared toward our graduate students.

Here at the Graduate School, our top priority is the success and well-being of our graduate students, so rest assured that you are at the center of every plan we develop and every activity we offer. I know several of you have been following my #30HoodTips on Twitter for ideas that will ensure your success here at the College. If you have not yet found the Graduate School on social media, it’s not too late to start! Be sure to friend or follow us to receive a variety of important updates and special opportunities both on and off campus.

In closing, I hope that your fall semester is already off to a great start. Please do not hesitate to let my staff or me know how we can improve your time here at Hood. I thank you for the diverse talents and leadership you bring—it enriches and strengthens our community!

Best wishes,

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April M. Boulton, Ph.D.

Dean of the Graduate School

Nov. 2: Graduate Student Networking Event

 |  Fall 2016

Did you know that your student colleagues are a fantastic network for you? If not, join us for 15 minutes or more after your class Nov. 2 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. at the Coblentz Seminar Room in the basement of Coblentz Dining Hall, to meet some of your fellow Hood graduate students at this networking event. This event is co-hosted by the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and the Graduate School, and you will not regret stopping by! Bring those business cards or just your smile if you do not have them. RSVP to gofurther@hood.edu.

Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership

 |  Fall 2016

DOLFor a number of years, professionals in the region have been asking a very important question, “When will Hood offer a doctoral program?” In response, the Graduate School at Hood College is pleased to launch its first doctoral program this fall. The Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership is a 60-credit program that offers candidates the choice of a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) for those practicing professionals in business and industry or the Doctorate in Organizational Leadership (DOL) for those in education, nonprofit, military and government fields. The program was jointly designed by faculty from the education, educational leadership and business administration programs. Professors Bands, Jose, Stenersen and Weaver spent three years developing the program and involved the business and education communities in shaping the program.

The doctoral program seeks to “prepare leaders and transform communities.” This fall, 20 extraordinary leaders will begin their programs of study and be the first cohort to complete their degrees in the summer 2019. As a cohort, the doctoral students will move through their programs of study together, developing their leadership skills and competencies, building their research skills to conduct and evaluate independent research and making connections with leaders from the region. The program is built around four pillars of leadership—mindful leadership; systems thinking; leading with a sustainable framework focused on the economic, social and environmental dimensions; and building community—providing candidates with the opportunity to study leadership from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The doctoral program is designed for working professionals with eight to 10 years of progressively responsible experience in their fields. The cohort selection process is designed to bring together professionals with varied educational backgrounds and careers to develop a community of leaders who collaborate, learn and grow together. The program will run year-round so leaders can complete their degrees in just three years. Candidates will take 21 credits of core leadership courses, gain research skills through three research methodology courses, complete three specialization courses tied to their personal and professional goals, and finish their programs with their research-based capstone project.

The next cohort will begin in fall of 2017. For additional information about the Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership, visit www.hood.edu/DPOL.

By Kathleen Bands, Ph.D.

Bioinformatics M.S. Launched this Fall

 |  Fall 2016

The Graduate School at Hood College will offer a Master of Science in b ioinformatics beginning in the fall 2016.

With the advent of “big data,” bioinformatics has become one of the major growth opportunities in the life sciences. This degree addresses the core subject areas and skill sets identified by the International Society for Computational Biology as essential for bioinformaticians. Regional employers have expressed a desire for a local graduate level master’s program in bioinformatics. These employers include the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, the Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center at Fort Detrick and other nearby biomedical and biotechnology companies. Representatives from each of these entities were key in the development of the master’s degree. These professional connections are instrumental in maintaining relevant partnerships that provide practical learning opportunities.

Under the program’s dual-gateway format, candidates who have strong biological backgrounds begin by enrolling in a gateway foundation course in computer science, and candidates who have strong computational backgrounds, but lack the understanding of life science and “-omics” projects, enroll first in a foundation course that introduces the basics of cell biology and genome science.

