Welcome from the Dean


To all of our new and returning graduate students, welcome to the 2017 spring semester! In this issue, you will find stories about notable alums, exciting new career resources, and a number of updates on upcoming opportunities geared toward our graduate students, both local and international!

This past fall, I queried current graduate students to gain your insights and feedback on two important events here at the College this year:  development of the next 5-year strategic plan and our application for Middle States re-accreditation.  Whether you joined President Chapdelaine and me for a pizza dinner, met with me in the dining hall, or sent me electronic feedback via e-mail or Blackboard, I listened and took good notes—just like you all do in your classes every night.  Your feedback produced several repeating themes for improving graduate education here at Hood.  In this issue, I describe three such recommendations that I will tackle in 2017 with the hope of addressing additional requests the following year:

  1. improved career education for graduate students;
  2. more networking opportunities with both your peers and professionals in the field; and
  3. regular opportunities to share your ideas for making the Graduate School at Hood College the best it can be.

Finally, the past few months in this great country have been particularly typified by hate crimes and political unrest.  Regardless of what you see in the news or which administration is in office, I want to assure all of our graduate students that there is one constant here at Hood College:  a commitment and dedication to our past, present and future students, regardless of their ancestry, religion or native country.  Whether you grew up in Frederick or abroad, you are welcomed and supported here.

Please do not hesitate to let my staff or me know how we can improve your time here at Hood.  As always, I am thankful for the diverse talents and leadership you bring—it enriches and strengthens our community. Best wishes for a successful spring semester!

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April M. Boulton, Ph.D.

Dean of the Graduate School

Graduate Career Series

We are committed to supporting our graduate students in and out of the classroom.  For the first time this spring, we will be partnering with the Career Center to offer a series of career resources.  All of the below events are preparation for our large, culminating Career Fair on March 21 from 3:30-6:30 PM in BBT Arena.

  • Alumni Panels* – gain valuable insights from recent Hood graduate students on interviewing tips, internship/job searches, promotions and more!
    • January 31 – International Alumni (all fields) from 5:00-6:00 PM in Whitaker Campus Commons
    • February 9 – Environmental Biology Alumni from 8:00-9:00 PM in Hodson 316)
    • February 9 – BMS Alumni from 8:00-9:00 PM in Hodson 131
    • February 16 – MIT/MBA Alumni from 7:30-9:00 PM in Whitaker Campus Commons
    • March 1 – IT/CS/MIT Alumni from 5:00-6:00 PM in Hodson 131
  • Graduate Workshops in Résumés, Interviews & More – the below events are tailored to graduate students and will provide invaluable training in both business etiquette and preparing for job searches.
    • February 7 – Résumé & Job Search Strategies from 5:00-7:00 PM in Whitaker 220
    • March 2 – Business Etiquette from 5:00-7:00 PM in Whitaker 220
    • March 9 – Mock Interviews from 5:00-7:00 PM in Whitaker 220
  • Career Fair on March 21 from 3:30-6:30 PM in BBT Arena. This drop-in event will host 60+ employers in the region, and graduate students, at all levels and across a variety of disciplines, are encouraged to attend.  Bring your business cards (if you have them) and several copies of your polished résumé or CV.

*We are working with all programs not listed above to create an event that is more applicable to those fields.


Are there some future Hood students in your household?  Tweet us pictures of your young, aspiring Hood students–cute pictures of your kids or grandkids with their Hood gear or signage! Be sure to tweet or email the pictures you love by Valentine’s Day (February 14th). We’ll have a Hood community vote in February to pick the winner from two age brackets: 0-9 and 10-18!  The two winners will receive a family dinner out to a local Frederick restaurant of your choosing!

Mar 6: CPT-OPT Information Session for International Students

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 3:30 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.

April 13: Dinner with the Dean

Join me for dinner on April 13, 2017 in Whitaker Campus Commons (drop in anytime between 4:30-6:30 PM) to listen or contribute to an ongoing conversation on strengthening graduate education here at Hood College.  All are welcome, but you must reserve your seat here.

Graduate Student Association (GSA) Corner

The GSA has a number of upcoming events and networking opportunities this spring. GSA events are a great place to meet other students—whether to make new friends or meet potential business contacts.  I, personally, have met a great group of people through the GSA networking events last semester and was able to forward a fellow students resume to one of the people I met to help him find a job. These connections can also help you!  So…join us. Mingle. Have a great time. Get to know people who you sit next to in class.

To receive notification of our upcoming events friend us on Facebook: @HoodGSA and/or follow us on Twitter @Hood_GSA.  You can also email me if you’d like to be more involved or to ask any questions. All graduate students in every program are invited—welcome to your GSA!

