WC Environmental Science Students Embark on Collaborative Groundwater Study

Most people think of sea level rise as something visible, but in Rebecca Fox’s field methods in environmental science class at Washington College, students have begun long-term research into an invisible potential effect—saltwater intrusion into agricultural fields on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. And, they’re collaborating with students from the University of Maryland, learning what it’s like to work with fellow researchers who aren’t even in the same county, let alone on the same campus.

Fox, assistant professor of environmental science and studies, came up with the idea with her friend and collaborator Kate Tully, assistant professor of agroecology at UMD’s Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture. To jump-start the project, the pair applied for and received funding through MADE CLEAR, which is funded through the National Science Foundation’s Climate Change Education Project.

Fox used her portion ($5,000) to establish a permanent research station on a farm on the lower Chester River, where she and students installed eight groundwater wells equipped with instruments that can gather a variety of data about the groundwater.

“The data loggers collect information every 15 minutes to half an hour, data on groundwater temperature, how high the groundwater is, and the salinity of the groundwater,” Fox says. “We’re hoping we can use this data that will be collected over the next five to ten years to monitor whether saltwater is intruding into the farm fields. The goal is to bring our classes together every fall to the farm to do this research project and to look at the data… And we’ll have this long-term dataset so we can do some analyses, and there’s no reason we can’t use it for research and publish it.”

Ben Nelson ’18, an environmental science major and biology minor, was among the WC students who worked on the project last fall.

“We can look at the data and see what is going on over time, because that’s what is important,” he says. “Looking at things short-term is great, but we have to look at the bigger picture, and this research opportunity allows us to see what’s going to occur over time. We’re going to have to mitigate these issues or adapt to these changes.”

Last fall, the two groups of students met once at the site, where they spoke with the landowner about changes he has seen already, and examined how the groundwater wells work. Though looking at the same data, the classes are approaching the research from slightly different perspectives. The UMD agroecology students are focused on agriculture and food production, but also on soil health and the entire agricultural system, while the WC students, with their focus in environmental science, are thinking more broadly and about other aspects than just traditional agriculture.

“The intention is to get the students together, get them to talk, get them to look at this data, and then at the end of the class we have them come up with a plan to produce collaborative podcasts,” Fox says. “Half the podcast team was at College Park, half the team was here, and they had to figure out how to put a podcast together from different locations. So much science is collaborative, and you aren’t always in the same location as the people you’re working with. The hope was that the students would get this experience of remote collaboration and see how different it is when you have to cooperate remotely, and how clearly you have to communicate.”

Nelson says this real-world collaboration was one of the trickiest but most valuable parts of the project.

“These are people who are over an hour away, and this is when we rely on technology to communicate. And that was good practice,” he says. “It really made you plan and consider others… In the beginning when we first started communications with them we were a little bit hesitant on both ends…. But as we progressed through the project I think we realized the only way we were going to get this done is to learn and adapt.

“We could interact with people of different backgrounds and further expand our collaborative skills,” he says. “This will definitely be helpful in the workplace, because you don’t just work with the same five people every day.”

In the upcoming year, the WC students will also have the opportunity to travel to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, where Tully’s side of the research is examining how different cover crops can sequester carbon dioxide.

“For that lab, instead of coming here and looking at saltwater intrusion, we’re going to look at the ability of cover crops to mitigate climate change,” Fox says. “They have all of these long- term experimental plots where they’re trying different types of cover crops, and so it’s very much more an agricultural perspective, but it’s looking at how we can diversify our crops to maybe make a difference in terms of how much carbon dioxide we’re putting into the atmosphere.”

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.

Laura Johnson Steps Up Into Role as Vice President of Finance

Washington College President Kurt Landgraf announced today that Laura Johnson, who has served as Washington College’s chief budget officer for the past four years, will be promoted to Vice President of Finance.

Johnson, who before joining Washington College was the senior global financial analyst with the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Delaware, succeeds Rahel Rosner, who has accepted a position with St. Paul’s School in Baltimore.

“I am honored to continue to serve Washington College and excited for the opportunity to partner with Kurt, faculty, and senior leadership to ensure the sustainability of our future,” Johnson says. “We have some of the most talented and dedicated students, faculty, and staff and a board that is generous and insightful.  I look forward to the relationship with the community of Chestertown and to the exciting challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

In announcing the transition, Landgraf applauded the work of the Finance and Administration team, which is managing capital projects in various stages of development, from the construction of the Hodson Boathouse and Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall, to the upcoming renovation of the Cullen residential hall, the completion of a full facilities condition assessment, and a master plan update.

