Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nature Writer Presents 'Urban Animals Unveiled' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Author Lisa Couturier, hailed by Booklist as "an artist at discovering little bits of Nature in the city," will present "Urban Animals Unveiled" at Washington College's Casey Academic Center Forum on Tuesday, April 14, at 4:30 p.m.

The lecture is presented by the Sophie Kerr Committee and the Center for Environment & Society.

Couturier worked as an environmental journalist and as a magazine editor while living in Manhattan for nearly 15 years, during which time she traveled to remote parts of South America, Central America and Southeast Asia. Her work has appeared in the well-regarded "American Nature Writing" series, in National Geographic's Heart of a Nation: Writers and Photographers Inspired by the American Landscape, in the PBS series "Writers Writing," and in other anthologies and magazines.

Couturier's new book, The Hopes of Snakes: And Other Tales from the Urban Landscape is testament to her lifelong passion for urban nature and to the human desire to cherish, and hold close, the non-human world that is alive and quietly thriving in our developed landscapes.

The naturalist has lived her entire life along the Northeast Corridor of the United States: the suburbs of Washington, D.C., the City of New York and the outskirts of Boston. "My life, my engagement with urban wildlife and my ideas about what is wild," she said, "were birthed in these most densely urbanized landscapes of the U.S."

It is predicted that an astonishing 80 percent of the population of the United States will live in cities in the year 2010. "This means our urban and suburban landscapes will need to be re-envisioned as the primary places to sustain our passion for wildlife," said Couturier.

"Open, undeveloped space is essential, critical to wildlife. But I feel the need to celebrate, also, the beaver living on the city line, the urban falcon or other urban creatures who are both a gift from the wilder world as well as a reminder that, somehow, we ultimately must not fail that wilder place."

In praise of The Hopes of Snakes, renowned poet Mary Oliver wrote that Couturier's "essays shine with her candor, her perception and her affection for the creatures of our world," while Publishers Weekly enthused, "She makes a convincing case that a suburban woman with a toddler can have as viable a relationship with the wild as an intrepid backpacker; she does not so much domesticate the wilderness as reveal the wildness within the domestic."

Admission to "Urban Animals Unveiled" is free and open to the public.

Understanding the '08 Financial Crisis: 'New Iron Triangle' Analyzed at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Dr. Kathryn Lavelle, Ellen and Dixon Long Associate Professor of World Affairs at Case Western Reserve University, will present "A New Iron Triangle? Congress, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve in the Financial Crisis of 2008" at Washington College's Casey Academic Center Forum on Wednesday, April 15, at 4:30 p.m. The lecture is presented by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs.

Dr. Lavelle is currently a residential fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. She is writing a book that analyzes the relationship between the U.S. Congress, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. She recently served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, assigned to the staff of the House Committee on Financial Services for Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA).

Her first book, The Politics of Equity Finance in Emerging Markets (Oxford University Press, 2005), was praised by Foreign Affairs, which noted, "This book usefully recounts the recent evolution of equity markets in 16 emerging economies, [and] summarizes the nature and extent of privatization in many countries...."

Dr. Lavelle has published articles, book reviews and book chapters appearing in Perspectives on Politics, International Organization, Review of International Organizations, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Third World Quarterly, Review of International Political Economy, International Journal of Political Economy, International Studies Review and The Columbia Journal of World Business.

Washington College's Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs was established in 1990 to encourage students to enter public service by introducing them to exemplary leaders, both in and out of government. The Goldstein Program has hosted journalists, political activists, foreign policy analysts, diplomats, military commanders and government officials of both national and international stature.

The Goldstein Program sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, student participation in models and conferences, and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders experienced in developing public policy.

Admission to "A New Iron Triangle? Congress, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve in the Financial Crisis of 2008" is free and open to the public.

Reagan Remembered: 'Rendezvous with Destiny' Screened at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College Republicans Club will present a screening of the film "Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous With Destiny" at Litrenta Lecture Hall on Wednesday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m.

"Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous With Destiny" examines and celebrates the life and legacy of the 40th President of the United States. Hosted by Newt and Callista Gingrich, the documentary tells the story of the Reagan presidency and the three pillars that shaped his time in office: reviving the American economy, restoring America's spirit and challenging the Soviet Union.

Shot on location in Washington, D.C., the Reagan Ranch, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, France, Poland and the Czech Republic, the film features never-before-seen interviews with Michael Reagan, former Reagan Administration officials, former presidents Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic and Lech Walesa of Poland, and many others.

"Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous With Destiny" charts the path of a unique and notable 20th-century American life, from an Illinois childhood to a career in Hollywood, from the Governor's mansion in California to the Presidency of the United States.

The film explores how Reagan's conservative principles developed over the course of his life's journey, and how "the Great Communicator" used his words and vision to help restore confidence in the nation's future at a time when the national mood was at its nadir.

Over the course of the Reagan presidency, the United States emerged from a recession with then-unprecedented economic growth, and the Cold War finally lurched toward its conclusion. Reagan's prediction that the Soviet Union would end up on "the ash heap of history" ultimately proved to be prescient.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to "Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous With Destiny" is free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Washington College's Afro-Cuban Ensemble, Jazz Combo to Perform

Chestertown, MD — The exciting drum and song traditions of a vibrant musical culture will come alive on campus when the Washington College Afro-Cuban Ensemble performs at Norman James Theatre on Wednesday, April 8, at 8 p.m. The Washington College Jazz Combo also will perform, presenting enduring classics from the American jazz canon.

