GSA Corner

May_1On behalf of the Graduate Student Association (GSA), I would like to welcome all returning and new students to the 2018-2019 academic year at Hood College. This year will be one full of overcoming challenges and making memories as we strive towards our goals, as a graduate community.

The GSA’s mission is to enrich the graduate student experience and to represent, support, and promote graduate student interests and values. We try to accomplish this by voicing your concerns to administration, providing professional and social development, and promoting fellowship among graduate students. By voicing the needs of our graduate community, we hope to create a thriving environment where you can receive the resources you need to unlock your full potential.

Please consider contributing to GSA this upcoming semester by attending our social events or by sharing any changes you would like to see on campus. Interested in joining?  Please send me an email to Thank you and wishing everyone a semester full of growth and success!

Derrion May

President, Graduate Student Association

Top Priority: Graduate Student Mental-Health

 |  Fall 2018

Let’s face it—graduate school can be stressful, especially as you try to juggle it with life’s other demands like a full-time job, full-time family and more.  We have two new initiatives this semester that will support our graduate students’ mental health while they balance the demands of life, school, and work.  First, we are forming a Mental-Health Task Force for Graduate Students, composed of faculty members from our counseling program, along with several student representatives.  Our goal is to have representation across all program areas, so please email if you are interested in participating on this task force.  Meetings will be just once/month with call-in options for remote participation.

Next, if you read President Chapdelaine’s August email to students, you know that we will now have extended health and counseling hours for graduate students, as part of our new partnership with Frederick Memorial Hospital.  In response to concerns from working students, we will now have appointment slots for the following times:

Health Appointments

  • 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Friday
  • 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday

Behavior Health Services

  • 12:30-8 p.m., Monday-Friday

We know that these longer hours of service will be of particular benefit to our graduate students, who are often working during the day.  To access the Center, students are encouraged to use the sidewalk between the Ronald J. Volpe Athletic Center and the athletic fields to exit the gate at 7th Street, where a blue light security phone currently exists. Individuals should proceed along the 7th Street sidewalk to the crosswalk at Tollhouse.

Teresa Cevallos, the former director of the College’s health center, will serve as Hood’s director of wellness and be the primary liaison between FRHS and Hood, facilitating communication and providing continual assessment to ensure the success of the partnership. In the meantime, please feel free to direct any questions or concerns to Teresa Cevallos at 301-696-3439 or

Alum Spotlight: Animal-Free Testing Pioneer

 |  Fall 2018

Megan Lamm ’18 was presented with Hood College’s Biomedical Science Student Achievement Award at the 2018 Graduate Degree Recipient Reception on May 16th.

Megan LammMegan works for In Vitro Sciences, a non-profit laboratory focusing on advancing animal welfare through alternative assays to replace animal testing. Megan and her colleagues develop, validate, and commercialize in vitro toxicology assays and promote these methods through education and outreach. She is a study director and toxicologist focusing on in vitro and in chemico skin allergy and ocular irritation assessments. Megan has presented her thesis project at the Society of Toxicology, the Pan American Conference for Alternative Methods, and the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology. Megan’s project was shortlisted for the Lush Prize for Supporting Animal Free Testing in the Young Researcher category and has been turned into a commercial testing program.

Megan started at In Vitro Sciences 4.5 years ago as a laboratory biologist. She was soon promoted to a laboratory team leader and last October, to Study Director/ Toxicologist I. Megan has led assay R&D, instrument validation, and worked with regulators from many different countries to teach in vitro methods. She was recently an invited speaker at the annual Society of Toxicology Meeting to present on flow cytometry in a regulatory setting.  Congratulations to Megan on all her accomplishments and we wish her lots of success in the future endeavors

Passing the Torch: From Recent Grads to New Ones

 |  Fall 2018


As we near the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic school year, the Graduate School at Hood College is excited to welcome all new and returning students! For many, this is their first experience with graduate school. As this is a different experience from undergraduate work, we asked some of our recent graduates for their advice for incoming students.

Lois Johnson-Mead, a recent M.S. in Environmental Biology graduate, thinks that “graduate school is a chance to push boundaries and look inside yourself to find out what you want to explore. I encourage students to try different classes, stretch beyond their normal expectations, join in on events, lectures, and symposiums that can stretch your thinking and potential. Hood College asked me to examine how I think, what I care about, and to discover so much more than I expected. I hope all new graduate students, especially international students, give themselves the chance to embrace those opportunities; after all that’s the Hood Way!”