Students will benefit from small classes taught by faculty who are highly qualified in computer science, biology and bioinformatics and have experience with top research and development and biotechnology firms and federal and private laboratories. A team-based research project, linked where possible with local research labs and companies, culminates the program. Students are required to develop the research questions; collect and analyze the primary data; coalesce and synthesize the material into a final product; and report their findings back to the partner institution.

Applicants for the bioinformatics degree program should have a bachelor’s degree in biology or computer science. Students currently in the bioinformatics certificate program, or who will have completed it, can continue on toward the master’s degree. Hood has offered the bioinformatics certificate program since fall 2015.

With the addition of the Master of Science in bioinformatics, the Hood College Graduate School now offers two doctoral degrees, 16 master’s degrees and 12 certificate and certification programs. The College has been offering graduate degrees since 1971.

For admission requirements and other information, visit www.hood.edu/BioinformaticsMS.

New Program in Mathematics Instructional Leadership

 |  Fall 2016

We are thrilled to announce that the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) has approved Hood College’s proposal for a new Master of Science in mathematics instructional leadership program. We anticipate that the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will also approve this program in the next month.

This program is designed for current teachers in Maryland to earn a master’s degree while meeting MSDE requirements to be considered a mathematics instructional leader. One endorsement is for teachers of grades pre-K-6, and the other is for teachers of grades four through nine. To be eligible for the endorsement, certified teachers must complete credits in content knowledge for teaching mathematics, pedagogical knowledge for teaching mathematics, leadership knowledge and skills and a supervised practicum.

While there is not yet a statewide mandate for each elementary and middle school to have at least one state-endorsed mathematics instructional leader, several national organizations recommend the use of mathematics instructional leaders or elementary math specialists to enhance student achievement. These include the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics. Thus, the new program will allow Hood to become a leader in this national movement.

Admission to the new program will begin in fall 2016, but the program builds off of the Master of Science in mathematics education and the Master of Science in curriculum and instruction programs, so current Hood College Graduate School students who are interested in pursuing an endorsement should contact the program director, Ann Stewart, Ph.D., at stewart@hood.edu to discuss options.

by Christy Graybeal, Ph.D.

Tweet Away with #30HoodTips

 |  Fall 2016

Are you a social media mogul? Well, friend or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you’re really committed, contact us at gofurther@hood.edu for an exciting new program where you post weekly content provided by the Graduate School on your social media, in exchange for an Amazon gift card at the end of the semester—just in time for the holidays!

Speaking of social media, check out the dean’s “Tips for Success in Graduate School” at #30HoodTips @HoodGradSchool. The dean will be posting tips for the first 30 days (M-F) of the semester. HINT: more freebies (and even campus PokeStops) can be had for following us on Twitter!

Spotlight on Successful Alumni

 |  Fall 2016

An alumnus of Hood’s curriculum and instruction master’s program, Scott Strait, was awarded the title of Frederick County Teacher of the Year last spring. Strait has been teaching social studies at Brunswick Middle School for the last 15 years. There are more than 3,000 teachers in the Frederick County Public School system, and Strait was nominated along with 62 other nominees. The superintendent, Terry Alban, Ph.D., noted that “Strait helps make history come alive at Brunswick Middle School.” Check out the full article in the Frederick News Post.

The Graduate School hosts its first Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Event

 |  Fall 2016

3 Minute Thesis

Following finals week last spring, the Graduate School hosted its first Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) event! The 3MT competitions are held at public and private institutions around the country and internationally. The event at Hood is open to all current graduate students who have graduated in the last academic year. Participants get one slide and three minutes to share their project or research findings from a wide array of disciplines—from the sciences to the humanities and everything in between.

By all measures, this inaugural event was quite a success! We had roughly 20 applicants from nine of our 20-plus graduate programs. The top 12 abstracts were selected to compete in front of a panel of community judges, their peers and a number of Hood faculty and staff. There were two prize categories, first place and the People’s Choice Award (based on audience vote). Mariam Ashraf took first place with her engaging talk, titled “Optimization of the Saccharification of Sugar Beet Pulp for Application to Commercial Biofuel Production,” and the People’s Choice Award went to Bukola Raji for her dynamic presentation, titled “Developing Protocol for Water Quality Mapping for the Frederick County Health Department using ESRI GIS Arc Map and COP Nitrate Results.”