The Afro-Cuban Ensemble was founded in 2005 by percussionist and ethnomusicologist Kenneth Schweitzer, D.M.A., of the Washington College Department of Music. Wednesday's concert will include Santeria drums and songs, rumba, popular sones and boleros (as in "The Buena Vista Social Club") and Brazilian bossa nova.

Schweitzer also leads the Washington College Jazz Combo, which will round out April 8's entertainment. The Jazz Combo is comprised of a small group of Washington College students (both majors and non-majors) who show exceptional talent and motivation. The goal of the ensemble is to provide members with professional opportunities; playing in club-like settings and providing ambient music in a variety of venues both on and off campus.

Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

'Slate' Editor Discusses 'Making Literature Online' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — David Plotz, editor of the groundbreaking web site Slate, will present "On Making Literature Online" at Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House on Tuesday, April 7, at 4:30 p.m.

A writer for Slate since its launching in 1996, Plotz became the online magazine's editor in 2008. He also is the author of The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank (2005), Backstabbers, Crazed Geniuses, and Animals We Hate: The Writers of Slate's "Assessment" Column Tell It Like It Is (2006) and Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible (2009).

Plotz has written for the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Reader's Digest, Rolling Stone, New Republic, the Washington Post and GQ. He won the National Press Club's Hume Award for Political Reporting in 2000, and was a National Magazine Award finalist for a Harper's article about South Carolina's gambling industry. He also has won an Online Journalism Award for a Slate piece on Enron.

Admission to "On Making Literature Online" is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

War between the Sexes: Washington College Drama Department Presents 'Some Girl(s)'

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College Department of Drama will present Neil LaBute's comedy "Some Girl(s)" at the Prince Theatre on Friday and Saturday, April 3 and 4, at 8 p.m.

"Some Girl(s)" is a comedy straight from the trenches of the war between the sexes. A writer is about to be married. But first, he feels compelled to revisit four women from his past, and travels to four different cities to do so. At each stop, he invites an old flame to his hotel room, hoping to make sure there are no hard feelings, even though he used experiences with each ex-girlfriend as material for his fictional work. In this bold tale of love cast aside, the writer learns a shocking truth about the price each woman has paid for his youthful cowardice.

The Hollywood Reporter hailed "Some Girl(s)" as an "entertaining, sleekly written new comedy," while the Associated Press raved, "LaBute's words cut and wound but they are also incredibly funny, and at times poignant."

The Washington College production of "Some Girl(s)" is directed by senior Michael Golze and features Brian Schultz, Katie Skarwecki, Dorothy Johnson, Molly O'Connell and Emily Broomell. Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 410/778-7835 or e-mail drama_tickets@washcoll.edu.

'Rock Lit' Returns to Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House

Chestertown, MD — It will be a weekend of rock journalism and rock tunesmithing at Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House, which presents "Rock Lit: Sound Opinions" with rock critics/radio hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot on Friday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m., and "Rock Lit: The Art & Craft of Song," a workshop with singer-songwriter Paul Weinfield, on Saturday, April 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Rose O'Neill Literary House's inaugural "Rock Lit" offering came last November as part of "Literature of the Fact," a special series of lectures on the diverse varieties of the art of nonfiction. This weekend, the subject matter ranges from how to write music to how to write about music.

Take two nationally respected rock critics, the latest music news, personal commentary, and exclusive interviews and performances, add a huge pile of records old and new, and the result is "Sound Opinions," the world's only rock'n'roll talk show. Based in Chicago, "Sound Opinions" is hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, two of the finest and best-recognized pop music writers in the nation.

They are the top music critics and dedicated competitors at Chicago's two daily newspapers, the Chicago Sun-Times (DeRogatis) and the Chicago Tribune (Kot). Every week, "Sound Opinions" fires up smart and spirited discussions about a wide range of popular music, from cutting-edge underground rock and hip-hop, to classic rock, R&B, electronica, worldbeat and other genres.

DeRogatis and Kot are also both critically acclaimed authors who write for some of the nation's most prestigious rock magazines, including Rolling Stone, Spin and Vibe. Their April 3 presentation at the Rose O'Neill Literary House is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, April 4, "Rock Lit" shifts gears from journalism to songcraft, as up-and-coming performer Paul Weinfield leads a workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Weinfield is gaining a following via Tam Lin Music, a catchall name for songs written and performed by this singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His songs have been compared to those of David Byrne, Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley.

Weinfield was born in New York City to a poet father and a composer mother. He started combining words and music at a young age: by 9 he had taught himself guitar and by 11 was writing songs. After leaving home he spent many years as a student of religions, traveling through India and the Middle East.

In 2005, Weinfield began actively performing in New York City's downtown folk scene under the name Tam Lin Music (after the Scottish ballad made famous by the band Fairport Convention), a moniker that comprises Weinfield's singing, songwriting and guitar playing with a revolving group of eclectic musicians. Tam Lin Music infuses a more traditional singer-songwriter aesthetic with jazz-inflected improvisation and electronic loops and beats.

Some basic guitar skills are required of attendees to Weinfield's workshop; for registration and more information, email obailey2@washcoll.edu.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Global Challenge: 'Equality of Women and Men' Examined at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Award-winning human-rights crusader Layli Miller-Munro will present "Equality of Women and Men: An Evolving Global Challenge" at Washington College's Casey Academic Center Forum on Thursday, April 2, at 4 p.m. The lecture is presented by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs.

Miller-Muro is the Executive Director of the Tahirih Justice Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting women from human rights abuses through the provision of legal aid and social services (www.tahirih.org). Previously, she was at attorney at Arnold & Porter where she practiced international litigation and maintained a substantial pro bono practice. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, she was an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice at the Board of Immigration Appeals.

