Washington College Partners with Wake Forest University

Adding another strategic collaboration to its growing list of post-graduate opportunities for students, Washington College is partnering with Wake Forest University’s School of Business for students who want to pursue a master’s degree in management. The agreement will streamline the application process for WC students and will provide scholarships based on their undergraduate efforts.

“This is a terrific opportunity for Washington College students who are not business management majors but are looking at a career in management,” says Patrice DiQuinzio, Provost and Dean. “Wake Forest is seeking students with a strong liberal arts background for this program, so it’s a natural fit for us.”

The Economist in 2017 ranked Wake Forest’s program fourth in the country, with 99 percent of its graduates landing jobs within six months of graduation. The ten-month program offers students a fast-paced introduction to business concepts related to finance, marketing, operations, business analytics, accounting, economics, organization behavior, ethics, career management, and information technology. The program also stresses teamwork skills with two “action learning projects.”

Business management majors are not eligible for this program, but WC students with a minor in business management may apply. Under the agreement, Wake Forest will waive the application fee and essay, and WC students with a GPA of 3.3 to 3.99 can receive a $5,000 scholarship, 3.4 to 3.599, $10,000, and those with GPAs of 3.6 or higher can receive $15,000. Wake Forest may also boost the scholarships based on a student’s demonstrated leadership ability, internships, extra-curricular activities, and other examples of potential academic and professional success.

“We are thrilled to work with our colleagues at Washington College, and to welcome their talented and purpose-driven students to our program,” says John White, Executive Director of Enrollment Management at the School of Business. “The Master’s in Management experience values the kind of leadership, courage, and social engagement Washington College students embody.”

The partnership was developed by Charlie Kehm, Chair and Professor of Physics, who worked closely John Montana, Senior Associate Director, MA Enrollment Management at Wake Forest. It joins other post-graduate partnerships between Washington College and other institutions. In January, the College announced a strategic partnership with Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for WC graduates who want to pursue master’s programs offered through GU’s Biomedical Graduate Education. A partnership with the College of William & Mary’s School of Business enables WC students to earn a master of arts in accounting with the potential for a $10,000 scholarship, while a partnership with Loyola University offers fast-track admission after the undergraduate junior year to its Emerging Leaders MBA and masters in accounting programs.

Last fall, the College announced a new dual-degree program for environmental science and studies students at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Other dual-degree or 3:2 programs include including one in engineering with Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and programs in nursing and pharmacy with the University of Maryland School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy.

For more information about Wake Forest University’s School of Business Management program, see http://business.wfu.edu/masters-in-management/.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Washington College is Maryland’s First Bee Campus USA!

Washington College has become the first higher-education institution in Maryland and the 35th in the nation to be designated an affiliate of Bee Campus USA, a program designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators.

“Imperiled pollinators are responsible for the reproduction of ninety percent of the world’s wild plant and tree species. Washington College is a stellar example of the influence educational institutions can have on their students and the broader community,” said Bee Campus USA Director Phyllis Stiles upon announcing WC’s affiliation. “Their talented faculty, staff, and students offer an invaluable resource for Eastern Shore residents in seeking ways to manage ornamental landscapes in more wildlife-friendly ways.”

Students celebrate the first honey harvest at the campus garden from the campus apiary’s bees.

“By studying and supporting pollinators, students are working to realign our culture with natural forces and enhance life on this planet,” said campus garden adviser Shane Brill ’03 M’11, who three years ago helped students install an apiary in the campus garden. “They can trace the path of a bee’s flight back to the energy of the sun and, in the course of that journey, reimagine our place in the world.”

Through a Beekeeping 101 course hosted each spring by the Department of Environmental Science and Studies, students examine bee anatomy, nutrition and colony behavior, and how to establish a hive. They become empowered in the role of “bee ambassadors” for the public, and they volunteer their apicultural skills in the community with the Upper Eastern Shore Beekeeping Association.

