Page 1


From Bel Air to Burning Man Think Global, Act Local p. 8 The Beginnings of Belief p. 12








Editor’s Note A Publication of


CONTENT EDITOR Adeyemi Ekundayo



Faras Aamir, Allison Cobert, Laura Alcoverro Gil, Marla Goffin, Justin Higgins, Alynie Hudson, Alexis Knipe, Amanda Mosmiller, Laural Paterini, Jennifer Pezzella, Brianna Skrivanek, Jordan Tucker




CONTRIBUTED PHOTOGRAPHY Jane Hu, Gordon McCracken, Joseph Wasilewski

ART DIRECTOR Caroline Cooney


Brianna Blizzard and Danielle Frater


Earle Anderson, Nicholas Campbell, Iris Pyrtyk

For my first issue as Editor in Chief, Destiny felt like a great undertaking. No single meaning or definition can capture its essence, but destiny is more than just a vague, abstract idea — though it certainly is that. Destiny can be a place, a person, a time, an ending … the possibilities are limitless. Understanding destiny requires taking a look at the variety of ways in which the concept manifests itself. This issue of Owl Magazine does just that. These stories from the community, alumni, and students display how diverse the meanings of destiny can be. On page 4, follow an HCC alum who took charge of her future by turning a challenging diagnosis into a source of inspiration and courage. Local experts and activists are looking out for tomorrow’s Harford County. On page 8, read about how an environmental group is fighting to keep our county green. On page 10, experts in the area share how to stay safe during a catastrophe. Destiny is, at times, a very spiritual concept. Page 12 dives into the origins of religion and examines its modern-day relevance. When this publication began, no one imagined it would become what

it is today. One alum’s memories of Owl Magazine are on page 24. When all is said and done, where will we end up? Page 34 gives an overview of several eco-friendly alternatives to the average burial. On page 35, learn about mankind’s next step in space exploration. Self-discovery and identity can also be major components of destiny. Read about how local transgender couples are finding their way in the world on page 36. For some, destiny is the peace found at the end of a tough journey. For others, destiny is the journey itself. From the stories you’ll read in this issue, one thing is clear: for all of us, even society at large, destiny can be whatever we make of it.

Congratulations to Owl Magazine’s 2018-2019 staff for winning national awards!





AlphaGraphics of Bel Air



Email harfowladmanager@harford.edu

Pinnacle Awards, College Media Association

David L. Adams Apple Awards, College Media Association

-1st Place: Best Two-Year College TV Station

-3rd Place: Best Multimedia Package

-2nd Place: Best Viral Video





Get Connected

Find out how MCSN helps students succeed.


Money Moves 101

Learn ways to manage your money.


So Many Roads

American Dream


Phoenix Rising


Get inspired by Emma Klein’s success story.

Follow a student across the country with her favorite band.

Read about the experiences of transgender couples.

ALSO INSIDE The Way I Am is Different p. 4

The Beginnings of Belief p. 12

What Remains? p. 34

Bridging the Gap p. 7

The Truth About Tarot p. 14

Eye in the Sky p. 35

Think Global, Act Local p. 8

From Bel Air to Burning Man p. 16

Just in Case p. 10

Changing the Game p. 24




The Way I Am is Different An Alum’s Path to Advocacy By Alynie Hudson | Owl Staff Photo by Jessica Deckert


elen Simpson had never been more scared. After days of tearful practice, she was about to stand in front of her class and deliver a speech about her personal experience with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (also referred to as FASDs or simply FASD). Despite her fears, however, this talk became Simpson’s first step toward a life of service and advocacy. Simpson was diagnosed with FASD when she was 11 years old. These disorders stem from the mother’s consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, and can lead to abnormalities in facial features, cognitive ability, and behavior. Simpson’s birth mother struggled with substance addiction and mental health issues. Simpson states, “Not only did my birth mother abuse drugs her whole pregnancy, but she couldn’t care for us. We were taken from her when they found us homeless on the streets. I was three months old.” Soon after, Simpson was adopted by her parents, who had already taken in and supported seven other children with special needs at that time. Her now-retired father was a minister and her mother, a nursing student, quit her job to care for Simpson and her siblings. Simpson says, “When you’re adopted, you grow up automatically with a sense you weren’t enough,


Helen Simpson, shown here with her family, proves cycles of addiction or neglect can be broken. you weren’t loved or good enough. My parents combated this war in our precious minds and souls everyday.” Her parents also made sure she had a strong foundation of faith and morals growing up. Simpson says, “Growing up, they taught us that faith in being a good person, being a compassionate person, and showing every person on this planet love is what faith truly is.” However, when she was 17 years old, Simpson began to experiment with various drugs. During her 20s, she struggled with her own addictions to cocaine and methamphetamine. “It started out as once a week. I convinced myself I was more creative when I used. … I had extremely poor impulse control, which is a common behavior of FASD and was only made worse by the addiction,” she states. She also experienced mental health issues in her adulthood. She recalls, “I was so depressed. I was tired of using but there was no reason to stop.” A significant point in Simpson’s life was during her speech class at HCC, where she gave a speech on FASD. She had struggled to speak clearly throughout her life and was terrified prior to the speech. In spite of her fears, she stepped up and delivered it.

Simpson’s professor, Claudia Brown, was inspired. Professor Brown approached Simpson afterward and mentioned that Laura Hutton, another HCC faculty member, had an adopted daughter who also had FASD. Professor Brown had never met anyone else with FASD, and suggested Simpson could be an advocate for those struggling with the condition. Simpson recounts, “Here I was after doing the scariest thing of my life to date, and one of the smartest and most wonderful people I had met was telling me I had given her hope. She instilled in me direction and hope that I could take my diagnosis and bring happiness to people.” With the help of two HCC professors and the support of her loved ones, Simpson began to transform her diagnosis into something positive. “Professor Brown and her sister, Professor Hutton, took time out of their crazy lives to mentor me. … Had I not taken that speech class, I never would have taken this amazing path of advocacy.” Simpson’s life took another turn for the better when she met her husband, who was himself a recovering addict. Looking back, she says, “We held each

other accountable. We openly talked about our addictions, our struggles and our weaknesses.” After finding out about Simpson’s struggles, her parents still supported her. In her most vulnerable moments, they showed her unconditional love. “When I finally got clean and told them, my dad said he wanted to know more. He wanted to understand it. There was no shame from them, or anger,” Simpson says. When she became pregnant, Simpson and her husband knew they wanted to show their child the same love. “My husband and I have decided we will always be open about addiction and will not hide it. ... We will also spend our lives giving him a childhood he does not have to recover from.” Simpson’s mission to end the cycle of addiction led her to act on the ideas that first began to take shape in her speech class. Now, years later, Simpson has worked with foster parents, counselors, and the Department of Human Services to promote awareness and understanding of FASD. She also speaks at FASD-focused conferences across the country. Simpson still acknowledges the impact Professor Brown had on her life.

“I have been gifted so many beautiful opportunities because of the door she opened. Who knew one door opened by one woman would lead to this great adventure?” Simpson went on to author a children’s book called The Way I Am is

Simpson firmly believes women who use during pregnancy need to be helped, not degraded, saying we should “support them in being mothers so they can get their children the help they need, and be the best they can be for themselves and their children.”

“Had I not taken that speech class, I never would have taken this amazing path of advocacy.” Different: A Children’s Book About a Boy with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. She remembered her childhood feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem and sought to connect with young readers feeling the same way. Simpson wants everyone to remember addiction is a disorder rather than a choice. Accordingly, people with addictions need to be treated — not blamed. “People don’t abuse substances because they are happy. People abuse these things because there is trauma, there is pain, there is hurt, there is sadness, grief, depression, or anxiety.”

To this day, Simpson continues to act as an advocate for those struggling with FASD and addiction. Despite the challenging nature of her work, she maintains a positive outlook. “I have seen so much progress and healing already in the FASD and recovery communities. I have witnessed miracles of love and light. I am blessed enough to kiss one of those miracles every night.”

What are Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders? These are conditions in which a child was exposed to alcohol during the mother’s pregnancy and can result in birth defects as well as developmental and learning disabilities. Symptoms include... - Small eyes, thin lips - Smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip - Defective organs (i.e. heart, lung) - Poor motor skills - Behavior, attention, and memory problems - Speech and language issues The effects are irreversible, but mothers can prevent FASDs by abstaining from alcohol when pregnant. *Information from National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

40,000 newborns are estimated to be affected by FASDs every year 5



Get Connected

Hands-On with College Success By Justin Higgins | Photo by Caroline Cooney | Owl Staff


hen she first stepped on campus at HCC, Biology and Physics major Michelle Ramsahoye didn’t know where she would fit in. With the help of the My College Success Network (MCSN), however, she began to find her footing. Working with her academic success coach, Jenny Jakulin, she developed important life skills. MCSN is a support network for African-American students. However, the program strives to help all students succeed by providing a safe and inviting resource for academic assistance. MCSN provides academic coaching, advising, and a variety of workshops. Jennie Towner, Associate Vice President for Student Development, says “having conversations about society and race on campus with students and using MCSN as a model for other programs” is necessary. MCSN staff members work in conjunction with HCC’s administration to provide classes like Success in College and Beyond and Personalized Career Exploration, where students hone their organizational skills, discover their strengths and weaknesses, and find favorable career fits. Through exercises like a mock interview, Ramsahoye’s coach helped her display proper professional skills, such as a proper handshake and correct body language. Ramsahoye says, “Jakulin tapped into my fulfillment of connecting with others and [myself].” After taking personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Clifton StrengthsFinder, Ramsahoye’s strengths and weaknesses became clearer to her. MCSN gives students the


Justin Higgins graduated in 2019 after participating in MCSN. knowledge, confidence, and skills to go after their goals. After graduating from HCC, Myasia Butler used the skills she developed during her involvement with MCSN to launch her own line of makeup products, Brown Suga Cosmetics.

