Thursday, August 31, 2006

Darnell Parker Appointed Director of Multicultural Affairs

Chestertown, MD, August 30, 2006 — Washington College has announced the appointment of Darnell Parker as the new Director of Multicultural Affairs.

As director, Parker will work with students, parents, and other members of the Washington College community to explore and appreciate the cultural diversity on campus and in Chestertown. Through programs, lectures, and collaboration with other campus departments, Parker hopes to establish an open forum for students to discuss issues associated with diversity.

"The first step in understanding cultural diversity is to begin an exploration of what diversity means to each person" Parker says. "These crucial dialogues will occur within the classroom, residence halls, and on the playing field, and I am excited to be here at Washington College, working with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents as these conversations unfold."

Born and raised in New Jersey, Parker previously oversaw the freshman division of the Office of Residential Life at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ, before joining Washington College. He holds a bachelor's of science degree in social work and psychology and a master's degree in social work from Syracuse University. He worked in the Office of Residential Life and Office of Multicultural Affairs at Syracuse as well, and interned as a school social worker in the Syracuse Public School System.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Drawing Lethe: Professor Monika Weiss Presents Multimedia Art Performance in New York City, September 9

Chestertown, MD, August 28, 2006 — Monika Weiss, assistant professor of studio art at Washington College, will unveil her multimedia installation, "Drawing Lethe," on Saturday, September 9, at the World Financial Center Winter Garden in New York City. Assisted by Washington College art majors, seniors Amanda Boutwell, Lindsay Merhige, and Emily Willie, Weiss will step into her creation and invite visitors and pedestrians to become part of the live public art performance.

"'Drawing Lethe' is an environment created by the act of lying down on the ground in an area covered with white cotton and drawing around one's body," Weiss says. "The experience will be accompanied by a site-specific sound composition which I created. A video projection connected to a camera suspended from above will show live images from an aerial viewpoint as the drawing unfolds. As I am lying on the ground over several hours, people will be able to freely enter and exit the space and become part of its unfolding."

To create the space for the drawing, Weiss and the students will sew sheets of white cotton together to cover a 120-by-130 foot area of the Winter Garden.

"Since it's a public space even during the several days of preparation, pedestrians will be able to witness the growth of the white canvas—a fluid experience just like the unpredictable web of black lines that will result from the marks left by people's presence inside the drawing. That act of 'sewing the image' from smaller fragments is as important to me and as relevant as the drawing itself."

The installation's title, she explains, refers to Lethe, the river of forgetfulness in Greek mythology, and is a metaphor of being outside time. As people participate and pass in and out of the drawing, the white landscape will remain constant while the video camera captures an environment in constant change.

"I welcome the feeling of flux and ephemerality but at the same time the image itself will remain defined, a sacred place with people's silhouettes continuously going in and out of it," Weiss adds. "As people enter the site to lie down, it has yet another meaning because of the context—Ground Zero visible just outside the windows—to honor and to 'listen' to the site. The sound will be very intense, so there won't be much verbal communication going on."

Weiss will compose a film from these live moments of the drawing and pre-recorded sounds. It will also feature views from the days of preparation prior to the performance, when she and the students sew the canvas together.

The World Financial Center is located between Vesey and Liberty Streets in Battery Park City. The exhibition will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, visit

Monika Weiss Biography

Weiss, who joined the faculty of Washington College's Department of Art this fall, is a multimedia artist who creates environments that explore the body as cultural and physical signifier through drawing, video, performance, sculpture, and installation. In her multimedia installations, Weiss explores the physical properties of the act of drawing, which she combines with references to ancient and medieval symbols and concepts of the world and the human being.

She also uses her own body in her art as both the maker and the inhabitant of the artistic object. In one of her recent installations, "Ennoia," Weiss immerses herself for several hours inside a water-filled chalice while a projected image of the immersion and the underwater sounds mirror her action. In her ongoing series, "Intervals," she creates large-scale drawing landscapes that others may enter and fill with their own actions.

Weiss studied piano and composition at the Warsaw Conservatory and continues to compose music for her installations. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1989 and has since exhibited internationally. Weiss arrived in United States in 1996 to serve as Artist in Residence and Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgia State University School of Art and Design. She has since held visiting artist appointments at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and McGill University in Montreal.