In the campus garden, students are hands-on learning not only the mechanics of beekeeping, but also the interconnected relationships between the campus bees and the plants and flowers that sustain them–and which they also sustain—in and near the garden. Last fall, for the first time, students harvested their own honey, collecting about two gallons. And, they’ve participated in pollinator workshops with local community members to further educate people about the vital roles that pollinators play in agriculture, permaculture, and plant and human health.

Beyond maintaining the campus apiary, students involved in the campus garden program implement conservation landscapes that ensure thriving populations of pollinators in a local, resilient food system. They share their research on the college website with a growing inventory of useful plants they cultivate on campus.

In its designation as a Bee Campus, Washington College has committed to minimizing hazards to pollinators by using no neonicotinoid pesticides, and almost no glyphosate herbicide or other potentially dangerous synthetic pesticides. According to Stiles, each certified campus must reapply each year and report on accomplishments from the previous year.

For more information about Washington College’s campus garden and for videos about beekeeping and honey harvest, visit https://www.washcoll.edu/about/campus/campus-garden/.

About Bee Campus USA and Bee City USA

The Bee Campus USA designation recognizes educational campuses that commit to a set of practices that support pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds, and bats, among thousands of other species. For more information about the application process for becoming a Bee Campus USA affiliate, visit http://www.beecityusa.org/application-campus.html.

Bee City USA® urges local governments, individuals, organizations, corporations, and communities to promote and establish pollinator–friendly landscapes that are free of pesticides.  Since its inception in Asheville, North Carolina in 2012, many cities have been certified across the nation and many others are in the process of preparing applications. For more information about the application process for becoming a Bee City USA community, visit http://www.beecityusa.org/application-city.html.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

WC CES Announces Rural Energy Project with Presentation April 17

Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society (CES) will announce a new project aimed to ensure that energy in rural areas is clean, resilient, and democratic. Grant Samms, an environmental sociologist who studies issues of rural energy resilience and conservation at CES, will give a presentation on the Rural Energy Projecton April 17 at 6:30 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Toll Science Center. The public is welcome to attend.

“We envision rural communities that are powered through renewable and local methods, can continue to thrive despite the consequences of a changing climate, and have a voice over the energy development that happens nearby,” says Samms, coordinator of the Rural Energy Project. “Through the application of research and lessons learned from all over the world, the Rural Energy Project can help communities in Maryland transition to a new energy future.”

Through stories and case studies, Samms will explore the factors that underpin how we feel about clean energy development close to home. He will touch on questions such as how do people view clean energy development? Why do some people enjoy seeing wind and solar, and others say it just doesn’t “fit” with the community?

Grant Samms

The Rural Energy Project is dedicated to helping smaller, rural communities take advantage of a new, clean-energy world.

“While most attention is given to larger cities like New York and Boston, over a third of all Americans live in rural areas. We need everyone working together to avert climate change and create a sustainable society,” Samms says.“The Rural Energy Project helps rural communities thrive through this transition.”

The project intends to accomplish this in three ways. First, by helping rural governments analyze how much energy their municipal operations use, the project can help them find tools and resources to lower their energy costs and cut carbon emissions. Second, CES is working with an alliance of energy nonprofits to develop a new method of identifying communities that are especially vulnerable to electricity blackouts and disruptions. With this method, rural governments can work to install emergency microgrids to ensure critical infrastructure like medical and emergency response services can still operate in extreme disasters,like that recently seen in Puerto Rico.

And third, the project will use the tools of social science to research how to best approach clean energy development. When energy developers try to make changes in a community they don’t fully understand, they often encounter resistance that wastes time and resources for everyone. The Rural Energy Project’s research will help developers take a better approach toward development that gives stakeholders in communities more say over local development.

To learn more about the Center for Environment & Society or for more information on this and other events please visit www.washcoll.edu/centers/ces.

Walter Shaub, Former Federal Ethics Chief, Speaks at WC April 5

Walter Shaub, the no-holds-barred, outspoken former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, will be the guest speaker on April 5 in Washington College’s Holstein Program in Ethics. Shaub, who says that the United States has almost overnight transformed from the international gold standard in ethics to a laughingstock, will speak on “Ethics in Crisis: The Threat to the Government Ethics Program and the Path Forward.”