While only a student in law school, Miller-Muro argued before an Immigration Judge and assisted in the appeal of a high-profile case involving a woman's right to receive refuge in the United States from a tribal practice called female genital mutilation.

This case, which involved a young woman from Togo named Fauziya Kassindja, was the first in which the Board of Immigration Appeals (the highest appellate immigration tribunal) recognized female genital mutilation as a basis for asylum. The case set nationally binding legal precedent and made legal history.

Miller-Muro assisted Fauziya write a book about her life, flight from Togo and fight for freedom in the United States, titled Do They Hear You When You Cry (Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1998). All of Miller-Muro's portion of the proceeds were donated to enable the creation of the Tahirih Justice Center. The book subsequently has been published in 14 different languages and an audio version has been recorded. The movie rights have been sold to Abandon Entertainment.

Miller-Muro's writings on the subject also have appeared in Journal of Women's Health, American University Journal of Gender and the Law and Human Rights Law Brief.

Miller-Muro has received numerous honors including the Feminist Majority Foundation Award, the Africa's Children's Fund Award, the Voices of Courage Media Award and several others. She frequently gives speeches at colleges and universities throughout the United States and at conferences throughout the world on issues relating to women's rights, harmful traditional practices and the treatment of refugees.

She has appeared as a commentator and as the personal subject of numerous stories on CNN, BBC, ABC's "Nightline," PBS, CNBC, the 700 Club, NPR's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" and "The Diane Rehm Show," and in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Washington College's Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs was established in 1990 to encourage students to enter public service by introducing them to exemplary leaders, both in and out of government. The Goldstein Program has hosted journalists, political activists, foreign policy analysts, diplomats, military commanders and government officials of both national and international stature.

The Goldstein Program sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, student participation in models and conferences, and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders experienced in developing public policy.

Admission to "Equality of Women and Men: An Evolving Global Challenge" is free and open to the public.

Leading Authority to Discuss Music of Bob Dylan at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — British author Michael Gray, one of the world's foremost authorities on the music of Bob Dylan, will present "Bob Dylan and the Poetry of the Blues" at Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House on Thursday, April 2, at 4:30 p.m.

For five decades, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has been a protean force in popular music. With trenchant lyrics that captured the tenor of the times, he dusted off the American folk genre and gave it a new level of social relevance in the turbulent '60s. Shocking the folk-music community by picking up an electric guitar, Dylan helped merge folk and rock, and has continued to evolve as an artist in the ensuing decades.

Dylan's voluminous output has spawned an ever-growing body of scholarship, and topmost in the knowledge of all things Dylan is rock historian Michael Gray. He is the author of The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia (2006, revised and updated 2008) and Song & Dance Man III: The Art Of Bob Dylan (2000) — both definitive studies of Dylan's body of work.

The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia earned outstanding reviews from fans and academia alike: it won the C.B. Oldman Prize in 2008 for the year's outstanding work of research and scholarship from the International Association of Music Libraries, while e-fanzine The Dylan Daily declared it "the most important Dylan book, bar none." Rolling Stone hailed it as "thoroughly researched ... a fascinating reference — with essential information and cool arcana."

Gray's earlier Dylan study, Song & Dance Man III: The Art of Bob Dylan, likewise garnered superlatives; UK Poet Laureate Andrew Motion named it one of the best three books of 2000, and Rolling Stone called it "endlessly illuminating."

Gray has been a hit on U.S. college campuses and in the UK and Ireland at festivals, theaters and arts centres. He's appeared at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and at the University of Texas at Austin where he drew the largest crowd of any outside speaker in the previous two years.

In addition to being recognized as a leading authority on the work of Dylan, Gray also is an expert on rock 'n' roll history in general, as well as the blues (particularly pre-war blues). He has authored or co-authored numerous other books besides his Dylan titles, including Mother!: The Frank Zappa Story and The Elvis Atlas: A Journey Through Elvis Presley's America.

Admission to "Bob Dylan and the Poetry of the Blues" is free and open to the public.

Slavery of Another Kind: William & Mary Historian Presents 'Marie-Marguerite's Journey' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Brett Rushforth, Assistant Professor of History at the College of William & Mary, will present "Marie-Marguerite's Journey: The Life and Lessons of an Indian Slave in the French Atlantic World" at Washington College's Litrenta Lecture Hall on Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m.

Slavery in the context of colonial America most readily conjures grim imagery of ships laden with human chattel, of Africans in chains transported to the New World. But another woeful saga of enslavement unfolded in concert with the West African diaspora: from New France to the southern English colonies, Native American slavery flourished.

The compelling story of one such slave serves to illustrate the broader social condition: Marie-Marguerite, as she would come to be known, was captured by a rival tribe and knew slave status as a child before ever setting eyes on a French settler. The forced journey that was her life—from the Mississippi Valley to Michilimackinac, from Fort Detroit to Montreal, to Quebec and beyond—was a journey across the clash of cultures and the faultline of disparate repressions: Indian slavery, European slavery and the hybrid slavery forms that emerged therefrom.

At William & Mary, Brett Rushforth teaches courses on the history of early America, American Indians, and comparative race and slavery. His research focuses on cultural, diplomatic and commercial relationships between Europeans and the Native peoples of the Atlantic world.

His first book, co-edited with his colleague Paul Mapp, is Colonial North America and the Atlantic World: A History in Documents (Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2008). He is currently finishing revisions on a second book, Savage Bonds: Indigenous and Atlantic Slaveries in New France, which explores the enslavement of American Indians by French colonists and their Native allies. It will be published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. He is also at work, with Christopher Hodson, on a study of the early modern French Atlantic. Under contract with Basic Books, its working title is Discovering Empire: France and the Atlantic World from the Age of Columbus to the Rise of Napoleon.