“MCSN gives students the knowledge, confidence, and skills to go after their goals.” Butler says, “The MCSN ... made sure I was on top of my game and that I never lose sight of my goals. They helped me to become more responsible and realize I created my own future based on the actions I took.” With the help of MCSN, Butler “learned how important it is to ask for help … If I was having trouble, they provided me with tips on things I

could do to improve. They did constant checkups which kept me on my toes and made me more responsible.” Tomozia Graves, a Communications Studies major, has been able to show off her leadership through MCSN. Graves says, “Being a peer mentor in the MCSN allow[s] other students [to] have someone to relate to.” Graves will attend the GlobalMindED conference program this June in Denver, Colorado. Having someone to relate to has proven to be an invaluable benefit provided by the MCSN. “I loved my counselor because she would come down and socialize so it felt more personal,” says Butler. “The MCSN provides students with a close friend of the school to help them on a close level making it easier to get and retain information.” Programs like MCSN have adopted game-changing mindsets, offering minority populations at HCC the resources they need to succeed both academically and professionally.


Bridging the Gap


The Future of Education in Harford County By Jordan Tucker | Photo by Matt Hubbard | Owl Staff

The new budget plan for Harford County Public Schools (HCPS), which passed in 2019 and called for 108 teaching, staff, and administrative positions to be cut, was met with outcry from the community. Chrystie Smick, Harford County Education Association (HCEA) President and former teacher, plays an active role in

the effort to keep HCPS well-funded and forward-thinking. Smick has three children who are currently enrolled in Harford County schools. She is also President of the ParentTeacher Association (PTA) at North Harford Elementary School. Owl Magazine asked Smick about her vision for the future of HCPS.

Q&A Owl Magazine: When and why did you get involved with PTA? Chrystie Smick: I got involved when my eldest daughter was in kindergarten. I have always been a ‘doer’ so I was happy to volunteer my time and help give back to the school. … Prior to my time as HCEA President, I was a teacher in HCPS for 17 years. OM: How would you describe the current class sizes in Harford County? CS: Class sizes are extremely large in many schools across the county. My eldest has 30 or more students in all of her classes at NHMS [North Harford Middle School]. That is a recent phenomenon at that school and is directly correlated to the cuts HCPS was forced to make last year as a result of years of systemic underfunding. OM: How would you describe the studentteacher ratio? Would you like to see it change? CS: There is a massive amount of research that

proves smaller classes are correlated to student success. Our student-teacher ratio needs to improve. I also would like to see more paraeducators [employees who assist and support teachers in the classroom] in all of our schools. Having another adult in the room makes a difference. OM: What’s your vision for how Harford County can incentivize local teachers to stay in the area? How might it attract new teachers? CS: … In order to keep them here, we need to ensure that the salary remains competitive with surrounding districts. Currently the starting salary is attractive, but we lose ground as folks move through the pay scale. OM: How would you describe parental involvement at this time? CS: I would love to see more parents involved in the fight to solve HCPS’s funding issues. Involvement has increased,

but I think there are still many out there who don’t realize how important their voice is and [that] they can make a difference. OM: What issue do you think should be the main focus for HCPS at this time? CS: Restoring positions to lower class sizes, and addressing the mental health needs of our students. OM: What is your vision for the future of education in Harford County?

CS: My vision is for all students to receive a world-class education that addresses their needs. Not all students learn the same [so] it’s imperative that all of our diverse learners have their needs met … I am extremely hopeful for the future of HCPS. I truly believe the current leadership will put the district back on the path to success.”




Think Global, Act Local

Harford County Climate Action Fights for Sustainability By Laura Alcoverro Gil & Patrick Evans | Owl Staff | Photo Courtesy of HCCA

HCCA regularly organizes rallies, protests, and community clean-ups.


iolent hurricanes, intense heat waves, rising sea levels, acid rain, wildfires, and droughts are just a few of the effects of climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate-related issues will only get worse if rising global temperatures are not addressed soon. Considering the effects climate change can have on the smallest of communities, many concerned people have decided to organize themselves and take action. Harford County Climate Action (HCCA), an association created by several Harford County residents, is a perfect local example. Tracey Waite, HCCA president and co-founder, was inspired to create the organization after attending the People’s Climate March in New York


City in 2014. “There were at least 300,000 people at that march … It helped me understand that people all over the world understand the magnitude of this crisis,” Waite states. Waite realized a lot of climate activists were not able to meet in person. “I felt a need for a local group where people would meet face-to-face, come to know each other and have a place to process climate related issues.” Waite understands that in order to make a difference, efforts at the local level must be taken. According to Waite, the organization works “locally in order to seek policies and practices that will shrink Harford County’s carbon footprint.” Pamala Dehmer, HCCA’s vice president, also acknowledges the

impact of local change. “We realize that federally, there is not going to be anything done to lessen climate change … That is why it is more important for local action to take place … We have to do something drastic,” she states. Since its beginnings in 2014, the group has been meeting once a month. During the meetings, the members of HCCA discuss current projects, past accomplishments, future plans for lobbying, and sometimes have guest speakers. HCCA has participated in a wide variety of climate-related efforts and events. They have also worked alongside other environmental organizations including Food and Water Watch, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and DineKind Harford, among others.

Over the past three years, the organization has undertaken efforts regarding a statewide fracking ban, community solar energy, and an opposition to oil drilling and seismic blasting in Maryland. Waite and the HCCA take pride in their efforts, especially when it comes to the statewide fracking ban. Waite states, “I think we were a big part of that.” Aravinda Pillalamarri, another HCCA member, agrees with Waite. She adds, “We were able to mobilize so many people … We spoke at farmers markets, we went door-to-door … and it all culminated at speaking at the Town Council.” For some members, like botanist Fawn Palmer from Churchville,

Maryland, climate change has become more of a personal issue. Palmer states, “I have ten grandkids. So, to me, that’s a high investment. It’s very important that [I] go out there and do something … even if it’s a small thing.” Steven Preston has also been a member of HCCA for two years. He decided to join HCCA due to his “overall concern with the climate change issue itself, with global warming and how it is impacting the world … and how it seems to have accelerated pretty quickly within the last five to ten years.” In addition to their efforts within the community, HCCA members are also taking personal strides against climate change. Recycling, reducing trash, keeping the thermostat low in the winter, and trying not to use the

air conditioning during the summer are only a few examples of their own eco-friendly actions. By setting an example and informing the public about the risks of climate change, Harford County Climate Action is encouraging the community to become more active in the environmental fight. Waite says, “It doesn’t matter how small the county is or how rural the county is. We are at a point where we only have about ten years to reduce emissions to 45% of what they were in 2010.” Those interested in finding out more or volunteering with HCCA can call (443) 243-3363, send an email to hcclimateaction@gmail.com, or learn about environmentally friendly practices at hcclimateaction.org.

What is HCCA Up to? Community Solar In conjunction with Neighborhood Sun, a company that provides local solar energy, HCCA is searching for rooftop locations in Harford County to place solar panels. The effort aims to provide clean energy for nearby communities.

Political Action HCCA supported the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act and various other bills at the state capital in 2019. They also supported the passing of a resolution by the City of Havre de Grace to oppose offshore oil drilling.

Fracking Ban In 2017, HCCA joined a widespread grassroots campaign that resulted in Maryland becoming the third state to ban hydraulic fracturing. “Fracking” involves injecting environmentally hazardous chemicals into underground rock and can contribute to pollution or earthquakes. 9

JUST IN CASE By John Merkel | Photo by Caroline Cooney | Owl Staff


pril Thomas, Business Management major at HCC, gained a new perspective on emergency preparedness when a massive tree fell into her home one day in 2009, injuring her parents and children. “Our entire house was condemned and we were homeless. That was my emergency. It took out my entire support system,” she says. If such a disaster struck, would you be prepared? Making a plan is the first and most important part of being prepared for any emergency. Your plan may account for a specific emergency (such as a fire or a winter storm), or focus generally on preparedness and self-sufficiency. Planning can be as simple as keeping a few days’ worth of food and living supplies on hand, in case of severe storms or extended power outages. Regardless of the disaster, there are a few key points the plan should cover.


