WASHINGTON COLLEGE MAGAZINE FALL 2018
Making it Real
Design Software Computer Control Stations
Photo by Brian Palmer
Where Ideas Come to Life
Design Software Computer Control Stations
Washington College’s interdisciplinary approach to learning is on full display in its IDEAWORKS Innovation Suite and Makerspace. Here, members of the Makers Union collaborate on design/build projects that require mastery of design software, 3D printers, power tools, and electrical systems. Last fall, a crew of students plunged into the challenge of building an electric boat capable of racing the 25-mile course of the Wye River Electric Boat Marathon. Learning through trial and error, the students are now at work on a third iteration of the electric boat project— a catamaran built on two 42-foot carbon fiber rowing shells that were donated to the project. This vessel will carry an eight-foot deck to support a driver and a set of solar panels also donated to IDEAWORKS. “With 3.9 kilowatts of power being pulled from the sun, the next version of the solar electric catamaran will not only have power to spare, but will be capable of traveling somewhat indefinitely,” says Brian Palmer, director of digital services and adviser to the Makers Union (pictured at center). “This opens up some interesting new research projects and challenges for the team.”
for bringing designs to life
F E AT U R E S
20 Explore America Highly competitive and fully funded, the Starr Center’s Explore America Summer Internships program opens doors for students at some of the nation's most renowned cultural institutions.
by Marcia C. Landskroener M’02
24 Being There A new technology known as augmented reality brings archival resources to life, and students are the key curators working with rare objects. by Wendy Mitman Clarke M’16
30 In the Arena The political landscape is studded with Washington College alumni—some are working for high-powered Republicans and others are working for change. by Jack Bohrer ’06
D E PARTM E NTS
News The Hodson Boathouse promises to be a game-changer. John Seidel launches new course in material culture and experimental archaeology.
14 Faculty Elizabeth O’Connor delves into the life and work of a modernist artist. 16 Students Political science major focuses on Amerian-Asian populations. Twin sisters on the soccer team share school record for career goals. 35
Alumni Update Class notes. Alumni spotlights.
46 Development Alumni establish legacy gifts for scholarships. 2
WASHINGTON COLLEGE MAGAZINE
Volume LXIX No. 1 Fall 2018 ISSN 2152-9531
WASHINGTON COLLEGE MAGAZINE FALL 2018
Making it Real
An Explore America intern at the National Museum of American History this summer, Gaviota Hernandez Quiñones ’21 conducted research in support of a national curricular project known as Becoming US. Credit: National Museum of American History
Marcia C. Landskroener M’02 ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Wendy Mitman Clarke M’16 ASSISTANT EDITOR
Karen M. Jones CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR
Marie K. Thomas STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Taylor Fields ’17 CLASS NOTES EDITOR
Erin Oittinen EDITORIAL CONSULTANT
Rolando Irizarry CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Jack Bohrer ’06 Joan Katherine Cramer Meredith Kenton’19 T. Christian Landskoener
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Dear Readers, W
hat is it about washington college that holds us together? It’s our shared history, the stories and memories of this place that transcend the passage of time and remind us that, whatever our experiences here, they changed us for the better. The people who mattered to us then matter to us still and, as time goes by, those friendships mean more than ever. I was struck by just how powerful those relationships are when Sherry Magill, a dear friend from the Douglass Cater days, returned to campus to receive the Award for Excellence at Fall Convocation. marcia c. We honored Sherry not only for landskroener her work over the past 25 years at m’02 the helm of the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund, but for her role in a pivotal chapter in the history of Washington College. It was a heady time. President Douglass Cater, a Washington journalist and trusted aide to Lyndon B. Johnson, was intent on putting Washington College on the map. We were his foot soldiers, enlisted to spread the Washington College gospel. We were young, idealistic, and committed to the work at hand: to propel this place into what Cater liked to call “a higher orbit” among the nation’s liberal arts and sciences institutions. How did Cater and his vice president, Sherry Magill, propose to do that? By building community. “The education you will experience here, in truth, isn’t entirely about you,” Magill told students at convocation. “It is about us. The collective ‘we.’ A purpose beyond self. A community purpose. A larger public purpose.” She was reminding me, and all of us who believe in what Washington College stands for, that democracy is rooted in the idea of community and our obligations to one another. “We own our future,” she says, “and how we imagine that future matters deeply.” That’s what real friends are for.
Washington College Magazine (USPS 667-260) is published three times a year by Washington College, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, Maryland 21620 Copyright 2018 Washington College.
Address correspondence to Washington College Magazine, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620, or by email to email@example.com. (Telephone: 410-778-7797). www.washcoll.edu PRINTED IN THE USA.
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The Real Story By Kurt Landgraf
T At Fall Convocation, College President Kurt Landgraf presents the Interfraternity-Panhellenic Council Awards to Kappa Alpha Order and Alpha Omicron Pi. Accepting the awards are Cameron Watson ’19 (left) and Mackenzie Bosack ’19—both biology majors. Tamzin B. Smith Portrait Photography
WASHINGTON COLLEGE MAGAZINE
hroughout my career in corporate America, I became what is known as a transitional leader. Whether developing a new market for duPont or saving the Educational Testing Service from financial ruin, I’ve typically been called upon to assess the unique challenges and opportunities of a given organization and guide it through what can be difficult waters. Whatever the circumstances, I take a systematic approach to turning things around and getting things done. I can tell you with certainty that leading Washington College in this macro environment is the greatest test of my career. You don’t need me to remind you that institutions of the liberal arts and sciences in this country are under assault. Greater competition for fewer students, a shrinking middle class, and declining philanthropic support—coupled with ever-higher costs, growing demands for student services, unsustainable tuition discount rates, and spiraling student debt—have created a perfect storm. Here at Washington College, we’ve been heading straight into the wind. Our enrollment numbers are down and our alumni participation in annual giving is disappointing. The good news? Allow me to extend the metaphor. We’re tacking. The ship is solid. My crew is on high alert. Calmer waters are just around the point. And here’s how I plan to get us there. As with every happy story about Washington College, my plan focuses on people and relationships. It takes into consideration who we are, where we are, and the incredible programs and assets that truly distinguish us among the best liberal arts and sciences colleges in the nation.
In the pages that follow, you’ll meet Susie Chase ’90 P’20, our new vice president for college advancement, and Mark Hampton, our executive vice president for strategy and operations. These two already know Washington College and are committed to its success. With a strong senior leadership team in place, I’m turning my attention to alumni, people of critical importance to the future of Washington College, to better understand how you want to engage with the place that gave you such amazing opportunities to learn and grow and develop into the fine people you are today. You are 11,000 strong. At the first meeting of the President’s Working Group in October, I heard that you love Washington College despite its shortcomings, you value the educational foundation that helped launch your careers, and you treasure the lifelong friendships you made here. You care about the future of Washington College. And you want to be heard. I assure you that I’m listening, and you have a direct line of communication to me through Judie Barroll, the director of alumni and constituent engagement, who reports to me. Speaking of better communication, I have commissioned three value proposition task forces to help us articulate to prospective students and families—as well as to donors— what our alumni know so well about the transformative power of a Washington College education. Faculty and staff members on these task forces, led by Provost and Dean of the College Patrice DiQuinzio and myself, are considering how we can better integrate our academic programs into the three signature centers—the Center for Environment & Society, the Starr Center
H I N GT
RE P U B
V. C O L L E G RE
Honor Roll of Donors
YL . S I G I L . AR
Last year, 4,005 donors committed $26,794,968 to Washington College and brought the Forge a Legacy Campaign total to $116,270,466. With the continued support of our generous donors, we expect to close out the $150 million campaign in 2020. The Annual Honor Roll of Donors, available online, features donors from last fiscal year (July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018), who have given consecutively for five years or more, or were members of the 1782 Society, George Washington Legacy Society, Alumni Board, or Board of Visitors and Governors.
During his visit to WC in October, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) spoke with political science students and toured the new Hodson Boathouse. He is pictured (standing, center left) with College President Kurt Landgraf, Provost and Dean Patrice DiQuinzio, and students from two of Prof. Melissa Deckman’s political science courses.
for the Study of the American Experience, and the Rose O’Neill Literary House. The intent is to find new opportunities for student and alumni engagement across all disciplines. The Cater Society, Chesapeake Semester, the Kiplin Hall program, the Sophie Kerr Prize, Explore America internships, the River and Field Campus, the GIS lab, to name just a few—we have so much going for us, so much that appeals to prospective students. Because we are so dependent on tuition dollars, it’s imperative that greater numbers of prospective students enroll. We are supporting Lorna Hunter, vice president for enrollment management, in every way possible. And finally, given our forecasted budgetary constraints, we are taking steps to better control our spending and to find new sources of revenue. We are conducting a functional review of what we spent our money on and developing strategies to improve our fundraising efforts. I urge you to support Washington College at whatever level you can afford.
This is as real as it gets. What I need is for every constituency of Washington College— members of the Board of Visitors and Governors, faculty, staff, students, parents, friends, and alumni—especially alumni—to consider the tremendous value of this place, to act boldly and think anew, to consider what you can do to help us sail safely through the storm. The status quo is not an option. Let’s find our way forward together so that Washington College can do more than just survive—but thrive for future generations of students who can make the most of all we have to offer.
Washington College takes sustainability and a green environment seriously. With the recent hiring of Greg Farley as Director of Sustainability, the College is more cognizant of how each of us and our departments can contribute to a greener campus. For this reason, the Annual Honor Roll of Donors will now be digital only. The link can be found at washcoll.edu/honorroll. Thank you for your support of Washington College, which changes lives. Sincerely, Susie Chase ’90 P’20 Vice President for Advancement
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: College President Landgraf with Eileen Dickey, grant administrator for The Hodson Trust. The Hodson Boathouse is ready for its debut. Cutting the ribbon are, from left, Ann Horner ’80, Alex Kincaid ’19, Eileen Dickey, Regis de Ramel ’97, Kurt Landgraf, and Thad Moore. With head women's rowing coach Kari Hughes looking on, former head rowing coach Michael Davenport christens the new shell named in his honor, as members of the women's rowing team applaud. Photos by Jackie Jablecki
WASHINGTON COLLEGE MAGAZINE
Hodson Boathouse Has Its Day Hundreds turn out for the dedication of what promises to be a game-changer for the College’s rowing and sailing teams, and a community focal point on the Chester River.
he day was tailor-made for a celebration by the Chester River— sunny, balmy, and blue-skied. Even a gaggle of geese lingered on the nearby pier as Washington College President Kurt Landgraf joined coaches, student athletes, alumni, community members, and a representative of The Hodson Trust to dedicate the new Hodson Boathouse. The facility, in the words of Athletics Director Thad Moore, “establishes Washington College as a top Division III destination for first-class prospective rowing and sailing student athletes and ensures an exceptional future on the water.” The event on Sept. 22 marked the culmination of a vision for the waterfront supported and nurtured for decades by The Hodson Trust, which donated $2.5 million to launch the $5 million project. In cutting the ribbon, Landgraf was joined by Moore; Eileen Dickey of The Hodson Trust; Regis de Ramel ’97, a member of the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors (BVG) and crew team alumnus who made a $1 million gift; BVG member and donor Ann Horner ’80; and Alex Kincaid ’19, captain of the men’s rowing team. “Few schools are lucky enough to have a river as beautiful and storied as the Chester as part of their history and fabric. And even fewer are lucky enough to count The Hodson Trust among their most generous supporters,” Landgraf told the gathering of some 300 onlookers. “Since the birth of the College’s rowing program some 50 years ago, The Hodson Trust has been a loyal supporter of the College’s waterfront activities.”
Moore called the new boathouse “a true game-changer for our rowing and sailing programs with respect to both recruiting and student athlete development. Washington College is one of only nine Division III institutions to sponsor men’s rowing, women’s rowing, and sailing all at the varsity level, and this facility properly frames the commitment of the department and institution to those programs.” With environmental sustainability at the forefront, Hodson Boathouse is heated and cooled by an energy-efficient geothermal well system, lighting is entirely LED, and the deck is made of recycled plastic. As noted by the building’s designer, the architecture and engineering firm HGA, “Water is one of the most important elements of the site for the College because of the focus on the Chester River as an area of study; therefore, water usage and protection of the watershed through rain gardens and shoreline mitigation plantings were identified early on as primary concerns for project performance.” Rowing captain Kincaid said he chose to attend WC because student athletes can reach beyond competition to study abroad or run charity drives, and because “it felt like family.” As he surveyed the graceful lines of the striking building, he echoed what many in the crowd no doubt were thinking: “It was very much worth the wait.”
Changes at the Top
New Board Leadership
Two former Washington College administrators return to join the leadership team.
Mark Hampton is executive vp for strategy and operations. Photo by Jay Alexander
Susie Chase ’90 P’20 is vp for college advancement.
WASHINGTON COLLEGE MAGAZINE
ark C. Hampton, who led Washington College’s Office of Finance and Administration for two years before taking a position at the New York Institute of Technology, has returned to WC as executive vice president of strategy and operations. And Susannah “Susie” Chase ’90 P’20, who has worked for Washington College’s Development Office two previous times, returned to her alma mater in October to become vice president for college advancement. In his new role, Hampton will concentrate on developing and executing a strategy that will enhance the College’s financial stability and solidify its long-term sustainability. “I am very excited by this opportunity to return to Washington College to help President Landgraf and his senior staff guide Washington College to its brightest possible future,” Hampton said. “The forward momentum at the College has clearly grown under President Landgraf’s leadership, and I really think the College’s best days are at hand.” Chase joins the senior leadership as the College wraps up a $150 million fundraising campaign, which now stands at $116 million. In her early career at Washington College, Chase managed the mini-campaign that raised $2.5 million in 18 months to help fund the new Kirby Stadium. Chase has honed her skills in a career focused on development and management in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She held leadership positions at the U.S. Lacrosse Foundation, Innovative Wellness Solutions, Baltimore’s Living Classrooms Foundation, and, most recently, One Love Foundation. “I can imagine no place I would rather be at this time in my life or at this point in my career,” Chase says of her return to Chestertown. “To have the opportunity to serve the College alongside of people who truly understand all that is unique and special about our community is a gift. This is a place that brought out the very best in us as students, and I am humbled by the opportunity to work and give back in a meaningful way.”
Steve Golding '72 is the new board chair.
As Larry Culp ’85 steps into the top leadership post at General Electric, he is stepping down from the top post of Washington College's board. Succeeding him as chair is Steve Golding ’72, a member of Washington College’s Board of Visitors and Governors since 2003. “Serving as board chair has been as rewarding as any experience in my career,” Culp says. “Washington College, its town, and its future are near and dear to my heart. I am thrilled to take on this new opportunity at GE, and I am delighted to pass the board gavel to Steve Golding, who will bring his immense talent and leadership abilities at an exciting time for the College. I am pleased to remain on the board. I remain committed to supporting our outstanding college, albeit with less time due to my new commitment at GE.” Golding brings 25 years of higher education leadership experience to his new role, having served as CFO, budget director or chief administrative officer at four different public and private national universities. Prior to entering higher education financial management, Golding was the State of Delaware’s secretary of finance and budget director.
Revolutionary Chesapeake The Chesapeake Regional Studies program offers a new course in material culture and experimental archaeology that includes an extraordinary week in Colonial Williamsburg.
LEFT: Washington College students are put through the paces of an infantry drill. RIGHT: Colonial Williamsburg artisan Jenny Lynn works with anthropology major Nick Cain ’18 in the tin shop. During the Revolutionary War, Virginia's government established a tin shop to supply the army with kettles, plates, cups, and other items.
his spring, Washington College students will have a rare opportunity to take a class that will help them explore what life was like for soldiers and civilians during the American Revolution—in a very hands-on way. While learning about the people who helped the United States gain independence, they’ll also act the part, trying their hands at traditional blacksmithing, firing an 18th-century musket, and casting metal or hewing wood. “The Revolutionary Chesapeake: Material Culture and Experimental Archaeology,” looks at the everyday material culture of the Chesapeake Bay during the American Revolution. John Seidel, the Lammot du Pont Copeland Associate Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies, and Charles Fithian, a lecturer in anthropology, will lead students on the
exploration of what civilians used on an everyday basis, how those needs changed during the War for Independence, and how an American army was supplied. This course will also illustrate the contribution of those who have too often gone unrecognized, including women and African Americans who were part of the struggle. This semester-long course, which grew out of a weeklong course in Colonial Williamsburg Seidel and Fithian offered last spring, mixes traditional coursework with an active hands-on approach. Over spring break in March, the pair will again take students behind the scenes in Colonial Williamsburg to work with internationally recognized curators, skilled tradesmen, and specialists to study and use a wide range of 18th-century domestic and military material culture.