In 2005, a major survey of her works was presented by the Lehman College Art Gallery and reviewed in The New York Times. Weiss' other recent solo exhibitions include Instytut Sztuki Wyspa, Gdansk, Poland (2005), Galerie Samuel Lallouz, Montreal (2005), and Chelsea Art Museum (2004). In 2006, her works were exhibited by the Kunsthaus Dresden, ArteBa, Buenos Aires, and The Drawing Center, New York. Her works also reside in the public collections of the Albertina Museum, Vienna, the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, New York, and the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, among others.

For more information, visit

Upcoming Exhibitions

"Fall-Keimai," part of "Between Body and Language" with Sata Mondiano and Griaciela Fuentes
Remy Toledo Gallery
New York City
September 7-October 15, 2006

"Limen II"
Kentler International Drawing Space
Brooklyn, New York
September 8-October 28, 2006

"Abiding" and "Drawing with Body, Drawing with Sound," part of "You Won't Feel a Thing: On Panic, Obsession, Anesthesia and Rituality"
Dresden, Germany
September 8-November 5, 2006

"Drawing Lethe," part of "The Big Draw" organized by The Drawing Center
World Financial Center Winter Garden
New York City
September 9, 2006

"Anamnesis II (Swiatlo Dnia)" part of "POZA. A Multidisciplinary Polish Art Exhibition"
Real Art Ways
Hartford, Connecticut
October 2006-January 2007

Washington College Named to Princeton Review's Top Northeastern Colleges for 2007

Chestertown, MD, August 28, 2006 — For a third year in a row, Washington College has been featured as one of a select group of colleges and universities profiled in The Princeton Review's Best Northeastern Colleges. The 2007 Review lauds the college's size and a personalized approach that "allows everyone, including professors and the administration, to get to know [students] both inside and outside the classroom."

"The schools in this book all have excellent academic programs," said Robert Franek, Vice President of Publishing for The Princeton Review. "We chose them from several hundred Northeastern schools we considered based on institutional data we collect, our surveys of students on each college campus, and our visits to schools over the years."

Best Northeastern Colleges 2007profiles 222 select institutions in the District of Columbia and 11 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The Princeton Review surveyed 58,000 students for this edition (about 250 students per campus) to gain an "insider's" view on matters ranging from the teaching ability of professors to campus food and from academic programs to student social life.

Candid comments drawn from the student surveys are included in every college's profile. Students surveyed at Washington College cited "individualized attention," a "well-respected creative writing program," and professors who "are wonderful at helping students advance their careers in their chosen fields" as some of the reasons they love the college.

WC students also applauded the college's "great psych program and excellent record of placement into medical schools," opportunities and funding for independent study and self-designed majors, collaborative scientific research with professors, and a student body in which "all of the groups easily intermingle and are friendly across campus."

"We are very proud to be included in this guide," said Baird Tipson, President of Washington College. "The students' own unsolicited comments confirm that we are achieving what we set out to do, to give our students an intimate learning environment where our professors truly mentor them and where they will find the people, the facilities, and the experiences to support their personal growth and highest achievement."

Friday, August 25, 2006

New Clarence Hodson Prize Supports Independent Student Research, Study, or Internships Anywhere in the World

Deadline for WC Student Applications: October 2, 2006

Chestertown, MD, August 24, 2006 — Washington College has announced the creation of a new student prize that rewards creativity, initiative, and intellectual curiosity with a competitive grant to support an internship, undergraduate research project, or other form of study anywhere in the world. The Clarence Hodson Prize—established through a bequest from the late Margaret Hodson Black and named after the founder of the Beneficial Corporation—will be offered to a sophomore, junior, or senior majoring in the fine and performing arts, with a preference to a student majoring in music, who has achieved distinction among Washington College's top scholars. The inaugural prize, with an estimated value of $2,500 (but varying year to year), will be awarded in Fall 2006.

To receive consideration, students must have a GPA of 3.4 or better and submit a well-crafted proposal to Professor Garry Clarke, Chair of the Prize Committee, by Monday, October 2, 2006. Proposals must be submitted in hardcopy to the Chair on the approved form. The award will be made by November 1. As a condition of the award, recipients must submit a written report to the Chair within 30 days of the conclusion of their learning experience, but in any event before their graduation from Washington College. A public presentation of the report is highly desirable and should be scheduled following submission.