The first step in planning for an emergency involves what immediate course of action you — and perhaps your loved ones or roommates — will take if disaster strikes. If you’re planning for a fire, for instance, your plan should outline the exits for each room and floor. When planning for a power outage or natural disaster, however, you should determine a place to regroup within your home or workplace. Lisa Swank, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at the Harford County Health Department, emphasizes the importance of planning for emergency situations. She mentions preparations that many citizens forget to make. “Always gas up your vehicle because the gas pump is electric, and always get money out of the ATM because they lose power and you want cash,” Swank states. She points out that in evacuation scenarios, people frequently forget

important documents such as birth certificates and social security cards. “We really want them to take those important papers with them … We like people to think about actually putting all those papers in one spot in their home so they can grab them on the go,” Swank says. Depending on the emergency you’re preparing for, you may want to account for communication with the outside world or with public health officials. The Harford County Health Department advises calling the department during normal business hours for crucial information following a public health emergency — or 911 after hours. However, what can be done in the event of jammed or even disabled phone lines? If you decide to prepare for a long-term disaster such as an act of terrorism or severe winter storm,


LIFESTYLE you should have a way to stay tuned to public announcements long after infrastructure fails. Those who are serious about emergency preparedness often invest in portable, rechargeable radios, which are available on websites like Amazon.com for less than $50. In addition to communication equipment, your plan should include a checklist of other gear. The most crucial items include first-aid supplies, food, and water — about one gallon per person per day. If you want to be self-reliant in the long run, you’ll have to find somewhere to store a substantial amount of food, toiletries, and other supplies. However, keeping the basics on-hand doesn’t have to be inconvenient. Many people utilize a “bug out bag.” A bug out bag generally contains the supplies necessary to survive the first 72 hours of a given emergency. The time it takes to gather food and firstaid supplies could mean the difference between life and death in a natural disaster. Serious survivalists may plan to use bug out bags temporarily, in conjunction with a safe-house or long-term stash. A variety of websites, such as Thebugoutbagguide.com and Bugoutbagacademy.com, feature lists of items to include. Different sources recommend different supplies, but the absolute essentials include supplies for sanitation, hydration, food preparation, and medical care. Bug Out Bag

Academy recommends choosing the actual bag after you’ve already selected your supplies. While many choose to do their own legwork when selecting and stocking a bug out bag, there are more

manager at All Good Garden Supply in Finksburg, MD, recommends growing greens, tomatoes, and peppers. “One of the biggest problems with gardening indoors is not having pollinators, so when you do your fruit and

“Always gas up your vehicle because the gas pump is electric, and always get money out of the ATM because they lose power and you want cash.” convenient options available. Websites like Readytogosurvival.com feature premade bug out bags, starting at $70 for a comprehensive hygiene kit. Often, these websites also offer highly customizable survival bags. Some people take self-reliance one step further. Growing and eating your own food could be a long-term solution to a breakdown in infrastructure, and many have already started. It’s one thing to be prepared to survive a fire or power outage, but skills and supplies for independent survival would be key in the event of a national infrastructural breakdown. In such a situation, sustainably producing your own food could mean the difference between life and death. In addition to providing a backup supply of food for emergencies, growing produce is thrifty, rewarding, and eco-friendly. Dustin Albaugh,

flowering stuff you gotta have something that’s self-pollinating,” he says. Although growing produce inside your home requires a little more preparation, it doesn’t have to be complicated or inconvenient. According to Albaugh, many foods just need a little light, space, and water — similar to a regular houseplant. “You could do a tomato in a closet if you wanted to. It’s not that hard,” Albaugh says. You don’t have to go all-out to benefit from emergency preparedness. Don’t get caught out Pocket knife in the rain next hurricane season.

First-Aid kit

Calorie-dense food (e.g., protein bar)



Important documents


Top 7 items to include in your Bug Out Bag

Icons made by Freepik from flaticon.com.




The Beginnings of Belief By John Merkel | Additional Reporting by Brianna Skrivanek & Jennifer Pezzella | Illustration by Caroline Cooney | Owl Staff


rom Sunday’s contemporary worship to the reading of sacred texts in Ancient Egypt, religion has played a central role in human society for millennia. Regular spiritual gatherings stretch back to prehistory in an unbroken chain. No one is sure how long the human race has been partaking in religious rituals, but the murky beginnings of the phenomenon are becoming clearer. It’s been long assumed that belief in the supernatural arose after the establishment of early societies, but some experts believe that the origins of both religion and civilization are more closely intertwined. Dr. Matthew Rossano, Professor of Psychology at Southeastern Louisiana


University and author of Supernatural Selection: How Religion Evolved, has spent much of his life investigating the origins of religion and spirituality. He continues to weigh in. “Common beliefs and rituals may have built the trust necessary for different hunter-gatherer groups to join together and form larger and larger bands until eventually you start to get villages and cities,” Rossano says. The relationship between community and religion appears to be symbiotic. As ancient people gathered for funerals, coming-of-age ceremonies, and worship, they found a place to be accepted and provided for. In addition to physical safety, early religious practices likely also evolved

to address more sophisticated needs. “Religious communities tend to be high in social capital — meaning social support networks — and this has all kinds of benefits mentally and materially for individuals,” Rossano states. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a psychological theory conceived in 1943 and still frequently referenced today, organizes motivating factors into levels. Abraham Maslow theorized that each level must be fulfilled before the next can be addressed, beginning with physical needs (food, shelter, etc.), continuing through needs such as acceptance and love, and culminating in self-actualization. Rossano explains, “Supernatural belief facilitates cooperation by

compelling people to follow group norms. In most traditional societies, sharing is a group norm. If you have food, you share it. If someone needs to borrow your spear or digging stick, you let them and so on.” He continues, “Believing that not sharing will not only anger other group members, but also bring down upon you supernatural retribution … that makes you even more scrupulous about adhering to that group sharing norm.”

religions had to solve a similar problem — that is, how to get diverse peoples to unite under a common belief system. That’s how you become global,” he says. The benefits of organized religion were, for the most part, taken as a given throughout most of history. However, beginning with the enlightenment in the 18th century, religion as a concept has seen widespread criticism. Karl Marx, who was a staunch atheist, famously referred to religion

“An improved scientific understanding of religion’s origins has not nullified the positive effects of practicing faith.” Religions may have developed and thrived by fulfilling Maslow’s needs in a comprehensive way. These communities provided a place for members to find not only food and shelter, but also love and a sense of belonging. Rossano comments further on religion’s ability to help individuals cope with death, isolation, and meaninglessness. “Humans have been struggling with these issues since we evolved brains [capable] of thinking about them and religion and its associated rituals are probably the most effective mechanisms we have come up with for dealing with them,” he says. The continuing success of today’s most popular religions is a testament to the effectiveness of such practices. Although stark differences exist between belief systems such as Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, they also bear significant resemblances to one another. Each world religion emphasizes the importance of community, meaning, and morality. Since they emerged to address similar issues, this common ground between religions follows logically. Rossano also points out that the sheer scales of world religions contribute to their similarities. “The commonalities are very likely due to the fact that all the global

as the “opium of the people.” More recently, the late physicist Stephen Hawking told El Mundo in an interview that “science offers a more convincing explanation.” The Pew Research Center reported in 2019 that 26% of adults in the U.S. are not affiliated with any religion — an all-time high. However, an improved scientific understanding of religion’s origins has not nullified the positive effects of practicing faith. “There’s lots of evidence that regular churchgoers are happier and healthier than non-attenders. They also tend to suffer less from depression, heal faster after surgery, [are] less likely to be obese [or] suffer from high blood pressure, etc. …” Rossano says. The International Review of Psychiatry featured a review of the evidence on the subject. The findings supported Rossano’s sentiment. Many studies had found involvement with religion to be “associated with greater well-being, less depression and anxiety, greater social support, and less substance abuse.” People gravitate naturally toward the benefits of religion. The real-world advantages of practicing faith continue to draw adherents, even thousands of years after its conception.

The "Big Five" Religions Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism all teach and practice the following:

Meditation or meditative prayer

Moral and ethical rules or guidelines

The preservation and study of sacred texts

Spiritual community gatherings

Funeral or burial ceremonies to honor the dead Icons made by Freepik from flaticon.com.




The Truth About Tarot

Reporting by Alexis Knipe | Photos by Caroline Cooney | Owl Staff


rchaic-looking cards are spread in patterns across the table. Fantastical drawings, unfamiliar suits, intricate arrangements … What could it all mean? Tarot reading is looked to by many as a source of wisdom or spiritual guidance. To the uninitiated, however, tarot can seem confusing. What’s keeping readers and enthusiasts across the world intrigued after all these years? According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website, tarot cards most likely originated centuries ago in Europe. The earliest known cards have been dated to the mid-1500s. However, these were simply part of a card game and were not


thought to be associated with any mystical forces. “Reading” tarot cards was a practice that emerged far later. Interest in the occult blossomed in Europe during the late 18th century. According to Brendan Koerner with Slate, authors such as Antoine Court de Gébelin and Jean-Baptiste Alliette wrote books that connected the game with divination and ancient mythology. Today, tarot reading is a widely practiced tradition, but can a reading tell someone his or her fortune? Can only a psychic or mystic read tarot cards, or can anyone learn the art? Check out what several experienced tarot card readers have to say.

p e c n misco


“tarot reading is

“you need special powers and abilities to practice”

“The future is extremely malleable depending on a person’s choices and intentions. Tarot is a meditation of acting forces in the present moment and the immediate past, plus the possible outcome if these forces continue their momentum.” - Suzan Royce Moore

“It’s the idea that you have to be special, you have to have special powers and abilities, in order to practice. That is simply not true. These are skills anyone can learn, as long as they make the space for such subtle information.” - Shira Klinger

used to predict the future”

ARTED T S G GE T T IN “Find a tarot deck you like and hang out with it. Play with the cards. Center yourself. Arrange the cards until they are oriented and aligned for you at this place and in this time. See what they say. You can learn more later, but this first step is vital.” - Suzan Royce Moore

“I would say go and get a reading from someone who is talented and knows their craft. I would also say to go out and check out as many books as you can. There’s a lot of different books out there that are really good. The two authors that I love the most are Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack.” - Talon Thomas


From Bel Air to Burning Man A Departure from the Default World Article by Claudia Brown | Owl Staff Photos by Kenny Reff, Gordon McCracken, Jane Hu, & Claudia Brown



FEATURE Surrounded by mountains on all sides, thousands of people gather each summer in the Nevada desert and build a city from scratch. This unique experience has fostered a community where self-reliance is key, gifting is the standard, corporate sponsorships are banned, and participation is required. What started out as a small bonfire on a beach has morphed into Burning Man, a cultural phenomenon that has grown to attract more than 70,000 people from all over the world. Using the desert as a canvas, participants “radically” express themselves through the creation of art installations, musical events, theme camps, art cars (aka “mutant vehicles”), theatrical performances, and eccentric costuming and makeup. It’s an ideal “training ground” for artists, according to Brewster Thackeray from Alexandria, Virginia. Inspired to attend by a colleague who was an art car documentarian, Thackeray first attended Burning Man in 2007 and has attended five times since. “Being surrounded by creative people inspires creativity,” Thackeray explains. “Anyone who declares her or himself to be an artist can craft something and bring it to Burning Man. It will be seen.” For D.C.-based artist Michael Verdon, “the possibilities that are created at Burning Man are unique and beautiful.” Verdon has attended Burning Man a dozen times, initially drawn in by a podcast lecture given in the middle of a Burning Man dust storm. Verdon says he “found a city that was unlike anything I had ever seen. A place where weird was okay and people were free to be themselves in a community environment.”