Dr. Rushforth's Washington College lecture is presented by Phi Alpha Theta, the Department of History, the Department of Art and Art History, and the Theta of Maryland Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to "Marie-Marguerite's Journey: The Life and Lessons of an Indian Slave in the French Atlantic World" is free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Washington College, KC Arts Council Present Second Annual Kent County Poetry Festival

Chestertown, MD — Washington College and the Kent County Arts Council will present the second annual "Kent County Poetry Festival: A Day of Public Poetry in Celebration of National Poetry Month" at the Book Plate, 112 South Cross Street, on Friday, April 3, from 4 to 7 p.m.

People from throughout the county will gather to read aloud their favorite lines from the world of verse—a reminder that poetry, rather than being some rarefied specimen, is in fact a vital, living art with many facets and widespread appeal.

Sign-up sheets for festival participation have been posted at various locations throughout the county, and advance sign-up is requested; persons interested in participating also may e-mail poetry@washcoll.edu to become part of the readers' roster.

"This program is in the spirit of the 'Favorite Poem Project' pioneered by Robert Pinsky when he was Poet Laureate of the United States," said Christopher Ames, Provost and Dean of Washington College.

"The goal is to bring together diverse peoples in our community around the poetry people know and love to share and, in doing so, debunk the idea that poetry is just something for academics to study. During National Poetry Month, we want to illustrate the role that poetry can have in enriching our everyday lives."

Last year was the festival's debut, and it was well attended by a diverse community of poetry lovers. People are welcome to just come listen or participate by reading a favorite poem.

Robert Earl Price, lecturer and writer in residence in the Drama Department at Washington College, is the organizer of the project. Price is an accomplished poet and playwright who has recently moved to Chestertown from Atlanta. His most recent book of poems is Wise Blood, published by Snake Nation Press.

Price studied screenwriting at the American Film Institute and has written for television and film, but his primary writing has been for the stage. Recently produced plays include "Blue Monk," which was part of the Atlanta Cultural Olympiad, "HUSH: Composing Blind Tom Wiggins" and "Come On in My Kitchen." Price's most recent play, "The Golden Sardine," tells the story of legendary Beat poet Bob Kaufman; it had its world premiere at Washington College last November.

Price is currently teaching on a part-time basis at the College and working on outreach programs that connect the college and the community through the arts.

Faith of the Fathers: 'Rediscovering God in America' Screened at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College Republicans Club will present a screening of the film "Rediscovering God in America" at Litrenta Lecture Hall on Wednesday, April 1, at 6:30 p.m.

The 2008 film featuring Newt Gingrich is based on his book of same title, which was a New York Times bestseller.

A simple walk through Washington, D.C., began a profound journey of personal discovery and renewal for Gingrich, one of America's most influential conservative politicians and commentators. At the National Archives, the immortal words from the Declaration of Independence that we "are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights" inspired Gingrich to ruminate on the degree to which the Founding Fathers considered basic human freedoms to be "Creator-endowed." Other sites around the nation's capital further buttressed Gingrich's growing contention that American principles were inextricably rooted in religious faith.

The film version of Gingrich's popular book offers a walking tour of Washington, D.C., guided by Gingrich and his wife Calista, highlighting monuments, government buildings and historic documents that appear to illustrate how a belief in God was central to American values and the underlying philosophies of American governance.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to "Resdiscovering God in America" is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Make No Bones about It: 'Incorruptible' Staged at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College Department of Drama will present Michael Hollinger's "Incorruptible: A Dark Comedy About the Dark Ages" at the Norman James Theatre on Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28, at 8 p.m.

Set in a 13th-century French monastery, "Incorruptible" offers a humorous skewering of both celebrity worship and material worship. As the play opens, the monks are in a funk. The bones of their patron Saint Foy haven't produced a miracle in thirteen years. As a result, the pilgrims have stopped coming and the money has stopped flowing. The monks can hardly feed and clothe themselves, and they become desperate and susceptible to the schemes of a wandering minstrel.

Centuries before dot.coms, the monks turn to large-scale marketing with a mail-order bones business. Prosperity abounds, but the going gets tough when they have to produce an "incorruptible," that is, a body of a saint that never decays. Throughout the farce, Hollinger sprinkles memorable one-liners and plenty of rollicking action as he explores the age-old question, "Do the ends justify the means?"

The Philadelphia Inquirer hailed "Incorruptible" as a "funny, endearing black comedy ... a piece of remarkably dexterous craftsmanship."

The Washington College production of "Incorruptible" is directed by senior Cade Moak and features Holly Kent-Payne, Chantel Delulio, Allison Jones, Joe Yates, Chris Kraisser, Rachel Fisher, Erica Walburg and Stephanie Brown. Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 410/778-7835 or e-mail drama_tickets@washcoll.edu.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Greens Go Green: 'Golf and the Environment' Discussed at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Washington College's Joseph H. McLain Program in Environmental Studies will present "Golf and the Environment: Creating Sustainable Relationships Through Common Values," a lecture by golf architect Troy Miller at Litrenta Lecture Hall on Thursday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m.

A golf course represents both potential environmental side-effects and potential environmental benefits. Ecologically minded golf course designers at the vanguard of their profession have become aware of both the pitfalls to avoid—the overuse of fertilizers, pesticides and other polluters—and the great opportunities to pursue—the creation of wildlife sanctuaries, the preservation of fields and trees that otherwise might have been paved over, the support of indigenous plants and animal species.

