Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Astronomer to Discuss Why Nothing "Is Real"

Chestertown, MD, October 24, 2000 — The Washington College Department of Physics presents "Patterns in the Void: Why Nothing Really Matters," a talk by Dr. Sten Odenwald, astronomer and chief scientist for Raytheon STX. Sponsored by the Shapley Endowment Fund of the American Astronomical Society, the presentation will be held at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, November 2 in the Casey Academic Center Forum at Washington College. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
For thousands of years, humans have been perplexed by the nature and meaning of the void. Most of us think of space as empty space or "nothingness," but during the last 100 years physicists and astronomers have begun to recognize that space is not "empty" in the common sense of the word, and it is far from being nothing. This presentation will challenge many of the most basic concepts of space, and why the dark spaces between the stars may hold the key to the destiny of our universe. This wide-ranging lecture will survey what astronomers and physicists now know about the void and how relativity, string theory, cosmology, and quantum mechanics all point toward a bizarre, and in many ways disturbing, picture of what space really is.
Dr. Odenwald holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University and specializes in infrared astronomy. He is involved in education and outreach to broaden the public's understanding of the science of astronomy. In addition to technical papers, he has published articles in such popular publications as Sky and Telescope and The Washington Post. In 1999, he received the NASA Goddard Award of Excellence for Public Outreach.

Saturday, October 21, 2000

Tom Crouse Named Chair of Visiting Committee

Chestertown, MD, October 20, 2000 — Dr. John Toll, President of Washington College, has announced the appointment of Thomas Crouse, Jr. as Chair of the Visiting Committee of Alumni.
Raised in Denton, MD, Crouse graduated from Washington College in 1959 and later earned an MBA from Columbia University. Crouse serves as Chairman of CIG International, Ltd., an investment firm he founded in 1984. He and his wife, Kay Enokido, reside in Washington, D.C. Crouse joined the College's Visiting Committee in 1995.
"As a graduate of Washington College and a successful entrepreneur, Tom will be able to contribute valuable insights as we define future goals for institutional advancement," said Toll. "His role will be to lead the Visiting Committee's active participation during our semi-annual meetings."
The Washington College Visiting Committee is comprised of Washington College graduates who act as a sounding board for the administration. Convening in the fall and spring for Friday and Saturday sessions, Visiting Committee members raise strategic issues, advise the president and senior staff, review programs, and suggest ways to advance the College to new levels of quality and distinction.
Washington College is a private liberal arts and sciences college located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, it was the first college chartered in the new nation.

Thursday, October 19, 2000

Ted Peck Named Chair of Advisory Council

Chestertown, MD, October 18, 2000 — Dr. John Toll, President of Washington College, has announced the appointment of Charles Edward "Ted" Peck as Chair of the President's Advisory Council.
A resident of St. Michael's, MD, Peck is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and is the retired Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of The Ryland Group, Inc., one of the nation's leading builders of residential homes. He joined the President's Advisory Council in 1996.
"Ted has served in an advisory role for several colleges and universities, including MIT, Harvard and the University System of Maryland," said Toll. "His leadership will be invaluable as we refine the goals of Washington College."
The President's Advisory Council was created in 1996 to help the President to focus efforts and to identify new opportunities for institutional advancement. Membership is drawn from corporate leaders who are encouraged to contribute their experience and perspectives during two meetings each year.

Tuesday, October 17, 2000

C-SPAN Executive to Speak at WC

Chestertown, MD, October 16, 2000 — Bruce D. Collins, corporate vice president and chief legal officer for C-SPAN, will speak at Washington College on Thursday, Oct. 26. Titled "Succeeding as a Dot.Org Man in a Dot.Com Society: The Value of Idealism and a Liberal Education," his talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Casey Academic Center Forum.
Since joining C-SPAN in 1981 as an on-air host and moderator of the network's interview and viewer call-in programs, Collins consistently has held leadership positions both within and outside of the network. He is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association and the U. S. Congress Radio and Television Gallery, among other professional organizations, and is creator and author of "At the Non-Profit Bar," a monthly column focusing on issues of special interest to attorneys for non-profit groups.
Collins lectures frequently as part of C-SPAN's professional seminars, which bring college-level faculty to Washington, D.C., for training in integrating public affairs television into a broad range of courses. He also serves as a trustee to the C-SPAN Education Foundation, which grants fellowships to professors and makes equipment grants to schools to advance public affairs education. He holds degrees from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations and George Washington University's National Law Center.
Collins's talk is sponsored by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs. It is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, October 10, 2000