– Jorden Welker (jlw33@hood.edu)
GSA Representative

Share Your Good News

We are always looking for stories about the wonderful accomplishments of our students—both current and alumni.  To facilitate the collection of such good news, we have a handy online form for you to use, as often as you like:  www.hood.edu/accomplishments

Whether you just presented at a conference or received an academic award or work promotion, we want to know about it!  We will feature your news on our social media and gradhighlights.hood.edu.

So what are you waiting for?  Click and share:  www.hood.edu/accomplishments

Bioinformatics Program Director Named

16_Miranda-Darby-560x425The Hood College bioinformatics master’s program is pleased to introduce a new program director who has more than a decade of experience in conducting research, teaching and directing educational programs.

Miranda Darby, Ph.D., is an expert in molecular biology and computing. She comes to Hood after working since September 2012 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she developed and implemented bioinformatics tools to study the genome. Prior to that, she completed thesis research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, examining the mechanisms that regulate gene transcription.

“I am excited to establish the new bioinformatics program at Hood because I want to inspire Hood students to flourish in this rapidly evolving field,” Darby said. “I arrived at the beautiful campus and met smart, curious, passionate faculty members who are dedicated to providing the best opportunities for their students to thrive. I am eager to work with my new colleagues and to find opportunities for those who are interested in contributing their expertise to the bioinformatics program.”

Bioinformatics is the interface between computer science and biology. It is the application of the principals of computer science to the collection, classification, storage and analysis of biological and biochemical data. The recent boom in bioinformatics centers on the analysis and interpretation of molecular genetics and genomics data that is generated by next-generation, whole genome sequencing.

With the demand for knowledge and expertise in the field by regional employers including the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, the Frederick Cancer Research Center at Fort Detrick and others, students can find themselves with multiple job opportunities after finishing the program. Darby is focused on helping her students achieve success in the industry and in their lives.

“I knew I belonged at Hood when I read Hood’s mission statement, which describes my own goals: ‘to empower students to use their hearts, minds and hands to meet … challenges and lead purposeful lives …’”

Also, having completed her undergraduate studies at Carleton College in Minnesota, she understands the value of the liberal arts education that Hood provides.

“I think that a liberal arts education is the best possible foundation for future study in the sciences because liberal arts students are exposed to a wide variety of ideas concerning a full range of topics,” Darby said. “This prepares students to think outside of the confines of a specialized field and gives them a fresh perspective on the range of possibilities available to them.”


@HoodgradschoolAre you a social media maven? Well, friend or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, so that you can stay abreast of all the important happenings here at the College. We have a couple of fun hashtags to follow on Twitter right now.  Check out our #HoodKids photo competition and #30HoodTRIPS where the dean will be posting daily suggestions of local favorites from mature eateries to kids’ activities.

May 16: Graduate School hosts Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Event

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). Click here to view the winning presentations.

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 6, 2017.  Click here to apply.


Alum spotlight

Ja’Bette Lozupone, an alumna of Hood’s MBA program and undergraduate communications program, has been honored by the American Association for Women in Community Colleges with the “40 Under 40” award! The award is presented to 40 up-and-coming women under the age of 40, who work in community colleges across the nation. The honorees demonstrate high potential for success in leadership roles and a strong commitment to the mission of community colleges. She was recognized for her contributions to the College and to the community and one who will represent the next generation of community college leadership.

Lozupone is Director of Montgomery College’s “Achieving the Promise” Initiatives and oversees the Achieving the Promise Academy. The ATPA is a multifaceted endeavor with the goal of increasing the retention, persistence, graduation, and completion rates of “at-promise” students, especially African-American and Latino students. The mission of ATPA is to prepare students for success in college through academic coaching, tutoring, and the creation of Learning Success Cohort Communities. She is also a member, and the former president of the Montgomery College Rising Professionals Association (MCRPA).

A fierce advocate for education, Lozupone experienced firsthand the barriers to degree completion many students encounter during their academic career. She says “I credit my persistence to coaches and mentors at Hood such as Olivia White, vice president and dean of students, and the extraordinary support, encouragement, and advocacy of the faculty and staff at Hood.”

Mental Health Resources for Graduate Students

As the holiday season approaches, GradResources and the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students would like to remind you that the National Grad Crisis-Line (877-GRAD-HLP) is available to your graduate students as a supplement to existing mental health services on campus.

While the university is closed and those critical services are unavailable, consider putting a message on your Mental Health Services call line directing graduate students to call 877-GRAD-HLP (472-3457). The GRAD Crisis-Line is free to your university and any student caller.

Visit the GradResources website for more information.

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