Our next competition is being planned for May 16, 2017. Stay tuned for details on submitting your abstract for the competition. Remember, if you complete a comprehensive, synthetic research project or paper within this academic year, you are eligible to compete! However, your entry must be original and completed alone—group projects are not acceptable for this event. Also, despite its name, the competition is NOT just for thesis students. We hope to see your entry by the submission deadline of May 5, 2017.


New Graduate Ambassadors Program

 |  Fall 2016

Graduate Student AmbassadorsThe Graduate School recently launched a new program that recruits our brightest, most talented students to serve as Graduate School Ambassadors.

After many interviews, our staff unanimously selected Arzu Ozcan and ‘Dami Okuneye, who are hitting the road to attend various recruitment events, in addition to posting daily updates on social media and blogs on behalf of the Graduate School.

In exchange, our ambassadors receive tuition waivers for two courses, plus a stipend. It’s just one of many ways we support our graduate students here at Hood College!

Check out their complete biographies on our website.

Nov. 3: Instant Admission Event

 |  Fall 2016

Please spread the word (or forward this link) to your friends and family who might be interested in furthering their careers. We’re hosting an Instant Admissions event Nov. 3 at two convenient times—lunch hour or after work. Prospective students should bring a copy of their transcripts and résumés to be considered for on-the-spot admission to one of our 20-plus master’s degrees or graduate certificates. Counseling and Doctoral programs are not available for instant admission, but their program directors will be there to answer questions.

Anyone interested in attending this event should RSVP here.

Our Staff

 |  Fall 2016


We bade farewell to a handful of talented staff last spring as they departed to pursue out-of-state opportunities.

We extend a special welcome to April Boulton, dean of the Graduate School; Susie Kowalski, executive assistant to the dean; Jan Marcus and Larbi Bricha, assistant directors of admission; and Divya Bhamidipati, our new graduate assistant in the office. If you ever need to call the Graduate School (301-696-3600), it’s likely that you’ll speak to one of our new staff members.

Visit our webpage for complete biographies on all the Graduate School staff.

Nov. 18: BioBeers

 |  Fall 2016

All students interested in biotechnology or the business practices thereof are welcome to join the Graduate School and our new Master of Science in bioinformatics program at the next BioBeers—a Frederick community event organized through MeetUp, which will be hosted here at Hood in the Whitaker Campus Center Commons from 5 to 9 p.m. The first 100 attendees will receive a commemorative pint glass. Email gofurther@hood.edu for additional details.

Virtual Town Hall

 |  Fall 2016

President Chapdelaine, in partnership with all stakeholders here at the College, is developing our next strategic plan. She wants to hear what all our graduate students think is important for the College’s next strategic plan. The Virtual Town Hall on Blackboard will be one of the many convenient ways for you to share your thoughts! Stay tuned for ways in which you can share your ideas.

Oct. 3: CPT-OPT Information Session for International Students

 |  Fall 2016

Our principal dedicated school official (PDSO) and the dean of the Graduate School will explain the policy and procedure for securing curricular practical training (CPT) or optional practical training (OPT) on your F-1 visa in the Whitaker Campus Center Commons from 3 to 5 p.m. We will also have a staff member form the Career Center there to demonstrate how to use GoinGlobal to locate OPT/CPT opportunities. Please RSVP here.

Oct. 24: Food Day

 |  Fall 2016

The Graduate School and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) are jointly sponsoring this year’s Food Day event in the Whitaker Campus Center Commons from 5 to 7 p.m. Food Day is a nationwide event that “brings Americans together to celebrate and enjoy real food and to push for improved food policies.” Learn more about the movement here. Email gofurther@hood.edu for additional details.

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