“What most people don’t appreciate is the incredible level of expertise these craftspeople have,” Seidel says. “They’ve gone through apprenticeships to learn a trade and, in addition, they have to do original document research. They possess an incredible depth of experience and an impressive knowledge of original sources, and in encounters with the general public they never get to talk about it. To impart the wisdom they’ve gained over the years and to talk in detail to people who are fascinated by what they do is really exciting for them. We heard from artisans on more than one occasion: ‘That was the best day on the job ever.’”
CAMPUS NEWS | BY THE NUMBERS
Experience Comes at a Price Scholarships help bright young students get to Washington College. Internships help them make that education relevant for graduate studies and careers. But not all interns are equally compensated. Some, like the GIS and Explore America interns, are fully paid. Others, like the premed student who spent his summer in a university research lab, work for free. Cole Rineer â€™19 skateboarded the two miles between the train station and the lab. The Hodson Trust Internship Program covered his daily train fare, making his unpaid internship possible. As Washington College seeks to offer greater numbers of internships, funding will also need to grow.
Funding directed to student internships in AY 2017-18 and Summer 2018
Financial Awards for Summer Internships
Awards from Top Five Funding Sources $139,314 William B. Johnson Internship Fund $84,496 Hodson Trust Internship Program $73,630 Geographic Information Systems Program $49,500 John S. Toll Fellowship Program $40,000 Explore America
WASHINGTON COLLEGE MAGAZINE
The number of students completing internships in AY 2017-18 and Summer 2018
NUMBER OF INTERNSHIPS BY AREA OF FOCUS:
85 60 59 44 38 17 12 12
Geographic Information Systems American history Writing and publishing Environmental science & related fields Political science/international studies/ national security Business and finance Health and medicine Non-profits and the arts
Trash to Treasure At the Move-In Market sponsored by the Student Environmental Alliance (SEA), students found treasures for their dorm rooms among last year’s cast-offs. It was part of an ongoing effort to reduce waste and improve sustainability on campus. All of the goods had been acquired last April, when SEA and Residential Life hosted a Dorm Room Donation Drive to collect unwanted items. Residential Life staffers encouraged students to contribute items rather than throw them away, while SEA members collected donations that would find new homes. The SEA boxed and sealed all of the furniture, small electronics, décor, and kitchenware, and stored them in the Chestertown Armory over the summer. Any donated clothing, shoes, or books were given away to members of the Chestertown community. All collected school supplies were given to local elementary schools, while the nonperishable food items were donated to the local food bank. Mini fridges and microwaves were passed along to Intercultural Affairs—to be donated to the incoming class of Washington’s Scholars. Some items were also donated to local victims of a fire in critical need of assistance. That hard work paid off this fall for 115 students who came to Move-In Market Day to snag free desk lamps, kitchen supplies, Swiffer Sweepers, trash cans, fans, and more. While many were happy simply to save money on college necessities, they also took satisfaction in supporting SEA’s waste reduction goals at large. —Meredith Kenton ’19
Leading the Charge Washington College takes another step forward in reducing its carbon footprint.
ashington College fired up its first electric vehicle charging stations in late October, hosting a cruise-in that drew half a dozen electric and hybrid-electric vehicles to plug in behind Bunting Hall, as car owners, faculty, staff, students, and local residents stopped by to learn more about electric vehicles, compare notes, and even go for a test drive. “The plan at the Center for Environment & Society, which started this concept, was to build forward,” says Greg Farley, the College’s director of sustainability. “This is the infrastructure that students and parents will come to expect. I’ve already had one parent call me and say, ‘Can I charge my car while I’m here visiting with my student?’ and it was great to be able to say, ‘Yes!’’’ The network of six chargers across campus marks a great step forward for the College’s sustainability efforts. The charging network was made possible by $10,000 in donations, while Tesla donated four of the six charging units. Chesapeake College also donated two non-Tesla units. Three of the units are for charging Tesla model vehicles specifically, while the other three can charge all models of electric vehicles including the Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan Leaf. Students, faculty, staff, visitors, and others will be able to use the chargers for up to four hours at a time after purchasing a $25 annual permit from the Department of Public Safety (the fee helps offset the electricity use). “The College’s commitment to creating this charging network sends the message to everyone in the College community, from parents and students to faculty and members of the Board of Visitors and Governors, that if they choose to make the switch to EVs, we will support them in that,” Farley says.
To obtain a charging pass for the EV charging network, contact Public Safety at 410-778-7810. For more information about the charging network and the College’s sustainability initiatives, contact Greg Farley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smallwood Papers Unveiled at Maryland State Archives An important collection of Revolutionary-era military letters has come home to Maryland.
rimary sources are incredibly valuable to historians, especially when they can shed light on a critical episode in history that has been largely forgotten. So when Adam Goodheart learned that the Revolutionary-era papers of Colonel William Smallwood, commander of the 1st Maryland Regiment, were going up for auction, he knew Maryland historians—including the young historians of Washington College—were about to strike gold. For years, scholars at the Maryland State Archives and the Maryland Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) have been intent on “Finding the Maryland 400,” a research project investigating the lives and contributions of a tiny band of citizen-soldiers who went up against nearly 30,000 British soldiers in the Battle of Brooklyn on New York’s western Long Island. The Maryland Old Line, as it became known, covered George Washington’s retreating army by repeatedly charging a British gun emplacement. Without their bravery, Washington’s army surely would have been overrun, the war over in its earliest days. Goodheart, director of the Starr Center of the American Experience, alerted colleagues at the Maryland State Archives and SAR, about the impending sale. James A. Adkins, a vice president of the Maryland chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, offered to help acquire the treasure trove of military correspondence, which are now held in a special collection in the Maryland State Archives. Goodheart and some of the Washington College students who have been studying the Maryland 400 were on hand 12
WASHINGTON COLLEGE MAGAZINE
ABOVE: At the Maryland State Archives, Sen. Mike Miller greets three Washington College students who have been studying the Maryland 400. Pictured from left are Elizabeth Cassibry ’20, Cassie Sottile ’20, and Lori Wysong ’19. AT RIGHT: The Smallwood papers on display.
for the unveiling of the William Smallwood papers on Aug. 26—the 242nd anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn. The collection includes reports regarding Smallwood’s 1777 campaign to put down the uprising by Loyalists on the Eastern Shore, as well as dispatches regarding troop movements, supplies, pay, and unit organization during the Southern Campaign in the Carolinas in 1781-1782. “These historically-important records reveal new insights into life in Revolutionary Maryland, and into the functions of the
army,” wrote Owen Laurie, the Maryland 400 project director. “They describe the struggles faced by Maryland’s soldiers, and their willingness to overcome them. By bringing this collection to the Archives, we are ensuring that these letters, and all the stories they can tell, will be preserved and kept accessible to the public in perpetuity.” The “Finding Maryland 400” project formed the basis of an Explore America summer internship for history major Elizabeth Cassibry ’20 (see page 23).
Building Bountiful Habitat
The Work of PlayPenn
With the help of a $700,000 grant from the state DNR, the project team has enlisted 27 landowners in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties. By the end of the year, it hopes to have converted 375 acres into grasslands, as well as another 36 acres into wetlands. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has kicked in $499,000 to create another 275 acres of upland habitat and 27 acres of wetlands, extending farther south into Talbot County. “It’s not going to be for everyone, and we’re not trying to twist landowners’ or farmers’ arms to do this,” Small explained. “They have to want to create that change on the property.” But if someone has marginal cropland they’re willing to convert, he said, they can be compensated for taking the land out of production by signing up for one of the federal farmland conservation programs, with the project’s grant funding to help make up any difference.
Every summer, the organization—which supports the development of plays and playwrights year-round—chooses a handful of new works to hone and steward at their yearly conference. The selected playwrights participate in intensive workshops to improve their pieces, and the public is invited to free readings of the works-inprogress. They’re not fully fleshed out performances yet, but readings by actors as the script takes shape. “We don’t really respond to plays that are topical [or that] lean into an idea,” said Michele Volansky, PlayPenn’s associate artistic director. Instead, the selections feature strong characters and “reflect how people are trying to get from point A to point B.” This year, she said, “there’s certainly an urgency and need in all of the plays for folks to connect.”
bit.ly/DanSmallBayJournal Dan Small, Coordinator of the Natural Lands Project, quoted in The Bay Journal
CAMPUS NEWS | CITED IN THE NEWS
bit.ly/VolanksyPlayPenn Michele Volansky, Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Theatre and Dance, interviewed by WHYY about how plays are developed at PlayPenn, where Volansky is Associate Artistic Director
But with the president facing allegations of receiving more than $1 million in undeclared financing during his 2015 campaign—he denies wrongdoing—critics see his explanation as a cover for self-preservation. “I think it’s a ridiculous assertion. I don’t see how any of us can take this at face value,” Christine Wade, a political scientist at Washington College in Maryland, said of [Guatemalan President Jimmy] Morales’ claim that the commission’s exit would not affect investigations.“It would seem that the entire purpose of not renewing CICIG [International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala] is to undermine the fight against impunity and corruption in Guatemala, and to save his own skin in the process.” Wade said there’s no reason to think “that this is somehow going to reaffirm the state’s fight against corruption and immunity—there is no fight within the state against corruption and impunity. There’s a reason CICIG’s there to begin with.” bit.ly/WadeAP Christine Wade, Professor of Political Science and International Studies, quoted in The Associated Press
Getting Out the Vote #MeToo Movement in Politics
“Our goal is to educate and energize voters particularly in advance of the mid-term elections … we are focused on individual one-on-one contact. So, we try to get out in the streets, we do tables, we do a lot of canvassing, and we really see a value in that personal communication, conversations, talking with people about the value of voting, why they’re voting, why they’re not voting, and then giving them the information they need to accomplish that. We’ve talked to people about the fact that the mid-term elections are going to give you an opportunity to vote for a governor, a congressperson, to vote for county commissioners and for school board, things that actually might have more of an impact on the community in a personal way.” bit.ly/MaynardChestertownSpy Katherine Maynard, Professor of French, and volunteer with Your Vote Your Voice, interviewed in The Chestertown Spy
Political strategists said every part of the country is different, so candidates need to have their finger on the pulse of voters in their particular district. Focusing on sexual harassment may work better in some races than others. “If you are in a progressive district, I think it’s advantageous to run on this issue. It can be a winning strategy,” said Melissa Deckman, chair of the political science department at Washington College. Talking about sexual assault might not necessarily hurt a candidate in a red-leaning district, Deckman said, “but those voters are going to care more about immigration, national security, and health care.” to.pbs.org/2M0V2TJ Melissa Deckman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science, quoted in PBS NewsHour
FA C U LT Y
Rescuing an Artist from Obscurity Assistant Professor of English Elizabeth Foley O’Connor is piecing together the story of an obscure modernist artist whose accomplishments in the world of art, theater, and publishing she believes deserve greater recognition.
I ABOVE: "Sea Creatures," one of the artist’s “music pictures” rendered in watercolor. Courtesy of The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University. AT RIGHT: Pamela Colman Smith's Tarot illustrations.
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n her day, Pamela Colman Smith was well known in artistic and literary communities of pre-World War II New York and London, but the unconventional figure recognized primarily as the illustrator of the world’s most celebrated Tarot cards— the Rider-Waite—fell out of favor and died in financial ruin. It’s not from lack of talent, imagination, or ambition, insists Elizabeth Foley O’Connor, an assistant professor of English who has spent the last seven years tracing Smith’s life and career. When New York publishing houses rejected her work, Smith launched her own small magazine, The Green Sheaf, which published the work of notable writers of the day as well as a host of unknown female artists. Remaining single, this “odd-artist mystic girl,” as termed by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, focused instead on her art. There is a gendered element to this,” notes O’Connor, whose book on the artist is under contract with Clemson/Liverpool University Press. “She was very much a feminist before her time and she loved to take people to task. It cost her key connections with men, including W.B. Yeats,” whose advice she eschewed in favor of following her own ideas. Additionally, O’Connor says, because her contemporaries viewed her at times as black or Asian, “questions about her physical appearance seem to have affected the way
Pamela and her work were received, possibly explaining her lack of sustained success in her artistic and publishing pursuits.” In the biography O’Connor contributed for the newly released volume, Pamela Colman Smith, The Untold Story, she describes Smith’s childhood in Jamaica, her artistic training, her interest in mysticism, her contributions to the suffragist movement, and her synesthesia, a cognitive condition that allowed her to perceive aural impressions as visual imagery. O’Connor has visited 24 libraries and museums throughout the United States and London piecing together Smith’s story. The National Gallery in Ireland, the Sorbonne in Paris, the University of Amsterdam, the New York Public Library, the British Library, Yale University, Huntington Library in California, and Dartmouth University have each yielded up Pamela Colman Smith treasures. But the story is not yet complete. “One of the challenges is that there is not a Pamela Colman Smith archives. And there are records in Jamaica that have not been digitized,” says O’Connor. “It’s hard to get an idea of what’s there. We’ve made significant strides—but it’s a process. I’m excited that Pamela has been getting attention and finally getting the recognition she deserves.”
Faculty Minutes The Academic Minute is hosted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and posted on Inside Higher Ed, featuring a different professor each day and drawing experts from top colleges and universities from across the country. It also airs on NPR and PRI (Public Radio International) affiliates internationally and nationally. Sometimes one institution takes over the whole week, and in August, Washington College Week featured five faculty members and their work: Aaron Lampman, chair and associate professor of the Department of Anthropology, on perceptions of risk and sea-level rise on Maryland’s Eastern Shore; Melissa Deckman, chair and professor of political science, on the evolving role of women in politics and the electorate; Bill Schindler, associate professor of anthropology and director of the Eastern Shore Food Lab, on reinventing food systems by incorporating our dietary past; Rachel Durso, professor of sociology, on using GIS mapping to help victims of domestic violence; and Jennie Carr, assistant professor of biology, on studying parenting techniques of field sparrows. The goal was also to illustrate the faculty’s close interaction with students in this primary research, showcasing their mentoring and skill-building through one-on-one engagement and graduate-level research opportunities for students. To read and/or listen to the faculty’s stories, go to bit.ly/academicminuteLampman.
In Crooked Tree Assistant Professor of Education Sara Clarke-Vivier has helped develop a new museum and cultural center in Belize.
Sara Clarke-Vivier and Lori Phillips, a doctoral student in archeology at Washington State University, finish a series of 3D replicas for the museum.
hen most people think about teaching, they envision a traditional classroom where students sit and listen. But Sara ClarkeVivier, assistant professor of education, sees a classroom outside those four walls. “One of my areas of expertise is bridging informal and formal curriculum, looking at national standards and expectations inside of schools, and hooking them up with the teaching and learning that happens outside of schools,” says Clarke-Vivier. “So many kids feel, ‘How does what I learn in school matter in the real world?’ Seeing something that’s reflecting your school experience out in the world gives credence and validity to what happens inside the classroom.” It was this perspective that led ClarkeVivier to Crooked Tree, Belize, where she has been helping to develop a new museum dedicated to Belize’s Kriol culture and its relationship to the British colonial-era logging industry of this island community. Working with the principal investigator, University of New Hampshire (UNH) anthropologist and archaeologist Eleanor Harrison-Buck, Clarke-Vivier helped design the museum’s programming to best complement Belize’s national curriculum. The project was funded by the Alphawood Foundation and Whiting Foundation. The two met at UNH where Clarke-Vivier was studying for her doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction. Harrison-Buck directs the Belize River East Archaeology
project and has conducted decades of research on the Maya in Belize. During the course of her research in the eastern Belize River Valley, she became interested in the area’s more recent past, specifically that of the Kriol culture—people who descend from enslaved Africans and Europeans who worked in the region’s colonial trade in tropical hardwoods and lumber. While some descendants who could share their stories were still living in the valley, many were heading for more developed areas. The Kriol villages along the river were being abandoned. “Ellie was getting these great oral histories, and then she’d go back a year later and the people were gone and the sites were empty,” Clarke-Vivier says. “So she and her team got interested in trying to capture some of that colonial-era history and the material culture that went along with it, before the oral history component evaporated.” These were the seeds of the Crooked Tree Museum and Cultural Heritage Center, which opened June 30. On visits to Belize over the last year and a half, Clarke-Vivier worked with Harrison-Buck and the local teachers to design museum programming to best fit the local school system’s needs and requirements. A faculty enhancement grant helped Clarke-Vivier return this summer to finalize the work before the museum’s grand opening. Now she looks forward to creating opportunities there for her students in museum-related programming or teaching.