Troy Miller, Assistant Director of Land Design for Landmark Land Company, has been involved in environmentally aware golf course construction at sites around the country. Former Adjunct Professor in the University of Georgia's School of Environmental Design (Golf Course Architecture/Engineering), he has a Master's in Landscape Architecture, with an emphasis in golf course architecture, from the University of Georgia.

The Joseph H. McLain Program in Environmental Studies was established at Washington College in 1990 to focus attention on and augment study in the fields of aquatic and environmental studies. The Program supports lectures and symposia featuring visiting scientists and other professionals on matters of environmental interest, particularly relating to the Chesapeake Bay.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to "Golf and the Environment" is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

C. Fraser Smith Presents 'Here Lies Jim Crow' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — In the long struggle for African-American equality, Maryland often played a pivotal role, as C. Fraser Smith chronicles in an acclaimed new book. The author will explore these issues when he presents "Here Lies Jim Crow: Civil Rights in Maryland" at Washington College's Litrenta Lecture Hall on Monday, March 23, at 4:30 p.m. A booksigning will follow.

Smith will be in residence at Washington College from March 23-27 as this year's Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellow at the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. One of Maryland's best known political commentators, Smith writes a weekly column for the Baltimore Sun and serves as senior news analyst for Baltimore's National Public Radio station, WYPR. In addition to Here Lies Jim Crow: Civil Rights in Maryland, he is the author of William Donald Schaefer: A Political Biography; both works are published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Here Lies Jim Crow was met with accolades upon its 2008 release. "Hand it to your students ... and make sure their parents read it, too," enthused longtime Baltimore-based columnist Michael Olesker. "It's a road map of America's long political struggle from slavery to a black man running for president."

Established through a generous gift from Maurice Meslans and Margaret Holyfield of St. Louis, the annual Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellowship brings to campus an individual engaged in the study or interpretation of African-American history and related fields. Besides providing the recipient an opportunity for a week of focused writing, the fellowship also offers Washington College students exposure to some of today's leading interpreters of African-American culture. During his week in Chestertown, Smith will meet with students and faculty and speak to classes about his research, and his experiences covering Maryland politics.

From Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney's infamous decision in the Dred Scott case to Thurgood Marshall's eloquent and effective work on Brown v. Board of Education, the battle for black equality is very much the story of Maryland women and men. Smith's book chronicles the sweep of events through the stories, words, and deeds of famous, infamous, and little-known Marylanders.

He traces the roots of Jim Crow laws from Dred Scott to Plessy v. Ferguson and describes the parallel and opposite early efforts of those who struggled to establish freedom and basic rights for African-Americans.

Following the historical trail of evidence, Smith relates latter-day examples of Maryland residents who trod those same steps, from the thrice-failed attempt to deny black people the vote in the early 20th century to nascent demonstrations for open access to lunch counters, movie theaters, stores, golf courses and other public and private institutions—struggles that occurred decades before the now-celebrated historical figures strode onto the national civil rights scene.

Smith's lively account includes the grand themes and the state's major players in the movement—Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Thurgood Marshall and Lillie May Jackson, among others—and also tells the story of the struggle via several of Maryland's important but relatively unknown men and women—such as Gloria Richardson (a 2008 Washington College honorary degree recipient), John Prentiss Poe, William L. "Little Willie" Adams and Walter Sondheim—who prepared Jim Crow's grave and waited for the nation to deliver the body.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission is free and open to the public.

About the C.V. Starr Center

The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience explores our nation's history—and particularly the legacy of its Founding era—in innovative ways. Through educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach, and especially by supporting and fostering the art of written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between past and present, and between the academic world and the public at large. From its base in the circa-1746 Custom House along Chestertown's colonial waterfront, the Center also serves as a portal onto a world of opportunities for Washington College students. Its guiding principle is that now more than ever, a wider understanding of our shared past is fundamental to the continuing success of America's democratic experiment. For more information on the Center, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Washington College, Smithsonian, National Portrait Gallery Present Second Annual American Pictures Series

Bus Transportation Available From Chestertown

Chestertown, MD — Iconic filmmaker John Waters, novelist Jamaica Kincaid, presidential historian Harold Holzer and New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast will be offering their own original takes on great works of art in this spring's American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series.

The American Pictures series - a joint program of Washington College, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery - offers a highly original approach to art, pairing great works with leading figures of contemporary American culture. Each talk features an eminent writer, artist, critic or historian who chooses a single, powerful image and investigates its meanings, revealing how artworks reflect American identity and inspire creativity in many different fields. The series director is historian and essayist Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

All of the American Pictures events take place at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery's McEvoy auditorium at 8th and F Sts., N.W., in Washington, D.C. Three of the talks will be on Saturdays and one will be on a Sunday; they all begin at 4:30 p.m. Free tickets are available beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the G Street lobby information desk on a first-come, first-served basis.

On Saturday, March 21, John Waters will explore the great abstract expressionist Cy Twombly's "Letter of Resignation." A cult figure since the 1960s, Waters is best known for his films, including Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Polyester and Hairspray. His work has reached a broader audience in recent years, when Hairspray became a hit Broadway musical and then a popular Hollywood film based on the musical. A serious photographer whose work has been exhibited in New York, London and Paris, he has also written five books.

Jamaica Kincaid has selected a resonant painting for her appearance on Saturday, April 11: Edward Lamson Henry's "Kept In." Kincaid's writing frequently touches on themes of race and coming-of-age, both of which are apparent in the painting she has chosen. Born in Antigua, Kincaid has made a lasting mark on the literary history of both the Caribbean and her adopted country, the United States. She draws on her own upbringing in creating her powerful and widely acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, which include Annie John, A Small Place and The Autobiography of My Mother.