Burning Man originated in 1986 when founder Larry Harvey constructed an eight-foot-tall wooden statue of a man in honor of the summer solstice. With a group of 20, the effigy was burned at Baker Beach in San Francisco. By the 1990s, Burning Man had grown into an arts festival attracting thousands and held in Black Rock City, Nevada with the event expanding to include elaborate art installations and “theme camps” ­— groups who work together to provide services for participants at Burning Man. Verdon’s first Burning Man was years later in 2008. However, it was his trip in 2011 that inspired him to pursue creating art. His work has taken a variety of forms through the years and includes the design of the Chapel of the Chimes, a wooden temple which was featured and set ablaze at Burning Man in 2019. Peter Dennis first attended Burning Man in 2014 and, like Verdon, he has attended every year since. An ordained minister, he has performed four wedding ceremonies at Burning Man — ­ including one at the Chapel of the Chimes. “The thing that’s magical about Burning Man is that it provides a safe space for people to have whatever experience they need to have,” says Dennis. Regardless of the experience, participants are guided by the 10 Principles of Burning Man: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical selfexpression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy. These principles can be seen in every aspect of the Burning Man community, including the strategy to getting a ticket to the event itself. Purchasing a ticket often comes down to a combination of luck, finances, and timing due to high demand. Ticket prices ›



FEATURE range from $210-$1400, depending on how and when a ticket is purchased; low-income tickets are available for those with demonstrated need. Upon arrival for Build Week in Black Rock City, participants are greeted with miles of flat, uninhabited desert in every direction. Since one of Burning Man’s principles is decommodification, nothing can be bought or sold; all participants must bring their own water and food. The harsh realities of the desert — ­ including temperatures that may exceed 100 degrees, blinding dust storms and dry air that chaps the skin — ­ can shock first-time attendees, especially given the glamorous representations of Burning Man found online. Lupi Karpati, originally from Mexico and now living in Washington D.C., thought she would be going on a vacation when her husband Gabe suggested the trip back in 2013. She was challenged by the harsh conditions, which she says can test one’s character. But she also found enjoyment, calling Burning Man “a playground for all ages.” “Burning Man is a place to discover hidden parts of yourself, which is pure joy,” says Karpati. For her husband Gabe, originally from Hungary and now a resident of Washington D.C., Burning Man


seemed like the “logical next step” given that he and Lupi were already music festival goers. The Karpatis have returned six times since. They have also inspired their adult children to become active in the Burning Man community. In 2015, the Karpatis founded Iguana Chill — ­ a music-based theme camp — to bring together friends who “just wanna chill.” For Katrina Edwards, a first-time attendee in 2019, 15 days in the desert was a daily struggle. “I really was focused on how much work it was,” says Edwards, who is a resident of Alexandria, Virginia. “Even something as simple as hydration became this chore that I felt was life or death.” As her camp mates constructed the Chapel of the Chimes under Verdon’s leadership, Edwards’ job during Build Week was to make sure they stayed hydrated, fed and free of sunburn. The challenging nature of Build Week put the principle of immediacy to the test. “It took a lot of presence to manage a team of volunteers (half of which I had never met in person, from around the world) and keep everyone on task in the middle of one of the freest places on Earth,” says Verdon. Once Build Week concludes, the

official event begins and the crowds of participants pour into Burning Man. Days are then spent enjoying functions sponsored by theme camps and taking in all of the art on the “playa” — ­ the name used to describe the landscape of Burning Man. Giant art installations make social and political statements, while whimsical art cars provide both a means of transportation and an aesthetic diversion. Throughout the week, a variety of theme camps gift a range of services. Home Rule Village features a seven-story tower complete with a bar, lounge, and observation deck offering panoramic views of the entire city. Black Rock Roller Disco offers roller skates and a makeshift roller-skating rink, as well as a roller derby night. Foam Against the Machine provides a shower space and a dance party, which often features famed psychedelic artist Alex Grey painting in the background. In addition to exiting cooled off and dust-free, participants often leave with additional gifts, such as lip balm and tea. Throughout the week, participants also visit the Temple ­— an intricately carved wooden structure — to leave behind photos, letters, and keepsakes commemorating lost loved ones. On Saturday night, the wooden

Man burns amidst a fireworks display and celebratory shouting. It’s an experience that Dennis calls “the biggest party in the world.” The mood shifts on Sunday night when the Temple burns. In contrast to the festive energy surrounding the burning of the Man, the burning of the Temple is a somber, cathartic experience. Often, there is complete silence with scattered crying out. On the day following the Temple Burn, participants shift into cleanup mode. There are no trash cans or dumpsters at Burning Man; every participant must leave the site exactly as found. This aspect of Burning Man is one that particularly resonates with Tara Leigh, a Texan who has attended Burning Man three times. “Given the current environmental state of affairs with the carbon footprint per person, if this principle was applied in our daily lives we could eliminate many of the environmental issues,” Leigh says. When transitioning from Black Rock City back to regular life, many participants choose to add a couple days or a week to their trip as a means of “decompression” to gradually introduce them back into what they call the “default world.” The “Burner” community offers events throughout the year, including regional burns and Catharsis on the Mall, a free Burning Man-inspired

event held on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in the spring. In keeping with the Burning Man principle of radical inclusion, anyone is welcome to participate. Facebook groups and communities, such as Baltimore Burners and D.C. Burners, share event information. Burning Man meetups and informational sessions are led by Charles Planck, a 10-time Burning Man participant, in Washington D.C. on Thursday evenings at Local 16. For anyone interested in a trek from Bel Air to Burning Man, IAMU Camp Leader Planck suggests traveling with “an open mind and an open heart.” “Meet other Burners in your area and join a camp to learn how to go,” he says. “It’s not a Princess cruise, it’s not a consumer experience, and no person is an island …” “Be willing to be brave,” he adds, “in trying new things, pushing yourself, letting yourself be or become something that you probably always were, but never had the space to try out.” Whether traveling from Harford County or from afar, the freedom and acceptance offered at Burning Man creates a space to self-express, collaborate, and persevere unlike anywhere else on the planet. Claudia Brown is an HCC professor who is also enrolled as a Theatre Performance major. She attended Burning Man in 2018 and 2019.

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By Patrick Evans | Photo by John Merkel | Owl Staff

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arle Anderson, a Psychology major at HCC, was 19 when he moved out of Catonsville to live on his own in Bel Air. That’s when the struggle began. “I’ve had to work multiple jobs, I’ve had to have more people in my apartment than there are bedrooms, I’ve had to skip meals …” Anderson says. Managing your money can seem almost impossible when you’re starting out. Creating a budget plan is one of the most important things you can do for your finances. However, students like HCC Music major Daniel Woods know this is easier said than done. Woods says, “By the time I left [school] last fall, I was completely broke. Both of my checking accounts were in the negative. My savings account was empty. My credit card was maxed out. I couldn’t do anything!” Woods was only able to escape his predicament by paying closer attention to his finances. He continues, “From then on, I was working on keeping track of my finances — every little bit I’m spending, every little bit that’s coming in — then I’d make a monthly log for that.” Logging where your money is going can be as easy as using a pen and paper, but you may opt to utilize spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel. Companies like Quicken and Personal Capital also offer many useful budgeting tools to steer you in the right direction. Part of knowing where your money goes is keeping track of how much money you spend on non-essential items. In life there are needs and wants; wants are unnecessary purchases. An example of a non-essential buy could be eating out at a restaurant rather than paying less for eating at home. “Say you want to go out with your friends,” begins Cheyenne Polanco, General Studies major at HCC. “Learn how to

say no because you can’t do it. Sometimes you just gotta stay in the house and stack your money up ...” If you’re on a budget, discerning between food options becomes more important. Even though name brand items tend to sell more, the cheaper off-brand alternatives can be just as good. With a little research, you can limit spending on non-essentials. “Budgeting your money takes a lot of discipline. You need to be able to say ‘no’ to stuff you might really want. You need to constantly remind yourself you are budgeting and set money goals, so you have something to look forward to,” Woods states.