The Clarence Hodson Prize was created through the generosity of the late Margaret Hodson Black, second cousin to Colonel Clarence Hodson. The first music major at the Women's College of Delaware, Miss Black enjoyed playing and teaching music throughout her life. From 1923 to 1926, she was the first high school music teacher in Easton, Maryland, and from 1926 to 1929 taught music at Frederick High School and methods of music teaching at Hood College. From 1929 to 1930, she served as director of music at Salisbury State Normal School in Salisbury, Maryland. She was the first music supervisor for Cecil County from 1930 to 1932, taught part-time at the Teacher's College in Salisbury from 1932 to 1933, and became director of music at Salisbury State College from 1933 to 1943.

After serving as a member of the Army Special Services from 1943 to 1946, Miss Black entered a new phase in her career, earning a master's degree in psychology from the University of Delaware in 1949 and working for two decades as a licensed psychologist in Maryland and Delaware.

Miss Black continued with her music during her active retirement, teaching piano and organ for another three decades and frequently traveling to music festivals in Austria, Wales, and France. Living in her childhood home on West Main Street in Cecilton, Maryland, she practiced daily on the grand piano and delighted friends with preludes and sonatas well into her 90s. In 1992, she was made professor emeritus at Salisbury State University and in 1997 was awarded a place in the Music Hall of Fame of the University of Maryland, College Park.

Colonel Clarence Hodson (1868-1928), founder of the Beneficial Corporation, was born in Laurel, Delaware, and began his career in banking on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Throughout his 40-year business career, Colonel Hodson was director for more than 40 banks, trust and mortgage companies, insurance companies, and public utilities. In 1913, he founded the Beneficial Loan Society, which later became the Beneficial Corporation. After his death, his staunch support of higher education was carried on by The Hodson Trust, a charitable foundation which funds academic merit scholarships, research grants, technology improvements, facilities, library expansion, athletic programs, faculty salaries, and endowment funds at Johns Hopkins University, Hood, St. John's, and Washington colleges.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Twenty-six New Faculty Members Join Washington College

Chestertown, MD, August 23, 2006 — As Washington College welcomes the incoming Class of 2010 this September, the college is joined by 26 new faculty members, including five new faculty appointments for tenure-track professorships in art, business management, education, English, and history.

Associate Professors

Deborah L. Marciano, B.S., Rhode Island College, 1976; M.Ed., Rhode Island College, 1988; Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 2001.
Associate Professor of Elementary Education

Assistant Professors

Peter Campion, B.A., Dartmouth College, 1998; M.A., Boston University, 2000.
Assistant Professor of English

Jin Xiu Guo, B.A., Tianjin University, 1992; M.L.S., McGill University, 2004.
Assistant Librarian, Catalog/Metadata Librarian

Ibtisam Ibrahim, B.A., University of Haifa, 1987; M.A., Clark University, 1991; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2000.
Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies

Rebecca A. Leyson, B.A., Shippensburg University, 1989; M.A., Webster University, 1993.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Business Management

Christian G. Reich, B.S., Elizabethtown College, 1996; M.A., State University of New York at Binghamton, 2000; Ph.D., State University of New York at Binghamton, 2002.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Jacqueline Rhoden-Trader, B.A., University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1989; M.S., Coppin State College, 1993; Ph.D., The Union Institute, 1998.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology

Monika Weiss, M.F.A., Academy of Fine Arts-Warsaw, 1989.
Assistant Professor of Studio Art


Joyce Baugher, B.A., University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1994; M.A., Tulane University, 2002.
Visiting Instructor of Spanish

Kenneth J. Miller, B.A., University of Hawaii, 1995; M.A., University of Massachusetts, 1999.
Instructor of History

R. Scott Pearson, B.A., Samford University, 1985; M.B.A., University of South Florida, 1992; M.A., The Ohio State University, 2004.
Instructor of Business Management and Economics


Robbi Behr, B.A., Williams College, 1997; M.F.A., Savannah College of Art and Design, 2005.
Lecturer in Art

Daniel S. Brougher, B.S., University of Maryland, 1983; M.S., University of Maryland, 2002.
Lecturer in Biology

Donald C. Buxton, B.A., Wilmington College; M.A., University of Cincinnati.
Lecturer in Music

Merideth R. Buxton, B.A., State University of New York Potsdam; M.A., Ithaca College.
Lecturer in Music