On Saturday, April 18, Harold Holzer, a leading Lincoln scholar, will delve into John Henry Brown's Abraham Lincoln, one of the most unusual and deeply revealing portraits of the 16th president. A prolific writer, Holzer has authored or edited 31 books, and in 2008 was awarded the National Humanities Medal. His latest work is the critically praised Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter, 1860-1861. Holzer is also Senior Vice President for External Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Roz Chast, the celebrated New Yorker cartoonist, has said she found her calling when she was 8 years old and came across some of Charles Addams' deliciously macabre cartoons. On Sunday, April 26, she will discuss Addams' famous "Boiling Oil." Addams was the creator of the Addams family of television and movie fame, and in the cartoon, a group of Christmas carolers serenades the family manse while the Addamses, hidden on the roof, prepare to douse them with a cauldron of boiling oil. Like Addams before her, Chast is a longtime contributor to The New Yorker, where editor David Remnick calls her "the magazine's only certifiable genius." Her work has been collected in nine books, most recently Theories of Everything, a 25-year survey. Chast is known for her cast of recurring characters, generally hapless, but relatively cheerful "everyfolk."

"The idea behind American Pictures is to have some of the most brilliant thinkers and writers and creators of the present day step inside some of the most powerful images from the past," said Goodheart, the series director. "The most exciting thing is that each talk is, in effect, a brand-new work that premieres here for the first time."

The series began in 2008, drawing large audiences for talks by novelist Allan Gurganus (on a Walt Whitman portrait), art-rock pioneer Laurie Anderson (on an Andy Warhol silkscreen), historian Garry Wills (on a Thomas Eakins painting) and actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith (on a photograph of a 1950s Broadway cast party).

Support for the American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series comes from the Starr Foundation, the Hodson Trust, the Hedgelawn Foundation, the Washington College Department of Art and Art History, and others. For more information, visit www.starrcenter.com. The Starr Center is sponsoring free buses from Chestertown to Washington for the series. Space is limited. To reserve tickets for the lecture or to ask about the bus, call Joan Smith during business hours at 410/810-7165 or send her an email at jsmith7@washcoll.edu.

About the Sponsors

Founded in 1782 under the personal patronage of its namesake, Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, upholds a tradition of excellence and innovation in the liberal arts. The American Pictures lecture series is a project of the college's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and its Department of Art and Art History.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the nation's first collection of American art, is an unparalleled record of the American experience. The collection captures the aspirations, character and imagination of the American people from the colonial period to today.

The National Portrait Gallery tells the stories of America through the individuals—poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists—who have built our national culture. It is where the arts keep us in the company of remarkable Americans.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Neuroscience of Emotion Explored at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Dr. Jeffrey Rosen, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Delaware, will present "The Emotional Amygdala: Conditioned Fear, Unconditioned Fear and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" at Washington College's Litrenta Lecture Hall, located in the John S. Toll Science Center, on Wednesday, March 25, at 4:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

The amygdala, an almond-sized and -shaped brain structure, has long been linked with a person's mental and emotional state. But thanks to scientific advances, researchers have recently grasped how important this 1-inch-long structure really is. Associated with a range of mental conditions from normalcy to depression to even autism, the amygdala has become the focal point of numerous research projects.

Dr. Rosen, who earned his Ph.D. at Wayne State University, specializes in the neurobiology of emotion. "My research interests in emotion are in understanding the physiological, neuroanatomical and molecular bases of fear and anxiety," he explained.

"To approach these problems, we study fear-related behaviors.... Experiments are designed to study the pharmacology, biochemistry and molecular biology of fear within the neural circuits that mediate these fear-related behaviors. ... In addition to delineating the neurobiology of fear, these studies should have important implications for our understanding of the neural basis of anxiety disorders."

Dr. Rosen's Washington College lecture is presented by the Daniel Z. Gibson and John A. Wagner Visitors Fund, the Department of Psychology and the Washington College Chapter of Sigma Xi.

Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House Explains 'How Poet + Editor = Book'

Chestertown, MD — Writing a poem may be a solo exercise, but editing and publishing a collection of poems is a collaborative creative effort. A Washington College alumnus-turned-published poet is returning to his alma mater with a representative from his publishing house to help shed light on the process. "Begin Anywhere: How Poet + Editor = Book," featuring Frank Giampietro and April Ossmann, will be presented at the Rose O'Neill Literary House on Thursday, March 19, at 4:30 p.m. A poetry reading and booksigning will follow at 7:30 p.m.

The event is co-sponsored by the Jacoby Endowment in Editing & Publishing and the Rose O'Neill Literary House.

Giampietro, who earned his M.A. in English at Washington College in 2002, is the founding editor and designer of the online poetry journal La Fovea (www.lafovea.org). His poems, book reviews and nonfiction have appeared in journals such as 32 Poems, Columbia Poetry Review, CutBank, Exquisite Corpse, Fence, Hayden's Ferry and Rain Taxi.

Frank Giampietro's first book of poems, Begin Anywhere, was published by Alice James Books in 2008. April Ossmann, Giampietro's editor at Alice James Books, will join him for the Rose O'Neill Literary House presentation.

Ossmann is a poet as well; her 2007 debut collection, Anxious Music, was hailed by Publishers Weekly for "a voice remarkable for its confidence and fierceness." She also has published her poetry widely in journals including Harvard Review and Colorado Review, and in the anthologies Contemporary New England Poetry, and The Maine Poets: An Anthology of Verse. In addition to being the Executive Director of Alice James Books, she has taught creative writing and literature courses at Lebanon College and at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Alice James Books (AJB) is a nationally acclaimed non-profit cooperative poetry press. It was named for Alice James, sister of William and Henry James, whose fine journal and gift for writing went unrecognized within her lifetime. Founded in 1973 by five women and two men, the objective of the press was to give women's literature better representation and involve authors within the publishing process. While Alice James Books has a strong history of publishing women's poetry, it encourages submissions from all interested poets.