Cultural Awakenings Political scientist, Asian American specialist, poet, numbers-cruncher, and digital strategist, Mai Do ’19 is putting all the pieces together at Washington College.
Mai Do ’19 is the social media and marketing assistant in the Rose O’Neill Literary House. Photo by Mackenzie Brady ’21
ai Do ’19, a political science major from California, doesn’t let a few thousand miles come between her and her commitment to political advocacy back home. Her work in California politics, her studies at Washington College, and a campus job as a social media and marketing assistant have laid the groundwork for the culmination of her undergraduate career—a content analysis of Asian American state-level candidates—and a future career in politics or academia. Her first paid job was as a canvasser for voter registration in her hometown of Santa Clarita, where she grew up the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants who settled in the United States in the 1980s. Do then worked on a California State Assembly campaign coordinating voter outreach in 2016 and interned for the California Clean Money Campaign in 2017. More recently, she has taken on the duties as the first Political Fellow for the Courage Campaign, gathering data and conducting research for the organization in her home state, the goal of which is to ensure that political donations are free from special interests and quid pro quo relationships. 16
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Do’s interest in American Asian populations stems from her family heritage and her upbringing, but her questions about how those diverse populations are mischaracterized or misunderstood led to her senior thesis topic. “I’m looking at whether Asian Americans campaign as Asian Americans—whether they campaign on their immigrant and refugee experiences,” Do says. “Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, and they deserve attention as a growing political force.” In many cases, she says, the diversity of Asian Americans is understated, even though the cultural differences among Southeast Asian countries—Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, and the rest of the continent—are great. She also finds that the resources available to American immigrants with those cultural backgrounds do not necessarily reflect those differences. She is working to dis-aggregate data on “Asian” research, to more closely reflect the populations of the Southeast Asians in California and Minnesota, so that resources can be more accurately allocated on their behalf. Beyond the political research and analysis, Do also endeavors to
capture the spirit of her parents’ homeland in poetry. Her first collection of poetry published by Platypus Press, Ghosts Still Walking, was long-listed for the 2017 Elgin Awards. Her second book, Battlefield Blooming, is due out this spring from Sahtu Press. She credits James Hall, associate professor of English and director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House, for helping her develop her poetic voice, inspired more by lyricism and musicality than form. “Mai Do’s poems are haunting and beautiful,” says Hall. “They are poems that call for the ear. Hers is an unmistakable voice not just because her images are searing and fresh, but because her poems do what every good poet does: she reminds us of the lived experience that is at the center of, and which often gets erased in, the sweep of history.”
Sabatinos Tie for Record Goals This season for women's soccer was one for the record books. Not only did the team enjoy one of its most successful seasons of late, culminating with an overall 8-6-1 record, but the Sabatino twins had a big role to play in that. The two seniors both scored goals in the final game of the year, in a 2-0 win over Muhlenberg. And Olivia Sabatino ’19 now shares the school record for most goals scored in a career with her twin sister, Arianna. It’s not hard to imagine that they spur each other on, both on the field and in the classroom. As they speak there is an unconscious meeting of the minds. They finish each other’s sentences with the same cadence and enthusiasm, with glances that say as much as their words. Both are biology majors minoring in psychology. Both want to become physical therapists and run a practice together. And they both give their adviser, Associate Professor of Biology Aaron Krochmal, thumbs up for his guidance throughout their careers here. That camaraderie is a twin thing. But their athletic prowess is just as strong. They are generally on opposite ends of the midfield. Arianna is a lefty and Liv is a righty, which allows them to feed each other’s dominant foot. Because they’ve been playing together since the age of four, as teammates on every squad they’ve joined since elementary school, they have a keen sense of what’s happening on the field and how to communicate with one another. They chalk it up to experience as much as the sibling connection. For Liv and Arianna, it’s the team’s success, rather than their individual accomplishments, that really matters. “I don’t pay a lot of attention to stats; what it really shows is how much our team has improved,” says Liv. “Emily Jacoby, who’s a freshman, will probably shatter our records in two to three years.”
Exploring Cellular Pathways A John Toll Fellow who conducted neuroscience research this summer, Kaitlyn Marino ’19 used a zebrafish model to test memory after stroke.
In early November, Kaitlyn Marino ’19 and Prof. Jim Windelborn presented their research at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.
zebrafish egg looks like nothing more than a tiny bubble of carbonated water, but this translucent organism contains a world of hope for the scientific research community investigating how to treat stroke in human patients. Kaitlyn Marino ’19, a dual major in biology and psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience, is part of that community. In the lab of her faculty adviser, Assistant Professor of Biology Jim Windelborn, she collected fertilized eggs from the bottom of a tank she and Windelborn built specifically for this project meant to establish that, in fish, hypoxia affects memory. Using a microinjector, Marino inserted a single strand of DNA into the embryos and returned the eggs to the tank, where they grew into adult zebrafish whose cells had been genetically altered to express a specific protein. As part of the experiment, she and Windelborn introduced their subjects to hypoxia—mimicking the oxygen deficiency that stroke victims experience when a blocked artery disrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. Then they ran a series of behavioral assays to look at memory and how it is affected by ischemic stroke.
“The idea is, we’re seeing how much time they spend with the novel object versus what is considered a familiar object,” Marino explained. “We’re also looking at how brain tissue is affected 24 hours post-hypoxia.” It’s part of a long-term project that can help identify different protein targets and drugs that can bind with those proteins, Windelborn says. “We are generally bad at treating strokes. There isn’t a whole lot to do after the fact,” says Windelborn, who studied the cellular and molecular bases of neurological traumas and neurological diseases as a doctoral student at University of Wisconsin, Madison. “What’s important is to identify new targets. Right now, we’re pretty far away from the clinic, but we’re finding that zebrafish offer a good model for identifying possible therapeutic targets.” For Marino, this was her second summer in the Windelborn lab working on a zebrafish model for ischemic stroke that will also form the basis of her senior capstone project. She intends to pursue a doctoral degree in neuroscience and a career as a research scientist.
The Lovely Bones
Funded through a National Science Foundation summer internship program, an anthropology major studied human skeletal remains excavated from an ancient Greek colony in Sicily.
I don’t like the mushy stuff, but I don’t mind the bones,” Madison Kaye ’19 says by way of explaining her interest in bio-archaeology. “Studying human remains provides an intimate connection with history. You can have a conversation with people who lived long ago in a very personal way.” Kaye, who is majoring in anthropology with a minor in ethnomusicology, was listening for the stories to be told by the skeletal remains of ancient Greek colonists stored in a museum warehouse in Sicily. What happened to them more than 2,000 years ago when they began inhabiting Sicily’s smaller islands and coastal areas? And more specifically, what happened to the children of that colony? Kaye was looking for stress markers in childhood—physical evidence of chronic illness, infection, or malnourishment that might have affected development or caused the skeleton to change. “We know the colony had two major battles, so we saw skeletal damage from projectile points. But if a body has to fight for survival, it can stop growth,” Kaye says. “We can also tell if they survived those stressors. In this colony, it seems that those who died in childhood and those who died as adults had the same stress markers. This is something that can contribute to the larger conversation about other ancient peoples.” Kaye was part of a team of six undergraduates whose research was funded by the National Science Foundation’s program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). The young archaeologists were under the guidance of two professors—one from the University of Northern Colorado and another from the University of Georgia. After four weeks in Italy, the team spent four weeks at the University of Georgia, analyzing the data. Kaye will incorporate her findings in her senior thesis project. “I came to Washington College kind of thinking I’d study bones,” Kaye declares. 18
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Madison Kaye ’19 (far right) with fellow archaeologists in Sicily. The team was funded by NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.
“As a child, I was really into ancient Egypt. That interest in Egypt and other ancient civilizations ultimately led me to want to study archaeology.” Kaye honed in on her chosen field early, participating in the College’s Field School in Archaeology for two summers, and then landing her first Cater grant to study in Peru. A second Cater grant took her in late summer to French Guiana, where she worked with Elizabeth Clay ’08 on the excavation of slave quarters on a 19th-century spice plantation. Now a doctoral student in anthropological archaeology at University of Pennsylvania, Clay reached out to the department last spring, looking for help on the project, which will form the basis of her doctoral dissertation. Kaye will likely follow in Clay’s footsteps, to pursue a doctoral degree in archaeology or anthropology.
A business management major who serves as vice president of Washington College’s chapter of the American Marketing Association has been tapped to receive a 2018 Sigma Beta Delta (SBD) Fellowship Award. Emma Silber ’19, who was inducted into the national honor society for business, management, and administration last spring, was awarded $1,000 to support her future academic studies. With a concentration in finance and accounting, and a minor in marketing, Silber will complete her degree requirements in December. She intends to pursue one of the fast-track MBA programs offered to Washington College graduates by William & Mary or Loyola University—but not before finishing her collegiate swimming career. “I started swimming at age 9, swimming on club teams and throughout high school and college,” Silber says. “I was never the fastest, but that didn’t stop me. I love the camaraderie and the idea that I’m contributing points to the team. I just have to finish the season!” Matt Harris, her swim coach for the past three years, is thrilled to have her. “Emma is a dynamic influence on the team,” he says. “And since she began swimming, she has dropped considerable time in all of her events. Emma is vocal in the pool and on deck, and has immersed herself in campus life as a swim lesson instructor and lifeguard, as well. She manages a very difficult course load and has never missed a single practice. Everything about her is the picture-perfect definition of a successful student athlete.”
Lab Partners Cancer researcher Terumi Kohwi-Shigematsu ’71 offers Washington College students the kind of internship she once craved. By Karen M. Jones
hen Terumi Kohwi-Shigematsu ’71 was an undergrad at Washington College, finding an internship in a cutting-edge research lab was like searching for the mythical Bigfoot. “By my senior year, I was hungry for active research experience in a research laboratory,” she says. Kohwi-Shigematsu was grateful for the education and the financial support she received at Washington College. So when she landed at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) in 2015, conducting breakthrough research on potential cancer treatments, she considered how she might give back. Mentoring young scientists in her lab was the perfect answer. Among her most recent protégés is Paul Hart ’19, a biology major intent on a career as a cardiac surgeon or neurosurgeon. As part of her research team this summer, Hart was trained in techniques such as immunostaining, fluorescent microscopy, mouse brain sectioning, gene expression, and protein analyses. “The technique is fundamental to research,” she says. “If you learn the technique and can generate the data, you know exactly how other people have generated the data published in journals, and you understand better how the experiments are designed and what that data means.” A better understanding of science is just one benefit of this prized training. It also boosts young graduates’ applications in a competitive field for advanced degrees. “At first it was overwhelming,” Hart says, “going from an environment where you work closely with your professor and fellow students, and you have your hand held throughout your lab experience. In this situation, you are told
Terumi Kohwi-Shigematsu ’71 (seated, far left) enlisted the help of her research team (including Paul Hart ’19, seated at center) to work on a protein called SATB1 that regulates genes by changing how DNA is folded in nuclei. Once cancer cells express SATB1, she says, they acquire the ability to metastasize. SATB1 and other nuclear proteins that regulate gene expression in a similar manner are classified as genome organizers and could be important therapeutic targets for cancer.
what to do once. You have to make your own analysis. You have to develop your own results. And you have to continually go from one experiment to the next. This has been a cultural, character-building experience.” Kohwi-Shigematsu says students from her alma mater are up to the challenge. “I owe Washington College a lot,” she says. “I saw this as a way of returning the favor, by training some students and looking after them. I taught Paul and some of the other students not just the technique, but how to
become professionals. Teaching them to be more hungry, more curious, to ask questions—those are the basic things necessary for a professional career.” If you would like to host a student intern at your place of employment, please contact Nanette Cooley in the Center for Career Development at email@example.com.
Explore America This summer, a record number of Washington College students held full-time paid internship positions at some of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, thanks to the Starr Center’s Explore America Summer Internships program. By Marcia C. Landskroener M’02
Mount Vernon photos by Dan Chung Photography
he list of internship hosts reads like a Who’s Who of the nation’s top cultural institutions: the National Archives, the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon, to name just a few. Sponsored by the Starr Center for the Study of American Experience, Explore America internships are open to students from every department. This year’s 17 recipients—including majors in art, chemistry, English, history, modern languages, international studies, political science, and sociology— were awarded grants of up to $4,500 to deepen their understanding of American history and culture and gain off-campus experiences. The program has a track record of converting internships into careers. The Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Maryland State Archives, and Historic Jamestowne hired their Washington College interns. Other interns parlayed their experiences into jobs at related institutions, including the Conservation Lab at the Library of Congress, the National Constitution Center, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. “The Explore America Summer Internships give these students marvelous experiences and introduce them to mentors who sometimes change the course of their lives,” says Adam Goodheart, the Starr Center’s Hodson Trust-Griswold Director. “But it also does something that most liberal arts colleges don’t: help students continue their intellectual journey into the world beyond campus. By offering recipients sufficient funding, we level the socio-economic playing field, since it’s often only the children of wealthy parents who can afford to take the prestigious—but almost always unpaid—summer internships that give college graduates a boost into their professional careers.” The internships began more than a decade ago with a series of gifts from Drs. Thomas and Virginia Collier, longtime friends of the College, to establish what were then known as the Comegys Bight Fellowships. (The name derived from the Colliers’ 250-year-old historic house near Chestertown.) It has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to the generosity of both the Colliers and other donors. Recent gifts from friends of the Starr Center—Jane Nevins and Drs. Jack and Jennifer London, featured in recent issues of this magazine— have laid the first foundations of an endowment for the Explore America program. We offer here a few stories from this year’s class of Explore America interns.
Simon Belcher ’18 History and Chemistry Major George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Founding Fathers Fellowship
double major in history and chemistry made perfect sense for Simon Belcher ’18. Historical narratives that transport readers to other places and times, and the physical objects that have survived the span of centuries were equally powerful forces that propelled him into a master’s program in materials science and a career in heritage conservation. “I’ve been interested in history since I was a little kid,” Belcher says, “and it comes from my interest in fantasy fiction stories. I would read and go off to other worlds and go on adventures. I associated that strongly with history—I look at history as story. And that’s why objects are so cool. It’s no longer just a story, it becomes real. To think that this object existed back then! It’s like pulling the Excalibur from the pages of the book. That’s kind of extraordinary. That’s where my interest in objects comes from.” At the University of Arizona, where he is involved in the Heritage Conservation program, Belcher is focused on the analysis of historical artifacts from a scientific point of view. “By looking at the structure of objects you can determine how they were made and when they were made,” Belcher says. “Then you have to understand them in context of other things. You look at them in a historical context. I was excited to be doing that as a Founding Fathers Fellow at Mount Vernon. My internship there allowed me to use objects for a practical purpose—to convey information about a particular moment in time, and how these objects fit into a series of events.” Belcher points to his favorite historical object, Major General Edward Braddock’s Sash, as an example. This bit of red silk cloth—a gift from Braddock’s father and the mark of a commanding British officer—embellishes our understanding of early American history. The story of the sash begins when Washington was a young soldier aspiring to a British commission. “Braddock led the British expedition in the Battle of Monongahela during the French & Indian War, and his campaign was crushed,” Belcher recalls. “Braddock was mortally wounded and was carried off the field in his sash. George Washington, who rallied Braddock’s men in retreat, ended up with the sash, which he wore when his portrait was painted for the first time.” As Belcher says, the sash was there at a pivotal moment in history. It helps us understand the political climate of the region, and the societal and military hierarchy of the times. Even the physical characteristics of the sash—an expensive, strong, and elastic silk fabric that could be used as a stretcher—are important. “With this one object you get the intertwining of all these themes and topics of conversation,” Belcher says. “The object exists throughout time. It had a certain context at one point, but a different meaning that changed over time. Historical artifacts like this change temporally and spatially, and they are useful vehicles for telling a richer story.”