Less visible, he said, has been the team’s work on financial sustainability, budget modeling, and projections—areas of primary focus for Johnson. She has been the main liaison between both the Provost’s Office and the Office of Finance and the academic and administrative departments for matters related to resource allocation, financial planning, and approval of actions related to employees, major purchases, and capital projects. She serves on the Finance and Benefits Committee, the Planning Committee, the Donor Relations & Stewardship Committee, and as an adviser for the Washington College Veterans Association, helping lead the annual holiday drive to gather and send supplies and gifts to those deployed in the active military.

“Laura Johnson is an incredibly talented financial officer who has proven to be up to the challenge of maximizing the College’s resources,” says Landgraf. “She’s also totally committed to the welfare of this institution. I am delighted to be able to tap one of most our talented and committed employees for a position of greater responsibility.”

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.

Five WC Seniors Named Finalists for the 2018 Sophie Kerr Prize

Five Washington College seniors today were named finalists for the 2018 Sophie Kerr Prize, the nation’s largest undergraduate literary award, this year worth $63,711. All will read from their work at an event this Friday, where author, journalist, and literary critic Maureen Corrigan will announce the winner.

The finalists’ reading and the announcement of the winner begins at 7:30 p.m. in Hotchkiss Recital Hall in the Gibson Center for the Arts and is free and open to the public. It will also be live streamed at https://www.washcoll.edu/offices/digital-media-services/live/.

Although the Sophie Kerr Prize is not limited to English majors, this year’s finalists are all majors in English with one who is a double major in political science. Several also are creative writing minors, and all represent multiple honors societies and campus leadership activities, including Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Tau Delta, and the Cater Society of Junior Fellows. Several have worked on College publications including the student newspaper, The Elm, the student review, The Collegian, and Cherry Tree, the College’s national literary journal.

“It is always a privilege to read these portfolios. They illuminate the best of the literary culture and the commitment to writing that is the heart and soul of this College,” says Professor Kathryn Moncrief, Chair of the English department and Sophie Kerr Curator. “These students and their outstanding work highlight their diverse interests and approaches, their promise in the field of literary endeavor, their dedication to craft, and their shared passion for the written word.”

The work submitted for the prize ranges across genre and topic, encompassing essay, poetry, nonfiction, journalism, academic scholarship, and print projects.“The finalists address politics,entomology, history,family, and social issues including feminism and racism. And they do so with the writer’s devotion to delight, provocation, and craft,” says James Hall, Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House.

(L to R) Casey Williams, Brooke Schultz, Mallory Smith, Caroline Harvey, and Rhea Arora, are the finalists for the 2018 Sophie Kerr Prize.

The finalists:

Rhea Arora, an English and political science double major from Kolkata, India, is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, the peer mentor program, an intern at the Admissions department, and a tutor at The Writing Center. She is also a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society, and Omicron Delta Kappa, the leadership honor society. Arora’s writing portfolio includes a collection of fictional essays based on her experience as a person of color in the U.S., excerpts from her senior thesis, and journalistic pieces. After graduation, Arora intends to enter the political journalism industry as a writer and reporter.

Caroline Harvey, an English major and creative writing minor from Arlington, Virginia, served as editor-in-chief of The Collegian, managing editor of the Washington College Review, and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the leadership honor society, and Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society. Harvey’s writing portfolio includes poetry, nonfiction, and academic writing focused on insects and a psychotic episode. After graduation, she is taking a gap year before pursuing an MFA in poetry and a PhD in English.

Brooke Schultz, an English major from Moorestown, New Jersey, served as editor-in-chief of The Elm, prose editor of The Collegian, president of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s first academic honor society. Her portfolio includes a collection of short stories, an excerpt from her Senior Capstone Experience about Sophie Kerr, and clips from her journalism that appeared in The Elm. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue journalism and literary editing and publishing.

Mallory Smith, an English major and creative writing minor from Ellicott City, Maryland, was a Sophie Kerr Scholar and served as president of the Writers’ Union, poetry editor of The Collegian, and was a member of both Sigma Tau Delta and the Cater Society of Junior Fellows. Her portfolio includes a collection of creative nonfiction and poetry. After graduation, Smith will be a pursuing an MFA in poetry at the University of Florida.