Recent AJB titles have been reviewed in The New Yorker, ALA Booklist, Ms., Harvard Review, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Boston Review, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, Poetry and other publications. The publishing house itself has been featured in such magazines as Ms, Poets & Writers, Slate and Poetry Daily.

Admission to "Begin Anywhere: How Poet + Editor = Book" is free and open to the public.

Washington College Announces 2009-2010 Tuition Increase

To Washington College Families,

In my nearly 40 years as a teacher and administrator, I cannot recall a time that has been more challenging or uncertain for our nation’s economy or for higher education. Like most colleges and universities, both our endowment and private gifts for current operations have declined. The impact of these contractions is likely to be felt for several years.

Despite the challenges presented by these constraints, we have developed a budget for the coming academic year that is guided by four principals: preserve the quality of the academic experience for our students; identify and secure opportunities to achieve increased operational efficiencies; maintain faith with our faculty and staff, who make our students’ success possible, and limit increases in tuition and fees in recognition of economic concerns and challenges faced by the families of our students.

I believe we have succeeded in meeting all four goals. At their winter meeting late last month, the Board of Visitors and Governors approved the smallest percentage tuition increase in 34 years. For next year, charges for tuition, room and board will increase by $1,625 or 3.95%. I realize that any increase will present a challenge to most families. Our student financial aid office stands ready to help students and parents explore options for low-interest loans and opportunities for external scholarship support.

Despite budgetary constraints, I am pleased to report that we have made significant improvements to life on campus and will continue to see progress next year. Last fall we opened two beautiful new residence halls. In January, we installed a wide-area emergency broadcast system to enhance student safety. A recent grant from the Mellon Foundation will allow us to inaugurate a “Chesapeake Semester” this coming fall. We will also re-open a greatly expanded Gibson Center for the Arts and a new dining hall and student center. Clearly, the days ahead will bring excitement and opportunity.

My colleagues and I recognize the tremendous sacrifices that families make to send their student to Washington College. We remain committed to providing the kind of liberal arts education that will only appreciate in value over a lifetime.


Baird Tipson

Sustainability Workshops Offered at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Tools for ecological survival and sustainable living will be explored in two events at Washington College on Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21. Scott Kellogg will lecture on "Radical Sustainability and Community Building" on Friday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Casey Academic Forum. On Saturday, March 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Custom House lawn at the foot of High Street, he will demonstrate how to attach rain barrels, construct artificial wetlands for water filtration, and establish aquaculture ponds for food and wildlife habitat.

"These are projects you can do right in your own backyard," says Shannon Holste, who manages the George Goes Green sustainability campaign at the College.

Kellogg is co-founder of the Rhizome Collective and director of its sustainability program. He is an experienced teacher, activist and ecological designer. The Rhizome Collective, a non-profit organization based out of a warehouse on the East Side of Austin, Texas, operates an Educational Center for Urban Sustainability and a Center for Community Organizing. "We are working to build the world we want to live in," he said, adding that community participation is necessary and central to this challenge.

Both events are free and open to the public. They are sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College and the Town of Chestertown. For more information, call 410/810-7162.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser Visits Washington College for Sophie Kerr Weekend

Chestertown, MD — Former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser will kick off Washington College's annual Sophie Kerr Weekend with a reading in the Norman James Theatre on Friday, March 27, at 4 p.m.

Held every March at Washington College, the Sophie Kerr Weekend gives a group of high school-age writers a chance to experience the College's renowned creative writing offerings through readings, seminars and small-group workshops with visiting authors and faculty members.

Ted Kooser is one of the nation's most highly regarded poets and served two terms as the United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004 to 2006. During his second term he won the Pulitzer Prize for his book of poems, Delights & Shadows (Copper Canyon Press, 2004).

A Presidential Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Kooser is the author of 12 full-length collections of poetry. Over the years his works have appeared in many periodicals including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Hudson Review, The Nation, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, and Antioch Review.

Kooser's poems are included in textbooks and anthologies used in both secondary schools and college classrooms across the country. He has received two NEA fellowships in poetry and many other national and regional awards.

During his tenure as Poet Laureate, Kooser made approximately 200 appearances nationwide and was interviewed approximately 100 times.

In addition to poetry, Kooser has written in a variety of forms, from personal essays to literary criticism. His first book of prose, Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps (University of Nebraska Press, 2002), won the Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003 and Third Place in the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award in Nonfiction for 2002. The book was chosen as the Best Book Written by a Midwestern Writer for 2002 by Friends of American Writers. It also won the Gold Award for Autobiography in ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards.

Born in Ames, Iowa, in 1939, Kooser earned a B.S. at Iowa State University in 1962 and an M.A. at the University of Nebraska in 1968. In addition, he has received several honorary doctorates.

By introducing aspiring young scribes to the flourishing writing environment at Washington College, the Sophie Kerr Weekend honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most "ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor"—the famed Sophie Kerr Prize—and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Admission to Ted Kooser's March 27 presentation is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dorm Reoccupied after Minor Fire

A small fire broke out in a third-floor bedroom in Chester Hall on Monday at about 8 p.m. No students were injured and the building was evacuated without incident.

All power had been restored by 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, and students were able to reenter and occupy the building.

The source of the fire was a student's unattended fan that had been left on and had fallen onto bedding, causing the motor to overheat and catch fire. Damage from the fire or smoke was minimal and confined to the area around the fan.

