The Graduate School Newsletter
Greetings from the Dean
To all of our new and returning graduate students, welcome to spring semester at Hood College! In this issue, you will find features about inspiring initiatives for YOU, our students, like the NEW counseling training clinic, our annual Grad Career Series featuring panels of accomplished alumni in your field and an exciting 3MT competition open to all graduate students with independent research or creatives.
Last week’s new-student orientation was energizing as we prepare to welcome ~80 new graduate students this spring hailing from Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, India, Saudi Arabia and of course our own backyard here in Frederick, Maryland. Such events remind me of our team’s central goal: to serve and support all of our graduate students, regardless of your background, home town or current professional/personal challenges. Please do not hesitate to let our team know how we can improve your time here at Hood. We have personnel dedicated to every facet of your success from orientation to degree progress and career development, so use your Hood resources early and often.
As the College continues to celebrate our “golden” 50th anniversary, your impressive talents inspire me, and I am confident that our learning community will thrive for the next 50 years as well. Best wishes for a successful spring semester and thank you for choosing Hood College—you belong here!
April M. Boulton, Ph.D.
Dean of the Graduate School
It’s that time again—time to brag about yourself! We are always looking for stories about the wonderful accomplishments of our students—both current and alumni. To facilitate the collection of such good news, we have a handy online form for you to use, as often as you like. Whether you just presented at a conference or received an academic award or work promotion, we want to know about it! So what are you waiting for?
Meet our new Director of International Student Services
Hello to all new and returning international graduate students! My name is Amani Al-Dajane, and I am the new Director of International Student Services and PDSO (Principle Designated School Official) here at Hood College. My goal is to provide you with the highest level of expertise and support in immigration policy, visa compliance, and programming for international students.
I am confident that Hood College resources and our strong international peer mentorship program will not only support your educational journey, but will also shape your personal development and provide the skills you need to be competitive in today’s international marketplace. Hood is home, and you are part of our family!
Amani Al-Dajane, MBA '20
The Graduate School thanks you for your service and welcomes all veterans, active duty personnel, National Guard and Reserve personnel, along with their dependents! Hood College prides itself on being a military-friendly college that promotes a variety of services to all military members and their families. Please be sure to check out our Military Community website where you will find useful resources, a special Hood College-Fort Detrick graduate scholarship, upcoming events and more. For more information, contact the military liaison in our office, Ms. Fowler Corsi. Also, be sure to follow our @hoodcollegemilitary Instagram account!
Learn more about our open leadership position that carries tuition assistance with the role! The Graduate Student Association (GSA) at Hood College is looking for our next president. The GSA advocates for graduate students including their academic and professional development goals, in order to enhance the graduate school experience. Help design the next set of events to support your fellow graduate students across disciplines. GSA networking and professional development events not only provide valuable career opportunities for graduate students, but they also promote communication among students, faculty, staff and the college administration. Given the diverse graduate student body, the GSA supports a culture of JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion) with full transparency.
If you are a committed leader who enjoys connecting with fellow graduate students, planning events, and strengthening the student experience, apply for this competitive position by February 1. To learn more or to apply, send your resume and cover letter to GradDean@hood.edu. Follow the GSA on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, share our social media posts and help spread the word.
Applicant Mentor Program
If you are proud of your graduate program and like to help people, we have a fun program for you where you can also win rewards. We invite you to join our newly formed applicant mentor network to help prospective graduate students learn about the Hood community. Applicant mentors can earn rewards and win gift cards for virtually mentoring a prospective graduate student who is applying to your program. For more information about this new opportunity, email GoFurther@hood.edu or to register complete this brief form.
Win Prizes as a Social Media Mogul
If you’re not already following the grad school on your favorite social-media platforms, you will want to do so SOON (see below for our links). From prize-based student competitions to emergent campus updates, we post to our social media channels daily. If you enjoy posting on your personal Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or other social media accounts, read on. In exchange for weekly posts/tweets about Hood’s Graduate School this spring, we’ll reward you with an Amazon gift card in May—ranging from $25-100, depending on the volume and regularity of your posts. This program is open to graduate students from all nationalities, backgrounds and programs. If you are #HoodProud and want to learn more, reply to GradDean@hood.edu by FEB 4th!