Casey Williams, an English major and creative writing minor from Wilmington, Delaware, has served as president of the Writers’ Union, designs book covers for a local author, is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, and bee-keeps at the Campus Garden. She has served as project manager for The Pegasus and worked as a Literary House summer intern. She has also screened for Washington College’s literary journal, Cherry Tree, and The Summerset Review. Williams’ portfolio focuses on the intertwining of humanity and nature and includes book cover design, a collection of free verse and mixed-media poetry, and her thesis. After graduation, Williams will be attending Emerson College to earn an MA in writing and publishing.

Maureen Corrigan, who will announce the winner on Friday, is a book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air and The Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. Corrigan served as a juror for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. Her book So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be and Why It Endures was published by Little, Brown in September 2014. Corrigan’s literary memoir, Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading! was published in 2005. Corrigan is also a reviewer and columnist for The Washington Post’s Book World. In addition to serving on the advisory panel of The American Heritage Dictionary, she has chaired the Mystery and Suspense judges’ panel of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and is currently a curator at the American Writers Museum in Chicago.

About the Sophie Kerr Prize and Legacy

Eastern Shore native Sophie Kerr published 23 novels, hundreds of short stories, and even a cookbook. When she died at 85 years old, she bequeathed the College a half-million-dollar trust fund, requiring that half of the earnings annually go to a graduating senior who shows the most promise for future literary endeavor. The other half funds student scholarships, visiting writers and scholars, and library books. Through this remarkable gift, Washington College has been able to host some of the nation’s most gifted writers, as well as provide its students with extraordinary opportunities to explore their creative potential in writing and literature. Learn more at http://www.washcoll.edu/departments/english/sophie-kerr-legacy/.

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 http://www.washcoll.edu/.

Kevin Martin Will Speak at WC’s 235th Commencement May 20

Kevin Martin, a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and now vice president of Mobile and Global Access Policy at Facebook, Inc., will give the Commencement Address at Washington College’s 235th Commencement on May 20. A global expert on media, communications, and technology policy, Martin will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

The ceremonies will take place on the Campus Green, weather permitting, beginning at 10:30 a.m., and the public is invited.

As vice president for Mobile and Global Access Policy at Facebook, Martin oversees Facebook’s connectivity programs and communication regulatory issues. When Martin joined Facebook in 2015 after serving as a consultant for two years, Fortune and Bloomberg reported that his deep background and expertise in the international regulatory realm would help the social media giant’s efforts to bring greater Internet access to developing countries.

Before joining Facebook, Martin served on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), first as a commissioner (2001-2005) and then as chairman (2005-2009). During his tenure, Martin represented the U.S. in multiple bilateral negotiations and served as the U.S. representative to the G-8’s Digital Opportunity Task Force.After leaving the FCC he joined the Aspen Institute as a senior fellow at the think tank’s Communications and Society Program, and later the law firm Squire Patton Boggs LLP as a partner.

Prior to the FCC, Martin served on the Bush-Cheney transition team and as a deputy general counsel for the Bush campaign, later becoming Special Assistant to the President for economic policy and a staff member on the National Economic Council.

Martin holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.P.P. from Duke University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Washington College’s 235th Commencement begins at 10:30 a.m. on May 20 and will be held on the Campus Green, weather permitting. The event will be live streamed at https://www.washcoll.edu/offices/digital-media-services/live/.

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.

Author Kevin J. Hayes Wins 2018 WC’s George Washington Prize

Author and historian Kevin J. Hayes has won the coveted George Washington Prize, including an award of $50,000, for his new book, George Washington: A Life in Books. One of the nation’s largest and most prestigious literary awards and now in its 13th year, the George Washington Prize honors its namesake by recognizing the year’s best new books on the nation’s founding era, especially those that engage a broad public audience. Conferred by George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and Washington College, the award will be presented to Hayes on May 23 at a black-tie gala at Mount Vernon.

In George Washington: A Life in Books, Hayes presents an intellectual biography of Washington that should permanently dispel popular misconceptions of America’s leading Founding Father as a man of all action and no ideas. Washington scholars have long known that he owned an impressive library of more than 1,300 volumes. Hayes has gone further by meticulously paging through Washington’s surviving books held at the Boston Athenaeum, the Washington Library at Mount Vernon, and other collections, as well as nearly 900 pages of Washington’s notes on his reading, to create a portrait of him as a reader. By closely examining Washington’s notes, Hayes has uncovered an intellectual curiosity that dozens of previous biographers have missed. As a young man, Washington read popular serials such as Gentleman’s Magazine and The Spectator, which helps to bridge the long-imagined gap between him and his learned contemporaries like Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams.

Hayes’s project began with a fellowship that he received in 2008 from Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. The award allowed him to spend a month working with rare volumes at the Boston Athenaeum, which holds a large portion of George Washington’s personal library.