“Managing your money can seem almost impossible when you’re starting out.” It’s especially important to keep realistic goals when budgeting, and being realistic means setting a reasonable timetable. For example, expecting to pay off an expensive car or a large student loan in a year is unreasonable. Shortterm goals could include making smaller single payments to make progress on larger obligations. A money-saving practice many adopt is to use cash in lieu of a debit or credit card whenever possible. You can be more cognizant of spending money when a transaction of physical objects is involved. You can see instantly that $20 is missing from your wallet, unlike with a credit or debit card. However, credit cards are a useful and important tool for students. A credit card can allow you to make payments when you don’t quite have the funds you need yet, and to ›




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build credit. Many credit cards even have perks and rewards for using the card responsibly. Many companies offer benefits to students. The Discover it card offers rewards like 5% cash back at various places such as gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Most credit card companies would love to have your business, but it’s important to educate yourself and find the best possible deal for your situation. “Read all the fine print, understand what the repayment terms are, and what the interest rate is. A lot of credit cards will give you a ‘teaser rate’ then convert at a certain point in time,” states Denise Kratz, Vice President and Quality Assurance Operational Manager at Sandy Spring Bank in Maryland. You should consistently pay your credit card bill each month. Leaving these bills unpaid can lead you to develop a bad credit score, which will lessen your chances to qualify for a loan in the future. One of the biggest difficulties Anderson faced after striking out on his own in Bel Air was keeping his credit card under control. “I did not read all of the fine print nor bothered to look into how a credit card actually worked. I assumed that if I didn’t pay [the bills] at the end of the month, they (the credit card company) would call me or send me something in the mail … but they don’t,” Anderson says. He continues, “I became so reliant on my credit card that the original problem snowballed into this much bigger issue that I must now address.” The importance of your credit score can be difficult to understand at first. Many people only become aware of their poor understanding of credit when it becomes a problem. Anderson says, “I thought I [knew]. I knew it was a number, and I knew [the score] measured something about me … if it was good, I could get a house. If it was bad, my life was ruined.” Losing track of credit can happen to anyone, even a financially stable adult. In recent years, a professor at HCC has

been recovering from a tough time with credit. “When I was married, I was very hands-off with the finances … It wasn’t until we were separated that I started being the one to really manage the finances and manage the budget,” the professor says. Not paying credit card bills on time isn’t the only thing that hurts your credit score. Missing payments on student loans is also detrimental. Your credit score can drop rapidly when left unchecked.

“Many people only become aware of their poor understanding of credit when it becomes a problem.” The professor continues, “Mounting legal bills and missed student loan and credit card payments brought down my score by 200 points. I ended up in a situation where I was in danger of losing my house. I was still considered a risk to the bank because my credit score was not good.” While all may seem lost if your credit score plummets, the situation is still salvageable. It may take a while to get back to a good score, but it isn’t impossible. “If I had not worked so hard to turn my credit score around, I might have lost my house even though I had the ability to make the mortgage payment,” says the professor. HCC Computer Aided Design and Drafting major Michael Rayner, who now sports a credit score of 840, started improving his score when he was denied something he wanted based on his credit. “It was from that point on I decided to educate myself so I would never experience that disappointment again,” he says. Rayner advises other students to “find the best way to establish credit, which comes in many forms, such as a credit card, car loan, or personal loan. Starting small and taking

Roth IRA

With this IRA, you can get a tax deduction for your contribution. However, you will have to pay taxes when you withdraw.

For this IRA, you are taxed as money is deposited into the account. When you withdraw it, you will not be taxed again as long as you’re at least 59 1/2 and have had the account for 5+ years.



Standard IRA



Investing in Your Future


manageable steps can help the process come easier … Eventually by making on-time payments and never exceeding 30% usage of available credit, your overall credit limit and score will increase.” Like managing credit, managing debt is paramount to financial success. The best way to manage debt is to avoid taking out loans, but sometimes, loans are unavoidable. Students who have to pay their own way through college frequently end up in significant student loan debt. This debt can add up quickly. According to Debt.org, the average outstanding student loan debt was over $37,000 in 2017. Student loan debt doesn’t go away until you pay it off. It’s not dischargeable in bankruptcy; this fact places a heavy burden on those who have had to borrow funds for school. If student loan payments are not made on time, there will be late fees and other penalties. Loans can also have a long-lasting ripple effect. If you are already deep in debt, you may not be able to qualify for a credit card. “As soon as the [credit] card company looks at [your loan] … they may not give you a credit card … It may hinder your next borrowing attempt,” states Chuck Jacobs, former President of Harford Bank. While student loans may seem scary, you don’t have to face them alone. Colleges offer a variety of resources to keep you informed and updated on your school finances. As Jacobs says, “Most colleges of any size will walk you through student loans.” If possible, take out only one loan at a time. Hopefully, you won’t need a house or car right away. It’s important to know where the loan is coming from. Sometimes it’s easy to get talked into a dangerous predatory loan. Usually, predatory loans target those who have bad credit and need a loan. These loans often have unreasonably high interest rates, only benefiting the lender in the long run.




Luckily, most states have regulations that help prevent predatory lending. Despite these protections, you should always be wary. “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always use a reputable company,” states Jacobs. A highly regarded lender, like a commercial bank, will usually be federally insured and federally regulated. Local reputable banks include Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union and Harford Bank. Before you consider taking out a loan, you should have money already saved. While putting funds into a savings account is beneficial, they can grow further if they’re invested. Investing, rather than simply saving, allows your money to compound at a higher rate. Ted Kelly, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones Financial, states, “We find that if it is just in a savings account over a long period of time, it’s not going to compound enough to keep up with inflation.” Investing in the stock market has become more popular among students with the advent of streamlined investment applications like Robinhood and Acorns. However, it’s important to remember that stocks can be high-risk, especially if you choose to make short-term investments in volatile companies. Financial experts who study the stock market at firms like The Motley Fool, Investopedia, and even The Wall Street Journal can offer valuable insight and advice as to potential investments. However, the stock market is unpredictable by nature. Starting your own life on the right financial foot will save you time and stress. You can avoid a wealth of unnecessary hardship by keeping track of your money and following advice from the experts. HCC student Michael Rayner says, “Through this discipline my wife and I were able to purchase our dream house, drive the vehicles we desire and provide a stable financial future for ourselves.”

Credit Interest 101 Here’s what happens if you only make your minimum credit card payment.

Starting Balance

$1000 Minimum Payment

-$40 =$960

15% Interest


$1104 -$40 =$1064 +$159.60

$1223.60 New balance after 2 months

+$223.60 more owed

FICO Credit Score Your credit score primarily impacts your ability to borrow and the interest you will pay.

Poor 300-629





Very Good 720-850

Key factors that affect your credit Length of credit and payment history Utilization, meaning how much you owe Types of credit used (credit cards, loans, mortgages) Credit you have applied for Icons made by Freepik from flaticon.com. Information from Nerdwallet.


CHANGING THE My Journey with Owl Magazine Article & Photos by Faras Aamir | Owl Alumni Staff


ou never really know what it’s like to find your calling until you do. That’s exactly what I experienced when I discovered the world of possibilities in a little publication called Owl Magazine. I got my start by taking an Introduction to Journalism class with Professor Claudia Brown in 2014. To my surprise, she informed me that Owl Magazine wanted to use my final project as the feature article for their next issue. The piece I had written was very personal, so I was interested in learning what they were going to do with my work. As I got to know later on, this magazine actually started out as a newspaper. In fact, it was initially just a class project, with employee contributions comprising about half of the content. Claudia came on as the new advisor in 2010 and quickly converted it from what some referred to as a college press release to a totally student-run publication. Claudia and the new staff wanted everything — writing, editing, design, and photography — to be created by the student talent at HCC. In 2011, History major Philip Roszak was inspired by the National College Media Convention to take on the challenge of turning the newspaper into a glossy magazine. It wasn’t


long before the new format was intriguing readers all across Harford County and winning national awards. Three years later, I started to get involved. My featured article was “The YouTube Revolution: Using Social Media for Social Change.” In it, I spoke about taking the matter of misrepresentation of Muslims in media into my own hands and changing the perspective by sharing my art. I got the chance to work with John Morin, a clutch photographer, to come up with a unique photo concept involving a microphone, face paint, and handstands. I was even asked to model for the front cover of the magazine. It was something completely new for me but I was happy to step out of my comfort zone. I visited Owl Magazine’s workspace, which felt closet-sized, to see one of the editors put the feature together. Having a background in creative and visual arts, the piece was not looking as artistic as I would have envisioned it. I stepped in. Using the bit of self-taught graphic design knowledge I had acquired over the years, I started to piece together a whole new concept. Claudia explained to me that I — a new writer — was taking on an art director’s role for a feature article, which had not been done before, but she trusted in



GAME my confidence and let me carry on. This was the first of many firsts during my time at Owl Magazine. The truth is, I was not as confident in myself as Claudia was in me. The work I’d done prior to the magazine had gotten me used to having a ceiling for growth and experimentation. When I was given the freedom to explore my creativity, I took full charge and got hungry for more. Claudia’s trust in me became an overall theme in what led to some of our most successful moments as a staff while I was there.

we took this publication from bound pages on magazine racks around Harford County to video-sharing social networks, to potentially engage with millions of people online. We researched and bought professional video equipment to create our own little news network. We’d take the articles from our magazine and dive in deeper with video — visualizing each of the topics, recording interviews and reactions, and getting hands-on. I felt like a real journalist for the first time. We were covering stories that meant something to us and following