Student Success Station
Watch your Hood email for the link to a new training on Diversity and Inclusion in the Modern Workplace Training. If you completed this one-time training this past fall, you're all set. If you're a new student or did not complete the virtual module last fall, plan to engage with the material for ~30 or so minutes, which makes our learning community a more welcoming place.
Through the training, students learn actionable steps that create an inclusive classroom (or Zoom room) along with the tangible benefits of a diverse workforce. This training uses the unique experiences of real people to explore key concepts such as identity, power, privilege, and thoughtful communication. By expanding appreciation for shared experiences of difference, shared expectations of respect, and our shared need to belong and feel appreciated, students are encouraged to identify how they can create more inclusive and accepting environments on campus and online. The training is divided into three categories:
- Identity on Campus: Identify how important concepts related to identity shape our education. Discover reframing techniques that promote healthy and constructive interactions.
- Unconscious Bias: Understand stereotypes, unconscious and conscious bias. Learners discover how to uncover bias and open the door for inclusion.
- LGBTQ+ Inclusion: Discover how to be an ally to your peers in this community.
The Graduate School Mental Health Task Force (MHTF) is a team of graduate faculty, staff, and graduate students, whose mission is to identify and support issues impacting graduate student mental-health concerns, including depression and anxiety. Efforts are wide-ranging and include:
- Working with Hood College Counseling Services to provide hours of availability tailored for graduate students;
- Developing reference guides, handbooks and flowcharts to help graduate students and professors provide proper support for graduate students in need;
- Offering a campus-wide license of ThrivingCampus™, an online app that provides graduate students with a range of mental-health practitioners in the community;
- Providing alcoholism and depression screening each academic year in an effort to identify and support students at-risk.
The Graduate School Mental Health Task Force is excited for the new semester and to explore innovative ways to support our students in need! Have ideas? Email them to GradDean@hood.edu.
Library Moving to Single Sign-On
We are improving the way you access the library's resources. Specifically, we are moving from a proxy server (barcodes) to a single sign-on system. With single sign-on, once you have logged in to your Hood account in Office365, you are automatically authenticated to access library resources. Single sign-on also means you should not need a library barcode to access our resources whether you are on or off campus. A library barcode will still be needed to check out print materials.
If you are not signed on to Hood and you click on a library resource, you may be asked to select your institution (Hood College) from a drop-down list. Always choose INSTITUTIONAL LOGIN to be directed to the Hood College login page. Thank you for your patience as we work to make the library more accessible. If you have trouble accessing library resources, please contact us:
Text: (301) 200-4772
Phone: (301) 696-3709
Free Online Tutoring Available for Hood Graduate Students!
One of the many excellent support services we provide busy graduate students is online tutoring and writing support with live, professional help. Our tutoring partner, Thinking Storm, provides graduate students with free, online tutoring. To access online tutoring, click on the Thinking Storm link in any of your Blackboard classrooms (under Tools). You will be automatically signed in to the online tutoring site; no separate username or password is required.
ThinkingStorm is available 24/7 for topics like Writing, Math, Science, Statistics, and more. Once you are logged in, simply use the menus on the Thinking Storm homepage to connect with your desired option. Live support is available for most subjects, and you can also submit essays for asynchronous feedback via the Thinking Storm Writing Center. We also welcome requests for additional content areas of tutoring for a specific subject if needed. Email GradDean@hood.edu to request additional subjects. In the meantime, tutoring is available in these areas:
- Advanced Stats
- Writing Center
- Live Writing
- Markup & Programming Languages
Although we are all fortunate to be part of a welcoming, resource-rich campus like Hood, we know that a handful of students, especially those without a campus meal plan, struggle with food insecurity from time to time. There is a campus initiative designed to support such students—both graduate and undergraduate. Dubbed “Campus Cupboard” this program aims to provide modest food staples and hygiene items to students with temporary need via an anonymous system. If you are currently experiencing food insecurity, simply email our secure mailbox at CampusCupboard@hood.edu to receive additional information on receiving this support.