“While Washington never attended college and felt self-conscious about his lack of formal education compared to some of his peers, he was a broadly inquisitive man who found pleasure as well as instruction in books,” said Adam Goodheart, the Starr Center’s Hodson Trust Griswold Director. “At his plantation along the Potomac River, remote from the intellectual centers of the Enlightenment, the volumes on his shelves formed his high-speed internet connection: the gateway to a global community of thinkers, writers, and leaders.”

Established in 2005, the George Washington Prize has honored a dozen leading writers on the Revolutionary era including, Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the hit musical Hamilton. For this year’s prize, a distinguished jury comprised of notable historians Denver Brunsman, Flora Fraser, and Peter Onuf, selected the seven finalists from a field of more than 50 books.

Mount Vernon’s event on May 23 will also honor the six finalists for the 2017 prize:

S. Max Edelson, The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence (Harvard University Press)
Eric Hinderaker, Boston’s Massacre (Harvard University Press)
Jon Kukla, Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty (Simon & Schuster)
James E. Lewis, Jr., The Burr Conspiracy Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis (Princeton University Press)
Jennifer Van Horn, The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina Press)
Douglas L. Winiarski, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England (University of North Carolina Press)

WC Marketing and Communications Lands Five Awards in International Competition

Washington College’s Communications and Marketing team swept up five honors—three platinum and two gold—in the 2018 Hermes Creative Awards, showcasing its work across multiple disciplines and platforms, from the Washington College Magazine to the innovative BuzzFeed campaign to generate college awareness and support enrollment efforts.

Going up against some 6,000 entries in 195 categories from the U.S. and internationally, from sources including marketing and communications departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, and production companies, the College’s CRM team won:

• Platinum (scores of 90-100) for the College’s strategic co-branded content BuzzFeed campaign, for electronic media, social media, and interactive media in content campaigns;
• Platinum for the spring 2018 issue of the Washington College Magazine, “Like a Boss,” in print media and publications for magazines;
• Platinum for the customized yield piece for enrollment, “Read This, We Dare You,” for print media, marketing, and collateral branding;
• Gold (scores of 80-89) for the video “Washington College: You’ll Love This Place,” in electronic media, social media, and interactive media for recruitment,used during the BuzzFeed campaign;
• Gold for the River and Field Campus video “Washington College: The Year of the Bird,” for electronic media, social media, and interactive media for videography.

“This competition put our creative team in CRM up against some noteworthy agencies and industry giants with big budgets, names like AARP, Hilton, PepsiCo,UPS, Deloitte, Harvard Business School, the University of Maryland, Penn State, and the University of Pittsburgh,” says CRM Vice President Rolando Irizarry. “I am so proud of the work we have produced for Washington College. This team possesses that perfect strategic and creative balance necessary for successful marketing and communications tactics. All this while working on tight deadlines for constituencies across the College campus. They are true professionals and these awards just confirm that.”

The Hermes Creative Awards, administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals (AMCP), honor creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, and design of traditional and emerging media. According to a media release, judges “are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.”

The College’s co-branded content BuzzFeed campaign came in for special strategic recognition early on in the awards cycle, when it earned a “2018 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight.” In a blog post on “this year’s most noteworthy Hermes Creative Award entries,” the AMCP noted the collaborative WC-BuzzFeed campaign’s “overwhelming success” of gathering more than 82 million impressions across various social media and web platforms—including BuzzFeed, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram—that reached a targeted audience of prospective college students now in high school.

The Hermes Awards come on the heels of another award for the CRM team this spring, a Communitas Award for a story, video,and local and regional media coverage about the College’s Food Recovery Network project, led by the Student Environmental Alliance (SEA). The organization stated that, “Our judges found that your nominee clearly exhibits the spirit of communitas, a Latin word that means people coming together for the good of a community. Communitas winners are recognized for specific programs involving volunteerism, philanthropy and ethical, sustainable business practices.”

Here are some of the award-winning entries:
BuzzFeed:  https://www.buzzfeed.com/washingtoncollege
You’ll Love This Place: https://youtu.be/JfFvbF9BjyU
Year of the Bird: https://youtu.be/L2EDSsyII6Q
Like a Boss:
https://issuu.com/washingtoncollege/docs/washingtoncollege_alumni_mag_spring?e=30560835/59851447
Food Recovery Network: https://www.washcoll.edu/live/news/10629-good-eats

For more on the Hermes Creative Awards, visit https://hermesawards.com/

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 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.