Sara Underwood ’19 History Major, Anthropology Minor Hodson Trust Scholar Museum of the American Revolution: Founding Fathers Fellowship
Photo courtesy of the National Museum of American History
Gaviota Hernández Quiñones ’21 Political Science and Sociology Major, Gender Studies Minor National Museum of American History
How do you celebrate the Fourth of July? “Why do you vote, or not vote?” “Do you participate in social protest? And if so, why?” “How would you change the world?” These are just some of the questions that Gaviota Hernández Quiñones ’21 asked visitors who came to the National Museum of American History, where she spent the summer as a research intern. Focused largely on topics of immigration and the resistance movement of the late 1800s in support of a national curricular project known as Becoming US, Hernández Quiñones also had the opportunity to work in different areas of the museum, help develop tours and activities, and engage with visitors of all ages. Among her primary responsibilities were developing lesson plans and creating object-based class discussion prompts that help young learners frame modern political movements within a historical context. As she researched political histories—such as that of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s—and the artifacts that remain, Hernández Quiñones understood that her work would impact the next generation of Americans. “One of the most moving things for me was attending a citizenship ceremony on the Fourth of July,” says Hernández Quiñones, a transfer student from the University of Puerto Rico. “The internship was also a great opportunity to engage in political history and learn what academic research really entails. This experience gave me a push to get involved and to network with professionals in the field.” One of those professionals invited Hernández Quiñones to apply for an internship next summer, at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 22
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t was a freshman class that sparked Sara Underwood’s passion for American history. “My intro class with Professor [Ken] Miller first semester made me realize that history is so much more than just facts and dates,” recalls Underwood ’19, a Hodson Trust scholar now intent on a career in museum curation. That initial spark, fanned under the mentorship of faculty and staff at the Starr Center, has spurred a new partnership for Washington College with Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution (MAR). As a Founding Fathers Fellow, Underwood landed a post as the only full-time curatorial and collections management intern at the new museum, which tells the story of the War for Independence through high-tech, interactive exhibits. “The first time I stepped into the museum, I was in awe,” she says. “They use touch screens to help tell a deeper story about artifacts and the people, and the gallery design and interactive exhibits are incredibly impressive. I got to see what curators do and what goes into making a museum run.” Underwood’s projects included researching the rise of Loyalist units in Philadelphia, tracking George Washington’s movements, and conducting research on the George and Martha Washington presidential levees. “My favorite project was assisting with the installation for Flag Day, which included Washington’s standard flag and a replica that went into orbit in 1998,” she says.
Elizabeth Cassibry ’20 History and German Studies Major Computer Science and European Studies Minor Maryland State Archives: London-Scott Family Fellowship
F Photo by Jessica McFadden
Maria Betancur ’20 History and French Studies Major, Mathematics Minor Hodson Trust Scholar Smithsonian American Art Museum
oing into her summer internship, Maria Betancur ’20 knew a lot about French art, but little about American art. That all changed through her experience at the Smithsonian’s Luce Foundation Center for American Art, where she not only mastered new subject matter but gained the confidence to conceive of new possibilities for a future in museum work. “When I started college, I had in my head I wanted to work in a museum, and I thought about becoming a curator,” says Betancur, a Hodson Trust scholar who chose Washington College specifically for its programs in history. “This internship informed me of the vast opportunities in the museum world. There are so many other things I could do. Now I want to do public programming and education.” Betancur also appreciated the autonomy she was given to shape her internship experience. “I was able to create my own projects and decide what experiences and skills I could home in on,” she says. “I could run with whatever I wanted.” In her case, she led sketching groups, helped out with the concert series, and—best part—created her own 30-minute tour about three lesser-known 19th-century artists. She chose to examine the work of Kenneth M. Adams, Elbridge Ayer Burbank, and Joseph Sharp, each of whom depicted Native Americans in a more authentic way than did their contemporaries. She also helped draft text for 16 exhibition labels. “There was a lot of research and a lot of writing, which definitely helps with the thesis looming.” Betancur’s senior capstone will focus on the German occupation of France in World War II.
or a self-described early American history nerd like Elizabeth Cassibry ’20, college doesn’t get much better than hanging out at the College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, unless you count those 10 weeks spent conducting primary research to reconstruct the lives of fascinating figures from the past. As a London-Scott Family Fellow at the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, Cassibry contributed dozens of biographies to the Maryland 400 Project, which is bringing to light the heroic efforts of Maryland soldiers in the pivotal Battle of Brooklyn. Were it not for those men stalling two waves of British soldiers on Aug. 27, 1776, the Revolutionary War might have been over before it really began. “The British were supposed to trample over the Continental Army,” says Cassibry. “But these Maryland soldiers prevented that from happening. Without them, George Washington would not have been able to retreat. The fact that this was such a big event in the American Revolution and that so few people know about it makes this really exciting.” Cassibry, who came to Washington College as a Quill & Compass Scholar, studied wills, probate records, marriage records, and other primary sources to learn what happened to the men who saved George Washington’s army. She wrote as many as five biographies a week under the tutelage of her adviser, a careful editor. “Before the internship, I would have described myself as a mediocre writer. Now I’m a much better writer. I have an easier time conveying my thoughts. And I learned to accept criticism and apply it to my writing.” She’s looking forward to stretching those writing skills when she tackles her senior capstone project, an in-depth study of Tobias Stansbury, a cadet in the Maryland 400 who later became an important figure in Maryland politics.
All 17 Explore America internships were funded by generous supporters of the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. If you would like to help fund the Explore America program, please call Adam Goodheart at the Starr Center, 410-810-7166, or Emily-Kate Smith in College Advancement, 410-778-7715.
BEING THERE The future of digitally augmented archives is here. A collaboration among students and the Collegeâ€™s Academic Technology Department and Archives and Special Collections has led to a groundbreaking project that is breathing new life into the somewhat dusty lungs of museum studies and archives curation.
By Wendy Mitman Clarke M'16
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Within this AR exhibit, students scanned paintings and artifacts that “came to life” through digitial, media, and audio recordings.
ow many times have you walked through a museum and seen some artifact, book, or piece of artwork that beckons you to turn it over, to turn the page, to hold it in your hands? But, safely protected under or behind glass, it remains distant, and so you are left to wonder and walk on, remaining an outsider to its deeper story. It’s this distance that the Augmented Archives at Washington College seeks to bridge, and this award-winning, innovative project—a frontrunner of its kind in higher education—is changing the way that students and the public interact with archived materials and providing students entirely new opportunities in scholarship and research. Spearheaded by Raven Bishop, instructional technologist in the College’s Educational Technology Office, and Heather Calloway, former archivist and special collections librarian at the Miller Library, the Augmented Archives project uses augmented reality (AR) technology to make primary source material more accessible and interesting. Engaged in the curation of AR-enhanced exhibits, students gain primary source research skills as well as an opportunity to take part in the design and execution of exhibits that leverage this cutting-edge technology. “Technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and multimedia and visualization tools have been proven at many other institutions for their value as a supplement to, or replacement for, physical access to certain materials,” a September 2018 Campus
Technology magazine story says of the project. “But Washington College’s unique insight, beyond that, is to offer students a role in the curation of archival materials. Using AR, the Augmented Archives programs have established a process that includes students as true participants in the scholarship of these assets.” Unlike virtual reality (VR), which whisks audiences away from their present reality to a new location, augmented reality overlays digital content onto the real world when viewed through a device like an iPad or a smartphone that is loaded with an AR app. Imagine, for instance, going to a museum and seeing John James Audubon’s painting “Carolina Parakeet” from his Birds of America. In the museum, you might look at the painting under glass and read a brief caption about it. Using AR, the painting becomes a starting point for deeper examination. Looking at it through an iPad loaded with the app, the painting would appear, but so would myriad other bits of information that can run the gamut from links to websites providing historical context and explaining the extinction of this bird, to more pages from Birds of America, to audio of “Audubon” (someone doing voice-over as Audubon) talking about his work. When it comes to rare books or artifacts, which are nearly always under glass, lock, and key, AR can make them far more accessible and interesting. “One of the problems with archives and special collections is you can’t pick something
“We call it
investigative curation. The idea is that students should be getting literally a hands-on experience with rare objects. In the archives world, students don’t get to touch the stuff till they’re in grad school. Here they
have the opportunity to actually touch the things.” -Raven Bishop
up and look at the back of it, or if it’s a book you can’t flip through the pages, because it’s behind glass. Also, these objects can’t tell you about themselves. So, unless you have a docent there to really explain to you why this piece of material culture is significant, it’s just something that looks neat. You can put a caption there, but it doesn’t do the same thing,” Bishop says. “The nice thing about AR is that it can hold video, 3D scans, photos, links that go out to other things, all in one space. And you can be with the object while you’re going through all these things, or you can be separated from it.” The Augmented Archives project won the 2018 Campus Technology Impact Awards— which “recognize colleges and universities that are making an extraordinary impact with technology on campus”—in the category of “Education Futurists.” And, the National Digital Stewardship Alliance awarded Bishop its 2018 Innovation Award in the category of “Future Steward,” for “taking a creative approach to advancing knowledge of digital preservation issues and practices.” 26
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The organization also recognized Calloway for her contributions to and leadership on the project. “No one else has done this yet,” says Calloway. “We’re the first ones who have taken this new technology and joined it with something that has been traditionally hands-off.” “We call it investigative curation,” Bishop says. “The idea is that students should be getting literally a hands-on experience with rare objects. In the archives world, students don’t get to touch the stuff until they’re in grad school. Here they have the opportunity to actually touch the things.” Faith Stahl ’19, a history major with minors in European studies and art who was first introduced to the Augmented Archives through a new-student orientation program, says the project has been exciting because it’s not an opportunity she expected as a history major. “It’s been intriguing to be on the development side of that but also to have that background knowledge for graduate school
ABOVE: Olivia Diaz ’19 sets up the ludoscope, a 19th-century artifact, in the photogammetry lab. TOP RIGHT: Instructional technologist Raven Bishop and former archivist Heather Calloway—she has since accepted a position as executive director of university collections at Indiana University, Bloomington— taught students the skills they would need to work with a new technology. RIGHT: Raven Bishop (foreground) and Courtney Rydel, assistant professor of English, helped students install the Augmented Archives exhibit in Kohl Gallery last fall. The results of student work from previous projects, along with the projects Bishop, Calloway, and Rydel developed, were on display.
applications, because it is a changing field, and tech is starting to play a big role in museums and archives,” she says. “Being on the forefront of that and now having the award to back it up—it’s definitely cool to have that opportunity.” Stahl, Olivia Diaz ’19, an American studies major, and Sarah Graff ’18, a history major with a theater minor, have been the lead students working with Bishop and Calloway to advance the project. This past summer, all five of them traveled to Occidental College in California after earning an invitation to ILiADS—The Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship—where they studied with a mentor to refine their techniques and expand the project into its next phase, an app called Pocket Museum. The team has presented the project at the National Archives DC Archives Fair for two years in a row, and Bishop and Calloway co-wrote a chapter on the project in the book Augmented and Virtual Reality in Libraries (2018, Rowman and Littlefield). Not unlike the field it’s grounded in, it’s a fast-moving, ever-evolving project, but it all started in 2015, when Calloway and Bishop compared notes about particular questions they were facing in their respective specialties. “Heather was trying to figure out an instructional quandary: How do we get students interested in primary source documents? How do we get a 21st-century student interested in these old census records or these brittle pieces of paper?” Bishop says. “At the same time, I was taking a look at augmented reality because my discipline is technology in curriculum and instruction. I was wondering, where does this fit in instruction, how could this be leveraged to make learning and teaching better?” Calloway and Bishop began experimenting with how AR could be used with items in WC’s archives and special collections. After about a semester of research, they test-drove the concept with student archives workers, asking them to work with the tools and get their opinions on how they could best be used. In the summer of 2016, Bishop and Calloway joined Courtney Rydel, assistant professor of English and a rare-books expert, to offer “Washington’s Secret History” as a preorientation program. Incoming freshmen were able to handle and examine some of the College’s oldest rare books, learn about their provenance, digitize parts of them, and overlay AR to provide deeper context, co-curating an exhibit that was then put on display in the library. That fall, Calloway taught a first-year seminar called “Voices from the Grave,” in which students explored their own family history. Learning how to build AR content, the students took some objects from that 28
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Viewed through an iPad loaded with the app, this caption card of an antique pennant reveals digital scans of the tags and ephemera attached to it, letting viewers see details of both sides of the objects. The blue info buttons take viewers to information about the alumna who owned the pennant.
history and “brought them to life so they were their own personal artifacts,” Calloway says. By summer of 2017, the team created the “Talking Portraits of Washington College,” a scavenger hunt for incoming freshmen who scanned paintings and portraits around the campus. Somewhat like the talking paintings in Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, the subjects in the portraits came to life and started talking to the students, telling them about their particular roles in the College’s history. “When it’s an actual person like Dr. Martin Luther King [whose portrait is hanging in the stairway of the dining hall], it’s actually a recording of Dr. King,” Bishop says. “If it’s someone who was connected to the College who we have usable recording of, we use their actual voice.” As scholarship for the students working in the archives, it was a unique project, since they digitized the portraits and paintings, did the research, wrote the scripts for the audio, and when they didn’t have actual voices, provided the voice-overs for the recording. The project’s evolution took another turn when Aurasma, the free app that the team had been using, was rebranded. This meant that all of the materials the team had created to promote the Augmented Archives using the name Aurasma had to be changed, a flaw in the system that Bishop, as the chief technological guru behind the project, wasn’t willing to endure. “I said, how hard could it be to build our own app?” says Bishop, who developed Pocket
Museum, an app that gives the effect of a museum gallery materializing around the viewer. The app prototype enables you to tour a museum or gallery anywhere as though you are actually there. For instance, using Pocket Museum, someone in Chestertown would be able to “tour” a museum while walking around their own living room or front lawn, moving through the digitized versions of the museum’s assets that the students curated. Advancing the app is what prompted the team to write a proposal for the Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship (ILiADS). Upon winning admission to ILiADS, Bishop, Calloway, and the three student archivists— Stahl, Diaz, and Graff—traveled to California for a week of intensive training with mentors who specialized in digital scholarship and photogrammetry, a 3D scanning technique. The team was particularly interested in accessibility for the new app. While at ILiADS, the students borrowed wheelchairs and toured the Getty Museum to get a sense of what a physical museum experience would be like for non-ambulatory visitors. In many cases, they found that even though people in wheelchairs could get into an exhibit, many of the sight lines and audio options were out of reach. They took what they learned and applied it to refining the Pocket Museum app to make it more accessible for people who might not be able to move around easily, expanding their archives work into the larger world of museum curation and the growing issue of accessibility.
Guided by the students’ experience and recommendations, Bishop translated the app into a video game that can be played online on a computer, so people with limited mobility have another way to experience the app. “It’s been really cool because we’ve been able to put the project in [students’] hands and then see what they do with it,” Calloway says. A side benefit to all of this has been the digitizing of thousands of the College’s archival assets, from rare books to the ludoscope, an early animation toy that was developed in 1902 by Prof. William Henry Zimmerman. “Now we can turn anything into a digital model,” Calloway says. “There are hundreds and hundreds of things here [in the College’s archives] and no one ever sees them. So if we can digitize them, then someone at home or an alumna could browse them.” The Augmented Archives project has rippled out to other projects that explore the use of emerging technologies. For the pre-orientation program this year, Bishop and Rydel created “Sleuths on the Shore,” in
which students spent several days digitizing and curating materials at Betterton Heritage Museum to create a virtual reality (VR) digital exhibit. This work is being continued by students in the museum studies class led by anthropology professor Julie Markin. Students are picking up where the freshmen left off, completing field work at the museum and adding to the virtual reality exhibit that will be hosted in the museum’s portion of the Kent County website and utilized by educators in Kent County Public Schools as a teaching resource. “The technology is really exciting, but at the end of the day, it’s just another tool for learning,” says Bishop. “What’s most exciting are the ways in which our students are able to use the technology to engage in hands-on learning and communicate their scholarship in a very real way to the wider world.”