“I felt like a real journalist for the first time. We were covering stories that meant something to us ...” Designing one spread led to designing another and eventually, I was asked to take the role of Art Director. I took the position very literally and started changing formats, layouts, and even the logo. That’s when I realized I could try nearly anything mediarelated with this type of platform. So, after little convincing,

them up in real time to keep our audience updated. Even during internships, I’d never gotten this kind of experience. The first magazine I designed head-to-toe was our “Back to Nature” issue in 2015. It was artistically empowering to be able to set a consistent nature-inspired theme and build concepts, textures, and photo-illustrations from scratch. ›


When I showed people the issue, they could not tell the difference between what was real and what I’d created digitally. My designs included ideas like making a plant appear to grow out of a prescription bottle and using the fabrics from a model’s clothing to create an entire sidebar. I did it all over again in our “Challenge the Status Quo” issue later that year, this time with trippy colorful themes. I never worried about getting the “perfect picture” for an article if we didn’t have the resources. Our best resources were a team of extraordinary thinkers and powerful software that would allow me to do the articles justice with stunning visuals. The articles were thoughtfully written, researched, and critiqued before ever landing on the glossy paper. I worked on articles like “Food to Boost Your Mood,” a piece from 2016 about the psychological effects of the things we consume. My favorite article I did was “Traveling Through An Artist’s Perspective,” for which I did all the writing, design, and photography. This piece is special to me because it displays, through my eyes, some of the beautiful places around the


world I have had the privilege of visiting. Under each photo, I wrote a bit of poetry to capture what I was feeling during the moments the picture was captured. To tell somebody how a place made you feel is one thing; to make them feel it is another. As an alum, I went on to become the subject of the 2019 issue’s “Advocate for Peace,” which highlights my time with a refugee family of eight from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, with whom I volunteered to work for three years. To my surprise, doing that work got me recognized as an Ambassador for Peace by the United Peace Federation. Some of my favorite moments during my time at the magazine involved learning about other interesting topics we were covering and coming up with original and relevant video ideas to go shoot. I got to explore different cities, work with kids, and even suit up as a bee farmer to inspect an apiary. I felt like one of those guys on National Geographic. I wanted people to see what we were creating, so I started designing individual posters for our articles for distribution

around the college. I made recruitment ads in print and video form to increase our manpower. These efforts would bring some of the most unique individuals through the door — individuals with whom I keep dear friendships to this day. Creating content we cared about came with recognition. Shelves were emptying out, videos were gaining thousands of views, and the publication was being compared to those made at four-year colleges. Over the years, we’ve celebrated Apple Awards and Pinnacle Awards from the College Media Association (CMA) for our spread designs and our videos. We even won a 1stplace award for Best Viral Video in a category against fouryear colleges for our video “D.C. on a Budget.” We were especially proud of being recognized in the CMA’s Film Festival Awards and Apple Awards for our coverage of the Baltimore Uprising and the Presidential Inauguration. Events like these can be controversial, but students like Matt Tennyson were never intimidated standing next to CNN or FOX News to deliver fair, quality coverage to the community.

These accomplishments didn’t just occur overnight. They are the result of an advisor who invests her time and energy into quality journalism while being a mom, professor, and student. With that leadership comes a staff who takes every opportunity to grow their skills and create meaningful work. Owl Magazine may have started out as just a local paper in some small Maryland town, but there’s no doubt it’s reached tons of people around the world and made ripples beyond the community. It certainly has made a leader out of me and allowed me to grow my skills as a creative. A calling doesn’t have to be some Hollywood movie scene with a cliché script, sometimes it can happen where you least expect it and be the gateway to the biggest impact. Owl Magazine has left me with this: It doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s what you do while you’re there. Faras Aamir wrote and designed this spread in honor of Owl Magazine’s 10th anniversary. Faras now runs his own media, art, and entertainment brand called Alif Theory.


By Laural Paterini | Photos by John Merkel & Laural Paterini | Owl Staff


’m surrounded by thousands of smiling faces, more than most people have ever seen. The smells of smoke, food, and earth-scented oils fill the air. Colorful clothes and twirling skirts, handmade art, and even dogs mill around the parking lot. “Strangers stopping strangers, just to shake their hands” because everyone is family. There’s absolutely nothing like going home to a Grateful Dead family show. As I walk through the golden gates and into the venue, the smiles are even bigger and the handshakes turn to hugs. Waiting for the band to start, everyone is like giddy school-age children, cheering, clapping, laughing, and dancing. Packed in like a tin of sardines yet happier than a clam, the crowd’s vibe is overwhelming universal love. Living in a world with so little of this, it’s no wonder I became hooked right away. When I hear the music of the Grateful Dead, especially live, something happens to me. I become a molecule of the sound itself, it takes control and guides me. I don’t feel human anymore; I feel like an infinite glowing beam of light bursts through every pore and merges with everyone and everything.


The emotions are pure bliss, connection, and understanding. Whether the tune is uplifting or somber, there is nothing like it. This is my ultimate high, and it’s a nonstop chase. The Grateful Dead became more than a hippie band of the 1960s, more than a direct aid in the psychedelic revolution, more than a rebel counterculture rock group. They became “more than words can tell.” The Grateful Dead is a spirit, a philosophy, and a way of life. I fully believe, considering the destructive path I was on, that if it wasn’t for the Grateful Dead I would not have the life I do now. I might not be alive at all. Back when I was a kid, my dad was in a band, so live music has always been a huge part of my life. In the eighth grade an older girl took me to see The Other Ones (the remaining members of the Grateful Dead) for the first time in 1998. I’d seen countless live shows, but nothing has captured me like the songs of the Grateful Dead. Today, I’m working on maintaining my place on the President’s List at HCC for my third semester in a row. However, 17 years ago I was graduating high school with a GPA of 1.7. I had a lot of wild experiences in my childhood and teen years; ›




“See that girl, barefootin’ along, Whistlin’ and singin’, she’s a carryin’ on” ”

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I seemed to purposefully flock to troublesome situations. After graduating, I started at Anne Arundel Community College in 2002. However, a dramatic series of events and a longing for purpose convinced me to pack my little red Nissan Sentra and hit 95 south just months into my first semester at college. I was living up the beach bum life along the Atlantic coast. A guy I met in Jacksonville Beach, Florida told me about a place he thought I would like and gave me his number. Later, in Miami Beach, I got that longing again. Miami had gone from new and exciting to grotesque and bleak in a matter of months. I called the guy and got directions to the place he’d mentioned. I found myself at a Rainbow Gathering in central Florida. The first thing I saw when I ventured into the woods was a big sign saying, “WELCOME HOME.” This was the first place I found other people who were just like me, roaming the country. The Rainbow Family bases their community on ancient traditions and prophesies. They value love, peace, and respect for all living things, and gather in national forests all over the world. Rainbow Gatherings are about learning how to unlearn society. They’re


about understanding how to live without modern consumption, how to survive without technology, appreciating what you have, and being happy doing it. It was the breath of fresh air I’d been waiting for and I stayed there, in the sandy pines of central Florida, for almost three months. I finally headed west with a few traveling “kids” (people on the road), driving until my car broke down, then hitchhiking and riding freight trains.

“There was music, there was lifestyle, and with that lifestyle came a philosophy that evolved through experience.” My adventures led me to the beautiful Golden State. I landed in a small misty town on the North Coast of California. Tons of us were about to caravan south on the 101 to hit the first show of the Phil Lesh and


Friends tour in San Francisco, but this guy Sunny and I decided to hang back in town to get to know each other. After that weekend, we started traveling together. We hit show after show, explored the country, and went to Rainbow Gatherings when the timing was right. Once, on our way to see a concert, we ended up going to the National Rainbow Gathering, where everyone holds hands on the fourth of July. I’d never felt a feeling like that in my life, holding hands with 20,000 people, all with the collective vision of universal love. It’s what magic is made of, and I give thanks to my concert tours for stumbling upon this enchantment. While in the isolated desert of Quartzite, Arizona, during the international gem shows, I was feeling nauseous. A friend suggested I take a pregnancy test. After going for my annual visit to Santa Barbara after the gem shows, I got medical confirmation that I was pregnant. I panicked; I was on foot and had nothing but my hiking pack! Sunny and I went back to the same tiny mountain town where we met and began to start a life there, although we still traveled when we wanted to. I had my first son in 2006 and he went to his first concert at three weeks old.

“I know only this, I’ve got you today”

“And I’m

gonna lo ve the life I liv e”

Lyrics from left to right: “The Golden Road,” “So Many Roads,” “Help on the Way,” and “Road Runner,” by The Grateful Dead

In 2012, I moved back to Maryland. I wanted my son to know his blood family and have a relationship with my parents. Even though Sunny and I didn’t work out, he moved back to his home state on the East Coast as well. I had my second son in 2013 with my old boyfriend I’d left years ago to hit the road, and things didn’t end up working out with him either. It was hard making shows being a single mom with two kids. I’d always made my own rules, but now I was living life on life’s terms. In the summer of 2016, I found a way to make a Dark Star Orchestra (a Grateful Dead cover band) concert at Pier Six Pavilion in downtown Baltimore. At this show I met Adam, my fiancé. Adam has the same passion for live music as I do, and we agree that if it wasn’t for the music of the Grateful Dead, we wouldn’t have the life we have right now. I had my third son in 2017. We named him Hunter after the recently deceased lyricist for the Grateful Dead, Robert Hunter, and one of our favorite authors, Hunter S. Thompson. Sunny is in a Grateful Dead cover band and he always puts us on the

list to get in for free when he plays a show. My fiancé thinks it’s phenomenal that we can all be friends and share our love for our children and our lives through the music we cherish so much. Adam and I took Hunter, when he too was three weeks old, to his first concert at one of the festivals Sunny’s band played. My personal philosophy was transformed over the years by every detail of the concerts, gatherings, and road trips I experienced. Although I chose my own path, the sound waves and tour schedules I followed made me who I am. Bob Weir, an original founder and member of the Grateful Dead, is spoton in his beautiful description of the Dead philosophy. “There was music, there was lifestyle, and with that lifestyle came a philosophy that evolved through experience. That philosophy, of course, was different for each individual of the family … the process by which it came into being defined the difference ... It

continuously evolved and to this day continues to define itself.” I owe the Grateful Dead for giving me the road less traveled, the experiences unknown, and a life you only hear about in fairy tales. Thanks to this phenomenon called the Grateful Dead, the perspective I’ve acquired over the years has transformed me into a person I never imagined I’d be. I love the life I live and I live the life I love. This drive hasn’t eased up, and I hope it never does. I’ll always be looking for the next show.