Katherine M. Byrne, D.V.M., University of Missouri, 1986; Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 1992.
Lecturer in Biology

Amy Campion, B.A., Dartmouth, 1997; M.A., Boston University, 1999.
Lecturer in English

Kebede Feda. B.A., Addis Ababa University, 1999; M.A., American University, 2004.
Lecturer in Economics

Stephanie Gerhold, B.A., Washington College, 2004.
Lecturer in Spanish

Adam Goodheart, B.A., Harvard University, 1992.
Lecturer in History

Anthony Harvey, B.M., Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, 2006.
Lecturer in Music

LeeAnn Hutchison, A.A., Essex Community College, 1979; B.S., University of Maryland, College Park, 1981; M.S., Johns Hopkins University, 1995.
Lecturer in Education

Michael Lane, B.S., University of Scranton; M.A., University of Delaware; M.B.A., University of Minnesota.
Lecturer in Anthropology

Denise Mensinger-Campbell, B.A., College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 1994; M.F.A., University of Delaware, 2002.
Lecturer in Art

Joshua Wolf Shenk, B.A., Harvard College, 1994.
Lecturer in English

Jennifer Whitehead, B.A., University of Oregon, 1999; M.S., University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill, 2002.
Director of the Math Center

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Archaeologist John Seidel Appointed Interim Director of College's Center for the Environment and Society

Chestertown, MD, August 21, 2006 — Washington College has announced the appointment of John Seidel, associate professor of anthropology and environmental studies, as interim director of the college's Center for the Environment and Society. Seidel, who has taught at Washington College since 1998, replaces Michael Chiarappa, who resigned in June. Seidel will serve in the position while the college conducts a nationwide search for a new director this fall.

"I've been fortunate in that my predecessors were very strong and active directors, who established a successful trajectory for the Center," Seidel said. "Former Director Wayne Bell remains with the Center as an associate, and his work in helping communities to envision possible and desirable outcomes under various zoning and comprehensive plans will continue. I also will continue to pursue my predecessor Michael Chiarappa's effort to revitalize links between Washington College and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. We plan to implement cooperative research efforts, teaching exchanges, and student internships over the next year."

Seidel envisions a cooperative semester or summer session focused on the Chesapeake Bay's history and environment, much like the highly successful Williams College-Mystic Seaport Maritime Program. In addition, the Center will pursue several new initiatives, Seidel noted, including the use of cutting edge technology to assist in natural resource planning. In collaboration with the National Park Service (NPS), the Center has started on a pilot project to examine various techniques for mapping estuarine and marine bottoms, sediments, and submerged aquatic vegetation. Washington College already has developed expertise in this area through the use of a state-of-the-art multibeam acoustic system for mapping bottom types. The RoxSwath Seabed Classification System was acquired in 2004.

"Building on our work with this system in the Chester River, we will do the next phase of the project at Fire Island National Seashore in collaboration with the National Park Service Submerged Resource Center. Washington College students will analyze the results of the project during the fall semester. The goal of this effort is to build a system that NPS can use nationwide. This is a wonderful example of using the laboratory in our backyard to arrive at solutions that have national applications."

Seidel plans to continue the Center's fruitful collaboration with the Washington College Public Archaeology Laboratory in pursuing projects that illuminate environmental history and the past relationships between people and their natural surroundings. He will also continue the Center's close relationship with Washington College's Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Laboratory, which offers students, faculty, and the community a powerful tool for working with and visualizing spatial data.

Seidel received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987, and holds a B.A. from Drew University as well as master's degrees in anthropology and American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught archaeology at Rutgers University and at the University of Maryland. He joined the faculty of Washington College eight years ago to develop a regional program in environmental archaeology and was awarded tenure in 2002. Prior to joining the faculty of Washington College, he worked in the private-sector as an underwater archaeologist for R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, one of the largest cultural resource management firms in the nation.

His academic research has included classical archaeology in the Near East, investigations of the ancient Maya in Guatemala, surveys of shipwrecks in the Dry Tortugas and Biscayne, Florida, and work on a variety of sites throughout the Eastern U.S. dating from the 19th century back to 12,000 years ago. His current research focuses on the relationships between humans and their environments in the Chesapeake Bay region and the development of an environmental model for archaeological site locations on the Eastern Shore. The project provides vital information on both natural resources (oyster bars, bottom types, etc.) and cultural resources (shipwrecks, old wharves, fish weirs, inundated terrestrial sites, etc.) to planners and resource managers.