Along with viewing tangible artifacts on display, students visiting the Augmented Archives exhibit in Kohl Gallery use the app to view digital scans of additional items housed in the College’s archives.
In the Arena These political science grads are making their mark as
campaign strategists, fundraisers, communicators, and coalition-builders on both sides of the aisle. By Jack Bohrer ’06
ONTCLAIR, NJ - Former Vice President Joe Biden is on his way, and all anybody wants is a minute of Mollie Binotto’s time. “Is Mollie here?” “Ah, here’s Mollie.” “Excuse me, Mollie?” “Mollie, I need you.” It’s early September, just after Labor Day, and Mollie Binotto ’07 is the campaign manager for a firsttime candidate, retired Navy pilot and former federal prosecutor Mikie Sherrill. A Democrat running for a Republican-held seat in northern New Jersey, Sherrill is locked in one of the most expensive and hard-fought congressional campaigns in the country—among the top two dozen that will determine control of Congress. That’s where Biden comes in. The former vice president is the headliner at Sherrill’s campaign kickoff to the general election, which leaves Binotto with a long and challenging to-do list: pack a ballroom with 700 people on a Wednesday afternoon, work on the candidate’s remarks, and oversee logistics involving security, state power brokers, and national media. Oh, and she had to give her own speech to rally new volunteers. I find Binotto a few hours before the event in a conference room on the side of the ballroom, where the stage, press risers, and lighting are under construction. She unwraps a breakfast bagel while simultaneously reading and talking to the swarm of staffers and volunteers buzzing around her. Binotto’s uneaten bagel is in hand while she walks to the stage to configure the VIP seating/standing situation.
A Biden staffer pulls her aside to discuss his schedule and preference for entrance and exit music (Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher”). Back in the conference room, her bagel has to wait for a review of the press list, a quick phone call, a discussion of available parking spots, securing a backup American Sign Language interpreter, and looking at no fewer than three laptops placed in front of her to make snap decisions. “I need a small army of humans, doing all of the things,” Binotto says jokingly to all and none of her staff at once. By all appearances, she is leading one. “This is a tough district,” New Jersey Globe publisher David Wildstein tells me over where the press is setting up, “and Mollie is running the best campaign in the state.” When Binotto joined the campaign in 2017, the race was against House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, a 12-term congressman so entrenched that political provocateur Michael Moore once ran a ficus plant against him to highlight unchallenged incumbents. But Frelinghuysen quit the race in January when faced with political headwinds and the Sherrill campaign’s impressive early fundraising hauls. As of late September, Sherrill raised a total of $7 million, an eye-popping amount for a non-incumbent House candidate. In fact, the newcomer Sherrill outraised Frelinghuysen in consecutive fiscal quarters before the
chairman of the committee that determines who gets what from congressional coffers decided to retire a champion rather than risk defeat. According to analysis by The New York Times, Sherrill raised more money than any other nonincumbent woman running for Congress this year. Only five men outraised her, and three were self-funding. That intimidating war chest was built under the leadership of Hilary Badger ’14, the campaign’s finance director, who got her start in Washington College’s alumni office. I meet Badger at a well-appointed house a mile from the Biden rally site, where she is making sure supporters get a chance to speak with the ex-vice president. Keeping everyone happy in a small room with demanding donors and a potential 2020 presidential candidate is the pinnacle of political fundraising. Yet Badger, all of 26 years old, handles it with confidence.
Young Women in Charge: Millennial women are changing the face of politics, and two of them are Washington College alumnae in leadership roles for Mikie Sherrill’s campaign in New Jersey. Pictured from left: communications director Jackie Burns, finance director Hilary Badger ’14, campaign manager Mollie Binotto ’07, and Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy helicopter pilot, a former federal prosecutor, and a mother of four. Among Sherrill’s policy priorities: access to affordable health care and higher education, reproductive rights, and equal pay.
ABOVE: Hilary Badger ’14 with volunteers on the campaign trail. RIGHT: Dan Holler ’05, deputy chief of staff for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.
Back on Capitol Hill and on the other side of the aisle, Republicans have controlled Congress since the start of the decade, and graduates of Washington College are in the thick of the daily decisionmaking that steers the federal government. 32
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Badger arrived in Chestertown with a passion for swimming, a budding interest in politics, and a determination to make her own way. As an undergrad, Badger went to Washington and interned on Capitol Hill, where she first met Binotto through the alumni network. After graduation, Badger served as an assistant director of chapter programming and alumni networking until a job at the Center for American Progress came up. She was working in the House when a women’s group recruiting campaign staffers highlighted the candidacy of Mikie Sherrill. Badger was intrigued and called Binotto for advice, not knowing she had already signed onto the campaign. “I heard about this woman in New Jersey,” Badger remembers saying in the call. “Tell me about it,” Binotto replied. “I’m on the ground right now.” Back on Capitol Hill and on the other side of the aisle, Republicans have controlled Congress since the start of the decade, and graduates of Washington College are in the thick of the daily decision-making that steers the federal government. One of them is Dan Holler ’05, deputy chief of staff to Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. As a member of the Senate committees on Foreign Relations, Appropriations, and Aging, as well as the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rubio is regularly at the hub of America’s security and domestic priorities. Holler’s job is to make sure the message is coordinated, consistent, and conservative. Holler’s work experience is atypical for the millennial generation, and especially for what can be the vagabond existence of a political professional. After Washington College, he landed at the Heritage Foundation, Washington’s marquee
conservative think tank, and stayed there for the next 13 years. Holler got an education in grassroots activism from the ground up, working his way from an intern to launch their powerhouse political advocacy arm, Heritage Action, where he served as vice president in charge of communications. Heritage Action was built to implement the policy ideas of the Heritage Foundation by sending experts to work with members of Congress in Washington and exert political pressure back in their home districts through campaign-style organizing. On topics such as health care, judges, and taxes, Heritage provides activists with tools to let members know how they feel and spends millions on outreach and advertisements to spread the word. Within months of its launch, Holler’s group became a leading indicator of what the conservative base would and would not accept from Republican leaders. Their sights extended beyond the individual election cycles. “There’s far too much short-term thinking and not enough long-term thinking,” as Holler sees it. But change eventually comes for everyone in Washington, and this year, a former colleague who had joined Rubio’s staff saw a natural role for Holler and his skills to build coalitions around a policy agenda and use it to pass laws. And so he reports to work in the Russell Senate Office Building where Senator Rubio relies on him to find new partners and build bridges around their ideas. Holler looks back to the heated debates in his political science courses as lessons in uniting divergent views. “What I learned through that,” Holler says, “was if you’re going to convince somebody, you have to meet them where they are. And then the question is, ‘How do you bring somebody along and move them closer to you?’”
Holler says the friendships he made with students of various political stripes helped develop that skill—and that the debates started more than a decade ago continue to rage over email and inform his views. “Something that always sticks out to me, especially given the times we live in,” Holler recalls of his days in Chestertown, “is I distinctly remember when [Democratic campaign strategist and CNN Crossfire host] James Carville was invited to campus in 2002. And my last year, [President George W. Bush’s deputy chief of staff] Karl Rove was there. The ability to have competing voices—those different voices—pushed everyone to grapple with ideas outside of their comfort zone.” Matt Sparks ’07 says that his Washington College experience motivated him to be seen—which is important when you lead the press office for the House Majority Leader. Sparks joined the staff of Congressman Kevin McCarthy in 2012, shortly before the California Republican rose to become the second-most powerful member of the House. “Of all the positive attributes of Washington College, I look back with appreciation to the accountability it demands from everyone,” Sparks says of the small class sizes and personalized education. “You can't get lost and that’s a good thing because more likely than not, you won't be hired by an employer to blend in.” As the old saying goes, “If you want a friend in politics, get a dog.” One might add: “Or go to Washington College.” Through an assortment of friends made in the alumni network, Sean Rapelyea’s political career stretched from one end of the country to the other, and then right smack in the middle, where he became one of Chicago’s—and now Illinois’s—top operatives. Rapelyea ’08 serves as political director for Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker in the Illinois governor race, a battle between two billionaires and the most costly race of the cycle. In his role, Rapelyea manages a team that spans 30 offices and coordinates with elected officials and Democratic Party leaders on the state and local levels. Rapelyea also has to keep up with progressive organizations, advocacy groups, faith leaders, and labor unions. These are the groups that get out the vote and make or break successful campaigns. The strength of their statewide voter contact operation and surrogate support is at times all on Rapelyea’s shoulders. Rapelyea gained his bosses’ enormous trust after his Washington College classmates put their faith in him. “The Washington College alumni network played a major role in my post-collegiate career at two very critical points,” Rapelyea writes over email. After graduating, he went to work in Washington, where he ran
Sean Rapalyea ’08 pounds the pavement for the Democratic candidate in the Illinois race for governor.
into Mollie Binotto at an alumni happy hour. Binotto shared that she was headed to Montana on the 2008 Obama campaign. “I was really excited about that and she connected me to our former colleague from the Student Athlete Mentor program, Brandon Riker ’10,” who joined the Obama campaign early on and later ran his own campaign for lieutenant governor in Vermont. “That was the start of my political career.” He went on to southwestern Arkansas and a hard-fought race for Sen. Blanche Lincoln in 2010. From there, Rapelyea connected with another alumnus, Richard Yost ’04, who facilitated a meeting with staffers for Rahm Emanuel in his first run for mayor of Chicago. “This connection got me from southwestern Arkansas in a difficult Senate race, to the third-largest city in America for a big win.” Rapelyea has been in Chicago ever since, and with this latest marquee race, new opportunities are likely to come his way. Rapelyea, and all the graduates I spoke to, seemed grateful and ready for whatever comes ahead. “When you leave the quiet confines of Chestertown, you face a far more chaotic world that requires creative thinking and decision-making,” Sparks says. “I am positive it prepared me for a career in political communications at a time when information moves fast and opinions are formulated even faster.”
“Of all the positive attributes of Washington College, I look back with appreciation to the accountability it demands from everyone.” - Matt Sparks ,07
Binotto tells me of all the Washington College grads she knows in her field, “I think we were honestly really lucky with our political science department.” Back in New Jersey, I’m behind the press riser, talking to my NBC News colleague on the Biden beat, Mike Memoli, when the Sherrill campaign’s communications director, Jackie Burns, gets behind the podium to test the mics. I abruptly raise my phone to take a video to send to Burns’ boyfriend, Albin Kowaleski ’07, who is back in Washington where he works as a historian. I excuse my behavior to Memoli and explain the Washington College connection. “For a small college,” Memoli says, “you really pack a lot of punch.” The room is full and noisy, and Binotto kicks off the rally with a speech to recruit volunteers. Her remarks trace her path to political activism, putting the experience into the terms of a clipboard she carries when canvassing voters. “I took out my first clipboard ten years ago last July. I moved to Montana to work for Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.” The audience cheers, claps, and whistles at her mention of the guest of honor. “I was 23 years old and I’d never been west of the Mississippi. It was the most exciting, crazy four months of my life. I got on an airplane, I didn’t know anybody. I got a rental car, I wasn’t even old enough to have insurance for a rental car—so that was real.” The audience of college students she is trying to convert into campaign volunteers for the next eight weeks laughs. Binotto goes on, “I drove halfway across the state of Montana, which, by the way, is very long. I showed up in Bozeman. I walked into a coffee shop. I met my first boss in politics, and I haven’t looked back.” Binotto looks completely at ease and earnest in what she is saying. “We need you,” she says to the students. “Join us. Grab that clipboard. Let’s go knock some doors together. Let’s go register some voters together…. Let’s do this.” Mollie Binotto ’07 hopes to change the future of the Democratic party.
“For a small college, you really pack a lot of punch.” - Mike Memoli
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Jack Bohrer ’06 is a reporter, historian, television news producer, and the author of The Revolution of Robert Kennedy, published in 2017 by Bloomsbury Press. EDITOR'S NOTE: As this issue goes to press on the morning after the mid-terms, we learned that Mikie Sherrill was successful in her bid for a congressional seat, and J.B. Pritzer won the gubernatorial race in Illinois. Congratulations to Mollie, Hilary, and Sean! And more late-breaking news: Sean Rapelyea has been named Pritzer's Deputy Transition Director.
CLASS NOTES 36 |
WEDDINGS 40 | BIRTHS & ADOPTIONS 41 | OBITUARIES 4 4
HURDLING THROUGH TIME: In honor of the passing of Coach Don "Chatty" Chatellier, we offer this image of a track and field meet from the late 1950s, showing Hall of Famer Mark Diashyn â€™60 clearing a hurdle. If you can identify any of those cool cats among the spectators, please contact the magazine editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A L U M N I U P DAT E | C L A S S N O T E S
WC Alumni: Share your news! We are proud to share your stories with our community in “Class Notes.” Submit your alumni news and photos to CLASS_NOTES@WASHCOLL.EDU
After more than 40 years in the beer business, Bob Wilson and his wife, Bobbie ’59, have left Maryland and moved to sunny Florida. They now live in Port St. Lucie and hope to make it back to Chestertown for their 60th reunion.
John Littlejohn and his wife, Terri, welcomed their granddaughter this fall to Wilmington, North Carolina, where she is a freshman at University of North Carolina. She started classes on schedule, but Hurricane Florence disrupted classes until Oct. 1. All are well. Earlier thi summer, John and Terri enjoyed making their way around Switzerland solely via Swiss Rail Pass and somehow managed for two weeks with only one carry-on bag each.
Margaret May sold her home in Rockville, Maryland, and moved to Red Mill Pond in Lewes, Delaware, in April. Her family is glad to be on the Delmarva Peninsula and back in the Land of Pleasant Living.
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Daniel Scharf is living in Mission Viejo, California. The father of four young adults, he spends time painting and displaying his impressionist paintings, which are featured on Facebook. He has been dealing for the past 10 years with Parkinson's disease and is enjoying ping pong, but he is no longer able to play golf. Daniel retired from the clothing business as a national sales manager. He remains in contact with Jackie Johnson ’75 and, with the help of the Alumni Office, finally located Donald Frush ’77.
Henry Biddle and his wife, Kathy Agnew Biddle ’70, are enjoying travels foreign and domestic. Henry writes: “Switzerland was fantastic; sadly, the glaciers are slowly disappearing. June of last year was unusually warm there.”
Thanks to a connection she made as a trauma nurse at University of Maryland, Alex Roemer ’15 has landed a new job in a pediatric emergency department on Long Island.
championship, was inducted into his high school Hall of Fame on Oct. 5. He is a 1967 graduate of Edgewood High School in Harford County, Maryland. Frank was inducted into Washington College's Hall of Fame in 2001. He is the only Shoreman to have earned four varsity letters (soccer, basketball, baseball, and track) in one academic year. He was an all-star catcher in baseball and an All-America goalie in soccer, and his teammates' choice for captain in both sports.
Dave Slama and his wife, Lorraine, have opened up a one-bedroom, short-term rental in Chestertown. See cottageonkent.org. They offer a 10 percent discount to all alumni. Please call 443-480-0658 for more information.
Frank Ogens, a retired Kent County High School teacher and coach who led the girls’ soccer team to its only regional
Edward Joe Watson graduated from Georgetown University Medical School in 1982 and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Tripler Army Medical Center in 1986. He is currently director of the hospital laborists program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Kevin Kroencke recently returned to campus to attend memorial services for Don “Chatty” Chatellier. He says it was a bittersweet trip. He was happy to catch up with Jeff Lucas ’82 and relive some stories about “Coach,” and he had the great pleasure of meeting and hearing about the experiences of Dr. Marvin “Marty” Smith ’67. He is very happy to hear that cross country and track and field
programs may return to WC, and he is really looking forward to reading Marty's book when it's published. “Enjoy that track jacket, Marty!”