The free, public event begins at 5 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts. A reception in the Underwood Lobby will follow the talk.

Shaub, an attorney who first joined the Office of Government Ethics in 2001 and in 2013 was appointed to a five-year term as director by then-President Barack Obama, resigned in protest last year over what he has described as an ethics crisis in the federal government. In an interview with PBS after his resignation, he said that the Trump administration has “set a tone from the top that ethics don’t matter.”

Since his resignation, he has joined the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center, a Washington, D.C., as senior director of ethics. He has also continued to call for tighter ethics rules and more transparency, unleashing his own storms on Twitter, where he calls out instances of dubious ethical behavior in government. In his talk at the College, Shaub will discuss the problem now facing the government’s ethics program, which he argues is the proverbial canary in the coalmine portending even bigger problems to come if left unaddressed. He will also offer his proposals for stemming the erosion of ethics in government.

About the Holstein Program in Ethics

The Holstein Program in Ethics was established in 2014 thanks to the $5 million legacy gift of Richard Holstein ’68, a pediatric dentist. In addition to bringing national leaders in ethics to speak with students and the community about current issues, the program supports and enhances the study of ethics throughout the curriculum and fosters interdisciplinary research on a broad range of ethical issues. Its goal is to spark an appreciation for the importance of moral courage as a foundation for leading a life of purpose and meaning. For more information about the Holstein Program in Ethics see https://www.washcoll.edu/departments/holstein-program/.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

WC President Kurt Landgraf to Speak at Jones Seminar in American Business Lecture

Washington College President Kurt Landgraf, whose deep experience in financial accountability, information technology, and integrated business strategies helped place him in the top echelons of corporate America, will give the J.C. Jones Seminar in American Business lecture on March 29.

Hosted by the Department of Business Management and the Sigma Beta Delta Business Honor Society, the free, public lecture begins at 4 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts, and will be followed by a reception in the Underwood Lobby.

Landgraf, a former senior executive who was named president of Washington College in May of 2017, discusses his “situational” approach to the diverse leadership positions that he’s held throughout his career. Whether driving sales at DuPont Merck or resuscitating the failing Educational Testing Service, Landgraf has adopted different leadership approaches to achieve the desired outcome while operating consistently within a framework of corporate or institutional social responsibility. Whatever environment he’s in, Landgraf abides by three core values: 1. On performance, no excuses; 2. Everybody deserves special treatment; and 3. businesses are social institutions. Distilled to its essence, it simply means doing the right thing.

Landgraf has a decades-long resume as a senior executive with DuPont, including serving as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chairman of DuPont Europe Middle East and Africa, Chairman and CEO of DuPont Pharmaceutical Company and CEO of DuPont Merck Company. His 13-year tenure as President and CEO of Educational Testing Service (ETS), helped revive the world’s largest private educational testing and measurement organization and leader in educational research.

The James C. Jones, Jr. Seminar in American Business was endowed in 1978 by the George W. King Printing Company in memory of its former company president who was a graduate of Washington College and served on its Board of Visitors and Governors.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Women on Fire: A March 22 Expert Panel

Vanessa Williams

A distinguished panel of women from journalism, academia, politics, and public policy are headlining on March 22 what is sure to be a compelling and timely panel on the dynamic and evolving role of women in the political arena in general and in the 2018 elections in particular.

The Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs Women in Public Affairs Project is pleased to present “Women on Fire: How Trump and the #MeToo Movement are Shaping the 2018 Elections.” The free, public event begins at 5 p.m. in Hynson Lounge. Panelists are Vanessa Williams, a staff writer on The Washington Post national desk, Kelly Dittmar, an assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University–Camden, and Krish Vignarajah, candidate for governor in Maryland and former policy director for First Lady Michelle Obama.

Moderated by Melissa Deckman, Chair and Professor of Political Science at Washington College, this panel will consider the reasons why an unprecedented number of women have filed as candidates for office in 2018, how the Trump presidency and the #MeToo movement relate to this trend, and what women’s chances are for success.