NASDAQ President to Speak on Financial Matters

Chestertown, MD, October 9, 2000 — Alfred R. Berkeley III, president of The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc., will discuss NASDAQ's role in today's investing environment when he speaks at Washington College on Tuesday, October 17. Titled "The Future of Financial Markets," his talk will begin at 7 p.m. in the Casey Academic Center Forum.
Prior to assuming command of NASDAQ in 1996, Berkeley was a managing director and senior banker in the corporate finance division of Alex. Brown & Sons, Inc., where his primary expertise involved large computer software and electronic commerce companies. He joined Brown & Sons in 1972 as a research analyst and became a general partner in 1983. In the 1970s, Berkeley was one of the first securities analysts in the nation to recognize the importance of the emerging software industry. His research in that field won him a coveted Institutional Investor All-American award.
Berkeley served as Alex. Brown's head of information services from 1985 to 1987 and worked from 1987 to 1989 in the firm's merger and acquisition division, where he helped to develop the company's technology practice. From 1989 to 1991, he took a leave of absence from Alex. Brown and joined Safeguard Scientifics. There, he served on the executive committee and as chairman of a number of the firm's subsidiaries, including Rabbit Software and Micro Decision Ware.
Berkeley's talk is sponsored by the J. C. Jones Seminar in American Business. It is free and open to the public.
Students interested in these or other programs at Washington College should contact the Admissions Office, 1-800-422-1782, or visit the college Web site at

Thursday, October 5, 2000

George Spilich Appointed To New John Toll Chair at Washington College

Psychology Professor Is Noted for Encouraging Undergraduate Research

Chestertown, MD, October 4, 2000 — The Board of Visitors and Governors of Washington College recently raised $2 million to endow a new chair in honor of College President John Toll, one of the most highly regarded educators in the nation. This fall, the Board named as the inaugural chairholder a senior faculty member who over the past decade has transformed the psychology department into a top academic performer.
"Of all the faculty members who do not already hold endowed professorships or chairs, George Spilich, professor and chair of the department of psychology, is outstanding in his teaching, research and service to the College," noted College President John S. Toll. "Everyone knows he is a gifted teacher, but not all colleagues realize that he has done some very important research. He is a marvelous leader who maintains very high standards for both his students and his faculty. In addition to these qualities, his selfless efforts to help students and to promote Washington College made him the logical choice for the John Toll Chair."
The Board devised the John Toll Chair to go to an outstanding faculty member in any discipline who, according to the Board resolution, "represents in exemplary fashion the College's goals of superb teaching and advising, fine research and excellent service, and who displays a strongly positive attitude and a deep commitment to Washington College and its students."
George Spilich is a champion of undergraduate research who, several years ago, worked with his colleagues to revamp the department's curriculum to emphasize engaged learning. He and his department members endeavor to get students involved in research as early as their freshman year, and continue to guide them through their academic studies and to train them to use the most sophisticated research techniques, laboratory equipment and instructional technology available.
As a direct result, Washington College, among its liberal arts and sciences peers, graduates a disproportionately higher number of students who go on to earn the Ph.D. and M.D. degrees, and national test scores in psychology have skyrocketed. In May 2000, the College's graduating psychology majors scored at the 91st percentile on the Educational Testing Services' national outcomes exam in psychology, and at the 98% percentile in behavioral neuroscience, a concentration that was established in 1992. This graduating class of 33 was awarded three-quarters of a million dollars in graduate scholarships and stipends. The program in psychology and behavioral neuroscience has been identified as a national leader in faculty-student research, averaging about 40 student co-authors per year at peer-reviewed professional conferences. Faculty also publish with student co-authors in peer-reviewed professional journals.
Spilich's own research investigates how performance of skilled tasks such as driving and reading are affected by nicotine or alcohol. He also explores how fatigue compounds the effects of those drugs in contributing to accidents on the road and in the workplace. Other investigations with colleagues at universities here in the U.S. and abroad deal with neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease; sex differences in cognitive processes; and visuospatial memory.
Spilich has published extensively in the area of human memory and performance, with a focus on pharmacological treatment of dementia and the effects of nicotine upon skilled performance. In addition to several articles underway with student co-authors and colleagues, Spilich is working on a book project, Tobacco, Nicotine and Cognitive Performance, and a CD-based multimedia text, Cognitive Neuroscience for Everyone!
Spilich joined the Washington College faculty in 1979, and has served as department chair since 1983. Under the Fulbright Research Scholars program, he was a visiting research associate professor of neurology and nuclear medicine at the University of Zagreb Hospitals in Croatia, in 1988-89. He served on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Psychological Association from 1995-1998, and presently is serving his second three-year term as Councilor to the Psychology Division of the Council for Undergraduate Research.
In addition to his scholarly work, he has written several successful grants for new scientific instrumentation, most recently finding funds to upgrade research laboratory facilities to support undergraduate research in cognitive neuroscience, psychopharmacology, developmental and social processes, and sensation and perception, among others.
He has served on several academic committees, including the Premedical Committee, the Graduate Council, Academic Affairs, Academic Computing, and the Information Technology Steering Committee. He won the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1990.Spilich earned his bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a master's degree in experimental psychology from the University of Texas-El Paso and his Ph.D. in cognitive and developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.
Despite his significant achievements, Spilich believes that his recent appointment to the endowed chair carries not the recognition of his value as a teacher and mentor, but the expectation for continued accomplishments.
"An endowed chair named for John Toll comes with the responsibility to work with faculty, students and alumni to elevate the national reputation of Washington College. I'll have to do something really big in the next year or two."
The Toll Chair is the third of five endowed chairs to be created during the $72 million Campaign for Washington's College.