Erin Murphy’s new Brick Road Prize–winning collection, Assisted Living, was released Aug. 6. The collection features 72 demi-sonnets, a seven-line poetic form that she devised. Erin is the author of six previous collections of poetry and the forthcoming Bodies of Truth: Personal Narratives on Illness, Disability, and Medicine (University of Nebraska Press). Her awards include the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, the Foley Poetry Award, the National Writers' Union Poetry Award judged by Donald Hall, and The Normal School Poetry Prize. She is a professor of English and creative writing at Penn State University, Altoona.
Stephanie Gannon was ordained into the Unitarian Universalist ministry on Earth Day, April 22, in Brooklyn, New York. She received an M.Div. with a program focus in psychiatry and religion from Union Theological Seminary in May 2015. This fall, Stephanie began working in mental health chaplaincy at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System while also serving as the parttime minister at East Suburban Unitarian Universalist Church in Murrysville. Old classmates and friends, feel free to drop her a line at email@example.com.
After 26 years in the telecommunications industry as an optical engineer and senior solutions architect for CenturyLink, John Kelly is pursuing a career change in the outdoor recreation and snowsports industry. He has relocated to Shenandoah County, Virginia, where he is working for Bryce Resort and pursuing instructor and coaching certifications from Professional Ski
Instructors of America (PSIA) and the United States Ski Association (USSA) in alpine race. He is also managing the youth activity programming for the resort. Rick Scott is married with two grown children. He works in real estate in the Devon, Pennsylvania, area. Raph Kosta recently published Postmortems: Selected Essays Vol. 1, covering a quarter-century of his writings. In the last year, he has spoken or keynoted at a half-dozen conferences, including the Game Developers Conference, San Diego Comic-Con, and the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. His recent output from a two-year contract with Google included research on “The Trust Spectrum” and two augmented reality mobile games, Truck Stars AR and Nightenfell. Raph is working toward publication in board games and makes his home with Kristen Johnson Koster '90 in San Diego.
Ciaran O’Keeffe is department head in the School of Human and Social Sciences at Bucks New University in the United Kingdom. His "paranormal life" thrives as he continues to appear on various TV shows, write books, and have his research covered in science magazines. With a young family and a new job, sleep deprivation and tiredness are his new challenges.
Paul Briggs released his new novel, Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise, on June 15. Published by Secant Publishing of Salisbury, Maryland, Monsoonrise takes place in the near-future and is the story of a rapid and drastic change in the climate, as experienced by a handful of characters. Partly set on the Eastern Shore, Monsoonrise is the first of a planned two-part series and an example of cli-fi, a new subgenre of science fiction focusing on
Lois Ireland ’84 and other northern Virginia alums enjoyed a beautiful day together on June 16, making connections and a potluck picnic at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Pictured left to right, back row: Darren Colananni ’07, Byron Welch ’83, Bryan Phillips, Keith Jerdan, Beth Miller ’83, Kate Van Name ’91, and Joe Van Name ’90. Middle row: Alison Phillips ’98, Lois Ireland ’84, Laura McClellan Bowdring ’92, and Bill Bowdring. Front row (holding banner): Dylan Phillips, Colin Bowdring, and Nathan Bowdring.
future climate change and human responses to it.
Melissa M. Boyd led sessions at the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law summer meeting in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She was the moderator for the panel “The Evolution of Family Law: Past, Present and Future,” a panel discussion of trends in family law practice over the past few decades and a prospective view of what lies ahead. Melissa has received the highest possible rating from Martindale-
Hubbell; has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for eight years and as a Best Lawyer in America since 2016; and was named among the 10 Leaders of Matrimonial Law in Philadelphia.
Bill Brady recently moved to Massachusetts to take a position as associate vice chancellor and chief human resources officer at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is hoping that his return to the East Coast will allow him to see his WAC family more frequently.
Matthew King is the new associate medical director for Maryland’s Compass Regional Hospice, serving patients in Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Caroline counties. He is a board-certified family physician who practices with the Anne Arundel Medical Group at Eastern Shore Primary Care in Chester. In addition to his private practice, Matt is a staff physician at Washington College and is the co-founder and board member of the Survivor Summit Foundation, a nonprofit organization that takes cancer survivors on life-altering adventures. FALL 2018
A L U M N I U P DAT E | C L A S S N O T E S
Christopher Petrone was recently promoted to director of the Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service at the University of Delaware. He now supports eight marine advisory specialists who work on issues directly affecting coastal stakeholders, such as water quality and ecosystem health, climate change, coastal storms, recreational and commercial fishing, working waterfronts, habitat loss, environmental literacy, and workforce development. Delaware Sea Grant is a tripartite partnership between NOAA, the state of Delaware, and the university, and completes its mission through research, extension, and education.
After graduating from Washington College, Rob Roan studied graphic design at the Art Institute of New York City. He is now an art director for Havas Health, a digital advertising agency in midtown Manhattan.
Max Orsini has published a book, The Buddhist Beat Poetics of Diane di Prima and Lenore Kandel. Kelly McClure Ogletree earned her M.A. in organizational leadership in 2006. She moved to Denver and now works at Raytheon. Kelly married her husband in October 2013, and they had their daughter, Charlotte Rose, in March 2017. Kelly has participated in several marathons, hikes, and other fundraising events for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She’s traveled to Panama, Uganda, Guatemala, Spain, and Switzerland, where she met fellow alum Florin Ivan ’04, and hopes to do more international traveling with her family. She plans to be back at WC for her 20-year reunion, if not before.
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Clash of Titans Johnny Unitas and his coach Don Shula were bitter rivals in the 1960s. Jack Gilden ’87 has been waiting decades to tell the tale. By Karen M. Jones
hen Jack Gilden ’87 was an Owings Mills, Maryland, high school football player and aspiring writer, his sports hero was Johnny Unitas. Invited one day with other student-journalists to the Baltimore Colts’ training camp, he was surprised to hear what a professional reporter had to say about his role model and Don Shula, the man who’d coached him for seven years and became the NFL’s winningest coach. “I heard him say to someone offhandedly that Johnny Unitas and Don Shula hated each other,” Gilden says. “And I thought, that’s an interesting story. That would make a great book someday.” “Someday” arrived this month, as Gilden’s Collision of Wills (University of Nebraska Press) hit bookstores and he embarked on a promotional tour. The book details the intense conflict between Unitas and Shula, and how it reflected the nation’s growing social tensions in the 1960s. “The interesting thing about these two men is that they weren’t rivals—they were teammates,” Gilden says. “They were both Rust Belt characters, both Catholics, they were almost the same age.” Collision recounts how Unitas exposed Shula’s shortcomings on the field when they both played for the Colts. Shula moved to the Washington Redskins for just one season before he left pro football and became a college coach. But just five years later, 33-year-old Shula was tapped to coach the Colts, where quarterback Unitas had become a national name. A clash seemed inevitable. “I think their conflict kept them from ever winning the title,” Gilden says. When the two finally parted ways—Shula went to Miami in 1970—the Colts won the Superbowl and, after that, Shula’s Dolphins went to the next three Super Bowls, winning two. “There’s a weird psychology there,” Gilden says. But Collision isn’t just about football. “It deals with the Vietnam War, with the sexual revolution, with the Civil Rights
Movement, because these were all currents swirling around the country at the time. It was interesting to see how these things shaped the men. In the end, it was hard to tell if football was a metaphor for America, or if America was a metaphor for football.” The former humanities major, College Relations intern, and Elm managing editor is exploring the metaphor in talks at bookstores and libraries. (Find out where to catch him at www.jackgilden.com.) Gilden’s editorials, columns and articles have appeared in Orioles Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, the Evening Sun, Chesapeake Life, Style magazine and the Baltimore Jewish Times, to name a few. He wrote the Orioles’ 40th anniversary video, narrated by the legendary Jim McKay, and teaches writing at the Community College of Baltimore County.
A L U M N I U P DAT E | S P O T L I G H T
Natalie Erin Finch has been a public-school teacher in Maryland for the past eight years. She spent some time in the Anne Arundel County school system and is now teaching social studies at a high school in Charles County.
Since graduation, Matthew Jaymes Icenroad has been working in the medical field, primarily in risk management. He has expanded his role to include responsibilities associated with emergency preparedness and management. He now works for a fire and emergency management consulting firm that provides best practice solutions, plan development, and training to healthcare organizations around the world.
Adrienne Nash Melendez ’05, who works to end homelessness among the nation’s military veterans and their families, received the Alumni Horizon Ribbon Award at Fall Convocation. She is pictured with Patrick J. McMenamin Jr. ’87 P’16, who chairs the Alumni Board. If you know of another worthy recipient, please contact the Office of Alumni & Constituent Engagement.
Katie Blaha is the development manager for the JDRF Maryland Chapter, helping to raise funds for a cure for Type 1 diabetes and overseeing its Baltimore gala. Katie always loves meeting and talking to fellow alumni. She says one of the best things about WC is the outreach within its small community—she looks forward to helping that community flourish in the online world, as well.
Kevin Breslin M'16 has been named head basketball coach at Saint James School, a prep school in Hagerstown, Maryland. Through his involvement with Global Squad, a youth basketball program operated by John Alexander '05 and Christian Matthews '12, Kevin was most recently located in Singapore where he coached 16 different teams throughout Southeast Asia, China, and Australia. Prior to that, Kevin served as an assistant coach at Johns Hopkins University and WC.
2013 Daniel Coon ’85 retired in January from the Howard County Police Department after 32 years of dedicated service. He is enjoying retirement in Woodbine, Maryland, finally finding the time to travel, connect with old friends and classmates, and relax. In his final year with HCPD, Daniel learned to play the bagpipes and became the department’s first bagpiper. He now plays at various events and memorial services in honor of all the dedicated professionals in the public safety field, past and present. Daniel misses the WC days and spending time with fellow classmates and friends.
Jim Holloway ’59 and his wife, Betty, cruised to Europe from Tampa, Florida, to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in April. Pictured here at Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, they also visited ports in Bermuda, France, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.
Julia Rose Blakey attended the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2017. Julia is now in a two-year poultry medicine residency program through UC-Davis/California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System; she will graduate next year. Julia married John Blakey ’11 in 2014. FALL 2018
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Rachel Loose ’07 and Karl Vest were married Dec. 17, 2017, at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. David Finnegan-Hosey ’07 officiated the ceremony, Melissa Meaner Walters '04 and Liam Daley '07 were readers, Jacqueline Olt '08 and Tim Helmer '08 were ceremony participants, and many alumni celebrated the 1920s-themed occasion.
Tyler Cotterell ’13 M’15 and Elizabeth Carbone ’12 were married Sept. 30 in Cape May, New Jersey. Alumni attending included, from left, Bryan Stevens ’11, Kaitlyn Glass ’14, Brian Lewis ’14, Ian Remington ’14, Luke DiFabbio ’14, Pat Kinsella ’14, Teddy Hurvul M’15, Shane Mattingly ’12, Tom Fiala ’14, Hunter Draheim ’12, Kevin Lynch ’12, Larry Kline M’13, John Rolewicz ’12, Ben Cameron ’14, Tim Perrotta ’14, Kyle Aldrich ’13, Brian Alexa ’15, Casey Frisch ’14, Morgan Cameron ’12, Steve Cameron ’12, Shannon Draheim ’11, Jimmy Carbone ’14, Allison Normile ’14, Kelley Freeman ’15, Kellie Rogers ’15, the bride and groom, Chelsea Marinelli ’12, and Nick Marinelli ’14.
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Jordan Yelinek ’02 and Michael Ducker were married in California on May 27, with several alumni attending. Pictured left to right: Michael Virts ’02, Matt Kearney ’04, the happy couple, Megan Ridolfi Pell '02, and Chris Trueblood. Not pictured: Josephine States Hawn ’08, Edward Maxcy, Mandi Appler Kearney '04, Joseph Van Name '90, Kate Van Name '91, Margaret Ridolfi P'02, and Michael Ridolfi P'02.
Renée N. King ’91 and Earl J. Kinsley Jr. were married Sept. 9, 2017. The ceremony took place on the City Center Plaza in their beloved hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, followed by a reception held in the courtyard of the 1758 Sun Inn. The couple were married 36 years to the day after they met on the first day of middle school. Alumni joining the celebration were Suzanne Hewes ’91, Troy Petenbrink ’92, and Christopher Schanno ’89. Renée and Earl live in Bethlehem with their four cats and the world's cutest dog. Both are independently employed, in the pharmaceutical and aerospace industries, respectively.
A L U M N I U P DAT E | W E D D I N G S A N D B I R T H & A D O P T I O N S
Oh Baby! 18 Teams.
One Family. Ed Athey ’47 embodied the ethics of selflessness and integrity, championing team unity and lifelong bonds during more than 40 years as director of athletics, varsity coach, and faculty member at Washington College. Your gift of any amount to the Athey Athletics Fund is your primary way to support any varsity team at Washington College and automatically grants you membership in the Athey Athletics Club (AAC), with special recognition and rewards
Eric Abbott ’09 and his wife, Lauren, welcomed their second child, Owen Lawrence Abbott, on Feb. 27. Big sister Claire Marie, who was 3 in May, adores her new baby brother.
Show your AAC pride – and your support of our remarkable student-athletes – by becoming a member today.
For more information on the Athey Athletics Club, please visit:
washcoll.edu/atheyclub Jim Kelble ’06 and his wife, Erin Bollinger Kelble ’06, welcomed their second daughter, Savannah Elizabeth, on April 28. Everyone is in love, especially her big sister, Lilly, who is now 4 years old.
or contact Sean Flanigan: firstname.lastname@example.org 410-778-7233
Alex Phillips ’98 and Kristi Masimore Phillips ’01 welcomed a daughter, Carly Elizabeth, on July 23. She looks forward to visiting Washington College soon!