Kelly Dittmar

Vanessa Williams is a staff writer on the national desk at The Washington Post, where she has worked since 1996. She writes about race and gender issues in the current tumultuous state of our political institutions. Williams joined the Post as a reporter covering D.C. City Hall. She has also been an editor on the metro and national desks. Before joining the Post, Williams was a reporter/writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she covered local and state government and politics. She began her career at her hometown newspaper, The St. Petersburg Times, in Florida. Williams is a longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists, of which she served as president from 1997-1999. She is a graduate of Florida State University, with a Bachelor’s degree in English.

Kelly Dittmar is an assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University–Camden and scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She is the author of Navigating Gendered Terrain: Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns (Temple University Press, 2015), as well as a forthcoming volume on women’s representation in the U.S. Congress (with Kira Sanbonmatsu and Susan Carroll). Dittmar’s research examines gender and American political institutions with a particular focus on how gender informs campaigns and the impact of gender diversity among elites and professionals in policy and political decisions, priorities, and processes. At CAWP, Dittmar manages national research projects, helps to develop and implement CAWP’s research agenda, and contributes to CAWP reports, publications, and analyses. This year, she directs Gender Watch 2018, a project to monitor and analyze gender dynamics in the 2018 election. She has been an expert source and commentator for media outlets including MSNBC, NPR, PBS, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Dittmar earned her B.A. from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and her Ph.D. from Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Krish Vignarajah

Krish Vignarajah is running for governor in the state of Maryland. She served in the Obama White House as policy director for First Lady Michelle Obama and at the State Department as senior advisor under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry. Before joining the White House, Vignarajah worked at McKinsey & Company, where she consulted for Fortune 100 companies, practiced law at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C., clerked for Chief Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and taught at Georgetown University as an adjunct. An advocate of women and girls, Vignarajah has spoken widely on this subject, including at Hood College,where she recently delivered a commencement address that was recognized by BuzzFeed as the #4 Most Inspiring Speech of 2017.The daughter of Baltimore City public school teachers, Vignarajah’s parents emphasized education her entire life. She attended Woodlawn High School in Baltimore and then Yale College. She was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, before returning to Yale Law School.

Melissa Deckman

Melissa Deckman is the Louis L. Goldstein Professor of Public Affairs and chairs the Department of Political Science at Washington College.  Deckman’s areas of specialty include religion and politics, women and politics, and state and local politics. Her latest book is Tea Party Women: Mama Grizzlies, Grassroots Leaders, and the Changing Face of the American Right (May 2016: NYU Press). The updated third edition of her best-selling textbook, Women and Politics, written with Julie Dolan and Michele Swers, and which analyzes the 2016 presidential election, is now available through Rowman & Littlefield. Deckman is also an affiliated scholar and chair of the board of the Public Religion Research Institute.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Washington College Students work with Eastern Shore Towns to Identify Energy Savings

Higher education can have real world greening impacts. Case in point: The Shore Power Project, launched several years ago at Washington College, has helped local governments on Maryland’s Eastern Shore find ways to reduce energy costs while also shrinking their carbon footprint.

For students and staff at the private liberal arts college in Chestertown, the project offered a chance to help Shore communities address climate change by adapting to the shifting energy landscape.

“The energy sector is an important force for change for the future,” explained Mike Hardesty, the associate director for the college’s Center for Environment and Society. “We’ve always wanted to get involved to assist the community to become more energy efficient.”

With funding from the Town Creek Foundation, the project’s student interns and staff pored over power bills and recommended cost-saving alternatives to nine Shore towns, two school districts and one county.

Grant Samms, an environmental sociologist who oversees the student interns’ work, said they contacted local government offices around the Shore to connect with town managers, public works directors or other staffers who dealt with energy. They initially pitched that they could identify opportunities for cost savings by analyzing where the locality’s energy dollars were going. But they also pointed out the environmental benefits, Samms noted, of reducing power consumption and switching to renewable energy.

“There’s a general assumption when it comes to rural communities, [that] they’re conservative and don’t care about climate change,” Samms said. “That may in part be true, but when you have a resource constraint, there’s always interest in saving money.”