Since his arrival at Washington College, Seidel has worked to expand course offerings in environmental studies and taught courses in environmental archaeology, world prehistory and history, maritime and underwater archaeology, historic preservation, and resource management. In collaboration with the Center for the Environment and Society, and—with grant support from foundations such as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation—he helped to introduce a GIS program at the college for research, teaching, resource management, and facilities management. He regularly teaches summer field schools in archaeology for undergraduates and directs a variety of research projects out of the Washington College Public Archaeology Laboratory, located on the ground floor of Chestertown's historic Custom House.

Recent archaeological investigations include digs at the Harriet Tubman birthplace, the 18th century Hermitage estate, and Poplar Grove slave quarters, as well as Chestertown's Custom House and the Charles Sumner Post G.A.R. Lodge. In collaboration with Eastern Shore Heritage, he organized a team to develop a heritage tourism management plan for Kent, Queen Anne's, Caroline, and Talbot Counties, which have now gained State recognition as a "certified heritage area."

Professor Seidel resides in Chestertown with his wife Liz, who is also an archaeologist and oversees the Washington College Public Archaeology Laboratory.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fall Convocation Welcomes Freshmen, Honors Ambassador and Presidential Historian David Abshire, August 24

Chestertown, MD, August 15, 2006 — On Thursday, August 24, 2006, Washington College will welcome 320 new freshmen and their parents during the college's annual Freshman Convocation. The Convocation will also honor Ambassador David M. Abshire, a decorated foreign diplomat, former Special Counselor to President Ronald Reagan, and President of the Center for the Study of the Presidency. Ambassador Abshire will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the college. Ceremonies will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Cain Gymnasium.

This year's freshmen class—one of the largest in the college's history—represents more than 20 states and five foreign nations. More than 40 percent of the class are members of the National Honor Society and 36 percent were in the top 10 percent of their high school's graduating classes.

"The students of the Class of 2010 show great potential and promise," said Baird Tipson, President of Washington College. "They are diverse, motivated, and immersed in a world vastly more complex and interconnected than a decade ago. They face a world in transition and a world in crisis. Our honored guest, Ambassador Abshire, has also faced world crises and made a great impact in international affairs, not only through his role as a diplomat but also as a scholar and historian of presidential leadership, national security, and foreign policy. His life and his work are examples to our students of who will tackle new challenges—political, economic, environmental, and educational—on a global scale."

Co-founder with Admiral Arleigh Burke of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Ambassador Abshire served as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations from 1970-1973 and later as Chairman of the U.S. Board of International Broadcasting. He was a member of the Murphy Commission on the Organization of the Government, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and the President's Task Force on U.S. Government International Broadcasting. During the transition of government in 1980, President Reagan asked him to head the National Security Group, which included the State and Defense Departments, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency. He has also served on the Advisory Board of the Naval War College and on the Executive Panel of the Chief of Naval Operations.

In the mid-1980s, he served as Ambassador to NATO where, in reaction to the threat posed by Soviet SS-20 missiles, he was the U.S. point man in Europe for deployment of Pershing and Cruise missiles.

It was this NATO success that convinced the Soviets to sign the historic INF Treaty and withdraw their missiles. Ambassador Abshire initiated a new conventional defense improvement effort so that NATO would not have to rely heavily on nuclear weapons. For this, he was given the highest Defense Department civilian award—its Distinguished Public Service Medal.

A graduate of West Point, he received his doctorate in history from Georgetown University, and for many years was an adjunct professor at its School of Foreign Service. In 2002, he helped establish the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy at CSIS, and was elected President of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation of New York, which gives grants in the fields of science and education. In 2003, he served on the Advisory Group for Public Diplomacy mandated by Congress. In 2005, he chaired a panel for the Homeland Security Advisory Board to develop layered defenses against weapons of mass effect for the maritime domain.

Founding editor of The Washington Quarterly and author of the CSP publications The Character of George Washington and Lessons for the 21st Century: Vulnerability and Surprise, December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001, Ambassador Abshire has written six books, including Saving the Reagan Presidency (2005), Foreign Policy Makers: President vs. Congress (1979), and Preventing World War III: A Realistic Grand Strategy (1988). He is editor of Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Presidency: Seventy-Six Case Studies on Presidential Leadership (2002).