American Dream By Caroline Cooney | Owl Staff | Photo by Joseph Wasilewski



he first riffs of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love?” blast from the speakers as the spotlight illuminates Emma Klein. Her soulful voice immediately overpowers the track as she transforms a classic hit into her own, mesmerizing the sea of staring people. For the first time, Klein feels completely in the moment. She almost forgets that she’s performing on a beautiful beach in a national competition. She can’t help feeling emotional at the sight of her brother Alex waving a massive sign with her name on it. This performance in Kapolei, Hawaii would mark the end of 23-year-old Klein’s time on American Idol’s tenth season. Although she didn’t make the top 20, her career as a singersongwriter has skyrocketed since she began, resulting in new beginnings.


BEYOND CAMPUS Music has always been a part of Klein’s life. At age five, she recalls watching Star Search, a national talent competition television series, with her family and knowing she wanted to become a singer. Klein considered becoming an entertainment manager while studying at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. However, after going on a songwriting school trip in Ireland, she knew she wanted to focus on the art of singing and songwriting instead. “[Management] is awesome, but if I spent my whole life managing other artists, I’ll always wonder what would have happened and would regret not giving it a shot myself,” she explains. Although living in Tennessee was overwhelming at first, she improved her songwriting skills and learned to appreciate the “creativity and collaboration” of the industry. In particular, co-writing with other artists in Nashville has shifted Klein’s perspective. “I’ve learned that any time I’m selfish with creativity and I try to make something on my own without asking for help, it’s never as satisfying or rewarding. I stopped looking at it as a competition and started looking at it as a source of motivation,” she says. Music has not only allowed Klein to connect with others, but has also been extremely therapeutic, especially after her brother Alex attempted suicide in 2018. This left him with a brain injury and forced him to relearn how to walk, talk, and eat. “Immediately after it happened, I became super angry like nobody understood what I was going through. I was so sad, lost, and frustrated,” she states. At first, Klein struggled with writing songs after his attempt. “The thing I needed to write about was Alex, but it was so painful and so close that I couldn’t do it,” she explains. She was able to eventually come to peace with the circumstances due to her belief that everything happens for

a reason. “No matter what happens, everything will turn into something new and beautiful. Somehow, even if it’s painful, even if it takes a long time, it will be okay,” Klein says. Through this experience, Klein’s relationship with her brother has grown stronger. With the help of electroconvulsive therapy, Alex’s condition has improved drastically and he has slowly been able to act like “old Alex” again. “Every brain injury is very different, so there’s not one way to predict when people are in the hospital,” Klein elaborates. “I feel like I’ve seen three miracles within the last year. I’m just very hopeful and excited.” Her brother’s suicide attempt was part of the reason she decided to accept the opportunity to audition on American Idol, which “literally fell

“No matter what happens, everything will turn into something new and beautiful.” into [her] lap.” Walker Burroughs, her friend from Belmont University, had given her name to the producers of American Idol, who had immediately wanted her to audition. “When I was doubting whether I should try out for Idol or not, I knew how excited Alex was about it. [He] has always been my biggest support for music stuff, and I would do literally anything to make him smile,” she said. Bobby Bones, a mentor on American Idol, interviewed Klein for the series. Afterward, he asked her to come play keys on the nation-wide tour for his band, Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots. Although he had never heard her play before, he was

confident in her ability. “I was terrified because I had never played piano for somebody else before,” Klein says, adding that piano was not her strongest instrument. With practice and advice from Bones, she quickly strengthened her piano skills. She was even able to sing one of her original songs while the band was opening for country singersongwriter Kip Moore in Bakersfield, California. “As a songwriter, it’s such a gift when even one person takes the time to really listen to the stories I’m telling. So, when you multiply that number exponentially, it’s honestly overwhelming,” she says. Since her first show with Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots, Klein has been promoted to the opening act on Bones’ comedy tour. She was replaced on keys by her friend Burroughs after he was cut from the top ten on American Idol. Klein states, “I think my favorite part of tour is getting to do it with one of my best friends. We have been on every part of this journey together and now getting to fly with him around the country and perform by his side has been such a blessing.” Overall, the tour has been a “terrifying, exhausting, [but] rewarding” experience. Klein hasn’t just improved musically; she has also learned to understand the power in being vulnerable. “It’s scary to tell that many strangers about my deepest thoughts, but after each show, even if one person tells me that my music allowed them to feel seen, I know I’ve done my job,” she says. “It really has been such a gift.” With this rising fame, Klein has been able to stay grounded with the help of her family and friends. She realizes success and fame don’t matter if she can’t connect with people. Klein says, “No career goal, relationship, song, or performance will complete me if I do it without God and good people in my life.”




What Remains?

The Art of Leaving Less Behind

By Marla Goffin & Amanda Mosmiller | Photo by John Merkel | Owl Staff

A traditional burial isn’t the only way to lay a loved one to rest.


ore than half of Americans are interested in “green” burials, according to a survey by the National Funeral Directors Association. After a life spent doing one’s best to protect the environment, it just doesn’t seem fitting to leave behind a legacy of formaldehyde, concrete, and treated wood or metal — key features of a typical burial. Common green burial options involve materials that will degrade quickly and harmlessly. Some have chosen to be wrapped in natural fabrics and placed directly into their burial plots. Others use caskets made from wicker, bamboo, or other biodegradable materials. Natural burials don’t just benefit the environment; they can keep wallets greener, too. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, a traditional funeral — and burial — costs over $7000 on


average. Skipping out on a traditional burial can make the process both responsible and inexpensive. However, many of the more unorthodox ways to be laid to rest involve cremation, rather than conventional interment. A range of firms offer unconventional ways to “scatter” a loved one’s ashes. Heavens Above Fireworks in the United Kingdom uses pyrotechnics, offering ash-dispersing firework displays. Another one of their services, while less ecologically conscious, carries ashes even further. In conjunction with a “space burial” company called Celestis, Heavens Above Fireworks has scheduled “Memorial Space Flights,” during which human remains will be launched into space and even landed on the moon. Cremation may overall impact the planet less severely than typical burials, but one can go one step further and directly benefit the

environment with one’s remains. Eternal Reefs, a memorial service with a location in Ocean City, Maryland, allows the deceased person’s ashes to be incorporated into an artificial reef, serving as a habitat for aquatic wildlife while still allowing families to add a personal touch. Becky Peterson, a spokesperson for Eternal Reefs, says “Families can be as involved as they want. They can actually put handprints, put mementos, trinkets … into the damp concrete, which many of them choose to do.” An Italian project called Capsula Mundi offers another way to nurture the environment after death: a cremated loved one can be placed in an urn (or “pod”) and “planted,” along with a tree, on family property. As the urn and its contents degrade, they sustain and nourish the tree. Although cremations generally cause less pollution than traditional burials, they still burn fossil fuels. Chemical cremation — also called resomation — opens up new possibilities for reducing one’s posthumous carbon footprint. According to Bio Cremation, the resomation process “biochemically hydrolyzes the human body, leaving only bone fragments.” These fragments are then processed and returned to the family. Certain companies in the field, including Eternal Reefs, are now accepting resomated remains in addition to ashes. One can exit with a flare, while still being conscientious about what’s left behind. Life is short, but a commitment to respecting and preserving the planet can endure long after death.


Eye in the Sky


Zooming in on the James Webb Space Telescope By Allison Cobert | Illustration by John Merkel | Owl Staff


mid the light of the moon, the sky glows full of mysteries. No two areas are quite the same in the sprawling arena of space which humans, so small in comparison, cannot begin to imagine. The Hubble Space Telescope was one of the first instruments to take clear pictures from beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Almost 30 years of imaging have been displayed for all to see. The Hubble sparked the raw human instinct to further explore the universe and the unknown. At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, a pivotal project is in the works. Scheduled to launch in 2021, The James Webb Space Telescope (also known as JWST or the Webb) will surpass the Hubble’s limitations and aims to pierce the ambiguity surrounding how the galaxy was formed and what lies beyond the Milky Way. John Mather, Nobel laureate and Senior Astrophysicist, is the Senior Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope. “... Our new telescope will be bigger, better, and more powerful, see farther back in time, see into the dust clouds where stars are being born,” Mather told Edward Goldstein in an interview on NASA’s website. Mather also addresses the importance of understanding the conditions that allowed for life on Earth. “We hope to touch the whole history of our own situation, how the Earth could come to be, beginning with the primordial material, and this is a tremendously exciting thing for us, but it is still only the beginning of the questions that people have in mind,” he says.