The project started out working with Chestertown, home of the small liberal arts school. The municipality had already taken some steps to reduce energy costs, including the bidding out of electric supply contracts for all town meters and the installation of a 3-megawatt solar facility at its wastewater treatment plant.

Town Manager Bill Ingersoll said he’s constantly thinking about how to save money. The Shore Power project’s initial contribution to the town in that regard was more conceptual than detailed practical advice, he said.

“What they do is they may create a climate where you may want to think more about what you’re doing,” Ingersoll said. As a follow-up to the project’s initial study, he has since asked it to examine what the town’s paying for electricity generated by the solar facility, to see if the savings promised by the provider have panned out.

In Easton, the Washington College group assisted the town in going forward with a plan to install new cost-saving LED streetlights.

“What was really helpful was having the Shore Power Project look at this and say, ‘If you did this, this could be your savings,’” said Kelly Simonsen, spokesperson for Easton Utilities. Within three years, with grants from the Maryland Energy Administration to help pay for the replacements, the new lights reduced the town’s electricity consumption by 30 percent, Simonsen said.

That LED streetlight replacement, which is continuing, has contributed to the town’s successful bid to become a Maryland Sustainable Certified community, she said.

“We needed someone to kind of look at our overall energy usage and things we could change and implement, so we could get that credential,” Simonsen explained. “[The certification] puts Easton in a place on the map to show we’re forward thinking and we’re doing things for our community to be more sustainable and (to) consider our environmental impact.”

The college has offered internships to seven students over the project’s five-semester lifespan, according to Hardesty. Three students have stuck with it and done repeat stints. And for at least one, it’s opened up a career path.

Tori Alpaugh said that working on energy usage data for the Shore communities while an undergraduate at Washington College piqued her interest. So, when the New Jersey native graduated in May 2016, she started looking for energy-related jobs.

Her search led to AWS Truepower, a renewable energy services provider based in Albany, NY, where she pitched her Shore Power experience.

“That was the No. 1 thing on my resume,” she said, “and the No. 1 thing we talked about on my interview.” Hired in August, she’s now a project coordinator, working with meteorologists, engineers and GIS specialists on large-scale renewable energy projects.

“I think it’s safe to say it’s the reason I got my job here,” Alpaugh said of the Shore Power project.

The foundation’s funding for the project ended last year; now, the college aims to continue the project as a fee-for-service consulting business. Even though communities are almost certain to realize long-term savings from taking steps to conserve energy and build in climate resiliency, Samms acknowledged that the upfront costs pose a “perennial challenge” for small towns with competing short-term priorities.

“So,” he said, “we are putting forward a hybrid system that is partially underwritten by support from our center and continued support from foundations, as they are realized. This will save towns money and lower the impediment to energy conservation measures.”

The center also wants to address another, non-financial barrier. The recent flurry of solar energy arrays cropping up on farmland across the Shore has generated a backlash in affected communities. Samms said he hopes the project can conduct research and community outreach “to identify ways to truly lower the barriers to this type of development while ensuring it goes forward in a democratized manner.” The center hopes to get foundation support for that effort as well.

“We’ve proven it over and over again that there’s cost savings here,” Hardesty said. “Now that we’ve got a proven model in hand, we’re looking to expand on it.”

by Tim Wheeler

Timothy B. Wheeler is associate editor and senior writer for the Bay Journal. He has more than two decades of experience covering the environment for The Baltimore Sun and other media outlets.

Acclaimed Author Jack Bohrer to Speak at WC March 20

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the assassination of political icon Robert F. Kennedy. On Tuesday, March 20, John R. “Jack” Bohrer ’06, news producer at MSNBC and author of The Revolution of Robert Kennedy: From Power to Protest after JFK, will return to campus to discuss his acclaimed book. The recently published work examines three critical years in the life of Robert Kennedy, just after his brother John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, and will be followed by a book signing. Sponsored by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Department of Political Science, the program is free and open to the public.

Bohrer’s book grew out of his political science senior thesis at Washington College in 2006. He also worked on the project as one of the first student fellows at the Starr Center, writing at a desk in the Custom House. Speaking of his upcoming visit to Chestertown, Bohrer says: “Adam Goodheart and the Starr Center took me on my first archives trip and gave me hands-on experience with historical research, so this is a homecoming for me.”