Saturday, August 5, 2006

New "Millennial Generation" Dining Services Set for WC Students

Chestertown, MD, August 4, 2006 — Washington College students will soon be seeing a whole new way of dining. As of July 1, 2006, Chartwells Educational Dining Services, based in Rye Brook, New York, is providing contract management of the college's dining service, rolling out new high-quality, cutting-edge residential and retail dining and catering programs for the Washington College campus over the next year.

"We are very excited about our partnership with Chartwells," said Bryan Matthews, Associate Vice President of Administrative Services at Washington College. "Updating our food and kitchen operations and providing more choice, quality, and convenience for our students are just a few of the areas where Chartwells' expertise will be applied. I'm sure the students will love the new menus, display cooking, and updated dining facilities as well."

Some of the programs that Chartwells will bring to Washington College include its new millennial generation-focused Pulse on Dining residential dining program; its signature sub and grille brands, Mondo Subs and Coyote Jacks Grille, for the college snack bar; and an old-fashioned malt shop coupled with Starbucks Coffee in the campus student center. Chartwells' signature Au Bon Pain Soups and Outtakes Food-to-Go prepackaged food program will also be offered in both retail operations on campus.

In addition, Chartwells will introduce a cash equivalency program that will allow Washington College students greater flexibility to use their meal plans at any dining location on campus.

Although a full renovation of the dining hall is scheduled for next summer, plans are in place to begin renovations of the student center and snack bar during summer 2006 and to complete expanded renovations of the snack bar during the upcoming winter break.

Chartwells' Pulse on Dining residential dining program was developed with the assistance of millennial generation experts, William Strauss and Neil Howe, to meet the demanding needs of today's students. Once the planned renovations are completed, WC students will be able to take advantage of dining choices such as MyPantry, a self-assisted kitchen-style destination;Outtakes, offering prepackaged sandwiches, salads, and more for students on the run; Fresh Market, which features a variety of salad, sandwich, and soup options all fresh made;Trattoria, Mediterranean-style food featuring wood-stone oven preparation; The Kitchen, offering a selection of complete meal signature offerings; and Fresh Grille, for all their grilled favorites.

During the first year prior to the renovation of the dining hall, students will see major enhancements to the menu, additional healthy selections, an introduction of a Farm-to-Forkprogram utilizing local Eastern Shore products, and a greater selection of made-to-order options.

"Today's students have high expectations," Matthews said. "The variety and flexibility offered by Chartwells are the best way to meet their changing needs."

Ben Franklin's French Adventure: George Washington Book Prize Celebration Honors Author Stacy Schiff, September 14-15

Chestertown, MD, August 4, 2006 — On September 14 and 15, 2006, Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience will host a celebration to honor Stacy Schiff, 2006 winner of the George Washington Book Prize—one of the nation's largest literary awards. This year's event not only honors Ms. Schiff's book, A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, but also marks the 300th anniversary year of Benjamin Franklin's birth.

The centerpiece of the celebration will be a lecture by Ms. Schiff, "Dr. Franklin's French Adventure," in the College's Tawes Theatre at 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 14. The public is invited to attend and learn how Franklin's eight-year mission to Paris helped to turn the tide of the Revolution and secure strategic allies for the fledgling United States. The festivities that day will also include historical reenactments, Revolutionary War-era music, and other special programs.

Ms. Schiff will be on hand for a public welcoming and book signing before her lecture, beginning at 4:15 p.m. in Martha Washington Square. The following morning, Friday, September 15, Adam Goodheart, Director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, will host "A Conversation with Stacy Schiff," which will include a public question-and-answer session. This event will be held in the Casey Academic Center Forum at 10:30 a.m.

The George Washington Book Prize Celebration is free and open to the public. Visit the Washington College home page at for updates and a complete schedule of events.

In her prize-winning book, Ms. Schiff draws on new and little-known sources to illuminate the least-explored part of Franklin's life. A Great Improvisation also describes a side of the Revolution still largely unfamiliar to many Americans: a tale of backroom deals, political infighting, and diplomatic maneuvering. In Ms. Schiff's telling, our country's independence was won not just on the battlefields of Yorktown and Saratoga, but among the glittering salons and dinner parties of Paris and Versailles.

