Greetings from the Dean


To all of our new and returning graduate students, welcome to the 2018 spring semester! In this issue, you will find stories about notable alums, upcoming career resources, our inaugural Pitch Contest (think Shark Tank meets Hood College), and a number of updates on spring opportunities geared toward YOU, our graduate students, both local and international!

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

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We are committed to supporting our graduate students in and out of the classroom.  Once again, we will be partnering with the Career Center to offer a series of career resources this spring.  All of the below events are preparation for our large, culminating Career Fair on March 22 from 3:30-6:30 PM in BB&T Arena.

  • Alumni Panels* – gain valuable insights from recent Hood graduate students on interviewing tips, internship/job searches, promotions and more!
    • Feb. 1 – International Alums from 4:30-6:00 PM in Hodson 131
    • February 6 – Environmental Biology Alumni from 8:00-9:00 PM in Hodson 236
    • February 6 – BMS/BIFX Alumni from 8:00-9:00 PM in Hodson 131
    • February 21 – CS/IT/MIS/BIFX Alumni from 5:15-6:15 PM Room TBA
    • February 26 – MBA Alumni from 7:30-9:00 PM in WCC
  • 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 14- Interviewing for Success from 5:00-7:00 PM
    • February 19 – Résumé & Job Search Strategies from 5:00-7:00 PM
    • March 1 – Business Etiquette from 5:00-7:00 PM
  • Career Fair on March 22 from 3:30-6:30 PM in BB&T 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.

Five-year, Dual-degree Programs on the Rise

Most of our graduate students begin their graduate degree in the traditional sense with some gap of time between their undergraduate and graduate work.  Now, that “gap” can be short (~1-2 years) or long (20+ years)—both paths are quite common here at Hood College.  However, there is rising interest in dual-degree programs, which skip the “gap” between degrees.  Thus, do not be surprised if you’re sitting next to a senior in a given class, who is taking that same class as part of the initial requirements of their graduate degree.

Alum Spotlight: Matt Roberts ’12

gMatt Roberts graduated from Hood College in 2012, receiving a degree in Computer Science. Matt’s experience at Hood began in 2006 in the Computer Science Graduate department. He recalls Dr. George Dimitoglou setting up a special one-on-one class specifically aimed to help him train for a Java Certification, as he was lacking in programming experience. At the same time, Dr. Ahmed Salem took on the task of running the specialized class, which included mentoring and preparing Matt for the Java Certification exam. “With a few classes under my belt and a shiny new Java certification I was able to land a new Software Engineering position with General Dynamics as a contractor for the US Coast Guard (USCG) in Martinsburg, WV.”

After graduating, Matt got a job as a contracted Senior Software Engineer with CACI International, a multinational IT company, at Ft. Detrick, MD. He is currently working as a Lead Software Engineer, which consists of leading a large team of developers to rebuild a legacy application and essentially turn it into an Amazon-like web service for the Department of Defense. One of his most notable career accomplishments was the opportunity to represent the US Coast Guard as the technical lead during the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) meetings in London. The LRIT meetings were used to assist other countries with tracking vessels and navigating hazardous seas that could contain potential pirates or terrorists. During the meetings the technical representatives from each country gathered to discuss issues they were attempting to overcome while tracking vessels using the global LRIT system. “Since the USCG was the creator of the LRIT system, many of the technical questions fell into my lap to answer. To this day I’m proud to say I was able to work with and help each country to overcome their technical challenges.”

What would Matt like to share with our current students? “Talk with your advisors, be honest with them, they are there to help. The advisors at Hood bent over backwards to create specialized paths for to help me reach my goals. I’m sure they would do the same for you.”

GSA Corner

Welcome new and returning Blazers!

As the President of the Graduate Student Association, I’m honored to welcome our newest colleagues to the graduate school and to some of the most memorable years of your life!  Here, at Hood College, you’ll be impacted positively with new friendships, caring faculty, and more.

The goal of the Graduate Student Association is to enrich your graduate school experience as well as to provide you the opportunity to lead and serve your fellow students and community.  Join the GSA, the only grad-focused organization on campus, to impact the College and enrich your time here.

The GSA is here to address issues that matter to you, and we invite all graduate students to join and take ownership over their graduate career here at Hood.  As a member, you will gain vital leadership skills that will help you develop as a student and professional, in addition to networking and professional-development opportunities.  Join today and have a great spring semester!