Merrideth Wile, a graduate of the M.S. in Counseling program, said simply to “pace yourself and enjoy the process.” Work through classes at the schedule that it right for you and try to get the most out of it.  When asked about what incoming students should know, Tara Scibelli, who earned her M.A. in Humanities, said to “do all the assigned readings to get the most out of your classes.” Everyone gets busy, but the more that you do for the class, the more that you will gain.

Megan Ramsburg, who graduated with an M.S. in Reading Specialization thinks that “it is important to know that you can approach your professors. They are here to help you and can be very accommodating to your needs. Ultimately, they all want to see you succeed in your program.”  Mir Abdul Wasay, the outgoing Graduate Student Association president who completed his M.S. in Information Technology stated, “I personally believe that education neither starts nor ends in the classroom.”  Finally, Environmental Biology graduate Kevin Stanfield advises to “immerse yourself in the experience. You may have recurring dreams about the effects of climate change on an obscure species of owl, but it makes learning easier!”

Doctoral Domain

 |  Fall 2018

Our doctoral program in organizational leadership continues to thrive.  We recently welcomed our third cohort (Class of 2021), which includes 20 leaders from education, government, business, and the military.  Meanwhile, our inaugural cohort (Class of 2019) successfully defended their Capstone Dissertation Research Proposals and will complete their research (and earn their degree!) in the coming academic year.  Two of the capstone proposals are particularly noteworthy due to some early success in the realm of grant acquisition and national recognition.  Peggy Dufour’s research survey on workplace ethics was recently disseminated by the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP), which included participation from 40 countries.  Lura Hanks, another inspiring doctoral student from cohort 2019 was recently awarded a $2 million grant that will improve literacy for children, birth through graduation, for Washington County Public Schools.  We eagerly await the results of these and other innovative research projects from our doctoral students.

Aug 27-30 – IT Grad Support

The Helpdesk will provide extended hours (until 6:30 pm) for the first week of classes.  Students and faculty can come the Helpdesk office in the Library for support or call (301-696-3622) or email (

Aug 30 – Mandatory Sexual-Assault Online-Training

New this year per federal policy, Hood College requires all students—both undergraduate and graduate—to complete an online training on sexual assault.  Because this is a mandatory training and ensures Hood’s federal compliance, failure to complete the course by the deadline will result in a hold on your student account (preventing further course registration, ordering transcripts, etc.).  For optimum functionality, the course should be completed on a computer, rather than a mobile device.  The course has two parts: Part 1 is due by August 30

Visit and scroll down to the bottom, blue menu bar and click “Course link for graduate students.”  You will then be prompted to login to the site via your Self-Service account.

Sept 4 – New Policy on Continuous Registration

New this year, we have a continuous registration policy in keeping with national best practices in graduate education.  You are required to register for at least one credit every fall and spring semester.  If, on the other hand, you have extenuating circumstances that require a Leave of Absence, please complete and submit the Leave of Absence form to the Registrar’s Office by the drop-add deadline of September 4. Submitting this form will reserve your place in the program for the coming semester; a Request for Leave of Absence is not required for summer terms.  Students are permitted to request one semester or two consecutive semesters of leave. Leaves of absence do not affect or extend the seven (7) year time limit for completion of graduate coursework.

If students do not enroll for one course for two consecutive fall and spring semesters, nor submit the Request for Leave of Absence form by Sept 4, they will be withdrawn from the College and will need to request readmission through the Registrar’s office.

Sept 12 – Website Launch & Rededication Ceremony

The new website is continuing with an anticipated launch date of September 12, which is the same day we will rededicate the Alumnae Hall pillars.  The new website is designed with YOU, the student, in mind, and I think that you’ll enjoy the fresh, modernized look and content, along with the improved functionality.  Just look for the special Graduate School link at the top of the new site:

Website_Grad link


Sept 15 – Hood College hosts 2nd Annual Humanities Conference

This fall, Hood College will host its second annual student research conference in humanities. The conference, “Discovering Humanities at Hood,” is designed to highlight the exciting work of students in humanities-related programs. The all-day conference is set for September 15th in Whitaker.

Dr. Corey Campion, director of the MA in Humanities program and co-organizer of the conference shared that this year’s event will be even more diverse and informative than last year’s inaugural event.  Even if you’re not a student participant, all students are encouraged to attend and partake in this important exchange of ideas.   For more information, contact Dr. Corey Campion at 301-696-3227 or


Oct 1 – CPT/ OPT Workshop for Internationals

Our Primary Designated 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 220 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. We will also have a staff member from the Career Center there to demonstrate how to use some of their search engines for locating such OPT/CPT opportunities. Please RSVP here.