Because the sprinkler system activated there was water damage to the room, to surrounding rooms, and to rooms on the the floors directly below.

As a safety precaution, the building was closed Monday night so that the electrical system could be checked for any water-related problems.

Clean-up began Tuesday morning while an assessment was underway to determine repairs needed for the most directly affected rooms. Students were housed overnight in a nearby hotel; some elected to stay with friends. The sprinkler-system contractor (Fireline) arrived to replace sprinkler heads and re-energize the system. The fire-code inspector thoroughly investigated the dormitory, ascertained that the electrical grid was undamaged, and gave the all-clear Tuesday for reoccupation.

Marcor Remediation also was on site Tuesday morning with dehumidification equipment, while maintenance crews targeted the water-damaged areas throughout the day. In all, 11 rooms—three on the third floor, four on the second floor, and four on the first floor—sustained significant water damage and will require repair. The Residential Life Office is providing alternative on-campus living arrangements for the 13 students temporarily impacted by repair efforts.

"The response from all concerned—the Department of Public Safety, the Chestertown Fire Department, the Residential Life staff—was prompt and effective, and the resident students remained calm and responded well," said Mela Dutka, Vice President and Dean of Students.

Radio Icon Diane Rehm, Novelist Raymond Federman to be Honored at Washington College's 2009 Commencement, May 17

Chestertown, MD — National Public Radio's Diane Rehm, a living legend of broadcast journalism, will address the graduates at Washington College's 2009 Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 17. Rehm will receive an honorary degree in addition to being guest speaker at this year's Commencement.

Also addressing the graduating class will be French-American novelist Raymond Federman, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters along with Rehm.

Ceremonies will begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Campus Lawn. Rain site is the Benjamin A. Johnson Lifetime Fitness Center by ticket only.

A highlight of Washington College's Commencement is the annual awarding of the Sophie Kerr Prize, the largest undergraduate literary prize in the nation. It's larger than ever this year, totaling $68,814.

The prize was established by the will of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has done so much to enrich the College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to the College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most "ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor" and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.

For more than two decades, consummate interviewer Diane Rehm has offered her listeners compelling conversations with the world's most interesting and important people. Her award-winning program has a weekly audience of more than 2.2 million people in the United States, with additional listeners in Japan and Europe. In 2007 and 2008, The Diane Rehm Show was named to the Top 10 list of the most powerful programs in public radio, based on its ability to draw listeners to public radio stations.

Rehm has embraced new technological platforms to engage her listeners—she holds monthly online chats, takes questions for her guests on Twitter, and has more than 6,000 fans on Facebook.

Listeners tune to "The Diane Rehm Show" for a lively mix of current events and public affairs programming that ranges from hard news analysis of politics and international affairs to in-depth examinations of religious issues, health and medical news, education and parenting.

Rehm is a master at presenting the personal essences of others, her list of guests is impressive: Bill Clinton, John McCain, Madeleine Albright, Sandra Day O'Connor, Ralph Nader, Tim Russert, Cokie Roberts, Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Deepak Chopra, Maurice Sendak, Maya Angelou and many, many others.

The most popular segment of "The Diane Rehm Show" is the News Roundup. Each Friday, Rehm reviews the week's top national and international news stories with a panel of journalists. Roundup regulars include NPR's Daniel Schorr, Gerald Seib of The Wall Street Journal, William Kristol of The Weekly Standard, Susan Page of USA Today, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post, Jodie Allen of U.S. News & World Report, and syndicated columnists Steve Roberts and Tony Blankley.

Rehm also has forged a successful career as a writer, publishing two autobiographical books. In Finding My Voice, the host talks about her childhood, marriage, broadcast career and vocal difficulties. Published by Knopf in 1999, it is now in its fourth printing. Together with her husband John, Rehm co-authored Toward Commitment: A Dialogue about Marriage, a book focusing on the art of building and maintaining a strong relationship. The book was published in September 2002 by Knopf.

In 1998, Rehm was diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological condition that causes strained, difficult speech. After finding treatment, she wrote several articles and produced a program about the little-known disorder. The National Council on Communicative Disorders recognized her work with a Communication Award, and the Maryland Speech-Hearing-Language Association honored her with a Media Award. ABC's "Nightline" host Ted Koppel devoted an entire program to a conversation with Rehm about her disorder.

Rehm has received many personal honors over the years, including being named a Paul H. Nitze Senior Fellow at St. Mary's College of Maryland and becoming an inductee into the Class of 2004 Hall of Fame by the Washington, D.C., Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She was also honored as a fellow by the Society of Professional Journalists, the highest honor the society bestows on a journalist. In 1999, she was named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine.

Raymond Federman is a French-American novelist and academic, known also for poetry, essays, translations and criticism. He held positions at the University at Buffalo from 1973 to 1999, where he is now Distinguished Emeritus Professor.

Federman is a writer in the experimental style, one that seeks to deconstruct traditional prose. This type of writing is quite prevalent in his book Double or Nothing, in which the linear narrative of the story has been broken down and restructured so as to be nearly incoherent. Words are also often arranged on pages to resemble images or to suggest repetitious themes.

Born in Montrouge, France, Federman emigrated to the U.S. in 1947. He studied at Columbia University and as a graduate at U.C.L.A., where he earned a doctorate in comparative literature on Samuel Beckett. He is also a co-founder of the Fiction Collective, a publishing house dedicated to experimental fiction and its writers.

Also being honored at the 2009 Commencement is alumnus Zung Nguyen '77. A Senior Client Advisor with J.P. Morgan Private Client Services, Nguyen is receiving the Washington College Alumni Citation in recognition of outstanding achievements and services in the field of finance.