Mir Wasay

President, Graduate Student Association

Hood College

Thanatology Certificate Gets a Facelift


We are excited to announce the improvements to our Thanatology certificate program! To incorporate the changing needs of our students, many of whom are already in the health and human services fields, we have updated the curriculum for the program – streamlining our coursework and eliminating repetition, that we might best prepare our students for working in today’s multicultural society. We will also begin offering convenient online and weekend courses to make the program more accessible to working professionals and distance learners. Realizing that many of our incoming students already possess basic knowledge of death, dying, and grief, we spread the content of our previously offered Introduction to Thanatology class into four revamped courses: Grief and Loss, Principles of Thanatology, Developmental Perspectives in Thanatology, and Historical and Multicultural Perspectives on Death. Our new program appeals to both personal and professional goals to increase knowledge about death and dying in contemporary society and is ideal for those who want to expand their abilities within the health and human services fields, or the understanding of their own mortality.

Python Tech Groups and Computing Book Club


The Department of Computer Science & Information Technology has been an active supporter of several computing-related groups in Frederick. In the last year, they have hosted numerous on-campus meetings, lectures, book club meetings, workshops and two hackathons. The groups include the Frederick Web Technology Group, Python Frederick Group, Amazon Web Services Frederick Group, Linux User’s Group, Startup Frederick, and Frederick WordPress.  The meetings are open to our students and the public.  For more information, check for schedule updates on or email

How a Hood Graduate Degree Can Increase Your Pay

According to job and recruiting marketplace Glassdoor, nearly seven of ten people (68%) report that compensation is among the “leading considerations” when choosing where to work. In “25 Highest Paying Jobs in America in 2017,” physicians, software engineers and managers are among the highlighted highest paid jobs. “This report reinforces that high pay continues to be tied to in-demand skills, higher education and working in jobs that are protected from competition or automation. This is why we see several jobs within the technology and healthcare industries,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s Chief Economist. Therefore, one of the crucial and initial steps to take if looking into such highly paid valued positions, is to obtain the needed education for executing them.

Whether one is looking into changing a career to IT or software architecture, getting a promotion to Software Engineer Manager or starting work in the ever-growing fields of Cybersecurity or Biomedicine, the Graduate School at Hood College is here to for those seeking advancement.

For advancement in jobs mentioned in the Glassdoor research, such as Pharmacy Manager, Information System Manager, Financial Planning and Analysis Manager, Hood’s Graduate School offers degrees in Business (Accounting, MBA, Financial Management), Computer Science (Computer Science, IT, Management Information Systems and Cybersecurity) and Bioinformatics, Biomedical Science and Geographic Information Systems, all designed to deepen intellectual understanding and to broaden competencies for career advancement. The Graduate School is also providing graduate-level courses for non-degree-seeking individuals who wish to pursue continuing education for career growth or personal interest or to sample a particular program.

The full list of Glassdoor’s highest paying jobs can be found at

Death Cafe

Death Cafe

Following the success of our spring event, the Thanatology Department hosted our second Death Café of 2017 on October 15th. Forty-five students, alumni, faculty, and community members came together to eat dessert, drink tea, and discuss death in a relaxed and supportive environment. Among us were educators, artists, writers, nurses, retirees, and even a funeral director. Small group discussions were lively but intimate enough that people felt comfortable discussing their fears and feelings about death and dying. Despite the subject matter, there was plenty of laughter and many of our guests left saying how much fun they had and asking when the next event would be. We hope you’ll join us for our next Death Café in spring of 2018!

Mental Health Services

Effective January 8, the Counseling Center will be staffed by Elizabeth Devilbiss, LCPC. One counselor will be available every day, Monday – Wednesday from 1- 6 p.m.  Also on Wednesdays, Eileen Meier, PMHNP-BC, MS, JD, MPH (Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner), will be available on a limited schedule to see students who are in need of more extensive services including medication management.  The Counseling Center’s services are available to graduate students.

January 16-26 – Late IT Help Hours for Grad Students


The Helpdesk will provide extended hours (until 6:00 PM) for the first two weeks of class.  Students and faculty can come the Helpdesk office in the Library for support or call (301-696-3622) or email (

January 25 – Quarter-Life Crisis

MD Tech Council

In partnership with the Young Professionals Society of the Maryland Tech Council, we are hosting an event geared toward individuals in the early stages of their career: “How to Navigate a Quarter-Life Crisis.” The event will take place Thursday, January 25, 2018 from 6-8 PM in the Whitaker Campus Center.