A L U M N I U P DAT E | S P O T L I G H T
Paradise Rebuilt After Hurricane Irma wiped out his iconic restaurant, Alan Piazzi ’86 and his family picked up the pieces and rebuilt their dream—with lots of reinforced concrete. By joan katherine cramer
uring the 20 years Alan Piazzi ’86 has presided over Anguilla’s beloved beachfront Italian restaurant, he has learned to accept hurricanes as integral to life on a Caribbean island paradise. In 1999, just two years after Piazzi and his wife, Chantal, opened Trattoria Tramonti —with its own pristine beach, a view that includes the lights of St. Maarten, and a chef from Italy’s storied gastronomic region, Emilia -Romagna—Hurricane Lenny drove the sea and four feet of sand all the way through the restaurant and into his kitchen. “When I saw the damage, I thought this is it—the end of my Anguilla restaurant experience,” says Piazzi, who had dreamed of making a life in Anguilla as a restauranteur. “But that’s when I learned about Anguillian resilience. My wife has a big family here and everyone comes with a shovel to help dig you out. Then the rebuilding begins. After that we didn’t have any hurricanes until Omar in 2008, which did a similar amount of damage, but by then we were used to it.” Irma was different. Lenny and Omar were Category 3 hurricanes with peak sustained winds of 130 mph. Irma was a monstrous Category 5. She would devastate the Caribbean’s beautiful Leeward Islands and paralyze the entire state of Florida, only to be followed two weeks later by Maria, another Category 5 and the storm from which Puerto Rico has yet to recover. “We knew this was going to be really big and that the restaurant was in trouble,” says Piazzi. “So we did what we normally do. I took all the tables and chairs off the beach, secured anything that might blow away, boarded everything up with plywood. We thought that was good enough because it had been good enough in the past. We weren’t expecting it could ever be as bad as it turned out to be.” The storm made landfall Sept. 6, 2017. “We were all hoping it would go a little bit further away, but that didn’t happen.” Anguilla took a direct hit and was battered by Irma’s 42
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Alan Piazzi ’86, a restauranteur on the Carribean island of Anguilla, is ready for the 2018 hurricane season; after the devastation of Hurricane Irma in 2017, he rebuilt Trattoria Tramonti with this mantra in mind: Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
eye wall and sustained winds, Piazzi says, that topped 200 mph. Piazzi’s house is away from the water, and, like many of the sturdier homes in Anguilla, is built of concrete with a concrete roof. That’s where Piazzi hunkered down with Chantal, their youngest son, Alessandro, their black and yellow labs, Ebby and Coco, and Chantal’s mother, sister, and brotherin-law, whose own home is on the beach, too close to the water for comfort. “We’d never been through anything like it,” Piazzi says. “We were right on the eye wall for more than six hours, so the whole house— and, again, this is not a wooden house—was shaking and shaking and shaking. And we could see out the window, I mean all the trees were coming down, the phone poles were coming down. Everything was being blown to bits. Because we were away from the water, we weren’t scared of being flooded, but we were scared that the walls were going to cave in or our hurricane shutters were going to
break and we were going to have to go into a bathroom or something—which did happen to a lot of people.” Most of the wooden roofs in Anguilla came off, he says, and one man died when his small concrete house collapsed around him. Piazzi says it’s a miracle there weren’t more fatalities. “And the one thing that stopped the total destruction of everything was the direction of the wind—it came from behind us towards the water so we didn’t get the storm surge we’ve gotten in the past. We were lucky.” Luck is relative. It’s normally a five-minute drive from Piazzi’s house to his restaurant, but when the wind finally subsided and the family ventured out to survey the damage, it took them three-and-a-half hours to get there. “I have a truck and we actually had to cut the metal wiring off the fallen telephone poles and pull the poles off the road, and when we eventually made it, we saw that, this time, it was a very big deal. Then we surveyed the rest of the island and saw that all the resorts had
been badly impacted, so I didn’t think there was a chance we’d open this year.” But Piazzi had once again failed to reckon with the nature of Anguillians—and with his stalwart wife and her family. Chantal’s uncle, one of the island’s major builders, announced that he would oversee the restaurant’s immediate restoration. And Chantal told a reporter from the Wall Street Journal that, while “everything is gone, the equipment, kitchen, store, decking,” they had every intention of reopening by Christmas. Never mind the obstacles. It was a month before anyone on the island had electricity, and the restaurant itself was without power until December. Nine months after the storm Piazzi still did not have an operative landline. Getting building supplies—hell, getting anything—was a challenge. Normally, everything comes on ships from Florida and Puerto Rico, and those places had their own troubles. Several times during that three-month construction marathon the entire island of Anguilla ran out of cement. Yet Trattoria Tramonti opened the day before Christmas. “It’s better than ever,” says Piazzi with pride. “It’s a bunker—less wood, more concrete, reinforced with rebar—so no hurricane can do that kind of damage again.” Living in Anguilla is “a lifestyle choice,” says Piazzi, and not, perhaps, for the fainthearted. Tourism is the industry that supports most of the island’s 12,000 yearround inhabitants, and it’s seasonal. “We only have business from Christmas to Easter, so people scrape by. My wife is an insurance agent, which helps make it possible for us to live here. We’re open from November until the end of July, though May, June and July are usually a negative cash flow for us. But our staff is the most important thing and you need to make sure they can pay their bills.” Piazzi grew up in the city—he spent his early childhood in Bologna and Milan—and loves the gentle pace of Anguillian life. He discovered the joy of living in a small town on the water when he moved from Italy to America in 1978 and landed on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. His father, Giorgio—founder of a well-known modeling agency in Milan— had married his second wife, an American, and purchased an historic 314-acre water-front estate in Rock Hall where he ran a rather glamorous, but rustic, modeling school. “I was 16 and it was a whole new life for me,” Piazzi says. “I loved Maryland, loved living on the Eastern Shore so much that I decided to go to Washington College.” Piazzi majored in psychology, took business courses, and worked at The Granary Restaurant
on the Sassafras River. When he graduated, his father—who’d sold the Rock Hall estate and moved to Anguilla—asked him to come run a small restaurant he’d purchased there. Piazzi loved everything about running a restaurant on a remote Caribbean island. The following year, he met Chantal. They were married in 1991, which was also the year his father sold the restaurant and moved with his third wife to Venezuela. “That time I did not follow him,” Piazzi says wryly. Instead, he moved with Chantal back to Milan. “She had grown up in Trinidad, never lived away from the islands, wanted to learn Italian, wanted to see where I was from. We went to work for my uncle, who still ran the modeling business, and I was a model agent for seven years.” But Piazzi knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, and after the first of their three boys was born, he and Chantal returned to Anguilla and bought their restaurant, just down the beach from her mother’s house at the western tip of the island. Named for the dazzling sunsets that grace its view, Trattoria Tramonti has a devoted following. There is the long list of celebrities— from Bill Clinton to Liam Neeson—who frequent Anguilla. There are the less celebrated regulars who have been coming to Anguilla for years and consider it a second home. That loyalty has been the island’s—and Trattoria Tramonti’s—salvation. “Our repeat visitors did not give up on us. They wanted to help and knew the only way they could was to show up and pump money into the economy—so they did.” People love Anguilla because everything is simpler, less complicated, Piazzi says. “It’s very much like living in Rock Hall, but without easy access to conveniences.” Every morning, as they’ve done for years, Piazzi and Chantal walk their dogs around the salt pond behind the restaurant. He sets up the tables and umbrellas on the beach and Chantal does a little cleaning. Then they rest for a while in the airy beach bar—which somehow survived Irma—sipping cappuccinos and basking in the ever-changing view. “Running a restaurant can be very stressful, but the lifestyle here is so very much the opposite of that,” says Piazzi. “It has made me a more balanced, more optimistic person. I can’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.”
Rebecca Ann DeSantis works at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) as the content and engagement coordinator. In May, she completed her master’s degree in public administration at American University, where she was editor-in-chief of the School of Public Affairs graduate journal, The Public Purpose. Before starting at ICMA, Rebecca worked at American University in the Academic Support and Access Center. As the D.C. Chapter co-chair, she is looking forward to meeting many alumni. Megan Marie Harrison earned a master’s degree in human services management through a unique partnership between McDaniel College and Target Community & Educational Services Inc. Through this twoyear program, Megan completed classroom work and a fully immersive internship as a community living manager in one of Target’s alternative living units, managing the dayto-day operations of the home, staff, and lives of three individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Brianna Jehl graduated from Tufts University with a master’s degree in child study and human development with a concentration in clinical developmental health and psychology. She is continuing her education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County to earn her PhD in human services psychology, concentrating in child clinical psychology.
Amy Akell is moving to Bat Yam, Israel, to complete a 10-month teaching fellowship. Rosie Alger is the education apprentice at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Maryland. Emily (Yiyuan) Cao is enrolled in an MBA program at Boston University. Mark Christie is an artistic apprentice. He is acting in the world premiere of SaltPepperKetchup by Josh Wilder at InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia.
Megan Iacona is a shop intern at Center Stage, Baltimore. Sophia Sidhu is enrolled at the American Academic of Dramatic Art in New York. Abby Wark is in the Disney College Program at Disney World in Florida, working in Toy Story Mania. FALL 2018
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In Memoriam William R. Russell, Jr. ’53 P’80 GP’19 William R. Russell, Jr. ’53 P’80 GP’19, an emeritus member of Washington College’s Board of Visitors and Governors as well as its Alumni Board, died July 11. He was 87. A three-sport athlete who was the top collegiate goalkeeper in the country, Bill was inducted into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985. He remained committed to the game of lacrosse as a club player, youth coach, and referee at the high school and collegiate levels. He was also a founder of HERO’s Inc., a non-profit developed to advance the sport among young players via summer league play. After graduating with a degree in history, Bill joined the U.S. Army, serving as a border guard on the German-Czech border during the Korean War. Upon his return from military service, he married his college sweetheart, Emily Dryden ’56; the couple raised two children and were active in their community. Bill retired in 1984 as a senior vice president of First National Bank of Maryland, where he was in charge of the bank’s real estate mortgage department. He founded a consulting firm, The Russell Organization, Inc., through which he assisted the Maryland Deposit Insurance Fund in liquidating failed savings and loan institutions, worked with financing and construction of The Hotel Arts in Barcelona, Spain, and supervised the building of the Kent Island Senior Center for Queen Anne’s County, Maryland. He was recognized with the College’s Alumni Citation for Excellence in 1993. Memorial gifts may be directed to the College’s Athey Athletics Club.
Donald Chatellier Donald M. “Chatty” Chatellier, who spent 35 years as a head coach at Washington College and who remained supportive of the Department of Athletics long past retirement, died August 15. He was 89. Chatty was tapped as the head men’s track and field and cross-country coach in 1955. He coached the track team until its discontinuation in 1982 and the cross-country team until 1987. He then took the reins of the men's rowing program and coached that team until 1990. He also taught physical education classes, coached the junior varsity men's basketball program for a time, and developed a robust intramural program for both male and female students while serving as assistant, then associate director of athletics under Ed Athey ’47. Chatty coached a number of Mason-Dixon Conference and Middle Atlantic Conference champions in track and field. His knowledge of the sport was so well respected that the coaches of the Middle Atlantic Conference continued to call upon him to organize and conduct conference championship meets long after the College dropped the sport. Following his retirement, he remained an integral part of the College's Hall of Fame Board, assisted in running home rowing regattas, and volunteered in several other areas. Don Chatellier was inducted into the Washington College Hall of Fame in 1989. In 2014, he was honored with the Edward L. Athey '47 Award, presented to an individual who has made a significant positive impact on athletics at Washington College while demonstrating the ideals of integrity, dedication, humility, and enthusiasm. The track encircling Kibler Field is named the “Chatty Track” in his honor. Many of his former student-athletes returned to Chestertown for his memorial services on Aug. 25. His son, Dana S. Chatellier ’78 and his daughter, Ellen M. Stevens, are among his survivors.
Anne Clark Taylor ’46 died July 2 at her home in Kennedyville, Maryland. She was 93. Anne was a lifelong resident of Kent County, graduating from Chestertown High School and attending Washington College. She retired in 1987 after 20 years 44
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of employment at the A&P grocery store. She is survived by her children, Steven and Harriett, and granddaughter Caitlin. U.S. Air Force retired Maj. Gen. Eugene B. Sterling ’48 passed away May 31 at his home on
Merritt Island, Florida. Gene was a command pilot with military decorations including the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal. After returning to civilian life, Gene received a bachelor's degree
from Washington College and a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University. He was an active member of his community and is survived by his children, grandsons, and many nieces and nephews. William Almas Tynan ’48 died at his home in Kerrville, Texas, on Aug. 7. He was 91. Bill attended Washington College before enrolling at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduating with degrees in electrical and management engineering. He worked for the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory until 1988, participating in the development of several U.S. Navy missiles. Bill also served as president and board chair of the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, received several prestigious awards, and published two novels, Scott-free and Separate Worlds. Bill is survived by his wife, Mattie. Mary Lee Willon ’48 of Cambridge, Maryland, passed away July 11. She was 90. Mary Lee graduated from Catonsville High School. She attended Washington College, graduated from Towson State College, and received her master’s degree from the University of Maryland. She was an elementary-school teacher in Dorchester and Prince George's counties. Mary Lee was a world traveler, visiting 37 countries during her lifetime, and enjoyed square dancing with her husband, Wallace. Mary Louise Davis ’49, of Cecilton, Maryland, died May 25. She was 89. After graduating from Cecilton High School, she continued her education at Washington College, where she received her teaching degree in 1949. Mary Louise taught science and math at Bohemia Manor High School. She was a member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. She is survived by her sisters, Elizabeth "Libby" Keefer, of Elkton, and Jane Gibson, of Lewes, Delaware.
Edwin Carl Weber Jr. ’49 passed away at the age of 92 on May 30. Ed was born in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He served in the U.S. Navy, graduating from Washington College in 1949 under the GI Bill. He was employed by the State of Maryland Water Pollution Control Commission, the predecessor to the Department of the Environment. When he retired in 1996, Ed was one of the Maryland State employees with the longest tenure of service. He is survived by his three children, nine grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. Robert Lee Herrman ’51 passed away Aug. 17 in San Juan Capistrano, California, at the age of 89. Bob attended Penns Grove Regional High School and Washington College. He married his high school sweetheart, Mary Jane Sadler, on June 16, 1951. In 1973, Bob's employment with AstraZeneca took him to Glendora, California, where he lived until his retirement and a move to Palm Desert in 1989. In retirement, Bob’s joy was spending time with his family. He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, his four sons and their spouses, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren. It is with great sadness that news of the passing of Frank Henry ’53 is received. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Arthur Alan Vinyard ’53 passed away Sept. 9 at his home in Penns Grove, New Jersey. He was 88. He was a lifelong servant of St. Paul's United Methodist Church, a U.S. Army veteran, and an employee of DuPont Chambers Works for more than 30 years. He is survived by his sons, Mark and Rodney. The Rev. Thomas Crawford Short ’58 died Aug. 1 at age 83. Tom earned a Master of Sacred Theology degree at Wesley Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry degree at Palmer
Theological Seminary. The author of three books and numerous articles, he served as pastor of Aldersgate Church in Wilmington, Delaware, for 17 years, was a member of the Wilmington Rotary Club, and was active in the Boy Scouts of America. He received a variety of awards for his leadership in the church and community, including a coveted Distinguished Eagle Scout Award given to adults who achieved the award of Eagle as a youth and went on to distinguish themselves as community leaders. In 2011 Tom and his wife, Mary, moved to Cokesbury Village in Hockessin, Delaware, and he was happy and active in that community until the time of his death. Cherry Anderson Smith ’68 died July 17 in Forest Hill, Maryland, at the age of 72. After graduating from Bel Air High School, Cherry earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at WC. On Sept. 6, 1968, she married Clifford Bergman Smith Jr., and they soon settled in Forest Hill to raise their family. Cherry is survived by her son, Clifford; daughter Beth; and a grandson.
program for children with dyslexia. She loved traveling, especially in Europe, and enjoyed cooking gourmet meals. Duncan Buchanan Wells ’86 died at his Pocomoke City home on June 8. He was 54. Born in Salisbury, Duncan graduated with a bachelor of science degree from Washington College and completed dental school at the University of Maryland. He was a faithful member of Salem United Methodist Church. He served as president of the Pocomoke City Rotary International Club and was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity and Maryland State Dental Association. Above all else, Duncan loved and supported his family in all of their endeavors. Duncan is survived by his wife, Anne, and three children.
Judith Javor Heald ’68, of Rhode Island, died March 8. Judith was a biology and science teacher at East Greenwich High School for 25 years until her retirement. At WC she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega. In her hometown she was a member of the Kingston Congregational Church, Wickford Yacht Club, and the North Kingstown-Exeter Animal Protection League. In addition to her former husband, Thomas Heald ’70, she leaves her loving brother, Thomas.
John Robert Francomano III ’92, a prominent civil litigator and criminal defense attorney in the Baltimore area, passed away March 17. He was 48. At WC, J.R. was a catcher on the baseball team and a member of Theta Chi fraternity. He attended law school at Washington University in St. Louis and joined the Maryland Bar in 1998. He began his career as an assistant state's attorney before joining the Baltimore County state's attorney's office. For the past seven years, J.R. had been chair of the scholarship program for the Associated Italian American Charities of Maryland (AIAC). In addition to donating his time and resources to the AIAC, J.R. also gave support to countless other organizations and causes. He is survived by his father, John; his wife, Carrie; and their daughters, Hanley and Elliott.
Susan Scheidle ’74 passed away June 15 after bravely fighting ALS. Washington College held a special place in her heart. She loved swimming and competed in the Senior Olympics, taught swimming to children at Meadowbrook Swim Club in Baltimore, and volunteered in a literacy
Wayne Layton Sprouse ’94, who battled ALS, passed away at Mineral Springs in New Hampshire on March 12. Before becoming ill, he was the golf professional at Hale’s Location golf course. This was a dream job for him, and a dream come true. To this day, Wayne still holds the
course record with another player. Wayne was also an avid hunter and loved the outdoors. He is survived by his wife, Karen; sons Cody and Timothy; and parents George and Dee. Mary Elizabeth Brennaman ’04 passed away Sept.1 at her home in Denton, Maryland. She was 39. A 1996 graduate of Colonel Richardson High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from WC. A passion for learning led her to Salisbury University, where she earned a master’s degree in social work. Mary Beth was employed with MidShore Mental Health System in Easton, where she represented Caroline and Kent counties as a behavioral health coordinator for special populations. She previously worked for Crossroads Community as a program coordinator. She was preceded in death by her daughter Lizzie and is survived by parents Cheryl and Jeff, sister Lisa, and daughter Anneliese.