The James Webb Space Telescope will use infrared to provide a clearer view of space. NASA’s website explains further, “It is with infrared light that we can see stars and planetary systems forming inside clouds of dust that are opaque to visible light.”

The Webb aims to pierce the ambiguity surrounding how the galaxy was formed and what lies beyond the Milky Way. In addition to helping us uncover the mysteries of our own creation, the Webb may help us in our quest to discover life in the further reaches of the universe. NASA plans to use the telescope to examine exoplanets — planets outside our own solar system — at levels of de-

tail beyond the Hubble’s capabilities. If any of these strange worlds are capable of harboring life, the Webb will have a better chance of detecting it. The new infrared technology will also help answer burning questions about our closer neighbors. NASA says the Webb will be used to study the chemistry of Mars’ atmosphere. Elizabeth Landau at NASA states the instrument will “look for certain chemicals that relate to the history of water on Mars. Water is an essential ingredient for life as we know it, so understanding when the planet was wetter is connected to the question [of] any potential life, past or present.” The James Webb Space Telescope, whether used to gaze lightyears into the universe or to examine the planet next door, will signify a monumental advancement in space exploration. The vast array of stars filling the void suddenly look closer. The dark sky above has a story waiting to be told and with the help of the Webb, mankind will be able to listen.




Phoenix Rising

An Introduction to the Transgender Experience Article & Photo by Adeyemi Ekundayo | Owl Staff

Madisynn Emerson found greater life satisfaction when she started transitioning at age 21.


hen Madisynn Emerson opened her eyes and looked around her hospital room, her emotions rose to the surface. The woman hiding inside was finally set free. “I remember waking up and ... I just started crying,” she says, “and the nurses were like ‘what’s wrong?’ ... but I was just so happy to feel this weight on my chest for the first time.” Emerson is transgender, meaning she doesn’t identify with the physiological sex she was assigned at birth. When she was 21, she decided to undergo hormone therapy and begin aligning her body with her gender identity. So, when she woke up from her breast implant surgery, she felt she had achieved a major accomplishment. But that wasn’t the first step in her journey. Like many transgender, or


“trans” people, Emerson’s introduction to her identity was marked with doubt and a feeling of lostness. She felt that the woman inside always called to her, but still had to navigate her life and identity with little support. “I only had my grandmother and my aunt growing up,” she shares. “[My grandmother] always says that when I was about six years old, I said to her ‘Mom-Mom, the only thing that makes me a boy is the thing in my pants.’” As she grew older, her feelings remained, but anxieties had taken root. “My whole life, I was told I was going through a phase,” she says. “When I finally started to drop the whole cargo shorts, t-shirt, and jeans and started getting more into makeup and feminine clothing, I felt so much more comfortable in myself. My confidence rose tremendously.”

With this confidence, Emerson has been able to remain true to her selfexpression throughout the hardships she’s endured. Emerson’s story echoes the bravery of many transgender people who have renewed themselves by stepping up to their fears. According to a 2016 study by The Williams Institute, there were a reported 22,300 people who identified as transgender in Maryland alone. For the entire country, that number raised to 1.4 million people. While gender identity is sometimes thought to be tied to sexual orientation, this is not necessarily the case. Gender describes an aspect of one’s identity, while sexuality describes the types of intimate partners one prefers. This, and many other distinctions, make gender identity a complex issue for some people to understand.

Emerson is very familiar with this as her fiancé transitioned from female to reflect his male gender identity. Since Emerson considers herself a heterosexual woman, dating a man aligns with her sexual orientation. “I’m engaged to a trans man,” says Emerson. “So I get so many things thrown at me where people are like ‘why are you guys transitioning to be together?’ And it’s simply because he’s a man and I’m a woman.” While gender identity and sexual orientation can be related, one does not necessarily determine the other. This is exemplified by Claire Sawyer and her wife, Carolyn Lipinski. Sawyer and Lipinski started dating in 1992 and were wed in 2000. When Sawyer decided to transition to female decades later, they saw a marked improvement in their relationship In Sawyer’s words, “[Transitioning] was the savior of me, and me existing in a good state is integral to our relationship.” Lipinski’s love for Sawyer transcends gender identity. “I’m pansexual so I like all genders,” she says. “I love her very much and she’s the light of my life.” Her love has spurred her to become proactive in educating herself on transgender topics. Lipinski explains, “If I’m not understanding something, I’ll read articles about it. On Facebook, I’m a member of a support group for the spouses and partners of transgender people.” This helps her to be more informed about transgender issues in the face of opposition. Like Emerson and her fiancé, Sawyer and Lipinski have been

exposed to harrowing discrimination. Sawyer explains, “People get assaulted for no reason. I’ve had an appointment with a doctor and then when they found out I’m trans, they said, ‘we won’t treat you,’ and then the appointment was canceled.” Stories like Sawyer’s are common among trans people. According to the National LGBTQ Task Force, around one in five people reported being refused care outright because they were transgender.

There were a reported 22,300 people who identified as transgender in Maryland alone. Discrimination and bigotry endanger trans people on a regular basis. For this reason, Emerson warns against speaking about a trans person’s identity without permission. “It’s a very dangerous world that we live in,” she cautions. “Let me express who I am to them on my own terms.” When having these types of discussions, it can also be offensive to “mis-gender” trans people. This happens when you refer to someone using pronouns that are not aligned with their gender identity. If someone prefers the pronouns “he,” or “him,” calling them “she” or “her” could potentially hurt them or

expose them to discrimination — or even violence. By November 2019, there were at least 22 reported murders of transgender or gender non-conforming people in the United States, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Three of them were in Maryland. In fact, the year before saw nine reports of anti-transgender incidences in Maryland, according to the Maryland 2018 Hate Bias Report. In 2019, the American Medical Association described the violence against the transgender community as an “epidemic,” citing transgender people of color as the most at risk due to a “disturbing pattern of violence toward black transgender women.” That same year, Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reported that “about 78% of the transgender students met criteria for one or more mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-injury and suicide risk.” With so many threats to their safety, transgender people are one of the most at-risk populations in America. In the interest of resolving this issue, Emerson, Sawyer, and Lipinski all agree upon one solution: open discussion. “Just have discussions,” says Emerson. “On both sides, stop letting the anger get the best of you and really listen to what people are saying.” Though the journey has sometimes been dark, Emerson says that transitioning is like “looking in the mirror and seeing you for the first time. Seeing you come alive … This is me now. This is me at my happiest.”

INFORMATION The second week of November is dedicated to increasing visibility and discussing the discrimination transgender individuals experience. Transgender Awareness Week culminates with a day of remembrance to honor lost members of the community.

TRANS LIFELINE 877-565-8860 www.translifeline.org

LGBT NATIONAL TREVOR LIFELINE HOTLINE 1-866-488-7386 1-888-843-4564 www.glbthotline.org



.edu for d r o f r a h l@ w o f Contact har ion more informat


Mutts Gone Nuts April 4 at 3 PM in the Amoss Center

HCC Annual Art + Design Exhibition January 20 - February 21; Chesapeake Gallery, Student Center No Exit HCC Actors Guild February 7, 8, 14 & 15 @ 8 PM; February 16 @ 3 PM Blackbox Theater Joppa Hall ARTSFEST: A Sunday Afternoon of Music and Fine Art February 9 @ 3 PM Chesapeake Theater & Student Center

Visit LIVEatHarfordCC.com for tickets and complete event schedule.

The Pout-Pout Fish February 28 @ 7 PM Amoss Center Harlem Globetrotters March 5, @ 7 PM APG Federal Credit Union Arena

A Chorus Line March 6, 7, 13 & 14 @ 7 PM; March 8 & 15 @ 2 PM Chesapeake Theater

HCC Music Students in Recital May 13 @ 7 PM Recital Hall #1, Joppa Hall

“Hail:” Gallery by Garrett Hansen March 9 - April 10 Chesapeake Gallery, Student Center

An Evening of Jazz feat. Second Shift and the HCC Jazz Ensemble May 15 @ 8 PM Recital Hall #1, Joppa Hall

An Evening of Jazz: Irene Jalenti’s Homage to the Beatles March 27 @ 8 PM Recital Hall #1, Joppa Hall

The Wizard of Oz May 15 @ 7 PM; May 16 @ 4 PM & 7 PM; May 17 @ 1 PM & 4 PM Chesapeake Theater

The Golden Dragons March 15 @ 3 PM Amoss Center

The Mind of a Child HCC Actors Guild May 29 & 30, June 5 & 6 @ 8 PM; May 31 & June 7 @ 3 PM Blackbox Theater, Joppa Hall

Llama, Llama - LIVE! April 25 @ 12 & 3 PM Amoss Center Sunday Afternoon Concert Series feat. Frances and Emmanuel Borowsky April 26 @ 3 PM Joppa Hall, Recital Hall 1

Kinetic Canvas July 31 @ 7 PM; August 1 @ 6 PM Chesapeake Theater


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Owl Magazine - THE DESTINY ISSUE 2020 - A Harford Community College Student Publication  

Owl Magazine - THE DESTINY ISSUE 2020 - A Harford Community College Student Publication

Owl Magazine - THE DESTINY ISSUE 2020 - A Harford Community College Student Publication  

Owl Magazine - THE DESTINY ISSUE 2020 - A Harford Community College Student Publication

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