Word of Mouth Matters
Do you remember how you found out about the Graduate School at Hood College? Chances are you heard about us from a friend, colleague or family member when researching graduate schools. Each year, our data show that the most common way new graduate students find us is YOU--or word of mouth. Your positive experience at The Graduate School has the power to transform lives, like your cousin across town or a distant friend in India. Here are three ways you can spread the #HOODLOVE:
1. Get featured on our story blogs: we love to highlight the breadth of diverse experiences and backgrounds of our graduate students and alumni, so help us celebrate YOU on our graduate school blogs, which are posted on our website and social media outlets. To be featured, email GoFurther@hood.edu.
2. Share our next open house with your network: let your personal and professional network know that they can attend our regular Open House and Admission Café events (both virtual and in-person) to learn more about our graduate programs and to meet faculty program directors, admission staff and current students. They can register for our events here.
3. Join our NEW Applicant Mentor Program: if you would like to support our applicants, who have questions about the student experience here at the College in exchange for prizes and other rewards, join this new program. Your support will require just ~5 minutes each week. You will be paired with a prospective graduate applicant by program or background so they can benefit from your insights and experience. Gift cards will be awarded to successful mentors. To register, click here or email your questions to GoFurther@hood.edu.
Remember what makes Hood unique. We are SMALL, AFFORDABLE, DIVERSE, CAREER-FOCUSED, FLEXIBLE, and provide PERSONALIZED attention. Share the #HOODLOVE!
Have more ideas or questions? Contact Tanith Fowler Corsi, Director of Graduate Admission, at GoFurther@hood.edu.
Rely on Our Career Resources Early and Often
What makes The Graduate School at Hood College unique? We are small, but MIGHTY with personalized attention and professional development to help you go further in your career. We know that career advancement is the most common reason people seek a graduate degree. Hood College is here to support you in your career success from the very beginning. Here are some important offices you will want to ”bookmark” as career partners during your time at Hood College:
- The Graduate School organizes many networking and professional development opportunities during the year such as the Three-Minute Thesis, Speed Mentoring for women in STEM, Cotton Cybersecurity Lecture Series, Dinner with the Dean and more. International students can also attend OPT/CPT career panels to prepare for program-related internships and jobs. For more information about graduate school events, click here.
- The Graduate Student Association is the sole grad-student led group at the College--designed for and driven by graduate students across disciplines. Be sure to follow the Graduate Student Association and maybe you'll meet your next boss at a networking event. It's happened! For more information about the GSA, email GSA@hood.edu.
- The Center for Career Development and Experiential Learning offers graduate student dedicated services such as resume reviews, internship and job listings, job fairs with local employers, speaker events, and more. For more information about Career Center events, click here.
- The Center for Student Success provides graduate-level academic tutoring, accessibility services and writing support. To learn more, email GradSuccess@hood.edu.
- Academic Departments are student-centered and focused on your success. Your faculty are great connections to professionals in your industry; they have excellent career advice and professional networks that will benefit you. Do not hesitate to reach out to the experienced and diverse faculty in your academic department.
Remember: all the faculty and staff at the College are here to support you throughout your academic journey, so take advantage of the many resources that will assist you in achieving your professional goals!
This past fall, The Graduate School at Hood College connected with our undergraduate students across multiple campus and virtual events to share the many ways our team can support YOU! Whether it was in the quad, in the classroom, or online, it was great meeting so many new students. Did you know that you can remain at your alma mater for two additional semesters and graduate with TWO degrees--a bachelor's and a master's degree?