The Revolution of Robert Kennedy argues that RFK—a less-than-charismatic attorney general and JFK’s reputed hatchet man—was transformed by the events of 1963 and their aftermath, and that he emerged from that crucible the champion of the dispossessed who captured Americans’ collective imagination.

Published by Bloomsbury last June, Bohrer’s first book has received rave reviews. Matt Bai, one of the country’s finest political pundits, declared The Revolution of Robert Kennedy “fast-paced and full of new detail” and said it “signals the arrival of an unusually gifted writer and historian.”  Kirkus Reviews described it as a “poignant sketch of a lost champion of social justice from an age when it could still be said that ‘politics is still the greatest and most honorable adventure.’”

“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Jack back to campus,” says Goodheart, the Starr Center’s Hodson Trust-Griswold director. “Washington College can be proud of the contributions that this exceptional young alumnus is making in the fields of both journalism and history. And we can be especially proud that his important work on RFK began here in Chestertown.”

A reporter, historian, and television producer for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Bohrer has helped produce high-profile interviews, including with nearly every major 2016 presidential candidate. His research has been cited by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe, and his writing has appeared in New York magazine, The New Republic, Politico, and USA Today, among others. In addition to Washington College faculty, two of his mentors on the RFK project were former senator Birch Bayh and the late political journalist Richard Ben Cramer, both senior fellows of the College.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Washington College Partners with Colonial Williamsburg

Washington College and Colonial Williamsburg have partnered to offer a unique hands-on experience in the archaeology and material culture of the Revolutionary era, enabling students to work closely with museum curators and skilled tradesmen to gain perspective on the cultural and social dimensions of the American War for Independence.

The intensive, two-credit, weeklong course will take place over spring break in mid-March. After preparatory sessions at Washington College, students and faculty will travel to Williamsburg, Virginia, where they will go behind the scenes in Colonial Williamsburg’s collections with curators and learn trades first-hand in various workshops. Students will spend time in the blacksmith shopat the public armoury, as well as try their hand at tinsmithing, carpentry, gunsmithing, leather work, and more. They will prepare some of their meals over an open hearth and spend at least one night in a military camp.

Blacksmiths work at Colonial Williamsburg, where WC students will immerse in a weeklong hands-on class. Credit Colonial Williamsburg

By applying experimental archaeology and period technical skills, students will gain a deeper perspective into the daily lives of the people who fought for America’s independence.

“This is a truly unique experience, and we see it as a pilot program that could open up many more experiential learning and research opportunities for our students at Williamsburg,” says John Seidel, director of the College’s Center for Environment & Society and the Lammot du Pont Copeland Associate Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies. “This is the kind of engaged learning, partnering with experts from one of the world’s premier living history museums, that sets Washington College apart.”

“Colonial Williamsburg offers a classroom like no other, where we preserve and interpret the lives and livelihoods of a nation on the verge of independence,” says Mitchell B. Reiss, president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and former president of Washington College. “We’re thrilled to have students from my former home in Chestertown join us and learn by immersing themselves in our shared American story.”

Among the topics students will explore are the roles of diverse social, racial, and economic groups of the time; the military culture, tactics, logistics, and organization of General George Washington’s Continental Army; and understanding the complexities of the military dimensions of the War for Independence within a broader social, cultural, economic, and political framework. Faculty will include Seidel and Charles Fithian, lecturer in anthropology.

For more information about the new partnership, contact John Seidel at jseidel2@washcoll.edu or Charles Fithian at cfithian2@washcoll.edu.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

About Colonial Williamsburg

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation preserves, restores and operates Virginia’s 18th-century capital of Williamsburg. Innovative and interactive experiences highlight the relevance of the American Revolution to contemporary life and the importance of an informed, active citizenry. The Colonial Williamsburg experience includes more than 400 restored or reconstructed original buildings, renowned museums of decorative arts and folk art, extensive educational outreach programs for students and teachers, lodging, culinary options from historic taverns to casual or elegant dining, the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club featuring 45 holes designed by Robert Trent Jones and his son Rees Jones, a full-service spa and fitness center, pools, retail stores and gardens. Philanthropic support and revenue from admissions, products and hospitality operations sustain Colonial Williamsburg’s educational programs and preservation initiatives. Additional information is available at colonialwilliamsburg.com.