A quarter-life crisis, defined as “a period of life ranging from twenties to thirties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult,” is a term that rose to popularity with a recent book and tour by the authors. Join us for a creative, entertaining activity to kick things off and hear from a panel of professionals to learn more about this concept and successful approaches for overcoming such stress.  Hood graduate students may attend this event for free by emailing or via Facebook:

The panelists include:






April M. Boulton, Ph.D.
Dean of the Graduate School, Hood College






David Gurzick, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Management, Hood College






Lisa J. Littlefield
Director, Center for Career Development and Experiential Education, Hood College






Josh VerStandig
Owner, Chaps Pit Beef Frederick and Agent, The Meltzer Group


February 28 – 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.

March 6 – Ninth Annual Mathematics Education Lecture


Please join us for the 9th Annual Hood College Mathematics Education Lecture on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 6:00-7:30 in Coblentz Seminar Room on the Hood College Campus.

Dr. Beth Kobett, one of the authors of the recently published professional resource, The Formative 5, will share valuable information that will change the way teachers view assessment.  Information shared will benefit all math educators, regardless of grade level, to implement research-based assessment strategies that will truly assess learning and inform teaching in order to move students forward.

Refreshments will be provided.  RSVP here so that we will be prepared with enough food!  We are grateful for the support of the Hood College Provost’s Office and the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics for co-sponsoring this event.

Questions? Please contact: Christy Graybeal at or Christine Thereault at

March 7 – Nigerian Cultural Festival

Nigerian flag

We are excited to host our FIRST Nigerian Culture Celebration on March 7th from 3:30-5:30 PM in Whitaker 220 in honor of the many, many Nigerian graduate students we have here at Hood College.  Interested in planning the event?  Please email TODAY!

April 5 – Launch of the Cybersecurity Master’s Degree


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Join us for the launch of our new Cybersecurity Master’s Degree, which is part of the inaugural event of the Cotton Cybersecurity Lecture Series.  Our keynote address will be given by General Keith Alexander. The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 5, 2018, from 7 – 8 PM in Hodson auditorium, Rosenstock Hall.

April 17 – Nepalese New Year

Nepalese New Year

We are excited to host our FIRST Nepalese New Year on April 17th from 3:30-6:00 PM in Whitaker 220 in honor of the many, many Nepalese graduate students we have here at Hood College.  Interested in planning the event? Please email TODAY!

April 19 – Dinner with the Dean

Join me for dinner on April 19th in Whitaker 220–anytime between 4:00-6:00 PM.  You will 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.

April 26 – Hood’s Inaugural Pitch Contest


We are teaming up with MBA alum and co-founder of Spotluck, Cherian Thomas ‘12, to host our first Pitch Contest.  This competition provides a platform for Hood students and alumni to pitch their product/service amongst a network of Hood alumni, judges, and fellow entrepreneurs.

The Hood Pitch Competition (HPC) will take place on April 26th @ 6 PM in Brodbeck Hall. In the first round of competition, applicants will be assessed based on their online submission and business deck. Those who advance to the semi-finals will be notified by HPC Committee Chair, Cherian Thomas by Friday February 26th, 2018.  For more details or to register for the contest, click here.


  • Deadline for Applicants: February 10th, 2018 by 11:59 PM
  • Semi-Finalists Selected for Screening: February 26th, 2018
  • Finalist Announced: March 6th, 2018
  • Finalist / Pitch Contest Monday, April 26th 2018 at 6:30 PM

May 15 – Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

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Join us for our Third Annual 3MT Competition.  Three-Minute Thesis events are held at public/private institutions around the country and internationally. Do not be fooled by the title, because this event is open to all current graduate students or master’s students who have graduated since September 2017, not just thesis students.  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).  Ready to participate?  Just click here to register BY MAY 5th!

June 11- Iftar for Ramadan


Join us for our Second Annual Iftar dinner during Ramadan from sunset to ~10:00 PM in Whitaker Campus Commons.  A dinner blessing will be given at the official sunset.  ALL are invited. I hope to see you there—Ramadan kareem!

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