Hood’s 4PLUS program is an accelerated, dual-degree program that allows undergraduate students to begin graduate coursework as early as their junior year. Eligible students can earn both their bachelor's and master's degrees in as little as five years. The 4PLUS program includes the following master’s degrees, and there is a pathway for EVERY major:
- B.A. in Biology or Biochemistry/Master of Science in Biomedical Science
- B.A. & B.S./Master of Business Administration
- B.A. in Art Therapy/Master of Science in Counseling
- B.A. in Psychology/Master of Science in Counseling, Clinical Mental Health
- B.A. in Psychology/Master of Science in Counseling, School Counseling
- B.A. & B.S./Master of Science in Cybersecurity
- B.A. in ENSP/Master of Science in Environmental Biology
- B.A. & B.S./Master of Science in Information Technology
Current undergraduate students and recent alumni also receive special benefits for applying to the graduate school through our ALTY (Alumni of the Last Three Years) scholarship program. Benefits include waiving the application fee, last three graduate credits at no cost, and an expedited admission process. Interested students should contact our 4PLUS liaison, Nick Masucci '17, at 4PLUS@hood.edu for more information.
We are #HoodProud of current graduate student and candidate for the M.S. in Educational Leadership, Shabana Sayed, who was recently featured by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) as a national #GradImpact student. Shabana is supporting the development and launch of FCPS Middle School Blended Virtual Program.
"Attending Hood College has helped me to connect and collaborate with other FCPS educators. I believe that my time at Hood will help me in my career because of the connections I have been able to make with FCPS leaders and administrators." shared Sayed.
The new program is being developed after educators realized that the shift to virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic was more beneficial for some students than in-person learning. When Sayed learned about the new virtual program, she was intrigued. “I saw this as a unique and exciting opportunity to broaden my teaching experience while also allowing me to serve a role in opening a new program that will benefit students across the county,” said Sayed.
Shabana aspires to be a school leader and believes the experience she’s gaining as part of the blended virtual program is invaluable. She chose to pursue her master’s degree at Hood, in part, because of its unique partnership with FCPS. Learn more about Shabana and Prof. Vetter’s initiative here. #YouBelongHere
Hood College is proud to partner with the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce and support Leadership Frederick County (LFC), a program run by the Chamber since the 1980s. The Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership is working closely with LFC leadership to design, develop, and facilitate leadership curriculum to strengthen the experiential learning opportunities offered by the LFC program. With our DOL faculty director, Dr. Nisha Manikoth, at the helm, we are poised to deepen the leadership experience for all future LFC cohorts. As this partnership moves beyond boundaries, the DOL program will extend its mission of “Preparing Leaders, Transforming Communities” to enrich and serve the Frederick community.
ANNUAL SPRING CAREER SERIES FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS
February: Virtual Alumni Career Panels for STEM Students
Take advantage of the opportunity to ask Hood alumni about their experience in searching for and finding careers as students in the program.
Tuesday, Feb 15 - IT/CS/MIS/CYBR/BIFX Alumni Panel from 5:00-6:00 PM (RSVP here)
Monday, Feb 21 - ENV Alumni Panel from 7:30-8:30 PM (RSVP here)
Monday, Feb 28 - BMS Alumni Panel from 7:30-8:30 PM (RSVP here)
March 1: Virtual CPT-OPT and Alumni Panel Event for International Students
March 23: Spring Career Fair
Are you looking for an internship or that next career? The Hood College Career Center is hosting the Spring Career Fair for all disciplines on Wednesday, March 23, from 3:00-6:00 PM in Whitaker Campus Center. Register through Handshake here.
March 9: Dinner with the Dean
March 23: Virtual Open House
Interested in learning more about Hood’s 4PLUS program? This accelerated dual-degree program allows undergraduate students to begin graduate coursework as early as their junior year. Eligible students can earn both their bachelor's and master's degrees in as little as 5 years. All undergraduates (first year through seniors) are welcome to attend one of the below virtual events. We encourage all prospective graduate students (at Hood and beyond) to attend one of the below virtual events, so spread the word! To learn more, register for one now:
April 12: Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition
May 5: Virtual Admission Cafe
May 7 - May 12: Grad Student Appreciation Week
In the final weeks of the semester, we know that stress is at an all-time high for our graduate students. During this period, we have a tradition where Hood faculty/staff show you their support, dubbed “Grad Student Appreciation Week" (GSAW). We will have a table set up in the lobby of all the major buildings before classes in the evening (and doctoral classes during lunch on Saturday) as well as virtual Zoom-byes. Stay tuned for more information as the semester draws to a close!