Errata In the obituary for John Roberts that appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of WCM, we mischaracterized The Starr Foundation as a philanthropic arm of AIG. The Starr Foundation has always been a private, independent foundation, and not a corporate entity.
A DVA N C E M E N T
Local Baseball Legend Pays it Forward An Eastern Shore alumnus honors his late wife with an endowed scholarship.
“Farmer John” Selby ’41 (above), renowned for his produce stand, was also a great baseball coach. In the 1950 photo at left, he is front and center with members of the Centreville Giants, a semi-pro team.
ohn ’41 and Margaret ’44 Selby have established a $166,000 memorial fund in Margaret’s name to support “worthy students otherwise unable to attend Washington College.” The annual recipient of a merit scholarship himself, John indicated his wish to pay forward the help he’d received as a student. The Selbys’ generosity is the culmination of giving dating back to 1982, with The Washington Fund, Athletics, and Johnson Fitness Center all benefitting from support. As a student-athlete, John served as president of the Student Government Association, the Sigma Sigma Omicron Honor Society, and the Historical Society. A member of the Athletics Hall of Fame, Selby led Washington College to three Maryland Collegiate League baseball championships in 1938, 1939, and 1940. He graduated magna cum laude and was the first recipient of the Baurice Fox Medal, given to the varsity athlete with the highest grade point average. After graduation, he became one of Maryland’s most successful high school baseball coaches. At Centreville High School and later Queen Anne’s County High School—where he also taught history—he 46
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compiled a win-loss record of 187-37 over a 21-year career. John also coached soccer at Centreville for four years, winning 34 consecutive victories and three state championships. John, who passed away in 2005, was a member of the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, a member of the Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame, and a baseball scout for the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Athletics. He managed the Centreville Giants to the Tri-County League Championships in 1948, and in 1950 to the Bi-State League Championships. He was president of the Bi-State Baseball League, president of the Central Shore Basketball League, and served as commissioner of amateur baseball for the Eastern Shore. At WC, Margaret was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and volunteered with the Red Cross war effort, making bandages in the basement of William Smith Hall. Her teaching career spanned 24 years in Baltimore City, at Stevensville High School, and at Centreville Middle and High schools, where she taught history, English, art, and music. A long-time member of
the Centreville and Queen Anne’s County Band Boosters, Margaret was active with the Queen Anne Historical Society and the Upper Shore Genealogical Society of Maryland. Margaret was a member of the church choir for 18 years, and a member of the altar guild and the executive board of the Episcopal Churchwomen. After retiring, she was a founding member of the Music Advisory Committee at Chesapeake Community College, serving from 1982 to 1988. In 1994, then-Gov. William D. Schaefer appointed her to the board of trustees of the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center. After Margaret passed away in 2000, John’s life continued to reflect his love of teaching, baseball, and his regional legacy running Farmer John’s produce stand on Route 8 on Kent Island. “He was a good fellow, he did a lot for young people, and he was a hell of a coach,” said Queen Anne resident Jim Barton, who once worked for Selby’s produce business, in a 2007 article in the Star Democrat. “He was still pulling sweet corn at age 88.”
Former Trustee Directs Major Gift to Institute Chair Former trustee David Burton M’84 P’84 and his wife, Ann, have endowed an academic chair at Washington College with a substantial gift. Joseph Prud’homme, associate professor of political science and director of the College’s Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture (IRPC) for eight years, has been named to The Burton Family Chair in Religion, Politics and Culture, with plans to augment programming and opportunities for students. According to Prud’homme, the Institute’s mission is to study the various ways religious belief and practice and political culture intersect, and the ways religion and the founding values of the United States have ennobled political and cultural development. The gift will help the Institute integrate more fully into the activities of the College. Prud’homme intends to leverage an online platform to distribute research briefs, called Institute Findings, to complement the Institute’s existing peer-reviewed book series. He hopes to attract high-profile speakers who can stay for extended stretches to more deeply interact with students. The Burton gift will also create more internship opportunities, augment resources for students working on their senior capstone experience, and allow IRPC to offer more scholarship funding for study abroad, including the Oxford University Research Seminar. “The Burton family’s gift ensures that the Institute will continue to thrive and grow,” says Patrice DiQuinzio, provost and dean of the College, “and that students, faculty, and staff will be able to enjoy all that the Institute provides for years to come.” “Student fellows [from the Institute] have gone to the University of Chicago graduate school and Duke Law School; taken positions in high finance at companies such as Morgan Stanley; and gone into the ministry, the military, and other areas of public service,” Prud’homme says. “To see the success of my students makes all of my hard work absolutely worthwhile and is deeply enriching to me as a professor.” The College plans to host an event on Feb. 21, 2019, to inaugurate the chair and highlight the work of the Institute.
Noted Educator Endows Scholarships A bequest from Harry C. Rhodes ’35 and his wife, Creighton, will provide scholarship money to promising students.
Harry Rhodes ’35 chats with Professor Garry E. Clarke before the start of the Commencement processional in 2010.
efore their deaths in 2014 and 2009, respectively, Harry and Creighton Rhodes designated funds resulting in an endowment of $450,000 to give deserving students access to a Washington College education. The son of two WC graduates, Harry received the Alumni Citation in 1987 for his extraordinary career as an educator, first as a teacher, and then as a principal and superintendent, before becoming an administrator and trustee with Maryland's community college system. During his tenure as superintendent of Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, he played a key role in their peaceful integration and in building what is known today as Queen Anne’s County High School. He also helped establish Chesapeake College in Wye Mills. Rhodes’ teaching career was interrupted briefly when he served during World War II as a U.S. Navy lieutenant. His sense of duty and service extended to the regional community he loved. He was chosen in 1980 by Queen Anne’s County commissioners as Man of the Year and was a Queenstown council member for three terms. He was also recognized by the Boy Scouts for his support and in 2009 was named a Local Hero by the
Bank of America Charitable Foundation for his work in the community. Widely recognized as an expert on the history of the Eastern Shore region he loved, Rhodes wrote two books about the area: Queenstown: The Social History of a Small American Town and Country Boy Grows Up—Harry in the Nineteen Hundreds. In the years preceding his death, Rhodes embraced his distinction as WC’s oldest living alumnus, leading the academic procession of graduating seniors at Commencement. Goldstein Hall, Toll Science Center, The Washington Fund, and Athletics have all benefited from his decades of giving. Of his time as a student, Rhodes once said, “I remember the days when there was nothing on campus but William Smith Hall, the gym, and a few dormitories. But we had good teachers who engaged us in serious studies. My education did a lot to formulate my life.” To learn how you can establish a scholarship as a legacy gift, please visit washingtoncollege. planmylegacy.org, or contact Emily Kate Smith at email@example.com or 410-778-7715.
THE LAST WORD
Finding Lucy Branham As the nation prepares to mark the centennial of the Constitutional Amendment giving women the right to vote, a summer internship with the National Constitution Center leads to the discovery of an alumna who was active in the suffrage movement. By Andrew Darlington ’19
rom May 21 to August 9, I interned with the National Constitution Center’s Exhibits team. Thanks to the support of the Starr Center’s Explore America program and the kindness of the NCC staff, I was given the chance to step fully into the role of an exhibition developer. With their guidance and expertise pushing me forward, I was thrilled to begin my assigned project: designing and proposing a comprehensive exhibit on the 19th Amendment and the American woman’s suffrage movement for display in 2020, marking the 100th anniversary of the amendment granting women the right to vote. Before my internship, I knew practically nothing about the woman’s suffrage movement or the 19th Amendment. Yet, after weeks of researching and asking questions, I learned so much about American women’s struggle for the ballot that I had compiled 80 pages of notes and contextual information, found hundreds of potential artifacts from countless historical societies, and submitted a finished proposal for my ideal exhibit. Throughout my research, I studied many suffragists—Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, Harriot Stanton Blatch, and Carrie Chapman Catt—each of whom dedicated their lives to securing American women the right to vote. Yet despite the prominence of these famous activists, learning of one lesser-known suffragist excited and surprised me more than all the rest. Her name was Lucy Branham, and she graduated from Washington College more than 100 years ago. Lucy Gwynne Branham was born in Kempsville, Virginia, in 1892 and was raised in Baltimore. She graduated from Washington College with a degree in history and earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. Her father, a well-known 48
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physician named John W. Branham, died while fighting a yellow fever outbreak in Georgia. Her mother, also named Lucy Gwynne Branham, was a fervent women’s rights activist in her own right. While many in their Southern family held strong views against women voting, Lucy’s mother encouraged her to rally for a federal suffrage amendment. Young Lucy worked as a National Woman’s Party (NWP) organizer in Utah during the 1916 elections, where she urged voters to boycott Democratic candidates for failing to endorse women’s suffrage. In 1918, she was imprisoned for silently picketing the White House; she endured terrible conditions for two months in the D.C. District Jail and Occoquan Workhouse. After her release, Lucy played a leading role in the NWP’s Lafayette Park demonstration. Standing across the street from the White House, she issued the following speech while burning a message from President Woodrow Wilson: “The torch which I hold symbolizes the burning indignation of the women who for years have been given words without action...” Throughout the months of 1919, she traveled with the National Woman’s Party’s “Prison Special” tour, where she again donned her prison garb and spoke to the nation’s citizens about the horrific prison treatment she had suffered. Even after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, Lucy Branham remained a staunch advocate for national and international women’s rights. Branham taught briefly at Columbia University and later worked with the World Woman’s Party to lobby the League of Nations for equal rights. In the late 1950s, she lived with her elderly mother in the Sewall-Belmont House—the current headquarters of the NWP— as she served on the NWP’s Congressional
At a rally in 1917, Lucy Branham protests the political imprisonment of Alice Paul, a leader of the suffragist movement, with a "Russia" banner. From the Records of the National Women's Party, Library of Congress.
Committee to lobby for the Equal Rights Amendment. At this point, I haven’t fully unpacked Lucy Branham’s history; I still don’t know much about Lucy’s undergraduate years, or even the exact year she graduated from Washington College. Yet, I believe there is no better time than the present for Lucy’s full story to be told. With women’s participation in politics skyrocketing in recent years, showcasing the courage and bravery of this young suffragist seems more important than ever. And with Lucy’s amazing history in public service, it showcases that WC alums—no matter their gender—can help shape the world in fantastic ways. Andrew Darlington ’19 is a political science major with a minor in history.
Arts Calendar MUSIC
LITERARY HOUSE SERIES
All Premier Artists Concert Series performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in Hotchkiss Recital Hall, Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 or seniors 65 and over, and free for youth 18 and under. All Senior Capstone Experience (SCE) recitals and performances are free and open to the public. Please direct any questions to Debbie Reed at 410-778-7875.
All events begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Rose O’Neill Literary House, unless otherwise noted. Please direct any questions to Julie Armstrong at 410-810-5768.
Jan. 31 Raissa Katona Bennett, Vocalist (Premier Artists) “Can’t Help Singing” The Music of Jerome Kern Hotchkiss Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 13 Senior Recital – Emma Hoey ’19, Trumpet (SCE) Decker Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
March 1-2 MIMI STILLMAN is one of the most celebrated flutists in the music world, critically acclaimed for her brilliant artistry, passionate interpretation, and innovative programming.
Godspell a musical by Stephen Schwartz & John-Michael Tebelak Directed by Ernie Green. General admission tickets are $10.
March 6 Ronnie Hastings ’19, Composition Senior Recital of Rock n’ Roll (SCE) Gibson Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
THEATER All performances, which are free and open to the public, begin at 7:30 p.m. in Tawes Theatre, Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts, unless otherwise noted. For ticket reservations, visit the Eventbright page at bit.ly/WCTheatreTickets Please direct any questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Music Extravaganza Gibson Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
March 28 Saxophonist Kevin Jin ’19 and Jazz Combo (SCE) Gibson Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
April 4 Mimi Stillman, flute, and members of the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra (Premier Artists) Hotchkiss Recital Hall
Feb. 5 Living Writers—A Reading by Lucy Corin, NEA Fellow in Literature and author of the short story collections One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses (McSweeney’s Books, 2013)
Feb. 28 Living Writers—A Reading by Edward P. Jones, author of The Known World (2003), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
March 19 Living Writers—A Reading by Lidia Yuknavitch, winner of the 2016 Oregon Book Award’s Ken Kesey Award for Fiction and the Reader’s Choice Award
April 11 Living Writers—A Reading by Rion Amilcar Scott, winner of the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers
April 17 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series—A Talk by Gene Demby, lead blogger for NPR’s Code Switch team and former managing editor for Huffington Post’s Black Voices
May 17 Sophie Kerr Prize Event, featuring a keynote address by a noted author and readings by the student finalists. Hotchkiss Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.
April 6 March 22-23 Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (SCE) by Moisés Kaufman Directed by Jacqueline Glenn ’19
Maddie Morton, Soprano (SCE) Gibson Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
April 15 Reanna Sherman, Soprano (SCE) Gibson Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
The Flick (SCE) by Annie Baker | Directed by John Leslie ’19, and featuring Patrick Huff ’19 Norman James Theatre
Yong Hi Moon, piano (Premier Artists) Hotchkiss Recital Hall
April 12-13 or 19-20 The Rape of the Sabine Women (SCE) by Grace B. Matthias | by Michael Yates Crowley Directed by Elizabeth Clemens ’19
April 22 Student Honors Recital Gibson Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
April 23 Megan Stagg, Soprano (SCE) Gibson Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
DANCE April 26-27 Spring Dance Concert Decker Theatre, 7:30 p.m., on Friday Decker Theatre, 2 p.m., on Saturday
Washington College Spring Orchestra and Chorus Concert Hotchkiss Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.
A Dickens of a Christmas Dec. 7 - 9 Main Street Chestertown presents “A Dickens of a Christmas” celebration throughout historic downtown, including carriage rides, street theater, live music, children’s activities, a 5K race, food vendors, and a distinctively Dickens house tour. Proceeds benefit the Kent County Food Pantry. Visit artatchestertown.com for more information and tickets.
I College Magazine 300Washington College Avenue Volume LXVII No. 2 Spring 2017 ISSN 2152-9531
Chestertown, Maryland 21620 Washington College Magazine Volume LXIX No. 1 Fall 2018, ISSN 2152-9531
In Person: Patrick O’Neal ’19
ackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947, but it would take another 18 years for a minor league team in Alabama to end racial segregation on the field. Patrick O’Neal ’19, a history major from Birmingham who came to Washington College as a Quill & Compass Scholar, was curious to understand the dynamics of that cultural shift, which occurred at the height of the Civil Rights movement. Using primary resources and conducting personal interviews with surviving members of the Birmingham Barons, O’Neal is writing a chapter of American history that has yet to be told. “Being able to write a capstone about something I’m passionate about is a great experience I don’t think I would have gotten at other schools,” says O’Neal, a varsity soccer player with a second major in psychology and a minor in Spanish. “A lot of people don’t know about this team, which at the time was at the heart of one of the most hostile and volatile cities of the Civil Rights era. It’s cool to me as an athlete to see how the relationships among players brought hope in this bleak period. Players, both black and white, were supportive of one another. And as they came together, so did the fans from black and white communities.” In his senior capstone project, O’Neal examines the history of the Negro Baseball League’s powerhouse Birmingham Black Barons, and the team’s initial reluctance to lose its identity through a merger. He also discusses the impact professional sports can make in a flagging economy. But the real story is the power of sports to unite and heal a divided city. “We still see racial division in this country,” he says. “This serves as a reminder that people can grow an appreciation for one another and are able to unite over something. In this case, it was baseball. This team laid the groundwork that helped bring about change.” O’Neal, who is applying for a Rhodes Scholarship, intends to pursue a career in sports psychology. Photo by Taylor Fields ’17
non-profit org us postage paid chestertown, md permit no. 2
Published three times a year, the Washington College Magazine offers a glimpse of our corner of the world and the people who rock it.
Published on Nov 16, 2018
Published three times a year, the Washington College Magazine offers a glimpse of our corner of the world and the people who rock it.