"In sparkling prose, burnished to a high gloss, Stacy Schiff tells the tale of Benjamin Franklin in Paris with piquant humor, outrageous anecdotes worthy of the finest French farce, and a wealth of lapidary observations... C'est magnifique," said Ron Chernow, winner of the 2005 George Washington Book Prize for his biography Alexander Hamilton.

Ms. Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabakov), winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for biography, and Saint-Exupéry, a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a Director's Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Ms. Schiff's essays and articles have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, and the Times Literary Supplement, among other publications. She lives with her husband and three children in New York City.

The George Washington Book Prize, instituted in 2005, is awarded annually to recognize outstanding published works that contribute to a greater understanding of the life and career of George Washington and/or the nation's founding era. Presented by Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and George Washington's Mount Vernon, the $50,000 prize is one of the largest book awards in the United States. For more information, visit

Chestertown, Md., is located on the upper Eastern Shore, approximately 45 minutes from Annapolis and Dover, Del., one hour from Baltimore and Wilmington, and 90 minutes from Washington and Philadelphia.

About the Prize Partners

Established in 2000 with a grant from the New York-based Starr Foundation, the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience draws on the special historical strengths of Washington College and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Through educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach, the Starr Center explores the early republic, the rise of democracy, and the manifold ways in which the founding era continues to shape American culture. In partnership with other institutions and with leading scholars and writers, the Center works to promote innovative approaches to the study of history, and to bridge the gaps between historians, contemporary policymakers, and the general public. Washington College was founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, and was the first college chartered in the new nation.

Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and love of American history among audiences ranging from students to scholars to the general public. It creates history-centered schools and academic research centers, organizes seminars and enrichment programs for educators, produces print and electronic publications and traveling exhibitions, and sponsors lectures by eminent historians. In addition to the George Washington Book Prize, the Institute also sponsors the Lincoln Prize in conjunction with the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College and the Frederick Douglass Prize in cooperation with the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University.

George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, open to the public since 1858, communicates the character and leadership of Washington to millions of Americans each year through a variety of interpretive programs on the Estate and in classrooms across the nation. Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, founded in 1853, making it America's oldest national preservation organization. The George Washington Book Prize is an important component in the Association's aggressive outreach program, which engages millions of teachers and students throughout the nation.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

WC Senior Astra Haldeman Receives $26,000 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship for Post-Graduate Studies

Chestertown, MD, July 31, 2006 — Astra Haldeman, a Washington College senior and daughter of Bill and Suze Haldeman of Florence, NJ, has been awarded one of 16 Ambassadorial Scholarships sponsored by Rotary International for study abroad in 2007-2008. Haldeman, who is majoring in art and anthropology, was sponsored by the Chestertown Rotary Club and selected by Rotary District 7630. She won the scholarship in competition with two other finalists. The scholarship, valued at $26,000, will provide funding to help cover round-trip transportation, tuition, fees, room and board expenses, and educational supplies for one year of post-graduate study after Haldeman has completed her senior year at Washington College.

"I want to combine my interests in art and anthropology to the study the display and preservation of cultural artifacts," said Haldeman, who maintains a 3.8 GPA in both of her majors. "I plan to pursue museum studies, and the universities that I have identified all have different programs in this area."

She hopes to study in New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, or the West Indies, and will learn in November which program Rotary has selected for her.

An active volunteer in her hometown of Florence, NJ, and in Chestertown, Haldeman has donated her time to the Sultana Project and Habitat for Humanity. She is also an active member and past president of the Washington College Student Environmental Alliance and Service Council. In Florence, she has served as a member of the town's landfill committee, a citizens environmental group, and she has spent time as a licensed sailing instructor at the Delaware River Sailing School.

Haldeman's plans to build a career on her majors of art and anthropology, as well as her deep commitment to community service, fit well with the scholarship program's objectives and the values of Rotary International.

The Ambassadorial Scholarship program offered by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is the world's largest privately funded international scholarships program for university-level studies. In addition to Haldeman, the Chestertown Rotary Club has helped three other local students expand their horizons through graduate study abroad during the past 10 years, including two Washington College graduates—Jennifer Reddish in 1996-1997 and Jennifer Dougherty in 1997-1998—and most recently Taylor Scribner Spear, a graduate of the University of Vermont, who studied in England during 2004-2005.

Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences 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.