Oct 18 – Cotton Cybersecurity Lecture with NIST


Join us for the next installment of our Cotton Cybersecurity Lecture Series, which is an integral part of our new Cybersecurity Master’s Degree.  The next keynote address in the series will be given by Dr. Ronald Ross , who is a computer scientist and Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). His focus areas include information security, systems security engineering, and risk management. Dr. Ross leads the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) Implementation Project, which includes the development of security standards and guidelines for the federal government, contractors, and the United States critical infrastructure.  The event is scheduled for Thursday, October 18, 2018, from 7 – 8 PM in Hodson auditorium, Rosenstock Hall.

Oct 30 – Instant Admission Event


Do you love Hood?  If so, please share our Instant Admission event with your colleagues and friends/family with a bachelor’s degree or higher.  From humanities and ceramics to education, business and STEM programs, we have the degree to suit everyone!   Although not part of the instant admission process, terminal doctoral, MFA and counseling degrees will also be at this event to share additional information, so encourage your network to register for this free event:

  1. The noon session
  2. The 4:30 session

Nov 1 – Dinner with the Dean

Join me for dinner on November 1 in Whitaker 220–anytime between 4:00-6:00 PM.  Enjoy a meal with the dean and your peers and contribute to an ongoing conversation on strengthening graduate education here at Hood College.  All are welcome, but we have limited seating.  Thus, you must reserve your seat in advance here.

Nov 6 – Admission Cafe


Do you have a friend or colleague, who is ready to advance in their career? Share our online Admission Cafe event with your colleagues and friends/family with a bachelor’s degree or higher. From STEM degrees to MBA and education programs, attendees can meet our admissions team and learn about the affordability and power of a Hood graduate degree at our Admission Café—a 30-minute, virtual open house during lunch hour (12:15-12:45). Encourage your network to register for this free event TODAY!

Nov 6 – Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) Speed Mentoring


Join us for our second annual speed mentoring event for women in science.  The Graduate School is co-sponsoring this year’s event on Nov 6th from 6-8 PM in partnership with Mount St. Mary’s University and our local chapter of Graduate Women in Science (GWIS).  Attendees can explore new ways to grow your network and optimize your career savvy. In addition to speed mentoring sessions, keynote topics will include: “Optimizing your LinkedIn Profile,” “Salary Advocacy for Women” and “Interview Secrets.” Come prepared to have a great time, whether you plan to participate, mentor or just observe. Email for more information.

Nov 13 – Diwali, Festival of Lights


Will you celebrate Diwali on Nov 7 this year?  Or are you interested in learning more about this wonderful holiday, the Hindu Festival of Lights? Our annual celebration will take place in Whitaker 220 (2nd floor) from ~3:30-5:30 PM on Nov 13 and will include authentic Indian foods and more!  Please contact the Graduate School if you would like to help make this event special or just to get more details:

Nov 15 – BioBeers


All students interested in biotechnology or the business practices thereof are welcome to join the Graduate School and our bioinformatics MS program for this fun event.  There will be 100+ business, IT, and biotech professionals in the region with whom to network.  This event will be hosted in the Whitaker Campus Center Commons from 6 to 9 PM. The first 100 attendees will receive a commemorative pint glass. Email for additional details.

Welcome from the Dean

 |  Fall 2018

Boulton_Dean4To all of our new and returning graduate students, welcome to the 2018-2019 academic year!  I hope you enjoy the fall issue of the Graduate School Newsletter.  In this issue, you will find stories about accomplished alums, the new website launch, supportive services and events, and other updates on opportunities geared toward YOU, our graduate students.

There are three important policy updates I want to share with you for this fall.  First, the drop/add deadline has been shortened this year and will last only one week (through Sept 4th @ 5 PM).  Next, if you are ever unable to register for coursework in a given semester, due to extenuating family, work or other circumstances, you are required to submit a Leave of Absence form to the Registrar’s Office.  Lastly, all students (both undergraduate and graduate) are now required to complete an online sexual-assault training annually in order to meet federal regulations.

As always, you and your success are top priority here at The Graduate School, which begins with the communication that we disseminate weekly via social media and email, in addition to the newsletter’s comprehensive collection of fall events.  If you have not yet found the Graduate School on social media (links below), it’s not too late!  Be sure to friend/follow us soon to receive a variety of important updates and special opportunities both on- and off-campus.

In closing, I hope that your summer was revitalizing and that your fall semester is a successful one.  Please do not hesitate to let me know how I can improve your time here at Hood.  Welcome back and thank you for being here—your aptitude and perspective enrich our community!

Best wishes,




April M. Boulton, Ph.D.

Dean of the Graduate School

Newsletter Archives