Greetings From The Dean


To all of our new and returning graduate students, summer is here! In this issue of the Graduate Newsletter, you will find stories about notable alums, exciting program modifications, and a number of updates on new opportunities/events geared toward you, our graduate students!

For example, we held our 2nd Annual Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Event in May and awarded cash prizes to three talented grads—read on to learn more about this innovative, international competition that has events at the state, national and international levels!

Here, at the Graduate School, our top priority is the success and well-being of our students, so rest assured that YOU are at the center of every plan we develop and of every activity we offer. To that end, you’ll read about several innovative programs in this issue of the Grad Newsletter, like our re-envisioned new-student orientation event, which will include a concurrent session for families/partners, in addition to an expanded “community fair” in Whitaker. To keep up with all of these additions, other grad events, job or scholarship announcements, be sure to follow us on social media! Directions on how to friend/follow us, in addition to some fun incentives for doing so, can be found here.

In closing, I hope that your summer semester is already off to a great start, if you’re taking courses. If not, I wish you a rejuvenating summer break with plenty of time for friends and family. Please do not hesitate to let me or my staff know how we can improve your time here at Hood—you can contact us anytime at or 301-696-3600. I thank you for the diverse talents and leadership you bring—it enriches and strengthens our community!

Best wishes,





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

Human Sciences Degree Updates Its Name

In 1971, Hood College’s Graduate School began with one program, the Master of Arts in Human Sciences. The program has had a variety of concentrations throughout the past 40+ years, including education, environmental biology, public affairs, nursing, counseling, special education, and management. To reflect its housing within the Psychology & Counseling Department, as well as the interdisciplinary approach of the curriculum, the program has been renamed “Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior.” Many of Hood’s current graduate programs started out as tracks of the degree, as it was initially developed for the human service occupations. You can read more about this development here.  Visit the Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior program website for more information.

MIT Degree Changes Name to MIS

Recently, our master’s degree in Management of Information Technology (MIT) underwent a name change, in order to align with the industry. The new name for this degree is Management of Information Systems or MIS. With the exception of additional content in data analytics, the former MIT program has not changed. The new MIS name is more universally accepted, describes the program more accurately, and standardizes the name with current industry nomenclature. Thus, given the widespread usage of MIS, we anticipate that this change will be well received among both IT and business companies.

Social Media Moguls

We’ve recruited a number of current students, who enjoy posting on personal social media, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms (both U.S. and international) to assist with promoting various Grad School events. In exchange for weekly posts/tweets about Hood’s Graduate School this summer, moguls receive an Amazon gift card—just in time to purchase those fall textbooks! This program is open to students from all nationalities, backgrounds and programs. Please contact us at if you would like to participate! #Moguls4Hood


The Graduate School: Proud Supporter of the Resource Garden

Hood College is partnering with Frederick Memorial Hospital (FMH) on a community garden that is located right here on campus—all produce grown is being donated to local Frederick families, veterans and senior citizens in need. As of this writing, over 30 bags of fresh produce, spinach, radishes, etc., have been donated to Heartly House, hospice, and many more.
There are 12 “Plot Teams” running all aspects of the garden, and two staff from our office are playing their part—kudos to Susie and April! In addition to the produce plots (equally split between FMH & Hood), there is a healthy pollinator strip of native flowers, which is being maintained by members of our student club, HEAT (Hood’s Environmental Action Team). That’s the buzz!


Ramadan – Iftar Dinner

Last week, the Graduate School hosted our first Iftar Dinner for our Muslim students and beyond. In partnership with the Islamic Society of Frederick County and Imam Yahya Hendi, current Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University and former advisor to U.S. Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, the event was a success! Imam Hendi gave an enlightening talk on how different religious communities must mobilize together in order to achieve peace in these turbulent times. It was an evening of multiculturalism, friendship and great food!

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June 13 – Instant Admission Event

Do you love Hood? 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! Terminal doctoral, MFA and counseling degrees are also available, so encourage your network to register for this free event TODAY.


June 30 – BioBeers

If you are in biotech, IT, or biology fields, join us for our next BioBeers event. It’s free to register, but you must RSVP to enter the event.



Graduate Student Association (GSA) Corner

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) rounded out another year of building networks and relationships. Led by a small but enthusiastically committed executive team, the GSA strives to be a support system for students and a presence on campus. During each semester, we supported and held different grad student events: student mixers in Nov, Dec., and April; a new biweekly initiative, Café B4 Class, and graduate involvement sessions such as the Town Hall and the Middle States Reaccreditation.
One interesting outcome from our events: we learned that grad students from a wide range of disciplines attend our events! Attendees varied from the consistent presence of MBA, MIT & BMS students to good showings from students in the ENV, CS, Human Sciences & Humanities programs. We were glad to see even a few professors accepted our invitation to hang out with their students! These responses are what GSA wants to encourage: ways for fellow academics to get to know each other and to share common interests and ideas with each another.
During the April 2017 Grad Student Mixer, we invited students to consider GSA leadership positions, resulting in several students signing up to accept this challenge. We are so excited to work with these students throughout the summer as they transition into new leaders! As we look towards the 2017-2018 year, we are optimistic that Hood College graduate students will continue their support for this young, but important program.

Meet our new Grad Student Ambassadors

We are pleased to welcome Ivana Soce (MBA candidate) and Emily Bernstein (Reading Specialization MS candidate) to our team. Read all about these two talented women here
Emily and Ivana will be assisting our office with social media and posts on our Highlights blog, which features stories on our talented faculty, successful alums, and aspiring current students for all of our 20+ degrees.

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Winners from the Graduate School’s Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Event

We had a wonderful turn-out with 16 competitors across 6 different programs at our 2nd annual 3MT event in May—right after final exams.  The 3MT competitions are held at public and private institutions around the country and internationally. The event is open to all current graduate or master’s 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.

Competitors presented in front of a panel of community judges, their peers, and a number of Hood faculty and staff.  There were two prize categories:  1st Place ($600 cash prize) and The People’s Choice Award (based on audience vote–$200 each).  Lizzie Terrell (BMS MS grad) took 1st Place with her engaging talk, entitled “Development of a live-cell assay to investigate protein interactions,” and the two People’s Choice Awards went to Maura Page (Humanities MA grad) and Martha Swicegood (MBA grad). Check out the recorded winners at or on our YouTube channel.


Calling All Current Students: Help Us Re-envision New Student Orientation


Do you recall your experience at our orientation event for new grad students? Well, whether you had a positive, neutral or negative experience, we want YOU to help us re-design it. We’re planning a number of updates and improvements from a concurrent Spouse/Partner Orientation to a new format for the evening dinner. Please contact us at if you would like to play a role in re-imagining our orientation, which will have such a positive impact on your new program peers!

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:
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
So what are you waiting for? Click and share:

YouTube Incentive


Are you a social media maven? Well, friend or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube so that you can stay abreast of all the important happenings here at the College. We have a special incentive right now for our new YouTube account—if you subscribe to our channel, you’ll receive a gift card for lunch at the Blazer. After you subscribe, just send your subscription/screen name to to claim your prize!

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 (
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:

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

So what are you waiting for?  Click and share:

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.”

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