WC Names Greg Farley First Director of Sustainability

Washington College’s first director of sustainability, Greg Farley, didn’t start his career as what he calls the “we-need-to-recycle-that-please-turn-off-your-lights guy.” But, it wasn’t a long stretch from his work as a biology teacher at Chesapeake College. The science, he says, “demands that you do something.”

So Farley has been doing something—helping Chesapeake College become a regional leader in renewable energy use, stormwater management, and resource conservation—and now he’s bringing that something to Washington College. Earlier this month, he assumed a newly created position as director of sustainability, in which he will work closely with operations and administration to help the College align environmental and financial sustainability as it continues to move forward.

“The climate change science is devastatingly clear,” Farley says. “So the science drives what I want to do, which is try and fix it before it’s too late.”

Farley grew up south of Boston but calls himself a “fully naturalized southerner,” having earned his undergrad degree at Duke University and his masters at Florida State University. He studied invertebrate zoology, evolutionary biology, and marine science, and in 2003, Chesapeake College hired him as a junior faculty member teaching biology. That’s where he started noticing problems he thought he could help solve.

“We were generating about 31,000 plastic bottles every month from vending machines and other sources like the cafeteria and bookstore,” Farley says. “And we were taking them to the trash. So, I assigned some students an honors recycling project—go fix that—and that got some people’s attention, and it got the institution thinking about some things. So that kind of grew into my avocation, instead of just my teaching position.”

That avocation came into full flower after a sabbatical leave in 2011, when he studied at the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui, part of the University of Hawai’i Maui College. He became the director of Chesapeake College’s Center for Leadership in Environmental Education, where he worked to bring the concepts and actions of sustainability into the classroom, across the campus, and throughout the larger community. Using a variety of methods, the college trimmed energy use by about 30 percent. Then, under a PPA (power purchase agreement) with Solar City, the college developed a two-megawatt solar array that, in its first year of operation, saved $85,000.

“On a good sunny day, we can run the entire campus off solar,” he says.

At Washington College, Farley’s initial focus will be generating cost savings from energy reduction and using alternative energy sources. At the same time, he hopes to raise energy consciousness so that it’s an ingrained part of campus culture as staff, faculty, and students become more aware of how their everyday actions can help conserve energy, lower costs, and ultimately benefit the bottom line and the environment. For instance, he says, along with obvious things like turning out the lights when you leave a room, unplugging computer and phone chargers from the walls when they’re not in use can dramatically cut “vampire” load, which can be up to 20 percent of a building’s energy use.

Farley was excited to learn that the College has already switched to LED lighting, a project that is saving 1.2 million kilowatt hours annually. Along with material savings—LED lamps last as much as 10 times longer than fluorescent ones for, example—the dollar savings is $145,000.00 per year, says Reid Raudenbush, construction project manager. A $200,000 Delmarva Power rebate helped ameliorate some of $1 million cost for the project, which should take about six years to reach the return on the investment.

The College’s geothermal system is also extremely energy-efficient. Using the earth’s constant 55-degree temperature, fluid pumped through 300-foot-deep wells is heated or cooled, then used to heat or cool buildings. Geothermal fields serve William Smith Hall, the Miller Library, Cromwell Hall, the Hodson Dining Hall, and Chester, Sassafras, and Corsica residence halls, Raudenbush says. The new Hodson Boathouse and the Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall will be geothermal, and the Cullen residence hall is being designed for geothermal as well.

Farley says he hopes ultimately to make Washington College one of the greenest in the country.

“We need to make that obvious to consumers, that this is part of the College’s mission, and just the simple act of doing that can make the rest of the institution understand, hey, this is important. This is a part of our culture. . . Once you make inroads into the conversation,” he says, “it’s not hard to envision that’s something we could do.”